29 Nov

We get some cool stuff from major manufacturers at Tactical Store all the time. Whether it’s some cool new Thermal Imaging equipment from Thermal Eye, a sweet new riflescope from Leupold or the latest holster from Galco, we get to play with a number of interesting and highly specialized pieces of equipment.

But it’s a lot more fun when the item was designed by our team using feedback from you guys. And that’s what we have today. OPMOD is our exclusive line of products, and we’ve just added 2 new binoculars: the OPMOD Waterproof 8X42mm Binoculars and the OPMOD 10X42mm Waterproof Binoculars. Both models are essentially the same, but we know that some of you prefer the powerful 10X magnification, while others the more easily handled 8X.

I’ll describe a few of the coolest features on these new binoculars, but the video below features our Director of Product Intelligence, Steve Ledin, and since he helped design the binocular I’ll let him give you a full rundown.

What makes these OPMOD Binoculars so great is their combination of great glass and tough construction. As their name implies, they’re waterproof, and you can even see them placed …

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25 Nov

More and more the objects we use every day require some form of power. To find your way today, more people turn to a GPS device than a compass. Many rifle scopes today have illuminated reticles, which often need batteries, and binoculars have incorporated cameras and laser rangefinders for greater functionality.

With all this awesome gear, you’re likely running through batteries quickly. Some manufacturers are using rechargeable batteries, which is great, but you still need to recharge them. Lithium batteries last a lot longer and provide great power, but no matter how great they are, we want more.

Well, researchers at Northwestern University have heard the complaints and worked out some new technology for Lithium batteries. First, the way that these batteries currently work is through a chemical reaction, with lithium ions moving from one end of the battery to the other. While moving, these ions produce an electrical current, which in turn powers you device. The ions start at the anode and move to the cathode. When you plug in the device to charge it, the ions move back to the cathode. Currently there are issues with how many of these ions can move, and …

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22 Nov

GPSGPS Devices have long been useful in military operations, hunting expeditions, and when driving to job interviews (I had mine on hand to help me get here!), but it appears that new technology is trying to push out ‘old-fashioned’ devices like GPS.

So what’s the problem?

Well, there’s a new mobile broadband services that are using the same (or very nearly the same) spectrum to broadcast their signals, and they’re doing it at a higher power, so GPS signals might get drowned out. This new system is called LTE, and you’ve likely heard of it. Some of, if not THE, fastest wireless speeds are found on LTE broadband networks, and it has been touted as the next big thing for smart phones and tablets.

Well, there was a symposium at Stanford University just a few days back on Position, Navigation and Time (PNT), and leading authorities on Global Positioning Systems talked about both threats to GPS and some of the latest advancements in tech.

LTE networks were a big topic. Part of the problem is the FCC, which hasn’t really done much to either curb the spread of LTE networks, or make sure they limit their …

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18 Nov

Up to 50% of the energy consumption in many buildings comes from heat loss. It’s long been known that keeping heat in during the winter will lower your power bills, and whether you’ve invest in better windows, doors or insulation, you probably know how much money you can save by keeping heat indoors.

My mom, being a smart lady with good common sense, puts towels or blankets at the base of every door to the outside during winter months.

But though we know that heat loss is a crucial factor in energy consumption, it can be tough to figure out exactly where the heat is seeping out of your house. There are obvious culprits, like the windows and doors, but sometimes loose floorboards and nearly invisible cracks can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars!

To combat this unfortunate lack of information, many heating contractors have added thermographic imaging to their list of services. Using a thermal imaging camera, much like the ones used for hunting and tactical purposes in our store, they take photographs of your house to see where the most heat is escaping. This information can prove incredibly valuable, as even seemingly small …

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16 Nov

The drawndown in troops overseas may have some extra benefits for border control. The Department of Homeland Security is hoping to both obtain some of the excess military gear and surveillance equipment that will no longer be needed in Iraq as soldiers come home, and to employ many of those returning soldiers who are already trained in using the equipment.

Rather than trying to build a physical fence along the US/Mexico border, the DHS is building a virtual fence that will use surveillance tools such as blimp-like aerostats and tunnel detectors, although it will take some adapting to get these tools to work for the DHS. Currently, the two systems are not entirely compatible, and while the DHS has some great gear, their budget is far less than the military, so their level of technological advancement is limited.

It is similar to the difference between using a digital camera and a generation 4 night vision device. They’re both useful tools and can make your life easier, but night vision requires a greater degree of training and skill to use than a camera.

Having highly trained military specialists who can start using the tech on day one would go a …

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11 Nov

November 11th goes by a handful of names: Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Poppy Day. It is a day set aside to remember and honor those brave men and women who have served our great country over the years, fighting and dieing to defend our freedoms.

But why November 11th?

Well, November 11th was first honored in 1919, one year after the day that the armistice that ended WWI was signed. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month saw the end of the fight of the “war to end all wars.” The next year President Woodrow Wilson asked the country to remember those who had fallen.

At first the holiday was for those who had given their lives in service, but a few years after Armistice Day became a national holiday, the name was changed to Veterans Day and the scope was altered to honor all veterans, regardless of the war they fought in.

Outside the U.S. Veterans Day is commonly known as Remembrance Day, and is similarly a day of remembrance of the end of one of the most horrible wars to ever occur.

The name Poppy Day comes from the …

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09 Nov

Hunting is generally considered a male sport, and while surveys on the participation demographics show that an overwhelming majority of hunters are men, millions of women also enjoy hunting every year, with more starting every year.

In 2010, according to a survey done by the National Sporting Goods Association, of the 16.3 million hunters throughout the U.S., 2.3 million were women. Overall numbers of hunters are declining, although in some states, such as Missouri, where the numbers have stayed consistent, women have increasingly taken part in hunting. The increase in female participation is part of why Missouri has had a steady number of hunters over the last few years. Nearly three thousand more women hunted in 2010 than in 2009.

This increase is personified by a few young ladies who just took part in their first hunts. The girls, aged 11 and 14, enjoyed their first hunt with their dads, who have been teaching them about shooting and gun safety for the last few years in preparation of the hunt. The older of the two girls, Hannah, spotted her first doe fairly quickly, and her dad gave her advice for lining up her shot, taking her time

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03 Nov

Law enforcement and military officials are constantly seeking new ways to improve communication and intelligence gathering. About 2 weeks ago I mentioned how the US Army has added new high speed internet and radio systems to some of the vehicles, with GPS units and all sorts of other high tech gadgets included to give soldiers a tactical advantage on the battlefield.

“Know your enemy” is one of the oldest pieces of military advice. This goes further than simply knowing what someone is capable of, but also when and where they are doing something. As a city with a climbing homicide rate in recent years, Detroit is ramping up efforts to cure their city of a criminal plague. Since the police can’t see the future, knowing where a bullet as quickly as possible is the next best way to save lives. A police officer who can tell precisely when and where a bullet was fired can respond quicker and better prepare for the situation.

Enter the Shotspotter Flex. This gunfire alert system uses sensors placed throughout the city to show where a bullet was fired, and then gives police a lot more of information to better apprehend and prosecute the …

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