Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Do you want to be a better defensive shooter? Of course you do! So…can you attend a defensive firearms course, across the country…basically once a month? If you can, great! But if you can’t…welcome to the club. We’ve put together a few defensive firearms drills to keep your skills sharp & build a solid base in defensive firearms use. All from the comfort of your local range. Our goal is for everyone to be more prepared in the event they have to use a firearm to defend themselves. Table of Contents Loading... Why These Drills? There are lots of great drills out there to improve your shooting ability. The ones I’ve chosen here were done for a purpose. First they are great drills to master. Second they can be done with minimal supplies. Third they can most likely be done, or modified to be done in accordance with your range’s rules. Some drills are a bit more complicated and would give some RSO’s a heart attack. These drills can be modified to comply with range rules, and you can still take a good amount of lessons learned from them. 1. The “Oh Crap” Drill Applicable Weapons – Handgun, Shotgun, Rifle Drill Goal – So the ‘Oh Crap’ drill is all about learning to get your gun back into the fight when it goes down with a malfunction. The objective is for the shooter to safely and effectively learn how to clear a malfunction. This specific drill is designed to teach shooters how to defeat a complicated malfunction, not something simple like a misfire. Setting the Drill Up So you need to set up a malfunction. You can use an empty brass case, or a Snap Cap to make sure it’s nice and complicated. I prefer to load a double feed to make things nice and hard on myself. All standard PPE is required, and if you are shooting quite a bit that day I’d suggest gloves to help avoid burns. Set the drill up with your Snap Cap or brass case and create a complicated malfunction in your weapon of choice. You want live rounds in the magazine, or tube ready to rock and roll. Round in chamber The Drill Start the drill in the ready position, as if you had just fired and are going to fire again. If you are using a timer, wait for it to sound off. When it sounds off, the drill begins. This is a very simple drill, but also an important one to master. If you have a complicated malfunction it may be a literal oh crap moment in a gunfight. During my first deployment I was in charge of carrying the machine gun. The gun I had during the first half of the deployment was best described as ragged. It was older than me and constantly had issues. My squad depended on my gun to suppress the enemy, so if my gun stayed down my whole squad had an Oh Crap moment. Author in Afghanistan Circa 2009 So I learned how to run it, and how it functioned, and how to get it back in action as quick as humanly possible. If you aren’t using a timer for this drill, start when ready. The drill ends when a round is fired, using a Shot timer you can record your times. Pistol With a Handgun your are going to want to remove the magazine, retaining it, or dropping it if you are carrying a spare mag. Pull the action the rear several times as you tilt the weapon ejection port down. Once the malfunction is cleared, reload the weapon and fire. Firing a shot on target completes the drill. Rifle Different rifles function differently, this drill assumes you are using a modern rifle. If not adapt the drill the best you can. Starting in the firing position drop the magazine with the firing hand as the non firing hand locks the bolt to the rear. With the bolt to the rear the jam should clear, if it does not, go digging with your hands, and clear the brass. Reinsert the magazine and fire a single shot and the drill is over. Shotgun This drill is for shotguns with tubular magazines, revert to the rifle drill for box mags. With a pump shotgun pull the pump fully to the rear, and if necessary reach in and remove the malfunction. With an automatic lock the bolt back to the rear and clear the malfunction with your hands. Snap Caps are totally fine for most of these drills. Put another round in the chamber and fire a round. Make It Harder – Randomly load an empty case into the magazine, and let the malfunction surprise you. 2. The Failure to Stop Drill The Failure to stop drill is two shots to the chest and one to the head. The failure to stop drill is the same drill with any weapon platform. Except for a machine gun, because with an MG it’s basically just a whole lot everywhere. Failure to Stop is one of the most important drills to practice. The Failure to Stop Drill, or FSD for brevity’s sake, is mostly useful with a rifle or pistol. A failure to stop drill with a shotgun tends to be unnecessary, but can be done. Regardless of the weapon the being used the drill is the same. Setting It Up You’ll a silhouette target with distinguished chest and head areas. Set it up anywhere from 7-10 yards with a handgun to 15 – 25 yards with a rifle or shotgun. If range rules allow the shooter starts with their handgun holstered, or their long gun at the low ready. On the go signal the shoot fires two rounds into the chest of their target, and one round to the head. Shooter keeps weapon aimed at target to ensure it’s down. The Failure to Stop drill is also called the “Mozambique” drill. This drill stresses shot placement into critical areas of an opponent. It also teaches shot transition drills on the same target. Shot placement is the most important factor in ending a defensive encounter, more so that any kind of supposed knock down power. Make it Harder – Place a 3 x 5 index card on the chest of the target, and a playing card on the head of the target. Shots will only count if they hit the index or playing card. This will challenge the shooter’s shot placement skills even more. What’s your take on the Failure to Stop drill? Readers' Ratings 4.97/5 (322) Your Rating? 3. The Box Drill The Box Drill is almost identical to the the failure to stop drill. However, it’s shot on two targets. Remember that movie Collateral with Tom Cruise? He did a box drill on two targets. Like the FSD you can use any weapon’s platform to complete this drill…as long as it can hold 6 rounds. The box drill is one of the more popular drills out there. I place the targets about a yard apart. It’s faster to engage with your dominant hand, so that’s where you should start. Engage the first target with two to the chest, transition to the second target, fire two to his chest. On the second target take your headshot, then transition and finish the drill with a final headshot on the first target. This drill stresses shot placement, and multiple target engagement. It forces you to think under stress, and focus on kicking ass in a proactive way. The Box drill lets you get your inner Collateral out, and dominate your target. Just about any defensive handgun class is going to use the box drill, in some form or another. Make it Harder – You can make it a little harder by placing the targets further apart if possible. If not, mix in a reload in somewhere between shots. Make it interesting by loading three rounds per magazine and reloading right in the middle of the drill. Pistol Specific Drills 4. The El Presidente The El Presidente was designed by the King of Combat handgun shooting, Jeff Cooper. The drill is designed to challenge a pistol shooters ability to draw, engage, transition targets, reload, and then re engage multiple targets again. The drill should be completed in ten seconds, or 5 if you are an advanced shooter. Eric did a great piece on the El Presidente Drill if you want to learn more. Setting Up the Drill You’ll need three man sized targets set 1 meter apart, and the targets will be 10 meters from you. You’ll start with a holstered handgun, and a spare mag carried as you please. You’ll need six rounds in each mag. El presidente shooting drill. You’ll need a timer to really gauge your ability, but if running it just for fun don’t worry about it. Running the Drill You’ll start with your back to the targets, and hands in the air, in the false surrender position. On the go signal you turn, draw and shoot each target twice. You then reload, and shoot each target two more times. The drill is quite challenging, and does have a lot of moving parts. It admittedly is hard to find a range to allow this drill to occur. Rifle Specific Drills 5. 1 to 5 Drill Designed by Kyle Lamb the 1 to 5 drill is perfect for any modern defensive rifle. Kyle Lamb was a Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army, he was a Delta Force Operator, and participated in numerous deployments, including the Black Hawk Down Incident. He’s the lead instructor at Viking Tactics and the subject of a serious man crush on my part. He designed the drill to stress shooting until the target is down. Instead of focusing on the double tap and transition you’ll place a multitude of rounds on multiple targets. Courtesy of Polenar Tactical Load one magazine with 15 rounds and insert it and make ready with your rifle. Setting the Drill Up You’ll need three man size silhouettes set about a yard apart. The targets are only five yards from you. Start in the low ready position with your rifle. On the signal to go you put one shot on the left most target, two shots into the center target, and three shots into the rightmost target. Next you shoot four shots on the center target, and finish with five shots on the left target. You should be able to do this in about 5 seconds. Anything less means you are doing pretty dang good. Shotgun Specific Drills 6. Shoot Two – Load Two The thing with is a shotgun is the low ammo capacity. Even in the most kitted up combat shotguns you are likely only getting 9 rounds or less. It’s an essential skill for any shotgunner to know how to reload their weapon. The shoot 2, load 2 drill is a common military training drill as well. The S&L drill is built to help shooters really master how to load a shotgun in the middle of using it. A shotguns tubular magazine is an advantage since you can constantly load the gun as you shoot. Being a speedy reloader is the key to mastering the shotgun. Set up the Drill Place any target downrange, and start ten yards from it. I prefer to use clay pigeons set on the berm for shotgun training. Shotguns rip targets apart, so paper targets are kind of not needed. Clay pigeons explode, and are fun to shoot. You’ll need at least 5 shotgun rounds. Three in the tube, two secured outside of the shotgun to load the gun. Running the Drill It’s simple shoot two rounds, reload two shells. You want to reload with your non dominant hand, and keep the shotgun point at the targets. You can do it once, or as long as you can continue reloading the shotgun. The key to this drill is repetition. The faster you get the better. If you use a side saddle you’ll have up to 6 rounds so you can run the drill three times. A way to measure your progress is by keeping time. Shoot two, reload two, and observe your time. Accessories to Maximize Training I’ve mentioned a few accessories above, and I want to go ahead and double down on just how handy they are. These tools will make it a lot easier to train, and ensure you get the most out of your training. Shot Timer A Shot timer is an invaluable tool to track your skills and ability to shoot. Sure a target makes it possible to see how accurate you are but a shot timer shows how fast you are. You can record the data and track your progress. This CED timer is an industry standard. A shot timer also adds stress to your shooting, and makes you work to overcome stress. There is the anticipation of the BEEP which get the blood flowing. Depending on the timer the alarm can sound randomly to start the drill. It will then record the time between the start signal and your shots fired, as well as your split times. Split times being the time between shots, not the time between shots and the go signal. If you can’t afford a shot timer there are a number of apps that function OK for shot timers. They aren’t perfect, but better than nothing. Good Targets While just about any target can work, I prefer targets that resemble an actual opponent. This makes it easy to determine how I’d shoot on an actual attacker. Some drills really can’t be shot with a standard Bull’s Eye target. One of my Favorites of all time is the Thompson Target’s B27 IMZ . It assigns small sectors to the vulnerable parts of the body, ensuring you learn where to properly place shots to stop a target. Snap Caps Snap Caps are invaluable training aids in general, be it dry fire, basic firearm safety, or inducing malfunctions. These rounds are quite distinct from actual rounds, but are built perfectly to the spec of a real cartridge. Snap Caps are cheap, easy to find, and are made for nearly any caliber imaginable. A-Zoom 12 Gauge Snap Caps 9mm Luger Snap Caps .223 Remington Snap Caps A Little At a Time When it comes to training you got to remember you better in increments. Increments of an inch in your hits or misses, increments in seconds, and increments in group size. Be patient, keep training, if you feel you’re at the bottom all you can do is go up. Got drills of your own…or any of your favorites we’ve missed? Let us know…and in the meantime check out our How to Shoot a Pistol More Accurately post.
The recent election of Donald Trump has already had some pretty significant effects on gun owners. Many gun control measures are in the process of being repealed, and many lawmakers have put forward new measures to extend people’s right to carry arms. One slightly strange consequence of the election, though, has been increased focus on a group of gun owners who are often overlooked – liberals. Gun sales have, in general, decreased since the election of Trump. The peak in demand for weapons in recent years coincided with Obama’s repeated attempts to ban assault-style weapons, and so the new administration’s softer stance on gun control was always likely to reduce sales. However, there are a few demographics for whom gun sales have actually gone up in the last few months. Gun shops catering mainly to black and LGBT communities have reported significant rises in sales. These groups, typically Democrats, do not fit the stereotype of the firearms enthusiast, and it is worth taking a moment to consider why they feel the need to arm themselves now, and the kind of gun store that caters to them. Firstly, it is worth pointing out that there is nothing contradictory in being both a liberal and a gun owner. Hunting is enjoyed by people of every political creed and stripe, and even many people in cities believe fervently in the Second Amendment. After Trump’s election, it seems these people feel it necessary to arm themselves. Some have pointed out that this may be a response to increased fear – that the sometimes aggressive rhetoric of the new administration has led to many liberals fearing outbreaks of violence. Of special concern is that many in minority communities, for instance black or LGBT gun owners, feel an increased fear of gender- or race-based violence. In parallel with these increased sales, many gun shops have opened which are specifically designed to appeal to liberal gun owners. They are capitalizing on something of a gap in the market, because many liberal gun owners feel intimidated or just plain disagree with the atmosphere of your stereotypical gun store. Often, gun stores, and especially those in rural communities, prominently display their politics in the store window. It is not uncommon to see right-wing, Islamophobic, or Xenophobic messages posted in gun stores such as these, and it is explicable that liberals find such stores an uncomfortable environment. These stores are not anomalies. Membership in the “Liberal Gun Club” has increased 10 per cent since the election, and other clubs catering to traditionally liberal groups have also seen rises in membership. “Liberal Gun Owners”, a group on Reddit, has been going for four years now, has close to 7,000 subscribers, and has a thread dedicated to helping users find liberal gun stores. This shift is part of a broader transformation in consumption habits. Consumers nowadays are increasingly aware of the moral, political, and ethical values of the companies they buy from. Accordingly, they want to buy products from manufacturers and stores that embody values they agree with. Many liberals are unhappy supporting shops that prominently display their right wing credentials. This does not mean that liberal gun ownership will catch up with that of Republicans any time soon. A relatively large number of conservatives – 41 per cent – report having a gun in their home. In comparison, just 23 per cent of liberals say they have a gun at home, according to the Pew Research Center (data here: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/15/the-demographics-and-politics-of-gun-owning-households/ ). This doesn’t mean that liberals are not armed, however, and nor does it mean that Second Amendment rights are not a concern of the left. Bernie Saunders, a left-leaning senator for Vermont, who ran against Hillary Clinton in last year’s Democratic Primaries, made much of his stance on gun control. He has campaigned against the federally-imposed waiting times for buying weapons, and is in favor of some protection for gun manufacturers. That said, it comes as no surprise to learn that Saunders also supports the long-running Democratic attempt to an assault-style weapons. He has also talked at length about tightening up the law regarding background checks at gun shows. Whatever your position on these issues, it might come as something of a shock to learn that liberals are armed too. If the recent rise in gun sales to liberals continue, and many in the industry think that it will, we are likely to see many more liberal guns shops appearing over the next few years. by kenn blanchard Gun podcast and blog from Rev. Kenn Blanchard, gun rights activist, firearms trainer, USMC vet, former CIA, author of “Black Man With A Gun: Reloaded” and concealed carry activist and Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiast that shares whats on the minds of mature gun owners. This post first appeared on blackmanwithagun.com Consider subscribing to their http://podcast.blackmanwithagun.com https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/black-man-with-a-gun/id267726144
Lothaen here: I would like to introduce you to our guest writer who has recently stepped in to assist me with product reviews! While I was engrossed in the first Straight Jacket article, I bumped into a writer who has written many of his own guides and articles. He agreed to jump in and review some of thr product backlog here at TNR! For now he wishes to remain anonymous. Without further ado, here is the FC1 Test and Eval: Introduction: The DI Optical FC1 Red Dot Sight is a South Korean red dot developed for their 5.56 service rifles. The link provided contains the factory specs, but you can also see an abbreviated version in the users manual pictured below. It is essentially an Aimpoint T1 competitor but with a built in mount and not quite as pricey. The weight and size are comparable. The battery life is not, but we will get into that later. Full disclosure, I was provided the DI FC1 for free to test, but I can assure you that this did not color my impressions whatsoever. The Basics: A picture is worth a thousand words, and a good video is worth at least ten thousand. The Military Arms Channel did an excellent basic review of the DI FC1 which can and should be seen here . Seriously, control+left click that link, watch the video, close the tab and come back and read the rest of this review (because we’ve done testing they did not at MAC). Done? Alright. So as you saw in the MAC video, the battery is easy to change (no need to re-zero like an RMR), the mount is almost QD, and it adjusts like a Leupold Deltapoint Pro in that you cycle through the brightness settings with one button which is easy to do. The dot is crisp and bright, crisper than my Holosuns for sure. You also see in MACs video that it can survive basic drop and water testing. And it is small, oh so conveniently small and light. Another picture below to drive the point home: The Testing Phase 1: Upon receiving my sample in April of 2017, I threw it on top of my home brew AR15 and took it along whenever I went to the range. For testing it was also swapped on to a Tikka T3x Lite in .308, and a break action CVA 20 gauge shotgun. I logged rounds fired and as of today it has just over 3000 rounds of assorted .223 and 5.56 loads through it, 100 rounds of .308, and 100 rounds of 20 gauge bird shot. The loads used are as follows: – 500 Rounds of Norma 55gr TAC FMJs (.223) – 1000 Rounds GECO 55gr FMJ (.223) – 500 Rounds Federal XM193 (5.56) "– 1000 Rounds" Federal AE 55gr FMJ (.223) – 50 Rounds Stillwood 77gr TMK (.223) – 100 Rounds Federal AE 150gr (.308) – 100 Rounds Remmington Lead Game Bird Shot (.20 Gauge) This was over the course of 9 range trips and some at home on the property testing. Over the course of 7 months and 3000+ rounds of testing, the DI FC1 was boring and predictable. It held zero through all of the testing (once the screw was tightened down with a screw driver, no loctite was used although it is recommended). It was easy to adjust the brightness settings for day and evening use, although being able to go up or down instead of just cycling is faster. The FC1 was fast to use for speed at 10-25 yards, and has a small enough dot to be more than precise enough at 100-200 yards. The adjustments are precise enough to really dial it in for a red dot, making head shots on steel or paper a breeze. Directly comparing it to a Trijicon RMR 2.0 and a Holosun 403 the glass is clearer on the DI FC1 and has less of a tint. The trade off is that it is also the brightest at night looking out the front of the optic. So in sum, it works as well as any other quality red dot for basic use. Another bright spot is that during 7 months of testing I have not changed the battery. The auto-shut off works as intended, so while it has only 5000 hours of battery life vs. an Aimpoint (or similar) at around 50,000 hours, the auto-shut off means that you can probably replace your battery yearly unlike say an EOTech. However there is one caveat here which is that there is an auto-on feature which could go wrong, but likely won’t and hasn’t for me (watch the MAC vid, he cannot outrun it). While it isn’t quite as foolproof as an Aimpoint just always being on, the auto-on optics from many manufacturers seem to be quite reliable, the DI FC1 being no exception. I like an optic I have to think ZERO about for a bump in the night, and the FC1 that it might as well be zero. "The Testing Phase" 2: So yet another boringly reliable red dot? Not quite. While drop testing like MAC did is a good start, a lot more can happen in the field that can throw off an optic. For example, the EOTech heat-shift scandal , which for those of you who’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years was a problem with EOTech optics that massively shifted zero under very hot and very cold conditions (follow the link for more details). While EOTech has since fixed the issue it is still a good idea to test your optics no matter who makes them for similar problems. Another thing that happens to optics in the field, is they get bashed off of vehicles…a lot. Doors, frames, benches, you name it. Not all mounts (especially factory supplied ones) are equal, and not all of them will hold zero when this occurs, which can be a very large problem. Last but not least, recently some very good testing was done to show that many popular optics exhibit unacceptable levels of parallax shift including the Aimpoint T1. So after 3000 rounds of testing, we set out to see if the DI Optical FC1 suffered from any of the above mentioned issues. – Baseline We used five shot groups over the course of one afternoon to try and get a rough idea of how the DI FC1 would hold up to the abuse mentioned above. Allow me to stress that this is not a scientific test, many variables were not eliminated, and this is a sample size of one optic. However the results we feel are indicative of the performance of this one optic, so you may find that other FC1s perform that same way. The conditions on the day were as follows: 78 Degrees Fahrenheit, 59% Humidity, 30Hg BP, at 600ft above sea level. The target was placed at exactly 50 yards, confirmed by our Ziess LRF. The target was a cardboard box with diamond targets attached, seen in the distance at the first berm on the right below. The rifle setup used was a home built AR15 which the FC1 had ridden on for the majority of phase 1 testing. Of note it is using a Harris 9-13in bipod, Weibad rear squeeze bag, which in combination with the free floated Lothar Walther barrel makes this AR a very accurate AR when using high quality ammunition. For testing we were not using match ammo, but rather American Eagle 55gr FMJ .223 loads as these are cost effective and generally do 1.5moa out of this particular rifle. More than accurate enough to do this kind of testing. Below is the rifle just before the first groups were fired, after confirming zero. The setup was steady enough to produce the needed accuracy for this test. We started with one five round group as a control. It mirrored our experience with shooting this setup with this ammo during the first phase of testing. At 50 yards, the 2moa dot covered almost the entire small diamond. Below is what is to be considered the control group. Not the best group ever shot, but it shows that with one exception, the optic is slightly high and to the right, with the center being about half and inch from POA. – Mount Removal After shooting the first group, we removed the optic completely, and then remounted it, torquing it to the same spot on the screw again. It produced the following group. So we are yet again about half and inch to the right of the POA, but this time a little low, the difference being about a third of an inch between the average POI of the first group, and POI of the second group. Within margin of error in other words. – Impact With the optic attached and turned on, we proceeded to bash (and I do mean bash) it against an empty electrical box from the front, rear, and side. This put significantly more force on the optics mounts and internals than a simple drop test. After sufficient bashing, we shot the following group. It seems as though vigorous simulated vehicle dismount impact simulation (long for bashing) has little to no effect on POI, which was just slightly over half and inch to the right and like the first group, slightly above POA. – Heat We then took a paint stripping heat gun and used it to warm the mount to just over the 125F Degree limit DI states on their website. You can see some of the marks from the last test on the optic below. After heating, we fired another 5 shot group. The stock was almost too hot to touch, so I used a blanket to protect my face when firing this group. As you can see, the 125F degree limit is certainly no joke. The POI shifted considerably compared to the other groups. It was now about one inch high and almost a half inch left. So while it may seem unlikely that your optic will ever get that hot, remember many sandy places around the planet can certainly get BLACK items that hot in the sun, and the same goes for the inside of cars in very hot areas as well. – Cold At this point we removed the optic, place it in a small tub of water, and froze it in a meat freezer set to -20F degrees, which is five degrees above the operating temperature for the optic as per DI’s website. Before: After (pen cap for scale and to show ice): We chiseled it out and again attached it to the rifle. We then shot another 5 round group. As you can see, the cold shift was interestingly almost the exact opposite of the heat shift. That is to say POI ended up a little over an inch down and to the right of POA. Again, the temperature warnings according to DI are clearly to be taken seriously, and it looks like as they are approached shifting of zero will start to occur. Cold shift is a bit more serious of a concern depending on where you live. Again, while it might not be common, there are plenty of places where you will find -20F temperatures during winter in the northern USA and around the world. This is especially true in places like Alaska, North Dakota, and Montana, so be aware when selecting an optic for outdoor winter use that the DI FC1 will exhibit cold shift. On the plus side though, even with the extreme temperature shift from ~-20F to ~78F there was no internal fogging of the optic. The outside fogged, but was quickly and easily wiped away with a finger and didn’t effect function. – Parallax The last test was a parallax test which was an abbreviated version of the one done in the study above. While our methods are not valid to add to their testing, they are revealing none the less. You hardly need OnTarget (the software used to generate these images) to see the massive amount of parallax shift that occurs as one’s head is moved behind the FC1. Each of the four shots shown here were taken with the center left diamond as the POA. I would then move my head to the furthest position up, left, right, and down with the dot still being visible. I would then correct the POA back to the center of the diamond as it will have shifted significantly and take the shot. Even with the final POA correction, there is still about a 4moa shift when the shooter’s head is in a non-ideal position behind the optic. Accounting for the POA correction, I’d estimate about 10moa of Parallax shift on average. This puts this optic just slightly ahead of an Aimpoint T1 at around 12moa, but well behind an Aimpoint T2 at about 4moa, and still further behind an EOTech at 1moa. Conclusion: So after all that, what do I think about the DI Optical FC1? I think that for home defense and general range use, it is a great lightweight option at a decent price point. Basically any time 50y+ shooting from awkward positions or extreme temperature isn’t going to be in play, the DI FC1 will work very well. I’d wager that is the vast majority of the readership of this blog, so if you fit into this category, don’t hesitate to pick one up. It has the added bonus of the built in mount which is very durable to impact. It could also be squeezed into a combat , SHTF, or duty role in a pinch, especially with the night vision settings (although others with NV can see the dot from in front of the optic). But with the amount of hot, cold, and parallax shift there are simply better optics out there I’d trust my life to in those situations like the Aimpoint T2 (which happens to cost 2x as much let it be said). Wrapping Up: Alright, Lothaen again here: Tons of rounds put down range on this minuscule optic! Special thanks to our mystery writer for the T&E. Any questions or concerns? Comment below! Disclaimer: The FC1 was sent to www.thenewrifleman.com for T&E as part of a group review package of optics. TNR LLC does not make any financial gain from any links in the review article above. Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print
Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Want a sexier and better performing Glock? Grey Ghost Precision G19 V2 and G17 Type V1 Of course you do. If you’re upgrading your current slide, diving deep into the world of Polymer80 Glocks ( Full Build & Parts Guide ), or want to add a red dot, you’ll need an aftermarket slide. There’s tons out there and we’ve tried a lot of them. Brownells and "Grey Ghost Precision" Glock Slides Here’s our favorite ones that span a variety of looks and budgets. Best Aftermarket Glock Slides 1. Brownells Brownells has always been my go-to for gun parts. But I was surprised to see that they made Glock slides in regular, optics cut, and windowed varieties. Brownells Glock Slide 160 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 160 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing I went with the windowed version of course…since I was pairing it with a gold Faxon TiN barrel ( full review …hint it’s awesome). Faxon G17 TiN Barrel It fit well on two factory Glock frames plus two Polymer 80 frames. They certainly got the tolerances correct. No need to strong-arm or fit any parts. Brownells Windowed Glock Slide with Faxon TiN Barrel You’ll see the one above isn’t optics cut for the RMR, but instead I went with an Outer Impact red dot mount that allows you to add almost any red dot to a normal slide ( Best Pistol Red Dots ). For me…the best bang-for-the-buck slide at around $160 that still gives some coolness factor with the window. What’s your take on the Brownells slides? Readers' Ratings 4.92/5 (581) Your Rating? 2. Lone Wolf Distributors When it comes to Lone Wolf, they probably know Glock guns better than anyone, except maybe Glock themselves. Maybe. If you’re looking for a bare slide for your 9mm that’s similar to your factory slide, the AlphaWolf OEM profile ($210) is a great choice for you. The AlphaWolf G17 is almost identical to your original slide (except this comes with no sights). Best Bare-Bones Upgrade Lone Wolf 'AlphaWolf' Glock Slide 210 at Lone Wolf Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 210 at Lone Wolf Compare prices (2 found) Lone Wolf (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The AlphaWolf G17 is made from 416 stainless steel and has a sleek matte finish to it. It’s designed to fit the G17 (Gen 1-3 compatible) but is also able to convert to other models. The great thing about Lone Wolf is that you have some control over the design of your slide. Along with laser engraving, you can also have your Lone Wolf slide painted black, custom ported, and even completely customized. And for a little extra, you can also have your AlphaWolf cut to support RMR optics. Need something insane ? Lone Wolf Damascus Slide Oh yes…that’s a Damascus steel slide. Check it out along with their other custom creations. Lone Wolf Pattern 20 Also, when buying bare slides from "Lone Wolf Distributors" , don’t forget to buy a slide parts kit along with your slide. Lone Wolf Glock Slide Completion Kit 79 at Lone Wolf Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 79 at Lone Wolf Compare prices (2 found) Lone Wolf (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing You’ll also need a barrel to finish up your slide or if you plan on converting your current Glock into a different caliber. We cover all those in Best Glock Barrels . TiN and Chamelon Faxon Barrels 3. Agency Arms A relative newcomer that’s taking over by storm with their sexy looks and enhanced performance. Agency Arms NOC Pistol Not ready to spring a pretty penny for their full NOC Pistol ? Check out their Urban Combat slides. Agency Arms Glock Slides 950 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 950 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing Got time for some gun porn? 4. ZEV Technologies Zev Technologies is known for customizing and reinventing Glock handguns. They offer a number of custom parts and modifications that can turn your plain-looking Glock into a radical handgun. Most of their slides are able to accommodate all generation models, so no one has to worry about being left out. The Dragonfly is one of Zev’s first customized slides, as well as one of its most popular. While much of the material in this stainless steel slide is removed, the slide still maintains its structural integrity. The Dragonfly – one of Zev’s most popular aftermarket pieces Its cutouts are said to make the barrel cool more effectively, and like other Zev slides, it also comes RMR ready. We’re also big fans of their newer Orion slide that focuses less on cuts and more on futuristic styling. ZEV Orion Slides 500 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 500 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing See the rest of their slide creations . 5. Grey Ghost Precision These don’t just look amazing , they run amazing too. Tested on both a Glock frame and a Polymer80 Grey Ghost stood out on both. (L to R) Grey Ghost G19 , Grey Ghost G17 , Brownells G17 From ultra tight tolerances to being able to be ordered with an RMR cut, there is a lot to love about these. Grey Ghost Precision Glock Slide Best Overall Upgrade Grey Ghost Precision Glock Slides 369 at Aero Precision Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 369 at Aero Precision Compare prices (2 found) Aero Precision (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing You can get the whole story from our In-Depth Review . Grey Ghost Precision G19 V2 and G17 Type V1 In addition to their Type V1 and V2 shown above…they also have an exclusive with Rainier Arms. Grey Ghost Precision, Rainier Arms Exclusive This might be the coolest slide yet with nice serrations, visible windows if you’re going with a cool looking barrel, and RMR compatibility. "Rainier Arms Exclusive" Grey Ghost Glock Slides 450 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 450 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing Oh, also – we have an exclusive coupon for the Grey Ghost slides at Rainier! Use code “PEWPEWGGP20” for 20% off! And now…they also have G43 Slides . Newcomers There’s new Glock slides coming out all the time. Here’s some we’re excited to try… Weapons Armament Research These WAR slides have a built in compensator and look pretty sweet to boot. WAR Glock Slide Killer Innovations We really like their barrels in our "Best Glock Barrels" . But now they’ve come out with their Velocity Slide that has cutouts that promise a new way to rack your slide. We’ll see… Killer Innovations Glock Slide Customizing Your Glock Well, there you have it. That’s my list of some of the best aftermarket Glock slides out there. And while functionality and durability come into play when shopping around for a new slide, it’s also about your preferences. Keep in mind that the list is far from comprehensive. These just happen to be some of the more popular aftermarket Glock slides out there that we’ve put a lot of rounds downrange. Brownells and GGP Glock Slides Anthing we missed? Looking to fully upgrade your Glock? Check out Best Glock Upgrades for our favorite triggers, barrels, sights, and more.
One thing was certain – if we were going to be staying here, a more advanced camp towards the interior of the building would be required. While this would increase the immediate land perimeter we’d need to secure and increase the supply distance to water, we would obtain a much lower sight, sound, and smell signature if we moved inland. In a long-term bug-out, security was deemed to be more important than a shorter walk to fill the water containers. We laced our boots up tight, grabbed water bottles, and the topo map, and headed into the depths of our island to see what it could offer us. This is part III of a III part Series Read Part I ( click here ) Read Part II ( click here ) We immediately noticed two things: The ground was terribly uneven and rock-strewn, making for ugly footing – and the foliage was THICK. Our scouting confirmed what we could see from the canoe: the whole damned island was rugged and somewhat impassable – definitely inhospitable. We agreed that finding a new inland base of operations would be a tough deal; even if a sufficient amount of flat space for a campsite and a couple tents could be found, getting around the island would be a perpetual pain in the posterior. Damaged ankles and other limbs would certainly be on order as well – especially after any rain. While this would certainly dissuade anybody trying to raid our camp or find us, you have to wonder if the heightened chance of broken ankles with no immediate medical attention would be worth the extra security. We decided to head back to our camp and discuss if a remote, boat-access-only shoreline camp on the mainland would be a better bet. But wait…where was camp? Quick Navigation I Thought YOU Brought The Compass! Boredom Strikes Evening Routine And Big Lesson Number Two! Retreating in Bug-Out Failure I Thought YOU Brought The Compass! One of our two real serious eye-opening experiences on this trip occurred when we decided to head back to camp and we found out that each of us thought that the other had brought a compass. Of course, between the two of us, we had at least four compasses back at camp. We did know we were on an island so there was no actual danger of being lost – hell, we could follow the shoreline in one direction and find the canoe and camp eventually. However, the ramifications would potentially be serious if we were not so lucky to be island-bound. Survival Debate: .223 vs . 308 – Which is better for SHTF? Conditions were poor for using natural tells (the sun) for navigation – rain was threatening, so the sky was a deep gray overcast, completely eliminating any possibility of even coming close to gauging where the sun was in the sky. We also had gotten so completely turned around navigating the interior of the island and its rough terrain that we each had differing opinions on which way camp was. We started to just follow the shoreline in one direction, but the ground and foliage was so disagreeable that eventually we wanted to just say “screw it” and make a beeline for the camp. Though we would have made it back to camp eventually – possibly with twisted limbs and/or contusions – I finally pulled out my secret cheater weapon and fired up the BackCountry Navigator app on my smartphone. Just in case, I had previously downloaded the topo, satellite, and hybrid maps of the area to the phone’s memory to we could use it for planning trips or zooming in for further details. Even though we were WAY off the grid and had no cell reception, the phone picked up a GPS signal and gave us our position on the topo map. Both of us were skeptical (and highly ashamed) at having to depend on a no-connection cellphone for accurate navigation, but miraculously it got us straight back to the camp with zero hassle. Lesson learned – ALWAYS have a compass and shoot a return azimuth to get back to a known location – ESPECIALLY in new territory. Don’t put yourself in a position where you must depend on electronics to save your bacon – ‘cause the possibility of breakage, dead batteries, or just no signal/information is very high. Some guy named Murphy even made a law up about that sort of thing, I hear. Boredom Strikes Once back at camp, we relaxed a bit and rested our aging joints for a few minutes. After a while, there wasn’t much to do – camp was set up, we knew our immediate area relatively well, and we had a basic plan for moving forward here if there was a long-term SHTF event. Eventually, boredom set in. I’m sure in a real, long-term bug-out, we could have been preparing defenses, scouting the shore and local camps for people, animals, and local resources. We could have relocated the camp, or been long-term stockpiling resources, caching gear, planning for weeks or months out. But, we got bored. I imagine this would be a real issue in real-deal survival situation, especially if one was successful in bugging out away from people. Soon, though, we had the survival radio going and picked up a local station, and Jarhead Survivor started collecting materials to teach me how to start a fire with a bow drill – something I’d been bugging him about for a few months. (spoiler alert – it’s a hell of a lot more difficult then they make it look in the movies!) Related: Death by GPS Once that played out, we decided to hop in the canoe with minimal gear (including a compass and topo map!) and we did some reconnoitering. A small trail marked on the map turned out to indeed be a small trail. No recent human traffic, but plenty of fresh moose and deer sign in the mud by the water. We followed the trail for a ways, but made the call that the rest of the trail probably looked exactly the same, so we headed back to the canoe. The northern end of the lake (by the inlet from another lake) had a mayfly hatch going on, and we watched fly fishermen reel in a couple beautiful brook trout. Good to know for future reference. The rest of the lake was, well, a lake, so we returned back to camp after a couple hours. It was getting close to dinnertime anyway. Evening Routine And "Big Lesson Number" Two! Back at camp and with nighttime falling, tents were set up (I strung a tarp with paracord horizontally over my tent as heavy rain was possible – I hung the tarp at a slight angle to drain the water off to the low-side ground behind my tent), gear was consolidated, flashlights were readied, lanterns were deployed ready to be lit of once it got too dark to see. We got the firepit loaded up for the evening. Out on the island, the black flies and mosquitoes weren’t so bad due to the constant breeze. Life was good, we were a bit tired from the day’s activities – we were “in” for the night. A filling dinner of camp-grilled burgers, B&M baked beans, and frosty beers had us happy and relaxed. We gauged it was dark enough so that we could touch off a small fire and not have a smoke signature. All the tourists in fishing boats had motored by in the past half hour, likely excited to eat burgers and drink beers of their own. The dry cedar branches practically jumped at the opportunity to create a friendly, warm flame when the firesteel sparked. We, the two temporary residents of this island pretending to be long-term occupants, sat back on our coolers (camp chairs stayed back at camp, which ended up being kind of a sucky thing when it came time to sit back and enjoy the fire) and chewed the fat as we wound down. Also Read: Walking Around Rifle I heard one last unexpected straggler in a fishing boat motor by towards the camps and throttle back after he passed the island. Had I really been paying attention like I should have, I would have thought more of it. But I didn’t – the exhaustion was setting in after exploring the island and paddling a canoe in the wind around a large Maine lake. The Pabst Blue Ribbons and belly full of grilled burgers probably didn’t help. “Hello in there!” The booming voice from the darkness caught us by surprise and we leaped up. The disembodied words came from on land – far too close to be yelled by a passenger on a boat. In one fell swoop, we both knew without speaking that this happenstance represented a huge failure on the part of the mighty survivalist’s bug-out planning. “You guys having a fire?” Our invader stayed out of the circle of light – I couldn’t see him, though I was facing him – and he continued engaging us verbally without moving closer. In the unlikely event of an actual bug-out, this guy would have had us dead to rights, and we’d never have seen it coming. “You boys got a permit for that fire?” came from the darkness. Finally Jarhead Survivor said, “Hey, we’re all friendlies here. Why don’t you come into the light so we can discuss this?” Branches hesitantly cracked as the man worked his way into the low, shifting light thrown by the fire and Jarhead’s hurricane lantern. He emerged, showing us he was a tall, lanky kid in his early to mid 20’s. He never gave us his name, but his demeanor changed a bit once he was in our face. He mumbled something about us having a permit to be on the island at all. We asked if we needed permits, and the banter went back and forth guardedly. Mumbly said (without really definitively answering many of our questions) that he worked at one of the camps, they hadn’t had rain in four weeks, and we needed to “reserve” the island if we were going to be there. (Reserve what? I don’t know – there wasn’t a single campsite or improvement anywhere) Related Article: Hello the Camp Finally, we said we’d douse the fire, and ol’ Mumbles plodded out of the light and headed back to the land of mealy-mouthed communication from whence he came, leaving Jarhead Survivor standing there, blinking at each other. Blinking soon turned to swearing as we explored the options of what might happen from here. Jarhead Survivor wanted to avoid a visit from a Maine Game Warden, who would likely give us a summons or two if we didn’t have permits for the fire or whatever permission we needed to be on this rock. It was well after dark now, and as we put out the fire as we promised, options were weighed. Jarhead wanted to pack up and leave immediately, but I reasoned that we were an hour to the closest cell phone reception, so a warden wouldn’t be visiting until at least 11:00, which I gambled was past their bedtime, or past their caring point of visiting a couple guys on an island after dark. We finally hesitantly agreed to stay there the night, but pack up and leave at first dawn to hopefully avoid any rampant ticket-issuing by North Woods Law. Then we heard another boat motor coming up the lake, right for us. Super. Now that they knew where we were, they weren’t going to leave us alone. A valuable learning point. I was pretty sure this wasn’t a warden so quickly, but maybe Mumbles got some camp friends together to persuade us to leave by show of Mumble Muscle. We waited – and this time WE were the ones out of sight when the voice came from the boat. I could see the boat silhouetted against the water – one occupant. Jarhead Survivor was a bit grumpy about the situation, so I took the lead. “Hello, how you boys doing in there? ” came from the boat. “You still got a fire burnin’?” “Nah”, I said. “We doused the fire as soon as the other guy left.” Expressing his appreciation, the gentlemen in the boat let us know that the lake was part of a land trust, and he was one of the caretakers of the lake and islands. Apparently, we should have indeed “reserved” the island for the night via one of the camps on the southern end of the lake. However, respecting the fact that we willfully extinguished the fire when asked, and since we were already set up, the boat guy said we were free to stay the night. If we wanted to stay longer, we needed to come reserve the island for another night. We thanked him, and he motored away into the night on affable terms. A success for the camping trip, a failure of epic proportions for anything close to resembling a low-key bug-out. Retreating in Bug-Out Failure There’s not much more to tell from this point on. We agreed that the trip had been ruined on multiple levels – and though we could have easily stayed longer and probably had a decent camping trip, we spent an uneventful night in our respective tents and packed up to head home the next morning. The wind was out of our sails; we were departing the scene with hung heads and some lessons learned indeed. Related: 5 Worst Cases of Martial Law (in the United States) Jarhead Survivor and I chatted about the “bug-out” the entire way back to his place, and over the next couple days we collaborated via email to come up with a list of lessons that were discovered or affirmed by our pseudo run for the hills. These lessons will be outlined in the next one (or two) articles. Stay tuned. Any critiques? Ideas or theories on what we learned? Sound off in the comments below! Other interesting articles: Walking the Walk Part 2: Running the Bug Out Walking the Walk Part 1: Planning a Bug-Out Trip Death by GPS 7 Great Uses for a Backpacking Bucket