With all of the gear we carry on our duty belts, what we don't need is yet another bulky tool to add more weight and take up more space. BlackHawk Products Group understands the concept of less is more and has many innovative products for GIs and cops. The Hawkhook is one piece of gear that is small but mighty.
This handy tool is a window breaker, flat tip screwdriver, bottle top opener, serrated knife, and seat belt/harness cutter. You get all of this in a 3.5-inch package that clips to your belt or pocket. The Hawkhook weighs only a few ounces so you won't even notice you are carrying it.
The blade and frame of the Hawkhook are made from 420J stainless steel, which is highly corrosion resistant and most likely will hold its edge for the life of the tool. To ensure a solid purchase, the front of the Hawkhook is textured polymer. This reduces the weight and is tough as nails.
I have found this tool will fit between a duty belt and your pants belt and take up only the space that the clip occupies. Try finding another tool that offers this much that takes up barely a half inch on your duty belt. I think aside from a knife you will be hard pressed to find another tool that will meet those criteria.
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Danner: Striker II Assault Uniform Boot
By the time this issue of POLICE Magazine arrives in your mailbox, winter will be upon most of the country and that means cold and wet in most areas. I have found over the years one of the keys to being warm is having dry feet. Danner boots have been keeping my feet dry for more than 20 years: in the military, as a mail carrier, as a hunter, and now on duty as a cop.
The Striker II Assault is Danner's latest version of this successful boot. It has been improved by adding Crosstech, a membrane that prevents the penetration of body fluids. In this day and age of various bloodborne pathogens, this is a feature that could save your life. The other advantage of Crosstech is that it is also waterproof; so it's a two for one deal.
This boot with an avant-gard look is very comfortable and supportive thanks to its Terra Force X Lite platform and outsole. The platform is lightweight and supportive, making the boot feel like an athletic shoe on steroids. Further enhancing this support is a puncture-resistant midsole. The outsole also enhances the boot's toughness, as it is slip resistant, flexible, and quiet on most surfaces.
The upper of the boot is 1,000-denier nylon to reduce the weight and enhance comfort. For those who prefer or work for an agency that requires it, the foot of the boot is polishable leather. The best of both worlds in a duty boot.
Danner Boots has been making outstanding military and law enforcement boots most of my adult life. I have worn them on the wettest and coldest days and swear by them. Check out the new Striker II, this boot will keep your feet dry and could save your life with the Crosstech fabric.
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Spec Ops: T.H.E. Mamba Sling
With more and more agencies authorizing long guns for duty use, it's important not to overlook the necessity of a sling when setting up your firearm. If you are like me and government trained, you know that in days gone by we used slings for parades and not much else. Today, slings keep your firearm handy and ready to use at all times.
I have found Spec Ops Brand's T.H.E. Mamba to be one of the most versatile slings on the market. T.H.E. stands for The Holds Everything sling; and it does. Simply follow the instructions and it can be configured as a one-, two-, or three-point sling for everything from an MP5 to an 870, and even an M21/M14/M1A. How's that for covering literally everything?
I have used the T.H.E. Mamba on my M4 and on a new SIG 556. This sling has been used for classes at Blackwater and in local three-gun competitions. It holds the carbine right at waist level and out of the way to allow an easy transition to a handgun. My shooting and travel partner has been using one on his Robarms M96 for duty and he tells me his Mamba allows him to carry his carbine comfortably for hours.
To further enhance the Mamba's versatility, it is available in the ever popular black, coyote brown, and foliage green. This allows for use on duty, the street, or in woodland or desert settings. The T.H.E. Mamba is a good piece of equipment that will serve you for years to come.
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Lauer Weaponry: Dura Coat
Over the years I have owned many firearms and have pondered how to refinish them once they start showing signs of wear and tear. The options have been fairly limited: use cold bluing to touch it up, send the piece to a gunsmith for refinishing, or just deal with the looks of a battle scarred firearm. I am not a fan of sending my firearms out for work unless I can't do it myself, so in the past I opted for cold blue and made sure my weapons were oiled and cleaned so they wouldn't rust. But now there's a better option.
A few years back I ran across a product that can solve the problem of weapons refinishing: Lauer Weaponry's Dura Coat. This is a two-part chemical finish. With a little practice, it can be easily applied to achieve great and varied results. The great thing about Dura Coat is that it comes in well over 100 colors from black to neon pink, so you can refinish your weapons, knives, helmets, etc., in any color or camouflage pattern you wish.
I have been using Dura Coat on long guns, handguns, and even knives and flashlights. And the finish is damn tough. About the only wear points I have seen are around the muzzle of a handgun and possibly the front round of the frame where the weapon contacts your holster. There are several AR-15s riding in local police cars whose only scarring after three or more years is on the receiver where the carbines slide between vehicle seats into various weapons racks.
Before you apply Dura Coat, you must thoroughly clean and degrease your weapon. I suggest wiping it down with acetone or alcohol after using your favorite cleaner; this gets all the small amounts of residue. Next, warm the weapon; I have found setting an AR in the sun makes the surface warm enough. Or if you have a space heater, set the weapon near it. Handguns can be warmed in an oven—but not over 120 degrees. Next, mix the finish following the instructions closely to ensure the finish cures properly.
To apply the finish you must use an airbrush or an HVLP paint gun. Apply in light coats. Allow curing for at least an hour before handling. The weapon is ready for use the next day.
Dura Coat can be sprayed over itself to make a camouflage pattern or to touch up wear marks. Lauer Weaponry also makes templates for a number of camouflage patterns. I have used the templates for a number of finishes and they work great.
If you are not comfortable applying the finish yourself, contact Lauer Weaponry and they'll do it for you. The company offers a quick turn around, as well as law enforcement and military discounts. Lauer Weaponry's Dura Coat will give your tired old weapons a face lift or allow you to camouflage them to meet the needs of your operation.
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Scott Smith is a federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs.