New BulletSafe Body Armor and Rifle Plates

BulletSafe Vest Close

Prior to a large event, we receive a hard-drive-punishing flow of emailed product press releases.  My interest was piqued by a bullet resistant vest company that promised what I thought was a typographical error for their MSRP.  I would definitely be paying a visit to the BulletSafe booth at SHOT Show 2014.

At the Show, I met Tom Nardone, BulletSafe’s company president, in their small space at an off-the-main-floor Law Enforcement Vendors ballroom.  Not shy, I had to ask right out of the gate, “Why are your ballistic vests so inexpensive?”  At a suggested retail price of just $299.00, BulletSafe’s Level IIIA protection brought out the skeptic in me.

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SWAT Attitude

A Few Words on the SWAT Attitude…

I have lately been talking with a few SWAT guys about their perspectives of their tactical teams. While I won’t go into politics or particulars, I will say a central theme in my many discussions has revolved around attitude.

Not as in Attitude with a capital “I’m a badass SWAT guy, so blah, blah, blah.”  Attitude, as it relates to a positive approach to training for and execution of high-risk operations.  A shared bad morale will destroy a Team from the inside out.

SWAT art

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Viridian TacLoc Holster

At the Viridian Green Laser Sights booth at SHOT Show 2012, Aaron and I got a look at Viridian’s new TacLoc holster, which is specifically designed to work in conjunction with Viridian handgun-mounted C5, C5L, and X5L green lasers.

Viridian Owner Tom Otteson gave us an impromptu demo of the TacLoc holster and their new X5L green laser/light/strobe combo.  Thanks, Tom for taking one for the team!

The innovative twist here is that the holster can activate the green laser/light upon draw and deactivate it when re-holstered.  Viridian calls this their ECR, or enhanced combat readiness design.  The user sets the C5 or X5 in the desired mode:  laser, light, laser and light, laser and strobing light, or strobing light and the TacLoc turns the unit on in that setting when the gun is withdrawn.  Replacing the gun turns off the unit.

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Appeals Court Rejects Qualified Immunity in K9 Dog Bite Case

K9 policeThe U. S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit considered an appeal in the Florida case of Edwards vs. Shanley and Lovette (11-11512) that involves the question of whether officers are granted qualified immunity when a Police K9 bites a suspect for five to seven minutes during an arrest.

In this incident, Orlando Police Ofc. Justin Lovette initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Colin Edwards on the night of 12/17/2008.  Lovette observed Edwards run a stop sign.  Edwards pulled over, but then fled on foot from Lovette because Edwards knew he had a suspended driver’s license.

Lovette called for back-up and Orlando K9 Ofc. Bryan Shanley arrived with K9 Roscoe.  Roscoe tracked Edwards a half mile and into an open field where Edwards said he laid on the ground prone with his arms spread.

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Spyderco OpFocus Catalog for Those Duty-Bound

Spyderco, Inc. has come out with a special on-line Flip Book and PDF catalog designed specifically “for the duty-bound armed professional, first responder, martial artist, or defense-minded civilian.”  It is called OpFocus.

Spyderco OpFocus

OpFocus developed by Spyderco Special Projects Coordinator Michael Janich.  I caught up with him at SHOT Show and he was very proud to have written the catalog.  He said it reflected the high quality and responsiveness of the brand.

From its text, “This “Operational Focus” is designed to highlight the mission-oriented tactical applications of our products and enable you to quickly and easily compare them to choose the knives that best meet your needs. The products featured in OpFocus were specifically chosen because of their relevance to this defined focus.”

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New Bust a Cap Strike Bezel for Surefire

Todd Summers, inventor of the Bust a Cap window breaker for batons and flashlights, has a new product that debuted at SHOT Show 2012.  He was kind enough to give us a short video.  It is a Bust a Cap crenellated bezel for Surefire flashlights.  He said it will fit four models:  P6, G2, Z2, and C2.

Bust a Cap products are already available for 15 different models of batons and lights made by ASP, Streamlight, and Maglite.  Because Surefire lights have a tail-cap activation button, standard Bust a Cap ends were not compatible.  Problem solved!

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SOG Blade Light Knives

At the SHOT Show, I got to view some 2012 products by SOG Specialty Knives. One of the most unique was the brand new series of Blade Light knives that will be released later this year.

Typically, a knife with a built-in flashlight is usually a flashlight with a built-in knife. A good example of this is the Tool Logic SL1 folding knife. It has a flashlight that can be used in conjunction with the blade, but also removed for other tasks.

SOG Blade Light

This is not the aim with the SOG Blade Lights. SOG Marketing Manager Chris Cashbaugh walked us through the set-up. The Blade Light knives are a fixed blade and folder that have LED lights housed in the handles.

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Armored Mobility Provides Lightweight Level III

Armored MobilityRichard, Aaron, and I were meandering around after lunch at 2012 SHOT Show Media Day when we came across the Armored Mobility, Inc (AMI) display.  We were able to speak at length with company president Michael Berritto III, who was proud to show us his innovative Mobile Armored Shield (MAS).

Quite a few things stood out about this ballistic shield.  At NIJ Standard 0101.06 Level III, AMI states the MAS will stop (pistol and) rifle rounds to include:

  • 7.62mm X 51 M80 NATO FMJ
  • 5.56mm LeMas Urban Warfare
  • 5.56mm M193 FMJ
  • 6.8mm 110 gr OTM
  • 30-06 M2 FMJ
  • 7.62mm X 39 M43 Steel Core FMJ
  • 12 Gauge High Velocity Slug
  • (Armored Mobility notes–will not stop 5.56 M855 green tip)

The 15” X 38” Mobile Armored Shield does this at a weight of just 16 pounds!  Many shields on the market possess only Level IIIa capability at nearly double the weight.  The 18” X 38” MAS weighs 22 lbs.

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Fighting Hallucinogens

mushroomsTwice in two nights this week, my officers had to fight people who were out of control on hallucinogenic substances.  These drugs are a serious cause for concern for law enforcement.

In the first instance, an officer rolled up on an unknown situation in the middle of a large intersection.  A Good Samaritan was trying to hold down an out-of-control girl who was screaming “Kill me!” over and over again at the top of her lungs.

The officer and citizen managed to keep the 90 lbs. girl on the ground.  Another officer arrived to replace the citizen.  Now with two officers trying to handcuff her, the girl began to fight and actually began pushing up off the pavement with them on her back.

The first officer unloaded a can of OC into the girl’s face.  It had no effect and she pretty much drank it like a Slurpee.  Whirling around, she kicked the female officer in the groin.  The crazed girl was finally subdued and taken for medical treatment.

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FLIR Debuts Entry Level Thermal Imagers

FLIR Systems, Inc. has released a new line of thermal imagers that are affordable (by thermal imaging standards). The Scout series is initially aimed toward the civilian hunting market, but will branch into the law enforcement and maritime markets this year.

I stopped at the FLIR booth here at 2012 SHOT Show and checked out one of their Scout PS24 imagers. This model is an entry level device, but it has terrific tactical potential.

Handheld FLIR

The PS24 has a color LCD viewfinder display that can be toggled through White Hot, Black Hot, and multiple Red/White Hot palettes. Okay, I’ll come right out and say it: I think thermal imagers are ridiculously cool. Yeah, I had a stupid grin while I pointed the thing around at passersby.

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