I can genuinely say that using the Sunrise Tactical Wrist Coach for shooting, competition, and evaluation prior to review has been a genuinely pleasant experience. There are plenty of strategies for keeping your dope handy while shooting. Lots of guys paste a drop chart on the side of their rifle. Many will just print the information out, laminate it, and tie it to their scope. Some run their dope off a phone or ballistic computer and still more will just write it down on a pad and drop that next to their gun as they shoot. I’ve tried all those solutions and while I can say they all work, I wasn’t really a fan of any of them.
I started looking into the arm dope board / football wrist coach method a year or so ago. It seemed like a good way to do it but I was still searching for the right produce. I tried buying a genuine football arm board and printing my own dope off to slide into it but I was spending more time than I wanted to be spending on the formatting to make it all fit. I bought, used, and reviewed the Impact Data Books Sniper Wrist Band to give a whirl as well. That product works very well after the initial bugs were quickly corrected. I still use that product to this day depending on what kind of shooting I’m doing.
I saw a number of people recommending a product from Sunrise Tactical Gear that worked along the same lines. It slides over your forearm and has 20 MIL clear vinyl windows on the top, and when the flap is opened, there are two more vinyl windows underneath. They are all sized to easily accomodate a 3×5 index card. The unit itself is made from 1000 Denier nylon which has been shown to be extremely abrasion and wear resistant. The 20 MIL clear vinyl is said to be good down to -40F with UV resistance and high resistance to abrasions and tears. The stitching is excellent.
There are also elastic straps that stretch to fit different size forearms and you can cinch them down to get the amount of tension you want just right. There are also elastic loops inside the arm board under the flap to hold a grease pencil, pen, whatever.
The design of the Sunrise Tactical Arm Board is fairly similar to the football wrist coaches on the market if you have seen one. There is a clear window on top for a 3×5 index card that is visible by looking down at your forearm. That top window is also a flap that has velcro edges that keep it stuck down. If you grab and lift the flap it exposes two more vinyl windows beneath. One is on the bottom of the top flap, and the other sits directly atop your forearm. They all use the same 20 MIL thick clear vinyl for the windows. Underneath the flap is also where the two elastic loops are for storing a writing implement.
You can do what you like but I find a grease pencil works best here. The vinyl makes an excellent surface for jotting down adjustments for a stage or sketching a range card out before a stage. When you finish and move to the next stage, shooting position, hunters blind, whatever…erasing the adjustments is as easy as wiping with your sleeve or a cloth. The advantage to the grease pencil is that it works in the rain or snow and unless you directly rub it the writing does not run or smear off.
The features on this little device are pretty plentiful for the price point. You get three writing surfaces in the form of the vinyl windows. A way to store a grease pencil. The windows are sized for 3×5 cards that you can print your data or density altitude cards on and change them out as needed. There are adjustable, elastic, straps that will fit over coat sleeves or on bare arms and can have the tension adjusted to work as you please. The bottom surface is even a kind of no slip texture to keep the arm board from sliding around on you. The straps are easy to adjust and release when you are done for the day.
I think the two standout features are the use of 3×5 index cards and the clear vinyl you can write on with a grease pencil. My approach has been to keep the blank white side of an index card facing up under the top window. That gives me a clear blank slate to sketch a quick range card of a competition stage with the ranges and adjustments needed to hit them with my rifle. When I’m ready to move to the next stage I just give it a quick wipe with my sleeve and I have a clean slate to use again. I’ve used this in the rain and snow in Colorado and the moisture doesn’t make the grease pencil markings run. I think that’s huge because I’ve seen the trouble people have when rain starts to soak their notepads and other dope devices.
The sizing simplicity that comes from setting the unit up for 3×5 index cards is great. You can load 3×5 cards into most printers and with a little work you can set up a template to print your dope cards off and then slip them in under the inner windows. That’s how mine is set up. The top window is for adjustments and range card sketches and the two windows under the flap have a couple density altitude cards showing with drop tables and adjustments in case my Kestrel goes down for one reason or another. That’s already happened once so I can’t stress having backup dope printed off enough.
There isn’t much to say here. So far I’ve had zero issues with the durability of this product. I’ve crawled around in the rocks, dirt, and mud on different stages. I’ve exposed it to rain and snow at different times of the year and the temperature swings that come with them. I’ve used it with short sleeves, long sleeves, and coats on. I’ve and contracted the adjustment straps and nothing has loosened up or pulled loose. Everything about the Sunrise Tactical Arm Board has held up without any problems at all.
With regard to price the Sunrise Tactical Arm Board is right in line with similar products aimed at accomplishing the same task. I do think the Sunrise Tactical Arm Board is pretty feature rich in comparison to some of its competing products though. At 39.99 USD this product is well worth the money for the convenience and organization it brings to keeping your data handy and safe from the elements when you are out shooting. It’s priced in a way that I’m probably going to wind up purchasing a few more and just keeping one Sunrise Tactical Arm Board with each rifle rather than switching out dope cards when I’m shooting different calibers.