Martes, Oktubre 16, 2018

The Ugly Truth: the Value of One

Yes, it's cool to have a rotation of toys but having just one go-to
kit is really about all one needs.

In the prepping community, the phrase, “Two is one and one is none,” is a recurring theme. I have to admit that I do own more than one make/model of a particular implement but if you’ve been reading and absorbing most of the articles on this blog, you will see that I advocate simplicity.
To begin with, I live by the operative word in EDC—Every Day!

While it’s nice to roll with a primary/backup system, living with just one go-to anything is considered a skill to master.

During a casual conversation with a fellow enthusiast during a slingshot tournament, the Value of One became the emphasis for good shooting which prompted me to reflect on my own personal carry style aside from my traditional and instinctive shooting skills.

In the slingshot world, ‘living’ with a single frame fitted with the same bands, same pouch and shooting the same ammo is the key towards consistency and eventual mastery of the weapon.
This principle is exactly what I apply to my EDC practice. I carry the same basic setup every single day.

Take the knife, for example: I’ve owned several over the years and have acquired a handful as gifts from my partner.

Next to my first ever EDC folder—the Tekna Axis-lock—I have carried and used a Buck “Flick-it” for a good 17 years before I replaced it with a Spyderco Delica 4. The Delica was something I’ve always wanted but could never afford and when I finally acquired it, the thirst to collect had all been but quenched.

This is not to say that one should not acquire an armory of blades. My point is simply sticking to one implement in the course of one’s EDC practice.
This "weathered" G19 indicates extensive live-fire time in both
flat range and real life.

Having been a practitioner for the last three decades, I have somehow narrowed down my criteria for “the One” to a really short list. What suits me may not suit everyone but personally, I have found my go-to blade and I am looking forward to decades of service with this piece unless I have to fly off to somewhere with no more than carry-on luggage or to a country where toys are generally banned.

While it’s good to have options for rotation, one should never underestimate the value of having just one heater—knowing that firearm well enough to be able to manipulate it in pitch darkness and with only one good hand might just increase your survivability in an imminent threat situation.

Yes, it’s cool to have all the 1911s, Glocks, M&Ps and then some but in a high-stress, high-speed game of life and death, taking that millisecond to figure out which one of your many toys is in the holster or trying to recall the point of aim of a particular system may just cost your life.

This is no different from slingshot shooting where different frames will feel and shoot differently. Having to transition from one frame to another really just messes up your aim and point of impact. You can never be any good at slingshot shooting if you keep on changing frames (though it’s really cool to have and shoot several styles).

Having just one of anything will force you to care for the thing more. You will learn to handle your blade, firearm or slingshot frame more carefully and perform the necessary maintenance with ease because of your mastery of the particular implement. You will build intimacy and reach a high level of proficiency with your Chosen One.

The blade that made me say, "That's it!"--the Spyderco
Delica 4.
An often overlooked doctrine in the prepping practice is accounting. The more stuff you have, the more difficult it will be to keep track of. I realized this early on as a professional photographer where you have to spend hours on end just making a checklist of all the gear you have and stowing them in cases to get ready for travel.

More often than not, gear selection is also dictated by mode of transport and if you have a vehicle that can only store so much, that can be a problem.

One consideration I always bear in mind is that I might be the only one who’ll hump my own kit if and when I need to bug out or for some reason leave the safety and security of the home base. Cars will most likely be useless in the metro especially in an earthquake scenario or flooding so the most one can rely on are his own two legs. How much gear can one human being really carry?

In reality, large 72-hour packs are great if you’re in a vehicle but when on foot, I doubt that one can cover great distances. For another, once a decision to bug out is set, you may Just as well say goodbye to your stash of guns, ammo, gear and food supplies. Marauders will certainly thank you for it!

Having a roomful of toys is a cool idea but the ugly truth is that you only have two arms and legs. If you find yourself in a situation where being overrun is imminent, there will never be enough ammo!

Biyernes, Oktubre 5, 2018

Pinoy Prepper Bazaar 2018

It was a stormy day in 2015 when a small bunch of like-minded individuals gathered in an unfinished building in Quezon City for what would be the “1st Pinoy Prepper Bazaar” or PPB.

Three years later, the PPB has grown exponentially, bringing the consciousness of preparedness not only to veteran practitioners and operators but also to the general public as well.

The PPB is a one-of-a-kind bazaar which caters mainly to “preppers”, “survivalists” and everyday carry or “EDC” enthusiasts and those whose passions include outdoor activities and traditional weapons like archery, slingshot and knives.
The PPB is where you'll get those 'wonderful' toys!

Organized by husband and wife team, Miko and Patrick Tetangco, the PPB has since grown from a common “tiangge” of brand new and pre-loved outdoor/survival equipment to a full-blown event with this year’s PPB including other activities which include seminars, product demos and skills training.

Practitioners and newbie enthusiasts will find quite a handful of gadgets, fellow preppers/survivalists and learn things that no other event has to offer.

Learn essential skills related to survival/safety/self-defense.
This year’s PPB is supported by Waters PH, Reaper Customs, Forged, Maharlika Knives, Patch Guy, Sunwealth Land, Pathfinder Gear, Tier 3, Survival Outdoor Shop (SOS), EDC & Paracord Creations, Joey Zaballero, Doods Fuentebella, MRE Phils, Gamer Goods, MacG, Light On Flashlight, WISAR Phils, Paracord Valenzuela, Pandoy Pulido, Parashop Manila, Crystal Clear, Classic Blade Exchange, Knife Lab, Techbooth, DES, Smoke and Sweets, Epic Hot Sauce, La Cocina de Alicia, MA+D Manila,

Some of the seminars that PPB will offer include: Hardening the Home, Worksharp workshop, Survival Signalling, Ready 101, MMDA K9 demo, Kali, and the Blade Cutting Competition.

Manila Sentinel will also be there to cover the event and meet and greet fans.

The PPB happens on October 13, Saturday and gates open at 0900H. Entrance fee is at P50 for adults and P25 for children under 7 years old. 

Lunes, Setyembre 24, 2018

What Makes a Glock Tick?

NOTE; Manila Sentinel thanks the owner  of the Glock 19 used for this article.--a genuine, battle-tested operator, whose identity will not be disclosed--and was kind enough to loan the pistol for T & E.

The specimen for this article: A bone-stock, well-used Gen 3 G19.
When it first came out in the mid 1980s, the Glock series of pistols was considered the “Ugly Duckling” of the firearms world. Even before I had a chance to handle this venerable defensive pistol, I knew thirty years back that the Glock would one day be one of the world’s go-to EDC and combat sidearms.

My first encounter with a Glock 17 was during the first gun show held at the old, Philtrade at the CCP Complex in Pasay. (After the venue was razed by a fire, the place was since converted to what is now known as “Star City”.) I was one of the few who was standing in front of the booth where the sales representative was whacking a Glock frame on the concrete floor just to show how sturdy the “plastic” frame was. Back then, there were very few Glock fans whereas I became an instant believer in the polymer-framed pistol.

It would not be until the summer of 1993 when I would get my hands on the compact, model 19 in 9x19mm. At the time, the Beretta 92F was considered the standard 9mm defensive pistol but paled against the Glock on so many counts.
Firepower is one of the G19's strongest points. Even for its
compact size, the flush mag holds a whopping, 15-rounds!

First of all, the 92F which held only 15-rounds in the mag and one in the pipe, was way larger than the G17 which upped the round count to 17 + 1. Second, the Glock by design had a really low bore axis which allowed the shooter to put shots where his index finger pointed. Third, the Glock has a really slim profile due to its lack of external controls other than a slide stop and magazine release button so it conceals really well.

Almost thirty years since that afternoon, I’ve longed to wrap my hands around one and when the more compact, Glock 19 came along, I knew I just had to have it!

Personally, the 19 is as “full-size” a gun will be. I have small hands but the girth of the grip on the ’19 is about all the real estate I need for a good grip. I am reminded of my other favourite pistol, the 1911 “Officer’s Model” which to me is another perfect fit for me.

When first had a chance to shoot the G17, I thought the grip was simply too long although it was necessary for the 17-round mag capacity although anyone who’s ever carried will tell you that the grip is hardest to conceal which is why some 1911 aficionados prefer the “Combat Commander-Officer’s Model” (CCO), hybrid pistol which simply is mating the “Comander” slide to an Officer’s Model frame.
Just like the 1911 Compact (OM), the G19 takes most 9mm magazines
for its older sibling, the G17.
The wisdom behind this is that it would be easier to conceal the barrel or slide down the pants while keeping the grip at a length that would be manageable under an over-garment or tucked tighter against the body when carried in an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster.

Assuming that one had the proper training in modern pistol grip technique, the G19’s recoil is quite tame compared to other compacts. If one were to compare the 17, 19 and the 26, you can feel that as the barrel length shortens, the muzzle part of the 19 and 26 seem to be heavier than the full-sized 17 which I take to mean as a compensation for the gun’s recoil potential.

Any firearm larger than the 22LR will kick and that’s the reality but a front-heavy pistol moderately mitigates recoil as long as the shooter is trained for it.

Another thing that the Glocks have offered from the get-go is an extremely low bore axis which translates to very accurate point-shooting compared to a Beretta M92, a SIG P226 or even a Smith and Wesson M&P. In my opinion, only a CZ75 series would rival the Glock in terms of bore axis height and accuracy.
Firepower, how about 17+2 and a 32-rounder?

Another major consideration is the “safe-action” trigger itself. The pistol does not need any external safety levers which make the gun bulkier. The best advantage of the safe-action trigger compared to the select-fire and other systems is consistency from the first pull to the last.

In all honesty, I still consider the CZ P07 Gen 2 as the best carry pistol but when I think of the practicality and logistical considerations, the Glock in any of its iterations in 9x19 is hands-down the most universal in that parts and accessories are as easy to acquire just like the 1911.

Consider that the Glock has since been the standard issue to police and military personnel and the proliferation of custom shops that offer services for tuning Glocks and providing the necessary allied equipment for these guns.

For another, the 9x19 Glocks all take the same G17 magazines up to the 32-rounders!
As far as weight is concerned, the G19 is just about the same as a fully-loaded, all-steel, 1911 compact but with the advantage of at least 7-extra rounds.

Simplicity rounds up the many virtues of this venerable pistol.
There are lots of polymer-framed guns out there but none are as
simple as the Glock seeries.
No firearm is without its caveats. I will admit that the Glock is hard to nitpick except for the stock plastic sights—which are still quite usable but tend to wear out after hundreds of presentations from a stiff holster.

In the early 1990s, gun writers noted that 2nd gen Glock magazines failed to hold the slide open but this was after a few thousand rounds.

The polymer guide rod is another part that critics claim melts after so many thousands of rounds fired.

Another major issue with some shooters is the Glock’s polygonal barrel which is quite partial to jacketed ammunition. I really don’t consider this a downside to the Glock. Anyone who’s ever shot competitively knows better than to feed any pistol—Glock or no—exclusively with lead round-nosed ammo. The amount of fouling and wear from lead would simply be too much for the pistol to bear.
In real life, I doubt if anyone would fire several hundred rounds through any handgun on a single range session. Even in shooting matches, the shooter and the gun gets a break after about 50-rounds depending on the course of fire.

A Kydex rig completes an "almost perfect" weapon system.
The most I’ve shot from a handgun on a single day was over 300-rounds with a compact 1911 in 45ACP. The hard kick from a small pistol generated by full-powered 230gr FMJ was torture on my hands and I really couldn’t go over 25-rounds per session without a considerable amount of discomfort.

That being said, would I carry a bone-stock Glock? My honest answer would be—except for good carry sights
—hell, yeah!

Biyernes, Setyembre 7, 2018

Customizing a Beater

The blade before the Reaper Customs makeover.

I’ve long been looking for a small, EDC fixie blade for utilitarian purposes. A few weeks ago, my girlfriend came over and gave me a bunch of goodies which included a micarta push dagger, a tiny AA-cell torch and this un-branded knife.

I honestly don’t know who made the blade or steel type but judging from the coping-style blade profile and size, I knew the blade was going to be perfect for EDC.

But the blade originally came in a black, seemingly baked on paint finish and a really iffy scabbard. Instantly, I knew this thing had to undergo a makeover.

I called up Reister “Duke” Barit of Reaper Customs and told him in a general sense what I needed to do and much to my surprise, the results exceeded my expectations.

For the blade itself, I requested an acid wash finish. The rugged look I thought would be perfect for the chores this knife will likely be doing. Because of its coping-style blade, I seriously doubt this would be the tool I’d use for peeling fruit or slicing bread.

I also skipped the idea of putting scales to maintain the blade’s slim profile and maximize its concealability. I did tie in a lanyard to enhance the grip.

The scabbard came as a pleasant surprise. All I really specified was the color but I had no idea how I wanted the final profile to look. I am particularly picky about aesthetics especially with my EDC stuff. I am certainly quite pleased with how the Kydex was blended to the blade style.

The fixie now completes what I call my “nothing fancy” ensemble which consists of the blade, torch and Victorinox “Walker”. All these almost completely disappear in my pockets. I’ve been carrying this setup for a couple of weeks now and I think I’ve found my perfect kit!

Huwebes, Agosto 2, 2018

Custom vs. Stock

There is always that nagging question whether to tweak or not to tweak a certain this or that. Personally, I still adhere to the, “If it ain’t broke…” rule. But since we (think) live in a free world, many will definitely choose to put all the bells and whistles on a car, a bike, a knife, slingshot or a gun.

This topic will always be debatable but since I don’t really care what other people think about the subject matter, let me ramble on the merits of leaving a good idea alone.

My father loves cars and everything about it. To my mind, he is one of the best drivers I’ve ever known and I can only wish I inherited his refined driving skills. Me and Papa would spend weekends cleaning the cars we had back in the day. He taught me how to properly apply wax, how to buff a car’s polish using kerosene and sunlight. He taught me how to get grease out of almost anything. He taught me how to change a flat and many other stuff car owners might find useful though I never owned a car myself.

Over the years, we would have several cars but what I noticed was that my father never once messed around with any of them. He never replaced a part nor did he install something the car didn’t need. Papa always said that since these machines went through a lot of engineering to make it a ‘factory standard’, there really was no point in thinking he was better.

That none of the cars ever broke down at the time we had them and under Papa’s care was testament of the wisdom. I would grow up practicing the same principle with few exceptions.

When Papa made me a slingshot out of heavy gauge steel wire, I felt the need to ‘customize’ it by wrapping gum rubber over the frame just to make it fit my hand better. When I was old enough to purchase a hunting knife during my Boy Scout years, I thought it would benefit from a few finger grooves cut into the handle.

My philosophy about customization is that if it does not impede with the mechanical or electronic workings of the device then it probably will be fine. And yet, I own very few things that were actually tricked out. Except for paracord wrapping here and there, I mostly leave my stuff alone.
As I go deeper into the survivalist mindset, the more I appreciate the wisdom in my father’s, ‘ain’t broke’ philosophy. The pudding in which I proved this theory was in the realm of shooting—a world where customization is the norm rather than the exception.

As a survivalist, I am a subscriber of the ‘Battlefield Pickup’ doctrine which can be applicable not only to guns but for other stuff as well.

Somehow I consider not owning a gun myself as an advantage when it comes to gun handling skills since I have had the opportunity of experiencing a wide variety of firearms over the last few years thanks to the generosity of other shooters who let me try out their ‘toys’.

I learned to adapt to the instrument and not the other way around. Every toy that was handed to me looked different, felt different and shot different. It was up to me to work around the unfamiliarity and handle the toys like they were my own. In a way, my mind is programmed to accept new things every time.

Those who own customized guns will certainly have a lot of difficulty grasping this thought. The longer you live with a customized something, the less likely you will be able to handle anything else. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it definitely is a disadvantage especially in a worst case scenario like if you’re gun runs dry and you had to pick up another one just to stay in the fight. Chances are, it will take some time to familiarize oneself with the new instrument. Maybe it might take a few seconds but sometimes, the few seconds are all you really have.

I’m not saying customizing anything is a bad thing. Think of it this way—are you a person who’ll wear a jacket when it’s cold or will you simply turn off the air-conditioning and keep the same clothes on you?

Miyerkules, Agosto 1, 2018

Slingshot Love

It’s refreshing to note that the slingshot community is rapidly growing. At the recently concluded “4th  Philippine Slingshot Federation (PSF) Tournament” on July 29, the number of shooters doubled to almost 50 compared to a little over 20 during the 3rd PSF tourney last April.

Personally, I am grateful to Mr. JV Baylon of Radtech Slingshots and Mr. Rembrandt del Monte of Sagecraft for their efforts in promoting the sport into what it is today.

I met JV and Rem when I organized the SurviBands Adventure Expo 2015 back when I was still part of the company and since then, my love for slingshot has been reborn and rekindled to a point where it overpowers my enthusiasm for firearms.

What endears me to the slingshot is the fact that you can make one and attach a good bandset and shoot it as accurately as any production frame. A standard 9.5mm steel projectile can go well over 200fps and do quite a bit of damage to the target which makes it good for hunting and other shooting applications.

JV Baylon of Radtech Slingshots.
You can get the best frames or you can craft your own and no one can tell the difference when it comes to accuracy or power. Bandsets are relatively cheap and ammunition for slingshots are usually recycled—assuming that you have a well-made ‘catchbox’ or a good fabric backstop. You can practice outdoors or you can do it in the garage or even your living room. Slingshots are also perfectly legal to own so you’ll have no problem accepting one as a gift, making one in your workshop or purchasing one from a store. That’s more than I can say for other shooting instruments especially firearms.

Rembrandt del Monte of Sagecraft Whips.
Looking at the cross-section of the participants at the 4th PSF tourney, it is evident that most of these guys share the same passion when it comes to survival, EDC and just plain having a good time. Many of these guys had at least a SAK and torch in the pocket which is why I know I’m in very good company. More importantly, this seemingly ragtag bunch are survivalists in the purest, highest form.

While it can be difficult to fully pinpoint what it is about the slingshot that I love or why so many share the same passion, one needs to look no further than primal instincts. The slingshot definitely feeds—and satisfies—one’s innate appetite for destruction but with a certain amount of finesse.
My handmade frame: got this pre-cut but had to buff
the edges, cut grooves and cord wrap myself.

Sure, you can go barbaric with axe throwing which I also enjoy but the slingshot demands finer, more precise skills and the ability to focus. Slingshot skills can be honed to the point where one can actually cut cards and light matches. Of course, one must dedicate more practice time to do these trick shots compared to the average competition shooter. Of course, these can be done with a firearm but the main difference is economics—each shot with a gun is money spent!

Slingshot shooting is quite physical and quite personal. Except for archery, there can be no other shooting sport like it where there is a great deal of exertion when you pull the bands back and keep the frame steady. There can be no better satisfaction than seeing a can ripped to shreds or balloons popping. The feeling can be no less than orgasmic!

Sure, you can do these tricks with a gun but where’s the fun in that?

While it may look easy, slingshots despite their simplicity can be difficult to shoot well. This may be the reason why there are still ‘slingshot snobs’ among us. Yes, I see a lot of survivalists on the slingshot range but so few really own firearms and fewer still have had any shooting experience with live fire.

Although slingshots are an acquired skill, not many will be able to master this simple tool.

My homemade frame after the
finishing touches.
It doesn’t always follow that a good pistol or rifle shooter will take the slingshot just as easily. I, too have had my ‘fork hits’ and ‘hand slaps’ and ‘busted knuckles’. I’ve paid my dues but it never stopped me from pursuing the passion even further.

Unlike the gun which is built for accuracy with the rifled barrel, match ammo and red dot sights, the slingshot requires a slightly different aiming method. There are so many factors that can affect shot placement in slingshot shooting—stance, grip, band alignment, pouch release, ammo weight/type, band width/type, wind, and sighting method. I for one, do not aim like most other slingshot shooters. I focus mainly on the target and allow my body to ‘direct’ the shot where my eyes are locked in. In that regard, I am not surprised why many shooters are hesitant to try out the slingshot.

You can dial in or DOPE your shots eventually and then your bands break and once you change bandsets, band type, pouch, shot or frame, everything goes back to zero! Every shot with a slingshot is your ‘first’. Essentially, you are merely repeating your first shot over and over until your fingers turn sore or your bands or frame fails.

The slingshot is a combination of mental, physical, fine motor skills and even big caveman skills. It is simple and yet very complex.

Martes, Hulyo 24, 2018

Simple Slingshot Shooting by SimpleShot

Since I revived my slingshot hobby in 2015, I’ve only been shooting custom-made frames. It was only early this year that I discovered SimpleShot Slingshots by Nathan Masters and I instantly fell in love with their line of polymer frames.

Thanks to my brother, I finally hold in my hands what I consider the most practical SimpleShot models—the Axiom Ocularis and the Dead Ringer BB slingshot.

Like everything else in this world, slingshot frame preferences are subject to personal taste. I am only doing this tabletop review as a competitive slingshot shooter and EDC practitioner.

A slingshot has always been part of my EDC kit.
In my search for my perfect catapult frame, I took a journey through some of the best locally-made natural, synthetic and hybrid frames available. I’ve seen and held a few cast aluminium frames which were examples of fine craftsmanship but I have a few idiosyncrasies about the slingshot that were incorporated in my criteria.

This PVC frame was one of the few
slingshots I worked on--just some sanding
here and there and cutting some finger grooves.
First of all, the frame had to fit my hand in the way that I shoot. In my younger years, I held an over the top (OTT) frame canted at around 45-degrees. When I picked up my first hybrid frame from JV Baylon of Radtech Slingshots, I shot it in exactly the same manner and got fairly good results with it.

Like most good slingshot shooters, I try to stick to one frame style and do my best to be consistent in bandset choice. Unfortunately, when I sent my Radtech frame for restoration, I was left with just one spare that I broke after so many forkhits due to improper technique.

I ended up choosing the Axiom Ocularis since it was a close copy of the frames I used to shoot.  Its polymer construction should make for a long-lasting go-to frame either for competition or just plinking. 
The Axiom with the 'Ocularis' plugs for quick bandset
attachment or changes. The system can take flatbands and tubes.

I’ve always favoured small frames but when I saw the Axiom Ocularis, I immediately considered it a good competition slingshot instead of my EDC-sized frames because it had girth and would somehow be a stable shooting platform.

Another important feature is the “ocularis” system itself which I thought would be perfect in a competition environment especially if and when a band change is necessary, it will be quick and there is little need to bring a second frame which to my mind is a great advantage since most of us carry spare band sets anyway.

Although I work on paracord stuff, I chose to leave
this frame bare since it already works as is. 
I also left the frame as bare as possible since it already fits my hand like a glove and I like the existing grooves on the grip. After using only frames that I could work on, I’m leaving the Axiom Ocularis as is just to see if I can wear it out over the years but I highly doubt that.

The stock bandset that came with the kit is the SimpleShot Black which is a cross between Theraband Gold and medical-grade latex. I must say I like this type of rubber and because it stretches slightly more than Theraband Gold, I’ve had to cut it shorter than my established draw length.

Along with the bandset are high-grade leather pouches that feel great although significantly larger that what I’m accustomed to. I’m definitely keeping this even after the bands finally fail.

The Dead Ringer is even shorter than the Delica. EDC-perfect!
I’ve always loved little things—compact blades, compact guns and compact versions of anything so the Dead Ringer was in my sights when I was looking for a compact slingshot frame for EDC purposes. There were other candidates which were mostly metal and much smaller than the Dead Ringer but what really appealed to me was the polymer frame since I needed a slingshot I can take anywhere even without a pouch or bag.

While looking at the SimpleShot online catalog, I knew the Dead Ringer was small but when I received it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was really TINY! Since I’ve always EDC-ed a slingshot, I carried mostly full-sized frames. With the Dead Ringer, I now have the slingshot equivalent of a Glock 43!

Now, that IS small!
The Dead Ringer came with a BB-tube set with a matching BB-pouch where the ‘ammo hole’ is but a tiny aperture since BB shot will fall out of a regular pouch. I’ve never used tubes before so I kept this bandset and opted for 20mm flatbands and a special lightweight pouch. I’ve adjusted the draw length accordingly and what I have is a really pocket-able, full-powered package.

In terms of firepower, I don’t feel under-gunned with the Dead Ringer. It might be all I have in the survival kit but I know it can get the job done when called for. 
Don't be fooled by the "BB" designation. The
Dead Ringer can take flatbands.

But like all small things firearms and slingshots, the Dead Ringer needs a lot of range time for one to be really proficient with it. The grip style of the Dead Ringer can be quite difficult for some compared to a full-sized frame.

Also, since I shoot both OTT and TTF frames, I’ve noticed that OTT frames like the Dead Ringer are less likely to get fork-hits especially when using ‘pickle fork-style’ shooting techniques.

As a survivalist, I’m never without a Trinity—blade/torch/slingshot. Having been an EDC practitioner since the mid-1980s, I’ve somehow tailored my kit to a degree that the ensemble is utilized 95% of the time and works wherever I go and most anything I do.

While I don’t carry full-sized components for EDC, I do appreciate the negligible weight of a Spyderco Delica and a 2AA-cell flashlight. Thanks to my SimpleShot frames, I now carry a brace of slingshots as part of my EDC kit—the Dead Ringer, for obvious reasons; the Axiom Ocularis, for times when I simply want to dry-fire or fondle a slingshot while waiting for news updates at the office.

I haven’t shot any matches with either frame just yet but I’ve had enough range time with both and I’m seeing quite a significant improvement on my shooting since I got my SimpleShot frames although accuracy rests largely on the shooter, having a well-made frame helps a lot in putting the projectile where it needs to be.

Most of the good slingshot shooters advocate shooting the same frame/band/pouch/ammo/distance combination. There are so many factors in slingshot shooting that it takes years or thousands of rounds at practice to be really good at it but the joys of shooting with a simple instrument are immeasurable.

I am quite pleased with my choice of SimpleShot frames and I see myself shooting nothing else—competitively, of course—but the Axiom Ocularis.

But then again, the Dead Ringer shoots just as good!