Elite Operator Gives The Scoop On Tactical Products
Eve Flanigan 03.13.19
Recently, I shared some of the training wisdom gained at the two-day pistol class by Defoor Proformance Shooting. The class was rich with product advice, too. Kyle Defoor has been involved in tactical products development and testing for most of his storied career as an operator, competitive shooter, and instructor.
It doesn’t take long in Defoor’s presence to be convinced that his product opinions are performance-based. Although he dutifully helped the shooting performance of two students whose guns sported gear that was less than optimal for the class, he was brutally honest in his assessment of their pricey add-ons. Follow him on Instagram (@defoorproformanceshooting) and you’ll see a frankness about product evaluation that’s likely seen by some as refreshing and others as abrasive. A clearly articulated aspect of Defoor’s value system is total objectivity and freedom from emotional attachment to any given product.
With that in mind, here are seven products mentioned during the class as having earned the Defoor stamp of approval, along with related information/advice where applicable.
- On footwear: Solomon makes the only waterproof running shoe, directly descended from their marketing rep’s conversations with SEALs working in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. Load reduction is key to arriving in time and prepared for mission completion. “Weight was such an issue, I split my toothbrush in half down the middle,” Defoor said. Solomon delivered on the team’s request with a shoe that cuts weight while standing up to difficult terrain. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture the name of the model that’s the descendant of that testing.
- On reflex pistol sights (there were two in the class): “be ready for it to wear out at 25,000-28,000 rounds.” Defoor is fond of the Leupold Delta Point (no longer offered by Leupold) and Delta Point Pro, ($519.99) pointing out the ease of changing the battery and convenience of a built-in rear iron sight, but cautioning about bulk.
- On ammunition: Defoor’s favorite performers are Speer Gold Dot or Lawman 9mm, Black Hills TSX 62 grain for close- to mid-range on the M4 carbine, and Black Hills 77 grain open tip match for distance in an M4.
- On folding blades: “The CRKT M16 is the only commercial folder I’d pick,” this in response to a question from an officer whose department disallows fixed blade carry. There are numerous renditions of this design now available. Defoor prefers the non-serrated, spear tip blade. $49.99-59.99.
- On blade training: “Look up Sayoc Kali or Atienza Kali.” An Austin attendee was pleased to learn from a fellow student about a new Sayoc facility in that city. Those in so-called flyover states other than urban Texas will have a hard time finding a school, but there is a list of individual instructors.
- On occlusive dressings: He recommends Fox Seal or HALO Seal 6×6-inch two-packs. I asked if it’s okay to crease a chest seal pack so it fits in my IFAK. The answer: yes. Prices vary; $12 per pack seems like a good deal on current-date package based on my research.
- On improvised tourniquets: Sometimes, that trusty C.A.T. ($29.99), SOF Tactical Tourniquet-Wide. ($29.93), or S.W.A.T ($12.25) product is nowhere to be found. He used the Las Vegas massacre as an example. Cut-off sleeves or pantlegs make a tourniquet, a shoe makes a dandy windlass, and shoelaces or a belt are great for securing a windlass. It all sounds very McGyver, but Defoor put his money were his mouth is in applying just such a tourniquet on a student using his own and others’ garb, in just over a minute. The volunteer’s skin got blotchy with constriction, proving the effectiveness of this unexpected assortment of “products.”
There were numerous other product mentions throughout the weekend. Of course, there’s nothing like live training. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you improve your game on or off the range.