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December 13th, 2008

Anschütz Laser Rifle Training System

It’s twelve days ’til Christmas, there’s snow on the ground and your rifles are packed away for the winter. How do you maintain that competitive edge through the slow winter months? The LaserPower training kit from Anschütz could be the answer. This is a complete system with a Laser-equiped rifle and a 5-target biathlon-style remote target station. “Shoot” the rifle, and if you aim correctly, green lights appear on the target station one by one after each shot. This is a set-up that both adult competitors and juniors can enjoy. If you’re looking for the “ultimate” Christmas gift for your kids, this might be it. The LaserPower rifle kit retails for $763.00 from According to Anschütz, the LaserPower unit is not restricted by any firearms law so it can be used with kids as young as six years old. No FFL is required for purchase.

Anschutz laserpower rifle trainer

The unit features a 4.8-lb, laser-equipped rifle, with adjustable iron sights, an ambidextrous (right-hand or left-hand) hardwood stock, and a two-stage model 5066 trigger. In weight and dimensions, the LaserPower rifle is ideal for junior shooters, though it has been used successfully by adult biathletes for training. Below are two videos. The first video shows how the LaserPower system is assembled and operated. The second video shows the LaserPower in use at a European Biathlon training tournament.

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LaserPower LINKs
CLICK HERE for more LaserPower Videos
Download LaserPower English Language Brochure
Download LaserPower English Language Users’ Manual

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December 13th, 2008

Cargo Pants — Fieldwear for Active Shooters

Serious marksmen know the benefits of shooting hats, shooting coats, and shooting glasses, but less thought seems to be given to the rest of the wardrobe — pants. Jeans are OK for bench shooting, but they are less than ideal for prone work or tactical matches. Typical jeans provide little room for anything but loose change, car keys and a thin wallet. They tend to be restrictive in the wrong places, and heavy denim can be too hot in summer weather.

Propper Tactical pantsBy contrast, cargo pants or “tactical trousers” offer many advantages for the shooter. Many designs feature a small pocket that’s ideal for a cell phone or Kestrel wind meter. The large lower “bellows” pockets can hold a medium-sized log-book, empty chamber indicator (ECI), digital timer, a small camera, or ammo magazines. The upper slash pockets make it easy to access earplugs, come-up cards, or other small items. Some of the better cargo pants have double knees. This can provide a little more comfort and protection while shooting prone. Overall the cargo pant design is more practical, and in my opinion, more comfortable, than a pair of denim jeans.

This Editor was recently looking to replace a much-used pair of cargo pants that had finally worn out after two years. The cheap “no-name” cargo pants didn’t fit well and the stitching was poor. I looked at the military-style BDUs. They are durable, but I didn’t like the pocket options or the feel of the ripstop-type fabric. In addition, I wanted something “neutral” rather than camo. As I often wear field pants in business settings, such as banks and the post office, I didn’t need Tiger-stripes screaming “urban commando wannabee”.

I checked out various styles ranging from $15.00 to $65.00 and settled on the Propper F5220, 9-pocket “Tactical Pants”. Priced at $29.99, these have a myriad of features I really like. The elasticized waist band eases movement when you’re shooting from a prone or kneeling position. The double knees are great when you’re shooting a tactical match off bare ground. The front “cellphone pocket” is big enough to hold a Kestrel securely. The seat area is double thickness (nice when sitting on wet grass). There’s a clever double-level rear pocket that lets you position your wallet high for easy access or a low for extra security.

I also ride a motorcycle and I found the Propper tactical pants work well on a two-wheeler. Again the stretch waistband is a big plus. The front slash pockets are not cut so low that I have to worry about stuff falling out when riding. The large side cargo pockets allow me to carry checkbook, PDA, and digital camera securely on the sides of my legs. My cellphone is easily accessible and I like the extra D-ring for holding keys on a carabiner while off the machine.

Propper Tactical pants

Propper F5220 “Tactical” trousers are made from a durable 65% polyester / 35% cotton canvas blend. They are shrink-resitant and a DuPont Teflon coating makes them stain-resistant. For my purposes, the F5220 pants are every bit as good as Royal Robbins’ 5.11 pants (maybe better), and they cost at least ten bucks (25%) less. Propper F5220s are available in Khaki (tan), Black, Olive and Navy Blue from or

Never heard of Propper? Propper International is a 37-year-old manufacturing company that produces uniforms for the U.S. Armed Services and police agencies. Propper has been ISO 9001-certified since 1996 and operates factories in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

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