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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
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    44,762

    Default EVERYDAY CARRY OF TOURNIQUETS

    RATS-PROD-04.jpg

    We all have preferences. Our “top choices” and favorites. I know that if were to go to a gunfight this afternoon, I would prefer to use a Remington 870 shotgun instead of the Suarez Glock that will invariably be in my belt. Why? Because the shotgun kills better…simple as that. But that aside, what I will have with me in my belt when I am having lunch at the local eatery will be a Glock and not the preferred 870. It is a simple matter of practicality. The same can be said for all our other equipment choices. Few white-collar professionals or even grey-collar business people are going to move about their day with an LBE or a Patrol belt festooned with magazines, knives…and tourniquets. We all make compromises from what we would “prefer to have” in a gunfight to what is realistic to have every day, all day, in our normal lives.


    With the recent active shooter events there has been a renewed discussion of carrying medical gear in your everyday loadout. Some twenty-five victims in the last week as a matter of fact (Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton). The guys in uniform and the paramedics admonish carrying a tourniquet. I do not disagree that this is wise, but it is easy to lead by example in a patrol or paramedic uniform. It is not as easy to pull off if one is one of those white collar/grey collar guys that has a job (often with a dress code) that does not directly involve applying tourniquets.


    Moreover, while doing so would be easy if you dress like a 5.11 model with big oversized cargo pants, that is not the type of clothing our “normal guys” are going to wear to work…or on a date. When we tally up the normal guy load out, we still have a pistol and a magazine (at least one). Likely a blade and a cell phone as well as the normal pocket array carried by normal guys. Adding a tourniquet may be a smart thing to do, but not always an easy thing to do. I queried personnel from students, to instructors and a few LE as well. While they agreed the importance of a tourniquet, few carried one daily. None of the LE guys carried one off duty. Cited were the difficulty in concealing them in normal attire.


    The one gent that carried a tourniquet daily said he had compromised in the one he carried. He told me that the bulk of the medical professionals and uniformed LE all favored the CAT. The CAT, or Combat Application Tourniquet is easy to use, and seen on the bat belts of many LE personnel as well as paramedics. But it is big. It is about the size of a pistol slide. Guys with large waistbands may be able to carry one concealed on the belt, but many whose waist size is smaller – like the student I was speaking with - will have difficulty in normal everyday attire.


    Instead, he opted for a RAT, or Rapid Application Tourniquet, and advised that while it is not as popular with uniformed professionals as the CAT, it is more compact, and easy to carry. “A RAT in the pocket beats a CAT in the car console”.


    I agree. I have a 31” waist and the real estate on my belt is taken up with pistol and magazines. I have tried to carry CAT tourniquets in cargo pockets, in added belt pouches, and even in an ankle holster designed to carry them. None were satisfactory for me. Not all pants have cargo pockets, and even those that do, the dimensions of the CAT in a pocket or printing through a shirt that would otherwise conceal a pistol, tend to announce exactly what it is. And make no mistake that is important (a man carrying a CAT tourniquet…hmmm…what else might he be carrying?). Same can be said for ankle carry. Some guys can pull it off, but it doesn’t work for me. The RAT however is easily carried in a back pocket, or the flat design slipped into the waist behind the magazine. Far easier and more convenient to carry. And that means you will likely have it rather than leave it at home.


    I have settled on a RAT as an addition to my everyday carry, and a CAT in the med kit I carry in the vehicle. Making compromises to operate in normal society and in normal life happen with clothing, weapons, and other things. Whether we like it or not they happen with medical gear like a tourniquet as well. But with a light easy to carry one like this, that compromise will not involve leaving it behind.
    Last edited by Gabriel Suarez; 08-07-2019 at 11:11 AM.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    5,507
    In the real world, most of us carry "compromise tools". There is almost always something we'd rather carry...a ratchet and socket set are better than a crescent wrench but if you're limited to a small tool box it's an easy choice which is going to be carried.

    Some tools are less of a compromise than others. A rifle or a shotgun is undoubtedly better but realistically I carry a red dot pistol. This is far less of a compromise than say a 5 shot snub revolver.

    A RAT TQ is definitely a compromise tool compared to better things on the market. But it's easier to carry. I would say "better than nothing".

    Most of the guys advocating TQ carry denigrate the RAT. It's not good enough they say. Yet most of them seem perfectly happy with the idea of a snubbie.


    We have to make compromises. We make choices based on our priorities.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Advanced Close Range Gunfighting - Nov 2-3 Mapleton, OR

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,159
    I've been carrying a RAT for close to a year now. I think it is the best EDC TQ on the market.

    I also own several SWAT-TQs which are about the size of a wallet, but I prefer the RAT as it's smaller.

    I currently carry mine in a ReadyMan elastic...thing. But I would like a better way to carry it in a manner that would be easier to deploy. I think I've seen people talk about threading it through their belt loops under their belt, but I haven't tried.

    Gabe, how do you carry yours? Anyone else have pointers?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    564
    20170225_172755.jpg

    My edc med kit when it was new. Swat-t, gause hemoststic agent, gloves, added after pic was taken are 1 AAA battery Fenix flashlight and band aids and a pair of cr123 batteries. From what I've read and been told the Swat-t works better on children/smaller limbs better than anything else on the market. I do realize it will be harder to self administer. I will (sometimes) carry a tq in a ankle carrier, but it's not edc.
    I carry this in my back pocket.
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,649
    Short answer is that the RAT doesn't work well on the lower extremities of adult men who spend any amount of time in the gym.

    As a compact "edc" size option I recommend the NATO Tourniquet, it is flat, effective, and about the size of a 1911 magazine fits easily in the back pocket and rides unnoticed.
    Last edited by SUA SPONTE; 08-07-2019 at 05:18 PM.
    Cheers
    T.

    "VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST...
    AND THEN GO TO WAR,
    WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST...
    AND THEN SEEK TO WIN." Sun tzu


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,649
    For size reference S&W Shield magazine, NATO Tourniquet, CAT Tourniquet 20190807_150209.jpg
    Cheers
    T.

    "VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST...
    AND THEN GO TO WAR,
    WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST...
    AND THEN SEEK TO WIN." Sun tzu


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,594
    Quote Originally Posted by SUA SPONTE View Post
    For size reference S&W Shield magazine, NATO Tourniquet, CAT Tourniquet 20190807_150209.jpg
    Interesting solution. Thanks, T!
    Ted Demosthenes
    Suarez International Staff Instructor

    2019 Classes:

    CRG-3 Advanced Gunfighting, November 2-3 2019, Mapleton, OR

    From Murphy: "Incoming has the right-of-way" (so, GOTFX!!)


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    420
    We trained with the NATO tourniquet this weekend. I bought one the minute I got home. I’ve got several CATs, SOF-Ts and RATs in my med kits but the NATO works well and is handy enough to carry as an EDC item. I do have some RATs in my family kit for the kids.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    2,078
    Quote Originally Posted by SUA SPONTE View Post
    Short answer is that the RAT doesn't work on the lower extremities of adult men who spend any amount of time in the gym.

    As a compact "edc" size option I recommend the NATO Tourniquet, it is flat, effective, and about the size of a 1911 magazine fits easily in the back pocket and rides unnoticed.
    Thanks a million for this, I carry a RAT simply because I have a 3 year old, and my normal CAT or SOFFT-W would NEVER fit her, so the RAT is in the pocket, and the CAT or SOFFT-W is in the wife’s purse, or my ankle kit if I have full length pants on, but now, I will be searching out the NATO.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,649
    Now that I am at my computer let me clarify my comments.

    I agree absolutely with Gabe's analogy of tourniquets being like firearms in that they fall into different classes based on the a fore mentioned characteristics of size, weight, effectiveness, and application.

    Don't miss understand my previous comments on the RAT Tourniquet, in that I'm saying not to use it, that is certainty not the case. My personal evaluations on it was that I was unable to FULLY suppress a distal pulse (making it undetectable with a Dopler) when applied to my upper leg, granted I typically don't skip leg day so mileage may vary. I do suspect that if the device were another 12" longer allowing an additional circumferential wrap that it would likely have worked.

    That being said the RAT works very well on children, females, K-9s, and upper extremities. I also believe that for a typical urban/suburban application where EMS is less than 30 mins away; it would likely buy some time for their arrival, and increase the efficacy of simple pressure dressings. So in that case I'd say yes the RAT, much like the Seacamp is better to have than nothing at all.

    In another thread someone linked to a TQ study from several years ago that showcased several of the common "Tactical" tourniquets at the time including the NATO TQ, that in the study it performed below many of the others. This is based on several factors, one critical yet unmentioned factor being comfort/pain. In these studies the subjects often reach their NON-ADRENALINE pain threshold before fully suppressing distal pulses. I too experienced this with all "back-up" type TQ's I have tested. While I was able to fully suppress my pulse with the NATO...... IT FU*KING HURT!!!! It hurt like if you put one on each of my extremities I'd tell you whatever you wanted to know.

    The single biggest failure I see in tourniquet effectiveness regardless of type is SUB-OPTIMAL APPLICATION DUE TO UNFAMILIARITY WITH THE DEVICES AND THE ANATOMY........

    As with all things that are mission critical you MUST apply the PACE mnemonic to your plan.

    Primary - Don't get shot
    Alternate - A full size Committee on TCCC recommended TQ (CAT,SOF-T Wide)
    Contingency - Back-up size TQ, (RAT, NATO)
    Emergency - Improvised TQ
    Cheers
    T.

    "VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST...
    AND THEN GO TO WAR,
    WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST...
    AND THEN SEEK TO WIN." Sun tzu


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