You live and learn in this industry but you can make fewer mistakes in life if you take your time and observe the mistakes of others. Recently we had several SWAT Teams arrive in our store looking for gun cases that held more than 1 rifle and they didn’t want a hard case. SKB makes some rock solid rifle cases and there are some pretty cool configurations you can do that can give you the customization that you want. Not everyone is packing the same sidearms and being able to cutout your case in the configuration that your gun is a must. Firearms like the LWRC M6A2 with a 10.5 inch barrel is going to be very particular because you don’t want a soft gun case that is over-sized. Your better with a gun case that fits properly because too tight is bad and too loose is also not good.
My LWRC M6A2 rifles are probable worth about $3500 with all of the Eotech Magnifier, Eotech 512, LWRC rear sights and front sight. I don’t want my guns getting banged around so I went with the Elite Survival gun cases like the Covert Operations case. This rifle case has tie downs that can go over the optics and the firearm at 4 different points. I also like to carry extra pistol magazines in this gun case, but that cost a few bucks extra. There is also a triple magazine pouch that comes with each of these carbine gun cases and you can get them for firearms like the MP5 or even AK magazine pouches. There are several different sizes for the Covert Operation case but you most likely will be using a 33 or 36 if you are running the average AR15 or M4 carbine.
Let’s start off talking about close quarter combat optics and why they are meant for close quarters. First of all, you are going to want a zero magnification optic with the widest field of view or probable not more than 2x even though the majority are rarely more than 1.5x. Everyone has different eyes and not everyone picks up colors the same so these opinions are mine and not something to be taken as a rule, but understanding the reasons why low or zero powered optics are good for close up fighting is important because fancy accurate optics don’t mean anything at 50yds and under in determining who gets a hit and who doesn’t. You can probable blind fold someone and let them hip shoot at those ranges and they might be able get more hits on paper in a faster time period than someone actually aiming.
Quick detach mounts is probable the way to go for any optic especially one being used for self defense. A broken optic is something you don’t want in the heat of a fight and the Trijicon SRS sights for sale like the SRS02 is the best configuration. Some people want laser sights on their guns and others just want a red dot. 4 MOA red dots seem to be very common but a dot that sizes is 12inches at 300yds and that is not going to be a practical optic for any medium range engagements. The Trijicon SRS quick detach SRS02 as well as the SRS01 have a 1.75 inch red dot which makes medium range and more precision shooting. With 1 AA battery this solar powered AR15 combat optic might give you up to 5yrs depending on how much you use it in available light. This very precise red dot has a shorter housing than any of the Aimpoint optics
Sometimes you can have almost all of that in one package but you’ll probable end up dropping about $2000 or more on an optic. If I could afford it I would have an ACOG with the RMR mounted on top but that is too expensive of a package for me when I’m running it on a $600 gun. For combat and if you are in the military, that is a great weapon, but there are still pros and cons of using a mounting system like this. One of the most common things I’ve seen with ACOGS in Iraq is that many of them actually got shot. Considering that this optic is something that mounts so high on a carry handle or the RMR configuration on a flat top, you will have to think about getting a cheek riser of you want to be proficient with this system.
The RMR is a really nice red dot that isn’t b ig and bulky like an Aimpoint or Trijicon SRS sight. IF you get a sighting system like that, it’s a full blown optic, but Trijicon TA01NSN for sale are probable the next step down but with basically the same benefits. I always have iron sights on my guns because I have know all too well that optics can break, shatter or get shot and if you want to get it off you better have a backup sighting system. I’ve shot guns that didn’t have rear sights and it is very difficult to hit anything. If you want speed a red dot optic is good but if you want precision, a Chevron or crosshair reticle, especially a thin crosshair one like the TA01.
I really don’t know why all of these tactical companies left standing only deal with the Poly Cotton variations of clothing and never deal with the 100% cotton ripstop material. Tru-Spec has a cotton canvas pant as well as the well known 5.11 tactical clothing company but there is a nich part of this industry that is having a really hard time finding a good quality tactical pant that is really comfortable doesn’t feel stiff when worn. Plenty of our contractors and even electricians are not allowed to wear the polycotton materials because of the possibility of flashing or exposure to high heat. Ask anyone in an emergency room what happens during fires and what the best type of clothing is to have on in those situations. Many of our tactical shirts have nylon in them instead of polyester for this reason.
When it comes to having a true CCW pant, there really isn’t much out there. They are either very cargo looking tactical pants or they have so many zippers or funky cuts to the clothing that you already know they are tactical pants because your suit pants aren’t going to look like that. Now that Woolrich Elite Chinos are not being made anymore, the new 5.11 covert khaki 2.0 is an improvement over the previous covert khaki pants and when I had a customer come in here and ask me if we carried them, I was surprised to find out they were 5.11 pants in the first place. These pants do have the side zippers but they are hidden very well and the tabs are very small. They do have a sheen to them which makes them look more like suit pants and they have permanent creases that give them that professional look.
We’ve sold a lot of outwear over the years and the Woolrich Elite Concealed Carry Chino and the SigTac jackets are going to be missed because they were all very well made items but somehow those companies just couldn’t compete in the tactical apparel world. I’ve not seen a SigTac jacket in years but people still and ask us what happened to them. There are a few links out there that direct people to us from gun forums but they are badly outdated. The Woolrich Elite Series tactical barn coat that is another item that was well liked but fell off the production line very early. 5.11 tactical has some nice stuff but they have gotten expensive and plenty of people have fallen off the 5.11 wagon just based on price increase.
When it comes to concealed carry jackets, well, there aren’t too many companies that are going to mass product something like that because there are so many firearms that designing a jacket around that isn’t really cost effective. If you want a very useful tactical jacket, the TruSpec softshell jackets are a very big hit and we have been selling them with the American Flag patch which gives them a cool yet patriotic look. These softshell jackets are going to be tight against your body but they have access points so you can still get in to your gear or guns. We’ve had several customers come in our store that said it’s the most versatile jacket they own because it’s something you can wear in the Fall or Winter or even a mild summer day that will help keep you dry.
There are a lot of things we learned in the last year about the Law Enforcement Community and sometimes its the small things that people want in your store and not the fancy stuff. There are plenty of times we go to places like Youtube.com to watch the products that we sell to try and learn how to use them or to market them. You can only read so much about a product but if you don’t know how something is used, certain terminology about a backpack might just confuse you. There are so many differences between all of the bags we sell and sizes are something people have a hard time explaining. The differences between the Rush 24 and Rush 72 5.11 bags is significant and sometimes people don’t know which one they want until they hold it in their hands.
Police Officers loose handcuffs and handcuff keys all the time and sometimes that 20yrd old holster needs to be retired. We know have a Law Enforcement inventory and we are doing everything from Blackington badges and whatever else Philadelphia Law Enforcement Supplies like Safariland holsters, Blackhawk Serpa holsters and all of the pepper spray and batons that are used. We have a pickup on location option on our website and stock a good bit of AR15 upper receivers and Magpul accessories. Our Smith Optics Elite ballistic eyewear was used in the US Open here in Merrion and we are looking forward to bringing on even more products this Summer and Fall.
We have seen several changes in this industry and the best thing is its all for the benefit of the customer. There are lighter boots out there that are 9 inches in height and just like car tires, they are designed for better traction on concrete, blacktop and all the things that can cause you to slip. You really feel the difference between most sneakers and boots like the 1232 9″ side zip boot. They use to call this the Metro traction but I’m not sure if that is still in use. A good tactical boot should give you the support your legs, feet and ankles need but in this line of work, Law Enforcement and Military need footwear that can perform in environments and manors that they need. There are plenty of options out there for Cops, Men and Women but it is also about pricing and not just quality.
We know there are better body armors and more accurate guns out there but not everyone is going to sink tons of money into something that is more than practical. Just based on my personal reviews of the Original Swat Footwear for sale I get more than 9-12 months out of my boots as far as support goes and I have never had a boot tear or fall apart on me in the 4yrs I’ve been wearing them. The 1232 boot gives me the support I need and the metro traction gives me the foothold I need to have so I can move around in environments like parking lots ect where slip and falls during pursuit can occur and oil stains and water can cause sliding.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen major technological improvements or changes in the shooting community. I remember the first time I saw an ACOG on the range with the fiber optic cable and thought it looked like some neon toy and then I realized what the technology was all about and why having a red colored reticle could help your eye acquire a target quicker and having a reticle designed with a bullet compensator was also extremely useful. Although you can be very precise with an ACOG they are meant for speed more than sniper work but I have seen plenty of them used in designated marksmen work. If you were hunting with a rifle for the most part, deer are taken from under 100yds but the ACOG gives you the ability to hit targets 600-800 meters depending on the work you are doing or the configuration of the reticle.
Recently there was a new red dot put on the market from Trijicon. There isn’t much of a difference between one brand of red dots and the other if they are battery powered other than the durability of the optic, but the new Trijicon reflex sights like the SRS01 and the SRS02 are revolutionary in design now that they have integrated solar powered optics that pull from a battery if there is no available light. We’ve done some of our own tests with these optics and can tell that this technology is going to carry over to other products and it’s just the beginning. The SRS sight has a 1.75 MOA dot which I know of no other red dot that is smaller than 2 MOA. At low power this optic can be very precise.
I hear people scoff about piston AR15’s saying they are in no way more reliable than Direct Impingement firearms. Well, here’s the answer, you can make a lower quality AR15 a better and more reliable weapon if you do a few minor things, like make sure you lubricate it properly and also stake parts that are suppose to be staked. You can improve an AR15 by putting better springs in an extractor and by using Magpul Pmags. It’s not so much the firearm as it is the operator. Piston guns run cleaner, but cleaner guns aren’t always more reliable, its really a balancing act between how much dirt and how much lubrication and heat your gun is being exposed to.
I watched a video where Larry Vickers points it out very well that if you are running a suppressed firearm, a piston AR15 is going to be more reliable when you get down below a 14 inch barrel. AR15 upper receivers like the LWRC Upper receivers with a 10.5inch or 12 inch barrel get used very often in protective agencies and we’ve had several guys being body guards for Iraqi Government Officials that have used them in 5.56 and in 6.8 SPC. LWRC does some very unique at unbelievable quality, but you’re going to pay for it. At some point I would love to get an LWRC REPR with an 18 inch barrel which is so much lighter than a Belgian FAL which I find to be the best balanced and ergonomical battle rifle before the REPR came out.
We’re dealing with a lot of first time AR15 owners, both Law Enforcement and Civilian, since we’re in the business we hear a lot of the same questions coming from them. Some ask us questions like “is the ACOG better than the Eotech” like there is some type of durability difference in the designs. Well, all of them are not bullet proof even though they are meant to send bullets down range but the Eotech holographic sights and the Trijicon ACOG have very different purposes. Trijicon has optics that I would better compare to the Eotech like the Trijicon Reflex sights or even the Trijicon TA44 optics. They are different but they aren’t dramatically different in application. A 1.5×16 Circle dot reticle is a better comparison to an Eotech 512 with a 2 MOA dot and a 65 MOA circle than the TA31F-G chevron.
One of the mistakes people make with rifle scopes and optics is they get optics with too much magnification. If you look at the price of what the Trijicon ACOGS for sale are listed as, that’s a very expensive mistake. You do get what you pay for an there are plenty of $200 and under military looking scopes you can put on your AR15, but they won’t last 5000rds before you break something or find out it won’t hold zero. I’ve seen plenty of rifle scopes get retired but never had a Trijicon break on a rifle unless it was shot. Also be careful about what type or red dot size you get because the bigger the dot the harder it will be to see a target with that optic and longer ranges due to it covering the target.