Ever since man began walking upright, there always has been the kit. It is an organized container that carries needed tools to do a specific task. We have developed these kits in different varieties such as a survival kit, fishing kit, all the way to “everything but the sink” kit. The idea of the kit is to have the most amount of usable tools that take up the least amount of space and will do the greatest number of tasks.
We still in these modern times look to technology to get the necessary tools in kit form so we always have them with us when we need them. My personal reason for using the kit mentality is I don’t have enough brain cells left to always remember the stuff I need to do the job.
A prime example of this is the Leatherman or multi tool. With one of these on your belt you could rebuild an engine if you need to. In the police and firefighting trade there are some cool little tools that make those pesky emergency situations easier and they are small enough to fit in places where they are hardly noticed but always ready.
BlackHawk’s Hawk Hook is a great little rescue tool for breaking out windows and cutting seatbelts. I hope you never have to use it, but if you need it, you should have it.
One such tool is the Blackhawk HawkHook. This is a powerful but tiny rescue tool that is nearly unnoticeable clipped to a belt or pocket. For police and firefighters, who come across vehicle accidents, it can be used to break windows and cut seatbelts quickly.
It is designed to break side window glass and won’t work on windshields, but usually this is all a person needs to do to gain access to the vehicle.
I remember breaking many a side window to get to children locked in vehicles on hot days. Back then, the PR-24 baton made short work on the side window but was over dramatic and risked showering the child with glass.
The pyramid tip of the HawkHook gets a crack started and a smart strike with the screwdriver tip to break out enough glass to unlock the door or get your arm in.
The hook blade is sharp and with a good pull at a 45-degree angle, seatbelts can be quickly cut by pulling them tight away from the passenger and slicing through. The advantage over a lock blade knife is it is almost impossible to accidentally cut a struggling accident victim while cutting the seatbelt. It will also turn screws and can be used as a small pry tool and it can open bottles.
AR gear is always in style. This multi-tool fits right inside a standard hand grip. Everything you need.
Another cool tool that fills the wasted space in the AR pistol handle is made by Samson Manufacturing called the Field Survivor Tool.
This is kind of like a multi tool for the AR and it fits right up to form a watertight seal and twist-on fit in the handle. The base of the tool is serrated to make a better strike tool with the pistol grip if needed and it has some slots that will fit magazine feed lips to bend them back if they get out of whack.
Inside is a variety of useful stuff on a hinge like a Leatherman. First the tool is a cleaning kit, it has a wire with a threaded end that can be dropped though the barrel with a brush or jag attached.
It also has a small vial that will contain a one shot supply of lubricant or cleaning solvent. Some other uses are a screwdriver tip, cotter pin removal hook, and carbon scraper.
Ever wonder where a sight adjustment tool is when you need one? Well there will always be one around when this tool is stuffed in the pistol grip. Also included is a broken shell extractor.
This is the best use of the hollow pistol grip since the replacement handle that had a door so the operator could store useful items in it.
Not only can you adjust the feed lips with the slits on the bottom, but there are two slits that are spaced properly so you can gauge the adjustment. This will verify the correct radius.
The line will also indicate where the feed lips will end. Magazines are the biggest cause of failures to feed and fire. Keeping these lips tuned up is a definite reliability factor.
Both of the above tools are available from Brownells. One thing I will say about Brownells is their ability to have the best variety of items in stock. During this AR gun and parts shortage, Brownells has been very reliable in having stuff and if they don’t, they get it rather quickly. Keep it up, guys.
Another cool tool is the weapons-mounted light from Streamlight, the TLR-1. This 80 lumens LED gun mounted light is a lot of bright in a small package. It is small enough for a handgun, but in CQB on a carbine it will light up the bad guy’s life.
The ambidextrous switch has momentary and steady on/off utility and run time is 2.5 hours on two lithium batteries. It will fit in existing light bearing holsters and is not much size or weight to worry about on the fore rail of a carbine.
Streamlight also makes a replaceable switch cap for the TLR-1 that will accommodate a wire and pressure switch so the operator can activate the light from a comfortable position on their carbine. This gives the option of putting the light as far forward on the carbine as possible and still be able to activate it with the off hand. Some folks like to have the switch on the pistol grip for gun hand operation and the pressure switch option makes it happen.
The fact that the light can be used on a carbine or a railed pistol gives it dual utility. This is always a plus. The TLR-2 offers the same options but also incorporates a laser sight into the light.
One last tool I have room for is a safety tool. Not so much officer safety, but safety to our family and friends. After all, the biggest reason we believe in the Second Amendment is protection of our families and ourselves.
I am a firm believer that education about firearms is the first measure to prevent accidents with guns in the home. This education starts with teaching young people about firearms and what they are capable of and they must be treated with respect.
The other side of the education is knowing that sometimes that may fail and it isn’t worth risking your children’s life on. Taking the extra step to make sure firearms are secure when not in use is educating ourselves to the responsibility of firearm ownership.
The Streamlight TLR-1 offers 80 lumens and a couple cool switch options that make it very handy. You’ll like it.
The argument of securing a firearm in the safe is; it isn’t accessible quickly enough when you need it. I keep the majority of my firearms in the safe, but my carry gun is either with me or close by, ready if I need it.
I am at a stage of my life that I don’t have any young children around anymore but I may have grandkids one day or friends that have kids visit occasionally. Even in my situation, I think of keeping my home a bit more kid friendly.
All guns need to be secure! The individual gun safe (IGS) is a good happy medium for keeping the gun secure and readily accessible. LockSAF makes a gun safe that is operated with fingerprint identification and can be programmed to facilitate several operators. How James Bondish!
I really am resistant to battery operated equipment keeping me from my guns but I have had this safe around for a while now and am getting pretty comfortable with it.
The safe also has a keyed entry if the battery goes bad, but if the battery is changed occasionally, like a smoke detector, it shouldn’t be a problem. Just part of the responsibility of owning a gun.
The LockSAF Indvidual Gun Safe is a great way to keep guns secure, yet accessible. It uses fingerprint technology to allow access.
Another aspect of the LockSAF is if you only store the gun in the home, because you live in an anti-American city that doesn’t allow you to protect yourself when you leave the house, your pistol is secured should you surprise a burglar when returning home. It may keep him from using your gun on you or responding police.
I will take the pistol out of the safe or at least open the door at night to make it quicker to get to if I am awakened by an intruder, but during the day when there might be kids around and I am awake, it can be locked in the safe.
The LockSAF operates on a nine-volt battery and has ample room for more than one handgun and some ammo. (Back to the kit mentality, everything needed in one place.)
Learn more about tools for the tactician by ordering the Gun Digest Book of Tactical Gear.
After it is set up and programmed the user only has to touch the button and slip his or her finger into the slot and the safe pops open in a second or two.
I know that word “program” bothers some of us old timers, but it was really easy to do and I accomplished it in a few minutes after reading the instructions. (I know, another distasteful thing for guys to do.)
From attending the firearm to keeping it safely secured in the home there are tons of gadgets to sift through and it sometimes is hard to figure which ones have merit and which ones we can do without.
Without a doubt these four COOL TOOLS will find a place in any armed citizen’s or emergency service person’s tool box.
This article appeared in the November 23, 2009 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine. Click here to learn more about this issue. Click here to subscribe.
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