Crossbow Eye Protection
A kit containing two lenses and two frames provides plenty of options for keeping your eyes safe on the job.
ESS Eyepro has been supplying military and law enforcement shooters with quality affordable protective optics for many years. The Crossbow is one of the company's newest offerings.
The Crossbow comes as a two-frame, two-lens kit in a zippered hard case, with a head strap and microfiber lens cloth. The kit comes with two lenses: smoke grey and clear, both with black frames. This allows you to have day and night optical protection. If you are like me and need some optical assistance, fear not; ESS offers two prescription inserts to fit your mission requirements. If you require additional lenses for varying light conditions, you can choose from ESS Eyepro's high definition yellow and rose copper. These lenses are secured to the frame by the Ded Bolt locking system, which makes them secure once in place but still easy to remove.
ESS Eyepro's Tri-Tech Fit helps the Crossbow protect the operator's eyes while staying comfortable for a 12-hour day or longer by eliminating pressure points and reducing wearer fatigue. One of my partners wore these glasses for several days for work day and night, and found them to be comfortable.
Yes, I did say he wore them day and night. You don't just need to protect your eyes from the sun. While the lenses provide UVA and UVB protection from sun rays, more importantly they provide optical ballistic protection. Nothing will take you out of the fight quicker than not being able to see. ESS' lenses will protect your eyes from flying objects and sprayed liquids as well as a flying fist.
ESS Eyepro has several other models of protective eyewear, be it glasses or goggles. They all offer comfortable, quality, affordable optical protection. ESS Eyepro should be one of the companies you consider to safeguard your eyes.
Covert Cargo Pant
Recently 5.11 Tactical added the Covert Cargo Pant to its ever expanding line of apparel and more. While cargo pants may be fashionable most of the time, there is sometimes a need to go with the smooth legged chino look. The problem is this style usually leaves no place to put your stuff.
5.11's Covert Cargo Pant solves this problem by having the pocket open with a zipper built into the seam of the leg and not be a traditional billow style pocket. This pocket is much more slim line and gives the Covert Cargo a more casual look. The great thing about this pocket is it will carry two 30-round AR-15 magazines. If you are not packing your favorite AR they work just as well for your wallet, cell phone, or small digital camera.
Each front slash pocket of the Covert Cargo has a zipper pocket behind it. You access this pocket through the seam zipper and it looks like you are simply accessing your front pocket. Speaking of the front pocket, it will easily carry a "J" frame or small pocket semi-automatic securely and discreetly when you close the zipper.
5.11 Tactical finishes the low-profile look of the Covert Cargo with traditional sized belt loops that will accommodate a 1.75-inch-wide belt, but I found a 1.5-inch-wide belt was more casual looking.
The 5.11 Covert Cargo is one of the most comfortable pairs of pants I have worn in quite some time. So if comfort and versatility are what you look for in a pair of pants, the 5.11 Tactical Covert Cargo will serve you well.
Tritium Fiber Optic Sights
Being able to see your sights is one of the most important considerations when using your duty weapon. Many years ago I installed fiber optic sights on my Limited Class 1911 for competition, but I found them too fragile and I replaced them with other sights.
Fast forward to the year 2010 and to Truglo's Tritium Fiber Optic (TFO) sights. These bright green front sights are great for daylight use, and at night the tritium "glows" in the dark; the best of both worlds.
TFOs are built for heavy-duty use. The fiber optic tube sits inside a metal sight. Although the top is open, the sides of the sight are enough to protect the fiber optic tube. These sights are tough enough that several agencies are installing them on their issued duty weapons. The TFOs are also tough enough that SIG Sauer installs them on several of the pistols produced by SIG's Custom Shop.
You can easily install TFOs yourself, and they're available for a wide range of weapons: SIG Sauer, Glock, H&K USP, most Kimber 1911s, and Springfield Armory's XD and XDM series of pistols. The sights are also available to replace the fixed front sight of an AR or fit a Picatinny-railed gas block on your AR.
I have used TFOs on my SIG Sauer P226, my DelTon DTI4 (model TG131AR) with fixed front sight, and on my DPMS M4's gas block (model TG115 with an LED light in the base). They aid my near-50-year-old eyes in finding the front sight and they have proven to be durable and make accurate shot placement much easier than factory sights. While the handgun sights are windage adjustable, the AR sights are easily adjusted for elevation.
Should your department be looking for new tritium sights for its duty weapons, consider going with the Truglo TFOs. These sights will give you a good sight picture in day or night and they are built to handle the rigors of duty, training, and competition.
One important piece of gear that's often overlooked is a wristwatch. It's used to start our day, end it, verify the time for various reports and call-ins throughout the day, and sometimes even to answer the passerby who inquires as to what time it is.
I have seen and used a number of watches in the 20 years I have worked for Uncle Sam. Most have gone to circular file 13 because they failed to do two things: keep time and function. This is a major complaint with watches no matter the price range. Rogue Warrior Watches are built to do both of the above and to do so for many moons to come.
The first thing I noticed about the Avenger was the dial. It is large enough that those of us with aging eyes can read it without our bifocals. Also, the dial's numbers and hour markers have a greenish-yellow cast that makes it easy to read in dim light. This is Kryptolite, a phosphorescent material that glows when "charged" with your tactical light.
I also like the auxiliary dials on the watch face. The dial on the right reads out the "24" hour time, the bottom dial is your second hand, and the left dial reads minutes. The small square window shows the date. The second hand also acts as a timer operated by the two small knobs on the watch case.
What you won't notice by just looking at it is the water "resistance" of the watch. Its seals and O-rings will keep water out to a depth of approximately 660 feet, which is much deeper than most rivers and creeks I have encountered while working.
The other impressive feature you cannot see is the lack of moisture in the watch. You will notice moisture in most watches when you move from extremes, say moving from outside at six degrees below zero into your warm 80-degree vehicle. Moisture within the watch will condense on the crystal. Rogue Warrior overcomes this by pumping krypton gas into the watch and sealing it; the krypton displaces all the environmental air. No air means no moisture, hence no condensation.
I have been T&Eing the Avenger for the last few months and the last thing I noticed is the black coating on the stainless steel does not wear off. The coating is DLC, or diamond-like coating, and it has been my experience that this is damn tough stuff. Also tough is the watch crystal, which is a mineral, not sapphire "glass." The four-millimeter-thick mineral crystal is more durable than a sapphire crystal, which may be scratch-resistant but is more prone to break. It's better to have a scratched crystal than a broken one.
Overall, the Rogue Warrior Avenger lives up to the legend of the real Rogue Warrior, Richard Marcinko, a retired SEAL and commander in the U.S. Navy. Like their namesake, Rogue Warrior Watches have survived the worst places on earth. They will survive on the streets.
0700 Folding Knife
If you are looking for a cool looking and functional duty knife Kershaw's Zero Tolerance 0700 is a good candidate. The extra wide tanto-style blade is easily opened with one hand thanks to its thumb stud design and smooth operation.
The 0700's blade is made from S30V stainless steel, which is stonewashed for a matte finish. To reduce weight, the knife is only 8.125 inches long opened but about half of that is blade. ZT uses G10 for the grips and the blade locks with a liner lock. This is quite a tool for $120.
Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs and a contributing editor to POLICE.