August 17, 2015
Gadgets & Gizmos
One of the advantages of doing what I do for a living is the opportunity to see a lot of the very latest equipment before it's formally announced. It's also one of the downsides of what I do. But the downside doesn't begin to diminish the fun of the early preview opportunities.
What because absolutely means is an instant spot inspection when I show up at an event as a competitor or hunter. Some guys who know me discretely eyeball my gear to see if there's anything new. Those who know me really well tend to start rummaging around in my gear bag like they have permission.
If I have something new, I don't mind. Seldom do I mind. But I do take great pleasure in hiding new stuff in plain sight. It's easier than most people think because there are certain items people expect to see.
Today, a quick look at a few small items that I have taken a big liking to.
According to the company, it's capable of holding up to ten pounds, but I've never really tested it by hanging a firearm or anything heavier than a full magazine on it. But I have put mags on it, forgotten they were there and gone about my business until I happen to realize it's still there.
The creator of these ingenious little clips is a police detective and found in his work the occasional need to securely hold something while performing his duties. In his line of work, those "somethings" were frequently knives of small guns, so he started thinking about something that would hold an object without being obvious when it wasn't needed.
Enter the Magnetactical belt clip. And the company website (www.magnetactical.com) has testimonials from other officers who've found it useful for them as well.
Fortunately, my work doesn't involve those sorts of situations, but I have used it to hold pistol magazines, drill bits, small tools and the assorted nuts, bolts and washers I normally try to juggle when I find myself in need of a third hand when there's not a tabletop available.
If you think it might be something you'd use, you can check out their website and save a few bucks. Yesterday, when making certain they're still offering their clips, I discovered they're now being offered in three colors (black, sand and olive drab) for $24.99, not the original $35 MSRP. I had a pair, but gave the second to a young man who loves to shoot, but has the challenge of only having one arm. He says it helps -immensely.
It looks like a shooting stick gun rest. Except it's not. It's designed to be used in a more "natural" situations -like a shooting bench when sighting in or the rail of a tree stand. It's plastic and rubber, but has sturdy adjustments that allow you to get it to "just the right height" for wherever you're shooting. In fact, I used the nylon strap on top to put it across the top of my AR and use it as an impromptu monopod. I wouldn't recommend it as a replacement, but it did the job when I decided to give it a try.
It's so new that the only place I've found it for sale was Amazon, but it is there for $24.99 and has gotten four 5-star reviews from other users.
They're not as inexpensive as a rubber band or a roll of tape, but at $4.50 for either an 8 or 12-inch strap, a pair of them isn't a bad use for a $10 bill. You can get them at www.tacshield.com or from Amazon -although the seller there was asking $6.79 (caveat emptor, right?).
There's more hiding in that range bag, but I don't want to give away all my secrets before next month's Starlight 3 Gun Championships (as if any piece of gear could save me)...so watch this space.