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Archive | Guns

Bulgarian Krinkov Handguard from Midwest Industries

If you have a “Krink”, then you will be delighted to hear that there is a new railed handguard option available to you. The Bulgarian Krinkov Handguard from Midwest Industries (MI-AK-K) is very similar to their excellent MI-AK handguard for the AK47/74 but it is sized to fit the smaller Krink.

The MI-AK-K is made in the USA from 6061 aluminum and then finished with durable hard coat anodization. It features 4 “T” marked rails for adding accessories like a sling mount or weapon light. It only weighs 9.5 ounces which is impressively light and it installs easily using wrenches that MI includes with the handguard.

It will be interesting to see if MI comes out with a replacement top cover like they and US-Palm did with the MI-AK rail. The MI/US-Palm top cover allows for low mounting several different kinds of compact red dot optics. The mount is low enough that the iron sights can co-witness through the optic. The top cover that comes with the MI Krinkov Handguard is suitable for mounting an optic but it may not allow co-witnessing due to the height.

This looks like another solid, reasonably priced handguard rail option from MI.

Apex Tactical Specialties J-Frame Kit

I have to admit that I love J-Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers – especially the Airweights. They are just a great combination of ease of carry, conceal-ability, potency, and reliability. Some people have referred to them as the “expert’s gun” because their long, relatively heavy double action trigger and small sights with a short sight radius can make them challenging to shoot well.

Apex Tactical Specialties (ATS) is about to release a kit that should make the J-Frame trigger easier to manage. You may already know ATS for their S&W M&P trigger parts. They know how to make a good trigger great. Unlike some manufacturers, many of their trigger parts are geared toward tactical, duty, and self protection markets – not competition. These are rugged parts.

The new kit from ATS will yield a trigger pull of just over 9 pounds. My current S&W 442 measures out at a smooth but heavy 11 pounds. A 9 pound trigger that is still suitable for a gun that is relied on for self protection would be a welcome improvement.

The new kit is set to be released at the NRA show in Pittsburgh, PA on April 29th. I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing some more details and pricing.

Vicking Tactics Surefire Mini-L4

Viking Tactics has teamed up with Surefire to produce well thought out lights before. Now they have come up with the VTAC Surefire Mini-L4.

Many of the lights that Surefire makes these days offer multiple levels of output. This can be a great option for a light that is going to see general use since it allows the user to tailor the amount of light to the task at hand. However, it is not necessarily best for a weapon light. When you turn on your weapon light, you want lots and lots of light… right now.

The VTAC Mini-L4 is a compact, single CR123 battery powered light that has one output level (110 lumens) and a focused beam that allows it to provide usable light at extended distances. When you turn it on, you get bright white light. There is no chance of accidentally entering a lower output mode.

The VTAC Mini-L4 is available by itself or as part of a package with the excellent VTAC Light Mount. The combo makes a great alternative to the Surefire M300 Scout.

The VTAC Surefire Mini-L4 is available on the VTAC website.

New Ruger SR1911

Last week, photos of the new SR1911 were leaked. Ruger made the official announcement today. There is a new 1911 on the market.

The SR1911 seems to be pretty standard fare for a 1911 these days. It has many of the features that were once custom additions but now are fairly common (Novak 3-dot sights, skeletonized trigger, skeletonized hammer, extended thumb safety, beavertail grip safety, etc). It will be interesting to see the initial reviews on the SR1911 to how well these parts are fit to the handgun.

One of the more interesting features is that the plunger tube is integral to the frame which will alleviate the worry of it coming unstaked. This is a nice feature since many 1911 grips on the market are poorly fit for supporting the plunger tube. It should also be noted that this is a series 70 1911 which many shooters prefer. Ruger also chose to use a standard recoil spring plug and bushing which is, in my opinion, a better choice than the full length guide rods that are found on so many 1911s these days.

Ruger does have some previous experience with 1911s. Their investment casting company, Pine Tree Castings, has provided castings to Caspian Arms. We will have to wait an see how much, if at all, that experience translates to a reliable 1911.

These have an MSRP of $799. That could place the street price in the low $600 range. If Ruger can deliver a reliable 1911 for around $600 it will certainly make things interesting.

You can check out the SR1911 on Ruger’s website.

Review: TangoDown Vickers Tactical Glock Slide Stop

The Larry Vickers designed, TangoDown produced magazine release for Glocks is one of my favorite Glock add-ons. Given my experience with the magazine release, I have been very excited to try the new TangoDown Vickers Tactical Slide Stop for Glocks.


When I reload, I use my support hand thumb to hit the slide stop. The standard Glock slide stop is poorly shaped for this technique so I add a Glock extended slide stop to all my Glocks. Most extended slide stops for the Glock are longer and some offer some additional thickness. They offer the additional leverage and surface area need to make the slide stop easier to operate. However, the additional length can make contact with the palm of the support hand when the Glock is gripped with a high thumbs forward grip. This contact can prevent the slide from locking back on empty or, worse, cause the slide to lock back before the magazine is empty.

The Vickers Tactical Glock Slide Stop is different from other extended slide stops. Rather than adding length to the lever, Larry Vickers designed his slide stop to extend out from the side of the Glock. It doesn’t hug the frame like the standard slide stops. It flares out from the frame. This creates a wider “shelf” at the top of the lever that, along with more aggressive texture, makes the slide stop easy to operate.

The Vickers Tactical Slide Stop flares out from the frame and then slopes back toward it. This creates two surfaces - one for pressing down and one for pressing up.

This image shows the Glock extended slide stop (top), Vickers Tactical Slide Stop (middle), and Glock standard slide stop to scale.


In Use

In my testing, the Vickers Tactical Slide Stop performed well. It always locked back on empty and it never locked back early. Over the years, I have adjusted my grip to prevent contact with larger extended slide stops. I was able to creep a little bit higher with my grip than usual without contacting the slide stop.

The Vickers Glock Slide Stop is very well shaped. I found the large shelf to be very easy to find and then depress with my support hand thumb. The shape and texture also allows me to operate the slide stop with my strong hand thumb, but users with smaller hands may have difficulty reaching it without shifting their grip.

The Vickers Tactical Slide Stop also makes it very easy to lock the slide to the rear. It comes out from the frame and then slopes down and back to the frame. This creates a sort of convex area that is textured that is very easy to press up with your thumb. This is a great aid in getting the slide locked to the rear for administrative type tasks as well as when clearing a double feed. This is the only slide stop for Glocks that I have seen where thought seems to have been given for making the slide easier to lock to the rear.

The shape and texture make the Vickers Tactical Slide Stop very easy to operate with gloves. That is not really true of the Glock standard or extended slide stops which are too smooth to feel very confident with while wearing gloves. They work, but the Vickers Tactical Glock Slide Stop works better. It is the texture that really makes the difference here.

There were no issues with holster fit (tested in Safariland 6280 and 6004, Comp-Tac MTAC, and various leather holsters). The additional width did not noticeably effect the draw stroke. It was a non-issue.

I had an issue with a very sharp edge on the Vickers Tactical Slide Stop. The texture on the slide stop is in the form of tightly spaced lines that are cut into the face of the slide stop. These lines were very slightly off center on my slide stop which put them right up to the edge, creating a sharp serrated edge. A couple of passes with some wet/dry sandpaper fixed the issue quickly.


I found the Vickers Tactical Glock Slide Stop to be a good solution for those who do not need an extended slide stop but do want to be able to quickly and positively operate the slide stop. It is a massive improvement over the standard Glock slide stop and doesn’t have the downsides of over sized extended levers. It works well for both releasing the slide and locking it to the rear. It is obvious that more thought has gone into this slide stop than most others on the market. The Vickers Tactical Slide Stop is the best Glock slide stop that I have used.

Disclosure: This product was provided to me free of charge for review.

Glock standard slide stop


Glock extended slide stop

Vickers Tactical Slide Stop

Glock standard slide stop viewed from above.

Glock extended slide stop viewed from above.

Vickers Tactical Slide Stop viewed from above.

J-Frame VZ Grips

Finally! VZ Grips is making G-10 grips for the Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolvers. The world has had to wait too long for G-10 J-Frame grips.

The J-Frame is one of the all time great concealment handguns. It is renowned for its combination of small size, light weight, and excellent reliability. Now, thanks to VZ Grips, J-Frame shooters can outfit one of the greatest handguns of all time with grips made from one of the greatest grip materials of all time – G-10.

G-10 is a glass reinforced epoxy laminate which may not mean much to you. It is enough to know that it is extremely durable and resistant to just about any solvent. It also offers great grip, even when it is left relatively smooth like it is on these grips. It offers enough grip to lock into your hand without being so aggressive that it grabs and binds in clothing.

The J-Frame grips from VZ Grips have all the hallmarks of a great revolver grip. They fill in behind the trigger guard which can really save your knuckles if you have a light weight J-Frame with hot self-defense loads. The grips appear to have enough bulk to be hand filling and they are relieved for speed loaders. They leave the backstrap open and sit flush with the base of the grip tang so they remain very compact.

Check out VZ Grips for the new G-10 J-Frame Grips and other G-10 handgun grips.


Once again, the fertile minds at Impact Weapons Components have been cooking up something innovative. The new QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT is an ultra low profile QD sling swivel socket that can be tucked away in a Troy Industries TRX rail or a number of other clever places.

The QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT is CNC machined from 303 stainless steel and then black oxide finished. It consists of 3 major components: the QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT itself, a snap ring, and set screws. The snap ring keeps the MOUNT-N-SLOT from falling into the hand guard while the set screws provide the tension needed to lock all the components in place.

The first and most obvious place to mount the QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT is on a Troy TRX rail. It nests down inside the rail and converts one of the holes to a QD swivel socket. That is a pretty clever trick but it is far from the only trick that this little widget has up its sleeve.

The QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOT can also be mounted on Magpul MOE Hand Guards. The user can drill a hole with a Forstner Drill Bit in their hand guard. Only two other tools are needed: a flat blade screw driver to install the the Spirolock and a 3/64 size Allen key for the set screws.

There are already reports of people using these on standard AR-15 hand guards as well. These should be able to be mounted on just about any plastic hand guard or stock that has the necessary interior space and access. It will be interesting to see where else the QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOTs turn up.

Remember to use the coupon code “triggerjerk” at checkout to receive 5% discount at IWC.

Daniel Defense MFR 12.0 Rail

Daniel Defense recently announced a new rail, the MFR 12.0, that fits with the current trend of slim, slick sided, lightweight tubes. I am all for more options in this style of hand guard.

The MFR 12.0 is designed to cover a mid-length or carbine length gas system with low profile gas block. It can be run slick sided (without the rails) or 3″ rail sections can be attached where necessary via screws. The MFR 12.0 comes with 3 of the 3″ rail sections and they can be attached at the typical 90 degree angles or offset.

This style of rail is very popular right now and for good reason. It offers excellent control due to its smaller outside diameter and lighter weight is always a good thing. I am glad to see Daniel Defense venturing to offer a new option in this style of rail.

Review: Manticore Arms NightShroud

The NightShroud from Manticore Arms is a flash suppressor that is designed for the AK-74s and AK-47s, like the excellent Arsenal SGL-21, with 24mm threaded muzzles. It is an excellent alternative to the ubiquitous AK-74 brake that is most commonly found on AKs with 24mm threads.

I found the NightShroud while I was looking for an alternative to a muzzle brake for my SGL-21. I wanted something quieter than the AK-74 style brake that came standard on the SGL-21. I quickly found that, since the SGL-21’s muzzle has 24mm threads, my options were extremely limited. Thankfully, one of those limited options was the NightShroud.

The NightShroud is very cleanly machined from 8620 steel and then finished with a slightly shiny black oxide. It certainly looks and feels well made. It features 8 indentations all the way around the collar so that you can tighten the NightShroud all the way down to the muzzle and still engage the locking detent. This is the type of feature that takes some extra machining but the results, a solid muzzle device with little to no wobble, are worth it.

I really just wanted something that was quieter and the NightShroud is certainly quieter than the AK-74 brake. However, it is the better part of an inch shorter and a bit lighter in weight!

AK-74 Brake NightShroud
Length (inches) 3.21 2.46
Weight (ounces) 3.60 3.30

The NightShroud does a great job of suppressing flash as well. It elimated the amount of flash that is visible from the shooter’s position. Only a very small, thin bit of flash is visible from beside the NightShroud. The performance is pretty impressive.

So if you own an AK-74 or an AK-47 like the SGL-21 with 24mm threads you should definitely check out the NightShroud. It is an excellent option in spite of the fact that it is one of the very few options.

The NighShroud is manufactured by Manticore Arms and can be viewed on their website. I purchased my NightShroud through Rat Worx.

Note: The Manticore Arms website cautions that the NightShroud may not fit some rifles like the SGL-21. I believe that is old information. The version that I recieved has a longer collar so it will fit a wider variety of rifles as evidenced by the longer overall length and heavier weight than those listed on the Manticore Arms website. The version that is now shipping is the an improved model that should fit most AKs with 24mm threads. However, you may want to contact Manticore Arms or Rat Worx to verify that the NightShroud will work with your rifle.

Update: AR15.COM Ambidextrous Billet Lower Receiver

Earlier this week I wrote about the AR15.COM Ambidextrous Billet Lower Receiver. Since that time I have been given more details regarding the lower. The details are impressive to say the least.

As I mentioned in the original post, the selector markings are made to work with either a 45 or 90 degree selector. The buyer will be able to choose between the BAD-ASS and the BAD-ASS-ST.

It will come with the Magpul MIAD grip. The purchaser will be able to choose which Magpul stock they want (UBR, CTR, etc).

The excellent 4.5Lb Geissele 3 Gun trigger will come standard. It is a special version that has the AR15.com Bolt Face Logo engraved on the hammer.

As if all of this isn’t enough, there are still more details and an official announcement to come.

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