I have a hard time keeping track of all of the new gear that’s available. It’s rare that a week goes by when someone doesn’t come up to me and ask, “Hey, did you see the new such-and-such that XYZ company came out with?” Reluctantly I have to say I didn’t, and they look surprised and say, “I thought keeping up with this stuff is what you writers did?”
The truth: There’s too much new gear regularly introduced to keep up with it. The harsh reality is that much of it isn’t worth keeping up on. Have you considered how heavy and bulky your carbine would be if you attached all of the gadgets manufacturers say you need? The gun would weigh 15 lbs., and no one would want to carry it. Fortunately, most officers look at what the primary mission/need is for the gun, and equip it thusly. The gun usually ends up with a sling, optic, white light and maybe a different pistol grip. In addition, there are probably a few spare batteries.
I get press releases weekly from across the firearms industry, many of which I just delete. After all, how many 1911 pistols do we really need, and do I intend on spending three grand on one? Not if I want to stay married. Some of these releases deserve the attention, though. Recently I got a notice about a new holster that was made in Israel, but marketed in the U.S. by a company called ITAC Defense. The holsters looked well-built and the price point was reasonable, so I contacted the company and learned ITAC had more than just holsters. It also offers a distinctive line of tactical accessories, including sights, lights and magazines—the type of stuff officers purchase on their own. I wanted to know if the stuff was any good, so I requested a sample of ITAC gear.
Holsters & Pouches
ITAC is a new company that supplies tactical accessories intended for the individual officer, soldier or shooter. The company’s products are designed to perform in the toughest environments and are made from state-of-the-art components and materials that will last for years. The folks at ITAC studied elite military units and law enforcement personnel across the globe to design and build accessories that are reliable in the face of crisis and, most of all, affordable to the average LEO and commercial user.
ITAC has introduced several holsters made from high-tech black polymer. They include a patented retention system with a “zero-time to disengage feature”—essentially a push-button release located on the outside of the holster body. The contoured fit allows the user to position the trigger finger along the slide and disengage the button. The Roto Paddle model rotates 360° for each type of carry (e.g., cross draw, strong side, small of back). Although this feature allows the wearer to cant the holster to the desired position, it adds bulkiness and requires a substantial garment to conceal. The Retention Roto Paddle Holster also comes in a version with an integrated magazine pouch.
For those wanting a rig that’s easier to conceal and use, the Standard Paddle Holster is a one-piece, lightweight holster that has no rivets, thus no weak points. It comes with a 15° muzzle to the rear cant, better known as an FBI cant, which will fit the majority of people. By wearing this rig above the hip in the natural hollow of the back, the holster remains well-concealed and is easy to take on and off. The ITAC Paddle locks the holster solidly on the belt and is easy to remove. The molded design also does a good job of locking the gun in place. To complement the new holsters, a double magazine pouch is made from the same durable black polymer as the holsters, and features the same paddle back for a comfortable, contoured fit.
The ITAC AR15/M16 30-round magazine includes a connector that allows you to stack multiple magazines. Made from a durable composite polymer, the new 30-round AR magazine fits 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington ammunition. ITAC has also introduced an innovative, new mini-red dot sight. Although iron sights should be a part of any weapon system, most of us have come to understand that some type of dot optic is easier to use under duress. Instead of trying to line up the front and rear sight with the target, which requires a complicated “eye sprint,” a red dot sight merely requires the dot be superimposed on the target—a much simpler process.
The ITAC Red Dot sight features a M1913/Weaver rail mount for handguns, rifles and shotguns and operates off one CR2032 lithium battery. It has a 12-position rotary on/off switch, making it one of the most versatile sights on the market. The parallax-free, 1x red dot has a 4-MOA reticle with coated glass lenses, all packaged in an anodized aluminum body ready for any environment. Although the attachment will fit most rail systems, it won’t co-witness with the taller AR-15 sight system. Fortunately, the ITAC Red Dot will fit on the La Rue throw-level mount made for the Aimpoint mini-red dot sight. I’ve been using this system on my new Ruger 556 carbine for several months, and it works well. Due to the size of the tube, it offers little parallax and is fast on target. The adjustable dot brightness allows the sight to be used at any light spectrum from near total darkness—don’t shoot if you can’t see!—to a very bright sunny day. SIG Sauer supplies this very optic for their line of SIG 556 carbines, and it stands up to rough use well.
Lights & Lasers
ITAC offers a Tactical Defense Light that can be handheld and mounted to the rail of a carbine. The light and strobe emits approximately 700 lumens of light and also features a fixed-laser aiming module with a built-in power receptacle for other optional digital accessories. The Tactical Defense Light has three function modes: steady light, strobe and laser, which can be used with or without the light. The only thing I don’t like about this unit is the configuration of the grip. I’d prefer something shorter in length that’s straight in configuration.
For a more streamlined, lightweight, weapon-mounted light, the Tactical Light & Laser provides the same three function modes but in a compact version packing approximately 130 lumens of light. This unit is more conventional in appearance and would work well on pistols, carbines and shotguns alike. ITAC also offers two handheld flashlight models.
The Compact Tactical Flashlight is housed in a waterproof anodized aluminum body that performs under extreme conditions. Producing approximately 120 lumens of high-intensity LED light, it also features a two-position, push-button operation for steady on/off and momentary on/off. It runs on one AA battery and may very well be my favorite ITAC product. I don’t know of a smaller, lighter or more powerful unit than this one. It comes with a spring clip and lanyard for handheld use, but can also be easily mounted on a pistol. Nylon belt pouches are supplied for both functions. This might be the best flashlight combination I have ever seen for plainclothes and off-duty officers.
For officers looking for a more powerful and versatile light, the ITAC Tactical Flashlight is 6 inches long with 120 lumens of LED power in a white light tool. The 1″ diameter makes this light weapon-mountable, and it features a two-position octagon-shaped mode switch for steady light or strobe, as well as a two-position tail cap push button operation for steady on/off and momentary on/off. Getting to the strobe mode is simple: Turn the body-mounted octagon switch. There’s no complex twist-turn-lock type of action. The Tactical Flashlight operates on two CR123 lithium batteries.
To learn more about ITAC, visit www.itacdefense.com.
Don’t miss Dave Spaulding at SHOT Show, held Jan. 18–22 in Las Vegas. His classes include “Essential Handgun Techniques” and “Developing the Combative Mind.”