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Art of the Dynamic Shotgun – Coming Soon

Costa and Haley take on the shotgun…

Art of the Dynamic Shotgun comes hot on the heals of the successful Art of the Dynamic Carbine 1 & 2 and Art of the Dynamic Handgun. Magpul Dynamics continues to impress with these high production value training videos.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XCv0X6SqUg]

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Marion Outdoors – Flexible Bail for Guyot Bottles

I am a big fan of Guyot Designs Stainless Steel Nalgene water bottles. They are just so much more versatile than standard plastic Nalgene bottles. Because of their stainless steel construction, they can be used directly on a fire for cooking or water purification. The problem is that they can be difficult to handle when they are hot. Sheath maker and outdoorsman, Marion David Poff, has come up with a very convenient solution.

Click to enlarge.

Marion is selling a bail that is constructed from braided steel wire through his outdoor product company, Marion Outdoors. The rope simply slides onto itself at both ends which creates a loop that can be slipped under the lip of the stainless bottle. Once the bail is in place it can be used to suspend the bottle over the fire or to remove a hot bottle from a fire. The wire is flexible enough that the bail packs down very small for transport. It is a very clever design that makes an already versatile item even more versatile.

The bails are available directly from Marion on BladeForums.

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SLAP Giveaway Winners

Congrats to all the SLAP Giveaway Winners!

  • “David”
  • “Jeff B”
  • “Michael V”
  • “tgace”
  • “Joe L”

I will be contacting you via email shortly.

Thank you to Derek at I Kick Hippies for providing the prizes and thank you to all the readers for making this a success.

Elzetta Offers a New Well Designed Strobe Tailcap

Strobe lights of sufficiently fast frequency is quite disruptive to those on the viewing end of the light. A flashlight with strobe function can be an invaluable tool to those who have the training to make the most of it. However, the strobe mode on many flashlights often requires a series of clicks or programming to access which can be difficult to do under stress. Enter Elzetta

The new Strobe Tailcap option for the ZFL-M60 series of lights from Elzetta is designed to correct this shortcoming that plagues most lights. When the tail cap is tightened all the way in the closed position, it acts like any other “clickie” tail cap. You simply press lightly for momentary operation or press until the button clicks for constant operation. If you need to access strobe, you simply back the tailcap off a few degrees. Now the operator needs only to press the tailcap button to access a blinding and disorienting 235 lumen strobe.

There is no series of clicks or programming required. Users who prefer the strobe can simply set the light in strobe mode and leave it there. The strobe is only a button push away. Far too many lights advertise the usefulness of the strobe function and then make the user do interactions that would be difficult or impossible to do under stress. The Elzetta design is far more user friendly and easier to operate under stress – just press a button.

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New ESEE-4 Scales From The Knife Connection

One of the most asked questions about ESEE Knives is “Are there different scales available for purchase?” ESEE has decided not to offer replacement scales but The-Knife-Connection has decided to fill that gap. The free market works!

 

The scales extend the length of the handle and provide a "beak" for additional grip. Click to enlarge.

 

The scales aren’t just simple copies of the original scales. They actually add some functionality in the form of a slight palm swell and some additional length. Some people find the ESEE handles to be a bit short so these replacement scales will be a welcome upgrade for them.

 

The contours will be appreciated by many users. Click to enlarge.

 

The-Knife-Connection will be offering these scales in several colors of G-10. They are machined to ensure a consistent fit. They will eventually have scales for other ESEE Knives as well, like the Izula and ESEE-3. You can see more pictures and read more about the scales at the ESEE Forum on BladeForums.com.

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Princeton Tec Byte

Princeton Tec recently announced a new head lamp that has really piqued my interest. It’s called the Byte which is an obvious reference to its small size. It packs some huge functionality into its small frame.

The Byte has a white LED with a reflector that will give you the ability to light up objects at a distance and a small red LED that is useful for maintaining your dark adjusted vision and extending your battery life. It uses 2 AAA batteries to stay very small while still offering some decent output (35 lumens on high) and very good run time (80 hours). The white LED also has a low setting for even longer run times.

I confirmed with Princeton Tec that the Byte does turn on in the red LED setting. This is an excellent feature. Features like this allow the user to turn on their light without completely obliterating their dark adjusted vision and while staying discreet. Kudos to Princeton Tec for adding this feature to more of their lights. However, the light must still be shuffled through all the brightness levels in order to turn it off. Hopefully this can be fixed in a later release.

The street price on this full featured head lamps is going to be around $20 which is a great deal for Princeton Tec rugged construction and quality. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on one of these to try out.

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Review: Brunton 15TDCL Compass

 

Click to enlarge.

 

The Brunton 15TDCL Compass has gone through some changes over the years. For a while, it was the only “true” Silva Ranger Type 15 compass that we could get easily here in the USA. The Silva branded compasses that we have here in the USA are actually made in a variety of countries and sold under the Silva name (you can read more HERE). Brunton used to be importing the real Silva Ranger compasses under their brand but sadly it seems those days are gone. The new 15TDCL compasses are made in China. However, if most 15TDCL compasses are like the one that I am reviewing, they are still very decent compasses.

 

The red bezel gives a unique look and is easy to read. Click to enlarge.

 

Features

  • Adjustable declination
  • Clinometer
  • Luminous points
  • 1:24,000 and 1:50,000 UTM corners
  • Magnifier
  • Lifetime warranty

What Makes it Great?

In spite of my initial disappointment with the compass not being Swedish made, it still retains many of the features that made the Silva Ranger great. It is a lot of compass for the money.

UTM Corners

The best feature of the 15TDCL are the UTM corners on the base plate. I usually use a GPS along with my map and compass. Being able to generate UTM coordinates makes it very easy to translate your GPS information to your map or vice versa. I wish every compass had these on the base plate! They are useful for measuring distance on your map as well.

 

The UTM corners are one of the best features of the 15TDCL. Click to enlarge.

 

Luminous Points

The luminous points on the 15TDCL glow long and strong. They really outclass every compass that I have except my tritium Cammenga lensatic compasses, but that isn’t really a fair comparison. These great luminous points allow the 15TDCL to be used more easily in low light which can be a real asset when you find yourself still a few miles from camp and down in a deep hollow just before sunset.

In Use

A common complaint with some Asian/Pacific made compasses centers on the bezel being able to move too freely. The bezel moves freely but stays in position well on my 15TDCL. Bezel tension is just right. It is also relatively easy to use with gloves and it is very readable. The adjustable declination screw is on the top of the bezel which is nice.

There is a small hole below the mirror that may be some kind of sighting hole like the one on the previously reviewed Suunto MC-2G. However, it is too small and lacks a notch. It just doesn’t work near as well as the well designed sighting hole on the Suunto.

 

This hole works as a lower sighting hole, but it could be larger. Click to enlarge.

 

The 15TDCL is a joy to use with a map thanks to the previously mentioned UTM corners and the 3 silicone “feet”. These feet do a good job of keeping the compass from sliding around on your map. The base plate markings are black but are still pretty readable when used with a map. The markings are also very deeply inset into the base plate which will help it stay readable over years of use.

What Could Be Better?

There is a small amount of “slop” or “play” between the inner compass module and outer ring of the module (the part that has the degree markings). It is a small amount of movement, but I don’t need any more margin of error introduced to my already less than precise orienteering. It hasn’t affected function at this time, but if it gets worse, I will contact Brunton (who has very good customer service).

The marking holes on the UTM corners could be larger. They are so narrow that it takes a very sharp pencil or narrow pen in order to mark your map with them.

Overall

While the 15TDCL may not have the real pedigree of the Silva Ranger anymore, it is still very derivative of the venerable Ranger. If offers a lot of the same functionality. This compass is a solid value in mirrored sighting compasses. It works.

 

Click to enlarge.

 

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Bigfoot Bags

One of my most used items for going to and from the range is a Bigfoot Bag. These bags are extremely well made. They come in various sizes, colors, and materials that are well suited to a multitude of tasks. My particular bag is a medium Camo-Bag.

You are probably asking what makes this better than any other duffel bag on the market. The answer is simple. Bigfoot Bags zip all the way open so that the entire bag lays flat. You can lay the bag on the ground, pile your stuff in the center, zip it up, and go. Also, because the bags are so durable and water-resistant, the open flat design becomes very versatile. I have used it as a tarp to keep my gear dry during a downpour, as an improvised cam0 blind, and as a shooting mat.

These are perfectly suited for a day at the range. I can get all of my gear in one medium bag. It is even large enough to accept my discreet rifle cases. Once you are at the range you can use the bag as a shooting mat, brass catcher, or to keep your gear dry in a surprise rain storm.

My Bigfoot Bag is one of the most versatile pieces of gear that I have ever owned.

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Mega Arms MA-TEN

The Mega Arms MA-TEN upper and lower receiver sets give those who want to build a .308 AR some serious options. The MA-TEN set will accept all DPMS and Knight’s Armament parts. It will also except all Armalite parts except the the barrel nut and magazine. That adds up to a lot of versatility.

This set has one huge advantage over other .308 AR receivers. That advantage is a combination of two factors. Since the MA-TEN is built to use the SR-25 magazine, shooters can use the excellent PMAG 20-LR. And, the MA-TEN allows you to use Noveske barrels which are known for their extreme accuracy. The combination of PMAGs with Noveske barrels make for a top quality combination.

Mega Machine and Rainier Arms looks to have a winner on their hands.

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AmeriGlo Customer Service is Top Notch

I recently reviewed the excellent AmeriGlo Hackathorn sights. One thing I didn’t mention in the review was the interaction that I had with AmeriGlo’s customer service.

When I installed the sights I noticed that the rear sight seemed to go into the dovetail easier than I was used to. I use an MGW sight pusher which makes installation a snap, but this was even easier than usual. After the sight was in place, I put my thumb on it and pushed. I could actually move the sight with my thumb.

To troubleshoot, I installed a different AmeriGlo rear sight that I had on hand and found that it fit perfectly so the dovetail was probably in spec. The rear sight must have been slightly undersized which is extremely rare for a part that is machined to such tight tolerances and is not typical of the dozen or more AmeriGlo sight sets that I have installed.

I contacted AmeriGlo via email after business hours and planned to call during the following day. It turns out that the call was unnecessary because AmeriGlo replied to my email early the next morning. They related to me how rare things like this are and said that they would put a replacement in the mail right away. The replacement would have a set screw just in case the dovetail on my G21SF was slightly out of spec.

Dealing with AmeriGlo could not have been easier. I now have a perfectly functional set of sights. AmeriGlo obviously stands behind their sights. I will continue to use AmeriGlo sights for their forward thinking designs, very reasonable prices, and excellent service.

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