Archive for the 'Tactical Gear' Category

My Approach to a Semi-Auto Scout Rifle, by Swampfox

2 weeks, 2 days ago

Part 1 and Part 2

Some of the choices made are interesting. It’s not likely many would consider the same build, but the article gets the ‘ol noggin assessing the possibilities and applications. The author accepts Jeff Cooper’s idea and builds upon it but from his own conventions and limitations.


The “scout rifle” is a concept that has been around since the 1980s. First proposed by Colonel Jeff Cooper, it has become popular among outdoorsmen and survival-oriented folks as a “do-it-all” kind of rifle. Each person’s idea of a scout rifle can vary, with the purposes of self-defense and being able to take wild game common to your living area.

The original scout rifle concept has a very specific set of features. Cooper’s favorite caliber was, of course, the 308 Winchester / 7.62×51. He allowed other similar calibers such as 7mm-08 in the same power level. A scout rifle is supposed to be light, between 6.5 and 7.75 lbs, and have a short length of 39” or less. Scout rifles are typically magazine-fed bolt action, although Cooper’s original concept allowed for semi-auto operation if a sufficiently light action could be found. Forward-mounted, long eye-relief optics are the most noticeable feature of a scout rifle, typically from 2x-7x magnification. Scout rifles are supposed to be capable of 2 MOA or less, and are typically equipped with a Ching-style sling.

Top 5 Weapon Mounted Lights: ID Your Target

3 weeks, 2 days ago


Having a weapon mounted light on your self-defense gun is a good idea whether that gun is used for daily carry, home defense, or as a truck gun. And if you’re like many gun owners, you might prefer a weapon-light-only product over one that includes other things, like a laser. By using a light-only platform there’s no battery sharing with other features, reduced bulk, and no zeroing. It doesn’t matter if you have a handgun or a long gun in need of a light, there’s one out there for you.

The Modlite PLHv2-18350 Light Package (Photo credit: Modlite)

Check out our top 5 list of weapon mounted lights, in no particular order. And remember, just because a product lists a particular firearm doesn’t mean the company doesn’t also make it for other platforms, because they usually do.

They discuss long gun and handgun lights. Though convenient, the Crimson Trace RIG (Rapid Illumination Grip) would probably be bothersome to deal with. Surefire claims that the X300U-A is “recoil proof.” I haven’t run any of the lights listed.

And earlier on TCJ, tactical handheld flashlights.

Five Best Magazine Loaders in 2023

3 weeks, 5 days ago


Magazine loaders are especially handy for competition shooters. Today we are going to examine some of the best magazine loaders in 2023 for competition shooters. While anyone can benefit from a magazine loader, competition shooters are in a unique situation. They often have to load a lot of ammo, and as mentioned, that’s a great way to get sore thumb syndrome.

On top of that, there might only be a very short time period between runs to reload. Maybe you are getting an alibi run due to a broken shot timer. Maybe you’ve had a mag issue and are down a mag, so reloading your mags quickly is important.

Caldwell AR Magazine Mag Charger

We also had to consider the environment the competition shooters occupy. They need something that’s portable and easy to move between stages. Preferably something they can toss in a range bag and call it a day. Speed and portability are the two defining features we looked for when choosing our top five magazine loaders of 2023 for competitive shooters.

Supplementary features include the calibers and magazines they incorporate. We need some common magazine types and calibers. No one is shooting 9mm Makarov in competition these days. On top of that, we need one that’s easy to use and foolproof. With these features in find, here are our favorite magazine loaders.

Maglula makes excellent loaders. I use them. Some of the others mentioned look very interesting. The title says it’s about competition loaders but there are others. A brief overview of each is provided. Read the rest.

The Best Headlamps for Hunting of 2022

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 3 weeks ago

At Outdoor Life.

They list some lights that throw a lot of lumens, but that isn’t everything, and it’s not most important for me.

For example, I refuse to have a headlamp that isn’t “hybrid.”  For example, this model they review is hybrid and can use both a rechargeable battery pack or 3AAA batteries.

I also require the red light for early morning walks to the tree stand.

If readers have any additions, please recommend your favorite in the comments.

Americans Are Frantically Buying Military Gear Before The Election

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 3 months ago


Conflict is on America’s streets in 2020, and “tactical apparel” has become a lifestyle industry serving militarized law-enforcement agents and the freelance gunmen who emulate them. Less than two weeks before Election Day, orders are rolling in. Since last year, online purchases have driven a 20-fold jump in sales of goods like the $220 CM-6M gas mask — resistant to bean-bag rounds — for Mira Safety of Austin, Texas. “It doesn’t matter who gets elected,” founder Roman Zrazhevskiy said of his new customers. “They think that no matter who wins, Biden or Trump, there are going to be people who are upset about the result.”

Not long ago — perhaps a generation — dressing like you’re going to war was for the veteran who never quite made it back from Vietnam or the angry young men who obsessed over gas masks and combat boots at the military surplus store. (Every American town seemed to have one, and only one.) A shift became apparent with this spring’s Black Lives Matter protests and bitterly resented pandemic lockdowns. Now the gear is everywhere, from camouflage-clad antifa supporters to right-wing extremists who appeared at Michigan’s capitol even after men were arrested in a plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

In some suburban and rural settings, it’s become everyday wear. A retail chain called 5.11 Tactical, which traces its roots to a friend of President Donald Trump’s adult sons, is even trying to turn the survivalist look into a fashionable national brand. It’s racking up annual sales of almost $400 million with stores in places including Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the U.S. Army’s Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Across the country, gun and ammunition sales have surged as well.

And this is news?  I don’t think these writers have ever even visited the South.

5.11 makes good gear.  And America knows something important about the state of affairs of its people and government.

The bureaucratic state wants to destroy the middle class, and Antifa/BLM and many millions more want you in camps.

But the picture at Bloomberg has a guy wearing NODS equipment.  Not many people can afford good NODS.  Most people are going to be cash-limited to firearms and ammunition, and the next step is going to be med kits, tactical gear (like holsters, battle belts, etc.), and then the next step will be tactical vests and body armor.

And most people can only afford the first steps, which is why we see the rush on firearms and ammunition.

Things In Your Gear Bag

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 6 months ago

Matt Bracken On The Patrol Bike

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 8 months ago

Via Kenny, Matt Bracken weighs in on the use of bicycles.

I used to jog a few times a week for cardio until I passed age sixty and my knees said no más. Since then I’ve switched to cycling instead, which doesn’t bother my knees in the least. Obviously there are cardio benefits to riding a bike, but less appreciated is how much riding does for your sense balance, coordination and agility, especially as we grow older.

I’ve owned the big steel-frame Schwinn bike in the photo since the 1980s and it’s still going strong. I use it to run errands within 3 or 4 miles of home base, which allows me to recon all of the back streets and trails inside that radius in a way that cannot be replicated in a car or on foot. I made the big rack so I can carry 30 pounds or so of cargo with no problem. In the front pouch I carry a cable lock, a basic tire repair kit, shock cords and so on. A pistol or other weapon can also be carried there.

[ … ]

By day or night, I also routinely pass within yards of people who have their backs turned to me who are totally unaware that a person is rolling right past them nearly in touching distance, such as when they are checking their mail box. As long as the pedal crank is kept moving, there isn’t even the quiet sound of clicking gear ratchets. The only sound is that of the tires rolling on pavement, and that’s not much.

For patrolling your neighborhood a bike fits an ideal mid-point niche between foot and automobile patrol. Here are the numbers: a brisk walking pace is 4 mph. The posted speed limit for cars in my neighborhood is 25 mph, but they often go faster. An easy cycling speed is about 12 mph. A car or truck obviously has the biggest visual signature, and its fast arrival speed once it’s spotted is expected. However, a person on a bike only has about the same visual signature as a pedestrian, yet he’s moving three times as fast. The relatively fast speed while retaining a small visual signature probably explains the remarkable stealth properties of the patrol bike.

As readers know, I bike single track, but I’ll bike literally anywhere.

I ride a Norco, and while you must get what you can afford, I recommend that you spend what you need to get a good ride.  I still ride a “hard tail.”  The dual suspension bikes are very expensive, and if they’re name brand carbon frames, they are prohibitively expensive for me (they can run $6000+).

Matt goes on to recommend tools, all of which I have.  They tear up, especially if you abuse them on single track like I do.  I dry-lube my chain before every ride.  Because I beat mine up so badly on mountains, I’ve learned to carry zip ties with me.  I’m always knocking cables loose.  I also carry a bike hex-wrench set, a mini-pump, spare tube, water, gun, energy bars, 550 cordage, rain gear, gloves, tactical knife and sun glasses.

My knees don’t bother me as much as some folks, probably because I never got into running.  The impact force on knees from running is a good reason not to do it, and a good reason to ride a bike instead.  My rides are usually at least 8-10 miles (single track), sometimes 20-22 miles, but rarely over 30.

I confess I had never thought of the virtues of the neighborhood patrol using bikes.

Do You Carry A Tactical Light When You Travel?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 1 month ago

News from Atlanta:

Officials at Georgia’s leading power provider faced tough questions Monday, a day after a massive power outage grounded travel at the world’s busiest airport for nearly 11 hours at the start of one of the biggest travel weeks of the year.

Georgia Power officials said the investigation continues into the cause of the fire-related outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. However, they said a piece of the utility’s switchgear in an underground electrical facility may have failed and started the blaze. A switchgear helps to manage the flow of power.

The utility had backup equipment, officials said, but it was in an adjacent room and was also damaged in the fire.

“We are doing what we can to make sure this never happens again,” Georgia Power spokesman Craig Bell said. “We truly apologize for the inconvenience.”

Well, it will happen again, somewhere.  He shouldn’t have promised that.

The outage hit about 1 p.m. Sunday, plunging the airport into darkness, grounding nearly 1,000 flights and leaving 30,000 people stranded. International flights were diverted to other airports. Planes sat on the tarmac for more than six hours.

[ … ]

Videos posted on Twitter showed passengers using the lights on their cellphones to make their way through darkened concourses. Other photos shared on Twitter showed TSA officers carrying wheelchairs up stalled escalators.

[ … ]

“The straight answer to that question is: We absolutely do” have a redundant power supply, Reed said. “But because of the intensity of the fire, the switch that accesses the redundant system was damaged, which caused damage to two systems rather than one.”

Bowers said the utility will work with the airport to prevent a repeat of such an event. Among the strategies the company may consider: encasing the cables in concrete [Ed: dumb idea] or putting the cables in separate areas.

“Our focus is on reliability and making sure this never happens again,” he said.

“Train” separation is a good idea, because it’s not redundancy if the trains aren’t separated.  But here’s the point.  Power outages will happen, darkness comes every day.  If you don’t have light, you’re disabled.

Do you carry a tactical light when you travel?  I do.  Always and everywhere.  I carry a tactical light when I travel through the neighborhood with the dog.

Surefire Releases New Pistol Lights

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 4 months ago

From TFB.  1000 lumens.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think we’ve beat the lumen horse dead.  There’s essentially no difference between 800 lumens and 1000 lumens to me, or even less than that.  They are all so bright that it can blind you when the light scatters off of walls, especially if the walls are white.

Here’s what interests me.  A simple tactical light.  As they grow more powerful, they have also grown more sophisticated.  In a high stress situation a person won’t be able to go through the various settings to select the right one unless it’s pure muscle memory, and it won’t be muscle memory unless you use that light all the time in tactical situations.

Review Of Drago Double Rifle Case

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 8 months ago

I had been looking for a while for a good range and field bag for more than one Carbine, and I’m very pleased with my new Drago double gun case.

2013E 021 

It’s made of a heavy fabric with heavy duty zippers, and it seems to hold up very well.  It has molle straps on the outside of the case for attachment of other gear.  It has a good look and multiple pockets.

2013E 022

It’s outermost pocket is perfectly sized for the height of 30 round magazines, and it would carry many more than I have shown in this picture.

2013E 023

It has two inner compartments separated by padding, each with a pocket for the rifle ends and velcro straps for holddown.  That’s an AR-15 with a 16″ barrel.

2013E 024

That’s an M1 Carbine.

2013E 025

This is a compartment between the case and the outermost magazine or tool pockets.  It has multiple compartments as you can see.

2013E 026

This may be the best feature of the bag.  The heavy duty backpack straps allow for hands-free carry in the field, and I especially like the large straps as opposed to the thin straps that typically come even with good backpacks.  The shoulder straps puts most backpacks to shame.

There is one qualifier.  It is a 36″ bag, so don’t expect to put longer barrel rifles in it.  The bag is made for Carbines.  It’s a bit pricey but overall I’m very pleased with it.  Disclaimer.  I haven’t received any gear or a single penny for this review.

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