EDC & Range Gear: Shot Show 2016

Here is a collection of what we thought were some of the best every day carry items (EDC) and Range Gear that we got photos of at the show.

These photos are just a few of the best photos taken.  They are meant to show the variety of what is to be seen at Shot Show and are not necessarily a reflection of our editorial support.

EDC and Range Gear

Range Gear

must haves include a vehicle

such as theAPE Flambeau

or the lovely Black OPS made for the NRA.

Another Ultimate Range Vehicle

ASYM Ammo:

Asym Presision Ammo

Benchmade Knives:

more Benchmade KnivesBenchmade Knives

Buck Knives:

Buck Knives

CRKT Knives:

CRKT Knives

Gargoyles Shooting Eyewear:

Gargoyles Shooting Eyewear

Helle Knives:

Helle Knives

Lapua Ammo:

Lapua Ammo

Lenser Flashlights and Leatherman Multitools:

Leatherman 1Leatherman 2Leatherman 3Leatherman 4Leatherman 5Ledlenser Leatherman 2Ledlenser Leatherman1Maglite Flashlights

Maxpedition Bags:

Maxpedition Bags & Range Gear

MTM Special Op Watches

MTM Special Ops Watches

Night Core Flashlights:

Nite Core Flashlights

OKC Knives:

OKC Knives

Olight Flashlights:

Olight Flashlights

Plate Carrier:

Plate Carrier

Smith & Wesson Flashlights:

Smith & Wesson Flash Lights

SteelStag Knives:

Steelstag Knives

 

 

 

Atticus James is traveling in India for the month of February.  You can follow his adventures at AtticusJames.com.  In the meantime, he has left all of the photos from Shot Show 2016 for those of us left behind to post for him.  (This would explain any issues with photos being mislabeled.  Apologies in advance if this happens).

Jesse Kaufman of Black Hills Gunstocks & Engraving

An Artist at Work

Jesse Kaufman of Black Hills Gunstocks and Engraving discusses how he learned his trade and what goes into his engraving.  Watch this interesting interview from Shot Show 2016.

Kilimanjaro Gear Review PT: 1 The Knives

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.

I was contacted by Kilimanjaro Gear asking if we would be interested in reviewing a few of their products. I had not heard of them prior to getting their email but after looking on their website I found 3 items we were interested in reviewing. This is a review of the two knives that I received.

The Back Story

I am not really a knife guy or know much about what makes one metal better than another. My only experience is, that I have carried at least one knife on my person everyday for years. My grandfather always carried one in his pocket and in the BSA we always carried one. When I turned 18 it was just natural to always have one on me.

My sister and I received our first knife from my father at a camp out with cub scouts. A few minutes after receiving the knife, my sister took hers and broke the tip off popping rocks out of the road tar.   Needless to say my father was not happy.

In the BSA, I carried many knives over the years. I had Victorinox, Kershaw and a Smith and Wesson, S.W.A.T Millennium Run Knife I received from my scout master for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. I carried the S&W knife until last year when my father gave me another knife that had a webbing cutter and a glass breaker on the end. I liked the knife for the most part but my biggest problem with it was that it had a half serrated edge. A half serrated edge is one feature I hate with a passion on my EDC knife.

The Knives: Vello and Shira

Kilimanjaro Gear has 5 categories for their knives. Every day, Outdoor, Tactical, Hunting, and Fishing. I looked over all of the knives and chose the Vello and the Shira from the tactical catagory.

 

Vello Specs :
8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Blade
G10 Handle
Dual Thumb Stud
Liner Lock
Seat belt cutter
Pocket Clip
Bottle Opener/Screwdriver
Carbide Glass break

Overall Length: 7.8 in
Blade Length: 3.1 in
Closed Length: 4.6 in
Weight: 5.1 oz

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910036_Glass-Break-500x500

I liked this knife because it closely matched what I was already carrying. I have carried this knife most everywhere I have gone for the past 4 months. I haven’t used the glass breaker, but bottle opener and blade screw driver have been nice. The webbing cutting came in handy a few times.
The blades edge was poorly shaped and sharpened when I pulled it from the package but I quickly fixed that on the knife sharpener from Worksharp.

The knife holds an edge for a few weeks of use before I have to put it back on the sharpener. I would say it is light to medium duty cutting knife. I open a lot of boxes and so it has been good at doing that at the very least.

 

Shira Specs:

  • Full tang construction
  • Rubberized handle overlay
  • 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Blade
  • Serrated edge
  • Titanium  Nitride Finish
  • Nylon sheath for carrying and storage
  • Overall Length: 10 in
  • Blade Length: 4.7 in
  • Weight: 6.9 oz

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910094_Straight2-500x500

910094_In-Pouch1-500x500

The Shira is my current go-to fixed blade. I don’t carry this around all that much. I keep it on my desk for when I get into a fight with that ninja tape that always seems to want to stick to itself. When I carry it on me for a few days in a row I notice I still tend to go for it even when I don’t have it on me.

As I said before, the blades out of the factory are poorly shaped and sharpened. I have a very nice knife sharpener that I use, but I would recommend if you purchase these knives to get them professionally sharpened if you are not skilled at it.

The sheath is nothing to write home about. It is a molle sheath. It is standard webbing style clothe sheath that I plan to replace with kydex so it is a straight pull down knife off a molle vest.

The knife is half serrated which is something I really hate on a knife but I know a lot of people love that feature.

Overall

The knives are good utility knives. I liked that the Vello offered a good all around knife that can be used for EDC or can be kept in the car in case of an accident. I liked that the Shira is a full tang with a point on the butt of the knife so you can break glass or whatever you might need without using the blade.

The knives need to be better profiled and sharpened out of the factory. Once you get the knife you can easily get that done for a couple of bucks at your big box outdoor stores.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

SHOT Show, 2015, Reviews, and Videos

First I would like to say Happy New Years as this is the first post in 2015.

A number of people have been asking where we have been the past few weeks. The Crew has started the New Year with a bang and we have just been busy getting everything ready to go for reviews and some other awesome things we have planned for 2015.

SHOT Show

As some of you may have already guessed by the lack of SHOT Show updates we will not be attending this year.  We had to make some other life choices that kept us from having that week off. A lot of good friends of Gearsofguns.com will be there.  We plan to bring you their updates on our site and social media. Never fear, you will still get your SHOT SHOW FIX!

You mentioned awesome plans for 2015. what are you talking about?

As a lot of these plans are still in development stages and not quite ready to be shared I will just say that we plan on bring you the READER on more interactive reviews and shooting events.

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What kind of reviews does the Crew have planned?

Well I can tell you we are finishing up a number of gun reviews from 2014 and starting a ton of other fun reviews as soon as the SHOT Show dust clears.

We plan to bring more pistols, longer range and competition style reviews in 2015 as well as our standard rifle and shotgun reviews. We also plan more everyday carry items and general shooting accessories.

Social Media and Videos

2015 is the year I have finally given in to producing more videos. I have added a new member of the team who will be introducing himself on video here soon who will be more of a behind the scenes tech guy.

As some of you know well enough we suck at social media outside of our website and I vow to start fixing that problem as well.

What does this mean for you as the viewers?

Well I can just say that it will hopefully be a major content overhaul for you to get your gun and shooting accessories fix.

Stay tuned

Repost: Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener Review

I wrote a review on the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener over at AtticusJames.com. I review how I was able to get a razor edge on all my knives with relative ease after learning how to use the Work Sharp sharpener.  

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I designed AtticusJames.com to be review site for all things guy. I publish new guy stuff reviews every Monday

Concealed carry at the gym

While I do not plan to talk politics or law I do plan to post a link to the penal code at the end of this article.

At the beginning of February 2014 I rejoined my old gym out near where I live, to get back into better shape. My gym has a sign for  “Texas Penal Code – Section 30.06. Trespass By Holder Of License To Carry Concealed Handgun” posted to tell people they cannot carry at the gym.  That got me thinking about writing this article.

I spent the past four day weekend with a friend in the army.  He had the weekend off from base and drove up for a visit. We are both big gym rats (someone who loves to spend time working out at the gym) so I brought him to my club to work out every night.   I had to remind him not to conceal carry into the gym because of this penal code.

On our drive home one night we talked about our thoughts on the gym making their establishment a gun free zone. We both saw very serious reasons why it is a good idea and a bad idea.

The good side of the road

The thought we both came to was that when you are in the locker room you are no longer concealed and since you are not going to be able to keep the handgun on your person while working out you open the door to someone seeing you leave your firearm in the locker.  They can watch you leave and then go in and steal your gun to commit another crime.  Lets face it, nobody wants their gun in the hands of a criminal doing god knows what with it. 

The dark side of the road  

My gym is in a very affluent area and the police station is just across the road from the gym.  This might lead you to always think you are safe, but the gym is open 24/7.  It’s the night time when no one is around you, that you might not feel the safest. Things go wrong, conceal carry gives you peace of mind and a safe factor to everyone at the gym.

My thoughts

As a big gun rights supporter I do wish my state had open carry laws and better laws protecting gun owners from harassment.  I do believe this is a good penal code for places like a gym where you are no longer in sight your firearm or have complete faith that somebody can’t get to your firearm.

Texas Penal code

Texas Statutes – Section 30.06: TRESPASS BY HOLDER OF LICENSE TO CARRY CONCEALED HANDGUN

Howard Leight Impact Sport E-Earmuffs review

I had planned to just review the Howard Leight*1 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs but plans changed.

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Customer Care

A few months back I got in contact with Howard Leight about getting some earmuffs to review for shooting but what I didn’t know at the time was that I was going to review the company as well. When I contacted the company, instead of my normal getting bounced around and transferred five times until I talked with the right person, I talked with ONE person. I had the pleasure of talking with Customer Care Rep Laraine from Howard Leight.

Empowered Reps

Normally I have to talk with someone in marketing or another division who handles media requests such as this one. With Howard Leight, I only worked with the customer care rep who the company has empowered to be able help the customer not like a number of other large (non-firearm) corporations.  Most companies keep sending you to the next tier up because all the first tier customer care rep can do is ask you if you have turned the product on and off.

I am not going to get on my soap box and talk about that because I really want to just talk about Howard Leight and how I had such a pleasant experience with them.

skip to Earmuff Review

I called Howard Leight and spoke with Laraine about getting the earmuffs and she was more than willing to help me out with this not just because I am a blogger but because Howard Leight seems to only employ customer care reps who CARE. I know this to be a fact because in the few times I did have to call the company and ask for Laraine I would always be greeted by one the of reps who would try to help me in any way they could before I would ask to speak with Laraine.

Consistency

I have contacted Howard Leight a couple of times since my first contact and have spoken to different customer care reps who were just as helpful and knowledgeable as Laraine.

Lifetime Customer

Howard Leight makes great ear protection but they have also made me a lifetime customer because of how they work with the customer.

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Specs: Impact® SportFolding

  • Sleek, extremely low profile earcup design allows for full clearance of firearm stock
  • Automatic 4 hour shut-off increases battery life
  • AUX jack connects to MP3 players and scanners
  • Automatically shuts off loud impulse noise to a safe 82dB while amplifying conversation and range commands
  • Convenient folding design for easy storage
  • One single power and volume control knob
  • Air Flow Control™ technology
  • Black leatherette headband with sporty hunter green earcups
  • Water resistant
  • Easy access to the external battery compartment
  • 2 AAA batteries included

Source: The Howard Leight website

Impact Sport E-Earmuff Review

For a number of years now I have used the surefire earplugs or my good old non-electronic over the head earmuffs because both offer me what I need for shooting.

The surefire plugs are great if I am going to be just shooting and minimal talking on the range and when I have a rifle stock glued to my face.

My  non-electronic over the head earmuffs offer me noise dampening but they are quick to slide off if I need to make a video or hear what the crew is saying, they are overly bulky and you hear every tap of the buttstock to your earmuff.

Adjustable Volume

The Howard Leight electronic earmuffs give me the best of both worlds. I can adjust the volume when I need to listen or almost turn the sound off when I am firing on the line with the three .30-06 rifles going off. The muffs are low profile so the overly bulkiness is minimized to the point it is comfortable to run and shoot with a rifle or to sit on the bench and shoot long distances.

Long Battery Life

We have been using the muffs for about 5 months now and haven’t had to change the batteries yet.

Increased Range Communication

I like the fact that I can adjust the volume easily when I am shooting from the bench and we have other shooters near us.  The spotter and shooter can almost whisper to each other adjustments without having to listen to everyone on the range. I can also turn the volume all the way up and hear the crew from a distance without anyone having to scream commands.

 

Overall Thoughts:

The earmuffs will run about $50 but for the safety of your hearing and still being able to hear what is going on around you,  they are well worth the investment.

 

*1 Howard Leight is owned by Honeywell, An American multinational conglomerate company that produces a variety of commercial and consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments.
Source: Honeywell’s Wiki page

Panzer – Magellan eXplorist 350H reviewed

At shot show 2013 I was called over to the Magellan booth by Atticus because Magellan was interested in Gears of Guns reviewing their new Magellan eXplorist 350H. This was perfect because I was planning an elk hunt for the following October. So I listened very attentively to the 30 minute presentation Carol Bardia had for me and the Crew. I will be up front with you, I was unfamiliar with Magellan, as well as GPS systems designed for outdoor enthusiasts, so the learning curve was steep at first. Fast forward to August 29th 2013 when the product arrived and I immediately discovered my lack of experience did not matter. The applications in the field and at home after the trip are so numerous it is difficult to list them all but here it goes.

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The eXplorist  350 H is above all else very user-friendly and within the first 10 minutes I had already begun planning my trip by locating the exact area I would be hunting within 10 feet. I had topographical data, county roads and game management areas (GMU) all loaded with the push of a button. The five button control panel was easy to use, with or without gloves and I liked the way you could quickly access trip information without excessive toggling.

Field Functions:

Upon arrival to the campground I mapped out the my various points of interest using several of  the handy custom marker icons specially created for hunters including; campsite, blinds, stands, glassing areas and trail heads to name a few. Or you could mark way points using specific game icons, bedding locations, scat, blood trails, scrapes, rubs, sheds and many more.  I also used the text function to enter field notes when a custom marker wasn’t enough. My first few days before the hunt I was glad to have the eXplorist on hand because it allowed me the chance to get oriented and to map and section out the large area quickly and effortlessly. After taking a long ride on my 4 X 4 with the eXplorist on board, I had all my ATV trails marked without having to do very much but enjoy the ride. At no point during my two weeks there did I have to worry about finding my way back to camp day or night.

In an effort to conserve battery life I utilized the active suspend function which worked like a sleep mode but with continued tracking. Also the screen saving mode turns off when not in use within 20 seconds. It takes two double A batteries of which I replaced once the entire trip. While it is stated to have a battery life of 18 hours (if you use lithium), if you fail to use active suspend don’t be surprised if the hours of battery life vary. Another annoyance is that the Duracell alkaline batteries got down to 25% remaining and a message would appear telling you to change them and soon after that the device would shut off. The batteries I used after the first change were (Duracell AA alkaline), however Magellan recommends using two AA lithium batteries.

Once I had my hunting area mapped I could track prey, mark glassing areas and establish which group members were hunting where. The stated temperature range for this device is between 14 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. While it continued to work for me at 20 degrees F your experience may vary, however at times it was cold enough for my smart phone to stop working while the eXplorist continued to worked. Magellan has used the IPX7 waterproof standard for this device. During my trip I exposed the device to rain and snow and had no issues with it working properly.

Computer Application:

Even though I enjoyed using the GPS in the field once I returned home and plugged the eXplorist 350H into my computer and downloaded the Vantage Point software onto my PC, my experience only got better

You must be using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 to use the Vantage Point software or if you are running a MAC you can use the Magellan communicator for MAC which is compatible with a website called Geocaching.com. Once installed the Vantage Point software took all the data I had collected on my two-week trip and plugged it into the DigitalGlobe format where I could play back  every movement I made while the device was active using either  satellite images or the topographical map. There are countless ways you can use this software from planning available routes, tracking animal movements or  measuring distances. The Vantage Point software uses collected data to paint a clear picture of the outdoor experience while allowing the user to plan, track and view all movements in the field. So when I was ready to relive the experiance, Vantage point software painted the picture for me. When I am ready to plan my next trip I can easily build of the info gathered by the eXplorist and displayed on Vantage Point.

Having access to such a great tool takes your hunting or hiking game to a whole new level and I highly recommend it for everyone from the beginner to experienced outdoor enthusiast.

Pros:

  • The five button control panel is very easy to use when scrolling through the various menus.
  • Can be used with or without gloves without much difficulty.
  • Thirty custom markers for hunt mode plus ability to add custom field notes.
  • Active suspend mode conserves battery life while continuing to track  your movement.
  • Screen is bright and display is clear with sharp contrast.
  • The Vantage Point software uses collected data to paint a clear picture of the outdoor experience while allowing user to plan, track and view all movements in the field.
  • Cons:

  • One  con was that the 350H is a bit bulky when carrying it around in my pocket so I eventually started keeping it in my day pack which was not always convenient.
  • The screen size was a bit small but the display is bright and clear and it did come with a screen protector.
  • Stated battery life is 18 hours but when left on not in active suspend much less battery life.
  • When alkaline battery life got down to 25% remaining, a repeating message to change batteries appeared and the device would power down, however Magellan recommends using a AA lithium battery for optimal battery life.

Aaron – Veteran’s Day

military-emblems

 

Veteran’s Day means something special to me. Millions of soldiers throughout the history of the United States have fought and given their lives for what we have today. I want to give my thanks to every man and woman who has and is currently serving in the US armed forces. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be part of this great nation.

A nice little reminder: Clip vs. Mag

Othais over at TheFirearmBlog.com helps those of us who sometimes forgets the proper definition of Magazine vs. Clip.

mag vs. clip

We have been enjoying a spirited debate over the use or misuse of the term “clip” for generations.  I firmly believe that we can blame this entire argument on the adoption of the M1 Garand rifle as it was the last of the clip loaders.  Former soldiers and Hollywood popularized the the expedient term.  Much like saying “Kleenex”, clip has gained widespread use.  But what should we say?

Magazines are storage systems for ammunition that feed the cartridges into the action systematically by means of a spring-driven follower.

To read the rest of this article head over to The Firearm Blog

Gerber Steady Tool

Steady-Tool_fulljpg

  • Overall Length: 6″
  • Closed Length: 4″
  • Weight: 5.8 oz.
  • Cost: $64
  • Steel Type: 420J2 Stainless
  • Max Phone/Camera Weight: 170 grams/340 grams

gerber-tripod-iphone-camera-mount

Gerber has come out with a multi-tool for the 21-century called the steady tool. This multi-tool is combines two features that seems like one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas which is the pliers based multi-tool with a camera tripod added.

As a gun blogger I have a number of different tools and equipment I carry out to the range to help my reviews, such as a multi-tool and a small table tripod. Gerber as designed this multi-tool to do both.

There are two ways to mount a camera. One being the standard screw mount for your typical camera and suction cup to mount your smartphone.

At $64 for the whole set up you are not going to be breaking the bank to pick one up.  For those of us who have a multi-tool in their everyday carry (EDC) this is an easy change.  Then in case something cool starts happening all you have to do is pop your phone and multi-tool  out and you are ready to roll.

Caption this: July 2013

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ALL captions MUST be free of politics and racism.

 

“Jimmy! Go get moms silk plants so we can make our own gilliesuits!”

If you have a caption for this picture please comment by Friday the 26th  of July and we will post what we feel is the BEST caption.