April 15th, 2018 by asjstaff

Perusing the photo-pandemic known as Instagram, my heart rate kicked up and my finger slid to an abrupt stop on an unlikely image. It wasn’t the latest innovation in arms – I was getting my first look at the Hold Ur Fire Kit – a slick system for organizing, storing, and transporting your smaller arms and accoutrements!

Maybe it’s just me and my possibly undiagnosed OCD, but keeping my firearms organized, dry, and easily accessible / deployable is a priority – especially for the EDC kits I use weekly. It is true, there are many pistol storage systems out there but the simplicity, apparent ease of use, variety of mounting options and availability of extra components drew me to try this USA-made system.

Hold Ur Fire’s Complete Kit includes:

• 1 Docking Station

• 5 Transport Panels

• 20 Cinch Straps

• 4 Rubber Feet for Docking Station

Also pictured above are the Magazine Cuff and Mini-magazine Cuff (available soon).

The Hold Ur Fire docking station is molded black ABS polymer featuring five vertical slots with stopping bumpers at the rear. It’s not some cheap, thin and flimsy base; it has some decent weight to it to help keep it in place and is quite sturdy with clean and smooth edges.

The four provided black rubber feet are of great quality with 3M® adhesive backing. The foot housings are well-recessed, which helps greatly extend the life of the feet.

Or, if so inclined, you could technically drive a screw through the holes in each corner of the docking station and secure it to a shelf, floor, drawer, or other surface.

The five black ABS polymer panels that come with the Hold Ur Fire kit are 1/4-inch thick and measure 9.5″ x 11.5″. They are very rigid, even with the eight strap and accessory slots, four corner holes, and generous 4/5″ x 1 1.8″ oval handle hole. The molded arrow above the handle indicates the proper orientation of the panel.

With all five panels inserted into the base, there are 1 7/8-inches of room between each panel. If needed for larger pistols and items, forgo a neighboring panel to double the leg room. Or move panels with larger items to the outside slot.

Without any items, the assembled system measures 11″ W x 12″ D x 10.5″ H.

To attach firearms, magazines, and other items, feed the provided hook and loop cinch straps strategically through the panel – or take advantage of one of Hold Ur Fire’s mounting accessories.

The Magazine Cuff features a rigid backer with padding and slips through a panel and secures on the back side with a hook and loop closure. The eight elastic loops are designed to hold four to eight short or long single and/or double-stack magazines, or any other smaller items that may find their way into your kit.

While the Magazine Cuff is well-made, functions just as intended, and is an extremely useful accessory, some of the materials used – in particular the layer of padding behind the elastic loops – give moisture more places to gather than I’d like.

Hold Ur Fire’s soon-to-be-released Mini-magazine Cuff is also a must-have accessory when using the system. But I’m baffled as to why they chose a cotton material for the strap – it will only absorb and retain moisture. Given they provided a pre-release version, I’m hoping their final version has nylon straps.

As someone who overtly enjoys organizing, the Hold Ur Fire system was one of the most fun products I’ve tested so far this year. I had an absolute (but not literal) blast creating specific panels for the items I routinely put to use. And I was pleasantly surprised by what I could easily fit onto just one side of a single panel!

Large frame EDC w/ light panel: SIG Sauer P226R EE, Streamlight TLR-1 HD, and two fifteen-round magazines.

Small frame EDC w/ holsters panel: SIG Sauer P238 in Ultimate Holsters Cloud Tuck Hybrid holster and two seven-round magazines, one in an Ultimate Holsters Single Clip Mag Carrier.

Suppressed conversion kit panel: SIG Sauer P226 .22 LR conversion kit, Dead Air Mask HD silencer, two ten-round SIG .22 LR magazines.

Backwoods carry panel: Glock 20C and two fifteen-round magazines, one in G-code magazine holster.

Suppressed Kalashnikov panel: Dead Air PBS-1 Wolverine silencer, two Kalashnikov variant thread pitch adapters, PBS-1 tool, one thirty-round 7.62×39 magazine.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. That’s a ton of stuff!…it can’t possibly card in and out of the docking station, right?

But it does. And does so extraordinarily well!

In the configuration above each board can easily be removed without snagging on its neighbors.

As previously mentioned, the system also works really well for related items, like the non-pew parts of an EDC kit.

Or for those pistols that simply don’t see range time anymore but aren’t worth parting with. Yup, that’s a bulb light on an xD sub-compact! Thank goodness LEDs are standard place nowadays.

And, as seen in the photo above (supplied by Hold Ur Fire), you can most certainly strap two pistols to a panel. In many cases you can even strap the pistol’s accompanying magazines to the other side of the panel.

However, I’m wholly unwilling to store any weapon with the muzzle pointed at me so that particular orientation isn’t on my list of options. Thankfully you can just flip the orientation of most pistols ninety degrees so they face up and down.

Of course, some pistols are just too large to fit within the confines of the board. One of the things I enjoy about Hold Ur Fire’s design is that it doesn’t box you in (literally). If you have the clearance around the system, there’s no reason why a pistol can’t protrude a little.

If you have a securing ring inside your safe, book case, or drawer, a simple 1/4″ cable lock can add an additional, albeit fairly useless if not rigged correctly, layer of security to your bundled items. Simply feed the cable through the holes located in the corners of the panels.

Those holes also double as hangars for anyone who wishes to mount the panels directly to a wall or other vertical surface.

Throughout the course of a month I put Hold Ur Fire’s system to the test, trying any configuration I could think of and often putting outfitted panels straight into my range bag. And while the docking station, panels, and magazine cuffs stood strong, I broke two of the hook and loop straps without much force.

In each case the heat seal simply didn’t hold and gave up the plastic buckle. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but it would be great to see higher-quality stitched straps available in the future.

Hold Ur Fire’s Complete Kit storage and transportation system, accompanied by the Magazine Cuff and Mini-Magazine Cuff, makes storing pistols, magazines, suppressor systems, EDC kits, and any other small-to-medium sized items a breeze. The system is sturdy and well-designed to allow for seemingly limitless configurations of firearms and accessories on a panel.

But there are some areas where the product could be improved. Without question, the moisture-absorbing materials used in the magazine cuffs are a concern that could be easily addressed. It would be great to see additional magazine cuffs with just two or four elastic bands. And redesigning the panels to be symmetrical would allow users to mount two bases facing each other on vertical surfaces, creating horizontal shelves that slide in and out.

Critiques aside, the Hold Ur Fire system is certainly one I won’t be giving up; in fact, I can’t wait to employ several more of these kits for weekly use and long-term storage. Shooting schools that provide pistols to their students will find the system very advantageous and even FFLs might get good use out of them. And for the average guy or gal who likes to be organized, clean, and ready to deploy their tools at a moment’s notice – even if just for some weekly range time – Hold Ur Fire is a simple and efficient choice!

Specifications: Hold Ur Fire Storage System – Complete Kit

Price as reviewed: $64.99 MSRP

Design: * * * * *
Simple, easy to use, and highly flexible, the Hold Ur Fire system is well-designed for everyday use. The system is “open”, allowing larger items to protrude from the top and sides of the panels and docking station. Configuring the panels is extremely intuitive and can be quite fun.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Durability: * * * *
Hold Ur Fire didn’t skimp on the thickness of the ABS polymer docking station and panels; they will hold-up to tough conditions, heavy pistols, and loaded magazines. However, the hook and loop straps that come with the kit are somewhat weak due to their heat-sealed manufacturing process.

Effectiveness: * * * * *
The system’s flexibility in regard to mounting orientations, as well as hook and loop closure and elastic strap types, and options for mounting the docking station come together to create a system that will secure your items very well for storage and transportation.

Overall: * * * * 1/2
The Hold Ur Fire system has a simple design, yet is built tough and offers nearly limitless flexibility in terms of items and their orientation. The system also does not box you into a completely confined space – it allows for items to stick above and out from its base. Unfortunately, I have to take a half-star off for the weak hook and loop straps.

Specifications: Hold Ur Fire Magazine Cuff

Price as reviewed: $19.99 MSRP

Overall: * * * *
The Magazine Cuff is a nice reprieve from the standard hook and loop straps. Storing full or empty pistol magazines of all sizes, or any slender small and medium-sized items, is quick and easy. However, it takes up an entire board, only orients in one direction, and there’s no good way to cut it down. The reinforced and padded backer is nice, but draws concerns of water retention.

Specifications: Hold Ur Fire Mini-Magazine Cuff

Price as reviewed: MSRP TBD – PRODUCT AVAILABLE SOON!

Overall: * * *
The Mini-Magazine Cuff is a nice accessory for the Hold Ur Fire system. It can easily be mounted to the storage board in a multitude of ways and retains the majority of pistol and rimfire magazines very well, as well as slender silencers and many other “pocket sized” items. A significant deduction was given for the use of moisture-absorbing materials used in its construction.

Posted in Handguns, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 6th, 2018 by asjstaff

I bought my HK P7 (which now looks like this) for a screaming good price in early 2012. You see, the older gentleman I bought it from was selling all of his semi-auto pistols, as he could no longer operate them due to arthritis in his hands and generally diminished finger/grip strength. This is where Smith & Wesson’s new M&P380 Shield EZ comes in. It’s supposed to be an easy-to-operate pistol that basically anyone can run confidently.

But does it hit the mark?

As I see it, there are four major factors to operating a semi-automatic pistol that are made difficult with limited strength. Whether you’re a petite woman or have arthritis or for any other reason have lesser finger, grip, and/or forearm strength, you may struggle with the following . . .

Manipulating the slide

Loading and unloading a pistol requires you to manually pull the slide to the rear. Often, clearing jams and field stripping necessitates this as well. If it’s a struggle, a semi-auto may not be a good choice.

As you’d hope, racking the slide on the Shield EZ is easy. The recoil spring is soft and the internal hammer provides little additional resistance. The lockup disengages easily. It’s one of the lightest-racking pistol slides I’ve felt.

Likewise, pushing up on the slide stop to lock it to the rear is accomplished particularly easily. Once the slide is locked back, rotate the takedown lever down 90 degrees (as seen two photos up), pull back on the slide to release the lock, and slide it forwards off the frame. No trigger pull is needed to field strip the EZ.

A solid purchase on the slide is also a necessity, and while I think S&W could have done even more here they’ve done very well. At the rear of the rear slide serrations is a markedly raised ledge. This provides a solid backstop for fingers and makes slipping off of the slide much less likely, even with a softer grip.

I would have gone with ledge-front rear sight as well, to add another point of gription for those who wrap their palm over the top of the slide. Or, as the marketing typically suggests, for use as a “claw” to rack the slide off of a belt, pocket, table, or other object.

Ultimately, though, manipulating the slide is probably the most critical aspect of being able to operate a typical pistol, and the Shield EZ really is about as easy as it gets. At least in the world of centerfire calibers.

Loading the magazines

It takes notable grip strength, finger strength, and dexterity to load the magazines of most pistols (UpLULA aside). Much of this is due to the upwards pressure applied on the loaded rounds by the magazine spring. It has to be strong enough to push the next round up into position so it can be picked up on the slide’s return trip forwards. And it has to do this regardless of recoil motion and the weight of a full compliment of lead and brass objects on top of it.

So there’s a definite limit to how light the magazine spring can be while still affording reliable function. Though I can’t speak to how much fudge-factor (“extra” spring weight to overcome dirt, depleted uranium rounds, etc.) S&W built into the M&P380 Shield EZ mags, I can say they’re easy to load.

The single-stack design helps, as these magazines are almost always easier to load than double-stack mags. With less ammo and less ability for the rounds to shift around, the spring just doesn’t have to be as stiff.

But S&W took another step towards easy loading and added finger pegs on the follower. As seen on many .22 LR pistols, this allows the user to pull down on the follower while loading the next round. It’s an easier proposition than trying to depress the top round with one finger while simultaneously depressing it with the being-loaded round while it’s also being crammed back under the feed lips.

Whether you load the Shield EZ magazines by pulling down on the follower and literally dropping the next round in or do a pull from the bottom while pushing from the top hybrid maneuver, the end result is a much easier-to-load magazine than the standard semi-auto.

Capacity, of course, is the only real downside here. The frame of the M&P380 Shield EZ is wide enough to accept a staggered magazine. Possibly not a full-on double-stack, but staggered for sure. It might be capable, for instance, of 11 rounds in the mag instead of eight.

Creating room for the follower’s finger pegs and sticking with a typically-easier-to-load single-stack mag meant not using all of the grip volume afforded to it for ammo capacity. As you can see above, there are ribs molded inside of the grip to center the skinny magazine body and provide clearance for the follower pegs.

Smith’s choice of easy loading over capacity wasn’t made by mistake. However, if there’s a flaw with the Shield EZ it’s magazine-related: it’s particularly difficult to lock a fully-loaded magazine into the grip when the slide is forwards. You either have to push up on the basepad extremely hard, punch it firmly with the heel of your hand, or put a thumb on top of the slide and fingers under the magazine and squeeze like you’re trying to milk a rock.

Basically, the EZ’s target audience is going to struggle to insert a loaded magazine with the slide forwards. Therefore, there will be a lot of owners carrying this pistol one round short of full capacity. That may mean inserting a fully-loaded magazine with the slide locked back, chambering the first round, and carrying it this way with eight rounds on board, or it may mean inserting a down-loaded magazine into the gun with the slide forwards on an empty chamber and carrying it this way with seven rounds on board. In either scenario, this is a flaw in the EZ’s otherwise spot-on design.

Operating the controls

Different pistol models have different controls, and user preference varies. One thing that stays true, though, is that the controls should be usable and well-placed, which unfortunately is not always the case.

With the Shield EZ, we found nothing to complain about. The slide stop is easy to reach without being in the way at all, and it’s easy to operate. Likewise, the magazine release is positive and very easily activated, while still just stiff enough and shielded enough to prevent depressing it accidently.

Users with less finger strength will find the flip-down take-down lever easier to use than the small, pull-down tabs or pull-out pins on many competitors’ products.

Even the trigger strikes a great balance between safety and ease of use with its just over four-pound pull weight. Small hands with short fingers shouldn’t have difficulty reaching it, either.

Hotly contested though they are, if you choose the Shield EZ with manual safety (there’s also a model without the manual safety) you’ll be glad to know that the safety lever, too, is easy to operate and well-placed. The safety snicks on and off smoothly and easily with a clean click on each end.

I’d personally prefer a stronger detent, but for the purposes of the EZ it makes sense to make it, you know, easy. Not unsafe, mind you, but it isn’t as stiff as many manual thumb safeties.

I could also see lowering the ambidextrous levers to make them that much easier to reach for those with short thumbs, though very few are likely to have a problem there. The length of the safety levers and their serrations make them harder to miss and easier to operate, whether flipping them up (safe) or down (fire).

Finally, a grip safety adorns the back of the grip (where else?). This is a passive safety, disengaged automatically when the user acquires a typical shooting grip.

Unique in its bottom-hinged design, I found the EZ’s grip safety entirely unobtrusive. Though it does not depress flush with the back of the grip, which could, in theory, let the user get higher up into the beavertail, it’s hardly noticeable on the palm or in the web of your hand. There’s also no chance of gripping the gun in any sort of semi-normal fashion and not disengaging this lightly-sprung safety.

Controlling recoil

This, of course, isn’t specific to semi-automatic pistols but applies to all firearms. However, in the realm of pistols, poor recoil control can lead to malfunctions. The slide must cycle fully to the rear, and if the frame is also moving rearwards this may not happen properly. A stiff recoil spring and a difficult-to-control gun can exacerbate the issue.

Thanks to the M&P380 Shield EZ’s slim grip with good ergonomics and grippy texture and its nice little beavertail, shooters with most any hand size will have no problem acquiring a high, solid, secure grip.

Thanks to the .380 ACP chambering, which puts out about 56 percent the energy of 9mm, and the tilt-barrel short recoil operation rather than straight blowback operation, the Shield EZ shoots very softly.

It’s also large enough to allow a full grip. Even I found my pinky securely on the frame, not on the magazine baseplate or under it. All too often we see sales guys, friends, and significant others recommend pocket pistols to women — small person, small gun, right? — but that’s a recipe likely to backfire. Harder to grip securely and harder on recoil, those tiny, lightweight guns are difficult and unpleasant to shoot.

Striking a great balance between mouse gun and duty gun, the compact or sub-compact M&P380 Shield EZ provides a healthy sight radius, a full grip, proper control ergonomics, and 18.5 ounces of recoil absorption. It shoots every bit as soft and as flat as you’d hope.

Though the rear sight on my Shield EZ clearly needed to be drifted right to line up point of impact with point of aim, I found the little pistol to be very accurate. Above is a five-round group shot slow, off-hand, with 95 grain Blazer Brass from Freedom Munitions (coupon code TTAG for 5% off everything on their site).

And it sang the same tune with Hornady Critical Defense.

With the great trigger, decent sight radius, and Charmin soft recoil, the M&P380 Shield EZ is an easy gun to shoot accurately.

It’s reliable, too. In 500 rounds of mixed ammo, from Freedom Munitions 100 grain flat nose to Alchemist Ammunition 75 grain frangible to three brands of self-defense hollow points, we didn’t suffer a single hiccup. The EZ ran everything and was a pussycat on recoil even with the self-defense stuff.

Due to its .380 ACP chambering, the M&P380 Shield EZ may not be for everyone. Most self-defense guru types will suggest 9mm if you can shoot it confidently. But the “confidently” part comes first. You have to be able to operate the gun and you must be able to put rounds on target. Shot placement is king.

Everything about the Shield EZ makes pistol operation and shot placement easy. It shoots as flat and as soft as can be. For me, I was able to dump rounds right on target as fast as I could pull the trigger. For the EZ’s target market — those with limited grip strength — it’ll likely get you back in the semi-auto game.

The easy to rack, easy to load, easy to shoot, easy to field strip M&P380 Shield EZ is possibly the best semi-auto, centerfire pistol going for those who find operating pistols difficult. It fills a need, fits a niche, and does it extremely well.

Specifications: Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ

Caliber: .380 ACP
Capacity: 8+1 rounds
Action: internal hammer fired, single action
Overall Length: 6.7 inches
Barrel Length: 3.675 inches
Height: 4.98 inches
Width: 1.15 inches (1.43 at widest point across the safeties)
Weight: 18.5 ounces
Sights: white 3-dot sights, rear adjustable for windage
Materials: polymer frame, stainless steel slide and barrel with Armornite Finish
External Safeties: grip safety, tactile loaded chamber indicator, optional ambidextrous thumb safety
MSRP: $399 (available now via Brownells)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
Flawless function straight out of the box.

Accuracy * * * *
Point of impact was a bit off as the gun shipped, but the EZ is an accurate shooter that’s easy to shoot accurately.

Ease of Use * * * * *
The M&P380 Shield EZ nails it. It’s easy to operate in every way it can be.

Overall * * * * *
Well-deserving of a full five stars. The EZ delivers on all promises.

Side note: the breech block is pinned into the slide rather than machined in as an integral part. While this could be due to manufacturing limitations, it may also indicate that Smith & Wesson plans to release other calibers in a Shield EZ format. This is pure speculation, but a swappable breech face certainly makes that easier.

Ammo for this review provided by Freedom Munitions. Visit www.FreedomMunitions.com and use coupon code “TTAG” for 5% off site-wide on dozens of brands of ammunition, accessories, parts, optics, and more.

Posted in Handguns, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

April 20th, 2017 by asjstaff

Does it really matter?

We all love a good argument, especially when it comes to guns. But I’m always amazed when people speak in absolutes about the merits of the .45 ACP versus the 9mm.

What’s funny is that even with ballistic data that we can access to use to debate our arguments. It’s still not enough to see the value objectively.

Reading data can be mind boggling or just too hard to visualize. Viewing pictures of the caliber aftermath may be the way to go.

Back in 2014, the FBI Academy from Quantico, VA released a report on why they were trending toward the 9mm over other options, including the .45 ACP and the .40 S&W. In case you missed it, here’s what that summary included:
May 6, 2014
FBI Training Division: FBI Academy, Quantico, VA
Executive Summary of Justification for Law Enforcement Partners

  • Caliber debates have existed in law enforcement for decades
  • Most of what is “common knowledge” with ammunition and its effects on the human target are rooted in myth and folklore
  • Projectiles are what ultimately wound our adversaries and the projectile needs to be the basis for the discussion on what “caliber” is best
  • In all the major law enforcement calibers there exist projectiles which have a high likelihood of failing LEO’s in a shooting incident and there are projectiles which have a high ting incident likelihood of succeeding for LEO’s in a shooting incident
  • Handgun stopping power is simply a myth
  • The single most important factor in effectively wounding a human target is to have penetration to a scientifically valid depth (FBI uses 12” – 18”)
  • LEO’s miss between 70 – 80 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident
  • Contemporary projectiles (since 2007) have dramatically increased the terminal effectiveness of many premium line law enforcement projectiles (emphasis on the 9mm Luger offerings)
  • 9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, I outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI
  • 9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons)
  • The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (similar sized weapons)
  • There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto
  • Given contemporary bullet construction, LEO’s can field (with proper bullet selection) 9mm Lugers with all of the terminal performance potential of any other law enforcement pistol caliber with none of the disadvantages present with the “larger” calibers

Interesting stuff, but it doesn’t motivate one to toss their .40s and .45s into the garbage can.
For the FBI it can be other behind the scenes reasons as to why they’re more inclined to go with the 9mm in this report, such as:

  • Numbers of recruits and officers certifying with the 9mm – competency level
  • Number of seasoned officers maintaining competency level.
  • Number of incident involving firearms and aftermath resulting in poor marksmanship with a specific caliber.

On a personal level distinguishing which is the better choice has to be several factors such as:

  • Ease of carry and to operate
  • Does the caliber function properly with good reliability under many conditions?
  • Does the model handgun and ammo fit well with my purpose to carry?

How about you all, which ammo would you go with and why?, tell us below in the comments.

Sources: FBI Academy, John B Snow

Posted in Ammo Tagged with: , ,

March 27th, 2017 by jhines

Dude Look at the Size of this Hole!

Getting Shot At Point Blank Range…How bad is it? Clearly, we all know being shot in any way isn’t a good thing lol!

Have you wondered what it looks like to get shot at point blank range? If you’ve invested much energy around firearms, the idea most likely has gone through your head. And if you are one of those people who really need to know “What’s the most terrible that could happen?” todays is the day to find out. Might you be able to survive any of these shots? Possibly. Would you be able to take any of these shots holding up? Probably not.

Credits to Adriean of GY6 Youtuber for providing us with this demonstration.
GY6 steps up the caliber to see the effects of caliber at point blank range against a ballistic gel.

  • Taurus PT-92 9mm
  • Kimber Eclipse Pro 2 45 ACP
  • Double barrel 1911 45 ACP
  • Taurus Raging Bull 44 magnum
  • Smith and Wesson 500 (500 grain projectile)
  • AR-15 5.56
  • AK-47 Century Arms (7.62×39)
  • Remington 870 12 Guage


Video Transcription
Hey it’s Adrian with GY6Vids, and today’s episode, we have guns Vs. ballistics gel at point blank range.

This thing’s gonna blow a hole so big the whole shoulder might come the F*** off.

Ok so we’re just gonna go right into it, we’re gonna go from gun to gun to gun and step up the calibers as we go, we’ll change them up a bit, starting out with 9mm. We are using Lehigh defense. These are some nasty rounds. The firearm we’re using is the Taurus PT92 9mm. Alright!

[Shot, laughter]

See what happens.

Alright, so next up is 45 ACP, We have a 1911, this is the Kimber Eclipse Pro 2, and we’re shooting the HPR 185-grain jacket hollowpoints. See what this looks like. IN THE CHEEST. Fire in the hole.

[Shot]

But why stop at a single 1911 when you can use a double-barrel 1911? We have the Arsenal firearms 2011, this is a double-barreled 1911 shooting two 45 ACP rounds, using the exact same HPR rounds rather than doing it this way where the high speed’s only gonna see one shell, let’s adjust the killshot. We have to. Aaand… 3…2…1.

[Shot, laughter]

Alright, up next: 44 magnum. Why not. This is the Taurus Raging Bull 44 magnum, we have the Barnes Vortex 225-grain, hollow point round. Definitely leaves a decent hole in whatever you shoot. And we’re about to see it first-hand. I love my job.

[SHOT]

Clearly, we can’t move past any type of firearm without using the Smith and Wesson 500. This thing is a tank, and a fire breather. Hopefully we’ll be able to see some fire on the gel. We are shooting Hornady XTP 500-grain projectiles. Comparing this to the 44 magnum round, it’s like child’s play. Like putting in a lipstick container.

[Shot] [Laughter] YEAH. ‘MURICA! Good god, did you feel the difference? The concussive force of that?

We’re doing the 556 AR15. Alright, let’s get into it. [Singsonging] [Shot] Hm. I highly doubt that’s gonna be nearly as cool as the Smith and Wesson 500.

This is gonna be our drum that we won’t care if it gets a hole in it. ‘cuz this one’s about to go right through this barrel. Guys ready to rock and roll? Ears in?

Alright, up next, AK47. Decided to switch it up a bit, brought out this stubby little Micro-AK47, this is from Century Arms, so much fun, probably one of the most fun guns I have, I shoot it all the time and it’s a blast. And it breathes fire like crazy, so hopefully we’ll pick it up in high speed.

The ammunition we’re shooting is G2Research’s Trident rounds, this is the 762×39 round they’re making now; it expands out, massive expansion, so hopefully it’ll leave a nice big hole in high speed. Let’s see what happens! Gotta love this gun! Woo! huh![Shot, laughter]

This thing’s gonna blow a hole so big the whole shoulder might come the **** off. Alright, last but not least -and I know what you guys are thinking, shoot more rifles, 308s, 300winmag, 50cal; I just may. Just let me know if you guys like these videos, I need to know because I don’t wanna post stuff that’s just boring you, but for right now, this will suffice. And last but not least, the Remington 870 12-gauge, we are definitely gonna do the 1oz slug round, 12gauge. I’m gonna shoot him right here just above the heart, and it should give us a nice… *dislocation* of the shoulder, to say the least. Alright, 3…2…1…[SHOT]

HO-HO!

Dude! Look at the size of this hole! [laughter]

Ok guys, hope you appreciate that video, hope you enjoyed. This is something that’s gonna be very similar to what we were posting as stand-alone videos on our secondary channel GY6slowmo, head over to Youtube.com/GY6slowmo, click the subscribe button, there is a playlist of certain types of videos that are coming that I think you’re gonna enjoy, very unique and interesting to see, trust me, you wanna go over and subscribe, a video’s gonna be coming that you’re gonna wanna watch, and it’s gonna be stand-alone only on GY6 SlowMo, not here on GY6 Vids. So it’ll give us a way of posting easier quick videos on that channel, that we’re not gonna be able to post here on GY6 vids, due to the fact that this channel’s been for longer-duration videos.

The main sponsor of this video though is Audible. I can’t say thank you enough to Audible, fantastic program, you can go to the link in the description right now, or go to www.audible.com/GY6, that is something that’s gonna give you a link to go to the website, you get a free 30-day trial, you also get a download of a free book, and if you don’t like their program you can cancel your subscription and still keep that book, so it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Audible not only offers books, but many other comedy routines, and things you may not know about even if you do know about Audible, so there’s a lot of things you can download on there, take it with you on the go, if you’re like me, you don’t have time all the time to sit on the couch or even read a book, I don’t have that downtime, so whenever I’m on the road in my jeep, I play things through the speakers, let books get read to me, and when I’m not, I’m actually clicking off the Whisper Seek mode, which is what reads it to you, and reading the book myself on my apple device, or any other smart device you might have. Currently I’m listening to 13 Hours, a fantastic movie if you haven’t seen it yet, but also it was originally a book before they made the movie. Go check it out, that’s what it looks like, go on their website and download it for yourself, it’s the secret soldiers of Benghazi, all the things that happened behind the scenes of all the crazy crap that you might not know about, what happened back in the benghazi incident, you must take the time to go check it out. Read it for yourself or have it read to you through Audible, that’s currently what I’m listening to, and last month I listened to American Sniper, so, it’s a good book to read, it’s a good book to have read to you if you don’t have time, go check it out, Audible.com/GY6

Sources: GY6 Vids Youtube

Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

February 20th, 2017 by jhines

If you’re into Glocks and suppressors, especially Silencerco Osprey you can’t miss this one. This Glock lover is sporting dual handguns, in the left hand is a Glock17 (9mm) and a Gen4 FDE Glock21 45ACP in the right hand. Watch as he unloads both with high capacity magazines in dual quiet gangster fashion. Its amazing to see and hear the majority of gun noise are coming from others blasting away.


Sources: HauseofGuns Youtube

Posted in Suppressors Tagged with: , , , , ,

October 24th, 2016 by asjstaff

United States Practical Shooting Association Champion Casey Reed spends each day seeking perfection at work, and in competition.

STORY BY CRAIG HODGKINS • PHOTOS BY FEDERAL PREMIUM

 

You don’t need to talk with Casey Reed for very long before you start thinking you could use a bit more discipline in your own life.

Reed, who celebrated his 25th birthday in August, is a rising star in the competitive shooting world and a very focused young man. He participates in the United States Practical Shooting Association’s Production Division, and has already earned several awards, including the 2014 Minnesota State Championship, two consecutive USPSA Area 3 Championships, and Top Ten finishes at the 2015 and 2016 USPSA nationals.

Not bad for someone who first tried  his steady hand at the sport a mere four years ago.

In 2015, Reed used this set up to win a Top Ten finish at the USPSA Nationals. Currently, he competes with a heavy steel Tanfolio Stock II with a double/single-action trigger. His ammo of choice is American Eagle 124-grain 9mm, Federal Load #AE9AP.

In 2015, Reed used this set up to win a Top Ten finish at the USPSA Nationals. Currently, he competes with a heavy steel Tanfolio Stock II with a double/single-action trigger. His ammo of choice is American Eagle 124-grain 9mm, Federal Load #AE9AP.

But in addition to his competitive shooting prowess, Reed also has a day job, a brand new one, in fact. Recently, his managers at Federal Premium Ammunition offered him the post of supply quality engineer, where he now works with vendors who provide Federal with everything from raw materials to finished goods. Prior to the promotion, he served as a product development engineer, where he helped design and test everything from shotshells to training ammunition for law enforcement and military personnel. One recent product he helped develop and test was American Eagle’s Syntech ammunition.

Although his career choice would come as no surprise to those who knew him as a young man, his participation as a competitive pistol shooter might.

Since landing an internship at the company six years ago, Reed is now a supply quality engineer, working with vendors that provide Federal with everything from raw materials to finished goods.

Since landing an internship at the company six years ago, Reed is now a supply quality engineer, working with vendors that provide Federal with everything from raw materials to finished goods.

REED SPENT HIS YOUTH hunting upland birds and whitetails near his home in Big Lake, Minn., which is northwest of the Twin Cities. And although he knew his way around rifles and shotguns, he rarely shot or even held a handgun.

“My dad had an old 9mm,” he told me, “but my first gun was a Benelli M1 Super 90. [Before working for Federal], I’d shot a semiauto pistol maybe two or three times in my life.”

His father was an engineer, and there was no doubt that the son would eventually follow in his footsteps.

“I was always good at math and science,” Reed said, “And all through school my teachers told me that I should be an engineer.”

Soon, he headed off to study mechanical engineering at nearby St. Cloud State University. In just his second year there, the 19-year-old landed an internship at Federal, and for the next three years he worked as an assistant in the engineering department. After graduation, the company offered him a full-time position.

“I liked the industry before I got the internship,” he said, “but I never really thought I’d be working in it.”

It was during his internship that he first began to shoot pistols as part of his ballistic testing responsibilities, and those same tasks carried on when he began his full-time job.

A competitive perfectionist by nature, Reed took up his recently adopted sport following some encouragement from a coworker.

“Fellow engineer Matt Wolff invited me to a local club match in 2012,” he recalled, “I became addicted. In fact, I signed up for a competition the very next weekend.”

A wingshooter and deer hunter in his youth, Reed has readily taken to handgun shooting competition. (LIVESHOTS.NET)

A wingshooter and deer hunter in his youth, Reed has readily taken to handgun shooting competition. (LIVESHOTS.NET)

REED WASTED NO TIME adjusting his already-packed schedule to the methodical lifestyle required of a competitive shooter. He currently logs up to 20 hours every week practicing, and then applies his analytical skills to his personal performance.

“I’ve always been a competitive person,” he said. “As an engineer, I’m very detail oriented. I analyze my shooting and how to train more efficiently.”

Unlike some competitors who follow the same exact regimen day in and day out, Reed is constantly adjusting how he trains.

“I’m always looking to see how I can become better and more consistent,” he said, “Most people can watch the Top Ten [shooters] and not be able to tell the difference, but to me it’s all about fine-tuning. It’s about the details.”

Like a growing number of competitors, Reed frequently uses a “head-cam” to help him analyze his performance. After each match, he breaks down his “game film” in slow motion like a veteran football coach, hoping to spot a flaw he can improve upon to knock an additional few seconds off of his time.

Following these video sessions, Reed restructures his practice regimen to address what he feels are needed improvements, and develops or adopts new drills accordingly. One thing he doesn’t change are the “thousands upon thousands of dry fires” he performs methodically, or his time in the gym working on strength and cardio.

“The sport is most like soccer or football because it requires lots of explosiveness,” he said. “You need to push off a good deal and move quickly from spot to spot, so it helps to be in good shape. The sport is leaning more and more to the younger and more athletic shooters.”

Although USPSA competitions are offered year-round, Reed considers his personal season to last from April through September. Each year, he competes in eight to 10 major matches and 20 to 30 local and regional contests, and his schedule is especially busy in the summer. This past August, for example, he competed in majors on four consecutive weekends.

As part of his role as a product development engineer for Federal Premium, Reed helped develop and test American Eagle Syntech ammunition.

As part of his role as a product development engineer for Federal Premium, Reed helped develop and test American Eagle Syntech ammunition.

At his most recent event, the IPSC Nationals in Frostproof, Fla., Reed’s physical training was put to the test almost as much as his shooting skill.

“Running 11 stages in 80 percent humidity,” he said, “really beats you down.”

IT’S A LARGE COMMITMENT that brings a high degree of pride and satisfaction, but very little money. Unlike the higher visibility sports, the matches are all business with little fanfare, and that’s probably because they tend to draw as many competitors as fans.

“It’s not a good spectator sport,” Reed admits, “because it’s hard to see and watch. Most people just wait to watch the head cam first-person videos [on YouTube].”

Much like a competitor at a NASCAR or PGA event, Reed finds himself participating with – and against – many of the same shooters at every USPSA major. But according to Reed, that’s a positive thing.

Reed says he just loves to shoot and the camaraderie of competition, but he also has a goal of being a national champion shooter some day. (LIVESHOTS.NET)

Reed says he just loves to shoot and the camaraderie of competition, but he also has a goal of being a national champion shooter some day. (LIVESHOTS.NET)

“It’s a very close-knit and helpful group,” he said. “In competitions, the top guys are all on one squad and shoot together. We help each other with stage planning, and most everyone is very friendly. Guys ask each other advice and questions, like how to practice or train. There are no big egos. Everyone is humble.”

Although Reed’s ultimate goal remains winning a national championship, it’s obvious he derives a great deal of satisfaction from the process of continuous improvement his disciplined training regimen brings, and from the camaraderie among competitors who share the same passion for a sport.

“It’s a really fun sport, full of action,” he said. “The top guys are putting in a ton of time, money and effort. But no one is in it for the money. We all just love to shoot.” ASJ


Posted in Shooters Tagged with: , , , ,

October 22nd, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV Derringer

Story and photographs by Tom Claycomb III

I’ve never classified a gun as a fun gun to shoot, but that’s how I would describe the double-barreled Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV derringer. Bond makes a variety of calibers and styles, but I decided to go with the IV due to the longer 4¼-inch barrel, which I had hoped would be a bit more accurate, have less recoil and tighter groups.

The Snake Slayer IV can handle .45 Long Colts and 2¾- and 3-inch .410s. I guess it was really designed as a concealed-carry gun, but I wanted to use it against snakes while fishing. It would also be good for shooting big halibut before you boat them. A .410 will do the job nicely and not ricochet.

PHOTO 2 IMGP5722-min

The first time I shot the Snake Slayer IV, my daughter Kolby joined me. Just as I set up a target, a ground squirrel ran out. I had a 2 ¾ ounce No.6 chambered and killed it at 20 feet.

Every time my daughter Kolby and I go fishing in Oregon, we see rattlesnakes. One year I heard her scream – a snake had jumped in the boat with us. On another trip on a river in Idaho, I saw six rattlesnakes and one of those floated right by me. That would have caused panic if it had tried to crawl up on the driest thing around, which was my head!

While in town, I originally thought to carry my Slayer with .45 Long Colts, but then I tested the new Winchester PDX-1 shells. Wow, they’re bad – in a good way! They have four discs and 16 BBs. They would stop a bad guy in his tracks. I shot various loads through the gun, and the first time I used the PDX-1 it made my jaw drop. It was noticeably devastating.

Snake SlayerBond SSIV

The Snake Slayer IV can interchange 20 barrels for a range of 25 different calibers.

The first rattle out of the box with a .45 Long Colt, I managed a 2½-inch group at 10 and 15 feet using Hornady’s 185-grain Critical Defense ammo. That would be more than enough to stop a bad guy – that’s a big bullet! But, like I said before, my main use for this gun would be to shoot snakes, and after shooting a .410 with No. 6 shot, I found that it had a wicked pattern, so I’m pretty confident it would work as a self-protection load as well.

When I took my Slayer out for some extensive shooting, I managed a 4-inch group at 15 feet, but I’m not renowned for being a great pistol shot. I then shot groups of two out of the same barrel and managed 2-inch groups, so there is a little variation between barrels, as you would imagine. Not a big factor, though, because it’s a short-range weapon.

I need to point out that the gun is diverse because you can interchange 20 different barrels, or 25 different calibers with one base unit. That has to make these one of the most versatile guns on the market.

It is a heavy, nice-looking and well-made duty pistol designed to last for generations. I also love that it has an equally nice and heavy-duty leather holster that is form-fitted with a latch to hold the gun securely.

Bond Arms has transformed the lowly derringer into a linebacker. ASJ

PHOTO 1 IMGP5858-min

While fishing, a watersnake swam within a foot of me. This is why I carry the Snake Slayer IV. IT can readily be used as a great concealed-carry gun too.

 

Posted in Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , ,

July 14th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Getting Past The Obstacles In Gun Training

Story and photographs by Robert Campbell

Women are not a minority in America, gentlemen. There are some 6 million more of them than us – perhaps even a few more since 2010’s census, where that stat comes from. Many female shooters are interested in the shooting sports as well as personal defense. If you are in a gun-related sales field, you would do well to treat them well. If you are a professional trainer, you must be alert to the nuances and differences of the female thought process. To ignore this significant portion of the shooting fraternity/sorority is a disservice to all concerned.

PHOTO 5

Before purchasing a handgun, take a training course first, the author suggests. Women will then have a much better idea of the level of complication and comfort they are willing to adapt to.

I am going to gloss over the psychological differences between men and women, as they are vast and touched on elsewhere this issue. What I will focus on are a few things I have found interesting during my 20-plus years in law enforcement and instructing people from all walks of life. Women make interesting choices. They are often very independent, don’t have ego problems and progress very quickly.

I do not live and breathe gunpowder smoke, but it is certainly something I love. When the opportunity comes to indoctrinate a young shooter in the proper use of a firearm, I am always ready, and a large number of these shooters are females. In the basic NRA Course, most of these students are interested in obtaining a concealed-carry permit, while others simply want to learn how to use a firearm safely; few are interested in filling a gun safe. When it comes to firearm instruction, I highly suggest turning them over to a qualified trainer. A father or spouse interested in a female’s shooting progress often diminishes the value of the instruction. I sent my own daughter to driving school, money well spent, in my opinion.

PHOTO 1-min

With all due respect to the equality of the sexes, women need self-defense training more than men because women are targeted more often as victims of violent attacks, the author argues.

I have been to gun shops where even I have been offended and I can only imagine a female traveling to one of these alone; it can be a disastrous encounter. The good-old boys could sometimes use a Dale Carnegie course. As an example, one of my daughters, who is a very capable shooter, an NRA-certified firearms instructor, and purposely drives a truck because she had been told all her life what type of cars women should drive, went into a gun store and was automatically presented a pink-handled woman’s gun by a gun-store clerk who was very condescending. Now, putting aside the fact that she actually likes pink guns (my other daughter doesn’t care and the clerk couldn’t have known that), these are exactly the problems women are facing.

Men and women alike make the same mistakes. When many purchase their first gun they find out later that it’s too big to carry concealed. Others might purchase one that is too small for personal defense, and still others might choose a low-quality option. Only with good education and a bit of study behind them will they be able to make a choice that is beneficial.

PHOTO 7

It seems that the most motivated shooters are those who have been a victim of an assault. Confidence in the handgun and a concealed-carry permit as well as a good working understanding of the handgun go a long way toward aiding these women to defend themselves if need be.

As an NRA instructor I teach the basic handgun course. Often I find that females in my class have no one in their family who is a “gun person.” It’s all new to them, and perhaps that is for the best because they are starting out with a clean slate. Oftentimes, a well-meaning person has taught the shooter bad habits, and those are very difficult to shake. The ladies I have seen – from fledging attorneys all the way to 17-year Army reservists – have impressed me at every turn. One thing I have noticed is women do not care to maintain their firearms as diligently as men. Men are more likely to tinker with what isn’t broken.

It also seems that the most motivated shooters are those who have been a victim of an assault. Confidence in the handgun and a concealed-carry permit, as well as a good working understanding of the handgun, go a long way toward aiding these women to defend themselves, if need be. If you are the right kind of trainer, you should never let the female student’s ability to pay decide if you take them on as a student. Many of these good girls are financially distressed for a number of reasons. When I was in law enforcement, I saw a number of young girls and elderly women who were robbed, beaten and assaulted in my city. I wish they had been better able to defend themselves. Sometimes, though, you hear about the occasional assailant who made a poor decision when choosing their victims. The results are gratifying to right-minded people. 

PHOTO 6

Jesse Duff is recognized as one of the most accomplished competitive shooters in the world. She is known as the first female shooter to achieve the rank of Grand Master in the USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association).

The choice in handguns for females comes up a lot, and often the choice is made before the owner takes a class, which is a shame. The .38-caliber snub-nose revolver remains an excellent all-around choice for most female shooters, but perhaps the worst performance I have seen from them is when they are armed with some type of .40-caliber subcompact purchased by a well-meaning parent or spouse. These guns are just too much; the same goes for the snub-nose .357 Magnum. Even tough men have problems with these handguns. In my opinion, a shooter’s first handgun should be a good quality .22 caliber. The Ruger Standard Model is close to perfect, but even the aforementioned .38 is difficult to argue against for many reasons. A smaller caliber, such as the .380 ACP, has merit when used as a nasal inhaler for the bad guy, but is lacking the requisite balance of penetration and expansion. If you cannot control a 9mm automatic or a snub-nose .38, I would skip the rest and go straight to the .22 Magnum. A revolver may create a bulge on a woman’s hip like a boa that has swallowed a possum, but the nice thing about it is you can place it against an attacker’s chest and pull the trigger repeatably. It will not jam in the worst-case scenario. Think hard about the choices.

There are commercials that depict criminals breaking into homes, and when the alarms sounds, the criminal runs away. This may be true of the intruder who is only motivated by profit or startled by the sound, but a criminal who is abusive or violent will not be deterred by an alarm. Even in the best situation, police response is about 5 minutes, and a lot of damage can occur in that time.

When many of us began shooting, we were hopeless. But if the student has the will to learn, male or female, they will. ASJ

 

Posted in Women and guns Tagged with: , , , , ,

March 7th, 2015 by asjstaff

tuellerD2
Tueller drill principles has been taught to Cadettes and seasoned Officers/Agents throughout law enforcement nation wide, includes agencies such as the FBI and DEA. The objective is sound for teaching to a wide variety of skill level and to retain it quickly. You can view some of our past article on Tueller drill here.

But, what if the gun fighter was at an elite level in terms of competency and skills that’s off the chart like G.I. Joe. (no pun intended)The video below highlights two extremely skilled in respective arts. (knife, gun)

Doug Marcaida background is in the Filipino Martial Arts of Kali, utilizing the knife is considered the advance part of this training. Instructor Zero of Spartan 360 Tactical Defense is the Elite gun fighter, his skills as a fast shooter can be heard and seen from here to abroad.

So let’s get to the meat of this video. The instructors described the goal of this video as a learning tool to break the 21-foot rule and may only apply to one with higher skill sets. Enjoy!

Posted in Tactics & Tips Tagged with: , ,

February 27th, 2015 by asjstaff

The video below highlights some simple pistol drills emphasizing fast shooting for those that aspire to be at “Operative” level for any Tactical team. Zero is the head instructor of the Italy-based Spartan 360° Tactical Defense. Zero demonstrates some basic fundamentals in handling the pistol and works the Mozambique and One to One drill. Breakdown of drills are:

chest2Chest Position – Hands holding pistol up to the chest and scan your area while being mindful of where the muzzle is facing.

Mozambique Drill – Standing 5 yards from the target, draw from the holster and put two rounds in the chest and one to the head as fast and accurately as you can.

One to One Drill – From 5 yards away, draw from the holster and fire one round, reload and fire one more round as fast as you can.

Posted in Tactics & Tips Tagged with:

July 2nd, 2013 by jhines

air_marshallThere is one professionals that you won’t hear too much about and they are considered to be some of the best marksman at close quarter, yes even better than most FBI agents. They are the Federal Air Marshals that protect passengers while in flight. Though FAM was created in 1963 by President John F Kennedy, it wasn’t until the aftermath of 9/11 that their services were fully utilized.

If you’re going to try to take down a terrorist on an airplane, there’s no better way to prepare for that, than to train on a plane.

That’s what United States Air Marshals do in a plain-looking office building, near Orlando, in south Florida.

Shooting on a plane is not like in the movies. The federal air marshals cannot miss.

And they don’t because missing means hitting innocent bystanders, or it means putting a hole in the side of the plane.

“We train so much and so hard. We try to throw in every scenario possible, just so when that day comes, we’re ready,” said one marshal who spoke with Local 6.

The Department of Homeland Security said the accuracy scores of these airplane police are better than the FBI, Secret Service or any other agency.


You can see how good they are when you see the walls of their mockup airliner.

The Federal Air Marshal Tactical Pistol Course (TPC), like the classic El Presidente, is shot cold (i.e., no warmup) on the FBI QIT target.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bullets they use are filled with paint (simunitions) and once they finish shooting, there are no large blotches outside the targets, just a few splatters that scatter from direct hits.

“As a police officer on the street, you can fall back and take cover,” the agent said. “When you’re in the tube, it’s you and the bad guy. You’ve got to engage.”

In any situation they are all armed, but you’d never know it, and you’d never know they’re on your flight. That means regular clothing, and cover stories if they end up sitting next to a chatty, curious commuter.

They train to blend in until a crisis forces them out of their seat and into action to extinguish the incident.

“There’s a lot of training that goes into it, a lot of time spent in the simulator and at the range to ensure that we’re the best at what we do, and I can guarantee there’s no one better,” said the agent. Here’s a typical course of fire that you must pass in order to perform duty.qit-99tc-a
am_course_of_fire
Something else Local 6 learned about air marshals is they don’t just patrol the skies. They’re on trains, in stadiums, even at landmarks or any place that a lot of people gather.

The department of homeland security has realized they can use their specialized skills for all sorts of situations and not just protecting people on planes.

Source:Erik Von Achken

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Posted in Law Enforcement Tagged with: