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Wild Hedgehog Tactical Ouch Pouch

I’ve been carrying an Ouch Pouch from Wild Hedgehog Tactical for about a year. It spends most of its time in the hydration pack that I use for hiking and biking. I’ve had to raid it several times and I’ve really come to like this simple, compact first aid kit.

The Ouch Pouch isn’t that different from something you can build yourself… except you are going to have to pay up for large quantities of the components only to strip them down for use in a compact first aid kit. I like the quality of the components used in the Ouch Pouch. There are brands like Medline, 3M, and Curad. I also like the versatility of the selected components. Items like Steri Strips can be used a number of ways and can close some pretty nasty wounds in a pinch.

Components:

  • 1 Pair Nitrile Gloves
  • 1″x3″ Bandages (5)
  • 2″x4″ Bandages (2)
  • Gauze Pad
  • Aspirin Pack
  • Antihistamine Pack
  • Ibuprofen Pack
  • 3M Medical Tape
  • 2x Bacitraicin Antibiotic Gel Packs
  • Pack of 3M Steri Strips
  • Purell Wipe
  • 2x Iodine Wipes
  • ​2x Alcohol Wipes

I’ve added a couple doses of anti-diarrhea tablets to mine because nothing will ruin a day on the trail or at the range quite some intestinal distress. Other than that, this is a capable, basic, and fairly complete kit at a decent price.

Ouch Pouch at Wild Hedgehog Tactical

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Adding a Weapon Light to a 10/22 the Easy Way

There are plenty of ways you can add a weapon light to a Ruger 10/22 and plenty of reasons you might consider doing so. In my case, I wanted to be able to illuminate critters who might be getting into the garden or hen house.

I posted a picture on Instagram yesterday of one of my 10/22s with a Streamlight TLR-1 attached in such a way that it could easily be activated with the index finger of the support hand. Someone asked which mount I was using and at the time I couldn’t remember so I checked around online to find out. The mount in question is the Pro Mag Tactical Barrel Band.

There aren’t many Pro Mag products I can recommend but the Tactical Barrel Band has worked out for me very well for more than 5 years. It easily replaces the OEM barrel band found on many 10/22 variants and provides a side rail, bottom rail, and fixed sling loop. You can flip it so that the rail and sling loop are on either side and it is machined from aluminum.

I have come to like this mount quite a bit. It’s easy to install, provides a useful front sling mount, and places the light in such a way that it is easy to active both momentary and constant modes. I would prefer that the side rail was a bit longer but the adjustable clamp style mount found on the TLR-1 attaches securely.

ProMag Tactical Barrel Band

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Review: Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap

I’ve always liked Outdoor Research’s caps and I’ve owned a number of them over the years. The Sun Runner Cap in particular stands out as my favorite. It just works for me and the things I do outdoors better than any other cap I’ve tried.

Overview

The Sun Runner Cap is, as the name implies, designed to keep the sun off its wearer. The cap itself has 6 panel construction which is very comfortable to wear. The large panels on either side of the had are made from mesh while the top and front panels are made from the same thin Supplex nylon that OR uses in many of their caps.

The stiffened and preshaped brim is shorter and rounder than a typical ball cap. It also features two snaps that allow the Sun Runner to mount the included cap which is also made out of Supplex nylon.

Observations from Use

One of the biggest reasons I like this cap is the fit. OR offers the Sun Runner in 4 different sizes: S, M, L, and XL. I have a big head and finding caps that fit well can be a challenge. The Sun Runner offers plenty of adjustment. The fit is perfect and even comes down low on my head (below the tops of my ears) which is rare for me.

This hat also breathes and wicks perspiration extremely well. I own the hat in White and Hydro (Blue). The White one in particular feels cooler than my uncovered head! It reflects the sun’s heat and the side panels allow the hat to breath so that you actually get some evaporative cooling action from the hat band. Speaking of the hat band, it does a great job of keeping sweat out of your eyes.

The Sun Runner also does a great job of dealing with the sun – especially for shooters. The underside of the brim is a very dark grey that cuts down on glare which is nice when your eye is buried in an optic and your trying to pick out a distance target. OR purposely uses a dark color under the brim on all the Sun Runner colorways. The included cape drapes down and covers the back of your neck even when you drop into the prone which is a godsend if you are in a precision rifle class and spending a lot time in the prone. If you find that the cape is interfering with your cheek weld, just flip the removeable chin cord back behind your neck and tighten it slightly. This will keep the sides of the cape back and away from your face while still providing full neck coverage.

I should also note that this cap lacks a “button” on the crown like those found on ball caps. It also fits very close to the head which makes it very comfortable to wear with over the ear hearing protection. You can even attach the cap over your ear muffs with a little work but I usually just let my ear muffs hold the cape back or use inside the ear hearing protection.

I also use the cap extensively for hiking. It’s relatively lightweight at around 3 ounces (less if you don’t need the cape). It is very packable thanks to the compact brim and unstructured top. It even fits in most pants pockets though a cargo pocket works best. It’s a great three season cap in my area where we deal with lots of sun and heat in late spring through early fall.

Wrap Up

I like the Sun Runner Cap so much that I bought two of them. It deals with sun, heat, and sweat better than any other cap I’ve owned. It’s perfect for a carbine class, hiking, and working outside. If all that isn’t enough, you feel like Lawrence of Arabia when you wear it with the cape attached and that is worth something.

I bought one of my hats locally but I got a much better deal on the second one by purchasing it online at Amazon. OR occasionally discontinues certain colors which usually results in deep discounts so keep an eye out for that. OR Sun Runner Cap on Amazon

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EZ Accuracy GBDT (Gas Block Dimple Tool)

Dimpling an AR-15 barrel serves a couple of important purposes. It indexes the gas block to ensure that the gas block aligns with the barrel’s gas port. It also serves as a detent that prevents the gas block from spinning if it is impacted. In spite of this, most AR-15 manufacturers that offer low profile gas blocks, still do not dimple their barrels. Now, it’s easier than ever to do it yourself.

I recently received a GBDT or Gas Block Dimple Tool from EZ Accuracy in a TacPack. Since that time, I’ve used it to dimple 5 gas blocks and I’ve purchased two more of them to give as gifts. I am thrilled with the GBDT and think it makes a great addition to any AR-15 owner’s work bench.

The GBDT is simple – I mean really, really simple – and that is what is best about it. It comes with two parts: a 10-32 hollow screw and a tiny center punch. You can pretty much figure out how to use it by looking at it but is also comes with simple instructions.

To dimple your barrel, you simple remove one the set screws from your gas block. There are usually at least two set screws in a low profile gas block. You should leave the others in place so that the gas block can not move. Replace the removed set screw with the included hollow screw and hand tighten. Place the included center punch in the hollow screw with the pointed end toward the barrel. Give it a tap with a hammer to center punch the barrel (prevents the drill bit from walking in the next steps). Remove the center punch and replace with a sharp 1/8″ drill bit. Drill only slightly into the barrel. You’re done. It takes less than 5 minutes.

The dimple doesn’t need to be deep to work so be conservative with your depth. Drill bits are cheap – use a fresh one. One dimple per gas block is typically enough. I prefer to dimple under the set screw closest to the receiver as this one is typically in the same location on many gas blocks.

The EZ Accuracy GBDT is $16 well spent.

Check it out: EZ Accuracy GBDT

Review: TacPack July 2017

The July 2017 TacPack has arrived at JTT HQ. I’m just going to say this up front. This is the best one yet. It is full from top to bottom and front to back with stuff I will use. Let’s look inside.

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background on this subscription box.

BreakThrough Clean Kit – I don’t really spend a lot of time cleaning guns but everyone has to grudgingly clean once in a while (I’ll never understand you weirdos who like cleaning guns). If you have a gun, you can use this. It comes with solvent, oil, 2 packets of grease, a doubled ended nylon AP brush, and a microfiber towel (which will change your life if you haven’t used one before). I’ve generally been happy with BreakThrough clean products and I especially like that they are pretty much odorless. This is a useful addition.

EZ Accuracy Gas Block Dimple Tool – Most AR-15 manufacturers offer low profile gas blocks as an option but the majority of them still don’t dimple the barrel as a reference for gas block alignment. This product solves that problem. You back out one screw in your gas block and replace it with the special hollow screw provided in this kit which allows you to center punch the spot to be dimpled with the included punch. The hollow screw then acts as a guide for a 1/8″ drill bit so you can quickly and easily dimple your barrel to ensure that the gas block goes back on in the exact same place should you ever need to remove it. You won’t use this every day but you’ll be glad you have it.

Fusion Climbing Runner/Sling and Locking Carabiner – The hits keep coming with this box! I don’t climb but everyone knows you can use a carabiner in about a million ways. I use them all the time in rigging for all the wood cutting I do. The included steel screw gate carabiner will be put to use right away. If you don’t climb, you may be less familiar with runners (or some people call them slings). They are basically really strong loops used for all kinds of things in climbing. I use them to girth hitch things like snatch blocks/pulleys to trees for redirecting pulls with the come-along winch I use when wood cutting. You can find all kinds of uses for items like these from tying into your tree stand to hanging a bear bag on your next overnighter.

5.11 Tactical Wharn Knife – The 5.11 Tactical value knives are actually solid little knives for the price. Knife nerds won’t get off on the AUS 8 blade steel but knife users know it as a fine grained steel that takes a refined edge easily. The ergonomics on this Mike Vellkamp design will take you by surprise. The blade moves VERY smoothly and it locks up well. This is probably the best knife to find its way into a TacPack yet.

MOAB Patch – And you thought MOAB stood for Mother of All Bombs… Nah. It’s Mother of All Bottlerockets!

I rate these boxes on the basis of whether or not I will actually use the included items. With that in mind, this is easily the best box to date. Everyone reading this right now needs gun cleaning items. Even if you don’t know it yet, carabiners and runners/slings are really handy. You can easily find room in a kit for a knife like this and I never would have known about the EZ Accuracy GBDT if it weren’t for TacPack. It is boxes like these that keep me talking about TacPack.

If you want to try TacPack, you can check them out at TacPack.com. TacPack hints that the August box will contain some Mission First Tactical gear.


Disclosure: I receive this subscription box from TacPack, free of charge, for review.

Sawyer Squeeze and Mini Water Filters

When it comes to outdoor equipment (or really anything) the best is rarely cheap. That is exactly what makes the Sawyer Squeeze and Mini Water Filters standout. They are the best trail filters that I have used and they are also the cheapest. That is a tough combination to beat.

Sawyer Squeeze PointOne

I’ve owned a Sawyer Squeeze since before 2013 when they updated the model to include some new fittings and redesigned bags (much needed, the original bags don’t hold up well). That little filter has produced a lot of clean drinking water in that time and it has earned a permanent place in my hiking pack. I have had the Sawyer Mini for much less time but it is equally easy to use, has more versatile connections, is smaller, weighs less, and costs even less (I’ll compare the two later in this article).

Sawyer Mini

Rather than go on and on about these filters, I’ll lay out what I like about both of them. Then, I’ll address them each individually.

What I like about both filters:

  • Compact and lightweight – The Squeeze weighs in at 3 ounces and the Mini at 2 ounces. Both are considerably smaller than any of my previous filters. They are small and light enough to live in my pack – even if I am just on a day hike and carrying all the water I will need.
  • Affordable – These cost between $20-30 for the basic packages. That is less than 1/4″ the cost of my previous ceramic trail filter. The entire filter with bag(s) cost less than just the replacement filters my old system.
  • Durable – These are made from plastic with no ceramic elements. They can take a beating.
  • Reliable Filtering – Both filters boast an absolute .1 micron rating. They get the nasties out.
  • Easy to Use – There is no pumping, no inlet hose to clean, no ceramic filters to clean, and no fuss. Squeeze dirty water through and drinkable water comes out. It’s easy.
  • Versatile – These work with the provided bags but they also thread right onto standard 20 ounce and 2 liter bottles. They can be set up as inline filters on your hydration bladder or as gravity filters on something like an MSR Dromedary Bag.

What I like about the Squeeze:

  • The Squeeze filter has more filter media than the Mini so it is slightly easier to drink from. If you plan to use the simplest set up, which would be to gather unfiltered water in bags/bottles and drink directly from them, the Squeeze works best but…

What I like about the Mini:

  • It is smaller and lighter than the Squeeze and can be used in all the same ways.
  • It has more versatile attachment points built in.
  • It costs less.

The next obvious question is which should you choose. I would (and did) probably just buy the Mini in most cases. It does everything the Squeeze does minus a little flow rate. It’s smaller, lighter, costs less, and a bit more versatile. However, the Squeeze is a bit easier to use in the most straightforward setup so it may be a better choice for cavemen.

Tips:

  • If you are using Sawyer’s water bags, roll them like a toothpaste tube instead of squeezing. They last longer that way.
  • Don’t let your filter freeze (true for all filters, not just these). It can wreck the filter media and there is really no practical way to test the Sawyer filters for damage. Bring it in your sleeping bag at night and tuck it inside your coat during the day to prevent freezing. If you think it froze, replace it.
  • 2 Liter bottles (or any bottles you can scavenge) are great for use with these filters. They are light weight and can be squeezed hard without breaking. Keep the cap so you can squeeze the air out and reseal to take up less space in your pack.
  • I know Sawyer has improved their bags but I have trust issues with them due to my original bags failures. Evernew makes great water bags that have compatible threads. I own several and greatly prefer them to the Sawyer bags. The threads on Platypus bags don’t quite match but some users say they can get them to work.
  • Filling water bags completely full unless you have some tricks up your sleeve. Blow them up with your mouth before submerging or place them under falling water to make filling easier. You can also make a lightweight scoop by cutting the top off of a bottle and capping it. The scoop makes it easy to get the last few ounces of water into the bag.
  • Even if you don’t hike and hate the outdoors, these are so compact and light that they are right at home in a car kit or “bug out bag”. I use a rubber band to wrap a water bag around the filter so it stays compact. You can add a short section of tubing so you can drink right from the source if necessary.
  • They are so small and light, you might even want to carry two – especially in cold weather.

If they were already convenient enough… You can stroll right into most Walmarts and buy them. They are available with a dizzying array of options and even multi-packs. I generally just buy the basic set up and I bought my Mini on Amazon for less than $20.

Sawyer PointOne Sqeeze Water Filter on Amazon

Sawyer Mini on Amazon

Review: TacPack June 2017 Box

The June 2017 TacPack has landed. This box has some high and lows. Lets look inside!

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background on this subscription box.

Armaspec Anti-Walk Pins (for AR-15) – Your opinion of these likely comes down to you think anti-walk trigger and hammer pins are necessary. If you do, these seem to be a good value like many of Armaspec’s products.

ABKT Tactical Phantom Spector Knife – I wanted to bac mouth this knife this from the moment I saw it. It’s a “tactical” knife with an over the top design, cheap plastic scales that feel oily, and it weighs a lot. However, the liner lock engages the tang of the blade early and is very solid (big surprise). The bearing system, coupled with a well executed detent allows the blade to fire quickly via the flipper (even bigger surprise). It’s still a cheap knife but its fun and some of the features surprised me in a good way. This isn’t a great inclusion but it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought.

Burnproof Gear Rail Wrap – This is actually pretty cool. It’s a fabric wrap that is designed to go on the rail of your rifle (fits a variety of rifle types) to protect your from heat and sharp edges. If you have ever been on a shooting range in the American West, you know rifle can get hot before you even start shooting them just from laying in the sun. I’ve used similar products before that wrapped with Velcro but this one uses two independent panels joined with shock cord which allows you to install this even in places where you might already have a handstop, vertical grip, or rail mounted sight. It’s simple, clever, and it works. I never would have seen a product like this if it wasn’t in a TacPack and now I am buying a second one.

Nineline Apparel Tanker – I like and use insulated tankers/mugs all the time. This one features the Nineline Apparel logo and it seems to be very stout. The lid is the best I’ve seen on any tanker/tumbler because it seals! This is a great inclusion that anyone would use.

Overall, I rate this box as a solid okay. A lot of the value of the box is tied up in the Burnproof Gear Rail Wrap and that, coupled with the cheap feeling knife, may turn off some subscribers. The anti-walk pins are of good quality and some users will like them. Everyone will love the Nineline Tanker – it’s great.

If you want to try TacPack, you can check them out at TacPack.com. TacPack says that the June box will be their highest dollar value to date.


Disclosure: I receive this subscription box from TacPack, free of charge, for review.

Review: TacPack May 2017

The May 2017 TacPack has landed. This box is one of my favorites to date thanks to some solid inclusions from Hexmag, Doc Spartan, and Live Fire Gear. Lets look inside!

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background on this subscription box.

Hexmag “Blaster Pack” – There is a whole lot of Hexmag in the May box. There is an AR-15 magazine and you can never have enough magazines. There is pack of pre-cut grip tape that can be stuck into the hexagons on the magazine. Finally, there is grip that is a collaboration between Hexmag and ERGO. It’s comfortable in the hand and comes with a free “Gapper” to fill in that annoying gap behind the standard AR-15 trigger guard. No one ever said, “I think I have enough AR-15 magazines.”

Do Spartan Triple Threat – The Triple Threat is a 3 pack of Doc Spartan’s Combat Ready Ointment packaged three different ways – in a small deodorant type container, a lip balm style tube, and a tin. The different types of containers make it easier to apply the ointment in different ways or carry them in different ways but the ointment inside is the same. I’ve been using this stuff from a previous TacPack and I like it a lot. It smells good, works kind of like a triple antibiotic ointment (teatree oil kills all kinds of nasty stuff), and is versatile enough to work as a moisturizer or to prevent chafing. This is probably a lifetime supply for me.

Live Fire Gear Fire Starting Kit – This is a great inclusion too. The kit contains 1 ferro rod and 1 Live Fire tin. The full size Live Fire tins like the one in this kit spark easily, even when wet, and burn for a long time. If you have any idea what you are doing, this kit represents at least one nearly fool proof fire when you need it. I’ve been pleased with every Live Fire Gear product I have tried and I have tested the smaller version of these tins. They work and this is the kind of thing that belongs in every Get Home Bag or vehicle emergency kit. You and your family can practice with this one and then use the included Live Fire Gear coupon to pick up more tins for your kit.

TacPack Safe Magnet – Normally the TacPack add on items are meant to be humorous. This month’s magnet isn’t meant to be humorous but it is meant to be a reminder to us all to “Honor the Brave”.

If you want to try TacPack, you can check them out at TacPack.com. TacPack says that the June box will be their highest dollar value to date.

Review: TacPack April 2017

The April 2017 TacPack has landed. If you are an EDC gadget lover, you’re going to dig this one. Lets look inside!

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background on this subscription box.

KeySmart EDC Kit – There are two items from KeySmart this month. The first is a very cool keyfob that is made to wrap duct tape around so you can always have a small roll of I-can-fix-anything Tape with you. It comes preloaded with Gorilla Tape which is a nice touch. KeySmart also included one of their Nano-Wrenches which is very cool. It is a tiny keychain gadget that can be used to turn flat head screws and several sizes of nuts/bolts. These items were my favorites in the box.

Armaspec Titanium TakeDown Pins – If you are planning an AR-15 build, these will be handy. If you have an already built AR, you can add some bling. This TacPack is the very first time these pins have been available so you can be the first kid on your block to have them.

ABKT Tactical Cleaning Kit – Having a spare cleaning kit never hurt anyone. This one comes with several brushes, mops, a pull cable, and more. The case is a little cheap but it actually organizes the components well. Drop it in a range bag or emergency bag and go.

Splatter Targets – Everyone can use more targets. These Splatter Targets are the type that show hits well enough to see at distance. They are a useful size and will come in handy at the range. I was glad to see them in the box.

If you want to try TacPack, you can check them out at TacPack.com. The May box will include some items of HexMag among other things.

Review: GunfightersINC Kenai Chest Holster Gen 2

I’ve professed my appreciation of the Kenai Chest Holster from GunfightersINC on these pages before. It is a handy holster to have if you spend time in places with large, sharp toothed critters wearing gear like a backpack or hip waders that hinder traditional carry methods. It is, in my opinion, the most modern and best iteration of a classic guide holster… Then GunfightersINC went and changed it!

Lucky for us, they made it better.

Better Holsters Through Better Manufacturing

To understand the improvements in this holster, you have to understand a little bit about how kydex holsters are made. The kydex is heated until it becomes pliable, then it is pressed over a form of some kind and allowed to cool. The kydex (or similar material) then hardens as it cools, retaining the imprint of the form. That is the basic overview but the exact ways all those steps are accomplished has changed over the years.

On the original Kenai, the two holster halves where molded over the form with blocking in place for things like slide stop levers, extended barrels, or anything else that either needed to be accommodated or that would foul the draw stroke. The holster was molded in two halves, roughly equal in depth, and joined together to make an entire holster. At some point, the part of the holster that received the shoulder strap would be reheated (this sometimes shows as a shiny spot on the kydex) to be slightly reshaped to receive the strap. The holster body was finished by polishing edges, adjusting fit, etc. GunfightersINC turned out great holsters using these methods.

GunfightersINC is now improving their processes from top to bottom. They are now machining their own custom molds and using vacuum forming to create their holster bodies. All of the improvements to their holsters have been made possible by these changes and the design flexibility, control, and definition that they make possible.

Original on left, Gen 2 on right

Kenai Chest Holster Gen 2 Improvements

The first thing you will notice when you look at both holster bodies is that the Gen 2 version has much better definition – the lines are more crisp. That translates to a cleaner looking holster and, more importantly, it also translates to improved retention, a smoother draw stroke, and a more distinct click-in/click-out. This kind of definition is really only possible with modern vacuum forming.

When you dive a little deeper, you see improved blocking and molding. My Gen 2 holster body is molded for a Glock 17 so you see things like a channel that allows the slide stop to run all the way out of the holster without touching anything, the slide lock area is no longer molded creating a potential unwanted drag on the draw stroke, the magazine release is partially shielded to prevent accidental release, and the  retention pad in the trigger guard is large and made to a consistent depth.

If you dive deeper still, you’ll notice GunfightersINC taking full advantage of their new manufacturing processes to really get the most out of the Kenai Chest Holster. The accommodation of the shoulder strap is actually molded into the back plate of the holster. This saves a manufacturing step and creates a stronger, cleaner holster overall. Finally, the two halves of the Kenai area actually molded to different depths with the majority of the pistol being molded into the front panel of the holster. This allows the Kenai to lay flatter, closer, and more comfortably against the wearer.

Original on left, Gen 2 on right

Wrap Up

GunfightersINC didn’t just redesign a holster, they redesigned how they make the holster. The result is more control over the end product, easier accommodation of various options, and, most importantly, better holsters for the customer. You can expect to see these manufacturing improvements touching all the holster in the GunfightersINC line up.

See our review of the original Kenai Chest Holster for more information on its background and use. Check out GunfightersINC to learn more about the Kenai Chest Holster or purchase your own.

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