Smith & Wesson Centennial Revolvers Revisited

Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight with badgeDoes the pervasive plastic pistol have you feeling a bit listless and melancholy lately?  Striker-fired boredom setting in?  Well, perk up your life with a Smith & Wesson Centennial revolver!  Sometimes going “retro” can get you caught in a new frame of mind that will liven your dreary modern existence.

The quintessential J-frame revolver by Smith & Wesson has been around since its birth in 1950 as the Chief’s Special or, later, the Model 36.  Designed as a small, concealable handgun with moderate power from its .38 S&W Special chambering, the platform has morphed into many versions during its 60-plus years.

In Smith & Wesson-ese, the “Centennial” model, introduced in 1952 for S&W’s 100th birthday, was renamed the Model 40 in 1957.  The Model 40 series, known generically as Centennials, have an internal hammer, so they are visually distinctive by their lack of a hammer spur.  Without the spur, the 40’s are fired double Continue reading

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G2 Research R.I.P. Expanding Bullets

2Bullet technology is becoming more inventive with each primer strike.  These new projectiles from G2 Research may be more art than science, but they definitely push the marketing envelope.  The press release I received in my Inbox proclaimed, “Flying Hole Saw Defense Round.”  Uh-huh.

G2’s Radically Invasive Projectile (R.I.P.) means just that, RIP!  In fact, firing this bullet downrange is like firing a hole saw at a target.

The key to the R.I.P. round’s devastating effect is its exclusive bullet construction that causes the round to fragment into several separate controlled copper fragments thus causing more bleeding, trauma and pain all designed to stop an attacker quickly. The fragments are called trocars and the .380ACP, has 7 and there are 9 for all the other listed calibers.

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Hydrapak’s Durable First Wave Tactical Reservoir

Hydrapak First Wave Tactical ReservoirI hate hydration bladders.  There I’ve said it.  You know you do, too.  Not that they aren’t a great way to haul around water when tucked inside a useful shoulder-mounted system.  It’s just that they are fragile, difficult to fill, and such a pain in the ass to properly clean and dry.  Who wants a mouth full of germy algae?  But I think you are going to really like the Hydrapak First Wave Tactical Reservoir.

Time and again, I’ve watched water pouring down a SWAT guy’s back and legs after something punctured his hydration bladder.  Yeah, in training it is comical, but on a live call-out, it is serious.  Other than a puncture, bladders sometimes split.  The Hydrapak First Wave is constructed of 0.4 mm thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with super strong RF-welded seams.  First Wave’s TPU is 60% thicker than competitor’s models, so it is, essentially, fortified. Continue reading

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Bounce Imaging Tactical Camera

This thing is cool.  The Bounce Image Tactical Throwable Camera would be a nice device for a team to use.  It uses white or near-infrared (850nm wavelength) LED’s to light up the area while it snaps panoramic still photos that can be immediately accessed via an Android or iOS phone.  The 360 degree photo array, from six monochrome cameras, updates once per second.  The unit will run on its internal batteries for 30 minutes at full flash intensity.  It is MIL-STD 810 drop-tested for durability.  The model used in the video, the Explorer Tactical Edition, costs about $2,500.00.

Don’t diss the questionable tactics in the video, they’re only for demonstration purposes…

As technology advances, more and more robotic and drone devices will become integrated into our high-risk responses for officer safety.  Keep the ideas coming, I say!


Posted in SWAT, Tactics, Technology | 4 Comments

Fox Knives at BLADE Show

Fox Knives PM-3Fox Knives had some knives on hand at BLADE Show 2015 that actually debuted at the IWA Show in Nuremburg back in March, but these were new to U.S. buyers.  I liked them for military and law enforcement use.  The first was the PM-3.  It is a no-nonsense lockback folder that is marketed for police and rescue work.

The PM-3’s blade is made of Bohler-Udeholm N690Co stainless steel, which is comparable to 440C but has a little cobalt added for a little better edge holding.  It measures 3.15″ in length and is Cerakoted.  The blunt clip-point blade has large thumb studs that would work well with gloved hands.

The handle is nicely shaped G10 over steel liners.  There is an ample cut out for the index finger, of which I am always a fan.  The right or left tip-up pocket clip and carbide window breaker ride out back.  The pivot and pocket clip screws fit a slotted screwdriver or coin.  The PM-3 will be available in Continue reading

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How Criminals Defeat Keyless Entry Systems

Faraday pouchWe had experienced some curious auto thefts where a suspect was seen pointing something at a victim’s car, then opening the door and driving away.  The owner’s keys were still inside the house.  We had it all on surveillance video and it was puzzling.  This type of theft occurs by a relay attack.

Passive Keyless Entry Systems are the latest technology that let drivers walk up to their car and open the doors or trunk without pushing a button or touching a key.  As long as the fob is in your pocket or purse, you are hands-free to get into the vehicle.  Once inside the car, the driver uses a start button to fire up the engine.  Again, no touching the key.

PKES’s employ low frequency radio signals to set up communications between the key fob and car.  As a safety feature, the fob needs to be in close physical proximity to the vehicle.  Using commercially available power amplifiers, criminals boost the low freq signals and relay them, causing the car to think the key is within its operating radius.

An amplifier allows the suspect to unlock the car’s doors and start the engine when the keys are actually far away, Continue reading

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New Florida Transient Occupant Law


Hobos–Library of Congress

The text is a bit lengthy, but I have pasted in the new Florida State Statute 82.045, which allows a law enforcement officer to remove transient occupants from a home at the owner’s request.  This has been gray area for the police when confronted with ejecting an unwanted guest from a dwelling where they had taken up temporary residence.  Generally, it has been practice to treat as a civil matter and tell the homeowner that they must start a lengthy eviction procedure to remove the persona non grata.

The statute addresses factors a LEO may use to determine if a subject is a transient occupant, procedures for their removal, and protection for the good faith use of this statute by officers.  Civil remedies are notated at the end of the statute.

Understandably, this situation has, up until now, frustrated well-meaning complainants.  I believe that the new law, signed by the Governor two weeks ago, will alleviate the problem of someone’s buddy becoming their bestist squatter.   This statute makes it a criminal trespass to remain on site after warning and is therefore arrestable on view.  The new law takes effect on July 1. 2015.


An act relating to unlawful detention by a transient occupant; creating s. 82.045, F.S.; defining the term “transient occupant”; providing factors that establish a transient occupancy; providing for removal of a transient occupant by a law enforcement officer; providing a cause of action for wrongful removal; limiting actions for wrongful removal; providing a civil action for removal of a transient occupant; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: Section 1. Section 82.045, Florida Statutes,is created to read: 82.045

Remedy for unlawful detention by a transient occupant of residential property.—

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Schenk Knives at BLADE Show

Schenk KnivesOne of the first booths I happened upon at BLADE Show 2015 was being shared by Fox Knives with a fledgling company, Schenk Knives.  Zane Schenk, CEO, designer, maker, and all around nice guy showed me their Made in Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA products.  He said he likes to think they manufacture custom knives, affordable to the general public.

Schenk uses three main steels in their full-tang fixed blade creations:  51200 bearing steel, Bohler-Uddenholm ELMAX, and lightning strike damascus, which is a blend of 1095 and 15N20.  Schenk knife models can be had in any of the three, partnered with a stonewashed, Cerakote, or combination Cerakote-satin finish, as in the knife above.  The lightning strike damascus has a clear Cerakote to Continue reading

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Pohl Force Mike Three and Four Outdoor Folders

Pohl Force Mike 3 and 4Dietmar Pohl has been designing knives for over a decade and a half.  He is a recognized expert in tactical knives for military and law enforcement uses and has written acclaimed books on the subject.  The knife company he founded, Pohl Force, featured two new folders at BLADE Show 2015.  These were the Mike Three and Four Outdoors.

Pohl Force’s EOD (Euro Ops Division) partnered with Italy’s Lionsteel to produce these robust knives.  The Mike Three and Four are modified versions of Pohl Force’s popular Mike One and Two.  The production of the Three and Four dialed back some of the more expensive manufacturing components and processes to bring the pricepoints down, but still maintain the quality and durability of the new Mikes.

The Mike Three and Four forgo the titanium/G10 handle in favor of hard-coated, 3D machined aluminum over a steel insert framelock.  The result gets us the same tight Continue reading

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BLADE Show 2015


Through this portal passed steel junkies from all over the world.

I arrived home from BLADE Show 2015 last night.  My trip was on a nomad’s budget, so I drove up, spent one night, then drove right back.  I was able to attend the show floor on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  It was rushed.  There were 300 booths and nearly 700 tables of good things to see.  Because of my abbreviated stay, I missed much, but I met some cool folks and saw some of the newest knives.  In the next few weeks, I will be posting articles on what I learned, so keep TBF dialed in.

Friday, I collected my Media Pass at Will Call and marched right into the show.  After several hours, I was bushed and ready for dinner, my annual trip to the Big Chow Grill for stir-fry.  On Saturday, the line to get in at 0900 hrs. snaked through the Cobb Galleria Center for a hundred yards.  I waited patiently until it died down twenty minutes later.  Once inside, I realized my pants pocket was devoid of its usual Continue reading

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New Hogue Automatic Retention Holster

imageHogue, Inc. is introducing a new feature on their line of holsters.  It is called the Automatic Retention System.  The retention is released by the thumb during the drawing of the handgun.  When reinserted, the gun is passively locked in at the trigger guard.

This type of holster provides a positive hold on the firearm, but avoids a competitor’s perceived problem by having the release at the thumb and not a finger.  Not that I have a problem with the trigger finger release on the issued holster I have carried in plainclothes for eight years.  My patrol holster has a thumb release.

Read Hogue’s ARS press release here: Continue reading

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Murders Spike in Baltimore–Cause and Effect?

imageThe number of murders in Baltimore during the month of May skyrocketed following the indictments of six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.  Baltimore had 40 homicides in May 2015.  Of cities with comparable populations, Baltimore’s homicides top those of Boston, Denver, Las Vegas, Louisville, and Nashville–combined!  It is also eight more than in New York City, which has more than ten times the number of residents.

Since the indictments, arrests in Baltimore have dropped by 56% from the number of arrests in Continue reading

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Two Hialeah K9 Dogs Die in Vehicle

Hialeah K9 Dogs

Hialeah Police K9’s Jimmy and Hector

This one really hurts.  A Hialeah Police K9 handler ended his shift Wednesday morning (after an OT search for a missing person), went into his Davie house, and left his two K9 partners in the vehicle.  By evening, both dogs had expired.  The officer was a seven-year handler and 13-year cop.  He was given both a Belgian Malinois and a bloodhound because he was a proficient handler.  How could this happen?

Apparently, when the handler went into his house, he turned off the engine of his assigned Ford SUV.  With the vehicle not running, his heat alarm supposedly went inactive.  I do not understand a system designed like this because every one I have had in my K9 cruisers still functioned with the engine off.  It is a back-up in case the engine stalls for a mechanical reason and the a/c goes out.

Most modern heat alarm systems trip at a pre-set high temperature, firing up the lightbar or an audible horn, dropping the rear windows, and activating a fan.  Some have pager options and door poppers, while others have a manual shut down routine that prompts Continue reading

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New Mil-Spec Monkey Boss Beaver Pack

Mil-Spec Monkey had requests for a larger backpack following the popularity of his mid-sized MSM Adapt Pack.  The new Boss Beaver Pack combines a substantial main pack with an adjustable “beaver tail” pouch that can hold much larger, bulkier items.  The Monkey himself gives us a tour in the video.

There are times when I have had to lug my Kevlar pot along with other pieces of equipment in a backpack.  The Boss Beaver would have gotten that task done, then later converted back to a more reasonable EDC-style bag.  Much versatility was incorporated into this design, what with its ability to stow larger objets de guerre. Continue reading

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Memorial Day

American-Flag-2048x1536-iPad-wallpaper_1It is Memorial Day.  My wife and I gave thanks at dinner tonight for all the servicemen and women who have given their lives for our freedom.  We hope we are honoring them with the way in which we live each day.  “Thank you” cannot not adequately convey our gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice.


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