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Archive | Tactical Gear

NUKOTOOLS

Image provided by NUKOTOOLS

NUKOTOOLS is a maker of unique, innovative, and reasonably priced impact tools. The tools are designed to be discreet, last-ditch defensive tools. Each one is hand made from G-10 which is a non-metallic material that fits the discreet mission of the tool.

The Punch Ring (shown in the image above) is the most compact of the three tools that NUKOTOOLS makes. It can be easily carried on a key ring so that you always have it with you. It is extremely easy to use but, as with any defensive technique or device, it is more effective with training. The user places their middle finger through the hole in the center and then makes a fist. The chiseled edge protrudes forward of the fist and serves to concentrate the force of the punch. The broad base presses against the palm to reinforce the fist. Stay tuned for a full review of the Punch Ring.

You can view the full line of NUKOTOOLS on their website.

You should research the legality of these tools before carrying them.

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ESEE Navigation/Survival Card

I like tools that are simple, easy to carry, and multi-functional. The new ESEE Navigation/Survival Card is certainly all of those things.

The card is made from clear plastic and comes with a Tyvek protection sleeve. It features map rules and UTM corners for the most common map scales found in the USA. It also features a compass rose with 22.5 degree increments, a list of ground to air signals, and other useful survival related information.

The best thing about the ESEE Navigation/Survival Card is the form factor. It is business card sized which makes it perfect for storing in a wallet or small E&E/Survival kit. It wouldn’t be your first choice on an orienteering course but its convenient size makes it more likely that you will have it when you really need it. This card, coupled with a button compass or small baseplate compass would make a somewhat imprecise, but very usable combination.

This card, like all other great tools, is simple and versatile. It also happens to be very inexpensive. Check it out at the ESEE website.

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Review: Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot from Impact Weapon Components

The Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot is one of the newest additions to the Mount-N-Slot line from Impact Weapon Components. As you might gather from the name, the Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot is designed to enhance your control of you carbine. It is essentially a very trim and well designed hand stop.

The Mount-N-Slot experience starts with the innovative packaging. The Weapon Control is on the left.

Details, Fit, and Finish

The Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot is well machined from aluminum. It is compact and lightweight. The black hard anodized finish is evenly applied and is attractive as it is durable. Great care has been taken to remove all sharp corners from the Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot. This is key for a piece of gear that is designed to have a hand pressed tightly against it for prolonged periods of time.

Like the OCP Sling Mount-N-Slot that I wrote about yesterday, the Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot uses a single screw and threaded washer to attach to the hand guards. It also has two tabs that fit tightly into the slot to prevent unwanted rotation. It is a very simple and sturdy configuration.

The finish and machining on Mount-N-Slots is flawless, even on the back where it will never be seen. Notice the tabs that prevent unwanted rotation.

On Vertical Grips and Hand Stops

Vertical grips have been with us for many years and, used correctly, they can be tremendous aids in weapon control. Many users no longer hold vertical grips like a hammer, with the thumb wrapped around the grip. These users will typically place the hand on the front of the vertical grip, or even in front of the vertical grip on the hand guard, with the thumb forward (like the support hand on a handgun). This grip has lead some shooters to question whether a full grip is even necessary which led to the popularity of short or “stubby” vertical grips. This smaller-is-better-trend has continued with the growing popularity of hand stops.

A hand stop serves essentially the same function as a vertical grip. It promotes consistent support hand placement and gives the support hand something to pull against. By pulling against the vertical grip or hand stop, the shooter can more effectively control the muzzle of the carbine. Controlling the muzzle leads to faster follow up shots as muzzle rise is controlled and being able to drive the carbine from target to target more efficiently. So, in this sense, a hand stop is essentially being used as a minimalist vertical grip.

This is the definition of "simple and effective."

In Use

Does it work? Yes. It definitely works.

I am a vertical grip user and the Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot really impressed me. I was able to generate all of the tension that I am used to generating with a vertical grip except with a much smaller, lighter piece of gear. I wrapped my hand around the Magpul MOE hand guards in front of the Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot and then, with a nearly straight support arm, pulled the carbine back into my shoulder. Just like with a vertical grip, follow up shots come quickly and driving between targets is quick.

The thumb forward grip allowed me to keep my weapon light in the same location as I do with a vertical grip (10-11 o’clock on the hand guard from the shooter’s point of view). In this position, the light falls naturally under the thumb. The Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot works very well with a light in this configuration.

I noticed that, since the Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot is much smaller than my typical vertical grip, it was easier to shoot from rests. You have to be conscious of where you place the hand guard when you are using a vertical grip and shooting from a rest like a sand bag when sighting in or using an improvised rest like a low wall. The smaller hand stop just doesn’t get in the way as much.

The Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot gives the shooter something to pull against when supporting the rifle.

Conclusion

The Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot is a simple piece of gear that can really increase the function of a carbine by increasing the amount of control the shooter has over the carbine. With training, this simple piece of gear can really help you improve your shooting.

The Weapon Control Mount-N-Slot is available for the Magpul MOE Hand Guards, Bushmaster ACR, and slotted free float tubes with an outside diameter of 1.75″ or 2.00″.

Remember to use the coupon code “triggerjerk” at checkout to receive 5% discount at IWC.

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PWS SRX

SCAR users now have another choice in extension rails. The PWS SRX (SCAR Extension Rail) extends the available rail space on the SCAR by 5″. In addition to the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock rails, it adds a 12 o’clock rail in front of the front sight which is popular place to mount a light like the Surefire X300. The SRX only adds 7.9 ounces to the weight of the SCAR which is a good trade off for the additional functionality.

The SRX can be found on the PWS website.

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Patch Collecting: Low Speed High Drag Patch from 2A-GEAR

I have had a really hard time keeping this one under wraps until now. 2A-Gear.com now has a Low Speed High Drag patch to go with their LSHD t-shirt. The quality of the patch is excellent. The embroidery is crisp and the hook backing is sewn on instead of just glued.

You can purchase your own LSHD Patch at 2A-GEAR.com! Check out the LSHD t-shirt while you are there.

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Review: Stark Equipment SE-1 AR-15 Pistol Grip

A friend recently gave me a Stark Equipment SE-1 to try out. I have to admit that I started this review a little biased against the SE-1. Many people object to the SE-1’s unconventional looks but that wasn’t my issue. I didn’t think that I would like the way the grip forces the hand lower since I generally tend to grip my ARs very high. Now, having spent some quality time with the SE-1, I can say that my concerns were unfounded. This is an excellent grip and it may even solve some problems for some users.

The SE-1 offers some very unique features among AR-15 pistol grips. Click any image to enlarge.

 

Function Trumps Form

The Stark Equipment grips certainly don’t look like anything else that is on the market right now. The design is different enough to elicit a lot of negativity on the online forums. Thankfully, there are people like you, who are willing to give something a try before they completely disregard it. Once you see the SE-1 in person and actually try it, you will see that it is all about function and ergonomics. This grip works.

The SE-1 is more vertical than most AR-15 grips which tend to rake backwards. This may be the single best feature of the SE-1. Think of how you hold a carbine. Generally the strong side (weapon side) hand is on the pistol grip and the elbow is tucked down close to the body. This requires that the wrist to be bent forward at a relatively extreme angle in order to hold the grip. Reducing the angle of the grip allows the wrist to be held in a straighter, locked position.

The SE-1 also forces the hand into a lower position. You can not ride your hand up as high behind the grip as you typically can with other grips. The conventional wisdom is that a higher grip helps control the weapon. The SE-1’s lower grip brings the trigger finger straight behind the trigger which should help your trigger pull mechanics feel a bit more natural. On some grips, I tend to grip so high that I am actually pulling the trigger back and up. This is not the case with the SE-1. It positions the trigger finger so well, that this would make a great choice for an AR geared toward precision shooting. I also find that the lower position helps to further straighten the wrist because it reduces the angle at the elbow.

The straighter angle and lower position of the SE-1 may actually help alleviate the wrist pain that some shooters experience while shooting. It certainly seemed to fatigue the wrist less than some of my other grips.

The grip also features some very nice contours. It reminds me a lot of the old “Coke Bottle” grips on S&W revolvers. It is narrower at the top and bottom, with a nice palm “swell” in the middle. This palm swell area has a very nice medium texture that provides plenty of purchase without being abrasive. The texture is positioned in a place where it will make maximum contact with the part of your hand that is on the grip at all times. The areas under your trigger finger, which doesn’t provide grip, are left without any aggressive texture. There is also a subtle thumb shelf that promotes consistent thumb placement. This grip was made to fit the human hand.

The SE-1 features an integral trigger guard that replaces the flat trigger guard that most ARs use. Like other products on the market, the SE-1’s trigger guard provides some extra room for gloved users and covers the irritating gap behind the trigger guard. However, unlike any other trigger guard that I have seen, the SE-1 completely covers the “ears” that hold the trigger guard roll pin. This makes much more surface area for contact with the middle finger than any other product that I have used. It is very comfortable.

It only takes a minute with the SE-1 to see that the designers were more concerned with making something that worked well with the human body than they were concerned about making something that looks cool. I haven’t really seen a decline in control from the lower grip, so perhaps the straighter, locked wrist position that the SE-1 affords, offsets any perceived difference in control.

The SE-1 completely covers the "ears" that holds the trigger guard roll pin in place.

 

Fit, Finish, and Other Features

The SE-1 certainly seems to be well made. It is made from polymer that has a very slight pebble texture to it which makes for an attractive and functional finish. The injection molding lines are clean, even, and do not abrade the hand. It certainly seems on par with other quality plastic products on the market.

There is threaded metal insert that accepts a small screw to secure the front of the trigger guard. Most other grips and trigger guard products use a metal screw that threads directly into the plastic so a metal insert is a welcome addition.

Extra items, like CR123 batteries or a spare bolt, can be stored in the grip using the provided rubber plug. The plug is very secure when empty and, once items are placed in it, it becomes even more secure. The items stretch and expand the rubber plug which makes it an even tighter fit in the grip. I have a hard time imagining how you could lose this plug.

There is also an SE-2 version of this grip that features a sling mount on the upper back extension. This positions the sling exactly where I prefer it – the rear of the receiver.

The SE-1 features a rubber insert that can hold a spare bolt or batteries.

 

Conclusion

Is the SE-1 strange looking to some people? Yes. Are looks the most important thing when you are choosing what to use on a tool that might save your life? Not even close.

If you are someone who will gladly exchange function for form, you know, because you actually shoot your carbines. Then you may want to give the Stark Industries SE-1 a try. This grip is has a lot of unique features that really make a lot of sense. I am very impressed with this grip.

You can read more about the SE-1 on the Stark Equipment website.

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Mountain Ridge Gear Redesigns Their Tactical Messenger Bag… Again!

Last week I mentioned the newly redesigned Tactical Messenger Bag from Mountain Ridge Gear. Well, Mountain Ridge Gear wasted no time in refining the design once again.

The newest version features two huge improvements. First, there is some additional MOLLE webbing on the front of the bag, under the the flap. Second, the rear pocket that is closest to the wearer now has Velcro loop material for use with holsters and other hook backed accessories. Of course, the same overbuilt craftsmanship and functional organization that you have come to expect from Mountain Ridge Gear is still intact.

Check out the newly redesigned Tactical Messenger Bag while it is on sale!

 

MOLLE webbing has been added to the front of the bag.

Hook and loop material has been added to the rear compartment.

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LaRue Tactical LT752 Offset QD Mount for SureFire Scout WeaponLights

Users of the Surefire Scout Series of WeaponLights have never had many great choices in offset mounts. I have written previously about the Danger Close Consulting Scout Mount and the Gear Sector Scout Mount. Now LaRue has introduced the LT752 Offset QD Mount for Surefire Scout WeaponLights. Each of these three options have their own three unique strengths. The LT752 brings the excellent LaRue QD system to the table.

Check out the LT752 on the LaRue website where it is available as a mount only or as a package with the M300 or M600.

Review: Magpul MVG

The Magpul MVG (Magpul Vertical Grip) is a vertical grip that is designed to attach directly to the Magpul MOE Hand Guards. It attaches to the hand guards via a threaded post and a washer. It is prevented from spinning by two thick plastic tabs that lock into the slots in the MOE hand guards. There is no rail section needed which keeps the parts count down (fewer that can break at the wrong time) and it keeps weight down. The MVG attaches very securely and feels rock solid once it is attached. The bottom section of the MOE Hand Guards contains a metal heat shield which helps reinforce the MVG.

I have also seen the MVG adapted to work with other hand guards like the Troy VTAC Extreme and JP/VTAC hand guards. There may be some fitting required but those who have completed this modification have been pleased with the results.

The texture on the MVG is very well executed. The sides of the MVG have a fine texture that is similar to the sides of the Magpul MIAD. The front and back of the grip has horizontal lines that promote grip and control.

The shape of the MVG works very well with a thumb-forward grip. Many vertical grips have a larger, flared section where the grip meets the rail which can actually get in the way of a thumb-forward grip. The MVG has a fairly uniform size from top to bottom which seems to work best with this type of grip.

The MVG is an excellent addition to the MOE Hand Guard. It, along with the Mount-N-Slots from Impact Weapon Components, have turned the MOE Hand Guards into a fully functional alternative to more expensive rail systems. Magpul has really done an excellent job at offering solid gear at a very attractive price with their MOE line.

The MVG used for this review was provided by Impact Weapon Components.

Mountain Ridge Gear Redesigns Their Tactical Messenger Bag

Mountain Ridge Gear, maker of top quality nylon gear like the previously reviewed Tactical Man Purse, just introduced an updated version of their Tactical Messenger Bag. This bag looks much like any other messenger bag on the outside but offers bullet proof construction and some very well versatile organization. Like all other Mountain Ridge Gear bags, they are made right here in the USA by a real craftsman. The price will surprise you (in a good way) for a bag of this quality.

Check out the Mountain Ridge Gear website for more pictures, information, and pricing.

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