May 26th, 2018 by asjstaff

Want to build your own Glock to your own specifications?

Various Polymer 80 Glocks
Various Polymer 80 Glocks

Polymer80’s frame kits ($149) let you do just that…in the comfort of your own home. And unlike other 80% projects where you have to mill aluminum…this time you don’t even need a drill press.

We’ve built a couple the past year and all with tons of different triggers, frames, and sights.

By the end, you’ll know exactly what to buy to meet your end purpose and budget.  Plus everything we’ve learned along the way to make your build as painless as possible.

Table of Contents

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Should You Even Do This?

Disclaimer: This is purely educational (and we’re not lawyers)…you’re building a firearm so make sure you’re legal and safe.  If you run into trouble while building, please consult a qualified gunsmith.

Legal

There has to be some cutoff of where a piece of metal or polymer becomes a gun.  The 80% is industry slang but it’s where the ATF deems something not a firearm.

Polymer80 PF940C
Polymer80 PF940C (not a firearm…yet)

Polymer80’s Glock PF940Cv1 (compact like the Glock 19) and PF940v2 (standard size like the Glock 17) allow mostly everyone to build an unregistered firearm at home provided you they legally own one already.

But be sure to check your individual state/local laws.

ATF Meme Guy
ATF Meme Guy

Individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs). However, we suggest that the manufacturer at least identify the firearm with a serial number as a safeguard in the event that the firearm is lost or stolen. Also, the firearm should be identified as required in 27 CFR478.92 if it is sold or otherwise lawfully transferred in the future.” -BATFE

Difficulty

I’d estimate 25% difficulty compared to completing an AR-15 80% build.  It’s really not that hard if you’re semi-capable with hand tools and don’t rush things.

Complete Polymer80 Parts
Complete Polymer80 Parts

Tools Needed

There’s lots of ways to do this since you’re only dealing with polymer.

I'm a Gunsmith Now
I’m a Gunsmith Now

Bare Minimum

It might take a little longer…but this will get you through it.  Plus useful for other gun and home projects.

Recommended

Easiest

Stanley End Snips
Stanley End Snips

Now that you’ve got all the tools…what else do you need?

Parts List

Polymer80% Kit

First…choose the size.  If you want to build a full-size Glock 17/22/33/34/35, get the FP940v2.  There’s also an aggressive texture one only from Brownells.

Polymer80 Glock Frame Kit

Polymer80 Glock Frame Kit

If you’re looking for a compact Glock like the 19/23/32, get the FP940Vc1.  Also an aggressive texture one.

Frame Completion Kit

All my builds have been with this so it works for me.  The trigger is actually quite good and better than the stock Glock one.  I also like how it comes with the 3.5 lb connector, and extended versions of the slide lock lever, slide stop, and magazine catch.

Make sure you get the correct full-size or compact version.

Lone Wolf Polymer80 Frame Parts Kit

Lone Wolf Polymer80 Frame Parts Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

Glock Slide

Make sure you get a Gen 3 Glock slide so that it fits perfectly with the P80 frame.  Gen 4 ones have a gap which will likely lead to some problems down the road.

You can opt for complete versions with everything installed including the barrel, or piece everything together yourself.

(L to R) Grey Ghost G19, Grey Ghost G17, Brownells G17
(L to R) Grey Ghost G19, Grey Ghost G17, Brownells G17

Check out our Best Aftermarket Glock Slides article for all our recommendations.

But the go-to affordable option is Brownell’s where you can get windowed and RMR (red dot) cut slides.

Brownells Glock Slide

Brownells Glock Slide

Prices accurate at time of writing

Slide Completion Kit

Depending on if you get a complete slide or a bare one…you might need a slide completion kit.  I have used Lone Wolf’s and it’s good to go.

Lone Wolf Slide Parts Kit

Lone Wolf Slide Parts Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

Glock Barrel

If you went with a slide without a barrel, check out our Best Glock Barrels article.

I really like Faxon’s Glock Barrels because of their increased accuracy and looks (full review).

Faxon TiN Barrel vs Stock G17 Barrel
Faxon TiN Barrel vs Stock G17 Barrel

What’s the point of customizing if you can’t make it your own.

And for the budget build…I’d go with Brownell’s editions made by Victory First which seems to have great reviews.

Glock Victory Barrels

Glock Victory Barrels

Prices accurate at time of writing

Glock Sights

If it’s a more practical gun…I’d stick with Glock OEM night sights.

Glock OEM Night Sights

Glock OEM Night Sights

You can check out more of our favorite sights at Best Glock Sights.

And if you’re going the red dot route…check out Best Pistol Red Dots.

Grey Ghost Precision 19 with P80 Kit and RMR Mod 2
Grey Ghost Precision 19 with P80 Kit and RMR Mod 2

Our top pick is the Trijicon RMR Mod 2 since most frames are milled for it.

Best Pistol Red Dot
Trijicon RMR Type 2

Trijicon RMR Type 2

Upgraded Glock Triggers

Although the stock Lone Wolf trigger is pretty decent…it can always get better.

Apex Glock Trigger
Apex Glock Trigger

We cover a few of the most Best Glock Aftermarket Triggers (and the infamous 25 cent trigger job) and our favorite is actually the most budget friendly with Apex.

Best Bang-For-The-Buck Trigger
Apex Glock Trigger

Apex Glock Trigger

Prices accurate at time of writing

Pistol Lights

You can’t shoot what you can’t see and identify.  We tested out the most popular ones.

Best Pistol Lights
Best Pistol Lights

Our favorite and best-bang-for-the-buck is the Streamlight TLR-1

TLR-1 Toggle Switch
TLR-1 Toggle Switch

Check out the rest (and each light’s beam spread) in Best Pistol Lights.

Editor’s Choice (Pistol Light)
Streamlight TLR-1

Streamlight TLR-1

That should cover everything…now let’s get building!

How to Build: Milling & Drilling

Make sure to follow the instructions straight from Polymer80.  This is just how I did it for a couple frames.

This should be what you get in your kit with some variations in size of the frame and color.

Polymer80 Glock Kit Contents
Polymer80 Glock Kit Contents

If you’re going the milling route…load it up on your vise but not too hard.  Otherwise, get crackin’ on hand-filing everything!

Ready to Mill Polymer80
Ready to Mill Polymer80

Put in the milling bit a little above the red…you’re going to hand finish it.

Mill Bit Placement
Mill Bit Placement

I start by moving in the larger front segment.

First Mill Action
First Mill Action

And finish up the segment slowly.

Milling Through Front Segment
Milling Through Front Segment

Then do the same for the rear small segment.

Milling Through Rear Segment
Milling Through Rear Segment

You can see the final results from only the mill bit.

Residuals
Residuals

Next up is the hardest bit…milling out the Barrel Block.

Milling Block Area, Polymer80
Milling Block Area, Polymer80

Official instructions is to flip the jig and continue to use the mill bit.  But my first one caused a lot of vibrations and started going off track.

Barrel Block Milling
Barrel Block Milling, Polymer80

I would suggest doing it entirely by hand…or starting it off with a Dremel and a grinding attachment.

Dremel the Barrel Block
Dremel the Barrel Block

Go slowly and don’t try to remove everything in one go.

Rough Barrel Block
Rough Barrel Block

Now come the hand tools to finish everything off.  If you have more robust files like I do lying around…it’s going to go a lot faster.  But the small ones I recommend will also work…you just need a little more patience.

Hand Finishing Barrel Block
Hand Finishing Barrel Block

Here I’m filing the frame so there’s close to no more residual.

Hand Finishing Residuals
Hand Finishing Residuals

Almost there with the hand tools.

Almost There With Hand Tools
Almost There With Hand Tools

I stop when it’s rough but flush.

Good Enough Front Segment
Good Enough Front Segment

And for the rear segment.

Good Enough Rear Segment
Good Enough Rear Segment

Now I grab the sandpaper…I start off a little rougher and graduate to something pretty high grit (less rough).  You can also wrap it around something hard and straight if you don’t trust yourself.

Sandpaper Polymer80
Sandpaper Polymer80

And for the barrel block I roll up a piece of sandpaper.  You can also wrap it around something cylindrical for more force.  Pay extra attention here since the smoother it is the smoother your slide action will be since it’s where the recoil spring lives.

Sandpaper Barrel Block
Sandpaper Barrel Block

The end result for the frame.

End Result Polymer80 Rail Area
End Result Polymer80 Rail Area

And for the barrel block.

End Result Polymer80 Barrel Block
End Result Polymer80 Barrel Block

It still wasn’t super smooth when I assembled everything so I went back and evened it out some more…and made sure there wasn’t stuff to snag on the sides.

Here’s the end result of my two P80s.

Barrel Block, Top View
Barrel Block, Top View

And from the front.  It’s pretty forgiving as you can see my first gray one had an oopsie with the mill bit on the top right.

Barrel Block, Front View
Barrel Block, Front View

That wasn’t so bad…was it?  Now you just have six easy hand drill portions left.

Make sure to use the correct bit, not have it in a vise, use a hand drill, and go side by side (not all the way through).  3 drills on each side for a total of 6.

Drilling Polymer80 Holes
Drilling Polymer80 Holes

But wait…what about the end snips?

Turns out…they are perfect for cutting off the frame parts!  I’ll be trying this in a future build.

Polymer80 End Snips, shooting tips and tricks
Polymer80 End Snips, shooting tips and tricks

How to Assemble: Polymer 80 Frame

Now…let’s assemble everything!  Some pictures will have my upgraded trigger (gold colored) since I went back and retook some pictures that weren’t clear.

Polymer80 Frame Parts
Polymer80 Frame Parts

First let’s start with the magazine release.  It’s pretty difficult to show through pictures so here’s one of my old videos:

Next let’s put in the slide lock spring…this is different for the full-size and compact sizes so be sure!  It may be a little hard to push it in all the way into the hole in the frame.

24. Slide Lock Spring
24. Slide Lock Spring

Then get your slide lock…it’s not symmetrical so make sure you can see the side with the “teeth” and have it face the rear.  Don’t mess this up since it catches the barrel lug (aka keeps your barrel/slide from flying off).

Press down on the spring with something and slide the lock in.

Hold Down Slide Lock Spring
Hold Down Slide Lock Spring

Correct orientation of slide lock.

Slide Lock Orientation
Slide Lock Orientation

Next it’s time to add Polymer80 specific metal parts to beef up your polymer frame.

First…the locking block rail system (LRBS).

LRBS Orientation
LRBS Orientation

For the first time it’s usually really hard to put in.  Be patient and you can use light taps from your non-metal hammer.

Then tap the pin through with a punch (left-most hole).  I like to look through the hole to see if it’s completely clear to save unnecessary banging.

LRBS Pin
LRBS Pin

Next is the rear rail module (RRM).  Push it in but no pin yet since we’ll need to add the trigger first.

RRM Orientation
RRM Orientation

Gather up your trigger parts and assemble.

Glock Upgraded Trigger and Pins
Glock Upgraded Trigger and Pins

This gets a little confusing so here’s another video of mine:

Place the completed trigger into the frame.

Glock Trigger Placement
Glock Trigger Placement

Get the polymer trigger pin and punch that in.

Trigger Pin Install
Trigger Pin Install

Then the smaller metal pin.

First Top Pin
First Top Pin

Take the slide stop lever and insert it so that the spring is underneath the just put in smaller pin.

Slide Stop Lever Install
Slide Stop Lever Install

Punch in the bigger pin.

This was difficult the first few times since you have to wiggle the slide stop lever…and everything is really tight.  I recommend using a punch as a slave pin so everything is already oriented.

Slave Pin with Punch
Slave Pin with Punch

And…done!

Completed Polymer80 Glock Frame
Completed Polymer80 Glock Frame

How to Assemble: Glock Slide

If your slide came pre-assembled…you’re in luck.  Otherwise it’s not too bad!

Glock Slide Parts
Glock Slide Parts

First start assembling the firing pin and extractor plunger.

Glock Firing Pin and Extractor Parts
Glock Firing Pin and Extractor Plunger Parts

Push down on the spring and then add the spring cups on top of the spring(takes a little practice…make sure you’re wearing eye protection throughout and maybe point everything in a cardboard box to catch lost parts).

Glock Firing Pin Install
Glock Firing Pin Install

Smush the extractor plunger parts together and there you have it.

Firing Pin and Extractor
Firing Pin and Extractor Plunger

Now grab your firing pin safety, spring, and extractor.  Place the firing pin safety and spring into its hole.

Firing Pin Safety
Firing Pin Safety

Orient the extractor and press down on the firing pin safety while fitting in the extractor.

Glock Extractor Orientation
Glock Extractor Orientation

Once you release the firing pin safety…the extractor should stay.

Installed Glock Extractor
Installed Glock Extractor

Next is placing the completed firing pin and extractor plunger assemblies.

Placing Firing Pin and Extractor Plunger
Placing Firing Pin and Extractor Plunger

Grab the slide cover plate and use a punch to press down on the firing pin and extractor plunger assemblies until everything clicks into place.

Slide Cover Plate
Slide Cover Plate

Now place in the barrel and the recoil spring (with the dome shape towards the front of the slide).

Barrel and Recoil Spring
Barrel and Recoil Spring

If you’re looking at adding sights…bare minimum get Nylon Punch Tool.  The front sight is added with a 3/16″ nut driver.  I’d recommend adding some thread locker to the screws too.

Drifting Rear Sight
Drifting Rear Sight

And you’re done!

Complete Glock Slide
Complete Glock Slide

Now you have your own self-made Glock!

All Tested Glock Triggers
All Tested Glock Triggers

Safety Checks

With no ammo in the gun or in the room…run through some safety checks. Even better…get it checked out by a qualified gunsmith before shooting for real.

  • Oil the rails up and make sure the slide returns to battery even when only a little racked
  • Make sure the trigger safety works
  • Depress and hold the trigger, and rack the slide…make sure the trigger resets and can be pressed again
  • Use a wooden pencil and put it down the barrel…see if it shoots out when you press the trigger

Polymer80 Troubleshooting

Not working?  Here’s some common problems and fixes.

Use Original Parts

Whatever part is not working…try it all with stock OEM parts.  Sometimes aftermarket slides and triggers have too tight tolerances to work in a P80.  So far the Brownells and Grey Ghost (a little tight) have worked in my builds.  I’ve heard ZEV slides might be too tight.

Trigger Not Resetting

If it’s especially bad on one side orientation, you might want to grind off off a little bit of the polymer in the rear right side rail.

Trigger Resetting Grind Part
Trigger Resetting Grind Part

It should get better each time you grind a little off.  If it’s still not completely fixed at all orientations…check to see if the rear rails are of different height.

If it is…it will cause the slide to tilt and get stuck somewhere.

You’ll have to file the higher metal rail down a little if that’s the case.

Slide Getting Stuck

A little grittiness is ok since it’s a new build and things will get smoothed out with use.  But if you’re having difficulty getting the slide on…check the slide lock spring so it’s not poking up and snagging on the recoil spring.

Slide Lock Spring Snag
Slide Lock Spring Snag

Misaligned Holes

If you just can’t get the pins to go through (especially on the rear polymer one)…and you look through to see obstructions.  You can re-drill carefully.

Rough Feeling

If the slide feels rough…again it’s the barrel block area.  Make sure it’s smooth and you can run something along the bottom and make sure nothing snags.

Barrel Block, Top View
Barrel Block, Top View

Review

Not much to say here…it’s a great 80% project that’s easier than doing an AR-15.  You also won’t end up saving money compared to buying a stock Glock at your local FFL.

But when you’re done, you’ll be left with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  And of course…a fully customized Glock that’s off the books.

Inforce APLc on P80 Glock 19
Inforce APLc on P80 Glock 19

As long as you go slowly (you can’t ADD on polymer) you should end up with a pretty reliable Glock clone.  The main problems will come when you try to add too many upgraded parts at once.  Remember…process of elimination if you end up with problems.

I’m about 1000 rounds through my grey one and 500 rounds through my brown one.  Besides some initial break-in hiccups on the first few mag changes…and it hating my low-power reloads…it’s run flawlessly with factory ammo.

I fully recommend doing a Polymer80 Glock project.

Polymer80 Glock Frame Kit

Polymer80 Glock Frame Kit

Conclusion & Additional Resources

Here’s some links to all our Glock stuff again so you can choose what’s the best for you.

How did we do?  Anything we’re missing?  And how did your build turn out?

The post Polymer80 Glock 17/19 [Review, Build, & Parts Guide] appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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

April 24th, 2018 by asjstaff

Do you carry extra mags for your CCW?

Better question, do you know about all the options available to help carry extra ammunition?

Rows of cartridges
Ammo, ammo everywhere…

Even better question, do you understand the differences between the different styles and brands of CCW mag holders?

If you don’t know, I have good news…

We are going to explore the idea of carrying extra ammo and the practical considerations of a concealed carry magazine holder, including what features a mag holder has to have to be a great addition to your carry lineup.

We are also going to suggest a few of our favorite methods of carrying an extra mag or two, and where to buy them to best save your hard-earned dollars

Now, you six gun guys and gals may be feeling a little left out, but don’t worry!

Single Action Revolver, Fistful of Dollars
Single Action Revolver, Fistful of Dollars

I get it, I really do, but today we are focusing on the folks who carry automatics.  Your time will come, and we’ll discuss practical carry of extra ammunition for six gunners soon, but for now, let’s see talk about mag holders.

Why You Need One

Carrying a semi-automatic is generally the more popular option for concealed carriers.  With little effort, you can carry a relatively substantial amount of ammunition in a tiny package.

One of the other main benefits of this is, of course, the ability to rapidly reload should you need to

Now, to be completely realistic the likelihood of ever needing to reload your firearm in a defensive situation is very, very low.  Clear statistics aren’t really out there, but there is a general consensus that the majority of defensive firearms uses do not involve extensive gunfights.

However, the likelihood of ever really having to pull your firearm is low in the first place.

With this in mind, we all still conceal carry – correct?  We carry because it’s a right, and because if we ever fall into that statistical outlier of being in a violent situation we want a means to defend ourselves.

With that in mind, I’ve always found it bizarre that half the gun community seems to think to carry an extra magazine makes you are a mall ninja.

Yes, it is superbly unlikely I’ll ever need an extra magazine. However, it’s superbly unlikely that I, a normal, law-abiding, reluctantly-tax-paying citizen will ever need my gun, but I carry it anyways.

Mall Ninja AR-15
Too much of a good thing is still too much

The same goes for an extra magazine.  Maybe it’s just from my time as a Machine Gunner in the Marine Corps, but more ammo is always better than less ammo in my simple grunt mind.

That Other Reason

The other big reason to carry an extra magazine is in case of malfunctions.

First and foremost, magazines fail. Some more than others, but it can and does happen.  In a situation where you have a magazine malfunction, you don’t have time to try and fix the magazine.

Drop it and reload with your spare.

An extra magazine makes it easier to recover from a malfunction and to get back into the fight and can aid in clearing nearly any complicated malfunction.

Handgun Malfunction
Handgun Malfunction

If you get a complicated malfunction like a double feed, the best thing to do to remedy the situation is to remove the magazine to clear the malfunction.

It’s quicker to drop the magazine, clear the malfunction, and then reload with a fresh mag. Plus you now have more rounds on tap.

Carrying an extra magazine isn’t hard, it’s much easier than trying to carrying a gun, and not that much different than carrying a pocket knife. Since most guns come with two or more mags anyway it just seems like common sense to carry one extra.

The 5 Desirable Features of a CCW Mag Holder

Concealed carry mag holders, like holsters, are available at really any quality and price point. Some out there are better suited for range use, or to use when shooting airsoft guns. Others are better suited for tactical use.

In the middle somewhere we have CCW mag holders designed for concealed carry. There are 5 features I think every CCW mag holder needs to have to be effective and worth the money.

Easy to Conceal

The key to a CCW mag holder is the big C in CCW. C being concealed of course. Your magazine pouch needs to be easy to conceal.

There are a few options for concealed carry and follow most holster configurations. This includes IWB, OWB, and pocket carry methods. Some systems are more suited for duty belts and are often wider, and easier to access for sure.

However, when worn on the belt they tend to print a helluva lot more than a purpose-built concealed carry magazine pouch. Typically a pocket or IWB option is naturally very easy to conceal carry.

A concealable OWB option is typically designed to be held tight to the body and can ride high if worn vertically. Horizontal is another concealed carry option with OWB that’s a bit odd, but extremely effective.

Durability

The last thing you want to happen while carrying an extra mag is for the pouch to break. Especially if you spent hard earned money on it. Concealed carry mag pouches are exposed to everything you are exposed to.

This includes your sweat, rain, varying temperatures, as well as tons of movement, vibration, and stress. So you want to buy one that’s made to last, from a material that’s resistant to these stressors.

The best materials are generally leather and polymers, but a few high-quality synthetic cloth materials options out there.

Ease of Use

Ease of use generally refers to how easy it is to draw the magazine from the pouch. This has to do more with what standard the user is willing to train to. If you want an active retention device you’ll have to train to overcome it.

You’ll need a model that is appropriately sized for your handguns magazine. Take a look at these Glock magazines. They are the same width, but of course, one is way longer than the other.

Glock Mags
Glock Mags Image Source

If your magazine is too long the weight of the ammunition will make it unstable, and easily fall out of the pouch. If it’s too short it will be nearly impossible to remove the magazine with ease. So remember to find an appropriately sized magazine pouch.

Proper Retention

We mentioned retention a little above, and there are two types of retention, active and passive. Active retention means there is a physical device you have to defeat to access your magazine. Passive retention means the magazine is retained without an active device.

With CCW mag holders the only real retention device is an overhead flap. These are typically secured via a button and hold the magazine in place effortlessly. The mag is highly unlikely to accidentally fall out of this style pouch.

Active Retention Magazine Holsters
Active Retention Magazine Holsters

The downsides to active retention holsters are they are slower to utilize and take more training time to learn to effectively use.

Passive retention is most often friction based. The magazine pouches are slightly smaller than the magazine, but can still fit the magazine. The tension and friction from the magazine pouch keep it in place.

Passive retention devices are easier to use and are often sufficient to retain the magazine. It is more likely you’ll drop a magazine, but still unlikely with a well-made mag pouch.

When it comes to passive retention it’s critical you choose a magazine pouch designed for the magazine you are using. Glock 19 magazines, for example, are wider than CZ 75 magazines. So you need to pay attention to the width of the magazine the mag pouch is aimed at, or passive retention is useless.

Comfort

Lastly, like any gun holster, a mag pouch needs to be comfortable while being carried concealed. Sharp corners and abrasive materials are a big no-go, as are ill-placed seams. You need something comfortable if you are going to be carrying it tight to your body.

If it’s not comfortable then you won’t carry it. If you don’t carry it, it’s worthless.

IWB, OWB or Pocket?

So there are three main ways to carry an extra magazine. Just like a firearm, you can carry it inside the waistband (IWB), outside the waistband (OWB) and Pocket carry. There are additional options, like the mag pouches built into certain shoulder holsters or attached to IWB Appendix holsters.

Today, however, we are going to talk about the magazine pouches that are independent of holsters. The most common CCW Mag holders are the styles listed above.

IWB

IWB magazine holders offer the most concealment, especially mag pouches that can be worn with a tucked in shirt. These are called tuckable options. Since they sit in the waistband they often have incredibly effective passive retention devices.

Courtesy of Snake Eater Tactical
Courtesy of Snake Eater Tactical

The downsides to IWB carry is a lot of people find it uncomfortable in general. I’m incredibly picky about IWB carry and only trust a few companies to really give me a comfortable option. That might just be the price I pay for a tactical fat guy.

Your mileage may vary.

OWB

OWB is my preferred style of concealing an extra ammo pouch, and my gun, and my knife. I find it to be the most comfortable and quickest to access. Of course, to do so I have to say goodbye to a tucked in shirt.

Photo Courtesy of Mas Ayoob
Photo Courtesy of Mas Ayoob

Outside the waistband, carry is the most popular option for magazine pouches and what you’ll traditionally find the most options in. OWB options need to be made to conceal since many are made for tactical applications.

You’ll also find both active and passive retention choices in this category. As far as I’m aware this is the only category that features active retention options.

Pocket carry

Like a handgun, you don’t want to throw a magazine in your pocket and call it a day. The dirt, grime, and lint in your pocket will make you instantly regret that decision. It’ll gum a magazine up pretty fast without a popper pocket carry mag pouch.

Kydex Magazine Holster
Kydex Magazine Holster

This method of carrying is gaining steam due to convenience. Unlike a handgun, almost all magazines can be pocket carried. There are a wide variety of pocket carry options and it’s a very comfortable way to carry.

The downside being reaching into your pocket is not as always possible in some positions. Trying to dig into my left-hand pocket while kneeling simply isn’t gonna happen.

Some Modest Selections

If you are looking to for a concealed carry mag holder I have a few suggestions. I’ll suggest specific models, but the companies I’m suggesting in general produce very high-quality mag pouches, so feel free to explore the other options they produce.

Gould and Goodrich

If you are a classic leather lover you can’t go wrong with Gould and Goodrich. They produce awesome holsters and awesome magazine pouches. They do have a focus on OWB mag pouches and offer models with both active and passive retention.

Could & Goodrish Magazine Holsters

Could & Goodrish Magazine Holsters

Prices accurate at time of writing

For Concealed carry, I’d suggest the Gold Line Single Mag case. This leather mag pouch is very versatile and comes with an adjustable tension device that will allow you to carry almost any double stack magazine. This is an OWB device and is cut low enough to access a compact magazine.

This simple little case is quite affordable, easy to use, and simplistic.

The Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed Single Mag Pouch

I as a rule generally stay away from most synthetic cloth based anything when it comes to concealed carry. I’m not a big fan of universal nylon gear. However, Blue Force Gear does it right with just about everything they do, so I trust them.

Blue Force Gear Belt Mounted Ten-Speed Pistol Magazine Pouch

Blue Force Gear Belt Mounted Ten-Speed Pistol Magazine Pouch

Prices accurate at time of writing

Their Ten Speed Single Mag pouch is made from a combination of ULTRAcomp and ten speed elastic. The Elastic front allows you to utilize nearly any magazine, be it a single stack, or a double stack.

It’s an OWB option and can be worn vertically or horizontally. Horizontal carry is very easy to conceal, and quite intuitive once you train with it. Blue Force Gear makes great stuff and this CCW Mag holder is no different.

Desantis Mag Pack

Desantis makes some pretty awesome pocket holsters for guns. When in my day job work attire I utilize one to conceal carry my little Walther. The Desantis Mag pack is made from the same synthetic material they make their holsters from.

Desantis Mag-Pack

Desantis Mag-Pack

Prices accurate at time of writing

This material is textured to keep it in the pocket when you draw the magazine from. This mag pouch fills your front pocket and presents the magazines at an excellent angle for easy drawing. The Desantis Mag pouch is also quite affordable, and the design naturally breaks up the outline of the magazine.

Carrying Spares

Carrying a little extra ammunition isn’t a difficult thing to do. With the right mag pouch, it’s comfortable, easy to do, and concealable. Just remember, like a holster you want a quality option, not the cheapest option.

If you’re want to learn more about CCW, take a look at our Definitive CCW Guide for all of our reviews and recommendations.

We want to hear from you, do you carry spare ammunition? If not why? If you do, how do you carry it?

The post Best CCW Mag Holsters appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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

April 22nd, 2018 by asjstaff

Putting a pistol caliber cartridge in a rifle is easy…but a rifle round in a pistol?  Now that takes a bit more effort…

In a world of 9mm AR-15s and 10mm carbines, ammo is no longer confined to it’s standard “handgun” or “rifle” designation.

(L to R) 22LR, 9mm, Five-Seven, 5_56
(L to R) .22LR, 9mm, Five-Seven, 5.56

While rifles chambered in classic handgun rounds seem to be all the craze right now, we seem to forget that the opposite exists…kind of.  Although not exactly a rifle round, the FN 5.7x28mm cartridge is also not quite a pistol round either.

Five-SeveN Glammar Shot
Five-SeveN Sure is a Nice Looking Gun!

Clearly, the Five-seveN is truly a unicorn of the gun world.  It is a lightweight polymer pistol that shoots FN’s own 5.7x28mm round.

History

When NATO requested an alternative to the 9x19mm round, FN Herstal was the first to respond, presenting the 5.7x28mm cartridge.  The 5.7 round was originally developed for the P90 until the Five-SeveN pistol went into production in 1998.

FN P90
FN P90

In the early 2000s, NATO conducted a series of tests with the goal of standardizing a personal defense weapon round and replacing the iconic 9mm.

The 5.7x28mm surely impressed—it was highly effective, performed at extreme temperatures, and could even be manufactured on the same production lines as the loved 5.56x45mm NATO round.

Ballistic Details

  • Effective range when shot from a Five-SeveN: 55 yards (maximum range of 1651 yards!)
  • Total Weight: 6.0 grams=93 grains (half the weight of a 9mm)
  • Projectile Mass: 28-40 gains
  • Velocity: 2,350 ft/s (FN 28gn, JHP)

The Design

The Five-SeveN is a full-sized pistol and a compact-sized weight.  It has a nearly completely polymer frame, with some small steel internal components.

While the grip is considerably thinner than most full-sized pistols and a bit long, which could be a bit uncomfortable for some hand sizes, it features ambidextrous controls that are conveniently placed for thumb or trigger finger manipulation.

Although the grip can feel a bit odd at first because it is so untraditional, it grew on me as I manipulated the gun and actually shot it.

Adjustable rear sights for both windage and elevation, which is important because of the round’s uncommon ballistics.

Since the 5.7×28 cartridge is so small it is easy to fit a lot of ammo into a single magazine, especially when using a double stack-double feed design.

Five-SeveN Mag
Five-SeveN 20 Round Magazine

The design of the magazines is equally brilliant and lightweight.  They hold 20 rounds and load in a similar fashion to standard AR magazines–you simply push the round straight down instead of maneuvering it in and under like in most pistol magazines.

The Five-SeveN is also easy to disassemble with a simple takedown lever. 

Range Time

Shooting the Five-SeveN is an absolute BLAST.

Imagine the almost non-existent recoil of a .22 LR juxtaposed with the noise of an AR.  The first few shots fascinated me yet confused me.

I had never shot anything like it and could easily tell it is one-of-a-kind.  

Five-SeveN in hand
Five-SeveN in hand

The lightweight frame makes for a comfortable range session while magazines are a breeze to load.

Sadly the rigger is not the greatest but features a pretty crisp break and moderate pull weight, my groups were pretty consistent with how I would normally shoot a handgun; maybe slightly better at longer ranges – likely due to the high velocity of the 5.7 ammo.

I could see this gun being liked across the spectrum, from novice shooters to seasoned vets.

Looks and Accessories

The Five-SeveN has a sleek and almost futuristic look to it.  It comes in either an all-black finish or a tan frame and black slide (my personal favorite).

The rail can be outfitted with a flashlight and aftermarket night sights are available for purchase as well.

Threaded barrels do exist for this gun and I can only imagine what a great time it would be shoot suppressed.

FN 5.7 Suppressed, source: IMFDB.com

Practicality

The 5.7x28mm cartridge was designed to meet a goal and in that role it is unequaled – but the Cold War is over and the need for armor penetration in an EDC is limited at best.

There is quite a bit of debate surrounding the topic of whether the Five-SeveN can be used as an effective carry gun:

Five-SeveN with Ammo and Mag 2
Five-SeveN with 5.7x28mm Ammo and 20 Round Magazine

On the pro side, it is extremely lightweight, has a decently heavy trigger pull and safety, very high magazine capacity, and effective stopping power.

Looking at the cons we have expensive to shoot ammo that is only available in FMJ, and the high possibility of over penetration due to such a fast round.

As with most things, it is a personal choice as to whether this is a viable carry gun or just a fun range toy to make your friends jealous.  However, we tend to be on the side of the fence that says there are Better Options for Full-Size EDC.

By the Numbers

Ergonomics 4/5

Nice grip texture, super lightweight, but an oddly shaped grip could be uncomfortable for some.

Accuracy 4.5/5

Better than most handguns, especially at longer ranges.

Reliability 5/5

I had no issues with it jamming, ever.  After doing some research I did not conclude that there were any known reliability issues and NATO testing definitely backs up the effectiveness of the round.

Customization 3/5

This category is lacking a bit because the gun is not very common and the design is unique.  It might just be better to leave it as it comes from the factory and trust FN’s creative design.

Looks 4/5

I like the almost futuristic and very sleek look, but it does not necessarily look special, especially for the price.

Price 2/5

This is the real kicker.  The actual gun is expensive and the ammo also expensive.  While it could make a great splurge purchase, it is not exactly a cheap plinker.

Scrooge McDuck
If This Is You, The Five-seveN Might Be For You…

Overall 4/5

Really the only downside to this gun is the price, not only out the door of your FFL but also in trying to keep it fed.  There is also the fact that although 5.7x28mm was a perfect solution the problem it was designed for – there just isn’t much of a need for it currently.

But, if you have the money and the desire, it will always turn heads at the range.

Final Thoughts

If you have the chance to shoot a Five-SeveN, you should.  It is unlike any gun I have ever shot and is truly a remarkable weapon.

The unicorn of the polymer pistol world is definitely not for everyone but has surely caught the attention of many.  An amazing combination of a lightweight frame, high-speed but low recoil round, and loud bang come together to make the FN Five-SeveN noteworthy and intriguing.

Do you have a Five-SeveN? Plan on getting one?  Let us know in the comments!  Check out more of our favorite guns & gear in Editor’s Picks.

The post FN Five-SeveN [Review]: High Speed & Low Recoil appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

Posted in Product Reviews Tagged with: , , ,

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 11th, 2018 by asjstaff

Choosing a spot to carry your gun is almost as important as the gun you carry.  When it comes to choosing a concealed carry location, the ideal place for you is where ever you have easy access to at the time.

Concealed carrying inside waistband
Carrying concealed

I know that kind of sounds confusing, but one location isn’t an end all be all for carrying a gun.  

Being able to access your gun quickly depends on the situation, the place you’re in, and what you are wearing.  What I mean is, if you are in a vehicle and have to draw your weapon, would it be easier to access your CCW if it was on your hip versus at the 6 position?  

Probably.

If you are wearing clothing that’s more form-fitting, it’s harder to hide a concealed carry weapon.  In these cases, you might want to look into an off body carry.  While the most common place is on your hip or by your kidney, take a look at some of the other options as we go through and see if they may be better for you depending on your day-to-day activities.

Drawing from Concealed Carry
Carrying Concealed is Much Easier in Winter Clothing

We’re going to cover 9 of the most essential carrying positions and our favorite holster for each.  If you’d like more choices once you narrow down your position, check out Best Holsters.

Around The Clock: 1, 3, and 4-6 O’Clock

Carry positions around the waist are usually referred to by the location on a clock face.  For example, if you’re carrying on a hip, this would be referred to as the 3 o’clock position.  That being said, all of these positions have two options.

Option 1: Outside Waistband (OWB) Carry 

OWB Holster Example
OWB Carry

There different levels of holsters for your OWB carry depending on where along your body you are going to carry.  The 3-9 o’clock positions are where you’ll usually see an OWB holster.

Editor’s Pick (OWB)
Safariland OWB Holsters

Safariland OWB Holsters

Option 2: Inside Waistband (IWB) Carry

Carrying Concealed
Carrying IWB

IWB is probably the most common concealed carry choice. Because it’s inside your waistband, you can get holsters that allow for you to tuck in your shirt which hides the weapon even more.

Placing the holster and weapon inside your waistband lets you carry at pretty much any position around your waist.  This opens up the door for an appendix carry, which is in front of your hips and off to one side. The appendix carry offers a very quick draw, but if you have a larger weapon, it can make it uncomfortable to sit or squat.

R&R HOLSTERS IWB Kydex Gun Holster

R&R HOLSTERS IWB Kydex Gun Holster

Prices accurate at time of writing

Belly Bands

Lirisy Belly Band
Wearing a Belly Band

A belly band is an ideal carry option for those of you who don’t have a belt.  This could be your wearing basketball shorts, or you are out running and don’t have the option for a belt or off-body carry.

At first, I wasn’t too sold on a belly band.  To be honest, it kind of reminded me of a girdle.  However, they’re surprisingly comfortable especially if you have a smaller concealed carry gun.  If your gun is a little heavier, like a compact or a subcompact with a double stack magazine, it might not be the easiest weapon of choice to wear when being active.

If you have a smaller gun, like a bodyguard 380 or an LCP,  you can easily wear a belly band and have your full range of motion and an easily accessible CCW in case your life is threatened.

Galco Belly Band Holster

Galco Belly Band Holster

Ankle

Man and Woman Examples of Ankle Carry
Ankle Carry

To ankle carry your CCW, you’ll need a specialized holster.  Typically these holsters have some sort of fur inside, often rabbit fur.  The holster is securely attached is around your ankle and lower calf. Obviously, you’ll have to wear pants that are a little looser fitting when choosing an ankle carry.

The ankle carry option offers you a unique opportunity.  It frees up your shirt choice to anything you’d like, and you don’t have to have a belt either.  

Another benefit of an ankle carry is that if somebody comes up from behind and knocks you down, it’s much easier to reach for your ankle in many cases than it is to grab a gun that’s behind you in the 4 or 5 o’clock position. It’s also less likely that someone will try and grab your gun from you if they see it.

Galco Ankle Band Holster

Galco Ankle Band Holster

Pocket Carry

back pocket carry
Pocket Carry

Carrying your CCW in your pocket is another common option.  Many of the smaller guns like a .380 or .22 will fit easily along with a holster into a front pocket.  Well, the draw it is a little trickier, you can carry a weapon in many more circumstances than you might have with an IWB carry.

If you think a pocket carry option is right for you, look into some of the holsters available.  Many times there are generic holsters that fit a specific caliber or shape weapon.

These holsters have a stickier material on the outside of the holster and a slicker material on the inside to make the draw quicker.  Something to practice with a pocket draw is pulling out just the gun and not the holster and the gun then needing to remove it from the holster before you can use it.

Blackhawk TecGrip Pocket Holster

Blackhawk TecGrip Pocket Holster

Shoulder Harness

James Bond in Shoulder Holster
Many Incarnations of the Legendary James Bond Have Appeared Wearing Shoulder Holsters.

I’m sure you’ve seen a shoulder harness before on TV.  Many times detectives, police, and government agents will have a single or dual shoulder rig.  This puts the weapon on the opposing side of your body because you’ll have to draw across your body.  

So if you’re right handed your shoulder rig will put the gun on the left side of your body that way you reach into your coat or shirt or whatever the case, and draw the weapon.  This can be an extremely quick draw, but it’s very obvious draw as well.

Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster

Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster

Bra Carry

Bra Holster
Bra Holster

Some bras are made with holsters built in.  Some fit more like a standard bra with the holster typically situated between and under the breasts, while others fit like a sports bra with the holster on the side, under the arm.  There are also specialty holsters that can be affixed to most regular bras, though many multipurpose holsters with loops will also work with most bras.

The quickest access holsters have the gun horizontal below the bra.  This allows you to pull up your shirt a little, reach up, and draw the weapon quickly.  There are videos from manufacturers showing a pretty consistent 1.6-second draw and shoot times from under various style shirts.

Flashbang Bra Holster

Flashbang Bra Holster

Prices accurate at time of writing

Thigh Carry

Thigh Holster
Thigh Holster

This carry option is predominantly used by women but is an underrated choice for men as well.  While most people think of thigh carry with skirts or dresses, it can also work with loose shorts.

A thigh carry holster is meant for a smaller weapon like a 380.  You could probably get away with small 9mm, but it would depend on the weapon.  In most cases, thigh holsters are used because there’s no pockets or firm waistband.  Using a thigh holster also keeps the weapon on you, unlike an off the body carry in a purse or something similar.

Fullmosa Concealed Carry Thigh Holster

Fullmosa Concealed Carry Thigh Holster

Prices accurate at time of writing

Off the Body Carry

Off the body carry options are plentiful and have their own set of considerations and training needed to use them successfully.  When you have a weapon in something like a backpack, you need to keep that backpack on or near you at all times. Otherwise, it’s like setting your gun on a counter and walking away.  

Vertx Commuter Bag

Vertx Commuter Bag

Some of the off the body carry options are:

  • Backpacks
  • Purses
  • Handbags
  • Briefcase
  • Specially made binders or art portfolios that have concealed carry provisions.

For me, I consider having a gun in your center console or glove box to be in off the body carry as well.  You don’t want to just toss a non-holstered weapon in your glove box because you never know what will happen.  If you have some way to mount a holster into your glove box or console, it’s much more preferable.

Final Thoughts

Choosing where to carry is a personal preference.  If you like an ankle carry or OWB, go for it. There’s no need to be uncomfortable just to make sure you have a gun on you, there are a lot of options.  You can try a few to see what works best for your daily activities.

Are you a jogger?  Then I’d recommend a belly band and a small 9mm or 380.  They are light and comfortable.  Do you wear a suit with a jacket all day?  How about out a shoulder harness, ankle holster or a horizontal OWB holster at the 6 o’clock position?

The place you carry isn’t as important as the fact that you are carrying.

Check out our full recommendations of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters.

So, where do you carry? What do you carry? How often do you carry? Tell us all about it in the comments!

The post Top 9 Essential CCW Positions appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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

May 8th, 2017 by asjstaff

Although the Ruby pistol became a procurement nightmare, it nevertheless armed French troops and scores of others throughout World War I and beyond. 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROB REED

The “Ruby” pistol is the result of France’s desperate need for arms in the early days of the Great War. By 1915, much of the French industrial heartland was under German control, and what remained under allied control was producing critically needed material such as rifles, machine guns, and artillery. As the conflict grew beyond even the most pessimistic expectations, the sheer volume of troops sent into battle literally exhausted the meager stores of small arms. To meet this rising demand for pistols for the trenches, the French contracted with the Spanish firm of Gabilondo y Urresti-Eibar for their Ruby semiauto pistol.

A right-side view of this Ruby pistol variant shows the ejection port and an extended grip housing a single-stack detachable magazine holding nine cartridges. The Ruby is a direct blowback pistol chambered in 7.65 (.32 ACP).

The Ruby made use of a prewar design largely copied (without license) from the Browning Model 1903. Among the changes are the deletion of the grip safety and a relocation of the manual safety closer to the trigger guard. The resulting Ruby is a direct blowback pistol chambered in 7.65 (.32 ACP). The pistol features an internal hammer and a frame-mounted safety that goes down for “FIRE.” The original magazine capacity was nine rounds.

The original contract called for the firm to produce 10,000 pistols a month, but the insatiable French demand for handguns saw the production numbers increased in stages until the incredible target of 50,000 pistols a month was set.

THIS IS WHERE THE STORY of the Ruby gets messy. Since Gabilondo y Urresti-Eibar could not hope to meet that production quota, they licensed out manufacture of the pistol to other companies. Although only four other manufacturers were originally contracted to produce the pistol, the firm eventually partnered with seven companies to meet French demand.

At the same time, French purchasing agents were individually contracting with other Spanish firearms makers to also produce the guns. By the time all the contracts were signed, roughly 50 companies were producing the pistol, either for Gabilondo y Urresti-Eibar or directly for the French. Soon, multiple companies (both legally and otherwise) were producing the pistol across the continent, making it a truly European weapon.

The result was chaos. The quality of the pistols produced varied widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some were good, others substandard, while others yet were simply unsafe to fire. At first the French tested every pistol, but soon went to batchlot testing instead. Even among the pistols deemed acceptable to issue, problems would arise after the guns broke in with use. Some references list the expected service life of the Ruby at only 500 rounds.

A left-side view reveals the manufacturer’s barrel markings (including the “GU” for “Gabilondo y UrrestiEibar” beside the grip) and the occasionally problematic safety lever.

As you can imagine, parts interchangeability – so vital for a service weapon – was lost as the number of manufacturers involved grew. Parts and magazines from one manufacturer would not work in another manufacturer’s pistol, and often parts would not interchange even within pistols made by the same manufacturer. Features such as barrel length and magazine capacity also varied from source to source as different manufacturers put their own spin on the design.

All in all, the Ruby became a textbook example of what not to do for small arms weapon procurement.

Still, the pistols were desperately needed, and almost as fast as they were produced they were sent to the front to be engulfed in the horrors of trench warfare. Records show that the French military had accepted an estimated 700,000 to 900,000 pistols by war’s end.

The large number of pistols produced has made the Ruby available in the U.S. collector’s market for decades. Some came home as souvenirs after WWI or WWII, while others found their way across the ocean in various import lots over time. The modern U.S. collector is unlikely to know the exact origin of his pistol, as many were imported prior to import marks became mandatory in 1968.

ALTHOUGH I’VE NEVER OWNED a Ruby pistol, I’ve had several opportunities to fire them. Their best attribute is their simplicity. Unlike other pistols from the same time frame they are a “modern” design with a one-piece slide and breechblock and what we would consider conventional controls. The safety lever is relatively easy to use, as is the European-style heel mag release. The pistol does not have a slide stop/slide release. On some examples I have seen, a rivet was installed to keep the safety from moving to the “safe” position. My understanding is that this is a postWWI French military modification.

The gun in the accompanying photos is an actual Gabilondo y Urresti-Eibar-produced pistol and owned by a friend. Recently, I was able to fire several magazines of modern-production .32 ACP FMJ through this particular pistol. Surprisingly (based on reputation alone), the pistol fired 100 percent of the time, with no misfires, failures to feed, or failures to eject. This is not always the case with these little pistols as, in addition to their hurried manufacture, they have by now seen an additional 100 years of often hard use. Obviously, it is important to have a qualified gunsmith check out any Ruby-type pistol before attempting to fire it. Besides the original manufacturing issues listed above, other problems may have arisen in the decades since these pistols were produced.

The condition of the original magazine is especially important, as a bad feed lip or worn-out springs will cause problems. Since most pistols only come with one mag, and magazine interchangeability is spotty at best, a bad mag can deadline an otherwise functional pistol.

The tiny sights make the pistols better suited for point shooting than precise aimed fire. The combination of the steel frame and low-powered .32 ACP cartridge reduces the felt recoil considerably. I was not able to bench test this particular pistol, but we were able to keep a full magazine inside a paper plate out to 10 yards. Accuracy began to drop considerably at 25 yards, and the best either of us could do was to keep about half the shots on a plate at that distance. The tiny sights and gritty trigger on this particular pistol made us work for even those results.

Although not rare by any means, except in certain variants, the Ruby pistol remains an interesting historical artifact. And even though it was hurried into production to meet insatiable wartime needs, the gun I tested still functioned as intended a century after it was produced. If nothing else, shooting a Ruby pistol is a way to make a tangible connection to the time when the French struggled to survive during “the war to end all wars.” ASJ

Posted in History Tagged with: , , , , ,

March 16th, 2017 by asjstaff

Greeley, PA – Kahr Arms is happy to announce that three of their popular CW9 9mm models are now California legal. These models include the CW9 in a Black Carbon Fiber frame, standard CW9 with front night sight and the very popular Cerakote Burnt Bronze.

 

The three CW9 models all feature a 3.6” barrel with conventional rifling, an overall length of 5.9”, and a height of 4.5” and each pistol weighs just 15.8 oz.  All three models offer a trigger cocking DAO, lock-breach, “Browning-type” recoil lug, and a passive striker block with no magazine disconnect. Capacity is 7+1.

 

The attractive CW9093BCF is one of Kahr’s newest finishes in a classic Black Carbon Fiber print.  This textured weave provides a 3-D dimensional appearance to the 9mm while also providing a textured grip that has a tacky feel in your hand. MSRP on the CW9093BCF is $495.00.

 

Next in the line-up is the CW9093N which features a stainless steel slide and a black polymer frame. It also features a drift adjustable white bar-dot combat rear sight and a pinned in polymer front night sight. MSRP on this model is $495.00.

 

Last in the group is the CW9093BB. The Cerakote Burnt Bronze has been a popular finish for Kahr Firearms Group having introduced it in both the Kahr and Magnum Research product lines. The attractive brushed bronze finish always turns a few heads at the gun range and has proven to be the top choice of many shooting enthusiasts. The MSRP on that model is $482 and is now available for California gun dealers to buy from authorized Kahr Firearms Group wholesalers.

 

For more information about these three models, please go to www.kahr.com or check with your local gun shop.

Posted in Industry News Tagged with: , , , , ,

January 3rd, 2017 by asjstaff

SIG Sauer’s 9mm pistol feels both new and familiar, and is an impressive addition to the MPX line.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY OLEG VOLK

The MPX family of pistol-caliber firearms fixes the main flaw of close-bolt blowback designs: excessive bolt weight. Adapting the AR-15 platform to 9×19 Luger with a gas-piston action, SIG engineers cut the overall weight and the reciprocating bolt carrier in particular, making MPX lighter than other 9mm ARs and cutting the recoil intensity at the same time. The resulting weapon is available as a 16-inch carbine, and as submachine gun, short barrel rifle and pistol, all available with 8-inch or 4.5-inch barrels.

The magazine well and ambidextrous controls optimize an efficient operation.

The magazine well and ambidextrous controls optimize an efficient operation.

In the carbine form, the 7.6-pound overall weight of the weapon is no different from a rifle-caliber AR-15, making it more of a practice version of the 5.56, with less expensive ammo, less concussive report but substantially similar handling and manual of arms. The shorter barrel and forend of the 8-inch SBR and submachine gun variants bring the weight down to 6 pounds, and collapsed length down to 17 inches.

Unfortunately, National Firearms Act restrictions make the SMG unavailable except to government or corporate users, and the tax stamp and yearlong ATF turnaround on approving applications restrict the SBR. That leaves the pistol as the less legally encumbered purchase that can be turned into an SBR at a later date.

The 9mm Luger cartridge generated far smaller volume of gas than 5.56x45mm, so the MPX gas port is almost right at the chamber to generate sufficient pressure for cycling. With most 9mm loads, 8 inches is sufficient to get most of the potential velocity increase from the limited case volume. With the A2 flash hider, the muzzle signature is nonexistent.

 Takedown of the MPX is simple, with all bolt and carrier parts accessible with the removal of a single pin.

Takedown of the MPX is simple, with all bolt and carrier parts accessible with the removal of a single pin.

As with other gas-operated pistol-caliber guns, the MPX favors full-power ammunition for reliability – in my testing, it ran perfectly with 115-, 124- and 147-grain SIGbrand defense and range ammunition, but short-stroked occasionally with wimpy commercial remanufactured ball. With full-power ammunition, MPX has less felt recoil than blowback guns had with subpar loads.

WHEN SUPPORTED, the MPX pistol is superbly accurate. When rested on an convenient cardboard box and sighted with a red dot, the pistol shot very small groups at 25 yards, especially favoring 124- and 147-grain SIG JHP ammunition.

Similar or slightly better results were obtained using the MPX submachine gun in semiautomatic mode. In auto mode, running at about 850 rounds per minute, it remains fairly controllable and will keep two- or three-shot bursts in A zone at 25 yards. The mechanics of the MPX design are very sound. Compared to HK MP5, it runs a good deal cleaner, especially when sound-suppressed. Takedown for cleaning and especially the reassembly are much simpler, with all bolt and carrier parts accessible with the removal of a single pin.

MPX ergonomics are similar to AR-15, but with an emphasis on ambidextrous controls. Slide lock levers and magazine release buttons are duplicated on both sides, a helpful feature. On the left side, the controls could use more separation, as trying to lock the slide back sometimes caused a dropped magazine. The transparent, metal-reinforced polymer magazines made by Lancer are extremely reliable, durable and were easy to load. While more expensive than typically used single-feed Glock magazines, they are far more convenient in use. Available in 10-, 20- and 30-round capacity, MPX magazines fit any purpose, from combat to concealed carry to shooting from a range bench.

THE PRINCIPAL DIFFERENCE between the SBR and the pistol is ergonomics. The pistol comes with a QD socket at the rear of the receiver, right under the rail for the arm brace or the stock. In theory, a solid shooting position can be established with the use of both hands and a stretched sling. In practice, holding a 6-pound weapon in outstretched arms gets tiring fairly soon. Practical accuracy is no better than with a conventional pistol, and the sling length and position make effective concealment difficult.

An optional brace and suppressor add length and flexibility to the MPX.

An optional brace and suppressor add length and flexibility to the MPX.

 A closer look at the bolt carrier recoil spring.

A closer look at the bolt carrier recoil spring.

Furthermore, the ambidextrous charging handle retained from the AR-15 has a tendency to entangle with the plastic sling fixtures, pulling the bolt out of battery and disabling the gun. At close range, especially indoors, the MPX pistol would be more stable if fired from the hip using a green laser for aiming.

In my opinion, the best fighting pistol made by SIG would be something like a full-size P226. The MPX is terrific as a carbine or a submachine gun, but – thanks to filling a regulatory niche created by illogical government regulations – is a pistol in name only. In reality, it’s a stockless carbine and would be best treated as a pre-SBR that the owner gets to take home before the tax stamp arrives.

If NFA regulations and restrictions aren’t your cup of tea, the 16-inch version of the MPX is superbly accurate, has almost no felt recoil and has a proper stock without requiring a tax stamp. For unsuppressed use, carbine-specific 9mm loads, such as 77- (2,000 feet per second) or 115-grain (1,500 fps) Overwatch, provide flat trajectory and effective terminal ballistics. From the 8-inch barrel, Sig V-Crown defensive loads are superior. With lower muzzle pressure than the pistol it also suppressed even more effectively, particularly with the SIG subsonic 147-grain load.

The MPX is superbly accurate at 25 yards.

The MPX is superbly accurate at 25 yards.

Unlike the 5.56mm AR-15, the MPX has no perceptible gas blowback reaching the shooter. Given the excellence of the MPX concept, we can only hope that NFA regulations would be rolled back in the coming year, putting all of its features into the hands of a large and very appreciative group of American firearms enthusiasts. ASJ

Editor’s note: For more on SIG Sauer’s MPX line, see sigsauer.com.

With a stock attached via the QD socket, SIG Sauer’s MPX creates an impressive rainbow of 9mm brass.

With a stock attached via the QD socket, SIG Sauer’s MPX creates an impressive rainbow of 9mm brass.

Posted in Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , ,

May 25th, 2016 by asjstaff

Evaluating Guncrafter Industries’ Model No. 4 50 GI

Story and photographs by Oleg Volk

Handguns are almost always inferior to rifles in terms of accuracy and stopping power. Since defensive fighting usually happens up close, those qualities are important, but casual carrying of long guns is not socially acceptable in much of the world. The solution is to use the most powerful handgun that’s still practical for unsupported firing. Guncrafter Industries Model No. 4 Hunting pistol attempts to create exactly that kind of weapon by combining 6 inches of barrel with a .50-caliber bore, the largest legally possible without National Firearms Act paperwork. That way, the projectile already has an impressive frontal area, 23 percent wider than .45 ACP, and 15 percent higher velocity for the same 230-grain bullet weight. For hog hunting use, slower but much denser 300-grain bullets are available. While less energetic than a hot 10mm auto load, the 50 GI is more efficient by not having to use as much of the kinetic energy to expand the projectile.

Guncrafter Industries Model No. 4 50 GI packs a powerful punch, whether you’re carrying for self-defense or hunting hogs

Guncrafter Industries Model No. 4 50 GI packs a powerful punch, whether you’re carrying for self-defense or hunting hogs.

The 50 GI accomplishes all that with the pressure of only 15,000 pounds per square inch. With the 6-inch barrel, especially, it gives much-reduced muzzle blast compared to other powerful defensive chamberings intended to supplant .45 ACP. While the case has a rebated rim like .50 AE, it’s straight rather than tapered. Seven cartridges fit a regular 1911 magazine.

Gun reviewer Oleg Volk reports that the plain rear sight combined with a tritium front sight works well in moderate light, and it’s easy for the eye to pick up the chartreuse vial.

Recoil was the same as with a standard .45 ACP Government model, and the pistol showed impressive practical accuracy. Fired at the rate of about a shot per second, Model 4 gave one inch dispersion at 10 yards with all four loads. The sights as supplied were regulated for 230-grain HP and 300-grain JFP ammunition, with 185-grain HP hitting slightly lower and a 275-grainer an inch higher. At 25 yards, the groups predictably scaled to 2.5 inches, which is quite good for a fighting pistol with iron sights. The combination of plain rear sights and tritium front worked well in moderate light, with the eye focusing on the vial with ease. With the long slide providing a nice forward balance, the sights returned on target readily. Overall weight is only a couple of ounces more than a regular M1911. The pistol is available in a wide variety of finishes and with various sight options.

Unlike the texturing on some high-powered handguns’ grips, the 50 GI comes with enough to hold onto it while it kicks, but isn’t so rough that it’ll chew up your hands at the range. The reviewer reports that while it shoots like any 1911 out there, the difference is in how much impact it delivers downrange.

Magazines required a good smack to seat on a closed slide when full, and dropped free when empty. The textured slide release worked well, so that I didn’t even bother with dropping the slide with the weak hand. The degree of texturing was sufficient for retention, not enough to abrade the hands. Unlike .357 Coonan, the Model 4 in 50 GI didn’t require conscious wrestling back out of recoil. It shot like any other 1911, with the sole difference of delivering a greater impact downrange. The report was not noticeably different. The muzzle flash was not visible in daylight.

So for the cost of dropping the full capacity from 8+1 to 7+1, it is possible to get a well behaved but more powerful weapon with the familiar form factor. The only down side I found has been the price: the pistol lists for a bit over $4,100, magazines are $50 each, and the ammunition runs $30 to $50 per 20-round box. I plan on talking to a couple of manufacturers to see if cheaper target ammunition may be developed for practice. ASJ

A close-up of the wheelhouse of the 50 GI.

A close-up of the wheelhouse of the 50 GI.

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

April 1st, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

All of Heizer Defense pocket pistols have interchangeable barrels.

The makers of the pocket AR (PAR1) have done it again and now offer a pocket AK; The PAK1 – The Pocket AK Pistol chambered in 7.62x39mm.

Heizer Defense will launch this latest gem at the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits Show in Nashville, Tenn. April 10 – 12.

While the price has not yet been set for this little gun, we can tell you that the PAK1’s barrels are interchangeable with other Heizer Defense pistols chambered in .223 Rem. and .45 Long Colt/.410 bore.

Other known models that Heizer Defense has produced are the PS1 “Pocket Shotgun,” and the Hedy Jane Empowered line of pistols designed for women. – ASJ

Heizer-Defense-PAK1-Pocket-AK_F

The PAK1 – The Pocket AK Pistol chambered in 7.62x39mm.

 

 

Posted in Media Releases Tagged with: , , , , ,

March 24th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Glock 43 Size Comparison

The folks at Triangle Tactical did an outstanding job depicting size comparisons for the Glock 43.

You can read the full article here.

http://www.triangletactical.net/2015/03/18/glock-43-compared-to-other-pistols/

Posted in Editor's Blog Tagged with: , , , , ,