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Archive | Tactics and Training

Phokus Research Group Wound Cube

A good friend of the blog recently told me about his experience with the Phokus Research Group Wound Cube – a training aid in the form of a semi-transparent silicone cube with 4 common and realistic wound patterns molded into it. He was impressed.

The Wound Cube is designed to give students in a classroom setting, a chance to develop their skills at packing wounds. The different types of wounds offer the opportunity to pack 3 different gun shot wounds and 1 large laceration. The semi-transparent construction allows both the student and instructor to see the student’s work (especially when used with a flashlight). The durable construction allows the Wound Cube to be used over and over again.

Phokus Research Group offers a variety of different Wound Cube Packages from single Wound Cubes to entire classroom-ready kits. Check out the Wound Cube at PhokusResearch.com.

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Review: Caldwell Stable Table – Portable Shooting Table

There was a time in my life when I thought I would never have need for a shooting table. Shooting tables were for the weak and soft. I would just use the prone position forever.

I do most of my shooting on public land or on my home range both of which are, shall we say… rustic. They generally aren’t graded perfectly and there can be tall, wild grasses that reach 2 feet in height or taller in the summer. On my home range, I shoot from an elevated ridge down into a berm at the back of a lower field. This sometimes places the precipice of the ridge in my line of sight if I am prone. The area that I shoot from is also an important access point for our trucks/tractors into the field and woods beyond it.

I need elevation to clear the terrain and vegetation. I also can’t clog up the area from which I shoot with a permanent shooting bench. All of this points to the need for something like a portable shooting table.

I tried several portable shooting tables that I could find locally but they all had major short comings for my intended use. Most of them were basically glorified folding chairs that didn’t seem like they would last any longer than the camp chairs it seems like we have to replace every two years. Most of them had runner style bases that would NEVER sit level in the locations where I shoot. Then I found the Caldwell Stable Table online and, while I couldn’t find one locally to see in person, it was clearly closer to what I needed. I rolled the dice and bought one on Amazon. I’m glad I did.

The Stable Table is exactly what I needed. First, it is constructed mostly from surprisingly thick steel round tube and steel square tube stock with welded reinforcement. The table top is a tough, blow-molded piece with steel inserts for bolting to the steel structure. The whole thing feels like it could last a lifetime.

Second, all that steel adds up to weight and weight equals stability. Weight is great for a permanent shooting table and good within reason for a portable shooting table. The Stable Table is heavy but I can still lift the whole unit at once and it breaks down VERY easily into smaller components which makes it quite easy to move. It strikes a nice balance between stability and portability.

The third feature that makes this table perfect for me (and probably anyone else who rarely shoots indoors or from a concrete pad) is the tripod base. The Stable Table has a very wide tripod leg setup that makes it easy to level the table, even on rough ground, because it only contacts the ground at 3 points. One of the legs is adjustable via a large thumb screw so that you can really fine tune the level.

Those are the just the features that made the Stable Table work for me. There are a lot of additional features that I have come to appreciate about it:

  • The seat is lightly padded and covered with some seemingly very durable vinyl that wipes off easily (very nice when it is covered in barn dust from storage).
  • The table top is attached to the central column near the back of the top (instead of centrally) so you can cant it to one side or the other depending on whether you shoot right or left handed.
  • The table top has molded channels and lips so items don’t roll off easily.
  • It comes with rifle cleaning forks that attach to the handles that are molded into the table top. I might even use them if I clean a rifle some day.
  • The seat is height adjustable which lets me bring it closer to the table top for my daughters to use. The table has been an important tool in training them to shoot without them having to hold the full weight of the rifle all the time.
  • The table top is well sized. There is plenty of room for a rifle with support of some kind (shooting bag, bipod, rest, etc.) and ammo, spare mags, paper and pen, and other items you might want while you are shooting.

I bought my Stable Table for just over $200 from Amazon. It can be found in the $170-175 range at other online retailers but be sure to check shipping costs. There is often a hefty oversized shipping fee for this table because it is quite large and heavy when boxed. If you have a shop locally that stocks Caldwell Shooting Supplies, it may be worth checking there. You might save yourself some money buying local.

Caldwell Stable Table on Amazon (affiliate link)

GeoBallistics DIY Apple Watch Rifle Mount

GeoBallistics recently shared a way for exporting ballistic data from their app to an Apple Watch and then mounting said Apple Watch to your rifle to create an electronic dope card for your rifle. It all sounds very high tech but the beauty of it is that it is actually relatively simple and approachable for DIY types.

They created a video that shows how to push your rifle’s data to the Apple Watch. It is basically just exporting an image file that can be viewed in the Photos app.

You should be able to recreate the mount from seeing the pictures. It is just a Nite Ize Gear Tie and armor case, along with some adhesive Velcro. The “mount” allows you to position the watch where ever you need it and it folds out of the way when not in use.

There are definitely times when you might prefer more reliable, non-electronic methods of displaying your dope but the convenience of this setup would be great at the range. It would allow you to easy carry, organize, and access as many data cards as your Apple Watch can hold.

MagnetoSpeed T1000 Target Hit Indicator

Fortunately, MagnetoSpeed’s new T1000 isn’t a shape-shifting, liquid metal robot from the future. The T1000 is target hit indicator for steel targets. It is essentially a light that can be attached to the back of a steel target to indicate the impact of a projectile on the target. It can also sense and indicate missed shots.

The T1000’s main light body is water resistant and protected by the steel target itself. The rubber reflector is replaceable (along with several of other parts) and designed to withstand many impacts before it needs to be replaced.

MagnetoSpeed.com

A-Zone Splatter Targets from RE Factor Tactical

Everyone likes those “shoot and see” style targets that make it extremely easy to see your hits from a distance. However, the vast majority of those products are geared toward recreational shooters. What about people who are hitting the range with purpose? Well, that’s where the new A-Zone Splatter Targets from RE Factor Tactical come in.

These adhesive backed targets are coated black but show a vivid orange ragged circle around bullet holes so that they can be seen easily from distance. They are the size of a typical A-zone scoring area of an IDPA target so they can be used on many common targets including the RE Factor Tactical Kill Zone Target or even on their own on the target backer of your choice.

The A-Zone Splatter Target comes in packs of 10. Check them out at REFactorTactical.com.

Bargain or Just Cheap? – Kershaw CQC-6K and E-Train

Welcome to Bargain or Just Cheap? This series reviews budget friendly knives for a variety of uses in a short format. All of the knives will cost less than $50 (in most cases, much less) and will be purchased out of my own pocket. I’ll buy them, carry them, and use them in an attempt to determine if the knife is a bargain or just cheap.


The line of collaboration knives by Emerson Knives and Kershaw is extensive and affordable. However, not all of them are bargains (see our CQC-4K review). The CQC-6K is the subject of today’s installment of Bargain or Just Cheap? and it has something impressive that no other folder in this category has.

Specs:

Lock: Frame Lock

Pocket Clip: Reversible, Tip up only

Steel: 8Cr14MoV

Handle: Textured G-10 front, 410 stainless steel back

Blade length: 3.25 in.

Closed length: 4.5 in.

Open length: 7.75 in.

Weight: 5 oz.

Observations from Use

So what does the CQC-6K have that no other knife in this category has? It has the E-Train – a fully functional training drone version of the CQC-6K. That is a huge value added over other knives if you are interested in training but still operating on a budget. Kershaw and Emerson should get major props for creating a budget-minded live blade and drone combo. Even if you aren’t interested in the CQC-6K, you may want to pick up an E-Train to add to your training tools.

The CQC-6K has a lot going for it on its own. It has the Emerson Wave Opening Feature which is a hooked protrusion that can made to catch the edge of your pocket (or other materials), deploying the knife blade as you remove it from your pocket. Once you get used to the Wave Opener, it is hard to live without.

The knife also has a useful clipped point blade shape with plenty of belly and straight edge for a variety of cuts. The knife has a roughly half-height, hollow primary ground and a clipped point. It is relatively thick for a folder at .11″ thick but the hollow grind does a good enough job of thinning the edge that it cuts well. Overall, the blade shape and profile are very useful for a variety of tasks.

The ergonomics are very good. The knife is comfortable in all 4 grips – tip up and down, edge in and out. The G-10 scale offers excellent traction and the deep finger choil serves to lock the hand in place. It feels good in the hand and has a handle heavy balance.

The lock-up the CQC-6K and E-Train that I purchased are both quite good. They lock up early on the lock bar so they should have room to wear in over time. The detent on my CQC-6K is a little light but adequate but the E-Train has an excellent detent.

Bargain or Just Cheap?

The CQC-6K does a few things better than the not-so-positively reviewed CQC-4K. First, it has a higher primary grind which improves cutting performance and the ergos are spot on. It is a better knife in every way.

I can’t stress how cool it is to see an affordable knife offered with an affordable and readily available training drone. I don’t know of another knife in this price category that offers a drone. It is especially impressive when you consider that both the CQC-6K and E-Train can be purchased for less than $50 total.

When you consider things like a useful blade shape, G-10 scale, Emerson Wave Opener, and the availability of a training drone, you have to conclude that this knife is a BARGAIN.

I will be using Amazon as the price base line for this series. All knives were purchased by me from Amazon:

Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K

Kershaw Emerson E-Train


Our goal is to represent knives for a variety of uses from EDC, to outdoor, to tactical knives. Do you have a favorite affordable knife? Let us know about it in the comments!

The above article contains affiliate links.

Let RE Factor Tactical Design Custom Your Custom Targets

RE Factor Tactical is now offering a custom target design service. Departments, agencies, units, trainers, ranges, and even regular guys can lean on RE Factor Tactical’s experience in target design to create a target that supports their training goals.

They make the process of designing the targets as painless as possible. The minimum order is relatively low at 1000 targets with tiered discounts for larger orders and they can design in black and white, full color, and even splatter targets.

Check out REFactorTactical.com for more details.

Sneak Peek: RMJ Tactical Utsidihi Trainer

RMJ Tactical announced that they will produce a training drone version of their Utsidihi compact fixed blade defensive knife. The trainer is machined from aluminum and given a blue finish to easily identify it as a training drone. It is designed to fit in the Utsidihi sheath without modification. The Utsidihi trainers will likely begin shipping in the next week.

RMJ Tactical

National Stop the Bleed Day #NSTBD18

National Stop the Bleeding Day (NSTDB) is a White House campaign to bring awareness and training for treating blood loss due to traumatic injury. Blood loss from traumatic injury is the most common cause of prevalent causes of preventable death in the United States. According to the statistics sited by NSTBD, 20% of these cases could have survived with immediate bleeding control.

National Stop the Bleeding day will take place on March 31, 2018. NSTBD is coordinating with instructors around the country to offer free bleeding control training. You can get involved by visiting http://www.bleedingcontrol.org/ to find a class near you. If you are an instructor that would like to hold a class, there are instructions for contacting National Stop the Bleeding Day at their website, https://www.stopthebleedday.org/.

RE Factor Tactical Dartboard Target

RE Factor Tactical makes some very thoughtfully designed training targets but sometimes you just want to have fun at the range (or just give a more fun makeover to your training). They are now offering the Dartboard Target and this one looks like it would be a blast to shoot with buddies or your kids. The target is printed with a full dartboard and instructions for 3 different games you can play.

Dartboard Target at RE Factor Tactical

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