Christmas Wish List 2006

Every year, as I go through the mounds of equipment information I have from various manufacturers and vendors, I inevitably make that mental list of all the stuff I'd wish for if it were me getting the gifts.

The SDI Massad Ayoob Signature Elite Rifle is to a "regular" AR-15 what the BMW 530xi sedan is to a Dodge Neon. Sure, they're both four door sedans that have internal combustion engines, run on gasoline and have four tires. But sitting in them is different and driving them is radically different. That is the difference in perception between a standard run-of-the-mill AR-15 and SDI's Elite. With a 16-inch fluted barrel, M4 feedramps, SOCOM stock, Samson hand guards, flip up front and rear sights and an L3 EOTech Holoscope, the rifle definitely has all the "bells and whistles." Add to that the specially designed soft carrying case, two 20-round magazines and two 30-round magazines, and you get quite a package. Shooting the rifle is a dream. Recoil is minimized by the heavy buffer and Gill brake. This is something I definitely want to have in my trunk when the feces hits the oscillating rotator.

Rapid Deployment Inc. Body Armor Gun Bag

In the event of an active shooter at any public facility, or a terrorist attack from an on-the-ground team, responding officers should be properly equipped. Some of that equipment should include a rifle, extra magazines, body armor capable of defeating rifle rounds, extra pistol magazines and more. I know plenty of officers who carry their rifle in one bag and have a separate vest set up to carry the magazines and other equipment. Rapid Deployment Inc. makes a gun bag that incorporates all of the above. The bag has pockets specifically designed to hold soft armor or hard plates, rifle magazines and pistol magazines. Inside it's designed to carry your rifle, but has the necessary straps that make it wearable. When you have to go into that ugly situation, grab the bag and know that you have everything you need in the short term. Pull out the gun, unzip the bag into its two halves and pull it on over your head. Snap the waist buckles and rock-n-roll!

XS Sights for shotgun, AR-style rifle or off-duty pistol

The plethora of available sights for handguns, shotguns and rifles is a testament to capitalism. But here's the bottom line: our sights--most especially on the guns of those who work behind triggers regularly in a high risk environment--need to be quick to pick up, easy to see, easy to align and durable enough to take the abuse we will most assuredly subject them too. XS Sight Systems makes such sights. The Big or Small Dot 24/7 sight system combines a shallow V rear sight with an easily picked up front dot. At close quarters distances as long as you can remember the words of your firearms instructor (front sight, front sight, front sight) you can score disabling hits with your handgun. At greater distances, proper sight alignment is required but is just as easy (if not easier) to accomplish with the shallow V design. All of the above applies equally to the XS Sights for rifles and shotguns.

LightSaver Tactical Model 1 Tailcap Switch

I anticipate that this will become one of the most popular items of the new year. While the leading manufacturers in the flashlight industry today try to engineer greater versatility into their lights, Brigade Quartermaster and LightSaver have developed an end cap for the large majority of popular lights that allows the operator to upgrade the versatility of the light. Just put on the LightSaver Tactical Model 1 tailcap. I have an early production model so that I could test it on my collection of lights. It fit without any issues onto my SureFire G2 Nitrolon, Pentagon X2 LED, and others. The tailcap enables the operator to have temporary light through touch pressure; hard on and off through just slightly more pressure; and (this is the kicker) a flashing/strobing light by pushing and holding the endcap button. The incapacitation value of the flashing / strobing light has been documented and grows in popularity every day. Now, instead of buying a whole new flashlight to gain that versatility, all you have to do is buy a new end cap. Retailing for less than $30, I really think this will be a big hit.

BlackHawk Night-Ops Mod-U-Lok Tactical Light holster system

You have to be able to carry whatever flashlight you've chosen. Most of today's "tactical" lights have a one-inch body and are about six inches long. Still, thanks to endcap designs, bezel shapes, etc., it can be a challenge to find a holster for your flashlight that will securely hold it and fit it without issue. Enter the Mod-U-Lok light holder from Night-Ops, a member of the BlackHawk Products Group family. The Mod-U-Lok was specifically designed for the Night-Ops lights, but because of industry standardization it will fit a whole collection of other lights. I have carried my Pentagon X2, SureFire G2, Night-Ops Falcata and Night-Ops Gladius in my Mod-U-Lok holster. Since I am a firm believer that the only thing better than a good quality tactical light is TWO good quality tactical lights, I have two Mod-U-Lok holsters. I highly recommend them.

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