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
These Aimpoints are over a decade old and have been treated in the worst ways. Despite their external appearance, they still hold zero and work like new.
Loyal readers of MSW and the old 10-8 Forums know that Hilton and I have been longtime fans of Aimpoint red dot sights. Having seen all kinds of optics show up in classes and on the range, along with how they perform through training cycles consisting of fairly high round counts, Aimpoint really has set themselves apart from the rest in terms of reliability and durability. Continue reading
Hilton covered Raven Concealment’s new Eidolon, but it deserves another mention here. In a world where most simply imitate, Raven Concealment continues to innovate and turn new ideas into great products. The Eidolon is an ambitious new design and concept, and we look forward to running this new holster.
Over the past week or so, Hilton has done a great job covering most of the notable new items that had relevance in our world. As he mentioned, over the years we have learned that this annual congregation of the shooting industry is far more about maintaining and developing relationships with great people rather than obsessing over the coolest new swag being passed around.
But still, this blog is about equipment. So in addition to what Hilton posted, here are a few products that also deserve mention, in no particular order: Continue reading
SendMeAmmo.com guarantees regular delivery of top rate ammunition at a reasonable price.
With all the goings on in today’s politics, I am constantly reminded of the tenuous nature of shooting as a hobby. Looming regulations combined with increasing demand for copper and brass drive many folks to hoard ammunition simply when it is available, let alone when it is cheap. Only recently has 9mm production caught up to demand. Not long ago, .223 Remington went for as much as $2000/case on Gunbroker during the height of the scare in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Building up a stash of spare ammo was really the only effective way to insulate yourself from the ever fluctuating supply and demand of practice or hunting ammunition. Until now. Enter: SendMeAmmo.com.
Cantilever mounts allow Red Dot Optics to be mounted far enough forward so that a magnifier can be mounted with proper eye relief.
A few weeks ago, a reader emailed to ask for an article regarding preferred Aimpoint mounting locations on carbines. I have always done what just seemed right to me and had never put much thought into it. But apparently there was some method behind my madness, so here are my thoughts on the topic. Note that much of this is based on personal preference, so you may want to adjust to your needs.
The first point of consideration is whether I am mounting a full size Comp M68 or a Micro. The Micro is an excellent evolution of the sight and offers outstanding battery life, durability, in a lighter and more compact package than the M68. However, the viewing window is indeed smaller which, to me, changes some things as to how my eye picks up the dot when I mount the rifle.
Three pistol targets after some training of speed while still being accountable for accuracy. Photo courtesy of Shin Tanaka.
I was recently surprised by the insight of a Facebook post on the topic of balancing speed and accuracy in training. Not surprisingly, however, was that it came from my buddy, Shin Tanaka. A USPSA Limited Class Grand Master, gifted machinist, 1911 gunsmith, and contributor to Recoil Magazine, Shin is about as well rounded as they come. His post caught my attention as it quantifies a method of balancing your speed and accuracy when it comes to training. According to his post, using USPSA scoring zones, he uses the point system in USPSA to measure whether or not he is being too conservative or pushing his limits. So assuming 5 points for A zone, 4 points for BC zone, and 3 points for D, and 0 points for a no shoot or miss, Shin uses a percentage score to determine whether or not he is pushing his limits. 93-97% of max score is the goal. Above 97% means you need to push the speed harder, and 93% means you need to dial back the speed.
In my firearms training, I have always placed a high value on technical competence. This is not because I don’t recognize the importance of judgmental shooting training. The two go hand in hand. But technical skill and the confidence that results gives the officer or citizen precious time to make that critical decision under pressure. Confidence lowers stress levels and fosters better decision making. I truly believe that many officer involved shootings that have gone wrong were due to the officer panicking because they did not have confidence in their skillset. They felt that they were “behind the curve” and therefore had to react “faster”, which could result in a questionable shooting. Continue reading
One of my responsibilities at the job that pays my bills is to write the monthly qualifications for our personnel. I am always trying to come up with suitably practical, challenging, and reasonable standards. My goal is always to challenge folks to improve their skillset without demoralizing or frustrating them, which is always a fine line. Continue reading
I was recently going through my bookshelf throwing away some old catalogs and magazines and came across a few gems that I particularly enjoyed reading, not only because they were entertaining, but had a good amount of educational value as well. None of these books are exactly hot off the press, but if you’ve missed any of these, do yourself a favor and grab them from Amazon. Continue reading
First Spear’s Missing Links turns any MOLLE attachment accessory into a belt mounted accessory. The pictured pistol magazine pouch offers excellent combination of speed and retention.
Back in the day, I was a huge fan of Eagle Industries, a family-owned “tactical” nylon company with then forward thinking designs. They brought us products such as the MC-CIRAS releasable vest and an excellent modular plate carrier system that I still use today. The company was eventually sold to ATK, who also bought out Blackhawk Industries and also owns Federal, Speer and CCI. They still make tactical nylon, but most of their products go straight to government contracts and is generally unavailable unless purchased on the secondary market.
One of the products I liked quite a bit was the FB magazine pouch. This kydex reinforced pouch features a cloth backing for retention. A velcro secured strap folds back to front which allows the user to decide whether each pouch needs the additional security of the flap. These are now hard to find, especially in a belt mount model. Most pouches now are made for MOLLE type webbing. Continue reading
The Vertx EDC Gamut (shown here in Smoke Grey) is functional and fits into an urban setting without screaming “I’m tactical!”
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a sickness for backpacks. I’ve gone through the variety of tactical packs to include Eagle AIII packs in every conceivable color, the popular RAID pack, and countless other brands. One of my longtime favorites was the 5.11 COVRT 18 pack, which had quite a few well thought out features. Build quality wasn’t terrible, but it still left me wanting more. So when Vertx released their EDC Gamut pack, I had to have one. My first impressions after receiving the pack is that the build quality exceeds that of the 5.11 pack by a noticeable margin. It has a semi-flexible frame sheet that helps the pack stand and keeps its shape. Zippers glide smoothly (the 5.11 never had a problem in this regard) and materials are rugged where needed. So what about the design? Continue reading
Even robust Glock magazines should be considered consumables.
It seems that magazines are always on the national stage when it comes to the debate on gun control legislation, and there are always forces focused on restricting “standard” capacity magazines to some arbitrary number in the name of public safety. It is not my intention to turn MSW into a political forum, so let me just point out that in an autoloading pistol, the magazine is a critical component. Without a magazine, our fancy modern service pistol is nothing more than a sophisticated single shot. Continue reading
The Surefire P3X Fury makes 1000 lumens for over 2 hours. Good to have on hand in case you don’t have access to a tanning booth. Photo from Surefire.
It doesn’t seem long ago that the 500 lumen output of the SureFire 10X Dominator was more light than you would ever need. The Dominator was big, bulky, but delivered a retina searing amount of light. With the advancement in LED technology, we now live in the golden age of small, bright, and efficient handheld and weapon lights. A few of my coworkers have recently purchased Surefire’s new P3X Fury. A conveniently sized light for patrol operations, this little beast is powered by 3 DL123A lithium batteries that cost a fraction of what they used to back in the 1990s when I was still carrying my 6P that cranked out an amazing 60 lumens for almost an hour. In contrast, the P3X generates nearly 17 times more light for more than twice the time (1000 lumens for over two hours). While a bit big for daily carry, for those on the job it may be just the perfect searching tool. When’s the last time you were in the field and asked yourself, “Boy I wish my flashlight wasn’t so bright”?
SOURCE: Surefire, LLC
Here are a couple holsters made by our very own MSW contributor Bob Henckel of MDFA.
Our loyal readers will recognize the name Bob Henckel as one of our regular contributors here at MSW. Bob owns and operates the Maine Defensive Firearms Academy and has recently reincarnated his Kydex holster operations. I was happy to discover this, as I’m always on the lookout for intelligently designed, functional kydex holsters. MDFA makes each holster to order, and the customer can select from over 50 colors and/or patterns available. The holsters are formed from .080″ Kydex, and can be had with 1.5″ or 1.75″ interchangeable belt loops. I chose two different rigs to try out: an IWB and OWB rig. The fit and finish are excellent, and every edge is hand finished. I’ll be carrying both over the next few weeks and will report back with my impressions. MDFA is still working on adding the holsters to the website, but you can order directly through them by hitting them through the contact portion of their site. Continue reading
Disturbingly, Hilton and I are both hearing more and more about failures on the range or in classes of heavily modified polymer pistols. There are more and more “shops” coming out of the woodwork advertising customization and enhancement of Glocks and M&Ps and not all are created equal. Many commonly offer CNC machine work or grip texturing to improve the handling characteristics of the pistol. Some other shops offer “improved” fire control parts to lighten and or improve the feedback of the trigger. Unfortunately, most of the time, modification of the factory fire control parts ends up meaning a decrease in reliability and/or durability of the weapon.