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Author Archive | Matt

Krebs Enhanced Selector Lever for Saiga

If you like extended selector levers on your AKs like I do but you also own a Saiga rifle (converted in my case) then you will be happy to see this. Krebs Custom now offers their excellent Enhanced Selector Lever with a repositioned detent that is designed for Saiga rifles – the MKVI-S.

New MKVI-S from Krebs Custom

Most AKs have dimples milled into the receiver that mate with a small detent on the selector lever. The combination of these dimples and detents lets the lever “snap” into each position (safe and fire). Saiga receivers lack these dimples. Saiga selectors use a detent that is placed all the way out at the end of the selector lever so that it snaps to the edge of the receiver not into a dimple.

This image shows the difference in the selector detent locations.

I tried using a standard Krebs Enhanced Selector Lever on a converted Saiga that I own. The selector wouldn’t snap into position because there were no receiver dimples and as a result the selector could be too easily bumped into the safe position. The new MKVI-S variant works perfectly for me.

If you own a Saiga rifle, converted or not, you will want to check out the new MKVI-S Enhanced Selector Lever on the Krebs Custom website.

Pocket Carry Viability

“Pocket carry” is a method of concealed carry where a handgun is concealed in the wearer’s pocket. This carry method requires a handgun that is actually small enough to carry in a typical pants pocket and its popularity has increased as the market continues to be flooded with sub-compact handguns. It is my intention to have an honest discussion about pocket carry, its advantages, its disadvantages, and its viability as a carry method.

Holsters

Let’s get one thing out of the way before we delve too deeply into this discussion. I will assume in this post that we are referring to pocket carry with the use of a holster that is purpose built for pocket carry. I would never consider carrying a handgun in my pocket without a holster that completely covers the trigger guard – anything less is a negligent discharge waiting to happen. A holster will also help prevent the intrusion of pocket lint and other debris into your handgun.

Holsters that are designed for pocket carry will have some method of keeping the holster in the pocket during the draw stroke. If your pocket carry holster tends to come out with the handgun when you practice your draw stroke on the range, throw it out and buy a different design.

Advantages

There are some advantages to consider when discussing pocket carry. The most obvious are comfort and convenience. It is extremely convenient to be able to drop a holstered handgun into your pocket and it is typically a very comfortable way to carry a handgun. While comfort and convenience are nice, there are many far more important factors to consider when choosing a carry method. Clint Smith wisely said that carrying a gun “is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.”

Two other advantages to pocket carry that are rarely mentioned but are, in my mind, the most compelling advantages that this carry method offers are the ability to appear complacent and the ability to appear compliant while indexing your handgun.

Consider a situation where you are walking through a parking garage and you see someone approaching while holding an object that you can’t identify in the dim lighting. You can’t just pull your shirt up and put your hand on your gun. That would be irresponsible since you haven’t identified a threat yet. However, you could place your hands in your pockets and appear to be complacent while you are actually establishing a firing grip on your handgun and preparing to draw if necessary. That is the ability to appear complacent and it can be a tremendous advantage.

Now consider the same situation except this time you don’t see the person approaching. They get the drop on you and they want to force you into your car at gunpoint. The situation is grave and your mind is telling you that you will need to fight back in order to live. You reach into your pocket to appear compliant by “getting your keys” and instead you index your handgun and prepare to defend your life. This ability to appear compliant might buy you the split seconds that you need to produce your handgun and defend your life.

Disadvantages

Before we get carried away by the compelling advantages of pocket carry, we should take an honest look at some very compelling disadvantages.

A pocket can be a terrible environment to store a handgun. It can be humid and dirty. Even when you clean your pockets, reliability threatening lint forms quickly. Great care must be taken to clear the handgun of all lint and grit before it works its way into the barrel or lock work.

Drawing a handgun from a pocket will generally take longer than producing one from the belt. The hand must slip into the pocket quickly which can be a bit tricky and the pockets sit lower than the belt which extends the draw stroke. Drawing from a pocket does not take very much longer than drawing from concealment but it does take longer. We generally try to reduce the time and increase the efficiency of our draw stroke. Pocket carry does the opposite.

A handgun that is carried in the pocket can be difficult to access with both hands. Even a mildly flexible person can access a handgun from a belt holster with their support hand but a pocket is a different story. It can be done but it is not easy, efficient, or graceful.

It can be difficult to access a pocket carry handgun while seated. When you are seated, your pockets are typically drawn tight which makes it difficult to get your hand into the pocket. It also changes the angle of the draw in a way that makes it all but impossible to draw your handgun without pointing it directly at your leg.

Finally, pocket carry gives you one less pocket to carry other gear. That may seem like a small thing but think about it. You should never carry anything in your pocket with your handgun. That is an accident waiting to happen and it could impede your draw stroke. The pocket that you will carry your handgun in is probably also the pocket that you clip your knife in or where you carry your keys. You will have to make other arrangements for these items and then carry them that way consistently so that you don’t reach into your pocket to get your keys and pull out a handgun instead. Don’t laugh. It happens.

Viable or Not?

So where does all of this discussion leave us? Is pocket carry a viable carry method or not? I can only answer for myself and say, “it depends.” In my opinion, based on the discussion above, pocket carry is not a suitable primary carry method but it can be an acceptable method for carrying a back up handgun. By carrying your back up with this method you can leverage the advantages of pocket carry while mitigating the disadvantages because it is not your only handgun.

Pocket carry is a compromise. You are exchanging a smooth, reliable draw stroke for comfort and convenience. That is a lousy trade but in some cases it may be an acceptable trade. I limit my use of pocket carry to a back up role. You will have to decide for yourself.

New Website from LaRue Tactical

Everyone’s favorite pusher of optics mounts, railed hand guards, and more has a new website. LaRue Tactical finally has a site that matches their products for quality.

The old site was functional enough to put a serious dent in my wallet but products were somewhat poorly organized. The old site lacked a general look and feel that you would expect from an industry heavyweight like LaRue Tactical. I have cruised the new site for a bit and found it to be very well organized. The excellent product pictures are displayed prominently and just about everything on the site is just one click from the home page. This site, like all LaRue products, is functional and well made.

You can check out the new site at LaRueTactical.com.

New Plate Carrier Accessories from Shellback Tactical

The recent post about a high value body armor set up was a huge hit. In that post, I mentioned the Shellback Tactical Banshee as an excellent, high value option for those who need a plate carrier (PC). Shellback Tactical has recently introduced several new products and 2 of them may be especially interesting to those who have a Banshee PC.

The first product is designed to make the Banshee’s kangaroo pouch more useful. It is a zippered pouch that uses hook and loop to lock in place. You could use the kangaroo pouch as is, but it has so much hook and loop surface area that it can be difficult to access. It isn’t really designed to be used as a simple storage pouch. However, with the addition of the Kangaroo Zipper Pouch, the pouch becomes a useful storage option.

The second product is a set of shoulder pads. These shoulder pads act as additional padding for when your PC is really loaded with weight. They can also be used for those who may have to adjust the Banshee’s shoulder straps out far enough that they have unpadded areas on the shoulder. They have non-slip material to keep them in place and elastic webbing that can be used to route comm wires or a hydration tube. These shoulder pads will fit several other TAG/Shellback Tactical plate carriers in addition to the Banshee.

It is nice to see an already full featured PC like the Banshee, getting even more functionality. I hope that Shellback Tactical has a kangaroo pouch magazine storage solution for the Banshee soon.

AAC Micro7

By now you have likely already heard of Advanced Armament Corp’s 300 Blackout. If not, you should read up on it because it is a very slick concept. The support for the cartridge continues to grow with the introduction of the new Micro7.

The Micro7 is a compact, handy, lightweight bolt action rifle that is chambered for 300 Blackout. It is based on the excellent Remington Model 7 action which is basically a scaled down Model 700 action. This is a proven action and a great start for any compact rifle.

As you might expect from AAC, the Micro7 comes suppressor ready. It features a 16″ barrel that has been threaded to accept a suppressor. Care was also taken to ensure that the rifle remained handy even with the suppressor attached by using a lightweight barrel profile.

The Micro7 also comes with a scope mount and comb riser that AAC designed. The barrel is nitrided to increase the surface hardness and make it more durable. This is a very cool feature in rifle that could see some hard use.

I hope you are getting the picture that this is a very unique and versatile package. I could see this rifle in the trunk of a squad car, the rifle rack of a deer hunter, on the tractor of a rancher, or even lashed to the pack of a predator hunter. There really isn’t anything that this rifle can’t do.

Check out the AAC blog for the all the latest info on the Micro7 and the 300 Blackout.

New Plate Carriers from Beez Combat Systems

Beez Combat Systems (BCS) is introducing two new plate carriers. These carriers offer a lot of bang for your buck and are designed to be very low profile which, as a civilian shooter, I like very much.

The first carrier is what BCS is calling the BCS Plate Carrier MOLLE. It is a simple low profile carrier with MOLLE covering the plate panels. The shoulder and waist straps are made from 2″ webbing. Users can choose to add modular shoulder and waist pads for an additional cost. The waist pads have MOLLE on the exterior which is a very nice addition.

The second carrier is called the Plate Carrier Low-Profile. I actually had a very small amount of influence in this design. It has no MOLLE webbing on the panels since it is meant to be worn as a slick concealable carrier or under a chest rig. However, for maximum versatility, it features a large area of hook and loop material on the front to allow the mounting of hook and loop backed pouches. This allows you to quickly add or remove a magazine pouch or two based on the specific situation that you are facing. This hook and loop panel also allows you to sew on a small section of hook material onto the back of a chest rig to prevent the typical slipping problems that can occur when you wear a chest rig over a plate carrier.

Both carriers are available in every color of the tactical rainbow including A-TACS and Multicam. They are also available in your choice of 500D or 1000D nylon. The choice of 500D or 1000D nylon is one of the perks of buying gear from a custom maker. The bigger manufacturers just can’t offer options like this.

You can check out the new carriers on the BCS website.

Patch Collecting: Give Terror the Axe Foundation Patch

Some of the best patches are patches that benefit a cause. This patch benefits the Give Terror the Axe Foundation which raises money to put the axes, hatchets, and tomahawks that US Special Forces troops want and need into their hands at no cost to them.

The patch features a US flag design with a hatchet where the stars would typically be and the words “GIVE TERROR THE AXE”. This edition has an ACU gray and black color scheme and is limited to 100 pieces. All of the proceeds will go toward purchasing an axe for a member of the Special Forces.

There are still some of these limited edition patches left. You can visit the Give Terror the Axe Facebook Page to purchase your own patch.

Giveaway: TAREINCO VTP Sling

I recently reviewed the TAREINCO VTP Sling and was pretty impressed with its combination of features. This sling has a lot to offer and now you have a chance to check it out. This giveaway comes to you courtesy of Impact Weapons Components who provided the sling.

To Enter:

Click here to visit the Jerking the Trigger Facebook page for details.

Rules:

The winner will be chosen randomly. The giveaway will be open until 8PM (EST) Friday, October 7th. Please follow the instructions carefully. Incomplete entries will be discarded. If the same number is chosen twice, the first person who posted the number will win.

Review: Spyderco Delica4 and Endura4 Emerson Opener

I am constantly changing gear around in order to find the next great gadget. However, in the last several years, I haven’t changed the knife that I carry. It isn’t for lack of trying. I own or have owned several knives that, while generally very well regarded and expensive, just can’t unseat the Spyderco Delica4 or Endura4 with Emerson Wave from my pocket.

EDC Classics: The Delica4 (top) and Endura4 with Emerson Opener

History

The Delica and Endura have been part of Spyderco’s catalog since 1990. They have gone through a handful of changes over the years to the handle, clip, and blade steel but for the most part they are still recognizable as the Delica and Endura. The most recent changes are perhaps the most sweeping and they resulted in the generation 4 models which I believe are the best yet.

Not long before the release of the Delica4 and Endura4 knives, Spyderco licensed the Wave Opener feature from knife making royalty, Ernest Emerson, for use on a special edition of the Endura3. The model featured both the famous Spyderhole and Emerson Wave. This model sold briskly and has since become somewhat of a collectors item.

Shortly after the release of the Delica4 and Endura4 models, Spyderco announced that an Emerson Wave enhanced Endura4 would become a production model along with the introduction of a “waved” version of the Delica4. My love affair with these knives started as soon as these knives hit dealer shelves.

The Delica4 (top) and Endura4 have a unique appearance when closed thanks to the Emerson Opener.

Emerson Opener (Wave)

The Emerson Opener or Wave is what really sets these knives apart. Without it, they would just be regular Delicas or Enduras (not that there is anything wrong with that). The Wave takes these models to a whole new level.

The Wave is a hooked protrusion from the top of the blade that allows the blade to catch on the pants pocket while it is being drawn. When the hook catches, it forces the blade open. It is extremely reliable and actually faster than an automatic because it is opening as the knife clears the pocket, not once the knife is produced.

The Emerson Opener catches the pocket...

And deploys the blade as the knife is drawn from the pocket.

Spyderco added the Wave in addition to their famous Spyderhole. The result is a knife that can be opened in a ton of different ways. The ease and speed at which these knives can be produced and opened is unbelievable.

The Wave is billed mainly as a self defense feature and it certainly makes sense as one. Being able to produce your folding knife and open it without extra thought or manipulation is certainly a great thing in a self defense scenario. Savvy users will also see the utility of this feature in an EDC or general use outdoors knife. Being able to open a knife quickly when your hands are cold and wet or when one hand is disabled is never a bad thing.

The only problem with the Wave is that you will eventually have a hard time accepting a folding knife that doesn’t have the feature. It will change what you expect from a folding knife to the point where it is hard to without. I really can’t over state how important the Emerson Opener has become to me.

Details and Observations

The Delica4 and Endura4 seem to be sized to comply with the most common knife laws. The Delica sports a sub 3” VG-10 steel blade that is legal in all but the most restrictive areas. The Endura and its sub 4” VG-10 steel blade can be carried where there are more permissive laws.

VG-10 is one of the only modern stainless steels that I like. S30V and others can hold a great edge but in actual use, I rarely see a difference other than the S30V being much more difficult to sharpen. VG-10 sharpens easily and holds a working edge for a long time. It also takes to the strop well. I don’t have to spend much time at all when the blade needs resharpening.

One of the biggest improvements that came with the gen 4 models was the inclusion of nested steel liners. The liners are heavily skeletonized so that their impact on the weight of the knives is minimal. These steel liners really step of the durability of the knife. These metal liners also give the pocket clip screws something solid to screw into which is an improvement over past models. The pocket clip is moveable for left and right hand, tip up or tip down carry.

The handles scales are made from plastic (FRN) and have multi-directional texturing. I love modern handle materials like carbon fiber, G-10, and micarta but the plastic handles on the Delica and Endura keep bringing me back. The plastic provides great grip without being harsh on your pockets. It doesn’t tear them up like other materials would and it doesn’t beat the tar out of items that you carry in the same pocket with your knife. It may not be the coolest, but it just works.

The multi-directional texture on the FRN handle generates a very secure grip.

Spyderco, more than any other maker, knows how to design a handle that is both very thin and yet very ergonomic at the same time. Both the Delica4 and the thicker Endura4 are very thin and carry unobtrusively in your pocket.

The blade shapes are very versatile. They have a spear point profile with a fairly fine point. It doesn’t have a ton of belly but it has more than enough for most tasks. I have yet to find a cutting task that I felt hindered because of blade shape.

The Wave feature as Spyderco envisions it is larger and more rounded than you will typically find on an Emerson folder. I find it to be just as reliable without being so hard on your pockets.

Spyderco seems to have purposefully designed these knives to be deceiving in size when they are in your pocket. When you view the small portion of the knife that sticks up out of the pocket when stowed, the knives appear like they would be much smaller than they actually are. In fact, when clipped in your pocket, it is difficult to tell the difference between the Delica4 and the much larger Endura4. You can carry these without drawing a lot of attention to yourself.

Even without low-ride pocket clips, these knives appear very small in the pocket thanks to their tapered handles (Endura4 on right, Delica4 on left).

The Delica4 and Endura4 might also be one of the best supported factory knives around in terms of parts and accessories. You can buy spare parts kits directly from the factory that will let you replace commonly lost or worn out parts. You can also buy realistic and fully functional training versions of these knives.

Not Quite Perfect

While none of these gripes have been even close to enough to displace these knives from my pocket for the last several years, they are not perfect.

They have a plastic backspacer in which the spring for the lockback is housed. This seems to prevent the knives from having a very crisp feel when closing. They just don’t always seem to snap closed like an all metal knife might. Closing feels a bit mushy.

The blades are saber ground which means that they have flat primary bevel that comes about halfway up the blade. I would prefer a full flat grind but this is just a personal preference and these knives cut very well just the way that they are.

The black paint on the pocket clip scratches fairly readily. The pocket clip will be looking worn and ragged in no time. I don’t mind this but a different coating or treatment might hold up better.

Conclusion

You can spend a lot more on a knife that will have more exotic design, blade steel, and handle materials but you won’t find a knife that is more functional or easy to carry than the Spyderco Delica4 and Endura4 with the Emerson Wave Opener. The Emerson Wave Opener takes these already classic knives to a whole new level.

You can check out more detail specs of the Delica4 and Endura4 on the Spyderco website.

Review: White Sound Defense Glock Mag Springs

It has been said that the magazine is the heart of any magazine fed firearm. This saying speaks to the importance of the magazine when it comes to the overall reliability of the firearm. Many, if not most, malfunctions can be traced back to magazine issues. Magazines are very simple – many having just 4 or 5 parts. However, one of those 4 or 5 parts really has a tremendous bearing on whether the magazine is reliable or not, but few shooters ever spend a moment thinking of them. I am talking about the magazine spring.

I have been using a couple of Glock magazine springs from White Sound Defense (WSD) for the last several months. Magazine springs may seem mundane, but these springs have some features that set them apart from other springs on the market.

WSD’s magazine springs are designed to be direct replacement for full size 9mm, .40SW, and .357SIG Glocks. The springs are made from 17-7PH stainless steel. This allows the springs to be very resistant to environmental factors like rain and sweat. You can check out WSD’s technical article that compares how their springs weather compared to other common spring materials on their website.

They offer about 10% more pressure than the stock springs and you will notice some additional resistance when you are loading your magazines but this will ease with time and use. This extra pressure also makes these springs ideal for +2 magazines extensions and should help keep feeding consistent even in dusty/dirty environments.

They have been completely reliable for me. I have them installed in Glock 17 magazines. There were no issues with the magazines before I installed the WSD springs so it is difficult to discuss what, if any, improvement there has been. They do work and they are made from a material that should perform very well across all environments. I do not hesitate to recommend them.

You can read more about magazine spring materials and more about these specific springs on White Sound Defense’s website.

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