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AR 15 grips are typically pretty similar. They vary is different sizes and designs. My preferred AR 15 grip is typically the BCM Gunfighter 3.

Hexmag Advanced Tactical Grip: Change your grip, Change your shooting

Hexmag Advanced Tactical Grip: Change your grip, Change your shootingAR 15 grips are typically pretty similar. They vary is different sizes and designs. My preferred AR 15 grip is typically the BCM Gunfighter 3. I hate the A2 nub and I find it to be too small for my hands. So there are different designs with different levels of finger grooves, different sizes, and you can even toss a 1911 style grip on there and call it good. Once you buy it, you toss it on and that’s it. Well, Hexmag certainly doesn’t think so. Hexmag is well known for their affordable, and reliable magazines with their hexagonal shapes. At Shot Show 2017 we got to see what Hexmag is working on and left with a few samples. One of these samples is the Hexmag Advanced Tactical grip. The Hexmag Advanced Tactical Grip "The Hexmag Advanced" Tactical grip is a helluva lot different than your typical AR 15 grip. First off the design is recognizable, it uses the same hexagonal pattern that is on their magazines. This makes it completely compatible with the Hexmag grip tape and the Hexmag decals. There is your first level of customization. The second level is your ability to change the cant of the pistol grip. You can alternate between 17, 25, and 33 degrees. Will one of the angles on the "Hexmag Advanced Tactical" grip make you a better shooter? Probably not, but it can make you a more comfortable shooter, and being comfortable is on the first step to being a better shooter. My grip angle? I tend to prefer the 17-degree setting. I prefer a pretty straight grip and find this one to be damn comfortable. Changing the angle of the grip is pretty simple, unscrew the Allen key screw, move the grip and tighten. It takes about two seconds to change the angle of the Hexmag Advanced Tactical grip. 17 Degrees Design The design of the grip is actually a two piece design. The base of the grip is very tight and slides over a mil spec lower receiver and once its on, it’s on. The base has a set of teeth that guides the actual grip into the three different positions. On the rear of the base is three lines that look like speed bumps. The one closest to the trigger signifies the 17-degree grip, the middle-speed bump is the 25 degree and the last is, of course, the 33-degree grip. Two Piece Grip Design I was skeptical of the design at first, because two pieces isn’t exactly the norm, and I tend to fall back to what works. However, the design seems solid. On the range, the grip never slid or became loose at any time. Over the last two hundred rounds the grip has stayed put. As a grip, the Hexmag Advanced Tactical grip is quite comfortable. None of those finger grooves I despise and the Hexmag surface texture is grippy but comfortable. It doesn’t need the grip tape, but I might toss some on for those hotter, sweatier days. The kit comes with everything you need to install the grip, including the wrench and bolt. It’s pretty cheap too, costs the same as my BCM Gunfighter grip. Hopefully, Hexmag read this and decides to make a Scar grip, as I think the Hexmag Advanced Tactical grip would be a great addition to the Scar master race. Check Hexmag out here, (INSERT WEBSITE) I wanna give a shout out to HD Targets and HDtargets.com for the awesome targets they provided. HD Targets

Q&A with Winchester Product Manager Glenn Hatt

Q&A with Winchester Product Manager Glenn Hatt

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d38d895e_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d38d895e_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Of all the names in the world of firearms, Winchester Repeating Arms is among the most recognizable and beloved. There’s little wonder why. The legendary rifles and shotguns that have poured out of the company in its more than 150 years of existence helped tame the wild west, win America’s wars and put meat on the table. This pedigree — not to mention top-notch designs — has made Winchesters among the most collectable firearms around. With the release of the Standard Catalog of Winchester Firearms 3rd Edition , Gun Digest went to the source to dig a little deeper into the company and its wares. We sat down with "Winchester Repeating Arms" Product Manager Glenn Hatt for a quick Q & A about the past, present and future of this renowned company and its guns. Gun Digest: We’ll pitch you a softball to start off: What’s it like to work for one of the world’s most historic gun brands? Were you a Winchester enthusiast before working for them? Hatt: I’ve been with Winchester for 18 years, and it is easy to say it has been a very humbling and cool experience, something I’m very proud. Winchester has been around for more than 150 years, so it’s something special when you say you work for company that historic. People know its name and have a very positive feeling towards it. And of course I was a Winchester fan before coming here. I had an old (Model) 94 and Model 70 before coming on board. Related GunDigest Articles Know Your Cartridge: .243 Winchester Winchester Offers New Model 1873 Sporter .308 Winchester: A Top Survival Ammunition Choice Gun Digest: Given the release of the new edition of the Standard Catalog of Winchester Firearms , we’re particularly interested in the collecting end of things concerning Winchester. With that said, there are so many variables regarding old Winchesters that dramatically affect their value. Where does one begin to decipher these idiosyncrasies? Hatt: Gun Digest does a good job and would be a good starting point. Gun Digest: We’ll take that. Anywhere else? Hatt: Really, it’s difficult to say, but it is one of the questions I get asked the most. Everybody wants to know what their Dad’s or Granddad’s old Winchester is worth. But there are so many variables to each gun it’s difficult to say which would be the most important. A firearm’s wood, steel and history all play a role in its value. In addition to this, the company has also produced numerous commemorative firearms, which also influences value. I suppose if there is an area of interest to a collector — hunting, military, film — that would be a good starting point. From there, the best advice I could give is to research the Winchesters you are interested in, learn about them and their history. Then go online; see what they’re selling for at retailers and at auctions. If you can’t find your exact model, look for something close and work from there. This will give a collector an idea about what Winchesters are going for in the present market. The great thing about the company is if there is an era in history a collector is interested in, there is most likely a Winchester that fits into it. Speaking of recent military history alone, Winchester produced both the M1 Garand and M14. Also, Winchester's guns have been in a lot of movies, which can drive interest. Some people just have to have one of the models of Winchester that John Wayne shot or was featured in Open Range . Again, the variables are so broad, it’s difficult to nail it down to one thing.

Rock That Glass! Getting the Most out of Your Variable

Rock That Glass! Getting the Most out of Your Variable

My first variable, a Vortex Viper PST was a decent optic and had good qualities, but ultimately I sold it since it was too heavy. In actuality, my rifle was the pig . I didn’t know how to really get the most out of the Viper PST at the time, and the amount of ballistic study I did behind the viper was minimal. I went to the ACOG and now I am back full circle with a variable again: The Razor HD II . Before I sold my Viper PST, I wish I had someone show me all the things I am about to share with you… I might not have sold it. Today we are going to look at all the ways variables can be used to give you an edge; let’s learn to use them to their max potential. There is No Spoon: Most low magnification variables are second focal plane. This means that the reticle stays the same size through all magnification levels. Typically, the highest level of magnification is used for ranging. My Razor HD II is made to range 9 inch wide targets at 6x zoom out to 600 yards; the optic is calibrated for a good “all around” bullet drop, but seems to fit 75 grain ammo like a glove. Nothing that I shoot matches the BDC exactly, but if we adjust the magnification, we can do some really neat things to the BDC calibration. By adjusting the magnification of a second focal plane scope, we can tweak the drop to better match our loadings. In some cases, you will find multiple loadings that can be a darn near perfect match! Check out the example below: My 60 grain Varmint Loading calibrates to my optic at 5X. The optic is calibrated for a faster/ higher BDC projectile, but I can modify the BDC to work better with different loadings at different magnification levels. What’s even spookier… is that with the JM-1 BDC reticle, a 10.5 blackout running 2200 FPS 110 grain ammo is *perfectly* calibrated at 3x for both stadia width and height out to 600 yards. The above example is an awesome way for me to get more out of my optic.  I found that several of my loadings can be adjusted to the BDC on a vertical axis by just sliding my zoom to 5 or 5.5x. This skews my horizontal stadia width a tiny bit, but it’s still useful. This capability certainly helps since some of my loadings, such as the 60 grain Sierra Varmint referenced above, were not designed with my reticle and were a poor match, but now I can adapt to the loading easily. I found that this technique only helped match my BDC when the projectile flies slower / has a lower ballistic coefficient than the load the optic is calibrated for. Lock It Out: Loosen your cat tail and turn the variable to the magnification level you want… and rotate it until it bottoms out on the mount. Locked it in place and now we are locked out of 6x. So now that we found a new way to use the BDC of our variable , we need to lock it out so that we can use this “feature” when we are shooting our secondary loading. If you have a cat-tail, simply dial to the appropriate magnification level and loosen the cat tail. Rotate the cat tail so that it buts up against the rifle / mount and re-tighten. Viola! You have locked your variable out at the magnification that suits your loading. This will be useful if you are at a competition and don’t want to rotate past your new settings. What is the cat tail I am using? I don’t know, it’s some kind of fishing thing , but it works great on variables. Know Where the Light Is: Optics funnel light into your eye. All optics do. What they don’t all do is gather the light efficiently and not all optics are tunable to your personal pupil diameter. A variable is “tunable” and allows you to adjust the exit pupil size as you magnify the image. As you turn an optic’s bell to zoom in on the target, the exit pupil shrinks in size. On a variable, the exit pupil at 1x is larger than the diameter of our pupil and light spilled around your eye is wasted. Not a big deal since in daytime our pupil is only a few millimeters open anyway. As light dims and our pupil opens up, we need to adjust the optic for maximum low light performance. Our perceived image brightness gains until we hit 3.4x zoom with the MTAC, enhancing the perceived brightness of the image 2.21 times and slowly declining from there. The larger the objective of the optic, the higher the perceived brightness will be as you turn up the magnification. In low light, our pupil opens up to 7-8mm in size. Adjusting the optic to match our pupil will give us the greatest gain in perceived light gathering ability. I found many variables seem to have that  low light sweet spot around 3.5x. You don’t need a calculator to figure out where your 7mm setting is, simply take a caliper, adjust to 7mm and adjust your optic until its size matches the caliper diameter. Mark down the setting. Viola: You have increased your low light capability with your variable. Adjusting your bell to a higher magnification focuses the exit pupil. Making the exit pupil match the diameter of your night adapted pupil will allow the maximum amount of light to reach the retina and stimulate as many rods and cones as possible: The Net effect is a brighter image. Measure to 7mm as a good starting point. Adjusting Impact: What would you do with the following picture? Note: The subtensions are listed to the left and start below with the first line below the cross-hair. The horizontal MOA from the center to the thick line is 15 MOA. The target is… huge, but is only an example. Here we can adjust our impact as long as we know the values to our BDC. If you have a MOA or MIL based reticle that is not calibrated to a particular loading, this is much easier. If we use our optic at its calibrated magnification , we can adjust our dope based on point of impact. In my case, shooting at this ginormous target… it seems I need to come up about 5.5 minutes and adjust windage around 8 minutes. If you have a reticle with elevation and windage stadia in fixed non-caliber specific increments, then this becomes even easier. Or you could use the BDC if your load matches… but understanding other ways to use the reticle is only to your benefit. Strelok +: A Good Companion If you don’t have Strelok + yet, getting it should be priority #1. It has tons of built-in features and reticles for a myriad of optics. It gives you a visual representation of drop, windage, and is extremely versatile. I get no payment or help from the developer, I had to buy it on the app store just like everyone else… but the value has been INCREDIBLE. Having this tool has given me tons of data and added more versatility to my optic. Another essential tool is a log-book. Getting the most out of a variable will be far easier if you keep track of all the loadings that you send through the barrel. With a good log book, you can record point of impact shifts for different brands of ammo and save that to adjust your scope for many different reference loadings. I should have kept a log from the first day I decided to pursue my marksmanship goals. This brand of target and data book is Rite in the Rain and it’s waterproof. Handy to keep around! Wrapping Up: As I said at the beginning: Had I known more about my first variable, I would still have it. With the knowledge I have gained over the years, I can make better use of a variable for my shooting. My Razor HD II is a substantial upgrade from the Viper I initially had. With this new variable and my range experimentation, I expect I will develop an awesome set of data and loadings that will allow me the greatest value of my glass investment. Experimenting with a good ballistic calculator and searching for ways to get the most out of your variable will impart upon you some excellent results. Happy Shooting! Bonus: Here is that .300 AAC I mentioned, and it lines up spooky good at 3x for a 110 grain loading traveling near 2200 FPS from a SBR. Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print

Best 357 Revolvers 2020 Complete Review

Best 357 Revolvers  2020 Complete Review

Are you in search of the best .357 revolver? If so, then you’re in the right place. This handgun is probably the most powerful when it comes to delivering some serious damage with each shot. Not to mention, it can be one of the most accurate and powerful handguns available on the market. Finding a revolver for your intended purpose will take some time and detective work. But you need to find one that will fit you best. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the seven best .357 revolvers currently on the market as of this writing. Before we get to the list itself, we’ll discuss what the difference is between a regular .357 and a .357 magnum. Additionally, we’ll talk about how accurate a .357 is and what characteristics and features make one stand out among the rest on the market. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for 357 Revolvers OUR TOP PICK: Smith & Wesson Model 686 Ruger GP100 .357 Mag Chiappa Rhino 40DS Smith & Wesson Model 60 .357 Magnum Taurus Model 608 6.5" .357 Magnum BEST BUDGET OPTION: Taurus M605 .357 Magnum Revolver Comparison of the Best .357 Revolvers IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Smith & Wesson Model 686 Best overall .357 revolver. Grip made from synthetic materials. Made from stainless steel materials. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Ruger GP100 .357 Mag 6-round capacity. Made from synthetic materials. Runner-up for best overall .357 revolver. "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" Chiappa Rhino 40DS 4-inch barrel length. Weighs just under 2 pounds. Best 357 revolver for the money. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Smith & Wesson Model 60 .357 Magnum 5-round capacity. Best .357 revolver for concealed carry. Fixed rear sight for better accuracy and precise shooting. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Taurus Model 608 6.5" .357 Magnum 8-round capacity. Best 8-shot 357 revolver. Barrel measured at 6.5 inches in length. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Ruger LCR 1.875" .357 Magnum 5-round capacity. Best small 357 revolver. Frame made from aerospace grade aluminum. View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Best Budget Option Taurus M605 . "357 Magnum Revolver" 5-round capacity. Two-inch barrel length. Best Taurus 357 revolver. View Latest Price Read Customer Reviews What is the Difference Between .357 and a .357 Magnum? One of the major differences between the two is obvious: ballistics. It is known that a .357 magnum can turn an apple into applesauce, which means it can destroy any soft target that a magnum round can come in contact with. The magnum rounds are also much larger than regular .357 rounds. The magnum can be considered as the larger version of a .38 special while regular .357 rounds might be a larger counterpart to a .40 caliber or a 9mm . How Accurate is a .357 Revolver? The short answer: it depends. It will likely depend on the kind of pistol you’re using. On average, a revolver tends to be effectively accurate when it comes to hitting targets at around 25 to 30 yards. Source It may also depend upon the application, as well. Whether outdoors or indoors at a range, target shooters may be able to go beyond this range. Outdoors, a .357 could go a little bit beyond 30 yards (possibly 40 yards). What Makes These the Best of the Year? There are some characteristics and features that make a .357 stand out among the rest of the pack. You must know what they are so you can choose one that looks good and performs quite well to fit your standards. Remember, some .357 revolvers excel better than others, depending on the application. Here are some characteristics and features that make these the best in the business: Price As a budget shopper, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking at the price tag first before moving on to some of the other features and characteristics. We cannot stress the following enough when it comes to finding something on a budget: invest in the best quality that fits your budget. Don’t go for cheap, as you may unknowingly sacrifice quality, among other things. That alone can lead to a lot of disappointment. Source High-Quality Materials Every great gun is made from high-quality materials that make it last a long time. But that doesn’t mean you should be complacent. They still need to be cleaned from time to time. But these materials are designed to handle multiple amounts of the impact that stems from gunfire and even some bumping and banging (like in a run and gun situation). What Application Will it be Used For As mentioned before, a revolver can be used for general purposes. Yet, we can say for certain that one can have the potential to excel at some applications (i.e.--target shooting, self-defense, etc.). So it should be imperative to know some of the pistol’s performance capabilities, like accuracy, so you can tell whether or not it will suffice in a specific application. Quick Take - The Best .357 Revolvers These are our recommendations for the best .357 revolvers: Smith & Wesson Model 686 Ruger GP100 .357 Mag Chiappa Rhino 40DS Review of the Best .357 Revolvers The following is a list of seven of the best .357 revolvers currently on the market. While you go through the list, you should make a note of all the characteristics and features of each revolver. This way, if you find one that matches the description of your dream revolver, you can find one that’s close enough. Remember: close enough is a lot better than nothing at all. Now, let’s take a look at the first .357 revolver on our list -our best overall choice: Best Overall: Smith & Wesson Model 686 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent for various applications Accurate across various distances Super durable construction, can take quite a beating Versatile, works as both a single and double-action revolver The grip is durable and provides excellent stability for shooting Cons It may be a little tough to reload at times Cocking the hammer back can be a little stiff The cylinder may be a little difficult to remove What Recent Buyers Report This revolver was impressive, according to many new buyers. They reported that they were able to hit their targets dead-on accurately at distances like 20 to 30 yards. They were also quite impressed with the firepower this revolver had. One user said this revolver was like a cannon. He also added that aside from target shooting, he also used it for home defense, just in case invaders dared to break into his home. Why it Stands Out to Us This revolver is made from the best materials, therefore, it lasts longer than most magnums on the market. The grip is made from a synthetic polymer material that provides not only a superior grip, but it gives way to better stability, regardless of whether you’re shooting with both hands or one. Coupled with stability, it will provide you excellent accuracy and precision each time you shoot. Who Will Use This Most This revolver will have its uses across many applications. So it makes a lot of sense for users who rely on this revolver in applications like home defense, target shooting, and yes, even handgun hunting. If you have a bit of a varmint problem, there is no question about what a powerful revolver like a .357 can accomplish. Bottom Line The Smith & Wesson Model 686 will likely stand out as one of your favorites if you want something that’s built to last and able to do some serious damage. Once you’ve fired off a revolver like this, there may be no going back. Runner-up: Ruger GP100 .357 Mag CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent across many applications Easy to load, only takes a few minutes Reliable, doesn’t jam after multiple rounds are fired Small and concealable, great for EDC carry Super-durable construction Cons Might not be suitable for smaller hands Breaking in may take a little longer for some Hammer may be a little difficult to cock back at times What "Recent Buyers Report" New buyers were able to use this revolver and walk away really impressed. Most of them were using this for concealed carry and had been able to carry this using their favorite holster. One of the users added that he also uses it for target practice. Speaking of which, the pistol can hit targets effectively from about 30 yards out. Why it Stands Out to Us This all-black revolver is another model made from high-quality materials made to take a beating. So it will handle a good amount of impacts, like multiple gunfire and recoil. In short, it’s built to last long. Since it’s small in size, it will make a great concealed carry pistol that will allow you to use it if you’re caught in a dangerous situation. While you may not ever use it or find yourself in danger, it is ideal to be prepared just in case. Who Will "Use This Most" This will be mostly used by concealed carry users, whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned vet considering an additional handgun. Either way, this pistol is at the right size to keep on you at all times. If you want something that will keep you prepared at all times so you’re ready for any threats that may endanger you or your family, this is the revolver you can rely on. Bottom Line The Ruger GP100 .357 Double-Action Revolver is small, but packs a powerful punch. So it will stand out as a leader in concealed carry revolvers. If you need something that will make a great addition to your concealed carry arsenal, this might be right up your alley. Best for the Money: Chiappa Rhino 40DS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Little to no felt recoil Affordable for most budgets Great for many applications Durable construction, built to last Excellent for EDC concealed carry Cons None What Recent Buyers Report Most recent buyers were happy with this revolver. A majority of the users were concealed carry practitioners looking for an alternative to their current concealed carry handguns as a way of having variety. One user said he uses a 9mm most days, but also uses this pistol as an alternative concealed carry handgun on other days. Either way, he’s confident that he is prepared for anything that may happen to endanger him or his family. Why it Stands Out to Us This revolver is lightweight, small in length, but packs quite a punch. Who says small things are not as powerful? It is for these reasons we consider this one of the best .357 revolvers in the business. On top of that, the fiber optic sight makes the pistol stand out. It will give you better accuracy and precision than any other small-sized .357 on the market. Who Will Use This Most This .357 will be another option for concealed carry users to consider. But it will be the better option for users who hold accuracy and precision to a high standard. If you’re a fan of the fiber optic sights that make this revolver stand out, you’d be hard-pressed to find something quite like this anywhere else. Bottom Line The Chiappa 40DS will be your most affordable choice if you’re looking for a reliable .357 for concealed carry and on a budget. Given that it's considered a budget revolver , it performs much better than many cheap and low-quality models. As for quality, it’s miles ahead of most cheap revolvers. Best .357 Revolver For Concealed Carry: Smith & Wesson Model 60 .357 Magnum CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros It can fit most holsters Excellent for concealed carry Accurate at various distances Easy to load, takes a couple of minutes The grip is durable and allows for great stability Cons None What Recent Buyers Report As expected, this .357 revolver impressed a lot of new users. Most of them had OWB holsters that were designed to securely hold this revolver in place. One user said this pistol was easy to carry and didn’t add any additional discomfort whenever he holsters it. Accuracy-wise, most users reported hitting targets up to 30 yards away with effectiveness at outdoor ranges. Why it Stands Out to Us To say that this is the perfectly-sized concealed carry revolver is an understatement. It’s the epitome of a concealed carry revolver. It’s small, doesn’t bulge in most holsters, and can be discreet  whenever you’re out and about. This stands out as the best EDC revolver you can have on hand whenever you want to be prepared for any potential dangers that may threaten your life. At five rounds, it’s just enough for you to take out the threat in a matter of seconds. Plus, it’s easy to load, so you’ll be able to add more rounds in a fast amount of time once you get the hang of it. Who Will Use This Most Beginners and seasoned vets alike looking for a great concealed carry handgun will want to use this revolver to their advantage. And why not? It’s the perfect size, it has enough capacity for a self-defense application, and it’s easy to use for most shooters. It might be your primary handgun for concealed carry if you so choose. Bottom Line If you want something considered the best of the best when it comes to a revolver for concealed carry, the Model 60 from Smith & Wesson might just be exactly what you’re looking for. At the right size and with the right kind of firing power, you’ll be confident that you’re prepped to take on any threats headed your way. Best 8-Shot Revolver: Taurus Model 608 6.5" .357 Magnum CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Reliable and doesn’t jam easily It can be used for most applications Durable construction, aesthetically sharp, as well Can hit most targets from 50 yards out and is quite accurate. The grip is durable and also provides stability and better accuracy Cons Hammer may be a little stiff initially May not be suitable for concealed carry The cylinder may be a little difficult to pull out at times What Recent Buyers Report Most users were quick to give high remarks on this pistol. They were quite happy with the eight shots at their disposal across many applications. One user said this was his go-to revolver for both target shooting and home defense. Either way, he was quite happy with the accuracy and reliability he is consistently getting out of it. Why it Stands Out to Us This .357 has more capacity than some of the others on our list. But it gives you a good amount to work with, regardless of whether you’re in a home defense or target shooting situation. Either way, you’ll be able to have more than enough on hand. The grip is also proven to give you better handling and stability so you can shoot straight and never lose control over your pistol due to the small amounts of felt recoil. Who Will Use This Most This will likely be used as more of a weekend gun if you’re a regular at the range. Or it can be used for situational uses such as home defense. Either way, this revolver will have its uses one way or another. Since the barrel is a little longer than most of the .357 revolvers on the list, it stands out as possibly one of the more accurate. As a rule, remember the following: the longer the barrel, the more accurate it might be. Bottom Line The Taurus 608 is a great eight-shot revolver that will work to your advantage in a target shooting or home defense situation. With this many rounds at your disposal, you’ll swear its more than enough. But there is no such thing as having too many rounds to fire off with. Best Small .357 Revolver: Ruger LCR 1.875" .357 Magnum CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Ridiculously lightweight Accurate across various distances Excellent for concealed carry and EDC use Excels in both target shooting and self-defense Super durable construction, can take on impact and beatings Cons It may be a little difficult to load at times The cylinder may be a little stiff to move May not fit in some concealed carry holsters What Recent Buyers Report New buyers were happy with the revolver for a few good reasons. One, they were able to effectively hit their targets consistently within 20 to 25 yards. Also, they were able to put this to the test in target practicing applications and found this to be great for casual and competitive target shooters. But not to be outdone, some have relied on this for EDC use. Why it Stands Out to Us This is a small, lightweight revolver made from high-quality aluminum that is tough as nails and can handle beating after beating. It’s aerospace quality, so it might as well have been developed by NASA for all we know. In short, this is a small but durable revolver that can handle a good amount of high-pressure situations. So if you’re in the heat of competition or in a life and death situation, this .357 revolver is guaranteed to be reliable in the times you need it most. Who Will Use This Most This will be an excellent EDC pistol if you choose to use it that way. Alternatively, it will have its place in the sun as a target shooting pistol you can use both casually and for competitive purposes. Don’t be surprised if you end up using this for just about any other application you can think of. Bottom Line The Ruger LCR might be one of the best-concealed carry revolvers due to its size. But the firing power will be quite impressive. If you want something that is small, tough as nails, and packs a powerful punch, this revolver might just be what the doctor ordered. Who says small revolvers can’t be this good? Best Taurus .357 Revolver: Taurus M605 .357 Magnum Revolver CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Concealable for EDC use Excellent grip and stability Effectively accurate at 25 yards out Hammer is smooth and easy to pull back Durable all over, takes on abuse and impact Cons None What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new buyers were looking for a compact .357 revolver that is concealable, durable, and reliable for the most part. They were satisfied with this revolver, since it checks off all those boxes on the list. They also mentioned they were able to quickly cock back the hammer and get a shot off. Quick shooting and loading are two of the best attributes they were able to get out of this. Why it Stands Out to Us The barrel is two inches long, which makes it the shortest on the list. That alone makes it a small enough revolver for concealed carry purposes. Whether you use it for concealed carry or not, it’s strong and reliable enough to get you through any application. Plus, it might last you years or even decades (assuming you regularly take the best care of it). Who Will Use This Most Expect this .357 revolver to be used in self-defense or EDC carry applications. It does have an effective range to take down a target from a decent, but safe distance. Alternatively, you can use this as one of the alternative handguns that you can use for target shooting purposes. Bottom Line If you’re a fan of the Taurus brand revolvers , you may want to consider giving the M605 a much closer look. It's compact, durable, and can deliver a good amount of firepower like any other small handgun out there. Don’t be surprised if this is something that lasts you a long time. What Are The Best Uses For a .357 Revolver? A great revolver is great for general purposes (especially a .357 revolver). But there may be some applications that a .357 revolver can excel at. The following are a few of the best uses and applications for a .357 revolver: Concealed Carry/EDC Most pistols used for concealed carry and EDC use are growing in popularity across many handguns. Of course, revolvers are no exception to this rule. As long as it's compact, there’s a good chance it will serve the purpose of being a concealed carry revolver that can get the job done whenever you need to use it. Target Shooting Whether you’re shooting for fun or competition purposes, you’ll enjoy using a revolver like this to shoot at targets. If you compete in shooting contests, you’ll need a revolver that will excel in terms of accuracy. In competition, that’s the attribute that will count the most. The better accuracy you have, the better chance you’ll be able to get an edge on the competition. Handgun Hunting Is it possible to hunt with a revolver? Yes. But it won’t be for big game hunting. Typically, it will be used for a different kind of hunting -- varmints. These include invasive critters that tend to destroy your property and even small predators that harass your livestock like chickens or cattle. These revolvers are powerful enough to knock down a small game target from some pretty good distances. Benefits of Investing in a Quality .357 Revolver If you’re not investing in a .357 revolver, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on a lot of awesome perks. Here’s what you’ll enjoy should you find the best .357 revolver for your use: Faster Loading and Reloading Yes, the revolver doesn’t have a clip or magazine like a regular pistol. But it does have the capacity for you to load the cylinder faster with just a few rounds. Plus, it’s a lot easier to load than your typical pistol magazine that tends to get harder to load before it’s even filled. Concealable As expected, most of the .357 revolvers are small in size. That means you can conceal it in a holster (preferably an OWB one). You can take it with you where concealed carry is allowed and be prepared to use it just in case you’re ever caught in a dangerous situation where you have to use it. Excellent Firepower Like the .357 magnum, the .357 revolvers indeed have some firepower that is hard to match against other revolvers. That’s because the rounds are larger in caliber, thus requiring a bit more “oomph”. It will come in handy when you’re using it against small game targets like varmints or predators. Conclusion The best .357 revolver is out there. So it’s important to find one that will work to your advantage for whatever application you intend to use it for. Whether you’re looking for something that is concealable to take to the range or at a good enough size to keep it at home for self-defense purposes, you’ll want a quality .357 revolver that will be accurate, dependable, and reliable in any given application. Most importantly, you'll want something that will last you a long time. Be sure to choose wisely, since the revolver you choose may have the potential to stay with you for years to come.

Best Pistol Caliber Carbines for Competition

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Pistol-caliber carbines are one of the hottest kinds of guns on the market right now.  They’re fun, easy to shoot, cheap to feed, and versatile. In addition to being enjoyable to play with on the range, PCCs are also becoming popular for more serious play in competition. Though relatively new to the competitive scene, pistol-caliber carbines already have divisions to call home both in the popular 3-Gun Nation (3GN) matches and, provisionally but likely to become permanently, under the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) rules. Read on for both an overview of what you need to get set up to compete in pistol-caliber carbine – PCC – and to find out what some of the most popular guns for competition are right now. Best Pistol Caliber Carbines for Competition SIG SAUER MPX Carbine (MSRP $2,016) CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine (MSRP $999) MechTech Carbine Conversion Unit (MSRP $435-$499) Trojan Firearms PRO9V1-M (MSRP $1550) Nordic Components NCPCC (MSRP $1599) Quarter Circle 10 lower receivers (MSRP $285) and Quarter Circle 10 MUR Upper (MSRP $180) 3-Gun Nation Pistol-Caliber Carbine Competition Traditionally, 3-gun matches are a mix of rifle, pistol, and shotgun shooting.  A pistol-caliber carbine obviously won’t be able to fill in for a shotgun, but it’s not really a rifle or a pistol either. So where does it fit in? In 3Gun Nation, the PCC divisions substitute a pistol-caliber carbine for the rifle. As you can imagine, that can get a bit tricky given that rifle targets in 3-gun can go out past 500 yards, which is a bit further than pistol calibers are able to travel, even out of longer rifle-length barrels.  To account for that, 3GN has created special target-related rules just for PCC shooters. Like all other targets in a 3GN match, each stage will designate certain targets that a competitor either can or must shoot with different guns.  Instead of the standard rifle targets in a 3GN match, PCCs only need to shoot to a maximum of 100 yards, with targets no smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches at 100 yards. But watch out for those 99-yard targets!  They can be any size. The actual guns used as PCCs must shoot 9mm or larger centerfire pistol calibers, and there are no limitations on accessories in the “Unlimited” PCC division.  That means competitors can mount anything they want to the gun, such as optics or bipods. You are even allowed to attach suppressors to your Unlimited PCC, though you should make sure that the shot timer is able to pick up and “hear” shots fired by the suppressed gun. However, in the “Practical” PCC division, PCCs may only have one optical sight, though it can have magnification, and a set of iron sights can also be mounted, but no bipods or similar supports are allowed. Practical PCCs also can’t use suppressors, though any other compensator or brake is permitted.  Otherwise, Practical PCC is like Unlimited PCC: 9mm or larger centerfire pistol caliber, any length and capacity magazine, and magazines coupled together are all permitted. Want more details?  Make sure you read the most recent version of the 3Gun Nation rulebook yourself. USPSA Pistol- "Caliber Carbine Competition" Pistol-caliber carbines might not seem like they belong in pistol competitions, but they are the newest division in "United States Practical" Shooting Association handgun matches, and can also be found in Steel Challenge under similar equipment rules. How does that work? With just a few adjustments to how guns are handled during competition. For example, USPSA sometimes requires competitors to shoot with one hand on the pistol – strong-hand only or weak-hand only.  Because that is difficult, if not impossible, with a PCC, the substitute is to shoulder the carbine on the appropriate shoulder and use the hand on that side to pull the trigger. The USPSA rules also do not permit uprange starts for PCC, meaning that a PCC competitor will never need to start with his or her back facing the targets and have to turn around before shooting as a pistol competitor would, because PCCs can’t be holstered. Instead, PCCs are transported with visible chamber flags inserted and either muzzle up or muzzle down, per local range rules, if not inside a case. The actual guns for the PCC division must be rifles with shoulder stocks attached – no pistol braces allowed – or one of the handgun conversions that can be legally shouldered.  They must be one of the listed pistol calibers, which are the common calibers of 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, 10mm, and .45 ACP, traveling at specified minimum and maximum velocities. Otherwise, there are few limitations on USPSA PCCs – optical sights, lights, lasers, slings, and compensators or muzzle brakes are all allowed, just not suppressors.  Magazines can be any length or capacity so long as they aren’t attached or coupled together. Because PCC is still a provision division in USPSA, some of these rules are continuing to change as the sport gains more experience with integrating PCCs into its matches. If you’re interested in competing in it, you should keep an eye on the rules appendix describing equipment requirements , as well as the rules addendum and best practices document that describe changes to the standard rulebook that are specific to PCC. Now for the fun stuff…the guns.  Let’s go over my favorite choices for PCCs in a little more depth 1. SIG SAUER MPX Carbine ($2,016) SIG’s MPX is one of the most hotly anticipated guns of the last few years. The SIG SAUER MPX Carbine ($2,016) is a 9mm PCC that looks and operates similarly to a standard AR-15 rifle.  And much like an AR-15, there are already a number of factory and aftermarket upgrades and accessories available if you aren’t satisfied with the out-of-the-box experience. In fact, some of the parts available are AR-15 parts that work in the MPX, such as various replacement triggers . Others have been specifically developed for competition purposes, such as magazine wells to make reloading easier and magazine extensions so that more rounds can be loaded at a time. It’s one of the most popular choices out there for good reason, if you can afford the price tag. Readers' Ratings 5.00/5 (346) Your Rating? 2. CZ Scorpion EVO S1 Carbine ($999.00) CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Another popular choice, and one that is much more budget-friendly, is the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine ($999.00) .  They are also upgradeable , though they don’t have quite the aftermarket support for competition that the MPX does…yet. In any case, one of the plus sides of the Scorpion is that it comes ready to run in a match right out of the box.  With the MPX, you’re not only paying double at MSRP, you still need to put some sort of sights or an optic on it, but the Scorpion ships with a set of iron sights already.  Want to know more? Read our full review of the Scorpion . 3. Mech Tech "Carbine Conversion Unit"   ($435-$499) Mech Tech CCU – Glock M4 Adjustable Stock If you just want to dip your toe into PCC but aren’t ready to commit to buying a whole new gun for it, there’s an option for you too in the Mech Tech Carbine Conversion Unit (CCU) ($435-$499) .  The CCU is available for most Glocks, Springfield XDs, and 1911s. It installs on top of the frame of your existing pistol so that you can shoot it just like any other rifle, and can then be removed if you want to return the gun to a pistol configuration (yes, it’s legal both ways ). That means you also use the magazines you already own, making a CCU a relatively low-risk, low-cost proposition. Due to the cost of magazines, not to mention the hassle of organized storage of lots of different kinds of magazines, being able to use common ones or ones that a competitor might already own makes getting in to PCC less complicated.  Of course, conversions like the CCU aren’t the only way to do it. 4. Trojan Firearms PRO9V1-M ($1,550) Trojan Firearms’ purpose built pistol caliber carbine One of the most unique options in this space is the Trojan Firearms PRO9V1-M ($1,550) .  Built from the ground up as a pistol-caliber carbine, it uses standard 2011 pistol magazines.  While these magazines are quite expensive, if you have already invested in a 2011 in 9mm, it means you are already halfway to what you need to play in a PCC division. It’s also an advantage in sports like 3GN, where 9mm 2011s are popular pistols, because the competitor can use the same magazines during a stage for both their pistol and their PCC. More likely to be useful to the rest of us are PCCs that use magazines from more popular and affordable pistols. 5. Nordic Components NPCC ($1,599) Nordic Components "Pistol Caliber Carbine" The Nordic Components NCPCC ($1,599) is one of these options, and is unusual in that it is user-configurable to accept either Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P magazines.  It is otherwise like most common PCCs and operates like a standard AR-15, with almost all parts interchangeable with standard AR-15s. That makes it easy to set up with your preferred stock, handguard, grip, and even trigger. It’s an excellent option for someone who wants to get off the ground quickly, but keep the flexibility of being able to customize the gun over time as they get more competition experience with it. 6. Quarter Circle 10 Lower ($285) and MUR Upper ($180) Quarter Circle’s Pistol Caliber Upper and Lower together makes for a great start to building the ultimate pistol caliber carbine for competition. For the ultimate in a custom PCC, though, Quarter Circle 10 was one of the first manufacturers to release upper and lower receivers specifically for pistol calibers. Their designs are largely based on Glock magazines, though they also make a lower that works with the magazines for the Colt and CMMG takes on the PCC. Outside of a few proprietary parts necessary to make the rifle function with pistol-caliber ammunition (and that are included with the receivers), you can build your own just like any other AR-15 . Final Thoughts on PCCs These aren’t the only options in the PCC world, just a sampling of popular choices that have been made in the competition arena.  A more complete list can be found on the Brian Enos forums , one of the best discussion forums for competitive shooters, and offerings new this year and without a lot of data yet are summarized by Michael Bane . So, are you ready to play? Whether you’re a seasoned competitor, looking for a way to dip your toe in with a brand new sport or division where everyone is on a learning curve, or just want to practice with your shiny new home-defense PCC , pistol-caliber carbine competition might be for you.  Try it out, and report back!

1911 80% Tactical Machining Build, Part 5: Cutting the Slide Rail

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Finally got the Tactical Machining 1911 Jig in the mail so I threw the 80% in there and got ready to cut the slide rails. This is probably the hardest cut so I figured I’d do it first in case I messed up. Disclaimer again. Setup You’ll also need the bits, drill press, sliding vise, calipers, & Dykem I mentioned in Part 2 .  Tighten everything down and make sure you can smoothly move the main axis of the sliding vise. 1911 Slide Cutting Setup Measurements Double check your resources and measure your slide with a good caliper.  For me, I am going to cut down .105″ from the top, and go .05″ deep.  The 3/32″ keyseat cutter comes out to be .09375″ while the slide’s thickness is .12″, so there will be some filing.  The square file in the file set tapers from around .09″ to .011″ so it should be good to go. Dykem & Marking Before you put the 80% into the jig, paint some Dykem on it.  I got excited and put it into the jig first before painting so you’ll see blue all over the jig in the pictures.  I would put it thicker next time too.  Do it in some well-ventilated place and let it dry.  Measure off .105″ on your caliper and lock it.  I put the edge of the caliper on the top of the paperweight and let the sharp edge cut into the Dykem.  Perfect! "Tactical Machining 1911" 80%, Jig, and Dykem Vise Put the jig with the 80% into your vise.  Make sure you’ll have enough space to move everything around.  Last thing you want to do is reset halfway through when your jig hits the drill press.  I’m definitely guilty… Get into Position The TM jig fits well but you cannot expect it to hold the 80% perfectly level.  Use your level and if needed, move the jig around. Leveling 1911 80% Move everything closer to each other so you can change the height of the bit.  I prefer to move the bit up and down rather than the platform. Cutting Measure twice…or ten times, then get ready to cut.  I went for something around .04″ deep for the first cut.  Make sure you hold the jig steady and not yank it…you can see my deeper cut about half an inch from the right side.  Then just go nice and slow while holding the line you cut into the Dykem with the caliper. Cutting 1911 Rails Watch out when you near the end since I had the bit jump.  Nothing a little filing can’t fix! 1911 Rail Cutting Booboo I measured and everything was good, with just some variations from .04″ to .045,” so I went ahead with a second pass to get the proper end depth. I setup the other side and did the same thing. "1911 Rail Cutting" Opposite Side Keep the jig as is so you can do the barrel seating cut next.  You’ll have plenty of time to file and lap the slide to fit the frame. Next Lesson Part 1: Intro (Finding the 80%) Part 2: Tools Part 3: Parts List Part 4: Basic Fitting Part 5: Cutting the Slide Rail Part 6: Barrel Seating Part 7: Hammer & Sear Pin Holes Part 8: Fitting the Slide Part 9: Assembly & Fitting Part 10: GunKote Application

Summary

AR 15 grips are typically pretty similar. They vary is different sizes and designs. My preferred AR 15 grip is typically the BCM Gunfighter 3.