5.56 Timeline

Tango Down FDE Aimpoint T1 Cover


I recently received one of the new Tango Down T-1 covers in FDE from Howard after he invested in the kickstarter project some months ago and had a few sent to us.

I requested one in FDE and since the black ones were made first, I had to wait a bit longer.  After getting it I was very happy with the product.  I head the black ones are stiffer plastic but the FDE is a little softer,  I like this better since I think this allows it to soak up more of a hit then a harder plastic. And, I have seen hard plastic crack or shatter.  I doubt that would happen, but it is one of those peculiar things that sticks in my mind.

I had no trouble slipping it on over the T-1 and there is no need to take the optic off of any mount.  I did have to remove the Knights Armament over sized battery cover/brightness dial. But that is not a problem at all.



Flipping the covers back is not problem. They do not move out of the way on any kind of spring but they have the ability made into them to snap together one inside the other. It is a nice positive connection to. No need to worry about if its really together or not. I found that that it can be done with only one hand. It is not the fastest process, but its not horrible either. With a little practice  after about three tries, I was able to remove the lens covers and get the secured together in about 5 seconds plus or minus a second or so.  They do not however flip up or off to the side like Butler Creek  cover do. So, do not go thinking you can leave them covered then just flick them open and out of the way with your thumbs and start shooting with a clear view in half a second.   Leave them back and folded tight until you really need them closed.   This is the only downside to the cover. It is not really a bad thing, but some will grip because they feel anytime they spend any of their money, the world should make sure everything is perfect for them.  I live in the real world so I am very happy with the cover.  You can see how when it is snapped together out of the way, it does not effect your field of view outside the optic to any meaningful degree. It doe snot block anything so no worries there.


The picture above shows how they snap together and out of the way. Since Tango Down got involved in the project and sells them, they of course added their logo to it.  TD is an excellent company that makes so good stuff. I have been using their battle grip for years and have faith in everything the make being as tough as you would ever need it to be.


As the pictures show. Everything is as covered as it can be and allow you full use of brightness settings and windage and elevation adjustments. I do not know how much one could really ask for.  Of course it is going to be asked by those who over worry about such things, the color of the FDE does match up close with all the other popular products in that colour. My camera flash may or may not show it well, but it does seem to be very close to the same shade Magpul and TD down use as well as the Lancer AW mags.  Its an absurd thing to have to talk about, but a surprising amount of people ask adn worry over it.

It is maybe not the ultimate answer to protecting and covering the T-1, but it is a great one and the only one we got for now. I am not sure it can get much better anyway. So if you want some protection for your T-1 buy with confidence and don’t set around waiting for something better. This is a great little cover that does its job perfectly.  Maybe one day the cover will be upgraded to have a small spring loaded flip cover caps , but until then I will be more then happy with this one. And even then I probably would not feel any real need to swap out to a newer one.

Let’s get real. Just the facts. Really.

Submitted by Mark Hatfield


Let’s get real.  Just the facts.  Really.


Let’s stop the deaths of children in public schools.  Ban football.  Yes, it’s true, football is the number one killer of school children.


Why is it still allowed?

Why is it even legal?

Why doesn’t the possession of a football require a permit?

Should a safety training class be required before one can buy a football?

Should you have to be at least 18 years old to own a football?

When any teacher, coach or any school staff dare to bring a football on the school property why aren’t they sent to prison for life?

Shouldn’t we punish any student who draws, cuts a paper in the shape of, or in any manner depicts a football?


If you really want to prevent students dying in schools, ban football.


What about at home?  What kills more people than guns?  Bathtubs.  Yes, really.


Why isn’t there a waiting period for the purchase of a bathtub?

Should they be registered so we know where they are?

Why shouldn’t there be random unannounced safety inspections of any bathtub at any time?

Why shouldn’t the owner be required to show how children and unauthorized users are prevented from using the deadly device?

Why shouldn’t every bathtub owner be required to post an emergency plan in case there is a bathtub accident?

Shouldn’t the emergency plan have to be government approved?

Why shouldn’t bathtub owners be required to have a one million dollar insurance policy or post a bond?

Shouldn’t the owner be required to post a sign on every door warning that there is a bathtub in the house?  I mean, really, would you want your child to go into a house which has a bathtub?


You do really want to prevent the unnecessary deaths, don’t you?

Let’s talk about dogs.

Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.


Let’s talk about dogs.

I don’t just like dogs, I love dogs, at least most dogs.  I’ve not always had one but when I’ve had, it was a very important part of my life.

There are different kinds of dogs and by this I don’t mean breeds such as poodles or labradors, rather kinds such as pets or ‘working dogs’.  Some owners may have three ‘kinds’ of dogs and there may be some overlap.  Let’s call them categories ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’.

The ‘A’ dog is the household pet.  The ‘A’ dog if very small may never even go outside though many ‘A’ dogs are large or very large.  It sleeps on the floor near the masters bed or perhaps even in the childrens beds.  It licks the childrens faces.  Kids pull its tail, it ignores them or moves away.  Very young children may sleep on top of it.  It sees the infants and toddlers as puppies of its own family.  The ‘A’ dog will sometimes seem to be ignoring the children but it is always concerned for their safety and responds to anything which it perceives as a threat to them.

The classic ‘B’ dog is the barnyard dog.  The ‘B’ dog is purely an outdoor dog.  He is never groomed or bathed.  He never needs his nails trimmed as they are always worn down.  The ‘B’ dog has free run of the property.   He may have no, some, or a lot of training.  He could be the highly trained sheepdog which can control and guard the flock even without human assistance, he may simply help in bringing the cattle herd to the barn, or he may be just somebody who hangs around.  The ‘B’ dog will play with the kids, they may retrieve sticks or balls, they may play tag, chasing or following you, or maybe not, but they will always be a sentinel.  They will give the alert if a stranger approaches ‘their’ property and may defend it.

The traditional ‘C’ dog is the hunting dog.  The ‘C’ dog is confined to a kennel unless released, under control, for exercise, training, or to work.  He is there for a purpose, one purpose, trained for that purpose, and that is it.  There’s quite a lot of variety of hunting dogs.  Some are trained to locate a specific type of bird and then stand motionless, pointing to where it is.  Others will find and bring back a bird which has been killed and fallen from the sky.  Some dogs are more like Marines.  While not dangerous to their handler, these dogs will find, close with, and fight dangerous animals which are larger than themselves, animals which can kill them.  They distract the beast it until the handler can kill it.  It is common for these dogs to be injured, sometimes seriously, sometimes killed.  Yet even when injured they will get back into the fight, however, if one should bit their handler it’s by mistake while in the confusion of battle.

If a toddler, in their innocence, approaches an ‘A’ dog and removes a bone from its mouth, the dog may gently take it back, or may lick the childs face, or groan and say ‘Why are you bothering me?’.  If the same child does the same to a ‘B’ dog, he may get bitten, do the same to a ‘C’ dog and he will get bitten.  We have a tendency to say that the ‘A’ dog was good and that the others were bad, but that is not true, they are simply acting true to their nature.  The ‘B’ and ‘C’ dogs have not been socialized and taught to accept the child like their own puppy as was the ‘A’ dog.  At a very young age the children are taught this about these dogs.

Many dogs instinctively use a system identical as is taught to Law Enforcement officers, this is ‘Ask, Tell, Make’.  This is, if the officer needs someone to do something, such as ‘be quiet’ or ‘go over there’, the officer first simply asks them to do it.  If the person fails to comply they may be told or ordered to do it, then as a last resort, made to do it.  This is a version of a concept known as ‘Escalation of Force’.  Dogs sometimes do the same thing.   Say a child is annoying the ‘A’ dog, the dog may move away.  The child persists then the dog may growl.  The parents get mad at the dog and the growling is not allowed but remember, the dog is simply trying to communicate that ‘This really bothers me’.  The dog may even get to the point of the ‘open mouth bunt’.  This can occur if the child actually hurts the dog especially if it happens by surprise.  The dog opens its mouth and rams the kid straight on with its nose.  This is a very serious warning.  The dog has done no injury and does not intend to but this is often mistaken for an attempt to bite, though many ‘A’ dogs will simply attempt to get further away from the kid and an intelligent parent will intervene and stop the child.

So…Why am I talking about dogs.  There are people who were not raised around dogs, have never had a dog,  never even been near one.  There are people who know little about dog behavior or what they think they know is wrong.  They think they know about dogs because they have seen them many times in Disney movies, Scooby Do, psycho movies about demon dogs, or TV shows where the dogs are killers used by drug dealers.

Can you imagine if someone who doesn’t know how to cook and has never cooked, goes to a chef and demands the chef change what they do in order to make the food taste better?  We would say that is ridiculous.  Should people with no knowledge or mostly wrong knowledge be able to tell other people how to do something?  If someone lives in a city apartment and another person lives on a farm, is it OK for the city person to tell the farmer that he can have a house dog but can’t have a farm dog?

With dogs, misleading information is sometimes put out by the news media who are trying to make a story more exciting.  Sometimes the information is just plain false.  People not familiar with dogs do not recognize when that is being done.  Now there are people with strong opinions about dogs, or about which dogs are dangerous based on information which is wrong.  Some even tell ‘dog people’ how to control their dogs and which types of dogs should or should not be allowed.  Even if they have the best of intentions, this is wrong and very foolish.   I hope this message is clear and no one misunderstands, for this message of this article is not about dogs, it is about guns.

Question And Answer With Rob Pincus

If you have been reading looserounds.com for any amount of time, you will know that we are pretty big on the teachings Rob Pincus. If you do not know, he is the ubiquitous face you will see in so many training videos, gun magazines, TV shows, industry events and seminars I am not even going to try to count of list. Not to mention an unreal training schedule among writing books on the subject on how to save your own ass.   Rob has been a good friend to looserounds in our short time and you will often see us share his exploits, advice and new products.   A few days ago I got in touch with Rob and he did a short Q&A with me to help kick off the PDN banner that was added to the site.   He graciously took the time out of his schedule of doing more important things then shooting the bull with us to drop some wisdom and excellent no BS advice. Which is a hallmark of his in my opinion.

1. During the current economy, training DVDs are more and more popular with more people thinking they are a suitable substitute for any other type of training and want to save money and travel time. What would you say to warn the new shooters who want, or think they can rely only on these training DVDs?

RP : As the guy who has produced more DVDs in terms of individual pieces and titles (about 4 Million and 75, respectively), it would be disingenuous for me to say that I don’t think some real learning can be done through video presentations. Of course, there are limits. The things that people can learn incredibly well through vides are conceptual. Things like why training should be done in a certain way, how to approach training drill development or understanding why any particular technique or piece of gear is a good or bad idea can all be learned very very well from a video. But, if we focus on physical skills and shooting ability, video can olny show you what to do, it can’t really help you develop the skills themselves. New shooters, especially, need to be very honest with themselves about the importance of spending time of the range, with their actual gun, shooting and learning to perform the techniques they choose.

2. On the subject of saving money. the .22LR trainer, or conversion is gaining popularity. Some of the looserounds.com staff sees the 22LR trainer as  step up from dry fire, to be used as dry fire enhancement, being that you do not get the full experience.  If you had to break  the use of the rimfire as opposed to centerfire training into percentages, what would consider a good cut off would be so as not to become falsely  confident in your skill due to the none recoil of the rimfire?  Example.  70% centerfire 30 % rimfire  etc?

RP:I tell students that they can use .22 conversions (or dedicated .22 firearms) for up to 50% of the round count for any given course. Any more than that, and I think you start to hurt your skill development process. I also advise them to use most of those rounds in the middle of the course… so that they learn the skill with their actual gun and full power ammo and they also get to leave the course with a realistic evaluation of their ability to apply their developed skills with the same. The middle of the course, when they are primarily practicing the skill sets, is the best time to use the .22.

3. To the new shooter with his brand new CCW permit in hand trying to practice by himself before professional training, what do you see as the most common mistake they make?

 RP:Misunderstanding the value of raw shooting skill, as in marksmanship ability, in regard to personal defense training. Most people, especially those who would go out and try to learn and practice without formal training, already have some concept of “shooting”, but “defensive shooting” is something very different. When people are just “shooting”, they tend to try to maximize their control over deviation at all times (trying to shoot the tightest group, etc.). In Defensive Shooting, we should only be controlling deviation as little as we need to and maximizing your speed. Defensive Firearms Training is about much more than just shooting.

4. Out of all the massive amount of people you train every year, how common is it to see students who are wrongly fixated on their gear or place too much emphasis on its importance?

RP:It is a very common thing in our community to obsess over gear. In fact, one of the biggest hinderances to progress for many students is a fetishistic penchant for gear that really doesn’t serve them well. Many students show up with antiquated, unreliable or ill-fitting gear. Those who understand that the tool should make their job as easy as possible and not create hurdles quickly decide to change their gear. Unfortunately, some people will make excuses for their gear or rationalize their choices and be forced to spend extra training resources on fundamental skills. For example, a student who insists on choosing a double action/single action type firearm will be forced to spend extra time & effort learning two different trigger pulls, switching between them and operating the de-cocker (and possibly a safety!). In addition, many of those types of guns have relatively high bore-axes in relation to the shooting hand. A student who chooses a modern striker fired handgun doesn’t have to deal with any of that and, all other things being equal, they spend less time learning the fundamentals and have more resources available for practice or advanced skills.

5. Everyone has heard the old chestnut “beware the man with one gun, he likely knows how to use it”,  Do you feel it works against true proficiency to train and try to develop skill with a wide variety of commonly found weapons in the USA and abroad?

RP:As mentioned above, some guns are inherently harder to learn how to use than others. If you try to learn how to use them all, you obviously need to spend more training resources than you would need if you just chose one type. The question really is what advantage you gain from spending those resources. If you travel constantly in various parts of the world, don’t carry your own gun and have reason to believe you might be forced to employ one of any number of types, it obviously makes sense to learn as many as you can. If you are a firearms instructor and you have to deal with many different types of students’ guns, so you need to learn how to run as many different types as possible. For the average guy, learning multiple types of guns is just a distraction. At some point, people have to decide if they are serious about training for personal defense or just a hobbyist.

6. Do you have a training scenario, that when you present it to students, they are shocked it is a skill they would need to use?  The reason for this question is so many people seem to have this fixed idea of exactly how a violent encounter will ( if ever ) happen and just can not accept something happening to them any other way in the real world.

RP: No. Most of my students go through our fundamental defensive shooting skill program, Combat Focus Shooting. That program is very specifically focused on some very obviously necessary fundamental skills. I would worry about the legitimacy of a program that had something presented as a fundamental skill that would “shock them”… that’s probably either some overly “high speed” BS or the student would need to have been oddly unprepared for what they were getting into. What I like to do is to create drills that put the student into an experience that teaches something that they weren’t expecting, but still using their fundamental skills. Sometimes students are shocked at the psychological, intellectual and experiential lessons they can learn while shooting a drill. Those lessons are brought out in debriefs or lectures after the drills.

7. The training industry has expanded so much in the last decade. For those planning on seeking professional training from the multitude of choices, what advice would you give them to help them select whats right for them?

RP: Nowadays, it should be very easy to hear from students that have trained with the instructor you are interested in. Those who have gone before you are going to be the best resource on information about the experience you can expect. Of course, it is important that you gauge the value of the opinions you are getting. If you work in a retail or office environment, the opinions of a SWAT Cop or a Military Spec-Ops guy may not be relevant to you. Using the internet to find out what people are saying about an instructor is a great first step. If you can’t find anything because the instructor is new to the industry, that isn’t a red-flag, as long as the new instructor is charging a reasonable price considering that they are trying to build their business and reputation. If someone has just hung their shingle and they are charging the same as top tier instructors, it is probably best to pass.
Once a student has established a relationship with an instructor that they do find value in, that instructor can be a great resource about others in the industry who might be worth training with. I have a list of guys that I recommend to my students in a variety of areas, many of whom I have been lucky enough recruit into contributing to the team at Personal Defense Network.

8. So many people do not want to break their comfort zone and shoot at low light or no light,even though we spend half out lives in the dark. Would you suggest a minimum amount of time devoted t low light / no light training?

RP:I think low-light training is over-mystified in the training industry. The fact is that your bad guy has to be able to see you to attack you. If he can see you, you can see him. At the end of the day, I am not aware of a single incident where a person needed a handheld flashlight (much less a weapon mounted light) in a personal defense situation. It is fun training and challenging, but it isn’t anywhere close to “vital” in regard to shooting skills. I do think it is very important to train scenarios in low light, as that type of training is meant to immerse people in the circumstances they may be in when they need to use force. The use of force itself is rarely affected by the amount of light present.

9. Lastly, what projects or events do you have lined up for this year?  And what are the links to all the places we can keep up with your schedule and new products an events?

RP: We kick off the Personal Defense Network (www.personaldefensenetwork.com) Training Tour this week. I’ll spend all but 3 days over the next 4 months on the road teaching across the country.
I am just finishing up a book with Mark Walters, “Lessons from Unarmed America”, in which Mark writes about situations that have occurred and I dissect them, identify mistakes made and offer training and preparation ideas that help people prepare for facing similar situations in their own lives.
2013 is the 10th Anniversary of the Combat Focus Shooting program (www.combatfocusshooting.com), which is really exciting. The entire team of CFS Instructors has over 100 courses scheduled this year. Gander Mountain Academy just sent a group of their staff instructors to get certified to teach CFS and will begin offering courses later this year. We’ve got some big stuff planned, culminating in a big celebration at our Annual  CFS Instructor Development Conference, which is being held in California at the end of September.
The newest thing that I’ve gotten into is product development. Last year, we released the Claw Emergency Manipulation Rear Sight and we just added the Claw Emergency Manipulation Baseplates. I resisted doing product stuff for a long time in my career. I felt pretty strongly that my role in the industry was to provide information and I didn’t want to dilute that. I certainly didn’t want to just slap my name or logo on a copy of something already existed or someone else’s product. Now, I feel like I have established my integrity and professionalism enough to be trusted to only bring products out under the I.C.E. Banner that I truly think are useful and/or important. The latest product under that banner is the new belly band holster that I co-designed with Crossbreed  Holsters. I’ve used and recommended belly bands for a long time, but they have always had some deficiencies, especially in the training environment. This evolved version solves many of those problems capitalizing on what Crossbreed does better than anyone else in the industry (combining kydex with other materials) and still retains the versatility and comfort of a belly band. All of these products are available at the I.C.E. Online Store (www.icestore.us), which was a huge project last year, as we formed our partnership with DGG Taser in Florida.
10.  Bonus question. What movie is your pick  for best gun battle/gun play?!
 RP:Equilibrium. You don’t get more “gun play” than that.