Pelican 1910B LED Flashlight

The Pelican 1910B is just slightly bigger than the Streamlight Microstream. It still disappears when clipped to a pocket or in your waistband. A convenient carry spot is in the dead space on the waistband directly adjacent to your holster.

Continuing with my never ending search for an ultra low profile, easy to carry, yet functional off-duty handheld light, we will be taking a look at the Pelican 1910B. Last week I wrote about the Streamlight Microstream, which worked well enough to get out of most jams. Some commenters on the social media page turned their nose up to Microstream’s meager 35 lumen output. While puny compared to some of the 500 lumen beasts out there today, let me point out that not all that long ago we carried lights powered by D-cell batteries that didn’t put out much more light than that of the Microstream, and with a crappier beam.

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Quick Look: Streamlight Microstream

The Streamlight Microstream is a small and functional flashlight that is significantly easier to carry than many other popular options.

As I get older, injuries from overall wear and tear pile up. Coupled with the strong desire to be able to enjoy day to day activities without carrying 20 pounds of bulk with me wherever I go, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to streamline my day to day load out. I am a strong proponent of carrying some sort of white light everywhere I go. In addition to any potential “tactical” uses, I find it at least as handy from a utilitarian perspective than a folding knife. For the past couple of years, I have been carrying the Surefire E1B Backup, which has served me well. It is durable and bright, but due to its width, I still find it somewhat cumbersome to carry when wearing casual clothing that isn’t made by a brand whose name starts with a 5 and ends with an .11.

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SUPREME COURT RULES ON FIREARMS DISPOSSESSION AFTER FEDERAL DISABILITY

                                    

Well, that was quick.  And a unanimous decision (9-0) no less.  I wrote in detail about Henderson v United States (HERE) in March, so go there for the facts of the case, related statutes, and parties’ arguments. (Note you are still good to go with the “Lessons Learned” discussion there). The actual 10-page May 18th opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court is HERE.  (I endeavor here not to confound you with any lengthy legalisms or scholarly analysis).

While the Court rejected almost all of what the Government argued, it did not — as I hoped it would — limit or reject the “constructive possession” theory, or give detailed guidance on the mechanisms for firearms dispossession.  The decision is nevertheless important to firearms owners who may run afoul of federal law which makes certain persons forever (felony conviction) or temporarily (mental/drug issues, pretrial release, probation, supervised release) barred from firearms “possession.”  But note, the Court stated (in a footnote) “. . . our decision here . . . addresses only . . . court-supervised transfers of guns.” Continue reading

Beretta 92FS/M9 Safety Deactivation: An Easier Way

Here’s an easier way to disengage the Beretta 92FS safety, thanks to Ernest Langdon. I’ve been doing it a much harder way all these years.

A couple months ago, I attended Ernest Langdon’s Advanced Tactical Pistol Skills class. It was a good reminder that this thing called “practice” is required to maintain the proficiency at which I have become accustomed to performing. Suffice it to say, I had an eye opener. Last week, Ernest came back to do another class and I was one of the first in line to attend. Among the many little nuggets of information I picked up over the past two classes, one that particularly stood out was the safety manipulation on the Beretta 92FS. While I haven’t had a ton of time on the pistol, I had shot it a little since it is the standard issue pistol at work. I had always deactivated the safety (should it be inadvertently engaged or during de-cock process) by flicking it in an upward arc motion with my thumb. Of course, this compromised my grip and was not a particularly efficient or comfortable movement. During class, Ernest mentioned the proper way to deactivate the safety, which is simply to swipe the lever in a downward arcing movement with the strong thumb and the lever will snap up into fire position. Maybe I had been living in a cave for all these years, but this was new to me, so I am sharing it with all of you.

In the meantime, consider training with Ernest at any of his upcoming courses. You’ll have a great time and learn a ton.

SOURCE: Langdon Tactical

Dark Star Gear AIWB “Casual Carry”

SP101 w/Pachmayrs in DSG Casual Carry. Corbon 357 Magnum 125gr DPX in Safariland Comp I.

 

I can admit that I am guilty of just grabbing a snubby, a speedloader and my keys to run errands.  I’m not promoting the practice.  I recently went  almost exclusively to carrying Ruger as my revolver of choice.  A Wiley Clapp inspired SP101 bumped my longtime custom 642 out of the rotation.  That meant I needed a new holster to tote my little blaster.  A thread on Pistol-Forum lead me to Dark Star Gear.   DSG bends some pretty nice Kydex with some interesting options.  The DSG AIWB “Casual Carry” with its simple design and optional toothed spring steel IWB clip seemed perfect.  Just one problem.  DSG didn’t list my little SP101 as an option.  So I emailed Tom of DSG and asked if he could make one for me.  A few emails back and forth to make sure he had found the correct molding prop and I was getting a holster made.  Tom was great to deal with and only asked that I pay up front due to having to purchase the molding prop for the project.  Knowing I had the HiTS Close Quarters Pistol class coming up Tom bent over backwards to get my holster shipped in time.

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THE DEADLY FORCE PARADIGM REVISITED: CAN – MAY – SHOULD – MUST

In a 2012 year-end post, I offered a decision paradigm on the use of deadly force. (HERE). The paradigm consisted of four elements — usually considered ad seriatim.  My paradigm remains a work-in-progress. I write now to restate it in a stand alone post, and to add some broad thoughts on the elements.  (I expect to tackle the elements in more depth in future posts).

Deadly Force Paradigm

CAN -  do I possess (to a reasonable certainty) the necessary equipment, skills, and mindset to accomplish the task (i.e., WIN)? This element should be addressed objectively, long before the moment-of-decision presents. Common sense in “equipment” selection, and repeated training and practice are essential.  Being physically fit is definitely part of this element.  (HERE).  Have you done all you can to be truly prepared to respond in a deadly force encounter?  By the way, which is paramount — equipment, skill, or mindset? Always? Continue reading

Your Next Weapon Mod: FITNESS

I’ll bet you don’t see this at your next carbine course.

An observation of mine in recent months looking at pictures of people online attending competitions, shooting courses, training events etc is the there is a huge variety of fitness levels represented in our sport. I use the word “sport” lightly as obviously that means something different to different people. This would seem as an obvious observation but then again lets take a few steps back. I grew up playing traditional sports such as baseball and football, where fitness is a direct contributor to you ability on the field. I then carried on into college and again to play sports we had strength coaches and trainers focused on keeping us conditioned enough to compete at a high level. I have no experience with professional sports but I would take an educated guess to say that it only becomes more important at that level as well. Continue reading

Robar to the Glock Rescue

Robar grip work, 10-8 sights and mag base pad, slide work done by Mars Armament. Axe is an RMJ Shrike

It would be safe to say that the Glock as a pistol is almost, or dare I say as big an “icon” as the 1911. Glocks are being used by law enforcement and military personnel all over the world as well as being one of the best selling pistol manufacturers in the US. A good majority of gun owners, especially those who frequent shooting courses or instruction, all seem to own at least one Glock. With its popularity comes an exploding aftermarket with an endless list of companies making parts or modifying/machining the guns themselves. Some are worthy of mention and many are hacks with a hot piece of metal deforming the frames almost to the point of failure on unsuspecting owners looking to emulate the professionals for a fraction of the cost. I personally had a Glock stippled by a friend, and while not a hack job by any means I found the texture too aggressive and didn’t quite know how remedy it without just buying another frame. This is the point where Robar comes in. Continue reading

How to Draw From a Safariland SLS Holster

The Safariland 6004 is likely the most popular holster for modern law enforcement professionals.

With the prevalence of the Safariland 6004/6280 duty holster in modern law enforcement applications, it still shocks me that there are so many LE folks that still draw from an SLS equipped holster in the most inefficient manner. The Self Locking System (SLS) is the commonly seen rotating hood system that largely eliminated traditional snap holsters in modern holster systems. Technically classified as a Level II retention system (meaning it requires two actions to defeat the retention device), the SLS has pretty good security and can be disengaged with a single motion. Unfortunately, I still commonly see officers whåo draw from an SLS using two or more motions to disengage the hood before ever lifting the gun out of the holster. Continue reading

Gear review: PHLster holsters

Yes, there is another great alternative in appendix holsters. In my quest to find a great appendix holster, I’ve search and tried pretty much all that’s is out there..until a friend recommended to me a new holster from a Philly area company called PHLster (pretty catchy).

I tried two of their holsters for my Glock 19.  One, full size named the Access and the other, more minimalist called the Skeleton.  Both are inside the waistband and designed for appendix draw.

I’ll start with the more minimalist Skeleton.  I was very happy when I opened the package and saw my thoughts realized in a holster without me talking with the designer.  On my last holster review (The Q-Series) I liked the fact you could carry with basically a trigger guard cover and some belt retention device (clip or strap).  The benefit of the Q-Series was the ability to re-holster the firearm.  Of all the choices (at that time) I couldn’t find anything as good…until now. Continue reading

Fiber Optic Front Sights Revisited

A properly designed fiber optic front is sufficiently durable for hard use. And in the unlikely event the fiber is damaged, the front sight blade is still usable.

Frequently, I am asked what sight configuration I prefer on a duty pistol. Most of those in law enforcement prefer tritium sights as that has what they have been taught as being the best to use in case of a low light encounter. While I am certainly not here to say that tritium inserts are a poor choice, they are not mine. My favorite choice of insert for a front sight is a fiber optic front with a black rear. I find that in most daytime lighting conditions, the front fiber is able to gather enough light to glow as bright as an Aimpoint dot. It is extremely easy and fast to acquire, and has held up quite well for me in work and off-work applications.

Recently, Frank Proctor posted an excellent article on this very topic on the RecoilWeb website. His article outlines some of the durability concerns as well as the advantages of the use of the fiber optics on pistol sights. The short of it is that if you’re carrying a pistol, you should have a light either with you, or attached to the gun. And if the fiber breaks or falls out, the front sight is just as usable as any set of non-illuminated irons.

Read Frank’s article HERE.

 

1911 Blueprints: Why You Need Them and How to Get Them

These ordnance drawings reproduced in high quality by Nicolaus Associates are a must have for anyone who works on 1911s or is simply a fan of the platform.

I periodically get inquiries from former students and visitors of this site asking if their 1911 is in or out of spec. With countless manufacturers of the 1911, and even more aftermarket suppliers making slides and various small parts, without the original source material (the original blueprints,) it is hard to tell whose parts are in spec and whose is not. The resource I used in the past were the Kuhnhausen Manuals. Unfortunately, the drawings are not complete and contain some typographical errors. A few years back, a buddy of mine turned me on to the original 1911 ordnance drawings available from Nicolaus Associates. Continue reading

Langdon Tactical Technologies: Advanced Pistol Skils

Ernest Langdon demonstrates the nuances of the emergency reload.

One of the things about the shooting community is that it is small, and anyone who has been in the industry for any period of time knows each other. I have had the pleasure of knowing Ernest Langdon for over a decade, and have always found him to be a genuine, down-to-earth, personable guy who just happens to have top shelf shooting skills. Sadly, I  never had the opportunity to get on the range with him. So when a buddy invited me to sign up for Ernest’s Advanced Pistol Skills course that he was hosting for a private group of local LE guys, I jumped on it.

Unlike the “typical” competitive shooting champ, Ernest also has quite a bit of experience with which to frame the mechanical skills he’s developed over the years. In addition to winning more titles than I can count (without taking my shoes off), Ernest has a significant background including serving in various capacities in the Marine Corps as a Sniper School instructor and the HRP course. Ernest is the founder of LTT (Langdon Tactical Technologies) and is the guru when it comes to the Beretta 92/M9 platform. I was lucky enough to have him tune up a trigger on my personal 92FS years back and it is one of the smoothest triggers I’ve ever felt on a 92. (Thanks to his partnership with Wilson Combat, you can now have a similar trigger on yours as they do custom work on Beretta 92s now.) Continue reading

Loaf of Bread, Gallon of Milk

In the south (I’m sure that it exists nation wide) there is a reckoning that comes with each pending snowfall.  Every local store will be ravaged of its supply of milk and bread.  The weather guessers can predict a light dusting, or 1-3 inches per hour all night, and near fist fights will break out over milk and bread.  Now, mind you, the loaf of bread/gallon of milk crowd all know that it is winter.  Kentucky winters are unpredictable at best.  But, the potential for loaf of bread/gallon of milk always exists.  And basic winter weather preparation doesn’t change.  But, like some strange, unexplainable phenomenon, each time there is snow, a fist fight is in the works over who gets the last loaf of Wonder bread.  It matters not that the day after this predicted one inch snowfall that it predicted to have a high of 52 degrees that day.  Loaf of bread, Gallon of milk. Continue reading

BODY ARMOR AND BALLISTIC RATED MATERIALS : FOR THE NON-SWORN?

                                             

Body armor and ballistic rated panels (for use in packs, briefcases, or other off-body use) are described best by the well-known Kafkaesque adage:  It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  I don’t mock the “tacticool” nature of body armor, and I avoid debating the SWAT or military “wannabe” aspects of owning it. (I readily acknowledge you are not alone if you do). I think armored materials are something worthy of consideration for anyone who frequents gunfighting classes, shoots regularly, or because of employment or other lifestyle particulars, has concerns of going where negligent friendlies or armed hostiles might be present.  The days of body armor being only for LEOs passed (somewhat quietly) years ago.

Executive Summary:  Let’s default to my deadly force paradigm:  If you CAN afford it, and CAN do what you need to do when it is deployed (adequately conceal it, run and move effectively, maybe in confined space, and shoot, with additional bulky kit, maybe 18 pounds worth), go for it.  If you acquire it, study up on and observe the manufacturer’s storage and care specs for the particular product.  Unless a specific federal, state, or local law prohibits the ownership of such products, the non-sworn MAY own/wear body armor and ballistic-rated materials.  SHOULD you buy such products?  That is for you the reader to answer, as is how/when to use it.  If you buy, buy the best-tested you can afford which is convenient to deploy, fits properly, and can be stored and maintained to suit your lifestyle. Expect some ribbing from “friends.”  How about the MUST?  It is beyond question the products save lives.  Yours and/or the life of someone you “cannot live without,” regardless of who is slinging shots. At the very least, overt soft armor and plate carriers provide convenient, user-friendly platforms to attach identifying patches, pouches, and other “things.”  And plates do provide a good weight-bearing workout. Continue reading