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Posts Tagged ‘SHOT Show 2012’

SHOT 2012 Followup: Women’s Tactical Association

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Patrol rifle courses, tactical shooting classes, SWAT and room entries, offensive/defensive driving, ballistic shield work, grappling and defensive tactics…just a few of the things the Women’s Tactical Association has been doing over the last couple of years. Though there are the usual haters and nay-sayers (as always), given the quality and caliber of some of their instructors it’s pretty clear how serious they are. Any doubters are welcome to show up to a training event and see for themselves. One of the WTA staffers, Kim Heath, is an NPRC competitor and a contributor over with our friends at BOLO Reportand the WTA President Karen Bartuch is apparently going to start writing there as well.

WTA member at the LMT Booth at SHOT: they're supposed to be visiting the LMT factory soon.

We bring up the WTA here because they are trying to get the word out to military females. Whether you’re a female K9 Security Forces airman who just PCSed to Andrews from Altus or a seasoned gunnery sergeant out at Pendleton (shout out to Bunch and Byer there), they’d like to get you involved. Initially they were thinking mostly of Security Forces and Military Police females, but as the organization has grown they’ve made a place for women of a number of backgrounds (OSI, CID, engineers, you name it). You may recall Tactical Fanboy ran an article on them previously; three of these tough ladies were at SHOT – Kim and Karen and another veteran officer named Jessica. We had time to catch up with them briefly despite the demands many of the larger companies were making on their time.

WTA member at SWAT Roundup recently.

Karen conducted an impromptu interview with the NRA, which you’ll find below. If you’re interested in joining the WTA (they also have male members, FYI, many of whom you right recognize), check them out on line, on their Facebook page or just e-mail them at womenstactical(at)sbcglobal.net. Oh, and they’ve got a new YouTube Channel as well.

Here’s an interview with Karen at SHOT:

-DR

SHOT 2012 Follow-up: Battle Comp Enterprises

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Pretty much as we expected, BCE was overrun with SHOT Show goers interested in BCE’s wares. You’ve probably heard of them before (we ran an article on their 2.0 a while back), but if not the simple explanation is this: BattleComp built something that combines flash suppression and recoil compensation into one piece (and yes, you can put a suppressor on there). The result, when fired, frequently results in what is referred to as “BattleComp Tourette Syndrome”. Nobody seems to expect just how well it will work, so there is always a sudden blast of profane admiration after shooting it.


Here’s a video of MilSpec Monkey shooting a weapon with the BattleComp mounted (part of the time one-handed, to show just how much it tames the recoil).

Here’s an M4 on full auto using a BattleComp.

Here’s another.

 

Don’t think that’s cool? Go to the BattleComp Facebook page. There’s a video embedded there of someone running an M249 SAW with a BattleComp attached and check out the lack of muzzle climb. Seriously. Go check it out. If that doesn’t impress you, not much will.

-DR

SHOT 2012 Followup: Paws and Stripes

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I like dogs. I like veterans. I like organizations that legitimately support injured or troubled veterans. So I love Paws and Stripes and thoroughly enjoyed my time with Jim Stanek and his service dog Sarge (both of whom you may have seen previously with Jim’s wife and Paws and Stripes co-founder Lindsay on Oprah’s ‘Ultimate Favorite Things’ episode, which they were nominated to attend by a Paws and Stripes veteran’s wife.)

Paws and Stripes was founded to pair service dogs with physically or emotionally injured veterans at no cost to the veteran. As good a service as that is, what makes it even more interesting is the source of the dogs “enlisted” for the canine therapy working dog program: they come from animal shelters, and in many cases could have been euthanized if not selected for service.

Al veterans are given the opportunity to select their own service dog, though the founder of Stars and Stripes jokes that it’s often the canines who make the selection. Selected canines are evaluated by Paws and Stripes trainers before being brought into the program—the veterans themselves enter an equipment contract to complete the training.

Jim Stanek and Sarge of Paws and Stripes

Veterans train with the dog and trainer throughout the program to strengthen their bond, to increase the understanding of the dog’s capabilities and to provide therapy. It also increases the veterans understanding about the canine’s instinct, natural pack tendency and so on. It takes approximately six months for Paws and Stripes to complete a training cycle.

As Paws and Stripes says, “Many organizations have a strict curriculum for their service dogs, requiring they learn the basic 86 commands associated with service dogs. Our enrollees, however, are not blind, deaf or paralyzed. They have unique disabilities that generate unique daily symptoms, so the dogs are trained custom to the veteran.”

Often the simple presence and actions of a service dog mitigates or even prevents the onset of an anxiety, PTSD or similar episode the veteran might otherwise suffer. They have been trained to sense the onset of psychiatric disorders and will ground the individual or even bring them back from an episode by licking the veteran’s face, pawing or barking. As might be expected, they are very solicitous of their veteran’s needs and welfare, and will even assist or seek help for an incapacitated handler.

Right now the organization is looking for help from people with the right backgrounds. Support can include directed funds, general funds, expertise, gear for an auction, whatever. Right now they are in desperate need of a bookkeeper and a grantwriter. They Staneks and their friends are overtaxed as far as time goes now, though they are driven to succeed and don’t appear to take much time off.

“How can I rest now with these guys coming back with this hanging over my head?” Jim said during our interview. “This program can make a difference, and those guys deserve the help. I can’t slack off.”

Watching the interaction between he and Sarge (a polite young lady of labrador, pit, pug, Catahoula and who knows what other mix), it was clear how well mannered, intuitive and helpful she was

They’re working on an auction now and have been talking to several big name companies to help out (including Larue, LWRC, Hornaday, Troy, Doublestar and several others). During SHOT the guys at Predator Tactical gave up a four thousand dollar custom 1911 pistol for auction and started the bidding out at $3,000 to raise money for Paws and Stripes.

Jim Stanek and the winner of the Predator Tactical pistol provided to auction for Paws and Stripes. Bidding started at $3k.

You can find more about Paws and Stripes on their website or on the Paws and Stripes Facebook page. Please take a look and consider supporting them.

-DR