All posts by refactor

Survival Gear: Kevlar Cord

The newest addition to the REFT survival gear product line is Kevlar Cord. Kevlar Cord is an excellent accessory that can be added to any load-out to improve functionality and survivability. Kevlar Cord can be used for an abundance of different tasks and is exceptionally durable and versatile. Kevlar Cord is pound for pound, some of the most reliable and multifaceted material on the market. With a 75 pound tensile strength, it is capable of cutting through wood, zip-ties, and seatbelts. Kevlar cord is a must have for any outdoor enthusiast or operator who is looking to make their loadout more versatile while keeping it as light as possible.

 

Kevlar Cord can be used to quickly cut out of illegal restraints such as zip-ties, rope, and duct tape. It can also be used to make shelter, set snares, and fish because of its durability and tensile strength. Weighing in at less than an ounce per twenty feet, it can easily be carried in abundance no matter the terrain or mission.

Now available at tacticalequipment.com

20 feet
Made of strong, commercial grade Kevlar
Weighs less than 1oz per 20ft
Kevlar is a registered trademark of DuPont™

Deployable SSE Backpack

Deployable SSE Backpack

 

The Deployable SSE Backpack is designed to allow operators access to an easy to use, extra bag for SSE (Sensitive Site Exploitation). The Deployable SSE Backpack stows away in it’s integrated stuff-sack when not in use and can be deployed in seconds. Measuring 12 x 17 x 4 in. (13.3L), the 70D water-resistant nylon Ripstop® backpack offers an extremely light, yet durable design that can hold an abundance of items when needed, and stows away in the compact integrated stuff-sack when not needed.

The belt loop allows the bag to be carried on your person so it can be rapidly deployed when time is of the essence. The belt loop features a durable velcro closure for quick access while still staying put when stowed away.

 

 The adjustable backpack straps with AeroMesh™ allow the backpack to be worn so that the hands are kept free during movement to extract. The straps are light and breathable while still maintaining durability and strength to handle anything you throw at them.

 

 

 

 

 

The backpack features a large main compartment with zipper closure for larger items such as laptops or weapons. Two small secondary exterior pockets have also been included for documents and other smaller items. The SSE Backpack is made in the USA and is Berry compliant for government purchases and is available in Black, Coyote Tan, and Multicam.

  • Measures: 12 x 17 x 4 in. (13.3L)
  • Adjustable backpack straps w/ AeroMesh™
  • Exterior velcro patch panel
  • (2) exterior zipping pockets
  • Integrated stuff-sack w/ belt loop
  • 70D water-resistant nylon Ripstop® exterior
  • Made in the USA

What to pack in your E&E Bag

The E&E Bag, (AKA The Go To Shit Bag) is specifically used when shit hits the fan, and you can only carry essential items with you.  You may have to E&E (Escape and Evade) the enemy on foot alone or in a very small group so you will need to be light while still being able to pack the biggest punch possible. Your life will depend on your training, the items on your body, and the items in your E&E Bag,  so choose what you carry very carefully.

Do not leave out items that you may need because someone else in your team is packing it. You may be split up, and you will be shit out of luck if you decided not to pack a smoke grenade because your buddy had extra. Always be self-sufficient and never neglect to pack the essentials. Pack the Bag for the worst possible scenario so that you will be ready if the worst happens.

Situations that this list is designed for are compromised reconnaissance patrols, where the team is already small and on foot. The E&E bag will be retrieved out of the ruck and all sensitive items destroyed as per SOP.

Extra Magazines-

Extra mags are first on the list for obvious reasons. If you are alone, on foot, and behind enemy lines, you are your only immediate support. You want to have enough mags to sustain you during a firefight as you will more than likely be outnumbered. You may have to suppress the enemy alone and fire at rates that you usually wouldn’t if you were with a team. You will need to intimidate the enemy and appear to be as big of a threat is possible which you will be unable to do if you are firing onesies and twosys. Try and take as many as you can fit but six mags should be the minimum.

Frag Grenades-

Frag grenades are a very close second to extra mags. Frags can be a massive deterrent to for the enemy and make you appear to be a much more significant threat to the enemy.  If the enemy has to keep his head down because of your accurate suppressive fire, then all the sudden gets covered with his buddies insides from the frag you just chucked from 30-yards like Bryce Harper throwing a runner out at home, he will probably reconsider how much he wants to kill you. A big boom never hurts your chances winning a firefight and if thrown accurately can immediately shift the odds in your favor. The efficient use of frags can give you precious time to move to a different position, use the radio, or run like hell. Take at least one frag if possible.

40mm  (If you have a tube)

Like frags, 40mm rounds have a big boom and can open up opportunities that will be tough to come by if alone. An additional benefit of the 40mm is you can shoot these bad boys a country mile while you have to depend on your arm strength for throwing a frag. Try and take as many of these bad-boys as possible. With two being the minimum. Smoke rounds can also be uniquely useful so consider packing them during pre-mission prep.

Smoke Grenade-

Smoke Grenades can come in handy for a bunch of reasons. Ideally, you will use them to signal for extract. You’ll hop on the bird and ride off into the sunset and have a perfectly happy ending, but this outcome is somewhat unlikely without at least a few snags in the plan. But fear not, they can still be handy and save your ass in other equally important ways. Smoke grenades can provide cover, and mask your movement. This will be a crucial tool if you are alone because movement without suppressive fire is never a smart idea. We have sent chimps to outer space, so if you can’t figure out why you shouldn’t move from cover without masking your movement, we probably can’t help you.  Using smoke to conceal your movement is an excellent alternative to suppressive fire when alone. You may be saying to yourself, “but they can shoot through smoke” and you are correct. The alternative is sitting in one spot and firing until you run out of ammo, then get overwhelmed and killed or worse. Your call, but it might be wise to throw smoke and get the hell out of dodge. Take one to two of these life-savers with you depending on how much room you have.

NVG’s

NVG’s are a no-brainer. You want every advantage you can possibly get so being able to move at night can be clutch. You will have more freedom of movement at night should take advantage of this fact. Do a map study, plan your route, and lay low during the day, and move to the extract location under cover of darkness. Don’t forget to take plenty of extra batteries.

TERTIARY COMMS-

Unless you plan to contact higher via smoke signals or Dixie cups connected with string, you might want to have a form of communication. A satellite phone should be taken at the very least for tertiary comms.  Believe it or not you can now get a SAT Phone for around $500.  So if you want to be smart pick one up for home or for your deployment If you have sat-comm communications for your primary radio, take a beer-can antenna if possible and at least two extra batteries for each comm device you have.

CASH MONEY-

Always, always always, pack cash with you. You never know how long it will be before you get extracted so it is wise to have some money to buy goods that you may need or to bribe someone who is hesitant to aid you. You know what they say, money talks, and it might just talk loud enough to convince some asshole that he wants a few hundred bucks more than he wants to kill you. You can also use cash to barter for things like a ride, to use a phone, or for food and water. Take at least $200-$500  in USD and an additional 200-500 in local currency if possible.

POWER BARS

You may only have room for a couple of these so pick some that have a metric ass-ton of calories to keep you going as long as possible. You may have to move a long way to a DAR ( Designated Area of Recovery) site so make sure you have the energy to do it as safely and quickly as possible.

BATTERIES-

The cool equipment mentioned above like NVG’s and comm gear will be nothing more than dead weight if you don’t have batteries to power them. This is a pretty straight-forward concept.

SIGNALING-

The VS-17 Marking Panel is always a good option for signaling for extract or flagging down friendlies that you happen to come across. A VS-17 Marking Panel is light, yet large enough to be a useful marking tool and has multiple features that can come in handy like the 6″x11″ silk printed  American flag, IR patch panel, and Rare Earth magnets.

VS-17 Marking Panel
VS-17 Marking Panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This list is merely a suggestion. If you feel that there are additional or more important items that should be on this list please let us know. Please keep in mind though that this bag needs to be as light and deadly as possible which is why some items have been left off the list. Also, certain items such as water and navigation equipment such as a GPS (the new Garmin 701 is pretty boss), maps, and compass are typically carried on the body, so have not been added to the list.

 

 

What do you really need in your IFAK?

 

Let’s be honest; there are some ridiculous first aid kits out there with everything from a single piece of combat gauze to almost anything you might find in an operating room.  But what do you actually need in there?  There are a lot of pre-packed kits on the market that I think fall short, mainly because the purposefully omit life-saving products in order to reach a certain price point.

Before we go much further, let me make the statement “IFAK kits will be expensive.”  Expect to pay at least $200 for your IFAK and accompanied medical items.  I know this may sound like a lot, but if something dire happens to you, you will spend the rest of your short life wishing you had splurged on the good stuff.

The Aggressor

The below-recommended contents are based on years of real-world experience, actually seeing what does and doesn’t work.  These items will fit in a small IFAK and will provide necessary life-saving options.  I will expand on this and say that none of the below medical equipment will do you any good if you don’t know how to use them.  I’d argue that knowing how to use these items is more important than actually having the items themselves.  While I could go into all the recommended courses available, I will save that for a later post.

I will make my IFAK list based on the MARCH algorithm.  The military’s MARCH algorithm varies from the traditional ABC (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) used by civilians.  MARCH stands for:

Massive Hemorrhage- The military puts Massive Hemorrhage at the top of the treatment list.  This means that if you arrive at a patient, you’d want to treat a massive hemorrhage first before moving on to any other injuries.  Now, it’s important to note that a massive hemorrhage means a sizeable arterial bleed is dumping copious amounts of blood onto the ground.  This isn’t a cut that is dripping on the ground; it is large volumes of blood loss that could lead to death in less than a minute or two.

Airway- This pertains to being able to draw air into the lungs.  Airway would be something like an obstructed airway due to debris, a tongue of an unconscious patient or mouth and throat burns.

Respiration- This pertains to the actual breathing process. Standard treatment for respiratory ailments would include something like a collapsed lung or a sucking chest wound.

Circulation- At this stage of the algorithm we go back to general bleeding and lacerations to keep lots of cuts from leaking precious blood out of the body.

Hypothermia/Head Injury- This last piece of the algorithm is a little bit contentious in that many healthcare providers believe you should treat hypothermia throughout the MARCH treatment process. I agree with this method of thinking, but it is always wise to reassess for hypothermia after all the holes have been plugged.

Delta Trauma Kit

With the above algorithm in mind lets look at what items are going to treat those issues.  Keep in mind this doesn’t address things like spinal cord injuries, burns, smoke inhalation or other possible non-visible injuries that you as a civilian might encounter.  However, those are injuries that you as an everyday civilian wouldn’t be able to treat with anything out of your IFAK anyways.  So these items cover things that you can personally manage and potentially use to save someone’s life.

 

Massive Hemorrhage:

Compact Gauze- I’d say this is probably the most critical piece of medical kit you can carry.  It’s cheap, small and has a ton of different applications.  If you have a sizeable massive bleed gauze is the only thing that can fill a large cavity and provide the pressure needed to stop the bleed.  You can wrap gauze, stuff gauze, use it as a sling, use it to splint and a multitude of other applications.   I would suggest carrying at least two packages of compact gauze.

Combat Gauze- Combat Gauze is probably the most expensive piece of kit you could add with the cheapest versions starting around $20.  However, if appropriately used, Combat Gauze can be crucial in stopping a massive bleed.  Combat Gauze works by putting an agent in the gauze that causes the blood to coagulate and in theory stop the bleeding faster than just gauze.  The problem with this product is that it only works if applied correctly.  If you merely stuff the gauze improperly into the wound or lay it on top, you won’t be helping out the situation.  The gauze must be applied to the cut artery to work.  However, when overseas, I like to carry a lot of packs of these in place of compact gauze because they can offer the same functions as compact gauze and I don’t have to pay for them.  For this, I’d recommend carrying at least one.

Tourniquet– Arguably more important than gauze is a tourniquet.  Tourniquets are a quick fix to a complex problem.  They are relatively inexpensive, easy to carry and fix most extremity bleeds.  While there are a ton of tourniquets on the market, we sell and recommend the RATs.  However, the CAT and the SOF-T are both great tourniquets that will do a phenomenal job of stopping an extremity bleed.  At the end of the day, I recommend finding a tourniquet you are comfortable with, know how to use and trust and buy that.

Airway:

Nasal Pharyngeal Airway (NPA)– NPAs are probably the best item you can carry to treat an airway.  This inserts into the patient’s nostril and creates an airway.  These are inexpensive, easy to use and easy to carry.  While there are other airway items you can carry like a King Airway or Cricothyrotomy Kit, the NPA is the most practical item to carry with minimal training.

Respiration:

HALO Chest Seal– The HALO Chest seal is designed to fix a sucking chest wound by applying a self-adhesive occlusive dressing.   These are easy to use and can usually stick to skin with hair, sweat or blood.

Tension Pneumothorax Kit- These are designed to treat tension pneumothorax, a complication that takes place when there is a hole in the lung.  These are crucial in longer-term care where a tension pneumothorax is expected, however, this does require some advanced training.  There are great to add to your kit if you’ve had the chance to practice with one.

Circulation:

Control Wrap– Like compact gauze, control wrap/Ace wrap have a ton of different applications.  One of these is helping provide the necessary pressure for bleeds.  I prefer control wrap over ACE wrap because it’s a unique design that allows the user to get the wrap extremely tight.

Trauma Tape- Athletic Tape or Trauma Tape is essential for your IFAK since it too has a lot of multiple uses.  I prefer Trauma Tape because it allows the user to record the patient’s vital signs without having to carry additional paper or cards.  The tape can also be written on with almost any kind of pen.

What’s In Your Go Bag?

 

The bag- This is the part that tends to change the most from person to person. Some like small bags, some like big bags,  but none the less you need a bag that is durable, portable, and compartmentalized. The pictured bag in this post is our ASO Bag. This is considered a larger than normal Go Bag and would be designed to fit more in a trunk than at your feet. Not sure where to buy a bag? No problem, everyone carries their go bag that they swear is the perfect design. The bottom line is figuring out what works best for you and your mission that can carry all of your goods but still be portable and efficient.

Extra Ammunition- You can never have too many bullets in a firefight, and your Go Bag is the perfect place to store extra ammo. It is wise to carry ammo for your most casualty producing weapons such as your M-4, Shotgun (police), or Crew Serve Weapon but remember to store a few extra mags for any other weapon systems you might have on you. If your primary goes down, you want to have a few extra mags for your secondary. I like to carry an extra load of ammo of 8xM4 mags, and 3xG17 9mm mags. Also I store magazines in the doors, glove compartments and any other available space in any vehicle I am in.

Hand Grenades- These things are powerful and can change who is Mr. Awesome in a firefight in a snap. One or two in a Go Bag can go a long way. Don’t have access to hand grenades? Flash Bangs are also helpful in at least increasing your violence of action.

Medical Equipment- This doesn’t need to be a portable trauma center, but you should have enough essentials on hand to tend to 3-4 wounded personnel. Remember to carry equipment to treat what injuries you would most likely see like tourniquets, chest seals and needle decompression needles, NPAs, packs of gauze, coagulating agents and a few transformer bandaids for the guy that complains about his boo boo. Carrying some 9 Line MEDEVAC format is also a good idea and essential for getting the Helicopters in the air. REFT carries MEDEVAC stickers for your weapon, radio or Go Bag at refactortactical.com Keep in mind these are only suggestions (from a bunch of knuckle draggers), and you should go to your combat medic or healthcare provider for a detailed list of what to carry and how to use it.

Batteries- Optics, flashlights, IR Strobes, NVGs, GPSs, laser designators, radios, cell phones and iPods are all electronics that will go out when you need them the most. Be sure to go through your kit and find anything that requires batteries or a charge and bring a way to replenish it. Putting batteries on the back of your helmet is another great way to store them and helps to balance out your NVGS a little bit. The bottom line is you can never have too many batteries or change them out enough to ensure that your electronics will be working when you need them the most.

Water- Kind of a no-brainer. This is especially important if you might need to E&E through some drought-rode shit hole sand box.  While water bladders can carry a lot of liquid, they also break easily. Nalgenes, on the other hand, are durable and can also carry whiskey if your mission turns into a party later on… Or for use with Iodine tablets, potato I guess. At the very least carry enough water to last you through a good movement and remember this is the water you only touch in an emergency.

Iodine Tablets- These things are for when the above runs out, and you need to replenish. While a water pump will taste better, these tend to be more portable.

 

American/UK/German/Australian/Whatever country you work for Flag- When the going gets tough, it’s always good to have some identification. This can help the friends determine if you are the foe or not and is especially important when operating undercover.

Signal Kit- Always have the ability to mark your location with big bright and shiny things. A good signaling kit should include a VF-17 panel or bright orange marking (hunter orange works as well), colored smoke, IR panel, pen flare or star cluster and an IR strobe. Remember to think P.A.C.E (Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency) when coming up with your signal plan.

Emergency Commo- Even though you carry a radio and most likely a super sweet iPhone you should also consider some emergency commo plan. As with signaling, you should come up with a P.A.C.E for communications. Things like Sat phones, local cell phones, emergency radios and cans with string on them are always a plus when your primary means of commo doesn’t work (as it most likely won’t). Be sure to get with your commo guy and listen to his excuses about how he can’t make comms because of the sun spots and misalignment of the moon to the planets is messing him up. He should be able to explain to you how all of your equipment works.

Food- Like water this stuff keeps you going during long movements. You don’t need anything substantial like a full MRE or enough food for 3 square meals. Instead, choose things that will help keep you going during an E&E like protein bars and power gels.

Survival Kit- Again don’t make this be anything crazy but be sure to have enough stuff to help you out if you have to rough the elements for a few days.

Items could include: 550 cord, duct tape, fire starters (matches and a lighter), wire, pocket knife, salt and sugar or Oral Rehydration Salts, Map of the Area, compass, handcuff key, lock pic (bobby pins work well), fishing line and hook, pencil and notepad, and a plant and animal ID guide. 550 Cord Operator Bands like the ones sold at refactortactical.com are also great for keeping much-needed cord on you for anything from setting a snare to tying up officers who have “a very good idea.”

Flashlight- So you can see things when it’s dark. Flashlights can also be an effective means of signaling for help or recovery.

Again these are all suggestions, and each individual should tailor each bag for their needs.

Have more ideas or comments on what to put in a Go Bag? Post them below; we always appreciate your opinions!

Build Up Drill: Eliminate Shot Anticipation

Build Up Drill

Shooters having problems with shot anticipation will often miss the target by a significant margin even if they apply all other shooting fundamentals. Anticipation is precisely what it sounds like; a shooter is anticipating the recoil of the shot and attempting to brace for it instead of allowing their arms and body to absorb it. Bracing just before a shot will throw off your sight alignment and sight picture and cause your barrel to dip in most cases. Luckily, it is relatively easy to break the bad habit of anticipating shots if the shooter is willing to put in the time and effort.

 

Essential Shooting Guide

Shot anticipation is identifiable in several ways. If you find that your rounds are grouping low and left of the target if you are a right-handed shooter, or low and right if you are a left-handed shooter, you are likely anticipating the shot. This is because predicting will cause the barrel to move just before firing and cause the muzzle to dip. Anticipation is flinching right before a round is fired. The severity of the flinch can vary from drill to drill, but if a shooter anticipates shots, it is likely that a flinch will be present to some degree in almost every round fired by the shooter in most cases. If you have identified a shot group consistent with anticipatory shot groupings you should conduct a ball and dummy drill to ensure the problem is anticipation . A ball and dummy drill is conducted by having someone else load a dummy round randomly into your magazine before a shooter performs a multiple round shooting drill. Once the magazine reaches the dummy round the pistol will fail to fire. It will be extremely apparent if the shooter is anticipating the shot or not because there will be no recoil to brace for. If the muzzle of the pistol moves forward at all when attempting to fire the dummy round, the shooter is anticipating the shot. The severity of anticipation can vary in degree, but shooters should strive to have no anticipatory movement when firing at all.

Setup

Essentials Target

The Build Up drill is purposefully designed to start slow in order to master the basics, then progress to rapid-fire until anticipation is no longer present. This pistol drill is conducted from the five-yard line. This is because we are currently focusing on correcting anticipation and want to make all of the other fundamentals as easy to apply as possible. Accuracy from this distance shouldn’t be a problem so the shooter can solely focus on anticipation during this drill. A random dummy round should be added at least once during each stage of the drill to ensure the shooter is progressing through the drill correctly. Try and be as precise as possible throughout the drill so the benefit of the drill can be accurately assessed. It’s good idea to start follow-on range sessions off with this drill as well if you have identified that anticipation is a problem for you.

Drill

Step One:

The Build Up Drill starts with an exaggerated 10 round slow-fire iteration. This means fire one round at a time and reset after each shot. The pistol should be holstered after each round if possible. If not, lower the pistol and take a second or two of rest after each round is fired. Take more time than is necessary to fire each round. Take the slack out of the trigger much slower than you would typically, find the exact breaking point of the trigger, and allow your sites to come back on target after the round is fired. This is done for two reasons; one, it lets shooters become intimately familiar with their trigger. The slack, break, and reset, of the trigger should be focused on to ensure proper trigger manipulation becomes muscle memory. Confidence in the trigger can do wonders for shooters in many regards aside from managing anticipation as well. Two, it forces shooters to take their time and realize that recoil is manageable and there is no reason to anticipate. Ideally, shooters will also find a more comfortable and practical shooting stance during this portion of the drill as well.

Tip: If the recoil is unmanageable and your stance is altered if you do not anticipate the shot, consider taking a more aggressive stance with your lower body.  Also, try allowing your arms and shoulders to absorb the recoil more efficiently by keeping a slight bend in the elbows and not locking the elbows out. Beginning shooters tend to think that by keeping the elbows totally locked out it will help them control the pistol. This is often not the case, if a shooter allows the upper and lower body to work in conjunction to absorb the recoil rather than fight against it, the shooter will find that they can manage the recoil with much more success.  If the elbows are completely locked out, and the upper body is tense, the recoil will affect the weakest point in the recoil path which is the hands and wrists. When shooters do not adequately absorb recoil and fight against it, the lack of recoil absorption typically leads to lousy recoil management which will cause the barrel rise because the wrists cannot manage the recoil without any assistance from the rest of the upper and lower body.

Pistol IQ Target

Step Two:

Once the shooter can fire all ten rounds without flinching, it is time to move on. Reload and begin the drill again, this time focusing on taking only 1.5-2  seconds to fire each round from the moment you start to take the slack out of the trigger to when it breaks and the round fires. Still, reset or holster the pistol after each shot. Reload and conduct the drill again taking 1 second or less to fire each round once you have begun to take the slack out of the trigger. Still, take as much time as you need to accurately acquire your target, and continue to holster the pistol after each round is fired.

Tip: Gradually increasing speed while decreasing the time it takes to fire each round ensures that the fundamentals are being applied, positive muscle memory is being created, and the shooter isn’t progressing through the drill too quickly.

Step Three:

The final step in this drill is firing multiple rounds in succession. The setup is similar to steps one and two, except multiple rounds will be fired between resets. Acquire the target and fire one round, release the trigger until it resets then fire the second round. ( Do not take your finger completely off the trigger, only release enough pressure to allow the trigger to reset and fire the second round). Holster the weapon after the second round and repeat the drill four more times totaling ten rounds. Once you are confidently able to make it through five iterations without flinching or anticipating before a shot, slowly progress one round at a time until you can fire an entire magazine in succession without anticipating. Ensure that rounds are being fired in a rhythm and not sporadically. Firing in a cadence will help to create positive muscle memory and helps to develop positive shooting  habits. The goal is to be able to fire an entire magazine with half a second or less between rounds with no flinching or anticipation.

 

Human Resources Target

 

Conclusion:

By going through the progression of this drill and taking the time to slow down and focus on the fundamentals of this drill, shooters should be able to improve upon their anticipatory deficiency relatively quickly. This drill not only emphasizes the fundamentals of marksmanship but increases confidence in a shooters ability to properly manage recoil. To gain the full benefit of this drill do not go through the motions. Focus on applying the fundamentals and do not move on to the next portion of the drill if you have not entirely mastered previous steps. To maximize efficiency and ensure improvement is being made throughout the progression of this exercise, a random dummy round should be added into a magazine by someone else multiple times in this drill to ensure shots are not being anticipated.

New Product: Detainee Pouch

RE Factor Tactical is excited to announce the release of our all new Detainee Pouch. The Detainee Pouch was designed to be used by U.S. and allied military and law enforcement members to maintain personal property, sensitive documents, and evidentiary items found at a crime scene or raid site and keep them with the associated detainee found during SSE. This product allows important items, whether they be evidentiary or not, to stay with each individual detainee throughout the post operation process. This ensures that crucial evidence is not lost or mixed up with evidence associated with another detainee during  SSE.

Detainee Pouch

The Detainee Pouch is a 6.5″ x 7″ mesh pouch that maintains important documents or items that that is associated with a specific detainee i.e. Identification card/ passport, cell phone, money, paraphernalia, prescription drugs, photographs, etc… The top of the pouch can be sealed with a 1/2″ durable velcro strip to ensure that no items fall out of the pouch during movement. On the front side of the pouch we have included a 3″x5″ clear panel that is large enough to house an identification card or name placard for easy identification and association if the pouch is ever separated from the corresponding detainee at any time. This ensures that all evidence discovered, will be associated with the corresponding detainee throughout the detainment process regardless of extract platform. Additionally, the Detainee Pouch has a 550 cord lanyard/necklace so the detainee pouch can be placed around the corresponding detainee’s neck for ease of identification or for field expedient suspect identification photographs (mugshots).

The idea for the Detainee Pouch was inspired by feedback from  law enforcement officers and SOF operators who needed a product that could easily house important evidentiary items and documentation and could easily stay with the detainee throughout the custody transference process. The solution also needed to be compact in order to be carried during a mission without adding significant weight to their already cumbersome load-out. The Detainee pouch is not a new concept, rather a permanent fix to an old problem. In the past, SOF teams have used large ziplock bags with a taped 550 lanyard. This method isn’t exactly top of the line and can easily be lost or come unattached from an individual. The Detainee pouch offers a much more durable design than the homemade alternative and includes the clear identification sleeve in the front which makes it easier to associate the pouch with the correct individual if the pouch and corresponding detainee are separated for any reason.

The Detainee Pouch  is a patent pending item by RE Factor Tactical, LLC.

For information on government or group sales, please contact govsales@refactortactical.com

Pistol Drill: The Turret Drill

The Turret Drill

Overview

This pistol drill focuses on multiple aspects of shooting to include; draw speed/efficiency, trigger speed, proper trigger manipulation, recoil management, target identification, accuracy, and places a significant emphasis on target transitions. This pistol drill is for intermediate to advanced shooters and includes multiple target transitions. We have added alternate variations to increase difficulty, emphasize accuracy, and challenge advanced shooters.

The Iceman Target

The Iceman Target allows shooters of all levels to improve their shooting skills, focusing on accuracy and target transitions. Capable of being used with rifle or pistol training, this target allows shooters to understand the importance of their shot placement, becoming more proficient in their shooting fundamentals and abilities. It works exceptionally well for this drill because it features the traditional silhouette design with the colored bulls-eye/ kill zone located center mass. The color differentiation makes transitioning between targets much more manageable than single colored targets because it provides easily distinguishable visual references for aiming.

The Iceman Target

Setup

To conduct this drill, you will need to set up two Ice Man Targets on-line horizontally with approximately one yard between them. The shooter should begin this exercise at the ten yard-line facing down-range (facing the targets). The shooters pistol should be holstered with a full magazine (at least nine rounds) and a round in the chamber, totaling ten rounds. The standard variation for this drill requires a total of ten rounds. This drill requires a shot timer to be scored appropriately. The time begins with the sound of the buzzer and concludes when the tenth and final round has been fired.

Drill

At the sound of the buzzer, the shooter will draw their pistol fire one round into the left target’s blue x-ring, immediately transition and fire one round into the right target’s blue x-ring, directly transition and fire one round into the left target’s blue x-ring. Continue transitioning back and forth in this pattern until you have fired a total of ten rounds. If the drill is completed successfully, both of the  Ice Man Targets will have five shots in them.

Purpose

This drill simulates transitioning between two enemies at a close distance in an  repetitive and exaggerated manner. The repetition in this drill tests the shooters ability to quickly and accurately transition between multiple targets repeatedly. Transition speed and proper target identification and acquisition are critical in this drill, but smoothness, efficiency, and rhythm are also equally crucial if the shooter intends to get a competitive time. The best scores for this drill are achieved by shooters who maintain consistent shooting rhythms and split-times between shots throughout the entirety of the drill and lead with their eyes while transitioning.

Scoring

***There are multiple variations of this drill that change the desired training emphasis.

  1. The standard scoring variation for the Turret Drill emphasizes accuracy over speed. The score for the drill is the time it takes to complete the drill with zero rounds impacting outside of the Blue bulls-eye area. This area includes both the blue x-ring and the additional blue ring just outside of the x-ring. If a single round lands outside of the blue bulls-eye area then the iteration is a failure regardless of time. Speed is critical in this pistol drill, but one misplaced round will result in a failure.

2. This scoring variation emphasizes accuracy and the shooter’s solution. When the shot timer sounds, the shooter has ten seconds to complete the drill. Each round is scored based on where it lands on the target, i.e., the five-ring is worth 5 points, etc. The inner blue x-ring is worth 10 points, and the blue ring just outside of that is worth 8 points making the perfect score 100 points. Any round fired after the ten second mark will count as 0 points. Any round fired outside of the outer 3 ring will also count as 0 points. Total the score for all shots fired within the ten second time limit to find the total score.  You have a whole ten seconds to complete the drill so take as much time as you need to shoot accurately without going over the time limit. Having a time limit can cause shooters to rush shots. Try and maintain a consistent rhythm that allows you to shoot both quickly and accurately. If you achieve a perfect score, try again with an eight or six-second time limit.

3. This variation includes both the rifle and pistol, so there will be a transition involved. The shooter will need to load their rifle and pistol with four rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber each. Totaling five rounds in the rifle and five rounds in the pistol. The shooter will start at the ten-yard line with the rifle in the “hunt” or “ready” position and the pistol holstered. At the sound of the buzzer, the shooter will follow the same pattern as before by firing one round into the left target and transitioning to the right, etc., with the rifle. The rifle will go dry after five rounds forcing the shooter to transition to the pistol to finish the final five rounds, still transitioning between each shot.  The drill can be scored by using either of the two methods used above depending on what the desired training emphasis is.

Tips For Improving Your Ruck Marching

Disclosure: Rucking SUCKS!

First off, there is absolutely no way to make rucking or ruck marching not suck. It hurts your shoulders, knees, and lower back and your pack will chafe you like crazy. But fear not, there are a few simple tips and tricks that you can use to shave minutes off of your rucking time and minimize fatigue, pain, and discomfort. If you are trying out for a selection in the future, take notes. Here are a few things that can help you to  pump out a substantial ruck time if you ever need it.  Keep in mind that these are things that work for us.  What works for us might not work for you, and in the end, you need to find what method will help you out the best.

Why is rucking so important?

Ruck runs or marches are found in almost every SOF school and selection in the U.S. Military. These events can make or break your chances of succeeding if you find yourself in a course that requires students to pass timed rucking events. Courses like Ranger School, BUD/S, and the U.S.M.C. Basic Reconnaissance Course can break the will of would be candidates with their rigorous rucking standards. But why is there still such a considerable emphasis on ruck runs and marches with all of the available technology and vehicles available to transport troops? The answer is two-fold and very simple. Firstly, rucking is not only a test of one’s physical abilities, but of their overall mental fortitude, determination, and drive. It can show instructors and evaluaters how far you are willing to go to succeed, especially if some rigorous PT or team events are implemented after the ruck is finished. Rucking breaks the body and mind down and can reveal the true character of a student and show the instructor cadre whether or not the student has the self-motivation and grit necessary to succeed in a team. Instructors want to see that no matter the level of discomfort you may be facing, you are always willing to push a little further, and can maintain a cool head and work as a member of a team. Rucking is a great way to see what a student is really made of.

Secondly, you never know what type of situation you might find yourself in. Patrols are still conducted on foot regularly and can cover extremely long distances. Especially if you find yourself in a reconnaissance or sniper team. All of the gear you use for the mission has to be humped in on foot even if you came off of an insertion platform i.e. jumping, diving, ATVs, horses etc… If you jump a big gun like a Barrett  into a reconnaissance patrol, chances are you are going to have to ruck that bad-boy a considerable distance to the objective. Throw in food, ammo, explosives, water, optics, and any other mission essential gear on top of that, and now you can see why it might be important to be decent at rucking.

Pack your ruck correctly.

Packing your ruck correctly is ridiculously crucial, but unfortunately, a lot of people fail to do so. When packing your ruck, the heaviest items should go as close to the top as possible. Items such as the team radio or ammunition are good examples of this. The closer the heavy items are to your shoulders the less strain there will be on your lower back. Soft items such as sleeping bags, warming layers, camo netting, and woobie should go on the bottom. This not only lessens the strain on your lower back, but it can cushion the heavy, mission essential items you have packed on the top of your ruck from being battered while on the go, or when you take that ruck-sack flop you will inevitably do to sit down after the movement is over. Extra water should be easily accessible with at least a couple liters available to drink without stopping via a camelback hose.

Also, ensure you pack your ruck as  tightly as possible to minimize bouncing.  After a few hours of rucking, you will find that your canteen that has been swinging back and forth the past few hours is starting to wear on you. Also if the pack isn’t packed tightly, it will sit out further from your center of gravity and increase the pressure on your lower back and shoulders. Make the ruck sit high on your shoulders, with the bulk of the weight as close to your body as possible. If you think this isn’t a big deal, try holding a 45-pound plate with your arms extended away from your body and see how long you can hold it. Then hold the same weight close to your chest and compare the times. The closer weight is to your center of gravity the lighter it will feel and the longer you will be able to carry it. It’s science…

If you are simply training for a course and don’t have the gear you will be using on a mission at your disposal, try putting weighted plates into the radio pouch in your ruck. You can also create your very own “Pig-egg” which is essentially a homemade heavy sand-bag wrapped in duct tape that fits in the radio pouch inside your ruck. If you find yourself in a selection SOF selection course, chances are you will get very familiar with Pig-eggs.

Find your pace: 

When training for a ruck run, try and find a good pace that you are comfortable with and keep it for a mile. Time yourself and see what the outcome is. If you find that this pace is adequate to pass the standards of the course you are preparing for, try keeping that same pace for as long as possible. Keep in mind that some selections have ruck events that are 10-plus miles.  If the pace is not fast enough, then speed up a bit and try again. Once you have found your minimum comfortable pace that allows you to pass the time standard, use this as a last resort on the graded events and know in the back of your mind that you cannot go slower than this speed on a timed event for any reason.

This is a perfect time to find your ideal stride as well. Try to maintain a longer than average stride when marching and use your arms more than normal to create positive momentum. This is especially helpful while going uphill. Try and generate as much momentum as physically possible with your arms and stride. Finding your pace and the ideal stride is very important because many courses do not allow you to wear a watch or have a timer of any kind during graded events. Knowing your stride is crucial if you find yourself in this type of situation. Knowing your pace and ideal stride will ensure that you are moving at an adequate pace, even if you cannot keep track of your time.

Run when you can, stride it out when you can’t

If you are participating in a timed ruck run or march, it’s do or die. Failing to see the time standard can get you dropped from many military schools and selections immediately. Run, jog, or at least shuffle on flat ground or hard packed roads or paths. Walk up hills that are too steep to run while still keeping a sense of urgency. Open up your strides and try to get through hills as quickly and effeciently as possible without smoking your legs. If you can still jog up the hill, do so. If you cannot, make sure to take advantage of the downhill and make-up for lost time. You should try and go down hills as quickly as you are comfortable with. Downhills are virtually the only break you will get during a ruck run so don’t waste an opportunity to create free momentum and shave time off the event.

DO NOT STOP!

This cannot be overstated, if you are conducting a timed ruck run for score, do not stop. This kills momentum and adds time to your score that is almost impossible to make up. If you need to, you can slow down to catch your breath or walk a cramp out on the go, but try not to stop, and NEVER SIT DOWN in the middle of a ruck run unless absolutely necessary. Not only will it waste time, but it takes a lot of energy to stand up with a heavy ruck on your back. You are better off saving that energy for later.

Posture

Your rucking posture will be slightly different than your regular walking or jogging posture. You will most likely want lean slightly forward, so the weight is more evenly distributed near your center of gravity. Do not get into the bad habit of staring at the ground while rucking. It happens to everyone who rucks now and then. Your back is tired, your shoulders and knees hurt and you are chafing, so you zone out and have your head straight down with your eyes on the ground and run in “zombie” mode. Do not do this! Fight past the laziness and your neck will thank you for it later.

Try and keep your head in an upright position so that you are aware of your surroundings at all times. This is also important to do because instructors will be looking for this. Students who are not observant will likely be singled out. It’s called “going internal” and instructors freaking hate it. Do not let this be a bad habit that you fall victim to. You will be no use to a team later on down the line if you zone out and can’t pull security just because you are tired. Stay alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings, it may save you or your buddies life one day.

When jogging with a ruck on your back, your stride will probably resemble more of a shuffle than anything else. You don’t need to high knee run like you are in a track meet, but don’t drag your feet on the ground either. If you drag your feet and trip and fall, your ruck frame will most likely slam against the back of your head while you simultaneously face-plant. Unless you like smashing your head and face you should probably pick your feet up a little when you are jogging.

Hip Pad/ Waist Belt

Buckling the waist belt on your hip pad is a pretty debated topic. You will see guys swear that it helps and others will say they hate it because it chafes their hips, waist, and lower-back. The fact is, if done properly, buckling the waist belt can help to minimize the amount your pack bounces back and forth while running and can ease the stress on your shoulders. If not adjusted properly, it can cause chafing and discomfort. It’s up to the individual to decide if they want the belt fastened or not.

If you choose to use the waist belt, there are additional benefits that you can take advantage of that most people do not know about. If you want to give your shoulders a rest mid-run, fasten the weight belt tightly around your waist and loosen the shoulder straps slightly to relieve pressure on your shoulders. The weight will then be primarily on your hips if the waist belt is tight enough. This should not be done for an extended period as it is hard on your hips and lower-back, but can provide your shoulders a much-needed rest without stopping to take your pack off.

Conditioning

Nothing will ease the suck more than being in good physical rucking condition. You may think that just because you run an 18 minute three mile that you will crush a ruck run no problem. I’m here to tell you first hand that this is often not the case. A good runner is not always a good Rucker. When running with no weight, there is much less stress on your back, shoulders, calves, and core. Rucking is much more physically and mentally taxing and requires a specific type of conditioning that really cannot be replicated. Putting a ruck on your back and training is the only way to truly become the best you can be at rucking. Sure there are things that can help like running and weight training, but there is no substitute for the real thing.