Archive for August, 2014

Knife Sharpeners, Utility Knives, Warranties, and will you cry if you lose it?

Knife SharpenersKnives and flashlights are kind of in the same group when it comes to accessories.    Most people in this industry are carrying one or both of them almost all the time but depending on the job you are on, there is always a chance you are going to loose it.    Sometimes these are consider expendable and other people spending money for pouches or holders so they reduce the chances anything will be taken off of them.   Just clipping a knife to your back pocket doesn’t mean a fall down the stairs, or getting in and out of your car is going to keep it in place.   I’ve seen enough people walk in our door several days after purchasing a knife only to come back in and buy it again because they lost it.   If you take care of your stuff, and spend the money for a good knife, you are going to want to brush up on all of the knife sharpening optics especially if you have a serrated or partially serrated knife.   It can be difficult to keep that part sharp and if you have to cut through something, it makes it a lot easier to do.

I have done Filet knives, steak knives and plenty of tactical and utility knives with the Gatco 5 Stone Knife Sharpeners.   We always try to keep them in stock and have one at the counter to show some of the various features, and also how easy it is to use these.    Most people don’t pay attention to warranties in this industry and from a retail standpoint, it’s nice to be able to point people to the manufacturers website if there is a problem.    SOG Knives and Leatherman have great Warranties and always keep that in mind if you need to replace a multi-tool blade or device.  We always looking for new stuff to carry especially in the rescue and multi-tool so if you don’t see it on our website, let us know what you are looking for.


New Leatherman Multitools inbound

Leatherman Multi-ToolsWe’ve been carrying various Leatherman Multi-tools and recently decided to expand upon it.   One of the most asked about mulitools this year has been the Leatherman Raptor.   We have a lot of construction workers and contractors stopping in our Tactical Store even though they aren’t Military or Law Enforcement, but we have very larger and growing number of First Responders that work for Medical Transport and Ambulances.  It’s rare that we have something really new to market in that industry and usually it’s a  lot of EMS pants and and Rush 12, Rush 24 and Rush 72 5.11 Tactical bags.   At first some of these tools can be pricey and others are really not that expensive at all, the Leatherman MUT is probable the most expensive tool we sell but if you have an AR15 or a M16 it can be quite handy.  The only thing I don’t like about the MUT is that it doesn’t have any kind of broken shell extractor, if it did, I’d say it was perfect.

There are always features with each device that make or break it for a inquiring customer, do you need a screw driver? Knife?  A file?  Leatherman Multi-Tools has a really good feature guide and it’ll take awhile for us to have that level of navigation, but we will be stocking a lot of these in our Store as well as selling them online.   The Leatherman Raptor is the most asked about tool and quite honestly it’s starting to look like its becoming part of a uniform in our area.   It is one of those things that you might want to hold in your hand before you buy but even if you are not working in the Medical or EMS industry, consider having something like this in your first aid kit, for around $60.


Reticles it’s not always how you think it works, Trijicon RMR Options and circles, triangles and dots

Trijicon RMR Sights

I have noticed a trend towards the triangle reticles since some red dots can look real fuzzy and one thing that Trijicon Red Dots don’t have are blur.  Clarity is something that Trijicon can alway praised about.   Horeshoe reticles give you the ability to see through your aiming point and hold a target within the reticle as opposed to putting the red dot or crosshairs on the target.  Sometimes this is a faster way of engaging a target and it was probable some of the Elcan optics that I shot with that I originally started seeing “hollow” reticles.   If you have a triangle reticle like the Trijicon RMR08G, you can still have pin point precision by using the top of the triangle for your zero and holding the triangle over center mass.  It pays to look through optics to see what you feel comfortable with, one down side to the ACOG models are the eye relief but the larger TA11’s tend to much more friendly.  Either way, you might have to learn to adapt to the optic if  you have a certain expectation from it.

I am often learning how to use various optics because every manufacturer designs an optic a certain way, but so many people don’t read the manual or know the specs.   Some of the Trijicon ACOGS are designed for 55gr flying out of a 20inch barrel, some people won’t know the difference but anyone shooting steel plates at a distance are going to notice it.   The Trijicon TA01NSN is meant for an M4 with a 14.5 inch barrel with the 62gr SCBT round.   There are always variations with those bullet velocity due to the quality of the manufacturer but if you shoot something like M193 or American Eagle 55gr you’ll do well with what your ACOG was traditionally designed for.   If you know what your bullet is going to do at a certain distance you can always learn holder overs, but being able to do range estimations and fast shots isn’t going to be easy unless it’s designed into your reticle.   Just like some people start off with a zero magnification optic like Aimponts and Eotechs, you can buy an ACOG and get the mount for an RMR at a later time.  Like always, Trijicon RMR sights will cost you the same as most optics, but I can’t think of anyone that comes close with this dual platform.



Eotech Sights and Eotech Magnifiers you are paying for 2 optics

Eotech SightsWe see a lot of cringing when people ask us about the cost of the Eotech Magnifiers because it’s sometimes more or as much as what the Eotech sight cost in the first place.   At some point there will be a combat optic that you can go from zero magnification to 50X at the flip of a switch, but right now there isn’t anything like that on the market.   Zero Magnification tends to be more practical for most situations because magnification will slow you down in target acquisition at close ranges although there is a certain amount of training you can do to offset that a little but it’s not going to be the same.   I would suggest that, especially if you are right handed and putting your Eotech sight on an AR15, that you get an Eotech model with the buttons on the left side, ergonomically this is going  to be easier to adjust with your left hand no matter what, and if you decide to put a magnifier on it later, you’ll be much happier.

Clarity is going to be very important when looking for a magnifier, I haven’t tested out the Mako Magnifiers but I hear about them a lot, there are optics out there like some Sightmark optics, but in all honesty, I am not the type of person to constantly look for the less expensive optics and hope it’s going to hold up.   My best frame of reference is what Police Departments and Military Personnel are using.   Durability means more to mean then just holding zero because all devices have their breaking point and the difference between someone that is using it on an airsoft gun, might put 500rds through and AR15 and someone that is taking a Carbine Course where he needs to bring 1000rds of 5.56 and 400rds of 9mm is the difference between making it through a Carbine Course without any failures and someone that will be the laughing stock in his class.   As much as I love my Mini 14 Carbines, when put through the rate of fire that an AR15 can handle, the Mini 14 just won’t cut it.   $400 for a good optic, Aimpoint, Eotech Sights, Meprolight M21, and possible a used Trijicon Reflex Sight are my personnel starting point, when shopping for a magnifier, don’t buy a cheap one.


Sending your kids to College right now? Do they know situational awareness and have any forms of Pepper Spray or Self Defense?

Pepper SpraysThis is the time of  year, every year, that we get parents coming into our store looking for some form of pepper sprays.   Many of  the local Police Departments send people to our store.  CCW has it’s time and place, but Dorm Rooms and firearms aren’t a good idea if you ask me.   Recently there was an investigation opened up by the Department of Education about the Colleges that may have been covering up some of the sexual assault statistics and other crimes that occur on College Campuses and right off of the Campuses.  Several of those were right here in the Philadelphia as well as all over the Country.  The truth of the matter is that it does happen, and sexual assaults are probable one of those crimes that is under reported.   You do have to blame the parents for not educating their kids about situational awareness, and how to avoid getting into bad situations.

One of the problems we have seen in regards to this are that some people just don’t like the idea of defending themselves, just buying your daughter Sabre Defense Pepper Sprays and not teaching her how to deploy it properly isn’t a good idea.   We often explain to parents how to use the simple keychain style because many are somewhat familiar with it, but it’s not really the best choice.  I’m personally not a big fan of tasers because I don’t like the idea of having to get that close to someone.    There are plenty of manufacturers that have Youtube videos of how to properly use their products so once you purchase something for a family member, make sure you sit them down and explain it to them, maybe buy 2 devices and or a training one just so they have some level of training.


Time to get rid of foam earplugs? What hearing protection should you consider

Hearing Protection I guess the idea of talking about this issue was after reading the dumb ass reporter in Missouri that thought that a set of ear plugs were rubber bullets.   I haven’t used foam ear plugs in years because after all of the range time I’ve put in, my ears starting asking for something else because they can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time and sometimes your ear can become sore.   There is a time and place for larger ear protection, I’d recommend a lot of Peltor products but when you get into using hats and helmets, forget about it.  You can really come home with some issues if you wear ball caps and not shooters caps on the range.   The ear protection we have recently been pushing are the Ear Pro EP3 and EP4.   It’s another one of those products like, boots and gloves that you kind of need to try out to know what sizes or style suits you but they really are my favorite choice.

The EP3 Ear Pro is distributed by Surefire Inc. and really aren’t that expensive (around $13) if you take care of your stuff and put them back in your range bag.  They come with a wire so you keep them together and once they are actually inside your ear properly, you will know what I am talking about.  There are little flip caps so you can flip them open while they are inserted into your ear, if you need to talk during cease fires unlike foam ear plug hearing protection.   Check out the sizing guide and then walk up to a mirror in your home  with a ruler or measuring tape, it’s really not that difficult to determine.   People with deeper ear canals should look the EP4 which should accommodate them.  If  you keep your packaging there is a little clam shell that you should hold on to that will help prevent losing them.


Emergency Blankets and Recon Sleeping Bags

Recon Sleeping BagsProbable the most common customer that buy the Recon Sleeping Bags are people in the Civil Air Patrol and Emergency Services.  Search and Rescue is a big part of the the Civil Air Patrol and many times, during rescue missions, those that are  out on foot checking mountain sides might have to expect to stay out over night and resume their mission at first sunlight.   Temperatures can vary dramatically between day time and night time and many times, even in the summer, it can get pretty cold in valleys and forrest.  Being able to pack light and reduce fatigue is a reality all experienced hikers and foot traveling campers learn and there really aren’t a lot of inexpensive options.  Sure those $5 or less emergency blankets can save your life, but that aren’t consider re-useable.

Just like storing something food that has a long shelf life, and rotating out some of the product on camping trips, using your emergency survival stuff and practice, during a camping trip like the Recon Sleeping bags can remind you of the tolerances you might have in different weather situations and if needed during a rescue or survival situation, you will build confidence in the equipment you are using.   The Recon 2 Sleeping bag isn’t for Arctic weather, but if you are wearing heavier clothing and  use a sleeping bag like this, you might get more out of it than what the sleeping bag is rated for and considering the size of this sleeping bag, it might be a better and easier transportation option than getting the Recon 5 Sleeping bag.


Better insurance along with CCW, Kimber Pepper Blaster II

Kimber Pepper BlasterThere are always reason to consider carrying something to defend yourself and it’s not always about firearms and deadly force, sometimes even those that carry guns don’t think enough about the reality of using a firearm in self defense and the civil lawsuits that come later.   Learned to use your car keys or a pen and especially your fists and footwear to get a punk off you.   Cops lose guns to bad guys and we have heard plenty of stories of bad guys knowing how to pick handcuffs and understand how a Blackhawk Serpa or a Safariland Level II or Level II holster works so don’t depend on your firearm.   Recently talking to a Security Agency about various pepper sprays, stream, fog, brand names like Sabre Defense, Fox Labs and Ruger and Kimber, they all hated using it because they either had to detain the person and a certain amount either blew back on them or got on them in someway.

That’s what Cops and Security personnel have to do, an average citizen can just walk away, so using a stream or a blasting pepper spray can dramatically reduce the blow back.   I personally highly recommend the Kimber Pepper Blaster is a secondary self defense measure do to the fact it’s shaped like a gun, about the size of an average pocket pistol and and shoots 2 blasts over 90mph.   I’m not big on knife fighting and fist fights due to all of the blood born pathogens out there and always keeping your distance, and having a device that gives you distances is a good idea.   For under $40 I would highly suggest getting one of these for yourself and family members and not just look for the cheapest lipstick pepper spray.


Why not invest in emergency food storage? Wise Food Storage!

Wise Food StorageI guess that’s how they got their name, but it is “wise” to think about the what ifs.   First off, this isn’t going to be a discussion about “preppers” this isn’t doomsday and chem trails, this is about not having to worry about buying hungry in a bad situation and having a little insurance that you have a month or several months of food stored without being paranoid.   We are selling the Wise Food Storage product line to individual households, S.W.A.T. personnel making a “go bag” and emergency management in local townships.   That’s how broad this product line is and sure, it’s not going to be a trip to a salad bar or a produce shop, but these are way better than MRE’s or Astronaut food from decades ago.   You gotta read the labels and the descriptions to find out what suits your needs but this is really something to consider just so you don’t have to leave your  home because you’re hungry after being snowed in, hurricanes or long term power outages.   All you need is clean water, hot or cold to eat.

The length of time each product is good for can be from several years to several decades so educate yourself on what you want and how long it will last and value the prices you are willing to spend.   There are plenty other things to consider doing along with your Wise Food Storage, but proper storage is extremely important.   Things like Rice last a long time but if not properly sealed, you are going to get bugs in it eventually,  other products can rot in high humidity or damp environments.   We sell a lot of this to trucker’s that are traveling across Country and never know when a highway might be shutdown due to Tornado’s, accidents, or some other mayhem.


Firearm Modifications, going to far or is it the right direction?

Wilson Combat PartsThere are always trade offs, pros and cons of every firearm and accessory that  you attach.   I like to compare firearms to golf clubs when people start asking me about which gun is better and various caliber debates.   Not everyone goes up to bat in a Major League Baseball Game with the same bat length and weight so why would you expect people to be proficient with the exact same firearm?   There is a reason the military is looking towards SBR’s and PS90 FN 5.7 firearms because the reality is that most people aren’t combat efficient with handguns.   There are several things to consider if you feel that your firearm isn’t up to what you are capable of doing with it.   First start at the length of pull and make sure the gun fits in your shoulder right, then find out what your trigger pull weight is.   There’s nothing wrong with knocking down the trigger weight of your gun but personally I would never go below 4.5 LBs for a defense weapon, competition shooting is another thing.

There are little things you can lean that can eventually help win a fight, speeding up reloading by keeping your magazines in the correct order,  add on a Wilson Combat Well so help in aiding on not having a hold up because you had to watch the magazine go into the handgun and you didn’t don’t want to have to keep your eyes off the threat.  The Wilson Combat Extended Slide stop,  not only help you release the slide easier,  extended thumb safety gives you a place to keep your thumb while firing.  At first it may seem like your hands are going to get cut but if you rest them in the correct nature, it’s a none issue.   Just think of the time you crossed your thumbs while shooting a revolver and when you switched to shooting a semi-auto, it’s a one time mistake and you knew not to put your hands there.   Hang out at a range and ask questions and it’s always a good idea to know a good gunsmith that can tell  you “from their experience” what was a gimmick and what is a good improvement.   Wilson Combat Parts are the first place I point people to if they are looking to modify their 1911 handguns.

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