- Suunto Traverse Alpha
- aLokSak w/ Medkit
- Gerber Impromptu
- Gerber Order
- Oakley SI Detcord Cerakoted
- S&S Precision Vlites
- S&S Precision Manta Strobe
- IR Chemlight
- Smartphone with Magpul Case
- LokSak ShieldSak RFID pouch
- Steiner T824
- Gerber GhostStrike
- Glock 19
- Streamlight TLR-1 HL Tan
- SureFire E2D Defender Ultra
The most important accessory for your firearms (both pistols and long guns) is quite possibly an illumination tool. Uncertain firepower will almost always lead to trouble, if either you miss your target or you shoot at something you were not intending to destroy. A simple and quite inexpensive solution for this problem is a weapon-mounted light (or WML). This tool will usually provide a tactical advantage, and, most importantly, will take away the uncertainty of where those rounds go.
Unfortunately, even nowadays, many gun owners think that the only applications of weapon mounted lights are in the military and Law Enforcement field. In reality, this tool is almost mandatory for low-light/no-light engagements, especially for civilians. One of the most important applications for such a tool is home defense, a scenario in which almost every gun owner can see himself or herself involved.
In this article, we are mainly going to focus on personal defense applications for civilians: both home invasions and concealed carry. Statistically, vastly majority of attacks occur by nighttime; the intruders or attackers utilize darkness as an advantage, so a flashlight is a vital tool.
For many years, the use of a handheld flashlight in conjunction with a handgun has been the choice for many professionals. The benefit of having a separated handheld light is that you do not have to point a loaded weapon at the possible threat that you are investigating on. While the main cons is of course the impossibility of any one-handed weapon manipulation, which also excludes any long gun application.
Utilizing a WML on a handgun also allows the operator to work both on the light-switch and on the trigger with a single hand, which is essential when wounded or when helping others to safety.
The preferred method used, in the past few years, by many professionals has been the application of both weapon mounted and handheld lights used simultaneously. This will provide the tactical and practical advantages of the weapon mounted light and the safety of the handheld (for all those further investigations on possible “false alarms”, you really do not want to point your gun at the neighbor’s dog that somehow has escaped…)
A weapon mounted light, according to many military and LE users, has to be as simple as possible in order to be operated effectively. While many hand held flashlight have on average 5-7 features (between strobes, brightness levels and special functions), it is mandatory that a weapon mount light only has two
functions: Momentary ON and Steady ON (some people use strobe, but we are not really huge fans).
The operator should not have to focus on the light instead of on the threat while cycling through the light’s functions. Streamlight has applied a very interesting rotatory switch to their weapon mounted light. It can be worked with both the trigger finger (index) and the support-hand’s thumb. If toggled
clockwise it will provide steady ON mode, while momentary only if toggle anticlockwise. This is a very simple and effective solution that requires very little training and practice to be operated. The light comes with the strobe mode pre-installed; if you want to disable it, quickly toggle 9 times the momentary on and keep it pressed on the tenth. This process will able or disable the strobe function.
Streamlight offers the latest version of their TLR-1 HL model with a single 800 Lumen output. The light is powered by two lithium CR123A batteries and it has a runtime of 1.75 hours. The light-beam generated by this light’s LED appears to be very versatile for both indoor and outdoor engagements. A glass-like material prism refracts the light through itself providing the internal light enhancement properties and making the whole product much more rugged
than those using a metal-like reflective mirror. The “spill” of the outer circular beam has a very wide angle making the TLR-1 HL an ideal light for close quarters combat and for peripheral vision, while the very hot center provides a very good “throw” with an approximate reach of 300m, a necessity for distant target acquisition and engagement. At these distances, it is probably going to be mounted on a long gun. Below are two examples of the light beams at 25m and at 50m in total darkness (the camera is in the same position).
The Streamlight TLR-1 HL comes with 4 mounting accessories for Glock, Beretta 90Two, S&W pistol and 1913 Rails. The aftermarket accessories for this light include a remote switch and a dedicated door-switch for rifle applications. If you are interested in purchasing only one weapon-mounted light to be alternated between your handgun and your rifle this is just the right product for you. Most other weapon-mounted lights on the market are offered only as water-resistant while the Streamlight is IPX7 Waterproof.
The light comes in three different colors: Black, Flat Dark Earth and Flat Dark Earth Brown colors; in this article are shown the FDE and Black models.
For more information regarding the Streamlight TLR-1 HL weapon mounted lights please visit:
- Glock 19 gen 4 equipped with Streamlight TLR-1 HL (800 Lumen) in Flat Dark Earth color
- Two magazines with 15 rounds of defensive ammo
- Gerber Ghoststrike combat knife with Cerakote finish
- Gerber Impromptu tactical pen
- S&S Precision V-Lite
- Gerber Order folding knife with Cerakote finish
- SureFire E2D Defender Ultra flashlight
- Oakley Standard Issue Ballistic DetCord sunglasses with Cerakote finish
- Samsung Galaxy S6 with Magpul Field case
- LokSak ShieldSak RFID pouch
Blue Force Gear is well known for quite possibly the most low profile PALS-Webbing / MOLLE pouches on the market. They have put together two incredibly thin and durable materials: the military grade elastic and the ULTRAcomp laminate. The combination of these two fabrics created the well-known Ten-Speed pouches. After the great success with the MOLLE platform, Blue Force Gear has decided to apply this technology to the belt pouch. For many years, leather and Kydex were the two only material utilized in belt pouches, the only problem with these was the bulkiness and impossibility to have them “collapsed” against the body when not in use. Although Kydex remains a good option for more overt applications, the Blue Force Gear belt pouches are suited for more covert applications for both military and civilian use.
The belt-mounted line of pouches are designed specifically for:
- rifle mags (low rise and high rise pouches available)
- pistol mags
- dump pouches
- pepper spray
These products serve three different category of users simultaneously: Military personnel, LE officers and concealed carry civilians.
For this article, we had the chance to test the pistol mag pouch in the two configurations: single mag
and double mag. These two mag pouches are designed to be quickly and easily accessible, even under
stress. They work with both single and double stack magazine. The high quality elastic material allows
to switch between double stack and single stack mags without losing any retention capability.
Although fast speed reloads are ideal for this type of pouch, tactical reloads are also possible with just a
little practice. The main feature of this system is that once you extract the content, the pouch collapses
on it-self reducing any extra bulk. In our opinion, this feature is ideal for EDC and CCW.
For everyday carry purposes we have found that this pouch is incredibly useful not only for pistol mags
but also for multi-tools, battery racks and flashlights.
For CCW we usually like to carry appendix or 3 o’clock (both IWB and OWB). For appendix carry the use
of a mag caddy is quite comfortable, but when carrying at the 3 o’clock position having an IWB Kydex
mag caddy at the 9 o’clock is pretty uncomfortable.
This is why we now have decided to go with the Blue Force Gear mag pouch Outside the Waist Band.
These mag pouches also work perfectly in conjunction with a plate carrier or a chest rig. They are easily
accessible also with the Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit NOW! placed right on top; both in the loading and
In order to attach to the belt these pouches utilize a very versatile hook and loop system. This allows the pouch to be mounted to classic leather or tactical nylon belts of up to 2″ in width. The pouch can also be easily detached from the belt without having to take the whole system off. Attaching the pouch to the belt doesn’t require much time or effort, making it a valid option for extra emergency mags stored elsewhere. For example we always carry the single pouch on the belt with an extra Glock 19 mag, but if needed, within seconds, we can mount, to the belt, the double pouch with two Glock 17 mags that we keep in an EDC backpack.
As for all Blue Force Gear products the quality of construction, stitching and material is outstanding. The are constantly providing clever products that bring more efficiency and are lightweight, the belt pouches are the proof.
For more information on the belt-mounted line of pouches please visit: BlueForceGear.com
- Slide cut + RMR cut
- Stippled polymer frame with trigger guard cut for higher grip
- Threaded barrel coated with TiN
- Drop-in trigger
This year at they Shot Show booth Trijicon had some very interesting new products, that they have released during the past few months. The main new product is the MRO or Miniature Rifle Optic. This Red Dot sight is based on the production of the ACOG (the great success of this company), in fact we were told that it shares many tools and machines during the manufacturing process; this in our book is synonym of great quality and toughness, just like the bigger brother ACOG.
The MRO differentiates from the other tubular-red dot sight on the market with its unique design. Instead of having only one cylinder, that creates too much tunnel vision, this sight utilizes two, enlarging the viewing area and enhancing the situational awareness. The sight also features a very smart design regarding the windage and elevation adjustments, the controls are caps-free and they are surface-flush allowing an easy access without any sort of accidental change.
At the show Trijicon has released also the VCOG with a green reticle. The reason behind the green reticle is that is more effective on the user’s eye, allowing to dim down the LED intensity, this double the battery life. The VCOG features a first focal plane reticle with bullet drop compensation. The alluminum-alloy housing is rugged and it doesn’t require any ring mount.
The other product that we were very pleased to see was the back-sight pistol mount for the RMR. This base-plate interfaces with the back-sight of the handgun allowing the user to adopt an RMR without drilling or CNC machining the slide.