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Review: TacPack September Edition

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background. I recently received the September TacPack and here are the details…

September’s box is another one that delivers not only good value, but useful items. The usefulness of the items included continues to be my favorite thing about TacPack’s subscription service.

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Nine Line Apparel Swag Pack – Nine Line Apparel is represented in a big way in this month’s box. They included a sticker, a koozie, and a t-shirt. I have a tool chest so I can use the sticker. I like cold beverages that come in cans so I can definitely use the koozie. I also [usually] wear clothing so I will get a lot of mileage out of the All Rifles Matter shirt. I always pleased when these boxes include a shirt.

Bellflower AK47 – This is an aluminum bottle opener that is shaped like an AK-47 and can be attached to your keys. It’s anodized in a gold color so you can feel like an oil baron or sultan while you are opening bottles. Even if you don’t put it on your keychain, you need a bottle opener for every drawer in your kitchen because they tend to disappear over time and no one wants to try to remember which drawer the bottle opener is in.

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ReadyMan Survival Card – ReadyMan makes a variety of these cards. The one included in this box has a variety of fish hooks, frog spears, and other useful survival goodies packed into one easy-to-carry credit card form. I have a few of these tucked into various kits.

Wild HedgeHog Tactical – Wild HedgeHog Tactical really came through in this box. There is a coupon for 20% off at their site and one of their Ouch Pouches which is a compact, water-resistant first aid kit. You can never have too many first aid kits. This is the type of useful item that I really like finding in my TacPack.

Armaspec ST-45 Ambi Selector – This is a solid inclusion for both value and usefulness. If you are reading JTT, you almost certainly own an AR-15 in which you can use a short throw selector.

Check out TacPack to get in line for the October box which TacPack is touting as possibly their best yet.

Review: TacPack August Edition

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background. I recently received the August TacPack and it is my favorite so far. Here are the details…

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I judge subscription boxes based not only the monetary value they deliver but also the usefulness of the items. I have purchased subscription boxes before and found that they may deliver a good monetary value on paper but be full of useless nick-knacks. That has not been my experience with TacPack and this month’s box is a prime example. I will use every single thing in the box. So far, TacPack boxes always deliver on value and I have been pleased with the usefulness of the items.

Exotac Fireseleeve – I supported the crowdfunding campaign that launched these and I think they are great gear. Exotac’s Firesleeve makes the already great Bic lighter even more functional by making it water-resistant, easier to grip, easier to keep lit without burning your thumb, and adding a lanyard loop.

America Grip Dagger Multi-Tool – This thing is slick. It’s an AR-15-centric multi-tool that is unlike any other that I own. It is especially solid for clearing some nasty types of stoppages. It has a tool for removing cases with head separation and a clever tool that is radiused for hooking under the rim of stuck brass. It can also be used to push pins, adjust optics, as a flat blade screw driver, and bolt scraper. Best of all, it folds into a very compact shape that can be clipped just about anywhere. This is going into my range kit.

Kershaw EDC Pack – Many of Kershaw’s knives are pretty inexpensive but they aren’t cheap if you get my drift. I have always had good luck with them so this is a nice inclusion. The pack includes a small multi-tool, a Kershaw knife, a flashlight, and a branded dog tag. The multi-tool is okay. The flashlight is pretty cheap but it works. The dog tag is silly. The knife, however, is solid and you always have room for a solid knife in a kit or tool box.

Breakthrough Clean Battle Born HP Pro – Everyone needs more gun oil. I don’t worry much about my gun oil because, regardless of the brand, I am going to use it the same way. I add lots of it so the gun stays wet, apply lots more when it starts to dry out, and repeat. They all work if you use them that way. However, I do like when a lube provides good protection from corrosion which, in my unscientific experience, Breakthrough Clean products do. I have to say that I like the precision applicator bottle on this Breakthrough Clean Battle Born HP Pro quite a bit. I also like that a 10% off coupon code was included for future Breakthrough Clean purchases.

GBA Sticker – Your tool box probably has room for another sticker.

On the whole, I think this is the most solid box to date. Previous subscription boxes that I have tried became progressively more nick-knack oriented. TacPack seems to keep going strong and may even be improving over time. I’ll take a few useful, high-value items over a pile of useless junk that is included to pad the monetary value any day. Well done TacPack. Well done.

Check out TacPack to get in line for the September box.

Review: TacPack – July Edition

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background. I recently received the July TacPack and it is one of my favorites so far thanks to three really handy inclusions. Here are the details…

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KeySmart Rugged – The KeySmart is a handy little bugger. It basically lets you sandwich your keys together into something like a Swiss Army Knife. This is a new, more beefy version of the KeySmart that seems very sturdy. It also came with an expansion pack for those of you with janitoresque key rings. This is a great inclusion and one that just about anyone can use.

Gerber Hook Knife – The Gerber Hook Knife is like a very small rescue knife or strap cutter. It actually does a respectable job of cutting clothing, webbing, string, and similar items without binding in spite of its size. The sheath seems to hold it very securely and its simple split ring attachment should allow you to mount this anywhere – on your gear, on your key ring, on a pack, etc. This is the kind of thing that I can always find a use for.

Strike Industries Angled Foregrip – The Strike Industries Angled Foregrip works and it is pretty handy – especially for AR pistol shooters since the BATFE has ruled that angle grips are good to go on AR Pistols. The Strike Industries grip has a clever ledge on the front that makes it easy to lock into a barricade while shooting. I’ll definitely use this.

TacPack Smooth Operator Hat – This cap features the ubiquitous loop material field on the front for attaching patches which makes it very operator. It also has the TacPack logo embroidered over the loop field which actually looks nice. It’s not the nicest cap I own but it isn’t the worst either. The quality is better than a typical freebie type hat.

Gang Bangers Anonymous Patch – TacPack continues their Gang Bangers Anonymous theme with a new GBA patch. This one is going on the patch panel!

Some lucky folks also received one of 20 muzzle brakes from BullMoose Tactical. Even if you didn’t get a muzzle brake, the box included a 25% off coupon for BullMoose Tactical.

Wrap Up

This is one of the most solid boxes to date. It might not be the slickest but I will use every single thing in it. The KeySmart has universal appeal. The Gerber Hook Knife can be tucked away in a kit or carried on anyone’s gear. You’ll always find room on a rifle for a good fore grip like the Strike Industries Angled Foregrip. This is just a solid box.

Check out TacPack to get in line for the August box.

Review: TacPack – June Edition

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the reviews of the previous TacPacks for some background. I recently received the June TacPack and this one had some big time potential, especially for a lucky few. Here are the details…

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HexMag Advanced Tactical Grip – This grip features the well known HexMag hexagon pattern and is adjustable for grip angle (17, 25, and 33 degrees). It feels nice in the hand, looks good, and seems to take stippling well which is good because it feels a little slick.

Live Fire Emergency Fire Starter and 40% Coupon Code – Live Fire’s fire starting products are excellent. If you received the June TacPack, I suggest you use the Emergency Fire Starter as a chance to try out Live Fire. Then go buy several more with the included 40% off coupon code to tuck away in your packs, vehicle kits, and where ever else you need them. This is a really nice intro to some great gear.

ABKT Boot Knife – This is going to be one of those toss-it-in-a-kit-and-forget-it items for me. It is a cheap knife but the sheath seems to hold the knife well, the edge sharpened well with just a few passes on a stone, and it should be right at home as a cheap beater that I won’t cry about when I break it while throwing it at stumps. This is really the first inclusion in a TacPack that has fallen flat for me.

CRKT Getaway Driver – This little gadget is great. It’s core functionality is as a screwdriver but it carries standard screwdriver bits on board allowing you to swap the bits as you see fit. You could match the bits to the fasteners you need and then tuck it away on your gear, on your bike, in your range bag, or anywhere else you might need. It will even open your bottles. This thing is useful.

TacPack LE Patch – Everyone likes patches.

Seekin Precision Post Card of Winning – I wasn’t sure what to call this but it is a scratch-off card and a solid inclusion. Several of these cards will be instant winners of gear from Seekins Precision. Every other card will be a discount code that has the potential to save you some serious coin – well over $100 on a complete upper.

Stickers – There were two stickers included in the box. My tool chest will be sporting them shortly.

.999 Silver Coins – Two lucky boxes were shipped with silver coins from GMR Gold.

Wrap Up

The boot knife fell flat in this one and a lot of the value of the box is in the coupons which some may not like. That is the nature of these boxes and the surprise is part of the appeal. I’ll use the coupons and get pretty good value out of them. The Getaway Driver is something I never would have purchased for myself but after getting one in this TacPack, I like it so much that I bought another one. The Seekins Precision winners and those who received the coins are probably dancing the streets. Those are some very cool giveaways.

Check out TacPack and get in line for the July box which promises to have some big time giveaway items from Bull Moose Tactical.

Review: TacPack – May Edition

Hopefully you are familiar with the concept of TacPack by now. If not, you can read the previous review of the April TacPack for some background. I recently received the May TacPack and it’s another solid one. Here are the details…

Once again, I felt that this box delivered a solid value for the $49.95 per box subscription price and, again, all of the items are actually interesting to me.

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Madhouse Design Gun Control System – MSRP $49 – Madhouse Design makes several firearm accessories including run rests, muzzle brakes, and an entire line of gun storage gear that they call their Gun Control Systems. These are basically modular, adjustable rack systems that retain your handgun via a “pin” that goes into the muzzle. I know that is going to be controversial for some people but, I believe it is a safe and effective storage method when executed well. I have been storing handguns in my safe in a similar way with a different product for years. The strength of the Gun Control System is how adjustable it is and how versatile it is in how it can be placed. The quality is excellent and the pin that they designed to go into the barrel is very sturdy and highly unlikely to harm the barrel.

ReadyMan Network EDC Tool – $15 – If you like knucks and other cool impact weapons, you’ll like this.

ABKT Tactical Gunsmith Mat – $10 – I don’t know what makes a gunsmith mat “tactical” but this one from ABKT had me more excited than anyone should be over a gunsmith mat. It has a thick felt-like top that should be good for wicking up gun oil and a heavy rubber bottom that ensures it doesn’t move. This is the most substantial mat of this type I have felt and the quality is obvious. It also seems to resist setting in a rolled shape if stored that way.

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Gerber Shard Keychain Tool – $7 – The Gerber Shard is a dandy. They aren’t expensive but they are useful. I have one that lives on my keychain and, unlike many tools, it is TSA-friendly. This is a solid addition to the box and the type of thing you’ll find all kinds of uses for in your EDC, survival kits, or range bag.

Exotac tinderZIP – $9 – Exotac’s tinderZIPs are very cool and they work. The May TacPack comes with a pack of 5 of them. Each tinderZIP contains 6″ of Live Fire Gear  Fire Cord which is a paracord-like product that contains inner strands that are excellent tinder. You just hitch the onto the zippers on your jacket, backpack, bikepacking bags, or where ever you want to keep some emergency tinder. Then, if you need tinder, just cut it open, fluff the inner strands, and apply a spark. They light even when damp.

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GMR Chris Kyle Commemorative Coin – $3.50 – These pure copper commemorative coins are very cool. One, they immortalize an American hero and two, their proceeds go to the Chris Kyle Foundation. If you follow the metals markets, you’ll know that pure copper has some value and potential as an investment.

The May TacPack is close to selling out if it hasn’t already. I understand that next month will have some scratch off tickets for prizes and discounts from Seekins Precision. Check out TacPack.

Review: TacPack April Box

When a TacPack arrives on your doorstep and you know that box is going to have some cool stuff in it but you aren’t quite sure what it will be… That is exciting. I recently received TacPack’s April box and it was a good one.

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What is a TacPack?

Before we get into the contents of the box, I should explain what TacPack is. TacPack is a subscription box service not unlike those found in other industries like fashion or cosmetics (fortunately, TacPack won’t send you makeup). You pay a subscription fee and then receive a box full of mystery items that are worth more than what you paid for the box. They deliver value by working out volume discounts and securing promotional items.

What’s in a TacPack?

The April box delivered very good value and had some great items in it. TacPack’s boxes cost $49.95 each and the actual value varies based on what they were able to work out for that particular box. In the case of April’s box, it delivered a value of over $120 but that is at MSRP. Even shopping around for good prices, the box value well over the $49.95 cost. I have seen other TacPack boxes and it is my opinion that they are doing a good job of delivering value and that is probably the most important thing for services like this.

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The April box included 5 items and, to me, none of them were throw-aways which is impressive. The items included:

RATS Tourniquet – I have a love hate relationship with the RATS. I like the form factor that lends itself to easy carry in a variety of methods. However, the testing shows that while it does stem bloodflow, it is not as effective as other TQs. In spite of that, I own a few of them because it is the type of tourniquet that can be carried in ways others cant which means I am more likely to have it with me. I think you can’t have too many TQs when you start distributing them between your kits so this safety orange RATS is an awesome addition to the box.

Gang Bangers Anonymous Patch – Everyone likes patches including me. This one is a lot of fun and it appears to be a well made PVC patch with great detail in the rendering of the AR-15 SBR. I dig it.

Black Rifle Coffee Company Mug – This mug is pretty darn nice. The handle is large enough to fit more than 2 man fingers through (seriously, why can’t mug makers do this more often). It’s made from stainless steel and insulated. It also happens to feature the logo of Black Rifle Coffee Company who you should definitely check out (I like the Just Black Coffee Blend because I am a pretty boring dude when it comes to coffee). Bottom line: This is a great mug from a great company and everyone can find a use for a good mug.

Pro Tip: Mugs can hold beer too.

Gerber Uppercut Push Dagger – This Gerber Uppercut is not terrible. In fact, it is actually a pretty neat little self-defense knife except for the sheath which isn’t great. It is light, slim, sharp, and like any push dagger, very intuitive to use. I think push daggers are underappreciated. They can be carried comfortably and accessibly on the wearer’s center line with a short static line. They are very easily retained in the user’s grip. Finally, if you know how to punch, you know how to use it. If you want to, you can do a light cord wrap on the handle, have someone whip up a simple sheath for use with a static cord, and away you go.

CRKT Edgie – The Edgie is a weird little knife but a cool little knife. Its a slip joint (non-locking) folder that actually sharpens itself when you close the knife. It’s just the kind of knife you would want to drop into a kit somewhere. Mine is sitting on my workbench now because the sheepsfoot blade is great for utility work. This is a solid value.

Wrap Up

Overall, I am really pleased with this box. The RATS TQ and the Black Rifle Coffee Company Mug are my favorites but I will use everything in the box. That isn’t really common with subscription service so I think TacPack deserves some kudos here.

Check out TacPack!

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Monthly subscription gift box are very popular right now. Typically, you pay a monthly subscription fee and a box full of mystery items is delivered to your door. The subscription service is able to provide a box that is worth significantly more than you paid because they work with manufacturers to procure promotional items or are able to secure low pricing on the basis of sheer volume. It seems that every industry has services like this now and the “tactical” world is not exempt.

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TacPack is just one of the handful of subscription boxes in this space but they have caught my eye for the quality of the items that they are providing. Past box items have included RATS Tourniquets, small steel targets, EOS TiSharks, gun cleaning gear, Mechanix Gloves and other stuff you will actually use (except the TQ, hopefully you don’t need to use that… but definitely carry one). Their boxes cost $50 and they typically deliver a value 0f $70 or more according to TacPack.

I have checked out similar services before and it can be a lot of fun to rip into that mystery box when it arrives. Check out TacPack.

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