Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: CountyComm Micro Grappling hook

Here is part of my EDC that pushes me into the realms geekery, in that I have my very own pocket grappling hook. Ever since seeing Luke swinging over a Death Star chasm, I knew I needed one. This is the best and closest thing I've come up with so far. The CountyComm Microhook . Now, I've used a full sized grapple to scale trees, and even to cross a fast moving creek, so I know what it takes to support and carry a human in full pack, armour and weapons. (in my case bow and LRP sword, but hey ...). Let me be the first to re-iterate CountyComm's disclaimer, that -this- grapple is NOT for doing that. 
This is a tool, first and foremost, not a piece of climbing equipment (mores the pity). It was designed to clear tripwires safely.  I affixed mine to a long length of paracord, which I shortened with what I think is a series of "quick release" or "jerk knots" (please, anyone, tell me what it's called, I use it a lot to shorten up cord). [it looks a lot like a very tightened up Chain Sinnet] In addition, I have a steel bottle opener on a split ring at the "pull-away" end, making an impromptu Kusari-fundo , you know, just in case, as well as being generally awesome at parties. Six little cylindrical rare-earth magnets have found a home on the cord as well, rounding out this as an EDC item. 
However, on to the grapple.... It is machined from solid steel, and has a good weighty feel to it. The end-cap unscrews to reveal the internal cavity, where the three steel prongs live. I have added some felt padding to stop them rattling and protect the tips somewhat. The prongs screw into the recessed holes in the tip of the body and the body then screws back onto the base piece. CountyComm suggest the body can be fulled with sand or shot to give it extra mass for a further cast, which is a clever idea. Sand being in abundance in a variety of theaters where clearing IED's safely is a day-to-day job.
I have, in my day-to-day, no need to clear tripwires or mines, but i do on occasion have to snag cables and wires in ceiling cavities, and on more than one occasion, have been called on to retrieve things caught in trees, or in fact, cast a line in order to get some rigging started. My only concern is that the prongs don't seem to seat all the way into the recessed holes, and about 1mm of the threaded area pokes out, perhaps the holes need deeper drilling? That said, this tool has been of great use, is very cool, and I'm only to pleased to have it dangling off my belt. Perhaps I'll never swing over a chasm with it, Princess in tow, but I'm glad I have it, and I've won the admiration of my geeky-peers with it.

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