Accessories

ODIN Works O2 Lite KeyMod Handrail

  Back in Episode 136 of the Podcast, we discussed the Odin Works O2 Lite handrail. I was intrigued by it, so I contacted Odin Works to get one in for review. They responded quickly and sent me a 12.5" KeyMod O2 Lite rail. Odin Works makes a vast assortment of AR related products for you to choose from.

  The first thing I noticed about the O2 Lite handrail is how lightweight it really is. When I took it out of the box, it was really noticeable. It weighs in at 8.1 ounces complete with the barrel nut system. Odin did a really nice job of reducing the weight by putting in tons of scallop cuts on the forend. These cuts are kind of hex shaped, with some of them being elongated. I would guess the name "O2" comes from the cut outs looking like an Oxygen molecular drawing. And, of course, it free floats the barrel. If one were to hit the edge of one of these cutouts, you might be able to bend it down. It wouldn't bend far enough to cause any functionality problems, just cosmetic ones.

  Now I'll get on to some of the technical specs. The O2 rail is made from 6005-T6 aluminum that is then anodized black. Since they sent me the 12.5" rail, that is how long it is. It has an outside diameter of 1.8" wide and 2.16" high. The reason for it being taller is because it has a small rail section built into the top of the handrail, but only at the front and back. So I would call it a hybrid rail. The top, between the 2 rail sections, does not have any way to mount a rail section between the front and back rails. The inside diameter comes in at 1.6", so plenty of room. Along with the O2 having KeyMod slots along the 3,6, and 9 O'clock positions (MLok is an option also), there are QD attachment points, at the front and rear, at 3 and 9 O'clock. A 5 slot KeyMod picatinny rail also comes with the forend. It is not mounted, so one can use it as necessary. Of course, any Keymod accessory should work also.

  Mounting the handguard is really pretty easy. If you know anything about removing AR barrels, you shouldn't have any problems. Basically, remove the old barrel nut, gas tube, and gas block. Then, screw on Odin's forend adapter. align gas tube hole, insert gas tube alignment pin (supplied), put Vibra-Tite (reusable threadlocker) on barrel nut threads, screw on barrel nut, and tighten to 40-50 ft-lbs with a 1-1/4" crowfoot wrench. Odin Works sells a crowfoot wrench, I would recommend getting one with your order. Reinstall the gas tube and gas block. Slide on O2 Lite handrail, tighten on with 6 screws and supplied allen wrench. You now can go put some rounds down range.

  Immediately after installing the O2 Lite forend, I could tell a weight difference. I think this is probably my new favorite handguard. It is comfortable to hold on to. The looks are fantastic. It is really light. And it comes in various lengths. Odin Works did a fine job creating this piece of engineering! If you are looking for anything AR related, go visit Odin Works, I doubt you will be disappointed.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Lightweight KeyMod FreeFloat handguard for AR 15 rifles

Target Market:

Those wanting a very light handguard

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Free Floats barrel

  • 12.5" long

  • Anodized aluminum

  • 8.1 ounces complete

  • 1.6" Inside Diameter

  • 1.8" Wide

  • 2.16" High

  • Built in QD attachment points

  • KeyMod attachment points at 3,6, & 9 O'Clock positions

  • Short built in rails at front and rear

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

9.5", 15.5", and available in MLok also.

What others are saying?:

Ken on Odinworks.com: 5/5 stars

These are a GREAT product. I use to use the Carbon Fiber ones I could get but after getting this one I am going to use them on all by rifles from now on. They feel great and the COOL fact is good also. All that aside they function well and are very lite which make them perfect for a carry rifle especially for hog hunting or any hunting for that matter. Great product you all have.  Thanks and thanks for your fast shipping too.

Anonymous on Odinworks.com: 5/5 stars

This rail is incredible. The rail itself is simply too light to believe. The thin cardboard packaging weighs more than the rail itself. Installation was a snap and everything went together perfectly.

Link to other reviews:

None found on the Googles

Price point:

MSRP = $200

Retail = $199.99 @ BMC-Tactical

I need it now! Availability:

Odin Works

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Super Light

  • Easy Installation

  • QD points

  • Good Looking

  • Top Rail Sections

  • Free Float

  • Includes Allen Wrench

  • Includes gas tube alignment pin

  • Made in U.S.A.

Cons:

  • Only Available in Black

  • Easily damaged cut outs (If hit just right)

  • No mention of needing a semi special wrench for the barrel nut (My AR armorers tool didn't work)

Score: 8.50 Great

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Veterans FOB

SuperBio IndestructiBelt

   As most people who conceal carry know, a good belt is a necessity. I had heard somewhere about the IndestructiBelt SuperBio by Daltech Force. So as any reviewer would do, I ask them if they would like me to review one. A few days later a brown one arrived for me to test. 

  The Daltech Force IndestructiBelt SuperBio belt is not your run of the mill carry belt. Instead it is made from a thermopolymer polyurethane with an internal polyester webbing. Basically this is a polymer belt that looks a lot like leather. But don't stop there. The SuperBio belt also is very strong, it is stated to have a 6000 psi tensile strength. The belt is also quite stiff, so don't worry about it sagging. I think you could carry just about any gun you wanted and not have to worry about it pulling on the belt. Since the SuperBio belt is made from polymer, it will resist oils, water, sweat, and other stuff that will destroy a leather belt. To clean the belt,  all you have to do is wipe it down with some soap and water. 

  As with most quality belts, it comes with Chicago screws to hold on the buckle. The one they sent me has a nice stainless roller buckle on it, but they also offer a brass buckle. The buckle can always be switched out if you don't like it. The belt comes with 9 holes spaced 3/4" apart. This comes in handy when adding or subtracting gear. At 5/32" thick it is about the same as a single thickness leather belt. Mine is 1.5" wide, but they also offer it in a 1.25".

  After wearing the SuperBio belt for awhile, I found it to be almost too stiff. It is just not as slick as a cloth or leather belt, so I don't think it moves with the fabric of your clothes as well. Did it support a gun? Oh yes, I even carried an all steel 1911 on it for a few days.

   As far as sizing goes, the SuperBio belt is easy to order. All you do is add 2" to your waist size. So for me I went with a 38 belt size because my waist is 36". With belt sizes ranging from 30" to 80", yes that is 80", Daltech Force makes it for just about any size person. 

  The SuperBio IndestructiBelt is a pretty good belt option. If you need something that resists harsh environments or you are looking for a very stiff belt, you might give this a try. It doesn't really look like leather close up, but from a foot or so away you can't notice. The belt will hold whatever you can put on it and is very adjustable to fit your needs.

   

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Tough Rigid Belt for CCW

Target Market:

Concealed carriers, competitive shooters, or those wanting a belt for harsh environments

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Thermopolymer Polyurethane

  • 1.25" or 1.5" width

  • Strong

  • Resists Oil, water, Sweat, or other harsh environments

  • Zero Stretch

  • Will not Sag

  • Stainless Buckle

  • Chicago Screws

  • Large sizes available

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

What others are saying?:

Dan @ DaltechForce 5/5 stars

Can't believe how well this belt held up! I've had my first one for almost two years and it has been through everything. It has been on multi day hikes with dripping sweat, it has swam in salt and fresh water, its my daily belt for both my office job and my weekend belt for recreation. If I showed you this belt you would swear I just pulled it out of the packaging! Fortunately/unfortunately I've lost a significant amount of weight in the last year and I am back to purchase this belt again! One thing that I would recommend is to put some thread lock blue on the screws as soon as you get it. I've read of others losing a screw and they include a spare, but better safe than sorry. Otherwise a really maintenance free, good looking, and long lasting belt that is rigid and does a great job holding my CCW without it flopping about.

Amazon reviewer 5/5 stars

This is a great belt! I love it! I like to carry a lot of stuff in my pockets and on my belt. With this belt, I no longer have to keep hiking my pants up. I wish I had ordered one sooner. It really does make a big difference.

 

Price point:

MSRP = $69.99

Retail = $59.99 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Daltechforce or Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Strong

  • Won't stretch

  • 9 holes at 3/4" spacing

  • Stainless roller buckle

  • Chicago Screws

  • Will not sag

  • Resists about anything it will come in contact with

  • Easily cleaned

Cons:

  • Too stiff

  • Doesn't move like Fabric or Leather

  • Doesn't really look like leather (But no one will know)

Score: 7.5 Good

 

Chad's Favorite Link: AR-15 Podcast

KE Arms DMR trigger

  KE Arms has been bringing out some useful products for the AR 15 style rifles. One of those is their DMR trigger. It seems that everyone has been coming out with AR triggers lately. So what makes the DMR different? Well, lets see if I can help answer that question. 

  Everyone seems to want the best trigger they can get. I am no exception. The DMR trigger does a fairly good job in the cost per performance category. When I received the trigger, the pull weight measured 4.25 lbs. KE Arms states it as a 4.5 lb pull, with an adjustable reset. The reset adjustment also adjusts the pull weight. So if you screw out the adjustment, you get a lighter pull weight and a lighter feeling reset and vice versa. So if one wants a really positive reset, it come with a harder trigger pull. One can actually adjust the trigger pull low enough so that the trigger will not reset. My trigger had an adjustment from about 3.25-6.5 lbs. I set it at 3.75 lbs because the reset was still acceptable to me. 

  The DMR trigger is of the drop in design. I did have to remove the safety to install it, but for anyone familiar with the AR 15, this is pretty easy. To install the trigger; remove the old one, remove the safety, drop the DMR trigger in, slide the new provided trigger pins in. Reinstall the safety. And then tighten the 2 set screws,  these put pressure on the trigger pins to hold the trigger in place. Now you can function test the trigger. You can view the installation instructions here: DMR Trigger installation.

  One of the things that makes the DMR good, is its feel. I liked the shape and feel of the trigger shoe. It is curved, but not as much as a stock trigger. It has basically no noticeable take up. A crisp break, with very little over travel. The reset however is a little gritty and somewhat kind of mushy. It is however a very short reset, so unless you are resetting the trigger extremely slow, you will probably not notice. The reset feels this way even if it is adjusted for a stronger pull/reset, it is just harder to notice because of the greater force of the reset. 

  The only problem with the DMR trigger, is that it would not consistently set off .22lr. About 1 in 10 would not fire because the hammer didn't have enough force to set it off. Imported steel case 5.56 ammo worked fine, as did all the other ammunition I put through it. So I wouldn't recommend it as a duty trigger. But for anything else, it works great. I would probably also recommend some sort of anti-rotate pins, just in case the set screws that hold the trigger in place come loose. 

  As for KE Arms and their DMR trigger, it falls in line with other manufacturers in the same price range. I would not recommend it for a duty rifle because of the lighter hammer energy. But the trigger feels good. It is no 2.5lb trigger, but it was not designed to be. The pull weight felt lighter to me than it actually measured. If your in the market for an AR trigger, the KE arms might be what your looking for. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Drop in single stage trigger for AR 15 style rifles.  

Target Market:

Anyone looking for a better AR 15 trigger. 3 gunners, target shooters, sportsman, varmint hunters, or anyone who wants to upgrade their trigger.   

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 4.5 lb adjustable reset
  • Drop in installation
  • Melonite coated
  • Crisp break
  • Minimal over travel
  • Single stage
  • Made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Black Melonite

Titanium Nitride

What others are saying?:

Awesome trigger 5/5 stars from Jared B on gotammollc.com

I now have 3 of these triggers for my AR10 & AR15, Im super excited got ammo now carries these because they're right down the road from me. I also own a Velocity trigger and I like these much more, the break is super clean & the adjustable reset is awesome!!! no complains here. 

Link to other reviews:

The Truth about Guns

Price point:

MSRP = $169.95

Retail = $154.95

I need it now! Availability:

KE Arms or sometimes Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Adjustable pull weight / reset 
  • Crisp trigger break
  • Virtually no take up
  • Very little over travel
  • Easy installation
  • Allen wrenches included for adjustment and installation 
  • Made in USA  

Cons: 

  • Rough / mushy reset
  • Not enough hammer energy to consistently set off .22lr 

Score: 7.50 Good

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Saddle Butte Machine Gun Shoot

 

Tripwire Charging Handle

 

  AR 15 charging handles are really a dime a dozen. So when I run across something innovative, I have to try and review it. SinterCore is just the company doing that. They have introduced an ambidextrous charging handle called the "TripWire." It happens to be of the extended type with some cool features.

  After receiving the TripWire, I had to look it over. The reason for this is because it does not have your standard style moving latch. Instead it has a 3D printed carbon filled nylon latch. But what makes it innovative? Well, the latch is on a hinged pin with a spring and the handle/handles do not move or pivot. So all that one has to do is pull straight back on the handle. No pulling a latch or lever to unlock it, the latch just unlocks itself. The rest of the handle is 7075-T6 aluminum and hard coat anodized with some grooves cut in for better grip.

  One might wonder how reliable this design can be, I was. But as I have used the TripWire, I found it to hold shut just as well as any other charging handle. The handle does take a little more force at first to cycle the bolt. This is because you have to overcome the spring pressure holding the charging handle from moving. I also slammed my unloaded AR against the floor numerous times to see if I could get it to unlatch, I couldn't. And while doing this I could hear the bolt moving, so it passed my hold closed testing.

  I really like the design of the TripWire. It is lightweight, quality machined, and even 3D printed. Plus there are very few moving parts. Sintercore also told me that if I wanted a lighter weight spring to unlatch the charging handle, they could send one out. I thought it was fine and don't want the chance of the lighter spring making it easier for the charging handle to come unlatched. If you are looking for something other than the standard AR15 charging handle, give the Tripwire a chance.

  

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

AR15 ambidextrous extended charging handle with no latch to manipulate.

Target Market:

Any one with an AR15 that doesn't like the tiny stock charging handle.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extended

  • Lightweight at 1.0 ounce

  • Ambidextrous

  • 7075-T6 Aluminum

  • Hard Coat Anodized

  • Carbon-filled Nylon 3D printed latch

  • 2.52" wide 

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Black is it.

Link to other reviews:

The Firearm Blog

Price point:

MSRP = $65.00

I need it now! Availability:

SinterCore

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Ambidextrous

  • Extended

  • Lightweight

  • Quality Machined

  • Essentially latch free / Straight pull design

Cons:

  • Will not fit AR10's

  • No option for diverting suppressor gas

Score: 8.0 Great

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Saddle Butte Machine Gun Shoot

Crew Holsters "OL' Classic OWB" Holster

Crewowb1

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.

Crewowb3

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?: 

  • THE STUTTERIN GUNNER from YouTube
    "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: 

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Safety on 1911 hit edge of holster slightly

Score: 8.5+  Grea85t

 

 

Chad's Links:

Handgun Radio

Man O' Steel charity fund raiser multi gun challenge

Firing Line Review

 

 

Warne R.A.M.P. Scope Mount Review

warne1 The Warne R.A.M.P mount is a 1 piece scope mount for AR-15 style rifles, or any rifle that has a picatinny rail and needs a forward mounted optic.  R.A.M.P stands for Rapid Acquisition Multi-Sight Platform. It gets the multi-sight part because besides having built in rings, it also has 2 45degree angled mounts.  These mounts allow you to install a small red dot sight on one of the canted rails.  One could mount Iron sights on these also, but would then need the optional mount for the front sight to attach on.  The RAMP mount comes in three sizes for most needs: 1inch, 30mm, and 34mm.  I have the 1" version, but they are all essentially the same.

The 45 degree mounts are really what sets this mount ahead of its competition.  With the ability to mount something small on either the left or right side of the scope, it will appeal to both left and right hand shooters.  If you decide not to use one side or the other, or neither, the angled mounts are removable with 2 socket head screws on each.  Because of the added mounts, and space to attach the mounts, it is not the lightest mount out on the market.

Another nice feature on the RAMP mount is the 1/2" hex screws on the mounting base.  They are to be torqued to no more than 65in/lbs.  Also a torx style allen wrench is supplied to tighten down the top of the scope rings. There are 2 T-15 torx screws per side and should be tightened in an x pattern.

I really like the RAMP mount.  It puts the scope at the correct height and the proper eye relief.  With the option of adding a small red dot if one desires. The only negative I can see with the mount is the weight, but it is a very sturdy mount.  If you are in the market for this style mount, you cant go wrong with the Warne RAMP.

warne2

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: 1 piece scope mount with angled side mounts for AR-15 style rifles

Target Market: 3-gun

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 1 piece scope mount
  • Proper eye relief distance on AR pattern rifles
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • 45 degree mounts for red-dot sights
  • Available for just about any scope diameter
  • Lots of color options from boring to flashy

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Black, Zombie green, Red, OD green, Dark Earth, and Blue

What others are saying?:

Alex on Amazon 5/5 stars. Best AR mount anywhere.

Bought one of these for my RRA LAR 15 to use with a Leupold Mark AR on top and a Leupold Deltapoint on the side. Got it, opened it, and could not have been more impressed with the build of this mount! Rock solid craftsmanship. Placed it on my AR and it holds tight and sits perfectly. Take it off...no problem. Put it back on....exact return to scope zero. Just bought another one for my RRA LAR-8! Get one, or two, you will not ever want any other mount!

Jkrispies on Brownells 5/5 stars. Great mount for a 45 secondary mount.

A little heavy (even with the side mounts removed) if you're not going to use the 45 degree option, otherwise typical Warne quality, which is the best I've found out there. Only warning I'd give is to do some research before buying this-- will your Mini-Red Dod Sight clear the bell of your primary scope? Ironically, I think the perfect use of this scope with a 45 degree mount would be on a monolithic receiver (think SCAR) and the mount backwards. Height is perfect. If you don't foresee yourself ever using the side mounts, I would recommend going with the Warne SKEL mount, which is the same mount as this minus the extra attachments, thus reducing weight significantly.

Price point:

MSRP = $195.49

Retail = $121.20 on Amazon  $169.99 on Brownells

I need it now! Availability: Amazon and Brownells

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Proper eye relief
  • Removable 45 degree angled mounts
  • 1 piece optics mount
  • Multitude of color options
  • Available for 1", 30mm, & 34mm scopes
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Rugged
  • Returns to zero

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No quick detach

Score: 8.50 Great85

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Albany Rifle and Pistol Club

CRKT Triumph Folder

crkt3.jpg

crkt3Everyone should have a good folding knife.  And it seems I am always looking for something that fills that bill.  Well I came across the Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) Triumph non-assisted opening knife.  The Triumph is designed by knife maker Pat Crawford.  It seems that CRKT may be discontinuing the non-assisted version, because they are discounted on their website.  This particular knife may be on the large side for some people, weighing in at 6.3 ounces.  But with some of the features it has, I couldn't wait to try it out. crkt2The Triumph is a full featured knife.  Starting with the AUS 8 stainless steel blade.  It is a dual ground Tanto style with a false top edge.  The false top edge and tanto blade design give the knife good puncturing abilities.  You can get the Triumph with or without Veff serrations.  This one has no serrations.  The blade is held out with a single .100" locking liner and the knife also has CRKT's AutoLAWKS safety.  AutoLAWKS is a spring loaded lock that engages once the knife is fully opened.  This feature helps to keep the locking liner in place and supposedly makes it almost as strong as a fixed blade.  When closing the Triumph, one must first move the autolawk out of the way with a finger, and while holding the lock back, push the liner over, and then close the blade slightly.  Once the blade has moved, you can then release the lock and fold the knife in as normal.  It takes a little bit to get use to, but I don't even notice it anymore.

Another nice feature about the Triumph is its G-10 handles.  This handle offers one of the grippiest I have ever used.  Water, mud, and oil don't seem to make it any different either.  When inserting or removing the knife from your pants, it can be difficult because the texture of the grip makes it seem like you wrapped it in sandpaper.  The clip on the knife is removable, but it only has one position.  That position is tip down, so if you like tip up carry look elsewhere for your knife.  The clip is very strong and keeps the Triumph in place throughout the day.

Like I said previously, the knife is large.  Coming in at 5" closed and 8.5" open.  The Tanto style blade is 3.5" long and .14" thick at its spine.  The knife I have has a tiger stripe camo coating on the blade, with black handles.  Different blade designs and handle colors are offered.  CRKT also makes the Triumph in an assisted opening, or a fixed kneck knife.  I have cut many things with this knife and the edge seems to hold up very well and I am pleased with the quality.

crkt4Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Good tactical folder for everyday carry

Target Market: People looking for a good solid EDC knife

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product)

  • AutoLAWKS locking system
  • 3.5" Tanto blade
  • G-10 grips
  • locking liner
  • Serrations optional

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

  • Veff Serrated blade
  • Plain Black Blade
  • Assisted Opening

What others are saying?

CRKT Delivers

Reviewed by ApolloExx on Sierra Trading Post: 4/5 stars  - The triumph series means business, with its one side bevel, tanto point, and the serrations that are more like hooks then serrations, this knife is intimidating, aggressive, and very attractive. Crawford designs made this knife out of quality parts and materials, each knife is handmade and is all around a balanced, high quality knife. the grip on this knife is also very unique, feeling more like fine sandpaper this knife has a pleasing texture and you wont loose your grip even if you tried. downside of the blade is the effort it takes to sharpen it, with serrations like this it may be a challenge to sharpen but I believe that can easily be worked around,

Michael on CRKT.com  -  I have between 12-15 CRKT knives, and this being my most recent purchace has given me the chance to really get to use this thing quite a bit. In the past 3 weeks I've had my Triumph w/Veff serrations I've put the thing through absolute hell and have only had to sharpen it once completely and one quick time up This things a BEAST and I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT you grab one if you happen to be lucky enough to come across one

Price point 

MSRP = $149.99 ($44.99 discount)

Retail = $99.99 on Amazon for the assisted opening

I need it now! Availability: Readily available on CRKT

Our Rating:

Pros: + G-10 handles - excellent grip + 3.5" Stainless Steel blade + Stays sharp + Strong .14" thick blade + AutoLAWKS Feature

Cons: - G-10 handles can be too course - Overall size at 5" closed and 8.5" open - AutoLAWKS takes some getting use to - Heavy at 6.3 ounces - Non USA made

Score: 7.5 Good75

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Handgun Radio

 

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:

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

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.

crewholster4

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:

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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

 

 

Urban Armor Gear - Folio Scout iPad Air 2 case

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  UAG Folio

When looking at a means to protect your technological investment, it is a balancing act. One must find their individual balance between; protection, maintaining the functionality of original device, and style. When I received the Folio from Urban Armor Gear, I was highly impressed with how they balanced the three points. The style is masculine bold yet refined, the increased water resistance and drop protection is great, and you can still access all ports and what few buttons an iPad has with ease.

Standing Mode

Indexing grooves for stand functionality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This case is great and the built in stand utilizes grooves in the screen cover to prop the iPad vs other cases that use a trifold cover or bulkier methods.

The material of the case feels great in the hand, offering no slip durability and a nice cushiony feel.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Protect your technology

Target Market: Smartphone and Tablet Users

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Water resistant grip.
  • Smartcover.
  • MIL-STD drop rating.
  • Lightweight.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Rogue (Red)

What others are saying?: Check out this products Amazon Page to see all the user submitted reviews.

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Direct from Manufacturer shipping is fast and on Amazon this is a prime eligible item.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Not overly bulky.
  • Allows unimpeded use of iPad’s TouchID.
  • Easy access to all ports and buttons.
  • Slight increase in overall water resistance.
  • Smart cover with secure magnetic strap.
  • Lightweight.

Cons:

  • The angles the stand provides may not work for all situations

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

My Links:

NJ Gun Blog

Guns of Hollywood Podcast

Firing Line Review

 

 

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.

sweetpea3

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: 

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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

 

 

TangoDown Battle Grip

tangogrip4Photo_2015-03-13_09-38-23_AM The TangoDown Battlegrip is an AR-15 grip made by, you guessed it, Tango Down. The grip is more ergonomic than the standard A2 grip. Plus, it has a nice storage space inside. This storage is primarily designed for extra batteries, but one could put numerous other items in it. The storage compartment comes with some sort of foam inserts to keep the batteries from rattling around. At the base of the grip is an attached rubber plug. The Battlegrip also comes with a stainless steel grip screw. When using the supplied grip screw, and using the base plug, the handle is water tight. The grip also has a nice stippling effect on it to help prevent slipping. Last on the list of features is a tang that protrudes out in front, this tang covers the gap between the grip and the trigger guard. The grip is available in 3 colors: Black, Foliage green, and Flat dark earth.

I have used this grip for a long time, and it has held up well. It has a different grip angle then some other AR-15 grips, and so I  would recommend trying one out on a rifle before buying, as you may not like the angle.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: AR-15 storage grip

Target Market: Those wanting a better grip, or those wanting storage in the grip

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Battery storage
  • Grip texture
  • Ergonomic

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Flat Dark Earth, Foliage Green

What others are saying?:

Stretch on Brownells 5/5 stars:  Solid. Not a fan of finger grooves. Backstrap fills the hand and alignment is perfect for me.

Mike on BravoCompany 5/5 stares:  This grip is outstanding!  The ergonomic feel of it is wonderful compared to the standard pistol grip found on M4/AR15 type rifles and the fact that it has a built in compartment which keeps batteries, spare parts safe, secure and free from dust, dirt, water, etc. is another outstanding feature to make this grip worth every penny!

Price point:

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

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Grip texture
  • Water tight
  • Ergonomic

Cons:

  • Grip angle for some

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Saddle Butte Machine Gun Shoot - May 16th & 17th 2015

Gunvault Multivault Standard

IMG_2097.jpg

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:

Pros:

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

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

My links:

NJGunBlog

Guns of Hollywood Podcast

 

MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

rangebag5.jpg

I was searching for a good range bag a while back, as my old duffle bag had given up on me. So, I went searching the web for something that would meet my criteria. What I found was the MidwayUSA Competition Range bag. During my search, I ran into a number of range bags, but most if them were too small for my taste. The Midway bag had almost everything I wanted. It is very large, which allows me to keep all my range goodies in one spot. It comes with a removable padded carrying strap. It has lots of different zippered compartments, 8 of different sizes plus 1 main compartment. Some of the larger ones even contain pockets inside of them. In the large side pocket, there are holders for 8 pistol magazines and 12 elastic holders for pens, cleaning rods, etc. Now, for the really good stuff. Inside the vast main double zippered compartment is a handled carry bag, which has its own zippered storage and padded hook & loop separators. You can use this handy little bag for ammo and supplies. It, basically, gives you the ability to leave the heavy bag in your vehicle and just carry what you really need for the shooting session. I use this little bag for carrying ammo and magazines at matches where I have to go from stage to stage. The other nice feature about the range bag is that it comes with a matching bag to put brass in. It also comes with 2 padded pistol pouches. These pouches are quite large, also, and can fit full size handguns without any problems.

The only thing I don't like about the pistol rugs is that they are fairly flimsy and not padded enough.  The zippers are double stitched, and some of them have a round zipper pull to aid in using them. Overall, I am very pleased with this range bag. It stores all of my range goodies, plus an extra kitchen sink.

rangebag1

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Pointsrangebag2

Claim to Fame:  Large Range Bag with lots of storage pockets

Target Market: Anyone looking for a good range bag

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Length: 22"
  • Width: 15"
  • Height: 10"
  • Main Compartment: 17" x 10" x 10"2 removable padded pistol rugs with zippers 8-½" H x 12" W fit most large frame semi-auto pistols and revolvers with barrels up to 6"
  • Removable stage bag/ammunition carrier with carrying handles for portability 15" L x 5" W x7-½"H
  • Front: 2 Padded zippered pockets (8" L x 2" W x 8" H)
  • Rear: 8" x 2" x 16"8 magazine pouchesInternal padded pocket 8" x 15.5"
  • Shoulder Carry Strap: 2" W x 52" L removable carrying strap with shoulder pad
  • Carry Handles: Wraparound with hook & loop closure
  • Removable stage bag/ammunition carrier features:2 Padded zippered pockets (7-½" H x 15" L)2 Padded moveable hook and loop equiped compartment walls2 Chrome plated steel D-rings for quick attachment of the carry strapFull wrap-around nylon handles2 removable padded pistol rugs features:8.5" x 12" will fit most large frame semi-auto pistols and revolvers with barrels up to 6"
  • 9 Pockets
  • Material: PVC Coated Polyester
  • Capacity: 2404 C.I.

rangebag4

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Grey, Coyote, and Olive Drab (MultiCam not available anymore)

What others are saying?: 

  • From MidwayUSA: by Terry in Mount Sterling, KY.  5 out 5 stars:  Roomy, nice compartments, lots of storage, sturdy, practical, not sure what else you would want in a range bag.
  • From Thetruthaboutguns.com: by Nathan Shonts.  4 or 5 out 5 stars:  Useability: * * * * Flexible, practical design with more pockets than I know what to do with.   Value: * * * * * At its $45 sale price, this well-made bag is a fantastic bargain. At its “normal” price of $80, it’s still nice.      Overall: * * * *(*)  At $45 it’s a great value and gets all five stars. At the $80 full price, still a solid four stars. Either way, you won’t regret it.

Price point: 

I need it now! Availability:  MidwayUSA

Our Rating: 

Pros:

  • Number of pockets (9)
  • Comes with 2 pistol pouches
  • Removable ammunition/storage bag
  • Double stitching on zippers
  • Brass bag
  • Padded Carry strap
  • Built in magazine pouches

Cons:

  • Flimsy pistol pouches
  • Heavy, especially when loaded with all your stuff

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

Chad's Links: Saddle Butte Machinegun Shoot

 

 

Griffon Ind. Hearing Protection Cover

GriffonHearPro1 The Griffon Industries Hearing Protection Cover is an excellent addition to either a new or a used pair of electronic ear protection.  The cover is constructed of a ballistic nylon with a vented padding.  It is attached by some very strong hook and loop fastening.  The cover is made to go over the existing band that goes over your head.  The padding on the cover makes the ear protection much more comfortable and looks good also.  I purchased mine for my peltor tactical 6-s.  The plastic cover that came on my 6-s had split along the edge, this didn't really cause any problems, but I didn't like how it looked.  Griffon makes the hearing protection cover for 3 different manufactures of hearing protection:  The Peltor series, The MSA Sordin, and the popular Howard Leight.   It is also available in three patterns: Multicam (what I purchased), Kryptec Typhon, and AOR1 (Think Desert Digital).  A Griffon Industries patch also came with the cover and is intended to be put on the cover.  There is a nice pattern appropriate hook and loop fastener on the outer of the cover for this or other patches.  A small loop is also sewn into the center of the cover so that you can hook it somewhere when not in use.

GriffonHearpro3

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Pointsgriffonhearpro4

Claim to Fame: Padded Hearing Protection cover

Target Market: Those who want a padded headband on there ear protection

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Padded
  • Loop for hanging up
  • Color pattern options
  • Comfortable

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?  Kryptec Typhon and AOR1

Price point: 

  • MSRP = $25-32 depending on pattern

I need it now! Availability: Griffon Industries

Our Rating:

Pros

  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Padded

Cons

  • Availability

Score: 8.5 Great85

 

 

Chad's favorite link: Hand Gun Radio

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:

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

My Links:

NJgunblog

Guns of Hollywood

Firing Line Review

 

 

 

Sticky Holster

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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:

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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

75

 

 

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Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

The Remington 700 is quite a rifle. Despite the collateral black eyes it receives as a result of Big Green's holding company and the ripple effect that has affected quality and value thought the product line, the history and reliability of the R700 is almost unparalleled in the bolt acton rifle world. Very similar to the Glock and it's position in the handgun market, the R700 isn't a perfect rifle, but its a decent platform for modification, customization and enhancements for achieving the exact firearm you have in mind. One very low cost, easy to install and arguably one of the most functional additions you can make to your Remington 700 rifle is the Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift.

Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

The Bolt Lift is an enlarged polymer shell that fits over your existing bolt handle that drastically improves bolt manipulation. Simple as that. While $28 for two pieces of plastic, a screw, and some O-rings might seem overpriced for such a minimalistic product, it suites a purpose that would otherwise cost almost 5x that amount in machining labor for a larger metal handle onto your existing bolt. KRG offers the Bolt Lift in two styles, the standard which is more tacticalesque, and the SV which is not as elongated and smaller than the original Bolt Lift. Both models mount the same way over the existing bolt handle. You don't have to permanently modify your rifle in anyway and can be removed easily. You can use epoxy if you desire a more permanent installation thats bedded to your bolt knob.

Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

The Kinetic Research Group was established conceptually in 2005 by a group of then active duty Army Special Forces soldiers. Being both professional and sport shooters, their passion led them to a deep understanding of the strong and weak points in the fielded equipment. All of the founding members have multiple OIF/OEF deployments and have had extensive small arms training through the military and, in some cases, have been instructors. KRG staff have been responsible or assisted in development for small arms designs including the modular straight-pull bolt action rifle Ballista, the Magpul Massoud .308 semi-auto rifle and parts of the Magpul Masada/Remington ACR.

I asked KRG if they were considering making a bolt lift for other manufacturer's rifles in the future.  They responded promptly, saying "Right now we're not planning one specifically for any other particular rifles.  We're considering a "universal" model in the future that will fit many different rifles but will need a little fitting for each one.  We have had customers put the Bolt Lift on the Savage, Howa, Mossberg and many others, they just did a little dremeling or maybe used some epoxy to bed it into place a bit. Thank you for your interest in our products!"

If you own a Remington 700 and feel like a larger bolt knob would benefit your shooting (or you are handy with a dremel & epoxy and want to mod one to fit your non-remington rifle) I would highly recommend the Bolt Lift.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The first and only products of their kind, the Bolt Lift gives you all the benefits of an oversize bolt knob (AKA "Tactical" knob) in a simple user friendly package.

Target Market:  Remington 700 Bolt Action Rifle Owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Gives a better grip when operating the bolt under any conditions
  • Do-It-Yourself, no gunsmithing required*
  • Comes with two sizes of O-Rings for better fit of your rifle's existing bolt knob
  • No permanent modifications to your rifle
  • For a permanent installation, skip the O-Rings and use epoxy.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Standard and SV (Smaller Version), as well as Black, OD Green, and FDE

What others are saying?:

"The Bolt Lift feels very solid. There is no wiggle or play at all once it is tightened down. You really cannot tell by feel that it is not molded onto the knob. Unless the knob begins to loosen up with use I see little reason to make the installation permanent. Prior to installing the Bolt Lift on this rifle to cycle the bolt you had to use fingertips and thumb. If you attempted to grip the factory knob you would skin your thumb. After installing the bolt lift I was able to manipulate the bolt while retaining a firm grip on the end. If you are a "grip it and rip it" type of bolt operator, then the Bolt Lift is a great option. I have seen many comments about the visual appearance of the Bolt Lift and the fact that it's a bolt on plastic piece. The looks matter little to me. I only care about the function. The Bolt Lift works. The fact that it is made of plastic is also immaterial. The bolt knob on my four thousand dollar Accuracy International is plastic. The true value of the Bolt Lift is that for $28 and a few minutes time you can see if a "tactical" bolt knob will fit your tactics and your rig. You don't have to worry about voids in the handle, sending it off to a gunsmith or any other nonsense."  8541 Tactical Review

"I cannot believe it was only $28. Honestly, I’m baffled. It’s the single best upgrade I’ve made for such a small amount of money. My thumb no longer bashes my scope, cycling the action is smoother and easier due to better leverage, and being plastic, it didn’t add much in the weight department. Notice the little grippy part on there? I found once I started to get the palm sweat I get when I shoot, that this small feature made handling the knob a breeze. All the little details add up to make this an impressive little upgrade!" Survive Hive Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at KRG's website

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Two different styles for different rifle roles
  • Easy to assemble
  • Instantly improves bolt handling, especially under duress or fast courses of fire
  • Comes with a sweet vinyl sticker
  • Military Discount
  • MADE IN 'MURICA

Cons:

  • Price for polymer molded item is alittle high (but much less than an actual metal knob + gunsmithing)
  • Enlarged knob may interfere with low mounted optics
  • Certain aftermarket stocks may need to be modified (or sand down the bolt lift on the bottom)

Score: 9.0 Amazing

 

 

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Tasco .22 Rimfire Red Dot Riflescope

IMG_9353IMG_0635It wasn't long ago that red dot sights were rare and expensive pieces of equipment, which were all but unattainable for most shooting enthusiasts. But, over the past decade or so, they've gained tremendous popularity, as the number of options on the market have increased and prices have decreased. It's now possible to purchase a functional red dot sight for less money than a used copy of Call of Duty. This is fantastic news for the frugal gun owner, but the options can be overwhelming. With all of the inexpensive options on the market, how do you know what's worth buying? I found myself in just such a dilemma when I decided I wanted a red dot sight for my newly purchased Ruger 10/22 Carbine. If you spend any time on the internet, you'll quickly realize that most of the commonly recommended red dot sights are more expensive than the 10/22 itself (often they're many times more expensive). Most owners of .22lr rifles are just looking to do some cheap plinking, and would rather buy a few thousand rounds of quality ammunition than a red dot sight designed for military use.

That's where the Tasco BKRD3022 comes in: it's an inexpensive red dot sight designed for use on rimfire rifles. It doesn't offer any frills or a plethora of features - it's just a basic red dot sight meant for plinking. There are only three controls on the entire unit: elevation adjustment, windage adjustment, and power/brightness adjustment.

Elevation and windage can be adjusted in .5 MOA (1/2" at 100 yards) increments. The adjustment knobs are concealed underneath threaded dust caps, and a screw driver or coin is needed to turn them. Each click of the adjustment knob is satisfying, crisp, and light. Make sure you don't lose those dust caps, otherwise you'll likely end up accidentally turning the knobs all the time.

Power and dot brightness are controlled via a large knob located on top of the unit, which gives you 11 different brightness settings. On the lowest settings, battery life is claimed to be 6,000+ hours (250 days) of continuous use. However, the brightness knob ended up being the only thing I didn't like about the Tasco BKRD3022, as I felt it was too difficult to turn. Sure, this will keep you from unintentionally turning it, but it becomes difficult to turn if it's wet from rain or sweat.

So, how does it actually perform? For a red dot sight that can usually be found for about $30, the Tasco BKRD3022 feels and performs very well! The construction is surprisingly solid and durable, and it manages to feel hefty without being heavy (it weighs just 6 ounces). The 1x30mm glass is nice and clear, and the lens coating works well without being too obtrusive.

IMG_9355

With it's 5 MOA dot, it's obvious that this wasn't intended to be used for any kind of serious target shooting (but then again, what red dot sight is?). But, I found it to be more than adequate for my uses. Once zeroed, it was easy to keep 3" groups at 50 yards from my completely stock 10/22 Carbine (and I'm no crack shot). I found the maximum brightness to be suitable for broad daylight, and the lower settings were useful indoors. And, other than one minor mishap, it had no problem staying zeroed.

"What was the mishap?" I'm sure you're asking. A pretty silly mistake on my part: I forgot to put Loctite on the screws for my 10/22 Weaver mount. So, after ~500 rounds or so it started to come lose. The BKRD3022 itself stayed securely fastened to the weaver mount though (because I did remember to use Loctite on that). Obviously, this is not the fault of Tasco, I'm just bringing it up to remind you to always use Loctite! Make sure to use the Blue 242 variety of Loctite, as if you use the green, it will require heat and heavy force to remove and you would risk damaging your gun, sight, or both.

All in all, I've been very satisfied with the Tasco BKRD3022. For the price (which really is "bargain basement"), I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better red dot sight. In fact, I think you could spend 2 or 3 times as much and still not find anything better.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The price

Target Market: .22lr rifle plinkers

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Low cost
  • Brightness Adjustability
  • Battery life
  • Easy mounting

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Tasco 22 Rimfire Red Dot Riflescope is only available in black.

What are others saying?: 

  • "The Tasco Red Dot sight is the company’s basic entrant in the red dot sight competition, and is a pretty good choice for desert- and snow-dwelling target shooters, or anyone operating under heavy glare" - RedDotSights
  • "The Tasco Red Dot feels nice and sturdy, I dont expect it to break on me anytime soon. I've bumped it into a few things over the months that I've owned it and haven't seen a loss in accuracy, nor have I had to re-zero it." The XtremeConditioning Blog

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Very low price
  • Solid construction
  • Good performance

Cons:

  • Brightness knob is hard to adjust
  • Need coin/screwdriver for elevation and windage adjustment
  • Loctite is basically a necessity

Score: 7.5 Good75

 

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