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There’s no better time than early spring to be glassing for bears!
If you live in a state that is lucky enough to have a spring bear season, you should absolutely get out and experience the forest as spring starts showing signs of life. If you’ve never been to bear camp before, or on a bear hunt for that matter, allow this video from MTN OPS to show you what you’re missing.
Every year, MTN OPS President & Co-Founder, Casey Harbertson, heads to the mountains of Idaho for “the best bear camp in the west.” Now, that statement gets thrown around quite a bit, but these guys really know how to throw down!
Check out the video below to watch Casey and this rowdy bunch chase after bears through the beautiful mountains of Idaho. And not to giveaway any spoilers or anything, but they might even have an encounter or two with a wolf..
As per usual, MTN OPS does a fantastic job putting this film together. If you haven’t already, you should definitely head over to their YouTube channel and check out more of their videos. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
Even more details about the gruesome Appalachian Trail attack have come to light after the victim’s family spoke to the public for the first time since the horrific events.
Authorities said the victim who was killed in an attack on the Appalachian Trail was 43-year-old Ronald Sanchez, a U.S. Army veteran from Oklahoma who often turned to the outdoors as a “form of therapy.”
His sister, Brenda Sanchez Loera, told CNN “He was adventurous and he got out of his shell and we were so proud of that because for a while he was in darkness.” Ronald Sanchez was killed in cold blood by James Jordan, who was arrested and charged in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, VA with one count of murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder.
Sanchez’s sister, along with his former wife, Elizabeth Kordek, said the Army veteran endured multiple injuries to his back and knees making the outdoor activities he used to enjoy much harder to participate in.
“He was in a cycling group, he was showing horses, and on a dragon (boat racing) team and these were all out of his comfort zone because he was a really shy guy,” Kordek said. This article from The Oklahoman talks about the veteran cycling group Sanchez was apart of, and also details some of his PTSD struggles after serving 16 years in the Army and completing 3 deployments in Iraq.
“To survive deployments in Iraq and to die like this is just devastating,” Kordek continued.
Sanchez’s identity was released by the FBI’s Richmond Division and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virgina.
While you’re shaking off the rust of being stuck indoors all winter long, here’s a reminder to always engage the parking brake while you are launching your boat this summer.
With the weather shaping up (finally), many folks will soon be pulling their boat out of storage to hit the lakes summer. Just do yourself a favor and go slow, you don’t want to forget something important, like, say, the parking brake and end up like this guy:
We can only assume he forgot to apply the parking brake here, and then once he realized it, his natural reaction was to try and get out and stop the car from rolling backwards. But that just isn’t going to happen..
We don’t have any details regarding any injuries he potentially suffered, we’re just glad he wasn’t flattened by his vehicle!
A Florida couple’s fishing derby was ruined last week after a viral lovebug swarm took over their boat.
“Pull the anchor we’re out of here. We gotta go 100 mph right now!” Dana Erickson can be heard saying in the video that now has more than 4 million views since it was posted May 8. And anyone who has ever been caught in a cloud of these annoying lovebugs will completely understand..
According to a report by Orlando Sentinel, Erickson and her husband were out fishing with friends roughly three miles off of Lido Key Beach in Sarasota on Silvertooth Reef when they were suddenly invaded by lovebugs.
The lovebug is a species of march fly found in parts of Central America and the southeastern United States – especially along the Gulf Coast. They are also sometimes referred to as the honeymoon fly or double-headed bug because pairs will remain coupled during and after mating, even during flight, sometimes for several days.
Erickson said they tried going fast on their boat in an attempt to outrun the swarm, but that didn’t work.
“They were going in my bathing suit,” Erickson told WFTS. “If you touch them, they smush. I’ve been down here 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like that ever.”
The crew was eventually forced to surrender to the invading forces and head for shore. But this lovebug swarm just kept causing one headache after another..
If you were wondering what kind of cleanup was required after this, it apparently took Erickson’s husband two hours with a power washer in order to get them all off.
As if the new John Wick film couldn’t look any better, a video surfaced recently showing Taran Butler training Halle Berry to look the part of a professional assassin in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
In a video posted by the official “John Wick” Facebook page, Berry can be seen running an array of drills and dialing in her technique with both handguns and a rifle. At one point in the video, Berry is even complimented by her trainers for her “double taps.”
In another short clip about the intense training they each went through for the high octane action featured in the movie, Reeves praised Berry for her work ethic.
“Some people say they want to do John Wick training, and then it starts and they’re like, ‘Oh, this is John Wick training?'” Reeves jokes in the video. “And when Halle said she wanted to do that, director Chad Stahelski said, ‘Here you go.’ And Halle said, ‘Thank you, sir, can I please have some more?'”
— John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (@JohnWickMovie) May 14, 2019
This will be the first time both actors will appear on the big screen together, however, according to Fox News, Berry revealed they actually had an opportunity to work together back in 1994 when Reeves played a Los Angeles police officer in “Speed.”
“I don’t know if you know this, but I was offered ‘Speed’ before Sandra Bullock,” Berry confessed in an interview with ET Online. “I stupidly said no. But in my defense, when I read the script the bus didn’t leave the parking lot.”
For more behind the scenes footage of Berry training with Taran Tactical, the company that has become the go-to for firearms training in some of Hollywood’s biggest films, checkout the video below:
When I was growing up and learning basic skills like CPR, the conventional wisdom and teaching on tourniquet use was entirely different that it is today. At that time, the medical community discouraged tourniquet use because of the risk to the injured limb on the far (from the heart) side of the tourniquet. As an example, if a tourniquet was applied above the knee area to stop bleeding in the lower leg, the big concern was over permanent damage to the lower leg from lack of blood flow to that area.
Knowing how to use a tourniquet is the first step. You also need to have it with you. A quick-access pouch like this one from Blue Force Gear helps.
Since those days, the medical community has done a reversal of “general” recommendations on tourniquet use. Based on field of combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, first responders realized two things. First, a serious arterial bleed in an extremity will can cause death in as little as a couple of minutes and loss of cognitive ability in 30 seconds give or take. If the tradeoff is between loss of a limb and death, most people would choose to live without an arm or a leg. The second learning made this tradeoff more of a moot point. Trauma care providers realized that it takes a long time for a tourniquet to cause irreparable damage to an extremity, perhaps as much as two to four hours. That’s a lot of time to get a stabilized victim to professional help.
Why is everyone all hot and bothered about gearing up to carry tourniquets these days? After all, it would be a rare thing indeed if anyone in your immediate circle of family and friends was shot in an arm or leg, causing a potentially lethal arterial bleed. Here’s the thing. While the odds of you being a first responder to a shooting event or accident are very low, the odds of you being the first responder to some other serious injury situation at some point in your life are pretty high. Ever been the first person on the scene of an auto accident? How about a work site injury? Maybe you’re into outdoor sports like hiking, climbing, motocross, or a myriad of other things that involve physical activities and some risk of injury. The list can go on, but you get the idea. There are an infinite number of ways that someone can be cut, broken, or perforated to the point of damaging an artery.
A tourniquet works by cutting off blood flow to the injured area by compressing the artery above the wound area.
Few if any question the value of learning basic CPR skills. Knowing what to do can and has saved many, many lives. Now, people are realizing that basic knowledge of how and when to use a tourniquet can be equally valuable.
Before we dive into the process of how and when to use a tourniquet, it’s important to note that reading an article like this one is no substitute at all for training by qualified professionals. We will share the process here to provide initial exposure to the steps along with some tips and tricks, so you have a basic understanding of the concepts. Check with your local schools, Red Cross, hospitals, and fire departments to see if there are any upcoming “Stop the Bleed” or similar training opportunities in your area.
When to Consider Tourniquet Use
Although it might be obvious, tourniquet use only applies to arm and leg wounds that are far enough away from the shoulder or hip so that a tourniquet can be applied. Wounds to the torso area require totally different treatment techniques, so we won’t cover those here. Also, for obvious reasons, you can’t stop bleeding in a head wound by applying a tourniquet to the neck!
This model, the Combat Application Tourniquet, can be applied with one hand.
The primary use case for a tourniquet is to stop an arterial bleed. In the arms, the brachial artery delivers fresh oxygenated blood to the arm and hand. It runs down the interior of the upper arm. In the lower body, the femoral artery serves the same function for legs and feet. Damage to either one represents a very serious injury that can cause rapid incapacitation and death.
While the full diagnostic process is far better communicated in a training class, the rule of thumb is to look for bright red blood (arterial) as opposed to a darker red blood (venous) that’s on its way back to the heart. Spurting blood rather than oozing is another potential sign of artery damage.
A tourniquet can also be a good solution if you’re forced to treat multiple victims. Applying direct pressure to a wound is a good way to slow bleeding, but it you have two or more people to help, you’ve got to find a better way. A proper tourniquet can be applied and “locked” into place, freeing you to help others. We’ll talk about how to do that in a minute.
The SOF Tourniquet from Tactical Medical Solutions uses a clip so you don’t have to slide it over the entire arm or leg. Tourniquet Application Steps
The purpose of a tourniquet is to squeeze an artery above (closer to the heart) an injury so that blood flow is reduced to the injured area. It’s the same principle as kinking a garden hose to stop the water flow. In the human body, this is generally done by using exterior pressure to force the artery against the bone to provide that “crushing” effect on an undamaged part of the artery.
Before doing any of these steps, and if at all possible without delaying bleed prevention care to your patient, get help on the way.
Two inches “above” the wound
Step one is to figure out if a tourniquet is a viable option. If you have two inches of arm or leg space above the wound, then you should have enough space to apply an effective tourniquet. An injured or severed artery tends to pull back towards the heart. That’s why you need to apply the tourniquet well above the site of the wound itself.
With its Velcro design, the Combat Application Tourniquet can be tightened with one hand. You can use it on yourself if necessary. Remove clothing or obstructions
While you can use a tourniquet over clothing like pants or shirt sleeves, it’ll be more effective against bare skin. Any padding or insultation between the tourniquet band just reduces the effect of direct pressure against the artery.
Use a proper width tourniquet wrap
While a tourniquet has to compress flesh enough to squeeze the artery against bone, you have to do so without cutting skin or muscle. Using a thin wrapping material like string, cord, or wire will only cut the skin and may not provide enough compression. Proper tourniquets have straps that are an inch or so wide so if you have to improvise, use something of similar width.
A carrier like this can mount on the belt. That’s handy for range trips or other outdoor activities. 90-degree rule
Be sure that the direction of the tourniquet loop is 90 degrees to the artery in question. The tourniquet should be perpendicular the underlying bone. In most cases, this is pretty intuitive as that’s the easiest way to get it into place.
Tightening the tourniquet
If you’re using a proper tourniquet, you’ll be able to hand-tighten the strap as a starting point using buckles or Velcro depending on the model. At this point, you’ll start to turn the windlass which tightens the loop far more than can be done by hand.
The windlass is used to tighten the tourniquet strap enough to stop blood flow. A good one will have a locking mechanism to keep it tightened.
It will hurt your “patient” so warn them. You’ll need to tighten the tourniquet until the bleeding stops or slows to a manageable level. It takes a lot. Since this is an aggressive and painful process, it’s important to be sure that your placement and identification of the bleed location is correct the first time around.
Lock the windlass
One big advantage of a tourniquet over direct pressure is that you can “lock” it in place once it’s applied. Commercial tourniquets will have a plastic loop or catch designed to lock one end of the windlass in place so you can focus on other things rather than holding the tourniquet. This feature is also invaluable should you ever have to apply a tourniquet on yourself. There have been more than a few cases where an individual was able to apply and lock a tourniquet before losing consciousness, thereby saving their own life.
The CAT has an interesting lock design. After dropping the windless end into the groove, you can cover it with the white Velcro strap which also serves as a place to write the time of application. Note the time
Most commercial tourniquets have a tab where you can write the time of application. If that’s not an option, use anything, like a pen, lipstick, or even blood to note the time on the victim’s forehead. If you can do this that will help doctors know what they’re dealing with when the victim arrives for professional care. If you can’t, and you can get your patient to professional care within an hour, focus on transportation first rather than worrying about logging the exact time.
Get the victim professional care
Once you slow the bleeding, you might have bought time to get the victim professional medical care. If someone already called 911, then great, help is on the way. If you need to transport the victim yourself, get going, taking care not to jar the tourniquet loose while moving the victim. Anyone who requires a tourniquet application also requires immediate trauma care.
Take care how you pack the tourniquet in its carrier. I have this one set up for complete one-handed operation. What to Buy?
I have two different tourniquets in my car and shooting bag and they’re both solid pieces of gear but they have different pros and cons so each is better suited to specific scenarios.
Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT)
The U.S. Army introduced the Combat Application Tourniquet to soldiers back in 2005. It’s made by routing a compression strap through an outer sleeve. This “strap inside a sleeve” design is one feature that makes this a true one-handed application tourniquet. You use Velcro on the outer sleeve to position the tourniquet and hold it in place. Then you can use the same hand to tighten and lock the windlass in the built-in windlass locking hooks. While you can certainly use this tourniquet on another person, it’s very easy, with some practice, to put one on your own arm or leg. In fact, if you choose this model, I recommend practice using it one-handed on each arm and leg so you learn how to do it with confidence.
Tactical Medical Solutions SOF Tourniquet
The SOF Tourniquet offers different benefits. While doable, its primary design consideration isn’t one-handed operation. This one uses canvas straps and a metal hook, so you don’t have to work a loop over the entire limb to get it into place. You can reach around the arm or leg and clip the tourniquet together in the right location. Once clipped, pull the strap hand tight through the buckle and commence tightening with the windlass. There is a triangular loop to secure the windlass, so if applied properly, it should stay secure while the victim is transported.
A big benefit of the SOF Tourniquet is that you can wrap it around the arm or leg and clip it locked rather than slide it over. Improvisation
If you need to apply a tourniquet but don’t have one readily available, there are a myriad of everyday items that can be used to improvise. For the strap, a flexible material like a torn t-shirt, necktie, or similar material can do the job. Using a leather belt isn’t recommended as the material is not flexible enough to adequately tighten with a windlass to provide sufficient compression. It looks great in the movies, but isn’t nearly as effective in real life.
For the windlass, be creative. Pens, flashlights, rulers, sticks, a gun magazine, or any other solid object of similar size can do the job. In one case, a man working near a computer saved his own life by using computer cords (not recommended but he had no choice!) and a computer keyboard for the windlass. When the alternative is death, you have nothing to lose by trying to get by using whatever is at hand. Remember, you’ll need to fasten the windlass somehow. Usually you can insert it into the material you used for the strap and tie a knot or two over it.
No, you’re probably not going to need to use a tourniquet to treat a gunshot wound victim. But if that need ever arises, you’ll be glad to have the knowledge. However, more mundane accidents and injuries occur every day all around us, so you might just find yourself as a first responder, at which point you’ll also be glad to have this type of training.
Make it a late New Year’s resolution to go take a class. An hour or so of education might make the difference between life and death for you or someone else.
I learned something about making assumptions. According to linguistic scholars, the Latin root of the word “assumption” is “ass”, meaning… ass. That’s how I usually feel about making an assumption before considering the facts and applying a few minutes of brain power.
I made some assumptions early in my concealed carry career back when payphones freely roamed hotel lobbies and airport gates. One of those assumptions was that I needed to carry a small handgun, especially in the summer. When I look back on those days, I now see it wasn’t really a question of “having to” but more an issue of “wanting to.” That’s an important distinction.
The right gear makes all the difference. Two very different solutions from Clinger Holsters and Alien Gear attack the challenges in different ways.
The problem with this minimalist approach became clear as I gained more carry and defensive shooting experience. I just didn’t have the same degree of confidence with puny subcompacts that I did with larger pistols. It’s not just the capacity difference, but that’s certainly a factor. The other consideration was my ability to shoot well – and quickly. You can certainly hit your target with a subcompact gun, but for me, it’s a heck of a lot easier with a larger pistol. The size and increased surface area, weight for recoil management, and longer sight radius allow me to perform better – much better. So, I switched. I stopped my eternal search for the smallest and lightest pistol I could find, bit the bullet, and started to carry a normal-sized pistol.
Especially in the summer, when you’re likely to be wearing shorts and t-shirts rather than blazers, jackets, and winter coats, it’s tempting to think it’s impossible to conceal a compact (mid-size) or full-size handgun. If you only carry outside the waistband, there’s some truth to that. You’ll need a bulky and long untucked shirt to do it, but it can be done. Inside the waistband carry, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game. With 63% of the average handgun covered (that’s my carefully researched made up statistic) by your pants, shorts, or skirt, all your light summer cover garment has to hide is the grip.
The Clinger No Print Wonder worked so well with the full-size Beretta APX RDO that I “might” have done some Dremel tool adjustments to allow room for an optic. Yes, you can even carry an optic-equipped full-size pistol easily if you put your mind to it.
And that brings us to the eternal question. Can you conceal a compact or full-size handgun grip while wearing average summer attire? The short answer is… yes! With a few tips and tricks, it’s not really harder than concealing a subcompact pistol carried the same way. Sure, the grip is a bit longer and the pistol itself may be thicker, but those are obstacles easily overcome.
To avoid assumptions (because you know what they say about assumptions) of cheating, we’re not going to talk about “easy” carry methods like backpack, purse, or fanny pack, but traditional inside the waistband carry.
Since a large portion of the slide will be behind the pants, shorts, or skirt, that’s really free concealment. Whether your pistol has a three-inch subcompact barrel or a 4.5 inch compact version doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the grip itself and there are two secrets to hiding that under light clothing.
A forward cant tends to prevent the butt from sticking so far out the back.
First, a moderate forward cant (forward lean) not only makes the draw a bit easier for most people, it effectively shortens the grip’s horizontal length. If your pistol is completely vertical, the grip is going to extend backward to its maximum length. When the pistol is canted forward, that same grip angles sharply upward so the horizontal distance (exactly parallel to the ground) used by the grip itself is less. With that vertical orientation, you’re going to have a tougher time with the butt of the handgun extending out past your kidneys with a three or four o’clock carry position. The slightest lean forward will create a bump in your cover shirt. When the gun is angled, that pistol butt is extended upward rather than straight backward, making it easier to hide.
The second issue has to do with drawing the grip in tight to the body. If you’re facing forward, towards the 12 o’clock direction, and the pistol is mounted directly on your side, it’s a lot harder to hide a grip that’s pointed straight back toward the six o’clock position because it extends away from the curve of your body. If the holster draws that grip in tight, it will “wrap” around the curve of your back and be easier to cover because very little is sticking out.
Let’s take a look at two different holsters that just might help you carry the gun of your choice, even in the summer.
It’s a Kydex IWB holster that’s sized to your specific gun model. The entire holster body is shaped perfectly and uniquely to a specific gun model, which helps with positive retention through friction. The trigger area of the holster is also depressed which gently locks the pistol into the holster body. One of the things I like to do is test holster security by inserting an unloaded gun and then turning the holster upside down. If the gun doesn’t come loose, that’s a good sign. If you can shake the holster and the gun still remains in place, that’s even better. I’ve been working with four or five No Print Wonders, all for large guns, over the past couple of years and every one passes this test with flying colors. Even an all-steel 1911 stays put when tipped over and shaken.
I can easily carry either this Beretta APX RDO or Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 full-size with nothing more than a t-shirt for a cover using the Clinger No Print Wonder holsters.
Here’s what really makes it unique. The back belt clip is attached to a Kydex “wing” that extends from the bottom of the Kydex shell. The front clip is attached to a flexible “wing” that bends. The original models used leather for this clip extension but the newest one I’ve seen uses thick rubber. When you attach the holster to your belt, the unit wraps around your body because the rigid rear attachment point forces the front hinge to bend. The result is that the holster pulls the butt of your pistol in tight to the body. This is the secret to the Clinger’s effectiveness. When the pistol grip follows the shape of your body towards the kidney, there’s nothing to protrude and print through even a light cover garment. I routinely use this holster to carry a Sig Sauer P229, 1911, Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 full-size, and Beretta APX full-size with only a short sleeve polo, tee, or button-down shirt as the cover. It works.
Here’s the magic. The front belt clip is attached to the holster body with a flexible rubber or leather hinge. That allows the rigid back wing to draw the grip in close.
Both front and back belt clip tabs come with multiple holes so you can adjust the cant angle to your preference. The default settings work great for me and dramatically reduce the front-to-back length of the grip itself. There’s room to increase that angle if you want more.
Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5 IWB Holster
Hybrid holsters that have a large leather back panel combined with a thin Kydex gun shell have gotten a bad rap recently. Here’s why. With wear, sweat, outward body pressure, and humidity, the upper portion of the flap tends to bend toward the outside. This will eventually impede re-holstering efforts and if you’re not careful, you may end up trying to jam your gun into a holster while pushing that leather into the gun pocket. I get it. You want nothing to interfere with safe re-holstering as bad things can happen. The other knock is that gun security is not as good as with carefully shaped leather or Kydex holster models. The soft and flexible backing doesn’t always provide enough friction and pressure to “lock” the gun into place. If your try the “turn the holster upside down and shake” test with a well-worn hybrid holster it can easily fail and dump your pistol on the floor. That means that if you ever run or fight, you might just lose your gun in the process.
Part of what makes the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck work is a steel panel inside the large backing. That helps retention and ensures that the shield at the top won’t flop over and get in the way of re-holstering.
The Alien Gear Cloak 3.5 IWB Holster dodges both of these hybrid issues. The backing of this holster isn’t made from leather than can soften and get floppy over time. It’s made from four layers of stuff, each with a specific purpose. The inner part is a vented neoprene for comfort and gentle friction against the body to keep it in place. Next is a layer of thin steel to provide structure while keeping the flexibility that make hybrid holsters so popular. Outside of the steel, a layer of ballistic nylon is applied before getting to the final layer of a polymer material the company calls Alien Skin.
Another feature that helps retention on the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck is the “sticky” material. It doesn’t interfere with the draw but really helps keep the gun in place.
The result of all this is that the Cloak Tuck deftly avoids both potential problems of Hybrid holsters. Retention is excellent. While adjustable for ease of draw, most any rational setting will keep the gun securely in place even with a vigorous upside down shaking. The combination of steel, slightly “sticky” Alien Skin material, and shaped outer shell provide positive security. The other benefit of the layered construction with steel reinforcement is that the top shield of the backing won’t start to bend or flop and get in the way of re-holstering efforts. I’ve used these holsters with big and even huge pistols including the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 full-size, Beretta APX, Sig Sauer P320 full-size, Sig P229, and even an FNX 45 Tactical. These also work very well.
So, if you think that you “have to” carry a smaller pistol in the summer months, consider whether it falls into the want or need category. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to carry a smaller gun. It’s easier, lighter, and generally more comfortable to carry. However, if you feel more confident with a larger handgun, you can certainly conceal and carry it if you put your mind to it.
You’ve probably heard about Alaska’s unrelenting terrain and the mental challenge you will inevitably face if you ever make it there for a hunt. But in reality, that’s the least of your worries. What you should be aware of, is the real-life monsters that roam the wilderness out there.
We’re talking about coastal brown bears, the largest species of bears in the world, which are known for getting even bigger than grizzlies.
Alaska Peninsula brown bears – or coastal brown bears – are a very large brown bear subspecies, usually ranging in weight from 800 to 1,200 pounds. They are typically found in high densities along the southern Alaskan coast due not only to the large amount of clams and sedge grass, but also to the annual salmon runs.
The large quantity of salmon these bears consume throughout the year is a big reason why they are are so gigantic!
There’s little doubt coastal brown bear hunting in Alaska might be the ultimate test for a hunter, and it doesn’t get any easier when you pull the trigger right at last light..
This was the daunting situation Travis and Adam from ‘Stuck N The Rut’ were faced with recently after successfully filling a tag on the biggest brown bear either hunter had ever laid eyes on.
I won’t give away any spoilers, you’ll just have to watch and see how this hunt and recovery goes down.
You know what they say; “the real hard work begins immediately after pulling the trigger” and that couldn’t be any more appropriate for the ‘theme’ of this video:
Awesome hunt, gentlemen. And what an absolute warrior of a bear – checkout the scar on his snout!
If you were in the same position as these two hunters, would you have made the same call to pack out the animal that night? It’s a tough decision, but I think they made the correct choice. Plus, would you actually be able to fall asleep after accomplishing something like that?
What are some bucket list hunts you dream of going on? Is coastal brown bears one of them?
Details continue to emerge surrounding the horrific machete attack on the Appalachian Trail last week where one man was killed and another narrowly escaped with serious injuries.
The man responsible for this heinous crime, James Louis Jordan, 30, of Massachusetts, has since been ordered by a U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent to undergo a series of rigorous mental evaluations after brutally attacking a group of campers along the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County.
According to The Roanoke Times, an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Micah Childers states Jordan was playing tunes on his guitar while singing and “acting disturbed and unstable” when he made contact with the group of four hikers on Friday, May 10. The group almost immediately recognized Jordan from social media posts about a previous incident last month in Unicoi County, Tennessee, where Jordan allegedly threatened other hikers in similar fashion. None of the previous hikers pressed any charges, however, and Jordan was only arrested on misdemeanor charges, possession of marijuana and criminal impersonation. He was fined, placed on probation and released.
On top of that, Jordan had already made a name for himself along this stretch of the Appalachian Trail – between Smyth and Wythe counties – apparently going by the name “Sovereign,” meaning “supreme ruler.”
This is when things start to sound like a real life slasher film..
After making contact with Jordan on Friday, the group of four hikers pressed on and tried to get some distance between themselves and Jordan. But he “began randomly approaching the hikers’ tents, making noises and threatening them,” according to Childers’ statement. It was after Jordan threatened to set their tents on fire that the group decided to pack up and get out of there.
But Jordan caught up with them once again, this time wielding a machette.
At this point, two of the hikers (referred to as Hiker #1 and Hiker #2 in the affidavit) in the group took off running, and Jordan followed. He returned to the camp shortly after, and argued with a male hiker from the party, called Victim #1 in the affidavit. Jordan began stabbing him in the upper body while a female watched. The woman, described as Victim #2, then ran away frantically for her life, but Jordan was right on her tail.
“She turned to face Jordan and raised her arms as if to surrender when Jordan began stabbing her and she received multiple stab wounds,” the affidavit reads. She fell to the ground and played dead in a desperate attempt to get Jordan to leave, which he eventually did to go look for his dog.
The woman took advantage and bolted, running south on the trail until she met up with two more hikers. She continued for 6 miles more miles into Smyth County where she would finally call 911.
By that time, the 911 dispatch had already received another call about what was happening – presumably from the first two hikers who escaped.
A little after 6 a.m., a tactical team from the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office entered the camp and located Jordan. He had blood stains on his clothes and they promptly took him into custody. They also found the male victim, who they pronounced dead at the scene of the attack.
All three survivors unequivocally identified Jordan as the attacker.
“I commend local law enforcement in Wythe and Smyth counties for mobilizing successful rescue and tactical operations in this remote region,” U.S. Attorney Cullen said in a statement. “Thanks to their efforts, the suspect was safely apprehended and a seriously wounded victim received critical medical care.”
Jordan made an appearance in the U.S. District Court in Abingdon Monday, where Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent ordered his psychiatric evaluations be completed by August 1.
The choices for a concealment handgun today are most daunting. Caliber, double stack vs. single stack, night sights, and lasers are but a few of the considerations your facing if you are new to concealed carry. And then there is the age old question of, do I stick with a time-tested revolver or move into the modern era of semi auto handguns? Some of these key considerations are outlined below. My thoughts here are for practical everyday carry guns, not competitive, target, hunting or otherwise.
Semi Autos: The Sig 365
Although I started a career in law enforcement in about 1985, it wasn’t until around 1990 that carrying of a semi-auto duty gun was allowed in the agency I worked for. Prior to 1990 it was revolvers only. My first duty semi auto was a Sig Sauer P220, in .45 ACP. Over the years I have carried everything from double/single actions, the single action only (1911 platform) to the now ever popular striker fired platforms. Semi auto calibers I have carried for LE purposes have ranged from 32 auto, 380, 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 Sig and .45 ACP (the smaller of these for backup purposes only). I have seen a smattering of 10mm’s carried as well. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the semi auto.
Concealability: As with the revolver, the small- to mid-frame semi autos are very concealable with the right holster systems. Generally speaking, the semi auto allows a person to carry a larger frame handgun as compared to the revolver.
Reliability: Today’s semi autos, although more problematic in some cases than the revolver, are very reliable. Most all well-known manufacturers’ models demonstrate excellent reliability in my experience, especially the striker fired systems.
Caliber offerings: Wide and diverse to meet the EDC needs of everyone.
Weight: Today’s striker fired autos are all lightweight material and there are a wide variety of choices to fit every person’s needs.
Magazine capacity: A double stack, sub compact or compact semi auto has double to triple the round count of the revolver. The Sig 365 and the new Glock 43X are very concealable and offer 10 plus round capacity in a very small package. Worth considering!
Add-ons: Although the revolver does have some options here, I believe the autos have an edge for choices in the area of mounted light systems, lasers, night sights and part upgrades.
Affordability: At the lower end starting around $300 to $350, autos are competitive with the revolver category in cost.
Operation: For those just starting out, the basic operation of the auto can seem formidable. From locking the slide back to loading ammunition in the magazine, it can seem a bit of a challenge. Get with a qualified trainer and you will overcome these obstacles in no time.
Malfunctions: Yes, I know this relates to reliability. Many folks have experienced a malfunction while shooting a semi auto. Most are related to magazine issues, ammo, maintenance, or shooter error. There is a reason Glock and other striker fired systems are so reliable and popular by police and military today.
Revolvers: The Charter Arms Pitbull in .45 ACP
When I first started my law enforcement career in 1985 few law enforcement agencies in the state utilized semi auto for patrol officers. If the semi auto pistol was carried by LE in those days it was almost always the classic 1911 45 ACP. All of my early handgun training for defensive purposes revolved (no pun intended) around a S&W Revolver in 357 magnum (the 44 magnum was carried by some). Also at the time, little consideration was given to things like recoil and the fit of the gun to an officer’s hand–if you were a cop you qualified on what they told you and either passed or failed. So I learned the revolver well, to include speed and tactical reloads and distance shooting. Very few of these skills are adopted today by the average person carrying a revolver, because so few carry one or choose to not train.
As I see it, there is a time and place for this action type. I have used almost every well-known make and model of revolver that’s commonly seen today. Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses.
Concealability: Select a small frame, i.e., 2 to 3 inch barrel, and this gun can be easily and effectively concealed. For example, Kimber offers the K6S six shot (38spl/.357mag) in a 2 inch barrel and a width of only 1.9 inches, making it very easy to conceal and carry.
Caliber offerings: The old standby 38 special is a classic and probably the most common. But many of the rimless semi auto offerings are now available, including 32, 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. Charter Arms offers a revolver, named the Pit Bull that works with rimless calibers without the use of moon clips.
Reliability: Although malfunctions can occur they are rare. The revolver is generally very reliable and durable for EDC. Suffice it to say the higher quality built revolvers tend to be less problematic.
Weight: With the advent of lighter materials being used for small frame revolvers, weight is seldom an arguing point. The S&W Airweight for example weighs less than a pound.
Affordability: Many well-known companies are making good revolvers. Selections start in the $350 dollar range and go up from there.
Trigger pull: For some, a double action trigger pull on a revolver is a drawback. With the average DA coming in around at 10 to 12lbs, it can be a challenge for folks with grip strength challenges. I recommend only firing a revolver in double action for defensive purposes even though many folks want to “cock the hammer”. As most of you know some revolvers have the hammer bobbed or shrouded where you are unable to cock it.
Reduced round capacity: The average carry revolver has a capacity of five to six rounds. Will you carry a speed loader or a speed strip as an extra ammo source?
Short sight radius: There’s little room for error when shooting snub nosed revolvers past three to five yards. In addition, rear sights are often very minimal on small revolvers. This same issue exists on some semi autos as well.
Left, S&W Shield, Ruger LCR, Ruger LC9S, Right, S&W Model 60, Glock 43X, Charter Arms Pitbull
No doubt there are other pros and cons for both revolvers and semi autos. Recoil is one I hear most often discussed for both categories when I instruct today. In reality recoil can be managed with proper grip, good training and some consideration to caliber and ammunition selection.
I feel there is a place for either system in your daily concealed carry selection, depending on everything from the weather to your attire and confidence/skill level. In the end, what it comes down to is what you are most confident with, which system is most reliable for you and what gun you can carry comfortably. Then your determination to train and keep training!