-40 S&W

Lone Wolf Dist Compact Timberwolf Frame Review

While attending the NRA Annual Meetings in April of 2015, I got to meet up with Zack, the marketing manager of Lone Wolf Distributors. I was really interested in their Compact Timberwolf Frame for Glock pistols. Through our conversation, Zack agreed to send me a fully built Timberwolf Compact pistol, which I have since purchased. This is part one of two, where I focus on the frame. Stay tuned for my review of the upper assembly, as well as a summary of the pistol as a whole.  20151024_180117-1

Lone Wolf Distributors has been manufacturing accessories and replacement parts for Glock handguns for many years. From slides, barrels, triggers, and more, you could almost build a custom Glock by just using Lone Wolf’s parts. The only thing missing was the frame, until somewhat recently. Lone Wolf saw the modifications that people generally made to their standard Glock frames, and decided to offer a lot of these modifications right out of the box, with their Timberwolf frame.

Common modifications made by end users to Generation 3 Glock pistols include backstrap reduction, frame texturing, adding extended magazine releases, and even removing material in key places to allow a higher grip on the handgun. Well, Lone Wolf Distributors took all of these modifications into consideration, when designing their Timberwolf frame. I will take a look at each of these aspects one-by-one.



One of the biggest benefits to this replacement frame would have to be the grip. The Timberwolf offers two choices of backstrap to the shooter. The first is the slim grip. It is an incredibly short (front-to-back) grip that more closely matches the grip angle of the classic 1911. The second is a swelled backstrap. It is a little smaller in the hand than the standard Glock swell, which will come as a welcomed feature to many Glock owners. This setup happens to be my favorite of the two. As good as it feels, the smaller grip leaves the meat of my palm really close to the magwell, and it can actually get pinched in between the magazine base plate and the frame, upon reloading. Do this a couple of times, and it starts to get on your nerves. Luckily, the swelled grip fit me just as well, if not better, and Lone Wolf engineered the swap very well. To make the change, all you have to do is, with an empty gun, insert a flat tool into a slot that can be accessed through the magwell, and gently pry downward.


In my trials of the differing grips, I noticed an odd, but very well thought out (and well hidden) feature. Under the backstrap is actually a round recess that will hold one CR2032 battery, which is the somewhat industry standard for micro red dots. Alternatively, it can hold two CR2016s. This is a great feature if you’re building a race gun, or just want to carry a gun with a dot sight, and I am honestly a little shocked LWD doesn’t even list this in their feature literature.

The next part of the grip is the texture. Many people feel that the Gen 3 Glock grip is just too slick. I, for one, am in that boat. What the Timberwolf offers is a very aggressive square pattern, without being so harsh as to tear up your hands, with one exception. The edges of the frontstrap have slightly sharper corners than the rest. I suppose that is just a geometry issue of the curve meeting the corners of the texture, but it became very uncomfortable for the end of my pinky. That being said, it could easily be taken care of with a quick pass of some fine sandpaper, just to knock the edge off. Overall, the grip texture is very good at keeping the gun in your hands while firing. Speaking of the frontstrap, one feature many owners elect to remove on factory Glocks is the finger grooves. The factory finger grooves on a standard Glock 19 (Gen 4) actually happen to fit me perfectly, but I completely understand that there are so many different shapes and sizes of people. One good example for me was my Smith and Wesson Model 66. When I would attempt to get a high grip, the finger grooves would jam right into my knuckle, causing much discomfort, and forcing me to get a less that optimal hold on the gun. That is why it’s quite interesting that Lone Wolf decided to leave the finger grooves on their Timberwolf frame. But, to their credit, they reduced them down quite a bit, so if they don’t fit you well, it may not be the largest discomfort, when compared to a factory frame. I would still like to have seen them remove the grooves, though.

Moving up the grip, we have the undercut trigger guard. This is another common modification that allows you to get a much higher purchase on the pistol. To help with that, even further, they also designed the rear grip higher, and added a beaver tail, to remove the risk of slide bite. I have never personally had the web of my hand bitten by a Glock slide, but I have fairly small hands, and can see where it would be a problem to larger-handed shooters.

One last minor change I would like to see in the grip would be a slimmed down portion where the trigger finger rests on the frame, similar to that of the Walther P99. I feel like it would allow shooters with shorter fingers to more properly grip the handgun, and reach the trigger.

Magazine Release

For the longest time, people have been adding extended mag releases to guns, to make them easier to actuate. Lone Wolf, as well many other aftermarket parts manufacturers, offers extended releases. Lone Wolf even offers one that is wider than the factory, but it requires custom machining to make it work. When designing their frame, they decided to incorporate it right in, that way you don’t have to have it modified later. The wider release offers people with shorter fingers, like me, an easier to reach release without shifting the grip, as well as an easier to find release, which is good for everyone. As with the front strap, the corner of the magazine release can be a little sharp and annoying, if you’re performing repeated actuations, but, like I said previously, it’s not something a little swipe of sandpaper wouldn’t take care of.


Another curious note on the mag release is that Lone Wolf didn’t make it reversible, like the Gen 4 Glock. That would be a nice feature, but seeing as how it was designed before the Gen 4 was released, I can understand the oversight.



The final feature of the Timberwolf frame is the rail. Rather than using Glock’s proprietary rail, Lone Wolf decided to go with a Mil-Standard, three-slot, Picatinny rail. This allows users to select from a wider array of rail-mounted accessories, as well as move the placement forward or rearward, as they see fit. I did not attach anything to the rail, though.



The Timberwolf frame is very a very well thought out replacement for anyone that owns a Generation 3 or older Glock handgun in 9 Luger, 40 S&W, 357 Sig, and even 45 GAP. It is available in either the full-size (17, 22, 31, 37) or the compact (19, 23, 32, 38) frame sizes. The improvements offered by a good grip modification company could run well into the $4-500+ dollar range, whereas Lone Wolf offers many of these features at a fraction of the cost. If replacing a Gen 3 frame for a gun you already own, you could buy just the bare frame and use most of your existing Glock parts to fill the replacement. That is, with the exception of the mag release, since the Timberwolf frame comes with their proprietary release pre-installed. The bare frame will cost you just shy of $200, which is a steal, compared to grip work. If you do build your own frame, you should be aware that you will need to buy either a LWD Gen4/Timberwolf Trigger housing, or LWD Ultimate Trigger Stop Gen4, to replace your Gen 3 housing, as the grip is slimmer in the front-to-back dimension.

If you’re planning to build a whole new gun, or just want multiple lowers, Lone Wolf offers a pre-assembled lower frame for $330, which is only about $30 more than buying every individual part and installing them yourself. To save the hassle and time of potentially forgetting or losing a part, I would recommend just buying the built frame. But, if you want to add your choice of custom trigger, you could easily purchase the parts separately from the frame. Lone wolf makes this easy by offering an interactive schematic.

Another benefit of buying the assembled frame is that Lone Wolf adds a few enhanced parts. These enhancements include: LWD 3.5# connector, LWD 6# trigger spring, LWD Extended slide stop, and LWD Extended slide lock. The 3.5# connector and 6# trigger spring makes for a very smooth, and pretty light, trigger pull. This is a great upgrade over the factory Glock parts that I am glad Lone Wolf includes in the assembled frame. It provides a good trigger feel, without being obscenely light, so I feel it would still be suitable for carry. On my example, they even installed the smooth trigger that usually only comes with the full-size Glock handguns. I much prefer the smooth trigger, as the serrated trigger begins to wear at my trigger finger, during firing sessions. I’m not sure if this is the standard feature for the assembled frame, but based on my invoice, it seems to be. The Extended slide stop is useful if you are the kind of shooter that uses it to release the slide. It provides a much larger purchase area than the standard, so it’s easier to manipulate, but it’s not so large that it gets inadvertently hit. As far as the Extended slide lock (the two tabs in front of the trigger guard that you pull downward to disassemble the gun), I really don’t get the purpose of it. The tabs are a little longer than standard, but I’ve never had a problem using the standard Glock part. It’s an upgrade that I could take it or leave it, and be satisfied either way. It did, though, scratch the inside of my holster. That’s not too much of an issue with a plastic holster, but with leather, I’d be afraid of it causing premature wear on the holster.

In summary, the Lone Wolf Distributers Compact Timberwolf Frame is a great upgrade to your Gen 3 or older Glock pistol, or for building your own custom pistol. It is a great value compared to the expense and wait for frame modification work. Some of the features are addressed on the newer Gen 4 Glocks, but with the Timberwolf, the grip is still slimmer (front-to-back) than the OEM. You also wouldn't get the undercut triggerguard, raised and lengthened beavertail, and reduced finger grooves.

At the time of writing, the assembled frame is available for only $234.95 (prices subject to change), and it even comes with Lone Wolf's excellent Ultimate Adjustable Trigger. This is a promotional price for the UAT, and I do not know the timeline for when it will go back to normal, so if you'd like an assembled Timberwolf frame, I would jump on it as soon as possible. The UAT is normally a $50 upgrade, so you are basically paying for the frame and the assembly labor cost, and getting all of the internals for free!

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Replacement frame for generation 3 and older Glock handguns

Target Market: Concealed carriers and competitive shooters


FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Improved ergonomics over Glock OEM frame
  • Full-spec 1913 accessory rail
  • Higher grip angle
  • Extended beaver tail
  • Rounded trigger guard
  • Round/extended mag release
  • Improved Checkering
  • Quick change grip panels (2 total)
  • Spare CR2016 battery storage in grip panel
  • Improved trigger over Glock OEM (standard in assembled frame)
  • Extended slide lock lever (standard in assembled frame)

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Currently, the Timberwolf frame is only available in black.

What others are saying?:

“The Timberwolf pistol is of particular interest to the small-handed shooter, or to the user who says “I love everything about the Glock but the grip angle,” or the handgunner who just likes to be able to get lots of finger on the trigger and lots of flesh and bone around the “handle.” It’s definitely worth a look.” - Massad Ayoob, Daily Caller

“But the Not-A-GLOCK feels terrific in the hand. No really. Like many, but not all shooters, I find it difficult to come to a natural point of aim with a standard GLOCK. What’s more, the grip angle puts my hand and wrist out of the line that gives me stability. The Compact Timberwolf’s grip is, for me, vastly improved. I can get a high hold on the gun and put all of my fingers on the handle. It boasts a fairly small diameter grip, with good holding surface. I can get a natural point-of-aim and a solid one-hand grip, right or left.” - Jon Wayne Taylor, The Truth About Guns

Price Point:

  • Bare = $199.95
  • Built = $329.95
  • Built with UAT = 234.95 (Limited time offer)

I need it now! Availability: You can get the Timberwolf Compact Frame directly from Lone Wolf, and a few online retailers, but once you spend a few minutes on the LWD website, you’ll most definitely want to pick up some of their other great products, like their Glock Magazine Disassembly tool.

Our Rating:


  • Greatly improves ergonomics
  • Interchangeable grip panels
  • Offers many common custom options
  • Improved grip texture to provide better traction
  • Available as a bare frame or built to LWD’s preferred specs
  • Built frame has improved trigger
  • The ability to build any caliber offered by Glock on this frame size (19, 23, 32, & 38)
  • You can even build it as a “Long-Slide Compact” by using a factory full-size upper (such as a G17), or Lone Wolf upper, and purchasing Lone Wolf’s Slide Adapter, which fills the gap between the front of the 17 slide and the 19’s dust cover.


  • Still has finger grooves (though they are greatly reduced)
  • Mag release is not reversible to left-hand operation

Score: 9.090



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Firing Line Review



Hi-Point JCP .40 S&W Pistol

March 11th 2015 HiPoint at the range 004 The Hi-Point JCP .40 Smith&Wesson is a big, heavy, inexpensive pistol that makes Glocks look attractive. It is a 100% American made, polymer framed, striker fired, blowback operated semiautomatic pistol. Most blowback pistols are .380 caliber or smaller because as the power of the cartridge increases the size/mass of the slide must increase also. The slide on the JCP is big and heavy so it can contain the power of the .40 S&W round. The fixed barrel of a blowback operated pistol, like the Hi-Point, makes it inherently accurate. I was able to shoot hand size groups at 100 yards using randomly reloaded ammo that had at least three different manufacturers' headstamps. I was able to do this multiple times and did it twice on video, I posted one of those on YouTube.

You Tube Video

The Hi-Point JCP comes in a cardboard box with one 10 round magazine. The pistol seems simple, at first glance, but then you start to notice it has features that you wouldn't expect on sub-$200 pistol. It comes with a trigger lock, sight adjustment tool/key, chamber flag and an extra peep sight for the pistol. There are deep rear slide serrations, a cutout near the breech that serves as a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect safety, and the rear sight is adjustable for elevation and windage. It also has a proprietary accessory rail, but they do sell a picatinny adapter on their website. The front sight on the JCP is fixed with a painted yellow dot, while the rear sight has two painted and recessed red dots. It has a frame mounted safety on the left side, along with a standard magazine release button behind the trigger guard. All Hi-Point pistols come with a lifetime warranty. If you are the first owner or the fifth owner it doesn't matter it's under warranty. Many people would assume at this price point the JCP would be limited to standard powered ammunition, but they would be wrong, as it is rated to handle +P ammunition.

I purchased a Hi-Point JCP in .40 Smith&Wesson, initially as a range gun, in 2012. I could have purchased other pistols, but I had read enough positive reviews by people that owned Hi-Points to silence the negative comments from people that have never shot, held or owned one of these pistols. After firing nearly 3,000 rounds through the pistol, I feel I have enough information to give an informed review. I have used this as a range gun, used it to teach firearms classes, take firearms courses and even took the NRA Off-Duty Law Enforcement course! I have seen way more good than bad with this pistol and can say that it's a great buy, for the money. The pistol is a shooter but, sadly, some magazines may need to be tweaked to feed properly. My mags were causing the rounds to nose dive in the magazine. I have six magazines and I had to slightly bend the feed lips outward on all six with a multitool. After that, I have had no feeding problems in firing more than 2,500 rounds. I have cleaned the pistol three times, once out of the box, at 500 rounds and again before I took photos for this review. With about 2,000 rounds between cleanings, I have found no detriment in performance. I have shot full metal jacket ammo only through my pistol because it is a range gun for me. I have used reloads, steel, brass, and aluminum cased ammo from Tula, Lawman, Federal, Winchester and anyone else that had range ammo that I could find on sale. I have had no problems with any of it feeding or firing.

March 11th 2015 HiPoint at the range 005Taking it apart requires a 3/32” roll pin punch to remove the slide retainer pin. The directions say to use a pin punch, my suggestion is to use a ROLL pin punch instead. The roll pin punch will easily center on the slide retainer pin and not damage the pin itself unlike a regular pin punch. The take down is easy enough but a pin punch and a hammer are needed to remove that one pin. The JCP is a duty sized pistol with a 4.5 inch barrel, a eight inch over all length and a 38 ounce weight empty. The Hi-Point JCP is a big, heavy and bulky pistol that weighs more empty than a Glock 22 weighs loaded! I thought that I would have trouble finding a holster for my Hi-Point but I didn't have any trouble at all. Alien Gear, Galco and Tagua all make holster for this pistol, and I am sure there are more holster makers that produce factory holsters for Hi-Points. With the many Kydex custom holster makers around I am sure a custom holster can be made.

Iberaxtras.com is where you are directed for parts for JCP pistols. They allow Hi-Point JCP owners to get four free replacement parts for their Hi-Point pistol shipped to them free of charge! All that is needed is your information and your pistols serial number, everything but the frame is available for free. It is a great range gun, duty gun, home defense gun, truck gun, gun for your tackle box or a spare firearm to hand out to trusted family or friends that need one in an emergency. With its warranty, tough powder coat finish, reliability, accuracy and low price, you can't go wrong.

Firearms Insider Reviews 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: A quality budget friendly pistol with a MSRP under $200 also one of the most maligned handguns on the internet.

Target Market: Anyone that wants a solid budget priced pistol.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Four free replacement parts with free shipping on those parts.
  • Fully adjustable rear sight
  • Trigger lock
  • Chamber flag
  • Sight Adjustment tool
  • $15 factory magazines
  • +P ammo rated

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available: Black or green powder coat finish

What are others saying: “I think it would be fair to say that if you were in the market for a eminently affordable handgun that was capable of firing authoritative cartridges for home defense or informal plinking, a Hi-Point pistol may just fill the bill.” - Paul Scarlotta- Shooting Times

Price Point:

MSRP: $199 Retail: $164.80

I need it now! Availability: Buds Gun Shop has them in stock.

Our rating:


  • very budget friendly price
  • four free replacement parts with free shipping of those parts
  • lifetime warranty
  • great customer service


  • magazines may need to be tweaked to feed correctly
  • proprietary accessory rail

SCORE: 7.5 Good75



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Simon Says Train YouTube

Pearce Grip Glock Plus XL Magazine Extension

Pearce Grip Glock Plus XL Magazine Extension Another great addition you can make to your Glock arsenal is a magazine extension. Not only does it give you extra surface area if your gorilla mits didn't quite fit on a particular Glock frame, but increases your magazine capacity. If you own a Glock as opposed to say a 1911, you probably already side with the reasoning that "more bullets are better" for the possibility of confronting multiple assailants. So why settle for the standard high capacity magazines from the factory when you can add a few more rounds by installing an "Extendo" as the kids call it?

Adding a Pearce Grip Glock Plus XL Magazine Extension is advertised to increase your 9mm magazine capacity (double stack only) by three rounds. If you want to add on to your 40SW or 357SIG magazine, you get an extra 2 rounds. If you are a very loyal Glock Fanboy and rock the 45 GAP round, you will earn just one extra bullet in the magazine.

I bought a couple Pearce extendos and added them to a 15rd and 17rd magazine. In both cases I found adding the last round (20th for the 17rd, 18th for the 15rd) was almost impossible, and could see the feed lips start to warp under the strain of forcing that 3rd extra bullet that Pearce claims you can achieve. After leaving two extra rounds in and giving the mag time to relax, I still could not add the 3rd round. It's conceivable that you could remove one or two loops from the magazine spring to give more room but I did not wish to make that commitment. The mags weren't brand new / stiff, but perhaps a mag with over 1000 rounds and years of loading/unloading would have more 'give' to add that last widow-maker.

In a Glock 22 15rd 40SW magazine I found adding the 2nd additional round was also difficult but not impossible, and feel more comfortable with the lifespan of the magazine itself when fully loaded to 17rds, and the same applies to .357SIG.

My recommendation is for Glock 19 Gen 2 & 3 owners to pick up a few, which effectively will give you the same capacity as a Glock 17 using 17 round magazines. Of course, you could just use a 17 magazine in the Glock 19 if the gap / overhanging magazine isn't a concern to you. But these extensions do give a more professional look and operational feel.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Adds capacity to Mid and Full Size Glock high capacity magazines

Target Market: Glock owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product)

  • Add three rounds to the 9mm magazine capacity, two rounds to the 40SW and 357SIG and one round to the 45GAP models.
  •  Fits Glock Models: 17-19, 22-26, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38
  • Made from High Impact Polymer and withstand drop tests at temperatures from -20 F to 350 F.
  • Bottom of base has 5 recessed dots for filling in with paint (mag identification)
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black only

What others are saying?: "This magazine extension added three rounds to my gen 4 GLOCK 26 9mm magazines. Perhaps those who have had problems adding three rounds were using earlier GLOCK magazines. Two notes on squeezing three additional rounds in your gen 4 GLOCK 26:
1. Load the newly-extended magazine to maximum capacity (be it 11 or 12). Then unload and reload repeatedly until all 13 fit. This took three load/unload cycles for me.
2. My magazines have between 600 and 800 rounds through them and typically are stored loaded to capacity. Perhaps the springs are just broken in. Your GLOCK loves to be used...take it to the range!

I began to experience ftf's with this grip extension. I assume this is caused by too much tension on the spring. Decreasing to 12 rounds solved the problem. To be totally, 100% reliable for personal defense or concealed carry, I've been loading only 11 rounds in these magazines. They do provide a VERY solid feel for my small-ish hands with a CTC Laser Guard. "  Daniel Hood, Amazon User

Price Point:

MSRP: $9.95 Retail: As low as $6.99 at local retailers

I need it now! Availability: Readily available at Pearce Grips or Brownells

Our Rating:


  • Front grip texture matches Gen 3 frontstrap texture
  • Provides pinky ledge for those with bigger hands
  • Baseplate included has slots that interface with rails molded in interior or extension for positive interface
  • Aids in retrieval from pouches for more dexterous reloads


  • Last round of advertised capacity increase is very difficult to add without a magloader.
  • Witnessed deformation of the feed lips when installed on a Glock 17rd magazine and attempting to load 20th 9mm round.
  • Increased strain on spring

Score: 7.0 Good



Springfield Armory XD 40

XD 40 main

By Lance Chaar

As an instructor I always find myself trying many different guns and many different grips on pistols.  However as soon as I got a stock XD in my hand, I felt like this is the proper fit for me. The 4” barrel makes it easy to handle and manipulate the gun in any situation that combined with the force and power of a .40 Caliber round,  makes it a great gun for me.  As of today I have about 100+ rounds through the gun and it still functions like its new.  I have shot every thing through this gun from hallow points to range ammo and it just works no matter what the situation is.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Ergonomic comfort, ease of operation, features and performance.

Target Market: From target range goers to tactical users.   xd40

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  •  The double safety on the gun
  •  Ease of disassembly for maintenance
  •  Shorter shot to shot recovery time
  •  High capacity magazines 12+1
  •  Loaded chamber indicator

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Springfield Armory XD 40 is available in Black, bi-tone, FDE, and OD Green.

What others are saying?:  

  • “Shooting the XD 40 was really a ton of fun. I really liked the way it pointed, so I had no trouble greeting targets. This gun is very accurate for a duty pistol and the excellent trigger really helps.”  
  • “The Ultra Safety Assurance Trigger System guards against accidental discharge from dropping or bumping by locking the XD's trigger in place until direct, rearward pressure is applied. The Service model combines the standard XD grip frame with a shorter 4" barrel for comfortable carrying.” Gander Mountain 
  • “The gun will shoot as well as you can hold it. I shot about 100 rounds of various named rounds, to include mixing rounds into the magazine. She never thought about having a problem. Ate everything and kept asking for more.” Gun and Game

Price Point:xd40-1

I need it now! Availability:  Not always so readily available. But you can find them at gun stores like Cabela's.  

Our Rating:

+_Safety +_Accuracy

-_Weight -_Availability

Score: 8.0 Great80

Laser Ammo - SureStrike Ultimate LE Edition

laser ammo The SureStrike Ultimate LE Edition laser trainer is a cool package deal. In it you get a laser trainer cartridge for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, and a .223 laser cap. You also get pistol barrel inserts to make sure that your firearm is clear, a carrying case, and 6 reflective targets. The targets have little holes so you can hang or pin them up. The Laser caps are really easy to use, you just have to swap out one part for another to switch to a different caliber. You have to make sure you put it together right. I accidentally assembled it for .223 but left the 9mm laser cap on it. It got stuck in the chamber and after we got it out of the AR the laser trainer was stuck together. It took a lot of work and a couple vice grips to get it apart but afterwards I was able to  assemble it the right way and “shoot” the AR. Later I tried it out in a brand new M&P-15 and the bolt had a little trouble closing on it. If you racked the charging handle and released the bolt it slam into battery with a little hiccup towards the end. It’s great for trigger control and practicing using a DA/SA or DAO gun. If you have a SAO gun the laser trainer doesn't have a rim on it so that you can rack the slide without having to reinsert it. The only issues I had with it were that the .40 S&W insert and 9mm laser cap were not marked, it fit snug in the M&P-15(not the other AR), and that I messed up assembling the .223 trainer. Overall this is a great package if you have multiple caliber pistols and something in .223(we all know I mean an AR-15).

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame Training Technologies

Target Market Home defense, law enforcement, and military.

FNBs Use your own firearm to train Prevents loading live round Easy to switch caliber between 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .223(more if you get other inserts) Can be used as training ammo or to boresight Guaranteed for 5,000 shots Acts as a snap cap Comes with a carrying case Comes with reflective targets

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? There are no other aesthetic options.

What others are saying? 5 Stars “Haven’t seen anything better out there.” amazon.com 2 Stars “on time, battery weak, does not ” midwayusa.com

Price point MSRP = $199 laser-ammo.com Retail = $187.06 amazon.com  $179.10 midwayusa.com

I need it now! Availability Check your local gun shop or anywhere that has gun stuff.

Our Rating + Multiple calibers + Functions with other inserts for even more caliber options + Carrying case + Targets included + Functions as a boresight + Long battery life (5,000 shots) - .40 S&W insert and 9mm laser cap not marked

85Score 8.5 Great

Sig Sauer – SP2022

 Sig 2022

Last year about this time I found myself in the market for a new pistol. I knew I wanted a polymer framed handgun that was accurate and reliable, to use more as a range toy but could also be a carry gun if it had to.  I really found myself drawn to the Springfield Armory XDM and had decided to place an order.  That is until one day I was in my local gun shop and the sales guy behind the counter handed 

Sig 2022 - 4me a Sig Sauer SP 2022.  Instantly there was just something about that gun!  It was so comfortable.  It was like the grip just melted into my hand.  Later that month, Black Friday rolled around. The Sig SP 2022 was marked down a hundred bucks and I took one home. I’ve been carrying it for about a year now and I’m just as happy with my purchase now as I was then.  People may ask, “Tiny, what’s so great about a fifteen year old design?”  Well I’m so glad you asked!

In 1998, Sig Sauer released their first polymer frame pistol in 40 S&W and 357 Sig.  Then a year later, they released it in 9mm.  For the time, the Sig Pro series handgun was a pretty nifty design with interchangeable grips and an accessory rail.  However, the polymer framed hand guns had not yet been embraced by the market.  The Sig Pro soon became known as the poor man’s P226.  However a few years later, polymer became the industry standard.  In 2002, Sig redesigned the Sig Pro for French law enforcement Sig 2022 - 2and rereleased it as the Sig SP2022 with a service life in mind of twenty years (hence the designation 2022).  The pistol is very similar to the Sig P226.  It uses the classic DA/SA trigger that Sig is known for with no manual safety.  Instead, the gun features a decoking lever in its place and Sig’s four point safety system.  It has a 3.9 inch barrel with an overall length of 7.4 inches.  Its 5.7 inches tall, 1.3 inches wide and weighs 29 ounces unloaded.  Some say it’s a little chunky for IWB carry but if the French can do it, it can’t be that bad!  It shoots great!  The double action trigger pull is 10 pounds and even though that sounds heavy, it’s very smooth!  With a little practice, you won’t have any trouble holding your sights on target.  The single action trigger pull is 4.5 pounds which in my opinion is ideal.  The reset is a little long but it’s not really a problem unless you’re Jerry Miculek.  Still, high level competition shooters may opt for a shorter reset trigger on their match pistols.

Now you may be asking, “gee whiz, are there any reasons I shouldn’t get one?”  My answer is not many.  There’s not a ton of Sig 2022 - 3aftermarket accessories and most of them are from Sig Sauer themselves.  To they’re credit they haven’t abandoned it.  You can buy different size grips and switch between 40 S&W and 357 Sig with conversions available.  Unfortunately there are no conversions for 9mm and neither is there a 22 conversion for plinking on the cheap.  Also, while there are holsters out there to be had, you may not have your choice manufacturer.  Furthermore, while the sandpaper like grip is great for IDPA, I would recommend an undershirt if you’re carrying IWB because it will eat into your side like a bull shark!  That, or order the large grip from Sig.  It has rubber inserts that are real comfortable, but if anybody from Sig is reading this, we really need a medium or small size grip with the rubber inserts.  Magazines are relatively easy to find. The 40 S&W and 357 Sig have a capacity of 12 while the 9mm is 15.  Mec Gar also makes 17 round magazines for the 9mm.  There are rumors that Sig is coming out with a 20 round factory magazine for the 9mm chambering, but I wouldn’t hold my breath till I see one.

Still all things considered, this is a great pistol for the money!  Take down of the pistol is done with one pin that doubles as the slide release leaver.  That makes for easy cleaning and reassembly. Accurate and reliable, I’ve never had a single malfunction.  Supposedly, the French police tested the pistol with over 400,000 rounds without having a malfunction!  I doubt many shooters will fire that many rounds through a single handgun.  If you looking for Sig Sauer quality but don’t have a thousand dollars to spend to get it, look no further than the Sig SP 2022.  Give it a shot; you’ll be glad you did!

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: A Sig Sauer pistol for the working man!

Target Market: Law enforcement, everyday carry, home defense and competition shooters.

FNB’s: (Features & Benefits of this product)

  • Stainless steel slide with Nitron finish
  • SIGLITE Night Sights
  • Sig’s four point safety system
  • Interchangeable Grips
  • Integrated accessory rail

What other aesthetic options or finishes available:  Sig offers this pistol in black, diamond plate, black diamond plate and flat dark earth.

What others are saying:

The Truth About Guns You Tube

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: I haven’t been in a gun shop yet that didn’t have one for sale but if not, there readily available on the internet.

Our Rating:

+ Superb Sig quality that will leave you enough money for ammo and a holster + Accurate + Super reliable + Interchangeable grips + Light recoil + Great trigger pull in both single and double action

- Lack of aftermarket accessories - Long reset on trigger - Come on Sig, give us our 20 round mag already

Score: 8.585

Sig Sauer P229R

Sig P229

By Devin Blystone

Sig Sauer is a quality firearms manufacturer.  The P229R is carried by thousands of law enforcement professionals throughout the country.  The compact size of this gun makes it great for conceal carry but in reality, it doesn't feel like a compact gun.  At 37 oz, it’s heavier than other compact models on the market, but the balance of the gun makes it feel like it weighs a lot less. The P229R is available in 9mm, .357SIG, and .40S&W.  Not to mention, that there are other many different variations of this gun available. Magazine capacity for the P229R is 13 rounds for 9mm and 12 rounds for .40S&W and .357SIG.   Should you live in these states, 10 round CA and MA compliant magazines are also available for purchase.  Shooting this pistol in .40S&W is a breeze.  The felt recoil isn't bad and I can get sights back on target quickly. The sights available for this pistol are regular and the SIGLITE night sights.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Reliable and accurate.

Target Market: Higher end market, law enforcement, and government agencies.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Decocker
  • Almost full length rails for the slide to travel on
  • DA/SA, 10 lbs DA trigger pull and 4.4 lbs SA
  • The polymer grips provide great traction
  • Solid metal frame
  • Low profile slide serrations
  • Accessory rail
  • 10 and 12 round magazines(.357SIG and 40S&W)
  • Lanyard loop
  • Available in 9mm, .357SIG, and .40S&W

What other: Black, stainless, two tone and flat dark earth.

What others are saying?:

  • “This SIG P229R is now on my "all time favorite handguns" list.” Ballistics 101
  • “there is  no question it is an excellent choice for concealed carry.”  U.S. Concealed Carry

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Check your local gun shops.  Also, the gun can be bought at many websites.

Our Rating:

+ No manual safety + Heavy, long first trigger pull + Decocker and slide stop release are low profile + Takedown is pretty easy + 3.9” barrel cuts down on the felt recoil + Accessory rail has 3 positions + Replaceable grips + Balanced very well, feels lighter than it is

- Expensive - 32.0 oz. with magazine - Two piece polymer grips meet at the back and feel cheap when they flex

Score: 9 Amazing!90


To hear more about this and other gear, go check out the Firearms Radio Networks new show, Firearms Insider Gun & Gear Review Podcast.


Heckler & Koch USP .40 Compact

HK USP .40 Compact

By Steve Remy

 The H&K USP .40 Compact is a highly reliable gun that I would have no problem entrusting my protection to.  I fired nearly 2,000 rounds down the barrel of this pistol with zero malfunctions of any sort.  The ammo ranged from brass to steel case, and ball to hollow point.  This particular model being reviewed is considered to be a “variant 1” meaning it has a de-cocking lever that doubles as a safety. This H&K can be carried in double action (DA) with the safety on/off, or be carried in single action (SA, cocked and locked) with the safety on/off.  The pistol is fired in either DA/SA mode or SA only.  These features alone allow a multitude of user carry configurations that will meet most people’s personal carry preference.

The HK grips well and feels extremely comfortable when firing.  For added comfort and as a personal preference, I chose to add a slip-on finger groove grip.  The ambidextrous magazine release is a bar across the front strap where the trigger guard and the front strap meet.  It is easy to access without rotating your hand to a mag release button as many left handed shooters must do with non-ambidextrous mag releases.

The gun is easy to disassemble by pushing out the slide release lever and moving the slide forward off of the frame.  The recoil spring is self contained meaning the spring is held in place on the spring guide by a small c-clip.  This only becomes a problem when the c-clip mysteriously disappears during a trip to the range and the spring flies off the guide rod when you begin your cleaning process.  As you can tell, this happened to me about 1,500 rounds through the gun.  Here is where it gets somewhat grim.  HK’s customer service was pretty dismal when I called them about the problem and asked for a replacement c-clip.  My first call was to HK’s main customer service line where I was connected with someone who determined this particular part was out of stock and was unsure of when it would be available.  Being out of stock is understandable in some situations, so I called my area HK law enforcement rep to see if he had any available for purchase.  I spoke with him and he indicated he had a few and could spare a couple to send me free of charge.  After taking my name and shipping address, I didn’t receive anything or hear from him for a couple of weeks.  All subsequent phone calls and messages went unreturned.  In my book this was unacceptable.  Luckily the gun still functions flawlessly without the c-clip, but reassembly after cleaning is now a frustrating and somewhat comical experience.  It takes three hands but unfortunately I only have two, so I am constantly annoyed by their lack of responsiveness.

The HK shoots as accurate as any other well-made compact pistol on the market, especially in the sub 10 yard fighting range where must gun fights happen.  The controls are smooth and easily activated but the trigger could use some work considering this gun will cost most people nearly $900-$1,000 after taxes and FFL fees.  The trigger was jumpy out of the box and never seemed to smooth out during the 2,000 rounds fired.  For the price of the gun I would expect the trigger to be butter smooth, especially knowing the quality engineering that went into producing this gun.

Overall the USP compact is very reliable and backed by a company known for producing high quality firearms.  However, with the price point being nearly $1,000, one must consider the ability to purchase at least two other handguns with similar reliability and functionality for the same amount of money.  There is somewhat of a novelty in owning an HK and many people have purchased one for themselves as a commemorative-type gift.  Being somewhat of a pragmatist if I had $1,000 devoted to purchase another handgun, I might opt in the future to purchase multiple handguns instead of one HK; afterall, isn’t two always better than one?


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: A smaller framed pistol capable of reliable use and engineered for a 20,000 round service life.

Target Market: Concealed carry license holders, home defense, plain clothes law enforcement.


Key Features

  • Polymer frame
  • Polygonal bore profile
  • Captive recoil spring
  • Bobbed hammer
  • Accessory rail
  • Ambidextrous magazine release

Does it come in black?  Yes

What others are saying?:

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available at most firearms retailers both online and in stores.  Available at BudsGunShop.com for a good price and quick shipping.

Our Rating:

+ Lightweight polymer frame that is easily concealable. + Proven reliable H&K engineering. + Great fit and finish. + Balances and grips nicely. + Easy to disassemble and clean; self-contained recoil spring aids in this.

- Slightly jumpy trigger pull. - Customer service and product/replacement part support is severely lacking. - Cost is within the higher range of pricing.

Score: 8.080


Steve’s Links:

Gun Guy Radio

Firearms Radio Network