Category Archives: Gear Reviews

Magpul PMAG 21 GL9 Glock Magazine Review

We have been using the Pmag 17 GL9 in our Glock 17 for several months now. In competition and training we have put thousands of rounds through them without issue. When Magpul announced the release of the Pmag 21 GL9, we rushed to get our hands on one.

Magpul Pmag 21 GL9The Pmag 21 GL9 looks identical to the Pmag 17 GL9. The Pmag 21 extends from the bottom of the Glock 17 in order to make room for those four extra 9mm cartridges. The Pmag 21 also has 10, 15 and 21 round witness holes in the side.

Magpul Pmag 21 GL9The Pmag 21 GL9 uses the same floor plate as the Pmag 17. This includes the “dot matrix” marking area. This also means that the Pmag 21 will accept the Magpul L-Plate rubberized floor plate. If you are not forced to work within competition magazine length rules, the L-Plate is a worthy upgrade for these magazines.

We ran the Pmag 21 GL9 hard for 150 rounds to get a feel for the reliability. We did not have a single stoppage that I could attribute to the magazine. The mag-dumps were flawless. We ran 50 repetitions of “one-shot” drills to see how reliably the Pmag 21 would lock the slide back on our Glock 17. We only encountered one instance where the slide failed to lock. We could not reproduce the error.

If you have a need to gas up your Glock with 21 round magazines, the Magpul Pmag 21 GL9 is a great option. At $19.95 MSRP they are the most cost-effective method at increasing the magazine capacity of your Glock. Hopefully Magpul will have the 27 round version out soon!

Thyrm SwitchBack Review on the Surefire G2X

We recently came across a novel product from Thyrm LLC. The SwitchBack Flashlight Ring adapts your flashlight into a more versatile, tactical tool for concealed handgun carry.

Over the years I have used many different flashlight techniques while shooting a handgun. The “Chapman”, “Harries”, “Rogers”, “FBI”, etc. all work with varying degrees of efficiency. All take away points of contact on the handgun when compared to a standard two handed grip. This drawback paved the way for weapon lights to take over the professional sector.

In the concealed carry world, a weapon light causes some new difficulties. Weaponlight holsters are bulky and most sub-compact handguns are not designed to accept weapon lights. Now we are back to having to use one of the old-school flashlight techniques, while minimizing loss of contact on the weapon.

Thyrm LLC’s SwitchBack helps to solve some of these problems. The SwitchBack is a simple polymer ring that slips over the tail cap on a variety of popular tactical lights.

IMG_4980In use, the index finger of the shooter’s support hand goes through the loop with the rest of the flashlight body pointing down in the palm of the hand. This is what I refer to as the “utility” grip. During my testing, I found that it is a very secure way to hold the light for most tasks that do not involve a firearm. For regular searching I would hold the flashlight in the center of my chest, palm down. If I needed to draw my handgun, but did not have a threat, then I could use the “FBI Technique” where the light is held high and away from the body.

Thyrm SwitchbackWhen it was time to bring up your handgun and light up a target, you allowed the light to rotate around your index finger, pivoting on the ring. This brought the tail cap switch into contact with your middle finger. The “bump” on the ring falls perfectly under the pad of your thumb. In this position, pushing forward with your thumb causes the light to pivot on the ring and press the tail cap switch, momentarily illuminating the light. I will refer to this as the “tactical” grip.

Once you have the light in the “tactical” grip your middle, ring and pinky finger are free to wrap around your strong hand and assist in keeping your weapon on target. In use I found this grip to be much more stable than the G2Z in a “Surefire/Rogers” grip.

During our test I installed the Thyrm LLC, SwitchBack on a Surefire G2X light. Initially we used the stock Surefire momentary switch. At first the switch was very hard to depress, but as it broke in it became easier to activate the light in the “tactical” position. Later we swapped out the factory momentary switch for a “clicky” switch. This made is easier to activate in momentary on. The fit of the SwitchBack on our G2X made it almost impossible to twist the tail cap for constant on. The installation of the “clicky” switch solved this problem. I definitely suggest using an aftermarket “clicky” switch or selecting one of Surefire’s other models if you intend to add a SwitchBack.

Thyrm LLC was also smart enough to add a pocket clip to the body of the SwitchBack. This clip makes it very easy to keep the attached light high in a pocket for quick deployment. In civvies, it allowed me to clip the light in my support side pants pocket with no problems. I never once had anyone ask about it. In uniformed use, it clipped perfectly inside my cargo pocket divider on my 5.11 Stryke pants.

The biggest benefit to a non-weapon mounted light is during non-gun situations. Sometimes, 500 lumens of white light may be enough to discourage whatever antisocial behavior had arisen. Other times I may require a more personal non-lethal response. When going “hands-on” the G2X and Thyrm SwitchBack have some added advantages. The G2X features an aluminum head and slightly toothy bezel. In a downward strike it can dissuade an attacker from continuing his hostile actions. When held in the “utility” grip, the SwitchBack places the thumb “bump” directly at the index finger’s middle knuckle. This could provide a focused strike, or even better apply a great deal of force to a pressure point for pain compliance. Thankfully there was not a need to test either of these features during this review.

Thyrm Switchback

With a $19.99 purchase price, the Thyrm LLC, SwitchBack offers a lot of value.  Even if you do not currently have a light that the SwitchBack will fit, I feel it is worth the expense to purchase one if you routinely carry a non-weaponligth handgun.

Magpul PMAG 17 GL9 Glock Magazine Review

The Glock 17 is arguably one of the most popular combat handguns since the 1911 or Hi-Power. They are relatively inexpensive, and easy for novices to shoot. While the handgun itself is relatively inexpensive, the magazines are not. Until recently, Glock has had a monopoly on magazines to feed your 9mm Glock. This has kept retail prices around $25 with LE pricing not much lower. This reason alone caused me to perk up when Magpul announced a Glock compatible Pmag. Continue reading Magpul PMAG 17 GL9 Glock Magazine Review

Modular Driven Technologies TAC 21 Chassis Review

Modular Driven Technologies is a Canadian based company that has been making rifle accessories for some time now. In the past we have reviewed the LSS chassis and the HS3. After reviewing those systems, we received several requests to review the TAC21. The MDT TAC21 Chassis predates the LSS and HS3. It seems to sit at the opposite end of the design spectrum. All three chassis use AR type stocks and grips. The LSS and HS3 take an almost minimalist approach to chassis design. The TAC21 is a behemoth in comparison. Continue reading Modular Driven Technologies TAC 21 Chassis Review

Budget Magnification Throw Lever

Variable magnification scopes are the standard for precision rifle competitors. Most shooters will select a magnification setting before starting the stage. However, it’s not uncommon to “lose the target” and have to back down the magnification to re-acquire it. Then swing the magnification back up to confirm that it is the right target. Small or stiff magnification rings make this difficult.

Several manufacturers offer “cat-tails” or “throw-levers” for their scopes. Others offer aftermarket solutions. They are often fairly expensive. Several years ago we came across a cheap and effective solution. Continue reading Budget Magnification Throw Lever

Outdoor Research Cirque™ Pants

OR Cirque PantsI purchased the OR Cirque™ Pants before the Mammoth Sniper Challenge. My teammate and I were competing in the “Extreme Tough-Man Division”. We arrived a day early and chose to camp out. When we crossed the finish line, I had been living in the Cirque™ pants for four days.

We hiked with 50 pound packs, crawled under barbed wire, ran up obstacles, slid down earthen berms on my backside and a number of other tasks. I was sure that these pants would be trashed when we were done. They held up amazingly. Continue reading Outdoor Research Cirque™ Pants

Ridiculously Inexpensive “Tactical” Ozark Trail Folding Knife

Walking through WalMart on the weekly grocery run, I happened to notice a rather interesting looking folding knife on one of the end caps. The knife looked good and advertised “G10” scales. Unfortunately it was in a clamshell pack with the “Ozark Trails” brand. If you are unfamiliar with this brand, it is WalMart’s own outdoors gear brand. Ozark Trail branded items are usually low-quality, made in China and considered disposable. I have used a few in the past and would not bet my life on their performance in the backcountry. Continue reading Ridiculously Inexpensive “Tactical” Ozark Trail Folding Knife

SAIN Defense Firearm Cleaning System Review

We recently got a chance to look at a new product from SAIN Defense. Brian Sain, a LE Sniper/Instructor and one of the founders of American Snipers, got a chance to talk to us at the SHOT Show about hit new kit. The SAIN Defense Firearm Cleaning System is a compact, field portable solutions for those times when you need a rigid cleaning rod. Continue reading SAIN Defense Firearm Cleaning System Review

8541 Tactical Bean Bag

After a long absence, our tactical nylon gear is available again. The first release is our simple “Bean Bag”. It is 6″ x 6″ x 1″ and constructed of 1000D Cordura Nylon. We used poly-pellets for the fill and it comes in at 14 oz. We added a 1″ webbing loop so you can attach it to your sling, pack, or whatever you need. We kept the price point as low as we could while still manufacturing it in the USA! At $22 we think this is a great, compact, general purpose bean bag. We have partnered with Triad Tactical to distribute our nylon gear. Pick yours up here! Continue reading 8541 Tactical Bean Bag

Recover Tactical CC3H 1911 Grip and Rail System

During the 2014 SHOT Show, we were wandering the floor and came across the Recover Tactical booth. What at first looked like an interesting set of grips, turned out to be a novel, inexpensive way to add a light rail to an slick 1911. The product has gone through some changes. Now we have finally taken the time to get our hands on the product and see how well it works. Continue reading Recover Tactical CC3H 1911 Grip and Rail System