Weapons Lights are the a Necessity or a Gimmick ??

Weapons Lights are the a Necessity or a Gimmick ??

 

We as humans have been blessed with many unique abilities. Unfortunately one that we could use is the ability to see in the dark, not so that we are completely blind in the dark, but we do fall short in this category. To make up for this Thomas Edison invented the light bulb the year was 1879. We have been improving the way and ability to see in low light conditions ever since. Now that we have agreed we need help to see in diminished light conditions, we can discuss the ways that we enhance this ability.

Most people who want to see in the dark grab a flashlight, in the beginning these light were large and cumbersome sometimes requiring two hands to operate. This caused a problem when using the light in conjunction with a weapon, because even a handgun requires at least one hand to manipulate. So here was the deliminna put down the big light and to use the firearm and shoot blind, or try to juggle the light and the weapon at the same time. While this is possible most people will suffer a break down in grip structure, therefore their ability to employe direct effective fire will also diminished. If you have any concerns about other people in the house this is an unacceptable compromise.

Over the last 15 years or so lights have started a slow shrinking process to the point that we have small lights that will far out shine their larger, older ancestors. The use of LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology we have dramatically increased the brightness and the runtimes of these small lights. In fact they are now small enough to be able to be attached to a handgun.

I feel that if you follow some simple guidelines for weapon light use it can be a safe and effective tool for self-defense use.

1. Always use a hand-held light in conjunction with a weapon-mounted light to avoid pointing your weapon at something you don’t intend to destroy.

2. Don’t use your weapon light for a normal flashlight.

3. If you choose to use a weapon-mounted light, make the commitment to train and have it attached to your weapon.

So to answer the question of wether or not the weapon-mounted light is a Necessity or a Gimmick, most certainly is isn’t a gimmick, but I wouldn’t call it a necessity. I would say it is a tool that takes commitment on the part of the user to be used effectively and safely. I personally choose to have to as a tool on about 95% of my firearms and I carry them that way and train with them that way. We will continue to address this subject in the future.

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Dead Light on your Long Gun: Unity Tactical’s EXO Solution !!!

Dead Light on your Long Gun: Unity Tactical's EXO Solution !!!

Most people who have a rifle or carbine for defensive purposes, have a light on it for target identification in low light conditions. These lights run on batteries. An accidental switch activation without your knowledge can drain the batteries leaving you without a possible life saving piece of equipment.

Our friends over at Unity Tactical have a solution for you. The EXO is a replacement mount for your Surefire X 200-300 series weapon lights. It provides a shroud around the switch guarding against inadvertent activations during a critical event and also provides protection during weapon transport and storage ensuring that your light is ready when you are. Stay tuned for videos on the installation and use of this innovative product. The EXO unit replaces the standard rail attachment point on your Surefire X Series light. This means with the tools provided with your Surefire light packaging, you can install and mount the EXO to your existing light. Simply remove the six small allen screws retaining mounting mounting rails, remove them and replace with the EXO, tighten the screws and remount the light as it was before.

The shroud protects what may be the single weak point with the Surefire system, the switch. The EXO provides an impact resistant barrier to this fragile point. At the same time it forces the operator to make a definitive decision to activate the light. There is almost no chance of accidental light activation. This is known as an Accidental Discharge (of the light variety), done during a critical incident.It can lead to exposing your location, exposing your teammates position or causing you or your teammates temporarily to  lose night vision, be it natural or electronic assisted. All of these can lead to injury or even fatalities.

I use a C clamp type grip when shooting my rifle, so this puts the light at a natural position for activation. Having the added step of making sure my thumb moves around the shroud to the switch gives me piece of mind knowing I can’t just bump the switch. The EXO unit does not impede the operation of the light in any way. In fact, I think it gives you a more positive indexing point for activation, meaning you won’t find yourself searching for the switch. It almost funnels your thumb to it. The EXO also provides additional protection for the battery compartment latch as well as a strengthened interface with the host weapon.

For more information head over to their website at http://www.unitytactical.com/products/exo/

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Glock 41 “The Practical Tactical side of the 45 Auto”

The year is 1904 and from the inner workings of John Moses Browning’s, mind a cartridge emerged. It was the great 45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), 45 Auto or an even more modern nickname “The Flying Dump Truck”. The US military had been buying and using various calibers while searching for the perfect combination of size and power. Having moved from a 250 grain 45 Long Colt to a smaller 150 grain 38 Long Colt during this transitional period many unfortunate and very deadly failures to stop occurred. While the light cartridge was easier to control, it didn’t yield the necessary effects on the target. This lighter bullet combined with a smaller diameter left our fighting men with something that they couldn’t depend on when the chips were down as handgun bullets during this period were not designed to expand.

So Thompson-LaGarde commissioned to study the effectiveness of various calibers and bullets. This led the US Calvary to request that a new handgun be developed for their use and it had to be .45caliber Interesting enough, the first loading of the 45ACP was a 200gr bullet, but after a few revisions a 230gr, bullet moving at 850 ft/per sec was chosen. This loading is only slightly less powerful than the 45 Long Colt that was deemed to be outdated. Since it’s inception the 45 ACP has been known for its knockdown power. Some of the claims were exgarrated but it has been proven to be a fight stopper if the shooter does their part.

Fast forward to 1991, a span of 87 years, we find the the 45ACP being introduced in a state of the art fighting pistol. Fixing what some believed to be the downfall of existing 45cal. pistols, the magazine capacity was increased to 13 rounds providing enough firepower to sustain a fight. I think that the 1911 has enough capacity to do this,but the more bullets the better. This pistol is the Glock Model 21, a full size polymer fighting pistol that provides a modern corrosion resistant platform launching the big powerful bullets. Some people found the thickness of the G21 to be too wide for all hand sizes. To alleviate this somewhat, in 2007 Glock introduced the SF or Short framed versions of their large frame pistols. These SF versions didn’t change the width but decreased the distance from the back of the grip to the trigger by .098in. They also shortened the heel of the pistol by .16 inch. This allows the pistol to be operated by people with smaller hands.

In 2010 Glock took another step forward to modernize an already hi-tech design by releasing the Generation 4 Glocks (Gen4) across their whole product line. This allowed the the use of user installed backstraps to customize grip size to the shooter. These even include 2 with pronounced beavertails. The shooter can also forego the use of any backstrap, this will give the smallest overall grip size. The Gen4 also uses a reversible magazine catch to make the weapons more user friendly for left handed shooters along with a recoil taming dual spring setup.

Glock has never been slow to produce products geared to law enforcement. The Practical / Tactical models were a result of that offered in 9mm and 40cal. these were the G34/35. They feature a slide and barrel which is .8in longer than the service models. This allows faster follow up shots and a longer sight radius. These 2 features also lend themselves to the competitive world. For years the 45 shooters wanted the advantage of the longer platform in both the tactical and competition world. The longer barrel would allow the already good performance numbers to get better by providing higher velocity and enhanced accuracy do to the longer sight radius. Well Glock listened,and in 2014 they introduced the Glock 41, basically a G34/35 length gun in 45 ACP with a 5.3in barrel.

The slide of the G21 has always been fairly wide and really blocky. The G41 uses a slide almost the same width as the 9/40/357 guns, providing a slimmer profile. While providing a slimmer profile, it also lets the longer weapon weigh in at only .7 of an ounce heavier than the standard G21. I will admit I have been a 9mm Glock user with no use for other calibers, but the G41 fits me very well. In fact I hope that they introduce a 10mm version of it making it a perfect woods gun for anything  in North America for anything on 2 or 4 legs.

On to the G41 experience, I find it balances well while allowing me to shoot a wide variety of bullet weights from 165gr to 230gr. I don’t really find any recoil difference shooting range ammo (FMJ) or self defense (JHP). The gun just gobbles them up ! My particular gun likes the heavier bullets, which is fine with me. This gun will never be a hot weather concealed carry gun for me, but I would carry it in 3 seasons without reservations. I will be providing you an updated review once I run the round count up. I currently have 200 rounds thru it and have a plan for a 500 round afternoon in the near future. I will also be reviewing some gear that I have for the G41, holsters etc. I will also try to shoot a wide range of ammo thru it also.

As of right now I can’t find much to complain about, it’s a Glock you just load it and shoot it.

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IWB Holster from Sentry Gunleather looks a good as it functions !!!

IWB Holster from Sentry Gunleather looks a good as it Functions !!!

Who says you can’t have an IWB holster with function and looks, well whoever said it was lying !!! The above holster is simply named the “Inside The Waistband” holster from Sentry Gunleather ( http://www.sentrygunleather.com ) . This holster features a more traditional leather loop to attach it to your belt. This would be closer to how a standard leather IWB is affixed to your belt, in fact out of all of my kydex holsters, this one is closest in form factor to its leather constructed cousins. This holster is made of kydex, with a pleasing graphite color. Sentry Gunleather uses .080 thick kydex for their OWB holsters as this will offer greater over all strength to the rig, this one is constructed of .060 kydex. This doesn’t detract from the strength or rigidity of the product, it reduces the overall width of the holster and may even enhance to molding definition. I know that .040 of an inch isn’t much but any space savings you can get and not sacrifice strength is a bonus.

When I received the holster in the mail, I noticed that the belt loop was of a solid design, not the split type I was used to using with this style of holster. I have to admit that I was worried that without being anchored to a belt loop would allow it to shift around and require constant adjustment. I am very happy to tell you that it stays exactly where you put it, very little of any movement on the belt. The belt I carry it on is an Original Special Operations EDC belt ( http://www.soebelts.com ) 1.5in wide, the belt loop is a snug fit with the surface texture of the belt and the slightly coarse texture inside the loop providing a good amount of friction. This may also add to the ability of the holster to not shift its position on the belt.

I have worn the IWB for the better part of a week, this means when I get dressed in the morning the holster and gun go on and I don’t remove it until I go to bed. Most day this equates to 17-18 hrs of wear, most of the time I find myself getting antsy with the whatever holster at the 12-14 hour mark. It doesn’t matter whose holster wether it is IWB or OWB, it just seems that is the time when I really start to notice the gun being there. I found that I didn’t do this at all wearing this particular holster, I just simply was able to leave it alone.

The retention is absolutely outstanding allowing a super fast draw without the worry of the weapon accidentally removing itself from the holster. We have had a rough winter here in Michigan with ample time spent behind a snowblower. Even with the unusual movements required to run it I still found the holster very comfortable. I found driving to not be uncomfortable even for extend periods, don’t normally carry my firearm in an IWB while driving I have a holster mounted in the car as drawing from an IWB can present its own set of problems and concerns.

All in all the IWB is a great holster made by an american company, handmade by a true craftsman. You will not find a better holster for the money wether it be leather or kydex, I know some people don’t do the plastic holster thing. Kydex does have a unique set of things it does very well and not a lot of things that it doesn’t do well. That is another article in itself for a later date. You can find this holster and the complete line of high quality gun toting gear at ( http://www.sentrygunleather.com ) .

Pictured below with the IWB is Sentry’s Raptor Series single magazine pouch.

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EDC – What’s in your pockets

EDC - What's in your pockets

What do you carry everyday with you ??

For each person that reads this it will be different, as it should be because each one of us have different needs. We live in different climates, go different places and do different things. What works great for me may be an utter failure for you. That is the single biggest gripe I have about normal EDC posts and articles is that the writers seem to think what they choose will work the same for everybody. I will do my best to go into why I choose the items you see in the photo above. Remember that these work for me they may not work for you. Only you can pick what is needed for your EDC.

1. Firearm: Glock 19 Gen. 3 in FDE (Flat Dark Earth) This my choice for a CCW weapon for the following reasons.

A. The G19 is small enough to conceal about 90% of the time and it retains enough size and capacity to be a legitimate fighting pistol.

B. It uses a full power cartridge and uses a proven design.

C. Out of all of my pistols I shoot the G19 the best (i.e. speed and accuracy) I have other but this is the one that I seem to put in a holster everyday. I also have a spare G-19 you never know when you may need an extra.

D. Magazines and spare parts plentiful, along with the pistol being easy to work on.

2. Holster and Mag Pouch this can vary depending on weather.

A. Sentry Gunleather (www.sentrygunleather.com )Raptor OWB in a monochromatic scheme of Tan with varying textures I choose to use small custom shops for my carry gear, as they seem more receptive to ideas and are faster to react the the needs of the customer.

B. Green Force Tactical ( http://www.greenforcetactical.myshopify.com ) single mag pouch Tan with Od Green back with a G-17 for the reload. I like single mag pouches for the versatility that they offer for carry position, this is a great help to me for CCW.

3.  Ammo is either 147gr Hydra-Shok or the 147gr. HST. Both of these have a good track record and I find them very easy to shoot with good speed and accuracy.

4. Flashlight Olight S20 Baton   You can find the specs for this and many other EDC/Tactical lights on Going Gear’s website ( http://www.goinggear.com ). This light has more than enough power for its purpose while still retaining a rich feature set.

5. Folding Knife  I have a soft spot in my heart for the Spyderco Military as it is a large knife but still has a relatively light pocket weight. This above model is an older one using CPM440V and their patented Spyderedge.

6. Back up blade:  Alan Folts Kiridashi worn in a neck sheath unsure of blade material but it is stainless.

7. Belt of choice : The Original Special Operations Gear EDC Belt 1.5in. wide. Outstanding belt made by an outstanding American Company you can look at the belts available on their website ( http://www.soebelts.com )

One of the most important things you can get is quality training. Real training not the glorified politically correct kind, but learn how to fight with your choice of gun and gear. One place to look for it is Tactical Response ( http://www.tacticalresponse.com ) another great American company of shooters.IMG_0064IMG_2742

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Shotgun for defending your home or office !!!

Shotgun for defending your home or office !!!

This is a topic that has been discussed by people with more knowledge and experience than I could ever hope to obtain. So this article will be from a more simple point of view. I really have a soft spot in my heart for a 12ga. pump action shotgun. My personal preference is a Remington 870, that is not to say a Mossberg 500/590 wouldn’t be a great choice. I just happened to be exposed to the 870 platform first and have chosen to stick with it. I know that some people love their semi-auto shotguns, heck I even flirted with a Benelli M1 Super 90 just wasn’t for me I traded it for 2 870’s as I just love the simplicity of a pump action shotgun. The Benelli is a great shotgun loaded with great features as is the Mossberg 930.

So the newest shotgun to the fold is model 25077 it has a 18.5in barrel with a 6+1 capacity of 2.75in shells. The barrels action is the only part of the gun that remains. I choose to replace the furniture with a Magpul SGA stock and MOE forearm in Flat Dark Earth I also added a SGA Receiver sling mount and MOE rail section for mounting a light ( http://store.magpul.com/category/shotgun) , more about the light later. I believe that when you retrieve a long gun for defensive purposes it should have some additional ammo on the gun, not saying you just couldn’t stuff your pockets with extra buckshot or slugs but that takes time and sometimes that is the only thing we don’t have enough of.

I have added a a Doug Presson Custom Works (http://www.dpcustomworksllc.com) shell carrier to fix this issue. This shell carrier is possibly the most overbuilt piece of gear that I have at the moment I think you could destroy the gun and it would still retain shells. Made entirely of T6061 aluminum with Type III hard coat anodizing it is a beast, does it add weight to the gun of course it does. I have peace of mind that when and if I need extra ammo for the weapon, it will be right where I put it. The shell holes have rubber inserts that provide friction retention either in a base up or base down orientation I have shot 3in Magnum slugs and that haven’t moved at all, so I think that this is a winning combination. These rubber inserts are machined in to the carrier it self so they will stay put no matter how rigorous your activity. Also this was so very simple to install, it really took me longer to read the directions then it did to install.

For those times when I really need to carry a large amount of extra ammo I use another severely overbuilt piece of kit for Original Special Operation Gear. Their 12ga. MicroRig is I think one of the best value items I have purchased in a long time. Cover by one of the best warranties in the business, wait for it …… if you break it they will fix it !!!!! This particular rig holds 24 rounds in 6 round trays. The first 12 rounds are open to use with the remaining 12 rounds located in pockets behind the front 12 rounds, as you empty the 2 front trays you simply pull them down off the velcro (yes they are retained with webbing) you then pull the back trays out and place them on the velcro. The process is much simpler to do then to write it out. Off the the side is a pocket that will hold a full 25 round box of whatever ammo you choose. It also could be used for a med kit if you are so inclined. Visit their website at (http://soebelts.com/collections/micro-rigs/products/12ga-micro-rig) to see what colors are available mine is in Olive Drab.

I believe in having a light on a defensive long gun wether it be a shotgun or a carbine, for this I choose a brand some of you may not be familiar with Klarus. The model I have chosen is the XT 11 this light provides 820 ANSI lumens with 3 lighting modes and 1 strobe mode. I mounted this in an Olight M20 weapons mount this is a simple yet high quality mount this will allow you to mount any 1in. body light to any picatinny rail as long as the head of the light will clear. You can also add a pressure switch for light control, but I decided to go the simple route and use the standard switch. This setup will allow me to light up and engage at any distance that the 12ga. platform would be effective indoors or outside. All of these items are available at GoingGear (http://goinggear.com)

Ammo choice for the 12ga. can be an article of its own. But here is what I choose to use:

Buckshot: I use standard 2 3/4in this particular load holds 21 pellets each .24in in diameter I like this load a lot I would love to see a premium load with #4 Buck so we can get the pattern to shrink.

Slugs: I use 2 different loads depending what I can get 1. Winchester PDX 12 which holds a 1oz. slug with 3 000 buck pellets nested on top. 2. Remington with a 1oz. slug at 1200FPS these are pleasant to shoot all day long and still provide plenty of power.

I may try a 00 Buck load from Federal using the FliteControl wad it seems to get very tight patterns at the most common engagement distances.

The most important thing after acquiring your gear is to get quality training. One that stands out would be the Fighting Shotgun course from Tactical Response ( http://www.tacticalresponse.com )

Please feel free to leave comments on what your choices would be.

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EDC lights that don’t break the bank to carry everyday !!!

EDC lights that don't break the bank !!! Olight does it again

The Baton series of lights seems to be the perfect blend of features and brightness versus value. EDC we all know means Every Day Carry, in order to qualify for EDC status a piece of kit must do the following.

1. It must work all the time.
2. It must be simple to use.
3. You must carry it everyday.
4. You must be willing to maybe lose it during the lifecycle of said kit.

I know that the first 3 items make since, but the last one may confuse some. I will explain it this way. If you spend $350.00 on a light most likely you won’t carry it everyday no matter what as you will fear having to replace said item again at the above cost. So EDC items tend to be a compromise of sorts, will I carry this and use it as it should be or will I fear the thought of losing or breaking it.

I for one love Surefire products, do I own a bunch of them NO. This is not because they aren’t good, in fact they most likely produce some of the best lighting tools in the world. I own a single Surefire my X300 weapons light. I don’t think I would lose this as it is attached to CCW firearm. They don’t for the most part aren’t compatible with rechargabe Li-ion that I use with my other lights. I know they are expanding their product line with some models that will accept Li-Ion cells.

I use a light from a few different manufactures the main ones being Olight, EagleTac, Klarus and Jetbeam. In my opinion these represent the biggest bang for your dollar spent. The provide the largest output and the widest ranging features. They offer smaller lights that pocket very well up to large tactical lights with capabilities of being mounted on long guns. The lights we will discuss here will be the pocketable style that will limit use to 1 and 2 cells models.

My personal prerequisites for an EDC light it simple interface with ample output for tactical use (Min. 500 lumens). But have a setting for simple everyday looking for dropped objects, They also have to be able to use rechargeable Li-Ion cells

Here is a list of what I use:

1. EagleTac D25LC2

This light uses the newer XML-U2 led providing 850 lumens from a single 18650 Li-Ion cell activated by a simple tail clicky switch. The additional features can accessed with a simple twist of the bezel. For more information you can look at either the company website http://www.eagletac-usa.com or my favorite retailer http://www.goinggear.com

2. Olight S10 or S20

These two light are single cell S10 or 2 cell S20 both lights have the same feature set. 1 particular setting I find very useful is the “Moonlight Mode”, this is just the right brightness for use in a darkened room. In fact I can use it and not disturb other people who may be sleeping. The S10 has a max lumen output of 400 my particular example is a limited edition made from Titanium. The S20 has a max lumen output of 500. Again in-depth data on both of these can be found on http://www.goingear.com

Below are some pics of the above models:

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