Archive for October, 2011

$13-$15 magazines where to put your money?

Sometimes it really bothers me when people want to argue about everything without really making conclusions about what gear is better.  Yes, I know there are plenty of debates out there about which firearms may be more reliable than others, and there is an answer to that depending on the conditions they operated in, but there is absolutely such a thing as stronger and more durable.  Some people have the lack of critical thinking where discussion about t-shirts preventing bullets from expanding falls into the same argument about how Second Chance body armor is junk, either way your screwed because your bullets won’t expand in one situation and you’re bullet proof vest is going to fail when you get shot.

Well here’s the reality about AR15 magazines….. The M16 is the highest maintenance firearm that has been put into Military Service, but the guns reliability has been dramatically improved by Mapgul Pmags.   There is not argument unless you are total moron, that the Magpul design is stronger and feeds more reliable than any USGI magazine.   USGI magazines are meant to be thrown away and throwing things like that away all the time is a waste of production and resources.   If you can run  your magazines over with your car and then defend your life with them, they are better.


5.11 Covert Casual Pants Review

Today we got in a large quantity of the 5.11 tactical line, everything from Tactical Polos, EMS pants and the 5.11 parkas.   5.11 really has the EMS market and from what our customers have told us, it really is hard for them to even look for another brand.   Yesterday we got some complaints about some of the product that have been discontinued, but not everything that has been  discontinued was for reasons other than it was a  slow seller.  Sometimes products changes occur and recently some major production issues coming from Asia caused clothing to completely dry up.

The 5.11 Covert Casual pants are to this day the vest fitting 5.11 pants I own, but I’m still very annoyed that there regular line does not fit me so well.   Some of this may be subjective about tactical pants fitting properly, but I have 12 different 5.11 pants in front of me and only this one gives me the movement that I need.   The Covert Casual pants are made in some very nice colors other than the boring Khaki colors that everyone seems to make pants in.   The pockets are a little over thought, but if you can use them, you use them.


Keeping it simple for CCW

Recently we got some requests to bring in The Wilderness Titanium belts which we kind of avoided because they are so expensive.   They aren’t expensive for the people that want to get the most out of a belt and knock off a few ounces of weight.   So many people in the civilian world don’t understand that you really can feel the difference at the end of the day between carrying 15lbs of weight vs 20lbs.   Your feet and your back will know it and reducing weight not only means less weight, but it can mean adding on another important item without going over your comfort limit.   My back and my feet hurt when I hear these stories about what our troops are carrying for their daily chores.

When we open the discussion about concealed carry, the weight issue still means something.  I can run through the list of close friends that are highly trained in carrying firearms and they all gave up carrying full size 1911 handguns for j-frame revolvers.   One of my favorite CCW is carrying a Smith & Wesson 637 in Don Hume holsters.  The Jit holster rides up high, it weight practically nothing and it doesn’t take up room in a pocket with is another popular mode of CCW.   Pocket carry is nice, but lets remember that carrying a gun in a pocket means not putting anything else in there, but what if you need the room for keys or other gear?


Movement and fit with tactical pants

Although I might blog about tactical clothing for the majority of the time, I’m really not a big fan of the whole industry.   If you want concealment, putting the name Blackhawk or 5.11 on your clothing falls under the category of “Not Really” if you want to be running stealth operations.  I’ve seen enough drug busts go down that anyone working in Narcotics knows this.   I’ve often been impressed by the types and looks of some of the people that run Narcotics operations in Philadelphia and how good they are at tricking the bad guys.  Sometimes the guys running behind the scenes sitting in cars get to wear the tactical clothing, but not the front men.

Normally the guys doing the fence jumping are the hardest to impress.   Those are the guys that call up a day after the wore the clothing and tell us they blew out the tactical pants.   I must have worn about 20 different types of pants in the last 4hrs trying to find something that fits me right from my personal experience, movement is something that is really important to me.  The  number one place guys blow out pants is at the gun range.   As soon as they kneel down on the ground they’ll know what the fit and flexibility is.   What is claimed as tactical might be all about the looks and pocket designs, but they may not operate with the operator.


Home invasions and burglaries on the rise

Everyone I know that owns a firearm has a story about why they own a particular firearm.   Somebody might prefer to carry a said firearm but when it comes to being a nightstand gun, things can change.   Sometimes you don’t want a full size auto in an IWB holster but as a gun you want to make a stand with, that Full size Glock 17 is what you want.  Night Sights are also primarily sold to people for home defensive weapons as well as putting flashlights on them.   A flashlight being carried with a gun means getting and using a different type of holster and that is a whole other can of worms.

When it comes to locking up your firearms, there is now absolutely no reason to not lock your guns up.   Gunvault safes will hold your firearm whether you are using a laser grip, Crimson Trace or other, flashlight, or spare magazines.   Gunvault safes come in a very wide and versatile price range.  Biometric technology has become far more reliable in recent years and they seem to have their stuff in order.   If  lock up your guns and properly mount them the way the gunvault safes are meant to, you will also reduce the chances of having a burglary become a gun theft.



Concealed Carry Pants, Right?!!?!

I have always been more of a jeans guy and that’s the straight leg style not the baggy pants.   I have always been looking for a good pair of CCW pants that really just had nice big hand pockets so I can drop a gun in their and not have to worry about it popping out or sliding out.  Regular clothing won’t cut it and there are safety issues with pocket carry if you are not careful.   A good pair of CCW pants won’t have the pockets sewn directly into the seams because that will allow the gun to fall out in certain positions.   The Woolrich Elite 4909 were too baggy according to our customers although many of same customers that came back for the Eotac version said the Eotac pants were too tight in the thighs and the rear pockets were unnecessary and made the pants look tactical.

I ran out and picked up a pair of the 5.11 Cover Carry jeans shortly after I heard that Eotac was no longer going to be around and was trying to find another line of clothing to fit into the concealed carry market.   No such luck on the Covert Carry tactical pants, they aren’t suppose to be tactical but they were over thought and useless.   I rarely trash a pant design but you couldn’t even carry a j-frame in the hand pockets.   If you ask me for CCW pants, the only pant that I am going to tell you looks CCW are the Woolrich Elite Chinos, it’s somewhat of a relief to actually have the confidence to tell the truth.


Tactical pants and movement

While studying up on some of the new tactical clothing coming  out in 2012 I was reading some of the reviews and comments on YouTube about them.  It’s funny how often you see people reference that everything is a rip off of 5.11 tactical pants.   I’ve only been in the tactical clothing business for about 7yrs and I have to say that, that is partially true.   It was 5.11 that really had the entire market and nobody came close.   The truth is they still have the market but there are several competitors that are pretty close.  Tru-Spec and Blackhawk probable gained the most ground but Proper is still a monster in it’s own category.

One conclusion that one must come to with tactical clothing is along with quality control, tactical pants must allow for movement.   There are plenty of styles of tactical pants that have been pushed out in the market only to die a slow death when people realized there were design flaws.   One thing that is absolutely a reality about tactical pants is that a gusseted crotch is a must.   The old standard stitching, double stitching, triple stitching isn’t going to cut it. It’s about reducing stress not fighting it.


New Woolrich Elite Twill Jackets in stock

When we first got these in we  had very high hopes that it would be something we could stand behind because we’ve seen a lot of tactical vests and so called CCW vests come in the store and later become discontinued, bad designs or had absolutely nothing interesting about them.   We use to sell a lot of SigTac jackets but that whole scene seems to have dried up.   Woolrich Elite products have always been very well made but like every tactical clothing, something new always comes out every year but sometimes it doesn’t catch on for various reasons and then we can’t get them anymore.


Well this year we jumped on the wave and brought in a good chunk of inventory of the new CCW coat from Woolrich Elite.   The Woolrich Elite Twill Jacket was something we’ve been itching for around here and a much better though out and designed jacket than the SigTac jackets.   There are a lot of times that we get descriptions and product info from the manufacturers but Youtube is really the best way to explain a product in this technologically advanced age.    Brian Miller of Woolrich Inc has done several Youtube videos which really sell the new Woolrich Chino, CCW shirts and the Twill Jacket.   Even though we had these jackets in the shop we didn’t know all of the features until we watched the videos, Check them out.


More and more options for tactical clothing, but does the quality suck?

I answered an email from a customer that ordered several styles of shirts from us but they complained that they ordered all of the same sizes, but the fit was not the same.   We’ve been in the clothing business for long enough to know that sometimes styles and sizes get mislabeled and your wifes home cooking skills did not advance you to the larger sizes. All clothing manufacturers claim to be durable and consistent but the truth is that this is not a reality.   The same company may have variations in sizes and might even change the quality of the fabric just to save a few bucks.   Some clothing makers even out source stuff which compounds the quality control issues.

Making good clothing is a talent and you can have the best designs in a tactical pant but then wreck it with poor quality and poor consistency.  I’ve heard rock albums get ruined by bad mixing or poor recording.   Look at the And Justice for All album from Metallica and how many bass players are still pissed off at the bad mixing that went on.  The point is that great talent still gets wasted on tactical pants and tactical shirts.   There are some really nice CCW shirts from Blackhawk and 5.11 but sometimes when you hold them in your hands they don’t feel as good as they look.


Don’t sell your AR15, get a new upper

There are plenty of upgrades and things you can do to a less expensive AR15 to make it better.   As long as it’s a Mil-Spec gun, go ahead and replace the springs first off, make sure the proper areas are staked on and don’t get carried away.  Staking your gas key is probable one of the biggest things I’ve seen AR15 owners not pay attention too and if you shoot enough rounds, you’ll find out what  happens.   Gun magazines are an obvious area of importance, but many still think that they will get good reliability out of their guns.
I call bullshit on that one and the complacent gun owner is going to be the one that has the firearm go down at the wrong time.   It’s been a few years, but not that long that a guy who had put on a Spikes tactical upper receiver  on his gun stated that he runs his guns dry and doesn’t have problems, well that is another individual that is going to get a shock when his MOA AR15 goes down after rapidly firing off 30rd and that dry run firearms goes down.   Complacency is something that really catches up with a gun owner or Law Enforcement officer.   If you want a better gun, learn how to upgrade it or maintain it properly and just buy a better barrel or upper receiver.

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