About Me

I am a full-time law enforcement officer with experience in the Patrol, Tactical, and Gang Divisions and a part-time martial artist. I believe that law abiding citizens should learn to defend themselves with whatever tools they may legally carry. I am currently in the process of starting the "5 Rings Tactical" training school where I hope to encourage good people to become protectors of their own lives and the lives of their families. This blog will contain reviews of defensive and tactical products, all of which I have purchased with my own funds. I will try my best to give my honest and unbiased opinion of all the products featured. I hope to eventually make the items that prove to be of quality available to customers of 5 Rings Tactical. Before distributing any of these items, they will be purchased privately by me and evaluated. I do not pretend to be any type of expert or master. I'm just a guy trying to share my experiences with others. I am always looking for more training and good people to learn from.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

FDE 3-31-2011


Today's FDE was kindly submitted by the digital media manager for a large jewelry store. His Twitter code name: @elegantmachines. A self-proclaimed nerd, today's hero keeps it geeky but chic with his love of Apple products. He is never without his silver MacBook Air. It's light, compact, and sleek yet still packs a raw 11 inches of screen that would put Ron Jeremy to shame. Nerd or not, @elegantmachines knows that not all problems are virtual. So he packs a trusty Leatherman multi-tool for those times when you have to adjust some computer circuits, recalibrate the commodulator for the flux-capacitor, or pull out a bad guy's tooth every time he answers that Star Wars was cooler than Star Trek. This digital media guru is also a family man and a cat owner, but not the creepy kind. According to his blog bio, @elegantmachinese is a lover of sci-fi and technology but chugs the hater-ade when it comes to cigarettes, melting butter, and mean people. To protect his family and feline friends from cigarette smoking douche-bags wielding sticks of butter in the summer time, @elegantmachines sets his phaser to .40 cal with his Glock 23. The compact Glock slide wears a tenifer and black oxide finish. The frame of the gun is made of a light-weight but incredibly strong polymer. The business end spits hollow-points instead of laser beams, but if Darth Vader ever traded his light-saber in for handgun I'm guessing he'd have a Glock. Bad guys beware, do not mess with the geeky. There are members of the Nerd Herd that work for the CIA, and digital media managers with Sith Lord pistols. Lay a hand on his ipod and @elegantmachines just might hurt you, than post an imovie of it on youtube and blog about it.

Check out @elegantmachine's blog at www.elegantmachines.com and follow him on Twitter: @elegantmachines

Saturday, March 26, 2011

FDE 3-27-2011


Today's FDE is brought to you by a talented young man who is a grad student studying psychology, a gifted song-writer/musician, and also my younger brother. He is known in my circle of friends as "2.0", for being the younger and more improved version of me... He came out taller and got all the talent, but I have more guns than he does. My brother, being also smarter than I am, is not a member of the military or any law enforcement agency. However, he is a well trained and responsible citizen with whom I would clear a house with any day. 

He carries his trusty CRKT M16 tanto blade folding knife with him wherever he goes. The blade is just the right length for 2.0 to cut seat belts, guitar strings, or defend himself from swarms of lady-fans after they hear his guitar solos. Since my brother is an avid motorcyclist and bicyclist, he is rarely without a Nite Ize LED Reflector equipped backpack containing his trusty Surefire G2 flashlight. Its 65 lumens of light output and sturdy construction are more than adequate for outdoor trekking, late night engine repair, and shining under his face while telling ghost stories. A Seiko Chronograph watch goes with his corncob pipes and elbow patched blazers, while keeping 2.0 on time for his classroom discussions where he uses words like "biopsychosocial", "cognitivism", and "penis envy". My brother claims that the panda hat and the black Hatch gloves are just to keep him warm during outings in cold weather. I think he just likes looking like a furry animal. 

When not burning rubber on two wheels, my brother likes to train Muay Thai and practice zombie-killing at the range and on his X-Box. His game of choice? Dead Rising. His monster slaying pistol of choice? The Smith and Wesson Commander, which is a compact 1911 chambered in 45 ACP. The frame is made out of scandium which is a special blend of alloys, which allows for the gun to be lighter than an all-steel 1911, but stronger than a gun with an aluminum frame.

Despite having guns, knives, and animal heads, 2.0 also wields a mean, but sensitive axe:

Mess with this musician and the last thing you may ever hear is, "Analyze this... BOOOOOM!"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

FDE 3-25-2011


Today's FDE was submitted by a 5 Rings Tactical reader who goes by the Twitter handle, "b_C_d". A recent spike in the number of armed robberies, home invasions, and burglaries in his area have convinced him to arm himself with reliable tools with which to defend himself and his family. As a proud father, b_C_d understands that he is responsible for both the safety of his children and their understanding of proper fashion accessorizing. A real man should look good but not pretty, and he should know the proper balance of form and function. Wanting to lead by example, b_C_d has chosen a soft and supple pair of Tod's driving moccasins in a dull blue hue to match his blue belt, effectively fusing comfort and fashion. A real man is also ready to defend those he loves, so b_C_d's eye-catching belt both looks good and supports the weight of his semi-compact sized "Baby Glock" pistol. The gun rides in a Comp-Tac Minotaur holster. Sticking with b_C_d's theme of balance, the Minotaur is a hybrid holster made of both kydex plastic and leather. This combination offers the beauty and comfort of leather with the low maintenance and toughness of properly formed kydex. Complimenting the 40 caliber Glock is Benchmade's Mini-Infidel knife, because you never know if it's a knife or a gun fight, and a gentleman always dresses for the occasion. Thank you b_C_d, for showing your kids that you can show up for your photo shoots for GQ and Guns and Ammo, and never have to even change clothes. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kahr P40 (aka The Noisy Cricket) - ALMOST the Perfect Carry Gun


Several years ago I was in the market for an off-duty pistol that I could carry concealed. At the time my duty gun was a Glock 22, which is a full-sized weapon. I'm not a big guy and trying to hide that pistol was not easy for me. Naturally I picked up a Glock 27. It was a 40 caliber Glock, just like my duty gun only it was a sub-compact size, affectionately called a "Baby Glock". The smaller Glock was a great pistol. It was reliable, accurate, and could even accept magazines from my full-sized gun. It was still too thick though. I wanted something with a slimmer profile that would make concealment easy. Carrying the Glock inside my waistband made me look like I was trying to smuggle a bratwurst sausage in my pants. If I needed that kind of self-esteem boost, I'd have just gotten a roll of quarters or shoved some socks down my crotch.

My search for a concealed carry gun continued and I ended up with a Kahr P40. The P40 is another 40 caliber pistol but is thinner than the Glock, just like I wanted. It has a short, 3.6 inch barrel but comes with a grip that is long enough to wrap your entire hand around. Many sub-compact pistols are chopped short and you have to curl your pinky finger underneath the handle when gripping the gun. Not the case with this stainless steel bad boy.
The P40's frame is made of polymer, resulting in a lightweight firearm that is comfortably carried, even when fully loaded with all seven rounds. That's right, it only holds seven. Part of the reason the gun is so slim is because it uses a single-stack magazine. So the gun only holds six rounds in the mag and one in the chamber. That's only one more than a snub-nosed revolver, but at least it reloads faster. The factory sights are white bar-dot combat sights, which are fine. XS makes a great night sight with a giant front dot for this gun though. If I choose to continue carrying my Kahr, the XS will be my next upgrade. Just a side note, there is a "budget" version of this gun that Kahr manufactures called the CW40. It's a great gun too but if you plan on upgrading the sights, get the P40. The dovetails are apparently friendly to aftermarket products where with the CW40, you may be stuck with the factory units.

The trigger is nothing to write home about. It's a fairly standard DAO (double action only) trigger. There is a lot of take up, then a break. Completely acceptable for a defense gun. You pull the trigger, the gun goes bang, and hopefully you had it pointed at this: 

and not this:

Shooting the P40
So I had found a gun that was small enough for me to carry concealed, but still packed 7 rounds of a decent sized bullet. I had to see how it would shoot though. I grabbed several hundred rounds of mixed practice ammo, Winchester, UMC, Wolf, whatever I could get my hands on. I also brought a few boxes of hollow-point duty ammunition to test in the gun; Hornady TAP, Ranger SXT, Speer Gold Dot, and Federal Hydra-shocks. Then I hit the range.

Kahr suggests that you put 200 rounds through the P40 to break it in. I loaded up the magazines with some practice ammo and began by firing slow, steady shots. The first thing I noticed was the recoil. It was definitely snappier than my Glock 22 and any of my 1911's. It was nothing overwhelming though. It didn't hurt my hand and the gun didn't go jumping out of my fingers with each shot. It was just a 40 caliber bullet being fired out of a light, tiny gun. I did notice that at distances of over 15 yards, my shots were landing just a little high. At 25 yards, I was shooting almost an inch high of my point of aim. The shot groupings were about 3.5 inches at their widest though, which is pretty good for a short barreled gun at 25 yards. Someone with more skills could probably have done much better. Not many gunfights occur at distances as great as 25 yards anyway.
After a 200 round break in period, another 100 rounds of practice ammo, and 100 rounds of hollow-point ammunition,  I had experienced only one jam. I had a stove pipe which occurred in the first 40 shots. It was easily cleared and the gun kept running. Now, I say only one jam but I have to put this out there. Each time I reloaded the pistol, it would fail to feed if I chambered a round using the "power stroke technique" of pulling back the slide and releasing it. At least 50% of the time, the gun failed to feed when I did this technique (The Kahr slide release was very sharp so I opted for an alternative method of dropping the slide). I did not count these as jams because after my shooting session I contacted Kahr about the problem. A representative informed me that the gun was not designed to chamber a round by pulling back the slide. I was told that Kahr pistols will only reliably chamber a new round when you hit the slide release. This sounded really strange to me but I went back to the range later and gave it a try. Sure enough, no problems chambering a round when using the slide release. I set my Ipod to Kenny Loggins, cranked up the volume, and fired off rounds as fast as the Danger Zone would allow me to. This gun shot great, and was small enough I could probably have carried it through a rigorous game of men only, shirtless volleyball.

Earning the nickname "Noisy Cricket", the P40 has now been with me for several years. After over 4000 rounds, it has proven to be very reliable and I have faith that the little pistol will run when I need it to. It has been my primary concealed carry gun, usually worn in a holster tucked into the front of my waistband. The P40 is a stealthy gun and makes for perfect urban ninja-ing equipment. I would not hesitate to recommend this gun to any friends, but there are a few complaints I would have to make known to them.

1. The gun comes with very sharp edges. Particularly the sights and the slide release. I can shoot the gun for hours without the recoil hurting my hand, but using that slide release cuts up my thumb after a while. It's like playing Game Boy... with a cactus. I could probably fix this problem with a file, but I've been lazy.

2. Field stripping can be a little bit annoying. Definitely not a deal breaker, but I hate cleaning my guns as it is. Having to line up two little, invisible dots in order to take the gun apart is just one more obnoxious part of shooting. Glocks, Sigs, M&Ps, and XD's are all easier to strip.

3. It really irritates me that I cannot chamber a round by pulling back and releasing the slide on this gun. That is the way I train and feel it is probably the best method for most pistols (for me). Yes, yes, I know the slide release is "faster" etc. If the slide release works better for you then great, I just tend to prefer the power stroke for my personal use, though I will probably incorporate more slide release training in my drills from now on. I worry if I ever have to perform a reload in a stressed situation, I will default back to what I've drilled the most and I'll rack the Kahr slide, causing a failure to feed. I'll be stuck there with a little gun that won't shoot and Skeletor will be able to conquer Castle Gray Skull.
The P40 is shown here with a failure to feed from power-stroking the slide to chamber a round.

If you can live with using the slide release to drop the slide, the Kahr might be for you. It hides well, rides well, shoots well, and serves it's purpose as an effective self-defense gun. If this were the only gun I carried, I would just train myself to drop the slide with the slide release and call it a day. It would be nice if Kahr could redesign their guns to work with either method of dropping the slide. Overall though, I have to give the P40 a thumbs up. I'm sure Maverick would agree.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

FDE 3-10-2011


Today's FDE was submitted by a female reader who is a professional in the medical field. Since she is not always able to carry her handgun with her, she has a back up plan, a Cheetah Stun Gun in this season's stylish lavender.  It rides in a black leather carrying case, always at the ready. The Cheetah packs 350,000 volts for any would-be shoe thieves or obnoxious hospital patients. She shows us that we don't have to sacrifice style for safety with several finger rings adorned with decorative points. These seemingly harmless rings are great for scratching a mugger's face and creating just enough of a distraction to facilitate an escape. Showing off her practical side, our reader rocks studded "Gucci variant" heels, because who wants to pay full price for REAL Gucci's when you're just going to get mugger blood all over them? Sharp like stilettos and covered in metal, these babies are just as appropriate for fighting as they are for the runway. Our doctor of disaster knows that she refuses to be victimized by a violent attacker, so she keeps her HTC phone with her to call emergency services to clean up what's left of the assailant. Police only. She can administer medical care to her attacker all by herself... if she chooses to. The phone rides in a zebra print protective case to keep it invisible... from lions. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

FDE 3-4-2011

READER SUBMITTED FDE OF THE DAY (Keep them coming guys!)

The Fasionable Defense Ensemble pictured above was sent in by an educated man who is very familiar with the laws of weapon usage and self-defense.  Once one of Obi Wan's most promising disciples, this prosecutor for a district attorney's office used his abnormally high midichlorian count to convict violent felons and gang members.  Unfortunately, he recently traded in his blue light-saber for a red one and now serves the dark side as a criminal defense attorney.  Despite turning evil and relying on a robotic breathing apparatus, he remains a respectable southern gentleman and a close friend of mine.  This future character in a John Grisham novel wears suits in the courtroom but raises the bar in lounge wear when he isn't defending the lives of the innocent.  Keeping things comfortable and simple, he is often seen in a pair of thong sandles, accompanied by camo cargo shorts, and his trusty pocket pistol.  The camo shorts allow him to blend into jungle surroundings, fooling would-be attackers into thinking his torso and thighs have just disappeared.  The pistol is a KelTec P3AT that rides in a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster.  And the sandals?  They just feel good between his toes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

FDE 3-3-2011


Today's FDE submission is from a professional in the jewelry industry.  As a man running his own business and dealing in the exchange of expensive watches, fine jewelry, and rare stones, our reader is often placed in a position where he is in the care of of high-dollar items.  To protect his business, his employees, and those that he loves, this young professional got some firearms training, obtained his concealed handgun license, and now carries a Springfield Armory XD with a silver slide. The gun is filled with 9mm hollow-points and rides in a Comp-Tac holster. It's the perfect combination for fighting off jewel thieves or flesh-eating zombies. With "16 in the clip and 1 in the hole", the XD can handle Danny Ocean's entire crew and still have rounds left over for anything George Romero can dream up. Since our reader sells accessories to some of the biggest ballers in Houston, he's got to keep his chrome clean and his watch game up.  This armed, dealer of all-things-bling can often be seen wearing his Breitling Superocean.  This watch features a self-winding mechanical movement and is certified as a chronometer.  Made of surgical steel grade metals and utilizing an anti-glare sapphire crystal, this water resistant Breitling is strictly for ballers only.  Scrubs need not apply. 

Ballers and ballers on a budget interested in watches and jewelry can check Modern Times (www.moderntimejewelers.com/) and Joia Jewelers (www.joiajewelers.com/) inside the Galleria for great prices on quality items.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011



Today's reader submitted FDE comes from an old friend of mine who is a professional DJ at some of the hottest spots in Houston, and a fellow sneaker-head.  This spinner of hot tracks carries an all black H&K P30 in .40 caliber in his Uncle Mikes holster.  He says he chose the P30 for it's ergonomic grip, compact size, and safety/decocker.  Since a black gun goes with anything, he throws on a pair of Nike Tiffany SB Dunks to pull the outfit together. This armed mix-master is ready for anything from project runway or the projects alleyways. Reason for carrying?  To protect himself, his friends, and his pricey kicks.  Pimping isn't easy fool.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

FDE 3-1-2011


Today's very special FDE was submitted by a lovely and intelligent woman, who also happens to be the co-founder of 5 Rings Tactical.  This beautiful young lady works in the field of news radio and believes in staying in shape, preparation, and the element of surprise when it comes to self-defense.  Though she has yet to decide on her daily carry firearm of choice, she is always accompanied by her large chef's blade, Kimber Guardian Angel pepper blaster, and a giant, chrome wrench.  To promote comfortable ass kicking, her feet are covered with soft sock-monkey house shoes.  The Kimber fires two blasts of OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray at 90 miles per hour into the bad guy's face.  Projecting the OC so forcefully aids in stopping the attacker and helps prevent cross-contamination (that's fancy talk for getting your own pepper spray all over your own face).  The chef's knife is a simple, full-tang blade, made from stainless steel.  Though optimized for chopping meats and vegetables, and made with soft stainless steel, it's still a freaking knife...  The wrench is chrome plated and provides enough handle for a two-handed, baseball bat grip.  This tool is weighted toward the top, which facilitates momentum during the swing.  It's not a fast weapon, but speed isn't a necessity when the bad guy is writhing in pain from the pepper blast, the Ginsu in the arm, and multiple sock-monkey kicks to the groin, and thinks you might be trying to fix his car.  

Though technically not defensive tools that are "carried", this fine young professional is generally found protected by her two body guards as well: 

Pablo "El Diablo" Pequeno appears to be a small rat/dog hybrid creature. Though old, like a new-born Benjamin Button and armed only with blurred vision and 3 teeth, do not be fooled.  This fierce creature is compact enough to stay hidden in a purse or backpack but still possesses the speed of bowel movements after devouring a cheese burrito from Taco Bell.  Believed by some experts to be responsible for the legends and stories of "chupacabra", Pablo has an unyielding hunger for destruction and a weak bladder. 

Though dangerous enough by himself, Pablo never works alone. His partner is a mysterious warrior, known only as "Darkness". She is silent and deadly, like a ninja's flatulence. Described in some circles as a "furry, four-legged Beyonce", the Darkness's perniciousness is rivaled only by her beauty.  Bad guys aren't ready for this jelly.