Tag Archives: Review

Next Level Armament NLX Charging Handle Review

Next Level Armament NLX223 Ambidextrous Charging Handle 001-1000

The Next Level Armament NLX223 Ambidextrous Charging Handle, made from 7075 aluminum, features two over-sized “ears” that provide a greater surface area to grab onto.

Due to the NLX223’s similar appearance to the AXTS Raptor Charging Handle, I opted to do a side-by-side comparison between the two.  (Note:  I only had one sample of the NLX223 and NLX308 for this review and multiple Raptors.  This review is only based on the sample received for the review.  Your experiences may vary.)

Next Level Armament NLX223 Ambidextrous Charging Handle 002-1000

At first glance, the NLX223 has a luster black finish while the Raptor has a dull black matte finish.  Both have white laser etched logos and writing on the top of the handle.  The NLX223 had minor visible tooling marks which do not appear to affect the functionality at all.

Next Level Armament NLX223 Ambidextrous Charging Handle 003-1000

The NLX223’s ambidextrous “ears” are larger than the Raptor’s and are evenly sized whereas the Raptor’s are both smaller and the (shooter’s) left side of the charging handle is smaller than the right.  Though this will come down to the shooter’s preference, I found that the NLX223’s large “ears”, particularly the left side, as I am a right handed shooter, tends to get caught on kit when slung across the chest.

Both the NLX223 and the Raptor provide similar ambidextrous functionality with two movable “ears” that can operate the charging handle from either side.  The NLX223 “ears” appear to operate in tandem, regardless which “ear” is pulled to the rear while the Raptor will only work in tandem when the right “ear” is pulled and the left operates alone when operated normally.

During operation of the NLX223 and the Raptor there is a noticeable difference between the smoothness of the two.  The Raptor provides a smooth and quiet operation while the NLX223  seemed to “bind” during operation and produced a minor “squeaking” noise when the right “ear” was used, but not as prominent the left.  During a fast “rack” of the charging handle, the squeaking is not readily noticeable.

During “racking” drills, the NLX223 caused some nominal marring on both the lower receiver (area above the buffer tube threads) and the area of the upper receiver where the charging handle slides in and out of.  This was caused by the inside bottom of both “ears” as there were mar marks on the charging handle as well.  This may or may not be a deal breaker for some.



The NLX223 is available for $80 from Next Level Armament.

Next Level Armament NLX223 and NLX308 Ambidextrous Charging Handles 001-1000

Next Level Armament also offers the big brother to the NLX223, the NLX308, which is designed for .308 AR’s.  Similar in design and functionality to the NLX223, the NLX308 is available for $90.

Next Level Armament NLX308 Ambidextrous Charging Handle 001-1000



Safariland Model 6360 ALS Holster Review


I recently changed my duty holster over from a Safariland SSIII to the Safariland Model 6360-832 Holster.   After almost a decade of drawing a handgun from a SSIII holster and defeating the retention mechanisms one way, it took a few hundred drawing repetitions  to change my “muscle memory”.  The end result was well worth the efforts.  Unlike some other holsters that require the draw to take on varying angles and twists, the ALS holster’s draw is straight up after retention devices have been defeated.

Additionally, the draw from a seated position, especially in a patrol car, is much more effortless than with the SSIII, which requires the handgun being rocked to the rear a fraction of an inch to defeat a level of retention, which usually means pressing it into the seat back.


A few of the benefits to note are the increased speed of the draw with the ALS compared to the SSIII as well as the security of conducting an immediate re-holster of the handgun.  With the SSIII I had to get at least one of the snaps fastened to semi-secure the handgun, while with the ALS all I was required to do was to “drop” the handgun back into the holster until it “clicked” or locked into a secure position, or as some would consider the first level of retention.


The ALS holster is considered a Level III holster, though it is also available in a Level IV with the addition of an optional sentry installed.  As viewed in the photo above, the first level of retention is underneath the hood with a “thumb break”, the second level being the hood, and the third being the hood guard, which looks like a shield to the left of the hood as pictured.  The purpose of the hood guard is to help prevent a gun grab from the front of the individual wearing the holster.  Not all body shapes are the same and some officers have found the hood guard to be uncomfortable.  For them, we have installed a sentry as their third level of retention in lieu of the guard.


The finish that I chose was the STX Plain Black and has held up fairly well over months of use and abuse.  There is one blemish that you can see on the bottom of the holster (pictured above), though in my honest opinion, it is just part of doing business.  The STX Plain Black finish has held up better than the previously issued SSIII holster’s finish from the holster that was initially issued to me a decade ago.


Though in the above photo, the holster looks huge, I have not had any issues with the size of the holster.  Additionally, I know that some will make mention about the HSGI Extended Pistol Taco Pouch holding the ASP Baton being too close to the handgun, effecting the draw.  When worn, the holster and the baton pouch are spread out enough due to the curvature of my body and they do not interfere with one another.


As seen from below, the light is not covered and the bottom of the holster is not sealed off.  I have had no problems with the light being damaged or even exposed to any hazards, however, with the opening, water and other minor debris cannot build up as it will drain out of the bottom of the holster.

For those who participate in NLTA (Non-Lethal Training Ammunition) Training (aka “Simunitions”), be mindful that the bottom of the interior of this holster has a “guide rod” that inserts into the barrel.  This “guide rod” is to maintain the handguns proper positioning and security inside the  holster when the light is not installed.  With the majority, if not all of the available “Sim Guns”, the barrel’s opening is off-set as not to allow live “real world” ammunition inadvertently being chambered and having the firing pin strike the primer of a live round.  That being said, the “guide rod” will not fit into the barrel of the “Sim Gun” and will not allow for a proper “seating” of the handgun in the holster.  This has never proven to be a deal breaker, but something to be mindful of when you cannot completely holster and secure your handgun during training.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this holster and would highly recommend it to any Law Enforcement / Military / Security personnel that require a secure and fast means of carrying their handgun in hazardous environments.  The holster retails between $147-$217 depending on options.  This is a fair price to pay considering the value of being able to retain your handgun when it truly matters.

For more information, check out the Safariland webpage.

Spool Tool by Tricorne


Tricorne Spool Tool 003-1000 (2)

Anyone who has spent any time in the military or who has had even an itch of survival skills has heard of or used Paracord (aka 550 cord).

A new company has entered the scene, Tricorne, which is named after the three cornered hat worn by the patriots that founded our great nation.


The fine folks at Tricorne have created the “Spool Tool” (Patent Pending) which is, per their webpage, “a device that is used for storing, cutting, measuring, and finishing Paracord and other rope, cord, line, string, and twine.” The “Spool Tool” is 100% made in the U.S.A. and Tricorne is an LLC based out of San Diego, CA and is a veteran owned and family operated business.


From Tricorne:
“The Spool Tool was an idea born out in the field. While watching a group of people work with paracord, I noticed the difficulties everyone was having with the paracord unraveling, getting tangled up, knotting, and generally becoming a big pain to handle. Then came the added problem of keeping your blade/scissors and lighter close at hand. Unexpectedly, the idea for a tool to manage it all was born…the Spool Tool.”

Spool Tool Features:

  • Can be Purchased with 100% Nylon, Type III, Commercial Paracord
  • Lenox Standard Utility Blade (Replaceable): Shatter Proof, Titanium Nitrite Coated
  • All Stainless Steel Hardware including Spare Nut and Screw
  • 2 Paracord Attachment Points
  • Holder for Mini-BIC Lighter
  • 8 Burn Slots with Various Sizing to Accommodate Different Thickness of Cord
  • Carabineer/Lanyard Hole
  • American Made – Built and Designed for a Lifetime of Use

My first thought of the “Spool Tool” was, why didn’t they have this when I was in the military? My second thought was, why didn’t I think of this? The spool itself feels virtually indestructible and though simple in function, it is well thought out and designed.

The razor blade, though it will last a lot longer than the 50′ of paracord will, was extremely simple to replace. Two screws that are attached to the spool via a small nut on the reverse side are all it takes to remove the cover and to reattach once the blade has been changed out.


From what I understand, the BIC lighter will not be included with the Spool Tool when shipping is required, though it may be included when it is offered for sale in stores. At a cost of around $1 and found for sale virtually everywhere you can pick up a pack of smokes, it is a moot point whether or not the lighter is included. And if you are worried that the lighter’s “button” will be pressed while in your bag, don’t fret, Tricorne has already thought of that and has included a tab that blocks any inadvertent attempts to lose all of your lighter fluid.


To use the Spool Tool, select your length of paracord that you need and cut with the razor blade:



Place the end of the paracord through one of the burn slots (multiple different sizes):


Burn the tip of the frayed paracord until you have a “bubble” of burnt material:


Pull the paracord through the burn slot and the “bubble” of burnt material will form to a finer point. (If you desire, I found that if there is excess dried hard material on the end of the paracord, it can be trimmed by using the razor blade with ease.):


For such a simplistic piece of equipment, the Spool Tool offers a big bang for your buck for what your receive.   Tricorne now offers multiple color variations of not only the paracord, but the Spool Tool also comes in black, coyote, orange and blue.

Tricorne Spool Tools in a variety of colors 001-1000
Spool Tool’s are available for purchase on their webpage and you can follow them on Facebook as well.

Elzetta Design – Tactical Lighting Redefined


Elzetta Design Charlie Light with High Output Bezel 033-1000 Hitting the tactical market in 2007, Elzetta Design has become one of the most respected names in high quality and durable lighting.   Improving drastically with LED technology over the miniature incandescent bulbs of the past, handheld lights are no longer what they were a decade ago. Available in three different body lengths, the Alpha (1 cell), the Bravo (2 cell), and the Charlie (3 cell), the configurations of the Elzetta lights are nearly endless by changing the lens, bezel and tail cap options.

The lights are available with the following options by body style:

Alpha Light (1 Cell)

Elzetta Design Alpha Light 007-1000
Alpha Light shown with optional Speed Clip and makes for a perfect EDC light.
  • Lens: Standard or Flood
  • Bezel: Standard or Crenellated
  • Tail Cap: Rotary, Click,  Alpha High-Low,  High-Strobe, Remote Tape Switch (12″ cable), or Remote Tape Switch (5″ cable)
  • Custom Laser Engraving

Bravo Light (2 Cell)

Elzetta Design Bravo Light with Low Profile Bezel 001
Bravo Light with Low Profile Bezel and Malkoff M60 Lens
  • Lens: Malkoff M60 (235 lumen – 2.5 hour), Malkoff M60F (235 lumen flood – 2.5 hour), AVS Module (650 lumen), or AVS Module (650 lumen flood)
  • Bezel: Standard, Low Profile, Crenellated, Standard (AVS), or Crenellated (AVS)
  • Tail Cap: Rotary, Click, High-Low, High-Strobe, Remote Tape Switch (12″ cable), or Remote Tape Switch (5″ cable)
  • Custom Laser Engraving

Charlie Light (3 Cell)

Elzetta Design Charlie Light with High Output Bezel  023-1000
Charlie Light with AVS High Output Module and Crenellated Bezel
  • Lens: Malkoff M60 (235 lumen – 3.7 hour), Malkoff M60F (235 lumen flood – 3.7 hour), AVS Module (900 lumen), or AVS Module (900 lumen flood)
  • Bezel: Standard, Low Profile, Crenellated, Standard (AVS), or Crenellated (AVS)
  • Tail Cap: Rotary, Click, High-Low, High-Strobe, Remote Tape Switch (12″ cable), or Remote Tape Switch (5″ cable)
  • Custom Laser Engraving


As you can see from the options above the lumens available on the Elzetta lights range from 235 to 900 lumens.  There is a misnomer with how lumens work and some believe that lumens=brightness, when in fact lumens are how much light is thrown from the lens regardless of how wide the spread is.  I could reinvent the wheel in explaining this idea, but Elzetta’s Dave Barnett does a much better job of explanation it in this video.


Tougher Than Nails.
Tougher Than Nails.

You could just take my word that the Elzetta lights are really tougher than nails, or you could watch a few videos showing proof.  The first video is one I shot at SHOT Show 2011 which shows Dave Barnett using an Elzetta light, while turned on, as a hammer to punch a nail into a 2×4.  The remainder of the video shows Elzetta’s product line as it was 3 years ago.  There have been some updates and additions since then. The second video is from Dustin Ellermann, you know, the guy from Top Shot, where he takes an Elzetta light and drops it out of a helicopter from 300 feet onto concrete.

If these videos are not proof enough, there are more, like the one where Dave Barnett submerges an Elzetta light under water, disassembles it, and reassembles it under water with full functionality afterward. Overall, these lights are solid, will hold up to a lifetime of use and abuse, and will provide a lot of light throw when and where you need it.  I personally carry a Bravo light with a High Output AVS Module (600 Lumen) on my duty belt and only need to replace the batteries (2x CR123’s) about once a month while working swing shift.  I’m sure I would need to replace them more often if I were working nights. Elzetta also offers various mounts for their lights such as the ZRX Lightweight Mount  and the ZFH1500.  Both of these mounts will accept a 1 inch in diameter light. The ZRX will fit in any picatinny rail slot and any weight gain with this mount is not noticeable at just 1.1 oz.

Elzetta Design ZRX Lightweight Light Mount 001-1000

Elzetta ZRX Lightweight Light Mount The ZFH1500 Light Mount allows the light to be mounted in the 6 o’clock position under the barrel while attached to the open space of a standard A1 or A2 front sight base.  The tail cap of the light is exposed in the back, allowing for ease of use.  A pressure switch tail cap can also be installed on any of the Elzetta lights.

Elzetta Design Bravo Light in a ZFH1500 Mount 005-1000
Elzetta ZFH1500 Light Mount with Bravo Light.

If you are looking for a light that will last you long enough to hand down to your grand-kids, then Elzetta is a great option for you to rely on for years to come. For more information on Elzetta or to purchase any of their products, please visit http://www.elzetta.com.

Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier Review

Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier and Magazine Pouches 023-1000

Grey Ghost Gear has brought a new plate carrier to the market. The Minimalist Plate Carrier has been dubbed a “lighter and better plate carrier with a minimum of thrills, but a ton of function”. This new play carrier was designed to carry 10×12 hard plates and large ESAPI plates. The carrier offers six rows of MOLLE/PALS style webbing and built-in matching loop material on the top three rows for the option of attaching patches or ID panels. Discreetly placed on the front side of the carrier is a stash pocket. That makes perfect storage for small items that may be needed readily.


The Minimalist Plate Carrier is only made in one size to fit most body types with the shoulder straps being adjustable and integrated elastic side straps, giving you the ability to keep a snug fit, while still allowing for unexpected dynamic motion. Designed to stand up in hard use situations. The carrier is constructed from MIL-SPEC materials and is lined with air mesh for comfort and breath-ability. The plate carrier is available two colors; Coyote Brown and Multi-Cam.


True to the name, the Minimalist Plate Carrier is not going to offer you an overabundance of options or features, but for those who have a need for a carrier that is not going to overburdened them, especially those who need to be in environments with restricted or tight spaces will find the carrier to be a good solution.


Individuals that find themselves working in a Personal Security Detail with the need to have a lower footprint with the amount of gear that they are wearing a find at this plate carrier is easily concealed, while still affording them the protection of heavy plates. Additionally, dignitaries who have to work in or travel through hazardous environments may find the use of this minimalist carrier to be less restrictive and overly noticeable.


Donning and doffing this plate carrier is a cinch with the two side buckles securing the front and back portions of the carrier together securely. I found the adjustment of the shoulder straps and the side straps to be very simplistic and quick to accomplish. Though this is a minimalist carrier, I found this carrier to be extremely comfortable with the interior padding on front and back sides of each panel. Though some may not like the fact that the plate is visible from the exterior of the carrier and allows more functionality with different heavy plate types and does not add more material where it is not needed.

Grey Ghost Gear Minimalist Plate Carrier and Magazine Pouches with Heckler and Koch MR556A1 Rifle 001-1000

Grey Ghost Gear is offering this plate carrier at an affordable price for any wallet, which is currently offered at a sale price of $105.80.

For more information, go to the Grey Ghost Gear website at:  http://www.greyghost.com/rigs/minimalist-plate-carrier-large


This review was originally posted on Weapon Evolution.


Blade-Tech Handgun Training Barrel Review

Blade-Tech, a company who is well known for their handgun, Taser, and accessory holsters, also produce many other great products for the gunfighter, trainer, or weekend shooter.  One of those products is their training barrel, which were developed exclusively for the professional LE/MIL and Civilian Firearms Training Industry.

Blade-Tech Training Barrel 006_1000

When I was searching for a training option for building clearing, non-firing movement drills, and introducing new shooters to a firearm, I had considered purchasing a blue/red gun.  Though the blue/red guns have their place in training, they do not offer the realistic feel and function of a real firearm.  In reality a blue/red gun is a chunk of plastic that is molded to simulate what a specific handgun looks like.  Blue/Red guns do not have the functionality of a true firearm and obviously do not have the same feel with weight and texture.  If you are going to train, train realistically.  If your handgun has a safety, shouldn’t you practice disengaging and reengaging the safety throughout your training sessions?

Blade-Tech Training Barrel 003_1000

Aside from wanting a training option for what has previously been mentioned, one of my training rituals is “dry-fire” practice.  It should be in every shooters ritual.  Prior to “dry-fire” drills, the individual performing the drill shall ensure that a magazine is not inserted into the handgun and both visually and physically check that their handgun’s chamber is clear of any ammunition.  Once the handgun is determined to be clear, the individual should ensure that they do not have any sources of ammunition on their person, or around their training area.  Once all of these tasks have been completed, the individual conducting the “dry-fire” practice should ensure that they point their weapon in a safe direction and not to point their handgun at anything that they are not willing to destroy.  I could go on and on about how many checks and balances are needed when ensuring your handgun is clear, having it pointed in a safe direction, etc.  However, time after time I hear about someone performing “dry-fire” practice and even after they think that they have mitigated any possibilities that their weapon will not fire, they still end up shooting something (TV, cat, wall, loved one, etc.) either during or directly after the training session.

Blade-Tech Training Barrel 001_1000

Enter the solution.  As long as you are capable of field stripping your handgun to the point of being able to remove the barrel and correctly putting it back together, you have the capability of switching out your “functional” barrel for a “training” barrel.  The Blade-Tech Training Barrel is made out of a strong yellow impact-resistant material that will resist harsh chemicals and withstand intense training scenarios.  The Training Barrel has a solid core which will not allow ammunition to inadvertently be chambered.  And with its bright yellow appearance, there is no mistaking to you and to others around you that the weapon is completely safe and incapable of firing.  However, while handling your handgun with the Training Barrel in place, you should still treat your handgun as if it were loaded and continue to only point it in a safe direction.  Also, aside from the inability to actually fire ammunition out of the barrel, or performing full malfunction clearance drills (with ammunition), the Training Barrels allow you to have full functionality of your handgun to include racking the slide and performing Primary Malfunction Clearance drills (Tap, Rack and Roll, Assess).

Blade-Tech Training Barrel 008_1000

The benefits of the Training Barrel far outweigh the drawbacks when using this barrel.  Honestly, the only drawback to using the Training Barrel is having to field strip your handgun to replace the barrel.  Depending on what type of handgun you are using, this could be negligible.  Breaking my 1911 down takes me a little bit more time than my Glock, which I can have broken down and reassembled in just under 30 seconds.

Blade-Tech Training Barrel 002_1000

In all I own three Training Barrels, one for my Glock 21, one for my Glock 19, and one for my Colt 1911 platform.  At a cost of around $13.99 each, it is very reasonable to have one for each handgun owned.  If I were to purchase a blue gun for each of the three handguns I have Training Barrels for, it would have cost me around $144.00 instead of around $42.

Available for the following handguns:  1911 (Commander/Full Size/Officer), FN (P9/P40/P45), Glock (17/19/20/21/22/23/31/32),  Kimber Custom TLE, Para Ord (12/13/14/16) , S&W M&P (9/40), Sig (220/220R/226/228/229), and the Springfield (XD40/XDM40).

Click HERE for more information on the Blade-Tech webpage.

Drink in Style with Battle Mug

If you are looking to stand out while drinking your favorite beverage (alcoholic or not), check out the Battle Mug BattleComp Drink.Oh! 7oz Highball Glass and the Bullet Shot.

The BattleComp Drink.Oh! 7oz Highball Glass is a heavy duty chunk of billet aluminum made to resemble the infamous BattleComp AR Compensator and at least for a few batches, were serial numbered, adding to their appeal.

The Battle Mug BattleComp 7oz Highball Glass


Holding four fluid ounces, the Bullet Shot will definitely trump any other shot glasses out there.  Made in the USA out of a huge chunk of aluminum billet, this 7 inch long shot glass weighs in around 1 lbs.  The solid aluminum bullet cap firmly secures inside the casing with an o-ring.


The Battle Mug Bullet Shot



Battle Mug Bullet Shot 011-1000


Though the cost of both of these drinking apparatuses ($109 and $79 respectfully) will probably prevent you from  buying a full set for all of your friends, they will definitely still be a great conversation starter and will make you stand out at any party.


Diamondhead-USA Diamond Polymer Sights

Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 023-1024

Diamondhead-USA has released their new Diamond (Flip-Up) Polymer Sight for both the front and rear sighting needs of your AR-15 and Modern Sporting Rifles.  These sights are built with advanced polymer/composite construction for strength, lightweight and exceptional durability.  Both of these sights can be used with any other Diamondhead-USA diamond-shaped apertures.  Similar in function to Diamondhead-USA’s already popular line of Diamond sights, the Polymer versions also allow for faster target acquisition and sight alignment when used as a pair against the speed of traditional back-up sighting systems.  As with the Diamond sights, the new Polymer sights will feature the proprietary reference posts and horizon bars.

Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 007-1024

The Diamondhead-USA Polymer Rear Sight will function just as well with AR-15’s fitted with a factory handguard and a fixed front sight or can be paired with any picatinny rail-mounted Diamondhead-USA front sight.  These sights include a NiteBrite™ Photoluminescent Insert that can be charged by either natural light or with a flashlight.  The photoluminescence is more cost effective than tritium, but does require a light source to charge prior to using.

Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 012-1024

Both sights are spring-loaded and will flip up quickly with the push of a button and will stay up securely until they are no longer needed and can be folded down flat without the need of pressing a button again to release a locking mechanism.  The push buttons offer a large surface and positive texture to engage the sights into the open position.  The push buttons have enough resistance that should mitigate any accidental engagements of the sights until they are needed, though will not require brute force to activate.  The rear sight will fold down completely with either the small or large aperture in position which is unlike a lot of back-up sights that use a 90 degree swivel for their dual-apertures that do not allow the sight to fully close depending on which aperture is chosen.

Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 010-1024 Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 009-1024 Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 008-1024

The rear sight allows you to select one of three sighting options with a small aperture for precision shooting, a large aperture for CQB/CQC shooting, and the absence of a rear aperture by selecting the flat mid-position for use with the diamond-shaped sight exteriors and photoluminescent inserts, particularly useful in low-light CQB/CQC scenarios.

Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 002-1024

For installation, both the front and rear sights will need to be slid onto the picatinny rail and secured with the included nut and bolt which is installed with a cross-tip screwdriver.

Diamondhead-USA Polymer Sights 006-1024

The rear sight’s windage knob is adjustable with a flat-head screwdriver or similar sized flat metal object in 0.5 MOA steps.  I attempted to use a dime to see if that would work in a pinch and found that it would not fit to turn the dial.  On the front sight there is no need for special sighting tools for adjusting elevation.  To adjust the elevation, there is a dial on the rear of the sight that can be adjusted to the right or to the left of the shooter in order to raise or lower the elevation.  The elevation dial is recessed and has enough tension applied to prevent any inadvertent adjustments.  I was able to adjust the elevation dial by using a fingernail; however, you may want to have a smaller flat-head screwdriver on hand if you find the fingernail method not to work in your favor.


As with other polymer backup sights, the Diamondhead-USA Polymer front sight is not suitable for gas block mounting due to heat-related issues from the barrel damaging the polymer.  Diamondhead-USA recommends that the polymer sights should be only mounted on picatinny rail sections and flattop upper receivers.


For those who will be running the Diamondhead-USA Polymer sights with an electronic optic, these sights are same plane for both apertures and are at the same exact height as factory A2 sights.


Diamondhead-USA offers a lifetime warranty on their Diamond Polymer Sights and states; “If a Diamondhead product fails at any time due to defects in material or workmanship it will be repaired or replaced at no charge.”


The Diamondhead-USA Diamond (Flip-Up) Polymer Sights are expected to be introduced at $119.95 for the set and are anticipated to be released for sale sometime after the 2014 SHOT Show.  The SHOT Show is right around the corner from January 14-17, 2014, at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.  If you plan on attending SHOT Show, make sure you stop by and check out the Diamondhead-USA product line at booth #8503.


For more information about Diamondhead-USA, check out their webpage at http://diamondhead-usa.com/.

Review originally written for Arms Collective by zero7one.

The Pointman glove by Line of Fire Tactical



Line of Fire Tactical has developed a glove dubbed “Pointman”.  Gloves come in many shapes, sizes, and purposes whether it be rubber medical-grade gloves for a doctor, cowhide split leather gloves for a construction worker, or in this particular case, tactical shooting gloves for the military serviceman, police officer, competitive shooter, or just about anyone who wants to protect their hands while shooting.  Of the three main purposes of gloves, protection, grip, and warmth, the Pointman covers two of them quite well and the latter on less than frigid days.


Utilizing patented micro-replicated technology, the Pointman uses a unique gripping system that combines a high friction surface with thin flexible backing.  Used alone the grip system provides a strong and secure grip in wet and dry environments.  Used in a two-part system, the strength of the grip is maximized, though the grip will release instantly when needed.




The grip is made possible by TEGS™ (Technologically Enhanced Grip System) by Grip Tech which uses thousands of microscopic nodes, or gripping fingers, that when used in a one-part system can increase grip by up to 80% and by 270% when used in a two-part system.  In layman’s terms, TEGS™ is a high-tech non-slip traction system, not a sticking system. It will not stick to itself or your clothing like Velcro does, but instead provides traction and grip when and where needed.  Every pair of Pointman gloves include a 36” roll of gripping tape for you to place on anything that you need to get a little extra traction on, such as the grip of your AR-15.


The Pointman is a short versatile glove that is constructed of high-grade digital goatskin with TEGS™ material on the palm and fingers, premium drum-dyed cowhide leather on top of the hand and fingers, 100% Nomex on top of the hand and fingers, and includes polyurethane abrasion and impact resistant knuckle and finger guards.  The gloves are available in black, tan, and foliage green and are available in sizes from Small to XX-Large.  Line of Fire has done a nice job with the exact placement of the TEGS™ material on the palm and fingers allowing the hand to form naturally into a fist or gripping position without bunching up, causing hot-spots, or discomfort.  The TEGS™ material is so extremely thin that you will not notice it is even there.


Though some glove manufacturers offer padded palms in their shooting gloves and if done correctly are not too bad.  The Pointman does not offer padding on the palm, but does offer very minimalistic padding on the top side of the fingers.  Personally I do not care too much for padding in the palm of my gloves and I don’t think that the lack of padding will be a deal-breaker for most.


For those shooters out there that is particular about how their finger falls on the trigger will appreciate the leather over wrap trigger finger that provides seamless comfort and better trigger dexterity.  The Pointman is touchscreen capable allowing the wearer to utilize nearly any of their touchscreen devices without the need of removing the gloves.  I only say nearly since I obviously cannot test out every single touch screen out there, though every touch-capable screen that I have tried works out just fine.


Out of the packaging, the Pointman is extremely comfortable, flexible and does not require a break-in period or conditioning for functional use.  For those who are accustom to the carbon fiber knuckles offered in some tactical gloves will find that the semi-hard polyurethane knuckles on the Pointman are more malleable, are not as restrictive and do not have the hard sharp edge commonly associated with the carbon fiber one-piece molded knuckles.  However, the polyurethane knuckles will probably not provide the same level of impact resistance as the carbon fiber knuckles do.  As long as you are not being cracked across the hand with a metal pipe on a regular basis, the polyurethane should suit most needs just fine.


As with almost every quality manufacturer, Line of Fire guarantees their gloves for 90 days, to the original customer, against any defects in manufacturing, materials or workmanship.  As common sense would apply, the Limited Warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, neglect or accidents caused by the customer.  Also keep in mind that you can extend the life of your gloves by hand washing them with a mild detergent and allowing them to hang dry.  The Iraqi desert was rough on many pair of my gloves and those that were washed more often seemed to last considerably longer.


The MSRP of the Pointman is $159.99, though discounted prices can be found around the internet.


For more information, check out Line of Fire Tactical at http://loftactical.com.


This review was originally written for Arms Collective by zero7one.

Intacto Arms Operator Rifle

Intacto Arms Operator Rifle

Intacto Arms Operator Rifle 001-1000

Intacto Arms has released their new top of the line .223/5.56 caliber firearm, the Operator Rifle.  The Operator has all of the common upgrades that have typically been added to their Battle Tac Rifle.

The specs of the Operator Rifle are as follows:

  • Intacto Arms Billet 6061 CNC Machined Lower Receiver
  • Intacto Arms Billet 6061 CNC Machined Upper Receiver
  • Adjustable Gas Block (Precision Reflex Installed on Rifle Tested)
  • Intacto Arms Nickel Boron Bolt/Carrier Group
  • Intacto Arms 16.5″ .223/5.56 Wylde 1:8 Twist Stainless Steel Match Barrel
  • 12.5″ Intacto Arms Billet Free Floating Hand Guard
  • 4 QD Sling Mount Positions and Continuous Picatinny Top Rail
  • Phantom Persuasion Tip Flash Hider / Muzzle Brake
  • With Gift Certificate for any QD Flash Hider That The Customer Has A Suppressor For, I.E. Gemtech or Surefire
  • Geissele G2S 2 Stage Trigger
  • JP Enterprises Silent Capture Buffer System
  • Battle Arms Ambidextrous Safety
  • BCM A44 Ambi Charging Handle
  • Black Magpul ACS Stock
  • Magpul MOE+ Grip
  • Magpul 30 RD Mag
  • Magpul MBUS Sights
  • Magpul ASAP Single Point Sling Mount
  • 1680 Denier PVC 5-Pocket Tactical Soft Carrying Case

    Intacto Arms Operator Rifle 005-1000

Out of the packaging the Operator Rifle appears to be a solid platform with enough quality upgrades coming standard to make any shooter, new or seasoned, feeling complete without wondering what they will need to do to make it better with the exception of throwing on the optic of their choice.  At first glance I was taken-back by the MSRP of the Operator at a price of $2499.  So I thought that in order to confirm or deny my assumptions of the price, I broke down the retail costs of each part as if I were to buy each part individually and build it up myself.  After adding up the retail prices I was pleasantly surprised to find that the retail cost of individual parts was on par with the MSRP of the complete Operator Rifle.  Add in armoring, a warranty, and the peace of mind that the rifle has been built properly and you have a good deal.

Operator Upper:

Intacto Arms Operator Rifle 003-1000

The Operator Rifle’s upper is built around a billet 6061 CNC machined upper receiver and is fitted with a 12.5″ Intacto Arms billet free floating hand guard, an Intacto Arms 16.5″ .223/5.56 Wylde 1:8 twist stainless steel match barrel, and capped off with a Yankee Hill Phantom flash hider/muzzle brake.  Atop the Operator sits a pair of Magpul MBUS sights and a BCM A44 ambidextrous charging handle.  An Intacto Arms NiB bolt carrier group rounds out the internals of the upper.

Of note is the billet free floating hand guard, which is round in shape and includes a picatinny rail on the 12o’clock position and a smooth surface on the remaining sides.  The rail has multiple mounting positions on the smooth sides to attach the proprietary 2.75” rail sections.  The rail includes four QD Sling mounting positions.

Operator Lower:

Intacto Arms Operator Rifle 012-1000

Intacto Arms Billet 6061 CNC Machined Lower Receiver features a standard bolt-release, magazine release, and pin sets and has been upgraded with a Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector, Magpul Moe+ Grip, and a Geissele G2S 2 Stage Trigger.  Rounding out the back side of the Operator is a Magpul ACS Collapsible Stock and a Magpul ASAP Single Point Sling Mount.  The machining of the lower is clean and provides for tight tolerances.  The checkering on the front of the magwell is not only aesthetically pleasing, but provides for a positive gripping texture as well.

On The Range:

I took the Operator Rifle out to my local rifle range to give it a shot (pun intended).  I was pleased with how smoothly the bolt cycled and had minimal recoil and muzzle rise.  In fact, this was most likely the least amount of felt recoil I have experienced out of an AR.  All of the controls (selector, charging handle, mag release, bolt catch/release, and trigger) functioned flawlessly without any hang-ups and offered for a smooth “Operator” (again, pun intended).

Intacto Arms Operator Rifle 019-1000

To ensure consistency while checking accuracy of the rifle, I used a CTK Precision Ultimate Gun Vise as my bench rest and shot Remington .223 55gr PSP rounds that I had on hand.  I understand that this ammo is not match grade ammo, however, it is reliable and what I had on hand.

After shooting 10x 5 round groups at 100 yards with a Vortex Optics 1-4x Viper PST Scope, I observed that the groupings were approximately 1” – 2” (~1-2 MOA) with a flyer here and there.  If I would have had some match grade ammo on hand, I’m sure that the groupings would have been more consistent and tighter.  There are a lot of factors when testing a firearm for accuracy, especially at 100 yards.  Bear in mind that I was not shooting out to 800 yards where these factors are even more pronounced, but they could have had a slight effect on consistency.  The temperature was around 48°F, no noticeable wind, no precipitation or cloud cover, and was shooting at a slight downhill grade.

The Intacto Arms Operator Rifle retails for $2499.00.

About Intacto Arms:

Intacto Arms is a Type 7 FFL and S.O.T. licensed weapons systems manufacturer and a full-service customization shop specializing in the AR and 1911 platforms. At Intacto Arms, we understand that our customers’ lives, families, and freedom depend on the quality of our work – and we take that understanding very seriously. We offer a full line of suppressors, automatic/burst weapons, SBR’s for military, L.E. and SOT/NFA clients. Our mission is to produce the highest-quality firearms and provide the best customer service money can buy. In our world, guns are not a hobby – they are a way of life. Every firearm we manufacture is 100% guaranteed by one of the best lifetime warranties in the industry. On the AR platform, we manufacture and stock .22, .223/5.56, .300 and .308. We custom build any caliber from .17 HMR to .50 Beowulf.


Intacto Arms manufactures some of the highest-quality firearms in the business. We pride ourselves on our boutique approach to building firearms. All of our 1911s are hand fit and finished. All of our rifles are built on a billet lower receiver. After extensive R&D, custom machining and thorough testing, we are able to provide a superior product at every price point – while still honoring the best warranty in the business.

 100% Lifetime Guarantee

All Intacto Arms products have a 100% guarantee against manufacturer’s defects.  Additionally, if you damage your firearm in the line of duty, we will gladly repair or replace your damaged Intacto Arms product at cost with minimal downtime.  Intacto Arms has invested considerable effort to produce some of the highest-quality firearms available. We stand behind our products 100%. Any mechanical issue you come across will be covered, period. The majority of 3rd party manufacturers also have a lifetime warranty; and in the event of a defective product, we promise to facilitate the repair/replacement of that product to the best of our ability. Please understand that in some rare cases, a 3rd party manufacturer may have a different policy than our own; and in that case, we will do our best to help facilitate a timely turnaround.


Intacto Arms

7103 W. Overland Road

Boise, ID 83709




This article was originally written for Arms Collective by zero7one.