Running Your Patrol Rifle

Accessories and kit that can improve your performance with your carbine.

Slings & Bags

The value of a good weapon-sling was proven to me during my SWAT days. Quite simply a parade type military sling has no place on a modern LE rifle. That said there are a lot of good slings available out there. Three-point slings are still in use by some SWAT and military personnel but are overly complicated for patrol use. It really comes down to a two or single point sling system. In two-point slings I favor the Vickers sling from Blue Force Gear. In single point slings I like Blackhawk's Dieter CQD sling as well as their Storm slings. New to the scene and a sling I'm still playing with is Magpul's new MS2 (Multi Mission Sling System) which can be both a single and two-point system.

A rifle bug-out or bail-out bag is essential for uniformed police personnel. With room to carry not only spare carbine or pistol mags but also first-aid supplies like a CAT (Combat Applications Tourniquet), battlefield dressings or hemostatic dressings like QuikClot and water, these bags make sense for dynamic call-outs and can be quickly thrown over your shoulder on the fly. I like the ones by 5.11 (Bail Out Bag); and Blackhawk! (S.O.S. - Shoulder Option Secured; and Rifle Bandoleer pouch).

The plastic hard cases most rifles are delivered in costs about five bucks and it shows. I've been using Blackhawk's Homeland Security Discreet Weapons Carry Case for a couple years now with great success. It holds my Armalite M-15, magazines and accessories I need to run, lube or quick clean the rifle. It truly is discreet in the coyote tan color.

Training Gear

Steve Camp from Safe Direction is a super nice guy as well as a shooter and it shows in his companies designs. The Safe Direction line of portable ballistic pads allows officers to more safely handle their weapons including dry firing. In the rifle line Steve makes a portable ballistic clearing pad that can be mounted to a metal surface in a SWAT equipment truck or supervisor's trunk to allow officers, post call-out, to clear the round in the chamber of their carbines (designed to save trunks, trucks, and other police property as well as embarrassment but most importantly - save lives). Safe Direction also produces one of the best rifle metal plate targets around. I've seen other maker's targets with divots and dings but not Safe Direction's which comes with its own stand.

Competition Electronics has excellent training devices worth your consideration as well. Their Pocket Pro II timer is small on size but large on options. This timer allows you to conduct live or dry-fire training with more stress due to time constraints. CE's ProChrono Digital chronograph is simple to use and gives LE the ability to measure the velocity of ammunition as well as different barrel lengths.

Law Enforcement Targets has some excellent training rounds in .223 that every patrol officer with a rifle should own. At 95 cents apiece, these dummy rounds have metal casings (which are vastly superior to an all plastic design) and a bright orange rugged ABS plastic insert (makes finding them on a range much easier. Dry fire is a vital component of firearms training and these inert rounds make it much safer.

Yes, the patrol carbine or rifle can certainly help you in your quest to control violent suspects but there is training, tools and accessories that help you better fulfill your mission. Check them out and invest your time to perfect your skills as well as your money to further your quest.

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