First Look at EOTech’s New Scopes at Shot Show 2016

Atticus saw some of EOTech’s advanced weapon accessories for defense, law enforcement, homeland security, hunting and recreational shooting at Shot Show 2016.

  • Holographic Weapon Sights
  • Tactical Lights and Lasers
  • Thermal Vision Devices
  • Night Vision Devices

Liberty: The Safest Review Possible

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Liberty The Safest Review Possible hdx250

Growing up I learned fairly early on what it means to, “have a guy for that”. Whether it is a Tailor, Locksmith, Camera guy or just that guy who “knows things”. It is a useful trait, to have, finding people who you trust for different things. Plus they generally know someone else for those “situations”.

Creed from The Office wink

I have two locksmiths, one for my lock and key needs and the other for my car, safe and other needs. I have had to rekey 2 of my cars in the past, so it is important to know who you are working with.

While rekeying a car in 2014, I started talking to my Locksmith about different safes for a few of my needs. He told me flat out, “you want Liberty for all of your gun safe needs”. As you might imagine, I want the best safe for my firearms, so they are as protected as a loving father can protect them.

Liberty HDX-250

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I was in the market for a new pistol safe for my office and Liberty had suggested we review the HDX-250. The safe uses biometric locks for quick access to your firearm, without the need to fumble around trying to use the key. You can input 15 different prints into the system giving you the freedom to add many people. This gives everyone who is prepared to use your firearms, the ability to have a loaded firearm ready at all times. This is a huge advantage over the worry that comes with having a pistol ready to fire that might just be stored in its box, or someone not being able to find the key when needed.

The Locking System

There is one individual who I wanted to give access to but we find that her index and middle finger on her right hand would not load as a valid print. We ended up having to use her left hand which worked without a problem. As to what caused our frustrations, it is still a mystery that eludes me. Prior to imputing anyone’s finger prints, they washed and dried their hands.

The safe has an AC port for a plus to keep the biometrics active while you have power and a 9V battery backup in case you lose power or decide to keep the safe in an area without access to a wall plug.

Biometric Liberty HDX-250

Testing

For 36 hours straight I sat and stared at that safe trying to decide how I was going to review it. I thought of all of the best ways to show this safe and how it can handle anything. I thought about dropping from an airplane at 40,000 feet, but during the flight I was asked to return to my seat by the mean flight attendant, I thought about taking it to the zoo and covering it in unicorn meat and throwing it to the alligators, Can you believe I was stopped at the gate when I made a girl scout troop cry when I told the cashier what the safe was covered in.  I thought HEY! What if I sent this safe to my buddy in the Army who drives tanks. I could see if he could shoot it out of the cannon but alas, the safe isn’t aerodynamic enough to shoot out of the gun!

I had many more AMAZING ideas, but in the end I decided to just keep it here at the office and just use it. BOOORING!

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Overall Thoughts

The safe holds pistols and other valuables. In my case I keep a backup 2TB portable drive in there along with the two pistols. The biometrics work for me about 99% of the time first try. Sometimes if my hands are sweaty, it won’t read it the first time. When that happens, I can just resort to my key if it doesn’t open by the third time.

Liberty is known for their quality safes and they stand behind them. They have been highly recommended to me by people in the locksmith and safe industry. Now I can recommend them to you.

GearsofGuns Liberty Safe HDX250

Olight M1X Striker Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

With this being the 4th flashlight I have reviewed on GEARS you might be wondering if I really use a flashlight that often and if I need all of them. You might think a flashlight is a flashlight is a flashlight in terms of finding one you like based on your needs and how that flashlight SHOULD be your “end all”… or at least until you find a new “end all” flashlight if you use one enough.

My Truth

My truth is a little different; I collect flashlights because there is always a time and place for each of mine. I have a small Extremebeam 160 Lumen that I like to keep on me when I am going for lightweight or when I am wearing a suit. I have my Olight 1100 Lumen Hulk of a flashlight I keep in my bag that goes everywhere with me. Then I have my LED Lensor 1000 Lumen and my Olight M1X Striker that I use in my everyday carry because they are perfect in size and weight for my day to day work.

 

Olight M1X Striker Review

Specs

Olight M1X Striker Specs

Olight M1X Striker

I had been looking at a different flashlight from Olight when it was suggested I check out this light as it fit the specs I was looking for.

Olight M1X Striker Batteries, and Charger

My Specs

· Has to fit comfortably in the front pocket of my pants without taking up too much pocket
· Has to use standard type batteries like CR123.
· Has to have a heavy duty pocket clip that is reliable and replaceable.
· Has to be bright
· Has to fit my hand comfortably
· Has to be a single LED

 

Daily Use

As I said, this is one of the flashlights I use in my daily rotation. It gets used at least a few times a week and I haven’t noticed any wear in the function of the light. Yes, there are minimal blemishes on the body from dropping the flashlight. There isn’t any wearing on the coating like you might expect from being slid in and out of my pocket or from sitting in my pocket.

The Olight M1X Striker is made of a multi part aircraft grade aluminum body and all the parts screw together with a tight tolerance feel so you are not worried about it unscrewing on you.

Illumination

The 1000 Lumens is sure to illuminate any area you are looking at. The lower .5 lumens setting is so you can run your light for days without recharging. The .5 Lumens would be great for backpacking if you want to drop as much weight as possible but still have a dependable flashlight. Chances are you are not going to need the brightest light in the world if you are just fiddling around with setting up camp or just looking around the campsite at night.

The Clip

The clip is pretty strong and always snaps back after yanking on it. It is connected to the flashlight with just a C-loop so if you do pull it really hard it will just disconnect from the flashlight and not break the clip off.

The Olight M1X Striker has 2 buttons on it. The top thumb on/off switch and a mode switch near the light end. This makes it easy to change the mode without doing that stupid dance that single button flashlights have when they have different modes.

I like to be able to quickly change my mode. I try to keep my clip pointed at the mode switch so when I pull the light out and have the on/off switch at my thumb I can quickly find the mode switch with my pinky.

 

Gun Mounts

Olight offers a couple of mounts for their light. I have not put this on anything, I use it for my EDC.

 

The Battery

The batteries are a pro and con topic for me. The Olight M1X Striker does not ship with a battery and I do some what understand the reasoning behind that. The 18650 battery is not one you can just pick up at the local big box store. I am guessing the thought is; most people will want a rechargeable. Rather than hiking the cost of the flashlight by adding one of their batteries (their 2600MAH sells for $20 on their website).  Olight will just offer them to you or let you just order your own from someone else. I picked up an Ultrafire 2pcs 3.7v 18650 3000mah Rechargeable Battery plus a NiteCore-i2-I2 Universal Intelligent Charger for two batteries on Amazon for $17.

OLIGHT REVIEW CHARGER AND BATTERIES

As you can see in the picture above I have two CR123 batteries in a battery sleeve. As you might have guessed but now you can see, I use 2 CR123 batteries stacked on top of each other with this sleeve that comes with the flashlight instead of using the 18650. The run time has been shorter in my experiments with the light but for those of us who use sights and other lights that use CR123 batteries this makes for a nice quick change if you don’t feel the need to order a new battery.

Final Thoughts

The Olight M1X Striker, as the name implies, has a striking bevel. I haven’t been walking down any dark alleys and been attacked while I have had this light so can’t talk about how good or bad it is. This light is built to be solid and ready to handle whatever you might throw at it.

Olight has a massive line up of flashlights that seem to be built with the user in mind and not just building a flashlight. Things like the mode switch, c-loop clip, 1000 lumens and the battery sleeve for CR123.

If you are looking for an EDC that has high lumens for a great price, Olight is a good place to start.

Led Lenser F1R 1000 Lumen Flashlight Review

I have been provided the materials needed for this review. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Led Lenser F1R 1000 Lumen Flashlight Review

I spend most nights doing things like going to the gym or grocery shopping or working so it has become automatic for me to grab one of my many flashlights before heading out the door, day or night. I like to carry at least one flashlight on me at all times. You just never know when you are going to need it.

If you asked one of my friends or family they would probably all say the same thing when it comes to me and flashlights. “Atticus must be afraid of the dark with all the different flashlights he has around him”.

A few months ago I acquired an LED Lenser F1R flashlight for review because of it size and lumens. While 130 lumens works great, I like to have the brightest damn light possible in my pocket. LED Lenser is part of the Leatherman brand so I trust their products to be reliable.

The Packaging

This is a great gift item. It is packaged for gift giving. You open it and it keeps on giving. Nicely designed LED Lenser!

Specs

· LENGTH: 4.53 in | 115 mm
· WEIGHT: 4.23 oz | 120 g
· BATTERY TYPE: 1 x 18650 Li-ion
· RECHARGEABLE: Yes
· RECHARGE TIME: 7h

Includes:
· Cleaning Cloth
· Brush
· Charging Station
· Variable Clip
· Tactical Ring
· Replacement O-Ring

1000 lumens packed into a 4.2 oz, HA III anodized package won’t disappoint, no matter the job, mission, or activity. The rechargeable lithium ion battery supports this high power LED for 3 hours on high along with integrated roll protection, interchangeable glass breaking ring, IPX8 waterproof housing, and a convenient battery charging station. The F1R brings a new standard in compact flashlights.

 

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Overall Thoughts

The battery life is great, the size and weight make this flashlight comfortable to carry in your pant pocket, the different modes of lumens is perfect for any job, the battery is a common enough battery you can pick up rechargeables online easily.

Something that I really loved is that the light comes with a battery AND a charger. When it comes to batteries that are not your standard AA or AAA or CR123 I find that I am more apt to look at a different flashlight if it does not come in one of those three types or a rechargeable battery and charger.

The charger is a USB plug so you can use your Smartphone cable adaptor or just charge from your computer. Options… I like that.

Targetvision Short Range Wireless Spotting Scope Review

At SHOT Show 2014 I met Clay Rhoden one of the co-founders of TARGETVISION at media day at the range. Having just finished reviewing a similar short range target camera viewing system, I was interested in seeing what TARGETVISION had done differently. Two of the most noticeable things I first saw was that it was a self contained camera and wireless transmitter housed in a plastic tube vs. the tool box the other company uses. The other thing was the HD camera that they use.

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There were three items total that were shipped to me. The camera system, the charging cord and a small tripod that the camera screws into. This means there isn’t much to misplace. This is a big thing for me since I carry a large amount of gear to the range.

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When I first used the camera, the picture (seen below) was blurry. I called the company from the range and spoke with Clay at TARGETVISION. He, at first, thought it might have been a defective camera. After a couple of conversations, he wanted me to try some different things before we shipped it back. In the meantime, for whatever reason, the camera recalibrated itself when we got home and the next week we had a very clear and crisp video.

At the range
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A week later.

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I am a red blooded male and I admit I do not like to read manuals. As a reviewer, I admit, I should know better. TARGETVISION sent not one, but TWO guides. The 19 page manual and birthday card size quick start guide. Again, I did not read either of them and I thought more was wrong with the camera than really was. The camera tube is meant to be 10-15 feet away from the target and off to the side so you do not shoot it. We were use to my other system, which sits about 6 feet away from the target. Don’t be like me and skip reading the important information TARGETVISION sends you. It is not because they want to send you one more booklet for you to lose but so you know how to use your $595 targeting system.

Setting the System

As you can see in the pictures, there are no wires you have to mess with. The TARGETVISION System is pretty much turn the device on, connect to the devices to wifi, open the app and shoot.

App

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I used the system on my iPhone 4s, 6 and my android (don’t judge me) tablet. The system worked great across all three devices. I do prefer to use the tablet over the phones simply because of the larger screen.

Overall Thoughts

I am a big tech fan and I like seeing how new technology is helping me become a better reviewer and better shooter as we have more and more things to assist in giving us instant data to get the round on target better and faster.

I have to note that when the TARGETVISION system is sitting in a 100 yard long wind tunnel with 12 foot high walls of steel belted radial tires the camera does not always connect quickly or stay connected. I don’t spend much time in them so it wasn’t really a problem but it was worth noting. This has to do with how wifi signal carries and not the device.

A feature I would like to see is integration of a ballistic calculator in the app. Also on that note, I would like to see more community involvement so integration can be like the health app on the iPhone which allows you to better track your health with different devices all in one app.  The more data we can share all in one place the better and safer shooters we all become.

TARGETVISION is one of the companies who first had a product like this. I liked the camera for 3 reasons: It was easy to set up, easy to use, and all self contained. Being able to mark your shots is important but it is a feature on the other cameras so it doesn’t play as much of a factor into my review as that is the norm.

Editorial: Modernizing the Wheel vs. Newly Invented

I was talking with someone the other night about guns (Yes, I do talk about other things than guns… sometimes) when they asked what I thought was the 5 top new innovations were in the industry. This is a topic I have been wanting to write about for a while, I just have never had the words.

M1 vs SCAR

When it comes to the gun industry we have cycles we go through. The inventing and learning cycle and what I call the modernizing of the wheel. In the inventing and learning cycle we have invented things like the tube sights for long distance shooting and learned things like rifling. With the modernizing the wheel cycle, which we are currently in, we are just finding ways to make these older designs fit the 21 century.

In the 1950s and 1960s the .308 Winchester and the .223 Remington made their debut in the in the shooting world and we are still using them as a our standard calibers. The FN-H SCAR is a modernized version of the FAL. The target cameras are the updated version of a spotting scope.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the advancements we have made. However, I want to see something new. I want to live in a time like my grandfathers era when a lot of new things were introduced.  He saw the explosion of “modern guns with the invention of the  “plastic gun” or “black gun”, He also saw the invention of the standardized 30 round magazines as well as being able to control the muzzle climb with an intermediate cartridge.

I am not saying we don’t live in a time without people like Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov.  I am just saying we haven’t really seen something that has made a small arms like the M16 or M14 go almost obsolete. We saw the M16 quickly replace the M14 as the US service rifle in the 1960s.

As strange as it might seem, history shows us that the government is the main reason for innovation and invention in this industry. Until a government demands a new product to suit their new need, we do not see new creations. A government contract can be in the price range of billions which goes towards R&D and eventual release to the general public.

While some might think with the increased use of drones, it may be a long time before we see anything new.  I am a believer that we will always need boots on the ground, if for no other reason than for intelligence gathering, for aid and for maintaining goodwill.  I am excited and hopeful for the future of our industry.

Poll: Tech in Shooting

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I have noticed as I go to the range lately, I carry out about 75 pounds of gear. This doesn’t even include my guns and their respective cases.

Range Tech in the Range Bag

While a lot of what I carry to the range is related to reviews and just normal work equipment, I have noticed that over the past few years my distance range tech as increased and yet my range distance hasn’t.

I have observed more people with lasers and lights and camera mounts on their $700 M&P-15. I have asked a few why they have this mounted at all times and they tell me that they just need it. Mind you this is not your SWAT officers or Texas National Guard, I am talking to, but that guy who has been in the semi-auto rifle game for 2 years.

Constant Evolution

Like most every other industry, we are subject to constant evolution with the tech world. I carry out my electronic spotting scope for any shots over 25yds. I wear electronic ear muffs to help me hear and still mute the shooting. I use laser trainers at home to help me with my rifle and pistol skill. Tech is replacing the old school shooting world which is helping us with our shooting skills.

Old School

I look back to my grandfather’s era of hunting and shooting and how the trail cameras were the tracks you saw on the ground, the e-spotting scopes were binoculars and monocular spotting scopes, the laser trainers were tin cans on a fence.

It is interesting to me, to see the distance shooters at my local range who are much older and the worries they have are about the clarity of their glass on their high end scope and the twist rates of their bolt action rifles. Then I see the younger shooters looking for every piece of tech they can get their hands on to make them the next top shot.

Controversy

Personally, I love the tech. Even with how tech is changing and making some interesting splashes in the gun industry. Some tech is even controversial such as the Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS) or the Tracking point systems giving shooter an easier time making the right calculations to hit their target out at 1000+ yards.

Shooting World has Room for All

Change can be scary to some people. All I know is that you can adapt to the new tech in shooting or not. Old school and new school, both have their amazing shooters who defy what we think is possible.