LALO Tactical Shadow Amphibian Boots

LALO Tactical Shadow Amphibian Boots, Desert Color, MSRP $350.00, www.lalotactical.com

Author: Toby Asplin

Contributor: Eddie Baker

Photos: Shelly Lynn

FTC Disclosure: The product reviewed was provided by the manufacturer/distributor.

Overall Rating:  Four out of five Evil Black Rifles (Five is best.)

Four Rifles

 

Appearance: Three out of Five Evil Black Rifles – Very light desert tan color and 1990’s Reebok/Orthopedic Shoe appearance were off-putting to several reviewers.

Three Rifles

 

Durability: Four out of Five Evil Black Rifles – Handled our usual Trek Tech Black abuse over the course of three months with no signs of undue wear. We believe they would hold up well over longer use as well.

Four Rifles

 

Features: Five out of Five Evil Black Rifles – LOTS of features.

Five Rifles

 

Market Leadership: Five out of Five Evil Black Rifles – Exceptional, market-leading functional design and comfort for a water-oriented boot.

Five Rifles

 

Value: Three out of Five Evil Black Rifles – Relatively high price and narrow niche (water immersion-oriented missions) hurts LALO in this category.

Three Rifles

 

LALO Tactical’s Shadow Amphibian boots may appear to have descended from your mom’s 90’s Reeboks but they’re one of the best tactical boots on the market when it comes to operating in water.

For those familiar with operating in water and wet conditions, you know that there are two basic approaches – attempt to keep your feet completely dry or allow your feet to breathe, drying naturally. There are two flaws in the first approach. First, it is virtually impossible to keep your feet entirely dry, regardless of the technology. Second, dry boot technology tends to hold moisture in preventing the circulation of air and slowing the natural drying process.

Fill 'er up!
Fill ‘er up!

As a part of our testing, we spent time walking in creeks, ponds and lakes, filling the Shadow Amphibians with water to see what would happen. What happened was the water drained out of the boots so quickly that we really couldn’t capture the draining process in a photo.

Drain Vents
External Drain Vents

Even when slightly clogged with mud, the Shadow Amphibians’ external drain vents worked well. As expected, testers feet were wet but the boots drained very quickly. The Amphibians also have drain vents in their insoles.

Internal Drain Vents
Internal Drain Vents

Interestingly, although the boots drain well, the uppers don’t breathe all that well. In normal (dry) operating conditions, most testers experienced a fair amount of trapped perspiration.

Our testers had a few other nits and picks. The “Desert” color of the boots is very light. LALO assured us that the color is “a Pantone from the military and is the tan color that the SEAL Teams use” but it was lighter than other desert boots owned by some of our testers. The light tan color looks almost white in certain lighting conditions giving the boots the appearance of an orthopedic shoe.

The tongue flap (see feature photo) protects the boots’ laces and helps prevent them from coming untied.  A nice feature to be sure.  However, in our testers’ opinions, this feature is not as well-executed as the lace pocket on some of Salomon’s shoes and boots (our benchmark for this feature).

The finger loop on the back of the boots is fairly small. Testers with larger fingers struggled to fully insert their finger into the loop. This, coupled with the lack of a speed lace system, makes the boots a little more difficult than average to put on and take off.

Finger Loop
Finger Loop

Overall, however, our testers’ response to these boots was very positive. The fit was generally good out of the box. The boots are fairly stiff, however, and require some break-in time. That stiffness provides support. One tester took his test pair for a run and stepped in a hole that would normally have resulted in a high ankle sprain. With the Shadow Amphibian’s support, he was none the worse for wear.

The soles of these boots are very quiet on normally squeaky, polished floors. While the tread is not particularly aggressive, the boots provide good traction on frosty grass, water-covered rocks and snowy ground.

Shadow Amphibian Tread
Shadow Amphibian Tread

Even though these boots are relatively stiff, the ankle flexes nicely due to the flex notches fore and aft. They are some of the most comfortable boots we’ve tested when it comes to running. The compression molded insole works well for those with a forefoot-strike running stride.

Rear Flex Notch
Rear Flex Notch
Front Flex Notch
Front Flex Notch

In summary, the LALO Tactical Shadow Amphibian is a superb boot for those who anticipate a good deal of water submersion. Water-based special ops missions, GORUCK events and other similar events would be perfect for these boots. Given the Shadow Amphibians’ price, however, potential buyers should give careful consideration to their intended use before shelling out the dough. Most people don’t really need a boot like this. With that said, if you have the resources, can find a bargain on a site like GovX.com or truly need a boot that handles water immersion well … we highly recommend the Shadow Amphibian.

Hill People Gear Umlindi “Guardian” of Your Gear

Hill People Gear Umlindi Backpack, Two-tone Foliage/Stone, MSRP $220.00, www.hillpeoplegear.com

Author: Toby Asplin

Photos: Shelly Lynn

FTC Disclosure: The products reviewed were provided by the manufacturer/distributor.

“Umlindi” means “guardian”, “watchman” or “caretaker” in Zulu. Hill People Gear’s (HPG) Umlindi backpack will definitely take care of your gear.

The ‘Lindi is HPG’s answer to the largest pack that can be carried without lifter straps.

We received an Umlindi with a Prairie Belt (MSRP: $100.00) for testing. The ‘Lindi’s 500d Cordura construction is an excellent blend of durability and weight-saving construction. Very few people truly need 1000d fabric in their packs. The 500d in the ‘Lindi is certainly adequate for the average sportsman or “evil black” user. We hauled the ‘Lindi around through dense brush, thorns and trees with hardly a blemish.

The lightweight nature of the Umlindi is an excellent foundation for a small hunting pack or larger day pack. It would also make an excellent bug out bag or get home bag.

The Umlindi in its Natural Environment
The Umlindi in its Natural Environment

Organizationally, the Umlindi is simple with a unique external compression strap system intended to work with HPG’s compression panels and stuff sacks. The straps also work well for cinching down virtually any other bulky, lightweight item. We used them for tents, dry bags, shooting mats, sleeping mats and a rifle with good success. The tool loop at the bottom of the pack makes sure heavier loads don’t slip out of the compression straps.

The Umlindi's Compression Straps Work Well for Securing Loads Outside the Pack
The Umlindi’s Compression Straps Work Well for Securing Loads Outside the Pack
Handy Tool Loop
Handy Tool Loop

The Umlindi also has dual “wand” (side) pockets large enough for a one quart USGI canteen. They also work well with 1.5 liter thermoses as pictured in our feature photo.

The Umlindi’s interior is comprised of a single cargo area with a half-depth slot pocket on the back side of the pack. Organization is left almost entirely to the user. We used dry bags and stuff sacks to keep our gear stashed just the way we wanted.

It took a bit of work and some experimentation to get the Umlindi’s harness adjusted properly. It’s a great harness but the configuration is somewhat unique. Adjustment is done by shortening or lengthening the upper and lower straps. Other packs have simpler adjustment methods but once the harness is dialed in, there’s no muss or fuss.

The Umlindi's Harness with its Unique Size Adjustment System
The Umlindi’s Harness with its Unique Size Adjustment System

The shoulder straps are nice and flat. They work well for shouldering a rifle while wearing the pack but do not provide a great deal of padding. The width of the shoulder straps spreads the pack’s weight, however, making it relatively comfortable with heavy loads.

Wide Harness Straps Spread the Weight of Loads Nicely
Wide Harness Straps Spread the Weight of Loads Nicely

Due to the combination of the pack’s removable plastic framesheet and the wide straps, we found that loads as heavy as 50 lbs were fairly comfortable – even without the Prairie Belt.

One of the features that we really liked was the external pocket for the hydration bladder. So many packs hide the hydration bladder inside the main section of the pack. This makes removal and refilling a pain. The Umlindi’s hydration bladder pocket is separate from the main cargo compartment, right next to the wearer’s back. An Osprey bladder with a center structural support slid easily in and out of the Umlindi’s hydration pocket.

Easy Access to the Hydration Bladder Pocket
Easy Access to the Hydration Bladder Pocket

Overall, the Umlindi is a high-quality pack that’s easily configurable to meet multiple needs. One of our testers even used it as a carry on bag on a recent trip. The bag fits perfectly in even the smaller, regional jets’ overhead bins and can be stuffed under a seat if absolutely necessary.

GLOCK Releases Single Stack 9mm

SMYRNA, Ga – (Mar. 20, 2015)  – Today GLOCK, Inc. announced the release of the new GLOCK single stack slimline 9mm pistol, the GLOCK 43. The G43 is the most highly desired and anticipated pistol release in GLOCKs history. Designed to be the answer to everyday concealed carry needs, the G43 is ultra-concealable, accurate, and comfortable for all shooters, regardless of hand size.

“The G43 is the most exciting product release to date because it addresses a variety of issues that many shooters face with pistols in the concealed carry category,” stated GLOCK, Inc., VP Josh Dorsey. “It will be the pistol of choice for law enforcement and civilians. The G43 sets a new standard for concealed carry pistols.”

A true slimline pistol, the frame width of the G43 is just over one inch and the slide width measures only 0.87 inch. The overall length is 6.26 inches. For those who have smaller hands, the trigger distance is only 2.6 inches, making it ideal for functionality. The single stack magazine holds 6 rounds and is the perfect concealed carry pistol for both duty and civilian use. The G43 is engineered to the same superior standards as all GLOCK pistols and the reliability instills confidence for all lifestyles.

The G43 will debut at the NRA Annual Meeting, April 10-12, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn., at the GLOCK booth (#633).  Shipments of the product will begin directly following the convention.

DOJ Will Not Prosecute Darren Wilson

Editorial:

A lot of citizens, so called community leaders, celebrities, NFL players and elected officials owe former officer Darren Wilson a heartfelt apology this morning . . .

DOJ Will Not Prosecute Former Ferguson Police Officer, Darren Wilson

As for Department of Justice (DOJ) accusations against the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department:

There can be no excuse for bigoted e-mails or ticket quotas, but Eric Holder argues a 67% African-American population juxtaposed against a 93% arrest rate for blacks the last two years proves a systemic pattern of bias and draconian behavior. That is a major logical leap. A two year sample is, by any measure, too small a sample to draw such sweeping conclusions.

For five years in the early to mid-90s, I worked a beat in the now razed Hilltop and Pleasantview projects of Omaha, NE. My fellow officers and I frequently floated from area to area following the local crime patterns under the supervision of then Sergeant Eric Buske.

According to data from the 1990 Census Bureau, Omaha was comprised of 13.1 percent African-Americans in the years I worked northeast. While my partner and I encountered a few whites and Latinos on our beat, I would conservatively estimate my arrest rate was 90% or more African-American during my tenure in North O.

According to Holder’s dubious standard of proof, I am (or was) a bigoted cop who allowed my biases against blacks to govern the way I policed.

That is bullshit of the highest order.

I caught my share of citizen complaints working the tougher parts of the city. It’s the nature of the beast. If you assert yourself and pursue the criminal element with abandon and zeal complaints will follow. In all the years worked, all the contacts made, all the tickets written and arrests effected, I had only one citizen’s complaint sustained against me – one for using coarse, profane language during a fight with a suspect. (A white suspect) I admitted to the lapse of professionalism and took my medicine for it.

Figures lie and liars figure. There are surely some very fine police officers in and around Ferguson. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Ares Armor Acquired by Lake House Capital Management

Lake House Capital Management, LLC, a Hinsdale, Illinois-based holding company is pleased and proud to announce it has acquired all the assets of Lycurgan, Inc., (doing business as Ares Armor). Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed at this time.

U.S. Marine, Dimitri Karras, who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, founded Ares Armor in 2010. Headquartered in Oceanside, California, Ares Armor is the leading supplier of 80 percent lower receivers, and develops and manufactures high quality American-made firearm parts to legally build your own weapons. The business also proudly develops, manufactures, and sells innovative tactical gear, combat body armor, and more.

“We thank and respect Dimitri Karras for his patriotism, service, and defense of our country and its Constitution,” says new Ares Armor CEO, Bryce Stirlen. “We value his vision and efforts with Ares Armor, and truly wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Ares Armor customers can expect to experience no disruption in quality or service during the management transition. But like when anyone buys a house, Lake House Capital Management has much it loves about Ares Armor, but also has some areas where it wants to make changes and add its own touches.


“Great people and great products have built Ares Armor into the successful business it is today,” adds Stirlen, a gun enthusiast, husband, and father. “Our main focus is to now build a better foundation to support the explosive growth the Company is experiencing. That said, to be clear, one area where we will not waver is in loyal defense of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and protecting the rights of all Americans to bear arms. We are very excited about an even brighter future for Ares Armor, and believe our customers will be excited about it, too.”

BATFE Seeks Ban of M855 Ball Ammunition

It’s still early in 2015 but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is on a roll. They’ve already implemented a major change, by executive action, to the definition of activities that constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms and reversed their position on firing a shouldered “pistol.”

Now, BATFE has reversed their position on the M855 ammunition that we’ve all been feeding our AR-15’s for years.

Previously, the BATFE had ruled that M855 ammunition was “armor piercing” but granted the projectile an exception because it was “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.”

A 1986 federal law prohibits the manufacture, importation and sale of “armor piercing” ammunition by licensed manufacturers or importers that may be used in a handgun. Because there are handguns capable of firing M855, it “may be used in a handgun.” However, the definition of a prohibited “armor piercing” projectile is a “projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely … from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, berylium copper or depleted uranium.” M855 has a traditional lead core with a steel tip. It should never have been designated as “armor piercing” in the first place.

Suddenly, M855 (in the evil black rifle minds of the current administration and BATFE) is no longer “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.” Never mind that M855 has been “intended to be used for sporting purposes” since the 1986 ruling on “armor piercing” rounds.

To be clear, BATFE’s decision on M855 (and SS109) has already been made. They are not currently seeking input on the decision to reclassify these projectiles, merely on how to implement their removal from the civilian market.

Just one more infringement through executive action ….

Nightstick Announces SLR-2120 Under Hood Work Light

February 2015 | Wylie, TX

www.baycoproducts.com

Nightstick® has announced its SLR-2120 rechargeable work light. This light debuted at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas where we had an opportunity to take a cursory look. The concept is intriguing whether you’re working on your Kia in your garage or your Deuce and a Half in Afghanistan.

The SLR-2120 features a tubular-shaped LED light bar powered by an industry leading lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The light produces 1200 Lumens in full-power mode and 650 Lumens in (a little more than) half-power mode.

 

Nightstick SLR-2120 Switch
Nightstick SLR-2120 Switch

While the SLR-2120 Under Hood Work Light is purpose built as an all LED, hands-free floodlight for the automobile enthusiast, this rechargeable work light comes with an adjustable cradle that has a pair of spring-loaded, foam-covered grippers that will extend 48”-77” to fit on the underside of virtually any automobile hood. The light bar is then free to rotate 360 degrees to place the lighting exactly where it’s needed. The dual on/off buttons, one located on each of the two handles, operate in tandem with each other. One press of either button turns the light on in Full-power Mode, a second press and you’re in Half-power Mode and then a third press, turns the light off.

Nightstick SLR-2120 Magnets
Nightstick SLR-2120 Magnets
Nightstick SLR-2120 Hook
Nightstick SLR-2120 Hook

Click here for the full media release.

SHplates Steel Rucking Plate

SHplates 35 lb Rucking Plate, MSRP $140.00 (as tested)

www.shplates.com

Author: Toby Asplin

Photos: Toby Asplin

FTC Disclosure: The products reviewed were provided by the manufacturer/distributor.

Strength and Honor. SHplates calls to memory the characteristics of fallen brothers in arms while providing a weighty burden for your good livin’.

You can order your SHplate etched with virtually anything.
You can order your SHplate etched with virtually anything.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “You’re reviewing a steel plate? What is there to say?” It’s steel. It’s a plate and it’s relatively heavy for its size.

End of review? Not quite.

As the popularity of rucking (carrying a ruck sack for exercise, competition or a team-focused event like GORUCK) has grown, so has the market for weights to be carried in one’s ruck. Early options included bricks, often culled from abandoned job sites or found on Craigslist, sandbags or the gear you might utilize during the event for which you were training.

All those things were fine, with a few exceptions. Most, however, left you with little room for anything else in your ruck.

Enter steel plates.

The down side to steel plates was that many of the originals had sharp edges. Some still do. Sharp edges and ruck material – even the toughest of ruck material – don’t play well together. The steel always wins.

Rich Sanders, of Pittsburgh, PA (the steel city, of course) had a better idea – a plate with rounded edges and a coating to keep it from rusting.

Combined with the USPS’s “If it fits, it ships” service offering, a business was born.

Expect your SHplate to arrive looking something like this
Expect your SHplate to arrive looking something like this

SHplates provided Trek Tech Black with a 35 lb plate specifically intended to be carried in the laptop compartment of the GORUCK GR0 and make weight for GORUCK Selection.

When the plate arrived at my house, my mother in-law was staying with us. As I walked in the door after work, she said, “There’s a package on the front step and I couldn’t move it.” I knew, instantly, that the SHplate had arrived. Expect similar responses from mail room workers if you have your plate shipped to your place of business.

Shortly after the plate arrived, I loaded it up and went for a nice little ruck.

The plate is a tight fit in the GR0’s laptop compartment. While it may be a little difficult to close the zipper on the compartment, the tight fit is appreciated when doing PT with the ruck on one’s back. The plate doesn’t shift or move around at all.

While carrying bricks during training and in previous events, I had utilized a pack with compression straps to hold the bricks in place. Even when duct taped together, the bricks moved around quite a bit without the compression straps. The combination of this particular SHplate and the GORUCK GR0 alleviated the need for compression straps.

SHplate's 35 lb plate is a tight fit in the GR0's laptop compartment
SHplate’s 35 lb plate is a tight fit in the GR0’s laptop compartment

Once we figured out a technique for zipping the laptop compartment shut with the plate inside, it was relatively easy to get the plate in and out of the ruck.

Slip your index finger under the zipper and stretch it over the plate
Slip your thumb under the GR0’s laptop compartment zipper and stretch it over the plate

Our technique is as follows:

  1. Open the laptop compartment and drop in the plate
  2. Grasp the fabric and zipper of the deeper side of the laptop compartment, near the corner, between your thumb and forefinger (thumb inside the compartment)
  3. Stretch the fabric and zipper over the plate
  4. Zip the compartment closed while holding the fabric and zipper in place

After about a month and a half of use, I haven’t seen any damage to the laptop compartment or its zipper.

In the GR0, the plate carries close to the back without causing discomfort.

We tried the plate in a couple different, similarly-sized packs. The fit wasn’t as perfect as in the GR0. The plate tended to shift around a bit more – even with compression straps.

If you’re looking at GORUCK Selection … or for a training solution for any other ruck event … and own a GORUCK GR0, we’re confident that the SHplates 35 lb plate will serve you well. With the optional etching, you’ll also be in compliance with special operations forces Rule #1: Always look cool.

SHOT Show Coverage Day 3

Day 3 started at the Nightstick booth. Marketing Manager, Russell Hoppe walked us through the Nightstick line and demonstrated some of the unique features of their lights. Nightstick offers a mid-priced lineup of lights for military, law enforcement, marine and intrinsically safe uses.

NightStick Dual Light Technology
Nightstick Dual Light Technology
NightStick's Side Light
Nightstick’s Side Light

Much of the morning was spent focused on light. From the Nightstick booth, we went to the SureFire booth to see what was new. Their 2211 Luminox Wrist Light caught our eye. The multi-output light (300, 60 and 15 lumens) utilizes an internal Li-ion battery and is always at hand, so to speak.

Surefire 2211 Wrist Light
Surefire 2211 Wrist Light

After the SureFire booth, it was off to see Princeton Tec. They showed us their new lineup of evil black, rail-mounted lights including the little guy, called the Switch Rail, pictured below. The Switch Rail is a low-signature, weapon mounted task light designed for navigation, signature reduction, stealth structure search and breaching operations.

Petzl's Newest Tactical, Rail Mounted Light
Princeton Tec’s Newest Tactical, Rail Mounted Light the Switch Rail

From Princeton Tec, we went to check out the LensLight booth. They’re offering a number of new finishes on their aluminum-body lights in 2015. Many of these finishes were available previously on their titanium lights but are now available at a lower price point for those who don’t need or can’t afford the titanium versions.

LensLight's New Finishes on their Aluminum Body Lights
LensLight’s New Finishes on their Aluminum Body Lights

Source Hydration was showing off their new civilian line of gear as well as their new low profile bladders. We’re looking forward to getting one of their new, small runner packs to review in the not-too-distant future.

The New Source Hydration Low Profile 3 Liter Bladder
The New Source Hydration Low Profile 3 Liter Bladder

We also stopped in to see our friends at Hill People Gear. They showed us their new Heavy Recon Kit Bag with “all the tacticool features in a mid-volume Kit Bag.”

Hill People Gear Heavy Recon Kit Bag
Hill People Gear Heavy Recon Kit Bag Front
Hill People Gear Heavy Recon Kit Bag Interior
Hill People Gear Heavy Recon Kit Bag Interior

As we wandered around a bit, we came across a couple things that every evil black household needs …

QinetiQ's Dragon Runner Unmanned Ground Robot
QinetiQ’s Dragon Runner Unmanned Ground Robot
Zero Motorcycles' Electric Motorcycle
Zero Motorcycles’ Electric Motorcycle

We found a nice little knife from Fox Knives – the Dart. The Dart has a ring utilized to draw the knife out of one’s pocket. As the knife is drawn out of the pocket, a hook on the back of the blade catches on the pocket and flips open the blade.

Fox Knives' Dart
Fox Knives’ Dart
The Dart's Pocket Catch/Blade Flip Hook
The Dart’s Pocket Catch/Blade Flip Hook
Fox Knives' Dart's Draw Ring
The Dart’s Draw Ring

Spiderco has a couple new offerings at each end of the scale. On the Sunday Barbeque end of the scale is the new Rubicon flipper. The CPM S30V blade is broad with a hollow grind. The carbon fiber scales glisten in the light like a trout in a mountain lake.

Spiderco's Rubicon Flipper
Spiderco’s Rubicon Flipper

At the other end of the “fancy” scale is the new Dog Tag Folder. Utilitarian and intended to be hidden away rather than shown off, the titanium Dog Tag is reminiscent of the old school “hideout” knives issued to clandestine operatives.

Spiderco's Dog Tag Folder
Spiderco’s Dog Tag Folder
Spiderco's Dog Tag Folder
Spiderco’s Dog Tag Folder

As the end of the day grew near, we passed a booth that made us think for a moment that we had somehow walked into the wrong trade show. (We’ll let you guess which trade show, running concurrent with SHOT, we thought it was.)

Manta has taken a very interesting approach to suppressor wraps and extended the design into a variety of weapon accessories … and other items.

Manta Suppressor Covers
Manta Suppressor Covers
Manta Grip Sleeves & Suppressor Cover
Manta Grip Sleeves & Suppressor Cover
Manta Tactical Beverage Holder
Manta Tactical Beverage Holder

We finished up the day with Tom Fuller, of Armageddon Gear, and Dave Steinbach, of Valhalla Training Academy, who, incidentally, were the winning team at last year’s Competition Dynamics Sniper Adventure Challenge. Based on our conversation with Tom, you can expect some new and different things from Armageddon in the not-too-distant future.

That’s a wrap. We’re done with SHOT until next year. We hope you enjoyed the coverage and sign up (Subscribe on left margin) to receive notice when we publish new articles.

SHOT Show 2015 Coverage Day 2

Day two of SHOT continued, for us, with back-to-back meetings.

We started the day with Tim Matter and Chris Wood of Tactical Walls. They showed us their new drop-down shelf product and introduced us to David Roberts of Tennessee Arms Company. Tennessee Arms produced polymer lowers for AR-15’s. David claims to do one thing and do it very well. He also suggested that their hybrid, nylon-brass lowers can withstand far more abuse than poly lowers of the past. Tennessee Arm’s lowers are made of nylon with a brass inserts in the buffer tower and pistol grip. The basic lower weighs in at 5.6 oz, lists for $46.73 and is available in black, flat dark earth, rifle green, OD green, stealth gray and pink.

Tennessee Arms Nylon-Brass Hybrid Lower Receiver
Tennessee Arms Nylon-Brass Hybrid Lower Receiver
Marine Grade Brass Reinforcement in the Buffer Tower
Marine Grade Brass Reinforcement in the Buffer Tower

Shortly after leaving the Tactical Walls/Tennesee Arms booth, we came across one of our dedicated readers.

Tacticool Ted
Tacticool Ted

After pulling ourselves away from Ted, we stopped by the CRKT booth to see what was new. A couple of their fixed-blade knives caught our eyes.

Designed by Lucas Burnley, the ACHI’s understated elegance drew us in to striking distance. The ACHI is designed to be a traditional utility/EDC knife with an intriguing shape and design. The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV. The knife is 6.25″ long and weighs a scant 2.8 oz. With a price point of just $59.99, we predict the ACHI will become a fan favorite.

SHOT Show 2015
CRKT ACHI

Just down the display row from the ACHI was the Yukanto, designed by James Williams. With a twist on Osaraku style, William’s blade is made for fighting and designed with our special operations forces in mind. The name means “sword of valor.” The blade is made of AUS 8 steel and powder coated black. The knife is 8.69″ long with a weight of 3.9 oz. The G10 handle, with its unique X pattern, felt secure in our hands if, perhaps, a little small.

CRKT Yukanto
CRKT Yukanto

The VertX booth was next. They announced their new Core Casual Pants on Day 1 of the show. With an even lower profile than most of their pants, the Core should feel right at home in the casual office environment. All of the typical VertX features were there. The 9 oz, 98% cotton/2% Lycra fabric also seems like a good fit for an urban/sub-urban environment.

VertX Core Casual Pants
VertX Core Casual Pants

Next up – one of our show favorites. RISE Armament President Chris Barger thinks that his new RA-535 drop-in trigger is the “Ferrari of triggers.” You know what? He may just be right. The trigger has an exceptionally fast reset, nearly nonexistent over-travel and a smooth, crisp, light trigger pull. At $259.00, the RA-535 is smack-dab in the middle of the price range for high quality, drop-in AR triggers with what felt like a bit of a performance edge.

RISE Armament RA-535 Trigger
RISE Armament RA-535 Trigger

One of the themes of the show, in terms of backpacks, seems to be the “covert” AR-15 pack. While we’re confused by the term “covert” as it relates to these packs (What exactly are people supposed to think is in these packs, tennis racquets … violins … really long books?) we have to admit, they do have a niche. Eberlestock was certainly one of the earliest companies to understand that niche and provide a product. With their history in Olympic shooting, Eberlestock has been making packs to carry rifles during competitions and hunts for years. Their Cherry Bomb and Secret Weapon packs are no exception.

Eberlestock's Cherry Bomb & Secret Weapon Packs
Eberlestock’s Cherry Bomb & Secret Weapon Packs

Most of Eberlestocks new products this year are targeted at the hunting market. Their F1-Mainframe is their latest innovation in hunting packs. A basic frame system that can be configured in one of more than 100 combinations, the Mainframe allows the hunter to go light, capable, comfortable or all of the above. You can even haul a cooler in/on this pack.

Eberlestock F1-Mainframe
Eberlestock F1-Mainframe
If you're up to it ... you can carry a cooler on the Mainframe.
If you’re up to it … you can carry a cooler on the Mainframe.

Sneaky Bags and Arc’Teryx also appear to be getting into the “covert” AR-15 backpack game.

Sneaky Bags CRB-36
Sneaky Bags CRB-36
Arc'Teryx Rifle Bag
Arc’Teryx Rifle Bag

We’ve done a couple reviews that included the MDT LSS precision rifle chassis. They had their new, skeletonized stock, polymer magazine and HS3 chassis at the show.

MDT Skeletonized Stock & Polymer Magazine
MDT Skeletonized Stock & Polymer Magazine
MDT HS3 Rifle Chassis
MDT HS3 Rifle Chassis

Based on the products at this year’s SHOT, the “gunderwear” (Our term. So far, we haven’t seen a product with this name … thankfully.) category of concealed carry wear is hot.

Riddle's Packin' Tee for Men
Riddle’s Packin’ Tee for Men
Riddle's Packin' Tee for (Certain) Women
Riddle’s Packin’ Tee for (Certain) Women
Undertech's Dual-wielding Drawers
Undertech’s Dual-wielding Drawers

On the other end of the “I Might Actually Wear This” spectrum were Kitanica’s denim jeans. Built to withstand the same abuse as Kitanica’s other clothing, these jeans looked both comfortable and durable. The multicam pocket liners were a big hit.

Kitanica Jeans Multcam Pocket Liner
Kitanica Jeans Multcam Pocket Liner
SHOT Show 2015
Kitanica Jeans Rear View
SHOT Show 2015
Kitanica Jeans Front View

We had a really good discussion with the founder of Flashbang Holsters, Lisa Looper. She showed us their latest release, the Audrey. The Audrey was designed for ladies with “some extra curves” and can be worn strong-side with a reverse cant or weak side for a cross-draw.

Flashbang Holsters' Audrey Show in the Cross-Draw Position
Flashbang Holsters’ Audrey Shown in the Cross-Draw Position

Mesa Tactical was also very hospitable, walking us through their entire line. New for this year is their adapter for the FN SCAR that allows virtually any AR-15 stock to be used with the Belgian rifle.

Mesa Tactical FN SCAR AR-15 Stock Adapter
Mesa Tactical FN SCAR AR-15 Stock Adapter

That’s it for today. Stay tuned for another update on day three of the show.

Evil Black Missions & Gear