Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock
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It’s hard for new products to break through the noise of SHOT Show and attract much attention. Especially an item that’s considered as basic and boring as a gun lock. But that’s the feat that ZORE managed this year when they cut through the clutter with a design that’s anything but the same old thing.

ZORE’s X Core gun lock is unlike any other device we’ve seen for securing a handgun. Unlike cables that thread through the action or clamps that cover or block the trigger, the ZORE X Core gun lock is a caliber-specific combination-actuated unit with a cartridge-shaped extension that sits inside the chamber, preventing the gun from firing.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

The Israeli-designed X Core (it’s assembled in the US) has a large combination wheel or RAPIDial, as they call it. There are no numbers on the dial as the idea is to count the detent clicks as you rotate it. That’s an advantage as it lets you operate the X Core in the dark. Also a plus: you can use the dial in either direction…you don’t always have to rotate the dial clockwise, for instance, to begin the sequence.

ZORE’s promo video does a good job of illustrating the idea:

You don’t have to be an IDF operator to use the ZORE X Core, but don’t expect to figure it out without reading the instructions. This isn’t a simple key or combination thingy.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

The solid, almost jewel-like lock is impressively finished and has a feel of precision. It ships with a scratch-off backup unlocking code that you’ll need to use the lock the first time. While you can easily set your own combination, things happen and memories fade. You’ll want to keep the card in a safe place in case you ever need it.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

The 9×19 X Core ships with a removable plastic cover over the chamber protrusion.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

Once you reveal the backup code and enter it, you can remove the cover and mount the X Core in a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. ZORE lists the supported models here.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

The X Core lock runs on a CR2 battery that will last for years under normal use. There’s a series of three LEDs on the top of the lock that let you know when the correct combination’s been entered, when the battery charge is getting low and help when you’re setting your own combination.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

Once the unit is inserted in the chamber and the lock is activated, that extension expands, clamping itself inside the chamber and preventing the lock from being removed. The extension has a rim, just like a standard cartridge, that’s engaged by the extractor and lets you rack the slide and quickly eject the unlocked X Core (see the video above).

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

We tried the ZORE X Core in a GLOCK 43, a Beretta APX and an FN-S 9C and had no problems using it just as it was designed. It engaged surely and firmly.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

There’s no such thing as a gun lock that can’t be picked or removed given enough time, tools and effort. That said, the ZORE Core X seems far more secure than any cable or trigger locks we’ve ever tried.

We attempted to remove it by disengaging the extractor, but…nothing. We couldn’t get it to back out of the chamber. The extension was still engaged and wouldn’t budge. ZORE claims that if a thief saws the main unit off of the extension when locked, the chamber unit will remain in place. We didn’t give that a try.

Gear Review: ZORE X Core 9mm Gun Lock

The only other consideration is speed of access. The idea of a lock like this is to let you keep a firearm close at hand while making sure that children or other unauthorized individuals can’t use it. But when you need the gun, you don’t want to fumble with it. You need it operational and available ASAP.

The process of unlocking the ZORE X Core is easy enough. Enter your combination, get a green LED confirmation, and press the yellow-rimmed release button on the back end. Then rack the pistol (which ejects the lock like an empty cartridge) and your GTG.

How long that takes is a function of your combination (you can make it as long or short as you’d like) and practice.

An owner of an X Core would do well to practice opening and ejecting the lock a number of times to ensure that they can unlock and remove it quickly and smoothly if and when the time comes. It isn’t difficult at all. But like all things, practice helps. There are a few steps in the process and it can be kludgy at first. Some repetition will ensure you can get it done when it counts. And yes, the X Core is California-compliant.

The ZORE X Core is an ingenious design that appears to be about the most secure option for keeping your pistol accessible outside of a safe. If you have kids and can’t or don’t want to keep your nine in a safe, you’ll sleep well at night with an X Core on your pistol.


Caliber: 9mm (Zore says .40 and .45 models are on the way)
Battery: CR2 (2-3 years of normal use)
Weight: 4.8 oz.
Length: 2.77 inches
Width: 1.78 inches
Height: 1.32 inches
Price: $119.00

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Build Quality: * * * * *
The X Core is ingeniously designed and beautifully built. It oozes a feeling of quality and precision. It operated smoothly and surely every time (hundreds) we tried it.

Ease of Use: * * * *
At its heart, it’s a combination lock. An easy one to use that you don’t have to look at. But there are a few steps involved in accessing your gun. A little practice will ensure you’re able to unlock your pistol in a hurry if you need to.

Overall: * * * * 1/2
The ZORE X Core gun lock may be the most secure way to lock a handgun that’s stored outside a safe. We’ve tried other options that give you slightly quicker access in an emergency, but the X Core seems — by far — to be the hardest to defeat. And for a lot of gun owners, particularly those with children, that’s job one. It isn’t inexpensive, but the X Core is well worth the investment.

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    • @Draven

      I have a few thoughts on that.
      1) Its a good intermediate safety device when you can not have on body control of the firearm.
      2) Compared to a static safe this device would at the minimum allow you to move off the “X” of having to stand in one position while fumbling at the safe controls. You would be able to grab and move taking the locking device with you to a more secure location…

      Although if you watch enough youtube videos some have a hard time getting it to work properly – I for one find it unique and may buy one to try it and make my own decision if it is ready for PRIME TIME – or just another thing for the holster box.

  1. Many security products fail in pretty spectacular ways once scrutinized by experts. Take a look at the “LockPickingLawyer” YouTube channel for some amazing examples that will make you cringe how bad many locks truly are.

  2. I followed this gizmo when it was still in its intro stages. My problem with it is that is not compatible with very many firearms. Its an interesting idea, but you can’t rollout a thing like this and go, “Good for glocks!” and thats it.

    It may suck as the cost to do many sizes and shapes can be insanely expensive, but none the less, thats kinda what you have to do.

    Right now, I just consider it a niche item for glock owners.

      • Yes, that’s an FNS-9c. As the text makes clear, we tried it with the FN, a Beretta and a G43. If you click on the link in the review above, you can see the X Core works with dozens of 9mm models from 25 different manufacturers. Even GLOCKs!

    • Maybe the question should be “What happened to all the other calibers they promised?” I was in from day one on the Indegogo campaign in 2016 and am still waiting for the 556/223 version for my black rifle:(

  3. Way too complicated…and expensive…esp when compared to all of the free locks available just for the taking and/or the asking !!!! ABJ

  4. Went to their web site and checking compatibility is a pain. You need to select your manufacturer from a drop down, then select your model from a different drop down. It would be much nicer if they just provided a table listing guns with a check box in the “compatible,” “not tested” or “not compatible” column.

    But then that might make it look like it was not compatible with very many different guns.

    Interesting idea, but with the same problem as any other trigger lock, too long to get it gtg. However, one could possibly put this thing in the chamber and have a full magazine inserted so when you racked the slide to eject the lock, it would chamber a round and you really would be gtg, or GTG.

  5. This “lock” still appears to rely on simply pressing outward against the smooth inside of the chamber — I’m sure it presses outward very firmly, obviously it presses outward firmly enough that you can’t simply rack the slide normally to eject it while it is “locked”, but…

    Inherently isn’t it just acting exactly like a stuck case? It seems likely that it would succumb to the same techniques used to remove any stuck case – it might require more force than a typical stuck case, but bottom line there is still nothing holding it in place beyond its friction against the smooth inside of the chamber.

  6. “ZORE’s X Core gun lock is unlike any other device we’ve seen for securing a handgun.”

    You’ve seen it before, right here in TTAG about 2 years back or so.

    …and it was a bit different then. I recall the version then had no battery, it was purely mechanical in operation. I was pretty enthused about the concept back then.

    I’m glad they managed to get it to market. It’s intermediate protection, and as mentioned above, you can get off the ‘X’ with it and then deploy your weapon. A way to secure it to a cable would be nice, to keep the honest from walking off with your gun…

    • Anyone who owns one want to take a pencil and psh eraser side in, from the front of the barrel while pulling back on the slide?

      Inquiring minds.

  7. I bought 2 of them and after playing with it for a few weeks now I definitely see it being useful for specific situations.

    My wife an I don’t have any minors in the home but we do have family that will visit from time to time with those minor children. My routine in the past was to put the bedside firearms in the safe but I was always concerned about forgetting to do it or family popping by without notice. And anyone with young children will tell you they like to explore.

    I honestly, even with practice, can’t see myself leaving this locked all the time given my household makeup. However if we had children in the home (or extended visitors) is use them as opposed to putting them in the safe.

    I do have one question for TTAG: What’s California compliant about it?

      • Dan, I get that…I suppose my real question is what makes it compliant. I was thinking it’s not from a transport standpoint. Most be compliant in that if a child gets it you’re safe from a legal standpoint maybe?

        • I was curious about the transportation angle as well. I live in California which has some fairly strict laws. Can I use this as a cable lock substitute? Lock it (unloaded in CA), and use it to take to the range for instance? I understand that it is CA compliant for a home or residential standpoint.

    • “What’s California compliant about it?”

      As I understand it, California’s ‘requirements’ for certification are rather lame. Junk like those ‘Stack-On’ safes that can be defeated by a bored 3-year-old qualifies in California’s eyes…

  8. Speed at hand. The other night I thought someone other then myself was in my residence. I have a 1911A1 chamber loaded hammer on half cock on my beds headboard, I was wishing I had kept it cocked and locked. Then again maybe not, I’d have probably blown a hole in a ghost. Trigger locks are okay for some, not me.

  9. I got in on the indiegogo presale and have had one since the first batch shipped out. Initially I liked it and with some practice I could enter the four digit code in the dark in a split second.

    Problems began when the battery light started blinking after 2 months. Contacted customer service and was advised to change the battery, not a great look but ok whatever. Changed it and the battery reads good. Then it started forgetting the code I set. It REFUSED to open unless the factory 6 digit code was entered, and then it became about 1 in 3 times reliable. For something that is going to lock my carry weapon and needs to work 100% of the time all the time, for me it wasn’t ready for prime time. It’s now relegated to the junk drawer, and the pistol is back in its nightstand drawer.

    Then there is the issue of everything initially promised never materialized. This version is a stripped and watered down version of what was initially promised. I bought in because the wife was hounding me to “secure” my carry gun. Should have waited for gen 2 I guess

  10. Rms911 , you must not pay attention to da news! It seems every other day ,a little kid gets ahold of mommy’s or daddy’s gun and causes carnage. I heard it on Fox News Radio, therefore it must be true.
    That being said, this lock looks interesting, they even make it for Hi Point.

  11. Looks like it might come in handy for a variety of scenarios even if you don’t live in a state with ridiculously restrictive firearm security laws. Two that come to mind are visiting grandchildren and travel. It also might frustrate homeboy the airline baggage handler after he’s violated my checked luggage to grab the locked hardside container and steal my legally declared pistol.

    The most interesting aspect of Dan’s write up on the Zore-X is that it brings to light the number of negative imbeciles drawn to TTAG who feel compelled to comment and offer any reason their pea brain can muster as to why this gun lock and any other gun lock is worthless and should never be used.

  12. First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself
    and clear your head before writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.

    I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thank you!

    • I use a 12 gauge over/under to clear my head. It works very effectively and it is nice to write with the top down on a sunny day.


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