Archive for August, 2015

New USB Rechargeable Flashlights, is this the future? Yep!

Streamlight Protac 2LWe’ve been hearing about this for awhile, USB rechargeable flashlights.   I believe it was an INOVA flashlight that I first handled that was USB rechargeable.   This is simple going to be the way of the future for all rechargeable flashlights because it’s simple and convenient.   If you walk into your work place, trying to find an unused electrical outlet that you can leave your flashlight to be charged and walk away for 4hrs isn’t going to be easy.  Now you can just sit in front of your computer and plug one of these new Streamlight USB Rechargeable Flashlights in and go about your business.   The one thing I am warning people about is being careful plugging these in.   USB ports tend to not be as rugged as wall jacks and in this industry, people tend to be rough on things and I think that may be one weakness people are going to find out about.

This Protac HL flashlight is the biggest brother in the Protac Series, you can use 2 CR123 batteries instead of a rechargeable battery stick so that’s good if you need a plan B and your Protac HL USB Flashlight goes dead on you.   People are going nuts over all of these High Lumen lights, but please pay attention to the run time, the 850 Lumens is impressive but it only has a run time of 1.5Hrs.   I had an experience a few weeks ago where I had to use Protac 2L on High, extensively, the entire night and after a 5hr Security detail it was practically dead.   It made me wish I had more run time.   I’m impressed by this new Streamlight Flashlight, but always have a backup flashlight, backup batteries or use your light on low power as much as possible.  It’s not fun when your flashlight doesn’t run.


Everyday Carry Flashlights, our recommendation is start with the Streamlight Protac 2L

protac-2lIn this discussion it’s really all going to be about your budget and what fits in your hand and how you are going to be able to carry it.  Flashlights are so bright these days and sometimes strobe can be a major annoyance so if you don’t think you need it, don’t buy it.  I have found for atleast the last 4 years that the Protac Series of flashlights from Streamlight are the best sellers for anyone that wants an everyday carry light, the price, the size, and the output.  Now they are 260 Lumens on high and 13 Lumens at low.  Low power on flashlights is usually used more than high power and is great on saving energy.   I remember when I first started using the Streamlight Scorpions, I was impressed with the 130 Lumens it put out but i remember that it burned through batteries so much that it was time to look for something different.

There is a Protac 1L that takes 1 CR123 battery but I find that too easy to lose and the Streamlight Protac 2L flashlights are better for my hand and has a letter performance.  I have been highly recommending these for years and recently had several Special Ops guys come in and tell me they are using them for defensive purposes.  High lumens and strobing are tactics you can deploy that can work well for in buying you time to bolt, or deploy another defensive measure, pepper spray, fist, baton ect. We always try to keep them in stock, online and in our Showroom and most of our employees are carrying them so feel free to ask about them.




Surefire Flashlights, Weapon Mounted Lights, X300U, or mount a G2X

579There have been many improvements across the board with various flashlight companies.  Ever since LED technology advanced, you are getting flashlights with the same SKU, UPC Code, and price that you got it for 4yrs ago but a much better light.   I think there is a ceiling for many of these advancements. there is absolutely such a thing as too much light.   The real thing to consider is if you are using a firearm indoors, or might be using it for outdoors.  Recently I was attending a low light shoot.  I watched the majority of people use flashlights in the 110-200 lumen range and at 50yds, it was good at lighting up a target.   I took my LWRC M6A1 with me and tested out my Streamlight TLR-1 which is 300 lumens and even though it didn’t have the beam I would like to have, it really did an excellent job of lighting up a wide field in front of me so I could see just about everything I wanted it.

For indoors  over 200 lumens can be an annoyance and somewhat of an inhibitor because you will get so much reflection off of shiny objects that it can actually ruin your vision in low light.  You want the light to light up what you are pointing at, and not a whole bunch coming back at you.  One thing I’ve known for a long time is have just enough light to see an object is better than lighting up everything, you have to give you eyes time to adapt to the lighting changes and given the majority of most people’s needs, 200 Lumens is a good.  There are several Surefire Flashlights that are considered hand held lights but they actually make excellent weapon mounted lights, one of the main reason I say this is they have hi and low power settings,  I don’t know why Surefire and Streamlight haven’t incorporated this into the X300U and TLR-1 lights but I think once you get to that 300-500 Lumen range, you might be better off with having the ability to drop down in power the majority of the time, and only use full power when needed, probable outdoors.


Original Swat Boots, Warranties, product diversity and price points

Original Swat BootsFootwear in this industry is probable one of the largest parts of the market, we could probable triple our footwear product line just based on what people are wearing, locally.  Bates, Danners, 5.11 Tactical Footwear, Under Armor, Rockies and on and on.   Some need an all leather boot, others are concerned about safety toe, and most are under the impression that means steel toe, well, in our industry, it’s to prevent bad guys from stomping on your feet, stretchers from falling on your toes, and many in corrections or airport security are going to want to composite safety toe boots so they don’t activate metal detectors.   We have found over the years that we can’t accommodate everyone with just one product line, but the majority of our customers are very happy with our footwear selection.

We’ve often found, recently, the some of the most stable and best quality control comes from the companies that own their own factories and aren’t constantly outsourcing to different 3rd world Countries for manufacturing, 5.11 Tactical is notorious for this.  Original Swat Boots are all made in the same factory and they ever have probable or need to increase production, they make their decision on their own so there are rarely long delays in getting backordered items.  It was only this year that a strike by the Port Authority in California caused shortages but that seems to have cleared up.   Check out  our website or stop in our store because we are a full line stocking Pennsylvania dealer for Original Swat Footwear.


Hearing Protection has advanced, so ask questions and we’ll give you options

Hearing Protection It’s been several years now that Surefire has been marketing the Sonic Defenders and they really seem to have caught on.  Everyone knows what it’s like to go to a firing range and come home with sore ears, the top of the baseball cap you wore dug into your head from the ear muffs you were wearing, the foam earplugs made you sweat and are now becoming q-tips and you happily have to toss them in the trash because it’s grossing you out.   Ear muffs tend to give you higher decibel reduction but are not always the most comfortable to wear.  Eyewear also throws you into discomfort and companies like Smith Optics have a line of eyeshields with metal frames that make wearing helmets or ear muffs more comfortable.

There are also a wide range of Peltor hearing protection and different price levels.  Sometimes different colors help keep you from losing your gear so always think about that if you have the option to not have to always use black, some of the green colors work well.   There are always more expensive options from Peltor which is pretty much what our Military is using that can cut out certain levels of noise but also have adjustability in what you want to hear so you can talk while gun fire get’s limited in sound.   I highly recommend the Earpro Sonic Defenders as an inexpensive option but make sure you get the correct size or packaging.


Magpul Slings, don’t make things too complicated

Magpul SlingsI recently spoke to a customer inquiring about various Keymod accessories and I told him we haven’t had that many people ask us about it even though it’s been out for awhile.  LWRCI Recently announced that they are discontinuing the M6 series guns and only making the LWRC IC guns which do have Keymod rail systems.   I only know a few people using them so they are still considered NEW to us from a sale point of view.   The Magpul MOE system seems to have a grip on the market but only time will tell.   Now that there are so many AR15 companies and accessories, you do have to be careful you aren’t that guy that buys something that will be difficult to get parts for 10yrs from now, it happen.    We still get phone call from people that are looking for Walther 32acp magazines and I only know one place that makes them.

When it comes to buying slings, it’s normally the Single point slings or some variation of the MS3 Magpul slings that really sell.  When people walk into our store and we show them our sling selection they don’t always know what sling attachments they have on their AR and when we tell them all the attachments they are going to need, then walk out the door with a Single Point Bungee sling.   The good thing is if you have some of the Magpul stocks or even a Spikes Tactical AR, your gun may be able to accept some of the QD MS4 type slings.   I think the Magpul MS3 Multi Mission Gen 2 is probable the best option for most people and is easier to attach work and is just happen to be the Top 2 selling sling we sell.

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