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Kifaru Ultralight

Kifaru has a new ultralight line of packs and accessories. How ultralight you ask? Well, the KU5200 boasts 5200 cubic inches of cargo space and is built to carry 100+ pounds of gear but the pack itself weighs less than 3 pounds! The smaller packs weigh even less.

As impressive as the packs look, I am even more excited by the Kifaru Ultralight (KU) line of pockets and pouches. One of the best thing about Kifaru is how modular the packs are designed to be. However, when you start bolting on several pouches made from 1000D Cordura, the weight adds up quickly. The KU line will have pouches and pockets that only weigh a few ounces each. For instance, the KU long pockets add only 4.5 ounces to the over all weight of the pack. That is amazing.

You can view the entire Kifaru Ultralight line on the Kifaru website.

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New Summit Duffel from Mountain Ridge Gear

Mountain Ridge Gear recently introduced their medium Summit Duffel. This duffel bag has some really slick features. It has large sections of MOLLE webbing on both ends, several pockets to organize your gear, wide straps to handle heavy loads, and the typical Mountain Ridge Gear over-built construction. This bag would be a great range bag, car kit, gym bag, or carry-on bag. It is hard to beat a well made duffel bag for all-around gear toting versatility.

Check out the Summit Duffel at Mountain Ridge Gear’s site.

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Review: Fight and Flight Tactical Sustainment Pouches

I have been looking for very specific pouches for long time. The pouches needed to be tall and slender enough to fit the sides of my Kifaru packs and still allow me enough space to Dock & Lock my Kifaru E&E pack on the front. The pouches would be used to carry some typical essentials while freeing the main compartment of the pack to carry bulkier items. It sounds pretty simple, but I couldn’t find what I wanted at a price I was willing to pay until I found the Fight and Flight Tactical Sustainment Pouches.

The split upper and lower MOLLE sections are a clever feature.

The Sustainment Pouch attaches via 4 short MALICE clips.

Stats

  • Height: 14″
  • Width: 6″
  • Depth: 2.5″
  • Capacity: 210 cu
  • Material: 1000D Cordura
  • Attachment method: 4 short MALICE clips
  • Footprint: 2-4 MOLLE columns and 7 MOLLE rows to attach
  • Price: 24.95 each (Multicam +$3, Multicam with Multicam webbing +$5)

There are no exposed cloth edges in these pouches. Note the double stitching.

The zipper is double stitched to the pouch.

Details

Just reading the above dimensions won’t tell you the whole story about how useful these pouches really are. They are large enough to fit 2 USGI 1 Quart canteens. You can also fit 2 32 ounce Nalgene bottles with room to spare. There is enough space for a hydration bladder or 2 MREs. I fit a set (tops and bottoms) of heavy weight polypro long underwear in one. The size and shape of this pouch makes it extremely versatile. They are relatively large compared to most general purpose pouches on the market, but due to their shape and the location they are designed to attach to on the pack, they look and feel compact.

The Sustainment Pouches exhibit very durable construction. Every seam is double stitched. The zipper is also double stitched to the pouch. Every seam is covered with webbing so that there are no exposed cloth edges. The MOLLE webbing is attached to the pouch with triple stitching that also serve to stiffen the front of the pouch and help it hold its shape.

The double zipper runs across the top of the pouch and a little past half way down the sides. This provides great access to the contents of the pouch. Each zipper is silenced with a paracord pull instead of a metal pull. The paracord is terminated with an ITW cord end.

The webbing on the back of the pack seems to be designed for maximum versatility. The pouch can be attached to MOLLE sections with as few as 2 columns or as many as 4 columns. This is ideal for packs like the previously reviewed Spec Ops T.H.E. Pack which only has 2 MOLLE columns on the top part of the side and 3 on the bottom side. These pouches work extremely well on my Kifaru packs as well (like the previously reviewed MOLLE Express). As long as your pack has 2-4 columns of MOLLE and 7 rows of MOLLE to work with, you can find a way to fit these pouches.

The Sustainment Pouches fit perfectly on a Kifaru MOLLE Express.

The double zippers feature paracord pulls to reduce noise. You can also see the heavy stitching used to tack down the MOLLE webbing.

Unique Features

These pouches also display some very nice features that I haven’t seen on anything else. The MOLLE webbing on the front of the pouch is split into two groups. There is a 4 column by 2 row section on top front and 4 column by 3 row section on the bottom front. There is a small space between the two sections. This allows you to mount pouches on the top and bottom section without obstructing access to top loading pouches on the bottom section (like magazine pouches). This gap in the MOLLE sections also serves to create a natural hinge point on the pouch where the flap can lay open for easy access to the contents of the pouch.

The Sustainment Pouches have a drainage grommet at the bottom center of the pouch. There is a pad of loop material sewn around the grommet. You can close off the grommet by placing the provided section of hook material over the grommet if you would rather not have an open hole in the bottom of your pouch. This hook and loop closure system is very clever.

The space between the MOLLE section of the front of the pouch allows the pouch to hang open for easy access.

The drainage grommet can be closed with an ingenious hook and loop pad.

Almost Perfect

As much as these pouches are perfect for my intended application, I still have to mention an issue. The pouches that I received initially had a heavy cigar smoke smell (which may be a bonus for some of you). I contacted Dave, the proprietor of Fight and Flight Tactical, about the smell. He explained what happened and that it was not typical. He also shared the steps that he was taking to correct the smell. He immediately sewed another set of pouches and shipped them to me before I had a chance to return the originals. Through the entire transaction and even before I purchased the pouches he maintained steady contact with me via email. Every gear maker is going to make a mistake occasionally. It is the reaction to these mistakes that separates the good from the great and Fight and Flight certainly reacted like a great gear maker. I would think that Dave has taken care of the cigar smell by now.

Conclusion

The Fight and Flight Sustainment Pouches are perfectly designed for their specific purpose. They offer a combination of low cost, high quality, durability, and functionality that I don’t think can be beat. I dare you find a better pouch than this for less money. Heck, I dare you to find a better pouch for twice as much money.

Check out the Sustainment Pouch on the Fight and Flight Tactical website.

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Grey Ghost Gear Outlet

This is a great idea!

The Grey Ghost Gear Outlet is an outlet store for tactical gear. They have everything from 3 day packs, to chest rigs, to hydration pouches, and everything in between. The prices are absolutely phenomenal and the shipping prices are fairly reasonable.

Right now, they seem to have a lot of Tactical Tailor items in stock along with some WileyX glasses. I imagine that the inventory will change regularly, so check back often.

Check them out at GreyGhostOutlet.com.

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Review: Andy's Leather Sap

This sap features a long wrist lanyard.

Saps are not a new idea. They have been around for many years and for good reason – they work. They work so well in fact, that many police departments no longer issue them or even allow their use due to the injuries that they can inflict. Thankfully for us regular guys, we are not bound by police policy and, as long as your local laws allow, you can own and carry one of these effective and nostalgic impact devices.

What is a Sap?

Saps come in many forms but at their most basic, they consist of a handle and a weighted end (usually with lead shot). They are usually made of leather though other more modern materials like nylon and kydex are sometimes used. Saps often have a lanyard of some kind to provide retention if the fight turns into a grappling match. They are usually flexible to provide sort of whipping action and some use a flat spring in the handle to enhance the whipping action.

The weighted end basically just serves to store potential energy until you decide to turn it into kinetic energy by swinging it. When used properly saps have been known to concuss the person being hit, produce one hit knockouts, break jaws, break wrists, break ribs, and other painful injuries. You need only to be popped lightly in the jaw once to feel how effective a sap can be.

The stitching on this sap is pushed out close to the edges as it should be.

The Details…
The sap that is the subject of this review is from Andy’s Leather. It is very traditional in its shape and materials. It features a typical tear drop shape and a long wrist lanyard. The body of the sap is 6″ long and it weighs 7.10 ounces. The vast majority of that weight is the load of lead shot.

Andy uses hand selected cuts of bridle leather for his saps (he also has lower priced options available for the budget conscious) and it shows in this sap. The grain is excellent and the leather has really softened nicely in the short time that I have been working with it. The grain is very attractive and it will improve with age.

Straight, evenly spaced stitching is a hallmark of quality leather work. The stitching on this sap is excellent. Andy bonds the leather with rubber cement and then stitches while the cement is still wet. This makes for a strong bond as the cement is drawn through the multiple layers of leather. The location of the stitching is important in sap selection too. The best saps, like this one, have stitching that is as close to the edge of the leather as possible.

Quality stitching is a hallmark of great leather work.

The rich reddish brown semi-matte finish is applied very evenly and is very attractive. The sap really has a quality about it that you can only get from a craftsman. It looks and feels natural and handmade. The best part of buying quality leather products is that you know that the look and feel will only improve with age.

The lanyard is one of my favorite things about this sap. It makes it very easy to retrieve from a pocket and it also makes this very compact sap perform like a longer sap. It works like a grip extension that allows you to grip the sap with your thumb, index, and middle finger, while your ring and pinky fingers are on the lanyard. Of course, you can also choke up so that your whole hand is on the sap. It is a versatile configuration.

This sap is a great size for every day carry.

The combination of size and weight of this sap is excellent. This would make an ideal everyday carry sap. It could easily be stowed in a brief case and retrieved quickly by its lanyard. It also carries easily in the back  pocket of jeans or “tactical” pants. Even though it is quite compact, this sap hits  harder than similar sized saps that I have used. That is probably due to the way that the lanyard allows you to choke down on the grip which effectively lengthens the sap in your hand. If you need one sap that can do it all, this design is definitely worth a look.

The beauty of ordering from a true custom shop like Andy’s Leather is that he can make whatever type of sap that you want and Andy’s background as a police officer and impact tool instructor can really help guide your decision making. He offers several finishes, double stitching, and even rivets to reinforce the stitching (a popular option for saps headed to Iraq and Afghanistan). Those who are not sure exactly what they want might be best served by browsing the selection of saps that he keeps on hand.

You can contact Andy via either of his web sites: www.Shottist.com or www.Andy’sLeather.com.

The lanyard displays the Andy's Leather web address.

As with any other weapon, you should seek professional training in order to use the weapon safely and efficiently. I always recommend George Matheis of Modern Combative Systems.

Stay tuned for an upcoming review of a very unique sap from Andy’s Leather.

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Magpul RSA

The Magpul RSA is now shipping. The RSA is a forward sling mount that is purpose built to work with the Magpul MS2 sling but it will work with similar slings like the Emdom Gunslinger as well. It provides an attachment point for transitioning your sling quickly from single-point configuration to two-point configuration. It is low profile enough and light weight enough that it won’t get in your way when not in use.

The Magpul website has all the details.

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Grip Force Adapters for Glocks

If I spend a day on the range working with my Glocks, it is not uncommon for me to come home with some “race tracks” on my hand. Glocks do not have much in the way of a beaver tail to prevent your hand from riding up too high when using a high, thumbs-forward grip. The slide can cut the web of the shooter’s hand as it reciprocates which results in slide bite or “race tracks”. Many gunsmiths offer beaver tail modifications for the Glock that are achieved by adding material to the frame and shaping it. This permanent modification is effective but may not be practical for some users (police officer’s who can not modify their duty weapon, preventing warranty issues, etc).

Image courtesy of Grip Force Products.

Grip Force Adapters seek to solve the issue of slide bite and alter the grip angle of the Glock with one inexpensive and easily installed (and removed) addition to the grip. The Grip Force Adapter is basically a “drop-in” beaver tail for your Glock. It prevents the web of your hand from contacting the slide rails. It also fills in some of the very pronounced curve of the Glock grip’s backstrap which results in a more vertical (1911 like) grip angle. It does increase the trigger reach a bit so it may not be for everyone.

You can check out the Grip Force Adapters for all 4 generations of Glocks at the Grip Force Products website. Stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks.

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Orange Izula

Image courtesy of Knifeworks.com

Knifeworks has an exclusive new orange Izula. Orange makes perfect sense for a survival tool like the Izula because it makes the knife more difficult to lose. Whether it is dropped into a shallow creek, on to the forest floor, into a crevice in boulder field, or behind the couch, you stand a much better chance of being able to visually locate an orange knife. Aside from that, it just looks cool.

The orange Izula is available with just a sheath or with the complete Izula kit which includes a sheath, fire starter, whistle, and other useful items. The previously review optional Izula scales will also complement this knife nicely.

You can find out more about the orange Izula at Knifeworks.

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Zebra 701 – A Tactical Pen Alternative

Tactical pens are very popular these days. In fact, they are probably too popular according to the TSA website. So, while tactical pens are certainly cool to look at, they are no longer a very discreet self defense option. They also tend to be relatively expensive.

The Zebra 701 is nearly as beefy as any other tactical pen on the market however, it features far more utilitarian styling. It is not a tactical pen but it is certainly built strong enough to handle the same kinds of hard work as a tactical pen (the truth is that just about any pen can be used in the manner of “tactical pen”). The 701 features mostly metal exterior construction and with the addition of the switch spring retainer from a Zebra 402, it will have completely metal exterior construction. This pen can even be modded to accept Fisher SPR4 pressurized ink refills (which sounds like a great Tactical Handyman post, stay tuned).

The best thing about the 701, is that it can be found locally at office supply shops for less than $8. If you are looking for a much more discreet option to a “tactical” pen, check out the Zebra 701.

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Daniel Defense, Vickers Tactical Training Series

Daniel Defense and Vickers Tactical are teaming up to bring you a new DVD series that brings the top-notch training of Larry Vickers right into your living room. These types of high production value videos have become very popular lately and, while they will never replace real training with a live trainer, they can serve a valuable role in keeping you sharp in between live training sessions. I think they are also an excellent way to get to know a trainer’s style before deciding if you want to put down more of your hard earned cash on a real live fire class.

The Daniel Defense, Vickers Tactical Training Series DVDs are available for pre-order on the Daniel Defense Website. You can also view a preview of the videos while you are there.

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