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Make Ready with Pat Rogers from Panteo Productions

Panteao Productions is making a name for themselves by delivering a huge and ever growing variety of tactical training from many of the most noted trainers in the industry, right into your living room. They not only provide DVDs but also offer an innovate streaming service that gives you access to the entire series of “Make Ready” training videos in HD on your computer. The newest part of the Panteao Productions Make Ready series is a Basic Carbine installment with legendary firearm instructor Pat Rogers. If that doesn’t make you stand up and take notice of what Panteo Productions is doing, I am not sure what will.

From the Panteao Productions website:

This video is a great way to start building upon your skill set in using a carbine or brushing up on your fundamentals. Pat Rogers, founder of EAG Tactical and retired Marine and Sgt in NYPD, takes you through all the steps needed towards building a solid foundation. In a one-on-one setting, Pat reviews with you the various accessories and gear available for the carbine platform. He covers weapon manipulation, trigger reset & dry firing, zero procedure, target engagement drills, shooting from intermediate and prone positions, turns, multiple target engagement, shooting on the move, and more. If you are serious about carbine use, this is a must have video.

Pat Rogers has a no BS approach to shooting, scratch that, to fighting with a gun. This should be an excellent addition to the already impressive Make Ready series.

Check out Make Ready with Pat Rogers Basic Carbine on PanteaoProductions.com.

UW Gear Bandoleer

UW Gear has a ton of new products coming out so stay tuned for all the details. In this post, we’ll check out the new UW Gear Bandoleer.

Chest rigs are an efficient means of bearing the weight of rifle magazines for extended time periods but they aren’t necessarily best when it comes to reactionary situations since they you likely won’t have time to don the rig. UW Gear designed their bandoleer to fill the role of reactionary support gear. This isn’t a tool that is made to go looking for trouble. This is a tool for when trouble finds you.

The UW Gear Bandoleer allows you to have 3 rifle reloads at your finger tips in the blink of an eye. The user simply throws the shoulder strap over their shoulder and the UW Gear Bandoleer is ready to go. If there is enough time, the user can also secure the waist strap. Even with the waist strap secured, the bandoleer is designed to allow access to items mounted on both sides of your belt. The pouches feature the same excellent flap design as the Minuteman MKII chest rigs.

The combination of easy donning, easy access, and secure retention make this a great compliment to a truck gun. It can also be kept next to your home defense carbine so it is ready for use.

The UW Gear Bandoleer is available for the AK and for the AR. You will also want to check out the UW Gear Facebook page and their forum where you can interact directly with the owners and read more about the philosophy behind their products.

TacStrike GOFO Target System

The new GOFO Target System is about as compact and portable as a steel target can be.

There are a number of reasons why having a portable steel target system makes a ton of sense. Steel targets that are left outside can be become irresistible temptations for thieves so it makes sense to have a target that you can easily move and stow indoors. If you shoot at an unorganized range, you likely need to bring your own targets and no one wants to have to move around full size target if they don’t have to.

The GOFO utilizes the same 1/4 scales target as TacStrike’s well known 1/4 Scales Steel Target System. However, the GOFO is far more compact and lighter in weight since it does require a stand, a base, or staking. The entire system folds small enough to be easily carried and deploys easily with a hitch pin locking it in the open position. The hitch pin is the only removable part (everything else is welded).

Due to the design of this target, it can handle rifle fire at distances of 75 yards or greater. It isn’t going to break to pieces if you are closer but the angle of the target could cause a safety issue if you are within 75 yards.

Check it out on the TacStrike website for more information on the GOFO and other great targets.

MagPod

Let’s just get something out of the way right up front. Placing the magazine on the ground in order to stabilize your AR-15 will not cause malfunctions. This technique has proven over and over again to be not only reliable but extremely useful. While I am dispelling myths… the 5.56 doesn’t tumble end over end through the air and Mattel never made M16s for the military.

The reason I bring this up is that the makers of the excellent line of Multitasker Tools recently made a splash with the introduction of the MagPod. The MagPod is a replacement baseplate for the ubiquitous Magpul PMAG. It is shaped in such a way that it provides a stable base when you are using the magazine as a monopod to stabilize your rifle and works as an aid in removing the magazine from pouches.

I think the MagPod has tremendous merit. I have personally used the magazine monopod technique with great success for a while now so I have no fears about this product causing malfunctions. Many people use products that attach to the base of their magazines that aid in removing magazines from their mag pouches. I view the MagPod as something similar but with the additional and useful functionality of stabilizing the rifle when used as a monopod. As with any product, time and testing will tell the whole story.

The MagPod will be available soon. While you are waiting, check out MagPod on their website and their Facebook page.

IWC 2 to 1 Point Split-Bar Triglide

So you really like the idea of the IWC 2 to 1 Point Triglide but your sling has sewn in attachment points? Well, that is no longer a problem. Check out the new 2 to 1 Point Split-Bar Triglide from Impact Weapons Components.

The 2 to 1 Point Split-Bar Triglide, as the name indicates, has a split center bar. The split center bar allows it to be placed on a sling without having to thread it on from an end. This means that those of you who have slings with sewn in attachment points can now experience the “Triglide.”

Check out the 2 to 1 Point Split-Bar Triglide on ImpactWeaponsComponents.com. Remember to use the coupon code “triggerjerk” at checkout to receive 5% discount at IWC.

Crosstac Pro Armorer Mat

Finding a clean, organized work surface when you are on the training range or out in the field can be a real challenge. Without suitable work surface, you run the risk of losing critical parts and efficiency while you try to get your firearm back up and running. Crosstac has a solution – the Pro Armorer Mat.

The Pro Armorer Mat is designed to work like a portable work bench. It can turn any surface, even the ground, into a useable workspace for firearm maintenance. The work surface is made from durable, non-slip ToughTek fabric. The corners have magnets on them so you can retain all of your small parts securely right on the  work surface and small pins and springs are prevented from rolling off the edges. The Pro Armorer Mat also features a zippered pouch and elastic loops for retaining small parts and tools.

The tethered Impact Pads are the most clever feature. One is made from leather and the other is hard plastic. This gives you something drive pins against even if you are working on a soft surface like the ground. The plates are tethered to the mat and can be stowed in a slip pocket when they are not in use.

You can fold the Pro Armorer Mat and secure it in the closed position with a Velcro strap when it is not in use. The exterior is Multicam nylon that is laminated to the ToughTek fabric.

You can check out the Pro Armorer Mat on Crosstac.com.

Vickers Combat Application Sling Story

Almost all of my rifles wear BFG VCAS Slings. This one has a camo green padded VCAS.

I use the Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Application Sling (VCAS) extensively. In fact, I own more than 10 of them because I like how simple they are to adjust versus other slings and the quality is excellent.

Because I use them so extensively, I was fascinated by this video that Blue Force Gear and Larry Vickers put together that explains the origins and philosophy behind the slings.

You can check out the Blue Force Gear VCAS slings on BlueForceGear.com and while you are there, check out the Last Call page for some great deals.

VTAC Quick Detach Ultralight Vertical Grip

The new VTAC Quick Detach Ultralight Vertical Grips (UVG) offer hard anodized aluminum construction with the weight of polymer (just 3.8 ounces). This is accomplished by aggressively milling away excess material to leave a functional frame of a vertical grip. It is designed to be compact but still long enough to be a functional grip.

The UVG features rattle free internal battery storage for 2x AA or 2x CR123 batteries. The batteries are retained via a clever o-ring set up that is easily user replaceable if it starts to wear out. Batteries are watertight on their own so water tight storage is not necessarily needed.

The DLOC QD systems allows the UVG to be installed and removed on your rail without tools.

Check out the UVG on the VTAC website.

Review: US PALM AK30 Rebuild Kit

The internal components that US PALM uses in their AK30 Magazines are excellent. Their AK30 Rebuild Kit makes it possible to install those same internal components in any magazine body that you choose. These kits allow you to revitalize old worn out magazines or even to upgrade your working magazines. I have mentioned these on the blog in the past and now I have had a chance to spend some quality time with them.

Components

The AK30 Rebuild Kits are made up of 3 components: a skeletonized polymer follower, a stainless steel magazine spring, and a parkerized steel floor plate latch. These are premium components. The followers are of the same distinctive design used on the AK30. It is ventilated to allow debris to be easily flushed out. It also seems to be very low friction (more on that later).

The US PALM AK30 follower is very distinctive.

When I have a choice I prefer a quality stainless spring. Modern stainless springs offer increased corrosion resistance while still providing set free reliability for many thousands of compressions. These springs will likely outlast the magazine body in which they are housed. I have had AK magazines fail due to rusty springs, but that becomes much less likely with the use of a stainless spring.

There isn’t much to say about the floor plate latches other than they locked into every magazine that I tried. Its only real purpose is to retain the floor plate and it does that well.

The floor plate latch is nicely finished and works well to retain the floor plate.

In Use

I had 4 kits that I installed in 4 different magazines: a polymer Polish magazine, a Chinese “no rib” steel magazine, a Hungarian 20 round “tanker” magazine, and a Bulgarian Circle 10 polymer magazine.

Left to right: Hungarian Tanker, Chinese "No Rib", Bulgarian Circle 10

The Polish magazine is the earlier military type that has steel reinforcement in the feedlips, not the later commercial types with no steel. This was the magazine that I was most looking forward to testing the kit with since its original follower was very sticky in the magazine body to the point that it would cause an occasional stoppage. The AK30 Rebuild kit immediately and completely cured the feeding issues. I have put over 300 trouble free rounds through this magazine with the kit installed. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about this because this is a great magazine body and it was a real shame that it wasn’t running well.

The Chinese “no rib” magazine accepted the kit and ran perfectly. However, the follower is a little bit narrow for this type of magazine and will only engage one of the follower retaining dimples at a time. These dimples are in place to prevent the follower from riding up too high in the magazine. By not engaging on both, the follower was allowed to wobble a bit more than usual. My concern would be that the follower might wear out sooner or develop more too much tilt over time. However, it functioned without issue through 180 rounds.

Hungarian 20 round “tanker” magazines utilize the same springs and followers as 30 round magazines. The AK30 Rebuild Kits fit the magazines perfectly. Loading the last few rounds is somewhat difficult but they functioned very well. There were no malfunctions through 150 rounds.

The follower required some fitting to work with the Bulgarian Circle 10 magazine. The follower would catch on the metal feedlip inserts. The fix was simple. I used a sharp knife to chamfer the top corners of the follower. The AK30 guts in the Circle 10 magazine body made for a very nice combination – the ultra rugged Circle 10 magazine body paired with the great follower and stainless spring of the AK30. It functioned perfectly through 300 rounds.

Top to bottom: Hungarian Tanker, Chinese "No Rib", Bulgarian Circle 10

Will They Work for You?

Given the somewhat wide variances in AK magazines, US PALM has done a very good job of making a kit that fits a broad range of magazine bodies. However, there can be some fit issues as evidenced by the examples I mentioned above. There are also some magazines that common sense dictates you wouldn’t want to use these kits.

If you are interested in trying the AK30 Rebuild Kits, I recommend buying one kit and trying it in the magazines that you intend to use it in before you buy several kits. Check the fit in as many magazines as you can. Determine if you will need to do any fitting (which is extremely easy to do). Then, once you have determined that they will work with your favorite magazine body, buy all that you need.

If you have “bolt hold open” mags like those from Yugoslavia, these kits are not for you. The follower has a taper at the back that will not work well to hold the bolt open. The plastic will also likely not hold up very well to being battered by the bolt and bolt carrier.

Conclusion

I like these kits. I was able to successfully use one to rejuvenate a magazine that would have been difficult and expensive to replace. I also like that there is finally a stainless steel spring option for AK magazines. This kit makes maintaining your magazines much more simple and makes them more resistant to a lack of maintenance. It will be up to you to determine if they work with your magazines and whether you need the functionality of the improved follower and stainless spring.

You can check out the AK30 Rebuild Kits on the US PALM website.

Disclosure: These kits were provided to me for review, free of charge, by US PALM.

SHOT Show Redux

SHOT Show is over. The exhibitors are tearing down their booths and heading home. Many people are calling this one of the dullest shows in years, but I am not so sure. There may not have been a firearm announcement that really set the world on fire, there were a number of interesting accessories that were announced like 2 MOA Aimpoint Micros, US PALM’s Quad Stack Magazines, and several innovative plate carriers by FirstSpear, Crye Precision, and S&S Precision. I also think that the new Series 2X Multitasker and other upcoming Multitasker tools were very interesting, as was the MagPod. I wonder how the MagPod will be effected by the new PMAG 30 M3.

US PALM Quad Stack Magazine

Knives and outdoor gear tend to see less coverage than guns and their accessories unless you know where to look. ESEE had some new offerings at the show as did the value brand Condor. Ka-Bar and Becker had some very interesting midsized Becker knives on display along with an old Becker classic, the Brute.

The ESEE Candiru is shown here with the Izula (left).

As with many SHOT Shows, this one seemed to have an unintentional theme – Zombies. This was definitely (and unfortunately) the year of the zombie as many companies find themselves having to rediscover the civilian market after years of depending on sales driven by 2 wars. Hopefully, the zombie stuff will go away soon and companies will realize that we would rather be marketed to as skilled intelligent shooters/outdoorsman, not half wits who love fantasy gimmicks. Zombies are great in the movies, please just keep them off my gear.

So what did you find most interesting at SHOT? Is there anything that is going on your must have list? Is there anything that you are disappointed that you didn’t see? Anything that you are disappointed with now that you have seen it?

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