Equipment vs. Skilll

Too many people focus on reducing group size or speeding up their shooting by purchasing gadgets and less by training.

The firearms industry is driven by the aftermarket, not necessarily the weapon manufacturers themselves. Through advertising, aftermarket manufacturers convince the average shooter that they “need” every trinket and gizmo to make themselves a better shooter. This seems to be a never ending battle I have with people, convincing them which is more important, the software or hardware. Continue reading

The Modified Glock

Glocks tend to run great out of the box.  They are reliable, and accurate.  I have a friend who shoots a lot of 3 gun and IDPA with a completely stock Glock 17 with the plastic sights, and does it well.  Some folks like to simply change out of the plastic “filler” sights that come stock, for aftermarket sights such as 10-8′s.

I like my Glocks a bit more modified.  Above is a brand new Gen4 G19 that is a recent acquisition.  The gun shot great out of the box, but there are changes that I like to make for my own benefit. Continue reading

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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Embracing the Glock 22

 

Not long ago, this article could easily have been titled “Glock .40.  No.”  For most of the gun buying public, I would still say that buying any handgun in .40 is a wasted effort.  With the advances in 9mm JHP cartridges, the 9 gives up an inconsequential amount over the .40 in terms of performance.  For just plain shooting, you will be hard pressed to find .40 FMJ for as low a price as 9mm FMJ.  Add the additional recoil and wear on the gun, and the .40 is left as a rather distant second to the 9mm.  So why is my latest training gun a .40?  Well why not….. Continue reading

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

Hogue S&W Centennial and Polymer Bodyguard Rubber TAMER™ Grips

At the NRA Show, Pat Hogue, of Hogue Inc.,  dropped by the Apex Tactical/OpSpec Training Booth to chat.  Pat noticed Scott Folk’s Smith and Wesson 342 sitting in the cabinet sporting the Hogue pink rubber grips.  Pat went over to his booth and returned with his new Hogue S&W Centennial and Polymer Bodyguard Rubber TAMER™ Grips.  Pat installed the grips and showed the latest features.  It was pretty ingenious.

Finding and deciding on the grips for a Smith and Wesson J Frame isn’t always easy.  Hogue has always been a good choice, and at times has been OEM for Smith and Wesson.  The new TAMER grips improved on Hogue’s long winning design in a few areas.  The first, and most noticeable was the molded plastic “butt cap” that was added to bottom portion of the grips.  The first thing that this allows for is a smooth, snag free draw that is not being hampered by the rubber grabbing on a cover garment.

The next thing was the ability to take a round from the gun when you unload (an inert round in this case as we were inside the show), and remove the grips without other tools.  Pretty slick.

The rest of the attributes the new grips bring to the table carry over from the classic Hogue design.  While a little large for ankle concealment, this style Hogue makes shooting hotter +P loadings a lot more fun.  Some of the small bikini grips are just no fun after the first 15 rounds or so.

Lastly, when buying from Hogue, you’re buying from a family company that stands behind their product.  There is peace of mind in that alone.

More information can be found at www.getgrip.com.

Sight Selection: Mixing and Matching

One of the most common questions we see in the 10-8 Performance office is the compatibility of one brand of sight with another.  It is great that the market is filled with so many excellent options that shooters can pick from, but not all the brands are able to play together.  So how do you go about mixing and matching different brands of sights? Continue reading

Training with the Mini Red Dot: First Shot Considerations

Mini red dot optics on pistols continue to grow in popularity, and clearly seem like they are here to stay, much as they already have on our rifles.  I have been testing the Trijicon RMR for some time, and you can search back to look at the various articles here.  I was also one of the first shooters in my USPSA region to use an optic on my handgun back in the early 90′s, so I am not at all new to the concept.

I pay attention to discussions about these slide mounted optics, and ask as many users about their experiences as possible.  The one constant trend which continues to persist is that shooters will readily indicate that they are slower on the first shot out of the holster, yet go on to laud the merits of it at distance, on the move, etc.  I get all the advantages, but WHY is everyone ignoring the elephant in the room???  Since when in a defensive encounter, CQB scenario, and countless other applications, is the first shot NOT an issue??? Continue reading

Robar/10-8/MSW/Glock 17 Revisited

Robar/10-8/MSW Glock with TLR-1

With the recent attention and series of articles on modified polymer pistols, I thought revisiting my Robar/10-8/MSW/Glock was in order. As the recent series of evaluations have highlighted, extensive modifications to polymer pistols are usually a want to do, rather than a have to do, decision. Having said that, as I stated in my previous evaluations modifying your pistol to best suit you and to ensure it’s 100% reliability falls squarely into the have to do category. Continue reading

Colt 1911 Dual Recoil Spring Test – Part 2

Some time ago Hilton contacted me to conduct an evaluation on Colt’s new Dual Recoil Spring Assembly for the 1911 pistol. For those of you who haven’t kept up with the various articles on this, Colt developed the dual recoil spring assembly at the request of the Marine Corps for the new M45 1911 Pistol. The reasoning behind the new spring is to extend service life to 8000 rounds between changes.

Springfield 1911/Colt M45 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly

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Review: Innovative Gunfighter Solutions M&P Slide

IGFS slide mounted on 10-8 textured frame with prototype FDE mag well.

A few months ago, John Garron, the honcho over at Innovative Gunfighter Solutions (IGFS), reached out to me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing their work.  Wanting to keep my finger on the pulse of the M&P world, I requested he lend me a modified M&P slide that I could mount on one of my pistols for review.  I received one of their full house packages finished in nickel boron, with S&W factory parts and sights installed.   Continue reading

The 10-8 M&P Mag Well and Magazine Compatibility

M&P Base Pads From L: 10-8 original style, Arredondo, Speed Shooters Specialties, Taylor Freelance, 10-8 XTC, Taran Tactical

We released the 10-8 Performance M&P magazine well earlier this week, and I am very excited that it has been so well received.  We are almost sold out of the first run of parts, and the accompanying XTC base pads already sold out.  With the release of this product has already come further discussion about the litany of aftermarket base pads and if/why they are or are not compatible.  I thought it would be worthwhile to discuss here.

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First Look- The Apex Tactical FNH SCAR bolt handle

 

Now comes the “in the white” prototype of the new Apex Tactical Specialties line of bolt handles for the SCAR 16s/17s line of rifles.

The design was a request by some .mil customers who wanted a bolt handle that would clear all the optics they were issued.  Based upon their needs, we developed a couple of versions designed specifically around the EoTech and Elcan.  The above picture was decided as the best compromise for clearing the optics with gloves on, all the while giving positive control of the bolt handle.  Some OpSpec students have been running these bolt handles for the last year in classes and we have over 15,000 rounds to test for wear and issues.

The yet to be named project should be to market around the NRA show, or slightly before.

Stay tuned!

First Look- GrayGuns P-Series Internal Extractor

For many years, the internal extractors in later model SIG P-Series pistols have been somewhat problematic.  The problems have been largely hit and miss, but were evident in some of the X5 pistols, as well as the P220 and others fielding the internal design.  SIG eventually switched out to the short external extractor, and currently to a long external extractor.

My mentor, Bruce Gray at GrayGuns, INC has been working on the problem for several years and has finally come up with a “fix” for the reliability issues with the internal extractor guns.  As can be observed in the video, the new extractor cleans up ejection and extraction, making it consistent and reliable.  The process involves fitting the new extractor to the individual pistol and tuning it for reliability.  The turn around time is about 10 days, and the cost for the modification is $200.

More information can be found at www.grayguns.com.

M&P Madness – Custom Polymer Pistol Reviews Coming!

From L to R: 10-8 M&P, 10-8 modified VTAC frame with IGFS slide, Salient Arms Tier 2 package

Other than a bunch of alliteration, there really are a few cool and topical polymer pistol reviews forthcoming.  I recently received a T&E loaner slide from Innovative Gunfighter Solutions – a nickel boron coated slide with their full serration package, which includes their Radius Serrations on the radius of the slide.  That slide came with the factory sights and nothing else, so it sits atop the frame of my personal VTAC M&P which I’ve previously featured.  Lastly, after waiting not so patiently for some months, my Salient Arms Tier 2 M&P build came in.  I’ll be checking these out and running them a bit in the coming months, so stay tuned for more reviews on these as I get time with them.  For more photos and other updates, you can also check out our Instagram page.

From Top: IGFS nickel boron slide, 10-8 M&P with ATEi machining package, Salient Arms