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Archive | Tactical Gear

Battle Arms Development Ambi Safety Selector

This is a pretty clever new take on the AR-15 safety selector. The Battle Arms Development, Inc. Ambi Safety Selector is an ambi selector that allows the user to choose between several different sizes and shapes of selector lever on both sides of the rifle.

Click to enlarge.

There are good reasons to have an ambi selector even if you are a right handed. For instance, you may have to switch to your weak side in order to clear a corner or you may lose full or partial use of your strong hand. The nice thing about this lever is that you could put a short or slim lever on the side that you do not typically use so that it is out of your way or you could put a larger lever on your weak side to make it easier for your weak hand to manipulate.

If I were to install one of these, I would give the screws a good dose of Loc-Tite and I would suggest that you do as well. Screws always make me nervous and they certainly could be a downside to gear like this. Shooters should always weigh the pros and cons carefully if they ever choose to replace a simple part with a more complicated one.

Review: Bogota Entry Tool Set

The Bogota Entry Tool Set is one of the coolest (and most useful) gadgets that I have come across in a long time. It is basically a lock pick set that has been reduced down to its most essential parts, seemingly without loss of function. The set is a marvel of functional and ergonomic design.

Bogota Entry Tools with key for scale.

The set consists of two items: a Bogota rake and a feeler pick. Both the rake and pick are bent and designed to function as tension devices. When you are using the rake, you can use the pick as your tension device and vice versa. The pick and rake are designed to nest together which makes an already compact pick set, even easier to carry. They can be held together using the spring from a click-able pen and pinned in a bag or clothing using a safety pin. The set is available in spring steel, stainless steel, and titanium. All three models are hand made and are highly polished which allows that to move effortlessly in the lock. The particular set that I have is the stainless model that I purchased from the good folks at ITS Tactical.

Bogota Entry Tools nest together and can be held in place with the spring from a pen.

I am not an all-star lock pick. I have only been practicing in my free time over several days. Yet, even I have had great results with this set – especially with the rake. Raking is not quite as refined as traditional picking but it works and the Bogota rake works especially well. When raking you must learn the most effective ways to move the rake, you must gain a practiced feel for how to tension the lock, and you need a well designed rake. So, while I said it was not as refined, it is certainly something that must be learned and practiced. I must admit though, that once you learn to rake, it will be harder to put the time into learning to pick since raking is so effective. The simplicity and effectiveness of the set make it perfect for a novice like me.

On the other hand, the spartan and compact nature of the set will also make it attractive t0 experienced pickers who need a simple, light weight, and effective set to keep on their person. They will appreciate the shape of the handles and how it lends itself to the motion required to rake a lock and to excellent feedback. The experienced picker will also appreciate the delicate nature of the pick and rake’s design. The rake is especially ingenious in the way it spans a 5 pin lock.

The tail end of both tools in the Bogota Entry Tool set can be used as a tension device.

Typically when you pick a lock, you set some light tension with a tension wrench and then manipulate each pin individually to the shear line. However, when raking a lock, all the pins are manipulated at the same time. You set light tension and insert the rake, then shake the rake in and out/up and down. Once you have a practiced hand this technique can be used to bypass locks very quickly.

The bottom line is that this set is compact, easy to carry, well made, ingeniously designed, and they work extremely well. Once you get the raking motion and a feel for tension, you should be able to bypass nearly any pin and tumbler lock with just these two tools. If you know nothing about lock picking, this set won’t make you a lock picking superman. However, with practice, it is very effective.

Like the stainless Bogotas? Check out our review of the Bogota Titanium Entry Set.

Purchase your own set at ITS Tactical or SerePick.

DisclaimerJerking the Trigger does not advocate using these for anything illegal. Never pick a lock that the owner has not given permission for you to pick. Check your local laws before carrying these tools.

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New Maxpedition Mini Tactical Chest Rig

The new Maxpedition Mini Tactical Chest Rig was shown at this year’s SHOT Show and now it is available for purchase. It is another Maxpedition/Extreme Gear Labs (Eggroll, EGL) collaboration. I suspect that this will be a big seller. It has a lot of features that I find desirable in a chest rig – light weight (12.8 ounces!), simple 3 mag design, plenty of PALS webbing (not that you have to fill it), and wide straps without padding (which I prefer). The price makes this especially attractive at less than $60.

Check out the Mini Tactical Chest Rig at Maxpedition’s website.

TOOOL Credit Card Pickset

Lock picking can be a very useful skill to have. It requires practice, finesse, practice, the right tools, and more practice. You can’t buy practice or finesse but you can buy tools. TOOOL has designed a particularly clever set of lock picking tools called the TOOOL Credit Card Pickset.

This clever credit card sized piece of metal contains an entire pickset complete with picks, rakes, and tension wrenches (the frame). There are two versions which are both available at the link. V2.0 looks like the pick of the liter.

DisclaimerJerking the Trigger does not advocate using these for anything illegal. Never pick a lock that the owner has not given permission for you to pick. Check your local laws before carrying these tools.

Good Stuff From Other Blogs

Beyond “The Chart” – Vuurwapen Blog – 87GN hit this one out of the park. “The Chart” is a great resource but it was never intended to tell the whole story. There are other factors involved that you should consider. This is a must read.

Knot Series – ITS Tactical – ITS Tactical shares a new knot every week. They show how to tie it and offer suggestions on how to use it. The series on stringing a tarp shelter has been especially useful to me.

The Pros and Cons of MREs –  ITS Tactical Navigating the world of MREs can be tricky at times, especially with all of the commercial makers out there claiming to be just like the real issued MREs. ITS Tactical recently posted an article that may be of some help when trying to determine which, if any, MREs to purchase.

HSH Fighting: The Sand in the Face – Death Valley Magazine – This article is a good reminder that the handful of sand (or whatever else is nearby) isn’t just a dramatic plot device employed by Jean-Claude Van Damme movies – it actually works.

Buy a Knife, Cure Cancer – PistolTraining.com – Todd Greene at PistolTraining.com is one of the premier handgun trainers in the country. He is also a cancer survivor. He has collaborated with SKD Tactical (a great source for tactical gear) to bring you a limited edition Zero Tolerance knife. Part of the proceeds will go to the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

Tactical Preschool 54 – The Things Worth Believing In – I hate stairs! Tgace has the lowdown on two man stair clearing technique.

Bogota Entry Tools Available Now at ITS Tactical

I have been waiting for these ever since I saw the review on ITS Tactical. The Bogota Entry Tools are available now. For $30-35 you get an innovative, quality, handmade entry tool set and you support a great blog – it’s a win-win.

Bogota Entry Tools on ITS Tactical

Buyer Beware: Fake C.A.T. Tourniquets

87GN over at Vuurwapen Blog posted recently about the fake CAT Tourniquets that are finding their way to the market. These are very convincing fakes of a very popular tourniquet. If you have purchased a CAT tourniquet recently, I suggest that you check it against the PDF that is linked at Vuurwapen Blog.

It is vitally important that you avoid these knock offs at all costs (and all knock off products for that matter). It is not simply a matter of saving a few bucks. These literally do not work. The windlass is too flexible and will not provide sufficient leverage to tighten the tourniquet. They can not be used to stop extremity hemorrhaging. These have the potential to get someone killed.

Check your CAT tourniquets and tell your friends to check theirs.

Review of the US Palm AK Attack Rack

James G. at Death Valley Magazine (which I read daily, it is a great blog) has the first hands on review that I have seen of the US Palm AK Attack Rack. The AK Attack Rack is an AK specific chest rig with some unique features that help it deal with the unique challenges that AK magazines present.

Check the review on Death Valley Magazine.

ESEE (RAT Cutlery) Sheaths are Tops

People often ask me for recommendations on which knife to buy. Unless they have some really specific needs, I almost always say get something from ESEE (formerly RAT Cutlery). Why pick ESEE over any of the other great manufacturers that are out there? The answer is simple… it’s the sheaths!

There is no shortage of makers out there that are turning out great knives. ESEE doesn’t really do anything unique with their knives. The knives are just simple, honest designs, made from good materials, with a great warranty, and made by good people. It is their sheaths that give them a leg up. While most makers offer barely functional (and, in many cases, poorly made) sheaths that seem like an afterthought. ESEE knives come standard with sheaths that are versatile, well made, and extremely functional.

Take for instance the ESEE-4 (formerly the RC-4). It comes with a fold over style kydex sheath. That in and of itself isn’t very original. However, the sheath is configured to take a myriad of extra accessories that quickly, easily, and inexpensively add tons of functionality.

RC-4 attached to an Eagle Molle Shroud via Molle-Loks

You can use paracord to create belt loops to carry the knife vertically or horizontally on your belt. Blade-Tec Molle-Loks (included on some models) can be used to carry the knife on your belt or attached to any surface with PALs webbing (backpack, battle belt, vest, etc). ESEE also makes a backer (included on some models) that allows the knife to be carried in situations where it must be “jump safe”. This backer also lets the knife be attached to a belt so that the knife hangs below the belt line which many people find more comfortable. The backer also allows the knife to be attached to any surface with PALs webbing. The sheath can even be connected directly to the shroud on the venerable and prolific Safariland 6004 drop leg holsters or you can use a Blade-Tec Tek-Lok as a versatile mounting option. The number of mounting/carry options will boggle your mind.

The ESEE MOLLE backer can be used as a belt hanger on regular and MOLLE belts.

Choosing a carry/mounting option is as simple as matching the best option with your method of carry. I use the backer for MOLLE battle belt carry. This allows the knife to hang comfortably and securely below the belt line. I also use the backer to attach the sheath to a normal belt when hiking. I use the Molle-Loks to attach the knives to other PALs webbing covered surfaces like my Eagle Industries Molle Drop Leg Panel for Safariland holsters.

A simple piece of inner tube can help lock the sheath in place on your belt when using paracord as a belt loop.

Some of the larger models like the ESEE-5 and ESEE-6 have accessory pouches that can be easily attached to the front of the sheaths. These pouches can used to carry small items like sharpeners, multi-tools, and small survival kits. Have an option to attach or remove these pouches is quite unique and useful.

I do not know of any other manufacturer that offers a sheath system that even begins to approach the versatility of the ESEE sheaths. So next time you are considering purchasing a knife, make sure you weigh your sheath options. If the knife you are considering doesn’t have a sheath that fits your needs completely (and chances are good that it won’t), take a look at the ESEE line of knives and tools. Don’t settle for a lousy sheath!

More info on ESEE Sheaths and carry/attachment methods can be found HERE. You can also view this 2 part PDF document for sheath info: Part 1 and Part 2. (These PDFs and the following picture are property of ESEE)

Click to Enlarge.

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Denny's Super Duty Bolts with Ion Bond

Denny at Global Tactical Solutions is now offering his excellent Ion Bond Super Duty bolts separately from the carrier. Previously, they had to be purchased as a complete bolt/carrier group (BCG). Now they are available to those who already have a good carrier on hand.

These bolts are everything a bolt should be (shot peened extractor with improved spring and correct insert and MP tested) but they also have the excellent upgrade of being Ion Bonded. The Ion Bond coating is self-lubricating (you still need lube), very hard and wear resistant, and it cleans very easily.

The bolts are top notch and the coating is amazing. I have been using one of the Super Duty BCGs in my range pig (the rifle that gets burnt up at the range more often than all my others) for 3 years. It has just short of 4000 trouble free rounds on it, many of which have come during higher volume training. This is great gear.

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