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Why Go For a Chest Rig? We Give You The Answer

chicom chest rigIn this current era, few things are truly new. Most of the things we see and use for that matter are innovations and improvements that have been used for so long in the past. The chest rig is certainly one of these items. Chest rigs have been in existence since the beginning of time. Used by soldiers in the battle fields as strapped sheaths for swords and daggers, this mechanism later paved way to satchels which were used for carrying guns and gunpowder. During the first and second World War, these innovative items gained popularity and were commonly used by American, Soviets, Chinese and Vietnamese soldiers to carry magazines, hand grenades and additional ammo.

The advancement of the chest rig has seen major improvements since the first and the second World War. Unlike the former cotton made chest rigs used in the past, today’s rigs come with multiple Molle attachments which allow the user to make additional add-ons depending with the intentions.

Important things to consider when shopping for a chest rig

Especially when you’re new to chest rigs, buying a reliable unit that will withstand rough conditions while offering you maximum comfort can be challenging at times. This is because there are hundreds of models in the market today offering the same function but differing greatly when it comes to the construction, weight and durability. To save you time and money, this section will guide you on important things you need to consider when shopping for comfortable and reliable equipment.

  • Pouches: A reliable chest rig must come with well-sized pouches that allow for easy storage of your personal assets as well as offer additional webbed spaces where you can attach extra pouches if needs be. Make sure that the chest rig has at list four open top pouches to make it easier for you to access some of your most important items.
  • Weight: One of the most common complaints from people who wear chest rigs is a continuous back ache. In case you didn’t knew, back ache is caused by putting too much weight on your chest rig. For instance, if you’re using the equipment for military purposes, putting too much rifle mags, spare pistols, knives and a variety of extra grenades provides an unbalanced load which strains the lower back.
  • Safety and durability: When shopping for a reliable chest rig, always check on the fabric and the zippers. The material should be high quality, tough and strong to offer maximum safety and durability regardless of your activities.

Various components that make up a great chest rig

The topic on chest rigs is broad and learning about them can take a lot of time. It’s important to understand that these units are designed with various features and components which make them unique and capable of serving a particular purpose. In this section, we will narrow down the various components that are common in most chest rigs in the market.

The straps

One of the most critical components of a chest rig are the shoulder straps. The straps can easily define between a successful and an unsuccessful mission since they’re responsible for holding the entire weight of the rig. For increased comfortability, the straps are designed in different styles which include;

  • chest rig x strapX-Straps—these types of straps cross over the back to help hold the chest rig farm. This design was commonly used on chest rigs during World War I and is ideal for light and low visibility units. Chest rigs with this design are highly reliable; however the straps sometimes have a tendency of migrating to the neck area making you uncomfortable especially when wearing body armor.
  • chest rig h harnessH-harness—the H-harness is the most popular and reliable strap design found in most chest rigs today. Unlike the X-straps, this design eliminates the problem of straps moving on the neck area. This design is also used by various manufacturers to attach dehydration system carriers to increase comfortability.

Armor compatibility

Chest rigs are compatible with both soft and hard body armor. Always make sure that your chest rig has adjustable straps which are capable of being re-adjusted to work well with all body armors. To improve the compatibility between the two, most manufactures have developed simplified options such as easy routing of the chest rig straps to the shoulder straps of the armor carriers to create one piece. Other manufacturers have come up with chest rigs designed with inbuilt pockets to insert hard armor plates for added protection.

Uses and benefits of chest rigs

Simply put, a chest rig is a handy piece of equipment that allows you to carry all your personal tools such as first aid kits, rifle magazines, digital cameras and other essential supplies. These kits are usually mission specific type of gears that help you carry your tools in a fast, efficient and effortless manner. Designed for mission specific purposes, chest rigs come with various uses and benefits which include;

  • Breathability: different from body armors and plate carriers, chest rigs are light, cool and breathable making them reliable in hot climates.
  • Compatibility: one major reason why chest rigs are so common today is their ability to merge with other tactical gears. Chest rigs can easily route with body armors, rucksacks and backpacks without any problems.
  • Mounted (vehicle) operations: unlike body armors or backpacks, one can easily maneuver and access items at the backseat of a vehicle while wearing chest rigs. They allow you to sit at the comfort of your seat and utilize seatbelts and airbags without compromising with the steering wheel.

When it comes to the usage, chest rigs are ideal for a wide range of functions in the military, medical, photography and rescue mission sectors. The reason why they’re used in most fields is due to their light weight features, design and ability to carry a wide range of tools and ammo during a mission. For military use, chest rigs can be worn together with plate carriers to provide additional protection while in a mission. They come with multiple Molle attachments which allow you to attach extra pouches to keep extra ammo, first aid kit and hydration carriers.

Conclusion

There are many other uses and benefits of chest rigs. Although there are many brands of these rigs available in the market today, the ones that come with high quality features and functionality are just a few. It’s therefore paramount to first consider the functionality and durability of a chest rig before making your purchase. With that being said, if you have more questions about this topic I recommend you visit our website about tactical chest rigs. We have written a whole guide plus some recommendations for you.

Looking For The Best Tactical Folding Knife – 5 Options To Consider

What is the best tactical folding knife? A lot of folks want something to protect themselves with, which they can carry with them all the time. However not everyone can or necessarily wants to carry a gun or a fixed blade knife on them, while some people who do carry a gun maybe also want another weapon as back-up to their gun.

Besides a good tactical pen, a tactical folding knife is a good self-defence weapon option to carry with you. Due to its small size, people generally won’t notice it and it is more comfortable to carry with you. Besides being a self defence weapon, it can also doubles as a tool that you can use for daily tasks.

Our Top Tactical Folding Knife Choices

Below we look at 5 tactical folding knives. We look at overall build quality, blade materials and usability (ergonomics of the handle, cutting edge, etc.). Of course not everyone will agree that these knives are the best tactical folding knife options, but these 5 knives are in our own opinions good knives to consider. If you do have some thoughts on what the best tactical folding knife is, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife SWBG2TS

In search of the best tactical folding knife, we begin with the Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife SWBG2TS. Weighing in at over 9oz, this knife ensures durability and comfort. The textured handle provides a solid grip and prevents movement when your hands are wet. Inside the handle we find the steel lock liner locking system that firmly holds the sharp tanto blade, which is coated in black Teflon and is 40% serrated. Also, the deployment of this blade is swift, despite the overall weight. Glass breaker and seatbelt cutter features are also included with this knife, which are great to have during an emergency. The greatest downside to this Smith & Wesson would be the weight and the overall length of 10”. This knife may not be a suitable option for EDC, if the user has small hands or does not like to walk around with a heavy pocket.

MTech USA MT-378 Folding Tactical Knife

The MTech USA MT-378 is another contender to be the best tactical folding knife. With one-handed deployment, dual thumb studs and more, this knife has a lot to offer at a low price. The knife is 4.5” closed with a 3” plain edge tanto blade. It provides useful finger grooves for a steady grip and a black stainless steel pocket clip for carrying. We think this is a great option for EDC but may not be ideal for rougher outdoor activities. Upon purchase, we recommend tightening the screws to increase durability. Also, with the attractive price tag comes the downfall of not including a glass breaker or seatbelt cutter.

Kershaw 1990 Brawler Folding SpeedSafe Knife

The Kershaw 1990 Brawler Folding SpeedSafe Knife also puts up a strong fight for the title of best tactical folding knife. The knife weighs just under 5oz and is about 4” closed and almost 7.5” open. This Kershaw is small yet sturdy and is perfect for EDC. The 8Cr13MoV steel blade may not cut as well as some other knives because there is no serration on the blade but it still maintains great quality for such a low price. Some of the best features of this knife include spring-assisted opening, a liner lock locking system and a quad carry pocket clip. This knife does not feature a glass breaker or seatbelt cutter.

Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops Knife

The Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops Knife is another good option, when looking for the best tactical folding knife. This knife has a 3.5” blade, 4.5” high-impact composite handle and weighs around 4.4oz. It offers many desired amenities including a liner lock locking mechanism, glass breaker, seatbelt cutter and pocket clip. The blade is very secure when open or closed and has a smooth blade motion. The aggressive serrations on the blade make it a great choice for EMTs or outdoorsmen. This Smith & Wesson is low cost but that unfortunately results in slightly lower quality and makes it harder for us to consider it as the best tactical folding knives. The knife features a nice rubberized coating that provides a nice grip. However, we know that this coating tends to wear off quickly.

MTech USA MT-424 Series Folding Tactical Knife

Last but not least, the MTech USA MT-424 Series is our final consideration for the best tactical folding knife. This knife is 3.5” closed with a 3.3” 440 stainless steel blade. The textured design on the aluminum handle gives it a great grip and features easy one-handed deployment via the thumb stud. This knife is a bargain considering the added amenities of a glass breaker, seatbelt cutter and the impressively sharp blade. Some may find the knife too light and toy-like, since this MTech weighs less than 3oz. In spite of this, this knife does not comprise quality for price and would be a great option for EDC or rescue needs.

Wrapping up – What Is The best tactical folding knife?

Every knife listed here could be a suitable option for someone looking for the best tactical folding knife. However, it is important to consider what you are willing to trade for a lower price. Do you need a glass breaker and seatbelt cutter? Is this going to be your permanent EDC that demands durability or are you fine with something more short term? Our first knife, the Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife SWBG2TS features everything you could want in a tactical folding knife but presents an issue for buyers with small hands. The MTech USA MT-378 Folding Tactical Knife is a sleek option for EDC but may not be suitable for someone needing a knife for outdoor activities like hunting. The Kershaw 1990 Brawler Folding SpeedSafe Knife comes up short compared to other contenders due to durability. We have found that the spring-assisted opening can break easily and the blade does not seem to cut as well as the others. The Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops Knife might seem like a good option compared to the others but it can be slightly deceiving. Sure this Smith & Wesson has a lot to offer but we do not feel like it fully lives up to its name. Lastly, the MTech USA MT-424 Series clearly presents itself as the best bargain out of the group. This knife is not as widely used as the others but it is a great option for those that do not need a glass breaker or seatbelt cutter. It comes with a lower price tag and does not comprise quality like some of our other options do. So which is the best tactical folding knife?

Which knife would we choose?

Overall, the Smith & Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife SWBG2TS is the best tactical folding knife in our eyes. We recommend this knife because high quality is our highest priority. Furthermore, we like this knife because it has all of the amenities a buyer could want and more. Sharp blade? Check. Glass breaker and seatbelt cutter? Check. Durable and reliable? Check. Best folding tactical knife? Check. Another aspect that puts this Smith & Wesson above the rest is its functionality. It is great for EDC but it can also handle everything from hunting to EMT/first responder needs. This is a heavy-duty knife that was built for heavy-duty tasks. This knife also gets bonus points for aesthetics. The appearance of this knife is extremely intimidating, which pleases many owners. All in all, unless you have rather small hands, this is the best folding tactical knife available. It is a substantial tool at a low cost and will not disappoint.

What Do You Think – What Is The best tactical folding knife?

Knives are one of those topics that can generate some heated debate. Different folks have their own taste in knives and tend to have different needs. So if you have some thoughts on the subject (and we are sure there will be many), please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Best Military Watch – We Look At 4 Seriously Tough Watches

 What We Look For In The Best Military Watch

What is the best military watch? Whether you are a civilian who likes to support the troops, or a member of the armed forces, a person needs a good watch that will get the job done while also standing up to the harshest conditions. Military equipment are known to be tougher and more robust than your typical civilian equipment. When you go to war and your life depends on a piece of kit that you are using out in the middle of nowhere, you want to know that you can rely on it! That is why a lot of folks want a military watch. It is something we use everyday and on which we rely a lot for different purposes, so we want a watch that we know will not let us down. So what do we look for in the best military watch?

Functions – A lot of watches has every function under the sun you think a watch can have (just check out the Suunto watch we discuss later on), but ultimately the best military watch should only have the functions that you will need specifically for your job. Sure, if you are a Navy SEAL who needs to be able to do anything and everything then you need a watch that has everything you may need. But if you are not going to be scaling high cliffs or sky-diving, do you really need an altimeter? Probably not! And it is one more thing that sucks up battery power or that can break (the more moving parts, the more chance for something breaking). So what functions should the best military watch have? We believe the basic functions a military watch should have (besides being able to tell the time of course) is:

Shock resistance – A military watch needs to be able to take a beating. If you drop it or bump it, it needs to be able to carry on.

Water-proof – If you are a military man, chances are you are going to get wet…real wet some times. We have found most of the top military watches are water-proof up to 660 feet.

Timer – A timer is one of those functions you do not think you will ever need…until you need it!

Compass – Typically you should have a compass on you if you are out in the field, but it never hurts to have a back-up. If you are out in the boonies and you need to find you way back, your watch’s compass might just save your life.

Build Quality – This is probably obvious, but a military watch needs to be built to last. A watch made from a flimsy piece of plastic just won’t cut it! The screws, buttons and strapping all need to be quality stuff made from the best materials. A lot of the top military watches are made from materials such as Resin, Titanium or Carbon Fibre.

Accurate Time – All watches keep time accurately, right? Unfortunately some watches loose a bit of accuracy over time. Some of the best military watches, such as the G-Shock watches, actually use Atomic Time Keeping to ensure that the the watch is kept accurate at all times.

Our Top Military Watch Choices

Now that we have covered what we look for in the best military watch, we can have a look at 4 great watches. Obviously there are a LOT of watches out there that are tough enough to be listed as one of the best military watches, but these watches are commonly believed by different folks to be among the best military watches available today.

Casio G-Shock Rangeman “Master of G”

The G-Shock range of watches from Casio is the watch of choice for many special forces. In his book “American Sniper”, Chris Kyle lists the gear he uses. He described that the G-Shock was the watch that he wore throughout his career. Ex-Special Forces soldier Andy McNab mentions in several of his novels how his fictional character Nick Stone relies on a G-Shock watch. According to Mark Bowden’s book “Blackhawk Down”, the DELTA Operators wore G-Shock watches during the combat events of 3 & 4 October 1993. Since then, G-Shock watches have become very popular with Special Forces groups in both American and other NATO nation units, due to their being “battle tested”.

The Rangeman is the first G-Shock watch to incorporate Casio’s Triple Sensor technology, featuring digital sensors that measure compass bearing, altitude/barometric pressure, and temperature. The watch employs Casio’s Triple 10 concept where a watch is required to withstand a 10 meter free-fall, endure 10 bar water resistance and have a 10 year battery life. Another distinctive Rangeman feature is the dedicated sensor button with each sensor activation sounding its own unique beep, allowing one to activate any sensor eyes-free. The sensor button is also protected with a metal cylinder structure for extra impact protection.

When it comes to keeping accurate time we like this watch’s Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping feature, which enables the watch to receive time calibration radio signals from six transmitters worldwide — one in the US, two in Japan, and one each in China, Germany and the UK. For superior display accuracy, the signals are received up to six times a day. If you want a watch that is not reliant on batteries, then this is definitely the best military watch for you as it is solar powered. Casio’s Tough Solar technology ensures that even the weakest of light will be sufficient to power the watch.

However the big thing for us that makes this watch a contender for one of the best military watch options is the fact that it is a Quartz watch. If you are shooting (especially with high recoil weapons) a mechanical watch will be severely affected by the vibrations. However a Quartz watch will be less affected by such vibrations as a Quartz watch uses the vibrations in a piece of Quartz to ensure accurate time keeping.

One thing that some folks might not like is the negative display. In low light conditions it could be difficult to see the display and it you might even have to use the light.

Suunto Core Black Military Watch

When we first heard the name Suunto, we thought it must be Japanese (who tend to make some good electronic watches). But in fact Suunto is from Finland! Suunto has a history of manufacturing military equipment, having made sighting compasses for artillery officers in WW2.

If you want the Swiss Army Knife of watches, then the Suunto is the best military watch for you! It has more features and functions than most watches and probably way more than you would ever need! Suunto Core is an ABC-watch (A=altitude, B=barometer, C=compass). Since its release in 2007 there has been more than 30 different versions of Core. All of them have the same functions, but their external appearance differ. Some of the many features this watch boasts, include: Logbook function, countdown timer, stopwatch, guided calibration, bearing tracking, mulitple language support, depth meter, sunrise/sunset times, calendar clock, weather memory, weather alarm, trend indicator and graph, sea level pressure and of course the ABC sensors already mentioned. The feature that intrigues us is the weather alarm. It senses a sudden drop in air-pressure, which usually indicates a storm is approaching.

The cosmetics of the watch is such that while it is a military style watch, it still looks smart enough to wear in most civilian environments. It is very expensive though. While it boasts good construction quality and features, it does not necessarily beat out the Casio G-Shoch options for quality and durability.

G-Shock X-Large Digital GD100

The Casio G-Shocks are so nice, we listed them twice! The Rangeman is certainly a great watch that will fill the needs for most people as the best military watch, however with its green coloring and silver buttons, it might not be exactly what some folks are looking for. In such a case, the G-Shock GD100 might be what you are looking for with its all black styling. It still has the features you want in one of the best military watches, namely shock resistance, water resistance, stop watch, negative display, etc. It also has a high-density LED light to light up the display when you are in dark conditions. However, unfortunately this watch does not have the ABC functions like the Suunto or Rangeman.

What does make the Rangeman a better military watch option is the fact that it is solar powered, whereas this GD100 is only battery powered. This of course is not a huge problem as modern watch batteries last a really long time anyway (battery life for this watch is listed to be approximately 7 years).

Timex Men’s T49612 “Expedition Trail Series”

If you want to be different from the crowed who all seem to wear G-Shock, then the this watch from Timex might just be the best military watch for you! Not only that, but it is also a lot more affordable than the other watches. This Timex watch is also the only American watch on our list (the company is head-quartered in Connecticut, the watch is manufactured in China).

This watch is not a full ABC watch, as it only has a digital compass (not the Altimeter or Barometer), but it still has the main features you would like to have in a military watch. These include timers, alarms, day, date, calendar. light, shock resistance and being water-proof.

The Timex watch uses Indiglo® night-light to light the watch surface. It does this using patented blue electroluminescent lighting technology, which uses less battery power than most other watch illumination systems, enabling your watch battery to last longer.

What is different from this watch to the other watches that you may notice is the glass used for the face watch. It is made from Acrylic crystal rather than Mineral crystal. Acrylic crystal is an inexpensive plastic that allows shallow scratches to be buffed out. Mineral crystal is composed of several elements that are heat-treated to create an unusual hardness that helps resist scratches.

Which Watch Do  We Think Is The Best Military Watch?

From the above watches, you can see there are some great military style watches available. Each have a range of features and qualities that make them contenders to be called the best military watch out there. So let’s recap the watches we looked at:

The G-Shock Rangeman Master of G from Casio has all the features you might need, from being solar powered to having a barometer! The color of the watch makes it suited for combat type environments where you may need to be camouflaged, while still being good looking enough to wear in civilian life. The over-sized buttons will make using this watch with tactical gloves on a pleasure! It is an expensive watch though when compared to some of the other watches on our list.

The Suunto Core Black is a nice looking watches with all the functions a watch could possibly have. Whether users would need all those functions are debatable and probably depends on what you need it for. If you are a Special Forces operator, then quite possibly you will find a lot of the functions useful. However if you just want a tough watch that gets the job done, then this is not the best military watch for you.It is very expensive though, and for the money we would probably rather go with a Casio G-Shock.

The G-Shock GD100 does not have all the fancy features that the Rangeman and Suunto does, but it is a solid watch that is also a lot more affordable than the Rangeman and Suunto. With its black styling, it will provide stealth in a combat situation while being presentable in civilian environments. If you want a really tough watch that does not cost an arm and a leg, this watch is possibly the best military watch for your needs.

The Timex watch is the most affordable watch on our list and is also a great alternative if you do not want to follow the crowed and get a G-Shock. Sure, it does not have all the cool features that the Rangeman or Suunto does, but it still has the basic functions that you might need.

So, which watch do we think is the best military watch option?

If we had to cough up our hard earned money for a military watch, we would very likely either go for the G-Shock Rangeman or the Timex watch. The Rangeman looks like a true military watch, is well constructed and has all the features you may ever need. However, when prices becomes a factor then the Timex is our best military watch. It does not have all the extra features that a Rangeman has, but realistically you won’t need all those features. It is a lot more affordable than the G-Shocks and Suunto, but is still tough enough to serve you well in most environments.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Military Watch?

What do you think is the best military watch? Do you think there is no competition for the G-Shoch watches, or do you think they are over rated and that there are much better watches out there? If you have some thoughts on the topic of what the best military watch is, please share them in the comments section below!

The Best Tactical Pen – Mightier Than a Sword!

What is the best tactical pen?When you want to be able to protect yourself, you unfortunately cannot always carry a gun or self-defence knife with you. For that reason a lot of folks like to have other self-defence weapons that they carry with them all the time, but that is also not a burden to carry with them. Once such option is a tactical pen. Tactical pens are small, light and you can carry it with you wherever you go. As most people would not even notice if it was a tactical pen vs a regular pen, you won’t get those awkward stares like you might sometimes get when you open carry a gun.

Quick Tips For Choosing The Best Tactical Pen

Before we get into what the best tactical pen is, we first need to understand what one should look for when choosing the best tactical pen for your needs.

Materials – As a tactical pen is designed to be used in a combat/self-defence situation, it needs to be made out of sturdy materials that can handle high impacts. The best tactical pen options are usually made from a metal, such as aircraft grade Aluminum or very hard polymers.

Grip – Much like a knife, you will be handling the tactical pen in your hand as a stabbing device in a combat situation. For that reason it needs to have a good grip that will not slip in your hand when being handled.

Pen – It might be a self-defence weapon, but it will be serving you as a writing utensil on a daily basis. We recommend getting a pen that has refillable ink cartridges.

Extra features – To be even more “tacticool”, some of the best tactical pen options have some nifty extra features. Such features include hidden handcuff keys, a fire-starter, glass breaker or even a DNA catching scoop!

6 Top Tactical Pens

Below we look at 6 of the best tactical pen options available. We consider construction quality, usability and the overall look and feel of pens.

Smith and Wesson SWPEN3S Tactical Pen with Stylus Tip

The first pen on our list of the best tactical pen options comes from Smith & Wesson. It measures in with a length of 5.7 inches, weighs approximately 1.4 ounces, and is made from T6061 Aircraft Aluminum. It uses Schmidt P900M Parker style black ball point pen refill.

If you are someone who is a bit tech-savvy, this pen might appeal to you as it has a tip that can also be used as a stylus on touch screen devices. A rubber O-ring helps keep the cap in place when you use it as a stylus, which is great as we hate it when things wobble around loosely! It is probably a bit of a thick point for a stylus, so do not expect too much from it. The cap itself is a bit thin…not the sturdiest around, and in a confusing emergency situation where you will have to defend yourself you never know which end you might have to use!

The pen looks really nice with it silver finish and will fit in any situation, from using it at home or at the office. Besides the thin cap, the construction quality of the pen is overall pretty good and should not let you down. There is a clip on the pen so you attach it to your pocket, however we think such a clip could affect your grip if you had to hold the pen in a self-defensive manner. If the cap is attached to the back of the pen, that won’t be too much of a problem…but you won’t necessarily have time to take the cap off the pen and put it on the back in an emergency situation.

Schrade SCPENBK Tactical Pen

This pen from Schrade measures in at 5.7 inches, weighs approximately 1.6 ounces and is made from CNC machined 6061 aircraft Aluminum. It uses Hauser Parker ball point pen cartridges.

There are not a lot of super fancy features to this pen, and that is because this pen is designed to be a “hide in plain sight” type of self-defence weapon. It looks like an ordinary pen, but is a bit heavier than a normal pen and the Aluminum construction makes it hard enough to use as a weapon in striking an attacker.

We like that the pen is ready for use as a weapon immediately. I.e. you do not have to unscrew a cap first or anything. The cap of the pen is flat at the back to provide your thumb with enough surface support so that you can exert more force when stabbing with the pen at your attacker. The fact that the striking end of the pen is a solid point (rather than the writing tip of the pen) makes the pen a lot more sturdy when striking at something

When you want to write with the pen you simply unscrew the cap to reveal the pen point. The Hauser Parker ball point pen will provide quality writing performance in most environments.

Similar to the Smith & Wesson, this tactical pen has a pocket clip. We would generally prefer a pen without a pocket clip to ensure the clip does not gouge into our hands when used in a combat/self-defence situation. While the pen does not have the extra features that some of the other pens have, it is definitely one of the best tactical pen options available.

Columbia River Knife and Tool TPENWK Williams Tactical Pen

The best tactical pen has to be discreet and not look like a dangerous weapon. Similar to the Schrader pen, the pen from Columbia River Knife and Tool is a “hide in plain sight” self-defence weapon, which should not raise too much suspicion from others. The pen measures in at 6 inches in length, weighs approximately 1.2 ounces and is made from 6061 aircraft Aluminum with a hard coat color anodizing.

It boasts a non-reflective tactical finish…but really that is more a marketing ploy than something that will necessarily be important for everyday carry to the average user. It looks really good though with its futuristic tapered styling and smooth lines. We like that it provides decent grip with the grooves in the body of the pen and the flat top at the back of the cap for your thumb.

This pen also has a sharp point at the back of the pen that will be the main weapon of attack that you will use in a self-defence situation. This allows you to be able to use the pen immediately as weapon and not have to unscrew the cap first. Every second can count when you are in a life and death situation!

If you want a nice looking slim pen that is not as heavy as some of the other pens, then this pen from CRKT might be the best tactical pen for your needs.

Gerber 31-001880 Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber is well known as a knife maker, but they make one of the best tactical pen options available! This pen is one of the shorter pens on our list of the best tactical pen options measuring a length of 5 inches and weighing approximately 1.02 ounces (although we believe it is actually more like 2+ ounces). Different to the other pens on our list, it is not made from Aluminum but rather made from Steel (which would explain why it has a bit heftier feel than the other pens). This pen uses “Rite in the Rain” ink cartridge, which is designed to allow you to write in any weather conditions…or even upside down!

An additional tactical feature that this pen has is the glass-breaker made from tempered steel. It sits right next to the writing point of the pen, so should provide for a sturdy stabbing point if you had to use the pen in that fashion. The protruding glass-breaker point will hamper the pen’s ability to hide in plain sight though, so keep that in mind when passing through security checks. Overall the glass-breaker point is placed in such a way that it won’t interfere with writing. The pen is a click pen rather than a screw pen, so it makes the pen a lot more user-friendly for folks who have to write a lot with it throughout the day (having to unscrew the cap each time can be cumbersome and the cap tends to get lost after a while)

With a lot of grooves in the body the pen, there should be plenty of grip to be able to hold onto this pen when you need to! We are not so sure about the black finish though, it might look a bit shabby after some scratches from daily wear and tear. While a tactical pen is a self-defence weapon, we still would like the best tactical pen to look good throughout its lifetime.

Under Control Tactical Pen

If you are looking for the Swiss Army Knife of tactical pens, then this pen from Under Control Tactical is probably the best tactical pen for you! This thing has A LOT of features! It includes a DNA catcher, glass breaker and a LED flashlight! It measures in at 6.5 inches in length, weighs approximately 1.6 ounces and is constructed from Aluminum.

This pen does not have a sharp point for stabbing your attacked like other pens on our list have, but rather you attack them using the crowned end of the pen that is also the DNA catcher. It is intended that this way you also get your attacker’s DNA for later identification. They also put the LED flashlight on this end. The flashlight is not super bright, so do not expect a light that can temporarily blind your attacker like a proper tactical flashlight might. The opposite end of the pen is the writing side of the pen.

The pen uses standard refills, so you should be able to buy refills at most stores that sell writing utensils.

User comments for this tactical pen is generally positive with users commenting that they are happy with the build quality of the pen and that it generally does a decent job at writing.

UZI UZI-TACPEN6-GM Aircraft Aluminum Defender Tactical Pen

This UZI pen does not have as many features as the pen from Under Control Tactical, but it does have glass breaker and built-in handcuff key. The pen measures in with a length of 6 inches, weighs approximately 1.6 ounces and is made from Aluminum. Th pen is compatible with standard and Fischer Space Pen refills. The pen is a twist pen, rather than a click pen.

The pen has a lot of textured surface for grip, but it might be too textured! The rough surface might damage your pocket or whatever you keep the pen in.

The stabbing point is also the writing/pen point, which means the pen point will likely be damaged if you were to use it in a combat scenario. Some users also noted that the glass breaker tip can be a bit wobbly if the handcuff key is not properly screwed in, and that the glass breaker tip tends to get lost if it comes undone. The secret handcuff key should be compatible with most professional handcuffs.

There are mixed comments from users on this pen. Quite few users complained that the pen is actually quite bulky and that the build quality is not quite what one would look for in one of the best tactical pen options. It is a bit cheaper than the Schrade and S&W options…but not much. We would probably rather opt for one of them.

So which tactical pen d we think is the best tactical pen?

There are not a whole lot between the best tactical pen options. They are all made from Aluminum and provide similar capabilities as a weapon. So which pen do we think is the best tactical pen? Let us recap.

The Smith & Wesson tactical pen looks good and has the added feature of being a stylus for your touch pad devices, which the other pens do not offer. It provides decent grip, however to use it as a weapon you would first need to unscrew the cap before using it, which could cost you valuable time!

The Schrade tactical pen is a straight forward tactical pen with no fancy features. It is a hide in plain sight weapon. The pen has a somewhat blunt stabbing point, but this is likely to cause maximum pain and damage to an attacker while also being very sturdy. The flat back of the cap provides a surface for your thumb so you can produce maximum force.

The CRKT tactical knife looks really good with its tapered lines, while the grooves in the body should provide for good grip. Similar to the Schrade, the back of the pen is the stabbing point. However the CRKT pen has a much sharper point.

The Gerber pen is a hefty pen made from Steel rather than Aluminum. Being a click pen, it makes it very user-friendly for people who need to use their pen a lot for writing throughout the day. It has a glass-breaker tip that protrudes out and sits next to the writing point. The glass-breaker point probably limits the pen’s hide in plain sight ability though, so be careful when going through any form of security check with it.

The Under Control Tactical pen has a lot of features…perhaps more than a tactical should really have. The DNA catcher also doubles as the stabbing point of the pen, which is not going to be as sharp as any of the other tactical pens, but should still inflict pain and damage to an attacker….just perhaps not as much as you would like.

The UZI tactical pen has some nice features, like a glass breaker and handcuff key. However the writing point is also the stabbing point, which might affect the sturdiness of the pen if used as a weapon. The quality of the pen is perhaps not quite as good as some of the other tactical pen options. The rough texture of the pen is also likely to irritate you and damage your pocket.

Which pen would we choose?

There definitely are some great tactical pens out there, but if we have to choose a tactical pen today to carry everyday as a self-defence weapon and as a writing utensil we would choose the CRKT pen as the best tactical pen. It looks really good, provides good grip and the sharp point will be a very effective weapon in a self-defence scenario. It is the most expensive pen on our list of the best tactical pen options, however it is only marginally more expensive than the other pens.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Tactical Pen?

What do you think of the tactical pens that we discussed above? Do you think there are tactical pens that are better and deserve to be called the best tactical pen? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of what the best tactical pen is, so please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Best Pistol Light For Your Needs – We Look At 5 Great Pistol Lights

CHOOSING THE BEST PISTOL LIGHT

What is the best pistol light? Chances are that if you ever have to use your pistol, you will be in an environment with little to no light. To be able to use your not only effectively, but safely too, you are going to need a good flashlight.

To mount or not to mount

Before we dig into which flashlight is the best pistol light, we should talk about the pros and cons of a mounted flashlight. There seems to be a bit of a debate between some folks about whether it is better to hold the flashlight in your one hand and the pistol in your other, or to mount the flashlight to the pistol.

The folks who argue that you should not mount your flashlight, but rather hold it in your free hand, believe it is a much safer option. If you have a flashlight in your free hand, you can sweep an area with the light without having to actually point your weapon in that direction. With a mounted flashlight you will need to point a deadly weapon at whatever you want to shine a light on...and that is how unfortunate accidents can happen. Also a flashlight attached to your pistol will add weight to it, which could influence your accuracy when shooting. Tactically, a flashlight mounted to your gun also gives away your pistol's positioning and aim. All a opponent has to do is aim for the light and shoot.

The folks who argue that flashlights should be mounted, believe it is much more efficient in a tactical situation where speed could be the difference between life and death. With the flashlight mounted to your gun, you have one more hand to either defend yourself, hold your gun steady and to reload much quicker.

You can read more about shooting effectively in the dark here.

Can the light be too bright?

A lot of people will assume that the best pistol light should have the brightest light possible so that you can blind any possible attacker in a self-defence situation . A bright light definitely will blind a possible attacker...but it can also blind you. If you are in close quarters combat situation, chances are there will be many reflective surfaces (think mirrors, glass windows, etc) off which a bright light can reflect back into your own eyes. This means your flashlight then becomes a liability. Most of the best pistol light options allow you to adjust the brightness of the light though. A lower brightness setting also results in your battery power lasting longer.

You can determine a flashlight's brightness by checking how many lumens it produces. In indoor close quarters combat situations you probably only need something that can produce ~40 lumens or so. For outdoor use something that can produce ~100 lumens would be good. You do get some super bright flashlights that can do hundreds of lumens...but for a self-defence purpose use in coordination with your pistol, that would be over-kill.

If you want to go a step further with the flashlight as a self-defence weapon, some of the best pistol light options also have a strobe function to help blind and disorientate a possible attacker.

5 Great Pistol Lights

Below we discuss 5 top pistol lights that you can consider if you are looking for a flashlight to mount to your pistol.

Streamlight 69220 TLR-3

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Streamlight is one of the better know brands when it comes to tactical flashlights and you cannot talk about the best pistol light options without talking about a Streamlight. They tend to also be a bit more expensive than some other options, but you do get a lot of flashlight for your money. The TLR3 from Streamlight is a lightweight and compact flashlight that measures in at 2.7 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches and weighs 4.8 ounces.

Materials

A key factor in the best pistol light is the quality of materials used in its construction. This flashlight is not just some cheap plastic flashlight. The case body is made from impact resistant nylon polymer, and the face cap is made from 6000 series machined aircraft aluminum with anodized finish. The lens is made from borofloat high temperature glass.

Light

As you would expect from one of the best pistol light options, it has an LED light. LED is better, especially for a tactical flashlight, as it does not break as easily as a incandescent bulb would when the flashlight might be dropped or receive a hard knock. The C4 LED of the TLR-3 has a 50,000 hour lifetime and produces 125 lumens of output.

Fit on the pistol

This is a rail-mounted flashlight which should fit most pistols, using a key kit that comes with the flashlight. It is not a very long flashlight, so it should not protrude to much past the muzzle (if at all).

It has a ambidextrous momentary/steady On-Off switch, so you can toggle the light on and off as needed.

Other things to note

It uses lithium batteries, so you can recharge the batteries rather than having to keep buying new ones. The batteries are listed to last approximately 1.5 hours (which seems to be the norm for mounted pistol lights). It is also waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, with a IPX7 rating.

Differnt to the other lights on our list of the best pistol light options, this flashlight is serialized, so if you ever loose your flashlight or it gets stolen you can positively identify it again if it is found.

Some short comings

While this is a definite contender as one of the best pistol light options, it has some areas that are not perfect. It is made from plastics/polymers, which means if you twist the cap too much it can result in cross-thread due to the threads being plastic/polymer.

We also do not like that it does not have a strobe function. We would like a top tactical flashlight to have such a feature, but it is not such a huge factor. You also cannot adjust the focus/beam of the light, which makes it a bit less flexible in its use.

AIM Sports Tactical 150 Lumen LED Flashlight

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This little flashlight from AIM Sports is probably not the same quality as the Streamlight options, but it is a fraction of the price of the Streamlights! Similar to the Streamlight TLR-3, it is a small and compact flashlight that measures in at 2-5/8 x 1-5/8 x 1-5/8 inches and weighs 2.5 ounces.

Materials

Like most of the best pistol light options it is made from machined aircraft grade aluminum, so it should be reasonably durable during heavy use. There is not much information available on what kind of glass the lens is made from though, so do not expect high spec glass like you would maybe find on some of the other flashlights contending to be the best pistol light. The flashlight does come with different colored lenses though, namely yellow, red and blue.

Light

As you would expect, the flashlight uses LED for its light source and produces a bright 150 lumens. Disappointingly, this flashlight also does not allow you to adjust the beam.

Fit on the pistol

The flashlight is designed to allow for quick and easy mounting and detaching to the pistol using a weaver or picatinny rail. It is intended for compact pistols, such as the Beretta PX, Glock 19 or Sig P250.

It has a ambidextrous momentary/steady On-Off switch, so you can toggle the light on and off as needed.

Other things to note

The flashlight comes with CR2 lithium battery, however users were not very impressed with the batttery life. There is no indication from the manufacturer on how long you can expect the battery to last. We would expect the best pistol light to have a good and reliable battery life.

Some short comings

Similar to the Streamlight, it too does not have a strobe function. It is also not listed to be waterproof or have any type of IPX rating, so if you are likely to use your weapon in the rain or wet conditions...it might not work. Not good.

Overall there are a lot of positive feedback about this flashlight, but there have been some concerns raised about the construction qaulity and reliability of the flashlight. However, for the price you pay it has to be argued that you actually get a pretty good flashlight.

If you want a really affordable flashlight that will get the job done, this is possibly the best pistol light for your needs.

Surefire Ultra High Ouput LED Weaponlight

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What is a list of the best pistol options without a Surefire on it?! This flashight from Surefire is a serious flashlight with an equally serious price tag. At more than double the price of the Streamlight, this is a pretty expensive flashlight. The Surefire flashlights are designed and assembled in the USA. The Surefire measures in at 3.5 x 1.4 x 1.4 inches and weighs 4 ounces.

Materials

As you would expect from a flashlight at this price, it is made from only the best materials. Designed for tough conditions, it is made from high-strength aerospace aluminum body, which is Mil-Spec hard anodized. The lens is made from coated tempered glass.

Light

Using LED, this is a really bright flashlight producing a whopping 500 lumens! The light produced is a white light focused by a Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens to produce a tight beam with extended reach and significant surround light for peripheral vision.

Fit on the pistol

The Surefire Rail-Lock system is designed to allow this flashlight to be mounted to either univeral or picatinny rails easily and quickly. You can also purchase adapter mounts if you weapon does non-railed.

It has a ambidextrous momentary/steady On-Off switch, so you can toggle the light on and off as needed. You can press the switch on either side for momentary-on activation, flip up or down for constant-on activation. You can also buy a Surefire DG grip switch for pistols.

Other things to note

The flashlight comes with standard CR1123A batteries and are listed to have approximately 1.5 hours of tactical run time (before the light dips to 50 lumens). The flashlight is fitted with an O-ring and gasket sealed to make it weatherproof. However there is no IPX rating listed for this light. We would not necessarily expect the best pistol light to be fully water-proof, but do think it is important that you are able to use it in most conditions.

Some short comings

Besides the price, there generally is not much you can fault this light for in terms of quality and reliability. We would have liked to have a strobe function on it, but for use on a pistol that is not really necessary anyway. For indoor tactical situations it might be a bit too bright though with its powerful 500 lumen beam. However this light is specifically designed with the intention of blinding any would-be attacker.

InForce APL Pistol Mounted Light

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One of the sleekest looking options on our list of the best pistol light options is this flashlight from InForce. It is not a cheap flashlight, but is still almost half the price that the Surefire X300 is retailing for at the time of this article being written. It measures in with a length of 3 inches and a width of 1.2 inches and weighs 2.83 ounces. Similar to the Surefire, the InForce flashlights are designed and assembled in the USA.

Materials

Where most of the other flashlights on our list of the best pistol light options are made from machined aircraft grade aluminum, this flashlight is made from lightweight fiber composite construction. This construction is designed to handle heat and impact much better than an aluminum body would. The lens is made from high-impact glass.

Light

Not quite as bright as the Surefire, but it does produce a very bright 200 lumens using an LED bulb. It produces a white beam with a good profile. There is a hotspot at the center but it is not as defined as most and transitions smoothly to the bright spill beam. It really illuminates a large area.

Fit on the pistol

The InForce light has a universal mounting system that can accommodate out of spec rails. As expected, it is designed to be quick and easy to use. The lever system is smooth and it really seems to lock down tight to the rail. It is also great that it allows the light to be affixed to a firearm without having to slide the light on from the front. This keeps the user’s hand away from the muzzle.

Note that this flashlight is listed on the InForce website to not fit the the Beretta PX4 Strom or the H&K USP.

The flashlight has a bilateral paddle switch, which makes is suited for both left-handed use and right-handed use. It offers constant and momentary options. It is designed in such a fashion to make it really easy for you to just tap the switches to turn on the light. You can also deactivate the switches by twisting the face of the light a quarter turn.

Other things to note

It runs on CR123A batteries and is listed to last approximately 1.5 hours, which appears to be the standard run time for most of the lights on our list of the best pistol light options.

Some short comings

The paddle switch system is great, but it does also result in the flashlight being easily switched on inadvertently while being stored or carried. This of course can result in a dead battery just when you need your light! However, if you are mindful of how you carry and store the light, this should not be a big concern. Other than that, the only things we would have liked to see on this flashlight is for it to be weatherproof and maybe have a strobe function.

If you want a flashlight that is not the usual Surefire or Streamlight options, but still has the quality and reliability that you would expect from the best pistol light options, then this is a good choice to consider.

Aimkon HiLight P10S

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Aimkon is not as well known as Streamlight or Surefire and it shows in the price of this flashight. The Aimkon flashlight is not quite on the same level as the Streamlight and Surefire options, but you do get a lot of value for the money you pay (which is less than half of what you would pay for the Streamlight TRL-3) and is definitely one of the best pistol light options available. The flashlight measures in at 3 x 1 x 1.5 inches and is listed to weigh 4.8 ounces.

Materials

As with most of the flashlights on our list of the best pistol light options this flashlight is made from aluminum, and the lens is anti-shattering ultra clear lens with anti-scratching and anti-slip.

Light

We only have LED flashlights on our list of the best pistol light options, and this flashlight is no exception. It uses CREE XM-L2 LED to produce a bright 400 lumen output. 400 lumen is plenty bright...but maybe a bit too bright for indoor use.

Powered by a single CR123A battery, this flashlight does not last that long unfortunately. It is listed to only have a run-time of approximately 0.45 hours....that is about half of what the other options can do.

Fit on the pistol

It is designed to fit most handguns with easy snap on and off from rails using the Aimkon quick release system.

The on/off switch is a horizontal slide switch that allows for easy one finger push action. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any pressure switch options available for this flashlight. Although you probably cannot expect that for a flashlight at this price range.

Other things to note

It has a strobe function! To use the strobe function just switch the flashlight on and off to cycle through the function options. A strobe function is not super important on a pistol light, but it does add a nice extra dimension to the flashlight as a self-defence tool.

It is water and dust resistent with IP68 rating...but some users noted it is not quite water tight, so do not go dunking this flashlight in a bowl of water!

Some short comings

While this is one of the best pistol light options available, there are some areas for improvement. Feedback on this flashlight has been really postive, but there have been a few cases where users complained about the quality and reliability of this flashlight. Some users did note however that when they returned the flashlight, Aimkon contacted them directly and replaced their flashlights and gave them really good service.

We don't like the fact that the battery life is not very good on this flashlight. With such a short battery life it is very likely that the battery will die on you just when you need it...and who wants to carry a bunch of spare batteries with them all the time?!

As with all the other flashlights on our list of the best pistol light options, there is no option to be able to adjust the beam of this flashlight. As this is a pretty bright light at 400 lumens, an option to adjust the beam would have been great.

Overall it is a good flashlight, especially taking into consideration what you pay for it. If you want an affordable little flashlight to mount on your gun, this is quite possibly the best pistol light for your needs.

Our Top Pistol Light Choice

Which flashlight would we part our hard earned cash with to buy? Let's recap the options we discussed above.

The Streamlight TLR-3 is a light, compact and bright little flashlight that snaps on and off a pistol easily with not too much fuss. It has an ambidextrous on/off switch that makes flicking the light on or off very easy. It does not have some of the features you would expect from a high-end tactical flashlight though (such as a strobe function and adjustable beam).

The AIM Sports flashlight is small and compact with a nice bright beam. It is made from machined aircraft grade aluminum, but there are some concerns around quality and reliability. It does not have some of the features we would like in a top pistol light, but for the affordable price you pay it is a good little light.

The Surefire X300 is a wonderful but expensive flashlight. It is made from top quality materials, which shows in its reliability. As you would expect, it is designed to fit easily and quickly onto most weapons. It is a really bright light, producing a sharp 500 lumens beam. However that is probably a bit over-kill unless you plan to use this flashlight a lot in outdoor situations.

The InForce flashlight is a lightweight flashlight that has a handy paddle switch system. It is made from composite fibers instead of the usual aluminum like other tactical flashlights. With a beam of 200 lumens, it is bright but not too bright.

The Aimkon HiLight P10S is affordable with the qualities similar to the other flashlights we have on our list of the best pistol lights. It does have a strobe function, which none of the other flashlights on our list have though! It is one of the brighter options at 400 lumens, but does not offer the ability to adjust the beam. It also has a easy to mount system and a switch that allows for quick and easy use.

Which pistol light would we choose?

All 5 flashlights on our list make a case for the best pistol light. If you have the money, know you will use the flashlight on a daily basis and need something that is reliable then we would go with the Surefire. However for us it is a bit just too expensive. If you do not have the money and want something that still gives you value, then the best choice is the Aimkon. However if you know lives might depend on this flashlight, we may be a bit hesitant to go with this flashlight.

If we had to give up our hard earned money for a solid and reliable flashlight, we would go with the Streamlight TRL-3. It is a flashlight that you know will get the job done and is bright enough without being too bright. It is not cheap, but not as expensive as the Surefire though.

What Do You Think - What Is The Best Pistol Light?

Do you have any thoughts on what the best pistol light is? We are sure there are many other flashlights that are strong contenders to be called the best pistol light. If you have some thoughts, we would love to hear them! Please share them in the comments section below.