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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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Lost Mountain Iron Works

Lost Mountain Iron Works (LMIW) makes some of the most feature rich knife sheaths that you will have see. It really isn’t fair to call them sheaths because that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of their functionality. They are really more like packs that also happen to hold a knife.

LMIW offers some very full featured sheaths.

They have three models that serve various sizes of knives. The Works Pack is essentially an organizer style pack that accepts a kydex knife sheath. It allows to build a compact, knife-based survival kit. The interior features mesh pockets that let you stash your gear but still be able to see it. The Works Pack also features an external pocket. There are also elastic loops on the exterior for lashing additional gear. A tool hanger allows you to attach a small tool like a fire steel. The entire pouch can be attached to a larger pack, chest rig, or any thing else with MOLLE webbing. This pouch might be the ultimate E&E kit.

The Works Pack from LMIW

The interior of The Works Pack allows the user to organize their survival gear.

LMIW also makes two longer sheaths for larger fixed blades – the Footlong and the J. Holmes. These sheath feature a kydex insert for holding the knife and two large external pouches. The pouches are sized to hold Altoid sized tins or several small items. They are also MOLLE compatible.

All the LMIW sheaths are MOLLE compatible.

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Review: NukoTools Punch Ring

The NukoTools Punch Ring actually looks relatively innocuous.

The NukoTools motto is “Leave an Impression” and the Punch Ring certainly lives up to that motto.

The Punch Ring is a discreet, last-chance impact tool that is designed to make punching more efficient and devastating. To use it, you simply place your index or middle finger through the large hole and make a fist. It features a sharp chisel edge on the front that comes to a slightly rounded point. This sharp edge extends forward of the user’s fist when the tool is gripped properly. This edge will cause deep bruising and lacerations when it contacts flesh. It serves to concentrate the force of the punch over a much smaller area which causes more damage. This edge also makes the Punch Ring useful for raking the face rather than just punching.

The back of the Punch Ring is wide (about 1.25″) to spread the force of the impact over a larger area of the user’s palm. The Punch Ring is thinner (.214″ thick) than some knuckle type impact tools but that may be a price you pay for such a compact and discreet tool. This rear edge can also be used when to inflict pain when trapping , squeezing, or raking your opponent’s arms, face, and ears.

One side of the tool is left smooth which helps you to index the tool, even when you can't see it.

The NukoTools logo is just as clever as the tool.

To fit with its discreet mission, the Punch Ring is made from G10. G10 is a laminate material that is extremely durable and non-metallic. One of the sides of the Punch Ring is textured which can help you index the Punch Ring without actually being able to see it if you are carrying it in your pocket. Every corner of the tool that will come in contact with the user’s hand has been carefully beveled to reduce discomfort. The Punch Ring also has a small hole that allows you to attach it to your keys or add a lanyard.

I used the punch ring on various materials that I could get my hands on. The edge is sharp enough that it can be used to cut paper and packing tape. It is surprisingly sharp. It sinks easily and deeply into several layers of corrugated card board. Dry wall gives way readily. Even soft wood is no match for the punch ring. The thin material that the Punch Ring does cause some discomfort to the palm when really getting behind a punch but it did not injure me in any way and it serves to keep the tool concealable and discreet. It is important to remember that this is a last-ditch option. There was absolutely zero damage to the edge from any of the materials that I used the Punch Ring on.

The corners that will contact the user are nicely beveled for comfort.

The leading edge is beveled to cause maximum discomfort for the person on the receiving end.

If you are looking for a compact, light weight, discreet, tool that will give you an edge in a sticky situation then the NukoTools Punch Ring may just be for you. Check them out on the NukoTools blog. These would make perfect stocking stuffers!

If you want to learn more about the effective use of tools like this, I highly recommend reading and attending training from Modern Combative Systems.

Familiarize yourself with the legality of such tools in your area before purchasing.

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Proud to Be Part of the GunUp Blogger Network

Jerking the Trigger is now part of the GunUp Blogger Network. GunUp is a one stop shop for information about guns of all kinds and I am proud to be part of their group of gun bloggers.

GunUp also happens to be giving away a year’s worth of free ammo! You can learn more about the contest on the GunUp website.

Elzetta ZSM

There is no shortage of shotgun light mounts but the vast majority of them are poorly made barrel clamp designs. These mounts often lack the necessary surface area to hold the light securely to the barrel without shifting under recoil and position the light in such a way that a coiled tape switch must be used to activate the light.

The new Elzetta ZSM clamps to both the magazine tube and the barrel. It has plenty of surface area to ensure that it is absolutely stationary under recoil and serves to support the extended magazine tubes that are prevalent on today’s shotguns. It can also be mounted just forward of the fore end which allows the user to active the light with the support hand thumb. The ZSM is versatile enough to fit just about any serious shotgun on the market any and any light with a .70 to 1.05″ outside diameter. That includes most popular lights from Surefire, Streamlight, and Elzetta’s own excellent ZFL-M60.

The ZSM is made from glass-filled polymer which means it is not only extremely tough but also very light weight. There are two models of the ZSM; a standard version and a thumb screw model which allows the ZSM to be detached and attached without the use of tools. The ZSM can also be purchased as a complete kit which includes a 235 lumen Elzetta ZFL-M60 light.

Visit the Elzetta website for more information.

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