GEAR REVIEW: VOODOO TACTICAL MINI TOBAGO BACKPACK

For our 2nd Quarter Member Appreciation Giveaway, we gave an AG & AG member this backpack from our friends at Voodoo Tactical. In this article, Dr. Kathy gives it her review:

I have been eyeing this bag ever since I saw it at SHOT Show in January. I finally got my hands on one, and wanted to give you a review, so here we go. I ordered this backpack from GunGoddess. The checkout process was easy and painless – I even used some of my rewards points, so I got it for 20% off and free shipping! The box arrived on my front porch in two days, and boy was I excited!

I first have to say that there is nothing “Mini” about the Mini Tobago. This is not a tiny bag. It’s still definitely a daypack, and not a weekend pack, but there are plentiful pockets, and zippered compartments to keep all kinds of gear organized.

I ordered the version that was gray with pink stitching, and it is much prettier in person than the photos online. I have a Voodoo Tactical bright pink range bag, and although I love that bag and have gotten lots of use from it, this backpack is beautiful in a more subdued and subtle way. It’s still a little feminine, but it just doesn’t scream about it, like the hot pink bag does.

This bag does have plenty of features that scream “badass” though – LOL – like accommodating a hydration system (which I don’t currently have, but have been meaning to investigate). The bag itself is made of heavy pack cloth (unlike the stinky vinyl type cheapo bags out there). There are heavy duty zippers with paracord pulls, multiple exterior pockets, and the pack is covered all over with webbing so you can attach exterior accessory pockets/bags if you wish. I may eventually do that with my trauma kit to make it more easily accessible.

There are mesh zippered interior pockets, and two of what I call “administrative panels”, (I’m not sure what you really call them.) You know – the place that has all the pen sleeves, and mini flapped or zipper pockets so you don’t lose your chapstick and your cough drops and your keys? Yeah that. There’s TWO of them. There is no dedicated key clip, but my keys are on a carabiner, so they were easily clipped to one of the several paracord interior zipper pulls, for ease of access. The exterior pockets and main compartment also have drain grommets at the bottom of each. I HOPE I don’t ever need those, but for those who do – this bag is prepared.

I hadn’t originally planned on using this backpack as a range bag, but since I had an IDPA match the day after the pack arrived, I thought I would give it a test run that way anyhow, just to see.

Pictured is the gear I took to the match. As you can see in the photos, just the bottom front pocket compartments held 4 magazines and 200 rounds of 9mm ammo. Granted, it was those little compact boxes of Sellier & Bellot, but 200 rounds is 200 rounds. The upper front compartment was roomy enough for my knife, a pen, my Surefire flashlight, sunscreen, hand wipes, a rain poncho, plus unused space. The main compartment held my pistol case, trauma kit, eye and ear pro, holster, and mag pouches. There was a still some room to spare there as well. The side pockets held my belt, snacks, and a water bottle. Actually, after I took the photo, I decided that since I was going to wear the belt anyway, I’d replace it in the side pouch with a second water bottle.



Though as I mentioned before, I was not originally planning to use this pack as a range bag, it nonetheless proved its storage capacity and weight-bearing capacity for me during this test. I usually struggle a bit with managing the weight and awkwardness of my heavy range bag – even with a shoulder strap. With this pack, between the top handle and the shoulder straps, lugging my gear around turned out not to be “lugging” at all. My shoulder didn’t hurt, and I didn’t have to hold my hip at an odd angle to balance the load, like I do for my regular range bag. The weight rested easily on my shoulders via the heavily padded shoulder straps. The area of the pack that rests against one’s lower back was also heavily padded. I had zero discomfort handling this pack all day. I’m even thinking this might become my new SHOT Show bag.

For a second test, I decided to take this bag for a day outing on a tour boat. The pack accommodated a soft insulated cooler – containing my shrimp, pasta salad, homemade bread, and wine slushie (I was treating myself for Independence Day), a shemaugh and bandana (for tablecloth and napkin), and extra water bottles, with room to spare.

For a third test, I took this pack for a state park trail hike, and then a lake beach stop. The pack easily held two water bottles, my lunch, park maps, beach blanket, etc. As well as the knife, flashlight, hand wipes and other miscellaneous “be prepared” supplies that I left in the pack from the last range trip. The padded shoulder straps were quite comfortable during my hike, and the adjustable chest strap/buckle ensured that the straps didn’t slip around.

My final analysis is that the Voodoo Tactical Mini Tobago Pack has proven itself to be a great all-around, multi-purpose day pack. It is sturdy and roomy, without being so oversized as to be unwieldy for grab-and-go use. But it also has the features of a much larger “tactical” pack, making it capable and organized where other daypacks fail. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.

SOURCE ARTICLE: https://www.agirlandagun.org/gear-review-voodoo-tactical-mini-tobago-backpack/

TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF SHOOTING

The benefits of participating in shooting activities have measurable health benefits, both physical and mental. Shooting different platforms of firearms builds physical discipline, as well as increased strength, stamina, hand/eye coordination, and fine and gross motor skills. Here are some benefits of shooting that not only make you better athlete, but enjoy a healthier life:

Core Strength: Finding your center, adjusting your body weight to the balls of your feet, and remaining still in your shooting stance is great exercise for your core muscles, which supports proper posture. When the abdominal muscles are weak, the lower back holds additional pressure and weight from simple daily tasks like walking. Strengthening the abdominal muscles allows the weight of the upper body to be evenly distributed over the front and back, improving balance.

Arm Strength: Shooting a gun requires strong, sturdy arms and hands. In order to aim and shoot your target, you must hold your upper body steady. Often new shooters do not realize the arm muscles needed to hold the gun in the proper stance to shoot accurately. Experienced shooters will frequently take advantage of programs, such as the AG & AG Push-Up Challenge to improve your upper body strength for shooting sports.

Mental Processing: Efficient problem solving is a major component of shooting. It encompasses logic (the best way to make the shot), mathematics (target distance and how to adjust point of aim as well as managing the number of rounds in the magazine for targets requiring a hit), and creative thinking (“outside the box”). An old adage says that shooting is 90% mental and 10% ability. To be successful in shooting sports, an athlete must be able to first address the mental tasks at hand, and then perform the physical skills.

Adrenaline: Holding a firearm, let alone firing it or competing with it, can be an exhilarating experience. Adrenaline not only temporarily boosts your immune system, it signals your liver to break down glycogen, the substance that provides your muscles with glucose, the primary source of fuel in your body. It also tells smooth muscles in the body, like bronchioles in the lungs, to relax, which can make respiration easier.

Mental Focus: Keeping your eyes on focused on the front sight, while keeping the rear sight and target blurry, requires a lot of concentration. You also have to be aware of your trigger finger. The press and reset, managing recoil and following your sights allows you to call your shots. Focusing your mind from any other activities or distractions results in peak performance.

Stamina: Running through stages, carrying your ammunition around your waist and chest, and in some cases slinging a rifle while holding a shotgun is intense weight training. Athletes that compete in the “run and gun” shooting sports train with vigorous workouts. Not only are you preparing to compete with heavy gear, often you must navigate over uneven terrain and challenging props. Practical shooting requires fitness and stamina to run between arrays, focus on your front sight, think about your trigger press, and control your breathing.

Stress Relief: Shooting allows a person to get away from the worries of the day. You have to put aside other thoughts while you have a gun in your hand and concentrate on safety, mental processing, and physical skills. This time at the range allows an athlete to temporarily forget problems or plans and live solely in the moment. It works as a reset button to manage stress.

Vision: Exercising your eyes is very important, so that you can focus in on a front sight quickly. This a fine motor skill that can be lost if not practiced frequently. Give your eyes a break from the stress of staring at computer and phone screens all day, and do simple exercises each day to focus your eyes on objects near and far.

Mindset: Shooting can feel very scary and dangerous to some people; however, once you have taken the time to be trained properly, your sense of power is elevated and fear is reduced. You develop the mindset that you control the gun, and the gun does not control you. Learning to shoot is a great way to build confidence and courage, which will spill over to many areas of your life. The winning mindset believes that if you can accomplish shooting, you can do anything!

Discipline: Behaving responsibly is a core value of gun owners. The 4 Rules of Gun Safety are always followed on and off the range. Gun owners also cultivate a mindset of personal protection and the moral/legal responsibilities that come with it. Gun safety is a lifestyle.

SOURCE ARTICLE: https://www.agirlandagun.org/top-10-health-benefits-of-shooting/

Non-hunting Things You Learn While Hunting

I admit that I haven’t been a very successful hunter yet – with the exception of released hunts for pheasant and duck. Despite several seasons of effort, I have yet to bring home a deer or turkey for my freezer. Fortunately, the taking of the game isn’t the ONLY thing that happens on a hunt. 

What follows is what will hopefully be the beginning of a multi-part series. I’ve been learning a great many things while planning for hunting and scouting for hunting – but which aren’t actually “hunting”. I have learned so much new information that I thought I should break it into chunks for easier digestion.

Part One – The Edibles

I think I am the world’s most impatient person. I’m also a fidgeter. Sitting quietly while waiting for game that may or may not show up – either in five seconds or five hours – is a true test of my personal self-control. I am learning to find little tricks to distract myself while I’m waiting (that do not involve playing games on my phone). One of the distractions I’m attempting is to try to identify the plants around me.

Taking photos of plants and trees I don’t recognize – for later identification – is also something that I hope will eventually help me better understand the feeding patterns and cover requirements of the game I’m interested in.

For instance, the evening before my first Spring Gobbler hunt in early May, the “weeds” were ankle-high as my mentor and I were preparing a hiding spot under a pine tree. By the next morning after a night of heavy rain, those weeds were shin-high and sprouting flowers. I took a photo of the curious fast-growing plant and looked it up when I got home. I was able to identify this as an invasive species called Garlic Mustard. 

The really interesting factoid is that although game won’t eat Garlic Mustard, people CAN. I found all kinds of fascinating information – from how to rip out and dispose of the tenacious interloper, to recipes for how prepare it so you can EAT it out of existence!  Now that I have this valuable ecological information, I want to plan a work-party trip to the property this summer to start ripping up this alien to allow more room for native species.

Another invasive species that I ran into on the property was Autumn Olive. My forestry-major daughter informed me that this too has been labeled invasive. It is curious to me that this is now so designated, because when I was a grade-schooler in the 1970’s I distinctly remember that state conservation agencies handed out free bundles of seedlings for wildlife forage and erosion control. I even helped my dad plant some back in the day! But, ecological theories and practices change, so now it’s an “invasive”. Sigh.

When I looked up Autumn Olive at home, I discovered that it too is edible by humans – the berries at least. So, I will be keeping close watch in the late summer/fall to see if I can collect enough berries to make jam. Apparently the process of boiling the berries to make the jam kills the seeds, so they can then be safely put in the compost. More eating the invasives out of existence – and keeping the birds from pooping out the seeds everywhere.

Other wild edibles I found while I was hunting but which were native and NOT invasive include: 

Dandelion – Yep, the backyard “weed”. My grandmother used to make dandelion salad with hot bacon dressing in the spring. I’ve eaten the early leaves mixed in my regular salad greens, and one of these days I’m going to try to make dandelion jelly and dandelion wine.

Wild onion  – Yep. I’ve used this too. Pulled it right out of the ground in the spring, and put it in the salad bowl.

Cattails  –This is a “haven’t tried it but should sometime” just to say I did. 

Black cherry – There are a ton of black cherry trees on the property – pointed out by the forestry daughter. I’ll be keeping an eye on those to go along with the Autumn Olive berries.

Wild grapes  – I saw these vines along several of the deer trails, so I’ll just let these go and let the deer do their thing with them.

Wild Strawberries – These were an interesting find but it would take a bajillion to be worthwhile as more than just an interesting snack. There weren’t a bajillion, so maybe I’ll just let them multiply for a few years.

Acorns – Believe it or not, though you can’t eat them raw/green, with some processing acorns can be people food too. This is also on my list of “ought to try so I can say I did”. Apparently the pioneers used acorns quite a bit. I just haven’t been hungry enough to try.

That’s just a few entries in the wild edible olympics. I’m learning more every day. Not that I would necessarily want to dine daily on such foraged finds, but it has certainly been entertaining to learn, and helped pass the time while waiting for game animals to show up. Give them a try if you feel adventurous. It’s all interesting knowledge to have. After all, you never know when you might have to hide out in the woods for a few years – in case of, you know, zombies or something. 

HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN TO USE FORCE OR DEADLY FORCE?

There is a very fine line on when to use force and deadly force to protect person and property. If you read the Penal Codes of your state you will see that they are as clear as mud. It is paragraph after paragraph of what is reasonable, if this happens then you do this, or if you think this will happen you can do this. Unfortunately the Penal Codes are written in such a way we can’t really live within the rules they give us word for word, but we will be judged how we acted within their guidelines.

The most important question you can ever ask is, how will I know when it is time to use deadly force? If and when you ever find yourself in that moment of truth, here is a checklist that will run through your head. Your fight-or-flight will do a quick inventory of your options and depending on your circumstances will determine your permissible level of force.

There are two instructors that brought about a renaissance for me not only as a gun owner, but as an instructor and activist for firearms education especially dealing with the law. Massad Ayoob and Tom Givens offer powerful, truthful teachings of what is waiting for you on the other side of the law. If you have the opportunity to take a class with either of them, preferably both, DO IT.

The information used in this article is from Tom Givens, Rangemaster.

SOURCE ARTICLE: https://www.agirlandagun.org/will-know-use-force-deadly-force/

Are We Gunslinger Super Heroes?

Every student that takes my concealed carry class hears these two questions at the beginning of the class.

“Why are you here? and “What motivated you to take this course?”

The usual answer is ” So I can protect my family”, however not last week. The only answer that I heard was “To kill the next active shooter.”

This student’s cause is noble, however is the concealed carry class enough for someone to do what he thinks he is capable of doing? If you’re like me the news of an active shooter randomly killing helpless victims makes your blood boil. Maybe you go a step further and imagine yourself using the latest John Wick moves to end the horror and save numerous lives. But is it that easy?

Take a good hard look at yourself. How do you act under stress? When someone pulls a knife and starts charging at you, how will your brain and body react?

Your brain and body are hardwired to respond in one of five ways. You subconsciously spring into fight mode. The adrenaline ramps up, your focus becomes more intense and your brain attempts to work out your plan of attack.

Many people will subconsciously respond by running away. We call this the flight response. Other possible responses are freezing, posturing, and submission.

Do you know which is your natural response? If it’s anything but the fight response your going to be behind the curve in any fight. You may have to overcome your bodies natural instinct just to get into the fight.

The second thing to think about is how well you make decisions on the fly. Can you make a quick educated decision and be equally quick enough to know when it’s time to abandon that decision? How well do you shoot? How often do you train? At what distance can you make a precision shot with your carry gun? I know that beyond 10 yards under a little stress my groups open to 5″ to 7″.

Beyond 25 yards my group under stress is about 10″. What is acceptable, remembering we are responsible for 100% of the bullets that are fired from our firearm? What is your carry gun? How much ammo do you carry? Why does all this matter?

No matter how you imagined it in your head the gunfight is never going to happen the way you have it planned.

Enjoying a great meal with your family at the local Mexican restaurant. You asked the hostess for a seat far away from the bar area so you could enjoy a quiet meal. You hear a few screams followed by pop,pop,pop, your startle response causes you to duck down, it takes you a few moments to focus and realize its not fireworks. You see a young man with what appears to be a rifle methodically taking down the employees and patrons by the bar area. This is not the time to develop plan “A” this is the time when you tweak plan “c” and execute it. I brought this scenario up to the student to give him something to think about.

Could he be the guy to stop the next mass killing? The student was asked a few more questions. What training have you done to improve your shooting skills? Do you have any tactical skills training or background? His answer was” no, none, I plan on learning everything I need to know in this concealed carry class”.

That brings up the question, are concealed carry classes even adequate for training individuals to carry on the street? I personally do not think so. I think concealed carry classes do an okay job of assisting you in getting yourself and your family away from harm but one needs a different mindset and set of skills to run towards an attack.

Ultimately it depends on your priorities. Ten years ago I would have ducked low, and quickly made my way closer to the threat utilizing cover along the way only exposing myself as little as necessary to fire the rounds needed to stop the threat. Today I have other priorities, I am a new dad and husband. My family comes first. I am going to do my best to keep everyone in my family safe and free from harm. This means instantly upon realizing what is going on, I put my escape plan into action. If I am not seated close to a door, well I guess I throw a chair through a window and escape through the hole. If we cant escape that easily we move from cover to cover engaging the threat if necessary until we arrive at an exit point. If exit is not an option then hiding my family in a backroom or closet and protecting access to the area until help arrives. I have a clear plan. It is not specific, but an easy flowchart in my head that I can follow. My family is aware of this plan. We hope we never have to put it into action.

So if your going to be the gunslinger superhero you need to have your priorities in order. Do you get your friends and family to safety then go in and fight or do you escape with them and live to fight another day?

You need to know your strengths and weaknesses. As I stated earlier from 10 yards and closer I can put bullets accurately in the area needed but beyond 10 yards under stress my groups open up quickly.

If your plan is to be a superhero you need to start improving on your weaknesses. I know I am not as good at distance so that is where I work. Training and knowing your capabilities and weaknesses will help you build confidence when putting your plan to action. Speed is also crucial. How quickly can you get to the threat to deliver the incapacitating blow?

If you’re in a crowded place numerous individuals will most likely be fleeing and screaming towards exits and hiding places. Some may think you are the shooter. That’s right not only could you be killed by the active shooter but you risk being beaten, kicked, stabbed, or shot by those trying to escape thinking you are also a threat. You will need to act quickly and decisively before the first wave of responding police enter the room and see you holding a gun. Keep in mind the officers may specifically be looking for you. One or several of the escaping victims may have called 911 and described you as the shooter.

Stopping a mass killing is not as easy as this one may think. There needs to be clear discussion between you and your family. You should seek high quality training from well known top tier instructors. Know your capabilities and work to expand within them.

Next we need to talk about your equipment. What gun do you choose for your noble endeavor? One can’t just go into a store and ask for the terrorist killing multi-shot day saver. You actually have to put some thought into it. The little .380 you keep in your front pocket may work when your confronted in a one on one situation but we’re talking about a public place against someone who may have a rifle.

First thing I look for in a handgun is functional reliability. I want what the police, the FBI, or what our military carries. If these guns work for them they will work for me. Secondly I want a handgun that is comfortable to shoot, one that fits my hands. I look at how easily can it be concealed. If its difficult to conceal or does not fit well then I am likely to not wear it when I need it. I am also unlikely to shoot well with it. The gun needs to feel like an extension of my arm. How about caliber? Ask this question in any gun forum and you will likely get hundreds of responses. Some will tell you it needs to be a .45ACP, others will tell you a 9mm. There is not a perfect answer. These days I tend to lean more towards the 9mm as it has less recoil, allowing faster more accurate followup shots, and greater ammo capacity. In a gunfight I want my bullets to be fast, accurate, and enough of them to quickly stop the threat.

If you were to ask me how I would prepare to stop an active shooter, I would recommend carrying a rifle and body armor. Unfortunately my state does not allow for easily carrying a rifle and that’s before the social sideways glances.

Before you venture out in public with your blaster at your side you should at least have a simple plan of action in case the unimaginable happens. Have your priorities set, know your capabilities, carry good equipment, have plenty of ammo, and pray that speed, agility and luck are on your side

StencilTiger delivers new ammo caliber identifier ammo can stencils

The bullet caliber stencil set allows users to mark ammo cans for easy identification. (Photo: StencilTiger)

StencilTiger adds new stencils to its line, announcing new ammunition caliber identifiers to ensure users never forget what ammo is in the can.

The bullet caliber stencil set includes 9mm, .45 ACP, 5.56 and .308 ammo spray paint stencils. With sprayed measurements of 3.25 x 3-inches, the stencils aim to save gun owners time by allowing them to quickly verify which ammo is stored in which ammo can.

Though the caliber stencils are relatively new to StencilTiger’s inventory, the company already has a large inventory of gun-related stencils. From generic to sarcastic and everything in between, StencilTiger is ready to offer a splash of pizzazz to ammunition crates, cans and even AR-15 magazines.

The set includes popular calibers. (Photo: StencilTiger)

“New to the Stencil Tiger lineup are these recently released line of stencils with ammunition caliber identifiers so you can stencil your ammo cans… Or your mom’s minivan, it’s cool either way,” the company told Soldier Systems. “Stencil Tiger also sells an entire line of stencils to fit AR-15 magazines and any other real estate you want to fill up with movie quotes, military humor, or general time wasting shenanigans.”

The caliber identifier stencils are available through StencilTiger, priced at $17.99.

Source Article from http://www.guns.com/2018/05/17/stenciltiger-delivers-new-ammo-caliber-identifier-ammo-can-stencils/

The Turkey Hunt that Wasn’t

I want to tell you a story about my second turkey hunt. Not the first one – which was a great experience with a mentor this spring, and unique in it’s own way – but the SECOND experience. Because the second experience is a better story. I’m telling you a story, because I didn’t shoot a turkey to brag about. A story is all I’ve got.

First, I have to make a bunch of excuses. Sometimes life just gets in the way. This spring was my very first attempt at a turkey season of any kind. But I also had three numb fingers due to carpal tunnel issues and had to have hand surgery because I was getting progressive nerve damage. The opening day of Spring Gobbler Season found me still with sutures in place from surgery earlier in the month. Though it was my left hand and not my trigger hand, I didn’t think that the tender sutured palm was going to hold up to supporting a shotgun in the field. Not to mention that I had very little grip strength in that hand. So that screwed the first weekend of the season, and I stayed home.

The following weekend, with the sutures removed, I WAS able to get out with my mentor and friend for a morning hunt to at least get a taste of things. We heard a few distant gobbles, but were not able to convince any Toms to come closer. The experience DID whet my appetite though, I learned a lot, and it was a fun first experience.

The weekend after that my Mother was ill, so that Saturday was spent visiting her for Mother’s Day instead of afield. I was also on-call.

The next available weekday forecast promised severe thunderstorms and quarter-size hail, so I stayed home yet again as I anxiously watched the season tick by. I contented myself with making cosmetic modifications to my shotgun, so that did help my attitude a little.

The NEXT available Saturday forecast promised heavy rain. There was due to be a few hour break in between storms, so I invited my adult daughter to come with me to check how the camera and blind had fared in the hail storm. Naturally, because I had not brought hunting gear, the weather cleared in late morning and stayed clear. Figures.

We did flush a turkey on the path through the woods though. I was armed with only a .357 and not a 12 gauge, so I simply watched as the turkey noisily broke cover and ascended on heavy wings up over the tree tops, and out of sight. I did yell “BANG” at it though, just to make myself feel better.

The following weekend was Memorial Day Weekend and my LAST opportunity to act as if I really were a turkey hunter. There is no Sunday hunting in that state, so Saturday was my big opportunity, and is where my second hunt story begins.

The property is over two hours away. It takes  a bit of pre-planning to hunt up there, especially if you want to be there before dawn. When I got home from work that Friday evening, I was exhausted. I was also on-call again, but it was the last weekend of the season, so I thought I’d chance it. I didn’t want to overpay for a hotel up there on a holiday weekend just so that I could already be there in the morning. But I was too tired to load up the gear and sleep overnight in the car.  So I packed a cooler-ready picnic lunch, pre-loaded the Subaru, and went to bed early.

The alarm went off at 3:30 AM. Yeah, that was my reaction too. I did manage to slowly drag my sorry butt out of bed, but it was ugly. To say I was moving slowly would be an understatement. I think I felt every joint in my body creak. Despite my best intentions and a cooperative coffee pot, I didn’t leave the house until after 5 AM – which got me to the property gate about 7:30 AM. Obviously well after dawn. Not an auspicious beginning.

On the road to the gate I met a ruffed grouse. While it was in fact a grouse, it did its best imitation of a squirrel, as it darted into the road, stopped in the middle, feinted as if to go right, then took a few steps left, and stopped in the middle again. I was forced to bring the car to a full stop while the bird made up its mind. In retrospect, this little tableau was a foreshadowing of my whole morning.

After Mr or Ms Grouse made it safely to the side of the road, I unlocked the gate, pulled the car into the clearing and popped the back hatch. I decided to walk the half-mile or so through the woods to the spot I wanted to go, so I hitched on my Walmart Turkey vest, made sure I had calls and shells and a water bottle (the temp was already over 70 degrees), shouldered the gun and away I went. Except a couple hundred yards down into the woods I realized that I had forgotten Henrietta the Decoy.

Heaving a sigh, I trudged back up to the car, flung the bag containing Henrietta over my shoulder and started back again. I was already breaking a sweat in my full body camo and I hadn’t even gotten started. When I closed the hatch I could have sworn I heard a gobble in the far distance behind me, but “behind me” was way off the property. It turns out that was the only gobble I heard all day. 

I took my time quietly working my way down the path through the trees, noting with annoyance that there were new ATV tire tracks in the mud since the previous week. A pox on teenagers with ATVs. I understand that the machines are useful as farm equipment and as often necessary transportation when setting up a blind or hauling out a harvested deer. But I absolutely cannot abide trespassing joyriders tearing up the landscape.

It had rained overnight. In truth it had barely stopped raining all month – there were literally tadpoles in the mud puddles for crying out loud. My trip down the path was accompanied by the sound of water dropping off the leaves of the trees, and the the “Bung-glung” of a bullfrog over in the marsh. The birds were busy with their morning jabber while the mist started rising into the sunshine. If nothing else, it was a beautiful morning.

As I approached the meadow along the muddy access road, I heard a noise I hadn’t heard up there before. There was a whooshing noise coming from the gas well across the meadow. Approaching cautiously, I ascertained that the noise was indeed coming from the well equipment, and decided that I’d better call the gas company guy. 

That was phone call number one. I left a voice mail, but decided not to stick around too close, in case there was really something seriously wrong. I worked my way back down the road to a spot under a pine tree that looked promising, and seemed a safe enough distance away from the well. About ten minutes later my phone buzzed on my belt. It was the well guy calling back. He said he’d be there in about 20 minutes. That was phone call number two.

I had tried my slate call a few times during all of this, but had gotten no response. While I peeked over the weeds and wondered whether this day was going to get any better, I heard engines revving in the distance. The sound got closer until I saw two ATV’s emerging from the trees on the access road coming toward me. Now I was mad. I stood up from my hiding place and strode over to the dirt road – still in full body camo, with my 12 ga in the crook of my arm – and stood there waiting for them. I pointed to the spot in front of me, indicating that I wanted them to stop. 

“This is private property, guys”, I announced to the two young men, over the noise of their infernal machines.

“Oh, we’re sorry ma’am, we didn’t see any signs.” Which I knew was a lie, because I’d been posting for two months, but I let it slide. “You won’t see us back here again” they assured me.

They were polite, but I’ll believe it when I don’t see them again. I advised them to turn around and go back the way they came, as I didn’t have a key to the upper gate. At least they did as I requested. By the time I sat back down under my tree, I was all stirred up. Hopefully word will gradually get around that this isn’t an absentee owner property anymore, and the signs mean what they say.

Ten minutes after that little episode, the gas well guy arrived in his pick-up. He grabbed a big wrench and made some adjustments which made the whooshing stop. It turns out that I wasn’t just being paranoid after all – there was a legit pressure problem – and he thanked me for calling.

Five minutes after the well guy left, my phone buzzed on my belt again. I was being paged with a baby formula question. That was phone call number three. *Sigh* – Three strikes and you’re out. I gave up on getting any hunting done that day. I figured no self-respecting turkey would be within miles of my location after all of that activity, and I might as well just pack it in. What a cluster.

I was pretty disgusted with myself and the situation by that point and was not at all quiet or careful on my walk back to the car, so naturally I kicked out a hen on my way back through the woods.

That has been the really frustrating thing. There ARE turkeys there. The tracks are all over the place in the mud puddles in the road, and I caught several of them on trail cam. I just didn’t manage to have a gobbler show up when I had a shotgun in my hands. And honestly, I really don’t have enough experience to know what I’m doing yet.

When I got back to the car I was in a pretty foul mood. I stripped off my gear, hopped up into the back and tucked into my lunch from the cooler. As I was chewing, a THIRD ATV trespasser showed up. He saw me hop down from my tailgate, and probably saw the .357 on my hip, because he didn’t even have the courtesy to stop and talk to me. He just turned around and headed back out to the main road. There IS a locked gate, but the damned ATVers have created their own off-road entrances, so it’s not like they don’t know this is private property – they just don’t care. That’s the part that really bunches my bloomers.

So, my first attempt at a solo turkey hunt without a mentor was a complete cluster. With all of that drama, I was both cranked-up and let-down all at the same time.  I just felt defeated. My season – that I had worked so hard for and so eagerly anticipated – was over.

I brooded over it for awhile, but I finally realized that I was looking at the situation all wrong. When viewed in a different light, although my game bag was empty, I was still a fair badass. 

I did months-worth of turkey learning, cam scouting, and property hiking on my own. Then with only one day of working with a mentor under my belt, and dealing with a post-op gimp hand, I was willing to at least TRY to venture out by myself. I got my own sorry butt out of bed at an ungodly hour and drove my own durn self two-plus hours to a different state. I humped my own gear to the hunt location, found a problem when I got there, addressed that problem, and still continued to try to hunt. I dealt with each new issue as it arose, and even handled not just one, not just two, but three trespassers all by my own self as a frumpy middle-aged woman alone. And to top it off, I had packed my own homemade lunch with homemade bread, homemade beef jerky and homemade fruit leather. If all that doesn’t earn me at least a self-sufficiency badge and a modicum of self-pride, I don’t know what would.

So, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I’m disappointed but I’ll get over it. I’ve got the whole summer now to camp-out and pattern deer (I already found a bunch of trails and caught a young buck in velvet on cam), and I hear there’s such a thing as Fall Turkey Season. Hmmm, I wonder what THAT’s like …

5 REASONS YOU DON’T WANT FREE TRAINING

When a new shooter is passionate about learning to shoot, he or she looks for training opportunities everywhere. Unfortunately shooting is an expensive hobby and it can break the bank to buy guns, gear, and ammo. As you’re looking for places to cut corners, don’t skimp on a training budget. Even if you’re tempted to solicit firearms instructors to let you audit their classes, here are five reasons you don’t want free training:

1. Mooching Is Disempowering

If your purpose for taking firearms training is to take responsibility for your personal safety, improve your skills, and grow in confidence, but you asked for free training, then you just sabotaged yourself. You have to have skin in the game, so invest your energy and resources into training that you see as valuable. Getting a free ride doesn’t make you empowered; it makes you co-dependent.

2. You Get What You Pay For

You want to take a class from instructors who are highly trained at ranges that are clean and safe. By expecting a free class you are devaluing their product. Whether you realize it or not, you are saying, “I like what you have to offer, but not enough to pay you for it.” If you choose specific instructors because they are reputable professionals who offer quality programs, pay them. If the instructors or training raises red flags, then it’s not a class you want to take anyway.

3. Small Business Is a Big Deal

Teaching is more than just giving pointers at the range. A good instructor has studied adult learning principles, crafted curriculums, and planned activities. He or she has invested in numerous classes, travel, time commitments, cost of gear, range fees, ammo, insurance, etc. By asking them to give you training for free, you are dismissing the value of their investments in their businesses, and more importantly you are taking time from their paying clients. You’re essentially stealing from the people who support them. That’s how entrepreneurs go out of business.

4. There’s a Going Rate

Take a little time to research similar training classes with comparable instructor experience and amenities. Professional services from babysitting to accounting have hourly rates or service fees. It doesn’t matter if other instructors charge slightly more or less than what your instructors are asking, the point is that there is a standard cost for this type of service, and it’s rarely (i.e., never) free.

5. Respect Is a 2-Way Street

Invite people into your life that support you and value your worth, and treat others the way that you want to be treated. Don’t attend a class with the attitude that you deserve a handout, or you know the material already, or looking to market your product, or network for your own business or endeavor. When you attend a class with an open mind and willingness to learn, you create a positive experience that empowers your journey. You not only earn the respect of the instructor and other participants, you will respect yourself. As Margaret Mead said, “I learned the value of hard work by working hard.”

Attending an ‘A Girl & A Gun’ Girl’s Night Out is a great way to get pointers and learn about upcoming training opportunities. You may discover that local or national instructors have classes scheduled at your range, or you may want to attend AG & AG’s National Conference or Girl’s Getaways. You may even find that an instructor is offering a discount on an upcoming class because he or she is passionate about the course and wants everyone to have access to the material. Allow instructors to extend discounts or gratis classes at their discretion and don’t expect or request free training. Remember that they do this for a living, and so you can’t expect good instruction to be free. In fact, if it’s good, help them stay in business — the industry needs to support good instructors. In turn, you’ll also be making a valuable investment in yourself.

SOURCE ARTICLE: https://www.agirlandagun.org/5-reasons-dont-want-free-training/

Century Arms announces arrival of Red Army Standard .223 FMJBT ammo

Century Arms adds .223 to its series of Red Army Standard ammunition. (Photo: Century Arms)

Century Arms unveiled a new set of ammunition Tuesday, launching the Red Army Standard .223 FMJBT ammo.

The latest addition to the Red Army Standard brand, the .223 offering boasts a boat tail bullet designed for better accuracy. The ammunition also features a sealed neck and primer to resist environmental and weather factors.

Manufactured in Russia at the same facility as its sister ammo, the 7.62×39 FMJBT, the Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail ammunition in .223 touts a 56-grain bullet with bimetal jacket and lead core. Using non-corrosive primers and a lacquered steel case, the ammunition delivers an affordable option for .223/5.56 chambered firearms, according to Century Arms.

The ammo features a bimetal jacket with lead core and 56-grain bullet. (Photo: Century Arms)

“Building upon the success of our 7.62×39 FMJBT offering with a sealed neck and sealed primer, we wanted to offer similar features in the .223 cartridge”, said William Sucher the company’s VP of Business Development, in a news release. “Unfortunately due to capacity limitations, this will only be available in limited quantities, but we are excited to be able to get back into the .223 market.”

The .223 Red Army Standard FMJBT is available in 20 round boxes at $5 each or 1,000 round cases with MSRP at $249 per case.

Source Article from http://www.guns.com/2018/05/17/century-arms-announces-arrival-of-red-army-standard-223-fmjbt-ammo/

Warne RT-1 Range Tool: First Look

In today’s ever-changing world of firearms accessories and gear, it’s getting harder and harder to find a simple, durable and legitimate range tool for under $30.00, that was until now. The Warne RT-1 is our featured firearm accessory today and it meets all those adjectives and is priced for the budget conscious shooter but doesn’t sacrifice quality in the name of a bargain.

Warne is a company that we have worked with in the past and they have carved out a nice market at producing gear that works and is very simple, nothing complicated or flashy just great gear that works. The market for affordable pieces of range gear is tighter than ever, so what sets the Warne RT-1 apart from the rest of the pack aside from it’s $20.00 price tag? The Tualatin, Oregon based company has combined twelve of the most popular sizes and types of tool bits used in the firearms industry and done it in a different way from its competitors, but how did they do it?

Warne RT-1 Range Tool: First Look
Warne has used Chrome Vanadium bits for a long service life with great looks. Photo:Rick Dembroski

Specifications

Manufacturer: Warne

County of Origin: United States

Handle Material: Aluminum

Bit Material: Chrome-Vanadium Coated Steel

Weight: 5.2 oz

Length: 4″

Width: 1 7/8″

Color Available: Red

Number of Bits: 12

  • Allen Head (0.05″, 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 1/8″, 5/32″
  • Torx Drivers (T10, T15 & T20)
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • #2 Phillips Screwdriver
  • Pin Remover Size 0.10

Price: $19.99

Impressions

My first impressions of the Warne RT-1 is that the engineers behind it understood what it’s like to hold an uncomfortable tool in their hands and took steps to prevent that for users. The tool is just over five ounces in weight which makes it light enough to carry around and still gives it enough mass to be useful. I noticed that the bits all have white plastic spaces between the bits to keep them in line and straight. This is a small but nice touch that adds to the overall usefulness of the tool.

The red aluminum that the body of the RT-1 is made of is rounded and features a swell that allows you to grasp it without any part of the tool digging into your hands. The shape of the body allows you to comfortably use the tool in either the vertical or horizontal position, as pictured below. The bits slide easily out of the body with a small amount of pressure which is to be expected. During our limited field trial, we used the tool to mount the recently reviewed Tract Optics Ultra HD 4-20×50 scope.

Warne RT-1 Range Tool: First Look
Warne RT-1 while mounting the Tract Optics Toric Ultra HD Photo: Rick Dembroski

In the short time that we have been fortunate to have the Warne RT-1 in our possession, we have used it several times to mount optics and perform maintenance on several of our weapons. The tool performs exactly like you would expect it to, cleanly and efficiently with zero mistakes or issues. We so far as impressed by the Warne RT-1’s ability to not slip or pop out of the screws while tightening and loosening a variety or screws and nuts.

It’s our opinion that the Warne RT-1 might actually be one of the hidden gems of the firearms tool market. At a price of under $20.00 it’s hard to find a rifle magazine at that price let alone a functional tool that fits in your range bag and isn’t made of pot metal from China. There are times when people think that all we review is expensive super guns and gear that are covered in the latest uber Teflon cerakote. The fact is that we are all shooters on a budget and part of what makes this job great is finding and reviewing gear that works and is affordable to every shooter. Gone are the days of having to drag along a tool bag full of screwdrivers and gadgets, all you need now is the Warne RT-1 and maybe one a small adjustable wrench.

We hope you enjoyed this look at the Warne RT-1, stay tuned for more affordable guns, gear and accessories here at the site. In the next few months, we anticipate being able to bring you more gear reviews from companies like DoubleStar Arms, Kershaw Knives and a huge list of others. Check back often.

Warne RT-1 Range Tool: First Look
We trust the Warne RT-1 so much we used it to mount an $1100 optic to our rifle. Photo: Rick Dembroski

Source Article from https://loadoutroom.com/47846/warne-rt-1-range-tool-first-look/

Trigger Management and Rule Three

A sub-second draw doesn't require getting on the trigger early.

Most all of us can parrot the rules of firearm safety, but they can get a little harder to follow as shooting becomes more complicated. This is especially true for what Jeff Cooper termed as Rule Three:

Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.

Human hands like to make fists, and it’s so natural to want to put that finger inside the trigger guard when picking up a gun. A bit of practice and attention gets most people past that tendency for regular handling. Adding stress makes an awful lot of people slip back to bad habits. And when those hands clench with the trigger finger not firmly on the frame or slide of the gun…premature bangs happen.

It becomes even easier to cheat this rule when the shooter is trying to pick up speed by getting onto the trigger earlier and earlier – sometimes with disastrous results. That’s not to say that one must have a perfect sight picture before putting a finger on the trigger, but there’s a definite point before which it’s problematic to do so.

Take a look at this slow-motion video of a shooter attempting to start running his heavy double-action trigger early in the draw. While you can see his finger in the trigger almost as soon as the gun comes out of holster, the hammer doesn’t start moving back and indicating pressure on the trigger until he is nearly to full extension. What, then, did he gain by getting on the trigger early and risking shooting in an unsafe direction?

Having your finger on the trigger is barely a step from actually firing the gun. That means it’s important for your muzzle to be pointed in a safe direction first. Rather than using a coarse definition of safe direction like “down range” or “not pointed at your body,” the Cooper rule gives you something more definite: wait until your sights are on target.

Your sights might be aligned on the target quite early in the process of drawing your gun from a holster or coming from a ready position, even if your eyes aren’t behind them yet. It’s at that point that putting your finger on the trigger becomes less risky because if you fire any time between then and having a refined sight picture, your shot will land somewhere on the target you intend to shoot.

In fact, sometimes that’s the preferred effect.

For defensive shooters, there’s a concept called shooting from retention or shooting “from two.” Essentially, that means that as the gun comes out of the holster and the muzzle turns toward the bad guy, you can index the gun to your body and shoot. You aim by using the physical relationship of anchoring gun to body parts and body to target, instead of by using your eyes. It’s a useful skill when your attacker is close and you don’t have room to get your gun to full extension so that you can see the sights. Shooting from retention means rounds on target earlier in the draw, and less opportunity for your gun to be knocked around or wrestled away from you. You just need to be careful that the muzzle is oriented at the target before you start pressing the trigger.

In the technical marksmanship realm, whether for defensive or sport applications, there’s a concept called “prepping the trigger.” For our purposes here, it involves beginning to put pressure on the trigger as the gun is presented, so that as soon as the sights are properly lined up to each other and the target, the shooter finishes the shot. That allows the shooter to do most of the work of firing while the gun is still in motion, so that she can shoot sooner. Prepping the trigger is not necessarily a commitment to fire the shot, but because it gets you most of the way there, it starts after the muzzle points at the target and after the decision to shoot has been made.

The trick is to wait until that moment when your sights are on target, however you’re defining that. Later is better than earlier, when the consequences of too early can mean putting a bullet into something or someone that ends up between you and your target – and that could mean yourself.

Just because you’re fast ninja shooting doesn’t mean that you sacrifice safety. As you can see, even these types of techniques can and should be performed with attention to the rules. Yes, you’re getting on the trigger sooner with them – but still not before the sights are on target.

PRACTICE YOUR EMERGENCY PLAN

This past weekend there was a local match (not AG & AG) where a negligent discharge resulted in a gunshot wound to a competitor. On the “load and make ready” command, a male shooter, who had been competing with the local club for about 6-8 months, got the zipper from his concealment vest into the holster as he was reholstering. The round entered and exited his thigh, and the wound was fortunately minimal.

This local club had a detailed emergency plan. At every stage there was a trauma kit attached to the stand that houses the water cooler and stage briefing. At the shooter brief prior to the match, the first aid kit was announced and a volunteer was requested to be the range medic. For this particular match there was not a designated volunteer range medic, so responsibility defaulted to the match director.

Moments after the incident, fellow participants flagged down the match director as others began tending to the injured competitor. The match director took immediate control of situation by directing one person to call 911 and another person to wait at entrance of the range to direct police and EMS to the location of the patient. He gave first aid directions, as well as kneeled over the firearm, which had fallen on the ground and was still loaded. He also directed an individual to bring a full trauma kit to have more appropriate first aid items for the wound. As soon as the match director saw a designated Safety Officer (SO) that was not on the squad of the injured competitor, he directed that SO to take possession of the firearm, safely unload it, and maintain control of it. EMS arrived in 25 minutes.

Observations from the Match Director

When he arrived in the bay he saw three people around the competitor. One was trying to cut his pants with a pocket knife, and one was trying to work with a tourniquet. Other squad mates were standing around. There was a lot of noise and confusion.

As soon as the match director took command and started to give orders, the situation quickly came under control.
• He had to direct someone to call 911.
• He had to direct someone to flag down first responders.
• He had to direct people to back up and give space.
• He had to direct them to look for entry and exit wound before applying a tourniquet, which was determined to be unnecessary.

Human Response

The injured competitor and the three people rendering aid are all nurses with varying levels of trauma care experience. When asked why they started a tourniquet without identifying entry and exit wounds, one said that in the moment of panic it wasn’t normal work. Because this was their friend and they were in a place that didn’t have the tools they were used to using, they became flustered. Once the match director arrived, they didn’t look up (just heard his voice), but his firm and clear commands helped them focus. Then they were able to remember their training and use the tools they had available to them.

After Action Knowledge

The biggest takeaway from this incident is the reminder to slow down. While there may be times a shooter may have to quickly draw a pistol, reholstering should be done slowly and deliberately. It is a good practice to look at the holster when reinserting the gun. Competitors are not on the clock for the “make ready” and “show clear” commands, so it is important that the shooter slows down and watches the gun in and out of the holster. They should never compromise safety by trying to be cool and eject the round and catch it. This incident is a stark reminder of how a mistake can have dire consequences.

Secondly, match directors and/or instructors that organize any shooting event should follow these key safety guidelines:

• You must have an emergency action plan.
• You must talk about the emergency action plan EVERY TIME at every event.
• You must have trauma kits immediately accessible.
• Your Safety Officer, Range Officer, or A-Team must have hands-on experience working the emergency action plan.
• Your team should conduct a practice drill of what to do at your range, location, etc.
• Your team must be empowered to activate the emergency action plan until you are made of aware of the crisis and take control.

It took EMS 25 minutes to arrive. Knowing this response time allows the club to modify its emergency plan to include instructions for transporting a seriously injured participant towards the city to meet EMS instead of waiting on them.

In this situation, the injured competitor had a minor wound that was able to be dressed quickly with minimal blood loss, shock, and risk of infection. However, if the wound been worse, or if there not been trauma kits immediately available, the competitor could have died. This underscores the importance of having a detailed emergency plan, rehearsing it, and discussing it at every event.

SOURCE ARTICLE: https://www.agirlandagun.org/need-practice-emergency-plan/

The Blackbeard Peacekeeper – A Low Pro Duty Belt

What’s weird about gun belts is they are both a piece of fashion and utility. Whenever you lean towards one way or another, you sacrifice certain things. A fashionable belt that supports a gun is almost never perfect regarding comfortable carry. Your limited belt holes often give you that slightly too tight or too loose feeling, especially for IWB. However, when wearing formal clothes, you can’t get away with a tactical belt. If you lean closer to utility, you get something you can often customize the exact tightness level of the belt. These utility based belts may lack style, so they are better worn with an untucked shirt. Today we are leaning towards utility over fashion. Utility over comfort means fashion and the Blackbeard Peacekeeper belt is easily the most comfortable gun belts I’ve ever worn.

What Makes the Blackbeard Peacekeeper Different?

The first thing worth noting about the Blackbeard Peacekeeper is the fact there is no traditional buckle and no conventional belt holes. Instead, you have a ratchet buckle and ladder strap. The Peacekeeper offers users 9 inches of adjustment in quarter inch adjustments. This is where the comfort comes into play. You can ratchet the belt down just as far as you need to. The adjustments allow you to mix it up with a variety of different guns carried in a variety of different ways. For IWB carry it’s fantastic. With all the different weapons and holsters I test this has been an invaluable feature.

The Blackbeard Peacekeeper - A Low Pro Duty Belt
The Blackbeard Peacekeeper – A Low Pro Duty Belt

I can adjust it to accommodate my Glock 17 in a JM4 IWB, and then without issue switch to a P365 in a Clinger Holster and just tighten the belt down to adjust to the size difference. The ability to ratchet the Peacekeeper down to the ¼ inch is fantastic. I can get my belt just right for keeping my pants up and comfortably carrying my gun of choice.

The Blackbeard Peacekeeper - A Low Pro Duty Belt

Is the Ratchet buckle and ladder strap a weak point? I’ve tried with all my might to pull the ladder strap through the buckle. I couldn’t do it. It never releases or let’s go. I have full faith in it. However, should it ever break you can replace the ratchet or ladder strap with ease.

Wearing the Peacekeeper

The Blackbeard Peacekeeper has been my go-to EDC belt for over a month now. The only time I don’t wear it is when I’ve had to dress a little fancier. Nothing against the belt, but a ratchet buckle and ladder strap aren’t precisely fashionable with a shirt and tie. Day in and day out I’ve carried the belt with khakis, jeans, and it’s supported guns, knives, and more. The belt looks like leather, but its a polymer coated nylon.

The Blackbeard Peacekeeper - A Low Pro Duty Belt

Leather is excellent, but this polymer-coated nylon is more resistant to moisture, dirt, chemicals, and is hard to stain. It also doesn’t seem to bend and has remained stiff when worn. It doesn’t stretch at all, and it always looks new. To clean it you wipe down with a moist cloth cleans it off.

I love that the Peacekeeper never makes the gun dig into my body. It’s just tight enough to keep the gun in place and to stay comfortable.

The Blackbeard Peacekeeper - A Low Pro Duty Belt
Trying to Pull it apart….

When it came time for a good range day, I never felt the belt budge when I drew my gun. If a belt is too loose the weapon, holster and belt will slide upwards. If it’s tight, it may be uncomfortable. The Peacekeeper walks that fine line. It’s reliable for both IWB and OWB carry and drawing.

Who is it For?

It’s perfect if you are like me and carry big guns. I love my light bearing CZ P09, and that beast needs a helluva belt. This is that belt. It’s also an excellent choice for police officers, especially the plainclothes guys who don’t have a traditional duty belt. Lastly, our gun gamers out there will undoubtedly love the comfort and adjustability the Peacekeeper provides.

The Blackbeard Peacekeeper took a risk by doing something different, and in my opinion, it paid off. The Peacekeeper is a fantastic belt, and to me is a perfect low profile duty belt.

Photos by author.

Source Article from https://loadoutroom.com/47680/blackbeard-peacekeeper/

The Daily Dump | My Updated EDC Gear

One of the perks of my job is to test and evaluate many products associated with everyday carry (EDC). Although we review many of these products on The Loadout Room, I typically default back to a standard loadout for my daily shenanigans. I try to keep things as simple and streamlined as possible. You’ll notice that most of what I carry has not changed if you look back over some of my past articles. Typically the one item that is fluid is the knife I’m carrying. I test and evaluate a lot of knives for the site which means I need to carry and use them in order to provide you the reader with an accurate review. I do change up my method of carrying a folding knife from time to time. Typically I would just clip it to my pocket like most do, but when keeping a low profile is necessary, I choose to just drop the knife in my pocket. I don’t want to give anybody any indicators that I have weapons on me, whether that is a gun or a knife. Because of that carry methodology, I had to choose a folder that was lightweight and compact, but not compromise on the quality of materials and build.

Here is the current rundown of what is on me when I leave the house:

If I’m going to carry concealed it is my Glock 26 in a Raven Concealment Eidolon holster that is setup for inside the waistband carry. Spare mag is a Glock 19 magazine secured in the back pocket via a NeoMag.

The Daily Dump | My Updated EDC Gear

Source Article from https://loadoutroom.com/28083/the-daily-dump-my-updated-edc-gear/

Control Them With Taxes.

SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” seems to be a misunderstood phrase in the United States Bill Of Rights. What does the word infringed mean? Well, according to the internet dictionaries infringed is to “wrongly limit or restrict”. In the case of the 2nd Amendment our legislative branch has been trying for years to wrongly limit or restrict firearm use. The latest attempt is a bill introduced into Congress called “Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2018, or more commonly known as H.R 5103.

On the surface preventing gun violence and making our communities safer sounds like a great thing. HR5103 however has no provisions for making neighborhoods safer or preventing gun violence. HR5103 is simply a tax levied on firearms and ammunition. The tax is earmarked for grants to help study gun violence. Rep Danny K Davis of IL wants to add a 20% tax on to every gun purchase, and a 50% tax on every box of ammunition. Have you thought about purchasing an NFA item like a suppressor or short barreled rifle? The $200 tax on those will be raised to $500 if Rep Davis has his way.

HR5103 is at its roots a form of gun control. Walk into any gun store and you will find hundreds of guns on the shelf, some are very expensive while others are pretty affordable. I recently looked into purchasing the new Glock 19x. My local gun store had one on the shelf for $710. When I buy a new gun I also need to buy several boxes of ammo for breaking it in, practicing, and also for protection. with the purchase of 4 boxes of Federal RTP and 2 boxes of Hornady Critical Defense my purchase after Michigan’s 6% sales tax comes to a whopping $866. That is a hard bill to swallow for many families. I am a strong believer on not purchasing the cheapest gun I can get so I knew my purchase would take a little time to save up for. If I HR5103 becomes law that same purchase would have cost me $1062. My budget can’t handle an expense that big and I have a pretty awesome job that pays decent money. What about those less fortunate than me? Rep Davis’s bill basically removes the ability for many to exercise their 2nd amendment right to protect themselves and their families.

America and the media tend to ignore bills like this, but what if this same tax was put on the other provisions in the Bill of Rights? How about paying a tax to the government to read your news, your favorite magazine, or book. What if you had to pay $100 to speak your mind, or pay a 20% tax to have a shirt, a car, a haircut different than everyone else? Lets apply it to the 4th Amendment. The 4th Amendment says you have the right against unreasonable search and seizure. Imagine the outcry if you have to pay a 20% tax based on the value of your home and possessions to be exempt from unreasonable search and seizure. How about a tax on your right to vote?

A tax on firearms and ammunition is simply another form of gun control. It removes the ability for many Americans to own and enjoy firearms for sport, hunting, protection, or any reason they so choose. HR 5103 is unlikely to become law at this time, however we shouldn’t take it lightly.
Anything that limits or removes a right should send up huge red flags for everyone. The government of the United States is “for the people by the people”. Don’t let others be your voice, get educated on your choices and get out and vote. Exercise your rights before they disappear.