Category Archives: Tactical Gear

REVIEW: Superlative Arms Short Stroke Retrofit AR15 Piston System

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There’s been much said about AR15 gas system problems. Here’s another solution that really offers something different! READ MORE

superlative arms piston system

Major Pandemic

Over the last decade, piston driven AR systems have gained a lot of attention due to their ability to deliver cooler running reliability similar to the exceedingly reliable piston based AK platform. One of the many advantages of the AK platform has been its piston based operation which isolates operation gas pressures at the front to the gun away from the shooter and bolt and trigger group. This piston based system delivers a cooler and clearer running AK gun which arguably delivers more reliability. Some very bright folks figured out several ways to transfer that piston system over the the AR15 platform thus combining the accuracy of the AR15 platform with the reliability of the AK.

HISTORY
There have been a number of companies offering short and long stroke piston system. Long Stroke systems have the op rod attached to the bolt carrier such as AKs and Tavors. Op rods are not attached to the bolt carrier on short stroke systems. The main compromise between the two is that the Long Stroke system designs are typically heavier but inherently offer an integrated gas design that bleeds off excessive gases. The new Superlative Arms patented system extends this bleed off capability to a low profile Short Stroke system all while still providing gas pressure adjustment.

Let me first point out that Superlative Arms is the co-patent holder of the design offered by Syrac Ordnance and was also its manufacturing partner of the Syrac adjustable gas block and Piston system product line. Superlative could have been offering its own line of adjustable gas blocks and piston systems identical to Syrac’s however they developed their own unique patented gas bleed off design. Superlative’s bleed-off system is offered in both a direct impingement adjustable gas block and also in the co-patented short stroke low profile gas system. Though there are many similarities, Superlative Arms is on the market with their own systems.

superlative arms piston system
The super low profile block fits under virtually any handguard rail.

DESIGN
The Superlative Arms or piston system uses their patented bleed-off. Instead of limiting the gas pressure, this system functions more like a pressure regulator which limits the gas delivered to the gas tube or op rod piston and the rest of the excess gas is vented out the front of the gas block. Typical adjustable gas block systems have had some problems due to gas port and adjustment screw erosion from the captive excessive gas temperatures and pressures at the gas port. Many of us have seen this problem manifest themselves in wandering gas settings or even adjustment screw blowouts.

By porting and venting off that excessive high heat pressure the instant the pressure hits the gas block, the Superlative Arms system greatly reduces erosion and pressure based failure problems right at the gas block all while running cooler and cleaner for both their DI and piston systems. This bleed-off design in turn reduced the beating delivered to the adjustment mechanism and op rod.

Some previous short stroke piston systems have experienced problems with gas block durability and retempering of the op rod springs. In order to assure completely problem-free operation Superlative goes the extra mile and makes the piston block from melonited 416 stainless steel and uses a heat treated Inconel steel spring which is impervious to the pressures and heat generated by an AR15 even running in full auto. Superlative has accomplished this design feat all within a very small compact low profile design that is barely larger than most low profile gas block designs.

superlative arms
Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution. Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution.

INSTALLATION
Superlative Arms Direct Impingement (DI) adjustable bleed-off gas block is a simple swap for people who want to retain a DI based system. Pull off the old gas block, move the gas tube to the new Superlative gas block, reinstall, tune to assure reliable last round lock back and you done. Like all retrofit gas piston systems, the Superlative arms kit install is a bit more involved.

The Superlative Arms retrofit gas piston system includes everything a user would need for conversion of a existing AR15 including the gas block, op rod, op rod spring, and carrier. Any AR15 bolt can be used with their carrier. All the Superlative kits are all essentially the same with the exception of the pistol, carbine, mid, and rifle op rod lengths — just order the appropriate gas rod length specific kit..

First time installation requires some patience and about thirty minutes. Unlike a DI gas block install, the left/right and fore/aft alignment of the gas block is critical to reliable operation. With a stiff fixed op rod responsible for converting the blast inside the gas block to a shove on the carrier, it has to be free from any binding and also precisely the right length from the face of the carrier to the gas block.

superlative arms
An “AK-style” gas piston promises cooler and cleaner operation, and this did indeed deliver both!

The basic process is to install the gas block loosely on the barrel and insert the stripped op rod (minus the spring) into the gas block and tighten down the gas block piston plug. Then the task is to assure the op rod spins freely without binding with the carrier (minus bolt) fully seated in the upper receiver. If you have a fully seated carrier and freely spinning op rod then you can tighten down the gas block. If the carrier does not fully seat or the op rod does not spin freely, the gas block needs to be turned or moved out as appropriate. Of note the gas block should not be slammed right against the shoulder on the barrel — mine both required positioning the gas block off the shoulder of the barrel about 1/32-in.

Once those initial adjustments are made, the op rod is removed and then re-installed with the spring and the plug fully seated then backed out on-half turn. Similarly the carrier is removed and reinstalled complete with a bolt, cam pin, firing pin, and retaining pin. A final installation check is made to assure the carrier fully seats and positive hammer drop is achieved. All that is required now is to adjust the gas pressure in a process similar to any adjustable gas block.

This is a rise and repeat process of assuring the gas block sees just a bit more pressure than is required to offer a last round hold back of the carrier — generally one half turn pressure increase tuning over the lowest setting that will hold the bolt back.

superlative arms di
A more simple solution is one of Superlative Arms Direct Impingement type gas bleed off blocks. Outstanding quality!

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
If you are familiar with Syrac’s top notch gas block quality then you are already familiar with Superlative’s Manufacturing quality since they have been the manufacturer up to this point. The fit and finish is outstanding and the Ion Bond finish on the carrier and melonite on the block finishes are excellent.

Functionally the system offers a lot of advantages including being able to tune the pressure to just enough to drive the bolt carrier. The result is that there is less recoil, cooler running system, less carbon build up, and greatly reduced gas blowback on SBRs and AR15 pistols.

superlative arms
My two test guns: a Yankee Hill Machine rifle which was a test of the systems low pressure operation. Zero problems. The second build was a conversion of an Aero Precision and Phase 5 Tactical AR15 pistol build. AR15 pistols gas pressure are notoriously high. This was a test of how the Superlative Piston system would handle high pressure systems and it worked flawlessly!

FINAL THOUGHTS
Only a 1000 or so rounds in, I am impressed. Both offer something that is different than anything on the market, and a design which potentially offer greatly expanded durability over traditional AR15 piston systems. I have said many times that an adjustable gas system is the best upgrade any AR owner can make — note due to the low pressure issues I do not recommend any adjustable gas system for 300 Blackout or 7.62×39 AR15 builds.

Find all the parts you need to build your AR at Midsouth Shooters Supply! Click Here to Shop Now!

See more HERE and view all the SPECS

MSRP: $289

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

VIDEO: Shooting With Leupold’s Custom Dial System

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Leupold’s CDS gives shooters the opportunity to get a truly custom scope. Read about and it and check out the VIDEO. MORE

leupold cds

SOURCE: Leupold

The Leupold Custom Dial System (CDS) provides a simple way to compensate for ballistic performance customized for your rifle and load.

Each CDS is unique, taking all practical ballistic and environmental factors into account. It’s laser-inscribed just for you! Once the CDS elevation dial is installed, just range the target, dial to the correct position, aim dead-on, and hit the target.

CDS takes into account all of the following:
Cartridge & Caliber
Bullet Weight
Bullet Make/Brand
Bullet Type
Ballistic Coefficient
Muzzle Velocity
Average Elevation
Average Temperature
Sight Height
Zero Distance

The CDS System works by laser-inscribing your scope’s elevation dial to match your load, velocity, and conditions based on the information you provide. Your CDS-equipped scope will be in perfect sync with the way your rifle and load shoots (handloads included).

Check out this video by Leupold with Fred Eichler and Leupold’s Tim Lesser.

It’s amazing! WATCH IT HERE

Check out more amazing Leupold Products Here!

REVIEW: Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock

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Here’s a quality upgrade for the popular Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifle model. Read the complete review HERE

magpul takedown stock

magpul takedown stock

Major Pandemic

Magpul has been on an aggressive innovation design track for the last few years. One of the coolest products is the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock. Magpul took all the great features and ergonomics of their awesome X-22 stock and created a light packable version specifically for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock which allows for compact storage of the barrel and receiver.

FEATURES
The notable feature of the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock is that instead of a separate barrel and separate receiver flopping around in you pack, Magpul has designed the hand guard to lock into the under part of the buttstock. This provides an all-in-one stowable secure rifle solution which does not require a secondary soft case to keep parts from banging around. Deployment is easy — press the release buttons on each side of the handguard and the barrel releases from the buttstock and the barrel breech is pulled from a passed hole. This little hole that the breech keys into offers protection to a critical part of the barrel which if damaged or dented could cause significant problems.

The barrel is then just slipped into the receiver like any other Ruger 10/22 Takedown model and rotated into place. Simple. This stowable feature is the big feature, but there are still plenty more Easter Eggs hidden in the stock.

From a feature perspective this is a standard-sized stock with real buttpad and does not feel like the dwarf stock Ruger included with the factory takedown models. The funny thing is that although the Magpul stock feels larger, it is actually shorter than the factory Ruger stock. The Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock features a MOE SL compatible buttpad which means that if you want you can extend the length of the stock with a swap to the 0.7-inch buttpad. The larger size has not gone to waste. Magpul has hidden a sizeable ammo compartment and water-resistant compartment inside the stock.

magpul takedown stock
The barrel breech is protected with the rubber key hole and the handguard locks into the buttstock.

The stock includes both a flat and elevated cheek rest. The cheek rest is actually a hinged lid for the ammo compartment which can accommodate three full loaded 10/22 10-round magazines or one magazine and a 50-round paper box of ammo with still a little room to spare. Even more, this compartment is configurable via slip-in dividers. You could jam far more than 60-rounds of ammo plus other items into this space if you worked at it! The taller cheekpiece riser provides additional space compared to the low riser. Because I had AR-style Techsights on my Ruger 10/22 Takedown I was able to use the high-rise cheek rest and maximize my onboard storage.

magpul takedown stock
The storage compartment is configurable.

The other little compartment is located in the base of the grip and is o-ringed and water resistant. The plug is quite tight so I would imagine that it should do a pretty decent job of keeping water out, but I would probably place dry tinder or matches in a secondary waterproof bag before stuffing it into this area. In this case, a partially disassembled ferro rod with flammable firestarter tinder paracord fit easily into the grip with room to spare.

magpul takedown stock
The small grip compartment space is water resistant.

The Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock is compatible with Magpul QD mount inserts at four points on the stock and is compatible with the new Backpacker optic mount which provides a solid base sized for any red-dot optic.

magpul takedown stock
Room for two mags or a mag and a full 50-round box of ammo.

EASY INSTALL
Install is so simple it only requires about five minutes and just a standard screwdriver: the Magpul Receiver and Barrel groups both re-use the factory screws. Unscrew and remove the factory barrel band and handguard from the factory barrel assembly. Unscrew and remove the reciever from the factory buttstock and reverse the previous two processes to install the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock. It could not be more simple.

SHOOTING IMPRESSIONS
I could say that the gun feels worlds different and is infinitely easier to shoot, but I still think I would be under-emphasizing the significant ergonomic upgrade over the factory stock. To be fair, the factory stock never felt even close to comfortable for me — it worked, it just was not comfortable. The Magpul ergonomics delivered more stability than the factory stock. The only downside to the upgrade is that the handguard size is reduced, but I am more than willing to make that trade for the other features the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock provides.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Even with a standard 18.5-in barrel, the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock delivers a disassembled 19.5-in. packable size. Keep in mind this stock’s length of pull is actually about 3/4-inch shorter than the factory stock. It could be slid into larger-sized packs, but is still a little big for most 3-day-sized packs. I am looking forward to swapping out the factory barrel for a lightweight sleeved match-grade Whistlepig or Volquartsen barrel to shed a bit more weight. The bottom line is this is a really excellent stock which has some innovative features — features that solve problems like shrouding the barrel breech from damage. This is as good as it gets to pack up your Ruger 10/22 and take it with you.

MSRP $109.95

SEE FULL SPECS HERE
CHECK OUT THE RIFLE HERE
VIEW 10/22 ACCESSORIES AT MIDSOUTH HERE 

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

REVIEW: Burris XTR II Riflescope 5-25x50mm

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Looking for a super-clear long-range scope with all the bells and whistles? This one delivers all the most-wanted features at a lot lower price than its competition. READ ALL ABOUT IT

burris scope

Major Pandemic

One of the trends I am seeing in the market are optics manufacturers really starting to push themselves again to deliver exponential jumps in quality. The Burris’ premier XTR II lineup at this year’s SHOT show is a great example. The XTR II is Burris’ new flagship optic line. The Burris XTR II 5-25x50m was a must for a top end Devil Dog precision rifle build.

burris xtr ii
Burris XTR high precision self centering 0-40 MOA mounts were used to provide ultimate flexibility and precision.

First off let me say that I was disappointed with how the demise of Devil Dog Arms unfolded, however they still made one of the best quality AR format rifles in the industry complete with premium Black Hole Weaponry barrels and HiperFire Triggers. This Devil Dog .308 has proved to be an exceptionally accurate gun with the capability to easily deliver groups in the 1/2 MOA range — the high power crystal clear capabilities of the XTR II 5-25x50m allowed me to take advantage of that accuracy. The SCR Mil Reticle also allowed a lot of data for on-the-fly windage and elevation compensation adjustments without the need to touch the dial.

The original XTR v1 line of scopes was a huge success for Burris, but customers were asking for even more. Not only did Burris deliver a crystal clear 5-time zoom range on this XTR II 5-25x50mm optic, but they upped the tube thickness by 25-percent over the original. Burris also configured the optic design as a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope. FFP is the hot feature among precision and sniper-style shooters. It, in essence, zooms the reticle along with magnification changes. The result is that whatever holdover you have on the BDC or Mil-dot is the same at any magnification, in this case from 5X all the way through 25X. The big thing is that this design makes elevation and wind holdovers simple and easy without having to think about what magnification you are on. If you have a 5-MPH cross wind on a 300-yard target and that is the second dot down and a quarter mil over based on your zero, then no matter what magnification you are on that same holdover will deliver the same shooting solution. Pretty cool. When comparing this to a standard BDC equipped standard second focal plane scope, the reticle does not zoom, so your hold at the maximum range is not the same at any other magnification level.

XTR II
This XTR II was mounted on a Devil Dog 308 to take advantage of the accuracy potential of the Black Hole Weaponry match barrel.

I choose the SCR (Special Competition Reticle). This is designed to offer the faster-paced long range shooter a significant amount of data including 1/2 Mil-Dot markings, 1/10 Mil-Dot ranging brackets, and an extended illumination reticle. The goal of the design was to provide the shooter with all the data they needed to take the shot quickly and accurately whether they reached for the turrets or used the precision Mil-Dot hold over points in the reticle. Once a shooter knows their bullet drop holds based on Mil-Dot target sizing, they can quickly take a precision shot extremely quickly even at multiple targets at different distances.

First Focal Plane Mil reticle
The Burris XTR II 5-25 optics features a First Focal Plane Mil-based reticle.

FIT, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
There is a lot to love about this high-tier optic. At around $1400 on the street, it’s priced up there with the premium Japanese and German scopes, but, for the quality it is considerably less expensive than many with similar features at double that price. The glass is unbelievably crisp and clear, and this is what you get in the higher tier.

Burris has everything packed into this optic with the exception of laser ranging including the new style thicker and heavier duty and allegedly brighter 34MM tube, big audible click turrets with MRad adjustments matched to the Mil-Dot reticle (as they should be). And the reticle is even illuminated.

I generally have serious gripes about illuminated reticles because most companies try to deliver sunlight red dot illumination brightness, however in this case Burris delivered perfection. Too many times, manufacturers make illuminated reticles far too bright for the night work they were originally developed for. The illumination on this 5-25x50mm XTR II delivers 11 settings of illumination plus “OFF” positions between each setting so you don’t need to cycle through all the brightness settings just to turn the reticle illumination on or off.

XTR II subtense
The sub-tense of the reticle can be used in a variety of ways according to the shooters needs.

Burris even has a well-thought-out side-focus knob. Then there is the huge magnification range! Normally you would see a 3-10X or 3-14, but here we have a scope that can deliver everything you might need on close targets all the way out to very long distance.

XTR II knobs
The XTR II line feature heavy audible click turrets which make adjustment precise.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This optic has lived on a few builds already but settled on my Devil-Dog-based AR .308 build.

I am not one of those who likes or enjoys figuring out the math on a reticle calibrated for 25X when I need to be at 5X of magnification. For me, simpler is better and I like the FFP concept both in theory and in use. Literally just print out a ballistics card noting all the holdover points for your pet round and you are good to go at any magnification. This is a great optic which deserves to be on a rifle that can match its precision, and that’s the reason I tightened it onto one of my most expensive and accurate AR10 builds.

xtr ii

READ MORE FROM BURRIS

Shop All Burris at Midsouth Shooters Supply

xtr ii specs

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

SKILLS: Dry-Fire Practice With Lasers

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Not everyone agrees on laser sights for handgun defensive use, but Kyle Schmidt thinks it’s a great training tool. READ WHY AND HOW

SOURCE: Team Springfield,  by Kyle Schmidtlaser sightAlthough some people seem to disagree on whether or not a laser on a pistol is a “good” aiming device for self-defense shooting. One thing about them is undeniable: lasers are a great training tool.

Occasionally, when I am training friends, clients, or co-workers how to shoot, I will attach a laser to their gun to help them better understand some basic shooting concepts.

Before using the laser though, I like to make a target that has multiple areas to aim at with some level of contrast so it is easier to identify exactly where the laser is aimed.

LASER TARGET TIME
I make a dry practice target out of 2 USPSA targets. I use USPSA targets because they are different colors on each side. USPSA targets have an upper head with an A and B-zone and a body with A, C, and D-Zones. You will need a razor or a pair of scissors. You will only cut one of the targets, the other will remain intact. For simplification, we will refer to the target that we are cutting as Target 1 and the target which will remain intact as Target 2.

TARGET 1 CUTS:
Cut out the A-zone of the head (upper target zone).
Cut the C-zone out of the target. The body A-zone is included in this cut. Be careful to leave the head attached (don’t cut off the head); You need to razor / cut under the perforations while trimming near the head.

Target 1 should now have two big holes in it; one where the A-zone head was and one where the body C and A-zones were.

Cut the body A-zone out of the C-zone piece you previously removed (Step 2). Keep the body A-zone, but discard the left over C-zone piece.

COMBINE TARGETS:

target 1

Stage Target 2 with the shoot side (tan side) facing up.
Stage Target 1 with the no-shoot side (white side) facing up.
Place what remains of Target 1 on top of Target 2.

This should make a white colored target in the D and B-zones, with the tan colored target in the C and head A-zones. Use small pieces of white tape to tape the top, bottom and sides of the two targets together.

This is your new Laser Target 1.

ALMOST DONE:

target 2

Flip the targets over so Target 2 (white side) is facing up. Place the tan colored side of the body A-zone (that you cut from Target 1, step 4) on top of Target 2 A-zone. If you have trouble lining up the A-zones, you can push a small push pin through the diagonal corners of the A-zone on Target 2. Use the push pin holes to align the corners of the body A-zone.

To finish the dry practice target off, I add a one-inch black square piece of tape to the center of the corresponding scoring zone. I like to measure the center of the C-zone’s height, as the perforated “A” is NOT the center of the A-zone.

This is your new Laser Target 2.

Now you should have one practice target that has 5 distinctly noticeable scoring zones; A-zone body, A-zone head, entire head, C-zone body, and the entire target. Additionally, you have a one-inch black piece of tape on each side of the target.

ATTACH AND ZERO LASER
Before you begin your laser dry practice, attach and zero the laser at the distance you plan to practice. This is critical for some of the drills we are going do with the laser. (Check out sights HERE.)

Here is how I zero the laser for dry practice:

Choose your distance and target.
Point / aim gun at specific spot on target.
Line up the fixed notch and post sights on target.
Adjust the dot (from the laser) so it is 1) centered (left and right) on the front sight and 2) the front sight covers half of the dot (up and down). Only the top half of the dot will be visible.

Because the laser is mounted so far below the fixed sights, the laser will need to be realigned with the sights if you want to try a drill at a different distance.

HOLDING / AIMING LASER DRILL
When I was writing this, I had just returned from Camp Perry where I was learning about shooting the sport of Bullseye. This is the ultimate challenge in fundamental pistol accuracy. It requires execution of some of the most fundamental techniques required for extreme accurate pistol shooting. If you are not familiar, all of the strings of fire are shot with your strong hand only, at 25 yards and 50 yards, on a target with the 10-ring measuring just under 2.5 inches. Bullseye, in short, is a very difficult shooting discipline.

One of the things I noticed as I am trying to shoot the 50-yard line strings is how much my gun is moving (or appears to be moving) compared to the center of the target. This is not only a problem in bullseye shooting, it is just greatly magnified due to the distances.

A shooter must know what their ability to “hold” on a target is, with varying degrees of difficulty. One of the best ways to test this is with a laser, and generally, it is easiest to see the laser in reduced lighting. Try this “holding” drill:
Get your Laser Target 1 — with the C-zone side visible.
Set the target up at the distance of your choice, let’s say 15 yards for this example.

With the laser turned off, use the iron sights to aim in the center of the C-zone. Make note of how stable the gun is while you are aiming in the middle. We are not pressing the trigger yet, only aiming the gun.

Now turn on the laser and shift your focus to the laser’s dot on the target. Make note of how stable the dot is on the target while you are aiming. It’s probably moving around more than you would think or like.

Try to keep the dot inside the C-zone — hopefully this is fairly easy. It should be readily apparent when the dot leaves the C-zone and enters the white background of the D-zone on the dry practice target.

When you can easily do this, flip the target over to use Laser Target 2, and repeat the drill.

First steady the dot in the body’s A-zone.

Once you are able to keep the dot in the A-zone of the body, move up to the head and see if you can “hold” the dot in the head reliably. This may not be as easy as it seems.

Once you have mastered the entire head, move to the head’s A-zone (on Laser Target 1).

Finally, test your hold on the 1-in. black square of tape.

target 3

You can continue to experiment at different distances to see how well you can hold in the different scoring zones.

WHY DOES HOLDING MATTER?
Quite simply, if you can’t “hold” or keep the gun aimed in a particular target zone, it is unlikely that your bullet will impact the desired scoring zone reliably.

You can use this dry practice tip to determine if you are improving your ability to keep the gun steadily aimed in the intended target area.

HERE is a great laser sight!

 

 

REVIEW: Why I bought A S&W Governor

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With the huge popularity of the Taurus Judge, Smith & Wesson has its own take on the “multi-cartridge” revolver. Find out how well it works HERE

S&W Governor

Major Pandemic

The S&W Governor was a gun a publicly said I would never buy. I thought it was a pointless gun that can shoot a mixed 6-round cylinder of 2-3/4 .410 shotgun shells, .45 ACP, and .45 Colt rounds with dubious utility. In essence a Swiss Army knife, not particularly good at anything but marginally handy at everything when otherwise empty-handed. I thought why would anyone want a gun that shoots .410, 45 ACP, and 45 Colt and none of them extremely well as a dedicated gun? Owners report typical 3-inch 10-yard groups — not great. My accuracy results were about the same, but notably the Governor does deliver acceptable combat accuracy with .45 Colt rounds and some slug shells. With shotshells of shot a pattern or hole of some sort is delivered downrange with the accuracy limits of a 5-inch sawed-off shotgun. Of course the droves of Governor owners did not agree with my initial assessment.

S&W Governor
An effective and versatile personal arsenal, or a tourist trap? You decide, but I came to see its merit!

Indeed the Governor is not a 25-yard gun and instead is a highly effective 7-yard gun. You would not want to be downrange when it goes off, but do not be fooled that you are going to drill 25-yard A-Zone groups like with a Glock or shoot clays with any regularity beyond 15 yards like with any typical shotgun.

WHY WOULD I WANT THIS?
Maybe I needed something to shoot down misguided drones, use up the surplus ammo from a retired cowboy, or prove to my 1911 friends that the .45 ACP cartridge is not an inherently accurate round.

Maybe I just wanted the thumb-breaking and nail-ripping experience of removing spent .45 ACP rounds from full moon clips when I forgot the moon clip loader.

Maybe I wanted to wreak destruction. If you are on the wrong end of the S&W Governor, the gun can be a nightmare. All of the projectiles exiting theGovernor are devastating. The gun may not be accurate, but it makes a big hole in anything in front of it.

S&W Governor ammo supply
The .45 ACP can be shot with full 6-round or partial 2-round moon clips.

DUMB TV SHOWS & MY ADDICTION TO THEM
Actually it was the character Daryl Dixon in the AMC Walking Dead television show that made me buy it… That and my dealer had a screaming deal on this used night-sight’ed S&W Governor. On the AMC Walking Dead show, Daryl pulls the gun off a dead bad guy and realizes it is apparently loaded with explosive incendiary rounds and blows stuff up with it. Though my FFL did not have any of the explosive rounds used on the show, we did pop off a few buckshot rounds on his range and the raw insanity of the gun sold me. Like many people, I saw a potential survival appeal of having a gun that can shoot three different rounds including shotshells and with caliber conversion inserts can even shoot everything from .22LR to .38 Special. Anyway I have named this gun “Daryl.”

DARYL — JACK OF ALL TRADES, MASTER OF NONE
The Governor is not a “master of all” as many would hope. Despite all that, shooting the Governor is a blast.

Shotshells are the best to have fun with if you can manage the sharp recoil of this lightweight 29-oz. revolver. To me the .410 shotshell recoil seems similar to a 44 Mag round. Watching fruit, coke cans, water bottles and clay pigeons explode with the shotshell rounds is a laughter producer. The Governor can realistically teach how to point shoot when loaded with bird shot. Place a few clays on a backstop and hammer through point shooting them and you will become a better point shooter with a pistol.

Governor ammo
A mixed cylinder of .45 Colt, .45 ACP, Buckshot, #4, and slugs.

AMMO & WHERE IT WORKS
The original marketing from S&W noted: “Highly accurate with .45 Colt and .45 ACP,” but the MajorPandemic.com marketing would have read “Shoots most ammo pretty well.”

The .45 ACPs were some of the least accurate, good plinking rounds, offer really fast reloads with full moon clips, and deliver minimal recoil. If you want to shoot the Governor a lot, you will likely be shooting .45 ACP. Through all my testing, the .45 Colt rounds were by far the most accurate through the S&W Governor, producing 3-4-inch 7-yard groups, reliable center of mass hits at 15-yards, and accurate enough to hit a full sized silhouette out to 50 yards. .45 ACP groups were roughly double that size. Surprisingly some .410 slugs were also pretty accurate. If I ever chose the Governor for defense use, my choice would be the devastating Hornady Critical Defense Triple Threat slug/buckshot or those in a mixed cylinder with .45 Colt.

For an outdoor trail gun there really is nothing better for quickly handling everything from snakes to wolves to general personal defense. There is also utility in being able to easily swap ammo based on the need out on the trail or load a mixed cylinder of shotshell, bucksho,t and .45 Colt round. This is where the Governor is like the proverbial Swiss Army knife. Where I really see the lightweight Scandium alloy Governor as a relevant firearm is in the hiking, trail, packing, or trunk gun category that can be slipped into the pack.

Despite being considered “old fashioned” the new breed of defensive .45 Colt rounds are similar is power to the .40 S&W. Notably the Governor is not suitable for the insane 1200 ft/lb Buffalo Bore .45 Colt +P rounds or any other .45 Colt +P rounds, but there are plenty of standard .45 Colt defensive, bonded hunting, and hollow-point rounds with energy in the 550 ft/lb+ range.

The Governor can be a small game getter with #4 shot if you are decent at close-range stalking. The flexibility of shooting .410 shotshells opens up the Governor to a enormous range of ammo types including birdshot, BBs, slugs, combo defense rounds, survival flares, rubber/plastic less-lethal ball shot, mace/pepper rounds, rock salt, and yes even Dragon’s Breath incendiary rounds. In reality, though, being not the ideal tool, the Governor can be extremely useful in a lot of potential situations when you have nothing else.

allen rifle ammo pouch
The Allen Rifle Ammo Pouch perfectly holds a ton of ammo.

To carry a variety of ammo simply, an Allen 14-round ammo pouch for rifles makes for a convenience belt or MOLLE-compatible ammo carrier in a backpack. I found that each pouch could carry a variety of 14-shotshells, 2 full speedy-loading 6-round .45ACP moon clips, and 2 2-round partial moon clips straddling the bottom flap to hold in the .45 moon clips. This overstuffed pouch setup didn’t add any more bulk and provides a mixed variety.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This is a blast to shoot and I can see it can deliver good enough utility that it is a worthwhile gun. Would this be my “one and only gun”? Emphatically NO! I would rather have a high-capacity striker-fired pistol, AR15, or shotgun first if I could, but the S&W Governor fits into the category of a Swiss Army Tinker knife. A real set of screw drivers, a full sized knife, an actual working can opener, and hole punch would be superior in every way to the Swiss Army Tinker except one — the Tinker allows you to carry the base utility of all those tools in your pocket without a tool belt. The S&W Governor is a lot like that. Toss the Governor into a pack as a survival option with a variety of shotshell, and .45 ammo backing up a hunting firearm or bow or as a camp or trunk defense tool and it is plenty good enough when you have nothing else.

SEE COMPLETE SPECS HERE

CHECK OUT AMMO HERE

OTHER SOURCES
Allen Cases –www.byallen.com
Hornady –www.hornady.com

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

SKILLS: 3 Quick and Compact Drills For Your Sub-Compact Carry Gun

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Do not neglect range time with your small carry gun! Here are some fun and valuable drills to hone your skills. KEEP READING

XD-S Mod.2
XD-S Mod.2

SOURCE:  Team Springfieldby Ivan Gelo

One of the old mantras many of us continue to see and hear is that the sub-compact firearm is, “Carried often, but shot little.”

Let me just go on the record right now stating that I TOTALLY DISGREE with this old adage. Like many of you, my every-day carry (EDC) companion is a sub-compact handgun (the dark-earth framed 9mm Springfield Armory® XD-S® ), and I shoot it on a regular basis.

It seems this adage is often repeated by instructors because, in their experience, many of the subcompacts of the past were difficult to manage and the recoil was harsh. These “cons” resulted in little practice time with the firearm.

With the smaller versions of the Springfield XD® series though, I do not find this to be the case at all. I actually enjoy practice sessions with these small pistols.

SPECIAL CONCEALMENT ASSIGNMENT
Quite often I get requests from friends in the security business requiring assistance with multi-day protection details. A few days prior to receiving the Springfield XD-S® Mod.2® for evaluation, I answered one of these calls. After obtaining some of the specifics related to this executive detail, it was clear that a suit and tie were the “uniform” of the day. Knowing that 1) dress belts are not the best rig when carrying full-sized firearms and 2) blending in and concealment were the high priority, I opted to carry my sub-compact 9mm Springfield Armory® XD-S® as my primary firearm. My Springfield Armory® SAINT® was relegated to the trunk of my transport vehicle as the “back-up” weapon. Good choice, I know…

RANGE TIME REQUIRED
With the protection detail a short week out, I focused my range training specifically to the XD-S® 9mm and the .45 caliber XD-S® Mod.2® that I had not yet shot.

I decided to drill / practice three techniques:

One: Movement while drawing, with a concealment garment.
Two: Multiple round engagements, more than the traditional 2 shots per target
Three: “Failure drills”; multiple rounds to the body, followed up by rounds fired to the head.

ccw draw

DETAILS
ONE: Drawing from Concealment with Movement

Practicing the draw, and specifically drawing from concealment if this is your EDC mode, is a MUST. Incorporating movement during a draw is an additional skill set that should be practiced and perfected. Movement makes you a more difficult-to-track target and is therefore worth the investment.

As with all new shooting skills, If you haven’t previously practiced concealment draws or concealment draws with movement, dry draws are HIGHLY recommended first.

When dry drawing / dry firing, the gun is UNLOADED and condition VERIFIED. NO ammo should be allowed in the practice area. And, find a SAFE backstop (that’s able to stop a potential negligent discharge). Dry practice can also be done at the range if your facility permits.

Back to my drill…

There are several methods of drawing from concealment. Some of the more popular are:

Sweeping the cover garment with your strong hand.
Pulling back on the garment with your support hand.
Pulling up on the garment with your support hand.

I personally prefer the “sweep” method. This approach allows my support hand greater freedom to perform any of the numerous defensive empty hand responses, such as a palm heel strike, shielding technique, or deflection.

The Sweep Draw
Sweeping the concealment or cover garment involves only your holster-side (strong) hand:

The hand starts with an open palm, similar to your normal draw, however, the fingers are spread apart more than normal and the pinky and ring fingers curve in slightly.

Use those two fingers to hook the front of the garment and sweep it to the rear and behind / past the holster and firearm. Some instructors teach that during this process the cover garment is also “flung” back (which might clear the gun and draw better). Try both approaches and see which is best you, your carry rig, and the concealment garment you most often use.

With the holster area clear of the garment, draw the firearm as you have trained.

Appendix note: If you prefer appendix carry, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to first practice just the draw portion of this with an unloaded gun! Get that down before you live fire and/or add concealment and movement.

ccw training

TWO: Multiple Round Engagement
This drill does not have to be complex. One target is all that’s needed. I most often use cardboard USPSA or IDPA targets, as I like the zone markings.

Start close — 3 yards — just beyond contact distance. Move the targets out 3 yards at a time as your training progresses, and you master each distance.

The goal is to draw and fire 4 rounds in quick succession. Keeping all hits in the “0” zone or top half of the A zone is what I expect.

At this close range, even a shooter with a moderate skill level, should be able to accomplish this with some practice.

Use a shot timer and start with 1 second splits (time between shots). Decrease your split times by .25 seconds when you can repeatedly put all shots in the “center zone” on demand.

Remember, at this close distance perfect sight alignment is not required. The sight index, “flash sight picture,” or whatever term you use, should deliver good hits on target as long as you do your job keeping the gun aligned with minimal grip pressure increase or hand/wrist movement.

When you make it to the .25 second split time speed, you will have to move the trigger FAST. To do this, you will most likely be “banging the trigger,” but that’s okay. Learn to work the gun at this speed in training; especially when the threat is CLOSE.

THREE: “Failure Drill”
If you are justified in using deadly force on another human being and body shots are not stopping the lethal threat, then face or head shots could be one of the best ways to end the confrontation.

Using the previous drills as a base, after firing 4 rounds in the body at 3 yards, move the shot placement to the face or head area and fire 2 more rounds.

Given the limited rounds in the magazines in your carry sub-compact gun, shot placement is even more critical. Work at speed, but have the discipline to hit the center of the head zone area; the A zone on a USPSA target and the “0” zone on the new IDPA target are a good go / no-go standard.

Again, once you have made improvements at 3 yards, move the target distance out 3 more yards.

multiple round drill

DETAIL DRILLS COMPLETED
In my several training sessions through the noted week, I fired over 300 rounds of .230 grain ball and 50 rounds of duty / self defense .230 grain jacketed hollow point .45 ACP ammunition. As I expected, the Springfield XD-S® Mod.2® was enjoyable to shoot and had zero malfunctions!

So, ”Don’t be that guy…” The one who carries regularly but practices irregularly, especially if your EDC is a sub-compact firearm. Practicing with a sub-compact firearm might even assist with your focus on the fundamentals of shooting.

Once practiced up and proficient with your sub-compact pistol, check your local ranges and their match schedules for International Defense Pistol Association (IDPA) matches. The events are set up with defense-minded scenarios and drawing from concealment is required on most stages. Additionally, there has been an increase in the popularity of back-up gun (BUG) matches, directly designed for your carry gun. Either event, IDPA or BUG, is great for confirming your ability to shoot your sub-compact carry gun under a little pressure.

And what could be more perfect? Take advantage of someone else setting up a match, so you can practice your pistol skills, all while enjoying a variety of challenges and courses of fire.

As a matter of fact, I’m one of those “someone elses” (match directors). If you ever visit the Phoenix area, I’d be honored to have you attend one of my events — 2nd Wednesday night of every month at Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club. DETAILS HERE 

See you and your sub-compact carry gun there!

REVIEW: PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 Pistol

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Designed to replace MP5-style weapons, this “Daiblo” is a sleek and sturdy AR15 pistol. READ ALL ABOUT IT

PWS AR15 pistol

Major Pandemic

While almost every other manufacturer of AR15s is chasing the entry-level price-point customer, Primary Weapons System introduced a $2000 fully-loaded AR15 pistol which sold out immediately! Every inch of this reliable push-rod long-stroke piston-driven AR pistol is dripping with custom and innovative parts.

The market success of the MOD2 MK107 should be proof enough that customers are craving something different, something exclusive, and are more than willing to shell out the cash for feature-loaded AR15s. PWS is regarded by many as one of the top tier of high-tech combat AR platform guns, and has a long history of delivering super premium AR platforms complete with their famed and super reliable piston system.

PWS MOD2 MK107
Feed it good ammo and the accuracy will astound you! Reliability in my test was 100-percent.

CONCEPT
It is important to understand that this AR15 pistol is unlike any other. It’s more than a standard pistol with a cool set of receivers and fancy flash hider. Instead this pistol represents PWS’ latest AR15 platform refinements from its push-rod long-stroke piston-driven MOD1 predecessor. Many consider the PWS piston system as the best on the market. It is in essence a reduced-size AK-47 piston system. PWS modified this design into the AR platform which delivers a push-rod attached to the carrier, a much lighter recoil impulse than other piston systems and a significantly better platform for suppressor use. Disassembly is easy and simple. Break open the upper, removed the charging handle, BCG, and attached long stroke piston, clean the piston and reassemble. Since there is no gas blowback with the piston system, the BCG and upper stay clean and cool even after 1000s of rounds of suppressed shooting.

PWS MOD2 MK107
The gas piston system is a scaled down AK type, and it’s been well proven. Gun stays clean even with a suppressor.

The intent of this pistol was to offer a transitional firearm which could be purchased and shot as a pistol. If the owner wants to have a registered SBR, this configuration delivers a lot of fun shooting during the long wait for an ATF short-barreled-rifle tax stamp. Once a tax stamp is in hand, the rearmost cheek brace and guide rods can be swapped to a Maxim Defense buttstock. Of course some people may elect to just leave it as an AR15 pistol to allow more flexibility in ownership and transportation over state lines.

FEATURES
The MOD2 series adds additional refinements. Additional weight savings is one. A new custom-forged receiver incorporates weight reducing reliefs. Yes I did say “forged.” These are not modified mil-spec receivers, or billet, but rather custom forged upper and lower. For the record, forging does deliver a stronger part.

In the process of strategically lightening the receivers they ended up looking amazingly cool!

PWS MOD2 MK107
Proprietary design forged receivers are lightened and feature full ambi controls.

The lower ambi controls are similar to the Sig MPX with ambi-selector and bolt release in the same position. The lower receiver features an integrated trigger guard, larger flared mag well, and inlets for all the extra ambi-parts. The upper receiver has been trimmed down though reliefs, but also lightened with the omission of the forward assist. Other nice touches are beefing up certain areas to increase strength such as near the barrel extension union on the upper and also adding a captured ejection port door pin.

PWS reduced the number of piston gas pressure adjustment points to just three on the MOD2. To assure the hammer-forged 1-8 twist .223 Wylde barrel’s bark was directed away from the shooter, they attached the PWS CQB brake. I have used this brake on many firearms over the years and personally believe any AR or AK intended to be shot indoors should not be without it. There is magic within that CQB flash hider that I have not found any other muzzle device to deliver.

PWS MOD2 MK107 brake
The PWS QCB muzzle device is amazingly effective, really taking the blast and bark away from the shooter.

The bolt carrier group is PWS’ own anti-tilt piston design finished in a lithium embedded salt nitro treatment (Nitromet). Trigger group is a tuned ALG NiBo which feels extremely good for a duty trigger. The PicMod handguard is yet another PWS innovation which delivers standard picatinny rails which are also KeyMod compatible.

PWS maxim defense adjustable cheek rest
The Maxim Defense Adjustable Cheek Rest gives a solid cheek weld and is easily adjusted, collapsed, and extended via a lower paddle latch.

The most noticeable accessory is the Maxim Defense Adjustable Cheek Rest which delivers a solid cheek weld in a variety of shooting positions. The cheek rest is easily adjusted, collapsed, and extended via a lower paddle latch. The cheek rest can be easily swapped out with an arm brace accessory, or with prior ATF SBR registration, a buttstock using the same paddle latch. PWS has officially switched from Magpul to Bravo Company furniture, and the angle of the Bravo Company grip is excellent for a compact shooting format.

THE EXTRAS
Included is an exceptionally well-made Crossfire soft case capable of accommodating many accessories, 1 Lancer 30-round (depending on state) magazine, BCM Keymod Quick Detachable Sling Mount, a set of Keymod RailScales, $50 gift card to PrimaryWeapons.com, $70 discount card off a Vertx backpack which is sized to fit this pistol, a PWS patch, brochures and manuals. In total, about $300 worth of accessories and coupons is a well appreciated package that lets PWS customers feel the love on a firearm of this caliber.

SHOOTING
With the MOD2 version, PWS did drop factory sights off the installed equipment list, so some type of optic is needed. I elected for the brand new Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc. This true 1X optic features a button changeable red or green illuminated double-circle dot reticle. It’s freaky fast to get on target, runs on 1 AAA battery, has an etched reticle reticle that is visible even if the battery is dead or removed, a swappable MOA or 5.56 BDC turret, and enormous field of view and stunning clarity.

Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc
Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc optic is an outstanding choice.

Due to the fun involved of shooting this setup, I went far beyond my typical 400-round testing and had not one single issue with any ammo tested. Switching to a 1-6 Lucid scope, the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is more than capable of 1-inch 100-yard groups with Federal Gold Match or Hornady Match ammo, but back with the Vortex mounted it was fun to bang away on 6-inch steel all the way out to 400 yards. I found the Vortex Sparc BDC turret settings put me on the target and offered accurate holdovers at the extended ranges.

CARRY
This is a pistol… So based on your local, you should be able to carry it concealed inside a pack just like you would your Glock if you have your concealed carry license. As mentioned, PWS includes a discount for a  Vertx pack which will enclose the entire pistol, but I did had a Sneaky Bags 27-in. SPYDER case which has the look of a tennis racket bag. The SPYDER was a perfect single-sling pack for the fully assembled PWS pistol with 20-round magazine loaded plus offered a ton of storage. Most importantly, this clandestine concealed carry “Sneaky” setup allowed a very fast presentation.

PWS case
A well-made Crossfire soft case is included, and it has plenty of room for accessories. I prefer a much smaller package, so choose a SPYDER bag.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Where the budget AR15 rifle market is softening, the short-barreled PDW AR15 pistol and SBR market is blazing hot. There has been so much un-needed attention to the AR pistol segment from the “Arm Brace ATF re-clarifications,” I am sure some dealers are throwing their hands up on whether to carry AR15 pistols at all. PWS has side-stepped all that with the Maxim EXO adjustable cheek rest while clearly laying out two options for owners — buy and shoot now as a pistol and/or register as an SBR.

PWS pistol

This pistol is targeted toward those who want all the benefits of an SBR without the headaches of going through the long wait and registration process…and want the best AR in the process. The PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is an ideal PDW firearm for personal protection without legal headaches and oversight that a rifle or registered SBR might bring. After all it is “just a pistol!”

READ FULL SPECS HERE

SOURCES
Primary Weapon Systems
Vertx
Crossfire
Bravo Company
Vortex Optics
Sneaky Bags

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

 

SKILLS: Concealed Carry on the Go

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Dealing with a concealed weapon when you’re out on the road and away from home raises a few questions, here are a few answers! READ MORE

Console storage vault
Console storage vault.

Jason Hanson

LOCATION: Parking lot. Tucson, Arizona
TIME: 8:40 p.m.

An unsuspecting woman had just gotten in her vehicle when a man with a hatchet appeared and demanded her car keys.

The woman retrieved a handgun from her car and told the man to leave, but he ignored her commands. As he raised his hatchet to strike the woman, she shot him. She held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived to secure the scene and render medical aid.

According to police, the woman stayed on scene and complied with all police requests. The suspect was treated at a local hospital and is expected to survive his injuries. Currently, charges are pending against the man even though he was shot, because the woman shot him in self-defense.

The fact is this woman quite literally saved her life by having an accessible firearm in her car.

Have Permit, Will Travel
With summer here, lots of people will be hitting the roads to visit unfamiliar locales far and wide. So today, I want to share with you some tips for storing firearms in your vehicle.

Just because you are going out of town (or even driving to the store) and can’t carry your gun, you do have options for leaving it in your vehicle. Obviously, I’m a big believer that your gun should always be on your person, but I realize that there are places you may not legally be able to take your firearm — or maybe you don’t want to.

Now, I recommend storing a gun differently based on whether you are in the vehicle or plan on leaving it in the vehicle.

What I mean is if you are in the car traveling, you still want to be able to quickly access your gun in case you need it. However, if you are going into a courthouse for a few hours (for example), you should make sure your gun is secured and out of sight.

Read on for specific recommendations…

You Can Take It With You
There are a number of different holsters on the market designed for use in cars to give quick access to your firearm while you are in your vehicle.

CrossBreed makes a modular holster backed with Velcro so you can conveniently mount it almost anywhere in your car. These types of holsters are a good idea if you spend a lot of time in your car and don’t want to keep your gun on your person.

CrossBreed holster
CrossBreed holsters can have variable use options, including a car mount.

In addition to mounted holsters, you can also find holsters that attach underneath your steering wheel, allowing you to draw quickly while seated. These holsters clip to the piece of plastic that surrounds the steering column.

Another popular alternative is seat drapes. These hang down in front of your seat with a pocket holster to secure your firearm. The nice thing about this option is that seat drapes are easy to remove when not in use.

These are all great options for storing your firearm when you are in the car, but they are not ways I recommend storing your gun when you aren’t there. The fact is these methods usually leave the gun visible, which is the last thing you want to do when you are gone.

Seat drape
Seat drape.

Leave It Behind
On the other hand, let’s say you always carry your firearm but work in a secure building where you can’t have it with you. You need to store it in your car in a manner that will keep it secure, hidden and out of the hands of criminals.

One of the most common places people keep guns in their cars is the glove box. But if someone breaks into your car, this is the first place they’d look. Although if you keep it locked, they might not waste their time trying to get in.

Another option is the center console, which you should also keep locked if you decide to use it. In fact, several companies make locking inserts you can put in the center console to secure your firearm.

Some of those companies are Tuffy, Console Vault, and Guardian. These locking consoles are among the best options for keeping a firearm secure in your vehicle when you are gone.

Another option is to store your gun under the front seat. Some of the same companies I mentioned above also make lock boxes that can slide under the front seat.

Or you could simply buy a small firearms lockbox and secure it to the seat with the cable it comes with. This would prevent a criminal from stealing your firearm even if they did find the safe.

Typically, you are more vulnerable to criminal threats when you’re in your vehicle. It’s critical that you are prepared to defend yourself.

So whether you are taking your family on a road trip or just leaving your gun in your car to go grocery shopping, make sure that your firearm is stored safely and securely.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

REVIEW: Sig MPX Pistol

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The “new” MP5? Author says it’s better than that! Read MORE…

Sig MPX

Major Pandemic

The Sig MPX is an innovative configurable PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) platform that can be purchased in a variety of forms including pistol, pistol plus Sig Brace, rifle, and NFA regulated SBR. The model I choose for review is the MPX Pistol with folding Sig Brace adapter. This setup can be easily purchased just like any handgun on the market.

Sig PDW
It’s compact, just like other PDWs, but its capabilities in this role are unparalleled.

WHY A SIG MPX
Of the guns most lust to have, the H&K MP5 is on that list. It is the quintessential 9mm PDW that still serves in many militaries, law enforcement SWAT teams, and global hostage rescue teams for many reasons — it is utterly reliable, short, accurate, easy to shoot fast, and pretty hard hitting. We have all built up an image of perfection in our minds and all want one. Then you actually fire an MP5 and find out that the looks are still there, but the years of experience are showing.

As a civilian, you cannot buy a new MP5. Original $5000+ used MP5s are a bit beat up with a been-around-the-block-a-few-times look, sights are not as user friendly as modern day designs, mag well is not particularly easy to find during reloads, the manual of arms is so different from our ingrained AR15 habits that it feels a little weird, there is no last round hold open on most MP5s (some do), optic mounts are goofy, the stamped receiver looks cheap and outdated, replacement parts are getting super pricey, and the price the user pays (if they can find one) is still too high. In this case, pulling a factory-fresh MPX from its box delivers everything I want without the worry of the mileage and cost of an MP5.

Sig brace
A Sig brace completes the package.

Despite its reputation H&K has made some poor marketing decisions. H&K was in some financial deep water and why they would not do consumer retro releases of some classic guns is beyond me. At a time when $400 Euro H&K P7 trade in guns are going for $3000 on GunBroker.com and shooters are still screaming for a civilian MP5 it seems H&K is leaving money on the table. Why has the semi-auto SP6K (updated MP5 semi-auto pistol) not made it to U.S. shores? Sig Sauer decided there was money to be made in the MP5 market and developed the MPX to go right after the throat of H&K with a supportable, adaptable, highly configurable 9mm PDW format. Instead of “me too” product, Sig also addressed all those gripes users had with the MP5 design. If you have always wanted an MP5, the Sig MPX will deliver more grins per dollar and I would argue is far better!

SIG SAUER MPX
The MPX is arguably the sexiest and most titillating thing in decades to come out of Sig Sauer since the MCX was introduced with the same profile but in 5.56 NATO. I mean good lord look at this thing — it is dripping with custom design concepts.

The design perfectly mimics the AR controls; however, Sig did not stop there and added full ambi-controls on the magazine release, bolt charging handle, bolt release, and selector switch. Everything you can do with your support hand, is possible with the shooting hand. Ambi selectors always annoyingly rub on my trigger finger, however Sig has made the right side selector toggle as short as possible to minimize this known AR15 ambi-selector issue. The charging handle stroke is a bit shorter than your AR15. All around all the controls are well executed.

MPX controls
Controls are well thought out and ambidextrous.

Sig made the MPX easy to customize. The new G2 version is fully KeyMod-compatible with the plethora of aftermarket keymod accessories. The picatinny spec rail at the rear can be left bare, or with just one torx screw a folding or fixed adapter can be used to mount a AR15 compatible cheek stabilizing tube and/or Sig Pistol Brace. If you have received your Form 1 NFA Tax stamp, one of Sig’s fixed, folding or or collapsible stocks can be added. Even the grip and trigger group are AR15 compatible. Flexibility is the base of this design.

The MPX is also a caliber-convertible platform which offers users the option to swap out barrels and bolt systems from the factory 9mm to .357SIG or .40 S&W all just by removing two bolts.

MPX barrel swap
Barrels can be interchanged to allow .40 S&W or .357 Sig.

The heavily flared magazine well makes authoritative insertions fast and easy. Honestly, the MPX is hard to shoot without cracking a giant smile.

Even the magazines are freaking awesome looking. Lancer Systems who is well known for premium magazines developed the design for the MPX. Mag functioning is smooth and flawless. Restocking rounds is push-in AR-style versus slide-in handgun mag style which lessens thumb pain.

MPX magazines
The 30-round magazines are a thing of beauty, and function perfectly.

YES THAT IS IT
Make sure you go ahead and get extra mags! I now have six. Also just plan on buying 9mm ammo in 1000 round bulk packs, because otherwise if you only take 50-100 rounds to that first range session you will feel like your hot new girlfriend/boyfriend got you worked up and then left you high and dry.

Shooting the MPX really does not feel any different than shooting any other AR15 pistol or registered SBR other than the recoil is almost non-existent. Although a completely unfair comparison, by contrast my 9mm Keltec Sub2000 has a sharp little snap but the MPX does not. Sig did a great job with the piston-driven gas system to deliver a cleaner running gun and strip out that jarring snap of the 9mm round hotly exiting the longer barrel.

Accuracy is superb. Where the MP5 would really shine were head shots under 75 yards, the MPX shines at this range as well. Hitting my Action Target hostage swinger (6-in.) at 100 yards was pretty easy also, however I did notice the 9mm round did not have the power to swing the hostage target to the other side at that range. The gun is easily a single-ragged-hole gun at 25-yards, and at 50-yards 3-4 inches for offhand groups was not difficult with quality defense ammo.

This is a superb home and personal defense gun. With the Hi-Lux Micro B-Dot red dot sight added this was a fast little gun that delivered everything I love about .223 AR15 pistols without the deafening report. The MPX has a softer handgun report out of the 8-in. barrel, far from the ear splitting boom an AR15 pistol delivers indoors and outdoors. With the right low penetration ammo such as Federal Guard Dog or the very hot Liberty Civil Defense 2000-FPS 450-FPE, the MPX delivers accurate high-energy dumping rounds combined with limited liability from pass through rounds. For me, this gun is starting to make more sense for home and backpack carry personal defense than my AR15 pistols…

MPX ANNOYANCES
The painful price point allows one to be critical of annoyances. The MPX is expensive. I understand there was a ton of R&D on this gun, however that does not lessen the entry pain when it comes time pay. Current MSRP is $2162.00.

The magwell is easy to find, as said, but tactical reloads where the bolt is not locked back require a very firm whack to get a full magazine to seat. Although technically a piston-driven gas system, and cleaner running than straight blowback operation, this is still one dirty gun after a few hundred rounds. There really is no way around it — handgun rounds equal dirty guns.

Sig mag well
Mag well is hard to miss!

For the price, I would have expected a Tritium insert on the front sight post and two included magazines. The polymer dust cover and finger stop booth feel like they will break and any moment, but have not. The dust cover needs to be a bit beefier and I suspect one hard whack in a door jam and it’s a goner.

The magazines themselves are selling for $60-$70 each which is painful even though they are stunningly well-made. The trigger is horrible. I am stunned Sig Sauer could make something this terrible. How can Sig give me one of the smoothest double-action pistols on the market but includes a trigger that feels like it had sand dumped into it. I am glad the trigger is compatible with AR15 replacements because it is possibly the worst feeling AR-style trigger ever.

The instructions were terrible. The ten pages of obvious safety warnings should have been used to tell how to configure everything that came in the box: the extra QD slung mount took a good hour to understand how and where to attach it..

Until you break in the folding stabilizing brace, which takes about forty or fifty repetitions of feeling like you are going to snap the stabilizing brace off, you could swear that it locks both open and closed. I also found the stabilizing brace length to be about an inch too long to stabilize against the cheek. Some might find it perfect though.

MPX gas system
Operation is via gas piston.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The MPX had zero functional issues wasting away an afternoon and 1000 rounds of whatever was the cheapest 9mm ammo available in bulk.

This little pistol can slip into most small packs or messenger bags and delivers a very fast response option with crisp precision. I would recommend buying 20-round magazines for this carry option as the 30-rounders are a bit long. The MPX system screams for SBR stamping and that cool Sig collapsible stock. The MPX was designed for the person wanting a gateway to SBR registration — once you have your SBR Stamp, a stock swap is only one bolt away. Buy the MPX like any other pistol, go and shoot it, send in the Form 1 NFA eForm to “SBR” the gun with a gun stock, and you can still go shoot the gun while you wait for that process to complete.

The Sig MPX is well thought out, totally flexible and configurable for future upgrades. This is an investment firearm which is more than just a fun gun.

SEE FULL SPECIFICATIONS HERE

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]