I think anyone who carries a defensive handgun needs to carry spare ammunition. In today’s world, bad things are happening and it may be necessary to have a reload magazine handy. Additionally, many semi-auto pistol problems are caused by a magazine issue and being able to dump and replace the one in the gun might be the indicated response.
I have long carried two magazines for my Colt Commander but recently decided to add a third spare. We 1911 sorts are somewhat ammunition limited, and it occurred to me, as I read of flash mobs and the like, that a few more rounds might be nice to have aboard.
My first two magazines continue to be in a double pouch. It was an old Milt Sparks model, which was starting to show the wear and tear of some 20 plus years, so I dug a DeSantis out of the box o’holsters. For the third magazine, I’m using a Holster Ops pouch, which is a bargain bit of kit .
They are made of some space age marvel polynometric flexible goo and will hold most any pistol magazine as well as a Surefire 6P sized flashlight or multi-tool. I suspect a lot of knives would go well too, along with any number of items I haven’t thought of trying.
I like the one with the integrated belt loop. It has a nub in the belt loop that helps stabilize it on a 1.5″ belt, while still going onto a larger belt. I haven’t tried the hook one but might get one just for fun. I got a couple so that if I ever decided to carry one of my off-brand pistols, I would have a way to carry a magazine. I’ve wondered about trying to tie a couple together somehow for a double pouch. I think Rogers is missing a boat with that.
They seem to mold themselves to the magazine. They were very tight at first with the 1911 magazine, but after a bit of use, they release reasonably well while having great retention.
These also come in handy if you ever have a pair of pants with the belt loops in the wrong spot for my double pouch. I can put one in front and another behind the loop.
You really need to wear eye protection during many activities. You also need to protect your eyes from the sun when outdoors. The Revision Sawfly is a great set of eye protection. They are in the now stylish wrap-around format that provides great protection. They meet the military specs for ballistic protection. Their web site features a number of stories from the battlefield of eyes saved by their glasses. They have interchangeable lenses so you can use them for sun glasses or switch to clear when in lowlight. They also have yellow and vermillion lenses (kind of orange) lenses which some like for some conditions. They even have a polarized lens. The glasses come in three sizes to fit different sized faces and have a retaining strap to keep them on your face. There is a decent case to protect them when not in use along with some spare lenses. For those of us with rotten eyes, they make an insert that holds corrective lenses. I use it, but do find it likes to catch sweat dripping off my brow more than I would like. The insert has a very small lens, so I was surprised that it worked well with my bifocals. The only real drawback for me is that they might be a bit too stylish. I think my wife even likes them which is a bit alarming for me.
As you learn to suffer through my scintillating prose, you will discover that there are some things I simply detest. (I’m trying to be a good Christian and not hate these things!) Trimming cartridge cases is one of them. You really have to do it. Rifle cases stretch a bit every time you shoot them. Some rounds, like .223, seem to stretch enough to merit a trim every other loading. I discovered in my first carbine class that untrimmed, over-long brass can lock up a carbine splendidly. The instructor was not amused, and I wasted learning time. It can also create dangerously high pressures and hurt you and your rifle as well as those around you.
Conventional case trimmers require that you put the case in some form of holder and spin a little crank for a bit. You then have to take the case out, put in another, and repeat until you are ready to scream. It gets old after the second or third case. You also have to adjust the trimmer every time you change calibers. I also hate having to adjust stuff. Enter, stage center, the Little Crow Case Trimmer. This thing simply chucks into a drill and off you go. The first version only works on one caliber, which is a drawback, but there is a new one that works on several by having interchangeable parts. There are videos on the site to explain all of this. I have found the product claims to be accurate, and while I still don’t like trimming brass, this gadget has greatly reduced the time I spend doing it. I think I am loading better and more consistent ammunition to boot.
If you have ever worn a hard armor plate carrier, you may have found the cummerbund arrangement with acres of Velcro to be annoying and noisy to deal with. A trainer friend chuckled not too long ago when I complained about this and pointed me to this nice piece of gear. It allows you to setup your carrier and then release it with a quick and simple nylon buckle. This makes it a lot easier to get the thing on and off, and you aren’t messing with the adjustments in the process. Just make sure you don’t gain weight between the times you use it. Mine arrived well stitched and made of good quality material. There is a video on the site that fully explains how to use it. I bought one and plan to go back and get a second, as it is nice to have both sides free when getting in and out of the carrier.
Back when I first started shooting, I didn’t know much about hearing protection. That explains why I ask people to repeat themselves so often. The fact that I have any hearing left is probably amazing, but I am now pretty diligent about wearing protection when using loud things, especially at the range.
A problem with most hearing protection, though, is that it cuts out all sound, so you can’t hear people talking or range commands. Electronics, however, has fixed that with active hearing protection. This gives you a unit with a microphone and speakers inside the ear muffs. The microphone relays outside sounds, but shuts down when there is a loud noise.
I’ve used this type since the early 1990’s with mixed success and have gone through several sets. The best one I’ve found so far is about the cheapest as well– the Howard Leight Impact. It has been much more reliable than sets costing four times as much. Battery life on the two AAA batteries has been quite good, even when I forget to turn them off. This has been the bane of some of these units. Howard Leight says theirs has an auto turnoff at four hours, which I’ve never timed, but it appears to work. The batteries are quite easy to change, another bugaboo of some units. They don’t seem to stress the batteries into leaking when they are off, which appeared to be a problem with a couple of units I’ve owned.
I’ve been using my set for over two years, and they’ve gotten drenched in a sudden, heavy rain storm. I figured they were toast, but they are still fine. They are comfortable to wear and don’t (for me at least) interfere with the stock on long guns.
A feature of these protectors is an input for a radio. Some might want music at the range, but I think it would be great for a two-way radio. You could hear the radio, but no one else could.
I keep mine with my “bump in the night” kit, when I’m not at the range. I can actually hear more with them on than I can with my bare ears, which could be an advantage. It also means that if there is loud noise, my hearing will be protected so I will still be able hear.
– SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Scot Frank Eire