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Archive | Tactical Gear

BallisticReload.com

 

Click to visit BallisticReload.com

 

 

BallisticReload.com is a “Deal a Day” type site like Woot.com except they offer shooting/tactical gear. I only found the site last week and some of the deals that I have seen have been excellent.

Here is how it works: Every day at 2PM (Mountain Time) there is a new deal listed for an item at 30-60% off. It remains available for 24 hours or until it sells out. You can sign up for email alerts so that you always know what has been listed for the day.

I love a bargain!

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Crimson Trace Targets the Military Market

Crimson Trace is at the forefront of firearm laser design, development, and use. They have nearly single-handedly dragged the visible laser aiming device from goofy toy to viable low light force multiplier.  Now they have announced the formation of a new division called CTC Defense. The new division will cater solely to the military market but the civilian gun owner will benefit from the new technology that CTC Defense develops.

Here is the official press release from Crimson Trace:

September 1, 2010

CRIMSON TRACE ESTABLISHES NEW MILITARY DIVISION, CTC DEFENSE™

Wilsonville, OR — Crimson Trace Corporation, manufacturer of Lasergrips® and Laserguard® laser-sighting systems, has launched a new division targeting military supply channels with military grade product: CTC Defense.

Different from the commercial Crimson Trace brand, all new products have been built from the ground up using new technologies and resources that are innovative solutions for today’s hostile environments requiring white light, IR (infrared) and quick change day-to-night sighting systems.

“Adapt, Enhance and Overcome — those are the key needs for today’s modern day Warfighter”, said Dale Suzuki, Director of CTC Defense. “With the introduction of the heavily featured/modulated MVF-600, the Dual Can sighting system and platform specific solutions (HK, Sig Sauer, etc), we’ve fulfilled our vision for meeting the requirements now faced on the battlefield due to changing environments, close quarter encounters and new technologies”.

“CTC Defense is a natural progression to our growing business model and we are very proud and excited to launch this new brand and division” said Lane Tobiassen, President of Crimson Trace. “With our significant resources, superior innovation and patented technologies, we are able to provide the Military with unique products that expand and enhance their ability to be the supreme force on the battlefield.”

For more information, please contact us at 1-800-442-2406

Tactical-Life broke the story and they have the scoop on some fascinating new products that CTC Defense is developing.

 

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Handgun Sight Review: AmeriGlo I-Dot

The I-Dot sights are one of the newest offerings from AmeriGlo. Their name comes from their 2 dot design. Instead of lining up 3 dots horizontally like you would with most night sights, you align 2 dots vertically with the I-Dot sights. It’s like dotting an “i”. This design feels fast and intuitive in low light.

Front sight focus is easy with the I-Dot sights. This picture approximates the shooter's point of view (on a Glock 17 RTF2 for reference). Click to enlarge.

Stats

  • Front sight width: .125″
  • Rear sight notch: .180″
  • Price: $74

Front Sight

The I-Dot front sight is a pretty standard front sight. It has a tritium vile insert and a white outline.

The front sight is typical of most night sights. Click to enlarge.

Rear Sight

The I-Dot features an excellent rear sight. The notch is relatively wide (like most AmeriGlo rear sights) at .180″. This makes the front sight faster to pick up but may cost you some precision at longer distances. I find the speed gained is greater than the precision lost. It’s a worth while trade.

The bottom corners of the notch are rounded similar to a u-notch (unlike a true u-notch, the bottom is flat). These rounded corners serve to remove all of the hard edges from the sight picture except the important ones.

The rear sight features a single tritium vile insert that does not have a white outline which makes it appear smaller than the insert in the front sight. Everything about this rear sight is designed to help you focus on the front sight.

The I-Dot rear sight feature a single tritium vile that is not outlined and a wide notch with rounded corners. Click to enlarge.

The rear sight has many of it’s edges melted so it is snag free. However, the leading edge of the rear sight is left squared so that the sight can be used to cycle the slide in an emergency by catching it on a belt, holster, table top, or any other suitable surface. This may be an important feature if you train one handed manipulations.

The I-Dot rear sight has mostly "melted" corners except the leading edge which is intentionally left squared. Click to enlarge.

There is no shortage of options when it comes to excellent handgun sights. The AmeriGlo I-Dots have a slew of features and a price that makes them one of the top choices in a crowded field.

Dawson Precision Glock Sights

You usually think of competition sights when you think of Dawson Precision. That may change with the recent announcement of their tritium front sights and Charger rear sights for various handguns. My main interest is with the Glock sights, so they will be the focus of this post.

Tritium Front Sights

The Dawson Precision tritium front sights for Glocks have a lot what you have come to expect from other premium sights. The DP front sights are all .125″ wide and come in a variety of heights. This allows them to work with many of the best rear sights on the market, like Warren Tactical, 10-8, and Heinie.

Click to Enlarge

The most interesting feature is the wide skirt at the base of the sight. Glock sights typically consist of a the sight blade with a short post that drops into a hole in the slide, and a small hex head screw that locks the sight in place. This design could, at least theoretically, be sheared off with a solid hit to the front sight. The wide skirt on the Dawson Precision front sight could help prevent this from happening and since it really doesn’t cost much, if any, more than other similar front sights, you can consider it cheap insurance.

Charger Rear Sights

Many one handed manipulations of a semi-auto handgun revolve around being able to catch the rear sights on a table, belt, holster, or any other suitable surface in order to cycle the slide. The Charger Rear Sights from Dawson Precision are designed to make this task easier. They feature a large, serrated front edge that helps prevent the sight from slipping off the surface being to used to charge the handgun. This useful technique is often difficult or impossible to do with low profile or sloped sights.

The Charger Rear Sight is available in plain black, fiber optic, and tritium versions. It is nice to see Dawson Precision applying some forward thinking to something as simple as a rear sight.

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Patch Collecting: Paraclete Shield

MSA Paraclete makes great gear. They also have a great name and logo.

This patch is available from Grey Group Training.

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Battle Arms Development – Ambidextrous Safety Selector "HYBRID" Lever

I recently reviewed the BAD-ASS on Jerking the Trigger and I am very impressed with this selector. In fact, I was so impressed that I purchased the new “HYBRID” lever option. The “HYBRID” is one of 5 lever options that are available to users of the BAD-ASS.

The "HYBRID" lever is the perfect weak side lever.

The “HYBRID” lever does everything I hoped it that it would. It is the perfect combination of easy to manipulate and low-profile. The biggest issue with ambi selectors is that the lever can interfere with the trigger finger. This is more than a minor annoyance, it can actually prevent the selector from moving completely off of “Safe”. The “HYBRID” lever is designed to be slim at the end so it can slide under the shooter’s trigger finger while still being large enough on the leading edge to be easy to manipulate.

It works.

Check out the BAD-ASS on Battle Arms Development’s website.

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Just Announced: The Izula-II from ESEE Knives

 

ESEE Knives introduced a new version of their excellent Izula. The Izula-II will have essentially the same blade as the original Izula but it will feature a handle that is 1/2″ longer. It will come with removeable, full coverage canvas micarta scales. I have found the micarta scales on the original Izula to be a must-have.

Artist renderings of the Izula-II. The product version may vary slightly.

The Izula II should be on dealer shelves in 6-8 weeks. You can read more about the Izula-II on the ESEE Knives Forum at Bladeforums.

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MICOR Industries Flash Suppressors

The MICOR Industries Flash Suppressors are certainly unique. They are matched to a specific twist rate (1:9″, 1:8″, or 1:7″) which they claim increases velocity and enhances accuracy. I cannot speak to any of these claims since I haven’t tested this flash suppressor and they are not the most interesting thing about this particular flash suppressor to me. The most interesting thing about these flash suppressors to me is that they offer a titanium version.

The Ti version is machined from 6AL4V Ti which is a very strong alloy. It is sold by MICOR for its resistance to extreme conditions (which is true), but I am more interested in the fact that it is also very light weight. Flash suppressors are usually made from steel which makes them relatively heavy. Titanium would allow the flash suppressor to be both light weight and very strong. It might be just the thing for your lightweight AR-15 build.

Anything made from Ti gets automatic cool points in my book.

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Mount-N-Slot Giveaway!

The generous people at Impact Weapon Components have provided us with two excellent prizes from their Mount-N-Slot line of mounts. The first is a Rotation Limited QD Sling Mount-N-Slot and the second is a new Snap Hook Mount-N-Slot. These mounts make an awesome addition to any FN SCAR, Bushmaster ACR, and especially the Magpul MOE Hand Guards!

Entering is easy! Just follow these steps.

  1. Visit the Impact Weapons Components webstore and note at least one item that interests you.
  2. Post a comment here that contains the name of the item and a number between 1 and 5000.

Since IWC was gracious enough to provide two prizes, there will be two winners! The winners will be drawn via a random number generator. If two or more people choose the same number, the first person to have posted that number will be the winner. One entry per person please. If you enter more than once you will be disqualified.

This contest will end on August 31st at 8PM.

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Review: Battle Arms Development – Ambidextrous Safety Selector (B.A.D.-A.S.S.)

We recently profiled the Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector (B.A.D.-A.S.S.) right here on Jerking the Trigger. At the time I was impressed by the unique concept but was apprehensive about the added complexity. The folks at Battle Arms Development were eager to prove that the BAD-ASS is good gear and provided me a sample to put through its paces.

The kit comes with 3 levers of the users choice, the cross bar/axis, 2 mounting screws, a KNS stainless selector detent, and a Torx Driver.

What is it?

The BAD-ASS is a unique ambi selector (safety) for the AR-15 and AR-10. It allows the user to customize the selector levers on both sides. At this time there are 5 different lever options to suit the individual needs of the user. The selector can be purchased with any 3 levers that the user chooses and other levers will eventually be available for purchase separately. The kit comes with 3 levers, the cross bar/axis, 2 screws, an excellent KNS stainless steel selector detent, and a Torx driver to mount the levers.

The parts are beautifully machined from bar stock (not cast like most safeties) and finished with an attractive manganese phosphate finish. The Torx screws are the perfect choice for this application. Small screws lack the material to make deep, durable slots for flat head screw drivers. They end up stripped and beveled much too easily. The Torx screws are an “internal drive” screw that pack a lot of contact area for the driver into a small space which makes them very hard to strip. This is especially important because the addition of a thread locker (like Loc-Tite) will make the screws very hard to turn.

The care that went into the design and manufacture of this selector is obvious.

Apprehensions

Let me address my apprehensions up front. Shooters should always be cautious about adding complexity to their weapons. Every piece and part that you add is another opportunity for something to break. The BAD-ASS, like most or all ambi selectors, requires a screw to fasten the left side lever.The BAD-ASS also allows the user to customize the right side lever which requires another screw. So it requires 1 additional screw versus other ambi safety designs.

While the BAD-ASS does add some complexity, it is obvious that the designers took great care to mitigate any potential failure points. The levers have a thick lug that mates with a slot in the cross bar portion of the selector. This lug is locked into the slot with a screw. This means that all the normal rotational forces are transferred to the lug, not to the screw. This design all but eliminates the screw as a breakage point. The user should also apply a thread locker like Loc-Tite to the threads of the screws to prevent them from backing out, further mitigating a screw as a failure point. You might also consider witness marking the screw and lever with a paint pen so that any rotation is immediately apparent.

From left to right: Standard, Short, Thin, and mil-spec.

What’s the Point?

Even if a part is bullet-proof, it may not be worth adding to your rifle unless it adds significant functionality. The BAD-ASS does just that. Not only does it add the ability to operate the selector with the thumb of the weak side hand, but it can significantly enhance the ability of the strong hand thumb to operate the safety thanks to the well designed levers. The levers are what makes the BAD-ASS excellent.

Standard Lever

The lever that is most like the standard mil-spec lever is what Battle Arms Development refers to as “Standard”. This lever is as long as the mil-spec lever but wider and more squared. It, like all the levers, has shallow grooves to increase purchase. I dare you to miss or slip off this lever with your thumb.

Short Lever

One of the problems with all other ambi selectors on the market is that they abrade the trigger finger and , worse, they can actually have their movement impeded by the trigger finger. This is not a good situation. Battle Arms Development deals with this issue by offering an array of levers that are designed to stay out of the way of the trigger finger.

In addition to the “Standard” lever, my sample kit came with a “Short” and a “Thin” lever. The “Short” lever gives a wide, square target for your thumb, while the “Thin” lever gives a narrower target that slips under the trigger finger without being noticed.  Both levers are relatively easy to work with the weak side thumb. I found it easier for my comparatively clumsy left hand thumb to operate the “Short” lever but found that the “Thin” lever interfered less with my right hand trigger finger.

Thin Lever

Battle Arms Development also offers new “Short+Thin” levers and “Hybrid” levers. The “Short+Thin” is pretty self explanatory – it is short and thin. It is the lowest profile lever that they offer.It would basically be impossible for this lever to get in the way of your trigger finger. The “Hybrid” lever is a very slick design. The leading edge is wide and square like the “Short” lever but the trailing edge is thin to prevent interference with the trigger finger. It is the best of all worlds and, based on my experience with the above levers, it should be the perfect lever for your weak side. Pictures of these levers can be seen at the end of the review.

Putting it to the Test

Most AR-15 lower parts kits come with selectors that feel somewhat sloppy or mushy. I prefer my selectors to click positively into position and move freely between positions. The BAD-ASS is precision machined and comes with the hardened stainless selector detent from KNS which creates the most crisp and positive selector that you have ever felt on an AR-15. The level of precision and consistency that can be achieved by machining a part versus casting virtually guarantees that every BAD-ASS will be as crisp and positive as the one I reviewed. It really has to be felt to be believed.

I have been able to run this selector through several drills. I have found it to be the easiest to hit and most crisp selector that I have used. Many people like to constantly work the selector as they shoot from around barricades/cover. The well designed levers make it easy to activate the selector as your rock your upper body out around cover and back again. The “Standard” lever is so smooth and well shaped that it almost seems to leap out of the way on its own when you are doing snap shot drills from the low ready. The increased surface area, squared shape, and subtle texture combine to make the safety nearly impossible to miss even with gloves.

Both the “Thin” and “Short” levers do a pretty good job of staying out of the way of the trigger finger. They also provide large enough targets to ensure positive function with your less dexterous weak side thumb during weak side drills. That is really key. A weak side lever must do two things: stay out of the way of the trigger finger and be easily activated with your less dexterous hand. Both of these levers proved to be successful at this in my drills.

The “Short” works better with gloves than the “Thin” but I was surprised that even the “Thin” lever wasn’t difficult to hit with gloves.

This thing flat out rocks.

The Selector to End All Selectors

If you have ever trained on cornering or the use of cover you will know the value in being able to use your rifle with either hand. Given the fact that you may have limited or no use of your strong hand in an actual fight, it might be a good policy for every serious fighting rifle to have ambidextrous selectors. If you can see that wisdom in that, then the BAD-ASS is definitely for you. The clever design, quality construction, customization potential, and increased functionality of the BAD-ASS help to mitigate any additional complexity. The BAD-ASS is attractive and functional. It might just be the selector to end all selectors.

You can check out and purchase the Ambidextrous Safety Selector on the Battle Arms Development website.

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