Mini Review: Vertx Phantom Ops Airflow pants

I was lucky to receive the other day a pair of the new Vertx Phantom Ops Airflow pants.  If you don’t know who Vertx is, well then you’ve been asleep behind the wheel of the tactical fashion industry.  Vertx (from their website) “is the tactical brand of Fechheimer, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc and makers of Flying Cross military and law enforcement uniforms.”  I also heard the name Arc’Teryx mentioned at SHOT one year as having input into the design (haven’t got confirmation yet..). Continue reading

AAR: Mike Pannone Patrol Vehicle/Rapid Trauma Management

If you work around vehicles and carry a gun for a living, you should have a plan for how to function around your vehicle with that gun. If you carry a gun for a living, holes may possibly appear where you don’t want them, and you should have a plan for how to address those. Mike Pannone (CTT Solutions) offers a single class – Patrol Vehicle/Rapid Trauma Management –  which addresses these contingencies, and you should plan to get to it if you fit the above description. Continue reading

LaserMax LM1141P Streamlight TLR-1 Test Results

Robar/10-8/MSW Glock with Streamlight TLR-1HL WML, Lasermax Guiderod Laser and MDFA Kydex Carry Gear

In a previous article I revisited my Robar/10-8/MSW Glock. At that time I had installed a LaserMax LM1141P Guide Rod Laser and a Streamlight TLR-1 WML. Since that time I have fired approximately 1500 rounds with them installed. The Laser came from the factory shooting POA/POI and has had absolutely no issues. I find that I sometimes activate the Laser when my trigger finger is in register on the frame of the pistol, before I intend too however. My fault not the Laser’s.

I really like the fact that the LaserMax is internal. This means your holsters will all fit, you won’t block the Laser with your hand or finger when gripping the pistol, and the sight/barrel offset is minimized with the system. Continue reading

First Look: MDFA Kydex Holsters

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

PHOTO OF THE DAY: MEDICAL KIT ADDITIONS

[I was looking to make this one of the "Made In The USA" posts, but it turned out the two items I reference here are not.  They are nevertheless worthy of consideration as additions to your comprehensive home/tactical medical kits.  My prior MSW post pictures of tactically-oriented medical items I stock at home and carry are here and here].

I recently added two kit items as a result of my never-ending quest to be fully prepared to play first responder on myself and to provide others (who might attend to me or need items for their own use) medical kit items I have determined are easy to use and effective. They are: MEDIHONEY®  (gel, paste, and dressings; New Zealand by way of Canada) by Derma Sciences, Inc., and the four-inch version of the OLAES Modular Bandage (China by way of South Carolina) by Tactical Medical Solutions:

Continue reading

CompTac Holsters – 2 o’clock for M&P Shield

The CompTac Model 2 o’clock for the M&P Shield with J-hook belt loops

Over the past several months I have been putting the M&P Shield in 9mm through its paces on the range, and while it is not quite as shootable as a Glock 19, it is capable of good accuracy out to 25 yards, and the stock trigger is pretty workable. It’s not as fast or easy to shoot as the G19, and you lose half the capacity. However, in return for that sacrifice in shootability and firepower, you do get a concealable little pistol that you can carry in environments or clothing that may not conceal a bigger pistol. Yes, ideally I recommend dressing around gun carry, but sometimes that isn’t an option. Continue reading

Rogers Precision 1911

My first pistol I bought when I was 21 was a Kimber TLE/RL 1911 (external extractor) which I thought was pretty nice, being young and really having no other exposure than what the guy behind the counter at the local gun store had told me. Between the counter guy’s amazing advice and the gun magazines pushing the latest and greatest, it seemed like a solid choice. Fast forward a few years and more than a couple issues with my Kimber, I was at a range with a few friends of mine when out of one of their pistol bags came a small colt commander unlike anything I had seen before. This pistol was solid black with high power cuts, and one of the most unique textures I had ever seen on a pistol. I was quickly educated that I was holding a Chuck Rogers Built 1911 with his signature golf ball grip treatment. My opinion of stock 1911’s would never be the same again.

For anyone who has been into custom 1911’s in the last two or three decades you will have most likely heard of Chuck Rogers and his shop, Rogers Precision. Chuck has been quietly making some of the most beautiful, functional, and durable pistols ever built. Working out of Prescott, Arizona Chuck acquired his skill as a machinist from a long career as an aerospace prototype machinist in Phoenix. Chuck explains;

“1911’s had been a hobby of mine for several years prior. I was an active competitor in action pistol style matches. Many of the tricks of reliability and longevity were learned in competition. “.

Quickly establishing himself with his unique style and skill as a machinist, Chuck’s guns became more and more popular until reaching the high demand they rightfully deserve today.

I started talking to Chuck long before I had a gun built by him, and I have the great honor of calling Chuck a friend as well. After a couple years my name finally came up in the long list of people impatiently waiting for to be called. My great passion for custom 1911’s lends to my choice of having builds done in what I would consider the individual smith’s “style”. I like to order options that I believe set that smith apart from other builders. With that in mind I had a very specific carry gun in mind for Chuck and his amazing ability to melt the edges on his guns as well as some of his special touches. So, choosing a Springfield mil spec as a base gun for their slanted classic style serrations, the gun left for the Rogers Precision shop and the waiting game began. Chuck is fairly active on more than a couple online forums and a post fairly regularly with pictures of his artistry during the build process. So, I was able to follow the progress and watch with great interest as my base gun was transformed into the image I had built in my head.

Finally I received the call for final payment and the gun was on its way home to me. As you would expect with any high dollar purchase, the expectation I had set for this pistol was extremely high. I will say that Chuck’s reputation as an inventive and top tier pistol smith is absolutely warranted. Having pistols from more than a couple other high end builders, I would venture to say that Chuck is in a level all his own. Not a machine mark to be found and the attention to detail in every part of the gun was evident. The quick lowdown on major options I chose are:

-High Power slide cuts

-Ball cuts

-Rear of slide serrations

-Beveled magwell with lanyard loop rear mainspring housing

-Rounded mainspring housing

-Rogers Precision Sights

-Golf-balled front and back strap, slide stop and mag release

-An option Chuck calls his “bob nose” treatment to the front of the slide to match the angle of the serrations and the high power cut.

These options along with more than a few other small additions, a reliability package, 45acp Kart barrel, all tool steel parts and a covering of black cerakote finished off one amazing looking full size carry gun. The slide to frame fitment feels like they are on ball bearings and the fit of every part on the gun is top notch to include, barrel bushing, grip safety, thumb safety, mainspring housing, etc.

Currently I have had the gun for about 7 months and have only been able to send 2k rounds through it, sadly haven’t been able to get to the range as much as I would like. I’ve only done a very casual wipe down and light lubrication job before each range trip. With a combination of Tripp, CMC and Wilson mags I have had no failures of any kind and it produces little tiny groups.

I would love to nit-pick and complain about something but I can honestly say I can’t think of anything. The pistol is flawless and my overall experience from the ordering, interaction with Chuck and shooting the pistol is awesome in every way. The only negative thing I can think of is, I’m not wealthy enough to own 2-3 guns from Chuck. The wish list would be one of everything.

If you are given the opportunity and have the budget to afford a Rogers Precision 1911, they are truly exceptional pistols. I will not attempt to say they will give you the ability to levitate or walk on water, although my pants do seem to fit a little tighter. I will say for someone that enjoys a hand built 1911 there are few peers to one assembled in a small shop in Arizona by the one and only Chuck Rogers.

http://www.rogersprecision.com

Upgrade Options for Your Old Flashlight

Malkoff Devices offers drop in lamp modules to upgrade your legacy Surefire flashlights increasing brightness and runtime.

Recently I attended Hardwired Tactical Shooting’s “Low Light Pistol” class.  I brought along my long time carry Surefire C2 to illuminate the way for me so to speak.  I had long ago upgraded from the original 65 lumen incandescent bulb to an 80 lumen SF P60L-WH LED. Sixty-five lumens was, to quote the ad, “retina searing”, back in the day.  Several other students brought along some of the newest high output offerings available.  I had light envy and feelings of inadequacy almost immediately.   It was clear, more light was better.  Continue reading

3000 Rounds Later- The Smith and Wesson VTAC 2

A couple of years ago, I purchased a Smith and Wesson VTAC  M&P15 from a coworker.  It became one of my favorite rifles pretty quickly. The rifle was spec’d by Kyle Lamb, head dude in charge over at Viking Tactics and is street ready.

A few months ago, I walked into my local gun shop and they had a VTAC 2 in stock.  I handled the rifle, and after some internal debate, I became the new owner of the VTAC 2. Continue reading

Glock 42: Range Session #3

When I last visited the range with the Glock 42, I got a lot of good one handed shooting work in.  I had waited a bit to get back out with the gun until my new holster arrived – a Ghost pocket holster from Griffon Industries.  With holster in pocket, it was time to finally work some draws with this little gun. Continue reading

Review: Hornady Practice 223 Ammunition

Hornady Practice 55gr Ammunition in .223, shot alongside Black Hills Mk262 for comparison. Test platform is a LaRue Tactical Stealth upper receiver atop an LMT lower receiver with Geissele SSA trigger group.

Demand for ammunition is as high as it has ever been, and in response, the big three have been cranking out cartridges as fast as they can. Many folks have reported a noticeable decline in quality control, noting function issues, or degradation in accuracy. Winchester “white box” and Federal XM bulk packs have been a staple of mine for training for a long time, and while quality has been generally pretty good overall, this seems to have been variable over the years. A while back, my good friend, Gunsite Instructor Giles Stock turned me onto a loading  that Hornady had put together specifically for law enforcement agencies looking for high quality training ammunition at a reasonable cost.  Continue reading