web analytics

Tag Archives | Tactical

Down Range Gear Enhanced Straps

The Down Range Gear Enhanced Straps should be standard on every chest rig. Down Range Gear always turns out some seriously innovative designs but this one could change the way that you expect chest rigs to perform forever.

I like to run my chest rigs relatively high and tight. This often means adjusting the straps based on how I am dressed (rain wear, cold weather gear, etc). The Down Range Gear Enhanced Straps are made of shock-cord wrapped in tubular webbing. This allows the straps to stretch and move with you. It should also allow them to work over a wider range of clothes. They also have a length of flat webbing with an adjuster so you can make larger adjustments than the shock-cord will allow.

I wish I thought of this.

wordpress hit<br /> counter

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

TRICON Line is Now Available

You may remember the TRICON like of tactical gear that we mentioned a few months ago. Several of the items in the line are now available for purchase.

With Jeff Gonzalez designing and Diamondback Tactical building, this will be top notch gear. Check it out at Diamondback Tactical’s website.

wordpress hit
counter

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Surefire KX-4

The Surefire G2L is getting an upgrade. The Surefire G2L has become popular for weapon mounting thanks to it’s quality at a reasonable price and light weight. It is also a popular carry light among those who see the value in carrying a light daily.

Now, with the release of the KX4 conversion head, Surefire is increasing the output to an impressive 120 lumens while still delivering decent battery life. There is also a crenellated version called the KX4D.

wordpress hit<br /> counter

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Battle Comp – A Comp Without the Blast?

Traditionally, there have been issues with using compensators (comps) on rifles that are used in military, police, and defensive roles. Comps tend to increase the blast that can be heard and felt by the shooter and those around them. This is a very bad thing for those working in team situations. Also, the blast from a comp can be deafening indoors. There have been several comps introduced in the last couple of years that minimize the noise that is directed to the shooter but are still quite loud to those around the shooter. This is an improvement but still isn’t ideal.

The Battle Comp from Battle Comp Enterprises claims to have changed all that and they have some pretty impressive reviews to back it up. They appear to have created a comp that can reduce flash to a level similar to the A2 flash suppressor and reduce muzzle flip greatly without increasing concussive blast to the shooter or those around the shooter. The decreased muzzle flip should will allow faster follow-up shots while the lack of blast increase makes this viable for military, police, and defensive use. This is an important advancement for AR-15 muzzle devices.

wordpress hit counter

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Review – Kifaru MOLLE Express

I think I have finally spent enough time with my Kifaru G1 MOLLE Express (Mollex for short) to be able to talk about it with a reasonable amount of depth. I have used this pack on several day hikes, an orienteering course, car travel, air travel,  car camping, and a multi-day hike. It has seen rain, snow, heat, and cold. It has been on the trail and it has been out breaking brush. I haven’t spent years under it yet but I have formed some opinions.

Note the wedge shape and zippered access at the top and bottom. This is part of the magic of the Mollex.

Overview

The Kifaru Mollex is a newer version of their well loved Express. The main difference is the addition of MOLLE webbing on the body of the pack. The Mollex has a pocket on top of the lid (with a Velcro field for patches) and an mesh pocket on the underside of the lid. The regular Express lacks these two pockets but adds a front slip pocket.

The Mollex features 1000 denier Cordura nylon construction. The lid and body of the pack are constructed from a single layer of nylon, while the bottom of the pack is constructed of 2 layers of nylon for added durability. The top and bottom zippers are large, durable #10 YKK brand zippers that have para-cord pulls instead of noisy metal pulls. All hardware (buckles, sliders, etc.) appears to be from ITW Nexus. The construction and materials used in the pack are confidence inspiring.

There is a hook & loop field for affixing patches and name tapes on the top of the lid.

The Mollex blurs the line between day pack and 3 day pack. It boasts 2300 cubic inches of storage space which can easily be expanded through to use of additional MOLLE or “Dock & Lock” pouches. I especially like to use the Kifaru E&E to quickly add 1000 cubic inches of storage. The magic of the Mollex is that it feels small when you are wearing it but will surprise you with how much gear you can cram into it.

Unlike most packs this size, the Mollex has a true suspension system, not just a plastic panel stiffener. The suspension system is designed to transfer the weight of the pack off of your shoulders and onto your hips. It accomplishes this with 2 long aluminum stays that run vertically from the top of the pack to the bottom. These stays are ergonomically shaped and can be bent to fine tune the fit to the individual wearer of the pack. The stays run from the top of the pack, down to the waist belt. I opted for the padded MOLLE belt on my Mollex. The waist belt is wider and thinner than many people expect from a “padded” belt but the extra width effectively spreads the load of the pack over the hips without the need for the heavy padding. It doesn’t need the heavy padding that larger packs use since the loads will be somewhat limited by the size of the pack.

Additionally, the Mollex features an internal hydration compartment so you can easily add the bladder of your choice. There is a covered hydration port that make routing the hose of your hydration bladder easy. You will also find numerous other external loops for attaching Kifaru accessories like Pods and Cargo Chairs. The Mollex comes with a Chamber Pocket that can be suspended inside the pack. There are also provisions to hang a second Chamber Pocket and mounting points in the bottom of the pack for Lock and Loads that can be purchased from Kifaru.

The interior of the Mollex is more cavernous that you would expect on a pack this size.

The Good

The Mollex carries very well. The size and shape of Mollex is where the magic starts. It is not just a basic cylinder or cube shape like most packs. It is narrow at the top (about 30 inches in circumference) and flares at the base (about 40 inches in circumference). The resulting shape is like an upside down funnel or a wedge. This shape promotes placing the largest, heaviest items at the bottom of the pack where they will be riding directly on the waist belt. This low center of gravity makes the pack feel like part of you which is especially nice when you are off the trial. This is probably the most important asset of any pack. If a pack is unwieldy or uncomfortable, it fails as a pack.

It holds more than you think. As I said in the overview, the pack feels small when you are wearing it but carries a surprising amount of gear. It is small enough to use as a day pack and large enough to pack out for 3 day trips (it might be tight multi-day trips in the winter). If you find yourself running out of space, you can just bolt on more storage in the form of a MOLLE or “Dock & Lock” pouch. The suspension should keep you pretty comfortable up to 60-65 pounds (and probably more).

The top pocket on the lid provides some much needed organization capability. You can also see the covered hydration port below the pocket.

The Mollex gives you great access to its contents. There are two zippered access points to the main compartment (one at the top and one bottom of the pack). If you pack in a somewhat organized way you should be able to access anything in the pack using one of these two access points without having to dig around too much. I tend to prefer the least amount of zippers possible so a bottom zippered access point makes me a little nervous. However, Kifaru uses top quality zippers and has provided some redundancy to the zipper in the form of 2 side release buckles. Even if the zipper fails, you can buckle the bottom of the pack closed.

The wedge shape of the pack also makes it an excellent field improvised shooting rest. I turn the Mollex on its side which allows me to adjust how high I have to sit up in the prone simply by shifting left or right. This is great in the field or when you are zeroing your rifle at the range.

The mesh pocket under the lid and included Chamber Pocket add more organization potential.

The Bad

It can be warm to wear. The Mollex is designed to ride right up against the wearer. There is no mesh between the pack and the wearer to promote airflow. It is not unbearable thanks to the padding in front of the stays which raises the pack slightly off your to allow some airflow. It just doesn’t breathe as well as some packs.

Organization of small items is a bit lacking. This isn’t as big of a deal for those who are using this pack outdoors but those who wish to use it as a travel bag or EDC will find it lacking organization features. The Chamber Pocket and 2 top lid pockets do help but some pen slots or small slip pockets might be appreciated by some users. You may want to check out this organizer from TAD Gear if you need more organization (yes, it works perfectly with the internal chamber pocket hangers in Kifaru bags).

There are no provisions for strap management. Once the Mollex is adjusted to you and your load, you will find that you have the excess ends of several straps dangling everywhere. This can be a pain when you need to adjust something while wearing the pack and you give a strap a pull only to find that you are pulling the wrong strap. It can be partially cured using a ITW Web Dominators or by wrapping the excess straps up in duct tape. The amount of straps on a Kifaru bag is a blessing and a curse. They provide a lot of adjustment but they end up dangling everywhere.

The bottom access to the main compartment of the Mollex opens all the way back to where the waist belt connects to the bag to give amazing access to your gear.

Conclusion

Kifaru makes some great gear, but it is not inexpensive. I never dreamed that I would ever own a Kifaru pack but thanks to the G1 closeout sale (still going on) and some buying/trading on the secondary market, I have had the pleasure of owning 5 different Kifaru packs and several accessories. The Mollex is my favorite of the sub 3000 cube packs that I have tried. It is over built, offers great access, carries a reasonable load very comfortably, and offers extreme modularity. I am very happy with this pack.

wordpress hit counter

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Viking Tactics Brokos Battle Belt

The new VTAC Brokos Belt has an interesting feature that I have never seen before on a battle belt. The MOLLE webbing is broken into 2×2 panels which allows you to thread the belt under or over a panel. This allows users to mount both MOLLE and belt mounted pouches. That is some serious innovation.

It also makes more use of mesh than I have ever seen in a battle belt. The pay off is that it weighs less than 8 ounces and should breath better than any other battle belt that I have used. The use of 500 denier nylon also helps keep the weight down.

Kudos to Kyle Lamb and VTAC for bringing some truly new and exciting features to the battle belt concept.

It is available on the VTAC website for pre-order.

wordpress hit<br /> counter

ATS Low Profile Chest Harness – Compact Chest Rig Perfection?

Experience changes your perception of what works. When I first started shooting, I built a MOLLE chest rig in anticipation of my first carbine course. Nearly every column of webbing on that rig was filled with a pouch of some sort. I could cram 8 magazines into it and it looked awesome. That chest rig didn’t survive the transition from looking cool in the living room to actually being used on the range. It was bulky, heavy, and hot. It interfered with my draw stroke, my sling, hydration back pack straps, and anything close to natural movement. Lesson learned.

I am a slow learner and, while my chest rig choices have gradually gotten smaller, simpler, and lighter, I feel like I have still been trying to learn the lesson from that first chest rig… until now. Several months ago I picked up an ATS Low Profile Chest Harness. The “Low Profile” part of the name is very fitting. It is a very different rig from that first rig all those years ago.

 

 

The ATS Tactical Low Profile Chest Harness is everything you need and nothing you don't.

 

The ATS Low Profile Chest Harness (LPCH) is definitely an exercise in “everything you need, nothing you don’t”. It can hold 3 primary magazines in “shingle” style on the center of your chest. There easy to use shock cord retainers on each magazine pouch. On either side of the magazine pouches is a utility pouch that is roughly the size of a 32 ounce Nalgene bottle. These pouches can be used for your blow out kit (in fact, ATS makes a medical insert for the pouches that is sold separately), various range items, extra magazines, or what ever else you can fit. The body of the rig is made from double layer 1000 denier Cordura and the space in between the layers can be used for storage as well (small, flat items work best here). The entire rig is covered with PALs webbing so you can add additional pouches.

 

 

Note the Velcro field on the harness and the way the straps are adjusted with no loose ends.

 

The harness on the LPCH is basically perfect in my opinion. It features a non-padded “H” harness with a generous Velcro field in the center of the back for adding patches. The loose ends of the straps can be tucked into the body of the body of the chest rig which is an excellent feature. Many chest rigs have heavily padded shoulder straps or harnesses which may be necessary for an over loaded rig but they make using wearing a backpack a real pain. “X” harnesses also tend to pinch the neck, especially when you are wearing a pack so the “H” harness design of the LPCH is a welcome change. I tend to prefer flat, wide, non-padded shoulder straps, especially now that I have learned my lesson about overloading a chest rig. For those who feel that they need a padded harness, ATS makes one that can be purchased separately.

 

 

The utility pouches will nearly close on a 32oz Nalgene bottle.

 

The LPCH is lightweight and very compact. Its footprint is very small on your chest. This is what initially drew me to this chest rig. The chest rig is small enough that it doesn’t really wrap around your chest like many chest rigs. It almost fits perfectly between the straps of my backpack. That, coupled with the thin “H” harness, makes wearing a pack with the LPCH much easier than with other rigs.

The magazine pouches are well designed. They are deep enough to retain the magazine quite well (even without the shock cord retainers) but they still allow you to get a good grip on the magazine body. A good grip on the magazine is essential to a fast and sure handed reload. No one wants to be the guy who is throwing magazines down range because their magazine pouches only allow a finger tip grip. The pouches even work reasonably well with AK Magazines (though some AK mags will be a tight fit).

 

 

If you need to carry more magazines, you can easily fit 3 spares in a utility pouch.

 

I like to wear my chest rigs pretty high on my chest. This accomplishes 2 things: 1) it is more comfortable in the prone position and 2) it minimizes interference with other gear like your handgun holster. Some rigs are limited as to how how they can be run because of their padded shoulder straps or harness. This is not the case with the LPCH which can be adjusted to ride very high on the chest. The LPCH works very well with a belt rig. I find that I reload fastest from my belt, so having a chest rig that can be used effectively with my belt rig is big positive for me.

 

 

You can utilize the pocket inside the body of the chest rig for flat items like maps and field note books.

 

The ATS Low Profile Chest Rig probably won’t make your reloads any faster. It won’t make you lucky with the ladies or help you re-grow hair. It will do a very good job of carrying magazines and other essential gear on the range without over loading you or getting in the way. If you too have learned that less is more when it comes to chest rigs, then you might find it to be a good choice. I liked it so much that I bought one for my wife too. Even she likes it.

wordpress hit<br /> counter

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

BooBoo Kit Versus Blow Out Kit

I hope that you know the importance of having a blow out kit on your person whenever you are at the range. We previously discussed a basic kit that could be contained in the HSGI Bleeder Pouch. Blow out kits are serious gear for serious situations. A blow out kit can literally save your life but how will you handle injuries that are less than life threatening? Build a booboo kit.

A booboo kit is just another name for a first aid kit. It should be compact and comprehensive. Think about all the common little injuries and issues that you deal with when you spend a day (or days) outdoors, at the range, or in training. You will probably deal with things like headaches, cuts, burns, scrapes, stomach aches, blisters and more. These are all things that can ruin a day at the range and can not (and probably should not) be treated with the items in your blow out kit.

You will also find this type of kit to be useful when you are not on the range. You may want to add it to your hiking pack, your hunting pack, your vehicle, or even keep it at the office.

A basic booboo kit should cover the most common injuries you encounter. The following list will not be comprehensive. You will want to consider adding and deleting items as you see fit.

Cut Treatment – Band-aids, gauze, first aid tape, triple antibiotic ointment, butterfly band-aids, medical grade super glue

Medications – Pain relievers, antacids, anti-diarrheal,  cold meds, allergy meds, anti-itch ointment

Sprains and Breaks – Ace bandage, SAM splint, chemical cold compress, triangular bandage (used as a sling), finger splint,

Burns – Burn gel, burn dressings

Sanitation – Hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves, cleansing wipes

Other – Tick removal tool (tweezers or dedicated tool), mole skins for blister treatment, snake bite kit, scalpel blades, glow stick, space blanket

wordpress hit<br /> counter

Lancer L15 Lower Receiver

Lancer, the folks who make the excellent Lancer L5 magazines, are now bringing to market a new lower receiver for the AR-15 family of weapons. It has a pretty unique feature – interchangeable magazine wells.

The modular magazine wells will allow the user to tailor the size of the magazine opening to their preference. There will be three sizes: Competition (largest), Tactical (medium), and Standard (similar to standard lower). The lowers will be sold in various package deals ranging from stripped to premium with high ends stocks, grips, and triggers.

It will be interesting to see if these take off considering that they are not inexpensive and the functionality may be over-kill for most users. Still, it is exciting to see innovative manufacturers like Lancer continuing to press the limits of the AR-15 platform.

Check out the L15 at Lancer’s website.

The Complete Glock Reference Guide

I have been using The Complete Glock Reference Guide for several years now. It contains page after page of invaluable information for Glock owners. It covers everything that you would expect: field stripping, disassembly, assembly, cleaning, and more. The most invaluable information for me has been the tables that detail the parts that all Glock models have in common. I used this to help build an inventory of spare parts for all my Glocks.

All of the information is presented in a very well organized way with plenty of white space and tables. There are tons of clear pictures to guide you through the procedures outlined in the book. It is also spiral bound which allows it to lay open easily on your work bench.

This is just the kind of book that a Tactical Handyman needs on his shelf.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

%d bloggers like this: