We Are Still Here!

Please forgive the complete lack of posts over the last several months. Three members of Cohort One Five are in the middle of transitioning out of active duty service. Our focus has been elsewhere. Rest assured, there are more articles to come within the next weeks and months.

One of our members has designed a plate carrier mountable chest rig with gear maker Gadsden Dynamics. Look for a first impressions review sometime in early November. Also, look for some articles about building a Recce Rifle for around $1000 complete, a Recce Pistol/Truck Gun concept for around $800 complete, plus some other gear reviews.

From the get go we knew that articles would slowly be generated. We here at Cohort One Five appreciate your patience and interest in us.


The Enemy of Good is Perfect. The 80% Solution.

Perfection is always a good goal. However, as the title suggests, oftentimes the pursuit of perfection blinds us to what may just be a good solution. This is especially true in the shooting world. How many of us have heard the arguments advocating this caliber or that platform or this piece of gear? I think the counter argument to that is look at the history of guerilla warfare and how the more “poorly” equipped guerilla puts the technically advanced soldiers on their heels. I am not going to discuss politics here, but suffice it to say, talk to any combat veteran of Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan to get their opinion on just how deadly a poorly equipped guerilla can be.

Here at Cohort One Five we discuss the reality of most folks who do not have a lot of money to spend on firearms or gear. The struggle is real. While many of us would love to have the gun room and the latest, hottest gear, the truth is, most of us strive just to be able to equip us and our family members with just a basic battery of arms, if even that.

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A Different Look At Gear Influenced By The Experience Of The French And Indian War

Mason Dixon Tactical just recently posted an interesting article on lightweight basic gear options to consider. His ideas and suggestions definitely have merit. JCD tests out his ideas and designs.

I noticed that at the end of his post, JCD mentioned the following:

“By the way, the idea for this kit came from some things I’ve seen (F&I war reenacting, it is similar to the kit I have for that) and read about that the long hunter/riflemen of the F&I and Revolutionary era carried. They usually carried a rifle, rifle bag and horn (bandoleer in this case), “Possibles” bag (battle bag), a belt knife, canteen, and some carried a sidearm. Hope this helps with figuring out your gear selection and implementation.”



As a former Civil War reenactor, I can appreciate his looking back, while at the same time looking forward. Military kit goes in cycles, and there is a marked difference in what “fresh fish” will carry at the beginning of a war and what a seasoned vet will carry later on. Just how much do you really need to carry?

The Global War on Terror and its contributions to the tactical gear are no different. While the survivability rates of wounded soldiers is very high, the amount of weight that the average warfighter carries has gone up as well. Speed and agility is life and I can personally attest that wearing the full “required” gear in the Army, you have neither. Too many warfighters are getting broken down by the amount of gear that they are being required to wear.

Different situations require different kinds of kit. Ask any 19D (scout) in the Army today and you will get a rolling of the eyes and the deep sigh about having to wear excess kit. At most for body armor they would like to stop at a plate carrier with some pouches attached.

What kind of gear do you run? What kind of gear do you want to run?


Clayton Shackelford

Low Budget EDC.

During the Christmas shopping rush I had noticed a couple of interesting items in my local Walmart Sporting goods section. They were selling what seemed to be decent looking folding pocket knives and multi tools using their Ozark Trail brand for under $5 each. Knowing that I was going to be gone for a month long training event in January, I took the plunge and decided that I was going to test these items out and review them upon my return.


The Knife:

Measuring out at 4″ folded and just over 7″ unfolded this little knife has become my new favorite EDC knife. The factory edge is nice and sharp and quickly cut through 550 cord and MRE packaging. Many of the soldiers that I was training with liked the look and utility of the knife. Most asked where I got it and how much it cost. Since I got back from the training event, I have not been able to check to see if Walmart still has some, but if they do I see myself picking up a couple more.

The blade opens quickly and locks very well. The handle material feels good in the hand and is pleasing to the eye. My only complaint is the rather flimsy seeming pocket clip, but, I have owned more expensive knives that had problems with their pocket clips as well. Honestly, this knife is worth more like $10 or more. I do recommend this knife.



The Multi Tool:

This tool was not as impressive. It felt cheap and none of the tools or blades locked into place. When guys would borrow it to use I would warn them of that fact. The blades were no where near as sharp as the with the knife. The file was the only thing I used with any regularity. If you are looking for a cheap multi tool to throw into a bug out bag and forget about, then this would fit your bill. However, I really cannot recommend this multi tool at all.


Clayton Shackelford


In Home Protection. Bed Holsters – Never Wake Up Unprepared.

The need to protect ourselves in our own home is ever growing. For those of us that will never surrender that right, we need to do it with speed, accuracy, and the fluidity that will not allow us to miss our target.

I have always felt that we are at our most vulnerable when we are asleep inside our homes, I wanted a way to be ready without allowing an intruder to know they had been HAD. I wanted the element of surprise over them, not the other way around.

I looked into bed holsters, and believe it or not they are not all the same! In fact, some may prove to be very frustrating and also leave you feeling like you would rather sleep with your weapon under your pillow than trust the holster. I bought a basic holster, a “one size fits all.” It had very rigid design, a flat plate for between the mattress, and a double slot hard leather holster attached.

Bed Holster 1

Above is the exact holster I purchased; the price was a little high for the quality coming in at around $29.99. Once I had it home I thought I would get used to how the weapon draws from the holster. Immediately I noticed that you had to bring your arm up in a very awkward and uncomfortable position, straight up to clear the barrel from the holster, when really what I wanted was for the weapon to slide out at an angle to save time. I also noticed the leather was not forgiving, it was very hard and rigid, and it did not really allow for much movement even though this is supposed to be a universal holster, my .44 MAG was very tight once inside the holster and most times would pull the holster up as I tried to draw.

Bed Holster 2

This is the ACE CASE, sold by Big Daddy Holsters. Coming in a variety of sizes and prices it allows you to adjust the angle so the weapon can be unholstered in more of a natural motion. It is not made from any type of rigid material, the weapon can move in and out of the holster freely. This makes for a smooth transition from the holster to our target.

We have very little time to react when we must react, every second counts and that became painfully clear when I did not feel comfortable drawing my weapon from the first bed holster. Maybe you’re a fan of the bed holster, maybe not if you are give it a try and see if it makes the difference you need. We are in our own home; an intruder should never have the element of surprise.

degarmo author pic 2

SGT Eric DeGarmo