This feature-rich watch comes packed with tools to help you master the outdoors. Designed for hunters, fisherman and hikers, the alpha series uses GPS to give you location-based information on the moon phase calendar, sunrise and sunset, and barometric pressure.
Weather alerts keep you informed of incoming hazards. Hunting-specific POI types help you mark locations and trails while scouting. This watch also features automatic shot detection, which tracks your coordinates when shooting and number of shots taken. It uses Bluetooth to sync with a computer and/or smartphone to create routes using topographic maps. The digital compass keeps you heading in the right direction. With all of that, if you still get lost, an automatic breadcrumb trail is second lieutenant-proof and will help you retrace your steps.
The red backlight is NVG compatible. This watch has passed 19 different tests according to military standards (MIL-STD 810G). It is rechargeable and lasts well over a week. Made in Finland.
In testing the original Hopper, there were a couple of drawbacks: The opening was tight, which made it hard to see what you were grabbing, and it made it difficult to pull your hand out with a bottle in your grasp.
Now, the Flip 12 comes in a traditional cooler form, with a lid that lifts open for easy access to contents. Its soft shell makes it more comfortable to carry and more versatile on long road/ boat trips. The Hopper Flip 12’s cubed body with a flat top make it stackable, unlike the original. It’s made of Dryhide Shell, a waterproof, high-density fabric that’s as tough as they come, and an FDA-approved food-grade liner. It uses closed-cell rubber foam insulation to provide the “keeps cold, longer” that Yeti is famous for.
The HydroLok zipper is 100 percent leak proof for keeping the cold in and the elements out. The Flip 12 has two handles for lifting and a shoulder strap for carrying and is available in Fog Gray/Tahoe Blue or Field Tan/Blaze Orange (tested).
Whether you are man enough to wear this to the gym, range or even for tactical training, the Tactical Duty Kilt is literal to the term, “going commando,” and gives new meaning to “free range.” (Ba-da, ching! … we “kilt” it!)
With great airflow/ventilation and a large range of motion, this kilt is comfortable for everyday wear. It has generously deep front pockets and removable, TDU-styled cargo pockets with slots for both handgun and rifle magazines. It uses heavy-duty snaps and comes equipped with two D-rings for attaching carabiner or other accessories. The kilt is constructed of TACLITE rip-stop fabric, features reinforced triple-stitching and is coated with a Teflon finish. Heavy-duty belt loops accommodate a 1.75-inch belt. It comes in black, TDU Green, Moss, TDU Khaki, Stone, Burnt and Multi-Cam (tested).
The BFS III is a three-position trigger with “safe,” “semiauto” and “get some” (aka “binary”) modes. In binary mode, it fires one round at squeeze and one round upon release for a fast double-tap. The result is nearly instantaneous follow-up shots and a tighter two-shot group. Operationally, it’s not that different from the three-round burst found in military rifles, except it has two rounds and is civilian legal. Our sample averaged 4.4 pounds, with a crisp break and positive reset.
The BFS III Trigger is easy to install and works with most AR-platform rifles: AR15, AR10, .22LR (for uppers that work with standard lowers), 9mm and SIG MPX. We haven’t used this trigger for competing yet, but it’s loads of fun.
This well-designed and durable sight features a large front sight ring that draws the eye to it for fast acquisition. The rear sight is subdued black with a U-notch to facilitate front sight focus. For use at night, three Swiss tritium capsules work in low-light conditions and even in complete darkness.
The rear sight front edge is angled for one-handed slide charging. It is CNC-machined of steel for tough duty, and its proprietary Fortress Finish provides permanent protection from corrosion and damage resulting from rough use. There are more than 25 models to choose from for most popular handguns.
These are the best thing since … well, socks. As any groundpounding grunt can tell you, good socks are critical when your feet are your taxi. The other gear loses importance if your puppies are barking. It is critical to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
We’ve been extremely impressed with the entire sock line from Browning. Redesigned in 2017, they feature greater moisture wicking, breathable mesh panels, seamless toes, arch support and mapped cushioning. These socks are extremely comfortable for all day in the fi eld and while kicking back afterward, as well. They are made of top-quality materials and are designed for rugged outdoor use in any climate, from hot to cold, wet to dry. They’re built well (most of them are manufactured in the U.S.A.) and will last a long time.
The Glock frame cavity bothers some people, while others don’t care. (We fall into the second category.)
But because it’s there, it might as well be put to good use … such as storing an armorer’s takedown tool.
This device from TangoDown does just that. It comprises three parts: the base insert and two armorer’s takedown tools, one of which is for use with the back strap and one for use without. Simply snap the insert into the frame cavity, then snap in one of the two tools. Whenever you need the tool, it will be there. It also serves to keep your palm cleared of the magwell for quicker reloads. This tool is especially useful with compact grips, such as those found on the G19. It is made of stainless steel and polymer.
We’ve used inferior sight tools— even expensive ones—that have damaged the sights and have even had the drive knob break.
There’s something to be said for a large hunk of machined metal to get the job done right. Adjustable for all semiauto handguns, it installs, removes and adjusts all front and rear dovetail sights. It’s precision machined to tight tolerances using a high-quality, heavy-duty anodized aluminum body and high-tensile-strength steel screws and nuts.
The slide is fully and firmly supported so that the slide won’t be damaged. We lined the contact points with electrical tape to prevent marring the slide’s finish. It’s also reference-marked for precision sight adjustment. The drive knob is large and extremely sturdy—great for powering off some hard-to-remove sights. This tool is a must-have if you want to swap out your own sights.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.