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The Badger Ambi Charging Handle

A current hot trend for the AR15 is for ambi controls. This is one of the trends I find to be worth all the hype.  I can think of no real down side to being able to work your firearms just as easy with your alternate killing hand as you do with your main killing hand.  Sure its more parts that take training and have the chance of breaking , but, you need to be training any way and anything can break anytime so there is no need to not convert to a new thing that is worth it.

My friend is left handed so he always uses ambi parts on his carbine when he can get them and they are worth the money. One of the ambi controls he bought is the Badger Ord. Ambi charging handle and it is in my opinion worth it.  Its not a must have, but if you are a lefty it is very very nice and if you are not a solid follower of the gunfighter handle to the point of worship, its worth it.  I like the gunfighter, but I like ambi a lot more. You have to be the judge if the ambi handle is worth it.

The Badger ambi CH is as tough as woodpecker lips like most badger stuff. Very strong  and durable.

Being ambi, the charging handle has the latch on both sides. It locks up tight and positive and does not pinch. Its strong and has stood up to some pretty hard training and bouncing around in a police car day after day.

Really I am not sure what else to say about this product. It is a charging handle so…  It is hard to beat the BCM gunfighter , and I love the BCM but I have to say I was very impressed with the Badger. It is super tough and well made. Badger makes some super tough gear. I have been using Badger scope bases and rings for years on precision long range bolt guns for years in some very stout rounds and they have given me perfect service. Thats not to say I love all things badger, the free float rails they make seem pointless to me and the extended latch they make to place the factory CH latch, loves to break, bend and snap the pin holding it and drag on chest gear.  That stuff it well made, just not for me.  I do not recommend those things to you either( but you will do what you will).  It is not made cheaply, it just has a niche and the BCM gunfighter has made alot of CH pointless now.

The Badgerambi CH I believe is worth loosing the  BCM latch if you truly want your gun to be as close to ambi as possible. That, however, will be a very personal choice further complicated if you run a can and need gas busting features.  I do highly recommend you give it a very strong look. At the very least, you will not be let down in quality.

Tactical Assault Gear (TAG) Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib

There are so many choices when it comes to chest rigs.  I wanted to get a chest rig that was not going to blow up my wallet and give me the function and features I wanted. I was looking for more than a basic magazine (mag) pouch chest rig, that was uncomfortable, with flimsy straps across your back. I wanted a slim rig that held more than four (4) mags (without being double stacked), had stable rear strap system, and would evenly distribute the chest load.  After looking at the choices out there, I chose the TAG Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib.

TAG Marine Gladiator w/Bib front
TAG Marine Gladiator back
TAG Marine Gladiator back

The TAG Marine Gladiator may have a higher price point than other standard chest rigs but it also has a lot of additional features you don’t get with a standard chest rig. Plus, this rig has the ability to carry a hydration system. Once I opened it up, I immediately noticed the craftsmanship of TAG gear, and I was very excited to start using this rig. I could see the rig was constructed with high quality material and stitching. There is no doubt that TAG products are built very strong and will stand up to whatever punishment you put them through.

Typically, the only thing I worry about with gear is can it be adjusted to fit my size. In reading some comments posted about the TAG Marine Gladiator, some stated they could not get the rig tight enough on their body. However, the rig appeared to be fully adjustable in my opinion. At 5’10” and 165 pounds, I found it easy to adjust this rig to fit my body type without wearing body armor to fill the gap.

Features:

The TAG Marine Gladiator has four (4) pouches in the front of the chest rig, an admin pouch in the chest bib, a pocket behind the mags, and two (2) pouches on each side of the mags.  All of the pouches have pull tabs to separate the Velcro holding them closed.  The back of the TAG Marine Gladiator is a hydration pack carrier. You can place a hydration bladder in the carrier or use it as a mini backpack to hold extra gear. The hydration carrier also has a Velcro loop strip for adding patches. The hydration carrier has seven (7) rows of MOLLE/PALS webbing and a drainage eyelet at the bottom of the carrier.

TAG Marine Gladiator Bib pocket
Magazine Pocket
Side Magazine Pocket
Hydration Bladder Pouch

With the TAG Maine Gladiator Chest Rig, you have the option to run the rig with or without the bib. With the bib strapped to the shoulder straps, you are able to use the admin pouch, and it also provides more stability to the shoulder straps. There are three (3) rows of MOLLE/PALS webbing if you wish to add anything to the bib and Velcro loop strip for patches.  To run the rig without the bib, you simply undo the Velcro straps on the back of the bib, and fold it down behind the mags. With the bib down you can also use the quick release buckle on the shoulder strap if needed.  Personally, I like the extra stability of the bib as it relates to the shoulder straps (prevents them from sliding off your shoulder). Nonetheless, the removable bib is a nice feature to have. The front of the rig also has loops on the right and left sides at the bottom for attaching carabiners or other gear you might want.

With Bib
Bib folded down / Quick release buckles

The shoulder straps are nicely padded, making the TAG Marine Gladiator very comfortable to wear.  They are fully adjustable and the excess adjustment straps feed back onto the padded portion.  The shoulder straps also have MOLLE/PALS webbing and bungee straps for holding gear. The bungee straps come in handy for holding the water tube coming from the bladder pouch. The quick release buckles on the rig are robust and easy to use one-handed.  The waist adjustment straps have Velcro hook and loop tabs stitched into the end to roll and strap down the excess length.

TAG Marine Gladiator Harness Padding
Molle Webbing / Elastic Straps
Quick Release Waist Buckles / Adjustment Straps
Quick Release Waist Buckles / Adjustment Straps

The TAG Marine Gladiator holds six (6) thirty round 5.56mm mags across the abdomen area. The rig design provides a smooth, thin, and non-bulky feel while still giving you 180 rounds at the ready. You do not notice the 7 1/2 lbs of six (6) loaded mags. One thing that made me look at this vest was the straight mag pouch configuration, which allows you to lay flat on your stomach in the prone position. This allows for a stable shooting platform while on your stomach.

The mag pouches cover about 75% of the mag body, have thick shock cords and pull tabs for easy mag removal, and eyelets at the bottom of each mag pouch for water drainage.

I found the mag pouches are generous in length to accommodate PMAGS. However, when using USGI mags without Ranger Plates or L-Plates, the shock cords seemed loose and ineffective. There was no real purpose/use for the shock cords when using this mag configuration. Since I typically run L-Plates on most of my mags, I found this to be the perfect combination. They added enough length to the mag to allow tension from the shock cord straps without it being too hard to clear the pull tabs.

Six (6) Magazine / 180 Round Capacity
Three rows of MOLLE Webbing for accessories
TAG Marine Gladiator

For Women:

My wife was interested in the TAG Marine Gladiator and wanted to try it on.  After a quick/minor adjustment, she tested it for a while.  Here are her comments:

“I found the TAG Marine Gladiator to be surprisingly comfortable. I was pleased to find it was not heavy to wear. Carrying my kids or my purse is heavier and more cumbersome than wearing this chest rig. The shoulder straps are really well padded and didn’t dig into my shoulders. I thought that it might fit a little strange for me, since I am a woman, have narrow shoulders and a chest, but it didn’t.  I’m 5’4″ about 135 lbs, and I’m kind of busty. I was concerned that the chest rig would be too tight on my chest, making me feel like I was wearing a corset, but with the bib up or down it wasn’t too tight. If you are really busty, then having the option to have the bib down is definitely a plus with this type of chest rig. I was able to adjust the side straps to fit securely around my waist. If I were to add a tactical belt, or kydex reinforced belt with tactical pants, it would still fit fine.

I like the extra pouches to be able to carry additional gear and water. The pouches are nicely lined and could work like the pouches in your purse. In the top pouch, I would put some gloves and a small medical kit for emergency use. I have no complaints about the TAG Marine Gladiator. I’ll be on the lookout for my own patch for it!

Knowing that there are military units in Afghanistan testing female specific gear, I feel a woman could use this rig, until a female specific product is available. I would have no problem strapping the TAG Marine Gladiator on!”

Cassie.

Gladiator for ladies with Bib
Gladiator for ladies without Bib
Cassie's Colt LE6720 w/ Tag Marine Gladiator Rig.
Cassie’s Colt LE6720 w/ Tag Marine Gladiator Rig.
TAG Marine Gladiator for Women

Overall Impressions:

The TAG Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib has exceeded all my expectations.  It is extremely well made and very comfortable. I have taken it out on several occasions, wearing it all day, working hard in the heat, and sometimes forgetting I was even wearing it. The fixed shoulder straps, rear hydration pack carrier, and the rig’s ability to evenly distribute load carrying weight contribute to the overall comfort of the rig.

I highly recommend this rig for the Law Enforcement Officer who wants an all day training rig, long assignment search/perimeter rig, or an active shooter rig. A law enforcement officer can simply throw it over their patrol body armor and go. With its ability to adjust to multiple body types, female officers should consider the TAG Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib.

For range day and average plinker use, the TAG Marine Gladiator will exceed all expectations. The options and versatility of this rig beat most of the dedicated chest rigs out there.

Duncan.

For USGI magazines with Magpul L-Plates, click the following link: http://looserounds.com/2012/10/14/magpul-l-plates/

REVIEW: Packing in Pink

 

REVIEW: Packing in Pink

The firearm industry has been evolving as more females are becoming gun owners and enthusiasts.  In a Gallup poll published on October 26, 2011, it stated 23% of gun owners are female.  That is a 13% increase from 2005.  I remember going to the gun range and being the only female.  Nowadays, it seems like a consistent 80/20- 80% male, and 20% female (at least in California).  It brings a smile to my face when I see a couple of girls renting out a lane without any males (sorry, no offense to the guys).

*To read the entire poll, go to http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/Self-Reported-Gun-Ownership-Highest-1993.aspx

Packing in Pink was founded in 2007 by Kim, a female gun enthusiast in Canada.  As the name implies, Packing in Pink is a company geared for the female shooter.   Their merchandise is subtle in feminine aesthetics and definitely says, “I’m a woman shooter.”  Their FaceBook headline reads, “Just because you shoot like a man, doesn’t mean you have to look like one!”

During my phone conversations with Kim, I learned about her background and passion for firearms.  I think we all can agree, starting a business is not an easy task, but with determination and perseverance, one can succeed.  Her excitement and pride for her products gleamed in her voice over the phone.  In my opinion, there are not enough “good” female targeted gun merchandise products that exist in the market.  I’ve found typically (except for hunting gear designed for women) the products are cheesy and low quality.  Nothing irritates me more than when a company manufactures cheap products and splashes girly colors, stars, and hearts to try to appease my taste.

CLOTHING – I like the clothing.  First, it has an American Apparel brand, so it’s manufactured in the U.S.A. and soft (90% combined cotton and 10% poly).  It is not thick, but it does not feel like it will rip.  It’s your standard t-shirt.  Second, the design is not over the top.  The logo and font is pretty and simple.  I’m not a walking billboard, so I’d rather not look like one.  The t-shirt is light and fitted for a female’s body.  The jacket is 100% combed cotton, lightweight, on the thinner side, and good for layering.  As far as fitment goes, I typically like my clothes forming fitting and a little loose.  I usually purchase medium, but from Packing in Pink small seemed to fit me.

HATS – The hats are durable, adjustable, and my favorite one is the trucker design.  The logos are thickly embroidered and the hot pink color pops out.  Once again, I like the subtleness in design.  It’s not screaming for attention, but it definitely says, “I’m a woman shooter.”

LATEX GLOVE POUCH – I personally don’t carry latex gloves on me unless I am going hunting.  Even then it’s usually in my dressing kit.  Once you click open the pouch it has a soft cute pink leopard design.  I assume this product is used to hold latex gloves on your belt for gun cleaning or for someone in the medical field.

TRIGGER LOCK – The trigger lock is light pink and you can program a 3 digit manual combination.  It fit my rifles and handguns well.  Once I locked it, I attempted to try and pry off the lock without success.  This is a great feature to add for additional safety.

SHOOTING GLASSES – I received many compliments on the pink glasses at the range.  Yes, the lens is pink, so everything will have a pink tint.  However, I was surprised.  Looking at the glasses I thought it would be much darker than it actually was.

EAR MUFFS – For ear muffs, these are great.  The color is light pink and it is generously padded for comfort.  It was a little tight, but I assume with time it will adjust.  I wore it on the range and it protected my hearing very well.  I only wish the muff was a little smaller because it did get in the way when I pressed my cheek to the stock of my AR-15 rifle.  To resolve that, I simply pulled back the ear muffs.

All the items are reasonably priced and good quality.  I recently read that they will be carrying pink Blade-tech Kydex holsters.  I personally would like to see ribbed tank tops, shooting vests, and pants.  I think coyote brown, OD green, and khaki colors would also look good with the Packing in Pink logo.  Lastly, electronic ear protection would be great.  Overall, I am impressed with Packing in Pink and excited to see what other products Kim brings aboard.

http://www.packinginpink.com/

Tactical Link Convertible Slings Part 2

In Part 1, (Tactical Link convertible slings & mounts, Part-1) we covered the basics of Tactical Link Convertible Slings and Mounts. Specifically, we discussed a Standard OD Convertible Sling and a FDE Convertible Bungee Sling. Here in Part 2, we will review sling performance during transitions and movements with and without load bearing gear. For this part of the review, I used the slings in different shooting sessions with and without gear to cover different shooter needs.

Without Load Bearing Gear:

My first session involved using the Convertible Slings without wearing load bearing gear. I only wore equipment typically used at a patrol officer/instructor range day. For example, a Safariland duty belt with magazine pouches and a drop-leg holster. I used the slings while performing basic patrol rifle shooting, using techniques a patrol officer or a savvy armed citizen might employ.

Using the Convertible Slings in a two (2) point configuration, I aggressively and quickly shifted between multiple shooting positions. The high quality Tactical Link Convertible Slings performed as expected and allowed for fast and smooth movements.

The one (1) point configuration allowed for smoother dominant-to-support hand transitions and the employment of more advanced and complex shooting positions (versus those performed while in the two (2) point configuration). The ability to rapidly change the sling between one (1) and two (2) point configurations demonstrated the versatility of the Convertible Slings, as well as allowed me to make better use of available cover and limit my body’s exposure to threats.

While running the two (2) slings in what I considered to be a typical training day environment for a patrol officer or savvy armed citizen, I found that I preferred the Standard Convertible Sling over the Convertible Bungee Sling. The Convertible Bungee Sling is longer in length than the Standard Convertible Sling. I am 5′ 10″ about 165 lbs, and even after adjusting the Convertible Bungee Sling all the way down, it was still longer than where I had adjusted the Standard Convertible Sling. The Convertible Bungee Sling was approximately six (6) to seven (7) inches longer than the Standard Convertible Sling.  The Convertible Bungee Sling simply hung lower on my body than I preferred, making the bungee feature cumbersome.

Wearing bulky upper torso equipment, such as a tactical vest, plate carrier, body armor, or similar items will also affect individual sling sizing. For example, even when wearing level IIIA body armor, that most police officers wear, the Convertible Bungee Sling may still prove to be too long and cumbersome for smaller individuals. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind; these are my personal preferences, as other individuals (i.e. taller/larger) may feel differently.

With Load Bearing Gear:

My next session focused on using the Convertible Slings while wearing load bearing gear. In the two (2) point configuration, the Convertible Slings allowed for better rifle control and wear comfort.

In my opinion, the two (2) point configuration is the most comfortable setup for patrolling, and it is the best configuration for rifle control, retention, or performing dynamic movements with gear. Furthermore, the two (2) point configuration is better suited for movement across open areas, conducting searches, or handling/moving equipment. Not to mention, situations where one hand is controlling the rifle while the other hand is being used to complete other tasks. Having the sling in the two (2) point configuration also allows you to transition to your sidearm by dropping your rifle, immediately drawing your sidearm, and avoiding the classic barrel smack to the nuts/knees you get from a one (1) point sling.

As previously discussed in Part 1 with searching and handcuffing, the one (1) point configuration has advantages as well.  Having the ability to rotate the rifle to your back allows for transition to your sidearm without your rifle obstructing your movement.

As previously discussed, the ability to quickly reconfigure the sling from a one (1) point configuration to a two (2) point configuration makes the Convertible Slings adaptable to specific environments and/or missions. This capability offers many advantages and benefits and allows one to adjust rapidly to developing situations.

The one (1) point configuration minimized sling/gear entanglements, enabled better dominant-to-support hand transitions, and increased rifle readiness during scenarios involving vehicles and buildings.

I found it easy to move my rifle back and forth between my dominant and support hands during building entries or when approaching obstacles from different angles.

For vehicle movements, I used a 2011 Ford Taurus (depicts the size/space of current patrol cars in use today). I had no problem sitting in the passenger seats, exiting the vehicle, or engaging threats from both right and left sides of the vehicle. It is important to note the ability to rapidly exit a vehicle depends on the rifle system and vehicle being used. I find that is much easier to use a short barrel rifle with patrol cars but it can be done with a longer patrol rifle.

Tactical Link’s main focus with product development is to engineer equipment to stand up to the harshest combat environments, to exceed user performance expectations, and to minimize user safety concerns. Having used Tactical Link products for almost a decade in real-world encounters as a Law Enforcement Officer, as well as a Civilian Shooter, the Tactical Link Convertible Slings are at the top of the list for me.

While testing and evaluating the Convertible Slings, I discovered my personal choice between the two (2) slings provided to Loose Rounds was the Standard Convertible Sling. In my opinion, the Standard Convertible Sling provides the best all-around options for the average Patrol Officer/Civilian Shooter.

Although individual size considerations always exist, I recommend the Convertible Bungee Sling for use by Military or Law Enforcement SWAT/Specialty Units that wear heavy and bulky upper torso gear.

Having a sling that is only capable of either a one (1) or two (2) point configuration limits user options. Tactical Link Convertible Slings and Mounts allow users to take advantage of the benefits of both a one (1) point sling and a two (2) point sling at the same time, providing Military/Law Enforcement Professionals and Civilian Shooters with the best all-around option out there.

Going forward, I will be using Tactical Link Convertible Slings and Mounts with several of my rifles.

Duncan.

REVIEW: Field Time Target & Training, Stanton, California

Submitted by Catherine Kim

Living in a heavily populated area such as Southern California, I do not have the treat of stepping outside to shoot my firearms.  In my backyard I have a 20 yard bow range with 3D targets, but some days I just want to shoot my guns and smell the blissful aroma of gun powder lingering in the air.

So, here are my options-

  1. I could say screw it and blast off some rounds, but that probably wouldn’t be a good idea, so we’ll just scratch that one.
  2. Drive about 2 hours to BLM.
  3. Drive about 1.5 hours to the closest outdoor range.
  4. Drive a few minutes to the closest indoor handgun range.
  5. Drive 25 minutes to a new indoor handgun, rifle, and shotgun range.

Wednesday afternoon on August 8, 2012 I rallied up my coworkers and their kids and decided we would try the new range (option 5).  I guess I’m kind of known as the adventurer in the office… the girl who likes to shoot guns, hunt, scuba dive, and jump out of perfectly running planes.  It’s always a great feeling when you take people who have never shot before because they get hooked!  One advantage of me taking people is they look at how small I am and figure, hey if Catherine can do it, then so can I.  I am pretty pint sized and girly.

On the roll call I had the following-

  • Female coworker – 2nd time shooting (1st time was with me)
  • Male coworker – Shot many times
    • His teenage son – Shot very few times
    • His son’s teenage friend from Germany – Never shot before, unless you count Call of Duty 😉
  • Another male coworker – Either had never shot or did when he was very young

So the idea of being in a controlled environment with safety protocols was first choice, plus wanting to go after work really limited our choices.  It had to be local, but capable of shooting a variety of firearms.  For me, these are really 2 features I look for when choosing an indoor range-

  1. Staff / Customer support
  2. Facility

We drove to Field Time Target & Training (FTT&T) located in Stanton, CA.  It’s nestled within an industrial area of Orange County.  Surrounding the range are various manufacturing companies and machine shops.  This was my second visit to FTT&T.  My first visit was at their grand opening.  They had phenomenal raffle prizes, discounts on membership, and an awesome sale on their remanufactured ammo.  To date, I have purchased thousands of their rounds and I absolutely love their ammo for target practice.  I have had no issues with their 9mm, .45 and .223.  It is high quality and cheap.  Recently having visited their booth at the gun show, they explained their ammo will hit the shelves with the “American Legacy” brand.  I’ve included a photo below.

* Tip: For every 500 round box of ammo you purchase you are entered in a raffle for a new gun every month.  Check out their website to see the monthly giveaway. 

STAFF/CUSTOMER SUPPORT

I understand why many ranges have poor attitudes.  They are tired of the wannabes gangsters and idiots; however, that number of those types of customers is low (at least when I analyzed the ranges I’ve been to).  A gun range is still a business.  Their ultimate goal is to bring in revenue.  I think most will find profits can be greatly increased when customers rent guns, buy ammo, and enroll in classes.  If you put on this, “I know everything and you don’t so I’m better than you” attitude, your customers (generally male) are going to react with their prideful attitude in retort.  Ask customers if they’ve shot a certain kind of gun that you have for rent, tell them about your ammo and classes, and spread the knowledge.  After all, we are all gun enthusiasts, so why be rude.

First time shooters are nervous.  They don’t know what to expect.  That is why the staff and customer support play such a huge role in helping determine whether people will return or not.  You don’t want a bunch of rude pricks, because that really ruins the experience.  FTT&T was exact opposite.  Everyone was attentive to needs and answering questions.  Their hospitality played a key role in ensuring my guests would return.  From the person at the counter to the employees on the range, they gave excellent support.  Many times I try to analyze whether I’m just being treated nicely because I am a female, but that was not the case.  I noticed everyone received equal service.  The employees on the range would walk up to people, start up conversations on their guns, help people, and sweep the casings.

FACILITY

Their 21,000 sq ft facility is new, modern, and beautiful.  I have not been into a range where everything is so “pretty.”  From the décor to the room layout it is very nice.  They offer a large gun rental selection from iconic handguns to tactical rifles.  There are training classrooms upstairs, a storefront, large break room, and two range rooms.   Each station has an electronic target system where you can easily program your own distances, similar to your car radio, to bring back and forth your target.    There is a touch button for lighting amongst other features.  Another benefit was the wide space from the shooter area to the back tables.

If I were to nitpick, there are only 3 things on my wish list.  First, I wish the range was longer than 25 yards, but it is an indoor range, so I can’t complain.  Second, better air conditioning in the range (which has been a lot better).  Lastly, I think they should think about expanding the front room with a show floor to sell more gear.  I think they could generate more money by selling hunting clothes, gun stuff, cleaning gear, gift cards, patriotic wear, etc…

As a final note, during my visit I found the customers were also friendly.  Perhaps all the stars were aligned perfect for my visit.  There were two NRA instructors testing out a new 45-70 rifle in preparation for an Elk hunt.  He had mentioned to me that what I was doing was great… bringing adults and kids to shoot, so he let everyone in my party fire off his rifle.  Wow, that thing was sweet and surprisingly smooth.  So, customers (you) can also make a difference to someone else’s experience.  Be kind and enjoy being around the company of fellow gun lovers.  J

So overall, I really liked this place.  I’m actually planning to return to it tonight!

More information can be found at-

Field Time Target & Training
8230 Electric Avenue
Stanton, CA 90680
(714) 677-2841

http://www.fieldtimetargetandtraining.com/