All posts by Tim Braginton

Tim is a Sheriff's Deputy in Northern Nevada; he is a firearms instructor for his agency and works with LMS Defense as a RSO.

Medical kits review: From the uniform LE perspective

The following review comes from the perspective of daily uniform wear for law enforcement. This is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all available offerings rather a review of those kits I have used over the years and their general performance and attributes. This is not meant to be a discussion of medical training or proper implementation. I’ll begin with a list of the products I’ll be reviewing so that you can easily skip ahead: Chinook Medical - Officer Response Pouch Dark Angel Medical – DARK lite trauma kit Blue Force Gear – Micro Trauma kit Original SOE Gear – Tear off IFAK First Spear – Self aid pocket and insert *I will use “Tourniquet” and “TQ” interchangeably *NPA = Nasopharyngeal airway aka nose hose * I did not get into the weeds with the cost of each med kits’ contents as this isn’t really the focus of my article and not all of my kits are setup the same. The mentions of price in my analysis are related to my interpretation of those costs relative to the capability of the kit. Chinook Medical – Officer Response Pouch http://www.chinookmed.com/cgi-bin/item/01151/c-law/-Officer-Response-Pouch-%28LEMK-OR%29 The ORP is the pouch I am currently using

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Loss and Learning

Law Enforcement is a family. We think of one another as brothers and sisters; Much like actual siblings we don’t always get along but when adversity strikes we stick together and stand as one. This concept is never more clear than in the aftermath of a downed officer. If you are active on social media and are friends with a Law Enforcement officer you will have likely seen background photos change or posts sharing the latest story of an officer down. In 2016 we lost 142 officers in the US and already this year we have lost 18. The outpouring of love and support is immense and so too is the outrage and determination to never see it happen again. When an officer is killed during a violent encounter these reactions are even stronger.   We rally around our sibling and praise their sacrifice. This is part of the healing process, it is necessary and it is healthy. At some point the incident video is released and eventually it makes its way into online media for review by the masses. Eventually astute law enforcement trainers will review these videos and incorporate them into their training regimen. Now this is where things

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Back to the basics: A business primer

After several phone calls to a number of different industry folks in the last couple weeks I am struck by something a business professor told me years ago, “Profit margin only matters if you actually sell something.” I spent some time in the business world and learned some lessons the hard way. I ran the West Coast branch of a company that managed private car collections; It’s a fancy way of saying I took care of rich peoples cars. I did everything from cosmetic detailing to major event logistics and a lot of marketing events, my client’s collections ranged in value from several hundred thousand dollar accounts to a few accounts worth in excess of 100 million dollars. The one thing all my clients had in common was that they expected the absolute best and at the end of the day the buck stopped with me. I loved what I did and learned some lifelong lessons but eventually I couldn’t take the business world any longer. Over the years I have bought more crap than I care to admit. From my first $50 rifle optic to countless questionable pieces of nylon, I have tried the cheap route enough to know

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LMS Defense Night Vision Fundamentals Course with Daniel Bales: AAR

After Action Report Course: LMS Defense Night Vision Fundamentals Course Instructor: Daniel Bales Host facility: LMS Defense Combat Development Center Location: Fernley, Nevada Course length: 1 day *In the interest of complete transparency: I am a part time employee of LMS Defense and have worked for them as an RSO on several occasions. In addition to LMS I work with Dan Bales at my day job as a part time instructor at our agency where Dan serves as the rangemaster. I consider Dan a good friend and will strive to keep my review objective without straying into a subjective view of the instruction quality.* I recently attended 2 separate Night Vision Fundamentals Courses with Dan Bales of LMS Defense. The first was 11/4/16 and the second was 1/27/17, both were 1 day (or more accurately 1 night) classes. This class is billed as an entry level NV course geared towards getting people familiar with their NV equipment and its use.  I have also attended a NV primer course during the annual LMS Defense customer appreciation weekend in June of 2016. (This was a short block of instruction by Dan Bales and an opportunity to checkout some of the provided vendor

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The burden of adult based learning in an Alpha world: A tale of willing ignorance.

In modern law enforcement we are forced to train to the lowest common denominator. Blame it on budget, admin’s general disregard for line staff, or rainbow farting unicorns, the reality is the same. The dirty little secret in law enforcement is that agencies train their people to statutory and case-law based minimum standards; hell most agencies don’t even have PT standards anymore. Here’s the kicker, the reality is that money and admin are just convenient scapegoats. The real reason Cops don’t get better training can be traced right back to the very line staff that most like to bitch, moan and point fingers at the bosses. That’s right I’m saying we’ve done this to ourselves. I’ve been involved in my agency’s range training program for several years now. I’ve watched and worked with the entire gamut of shooters, from brand new recruits who’ve never held a gun, all the way to 30 year veterans who’d probably still run a wheelgun if we’d let them. What stands out to me is an interesting dichotomy: THE FNG’s: These guys and gals are so fresh and so motivated they think a traffic stop in a hurricane is the best thing since sliced bread.

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Inforce WMLxIR review

I recently purchased a WMLxIR for use on a training/duty rifle. The rifle is used primarily for low light and night vision training. Having learned the hard way how difficult it is to operate under NVGS without proper IR illumination I was very excited to see a recently released and updated WMLxIR with better white light output. During a previous Night Vision course I had the opportunity to try a different generation of the WML IR and was impressed with the IR illumination especially for use in close quarters. The light seemed like it was the perfect balance of white light output and IR illum… There were, however, several glaring issues that made themselves crystal clear with actual implementation: First and perhaps the biggest issue is with the switch. Although the entire back of the light is theoretically the switch the reality is that to effectively activate the light you have to hit an impossibly small and off center part of the pad. The actual switch is a tactilely imperceptible nub under the rubberized pad that felt like it needed to be pushed in at exactly the right angle or it wouldn’t function. I moved the light no less than

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SHOT Show 2017 Part Two

Part two of SHOT followed a late night of cigars whiskey and bourbon... to say that motivation was lacking this morning would be the understatement of the century. None the less we marched on in the name of providing new and exciting coverage!   Products of note: Velocity Systems / Mayflower chest rig retro kit: Velocity systems and Mayflower debuted a retro upgrade kit for guys with existing chest rigs looking to add hard plates to their kit without buying a full PC. The kit includes a plate sleeve that slides into the existing main pocket of the chest rig. The chest then attaches using existing buckles to a full back panel with an integral plate pocket and hydro pouch. The back panel is full molle and has integral shoulder straps.   This is a very promising option for anyone with a chest rig that needs the ability to up armor. Blue Force Gear hypalon pocket holster: BFG has taken the pocket holster from a questionable idea to a practical solution for carry in non-permissive environments. The pocket holster features hypalon construction  with a sleek carbon fiber fin to lock the holster into your pocket. So far the available models

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SHOT Show 2017 Part One

SHOT show 2017 kicked off like every other show I've attended...  chaos thinly disguised as enthusiasm in multicam. Notable products part one: BE Meyers MAWL: Got hands on with the MAWL for the first time. It's all it's been made out to be and more. The IR designator/illuminator market just got turned on its head and the future is very clearly a departure from the traditional rail mounted box. BFG MARCO (aka tactical pez dispenser): The crew at BFG, thanks to help from our very own Roland and Raven concealment, have made a dispenser for chemlites that no one knew they needed until they saw it.  The concept is simply a box that holds 30+ 2" chemlites with a footprint smaller than an M4 30 rounder.  The design incorporates mounting holes that will allow attachment to just about any system you're currently using.  The beauty of the MARCO is that in the space of 4 standard chemlites you can now carry enough to handle clearing an industrial complex. Nightops tactical DTNVG: Nightops tactical is providing a dual tube solution that incorporates the ability to lift an individual tube out of your line of sight without folding the entire unit up.

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The prevailing Ego in the world of training

https://www.facebook.com/The-Skunkworks-1133726269987670 The prevailing Ego in the world of training Soldier Systems posted another great Gunfighter moment with Ken Hackathorn last week and something stood out to me: "... Recently, one of the other Alias instructors detailed his method of always engaging the safety (of an AR or AR control style) firearm for all things when not shooting, including reloading when empty and clearing a malfunction. Mike and Pat are professionals that I have the highest level of respect for. However, I do not teach, nor recommend engaging the safety for every task..." If you don't know Ken Hackathorn's background Google is your friend. If you do then you understand this is a man who has every right to jump up and down and generally throw a fit when he doesn't agree with some one else's teaching. He's been teaching for longer than many of his students have been alive and his mark can be seen on the training used by nearly every instructor teaching modern gunfighting. Here's where we can all step back and take a note; Ken doesn't throw a fit, he doesn't start name calling and he doesn't insult or downplay the other technique. Ken simply remarks that it's

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