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Review: Garage Built Gear Qube Range/Camera Bag

Is it a range bag? Is it a camera bag? Is it a packing cube? Is it an organizer insert or a stand-alone bag? The Garage Built Gear Qube is all those things. You’ve probably never seen a bag that is shaped quite like it but that’s what makes it great.

It’s easy to see why it’s called the Qube.

Overview

The Qube is a roughly square shaped bag with a full panel, zippered opening. It is 11″ x 10.5″ with a 4.5″ depth.

The exterior of the Qube features an adjustable slip pocket with interior loop velcro to accept organization pouches. It also has a stout carry handle on the top and a small PALS webbing field.

The interior is padded on the back and bottom. It features loop on the back and sides to accept organization pouches and the optional foam dividers (which are shown in my review). The bag has enough structure that it holds its shape very well and protects its contents. The inside surface of the lid has a full-size mesh pocket that is closed with a zipper.

Padded Back

Observations from Use

I own a few pieces of gear from Garage Built Gear and I think what strikes me most about their designs is their unique approach to size and shape. There aren’t many bags that are shaped like the Qube and yet that shape is the secret to its versatility. It is large enough to hold a lot of gear, shaped so that you can maximize the internal volume, and compact enough to fit easily into other bags.

The shape and size of this bag, along with its user-customizable organization options, take its flexibility to another level. It can be used as a standalone range bag, camera bag, first-aid kit, tool kit, or general gear organizer. It can also be used as an insert in a larger pack like a packing cube or camera insert for a backpack. I’ve used for all of the above.

Optional padded dividers and loop lined interior

The padded dividers are a must if you plan to use this as a range bag or camera bag in my opinion. These really help organize the contents of the Qube. They are especially nice to do things like protect a lens or keep a handgun from smashing into the other contents of the bag.

The interior of the Qube is lined with loop material on the left and right sides and back. Hook-backed organization pouches may be attached to any of these surfaces but the sides, in particular, are used to attach the padded dividers. This works and offers a lot of flexibility to the user but it seems like there could be more…

Range bag

It would be nice if there was a bit more loop material on the top and bottom surfaces of the main compartment as well as on the padded dividers to allow for additional configuration options when using the padded dividers. The current design really only allows them to be installed going left to right and the placement of the one vertical divider is limited to a single location. Some additional loop material would add to the padded feel of the bag and allow for more options. This is probably a small nitpick in the end but feels like at least a little bit of a missed opportunity for a bag that seems to otherwise max out its flexibility at every turn.

The quality of this bag is excellent. The materials are top-notch. The edges are taped and there are appropriate reinforcing stitches throughout. It is a very modern-looking bag with all the durability benefits that come from its tactical sensibilities.

Stuffed with mags

I’ve already mentioned some of the ways I have used this bag and Garage Built Gear expressly refers to this as a camera/range bag but I want to highlight a couple of less obvious ways that I found it particularly useful. It is great inside of a typical EDC backpack when used as an organizer for larger gear or as a sort of packing cube. In fact, I have found that it can pretty easily hold enough clothes for an overnight trip which is a handy way to organize something like a carryon bag for travel. I also really like it as a companion to a larger range bag where it can be used to carry things like a stacks of loaded magazines.

It easily fits into another bag for use as a packing cube or camera insert.

Wrap Up

I have used this bag in so many ways and I’m sure I will come up with even more ways to use it as time goes by. Garage Built Gear seems to have a unique eye for size and shape that suits their products well. The quality is excellent and the Qube’s modern look with a tactical bent appeals to me.

Garage Built Gear typically releases their gear in batches. You can learn more by watching their website and Instagram feed.

GarageBuiltGear.com

@GarageBuiltGear on Instagram

Shown with paper targets in the outer pocket.

Review: Tyrant Designs CNC Glock Extended Slide Release (Gen 2-4)

I have a love-hate relationship with extended slide releases for Glocks. On one hand, I appreciate the larger target and easier operation of an extended slide release. On the other hand, I hate how the base of my thumb often rides onto them causing failures to lock back. The best extended slide releases for me have always been relatively compact, relying more on improved texture and shape rather than a true extension for leverage. Enter the Tyrant Designs CNC Glock Extended Slide Release.

Overview

Tyrant Designs’ Glock Extended Slide Release consists of a steel lever with an aluminum pad that has a deep chevron texture machined into its face. As with all Tyrant Designs’ parts, it can be had in a variety of anodized colors including black if you are as basic as I am.

Observations from Use

This is a very, very good extended slide release even though it hardly appears to be extended at all at a glance. While many extended slide releases rely on a much larger contact area, Tyrant chose to go in the direction that I prefer. They increased texture and provided a ledge which makes the release much easier to use while keeping its footprint minimal.

The machined chevron texture is clever because its beveled shape provides grip in both directions – down to release and up during manually locking back the slide. The shape of the upper part of Extended Slide Release provides a ledge (plus that bevel) that is extremely easy to depress. It is so easy to use, that I can hit with the thumb of my firing hand which I can’t typically do unless the lever is very oversized. I certainly can’t do it reliably with the OEM slide release.

The minimal footprint is absolutely clutch for many shooters. Internet gun forums are chocked full of discussions around brand new Glocks that lock back early or won’t lock back on an empty magazine. This is due to the shooter’s support hand contacting the slide release. Many Glock shooters have to take great care when building their grip to work around the lever and this is obviously more difficult when the lever is larger. The Tyrant Designs lever works well without being oversized. I consider that ideal.

The small footprint has another benefit. It fits most holsters. I tried all my holsters and this fit well in all of them. Is there some kind of super stiff, super specifically molded kydex holster that it won’t fit? Maybe. However, the footprint of this lever fits within the fence that Glock molds in the grip frame, a spot that holster makers already accommodate, so I don’t think you will have an issue with holster fit.

I also happen to think it looks pretty snazzy, especially if you have other Tyrant Designs gear on your Glock. Sometimes people need to remember that guns are fun and it’s fun to personalize them.

Wrap Up

This lever gets a little bit lost in the shuffle when compared to some of the more “serious” offerings out there but, make no mistake, this is a functional piece that is well suited to concealed carry. Whether you need an extended slide release that just works or you are buying for looks, this could be the Glock extended slide release for you. It certainly works for me.

TyrantCNC.com

The EDC Tool Roll: Knipex Cobra Pliers 87 00 100

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


The Knipex Cobra Pliers 87 01 125 are one of my all-time favorite tools, one of the reasons I started writing The EDC Tool Roll series, and the most viewed review in this series. I am certainly not the only one who took notice of these handy little pliers. Knipex has certainly taken note of the attention that the everyday carry community has given to the 87 01 125 because they have launched an addition to the Cobra line that is actually aimed directly at the EDC market.

Shown: 87 00 100 on the left compared with the 87 01 125 on the right

The new Cobra Plier 87 00 100 follows the Knipex Cobra pattern with its large jaw opening, excellent hardened teeth, and easy adjustment. It is also an inch shorter in overall length than the already fairly compact 87 01 125. However, this isn’t just a smaller version of an existing product. It actually brings a number of thoughtful features that fit it’s intended purpose as an everyday carry item.

There are two changes that make these new, smaller Cobra Pliers more EDC-friendly. The first is the lack of a rubberized grip. The grip on the Cobra 87 01 125 is comfortable and useable but it adds thickness and can make the pliers stick in your pocket a bit. The new 87 00 100 has well-shaped, bare steel handles with checkering for grip. These bare grips make the pliers slide in and out of the pocket with ease.

The second EDC update is the use of a detent adjustment instead of a button lock. This allows the user to adjust the size of the pliers with one hand as there is no button to press. It also streamlines the pliers significantly and removes sport for lint to accumulate.

Shown: The 87 00 100’s jaws are slimmed versus the 87 01 100

I should also note that the new 87 00 100 has slimmer jaws. I am not sure that this change makes them any more EDC-friendly but it does make them great for getting into tight places and reduces the weight. One of the main selling points of Knipex pliers is always the jaws and they always seem to get them right.

The 87 00 100’s jaws open wide to about 1.1″ which means you can do real work with these diminutive pliers. Speaking of diminutive, they are just under 4″ long and weigh in at a scant 2.18 ounces. They fit easily into the coin pocket on most jeans with just a bit of the handle sticking out.

Unless you need the larger size of the 87 01 125, the new 87 00 100 is a no-brainer for EDC. The slim and slick design, one-handed adjustment, and lightweight make it a joy to carry. They may be small but still outwork the marginal pliers found on most multitools.

Where to Buy:

I don’t have a source for Knipex Tools locally so I buy all of mine online, usually from Amazon: Knipex Cobra Pliers 87 00 100 on Amazon

Previously Reviewed Alternatives:


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have a tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

Review: S2Delta 1-6X24 Carbine Scope

You may recall that I reviewed the S2Delta 1-4X24 Carbine Scope last year and, in my opinion, it was the best budget low power variable optic (LPVO) available… especially since it retails for less than $200 on Amazon. That optic is a true competitor to the biggest players in the budget optic space at an incredible price… with Prime shipping to boot! What do you do to top that? Well, you bring out a 1-6X24 version of the same optic with all the same strengths and, while you are at it, you improve your already great reticle.

I was fortunate to get to spend time with the first and only production unit of the new 1-6X24 Carbine Scope which should be newly available at the time of this writing. The following are my thoughts based on that time in which I was instructed not to baby this optic in spite of the fact that it was the only production version in S2Delta’s possession at the time!

I am going to frame this review in the context of the 1-4X version of this optic which I am more familiar with having owned 2 of them. This also seems appropriate given my impression that this 1-6X24 is very much an improved version of the 1-4X24.

In my opinion, the original 1-4X24 is a great budget optic on the strength 3 features that S2Delta majored on: Reticle, Glass, and Turrets. The clear emphasis on these perceived quality features are all clearly present on the new 1-6X24 version (or in even improved in one case).

Reticle – The reticle in the 1-6X is the same trend busting reticle that I loved in the original 1-4X. Most ranging/BDC reticles on the market are floating reticles with thick, eye-catching elements rings or horseshoes. S2Delta’s reticle takes the time-honored approach of providing a finer (but still eye-catching) reticle with full crosshairs to draw the eye to the aiming point. This provides a balance of speed and precision that I appreciate.

I describe my experience with this reticle in-depth in my original review so I won’t spend many more words on it here other than to say that the reticle really benefits from the new 1-6X format. This SFP reticle appears larger and more legible at 1X (which corrects the criticism by some user’s that the 1-4X can be hard to read due to its small size). It is an excellent and thoroughly modern reticle and this is the best iteration of it to date.

Turrets – I know from talking to S2Delta that they wanted to convey the quality of these optics through the parts like the turrets and magnification ring with which the user interacts. The magnification ring, with its included removable throw lever, turns smoothly (even more smoothly than the 1-4X that I have on hand). Like the 1-4X, the turrets are particularly noteworthy in how positively and audibly they click through their adjustments. These optics have very nice turrets.

When I first received the optic (along with a borrowed Geiselle mount from S2Delta), I leveled and mounted the scope with the intent of starting my testing with a box test. The 1-6X passed that test and I was glad to have that kind of bench shooting out of the way. The positive action of the turrets makes this kind of diagnostic task less painful.

Glass – Finally, the optical quality is still good enough that I think the 1-6X punches above its weight class. My impressions were that the 1-4X is slightly brighter and possibly a bit more clear from edge to edge but the 1-6x is no slouch. The additional magnification is welcomed.

The glass is brighter and clearer than two other older LVPOs from other large US-based brands that cost more than twice as much. The 1-4X showed similar performance so this was not surprising. I am not trying to say this is going to be better than premium glass, just that it performs well in its class and better than you might think with its price tag. This is still a budget optic but it clearly benefits from the impressive improvements that many Asian OEM optics have seen in optical quality recently. This glass will not hold you back.

Other Observations – One thing that I particularly liked about the 1-4X, was the generous eye relief and eye box. I would say that the 1-6 may take just a bit of a step back in this area. The eye box isn’t tight or difficult to deal with but my impression is that it was not as forgiving as the 1-4X.

The 1-6X retains the neat fluted diopter ring of the 1-4X and the scope cap that interfaces it. This seems like a small thing but it allows the user to set their diopter ring and then mark its location by installing the scope cap with the hinge in a reference position. This effectively witness marks the diopter ring.

I put just over 300 round through two different rifles with this optic installed. During that admittedly small round count, it performed well. I didn’t do anything too crazy with it though it did get tipped off my truck unto the ground and some rocks at the range. This resulted in a hard knock to the scope cap. I confirmed that it held zero after this and noted that it did scrape some anodization off the scope caps.

Wrap Up

The retail price on the new 1-6X24 Carbine Scope is higher (currently $359) than that of the original 1-4X but it is still available from Amazon which is convenient. This price plants it firmly in the budget optic category where it delivers a compelling list of features that make it VERY competitive.

The 1-4X24 is still available at a steal of a price and still represents what might be the best value in this space. The 1-6X24 rounds out the S2Delta Carbine Optic line with an improved, slightly more premium option for those who love the reticle but want a little more from their optic.

You can check out the 1-4X24 and 1-6X24 Carbine Optics at the S2Delta website (the 1-6X should be listed shortly if it is not already): S2Delta.com

Both are also available via Amazon Prime in the S2Delta Amazon Store: 1-4X24 and 1-6X24 Carbine Scopes on Amazon

Review: Harry’s Holster Icon J-Frame Revolver Holster

The Smith & Wesson J-Frame and other similar small frame revolvers are one of the main reasons revolvers are still relevant today. These handguns are ubiquitous and hold a place in many shooter’s collections. Yet, as we move further and further from the wheelgun era, holster makers seem to have less and less of a clue on how to make holsters for them. Thankfully, there are still holster makers like Harry’s Holsters who understand the nuances of holster design for wheelies.

Overview

The Harry’s Holster Icon, is a kydex holster designed for Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolvers. It features the excellent Discreet Carry Concepts Mod W clip (which is a big part of many of the observations to come later) which is mounted on a wedge (another key feature) and adjustable for ride-height and cant. The clip may be mounted on either side making the Icon ambidextrous and there is a single tension adjustment.

The holster is molded to accept Crimson Trace LaserGrips. Rather than simply cutting for the laser module, Harry’s Holster actually molds a section that completely covers the module, protecting it.

Note the covered laser module and clip detail.

Observations from Use

To understand why this holster is great, I think you need to know a little holster history and a little about what makes many revolver holsters made today lousy. All revolvers have a great big pivot point in their middle. If you do not account for the cylinder, the holster will rock on this point.

If you look at popular concealment holsters from the era when revolvers ruled, you’ll see that many of them place the cylinder below the belt at least partially, allowing the belt to do the work of holding the grip in toward the wearer. The lower ride height wasn’t just for “deep concealment”, it served the purpose of holding a short-barreled handgun with a great big fulcrum in the middle in toward the wearer.

Typically, if a holster maker is used to making holsters for slab-sided semi-autos, they will set the height to provide a full grip and clean draw-stroke. This usually places the cylinder under the belt and the grip will tend to rotate over the belt, away from the wearer which is exactly the opposite of what a concealment holster should do. This is EXTREMELY common in today’s kydex holsters. The holster maker has to understand how to work with the cylinder or the holster will suck.

Harry’s Holster makes use of some modern materials and a clever mold feature to mitigate the cylinder rocking issue. The clip is mounted on a wedge-shaped mold feature that sits directly under the belt. This, coupled with the cylinder itself seres to the turn the grip in toward the wearer without sacrificing ride height or a full-firing grip straight out of the holster. This wedge is under the clip so it is completely unobtrusive and adds little to the size of the holster. The result of all this geometry stuff is a holster that is extremely compact, exceedingly comfortable, and turns the grip in when worn on the hip or the appendix position.

Note the wedge shape under the clip.

The use of the Discreet Carry Concepts Mod W clip is a real win for this holster. It is easy to take on and off the belt but stays in place tenaciously enough that it can be worn with gym shorts sans belt. Many J-Frames are actually lightweight enough to consider doing this and I have on several occasions. The clip is also great for appendix carry and it allows the user to easily remove the gun from their belt while still in the holster, adding an extra layer of safety while performing mundane, administrative handling. Throw out what you think you know about holsters with metal clips. These Discreet Carry Concepts clips are actual game-changers.

The edges on this holster are finished well enough. They aren’t polished or anything like that but they have been cleaned up and sharp edges have been removed. The retention is excellent with a very sharp snap in and out. The blocking is excellent with nothing dragging or binding on the way in or out and the sight channel is very generous. Harry’s Holsters ships the holster with a small packet of thread locker for securing the clip screws and retention screw once you are happy with the positioning. That is a nice touch.

Pictures really just can’t convey how well this setup conceals. You have to work to make it print when carried AIWB. The gun/holster combo just wants to hug the body without the need for large padded wedges or wings. It could even be carried as a backup in the AIWB position to a primary handgun worn on your hip.

I should also point out that this is a holster that Harry’s keeps on hand. That means they can ship it quickly. There is typically no production lead time on this holster.

I think if I could make some changes, I would add support for the Ruger LCR as the LCR line offers some really nice options to concealed carriers and is becoming quite ubiquitous itself. Myself and several people I know would be standing in line for an LCR version. The Icon only works with barrels of 2.125″ or less so I can see accommodation for barrels up to 3″ being a useful addition.

The Icon tucks the handgun in extremely close to the wearer.

Wrap Up

This holster is nice on it’s own but I think what I like about it most is how well the holster seems to compliment the strengths of the J-Frame itself. It maximizes the inherent features of the venerable old work horse like concealability, lightweight, and comfort. It also allows you to be armed some situations or attire that can otherwise be tricky to conceal a handgun.

The Harry’s Holsters Icon is a well designed, well made, and useful holster.

HarrysHolsters.com

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