Everyone has their opinion on how to respond, if you should respond, and the best equipment to respond to an active shooter situation. I’ll give my opinion on the equipment I've selected and my thoughts on responding.
Additional side note.
Consider your everyday attire, dress in a way that is common for your area/region you will be in. Consider wearing footwear that isn’t screaming tactical but also provides some protection and maneuverability. I’m not a fan of wearing flip-flops in public because they are only going to cause issues for you.
Consider that any situation where law enforcement shows up, everything you are wearing/using will be under scrutiny. If you have Punisher logos all over your gear and clothing, expect that to be something focused on as you may be seen more as a vigilante vs. a good guy with a gun acting to protect yourself or others.
Moving on to the equipment I've selected and some the rationale behind the set ups.
I carry a basic gun belt/war belt/battle belt. I have a holster that will accept my EDC (G17), two pistol magazines, two AR magazines, lock blade knife, multi-tool, IFAC containing compression gauze, hemostatic gauze, tourniquet (TQ) (total of five TQs carried between plate carrier (PC) and gun belt).
I also have a mix of keepers on the belt, should I have the time I can apply the keepers to secure the gun belt to my under belt. The gun belt is tight enough to not move around during vigorous activity but keepers are highly preferred. Make sure to train with any equipment you set up. You’ll notice what seems to be a good idea in theory is often needing some tweaking in practice. Make sure you don’t have any gear placed in such a location you can’t effectively take a knee, get into the prone position. Stress test your equipment in training. You’ll be surprised at the yard sale that happens under heavy use. Make changes to secure and silence your equipment accordingly.
I've opted to go with a low profile PC. I’ve outfitted the PC with the lightest plates I can afford, ShotStop GT2 level III special threat. Rated to stop multi-hit from SS109 and M855. These plates weigh in at only 3.8 pounds each. The PC is light, low profile and I'm highly maneuverable in it. I have no problem getting very low into the prone position with this PC. I only carry three AR mags on the front of the PC allowing the other pouches to carry additional compression bandages and four tourniquets, these can be used for immediate self-aid as throw devices should the threat still be present and you are pushing forward through casualties. The abdominal pouch (Dangler/Hanger/Gut Hider) carries additional compression bandages, hemostatic gauze and the fourth tourniquet. In total, the fully loaded PC weighs a bit over 13 pounds.
Another addition I've added to the plate carrier is a front and back ID placard. I’ve seen several variations such as Security, Active Response, Agent, you need to conduct your own research to determine if such ID placards may be considered impersonating law enforcement in your area. The biggest thing we are trying to do with the placard is give a moment of pause to any first responders, providing a visual clue we are not the active killer, but rather a good guy with a gun.
I have a basic AR pistol set up with an 11.5 barrel, 1x8 low power variable optic (LPVO), offset Halosun HE407-GR-X2 reflex sight, SureFire M600 Scout light, Steiner DBAL-A3. I carry the AR pistol in a “patrol ready” configuration. Between the gun belt, PC, and mag in the weapon, I will turn out with a total of six magazines. This is more than enough in my opinion for an active shooter event in which a citizen responds. We are only trying to address the time between the incident start and follow on resources, such as local Law Enforcement. One of the biggest considerations for our equipment is to have a balanced kit that takes into account the total weight and bulk of equipment. Lightweight kit is highly recommended, it allows you to be more maneuverable and you won't gas as quickly. This is another opportunity I'll push that you should be training with your equipment. Your endurance is just as important as quality equipment.
I found a perfect use for some of the AR500 armor plates I’ve acquired over the years, I've added four plates into an extra-large PC. This helps me work those muscle areas specifically used when wearing kit and holding weapons at shoulder level. You'd be amazed at how weak most people are when wearing a PC and attempting to mount a rifle to their shoulder for any amount of time.
I also have an eight magazine bandolier available, this is not part of my considerations for response gear, this is more an option available for a “get home” situation where a total of six AR magazines may not be providing the capacity we would like to have. I’ll be posting more on get home bags and Grey Man considerations soon.
Equipment is a very small part of the overall considerations of responding to an active shooting event. Plan accordingly, mental model the before, during, and aftermath.
Rare Breed Trigger evaluation
Rare Breed FRT-15 Trigger
Purchased Jan 1, 2021
I’d like to give you my first impression of the FRT-15 Trigger. This trigger was purchased, not provided for testing. I set up an 11.5 5.56 suppressed AR pistol per manufacture recommended configuration. I found that the suggested heavy buffer to be the least effective in achieving cyclic rates described and show in Rare Breed videos. I ran the first magazine of XM193 which had intermittent cycling issues. Stoppages and failure to fire issues persisted through the entirety of the first magazine. After swapping out the heavy buffer with the lighter buffer, I began to have more reliable operation. The 2nd and 3rd Magazine operated without issue. I was unable to reliably achieve a single round trigger pull. I tried many times to send only one round, several times I achieved one round trigger pull by quickly jerking the trigger and flicking my finger off the trigger. The accuracy of the method was horrendous.
This trigger in its current configuration should never be used for any defensive weapon or in any capacity which someone’s life may be on the line. This trigger is 100% a novelty. It is fun to shoot when it is working. The number of different reliability issues incurred while testing this trigger were varied and occurred regularly.
The reliability issues alone remove this from consideration on a defensive rifle or pistol build. The inability to achieve single shot capabilities from this trigger pack were disappointing. Enjoy it as a novelty, do no use it in any capacity in which someone’s life may be depending on it.
Bystander effect- why you're better off damn near alone.
You’re out for a relaxing Sunday, the weather is perfect, the sun is shining down and warming your face, people are out enjoying their weekend. Nothing gives you pause or cause for concern, there are plenty of people around --why would you have anything to worry about? Suddenly you feel a piercing pain in your lower back, the pain repeats a second time. As you turn and lock eyes with a man you’ve never seen before you recognize he is filled with rage and you see him punching you over and over but the punches aren’t punches they are piercing, ripping lightning bolts of pain.
BY: Tore Haugli
Blood type patches and why they are nothing more than gimmicks.
I was asked to type out a short post detailing why these kinds of patches – blood types, NKDA etc – are totally useless for real world application.
1. No professional pre-hospital medical provider will look for, or TRUST, medical information found on a patch velcroed to your gear. It will not affect how they examine or treat you.
2. No ER/Role 2/3 staff will trust or bother with medical information velcroed to your gear. They have advanced equipment to test everything to make sure they perform the correct interventions and administer the correct drugs/fluids. They also have the expertise and antidotes on hand to counter any negative effects, should they occur.
3. If you are going to wear anything denoting special needs with regards to medical care, wear proper items as provided by your physician.
4. Typed blood transfusion is definitive care, and is only carried out once a patient’s blood group has been typed correctly in a lab. Until that time, you will be given O Neg – universal donor blood.
5. Pre-hospital fluid resuscitation is done using colloids or crystalloids. Even if you were being treated in the field by a unit that has blood products with them, it will be O Neg. This is usually a Role 1 unit (in the military), that has the proper equipment to store as well as warm up blood prior to transfusing.
6. Transfusions require constant monitoring by trained professionals, and is not without risk even if you get the right blood type.
7. If given the incorrect blood, you can potentially die.
8. With regards to allergies, this has been remedied as much as possible through the use of medical equipment that has a low risk of causing said reactions. Some examples are:
-Nitrile gloves as opposed to latex
-Non-penicillin based ABX
9. Civ EMS will not give ABX in the field, or treat hypovolemic shock using anything other than colloids or crystalloids – for trauma.
10. If you suffer a medical emergency, chances are that you will have family or friends nearby, or other identifiers (medical bracelets, medications etc) or past medical history accessed by dispatch, that a NKDA patch is totally irrelevant.
11. In a military context the norm is that the patient is healthy and fit, with no previously detected underlying health risk factors. In the Norwegian mil, if you have a health conditions that affects your health status, you would only be cleared for restricted duties when deployed anyways.
In short, these patches are nothing but gimmicks and is not value added. They will not affect the treatment you receive, be it in the field or in a hospital.
We've started pressing our own Kydex holsters and carriers. We aren't going to attempt to reinvent the holster making wheel, rather, we are going to address some holster/ carrier areas which are lacking.
My mindset is one commonly referred to as the "Grey Man". I wear fairly nondescript clothing which allows me to carry tools which will assist in defending myself and my family as well as others. I've always had a hard time finding a way to easily carry a Tourniquet in a comfortable and accessible manner. Not finding anything that met my concealment requirements, we put our heads together and created and Inside the Waistband (IWB) Tourniquet carrier. The design is simple and comfortable. I've been using the IWB TQ carrier for almost five months, the carrier is now just part of my Every Day Carry (EDC) load out.
Below are some pictures showing mostly prototype holsters and carriers. Feel free to drop us a line with questions, requests for custom Kydex products. Our pistol selection is limited right now to mainly Glock models, S&W M&P, Springfield Armory XDM and XDS, 1911 full size non-rail, and SIG 229.
Tampons: For Drama, Not Trauma!
Caleb Causey repost from PDN
We are doing custom Kydex holsters. Let us know what you're interested in. Here are a few examples of some recent prototype holsters. Questions- email us at email@example.com We will be adding options to our shopping cart, until then feel free to drop us a note with your requests.
Kydex Wallets / Money Clip
Check out some the saving on cosmetic blemished Kydex Wallets. Hurry, these go quick. Very slight cosmetic sanding marks caused these wallets and money clips to be kicked to the side by QC. Significant savings!
Marked for Mayhem
By Chuck Hustmyre, Jay Dixit, published on January 1, 2009 - last reviewed on January 29, 2013
Street criminals are selective about their victims. Unfortunately, many of us unwittingly give off signals that mark us as easy targets.
Midnight in New Orleans. Lisa Z. was walking home from the French Quarter hotel where she works when three men stepped around a corner and stopped in front of her. When she tried to cross the street to get away, the men charged after her. "One guy clotheslined me," she recalls, "then choked me, threw me on the sidewalk, and jammed a chrome, snub-nosed .38 revolver against my cheekbone." Lisa was kicked, robbed, and then told not to move or she'd be shot in the face.
The men who robbed her likely chose Lisa because she unknowingly sent out signals that marked her as a "soft" target. Alone and encumbered by a backpack, she appeared to be a vulnerable person who could be easily controlled. "Some of these guys concentrate on people who are easy to overcome," says Volkan Topalli, a psychologist and criminologist at Georgia State University. "They'll target females, they'll target older people, but they're also looking for cues of weakness or fear."
Criminals, like their victims, come in all varieties, but researchers have found that they don't choose their victims randomly. There's a reason FBI agents begin crime investigations by creating profiles of victims. It's because the identity of victims—particularly if there are several victims with differing characteristics—helps investigators determine whether a criminal is targeting a specific kind of person or choosing victims opportunistically.
Dennis Filips, MD | Joe Holley, MD, FACEP | From the December 2014 Issue | Wednesday, December 3, 2014 Reposted
Bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death in both civilian and military trauma.1 There’s a clear consensus that control of bleeding is the top priority during patient care; every second of uncontrolled bleeding worsens outcomes.2 There are many ways to control bleeding, and each technique has advantages and shortcomings.
Advanced trauma life support (ATLS) guidelines simply recommend to “stop the bleeding,” but the various methodologies used to control external hemorrhage are often poorly understood. The use of tourniquets and hemostatic dressings are frequently quoted as the new panacea to control external bleeding, but there isn't a clear understanding of their limitations and what wounds are appropriate for their use.
Have you received training to perform a Needle thoracentesis (Pleural Decompression) AKA, the use of a decompression needle? A Tension Pneumothorax is a medical emergency which requires timely intervention.
A decompression needle is usually a 14 to 16 gauge, 3.25” catheter needle used to penetrate the chest wall and pleural cavity thereby releasing built up air pressure. This process is referred to as a Needle thoracentesis or pleural decompression. There are many dangers associated with untrained personnel attempting to utilize a chest decompression needle for the treatment of a tension pneumothorax.
One-way chest seals are an alternative to decompression needles for treatment of a tension pneumothorax. In June 2013 USCENTCOM approved the following...
We are pleased to announce two upcoming survival classes. These classes will be hosted by Sierra12 in the Prescott, Arizona area. The classes will be a 2 day course and take place in an austere field learning environment.
Aimpoint Carbine Optic - ACO
It appears that Aimpoint is gearing up to introduce a new addition to of their line of red dot sights. A leaked document found on Facebook revealed that the new optic will be known as the Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO). The optics suggested retail price of $393.00 is very competitive offering. The document indicates the ACO will be available to dealers in mid to late October.
The introduction of another affordable addition of Aimpoint optics will be beneficial for two main reasons. 1) Those who are already sold on the Aimpoint optics quality and reliability will now have access to an even more affordable red dot optic. 2) This price point will have all of Aimpoints competitors rethinking their Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) for dealers. As well they might work at introducing their own line of affordable optics to be in direct competition to the ACO.
Debunking Ammunition Myths
Caution, this video will be disturbing and particularly hard to watch for many of you (mainly due to the enormous amount of ammunition that was destroyed in order for us to better understand physics). View discretion is advised.
Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute -SAAMI created this video for fire departments nationwide in order to help firefighters better address the realities of fires in which sporting ammunition is present.
Understand the main focus on this study was ammunition outside of a firearm.
This is a very interesting video, a bit long, but well worth the view. It was hard to watch over 400 thousand rounds be subjected to destructive testing. The conclusive evidence they gained from this testing should put to rest many urban legends which imply's a bullet can achieve high velocity outside of a firearm, specifically outside of a barrel or barrel like object (think pipe, unconventional barrel). Think any of those guys got a case or two for their trouble?
Searching the inter-webs regarding the ongoing Ebola incidents will inevitably lead you to an online advertisement for a respirator or face mask of some type. One of the most common respirators is the N95. These masks are a cheap and effective way of increasing your ability to filter out small pathogen particles.
Aerosolization Vs Airborne
What is the difference between Airborne and Aerosolization when talking about Ebola?
With the recent Ebola events, new talk of the virus being airborne is all over the news . I wanted to take a moment and talk about airborne or aerosolized pathogens. Aerosolization is when a particle is small enough and light enough that the particle is suspended in and carried by the air currents. Aerosolization can be naturally occurring or man made.
Some Thoughts On Training
During our training events I ask why attendees have chosen to take a specific class. Sometimes I get really in-depth answers and other times I get the “I don’t know, because It seemed like a cool class” response. Both responses are fine, I often do things just for the sheer enjoyment, but it got me thinking about citizens who have had little or no experience in firearms and training.
What is it that pushes us to take training? Is it your current employment? are you in Law Enforcement and are looking to further your skills in order to better protect the citizens in your area of responsibility?
What about a local Reserve or National Guard member looking to improve in fundamental marksmanship areas prior to their next rifle or pistol qualification? Many of the people who fall into these and other categories have a general idea of what training they should take. How does a citizen who has never been exposed to any form of firearms manipulation begin to determine what the best training classes are, as well as being certain they aren't being ripped off by the latest in “Gun-Fu Masters”?
Spall- aka The Big Splash
What happens when you shoot a 62 grain bullet at approximately 2700 feet per second against a certified ballistic steel plate? You get one BIG SPLASH, not the fun type of splash either. You get the type of splash often referred to as spall. The once whole bullet breaking up upon impacting a hard surface causing the round to turn into many - much smaller high velocity projectiles.
PVS-14 Sacrificial Window
We've written several articles describing Night Vision components and accessories. Looking back at the articles I noticed I didn't even cover one of the most over looked accessories for your $3000.00 plus-dollar Night Vision Device (NVD), that would be the Sacrificial Window.
While doing some training I inadvertently smacked the lens of my night vision against a hard object, totally my fault and totally damn near ruined my NVD. Luckily I had in place a Sacrificial Window over the objective lens of the NVD. Sacrificial windows aren't cheap, the run between $25.00 and $35.00 bucks depending on where you find them. That being said, $25 to $35 is nothing in comparison to a decent set of NVDs. When I purchased mine they went right at $4000.00.
When you are training and training correctly, equipment will get damaged, your physical body will get beat up, mentally you will be challenged. This is what we want, we want to push ourselves in training, we want to learn our limitation, limitations on our equipment as well as better understand what our mental and physical capabilities are as we begin to move up and to the "over The Hill" points in our life.
Just because we train hard doesn't mean we are abusing our equipment for the sake of abuse. Using appropriate and often times included equipment designed to help safeguard equipment and your body- should be used. I see a lot of people running equipment sans the protective equipment. This sometimes is because they observed someone else doing it and believe they should in-turn emulate that person or they are not using the protective equipment out of ignorance. Ignorance in both forms of uniformed ignorance and tacticool, "i'm doing this because it looks cool" ignorance.
Use protective equipment when it's available, if you feel it will hinder you yet you haven't actually attempted to try it, you are just speaking from a position of ignorance.
Here are some pictures of a $30 dollar protective lens saving my $4000 set of NVDs from severe damage.
Training Schedule Updates
Well we're half way through our first summer at our high-desert training site, and we've reluctantly come to the conclusion that it's in the best interest of good, effective training to adjust our schedule and move our training to the winter months. While our training site is cooler than Phoenix, it's still hotter than we'd prefer to be able to keep the training effective and safe.
We want to make sure that our students can get the most out of the time we have with them. It's hard for them to do that when we're all more focused on not being overly hot. Classes will now be monthly from October through April, with special classes added in between as we can schedule them.
Building an AR is Lego's for adults, unfortunately quality aftermarket AR parts are known for their high price tag. In a previous article we talked about the J-Comp Type 89 muzzle device from Strike Industries, the device performed great and the price of around $29.00 made it very affordable for those on a budget or for the builder with multiple fighting rifles that need reliable parts.
We recently picked up a few new aftermarket AR part from Hogue, an AR collapsible buttstock and overmolded AR pistol grip. I'm also trying out one of their new PowerSpeed Automatic Retention System holsters for a Glock 23.....
Night Vision Equipment selection
Night Vision Devices or NVDs are a much more common piece of support gear as compared to just a few years ago. Today quality NVDs can be purchased at a reasonable price, the utility of owning a set of NVDs is not lost on the average person who fully understands how much an NVD can enhance their low light / no light defensive capabilities . When purchasing NVDs keep in mind certain considerations....
Thanks to all of the warriors who attended the July 4th weekend Security Patrolling class. It showed your dedication and resolve being out not only on a holiday weekend but during the Arizona summer as well.
Special acknowledgement to Alpha and Bravo Team Leaders. you guys had no idea you would be put into a leadership positions and yet you never complained or attempted to rationalize why you weren't a good fit to be a leader, you took up the challenge, meeting and exceeding our expectations.