Most concealed carry permit holders have put together some sort of personal defense kit that they feel provides them with the means for surviving any type of incident. In addition to the primary and backup carry firearm, the average concealed carry kit might contain items such as a flashlight, a knife, pepper spray, spare ammo magazines, a multi-tool, or first-aid kit.
But another item you many want to consider is some type of emergency impact device.
These items come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from homemade to custom-designed.
Yet for non-lethal self-defense, there probably isn’t a better designed product than the Brooklyn Smasher.
The Smasher is a product of Cold Steel, Inc., based in Ventura, California. Cold Steel is primarily known for manufacturing state-of-the-art knives, but also produces a variety of eclectic self-defense weapons. The original concept behind the Brooklyn Smasher was as a replacement bat for the seemingly endless parade of broken bats ballplayers at all levels demolish each year.
The bat is made of injection molded, heavy-grade polypropylene and is touted as being unbreakable. The Smasher’s dimensions — 34 inches long and weighing 2.5 pounds — classify it as an official baseball bat. What this means is that it can legally be carried anywhere, but it’s not your ordinary bat.
The Smasher’s impact capacity is strong enough to destroy a cinder block without breaking, bending, or fracturing. In addition to that, any impact marks clean up quickly with soap and water. Beyond its athletic accolades, there are several reasons why the Smasher can play an important role in any personal defense plan.
First, the Smasher does not draw attention to itself. It can sit in the backseat or trunk of your vehicle and never be questioned, especially if placed next to a cap or glove.
Secondly, the learning curve for the Cold Steel Smasher is virtually nil. Nearly everyone has swung a bat at some point, or at the very least has watched someone do it. From an attacker’s perspective, there can be no doubt about the intended purpose of the Smasher resting on your shoulder.
Furthermore, the Smasher provides more reach than other similar devices as author Scott W. Wagner explains in his article “The Cold Steel Brooklyn Smasher: A Self-Defense Home Run” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“Third, the Smasher gives you more effective reach than most one-hand batons whose ideal length is 26 inches. The majority of its mass is in the striking end. This maximizes the delivery of target energy.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The Smasher is a superb backup weapon that can be easily accessed when needed. The rest of the time it is an innocuous piece of sporting equipment. If you enjoy having the best of both worlds, pick up a Smasher for about $39.
During the 1950’s and 60’s, the Western film genre generated huge profits for Hollywood film studios and television networks. TV Shows like Bonanza, The Rifleman, and Gunsmoke were eagerly anticipated each week by fervent audiences and Hollywood brought larger than life stars like John Wayne and Kirk Douglass into every theater in America with films like Stagecoach and Gunfight at the OK Corral.
As a result, Americans became enamored with all things western — especially guns, which included the Henry .22 Lever Action Rifle.
The western craze lost steam as the turbulent 60’s changed the face of America, but the Henry .22 and other repeating rifles are experiencing a rebirth of sorts.
The Henry .22 Lever Action rifle has a traditional blued western look with a straight American walnut stock, round barrel, and tubular magazine. The magazine has a capacity between 15 and 22 rounds, depending on the ammo. The 16 1/8 inch blued steel barrel has been precision machined with multiple groove rifling to improve accuracy. Henry designers have also worked to lighten the load by using high grade alloys in areas like the grooved receiver to reduce the weight to a shoulder-saving 5.25 pounds.
Other features of the Henry Lever Action Rifle include side ejection, adjustable rear sight, and a hooded front sight. A large loop lever is available for use with gloves or for people with large hands that may find the standard lever cumbersome.
Range testing was done with an assortment of ammo: Federal Standard Velocity.22 LR Gold Medal Target, Remington Hyper-Velocity .22 Yellow Jacket HP’s, and CCI .22 short rounds. The half-cocked hammer serves as the safety on the Henry .22. Accuracy was outstanding. Firing from both kneeling and standing positions at 50 feet, groupings between 1 and 1.5 inches were easily achieved. Trigger action was exceptionally smooth with internal mechanisms being barely noticeable.
The Henry.22 rifle retails for about $360, and as author Scott W. Wagner states in his article “Traditional Excellence—The Henry .22 Caliber Lever Action Rifle” at USConcealedCarry.com, this lever-action long gun would be a nice addition to any collection:
“A Henry .22 is a must-have in anyone’s armory. A better small game getter, basic trainer, plinker, and — if pressed into service — defender would be hard to find.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The Russian Kalashnakov AK-47 is one of the most famous and incidentally most infamous weapons of the modern period. Developed during World War ll as a response to the large number of German troops armed with Sturmgewehr StG 44 assault rifles, the AK-47 began as the SKS semi-automatic rifle, but was soon updated to the AK-47, essentially the same weapon that we’re familiar with today.
The AK-47 was standard issue for the Soviet Union and its eastern bloc satellites for years and as a result, gained a reputation as the “communists’ gun.”
Despite its effectiveness as a combat rifle, the gun was loathed in the western world. The AK-47’s reputation suffered further when the gun was linked to various terrorist organizations whose stated goal is to kill as many non-Muslims as possible.
Despite the bad rap, the AK-47 is one of the best guns for some home defense situations and I.O. Inc. manufactures one of the best of the best, its made-in-the-USA Sporter. In his article “I.O. Inc. Sporter Rifle–USA Made Quality, AK-47 Reliability” at USConcealedCarry.com, author Scott W. Wagner describes how I.O. Inc.’s Sporter design improved on the basic AK-47:
“I.O. Inc., one of the relative newcomers to the AK market, has taken the AK and combined simple updates with quality manufacturing to provide potential buyers with an AK that will meet their needs and then some.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Replacing the wood stock was one of the first changes I.O. Inc. made with the Sporter since it was a relatively easy cosmetic modification and was a feature that was generally disliked. I.O. Inc. still produces the traditional wood stock, but their lightweight modern black polymer model is more popular.
In addition to its ergonomic design, it has a rubber recoil pad that increases comfort and reduces kickback. Other features on the Sporter include a ventilated fore-end, angled muzzle brake, scope mounting point, bayonet lug, and bottom-mounted Picatinny rail for additional accoutrements such as lights and lasers.
But I.O. Inc. didn’t stop with external modifications. Improved performance was a primary goal with the Sporter model. The accepted grouping for a traditional AK-47 was about 4-6 inches at 100 yards. With the Sporter, I.O. Inc. has reduced groupings to an incredible 2 inches at the same distance, levelling the playing field with the AK-47’s main competition, the AR-15. The trigger action on the Sporter was a pleasant surprise as well; exceptionally smooth and fairly short. Its performance during testing was impeccable, not jamming a single time even during rapid fire.
If you are looking to beef up your defense plan for a farm, ranch, or other large rural property, the I.O. Inc. Sporter AK-47 is the way to go, and at an MSRP of about $750, the price is definitely right.
In today’s consumer oriented society, people are usually given many options when it comes time to purchase any product. Over time, people gravitate to their personal preferences and tend to be loyal to a particular brand whether it’s an electronic device, clothing, lawn mower, or vehicle.
Yet gun owners seem to fall into two categories — those that want certain features regardless of brand and those that will buy only one brand and hope for the best.
Those in the latter category are fiercely loyal to their chosen firearm and decry all others.
The Beretta 92 9mm, a gun with a decades long history of reliability and military/law enforcement tradition, has unfortunately been the subject of much criticism and derision from many members of the brand loyal community.
Even before the Beretta 92 was adopted by the United States military in 1985, the handgun was a subject of controversy. Non-believers claimed the gun was too unwieldy for the smaller 9mm rounds, that it was too heavy, that the triggering system was too complicated, or that it was not powerful enough.
Few, if any, of these naysayers were law enforcement personnel, who for the most part would trust the Beretta 92’s renowned reliability with their lives. Author and law enforcement officer Scott W. Wagner describes his feelings regarding the Beretta 92 in his article “The Beretta 92—The Most Reliable Semi-Auto Pistol on Earth” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“In my experience, I believe the Beretta 92 to be the most reliable semi-automatic pistol on the planet. I have never ever had a 92 jam, double feed, or stovepipe, regardless of the type of ammo I ran through it. The open top slide design is the reason.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The slide on the Beretta 92 is below the barrel, meaning the empty cartridges are ejected downward into open space and gravity does the rest. The under-barrel slide also seems to transfer into a smoother firing action with little recoil, no matter the ammo type.
The much-maligned trigger mechanism on the Beretta 92 is basically an urban myth. Mastering the double-action/single-action trigger pull is just a matter of practice and the 12-pound first shot trigger doubles as a safety. The decocker lever on the slide serves as an additional safety.
Range testing proved the Beretta 92 to be not only dependable, but accurate even at longer distances. At 25 yards, most shots held inside the 9/10 ring and even out to 50 yards, the majority of rounds still grouped within the 8/9/10 ring.
The Beretta 92 has an undeserved bad rap, yet thousands of law enforcement personnel trust their lives to it every day. Next time you’re gun shopping for a dependable, reliable carry piece, give the Beretta 92 a second look.