I think I've been quite lucky on what I've come across for blade opportunities and this Fantoni HB-01 does not disappoint the streak. A collaboration between Fantoni of Italy and William W. Harsey a USA designer, the result is what I would describe as a very classy tactical knife. It has the durability and functionality desired in a tactical knife while keeping the design overall simple and sleek in appearance.
Or Canadian buddies over at Cadex have been making cool specialized weapon accessories for a while and this 870 Butt-end is a great example. Made to go on the popular Remington 870, it not only allows the user to use AR style stocks, but allows a quick stock release as well. Breachers are certainly the main customer in mind, however having such an easy stock release is handy for other simple tasks such as more options for storage. The main magic is the piece between the receiver and the stock with the grip and stock needing to be supplied by the customer. Offhand on this setup I show a Hogue grip and AA TI-7 stock.
Since I've been on somewhat of a concealment holster spree I wanted to make sure and show off the Raven Concealment VanGuard 2 Holster as it offers a very unique setup. Perhaps a bit of old news as they have been around since last shotshow, but better late than never. Based on the original VanGuard design, the VanGuard 2 isn't what most expect out of a holster and is closer to an enhanced trigger guard in design. The core differences being that the original was kydex while latest is injection molded and sports a new belt strap option. Both versions support lanyard attachments with the intent of causing the VanGuard to pop off while drawing the pistol out. Extra design thought was included to this end as the shape allows the user to knock off the vanguard with only one hand still gripping the pistol in the event that the lanyard fails. Due to the design being specifically shaped to the trigger guard area, currently I've only seen VanGuards available for Glocks (Fits all Gen3 and later 9mm, .40cal, .357 Sig, and .45GAP Glocks. Will NOT fit and function correctly on Gen 1, 2 pistols.)
Deep Conceal sent me one of their bread and butter holster rigs to check out so I've been giving it a good look-see. Offhand I have the ULTRA model which is for 4"-7" overall length pistols while the MAX version is for 6.5"-9". The general concept of the holster is to be a low profile armpit zone holster. Now the armpit zone does offer great concealment, but for one to actual retrieve the pistol it needs to be a cross draw setup. I'll admit cross draw isn't my personal fave, however it does come with unique pros and cons. While not as easy to access as a belt holster while standing, a cross draw setup tends to be easier to manipulate while sitting and has less printing concerns while moving about such as leaning over. Inherent to a cross draw setup is the need to give extra care while drawing to not flag one's self as much as possible. Just whipping it out is the easy way, however with just a dash more effort one can avoid pointing the muzzle at those ever so useful body parts. While I'm making it easy to see the holster in most of my pictures, keep in mind the rig is made to be covered by a shirt or jacket so don't get too distracted by the torso straps.
This may seem a little random, but I came across this fun blade while working on a MSM side project (to be revealed soon). Zombie Tools is a small USA company that makes no messing around blades with the intent of "accessories for the apocalypse". Now everyone will have their opinion on "zombie" stuff being fun or a silly waste, but the zombie tools brand being viable weapons is stone cold fact. Everything they offer emanates the concept of deadly efficiency. Offering many designs for the size class desired, even rowdy big, their blade construction starts with 5160 spring steel and feature unique distressed effects on the final look. I'm a fan as I feel it adds to the personality of the blades and encourages the user to beat the shit out of it; to actually use it rather than coddling it like a baby trying to keep a clean look.
This here stabby tool is another example of looking fairly plain yet has clever design features that make it stand out in other ways. SAH stands for Safety Auto Hook so the big show is definitely the integrated cutting hook built into the handle. I've seen designs where hooks are built into the handle, but this is certainly the first time I've seen a hook that retracts back into handle. The retracting design cuts down on bulk and accidental snagging while giving a more "basic" knife appearance. To make up for the speed of an open hook design that is always ready, the auto hook is spring loaded with button on the side.
When back in my hometown for the holidays I found about a small company, Accurate Armory that has actually been around for a bit doing cool things. Although they make many rifle components I wanted to show off their TI-7 M4 type stock. I'm a fan as it is a great balance of a simple and effective layout yet with some very solid unique design features to make it stand out. The overall size is compact with the cheek rests adding some bulk, however I do certainly appreciate them for solid cheek weld.
I had a chance to beat up on the Strikemark SM-1 not long and wanted to spread the good word. There are plenty of hard steel targets out on the market, but not many that reset in a speedy and reliable fashion. Utilizing 3/8" thick AR500 steel the SM-1 will take what the vast majority of shooters dish out, all with way up to 7.62 NATO. I found that even green-tip 5.56 wasn't a problem just leaving small indents while traditional ammo flattened out quite nicely. Functionality is great using a battery / electric motor system. Reset time is a speedy and consistent 1.5 seconds and one battery charge can rock out 1500 resets or more depending on temperature and other factors that effect batteries.
For AK users out there you may be used to doing some ghetto cord ties to get desired interfacing with single point slings. Fortunately ECHO93 has made a series of AK Sling Plates that offer a little something for everyone and do it in the KISS spirit of the AK. Machined and made of thick parkerized steel, these plates are ready for combat abuse. Another big plus is that installation is overall painless merely requiring the removal of the pistol grip and sneaking the plate between the receiver and the grip. Parts can vary, however the grip screw is almost always long enough so no other extra parts are needed. To help narrow this down, ECHO93 recommends the plates for AKM type stamped receivers.
I've been on the lookout for some fixed blade action so was fortunate to have the opportunity to check out this here DPx HEST knife. The backstory is that ESEE (formerly RAT Cutlery) teamed up with Robert Young Pelton to make this bad boy. DP is an abbreviation for Dangerous Places while HEST stands for Hostile Environment Survival Tool. Mr. Pelton is apparently no slouch on the dangerous places subject and has done a lot of high adventure action in his day. (BIO) As for what the knife can do, it has some pretty nifty features that make it an adaptable blade to many environments. The core is of course the business end which sports a fairly classic shaped blade capable of stabbing, slashing, and cutting. The thickest part of the blade is about 3/16" which is thicker than most knives of this size class to add durability. For an overall finish a Textured Powder Coat is used that gives a tough look and result. Since made from 1095 High Carbon Steel it should be noted that despite being good stuff, the exposed areas such as the cutting edge and logo engraving will be more prone to rust and stains thus should be properly maintained.
I had an opportunity to try something a little different here, some classic style leather for a modern day concealed carry setup. The man behind Rafter-L goes by the name of Erik Little who has quite the resume. Not only has he been rocking all types of leather making for quite some time, he also has extensive military and law enforcement experience. <ABOUT>