All posts by Rob

Rick Hinderer Knives – Behind the Scenes Photos

Brady of MonkeysEdge.com went behind the scenes to get some photos of Rick Hinderer knives being made.

Check them out here.

Here is a small sample of the goodness that comes from following the link above:

Sniper Bladeworks Knives on Man, Woman, Wild

Be sure to check out the most recent episode of Discovery Channel’s Man, Woman, Wild and keep an eye out for some amazing knives from Sniper Bladeworks:

 

These knives are featured in Season 2, Episode 9 entitled “Bear’s Kitchen” set in Alaska.

Here are a few screenshots of the knives in use during the show:

Check out the Sniper Bladeworks website

Thank You and The Importance of Simple Training

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This week I take a few minutes to say thank you to all of you that stuck with me through my long break and talk about where the podcast is headed from here.

I also offer up a few thoughts and observations on the importance of keeping things simple in training.

Why Do People Care So Much About EDC Gear?

Because people realize what a difference it can make –

When people realize how helpful EDC really can be and how much easier it can make your life it’s hard to keep quiet about it.  They want to share with others so they can experience the same benefits that they have experienced.  It’s like talking about any other positive experience.(losing weight, quitting smoking, etc)

Because people express themselves through their EDC gear –

For many people their EDC gear is a way to express themselves.  It tells people what their priorities are.  It tells people what they care about.  It tells people what styles they enjoy.  They are passionate about their gear, because it’s almost like talking about themselves. 😉  Telling someone about the flashlight they selected and why they selected is sharing a little bit themselves.

Because people invest so much in their EDC gear –

When people invest the time and effort in proper research and a decent amount of money into their EDC gear, it’s only natural that they want to tell others about it.  Many people have spent more time researching their EDC gear than they spent researching their last vehicle purchase.  Like a new vehicle, people want to discuss the reasoning behind their purchasing decision.  In many cases they want to see validation.

Where Should I Start(EDC Gear)?

Work on one piece of gear at a time –

You can research and buy everything all at once, but it will be inefficient and there is a good chance you may have to go back and make some changes.  Working on one piece of gear at a time allows you to focus completely on one piece of gear.  You would be surprise at how intricate and detailed the decision making process can be for something as simple as a flashlight or knife.  Take your time, focus, and you won’t regret it.

Make a master list –

Break out the gear list that you ranked by your PVR(Personal Value Rating) and adjusted for discrepancies.  Look at the first several items on the list.  That is where you should start.  You can pick any of those top few pieces of gear, but follow the guidelines below to see the best results sooner.

Start with the gear you already carry and use –

Do you have gear you already carry that isn’t doing the job?  An unreliable watch?  An under-powered keychain light?  A cell-phone that never has a signal?  Work on improving or replacing these items.  I would start with the piece of gear that you find to be the most lacking or most annoying.  Your gear should help you, not annoy you.  Get that fixed right away!

Take breaks –

This goes along with the first point, but you will find that with each new piece of gear, your habits and use cases may change ever so slightly.  Don’t throw too many changes into the mix all at once.  Take some time to see how you use the new tool and you may find that you no longer need something else on your list.  Constantly re-evaluate.

How Do I Select Individual Pieces of EDC Gear?

List Your Use Cases:

This is applicable to any piece of gear or kit.  Think about how it will be used.  What tasks will in need to perform well?  Will your knife be used as a defensive tool or for slicing apples?  Or both?  Will your flashlight be used for close up work or spotlighting distant areas?  Knowing your use cases will help you narrow down your search in a big way!

Find Features that Match your Use Cases:

Find out which features help you in your given use cases.  Do you really care about whether your flashlight is Titanium if you are just storing it in the glove compartment?  Do you really want 500 lumens if you are using the flashlight for close-up reading in bed?  Should you go with the liner-lock or do your use cases call for a frame-lock?   Sometimes this is easier said than done.  Proprietary feature names often make it difficult to know what a feature does or how it would help your use cases.

Get Advice From Several Sources –

This could be from coworkers, a friend who knows a lot about XXXX, fellow EDC enthusiasts, people on a forum, someone who sells XXXX for a living, etc.   So long as you know how to process the information, more advice is better.  Whenever you get advice, be sure to take the source into account and don’t be afraid to dismiss it if it doesn’t apply to you or doesn’t help you.  If you don’t know many people who know much about the gear you are looking for, call or send and email to a reputable online vendor.  There are also active forums full of enthusiasts dedicated to nearly any piece of gear.(google: XXXX forums)  Don’t be afraid to tap into their knowledge.

Ask Specific Questions –

Don’t ask: “What is the best X?”  You will receive unqualified answers that probably won’t be helpful. A better question would be:
“I work the night shift doing security for a local business and I need a light that can help me XXXXXXX and XXXXXXX and be carried in a holster on my belt. I would prefer that it use XXXXX type of batteries that are readily available at decent prices. I also prefer a XXXXX interface for instant on/off.  What would you recommend?”

The answers to the detailed, qualified inquiry will be much more usable than answers to the first inquiry.  Adapt the qualifications to fit your personal use case, and you will get advice .

Start General, Then Get More Specific –

Since you don’t know before you start searching how many products will fit your needs, you should start general.  Start with one or two general qualifications and make sure you are headed in right direction.  As you get deeper into the search, you will get better idea of how many options are available.  At that point, you should adjust your qualifications to expand your options or add qualifications to narrow down the search.

If you follow these guidelines, you should come up with gear that will make you happy and satisfy your needs!

How to Achieve Your EDC(Everyday Carry) Goals

Now that we have found out what our EDC gear goals are and we have taken the time to list, prioritize, and weight them, it’s time to apply them to the gear itself.  It’s time to go from theory to practice.

Make a list –

List any gear that you think would be helpful in any way.  Even if it is slight.  Forget the goals for now.  Do not exclude gear just because you think it would be unpleasant or impossible to carry.  To get started, look at the first lesson and see if any of the gear listed there would be helpful.   Check out websites like everyday-carry.com and see what gear other people are using.  Talk with people who know you well or work with you and see if they have any ideas.  Check out forums.

Take a few days for this exercise.  Put the list down and come back to it later.  You will spot things you missed before.  After you feel that you have a fairly complete list, we’ll do some organizing.

Start Organizing –

Grab a blank sheet of paper and make a column for each of your EDC gear goals.  Look at each piece of gear on your list and place it in at least one column.  If it aids in accomplishing several goals, put it in multiple columns.  If it doesn’t seem to fit in any of your columns, create a new column that explains why you added it to the list.  Even if the column is titled “It Looks Cool” or “My Favorite Celeb Uses It”, just be honest and categorize it.  When you create a new column, go back and start at the top of the list to see if any other gear should also go in that column.

Prioritize –

Now it’s time to prioritize the gear within each column.  Reorder the gear in each column so that the first piece of gear in the column is the piece of gear that contributes the most toward achieving that specific goal or priority.  Don’t take into account how it helps with other goals.  Just take it column by column.  When you are finished prioritizing, it’s time to go even further and weight them.  This will be similar to when we weighted your goals with a total of 100 points, except each column can have an unlimited number of points.  Rate each piece of gear on a scale of 1 to 100 according to how much it contributes toward the goal it is listed under. If a given piece of gear would make you feel twice as secure, stylish, etc. as the next piece of gear in the column, it should be awarded twice as many points.  Take your time, be consistent, and tweak the numbers until you think they fit the way you feel about the individual pieces of gear.

Do the math –

Now let’s go back to the weighting that we gave each of the goals.  Multiply the weighting that we gave the goal/column times the rating that you gave the individual piece of gear.  The result should be a strong indicator of how valuable a given piece of gear is to you specifically.   We will call this the “Personal Value Rating”(PVR).

Goal Weighting x Gear Contribution Rating = Personal Value Rating

 If certain pieces of gear showed up in multiple columns, total their PVR from each column to come up with a total PVR for that piece of gear.  Once you figure out the PVR for each piece of gear, make a new list of the gear starting with the highest PVR and ending with the lowest.

Look for Discrepancies –

When you look at the final list in order of PVR, you may spot a few discrepancies.  Maybe your car keys ended up at the bottom of the list, but you know you can’t leave them behind.  This may be because they were listed in the wrong column(s) or rated too low.  Whatever the case, be sure to look for any problems and correct the equation as needed.

Use your PVR ranked list as a starting point to start researching and choosing your specific pieces of EDC gear!

How Can EDC(Everyday Carry) Optimization Help Me?

How Can EDC(Everyday Carry) Optimization Help Me?

Increase productivity –

When you have the right tools to help you with your everyday tasks, you are able to accomplish much more in the same amount of time.  Carrying gear that isn’t tailored to your needs would be like a carpenter arbitrarily choosing tools without regard to his trade.  He doesn’t need that potentiometer or micro wrench set that his computer repairman friend has.  He needs woodworking tools.  Using inappropriate tools will cause him to

Save money –

Spending money on tools you won’t use is never a good idea.  Sure you can gift it to someone later or sell it on your favorite forum, but you still lose money on the deal.  Thinking about and optimizing your EDC gear before you buy can easily save you hundreds of dollars as you put your gear together.

Save Time –

Using the wrong tools will always cost you time.  It will cost you time while you work inefficiently.  It will cost you the time that it takes to learn to use that tool you will later get rid of.  Even a small amount of time taken beforehand to optimize, will save you many hours of wasted time.

Save effort –

Using inefficient or improper tools wastes effort.  You wouldn’t use a dull ax to cut down a tree and you shouldn’t expect EDC gear to be any different.

Make you safer –

Taking the time to think about and optimize your EDC gear forces you to consider situations that you don’t normally think about.  This allows you to see gaps in your security or safety procedures and adjust for them.

Putting Your EDC(Everyday Carry) Gear to Bed Each Night

When you take the time and effort to put together your perfect EDC kit, you need a nice place to store it each night while you sleep.  There are several considerations:

Protecting your gear –

Make sure that your gear won’t be damaged while off your person.  Don’t put it where you will step on it when you swing you feet out of bed in the morning.  Don’t put your gear where it will roll or slide off an edge and fall to the ground.  Don’t place your gear on a surface that will scratch or otherwise mar the finish.  Over time, small scratches will really build up.

Keeping defensive tools out of the wrong hands –

This can be as simple as making sure your knife is out of reach of small children or as involved as a large safe to store your firearms out of the reach of common thieves.  A happy medium might be a small handgun safe that can also hold blades you want to keep safe.  You can pick up a small plastic box secured with a mechanical lock for as little as $20 or a small electronic handgun safe with quick, bio-metric access for much more.  If you are looking to secure defensive tools in a vehicle, make sure there is a way to secure the safe to the vehicle itself.  Check out GunVault products.

Convenience –

Convenience covers a lot of ground:

Organization – Having a specific place for everything and making sure your gear is in it’s place makes it easier for you to notice misplaced gear and makes it less likely that you will leave something behind when gearing up at the beginning of the day.

Memory – Make sure your gear is stored in an easy-to-remember place.  If you are a forgetful person, the back of your sock drawer probably isn’t the best place to store your EDC gear.

Speed and ease of deployment – Particularly for flashlights and defensive tools, you might want to have them close by and easily accessible during the night.  On a nearby nightstand or in it’s drawer might be a good storage option.  It’s important to keep them in the same place every time, so you can feel for them in the dark.

Style –

Trays, valets, safes, etc. are available in numerous styles, colors, and patterns.  Pick what fits your gear, but also what fits your style.  Make sure your gear has a functional and good looking resting place.

 

 

How to Determine Your Personal Goals for EDC(Everyday Carry) Gear

We have talked about how everyone’s goals are different and it’s important that we make sure our gear corresponds to our goals, but how do we find our goals?  It’s easier said than done.  Here are three quick tips to get you started:

Look at other people’s gear –

The simplest way to get started is to look at the EDC gear that other people have.  Check out websites like everyday-carry.com and see how you think their gear would fit into your lifestyle.  When you see pieces you don’t think will fit, think about why.  What priority makes this piece of gear a bad fit for me?  Is it too bulky?  Do I place more priority on comfort than this person.  Is the knife not big enough?  Maybe you place more priority on security.  Is the flashlight too big or complicated?  Whatever the difference may be, you should attempt to articulate your reasoning and start to make a list of your personal EDC gear goals.

Note what you take pride in –

Do you take great pride in your style?  In your preparedness for any task?  In your ability to quickly deploy your knife?  Areas in which you possess great personal pride normally indicate priority areas.  Don’t be ashamed.  Your priorities aren’t just needs.  Sometimes they are wants or even just the result of personal idiosyncrasy.  It’s important that we recognize these goals so that we can address them and achieve an end result that will truly satisfy you.

Note the situations where you are wishing you had helpful gear –

Sometimes this is just a guessing game.  No hard numbers or statistics.  Just a mental estimate.  What are some tasks during which you find yourself wishing for a tool that would make it easier?  When you think of something, jot it down.  Compile these ideas and review them after a given time.

These three ideas should help you make a list of your goals when it comes to EDC(Everyday Carry).

What is the goal of (EDC)Everyday Carry Gear?

What is the goal of EDC gear?

The goal of EDC gear is to increase your quality of life.

Every piece of EDC gear should work toward that end.  Using EDC to increase your quality of life is an ambitious goal, but there are a variety of ways to achieve that goal.  Your EDC gear can increase your quality of life by:

  • Increasing your self-reliance
  • Increasing your security
  • Increasing your comfort
  • Increasing your safety

Everyone has different goals –

People place varying amounts of emphasis on the different aspects that relate to quality of life.  What is important to one person could be trivial to another.

Some people are supremely concerned about safety. Because of this, an investment in a defensive tool would dramatically increase their quality of life.

Others aren’t that concerned about safety, but having something something on hand to listen to or read makes their life much more enjoyable.

Some people gain supreme enjoyment from not having to rely on others. They have their pen ready when the cashier rips the receipt from the register. They have their flashlight ready when the power unexpectedly dies in the restaurant.

Some people would go nuts if they didn’t have a pen and paper to write down an idea that popped into their head.

Some people are constantly worried about how they would cut a seat-belt if they were in a vehicle accident or how they would treat someone with a medical issue. Simple tools could help to aleviate those worries and dramatically increase their quality of life.

Maybe you plead guilty to all of the above. Maybe you are thinking of something totally different that I didn’t mention.  Perfect!  That’s the idea.  Think about YOUR priorities!

You will never be satisfied with EDC gear that caters to someone else’s needs, wants, and goals!

It’s easy to look at someone else’s gear and try to copy it for ourselves, but it’s not the right way to go about it.  You have an intricate combination of personal priorities that are different from anyone else in the world.  It takes some thought to arrange these priorities and properly apply them to your gear.  We’ll cover more on this later in the course.  For now, let’s figure out what your goals are!

 

Assignment:

You have 100 points to give away. List your goals when it comes to EDC gear and assign points according to how they rank.  More points for more important goals, less points for less important goals…

What is EDC?

What is EDC Gear?

A proper definition of EDC gear is critical as we start down the path of EDC gear optimization.

  • What are we referring to when we talk about EDC gear?
  • What are we working with?
  • What are we optimizing?

Here is the definition of EDC Gear that I’ll be using:

EDC Gear – The gear that is kept on your person or close at hand all the time. This normally includes gear in your pockets, backpack, briefcase, or even car or office.

When you see “EDC” or “Everyday Carry” referred to in these lessons, you can insert the above definition.

Note that this definition includes items that are not necessarily “carried.”

EDC is about readiness and preparation for the purpose of improving your quality of life.  It’s not about trying to see how much gear you can carry on your person.

Your pockets or bag will never be able to hold everything necessary to deal with every situation you will ever encounter. The important thing is to make sure that the gear you need is close and ready when you need it.

Leaving your desktop computer at the office is a good idea, because the office is where you will encounter the most use for that piece of gear. Yes, you may think of a task where it would be handy to have the office computer in your car or at home, but you can survive without it and leaving it at the office makes your life immeasurably easier.

Over this course, we will discuss a number of topics related to optimizing your EDC gear to make your life easier and better.

Assignment:

List your current EDC gear. Don’t lie to yourself.
Just list the things that are covered in the definition above.

Don’t lose this list. We’ll refer to it again later.

Magpul Remington 870 Accessories

Magpul fans rejoice!  Magpul is releasing two accessories for the venerable Remington 870 shotgun.

Here is the forend:

According to Magpul:

The MOE Forend is a drop-in replacement for the standard Remington 870 12 gauge pump, featuring extended length and front/rear hand stops for improved weapon manipulation. Compatible with MOE rails, mounts, and accessories, the MOE Forend adds modularity to the proven Remington 870 platform for sporting use, home defense, or on duty.

More details coming mid-January 2012.

NOTE: Not compatible with the Remington 870 Super Mag.

 

And here is the stock:

According to Magpul:

The SGA Stock is a user-configurable buttstock designed to add much-needed adjustability to the tried and true Remington 870 platform. Featuring a spacer system for length of pull adjustment, improved grip ergonomics, recoil-reducing butt-pad, optional cheek risers for use with optics/raised sights, and other accessories, the SGA 870 brings Magpul design and engineering to another classic American firearm.

More details coming mid-January 2012.

 

Pricing for both of these products is yet to be announced.

Podcast: Preparing for Medical Emergencies

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Doc and Cruz of Rsktkr consulting come on the show to discuss preparation for medical emergencies.

  • How to get the specific training you want
  • How to use politically correct terms to get gunshot wound treatment training
  • Is a combat medical training course recommended for civilians?
  • Varying your preparation according to lifestyle and environment
  • Making sure your family and friends are prepared to help you

Tactical Tomahawks: RMJ Forge Viking Axe

While technically a custom presentation tomahawk and not a “Tactical Tomahawk”, I’ll throw it into the same category because it comes from the amazing guys at RMJ Forge:

This tomahawk was also the result of a commission by 5.11 Tactical for Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics.

According to Military Times Gearscout, this amazing work of art was made from 400 layers of 1095 and A203E steels and has a fire hardened white oak shaft.

Feast your eyes, but don’t expect to get one of your own any time soon.  This was a one-off custom tomahawk.

The amazing photos are from Steve Bell

Tactical Tomahawks: RMJ Forge Berserker

The RMJ Forge Berserker is a custom(non-production) tomahawk made by RMJ Forge for 5.11 Tactical.  It was commissioned by 5.11 for Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics.

According to Military Times Gearscout:

 

The Berserker is made from differentially heat treated 4140 steel. The handles are 3D machined micarta, laced with 2mm accessory cord and laser engraved with Viking runes. RMJ plans on adding the Berserker to their product lineup, though the specs may change a bit.

I love Tactical Tomahawks because of the amazing fusion of things both old and new and the Berserker is a perfect example!

If you want to see it in production soon, be sure to let the guys at RMJ Forge know…

The awesome photos were taken by Steve Bell

Selecting An EDC Flashlight

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David Chow, founder of 4Sevens flashlights comes on the show to discuss the many aspects of an EDC flashlight.

We discuss:

  • The LED revolution
  • Lumen wars – is more really better?
  • Selecting good batteries
  • Advantages of different interfaces
  • and much more!

 

Sunwayman Idea V10R Ti² Collector’s Edition With CREE XM-L

Just found out that Going Gear will have these beautiful collector’s edition lights available on their website at 6PM Eastern Time on Thursday, December 15th

According to the owner of “Going Gear”:

Due to the extremely limited nature and high demand, we will be limiting sales to one light per person/household, meaning you can buy either black or gold. Orders for more than one will be canceled and refunded and you will not have the opportunity to buy another one, so please keep this in mind. Discounts are disabled for both models, but free shipping will still work.

To avoid any issues, these will only be available online. We will not be accepting orders over the phone. Local customers, please order online if you want one and we will hold it in the store for you.

They will be priced a $198 each.

Here are the specs:

  • CREE XM-L U2 LED, with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours;
  • Digital Sensor Magnetic Control system, Infinite Variable Output Switch- slightly twist the Rotator Ring from left to right for Min to Max output.
  • Turbo Mode: 500 Lumens (uses one 16340 battery to drive; Do not run the light continuously at turbo mode for more than 10 minutes.)
  • Max: 210 Lumens (1.5hrs)
  • Min: 1 Lumen (35hrs)
  • Constant current circuit, constant output
  • Effective range of 130 meters
  • Uses one single CR123A (RCR123A/16340) battery
  • Working voltage: 0.9~4.2V
  • High quality reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
  • Dimensions: 82.8mm (length) x 23.2mm (head diameter)
  • Weight: 46g(battery excluded)
  • High-grade Titanium alloy, high-end jewelry level Titanium anodized body
  • Waterproof, in accordance with IPX-8 standard
  • Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
  • Tactical forward click switch with momentary on
  • Tail stand capable- can be used as a candle
  • Accessories: Clip, O-ring, rubber cap, lanyard, holster

Here is the product page:

http://www.sunwayman.com/html/products/201111/68.html

These purchase links won’t be active until 6pm 12-15-2011:

Link for black model

Link for gold model

Here are a few more photos:

Tactical Tomahawks: RMJ Forge Warhammer Prototype

Apparently this is a prototype Warhammer from RMJ Forge.  I love the simple destructive brutality of the “War Hammer.”  I’ll try to get some photos up of the Marsh Titanium WarHammers later.All I have to offer you is this extremely cool photo from the Military Times GearScout Blog.