Swab-Its, Bore-Tips, and Gun-Tips for Gun Cleaning

I saw Swab-Its® brand Bore-Tips and Gun-Tips at SHOT Show this year.  They are reusable firearm cleaning products Made in the USA.  Some advantages to Gun-Tips are:

• Gun-tips® foam swabs are reusable and replace cotton swabs.
• Fiber free, does not shed or leave lint behind.
• Perfect for cleaning and lubricating hard to reach places.
• Available in a variety of shapes, sizes and packages.
• Economical, washable and reusable, just like Bore-tips®.
• Made in the USA.

Pam over at Swab-Its sent me the story below, which explains their products better than I can.

This is the story of an innovative American company, Super Brush LLC, which, through its Swab-Its® division changed the way people have cleaned their firearms for the past 200 years.

For 60 plus years, the company has been developing and manufacturing products in the USA for the high tech, electrical, medical, cosmetic and aerospace markets around the world.

Because their employees were having problems cleaning their own firearms, the company decided to apply its high tech engineering staff to these problems and to engineer a solution and bring it to the rest of the world.

The first firearms cleaning products, Swab-Its® Bore-Tips® – were launched three years ago at the Las Vegas Shot Show and were deemed by bloggers at the Shot Show to be one of the best new products of the year. The Swab-Its® Bore-Tips® garnered similar accolades at the following NRA Shows.

Continue reading

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Marion County Sheriff Employs Crime Kiosks

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has unveiled a new method for distributing criminal information to the community in the form of stand-alone kiosks.  Modernizing a concept used by Sheriff Chris Blair decades ago when he was a detective, a trio of video screens mounted in a secure housing shows crime alerts, Amber and Silver alerts, missing persons, sexual predators, and public service announcements to citizens within minutes of their posting.

crime kiosk

Photo: AG’s Office

The kiosks are connected to the Internet and information is uploaded to them by crime analysts.  In addition to general crime trends, bulletins can be surgically sent to selected kiosks where it is determined the criminals or threats are specific to an area, such as a wave of auto burglaries in a mall parking lot.  They can also be pinpointed to where the search for a missing child may be underway.

MCSO will be working with the local police departments to determine the best high foot-traffic areas for the kiosks.  An initial version was unveiled last February at the Paddock Mall.  All area law enforcement agencies will participate in the uploading of bulletins and Continue reading

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Pistol Training Video on a Treadmill

Okay, my first reaction was, “Wow, that’s gonna be unsafe as hell.”  At 1:24 minutes into the vid, I was a bit mesmerized, though.  Nice shooting, Mr. Harrington.  This is not a training method I would advocate, but it shows an excellent degree of skill.  Mr. Harrington’s pedigree:

Dave Harrington (a.k.a. “Super” Dave) is the President of Combatspeed LLC which is located in Tampa, Florida. Dave is a two time retired senior weapons instructor from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He has 23 years of military experience, the last 16 of which were spent in the Army’s Special Forces. He qualified as an expert infantryman, conventional and HALO (high altitude, low open) paratrooper, Ranger, and finally combat weapons craft instructor at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, N.C. Some of the nation’s most elite counter terrorist fighters trained under Harrington there.

Again, I think this is unsafe, but I enjoyed watching the steel fall.  If you have ever done any shooting on the move, you should appreciate the marksmanship.


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TruGlo’s Tritium Brite-Site for Duty Use

TruGlo Rear SightFriends don’t let friends go on duty with stock Glock sights. Look around and you’ll see the friendless ones.  For goodness sake, get those plastic things off your pistol!  Tell your co-workers.  Mine were switched out steel tritium night sights posthaste.

I have nothing against the “dot and U” Glock sight picture.  I have shot quite well with the plastic and paint atop a Tenifer slide.  However, my issues are twofold.  First, there is zero durability in a standard set of Glock sights.  They cannot take the abuses of police duty use, period.

Our guns get banged around miserably in uniform, and just somewhat less so in plainclothes.  A handgun is a tool of the profession and must stand up to the rigors thereof.  Having one or both sights knocked off or out of alignment could be fatal in a critical incident.  And in the event you are forced to run a Glock’s action with one hand, the fragile rear sight will not work against a gun belt, holster, or boot heel.

Secondly, the ability to acquire a target in low light or no light is not optional on the street.  Even those working day hours will find themselves in dark places on calls.  We need tritium night sights on our guns.  There are many good brands Continue reading

Posted in Firearms | Tagged | 4 Comments

Assessing for Detectives

Detective Shield copyMy Boss recently tasked me with running an assessment center for Property Crimes Detective.  At my agency, a property crimes dick investigates cases of burglary, grand theft, auto theft, arson, pawn/secondhand/metals recycling violations, and any other related incidents.  Though I had been involved in selecting SWAT Team members, K9 handlers, and Field Training officers over the last twenty years, I had never put together a detectives process.

I started by reviewing the previous assessment, which had been held a year ago and about nine months before I took over as the Property Crimes sergeant.  It had consisted of the prospective candidates being given an oral board interview and a problem-solving exercise that involved collating Felony Lane cases.  The latter culminated in a formal suspect interview.

It has been my belief that any assessment center should be fair to all candidates and measure real world skills necessary to perform the job for which the candidates are assessing.  Those two criteria sound simple, but I have witnessed many assessments stray far from these goals. Continue reading

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Flashlight Terminology by Elzetta Tactical Lights

Dave Barnett from Elzetta Tactical Lighting explains some of the light output terminology you might use to decide whether or not to buy a flashlight for duty use.  Dave has informed and entertained us in their SHOT Show booth for several years.  They make solid lights and mounts here in the USA.  Check out their products.


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Gerber Ding Dong!

It’s a big multi-tool!  Says Gerber:

“A sledgehammer. A battering ram. A pry bar. All three are essential breaching tools for operators who need to get through doors quickly. The Ding Dong combines these three tools into one tight package. The enlarged hammer head features machined cross-hatching that effectively bites into doors and other surfaces as you smash into them, minimizing slip and maximizing impact. The enlarged pry bar at the end of the handle is perfect for wedging into door frames. The Ding Dong’s fiberglass handle features two molded rings equally spaced to create mechanical stops for the operator’s hands, ensuring a solid grip when swinging at or ramming objects. The Ding Dong comes with a unique mounting system – a fiberglass plate that mounts to MOLLE gear. The Ding Dong mechanically snaps into the carrying plate and is held by a quick-detach heavy rubber strap. Proudly built in Portland, Oregon.”


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Freeman Outdoor Gear Model 451 Knives

Freeman KnivesI was immediately drawn to Jeff Freeman’s booth at Blade Show 2014.  His Freeman Outdoor Gear knives looked just right for first responders.  I discovered exactly why when I learned that Jeff is a U.S. Army veteran and a former wildland firefighter.

To honor the men and women with whom he worked in the fire service, Jeff named his Model 451 after the radio call sign “451″ which was his crew’s.  It is coincidentally the ignition temperature at which paper burns, according to the famous Ray Bradbury novel.

Regardless of the reasoning, these are some hot knives.  The standard and compact 451 are full tang CPM-S35VN steel at a RHC of 59-61.  Various shades of Cerakote coat the blades.  Machined G10 or Micarta handle scales offer the grip.  All of the knives have a precision and professionalism about them.  And they are Made in the USA.

Freeman 451 Continue reading

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New Heckler & Koch VP9

Heckler & Koch pro shooter, Air Force veteran, and sheriff’s deputy John Rasmussen gives us a quick tour of the upcoming H&K VP9 9mm pistol.


Posted in Firearms | 4 Comments

Miller Brothers Blades Serious Heavy Use Knives

Miller Brothers 1Miller Brothers Blades does not fool around with dainty knives.  If you think I’m kidding, watch the video at the end of the article where they pound one of their knives through 1/4″ plate steel, then cut with the same edge.  Whoa.

Miller Brothers 8With care, I handled over a dozen of their wares at Blade Show.  Each one had a scary sharp edge.  The steel for their knives is high carbon 5160.  Most of their knife profiles can be done in 1/4″ or 5/16″ steel.  The blades are black phosphate coated, which I was told treats the steel and is more durable than a powdercoat or spray on finish.

The Miller Brothers use G-10 FR4 for their handle grips (though I did see one or two cord wrapped handles).  It is available for bolting on in OD, Earth Brown, 3 Color Camo, Brown and Black, OD and Black, and custom colors.  Sheaths for the knives are made of .093″ Kydex, which is the thickest of the breed.

Miller Brothers make all their knives in Fremont, OH.  In talking to them, they came off as “shop guys” with a love of big steel.  MBB stocks some models, but said they can make any of the knives to order.  Each knife is blanked by hand, so there is no water-jetting or Continue reading

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Blade Show 2014

imageI will be en route to Blade Show at 0500 tomorrow.  I promise to post photos of any cool new sharpies I get to see in Atlanta!


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Smith & Bradley Sans-13 Watch Review

Smith & Bradley Sans-13The Sans-13 from Smith & Bradley Watches is intended for law enforcement and tactical military personnel.  Jerommie Smith and Ryan Bradley are the Sidney, Illinois founders of the brand.  As their first watch, the Sans-13 was designed with input from those who would be the end users–cops and soldiers.  Jerommie is a Police K9 Handler and Ryan is an attorney.  I met them both earlier this year at SHOT Show and I can vouch for their genuine passion about timepieces.

Shortly after SHOT, I bought a Sans-13 from their website.  Since then, I have worn this watch from the drudgery of desk work to search warrant services to dicey homicide stakeouts.  My Sans-13 was a rugged companion to BDU’s when I instructed active shooter training and a smart timekeeper for my daily business-casual mode of dress.

The brain of the Sans-13 is its Ronda Caliber 6003.D three hand day/date Swiss Quartz movement.  Protecting the internals is an impressive black PVD-coated stainless steel case, which is 43mm in diameter.  The case and stainless steel back are water resistant to 200 meters.  A crown guard stands its duty around the screw-in crown.

Made for use with or without gloves, the Continue reading

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Vacationing Cop Wears Mil-Spec Monkey Hoodie

Hunting Whales 2Mil-Spec Monkey posted my photograph on his Facebook page wearing one of his MSM Hoodies.  Thanks, Monkey!  My wife shot this pic while we were hiking in northern California two weeks ago.  We were on a coastal trail and I had just spotted a gray whale.  Cameras up!

Satellite imagery will show that the hoodie’s sleeves bear a Mil-Spec Monkey logo patch and ThinBlueFlorida patch (made by…the Monkey).  My faithful Tactical Tailor Urban Operator Backpack (misnamed for this outing) carries the photo gear, water, snacks, and first aid (including tourniquet and QuikClot combat gauze).

What looks like a wallet in the right front jeans pocket is my Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 in a Sticky Holsters pocket model.  I was glad to be carrying the Bodyguard when we took a wrong turn while walking in San Francisco.  A Spyderco Delica assumed the role of back-up piece to the S & W.

We hiked a total of 45 miles during our ten day stay in Marin County.  It was a terrific vacation that was much needed.  I try to take time off from the L.E. grind regularly.  It definitely keeps things in perspective.

Migrating Gray WhaleRandall

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Memorial Day

American-Flag-2048x1536-iPad-wallpaper_1Here’s to honoring those brave men and women who, in the service of the United States’ Armed Forces, lost their lives to preserve our freedom.  I am having a day of reflection and gratitude…


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Federal Agents to Begin Recording Suspect Interviews

FBI sealThe Justice Department has issued a policy change that will direct federal agents from the FBI, DEA, BATFE, and the U.S. Marshals Service to begin electronically recording suspect interviews. Welcome to the 1980′s, G-Men!  Seriously, this will be an important credibility boost for the Feds.

One of my cyber-crimes detectives was recently on the stand in a federal trial.  As a task force agent, he was questioned on cross-examination about his lack of a recorded suspect interview.  In the gallery, I squirmed when the savvy defense lawyer pointedly asked him, “In your capacity as a local law enforcement officer, isn’t it true that you would have taped your interrogation of my client?”  “Yes.”  “So we can’t really hear exactly what my client said because federal rules prevented it.”  Ruh-roh.

The Justice Department policy change will take effect in July.  Although I wholeheartedly applaud the new directive, I am still scratching my head was to why this was not done…I don’t know…several decades ago.


Posted in Legal | 3 Comments