Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular Review

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

We’re coming up on the holidays, and you are wondering what to get that special someone, right?  Well, as a gear head, I usually stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not, and night vision has always been in that category of top shelf toys. What’s not to like about night vision?  I mean, only regular folks investigate what goes bump in the night with a flashlight.  If you want to be James Bond of your house, you HAVE to own night vision.  There is just one small minor problem with that.  Most of the night vision worth owning will cost the equivalent of a small used car…in the $3k neighborhood.  Well, for most people, that is just not in the budget, however, luckily there is now an alternative coming to the market, digital night vision.  The first digital night vision I always felt was nothing more than a digital camera with an infrared illuminator, however, they have come a very long way since then.  If you are needing to get that someone that has everything a gift, take a good look at the Firefield digital night vision monocular.  For the money, it is a great value.

Lets start by looking at digital versus analog night vision.  I won’t belabor it, but digital is essentially an extremely sensitive camera that gets processed and displayed on an LCD screen.  Analog night vision has a special gas charged tube where photons trigger electrons to illuminate a phosphorus screen.  They are completely different technologies, and both have their place.  The one common factor, is both require ambient light to operate.  If you operate either one in a completely dark room, you will not see anything (unless you use an infrared illuminator).  Here is where we start to diverge, analog night vision was originally called “starlight” because the ambient light from the stars helped to illuminate enough you could see through the optic.  With digital night vision, you almost have to have an infrared illuminator if you want to be able to see anything, where as analog night vision (especially the higher generations) will show a decent image with lower light such as starlight, moonlight, or ambient city light.

So, what make the Firefield digital night vision monocular so special?  Well, to begin, it works.  I know that sounds funny and I’ve said it before, but these days, having a device that does what it is supposed to do isn’t always something we can take for granted.  Firefield has a 1-3x (model FF18065) version and a 3-9x (Model FF18066) version called the N-Vader. These are 1x optical 3x digital, and 3x optical 9x digital respectively.  A nice feature is they have a color LCD that I feel offers a little more contrast than other digital night vision monoculars I have viewed.  They both feature a 1W (1000mW) infrared illuminator that is in the near infrared spectrum which means it will look like a dull red to the human eye.  For a completely infrared illuminator it has to be in the 900nm range, and not many of those are available, but you can’t see the light in that range with your eye, so it is undetectable when in use.  Now here is where the Firefield scopes separate themselves from other night vision devices.  The monoculars have digital zoom that you can incrementally increase (1x, 2x, 3x and 3x, 6x, 9x respectively).  Given the low resolution of the LCD display in the device, you really don’t notice a quality difference at the higher zoom as you do with most digital zoom optics.  Secondly, the digital night vision monocular features an adjustable frame rate.  The higher the frame rate, the less light that is processed for each update, which translates into a darker picture, and just the opposite for lower frame rates which will enhance the image and show lower light conditions with more identifiable clarity.  The Firefield also offers an adjustable IR illuminator setting, allowing you to turn down and even off the illuminator if you don’t need it (I should point out that the Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular does have a day mode that you can use for spotting during daylight hours, with the color LCD this is a nice feature, but not something I’ll probably ever use because after all, this is a night vision device).  The feature that blows my mind on this optic, is the TV out.  This means you can hook it up to a large monitor or DVR (we’ll be doing this soon – stay tuned!) and get 640×480 resolution out of this device.  If you are a night time animal watcher, being able to DVR and share your video without holding your camera to the ocular lens is HUGE (we’ll also be doing that some, it’s not the best way to do it, but sometimes you don’t have any options…)

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

So now that we’ve gone through the list of features, how much would you expect something like this to run, $200-$300?  Here is the shocker, the Firefield Digital Night Vision starts at $143 for the 1-3x version, and $179 for the N-Vader 3-9x version.  You can check our website for our sale price which might save you even more!  The only negatives that come to mind after spending some time with these units is the LCD display leaves a little to be desired in the resolution department, and I haven’t run enough to know for sure, but most digital night vision devices with the IR illuminator are battery hogs, so keep a spare set on hand if you are going to be using it a lot, or get some quality rechargeable batteries.

To sum it up, when I started looking at the Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular, I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was.  It packs a bunch of cool features that I really didn’t expect from such a reasonably priced optic.  So for the person that has everything, digital night vision definitely has the cool factor that will make anyone feel like a doing covert ops, even if it is just in the backyard in the suburbs.  Buy the 1-3x Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular at ManVentureOutpost.com, or the 3-9x Firefield N-Vader Digital Night Vision Monocular at ManVentureOutpost.com.

Bradley Digital Smoker Review

Bradley Digital Smoker

Bradley Digital Smoker

So, as we are approaching the season of eating, I wanted to talk about one of the greatest tools a meat eater can own, the Bradley Digital Smoker.  When I think of a smoker, I think brisket, pulled pork, chicken, ham, OK pardon me while I go fix a little snack….OK, now that I’m stuffed again, I can continue talking about meat and how to cook it. When I think about smoking a brisket, once I’m done salivating about a perfectly cooked piece of meat, I used to think about all the times I’d over cooked, under-cooked, over smoked, or completely dried out the slab of meat before getting to eat it, but still eating it because of all the time I’d spent getting it ready.  Let’s face it, smoking meat is a pain.  Closely monitoring a piece of meat in a smoker for 12 hours while it smokes is annoying to say the least. The only reason why we do it is for the reward at the end, hopefully a perfectly smoked piece of meat.  Well, I’m here to tell you there is a better way, and is it ever better! The Bradley Digital Smoker is a must for anyone who likes to smoke meat.  It is so easy to use, that you can actually enjoy the process again.

Bradley Digital Smoker Interior

Bradley Digital Smoker Interior

To start with, lets look at the construction of the smoker box. The box is constructed out of a stainless steel interior, and an epoxy coated exterior.  The most important part about the smoker box is it is insulated.  My first smoker was a propane powered sheet steel smoker.  Smoking during the winter was nearly impossible because if the wind was blowing, the box would not stay hot enough, and if the wind died, the temperatures would skyrocket above what you wanted.  On several occasions, this caused some of the disasters mentioned above.  The end of this story, was we stopped using the smoker after I overcooked a brisket because it was impossible to keep the temperature stable.  With the Bradley Digital Smoker, the insulated box helps to keep the temperature completely stable, right where you want it.  The box also features movable shelves and hanging clips for hanging meats such as sausage.  A drip pan catches all the drippings and uses it to keep the meat hydrated.  The door seals with a gasket to also help keep temperature stable and keep the smoke in.  There is a replaceable heating element in the bottom of the smoker that is used to maintain the proper temperature.

The second main component of the Bradley Digital Smoker is the smoke generator.  This is where the greatness of this smoker comes out.  This little box hooks into the smoker chamber and provides the smoke, and controls the heating element inside the smoker.  The smoke generator has two controls on the front, one is a timer for smoke, and the other is the time and temperature for the heating element.  To use the smoker, you simply hook up the smoke generator, load it with the wood bisquettes, set the smoking time, the cook time and temperature, fill the drip bowl with water and you are off.  If you have never used any other type of smoker, you might not realize how awesome and simple this really is.  Hook up a wireless meat thermometer and you can go inside and do other things and monitor the meat while doing something else.  I will usually set an alarm to go off at certain temperatures on my wireless thermometer, so as the meat is progressing I will get reminded to go check on it.  Keep the water bowl full and let it go until it is done or you reach the next step in your recipe.

Bradley Cold Smoke Adapter

Bradley Cold Smoke Adapter

Another feature is the cold smoke option.  This allows you to smoke without heat using the smoke generator.  This is great for smoking cheese and other meats that are already cooked and you just want to enhance the flavor.  If you store the smoker outside, I recommend getting a cover for it, as you will want to keep it out of the weather.  One of the complaints I have heard is about the bisquettes.  They are expensive, and because of the way they feed, you have to feed an extra 2 through the smoke generator (unless you find some “pucks” that are available online that will feed all the bisquettes through the smoke generator without wasting the last 2).  The bisquettes usually smoke for about 20 minutes each, and they are automatically fed through the smoke generator for the allotted time you set on the smoker function.  While discussing the bisquettes, there are several different woods available to fit your personal preference and your recipe.  If you are new to smoking I recommend a sample pack so you can try out a few different woods to get a feel for how the type of wood can impact the flavor.  If your recipe doesn’t specify, hickory and mesquite are good places to start, mesquite on beef, and hickory on ham – there is a reason that is how lunch meats are smoked with those woods.

There really isn’t a whole lot more to say about the smoker, it is a great tool for any gourmet meat cook, and the Bradley Digital Smoker is the easiest one I have found to use.  Bradley support is great, they have forums with recipes, tips, tricks.  Spend some time there and in no time you’ll be enjoying some of the best meat you have ever had – at home!  As a parting gift, here is my smoked ham recipe, I have smoked it for the last few Christmas dinners by request.  My favorite part, it’s easy!  Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Smoked Ham Recipe

  • 1 cured ham – (I have used an uncured organic cooked ham the last few years, it’s great! Just make sure whatever you get is fully cooked, even spiral cut is ok…)
  • 1 cup Honey Dijon Mustard
  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 small can pineapple juice

If you want to make your own mustard, here is a good recipe

  • For homemade Honey Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon or Spicy Brown Mustard

Instructions

  1. Remove your ham from the packaging and wipe off excess moisture with paper towel.
  2. Get smoker up to 225.
  3. Right before you put it on your smoker, spread mustard and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Smoke for 2 hours.
  5. Place on foil, spray all over with pineapple juice and loosely cover with foil. Smoke 1 hour.
  6. After an hour, you should be close to 140 internal temp. Once you’re there, glaze.
  7. Open foil, sprinkle more brown sugar, as heavy as you would like, and spray with juice again.
  8. Smoke another hour until internal temp is at least 145 and the glaze sets.
  9. Let rest for 20 minutes, cut and serve!

Buy the Bradley Digital Smoker at ManVentureOutpost.com

Streamlight Strion LED Review

Streamlight Strion LED HP Review

Streamlight Strion LED HP Review

Hello, my name is Brandon, and I’m a flashaholic.  It was hard to admit, but I have known for some time that I have a problem.  My problem is I can’t pass up the newest/latest/greatest/useful/interesting/etc… flashlight.  If you come to my house the first thing you see by the door is about is a lineup of a dozen or more high power lights sitting there ready to be utilized when going outside on the farm.  All from the tiny JetBeam pocket lights, Surefire mid sized lights, a few custom HID’s, a few other Streamlights, and some monster’s over 2000 lumens (just for fun!).  I have spent hours outside with the whole gauntlet comparing and critiquing spots, throw, spill, general effectiveness, and just generally playing with them.  Determining what light would make the best deer spotting light.  What light is the best tactical light.  What light is the light to show all of my friends (the brightest, furthest throwing light, of course!), etc. With all this experience you would think I could recommend the perfect light, right?  Well, this is where my wife comes into this story.  See, we used to have charging parties every other week or so when all the rechargeable batteries would get pulled out of all the flashlights and get a fresh charge.  With all of the lights sitting around this became quite the chore that slowly happened less often…  Well, the inevitable happened, one of my “super bright” lights died while my wife was doing the evening chores.  Anticipating and fearing this, she had taken a backup light.  It died too.  The events that transpired when my wife came back in caused me to re-evaluate my entire philosophy on flashlights.  For those of you who aren’t married, that means she ripped me a new one for not keeping on top of charging the flashlight batteries.  It wasn’t all bad though, I got to buy a new light!  At this point my focus had shifted to any light that wasn’t going to leave my wife in the dark, and wasn’t going to take any maintenance on my part.  Having had poor experience with NiMH and especially NiCad batteries, I knew it had to be rechargeable lithium ion powered, and still put out a decent amount of light.  Since this was going to be primarily used by my wife, and it would likely be beaten around, I wanted something durable and affordable.  I had a few Streamlight LED’s and I liked them, so I took a chance on the Streamlight Strion LED.  My wife loves the light, she has happily used it for over a year now, and has never been left in the dark. Her only complaint, I use it too much!  As it turns out, me, the flashaholic liked the light as well.

Streamlight Strion LED HP

Streamlight Strion LED HP

The model we actually purchased was the Streamlight Strion LED HP.  It has a large reflector which creates a tighter hot spot.  This means it will illuminate further distances more effectively.  Streamlight states it has a 400 meter beam distance, 275 lumens, and 2 hours run time.  I sort of feel the flashlight market could take a page from the night vision manual here, and break down the “effective” beam distance into detection and recognition of an object the size of a person.  I feel these numbers are more useful than just “our light shines x meters”…but that’s another story.  I can personally say I can detect an adult deer at about 400 meters, but to determine if it’s a doe or buck, you are probably looking at about 150-200 meters max range with the naked eye.  The light also offers a medium (138 Lumens/4 hours) and low (70 Lumens/7.5 hours) mode, and a Strobe mode that will work for signaling or disorienting and run for 5.5 hours.  The LED is incredibly durable and Streamlight advertises a 50,000 lifetime.  The heart of the light is the rechargeable lithium ion battery.  It is rechargeable 1000 times and fully recharges in 3 hours.  That means you can put it through some pretty tough runs, and in a few short hours it’s ready to go again.  The build quality of the light is top notch utilizing aircraft aluminum, unbreakable polycarbonate lens, and the light is rated IPX4, or water resistant.  I haven’t really put it to the test here, but I’ve used it on some wet rainy nights where it got drenched, and there was no problems with functionality.  Now, here comes the mind blowing/life altering part of the light, the charging cradle. That’s it?  Yes, that’s it.  Plainly put, this light works.  Why does it work? Because it has power.  Why does it have power? Because it spends all of the time when it isn’t being used, getting charged(the cradle is a smart cradle and prevents over charging!) The charging cradle isn’t a revolutionary idea on it’s own, what Streamlight did to it might be considered revolutionary.  They made it work, easily and reliably.  I’ve had lights before that had charging cradles, and you had to fiddle with them to get the contacts to line up and then you had to jiggle it a little to actually get it to charge.  Not the Streamlight cradle, my wife mastered it with just a few tries (She’s usually mechanically challenged when it comes to these kind of things, but she had no problems figuring it out).  This simple concept, an easy to use and reliable charging cradle, ensures that your light will get put back, and the next time you need it, not only will you know where it is, it will be charged and ready to go.

Streamlight Strion Charging Cradle

Streamlight Strion Charging Cradle

To further the point with the usefulness factor, the Streamlight Strion LED HP can be purchased in a variety of different packages.  You can buy the light alone, or you can buy it with one or 2 cradles a choice of a 240/230/120/100V AC charging cable and/or a 12V DC charging cable.  If you are a heavy user a bank charger with 5 slots is available.  Replacement batteries, colored safety wands, holsters, you name it, Streamlight has you covered.

Streamlight Strion Accessories

Streamlight Strion Accessories

My sincere recommendation, if you consider yourself a flashlight user, is to buy a Streamlight Strion LED HP and figure out a way to mount the cradle right by the door you come in/go out of the most.  It seems like common sense, but really, mount it on the wall and plug it in, and keep the light in it.  This is not by far the brightest light I own, but it is by far the most used light I own.  I don’t mean to downplay the brightness either, it is bright, it’s just not “747 Landing Light” bright.  To further my point, I have since bought 3 more of the Streamlight Strion LED HP lights, and mounted them in our vehicles, with the charging cradle mounted into an accessory circuit, so the light charges whenever the car is on.  The Strion is a great flashlight, my wife loves it, and it has changed my philosophy on flashlights and really helped me with my addiction, because there aren’t a whole lot of lights out there with a charging cradle as good as the Strion.  Streamlight has come out with a new Strion LED HL, a 500 lumen version without the large reflector.  Of course I have one…..It is a lot smaller than the Strion LED HP, and with the added 225 lumens it is brighter, but doesn’t quite project as far as the Strion LED HP does with the larger reflector.  On day to day use I will grab the first one that my hand reaches in the cradle, but if I will be putting it in a pocket when we go for a walk for example, I usually do grab the smaller Strion LED HL.  Either way, you will not be disappointed, and more importantly, you wife will not be left in the dark.  Buy the Streamlight Strion LED HP or the Streamlight Strion LED HL from ManVentureOutpost.com.

Streamlight Strion LED HL

Streamlight Strion LED HL

GunVault Personal Gun Safe Review

GunVault Personal Gun Safe Review

GunVault Personal Gun Safe Review

With all of the media and political pressure recently regarding gun control, it is now more important than ever for responsible gun owners to step up to the plate when it comes to gun safety.  This is an issue I feel very strongly about. We (responsible gun owners) have a communal responsibility to the rest of society and to ourselves to be the prime example of safe gun usage and storage.  There is no excuse, period.  Accidents (we will call them accidents for the sake of this article, but unless a bolt of lightning strikes you and causes your gun to fire striking an unintended target, it isn’t really an accident, it is more negligence from my perspective) simply can’t happen, ever.  Forget how the media will look down on you and the other legal ramifications, lets face it, if you have an accident most of the time it will involve shooting yourself or someone you care about.  Life is a one time deal, no reset button, no do-overs, we play for keeps.  It is for this very reason most of us own a defensive weapon, we want to keep our loved ones safe from events out of our control.  At this point the irony that arises from harming yourself or others with the tool you specifically have to protect them is obvious, so I’ll let it go.  The bottom line is you alone are responsible for the proper operation and storage of your firearm, and there is NO EXCUSE or reason to not be the shining example of a responsible firearm owner.  Think about that for a moment before you move on and really process the burden that comes with owning a gun.

Now that we are on the same page, I am here to offer some advice that might possibly save you or someone you love.  If you own a pistol for self protection, a small pistol safe is an ESSENTIAL accessory to own.  The main idea behind these safes is very simple, keep your pistol close to you, secured to unauthorized access, and quickly accessible if a situation presents itself where you will need to defend yourself or others.  The leading manufacturer making personal gun safes is GunVault.  They make a variety of safes in several styles and sizes to fit just about every situation you might be able to think of where you would need secure pistol storage.

GunVault MultiVault Deluxe GV2000C-DLX

GunVault MultiVault Deluxe GV2000C-DLX

Most of the original GunVault gun safes were the overblown shoebox looking safes,the MiniVault and MultiVault, available now in Standard and Deluxe models.  They a cutout of a hand on the top with 4 buttons at the tip of each finger where you would enter in your access code.  Upon successful input of your code the spring loaded door swings open and you have access to your firearm, literally within a few seconds of initiating the process.  They still make this safe, and it is a very solid, secure, and affordable safe.  When I think of this safe being used in a home, I recommend putting it in a closet, bolting it to the floor/wall in an inconspicuous location or in/around a bedside table.  They also can be secured to an object with a cable that you can attach to it.  These are very basic and reliable safes, great for most applications. Deluxe versions include a motion detector, and an interior courtesy light when opened, and an external power supply.  Let me clarify one thing, these safes aren’t meant as a replacement for your traditional 1000lb heavy full size gun safe.  If somebody really wants whatever you have in the safe, they will probably be able to get it with some effort.  I feel these safes protect more from “curious” hands and unauthorized use such as from young children or visitors to your house.

Gunvault has recently come out with a biometric fingerprint scanner for most of their safes capable of storing over several fingerprints.  These are great, and they actually work!  The best part of the biometric system is it can be programmed for different users, and there is no combination to remember.  As long as you don’t lose your finger, you will have access to the safe.  The biometric function takes a little bit of practice to get used to it and to get the safe to reliably open.  Your finger pretty much needs to be at the same place and orientation each time or it will not work reliably.  I make it sound harder than it actually is, with a few minutes of practice I was able to get it to open on the first try every time, but it is something to consider.

GunVault NanoVault

GunVault NanoVault

The NanoVault series features small, affordable manual open safes (either with a key or combination lock) that are perfect for travel or transportation.  They are TSA approved containers for flying with a pistol (in your checked baggage, of course!) Each NanoVault has a cable that you can use to secure it.  Personally, I have one in all of my vehicles and I secure the cable around the seat post in the car and keep the safe under the seat.  It is a perfect solution for securing items in an office as well, just secure it to a desk or other anchor point and you will have more peace of mind when keeping valuables or guns in your desk.

GunVault SpeedVault SVB500

GunVault SpeedVault SVB500

A new offering to the GunVault line is the SpeedVault.  We have these mounted to desks in our office.  They are very slim and stay out of the way, but the keypad is right where you need it if you were to need to access your pistol quickly while sitting at your desk.  The keypad beep can be disabled so if you need to covertly access the safe it won’t alert everyone you are opening the safe.  The SpeedVault has a pivoting door that contains foam with a cutout for the barrel and trigger guard.  This safe will fit most full size pistols down to compact pistols, including some small revolvers.  Throughout our daily use we have really appreciated this safe and it has kept our pistols safe when we weren’t wearing them around the shop.

The MicroVault series is a step in between the NanoVault and the MultiVault/MiniVault.  These are great for people who travel with a briefcase and still want to keep a secure storage container for their pistol or other sensitive articles.  The seems are very precise which prevents prying with hand tools, and the electronic versions have a computer that blocks access after multiple failed entries.  The MicroVault’s are also available with the fingerprint access control.

Standard features for most of the GunVault safes includes thick steel, pre-drilled mounting holes, protective foam liners, and backup override keys in case of a dead battery or lost combination. The electronic GunVault safes all feature battery power (some are available with an external AC power supply that will default to battery backup in case of failure) and have an audible low battery warning.  Many of the Gunvault gun safes also fulfill the requirement of the California DOJ for storing pistols.

The bottom line is, GunVault personal gun safes are a serious consideration for anyone who owns a handgun.  The gun safes provide a safe and secure storage system for firearms in many common situations, whether it be securing a firearm at home, at work, in your car, or while traveling, most of which give the user quick access in a matter of seconds should the need arise.  Whatever your situation, check out GunVault personal gun safes and keep your pistols secured!  Find GunVault Personal Gun Safes at ManVentureOutpost.com.

Aimpoint Red Dot Sight Review

Aimpoint Red Dot Sight

Aimpoint Red Dot Sight

Everybody has heard of red dot sights, but really, what’s the big deal you ask?  The original electronic red dot sight was developed back in the 70′s by Aimpoint in Sweden.  The technology has come a long way since then.  The basic function of the red dot sight is to offer the shooter a non-magnified rapid target acquisition reticle in the form of the red dot.  The basic structure of the sight consists of a tilted mirror and an LED emitter to generate the dot back to the users eye.  The sights are generally parallax free, which means regardless of the shooters eye position behind the optic, the red dot will still be on target. Aimpoint has been at the front of the line for quality red dot sights since the beginning.  They feature rugged weatherproof cases, clear optics, and state of the art electronics in their sights.

Aimpoint Red Dot Sight

Aimpoint Red Dot Sight CompM3

So, lets get into what makes an Aimpoint stand out.  To begin, lets look at how you use a red dot sight.  Red dot sights are very user friendly, maybe one of the most user friendly sights available for a gun.  There is nothing to it, you can keep both eyes open (no trying to close one eye and look out the other awkwardness), move the dot over your target, and be confident you will hit your mark.  The simplicity of the process means you won’t spend time trying to line everything up and make sure you are on target, it becomes a very fast process to view your target, line up and fire.  So red dot sights really shine at short distances (pun intended!).  One differentiating factor with red dot sights, is the actual dot size and clarity.  Low quality sights will have a larger dot that will cover more of your target, and most of the time will not be a clear dot, but rather more of a splatter of light.  Authentic Aimpoint sights will have a very clear dot when viewing your target, and the dot will be the size specified (more on this later…).  A common beginner mistake that we hear from users, is they complain about the crispness of the dot.  If you buy an Aimpoint and you think it isn’t as clear as you would expect, try a little exercise to determine if you are focusing on the dot, or on your target.  The proper way to look through a red dot is to focus on your target, not the dot, and you will notice when you do this the dot will look like a true dot, rather than a splatter.

Red dot sights are usually identified by the dot size, in MOA’s (Minutes of Angle).  What this means is at 100 yards the dot size will be as big as the rated MOA.  The larger the dot, the less accurate you will be at longer distances, because more of the target will be covered by the dot.  This isn’t a huge deal because we aren’t looking to shoot long range with a non-magnified optic.  The point to consider here is, determine what the actual range you will be using the sight at, and determine what size MOA dot you prefer.  Larger dots will provide faster acquisition at close ranges, while smaller dots will provide more accuracy at longer ranges.

Aimpoint 11972 CompM4, 2 MOA ACET

Aimpoint 11972 CompM4, 2 MOA ACET

What can Aimpoint offer me as a shooter?  The Aimpoint product line has become very diverse and now has a wide range of offerings for almost every situation.  One of my favorites is the new CompM4s ACET Red Dot Sight.  This site really is a breakthrough in red dot sights.  When most people object to red dot sights, it is because of the battery life, and they fear in a life or death situation, their site will be dead, rendering them defenseless.  For this reason many people install backup sights, we’ll get to that in a minute.  However, with the ACET technology, the CompM4s is rated to stay on for up to 8 years CONTINUOUSLY on a single AA battery.  Yes, you read that correctly, you get the sight, turn it on, leave it in your rifle case, and it will work for around 8 years, always on.  This is a monumental improvement.  No longer do you need to rely on tritium vials for long term illuminated reticles, you can now do it with a AA battery.

Another one of my favorites is the Aimpoint Micro T-1.  Pictures really don’t do this sight justice.  It is TINY.  It can actually be mounted on a pistol, and not get in the way.  It is a perfect upgrade for any pistol shooter.  Once you get it sighted in, it will provide a clear red dot greatly reducing your target acquisition time compared to standard iron sights.  Lets face it, in a defensive situation do you want to be fussing with your sight picture trying to get it lined up, or do you want to point and shoot?  The Micro T-1 is really a sight that you have to see to appreciate.

Aimpoint Mounted on Pistol

I like the short range acquisition, but what if I want to shoot a little further without changing optics?  Good news, Aimpoint offers a 3x magnifier to compliment their red dot sights.  Generally the magnifier comes on a twist mount, so if your target range changes rapidly, all you have to do is move it out of the way and you are back to shooting close range.  The magnifier features the same build quality and clear optics that the red dot sights have, it simply allows you to reach out further.  This accessory as we will call it really takes the red dot from a close quarters combat solution, to an all around firearm sighting system with some real advantages and options that any serious shooter should consider.

Aimpoint red dots seem like a great option, how are they different from a laser?  Lasers are great for fast target acquisition at very close ranges, but they also give away your position.  Red dot sights do not project any dot visible to anyone other than the shooter, so the shooter can remain hidden, especially important to those who may be hunting, or may be facing hostile return fire in tactical situations.

For serious shooters, night vision compatibility is also available with many Aimpoint sights.  Your day sight can easily transition into your night sight, giving you all the same benefits discussed above, with the added functionality of being able to use it at night.  This isn’t a big selling point for most users, but if you hunt at night, or are in the military/law enforcement community, being able to use the same sighting system day and night is very valuable, especially with the added benefit night vision offers for covert operations.  Slap your night vision optic behind the Aimpiont and you are back in business.

We have taken an in depth look at why red dot sights are so popular for today’s shooters.  They offer fast target acquisition, easy transitioning from medium range to close range combat with the magnifier, and can even be used in covert ops with the night vision option, and we have shown how Aimpoint is leading the red dot market with some of their advanced features.  Any serious shooter will be well served by an Aimpoint optic, and should at least consider getting familiar to some of the many different products Aimpoint offers.  View Aimpoint red dot sights on ManVentureOutpost.com.

 

Troy Industries Alpha Rail Review

So, you just purchased that brand new shiny AR-15 Rifle, and your bank account has recovered enough that now you would like to make it yours.  Where do you start?  I equate the AR15 platform to a woman’s closet of shoes.  There are literally thousands of AR accessories to bolt on or drop in to your rifle, so no matter what outfit you are going to wear, there is an AR part just for you.  When it comes down to it, Troy Industries makes some of the most functional AR parts you can buy and bolt on.  My personal favorites are the Micro M4 Flip Up Sights with Tritium, the Quick Detach Sling Mount and Swivel, and by far is the Alpha Rail.

Troy-BattleRail-Alpha-Rail-21_355

Troy BattleRail Alpha Rail

The build quality on these rails are simply top shelf.  The anodized finish is flawless, and the machining tolerances are very tight.  These rails give you a complete picatinny top rail all the way out to the end.  This is nice for hanging lasers, night vision, or other optics other than your main rifle scope. If you are using a holographic or red dot sight, you can mount flip up sights as a backup in case your main sight is disabled for some reason.  My favorite aspect of these rails is the smooth grip.  If you have ever held a quad rail in your hand, you know what I am referring to, they are painful to hold.  The alpha rail is very comfortable without the annoying rail covers most people use to make quad rails more comfortable.  The way you mount accessories on an Alpha rail is very simple, they provide short rail sections, and you can pick anywhere on the rail to mount the accessories, including a 45 degree mounting option which is not available on standard quad rails. I have a picture of the rail sections below.

Troy BattleRail TRX Extreme Quick Attach Rail System

Troy BattleRail TRX Extreme Quick Attach Rail System

You can pick the length you need for your particular accessory, and the perfect location.  If you feel the metal is not enough of a grip, you can also buy rubber inserts called Squid Grips for the holes where your hand will sit to give a bit more grip.  I find that a vertical grip is great for ergonomics, there is no strain on the wrist.  I’m a fan of anything that makes shooting more enjoyable and comfortable! The Alpha Rail is a great product and will really give your AR that custom look.  In my opinion you can’t beat the rail for looks, functionality, and price.  I have been very impressed with Troy Industries, they have really come out with some great products for customizing your AR15. Whether you have an M4, or a sniper AR15, they have something for you. When you are in the market for AR upgrades, check out Troy Industries and there ever increasing line at ManVentureOutpost.com.

Should I get Crimson Trace Laser Grips for my Pistol

Crimson Trace Laser Grips are the perfect match for any self defense pistol.  We live in tough times filled with desperate people.  It’s an unfortunate scenario, but one we all must face.  If you do make the decision to carry a concealed pistol, that last thing you actually want to have to do is use it.  I think this is an overlooked aspect of getting a Crimson Trace Laser Grip for your pistol, it turns your self defense pistol into a great deterrent.  If your life is threatened and you feel the need to present your weapon, the Instinctual Activation of the laser grip will immediately notify your aggressor that you are prepared to stop him, and hopefully that is as far as the scenario goes.  If this does not deter your aggressor, then the laser grip will turn any position into an accurate firing position.  When you are under duress you don’t want to be considering your firing position, and the presence of a red dot on your target will help you acquire your target more rapidly than standard iron sights.  With long battery life, there is no excuse to not equip any pistol you will carry for self defense with a Crimson Trace Laser Grip.  Get one today at ManVenture Outpost.  Be safe, and happy shooting.

 

Streamlight Sidewinder Compact Review

Streamlight Sidewinder Compact

The Streamlight Sidewinder Compact packs a fully featured light in a small, compact size.  This light is small enough to fit in your pocket, belt, vest, helmet, anywhere you need it without getting in the way.  The Sidewinder has 4 LED’s to offer multiple lighting options, a main white C4 LED, and 3 colored LED’s.  The colored options are Green, Red, Blue, and Infrared, with different combinations depending on the select model.

Streamlight Sidewinder CompactOperation of the light is very simple featuring a rubber dome actuator.  Push the button once to turn it on, twice to activate the strobe function.  Dimming is enabled by holding the button down once the light is turned on and releasing it when the desired brightness is obtained.  To change the color, the bezel around the rubber dome switch is pulled out and rotated.  A nice feature is whatever brightness mode you are in when you change colors is transferred to the new color when you rotate the bezel.

Streamlight Sidewinder CompactThe light utilizes a single CR123A battery to allow for extreme temperature operation and long operating life.  The battery compartment is sealed with an O-ring for waterproof operation.

Streamlight Sidewinder CompactThis image shows the face, which does have instructions for operation clearly printed above the LED’s.  The main C4 led has a reflector, while the 3 other LED’s do not.

Streamlight Sidewinder CompactThe belt clip is also made to clip onto a helmet mount should you have one.  It also easily fits in a shirt pocket, molle gear, or anything else you might want to strap it to.  If you compare the image above with the image below you can see how the battery compartment rotates to allow you to aim the light 180 degrees from the belt clip.

Streamlight Sidewinder CompactBelow we will show some shots of the light in operation.Streamlight Sidewinder CompactStreamlight Sidewinder CompactStreamlight Sidewinder CompactStreamlight Sidewinder CompactOverall this is a great utility light.  It will work well to help you find blood trails, view maps at night without disrupting your night vision, and anything else you can throw at it.

Buy a Streamlight Sidewinder Compact at ManVenture Outpost

SOG Knives SV68 Vision Review

SOG Knives SV68 VisionI have been carrying this knife for about two years now. This knife is used as my every day work horse so I have given it a lot of use. It still looks new other than some scrapes here and there. This is a tough knife; other knives that I have owned for this long have not fared as well as this one has. Shortly after getting this knife I used it to cut big portions of carpet into strips, it cut through them like butter. It has held up to all the tasks I have needed it for, granted I never used it as a pry bar, to cut cans, or anything of that nature but it has maintained its good condition through normal hard use.

SOG Knives SV68 VisionThe blade is made out of VG-10 steel; VG-10 Steel is designed to maintain sharpness and durability without becoming brittle which is a downfall for other types of exceptionally hard steel. This blade holds its edge longer than your average knife, and VG-10 Steel is also surprisingly corrosion resistant. It has a 4 grind tanto blade so the blade and tip can take a beating without breaking as easily as your standard blade. The blade still comes to a sharp point despite repeated use, and it still opens just as smooth as the first time I opened it.

SOG Knives SV68 VisionThe handle is made of titanium with stainless steel liners so it doesn’t rust; it is light but extremely tough. The titanium on the handle is a feature that I like it makes preventative maintenance a non issue. Titanium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. This Knife has been beaten around for the last two years and it only has surface scratches, and even those are minimal.
SOG Knives SV68 VisionThe blade is still tight at the joint, it uses an Arc-Lock that is self adjusting so over time as the knife wears from use it keeps the blade tight and prevents wobble up and down on the blade. It has been tested at over 1000 lbs of force measured at the Lock by SOG. The Arc-Lock is ambidextrous and can be flipped open with ease using one hand.
SOG Knives SV68 VisionThe clip is reversible so that it can be put on the other side for left handed use. Surprisingly this knife fits comfortably in your hand despite the lack of plastic and rubber padding. The clip does not protrude into your hand and get uncomfortable when holding it. The teeth on the back end of the blade for your thumb are not exactly comfortable but they are very functional, your thumb will not slip off them.

Leatherman Skeletool 830846 Review

Leatherman Skeletool 830846

The Leatherman Skeletool is a different type of multi-tool. It may only have a few tools on it, but they are the tools you use regularly. This makes the Skeletool light, compact, and simple. Because of the size and design, you don’t need a belt holder for it; this multi tool is made to carry easily like a pocket knife – meaning you will have it when you need it!

Leatherman Skeletool 830846

The Skeletool is made with the same quality as its big brother, the Wave. Anyone who has held a Leatherman Wave and compared it to multi-tools of lesser quality know what I am talking about. Leatherman is good at making tools that are tough and reliable.Leatherman Skeletool 830846One of the things I like about Leatherman is the joints. They are very tight and won’t accidentally fold when you don’t want them to. This gives the tool a strong and sturdy feel. At first glance, the tool has an odd design, but it fits comfortably in your hand. Although the holes in the body look trendy and give the tool it’s name, they are functional and do help cut down on the weight of the tool. When folded the Skeletool feels more like a pocket knife than a multitool.Leatherman Skeletool 830846 The pliers are only slightly smaller than the Wave but there is not a huge difference. They touch at the very end leaving no gap anywhere; you could pick up a hair with them.Leatherman Skeletool 830846 The blade is made out of 420HC stainless steel which is a decent quality steel that is heat treated. It is strong, rust resistant, and easier to sharpen than some higher quality blades. The blade is meant for hard regular use, and will need to be sharpened to maintain a fine edge. You should think of it more as a utility blade, you wouldn’t want to use your high quality expensive knife as a utility blade (but if you would like a higher quality blade there is a different version of the same tool, the Skeletool CX has 154CM steel). But for use as a utility blade (which it is) 420HC is what you want. You are not going to be Filleting a fish with this knife – you are going to be beating/prying/scraping/cutting the heck out of it, and with this in mind it is important to have a blade that is easy to sharpen.

Leatherman Skeletool 830846 It has 4 different screw driver bits. Two different sized flat heads and two different sized Phillips. If you look at the picture you can see how the body has a straight line from the bit back to the handle so it will act like a regular screw driver, this is a nice change from the usual multi-tool designs that are awkward to use.
Leatherman Skeletool 830846 The bits are locked in or removed with the push of a button; it is very easy to use and effective. Some bit holders use a magnet to hold them in place but have a problem with the bits falling out when using them. This design keeps the bit securely in place.The extra bit is held tight inside the handle which keeps it out of the way until you need it.

Leatherman Skeletool 830846This is an interesting feature; it has a carabiner/bottle opener. It is nice to have the option to clip the Skeletool onto your belt, pack or other gear. As far as the bottle opener, I haven’t used it yet but hey the option is there and doesn’t take up any extra space or add any weight so why not!

Leatherman Skeletool 830846
  The pocket clip is a nice feature, because of the size and weight of the Skeletool it feels like a folding knife in your pocket. There is no need for a sheath although it comes with one if you want to use it. Overall this multi-tool is great for every day carry. It gives you what you need in a small, lightweight package. It is perfect for the person who needs more than a knife, but doesn’t want to walk around with a belt holder on their hip all the time.