Last year we reviewed the AR-15 Mag Holder from Mag Storage Solutions. We were lucky enough to be the first to get a review out on the AR-15 Mag Holder. The AR-15 Mag Holder is a great product and functions very well; several of us at Loose Rounds have them. The owner of Mag Storage Solutions (magstoragesolutions.com) reached out to us last week. Mag Storage Solutions stated they had a new prototype magazine holder for us to look at. This time, Mag Storage Solutions has put together a mag holder for Handgun/Pistol magazines. The Pistol Mag Holder is a perfect mate for those who have the AR-15 Mag Holder. There are approximately 5000 units currently in production. These should be hitting retail markets in the first few weeks of October (2015). I expect the new Pistol Mag Holder to move just as fast as the AR-15 Mag Holder did when released.
The Pistol Mag Holder provides a storage solution for mainly full sized handgun magazines. Depending on what magazines you are using, you can store ten (10) Glock or fifteen (15) 1911 magazines. The Pistol Mag Holder is similar in size and shape to the original AR-15 Mag Holder. It can be mounted inside your gun safe, weapons room, or any area where you store and organize your magazines. It also looks very well mounted next to the AR-15 Mag Holder.
I was looking for a smaller case to put an SBR or broken down AR in. I have owned several AR soft cases and have paid quite a bit of money for them. About a year ago I saw the AR15.com 26″ Covert Takedown Case. For 60.00 dollars it looked like a case worth taking a chance on. Unfortunately it was never in stock. I finally clicked the notify when in stock button and was on the notification list for a long time. To my fortune, when I was notified it was back in stock, it was on sale for 30.00 dollars. Without hesitation I got one. At this price point it was worth the chance to gamble on the case. Looking back now, I should have bought two or three of them at that price. This case has many features higher priced cases come with and a little more.
One of the main reasons I looked at the ARFCOM case were the eight (8) Velcro straps that come with the case. Pretty much all soft rifle cases come with two (2) Velcro straps. The versatility of having (8) straps, gives you unlimited rifle mounting and accessory mounting options throughout the case, with the three (3) rows of MOLLE loops.
With the dimensions of 26L x 12W x 4D, there is ample room to place the upper & lower of your 10.3″ to 16″ rifle as well as its mounted accessories and additional accessories, in the case.
The case comes with four (4) D-rings on the back. These are large and seem to be very secure. The case does not come with a strap, but the addition of the D-rings allows you to mount a shoulder strap, if you want.
The case comes with upper and lower Velcro pockets for the foam padding sheets. The foam sheets are removable and replaceable. The padding is very generous at 3/4 of an inch on both the top and bottom. The foam padding sheet is a three (3) part sheet, a soft foam middle sheet, sandwiched between a top and bottom cardboard type layer, that has a thin foam coating. This pads the case nicely and creates some rigidity to the case. The (3) layer foam sheets also help the soft foam to avoid memory prints/indents. Surprisingly, the (3) layer foam sheets appear to be nicer and thicker than on the closed-cell foam on other higher end cases.
Velco & Zippers:
The case comes with a double sided carry handle that has a loop around Velcro closure. This allow you to secure both sides of the handle together for easier carry and security. The main compartment of the case has two (2) large zipper tabs. The zipper teeth are large and function very smoothly.
The AR15.com 26″ Covert Takedown Case appears to be made very well. The stitching is well done and it appears that it will hold up very well. I was unable to find out any real material specifications on the case. The case appears to be at least 500 Denier Cordura Nylon Fabric. The older version of the case had a stitched on AR15.com patch, that is no longer offered. It now has a Velcro loop patch so you can add any patch you would like on the case. I have compared this case to several other soft cases I have and the construction seems to be very close.
The mounting options with the size and (8) Velcro straps makes this case a huge winner in my book. The price point is also a major winner with this case. Even at the full price of 60.00 dollars, you could buy two of these cases for the price of some of the big name brand cases. With what I am going to be using the case for and probably what you will too, I do not see the advantage or need to step up into a higher priced case. There is so much the case can carry with your rifle and accessories, it is only limited to your imagination. As you can see from the pictures, you can place your fully outfitted rifle with magazines and other accessories with no problem. You even have some more room to spare.
Last year with the release of Glock 42, Loose Rounds was one of the first to get out a completely stripped down look at it. We have had to wait a little while to get the new single stack 9mm G43, as it is probably the most awaited single stack 9mm in history. Now that we have it, let’s strip it all the way down and compare the parts.
The new G43 has several unique, redesigned, internal components that are very different from all other Glock’s. You can see it is a 2 pin design, like the old Gen2 Glock’s, with a Gen4 magazine release and stippling identical to the G42. I have completely stripped this G43 to give you an idea of what the new internal parts are. The Slide and Frame are obviously different between the two fireams ,but when completely stripping the G43, you will notice some of the parts are similar to the G42. In-fact some of the internal parts are the same as the G42, but not all. While I will not go into a complete tutorial on how to strip your Glock down, it is not extremely difficult and you can learn how to properly do it with some quality research.
When stripping the G43 completely down, pay close attention to the parts that are significantly different in their design and placement in the G43, compared to the traditional larger Glock Models. Also if you have a G42 make sure you are very familiar with what parts are compatible with the G43 and which ones are not. Below are several pictures of a completely stripped G43, the new internal parts and parts that are shared with the G42.
LOWER RECEIVER PARTS
The front Trigger Pin is slightly larger, as the frame is wider, and is marked differently in the G43. The G42 pin has two circle cuts where the Slide Stop Lever engages the pin. The rear Trigger Housing Pin, interestingly, appears to be the same as the G42 pin.
The Locking Block appears to be the same as in the G42. They fit in both of the firearms.
Slide Stop Lever:
The Slide Stop Lever looks almost identical as in the G42, but you can see the spring tabs on the G43 Slide Stop are different. Also, The shape of the them is slightly different on the angle bars above the spring and they do have different part numbers. I found they worked in both firearms even though they have differences. I also have a G42 Vickers Slide Stop Lever and it works in both firearms but the Vickers is very loose in the G43. Im not sure I would bet my life on it working, so I would wait for the Vickers to come out in a G43 specific configuration.
Trigger Mechanism Housing w/ Ejector & Connector:
The Trigger Mechanism Housing (TMH) with Ejector and Connector, are identical to that of the G42. All the part numbers on the TMH and the Ejector are the same.
The Trigger Spring parts, from what I can tell they appear to be the same part as in the G42.
The Magazine Release is slightly larger in the G43. The frame is just a little wider and the Magazine Release has a different part number. These parts are not compatible between the two firearms.
The Tigger Bar is longer in the G43 and the part numbers are different. Unfortunately it is not compatible with the G42. I was hoping they would be the same as I absolutely hate Glock serrated triggers and I was hoping to swap it out to the G42 smooth trigger.
The Slide Lock is slightly larger in the G43. The frame is just a little wider and the Slide Lock has a different part number. The Slide Lock Spring appears to be the same part.
SLIDE UPPER PARTS
Barrel & Recoil Spring Assembly:
Obviously the Barrel and Recoil Spring are larger on the G43.
Slide Cover Plate:
The Slide Cover Plate is slightly larger on the G43. The plates will fit in each slide, but the G43 Plate is taller and does not match up with the inside of the slide on the G42, making reassembly of the slide and frame impossible.
Firing Pin Safety:
The Firing Pin Safety is completely different on the G43 vs G42, it is larger. Again it can only go in one way. The smaller notch on the left side of Firing Pin Safety faces the Firing Pin. The Firing Pin Safety Spring appears to be the same part.
Firing Pin Assembly:
The Firing Pin assembly is very interesting. Some parts are the same as the G42 and others are not. The Spring Cups and Firing Pin Spring appear to be identical to the G42. The Firing Pin and the Channel Liner are clearly larger.
Extractor Depressor Plunger:
The Extractor Depressor Plunger Rod is larger on the G43, but the Depressor Plunger Spring and the Spring Loaded Bearing appear to be identical as the G42s.
The Extractor is slightly larger and has a different part number on the G43. It is extremely hard to tell the size difference visually, but the G43 Extractor is wider than the G42s.
If you are not a Glock Armorer, Gunsmith or you are very unfamiliar with stripping your Glock down; I would not recommend any disassembly past regular field strip maintenance. Most people will have no need to break the firearm down to this level. A few of the G43 parts look identical or are the same parts in the G42, but several are also newly designed/beefed up for the larger 9mm G43. Hopefully this answered some of the questions out there about compatibility of parts with the G42 and G43.
For more information on how the parts fit in the single stack Glocks, see the link below.
The generous guys at Scalarworks (scalarworks.com) were kind enough to send me one of their 1/3 Low Drag Mounts (LDM) for Aimpoint Micro’s to review. I have been following the LDM development for a while and was very interested in the mount. It’s lightweight, skeleton construction seamed perfect for a lightweight fast carbine. I wanted to get my quick, initial thoughts out and post some pictures.
I have to say, after opening the packaging and getting my hands on the LDM, I was extremely happy. This thing is light. It felt like it weighed less than the small cardboard box it came in. I immediately mounted it up on a Colt AR6720 and was very pleased. I really like the scalloped thumbwheel construction, used to mount the LDM. Also, the LDM just looks badass.
Construction and mounting the LDM is rock solid, lightweight and low profile. I have several of the popular / well built / reliable micro mounts, and on initial inspection of the Scalarworks LDM, I can say it does not disappoint.
The Aimpoint Micro seems to be floating in the air over the receiver with this mount. I am eagerly waiting getting on the range with the LDM. Some very minor modifications have been made to the LDM mounts, due to user feedback and I think the LDM is looking like a rock solid piece of gear. As soon as I get some rounds down range, I will report back with an in-depth review.
Let’s take a quick look at two new offerings from Colt in the LE6920-OEM1 and LE6020-OEM2 models. Several places have these listed and they are in the Colt 2015 catalog, but no one currently has them in stock. They should be available and hitting the market after Shot Show. The OEM’s come without a stock, handguards, trigger guard and BUIS. Now, you might be thinking, what is the big deal with the OEM models? If you are new to the AR15 platform they might not be for you, but if you already have a few ARs you can see the benefits.
#1) It’s a Colt, you know what you are getting, (proven reliability), enough said. #2) I currently have several stocks, handguards , grips, rail systems and BUIS laying around. Most of us do as we are constantly getting new accessory products to try out. #3) The MRSP is just under 800 dollars. That means you will probably be able to get an OEM1 or OEM2 in the mid 600 dollar range once they start hitting the street. Slap on the extra parts you have laying around and you have a new standard configuration Colt LE6920 for under 700 dollars with the OEM1.
The LE6920-OEM2 is the real winner here, with the factory pinned FSB / Gas System that has been milled down to a low profile gas block. The delta ring has not been added, leaving just the barrel nut and no handguard cap behind the FSB. The OEM2 is screaming for you to slap on an extended Free Float (FF) rail system of your choice. If you choose a rail system designed to mount directly to the mil-spec barrel nut, (i.e. Centurion C4, Fortis or Midwest), you simply put it directly on. No removal of the flash hider or FSB is needed. This saves you time and money, while keeping the reliability of factory gas system in place. If you choose a propriety barrel nut FF rail system, you still get the benefit of the factory gas system, you save money not having to replace it with an unpinned low profile gas block or have the FSB milled down.
Hopefully the OEM’s will be available soon. I think these will be one of the best “Bang for the Buck” items, especially when most of us strip off the factory accessories anyway. The LE6920-OEM2 is on my list of next purchases.
A few days after we posted this article, Larry Vickers did a quick video of the Colt LE6920-OEM1 and OEM2 offerings at Shot Show 2015. Check out the video bellow.
Here are a few of my favorite products of 2014. They are in no particular order.
M&P Shield, without safety:
After the first of the year disappointment in the G42 being a .380, the new M&P Shield stepped in to fill the single stack 9mm role everyone was wanting. Smith & Wesson quickly capitalized by finally listening to what most had said about the Shield over the last few years. Mainly, many wanted the Shield to be offered without a safety, to operate more like the M&P Full Size models and a Glock. I picked up the new Shield offering mid-year and it basically goes with me every day. The Shield had a few hiccups when first released and some recently. These issues have been fixed by Smith & Wesson and the Shields are very reliable. One thing I found very interesting, is when I fired the 9mm Shield and the G42 together, I did not feel a lot of recoil difference.
Lancer L5 AWM Magazines:
If you have followed us for a while, you know my personal stock up/go to magazines are USGI with Magpul followers and L-Plates. In 2014 I found amazing deals on Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazines (AWM) at USGI prices so I jumped on them. The Lancer L5 AWM is (In my Opinion) the best magazine to use for Duty/Defensive purposes. A true 30 round capacity polymer magazine with the strength of wraparound steel feed lips. Most of the popular polymer magazines will crack, over time, around the feed lips. With the Lancer’s this is a non-issue. Price was always the only reason I did not buy a lot of Lancer’s. In 2014 Lancer L5 AWM’s became my go to magazine.
Surefire X300 Weapon Light:
Several of the LR staff have bugged me to get a Surefire X300 over the last few years. As with everything I get, price is always a factor, as I have multiple defensive weapons and it’s hard to get several firearms equipped with a weapon light when they are expensive. The Streamlight TLR-1 is usually what I like to use. I purchase a Surefire X300 specifically to mount on one of my AR-15’s and I am glad I did. The Surefire X300 is the best weapon mounted light I have used on an AR-15. It is a little more user friendly on the AR, has a longer distance more focused beam and has a little more lumens than the TLR-1’s I normally use. On a patrol rifle, for my specific purposes, the Surefire X300 is the best weapon mounted light I have used to date. It has just the right combination of function and light output, for both outdoor and indoor use.
Colt AR15-A4 Lightweight LE Carbine (AR6720):
The low prices on AR15’s have been great in 2014. At the beginning of the year I purchased a Colt AR6720. It is one of those AR’s that made me say, ” Why did I wait so long to get it”. You find yourself wondering how a pencil barrel can really make that much of a difference. Once you get it in your hands, it just feels right. The 6720 has all of the things you want in a reliable lightweight Carbine. It is lightweight, fast, smooth, accurate, fun to shoot and most importantly, it has the quality and features you expect in a duty/defensive carbine. I really purchased the 6720 for my wife and she absolutely loves it, but I find myself wanting to steal it. (looserounds.com / colt-lightweight-ar6720-carbine)
Aimpoint Micro T1/H1:
For the second year in a row, I have to mention the Aimpoint Micro’s. I have slowly replaced all of my older 30mm (M2, ML2, ML3) Aimpoint’s. They are simply, small, fast, rugged, reliable, lightweight and have unmatched battery life. There is not much more that I can say that is not already out there. Aimpoint is simply the best RDS and I feel the micro’s are the best within the Aimpoint line.
Kinetic Concepts Tactical MOLLE-Link:
For me, the Kinetic Concepts Tactical (KCT) MOLLE-Link system, has to be my favorite and I think most innovative products this year. It is one of those things that is so simple yet so effective and makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to think of it. The MOLLE-Link system allowes a low profile ability to mount Kydex holsters, magazine and accessory pouches directly to MOLLE webbing, with no bulky accessory attachments. The KCT MOLLE-Link products are easy to quickly mount/remove and are extremely secure. Great product and idea from KCT. (looserounds.com / kinetic-concepts-tactical-molle-link-holsters)