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Glock 19 Gen 4
The Glock 19 Gen 4

If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you know I’ve always preferred metal guns. And my daily carry has always been my trusty Sig Sauer P225 (P6 if you want to get technical, it’s an old German Police gun).

Anyways, the reason I always preferred metal guns was because I HATE Glocks.

Or … uh … well … I used to hate them.

When the Glock 17 first came out decades ago … If you remember, it was on the cover of EVERY gun magazine. All the stories talked about how it NEVER jammed! Torture tests of 1,000’s of rounds and mud baths, and all kinds of abuse and they never jammed.

My dad figured “hey, if I want a gun to protect the family, I should get the most reliable one possible” — so he saved up and bought a Glock 17 when he found a good price at a gun show.

(You should know that I do NOT come from money. My Dad is the quintessential hard American worker — always had at least 2 jobs when I was growing up).

A Glock That Jams?

I was so small, and the Glock 17 1st generation grips were SO big and blocky, that almost every time I fired it — it jammed! That’s because the polymer frame makes the gun light, plus a loose “limp wristed grip” will make any gun jam.

At a local gun club though, I could shoot the Beretta 92F with no problems (no jams) and even did some pepper popper (steel plates) and bowling pin “competitions” somewhat well for a pre-teen at that time. 

(The same thing happened when my mother would shoot the Glock by the way, for the same reasons).

So, that combined with the fact my dad couldn’t get the sights he bought adjusted right — he eventually sold it. I got a Beretta 92F when I was older. And my dad got the Taurus that looks just like the Beretta.

Beretta was a great gun, and even though the grip was STILL too big for my hands–I could shoot it reliably and accurately. 

Then, I once got the chance to shoot a Sig Sauer P225 as a young man, and that gun fit my hand the BEST at that age, so I promised myself when I got older I would buy one. So I did. And that’s my “metal gun” love story …

The Glock enters my life again …

So I’m shooting with my buddy AC at the range a couple months ago and he has his new Glock 19 Generation 4. I shoot it. The grip feels REALLY different.

WTF is going on?

So it turns out — after what two decades lol — that Glock finally offered their Gen 4 guns in a Short Frame (SF) configuration out of the box — reducing the grip by a small amount, and you can ADD included backstraps to the gun to make it a bigger grip if you want.

As it sits in the box, the Gen 4 G19’s handle is more slender than the Gen3, decreasing the distance-to trigger by .08” (it actually feels WAY smaller now).

Should the grip feel too small, you can add either a medium or a large back strap that’s included in the box. The medium attachment adds .08” to the handle, bringing it back to Gen3 dimensions. The large back strap adds an additional .08” to the handle, making it suitable for you giant pawed people out there.

Anyways, this was the first time a Glock felt GOOD in my hand. Dare I say it … as good as my Sig P225.

And the Glock is actually slightly SMALLER than the P225 (the Sig was state of the art “sub compact” in the 80’s or 90’s when first designed … nowadays not so much) making it easier to conceal.

Plus it weighs less (important for a carry gun)… and this is the big thing … it comes out of the box with standard 15-round magazines.

So it’s smaller, weighs less, has almost exactly DOUBLE the capacity of 9mm (Sig has 8 rounds, G19 has 15) … I had to face the facts … it is the logical choice.

And lastly, the new Glock 19 Gen 4 actually LOOKS good.

I have always HATED the way the blocky Glocks looked … but … this new Gen 4 look is growing on me.

So after shooting it … researching it … and having the Glock 19 Gen 4 on my radar for a couple months I saw a great private sale package that I couldn’t pass up. (I got a GREAT deal on the gun (with trijicon HD night sights), plus two sets of holsters, a magazine pouch, a surefire weapon light, 6 magazines, and some more stuff I can’t remember via a private sale.)

Anyways, that’s my Glock story, and I’ll be talking more about them (and the accessories) in the future.

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You’re out late at night, maybe two in the morning…

You stop at an all-night convenience store and gas station. While you’re inside in line to pay for your gas, a couple of guys come in and start raising a ruckus, maybe yelling at the clerk, tossing things in the aisles, making asses of themselves.

You watch and wonder if you’re about to see a robbery, or just a couple of belligerent drunks beating up a convenience store clerk. Knowing that there are two of them and only one of you – minimum wage isn’t worth fighting over, so the clerk won’t be of much help, and who could blame him?

So what do you do? Read on…

You reach into your pocket, palm your ComTech Stinger, and wait for trouble.
Knuckle

The moment passes and the drunk guys leave. You ease your grip on the stinger, letting the pointy knob slip out from between your fingers.

You didn’t have to mix it up with anyone, so you’re better off than if you had. Just the same, you’re glad you had an equalizer.

The ComTech Stinger has been on the market for quite some time and can be had in multiple opaque and translucent colors. It is basically a keychain pressure point tool that can augment a punch.

Of course, this is nothing new.

It’s been around for a while now and James Keating of ComTech probably sells a boatload of them in any given month. They’re on the keychains of countless self-defense-minded citizens and preppers.

They’re plastic, so they won’t give metal detectors any trouble – though of course you would never try to take this into a high security area or onto an airplane.

Still, it’s good to know that on your keychain is something you can carry into many guarded but lower-security venues where metal detectors screen the visitors (such as certain amusement parks, etc.).

The ComTech Stinger is cheap enough that you have no excuse not to carry one. It’s light enough that it disappears in your every day carry gear.

Why Carry Something Like This?

By magnifying the power of your strike – it’s simple physics that when you concentrate the power of a blow in a smaller, more rigid (stronger) area, you’re going to do more damage to the target – the stinger makes it possible for you to deal out more force than you could with your bare fists (and feet, and knees, and elbows) alone.

There are a lot of people out there who seem to think that hand held items like these are “toys” – distractions that are the last resort of those not confident in their abilities to dish out pain and suffering with their bare fists and attitudes.

This is foolish.

You’re not an animal, but a human being.

You should use a tool.

Why on Earth would you risk breaking your knuckles or exchanging blood with an adversary when you could instead use a rigid tool?

Plastic keychain tools are perfect for this type of application. And they’re cheap enough that if you do have to leave one behind at a security checkpoint, you won’t be out much money.

Alongside the ComTech stinger, another great tool is the Cold Steel Koga. The model has changed over the year, but it’s basically just a big plastic dowel that is contoured for traction and ease of grip, as well as to make the points a little smaller to intensify the power of a blow with the tool.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t ram my fist into a picnic table or a brick wall without hurting myself. I can’t make much of a dent in either, because my hand is less rigid and more fragile than either of those striking surfaces.
Koga

With my Koga or my Stinger, however, I can do real damage to either hard, unyielding surface. Imagine if that brick wall or that picnic table were somebody’s skull!

I can also do that damage without feeling any pain, which is a bonus. The less pain you feel, the harder you can hit, and the more you can concentrate on dealing with your opponent.

The Koga, when held in the fist, leaves serious dents in wood surfaces and will also chip brick. The wood doesn’t harm the Koga, but the brick scuffs it somewhat.

The Stinger, at least in my hands, leaves even deeper dents, I think because I am able to use the full structure of my punches as I was taught to do them when holding the stinger as an extension of the fist. It’s harder to do that with the Koga, though hammer fist blows are indeed powerful.
Stinger
Either way, the Koga and Stinger can do far more hurt to somebody than just your knuckles.

You ought to carry one or the other, or something similar, because why WOULDN’T you?

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My Pocket Carry Holster
My Pocket Carry Holster

So … I almost forgot to tell you about the newest member of my family here … my brand new Ruger LCP .380 handgun!

 

Ruger LCP .380
Ruger LCP .380

 

Well, “new” to me at least. I bought her used from a fellow Virginian and she came with a few extra mags as well (4 total to be exact, 2 of which are useful).

Quick tip: when buying extra mags, in general, avoid “Pro Mag” magazines or other “cheap” mags. Only go with factory magazines to be sure they work–the magazine is a critical part of modern guns that can easily fail. When I was checking it out and asked the seller how the mags all worked, he said: “well, of course the pro mags suck, but the other two feed fine and reliable” and that’s usually what anyone with experience will say.

Anyways, today I’ll cover …

*** Why I felt the need to buy ANOTHER gun (even though I already have a concealedcarry handgun)

*** Why I chose a .380 (GASP!!!)

*** My thoughts so far and …

*** the specific holster I’m using with this little guy

Let’s get started …

Well, let’s start with this one first …

*** Why I felt the need to buy ANOTHER gun (even though I already have a concealed carry handgun)

I’ll start here because this is an explanation that I’ve practiced MANY times in order to tell my wife (I’m half joking).

But the truth is my Concealed Carry handgun has always been a Sig Sauer P225. It’s Sig’s old single stack 9mm that they don’t make anymore. Mine is actually a used police version from Germany designated the P6 (story all in its own).

Anyways, it’s basically 8 rounds of 9mm in a somewhat compact package. At least “compact” for a handgun made in the 1980’s. I bought it because it fits my hand like a glove, I like metal guns, and it’s reliable as all get out.

So here’s the thing …

1. Compared to modern 9mm guns like the S&W Shield, the Sig really is NOT that small for the capacity … but more importantly …

2. I don’t work a “normal” job or routine.

I’m lucky enough to work from home and as such, I don’t have a normal time that I take a shower, get dressed every day and put on the “clothes I’m going to where when I go out of the house”. (I basically start working as soon as possible after I get up in the morning).

.380 vs Luger 9mm
.380 vs Luger 9mm

We can talk the best ammunition to buy for a .380 carry gun at another time because it’s beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say, there are a good amount of JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) rounds that will reach the FBI standard 12″ of penetration and fragment nicely while doing it.

So in conclusion, I think the 380 will do its job for me … which I can summarize as:

6 rounds of SOMETHING is better than 0 rounds in a gun fight.

*** What Do I Think So Far?

So far … I love it.

I simply can’t believe how small this little guy is.

It simply disappears in my pocket.

Well, that depends on the clothing, but at most it looks like the front pocket wallet I carry in my left pocket if it “prints” at all through clothing.

I took it out shortly after I got it (and before I started carrying of course) to test it out and shoot it.

I fed a box and a half of regular ball point ammo through it with no malfunctions, and then half a box of the hollow point ammo I had on hand (I didn’t have much ammo that day, so I cut the “test” short, but I feel confident it’s reliable).

I could easily dump the whole mag (6 shots) inside a chest size target up to 7 yards or a little more (point shooting range basically) even though the sites are basically almost non existent because they’re so low profile.

*** My Pocket Carry Holster

So here’s the thing, to make sure you don’t have an accidental discharge, it’s a good idea to have a pocket holster.

And to not put anything else in that pocket if you’re carrying a gun there.

Some quick searches online and I found a great holster on my FIRST try (ha! that’s a 1 in a million shot if you ask ANY concealed carry guy!)

Check this pic out:

My Pocket Carry Holster
My Pocket Carry Holster

First off, the gun fits in there really snug.

Second, you just drop it in your front pocket and the little “L” shaped thing at the end near the barrel will snag the corner of your pocket as you draw making sure that you only draw the pistol when you go to grab it from your pocket (and not pull the holster out with you).

Lastly it’s made of a “anti-slip” neoprene thing that really sticks to your clothing that helps keep it in place and keep it in the pocket if you draw the pistol.

It also breaks up the outline of the pistol well enough that people might be able to see a bulge in your pocket but it looks like you’re carrying a cell phone or a big wallet or something (not a pistol).

Best part?

I got it on Amazon for LESS than $20 — can’t beat that!

Click here to check it out on Amazon — 4.6 out of 5 star reviews!

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A knife is a very powerful weapon and can really go a long way toward stacking the odds in your favor. Whether you are facing someone bigger and stronger than you, or facing multiple opponents, a knife makes it possible for you to do more damage with less work than is required with your bare hands alone.

That is why a weapon is called a “force multiplier.” It is like a lever, amplifying the force of human effort.

In our previous issue we also discussed the fact that carrying a knife doesn’t make you special. Everybody and his uncle has a knife.

They’re easy to get and they’re easy to carry.

Given this, it makes sense to carry a knife. As long as you can do so legally, you are almost obligated to have a good blade on hand.

Why wouldn’t you? It takes no real effort except rearranging your pockets, and it needn’t cost you more than $40 to $50 USD for a good-quality, name-brand tactical folding knife.

As we discussed before, my new favorite pocket knife (and also a favorite of the Navy SEALS) is the Kershaw Emerson designed CQC-7.

Kershaw Knife
The Kershaw CQC-7, a favorite of the Navy Seals and mine.

There are some basic guidelines for knife handling …

Follow these guidelines and tailor them to your specific needs, your specific mode of dress, and how you conduct yourself on a day to day basis. Everybody’s situation is different.

What is the perfect combination of knife, clothing, and deployment for me will be different for you, and so on.

Let’s get into it …

** Carry Close to Center …

This will depend on the features of your knife. With the Emerson Wave feature of the CQC series of knives for example — it’s made to be clipped towards the rear of your pocket so that you can deploy the blade by simply drawing the knife out of your pocket …

All other pocket clip knives, carry it as close to the centerline of your body as possible. This means that if you do clip it to your pocket, don’t clip it to the rear of the pocket. Clip it toward the front.

When you are positioning any knife, the closer it is to the centerline of the body, at the front (not the back), the more easily you can grab it and draw it.

If you want to prove this fact to yourself, just lay your hands in front of your body as naturally as you can. You’ll find your arms tend to lay across your waistline at angles to each other.

These are, coincidentally, the same angles that the two portions of an ergonomic keyboard employ — because that’s how your arms fold naturally. They don’t sit straight forward unless you force them to.

With your knife as close to the centerline as possible, you can more easily drop your hands to the waistband area in order to find it, whether that means drawing it from the front of the pocket or from anywhere else.

This brings us to the actual deployment of the knife. You have your knife; you selected a good one; it is now carried by you, consistently and discreetly, day in and day out.

** So what happens when time comes to draw it?

Understand first that to deploy a knife is to do two things.

First, it escalates the encounter to a lethal force scenario unless you have reason to believe your life is in danger. This means you cannot deploy your life unless you believe it is needed to save your life or the life of someone else. It is a weapon with the power to kill. If nobody is trying to kill you, you do not have justification to introduce it.

Second, your knife can be a target in a fight. If you fixate on the knife, if you are thinking about “knife fighting” and not simply “fighting the other guy while you happen to have a knife,” you may be distracted and your opponent may try to attack or even take away your knife.

The thing to do, then, is to protect your knife. That may sound silly to you. You may be thinking, “My knife is here to protect ME, isn’t it?” Well, it is… but there is a right way to deploy it.

Never deploy your knife in such a way that the opponent can get his hand on it and snatch it away from you. Typically this would be when you are clinched up and grappling with somebody, on your feet or even on the ground. You need to keep your side with the knife on it away from the opponent. That means turning that side of your body away, or protecting that side with your other hand.

When you make the decision to go for your knife, you protect the side of your body that the knife is one. Slap the knife with your strong side (your weapon hand) so that you can make sure it is where it’s supposed to be. (If it shifts around a little in your pocket or wherever you keep it, this is how you’ll ascertain where it is. Daily carry of a knife is never perfect. Sometimes they move and we forget about them.)

Once you have slapped the knife, again while protecting that side, get your hand down deep on the knife and deploy it, either by pulling it out of the pocket or yanking it out of its sheath. While it’s still low against your body is the time to deploy the blade (if it’s a folding knife).

From here, use your knife to protect the rest of you. Put the strong side, with the blade, in front, and the rest of your body behind that. Keep the knife low and continue to protect it.

From here you can execute basic attacks and defenses while you wield your knife. (We’ll get into that in an upcoming issue, in fact.)

Deploying a knife basically says to everyone in the area, “I believe I am in fear for my life and I am prepared to initiate lethal force to preempt the threat.”

If these conditions aren’t met, don’t deploy the knife. You must be legally and morally justified before you use a weapon in an altercation.

A knife is a powerful weapon and should be respected as such.

 

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Growing up I loved the RAMBO movies …

The RAMBO movies were based off a book written by David Morrell called “First Blood”(hence the name of the first movie). After I read First Blood, David Morrell has since become one of my favorite authors after I found him in my pre-teen years (I’ve always been a voracious reader of topics that interest me).

Thank God my parents didn’t shelter me too much during those years.

It’s also the same years I made it my life’s mission to become a Navy SEAL when I got older. Around 3rd grade I remember my mom refusing to let me jump into my neighbor’s pool with handcuffs on so I could do the “drown proofing” drills I had seen in Navy SEAL training on TV (Bummer!)

Anyways, for various reasons I chose not to become a SEAL when I turned 18, but obviously I still read like crazy and these things still interest me …

Being well read and somewhat knowledgeable about firearms and whatnot, it always drives me CRAZY when I watch a movie or read a book and the obviously do no research on the weapons or guns used.

David Morrell NEVER makes that mistake …

His books are always thoroughly researched, and many times he actually goes through intense training while doing research for his characters.

So what does David Morrell have to do with my new favorite pocket knife?

One day, I read the newest David Morrell book “The Protector”The Protector not only has the main character, a former Delta Force operator named Cavanaugh, using an Emerson CQC-7 knife, but the cover art itself is a blood-stained Emerson CQC-7.

Now, of course, I figure I can’t ever afford an Emerson knife, and after a little research the CQC-7 looked like it was out of reach too …

Who Is Emerson?

Emerson, to make a long story short is a “famous” knife maker.

Specifically, he was one of the first guys to custom make — as in hand make — folding knives for the US Navy SEALs. This custom version was named the CQC-6 — either after SEAL Team 6 or because it was the 6th model of design. CQC stands for “Close Quarters Combat”.

Ownership of a CQC6 soon became something of a status symbol among members of various elite military units, including Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, German GSG 9, and British SAS …

When a bigger commercial manufacturer came to Emerson and wanted to produce them large scale, Emerson licensed them a similar design called the CQC-7.

Even though it obviously wasn’t handmade, everyone loved getting Emerson’s work, at an affordable price and without the five-year wait.

They’re still popular with elite special forces groups, in fact, in May 2013, a non-custom factory-made Emerson CQC-7 knife carried by the Navy SEAL who served as point man on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden was auctioned off for charity, netting over $35,400!

The problem with Emerson knives?

The price. I wouldn’t really consider myself a “hardcore” knife collector or aficionado. I might be getting there though …

Anyways, for a knife that starts around $150 and only goes up in price — it was a little steep for me to ever use as an EDC knife (that I’m going to use 90% of the time to cut boxes and other mundane chores–not take out terrorists).

Enter Kershaw …

Kershaw is a knife manufacturer that’s rather popular. In fact, for the past year or so I’ve been carrying almost every day a “cheap” kershaw pocket knife. I say “cheap” because it was low in price not quality.

I love it actually. It fits my hand good, has a nice tanto blade, is tough, and does every job I’ve thrown at it …

I actually respect Kershaw as a maker of pocket knives that you can count on for LESS than $50 all in.

Recently, we all lucked out because Kershaw teamed up with Emerson to make the Emerson designed knives available to everyone without deep pockets!

Introducing The Kershaw-Emerson CQC-7

Kershaw Emerson

As soon as I heard my favorite CHEAP knife maker — Kershaw — was teaming up with the maker of the most respected knives I knew — Emerson — I got super excited and ordered it the day I found it on Amazon.

For just $32.95 (shipping was free because I have PRIME) — I got this bad boy delivered to my door …

To make a long story short, I love it.

The cool thing about the Emerson design is the unique “Wave” feature. In short, it allows the knife to open as soon as you draw it from your pocket because a “hook” part of the dull side of the blade catches on your pocket as you draw it out.

Very useful if you ever need your knife out and deployed with just one hand.

Anyways, I’ve got this thing sitting here on my desk right now, it looks gorgeous.

The only complaint I might have is the size, it’s a lot bigger than my little EDC Kershaw folding knife — so I might try one of the Emerson CQC smaller knives — specifically the CQC-3k — as it will probably just a little bit smaller than the Kershaw I carry right now (see below):

Folding Knife

 

Anyways, I feel any of the Kershaw Emerson CQC knives are the best you can get for under $50 (under $40 in most cases!) and I can’t wait to add a few more to my collection.

Pick one up if you’re looking for a new, proven, EDC knife.

 

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The Cold Steel Recon 1 was first introduced quite a few years ago…

The basic knife back then was your usual black-on-black folder. I liked it then, but over the years, Cold Steel has really beefed up the model, making it heavier, thicker, and stronger…

The result is a great all-around daily carry knife that, while not small or subtle, is strong, powerful, and shows good fit and finish.

Knife

Here are the stats (from Knifecenter):

Blade Length: 4″
Blade Thickness: 3.5 mm
Steel: AUS 8A coated in Black Teflon
Weight: 5.3 oz
Overall Length: 9 3/8″
Handle Material: G10 (5 3/8″ length)

The pocket clip on the Recon 1 is a little small for so large and heavy a knife, but I actually like that, because it helps the knife to ride low and appear unobtrusive.

The G10 handles are aggressively textured, providing a firm grip, and the scallops in the handle scales really fit my hands well.  This is a blade that just kind of locks into your mitt when you grab hold of it.

The Recon 1 is one of my favorite blades for working what’s called pattern drills (you’ll find more on pattern drills as a paid up 3-Percenter Report subscriber!).  The generous clip-point blade has good belly for slicing and slashing, and the point is nice and sharp for deep penetration on thrusts.

The lock might look like a traditional rocker-bar lock, but this is Cold Steel’s Tri-Ad lock.  It operates like a rocker-bar lock but has some added features for greater strength and security.

Say what you want about Cold Steel, its marketing, and Lynn Thompson, its often bellicose owner, but the company prides itself on the strength of its knives and you can generally count on a folding Cold

Steel knife to stay open when you want it to.

This is a great all-around EDC for both self-defense and general utility. It also isn’t terribly expensive. That puts it within the reach of just about anyone.

If you’re in the market for a great knife, you should pick one of these up right away. You can click here to see the reviews for it on Amazon and pick it up at a decent price.

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The Best Tactical Accessories for your AR-15

If you have an AR-15, or you are in the process of “acquiring” one — then you know there are countless options when it comes to accessories for your rifle.

Most people just buy what looks “cool” without any thought to form, function or actual tactical usefulness.

If you want to know the accessories that are actually worth your time, then read on…

A running joke among shooters is that some gun owners will mount everything and the kitchen sink to their rifles, resulting in weapons so overloaded with gear that they’re heavy and awkward.

There aren’t that many accessories you truly have to have for your rifle. Out of the box, a stock AR is a very effective rifle.

The following are two accessories you might consider, however, some of which are more important than others.

Accessory Rail:

You can’t mount accessories at all if you don’t have accessory rails. Consider changing out the forearm on your AR to a model that has accessory rails if you don’t already have them.

There are some clamp-on accessories for the AK that mount a few rails forward of the forearm, for mounting flashlights or even a foregrip.

Foregrips:

Picture a 1920s-era Thompson gun. It has the round drum magazine deemed too bulky and noisy for warfare (which is why US troops used stick magazines during World War 2). It also has a grooved vertical foregrip. The weapon is iconic of the era. But have you stopped to think about that foregrip?

The fact is that it’s easier to shoot a weapon if both of your hands are positioned in roughly the same way. You should, therefore, install a foregrip on your AR-15 if it is possible to do so.

Where to Get These Accessories?

Almost every gun shop sells AR-15 accessories now … and … they carry a lot of brand names. Which to choose?

It’s up to you of course. I will say that many, many people like the company Magpul.

A very popular Magpul product is the Magpul MOE Furniture Set as shown below:

magpul
As you can see, you get the complete upgrade with this one purchase. A good butt stock, comfortable hand grip, a solid handguard with the MOE vertical foregrip that I was talking about (that you can detach on and off if you like or don’t like it).

You can even pick up the whole set from a trusted online retailer like Brownells for a little less than $85 bucks (at the time of this writing).

Click here to see it.

BONUS: 3 more “must have” AR-15 accessories

Remember, there are (literally) THOUSANDS of accessories for your AR-15 that are available … but … you only want to pay for and put on the ones that help you the most.

That’s what we’ll cover right now …

Let’s jump right into it …

Flashlight:

Mount a flashlight on your weapon. It’s very difficult to manipulate a flashlight while also handling a rifle. Mounting the light directly to the weapon solves this problem.

Avoid any light or laser system that includes a cable attached to an activator switch, however. These cables can snag on things and get broken or ripped out, rendering the light useless.

Instead, choose a light whose switch is still part of the body of the light. Whenever possible, mount the light at six-o’clock position, under the rifle, so that it can be activated with either hand.

Magazines:

You need extra magazines. Buy a bunch of 30-round magazines (as long as they’re legal where you live). You can either get the metal, GI style 30-rounders or a lot of people like the Magpul 30-round mags. Along with this, a good purchase is a “mag pouch” to carry at least two of these extra mags if you need it.

Rifle Sling:

If you put a sling on your rifle, make sure it is a 3-point or a single point sling. These will make sure that you have optimal carrying ability and you can still bring your rifle to the ready position as quickly as possible.

Summary …

Those are just some of the accessories you can use.

Remember, it’s not about how many “cool things” you can stick on your Rifle, it’s about finding out what you personally NEED to make it better for self defense.

Think efficiency, not “collect it all!”

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It costs less than $15. And like the shovel, it’s incredibly important.

Let’s get started…

One of the facts of any survival situation or low-light utility scenario is that you need light.

Any prepared citizen carries a flashlight, probably several, as a result.

If you’ve ever broken down along the side of a highway late at night, you have known the feeling that comes with the thought, “I need a flashlight… do I have one?”

We are fortunate that a variety of products are available today that put flashlights at our fingertips in a variety of form factors. But most of these flashlights depend on power sources such as batteries…

Dynamo and solar emergency lights require time to charge if they run out of batteries.

What, then, is a good alternative to a light source that does not need some external means of making it go?

If we are willing to be a little fast and loose with the definition, there is a new category of emergency light on the market. These are sort of luminous crystals, or plastics that have luminous crystals or substances embedded or suspended within them.

They must be left in the sun or under some ambient light source in order to charge them up, yes, but once charged, they simply glow all night long.

The idea is that you could have a light that always works at night and then charges itself during the light of the day — something that requires no batteries and no other intervention save for leaving it out on a dashboard or hanging from a pack.

Doesn’t that sound perfect?

Well, your results are going to vary. I’ve tested a few of these lights. Some looked like round pendants; others looked like tubes; still others looked like little bricks of glow-in-the-dark crystal. The crystal feels like plastic (and probably is closer to plastic than to “crystal”) and glows green in the darkness.

The fundamental problem with these light sources is twofold… 

You’ve got to have light for a while before you can have darkness, so these are not a good light source to keep in your car tucked away for an emergency. (A standard cyalume chemical light stick would be better for that.) You can keep the glow crystal on your dashboard to charge up in the sunlight during the day, yes, but on cloudy days the charge you get won’t be very impressive.

I got the best results by keeping my light crystals hanging inside a lampshade in a standard incandescent light during the hours that I was working and it was dark outside.

After that, the light glowed pretty well and did so for several hours.

What you will find, though, is that most of the company literature for these products includes the caveat that your eyes must be “adjusted” to the darkness.

In other words, while these glowing crystals are better than pitch blackness, they simply aren’t that bright, nor will they illuminate much for any distance around you. Even when your eyes have adjusted to the darkness, you’ll barely be getting by with these as your light source, and you won’t be doing any late-night hiking.

Still, these are preferable to complete blackness. Especially as a backup to other redundant light sources, these are worth hanging from your rearview mirror or pack and left to charge up in the sunlight or under your desk lamp whenever you can.

Keep in mind, however, that you can’t turn them off.

They’re going to glow when it gets dark, and even if they don’t “throw” a lot of illumination, they will mark you like a beacon at a distance. They might even keep you up at night if the crystal’s in your room.

Come to think of it, these just might be the coolest “night lights” ever…

 

 

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When a crisis hits, you’re going to need more than your guns…

That’s why I urge you to listen closely as we talk about…

Shovels.

Yep, shovels.

Here’s the deal…

First, you should know that I really don’t like folding shovels for any situation.

The reason I don’t like folding shovels is because folding simply isn’t something a shovel should do. Think about it: you use folding shovels for digging. Digging puts a lot of stress on a tool. I can’t count the number of inferior digging tools I’ve snapped while gardening or working with landscaping. The ground simply doesn’t abide weakness.

You can imagine my skepticism when I encountered a tri-fold shovel from the knife company, SOG. Their entrenching tool folds up into a great little package that even has a compact nylon cover. That’s wonderful if you don’t want a tool like that taking up a lot of space in your go-bag, but there’s a reason that most military entrenching tools have just a folding head and a wooden handle. That’s because a folding handle isn’t reliable!

Shovel

I’ve used cheap folding entrenching tools that just folded right up against the resistance of the ground when you tried to dig with them. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to dig with a shovel that doesn’t do it.

The key to the SOG entrenching tool is a retaining ring that you loosen or tighten to facilitate folding and unfolding. Unfolded, with the ring tightened up, the shovel feels a little wobbly. I figured it would collapse as soon as I put it to the test… but I was wrong.

The SOG entrenching tool, as it turns out, digs really well. I didn’t try to dig an entire foxhole with it (I don’t have that kind of time in my day), but if you had to, you eventually could. The shovel stays open and performs well when digging.

It has a section of saw teeth that aren’t very sharp, but you could sharpen these if you wanted to. I don’t see much reason to do that because digging will just make them dull again, and I don’t need my shovel to also be a saw. But as a survival tool the option is there if you needed to find a rock to hone up the teeth in between digging tasks.

The only problem I had with the entrenching tool was that when dirt and grit get in there under the retaining ring, it can be hard to move the ring in order to collapse (or extend) the shovel. You’ll want to keep this ring clean and keep an eye on that to make sure the shovel is properly secured when you open it. I could see tightening it with dirt in there and failing to get it tight enough to keep the shovel open.

Ergonomically, the handle and the little horizontal end handle work well and are comfortable enough for digging. Again, with a little honing, you could also use this tool as a makeshift hatchet or even a hammer.

There’s a video floating around the internet of a super duper Chinese military shovel that is supposed to do everything, and the video shows these little Chinese military dudes climbing mountains, building shelters, sawing pipes in half, and generally using their shovels to do everything in the world. About the only thing I want MY shovel to do is dig, and the SOG entrenching tool does that and does it well.

Overall, especially given the cost, this tool is a good buy. The compact way it folds up doesn’t hurt, either, once you have to stow it away. This might be a little heavy in a bug out bag, depending on what else you may carry, but it’s perfect for throwing in the trunk of a car or truck along with your other survival and recovery gear. To be honest I always keep a shovel of some kind in my vehicle so I can dig myself out if I get mired in snow or mud.

The utility of a shovel should be obvious. The utility of a shovel that can be folded up but still perform is even more so. While I will never prefer folding shovels to shovels that don’t fold (I really like the Cold Steel shovel, for example), this SOG entrenching tool goes a long way toward restoring my faith in folding tools of this type. It’s worth considering if you’d like a digging tool to keep in your car or your bug out bag.

Best of all, you can buy one for less than $20 on Amazon right here.

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I still remember the first time I opened a gun magazine and read the term “airsoft…”

At the time, the technology wasn’t quite defined for the masses; the “airsoft” guns in that magazine fired a kind of marking projectile, rather than the little plastic BBs we’re all accustomed to now.

The guns were reasonable realistic and some were full-auto. The article was about how this new “airsoft” technology could be used for training law enforcement and military personnel, giving them a way to simulate their weapons that was better than an unwieldy Nel-spot paintball pistol.

The fact is, however, that a quality airsoft gun is NOT a toy; it can be, when used in conjunction with realistic live firearms training, a very good way to fill in the gaps.

What do I mean by filling in the gaps? And how could this save your life? Let me explain…

What I mean by “gaps” is that there are things an airsoft gun can’t do for you. If you understand the limitations of these stand-in weapons, however, and you tailor your training to take advantage of these while remaining realistic about them, you can enhance your overall training regimen.

First, while you don’t need much more than a spring gun, you do need a high-quality model.

What this means is that the cheap gun-shaped airsoft pistols that don’t have much in the way of realistic features, magazines, or operation should be left on the shelves of big-box discount stores where they belong.

A decent spring gun will have a magazine release where the magazine goes. It will have decent sights that simulate the sights on a real handgun, and it will have realistically sized (and, if you’re lucky, weighted) magazines. (I have one that also has a slide stop. If you lock the slide back and insert an empty magazine, the slide will stay back unless you release it. If, on the other hand, you insert a magazine with a pellet in it, the slide will go forward if you just run it like you normally would.)

If you use accessories like a mounted light, your airsoft gun should have strong, realistic rails that work just like the real thing.

You can, of course, upgrade to an even more realistic airsoft gun, like a gas gun, but it doesn’t matter.

For our purposes, we just need a gun that is reasonably accurate in terms of sights and controls, which will also put a pellet downrange. That’s how we take advantage of the gaps I talked about. Let me explain, finally, how you do that.

Benefits of Airsoft Training…

Dry-fire practice gets you familiar with the actual trigger pull of your gun. It lets you practice drawing, presenting, and breaking the trigger on that gun. But what it doesn’t tell you is whether you’re jerking the trigger or actually managing to send shots downrange with anything resembling consistency.

With your airsoft gun, practice with the holster you would normally use (as you should pick an airsoft closely matching your carry gun if at all possible). If you can’t match the gun exactly, use the same type of holster with similar retention. Get into your shooting stance, draw your weapon as you normally would, and engage a stationary target. Ideally, this target should be made of paper.

You can cut a hole in cardboard box and tape paper over it to make a quick-and-dirty trap target for collecting airsoft pellets. You shouldn’t reuse the pellets because they might deform after firing, but cleaning up preemptively saves a lot of trouble from spouses or roommates who trip over the little pellets

Make sure your paper target has an actual mark on it that you’re shooting for. Make the target a face and shoot for the “eye box,” for example. The idea is that if you cannot learn to draw, shoot, and hit accurately and consistently using a weapon that has NO recoil, you will never be able to do so with a weapon that fires rounds.

Once you’ve gotten good with stationary targets, try varying them. You can’t really set up moving targets, but what you can do is place a number of targets around the room and try engaging different ones at different times and from different positions and angles. Can you draw, present, and shoot without jerking, flinching, or otherwise screwing up?

These skills can then be taken to the range and adapted to live fire. At first, you may not see a real improvement, but trust me, if you get really good at pulling a no-recoil trigger consistently, that will become the skill of pulling the trigger of a real pistol without jerking. Your airsoft training will thus reinforce and facilitate your live training.

This is really the whole “trick” to enhancing your dry fire training with airsoft. You’ve got to do it in conjunction with live fire, and with a mind toward your ultimate goals. As long as you keep all that in perspective, you WILL succeed, and the training you do — whether at home, at the range, indoors, outdoors, with blue guns, with empty firearms, with airsoft guns, with laser training guns — will all build one to the next to reinforce what you are trying to accomplish.

Your goal is to become a solid shooter, someone who can engage targets under stress with consistency and accuracy. This isn’t all there is to defensive shooting, but you can’t do any of the rest of it without this vital foundation.

Where Can You Guy a Good Airsoft Gun?

Once again, I think Amazon.com is a good solution.

Why?

Because you can look at various airsoft guns, see the reviews from other people, and how it held up for them. You can get a little feedback on quality and such.

So I’ve been researching what makes a “good” airsoft gun better than the cheap ones you get at big box stores …

In fact, in my last NRA instructor class, a defense contractor (spent a lot of time overseas in middle east hot spots) told me he highly recommended the newer, mostly metal, blowback airsoft guns for training in your house. Told me he would of laughed about it 5 years ago, but now they’re so realistic he uses them to practice clearing his house, etc

Which Gun To Get …

Here’s something really cool now: most of the big gun manufacturers have “licensed” their design to airsoft pistol companies.

So what does that mean:

1. If you have a popular hand gun, you can train with a similar airsoft model
2. It should fit your normal holsters, etc
3. Which should overall make you even more proficient with your real handgun!

I did some searching for you…

I have a Beretta pistol, so for more it would make sense to find a similar airsoft pistol to train with. So I first found this electric airsoft Beretta on Amazon for $35.30 with free shipping:

Beretta 92 FS
Beretta 92 FS. Electric. Takes Batteries. Magazine and slide function like a real gun.

And I also have a couple of Sig Sauer hand guns … and they have a REALLY high quality Sig Sauer P226 — Full Metal — Blowback that runs off CO2:

Sig Sauer P226
Sig Sauer P226. Full Metal. CO2 Gas Blowback.

Lastly, I don’t have one, but I know many people LOVE their Glocks. I couldn’t find a Glock replica, but this seems to be pretty close. In some of the comments people compared it to your standard G17 (Glock 17, the “original” Glock):

Metal Glock 17 clone
Metal Glock 17 “clone”. Realistic weight. Not too pricey.

So the point I’m making here is that there are plenty of Airsoft guns out there, and at varying price ranges. The more expensive ones–around $100+ — should get you a very realistic training aid.

You Can Even Get “Full Auto” Airsoft AR-15’s!

If you really want to step it up … you can even get a “full auto” M4 replica (M4 is the military code for the shortened M16 rifle, the civilian equivalent is the AR-15. Much like M9 is the military code for Beretta 92 handgun).

The description said you can fire semi-auto or switch to full-auto. It’s electric. One 5 star review said this “is the best entry level M-4A1 available”.

So if you have an AR-15 but don’t get to go to the range to practice much, this might be worth looking into as well (Great price too!) You can find it by clicking here. Its a great price for what you get.

Full Auto AR-15 Airsoft Gun
Full Auto AR-15 Airsoft Gun

Hope that helps you find an airsoft gun that will meet your training needs.

As you practice your skills, there’s one thing you won’t be able to do without in a true survival situation…

And that’s ammo.

In 2014 we saw some serious ammo shortages. So let’s move on to another loophole I know you’re going to love…

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