What would we do without custom gear makers?!?! Check out this very nice magazine pouch that OC tactical made for the Ruger MKII. If you have a gear problem that needs solving, consider contacting a custom gear maker like OC Tactical.
ZULU Tactical is showing their new CAOS Admin pouch on their blog. It looks like a great compact admin pouch. If it is anything like the MEGA Admin, it will be excellent.
Daniel Defense (DD) has released their EZ Rails for the AR-15. They offer a drop in fit for carbine length gas systems. These are non-free float rails at a very attractive price. Hopefully, DD will release these for different length gas systems soon.
It has been my experience that free floating is often unnecessary for most applications. If you are building a home defense carbine and using a red dot style optic, it is not really necessary to free float. Don’t spend the extra money on free float rails if the only reason you need a rail is to mount a white light and sling. Spend the money that you would have spent on free float handguards on more ammo and training!
Machetes may be the most versatile tool that anyone could carry into the woods. A good machete is part field knife, part hatchet, part draw knife, part wood splitter, and all utility. Most machetes come without an edge, without a sheath, and with a handle that needs a lot of work before it can be used comfortably. The ESEE Knives (formerly RAT Cutlery) Light Machete comes ready to work with a polished convex edge, a nylon sheath, and an ergonomic micarta handle.
These are the result of a collaboration between 3 companies. ESEE Knives designed it, Imacasa/Condor manufactures the blade, and Rowen fits the handle. Condor is Imacasa’s premium machete line. They make phenomenal machetes for the US market. Rowen is the manufacturer for all of the other great ESEE Knives cutlery products.
If you are looking for a truly premium machete, check out the ESEE Lite Machete and all the other great ESEE Knives at the ESEE Knives website.
The Lite Machete is in stock at Knives Ship Free.
Source has really upstaged the competition with their WXP Hydration Bladders. At first glance, they appear to be no different than any other hydration bladder on the market but take a closer look. Not only can these be filled via the typical screw off wide mouth opening, but they also have a clip at the top that can be removed. Once the clip is removed the entire top of the pouch can be opened up wide enough to stick your hand inside the bladder! That means easy filling and, perhaps more importantly, easy cleaning.
They are priced very competitively and come in a wide variety of sizes. There are civilian colors and more subdued military colors available.
There is no substitute for a working knowledge of knots but sometimes a well designed piece of gear can make your life a lot easier. This is the case with Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tighteners. These little things are deceivingly simple in construction, extremely versatile in application, and shockingly easy to use.
The Figure 9 comes in 3 sizes to handle different diameters of rope and different sized loads. They appear to be cast from aluminum and are very light weight. There are directions for their use laser etched directly on the Figure 9, though you will probably never need to reference them once you have used them a couple of times. Nite Ize makes them in both bare aluminum and black-coated finishes.
I have some of the largest ones (“big” size) that I use with climbing rope in my truck in place of ratchet straps. I have found them to be much more versatile than ratchet straps for securing loads, though there may still be times when the compound leverage of the ratchet strap is needed.
I also have several of the “small” size. My favorite use for them is to tighten the guy lines on my poncho/tarp tents. I have really come to appreciate the usefulness, light weight, and small pack size of a simple poncho or tarp in place of a tent when hiking. There are few more versatile pieces of gear than a simple GI Surplus or Ultra Sil-Nylon poncho. These Figure 9s make pitching a tight, crisp tarp/poncho tent fast and easy. They also make taking it down fast and easy. I can take down my poncho tent in less than 1 minute thanks to not having to pick apart knots.
The “small” size works well with paracord which I am sure many Jerking the Trigger readers use frequently. It also works well with braided spectra line, tether cord, and my favorite, jute twine. I typically keep a roll of jute twin in all my kits since it is cheap, it doesn’t stretch like paracord, and it makes an excellent tinder for fire starting. Nite Ize does not recommend that you use twine with the Figure 9 but so far I have not had a problem. Twine can fray relatively easily so I certainly wouldn’t use it to secure a heavy load in any application where I had to keep reusing the same piece of twine.
These Figure 9 Rope Tighteners make a great addition to your emergency shelter or general purpose tool kit.
US Palm has their new website up and running. It is somewhat light on details right now but it is still worth a visit.
Many bags come with internal hook and loop fields these days. These allow you to place Velcro backed accessories on the interior of the bag. They are especially popular as a way to attach a holster for off-body handgun carry.
I have always been pretty unsatisfied with most Velcro backed universal holsters. Many of them are basically the same. They consist of a webbing loop that can be sized to wrap around the trigger guard and slide of the handgun. Their retention is uninspiring and I am concerned that something could migrate into the trigger guard causing the trigger to be depressed. They can also be difficult to use when re-holstering.
I think a Tactical Handyman can do better than this.
- Cheap kydex/plastic holster that is made to fit your handgun (I use Uncle Mike’s because they are cheap and sturdy, but any brand with a removable belt loop and mostly flat sides will work)
- Plenty of hook side Velcro (hook and loop material)
- Glue (I use Gorilla Glue, but contact cement would probably work better)
- Remove the belt attachment point from the back of your holster. We only need the holster body for our purposes.
- Cut pieces of hook side Velcro (the stiffer side) to fit the contours of the back of the holster.
- Glue the pieces to the back of the holster. I use a tooth pick to spread the glue out evenly over the surfaces where I plan to adhere the Velcro.
It is just that simple. You have now created a Velcro backed holster that has the positive retention of kydex that we all love so much. I recommend that you glue the Velcro in place because the adhesive used on even the “Industrial” Velcro will not hold up to regular use (especially if it is exposed to temperature shifts). Normally, I find the cheap injection molded holsters to be pretty unacceptable for belt carry but for carry inside of a bag they are perfect – sturdy, lightweight, and inexpensive. These work great in bags like the Hawkpaks Rifle Bugout Bag and the Eagle Escape & Evasion Bag LE.
Magpul has released their MOE Rail Sections for those of you with Magpul MOE Handguards.
Several weeks ago I sent PWS an email regarding a problem I was having with one of their FSC556 flash suppressing compensators. It was too tight to thread onto several different barrels that I tried and I pretty much mutilated the finish trying to take it on and off. Weeks went by with no response so I shot them a second email explaining the situation and mentioning that I had previously sent an email.
I got a very nicely worded and apologetic response within 10 minutes even though it was after business hours. My previous email had simply slipped through the cracks. Stacy at PWS told me to send it in and even offered me a hat for my trouble. I sent the FSC556 in expecting that they would chase the threads and return it.
Today I received a package from PWS. It contained a hat, two bumper stickers, and a brand new FSC556. I am very pleased with both the excellent products that PWS manufactures and the customer service that backs the products.