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Heat casualties are a critical problem for body armor users. The “IcePlate” is a SAPI plate-shaped reusable water bottle that when frozen provides 140+ watts of cooling using the 100 ounces of water already carried by war fighters to maximize hydration efficiency beyond simple consumption. The IcePlate helps body armor users stay safer, lighter, more hydrated, with cooler core body temperatures while wearing their protective armor.

IcePlate Under Armor: Hydration, Heating and Cooling

IcePlate Under Armor: Hydration, Heating and CoolingHeat casualties are a critical problem for body armor users. The “IcePlate” is a SAPI plate-shaped reusable water bottle that when frozen provides 140+ watts of cooling using the 100 ounces of water already carried by war fighters to maximize hydration efficiency beyond simple consumption. The IcePlate helps body armor users stay safer, lighter, more hydrated, with cooler core body temperatures while wearing their protective armor. The military has been trying to solve the problem of cooling soldiers efficiently for several decades. Because of the insulating properties of protective body armor, those who wear it are at increased risk of dehydration, heat stroke, and performance loss, as their bodies cannot offload the heat trapped by the armor. Typical cooling mechanisms require power or add significant weight to operator kit, making them ineffective and impractical. Thus the US military spends hundreds of millions of dollars in hydration bladders and bottled water to replenish and rehydrate operators in the field after they have already begun to experience dehydration. However, coupled with the extreme temperatures of modern conflict areas, rehydration is insufficient. Operators working at even moderate levels produce 2L/hour of sweat as their bodies work to keep core temperature from elevating1, while exercise research has shown water intake rates of greater than 0.5L/hour are unsustainable.2 As dehydration of even 2% of body weight substantially reduces performance, operators are required to reduce their work output to compensate. Quartermaster guidelines show that moving from hot to temperate conditions lowers recommended soldier water requirements by up to 50%. Thus cooling, if effectively and efficiently applied, can significantly reduce water requirements and better balance soldier sweat versus water intake rate, substantially improving hydration and, in turn, performance. The IcePlate solves the issues of war fighter cooling, hydration, endurance and heat injury prevention while dramatically enhancing military-wide logistical efficiency through decreased water demand and improved volumetric storage. IcePlate is made from ultra-durable, food grade, FDA-approved High Density Polyethylene (HDPE); it can be refilled and reused if need be, but it is cheap enough to be expendable. It contains no moving parts or batteries, and is without sanitary risk associated with Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit produced water. Highlights: 140+ watts of cooling when frozen (front and back IcePlates) 50+ ounce capacity per IcePlate 12 oz. empty bottle weight 30%+ volumetric efficiency gain over bottled water Optimized for Pelican Coolers Fits any body armor configuration/rig Can be worn with or without armor using top and side strap loops (optional) Asymmetric low point drain ensures total consumption Screw top for easy refill and addition of electrolyte tablets Near zero back face deformation when worn behind soft body armor (Results from preliminary testing seen here .) Available in White/Clear, Wolf Grey and Desert Tan (OD Green coming this summer) Recessed fill port minimizes injury risk to neck/throat area in blast events Recyclable Made in USA IcePlate can be worn between a Combat Shirt (or any base layer shirt) and a plate carrier. It is designed to be secured to body armor using any number of field-expedient, improved lashing options: folded over 100mph tape, 550 cord, shoelaces, zip ties or the included Velcro straps. Drawing on the existing practice of war fighters freezing bottled water before going out on patrol, IcePlate is worn and stored in a frozen state. Once deployed, body heat melts the ice; cooling the user and creating cool, clean drinking water simultaneously. The IcePlate fits with all types of armor (soft and hard) without modification for most missions. For missions where additional security is required, strap loops are built into the IcePlate. These strap loops allow IcePlate to be worn in a variety of configurations, with and without armor. The tremendous cooling power of the IcePlate has the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of water required by war fighters in the field. When comparing US Military bottled water consumption in hot versus temperate climates, water consumption drops by 50%. IcePlate simulates this effect by creating a temperate micro-climate for the operator when wearing IcePlate during in high temperature environments. Thermal image of Iceplate filled with Hot water Despite this tremendous capability, the functionality of IcePlate is not limited to hot climates. Filling it with hot water provides heating and insulating capability in cold temperatures. Maintaining war fighter hydration in colder climates is challenging because drinking cold water can cause operators to feel colder. The root cause of this problem is that water on a war fighter is not carried against the body to keep it warm. Exposed to the elements, the water gets cold, discouraging consumption by the war fighter for fear of feeling colder. Thermal image of Iceplate under armor after a few hours outside in 34F weather When filled with hot water, IcePlate leverages basic thermodynamics to the war fighters advantage. As heat flows from warm to cold, The IcePlate filled with warm water helps regulate core body temperature using the same thermodynamic conduction principles of warm to cold transfer that it uses to remove body heat in hot climates. By conductively leveraging body heat, IcePlate also prevents the water from freezing in cold/arctic environments as recently proven by an AFSOC unit deployed to the Arctic Circle with IcePlates. This versatility makes it unmatched by any other hydration or temperature management product ever created. Through its unparalleled capacity for thermal conduction, the IcePlate can severely reduce the threat of heat injuries and hypothermia, mitigating risk in harsh operational environments. The IcePlate is unrivaled in core temperature/hydration performance, weight, space, cost, durability and efficiency. It provides the greatest effects for the cost, and is seamlessly integrated into the warfighter’s kit while actually improving rig ergonomics. THE ICEPLATE IS READY TO SHIP NOW! Get your own IcePlates for $44 at qoreperformance.com by Justin Li and J.D. Willcox Co-Founders Qore Performance, Inc. References: Gisolfi, Carl V.; “Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments: Applications for Military Personnel in Field Operations” Section 5 Water Requirements During Exercise in the Heat; NIH Montain, Scott J. and Ely, Matthew; “Water Requirements and Soldier Hydration;” Borden Institute Monograph Series

The 4 Best Blood Tracking Lights – Reviews 2020 Photo by Phil Whitehouse / CC BY There was a time when tracking game was half art, half skill. Famed trackers and hunters could seemingly follow an animal across any terrain by understanding their habits and being hyper-attuned to detail. Sadly, few of us anymore get to lead the kind of life that gives us the chance to practice and master such venerable skills, so we are reduced to admiring the legendary hunters of old. And science. We have science on our side. Humans are tool users, and we constantly invent tools to compensate for lack or loss of skills or simply for the fact that despite our advanced brains, we are not exactly the strongest, fastest, and most powerful creatures living on the planet. One such tool we’ve created is the blood light. Using advanced mumbo jumbo and technology salvaged from the Roswell UFO crash, we were able to create flashlights that make blood glow under certain conditions. Actually, that’s not true; it’s just fancy black lights (alien technology not needed). If you don’t track wounded game with these, you can use it at parties, or to get grossed out at that used van you were thinking about buying. Anyway, the 4 following products can each qualify as the best blood tracking light . Check ’em out (and after our reviews, we dive into what you should look for in selecting such lights). Primos Bloodhunter Primos Bloodhunter HD Shadow Free Blood Tracking Light Price: $52.00 Price as of 08/14/2020 03:27 PDT (more info) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. This is probably the most epic of all blood lights on the market and is priced accordingly. Using advanced 600 lumen Cree LED’s and an advanced filter to further enhance light output, this light all but makes blood jump out and attack you. Most any blood light can track big drops in easy locations, but if you want to be assured of tracking wounded game like Daniel Boone, you will not find any better blood light on the market. Be aware though, this performance comes at a price in the form of low battery life, and a dangerously powerful light ( see full specs ) that can injure eyes or even cause blindness if misused. Used responsibly, this light is a must have for any hunter and is easily the best blood trail light period. Bloodhunter HD Watch this video on YouTube

7 Cheap .45 ACP Handguns That Dont Suck

7 Cheap .45 ACP Handguns That Dont Suck

Advertisment There’s a pretty well known debate about the best caliber for self defense with a lot of people firmly supporting . 45 ACP for that title. Now I’m not going to go into that here, but if that’s you and you’re looking for a .45 ACP that won’t drain your bank account, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tested all of the cheap .45 ACP handguns on the market to find the ones that don’t suck and are actually worth the money. I’m going to tell you about a few of the best budget-friendly .45s that shoot well, and also won’t cost you an arm and a leg. I’ll be going roughly from least expensive to most expensive, but that varies a bit based on where you’re shopping. There’s not much else to say, so let’s dive right in. Contents Ruger American Pistol Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield 2.0 Rock Island Armory GI Standard FS: Best Cheap .45 ACP 1911 Ruger SR45 Glock 21: Most Reliable Cheap .45 Beretta PX4 Storm Walther PPQ M2: Best Budget .45 Handgun Overall Parting Shots "Ruger American Pistol" First up is the Ruger American Pistol which, even when not on sale, typically clocks in well under $400. I got mine for $350. Despite having the same barrel and overall length as the Ruger SR45, the Ruger American Pistol is a bit heftier, weighing just shy of two pounds. It has a one-piece stainless steel slide with a corrosion resistant black nitride finish and integral frame rails and fire control housing. It also has a one-piece, high performance, glass filled nylon grip with a modular, wrap-around grip system that allows you to adjust the palm swell and trigger reach for your hand size by switching out the grip module. The slide and grip are textured to prevent hand slippage and make chambering your first round easy. Speaking of which, the Ruger American Pistol has a 10+1 round capacity and ships with two nickel-Teflon plated steel magazines . The slide stop and magazine release are both ambidextrous. Beneath the barrel is a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail with four slots for mounting your preferred Picatinny compatible accessories. The guns sights are Novak LoMount Carry 3-dot sights. The pre-tensioned striker system has a powerful striker string to lighten trigger pull and the barrel cam slows the distribution of forces for less felt recoil. The gun’s Pro Model safety system includes an integrated trigger safety and an automatic sear block system, as well as a chamber inspection port so you can confirm whether or not it’s loaded. Oh, and there’s also a compact version . Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield 2.0 Next up is the Smith & Wesson M&P45 Shield 2.0 , which goes for about $400. But don’t let the low price tag fool you, this gun may be affordable, but it’s by no means low quality. The M&P Shield has been making a splash since it was first introduced, only for 9mm. The 2.0 version only improves on that original design, now, obviously, available for .45 ACP as well. In fact, it rivals Glock in popularity which means it also benefits from similar aftermarket availability for parts and accessories. It’s a subcompact, so it’s very slim and easy to conceal with a 3.3 inch barrel, an overall length of 6.5 inches, and a weight of just 1.29 pounds. The small stature limits the gun’s capacity, but it ships with two magazines, one with a six round capacity that fits flush to the bottom of the grip and one extended mag that fits an additional round. Shield .45 ACP The M&P Shield has a black polymer frame with a textured grip and grooves in the slide for easier manipulation. The trigger pull is light and consistent, but with longer travel than some other subcompacts. It’s available with and without a thumb safety , though I personally prefer the extra security of having it. Overall, the quality compared to the affordable price makes the value of this gun hard to beat. "Rock Island Armory" GI Standard FS: Best Cheap .45 ACP 1911 The 1911 is the quintessential .45, so of course I had to be sure to include at least one on this list. Rock Island Armory is known for their excellent but reasonably priced 1911s, including the GI Series. The series includes a few different budget-friendly sizes, all share a similar price range from about $415 to $450 depending on the size and where you shop. The GI Standard FS , or full size, is the largest and also tends to be the most affordable. Rock Island Armory 1911 It has a traditional 1911 feel and is well balanced with a 5 inch barrel. It’s 8.84 inches long overall and 5.51 inches tall, making it the largest of the bunch. Between that and the steel frame and slide, it’s a hefty 2.47 pounds unloaded. The frame and slide have a parkerized finish to make them smooth, durable, and non-reflective, while the grips are smooth and wooden. The gun has a mounted on slot front sight and a mounted on dovetail cut rear sight, both low profile, and a four to six pound adjustable trigger. Despite the larger size, the GI Standard FS has an 8+1 round capacity, which certainly isn’t  shabby, but isn’t as impressive as many of the other guns that made this list. For the same thing in a smaller package, you can also check out the mid-size version or the even smaller compact version . There’s also a version of the full-size with a threaded, suppressor ready barrel and a higher capacity version of the full-size for just a little more, as well as a nickel-plated version of the full-size for those willing to shell out an extra $100 or so. Overall, a very solid gun for a very affordable price. Read the full Rock Island Armory 1911 Review or check out our list of the best modern 1911 s for more like this. Ruger SR45 A little bit pricier is the Ruger SR45 , which typically goes for about $450 to $500, but savvy shoppers can often find it for a good bit less. The gun’s stainless steel slide and black high performance, glass-filled nylon grip and frame make it more interesting to look at than a lot of the solid black plastic frame guns out there. It has a 10+1 round capacity and ships with two magazines. That’s not as much as some other guns listed here, but also keeps the frame nice and slender. The gun is comfortable to hold with a beavertail extension that protects your hand from slide bite. It also has a reversible backstrap that allows you to alter the size and feel of the grip without having to switch out for a totally different backstrap. It has a 4.5 inch barrel and is 8 inches overall, weighing 1.88 pounds. The SR45 also has a Blued steel Novak three dot sight system with an adjustable rear sight and a raked-forward front sight to make unholstering easier. The manual thumb safety and mag release are both ambidextrous and made of nylon. The gun also has a trigger safety and loaded chamber indicator. Finally, there’s a single Picatinny slot under the barrel for accessories. Glock 21: "Most Reliable Cheap" .45 Glocks are famously reliable and durable, with an excellent reputation, so heading into our final three is the Glock 21, the company’s standard size .45, which rings up at about $580 . It’s very similarly sized to the Ruger SR45, with a 4.6 inch barrel and an overall length of 8.07 inches. However, the capacity is significantly better , with 13 rounds in the magazine and another in the chamber. The magazine catch is reversible for either left or right handed shooters. It’s also pretty lightweight for its size, weighing 1.83 pounds with an empty mag, but also has rather light recoil, especially for its weight, thanks to the dual recoil spring assembly. The G21 will feel very familiar to those already used to Glocks, but it does feel boxy, which can take some getting used to for people who are experienced with Glocks. The G21 SF has a slimmer frame that may be more comfortable for people with smaller hands or who just don’t love the feel of the traditional Glock frame. The G21’s interchangeable backstrap system can also shorten the trigger reach and make the grip more comfortable. Like all other Glocks, the G21 has the Glock Safe Action System, which includes a trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. It also has that Glock trigger that’s not bad, per say, but is often described with words like “spongy.” You can see how you like it, but it’s easy to switch out if you don’t, and fortunately the popularity of Glocks means there’s a huge availability of aftermarket parts and accessories, so it’s easy to find one. For the same benefits in a smaller size, the Glock 30 is another great, affordable .45 ACP option. Of course, the gun is a little bit more expensive and we’re starting to get out of the “budget” category, but the best thing about this particularly Glock is that many, many, many law enforcement agencies have used it. Shop around police auctions and trade-in sites and you can easily find older Glock 21’s, particularly Gen 3s and 4s, for around $400. Beretta PX4 Storm Around the same price point as a (new) Glock 21 is the Beretta PX 4 Storm , a neat gun loaded with cool features. With a 4.1 inch barrel and an overall length of 7.68 inches, this double action/single action, hammer fired pistol is a bit smaller than the Ruger SR45 and Glock 21 and weighs 1.76 pounds. That also means a lower capacity: it comes with a flush magazine that provides 9+1 round capacity and an extended 10 round magazine. The gun’s ambidextrous and reversible features, like the slide-mounted flip-up manual thumb safety, make the PX4 Storm fully compatible with both right handed and left handed shooting. Interchangeable backstraps allow for further customization to the shooter, but all provide a very comfortable, secure grip. In addition to the manual thumb safety, the PX4 Storm also has an automatic firing pin block safety. The thumb safety decocks the gun when it’s flipped up, so the pistol can’t be carried cocked with the safety on. Some shooters also report that the thumb safety’s position can make it feel a bit unnatural until you get used to it. Despite its smaller size, it has a low recoil compared to other .45 ACP handguns due to its rotary barrel which turns 45 degrees after each shot, moving the energy away from your hand to reduce recoil and minimize muzzle rise for better accuracy. The gun’s strong action reduces recoil even more. This all makes the PX4 Storm a great option for shooters who are just getting introduced to the power .45 ACP cartridge. And all of this functions highly reliably, so you know that the gun will go bang every time you pull the PX4 Storm’s smooth trigger. To top it all off, the PX4 Storm has a windage-adjustable three dot sight system and a single slot built-in picatinny rail underneath the barrel for a flashlight, laser , or other accessory. Overall, not bad for a relatively affordable .45. Walther PPQ M2: Best Budget .45 Handgun Overall Finally, at the end of our list is the Walther PPQ M2 , which sells for about $600. A still image from a great review of the PPQ M2 . Walther is another brand with an excellent reputation for making quality firearms. The PPQ is certainly no exception. In fact, it was named “Handgun of the Year” by Guns & Ammo and awarded the “Golden Bullseye” by American Rifleman . It’s also a very popular choice among law enforcement all around the world, but especially in Germany, Walther’s home country. It has a good sized grip, which gives you plenty of surface area to get a strong grip, but the replaceable backstraps mean smaller handed shooters don’t have to worry about the grip being too large or the trigger reach too long. The grip feels very natural and is textured to help keep your grip secure. It has one of the cripest triggers to be found on a striker fired .45 ACP with a 5.6 pound trigger pull weight and a very short reset with just 0.4 inches of trigger travel. With a 4.25 inch barrel, the Walther PPQ M2 has a similar barrel length to the Ruger SR45 and Glock 21, but with a 7.4 inch overall length, the overall size of the frame is closer to the Beretta PX4 Storm. The .45 ACP PPQ M2 is also a bit larger than other calibers of the PPQ. It’s also a bit tall for its length to make room for its 12+1 round capacity . (It comes with two mags.) Though the gun is certainly not compact, it’s definitely not too big for concealed carry on most people’s frames. At 1.52 pounds empty, it’s also pretty light for a gun of its size. In addition, the PPQ M2 is accurate and reliable. While no pistol can truly be said to be totally jam free, the PPQ M2 is just about as close as you can get. In a similar vein, the gun has three automatic safeties to help prevent accidental discharge. The slide stop and push-button mag release are both ambidextrous and the gun features an oversized trigger guard to make shooting with gloves much easier. Finally, the Walther PPQ M2 also has a picatinny accessory rail along the bottom of the barrel, but with three slots, more than any other gun on this list except the Ruger American Pistol. If you want a cheap .45 ACP handgun that absolutely competes with more expensive models, this is the one to go with. Parting Shots There are tons of cheap .45 ACPs out there which can make it hard to find one that’s both high-quality and affordable, but hopefully this round-up helped the budget-conscious among you narrow down your options. But remember, this is by no means a complete list of all of the budget-friendly .45 ACPs on the market. Let me know your thoughts on these and any others you think I should have included on this list. I love a cheap handgun, and a cheap .45 is hard to find, so give me a shout if you know of anything we left out, and let us know if you decided to make a purchase based on any of this info!

Guide to Reloading

Guide to Reloading

“ .243 Win reloading lot ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by Drab Makyo Every serious shooter has at least thought about doing it. Reloading, or handloading, is a great way to get the most out of your shooting experience. If you’re into extreme high-accuracy competitive shooting, reloading is a must. If not, you can still tune your cartridge loads to get the greatest possible performance out of your firearm. Reasons to reload Besides greater accuracy, reloading can be a fun and highly educational experience in itself. It can be a life-long pursuit and a great way to pass the time between competitions or hunting seasons. If you have a rare, antique gun for which ammunition is no longer sold, you may have no choice but to reload. There is a huge range of practical reasons to reload. It’s a great way to get around the occasional shortages in manufactured ammunition. Storebought ammo is pretty great these days, but, besides improving accuracy and performance, by reloading you can increase the consistency of your rounds, which can make all the difference in competition shooting. You also get to choose from a wider range of propellants, or powders, and projectiles, or bullets than those that are available in storebought ammo. If you are training a novice shooter who hasn’t yet grown into his or her boots, you can choose to load rounds with a light powder load to reduce recoil. Then, they can graduate to standard loads as they get the hang of things. Conversely, you can push the power of cartridges by reloading ‘hot’ wildcat rounds, but you better know exactly what you’re doing. “ Done! ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by ryochiji There are a lot of safety concerns regarding reloading, it’s not something you do over a couple of beers. First, trying to fire rounds that have been improperly reloaded can cause your barrel to explode, killing you. Besides, there are a lot of safety concerns during the reloading process. A lot of the chemicals involved are corrosive and/or explosive. Use proper protection, like gloves and safety glasses, and keep careful track that you are using the right volumes of the right powders with the correct components for your weapon. If you choose to cast your own lead bullets, you will face a whole new slew of safety considerations regarding ventilation and molten heavy metal. Will you save money on ammo if you reload? That’s a tough question. Most shooters find that they cancel any cost savings from reloading by shooting more. You will have a substantial initial capital outlay to recoup. If you’re going for the greatest possible accuracy, you’ll have extra expenses for better equipment and components. You will also end up spending a lot on experimentation until you find the right loads for your gun. However, if you buy components in bulk, you will end up saving money. How reloading works Each handgun or rifle cartridge has four components: a case a primer propellant a projectile Reloading is simply the process of researching what the best combination of these four components is for your firearm and purposes and putting them together in the safest and most effective way. The case is the component that is most specific to the chamber of your gun. You have choices of manufacturers, but not much else to consider here. The case is also the component that requires the most attention in the reloading process, which we’ll get into below. All handgun and rifle cases have a neck that holds the bullet, an internal chamber for the powder, a primer pocket to hold the primer, and a flash hole through which the primer ignites the powder. Cases are made of brass, just like they were over a hundred years ago. Don’t try to reload military surplus steel or aluminum shells. “ Cleaning out primer pockets ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by ryochiji Primers are about the size and shape of a small pill. They are made of metal and contain a special priming compound. Most primers used today are ‘boxer style,’ and come in two sizes, big and small. It is unrealistic to reload rimfire cartridges like .22LR, which do not have a replaceable primer. Even though cartridge shell technology hasn’t changed much in over a century, propellant, or powder technology has evolved substantially, giving you a huge range of options to choose from. Different powders burn faster or slower and are suited to different types of shooting. It is essential that you choose a suitable powder for your gun and measure out the right amount. This is one of the key steps to ensure safe, effective shooting. “ Bullet goes on top ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by ryochiji Projectiles, or bullets, come in different calibers, or diameters. That means that you don’t go out and buy .30-06 bullets for reloading, but simply .30 bullets that can be used in a .30-06 round or potentially in a .308, depending on the bullet weight. Bullet weight is usually measured in grains. This is where a lot of opportunity for customization comes in. Different shooting applications require different bullet weights, so you’ll have to do your research. It’s all part of the fun. Besides, there is a huge variety of bullet designs to choose from. A lot of it has to do with terminal ballistics, meaning, what happens when the bullet hits its target. For example, to kill an animal, you want a bullet that will expand and immediately dump a large amount of energy, mortally wounding the animal and hopefully immediately knocking it down. Reloading equipment There is a huge range of equipment that you need for reloading, or that will at least make the process much easier. The most vital equipment is the reloading press, dies, and shell holder. A reloading press clamps to a workbench and has a long lever you pull to operate it. With each pull, a shell, sitting in a shell holder, is forced into a die, which performs one of several stages of the reloading process, which we’ll cover below. There are two main types of reloading press today, single-stage and progressive. A single-stage press is best for beginners because it helps you keep track of each step of the process. With a single-stage, you will load shells in small batches of 20-30 at a time. After one step is complete for the batch, you swap out the die and do the next stage. A turret press is a type of single-stage press that makes swapping dies as easy as a twist of the wrist. All the dies are mounted on a rotating structure which you turn to move to the next reloading stage. With a progressive press , you can do the complete reloading process for each shell sequentially. You put the shell in the shell holder, pull the lever, then rotate a structure holding the shell holder so that the shell will be placed under the next die. Before pulling the lever, put another shell in the first position so that it will go through the first step while the original shell goes through the second as you pull the lever. It’s much more of an assembly line. Once you get started you’ll have a shell in play at all four stages with each pull of the lever. Then, with every pull, a completed shell will drop out. Progressive presses are a lot more expensive than single-stages. Check out our guide to the best single-stage , turret, and progressive reloading presses. If you’re looking for the best one for a beginner reloader, check here . If you demand the utmost precision, check out some of these presses . The shell holder and dies are designed for the specific caliber that you are reloading. You can buy different sets for the same press. Generally speaking, each set of dies includes: a resizing and decapping die a bullet seating and crimping die maybe a neck expanding die for straight-walled cases, to help seat the projectile Here are our reviews of the best reloading dies . Presses can have a powder meter stage before bullet seating which attaches like a normal die and deposits the correct amount of powder into the case. Check out the best powder meters here. “ Throwing a charge of powder ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by ryochiji Resizing is necessary because used shells expand in the chamber. They must be returned to their initial shape before being reloaded. Bullet seating means installing the bullet in the neck of the case. Crimping means tightening the neck to the bullet, protecting the powder, and increasing the pressure upon ignition. You will need to use tiny amounts of die lubricant on your cases. Before getting busy on the press, you will have to prepare your brass. The first step is cleaning them. For that you will use a brass tumbler . You can choose a rotating filled with liquid cleaning chemicals or a vibrating tumbler filled with abrasive media made of walnut shells or corn cob. Both work fine. Ultrasonic tumblers are a more space-age option. We’ve reviewed the best brass tumblers to help you choose. As noted, cases must be resized to a slightly shorter diameter. Over time, re-shot shells will increase in length too. You will need to cut the neck back to the correct length. For that you will need a case trimmer , which is often like a hand-held lathe. Calipers can come in handy to guarantee uniformity in length. Then you’ll use a chamfer to smooth the hard edge you just cut. If you have really shot a given shell many times, you may even want to use a case annealer to restore its structural integrity. Here’s a look at the best case trimmers out there. Then, you have to make sure that the primer pocket and flash hole are clean and smooth. For that, you’ll need handheld primer pocket cleaning and uniforming tools . If a priming stage isn’t set up on your press, you’ll probably use a handheld priming tool to insert the primer into the base of the case. “ Priming ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by ryochiji A good scale is essential for reloading. Ideally, you want to make sure all of your components are uniform in weight. This is crucial for the powder load. You can use a powder trickler to fine-tune the amount of powder that you are loading. Here are our picks for the best powder scales and powder tricklers . A headspace gauge can help you determine the perfect bullet seating depth. Finally, a bullet puller lets you take cartridges apart. This can help you reuse components or correct any reloading mistakes. The reloading process “ Seat the bullet ” ( CC BY 2.0 ) by ryochiji You can get a pretty good idea of the reloading process from the equipment descriptions above, but here it is all laid out. The first step is to research and consult reloading manuals to determine the best load for your intended purpose. If your empty cases are not new, clean them in a vibrating, rotating, or ultrasonic case cleaner. Then, ensure that all the cases are free from any cracks or defects. Consider annealing them if their structural integrity is at all suspect. If you are not using carbide dies, lubricate every 5th or 6th case with a tiny amount of lube. Resize the cases using the appropriate die on the press. The spent primer will usually be removed at the same time. Measure and trim the length of your cases as necessary. Deburr and chamfer the lip of the cases. Resize the neck with the appropriate die. Use your primer pocket cleaning and uniforming tools and flash hole cleaner to prepare the shell for a new primer. Seat a new primer into each case until it is flush with the base of the case. Add the correct amount of powder, possibly from a powder measure attached to your progressive press. Ensure absolute accuracy in the type and quantity of powder loaded. Seat and crimp the bullet into the shell using your press. Finally, Inspect your finished product. Reloading safety Here are some important rules for safe reloading. Remember, you could kill yourself or others if you are not careful . This is not an exhaustive list. You are responsible for taking all necessary precautions. Store powder in a cool, dry, safe location. Do not use the wrong kind of powder. Be especially careful not to confuse modern smokeless powder with black powder. Never smoke anywhere near powder. Discard any unlabelled or potentially mislabeled powder. Follow the recommendations you find in reloading manuals to the letter. Do not substitute with components, especially powder and projectiles, that have not been recommended. Start with the minimum recommended powder load. If unsure of the minimum load, start at load 15% lower than the maximum load. Inspect each shot for excess pressure before continuing to shoot. Do not exceed maximum or minimum loads. Check each case visually to avoid double powder loads. This is a common mistake and it can kill you. Any time you change a reloading component, pressure levels will change, so you will have to start developing your load from square one again. Even different lots of product from the same manufacturer can cause a significant difference. If a few hundred primers go off together, the impact will be equal to a hand grenade. Do not store them together in bulk. Discard unlabeled primers. Follow bullet seating and overall length recommendations carefully. They can have a huge impact on pressure levels. Keep your reloading area tidy, organized, and clean. Immediately clean up spilled powder or primers Read the instructions that came with your reloading equipment and contact the manufacturer with any questions. Only reload in a sober, alert, undistracted, and well-rested state of mind. Conclusion Reloading can be lots of fun as long as you respect the safety precautions necessary. It is a skill that every accomplished shooter should have. Check out our guides on some of the best reloading equipment that money can buy. Stay safe, do your research, hit the range as often as you can, and have fun! Check out our other other great guides on reloading equipment The Six Best Case Prep Centers in 2020 The Best Reloading Benches in 2020 The 6 Best 308 Reloading Dies in 2020 The 8 Best Reloading Dies for 6.5 Creedmoor The 8 Best Reloading Manuals In 2020 The 5 Best Types of Unfired Reloading Brass that Money Can Buy

The Easiest 100 Gallons of Emergency Water Storage

In the movie of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road , right after the nuclear explosion (or whatever it was) Viggo Mortenson runs to the bath tub and fills it up. He knows that the public water system will be down soon and an extra bathtub full of water is incredibly important. That’s a great idea and something I plan on doing in any emergency situation with enough prior warning. The WaterBOB is a great way to do just that, but more sanitary. WaterBOB Bathtub Emergency Water Storage Container, Drinking Water Storage,... COLLECT DRINKING WATER IN YOUR BATHTUB: The waterBOB is a water containment system that holds up to... PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES: Never be without water in an emergency. During a hurricane or tropical... See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 05:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Quick Navigation The WaterBOB Review Advantages Video What Do You Think? The WaterBOB Review The WaterBOB is simple enough. It is a heavy duty plastic water storage container that you place in your bathtub and fill up. The bathtub itself supports the bag. The bag has a tube that you place over the faucet for filling. Holds up to 100 Gallons FDA Food Grade 10 mil plastic bag Siphon Pump for Dispensing. Advantages Some people might think this is a waste of money when you could just fill your bathtub up with water without the bladder. That’s a good point, and what I would do if I had to, but there are a couple of things you might want to consider about the WaterBOB 1. Cleanliness – sure you clean your bathtub, but you still bathe your dirty self in it everyday. I’d rather have my drinking water in a food grade container. 2. Longevity – Hopefully this 100 of so gallons of water will be enough to last you for a few weeks at least (depending on the number of people). Water left standing in your bathtub for several weeks, possibly without having had a chance to clean the tub before hand, is going to get dirty and moldy pretty quick. 3. Every Drop – Even if your tub is cleaner than a surgeon’s table it still has a drain. Even if you have a heavy duty drain you are going to lose some, and that is unacceptable in a survival situation. The WaterBOB isn’t going to lose a drop. 4. The End – What happens when you get to the very end of the supply? I would rather have my last gallon or two in a plastic container I can pickup, move, or drain instead of a 1/2 inch of three week old water in the bottom of my bathtub. 5. Cheaper – You’re first reaction may be that the price is too much for a WaterBOB , but if you look at that price of 55 gallon barrels that are food grade, you will likely pay $50+ for those, plus buy lids, and still only get roughly half the storage capacity. Video It sounds like an infomercial, but you get to see the thing work better than pictures. What Do You Think? I really can’t think of an easier way to quickly gather and store 100 gallons of clean water in an emergency. Would you use this system or stick with more traditional methods? More on Water Containers: 7 Great Uses for A Backpacking Bucket The Platypus Collapsible Water Bottle Save Other interesting articles: "The Platypus Collapsible" Water Bottle Expedient Family Survival Water Filter Emergency Storage of Wild Plant Foods Epic Pure Filtered Water Pitcher vs. Brita Slim Water Filtration System

[Review] Howa 1500 Mini Action & Nikko Stirling Scope

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s We’re all familiar with long action and short action rifles, but how about a third option — the Mini Action ! Is it worth getting into? Howa Mini in 300 Blk on an MDT Oryx Chassis topped off with a Nikko Stirling 6-24×50 scope! I’ve been testing this Howa 1500 Mini-Action in .300 BLK for several months now, so let’s get into the good, the bad, and the interesting about it! Designed for smaller cartridges like .223 Rem/5.56 NATO, .300 BLK, and 6.5 Grendel, Howa’s Mini Action is exactly what you would expect. A smaller, shorter, more compact and handy action. The Howa 1500 is a dead on reliable action and a great option for a shooter looking for a new bolt rifle build. And the Oryx Chassis by MDT is an outstanding precision chassis for the budget-minded person. A range of Howa 1500 Rifles in MDT LSS-XL and ESS Chassis and Boyd’s Rifle stocks I know this because I’ve reviewed both individually before! But now Legacy Sports offers them together as a package deal, so they sent me one to test out along with a Nikko-Stirling Diamond 6-24×50 Riflescope . Table of Contents Loading... What It Is This "Howa 1500 Mini" Action is their very popular .300BLK chambering with a 16″ threaded barrel. .300 BLK sits just left of middle in this chart Legacy Sports also has their 0 MOA scope rail and their Nikko Stirling scope all as a package set for a target shooter or hunter. But it comes in a fairly wide range of calibers such as the aforementioned 5.56, 7.62×39 and 6.5 Grendel. While in the Oryx chassis it is more fit for target shooting, it is also a great setup for a dedicated hunting build for game such as hogs or other pests and predators. The Rundown Let’s start with the Howa 1500 and Oryx chassis . There really isn’t a lot to say about either one — both work exactly like I would expect them to. They both functioned amazingly. If you’ve read my reviews of their larger versions, then you can skip this part and just assume that they are exactly the same. MDT Oryx chassis with a Tikka T3x CTR But for the new readers, I’ll give a quick overview. Howa 1500 Mini-Action A barreled action based on the Howa 1500, this is literally the same thing just downsized. It’s smooth, ultra-reliable, and really a great shooter. Howa 1500 Mini Action 360 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 360 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing It also comes with Howa’s famed HACT trigger — a 2-stage trigger that is crisp, light, and one of the best factory triggers on the market right now. Oryx Chassis MDT is known for their top of the line chassis such as the ESS and ACC . But their first real push into the budget chassis world comes from their sister brand Oryx Chassis Systems . Best Beginner Long-Range Chassis Oryx Chassis by MDT 420 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 420 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Delivering on that elite level quality that you would expect from MDT proper, Oryx gives you what you need in a chassis without weighing you down with extras to drive up the price that only the top-level shooters will really get the value from. I love the Oryx and pairing it with a Howa Mini-Action makes for a very sweet rifle. Nikko Stirling Dimond 6-24×50 While it’s a name most people haven’t heard, it is the brand of scopes that Legacy Sports includes in most of their scoped rifle packages. It also comes with a lot more features than its price point would lead you to expect, such as being FFP, illuminated, waterproof, shockproof, and nitrogen filled. Nikko Stirling Diamond FFP Riflescope 6-24x50 345 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 345 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing The turrets are well-fitting, turn easy without being loose, and the markings are… partly easy to read. Inside the scope, the reticle falls a little flat but isn’t bad at all and for most applications will suit the shooter very well. Range Report This turned out to be a MUCH better shooter than I was expecting. I don’t have a lot of experience with .300 BLK but after getting to really use it and play around with a couple of loadings, I really dig it in this format. Most of my plinking and getting to know the rifle was done with Sellier & Bellot 147-grain FMJ .300BLK ammo. It shoots a little bleh, but still pulled in groups averaging around 1.5 MOA with solid consistency. Howa 1500 Mini shooting Sellier & Bellot 147-grain FMJ .300BLK – 1.4 MOA at 100-yards This was exactly where I expected the rifle to be, really. I was shocked when I switched to the Hornady Black 110-grain V-Max rounds and ended up putting sub-MOA groups downrange! Howa 1500 Mini shooting Hornady Black 110-grain .300BLK – 0.56 MOA at 100-yards The average for the Hornady Black was about 0.75 MOA across multiple groups. I love Hornady Black in 6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor, so I was really excited to see that it also kicked ass in .300BLK. Hornady Black 110-Grain VMAX .300BLK 22 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 22 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Needless to say, the Howa 1500 and Oryx chassis passed with flying colors. Everything except the magazine… Issues Found As discussed, the Howa action and MDT chassis are awesome. They are awesome in larger forms and awesome in their mini form. However… I really got a bone to pick about these magazines. I’ll state my point now and then show you what I’m talking about: The Howa magazines are really low-quality feeling and have working issues. I am disappointed with them. (left) Howa 1500 Magazine (right) Magpul 10-round PMAG Right from the start, you pick it up and you just know it is thin, cheap, and ready to break. The walls flex when you apply even the slightest pinch to them, the baseplate rattles because it fits poorly, and the feed lips look ready to snap at a harsh word in their direction. The lock-up into the Oryx Chassis is strange, to say the least. Using a front locking paddle-style release, it requires to firmly press up on the front corner of the magazine to seat — even when empty and on an open bolt. Failure to press the magazine in that exact spot results in the magazine not locking into place or having to wack it hard enough that over-insertion is a common problem. Note the lug in the middle of the Howa mag and the bright white wear mark already visible. Replacements are EXPENSIVE clocking in at $50-60. For that price, they should be made out of gold-trimmed titanium, not ultra-thin microplastic. I would absolutely consider the magazines to be a critical weak point of the system. Budget Scope Packed With Features While the magazines for the Howa left me really disappointed, the Nikko Stirling scope was better than I expected. From the price point, you know you’re getting a budget scope. But that isn’t always a bad thing, especially with modern optics. Great optics aren’t cheap, but cheap optics can be decent. Check out the B est Long Range Scopes ! The glass is very clear and the light transmission was good enough. Zero color deformation that my eyes could see and the targets were very clear and sharp. There is a good amount of fisheye and blurriness at the edge of the scope, but it didn’t affect my shooting and is to be expected from budget-minded glass. Reticle in the Nikko Diamond is functional with decent holdover markings and range estimation marks also, standard in a MilDot scope. "Nikko Stirling Diamond" 6-24×50 Adjustments on the scope are very smooth, the magnification adjustment is almost slick feeling and all of the clicks are positive and auditable. The center crosshair was slightly thicker than I like, but that is a personal preference. Really, the only thing I didn’t like about the scope was the markings on the side and top that correlate to the turrets. These white dots are just so small for no reason. Nikko-Stirling (left), Vortex Diamondback Tactical (center), Athlon Argos BTR (right) See? They are tiny! This was annoying, but not critical. The dot is literally half the size of the dot Athlon uses and 1/4th the size of the dash that Vortex has. For the price – the features punch above their weight class and the glass is good enough to serve you well. However, in an age when brands like Vortex, Athlon, and Primary Arms offer budget-minded optics that come with bulletproof warranties — Nikko-Stirling falls short. The warranty offered, while lifetime, only covers the original owner and might require the original proof of purchase… Who keeps proof of purchase? I sure don’t. Also, electronic parts are only covered for 5 years. So if the illumination burns out in 6 years, you’re SOL. Full Disclosure While the unit shown in this review did fine on durability (not that I was rough or throwing it around…) this was actually the second Nikko-Stirling scope that was sent. The first was destroyed during shipment. Attached to the rifle, the scope arrived at my FFL with the rear of the scope from the magnification ring back bent at an 11-degree cant. No visible damage to the rifle box or overpacking box. Verdict For Nikko Stirling If you’re getting a Nikko Stirling as part of a Howa 1500 package set, it’s a decent scope that will serve as a starter well. However, if you were to be going out and buy one… I couldn’t recommend it since there are better options at the same price point. Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50 FFP comes in at around $325 "Vortex Diamondback Tactical" comes in at $300 for the 4-16x and $400 for the 6-24x . Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50mm 400 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 400 at Amazon Compare prices (2 found) Amazon (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Both Athlon and Vortex have amazing warranties, better glass, better reticles, and are built much more stoutly than the Nikko-Stirling is. All of that said — I would like to point out that the scope worked great. Really great. If they upped their warranty a little and maybe ruggedized the scope a bit more, I would say that it would be a major contender in the budget optics space. The Package As A Whole Even with the shortcomings of the magazine and scope, I like this setup a lot more than I thought I would. I really didn’t expect to get as much out of it as I did and overall I’m impressed with the package. The 16″ barreled mini-action Howa 1500 is awesome. I want one in 6.5 Grendel but if .300 BLK is your thing, you really should take a look at this. Sadly, being in California I wasn’t able to put a suppressor on it… but if I could, I think that is where the .300 BLK will truly shine. Howa 1500 Mini, Oryx Chassis, Nikko-Stirling scope, and Scho-Ka-Kola chocolate Having it paired with the Oryx Chassis is really a match made in heaven. The chassis works outstanding and really helps increase the accuracy of the system. The Oryx is a little heavy to be a hunting chassis, but it isn’t bad either. If you’re in a blind or working off a tripod this would be outstanding. By The Numbers Reliability: 5/5 The only issue I had was locking the magazine in place, other than that it was 100%. Extraction on the S&B ammo was tight, but that was the ammo’s fault as it seems to happen with every bolt gun I run on S&B ammo. Hornady Black ran perfectly! Accuracy: 5/5 Howa offers a sub-MOA guarantee with decent ammo and I honestly was expecting to only achieve that with match grade stuff. I was absolutely blown away when I started drilling near half-MOA groups. Howa 1500 Mini shooting Hornady Black 110-grain .300BLK – 0.56 MOA at 100-yards Ergonomics: 3/5 The Oryx has the same issue as always, the LOP is a bit short. But you can get spacers from Oryx to solve that. The magazine release for the Howa mag wasn’t my favorite either. Having it mounted in front of the magazine is annoying. Looks: 4/5 Oryx chassis looks simple and clean, I like the FDE side panel this one had and it worked. Nothing to write home about, but not bad either. Customization: 4/5 Great mounting rail, M-LOK in the Oryx Chassis, and the set is available in several chamberings! Bang for the Buck/Value: 4/5 Finding a package set of the Howa Mini and Oryx chassis can be a little hard, but the separate barreled action and Oryx Chassis is very easy to pick up! Howa 1500 Mini Action 360 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 360 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Pick your barreled action and your Oryx chassis and you’re only two screws away from a completed rifle! That makes this a very economical option. "Best Beginner Long" -Range Chassis Oryx Chassis by MDT 420 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 420 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Overall Rating 4/5 Parting Shots There is a lot to love about the combo of the Writing View Details Action and Oryx chassis. Reliability is stellar and accuracy is great with the right ammo. I don’t love the magazines, but so far they have done what I needed them to do. I would pass on the Nikko-Stirling scope though. If you really need those features at that price point, then it works as intended — but the warranty and durability make it fall short of greatness. What are your thoughts on a mini action bolt rifle? Let us know in the comments! For more great hunting rifles take a look at the Best Beginner Hunting Rifles and also our picks for the Best "Long Range Scopes" .

Summary

Heat casualties are a critical problem for body armor users. The “IcePlate” is a SAPI plate-shaped reusable water bottle that when frozen provides 140+ watts of cooling using the 100 ounces of water already carried by war fighters to maximize hydration efficiency beyond simple consumption. The IcePlate helps body armor users stay safer, lighter, more hydrated, with cooler core body temperatures while wearing their protective armor.