Adaptive Tactical Venom-SE Magazine Conversion

AT1 The Adaptive Tactical Venom-SE is a magazine conversion kit for for Mossberg 500 and 590 shotguns in 12 guage.  The complete kit comes with a new forend with the magazine adapter, a pistol grip adjustable stock, and either a 10 round box magazine or a 10 round drum magazine.  Adaptive Tactical sent me the multi-cam kit with the "Wraptor" forend, 10 round magazine, and pistol grip adjustable stock. The offerings from them are available in a variety of patterns. The kit only works with 2 3/4" shells. Because the kit puts the magazine in front of the standard loading gate, it causes the user to have to put their support hand farther out, so some users may have trouble cycling the shotgun completely, especially those of smaller stature.

Installation of the Venom-SE kit wasn't extremely hard. If you know how to disassemble the 500, including the magazine tube, you should be able to complete the install. If not, Adaptive Tactical does offer installation.  After you have made sure the firearm is unloaded, remove the barrel, trigger group, left & right shell stops, bolt carrier, forend, shell lifter, and finally the magazine tube. The kit has decent instructions on this, so don't feel overwhelmed. Since the Venom-SE kit also comes with a new stock, the old one must also be removed. Now it is time to install the magazine tube adapter. To do this, screw the supplied tube into the receiver threads. It most likely will not line up with the magazine tube on the bottom. So one must sand the end of the tube down. This process takes a while, so be patient. After some sanding, try the tube again. Eventually the mag well will be parallel to the sides of the receiver, you are now done with the hardest part. Now it's time to reinstall all the parts with the new ones supplied. The only strange part in the installation is that the left side shell plate is not reinstalled. I tried it with both shell plates installed and the shotgun had problems feeding. When I removed it, the problems went away, so do follow this step. When installing the stock, you must choose one of 2 spacers that go between the receiver and the stock. One has a slot for a sling, and the other does not.

AT5The kit comes with one 10 round magazine, and a 5 round box magazine is also available. Adaptive Tactical also sent a 10 round drum magazine for me to try out, as well. I really liked the 10rd stick magazine as it functioned flawlessly in my tests.  The 10rd drum magazine, however, did not function nearly as well. The shotgun would sometimes fail to pick up a round out of it. At first, I thought maybe it was from me short stroking the slide, but I made a point to push forward and backward on the forend until it stopped, and the drum mag would still not always pick up a round, about 1-2 times every magazine. The drum magazine is shorter than the stick mag and the drum sits out to one side off of center. Because the drum is offset, they made it ambidextrous, which is a very nice feature. To insert the magazines, you must first put the front of the mag in, and then rock it back and up, very much like an AK mag.  To remove the magazine, you must push the magazine release lever behind the mag, and then rock it out, also like an AK.


My favorite part of the kit is the AR-15 style M-4 stock with a built in pistol grip. The stock is adjustable for length, and has built in cups for quick detach sling swivels. The pistol grip was very comfortable and has a storage compartment in it. The base to the storage compartment was extremely hard to get on and off, since Adaptive doesn't mention that it has storage, it makes me think that maybe they know this. On the stock is also one of the most comfortable butt pads I have ever used. It is about and inch thick and really cuts down on felt recoil. Because this is a pistol grip stock on a Mossberg, you can not get to the safety without removing your hand from the pistol grip (the safety is on top of the action.)


The Wraptor forend has 3 picatinny rails mounted on an elevated platform that sits above the barrel. 1 rail on top, and 1 on each side. The forend uses a sight tunnel through the rails. The tunnel is very large and may actually help one to find the front sight or bead quicker. It's kind of like looking through a red dot sight. The rail on the top of the Wraptor forend is too high to put a red dot on (I tried) and is probably best suited for some sort of flashlight. Also on the forend are some threaded holes to use the supplied kelly grip. The grip is basically like a vertical foregrip but attaches to the side of the forend. The kelly grip is stouter than I thought it would be. It worked fine also, but seemed a little awkward. The Wraptor also is designed in such a way that there is a lip on the backside to help from getting your hand pinched when cycling the shotgun.

If you are interested in getting a magazine conversion for your Mossberg, Check out the offerings from Adaptive Tactical. These kits are made from a polymer that is extremely rugged and feels almost like aluminum. They also offer different options than the kit I received. So if you just want the magazine conversion kit with a forend, or maybe just the stock, they have options available.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Magazine Conversion for Mossberg 500 shotguns

Target Market: Shooters wanting easier loading or maybe Heavy class 3-gun shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Magazine conversion
  • 5 rd box, 10 rd,box or 10 rd drum magazines
  • Pistol grip adjustable stock
  • Forend with picatinny rails

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? 

  • Black
  • Kryptek
  • A-TACS
  • Multicam
  • Desert Digital

Price point: 

MSRP = $339.99 (as received with Wraptor Forend, 10 rd box mag, and stock in multicam)

$299.99 (Wraptor Forend, 10 rd box mag, and stock in black)

$229.99 (Wraptor Forend with 10 rd box magazine)

$199.99 (Standard forend with 5 rd box magazine)

I need it now! Availability: You can readily purchse the Venom-SE magazine conversion directly from Adaptive Tactical.

Our Rating:


  • Adjustable stock
  • Pistol grip
  • "Wraptor" forend
  • 10 round magazine
  • Pattern options
  • QD sockets built in
  • Ambidextrous drum magazine
  • It's now a Magazine fed shotgun!


  • Installation
  • Safety isn't easily reached
  • Drum magazine didn't function as good
  • Price (though less expensive variants are available)

Score: 7.5 Good75



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

Firing Line Review



Allen Company Recon Tactical Backpack

Allen Company Tactical Recon Backpack

Technically, all backpacks could be considered tactical. After all, tactical means "of or relating to a maneuver or plan of action designed as an expedient toward gaining a desired end or temporary advantage." Having an efficient storage solution that can easily be carried on one's person is a pretty distinct advantage over say, a plastic grocery bag or just your pant pockets. Heck, even a bindle (picture the classic cartoon hobo with a sack tied to a stick) is a human invention that could be considered a distinct advantage for carrying your stuff. What I'm getting at, is when a product is marketed as "tactical" I try to focus on what it does that provides a distinct advantage over the other products in it's category. 

Allen Company Tactical Recon Backpack

There are plenty of "tactical" backpacks out there, and typically the quality and capacity improves the higher the price point. If you are looking for a dependable bug-out bag or EDC bag that will outlast the zombie apocalypse (heavy sarcasm) then you may be in the $200+ range. There are some of us who are just looking for a fairly inexpensive bag that has expanded useful features, as well as looks cool. After all, the first rule of Tactical is if you aren't looking cool, you are doing it wrong. Or so I've been told! In shopping for an inexpensive tactical backpack that would serve well during day outings or travel, I found the Allen Company Recon Tactical Backpack. For only $25 it seemed like a decent pack that was casual but looked the part. Black: check. MOLLE webbing: check. Hook & Loop panel for the sweet PVC morale patches from Patriot Patch Co.: check!

Allen Company Tactical Recon Backpack

It has 3 zippered compartments ranging in size. The largest main compartment has a partition sleeve that holds either a laptop or tablet device,  textbook or magazines (the reading kind) or even a hydration bladder, with a covered port in the top where the bladder's drinking tube can come through and then be secured to the strap. Outside of the aforementioned sleeve theres room for loosely putting anything else, a small jacket or several ham sandwiches. There was clearly room to accommodate more pouches, pockets or an interior MOLLE system but Allen left is pretty minimalistic and bare here, which I guess is why it's under thirty bucks.

Allen Company Tactical Recon Backpack

The second compartment has more to offer as far as utility, and short leashed keyring, admin/paper pocket, and some smaller stitched pockets for pens or smaller items. The third forward most zippered pocket located directly behind the front MOLLE webbing is completely bare, just  big enough for a small book or two magazines (the shooting kind). Once again, pretty bare minimum and really not useful as a range bag, bugout bag, or survival bag.

Allen Company Tactical Recon Backpack

The exterior has MOLLE webbing on the front, sides, and sling of the pack so you can expand the pack with your own tactical accessories. A dump pouch or admin pouch would go along with the whole traveling student role. You could be "that guy" and put pistol mag pouches on the sling and sides, but it wouldn't earn you many credibility points at the gun show. There is a synch-able net pouch for a water bottle on the wearer's right side, and a slim, narrow zippered pocket on the left that will hold a couple energy bars.

Allen Company Tactical Recon Backpack

The comfort of the Recon Tactical Backpack is what's the real hero of its price point, as the back panel and the single sling are padded as well as slightly aerated for reducing sweat spots after wearing it all day. It is a single sling design like a messenger bag / backpack hybrid, so if you weigh it down with heavy contents (ie: dozens of manufacturer catalogs from SHOT Show) you will definitely feel it in your left shoulder after awhile. The downside to hybrid single strap bags like this is the inability to switch shoulders to reduce that fatigue if your pack is too heavy. There is a smaller strap with plastic M-buckle  on the right side which snaps into the main shoulder strap to keep the bag from shifting around, and that helps stabilize the load.

Allen Company Tactical Recon Backpack

In all honesty, I bought this bag from a local gun shop the week before SHOT Show 2015 because I didn't have the time or budget for a more expensive and comprehensive backpack, and I thought a more minimal pack would be useful with all the other camera and recording equipment slung over my shoulder. I quickly found out how overloading the pack with heavy magazines and catalogs lead to pain at the end of a whole day spent on the showroom floor, and I really wished I had anted up for a more conventional double shoulder strap bag with better use of its interior space. If it had better use of internal space with more pockets or pouches on the inside, you wouldn't need to snap on more MOLLE pouches on the outside. Admitting all that, I would still vouch for the Recon Tactical Backpack for a student or just someone on the go looking to travel light but still have some "tactical" features. If you are looking for a full capacity backpack with more features and double straps like a 5.11 pack but more affordable, don't hesitate to check out Allen Company's other tactical backpacks.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The Recon Tactical Pack is ready for the field, the range, or duty use. The single should sling is nicely padded for comfort, while the interior pockets and exterior MOLLE loops allow for easy organization and the ability to add MOLLE compatible accessories.

Target Market:  Day-trippers, Casual Hikers, Students

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 600D cosntruction
  • Single, padded shoulder strap
  • Exterior MOLLE web system
  • Interior organization compartments
  • Water bottle pocket, plus hydration bladder sleeve
  • Air mesh padded back
  • Hook and loop patch for adding name tape or logo patches
  • Padded compartment for laptop
  • Dimensions: 17.5" x 11" x 7.5"

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black only

What others are saying?: "The Recon Tactical Pack is ready for the field, the range, or duty use. The single shoulder sling is nicely padded for comfort, while the interior pockets and exterior MOLLE loops allow for easy organization and the ability to add MOLLE compatible accessories." Geekdotcom.com

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon

Our Rating:


  • Minimal price, minimal footprint
  • Hydration bladder compartment and hole
  • MOLLE webbing for expandable capacity
  • Stitching holds up for light - medium use
  • Strap and back panel are padded and comfortable
  • Price Point is low for minimal features


  • Lack of internal pouches / pockets
  • Design limits carry to left shoulder only
  • Did not include hydration bladder

Score: 5.5 Mediocre



Featured FFL:

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

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Bushnell AR 3-12x40 Scope

bushnellarI purchased the Bushnell AR scope because I needed an optic for local 3-gun matches and varmint hunting. The scope had everything I was looking for at a very inexpensive price. I opted to purchase a Bushnell because I have not had any problems with any products that I have used from them. This includes some of their low end scopes and some higher end ones. bushnellbdc

The scope was mounted on my AR in a Warne RAMP mount and it fit perfectly. Once sighted in,  I tried out the BDC reticle with some 55gr ammo. I was only able to try the drop compensators at 200 and 300yds, but they seemed to be accurate enough. The BDC is calibrated for your standard 55gr ammunition, but should also work adequately with 62gr ammo. The BDC reticle is to be zeroed at 100yds and then has dots for 200, 300, 400, & 500 yard drops. The 600 drop mark is where the line gets wider (think duplex reticle). I would have liked it better if Bushnell had put a dot at 600. I use heavier bullets and just plugged them into a ballistic program so that I know what the drops actually are in comparison.

This scope has some nice features. For one, it has resettable target turrets. Once sighted in, you can take the supplied allen wrench, loosen up the screw on the top of the turret, pull the knob up and turn to zero, and push it back down, then tighten up the allen screw. The AR series scopes also have a side parallax adjustment,  which is very nice when adjustment is needed while looking through the scope. I found the scope to be very clear for the price, especially at the lower settings. After adjusting past about 11x it gets a tiny bit blurry around the edges. The eye relief must be more precise at the higher magnification also. The reticle is calibrated at the highest (12x) magnification also, but I didn't have any problems seeing any targets at this magnification.

Now for the things I didn't like about this scope. It is heavy, weighing in at more than 21 ounces. It is definitely noticeable when mounted. The target turret clicks are a little bit mushy. But I really didn't expect any more at this price point. The scope is also long at 12". Not unmanageable, but it could be shorter. The other notable dislike is the small blurriness around the edge at higher magnifications.


Even with the flaws mentioned above, I do like this scope. It has the right features at an excellent price. It can be used with both eyes open down at 3x and can magnify smaller targets at the 12x setting. If you're not concerned about weight, this could be a good scope for your next AR.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Inexpensive Tactical scope for AR style rifles in .223(5.56)

Target Market: Those looking for a decent inexpensive optic with some higher priced features


  • Drop Zone 223 BDC reticle
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Reset to zero adjustable target style turrets
  • Second focal plane
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • 1" tube diameter
  • Length (in / mm): 12 / 305
  • Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle
  • Field of View (ft@100 yds. / m@100 m): 33/8.5@3x / 11/2.5@12x
  • Adj Range in@100yds/ m@100m: +50 / 1.3
  • Weight (oz. / g): 21.3 / 604
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 13.7@3x / 3.7@12x
  • Eye Relief (in / mm): 3.7 / 95
  • Click Value in@100 yds / mm@100m: 0.25 / 6.95
  • Power / Obj Lens: 3-12x 40mm

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? None, Comes in Matte Black only.

What others are saying?:

Bryan on Amazon: 4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good scope: Install and zeroing were pretty easy. I bought this and the Millett 1 piece mount sold as a combo here on Amazon. The mount allowed forward offset to improve eye relief on my flat top AR. Eye relief (real world) is around 4 inches. The eyepiece is large and the optics art crisp. Both eyes open works great. Not as crisp as the Nikon I have in the same price range but acceptable. There is both a focus and a parallax adjustment to make sure you get the cross-hairs in sharp focus which is nice. The turrets are a little mushy and don't give good tactile feedback but are acceptable. The zoom has no stops which I don't really like and it's pretty high effort which may be the price for a weather seal on this scope. Adjust zoom requires a firm grip on rifle because even with bipod, you need good leverage to change it. So far, it has held a crisp zero through 40 shots and the MOA system is nice for no shoot ranging. This is a good varmint scope IMHO. If it stays as good as it has been while new, I will be very happy.

CavScoutDM on Brownells: 5 out of 5 stars

Great scope @ Unbelievable price: I mounted this scope on my just finished 24" Long Range AR15 and I couldn't be happier. Repeatable, clear, and the BDC works great with just a little practice. Bushnell hit a home run with this one, I just wish I'd seen the 18X as I would have bought it instead of the 12X. No matter though as I said before they knocked it out of the park with this one!

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon, Brownells, or your local gun shop.

Our Rating:


  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Target style turrets
  • Reset to zero turrets
  • Good glass clarity at most magnifications


  • Heavy
  • Long length
  • Semi-mushy turret clicks
  • Not super clear at 12x

Score: 7.5 Good75


Chad's favorite link: AR15 Podcast 


TAB Gear SASR Suppressor Cover Review

TAB Gear SASR Suppressor Cover Nobody really talks about the obstacles of owning a suppressor AFTER all the red tape and legal hurdles. There's not like a brochure out there telling you what to expect after getting your Form 4 back and using the can, its just "put it on, shoot quieter... take it off, shoot louder." If you are careful enough to read the instructions that should have came with your muzzle muffler, you'd read it says IT GETS HOT after medium to heavy use. It only takes about 140 degrees Fahrenheit to start causing tissue damage to your skin. After rapid firing a mag or two worth of 5.56, that can is gonna be hot to the touch, and if your smart enough to not handle it with bare hands but set it in your case, in a rifle bag, or let any fabric touch the can, it will melt.

This happens a lot more than you think. It really depends on the caliber you are suppressing, and the amount of consecutive shots fired without letting the can cool down. Even on a .308 bolt gun, the can will get pretty warm after 6-8 rounds fired without a cool down. Yes, you could just wear gloves which is recommended anyway, but the heat radiating from the suppressor also has another biproduct: mirage.

Mirage is an optical illusion caused by the refraction of light by heated air. It's something long range shooters learn to manage when it occurs between your position and the target. However when there's a hot tube on the end of your barrel, it will produce a mirage right in front of your scope, obscuring your view of your target through an optic. There are two ways to deal with it: Let your rifle and suppressor cool down more frequently between shots, or get a cover for your can that will help insulate and disperse the heat.

In researching whats out there on the market, seeing prices, scooping my jaw off the desk, and then selecting a cover that will best suit my needs (.308 bolt gun, at most firing strings of 5-6 rounds within a minute or so) I opted for the TAB Gear SASR Suppressor Cover. It was in the lower price range of the other systems that are out there, and the size was customizable. I noticed some others come in pre sized lengths and diameters, none of which would have fit my AAC Cyclone.

The SASR is sewn with NOMEX Thread 1000 D Cordura and is claimed to withstand 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. There really is no front or rear to the cover, so it can be installed in either direction and work equally well. The TAB GEAR SASR cover can be slid either to the rear, or off the front of the can to allow faster cooling.

The SASR cover can be ordered to cover only as much of the can as needed. If there is a quick release mechanism that the you want to leave exposed for quick access,  you simply list the length desired when placing your order. The preset lengths on the website aren't 100% accurate so TAB encourages you to leave the exact manufacturer specs (length and outer diameter) in the notes of your order. You also get to choose how it secures, either velcro or bungee cordage. I went with the cordage, as it could be adjusted and really tightened down, plus if you need to conceal it with foliage you could weave greenery around it.

Okay fine, it looks more tactical... you got me!

One important fact is TAB Gear will by default subtract 1/4" off the size you specify. The reason is after use, heating up, and removal/reinstallation of the cover over time, it has been known to stretch that much. Also its good to leave some margin at the front in case you don't have the cover tightened enough, and it inches forward under recoil. If the cover protrudes past the muzzle of the suppressor either from incorrect length ordered or stretching (or under recoil it shifts forward) you can actually shred the inner material of the cover, or even better launch the cover downrange. As hilarious as that would be to watch (someone else do it) thats a waste of your investment.

That said, the SASR cover has held up well on my Cyclone. It helps hinder mirage especially on hot sunny days with direct sunlight right on the can. It also helps keep your can from taking surface damage, either from rolling around the bench onto the ground, or when you shove it into your safe. I wish suppressor companies would provide a cover pro-bono as part of your investment, but the TAB SASR is reasonable in price to pick up anyway.

You can choose between colors of the standard tactical rainbow: Black, OD Green, Coyote Brown,  Kryptek, and Multicam. There can be a long period of waiting for your order since each one is fabricated from scratch to fit your specs, so if you are ordering for multiple cans, I would be prepared to be patient. My order of just one only took about 7 business days, and I was pleased.

Note: TAB Gear specifically warns .223/5.56 cal users that their current products are not recommended for long strings or rapid fire! They are in the process of developing new products that will meet the needs of this type of operation. I can think of two reasons why, no "recoil shelf" to ensure the cover won't slip off during rapid fire. And to, it can get very very hot and you can get to a point of failure if you try hard enough/have enough ammo to blow through. To understand better, watch this video. You may not be shooting a full auto SAW, but its not difficult to dump a bunch of mags in a row and get the can hot enough to sizzle.

Also be aware that with shorter barrel AR pistols or SBRs, the heat factor will also be increased.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Protects you, your can, and your equipment while preventing mirage from obscuring your site picture after multiple shots

Target Market: Suppressor owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product)

  • Custom crafted to fit your specific suppressor
  • Sewn with NOMEX Thread 1000 D Cordura Outer Shell Inner shell to withstand 1800 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Choice of bungee cord or velcro for fastening
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black, OD Green, Coyote Brown, Kryptek Highlander, Multicam

What others are saying?: "The reason the TAB cover melts is because the outer fabric is Cordura. I melted one years ago and Tony replaced it, no questions asked, but shortly after he let everyone know that the cover was not adequate for rapid fire/full-auto with 5.56. I think with some effort you could get the same results in semi auto .308 as well. I don't know anything about the Bowers cover but if you eliminate the Cordura it won't melt. Unfortunately, without the Cordura you won't get the Multicam NAMBLA love fest at the range. " Ian187 AR15.com User

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Readily available at TAB Gear

Our Rating:


  • Price is competitive enough for my intended use on a bolt action .308, maybe some 300 blackout from an AR Pistol.
  • Insulation keeps can safe to handle even when bare metal of suppressor is too hot to touch.
  • TAB has good customer service, if you order the wrong size or melt the cover under normal operation (not bumpfiring your 7 inch SBR for 5-7 magazines) they will take care of you


  • Not rated for rapid fire of .223 / 5.56 (possible overheat and melting, slipping off muzzle and getting shot, or both)
  • Cordura material seems to have lower melting point than other materials you'll see on the market (silicone)

Score: 7.0 Good



Beretta Tactical Fleece Review

Beretta tactical fleece 1

For a long time I would wear a Northface fleece jacket on cool/cold days.  However over this past winter, my fleece suffered an unfortunate accident while I was shoveling snow and ripped apart on me.  I was going to go for the budget friendly approach and try sewing the thing back together but decided to forget that idea and buy myself something nice and useful.  I could have gotten another Northface, but I really wanted something that would be more durable and adaptable to my shooting activities.  For those of you who don't already know, I shoot a lot of sporting clays.  With clay shooting, your arms and body are in consistent motion as you follow the clay for the shot.  With that being said, the adjustable cuffs with the thumb holes worked out great at keeping the jacket put.  The reinforced panels around the shoulder area were great at helping to keep the butt of the gun set and not loose its position on your shoulder.  The jacket is warm and loose enough to allow you to layer up a bit.  Last but not least, I actually liked the drop down stadium seat because I could put my butt down on any wet surface around the course.  Why is it always that the little things make the most difference ?

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Comfortable and warm protection that is functional in every day wear.Beretta tactical fleece 2

Target Market: Shooters, gun enthusiasts and those of us with a tactical mindset. 

FNB's:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Reinforced with abrasion panels in key areas like shoulders and elbo.
  • Drop down stadium seat
  • Adjustable cuffs with thumb holes
  • Removable hood
  • 2 shoulder Velcro shoulder patch panels
  • Variety of interior and exterior pockets

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black and green are the only color options that Beretta offers this jacket in.

What others are saying?:  The only reviews that I could find on this item were on the Beretta USA site.  Also, there were only 2 reviews posted.  I shared them both below.  If you average both review together, the fleece receives 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  • "Great jacket. Well made".  5 out of 5 stars
  • "Overall this is a great fleece, I however am very disappointed with the internal concealed carry pickets.  My 45 will tear right through the lightweight fabric and fall out through the cheap Velcro! Otherwise I love the fleece".  4 out of 5 stars

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: I have only found this fleece available on-line at Beretta USA and Midway USA

Our Rating:

+-Durable and warm +-Allows for layering up without feeling bulky +-Drop down stadium seating allows you to sit on any wet surface around you +-Adjustable cuffs and thumb holes keep the jacket put around your arms/hands +-Velcro patch panels allow you to customize your fleece's look

Score: 9.0 Amazing90



Jared prefers Simon Peter Sport Company for all his FFL needs.

 Simon Peter Sport banner

Jared's Links:


SOG Tactical Tomahawk Review

722014172456 722014172249The SOG Tactical Tomahawk is a useful tool for the outdoors.  It is a compact axe, pick, or hammer.  As one might expect, you can use this for anything that a normal hatchet would be used for.  I have use the Tomahawk for cutting kindling, hammering in tent stakes, and removing stuck in the ground rocks.  Even though it is called "tactical," I use it for more practical uses.  I now leave it in with my camping equipment.  No longer do I have to have a separate hammer and hatchet.  It has held up well to everything I have thrown at it. The head is still tightly affixed to the handle and the edge is still relatively sharp. It might possibly be well suited for backpacking also.

The Tomahawk comes with a nylon sheath (basically a cover for the head of the tomahawk).



  • Overall Length: 15.75”
  • Head Length: 8.25”
  • Edge Length: 2.75”
  • Weight: 24.0 oz

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Versatile utility tool.

Target Market: Anyone who needs a hatchet, hammer, or combo utility tool.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 420 Stainless Steel
  • Hardcased black coating
  • Nylon carry sheath
  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon handle
  • Side hammer checkering
  • Heavy-duty bolts and a steel ferrule for stability

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Hopefully you like Black, because that is what you get.

What others are saying? "A good little tool. When i first picked up my tact. Hawk i was surprised by the weight. I had expected it to be much heavier".  Darlynn from SOG website

"Perfect for Backpacking.  I use it to cut firewood, dig holes, driving tent stakes, pulling tent stakes (see the holes in the blade? perfect!)".  Zaskoda on Amazon

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability:  Amazon, Brownells, or maybe your local gun store.

Our Rating:  

+-Utility +-Size +-Lightweight +-Strong +-Comes with a sheath +-Price

Score: 7.5 Good75



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


N82 Tactical Original Holster Review


N8 Squared Original with Glock 19 Although my current geographical situation precludes me from carrying concealed, being a good American consumer, and a lover of all things gun related, I still get holsters every once in a while. Perhaps, it's just in case hell freezes over and NJ becomes a shall issue state, or maybe as a pinch of preparedness. Either way, just like my firearms collection, the handguns that I have holsters for are varied. Outside the waistband holster for the like of my Sig 226 and kydex IWB holster for my Glock 19 and now the N82 Tactical Original for my little J-frame or Glock 19.

N82 Original with SW Airweight

In carry philosophy, there are a few ideals which need to be lived up to in varying degrees. One is the concept of that the best carry handgun is the one you have with you, it is the one that you will have on your person every day no days off. This can be lived up to, depending on where you are located, where you travel, work, etc. Another one is more in the application of the holster. The weapons security is crucial in a defensive scenario. You could need to run, drive, or carry someone, basically anything that would require two hands in the middle of, or after, the shooting. For the very same reason you use a holster in the first place and carry it concealed, you want to carry that defensive tool in as safe and secure a manner as possible. What I am getting at is re-holstering ability. If you pocket carry with no holster, then it’s a moot point, but if you're carrying using a holster, the ability to re-holster that defensive tool could be a deal breaker in your philosophy of use.

To me, these are the two biggest considerations, aside from concealability, to consider when choosing a holster. A concealed carry permit does you no good if you can’t carry safely in all manner of dress or it is not comfortable and you leave it at home. So, to me, the consistency of your carry slightly edges out re-holster ability.

Something else that impresses me is the price. The most powerful impact of the concealed carry movement is that it re-took the right to self defense from the elite and rich and brought it back to the people. The affordable price point on the original design makes a very comfortable, secure carry system available to more people which, in my book, is a good thing. Put a used J-frame in this holster and for less than 300 bucks total you will have a reliable proven gun with great defensive loads in a comfortable, secure holster and, all-in-all, will be a system that can pretty much disappear on most people.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Concealment, Comfort.

Target Market: Entry level carry

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Suede leather backing
  • Neoprene midlayer
  • Steel Clip
  • Comfortable against the skin
  • Neoprene stops body oils and sweat from contacting firearm
  • Thin and minimalist design improves concealability

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: They make this same holster but with a different clip that makes the unit tuckable. They also make the professional line which is a polymer molded unit attached to the same comfortable platform. N82 products page

What others are saying?:

Big Tex Outdoors Youtube

Price point:

MSRP = $39 +9.50 shipping Retail = $39 +8 shipping at Tacdaddy.com

I need it now! Availability: You can buy these at the above mentioned sites and a quick Amazon search yielded two left handed models on there but no right handed models.

Our Rating

+-Comfort +-Concealability +-Construction

--No re-holster ability

Score 7.575


Featured FFL:

I enjoy working with Dynamic Combat Solutions in Wayne, NJ for all my FFL services and custom gunsmithing needs.

My Links

NJ Gun Blog

Guns Of Hollywood Podcast

CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Reticle Review

1624i_1Allow me to let you into a little industry insider secret. Everyone walking the SHOT show has a shopping list.  It doesn't matter if you are from the media, a retailer, manufacturer, owner or representative, we all walk around the grounds of SHOT with an item in mind we want to checkout/try/asses for the purposes of buying it later.  I’m no different, one of my top items in mind while I was wondering the endless halls of the 2014 SHOT show was a variance 1-4X or 1-6X tactical scope for my favorite AR15.  Don’t get me wrong. ACOGs are great and so are EOTechs but they are very specialized and wonderfully engineered tools that will execute the task they were built for flawlessly while burning a very big hole in your pocket… I was on a task to find a good quality glass that will give me both the CQB red-dot reflex sight capabilities but will also give me some magnification capabilities for the 75-200 yard range where a red dot sight starts to be more of a guess and less of a precision tool.  I could, I suppose, go for an EOTech with a magnifier, but there are 2 things I didn’t like about this combo: first, the logistics of mounting/un-mounting and the need to carry the magnifier somewhere while it’s not mounted was a little too annoying for me. Second was the painful $1000 price tag (on the low end!)  All of the above made the variance scopes very popular recently with the tactical shooting community, particularly the AR15 and AK47 owners.

So, I’ve set a goal to find something good for a sub $300 budget.  Now don’t get me wrong, I checked, felt and drooled over ALL the optics in the 1-4X/1-6X categories. I’ve been to every optics vendor from Sun Optics to NightForce. I checked the offering from Vortex, US Optics, Leupold, and many other vendors I can’t remember their names (so, so many…)  After 3 loooooonnnnnggg days of wondering the grounds, in a dark corner of the basement level, I ran into a small booth of a company called CCOP-USA. A new(ish) Chinese manufacturer that I haven’t seen before that offers all kinds of optics and optics accessories. Tired and disappointed that I couldn't find what I was looking for, I had no big expectations for their product and figured they’d be low quality as most of the other no-name eastern manufacturers I saw so far.

1624i_6Boy was I wrong. First, they had both 1-4x AND 1-6X options. The first thing you notice when you look through the glass is how clear it is and how much light goes through it. This is probably due to the 30mm tube (most other 1-4X optics have a 24mm tube which let less light through.The Illuminated reticle and the big diameter make it feel like a red-dot reflex sight. Having the reticle backed by the black reticle and lines guarantee that even if the battery runs out you can still use the optics (point down for EOTech on this one).  One huge compliment for these guys is that their 1X is the closest 1X I’ve seen in any of these 1-4X/1-6X optics. Including some of the expensive brands!

1624i_3A twist of the ring and you get up to 6X magnification. Considering most “budget” scopes are 3-9X this covers a very good distance.  So, getting one is a little slow (about 7-10 days to get it) but when I got it, I couldn't wait to mount it and head to the range.

I had it mounted on my PS90 with a one piece scope mount that also positioned the optics high enough at my eyes level.


Zeroing was real easy thanks to the “clicks” adjustment mechanism on the scope (which usually only exist on the more expensive scopes).1624i_4

I had it zero at 25 yards and then switched to 50 yards, 75 yards and 100 yards. I had no problem staying on target and hitting every time.  SO, to the question you’re probably asking yourself by now, what’s the cost?  Well, this is one of the coolest thing about this scope. MSRP is only $310 and you can find retail in the $190-$250 range.  I gave this product a score of 8.0.  The only reason I didn’t score it higher is because I don’t have it long enough to testify to its long term usage durability but I promise I’ll have a follow up review in a few months.

I guess SHOT was successful after all…

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Best Bang for your buck in the variance range tactical scopes

Target Market: Tactical shooters / AR15 and AK47 owners that look for a budget aware alternative

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Model: SCP-1624i
  • Magnification: 1X-6X
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Field of view @100yards: 115-19.2ft
  • Eye Relief: 4.5"-4"  
  • Exit Pupil: 10-4mm  
  • Click Value: 1/2"  
  • Length: 265mm  
  • Weight: 508g
  • Reticle: CQB
  • Illumination: Red / Green
  • W/E: ≥40'  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Comes with a soft elastic scope cover

What others are saying?: Their eBay store has over 3700 reviews with a positive percentage of 99.7%

Price Point:

MSRP = $310 Retail = $225

I need it now! Availability: CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope is available here.

Our Rating:

+ Easy on the budget + A twofer: you get a CQB sight and a 6X scope in one package + Zero adjustment is easy with no tools required + Shock proof + Water proof + Fog proof + Illuminated reticle + Black reticle marking to backup in case of dead battery

- New/unfamiliar manufacturer with no history or long term reviews. - Shipping could take up to 10-15 business days

Score: 8.0 Great80



Joseph's Featured Link:

Big D Armory


Maratac AAx2 Tactical LED Flashlight Review

Maratac 2AAThe Maratac AAx2 LED Flashlight is a compact, powerful flashlight, powered by two AA batteries. The body is aluminum and is 7/8” wide. The tailcap is “Zombie” green, for no apparent reason. It activates by pressing it until it clicks. This means that there is no momentary-on. There are three brightness modes available: High – 620 lumens, Med – 110 lumens, and Low – 5 lumens. There is also a secondary set of modes when you loosen the head by ¼ turn. They are: Strobe, Fast Beacon(flash every 1 second), and Slow Strobe(flash every 3 seconds). To switch betweenMaratac 2AA Button modes, you simply “soft” tap(tap without fully depressing) the button, or quickly click it off, then back on again. There are raised fins around the activation button that shrouds the button from accidental activation. Personally, I believe it makes the button awkward to press. They get in the way, if you don’t position the light correctly in your hand. The crown of the light is crenulated, similar to a lot of other tactical lights, but it is not very pronounced, so I don’t think it would really do much damage if used defensively. Maratac 2AA Sharpie

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Compact and bright LED light

Target Market: Anyone that needs a light

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Bright
  • Compact
  • Many modes
  • AA batteries
  • Cree XP-G2 LED
  • 620 Lumens (advertised)
  • Mode Memory
  • Military Grade Anodized

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: TheMaratac AAx2 Tactical LED Flashlight is only available in black.

What others are saying?: I couldn’t actually find any reviews for this particular model light.

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this light from County Comm.

Our Rating:

+-Bright +-Multi-mode +-Mode Memory +-Reversible clip

--Awkward button --No momentary on

Score 7.575


N82 Tactical Professional Glock Holster Review

ProGlockmpactSubCompRtHnd By David Braaten

N82 Tactical is a holster manufacturer out of North Carolina and I have only ever seen positive reviews lauding the company's owners and holsters. Their "Engineered for Comfort" tagline pretty much summarizes their corporate philosophy when it comes to manufacturing holsters. Not shy of self promotion, the N82 website boasts that "The N82 Tactical Professional holster is the ultimate IWB (inside-the-waistband) holster. It has all the comfort of our Original design, but comes with the following additional features: Adjustable Cant, Tuckable, Excellent Positive Retention." While I agree with the 'Tuckable' part, I have had issues with the comfort, adjustable cant, and positive retention.

First, I do not find the holster to be very comfortable. The holster is extremely thick and rigid. If using it in the appendix position, you can forget about bending over. It is very large and awkward.

Second, if you don't like your cant constantly adjusting, this holster is not for you. Only 1 screw holds the clip to the polycarbonate shell. This screw loosens quite easily  causing the holster to shift. If you attempt to lock-tite the screw, you void your warranty.

Finally, the holster does not offer positive retention as advertised. In one of the promotional advertisements for this holster, a man was shown lying down on a couch taking a nap. This is a terrible idea in this holster especially if you have kids around. Several times when I laid down with the holster replicating their claims, the gun fell out of the holster. Due to the design, it only has positive retention when you are standing.

Due to the thickness of the holster back and hard polycarbonate shell, it will require quite a bit of room in the pants to hide this holster. If you are a stay at home mom or dad and practice home-carry, this is an ok option. I have found that I have to constantly readjust the cant due to the clip loosening. Furthermore, it requires frequent adjustment to my underwear as the holster literally pushes by briefs down.

Provided that you don't attempt to bend over or flex at the waist, this holster might work. Or, if your doctor requires that you be immobilized in an upright position, this might also be an option. Until, that is, your underwear starts sagging.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: "Engineered for Comfort" – N82 Tactical

Target Market: Concealed Carriers

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Adjustable cant
  • Tuckable

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: This holster is available in black only.

What others are saying?: “This holster is so comfortable that I could take a nap with it on.” Said no one ever. Until now.

I do not recommend this. You can easily have a negligent discharge.” - nsz85, The Arms Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase the N82 Tactical Professional Glock holster from Voodoo Tactical, Tactical CW Gear, and directly from N82 Tactical.

Our Rating:

+ It's black and goes with everything.

- Non-retentive - Huge - Heavy

Score: 5.0 Mediocre50

Kershaw Blur Knife Review

13856416553_373df3b9c7_b By Bradley Johnson

I have every day carried a knife almost my entire life. My grandfather gave me a knife when I was 10. I'm 35 now, so I guess that's 25 years of EDC. I've tried many knives in that time. I have several Spyderco knives that I love, but not all of them are legal for concealed carry in my county. I also have some Benchmade knives that have served me well, but after handling a friends Kershaw knife I started to think it might be time for something new. I didn't think that a $60 knife could best a $130 one, but I was wrong. Here's a photo of the Benchmade Griptilian, and the Kershaw Blur side-by-side.


As you can see, they are very similar in size when folded, and also open...


However, that is the extent of the similarities. Unlike the Benchmade knife (composite handles), the Kershaw handles are made of aircraft aluminum. The difference in weight is negligible, but the durability isn't. The Kershaw Blur is also thinner. The Blur (like most of Kershaw's knives) features Speedsafe technology. It allows quick assisted one hand opening (see video). I'm pretty good at flicking open a non-assisted knife, but there's no way I could ever beat a Kershaw Speedsafe knife. This technology makes deploying the knife extremely quick, and is legal in all 50 states (at least for now).

The grip of the Kershaw is excellent. The Trac-Tec grip tape inserts in the handle  allow for excellent handling. The handle is pre-drilled for either tip-up or tip-down carry depending on your preference.


The carbide glass breaking tip was something that I wanted. You can purchase the knife without it, but I like the option (and like to be prepared for all situations). It doesn't affect the way I carry, but I would like to mention that the tip is fairly sharp, so if you're just going to toss it in your pocket then it may create a hole from bouncing around inside of your pants/shorts.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this knife. It's made in the U.S.A., and the quality for the money is excellent. I could buy two of them for the price of one Benchmade (and I plan to).

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The SpeedSafe technology allows quick one handed opening. The textured grip provides great handling. The carbide tip breaks glass better than steel. Made in the USA!

Target Market: Law enforcement, Civilians, and Military

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • SpeedSafe Opening assist
  • Carbide glass breaker
  • Trac-tec grip tape inserts
  • Aircraft aluminum handle

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Kershaw Blur Knife is available in black, desert sand, olive drab, and red. It’s even available with a glass breaker

What others are saying?: “I find this to be a great everyday carry knife that has held up exceptionally well to the rigors of daily use. The Kershaw Tactical Blur has my vote for a practical, tactical and affordable folder.” - Dane Daiker, USCCA

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this knife from many retailers, including Amazon and Rifle Gear.

Our Rating:

  • Handle
  • Speedsafe assisted opening
  • Made in USA

Score: 9.0 Amazing90


Plinker Tactical M&P 15-22 35 Round Magazine Review

13522574625_73813ce132_o By Michael Hart

I came across this magazine in early 2013, I was looking for extra mags for my S&W 15-22 at a local gun show, but no one had any factory mags for sale, but they did have plenty of these 35 rounders, plenty of vendors were willing to sell me as many as I wanted, but the average price of $35 made me think about it real hard.  As I walked down to the last booth, I decided I had to make a purchase because I did not want to feel like I wasted a $10 entry fee.

As I was grabbing for a couple boxes of .38 rounds and an AR15 ProMag magazine for $7.50, the vendor told me he was willing to let the Plinker Tactical mag go for $19, so I took it.

Off to the range I go, I start to load the mag and from the get go, I note to myself that this is the last magazine I will be buying from Plinker Tactical, it has no thumb assist for the spring and I was only willing to load 30 rounds due to the fear of damaging the rounds, as I write this and have visited plinkertactical.com, I notice that they must have plenty of complaint because they offer a "load assist" for $7.99.  Now to the positive, it is made of a durable polymer and I did not have any problems inserting it into the rifle and have not had a problem cycling rounds.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Plinker Tactical does guarantee this magazine 100% against breakage for life, it is a product made in the U.S.A., the website claims that it is solvent and impact resistant, and I have not tested to say other.

Target Market: This product is suited for anyone who is looking for more magazines for their 15-22.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Durable
  • Cycles well
  • Fits well in the rifle

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Plinker Tactical M&P 15-22 35 Round Magazine is available in black, flat dark earth, and  OD green.

What others are saying?: “I was in the market for a Smith & Wesson magazine for my M&P 15-22. I bought this one since I could not find a S&W mag. This works fine, I should have purchased more than one.” - Miffinlake, Cabelas Customer Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this magazine from many retailer, including Cabelas, Midway USA, and directly from Plinker Tactical.

Our Rating:

+ Feeds well

- Hard to load to full capacity without the tool

Score: 5.0 Mediocre50

Mesa Tactical Sureshell Shotshell Carrier with Integrated Picatinny Rail

Mesa 1

When you combine classic design with the desire for end user customization, there is bound to be innovative companies that will rise to the occasion to give the customer what they want. Just like the AR-15, common shotgun patterns such as the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500  are easily customizable with a bevy of affordable and easy to install parts and accessories. One company that provides this is Mesa Tactical.  One of the things that makes me love this company is its dedication to the scattergun. They focus exclusively on products to make shotguns more effective tools for whatever purpose you choose to utilize them for.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Multipurpose, platform focused and versatility. Mesa

Target Market: Operators, 3-gun competitors and home defense.


Key Features

  • Milled from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum
  • Bead blasted and mil-spec hard anodized
  • Integral MIL-STD-1913 picatinny rail
  • No gunsmithing installation
  • Innovative rubber friction retention system

Key Benefits

  • Solid mounting platform for optics
  • Rock Solid retention of shotshells

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  There are a variety of models that have different capacities and lengths of rail. There is also their line of non railed Sureshell holders.  While mine is for an 870, they make models that correspond to a variety of firearms.   SureShell Shotshell Carriers-Mesa Tactical

What others are saying?:  I purchased mine off of Amazon and its average rating is 4.25 stars. With the two 2 star ratings being for faulty packaging on the one and simple preference on the other. Consensus seems strongly positive considering this products two main detractors are for these reasons.  Amazon

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: If you happen to have a very well stocked local gun store you may be able to pick it up however with Amazon the shipping is free and you will have it in a week. Direct from manufacturer is also an option.

Our Rating:

+ Construction + Included hardware + Simple installation + Rock solid mount + Rock solid shell retention

Score: 8.585 GREAT

My Blog: NJ Gun Blog

Sunwayman V20c Tactical Flashlight Review

Sunwayman V20c

I was turned on to Sunwayman flashlights by a friend of mine who had a similar model. I was looking for a good flashlight and I liked his. When I started looking at flashlights, I had issue with the multiple click programming to change brightness. Then I found the V20c, the button on the back just turns the light on and off. It has a collar behind the light head that changes the brightness from 0 to 430 lumens and strobe. I carry this flashlight everyday, at home and at work. I purchased two 18650 3000mah rechargeable batteries. I try and swap them out the 1st of the month so i always have a good battery. I have been running this light for over a year and have no complaints. I comes with a fairly well made canvass holster with a velcro enclosure. The belt loop is both permanently attached and velcro attached which allows you to put it on your belt without removing your belt.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Innovative, high output flashlights.

Target Market:  Anyone wanting a high quality, variable output flashlight.

FNBs: (features & benefits of this product)

  • CREE XM-LED with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours
  • Digital Sensor Magnetic Control system - slightly twist the Rotator Ring from left to right to select desired mode from super-low current standby, output ranging from 0.5 to 438 lumens, to strobe function
  • Constant current circuit, constant output
  • Effective range of 300 meters
  • Uses two 3V CR123A batteries or one single 18650 battery
  • Working voltage: 3~8.4V
  • High quality reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
  • Dimensions: 134mm (length) x 32mm (head diameter) x 25.5mm (tail diameter)
  • Weight: 120g(battery excluded)
  • Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
  • Military Specification Type III- hard anodized body
  • Waterproof, in accordance with IPX-8 standard
  • Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
  • Tactical forward click switch with momentary on
  • Tail stand capable- can be used as a candle
  • Accessories: Metal tactical ring, lanyard, holster, O-ring, rubber cap

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: This is an aluminum alloy, hard anodized grey finish.

 What others are saying?

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available at stores like Amazon.

Our Rating:

+ Reliable + Comfortable + Easy to use

- Lanyard clip bends and comes off

Score: 8.080 Great