Monday, September 9, 2019

Long Term Holster Use

long term holster use review iwb pocket galco tread softly concealment blackhawk m1916

I’m back and want to talk about something a little bit different: holsters. If you plan on carrying a firearm, you need a holster. It’s as simple as that. As I’ve mentioned in some previous articles, there are different ways to carry a handgun. I prefer inside the waistband (IWB) and pocket carry.

On my review of the Tread Softly Concealment Holster for the Smith and Wesson M&P 9, I got a comment on the video saying that IWB holsters simply don’t last. That gave me the idea for this. I am going to review the holsters that I have in my collection. I only have a few to review, because when you carry a firearm, you should carry the one that you are most familiar with.

When I started carrying, I started out with a Galco KingTuk IWB for my 1911. I then moved on to my Smith and Wesson M&P 9 with a Tread Softly Concealment IWB holster. I still carry that, but when I need to have my shirt tucked in for work, I pocket carry my SCCY CPX-2 in a Blackhawk Size 4 pocket holster.

Here’s a breakdown of each holster with how well or how poorly they have held up over the years. I have one wild card to throw in at the end to show that some holsters can in fact stand the test of time.

Galco KingTuk IWB

At around $60, this is the most expensive hostler I have. I started using this holster back in 2013 to carry my Taurus PT1911. Like any inside the waistband holster, it took a few days to start forming to my body. The thick smooth leather on the back was comfortable, and the adjustable clips were fine from the factory location.

Soon into carrying it though, the holster showed its fatal flaw. One of the clips bent, and there really is no way to bend it back. This leads to the holster not being fully secure on your belt. While the positive retention of the firearm was still there, I was losing faith in the holster.

Overall, it held up well after almost daily use, but at the end of 2014, I had made my decision to switch to carrying my Smith and Wesson M&P 9, and with it, a new holster brand.

long term holster use review iwb galco kingtuk 1911

long term holster use review iwb galco kingtuk 1911

Tread Softly Concealment IWB

At $40, initial reactions were worrisome. The leather and kydex was much thinner compared to the Galco predecessor. The back of the leather wasn’t as smooth and there was one screw holding in the adjustable clips.

Man was I wrong. It’s been almost five years, and this holster is still perfect. The leather has shaped to my body, and it’s extremely comfortable. The clips show no signs of tension loss, and the firearm locks into place better than when I first started wearing it.

I did a review on this holster years ago, and it’s even better now. While worn and discolored, it’s that way due to constant use, and I plan on using it for years to come. Tread Softly Concealment makes top quality holsters at average prices. Get one, and you’ll love it.

While I love this holster, if I wear a shirt that’s tucked in, I have to carry my SCCY CPX2 in my pocket.

long term holster use iwb tread softly concealement smith and wesson M&P 9 review

long term holster use iwb tread softly concealement smith and wesson M&P 9 review

Blackhawk Size 4 Pocket Holster

This off-brand holster has been my go-to since the start of 2014 when I got my first SCCY CPX2. To me, a pocket holster should keep things away from the trigger, but have no retention. I didn’t need anything expensive, so this $10 Walmart special was just the thing I needed. 

Starting flat, it started to take the shape of my SCCY rather quickly. I started carrying my SCCY more and more due to work clothing. In Florida, summer days are easily 105 degrees with humidity, and I sweat… A lot. Recently, this started to take its toll on the holster, and it started to break down. Black particles from the material plague the outside of my SCCY.

After about five years of heavy use and abuse, I’d say I got my money’s worth. With a cost of ownership equaling about to $2 per year at this point, I’m pleased with this results, and will probably get another.

While five years may sound old for some, how about something over twenty times older?

long term holster use blackhawk pocket size 4 sccy cpx2 review

long term holster use blackhawk pocket size 4 sccy cpx2 review

long term holster use blackhawk pocket size 4 sccy cpx2 review

US Military M1916 Holster

The M1916 Holster was developed to fit the military’s new 1911 pattern handguns. This particular holster, made by Sheffer and Rossum out of St. Paul, Minnesota was made in 1918. That makes this over 101 years old.

The strap around it is much newer, made in 1941. That style of strap was worn by the military police. Lightly carved in it are the initials “MB.” Unfortunately I have no backstory behind it.

While the leather is very stiff, and the metal is corroded beyond restoration, the original leg strap leather string still remains, which is almost impossible to find on a holster this old. However, after surviving two World Wars and possibly seeing use in Korea and beyond, I’d say it looks pretty good for its age.

Its days of holding a 1911 ready for combat might be long gone, but its life remains for years to come.

long term holster use review 1911 us military holster wwii wwi sheffer and rossum m1916

long term holster use review 1911 us military holster wwii wwi sheffer and rossum m1916

long term holster use review 1911 us military holster wwii wwi sheffer and rossum m1916

So that’s that! Your holster will probably last you as long as you need it to. The more moving parts it has, the more likely it is to fail. Weather, storage, and use dictate a lot for how long your holster will last as well.

What holster do you use? Let me know in the comments below. Want more reviews like this? Don’t forget to check us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Shooters World Orlando Review

shooters world orlando review biggest indoor range random firearm

I’ve been to a few ranges, but the one I used to always go to closed down. When looking for a new one in Central Florida, Shooters World popped up. The pictures looked too good to be true, so I had to check it out in person. It is one of the most amazing firearm related places that I have seen.

When you walk in, you’re greeted right away from staff, and the “Trend Circle.” The Trend Circle is a round display of 198 different hand guns. They have no magazines, and the firing pins and trimmed, so they are safe to pick up and manipulate.

While trying to take in all the rest of the retail space in, they have endless glass cases along the walls filled with firearms that are separated by manufacturer. In the middle of the room are shelves packed with any type of accessory you can think of. If for some reason they don’t have what you need, they can order it for you. 

shooters world orlando review biggest indoor range random firearm

After you realize that that is just the retail space, the rest of the first floor is filled with lane after lane of 25 and 50 yard ranges. All climate controlled and filtered for your comfort. Touch screens panels control your target’s distance to the inch. Lanes are bright well maintained. 

In this area is where you can fill out the range form on a tablet when you bring your own firearm, or rent one of their firearms. You have tons of rental options including machine guns and a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle! How do you shoot that on a 50 yard range? Well, that’s when you go upstairs and experience their 100 yard range. Yes. A 100 yard range indoors. It feels like something out of Batman, and it’s incredible. 

shooters world orlando review biggest indoor range random firearm

shooters world orlando review biggest indoor range random firearm

shooters world orlando review biggest indoor range random firearm

Also on the first floor is a full service gunsmith, high end juice bar, and the Salt Lick Saloon: a laser shooting gallery perfect for teaching the younger ones the fundamentals of shooting in a safe, fun, and rewarding way.

shooters world orlando review biggest indoor range random firearm

Down the hallway on the second floor, you are flanked with seemingly endless lanes of a 15 yard range and two massive classrooms on the other side. You can also browse their selection of per-owned firearms. That’s my jam, but it was a smaller selection considering the rest of the store. Right above the retail space you’ll find membership lockers, gun safes for sale, and a small lounge next to very high-end hunting rifles and shotguns that are available for purchase. 

shooters world orlando review biggest indoor range random firearm

I felt like a kid in a candy store. There was so much to take in, and I’m sure I’m missing something. I encourage you to watch the video at the end of this article which features General Manager Ryan giving me a tour of the facility. He covers everything you need to know, and so much more. 

Get yourself over to Shooters World, and let them know that I sent you! Want more range reviews? Don’t forget to check us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Good To Go | Book Review

good to go book review harry constance dylan benson navy seal team 2 in vietnam

When I read, I prefer nonfiction so that I may learn something. History books are boring though. When a true story is written down as a novel, I get hooked. That was just the case with Good To Go written by Harry Constance and Randall Fuerst. 

Good To Go is the true story of Harry Constance, a decorated member of Seal Team Two. It covers his time before the Seals, annoying times of trying to get in the Seals, during his three tours in Vietnam, and even his time after. It's written in first person, and written very well. 

His story is incredible. From start to finish, I found it hard to put this book down. This isn't just a war book. While all that is well documented in the book, it goes deeply into his personal life: family, relationships, friendships, and so on. 

Normally first person writings of nonfiction are not entirely my style. My most recent read before this was American Sniper, and while I have much respect for Chris Kyle, he's not a writer. The book, while an incredible story, was so poorly written. Good To Go was an amazing novel, and true. The last book I read that was this good was Marine Sniper. 

He focused on the story, and gave history lessons when needed only to help set the scene. He didn't talk about the free love and anti-war movements of the 1970s to state them. He made them part of the story. They affected his time overseas, and his relationship at home. 

Everything tied in together and came full circle. Every name he mentioned had a reason. The prologue and epilogue met. Everything detail flowed into the next to create one seamless and engaging linear story. 

That, perhaps, was maybe one of the book's only short-comings. There were some times where a double space, or maybe a new chapter would have been appropriate. Some things happened months apart, but were the next line. Still, the flow was good over-all. 

If you want to read a book about Vietnam, intense battles, struggling life back home, tactics, and backstabbing, then this book is for you. It sounds cliché, but I had a hard time putting this book down.

Have you read this book?  Let me know what you thought about it in comment below.  If you have any suggestions alone these lines, let me know as well!  For more book reviews, make sure you come back, and please check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, May 20, 2019

I Almost had to Draw my Firearm

Concealed carrying a firearm is like having a fire extinguisher in your home: you hope you never have to use it, but you better have it when you need it. This was the case for me recently. 

As some of you may know, I co-own a paint and body shop. Go check out the Badass Body Shop YouTube channel. Yes, shameless self promotion. Anyway... I was there late one night doing something. 

I backed in front of our bay door. To the left of my car was a pickup, and to the right were trees and bushes. In front was some pavement before the parking spots continue on the other side. I can’t carry at my “day jobs,” so I keep my SCCY CPX2 in my pocket. My first choice is my Smith and Wesson M&P9 carried inside the waistband on my hip, but I have to have my shirt tucked in for work, so that’s not doable. 

The SCCY is a good pistol, regardless of what some my say. I have done plenty of video on it torturing it, neglecting it, and so on. 

I did break two of the Rules of Stupid. “The Rules of Stupid state that you should never (1) go to Stupid places, (2) with Stupid people, (3) at Stupid times, and (4) do Stupid things.” Courtesy of the Active Self Protection site. I was at a stupid place at a stupid time. 

I did what I had to do in the shop, so I turned off the lights and exited out the the single door (next to the bay door) locking it behind me. Right in front of me was my car, and I was walking toward it when headlights came into the parking lot off the main road. 

The car was speeding in, and the first thing that went through my head was that something was off. There was no reason for another car to be here this late. He pulled right in front of my car and stopped. At this point, my hand was on the handle of the door to my car. 

I watch a lot of Active Self Protection on YouTube. If you are unfamiliar with the channel, go check it out. It shows security camera footage, dash cam footage, body cam footage, and so on giving you a play by play about what happens in potentially deadly situations. The evidence based tips really helped me with my next moves. 

Everything started flying through my head. I put my left hand up in front of me to show some sort of compliance. My right hand rested near my right pocket (where my SCCY was). I knew I couldn’t draw because with the headlights, I couldn’t see who was in the car, and if they had a firearm out, I would be dead trying to “draw from the drop” (when the other person has a firearm already out). 

I could not enter my car because I was blocked in on all sides, and it would have been a coffin. I couldn’t go back into the shop, because I would have to turn my back and try to unlock the door. My best bet was the run to my left, use the pickup as cover and concealment, and keep going. Not point in drawing my firearm: just run and escape. 

I stepped back and the car inched forward. That was a mistake. I gave a hint at what I wanted to do. I should have just run, but there was so much going through my mind. 

I heard the car door open, and then laughing. It turns out it was someone I knew: a tow truck driver that we use frequently. He was meeting his friend to check out another car in the parking lot, but when I has I was there, he decided to mess with me. Instantly I yelled out that he was almost shot. 

Thankfully nothing happened. I say that for two reasons: one, I didn’t shoot someone I know or get shot by an actual bad guy. Two: it was some of the best training I could have gotten. Without knowing what would happen, I assumed the worst and reacted accordingly. I recognized what I did wrong, what I did right, and what I could have done faster. All the way down to where I park my car so I’m not boxed in. 

What I did Right:
  • Didn’t draw from the drop
  • Didn’t attempt to enter my car
  • Didn’t attempt to re-enter the locked shop (turning my back)
  • Developed a quick escape plan
  • Backed my car in, and didn’t pull in (didn’t help too much in this situation though)
What I could have done Better:
  • Comply fully, or resist fully. With only one had up and inching back, I gave too many hints that I wasn’t ready to comply.
  • Boxed my car in
  • Broke two Rules of Stupid
  • Did not flee fast enough (even though this was only a matter of seconds). Each place you go, you should have at least one escape plan.
All in all, I would say I did a good job overall based off the situation. I mean, I’m here to tell you about it. That could have been my last moment had that been real. 

I would encourage you ALL to be as aware of your surroundings as much as possible, carry all the time and know how to use your firearm, don’t break the Rules of Stupid, and at least watch a few videos such as the ones from Active Self Protection so that you will be more prepared should you ever need to be. I didn’t think I would be put in that situation, and depending on where you live, most people don’t. It can always happen. Be ready. Be prepared. Stay safe. 

For more information like this as well as gun and gear reviews, torture tests, history, and more, please check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Thank you for stopping by. 

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More