Archive for Gear
Finding the right holster for concealed carry can be an exhaustive and expensive process that includes buying and trying out several different style and brands of holsters before eventually find the right one for the right situations.
We all know that depending on what we’re wearing and what time of year it is we’re probably using at least a couple different holsters for our carry pistol.
About 6 months ago I came across a Blackhawk CQC leather IWB holster, one I’d seen many times at various gunshops and sporting goods stores and quite frankly I mostly ignored them in favor of other less expensive or different style holsters.
This particular day though I decided to try it out since I had just picked up a new Glock 26 and I needed a holster for it and thought if I didn’t like it I’d just take it back. All I can say is that I now realize I’ve never made a better holster purchase.
The overall feel of the holster is great, its the perfect thickness to allow for secure retention and still be very comfortable inside the waistband up against the body. I’m a big proponent of having a good sweatguard on my holsters and this one completely covers the rear of the slide to protect the gun. The retention adjustment screw works as expected and allows u to perfectly adjust the tention on the triggerguard to your personal preference. I like the single loop design as it allows for easy one handed removal of the holster. The holster is perfect for any degree of carry, from middle of the back, strongside, appendix carry or cross draw. Also the holster has been a great choice for both cold weather and during this summer while wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It also comes in a very large variety of models to fit just about any pistol or revolver on the market.
Overall, in my opinion the holster is as good or better than some custom holsters at almost twice the price. Needless to say I’ve been very pleased and can highly recommend this as a great choice for a CCW IWB holster.
Ultimately when it comes to determining what should be in your Bug Out Bag, or BOB, will depend on you personally and your situation and needs, but if your just begining to look into putting together a BOB here are some items you might take into consideration.
Fixed Blade Knife – This should be of good quality with at least a 4 1/2″ blade
Flashlight – Good quality with extra batteries
Fire starting materials – This could be matches, lighter, fire steel, lighter fluid, cotton or other starter material, or any combination thereof
Chopping tool – This could be a thick durable machete or hachet or some other qualified tool
Duct tape – At least 20ft
550 Para-cord – At least 100ft
Water purification – This could be a small filtration system, purification tablets, strei-pen or any good purification system
3 Days of food – This should be something like freeze dried packets, jerky, MRE’s or any stable food that requires little to no preperation
Compass – Good quality
One set of Two-Way Radios
Extra Clothing and Footwear
Small tool kit – Keep it simple, a couple of small screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench and a pair of plyers
Emergency Radio – Small pocket emergency radio with headphones
Med-Kit – This should cover the basics of first-aid and trauma care, gauze, tape, blood-clotter (QuickClo or Hem-Con), tylenol, ibuprophen, asprin, antibiotic ointment, alcohol swabs, rubber gloves, tourniquet and suture kit
Now of course this list doesn’t cover everything and depending on your needs your kit may be much more involved than this, but these are the basics and a good place to start when putting together a BOB.
First off, what is a Go Bag? The basic concept of a Go Bag is simply a bag or pack of some sort loaded with the necessary gear to get you out of a bad situation quickly.
Most of us would probably use this tool in a home defense situation where we would want to be able to grab something quickly to have all the needed gear to defend our home and our family, wether by defending an area of our home or by fleeing the situation as safely as possible.
Now lets talk about what a Go Bag isn’t. It isn’t a Bug Out Bag. This isn’t something you’ll want to load with a bunch of useless equipment geared at helping you bug out. You simply want the essentials needed to get you out of a bad situation quickly.
Sounds pretty simple, but there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing a bag or pack to fill this roll and what gear to put in it.
First off is the bag itself. There are several options that we’ll go over that will give u an idea of what will work best for you. The most common option are …….
At first glance this seems to be a great choice for a go bag as it can be easily carried on the move and usually has plenty of room for gear, but it is not in fact a good choice. The key reason is because it is a BACKpack and therefore can not be easily accessed with out removing it from your body.
Tactical Vest (LBV or MOLLE)
A great option as it can carry everything you need and nothing you don’t and can be customized to suit your specific needs as far as gear placement. The only down side is getting it on in a bad situation, it could be a bit cumbersome to get on and keep a hand free for a weapon or other defensive tool, but overall still a great option.
This is perhaps one of the best options as it is just big enough to carry whatever you might need and small enough to stay out of your way. The only downside is having to wear what is basically a Fanny Pack even if it does say Maxpedition.
This is what I personally use. It works well because its easy to get off and on with one hand while keeping the other free for whatever you might need and its more than big enough to carry whatever gear you need. The only downside is that most satchels are usually fairly big in that most are designed to handle paperwork and things like laptops, so you will have excess space.
Now lets get on to what gear you should think about putting in your Go Bag.
The basics should be ……
Holster for your pistol
Extra magazines or ammo
Small First Aid kit
Spare keys to all vehicles and locations
So thats it, not really too much need for anything else, although everyone will have their own opinions on what may work best for them.
Just remember to keep it simple to avoid confusion in a bad situation.
Most if us have tried too many bags and packs to count when it comes to carrying and storing our gear, wether its for a trip to the range or a permanent home for some of your gear. So I’m happy to say that after 2 years of using and abusing the SWAT Responder Range bag, that its held up amazingly, especially when you consider the purchase price, which we’ll get to in a minute.
The bag measures in at 17″ long 13″ wide 8″ deep.
It comes with a front and rear pocket with MOLLE, and the front pocket comes with 7 mag pouches (although only 4 of them can accommodate a double stack mag) and both pockets come with a velcro attached, removable pistol pocket.
It also has 2 side pockets with a main compartment and a zipper outside pocket covered in MOLLE
Of course the main compartment is the most important part of the bag and its well big enough to handle just about whatever ammo, pistols or accessories you throw at it. It also includes 2 removable, velcro attached dividers for the main compartment (although you’ll hardly have a need to use them).
It comes with a shoulder strap and double wrap-around carrying handles which are nothing special, but work as expected.
The 2 biggest concerns I had upon first inspection of this bag was the hooks & D-rings for the shoulder straps and the zippers on the bag. However, even though those at first sight appear to be the weakest points on the bag, they have held up very well over 2 years of use.
The zippers are touted as being water proof as is the rest of the bag and I can say that after taking this to the range several times in the rain, they do work as advertised.
My average trip to the range involves around 20 to 30 lbs of pistols, ammo & accessories thrown into this bag and drug to the range 2 to 3 times a month for the last 2 years, thats no light duty use for something of this size.
On to the price.
Two years ago I picked this up on cheaperthandirt.com on sale for $19.97 + shipping. Now regular price on this is $29.97 but several times a year CTD does put it on sale.
At that price and with all the storage and durability you get with the SWAT Responder its a hell of a deal. All in all I can easily recommend this for anyone as an excellent option for a budget range bag or even your main gear bag, because regardless of the price, it holds up to the more expensive competition on the market.