Every once in awhile I need to let you know about some new products, but more importantly, those I can recommend. This time around we’ll limit the discussion to three products, all quite different, but each being something I think you can use.
Cold Steel Training Firearms
When I wandered in to visit Rob Leahy at Simply Rugged Holsters a few days ago I was surprised to see a stack of green rubber guns on a workbench in Cold Steel packaging. As I looked them over Rob explained the detail is so good, and the price so reasonable, he is going to use them to form holsters. Theses training guns are made of a softer material then the blue and red trainers you’re probably familiar with and this makes them more suitable for use in martial arts, as well as firearms training. Currently Cold Steel has five models of these trainers for sale; two 1911s (one with the hammer cocked, one with the hammer down), a Ruger LCR 2” revolver, a Beretta 92 and a long barreled Ruger Super Redhawk.
Although listed at a price of $24.99 in their catalog, the 1911 trainer I ordered was billed at $19.95 – I guess there was a sale going on. It is very detailed and I would say it is modeled after a Kimber, from the look of it. The trainer has a Picatinny rail and I discovered it is properly proportioned to allow the mounting of various lights and lasers. This training pistol has gone into my range bag and I’ll be using it when I teach. www.coldsteel.com or www.ltspecpro.com
Hornady Rapid Rack
I’m usually the last to figure out why something new is useful and that was the case when the Rapid Rack arrived from Hornady. Made out of aluminum and resembling a cartridge case with a handle covered in red plastic it’s advertised as a loaded chamber indicator as well as a “charge assist device” for when you might wish to keep an AR style rifle on standby with a loaded magazine and an empty chamber. I don’t shoot on a range where chamber flags are required and I’m pretty sure I know how to rack a round into the chamber of an AR carbine so I tossed the Rapid rack on the workbench and forgot about it while I went on to other pressing matters. When I finally got around to trying it I dragged my house carbine out of the safe, set it up with the Ready Rack then grasped the handle and gave it a sharp tug. Holy frijoles! This thing really works! When you tug briskly on the handle the bolt is pulled to the rear, the Ready Rack falls away and the bolt runs forward to chamber a round from the magazine. It’s so quick and easy even I can do it, and, as is usually the case, it left me wondering why I hadn’t thought of this myself.
This is a great way to set up a ready/standby carbine. Starting with an unloaded rifle, bolt locked to the rear; insert the chamber plug portion of the Ready Rack in the chamber with the handle sticking out to the side. Ease the bolt forward until it contacts the Ready Rack then insert a loaded magazine in the mag well. To put the carbine into action simply grab the handle and rack it to the rear. Hornady has models for semi-auto shotguns and ARs in both 5.56 and 7.62. You can order these direct from Hornady’s website at a cost of $12.48.
Hornady Rapid Safe 2700
Firearms Safety Rule #5 is: Maintain control of your firearm. This means if your gun isn’t on your person and in your control it needs to be locked up. While there are a number of gun safe and lockbox options on the market, I think what Hornady has done with their new Rapid Safe 2700 is unique in the way it combines convenience with security. Appearing to be well built and, I assume, very secure (no, I didn’t beat and drill on it so I could report how long it takes to break into) the Rapid Safe is big enough to secure a full size pistol like a Beretta 92, Glock 17 or 1911 with room for a spare magazine. There’s also plenty of room to store things like jewelry, watches, wallets and the like along with a medium or small size pistol. The safe can be mounted to a floor, wall or shelf and comes with a heavy-duty cable so it can be fastened to something solid and un-moveable.
The Rapid Safe uses RFID chips to allow for “quick and reliable access”, as Hornady puts it. Several chips come with the safe, including two in the form of stickers (suggested you can stick one on your cell phone), a wristband and a key fob. Once programmed, any of these chipped devices when waved over the sensor atop the safe will cause it to pop open. The safe comes with a power cord and has provision for battery back up as well. If all else fails, the safe can be opened with a barrel-lock key. If you need to keep a gun handy, yet secure, the Rapid Safe 2700 is the answer. Listed for $203.17 from Hornady, a Google search revealed pricing from several sources averaging around $169.00. www.hornady.com
About the Author:
Ed Head is a regular on Shooting Gallery, Gun Stories and Down Range TV. He has worked for almost 30 years in law enforcement, first in the United States Air Force and then with the United States Border Patrol, retiring as a Field Operations Supervisor. During his Border Patrol career, Ed worked in a variety of patrol, investigative and training capacities. Ed has an extensive background as a firearms instructor, having trained thousands, ranging from beginners to police, military and special operations personnel. Having taught at Gunsite for 20 years, Ed first trained there under the world famous shooting school’s founder, Jeff Cooper, then later ran the school as the operations manager for more than five years. Ed lives in Chino Valley, Arizona, where he continues to teach and write.