Category Archives: Equipment

Gear & Equipment (Stuff that helps us accomplish the mission)

Ballistic Helmets, Construction, Testing, and Ratings

So, after one of my gear reviews, I received so much feedback, I decided to clarify/expound. It seems most end users are merely consumers. They want to give you their want as they see it, and they expect you to point their nose at an easily affordable product without any real regard to their needs. This problem is compounded by the fact that unsavory companies will do just that…on the surface…while easily disconnecting said consumer from their money. The problem isn’t always on the behalf of the business. As with anything we purchase, we know that with quality comes monetary compensation, so where do we draw the line and how do we spot these companies? That is easy my friend, it is called education. For today’s entertainment, I will discuss ballistic helmets, how they are rated, and why some companies offer them at a different price break. We will also talk about the simple solution for finding a good helmet that won’t break the bank. First of all, I am no “expert.” I am mostly just experienced and educated. Having procured, tested, evaluated, and taken to combat many different systems, I have learned a lot through a few decades. While

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Choosing a Protection Level for Rifle Plates

Armor 101… I tell customers that armor is one of the most confusing commodities in the defensive industry. Understanding the rating systems, the materials, and the capabilities associated with each is a must for one to make an educated armor choice. When selecting armor, start with the most likely threat that you may face (be realistic) and work from there. It is always a trade-off (protection, cost, durability, weight, thickness); just balance the capabilities to arrive at the best available solution for your requirement. RATINGS/LEVELS (Rifle Threats) Rifle Plates and Levels. NIJ is the rating that drives the armor train (for now). It is horribly outdated and does all of us a disservice. But NIJ is the only girl left in the bar and it is 2am...so it is what it is. So why is the NIJ rating system "out of date"? Well, the CONUS bad guys aren't shooting at us with 30.06 AP rounds for the most part. The current certification does not account for common threats such as 7.62x39, 5.56 (ball, M855, AP), or 7.62x54R. Rifle plates are rated to stop 6 hits of 7.62 ball (Level III) or 1 hit of .30cal Armor Piercing (Level IV). These

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Materials Used in Hard Armor

*Editor's note: NiJ ratings do not consider 5.56 in classifications. If something is rated level III it will stop .308 but not necessarily 5.56/.223. Currently there are four common options for Level III plates:  5-6 mm steel (AR500/R50c/AR46100) plates: Level III steel plates offer a very thin profile, but are a bit heavier (6.5-7.5 lbs for a 10x12 plate) than some other options. They are very durable and offer inexpensive multi-hit capability against even closely spaced non-AP 7.62 x 39 mm and 7.62 x 51 mm projectiles, as well as for heavier 5.56 mm loads, including 62 gr M855 “green-tip”. Unfortunately, many lightweight (55 gr or less) 5.56 mm loads will defeat steel plates, including the extremely common 55 gr FMJ loads like M193. It is a VERY good idea to wear level IIIa soft armor underneath steel plates. *Spall is a great safety concern. Hard compressed polyethelene (Dyneema/Spectra) plates: These are very lightweight (3-4 lbs for a 10 x 12 plate) multi- hit capable level III plates that will stop closely spaced hits of both the lightweight 5.56 mm ammo that defeats steel, along with the 7.62 mm threats stopped by steel, as well expanding rifle ammunition in many

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Critical Equipment

This article began as some thoughts when I was listening to the P&S Kyle Defoor interview a few months ago, and I am finally putting thoughts on paper (or the internet’s version of paper). “Tell me about your rifle” (here) was Kyle’s question that started me thinking. On a similar vein, more handgun-focused, was the phrase “tell me a story about your pistol.” Ask yourself “How confident am I in my gear?” In that worst case scenario where a failure of your gear means grave bodily injury or death, can you count on it all the time, every time? If not, why not? How can you bring your gear up to that level of trust? Watching videos of many violent encounters, you quickly realize how vital the opening moments are. As someone closes distance, can you guarantee that your handgun is where it should be? Will it have fallen out, shifted position drastically, or otherwise become unavailable? When you press the trigger, how sure are you that the gun will fire, and that is will hit at the point of aim of your sights? If you grab your rifle, is your optic going to be on? Will it have shifted to

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Sucked Down the Tube: A Failure in Training

Much, if not all training and practice is conducted on flat ranges under calm conditions with no surprises. We shoot steel and paper that we purposely place and identify. We have lanes and all sorts of safety considerations that make a day at the range a pleasant experience.  This is fine for most of us but can lead to some critical failures if you are in a line of work that may not look the same as the flat range.  For those that form either the thin Blue or Green Lines targets will probably appear in from unknown positions and ranges. Many people preach situational awareness but fail to account for it in our training. COL Boyd gave us the OODA loop, which on the surface, is a rapidly trainable flow of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. It is a loop because as soon as you act you start over. Observe. To hit a target, you must first observe it. You could possibly be an intergalactic grand sensei with Generation Next hardware and you will still miss a target you didn’t see. With the proliferation of magnified optics, the tendency of getting sucked down the tube is becoming more prolific

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Holster Positioning – An Unpopular View

Holster positioning and corresponding equipment seem to be a topic that comes up often. Though this may appear to be common sense to some, not everyone is at the same level of experience. So let's break this down in simple terms. Positioning, attire, belt, and holster all work together as an effective system or an ineffective hindrance. Without a quality belt and quality holster, the position of your holster on your belt may not be as optimal as you would hope. If you don't dress to carry, you might be doing yourself a disservice. Obviously we aren't all built the same. Body types differ - this is all coming from a 6'5" 250 lb person. Starting from 6 o'clock (small of back) and moving the weapon to 12 o'clock (appendix), as you move forward from 6 to 12 you gain positive benefits. Small of back does not provide awareness of the weapon (you don't know if it is concealed), it prints horribly if you bend, it is slow to access, and it is difficult to defend. Even worse, it can cause serious injury if the wearer falls on their back. Strongside provides better awareness of the weapon, it allows less printing

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Raven Concealment Copia Magazine Pouches

In mid 2016 Raven Concealment announced the Copia Pistol Magazine pouches. The Copia is a one size fits most injection molded (edited) pistol mag pouch. You can adjust the tension of the mag pouch to work with various sizes mags – i.e. Glock to M&P and back to the chosen gun, Glock. The mag pouches are ambidextrous as well, allowing one mag pouch to have bullets forward or rearward. Available in a single mag or double mag option, you are not limited by this. You can add them together using the standard coupling hardware we all got used to using with the Phantom series. This means that a single mag pouch can be added to another to make a double, or a double and a single together become a triple. I was not a fan of kydex or “hard” mag pouches for a concealed carry role, as I rarely wear a tucked in undershirt. Due to this, almost every concealment friendly belt mag pouches would rub against my skin and be very annoying. The Copia hasn’t done that in the 6 months I’ve used the single mag as a daily wear pouch. Part of this is the Copia having a

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Inches, Minutes, Clicks- Zero That Blaster

Zeroing is literally one of the most important thing we need to accomplish with our rifles and #spacegun pistols. There is much talk around the technique to accomplish this but there is one way that is easy and fast. First, determine the desired zero distance.  This will vary by rifle, optic, caliber, and most importantly purpose of the firearm. Many people with AR15 rifles use either a 100, 200, or 300 yard/meter zero. Rather, many people claim to use those ranges but most use the near zero distance on either 25 or 50-yard target. Yes, I am talking in yards here because most people on this page are not using meters. Now, to save yourself time, you can use a borelight or something like the Telluric Group Small Arms Collimator. There are lasers available in every price range and should be part of your tool kit. Doing this step will put you at the very least on paper at 25/50 which will save you rounds and frustration. Ask me how I know. Regardless of borelight or not, it’s time to shoot bullets. Get into the most comfortable and stable position possible. One that you can duplicate easily. For you Army

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B.E. Meyers & Co. Inc. Releases MAWL-C1+™ Laser Aiming Device for Commercial Sale

March 7th, 2017 (Redmond, WA) – The Commercial Market Spoke, and We Listened  Since the release of the MAWL-DA™ laser device to the military and law enforcement community in 2016, B.E. Meyers & Co. Inc. has received numerous requests for a civilian legal variant of the MAWL™.  Today we are proud to be able to support these requests by introducing the MAWL-C1+™ commercial laser device.  The C1+ variant is not the typical “Class 1” laser device, and this is the first time that a laser illuminator is available to the shooting community that is not only functional for night target engagement at distance, and exceeds the performance of other commercial systems. MAWL™ Design The MAWL-C1+ has all the sought-after ergonomic design features of the MAWL-DA, allowing for quick operation in the dark and on the move.  In under a second, using only the tip of your thumb, the laser can be manipulated from near to far and back again between short range, mid-range, and long range specific settings.  With low-profile activation buttons centered at just 0.37” above the rail, the MAWL design offers an unparalleled combination of range adjustment and speed of use. Class 1 Plus™ = Irradiance on Target

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Running the Irons.

Iron sights have been part of shooting since the very least April 19th 1775. Aiming was a major part of our tactics that helped defeat the British unaimed volley fire. This being said, it should come as no surprise that we have learned, used, and lost uses for iron sights in all environments from jungles, deserts and even the frozen landscapes of Siberia. I am going to talk about a few of those techniques here. First anyone ever wonder why there are 2 apertures on the M16/AR15 platform? Most people have looked and wondered but never cared. Some wondered then tried switching between the two and found no gain from it. There is a reason for it but first we need to talk about sight alignment. Photo courtesy of FMJ Armory, LaGrange, GA TC 3-22.9 states “sight alignment is the relationship between the aiming device and the firer’s eye. To achieve proper and effective aim, the focus of the firer’s eye needs to be on the front sight post or reticle. The Soldier must maintain sight alignment throughout the aiming process.” It goes on to say for iron sights it is the “the relationship between the

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