I don’t have ice water in my veins. I have friends who do and I’ve always envied the quality, but under pressure, I often operate in panic mode. I simply don’t have the ability to hold the broad awareness under stress situations that’s often required in 3-gun competitions and tactical pistol shooting. I’m aware this would likely be a handicap should I ever get into a gunfight, so I try to improve my abilities by shooting competitive events that generate high pressure to improve my tendencies.

In a gunfight (or a tactical match for that matter), you should never run your gun dry to the point that the slide locks back. Having to load and drop the slide costs precious time. During the seconds it takes to load a magazine and drop the slide, you’re unarmed. Ideally, you should either do a tactical load under cover, or shoot to the last round and change magazines one round before slide-lock. This requires counting rounds, and I’m simply not cool enough to manage this in a competition—much less when facing an assailant.

Radetec has come up with a solution to the problem of being surprised by having an empty gun when you need a loaded gun. Like all solutions to existing problems, it has a price, but for some of us, the advantages might outweigh the cost.

The Radetec AmmoControl LED Advisor warns the shooter as his round count gets to critical levels. The system works by replacing the magazine follower with a Radetec follower that holds a small magnet (this also costs you one round of magazine capacity). The rear grip panel is also replaced with a Radetec panel that has a multicolored LED exposed just above the shooter’s trigger finger. As the round count decreases, the sensor in the grip panel lights up the LED with different colors to indicate how many rounds remain. Solid blue means there are four rounds left, green means three, red means two, and flashing red means one. Radetec has another product called the Digital Counter that gives the shooter an actual round count.

The system is activated by a switch located high on the rear of the grip panel. I’ve had problems with laser switches located here, but this one worked every time for me. Until I used the system, I wasn’t sure I’d notice the flashing colors. Having now used an AmmoControl-equipped gun in a 2-gun tactical match, I found the flash was enough to let me know I was running low without distracting me from the job at hand. Having said this, all of us are different and I can’t assure the same results for you.

In all, this is a viable addition to a pistol for competition or for defensive use. The Advisor is available for the 92F, 1911, and M&P in .40 and 9x19mm. it sells for $169.The Digital Counter system is available for the Beretta 92, 1911, and AR-15. The pistol model is $199 and the AR-15 model sells for $225.

Image by Dick Jones

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