I Survived IL’s First day with Concealed Carry Licensees

I Survived IL’s First day with Concealed Carry Licensees

I don’t know how I survived the first day. I have had the Illinois Anti-Gun Regime telling me that if concealed carry was to pass in IL, there would be blood in the streets. No one would be safe and we would revert to some form of a “wild wild west”. I am a husband to my wife and a father to my child. So I take my survival and capabilities to defend them quite seriously. Thankfully, growing up taking cues from Star Trek’s Vulcan society, I believed that logic should prevail over emotion. And thanks to those smarter than me who compiled the statistics; it continues to be conclusive that crime is significantly decreased in areas where there are more legal firearm owners. I learn from anything, anyone and everything I can. Good examples and bad examples alike. Whether it’s the story of the guy who failed to keep his spare tire in case of a flat, or a friend who always keeps 20 dollars stashed in her car for gas in case her purse was left behind. Both situations can easily occur in our daily lives but how we prepare for them determines their possible outcomes. I live in the western ‘burbs, which is not known to be as dangerous of an area as what is commonly referred to as, “Chi-Raq”.  Now that statement for some folks is where complacency and arrogance can take hold. The belief that criminals will not travel, or that violent offenders do not live in the same town is a dangerous fallacy which usually sets the tone for every news story to shock a ‘nice’ town’s populace into fear. Because I made the decision that I do not want to be the person in that story that everyone pities and wishes that some magical thing had been done to prevent it, I applied for my IL Concealed Carry License (CCL). After a couple of months of waiting I was in the first batch of Illinois’ans to receive their ID. The following photos represent my first day carrying. Drove my car, just like normal. Went to USPS, And respected the rules. Then I went and got some cabbage,...

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Founder of Illinois Firearm Owners, BWHaas

Founder of Illinois Firearm Owners, BWHaas

Alright guys (and gals), this is going to be a fairly long article, but I ask that all of you do take the time to read it.   (Ahem)   Like some of your know, I am originally from the Mid-Michigan area, where it is more common to see people open carrying handguns and most everyone you come across is happy to discuss the firearms they own with you.  When I moved to Illinois for business, I was worried about the firearm ownership culture here.  As I have found out over the last few years, there are more people here than anyone outside of Illinois would expect to be Pro-2A.  I was very pleased when I was introduced to this group by Rick Cancino and I have met several of you throughout the last 6 months or so that I’ve been here.  I have to say, every day I am glad to read the words and thoughts posted here and on the FB page.  I have “friended” most of you here on FB and for those of you I haven’t, it’s only because I didn’t feel that it was appropriate yet for me to do so as I think there is a lack of human interaction on Facebook before people allow them into their personal lives.   When I was living in Michigan, I was a part of several committees with the Michigan Gun Owners Non-Profit Organization and really enjoyed the camaraderie that was created there and the dialogue that became the reference material that I studied as a beginner to firearms ownership.  I met many people through that organization and still am involved as much as I can be from a 300+ miles away.  Although this Facebook group creates this to a point, there is another way that it can be created that allows an even larger network of like-minded individuals to access it.  I would like to create such an atmosphere here in Illinois.  I started a Non-profit organization here in Illinois called the Illinois Firearm Owners Organization and I invite all of you to join and participate in spreading the word about our organization and our Forum (www.illinoisfirearmowners.org/forum/index.php).  Like our Facebook...

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OVERVIEW: Fortis Shift AFG vs Magpul AFG2 vs Stark SE-5 Express Grip Comparison

OVERVIEW: Fortis Shift AFG vs Magpul AFG2 vs Stark SE-5 Express Grip Comparison

Each grip has enough different attributes to require us to look at each individually and take each ones merits into play. The Stark is a rubberized forward grip that is the largest out of the three we have on display. The Magpul AFG-2 is made from Magpul’s propietary polymer recipe with durability they are known for. The Fortis Shift is manufactured from Billet aluminum and anodized in hard coat III. Each is unique in material and design. The Magpul AFG-2 allows you to remove the middle finger groove if you prefer a flat surface to grab. Magpul also makes an AFG1 which is the larger of Magpul’s two angled grips (not pictured). The AFG-2 is smaller to prevent interference with other rail mounted devices. Stark SE-5 Express Grip    Magpul AFG-2 Fortis Shift AFG I couldn’t help myself and had to order one of their new PVC patches, love the detail of the red thread in the patch. Since grip, hands and placement are unique to each shooter this article is just information for your benefit and conclusions.    Stark SE-5 Express Grip Weight: 3.2oz (unpublished, we weighed it) Magpul AFG2 Weight: 2.53 oz. Fortis Shift AFG Weight: 2.1 oz An HDR Photo to see all the details of the different Grips Fortis Shift Length: 3.52″ Magpul AFG-2 Length: 4.70″ Stark AE-5 Length: 3.89″ (unpublished, we measured)   Since the Shift is the newest AFG on the market I figured we should post some more photos of it for you folks 🙂   You can purchase the Fortis Shift AFG from Rainier Arms and from Fortis MFG’s Website Here is a link to purchase the Magpul AFG2 Stark SE-5 Express Grip is also available from Rainier...

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OVERVIEW: Fortis ‘Hammer’ Charging Handle Vs Rainier Arm’s Raptor

OVERVIEW: Fortis ‘Hammer’ Charging Handle Vs Rainier Arm’s Raptor

“Drop the hammer” sounds quite a bit cooler than, “pull back on the op rod” (Walking Dead), so how could I resist taking a look at Fortis’s new charging handle. Fortis uses their Nickelene finish on the charging handle to increase lubricity during use. They engineered the design to transfer energy thru the release lever into the handle compared to traditional design. Mil Spec handles have a failure point if you put strain on the the release lever while Pinch-charging. There is a potential of breaking the roll pin while using the pinch-charge method. The Claw method of charging is inefficient use of your muscles and is an un-natural form. By allowing the transfer of energy thru the release lever into the handle allows you to make the most of pinch-charging without the fear of damaging your handle. Fortis Hammer next to the Rainier Raptor Back end view   Manufacturer’s information: The new Fortis Hammer™ charging handle stays true to our brand.  We engineer, design, & develop military grade accessories that look good and functions great.  Tested and evaluated by the 3 Gun community, then put to the test by people in the military and law enforcement community.  We continuously refined our design and came up with the Hammer™.  So charge your rifle by dropping the Hammer™ and go! Introducing our unique finish called Nickelene™.  The slick finish is smooth and gives the already durable charging handle, a lubricity not found on another other charging handles in the market today. Machined from 7075 T6 Billet aluminum The robust design as well as aggressive serrations on the latch and body support use with either shooting gloves or without Redesigned the back stop for the latch, so stress is taken off the roll pin Finished in Nickelene™: Rockwell hardness – 45C, low co-efficient of friction, excellent lubricity characteristics   You can purchase the hammer from Fortis MFG’s...

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REVIEW: Magpul FDE Samsung S3 Case

REVIEW: Magpul FDE Samsung S3 Case

So aside from being an educated Magpul fan boy (They earned it!) I was looking forward to a case for my Samsung that was thin enough so I could still pocket it, but able to handle protecting the phone if it slipped out of my hand. They maintained the same design as their magazines with the ribbing and texture. The charging port was easily accessible and had zero obstruction for me to plug in my charger. Some cheaply made cases have had issues in the past with obstructing the plug. The openings for the camera, flash and speaker are beveled to make sure your camera  has enough clearance to capture the full picture, and not your case. I ordered this one in FDE and will be snagging an Orange colored S4 Field case for my mother who continually looses her Cell phone in the couch. They will continue to release additional colors over the year so keep an eye out for them to come in stock. You can see how thin the case is and barely adds excessive mass to the cell phone’s thin footprint. Downside, The material is strong and thick, this makes the buttons a bit hard to use at first. I anticipate them breaking in over time to make it easier to toggle the buttons. They also have a feature you rarely find in cell phone cases anymore, “Made in America” Good work Magpul! You can see what phone models they make cases for here along with pricing,    The Magpul® Field Case for the Samsung GALAXY S®4 is a semi-rigid cover designed to provide basic protection in the field. Made from a durable thermoplastic, the Field Case features PMAG®-style ribs for added grip, snap-on design for easy installation and removal, and slides easily in and out of pockets without snagging. Designed and manufactured in the U.S.A.!...

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Trijicon TRSA137O HD Night Sights on an M&P Shield?

Trijicon TRSA137O HD Night Sights on an M&P Shield?

Trijicon makes their HD sights for the M&P line, excluding the Shield and C.O.R.E according to their site. Someone smarter than I, wouldn’t give up there and tested the M&P specific units in their Shield to find that they merely “extended” past the slide. I love Trijicon’s HD sights because the orange pops for my vision and allows me to get my fastest sight acquisition from the draw. In addition to having Tritium inserts the Orange or yellow paint on the front post is photoluminescent. You can charge the paint with your flashlight and get a few minutes of glow so you can easily track your front post. Otherwise you are playing the game of aligning the tritium inserts instead of focusing on your front post. They also have a U shaped notch which I prefer because it’s easier for my vision to balance a semi-circle instead of trying to balance the size of “rectangles” on either side of traditional posts for your sight alignment. So all three trtitium vials glow green at night (for “7 years”) and the front post will glow orange around the vial if you charge it.   Now for some pics of the sights and how much they protrude VS stock sights.     So how much is this protrusion?   Not enough for me to wait for the Shield designated model. Since I was introduced to the HD line I have installed the Trijicon HDs onto my HK45c and P30. You can learn more about them here, http://www.trijicon.com/na_en/products/product1.php?id=HDNS   Night Time Shots Trtium inserts glowing on the front and rear. Tritium Inserts, the orange is visible from the tritium illuminating the paint. After charging the orange with a flashlight for ten seconds. Shorter exposure on the camera to see how the orange pops out more. Holding in closer   Punched out you can see how easy it is to follow front post.      ...

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OVERVIEW: New Elzetta AVS, Now if only I was Brighter

OVERVIEW: New Elzetta AVS, Now if only I was Brighter

A couple months back Elzetta launched the newest product to their lineup, the AVS high output flashlight. The previous generation, ZFL-M60 2-cell generated 235 lumens out of the 2-cell and 3-cell bodies. The new AVS (Automatic Voltage Sensing) heads could tell whether they were installed on a 2 or 3-cell body. The 2-cell body will output 650 lumens and the 3-cell will output 900 lumens. Thanks to the design of Elzetta’s bodies and heads, they are interchangeable between the previous models and the new ones. They did not skip on the quality and ruggedness they are known for, so feel free to continue throwing them out of helicopters if that’s what floats your boat ( http://youtu.be/KIa96YjsRbY )   ZFL-M60 2-cell on the left and Charlie 3-Cell body on the right   You may not always be able to carry a knife or a firearm, but I have not come across any restrictions on flashlights. A Crenelated Bezel makes it an implement of defense an attacker wouldn’t welcome. The Elzetta design allows you to use the previous generation body with the new AVS head. I have the 2 cell pictured on the left with the markrov head and the 3-Cell “Charlie” body on the right with the new AVS head.   Here you can see the new reflector size and optic The new head is so much larger that the original head can fit within the new bezel. The optic is of phenomenal quality and clarity made out of 7/8″ thick acrylic. There will be a new drop in Flood lens available from Elzetta for close range function.   Diode and reflector   Beautiful, quality machining. The AVS head is on the Charlie body and the previous gen Markrov is on the right on the ZFL-M60 2-cell.   Since the AVS head is larger it also weighed in a bit more too. AVS on the Left, Makrov on the right.   I also noticed they went with a different bin range for the AVS LEDs vs the Makrov based units. While the Makrovs were a blue white hue the AVS head is a warmer yellow. I will be doing a follow up article to compare the two and what binning in LEDs...

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TIP: Stopping your Holster From Sliding Around on your Competition Belt

TIP: Stopping your Holster From Sliding Around on your Competition Belt

So I love my competition belt from www.DSGarms.com because it allows me to wear the velcro inner as the belt to keep my pants tight and in place. While the outer nylon belt can be removed when desired so you can add or remove holster or mag carriers. This is quite convenient on the range instead of possibly having to drop pants to reconfigure your setup. The issue I have had is because the two belts attach to each other by a velcro mating it is possible for the holster to be pushed forward or rearward while training and separate the velcro and slide around.   Since the the outer belt has velcro on the outside of it to make adjustments for size, lets re-purpose it. Take advantage of those awesome velcro patches that have been circulating or you may have received with a purchase and place it in front of your holster’s loops as well as behind. That will act as a stop to prevent the holster from sliding around!     You can find their belts available...

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