Wilson Combat has been innovating the 1911 world for decades, and hasn’t stopped yet. They continue to make some of the best high end 1911 pistols on the market, and they’ve been making 1911 magazines since before many of our readers were born. Recently, they’ve been changing the 1911 market by introducing flat wire spring technology in their 1911 recoil springs, which reportedly increase the maintenance cycle by up to 10 times. So if they work so well in recoil springs, why not put them in a magazine?
A common complaint regarding many 8-round magazines is the limited spring life. Use them heavily or leave them loaded for a long time and they quickly lose lift, resulting in malfunctions. The new ETM HD magazine addresses this with a longer tube to fit a longer spring, and a flat wire spring that is advertised to provide 25% more lift than standard springs. Like all their products, the magazine is guaranteed for life by Wilson Combat. Continue reading
10-8 tall rear sight, mounted to rear of Trijicon RMR on ATEi customized slide.
With the growth in popularity of the mini red dot optic on handguns, much thought has been given to the options of where and how to mount back up iron sights on the slide. It comes down to a few basic options for consideration:
1) No iron sights.
2) Rear sight in front or behind the optic.
3) Inserts on the sights or plain black.
Molded rail sections. From L: Scout light adapter, long and short Picatinny rails.
I have been using the CMR rail from Centurion Arms for a while on my latest rifle build. It is an exquisitely well executed tubular forend with a 12:00 rail and threaded helicoils for the attachment of modular rail sections. My buddy Monty from Centurion had supplied me with a set of the preproduction rail sections a few months ago, and I finally got around to getting them onto the gun. The rail sections are molded, and screw right onto the tube via the threaded helicoils. As pictured above, there is a Scout mount adapter as well as a long and short Picatinny rail. Other adapters, including an X300 mount, are in the works. Production units of the pictured rail sections should be hitting fairly soon at your favorite Centurion dealer. Continue reading
Ok, I didn’t really learn how to love cleaning AR barrels, but I have learned a few tricks to make it less painful. The two biggest helpers are the above pictured C.J. Weapon Accessories chamber swabs and the .22 bore snake from Hoppes. With the help of these two items, much time is saved during cleaning, and I am able to complete routine maintenance in about 10-15 minutes. Continue reading
The M&P CORE (Competition Optic Ready Equipment) seems to be trickling out into more holsters, and we have been seeing more questions about it. I have one of the very early CORE Pro 5″ 9mm guns, and wanted to share some candid thoughts on the system. I have some older articles with a first look at the gun, the mounting system, and a quick range report, and it may help to check those out if you are unfamiliar with this gun. Apologies for whatever mysterious code gremlins that squished the pics in the first article. Continue reading
87 Industries Gas Block Kit comes complete with the gas block, set screw, cross pin, gas tube pin, and hex wrench.
Our dedicated followers know that a pinned gas block is cheap insurance that your gas system won’t leak or come apart at the worst possible moment. Popular extended hand guard systems don’t make it easy to check if your set screws or gas block is loose, and a cross pin is the most reliable way to ensure your gas block is snug. However, for end users that don’t have access to custom fixturing or a mill, pinning a gas block on your own build can be a hassle. Enter 87 Industries.
They offer a Pinned Gas Block Kit which is set up so that the end user can install a pinned gas block with nothing more than a vise and a drill press. The owner tells me that it can even be done with a steady hand and a hand drill in a pinch. The kit includes a drill bit, tapered cross pin that eliminates the need for reaming, Loctite 262, set screw to hold the block in place during drilling, and allen head wrench. The gas block is made of very tough 17-4 Stainless finished with black oxide. The block works with .750″ diameter barrels.
I will be installing one of these with a drill press on a future build, so stay tuned.
I recently completed a stripped Gen 2 Noveske Chainsaw Grade lower and topped it off with a BCM mid-length upper with a Centurion Arms rail. For my optic I chose both a Trijicon ACOG (the compact 1.5 X 16S, see here) or a short base EOTech (see here). A good looking, well set up AR with optics, Made In The USA! For white light, I mounted a Surefire X300 Ultra. Fits and looks good, and is lightweight . . . I even like the way the activation switches work, except for one issue, see below. (Prior Jerry Jones MSW post about the Surefire is here).
I have spent some bit of time researching and tuning the S&W M&P, as those pistols have become my passion of late. The latest model which intrigued me was the super sexy VTAC model. It’s tan. Come on, what more reason do we need?! Ok, other than being a slave to fashion, I wanted to spend a little time looking at the vapor deposition finish on the slide and the merits of the 6 dot sighting system. Continue reading
I have long accumulated different range bags and pistol cases, and my tastes and needs keep evolving. Ever since I started building and experimenting on pistols, my pistol case needs have revolved around needing to carry a primary and backup pistol, and the associated magazines, lights, small parts, springs, and widgets that each project needs. I have been through many different cases, but I think that I have now found the perfect setup from Tyr Tactical. Continue reading
SF’s EP3 sonic ear defenders. You can leave the channel open to hear what is going on around you or you can plug the channel for the best hearing protection. The case and retention cord are included.
I have been spending time this year using the Surefire’s hearing protection. Thus far, I’m pretty happy with them.
The EP-3 is the two-flange model with an opening that can be used either open or closed. The design is such that it assists in blocking noise over 85db. SF says they have a 24db reduction rating with the plug in place. The canal will accept earpiece tubes that work with most the portable radios in use with public safety and government. They also have a retention cord for hanging around your neck. Continue reading
I had the distinct pleasure of traveling to the Way Of The Gun training facility recently to train with Frank Proctor. Frank operates his facility out of Eastaboga, Alabama, which is near Talladega, Alabama for those of you that follow racing. Frank’s facility is still pretty spartan, as it appears that construction and additions are a daily event. But, the layout is pretty ingenious as he offers a training area and a public range area to the local community. Frank is going to have a world class training facility. Continue reading
SSI Maleficus. Photo courtesy SSI website.
I’m a gun guy. Like most “gun guys”, I tend to focus mostly on guns, with mild amusement found in other forms of self-defense tools. Most “other than guns” items I have come across barely get me to raise an eyebrow, let alone warrant spreading the word among my friends, let alone spreading the word via the internet. However, a few months ago, I came across a custom knife maker who was enough different than others that not only did it catch my eye, intrigue my curiosity, and help lighten my wallet; but it has also proven to be quite functional in my layered protection program. At last count, I had somewhere around 30-40 high end folding knives, another 10-15 fixed blade field knives, and at least 5-10 small fixed blades for concealed carry. Of those, no less than 5 are full custom knives by some of the bigger names in knife making today. Still, none were really so unique as to urge me to spread the word about them. Continue reading
In the computer world there is an unofficial “law” first coined by Intel co-Founder Gordon E. Moore, that basically states that the amount of semi-conductors placed on a silicon chip (how much information that can be processed) will double every two years. The guys at Surefire must be in to computers, because just as I was getting used to my 500 Lumen fury and my 750 Lumen R1 Lawman, they upset the status quo with the new 1,000 Lumen P3X Tactical. I know that some other companies have crossed the 1,000 Lumen threshold already, but I trust that Surefire is going to work every time I press the button, that’s not something I can say of some of the after market add ons and competitors that I’ve had experience with. Continue reading
Emerson CQC7 and CQC8 showing their wear from use, as they should.
I remember growing up watching my grandfather pull out his Case pocket knife regularly to do any myriad of tasks. I remember getting my first pocket knife and carrying it with me everywhere I was allowed and some places I wasn’t. A knife in your pocket just becomes part of your routine, just like carrying a wallet or your car keys. Fast forward to joining the military and getting to my first command, I was introduced to Emerson knives. Half my platoon seemed to carry them, all well worn and treated like prized possessions. Of course wanting to emulate my mentors I purchased my first Emerson knife about eight years ago and haven’t looked back. I have been issued, carried and used knives from just about every quality manufacturer out there, each one making its way into my pocket for a short time only to be replaced by an Emerson again.
Known as one of the elite hard-use knives on the market, Ernest Emerson started Emerson knives in 1979 and since the company has grown to its current state. Offering a large variety of different size and style folding and fixed blade knives, Emerson’s style shows their intent for their knives to be used with their black handles and basic finish options. While Ernest still makes full custom knives, the company focuses on their factory offerings. Emerson also runs a training center for self defense both with knives and without. Another thing emerson is known for is their patented “wave” feature, which is a hook on top of the blade allowing for one handed opening when drawing from a pocket or pouch. All their factory offerings feature G10 epoxy handles, 154cm steel blades and Titanium locks. Finishes offered are black and satin blades with most models being offered in serrated and non serrated versions. Recent developments has led Emerson to do a Multi-tool as well called the EDC, adding to their line and offering another great option to the market owned by Leatherman, SOG and Gerber.
I have owned at least six different emerson knives in the last eight years, sadly losing a couple over time. Currently I’m running a CQC7 and CQC8 with black blades on a regular rotation depending what i’m doing. The CQC7 is a medium sized tanto folding knife and the smallest of my Emersons but seems to be the one I tend to carry the most. Their slim profile allows for very comfortable daily carry. This is a big thing for me as many “hard use” knives on today’s market seem to be built so if you attached a chain to them you could use them as a boat anchor. This is not the case with Emersons, even their larger models are slim and fairly light making daily carry painless. I cannot say enough good things about their customer service, always being treated amazingly well. I will never say a company is the ONLY way to go but an Emerson Knife will be a regular companion of mine for the foreseeable future. New “high speed” knives come to the market regularly touting feature or options that nobody even knew they needed. The true test is to put out a product that lasts and built for a very demanding end user. Emerson has been and will continue to be used by the worlds elite military and law enforcement units for that reason.
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I must admit, I first learned of the Lone Wolf Distributors Armorer Tool/Knife by seeing a banner advertisement on our buddy Caleb’s website GunNuts.Net. In short, this tool is really a modified Spyderco Endura 4, with an Emerson Wave Opener and a 3/32-inch punch built into it. At first blush, it doesn’t seem like much, but this is truly the knife that any gun person should always have on them, especially on the practice range.
All my 1911s are set up so that they can be disassembled without tools, but the punch makes it significantly easier to disassemble the slide. This comes in handy when I need to make a quick adjustment of extractor tension, which happens much more frequently than I would like. Glock people also know that this size punch will completely take down their favorite pistol. Having the punch built into an everyday carry knife ensures this handy punch size will be with you at all times. Continue reading