Gear Review: AR500 Armor Lightweight Level III+ Plates


The body armor market has been an explosion of innovation in the last 30 years. There is such a wide variety of new materials, from Kevlar and Aramid fiber soft vest designs to new Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) plates, that there is always something new to experiment with. With the recent AR500 craze in reusable steel targets, many shooters immediately made the obvious logical leap to using ultra-hard steel as body armor (although the idea of using metal plates as body armor isn’t exactly new). The main problem with that is that steel, unlike Polyethylene or ceramic compounds, is extremely heavy, which makes the already uncomfortable task of wearing body armor even more taxing. But AR500 Armor has developed some new lightweight plates which deliver excellent protection in a slim profile, and I shot the crap out of them to see how they stack up . . .

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Gear Review: Target Factory Complete Target Frame


Here when I thought I was just the holsters and hand guards testing guy, our editorial staff throws me for a loop. I’m now responsible for targets as well, and today’s entry is the Target Factory Complete Target Frame. The CTF is the A-frame you see above and includes six of the small plastic bottles seen hanging below. The Target Factory folks were nice enough to send along some of their large bowling pins along with an extra six pack of small bottles. I had to supply my own clays. Frustration and destruction soon followed the unboxing . . .

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Gear Review: Odin Works 16.1″ Intermediate Barrel


Last year I tested out a KeyMod hand guard from ODIN Works that I really enjoyed. While perusing their website, I noticed that ODIN sells barrels of their own creation as well. I filed that away in the memory bank until I was sitting around discussing barrels with some fellow writers at an event. One of the them raved about how good his ODIN barrel was. That stepped up my interest to “intrigued”. . .

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AR-15 Flash Hider Shootout


In Muzzle Brake Shootouts Part 1 and Part 2, we were primarily testing recoil reduction performance. With something like 64 brakes and comps recoil tested, it was time to move onto muzzle flash. For this shootout we were able to gather 33 different muzzle devices — mostly dedicated flash hiders but also some hybrid units — and pit them against each other for flash suppression prowess. Not only did we capture photographs of each FH in action, but with the use of a trick light meter we were able to record actual brightness measurements and scored some real, objective data. . .

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Gear Review: Can Can Big Shebang Hip Hugger Concealed Carry Holster


RF makes a big deal out of packaging. He says part of the Springfield XD’s success is due to the careful and classy way the gun and its accessories are packaged in a sturdy, attractive case – as opposed to the GLOCK’s flimsy “throw it all in” container. As the firearms industry gears-up to appeal to women – who now account for some 30 percent of new sales – a lot of the new, smaller players know that style matters, from start to finish. Enter the Can Can Big Shebang Hip Hugger Concealed Carry Holster . . .

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Gear Review: Mika Pocket Holster for the Kahr P380


Over the years, my “pocket pistols” have started migrating to a belt holster for convenience and comfort. But I’ve always a need for ultra-deep concealment. And no pocket pistol is complete without a pocket holster. While a $15 made-in-China nylon special from your local big-box retailer is more than merely adequate for trigger protection, I decided to take a slightly different path. Enter the Mika pocket holster. . .

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Gear Review: Hogue Fancy Hardwood Grips


In March I finally got around to writing a review on the excellent Hogue G-10 grips that have adorned my CZ for years, plus the matching AR-15 grip and trigger guard that I picked up later. Hogue saw that review and reached out to see if there might be a different product I’d like to check out and, indeed, I’ve always wanted to gussy up my old Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag with some real purdy grips that not only looked nice but also helped with control and recoil. A few days later, a one-piece Rosewood Laminate with Stripe Cap grip was at my door. . .

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Gear Review: Liberal Penetrator Solvent & Liberal Tears Gun Oil


As any astute reader of TTAG knows, the issue of gun rights issue tends to be a black and white one. Republicans = good on guns. Democrats = bad on guns. Every conservative everywhere agrees that everyone, everywhere should have guns. And those stinky, no good, liberal hippies won’t be satisfied until we’re all disarmed so every gay pot farmer can marry their box turtle. As such, any victory for the gun rights side results in a copious river of tears that God fearing conservatives can use to lubricate their firearms. Luckily, some enterprising Americans went to the trouble of bottling all those liberal tears for your lubrication pleasure . . .

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Liberty Mystic to Mystic X Upgrade Process


Mystic-MysticXUpon successfully escaping CA in my move back to WA, I had decided that a suppressor would be my first prize; my first freedom present to myself. After a bit of research and shopping around, Liberty Suppressors’ Mystic was firmly at the top of the list. A 9mm pistol can with swappable mounts and the ability to function extremely well on everything from .22 LR to .300 BLK to 5.56? Yes, please! Talk about bang for the $200 tax stamp buck and, at the time, the 10-month wait. Although it has served me well for a couple of years and many thousands of rounds of various calibers, it was time for an upgrade to the Mystic X. . .

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Gear Review: Revision Hellfly Ballistic Sunglasses


BEHLEW writes:

I’ve spent the last month wearing Hellfly Ballistic Sunglasses with Photochromatic lenses. The lenses offer ballistic defense; they can take a shotgun blast without any of the projectiles penetrating. These glasses are issued to the military and sold as eye protection for shooters. Even if you’re not an operator operating operationally, you can tell all your friends that you’re wearing MIL-SPEC eye wear, which I may or may not have done several times. But here’s what I did do: test the Hellfly sunglasses as a motorcyclist. Fair enough? We report you decide. . .

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