While on a trip to Gunsite, I was with Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com
. We both had late flights out of Phoenix and had the biggest part of a morning to spend seeing a few friends. I was able to make contact with Robbie Barrkman for an appointment and with the fine folks at The Wilderness Tactical, where I had to make a purchase for my son.
Our first stop was at Robar. You've read about the magnificent guns of Robar here and elsewhere. Now we had a chance to see both sides of the house. The Robar Companies, Inc. are part the firearms coatings, customization and now manufacture and part Coating Technologies, Inc.
As the firearms side of the house is just over ten percent of the total in outlay and income, CTI is the big dog. The high quality metal coatings go to aerospace industry and to other lines as well. CTI has to meet stringent aerospace standards with outside audits, certified furnaces and test panels with every job for quality assurance.
Combat Optic Tool, Optimized. Photo by Robar
The Wilderness Tactical photo.
The Wilderness Tactical photo.
For the guns, PTFE coatings are good for external metal parts and internal parts (bolts, carriers, pins) but not bores.
The gun manufacturing involves the RC1911 - as Robbie worked the Gunsite smithy many years ago, he has a fondness for the old design - and the PolyMAR15.
The PolyMAR15 is the latest development in non-metal receivers for the AR platform. The upper and lower are made by Kaiser Shooting Products, LLC. It's a sub-six pound, sub-MOA rifle. It has a military standard trigger with NP3 coating, Colt internal parts and a POF barrel. They have just over 46,000 rounds on one upper/lower receiver combo and it's still going. They're taking orders for the rifles now and should be able to ship in 8 weeks.
We spent some of our time inthe labs with Robbie and Freddie Blish took us through the gun shop. Of particular interest was the Pro Shop. Here we have parts and tools. Familiar with the Combat Optic Tool? It's one device to take care of all carbine optics, it's small and it can be used as an emergency bottle opener.
I have one and it's part of the rangebag gear inside the pouch on the side of a multi-tool belt pouch. The other thing was my use of Warne Scope Mounts with their ½" cross-bolts and the C.O.T. wasn't a fit for that. Now they have the Combat Optic Tool, Optimized. The addition is a 1/2" open face wrench for Leupold, Badger Ordnance, Warne, and other 1/2" cross bolt mounts. Now you have about all you'll need in one flat bit of steel.
As to parts, I needed some recoil springs for Glocks. They happened to have their Glock recoil spring with a captured ISMI spring. The guide is coated in Robar's NP3 - slick, no?
I finally got to see Ralph and Joanie Holzhaus and Samantha DeZonia at the Wilderness. I hadn't been there for many years and we caught up on old times. I needed a Sawyer Extractor Kit - for venomous bites and stings - for my son who'd moved into a place where he's likely to run across the odd water moccasin or copperhead. Ralph saw my non-Wilderness belt and Samantha took my belt - for measurements - and fabricated my second Frequent Flyer. With nylon rings for closure, you're less likely to have to remove your belt at some
checkpoints. They have an EZ fit belt too that may be a better way for some folks.
The Wilderness Tactical also has new renditions of their popular shirt line, as well as a small, clip-on nylon bandoleer. I got one of them, the Wilderness Stretchable Battery Thing, CR123. I tend to need batteries to feed those lights, so that was an easy choice. It comes with a "place-setter" carabiner but they recommend you get a more durable unit if rugged use is likely.
Available for other size batteries or in combination as well as for ammunition, it's a very handy bit of gear.
The Wilderness Tactical
-- Rich Grassi