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Ares Armor Combat XII Pack from PredatorBDU.com

The Ares Armor Combat XII Pack is a backpack that is designed to interface with a plate carrier without the need for shoulder straps. It allows the wearer to carry necessary items like water, spare magazines, and first aid gear on the back of their plate carrier while still being immediately accessible. You can check out all of the features of this innovative pack on the Ares Armor website.

Now there are two new versions of the Combat XII Pack that are exclusive to PredatorBDU.com. These are A-TACs and Multicam packs that feature camo printed webbing that matches the body of the pack. The camo matched webbing makes a great pack even better.

Check out the exclusive versions of the Combat XII Pack at PredatorBDU.com.

Vinyl Tape, Coyote Brown from Battle Systems

Shooters have been using electrical tape for years to silence noisy things, darken shiny things, and tighten loose things. There is no shortage of uses for electrical tape but it doesn’t do everything well. It is black which is not really the best color for blending in and it tends to leave a ton of residue behind after it removed. Now, Battle Systems, is offering shooters an alternative to electrical tape.

Vinyl Tape, Coyote Brown from Battle Systems performs all the same “tactical” tasks as electrical tape but it does them better. It stays flexible even in cold temperatures and resists turning to a sticky mess in the heat. It is coyote brown in color so it blends into your surroundings and your MARPAT, Multicam, and Tan/Brown gear. You can use it to route wires or hydration tubes on your gear, secure excess straps, or anything else that you can think of.

You may think this is just tape, but this actually offers a much better alternative to something that is used extensively by many shooters. I think it is a great idea.

Check out Vinyl Tape, Coyote Brown on the Battle Systems website.

New Carrier Portable and Self Staking from TacStrike

More and more outdoor shooting ranges that I have been to are starting to charge for using their target stands. They usually do this to defray the cost of the target stands that are destroyed by goobers who give all gun owners a bad name. What if you could bring your own super durable target stands that packed small enough to fit in a backpack? That is what the new Carrier Portable and Self Staking target stands from TacStrike let you do.

These aren’t just for organized ranges either. If you have access to public or private land, you can use these stands to turn any suitable location into a range. If that suitable spot is fairly long walk from your vehicle, that is no problem thanks to how the stand can be packed down into a small package.

You won’t need to carry sandbags or other weights either since the Carrier Portable and Self Staking is designed with legs that can be staked into the ground. This provides a tip free base even in the wind. If the soil is hard, the base is durable enough to handle being driven with a small sledge.

You can use furring strips as the target uprights. The Carrier Portable and Self Staking will accept either 2″x2″ or 1″x2″ furring strips by adjusting a tension screw to fit. The use of furring strips is a great feature for stands like this. They are light weight, inexpensive to replace when you shoot one, and can be easily cut to any height.

The Carrier Portable and Self Staking is simple, well designed, and extremely portable. Check it out on the TacStrike website.

 

Krebs Enhanced Selector Lever for Saiga

If you like extended selector levers on your AKs like I do but you also own a Saiga rifle (converted in my case) then you will be happy to see this. Krebs Custom now offers their excellent Enhanced Selector Lever with a repositioned detent that is designed for Saiga rifles – the MKVI-S.

New MKVI-S from Krebs Custom

Most AKs have dimples milled into the receiver that mate with a small detent on the selector lever. The combination of these dimples and detents lets the lever “snap” into each position (safe and fire). Saiga receivers lack these dimples. Saiga selectors use a detent that is placed all the way out at the end of the selector lever so that it snaps to the edge of the receiver not into a dimple.

This image shows the difference in the selector detent locations.

I tried using a standard Krebs Enhanced Selector Lever on a converted Saiga that I own. The selector wouldn’t snap into position because there were no receiver dimples and as a result the selector could be too easily bumped into the safe position. The new MKVI-S variant works perfectly for me.

If you own a Saiga rifle, converted or not, you will want to check out the new MKVI-S Enhanced Selector Lever on the Krebs Custom website.

Pocket Carry Viability

“Pocket carry” is a method of concealed carry where a handgun is concealed in the wearer’s pocket. This carry method requires a handgun that is actually small enough to carry in a typical pants pocket and its popularity has increased as the market continues to be flooded with sub-compact handguns. It is my intention to have an honest discussion about pocket carry, its advantages, its disadvantages, and its viability as a carry method.

Holsters

Let’s get one thing out of the way before we delve too deeply into this discussion. I will assume in this post that we are referring to pocket carry with the use of a holster that is purpose built for pocket carry. I would never consider carrying a handgun in my pocket without a holster that completely covers the trigger guard – anything less is a negligent discharge waiting to happen. A holster will also help prevent the intrusion of pocket lint and other debris into your handgun.

Holsters that are designed for pocket carry will have some method of keeping the holster in the pocket during the draw stroke. If your pocket carry holster tends to come out with the handgun when you practice your draw stroke on the range, throw it out and buy a different design.

Advantages

There are some advantages to consider when discussing pocket carry. The most obvious are comfort and convenience. It is extremely convenient to be able to drop a holstered handgun into your pocket and it is typically a very comfortable way to carry a handgun. While comfort and convenience are nice, there are many far more important factors to consider when choosing a carry method. Clint Smith wisely said that carrying a gun “is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.”

Two other advantages to pocket carry that are rarely mentioned but are, in my mind, the most compelling advantages that this carry method offers are the ability to appear complacent and the ability to appear compliant while indexing your handgun.

Consider a situation where you are walking through a parking garage and you see someone approaching while holding an object that you can’t identify in the dim lighting. You can’t just pull your shirt up and put your hand on your gun. That would be irresponsible since you haven’t identified a threat yet. However, you could place your hands in your pockets and appear to be complacent while you are actually establishing a firing grip on your handgun and preparing to draw if necessary. That is the ability to appear complacent and it can be a tremendous advantage.

Now consider the same situation except this time you don’t see the person approaching. They get the drop on you and they want to force you into your car at gunpoint. The situation is grave and your mind is telling you that you will need to fight back in order to live. You reach into your pocket to appear compliant by “getting your keys” and instead you index your handgun and prepare to defend your life. This ability to appear compliant might buy you the split seconds that you need to produce your handgun and defend your life.

Disadvantages

Before we get carried away by the compelling advantages of pocket carry, we should take an honest look at some very compelling disadvantages.

A pocket can be a terrible environment to store a handgun. It can be humid and dirty. Even when you clean your pockets, reliability threatening lint forms quickly. Great care must be taken to clear the handgun of all lint and grit before it works its way into the barrel or lock work.

Drawing a handgun from a pocket will generally take longer than producing one from the belt. The hand must slip into the pocket quickly which can be a bit tricky and the pockets sit lower than the belt which extends the draw stroke. Drawing from a pocket does not take very much longer than drawing from concealment but it does take longer. We generally try to reduce the time and increase the efficiency of our draw stroke. Pocket carry does the opposite.

A handgun that is carried in the pocket can be difficult to access with both hands. Even a mildly flexible person can access a handgun from a belt holster with their support hand but a pocket is a different story. It can be done but it is not easy, efficient, or graceful.

It can be difficult to access a pocket carry handgun while seated. When you are seated, your pockets are typically drawn tight which makes it difficult to get your hand into the pocket. It also changes the angle of the draw in a way that makes it all but impossible to draw your handgun without pointing it directly at your leg.

Finally, pocket carry gives you one less pocket to carry other gear. That may seem like a small thing but think about it. You should never carry anything in your pocket with your handgun. That is an accident waiting to happen and it could impede your draw stroke. The pocket that you will carry your handgun in is probably also the pocket that you clip your knife in or where you carry your keys. You will have to make other arrangements for these items and then carry them that way consistently so that you don’t reach into your pocket to get your keys and pull out a handgun instead. Don’t laugh. It happens.

Viable or Not?

So where does all of this discussion leave us? Is pocket carry a viable carry method or not? I can only answer for myself and say, “it depends.” In my opinion, based on the discussion above, pocket carry is not a suitable primary carry method but it can be an acceptable method for carrying a back up handgun. By carrying your back up with this method you can leverage the advantages of pocket carry while mitigating the disadvantages because it is not your only handgun.

Pocket carry is a compromise. You are exchanging a smooth, reliable draw stroke for comfort and convenience. That is a lousy trade but in some cases it may be an acceptable trade. I limit my use of pocket carry to a back up role. You will have to decide for yourself.

New Website from LaRue Tactical

Everyone’s favorite pusher of optics mounts, railed hand guards, and more has a new website. LaRue Tactical finally has a site that matches their products for quality.

The old site was functional enough to put a serious dent in my wallet but products were somewhat poorly organized. The old site lacked a general look and feel that you would expect from an industry heavyweight like LaRue Tactical. I have cruised the new site for a bit and found it to be very well organized. The excellent product pictures are displayed prominently and just about everything on the site is just one click from the home page. This site, like all LaRue products, is functional and well made.

You can check out the new site at LaRueTactical.com.

New Plate Carrier Accessories from Shellback Tactical

The recent post about a high value body armor set up was a huge hit. In that post, I mentioned the Shellback Tactical Banshee as an excellent, high value option for those who need a plate carrier (PC). Shellback Tactical has recently introduced several new products and 2 of them may be especially interesting to those who have a Banshee PC.

The first product is designed to make the Banshee’s kangaroo pouch more useful. It is a zippered pouch that uses hook and loop to lock in place. You could use the kangaroo pouch as is, but it has so much hook and loop surface area that it can be difficult to access. It isn’t really designed to be used as a simple storage pouch. However, with the addition of the Kangaroo Zipper Pouch, the pouch becomes a useful storage option.

The second product is a set of shoulder pads. These shoulder pads act as additional padding for when your PC is really loaded with weight. They can also be used for those who may have to adjust the Banshee’s shoulder straps out far enough that they have unpadded areas on the shoulder. They have non-slip material to keep them in place and elastic webbing that can be used to route comm wires or a hydration tube. These shoulder pads will fit several other TAG/Shellback Tactical plate carriers in addition to the Banshee.

It is nice to see an already full featured PC like the Banshee, getting even more functionality. I hope that Shellback Tactical has a kangaroo pouch magazine storage solution for the Banshee soon.

AAC Micro7

By now you have likely already heard of Advanced Armament Corp’s 300 Blackout. If not, you should read up on it because it is a very slick concept. The support for the cartridge continues to grow with the introduction of the new Micro7.

The Micro7 is a compact, handy, lightweight bolt action rifle that is chambered for 300 Blackout. It is based on the excellent Remington Model 7 action which is basically a scaled down Model 700 action. This is a proven action and a great start for any compact rifle.

As you might expect from AAC, the Micro7 comes suppressor ready. It features a 16″ barrel that has been threaded to accept a suppressor. Care was also taken to ensure that the rifle remained handy even with the suppressor attached by using a lightweight barrel profile.

The Micro7 also comes with a scope mount and comb riser that AAC designed. The barrel is nitrided to increase the surface hardness and make it more durable. This is a very cool feature in rifle that could see some hard use.

I hope you are getting the picture that this is a very unique and versatile package. I could see this rifle in the trunk of a squad car, the rifle rack of a deer hunter, on the tractor of a rancher, or even lashed to the pack of a predator hunter. There really isn’t anything that this rifle can’t do.

Check out the AAC blog for the all the latest info on the Micro7 and the 300 Blackout.

New Plate Carriers from Beez Combat Systems

Beez Combat Systems (BCS) is introducing two new plate carriers. These carriers offer a lot of bang for your buck and are designed to be very low profile which, as a civilian shooter, I like very much.

The first carrier is what BCS is calling the BCS Plate Carrier MOLLE. It is a simple low profile carrier with MOLLE covering the plate panels. The shoulder and waist straps are made from 2″ webbing. Users can choose to add modular shoulder and waist pads for an additional cost. The waist pads have MOLLE on the exterior which is a very nice addition.

The second carrier is called the Plate Carrier Low-Profile. I actually had a very small amount of influence in this design. It has no MOLLE webbing on the panels since it is meant to be worn as a slick concealable carrier or under a chest rig. However, for maximum versatility, it features a large area of hook and loop material on the front to allow the mounting of hook and loop backed pouches. This allows you to quickly add or remove a magazine pouch or two based on the specific situation that you are facing. This hook and loop panel also allows you to sew on a small section of hook material onto the back of a chest rig to prevent the typical slipping problems that can occur when you wear a chest rig over a plate carrier.

Both carriers are available in every color of the tactical rainbow including A-TACS and Multicam. They are also available in your choice of 500D or 1000D nylon. The choice of 500D or 1000D nylon is one of the perks of buying gear from a custom maker. The bigger manufacturers just can’t offer options like this.

You can check out the new carriers on the BCS website.

Patch Collecting: Give Terror the Axe Foundation Patch

Some of the best patches are patches that benefit a cause. This patch benefits the Give Terror the Axe Foundation which raises money to put the axes, hatchets, and tomahawks that US Special Forces troops want and need into their hands at no cost to them.

The patch features a US flag design with a hatchet where the stars would typically be and the words “GIVE TERROR THE AXE”. This edition has an ACU gray and black color scheme and is limited to 100 pieces. All of the proceeds will go toward purchasing an axe for a member of the Special Forces.

There are still some of these limited edition patches left. You can visit the Give Terror the Axe Facebook Page to purchase your own patch.

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