Do you have a Glock-clone frame you’re building out? Maybe you’ve picked up one of the SCT frames from Brownells or Aim Surplus, and you’re needing an upper to finish the build. Palmetto State Armory has a flash sale today on a complete Dagger upper in Sniper Green, including a threaded barrel, RMR cut, and Ameriglo lower-1/3 cowitness sights–all for 200 bucks, shipped.
That’s a hard deal to beat, and a thrifty way to finish off your G19 build. I don’t have personal experience with the PSA Dagger just yet, but these uppers are probably worth a try at this price. I plan to throw a Dagger slide with Holosun on one of my G19 lowers soon, so keep an eye out for that post.
Several years ago, I posted a long-term review of KCI Glock magazines, which I purchased for $6.95 each back in the glory days of cheap mags and cheap ammo. I still have those magazines, but they rarely see use these days–partly because I shoot my Glocks only occasionally, and partly because I’ve found a better option for training mags at a decent price.
Around 2015 or so, Magpul introduced their PMag for Glock pistols. The first generation reportedly had some feeding issues–I can’t attest to this issue, as I was late to the Glock PMag party, buying several around 2017 or so. When Korean Glock mags jumped up to around 17 bucks a pop, there was no reason to buy them over OEM magazines. However, when DSG Arms started offering PMag’s at a LEO-discount of about $10-12 each, I saw no reason not to stock up on range magazines for my Austrian ammo eaters.
I have one 15-round PMag, six 17-round PMags, and three 21-round PMags, and I have fired about 3000 rounds through the lot, with a good majority of that fired through my 21-rounders in my AR9 with a Foxtrot Mike lower. Clearly, this is a small sample size and a relatively low round count, but there are several reasons I like the Glock PMags by Magpul, with their low price being the first and obvious benefit compared to OEM magazines.
First, let’s talk about the differences between the PMags and factory Glock magazines. The PMags have no metal liner, so they feel noticeably lighter than stock mags. The plastic, while similar to that of AR PMags, has a unique finish and texture, slightly shinier and smoother than OEM magazines. The baseplates of the PMags are much easier to remove than factory mags–while Glock mags generally require Herculean strength and a bit of magic, rage-filled Pixie dust to remove, the PMags merely require slight downward pressure on the retaining plate’s button, which allows the baseplate to easily slide off towards the rear. The plates feature a dot matrix-style marking grid for numbering/identification, and they have proven to be just as durable as factory baseplates, unlike the Korean mags I reviewed years ago.
The KCI baseplates were egg-shell fragile, cracking or blowing apart after only a few drops on gravel or concrete. The PMags, in contrast, have taken all abuse I’ve thrown at them, with only some scuffs and scratches to show from it. I like their design much more than the factory baseplate–mainly because it doesn’t take effort to remove them, which means I actually clean out the magazine tubes from time to time. Something I never do with factory Glock mags.
All of my PMags lock in and drop free without issue, although they seem to drop slower from the pistol when empty–possibly due to their lighter weight. Their feed lips also show now signs of wear, unlike my Korean magazines, which appeared chewed and worn after the first 1,000 rounds or so. Furthermore, I have had no magazine-related malfunctions while shooting these PMags in my Glocks or my AR9. They feed rounds reliably and lock the slide or bolt open after the last round. I know other shooters and instructors have seen malfunctions from PMags, even in high-end Zev or Shadow Systems Glock clones. My small sample has had no such issues, but take that for what it’s worth.
I routinely use the 15-round PMag in my Gen4 Glock 19, as the Zev Pro magwell I run on it makes it almost impossible to strip out a factory magazine during a malfunction clearance. I can seat OEM magazines without issue, but the baseplate is too recessed to be accessible. The PMag, on the other hand, has a slightly thicker baseplate, allowing plenty of real estate below the magwell to pull out a stuck mag, should I need to. Stuck mags in Glocks are probably as common as cases of 9mm for $180 in 2022, but I see no reason to take the chance.
My favorites of the PMags are the 21-rounders–they have round-count witness holes at 10, 15, and 21 instead of just the max-capacity holes on the 17 and 15-round models. More importantly, though, I find them to be the perfect size for a Glock magazine. When in a mag pouch, there’s plenty of magazine sticking out to grab during a reload, and they seat easily in any of my Glocks. They also load easily in the magwell of my AR9, while being short enough to get into prone or other alternative shooting positions without getting in the way–unlike my 33-round extendos, which are like sticking an axe handle into the lower receiver of my gun. The 21-rounders are also legal for most shooting competitions, which is no longer a priority for me, but might be a selling point for many.
While I certainly don’t have enough rounds through my PMags to say they are definitively as reliable as OEM Glock magazines, they are my go-to training mags. Cheap enough to stack deep, they keep me shooting with little downtime on the range, and they have performed without issue for me so far. Current prices are about $15 for 17-round mags and $18 for 21-rounders, which is hard to beat for USA-made magazines for the OG plastic-fantastic 9mm. If I were carrying my Glocks for duty or self-defense again, I might lean towards OEM magazines for that role, but my small lot of PMags have proven to be reliable, at about half the price.
I plan to return to the world of Glock shooting relatively soon, so I will post an update on my Glock Pmags after I put another few thousand rounds through them.
(This article was originally produced in March of 2017)
Sometimes, my job is pretty awesome. Like when I get a Scorpion Evo and a P10C from CZ-USA to test for my department. At that moment, I realized I had hit the employment lottery.
In searching for active-shooter repellant for my department, I contacted CZ-USA’s law enforcement rep, who quickly sent out a Scorpion pistol/SBR package for testing. Shipped with a removable folding stock, the Scorpion is the epitome of subgun efficiency, fitting in the supplied sling bag at only 16.1 inches when folded.
The package included a plethora of 30 round mags, plus 2 20s, which have made keeping the Scorpion fed during testing pretty easy. I have only about 200 rounds through the Scorpion so far, but my first-impressions are almost completely positive. Controls are an easy transition from AR carbines, so officers who have completed a patrol rifle course will need minimal training on the new carbine. The bolt locks back on empty, but can also be locked back in HK-fashion, allowing the carbine to be stored “cruiser-ready” and quickly brought into action to repel a spree-killer. Recoil is light and the short carbine is easily maneuvered in tight or crowded surroundings. My only gripe so far–a common one if you’ve read or seen other reviews–is the ambi safety digging into my trigger finger. There are easy fixes for that, so I won’t complain.
Last weekend I sighted in a red dot loaned to me for testing with the Scorpion, and now the little carbine is even easier to bring onto target and deliver rounds. Stay tuned for more thoughts as I continue running this little blaster.
And then there’s the P10C. I wasn’t expecting my test sample for another few weeks, so when I received tracking info in my inbox, I was as giddy as a grown man shouold be allowed to get. The same evening the pistol arrived, I went home and shot 100 rounds through it on my home range.
I have about 200 rounds through the P10C at this point, and my first impressions are also favorable. The grip texture is aggressive, and I love it; however, I believe some will have complaints. (Some of my officers have already voiced concern over how aggressive it is.) It grabs onto you, and some people will not like it. But I prefer aggressive textures, so I’ve got no complaints. It’s trigger is excellent–Glock-like, but lighter with a quicker reset. Transitioning to the CZ after shooting my Gen4 G19 has proven to be smooth and effortless. It has steel sights. (My test gun has photo-luminescent sights–not a huge selling point to me, but some people might dig that.) It has ambi controls, but I still use the right-handed controls when shooting left-handed. The triggerguard is undercut and allows a higher grip than a stock Glock–this is probably my favorite feature, including the lack of finger grooves.
My only negative so far is holster fitment. As my department is looking at replacing Glocks, it was hoped that the P10C would fit in our existing holsters. No dice. We use a variety of Safariland holsters: 6360s, 7360s, and 6320s, both with and without TLR-1s. We have a few Blackhawk Level 3 Serpas in use. The P10C will not fit in any of them. It will fit in my Bladetech Total Eclipse for a G19, but only with the retention screw completely loosened. It fits in my Blackhawk A.R.C. for a G19, but it needs the retention screw tightened. It kind of fits in my Rogue Tactical holster for G17 with TLR-1–it goes in, but it doesn’t really look right. For my department, this might be a deal breaker, but I’m pretty sure we can work some deals and get holsters at little to no cost after some horse trading.
Both CZs have been reliable so far. My testing is not a torture test–I’m running them the same way I do my current duty guns, working drills and qualification tests just like I would with my Glock and AR. I’ll run them for a few months and make my suggestions to the powers that be.
What I can say is that CZ’s customer service is excellent. Their LE rep is responsive and helpful, and has answered any question I’ve had quickly and thoroughly. The T&E process was easy and accommodating to my needs. I think I’m quickly becoming a CZ fanboy. And I’m a self-admitted Glock Guy . . .
*Update, 10/21/22: Formidable Force is no longer in business–links to their site have been disabled*
A little over a month ago, I received an OWB Recon holster from Formidable Force Holsters for Wilma, my Gen 4 G19. I’ve worn the holster off-duty for that time, and I’ve found it to be an excellent choice for OWB concealment. With excellent retention, comfortable wear, and a fast presentation, the Recon is a holster worth considering.
Like the other holsters I’ve reviewed, retention is the first aspect of a rig I look at. As second-in-command at my department, I’d have a lot of explaining to do if my blaster hit the deck while off-duty. Not that I get in foot-pursuits routinely off-duty or perform spontaneous calisthenics while grabbing a bagel on a Saturday, but I’ve got to know the holster I use will keep Wilma wear she belongs. The Recon excels in retention, with one of the most satisfying clicks of any holster I’ve used. There’s no doubt my Glock is staying put, but with the adjustable retention screw, I also won’t have to wrestle with both hands to get the gun into a fight.
Any holster could retain a pistol like a fat kid with a donut, but I’m not going to wear it all day off the job if it feels like a jagged sheet of plastic on my hip. The Recon is most certainly comfortable. On my most recent trip to the Mayo Clinic, I wore the holster for over 14 hours without any complaints. It was comfortable while seated in the car for over 7 hours on the drive to Rochester, Minnesota, and I was able to keep the gun on even after we got to our B&B. There were no hot-spots or pinching from the holster. It’s certainly apparent that the holster was designed by people who carry a gun every day, as all of the edges are smooth and rounded, with no rough spots to create any problems.
Finally, a concealment holster should be able to hide well and still allow a quick draw. The Recon rides high on the hip, and is adjustable for cant. I adjusted mine for a zero-cant draw, and the rig conceals well under a button-up shirt or a vest/jacket. Since it’s coat weather in Missouri, I’ve had no issues concealing the holster.
My only small complaint about the rig is the use of different belt loops. The standard loop up front paired with the pancake loop in the rear helps to bring the butt of the pistol in towards the body, aiding in concealment, but at times it seemed to also push the front of the pistol out. It really isn’t much of an issue, unless someone with a very small frame wore the rig. I wonder if pancake loops on both ends would bring the holster’s profile down even further, though.
Here you can also see the Perry Suspenders I wear most days, helping to take some weight/pressure off my waist and hips.
My Blackhawk mag pouch prints more than the Recon.
Drawing from the holster is smooth, as I was able to position the holster in almost the same spot as my duty holster, only higher on the belt line. During dry-fire and range drills, the holster presented no obstacles to a fast presentation or safe reholstering.
At $75, the OWB Recon is priced comparably to other quality kydex holsters. Check out their quick-ship IWB holster for only $30–it looks a like a solid option for appendix carry. If you prefer custom kydex rigs from quality companies, Formidable Force should be in the running for your next holster. Ran by two LEOs from Georgia, it’s a small company worth supporting.
Sometimes, work doesn’t suck. As soon as the first shipment of P-10Cs hits the US, one will be en route to my department for T&E. As lead firearms instructor and the Sergeant in charge of purchasing, it’s my duty to test the gun. I mean, I’m obligated to put as many rounds through the pistol as I possibly can. I’ll do my best to document the testing–for my department and for you. Keep in mind, this is not a torture test. I won’t be subjecting the CZ to anything my G19 doesn’t usually see in training and daily use. But I will be shooting the shit out of it. I should have my hands on the pistol by the end of January, so stay tuned.
My long-term review of the Formidable Force Recon holster is almost complete, and should be posted this weekend. Keep an eye out–if the weather holds out, I’ll try to have some video to go along with the review. Spoiler alert: the rig is a great option for OWB concealment.
I received the OWB Recon from Formidable Force Holsters almost two weeks ago, and the first thing I noticed about the rig was the 80-20 split, as opposed to a 50-50 or 60-40 split used in most kydex pancake holsters. With a trailing pancake loop and a standard belt loop in front, the holster reminds me of some leather rigs with a trailing loop. It seems to pull the grip into the body, and so far I like how it feels when worn.
What I like most about the holster right now is the satisfying click when the pistol is holstered. It’s one of the best clicks out of any holster I’ve used. The Recon has adjustable retention, so you can tailor it to your personal preference, and the click lets you know that your blaster isn’t going anywhere.
The holster rides very high, with adjustable cant, and it works well to conceal Wilma, my Gen4 G19. Finishing on the rig is well done, with smooth and polished edges and a flared opening for easy reholstering. The muzzle of the holster is molded for threaded barrels, and the sight channel will accommodate tall sights without a problem.
I’m going to run the holster off-duty for the next month or so and have a full review to share. At $75, the holster is on par with other custom thermoforgers, and an OWB rig is perfect for the cold months ahead. While waiting for my full review, check out the deals on Formidable Force’s site–their EDC IWB rig is only $30 and ready to ship. That’s as cheap as a mass-produced injection molded rig but from a custom shop!
If you aren’t following Redeye Tactical on Instagram or Facebook, if only for all the kydex porn, you need to fix yourself immediately. Ran by Michael, a firefighter from Alabama, Redeye Tactical has been in the kydex business for about a year. While a newcomer, Michael strives to make Redeye Tactical gear practical and reliable. All holsters are made with .08 kydex, and Michael is his own worst critic–he is constantly working to improve his holsters and provide the best product possible. He says he has a knack for developing weird and crazy custom projects. He likes that.
Michael sent both an OWB, light-bearing holster and an IWB rig for Wilma, my G19. Since I still have drains taking up my preferred 3-4 o’clock carry, Michael sent left-handed rigs. Being ambidextrous comes in handy. The OWB holster features adjustable retention, 1.5-inch belt loops, a medium sweat shield, and a very slight forward cant–closer to 0 than 10 degrees. The IWB holster features a 1.5-inch injection molded clip and FBI-style forward cant. It has a minimalistic sweat shield.
Michael’s attention to detail is very apparent. The edges of each holster are smooth and polished, and the molding of the kydex is very well done. The molding of the light-bearing holster is very well thought out, giving very strong retention on the light and gun. The OWB is wide enough to support the weight of the gun, but not too wide to override the concealability of the pancake design. The sweat/body shield is the perfect height for me. I can get my high grip without interference, but the shield is high enough to keep my undershirt from getting in the way.
The injection molded clip and belt loops used are an excellent choice–they are easy to put on a belt and much more durable than kydex loops. As a side note, I love the single red rivet used to mark Redeye gear, an excellent detail.
Retention is one of the biggest factors I look at with any concealment holster. My roscoe must stay put, but still come out when the time calls. Retention on the IWB is very good. Almost a “fuck you” level of retention–I think Phlster coined that term–but still not so tight that the gun won’t come out when needed. I like it.
Retention on the OWB was a little too tight for my tastes, even with the retention screw backed all the way out. I hit it with a hair dryer to loosen it up just a bit. Now, the rig has about the same level of retention as the IWB and feels like drawing from a quality leather rig.
Concealment is also important, and both holsters conceal very well. It feels so comforting to have Wilma and her TLR-1 on my hip again, and they disappear under any of my button-up shirts. The IWB rig has the perfect cant for how I prefer to carry appendix–or opposite-appendix, really. Pulling a shirt over my beltline hides Wilma well, with very little printing.
Comfort is the final element I look at with any holster. I don’t expect velvet and memory foam feels, but I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing sandpaper and bricks, either. During a recent extradition from New York and Virginia, I wore the OWB rig for almost 40 hours straight. While I would never do so by choice, I found the holster to be ridiculously comfortable for such an extended period. While driving or riding shotgun, I didn’t think about the holster at all, and I even managed a few hours of sleep while sitting in the passenger seat of the Charger. There were no hot spots or rough edges digging in.
I have not had to wear the IWB holster for nearly as long, I have worn it for 8 hours straight with no real issues. I’ve noticed a spot on my lower pelvis that is rubbed by the rig. To be fair, I can’t find any rough spots on the holster, as it is as smooth as any IWB rig I own. I’m going to chalk it up to my lack of padding–coming back from 140 pounds in December, I still don’t have a normal level of fat under my skin. If you’re healthy and not a former skeleton, you probably won’t have a problem.
I can draw from both holsters without thinking about the holsters–a point that speaks to their quality. I can focus on my target, my simulated threat, without any distractions. They are indeed practical and well made. I have not been forced to draw from either on a live threat as of yet, but I have no doubt I will be able to do so without any issues from the holsters.
If you’re in the market for some kydex, give Redeye Tactical a look. There are lots of quality kydex benders in the world today–small, quality businesses get my money every time.
Zorn Holsters describes their Skinny Rig as the Kate Moss of holsters. I’d come up with a different metaphor myself, but that one seems pretty accurate. The Skinny Rig is a slim fold-over style kydex rig with an offset belt loop–the user can choose from a polymer clip or a strut/soft loop combo to keep the rig secured to his or her belt. It’s simple in construction but includes features that other minimalist holsters might lack, such as adjustable retention and complete coverage of the pistol’s slide. Zorn Holsters sent me a rig molded for Wilma, my G19, with a 1.5-inch polymer clip and full sweat shield. The holster came professionally packaged in a ziptop bag containing a user guide and warranty card, fully explaining the rig’s features and possible adjustments. Sleek and comfortable, the rig helped me start carrying my Glocks again after multiple abdominal surgeries.
Retention is the first aspect I critique on any new holster. My department wouldn’t like to hear about my roscoe hitting the floor because I was using an inferior rig. And while the holster from Zorn might be skinny, it’s big on retention. The holster has an audible and tactile click when the weapon is inserted, and this positive retention is very confidence inspiring. There’s no second-guessing if the gun is secured or not–once it clicks, I know it’s staying put. Of course, any holster must then submit to my very scientific shake test. I turn the holster upside down and shake. Wilma stayed firmly seated in the holster.
While I like solid retention, I don’t want to wrestle with my holster when its time for Wilma to enter some gunplay. The Skinny Rig allows smooth draws, requiring a simple, straight-up motion to release the pistol. Even under a cover garment, I was able to achieve very fast draws with the holster. After a few hundred practice strokes, the holster maintained its click retention and smooth presentation.
Comfort is the final deciding factor for any holster I use. While I don’t expect any rig to feel like a memory foam pillow stuck in my waistband, I definitely don’t want it to feel like a brick either. I was very surprised at how comfortable I found the Skinny Rig. Due to Crohn’s disease and lots of surgical complications, I’ve undergone six abdominal surgeries, leaving me with a lot of scar tissue down the middle of my abdomen and two drains on my right side. Due to the drains, I am unable to carry in a true appendix position. I had to use the Skinny Rig in a midline or semi-crossdraw position. While this hindered concealment to an extent, I found the holster to be very comfortable is this position. I am able to wear the holster all day without discomfort, even during the seven-plus hour drive to Mayo for my checkups and treatment. After being restricted to pocket or off-body carry for so long, it was very comforting to once again have a solid pistol mounted at my waistline, and the Skinny Rig allowed me to carry without adding discomfort. I am usually not a fan of sweat shields on holsters, as I find them to usually be in the way or uncomfortable. Not so with the Skinny Rig. The edges are smooth and rounded, and it’s cut to allow a solid grip on the pistol before drawing. The shield prevented my undershirt from getting caught while holstering, and it kept the slide from pressing into my already-abused stomach.
Zorn Holsters sells the Skinny Rig for $49 and up, and they keep a list of in-stock Skinny Rigs that are ready for quick shipping. The holster is as professional a rig as you can find, with expert molding and finishing. There are lots of good kydex benders out there, but Zorn Holsters seems to be among the best. Put them on your short list for sure.
A few days ago, I received a Stealth Key in the mail from F.O.G. Holsters, makers of awesome kydex. After seeing the debut photos of the Stealth Key on F.O.G.’s web site, I knew I had to have it–especially since they sell for only $7.50. That’s one thrifty means of organizing and silencing your keychain.
The Stealth Key is incredibly simple yet highly effective. The kydex is expertly formed and all edges are smoothed and rounded. A screw and post close the end of the u-shaped kydex, after the screw is passed through each key. Each Stealth Key comes with several o-ring washers to use as spacers. I placed one between each end of the kydex and my keys to help hold them in place and ease key selection.
Setting up my keys in the Stealth Key was easy–deciding the order for my keys took the longest. When I was finished, I was amazed at how streamlined my keychain had become. What once was a jangling mess of five keys now fits silent, slim, and organized in my pocket. I attached my monkey fist from Crimson Tied Paragear to the end of the kydex, making it easy to access from my pocket.
I’ll report back in a few weeks with how the Stealth Key has held up to daily carry and use. So far, though, it’s the best $7.50 I’ve spent in a long time.
TST turned two over the weekend! To celebrate two years of reviews and our venture into the #FFL world, my Iver Johnson Trailsman 66 wanted to tell you about the sale on our web site: Use coupon code 4109143316 for 10% off your entire order.