Archive | Guns

Criterion Barrels Introduces CORE Series for AR-15

Criterion Barrels has launched a new AR-15 barrel profile that they are calling their CORE series. The barrels feature a continuous taper from front to rear. The muzzle end is similar in diameter and weight to a government contour but the barrel tapers wider toward the breech end. This results in a barrel that is relatively light in weight, balances well, and that has enough material where necessary to deal with heat.

Criterion states:

Our CORE Series barrels are designed with tactical shooters in mind. These barrels are built to address issues with weight distribution, balance, and handling of traditional profiles, while increasing performance through consistent harmonics and uniform heat dissipation.

The CORE Series feature a modern, continuous taper profile that eliminates steps and harsh variations in diameter. The steel is redistributed where it is needed most: surrounding the chamber. Added weight over the chamber absorbs heat evenly during hard use and moves the balance of the rifle closer to the body for increased control. This is optimal for maintaining balance when used with modern accessories like Low Power Variable Optics (LPVO’s), weapon-mounted lights, suppressors, clip-on night vision devices, and IR lasers; these components boost the capabilities of the rifle, but can hinder the shooter’s performance by increasing front-end weight. The front end of the CORE Series remains light and fast for better handling, balance, and speed.

The CORE Series helps you handle real-world applications by maintaining exceptional performance and rugged reliability during hard use. These barrels work for you wherever mobility is a priority and performance is essential.

The CORE series barrels are available with rifle length gas in 18″ and 20″ lengths. They are also available with midlength gas with 13.9″, 14.5″ and 16″ lengths. Finally, they are available with carbine length gas system in 10.5″, 11.5″, and 12.5″ lengths. All CORE series barrels are made from 4150 CrMoV steel, chrome lined, with a 1 in 8″ twist, and a Wylde chamber.


Warren Innovative Tech Tools

Warren Innovative Tech makes an incredible variety of 3D printed tools for shooters. The bulk of their tools are designed for suppressors but they have been adding tools for other firearm accessories lately. This includes a game-changer for HK P2000SK owners – a rail key for the Streamlight TLR-7/8 that allows it to be mounted to the P2000SK.

The above barely scratches the surface of the tools offered by Warren Innovative Tech. Check out their website to learn more:


Tulster SideKick

The Tulster SideKick is glue-on, claw-like device for kydex IWB holsters. It is designed specifically to work with Tulster holsters but since it is attached via adhesive and requires only a mostly flat portion of holster near the trigger guard area of the holster, it may be useful on holsters from a variety of manufacturers.

You may be familiar with holster claws already. They are struts that project out from the holster and provide a physical means of torquing the holster in toward the wearer to reduce printing. They are usually designed to ride under the belt so that the belt itself provides the necessary pressure to turn the handgun’s grip into the wearer.

Typically, claw-like devices are either bolted onto the holster, integrated into the belt hardware, or molded into the holster itself. Tulster’s adhesive based SideKick will provide another option for attaching these devices that should have broad compatibility with many holsters and may even work for holsters that were previously incapable of accepting a claw.

The SideKick will be released on March 3rd. In the mean time, you can learn more about it and see how it is installed at Tulster’s website:


Coupled Rifle Magazines – Still a Good Idea

I didn’t own my first AR-15 or begin training with them until after I was out of college, in the workforce, and had a little bit of money. Back then, around 2004-2005, it wasn’t unusual to see people on the internet trading DIY ideas for how they coupled rifle magazines. There were also a handful of prominent products specifically for coupling magazines (or carrying a spare magazine on the rifle). This was a time when there really weren’t any reliable drum or quad-stack magazines.

Now it seems that magazine coupling isn’t really talked about anymore. The posts about how to use duct tape and a dowl to space the magazine don’t seem to pop up on internet forums these days and many of the products are long gone.

Now that we have reliable 40 round magazines, quad-stack magazines, and even drums that work, is there still room for coupled magazines? I think so. In fact, I maintain that there is a good a case to be made for keeping a coupled mag staged in any home defense rifle for a key reason:

Redundancy, not capacity, is the foremost reason to own at least one coupled magazine set. The additional capacity is just a secondary benefit to coupled magazines. The real benefit is having a spare magazine on the rifle. There is no need to take the time to grab a bag or a chest rig… that spare mag is just there, attached to the first mag, ready to help deal with stoppages.

The likelihood that your average home defender will need to conduct a reload is quite small. I can’t give you statistics but I would say that experiencing a malfunction is more likely than needing to reload. Using a coupled magazine versus something like a drum or quad stack magazine addresses this reality while also providing additional capacity.

The above holds doubly true if you live in rural areas with acreage. Checking out that sound in the barn pulls you away from your home and cuts you off from your supplies. Having a spare magazine that comes with you no matter how hurriedly you run out the door could be clutch.

Now, I can already hear some of you saying that remedial action for something like a double feed that requires removing the magazine from the rifle is going to be awkward with a coupled magazine and you’re right. It will be awkward… but not as awkward as having a double feed without having a second, functional magazine to fix the problem.

Finally, I’ll also point out that drum and quad magazines that work aren’t cheap. They are more affordable than ever at the moment but they still cost more than some DIY coupled mags or even a set of PMAGs locked together with Magpul Maglink Coupler (total cost of mags and coupler is around $35). You probably only really need one of these coupled sets to keep staged in your home defense rifle.

I am not saying you shouldn’t buy a case of Magpul D60 drums. You absolutely should if that is how you want to spend your money. I am just trying to point out that the old-timey wisdom of coupled magazines is that just that… wisdom. The concept still has application today.

OST Wrench Upgrades

The OST Wrench, from Operator Survival Tool, has received some upgrades for 2020. It now sports a black finish, more precise cleaning edges, and the edges that don’t need to sharp for scraping carbon have been rounded a bit to make the tool more comfortable to use.

All of the other features that make the OST Wrench so handy are still intact. This includes the clever way that the tool can be retained in a single row/column of PALS webbing.

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