review

Pre-NRAAM Glock 43 Launch Party in Nashville

G43Left01On the evening before opening day of the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Nashville, Tennessee – just weeks after the early rumors and official announcement – a small group of attendees was invited to the Nashville Armory for the official Glock 43 launch party.  The GunLink team was among that group and we had a chance to see, handle, and shoot the new single-stack 9mm pistol before most people even see them show up at their gun shop.  There isn’t much that can improve on shooting “free” ammo out of other people’s guns (and we took the opportunity to make two trips each through the firing queue with 3 mags on each round) – but being a brand-new pistol made it that much better.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be impressed.  On paper, the specs didn’t seem that ground breaking.  It has roughly the same profile as a double-stack G26, albeit thinner, but with a significantly reduced capacity (6+1).  The Glock representative at the event referred to it as basically a “Glock 26 Slim” (see the comparison below, left-to-right: G42, G43, G26)  It is too big for pocket carry but too small for a high round count and, I thought, too small to be comfortable to shoot.

The G43 is a good example of why you cannot judge a book by its cover, or a pistol by its spec sheet.   Continue reading

Pro-Defense Tactical Fast Pull Pro Review

TacticalFastPull_001Optics blocking the controls on a firearm isn’t a new problem.  Shooters who have spent time behind a scoped lever- or break-action rifle are probably familiar with hammer extensions that let them manipulate the hammer when it is blocked by the scope.  As the popularity of flattop AR-platform rifles has grown over the past decade or so, allowing optics and accessories to be mounted, this problem has manifested there as well.

A good, by-the-book overhand grip on the charging handle can easily be impeded by rail-mounted optics.  Getting an index finger on the latch and pulling from one side might work if you can get to it, but it can also apply undue lateral stress on a stock charging handle designed for the overhand grip.  If you are using your scoped AR for hunting in cooler weather, wearing gloves can add additional complications into the mix.

There are charging handles with extended latches, but they are often quite expensive and are overbuilt to solve problems that many users just don’t need to solve.  That is why the Tactical Fast Pull from Pro-Defense caught our eye at SHOT Show 2015.  The company founder was at the booth to show us the Tactical Fast Pull (shown above) and Tactical Fast Pull Pro.  Following the show, he sent us the Pro kit to try it out for ourselves. Continue reading

Designing Your Own Custom Case with MyCaseBuilder

MCB DesignerLast year, we wrote about our SHOT Show visit with MyCaseBuilder and how they make custom cases easy.  The foam case inserts that they had in their booth and Steve’s big-screen demo both told a story about the quality and ease of creation of custom foam, but I wanted to get my hands on one to check it out for myself.  There are myriad shapes and sizes of Pelican cases, OEM gun cases and other cases around GunLink HQ, but I thought that we should start small for our first custom case, so I got to work on designing some custom case from for a Pelican 1170 pistol case for transporting a Glock pistol (if you don’t already have a case, MyCaseBuilder can send your made-to-order foam in a brand new case).

The design tool is easy to use and is pre-populated with many existing shapes for various firearms, firearm accessories, electronics, camera equipment and more.  The Glock 19 shape library includes shapes for the pistol and magazines, in various configurations, and with or without finger notches to make it easier to pull the items out of the form-fitting foam.  For this case, I started with the G19 pistol with finger notches.  I modified the shape with custom cut-outs to accommodate the pistol and sights with the slide partially rearward (so that it can be cased with a chamber flag inserted) as well as a threaded barrel.   Continue reading

Palmetto State Armory Enters the Glock Barrel Market

PSA Threaded G19 BarrelFor some time now, there have been only several players in the threaded Glock barrel game.  Of course, one can get a factory threaded barrel from Glock, complete with their M13.5x1LH threading – which does have its benefits, but is otherwise largely silly – and a relatively hefty price tag.  Then there are notable offerings from the likes of Storm Lake and Glock-aftermarket titans Lone Wolf Distributing, whose price tags can run the gamut from $235 down to $129, respectively.  Now, it seems as if Palmetto State Armory wants to join in the action.

Known for having ridiculously good deals and specials, PSA is now selling drop-in 1/2×28 threaded Glock barrels.  With an MSRP of just $109 (and melonite G19 models currently on sale for $99!) with the thread protector included, it seems like too good of a deal not to try out.  In a feat of blindingly-fast-for-PSA shipping, the barrel that we ordered arrived promptly via the big brown truck after a mere 12 business days.

PSAbreechComparing the profile of the PSA barrel’s lugs, feed ramp, etc. to that of the factory barrel, they seem pretty much identical.  Comparing the smell of the two, it may be safe to say that the PSA unit was fresh from the nitrocarburizing tank.  The finish of the PSA barrel was nice enough, with all surfaces having a consistent finish.  The stamp consists of the PSA crossed-cannons logo and “9MM” and it looks good enough that, even if there was an option to pay extra to have it removed, it wouldn’t be necessary.  Although there are some guesses floating around the internet, we haven’t seen any confirmation of who is making the barrels for PSA or if they are producing them themselves.  There is no wolf head hidden anywhere on it to indicate that they are re-branded LWD barrels, as is the case with Gem-Tech barrels.

The barrel lived up to its “drop-in” moniker, installing with no additional fitment required and hand-cycling snap caps with no issue. At the range, right out of the box it gobbled up a full box of brass 9×19 ammo as well Continue reading

Alien Gear Offers New Lines of Holsters, Accessories

Clip ProfileEarlier this year I bought a pair of Alien Gear IWB Cloak Tuck holsters for some carry guns.  I liked them enough (see review here) to pick up another one on the secondary market.  The folks at Alien Gear have been keeping busy and I recently had the opportunity to try out some of their new products and accessories.

One of the big features of Alien Gear products – aside from comfort – is their modularity.  The Cloak Tuck IWB holsters consist of the leather backing, the Kydex shell, and front and rear belt clips – each with three different mounting positions to adjust for cant and ride height.  The removable shell allows for swapping out shells if you change carry guns or if the shell gets damaged.  This modularity is also the driving force behind a lot of Alien Gear’s newest offerings. Continue reading

ReadyShot Lets you Train at Home with Your Own Carry Gun

Ready Shot Kit

ReadyShot kit. Glock Not Included.

To keep any skill sharp, it is important to practice that skill.  Shooting is no different.  If anything, practicing your firearms skills is more important than many other skills since your life may one day depend on it.  However, whether it is due to ammo costs, range restrictions, lack of time or some other reason, many of us might not get to train as often or in the manner that we would like to.  We recently had the chance to try out a new tool that can help keep shooting skills sharp – the ReadyShot system.

We met ReadyShot founder Brent Backhaus at the 2014 NRA Annual Meetings where he introduced us to his creation- a laser training system that lets you train how you want, where you want, when you want, with your own firearm.

We have used laser training tools before and have done our fair share of dry fire/snap cap practice, and each of them have their own benefits and downfalls.  For instance, dry fire practice with snap caps is a great way to work on draw-and-fire drills, work on grip and trigger manipulation and other fundamentals but, without feedback on where your “shots” hit, it is of limited use.  Some laser training tools give you various degrees of feedback but, with simple bullseye-style targets or cans, they more closely mimic plinking practice rather than practical firearms use.  Further, many of them may be difficult or tedious to use, requiring the user to cycle the slide or hammer to reset the trigger to allow for follow up shots.

The ReadyShot overcomes many of those issues through its innovative target system and gun insert for single action striker fired pistols like the Glock and XD.  Additionally, each component of the ReadyShot system is available a la carte and is, for the most part, compatible with other laser training systems.  We had a chance to try out the ReadyShot Glock Kit both as a standalone unit and with other training system components. Continue reading

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