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CARRYOLOGY’s Carry Awards VIII, Everyday Bag Winner – Alpha One Niner’s EVADE 1.5 Backpack by SERT!

Woodbridge, VA  – September 29, 2020

Alpha One Niner (www.alphaoneniner.com), produced by Virginia based company SERT (known for their TCCs – Tac Carbine Cases) has just been awarded BEST EVERYDAY BAG Champion by CARRYOLOGY for their EVADE 1.5 backpack. This is the 3rd iteration of the EVADE series.  Each edition of the EVADE has been the result of feedback and ideas crowdsourced from the online EDC and backpack community. Winner of The Carry Awards are based on votes by the public and the 2020 results can be found here:

Alpha One Niner is the brainchild of SERT co-founder, Helmie Ashiblie.  As a bag lover and product developer with over 30 years of manufacturing experience, he knew the public domain was the best source of information to get a cohesive understanding of the desires and demands of serious bag owners.  The backpack couldn’t just look good and be made well.  It had to FUNCTION.  Of course being a CCW advocate and a competitive shooter, he made sure to include design aspects to make the EVADE 1.5 a perfect range / concealed carry backpack.

Be on the look out for even more from Alpha One Niner in 2021!

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WNDSN Range Calculator Dog Tag

Berlin, 2020-09-17 – The best tool is the one that you always have on you, and the WNDSN MIL/MOA Range Calculator Dog Tag takes this saying literally. Upon customer request, WNDSN has developed a version of its popular MIL/MOA Range Calculator in the classic military dog tag format. This is the smallest usable range calculator, a tool that belongs on every explorer’s and marksman’s neck.

Designed for professional and recreational use, the MIL/MOA Range Calculator Dog Tag allows the user to input the MIL or MOA from their scope’s reticle and return the distance to the target of known dimension. This takes out the guesswork of gauging distance, enabling accurate range estimation and eliminating mental calculation errors while under stress.

The WNDSN MIL/MOA Range Calculator Dog Tag is made from black anodized aluminum according to U.S. standards for dog tags and weighs next to nothing. Like all WNDSN products, it features laser-engraved scales and includes instructional icons to create a self-contained tool. The backside is intentionally left blank, enabling the user to either sandwich the Range Calculator Dog Tag to the back of regular dog tags or to add additional information, velcro, or marker tabs.

“How far is my 3.5 mil, 12 inch target again?”

The Dog Tag’s scales are unitless, which means that the user can input MIL or MOA on the left side, and for the object size, if the value is in meters, input meters on the S-scale, and read the resulting distance meters on the D-scale. If the object size is in feet, feet is input and read as feet; to convert the result from feet to yards, the value is divided by 3. If the target size is in inches, the inner, left hand S-scale is used, which is graduated as 3 feet divided in 12 inches each. Inputting inches this way, the resulting value on the right hand D-scale is in feet.

For sub-degree angular sizes (1° = 60 minutes or MOA), the Dog Tag calculator provides increased precision by allowing direct input and calculation in MIL (milliradian) or MOA. The Dog Tag calculator can thus be used as a high distance/high precision companion to WNDSN Telemeters, it uses the same principles of calculating distance from angular size, only that with the Dog Tag calculator, the sighting and measurement isn’t done with the naked eye on the instrument but instead, the input values come from rangefinding reticles or similar devices.

Under certain conditions or in cases where laser rangefinders tend to fail or result in errors, WNDSN Telemeters prevail and can be used as primary or “second opinion” tools, to cross-check values obtained with different means, or in austere situations when other methods fail, are unavailable or contraindicated.

The device carries the WNDSN maker’s marks; usage instructions are engraved and supplemented by an included printed how-to booklet in both English and German. A 400-page printed comprehensive manual is available separately at WNDSN or via bookstores.

Link: https://store.wndsn.com/products/wndsn-range-calculator-dogtag-3×3-aluminum

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New Knives and Gear from TOPS Knives

TOPS Knives has been busy cranking out new knives and gear in spite of everything 2020 has thrown at us. You’ll find details below for new knives from the Dicer line of kitchen knives, a new way to cause Dennis the Menace style trouble, and new merch.

Dicer Knives

The Dicer line of kitchen knives is now complete with the introduction of several new knives. You can learn more from the image below.

Mini Sling

Somethings are cool just for the sake of being cool. The TOPS Mini Sling is one of those things. It’s small enough to EDC and big enough to get into trouble.

Swag

TOPS has also rolled out several new hats, tees, stickers, a mug, and other merch that is worth checking out.

New Knives at TOPSKnives.com

New Gear at TOPSKnives.com

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Review: Harry’s Holster Icon J-Frame Revolver Holster

The Smith & Wesson J-Frame and other similar small frame revolvers are one of the main reasons revolvers are still relevant today. These handguns are ubiquitous and hold a place in many shooter’s collections. Yet, as we move further and further from the wheelgun era, holster makers seem to have less and less of a clue on how to make holsters for them. Thankfully, there are still holster makers like Harry’s Holsters who understand the nuances of holster design for wheelies.

Overview

The Harry’s Holster Icon, is a kydex holster designed for Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolvers. It features the excellent Discreet Carry Concepts Mod W clip (which is a big part of many of the observations to come later) which is mounted on a wedge (another key feature) and adjustable for ride-height and cant. The clip may be mounted on either side making the Icon ambidextrous and there is a single tension adjustment.

The holster is molded to accept Crimson Trace LaserGrips. Rather than simply cutting for the laser module, Harry’s Holster actually molds a section that completely covers the module, protecting it.

Note the covered laser module and clip detail.

Observations from Use

To understand why this holster is great, I think you need to know a little holster history and a little about what makes many revolver holsters made today lousy. All revolvers have a great big pivot point in their middle. If you do not account for the cylinder, the holster will rock on this point.

If you look at popular concealment holsters from the era when revolvers ruled, you’ll see that many of them place the cylinder below the belt at least partially, allowing the belt to do the work of holding the grip in toward the wearer. The lower ride height wasn’t just for “deep concealment”, it served the purpose of holding a short-barreled handgun with a great big fulcrum in the middle in toward the wearer.

Typically, if a holster maker is used to making holsters for slab-sided semi-autos, they will set the height to provide a full grip and clean draw-stroke. This usually places the cylinder under the belt and the grip will tend to rotate over the belt, away from the wearer which is exactly the opposite of what a concealment holster should do. This is EXTREMELY common in today’s kydex holsters. The holster maker has to understand how to work with the cylinder or the holster will suck.

Harry’s Holster makes use of some modern materials and a clever mold feature to mitigate the cylinder rocking issue. The clip is mounted on a wedge-shaped mold feature that sits directly under the belt. This, coupled with the cylinder itself seres to the turn the grip in toward the wearer without sacrificing ride height or a full-firing grip straight out of the holster. This wedge is under the clip so it is completely unobtrusive and adds little to the size of the holster. The result of all this geometry stuff is a holster that is extremely compact, exceedingly comfortable, and turns the grip in when worn on the hip or the appendix position.

Note the wedge shape under the clip.

The use of the Discreet Carry Concepts Mod W clip is a real win for this holster. It is easy to take on and off the belt but stays in place tenaciously enough that it can be worn with gym shorts sans belt. Many J-Frames are actually lightweight enough to consider doing this and I have on several occasions. The clip is also great for appendix carry and it allows the user to easily remove the gun from their belt while still in the holster, adding an extra layer of safety while performing mundane, administrative handling. Throw out what you think you know about holsters with metal clips. These Discreet Carry Concepts clips are actual game-changers.

The edges on this holster are finished well enough. They aren’t polished or anything like that but they have been cleaned up and sharp edges have been removed. The retention is excellent with a very sharp snap in and out. The blocking is excellent with nothing dragging or binding on the way in or out and the sight channel is very generous. Harry’s Holsters ships the holster with a small packet of thread locker for securing the clip screws and retention screw once you are happy with the positioning. That is a nice touch.

Pictures really just can’t convey how well this setup conceals. You have to work to make it print when carried AIWB. The gun/holster combo just wants to hug the body without the need for large padded wedges or wings. It could even be carried as a backup in the AIWB position to a primary handgun worn on your hip.

I should also point out that this is a holster that Harry’s keeps on hand. That means they can ship it quickly. There is typically no production lead time on this holster.

I think if I could make some changes, I would add support for the Ruger LCR as the LCR line offers some really nice options to concealed carriers and is becoming quite ubiquitous itself. Myself and several people I know would be standing in line for an LCR version. The Icon only works with barrels of 2.125″ or less so I can see accommodation for barrels up to 3″ being a useful addition.

The Icon tucks the handgun in extremely close to the wearer.

Wrap Up

This holster is nice on it’s own but I think what I like about it most is how well the holster seems to compliment the strengths of the J-Frame itself. It maximizes the inherent features of the venerable old work horse like concealability, lightweight, and comfort. It also allows you to be armed some situations or attire that can otherwise be tricky to conceal a handgun.

The Harry’s Holsters Icon is a well designed, well made, and useful holster.

HarrysHolsters.com

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Exotac toolROLL

If you have followed JTT for long, you know I am a sucker for pocket tool rolls and have reviewed several in our series on small tools – The EDC Tool Roll. So, I am understandably excited to see what Exotac will bring to the table with their toolROLL.

The toolROLL is designed to carry fire-starting tools, especially those offered by Exotac. However, thanks to its flexible pocket design, it should be able to carry a variety of items. It features a hook and loop closure system with wings on the side to ensure items aren’t lost from the ends of the roll. It has 5 elastic slip pockets and 5 mesh pockets.

Exotac.com

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