Archive for September, 2011

Blackawk Serpa vs CCW gun holsters

I love all of my handguns for various reasons and I guess that’s because I’ve learned to appreciate each aspect of them and the genius of the designs.   Once you achieve a certain level of experience you become to know that so much of guns and gear is about the job at hand and personal preference.   When arguments break out in our showroom its not about leather vs. kydex, but it’s about the levels of retention, Safariland holsters and Blackhawk seem to go together, but many like one over the other.  Much internet traffic has been generated about the USMC adopting the Blackhawk Serpa and how the guns can get jammed up in the  holsters and not release.

The Blackhawk CQC holsters are a marketed as concealment holsters too but many will find a holster like this hard to conceal except in the winter months, Blackhawk holsters like the Serpa in many peoples opinion, especially the Military is a fine duty holster.   There will always be a need for IWB gun holsters and Don Hume holsters and Galco holsters are still our biggest concealed carry gun  holsters.   IWB is probable the most practical although pocket carry is becoming very popular.   Pocket carry is still very much a white collar CCW and not really the best option for self defense.   Practice and situational awareness come before modes of CCW, but IWB will always be a more reliable way of carrying a firearm.


AR15 upgrades without the hassles

There are enormous numbers of things you can do to customize your AR15 style rifles but one thing to consider is every time you do a gunsmithing job to your firearm, that’s one more thing that may not be  installed correctly.   The more you add on, the more can fall off, that goes from changing magazine releases, trigger guards, triggers, hand guards, gun grips and and more.   Instead of taking everything off of your firearm, it’s really better to just get another upper receiver or another firearm.   Especially if you think there is a chance you won’t like the modifications.  Piston conversions are another thing to be careful about because the gun should be functioning reliable after the changes and not less reliable.   And remember don’t fix something that isn’t broken.

Going back and forth from a direct impingement firearm to a pistol driven gun and then back to DI is a bad idea.   There are some really cost effective versions of the piston uppers like the CMMG uppers for sale at Rogue Elite.   LWRC is still the king of the piston driver uppers especially after the new lightweight upper receivers have come out that are just slightly over $1000.    The M4 LEPII is a popular upper receiver and only change of your recoil spring should do the trick.   The key to maintaining a reliable firearm is to maintain it, not constantly mess around with it.   If  you want to do minor changes, go ahead, major changes to a firearm, get a new one.   The cost in time and money may be about the same.


Ballistic Eyewear Options from Smith Optics

We’ve been moving quite a bit of the Smith Optics Elite ballistic eye wear but it still seems like many people are unaware that Smith Optics has a military and LEO division of ballistic eye wear.    The tactical eye wear is broken down into the Tactical  Lifestyle and the Tactical core.   There are some higher levels of ballistic protection than the standard levels but we’ll keep it simple.    The Outside the Wire goggles from Smith Optics Elite will give you ballistic goggles come in black, tan and foliage green.  The dual ballistic lense are available in gray and clear for those that want that level of protection.

The tactical lifestyle eye wear from Smith Optics Elite comes in 5 styles and 5 lenses,  all Smith Optics Elite eye wear is available for Rx lenses, but you will have to send that in directly to Smith Optics.  The Aegis Eyeshields are probable the best for the average shooter due to the wide protection with more visibility than the Smith Optics Turbo Fan goggles.  The tactical Life style eye wear comes in the Hudson Tactical sunglasses, Director tactical sunglasses, Hideout tactical sunglasses, Lockwood tactical sunglasses and Chamber tactical sunglasses.   The lense are available in Clear, gray, Ignitor, Polarized gray and Polarized brown.


Do you own that gun that’s hard to find a holsters for?

In a recent conversation about some of the new pocket guns from Ruger like the LCP and the LC9, many people are calling us up asking us if we have ANY type of holster for their guns.   Gun holsters have just gotten far more complicated in recent  years and even the guys  in the military have to go through some research to buy a holster.   Guns are sold with rails, without rails, some handguns have lasers on them and others want to keep a light on them.    You literally could have 3 or 4 of the almost identical holsters with just slight variations depending on how it is configured.   There are always customer holsters for those with the money to fork out, but not everyone wants to spend $80 on a holster.

One reason to stick with a handgun for CCW that has been out for awhile is getting replacement parts, gun grips, gun holsters and even ammunition might be a good idea.   Blackhawk holsters are probable our biggest selling holster, but they don’t have the versatility as a nylon holster maker like Elite Survival does.   Elite Survival has Made in the USA on their products but might be a little bit above Uncle Mike’s gun holsters and Blackhawk nylon holsters   or even the Blackhawk Omega holsters.   If you are looking for IDPA or a duty holster, the USMC has now adopted the Blackhawk Serpa Holsters as their primary retention holster.   I believe it replaced the M12.


Gunfighting stress and round counts

One thing that is stressed in firearms training is that you have to constantly be active and practice your firearm skills or you will most likely loose your edge.   Just remembering the feel of recoil, gun grip and knowing how loud your gun will be if you don’t have hearing protection on is something that is easily lost.   There have been times where I fired guns so much that I practiced training without hearing protection on open ranges and the sound of the gun really didn’t cause me to flinch, but there were times where I’ve fired guns in indoor ranges and the guy standing next to me made me flinch every time his firearm discharged because even with hearing protection, the blast was so loud in an indoor environment.

If you practice with something like an AR15 enough, you will be able know the difference in the cycling of a firearm and when the last round has gone off and the bolt has locked back, but one thing that needs to be thrown into the mix is will  you know this under stress?   The short answer is probable not.   The Magpul pmags with the windows will give you some point of a reference if you are under stress that a simple tilting of the firearm can tell you if yo have 30% or less of your ammunition left.  There’s no reason to drop a mag and have to shake it or waste a partially loaded magazine with a another fully loaded.   If you’ve got 8rds of 5.56 ammuntion you aren’t out of the game and a simple magazine window is an asset.


Don’t think magazine capacity is the only thing that wins the race

It’s really also a contest about speed.   There seems to be an addiction to 30rd magazines with AR15 owners but all you have to do is roll the clock back 20yrs and most of the gun magazines for M14s, FALs and G3s were 20rds.   Why were they 20rd magazines…because the guns were far too clumsy and bulky with 30rd.   There is still some truth to that with 30rd 5.56 magazines.   The AK47 is a firearm that is very clumsy do to it’s contour when being fired from the ground and would also be better balanced with 20rd magazines.

If you are in the business of having to suppress targets, than higher capacity magazines are for you, but for moving with speed and agility, try the 20rd magpul pmags for sale.   There are several new Magpul accessories that are giving better balance back to the AR15, especially the M4 design which was really getting out of control with protruding fore grips ect.   The magpul angled fore grip is something that brings you closer to the tradition gun hold but gives you the ability to grip your firearm better.


gun safes that don’t burn money

Ever since I had a family and knew that I was going to have kids around the house that would eventually figure out where Dad kept his firearms, I picked up several gun safes.   There are some pretty expensive gun safes out there, namely the biometric safes, but those are really meant for quick access use of firearms.   One safe isn’t necessarily better than the other, it’s really about what you intend to do with it.   Some of these gunvault gun safes are really good for storing jewelry or personal records like birth certificates ect.   In this day and age there are many reasons why you will want to know where you birth records are for your kids because they need to be submitted for many reasons.

The gun safes that we are actually selling the most are the gunvault nano vault safes.   The reason these safes are selling so well is they are easy to  use and the least expensive gunvault safes we stock.   For less than $40 you can get an easy to store and move gun safe.   They are great for travelling especially for people that are in and out of hotels.   There are plenty of situations where you may not be able to bring a firearm with you and leaving it loaded in a room where a room cleaner may come is not a  good idea.   Lock it up and hide it under a bed or in a corner.


The Otis gun cleaning system

It’s kind of like being in a cult when you acquire certain firearms.   The Kalashnikov crowd is a cult and so is the AR15 crowd.   AR15’s are so common now that it’s  not really as much of a cult anymore, but the furniture  you use on  your firearm and the  optics you use may put you in a certain cool category.    When I first heard about the Otis gun cleaning systems, I was wondering how someone could have devised a system that would be so much better than a cleaning rod and a cleaning patch, so I walked around at a trade show and went right up to the guy running the Otis booth.   I was lucky enough to have asked enough questions that I was given the AR15 buttstock cleaning kit and the Pistol cleaning kit.

When I got home, broke out several of my AR15 guns and a could handguns and tried to use the system.   I found the Otis cleaning kits to be very complicated but I have enough life experience to know that that just means having patience and find out why gun cleaning supplies were designed the way they are.   I have never had to use a scraper or a brush on any of my AR15 guns because I clean them so often there is really rarely any long term build ups that I missed.  I do think that the Otis Cleaning Systems do slow down the cleaning process because of all of  the fumbling I do with the accessories, but the compact bags make


All those tactical pants and what to choose from?

We recently got in another shipment of Blackhawk Warrior Wear and some of the Tru-Spec 24/7 in limited quantities.  Like many companies out there we have been trying to monitor what is going on with the clothing manufacturers because there are plenty of credible rumors going around about people leaving China and looking elsewhere.  Much of the 5.11 tactical products are geared to Law Enforcement and EMS, and they do a great job of keeping that market, but there is plenty of room for competition for comfort and quality control.   We’ve done a few movement tests with the tactical clothing that we got in and Tru-Spec was the hands down winner.

The 24/7 line from Tru-Spec would not pass as concealed carry pants  in my opinion because real concealed carry means not looking like you are packing a gun.  Most of the 5.11 tactical, Blackhawk tactical pants and even Woolrich Elite and the defunct Eotac line look very similiar from a few feet away.   The big difference is the fit in my opinion.   Guys with different body sizes mostly guys that are body builders.   Sometimes people forget this and that is why there are so many tactical clothing companies because none of them can accommodate everyone.


Some talk about the USMC adopting the Blackhawk Serpa Holsters

I just got done reading several news articles, gun blogs and yapping on facebook about the USMC adopting the Blackhawk Serpa holsters.   Many of them were fact and experience driven but I still see a lot of over reacting.  There are several videos floating around of the holsters being jammed up from dirt or snow and guns being locked into place inside the holster and the release button not working.   Well, try doing that same thing with your AR15 and you’ll probable end up with a jammed firearm.    I think the argument is definitely there and there may be a slight modification to the gun release button, but I think the Blackhawk Serpa holster is a good holster.

Your cell phone and firearm can jam or even explode if  you don’t treat them right and anyone knows that getting dirt down your barrel and obstructing a bullet means a doomed barrel.   Every mechanical device whether  Blackhawk Serpa holsters or a Galco leather holster can malfunction.   Even Fobus holsters were the recipients of some pretty harsh internet durability and reliability video.   This argument can go all the way back to wood rifle stocks vs plastic ones.   I would expect that the military may ask for a slightly improved version of the holster, but I wouldn’t worry about the ones you have on  you right now.

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