Don Hume: Leather Duty Gear
I have seen Don Hume holsters on the shelves of various firearms dealers for many years, but until recently I never owned one myself. This past year my shooting and training partner Joe and I started carrying Smith & Wesson M&Ps off duty and good leather was required for them. This was the chance to give Don Hume's leather a firsthand look.
Since my M&P would be worn off duty and on the range, I chose the H721 O.T. (over top). Since Joe uses his for details and office work, he worked with the H722 Tac, which accommodates a mounted tactical light. To carry a reload we both opted for The Elite, which is a single open top magazine pouch.
The Elite was chosen for a magazine pouch because it gives you fast access to a magazine, has a fitted friction fit, and with the way the reinforcement is stitched to the pouch it looks good. The Elite was used under heavy winter clothing and for open carry and the magazine could be drawn smoothly and quickly.
When it comes to holsters, the H721 O.T. and H722 Tac show the diversity of Don Hume's offerings. While both holsters are technically concealment holsters, they are vastly different to meet individual and agency requirements.
The H721 O.T. is a classic pancake-style holster. It should be worn just behind the apex of the hip because it is designed with a slight butt forward cant. This style of holster conceals large framed pistols well under light outerwear or heavy winter clothing. What I like about the H721 O.T. is there are no snaps or straps to get tangled in clothing during a draw. In my opinion this is an ideal all around holster if you are authorized a holster without a thumb break. Should you need a thumb break, the H721 version will meet your needs.
Since Joe uses his holster for details and his agency requires a thumb break for off-duty work, he chose the H722 Tac. This holster allows him to mount a SureFire X300, or a Streamlight TLR-1. The H722 Tac is a pancake-style holster with a thumb break for security and allows you to carry a light mounted to your handgun. Joe tells me the holster does a fine job at concealing his M&P to and from work, while at the grocery store, or when he is carrying it for other daily activities.
Joe and I agreed that Don Hume's holsters and magazine pouches are top quality and well made. From what I can see, Don Hume's line rivals that of high-end custom made leather.
Vortex: Viper Scope
Ask 10 shooters and you will most likely get 10 different answers about which optics are best. I am a fan of telescopic sights with an objective lens of 44mm or less because they allow you to use medium rings for most applications. This gives the shooter a more solid cheek to stock weld and generally you won't need to have an adjustable comb on the stock. The Viper Scope from Vortex fits the bill nicely.
This year I have been using a Vortex Viper Riflescope. The scope is a 4-12X40 PA with 1/4 MOA windage and elevation adjustments. The ViewMAG, or magnification adjustment, is visible from behind the scope and does not require you to look down on the scope to see what power you are on. The same can be said for the parallax adjustment (PA). It is on the side and you can read the numbers by simply looking down the side of the scope.
Two things that set Vortex Optics' scopes apart from others I have looked at are the eye relief and the reticle. The Viper I was using gives nearly four inches of eye relief; more than enough for use on a .300 Win. Mag or a .338 Lapua. Yes, the Vortex Viper can endure the recoil from those calibers.
The Viper's reticle, unlike that of the competition, is engraved into the inner lens and will not break like scopes using a wire reticle. A broken wire reticle can be a costly repair and when it happens at a critical moment can cause issues such as a missed shot or misplaced shot that none of us wishes to deal with.
Vortex's Dead-Hold BDC is another great feature to be found on the Viper's reticle. It allows you to zero your scope at 100 yards. And using the sub crosshair dots you are zeroed for ranges out to 500 yards in non-magnum calibers. In a fluid situation this can be a major advantage, allowing you to quickly be on target at various ranges.
I have been very pleased with the Vortex Viper I've been using. It truly allows the rifle I have it on to function at its peak performance.
Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs and a contributing editor to POLICE.