In the tactical accessories and tactical gear market, it’s not always about what is the best, it’s about what is the best for the job at hand. Many gun holsters are not that practical and are good for backup situations but not primary. Any gun is better than no gun, but ankle holsters and deep cover holsters that are tuckable might be your only option in some circumstances. Galco makes a very comfortable ankle holster and the tuckable holster are one of our biggest sellers.
With gun holsters and accessories, there are so many well made products out there that it’s a testament to American ingenuity and creativity to how they are made and why they are made like that. Galco holsters is probable the best direction someone can go for concealed carry and defensive shooting. While many gun holsters may hold a niche market, Galco holsters are some of the nicest leather holster that don’t cost much more than one or two pistol magazines. The Stow-n-go holsters are big for Concealed carry and not all of our Glock customers want a Kydex holster. Sometimes a nice leather holster for a Glock is the way to go.
I took the dive into the laser sights and laser grips world a few years ago and I am very happy with the results. The whole pocket pistol and pock gun thing has actually boasted laser grip sales and it’s very obvious why. The smaller the gun, the shorter the sight radius and the more likely you are to not really use them. The Rohrbaugh firearms have guns with sights and without them. The Ruger LCP practically goes hand in hand with the Crimson trace grip, probable 40% of what we sold has them on them.
The one thing you have to think about though is the laser grips will not be the Hogue grips you have on your gun now. The vast majority of the guns I own have Hogue Grips on them and the Crimson Trace laser grips were a trade off. The laser sights are very nice for that short pistol especially at night and it is a confidence boost, but I did have to adjust my grips slightly. If you are spending $200 on a laser, make sure you know you want the grips too.
I use to organize lots of gun club events and the best thing about it was being able to try out things that my friends would show up with. We would even put out requests before hand and ask people to bring a certain firearm out if someone owned it. It was very cool to have some of my requests fulfilled when I got to shoot a 5.45×39 AK next to a 7.62×39 one. I did some long range testing with it and anyone with an honest mind will tell you that it makes sense that the Russians switched over to the 5.45×39 caliber. Shopping for gun accessories online can be a pain and sometimes it’s always best to go back to the manufacturer and ask them.
We’ve had to sell off some of our high end upper receivers whenever we found out that a new version of this was coming out. Sometimes a slight spring or finish occurs on the AR15 complete upper receivers and its all of a sudden an old version. Just look at what Glock did with all of the Generations of Glock firearms and the infamous recalls. I am never one to be the first to buy a firearm because ever since the XD45 came out, I saw guys send them back to the factory for improvements. That never happened to me with my Sig Sauer pistols so it’s sometimes best to know you are venturing into unknown territory if you try something new. Ask questions and try things out or put on your Lewis and Clark.
I never thought picking out sights for my AR15 would be so hard until I put optics on it. I started out with a Bushmaster XM15E2 a few decades ago and that was the simplest design. You had two aperture sights for close up or long distance shots. The carry hand design would allow you to put an ACOG or other optic on it but this was not a popular way to do this. Flat tops became more and more popular in the industry because optics became rugged and durable and even though shooting with iron sights takes great skill, using them as primary sights, especially in the military makes you limit your firearms abilities.
Many optics are used for identify targets as much as they are for hitting then. You do have to be careful about what type of sights you want to put on your firearm because Troy Battle sights are very popular but there are big differences in clearance for fold down front and rear sights. Gas block mounted sights are lower and if you get fixed sights, you won’t be able to mount magnifiers behind something like and Eotech. I’ve got iron sights sitting in my house that got about a year of range use and then I picked up a new optic and the configuration just didn’t work. The best thing to do is think ahead or just plan on having more than one upper for your AR15 and configure them differently.
Not everyone is going to need to justify spending $100 on a gun case for every rifle that they own. Now that I have over 20yrs of experience under my belt in breaking things and wearing them out. We have been taking on more and more inventory of the Elite Survival Systmes rifle cases and the Cover Operations Gun cases are some of the best high end gun cases for anyone carrying a $2000 rifle and $1200 optic. The gun case design is outstanding and the foam lining is superior do all of those similar looking gun cases that cost about half as much.
When we take stuff to the range one of the main things we want to do is protect the finish of the firearm. Secondly depending of the cost of the firearm something as simple as the Bulldog gun cases like the pistol rug are hot sellers for transporting handguns. If you have a scoped handgun these might work for you also. Some of them for about $10 get the job done don’t take up a lot of storage space when you are unpacking and putting things away. Hard cases may protect your firearm better but they can take up more space and make it harder to hang up or stack up.
This year we are again attending the Contagion 2012 in Pennsylvania. This is a yearly event and one of the best things about it is getting first hand experience at and a look at various guns and gear. One of the things we can tell you that we see every year, is a lack of proper firearm training. We haven’t seen any major safety issues, but we see guys walking up the range and firing guns at stages that go “Click” because they never properly loaded their firearm. The Contagion event has been going on for about 4yrs now. You get a good look at the footwear, eyewear, firearms, rifle scopes and some very high end looking AR15 rifles. Even the guys that show up with the good stuff have problems. Just because you spent $4000 on an AR15 and gear doesn’t mean you are going to survive the zombie attack.
This year we are a vendor and we are bringing lots of gun accessories and maintenance tools. This is one of those events were having extra handguns magazines like Kahr magazines will be at hand. Kahr pistols are very popular in the concealed carry community and they have a very good reputation of holding up. We stock the Kahr factory magazines and highly suggest that if you are using them for a competition event that you bring atlease 6 magazines with you. Avoiding excessive wear and tear on magazines that you may also be using for CCW is a good idea.
We have been very happy with the Smith Optics Elite eyewear and in 2012 the product line has gotten even better with the low profile googles and our favorite the Boogie Regulator. I have gone through piles of safety glasses over the years and mostly because they got so scratched up it affected my visibility and interfered with my targeting of things while on the range. I have had some issues in the past where if I did not have protection I would have been blinded. There’s nothing like having a 7.62 nato round go off in a magazine 10 inches from your face. Googles tend to be pretty bulky and there are wide variations in fit and sizing.
If you want an easy fix for a product that has several ways it can be attached to your helmet or head, check out the Smith Optics Elite Boogie Regulator. This piece of eyewear won’t break the bank and the Boogie Regulator from Smith Optics Elite comes in a gray, clear and ignitor. There is a lever on each side of the eyewear that opens and closes so you can allow air to move through it and reduce any fogging. I would consider these to be the best ballistic eyewear to use for new shooters because it’s very secure and not bulky for shooting through rifle scopes.
It was a big change for me to switch over from what I have worn for almost 7yrs and then try a different pocket design and different materials. I started out like many with the 5.11 tactical pants and my first pair of pants had horrible shrinkage. So many of our customers have made the same statements and always say they are looking for something else but afraid to order them online. We often get asked “what are my sizes for TruSpec, Blackhawk, Vertx” ect. if they wear X with 5.11. There are sizing variations and fit differences and it’s just one of those things about buying clothing, you really need to try them on before you buy.
The pocket designs on the TruSpec 24/7 pants took some getting use to but now that I have adjusted my gear and taught myself how to carry my knife, flashlight and weapons, I have been very happy with the quality. The polyester cotton ripstop material makes these lightweight tactical pants and somewhat of an easier product to just wash and go. I don’t like having to iron clothing that much and if you are in a professional environment and don’t have the time to let your 100% cotton ripstop pants de wrinkle themselves, TruSpec pants are an easy switch for anyone wearing 5.11 tactical pants.
Trijicon optics are probable the most complicated rifle optics we sell. Not only has there been a major trend away from red illuminated reticles towards green reticles, there are so many reticles that if you don’t think about what you get ahead of time, you might spend $1200 and find out you should have gotten something else. Being a showcase dealer for the Trijicon product line means getting listed on their website and having traffic directed towards you, but we still get a lot of confused customers and always have to break out the Trijicon catalog and explain it to them. It really helps to have product in stock because a good look through is really what sells the product.
Which reticle should you choose? The horseshoe and donut reticles seem to be very popular but for those that want the tradition crosshairs the Trijicon TA01NSN is the best option. Many people realize that the ACOG is mostly a medium range optic with some long range applications but it is definitely not a close combat optic unless you mount a red dot or iron sights on it. The good thing about the TA01NSN is that it has the tradition reticle and has a night sight iron sight on it. This is an easy sell for those that don’t want to get too fancy with the reticles.
I have stacks of gun holsters in my closet but in all honesty I still use most of them. I carry for work but sometimes I just feel like carrying something different and I’ll break out a Beretta 92Fs in a shoulder holster or a Sig 226 in a Miami Vice Classic holster. Sometimes its just fun to put one on and get the gun out of your waistband. I personally prefer to carry a firearm inside the waistband for concealment but when you have to do heavy lifting or bending over a lot. Sometimes you can develop bruising or soreness depending on the holster you are using. Kydex is great and so are some of the Kingtuk style holsters but there are body movement limits.
When I just want to get moving and I have a concealment vest or jacket on, I have a lot of fun with my Fobus holsters. I never understood why people bash Fobus holsters as being inferior because for $20 they make a darn good holster. I have never had fit issues with them and I have yet to have ever broken one. They are very easy on off holsters if you think you have to do banking or go into a Government building and remove your firearm. Fobus holsters are very well balanced with full size firearms but a bit of an overkill for j-frame revolvers.