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CompTac Flatline Kydex Holster And Leather Reinforced Gun Belt

A few weeks ago, Comp-Tac was nice enough to send me some of their product to test and use for our readers.  I received the excellent leather belt and the new Flatline kydex holster. http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=302&osCsid=kehesa4s68c68koa9kd65t8ll1

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Having already been a fan and constant user of the Minotaur inside IWB holster, I was excited to get the Flatline.   Unlike the Minotaur, the flatline is all Kydex. But the Flatline has the very handy feature of being an inside and an outside the belt holster. Comptac sends with the holster, all the clips and adapters you need to swap it around for whatever need you may have. To use their words on the website

Flatline Clips:  are the most innovative clips on the market. made of durable flexible plastic, these clips hold firmly and securely. The plastic material is flexible enough to withstand bending and twisting without breaking and will be gentle on your belt, clothing and car seats.

The Flatline is shipped with 6 clips: Two Flatline clips, Two offset-Flatline clips and Two standard clips.”

The Flatline and its belt adapting clips, allow you to position the the holster as deep in inside your pants as you would like, or high or low on the belt. Also, you can adjust it for the cant you may like so you can get the exact draw you are looking for.  You can also adjust how close the pistol and holster hugs your body. That is a feature I greatly appreciate because it seems most of the time, I can not get a holster tight enough against me to suit my needs. And, kydex being what it is, offers a very fast slick draw and the ability to re-holster the gun without having to worry about the top closing up on you. Like other holster Comptac makes, you can also adjust the holster for retention. A lot of other small companies make great outside the belt kydex holster, but few of them let you adjust the level of retention on it with a simple tool.

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The above picture shows the holster with the belt loops for use outside the belt. You order the belt loops for whatever size you want to ensure it is not loose on the belt or too tight. And as can be seen, they can be replaced easily to re-purpose into the inside the belt. You can also see the molding that fits the 1911 like a glove.  Nothing on the holster is rough or sharp. I have been wearing it for a little over two weeks and it is very comfortable. The extended portion that protects your skin or shirt from the gun is very welcome. Even if the gun does not hurt me, I like the fact this protects the gun from my sweaty body. Either way it is something I consider very valuable for a do it all hard use CCW holster.

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If you are worried the Flatline is some how bigger than other CCW holster Comptac makes, no need to worry. The picture above shows the Flatline beside the Minotaur that I have used for a very long time. The dedicated IWB holster is made from Kydex and leather with the adjustable dept clips and is about as comfy as it can get, But it does not have the versatility of the Flatline. I have even managed to secure the Flatline to a MOLLE “war belt” Using the holes made into its body.   It is very easy to adapt to what you need.  If you are looking for a holster to fill a lot of roles, and only have enough money to spend on one very high quality do it all holster, the Flatline is what I would recommend for inside and outside,  That way you can swap around and find out exactly what you want.  At 75.00 dollars, the Flatline is around the same price of most more custom made kydex holster, and cheaper than a lot of the pure custom holster made by companies that aim to make you believe that cater to the more tactical special users and all that hype.  It is a great deal and you get great quality from a company that is all about useful, quality products.

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the belt I got from CompTac is as good as it gets. I really do not know how else to put it.  It is the Kydex reinforced leather gun belt and it is superb. This thing looks great, feels great, works great and is great.  It is stiff enough to hold up the heaviest of side arms and anything else you want to attach and it does not roll up or bend and it does not wear out from metal or kydex rubbing against it for hours and hours.  I have an older one of these I have had a long while and I think it may be invincible.

http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=43

You can check out the options on this baby at the link above.  You can get it in black or brown and with or without a taper.  I like the no taper model myself, in brown. It looks good enough to use anytime and I use it as my belt for just about everything. But make sure you look over the chart about the sizing before you order.   You can also get the belt with velcro lining to adapt to some of the other attaching methods.

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My camera is not the greatest in the world, but hopefully you can see the heavy duty stitching and high quality workmanship that goes into this belt. It is so good, if the situation becomes desperate enough, I am sure you can take it off and beat a crazy or terrorist  to death with it. I could go on and on about this belt, I really feel this is the best belt for the money I have ever seen to not be some kind of highly hand tooled show off belt ( which is not really my cup of tea anyway) or some other type not really practical.  The kydex in it makes it just right as far as the stiffness goes. I hold up a full steel 1911 with surefire light and two extra 10 round mag reloads all day all the time, and the belt has shown no wear at all. the icing on the cake is, it stays comfortable with no problems at all.  If you can only get one belt for the rest of  your life, and can not get one made of pure gold, this is the belt you should get. I know I would.

Once again, I feel Comptac has made a great and versatile holster and I am very thankful they sent me the stuff to try it out. It is always worth the money when you get gear they make and I can assure you, buying Comptac CCW gear is never a mistake.

H&K417 ( MR762A1) Review And Test

By now, almost everyone has heard of the HK417 and any serious gun owner and enthusiasts know about the MR762 civilian version of the same rifle.  Over the weekend I got to test out the MR762A1, which I will refer to as the HK417 or just “417” for the rest of this review. The gun was tested for accuracy at long range with match ammo and shorter ranges for uses that are ore fitting a ‘battle carbine”, to see how it handles and how easy it is to control when using more speedy and violent manipulations.

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The rifle used  the extended rail to give the gun more space to mount equipment. It has a harris bipod and Leupold  tactical 3x-9x optic in ADM mounts,  For the shorter range, the gun was equipped with a Trijicon SRS and the bipods removed.

The rifle was shot at 800  and 300yards using Federal Gold medal match ammo. The 800 yard target was a steel man shaped target with the 300 yard target being a Q target made of cardboard for testing accuracy.

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Above picture shows the 417 while firing at the 800 yard target.  I found the recoil of the 417 a lot stiffer than I expected.  The gun torques when fired and is very noticeable. I had not encountered this amount of recoil and torque from a semi auto AR pattern type rifle from any other models before and was surprised.  It was something that took me a couple of  mags to get used to.  The muzzle blast was also surprising.  Being a 16 inch barrel, I expected a certain amount of blast, but it was more than I was ready for. I was told it was partly due to the muzzle device design on the rifle.

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The target is man shaped, but obviously considerably smaller than a real person.  But once I zeroed the optic for 800 yards was able to keep 8 out of 10 rounds out of the ten round magazine, on target. Both of us shooting it, had the same result.  The trigger of the 417 is a two stage trigger and though I would not call it a real “match trigger” like the SSA, it is a lot closer to it than a typical milspec trigger.  It gave no problems. It had a little creep in its second stage but it was very useable. Owner intend to replace it with a SSA trigger and I think that is a good idea. If the gun is to be used in the DMR or long range role in a dedicated way, it would be an improvement.

After shooting close to 100 rounds at the 800 yard target I move to the 300 yard target for some accuracy testing to see what kind of groups it would give with the Federal Gold medal match 168 grain ammo.

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This target above is representative of the other groups fired at 300 yards.  I fired multiple 10 round groups and all looked pretty much the same being 2-2.5 MOA.  Other than the two sighting shots, the “record” group is the cluster I circled in the black marker. It is the best group I shot at the 300 yard target. Sorry to say the other pictures blurred, but this is the best  group. The three shot clover leaf is obviously pure chance.

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Lastly was the close range more rapid firing of the H&K417. This is where I started to have some problems with the gun.  I found the gun very hard to control during rapid fire drills.  The torque was back in a major way and it just plain kicked.  It was hard for me to control and did not just lay flat and let me run it like an M4 carbine like the Colt 901 will let you do. My friend who had more time on the gun got a handle on it much better than me, but still there was no tight little impact zone.  He also mentioned the torquing of the gun and the effort it takes.The red dot of course helped, but even with the large view of the SRS, I just plain had trouble keeping it in tight on target. I am by no means new to shooting full power battle rifles and carbines, but this one was a handful.  I have never liked the feel of the piston operated AR patterns and this rifle did not make me rethink that in any way.

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Above is my friends shoulder after 60 rounds with the 417 doing rapid fire drills. I also suffered bruising from the HK. I had not had this kind of experience with any other 762 AR pattern rifle. I honestly found the gun unpleasant for off hand rapid drills when used in the battle carbine role.  I would keep it strictly as a long range rifle.

Now here is the part that will cause many to gasp and call for my head while calling me a liar.

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The gun experienced at least 6 instances of failure to feed or other malfunctions.   The ammo used was NATO 7.62 spec.

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We speculated on the causes of the malfunctions as they only appeared during rapid fire.  Mag problems or ammo problems, I do not know for sure. as the gun started to run fine after this happening within 40 rounds fired.  After it decided to work fine, the gun was fine. A few time we got it hot enough to smoke the barrel and become to hot to hold even the VFG.

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It was a great chance to test the much vaunted HK417 AKA MR762A1 today, and it is an interesting piece. I think for the full on H&K fans they would be happy with the 417, but for its price, I would never buy one or even really recommend it.  If it was 2,000 or maybe 2,500 I could maybe see it.  It is not as accurate as a Larue by any means, and it just simply can not be run as fast and softly as a Colt LE901. Accuracy of the gun is fine. From what I understand, this is not intended to be a sniper precision rifle, so the performance of the rifle’s accuracy is all you could expect from something without a match barrel.  It  does very well with the federal gold medal like most quality rifles. If I had to personally rank the 7.62 battle carbine/rifles, I would go in this order. 1. Colt 901. 2, SCAR H and 3. the 417    The OBR and KAC guns I consider more precision guns so they are not on the list of “battle carbines”.    That is all my personal opinion and it may be different than yours, so you do not have to get bent out of shape.   Like I said above. the 417 is a fine gun, and I am sure the feeding issues may not be the guns fault, but the price asked for it is just not justified. I am sure any real HK fan will be willing to pay for it, but  if that does not describe you, but you want a serious 7.62 battle carbine of the new gen, I would take a hard look at some of the other offerings right now until the prices come down on these, Regardless I would never opt for a piston rifle if I had a choice.

 

 

 

Not Always “Just A Tool”

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The knife above is a relatively plain Swiss Army knife. It is a little over 15 years old and I have carried and used it almost all of that time. It;s nothing rare or worth any money from some kind of collectors standpoint and it is certainly a tool. And it is a very handy tool that I have often preferred to  carry and use over the large multi-tools.

But on the other had, it is something more. It has a sentimental value for me that makes it worth a lot more.

Back in 1999 I started a new job at a gun store.  With my first payday, this knife is the first thing I purchased at the store I worked at. I did it as a little gift to myself since it was only about 25 bucks with my employee discount at the time. I carried it the entire time I worked there for daily tasks.   One of the fellows who worked there was an interesting character and we became friends by the name Jody Bryant, nicknamed “PorkChop” by everyone who worked there and our boss. He was a very large guy, and way over weight to the point of it being very unhealthy, he was only 30 years old at the time I met him.

Indeed, I could fill the internet with  stories of this guy alone. He was that kind of guy.   After our unlikely friendship had struck up, a year later he found an engraving tool in the back of the shop and determined to learn how to use it. After showing me some of his work, I told him I always wanted something engraved and made personal to me, but never wanted it bad enough to pay the price. So he said he would do some for me free so as to get more practice.  I offered up the knife and told him I wanted my name on one side of the blade and then something cool. he could choose for the other side.

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He put my first initial and last name on one side of the blade and brought it back to work to show me. I was pleased with this, and it did look great at the time. The blade was newer at the time without the wear and marks from being used hard over the next years. So I asked him to go ahead on the other side.  He told me he was going to engrave “rifleman” on the other side since that is apparently what he thought of when asked to choose something cool that would be within my personality.

More than a month passes and he had not brought it back to me. And he kept saying he just keeps forgetting to bring it with him. After a while I start  getting on his case, because I used it every day and missed it.   He finally says to me one day “Shawn, maybe it has been a long time because I messed up on the engraving, and I have been afraid to show it to you because I don’t know what you’re gonna say”. “Did you ever think of that”?

I laughed and told him not to worry about it, if he did,  I was not gonna blow up over it. He admitted that was exactly the case and brought it to me the next day.  He had tried to engrave “rifleman” but forgot to put in the “A”, so then he tried to go back and some how over engrave the blade to fit it in,

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It looks bad but not awful, and it is a knife that I intended to use. Being I did not pay him for it anyway, I thought of it as no big deal. We had a good chuckle over it, and I teased him on it a few times and we forgot about it over the following days.

A few years later, we had both left the store for other things but still kept in touch. I saw him one day in late January and we talked a bit about getting together later on in the spring.

Then in February, on Valentines day, that evening I get a call and it is my friend’s  wife.  She had woken up that  morning of Valentines day and found her husband, my friend, dead in the bed beside her, He had died in his sleep over night from a heart attack. No doubt because of his weight problem.  She was devastated to say the least and I told her I would be there for her and asked her to tell me when the arrangements were made.  I did not even know what  else to say, He was only 34 when he died. and I was close to 10 years younger then him. At that age,  you certainly do not expect a friend to drop dead. Maybe a car wreck or in war, but not dieing in bed while sleeping.

Now, that screwed up engraving on a simple, plain Swiss Army knife, has made it more than just a tool for me. It is a reminder of my friend in a way. better than if he had done a perfect job,  Messing it up was something you would just expect him to have done. Especially with the half-assed attempt to fix it.

Some stuff are just tools. Guns, knives, hammers, whatever. But sometimes they can become more for the owner. Sometimes they can remind you of a better time, or a person you knew and was close to. I still miss my old pal, but I can look at that screwed up incompetent engraving from a 500 pound drunk guy and remember my friend . the laughs we had and our friendship.

Soft Armor And Other Thoughts

We have another post from Brain, from over at www.thenewrifleman.com. This time is gives his thoughts on body armor for new buyers.

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I obtained some level III soft armor a few years ago. I didn’t get Molle or a camo setup, I purchased a flat black concealable vest from www.bulletproofme.com. My reasoning was, in part, based on my knowledge from FerFal’s book: Surviving the Economic Collapse.

When Argentina’s economy collapsed, the government was still capable of arresting and policing. The situations that arose in Argentina made it clear I should buy some armor. I studied what I saw others using at club shoots and made my decision to conceal my armor rig.

Points to consider:

Rifles didn’t come out to play in Argentina’s collapse: Police presence was still available, and carrying a rifle around with you invited their scrutiny. Not Good. Also made you a target for robbery.

Criminals used handguns: Obvious reasons aside, criminals preferred to look like anyone else on the street, except they would pull a gun and take your cash when the opportunity presented itself.

Criminals became very crafty: A favorite tactic of criminals was to approach you as you fumbled with your keys to unlock the door. In general they used the element of surprise. You should surprise them by being immune to their attacks to the torso.

Instead of going full tactical Molle kit like I see online and at the range, I decided a concealable vest would make more sense in a collapse type scenario. I don’t want to look tactical or out of place in such an event. I want to blend in. Concealable soft armor would likely protect me from the most common threat on the streets: the handgun. Wearing a full tactical kit, pouches, and associated gear WILL WORK if you have friends that will watch your back and you stay out of the authorities eyes. However, for the common Joe, getting a concealable setup gives you the element of surprise against would be attackers.

Getting a full kit on may attract unwanted attention. Be smart when you deploy your tactical setup.

I made one mistake with my armor purchase… Instead of getting a smooth carrier, I should have gotten a molle carrier and wore it as a concealed vest. Leave off the extra gear and it will conceal well enough for day to day activities. If the need arises, the vest can be outfitted with mag pouches, plates, and other necessary equipment. So I need to spend another hundred and convert it to Molle while keeping the slick concealable ready if need be.

Your Rifle and Your Armor

Let’s say things get worse for you/us than they did in Argentina. The landscape is so dysfunctional that police presence is absolutely absent. Limited social services and lack of utilities has caused social unrest and has forced the rifle front and center of your defensive setup. Your armor and rifle (or carbine) need to play nice.

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A telescoping stock with a rubber butt pad is an absolute necessity. The stock must be shortened substantially so the weapon can be deployed with the extra layer of kevlar between you and it. The cordura nylon the carrier is made from does not play well with a plastic butt stock. The rifle wants to slide off the armor at every opportunity. Having some rubber on the stock fixes this issue.
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Furthermore you can see how thick the extra layer is all by itself. While the level III doesn’t look like much, keep in mind it’s not very flexible. It doesn’t conform to your shoulder pocket and the rifle has to sit pretty far out in front of you.

Wrapping Up:

Armor is something we want to get, but typically the money is spent on upgrades to your rifle. This is a sword and shield issue and no one would go into a fight without both. Look at your situation and determine the best strategy for your situation. You may need more concealment and pistols than a full on tactical kit, especially if you are in an urban area. If you want to run a rifle with armor, it’s going to be a massive learning curve and your equipment may need to be set up to mitigate how cumbersome the armor can be.

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Kentucky: Comprehensive Pro-Gun Reform Legislation Takes Effect Tomorrow

Kentucky: Comprehensive Pro-Gun Reform Legislation Takes Effect Tomorrow

House Bill 128, this legislative session’s comprehensive pro-gun reform package, goes into effect tomorrow, July 15.

HB 128, signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear (D) on April 11, enacts the following reforms for gun owners and sportsmen in the Bluegrass State:

  • Allows retired peace officers with a valid Concealed Deadly Weapons License (CDWL), in accordance with the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), to carry at all times in Kentucky, with an exception for detention facilities.
  • Streamlines the CDWL process by allowing applicants to submit their forms – for both new applicants and renewals – electronically.
  • Allows honorably discharged armed service members to waive the training requirement for a concealed deadly weapon license with the proper documentation.
  • Allows for special law enforcement officers employed by school districts to be included in the definition of “police officer” and make them eligible for certain Kentucky Office of Homeland Security grants.
  • Requires that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) within fifteen days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.  By removing any possibility of personal bias and creating a statewide standard, HB 128 protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners across Kentucky.
  • Allows corrections officers, current or retired, of urban-county governments or consolidated local governments to use their professional training to satisfy the training requirement in applying for a CDWL.  HB 128 also allows new residents in Kentucky who have valid concealed carry licenses/permits from other states that have a reciprocal agreement with the Kentucky Department of State Police, to waive the training requirements for Kentucky licenses and to use the out-of-state license in Kentucky for their first 120 days of residence, providing that within sixty days of the resident moving to Kentucky, he or she delivers a form and accompanying documents by registered or certified mail to the Kentucky State Police, evidencing proof of a valid out-of-state license to carry a concealed deadly weapon.  This law also stipulates that an out-of-state concealed carry license will become invalid in Kentucky upon either the passage of 120 days or issuance to the person a valid Kentucky concealed deadly weapons license.
  • Allows an individual who has legally sought a court-issued Emergency Protection Order (EPO) the ability to better defend themselves by expediting the permitting process for a CDWL, after a background check. 

Your NRA-ILA thanks you for your active involvement during the 2014 legislative session, which helped ensure these measures became law.  As always, please stay tuned to www.nraila.org for future updates.