Archive for September, 2013

Ranger plates on gun magazines? Yep, that’s why base platers matter

Wilson Combat Magazines

Wilson Combat Magazines

I’ve been around the gun community for so long that there are certain things that just start to click, and then  you feel like you’ve arrived.   I didn’t understand why people were so particular about 1911 magazines and all of the various pads and plate lengths.   We’ve been selling AR15 parts and accessories for more than 7yrs and and I never felt the need for putting ranger plates on my pmags or GI magazines until I started shooting competition events.  Just those fractions of a second difference and primarily, the ability to securely grip or clear an empty magazine was improved if you had an extended base plate.  Sometimes magazines don’t drop free because of the shooting angles you are on and this seems to be very common with some 1911s.

I have stuck with Wilson mags for my Colt and Springfield Armory guns and haven’t looked back.   Some people like the 7rd magazines but I have never had an issue with any of my Wilson Combat magazines in 8rd, especially the ETM magazines.  The Black Elite Tactical magazines seem to be the hardest one for us to keep i n stock because our distributors don’t seem to get very many of them.   There are design improvements that are primarily geared to the competition shooter. The National IDPA event ususally gets a lot of Wilson Combat supporters and I was fortunate enough to attend some of those.   45acp is a great round for shooting steel and if you need a good magazine for your 1911, stick with the best.


Fobus holsters vs other paddle holsters, some thoughts from a retailer

fobus holstersI have several product lines that I have brought in for myself just because I knew I would probable end up buying several items from it for my own personal use.   One of those product lines is the Fobus  one and I can’t say it was because I was a huge fan of the entire product line, it’s just that they make an  extremely practical holster for a very low price.  I’ve been testing out a Safariland 6378 paddle holster and after a long break in, i do like it but there were some issues originally.  I have to say that as far as securing to my belt, I don’t find the Safariland holster to be more secure even though it’s a little more difficult for me to get off.  It may sound like a contradiction, but I had some issues with the gun pulling the holster off my belt when i was 90% sure the gun was secure.   It hasn’t happened since the holster was broken in, but when the gun was tight, it did happen.

The things people have told me they don’t like about the Fobus paddle holsters is they aren’t that strong, well, for most holsters, if you pull on certain parts of them, yeah, they can break and Fobus holsters aren’t exactly built like a tank.   I do think that they Fobus holsters that are the paddle design are very good for IDPA, winter carry, or even for your first 2 day training course.   Paddle holsters always seem to be more comfortable than IWB , but they aren’t always as secure.   Some of these holsters can be had with a belt loop design, but I’m not a huge fan of those.  If you know people are complaining about the lack of retention or adjustable tension, check out the Fobus E2 holsters, the bad thing about those is they aren’t making them for too many guns.


Rumors abound about Woolrich Elite Series Tactical

tactical pantsWe’ve heard some recent and credible rumors floating around the gun community that the Woolrich Elite Series Tactical line is being sold off.   It’s pretty obvious that the product line was basically smothered by the corporation but it seems that there were too many good products in the line to not have someone with investment potential to rebrand and relaunch the product line.  We heard rumors like this from The Eotac line and both companies were basically started by the same person.   I would like to see some production changes in the line because there were some stark product differences as far as function and durability, but those were slight.  We’ve been getting our feet in other angles of the tactical clothing industry but there was too big of a customer base for it to just disappear.

There regular clothing lines that you see in shopping malls just isn’t going to have the function you need and there is a good possibility that you will either ruin some of the clothing or get unwanted surprises.   What I mean by this is if you are pocket carrying a sidearm in a regular clothing pant poket there is a good pants it’s going to wear through quicker, a good  pair of tactical pants is going to have a ripstop pocket to increase durability.   I’ve had keys from my car wear through pants and the last thing I want is a magazine or a gun wearing through. Other things to think about are how the pockets are sown shut, tactical pants are not sown to the seams which prevents a device like a knife, gun, magazine or flashlight from falling out when you lean back in a chair.  I’ve seen and felt it happen with regular jean pants so be careful, hopefully the rumors we are hearing are true about Woolrich Elite Series Tactical.


MBUS Sights, Cowitnessing optics, red dots and magnification

RMR08G-7SIf you are unsure of any of those questions when doing your next AR15 build, you need to spend a few days on and learn about each individual trade off and asset.   I had to force myself several years ago when I was working on a new M4 selection, that I wanted a close quarters optic that gave me speed and a wide field of view.  I started out with a Bushmaster XM15E2 which is as basic as you can get with an AR15.  No muzzle brake, just two apertures to choose from and with the right kind of ammo for a 1-9 barrel twist, getting MOA is easy.  That was back in the day of carry handle ACOGS and heavy barrels.  Now the trend has been towards lighter and stronger.

I always felt that the AR15 was a great training tool and even youth can learn marksmenship on it, which in my opinion kind of gets lost when you teach with a scoped rifle.  I have taken some of Ruger 10/22 out with red dots on them, but it’s nice to use the Trijicon RMR sights for sale that we get in and let kids shoot balloons and just have fun.   If engagements on targets are under 50yds, iron iron sights or red dots are just fine.  Some law enforcement officers want some type of magnification even if its just a pair of compact binoculars.  It amazed at the number of people that still revert back to those, but sometimes you need it and sometimes you don’t.   If you got the money, there are some nice multitask combat optics from Trijicon that make good use of magnification and red dots.


Trijicon ACOGS still relevent with all of those Eotechs and Red Dots around?

Trijicon for saleWe’ve started carrying the Aimpoint optics because so many guys coming in from various police departments were referencing that this was exactly what they were trained to use and since it got the job done, they didn’t need another reticle or optic choice.   Aimpoint optics are in various price ranges just like  the Eotech and the Trijicon optics but they don’t have the same features that Trijicon scopes offer.   We were shocked to see so many new Trijicon optics coming out this last year that all took batteries.  It seems that pointing batteries on a Trijicon optic was a against Trijicon Inc’s religion because the fiber optic cables and the Tritium seem to be the staple of the product line.

What do you want to use for close quarters fighting from the Trijicon product line?   Much of the Trijicon ACOGS for sale on our website are for medium to long range engamenets.  I would consider 600yds to be medium ranges for those in the military while most civilians would consider that to be long range.   The Trijicon TA01NSN is an easy transition for anyone that is use to using iron sights because the top mounted sighting platform is really for close up shooting, even low light due to the Trijitium night sight.  If you are use to using a red dot, the RMR sights and now the extremely popular RMR08-G green triangle dot.  There are many differences in dot sizes and reticle options with the RMR sights.


Trijicon SRS that diod thing?

Trijicon Reflex SightsYes, we are hearing about it, not everyone is complaining but there is definitely an issue with that reflective square that people are seeing.   Moving in and out of buildings and depending on various power settings you will see it.  Considering the cost of the optic and that the fix is to spend another $100 on this optic, it certainly has hit a cord with some of our potential customers.  I personally think that Trijicon is going to have to make a fix or modification to the optic if they want it to sell in the 2014.  The Trijicon SRS sight compared to some of the other AR15 or M4 red dot reticles is very popular with the competition shooters primarily because they have the money and they are willing to be the first to step in line for a smaller compact new technology optic with a 1.75 MOA dot.

I have always been a fan of the Eotech sights primarily because I like the 65MOA circle around the 1 MOA dot but I can see why people want an optic with longer battery life.  There are some pretty big differences between all of the Trijicon Reflex Sights and it’s up to the purchaser to do some research about them.  Some of the red dots have dramatically different dot sizes and there are pros and cons to using a 2 MOA dot, 1.75 MOA dot, or a 6.5 Amber red dot.  I hear from many of our Police officers about wash outs, or drops in reticle visibility when going from bright light to dark rooms so having variable power settings usually is a plus for house clearing. We’ll see what’s new from Trijicon optics this year at Shot Show but let’s hope for a new generation of Trijicon SRS sights.


Dealing with Narcotics and the ever changing environment Police are subjected to

Turtleskin glovesWhen we first heard about the Turtleskin product line it was when they actually called us up and asked us if we wanted to be a dealer for their products.  We knew this was a niche market when we first got into it, but frisk gloves like this are something that nobody really deals with and everyone wants to walk into a store and try them out before they drop $65 on a pair of gloves.  Sure you can get kevlar gloves or something possible less expensive, but the dexterity on these gloves especially the Turtleskin Duty Gloves and the Turtleskin Alpha gloves give  you much more.   There is a level of puncture resistances as well as slash resistances and both gloves will not interfer very much with your ability to use a firearm if need be.

These gloves have been hard to keep in stock because many corrections officers have been finding out about them from the various demonstrations and trade shows that the Warwick Mills reps have been giving.   We deal with a lot of new hire Police officers and Turtleskin gloves  are  something that is usually on their list of things that they need before they hit the streets.   With all of the crap out there that EMS and Police have to deal with like HIV or HEP C and God knows what else.  Some people are really just dirty according to some of our Police.   You have to have the protection on your hands just like you need body armor that can protect you from knives or bullets.


Are Magpul stocks and accessories getting more comlicated?

magpul stocks and accessoriesThe answer to that is yes, in a way and there are also more options.   Recently we found out that we had a whole bunch of wrong information about some of the Generation 3 magazines and found out there are 2 types of ranger plates.   One of them is for the Gen 2 magpul pmags and the others are for the Gen 3 pmags.   There are still customers buying the original magpuls if they are running metal magazines like the SA80 or USGI magazines but for those that want a  magazine that they can pull out of a bag quickly or out of a tactical vest, the ranger plates are a good stable and permanent option.   AR15 magazines in general are becoming stronger and stronger and we know magpul is getting some competition, but we’ve chosen to stick with Magpul stocks and AR15 accessories for a reason.

One of the first things we think about when we actually start stocking the Magpul gun accessories is how well they are made and if we get many complaints about things breawing.  We have had issues with other brands especially the cheap Chinese made products but the Magpul stocks and accessories that we have in house are usually our best sellers.  The Magpul CTR stock is a staple in the industry and then from there it gets more sophisticated.  If you want extra batter storage or accessories storage there are magpul MOE grips that you can even use a field survival kit with that will hold extra bolt carrier parts or shell extractors.


Protection without compromising visibility and style?

Smith Optics Elite eyewearWe’ve been selling the Smith Optics Elite ballistic eyewear for a very long time and although we consider ourselves new to it, so are the vast majority of our customers.   Most people see protective eyewear at a hardware store that is something you wear when riding a tractor or lawnmower or even with a weedwacker.   Those inexpensive glasses will stop a flying rock or piece of wood but they are not going to give you protection from objects moving 650 FPS.   I have been wearing the Chamber tactical polarized brown sunglasses for a very long time and the reason I went with these was that they gave  me the best visibility.   Everyone’s face and head is different so for some people it’s about the frame and how it sits on your face rather than just  the sizes of the lense.

I’ve been asking Smith  Optics Elite to make a smaller frame or atleaset thinner frame Protective glasses because I have a hard time using eyewear like this on a firing line due to the fact there are blind spots.   The Smith Optics Elite Eyewear that we got in are the Pivlocks and these are kind of a cross between sunglasses and the Smith Optics Elite eyeshields.   I love the Eyeshields for range or protective services but I do not like them for daily use.  If I wore those while driving a car I’d look like a meat butcher.   We’re always looking for feedback and customer reviews from products like this and the best way to test them out is to stop in our Broomall, Pennsylvania stocking dealer showroom.


Leather holster options, it is all about preference

Galco holstersI’m not a big fan of all of the stuff we carry, we carry over 25,000 products and there really are different levels of quality with much of it.   We have cheap aftermarket magazines that some people love buy and just use them as range mags, and others only buy factory magazines.   When it comes to choosing a good CCW or duty holster it’s really like matching shoes to an occasion.   Not all gun leather is the same and there are different features and functional differences.   I noticd that much of the Desantis leather goods have very polished looks to them and they seem to love making black leather holsters.   Don Hume holsters are hot sellers but they are not very pretty holsters to look at.

Holster stiffness and business reputations are things that we let our customers figure out.   We only stock name brand products like Galco holsters and some of their competitors.  Each of the leather makers has there pros and cons and some of them dabble into kydex holsters. The paddle holsters from each manufacturer have different cants and also different levels of gun coverage and it’s up to the user to know what they really need.  Make sure you pay attention to your holster fit guide, and if you are ever not sure if your gun is going to fit, don’t guess at it, call of the manufacturer and ask.   You don’t want to find out later that the trigger isn’t fully covered or that the holster will un naturally become loose because it was never intended to fit that one.

1 2 Page 1 of 2