Enhance Your Training

Noteworthy gear & products designed to better prepare you for the real world of policing

 


 

Dave Spaulding | From the August 2012 Issue Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When I walk the floor of trade shows like those of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Rifle Association, and International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (I have attended all so far in 2012), I must admit that I don’t spend a great deal of time looking at guns. Don’t get me wrong—guns are interesting. But I tend to look at the stuff that seldom gets mentioned in the gun press or police periodicals. More often than not, this stuff is very useful for LEOs but goes unnoticed.

I’m particularly interested in items for everyday carry (EDC) or those that enhance training to make it more realistic. I’ve recently come across a few items that are worth sharing.
 
Next Level Training
Most cops know that dry fire is no substitute for live fire, but you can master a large number of essential skills by using dry fire. Designed to complement—not replace—live-fire training, the SIRT (Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger) Dry Fire Training Pistol from Next Level Training integrates a number of technologies critical to improving combative shooting, while addressing issues of cost (time and ammo) and lack-of-training liability. Safe, effective and innovative, the SIRT Pistol was developed by shooters for shooters. Next Level Training understands the unique training needs and demands, as well as the restrictions, faced by LE professionals and has introduced a product that will help.
 
The tough, steel SIRT Training Pistol looks and feels like the real thing (in this case, a Glock 17/22) by matching the size, weight and center of gravity of a police officer’s service pistol. Additionally, the SIRT Pistol offers a host of real-world features, including magazine changes and replaceable sights, to better replicate the service handgun.
Unlike a standard live-fire or Air Soft pistol, the SIRT Pistol provides instantaneous feedback with no need for ongoing ammo and target expenditures through laser feedback. Simple to use, the SIRT Pistol is applicable to a wide range of interactive training exercises, including accuracy, manipulation and even force-on-force training scenarios. Because it doesn’t discharge any type of projectile, the SIRT Dry Fire Training Pistol can be used safely in nearly every environment and situation.
 
The real beauty of the SIRT, however, is its ability to work the trigger and keep the muzzle on target. The dual-laser system of my test gun not only showed me how much I moved my muzzle, it showed me how much I moved while I worked through the trigger’s reset. This is an exciting new product that’s going to garner a lot of attention during these financially strapped times.
 
Coast Products
Coast Products are widely available in places like Home Depot or Lowe’s, but are seldom seen in law enforcement supply houses. This is a shame because the company makes some top-quality gear that certainly meets the needs of street cops. Although Coast Products is mostly known for its line of flashlights, it also makes a series of well-built but reasonably priced knives.
 
Coast Products’ Rapid Response Knives are meant for tactical work. The knives offer features that are found on more expensive knives, but at a greatly reduced price. I tested their Rapid Response 3.0, which I think is the perfect length blade for EDC, investigations or patrol operations.
 
Bolstered by Smooth Assist Technology, Rapid Response Knives use a friction-reducing roller-bearing design to allow the blade to open quickly but smoothly, while reducing spring load on all internal blade-assist components. When the spring moves the blade out of the handle, it rides on the roller bearing, allowing the blade to open smoothly and quickly—without requiring tremendous spring force. The “Max-Lock” is a safety button on the side of the knife’s handle that can lock the blade in both the open and closed positions so that the blade won’t collapse during strenuous use. The grip of the 3.0 is nicely textured and the swells at the front and rear help keep the hand in place.
 
Specs for Rapid Response Knives
Open length: 7.00 inches with a 3.00-inch blade
Weight: 3.70 oz.
Blade: Stainless steel with black oxide coating
Handle: Fiberglass-filled textured nylon
End box
 
Law Enforcement Targets
Every police trainer worldwide is constantly on the lookout for items that will make training more realistic, but that won’t break the bank. Law Enforcement Targets, which is now part of Action Target, specializes in offering cost-effective firearms training products that are mobile, easy-to-use and cost-effective. One of their newest products, the Pink Mist Tech “Blood Pack,” only costs a few bucks and instantly turns any paper or 3D target into a reactive, bleeding target.
 
The Pink Mist pack makes it easy to identify a good hit with realistic splattering of blood. Depending on shot placement, you’ll get between one and five splattering shots per packet. Pink Mist packs are non-toxic, and clean up is quick—soap and water, or even a wet cloth, will do the trick.
 
I used several Pink Mist packets behind a clothed Tac-Man 3D target to determine just how visible the Pink Mist really is. I didn’t expect much but I was pleasantly surprised. When struck solidly—remember: shot placement is the key to effective incapacitation—the pack squirted just a bit and then revealed a blood trail down the shirt. The Pink Mist Pack would be a real asset when trying to create realistic interactive situations or when training officers in combat casualty care scenarios.
Dan: please run photo3 & photo4
 
X-Concealment
When trainer/writer Mike Boyle told me to check out X-Concealment Holsters, I thought “Yeah, yeah … just another holster.” But I’m glad I listened.
 
As it turns out, X-Concealment makes some of the best EDC gear available. They’ve only been in business a few years, but the folks at X-Concealment use CNC machines and 3D scanners to keep their production and design methods modern. Shin Chen, the founder of X-Concealment is an NRA-firearms instructor who worked production control at the Knight’s Armament prior to starting his own business.
 
X-Concealment offers two different holster lines: the “C” and “M” Series. The M Series is a square-cut style that’s grown popular in recent years, while the C Series is a bit more contoured.
 
The original idea of the C holster line was to change the general opinion about modern Kydex holsters—that they should be big, bulky and often uncomfortable. Chen decided to create a Kydex holster that resembles the familiar pancake holster design, but with all the benefits of Kydex—speed, security, durability, humidity resistance and the advantage of one-hand manipulation. He worked all of this into a compact package that can be easily concealed and comfortable to carry all day. So far, the C holster line has been well received by customers worldwide and Chen will be adding cross draw, MOLLE compatible, SOB and light compatible variations to the C holster line soon.
 
I tested his second-generation C-Series snap-on holster that offers the benefit of easy on/off-the-belt capability. The front panel is made with 0.093-inch thick Kydex, while back panel is made with 0.06-inch thick Kydex. This design allows the holster to be carried as close to the body as possible while being more comfortable without compromising the overall ruggedness. The nontraditional pancake-style design cuts down the unnecessary material, making this holster lighter, more compact and more concealable. An adjustable tension screw allows users to find the perfect balance between the draw speed and security/retention they desire for their carry gun. Chen also sent one of his single magazine pouches that attaches to the belt with a cant adjustable loop or an easy on/off belt clip.
 
In Sum
I’ll never stop looking for better gear because you never know what will come to the LE market. As is the case with the items described here, every once in awhile you’ll find a diamond in the rough.
 
Resources
Coast Products
 
Law Enforcement Targets
 
Next Level Training
 
X-Concealment Holsters

 



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Dave SpauldingDave Spaulding, the 2010 Law Officer Trainer of the Year and Law Officer's Firearms columnist, is a 28-year law enforcement veteran who retired at the rank of lieutenant.

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