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Author Archive | Matt

When it Comes to Staged Firearms: Organized and Uncluttered is Faster…

A lot of us will spend hours of time and hundreds of dollars to shave a tenth of a second off our draw stroke but do we give even a moment of thought about staging firearms for efficient access?

If your gun safe looks more like a wood shed, read on…

I recently had an interesting situation at JTT HQ. We live in a very rural area and have a typical long driveway found out here where properties tend to be larger. People turn around in our driveway all the time but usually near the road where we have a nice wide apron. The driveway meanders a bit and is long enough that most people have no reason to drive down it. That is what made it unusual when someone came down our drive way late at night, turned around in the yard in front of our house, and then slowly rolled back toward the road.

I watched the vehicle out the window without any particular sense of danger. I figured they were probably just drunk or lost or both. I was already armed with a handgun at the time. Things took a seemingly nefarious turn when the car stopped in the driveway and turned off its lights. It could still be nothing – maybe just some kids looking for a private spot to neck or smoke pot – but it was something I was going to have to check out.

I quickly instructed my wife to keep an eye on the car while I grabbed the rifle I keep staged for bumps in the night. Normally, that rifle sits in a smaller safe that I keep uncluttered and well organized for just such an occasion…

The Blue Force Gear Sling Sleeve is a useful piece of gear. It keeps your sling tidy and able to deployed with just a tug.

The problem was that I had shoved a number of extra rifles into the safe hastily on the previous day after working on a project and I never returned to organize them. When I tried to pull out the loaded and ready rifle, it’s sling snagged on three other rifles and the rifles pulled back. It was stuck. That rifle would normally have it’s sling cinched tight in its already installed Blue Force Gear Sling Sleeve but again, due to my negligence in packing the safe, the sling was loose and tangled instead of neatly bundled in the Sling Sleeve. I spilled 3 rifles out of the safe and onto the floor just by tugging the one rifle that I wanted out of the safe. It was a mess, and worse still, it was slow.

Learning occurred…

The AR pistol on top shows a simple way of securing a sling with just a rubber band that is kept staged on the brace.

For what it’s worth, I did finally make it outside. I shined a hand held light up the driveway toward the car which quickly turned on its lights and left. Then I spent the next two hours checking various parts of the property for theft, damage, or ne’er-do-wells just to ease my mind.

If you are going to keep a firearm for home defense, it isn’t going to be as effective as it could be unless it is staged in a way that makes sense. Here is what I usually do (and what I failed to do that night).

Organize

If you keep your firearm in a safe, keep the safe organized. It should be uncluttered and allow quick access to the most important firearms without having to move other items out of the way. If you have a very full safe, consider buying a second safe or some other secure staging option for your home defense guns ready and accessible. Keep that home defense safe sacred – don’t get lazy like me and jam it full of half finished projects.

Stage Smart

Stage your firearm in a location that makes sense for how you intend to use it. If you keep a long gun ready to use, you may want to consider storing it muzzle down in the safe so you can take positive control of the firearm immediately. Keep it loaded. Consider staging other important items with the firearm like an IFAK, a flashlight, a reload, materials to take notes like license plate numbers, etc. I find that a sling bag or something like a Hawkepaks ITOA is much faster and easier to don than something like a chest rig in these situations.

Secure Slings

If you keep a long gun for home defense, secure your sling. You can use a rubber band, BFG Sling Sleeve, or any number of items to ensure that the sling stays tight to the long gun so it can be retrieved without snagging. Slings are too important to go without and they can make an absolute rat’s nest if left to chance.

Be Disciplined

I had all of these suggestions in place but I was not disciplined enough to keep them in place. You can have a great plan but if you don’t have the discipline to keep the elements of the plan in place, it will fail.

Practice

Practice accessing the firearm in likely scenarios like hauling yourself out of bed or off the couch. This will help you find holes in your plan and improve your response time.

It’s easy to call a firearm your “home defense gun”. It’s harder to set up and maintain the conditions in which your home defense gun will be most effective.

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September 11th, 2001 – Never Forget

I still plainly remember, as a 20 year old preparing to return to college in a few days, watching the events of September 11th, 2001 unfold during Good Morning America. I remember my naive shock at the prospects of a plane “accidentally” striking the first tower and then reeling at the thought that it happened a second time. For a brief moment I still thought it was a terrible coincidence until ABC’s Charlie Gibson said that it was now obvious that it wasn’t an accident. I felt sick to my stomach.

Many of you likely have a similar story of what you remember about that day. You remember the brave response of firefighters, police, and paramedics. You remember the brave acts of passengers. You may remember a loved one lost or the sting of seeing people jumping to escape the towers on their own terms. You remember watching the towers fall and the terrible realization of what that meant for the people still trying to escape and the first responders who were streaming in.

These things aren’t pleasant to remember but they are good to remember. These are the types of events that forge the course of a nation, set the resolve of people, shape the world view of anyone paying attention, and inform the lessons that we will teach the next generation.

Always Remember, Never Forget!

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American Defense MFG AD-B5 Base

American Defense MFG (ADM) just gave you the TA33 ACOG mount that you’ve always wanted them to make… even if you didn’t know it. The new AD-B5 Base is compact, relatively lightweight, and, best of all, it’s the correct height for the TA33. The mount creates a 1.8″ centerline height for your TA33 or TA44 which ensures that your BDC reticle works properly and fixed front sights are less of an issue.

The AD-B5 Base is machine from 6061-T6 aluminum and has a hard anodized finish. It features ADM’s tool-less adjustable, Auto Lock QD lever.

Check out the AD-B5 Base at AmericanDefenseManufacturing.com.

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Review: TALON Grips

Shooter skill is the single most important element of recoil control. However, having a grip surface that allows the shooters hands to more effectively grip the firearm can go a long way toward supporting those skills – especially when it comes to handguns. That is why, if you were to look in my safe, you would find some sort of home brew stippling job or a stick-on grip solution on nearly every handgun I own.

I’ve tried several stick-on grips over the years. I’ve cut my own simple shapes and tried a number of pre-cut products. Honestly, my own cut shapes tend to work out better than most pre-cut products because many of them have the same flaws. They don’t apply texture all the way around the grip and they don’t apply texture to the right places on the grip. Then I tried TALON Grips.

TALON Grips does not suffer the same design flaws. Their grips are cut in very complex shapes that allow them to be wrapped completely around the host gun. This is important so that you can apply grip pressure anywhere you need to on the grip.

They also cut their grips to cover the right parts of the gun for recoil control. I have used stick-on grips for Glocks that basically just cover parts of the front strap and the lower sides of the grip. Those are the areas where Glock already applied some texture! If you use a modern handgun grip and are applying crush or camming pressure to control recoil, the upper part of the grip where your support hand contacts it is one of the most important gripping surfaces. TALON Grips tend to extend their stick-on grips up into this area.

TALON Grips also offers two different textures. Their first offering was sandpaper/skate board grip tape style texture that they call Granulate. More recently they began offering a pebbled rubber texture. If I was never going to carry a handgun inside the waist band, I would choose the Granulate texture every time. If IWB or AIWB carry is in your future you might consider the Rubber texture as I find it to be more comfortable against my skin while still providing excellent grip (the Rubber texture is shown in the images of the Glock 43 in this post).

I also appreciate that TALON Grips offers a wide selection including most common, and even slightly uncommon, handguns. They even have products for things you might not expect. If you want a stick-on grip for a Mossberg 590 Shockwave, they have it. They even make stick-on grips for many of the common Glock magazine extensions on the market.

I have also found them to be very durable and I suggest that you carefully read the short, simple instructions provided with their product. Good prep and the application of light heat after the initial installation are key in making sure these last… and they do last. I have been very pleased with the longevity of TALON Grips products.

These kinds of stick-on grips have been around for a long time and there are a lot of choices. I have found that TALON Grips makes them better than any others I have tried.

Check out TALON Grips.

BlackPoint Tactical Introduces Holster Options for the Olight PL-2 Tactical Light

One of the major barriers to considering a new handgun mounted light is the availability of holsters for that light. The flashlight manufacturers with the largest market awareness aren’t always the ones pushing the limits of lighting technology. There are innovations coming from light manufacturers many “tactical” consumers may not have even heard of or would consider buying. Holster makers have little incentive to tool up for a light that few people will buy and buyers won’t buy a light for which they can’t get a holster. This feedback loop has the potential to scuttle the success of otherwise good weapon lights.

The Olight PL-2 Valkyrie weapon light has received some solid reviews and boasts a whopping 1200 lumen output. However, until recently, it had little holster support. There are some holster makers who can accommodate the PL-2 but you’ll have to dig a bit to find them. That changed when BlackPoint Tactical introduced the PL-2 as an option for many of their holsters. They are likely the highest profile holster maker to date to add the PL-2 to the line up.

I don’t know that this is the first step toward broader acceptance of the PL-2. I haven’t even tried one of them. However, as a consumer, I appreciate when a company is willing to try to fill a potential market gap even if it is small. As holster makers continue to streamline and modernize their processes, I hope to see more of this.

Aridus Industries ASA-1301 Stock Adapter – Pre-Order

Aridus Industries has opened pre-ordering for their ASA-1301 Stock Adapter. This adapter that allows Magpul SGA Stocks for the Remington 870 to be mounted on the Beretta 1301 has been in the works for some time. It is machined from 6061 aluminum with a hard anodized finished and designed to blend the contours of the SGA stock to the 1301 receiver.

ASA-1301 Stock Adapter at Aridus Industries

It’s Coming – Aimpoint to Launch New CompM5 Sight at DSEI

The CompM5 hasn’t exactly been a secret but you certainly can’t stroll down to your local Aimpoint dealer and buy one. That is about to change…

Malmö, Sweden – September 6, 2017 – Aimpoint, the originator and worldwide leader in reflex sighting technology, will launch their new Aimpoint® CompM5™ sight at DSEI in London, England. The CompM5 can be viewed in the Aimpoint booth N2-229 during the show dates September 12 – 15. This is the newest member of the Comp Series and product details will be released on Tuesday, September 12th.

Aimpoint produces a complete line of high quality reflex sights for use by military, law enforcement, hunters, and sport shooters worldwide. The company also produces electronic fire control systems for use on crew-served military weapons. For more information on the CompM5 or other Aimpoint® products, please visit the company’s webpage: www.aimpoint.com.

M4 Reduced Signature Chest Rig (RSCR) from Zulu Nylon Gear

The new M4 Reduced Signature Chest Rig (RSCR) is now available from Zulu Nylon Gear. The chest rig has a healthy dose of functionality packed into a small footprint. It also makes use of Zulu Nylon Gear’s unique front folding magazine pouch design.

The three single M4 magazine pouches are the heart of the RSCR. These pouches feature Zulu Nylon Gear’s front folding flap design that are easy to open and stay out of the way if you want to use the pouches with open tops.

The lower front of the magazine pouches has an adjustable shock cord lattice that can be used to secure items like a tourniquet directly to the rig. The sides feature loops for carrying items like chemlights, markers, and similar items. Additionally, there is a flat pocket behind the magazine pouches for admin items.

The webbing harness is designed to be light and thin. It has built in stretch points made from shock cord to allow it to move with the wearer and be user serviceable. If you would like to utilize the RSCR with a plate carrier, it has the industry standard connection points and hook material necessary to dock on compatible plate carriers.

M4 RSCR at Zulu Nylon Gear

Hill People Gear Tarahumara in Multicam Black

Hill People Gear has released a limited run of Tarahumara Packs in Multicam Black. The entire pack including the harness and webbing has been rendered in the popular camo pattern. The Multicam Black pattern gives the Tarahumara an interesting “urban” look while still retaining all the features and durability you expect in a Hill People Gear Pack.

Hill People Gear Tarahumara Multicam Black

Don’t Forget About Montana

Hurricane Harvey has brought unprecedented destruction to Texas. It is a terrible situation without a doubt. It is also terrible that it has overshadowed the current disaster taking place in Montana.

As I type this, I can literally smell wood smoke on the air. The sunlight coming in my windows is filtered a strange sickly yellow-orange color. My views of the mountains across the valley from my home are completely obscured… and I don’t even live in Montana. I don’t share that to complain. I share it to highlight the magnitude of is happening in Montana.

By BLM – http://www.blm.gov/photos/netpub/server.np?find&catalog=catalog&site=BLM&field=Keywords&op=contains&value=wildfire&sorton=Cataloged&&template=details.np&offset=77, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17311095

Fire has already burned more than 500,000 acres. Thousands of structures have been destroyed or are threatened. People are displaced from their homes or are sick from the incredibly poor air quality. Historic structures like the Sperry Lodge in Glacier National Park have already been lost and Park Service is removing historic items from other lodges in case they are lost too.

Montana needs your prayers too and, if you are able, they need donations. Our family has been praying for Montana daily and we have donated to relief efforts in both Texas and Montana. My hope is that you will consider doing the same.

Montana Public Radio has a page that has compiled some of the ways you can donate: MTPR Donation Page. I strongly suggest that you research any and all charities before donating.

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