Archive for January, 2013

New Products from Smith Optics Elite

It looks like we have a good review of the new  Smith Optics Elite eyewear that was on display at Shot Show this year.   Last year the Boogie regulators were the big hit but we kind of fell a sleep at the wheel on some of the other Smith Optics Elite eyewear.   The Aegis Echo is something we forgot to list on our website and now that so many of our customers have asked us why we have not been carrying them, we brought them in late January 2013.  The Aegis Echo is something that anyone with hearing protection or helmets might prefer due to the fact that it does not bend around your ears and press against your head.

Comfort is with eyewear is something anyone in the Military or SWAT Team is going to know about.  There are so many styles of frames from Smith Optics Elite protective sunglasses that  you really need to try them on and see how they feel because your eye and comfort tolerances will vary depending  on what  you are doing.  Some of the ballistic eyewear, like the goggles can feel different on  your face and even eye lashes will get annoyed depending on the fit.   All Smith Optics Elite eyewear has a lifetime warranty on the lenses and many of our customers have taken advantage of that.


Gun holsters on a budget

We never bash brands unless we really have issues with them, whether it’s quality control or ridiculous product pricing.   There are some brands we have dropped over the years, mostly gun accessories because the amount of breakage was too high and we got tired of hearing it from our customers.  Many of the gun cases or gun bags we sell are made in foreign Countries and are reasonable priced, but some people just won’t buy products that aren’t made in the United States.   We’ve seen some gun  holster companies be forced to manufacture certain products in Asia because the restrictions and costs were too high here.

When you need a gun holster for your handgun or your rifle, we know that not everyone wants to spend $100 on a gun case because the gun may have only cost you $200 and $30 bulldog gun cases are all you need.  Nylon gun holsters can vary in quality and features but we leave it up to the customers to decide if they want to spend the money on Bulldog, 5.11, Blackhawk, Elite Survival or the well known Uncle Mike’s gun holsters.  All of those pretty much give you what you pay for them.  For higher end firearms you might want more protection for your gun and $100 gun cases will give you that.


Smith Optics Elite new products, new year….

We always have our favorite product lines each year that put  put out new and interesting things and always impress us.   Original Swat, Tru-Spec, Trijicon and now Smith Optics Elite are on our list.   There are many products that we sell that our employees wear and use every day and will personally attest to their clarity, durability or value.   When many of us first started wearing the Smith Optics Eyewear it all seemed like over priced shooting range glasses until we actually wore them and looked through them.  We’ve had guys come in here and say they get the cheap stuff at the hardware store, but none of them knew about the prescription lense options or the manufacturer’s warranty on the eyewear.

Many of the goggles that we sell are similar to each other, but Smith Optics Elite came out with a lo-profile goggle in multicam last year as well as the very well received boogie regulator google.   The boogie regulators are really big for sky diving and airsoft and we’re amazed at  how  broad these Smith Optics Elite goggles have been accepted.  I read a few negative reviews from people about them  online but that has not been our experienced.  When entire tactical teams are walking in the door and send their buddies in the next week, and nobody complains about them, and they are getting used, we know we have a good product.


Handgun safes aren’t what they use to be

Gun safe technology has so dramatically improved over the last decade that leaving loaded firearms around the house or having an excuse for not locking up your guns is over.  Gun theft is the number one reason criminals get a hold of firearms and hiding guns in a closet, next to a bed can easily be found.  Home security systems can be defeated and having levels of security protecting firearms is the responsible thing to do.  Handgun safes can easily be used for jewelry, money, or other valuables besides firearms.

The Gunvault minivault can be bolted down into a car or area and then hidden.  The Gunvault breechvault and AR15 magvault give you alternative ways of locking up shotguns and carbines so they can not be used easily. There use to be concerns about having loaded firearms in a house with children, but now that gunvault technology has become so reliable, there should be no concern about it anymore.  Biometric gun safes will give you another level of security to prevent children or anyone unauthorized to gain access to your firearms.  Gun safes can have dual uses for important documents and records as well as defensive measures.


More Blackhawk vs Safariland

We have a very long and growing list of Law Enforcement officers coming into our store with broken or worn out parts, and 95% of the time it means going back to our Safariland product book and flipping through the pages to find the right part.  There are so many variations of guns out there and slight contour differences that mean you need a new holster.   With many products this takes research and patience to get it right the first time.  There have been changes to guns, holsters and even Streamlight flashlights but it’s almost impossible to keep up to date with it. In fact one of our distributors even acknowledged that they don’t have the man power to keep their website up to date with all of the correct product info.

This year we are breaking from the drop shipping policies and moving more toward stocking the parts and accessories that we know people are going to need.  Some of the Blackhawk and Safariland holsters that we carry are the products that are the most demanded.  For instance, most departments around here use the Glock 17 and the Glock 21 so we usually stock the duty and drop leg holsters that they need.   Some of these holsters can cost over $140 so stocking the correct items and not getting stuck with a dead product they collects dust for years is something we try to avoid.


Eotech configurations vs ACOGS

I started out with an Eotech 512 because I basically thought that AA batteries were so common in my home that that was my best option.  I was right, but I learned real fast what the limitations were for the Eotech sights when I was engaging targets at 300 + yards with it.   Those optics are really fast for close up fighting which is why most of our Law Enforcement Officials want them, but they, along with any red dot, will actually be difficult to use at longer ranges.   I find the haze from red dots to be annoying but I personally have never had to use one in a house clearing situation.    The Eotech XPS sights and the EXPS sights are more compact versions with different power switch locations.

Eotech sights while many may claim are slowly becoming outdated, are still very popular.  Sometimes it’s not just what is higher tech, but the Eotech sights that we sell are so well known that sometimes it’s hard to deviate from something that you know works.   I have yet to see somebody complain about their Eotech not holding zero and the quick detach options are very appealing.   The one thing I will say that is you really need to put some thought into how much magnification you want on your Carbine before you buy and Eotech sight because I know many people that got the optic, magnifier combos and later said they basically purchased a Trijicon TA01NSN .


Inventory Availability for Don Hume holsters

We got in a very large shipment of the much sought after Don Hume holsters.  I just had a customer come in here and ask what the big deal is with them and I told him that the big deal is that these are the best price leather holsters out there.  They definitely are not the nicest looking holster which Desantis and Galco will show you but if you are on a budget.  You can get a good holster for under $25.   Now that so many people are packing, not everyone really knows what it’s like to carry and how comfortable certain types of holsters are.  There are many of our customers that don’t want to carry IWB because it’s not very comfortable but from a defensive standpoint it probable is the most recommended method of carry.

I do like the Don Hume Jit holsters and if you compare these $20 holsters to the Desantis Scabbard you are going to spend 2x’s as much for a similar holsters but they are not as nice looking but they get the job done to some degree.  Most of the Don Hume holsters that I use are for small or single stack magazines.  I have noticed that the j-frame and Sig 239 holsters work very well but the Sig 228 holsters seem to flop a little and in my opinion aren’t as secure.   Some of the flopping can be avoided with a paddle holster or an IWB holster.  Do your research on the size of the gun you are using and see what other people are saying.


Comparisons between smaller optics

Some of the XPS and EXPS sights are floating around my local police departments and even at the gun club.  With how much people like to put on their AR15s, the main selling point of these optics is they are shorter and give you rail space.  I put a Surefire Scout flashlight on my LWRC M6A1 rifle and figured out real fast what people mean by needing more rail space.  I guess due to the size of my hands I could not find a good place to put the pressure switch and if I switched from a 512 Eotech sight to s shorter XPS or EXPS sight I would be better off.   The shorter run time on the batteries is personally not an issue because I tend to shoot with iron sights more often anyway.

If run time is an issue and you have the money, there is another option that hit the market in 2012.   After you get past the sticker shock on the Trijicon SRS sights for sale, these red dot sights,  as a serious operator, you will then understand the long term cost effectiveness of an optic like this.   In comparison to Aimpoint and Eotech XPS and EXPS sights this is more compact.  Having a primary solar cell and then a backup battery you are getting years of batter life out of this optic and also give Aimpoint some competition. We have a few of them we are testing out with local operators, but quality and durability are things that


A place to walk into and walk out with the stuff you want

Now that so many people do their shopping on Cyber Monday or just order things from Amazon and Ebay, many small business have been put out of business.  One thing that hasn’t changed though are returns and exchanges.  Sometimes people mis ready technical details about the size of a product or they order a wrong color.  When it comes to buying shoes and certain types of clothing, people really want to walk in a shop, hold it in their hands and then walk out the same day.  We’ve had several people tell us that we should stock certain products and many of our nearest competitors do now.   Nobody wants to walk in a retail store, order something online and then go back in and pick it up when you can easily go home and look it  up on google and get it in a couple days.

With holster sizes, flashlight and laser accessories its very hard to know what you are getting with a gun holster.    In the area we are in we draw a lot of customers looking for Philadelphia Law Enforcement supplies that are willing to drive several hours just to try it on and get it right the first time.  You can be one size in on line of tactical apparel but another size or in between sizes with another and  only when  you are standing in front of a mirror will you know if it’s for you.   Whether you’re looking for a gun holster for your Glock 21 with a TLR-1S light or a new pair of boots, we stock most of what local law enforcement personnel are looking for.


Retention holsters leather vs Serpa

We recently  had a customer in here that asked me if people still “use these” and picked up a Desantis thumb break scabbard holster.  I laughed and told him we only carry things that we sell.   What he meant to say is do people still use thumb breaks over the Blackhawk Serpa.   I then pointed to the Safariland ALS holsters and showed him that a thumb is a very useful way to open a retention holster.  After that I showed him the Elite Survival Nylon holsters we have and then he comprehended what i was saying.  Some guys think that the Blackhawk Serpa holster is some type of advanced holster design when it’s really just another optional holster design.   There are many ways to retain a firearm in a holster and we sell most of them.

I have several types of holsters for each firearm I own and sometimes I just feel like a certain type of holster would be more comfortable.  I still find the Desantis holsters to be the best leather product line because they do everything from wallet ID badges, leather belts, and even some kydex designs.   While many of these debates about who makes the best leather are really about preference, some brands have their best designs and do something a little better than another person for certain modes of carry.  It’s not always just the leather, its the quality of the snaps and the screws that make it a good fit.

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