Throughout any given year I get some items--pieces of equipment--that aren't really large enough to support individual reviews. I mean, you can only write so much about a sling, a target, or other items. So, this week's review is going to be about some of those "odds and ends." On tap in this review will be a target from Just Shoot Me products; an intelligent tailcap from Lightsaver products; the Vickers sling from Blue Force Gear; a new survival bar food source by SOG Survival Bar; and finally, the Photon Freedom Micro light from L.R.I.
First on the list is the Tobeyknocker from Just Shoot Me products, shown here to the right. This simple device serves a practical yet fun purpose for shooting training. This particular model was designed for use with rifles (the directions specifically said don't use it with a shotgun or handguns) from .223 up to and including .50 caliber.
I was able to "play" with it using a couple different AR-style rifles and my .30-.30 lever action. Sure, it's easy enough to hit a stationary target, but when the target is moving and you have to time your shots to impact where it's going to be, you start to see some challenge. The rifle range I was able to use is only 75 yards long, but I'm here to tell you--hitting this target when it's hung on a cable and swinging ain't so easy. Thankfully, at 75 yards, the bullet's flight time isn't long. When you squeeze off the round it's pretty much going to hit exactly what you see. As you increase the distances--and therefore the flight times--you have a harder time hitting this bouncing and swaying target. At 300 yards I imagine the first shot on the stationary Tobeyknocker would be fairly easy: it's 4 inches square. The second shot, though? That is where you earn your pay.
Miser IQ Tailcap Switch
Next "on tap" is the Miser IQ Tailcap Switch from Lightsaver. Imported exclusively by Brigade Quartermaster, this light switch adds versatility and battery life potential to your common flashlight. As the published material so correctly points out--and I've observed before--you don't need a full power tactical handheld flashlight to perform such mundane tasks as writing tickets, reading a map, etc. At most you need half the light's power and probably only a quarter of it or less. Unfortunately, lights like the SureFire G2 Nitrolon or the E2 line don't offer such versatility. Rather than spending a buttload of money on a whole new light that does give you such functionality you can compromise by purchasing a Miser IQ Switch.
When installed the IQ Switch give you five functional options:
- Quick Press = 100% power
- 2nd Press = 50% power
- 3rd Press = 25% power
- 4th Press = Fast flash
- 5th press = Slow Flash
The Miser IQ Switch, by allowing you to ask lower levels of light from your flashlight, can potentially extend your battery life from just over one hour to as much as four hours or more. It's not designed, however, for use with LED driven lights--incandescent bulb lights only. It can be used with 6V, 9V or 12V lights that it fits. Priced at under $30 in Brigade's most recent catalog, you can get a lot of versatility and use out of your flashlight without spending a hundred dollars or more.
Next on our list is the Vickers Sling from Blue Force Gear. Designed by Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical Inc., the Vickers Sling is a two-point quick-adjustment sling that also features a "bail out" buckle. This is a far cry from the old two-point barely-adjustable sling I first was issued on an M16 many moons ago, but isn't as complicated as the three-point slings on the market. While some prefer three-point slings, others prefer two-point slings, and quick adjustment/quick ditch options should be available. They were designed into this sling. The design incorporates a quick adjustment feature that allows you to snug the sling up or loosen it, but no matter what you do, the loose end of the adjustment strap isn't flapping in the breeze. The design keeps it snugged down. The sling is available in Coyote Brown, Black, Foliage Green or Olive Drab Green. It's delivered with four pages of directions and pictures to show exactly how to mount, adjust, remove and ditch it. If you're a two-point sling fan, you should check this one out.
SOG Survival Bars
Which brings us to the SOG Survival Bars. Survival food has come a long way since C-rations of the late '60s and early '70s. I thought MREs topped all. I mean, we got rid of most of the water we were carrying in the food and invented a way to heat up the meals without having to light a fire. Admittedly, some of them taste about like cardboard, but as one Marine I know says, "You don't eat for pleasure; you eat for maintenance." With that thought in mind, I present you the SOG Survival Bars. Now I'm pretty sure the gentleman who gave me the sample was expecting me to sing the praises about how great it tasted and how much energy it gave me. Well...it kept me going for a full day. Flavor? The Peanut Honey Crunch bar did remind me of the old Bit-O-Honey bars, with some Rice Krispies thrown in for texture. It didn't taste bad, but I'd prefer a Salisbury steak. Who wouldn't?
These bars aren't designed to be gourmet meals. They are designed to provide you necessary nutrition and fuel for your body to function under austere conditions. Each bar contains 640 calories, 29 grams of fat, 27 grams of sugar and 36 grams of protein. There is a long list of vitamins and supplements that include 190 milligrams of caffeine. Two of these things should be enough to keep you going all day.
Photon Freedom Micro-Light
Last on the list is the Photon Freedom Micro-Light from L.R.I. This keychain LED was designed to be used in a variety of mounts that would throw the light where you needed it to be. Given that it's so small and lightweight, it's fairly convenient to put on the bill of your cap, or on a band around one of your fingers. It comes packaged with a clip-on mount to do exactly that, and with a lanyard so that you can wear it around your neck if you want. Sure, there are a ton of micro-lights out there, but this is the first "smart" one I've seen. This LED driven light has one button that you push to turn it on and then off. But if you push and hold the button it turns the light on incrementally so that it steadily gets brighter and brighter the longer you hold the button down. How much light do you want? You decide up to the maximum output of this small LED. If nothing else, it's convenient and light enough not to be an issue.