About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of LE experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to law enforcement and military personnel.

Photo of the Day: The New 10-8 Performance Glock Base Pad

Prototype 10-8 Performance Base Pad on a Glock FDE Gen 4 Model 19. Production versions will be black.

It probably comes at no surprise that I’ve been using 10-8 Performance Base Pads on my 1911 and M&P magazines for quite some time now, and have grown accustomed to the included features, including dimples for marking the magazines, scalloped sides and serrated or scooped front to aid in removing stuck magazines. All these features are built into the new Glock base pads while maintaining a low profile shape that conforms to the pistol grip. Installation is simple and uses the factory retainer plate. The new Glock base pads are molded and should come in at a very affordable price point of about $4 each. I’ve been running two prototypes for the better part of a year, and have been very happy with the design and durability of the pad. The pictured base pad above is molded OD green, but production versions will be black. Go to the 10-8performance.com website and sign up for the newsletter for updates as to availability.  Hilton advises that the current production updates put these about 2-3 weeks out.

Wilson Combat to Host Ernest Langdon in TX

Wilson Combat to host Ernest Langdon for Beretta 92 class in Texas. Image from Wilson Combat.

On the heels of the announcement of the collaboration between Wilson Combat and Beretta guru Ernest Langdon, Wilson Combat has just announced they will be hosting Ernest for a “How to Run a Beretta Handgun” Course at the Wilson Ranch in Cuthand, Texas. Die hard Beretta aficionados will immediately recognize Ernest as the industry’s most knowledgeable instructor on running and modifying the Beretta handgun. A prior member for the Beretta shooting team, Ernest’s competition career has earned him countless national IDPA and USPSA titles with a double action pistol. He also has extensive military experience as an end user and instructor.

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The Sig P226: The Unrecognized Workhorse

The Sig P226 coated in Robar Guns’ NP3, an excellent finish for lubricity and corrosion resistance.

In keeping with our recent series, we’ve been looking at various commonly issued practical service weapons that don’t get a whole lot of love. The Sig P226 certainly falls into that category. Most of us who have been around for a while know this pistol very well, but it seems the new generation of shooters don’t give this pistol much love. Originally designed to compete with the Beretta 92 to replace the M1911A1 pistols, the P226 has been adopted by countless domestic law enforcement agencies and has also been in use by the US Navy SEAL Teams since the 1980s. The P226 also saw service in the FBI, DHS,  and served as an interim weapon to replace the Browning Hi Power. Many of the design features came from the P220 and P225. A double column magazine holds 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition. In its decades of service, P226 has developed a reputation of being a reliable and robust pistol.

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Beretta 92FS: The Forgotten Service Pistol


A couple weeks ago, our friends over at the gunnuts.net blog wrote about The Underrated Beretta 92, which prompted me to look back at my own experiences with the platform. Where I work, officers can choose to carry a personal sidearm as long as they can qualify with the pistol and that the handgun itself meets some basic parameters. However, the default issue pistol is still the Beretta Model 92FS, and most of our sworn personnel carry it since it is provided by the agency. So we on the range staff have quite a bit of experience with the pistol; as a result, I’ve formed a few opinions on its attributes and performance characteristics. Continue reading

Review: Mike Pannone M16, AR15, and HK 416 Handbooks

I’ve been following Mike Pannone through his writings and videos on the Internet for quite some time now. I enjoy his no-nonsense, performance based approach to training. His drills are challenging and rooted in reality. I particularly like his 15 in 10 Drill, which pushes the limits of speed while keeping a tight accuracy standard. This past SHOT Show, I ran into Mike in one of the hallways and had a nice chat with him. While this was the first time we had met in person, I felt like we were chatting like two old shooting buddies. His real world experience is significant (look it up), but Mike also has a solid grasp of the industry, and therefore understands the pros and cons of each weapon system. Hilton recently attended Mike’s Covert Carry Class and keeps telling me how I have missed out by not yet taking the opportunity to get on the range with Mike. Continue reading

The Browning Hi Power: Yesterday’s 9mm Service Pistol

Known as the most evolved of John Moses Browning’s pistol designs, the Browning Hi Power is one of the most beloved semi-automatic pistols ever. And why shouldn’t it be? It was designed by the single most influential firearms designer in history, features a double-stack high-ish) capacity magazine, a grip suitable for small hands, and is chambered for the most popular service pistol cartridge in the world.

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FIRST LOOK: Taran Tactical Innovations Firepower Base Pads


Last week, I ordered several of the Firepower Base Pads for the Glock and M-16 magazines from Taran Tactical Innovations. For those who aren’t familiar with the competition world, Taran Butler is one of the biggest names in USPSA, holding such titles as USPSA National Tactical Champion, and more IDPA, Steel Challenge, and IPSC titles than I can count. Just before SHOT Show, Taran Tactical’s new Magpul Firepower Base Pad caught my attention. It adds less than an inch of length to the magazine but adds five rounds of capacity to the 30-round box. Since I was ordering stuff anyway, I also added a couple of the Glock Base Pads to my cart. A few days later, I had a box waiting for me in the mail.

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The Redi-Mag

You can never have too much ammunition. At least, that is the mentality of many users that wish to strap on as much ammunition to their rifle as possible. While I typically like to have my carbine as light as possible, there are legitimate reasons to attach a spare magazine to the gun. I have seen many different ways to accomplish this, and some are better than others. But before we go into the options, let’s look at whether or not you need to have a spare magazine attached to the rifle. Continue reading

Making the Compact 1911 Reliable

Earlier today (at the time I wrote this), 1911 guru Bill Wilson posted an excellent article on his blog on the secrets to making a short format 1911 pistol work reliably. Bill explains, “the basic functional difference between a full size (as John Browning designed it) 1911 pistol and a compact version with a 4.25″ or shorter barrel is slide mass and speed.” The point of the article was that these guns can indeed be made to run reliably if you know what you’re doing. The key lies in controlling spring weights, slide speed (hammer spring and firing pin stop geometry), a carefully tuned extractor, and careful ammunition selection. Follow the right formula, keep up on your preventative maintenance, and you can have a reliable compact 1911 (assuming it was set up correctly to begin with.)

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Review: Paul Liebenberg’s Gunsmithing the 1911

Any serious student of the 1911 knows the name Paul Liebenberg. He was innovating right there in the beginning, working as the manager for the Pachmayr Gun Shop in the 1980s. He founded the high end gunsmithing shop Pistol Dynamics, and also built high end customs in the renowned Smith & Wesson Performance Center. In his Panteao video series, Paul gives a ton of background on the 1911, custom modifications, and his approach to fitting barrels, installing safeties, reliability mods, and many other popular custom touches for the 1911. I watched this video and found it pretty informative and actually pretty entertaining. While the video won’t turn you into a 1911 gunsmith, it will give any 1911 fan some insight into what goes into building a high end, custom 1911 pistol.

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Fancy Machine Work Part 2

Hilton and I recently both wrote articles regarding the current popularity of custom machined slides on service weapons. Hilton reviewed the Innovative Gunfighter Solutions modified M&P Slide and I wrote about whether or not we needed the fancy work to begin with. Both of us agree that the extra serrations do add some utility. The added traction to aid in one handed (and some two handed) manipulation of the pistol is not lost upon us. However, we still got hate in the comments here and on Facebook about how important it is to have that added ability to rack the slide should one of your hands become otherwise occupied or incapacitated.

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My Thoughts on the Glock 21

Recently, several folks have asked why we cover the 9mm variations of Glocks/M&Ps and seem to ignore the other calibers, specifically the 45. So here are a random collection of thoughts on the Glock 21. When selecting a pistol for duty, it’s really hard not to get mired in a caliber debate. Without digressing too far, it is my strong belief that in service handgun calibers, using modern hollowpoint ammunition, the caliber used is of no real significance. Yes, you could split hairs, but for all intents and purposes handgun calibers are all weak. So if we can agree on that, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to deviate from the 9mm. This caliber offers the following advantages: higher capacity, lower recoil, and reduced costs for training. The lower recoil is a significant advantage even to red blooded American males who aren’t recoil sensitive as it allows for longer training periods with less fatigue and more importantly, significantly reduced probability of wear and tear to your joints and connective tissue over a career of high volume shooting. All things being equal, the reduced recoil also allows most shooters to put down accurate followup shots more quickly.  Continue reading

Photo of the Day: Dry Fire Training Setup

This photo was sent to us by one of our more dedicated students after he discovered Next Level Training’s SIRT pistol. Though optimized for the laser training pistol and rifle bolt, this can be used with virtually any dry practice setup. An A-frame ladder can be utilized for virtually any conventional or unconventional braced position. With this setup, your training is truly only limited by your imagination. Single target and target to target transitions are just the beginning. So stop making excuses and start off the year right with some solid training.

The HK 416. Do you need one?

I was first introduced to the HK416 by Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn at SHOT Show about six or seven years ago. Back then, it was known as the “HK M4″ before Colt had the chance to call foul on the name. Since then, probably every fan of the M4 pattern carbine has heard of it, especially since the commercial version, dubbed MR556, has been released. Gun store gossip aside, do you really need one?

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