Vortex Solo R/T Monoculars
There is often a debate on whether or not you need a spotting scope or binoculars when hitting the range. The biggest problem with binoculars is that they are not always that stable. If you have a spotting scope on a tri-pod its going to give you more stability which will mean clarity. Sometimes spotting small holes on paper at 500yds is difficult, even with higher magnification. You can always do what I do and just bring a scoped rifle with you and use that for spotting. There are many things that come into play if you want to see things at longer ranges, mirage from heat, humidity, and sun glare can all ruin your ability to see.
The real selling point I would have for a Vortex Monocular is that they are smaller, compact and lighter weight. You get a very good field of view of 393 feet at 1000yds for the Vortex Solo R/T Monoculars. Being able to throw these in a molle pouch on your plate carrier or even just clip it on to your plate carrier makes it easier to keep around. Target identification and range estimation are the main selling points, the second is that most Vortex optics are priced about $100 below what they are worth. Sure you can use these for bird watching or boating, but this is a tactical blog and this is definitely something to consider.
There are tons of tactical pants to choose from, but there are not that many we can say are good for everything. We’ve been around long enough to see companies come and go, but as much as we have have our preferences, not everyone will be happy with just one brand. We’ve done a brutal analysis of various tactical clothing companies, from Rothco, Tru-Spec, UnderArmor, 5.11 Tactical and Vertx. Every brand has there own targeted market, but we’ve seen many people tend to lean towards the lower profile clothing because if you can wear it more, you are going to use it more. Sometimes just a chance of color on a style makes the difference in your perceived profile.
Tru-Spec makes a quality product and is worth looking into, but they have a few duds from time to time. With how competitive the tactical clothing industry is, price points and quality control is where it is at. My personal preference in the Tru-Spec product line is towards the Tru-Spec (what was the Gunny Signature Series Boot Cut Pant) and is now called the Tru-Spec Mens Tactical Boot Cut Trousers, these have deep hand pockets for pocket carry, and larger knife pockets and makes a great EDC carry pant. I do find that if you are carrying a sidearm on the strong side you might have issues with using the designed knife pockets which is why many other companies move pockets towards the front, like the 5.11 TDU pants and the Propper Kinetic Pants do, I wish Tru-Spec would design things like these but they still have some good stuff.
Nylon gear is about quality and mission purposes. We have a very broad customer base that sometimes use the same products, just different colors, something like a Plate Carrier can look SWAT or Tactical in Black, Military in Multicam or Tan, and EMS in Navy or Red for Fireman. The same goes for backpacks and molle gear. We often brag to people about how anesthesiologists and a surgeons use some of the tactical bags were sell and they aren’t even gun people. Sometimes it’s not just about the design of the bag, but the size of the bag. Some of the Tru-Spec backpacks we have been selling like the Gunny Tour of duty bags are pretty nice, but some say they are a little heavy and a little bit of an overkill for their needs. We recently listed their Trek Sling pack and a few others because the price point was very appealing to many of our customers.
One thing we don’t sell is low end nylon. I’m not going to name, names, but if you think a $35 backpack is something that is going to hold up, well, you are going to find out after using it. You can over pay for a brand name, but we always like to give people options, the Tru-Spec backpacks are good quality nylon at a reasonable price and very versatile. The Tru-Spec Circadian seems to be the most popular so far, just based on simplicity, design and cost. The Signature Gunny Line Tour of Duty packs seem to be for camping or long term deployments. Take a look and see what they have, these are definitely a big step up from some of the other backpacks Tru-Spec has offered.
Kimber Pepper Blaster II
There’s a very short and simple answer I have for you, people often get sticker shock and think “I don’t need to spend almost $40 on pepper spray” but when I explain to them the difference between key chain pepper sprays and a Kimber Pepper Blaster, well, put each one in your pocket or purse, then pull it out and point it at your threat, they realize that they did not know which directly the keychain pepper sprays were pointing until they looked at it. A handgun is suppose to be an extension of your hand, it should be easy to point, a bottle or cylinder shaped object is NOT easy to point. I’ve also been around enough deployments of pepper spray to know how sloppy they can be, and often there is blow back.
There are levels of self-defense, sometimes a flashlight can do the job, verbal defense, less lethal, and lethal. For civilians, I highly recommend something like the Kimber Pepper Blaster II over any stun gun. Lots of women come in our store looking for stun guns, but we recommend those for Father’s to give to daughters on Prom Nights or for College Dating, training with a weapon that you have to get up close and personal with is more of a liability than something that shoots 112 MPH and I can attest that they can shoot 13ft. It gives you more of a splatter than a stream, which also makes it much easier to hit your target. Also the velocity of the Pepper Blaster makes it hard to dodge. The shelf live of these is 5 years and spending less than $80 for 10yrs of less lethal defense is not expensive. I also highly recommend these has something anyone with a CCW should ALSO carry.
There are plenty of deals on Adams Arms Complete Upper Receivers right now, we recently got in some of the 5.45×39 upper receivers and Adams is probable the only 5.45×39 AR15 Upper Receiver we could recommend. Years ago LWRCI made them but they did not get great reviews, we have never gotten any negative reviews about the Adams models. One of the main things we noticed in this industry is you have to be good at what you’re doing and not expect that the same designs will always work well with multiple calibers. Russian ammo always runs dirt and DI guns are not a good choice in my opinion for this caliber.
5.45×39 is not made domestically as far as I know, but it is almost ballistically the same as the 5.56 with possible a slight ballistic advantage. Everyone and their dog seems to have the 7.62×39 but 5.45×39 is not as common, especially in an AK variant. I’ve personally witnessed the advantage of one caliber over the other, but since trying to find a AK74 variant in good condition is not common, the best thing to do is swap out your upper for one of these Adams Complete Upper Receivers chambered in 5.45×39 and shoot the cheap stuff in an AR platform.