Back in June we gave you a list of 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed. Well, we’ve been looking around and found five more things you probably didn’t know you needed.
Blackbeard Auto-Resetting System for AR-Style Rifles
Looking at the cost of .223 ammo still gives me pause, especially in this economy. Shooting you’re favorite AR-style rifle is great fun but also does great damage to your wallet. Enter the Blackbeard from Mantis.
The Blackbeard is an auto-resetting trigger system that is easy to use. Simply insert the replacement magazine – which holds NO ammo – and the replacement bolt carrier/charging handle unit. The magazine unit contains the battery which is good for 50,000 shots, while the bolt carrier/charging handle unit contains an optional laser indicator. You can choose from Red, Green or Infrared.
Cost of ammo, and inflation in general, has made the Blackbeard from Mantis and essential training aid. Photo by P. Erhardt
The beauty of the system is that it allows you to dryfire practice without the headache of having the run the charging handle to reset the trigger. The Blackbeard resets your trigger automatically, at a rate of up to 10 shots per minute, allowing you to run shooting drills and exercises without ever firing a single round of ammunition. The laser indicator, which can be adjusted to co-witness with your sights or optic, shows you where you’re hitting.
The Blackbeard gives you quality time behind your gun, your trigger and your sights, just without burning your ammo. The Blackbeard retails for $199 to $249 depending on which laser option you go with. For even more training support, check out their BlackbeardX which combines the Blackbeard with the MantisX smart sensor that provides feedback through their app.
Optic Tools from Patriot Products AZ
Ever find yourself on the range needing to adjust your optic but you don’t have the right tool handy, so you dig through your pockets looking for a penny or dime hoping that does the trick?
Me neither. But a “friend of mine” had that happen. Lucky for him his range buddy carried a Combat Sight Tool. Designed by Freddie Blish of Patriot Products AZ, the patented Combat Sight Tool is easily carried in your pocket, or within AR grips made by MagPul, BCM, Tango Down, and others.
Patriot Products AZ offers three tools to fit your needs: the Combat Sight Tool, Combat Optic Tool and Hunting Optic Tool. They even offer a Kydex Sheath ($9.95) for the Combat Sight Tool. Photos by Yamil Sued
It’s a handy and versatile tool. It features a 3/8” and 10mm box wrench, a 1/2” open face wrench, and a 1/4” Hexagon hole that can be used as a T-Handle wrench for Torx, Hex, and screwdriver bits.
With it you can adjust windage and elevation on Aimpoint CompM, M2, M3, M4 and Micro T-1 sights, EOTech sights, Trijicon ACOG RCO, MRO, RMR sights, Leupold LCO, D-EVO and DeltaPoints, as well as adjust the factory mounts for ACOGs, EOTechs, and Leupolds.
The punch can adjust elevation and windage on A1/A2, Troy, MBUS, and similar iron sights. It also aids in the take down of your AR.
You can also use it to access and remove optic batteries such as the 2032.
And, more importantly, it serves as an emergency life saving device, opening your favorite beverage when you’re dying of thirst.
There are three models available, and with a price range of $14.95 to $19.95 there is no reason not to have one on you the next time you head to the range.
If the Poseidon Pro from Dark Energy doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not alone. I stumbled on Dark Energy through, of all places, LinkedIn. Connecting with one of their execs, I learned about their products, which includes Lightning Cables wrapped in 20 feet of 550lb certified paracord – a useful piece of gear for any sportsman or woman ($27.99).
Another product is their Poseidon Pro ($119.99), which is a very lightweight and durable battery charger. Now, I know what you’re thinking, another power bank, ‘whoopty-doo.’ And I was thinking the exact same thing until it was explained to me that Dark Energy designs and tests their chargers for the long, hard haul.
Armored and waterproof, the Poseidon Pro is a beast of a power pack, designed to survive out on the ruggedest of trails. And yes, it came with a 3ft Armored USB-C cable and their 5-in-1 Multi-Tool Carabiner Pro. Photo by P. Erhardt
In fact, Dark Energy has Poseidon Pro test batteries that have now held a charge in standby going on 8 and a half years. And with an operating temp that runs from -20F to 120F, they are ideal for the bug out bag, the car, or hunting camp.
Living in Arizona the idea of storing one in the car loses a lot of appeal when summer heat routinely exceeds 110F, outside the car. But having one handy should the power go out is a good idea.
Dark Energy will soon release their Spectre solar panel. The website notes it weighs 70-75% less than average 18W solar panes and “nearly 70% more reliable in extremely rough scenarios.”
The combination of a Poseidon Pro, Lightning to USB-C cable (they also off a USB-C to USB-C version), and a portable Spectre solar panel that only adds 0.6 lbs, or 272g, to the bug out bag seems like a good place to start investing your emergency preparedness gear.
MTM 10/22 Rotary Mag Case
When you stumble, or nearly so, over one of Ruger’s 10/22 rotary mags sitting on the floor of a room you store stuff in, it’s time you find a better storage solution…one that doesn’t collect dust, like the floor.
You own a 10/22? Then you have extra mags, and will probably buy more. Do yourself a favor and store them like you care about your gear. Photo by P. Erhardt
MTM Case-Gard makes a clear-smoke plastic case that holds up to six Ruger 10/22 rotary magazines, including 17HMR and 22WMR magazines. The container is stackable, making storage in your safe, gun room or on your work bench shelf a no-brainer.
It’s not an overly elaborate or complicated product. It’s a case with a design straight out of the ‘keep it simple, stupid’ playbook – and it works great. Having one on-hand made a recent decision to order a three-pack of additional Ruger 10/22 mags really easy, knowing I had a place to store them.
If you own a 10/22, or one of the clones that utilizes Ruger’s rotary magazine, and you don’t own one of these MTM 10/22 Rotary Mag Cases, then you are missing out. More so considering the MSRP is only $7.25.
Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce
You probably already have a favorite hot sauce or two or ten. I have Sriracha (Huy Fong only, natch), Tabasco, Tapatio and Cholula within easy reach, and I go through large bottles of these on a fairly regular basis.
You might have one or two of these yourself, but there are countless other brands, especially the small brands you find marketed as novelty hot sauces with ridiculous names to match their ridiculous heat levels.
One brand, a serious brand, I suggest you consider adding to your pantry is Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce. I came across them while attending the Mid-States Rendezvous trade show. A family recipe, their original flavor hot sauce was developed in the Philippines when the matriarch of the family was growing up. It was her son who found some bottles of the original sample recipes and realized they had a hot sauce business in their future, and thus Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce was born.
Maybe it’s the family recipe and the influences of Filipino cuisine, or perhaps it’s the adherence to using all natural ingredients, whatever it is that makes a hot sauce good, Lola’s got it. Photo by P. Erhardt
I picked up a bottle of their limited batch Mango Ginger Scotch Bonnet, and let me tell you, it’s fantastic. They also offer a Carolina Reaper, Ghost Pepper, Trinidad Scorpion, Buffa-Lola, Green Jalapeño & Serrano, and a limited batch Family Reserve, which is a hotter version of their signature original flavor.
Despite the peppers listed in the names, none of their sauces are overpowering in their heat, so the flavor profile really shines through. The best part is they are all natural sauces. The ingredients for the Trinidad Scorpion sauce are simple, just red jalapeños, trinidad scorpion peppers, garlic, lime juice, vinegar and salt. And if you look at the nutrition label you’ll be struck by how many zeros there are.
A 5 oz bottle will run you $5.99, with a bottle of their limited batch Family Reserve going for $14.99.
I tested a couple of the Lola’s offerings, and of the three or four I tried I’d definitely recommend each. Lola’s might not be a brand you’re familiar with, but trust me, don’t sleep on these hot sauces.
Pssst…they also make a Southern Jalapeño Bloody Mary Mix, for those of you of the tailgating persuasion.
— Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network