Combat vs. Competition…The real facts.

3I am not Anti-competition shooting, but I do find fault with most of the competitions out there. The reason being is that they are not realistic and cause the shooter to form extremely bad habits that can get them killed on the street. Now I realize that most gun owners will never be involved in a shooting incident, but it can happen at any moment to any of us. Hence  my passion to train in a realistic manner so that I am prepared as well as those I regularly train. I also despise indoor ranges that don’t allow realistic shooting. If one can’t even draw his weapon from the holster, how can he be prepared for a real life shoot out?

Competition shooters are on the whole amazingly fast when it comes to getting off accurate shots. In and of itself that is a great thing. however there are some huge down falls. To start, all targets are single shot targets for the most part. Training yourself to fire one bullet at a target can mean your death in real life. Regardless of what caliber you shoot, in a real life gun fight you will generally need multiple shots on target to end a threat to your life. Training to fire once and then look for more targets can be a deadly habit to form.

Secondly, speed reigns supreme in competition. Speed is important, but not at the expense of accuracy and tactical technique. A good example of this is the goofy overhand grip you see many 3-gun shooters using. It’s said that this grip helps them steer  the gun. Ok, whatever works for them is fine because no one is shooting back! The problem is that many people see this technique and adopt it without considering real life situations. The most solid offhand shooting platform is using a vertical or horizontal grip that allows you to pull the gun tight into your shoulder pocket with your arms tucked in tight. This helps reduce muzzle rise, make quicker follow up shots, and assists in overall control of your weapon. What’s  even better is the use of the kneeling or prone position if possible. By doing so you reduce your profile and make yourself a smaller target as well as form a more solid shooting platform by having the ability to triangulate your limbs for support. In a real life shootout if the rifle or carbine has come out it is pretty damned serious and likely everything is happening at a distance where cover can be chosen, so this isn’t necessarily a hindrance to be prone because you have dug into your position and it’s safe. If you only practice off hand you will remain standing when you should be looking for cover and making yourself as small a target as humanly possible.GSLDTIntermediate38

Speaking of cover, competition shooters never use cover in a tactical manner. They use the cover in a manner that facilitates speed. There is never any “slicing the pie” technique. What I normally see is peek and shoot at  best or the shooter leaning out as far as possible to engage as many targets as possible. My other huge gripe with competition shooting is that there are only so many configurations for a  shooting stage in a match. A person can become like a trained pony and expect certain things when shooting rather than reacting to the clear and present danger at hand. No matter how you cut it, this can be a bad habit to form that will get you killed. Muscle memory is what controls your ability to shoot under extreme stress. If  your muscles remember doing the same things over and over then that is what they will do. Shooting two close targets, five medium range target, and four long range targets at varying heights is great for a match, but isn’t very realistic.  What happens when your strong side is injured in a fight and you have to shoot with your weak hand? Or you trip and have to shoot from your back? Did you practice these things while preparing for that 3-gun shoot? Of course you didn’t. A gunfighter trains for the worst case scenario so that he can beat the best in the world on his worst day under any circumstances.


Finally, competition shooting breeds an environment of gizmos, gadgets, and race guns. Reflex sights are great,  but batteries fail. Any electronic gadget can and will fail, especially under harsh conditions. Daily carry is harsh! My gun gets wet, dirty, and beat up daily. The other big consideration  is that the more there is hanging off your gun the more likely you are to snag your gun upon drawing it from the holster. Competition shooters usually have belts set up for just that competition. Everything on the belt is easily reached and even the holster is built for speed. You aren’t going to carry your gun in the same manner that you shoot it in a competition. You’d walk around looking like Wyatt Earp at best and an idiot at worst.

Now I said at the beginning of this that I am not against matches or competition shooting, and I’m not. My point in this post is to make you think. If you shoot IDPA or any other discipline, that’s great! Just don’t neglect real world training for real world situation that can and will occur. Mix things up, find new and different ways to challenge yourself and don’t live life preparing for a competition when your life is on the line!

Gunfighter Mods Pt.1

Ok, so get this from the onset of this post. I am not advocating that you all go out and modify your guns, period! I am however discussing modifications that may help with speed, accuracy, and comfort for experienced shooters. Modifications to your gun should never be done in the name of “coolness”. Any mods need to have a purpose and above all work reliably.

Before I really get started, let me get the safety and legal bits out of the way. Trigger discipline is trigger discipline and the bang switch doesn’t go bang until you pull it. Light weight triggers don’t cause negligent discharges, negligent shooters do. Having said that, if you aren’t an experienced shooter, get the basics down before you have a gunsmith make any changes to your weapon. Notice I said gunsmith, DON’T WATCH Youtube AND GO MONKEYING AROUND with a tool that is meant to save your life and the lives of those you love! As far as the legal end of things, if you are involved in an incident, expect everything to be questioned by the prosecution. A legal shooting in self defense is a legal shooting in self defense. The Zimmerman case showed us all that. If you are within your rights, and defending your life or the life of the another then  you are on as solid a footing as possible legally. Will modifications be questioned? Yes they will, but your training, experience, caliber, and every aspect of your life will be questioned. I will definitely advise against barrels with “wait for flash” or skulls, etc. Don’t give any credence to an attorney painting you as a gun crazy killer. The bottom line is that you are in deep waters if you have to use your gun, so use common sense when making any modifications and have them done by a professional that can testify if needed.


Let’s talk about my personal modifications to my daily carry gun, the Beretta 92. The trigger spring has been converted from a mouse trap spring to a cam/coil set up. I made this modification for two reasons, the first and most important is reliability. 92 TriggerWolff Spring actually developed this modification for INS and border patrol because they were  experiencing broken trigger springs. So this modification makes my gun more reliable. It also makes the trigger pull smoother and slightly lighter which both assist in speed and accuracy. Speed and accuracy is what wins a gun fight. The person that gets off the fastest accurate shots is the one that wins, period.  The “D” spring conversion is a lightened hammer spring that also makes the trigger pull lighter and smoother. Another reason for these modifications is that my wife couldn’t use my gun due to the weight of the trigger. it was just too heavy and she wasn’t strong enough to pull it.

The other major modification I made to my daily gun is the magazine release button. I replaced the small circular button with a very large  over sized knurled pad. Under stress your small motor skills go to hell in a hand basket, and the body is functioning on muscle memory. I made this modification to assist in magazine changes under stress in the event of a high stress shoot out type of incident. I carry high capacity magazines and if I have gone through 21 rounds, then things have gone from SHTF to plan B survival mode. This isn’t a huge mod that is super stylish, nor are the trigger modifications. Neither of these modifications look cool and Joe Average would never know the difference. They were made for usability and reliability, not looks.c55367_2

Do you see how I can justify these modification if I was on the stand in court? As a firearms instructor and former  police officer, I can with confidence explain why these are not frivolous mods that they are not dangerous. I haven’t turned my daily carry handgun into a full race gun meant for competition. It is useable and within reason when it comes to trigger weight and such. While on the subject of trigger weight, in my opinion there is no such thing as a “duty/carry” weight trigger and a “competition only” weight trigger. As I said before, the trigger will not pull itself and is not a safety hazard unless the shooter is negligent. There are no accidental discharges, only negligent discharges by negligent gun owners. A person can have 50 safety devices attached to their weapon and still experience a negligent discharge because of their own ignorance or carelessness.

Ok, so you want to make a few modifications but don’t know where to start. In my next post I will give you a few good ideas that are backed by solid information. Stay tuned!


Tekmat Review

17-gadsdenHow many times have you gotten a dirty look or worse from your significant other for cleaning your gun at the dinner table? I have more than once! Usually I have an assortment or rags spread out with various gun parts and chemicals before me. I still get the dirty looks, but I don’t scratch the table any longer. I recently invested in several Tekmats that are specific to my guns.


We all have to clean our guns, or want to lay out our gear before shooting. If  you shoot a high-end piece of equipment, then why not protect it and look cool at the same time?  Tekmat makes high quality mats with a soft polyester top and neoprene bottom. They are tough as nails and gentle on your gun and any surface you place your gun on. I rather like the exploded view of my guns and also have a Gadsden “Don’t Tread On Me”.

17-swmp_2There are mats for both short and long guns as  well  as statement mats that are pro 2nd amendment. If you want to look like a pro or have a nice gun you don’t want scratched, Tekmat is the way to go. I personally have one for every weapon I own. Let’s face it in the world of guns most things are over priced, but these bad boys are extremely affordable and cheap insurance for your gun as well as furniture surfaces. Go check out the website,, and find a few for your guns as well.

ForceK9 TACVest


Source: ForceK9

So like many of you, I’ve got a dog. Actually I’ve got 4 dogs but only one is obedient and trained well enough to work as my partner so to speak. His name is Wyatt (as in Earp) and he’s an Australian Shepherd, which is one of the most spectacular dog breeds I’ve had the pleasure of having as a companion. As I’ve said before I’m prior military and law enforcement and I have worked around lots of working dogs but I’m not a law enforcement K9 handler or a SAR K9 handler though, I have worked in SAR as well. I am however, a very enthusiastic dog owner and have been trying to find a good way to better incorporate my K9 friend into my outdoor pursuits and bad day planning. I decided that the best way to do that would be to find a load carrying vest for Wyatt. There are a few options available for various harnesses and vests for dogs out there that are more or less acceptable, but very little exists out there that is truly custom and tailored to fit. What you usually wind up with is something that needs to constantly be adjusted and doesn’t quite fit your dog as well as it could.


Source: ForceK9

This is where Paul at ForceK9 comes in. Paul makes some pretty outstanding vests for dogs. Vests that range from SAR vests with reflective panels in place that are made in the standard colors for the job, to full on MOLLE tactical vests built in most any camo pattern or color that would make the most hardened of tactical operators a little jealous. I chose the latter to better suit Wyatt’s and my needs. In order to have the vest tailored for your dog, obviously you will need to provide measurements and that process is well described on the ForceK9 website, and if you get a measurement that may be a little off, Paul will double check it with you. Then you wait. ForceK9 is a one man operation at the moment so there is a lead time but it’s very reasonable. So lets dig into the details of the vest here.

  • Drop-forged V-ring for leash/harness attachment
  • Control handle integrated into harness
  • Multi-use Adjustable Mission Platform (staggered MOLLE-compatible PALS webbing/Velcro Loop/Elastic Cord) on top for mounting equipment/lights/strobes/accessories
  • MOLLE-compatible PALS webbing (6 columns by 3 Rows) on both sides
  • Loop fields on sides for mounting ID/name patches
  • Fully adjustable front and belly straps
  • Secure ITW Hardware, Mil-Spec webbing and Thread
  • Durable 1000 denier Dupont Cordura™ fabric
  • Compact, custom QuickFit™ design
  • Semi-tailored to fit your dogs body
  • CoolSoft™ Technology

fiveLots of thought went into this vest. The quality of the stitching is well above par and the vest is supremely durable, without stifling your buddy under the vest. There is a nice mesh stitched inside the vest to give a nice offset from the fur. The MOLLE is covered in a loop field so if you don’t want to attach pouches to the vest you can attach patches and ID panels for the LEO and rescue types. The whole spine of the vest is also covered in a staggered MOLLE webbing with a loop field and a very useful elastic cord criss cross. The control handle is a fantastic tool on the vest and the drop forged V-ring is an extremely durable anchor point for leads. It’s the exact same piece that’s used on the ever popular riggers belt for rappelling. The buckles are very strong and durable and hold very well.

threeIt took about a solid day of wear for my buddy Wyatt to get used to the idea of wearing a vest around. He did very well with it however. We went on a few solid day hikes to really break it in. With the adjustment straps cinched down (not too tight of course) the vest stayed right in place. I experimented with various pouches to attach to the vest (a Maxpedition admin pouch and an IFAK) to add a little load to the vest and increase carrying ability. One of the most useful things was the elastic cording on the spine of the vest. I was able to slide in a light rain jacket that was held very securely, and allowed me to keep my load nice and light. The other night, we were out and about and it was dark where we were so in order to keep Wyatt visible, I was able to easily weave a chemlight into the staggered MOLLE webbing along the spine of the vest for easy location purposes. By attaching pouches to the vest you permit the dog to carry their own food, water, medical kit and any other necessary gear for any trips longer than a day hike. This is a pretty awesome ability, when weight needs to be kept to a minimum in your pack. One thing to keep in mind though is that much like you, your dog needs to work up to being able to carry a load so conditioning prior to your trip is important.

photo 5This vest is fantastic. It allows for endless customization based on your mission or task at hand. It’s made as well or better than any of the high quality tactical gear that I’ve used as a professional. It’s comfortable on the dog and very stable and STRONG! I can pick up my 60+lb dog by the vest to put him in my vehicle (he doesn’t like to jump in the Jeep for some reason) or over a fence or in a window for that matter. If your working dog or companion dog is in the market for a little tactical upgrades, then look no further than ForceK9, their products will do you right!

3V Gear Outlaw Sling Pack Review

img_8989You could probably tell that I liked this product from my initial review. The fact is that this is an extremely affordable, useful pack that just about anyone can use. Let’s get into the nitty gritty  of the product.

The overall size of the Outlaw is 684 cubic inches that  translates to a lot of storage space is a very useable size that you can carry on a daily basis. The main compartment is 5” H x 8”W x 4”D (480 cubic inches)  and has internal organizer pockets that can be used if img_9014needed. They are definitely helpful and don’t get in the way when folded flat. The top front storage area  is 4.5″ H x 7.5″ W x 2″ D (68 cubic inches) and  the bottom front is8.5″ H x 8″ W x 2″ D (136 cubic inches)both also  have internal organizers as well. One of the great features that I love is the hydration sleeve. It can be used with a hydration bladder or you can stow your weapon in the same area for off body carry without anyone noticing.

img_9015The Outlaw is made of heavy-duty 600D PVC nylon.There are others similar products made of thicker nylon, but honestly I prefer this weight as it is easier to work with, more pliable, and quieter. Another thing that I expected not to like was the buckle hardware. It’s thin and pliable unlike some similar packs I have used in the past. I thought it was cheap, I was wrong. I beat the things with a hammer in an attempt to break them…. didn’t work! The buckles are still in great shape, no cracks and no distortion. What I though was skimping was actually a great feature for hard use. img_9002

This particular pack is best suited to three civilian missions in my opinion, the first is as an EDC pack for CCW holders that want to have a lot of gear just in case all hell breaks loose. At one point I carried a pack with a change of clothes, medical kit, and basic survival gear if I became stranded while out and about. This pack is perfect for that and could be img_8997stowed in the trunk or behind a seat easily.

The second use would be for hunters that don’t want or need to be weighed down. The shoulder strap is designed for the left shoulder for better weapon shouldering and the bag can be worn in front with contents comfortably accessed while sitting if you decide to take it on a hunt and use it while in a tree stand.  Again it has the hydration bladder and plenty of room for anything you need if the weather turns or your transportation breaks down.


The third would be for hiking. I enjoy getting out, especially when it begins to  cool down, and spending some time just walking around in the woods. The size is perfect as you don’t need a full 3 day pack, but definitely need some gear in case of a fall or just somewhere to keep your gun that doesn’t scream I’M ARMED! If you’re a pet owner it would even work great to keep some gear for fido as well. A dog on a hike is always more fun if ya ask me.img_9006

Thus far I have used the Outlaw mostly as a range bag and to keep my gear out of the weather. I’ll be testing it out on hikes and beating it up as much as possible very soon. At this point, I expect it to perform extremely well. I’ll give another update to let you know how things go during real world testing over a long period of use. Until then check out 3V Gear and put some lead down range.



Water bottle pocket sized to fit 32 oz. bottle

FIGHT for your life! When a gun isn’t enough.

I recently read another blog that prompted this installment. Honestly this is something that I have preached for years, but few listen. If you don’t get it then read the stats and do the research for yourself, gun fighting is all about fighting and has a lot less to do with the gun than most think. The gun is last stop on the survival train when an incident occurs. So you better know how to fight to keep your gun,and get into a position to use it.

All the studies for the last three decades prove that almost all armed  encounters occur in the 3 to 7 yard range. What does that mean? That means that unless you have super human abilities then you will not be able to react quickly enough to draw and fire your weapon if an aggressor is attacking.  See the “Tueller Drill,” or “21-foot rule,” if you have any doubt about being a super human. What this means in real life is that more than likely you will be on your back, getting punched in the face before your gun clears the holster. That’s if you’re lucky enough that the bad guy wasn’t able to wrestle your gun away from you. It’s not a pretty picture for Joe or Jane Average that feels like they’re covered just having a gun. fight_club

To bring a little real world experience into this, I will share my personal background to bring the point home a much as I can. For those of you that  don’t know, I am a former police officer with a decade of experience on the street level. I’ve been shot  at more times than I like to recall, I’ve been in more fights than I can remember, and have been a part of God only knows how many forcible arrests. You may disagree, but I feel that this “street’ experience is  invaluable because I have dealt with the exact people that will be assaulting myself or my family. Am I the end all be all of street survival? Not by a long shot, but I do know a few things, I have been in more than my fair share of fights, and I’ve been around the block.

Simply having a gun isn’t enough. You must be aware of your surroundings at all times. You must know who is inside your personal sphere and decide if they are a threat to your security. Lastly you must be able to physically defend yourself without a firearm when the need arises. If your fight experience consists of watching TV and movies, then you are at a distinct disadvantage. Neither is a fair representation of reality. I’m a pretty big, strong dude and I have never been able to hit someone so hard that they flew across a room and slid down the wall. I’ve only knocked a few people out for that matter. The reality of the situation is that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face or hit someone with everything they have and watch as they don’t go down, staying in the fight. images n

If you’re like me you don’t have ten hours or more to train on a weekly basis, nor do you have piles of cash laying around for private training, what exactly do you do? Find a solid trainer that trains defensive tactics for those that are armed. Rolling in a BJJ gym or boxing will do nothing to help you keep possession of your gun. Train for the threat and reality. Invest in your training as time and money allow. Notice that I just said INVEST. Quality training is key. Getting together with friends and making it up as you go will more than likely end one of you headed to the ER and really does no good. If you are the fairer sex, then don’t mistake a cardio kickboxing class for training, it isn’t. I mean really do your homework and seek out a real trainer preferably with a military or law enforcement background. cancer-fight-blogs

Nobody enjoys getting hit in the face or really wants to fight. Well if paid enough there are a few that really want to fight, but normal people in their right mind don’t enjoy fighting. Just because you are a ‘normal” person and sane doesn’t mean that the rest of society is. Remember that you won’t be defending yourself against normal people. An individual that is willing to attack you to get what you have is maladjusted and more than likely addicted to some illegal substance. Your foe isn’t a normal well adjusted member of society so ending the fight quickly is paramount. Keeping possession of your weapon and getting space to act may be your only chance at survival.

Do some research, put some thought into this post and go find a trainer! See you at the range

Firearms Training?? Why would I need that?

Guns and training are both tools that everyone needs in their personal toolbox to protect themselves and their loved ones. Let’s face it the world isn’t a pretty place and it’s really not getting any better.  A firearm is worthless without the proper training. It’s truly a game of chance and akin to pin the tail on the donkey when it comes to marksmanship without training. Unfortunately all too many people buy a weapon and feel they are ready to take on the world. What’s worse is that in today’s political climate people are buying guns, getting concealed carry permits, and carrying everyday with minimal or no training. To many that is pretty insane. We require driver’s education and testing to drive a car, you have to pass a state exam to sell insurance, real estate, or a myriad of other things that won’t kill someone.common-sense-firearms-training-1056431-regular

My point is that because it is our second amendment right to own a gun, so we have the ability to buy one and are expected to have the good common sense to get training. For some unknown reason, most men think that because they are “men” they “know” about guns. Let’s set the record straight here, just because you are male doesn’t mean that you know everything that you need to know about guns. I have been around guns and various weapons for the better part of two decades. I’ve shot just about everything except artillery. Guess what, I just requested a fellow instructor to give me more training. He’s been in the business for a long time and I realize that he has forgotten more than I know about guns. Does that make me less of a firearms instructor? HELL NO, it doesn’t. It makes me a more competent instructor because I can learn new and different methods of teaching as well as refine my skills.Firearms-Training

If you are going to spend your hard earned cash on a gun, which are generally a minimum of $500 these days, why not spend a tenth of that on an NRA class as a start for training? If you prefer, one on one instruction is more that worth the money. In four hours time you can become very familiar with your weapon and learn all the basics or even polish up on skills that have gotten a bit rusty. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these skills are diminishing. I was recently humbled so I know from experience.

You’ll find out that the more training you get the more that you’ll want. It’s enjoyable and flat out fun to play with guns! The more you learn the more prepared you are to defend yourself and family, so not only are you having fun, you’re developing a real skill that is life saving. It’s not about how expensive your gun or gear is, it’s about how well you put what you have to work when the crap hits the fan. The cheapest gun out there is still better than a sharp stick or rock as along as it’s reliable. Training isn’t a fashion show or battle of egos (read wallet size). Training is about being a responsible gun owner and developing a skill that deserves as much or more attention than your job or hobby that you’ve put so much time and energy into.firearms training picture 500w

It doesn’t matter what skill level you are, there is still more to learn. There will always be someone out there that has more or different experience that what you have. My entire adult life has been spent carrying guns, but I love learning. Get some trigger time, burn some gun powder and if you can do it with friends and family. It’s a great way to bring everyone close and keep ’em safe. Until next time, I’ll see you at the range .

Making Civilian Gear Tactical

So lets say for the sake of argument that you’ve got some gear that serves you well day to day but you have either decided that it needs a more tactical flair. That’s  what my situation was. I have a great Lowe Alpine backpack that I’ve had since high school. It’s a good pack and is in good shape. The only problem is that it’s bright blue. That’s hardly a “tactical” color. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with a blue backpack but for my purposes as a firearms instructor and tactical blog writer, it was less than desirable.

australis70-2There are lots of pieces of civilian gear that are well suited for military or tactical use. For some reason, people seem to have a need to buy tactical gear with Molle webbing all over it, that they never use.Have you ever carried a military issue ALICE pack over long distances? They can be very uncomfortable to carry unless you spend a bunch of money on upgrades from Tactical Tailor. Civilian packs on the other hand tend to be heavy on comfort, heavy on cargo space and light on weight. They are lacking on so called tactical features but as long as you’ve got somewhere to put your water, you’re good in my book. You will most likely be wearing some manner of load bearing equipment anyway.

photo 2(3)You may be asking me why I don’t just get an already camouflaged pack or why even bother with a blue one in the first place. Well very simply just because I want to. I could spend tons of cash on an Eberlestock pack and have a fantastic piece of gear and be very happy with it, or I could take a pack that I’m already comfortable with and customize it to my needs and the terrain in which I will be, and frankly an Eberlestock pack is nowhere near being in my budget. This practice has been used by special operations forces around the world for a long time with great success. I don’t agree with the notion that there is a “perfect” pattern, although there are a few on the market that are getting close. Usually it’s either too dark or too bright, or too green or too brown or too black.

photo 3(1)The goal of camouflage is to break up the outline and blend into your surroundings. For every problem there is always a solution. My solution? A few cans of plastic bonding spray paint (for painting nylon), some time and some different sizes of netting. All you need to do is to ensure the surface is clean and dry initially. After that you lay down a base coat in a color of your choosing. I chose tan as my base coat color. After the pack was all tan, I took the netting and placed it over the pack. Then lay down the two other colors (OD green and brown) in random fashion. Then more tan to highlight over the OD and brown. The more random the better. Dark to cover areas that would normally be bright and light colors on areas that would normally be dark.  I also dusted the whole pack with the OD green to tone down the tan some. I can’t tell you what colors to put where, North Carolina is going to be vastly different than Arizona, which will be vastly different than Oregon. What is particularly excellent about this method is that it is endlessly customizable. If you’re in the desert one week and the forest another, a couple passes with a different color will get you what you need. A couple things to keep in mind is that the color will flake and chip and wear off in some places and the paint will stiffen the fabric. That’s just the nature of the beast. Keep a couple cans of paint around and you’ll be fine and the fabric will loosen up with use. So how do you make your civilian gear suit your needs?

3V Gear Outlaw Sling pack- First Impressions




First let me say thanks to Zak for his generosity in providing Laymen’s Tactical with the Outlaw to review. I’ve had a chance now to use this bag a few times, and let me say I love this bad boy! The uses for the Outlaw sling pack are almost endless and it swallows a ton of gear despite it’s small appearance.

The main purpose I have used the bag for to date is training and range days. It was truly amazing how much fit into this pack. All joking aside I fit two handguns, two holsters and mag holders, five hundred rounds of ammunition, eye protection, ear protection, and  had room to spare. I’m serious when I say this bag has the ability to swallow up gear like there is no tomorrow.


I don’t usually use a pack of any kind for EDC, but I’m definitely rethinking that decision. For the CCW crowd, this is a very viable and affordable route to go for off body carry or just keeping additional gear handy while out and about.  I’ll be carrying this pack daily and using it for anything and everything I can think of, so stay tuned for an all encompassing review in the future. If you haven’t checked them out yet, go to .

These guys know what they are doing, their gear is top quality, and they have a lot to offer. If you’re a knife lover like myself, they offer those as well.



Why the Revolver isn’t Out of Date

I see it all the time. Someone walks into a gun shop and is looking for advice on handguns. The guy behind the counter starts pulling the Glock out of the case, passing by the Smith & Wesson revolver without even touching it by accident, like it’s diseased.

SW_327_MP_R8_1Revolvers are fantastic firearms. They are reliable and powerful, but there are a few things that some folks just can’t get over. One of the main reasons people tend to overlook a revolver is the capacity. Your standard 3-4″ barreled .38spc/.357mag revolver is a six-shot and with the more compact revolvers you only get 5. There are higher capacity revolvers as well in the 7-8 shot range (which is the same capacity as most 1911’s and pocket semi-autos). Another issue tends to be cost. A brand new Smith & Wesson is very easily more expensive than most of the handguns you’ll see in a case at your local gun shop. I feel that a gun is an investment. Price is irrespective of it’s utility, accuracy and comfort. This applies both up and down the price scale. If you find something that fits you extremely well and you can shoot it well, what does the price have to do with it? Make a budget and save your money. Another issue that tends to trip people up is reloading speed. If you’re taught to correctly reload your revolver with the right equipment and you train with it, your reload speed will improve to near magazine fed firearm levels. Don’t believe me? Jerry Miculek will be happy to prove you wrong.

Smith_&_Wesson_.357_Model_686_Plus_barrel_viewI had the pleasure of carrying a Smith & Wesson revolver as a duty gun for a few years and at no point did I ever feel out gunned. Initially I was somewhat disappointed about my new duty weapon since I was carrying an M9 before that, but I grew to love it very quickly. We were issued good ammunition, and received adequate training on reloading correctly, I was just as fast as guys qualifying with semi-autos. While it was heavier than a semi-auto, the trigger was very smooth and extremely consistent. It was boringly reliable and accurate beyond my abilities. All are supreme qualities to have in a defensive firearm. A quality grip on your revolver allows incredible shooting comfort as well. Revolvers aren’t constrained by a magazine feed angle and size like semi-auto’s are. I have never shot a more comfortable handgun than my Smith & Wesson 686 with a Hogue Mono-grip.

66SS4Revolvers deserve a very close look if you’re in the market for a defensive handgun. There are a few makers that make great firearms. If budget is really an issue, buying a used handgun is always an option. There are some other budget friendly revolvers out there. Taurus makes a very well made revolver and it’s a very faithful copy of the Smith & Wesson at a lower price point. Speed loaders and moon clips aid greatly in a speedy reload, even under stress. There is a whole host of calibers available in revolvers. .40S&W, .44mag, .45LC, .45ACP, 9mm..etc. The only revolver I own these days is a 1895 Nagant Gas Seal which is a pretty cool firearm to itself but horribly impractical as a defensive firearm. It’s been a while since I’ve relied on a revolver as my daily carried defensive firearm but I can tell you this, I wouldn’t hesitate to ever do it again and you shouldn’t either.