Kydex is cool, can’t contest it; but sometimes it’s better to use gear crafted from the skin of something that once had a parent. Mad Duo
JTT: Leather Can Be Tactical Too
Leather has been used by man for at least the past decade or so and shows no sign of being just a fad.
That was sarcasm.
This tactical tip is something I picked up while out on the range with Idaho State Senator Marv Hagedorn, who in case you didn’t know is a huge proponent of the Second Amendment and the Hearing Protection Act. He is also an avid silencer shooter and an overall decent guy, for a politician; oh yeah, and he is running for Idaho Lieutenant Governor.
If you live in Idaho, keep him and this shameless plug in mind come voting time.
Now, obviously leather and firearms have gone hand in hand for as long as there have been guns (from back when you loaded them from the embarrassing end to day, with craftsmen like MGL ^^). Leather has been used for everything from the quintessential sixgun holster and gun belt to the cowhide cartridge carrier wrapped around a wooden stock. In this day and age, the vast majority of holsters and accessories are Kydex or ballistic nylon, so I suppose at some point I’d subconsciously ruled leather out as relevant. My opinion shifted that day on the range, however, in the most Steampunk of ways.
Sen. Hagedorn pulled out his trusty 5.56 silencer (a Gemtech Trek-T) and low and behold he had gone full BDSM with it. His solution to burning the crap out of himself and his other gear was to wrap the silencer in some extra boot leather he had laying around, then using a boot lace to secure it.
Silencer covers are nothing new, I have used more than my fair share over the years, some good, some bad (click that link for one that is pretty good) but never had I dreamt of a leather cover. I immediately had my doubts about this method of heat mitigation.
I had to test it out for myself. We threaded the silencer onto a 16 in. 5.56 rifle and blasted the first magazine at an “Oh God we are being overrun by murderous iguanas with a crazy look in their eyes” rate of fire. The silencer was warm but still easily held in my bare hand. The next two magazines were similar but at less of a “let’s try to catch this thing on fire” and more of a normal plinking or leisure shooting tempo. The silencer and leather were obviously hot, but the DIY wrap did its job surprisingly well (e.g. it didn’t burn the hell out of me when I touched it, nor did it cause damage to a surface prone to melting).
This just goes to show that necessity is the mother of invention. Leather most definitely still has a place amongst modern shooters, and with advanced equipment Wyatt Earp could never have dreamed of, too
Maybe this article will prompt Mean Gene to make a silencer wrap?
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About the Author: Alexander Crown was the littlest big mistake Gemtech ever hired–and they even manage to continue to promote him to higher positions. Prior to his early retirement (caused by an enemy winning a marksmanship award at the cost of his hamstring), Alexander served in the 3/509 PIR out of Ft. Richardson and spent a little time in Iraq. In addition to dabbling in the world of silencers and science fiction, he has a BS in biology and is an avid gardener — like, the kind of gardener Hugh Farnham would appreciate and Alec Holland would envy.