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Review: SWAT Magazine

I have never paid for a magazine subscription in my life. I have been given subscriptions as gifts, but i have never paid for one with my own money. That changed recently after reading several issues of SWAT Magazine.

SWAT is not just a gun magazine. It is a tactics and training magazine. There are reviews of training courses in just about every issue. There are amazing articles from Pat Rogers on technique and training. This magazine is for shooters, not gun owners.

The contributors really set SWAT apart. You will see names like Pat Rogers who you may know as, perhaps, the premier carbine instructors in the nation. The Pat Rogers articles alone are worth the price of admission. Jeff Randall, co-owner of ESEE Knives and premier survival/escape & evasion trainer, contributes regularly. Louis Awerbuck is in every issue. Mr. Awerbuck is one of the real thinkers in tactical training today. There are also many other well-known and influential contributors.

SWAT also is more than willing to tell its readers when a product is garbage. You simply will not find that in most magazines because they are afraid to lose an advertiser. SWAT seems to be more concerned about making sure their readers don’t buy and stake their lives on a piece of junk. That is the way it should be.

The title may be SWAT but this magazine is geared toward the civilian shooter. The editor, Denny Hanson, does an excellent job of balancing politics and gun content. He is also a constant advocate for gun rights in his editorials and responses to readers who write to the magazine.

It is truly worth your time and money to purchase and read.

Preview: Danger Close Consulting Offset Surefire Scout Mount

The Surefire M600 Scout Light is one of the most compact and lightweight rifle mounted weapon lights available. It is truly an excellent light. However, I have always had issues determining the best place to mount it since I do not care for tape switches and the standard mount places it in an uncomfortably low position for use with the support hand thumb. The Scout is a light in need of an offset mount but, until recently, no one made them.

Danger Close Consulting has filled that niche and filled it well! I have one of their mounts in hand and it is excellent.

Look for a more complete review with pictures to be posted here soon.

Updating the Venerable Safariland 6004

I have had my new Safariland 6004-10 Single Strap Shroud and Drop Flex Adaptor for a short time now. I am happy to report that I am very pleased so far. The set up can be made to ride slightly higher as the Safariland6280 which is great news for someone with my view of how drop leg holsters should be used.This combo may be the highest riding drop leg holster on the market.

The leg strap is my only potential problem. The entire thing is elastic. I wish it was a more static strap with only a small elastic section. However, this is a small gripe since it works well enough.

Look for a more in depth review article to be posted soon that includes ways to update your Safariland drop leg holster.

New Product: Daniel Defense EZ Rails

Daniel Defense (DD) has released their EZ Rails for the AR-15. They offer a drop in fit for carbine length gas systems. These are non-free float rails at a very attractive price. Hopefully, DD will release these for different length gas systems soon.

It has been my experience that free floating is often unnecessary for most applications. If you are building a home defense carbine and using a red dot style optic, it is not really necessary to free float. Don’t spend the extra money on free float rails if the only reason you need a rail is to mount a white light and sling. Spend the money that you would have spent on free float handguards on more ammo and training!

They are available now at Bravo Company.

Tactical Handyman – Velcro Backed Holster

Many bags come with internal hook and loop fields these days. These allow you to place Velcro backed accessories on the interior of the bag. They are especially popular as a way to attach a holster for off-body handgun carry.

I have always been pretty unsatisfied with most Velcro backed universal holsters. Many of them are basically the same. They consist of a webbing loop that can be sized to wrap around the trigger guard and slide of the handgun. Their retention is uninspiring and I am concerned that something could migrate into the trigger guard causing the trigger to be depressed. They can also be difficult to use when re-holstering.

 

Universal style Velcro holster (Click any picture to enlarge)

 

 

I think a Tactical Handyman can do better than this.

Materials:

  • Cheap kydex/plastic holster that is made to fit your handgun (I use Uncle Mike’s because they are cheap and sturdy, but any brand with a removable belt loop and mostly flat sides will work)
  • Plenty of hook side Velcro (hook and loop material)
  • Glue (I use Gorilla Glue, but contact cement would probably work better)

Procedure:

  1. Remove the belt attachment point from the back of your holster. We only need the holster body for our purposes. 

    Remove the belt loop.

  2. Cut pieces of hook side Velcro (the stiffer side) to fit the contours of the back of the holster. 

    Adhere Velcro to the back of the holster.

  3. Glue the pieces to the back of the holster. I use a tooth pick to spread the glue out evenly over the surfaces where I plan to adhere the Velcro.

 

It is just that simple. You have now created a Velcro backed holster that has the positive retention of kydex that we all love so much. I recommend that you glue the Velcro in place because the adhesive used on even the “Industrial” Velcro will not hold up to regular use (especially if it is exposed to temperature shifts). Normally, I find the cheap injection molded holsters to be pretty unacceptable for belt carry but for carry inside of a bag they are perfect – sturdy, lightweight, and inexpensive. These work great in bags like the Hawkpaks Rifle Bugout Bag and the Eagle Escape & Evasion Bag LE.

 

Holster with handgun in place

 

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Magpul MOE Rail Sections – Now Shipping!

Magpul has released their MOE Rail Sections for those of you with Magpul MOE Handguards.

Magpul Announcement

Information Sheet (PDF)

PWS Customer Service is Top Notch

Several weeks ago I sent PWS an email regarding a problem I was having with one of their FSC556 flash suppressing compensators. It was too tight to thread onto several different barrels that I tried and I pretty much mutilated the finish trying to take it on and off. Weeks went by with no response so I shot them a second email explaining the situation and mentioning that I had previously sent an email.

I got a very nicely worded and apologetic response within 10 minutes even though it was after business hours. My previous email had simply slipped through the cracks. Stacy at PWS told me to send it in and even offered me a hat for my trouble. I sent the FSC556 in expecting that they would chase the threads and return it.

Today I received a package from PWS. It contained a hat, two bumper stickers, and a brand new FSC556. I am very pleased with both the excellent products that PWS manufactures and the customer service that backs the products.

Cool New Product From Slip 2000

The “secret” to keeping your AR-15 up and running is lubricant and plenty of it. You absolutely should have lubricant on hand whenever you are at the range with your AR. My favorite lubricant is Slip 2000 EWL and the good folks that make it have made it easier than ever to keep their lubricant with you at all times.

Many AR stocks and grips have space to store CR123 batteries so the folks at Slip 2000 designed a bottle that is the same diameter as a CR123 battery. Now you can store your lube right on your rifle. Simple ideas are often the best. This one is so simple that it is genius.

Myth Busted – The DI Gas System of the M4 Makes it Unreliable?

Mike Pannone wrote an excellent article on Defense Review entitled The Big M4 Myth: “Fouling caused by the direct impingement gas system makes the M4 Carbine unreliable.” There is no shortage of misinformation out there surrounding the M4/M16 family of weapons and this article does a good job of dispelling one of the biggest myths. The AR-15, when built with quality components, is one of the most reliable weapon systems on the planet. With proper maintenance, it will not let you down. After you read this article you will appreciate the DI system and its accuracy promoting simplicity instead of fearing its apocryphal reputation as a design flaw. It will also make you consider dropping some coin on a BCM upper.

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