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Archive | Tactical Gear

ESEE and DPx

Jeff Randall, co-owner of ESEE Knives and Randall Adventure Training (RAT), has announced that DPx will spawn its own brand in the ESEE Family. DPx is the collaboration of renowned adventurer Robert Young Pelton and ESEE Knives. The DPx Gear H.E.S.T. was the first fruits of this joint venture and now we can look forward to many other items.

 

DPx Gear HEST

 

The new DPx line will feature items that are targeted towards adventurers and a the tactical market while ESEE Knives continues to serve the survival market. You can look forward to a H.E.S.T. Folder, DPx soft goods, and other items. There will also eventually be DPx specific training courses offered.

I am really looking forward to seeing what comes of this collaboration. I will keep you up to date as products are released.

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MagCinch Tool – Great Gear for the Range

The MagCinch Tool has many functions that Ar15 shooters will find useful even though you wouldn’t know it by its modest name. It has been an invaluable tool that I have been using for several years. I suppose that since it is made by MagCinch (Buffer Tech) that its primary function is to tighten MagCinch magazine couplers. I don’t own any magazine couplers and generally do not care for them but it is the multiple other functions of the tool that I use most often.

The MagCinch Tool has a set of screwdriver/scraper tips that I use frequently. One is angled for use with Phillips head screws or for scraping tight spaces. The other is sized to scrape the front of a AR-15 bolt. I rarely use them as scrapers but they are great for adjusting an Aimpoint or other optic. If you have to use them to turn more than a couple of screws, you will wish you had a real screwdriver, but they work quite well in a pinch.

The front sight adjustment tool works extremely well. It has a square hole that slips over the front sight and a small pin that you use to depress the front sight detent. You simply place it over the front sight, depress the pin, and twist. It is easy and it beats mauling the tip of a bullet.

There are also 2 different sizes of pin pushers. These have come in handy several times to push pins especially on new AR15s with very tight upper receiver to lower receiver fit. They can be used to push the pin just enough to get your fingers on it.

There is also a lanyard loop that can be used to dummy cord the tool to your gear. It would be a shame to lose such a useful tool in the field. I rarely use this feature but I can see the value.

The MagCinch Tool isn’t nearly as full featured as some of the “Leatherman” style tools that are coming to market for the AR-15, but it is much less expensive, much lighter in weight, and still extremely useful. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have been asked to pass the MagCinch tool down the firing line to fix some small problem. It is a worthy addition to your gear.

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Free Map Tools at MapTools.com

Recently I found myself 2 days before a hike without a map ruler for 1:24000 scale maps. I didn’t know of any retailers locally that would have what I needed and I didn’t think that an online retailer would be able to get the ruler to me in time for the hike. Sure, I could get by by just using the scale on the map, but those are often scaled in miles and I prefer to have the option to measure things out in yards or meters if possible.

MapTools.com to the rescue! I was already on their site to order some other tools (which will be reviewed in an upcoming article) when I noticed that MapTools.com has a free download section. They have a ton of great tools in .PDF format that can be downloaded for free. I downloaded a 1:24K map ruler and had several printed on overhead transperancy sheets at a local office supply chain. You may also want to consider laminating your ruler since the printing may rub a bit under field conditions. The rulers worked perfectly and I was able to share some spares with others on the hike.

Check out the free tools here.

While you are there, check out their line of unique, very useful, and not free map tools.

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USGI Cammenga Lensatic Compass – Washer and Dryer Test

I recently sent a USGI Cammanga Lensatic Compass through the washing machine and briefly through the dryer in the name of science (or maybe I just forgot to take it out of my pocket). I am am happy to say that it passed the washer and dryer test with flying colors. These are compasses are TOUGH.

The compass displayed no additional paint chipping (it was already quite well worn). No moisture made it into the capsule and there was no fogging. The sighting wire is still straight and intact. All of the tritium elements are still intact and working. The rotating bezel is still in place and clicks positively.

 

USGI Lensatic Compass after going through the washer and dryer.

 

 

There are compasses that are lighter in weight. There are compasses that have more features. There are compasses that require less additional map tools. But there are few compasses as tough as the USGI Lensatic compass and few that make taking relatively precise azimuths as easy. I own other compasses, but I often find myself reaching for one of my old USGI Lensatics because I know them and trust them.

Note: Stay tuned for some upcoming compass and map tool reviews. I hope to take a look at some of the excellent UTM tools from MapTools.com, the venerable Brunton 15TDCL (AKA the real Silva Ranger), and the superb Suunto MC-2 Global.

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BooBoo Kit Versus Blow Out Kit

I hope that you know the importance of having a blow out kit on your person whenever you are at the range. We previously discussed a basic kit that could be contained in the HSGI Bleeder Pouch. Blow out kits are serious gear for serious situations. A blow out kit can literally save your life but how will you handle injuries that are less than life threatening? Build a booboo kit.

A booboo kit is just another name for a first aid kit. It should be compact and comprehensive. Think about all the common little injuries and issues that you deal with when you spend a day (or days) outdoors, at the range, or in training. You will probably deal with things like headaches, cuts, burns, scrapes, stomach aches, blisters and more. These are all things that can ruin a day at the range and can not (and probably should not) be treated with the items in your blow out kit.

You will also find this type of kit to be useful when you are not on the range. You may want to add it to your hiking pack, your hunting pack, your vehicle, or even keep it at the office.

A basic booboo kit should cover the most common injuries you encounter. The following list will not be comprehensive. You will want to consider adding and deleting items as you see fit.

Cut Treatment – Band-aids, gauze, first aid tape, triple antibiotic ointment, butterfly band-aids, medical grade super glue

Medications – Pain relievers, antacids, anti-diarrheal,  cold meds, allergy meds, anti-itch ointment

Sprains and Breaks – Ace bandage, SAM splint, chemical cold compress, triangular bandage (used as a sling), finger splint,

Burns – Burn gel, burn dressings

Sanitation – Hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves, cleansing wipes

Other – Tick removal tool (tweezers or dedicated tool), mole skins for blister treatment, snake bite kit, scalpel blades, glow stick, space blanket

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Rite in the Rain Notebooks

Rite in the Rain is famous for their paper. While most paper turns into a mushy mess in the rain, Rite in the Rain paper remains intact and you can still write on it even when it is soaked (if you have the right writing utensil). This paper is amazing stuff.

I have been using Rite in the Rain’s pocket notebooks for years. I used one most recently to record distances, azimuths, and pace counts on an orienteering course. There was a threat of a rain all day and while little more than a sprinkle ever fell on us, the Right in the Rain notebook handled it easily. These notebooks are a must whenever I am outdoors. It seems that I am always finding a use for them. I often use them in carbine training classes to record information and take notes. The notebooks also have rulers and map scales printed on the plastic covers. The rulers often come in handy on the range.

If you need to write in the outdoors, there simply is no substitute for Rite in the Rain products.

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BSA Hot Spark – Ultimate Keychain Fire Starter

Many of you are familiar with ferrocerium rods (aka ferro rods and firesteels). It is basically a rod made of a special alloy that creates a shower of hot sparks when scraped. The advantage of something like this over a lighter is that it never runs out of fuel. These have become very popular with outdoorsmen everywhere.

The Boy Scouts of America Hot Spark is essentially just a scaled down ferro rod. It is small enough to keep on your keychain but still large enough to be very functional. If you are practiced at recognizing and using natural and improvised tinders, you will have no problem starting a fire with a Hot Spark.

I have used these for years and they never let me down. I would definitely rather use a larger fire steel, but you can’t beat the convenient size of the Hot Spark. I keep one on my key chain, in my laptop case, and stashed just about everywhere else. You will never know it is there until you need it. I have also used a ranger band (just a piece of bicycle tire inner tube) to lash these to my knife sheath.

At $2.99 these are an amazing bargain. Add one to your keychain soon!

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Good Stuff From Other Blogs

The Machete: To Lanyard, Or Not to Lanyard – Armed & Christian – On the occasions that I do use a lanyard, this is how I do it.

Protecting Against Home Invasions – ITS Tactical – ITS Tactical has done a lot to tear down the illusion of security that many people have by showing how easy it is to pick locks, escape handcuffs, etc. Now they are offering some no nonsense tips for protecting your home.

Negligent Discharges vs. Accidental Discharges – Vuurwapen Blog – All too often these two terms are used incorrectly. It is time we started calling a spade, a spade. 99.99999% of the time you hear a news story about an accidental discharge, they are actually talking about a negligent discharge.

Bayonets for NAA Mini Revolvers – The Firearm Blog – Check your calender. Mine must be wrong. Is it April 1st?

A-TACS Nylon Cordura Fabric, Webbing and Hook and Loop Now Available – Soldier SystemsThe components needed to build gear with the interesting new A-TACs camo scheme are now available.

Cocoon Grid-It

A friend of mine passed me a link to the Cocoon Grid-It organizers and I was extremely impressed by the clever design. It is sold as an organizer for laptop bags, messenger bags, briefcases, luggage, and the like, however I think it would make a great organizer for an EDC bag. I could even see it holding magazines for a truck gun in a Bug Out Bag. There are several sizes available and the prices seem pretty reasonable to me.

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.

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