All posts by Duncan

Upgrading My Outdated Weapon Lights, the Surefire X300

This past week, I sold a few of my older weapon mounted lights (WML) and got some very awesome deals on replacement lights. I sold several, over 12 years old, Insight M3 tactical lights and a first Gen Streamlight TRL-1. I carried some of these on duty years ago when they were the best/newest WML out there.  All were in like new condition and served me well, but with 65 and 80 max output lumens, these lights were very outdated. In fact, they were dangerously inadequate for my needs. I probably hung on to them for a few years, far to long because of sentimental reasons, and I was so use to them.

7-6-14 Cell 059
Old Streamlight TLR-1 / Insight M3 Weapon Lights
Surefire X300 Weapn Mounted Light
New Surefire X300 Weapn Mounted Light

For a pistol weapon light, I personally like lights at or under 200 lumens. I have found that this provides very adequate target identification light, while preserving my night vision, with appropriate use. The new lights at 500, 600 and over lumens, have a negative effect on my night vision, with momentary on and off use indoors and at typical handgun engagement distances. I find that I get several spotting/blinding circles, from the momentary on position with over 500  lumens. While this is great for blinding your adversary, it also creates those hard to recover spots in my eyes.

Surefire X300's
Surefire X300’s / Sig & Glocks
Surefire X300's
Surefire X300’s / 175 Lumens

I was able to sell off all of my older WML’s and broke even with their replacements, (pretty damn good).  I was able to find two (2) new in box, Surefire X300’s and one (1) like new in box, Surefire X300. I have used the X300 before and found the 175 lumen Surefire X300 to be my personal preference, for my home defense/carry handguns. The Surefire’s have a more focused light beam compared to other WML’s. This makes them have a brighter focused beam that extends their range an bit, with a descent cascading peripheral edge light feel.

Surefire X300's off
Surefire X300’s off
Surefire X300's On
Surefire X300’s On

Final Thoughts:

I think  I made out extremely well, replacing my older weapon lights and getting the light output (lumens) I prefer in a home defense or carry weapon light. Now that the Surefire X300 Ultra’s (A and B) are out, you can find some great deals on people selling the older x300’s. I will be replacing some of my rifle WML’s with X300 Ultra’s in the near future. If you happen to find an older quality X300, don’t hesitate to jump on it for your CCW or home defense handgun.

Duncan.

RTF2, the Pinnacle of Glock Production?

Recently Lipsey’s released another Vickers / Glock collaboration,  with the Grey Gen3 RTF2 Glocks, much like the previously released Vickers RTF2 FDE Glocks. While the Vickers Glocks have a lot of  Vickers Glock accessories, these Glocks are mainly focused around the 2009 RTF2 frame and are desired for this frame.  The RTF2 frame  was in production for a very short time and  was not really wanted when it first came out.  Now people pay a premium for the RTF2 framed Glocks. So, is the RTF2 frame the pinnacle of Glock production? I would say yes, for a pure Glock fighting handgun.

Glock 17 RTF2
Glock 17 RTF2

The initial release of the Glock Gen3 RTF2’s in 2009, with the G17 and G22, where met with a lot of visual/cosmetic speculation.  Not so much with the RTF2 frame but with the so called “Fish Gill” scalloped slide serrations. Many hated the Fish Gill look and this cosmetic look was the main focus of dislike on the RTF2’s back then. In reality the Fish Gill slide serrations have never been a functional issue/problem. They worked just as well as the standard slide serrations. Glock quickly stopped production of the Fish Gill slides and continued G17, G22, G19, G23 and G21 RTF2 frame production. This makes the Fish Gill Glock slides the least produced RTF2 combination. Then people started to complain the RTF2 texture was to rough for their delicate hands.  Some time in 2010 the RTF2 line was halted and was limited to large orders (over 2500) or LE agency production only.

"Fish Gill" Scalloped Slide Serrations
“Fish Gill” Scalloped Slide Serrations

In recent years Lipsey’s has release exclusive Vickers RTF2 Glocks in FDE and now in Grey. These Glocks have sold out very quickly and in some cases for extremely large amounts of money. Most RTF2 frames now sell for premium values since they were discontinued.  Why was the RTF2 frame chosen for the Vickers Glock and why are they so desirable now? I do not think the Vickers accessories that are sold with the Vickers Glocks are the main attractive point of these Glock’s.  Also, the FDE and Grey colors are not the main focus of the Vickers Glock’s. You can get these accessories and these colors for your standard Gen3 and Gen4 Glock’s.  The main selling point of the Vickers Glock’s are the RTF2 frames.

Vickers FDE Glocks
Vickers FDE Glocks
Vickers Grey Glocks
Vickers Grey Glocks

In my opinion the RTF2 frame is the pinnacle of the Glock line for a duty, home defense and training firearm.  It is also the best feeling and handling Glock made frame.

Grip/Texture:

The texture of the RTF2 frame is exactly what you want in a fighting handgun. The RTF2 frame has more than 4,000 tiny raised “Pyramids” around the grip. I actually tried to count/calculate one of my personal RTF2 framed Glock’s pyramids and it came out just over 5600 pyramids. The RTF2 frame is not too rough for your hands and it does not beat up or hurt your hands under longs strings of fire.  You can feel the slight bite of the RTF2 pyramid texturing but it’s just enough to let you know it is there for you. I have taken the RTF2 to several multi-day training courses and other than a super positive grip, I have had no issues with the grip texture being too rough. When handling the RTF2 Glock in wet and oily environments, it has vastly superior grip-ability over the Gen3 and Gen4 frames.

RTF2 "Pyramids"
RTF2 “Pyramids”

Now, if you are looking for a daily conceal carry handgun, The RTF2 framed Glocks are not ideal. If you are trying to conceal an RTF2 Glock, having it right next to your skin is not going to feel great.  You will have to wear a layer of protective clothing. Also, the RTF2 frames are extremely rough on all clothing, gloves and even your seatbelt. For a training course, duty carry or home defense firearm, the RTF2 is the best of the Glock offerings, for a very positive grip.

RTF2 Training
RTF2 Training

Gen3 Frame:

The RTF2 frame is built on Glocks arguably most reliable and longest serving Glock frame, the Gen3. I really can’t explain what it is, but the overall grip circumference of the RTF2 frame seems to feel smaller than the standard Gen3 frame.  The finger grooves also look and feel smaller than on the standard Gen3 frame.  I’m not sure if this is due to the RTF2 texture but the size of the grip feels just right.  You feel like you have more hand on the firearm with a maximum hand purchase, 360 degrees around the frame.

Glock 17 RTF2 / X300 / 33rd Magazine
Glock 17 RTF2 / X300 / 33rd Magazine

Availability Today:

The RTF2 Glock general production was stopped in 2010. With some of the Vickers Glocks you may be able to find one  here and there, but you are going to pay for it. There are older RTF’s popping up here and there and you will be paying a high price for them as well. I would suggest looking out for Police Trade-In G22 and G23 RTF2’s when they are available. I recently saw some in the mid 300 dollar range. Since G17/22 and G19/23 frames are identical, picking up a cheaper .40 cal trade in model might be the way to go, to get the RTF2 frame.

Final Thoughts:

If you are someone who likes Glocks, once you have an RTF2 framed Glock in your hands, you will probably never let it go. It is the ultimate in positive grip, in the Glock line. I mainly use the RTF2 Glocks for home defense and training classes. The RTF2’s are also great for your load-bearing, armor carrier, chest rig, or SHTF go gear. You will find yourself wanting to carry it for your conceal firearm, but remember it just chews your clothing up to fast. For a pure fighting handgun, the RTF2’s are the best Glock frames you can get. They do perform better than Gen3 and Gen4 Glocks in the grip feel and function area.

Duncan

Sig Sauer SP2022-FDE 9mm

We have all known about the SIG Pro (SP) SP2022’s for a several years but for some unexplained reason it is always forgotten.  I have always looked at getting one, because of their reputation, quality and very low price point. In the early 2000’s I owned the older SP2340 in .357sig, so I had some experience with the SIG Pro polymer framed guns. Recently the SP2022 has become even more competitively priced with added features. I could no longer pass the SP2022 up and when I ran across a deal on a SP2022 in Flat Dark Earth (FDE) I jumped on it, to get back into SIG SAUER’s. I have always liked the look , feel, and performance of the Classic Line of SIG SAUER handguns.

SP2022 FDE
SP2022 FDE 9mm

Continue reading Sig Sauer SP2022-FDE 9mm

Defensive Glock Upgrades

So you have bought a Glock for personal defense and you now want to make some upgrades. This is a question I get every week from a Glock owner. Lets tackle this issue from a personal defense firearm perspective. There are a lot of aftermarket upgrades and parts for Glocks. In fact, there are probably more aftermarket parts and upgrades available for Glocks than any other handgun out there. First I would say, you need to be very familiar with your stock Glock before you start to add new/upgraded parts to it. If you have less than 2000 rounds (a good multi-day training course) through it, you probably won’t know what feels like an enhancement to your firearm.

Let’s explore the low cost factory (OEM) options, before you spend large amounts of money, that in my opinion do not give you a real advantage over your stock Glock.  The real issue is, what upgrades actually give you a measurable defensive advantage vs. what is a waste of money. A stock Glock, that is carried by an estimated 65% of law enforcement officers in the nation, is about as reliable as you are going to get. Now a Salient Arms or ZEV upgraded Glock is a very nice firearm (I would love to have one myself) but is it worth the 1000 to 2000 dollars of work, and does it give you a huge advantage (defensive firearm) over a bone stock Glock with some minor/low cost upgrades?

IMG_5899
Field Stripped Glock

I have been exposed to several viable upgrades to your Glock pistol vs. what is throwing large amounts of money at an extremely reliable 400 dollar firearm, to make it an extremely reliable 2500 dollar firearm. That kind of money, does not make the firearm function any better/more reliable for the expenditure of that money. There are a few relatively inexpensive things you can do to slightly enhance your Glock’s function and feel from its bone stock configuration. Anything beyond and including these few minor upgrades, is your personal preference and/or expensive, internal or cosmetic want.  When braking in a new Glock defensive firearm or going through a good defensive handgun course, you will shoot 1500 to 2000 rounds. This smoothes out the trigger and other parts in your Glock.  It also lets you know how the firearm is performing (reliability). If you do not have a minimum of 2k rounds through your Glock, I would wait to modify any internal parts until that round mark.  Keep in mind, these are my suggestions for inexpensive improvements for defensive carry.

Various Glock's
Various Glock’s

Sights:

The absolute first and arguably best upgrade you can make to your Glock is a quality set of sights.  The stock Glock sights are 100% recognized as crap across any industry professional. There are a lot of sights out there to choose from but as long as you replace the stock sights with a quality iron or night sight set, you have made a huge improvement. Quality aftermarket sights will give you improved sight picture, accuracy, speed and follow up shots, on your target.

Standard 3 Dot Night Sights
Standard 3 Dot Night Sights
IMG_5920 (2)
Ameriglo Claw EMS Sights

The best bang for the buck, I have found, are Ameriglo sights.  Ameriglo sights are very affordable and come in many configurations and options. Remember most aftermarket (night sights) use Trijicon lamps as they have the U.S patent on night sight Tritium tubes. If you have the money, I recommend Trijicon HD sights.

Trijicon HD Night Sights
Trijicon HD Night Sights

Magazine Release & Slide Stop:

There are several aftermarket magazine releases available.  I have found the Vickers magazine release, whether in the Gen2/3 or Gen4 configuration to be just right. It has the right length to function extremely well, but not be too long, avoiding accidentally/inadvertently hitting the release. For me, this is the second upgrade/accessory I usually add on all my Glocks.

Vickers Gen2/3 Mag Release & OEM Extended Slide Stop
Vickers Gen2/3 Mag Release & OEM Extended Slide Stop

There are only two slide stops that I would recommend.  The Glock OEM extended slide stop or the Vickers slide stop. These upgrades are under 20 dollars and may give you a slight advantage in ease of uses over the stock slide stop. Having used several slide stops, it really does not make much of a difference for me. The Glock is not a 1911, so running the slide stop as a slide release is not the preferred method of operating a Glock.

Vickers Gen4 Mag Release & Slide Stop
Vickers Gen4 Mag Release & Slide Stop

On Gen3 Glocks, you can get the OEM extended mag release and dremal it down and round the edges, for half the price of the Vickers magazine release. This will look nice if you take your time and do it right.

Glock OEM Extended Mag Release
Glock OEM Extended Mag Release

Grip Plug:

A lot of people don’t see the reason to put in a grip plug, other than for cosmetic looks to plug the gap.  I usually add one on my Glocks. There is a slight advantage to using a grip plug. I find that it makes speed/emergency reloads easier/smoother and faster. It makes a slight feed ramp for the magazine and gets rid of the curved ridge between the magwell and backstrap of the Glock. Sometimes you can get the lip of the shell casing hung up in this area. With a grip plug, you completely avoid those hang up issues. It provides smooth, snag free insertion of a magazine into your firearm. It’s easy, cheep and worth the expense.

Grip Plug G22
Grip Plug G22
Grip Plug G17 RTF2
Grip Plug G17 RTF2

Trigger Upgrades:

Trigger upgrades are a complex issue with Glocks and can become very expensive.  There are so many aftermarket triggers and parts out there, it is hard to know where to start. So let me start by saying, Glock has arguably one of the best overall triggers in the striker fired market. A lot of companies really try to duplicate the forceful and audible reset of the Glock triggers.  I feel the stock Glock Trigger is one of the last things you should mess with.  I cannot stand the serrated triggers that come in the compact and sub-compact Glocks. The first trigger part I replace in those firearms is a full size smooth OEM trigger with trigger bar. Just doing this in a compact or sub-compact Glock will make a huge difference in trigger feel. Especially when training and when firing a lot of rounds.

OEM Compact/Sub Compact Serrated Trigger.
OEM Compact/Sub Compact Serrated Trigger.
(Top) G23 Smooth Trigger, (Bottom) G19 Serrated Trigger
(Top) G23 Smooth Trigger, (Bottom) G19 Serrated Trigger

When you start thinking about putting in aftermarket, non-OEM parts, you need to rethink that in a personal defense firearm. If you want to mess with the Stock 5.5 lbs. trigger, stick to a few OEM Glock parts that can significantly change the trigger dynamics.

For close to 20 dollars you can buy a Glock New York One (NY1) trigger spring (OD in color) and a Glock  OEM – Connector.   The NY1 and OEM – Connector combination, will clean up a little trigger travel and give you a more pronounced positive trigger reset.

(Left) - OEM Connector, (Right) NY1 Trigger Spring
(Left) – OEM Connector, (Right) NY1 Trigger Spring

All around, this slightly improves the stock trigger and this combination keeps the trigger in the 5 to 5.5 lbs. range, for those who are restricted to these lbs. by duty carry policy. I have this combination on some of my Glocks. Other Glocks I have left alone, because their triggers just happen to be very good and you should not mess with one that is good to go.

(Left) NY1 Trigger Spring, (Right) Stock 5.5 lbs Trigger Spring
(Left) NY1 Trigger Spring, (Right) Stock 5.5 lbs Trigger Spring

For a personal defense firearm, I would not suggest after market, reduced lbs. firing pin springs, connectors or trigger springs. The reduced lbs. firing pin spring can produce light primer strikes on defensive ammunition and this is the last thing you want.

Frame Stippling:

The last thing I would consider for upgrading your Glock is professional frame stippling or modification. This usually does not affect the mechanical function or reliability of your firearm, but may improve your grip and handling of the firearm.  If you want to do it yourself that’s fine, but I would warn against doing it yourself. The reason I warn against doing it yourself is for two reasons: First, unless you are very experienced, it’s only going to look good to you and you could screw it up badly. Second: You significantly devalue the firearm and make it almost un-resalable.

There are numerous business’s that do very nice frame stippling and modifications. This is going to cost you,(100 to 300 dollars), but it will probably add some resale value to your Glock.

Tactical Texture & Triggers LLC frame work
Tactical Texture & Triggers LLC frame work

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully this has given you some things to think about. Don’t go crazy on a personal defense firearm.  It does not get much better than a stock Glock. Some of these suggestions will really make a difference for some of you and some won’t. Several of these suggestions are my personal preferences on what I have learned over the years. Nothing I have suggested is something you must have, except for replacing the stock sights. Now, if you are throwing money at a competition/race Glock, the sky is the limit if you think the upgrade will help your score/points. For a personal defense Glock, don’t mess to much with arguably one of the most reliable stock firearms ever made. All of the parts/upgrades I have talked about here range from 1.00 dollar to 20.00 dollars each, (except for sights and frame modifications of course). You can tweak and test them out for a relatively low price, to see if some of these upgrades might improve you defensive Glock. Think wisely about parts to enhance your firearm. Wasted money on upgrades and parts, that don’t really enhance your defensive firearm beyond the stock configuration, just take away from you’re ammunition and training budget.

Duncan.

FBI 9mm Justification FOIA

One of our loyal followers, who was very interested in the FBI 9mm Justification article from last year, submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the FBI’s 9mm Executive Summary of Justification for Law Enforcement Partners. Our reader then provided us with a copy of the FOIA.  The FBI’s FOIA subject is titled: FBI Academy Caliber Specific Ammunition Trial. We figured someone else would have released the documents they had by now, as so many stated they also had it and vetted it, but no one has.

Our reader requested a lot of information in the FOIA and gave me the specific information requested. I would like to point out (Paragraphs 2 & 3) of the FOIA letter.  Paragraph 2 states, “Material consisting of 6 pages has been reviewed pursuant to Title 6, U.S. Code § 552 and this material is being released to you in its entirety with no excisions being made by the FBI”.  Paragraph 3 states, ” For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA”.

After reviewing our readers requested information and vetting it through some of our sources, certain information requested in the FOIA is listed as Law Enforcement Sensitive/Classified by the FBI/Gov and that information was not released in the FOIA. This is the reason for the Appeal process outlined in Paragraphs 4 & 5. The Executive Summery is identical to the one we received over a year ago through official channels. I think we have done our due diligence on vetting the info. The info is identical and accurate to what we previously had and we can now release the actual Executive Summary.

I did make small changes for our previous article, as I stated for ease of reading, and you can now see those small changes. Bellow is the FOIA given to use and I have redacted specific information at the request of the owner/provider of the FOIA.

You can see our original article, with an easy to ready text of the Executive Sumary here: 2014/09/21 FBI-9mm-Justification-FBI-Training-Division

FOIA Letter
FOIA Letter
FIOa Page 1
FOIA Page 1
FOIA Page 2
FOIA Page 2
FOIA Page 3
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FOIA Page 4
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FOIA Page 6

My Suggestions / Upgrades on your Carry Glock 43

The single stack 9mm market is huge. The Smith & Wesson’s Shield and the new Glock 43 are dominating that market. One great thing about Glock’s is the fact that just about everyone makes parts and accessories for them. The aftermarket accessories and parts are plentiful, and easy to install. So now you have your G43, you have run ample carry ammo through it and it is ready for carry. What are the must haves for your G43.  Let’s keep this simple and pick the three (3) absolute must haves for your Every Day Carry (EDC) G43.

(1) High Quality Holster

(2) Sights

(3) + Mag Extension / Base Pad

Continue reading My Suggestions / Upgrades on your Carry Glock 43