HGR 104 - Viridian ECR & Training Update with Shan from Werkz Holsters

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week, I’m joined by Shan from Werkz Holsters to discuss his work with the Viridian ECR system, some new pistols he’s had the chance to work with, and some training classes he attended!

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Sponsor Patriot Patch Company

Week in Review

Most of the show is a week in review, but a few updates:

-Picked up some Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain +P ammo for my guns. I am really impressed. I ran a box through my guns and found it to be reliable so far (I know, it’s not 200 but the gun WAS dirty and definitely in need of a cleaning)

Main Topic: Viridian ECR & Training Update with Shan from Werkz Holsters

Shan has been a guest on the show before. The last time he was on, we discussed how Kydex is used to make holsters, as well as the 9x23 Winchester cartridge. It was a great discussion and its great to have Shan on again!

As for topics, I think topics I could be prepared to discuss are:

  • My view on The Walther CCP, H&K VP9
  • CCP - looks good, feels good on paper
  • Wife compared the CCP side by side with the Shield, and preferred the recoil impulse of the shield.  She said she didn’t feel like it was less.
  • I wasn’t impressed with the CCP trigger.  I didn’t feel like I would prefer it over the VP9.
  • Any key learnings from my training this week.
  • Spent two days shooting.  First day normal fundamentals, both strong and weak hand.  Some moving.
  • Second day emphasized moving, including shooting around and from a car.
  • My lessons (from those who have seen combat) included:
  • When shooting, move.  When need to get the weapon going, move or seek cover.
  • When cover is available, use it!
  • In combat, you may not get a perfect sight picture, have perfect form, etc.  Getting the shot and keeping alive is what matters!  This means you need to seek cover.  This means you may make very awkward shots that are from a high degree of cover rather than taking an optimum position that is exposed.
  • We did one exercise that was set up by the instructor that allowed us to take a shot through a tire, and we could do it by going around a car, or going through the car and taking the shot from our side in the hatch.  My natural instinct was to go around, kneel and get the shot.  However, after looking at it from the target, that left me -very- exposed.  When shooting from laying on the side in the back of the wagon (after climbing through the car), It’s amazing how little you might expose from certain positions.
  • The VP9 fits my daughters hand better, so she will be running it for the next class.
  • The VP9 is a nice pistol, and I love the mag release.  I did run it dry in lots of dust, and had failures to chamber the next round.  I also broke off one of the charging wings during a disabled drill (racking on my belt or heel) and never found it.
  • Viridian's ECR system
  • The theory behind it
  • The idea is that, under stress, finding a switch to activate a light or laser is a fine motor skill that may not happen, either due to forgetting, or due to the adrenalin dump causing the operator to not be able to effectively manipulate the switch.  Also, I suspect there is a chance that manipulating a switch forward of the trigger may not be as safe as keeping the trigger finger along the slide.  Some manufacturers solve these issues by using a pressure switch.  The Viridian system is another potential solution.
  • How it works
  • All Viridian lights / lasers are now ECR-enabled.  The “Enhanced Combat Readiness” system pairs the light with the holster, such that immediately upon drawing from the holster, the light activates.  If you have an X5L, for instance, which has both a light and a laser on it, and each can be set to be on / off / or strobe,, you would set it up how you want it to come on when drawn.  You then holster the pistol, and the light goes on “pause.”
  • Practical use
  • I see the reasoning behind Viridian’s system.  If you want the confidence that your weapon light or laser will be on immediately upon being drawn, this system makes sense.  No switch to hit (or not), no pressure switch that requires a proper grip.  I believe that under stress, a lot of things can go wrong, and while all equipment can fail, this removes a lot of possibilities for operator error.
  • As with all lights, I would occasionally check to make sure the batteries are in good shape.  With the ECR, the light/laser turns on before the pistol is fully drawn from the holster.  This also means that if you’ve set the pistol in the safe, if it slides partway out, it could turn on and drain the battery.  This shouldn’t happen with most holsters, but it is possible.
  • It is possible the activation system could be inconvenient in rare circumstances.  For instance, if you’re drawing, but don’t want to give away your position.  The light or laser will come on before you can access the off switch, which may potentially give away your position.
  • How holsters need to work with it
  • There are a few holster manufacturers listed on Viridian’s website that build holsters for the ECR.  Viridian’s own holster line uses rare earth magnets positioned properly to activate a magnetic switch.  This is what “pauses” the light activation.  For Kydex manufacturers, they’ll either position the magnet inside or outside the Kydex.  It’s a fairly simple process, and one that should be reliable as long as both the magnet and the magnetic switch maintain relative strengths.
  • I look forward to Werkz being listed on the Viridian website for holster manufacturers in the coming weeks.
  • Werkz updates
  • Now have the full line of X5, C5, and Reactors from Viridian to build holsters for.
  • AIWB carry:
  • I have become a big proponent of AIWB carry.  For those who are built to be able to use it, it has many advantages.
  • Comfort:  I can sit, drive, move, put my shoes on, and generally perform all my daily activities with a minimum of discomfort.  And this is while wearing the VP9, a full sized pistol, all day.  The most discomfort might be when putting on shoes, where the slide pushes in on my belly more, but that’s it.
  • Concealable:  I simply untuck my shirt, and even with many tighter shirts, it is difficult to tell that I’m carrying.
  • Secure retention:  I’ve never had a pistol slip or move from this position.  Our holsters are snapped around the belt, so there isn’t a question about the holster staying in place when drawn from.  In addition, there is little chance someone is going to draw your pistol without you seeing them coming.
  • Easy on / off:  With our holsters, we use a single one-way snap to hold the holster on the belt.  This means it is very easy to put on or take off.
  • Quick access:  The pistol is available, whether I’m sitting, driving, standing, etc.  I do a fair amount of driving, and one thing I’ve noticed is that my pistol is quite ready when I’m stopped at a rest area.  The Werkz crew has just completed two days of training with Retical LLC training group.  We compared reaction hand draw for myself AIWB versus hip carry, and AIWB was both much faster and much more sure grip.
  • One of the problems I have is that I’m not carrying an extra magazine.  I now have a solution to that problem.  We have integrated a single mag carrier into the AIWB holster.  The whole holster is more narrow than a single mag carrier and holster placed side by side, and attaches using two of the straps I mentioned above for easy access.  It places the pistol just to the right of centerline, and the magazine is next to it.  The rig is shaped with a bend between the holster and carrier so that it isn’t just “flat” across the stomach.  The pistol remains straight drop, but the magazine is angled to the left side to allow for better draw.
  • I’ve provided a few out to people, and they seem to love it.  I’ve also completed that two days of training, all from concealed using this AIWB rig.
  • We will make these available for right handed only (sorry… I’m left handed myself, but so far I only have built the tooling for right handed draw) for a limited set of pistols by the end of the week.
  • This is simply another option for those searching for the perfect holster and mag carrier.  I do not however, recommend it for an inexperienced person.  It requires a degree of comfort with the pistol as well as strong trigger and muzzle discipline.
  • Stocking 36 colors / patterns of Kydex
  • Looking forward to class with Mike Seeklander
  • 2 days pistol, 1 carbine
  • My daughter (who just completed the 2 day pistol class) is coming with me
  • Will probably run AIWB again.  Need to decide which carbines to

run.  Looking at Tavor for myself, but don't have one yet.

-The awesome Steyr C9A1 Holster & Mag Pouch you made for me


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  • Thank you Shan for taking the time! Where can people find more about you?
  • WerkzUntil Next Week, Have Fun & Safe Shooting!!!

HGR 063 - The 9x23 and Kydex Holsters with Shan of Werkz Holsters

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week, I’m joined by Shan, the proprietor of Werkz Holsters to discuss his experience with the 9x23 cartridge and his experiences making top-quality kydex holsters for handguns!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

We are going to skip the week in review this week and just head right into the main topic with Shan of Werkz Holsters!

Main Topic: The 9x23 Cartridge and Kydex Holsters with Shan of Werkz Holsters

Shan is the proprietor of Werkz Holsters in Idaho. He is an avid shooter and maker of top quality Kydex holsters. He also is a huge fan of the 9x23 cartridge that we spoke about a few episodes ago in the “Odd Calibers Redux” show. We’re gonna talk a bit about his experiences with the 9x23 and then how he got started making holsters.

Thanks for coming on Shan!

The 9x23 Cartridge:

  1. How did you get involved with the 9x23 cartridge?
    1. First, let’s start with defining 9x23.  We are NOT talking 9x23 Largo, which is a different cartridge that runs lower pressures.  We are talking 9x23mm or 9x23win or 9x23 Winchester.  This is a higher pressure cartridge than the Largo.
    2. Interestingly, it is intertwined with making holsters.  A number of years back, I wanted to get a 2011, which is a double stack 1911.  I had been shooting a lot of 45s, including my HK45.  However, I felt there would be something better out there in terms of trigger and in terms of capacity.  The HK45 is a great pistol, but in classes, it was inconvenient working the DA/SA trigger with a safety.  So, I wanted the power of a 45, with the capacity of a Glock 17, with a great trigger.  I found a pistol built by Benny Hill (http://triangleshootingsports.com/ ) on Gunbroker.  It was a 5” 2011 set up with 9x23 barrel and recoil spring assembly, and came with an extra 9x19 (“9mm”) barrel and recoil spring.  This meant that the same pistol and same magazines could be used to shoot two different calibers.  I figured I would use the 9mm barrel for training, and carry with the 9x23.
    3. For me the 9x23 is an interesting cartridge.  When I saw the pistol, I dove deeper into the ballistics, and found:
      1. 9mm 115gr JHP @ 1250fps = 399 ft-lbs muzzle energy
      2. 38 Super 130gr FMJ @ 1215fps = 426 ft-lbs muzzle energy
      3. 357 Magnum 125gr JHP @ 1450fps = 583 ft-lbs muzzle energy
      4. 9x23win (9x23mm) 125gr JHP @ 1450fps = 583 ft-lbs muzzle energy
      5. (Source:  http://38super.net/Pages/comparisons.html )
      6. In other words, the 9x23 is 357 magnum power in a semi-auto pistol with semi-auto capacities.
      7. Further, the seller advertised the pistol could shoot 38s ammunition in the same barrel as the 9x23 per the builder.  This allows me to buy and shoot factory 38s ammo instead of my more valuable 9x23mm.
      8. Here is a comparison of the 9x19 (left), 38 Super (middle), and 9x23:

      9. What advantages did you see that the cartridge offered over other more mainstream cartridges?
        1. The 9x23win offers what I believe is a great self defense cartridge.  Out of a an accurate pistol (remember: shot placement is king, caliber is queen), the cartridge delivers tremendous energy to the target.
        2. Further, it is flexible.  While I’ve not reloaded the 9x23 yet, I can reload it with a smaller powder charge (“downloading”) or I can run it hotter than factory.  The webbing in the 9x23 brass is thicker and stronger (refer to the section picture here: http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammo/cartridge-review-9x23-winchester/ ).
        3. The factory Winchester ammo should be plenty sufficient for self-defense; I don’t carry defensively with reloaded ammunition.
        4. Reloading:  The 9x23 can be reloaded at a similar cost to 9mm, perhaps with a slightly greater powder cost to ensure proper cycling with the higher recoil spring pressures.
        5. The disadvantage is in terms of availability, and perhaps cost.  I’ve bought 9x23 ammunition years ago at slightly under $20/box.  However, now a quick check of GB shows boxes at $34.50 on up.
        6. Can you retrofit existing guns to the cartridge or do you have to build them from the ground up?
          1. I’m not a gunsmith, but my understanding is you can either buy one of the rare 9x23 pistols, or have them retrofitted.  I believe Bar-Sto Precision Machine (http://www.barsto.com/ ) or Nowlin (http://www.nowlinarms.com/ ) can build the barrels for you.  I don’t see them listed on Bar-Sto’s site, but Nowlin does list it here (http://www.nowlinarms.com/product-info.php?Nowlin_1911_gun_barrel-pid187.html ).
          2. Normally, 1911s or 2011s are converted.  I do not believe any pistol designed for the shorter 9mm/40S&W will work.  The problem is the cartridge is too long.
          3. For a 1911, one would need:
            1. Barrel - see above
            2. 9mm magazine, for which one would have to remove any spacers that are used to keep the 9mm cartridge from rattling around.  38 super magazines work for those of us with a 2011.  For 1911s, I believe Colt made factory 9x23 magazines.  If I were to convert a 1911, I would probably get at least one factory 9x23 magazine to diagnose any failures.
            3. A stronger recoil spring, something in the 18 to 21 lb range.  I believe Brandon at SVI used a 21# in my 4.5” 2011.
            4. There are a number of competent gunsmiths that can do the conversion or build a pistol from the ground up for you.
            5. What guns do you use that shoot 9x23?
              1. I have two:  The Benny Hill built 5” 2011, and a SVI built (http://www.sviguns.com/ ) custom 4.5” 2011.
              2. For the most part, the SVI pistol has been in the safe.  The other pistol went with me to Boise for a Chris Costa class, and it ran nearly flawlessly, with 3 malfunctions, 1 was a dirty mag, one was a mag that was falling apart, and one was operator failing to fully insert the mag.  That pistol shot about 2k rounds in the rain and mud with those few malfunctions.  All of those were 38s, but it shows that a 2011 can be reliable.
              3. How easy is it to convert the guns?
                1. If I had a good gunsmith provide the barrel, I wouldn’t be worried about it.
                2. I have heard of a Glock 20 conversion, but I believe it is rare.  I would be concerned about magazine availability.  The 10mm cartridge is significantly larger, and probably wouldn’t feed properly, and I would be skeptical of anyone who said they could tune the feed lips properly.
                3. I would be careful about going too short in the 9x23.  Shorter pistols need stronger recoil springs to begin with, and the 9x23 will require one even stronger.  I don’t think I would go with smaller than a commander.  And I wouldn’t convert anything I couldn’t get my pinky around.
                4. Can you ONLY shoot 9x23 in the guns or is there any cartridge interchangeability?
                  1. DISCLAIMER:  This is only my experience and what I’ve been told.  Shooting different cartridges in your pistol is extremely risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.  I can only state what I have experienced and what I’ve been told.
                  2. I was told my 5” 2011 would shoot either 38s or 9x23.  The barrel is marked Kart 38 Super.  However, my understanding is that it was properly reamed for 9x23.  I’ve shot over 3k rounds of 38s out of it with a very low failure rate.  I’ve also shot 9x23 out of it reliably.
                  3. When I had the 4.5” 2011 built, Brandon told me that I could probably shoot 38s out of the 9x23 barrel, but it would likely “fire form” the brass to the slightly to any difference in the taper between 38s and 9x23.  I’ve not had any problem with 38s out of the pistol.
                  4. For my 4.5” 2011, I have two barrels, so I can change between shooting 9x23 and 9mm.  The 9mm threaded barrel is on top.
                  5. How does the recoil/muzzle blast compare to other cartridges that you've shot?
                    1. It’s hard to tell when shooting, but when I’ve stood beside someone shooting my pistol, the 38s is definitely a stronger concussion than the 9mm of others on the line, and the 9x23 is even more.
                    2. I shot this week with my father in law, and I watched him closely go from 38s to 9x23.  There was definitely more muzzle rise and the brass went further.
                    3. I will say that shooting the 9x23 requires proper form to control.  Having a proper grip is essential.  Some people say that the 45acp is like a hard shove, but the 40S&W is much snappier and harder to control.  The 9x23 is like that but even more so.  It is a strong fast recoil, and it requires a good grip on the pistol to keep it pointed straight and get back on target quickly.  I was shooting with a magazine that doesn’t lock back the slide, and for my last trigger pull, there wasn’t a cartridge in the chamber, but I didn’t know it.  When I pulled the trigger, I did a nosedive.  I can see I have some work I need to do on my own form.
                    4. What is the future of 9x23?
                      1. I think 9x23 is a cartridge that has fallen out of favor.  Race gun guys don’t need it to make “major”.  It seems that it hasn’t taken off as a defensive cartridge, perhaps due to the improvements in 9mm defensive cartridges.  I would love to see 9x23 take off and see greater availability of pistols chambered in it.  I like the idea of interchanging barrel/recoil spring to get to shoot cheap practice ammo.  Rock Island has the 22tcm interchangeability.  Seems like 9mm/9x23 interchangeability would make sense.

Werkz Holsters:

  1. What prompted you to start Werkz Holsters?
    1. Funny enough, it was because I wanted a holster to fit that Benny Hill built 2011.  I had been using Raven holsters, but when it came to ordering one for the 2011, I wasn’t sure whether, after waiting over ten weeks the holster would even fit.  So I bought the materials and began forming my own.  The first builds were pretty poor, but it didn’t take long for me to improve and get good results.  I started making them for friends, and selling on the Internet.  Things really began to take off when a local gun store picked up the products.
    2. One thing is for sure… we have always improved, and continue to improve.  I want to obsolete the way we built holsters last year, last month, by coming up with better ways to get a great feel, retention, and durability.  And cosmetics are important.
    3. Why did you go with Kydex? Cost effectiveness or better durability?
      1. I saw Kydex as the way the industry was going for tactical products.  I also had owned nylon, leather, and hybrid holsters in the past, and they failed to perform the way I expected.  I wanted something that didn’t lose shape, retained properly without external mechanisms, and lasted.  What I’ve found with Kydex is that it lasts quite well.  I’ve heard of one of our holsters breaking, but never seen it.  I recently had a magazine pouch that was made years ago come in for replacement… it was cracked down the middle.  I’ve found Kydex retains its retention quite well over the years, and stands up to the abuse when I take a class.  And when it is all over, I can take it to the sink and wash it out with lukewarm water.
      2. What did you carry for a holster before you started Werkz?
        1. I had 2 holsters for my HK45, both of which went with me to a Magpul class.
          1. Blade-Tek duty style holster
          2. Crossbreed IWB holster
          3. What makes a good kydex holster?
            1. For me, it is a combination of comfort, fit, feel, finish.
            2. Comfort:  While we are all made different, the holster should feel good to you.  For me, I like to be able to wear the holster all day, and preferably forget it my pistol is there.  This is regardless of whether it is OWB on my hip or IWB.  You want a holster that works for you, and I believe comfort is a top reason people have boxes of unused holsters.
            3. Fit:  It needs to fit YOUR pistol.  Not something that is a similar shape to yours, but YOUR pistol.  The HK VP9 came out recently, and people are wondering what holster fits it, and everyone is saying that this or that holster works even though there is this or that compromise.  My position is that it needs to fit your pistol because if it doesn’t, it won’t retain properly, won’t cover the trigger guard properly, or have other problems.
            4. Feel:  When you insert your pistol into the holster, you should feel that it is fully holstered.  In almost all cases, our holsters you can hear and feel when the pistol is fully seated in the holster.  Similarly, when you draw, you should have to tug the pistol out.  You don’t want to have to pull your belt up around your ears, but you also don’t want any small bump to unseat your pistol.  So, you want a firm grip and tug to release the pistol, and from there it should come out smoothly without a lot of dragging.
            5. Finish:  Cosmetics are important.  You shell out good money for a holster, and it shouldn’t look like crap.  There should be good pistol definition.  The belt loops should be well made (we injection mold ours in house).  The Kydex should be thick enough that the holster doesn’t collapse without the pistol in it (we went away from the common thinner Kydex on our pistol holsters because it wouldn’t retain a form, especially for the light bearing holsters).  The edges should be polished and without burrs.
            6. What sets your holsters apart from the “one size fits some” kydex holsters?
              1. There are a lot of good holsters out there, and some pretty sketchy ones.  What we do, we do well.  We build the holster to your specifications and will do so within two weeks.  For the items we build tons of (Glock 19 for instance), we build a quality product that isn’t going to break the bank.  I think our product quality is up there with anyone in the industry for a custom holster, our lead times are low, and we will guarantee all our products.
              2. I believe we do a great job on all the items above… comfort, fit, feel, finish.  There are other folks that do a good job on those items too.  For us, you can also reach the owner and resolve any problems quickly.
              3. Can you switch your holsters from OWB to IWB fairly easily?
                1. The Origin line of holsters has IWB C-hook accessories that you can do that with.  I’ve had customers very happy with this setup, but if I’m carrying IWB, I prefer our Minimalist design, which isn’t convertible.
                2. What sorts of advantages does a kydex holster offer?
                  1. I think we covered that above for the most part.  Kydex over leather typically has a more positive feel, and is cleanable.  Folks worry about pistol finishes.  However, if I go out to a range and get my holster full of dust, I can wash out Kydex with lukewarm water.  If I have leather, either I toss the holster, or the dirt will wear my finish.
                  2. What can make a holster dangerous for the user?
                    1. Good, important question.  There are a few things I think are dangerous.
                    2. Design:  I have a bias against external mechanisms, and I don’t think all of that bias is unfounded.  I’m not saying they cannot be made fast, reflexive, and safe, but I think it’s a challenge.  There are two aspects there.
                      1. Active:  There is a popular style that requires trigger finger action when drawing.  I’ve talked to a buyer evaluation person at Customs and Border Protection, and he said they collected extensive information about how many negligent discharges that were as a result of this mechanism.
                      2. Ability to use under stress:  Retention mechanisms need to be trained with so you can use it fast & safe under stress.  I would consider it a safety issue if a listener were to have to draw their defensive pistol under stress, and wasn’t able to release it in time.
                      3. I would recommend buyers who are looking for an external mechanism first to consider whether it is really required, and if so, then how such a mechanism can be made safe and fast.
                      4. Build:  The holster’s safety job is to
                        1. Protect (to the degree possible) the trigger from external manipulation.  You don’t want foreign material to enter the trigger guard area and pull the trigger.  For me, this means covering the trigger guard as much as practical.  With light bearing holsters, there will be some space around the grip where the holster is relieved, so this isn’t completely possible, but if the trigger is visible from the side, I would be concerned about the holster’s build.  Similarly, if there is some mechanism internally within the holster that can accidentially manipulate the trigger or somehow break and activate the trigger.
                        2. Make the pistol available:  The pistol should be readily accessible and available, or it is a potential safety issue.
                        3. Keep the pistol sufficiently retained:  If I were to get into a physical altercation, or have some degree of physical exertion, I would want the pistol to stay put.  I think it is a safety issue if, by simply falling down, the pistol ended up on the ground.
                        4. What is the future projections for Werkz holsters?
                          1. Keep growing gun store availability:  We are in 11 stores in a number of states.  I want to see Werkz holsters in Idaho and Oregon gun stores, and am looking to be in 20 stores, if possible, by the end of the year.
                          2. Revise our website:  Our website was created a couple years ago, and it is visually pretty nice.  However, we are working on revising our website to make it more easy to order holsters.
                          3. Improve manufacturing:  We reinvest every dollar that comes in to the business.  I want to bring some new designs to market, improve how we manufacture our designs, and continue growing.  We have a fairly large shop dedicated to the business today, and are looking forward to the day that we outgrow this space.

[Announce the Giveaway here, to be formally started probably next weeks episode]

That about wraps up the main topic, so we are going to head into the obscure gun we want segment and the wrap up segment!

Obscure Gun We Want:

Shan: Maybe not so obscure, but I want the newer 17 Hornet in a good rifle, probably a CZ.  I’m planning on restarting a yearly trip to go varmint shooting on NE Oregon, and the 17 Hornet would be a great cartridge to do so.  Perhaps even replace my 17 HMR Anschutz.  I also have a Beretta 1301 21” on my “to buy” list.

Ryan:  New Smith & Wesson .22 LR Revolvers built upon the old I-Frame (Terrier frame; smaller than a J-Frame) from the 1930’s


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Until Next Week, Have Fun and SAFE SHOOTING!

HGR 062 - Sig-Sauer Ammo and The Suppressor Experience with the Mad Aussie

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wilds of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world. This week, It’s a somewhat solo show! I have a couple newer products to talk about and then for the main topic, I had a short discussion with my friend the Mad Aussie about what it was like for him getting suppressors and his enjoyment of them!

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:

  • Earlier this week, I received a fantastic holster from Shan over at Werkz Holsters in Princeton, Idaho. It was an OWB Orgin holster for my Sig-Sauer P226 and it is extremely impressive! The fit is impeccable, the holster feels very solid and durable and it rides perfectly on the belt. I plan on having Shan on the show very soon, so I won’t go into a great deal of detail here, but I will say I have had a spotty history with those “one size fits alot” mass-produced kydex holsters (i.e. I haven’t been impressed) and the care and craftsmanship that goes into the Werkz holster is readily apparent. I highly recommend checking them out if you are in the market for a holster or mag pouch. Check them out at the link above!
  • I was recently at Cabelas and checking out the ammunition selection. I picked up some basic Remington 9mm 115 grain FMJ for practice and a box of the new Sig-Sauer Elite Performance V-Crown 9mm 124 grain Hollowpoint ammo. I had heard that Sig was getting into the ammunition game back around SHOT Show 2014, but I hadn’t actually seen any out in the wild until now. The ammo is loaded by a company that Sig does own, but the ammunition is not loaded at Sig’s factory in New Hampshire. At first glance I was impressed; the box of cartridges was selling for quite a bit lower than most of the other defensive ammunition at $17.00 a box. However, once I got home and actually started doing the research of current reviews, I have seen multiple instances of the ammunition not performing well during denim gel tests. I know that gel tests don’t take into account many, many different variables, but they are really the best test medium we have for understanding bullet performance. Given that most attackers do not run around in the nude, I was concerned about this lack of performance, specifically a lack of penetration. TNOutdoors9 did an ammunition test of the Sig ammo and had low penetration (7”) when using the 9mm in a denim gel test. I’m not sure if this is due to the design of the bullet itself, which has a VERY shallow hollowpoint with another deeper hollowpoint inside & underneath the first one. This design may just not lend itself to adequate penetrating properties when confronted with denim obstruction. Also, none of the rounds that Sig Sauer is marketing are +P rounds. The heavier 124 grain bullets would probably benefit from a +P loading. I am interested to try them out for myself, but at this point, I will stick with my usual 124 grain Winchester PDX1 9mm ammo.
  • Finally, I was recently looking around Amazon.com and a product was suggested to me, so I naturally clicked on it, being the curious type I am. It was the Garrison Quick Release Trigger Stay and no disrespect to the folks at Garrison, but it has to be one of the most insane “safety” devices I have ever seen. It is a rubber/plastic plug that you stuff behind the trigger INSIDE the trigger guard, which you then have to push out with your index finger before you engage the trigger and use the gun. First off, this product is marketed to people who pocket carry without a holster, which is a practice that I DO NOT want to see encouraged. It is simply not safe and does not keep the gun oriented in the pocket properly. Secondly, they say the product will “prevent against accidental discharge”.....so will a properly designed pocket holster that covers the trigger. This product, while I understand the thinking behind it (somewhat) requires the user to violate so many safety rules that I just cannot see responsibly recommending this to anyone. You should not be putting your finger anywhere inside the trigger guard unless you are on target and ready to fire. The potential for an accidental discharge when using this product is simply too great and I hope folks spring for a proper pocket holster rather than this device.

Now we are going to head into the main topic which is going to be the Suppressor Experience with the Mad Aussie. This won’t be a very technical or legal discussion about suppressors, it was more of a just casual discussion around the kitchen table about why he got into them and how he did and what he enjoys about using them!

Main Topic: Suppressors with the Mad Aussie

Way back on episode 016 we had my buddy the Mad Aussie on to talk about his firearms journey. This week, I have him here to discuss what it’s like to go through the process of acquiring a suppressor and why suppressors can make a firearms experience much more enjoyable & hearing safe!

1.) What got you interested/started in acquiring suppressors?

2.) Which companies have you dealt with for suppressors? (Manufacturers)

3.) What were some of the more difficult parts of acquiring a suppressor?

4.) What things should people look out for when going to buy a suppressor?

5.) In your opinion what guns have you been able to suppress the best?

6.) Are there any function/reliability concerns when using a suppressor on a pistol with a moving barrel?

That about wraps up the main topics, so now we are going to head into the obscure gun we want segment and the wrap up segment!

Obscure Gun We Want:

Ryan:  A reproduction of the Merwin-Hulbert revolvers (from a company that actually will produce them) A really neat old-west revolver!

Mad Aussie: Eugene Stoner Prototype AR-10


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Until Next Week, Have Fun and SAFE SHOOTING!