Fathers Day Edition: 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed

NRA SIG SAUER booth gun
Dan Z. for SNW

Roaming the aisles of the NRA Show in Dallas, it became clear that it was about time for the next installment of ‘5 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed.’ The floor of the 2024 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits held a few gems, and I am sure I missed more than I found, but here are a few I think definitely fit the bill

Skinner Sights’ Garmin Xero C1 Pro Case

There has been a lot of talk about Garmin’s new Xero C1 Pro Chronograph. Rich Grassi covered it back in November in The Shooting Wire. It appears to be a big hit because it’s intuitive, very easy to use, rechargeable with the charge lasting ‘forever.’ But most of all it is extremely compact, especially when compared to other chronograph options.

It’s so compact that carrying it in your range bag is a no-brainer. Sitting at dinner with Michael Bane and company the night before the NRA Show opened, Andy Larsson of Skinner Sights handed Michael a small pouch, which I mistook for a rifle ammo, or choke tube type holder.

I do not have a Gramin Xero C1 Pro but when Andy pulled out his new case for the tiny chrono I suddenly regretted not owning one. Photos courtesy Skinner Sights

It was neither of these. It was a pouch designed specifically for the Xero C1 Pro. The Skinner Sights case features a lightly padded, rugged cordura outside and non-shedding, smooth nylon interior. It is decidedly none-bulky, making it great for travel when you want solid protection. If you have the new Garmin chrono then this is for you. Best of all it’s only $20.00.

Olight Prowess

Friday afternoon of the NRA Show I left the floor to attend a new products event hosted by Olight. The big news out of that was the new Osight pistol red dot sight, which you can read about in Shooting News Weekly. But the product that piqued my interest the most was the new Olight Prowess.

The Prowess is a multifunction flashlight that offers bidirectional lighting. Toggle the switch up and it’s a flashlight with output of 5,000 lumens across 5 levels, illuminating up to 245 meters. Toggle down – and this is where it had me – and you have a 360° reverse light that provides warm white lighting with smooth stepless dimming and a max output of 800 lumens.

I found the new Prowess light from Olight to be the most intriguing new product in their line-up. It is well designed, filled with features and incredibly useful for more than one job. Photo P. Erhardt

In other words, a real nice desk lamp. It is USB-C rechargeable via the detachable base or with Olight’s MCC magnetic charging system with the optional MCC3 cable. Get the mag charge cable, you’ll thank me later. The 5000mAh lithium-ion battery provides up to 20 days of continuous lighting, depending on the output setting.

The light comes with a holster, fixing bracket, the detachable base. The fixing bracket allows you to use it as a wall sconce, which would not be the worst thing for the hunting cabin, or when the power goes out. The Prowess retails for $139.99.

Steelhead Outdoors Case Keeper

If you haven’t noticed (look above) the NSSF is promoting Gun Storage Check Week, which will be June 1-7. Storing your firearm properly, and safely, is more important that you realize. Which is why I found myself in the Steelhead Outdoors booth at NRA checking out their modular safes. Now, a safe is something I don’t think I need to tell you that you need. But another product made by Steelhead is.

The perfect accessory for the outside of your safe, the Case Keepers holds a maximum of 30 lbs. of gear right where you need it most. Photo courtesy Steelhead Outdoors

The Steelhead Outdoors Case Keeper comes in two lengths, a 17” model from safes 17.5” and deeper, and the 14” Compact Case Keeper for safes 14.5” and deeper. Each magnetically attaches to the upper corner of the safe. They come with 8 and 6 hooks respectively that allow you to hang accessories. For me that’s going to be soft shotgun/rifle cases for when it’s time to head to the range.

You can obviously use these on Steelhead Outdoors safes, but the Case Keeper can be used on any brand of safe – as long as it’s a square/rectangular box design. The Case Keeper retails for $49.00 and the Compact Case Keeper for $44.00.

Pistol Mounted Optic Tool from Patriot Products AZ

A non-NRA Show find is the very new Pistol Mounted Optic Tool (PMOT) from Patriot Products AZ. I covered their other tools for larger rifle optics back in September.

This new tool is designed for, wsell, pistol optics. It’s designed using Wera T-10 and 3mm Slot Drive 1/4″ Hex bits, which are very well regarded. The knurled polymer handle is glow-in-the-dark and you can order it with ($24.95) or without ($14.95) a retention ring. Pay the extra couple bucks and get the retention ring option.

The beauty of this new product is that it will work with the majority of pistol optics (Trijicon, Aimpoint, Leupold, Holosun, Vortex, Sig etc.) mounting screws and windage/elevation adjustments, as well as battery caps. And you’re going to want to keep the packing card. It has scales for properly adjusting your dot on various optics.

The Pistol Mounted Optic Tool is a something you need and definitely want in your range bag, because if something is going to happen to you optic it’s going to be on the range. Photo Yamil Sued

In his review for The Tactical Wire of the Trijicon RMRcc, Dave Spaulding noted that the PMOT “is a handy little device that worked quite well when zeroing the RMRcc…this compact little tool has just what you need to zero your carry optic which includes instructions and scales for different optics in the package.”

I couldn’t agree more.


Finally, I mentioned OpticGard in the NRA Show wrap-up as one of those cool finds you can discover wandering the aisles of the show. The more I thought about it the more obvious it was that OpticGard’s red dot covers are one of those things you didn’t know you needed.

They make covers for Trijicon, Holosun and Vortex optics – 11 models currently – with more in development. And they come in a variety of colors and patterns. Made from Thermoplastic Polyurethane, the covers provide easy access to the buttons without having to remove the cover itself.

OpticGard’s red dot covers are a must have item for those of us who aren’t exactly kind to our optics. Photo P. Erhardt

For shooters working on their red dot shooting the covers include a removable training lens for visual occlusion training. This is a useful feature for people like me that have always shot closing the non-dominant eye. Shooting with both eyes open takes a little getting used to and OpticGard’s training lens helps with the transition.

Before leaving their NRA booth I was offered one of their optic covers, but I declined opting instead to wait until they have one for the Burris FastFire4 or the Bushnell RXM-300. In doing so I violated the two primary principles of the outdoor writers’ creed. First, always ask for free stuff. Second, always accept free stuff when offered.

Oh well, thankfully pricing on the covers ranges from $24.95 to $34.95, so buying one isn’t exactly going to put me on skid row. Though it may hinder any future membership in the various outdoor writing organizations.

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