Archive for March, 2014

Muscle Memory avoid deviating at all costs

Blackhawk Serpa HolstersBlackhawk retention holstersThat’s my short answer on the Blackhawk retention holsters if you wanted an opinion.  I’m not a big fan of taking novice gun owners or new recruits with a holster like this because I’ve seen it all on the firing line.   The NRA has really good standards for training new students, children and even adults.  I have rarely seen a new handgun shooter start off shooting on a table but I’ve gone back to that when watching new people walk up to a firing line and do the dumbest things.   You can judge competency by someones education level nor the muscle mass.   I’ve grown tired of being at public firing ranges whether indoors or on a State Game range and looking down the barrel of someone taking their girlfriend to the range or a newly hired Police Officer that was issued a sidearm but can’t handle the 45acp recoil.

When my life is on the line which it is every time a gun is unholstered, I have my tolerance levels and keeping a controlled environment is my protocol.  Once someone has been trained on using a firearm, adapting to a retention holster like the Blackhawk Serpa holsters is just learning another device.   It’s a bad idea starting out with both and many, many departments hire not on experience, there are always new people learning to shoot and it’s very common to see firearms instructors put bans on this holster system when training new students or unknown discipline.  I do use these holsters as a paddle holster as well is the drop leg format and I do have respect for them.


Don Hume inside the waisteband holsters

Don Hume leatherDon Hume pocket holstersWe’ve been selling these for more than 4yrs and they are still one of our top selling holsters.   From a personal point of view, these holsters are a little rough looking but if you don’t want to go with some of the Nylon holsters we sell and are sure you want a leather holster, these are are very well priced compared to the Galco leather and the Desantis leather holsters we sell.  The Desantis insider is a inexpensive leather holster but it’s  not as hard and the same priced Don Hume ones.   All leather holsters should have a short break in period because if they don’t they may be a little too loose at some point in the not too distant future.   Securing a firearm is what a good holster’s primary role should be and not all holsters are quiet, some rattle and allow movement.

Inside the waistband holsters are hard to shop for and I can recommend enough to check with people that are already  using certain holsters before you put too much money in an unknown.  We always have first time CCW holsters and Don Hume holsters are usually suggested along with our nylon belt clip holsters and many of the Fobus products to get something from a starting point.  It’s not that we think they are not good holsters it’s just that they are not they pricey and can be had for around $25-$40.  Compare that to Crossbreed holsters and some of the Galco leather holsters and you’re at about 1/3 of the cost.  Once a gun owner has more experience in knowing what to buy they can spend all they want with us, but we always try to help customers avoid buyer’s remorse or have to deal with returns.


Suggestions on AR15 builds

We have a very large customer base that are very mechanically inclined, from engineers to various types of mechanics, it’s ofter surprising to some of my friends that think that gun owners are red necks that buy these types of firearms because they think the world is going to end or that it’s about military weapons and violence.   There are always wack jobs on both sides of the Political spectrum, but there is something about the AR15 that the mechanically inclined tend to be drawn to.  It’s not all about accessorizing andAR15 Complete Upper ReceiversAR15 rail systemsAR15 uppers for sale G.I. Joe, it’s about proficiency, efficiency, customization and pushing designs.  There is not much differencSpikes M4 Upper receivere between Aeronautics, Ballistics and Rocket science.   The discussions about cubic inches of pressure, twist rates, air pressure, humidity levels and sea level are every day discussions amongst our clients.

The biggest draw to our store as far are parts are the Magpul Industries accessories and Spike’s Tactical upper receivers and various types of 300 blackout.    There are always price levels to consider with certain AR15 Complete Upper Receivers and if you aren’t ready and ask specific questions on what is best, expect there to be stick shock.  Colt Firearms have a proven track record, probable more so than any other AR15 but when you get into suppressed firearms, you have preferences in types of rail systems, there are other companies offering better platforms.  Don’t forget about our rewards points and free shipping on orders over $150.   For some of the upper receivers that we sell, you can get $20-$30 back in rewards points just by setting up an account.


Bail out bags, low profile vs tactical value

511 tactical bagsThere are always going to be trade offs in this industry, there are so many backpacks and range gear that is very close to another, but that one extra feature is what is going to make it work for you.  For many of our Local Law Enforcement, the active shooting bag can mean a very broad selection of bags, from Maxpedition to 5.11 Tactical, to Condor or Elite Survival Systems.   We often heard the term “they have that bag”  is we always ask for the manufacturer before we can narrow down what it is we are looking.    The best stuff is always going to cost you but there are certain items like the 5.11 Bail out bags that are very popular but very tactical looking.  active shooter bagsactive shooter bag reviewsBail Out Bags Everyone will have different things to put it in from, Wise Emergency Food, Snickers Bars, Bottles of water to medical gear, pistol magazines and 5.56 ammo.

The Bail out bags from 5.11 Tactical are available in Black and Tan are are $59.99. this is an over the shoulder “go bag” that starts out very lightweight.  Many of the 5.11 Tactical bags that we sell have a very well received track record of not being too pricey and readily available.   If you are looking for low profile less tactical looking bags, The Elite Survival Systems Crossroads Discreet Escape bag.   This will be more like a camera bag with an over the shoulder strap,  internal magazine storage as opposed to outer magazine pouches and an adjustable internal compartments.


Get rid of your old gun cleaning hazzards

gun lubeOtis gun cleaning kitsIt’s bad enough to be around lead for 30yrs but lead is something that’s on it’s way out the door, even the military is destined to be moving beyond it at some point and oAR15 Cleaning kitsgun cleaning suppliesne of the biggest problems gun clubs run into are EPA issues with range clean ups.    Hoppes #9 has been arSlip 2000 Bore CleaningBoresnakeound a long time and has a reputation of working well at cleaning bores, but that stuff is just nasty to be in the room with and liver damage warnings aren’t much of an incentive to keep it around.  I wouldn’t know where Copper removerRifle Cleaningto start from with suggestions on what is best to  use, but anything from Slip 2000, M-Pro7 to Frog Lube have great improvements and almost zero health risks attached to them.   Things like Boresnakes help avoid the need for piles of cleaning patches and can be thrown in the wash machine after several use ages to get back to clean and new shape.

I find pistol cleaning primarily revolver cleaning to still be a little more tedious because cylinder cleaning takes a little more focus and I still use lead reloads for some of the Smith & Wesson revolvers.   The best thing to do to avoid major projects after a range session is to clean your firearms shortly after using them and not let things sit for long.   For many hunting rifles and many handguns, just gun handling can cause rust to eventually form from your finger prints that it’s very important to keep a gun cleaning cloth or rag around to wipe them down and have the right gun cleaning supplies available.   One of my biggest gun rust issues was after a hunting trip where no bullets where fired and the firearms were put away, and 3 months later when they were taken out there was rust along the barrels.   A wipe down before putting it away or using something like Slip 2000 gun lube would have prevented it in the first place.


Daniel Defense Upper Receivers for self defense and hunting

Daniel Defense  Upper ReceieversWe are often asked questions that are simple questions but open us up to a lot of liabilities because in this industry, if you don’t know what you want, we can’t tell you what to get.   We can give you suggestions based upon your questions but questions like “I want a comfortable holster” and “what’s better, S&W upper receivers or Daniel Defense?”   There are some major advances it technology that have made military style rifles  much stronger and lighter than ever before and Daniel Defense is probable the leader in those regards.  Some of their upper receivers are in the 4lb range and are incredible durable.   The cold hammer forged barrels are incredible strong and a great many of these are used in Special Forces.

The barrels come pre-threaded so these are suppressor friendly which is a major plus since so many people are realizing the value of having suppressed firearms.     There are a lot of differences in Daniel Defense Upper receivers but the best thing to do when shopping for a build or hunting rifle is to go to a store that stocks them or hang out at a gun club with your friends that own them.   The Ambush line of Daniel Defense is geared more towards hunting because even though the AR15 started out as a military style weapon, it has been widely accepted as a good coyote or varmint rifle.   The versatility of the AR15 is in it’s ability to swap  out different upper receivers that can be  used for long range, different bullet weights and different optics.


Handgun 22 Caliber Conversions

Glock 21 Conversion kitSig Sauer 22 Conversion kitFirst off, wAdvantage Arms Conversion Kitse always monitor our sales with various products to try and make sure we can acquire products that are highly sought after and one that has been hard to stock are the Advantage Arms Caliber conversion kits.   Now that Generation 4 Glocks are on the market, we are running into a lot of holster fit problems and not all of the grips, accessories and parts for other Generations of Glocks fit the same caliber or Model numbers.   A Glock generation 4 isn’t going to fit some of the standard Fobus holsters and you’ll have to get the E2 Fobus holsters.   With these Advantage Arms 22 Caliber conversion kits, you gotta watch which kit you purchase because there are a lot of people with Generation 4 handguns buying the older Glock Conversion kits.

If you purchase these kits, the slide you get will be much lighter weight, but ammunition selection is critical to running the gun reliable.  For some reason people always leave ammunition selections out when testing a guns accuracy and reliability.   Glock Caliber conversion kits from Advantage Arms come with 1 pistol mag so trying to acquire magazines is a whole other race.   The reason to switch to one of these kits is to save money on your shooting hobbies or to improve you trigger control and disciplines.  There are other caliber conversion kits out there but they do not have a very good reputation.   There are kits for the Springfield XD, Sig Sauer and 1911 22LR conversion kits.


Dress Code when you’re packing

Gun beltsJust about everything in this industry revolves around the color black, whether it’s a Glock or an AR15, Flat Dark Earth gun accessories are second, but it’s gaining ground.   When it comes to clothing, Khaki is far  more popular than black because black colors make things look far more Law Enforcement or tactical ninja and it’s an image that doesn’t always fit the “casual” look.  Dealing with Uniform codes, each department has their standards that is usually at the discretion of the Police Chief, nylon gear tends to be for K9 Units or for Bikers, and plain leather or basketweave for the rest.  Sometimes the belt keeper button snaps are gold, silver, or high polish.

For your average CCW holder, the dress code rules are at your discretion but concealment is an art and not something you should cut too many corners.  Buying another gun is the conclusion some are going to have to come to because when we start showing various gun belts that we sell from The Wilderness belts to Desantis, Galco leather, Elite Survival Systems nylon Cobra Belt to a Safariland duty belts are pretty pricey and usually an overkill for CCW but Desantis leather has a very good reputation for being good looking, flexible and durable.   There were some issues with the Blackhawk plain belts “cracking” but they have a good Warranty so if that occurred when you purchased the belt, make sure you send it in.


The Art of story telling in Action and Criminal Justice movie production

Tactical gear  We’ve been selling a lot of  tactical gear to production companies and probable get a phone call a couple times a month from wardrobe companies from Universal Studios and MGM but there are several Indie production companies that have come to the Philadelphia asking about technical support like how holsters are worn, Police Badges from City to City, and even an occasional foreign production company that is shooting locally. We pay a lot of attention to production, tactics and gear in movies. As someone who worked in the Music Industry for more than a decade, we saw bands like rock bands purchase their own studio equipment after proving to their record label, that they could produce their own music on their own recording budget . Moving from Analog to digital recording saved a ton of production money and after time, the bands learned to produce things on their own, sometimes they even went on to start their own labels.

It seems that movie production companies many times whore off some of their budgets as long as they get their money back and if not, contracts don’t get fulfilled or actors give up with butting heads and retire. Everyone knows about the bands that left the major labels in the music business and are much happier on their own, but it happens in the Movie industry as well. Many actors get tied to contracts in movies they don’t like and it’s now very common for actors to move on to producing, writing and directing because the ability to make movies has gotten easier and they can produce whatever they want . I’ve always paid attention to “Indie” bands and now with the way movies are ordered right off the TV, but depending on your tastes, not everything is going to be there. It’s always part of my night time venture to see if something new has come out. There are now all types of movies being released on Red Box, which is a movie rental kiosk that you probable see in certain stores.

Action Movies and Criminal Justice movie production aren’t all about big budgets and a bunch of fireworks to make it look cool. The same story is in just about every Love, Action or Drama, but to tell it well, you need good choreography , the costumer designers and Wardrobes have to be accurate, and the fight scenes can look dumb if directed by someone inexperienced with their firearms, firearm accessories or physical stances. I can’t stomach watching movies where the production allowed a S.W.A.T. Team movie through a building with their fingers on the trigger or some fast frame sequence made the actor look like he knows Karate. It looks like Steven Seagal is secure in his home in the direct to TV movies like True Justice – Dark Vengeance from Voltage Pictures. I have to admit I waited for anticipation to see when Elijah Kane ( Steven Seagal) would take someone down with his bare hands and got that artwork in the first 10 minutes of the movie. I can’ t tell you what Japanese Martial Arts he was deploying but when he had to pull his gun out mid-movie to shutdown a gun buy from a bunch of criminals, it was obvious he had his trigger off the trigger until his sights were on target.

In “Dark Justice” Kane’s department is on the hunt for a serial killer that is using date rape drugs to murder women, There’s plenty of eye candy in this film Seattle Police Officers Juliet (Meghan Ory) and Sarah Montgomery (Sarah Lind) (- both had parts in the TV Series “Smallville”) kept my attention from going from Cop to well… you’ll find out in the movie. Also, several well known actors like George Takei have parts in the movie. The story all has hints of Steven Seagal’s Asian Influences in Martial Arts as well as Mysticism , but I’d say they are subtle and not overbearing.  With over 50,000 fans on Facebook, which is huge in the marketing world, I’m sure there will be more to come. I thought Dark Vengeance  seemed a little rushed in the last 15 minutes of the movie and only picked up 1 part of the production that hinted at the movie budget, but not having to pay for over priced movie theatre tickets I actually and going to check out redbox movies more often. From what I’ve gathered this was completed several years ago and nobody knew if it was going to TV or being sold as a DVD. Entertaining? Yes.


Reflex sights, red dots and clarity and precision

Red Dot sightsTrijicon RMR mountsTrijicon RMR sightsSounds like a wordy subject line but so many people find out the hard way that certain levels of eyesight mean you can’t see so well with some of the modern optics.  Eye relief is a big one for those that don’t like some of the Trijicon ACOGS because you do have to put your eye pretty close to get a sight picture while optics like the TA11H-G give you a little more eye relief but its a much larger platform to mount.   The Aimpoint Micro T1 got some negative responses recently because according to our customer that the red dot sight looked broken Fiber Optic Rifle OpticsRMR SightRM08G sights in stockor flared, we informed them that this isn’t a defect in the optic, it actually has to do with how the operator’s eyes view the red dot.   Sometimes it pays to walk in a store and look through and optic before dropping $600 bucks on one.

Recently I learned a lot about the differences between the Aimpoint, Bushnell, Eotech and Trijicon RMR sights and have pretty good knowledge on helping customers narrow down what they really should consider.   Knowing the dot size you want to go with is a good way to narrow your product options and knowing what type of battery life you are asking for.   The Trijicon RMR sights have been constantly expanding and are used on handguns as much as Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 shotguns as well as secondary sights on AR15s.  Sure they are expensive but giving the clarity, battery life, and far more precise red dots than many other manufacturers, you may find it actually useable when the other product you were looking for is not compatible.

1 2 3 Page 1 of 3