I have been told I’m an old soul because I’m far more mature than most my age and I’ve been that way for probable most of my life. Many of the good things I remember about growing up was getting all the info I wanted from my Grandfather and all of my Uncle’s. I only had a couple of Aunt’s so it was not very balanced in having sources of information. When it came to Astronomy, Science, Politics and Religion, I got input from so many different views that I was forced to pick one or think about it and come to a conclusion. The same goes now for all of our customers that tell us about the gear and gadgets they use.
One of the best things I got from both of my Grandfather’s was the ability to always ask questions. I always ask customers about the fiasco over the Blackhawk Serpa holsters and the recent bans that are taking place all over. My own thoughts on it are that a less trained shooter is more likely to happen with a Serpa holsters than a Safariland holster but I still use the Blackhawk Serpa holsters, and I have them for all of my combat sidearms. Those debates about what can happen to a Serpa holster are true, but try jamming the same dirt and snow in your AR15 bolt and tell me if that locks up the same way. Yep, it does.
Along with defensive ammunition improvements, one of the largest improvements we have seen in the industry is with combat optics. 20yrs ago there were only a handful of optics that could hold up to the abuse that real hunting and shooting gave them. With the advent of military rifles being issue with scope rails, more and more of our soldiers are getting the most out of the M16 and with the re introduction of the designated marksmen, Leupold rifle scopes are even today being used for combat duty. We are seeing M16A4 being used with Leupold 3-9×40 optics just because the troops are familiar with their hunting skills in America and know that Leupold scopes are dependable. For long range and medium range shooting, there are a great many options on the table.
Our favorite things to come from Leupold are with their close quarters. medium range and extended range rifle scopes. These aren’t your fathers hunting scopes, the compact Leupold rifle scopes aren’t the high profile optics that will force you to adjust your cheek weld and the close quarters CQT won’t have a disappearing reticle if the batteries go out. With the now growing number of .308 AR showing up, Leupold medium range optics with Mil-dot and medium magnifications won’t slow down your designated marksmen. The Leupold AR riflescopes are specifically designed for the AR15 owner that may be doing varmint work in his backyard. While the .223 seems to be over looked by many in the varmint community for the 22-250, with the correct platform, the AR15 can be a DMR or Varmint option.
I’m amazed at how many operators and military persons do not use any kind of fancy tactical gloves. What amazed me was the number of people that are using gloves that you get in a sports store. The truth of the tactical glove market is nobody wants to wear something where they can barely feel there hands. For products where a cop has to worry about needles sticking them with hepatitis C or HIV, they they need frisk gloves like the turtleskin Alpha or Bravo gloves. Sure you can shoot firearm with frisk gloves on but nobody is going to like that. Many snipers do not want gloves to cover their trigger fingers and most of the time those areas of the gloves get cut off.
We don’t know the real story on why Eotac disappeared but one of the casualties to the Eotac and Woolrich Elite history were the Vickers tactical gloves. The Vickers duty gloves were barely on the market, but now word has gotten out and people are using them as paintball gloves as well as what their intended purpose was. These gloves were very well received and once Eotac acquired these gloves and then went out of business they are starting to disappear. We have a large selection of the duty gloves but the OD green colors are dry up quickly. Who knows if anyone will make them in the future but your best bet is to get them while you can.
That’s an easy answer for anyone that has been on a range as long as I have. My first experience with a firearm with a laser was with one of my friends and he mentioned that he had bad eyes and need it. That was about all I needed to know about why somebody would put a laser on a firearm. Look at the changes that have taken place on firearms and the way people put hi visibility sights on Glocks and rifles. I’ve seen AKs glowing sights and watched how well someone could shoot with them. Even though you may turn your gun into something that has pink and yellow sights, you will find the contrast will improve target acquisition.
Lasers are showing up on everthing and now that most handguns being issued to police and military have rails on them for flashlights, lasers are also put in the mix. We are seeing lights like the Veridian flashlights and we’ve been moving plenty of Crimson Trace Laser grips for concealed carry pistols. The LCP is hands down the most popular concealed carry gun, but I still have issues with the .380 caliber and what it does for the average crackhead. Do some research on what type of holster you want and make sure it works with your laser properly, lasers are are good when you need them.
We have been stocking the Original Swat footwear products for almost 3yrs now and have put in 3yrs of running the Atlantic City Police and Security Expo for them. It’s nice to get positive feedback from customers about a product year after year and this past year was the most successful. When the customer base grows and they keep coming back, you know you’re doing something right. These tactical boots keep getting lighter and lighter and it’s always fun to see someones face the first time they pick them up. The Original Swat style 1232 are my favorite because the air cushion that it has really gives you more support. I’ve got worn down feet and I can really tell when the sole of a boot or shoe is giving in.
After spending about $20 per month on replacing Doctor Scholls for my feet the costs of having sneakers that were light, but lost support really started to add up. I picked up a different kind of gel insert that supposedly has a 2yr warranty, but we shall see, the lightest tactical boots that we have right now are the Original Swat Chase low series. These are available in Black and Tan. If you compare this product line to most of what you see at Cabel’s or Dick’s Sporting goods, you’re probable dealing with atleast a 40% lighter boot. That really means something to a Police Officer or an Operator.
I have stockpiles of rifle case and holsters that I have acquired over the years but after witnessing several bad incidents with several friends I have been slowly acquiring better rifle cases than what I previously have used. Uncle Mikes’ and Bulldog make some nice, inexpensive soft assault rifle cases but that can be a problem these days. Sometimes you want something that doesn’t scream gun and some of my friends found out the hard way. If you look like you’re transporting a firearm, you open yourself up to the paranoid society and also to theft. In recent years there have been thefts of firearms from vendors that were bringing guns to and from gun shows and they stopped in at a restaurant and somebody did a smash and grab when they were chowing down.
Many AR15 style rifles have tactical optics on them that cost almost as much as the guns do. Why not find a tactical gun case like the Elite Survival Cover Operations case that is low profile and can securely strap your optics and firearm down. It also can carry magazines, rifle or pistol, or some other molle type system in a separately padded compartment. Even for law enforcement being low profile with your firearms is a way to be professional and make sure the public doesn’t think you’re responding to a bank robbery in progress. A decent tactical rifle case like this will most likely cost you in the $100 price range, these are made in the USA can be had with free shipping at Rogue Elite.
I grew up in a home where there was no firearm available but my Dad was always very smart about the way he conducted himself in the home. I’ve actually witnessed my Father defend My Mother and family with his bare hands so I knew he wasn’t a wimp in anyway. We had timers on lights and when we went away on vacation he knew not to announce it to the public. Little things like that are just as good as having an alarm system on your home. The differences between those two are almost the differences between using cover or concealment in a defensive situation.
When it comes to storing a firearm in your home that you want to be available for self defense, handguns are easy to put away in a quick access gun safe, but shotguns or rifles are another. I personally would shy away from a rifle being used in the home because of the volume, but gunvault has the breechvault that you can use on a shotgun if your shotgun is your primary home defense gun. The Breechvault can deactivate your gun while you mount it in a closet or other area of the home that only you have a key to and if need be, it’s not tucked away in a gun safe with a dial combination lock that might take 10 seconds or more to open up.
They are not all the same even though they are probable all under $20. We have several people coming in here and looking at the various pocket holsters and giving us some feedback. I personally have a stockpile of Uncle Mike’s holsters that I picked up at gun shows and and ended up retiring them for something a little bit more sturdy. Not that Uncle Mike’s products are crap, but they aren’t the best product for the buck. I have carried Taurus revolvers in the past with clip on inside the waist band holster but the belt clips did not hold up when you bent over. A good gun belt like The Wilderness or an Elite Survival Systems belt namely the Cobra Belt are great options to reduce this, but why not do something more secure.
The Uncle Mike’s holsters I have that were pocket holsters had a small piece of fabric that is suppose to cause some friction when the gun is drawn, but it’s not that good. We have leather, nylon and kydex holsters here but the Desantis holsters that we sell a lot of are the Desantis Nemesis pocket holsters. They have more friction material covering the outside of the holsters, but they are closer to $20. The Elite Survival Systems pocket holsters a huge seller because they are just as good and about $50 cheaper. The Woolrich Elite Chino pants that we sell are probable a big hit in store, because the pocket holster shoppers are always looking for concealed carry pants that work for them.
Rifle optics are probable one of the hardest things to ship for online because so much of the product is spelled out in words and sometimes you will know if you want something just by picking it up. I’ve seen several combat optics from outside a glass display case but didn’t get a chance to look through them. The way that glass technology has improved, so much about optics these days are etched in the glass. I still have one of my first optics I got off of my Uncle that actually has a wire hanging over the glass for crosshairs, it fogs up but still is accurate.
The differences in application for Eotech, Aimpoint and Trijicon are pretty fast and the optics really are not that all alike. I remember the first time I saw Trijicon ACOGs these looked all fancy but the TA01 that I shot through back then is no where near what Trijicon optics are now. I have Trijicon night sights on several of my handguns but never really made use of them, I guess that’s a good thing, but now that they are making high visibility sights for shotguns that have dramatically changed as far as sighting systems. The optics we’ve sold the most lately were the green reticle acogs and that was mostly because we had them in stock and people could stop in our showroom and hold them before buying.
I’ve learned that after 7yrs of being in this business that when a new product comes out, the last thing you do is rave about it until you’ve sold enough of them to know there isn’t an issue with them. There have been many products over the years that looked great but then you find out there is a recall notice in your mail box for them. We’ve seen it with gun holsters, firearms magazine springs, extractor springs and even footwear. Stuff happens and one little ingredient in production can come forward as an issue 6 months later. In the last year we’ve stocked more products than we ever have before.
We have never sold sleeping bags before and from all of the camping i’ve done in my life, I don’t think i’ve ever used more than 3 bags. We sold several of the Recon sleeping bags that Elite Survival Systems has been selling and we’re waiting for several places to get back to us about product reviews. From my first hand experience I will have to say that just the size of these things and what they can be used for is impressive. To have such a light sleeping bag that you can survive in means less weight on a hiking and camping trip and less stress on your feet.