First Look: MDFA Kydex Holsters

Here are a couple holsters made by our very own MSW contributor Bob Henckel of MDFA.

Our loyal readers will recognize the name Bob Henckel as one of our regular contributors here at MSW. Bob owns and operates the Maine Defensive Firearms Academy and has recently reincarnated his Kydex holster operations. I was happy to discover this, as I’m always on the lookout for intelligently designed, functional kydex holsters. MDFA makes each holster to order, and the customer can select from over 50 colors and/or patterns available. The holsters are formed from .080″ Kydex, and can be had with 1.5″ or 1.75″ interchangeable belt loops. I chose two different rigs to try out: an IWB and OWB rig. The fit and finish are excellent, and every edge is hand finished. I’ll be carrying both over the next few weeks and will report back with my impressions. MDFA is still working on adding the holsters to the website, but you can order directly through them by hitting them through the contact portion of their site. Continue reading

Chasing Our Tails?: Polymer Service Pistol Mods

 

Two bone stock pistols which will get the job done, even if they are not extra cool or super fun.

In Tim’s recent article on modifying modern polymer service pistols, many questions came up which I want to now address a little more in my usual nuts and bolts technical manner. I have spent more than my share of time building custom 1911s and working on/with/around polymer service pistols, and have put quite a bit of thought into the whole topic of modified pistols.

The bottom line for pistol modifications is making the gun work better for you. In the custom 1911 world that meant reliability, sights, and trigger, in that order. Everything after that is just fluff and fun. To keep the scope of this article a bit tighter, we’ll focus on the two most popular polymer service pistols, the Glock and M&P. Continue reading

Army Resumes Search for New Service Pistol

Photo: FoxNews.com

A recent article on FoxNews.com indicated that the Army is looking for a new “more powerful” service pistol to replace the aging fleet of M9′s and M11′s in DoD inventory. It is of interest that the effort is potentially aimed at a larger caliber while domestic LE is starting a move away from .40 toward the 9mm. What do you think of this project?

Happy 4th of July!

For everyone here at MSW, we’d like to wish you and yours a happy and safe Fourth of July! Take the day to celebrate this great nation of ours, and remember those who are still overseas and are unable to be home to enjoy the day with family and friends.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: MEDICAL KIT ADDITIONS

[I was looking to make this one of the "Made In The USA" posts, but it turned out the two items I reference here are not.  They are nevertheless worthy of consideration as additions to your comprehensive home/tactical medical kits.  My prior MSW post pictures of tactically-oriented medical items I stock at home and carry are here and here].

I recently added two kit items as a result of my never-ending quest to be fully prepared to play first responder on myself and to provide others (who might attend to me or need items for their own use) medical kit items I have determined are easy to use and effective. They are: MEDIHONEY®  (gel, paste, and dressings; New Zealand by way of Canada) by Derma Sciences, Inc., and the four-inch version of the OLAES Modular Bandage (China by way of South Carolina) by Tactical Medical Solutions:

Continue reading

More Musings on Modifying the Modern Polymer Service Pistol

Disturbingly, Hilton and I are both hearing more and more about failures on the range or in classes of heavily modified polymer pistols. There are more and more “shops” coming out of the woodwork advertising customization and enhancement of Glocks and M&Ps and not all are created equal. Many commonly offer CNC machine work or grip texturing to improve the handling characteristics of the pistol. Some other shops offer “improved” fire control parts to lighten and or improve the feedback of the trigger. Unfortunately, most of the time, modification of the factory fire control parts ends up meaning a decrease in reliability and/or durability of the weapon.

Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Appendix Carry

There are more excellent holster products for Appendix Carry than ever before, like this JM Custom Kydex rig.

Over the past half decade, it seems that every instructor on the Internet is promoting appendix carry as their favorite CCW method, and there are good reasons. Appendix carry is extremely fast from which to deploy, and if you appropriately dress around it, it conceals quite well. Our friend Caleb Giddings wrote an excellent article covering some of the pros and cons of appendix carry, and I agree with his assessment that it is measurably faster than standard IWB carry. It also comes with some increased risks, especially during reholstering. As with anything, these risks can be mitigated with proper training. Continue reading

“IMMUNITY” FROM CIVIL SUIT AFTER LAWFUL USE OF DEFENSIVE FORCE : FACT OR FICTION?

Critics of “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws often claim such laws improperly grant the user of defensive force “immunity” from a civil lawsuit for damages.  They sometimes also argue that the “immunity” is better than that given to LEOs.  Neither has yet been shown to be fact.  I doubt either will ever be the general rule. In fact, a state’s “immunity” provision may actually have no relationship to its SYG law.

State “immunity” statutes relating to the use of force are of recent origin and thus, are not yet widely-interpreted by court decisions.  The unanswered questions of interpretation can be rather complicated, but they do not present novel legal concepts. To separate fact from fiction, I “poked around” (a Georgia term for research)  some state statutes. States with statutory provisions which bar civil recovery for damages against a user of reasonable or lawful force include (in no particular order): Georgia, New Hampshire, Michigan, Idaho, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, Maryland, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Texas, Mississippi, Kansas, New Jersey, Iowa, and Missouri.

Fact is, a state “immunity” law related to use of force may: Continue reading

CompTac Holsters – 2 o’clock for M&P Shield

The CompTac Model 2 o’clock for the M&P Shield with J-hook belt loops

Over the past several months I have been putting the M&P Shield in 9mm through its paces on the range, and while it is not quite as shootable as a Glock 19, it is capable of good accuracy out to 25 yards, and the stock trigger is pretty workable. It’s not as fast or easy to shoot as the G19, and you lose half the capacity. However, in return for that sacrifice in shootability and firepower, you do get a concealable little pistol that you can carry in environments or clothing that may not conceal a bigger pistol. Yes, ideally I recommend dressing around gun carry, but sometimes that isn’t an option. Continue reading

Rogers Precision 1911

My first pistol I bought when I was 21 was a Kimber TLE/RL 1911 (external extractor) which I thought was pretty nice, being young and really having no other exposure than what the guy behind the counter at the local gun store had told me. Between the counter guy’s amazing advice and the gun magazines pushing the latest and greatest, it seemed like a solid choice. Fast forward a few years and more than a couple issues with my Kimber, I was at a range with a few friends of mine when out of one of their pistol bags came a small colt commander unlike anything I had seen before. This pistol was solid black with high power cuts, and one of the most unique textures I had ever seen on a pistol. I was quickly educated that I was holding a Chuck Rogers Built 1911 with his signature golf ball grip treatment. My opinion of stock 1911’s would never be the same again.

For anyone who has been into custom 1911’s in the last two or three decades you will have most likely heard of Chuck Rogers and his shop, Rogers Precision. Chuck has been quietly making some of the most beautiful, functional, and durable pistols ever built. Working out of Prescott, Arizona Chuck acquired his skill as a machinist from a long career as an aerospace prototype machinist in Phoenix. Chuck explains;

“1911’s had been a hobby of mine for several years prior. I was an active competitor in action pistol style matches. Many of the tricks of reliability and longevity were learned in competition. “.

Quickly establishing himself with his unique style and skill as a machinist, Chuck’s guns became more and more popular until reaching the high demand they rightfully deserve today.

I started talking to Chuck long before I had a gun built by him, and I have the great honor of calling Chuck a friend as well. After a couple years my name finally came up in the long list of people impatiently waiting for to be called. My great passion for custom 1911’s lends to my choice of having builds done in what I would consider the individual smith’s “style”. I like to order options that I believe set that smith apart from other builders. With that in mind I had a very specific carry gun in mind for Chuck and his amazing ability to melt the edges on his guns as well as some of his special touches. So, choosing a Springfield mil spec as a base gun for their slanted classic style serrations, the gun left for the Rogers Precision shop and the waiting game began. Chuck is fairly active on more than a couple online forums and a post fairly regularly with pictures of his artistry during the build process. So, I was able to follow the progress and watch with great interest as my base gun was transformed into the image I had built in my head.

Finally I received the call for final payment and the gun was on its way home to me. As you would expect with any high dollar purchase, the expectation I had set for this pistol was extremely high. I will say that Chuck’s reputation as an inventive and top tier pistol smith is absolutely warranted. Having pistols from more than a couple other high end builders, I would venture to say that Chuck is in a level all his own. Not a machine mark to be found and the attention to detail in every part of the gun was evident. The quick lowdown on major options I chose are:

-High Power slide cuts

-Ball cuts

-Rear of slide serrations

-Beveled magwell with lanyard loop rear mainspring housing

-Rounded mainspring housing

-Rogers Precision Sights

-Golf-balled front and back strap, slide stop and mag release

-An option Chuck calls his “bob nose” treatment to the front of the slide to match the angle of the serrations and the high power cut.

These options along with more than a few other small additions, a reliability package, 45acp Kart barrel, all tool steel parts and a covering of black cerakote finished off one amazing looking full size carry gun. The slide to frame fitment feels like they are on ball bearings and the fit of every part on the gun is top notch to include, barrel bushing, grip safety, thumb safety, mainspring housing, etc.

Currently I have had the gun for about 7 months and have only been able to send 2k rounds through it, sadly haven’t been able to get to the range as much as I would like. I’ve only done a very casual wipe down and light lubrication job before each range trip. With a combination of Tripp, CMC and Wilson mags I have had no failures of any kind and it produces little tiny groups.

I would love to nit-pick and complain about something but I can honestly say I can’t think of anything. The pistol is flawless and my overall experience from the ordering, interaction with Chuck and shooting the pistol is awesome in every way. The only negative thing I can think of is, I’m not wealthy enough to own 2-3 guns from Chuck. The wish list would be one of everything.

If you are given the opportunity and have the budget to afford a Rogers Precision 1911, they are truly exceptional pistols. I will not attempt to say they will give you the ability to levitate or walk on water, although my pants do seem to fit a little tighter. I will say for someone that enjoys a hand built 1911 there are few peers to one assembled in a small shop in Arizona by the one and only Chuck Rogers.

http://www.rogersprecision.com

Borka Tool Kit/ Torque Wrench

The Contents of the Borka MG17

While not nearly as sexy as a new rifle, pistol, optic, or other fancy accessory, tools are a very necessary part of any shooting sport. This is especially true of sports requiring scopes and all the mounting options that accompany them. Usually along with any number of required items that I dump into my bag for the day, is a good tool kit which has a tendency to be much bigger then it probably needs to be. Continue reading