Archive for October, 2012

Durability and plastic sights and parts on your M4 carbine

There was a heck of a debate about how tough the M16 stock was when it was first issued and lots of people bitched that it was a terrible close quarters “give ’em a smash” rifle.  The reality of close up combat fighting is that at some  point  you may need to switch to a bayonet and fight with your unloaded rifle and use it as a baseball bat or a ram.  Many of the composite materials, often referred to as Plastic by people were not very tough back in the day.  Nowadays composite materials are very sturdy and in many adverse environments you are going to wish you had something other than a wooden stock.  The M16 design doesn’t lend itself to be a very good smashing rifle because the weakest point really is the buffer tube.  That’s just not going to stand up to being used in a harsh way without bending.

There are differences in height that need to be though about ahead of time because some of the sights out there from Troy, LWRC, Daniel Defense ect can cost you over $100 each.  I learned the hard way when I picked up an Eotech magnifier and my sights didn’t work, Magpul mbus sights are probable the best priced and most durable backup iron sights on the market.  The rear sight is about $50 and the front sights are under $40.  Which pretty much makes them about half of what many of the Troy Sights are.  Do something thinking about what you may intend to put on your firearm because sights can vary dramatically depending on what they are being used for.



Yes you can lock up your guns and still protect yourself in a timely manor

There are plenty of things in the industry that are debatable, you can argue about 9mm vs 45acp, you talk about direct impingement guns being unreliable and that are piston driven guns are better.  Well, one thing that is not a debate is protecting kids from firearms.   That previous statement might stir up some people but not every child has the competency and maturity to handle anger.    Some kids are mature enough to access firearms at young ages and there have been plenty of times that young people have used firearms to defend their homes.  A few months ago a 12yr old girls used a shotgun to stop a burglary and there have actually been defensive shootings where minors have used guns in their own homes.

I realize that some people may have serious security issues and may want a gun as close to them as possible but I personally have seen sleep walking incidences that make me glad some people don’t keep guns by the nightstand.  My primary gun safes are the gunvault safes and even though there have been several generations of them, they are reasonable priced and easy to store.   I have my Remington safes that practically need a crane to get them in the house but the Magvault gun safes don’t take up much room and are easy to put full size guns like the Glock 21 in them or a Sig 238.


Gas piston uppers instead of a new gun?

Put me down as someone that didn’t have a clue as to what the differences were between my LWRC M6A2 upper I purchased in comparison to what else is out there, I basically just went by word of mouth and looked up a few sources online for reviews.   The notion of having a cleaning running rifle was appealing to me and for the number of times I’ve seen AR15 rifle jam and go down, I was always looking for something better than what is out there.   The truth of the matter is all machining, lubrication and quality control for AR15 guns has dramatically improved.  The DI guns that are being made now are not the DI guns from 15yrs ago.  Magpul Pmags have greatly improved the reliability of the gun and there just aren’t the problems that there use to be.

LWRC is still the cream of the crop although they have evolved from their original designs for a short stroke piston gun.   The machining of the Noveske uppers and the Daniel Defense are also outstanding DI guns but the new competition for piston uppers isn’t POF pistons, it’s the Adams AR15 complete uppers that are for the most part under $800.   The Adams 556 upper receivers are a really nice gas piston upper and if you already have a lower, this is probable the best step up if you’ve been running a Bushmaster or a Olympic arms guns for the last 15yrs.  We recently have been testing the Slip 2000 product line with these guns so stay tuned.


More survival items in stock

We have a good inventory of the Elite Survival Systems new product line which includes the Recon Sleeping bags.   This type of product is new to us but they started selling right off the bat when we brought them in store.   These sleeping bags are very small and compact especially for what they are designed to be used for.   There are design features like having a area in the bottom of the bag for you to have space around your feet.  In a survival situation one of the worst things you can do is get entangled in your own sleeping bag not be able to move your feet.   Keeping your boots on inside the sleeping bag gives you faster response time and less worry about uncomfortable positions.

We were at a local event where we sold several of these to hikers that just wanted a compact sleeping bag and  that was that.  All of the recon sleeping bags that we sell have a different rating for survivability and in all realty the differences between the Recon 2 and the Recon 5 are considerable so if you are in areas where the temperatures change, you may want to consider buying different rated sleeping bags.  The Recon sleeping bags are available in an olive drab color and have a easily attachable strap for molle or other backpack attachment.


Going green with your gun cleaning and your lasers and sights?

Funny how often we make jokes at work about how our business is going green, but in a different way.   Many of the Trijicon optics that we sell use to be with Amber reticles and red crosshairs but not so much anymore.   The whole reason many are swithing over to the green reticles is  not that it’s a fad or anything, it’s that it is a scientific fast that the human eye picks up the green lasers and the green illumination better than red colors.   Now that this Country has over 10yrs of testing out various military style optics and weapons, there are some pretty big changes taking place.   Right now our biggest seller is the Trijicon TA31F-G combat optics.  Many of the flashlights and combo flashlights and lasers are going green.

I’m not the biggest fan of putting lasers on everything, but when you have Navy Seals walking in your store with them, and  you know they just came back from deployments there must be a reason they are using them.  Our primary staple for lasers has always been Crimson Trace laser grips although there has been a lot of traction made with the Viridian flashlights and their laser/light combos.   Streamlight makes a nice product with the TLR flashlights with various laser, lights, and strobe features but there are better things out there.   For home defense especially with less trained shooters, lasers can add more confidence to their shooting abilities.  Do your product review research and stop into a stock dealer and ask to check them out.


When you are putting hardball ammo downrange with a 45acp

It better be a 1911 if you ask me.  I have several handguns in my collection but I am really bored with most modern 45acp guns because they are too bulky or just to darn heavy for my tastes.  I’m also not a big fan of short barreled guns or compact 1911s.   They are too much maintenance and the slower cycle action seems to make them more prone to having malfunctions.  If you have to ask me what the next best 45acp handgun is, I’d probable have to say the Sig 220 which is also another single stack gun.   Many 45acp guns like the Springfield XD and Glock 21 are too much bulk for my taste and having to hold that up for any extended period of time will make me want a single stack gun.

Many guns issuing warrants or doing house clearing in Iraq and Afghanistan are using the 1911.   When we get feed back from  our customers it’s almost always Wilson Combat or Chip McCormick magazines that they are using.  Both magazines have a long history of working well in the 1911 and both can be had for under $35 dollars.  I rarely use the 7rd magazines because that extra 8rd magazine barely extends out of my guns and the not quite flush fit doesn’t bother me at all.  Having 8rds of 45acp is something that will get the job done if you look at the stats on which caliber gets the job done, magazine capacity is rarely an issue for police or self defense shootings.


Everyone is different, that’s why diversity works

Nobody eats the same food every day unless you have a bad diet or are just a down right boring person.   There are different seasons and different lines of work and every ones tolerances are different.  Yesterday we had a few more guys walk in here and tell us they heard that Woolrich is now making tactical pants just like the ones they had when they were in Vietnam.   The funny thing is Woolrich has been making them for almost 7yrs.   I have no idea what other companies are making anything like this but the demand for something other than 35/65 poly cotton blend tactical pants is definitely there.   I am a big fan of the material but there are some improvements Woolrich should have done to the tactical pant and some of our customers have asked for it.  Re-enforced ripstop pockets and a gussett crotch would be a good idea.

I personally where mostly Tru Spec tactical pants because they are very comfortable and in all honesty I’ve been wearing these pants for almost 9 months to test them out.   I have seen absolutely zero abnormal shrinkage and for these lightweight tactical pants I am very happy with them.   Most Tru Spec pants are priced under $40 and that’s not something we see across the market.  Blackhawk, Vertx and a few others come to mind and are you getting that much more performance for $10 more?  Well, it will depend on your line of work,  but for utility purposes and every day use, I will have to say that Tru Spec tactical pants are hands down the best lightweight tactical pant for the money.


The question, what configuration should I have for my M4 Carbine?

There are so many ways to accessorize or customize your AR15 rifle or M4 rifle these days.   So many brands, Magpul, VLTOR, Midwest, Tago down and on and on.  It looks like strictly from a retail stand point that Magpul is king of the customizations and I see it every day in our AR15 parts sales.   There are gun grips, foregrips, angle fore grips and more.   There are different lengths and widths and all of this can get frustrating if you are not disciplined.   I have a Summer/ Winter CCW mindset and many people need to stop wasting money  on accessories and just get more than one gun and stick to it.   When someone takes a short carbine and puts a 14x scope on it, I think there is something odd about that.  Just get an AR15 upper with a longer barrel and put that optic there.

Slings and sling attachments is something that people also get frustrated over because they put it on in their house and everything is good and when they get to the range with their tactical vest on, everything is snagging and hanging up.   We have sold a great many of the Magpul slings from the MS2 and MS3 and now the newer MS3 QD.  There were apparently some issues with the Magpul MS2 although not everyone is going to notice it.   Some hangups and fraying occurred with them and well, what the heck, why not just replace it with something better even if the differences are  minor.   The biggest selling point of these slings is that they are either a single  point or a 2 point sling.   That’s 2 slings in one, a good deal.


Brick and Mortar stores for tactical gear and clothing

There use to be a well known Army Navy Store here in the Philadelphia Suburbs that was family owned and we use to go there to get our cub scout gear.  They had shovels camping gear, sleeping bags and war props.   Those were fun days for us but that industry just faded away in South Eastern Pennsylvania.  It’s hard to even find a place where you can check out a Swiss Army Knive.  The internet is a booming industry but there is still so much competition amongst brick and mortar stores.  I have friends that shop at Victoria’s Secret for clothing for their wives because shopping online is too hard.  In this industry the same things happen for women trying to find the correct style and color of tactical clothing.  Many will ask what multi-cam is and what color is coyote brown.

On the other hand the average guy will have no idea how to explain what color turquoise is and is going to want to walk into a store to see it.   Backpacks and duty bags are Mission driven and tactical clothing is no different.  The differences between 100% cotton ripstop pants, Blackhawk Polycotton ripstop pants, Tru Spec Polycotton ripstop and 5.11 lightweight tactical pants are also very different.  Pocket designs are unique, some are good for a knife, others have different cargo pockets and may or may not work for you.  We got asked this question all the time about the differences between Eotac and Woolrich Elite tactical clothing.  All of these products  have their pros and cons and it really depends on what your needs are.


Best backup or self defense pepper spray?

That’s a hard answer to give because there are many variables in deploying pepper sprays but the best for the price that is easy to use and lasts a long time is the Kimber Pepper Blaster.  This design is much better than the previous guardian angel which felt more like a TV remove than a firearm.  I personally have demonstrated several of these for students and everyone thought they were very easy to use and a better option than bottle pepper sprays.    Everyone still comes in here to pick up the same old bottle pepper sprays and although these work well on sober attackers, overly aggressive men, they are not the fastest deploy.   Sure, if you train hard you can probable become more proficient but not everyone is going to have the time to do so.

There is a holster you can use with the Kimber Pepper Blaster but putting it in your pocket or a designated area of a purse is just fine.   It’s not like the Kimber Pepper Blaster is going to jam up on you from pocket lint.  There are no mechanical parts to move other than the trigger.  You get almost a 4yr lifetime out of these pepper blasters and they are very easy to toss in a your pants pocket.  The Tru Spec tactical pants and Woolrich Elite pants all have pockets that you can use that will fit these quite nicely.   I highly recommend these for gifts or for backups for personal protection.

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