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Archive | EDC

Concealed Carry Tragedy

When you practice the God given right to arm yourself and step out into a  public place, it is important that you maintain a strong and observant mindset. In most urban and suburban cultures, carrying concealed is likely the wisest and most practical mode of carry when legal to do so. Check yourself and get somebody else to check your attire so that you can avoid “printing” your piece. The reason this is so important is because even though most states now allow some form of concealed carry many people, including some members of law enforcement, have an unreasonable fear of lawfully armed citizenry.

An interaction between a legally armed citizen and someone who overreacts to the presence of a weapon carried in public can have tragic results. The situation that prompted this post happened in Las Vegas in 2010, but the lessons and ramifications are still very applicable to those who carry today. Two years after this tragedy, questions still swirl about the facts of this case. Regardless, a lawfully armed citizen who had not done anything violent was shot and killed by police. That is a tragedy for everyone involved, and especially this man’s family. It’s likely that third party exaggerations created an atmosphere where police went into the situation over-hyped and an innocent man paid the ultimate price.

Of course, you will never have all the details and the whole story from a newspaper article. When you carry in public keep your game face on and radar dialed appropriately. Familiarize yourself with Jeff Cooper’s “color codes” and practice them. Conduct yourself wisely and with great awareness so that nobody knows you are armed unless called upon to stop a threat.

Surefire Maximus

The rechargeable Surefire Maximus Headlamp has received an output upgrade for 2012. It now belts out a whopping 500 lumens.

However, the Maximus isn’t just a brute. It offers the same level of refinement that we have come to expect from Surefire. The output is nearly adjustable between 500 lumens and 1 lumen just by turning a dial. There are no preset output levels. You simply dial the output that you desire.

It can be recharged at home with the provided AC adapter or recharged on the go with the provided 12 volt DC vehicle accessory outlet.It also features a gauge that indicates the current charge level.

The Maximus utilizes a reflector to provide a broad flood style beam. However, with 500 lumens, it can also brute force its way to a surprising amount of throw.

This is a seriously feature rich headlamp. Check out the Surefire Maximus on Surefire.com.

Review: NukoTools PunchRing Gen2

The NukoTools PunchRing Gen2 is an improved version of the original PunchRing. The original was pretty good. This new one is even better.

Overview

The PunchRing is designed to be a discreet last ditch defensive tool. It can be carried unobtrusively on your key ring or in your pocket. Like the original, this PunchRing Gen2 is made from G-10 which is a completely non-metallic material that is very durable.

It can be easily slipped onto your finger with the long end wedged back into your palm and the sharp end projecting forward. Once it is in this position it can be used for punches, gouging, scraping, and other nastiness. The leading edge is quite sharp. I found it to be sharp enough to roughly cut paper (not cleanly but it will do it) and cut packing tape.

Left to Right: Gen 2 PunchRing, Original PunchRing

Improvements

The PunchRing Gen2 is larger than the original in order to support a larger finger hole. I know several people with thicker fingers who weren’t able to use the original PunchRing but that find this new one to be perfect due to the larger finger hole. The newer model is also made from slightly thicker G-10.

The sides of the PunchRing Gen2 have two scallops. These scallops reduce the thickness of the PunchRing, allowing your fingers to sit closer together when you make a fist which is more comfortable. If you have the PunchRing on your index finger, the scallop can also make a great thumb rest.

In Use

Hitting something really hard with the PunchRing is no picnic for the wearer or the recipient of the punch. Thankfully, it is far worse for the recipient. I tested it with several hard hits into phone books (remember those?) and found that the broader, thicker Gen 2 PunchRing was more comfortable than the original but it still gets old quickly. It can be really hard on your palm, but the sharp leading edge of the PunchRing does a tremendous amount of damage to the phone books.

I also found that you don’t really need to punch with the PunchRing. It can be used much like a push dagger or even like a kubotan to attack pressure points. I suspect that someone with more training than me would find other ways to use it.

Conclusion

You must have realistic expectations for a tool like this. The PunchRing is obviously designed as a tool of last resort. It is a last ditch self defense tool. You will likely tear up your hand a bit if you have to use it but, rest assured, the recipient of your attention will be feeling it far more.

Check out the PunchRing Gen2 on the NukoTools website.

Advanced Outfitters Dopp Kit 2.0

The original Dopp Kit from Advanced Outfitters was a lightweight organizer that could be used for anything from a toiletry kit, to a first aid kit, to a gear organizer. The new Dopp Kit 2.0 has the same basic pocket layout as the original (2 large pockets and a front sleeve pocket) but it now weighs even less.

Dopp Kit 2.0 (top) and the original Dopp Kit (bottom)

The bag-in-bag method of organizing your gear can be very convenient. However, the weight of all of those small organizer bags can really start to add up. The Dopp Kit 2.0 is made from rip-stop sil-nylon. This allows it to be slightly larger than the original but a bit lighter and, more importantly, keeps the total weight of your gear down.

If you are looking for a convenient and versatile way to organize gear that won’t weigh you down, check out the Dopp Kit 2.o from Advanced Outfitters. You can contact Advanced Outfitters through their website, on Twitter, or on the Usual Suspect Network.

Review: Bogota Titan-Flats Entry Toolset

People have been requesting a full size Bogota Rake for years. SEREPICK heard their pleas and created the Bogota Titan-Flats Entry Toolsets.

Top to Bottom: Bogota single, Bogota triple, a shallow hook, and a basic tensioner

Overview

The Bogota Titan-Flats Entry Toolsets are made from titanium which makes them very light weight, corrosion resistant, and non-magnetic. The kit contains a Bogota triple, a Bogota single, a shallow hook, and a basic tensioner.

Rather than the familiar compact, quarter bend format of the typical Bogota Entry Toolsets, the Titan Flats are more like traditional picks in form. They are larger overall than the other Bogota Entry Toolsets but they are flatter. This makes them ideal for use as a very flat stand-alone kit or as an addition to a full kit.

A little heat shrink tubing keeps the tools together in one compact kit.

In Use

I have already covered why Bogota Rakes are so effective in some depth in previous reviews. They work and they work well. I know of no other pick that gives even the first time user such a good chance of success.

I thought that I would find these Bogota Titan-Flats had better “feel” and were even more effective than their smaller counterparts due to their larger handles, but that wasn’t really the case. That isn’t a knock on the Titan Flats but rather a compliment to the smaller Bogota Entry Toolsets because these Titan Flats are still quite good.

They do have excellent feel. If you are used to picking, you would likely prefer this set. The shallow hook is quite good as is the Bogota single. In fact, the Bogota single is quite versatile. It can be used to rake or as a pick when inverted. Both provide very good feel and feedback when picking.

The Bogota triple works very well but I found myself actually preferring the form factor of the compact Bogota rakes. It may be that I would feel differently if my first experience with Bogota Rakes was with the Titan Flats, but I have become so used to the hooked handles of the Entry Toolsets for raking. This is purely preference.

The tensioner is very basic but it works. I prefer a tensioner that has a little more flex than this but that is only because I lack skill and the flex makes up a bit for my heavy handedness. Skilled users will likely find this tensioner to be completely sufficient.

Titan-Flats shown with Titan-Minis and a quarter for scale

Conclusion

I think the biggest upside to this kit is its versatility. It is just as comfortable as a stand-alone kit as it is as an addition to someone’s full pick set. Until now, it has been somewhat difficult to find a Bogota triple with a full handle. It will also serve as a great gateway to raking for those who are used to bypassing locks with full sized tools. Every tool in this kit works and offers performance that will satisfy everyone from beginners to pros.

Check out the “Titan-Flats” on SEREPICK.com.

Fight and Flight Tactical Defilade

There are tons of backpacks on the market that are designed to conceal handguns. There aren’t many that can conceal and handgun and protect you from ballistic threats. The Defilade from Fight and Flight Tactical can do both.

The Defilade is a compact backpack that can be used to organize and carry all sort of standard everyday items. However, it can also carry a ballistic plate (and/or a soft armor plate backer) and a handgun. The plate and soft armor are carried in a slip pocket that is inside the main compartment of the bag. The handgun is carried in a pouch that is accessible from three different locations (right, left, and top) so that the bag is completely ambidextrous. The back of the bag has two loops that allow you to slip the bag on like a centurion’s shield. With practice, transferring the pack from your back to your arm and drawing your handgun can be relatively quickly. I suspect that the pack could also be worn on your front using the backpack straps if you needed to free up use of your support hand.

There are two version of the Defilade available – Tactical and EDC. The Tactical model features external MOLLE webbing for adding additional pouches and a detachable “tail gate” which is like a beaver tail storage area that can be used to secure a rifle or other bulky items. The EDC model has no external MOLLE or tail gate which gives it a more innocuous appearance.

Both models have airmesh on the harness for comfort, hydration ports, external sleeves for clipping items like knives and flashlights, and internal Velcro for adding organization. The exterior dimensions of the bag at 17x12x5″ so there is a fair amount of space for gear even with a handgun and rifle plate on board.

Check out the Defilade at Fight and Flight Tactical.

Fenix RC10

The Fenix RC10 is Fenix’s first rechargeable flashlight. PredatorEDC was able to get their hands on one early and provide it to YouTuber Patriot36 for a full review.

Get your own Fenix RC10 on PredatorEDC.com.

Review: ZAGG invisibleSHIELD

I have used a ton of different clear screen protectors in an effort to get more mileage out of my electronics, especially the ones that I use outdoors. For the most part, they were all found lacking. They would either peel, shrink, or discolor. Then I found the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD. They aren’t the cheapest screen protector on the market, but they are the first one that I have found that actually works well enough to be worth any amount of money.

I have one on my cell phone which has been in my pocket for more than a year with no signs of distress. The previous screen protector that I used started peeling in days and quickly had pocket lint stuck to all the edges. It was a mess.

I put them on all of my GPS units as well. I really enjoy orienteering and these units can really take a beating. The plastic screens that GPS manufacturers use scratch and scuff easily. It only takes a couple of days of use before the scuffs can start to make the screen less readable.  The invisibleSHIELD shrugs off scuffs and scratches easily that would otherwise damage a GPS.

They are extremely clear and do not seem to change the readability of the screen that they are protecting. In fact, they can enhance readability in some cases. It seems to fill in shallow scuffs. I have a GPS with some scuffing on the screen that can’t be seen through the invisibleSHIELD.

Installation is easy and, unlike most screen protectors, the invisibleSHIELD comes with everything you need to install it yourself (a spray bottle of lubricating solution, a lint free cloth, and a small rubber squeegee). I even keep the lint free cloths so I can tuck them into my gear. They are great for wiping down binoculars and rifle scopes in the field.

Electronics from GPS units to smart phones to tablet computers are becoming more and more common in the field. These items aren’t cheap so it is prudent to protect them. Check out the ZAGG invisbileSHIELD screen protectors.

TAREINCO SOB-Pouch

The new Survival Options Belt-Pouch (SOB-Pouch) from TAREINCO is a compact, concealable, belt pouch that is designed to carry small survival items. The SOB-Pouch also has a trick up its sleeve. It can be removed from the wearer’s belt just by pulling a webbing tab.

This pouch looks like a very unobtrusive way to carry small survival or EDC items. Most belt pouches on the market are far too noticeable and they look a bit, well, silly. The SOB-Pouch hugs the belt and is hardly noticeable, especially when covered by a shirt.

If you need to access the contents or remove the pouch for any other reason, you can simply pull the tab to remove the entire pouch from your belt. This gives you easy access to the contents of the pouch. This easy-off, quick access functionality would make the SOB-Pouch great for a small first aid kit.

The SOB-Pouch isn’t available yet, but you can check out TAREINCO.com or TAREINCO’s Facebook page to stay in the know.

More Info on the Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight from Battle Systems

Battle Systems gave us some additional information on their improved VS-17 based marker panel. It is tentatively named the Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight. In the previous post, we noted the Velcro field for IR patches, light weight material, and compact size. Battle Systems has also clued us in on some additional functionality.

The panels will feature loops at all 4 corners. These loops will allow the panel to be lashed to gear like your pack. These loops will also allow the panels to be connected in order to increase the visual signature of the panels.

Battle Systems will be offering the Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight in “fire team packs.” These packs will include 4 panels, 4 carabiners, and 4 IR patches. The carabiners can be used to attach the panels together.

Keep an eye on the Battle Systems website and Facebook page for more details.

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