This month we will be making some major changes to the site! In this post I’m going to outline some of these changes so you all know what to expect.
First, as you all have probably noticed we are growing like crazy! We’re about to tip the scales at almost 50,000+ visits per month. We are also averaging 40-50 online users at a time. Some users who are online regularly have noticed some performance issues as of late so we’re going to try to resolve this issue by moving the site to a virtual private server. This should help with any issues and give us a major boost in performance.
Next up, we’ve listened to everyones recommendations and we’re going to update the theme of the site to something fresh and hopefully easier on the eyes for everyone. With this we are also going to be updating the forum software to VB4. This should give us some more enhancements to the forums and hopefully fix any issues that we aren’t aware of.
Last, but certainly not least, we will be adding a huge amount of reviews to the site. From our trip to SHOT we were able to make some great contacts and we will be able to review products that might be otherwise unavailable. If you are a manufacturer or a trainer and would like us to review something for you, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].
Some of the products and services we will be reviewing are:
We’re also going to revive project AR-15! If you have any other ideas for us whether products to review or site suggestions, contact us or post in the forums!
The Summit 2011 will focus on solutions for dealing with difficult sitautions. The Summit will last for two days and will allow the participants to meet with and learn from the training industry’s leading experts to include:
We will be working with the instructors to ensure that this Summit will have the best mix of subject matter ever. You can be assured that there will be shooting sessions, hands onsessions and classroomsessions. We can guarantee you that you will not be bored and you will be challenged. Additionally, there will be another man-on-man shoot off with great prize money and a raffle.
UPDATE! USE THE REGISTRATION LINK BELOW AND GET THE SUMMIT FOR ONLY $260. JUST FOR NYFIREARMS.COM MEMBERS!!!!!
There exist numerous methods for concealed carry of handguns and with each method come a number of manufacturers, materials and types of of holsters. I am a fan of very few methods of carry for personal protection and admittedly NOT a fan of ankle carry for a primary handgun. Unfortunately, things don’t always go the way we want and the time comes when we have to explore options outside our comfort zone or personal preferences i.e. ankle carry/CCW.
In 2009 I had the opportunity to meet and train with a couple guys from Alessi Holsters located in Cheektowaga, NY. Anyone who carries a handgun on the job or off has probably at one time or another heard of Alessi and their reputation in the industry is well earned. Founded in 1974, Alessi holsters was primarily know for producing custom hand crafted holsters for the US Government and several foreign military agencies. In recent years Alessi has opened up production to citizens, undercover LE and security professionals who carry a gun every day.
One of the guys from Alessi approached me and showed me his Alessi ankle rig commenting on how I was pocket carrying my Smith & Wesson 642 backup. As stated above, I was not a fan of ankle carry due to the difficulties associated with accessing the handgun from that location and comfort issues I had experienced with previous ankle holsters I had evaluated for my personal use. Upon seeing the Alessi rig I immediately saw the difference in design quality, durability and comfort. Jeff allowed me to use his Alessi ankle holster for the remainder of that day during the class consisting of approximately 7 hrs on my feet shooting and moving. I will admit that I forgot I had that ankle rig on. The holster was so comfortable that I didn’t want to give it back and, if I recall correctly, I offered to buy his from him right there on the spot. Upon returning home that night I got online and purchased an Alessi ankle holster via the Alessiholsters.com web store for my SW642. Over the last year and a half I have found myself presented with several occasions where carrying my full size guns was a no go such as weddings, formal meetings and other such events. The Alessi ankle rig has been with me each time.
I received my holster in just less than 3 weeks and immediately started utilizing it for my backup gun. Made of russet leather and felt this holster is extremely durable and most importantly to me, comfortable. If a holster is not comfortable for 8+ hrs of extended wear I won’t wear it. It measures 5.25 inches in height and under 2 inches at its thickest point (cylinder). The 2 inch wide wrap around secures via Velcro and is extremely robust and secure. When I first received it I did a little jog test on the treadmill for about half a mile with no shifting or retention problems. Since that time I have had occasion to sprint short distances and grapple in combatives classes while wearing this holster with similar results; retention is excellent.
Ankle Carry Considerations:
The Alessi ankle holster has changed my opinion of ankle carry as an option when circumstances dictate non-traditional primary carry. I now appreciate the positive reviews and recommendations for this holster I’ve received from LE undercover officer friends and Federal Agents I have had the pleasure of interacting and training with. To top things off Alessi offers a (3) day return policy and free lifetime holster repair for common wear damage. I will continue to utilize my Alessi ankle holster and if you are in the market I encourage you to check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
Alessi Ankle Rig: $165 + Shipping
Contact Alessi Holsters: http://www.alessigunholsters.com/
PUYALLUP, WA: Blade-Tech Industries, a leading manufacturer of tactical and thermoplastic products announces the retirement of its founder, Tim Wegner.
Tim Wegner started Blade-Tech Industries with the idea that there was a need in the market for high quality thermoplastic knife sheathes and holsters. His dream started in his garage hand making each piece. As demand grew, Blade-Tech Industries grew. Today Tim’s vision has developed into one of the best known high quality holster manufacturers in the United States.
In 2005 Tim hired Steve Avila, formally of Boeing, as CEO to take the company and vision to the next level. Tim watched as his son, Bryce Wegner, took over as President of the company and his longtime friend and co-innovator from the first days in Tim’s garage, Tom Crawford, became COO.
With this new administration in place, a foundation was set that allowed Tim to start curtailing some of his executive responsibilities and work with the new team to focus on developing the right product for Blade-Tech’s ever growing customer base.
Tim is one of the pioneers of utilizing thermoplastic to make practical products that can be worn by law enforcement officers, military personnel and civilians alike. His hard work helped forge techniques that are now widely used across the whole holster industry.
Over the years, Tim has designed many of Blade-Tech’s best selling knives. In the early years of the company he oversaw the introduction of some of Blade-Tech’s most popular products and helped to chart a course that aided in leading Blade-Tech into many venues including the world of competitive shooting. Blade-Tech is still one of the most used brands of gear across all of the shooting sports.
With the plethora of holster companies on the market today, Tim helped Blade-Tech secure its reputation of being a consistent provider of durable holsters that have an unsurpassed fit. Reliability is the foundation of Blade-Tech Industries’ success; a success that continues to grow even in the backdrop of a recession.
Though Tim will no longer be working on a day-to-day basis at the Blade-Tech facility, his legacy will continue on through the leadership of his son and the hard work of the whole Blade-Tech team. Blade-Tech’s future will continue on the path of innovation and quality, always honoring Tim’s contribution as its founder.
Yesterday was the first day for the SHOT show. I would have had this blog post up last night, but well… you know, it’s Vegas and all 😉 Anyways, the show is held at the Sands Expo and Convention center. It’s in like 6 different rooms across 3 floors, and I’m pretty sure I might have only been through 40% of it in the first day! Please excuse the cell phone pics, as I wanted to be able to give you guys a teaser without having to offload everything from my big camera.
There are so many vendors here, it is unbelievable how anyone can even make it through all of it and remember where they are. So we started in the Law Enforcement section because I wanted to visit my friends at the Daniel Defense booth. They have nearly 5 20×20 booths, with all kinds of new products, including their new line of Ambush products, geared towards the hunting enthusiasts. We’ll have more pictures of that when I offload everything off of my good camera.
The law enforcement section was actually pretty great to walk through. I do a lot of work with local law enforcement and it was great to see the new and latest offerings, not only in firearms, but in gear and other products. It definitely made me feel good to see that there are so many great companies supporting the boys in blue.
Also, in law enforcement, was the Pelican booth, displaying a ton of their great multi-gun cases, along with several new flashlight offerings for 2011. Their products are always quite innovative, and if it weren’t for the price, I’d have the 6 AR case in Flat Dark Earth!
Also in the law enforcement section was LMT, KNS Precision, Precision Reflex Inc, EOTech, Magpul, Vortex Optics, Nightforce Optics, Phoebus Flashlights, Stag Arms, Voodoo Tactical, Meprolight, and a few others.
LoKsak, Inc had a booth in the LE section as well and they were demonstrating some high end waterproof bag solutions for phones and other gear. They had an iPhone in their bag, down in a fish tank. The phone is still completely usable through the bag, which makes the product great for people using their phones near water. Look for a future review from us on their products.
We stopped by the Accuracy International booth, which was also in the LE section, to check out some of their kick-ass chassis systems for R700 rifles, as well as their complete long rage rifles offered in .308, .338 Lapua, and .50BmG. They had a very nice booth, and their rep was very helpful in giving us a rundown on their new products. We hope to be reviewing one of their R700 chassis in the near future!
After making our way through the LE section, it was time for a small break because even though the section we were in was “small” it was probably almost of mile of walking between looping down the aisles. We wanted to get into the main section, but we weren’t prepared for how big it was going to be….
When we crossed over into the main section of the SHOT show, an overwhelming feeling came across all of us… “We have to walk this?!?!” Considering the fact that the main part of the show was probably over 100,000 square feet, it was quite the daunting task to think about having to walk the entire thing! Well, we complained a little bit more and then went on our way.
As we started going up and down the aisles, trying to fight the urge to skip through them, and just run up to the fun-looking booths, or the ones that gave out free candy, pens, or keychains, we noticed that Magnum research had a booth, so we stopped by to handle some Desert Eagles and baby DE’s.
Having never personally held one of these before, it came quite apparent that I need to purchase one to take some pistol training. However, I think Brian Hartman from PFC would kick my ass if I did. The first impression from holding the gold plated Desert Eagle in
.50AE was one of absolute coolness. I don’t think I’ve ever looked this cool as I did when holding a gold plated Desert Eagle. It was about halfway through my daydreaming of fame when my wife, Erica, smacked me and said put it down and lets go. I put it back, we moved on our way, but not without asking if they made them in anodized Pink (uhh, for her).
In the main section, there are so many booths, it was hard to keep track of which ones we were stopping at. We had stopped by the Walther booth to check out their new handgun, the Hogue booth to see their new knives, and the Allen booth to yell at them for discontinuing the tactical rifle bags. There were many booths that had hunting supplies and the like, but being I am more a black rifle kind-of guy, we didn’t stop at very many of those.
Along the way we stopped at the LaRue Tactical booth so I could introduce myself to Mark LaRue. We snapped a couple pics, and I checked out some of his new products. Seems like they have a few new, noteworthy products that we may save for some reviews in the future.
We also stopped in the “Made in Germany” section where they were showcasing various manufacturers from Germany, and their respective importers. We met a company that has a great add-on to turn a glock/1911 into a carbine. While it may not be legal for a civilian to own, it seemed like a very innovative product for law enforcement and military. We are going to do some more research on the product and it’s respective laws. Also, we will probably be receiving some samples to write some reviews on as well.
Another German-based company that we ran into was Ballistol. The product, which is environmentally friendly, is a multi-purpose lubricator/protector/preserve for your firearms. It seems like a great “green” product, and we are going to write up a review on how it holds up to some of the others.
We decided to stop at the humongous NRA booth to talk with them about recruiting. We found some great information on how we can help recruit members to the NRA as a club for NYFirearms.com. We decided to sign up and we’ll be providing information on the site where you guys can renew your membership, add a year, or sign up your wife/girlfriend/friend/etc. It will help us raise some money for the site, so we can bring new enhancements, better hosting, etc. The team at the NRA made it easy for us to sign up as recruiters, and we’re very excited to be able to offer it directly to our members. As we get more information on it, we’ll post it up and let you guys and gals know!
After finishing up at the NRA booth, we walked through the Beretta booth, and a few others before stopping by the Bushmaster booth to check our the ACR and some of the Carbon-15 AR pistols. The ACR is quite a cool rifle, despite it’s higher price tag. Obviously if you have a need for the interchangeable barrels, then it might be a great deal for you. I grabbed one off the wall, made my coolest face I could, and we snapped some pics.
The Freedom Group, which owns several large firearms companies, amongst them DPMS, Remington, Bushmaster, and Advanced Armament, had a huge display of their firearms and different products. However, Advanced Armament had it’s own booth and display, showing many of their suppressors, including some complete rifles using the new .300 Blackout round. Their marketing and their booth display was quite impressive, and their products back up their ability to market well. We certainly will be reviewing some of their products this year as well!
We also stopped by the KABAR booth where they had some brand new “Zombie Knives” which were a set of their large knives with neon green handles. They were pretty cool, and should be on any zombie-enthusiasts shopping list. Other than those, KABAR didn’t really have any other new products. They had some products that had been discontinued and were now reintroduced, but I wasn’t really all that impressed with their products.
Sig Sauer had a great booth at the show as well. They were featuring some of their new pistols, including the P290. We had a chance to hold and feel their new products along with their entire line of pistols. I also was able to meet Max Michel Jr., a new addition to the Sig Sauer shooting team, and we discussed some of the new handguns and other new products. I was definitely impressed by his knowledge and their booth display as well.
FNH USA had a very impressive booth at the show as well. We were able to handle the SCAR 17 as well as the P90, along with several other of the rifles they manufacture. The quality of their rifles show in the sample models, and they too had a very informative and well-setup booth.
As we were getting ready to head out of the show we stopped by the Glock booth and Colt booths. Both companies had very large booths, displaying all of their handguns and other products. It’s not surprising that some of the two largest handgun manufacturers had probably some of the biggest booths in the show. While we rushed through them, we will probably stop by there again today to check out some of their products.
Before we headed out of the show for the night, we wanted to stop by and see Mega Arms, which was located at the Adam’s Arms booth on the lower level. On our way there we came across the Dillon Aero booth, where I couldn’t help but test out their Minigun mount for vehicles, just in case I need to get one for my Jeep. We stuck around for a little bit longer to watch the videos on the miniguns in action before heading over to the Adam’s Arms booth to see the Mega Arms team.
When we got to the Mega Arms booth, we had a warm welcome, as we have been talking to Mega for quite some time now. They had their new MATEN receiver set there for us to check out as well as their brand new MATEN .308 monolithic upper. Both were absolutely gorgeous products.
Overall our passage through the show yesterday was pretty good. We made some great contacts for new products to review and companies to feature on here. We’re also super excited to be able to offer you guys the NRA memberships that will help keep this site going! Stay tuned for more pictures and blogging about our trip through the show today! We’ll also be adding a gallery with better pics from the good camera! Thanks for reading!
Selecting a handgun for personal or home protection is a very individual subject. I am often asked what gun I recommend and will usually give suggestions or offer a few elements to consider, rarely suggesting a specific make, model or manufacturer. Here are some points to consider before you purchase:
1) The gun has to fit your hand. A lot of people buy guns that are simply too big (the grip) for their hand. This is mainly done because the individual “likes” a certain gun or someone told them that is the gun they should buy because that’s what they have or they like. Again, this is a highly individualized subject. I know a guy who was told that he HAD to have a Beretta 92F (M9) because that’s what the military uses. He went out and bought one and that gun was way too big for his hand and had all sorts of problems shooting that handgun well. So, just because someone tells you that’s what you should have does not mean its right, nor does it mean because someone is an “instructor” they will know what YOU should get or need. You need to do the leg work and research to find what best suits your needs. Companies like Glock make several models in varied sizes of the same caliber in order to meet people of varied sizes and needs; G26, G19, G17, G34- all 9mm.
2) Along the lines of fitting your hand, whatever gun you choose it must be possible for you to reach and operate the controls TOTALLY one handed. The safety, magazine release, slide stop/release, all must be accessible with the firing hand only (strong or support). If you have to fight with just one hand (due to injury or because your possibly holding your daughter or son’s hand at the time) but have only trained to use both your hands to run the gun then you have a potentially lethal problem. If you have to extremely modify or compromise your grip on the gun which increases the chance of dropping, severely inhibits response time or compromises safety then you have a problem and need to find a better alternative.
3) IF that gun will be dedicated to protecting your life, the life of your family or perhaps a third party, it should be relatively simple to operate. I am not a fan of guns with multiple action types: Single action/Double action etc. I don’t like guns with de-cockers or even thumb safeties. The more mechanical devices on the gun, the longer it will take you to fully understand and become proficient with its manual of arms. If you have the time to study the manual of arms for your handgun and become proficient thats great but remember, we don’t get to choose when trouble will find us. You may buy your new gun today and tomorrow night is when that critical incident could occur. Simple, striker fired guns provide you and possibly others in your family with immediate options with little study of the gun.
4) It must be robust – if this gun will be protecting your life then it better be reliable. Some guns are known for being finicky. That’s not a positive attribute for a personal protection handgun, in my opinion. It should be able to take a large amount of abuse and still work great. It should be able to fire 500+ rounds in a training class without having issues.
5) Can you conceal the gun? If you posess a concealed carry license and choose to carry your handgun daily then it is your job to conceal that handgun. Some guns are more difficult to conceal than others depending upon factors such as handgun size, your body composition (tall, lean, short or heavy), most common mode of dress (do you wear a suit or skirt daily) and the environment you reside in (cold, hot, humid etc). All of these factors along with selecting a robust holster and the best carry position for you must be considered.
6) Finally- think about the future. If you are married or have kids, can your spouse, son or daughter pick up the gun and operate it under bad circumstances? It may be you who is sick or injured in bed and one of them may have to defend you with the handgun. Is it a relatively simple gun to extend into their visual plane, touch the trigger and press off rounds? If you have difficulty with the gun at the range shooting paper targets and under minimal stress then how will it be for them when a home intruder is coming up the stairs and you are incapacitated, injured, bed-ridden or unable to do anything?
What about caliber? What caliber gun is best for personal protection is an age old debate; some say .45 stops them every time while others state that 9mm or .38 will get the job done equally well. Lately, I keep hearing and am told that .40 is the only way to go. My advice is to get a gun that fits your hand, buy lots and lots of ammunition and practice placing the rounds exactly where you want them to go. The next time you consider getting into a debate about caliber and which is the best man stopper consider this: The Peter Soulis Incident.
Start slow and build up speed, add some stress and some shoot-no-shoot decision making. Shot placement is far more important than what caliber gun your choose to carry, but, like many things in life it takes some work to get good at. Select a hangun that works for YOU and then go do the work.
Chris Fry is the owner and director of training and curriculum development for Modern Defensive Training Systems in Utica, NY where he conducts courses in reality driven practical combatives skills, extreme close quarters physical defense, tactical folding knife and edged weapon combatives and combative pistol, carbine and shotgun skills.
I recently picked up this book to get me by through the long nights when our newborn cannot sleep, and found myself not being able to put it down! The book is Tactical Pistol Shooting by Erik Lawrence. Despite some simple editing errors in the book, it was very informative, had accurate and helpful pictures, and was an easy read.
“Mastering the basics is the only way to shoot faster or more accurately, and this goal can be achieved only with proper instruction and critiques. This consolidated, easy-to-read handbook provides a base knowledge that offers laymen and/or professional operators the references to learn/maintain their skills with their pistol, thus raising their level of competence. Whether you carry a pistol for a living or for defense, this book will help you attain the level of training desired.”
The book address concepts like mindset, body mechanics, fundamentals, tactical reloading, and even shooting while wounded. There were many times where it made me go “Well, what if this happened to me??” Additionally it gives you some drills to work on your skills, and even includes a progress worksheet. Unfortunately for Jeff (darkvibe), the entire book is written for the right hand dominant shooter, but it does have a small chapter towards the end for some information on left hand shooting.
The book is concise and to the point, and it gives the feeling of being written by an author with years of real-world experience. Many shooting books and guides are very much like textbooks, and teach great theories but do not offer practical applications to the concepts taught. This is not the case with Lawrence’s book.
After finishing this book I feel I have a much better grasp of the concepts and something to work on at the Tuesday night defensive pistol shoots with Rochester Personal Defense. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who wants to refine their skills or learn some new ones.
Title: Tactical Pistol Shooting, 2nd Edition
Author: Erik Lawrence & Mike Pannone
Price: US $24.99
I was taken aback by an email I received today. It included a proposal from SCOPE that supports renewable pistol licenses. In the email SCOPE justifies the view by saying “Based on the high probability of the passage of one or both of these bills, which we feel it is not realistic to blanketly oppose, we are working on proposals designed to protect our interests while meeting the stated objectives of the sponsors.”
Their proposal includes a 2 tier licensing system. A possession license would require a 5 hour lecture which, according to the proposal, would cost $75 to $100. This training is similar to the NRA first steps course. An optional concealed carry permit would require 16 hours of training in defensive tactics and laws and according to the proposal would cost $150 to $200. This training is similar to the NRA personal protection outside the home I, II and III.
Renewal fees would be limited to actual cost which would be under $50.
The proposal does include some good points such as a provision in the penal law to allow hands on training during the training and removal of the “proper cause” clause for issuing a permit.
I think this proposal creates unnecessary added costs to an already expensive application process. It also adds more burden on licensing agencies that are already months behind and although permit holders will fund the renewals, it does not address funding the added cost of vetting candidates under the two tier system. I don’t think this is a good starting point for a pro gun organization to accept regarding this legislation. I would rather support NYSRPAs position of opposing any renewable pistol license legislation.
Many of us leave our house every day with a pistol securely stowed in a holster and a flashlight tucked in our pocket. We feel safe knowing that we’re proficient with our gun and are prepared for any encounter, even it it happens after dark. How many of us practice shooting while using a flashlight? That question is exactly what I started thinking when I saw an upcoming class for Low Light Pistol Skills 1 & 2 from MDTS training. I believe having the tools to defend yourself is only a small part of the task. Knowing how to use them plays a larger part of a situation.
With the boom of the AR-15 in popularity amongst firearms enthusiasts, many people have little to no training in how to use such a firearm in a tactical situation. I have always been interested in tactical training not only because of the cool factor, but it can benefit my shooting, and hone my skills for personal protection.
I stumbled across LMI Inc and their tactical training offerings. Ron Lauinger, owner and instructor at LMI, was extremely helpful over the phone and quickly made my decision for me to give the class a chance. At around $200, the class is very reasonably priced, especially for an 8 hour training class (Try that in the IT world). However, there is a significant expense in ammo needed for the class. I ended up using 750 rounds of .223 ammo which cost me close to $400. Overall, the expense was well worth it.
The class was held at Canandaigua Sportsman’s Club, where many of Ron’s classes are held. The layout at this range is perfect for classes like this and provides a large amount of room to move and shoot.
After a little practice shooting at different distances, and differing body positions, we started really diving into the tactical situations. We learned responding to malfunction and reloading situations as well as a big emphasis on moving while shooting. The concepts are not hard to grasp, but under pressure, it can be very difficult to remember to do certain things. Additionally, we worked with barricades, multiple threats, and working with a partner for room-clearing techniques.
For anyone interested in enhancing their skills and firearms experience, I encourage you to check out the offerings by LMI, Inc. They have a wide range of classes from pistol and rifle training to close quarters combat training. Also, Ron and LMI have recently become sponsors of this site, and are here to help support all of us. I am glad I was able to participate in this class, and I’m looking forward to taking another with LMI.
Doug Turnbull (Bloomfield, NY) is known for his firearm restoration and custom work by gun collectors, owners and dealers throughout the world. His shop’s work on rifles, shotguns and handguns includes finishing, barrel work, wood work and complete restoration. Take a look at their site for examples of their work, list of services and complete pricing.