Hazard 4 Defense Courier Diagonal Laptop Bag Review

tl;dr – 5/5, awesome laptop bag, treated like hell for a year, still going strong

A little over a year ago, at the NRA Annual Meeting in 2016, I was in desperate need of a new laptop bag. Scouring different vendors on show floor yielded little result. Everyone had similar versions of the same bags, covered in MOLLE and sporting a myriad of pockets, but none of those I visited seemed to have a dedicated laptop bag.

On the last day of the convention, Erin pulled me over to the Hazard 4 booth. She was eyeing a very nice looking poncho and had brought me over to see if they could find me another bag.

The Defense Courier bag jumped out at me because it was distinctly NOT tacticool. It was a functional laptop bag that would blend in well in a corporate environment. I wanted the bag, not to show off at the range, but to actually use for work and hump gear from jobsite to jobsite. Some jobsites are not exactly permissive when it comes to the right to self-defense (some for legitimate reasons, others for purely political).

I didn’t just want to post a review right after I got the bag, though. I wanted to see how it actually held up. So here’s my report on the bag after over a year of hard use. It carried my tools and laptop every day of work and several for play. It wasn’t babied – it was thrown into the back of my truck, drug on the ground, dropped, and used roughly.

The front has a nice panel of loop material for patches to hook into. Minor complaint that the Hazard 4 logo is permanently attached and can’t be removed. A large enough patch can cover it up, though.

The smooth material has garnered a few scuffs – mostly from encounters with rough concrete. It’s structurally intact, and cosmetically it really should look far worse than it does for what it’s been put through. The buckles still work flawlessly, despite the right one having been slammed in a car door on accident.

The large front strap fits well when slung across the back. The padding doesn’t move and slide around like some designs, which I like when making longer walks with the bag (I recently worked in a convention center that took over 30 minutes to cross from one end of a hall to the other). There is a second, stabilizing strap that hooks into the main one, but I generally don’t make use of it and keep it tucked away.

The main compartment is huge. It’s tempting to fill it with too much stuff. While the bag can hold it, it gets cumbersome to haul around too much weight. My 15″ laptop fits snugly in the protective pocket and has been well preserved despite my treatment of the bag. The inner, side pockets are seemingly tailor-made for holding a power strip and the laptop charger. The power strip doesn’t stick out of the bag, when it’s closed it is a perfect fit.

A front zippered pocket holds pens, cables, and other random tools. The pouches attached to the front MOLLE are each an extra purchase from Hazard 4. I use them to keep cables, battery packs, and an extra pair of glasses.

This is the only other significant damage I can find on the bag. A couple of threads coming loose on the laptop sleeve from heavy use.

It’s an expensive bag. MSRP is $156. I got it on sale at the show for $120, and the extra pouches for $10 and $15. I have to say it’s absolutely worth it, though. A year of hard use and it hardly looks used. I heartily recommend it. I only wish they made a version for larger laptops as well.

https://www.hazard4.com/bags/laptop-tablet-bags/defense-courier-diagonal.html

MAG-40, Take Two

Erin, psyching up and hydrating before her final shooting qualification

I spent the week up in Live Oak, FL at a MAG-40 class. This time, I was helping out as an instructor! The old adage really is true, if you want to master something, teach it. Walking new shooters through the techniques and watching them really helped me understand things that I hadn’t thought about before. It was also quite a lesson in how to teach, as the other instructors were eager to assist me in assisting others.

The most memorable moment for me was the Exemplar Drill. The student aims at the target downrange while the instructor uses pressure with their finger on to of the student’s trigger finger to “pull” the trigger. It’s to help give the student a feeling of a smooth rolling press. It also helps them see any issues in accuracy relating to trigger pull. First run through is dryfire, 100% instructor pull; Second run is live-fire, 100% instructor pull; Third run is 50/50 instructor pull – student pull; Final run is 95% student pull, 5% instructor pull.

I had one student, a gun owner of 6 months, that was shooting all over the target. Everything was on paper, but it was a 12 inch group at 7 yards. The first live run through the exemplar drill had him shooting 2 inch groups. “Hot Damn. This stuff really works!”

Boberg XR9-S Pistol Compatable Ammo

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I’m posting it mostly for my own reference since the old Boberg forums were taken down when Bond Arms purchased the company. The original list was compiled by Brokedoc.

Known Incompatible:

Atlanta Arms – any of their ammo (according to them)
Aguila 124gr FMJ (reported to jam 5-10% of the time, 1 hard primer report)
Bitterroot Valley Ammunition (BVAC reloads) 115gr (2 separations in 150 rounds)
Blazer Brass (5 separations in 6 magazines)
Black Hills +P 115gr (can be over-crimped – little case mouth for magazine to register on)
Blazer Aluminum Case (2 separations in 9 shots)
CorBon +P 115gr, 125gr JHP (separations and stovepipes)
Estate (possibly made in same factory as Federal Champion) (separations)
Federal Champion (separations in batches prior to summer of 2010 as well as 1/12)
Federal Range and Target 115gr FMJmultiple separations reported
Glaser (Dakota) reportedly crimps all their ammo subpar but note report below of specific grain compatibility
Hornady 125gr HAP (2 bullet shift/FTF in 21 rounds, improved after break-in)
Independence 115gr FMJ (2 separations in 2 magazines)
Independence 124gr FMJ (1 separation in a case of 50)
MagTech Guardian gold 115gr jhp that separated 1 in 7 times.
MFS Russian Zinc Plated Steel Case 115gr (extra rounds ejected)
Remington Golden Saber 147gr JHP(bullet shift reported)
Sellier and Bellot 115gr and 124gr (Hard Primers but works well with 7.5lb trigger spring or stronger, 1 reported FTF with fully loaded mag)
Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P (1 separation in 85 rounds)
Speer Lawman 115gr, 124gr FMJ (multiple reports of separations, FTF)
Tula Steelcase 115gr (Hard Primers)
Winchester Silver Tips 115gr (1 separation malfunction in a case of 50)
Winchester SXZ9 115gr JHP (FTF)

Known Compatible:

Aguila

115gr FMJ
American Eagle
115gr and 124gr (1 FTE reported) and 147gr FMJ
Flat Point 115gr and 147gr FMJ

Black Hills

115gr +P – see possible over crimp issue above
124gr JHP
124gr +P
Subsonic 147gr JHP

Brown Bear

115gr FMJ

Buffalo Bore

+P 147gr

Corbon

+P 90gr
PowR Ball +P 100gr
+P 115gr DPX

Federal

Classic Hi Shok 115gr JHP (3 separations from an old 1990’s batch)
Guard Dog 105gr EFMJ
Premium HST +P 124gr
Premium Hydra-Shok 124 gr, 147gr JHP, 147gr +P
Premium Personal Defense Hydra-Shok JHP 124gr, 135gr and 147gr
Range and Target 115gr FMJ

Fiocci

147gr JHP
115gr FMJ
Georgia Arms
“Canned Heat” 115gr FMJ

Glaser

Pow’rBall 100gr +P JHP
Hirtenberger
100gr JSP

Hornady

Critical Defense 115gr FTX JHP
Critical Duty 135gr +P
TAP FPD 124gr and 147gr
XTP 115gr

Liberty Ammunition

Ultra Defense/USM4 50gr +P Fragmenting HP

Magtech

147gr Flat FMC
115gr FMJ
First Defense 92.6gr Solid Copper Hollow Point
Guardian Gold 115gr +P JHP

On Target

115gr FMJ

PMC

115gr JHP
Bronze 115gr, 124gr FMJ
124gr FMJ

ProLoad

+P 124gr JHP

Prvi Partizan

158gr FMJ

RBCD

Performance Plus Platinum 60gr Total Fragmenting Soft Point

Remington

Golden Saber 124gr JHP
Golden Saber Bonded 124gr +P
UMC 115gr MC and 124gr MC
UMC Leadless 124gr and 147gr
UMC Target 115gr MC and 124gr MC (1 report of FTF 10 rounds in 50)

RWS

85gr Copper Matrix NTF
124gr RN
Speer
Gold Dot 124gr JHP or 147gr
Gold Dot +P 147gr JHP
Gold Dot GDHP 124gr
Gold Dot Short Barrel 124gr GDHP

Tulammo

115gr Polymer-coated Steel Case FMJ (steel casing not recommended during break-in)

Underwood
115gr +P+ reported compatible but beware theoretical wear issues

Winchester

NATO 124gr, 147gr FMJ
PDX1 Defender Bonded 124gr JHP +P (Partial separations reported – bullet shift prior to firing), 147gr OK
Personal Protection 115gr and 147gr JHP
Ranger 124gr, 127 +P
Ranger Bonded 124gr +P
SXT HP
White Box 115gr
White Box 124gr Bulk FMJ

Wolf

115gr FMJ
Gold

 

 

NRAAM 2016: Saturday Morning

Better than cartoons, Knives!

Ka-Bar sold out yesterday, they were offering sporks 3 for $10. Their booth was the first place I went this morning. The deal was changed to $5 each, but still less than the $7 MSRP. It’s all plastic, though I don’t know the specific kind, no metal that I can tell (There may be some hidden in the handle, but that’s just a guess. I’ll have to test when I get home).

wp-1463837475804.jpg

NRAAM 2016: Thursday Night

Picked up our badges early, grabbed some merch at the NRA store before it sold out, and then headed downtown for some dinner. A local pizza chain drew us in with a discount.

wp-1463837297014.jpg

wp-1463837348109.jpg

wp-1463837306612.jpg

Oddball tells me the deep dish pizza is the best in the region. Jack and I stuck with non-breaded wings to keep to our low-carb diets.

I Made a Thing: HOTAS/Chair/Desk

tl;dr - finished chair-mounted desk for joystick mount.

tl;dr – finished chair-mounted desk for joystick mount.

I play Star Citizen a lot. ( It’s a new space-sim online multiplayer game still in alpha with six degrees of freedom when piloting space craft and fully simulated Newtonian physics. It’s being made by Chris Roberts, the creator of Wing Commander. Check it out if you’re into that sort of thing. ) You can play it with just a keyboard and mouse, but other controls are much more fun and immersive. I needed a more ergonomic solution to using my Joystick and Throttle. Leaning over my desk wasn’t comfortable and couldn’t be done for any real length of time.

Continue reading