My Favorite Mags of the Year

A lot of magazines for the Ar15/M16 family was sent to loose rounds  this ( our first ) year for testing.   In trying out new guns, I used a lot of mags from as many different mfgs as I could get my sweaty little hands on.  The usual crew was of course tested, like the Pmag, the USGI mags as well.    Below as my three favorite mags tested this year.

The top three in my opinion are the Tango Down ARC mag, the Lancer advanced warfighter and the surefire 60 round mag.

The Tango Down and the  Lancer are tied for my all time favorite.   IF I had to pick one it would be the lancer.  I tried to  make them both stop working in ways that stopped just short of destroying them. I tossed the both off of a 50 foot cliff loaded and they still worked perfectly.  I Left them soak in muddy silty water, froze them and poured dirt into them.  I even stomped on them and ran over them in my jeep.   These are tough mags.  I love the metal feed lips of the lancer and really feel it is the best mag on the market right now and like it more then the Pamg,  I have not tried the new generation of Pmags yet. But I doubt I will change my mind about the lancer.  I am sure that will stick in some peoples craw but,  too bad.   I know what I saw.

The surefire 60 is  my third favorite. I tried really hard to causer it to stop working, I did not  toss it off a cliff or run over it because I know it will not take the same level of abuse. But, I am not sure it was meant or expected to.  I see the sure fire 60 as a specialty mag for matches or breaking and ambush or what have you. I think anyone who gets one for fighting would still treat it gently  as the some what specialty tool it is.  Now, thats not to say I was not rough on it. I was. I could not get a malfunction from doing stuff I think of as likely abuse.  I poured dirt a pebbles in it, water soaking, pressure on it etc. You can read my test of it earlier this year on this site.   I think most people using it to fight with will likely just have the one, and keep it in the gun and keep up with it and be slightly more gentle with it when not in use.

The surefire still has a ways to go before its gotten the same confidence of Pmags, but nothing beats having 60 rounds in the gun ready to go, without causing the gun to feel a lot heavier or un balanced. For that, it makes my list and I feel its worth its price easily.  I have not tried the 100 round mag yet, but will be soon.    I feel these are way better options then the Beta Cmag. The Cmag is a toy for people with NFA stuff or goofing, they are just not tough enough for real use. And I have seen the problems first hand.

The Pmag will probably remain every ones darling for a while to come. But I feel right now, the new lancers are a much better mag. and you should give  one or two a serious look.   The Tango Down suffers from a couple of problems but nothing that can not be over looked,  It is a very tough mag and is in use by some big names.  I do not use that as a guide since a couple of the big names are pretty much shills in my opinion, but it does matter to some people.  The follower on the TD is a real work of art. I feel confident in  saying the TD would also be a great choice if you are looking for a upgrade from the Pmag.

Installing Sights on Glock

Over the last few weeks, Loose Rounds readers have asked several questions about installing sights on your Glock. I will go over some of the basic tools you need and the process of installing new sights on a Glock. For removal and installation of sights, I use a Glockmeister Sight Tool Set.  This set is the best bang for the buck in my opinion. With the right tools this is a really easy process, taking only a few minutes of your time.

Equipment Needed:

No matter what brand of sight tools you choose, you will need the following to install your sights.

-Rear sight pusher tool.

-Front sight hex screw tool.

-Red Loctite 262.

– Soft work mat of some kind.

You may want to have some cleaner and a brush handy, to clear out the rear sight channel and front slide hole, after removing the old sights.

Before getting started make sure your firearm is unloaded/clear. Do not have a magazine or any ammunition around as you work. Field strip your Glock and set all parts aside, except for the slide. Whether you choose to remove/install the front or rears sight first is up to you.  The following steps are my preference only.

Removal of Front Sight:

Use the front sight tool to remove the front sight. Depending on the thread locker that has been used, you might want to apply a little heat if the front sight is being difficult. In most cases this is not difficult. If you are planning on reusing the sight, take care not to damage the threads or hex screw head. If there is debris/dirt in or around the slide hole, brush it out.

Removal of Rear Sight:

Place the slide in the rear sight tool. You should orientate the rear sight tool to push the rear sight out to the right. Rotate the push key on the left to push the sight out. Most rear sights are installed from the right side of the slide, pushing the sight left. Following this path makes the sight easier to remove and less wear is added to the sight channel.  The sights are now removed and you are ready to install the new sights. If there is debris/dirt in the sight channel, brush it out.

Installation of Rear Sight:

The slide is already in the rear sight tool, so now you just have to install the new rear sight. Reposition the left push key back and slide in your new sight. Place the sight in from the right and push toward the left. The new sight will almost slide halfway in with your finger. Once in place, rotate the right push key until the sight is centered.

Ensure there is an equal amount of distance on both sides of the sight to the edge of the frame. This may take several minor adjustments with the rear sight tool.

Installation of front Sight:

Place the new front sight in the front sight slide hole. The sight will have a post that fits the slide hole, it will usually be snug. Make sure the sight is parallel with your slide as it can move slightly.  Place the front sight hex screw in the front sight tool.  Add some thread locker to the screw threads.

Place the slide in one hand while pushing down on the front sight with your thumb. With the other hand screw the hex screw in with the front sight tool.  It is important not to strip the threads, just a slight tightening is needed to secure the sight.

The installation of the new sights is complete. Check to make sure the front sight is parallel to the slide and the sight alignment is straight.  Reassemble your Glock and take it to the range to make sure the sights are hitting where you want them too.

Additional Comments:

I am not a fan of placing a Glock in a vise and using a punch to hammer/push a rear sight in. Although you can accomplish removing/installing rear sights with a punch, it is not as easy as using a push tool.  Since you are going to have to buy some equipment, I suggest investing in some sight tools. Especially if you have several Glocks. For a one (1) time installation you may not want to spend the money. But, the right tools are very nice to have when you see those new sights you want to try.

The Glockmeister Sight Tool Set is a great deal. It comes with the rear sight pusher, a front sight hex screw tool and a capsule of 262 Red Loctite. All of this for $99.00 dollars. This set pretty much sets you up with what you will need. This set works with most sights designed for Glocks. Other sight tools can cost well over a hundred dollars, just for the rear sight tool.


New Use For Old Tech

Everyone  has or at least has seen the old style bandoleers  the Military sends off ammo in. Usually cotton cloth or something like that.  Older ones had seven pockets and held two stripper clips of 10 rounds in each with a card board box keeping it secured in the pocket.  The newer  ones are 4 pocket and hold three ten round strippers  for 30 rounds each.

A dividing string can be removed to allow you to use the pockets to hold 1 thirty round  mag in each pocket. Just like the Vietnam era type would hold seven  20 round M16 magazines.

While looking at the new issue bandoleer  recently, I noticed it would hold SR-25 pattern magazines in each pocket with the white thread  removed.

This gives you a great way to have 80 rounds of 308 ready to go.  You can stick it in a pack or put a few in a 50 cal. ammo can and store it ready to grab and go or just have it ready to snatch up and throw over your shoulder and run out to do whatever it is you intend to do with a 308 rifle that takes SR25 pattern mags.

There is still no where the amount of  gear made for the 308 mags with the massive selection of gear made for 556 mags.   If you have a rifle that takes this type or size mags, this is a very cheap and passingly durable piece of old school gear that can be put into service.  Bandoleers filled with ammo and mags served as extra ammo carriers for our infantry through several wars and its still not a bad idea.  It is not the best for combat reloads or emergency reloading, but its still a pretty good way to have spare mags bandoleer and ammo  on your person or in a assault 3 day pack.

Claw Emergency Manipulation Sights

AmeriGlo’s Claw EMS Sights were designed by Rob Pincus, Owner of I.C.E. Training Company and developer of the Combat Focus Shooting Program. Rob was kind enough to provide Loose Rounds with the Claw EMS rear sight and his AmeriGlo contact provided the ProGlo Tritium front sight. I have been running the sight combination for a few weeks now, and I really like it. The Claw EMS is so simple, yet very effective.  For installation of the sights, I used a Glockmeister tool sight set. Installation is very easy with this sight set and took only a few minutes. A small amount of loctite red 262 is a good idea for the front sight threads.

Sight View:

The Claw EMS rear sight was developed for one-handed slide manipulation and disable drills. Using the rear sight to rack the slide for clearing or reloading your handgun is nothing new. This is a technique I  have used in my experience as a former law enforcement officer and firearms instructor. The technique is taught to officers in law enforcement academies and advanced firearms schools across the country.  Rob set out to develop a rear sight that would more effectively grip gear during one-handed manipulation. The front edge of the (Claw) rear sight is curved forward, allowing the sight to positively grip clothing and gear in order to rack the slide.








The EMS sights are available in several different configurations for your Glock at the I.C.E. Training Store. The Claw rear sight is a standard size 0.165″ height sight. You can buy it alone and it will work with any standard size Glock front sight. The I.C.E Store also has different front sight combinations to go along with the Claw EMS Rear Sight. AmeriGlo makes all of these sights so you know you are getting quality sights. The sight combinations from I.C.E Store will not break your pocket book and are extremely affordable, from $24.00 to $72.00 in price.

If you have the factory plastic sights from Glock, I highly recommend you replace them. The factory sight tends to come off when using the rear sight to aggressively manipulate the slide. In my opinion, the Claw EMS rear sight is one the best all-around option to replace the factory Glock sight.

Sight Acquisition/Accuracy:

The EMS sights perform like sights should. I have several different kinds of sights on several different Glocks and the EMS are just as accurate as any others I have tried.  I did some off-hand shooting at known distances from the holster. I fired around 200 rounds to get a good feel for the sights. The sights are easy to pick up and follow-up shots are quick and accurate.

I did have one (1) flyer at fifteen (15) yards during accuracy testing. This was my fault of course, I clearly flinched.  The ProGlo yellow front sight was very quick to acquire out of my peripheral vision during the draw.








I ran the sights through some various lighting conditions indoors.  The sights were easy to pick up in the different lighting conditions and provided a nice sight picture. The Claw rear sight provided a nice flat silhouette for the front sight. I ran the sights with and without a weapon light as well.

One advantage of the AmeriGlo ProGlo front sight is the photo luminescent ring around the tritium post. Simply hit the front sight with your handheld light and the photo luminescent ring glows brightly for several minutes -five (5) to ten (10) minutes on average. Sunlight also charges the photo luminescent ring, making transitions from outdoor to indoor environments smooth on the front sight picture.  This feature provides huge advantages to a law enforcement officer engaged in clearing a building or home in changing light conditions.  I found the front sight was highly visible in most of the lighting transitions.








Claw Manipulation:

The main concept of the Claw EMS rear sight is for one-handed racking of the slide. The name of the sights makes you ask, what is emergency manipulation? It’s a situation where you are actively in a gun fight, you have been hit, and you only have the use of one hand. How are you going to clear a malfunction or do a reload? This is a scenario that law enforcement officers train for but is often overlooked in the citizen concealed carry world. In a dynamic rapidly developing incident, you want to make sure you are not going to fumble around when it counts.  The claw/hook design positively grips your gear, belt, holster, magazine pouch, pockets, and clothing providing assistance when racking the slide one-handed. As always, muzzle awareness in very important when applying these techniques, as well as proper trigger finger placement along the frame.


In the case of a malfunction, the Claw EMS rear sight allows you to rack the slide forcefully, clearing the malfunction. This can be done with either your right or left hand, depending on what side has been disabled.









During a reload the Claw EMS rear sight becomes more important on the Glock if you are using your left hand. The slide stop/release is on the left-hand side of your handgun. This makes releasing the slide stop during a reload one-handed difficult.  The Claw EMS rear sight gives a fast positive grip and slide release to reload and get back in the fight.








Overall Impressions:

I really like the Claw EMS rear sight in combination with the AmeriGlo ProGlo front sight. They are fast becoming one of my favorite set of sights to use. With most rear sights, the front edges are sloped backwards or straight. When doing one-handed/disable drills, those sights tend to easily slip off gear, and can result in several attempts to clear or rack the slide.  This is something you cannot afford to happen in a fight. The Claw EMS rear sight is designed to have a positive bit/grip on gear and/or clothing. During my tests, the Claw EMS Rear Sights worked on all gear/clothing without failure.

For my Law Enforcement friends, I highly suggest the Claw EMS Rear Sight for duty use. The savvy conceal carry citizen should take a look at the EMS sight for their everyday carry as well. The Claw EMS rear sight combined with the AmeriGlo ProGlo Tritium front sight is a winning combination for your defensive carry needs.


Follow Up Link:


“What is “Cover” in the Home? Part 2

Small update. A lot of internet and armchair “experts”out there who read these want to point out how “poor” my choice of ammo was, being I did not use enough hollow points to suit them. They failed to read the part where I stated “common rounds” for popular calibers. Test are not scientific and not meant to show every single HD or self defense/duty load ever made.  Most handgun   HP ammo turns to ball ammo went it hits anything more solid then flesh anyway, so its still a good example of what would likely happen.   As far as the rifle rounds, a lot of people want to use M855 or M193 for HD, mistakenly thinking that because the military uses it, it must be good. Article was meant to show that as a bad idea.   All the experts are welcome to do take the time , money and their own ammo to show results they get, or send me all the HP ammo they want tested at their expense.  To all those who can read and understand the purpose of these tests, please enjoy.  Thank you. Shawn.

Last time I fired a variety of the more popular 556 rounds commonly stockpiled by shooter and one of the most popular defense loads through a variety of things inside of a house to see what happens. The idea was to maybe get and idea what could go wrong if you had to fight inside a house or take cover behind things or you are just worried about over penetration. Just like I said last time ( though some of the more illiterate seemed to not have read)  this is not a scientific test and I make no claims it is.  But it is something to help you think. I hope.

This is the next part to what may be a series of at least 5 “test.”  I am going to show the results of what happened when I fired  5.45 from a AK74 type rifle, 7.62×39 from AK47 type.some ballistic tip rounds from a  5.56 AR15 carbine and  ball and Ranger T  HPs from a  45 ACP.

The first rounds I fired are the 5.45. The ammo is the standard round  as used by the Russian Mil. A lot of people like it because it is cheap and they feel it more deadly then a 5.56 in ball ammo form. Or at least the same if just cheaper.

The rounds punched a nice entry hole going in. But, one the got to the opposite side,they keyholed. You can see they stayed pretty much intact. Look how lean the holes are in the picture below.

They went on through the target, and the wood board behind holding it up and struck a cooking pot behind and stopping.

  The light makes it look like  a hole but it is not.   It did seem in one out of 20 rounds to  have fragged.  With the core some how bouncing off the pot and coming back to stick in the back side of the cardboard target.

You can see the core on the far left. This is the only evidence of fragmentation from the 5.45 I could find all day.

Next I fired some of the ballistic tip 5.56  to see how it would compare to the m193 , m855 and TAP used the last time.

A lot of people will say that ballistic tip will not over penetrate and like to keep it as a home defense round.

Hole by the paster is a perfectly cut hole left by a 55 grain ballistic tip fired through a fridge. This was pretty normal I found. Other damage was parts of metal from the fridge skin.   This surprised me enough to  fire the BT  through an outside window that was double pane into another target 10 yards behind the glass.

  The large hole in the target in the upper left  and bottom are from the ballistic tip 5.56 fired through a double window.  The glass deflected it a few inches from center line where I aimed. Rounds continued on through the  double 2 x 4 door frame it rested against before splattering on the wall behind.  Middle hole in target is from 45 ACP ranger T hollow point fired through same glass.  45 stopped inside the double 2x4s behind target with almost not real deflection.

I also fired the 45 ACp  through the fridge. HPs and ball.

  HPs and ball went through fridge and target. Punches through wood prop, then went deep into stove behind the target.  HPs no doubt caved in on itself and turned effectively into ball.

   I also fired from and outside wall, through a TV entertainment center stand at a target “hiding” behind and through  3 walls to see what would happen.  I used the HPs in every case since I had a pretty good idea what ball would do. I thought anyway.

TV center.

and exit hole after going through wall and 3 layers of the stand.

Below is target after 45 ACP was fired through  3 inside walls and one closet wooden door.

  Exit holes are seen in wall and one of the hits on the target paper. All shots continued on  through cabinet and another wall. This was all done with HP ammo.

Next is from the  much vaunted 7.62×39  ball ammo.  I expected the rounds to go through the fridge destroying it and deep penetration into the stove behind.

  This is what was left of the only round of 30 fired of the M43 round that made it through the fridge.  I fired from 5 feet from the fridge. One made it through and was badly fragged. It did not go through the wooden backer. No other round got through or even bulged the back side of the fridge much to my surprise.   The ‘x39  would go through walls but keyholed and had limited penetration once  it did.   None made it through the book case or dryer either.  GLass deflected the M43 so much I could not get one on the IDPA target so I am not sure what it would have looked like. I ran out of the ammo I brought before I could land a hit. Did not matter since I ran out of glass anyway.

The book case defeated all other rounds just as I expected.

  More holes on one side, but not more exits. Books remain undefeated.  Though all rounds tried would penetrate sometimes up to 10 inches of books alone. When shot through case and books stacked tight, few things seem to have the power. Am going to try a  308 round next on the bookcase.

I am not going to bother showing all the pictures of the dryer since nothing made it clean though.  The 5.45  made it into the dryer but not out the other side. The balistic tipped 556 came closest to a through and through. The 45 ACP did not punch clean through but made some impressive damage before coming to rest on the far side guts on the dryer.  Internal exit holes from the 45 ACP can be seen below. The ranger T tore large gouges through the dryers insides. Does not mean anything, but it is something to ponder.

  All shots fired into dryer first passed through two walls and a bathroom door before hitting the metal of the dryer.

You can see the shredded remains of the rifle rounds laying in bottom of the dryer in the picture.

Once again I was surprised by the results of this very unscientific test. Things I thought that would be stopped were not, and things I thought would penetrate deep did not do much.  Maybe if I did it all again it would be the opposite of this. Who knows?  One thing is becoming pretty clear to anyone who wants to pay attention. Nothing can be depended upon to be “safe” or “safer” from over penetration when talking about being used inside a home.  DO NOT assume your pet HD load or round is going to work like we are told it will be ammo companies.  The only thing you can depend upon is that the worst possible thing that can happen, is likely to happen if you take it for granted and maybe even if you do your best. You just can not know.  the best policy is to do your best not to have to zip off a round in your house if anyone else is inside you do not want hurt.  The best choice in a perfect world is to call the cops and  barricade your self in  a safe room or get out of the house.  We do not live in a perfect world though. So , spend as much time thinking about this as you can if you seriously think you may one dark night need to shoot inside your home. Or re think where you may point your muzzle when loading/unloading your weapon.  Draw your own conclusions because I am not going to make any claims about firearms ammo  doing anything for a fact when it hits anything other then air.

What is “Cover” in your home. And will it Stop a rifle round? Lets find out.

Small update. A lot of internet and armchair “experts”out there who read these want to point out how “poor” my choice of ammo was, being I did not use enough hollow points to suit them. They failed to read the part where I stated “common rounds” for popular calibers. Test are not scientific and not meant to show every single HD or self defense/duty load ever made.  Most handgun   HP ammo turns to ball ammo went it hits anything more solid then flesh anyway, so its still a good example of what would likely happen.   As far as the rifle rounds, a lot of people want to use M855 or M193 for HD, mistakenly thinking that because the military uses it, it must be good. Article was meant to show that as a bad idea.   All the experts are welcome to do take the time , money and their own ammo to show results they get, or send me all the HP ammo they want tested at their expense.  To all those who can read and understand the purpose of these tests, please enjoy.  Thank you. Shawn

I took the time to so a little un scientific testing today of some of the more popular 5.56 rounds used today. It is not a new idea or original to me , but it is worth doing as often as can be pulled off.  It seems to be the one topic about using carbines for home defense that is not as easy to find info on for the new shooters looking to use a AR15 carbine or other  of that type.

I have use of a run down abandoned home on my own property  with some furnishing and appliances still in it. So, I decided to shoot them up for fun, facts and quasi-science.

I used  M855, M193, Hornady TAP  75grain and  the steel cased Hornady 75 grain steel case training round. Rifle was 16 inch barrel carbine with 1/7 twist.  I used cardboard IDPA targets to have an idea of what would happen to a person using cover found in a typical house.

The first test was a refrigerator.  I placed the target ( scared home owner) on the other side as if the person was taking fire.  I set the target a foot or so away to show any fragmentation without ripping it up too bad and making it harder to see what happened.

I fired from about 5 feet from the “threat” side of the fridge.

Inside it had some typical, if spoiled, food items for authenticity. The fridge is about the normal size for most homes in my opinion.

The first round I fired was M855.  It went into the fridge , started to frag, came apart, the core and jacket then went through the other side and both pieces key holed through the target.  The core also went through the wood I used to prop up the target.

The next was the m193. The 55 grain FMJ did make it through in some pieces, but it did make it on into the target.   The M193 is the  hole in the upper head area. The M855 is the lower keyholed hit. Frags from both can be seen peppering the target.  It is interesting since you will commonly hear how M193 will not penetrate far.

The next round was the Hornady steel case.  I fired the 75 grain round and it went into one side and bulged the opposite side with no shoot through.

Next was the Hornady TAp FPD  75 grain round. This round did better then the steel case.  It made it through both side and into the target. It did however leave most of its jacket in the opposite side skin f the fridge.

Whatever was left did not hit the target and I could not find its impact area. Several more rounds had the same effect.

Next I wanted to show what happens if you hide behind a couch while some one is shooting at you like often happens in Hollywood. I even shot through two walls and a closest door to hit the victim. I used M193 and M855 only since it was clear this is a bad idea after a few rounds.

The rounds went pretty much straight through the thin wooden panel walls and two by four boards. Also the couch did not stop anything.  It seemed in fact the barrier seemed to make the hits more destructive on the target.  Don’t hide behind your couch if you are being shot at. Life is not a movie of video game.

Next I fired all four rounds through two walls and a dryer at the victim.

The picture on the right shows 4 rounds from m193. Interestingly, this time the m193 turned sideways  even through the 1st wall.

Every round tumbled and fragged by the time it was well into the dryer. Most of the projectiles still made it into the target. It did seem the round inside of the dry did cause the  hits to impact lower then they would have if they continued on straight n line of sight.

I was able to get hits after aiming higher. No surprise, the m855 made it to the target the best. Both ball rounds, or what was left of them, went on through another two walls behind the target.

Th TAP did not make it through the dryer.

Next up was a book case with a few books in it. I used soft and hard cover. I did not fill the shelf with books because  I know none of the rounds would have went through.

The only round to make it to the target is the tear from a tumbled m855 round that you can see in the bottom left of the target in the picture. One m855 went off to the side wall.  No other round made it through to the target. They either stopped in the book or zipped of in a different direction or into the uknown. I fired 20 rounds trying to get another hit.

A lot of people do not know the difference between cover and concealment.  Probably because of movies, people seem to think most anything in a house will stop a bullet, even the walls.  This is showing things are not always as secure as you may think.  I would not use any of this as cover if I thought I was going ot be shot at. maybe to hide behind, but not to take cover behind.   Unless its a metal or steel wall, you need to think about it.  This also may be a wake up call for those who day dream of zipping off a round during some home invasion fantasy cooked up in their heads.  If you have loved ones in the next room or two over you better think very hard about what you would do when shooting in your house. Even if you thought you had it all worked out.  All of the rounds fired that made it to the target. still went on through at least another wall or two at the least.   SO, be careful what you hide behind and be more careful about who or what may be in the next room or house if you ever have to shoot in your own home. Or, if you shoot by accident. a ND can go a lot further then you think even if you had the gun pointed in what you though would be a safe direction if you did have a ND.    This is of course 556 rounds only and not all of them by any means so keep looking for a round that might be a little more safe then the military ammo everyone seems to want to buy for defense. Same goes with handgun ammo or shotguns. This  is not the end all be all test or even slightly scientific, but I show it to you to draw your own conclusions and to keep thinking.