• duck hunter wearing camo in hunting blind

    How to Choose Turkey and Duck Hunting Camo Patterns

    Jul 13 • How-To, Hunting, Bird, Turkey • 332

    Choosing the best duck hunting camo is much different than picking out a deer hunting camo. Most big game animals lack depth perception and are color blind to an extent, but waterfowl and turkeys have excellent eyesight, which makes camouflage an essential part of a successful hunt. In this guide, we’ll give you a bird’s-eye view on how to choose a duck hunting and turkey hunting camo and give you tips on how to stay concealed while bagging waterfowl. 

    Do You Need to Wear Camo for Duck and Turkey Hunting?

    You technically don’t need to wear waterfowl hunting camo in the same way you don’t technically need a spoon to eat soup, but it’s a lot more helpful than using a fork. In less confusing words, turkey and duck hunting camo is important if you want an easier and more successful outcome on a hunt. For the most part, birds have better vision than humans, and they can see every minute detail, reflection, and movement in their view.

    Turkey and waterfowl can distinguish colors better than humans can, and their eyes are extra sensitive to UV light. That means shiny reflections, even off your face, can give away your position and scare away your prey. Camouflaging your hunting blind, boat, and yourself give you the best opportunities to make mallard stew.

    Do You Need to Wear Blaze Orange Hunting Camo?

    duck hunter wearing blaze orange safety vest

    Blaze orange vests and hunting apparel help other hunters see you and create a safer environment. This is perfectly fine when hunting deer and elk that can’t properly see the color orange. However, birds can easily spot the out-of-place bright orange color. 

    Safety is a priority, so you should always look up your local and state laws about blaze orange hunting requirements. 

    Thankfully, most states don’t require blaze orange hunting gear for waterfowl. If yours does, you may need to rely more on camouflaging your hunting blinds and boats to maintain stealth by the water. Blaze orange is sometimes a requirement for turkey hunting. Some hunters choose to only wear their blaze orange colors while moving to their next site. Safety always comes first, so you should wear blaze orange when necessary. If you remove your blaze orange apparel while stationary at your hunting spot, make sure to keep it nearby so that you can hold it up to alert nearby hunters of your presence. 

    How to Choose a Duck Hunting Camo Pattern

    turkey hunter wearing mimicry camo

    There are two main types of hunting camo patterns: breakup (digital) and mimicry. Breakup camouflage uses abstract shapes and colors to conceal your outline. On the other hand, mimicry camouflage uses imagery of nature to help you blend in with your surroundings. Break up camo is good for hunting deer and other big game because they can’t see well, and blending your outline into the background is the best way to stay hidden.

     

    For ducks, turkey, and other waterfowl, you want to use mimicry camo patterns. Since birds have good vision, they can make out small details and see a vast range of colors. Mimicry camouflage is more effective at fooling fowl, as long as you pick one that best matches your environment.

    Waterfowl Hunting Camo Patterns

    marsh hunting camo pattern

    Marsh and waterfowl camo patterns are your best bet for hunting ducks. These camouflage patterns feature tall grass, reeds, and cattails you’d find near a marsh or swamp. When you pick your next hunting location, make sure to research the area beforehand. Duck hunting season is around fall for most folks, but a marsh up north is going to look a bit different than a southern swamp. Compare images of the hunting grounds with camo patterns while shopping for hunting clothes to properly match the vegetation and colors of the area.

    Other Duck Hunting Camo Tips

    As we mentioned earlier, ducks are sensitive to UV light, which means shiny reflections will raise all their red flags and scare the flock away. With deer hunting, you can get away with just wearing camouflage hunting clothes, but with duck hunting, you need to camouflage everything, not just your clothes. That means your face, hands, and any shelter you are using should be camouflaged or painted to match your surroundings. Grab a pair of camo gloves and some face paint to blend in as much as possible. Also, try to only use weapons with a non-reflective matte finish. You can perfect every aspect of your camo game, but one shiny gun can ruin all of your hard work.

    Hunting blinds are your best bet to stay concealed while hunting waterfowl. However, they aren’t necessary if your hunting spot has the right natural cover. Again, researching the area beforehand will help you pick the best duck hunting camouflage possible.

    The last piece of advice is to minimize your movement as much as possible. Patience is a virtue for a reason. It’s not easy, but it will greatly improve your efficiency on any type of hunt, especially waterfowl.

    How to Choose a Turkey Hunting Camo Pattern

    Picking a turkey camo pattern is very similar to choosing a duck camo pattern in that both are birds with excellent vision. Mimicry camo will suit you best when it comes to hunting gobblers, and reducing reflectivity is a must. The main difference between the two is the location and time of year. 

    Turkeys can roost near water, trees, or open areas. If you plan on stalking your prey, wear a camo pattern that best matches the overall environment. If you’re lucky enough to nail down specific spots, you can grab some mimicry camouflage that suits that specific location. 

    Turkey Hunting Camo Patterns

     

    Turkey hunting starts around spring, and this fickle season will have different results depending on your location. Remember, vegetation and color schemes change from region to region, so make sure your hunting camo matches that. At the start of spring turkey season, the trees and plants may still be brown or waiting to bloom. As time progresses, plants and trees will flourish and lush greens take over the scenery. 

    woodland hunting camo pattern with brown leaves woodland hunting camo pattern with lush greens

    Marsh camo patterns can certainly work when hunting turkeys by water, but you’ll want to check out Woodland camouflage patterns for other roosting spots. That means brown colors and imagery of sticks and bark usually suit early spring turkey hunters best, but as the season goes on, you’ll want to swap out for some Woodland camo patterns that have elements of green and maybe some imagery of leaves and grass. 

    Other Turkey Hunting Camo Tips

    turkey hunting headnet

    Like duck hunting, you’ll want to properly camouflage from head to toe when hunting toms. Your hunting pants, vest, and other apparel are all equally important. Skimping on one part of your hunting camouflage can jeopardize the success of your entire hunt. You’ll also want to wear hunting gloves to conceal movement and face paint or a headnet to minimize reflections.

    The last turkey tip is to avoid red, white, and blue colors, especially near your head. There are plenty of other occasions to be patriotic, but turkey hunting season isn’t one of them. Those colors can easily resemble a turkey, and wearing them increases your risk of not being properly identified by other hunters.

    All Duck Or No Dinner

    Hunting waterfowl and turkeys requires more detail to camouflage than hunting deer or elk. It’s all or nothing. Covering your head, face, hands, body, legs, and feet are critical to a fruitful hunting season, and with the right camo patterns, you’ll see immense success in the wild. 

    Just make sure to buy mimicry camouflage – marsh and waterfowl patterns for ducks and marsh or woodland patterns for toms, depending on the location and time of year. Make an effort to reduce your reflectivity with matte gun finishes and face masks, nets, or paint. Adhere to your local and state laws regarding blaze orange to stay safe this hunting season. And finally, exercise patience on a hunt to see your best results yet.

    Hopefully, you now know how to choose the best duck hunting camo and turkey hunting camo for your clothing and blinds. Prepare for your next outing with OpticsPlanet’s huge selection of high-quality hunting gear including game calls, ground blinds, and so much more. As always, have a safe and happy hunting season!

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  • deer hunter wearing camo

    Best Hunting Camo Patterns for Deer and Other Big Game

    Jul 7 • How-To, Hunting, Apparel, Big Game, Deer • 441

    Big game hunters know how important hunting camo is when it comes to concealment. The right camouflage pattern can make you practically invisible to your prey, which allows you to get close and take the best shot possible. With so many different types of hunting camo patterns available, it can be challenging to figure out which one will help you harvest the most meat this season. In this guide, we’ll break down different types of hunting camo patterns to help you find the best deer hunting camo and best bow hunting camo based on the animal you’re hunting and your environment.

    Types of Hunting Camo

    Before discussing the best camouflage patterns for big game, let’s go over some of the basics of camouflage. Popular brands like Mossy Oak and Realtree have their own proprietary camouflage names, but no matter what it’s called, all hunting camo patterns fall under one of these two types: mimicry and breakup (digital).

    What Is Mimicry Camo?

    mimicry hunting camo pattern

    As the name suggests, mimicry camo tries to mimic your surroundings to help you blend in. This could be a brown background with sticks and branches for fall hunts or white background with sticks and branches for the winter. Think of it as the type of camouflage that could fool a human, if done right. However, properly sporting mimicry camo can be quite a challenge on a hunt when seasons change, weather is fickle, and the environment you plan to hunt in may not look exactly as you planned. 

    What Is Breakup Camo?

    digital hunting camo pattern

    Breakup camo, also known as digital camo, breaks up your outline to help you blend in with the environment. Unlike mimicry camo that uses actual elements of nature in the design, breakup camo uses colors and shapes to achieve concealment. If put to the test, humans should be able to distinguish this camouflage much easier than mimicry. However, you have to remember that you’re trying to hide from the animal you’re hunting, and animals, especially big game, do not see the world as we do.

    Basic Camo Patterns

    Most camouflage pattern/color combinations are designed to suit an environment as a whole. While it seems a new, innovative camo pattern enters the market every year, most hunting camouflage falls under one of these categories:

    Woodland

    Marsh

    marsh hunting camo pattern

    Brush

    brush hunting camo pattern

    Snow

    snow hunting camo pattern

    As you can see, woodland camo is suited for forests and heavily wooded areas. It is great for most deer hunting seasons except winter, which is when you’ll want a snow camo pattern if the weather calls for it. Marsh camo is mainly for waterfowl hunting and swampy areas, so it is not ideal for most deer or elk hunts. Brush camo patterns are perfect for elk hunting out west. The lighter patterns of dirt and dead grass match the arid terrain and keep you concealed even when there is no natural cover. 

    Do I Need Camo for Hunting Deer and Other Big Game?

    Camouflage hunting clothes allow you to get closer to your target to take a better, cleaner shot. Without the right camo, you’d need to take your shot from a longer range to avoid being seen. While it is certainly possible to take down a buck in your everyday attire, it’s highly discouraged. The closer you are to your target, the more ethical of a shot you can take. Experienced hunters may be able to forgo camo clothes with a long-range rifle, but bowhunters will always need camouflage to get within range of their target. 

    Another point to consider is that most states require you to wear some type of blaze orange camo while hunting. Make sure to check your local and state regulations regarding this before your next hunt. If you’re concerned that the bright orange color will give away your position, continue reading to learn why that doesn’t matter for big game hunting.

    Can Deer See Blaze Orange Hunting Vests? 

    blaze orange hunting camo clothes

    Did you know that deer cannot see blaze orange as humans do? According to the National Deer Association, deer cannot perceive longer wavelengths of color like red and orange, which appear brown or gray to them. However, deer can easily detect movement in the distance. That’s why breakup (digital) camo patterns are the best for hunting whitetails. Breakup camo blends your outline into the environment so that sudden movement is significantly less noticeable to your prey. 

    How to Choose the Best Deer Hunting Camo

    Even though deer can’t see color that well, the type of breakup camo you choose still matters. Deer can still see patterns, and the background of your camo needs to match your planned hunting environment. Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal camo pattern that works well in all landscapes. You need to choose a deer hunting camo pattern based on where you’ll be hunting and the time of year. While it’s difficult to nail down the perfect type of hunting camo pattern for whitetails, it’s helpful to think about how you plan to hunt. 

    deer hunter wearing camo sitting in tree stand

    For example, if you’re hunting up north in a treestand, you will be elevated in the treeline. That means you need to blend in with the sky and treetops. On the other hand, you’ll want a camo pattern that helps you blend in with the dark tree bark and branches if you’re on the ground. Now picture these situations reversed. If you wore darker hunting camo while in a treestand, deer will see an out-of-place dark spot in the treeline. If you wore lighter hunting camo while on the ground, deer will see you as a light blob against the darker trees. Regardless of color, these patterns impact how easily deer will see your movement.

    Can You Mix and Match Camo Patterns?

    The above point is a great example of why mixing and matching camo can work in the right environment. This isn’t a fashion show; it’s a hunt. You want to dress appropriately to give yourself the best chance of filling that freezer with fresh meat. Treestand hunters may want a snow or lighter woodland camo hunting jacket to match the skyline but darker woodland hunting pants to match the tree they’re sitting in. 

    Spot-and-stalk hunters may want snow camo pants and a woodland top for winter hunts to simultaneously match the ground and the bare tree bark behind them. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with your camo choices. 

    How to Choose the Best Bow Hunting Camo

    The biggest difference between hunting with a rifle and hunting with a bow is the distance between you and your target. Bowhunters need to get up close to their target to effectively take it down, usually no more than 20 yards. Truth be told, there isn’t much of a difference between rifle hunting camo and bow hunting camo. If you follow the thought patterns above, your bowhunting camouflage will work just fine. 

    When bowhunting, your camo choice is much less of a concern than your scent and noise. A deer’s greatest defense mechanism is its sense of smell. Some brands like ScentLok manufacture hunting clothes with built-in odor control, or you could opt for some good old-fashioned scent blockers.

    As for noise control, make sure to buy hunting pants that mention being quiet or silent in the description or features. Browning, TrueTimber, and other popular brands offer a large selection of silent hunting trousers that greatly reduce sounds made during movement, and of course, they come in a wide variety of hunting camos.

    Hiding in Plain Sight

    Big game hunting camo offers many patterns and designs to help you stay concealed. While the number of camo patterns may be overwhelming at first, the right thought exercises will lead you to the best hunting camo for your needs. Here’s a quick recap of what we covered today:

    • Breakup camouflage is best for deer hunting
    • Deer cannot distinguish blaze orange vests from the brown trees
    • Treestand hunters will usually wear different camo than spot-and-stalk hunters to match the skyline and treetops
    • You can mix and match different camo patterns on your hunting outfit as long as it makes sense 
    • Camo is highly recommended for bowhunting, but controlling your scent and noise is more important

    We hope this guide helps you pick out the best camo pattern for your next big game hunt. If you want to learn more about what to wear for a hunt, check out our guide on How to Choose the Best Hunting Clothes. Also, make sure to stop by OpticsPlanet’s hunting store to gear up for your next adventure and put your camo knowledge to work! 

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  • tactical pants tactical jeans

    Gear Review: Tactical Pants & Tactical Jeans for 2021

    Jun 30 • Apparel, Reviews, Tactical Pants • 518

    For this article, I reviewed the latest tactical pants and tactical jeans from some of the best brands available today. These include Tru-Spec, Vertx, 5.11 Tactical, and Viktos. To review the pants, I actually wore them while doing various activities at a local park to test the features and designs, and intended purpose.

    Before We Begin…

    We want to go over some topics before we jump into the review, so you know exactly how we looked at tactical pants. We’ve published numerous articles about how to buy tactical pants. In these articles, we looked at what are tactical pants and tactical pants features. Here’s a quick summary: 

    What Are Tactical Pants?

    Tactical pants are designed for both storage and function. They’re popular among those working in police, military, and emergency medical fields, but civilians who engage in outdoor activities or shooting sports wear them as well. Compared to regular pants, tactical pants are designed for practical use and physical activity rather than fashion.

    Tactical Pants Features

    Tactical pants features boil down to fabrics, designs, and pocket space. Manufacturers try to durable, breathable, and flexible materials, so the pants are restrictive. Almost all of them are equipped with a gusseted crotch, which is extra material in the crotch that gives you greater mobility when you run, jump, squat, etc. 

    Pocket space is the most noticeable feature. On tactical pants, the pockets amount to much more than cargo pockets. Usually, there are additional pockets for tools, knives, or a phone. And then, there are usually compartments inside of the cargos. 

    tactical

    Your humble author conducting product tests by executing a tactical jump.

    The Review Process: What Makes Pants Tactical

    First, I stuffed my pockets full of everyday items like a flashlight, pocket knife, notebook, pen, keys, wallet, phone, and snacks. 

    Next, I ran around the park. Well, I didn’t just run. I sprinted. And I did some long jumps and hopped over picnic tables. Then, I did various calisthenics like air squats, tuck jumps, and lunges. Whatever seemed appropriate.

    Afterward, I washed the pants and then slashed and stabbed the fabric with a cheap pocket knife I found in my basement. Lastly, I held the pants under the faucet and poured water on them.

    Here’s what I found:

    Tru Spec 24-7 Series 

    Tru Spec 24-7 Series Pants

    Tru Spec 27-7 Series Pants. Pocket highilights include: knife/tool pockets on both pant legs, a drop-in phone pocket, and another phone pocket getting filled with handcuffs.

    The Tru Spec 24-7 Series pants fit well and conformed to whatever strenuous activity I did. Although they aren’t stretchy, they are designed for movement. There’s an expandable waistband, and the gusseted crotch and baggy pant legs created plenty of room.

    The pockets can obviously hold a lot and there’s velcro on just about every one of them to keep the flap closed shut. The dedicated knife or tool pocket was really nice. It’s strategically placed out of the way between the hand pocket and back pocket and on both sides. There’s a cell phone pocket on the outside of the cargo pocket. It has a flap, but it was too small for my iPhone X. Still, the phone fit well inside the drop-in cell phone slot behind the cargo pocket. It just didn’t have a flap. That was actually a more convenient location, though.

    The pants were also durable. They not only withstood physical activity like running, jumping, and squatting, but also water beaded up against the Teflon fabric when placed directly under a faucet and they just as easily withstood knife slashes. However, my blade penetrated the ripstop fabric with gentle stabbings. 

    My only criticism — and it’s really more of an observation — is that they look like tactical pants. Subtle is not a word I would use to describe them, but you’d only wear these in a uniform setting or during recreational activities.

    From the Factory Pros Cons
    • Fabric: 65% Polyester/35% Cotton Rip-Stop
    • Weight: 6.5 oz. 
    • Pockets: 12
    • MSRP: $68.95
    • Lots of pocket space
    • Designed for mobility
    • Water and stain-resistant
    • Non-stretchy fabric

    Vertx Defiance Jean

    Vertx Defiance Jean

    Vertx Defiance Jean. These tactical jeans have spare pockets just below the waistline and they have articulated knees.

    The Vertx Defiance Jeans look and feel like normal jeans. The only aesthetic giveaway that they might be tactical jeans is the articulated knees. You can tell by the small stitching in the four corners around the knee, but you’d have to look hard to find it. 

    Although denim is a heavier fabric, I remained comfortable wearing them in the 85-degree heat. The stretchy fabric was breathable. Also, the fabric paired with the relaxed fit and gusseted crotch made running and jumping easy as well. 

    Vertx lists the Defiance Jean as having 11 pockets, but it’s actually seven pockets plus four stash pockets located around the inside of the waistband. The stash pockets are big enough to hold a key-sized object but not much else. Still, the other pockets are very nice. 

    The hand, change, and spare pockets use a half mesh and half cloth lining. The hand and back pockets both run deep and will hold everyday items like keys or a phone comfortably and without printing. The spare pockets are long and wide enough to hold a pen and a knife at the same time or a pair of handcuffs, but not my phone. 

    The Vertx tactical jeans were also very durable. Off the rack, they were very comfortable for every activity I tried. They withstood knife slashes and stabbing. However, they weren’t water-resistant. In fact, water just soaked right into the fabric. 

    Online, I saw one criticism expressing concern about the belt loops. They measure about 2.5-inches long, so they’ll fit a wide belt, but the concern was more about how they’ll hold a duty belt. The belt loops aren’t very wide, but the stitching is heavy duty and there are eight of them as opposed to five like on other pairs of tactical pants. 

    Overall, the Vertx Defiance Jeans look, feel, and wear exactly like you’d want them to. They don’t look tactical at all and that’s the point.

    From the Factory Pros Cons
    • Fabric: 71% cotton/4% polyester/7% Modal/17% Coolmax/1% Lycra
    • Weight: 10 oz.
    • Pockets: 11
    • MSRP: $69.99
    • Relaxed fit makes moving easy
    • Spare pockets have casual look
    • Spare pocket won’t hold some phones

    5.11 Multicam TDU Ripstop

    5.11 Multicam TDU Ripstop

    The 5.11 Multicam TDU Ripstop are pretty basic for tactical pants, but they do have compartments inside the cargo pocket.

    A quick preface. The pair of 5.11 Multicam TDU Ripstop pants I received were too small for my waist. I sent in my waist and leg sizes, but the pants are sized small, medium, and large. Turns out, a 34 waist overlaps into medium and large sizes. So, whoever sent the pants made a judgment call.

    Obviously, the fit wasn’t great. The expandable waistband stretched to its limits, so the button snap was released every time I tucked my knees into my chest by jumping or squatting.

    Although the pant legs were plenty long, I felt them pull and tighten around my kneecap when I got into a kneeling position. Sure, size probably contributed, but it seemed more like a material issue than a sizing issue. The polyester fabric had little to no give. If I had received a large size or the pants were made out of stretchy fabric, I think I would’ve had better mobility.

    Besides the ill-fitting size and fabric, the 5.11 tactical pants are super basic for pocket space. They’re equipped with six pockets, so no phone or designated knife or tool pocket. However, inside the cargos had magazine slots, and the hand pocket does have extra material to clip a pocket knife. The pockets were plenty big for whatever you need.

    I also found the pants to be somewhat durable. I deliberately slid through the grass on my knees and they didn’t wear. The grass stains washed right out. When held under the faucet, water slipped right off. When I slashed at the fabric with a pocket knife, it resulted in scratches and cuts, but the durable underlayer still offered protection. However, the pants did withstand stabbings.

    In the end, I wouldn’t want to wear these pants for long periods of time. They were just too uncomfortable, but they could be useful during short stints of time like at a paintball game or trip to the range. Given the price, though, I’d go for something else like a better pair of 5.11 Tacticals

    From the Factory

    Pros

    Cons
    • Fabric: 65% Polyester/35% Cotton Rip-Stop
    • Weight: Unknown
    • Pockets: 6
    • MSRP: $79.99
    • Durable fabric and underlayer
    • Water and stain-resistant fabric
    • Fabric had little to no stretch

    Viktos Operatus XP

    Viktos Operatus XP

    The Viktos Operatus XP has deep pockets, big enough to hold a full-size flashlight, and they also have the nifty dual-pull zipper on the fly.

    The Viktos Operatus XP jeans are comfortable, durable, and it might take a minute or two for someone to notice the extra pockets. While they blend in from a distance, the spare pockets look very dad-like up close.

    The two hand pockets and four spare pockets all use a deep, fabric liner. The depth of the spare pockets was impressive. One’s located on the outside of the hand pocket, and then the other is found between the hand and back pocket. The rear spare pocket runs parallel to the front spare, but it has an angled opening, which makes accessing its contents easier.

    Although they are much narrower, the spare pockets all felt just as deep as the hand pocket. Viktos calls them EDC, or Every Day Carry, pockets, so they’re designed to hold a pistol or AR magazine. But they will also fit a phone, knife, or even a full-size flashlight.

    One novel feature is the dual-pull zipper, which provides two sliders on the fly. There’s one at the top and one at the bottom. The purpose of the feature is so men don’t have to “de-militarize” their waistline when they pee. It’s a bit superfluous, but also rather harmless.

    At 12 ounces, the denim stretch fabric felt lightweight and breathable. The tactical jeans moved rather effortlessly amid any and all physical activity. I didn’t have a problem running, jumping, crawling, climbing, etc.

    Most of the two-inch belt loops are a bit thin, but there are seven of them and the rear one is extra thick and embedded with some kind of elastic fabric. The pants also held up against knife slashes and stabbing, but they absorbed water.

    The Viktos Operatus XP tactical jeans would be great for a more casual look on the range, or during recreational or duty-oriented activities.

    From the Factory Pros Cons
    • Fabric: Stretch denim
    • Weight: 12 oz.
    • Pockets: 9
    • MSRP: $119
    • Thoughtful features, especially fly zipper 
    • Plenty of pocket space
    • Looks kinda tactical

     

    Dress for Success

    The pants reviewed in this article are the latest and greatest in tactical wear. If there’s other tactical gear or clothing you want to see reviewed, let us know in the comments. As always, find great deals on tactical pants and more on OpticsPlanet!

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  • child finding gun in the home

    Gun Safety at Home: How to Childproof Your Guns

    Jun 22 • How-To • 818

    Responsible firearm owners know that practicing gun safety at home is a top priority, especially for families with kids. Many people keep guns in the house to protect their loved ones, but if you don’t practice proper gun safety at home, those weapons designed for defense become a major threat.

    A study on unintentional firearm deaths (2000-2015) revealed that an estimated 430 firearm fatalities occur in the U.S. every year.

    • The rate is highest for older children to young adults (ages 10-29)statistical graphic about accidental firearm deaths
    • 28.3% were “playing with the gun” 
    • 17.2% “thought it was unloaded” 

    The study also found that these incidents most commonly occur in their own home or a friend’s, indicating that proper firearm safety and storage could have prevented such tragic loss. 

    At only 3 years old, most children possess the strength to pull the trigger, but “childproofing” your weapons doesn’t just pertain to young kids. You need to safeguard your guns from all youth who are not ready to bear the responsibilities of firearms. 

    This guide on firearm safety at home will teach you how to effectively childproof your weapons and showcases safety products that you should consider using. After reading, you will be able to store a shotgun, pistol, rifle, crossbow, or other weapons safely at home and away from children. 

    Gun Safety for Kids

    While gun locks and childproof safes are a must, the first step to safely keep a firearm in your home is to educate your children about gun safety. The 4 Rules of Firearm Safety provide a great starting point covering the basic rules of how to treat and handle any firearm. However, educating your children about guns isn’t always easy, and there are some other talking points to consider.

    Kids are fueled by curiosity. If you own a weapon, it may be in your best interest to have a discussion about guns rather than hiding the fact that you own one. You obviously don’t need to tell them what you own exactly or where you keep it, but hiding that fact will only increase their curiosity and desire to explore restricted areas of your home.

    Just because you didn’t tell your kids if you have a gun or where it is doesn’t mean that they don’t know. In fact, children under the age of 10 are just as likely as older children to know where household firearms are stored. Kids are smarter than we sometimes give credit for, and teaching them about gun safety at home is one of the best tools at our disposal.

    Teach them about the dangers of firearms and how they are not toys. Children are exposed to guns in movies, video games, TV, etc. You must ensure they learn that real-life firearms are dangerous items and must be respected as such. The goal is to educate your children about firearms, teach them safety procedures, and ensure they know that guns are to be handled by responsible and trained owners. In the end, they should respect guns and what they’re capable of, not fear them entirely. 

    How to Safely Store Guns at Home

    Safely storing your firearms is crucial for practicing gun safety at home. Before you physically childproof your weapons, think about the safest place to store them. Ask yourself these questions before finding a spot:

    • Where do they play? 
    • What areas can they access?
    • Do you want your gun nearby for home defense?

    Don’t assume your children can’t access a certain area because of height or standard locks. Kids view shelves like indoor rock climbing, and step stools can always give them a boost. Truly dig deep while thinking about the safest storage location to ensure all of your bases are covered.

    If you own a gun for home defense, then you’ll want it nearby. The master bedroom is ideal since you’ll be able to closely monitor your firearms at night while still having quick access to them.

    Gun Safety Tips for Parents

    After teaching your kids about gun safety at home and selecting a safe storage location, it’s time to discuss how toparents talking to kids about gun safety at home childproof your guns. Education is essential but not enough to guarantee your guns stay out of your kids’ hands. You need to physically childproof your firearms to ensure a 0% possibility of them accessing it and firing a live round. That includes keeping all firearms unloaded and decocked and checking chambers to make sure your guns are 100% unloaded.

    Another recommendation is to securely store ammunition in a separate area. This can be another safe or lockable storage container. This adds an extra layer of protection by further reducing the possibility of your children accessing a loaded gun. Understandably, you want to have a loaded firearm at the ready for personal protection, but that presents more of a danger than it prevents with children in the house.

    Childproof Gun Safes and Trigger Locks

    With all the steps in place to safely own a firearm at home, it’s time to pick out the best childproof gun storage based on your needs and budget. It’s important to remember that gun safes and lockable storage containers are just a deterrent from accessing your weapons. Just because your guns are locked away doesn’t mean that you still shouldn’t follow the points above.

    Childproof Trigger Locks

    Before we discuss gun safes, let’s talk about trigger locks. Trigger locks, or gun locks, add an extra layer of security to prevent the activation of a firearm. They go on to your weapon first before you put your guns in the safe.

    There are three main types of trigger locks: trigger lock on rifle

    • Biometric (fingerprint) trigger locks
    • Keyed trigger locks
    • Combination trigger locks

    Any of these choices work, but for keyed and combination locks, you need to protect the key and combination like it’s your actual weapon. If your children get their hands on the method of unlocking the device, your trigger lock is null and void. While trigger locks are recommended for childproofing your guns, they are not a substitute for a gun safe. 

    Childproof Gun Safes

    While shopping for a childproof gun safe, you need to consider where you’ll put it, what size you need, and what features you want. If you plan on keeping your gun safe in the master bedroom, which is an ideal location for families, you have a few options at your disposal. The bedroom closet is a good place to keep a gun safe as it is spacious and easy to hide from kids, even if they’re in your room (while supervised, of course). 

    Another option is a wall safe. Wall gun safes usually require more work to install, but they can be easily hidden. Another benefit of wall safes is that you can place them at certain heights that would be near impossible for children to reach.  bedside gun safe

    If you can easily keep your kids out of your bedroom, a bed safe secures your gun while allowing the quickest access to it in an emergency. These can be under the bed gun safes or nightstand gun safes, also known as bedside gun safes. 

    Choosing the right size gun safe can be challenging for new gun owners, but it’s pretty easy to figure out once you know how many guns you’re storing, if they’re long guns or handguns, and what else you plan to store in it. The amount of gun safe features are also overwhelming at times, but this guide on Choosing the Best Gun Safe for the Money has tons of helpful information and instructional videos about picking out a gun safe, moving a gun safe, and storing a safe. Check it out if you want to learn more about gun safes before buying one to practice gun safety at home.

    Some other types of gun safes for childproofing your weapons include RFID gun safes, biometric gun safes, and carRFID chip opening a gun safe gun safes. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) safes are accessed with a chip, usually hidden in a fob card or bracelet. Like we discussed with certain gun locks, if your kids get a hold of the chip method, they can access your safe. Thankfully, RFID chips are easy to keep close by and on your person. If you’re mindful about the chip’s location at all times, then RFID gun safes are a good choice for you since they also provide quick access to your weapon when needed. Hornady RAPiD gun safes are a popular choice if you want RFID access.

    Car gun safes are great because you can lock your car for further security (just keep the keys out of reach). However, they do not provide quick access during nighttime emergencies, and they are not ideal if other people in the household use your car, especially teens who just got their license.  vaultek wifi biometric gun safe

    If you have some extra room in the budget, biometric gun safes, or fingerprint gun safes, provide the best balance of security and quick access to your weapon. Some brands like Vaultek have Wi-Fi-enabled child-proof biometric safes that you can monitor to see if your children attempt to access it while you’re away.

    Play It Safe

    When it comes to gun safety at home, you should protect your family and never take any risks. By now, you should know how to childproof your guns and talk to your children about firearm safety. Remember, whether you’re looking for a pistol, rifle, or shotgun safe, keeping your guns out of your kids’ hands is the number one priority. Your next step is finding a safe that meets your gun ownership needs. 

    Hopefully, this guide will help all you parents out there who want to safely store a firearm at home with children. If you have any unique childproofing tips or advice on talking to your kids about guns, share them with us in the comments below!

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  • Review: Fujinon Techno-Stabi TSX1440 Binoculars

    Jun 21 • Optics, Reviews, Binoculars • 643

    What Are Image-Stabilized Binoculars?

    Image-stabilized Fujinon Binoculars use a gyroscopic mechanism to continuously compensate for movement, giving the viewer a steady image. Stabilized binoculars can be helpful when you are moving such as sailing on a boat or on a safari, but they’re also helpful when using magnifications over 10x when even the slightest shaking of your hands can make viewing difficult without some kind of rest. Instead of needing a tripod to stabilize the image, the gyro-stabilized binoculars do all of the work for you. The Fujinon Techno-Stabi TSX1440 14×40 binocular gives you a steady image in any environment without all the extra gear.

    Fujinon Techno-Stabi TSX1440 Overview

    The Fujinon Binoculars Techno Stabi TSX1440 are 14x magnification image-stabilized binoculars with a 40mm objective lens (14×40). They use 4 AA batteries for a run time of 18 hours or you can use NiMH rechargeables for a 22-hour run time. The controls are simple and easy to use. After inserting the batteries, push the power button to turn on the unit and then push the stabilizer button to activate the gyroscope. You will quickly notice how sharp movements now seem smooth and delayed, allowing you to get a clear image in the most unstable circumstances.

    The buoyant chassis design means you can take them on the water without worrying about them sinking like an anchor if they go overboard. However, they’re not meant for use underwater and can only withstand about 1 to 5 minutes maximum exposure before becoming damaged, and will need to be cleaned off as soon as you retrieve them.

    Unlike older image-stabilized binoculars, the TSX1440 are relatively light and compact despite all the technology they contain. The focus knob on the right-hand side makes fine adjustments with the slightest touch, allowing you to easily bring any object into focus and the included neck strap lets the binoculars comfortably hang when not in use.

    Fujinon Techno-Stabi TSX1440 Specifications

    Specifications

    First Impression

    The TSX1440 14×40 Fujinon binoculars feel a little chunky when you first pick them up but you quickly get used to it, especially once your attention is on the clear and stable images they provide. Holding them in a single hand is still very doable thanks to the lightweight and balanced design. Having struggled to use binoculars over 10x without a tripod in the past, it really is impressive how easy it is to use this 14 x 40 binocular to pick up fine details at distance. When you factor in the weight and cost of a quality tripod, you really begin to appreciate the value that the TSX1440 offers. Especially when on a boat or in a moving vehicle.

    Summary

    While not necessary for every application, the Techno-Stabi TSX1440 Fujinon Binoculars are an excellent choice when you need high magnification in adverse environments. They provide headache-free use in bumpy environments and reduce the amount of support gear you have to haul in order to utilize higher levels of magnification. Their waterproof and user-friendly design makes these image-stabilized binoculars the perfect companion in a wide range of settings that include marine sports, safaris, professional fishing, and stargazing.

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