May 17th, 2018 by asjstaff

Many people associate SHTF gear with doomsday preppers, underground bunkers, and enough ammo to support a small army.

The truth is that everyone should have an emergency supply for when shit really hits the fan – not just people who like to plan hypothetical zombie apocalypse-nuclear winter scenarios.

PacRim Canceling the Apocalypse
You heard the man, the apocalypse is on hold…for now…

Speaking of zombies, if you haven’t read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) Zombie Apocalypse Plan you really should – no joke, it’s a great start to SHTF planning.

Setting aside some ammunition, extra weapons, and other survival gear is a great way to ensure the safety of you and your family in the event of an emergency.

Today we’re going to look at some SHTF gear essentials that every survivalist needs to have.

Table of Contents

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The Essentials to Have on Hand

Above everything else, you want to have a self-defense handgun that’s powerful enough to neutralize any incoming threat.

This will be your primary pistol, so you want to make sure that it’s something you’re comfortable shooting;  don’t go purchase that .50 Desert Eagle just yet.

Golden Desert Eagles
This is NOT SHTF Gear!

Personally, I believe that the best SHTF gun is a 9mm – and this has nothing to do with the debate over which cartridge is better.

The truth is that the 9mm is one of the most commonly used cartridges in the world, so coming across ammo for it is going to be much easier than a 10mm or .41 mag.

Remember, even the best gun in the most powerful caliber in the world is completely useless if you run out of ammo.

I find the absolute best SHTF gun to be the Glock 17.

Some might argue that there are better guns on the market, but the G17 is built for durability and usability.

And in a survival scenario where you might not have the time to pamper your gun like you normally would, you want a dependable gun that will still shoot accurately and cycle through ammo even with some wear-and-tear.  

Another good choice is the .45 ACP, as it’s an even more powerful cartridge that’s also commonly used.  You can see our list of recommendations for good .45 ACP pistols and 9mm pistols.  

What about Rifles?

If you’re like most modern firearms enthusiasts, you’ve probably already got an AR-15 on hand.

If not, it’s a great home-defense weapon that you should consider adding to your arsenal.  You can learn more about buying your first AR-15 by checking out our AR-15 Beginner’s Guide.

Pew Pew Upgraded AR-15s
Pew Pew Upgraded AR-15s

Depending on what kind of shit hits the fan, you might want to have something a little more versatile (or at least harder hitting) on hand than an AR-15 – especially if you live outside of a major metropolitan area.

Some would say that a Scout Rifle fits that role, and it did…70 years ago.  While a scout rifle isn’t a bad idea, there are better options.

The AR-10 is a perfect example, get one chambered in .308 Win with a variable scope and you’ve got a great rifle for taking down game, protecting yourself from two-legged threats, and keeping the whole thing light enough to hike with and giving yourself 20 rounds on tap in case things go really sideways.

The Pew Pew Tactical Complete Buyer’s Guide to AR-10s will help you get started off right.

Best Semi-Auto Precision Rifle
Aero Precision M5E1 .308

Aero Precision M5E1 .308

Prices accurate at time of writing

Remember, part of what makes a good SHTF gun is being able to easily replenish ammo, even in a post-apocalyptic world.

You might also want to get you a .22LR rifle if you don’t already have one.

It won’t protect you against the bad guys, but it’s useful for hunting small game to eat… if need be.

Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle

Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle

The Henry Survival Rifle is a 3.5-pound .22LR rifle that’s portable, accurate, and perfect for hunting squirrels, rabbits, and other small game.

Get a Compact Backup Handgun

As the saying goes, “a .380 in your hand is better than a .45 in the glovebox.”

While I recommend keeping your .45 ACP a little closer than the glovebox (or .357 Mag, 9mm, 10mm, .44 Mag, or whatever handgun you prefer), having a backup pocket pistol on hand can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

The idea is to have a compact gun available that you can easily grab in a pinch.  I like the .380 ACP because it’s small and lightweight, but still powerful enough to neutralize a threat at close range.  

Glock 42

There are a number of excellent .380 ACPs on the market, but I prefer the Glock 42.

Most Reliable .380
Glock 42

Glock 42

Like most Glock models, the G42 is a functional handgun that’s designed specifically for performance. 

In other words, it’s not flashy and it doesn’t come with extra features.  But it is durable and extremely dependable, which happen to be the two most important things to look for in a backup handgun.

As the smallest of the Glock models, it should go without saying that the G42 is an incredibly easy gun to carry in your coat pocket or strapped to your ankle. 

One more thingAmmo is everything when it comes to the .380 ACP.  Unlike some of the harder-hitting cartridges that’ll stop any threat dead in its tracks, the .380 ACP is only as effective as its ammo.

Using it effectively in a high-stress situation means shooting premium, self-defense ammo – not cheap rounds.

One of the more popular choices is Hornady’s Custom 90-grain XTP Jacketed Hollow-Point .380 rounds.  They come highly recommend for self-defense by our friends at Lucky Gunner and they’re reasonably priced.

Best .380 Defensive Round
Hornady Custom Ammunition 90 Grain 380 ACP

Hornady Custom Ammunition 90 Grain 380 ACP

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38

If the .380 ACP isn’t your style and you’re looking for something a bit more tried and tested in the field, you can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned .38 Special.

The Bodyguard 38 is a modern take on a law enforcement classic – the .38 snub nose.

While the Bodyguard 38 (and other .38 specials) may not be popular services pistols in today’s generation, they’ve more than proven themselves to be powerful, dependable, and more than capable of acting as a backup pistol.

Keep in Mind When Choosing a Pocket Pistol

Overall, the pocket pistol makes a great addition to your SHTF Kit because it’s small enough to carry on your person at all times.  I recommend a .380 APC or a .38 Spl because both of them are small and lightweight, yet powerful enough to take down a threat at close range.

Ideally, the pocket pistol is something you’d only want to use as a last resort – like if your primary gun jammed or it ran out of ammo.

Storing Your Ammo Safely

The last thing you want to do is stockpile ammo for an end-of-the-world scenario, only to discover that it’s corroded and functionally obsolete when it comes time to use it.

A lot of people tend to forget that ammunition has a shelf life.  However, that shelf life is completely up to you.  Store it right and it will last long enough for your grandchildren to use, store it wrong and you’ll kill your stock before the next deer season.

One of the easiest ways to extend the shelf life of your ammo is by storing it in safe, secure containers where it’s protected from dirt and moisture.

You can learn more by reading our guide on long-term ammo storage.

In the meantime, a simple Ammo Can will go a long way towards preserving the life of your ammunition.

Honestly, every SHTF prepper should have at least one Ammo Can lying around.  They’re cheap, easy to come across, and are worth their weight in gold if you ever are in a situation where you actually need to use your ammo stockpile.

Keeping a Silica gel packet in your ammo can will help ensure that your ammo lasts almost forever, they are cheap and easy to get – keeping one in every can is SOP for me.

Silica Gel Packets

Silica Gel Packets

Prices accurate at time of writing

What’s your take on having a good ammo can and moisture stopper?

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Get a Good First Aid Kit

Ideally, every home and automobile should have a first-aid kit – especially people who’re outdoor enthusiasts.  For most situations, the standard first-aid kit found in most workplaces will get the job done.

But if you’re in a situation where you really did have to use your SHTF kit, there’s a greater likelihood that you won’t have easy access to paramedics and hospitals in the event of the emergency.  For this type of scenario, you’re really going to want to have a little more than a burn kit, some gauze, and antiseptic ointment.

The Grizzly Series First Aid Kit by Adventure Medical Kits is a heavy-duty kit designed specifically for the survivalist and apocalypse prepper.

Grizzly Series First Aid Kit

Grizzly Series First Aid Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

It comes with everything you need to treat injuries, including QuickClot, syringes, and a tourniquet so that you can stabilize trauma victims until first responders arrive.

If you’re looking for something a little more extensive and are willing to pay more for its durable design, the Echo-Sigma Trauma Kit is also an excellent choice.

Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems Trauma Kit

Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems Trauma Kit

Designed to meet the needs of law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day, the Echo-Sigma kit comes with all of the tools necessary to treat sprains, fractures, and cuts, as well as stabilize people who’ve experienced serious trauma from knife and gunshot wounds.

And as a bonus, it comes in a pouch that’s easy to carry around if you have to walk for extended periods of time.

We cover how to build the ultimate Range Med Kit too if you like customizing.

Heavy Metal Equipment

You’ll be surprised how much use you can get out of a good quality knife.

Not only does your survival knife act as your last line of defense, it can also be used as an important tool – especially if you’re stuck outdoors for an extended period of times.

Food prep, shelter building, making tools, and even first aid (cauterizing wounds and cutting bandages) can all be done with the help of your survival knife.

Ka-Bar 7" Knife

Ka-Bar 7″ Knife

The KA-BAR is a tried-and-tested survival knife that’s been a long-time favorite among survivalists – partly because it’s also the combat knife issued to members of the US Armed Forces.

Another popular knife for your hunting trip or bugout bag is Survival Knife by Ontario Knife Company.

Ontario Knife Company USN-1 Survival Knife

Ontario Knife Company USN-1 Survival Knife

Functionally, it’s similar to the KA-BAR except that it comes with a gut hook for cleaning game, as well as a sawback – the serration on the top of the blade just past the hook.  It’s made out of 1095 steel and has a 5” blade length, with an overall length of 9.26”.

And don’t forget a Whetstone for keeping your blades sharp without damaging them, like some of the other knife sharpening devices on the market.

Some other tools you might want to consider for your survivalist kit include:

If you ever find yourself away from your toolbox, each of these compact tools makes it significantly easier to set up shelter, make fires, and work on anything that needs tinkering.

Gun Equipment for Your SHTF Cache

As you already know, good gun maintenance is essential to ensuring that your gun is accurate and dependable.  If you happen to find yourself in a shit-hits-the-fan moment, you want to make sure that you have all the supplies you need on hand.

After all, it’s not guaranteed that you will be able to trek to the nearest outdoors store and buy more equipment.

For this reason, I recommend keeping a few extra cleaning kits around.  Preferably one for your SHTF Bag and another for the trunk of your car.

Our favorite M-Pro 7 kit from Best Gun Cleaning Kits is perfect for handling most of you gun maintenance needs on the go, and it’s compact enough to be stowed away without taking up significant space.

M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

I also recommend picking up a few packs of Break Free Weapon Wipes.  They will go a long way in keeping your guns, knives, and tools clean, lubricated, and protected against corrosion – especially if you’re ever in a situation where you have to use your weapons and tools daily.

CLP Break-Free Wipes

CLP Break-Free Wipes

And if you don’t already have one, you should think about getting a CCW holster so that you can carry your handgun on at all times.

You can see some recommendations by reading our concealed carry holster review.

For a survival scenario, I recommend something lightweight and effective, without any of the frills.  Concealment Express has a number of lightweight holsters for $35 that are durable and comfortable to carry around.

Food, Water, and Air

This really should be self-explanatory. You need food and water. You also need a way to get food and water after your stores have run out.

Getting food is where your firearms will come in handy, but water is a little more complex since you can’t just drink any water you find laying around – that is a quick way to get all kinds of nasty sicknesses.

For water purification, you need two options at least, one for you to get drinking water right now and one method for you to purify a lot of water.

Don’t forget – water isn’t just for drinking. You’ll also need it for cooking, cleaning, and treating injuries.

To get drinking water right away, I love my LifeStraw.

But when it comes to purifying larger amounts of drinking water you’ll need something like the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System.

Better Than a LifeStraw
Sawyer Gravity Flow Water Filter

Sawyer Gravity Flow Water Filter

Prices accurate at time of writing

Before the apocalypse strikes, you should have stocked up on food and water also.

I know a basement full of MREs is the more classic prepper thing to do but…anyone that has had to eat MREs for an extended period of time can tell you that…almost any other option is preferred.

Augason Farms Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply

Augason Farms Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply

Prices accurate at time of writing

Each of these pails is a 30-day food supply for one person. That is a lot of food! Throw in the fact that each of these only weighs 23 pounds and what you have is a fairly lightweight option for long-term food supply.

Long-term water storage is a little more complex than food, you’ll need water – obviously, but you’ll also need a water preserver.

Combine these two so that your water supply will last long enough for you to get through whatever has hit the fan!

Prepping for air isn’t something that you may have thought off before – but it should be on your list. If you really want to be prepared then you’ll want to find yourself a full biological suit…

…but for more run-of-the-mill applications, a good respirator will do the trick.

3M Respirator

3M Respirator

Prices accurate at time of writing

Other Essentials to Have on Hand

Being stuck in an emergency situation means that you could be forced to pack up and move at a moment’s notice.

For this reason, you need to have a dependable backpack large enough to carry your essentials like water, knives, tools, and first aid kit.

I recommend a 60-liter backpack because it’s large enough to hold your necessary equipment but not too large that it starts getting bulky and in the way.

The Tactical Backpack by Trekking King is a popular 60-liter backpack that’s durable and comfortable enough to withstand long hikes and hunting trips.

Trekking King Tactical Backpack

Trekking King Tactical Backpack

Prices accurate at time of writing

Aside from looking cool, the Tactical Backpack has a number of extra compartments for maximizing your storage capabilities.  You can load it up with survival material and store it in your trunk, garage, or closet and grab it at a moment’s notice.

Here are a few things that you want to keep in your backpack to keep you prepared for the unexpected:

You should also think about buying a Shemagh from Condor Outdoors.

This traditional Middle Eastern headdress was made popular in the western world by the British SAS.  It’s a versatile cloth that can be used for a number of things including:

  • Protecting your face from UV rays, dust, and sand
  • An arm sling, emergency bandage, or tourniquet
  • A headscarf
  • An improvised bag, or “hobo sack”
Condor Outdoor Shemagh

Condor Outdoor Shemagh

Surviving Whatever Is Thrown at You

When you’re building an SHTF bag, your goal should be to anticipate and prepare for any situation – not just the apocalyptical, but also the more common such as an earthquake, tornado, fire, and whatever else is possible to your local area.

Choosing good survival gear isn’t always about maximizing your firepower.

It’s also about making sure that you’ve got clean water, shelter, and enough supplies in the event that you have to gather your things and leave at a moment’s notice.

Are you a prepper? Do you have a store of SHTF gear? Let us know all about it in the comments!

The post Essential SHTF Gear: When The World (Almost) Ends appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

Posted in Gear, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 24th, 2018 by asjstaff

Do you carry extra mags for your CCW?

Better question, do you know about all the options available to help carry extra ammunition?

Rows of cartridges
Ammo, ammo everywhere…

Even better question, do you understand the differences between the different styles and brands of CCW mag holders?

If you don’t know, I have good news…

We are going to explore the idea of carrying extra ammo and the practical considerations of a concealed carry magazine holder, including what features a mag holder has to have to be a great addition to your carry lineup.

We are also going to suggest a few of our favorite methods of carrying an extra mag or two, and where to buy them to best save your hard-earned dollars

Now, you six gun guys and gals may be feeling a little left out, but don’t worry!

Single Action Revolver, Fistful of Dollars
Single Action Revolver, Fistful of Dollars

I get it, I really do, but today we are focusing on the folks who carry automatics.  Your time will come, and we’ll discuss practical carry of extra ammunition for six gunners soon, but for now, let’s see talk about mag holders.

Why You Need One

Carrying a semi-automatic is generally the more popular option for concealed carriers.  With little effort, you can carry a relatively substantial amount of ammunition in a tiny package.

One of the other main benefits of this is, of course, the ability to rapidly reload should you need to

Now, to be completely realistic the likelihood of ever needing to reload your firearm in a defensive situation is very, very low.  Clear statistics aren’t really out there, but there is a general consensus that the majority of defensive firearms uses do not involve extensive gunfights.

However, the likelihood of ever really having to pull your firearm is low in the first place.

With this in mind, we all still conceal carry – correct?  We carry because it’s a right, and because if we ever fall into that statistical outlier of being in a violent situation we want a means to defend ourselves.

With that in mind, I’ve always found it bizarre that half the gun community seems to think to carry an extra magazine makes you are a mall ninja.

Yes, it is superbly unlikely I’ll ever need an extra magazine. However, it’s superbly unlikely that I, a normal, law-abiding, reluctantly-tax-paying citizen will ever need my gun, but I carry it anyways.

Mall Ninja AR-15
Too much of a good thing is still too much

The same goes for an extra magazine.  Maybe it’s just from my time as a Machine Gunner in the Marine Corps, but more ammo is always better than less ammo in my simple grunt mind.

That Other Reason

The other big reason to carry an extra magazine is in case of malfunctions.

First and foremost, magazines fail. Some more than others, but it can and does happen.  In a situation where you have a magazine malfunction, you don’t have time to try and fix the magazine.

Drop it and reload with your spare.

An extra magazine makes it easier to recover from a malfunction and to get back into the fight and can aid in clearing nearly any complicated malfunction.

Handgun Malfunction
Handgun Malfunction

If you get a complicated malfunction like a double feed, the best thing to do to remedy the situation is to remove the magazine to clear the malfunction.

It’s quicker to drop the magazine, clear the malfunction, and then reload with a fresh mag. Plus you now have more rounds on tap.

Carrying an extra magazine isn’t hard, it’s much easier than trying to carrying a gun, and not that much different than carrying a pocket knife. Since most guns come with two or more mags anyway it just seems like common sense to carry one extra.

The 5 Desirable Features of a CCW Mag Holder

Concealed carry mag holders, like holsters, are available at really any quality and price point. Some out there are better suited for range use, or to use when shooting airsoft guns. Others are better suited for tactical use.

In the middle somewhere we have CCW mag holders designed for concealed carry. There are 5 features I think every CCW mag holder needs to have to be effective and worth the money.

Easy to Conceal

The key to a CCW mag holder is the big C in CCW. C being concealed of course. Your magazine pouch needs to be easy to conceal.

There are a few options for concealed carry and follow most holster configurations. This includes IWB, OWB, and pocket carry methods. Some systems are more suited for duty belts and are often wider, and easier to access for sure.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnrtrXFCHeY?feature=oembed&w=640&h=360]

However, when worn on the belt they tend to print a helluva lot more than a purpose-built concealed carry magazine pouch. Typically a pocket or IWB option is naturally very easy to conceal carry.

A concealable OWB option is typically designed to be held tight to the body and can ride high if worn vertically. Horizontal is another concealed carry option with OWB that’s a bit odd, but extremely effective.

Durability

The last thing you want to happen while carrying an extra mag is for the pouch to break. Especially if you spent hard earned money on it. Concealed carry mag pouches are exposed to everything you are exposed to.

This includes your sweat, rain, varying temperatures, as well as tons of movement, vibration, and stress. So you want to buy one that’s made to last, from a material that’s resistant to these stressors.

The best materials are generally leather and polymers, but a few high-quality synthetic cloth materials options out there.

Ease of Use

Ease of use generally refers to how easy it is to draw the magazine from the pouch. This has to do more with what standard the user is willing to train to. If you want an active retention device you’ll have to train to overcome it.

You’ll need a model that is appropriately sized for your handguns magazine. Take a look at these Glock magazines. They are the same width, but of course, one is way longer than the other.

Glock Mags
Glock Mags Image Source

If your magazine is too long the weight of the ammunition will make it unstable, and easily fall out of the pouch. If it’s too short it will be nearly impossible to remove the magazine with ease. So remember to find an appropriately sized magazine pouch.

Proper Retention

We mentioned retention a little above, and there are two types of retention, active and passive. Active retention means there is a physical device you have to defeat to access your magazine. Passive retention means the magazine is retained without an active device.

With CCW mag holders the only real retention device is an overhead flap. These are typically secured via a button and hold the magazine in place effortlessly. The mag is highly unlikely to accidentally fall out of this style pouch.

Active Retention Magazine Holsters
Active Retention Magazine Holsters

The downsides to active retention holsters are they are slower to utilize and take more training time to learn to effectively use.

Passive retention is most often friction based. The magazine pouches are slightly smaller than the magazine, but can still fit the magazine. The tension and friction from the magazine pouch keep it in place.

Passive retention devices are easier to use and are often sufficient to retain the magazine. It is more likely you’ll drop a magazine, but still unlikely with a well-made mag pouch.

When it comes to passive retention it’s critical you choose a magazine pouch designed for the magazine you are using. Glock 19 magazines, for example, are wider than CZ 75 magazines. So you need to pay attention to the width of the magazine the mag pouch is aimed at, or passive retention is useless.

Comfort

Lastly, like any gun holster, a mag pouch needs to be comfortable while being carried concealed. Sharp corners and abrasive materials are a big no-go, as are ill-placed seams. You need something comfortable if you are going to be carrying it tight to your body.

If it’s not comfortable then you won’t carry it. If you don’t carry it, it’s worthless.

IWB, OWB or Pocket?

So there are three main ways to carry an extra magazine. Just like a firearm, you can carry it inside the waistband (IWB), outside the waistband (OWB) and Pocket carry. There are additional options, like the mag pouches built into certain shoulder holsters or attached to IWB Appendix holsters.

Today, however, we are going to talk about the magazine pouches that are independent of holsters. The most common CCW Mag holders are the styles listed above.

IWB

IWB magazine holders offer the most concealment, especially mag pouches that can be worn with a tucked in shirt. These are called tuckable options. Since they sit in the waistband they often have incredibly effective passive retention devices.

Courtesy of Snake Eater Tactical
Courtesy of Snake Eater Tactical

The downsides to IWB carry is a lot of people find it uncomfortable in general. I’m incredibly picky about IWB carry and only trust a few companies to really give me a comfortable option. That might just be the price I pay for a tactical fat guy.

Your mileage may vary.

OWB

OWB is my preferred style of concealing an extra ammo pouch, and my gun, and my knife. I find it to be the most comfortable and quickest to access. Of course, to do so I have to say goodbye to a tucked in shirt.

Photo Courtesy of Mas Ayoob
Photo Courtesy of Mas Ayoob

Outside the waistband, carry is the most popular option for magazine pouches and what you’ll traditionally find the most options in. OWB options need to be made to conceal since many are made for tactical applications.

You’ll also find both active and passive retention choices in this category. As far as I’m aware this is the only category that features active retention options.

Pocket carry

Like a handgun, you don’t want to throw a magazine in your pocket and call it a day. The dirt, grime, and lint in your pocket will make you instantly regret that decision. It’ll gum a magazine up pretty fast without a popper pocket carry mag pouch.

Kydex Magazine Holster
Kydex Magazine Holster

This method of carrying is gaining steam due to convenience. Unlike a handgun, almost all magazines can be pocket carried. There are a wide variety of pocket carry options and it’s a very comfortable way to carry.

The downside being reaching into your pocket is not as always possible in some positions. Trying to dig into my left-hand pocket while kneeling simply isn’t gonna happen.

Some Modest Selections

If you are looking to for a concealed carry mag holder I have a few suggestions. I’ll suggest specific models, but the companies I’m suggesting in general produce very high-quality mag pouches, so feel free to explore the other options they produce.

Gould and Goodrich

If you are a classic leather lover you can’t go wrong with Gould and Goodrich. They produce awesome holsters and awesome magazine pouches. They do have a focus on OWB mag pouches and offer models with both active and passive retention.

Could & Goodrish Magazine Holsters

Could & Goodrish Magazine Holsters

Prices accurate at time of writing

For Concealed carry, I’d suggest the Gold Line Single Mag case. This leather mag pouch is very versatile and comes with an adjustable tension device that will allow you to carry almost any double stack magazine. This is an OWB device and is cut low enough to access a compact magazine.

This simple little case is quite affordable, easy to use, and simplistic.

The Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed Single Mag Pouch

I as a rule generally stay away from most synthetic cloth based anything when it comes to concealed carry. I’m not a big fan of universal nylon gear. However, Blue Force Gear does it right with just about everything they do, so I trust them.

Blue Force Gear Belt Mounted Ten-Speed Pistol Magazine Pouch

Blue Force Gear Belt Mounted Ten-Speed Pistol Magazine Pouch

Prices accurate at time of writing

Their Ten Speed Single Mag pouch is made from a combination of ULTRAcomp and ten speed elastic. The Elastic front allows you to utilize nearly any magazine, be it a single stack, or a double stack.

It’s an OWB option and can be worn vertically or horizontally. Horizontal carry is very easy to conceal, and quite intuitive once you train with it. Blue Force Gear makes great stuff and this CCW Mag holder is no different.

Desantis Mag Pack

Desantis makes some pretty awesome pocket holsters for guns. When in my day job work attire I utilize one to conceal carry my little Walther. The Desantis Mag pack is made from the same synthetic material they make their holsters from.

Desantis Mag-Pack

Desantis Mag-Pack

Prices accurate at time of writing

This material is textured to keep it in the pocket when you draw the magazine from. This mag pouch fills your front pocket and presents the magazines at an excellent angle for easy drawing. The Desantis Mag pouch is also quite affordable, and the design naturally breaks up the outline of the magazine.

Carrying Spares

Carrying a little extra ammunition isn’t a difficult thing to do. With the right mag pouch, it’s comfortable, easy to do, and concealable. Just remember, like a holster you want a quality option, not the cheapest option.

If you’re want to learn more about CCW, take a look at our Definitive CCW Guide for all of our reviews and recommendations.

We want to hear from you, do you carry spare ammunition? If not why? If you do, how do you carry it?

The post Best CCW Mag Holsters appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

Posted in Gear, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

February 20th, 2018 by asjstaff

Having compensators on pistols is not exactly new. Competitors have been porting pistols for a very long time. Go look at any open division pistol in USPSA or IPSC. However, since the Roland Special came out, we have seen an increasing trend in compensators for Glocks. This has led to companies like Archon Mfg to make compensators. As a fan of compensated pistols, I got the opportunity to check out their Glock compensator.

Compensating For Something

For those who have not had the pleasure of shooting a compensated pistol, You are missing out. With a good comp design, the gasses help mitigate muzzle climb and recoil.

Archon Mfg’s take on their compensator is actually different than their competitors. While many other comps do screw onto a threaded barrel, Archon’s comp does not require thread locker or set screws against the threaded barrel. Instead, they split the female threads and have two screws on either side. So all you need to do is screw the comp onto the barrel, then time it to the right position and tighten the two screws so the comp clamps onto the barrel.

One added benefit to a comp on a Glock is that now your weapon lights don’t get coated in muzzle blast residue. Most of the gasses are going out the sides and top. Very little of it is blowing down to the light.

One minor issue is what threaded barrel you use. I am using a Lone Wolf Gen5 Glock 19 threaded barrel. Some threaded barrels have different lengths.

The gap between the Glock Comp and your slide will vary due to variations in barrel length on aftermarket barrels.

This is as close as I could get the Archon comp onto the G19X with the LW barrel. Notice there is a gap and the rounded corners of the Gen 5 disrupt the look. If I used a Gen4 or lower Gen Glock, the aesthetics where the slide meets the comp would look better.

Archon Comp, It’s Not Just For Glocks

While their compensator was designed for the Glock pistol, it is not limited to just the Glocks. You can mount this compensator onto any pistol with a threaded barrel.

Beretta 92A1 with Archon Mfg Comp

Sig Sauer P938 with Archon Mfg Comp

Does It Actually Do Anything?

Archon Comp redirecting gasses

So I am a bit spoiled as my benchmark for compensated pistols is my STI Steel Master race gun. It is the flattest and softest shooting 9mm handgun I own or have ever shot. So how does the Archon Mfg compensator compare? It is not in the same league. Is the disparity just from the compensator design? I don’t think so. The STI Steel Master is a purpose-built race gun. It was designed to run compensated. Adding a compensator to a pistol does not mean it is a race gun now. Just like adding a spoiler to a car does not make it a race car. So does the Archon comp work? Yes. There is an appreciable difference with the comp than without.

Take a look at the video below. It is a side by side comparison of the Glock 19X with and without the compensator. The left side has the Archon comp and the right side does not. Both shots you can see there is still muzzle climb. However, pay close attention to the position of the 19X after the recoil. The gun is physically higher and I have to bring the gun back down on target. With the compensator, the 19X does not jump as high and is quicker to bring back on target for the next shot.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEzXj4Y1XFk?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=660&h=402]

The difference is very noticeable on smaller guns like my Sig P938. I think it is because the barrel is so much shorter and there are more gasses to make the comp work better. Just like a spoiler, you need more air/gas for them to be effective. In open division pistols, shooters typically load hotter rounds just so there is more gas to act on their compensators.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e11La7MZK7M?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=660&h=402]

Is It Perfect?

No, it is not. But it is pretty good. The best part is their split design. It was very easy to swap between guns and since there is no set screw, the threaded barrels are not messed up. The overall length of the Archon compensator is a bit long.

  • Precision machined from 7075 Billet Aluminum
  • Type III Hardcoat AnAnodizedlack
  • Weight: 0.9 oz.
  • Dimensions: W: 1.000″ L: 1.375″ H: .800″

Mounting it onto a Glock 19 gives the overall length similar to a Glock 34. I would have preferred a Glock 17 profile as holsters would be easier to find. Luckily I have my holster for my Glock 35 and this fits perfectly.

One idea I had would be to alter their design so that the compensator does not need a threaded barrel. They could get a batch of long barrels and mill a slot on either side. Similar to the KAC Hush Puppy Beretta barrel. Reposition the set screws to line up with those slots and now you have a compensator/barrel set up for states that ban threaded barrels on handguns.

The Archon Mfg Glock compensator is quite affordable at just $69.99. Check out their website for more info.

Posted in Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

May 2nd, 2017 by asjstaff

This live-fire exercise may use lethal ammo or just ‘simunition’ rounds. Now ask yourself if you’d be willing to stand in the line of fire.

In this amazing look at what many tactical training exercise groups do to simulate performing under the incredible strain of live fire and worse, possible human shields, you’ll get to see not only some great shooting, but alternately some brave men acting as warm bodies in “harms way.”

Simunition, or non-lethal training ammunition, has its place in military, law enforcement, and even civilian training, but which is it?

Watch and tell us what you think:
https://www.facebook.com/glockfantasy/videos/1002791403185331/
First of all hand it to these amazing and highly skilled pros for doing what they do best and sharing it with the rest of us.

While it’s not so easy to tell if they’re using simunition or lethal rounds, what is easy to tell is how hard they train to get that darn good!

The only way you want too meet these guys is if they’re coming to rescue you, and if they have to shove you around some to do it, by God let them.

Here’s what they’re saying about this type of training, what’s your take on this?






Sources: Glock Facebook, Craig Raleigh

Posted in Training Tagged with: , ,

January 30th, 2017 by jhines

[su_heading size=”30″]The Results Will Surprise You![/su_heading]

This GLOCK vs Jeep video is going to show how well even handgun rounds can do against an unarmored vehicle with the use of multi-calibers in this live fire demonstration.
In this GLOCK vs. Jeep Suv scenario, this shooter takes a few pistols and fires multiple rounds with 9mm, 40 and 45 caliber through the hatch back to see how far the ammo will penetrate.

The results will likely surprise you, take a look.

    Results

  • Glock 43 – 9mm Full Metal Jacket – round went all the way to and through the front seat.
  • Glock 23 – 40 cal Full Metal jacket- round went to the hatchback and into the backseat.
  • Glock 30 Gen 4 45 cal Full Metal Jacket – the result was similar to the 9mm going all the way from the hatchback to and through the front seat, lodged into the plastic containers.

Very surprising penetration from Full Metal Jacket pistol rounds, being able to travel, in most cases, right through the front seats. This is exactly why law enforcement and military wear body armor in what is termed “soft-skinned vehicles”; laymans term for unarmored every day trucks, vans and cars.

Modern firearms, especially rifles, with Full Metal Jacket or armored piercing rounds will make swiss cheese of any normal vehicle so there is no real protection from hiding behind car doors or side panels. The only thing that may provide some level of protection is a big engine block.

In many tactical training courses it is actually taught to get away from your vehicle if it is immobile or stuck due to enemy fire. The soft-skinned vehicle only acts as a giant magnet for the bad guys to focus their guns on.

This demo is always good to keep in mind as you never know when you will have to take cover in an emergency situation.

Sources: Edwin Sarkissian Youtube, Andy Van Loan

Posted in Handguns Tagged with: , , , , ,

January 17th, 2017 by jhines

[su_heading size=”30″]Don’t Blink[/su_heading]

If you watched the late Bob Munden when he did his quick draw and shooting from the hip, it was amazing to watch. What’s really kind of neat is that this type of shooting is similar to what law enforcement term “retention shooting”. Retention shooting was taught to the officers when they had to pull the weapon out and fire while in close proximity to a suspect. The history of it goes back to the early 1900’s taught by William E Fairbairn the author of several tactical shooting books.

Fast forward to modern day, the person in this video blasting away at high speed below is Baret Fawbush, he says that he is not an expert, but when watching him draw and shoot from the retention at close quarter, he sure fooled us.

Calling this a “close retention shooting drill,” he puts his hands up, clears his mind, and then empties his magazine like a boss.

See him in action below.

Wow! That is the epitome of fast, controlled shooting with a sidearm.

While he says that this is not a video on defensive tactics, seeing Baret in action against targets with t-shirts and a box for a head. Don’t know looks like very much like a drill for defensive purpose.

Talk about shoot from the hip!, this is the modern version of gun slinging at its best. Whoever thought this technique would turn out to be one of the most important to have at your disposal.

Sources: Craig Raleigh, Parker Fawbush Youtube, Baret Fawbush


Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with: ,

October 2nd, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

[su_heading size=”30″ margin=”1″]The Makers Of Weaponeye[/su_heading]

Interview by Steve Joseph ⋅ Photographs by Michael Bensayan

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”3″]T[/su_dropcap]he American Shooting Journal reached out to Michael Bensayan, the inventor of Weaponeye, a device mounted to the front of a handgun that records exceptional video and sound. This device has been touted to be exactly what law enforcement needs to show the whole story during times of intense stress and critical life-decision-making situations.

PHOTO 3 WEAPONEYE-Camera-for-Glock-1-min

American Shooting Journal What is Weaponeye?

Michael Bensayan Weaponeye is a compact, under-barrel attachment for pistols that contains an HD camera, laser sight and flashlight. It is currently made for specific Glock handguns, but we plan to expand Weaponeye to other models and brands.

AMSJ How did you come up with this idea?

MB I watched several court cases involving cops and firearms. Many of these cases were not very clear, and the outcome was catastrophic for people and the community involved.  Some of these proceedings triggered riots that cost taxpayers a fortune in damages, and sometimes worse: the deaths of loved ones. Those situations might have been avoided if someone simply had a camera and recorded what really happened. After some thought, I decided to put the camera onto a gun.

AMSJ Who are some of the companies or people using Weaponeye now?

MB We have several international law-enforcement agencies to include the Dominican Republic, Brazil and the Bahamas, and closer to home, security officers, business owners and many US citizens.

PHOTO 1 WEAPONEYE-Camera-for-Glock-4-min

AMSJ How are you received at gun shows?

MB We’re a respected brand and are considered a pioneer in the eyes of today’s gun enthusiasts. Both vendors and the public often visit our booths just to hear the benefits and features of the Weaponeye unit. Our video display at shows depicts the Weaponeye in action, as well as the camera feed. There are always people intrigued and watching.

AMSJ What kind of feedback have you received?

MB Most people immediately remark on the superb quality of the video and audio. They also feel that the position of the camera is perfect because it is on the front of the gun, cannot be covered or pointed away from the subject. Weaponeye will always be recording towards the target.

We currently have an extensive waiting list for future Weaponeye models that will be made for other gun and rifle models.

I am constantly being told, “Finally! Something has been created to protect responsible gun owners and law enforcement.”

Many have said that if law enforcement carried a Weaponeye, many cities could have avoided riots and saved millions of tax dollars by showing what really happened. ASJ

Editor’s note: If you are interested in Weaponeye or want to know more about them, you can visit weaponeye.com.

PHOTO 2 WEAPONEYE-Camera-for-Glock-3-min

Posted in Industry Tagged with: , , ,