RPS Tactical Adaptive Holster Review

Everyone has been there; the drawer or tupperware container full of holsters. You’ve tried numerous ones, and there is always some sort of issue with them. The holster is too bulky; the holster doesn’t have any flex to work with your body shape; it only allows for one method of carry or storage. RPS Tactical has addressed these issues. Located in Fairfield, Maine, RPS Tactical was started by a local LEO and his brother, with a focus on making holsters, belts & nylon gear along with many other custom items. I spent some time with Rob and his brother Nick and discussed the way they make their holsters, as well as the way they hand stitch their belts. Their attention to detail and commitment to quality is very apparent in the way they make their items and the final product they put out. They are also willing to work with the customer. When I wanted to get a holster made by them, they didn’t have the mold for my Steyr C9A1 (most people don’t) and they were willing to let me bring my firearm over for them to mold the holster. I know another individual who had a specific need and they worked with him to get the holster and belt exactly as he wanted it. With the owner of RPS Tactical being a law enforcement officer, they have a really good understanding of what goes into comfortable everyday carry of firearms and other gear.

I did a podcast with the guys at RPS and they made me the Adaptive Holster for my Steyr for me to evaluate. I spent almost 8 months carrying my Steyr with the Adaptive holster in the IWB and then the OWB configurations. I had long road trips in the car, range trips, working outside, going on walks with my wife and son & pretty much every single other everyday thing you do. The Adaptive holster is a kydex shell with a sturdy leather  backing. On the body side of the backing material is the soft side of industrial strength velcro. This allows for various mounting options if you purchase the corresponding velcro patches that can be affixed to any surface. For my body type, I found the OWB configuration worked better for me. I carried setup as IWB from June to about November, when I switched to the OWB configuration as the weather got colder and I could start wearing jackets. The IWB worked good, but with my body type I’ve found that IWB can be uncomfortable over extended periods of time. I am confident other people that don’t have issues with IWB carry will find the RPS Tactical Adaptive holster very comfortable.


During my time wearing the holster (and I am still wearing it to this day) i noticed no abnormal wear or any hardware backing out or failing on it. Everything was very sturdy, reholstering was very easily accomplished, and the trigger guard was suitably covered. The kydex is molded to your specific firearm, and the retention was fantastic.  As with most high quality holsters, the leather backing was cut to allow for a full grip on the firearm prior to drawing.

One thing I will also note is the soft side velcro backing. While it is there for the mounting options as we discussed before, it also makes for very comfortable carry if the holster is directly against your skin. I, like many people, do not enjoy having a tucked in shirt. I have used other holsters that have the large leather backing and oftentimes found that when they were against bare skin that there was a lot of perspiration and discomfort especially in the hot summer months. It seems like the soft velcro backing on the body side of the holster allows some air to get in between the backing and your skin, preventing any perspiration or discomfort from occurring. For those of you who like to wear a tucked in shirt, the IWB configuration is tuckable as well. There are other carry options for the adaptive holster as well, including a paddle mount or  purchasing the RPS Tactical Shoulder harness and using your existing holster as a shoulder holster.

If you are looking for a very high quality holster (or any other pieces of high quality gear) from a fantastic small business, look no further than RPS Tactical. Their commitment to their products long after it has left their shop is telling. I have had multiple people come back to me after I have steered them toward RPS Tactical for their holster needs and tell me that they were so happy to work with RPS. Rob and Nick were very attentive to their needs and oftentimes they ended up getting fitted out with belts and other items above and beyond what their original request was. That speaks volumes as to the character and dedication that the guys at RPS have to customer satisfaction. I was very happy to evaluate their holster, and would highly recommend their products to my friends and family, for both duty & EDC use.  



Adaptive Holster System (Various Mounting Options)


Those wanting a high quality holster for everyday carry that can be utilized in a variety of ways.


  • Convertible between IWB & OWB

  • Tuckable during IWB carry

  • Soft side velcro backing against the body

  • Sturdy leather backing with cut to allow full grip of firearm before drawing.


Various color options/finishes including Kryptek, Carbon Fiber, Coyote Tan & more


Tactical Toolbox Review


$65.00 (various options may be extra)


RPS Tactical LLC


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



Volquartsen Custom Scorpion .22 LR Pistol Review


Review Picture 4


The .22 rimfire pistol market is one of variety. From inexpensive plinkers to tricked out, high performance raceguns, I don’t know of a market that offers the discerning consumer more choices in terms of fit, finish & quality. In contrast to a few years ago, .22 rimfire ammunition has started to make a comeback in areas where it was scarce for quite some time, and that has made taking these rimfire pistols back out to the range much more of a possibility. Gone are the days of 99 cent Winchester White boxes of 50 rounds like I remember, but .22 LR still offers good performance and practice options at a far reduced price compared to full size centerfire ammunition. As mentioned before, there are many different tiers of .22 LR pistols. The Volquartsen Custom Scorpion is definitely securely placed in the top-tier of .22 LR handguns; it is a lightweight .22 LR Pistol designed for high performance and is equally at home in the competition arena, or out in the field.

The Volquartsen Custom Scorpion can mount many optics such as this Burris Fastfire

Back in March I did an interview with Scott Volquartsen of Volquartsen Custom about their business. I came away impressed with their commitment to quality as well as to their employees & customers. Scott stated that Volquartsen had worked to make the finest rimfire handguns and rifles for competition and other uses that money could buy. We spoke about potentially having me test a handgun, and after NRA Show 2015, we spoke about what my desires would be if I was contacting Volquartsen to purchase a custom .22 LR handgun. I told Scott that if I were to call and order one, I would want a handgun that could fill a couple roles: competition & handgun hunting. I am a fan of hunting with handguns, and many .22 pistols simply aren’t precise enough for small game hunting. I have also thought about getting involved in rimfire competition, and would want a handgun that could fill dual roles. Scott suggested their Scorpion line, with a 4.5” barrel, the 1911 style VC Target frame, and Fiber optic front sight with the Volquartsen Target rear sight. The handgun would be fitted with all Volquartsen internals and would have an accessory rail on the top if I desired to mount any optics.

The Competition Bolt is coated in a variety of finishes for superior performance.

The Scorpion is a combination of the Lightweight VC Target Frame and the LLV Upper. It comes standard with the Volquartsen Competition Bolt. The Volquartsen Competition Bolt is CNC Machined and ground for superior tolerances, fit and finish. It features the SureStrike Firing Pin and the Exact Edge Extractor to ensure reliable feeding & function. The bolt is also offered with four different coatings, Diamond Like Carbon, Chromium Nitride, Titanium Nitride and Titanium Carbo-Nitride. The example I have here has the Diamond Like Carbon Coating. I can attest to the reliable functioning of the bolt and pistol, as I put a little over 3,000 rounds of various brands of .22 rimfire cartridges through the pistol in about a months time with not a single malfunction. This was with extremely minimal lubrication and almost no cleaning aside from wiping the bolt with a soft cloth.

The VC Target Frame and LLV Upper combine to make the Volquartsen Scorpion

The VC Target Frame is manufactured by Volquartsen, and is offered with a MKIII style grip angle or a 1911 style grip angle. The example I have is the 1911 style frame. It is CNC-machined from aluminum alloy and with a 6oz base weight, is very light and handy. You can get the frame in a variety of finishes & colors, with the Black, red, blue and OD green frames being Type III hard anodized and the Silver frames being NiB coated. The VC frame is fitted with all Volquartsen internals, including the Accurizing Kit with Extended bolt release, CNC Machined Target Trigger, Wire EDM Cut Target Hammer and target sear. It also sports a CNC machined disconnector, extended safety and in the MKIII models, a spring-loaded magazine ejector for positive ejection of spent magazines. Volquartsen has eliminated the magazine disconnect from this frame as well. Their trigger is outstanding, with minimal take-up and an adjustable overtravel stop. The manual lists the trigger pull weight at 2.25 lbs and I found this to be true, with the average over 10 trigger pulls reading between 2.25 and 2.3 on my Lyman trigger pull gauge. I cannot say enough good things about the trigger on this pistol.

The Volquartsen Target Rear with Fiber Optic Front presents a fantastic sight picture

The LLV Barreled receiver/upper is hard anodized & CNC machined. The receiver and barrel shroud are precision machined as one piece from aluminum alloy. An integral picatinny rail is machined into the top of the receiver for easy mounting of any of the optical sights available on the market today. It is fitted with a precision stainless steel barrel that is machine-honed and lapped and is available in either 4.5” or 6” lengths. The standard configuration LLV comes with 1/2 x 28 muzzle threads with either a thread protector, or with their LLV compensator.

The LLV Compensator mates perfectly with the LLV upper and tames the mild .22 LR recoil to almost nothing.

  My example has the LLV Compensator which functions very well and tames the already mild recoil of the .22 Rimfire down to almost nothing. The pistol runs well with a suppressor too, as you can see in the video. You can also choose any number of sight options, such as Hi-Viz front and Tritium rear, Hi Viz Front and Target rear, or Volquartsen Target sights. You can also opt to not have sights installed and simply use electronic optics.

Grip options for the VC Target Frame include Volthane Target Grips or Laminated Wood Target grips for the MKIII style grip angle, and Aluminum Grips or the Hogue Monogrip for the 1911 Style Grip angle. My example sports the Hogue Monogrips. They were very comfortable and made the gun easy to handle, especially after many hundreds of rounds downrange in a single session. This whole package comes in at under 2 lbs.

Multiple brands & types of ammo were used in the evalutation

At the range, I found the Scorpion to be incredibly accurate and fast. From close-up shooting on multiple steel targets as fast as possible, to 45, 55 and even 60 yard shots on an 8” steel plate, the Volquartsen Scorpion delivered. I fired many different brands & loads through the Scorpion over the test period, and the pistol functioned flawlessly with every single one. I used CCI Mini-Mag .22 LR hollowpoint 36 grain, Winchester Super X .22 LR round nose 40 grain & Aguila .22 Pistol Match 40 grain LRN. Also mixed in there were some Winchester 40 grain Dynapoints during the suppressed fire. At about 25 yards, the CCI Mini Mags were the most accurate for me, with groups of 0.58” being common.

It seems my particular sample really likes the lighter weight 36 grain bullet of the Mini-Mag. The rest of the ammunition didn’t shoot as tight groups for me, but all were well under an inch from a rest at between 25-30 yards. I had the most fun doing rapid fire steel drills on multiple 8” steel plates from 15 yards. It is REALLY fun to run this pistol fast.

Groups like this one (minus those two flyers from a previous group; the sticky fell off) were commonplace with the Volquartsen Scorpion at 25 yards

The Volquartsen Custom Scorpion is really an outstanding .22 pistol. The combination of high quality features really make for a handgun that is a cut above the rest in the rimfire pistol world. When I spoke with the folks at Volquartsen, I said that I would want a pistol that would be equally at home out in the field hunting small game as it would be in the competition arena. This pistol really delivers. It is eminently customizable to fit your needs, and  you can tell the people at Volquartsen really care about the desires of the customer. Every question/request I had was answered in a timely manner and with a high degree of detail and explanation. With a price range between $1,175 and $1,236 depending upon chosen options, it is definitely in the higher range of .22 pistols, but you are getting a high quality, high performance handgun that will definitely last you a lifetime.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Super High Quality .22 LR Pistol intended for competition or target shooting use.

Target Market: Shooters who need a .22 LR pistol for competition or small game hunting.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • High quality internals
  • Light weight
  • Superb Trigger & Sights
  • Optics Mounting Options
  • Fantastic Customer Service
  • Support a family-run firearms business

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

  • Black, Red, Blue & OD Green Type III Hard Anodized
  • Silver is Nickel Boron (NiB)
  • Target Grips
  • Aluminum Grips
  • Various Options for Compensators
  • 1911 style or MK III Style Grip Frame

Price point:

MSRP = Between $1,175 and $1,236 depending upon chosen options. This is a custom pistol.

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase the Volquartsen Custom Scorpion directly from Volquartsen Custom. 


  • Custom built to the user specifications
  • Uses high quality components for the internals
  • Trigger is AMAZING.
  • Coated Competition Bolt almost eliminates the need for lubrication.
  • Reliability over 3,000 rounds with almost no cleaning whatsoever is amazing in a .22 rimfire pistol.
  • Accuracy is top-notch even at long distance.
  • Worked fantastic with a .22 LR suppressor. Very very quiet and accurate. Also, the sights can be used with the suppressor attached.


  • It is definitely in the upper end price range for .22 LR pistols. However, this isn’t really a “con” as it IS a high quality custom .22 LR pistol intended for the highest levels of rimfire competition.

Our Rating: 9.5 AMAZING!95



Visit Volquartsen Custom for more information and to place an order!

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Crew Holsters "OL' Classic OWB" Holster


The Crew Custom Holsters OL' Classic OWB is your standard outside the waistband holster.  It is manufactured from some nice heavyweight kydex or similar plastic.  The one I received is for a full size 1911 style pistol.  It arrived in black.  I tried it with 2 different 1911's and it functioned flawlessly.

Crewowb2The design of the holster would make it very useful for everyday carry, IDPA, hunting, or any other thing you might want an outside the waistband holster for.  The belt loops supplied fit my 1.5" belt nicely.  The loops are also kydex, and are very deep, meaning that a really thick belt, or one of the double competition style belts, will fit through the loops.  The loops can also be adjusted up or down on each side.  This way, the holster can be lowered, raised, or adjusted for cant.  Being that it is for a 1911, the inside sheet of kydex came up just to the safety lever.  The outside piece is a little lower to help you get a good grip when drawing.  This model OWB holster also covers the trigger guard completely.  It is also molded around the mag release button so that it can't be hit accidentally.  Some of the owb models have adjustable retention, this one does not.  I didn't find this to be a problem, as the holster retained the firearm nicely.  The draw stroke is also very smooth. Upon reholstering, you do get a good "snap" as the holster locks the gun in place.  I did notice that it took a few draw strokes to break in the holster, as it was very snug when I first received it.

This holster is really nice.  It is available in lots of colors and patterns, for a few extra bucks.  There are also options for weapon mounted lights and lasers.  Various belt clip options are also available, as well as a sweat guard, if one wishes.  The only flaw I found with this particular model was that, with one of my 1911's, the safety would just touch the holster so that the firearm would not go in completely.  I mean by maybe an 1/8".  So I just filed that spot down slightly and it worked great.  I called The Crew Holsters about this and they said I could send it in for them to fix, because it does have a lifetime warranty.  They said they would look at the problem and I doubt that it exists anymore.  If you're in the market for a good kydex style holster, give the Crew a call.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Outside the Waistband holster

Target Market: IDPA, concealed carriers, hunters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Adjustable belt loops
  • Available Options
  • Full trigger coverage
  • Good retention

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Lots of different colors, patterns and options.

What others are saying?: 

    "I've ordered a few of their iwb holsters and i think i found the last holster company I'm going to deal with, the owner is cool and prices are damn good, and the product is good, speaking of which i need to order a iwb for my sig."

Price point: 

MSRP = $45.00 for black, everything else extra

Retail = $45.00+

I need it now! Availability: The Crew Custom Holsters 

Our Rating: 


  • Good Retention
  • Adjustable Belt loops (height and cant)
  • Firearm availability
  • Color and pattern options
  • Light and Laser options
  • Belt loop options
  • Adjustable retention on some models
  • Completely covers trigger


  • Safety on 1911 hit edge of holster slightly

Score: 8.5+  Grea85t



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Firing Line Review



Crew Holsters "Shadow" IWB Holster

crewholster5 Photo_2015-06-08_09-02-28_AM

I received the Shadow holster from "The Crew Custom Holsters" some time ago.  The Shadow is a kydex clam shell style inside the waistband (IWB) holster.  I have been wearing the Shadow for a while to try it out.  It is comfortable for a kydex style holster.  The model I received was in black, but they offer lots of different color and pattern options.  They also offer the Shadow for light or laser mounted firearms and tons of different models of firearms.  You can wear it just about anywhere from appendix all the way around to about 5 o'clock.  I typically wear it around the 3:30 position.  It seems to conceal the firearm well, as my children and wife did not notice me wearing it.  One big advantage this holster has over others is that it can be canted frontwards or even backwards.  There are different holes where the clip is located to adjust it to Zero, 15, or 45 degrees.  I tried it in all 3 positions and found that the zero and 15 worked best.  The 45 degree cant seemed strange, but someone may have a use for it.  The fit and finish of the holster are very good. They smooth the edges out and try to eliminate any sharp surfaces.  Mine is for a Kahr CM9 and it fits nicely and, with the adjustable retention, holds the pistol well.  The holster does collapse a small amount when there is no firearm in it.  It didn't seem to collapse enough to make reholstering difficult, but I did notice it.  I usually wear a hybrid style holster, but have found that with this little holster, the single clip makes it ideal to slip on and off easily.  If I need to run to the store at night or something similar, I can just grab this holster and clip it inside my waistband with no problems.  The Shadow is a very nice, convenient holster.  They will also do custom one off holsters if asked.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Convenient IWB holster

Target Market: Concealed carriers

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Adjustable cant
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Single wide clip
  • Adjustable retention

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Lots of different color and pattern options

What others are saying?:

  •  5/5stars at The Crew Custom Holsters - Quick and excellent, communication, product and service. I have been recommending The Crew Holster to my friends.

Price point: 

I need it now! Availability: The Crew Custom Holsters.  Some options ship quicker than others, see Available Molds

Our Rating:


  • Adjustable Retention
  • Adjustable cant
  • Light options
  • Color options
  • Easy on/off


  • Slight holster collapse

Score: 8.5 GREAT85



Chad's Favorite Links:  Handgun Radio

ABC House Charity Match June 20th, it really is for the children!

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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RTK Sweet Pea trigger for Ruger LCP

sweetpea1As many Ruger LCP owners may know, the trigger is probably the worst part of the firearm. RTK has improved this feature with its Sweet Pea trigger for the LCP. Having owned and shot my LCP for awhile now, I can appreciate this upgrade. When firing the firearm, my finger would get pinched by the trigger. The sharp recoil of the little .380 didn't help this any. After installing the Sweet Pea trigger I realized that the trigger bite had gone away. This is something that RTK says comes from the pivot point to trigger face relationship. sweetpea2The installation on the trigger can be a little overwhelming for some, but if you have some mechanical aptitude and some tools it can be done with ease. The online instructions from RTK are excellent! Here is a link to the trigger instruction: Sweet Pea Installation. They have pictures and descriptions to walk you step by step through the installation. Basically, if you can detail strip the pistol, you can install this trigger. I would recommend having a small dish to put the parts in. The only problem I ran into was getting the trigger block positioned correctly. It took me three tries, but that really only added about 5 minutes extra. The trigger kit also comes with a new stainless trigger pin. After installation the trigger needs to be adjusted. To do this you will need a .050" allen wrench or driver, one with a ball head would be even better. My trigger over-travel screw was turned too far in, and needed to be backed out a few turns to get the pistol to fire. It then would not reset completely so I needed to back out the pre-travel screw.  After adjusting the travel screws, the instructions say to back the screws out 2 turns and then put some thread locker on them, and screw them back in 2 turns. I found this to be time consuming due to the fact that the screws are not the easiest to get to. The only real negative that I had about the trigger is that it did not include a wrench for adjustment and getting to the set screws for adjustment is awkward.

I like the trigger okay. It does make the trigger pull feel smoother. And since it is adjustable, it makes the overall trigger travel shorter. A big plus. The width of the trigger also gives it a better feel to me. It is not a match grade trigger, nor should it be. But it is better than the factory Ruger trigger. However, I do believe there could be more room for improvement. RTK also offers a variety of triggers for other small semi-auto pistols.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Improved trigger for Ruger LCP

Target Market: Ruger LCP owners, Concealed carriers

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Adjustable (Both Pre-Travel and Over-Travel)
  • Looks good
  • Available in different colors
  • Trigger feel is improved
  • Changed trigger pivot point (to help with trigger bite)

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:

  • Black
  • Red
  • Hot Pink
  • Grey
  • Brite (Black w/polished sides)
  • Milled (Raw aluminum)

RTK Trigger colors

Price point: 

I need it now! Availability: RTK or Galloway Precision

Our Rating: 


  • Better Feel
  • Pre-Travel Adjustment
  • Over-Travel Adjustment
  • Better Trigger Geometry
  • Color Choices
  • Very good online installation instructions
  • New Trigger Pin Included


  • No supplied Allen wrench for adjustment
  • Must go online for instructions
  • Adjustment of the trigger is somewhat awkward

80Score: 8.0 Great



Chad's Favorite Link: ABC House Shooting Match

Firing Line Review



Gunvault Multivault Standard


Overall View of Multivault I have been shooting and owning firearms for over ten years now, yet I have never kept a firearm for home defense. About a year ago, I began thinking I should start to familiarize myself with keeping a firearm prepared for defense. I have no fear of using it because I live in a nice area in a high rise with a doorman (not as posh as it sounds) but plan on moving in the near future and want to start learning and getting comfortable with keeping firearms ready for defense. I've been looking at similar bedside safes for a while, yet the price tag kept me spending money on more guns, ammo, and accessories, instead of something I would hope to never need. While waiting for my background check to clear, I was looking around my LGS and saw they had a sale going on their Gunvault products. At first, I picked up the Minivault and got home, programmed it, and began dry fire practice utilizing drawing from the safe. I'm a big guy, and my mitts just were not working well with the Minivault. I went back to the store and returned it to purchase its bigger brother, the Multivault.

View from my bedside.

Multivault is possibly referencing not only the ability to store multiple handguns, but also a variety of items. The biggest draw was the gaping maw of this thing. The nice wide opening allows easy access to draw your firearm quickly and snag free from a multitude of angles. When this thing opens, it OPENS. The door is spring loaded and retained in the locked position when unlocked, the latch lets go, and that strong spring slams the door open, yet it buffered by rubber pads on the base, as to not mar whatever this is placed on or affixed to. As far as entering your code, this safe utilizes a four button system that allows you to press one or all buttons per entry and use 3-6 entries. Basically, your code could be to press all four buttons 6 times but, that doesn't seem like a wise idea. While you shouldn't enter all 4 buttons 6 times, this allows for a greater variety of entries and a more secure combination.

Interior view; Glock 19 with Streamlight TLR-1s with Streetlight Glock pressure switch and two additional magazines.

I have now begun training with this, and it's a snap to pick up and adapt it to your defensive needs. If my living situation ever deemed it necessary, I would surely pick up another one, or two, of these as needed to adequately cover my home. The underlying thing I find important that sometimes people overlook, is to make sure whatever you are running works for you. Sometimes, price is a factor, but if I hadn't spent the extra 40 bucks for this bigger model, I would have a 20 lb striking implement as my hand was stuck inside.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Accessible defensive firearm, and valuables storage.

Target Market:  Anyone looking for a convenient and secure means to store a defensive handgun.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Compact
  •  Quality of materials
  • 4 key keypad programmable up to 6 entry code utilizing one or all buttons per entry
  • Easy to use
  • Large enough for big hands store a gun and two mags of two guns and extra mags
  • Mounts almost anywhere, in any direction
  • Protective foam-lined interior, with extra storage capacity and a removable interior shelf
  • "Learn Buttons" make it easy to program over 12 million user-selectable access codes

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Minivault is the exact same thing but smaller, there are also biometric options.

What others are saying?: Check out the Amazon reviews averaging 4/5 stars.

Price point: 

I need it now! Availability: These can commonly be found at local sporting goods and gun shops.

Our Rating:


  • Level of customization for combo
  • Amount of interior space
  • Dimension of the opening
  • Solid construction
  • Awesome design

Score: 8.0 Great80



My links:


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Rock Island Armory TAC 1911 FS 9mm

RIA3Rock Island Armory / Armscor is a Manufacture of 1911 pistols and some other firearms from the Philippines. I chose their TAC 1911 in 9mm. This is a full size parkerized, not blued, 1911 chambered in 9mm (duh). The pistol comes from the factory with a Novak style rear low-profile sight and a post front, both dovetailed into the slide. Both sights are target black with no dots of any type. This 1911 is a series 70 style, meaning it has no firing pin safety. The TAC model also comes with an extended ambi thumb safety, a beavertail grip safety, beveled magazine well, longer trigger, commander style hammer, full length guide rod, and a checkered flat mainspring housing. While the extended thumb safety is nice, it is too sharp for my liking. Where the safety angle back toward the frame, there is are really sharp corner. This sharp safety cause the pistol's safety to bite into your thumb under recoil, it was however better if you are one that rides the thumb safety. The frame of the pistol has vertical grooves on the front to help aid in your grip. I would have liked it better if they had checkered the front strap. The rear checkered mainspring housing feels nice in the hand, it is however made from plastic. The beavertail grip safety is very nice. It has a bump on the bottom to aid in depressing it and has a nice feel to it. Having a longer skeletonized trigger placed my finger just right, for people with shorter or longer fingers this might not be the case. The commander hammer and beveled mag well are nice touches also. The rubber checkered grips that come on the pistol where not of my liking, but they do supply an okay gripping surface. The RIA TAC 1911 makes for a good entry level 1911 with quite a few built in options.

lokgrip1911The TAC 9mm is extremely accurate. I could keep shots under a 1" circle at 7 yards off hand. The slide to frame fit on this pistol is very tight and I believe that is why it shoots so good. That, and the fact that the trigger was extremely smooth out of the box. The trigger has very little take up and over travel is adjustable with a set screw that is located in the trigger. The trigger pull weight is about 5 1/2 pounds. I have had no failures with the pistol in over 500 rounds of various types of 9mm ammo. Recoil is very manageable as one might expect with an all steel 1911 in 9mm. All in all I really do like this offering from Rock Island. It shoots great and would make an excellent starting point for a more custom pistol. Rock Island has many other 1911 style pistols also. So if this style isn't what you are looking for, they probably make a style you might want.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Entry level priced 1911 in 9mm with good options

Target Market: Shooters wanting a full size 1911 in 9mm

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Finish: Parkerized
  • Operation: Single Action Semi-Automatic with Thumb and Beavertail Safeties
  • Barrel: 5"
  • Length: 8 1/2"
  • Height: 5 1/4"
  • Width: 1.4" at the safety and 0.9" at the slide
  • Weight: 2.56 lbs
  • Grips: Textured black rubber
  • Sights: Novak style rear, Post front, both dovetailed in for drift adjustability
  • Safety: Extended Ambidextrous thumb and Beavertail grip
  • Capacity: 9+1
  • Trigger: Skeletonized
  • Hammer: Combat style
  • Beveled magazine well

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Rock Island Armory Tac 1911 is available in many different styles and calibers available at Rock Island Armory

What others are saying?: 

  • Budsgunshop.com By: Preston O on 07/20/2014Rating:  [5 of 5 Stars!] This gun is amazing! This is my first 1911 and the first gun I've bought off Bud's. Took it out to the range the first weekend after I got it and put about 75 rounds through it without any issues. Zero issues! The gun cycles everything I've put through it. I have even hand cycled some Hornady Custom 147gr JHP through this bad boy and still zero issues. I've read that if you are going to run HP's through this then go with a larger bullet. Don't use 115gr or 124gr. I have read that they can have issues, but the 147gr run perfectly. The gun comes with a Metalform magazine which i highly recommend for this gun. I bought a Metalform 10rd and it runs perfectly. Again, zero issues! The only thing I will say is that the picture shows the new model with the small logo on the rear of the slide. I got the older model with the "Rock Island Armory" billboard on the slide, but it's not that big of a big deal.
  • Budsgunshop.com By: Andrew C on 07/09/2014Rating:  [4 of 5 Stars!] This was my first Rock Island Armory purchase and let me say it won't be my last. Fit and finish exceeded my expectations for a sub-$450 1911. It shot great right out of the box and with over 300 rounds through it, I've experienced no failures, even with the sometimes sketchy reloads and cast lead bullets folks give me. It came with nice brand name magazines (to which I added a slam pad). Accuracy is very good and with a full size 1911 frame shooting 9mm, recoil is light. Now, why only four stars. My pistol came with a firing pin stop that I could not remove. I personally think they put a little too much finish on the slide and it got stuck. I sent it off to RIA prepaid and they fixed it, no problem. Now, it is a really great pistol and one I love to shoot. I wish I could give it 4.5 stars but that isn't an option. Anyway, I am quite satisfied and recommend this pistol.

Price point: MSRP = $559 Retail = $465

I need it now! Availability: Check your local gun store

Our Rating: 


  • Price
  • Novak style sights
  • Extended Beavertail grip safety
  • Full length guide rod
  • Extended skeletonized trigger
  • Beveled Mag-well
  • Combat hammer
  • Smooth trigger
  • Ambi-safety (see Cons)


  • Thumb safety is sharp
  • Rubber grips
  • Plastic mainspring housing
  • Only comes with 1 magazine

Score: 8.5 Great85



Chad's Favorite Link: U.S. Tactical Supply

EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument

The EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument is the easiest and most accurate way to square an optic to a gun.

I'm about to share with you one of the most useful tools in my gun drawer. I'm almost certain that unless you already have some sort of trick or technique for mounting an optic squarely level to a firearm, you'll want to pick up one of these for yourself after reading this review.
The EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument is an adjustable, self-aligning tool that uses V-blocks to square up the scope's objective bell with the barrel, assuming your scope rings are quality and in spec. Once you tighten down the thumb screw to secure the V-blocks (you can use a rubber band to keep it in place if needed) you can use the bubble level to assure the rifle/shotgun/muzzleloader/pistol is resting level with the planet. Then, with the rings loosely tightened so you can rotate the scope in place, you want to look through the glass and make sure the crosshairs themselves are parallel with something thats level - a door frame, a fence post, or a plumb line that uses gravity to create a straight vertical reference. If the reticle is vertically squared and the bubble level in the EXD instrument is between the marks, your scope is aligned with the universe and you can tighten down your rings.
Now I have managed to mount optics on quite a few firearms without the use of such a tool, but the possibility of being skewed and non-level with the bore has always haunted me. Once I'd get the rings slightly tightened and the eye relief in the sweet spot, I'd either take a step back and fiddle with the magnification so I can catch a glimpse of the reticle in the narrow eye-box and just sorta get a feel if it looks square to the action, then double check by scoping something outdoors that I'm relatively sure has straight vertical edge. If the scope had a nice capped elevation turret I would balance an actual level tool on it, but that only would tell me the scope was level with the ground, not level with bore itself. I could spend and hour tinkering with it until it looks right, and it could still be way off.

EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument

For shooting 100-200 yards it may not be worth a second thought, but for ultimate precision especially at longer ranges, a canted crosshair reticle can and will have adverse effects on your scope's windage and elevation adjustments. Many gun stores, smiths, or scope dealers will mount a scope fore you, but really only "eyeball" it or use a reference that may not be all that precise. Hell, I've had someone tell me to just close my eyes, shoulder the rifle, and then whatever canted position the rifle is in my hands is good enough, then half-ass level the windage line and tighten the rings from there. This may be "good enough" for Bubba to bag a backyard buck, but not if you hope to be consistent with your firearm's optic at various ranges.
Yes, there might be some OCD tied into it, but a scope that you've leveled yourself, without paying someone else, really gives you reassurance as well as confidence in your rig (or in some cases, gives you less excuses at the firing line). The beauty is that this tool is so simple, it should work with virtually every firearm you want to mount a scope on, with only a few exceptions. I would strongly recommend buying the EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument, especially if you own multiple scopes and like to swap them around, or if you're business includes mounting optics for customers.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Makes zeroing your scope faster and far more accurate

Target Market:  Scoped Rifle Owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Self Align V-blocks
  • Thumb Screw for tightening
  • View Slot
  • Bubble level to ensure scope and bore are square during mounting

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Unfinished Aluminium only

What others are saying?:

"I have mounted numerous rifle scopes and this is the best device for leveling the cross hairs I have found. Actually, it's used to level the rifle and scope, and then plumb the vertical reticle of the scope." Brownells.com User Review

"This tool changes weather a scope is level or not from an opinion to a fact. It's the best tool out there for leveling a scope. On some high power scopes the narrow window can be an issue but it still works." Brownells.com User Review

"This tool is indispensable for quick accurate perfectly level crosshairs. No more excess time fidling with back and forth alignment. If your in the profession you absolutely need this tool, its a money maker." Brownells.com User Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Available at Brownells.com

Our Rating:


  • Removes the guesswork from mounting a scope and zeroing the reticle
  • Works with almost every firearm platform as long as the scope overlaps a round barrel
  • Compatible with Oval ocular scopes
  • Should work with optics on handguns, muzzleloaders, shotguns, as well as rifles.


  • Barrels with rear iron sights may not work with this tool
  • Leveling the reticle perpendicular requires an outside reference ie: a door frame or plumb line
  • Expensive for what it is...would have been a great additional value if some sort of black string, thumbtack and weight were included

Score: 8.0 Great



Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

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Hunter of Design

Lone Wolf Distributors Ultimate Adjustable Trigger


IMG_0430Let me start off this review by saying I am not a huge fan of Glocks. The grips never usually fit me right, they feel really blocky to me and they just don’t excite me like a wood and steel gun does. With my personal feelings on Glocks out of the way, let me say that Glocks are rugged, accurate and reliable handguns that have withstood the early criticisms leveled against them, and have emerged as the top handgun for law enforcement and personal defense. Their polymer frame offers light weight, along with some recoil reducing characteristics and manufacturing economy. The Tenifer treatment on the slide helps ensure that the guns resist corrosion, even after the black finish on the slide is worn away over time. I have seen many police trade-in Glocks with the black finish worn away from reholstering, and the exposed metal still did not show any signs of rust forming. Glocks are definitely in it for the long haul when it comes to quality construction.

The UAT is made of 6061 Billet Aluminum

However, one thing that some people do not care for is the trigger. To me, the factory Glock trigger feels very spongy. I definitely notice a “sproing” feeling just after the trigger breaks, and it can be distracting to me, and many other people as well. Due to the less-than-stellar factory trigger, there has been a growing number of Glock drop-in replacement triggers to help improve the trigger pull & feel. Many of these units use multiple pins in their assembly and generally are not adjustable after the trigger is installed in the frame. They are also quite expensive, with units ranging from $99.00 to upwards of $180.00. For those people who want to upgrade the trigger on their Glock, those features and prices can be prohibitive. There weren’t really any other options out there for people who wanted a easily adjustable and affordable aftermarket trigger….until now.

The pre-travel adjustment screw is visible just under the locking block

The Lone Wolf Distributors Ultimate Adjustable Trigger offers easy adjustability while the trigger is still installed in the gun. Couple that with the low retail price of $74.95 on the trigger, and I think Lone Wolf has a winner here. The trigger shoe is constructed out of 6061 billet aluminum and is held together with one simple, yet robust, allen head screw, and does not use any press out pins like you see in similar trigger units. The shoe is nicely radiused, and to me felt far better comfort wise than the stock trigger. The trigger bar that comes with the shoe is very nicely polished and eliminates any friction that may have been present with the stock trigger unit. The trigger safety has also been altered somewhat, and seems to sit more flush with the trigger unit than the stock unit does. I definitely noticed the difference in the trigger safety; that is to say I barely noticed it’s presence at all (which to me is a good thing!). However, testing the trigger safety’s function shows that it operates just as positively as the stock unit does (provided you adjusted it according to the well illustrated instructions; more on that later.)

The over-travel adjustment screw is easily accessible on the back of the trigger shoe.

I installed the UAT in a Glock 22 using a 9mm Lone Wolf conversion barrel. I used a 3.5 lb connector and a 6 lb trigger spring, also from Lone Wolf. Installation of the trigger was a snap, especially with the really well done instructions provided by LWD. Once the trigger is installed in the gun, the real fun begins. The trigger comes with two allen keys, with one a bit bigger than the other. These allen keys are used to adjust the pre-travel and over-travel screws that are on the trigger. The instructions show you how to do the initial setup of the trigger once you have it in your gun, and it is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT that you follow them. If you do not properly adjust the pre-travel and check it, you can cause a condition where the trigger safety does not rest in the proper place, and the trigger is free to be depressed without the safety disengaged. Following the instructions, it is very simple to adjust the pre-travel safely to your desired setting. Just insert the allen key in between the slide lock and the locking block. To remove pre-travel, you turn the screw clockwise, to add pre-travel, you turn it counter-clockwise. Simple as that. To adjust the amount of over-travel, you simply insert the allen key into the screw on the backside of the trigger shoe (in the magazine well area) and adjust to your preference. The best part about this is that it can all be done by simply removing the slide; further disassembly is not necessary.

After properly adjusting the trigger to my prefered amounts of pre- and over-travel, I checked the pull weight on my Lyman trigger pull gauge. With the 9mm LW Conversion barrel and the Glock 22 slide installed, the trigger broke cleanly at an average of 3.0 lbs. I then installed an Advantage Arms .22 Long RIfle Conversion unit on the same frame, and the trigger pull averaged around 3.4 lbs. There was a distinct difference in the trigger pull between the two configurations, with the conversion unit trigger pull feeling very crisp, like a finely tuned rifle trigger. I headed out to the range several weekends in a row to test the unit, and found that it functioned flawlessly as expected. Be sure to check out the video footage of the UAT in action on both the standard Glock 22 configuration and the Advantage Arms configuration, as it will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about. It is REALLY easy to just feather the trigger with the .22 Conversion unit and get a fast, accurate string of shots.

Glock 22 w/ UAT on bottom, Glock 35 on top with stock factory unit.

Overall, I am extremely impressed with what Lone Wolf has created. The UAT offers the end user a great amount of adjustability with easy installation and a very inexpensive price. Don’t let the price fool you, however; this is a quality unit. The construction is very nice and the precision machining utilized in making the trigger is readily apparent. Once assembled, the seam on the side of the trigger is darn near invisible with a quick glance. To get such precision on a small part like a trigger shoe is really impressive. It is such a huge step up, in my opinion, over the factory unit that, if I were to buy any more Glocks, I would automatically purchase one of these units for them. The inexpensive price coupled with the great quality and performance simply can’t be beat in the world of custom Glock triggers.                           You Tube Video


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Provides the Glock shooter with a nicely made & robust trigger than can be adjusted for pre-travel and over-travel without fully disassembling the firearm.

Target Market: Those Glock owners who want to upgrade their triggers to a more robust and user-adjustable unit (adjustable WITHOUT uninstalling the trigger).

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Aluminum construction
  • Polished trigger bar
  • User adjustable for pre-travel and over-travel WITHOUT full disassembly.
  • Different trigger shape & radiused edges offers better trigger control & comfort.
  • Assembly uses only one screw.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: It is available only in silver 6061 billet aluminum at this time.

Price point:

I need it now! Availabily: You can purchase from Lone Wolf Distributors

Our Rating:


  • Trigger feels amazing to use.
  • Solid billet aluminum construction; no plastic.
  • Polished trigger bar eliminates friction.
  • The trigger shape offers better control & comfort for the shooter.
  • Biggest plus? User adjustability for over-travel & pre-travel without uninstalling the trigger!!

Score: 9.0 Amazing90


Ryan Michad Links

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Firing Line Review



Aimline Glock Sights

aimline-2 When it comes to practical combat sights, there are many options out there. I found out about these Aimline sights from a friend and got in contact with the guys at KA Tactical. In short order, I had sent off, and got back, my Glock 19 slide and got to testing.

aimline-1I found in my friend's Glock 19 that it is a pistol I shoot instinctively well, so I bought it (not to say he regrets selling it but he wants another one). This is due in part to the ergonomics and natural pointability it affords me. I also fell in love with the ball in the cup sight picture that came with the gun, but was not thrilled with plastic construction, so I was hesitant to make the change, but eager to upgrade. These Aimline sights feature all steel construction, which is a durability and utility upgrade over the stock Glock sights. The sight picture is another thing that drew me to these sights over other sights that feature three dot style sight pictures. The Aimline system works great for me, because the principle of the straight line formed by both the colored lines on the sights and the sight housings themselves create a sight picture that is both easily acquired and equally maintained through continuous fire.

I firmly believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, when it comes to sighting systems across all weapons platforms. The defensive handgun in particular benefits from a simple easy to acquire and consistently maintained sight picture. The value and strength that these Aimline sights provide, are definitely worth checking out. I am so pleased with these that If I dont go with an RMR on my new Glock 41 Gen 4 I know exactly what I will be putting on.

In the included video you can see these in action by me and my friend running some practical shooting drills.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: No nonsense combat sights.

Target Market: Currently Glock users

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • CNC machined out of 4100 steel with a black oxide finish
  • 4 vibrant color choices
  • Set screw on rear sight
  • Designed to be snag free while maintaining belt/shoe racking.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: White, Yellow, Green, and Orange color options are available.

What others are saying?: The Truth About Guns did a review on these sights here.

Price point:

  • MSRP = $75 But Aimline is running a Christmas sale for $50
  • Retail = I got mine from KA Tactical and they did the install.

I need it now! Availability: I have not seen these locally yet but with modern shipping you can get them pretty fast even if you send your slide to have the work done.

Our Rating:


  • Build Quality
  • Function
  • Fast Acquisition
  • Quick Followup shots


  • Colored lines can be lost in low light/no light

Score: 8.0 Great80


My Links:


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Firing Line Review




Sticky Holster


Sticky4 I’ll start off this product review by admitting that I am someone who is very hard to please when it comes to holsters. I think that may be a majority of the people who carry as well, but I am especially difficult in this regard. I absolutely hate tucking in shirts, and nothing is more annoying to me than having my firearm rubbing into my side all day. Because of this, I have been mostly relegated to pocket carry for the majority of my life. A good pocket holster should break up the outline of the firearm, as well as create a margin of safety by covering the trigger guard. An IWB holster should do the same thing. With most pocket holsters, retention of the holster on the draw is accomplished by having either a small hook-like appendage on the holster to snag on the pocket during the draw, or a sticky substance on the outside that tends to snag on the pocket material during the draw. Most IWB holsters accomplish this retention by using some sort of a belt clip, either plastic or metal (or button loops on some designs) that retain the holster in the pants during the draw stroke. The Sticky Holster uses the tacky outer surface material do accomplish this. However, the idea behind the Sticky holster goes much further than just pocket carry.

The Sticky Holster can potentially serve as a pocket & IWB holster

The Sticky Holster is designed to be quite versatile. The models that are designed for smaller framed guns, like my J-Frame, can be used one of two ways; either as a traditional pocket holster in a pants pocket, or as an IWB holster, wherever the user would prefer the firearm. Some guns are more suited to IWB carry than others, and some guns are more suited to pocket carry than others. It all comes down to personal preference. That would be one place where I would say the Sticky Holster shines. Rather than the user needing to purchase two separate holsters for two different modes of carry, the Sticky Holster can function either way. If you get up one day and decide that the pants you’re wearing have big enough pockets for pocket carry, you can put your firearm in the Sticky and put it in your pocket. If you decide that the pants you have on don’t really support pocket carry, you can tuck the whole firearm and holster unit into your waistband between your side and your belt and carry it IWB. The clipless design allows for the user to put the holster and firearm wherever on their beltline they would prefer, and this could be a significant advantage, as some pants have belt loops that tend to always be in the EXACT location where you want to put the firearm. Not having to contend with the exposed clip allows for many more location options.

The Sticky Holster uses a tacky outer material for holster retention

For my test & evaluation purposes, I was provided with the MD-5 size holster from Sticky. It is designed to hold snubby revolvers with a barrel length up to 2.125”. It fit the revolver well, and the quality of construction and materials were quite nice. I must admit, this is my first experience with a holster of this style, and many of the things I experienced when using the Sticky holster could be chalked up to my inexperience with the system. When pocket carrying the Sticky holster, the retention was good during the draw, and the holster covering the hammer helped to prevent any snags during the draw. One of the negatives I found when pocket carrying with my J-frame was that there seemed to be quite a lot of extra material toward the bottom edge of the holster. This was causing the holster and gun to be pushed up and somewhat out of my pocket slightly when I sat down in the car. Perhaps this could be an issue with the pants I wear (Carhartt’s) but could also be an issue with a little too much material on the holster. It's not a deal breaker for the product, but something to be aware of for those folks who are buying the Sticky as a main pocket carry holster.

The Sticky covers the hammer of my J-Frame. This aids in carry comfort.

Carrying IWB with the Sticky holster is pretty easy, but it does take some getting used to for those people who are accustomed to having a clipped IWB design. The Sticky uses the compression of your belt against your side in conjunction with the tacky material to afford retention of the holster and firearm. I tried this with several different types of pants and gym shorts and found myself to be most comfortable with the Sticky while using normal pants and a belt for retention. There were a few times that after fast running or jumping that the Sticky had moved from where I had originally placed it. I had a similar issue with it while sitting down in the car. This could be a function of my body type and the type of seats I have in my vehicle, but it is something for the prospective buyer to be aware of. There is versatility in this holster, but it may not work for everyone, depending upon your lifestyle and comfort level. I have heard people talk about using the Sticky as a holster for when they are wearing pants or shorts that are not meant to be worn with a belt, and that use a simple drawstring for compression around the waist. I tried this several times, but the Sticky holster just did not feel secure enough for me in the waistband for me to trust this method of carry with that style of pant. Granted, I am carrying a very NON-lightweight J-frame (Stainless Model 60) so that method of carry may work better for people carrying a lighter weight weapon, but for me it just didn’t work out as well.

In closing, the Sticky holster is a good product that does help out in the holster decision process. It offers a versatility you sometimes won’t find with other holsters, and does so at a competitive price. I see that Sticky is planning on offering a reinforced model soon (Spring 2015) and that should alleviate some of my concerns with the thickness of the material. The instructions provided with the Sticky are clear and conscise, and explain the process for safe use of the holster, as well as the cleaning process (Which is very easy!). If you are someone who needs a versatile holster, and just can’t seem to find one which fits your needs, check out the Sticky Holster. It did not work well for me as an IWB holster, and worked best as a pocket style holster, but it may fill the IWB & Pocket Holster needs for you!

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: This product is a holster that is designed for use either in the pocket or inside the waistband. It is a clipless design that uses compression from the pants/belt and a tacky outer material to retain the holster and firearm.

Target Market: Concealed carriers, especially those people who do not care for the clipped design of most IWB holsters or those people who frequently have to remove their holstered firearm, for reasons such as entering areas where carry is prohibited. The clipless design of the holster makes it easy to remove the firearm and holster as one unit for safe storage in a legal location.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Clipless Design allows for versatility in terms of holster location.
  • The holster allows for the user to choose pocket carry or IWB carry (Within certain limitations, mainly gun size.)
  • Easily cleaned if the holster becomes soiled.
  • Lightweight and not a lot of bulk.
  • Covered the hammer of my revolver completely rather than allowing it to stick out above the mouth of the holster. This can be an important consideration for comfortable carry.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The holster is offered in a simple, black finish that has a stitched outer border and a tacky rubber like substance that I can most closely approximate to the material that is put on the handles of exercise equipment.

What others are saying?: “This was purchased for my SP101, and is my third Sticky Holster. I prefer the versatility these holsters give over a standard IWB holster; much thinner than leather, no clips or straps to get in the way, and it stays put.” - Amazon Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability (Where can I buy this TODAY?) Amazon.com or Sticky Holsters

Our Rating:


  • Lightweight
  • Sticky material allows for placement in different places on the belt.
  • Clipless design removes the problem of belt loops getting in the way of the clip.
  • Versatility; the holster can be used as a pocket or IWB carry option.


  • Holster can be somewhat bulky depending upon application. Pocket carry was pushing the limits of my pocket capacity (others may vary)
  • The material is quite thin. It seems plenty durable, but I would prefer a bit thicker, with perhaps a reinforced holster mouth (Says on the Sticky website this is coming soon)

Score: 7.5 Good




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Trijicon HD Night Sight

Trijicon-HD1I bought these sights to put on a Glock 22 that had the standard Glock sights on it.  I personally don’t care for the “Goalpost” rear sight that Glock uses.  I was looking for a sight that had a larger front dot to help in quicker front sight post acquisition.  It came down to the Trijicon HD Night Sights or the XS Sights Big Dot. Since I already have 3 dot sights on my other Glocks, I decided to go with the Trijicons, as they also have a three dot set up.  That is verses the XS sights that use a lollypop sighting system.  I felt that consistency throughout my handguns is important, so that no matter which one my wife or I grab, the sight picture will be as similar as possible. Trijicon-HD2

Upon taking my Glock to the range, I found that the sights were just what I was looking for.  As soon as I snapped it up on target my eyes were drawn to the front sight post like the mainstream media to a smooth talking liberal.  Well maybe not quite like that, I didn’t get weak in the knees, and start drooling.  As I continued to shoot, I found that they weren't the most accurate sights I had shot.  However, they served the purpose that I had gotten them for.  As a “combat” sight I feel that they are right on the money.  As for competition, I feel that they would be more than capable of allowing you to run and gun quickly.  So for competitions that speed is the key (ie: most three gun matches) I feel they would be great.  The rear sight is strong enough to aid in single handed slide manipulations.  In the future, I plan on putting these sights on other handguns I get.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The large front sight dot that allows for quick sight acquisition.  The three dot design allows for a sight picture that most people are used to.

Target Market: Anyone looking for a fast acquisition combat sight.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Metal Body
  • Tritium-Phosphor inserts
  • sapphire window that helps evenly distribute Tritium's light
  • Silicone Rubber cushion
  • Protective clear coat and high visibility colored front sight post
  • “U” notch rear sight
  • subdued rear sight allows the shooter to more easily focus on the front sight

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: There are two options for the front sight color.  They come with either a yellow or orange front dot.

What others are saying?: 

  • OpticsPlanet (Bob’s Review) In over 35 years training civilian and LE officers with firearms, I have used many different notch sites. The trijicon hd is without a doubt the best I have ever used. The large U on the rear site makes acquiring the large (yellow) front site extremely fast . I have them on every Glock I own.
  • Review on the Bang Switch: http://www.thebangswitch.com/trijicon-hd-night-sights/

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase the Trijicon HD Night Sights from many retailers, including Amazon and directly from Trijicon.

Our Rating:


  • Fast front sight acquisition
  • easy to shoot fast and make first shot hits at defensive ranges
  • Easy installation


  • Cost
  • Not as accurate as other sight options

Score: 9 Amazing90


The only thing I could really mark these sight down on is the cost.  They are super fast to acquire, and get on target.



LOK 1911 Grips

LOKgun2 LOKgun1I received these LOK 1911 grips after discovering the company while searching for grips on Amazon. These grips are great. LOK has definitely done their homework.  LOK Grips is a new company that has ventured into the grip manufacturing world.  They offer a variety of G10 grips for 1911's, Beretta 92's, Ruger 22/45's, CZ-75's, and Sig 238 and 938's.  Various textures and color combinations are offered as well.

The grips I chose were the "Spec Ops" in an orange/black color combo.  The Spec Ops have a golf ball texture on the front of the grips panels, and slanted ridges on the back.  This design gave me a good grip on the gun and excellent recoil management.  I originally thought that these grips might be too aggressive, but they are very comfortable to shoot with.  My hands were not any worse for wear after shooting with the LOK Spec Ops grips.

lokgrip1911LOK offers a number of different options for the grips. After you have selected the style and texture, you can select ambi-safety cuts, style of bottom cut, and magazine release cuts.  Since I chose 1911 grips, I opted for a magwell bottom cut, a magazine relief cut, and an ambi-safety cut.  I noticed that with the magwell cut, LOK also has relief cuts, on the back side of the grip, for the main spring housing pin.  This shows how much quality they put into the manufacturing process.

I am very pleased with these grips. They are attractive, functional, and less expensive than other G10 grips on the market. They are a very high quality grip at decent price.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Good looking functional grips

Target market: Any shooter who wants a functional, good looking grip, with emphasis on functionality.

FNBs (Features & Benefit):

  • Lightweight G10 material
  • Texture options
  • Color combinations
  • Grip cut options

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Many colors and options, please go look for yourself at LOK grips

What others are saying?:

  • "Lok Custom Grips... Best Value Anywhere on 1911 Custom Grips!"  - Amazon
  • "I picked up a pair of grips today at the gun show. I love them, they fir great and you gotta love the price." - Facebook

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon

Our Rating:


  • Good grip texture
  • Style options
  • Color options
  • Lightweight
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Fast shipping

Score: 8.5 Great85



Chad’s Favorite Link:  U.S. Tactical Supply

Firing Line Review



Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB Holster Review

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB Holster The market for inside the waistband (IWB) holsters has seen a surge of innovation in design and materials in the recent years. At first glance they may all seem the same in form and function, but anyone who carries concealed on a regular basis will know the difference on the hip. Each concealed carrier has a different frame, and can be themselves a variable as to what brand of holster fits best. A lightweight holster with the right combination of materials can be the solution that fits wider (and thinner) range of people.

Enter the 'Cloak Tuck 2.0' from Alien Gear Holsters.  This IWB holster stands out from the pack with a unique composition. Technically referred to as a hybrid, the lightweight design has a soft Neoprene backing that is thinner and more flexible than traditional leather backings, and provides a better conforming fit and comfort to your body. The Neoprene material is completely waterproof, which will prevent corrosive sweat from soaking in and reaching your pistol. The secret to the backing is an internal ABS polymer core that gives flex but is strong enough to not sag down with the weight of a hefty handgun.

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB Holster

The Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB Holster has a plastic handgun half-shell that is fully swappable for versatility with other guns in your collection. The shell is made in a quicker fashion than most other 'boutique' kydex holsters, and this simplicity in the manufacturing process trickles right down to the price tag for the end user. By no means is this a poor quality holster, just the responsibility for retention is shared amongst the belt, waistband of the belt, and the user's hip. I know it's far from rocket science, but sometimes the simpler solutions are the best.  The half shell reduced the overall profile of the holster, and thus prevents factors that cause imprinting of the firearm through clothing.

The Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster comes equipped either with Alien Gear's standard nylon clips, designed for 1 .25" to 1.5"  inch belts, or their steel clips that fit belts up to 1.75" inches. For enhanced conceal-ability, there are nylon "C" clips and "J" clips are also available on the website as add-on items. These clips would be ideal for anyone who tucks their shirt over the pistol, and does not wish to have obvious clips exposed over the top of the belt. The "C' or "J" clips go beneath the belt and hook under the edges, which gives a more innocuous look. The holster also includes a parts pack containing multi sized screws and rubber spacers, along with one T Nut, Finish Washer, and 3/32 Hex Key.

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB Holster

I ordered this holster for the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, to really get a sense of concealability of a single stack defensive pistol. Borrowing a friend's Shield, we were both able to test the holster by drawing in the standing, sitting, and walking positions. After comparing notes, we both agreed the Cloak Tuck 2.0 had a better feel than other holsters we both respectively have tried in the past. The Neoprene was soft on the skin and keeps your skin from feeling sweaty, irritated or suffocated at the end of the day. The thinness and flexibility also made inserting and removing the holster from the pants easier than rigid leather-backed holsters. This, along with the lightweight, may also fit your regularly sized pants instead of having a designated pair thats one size up to accommodate an IWB holster.

The only factors I took as a trade-off with this holster are two-fold:  When reholstering the firearm, the flexible backing will deform instead of guide your muzzle downward into position. I found that reholstering from a slight angle caused this issue to repeat, and the slide could come out of battery. Leather offers more resistance that would guide the gun into position easier, but during an altercation the holstering is the slowest and least critical part anyways.  The second issue I found was more of a personal preference. Instead of grommeted or regular holes for adjusting the ride height, Alien Gear had installed all 6 nuts, leaving 4 exposed. While this makes for initial configuration faster and easier, removing the unused nuts with barbed backings would be more troublesome than leaving them installed, leaving them exposed WILL wear on your clothes overtime.

** I've decreased the rating to 6.5 since initially reviewing this holster, as issues and wear have shown more over time. Also, the positioning of the shell put the rear of the pistol's slide off center from the sweat guard. Modification to the screw holes was necessary to shift the gun over slightly so the slide and sights didn't jab my side when seated.**

Because the overall for the price point, this holster is hard to beat. Other brands on the market reaching as low as $60 or $50 dollars make compromises in either plastic vs kydex, or leather quality, or stitching reinforcement. For almost half that price, you can get a quality holster from Alien Gear that accomplishes exactly what and IWB holster should do, without abducting your paycheck!

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Our 'Cloak Tuck 2.0' Neoprene Composite Holster is our most comfortable and stable holster yet. 

Target Market: Concealed Carry

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Lightweight design
  • Soft neoprene body-side layer
  • Inner ABS polymer core
  • Completely waterproof
  • Fully swappable handgun shell for versatility.
  • Comes equipped either with standard nylon clips, designed for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch belts, or steel clips that fit belts up to 1 3/4 inches.
  • For enhanced conceal-ability, nylon "C" clips and "J" clips are also available as add-on items.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black

What others are saying?: "Alien Gear has nailed it. The simple design means the cost comes in below most other holsters–$35.88.  New pieces and parts are available as needed. New Kydex shells, too. If you aren’t someone who owns a lot of guns, there’s always the shell-swap option.  All told, this holster is comfortable, dependable, easy to conceal, and modular. I’d pay a lot more than $36 for that."

Price point:

MSRP = $35.88

I need it now! Availability on aliengearholsters.com

Our Rating:


  • The back layer of neoprene is very soft and didn't get excessively sweaty
  • Completely waterproof
  • Lightweight & comfortable for all day carrying
  • Slim profile reduces printing, can make IWB 1911 carry possible
  • Easy to get into pants
  • Includes varying sizes of nuts and spacers and the allen tool


  • Neoprene backing is quite flexible, and reholstering at the wrong angle can hang up the process, cause slide to come out of battery
  • Logo artwork was wearing off (may have been temporary marking for short run of Clock 2.0)
  • Nuts are pre-placed and exposed, as opposed to one set of nuts to disassemble and adjust (removing nuts would cause damage to backing)
  • Position of the slide was off center from sweat guard and required modification of the shell
  • Others users have experienced rusting on the back's exposed screws, and even comfortable skin wear

Score: 6.5



Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

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Firing Line Review

Apex Tactical Duty/Carry Kit & AEK Trigger

Apex Tactical AEK Trigger Not unlike other popular polymer striker fire pistols, the S&W M&P has factory internals that are meant to be a common denominator for all gun owners. While it's perfectly satisfactory for most gunsumers, Apex Tactical manufactures Action Enhancement Kits, or AEKs, to suit your competitive, duty, or carry needs. The Apex Tactical Duty/Carry Kit & AEK Trigger are two products I was recommended to add to my S&W M&Pc pistol to give the already decent performance and accuracy a bit of a "polish."

The Duty/Carry AEK kit is compatible with S&W M&P Full Size, Compact, Long Slide and Pro Models, with or without thumb safeties and magazine disconnects. It is not compatible with the M&P Shield or .45ACP M&P pistols.

Apex Tactical AEK Trigger

The kit includes an APEX fully machined sear, APEX M&P Ultimate Striker Block Kit (Ultimate Striker Block, USB Spring, Talon Tactical Tool) and Duty Carry Spring Set (Sear Spring,  Trigger Return Spring, aluminum slave pin). All those modiciation parts work in conjunction to shorten over-travel of the trigger and create a smoother pull, all while keeping the pistol at a safe 5-5.5 lb trigger pull weight for Duty/Carry applications. I know many of you have heard/read already the saying, "You don't want to have to explain to a prosecutor in court why you modified your defensive weapon with a lightened trigger" but there's a reason why all LEO and military keep their sidearm triggers in the 5lb range, and for a non-competition pistol you plan on using for personal defense its a good idea to follow step.

The AEK Trigger Kit is compatible with all S&W M&P Pistols including the 45 ACP models. It directly replaces the factory hinged trigger with a solid body machined aluminum trigger (a lower price polymer trigger is also available) that has a center mounted pivoting safety.  The flat target style trigger purposefully forces the shooter's finger on the center line of the trigger and encourages trigger manipulation directly to the rear, which leads to better accuracy.  The reduced pre-travel and over-travel is approximately a 20% difference from the S&W factory trigger.

Apex Tactical AEK Trigger

I found that installing the Duty/Carry Kit was fairly straight forward when watching the Apex Tactical instructional Youtube video (Part 1 and Part 2). The only hangup I had was connecting the AEK trigger to the trigger bar. Despite being preset from Apex, it refused to budge for me. In fact, I broke a cheap punch on it after wailing repeatedly with far too much force than what should have been necessary. I had to use a bench vice to start the pin even more, which was then too far for the trigger bar to be attached. A quick visit to the gunsmith took care of it, and he was in agreement that the pin in question was unusually stubborn.

After installation of both the AEK Trigger Kit and the Duty/Carry kit, I found that the trigger pull was indeed very smooth and the distance for both pre-travel and over-travel were much shorter than before. The reset however disappeared almost completely, and will take some getting used to at the range as it feels like a competition trigger. I was able to bump the trigger and get unintended double taps, but installing the Reset Assist Mechanism (RAM Kit) next should reproduce a proper reset and an overall safer carry pistol.

Apex Tactical Duty/Carry Kit & AEK Trigger

I would recommend these kits to any M&P owner who is wanting a better trigger pull and tighter groups. It does take some getting used to, and if you have never disassembled a striker fired pistol beyond whats needed for cleaning I would recommend either taking it to a gunsmith or studying up on the Youtube videos repeatedly before taking it on yourself.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The AEK Trigger is an enhanced trigger for the Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols, reducing  trigger pre-travel and over travel.

The Duty/Carry Action Enhancement Kit delivers a smooth, consistent 5½ lb. trigger pull with less over-travel and shorter reset for an improved performance of your pistol while maintaining its safety features for daily carry.

Target Market: Law Enforcement, competition shooters, and individuals who own a S&W M&P

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Center Mounted Pivoting Safety bar
  • Reduced trigger pre-travel & over-travel by approximately 20%
  • Flat, smooth face trigger encourages trigger manipulation directly in line with the bore axis
  • Trigger Return Spring
  • Limited pre-travel, limited over-travel, and improved safety features out of the AEK Trigger
  • Retain the factory sear spring to get a slightly lighter 5 lb. pull.
  • Installation Slave Pin
  • Both kits engineered for a drop-in fit, though gunsmith installation is recommended.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: N/A

What others are saying?: "As a 1911 shooter, moving to any plastic gun is a challenge to shoot well. I am spoiled on 1911 triggers. This kit comes close to what I am used to on a 1911. A bit more take up, but otherwise smooth, light and crisp release and reset. My groups improved greatly and rival those of my 1911. A bit pricey to pay 150.00 for a trigger on a 400.00 gun. But if this is your carry gun, worth it." -Lawrence Plasek, Apex Tactical Website Review

Price point:

AEK Trigger: MSRP = $76.99 Retail = Same price on Brownells

Duty/Carry Action Enhancement Kit: MSRP = $92.95 Retail = Same price on Brownells

I need it now! Availability Available on Brownells or direct thru Apex Tactical

Our Rating:


  • Creates a very smooth, consistent trigger pull that feels lighter than standard 5-5.5lbs
  • Online videos available to assist with each process
  • Shorter over-travel and shortened trigger reset.
  • The kit itself is engineered to be drop-in and should not require further gunsmithing (however, armorer or gunsmith installation is recommended).


  • The kit itself is engineered to be drop-in and should not require further gunsmithing, however AEK trigger pin was unusually stubborn and needed persuasion from my smith.
  • Trigger reset is not tangible and barely audible, Reset Assist Mechanism is probably needed to finish off the kit for my carry purposes.

Score: 8.0



Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast link

Graphic Design and Web Design services www.hunterofdesign.com

Firing Line Review



Kahr CM9 Review

kahrcm9-1The Kahr CM9 is Kahr Arms' budget priced, polymer framed, micro-compact 9mm with a stainless steel slide. When I say budget, what it means is this: Standard rifled barrel instead of a polygonal rifled one, a staked polymer front sight and not a dovetailed in metal front post, a MIM (metal injected molded) slide stop as opposed to a machined one, and a less machined slide. All of these steps reduce the cost of the CM9, but don't be mislead, this is still a quality firearm. As with all of the Kahr firearms, this one is a striker fired double action only. The trigger has a long, but super smooth pull. The CM9 comes from the factory with 1 six round flush fit magazine. Other magazines are available, and it will take the original K9 7 round magazines but they will stick out the bottom by about 1/2". When I measure the pistol the length is 5.7" and the height is 4.25" with the magazine inserted. The width is as advertised at .90". The weight fully loaded with 7 115gr Cor-Bon's comes in at 21oz's. The pistol uses a standard lock breech tilting barrel Browning style system. Included within the slide is a passive striker block to help prevent accidental firing if the gun were to be dropped or something to that affect. Disassembly is very easy also. Make sure the firearm is unloaded and there isn't a magazine in the gun.  Slide the slide back about 1/2" until the crescent shaped cut out is in line with the slide stop, then push the slide stop pin out from the other side.  Release the slide, and as slightly pulling the slide forward, pull the trigger and the slide will slide right off. kahrcm9-3Being that the Kahr CM9 is small and lightweight, it lends itself to being a dedicated concealed carry pistol. The pistol is easily concealed under a t-shirt with a good IWB holster. If you are of larger stature, it could even be considered a pocket pistol. How does it shoot, you ask?  It shoots as one would expect for a micro 9mm pistol.  I could keep all my shots under 3" at 10 yards with all the ammo I fed it. The gun's recoil is VERY snappy, as one would expect from such a small powerful pistol. If you are recoil sensitive, this might not be the pistol for you. Also if you are new to shooting, the CM9 might be too much gun to handle. Kahr says to give the pistol a 200 round break-in period. In the first 100 rounds I fired, I had about 10 rounds of Speer Gold Dot 124gr +p cause the slide to lock back with rounds still in the magazine. These were the only malfunctions I have had with the pistol. After breaking in the pistol, I fired 50 rounds of the same Speer Gold Dot's without a single problem. All the other types of ammo I tried shot flawlessly.

If you are looking for a small lightweight carry pistol, this might be one to consider.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Small, inexpensive, lightweight, sub-compact 9mm pistol

Target Market: Concealed Carry

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 6+1
  • Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
  • Barrel: 3.0", conventional rifling; 1 - 10 right-hand twist
  • Length O/A: 5.42"
  • Height: 4.0"
  • Slide Width: .90"
  • Weight: Pistol 14 ounces, Magazine 1.9 ounces, total 15.9 ounces
  • Grips: Textured polymer
  • Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
  • Finish: Black polymer frame, matte stainless steel slide
  • Magazine: 1 - 6 rd flush floorplate

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: None

What others are saying?:

By Robert L  4/5 stars at Buds Gun Shop

Great gun. I have put about 100 rounds through it so far with no malfunctions. The sight and trigger wil take some getting use to. Great size to carry though.

By Joey K 4/5 stars at Gander Mountain

Love the compact and super lightweight design. Small and light enough to pocket carry all day and almost forget that its there.

Excellent review by Massad Ayoob on the CM9

Price point: 

MSRP = $460.00

Retail = $331.00 at Buds Gun Shop

I need it now! Availability: Check your local gun store

Our Rating:


  • Small size
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth trigger
  • +p rated
  • Price


  • Sharp Recoil
  • Only comes with 1 magazine

Score: 8.5 Great85



Chad’s Favorite Link:  Albany Rifle and Pistol Club




Negrini Dedicated 1911 Handgun Case Review

negrini2 For those unfamiliar with Negrini you should definitely familiarize yourself with them. To me, they bridge the gap between wanting security/strong construction and lightweight/slim construction. If you want something more sturdy than your average thin plastic case with flimsy foam, but don’t want to sacrifice half your trunk to get your pistol to the range, this case by Negrini is a great choice. Although built and marketed as a dedicated 1911 case it can fit, and store securely, most medium to full size pistols. When you add built in locks it makes legally transporting in some states easier it is one of the most versatile single pistol cases I have seen.



negrini3Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Quality and secure construction without bulk

Target Market: High end gunners perhaps the people already familiar with their shotgun cases.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Slide length adjustability
  • Storage for a few mags and more
  • Proprietary double wall abs constructions
  • Hand finished
  • Double locks built in
  • Customizable finishes

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: It would appear that anything is possible given the money is available

What others are saying?: Cannot find any third party reviews for this product.

Price point:

MSRP = $149

Retail = Have not located any places other than the manufacturer site.

I need it now! Availability In your hands today not very likely, however you can order direct from Negrini.

Our Rating:


  • Build Quality
  • Built in Locks
  • Finish Options
  • Storage Versatility

Score: 8.585


Featured FFL:

For my gunsmithing and FFL services including custom Cerakoting, I choose Dynamic Combat Solutions. Gus is really great to work with and you can check him out at his website here.

Sam's Links:

Guns of Hollywood Podcast

NJ Gun Blog

Remora Clip-less Holster for Ruger LC9 Review

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By: Larry

Upon first look of the Remora Clip-less holster, I thought there was absolutely no way this holster would work for me. However, after wearing this holster a number of times, I am amazed at the comfort. Often times I had to reach down to my hip to make sure my firearm was still intact. The non-slip material is everything as advertised. My firearm remained in place. Also, this holster is great as a deep pocket concealment holster. The price is very reasonable for just about everyone who wishes to conceal. Overall, I have very little complaint and I recommend this holster for anyone searching a low cost comfortable holster.

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Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Pointsimage (10)

Claim to Fame: Conceals firearms with comfort

Target Market: Best servers conceal carrier with a low profile holster

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Light weight
  • Low profile
  • IWB or pocket carry
  • Ambidextrous
  • Closed design

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Available in black only.

image (3)

What others are saying?: “This is a clip-less IWB from Remora. I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but the review I read on the LCP site was it very encouraging so I went for it. The holster is made from a slip resistant material and there is no need for a clip. I ordered the 2A with sweat guard for my LCP and a double magazine pouch also.” – eaglefrq, GlockTalk user

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: I need it now! Availability Ships in 5-7 days directly from Remora and 1-2 days from Amazon.

Our Rating:


  • Lightweight low profile design
  • Comfortable
  • Non-slip outer skin
  • Low cost


  • Holster needs to be removed to re-holster after drawing
  • No belt clip

Score: 8.080



Featured FFL

Larry prefers Cops Inc. in Sycamore, IL for his FFL needs.