Category Archives: Exclusive Web Extra

Exclusive: Grace USA Tools

I’m no gunsmith.

In fact, I’ve probably hammered and punched and disassembled too many guns and gun sub-parts without any real knowledge of what I’m doing. I’m not talking about field stripping here. That I can do. Dropping in replacement parts, changing grip panels, adjusting sights — okay. Detail stripping, depending on the gun, can be a whole ‘nother matter. Repairs and alterations — out of my league. How do I know this? How else? Trial and error.

DSC_0475Still, for even basic tasks, good tools are indispensable. That’s why I’m going to introduce you to several good tools in my Stalwarts of the Gun Bench series.

Up first is this Grace USA Gun Care Tool Set, a 17-piece set consisting of brass punches, a brass hammer, and several flathead screwdrivers, all contained in a handy zipped case.

!DSC_0483The screwdrivers enjoy constant use. You might think a screwdriver is a screwdriver is a screwdriver but the Grace USA screwdrivers feature a custom hollow ground blade to fit the various screws found on many guns and scopes. The handles are Maine hardwood and easy to keep hold of, even if your hands are greasy. Every part of the screwdrivers is made in the USA and warrantied for life.

Also in the case is superb brass hammer. Weighing eight ounces with a hickory handle and a hand-turned brass head that won’t spark or mar steel, the Grace USA hammer is in and of itself a work of art that’ll easily and safely handle basic gun care tasks.

DSC_0467You can use the hammer to strike the Grace USA brass punches to push out pins or move small steel pieces in a gun. Made from CDA 360 brass rod, the punches come in sizes from 1/16” to 5/16”.

In addition to the Gun Care Tool Set I also have a set of steel roll spring punches and a steel punch set.

The steel roll spring punches are made from high carbon molybendenum tool steel and feature a ball on the end that fits into the hollow center of the roll pin. When striking the punch, the ball provides greater control and prevents damage to the wall of the hole. Sizes offered: 1/16” to 7/32” and they’re all made in the USA, as expected.

!DSC_0474The steel punch set is similar to the roll spring punches but meant for more general work. Tough as nails but finely crafted for detailed work, I find them eminently useful.

Grace USA Tools are available at various dealers. Check their website for more information.

What super useful gunsmithing tools are on your gun bench?

— Mark Kakkuri



Alien Gear Holsters’ Unique Swappable Shell System

Alien Gear Holsters, one of the fastest growing holster manufacturers in the concealed carry industry is experiencing continued success with it’s inventive universal shell system and Free Shell Trades for Life Guarantee.

Alien Gear holster owners can choose from over 350 custom molded shells designed for most handguns, complete with holes pre-drilled and ready to attach to the holster base. Removing the screws and spacers on the base allows you to easily swap one shell for another. This simple process eliminates buying one holster for each pistol that you own. Instead, only one holster base is needed for multiple shells.

Alien Gear Holsters’ wide selection of molded shells are available for semi-automatic or revolver styles. The shells are made of durable, .093” boltaron material which offers enhanced impact resistance and reduces cracking or deformation in extreme temperatures. Each shell is molded to the bottom of the gun to protect the front sights from impact and to prevent the pistol from wearing a hole in your garments.

Each Alien Gear Holsters shell costs only $12.88 and is backed by a Free Shell Trades for Life Guarantee. If you ever decide to carry a different handgun, Alien Gear Holsters will trade your previous shell to match your new gun. You may make unlimited trades as long as you own your Alien Gear Holster.

Learn more about Alien Gear Holsters swappable shells at:

Stack-On FirePower Ammo Security Cabinet

Stack-On® Products introduced its new FirePower™ secure ammunition storage cabinet at the 2015 Shot Show held in Las Vegas, January 20th – 23rd. The FirePower cabinet includes 3 removable, reinforced, steel shelves that hold up to 75 lbs. per shelf and is designed to hold 8 standard sized ammo cans.

“Several of our customers have asked us for an affordable solution to securing ammunition and we have been able to meld our expertise in secure storage cabinets with Stack-On’s hardware storage solutions to design a cabinet that has the strength and durability needed to hold standard sized ammo cans” said, Shelley Nehrt, Director of Marketing for Stack-On.

The new Ammo Cabinet (Model # ASC-1416) incorporates welded steel construction, a full length – staked paino type hinge and a 3 point locking system to secure the cabinet’s contents. A double bitted key operates the key coded cyliner lock and is designed to release only when the cabinet is locked – to help prevent someone from accidently leaving the cabinet unlocked. Available in a gloss black finish with silver accents. Estimate retail prices would range from $149 to $189.

Headquartered in Wauconda, Ill., Stack-On Products Company is the industry’s leading provider of security products for sportsmen, law enforcement and consumers. For more information, visit Stack-On at or call 800-323-9601. Follow us on Twitter: @StackOnProducts #StackOnGunSafePledge

Safariland Introduces New GLS Pro-Fit Holster

Safariland® is excited to announce the debut of the Model 578 GLS™ Pro-Fit™ Holster, bringing its unique GLS (Grip Locking System) to fit a wide variety of guns with a single holster.

Designed to fit more than 60 firearms based on barrel length and be customizable for a perfect fit, the 578 GLS Pro-Fit features an innovative technology that automatically secures the weapon when holstered and releases it upon application of the middle finger with a standard shooting grip for a more intuitive and safer release. It’s the only holster on the market that can fit a wide variety of handguns with a secure and easy-to-use GLS lock up.

“Building on the recent success of the GLS and 7TS™ holster lines, Safariland continues to innovate by combining these two unique features in the 578,” said Scott Carnahan, Vice President, Equipment Category. “As a multi-fit holster, it’s available to a wide variety of our users, making this revolutionary safety-enhancing technology more accessible than ever.”

The 578 Pro-Fit holster body is constructed with SafariSeven™ material featured in the 7TS line of holsters. This lightweight, state-of-the-art nylon blend is completely non-abrasive to a gun’s finish, tolerant of extreme high and low temperatures, and easy to maintain.

The low-cut and compact 578 Pro-Fit holster rides close to the user’s body for concealment while still providing easy access for a quick draw. The holster includes an injection-molded paddle and an injection-molded belt loop that is adjustable for maximum comfort and allows the holster to be worn cross-draw.

The 578 GLS Pro-Fit is available in SafariSeven Plain Black and FDE Brown finishes with an MSRP of $55.00. Four fits are available that fit a wide array of Glock and S&W handguns. The holster will be featured at The Safariland Group booth #12762 at the NSSF SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) Show at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, January 20-23.

For more information on the 578 GLS Pro-Fit holster, please visit

Exclusive: Bring Enough Knife

SOG’s Twitch II folding knife — a simple, effective tool — sports a straight-edged blade that measures just over 2.6 inches. If you’re a testosterone-charged tactical wannabe, this probably isn’t enough knife for you. And that’s just fine. Go ahead and carry whatever suits you. Just in case, however, you live in a world that includes opening packages and envelopes, slicing fruit, cutting tape, or a hundred other mundane uses for a blade, the SOG Twitch II (AUS 8 steel, hard anodized aluminum handle, satin finish) is more than enough knife. Especially if you wear dress pants every now and again and prefer your knife to be super light and easy on the fabric around your pocket.

!DSC_0446Twitch II strikes a delicate balance between being small enough for every day carry to, say, the office and being large enough to manipulate easily. In hand it offers several points where various digits can come to rest yet deftly put it into action. Place an index finger on the kick, pull it back, and — snap! — it rewards you with a positive push of the blade into the fully open position. The blade stays open and locked because of a strong lockbar. And the lockbar lets go of the blade, allowing it to be closed, if you press the release on the back of the handle. It’s safe enough, open or closed, but if you want even more safety, you can slide a small switch on the back of the handle and lock the blade in either position.

!DSC_0447You’ve seen people react to a pocket folder, no matter what it is. Generally, it’s, “Oh, you carry a knife! Were you a Boy Scout or something?” Depending on the actual knife or tool produced, however, you’ve probably also heard the following:

  • Swiss Army knife — “Hey, I watched MacGyver, too!”
  • Tactical folder, serrated blade, with glass punch — “Good heavens that looks sharp! Don’t cut yourself!”
  • Trench knife with skull and crossbones etchings on the brass knuckled hilt — [People backing away slowly, talking calmly to you]

With the Twitch II, there’s no drama. Just a look of appreciation with a tinge of envy, followed by a question about where to buy one (for me it was on Amazon for $37). And as you put it to good use in the office, it becomes increasingly clear that it is enough knife.

Got an everyday carry knife for the office or more urban or suburban settings? Tell us about it!

— Mark Kakkuri


Liberty Ammunition Introduces Projectiles for Hand-Loading

Liberty Ammunition, the global leader in high performance, lead-free ammunition for military, law enforcement and civilian markets, is pleased to announce the first projectile components from Liberty Ammunition available for hand loading. Liberty Ammo’s .223 bullets are ideal for personal defense, tactical use and for hunting.

The .223 Rem lead-free projectiles are hollow-point, nickel-plated, copper monolithic bullets. Liberty’s hollow-points have a deep cavity that fragments in soft tissue, resulting in a much greater transfer of kinetic energy to the target while providing three times the terminal effects of traditional, lead-based ammo. Liberty’s projectiles provide plenty of penetration when hunting and have no problem clearing barriers like car doors, dry wall, or leather/denim in a home defense or tactical situation.   A 50-count bag of .223 projectiles retails for only $29.98 online at


  .223 Rem Projectile
Bullet Diameter: .224
Bullet Weight: 55 grains
Bullet Style: HP
Bullet: Copper Monolithic Nickel Plated
Sectional Density: .157
Ballistic Coefficient: .195
Recommended Twist Rate: 9 or faster
MSRP: $29.98
Amount Per Bag: 50

Ruger Introduces the Hawkeye FTW Predator Rifle

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) announces the addition of the Hawkeye® FTW Predator rifle to its Hawkeye line of bolt-action rifles. This new model combines popular features of the Gunsite Scout Rifle and the Hawkeye Predator to deliver a long-range, accurate rifle for both range and field.

The Hawkeye FTW Predator rifle design began with extensive on-range consultation with SAAM (Sportsman’s All-weather, All-terrain Marksmanship) shooting instructors at the world-renowned FTW Shooting School in Barksdale, Texas. The SAAM instructors were impressed with the proven accuracy of the Hawkeye Predator and the quick handling of the Gunsite Scout rifle. With their input, Ruger engineers designed a rifle that combines the trigger and action of the Hawkeye Predator with the adjustable buttstock design found on the Gunsite Scout rifle. The result is a perfect combination of ergonomics and long-range accuracy needed in a fast handling predator rifle.

The Hawkeye FTW Predator features a two-stage target trigger, Green Mountain laminate stock, stainless steel receiver and medium contour barrel. Models are available with either a 22″ barrel with a 1:10″ twist chambered in .308 Win., or a 24″ barrel with a 1:8″ twist chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The soft rubber buttpad is adjustable with the use of three, 1/2″ buttpad spacers (included) which allows the rifle to be properly sized for different shooters or varying levels of outerwear. The non-rotating, Mauser-type controlled round feed extractor is the most positive case extraction system ever invented. The design of the hinged, solid-steel floorplate allows for easy unloading without having to chamber each cartridge and has a patented latch that is flush with the trigger guard to avoid accidental dumping of cartridges. Patented integral scope mounts, machined directly on the solid-steel receiver, provide a stable mounting surface for the included scope rings.

For more information on the Hawkeye FTW Predator, or to learn more about the extensive line of award-winning Ruger firearms, visit or

Big Bores For Big Boars

At the risk of enraging millions of American deer hunters, I will boldly state my favorite big-game quarry is wild boar. Without debating all the “why’s” and “wherefore’s,” I would simply point out deer have a limited hunting season while pigs are open year round. Another feature appealing to me as a handgun hunter is pigs are physically much tougher than deer, which means you need a powerful, large caliber handgun to be successful. If you venture out under-gunned, any pigs you find will be underwhelmed, sometimes even when hit with a “proven” big-bore load.

I’ve made solid chest hits on medium-sized boars with large caliber, expanding jacketed bullets (the latest was a 480 Ruger) and never found the pig or a sustained blood trail. Even sows, who lack the boar’s gristle plate armor, are densely packed creatures and seem capable of “sealing” a wound that is not immediately fatal and making their escape. Strike the gristle plate on any boar weighing at least 175 pounds with a fast expanding bullet and it’s unlikely you’ll be eating pork chops for dinner. As always, shot placement is key. But with wild pigs, you must have enough penetration to reach the vitals, and even better, create an exit hole to expedite the loss of bodily fluids and facilitate a blood trail.

The consensus, but not unanimous, opinion seems to be “large bore handguns” begin with .40 calibers. That’s good news to me because I have a couple of 1911’s chambered in 10mm and just recently completed a pig hunt with one of these guns yielding the biggest pig I’ve ever taken, a 400-pound sow at the Fort Rock Ranch near Kingman, Ariz. I was hunting with Mike McNett, owner of DoubleTap Ammunition and a fellow devotee of 10mm handguns. Mike’s 1911 was a Kimber with standard size 5″ barrel while I was using a custom 1911 built by Dave Williams, head of Springfield’s custom shop. My gun’s most obvious features are a 6″ barrel and slide (designed to milk maximum performance from the 10mm), a gold bead installed in the front sight blade (to facilitate any encounters in the reduced light of early morning or late afternoon) and an adjustable rear sight (so the pistol can be sighted in for whatever load I want to use.) On this hunt, we had a mix of DoubleTap ammo to compare results, and as is frequently the case with “well-laid plans,” we wandered slightly astray.

I had Mike’s lead-free load, featuring Barnes 155-grain copper bullets, since I was looking for a smaller, eating pig for the freezer and figured I could use more expansion and less penetration. I was slightly hesitant when I first saw the large black and white sow. She was sleeping in some brush lying on her right side diagonally facing away from me with her back end hidden under a bush, so I couldn’t identify her sex initially. I put the first round into her side just behind the shoulder angling up toward where I thought the heart should be. She exploded out of the bush on a dead run away from me. Nice thing about using a defensive pistol hunting, you’ve trained with it for fast follow-up shots. My second shot hit the spine about midway in the body as the pig accelerated in search of a friendlier country. We found her piled up by some rocks about 10 yards left of where she had exited the brush, already dead. Neither round completely penetrated the body, but both had hit killing spots in her anatomy. Would the results have been the same had she been a heavily armored boar? Hard to say whether or not the first shot would have penetrated the gristle plate and reached the heart, but the second shot would have broken the spine. The result was much more meat in the freezer than I expected and without a long hike trailing a wounded pig.

Mike was using his 200-grain bonded defense bullet load with which he nailed a 300-pound boar. The pig was standing broadside when we spotted him. He seemed aware of our presence and was trying to decide on a course of action. Before he could make up his mind, Mike’s first shot entered high in the shoulder through the gristle plate breaking the boar’s back and dropping him where he stood. The bullet didn’t exit the body, but it penetrated the armor going deep enough to break the spine.


Dick rests his Ruger dual cylinder Blackhawk (.45 Colt and .45 ACP) across a Yamaha Grizzly
for a longer-range practice shot on steel at Gunsite Academy. The shorter cylinder on the
older style Blackhawk limits overall round length, but there are plenty of heavy weight,
hard cast bullets in both calibers from Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon and DoubleTap that will do
the job on boars.

.41 Magnum

Moving up a step in bore diameter brings us to the .41 Magnum, a caliber never living up to the sales expectations of its designers. However, has developed a devoted following among handgun hunters. In fact, there are a greater variety of .41 Magnum loads available today — the most in the caliber’s 50-year history. Sadly, Remington has long ago discontinued their “milder” police load with lead bullet. This was a great factory load perfect for
practice time.

Big-game handgun hunters need not fret since both Cor-Bon, Federal and Buffalo Bore offer an abundance of loads featuring jacketed hollow point bullets from 170 to 210 grains for soft skinned animals (like deer) along with some hard cast bullets from 230 to 265 grains (for pigs, elk, and other big, tough game animals.)

I have a couple of .41 Magnums including a modern version of the 4″ barreled S&W Model 58 “police revolver” and an older 3-screw model Ruger with 4 ¾” barrel. Recoil from heavy .41 Mag. loads is quite manageable in all the handguns except the Model 58, which was designed with the milder “police” load in mind. Handgun hunters received a bonus when Freedom Arms offered .41 Magnum revolvers in both the larger frame Model 83 and smaller frame Model 97. Either scoped or with factory iron sights, these incredibly accurate revolvers are great hunting handguns with the larger Model 83 utilizing the long 265-grain cast bullet loads and the Model 97 handling the shorter 250-grain hard cast bullets. Despite the .41’s ability to nearly duplicate the .44 Magnum’s power, it offers a small but noticeable reduction in felt recoil.

The next power level up the scale brings us to perhaps the most popular hunting handgun caliber of all time — the .44 Magnum. There aren’t many critters on planet earth the .44 can’t harvest given the proper load. Some of my favorite all-time hunts involved pursuing Arizona rabbits with either a Model 29 or Ruger Blackhawk stoked with mild shooting .44 Specials. During numerous fall hunts for deer-sized animals I used the same guns successfully with various jacketed hollow or soft points.

My .44 magnum-hunting career culminated in taking an Asian buffalo in Australia (along with some large wild boars) with an 8 3/8″ barreled S&W 629 loaded with Cor-Bon’s 320-grain hard cast bullet traveling at slightly less than 1,200 fps. The heavy slugs didn’t completely penetrate the buffalo but went clean through the pigs dropping them in their tracks. Cor-Bon is one of three ammo companies (along with Buffalo Bore and Garrett Cartridges) offering maximum performance, heavy-weight loads for the .44 Magnum. Range of bullet weights and velocities vary for each company, but I’ve used them all with excellent results.

Garrett makes perhaps the hardest cast bullets, and while they don’t have a large variety of .44 Magnum loads, they offer a “downloaded” round consisting of an extremely hard, 310-grain cast bullet with a properly sized meplat, it leaves the muzzle of a 4″ revolver at 1,020 fps (same load gives 1,100 fps from a 7.5″ barrel) and will adequately penetrate anything I hunt. With its reduced recoil, this has become my “go-to” load when hunting with any of the smaller, lighter weight .44-Mag revolvers.

For taking bigger game with bigger .44 Magnum revolvers, Garrett also offers the same 310-grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,325 fps, and a 330-grain super hard cast bullet at 1,400 fps. Both these velocities are from a 7.5″ barrel. If you don’t think one of these loads will work for you, you may have booked the wrong safari.


There’s something to be said about hunting with the same big-bore self-defense pistol
you’ve used in practice. Cindy Smith’s husband is a Gunsite Instructor, and they are
both avid hunters and shooters.


Using his Trijicon-equipped S&W Model 460, Miles Waterman dropped this
nice pig at Tejon Ranch, one of California’s premier hunting ranches.

.454 Casull

Moving on up to .45 caliber, we find two calibers dominate the scene. First was Freedom Arms .454 Casull introduced in the 1980’s. With a case about 1/10″ longer than the .44 Magnum, the .454 achieved incredible performance increases due to much higher operating pressures and, being chambered in a new Freedom Arms 5-shot revolver built to much tighter tolerances than previously seen in production revolvers. Reducing the cylinder capacity to five shots provided additional strength and allowed the higher operating pressures while the tight tolerances provided enhanced accuracy.

The .454 captured the fancy of handgun hunters (at least those who could handle the recoil) and Freedom Arms revolvers dominated the upper classes in metallic handgun silhouette shooting. Being a new cartridge, Freedom Arms began manufacturing ammo for their revolvers concentrating on lighter weight jacketed bullets at high velocities. The company’s 260- and 300-grain jacketed rounds were extremely hard designed to totally penetrate the largest animals. Later, both Buffalo Bore and Cor-Bon began making ammo for the .454 and offered even heavier bullets (from 335 to 360 grains) moving at 1,550 and 1425 fps respectively. For those who could control/survive the recoil, the .454 was the new king of hunting handguns.


For semi-auto lovers with large hands, the Desert Eagle in .44 Mag. makes a dandy
hunting handgun. The use of a magazine may limit the use of the heaviest/longest
bullets, but the heavier weight does a nice job soaking up recoil.

.460 S&W Magnum

When S&W introduced the .460 S&W Magnum chambered in their 5-shot “X” frame revolver, it became the new king-of-velocity handgun launching lightweight 200-grain bullets at well over 2,000 fps. While the press touted the velocity capability of the new revolver, Buffalo Bore and Cor-Bon started looking at heavier weight bullets with Cor-Bon loading a hard cast 395-grain at 1,525 fps and Buffalo Bore a 360-grain hard cast at 1,900 fps. The 395-grain Cor-Bon load was with me in Australia and accounted for a second Asian buffalo and a good-sized boar.

Back home in California, I used the high-velocity 200-grain bullet on a couple of pigs (both under 150 lbs.) and while the high velocity rounds proved instantly successful, I’d still opt for the enhanced penetration of heavier bullets when hunting pigs. One very nice feature of the big “X” frame Smith is its ability to absorb recoil even when shooting the hottest loads. However, if the .460 is still a bit much for you, take a look at the .45 Colt ammo available from both ammo companies, because the extra-large frame S&W handles both .460 and .45 Colt. Buffalo Bore makes a standard pressure .45 Colt load with a 255-grain hard cast bullet at 1,000 fps while Cor-Bon offers an extra heavy weight 335-grain hard cast +P load at 1,050 fps. I’ve been wanting to try some of the Buffalo Bore 255-grain loads in my dual cylinder Colt New Frontier revolver but like too many things in my life, it’s still on the “to-do” list.


A pair of Smith & Wesson Model 657’s in .41 Magnum paired up with a Randall knife
provide a complete big boar hunting kit. The long-barreled Smith is “as issued”
by the factory while the shorter barrel has received the full Mag-na-port
treatment from Ken Kelly at Mag-na-port.

Bigger Bore

Handguns larger than .45 caliber take you into super bore country, and it’s a great place to venture if you can handle recoil. Bullet diameters in super bore territory are .475 and .50, and the entry-level factory round is Ruger’s .480, which launches .475 diameter bullets from a case the same length as the .44 Magnum. The .480 is actually a shortened .475 Linebaugh, which was a wildcat cartridge chambered in custom single-action Rugers built by such renowned pistolsmiths as John Linebaugh, Hamilton Bowen and John Gallagher.

Freedom Arms chambered their large frame Model 83 single action revolver in .475 Linebaugh and when Ruger began building commercial revolvers in the shorter .480 Ruger, Freedom offered an extra cylinder for the Ruger cartridge. Hornady loads factory rounds in both calibers with 325- and 400-grain JHP bullets, and while these JHP’s are tougher than most hollowpoints (I took an eland with the .475 using some early Hornady production ammo,) heavy cast bullet factory loads for more heavily armored critters are only available from Buffalo Bore.

The now Idaho-based ammo company’s .480 Ruger loads feature 370- and 410-grain hard cast bullets at 1,200 to 1,300 fps. Their .475 Linebaugh ammo uses cast bullets from 400- to 440-grains producing up to 1,350 fps. Truthfully I’m getting a little too old and beat up for the biggest loads, but I love Buffalo Bore’s 440-grain cast bullet loaded to 950 fps, and it tends to punch clear through wild boars.


Dick took this 400-pound sow with a custom Springfield 1911
chambered in 10mm at the Dunton Ranch in Northern Arizona.


Snake shot won’t take down a big boar, but it sure is comforting
to have when busting brush in snake country.

Even Bigger

If you think the .480 Ruger and .475 Linebaugh are merely stimulating, you should be absolutely thrilled with the .500 S&W. Buffalo Bore’s 440-grain hard cast bullet generates 1,625 fps while Cor-Bon’s 500-grain cast gets 1,500 fps. I had to chronograph some of the heavier loads a few years ago before taking the S&W .500 on an Alaskan brown bear hunt, but these heavy loads are beyond my tolerance level today.

For the bear hunt, I selected Cor-Bon’s 275-grain DPX load, which worked on the underweight spring bear taken near Juneau, Ala. with guide and handgun hunting enthusiast Joe Polanco. The story of that hunt appeared in an issue of American Handgunner some time ago. Cor-Bon does load some lighter weight jacketed bullets at 1,200 + fps in their 500 Special, but the online catalog no longer shows any cast bullet loads available in this performance range. No problem for you manly men; simply place an order with either Buffalo Bore or Cor-Bon for one of their heavy weight loads in .475 or .50 caliber and go in search of the mystical 1,000-pound wild boar. You won’t be under gunned! If you’re willing to settle for something smaller, more realistic, and better eating, like maybe a 200- or 400-pound pig, try one of the lesser calibers discussed above with heavy, deep penetrating bullets. While you do need an adequate caliber and load to hunt wild boar, your success in the field will be more dependent on time spent developing your shooting skill rather than building your tolerance for recoil.

Footnote: I didn’t ignore the 50 Action Express in this review, nor do I have anything against the caliber. I hunted Africa with a Freedom Arms chambered in 50 AE using both factory ammo and handloads with hard cast bullets. I simply couldn’t find any factory ammo featuring heavy cast bullets. Also, the other 50 AE factory handgun, the Desert Eagle, is a gas-operated semi-auto, and I don’t believe cast bullets are recommended for it. Speer makes a 350-grain FMJ FP that looks like a good design for deep penetration and might be suitable for large boar, but I have no experience with it. Hmm, perhaps another entry for my bucket list!
By Dick Williams

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Exclusive: Comfort Holster Really Is

Lots of new holster makers out there these days, including Van Buren, Ark.-based Comfort Holsters.

Comfort Holsters.

At first I thought: Imagine — a holster company naming itself “Comfort Holsters.” Really? I mean, we all know that carrying a holstered gun is supposed to be comfort-ING not comfort-ABLE.

comfort3And then a Comfort Holster (the $99 Bentley Series) showed up in the mail. It sported Kydex and leather and steel and, the key component of its namesake, suede-covered gel on the side that would contact my body. Lots of material doing a lot things.

The Kydex — very firm. Two pieces of leather, offset from each other, attached to the Kydex. Two steel clips attached to the leather.

comfort4My mental objections continued to build: Suede-covered gel over the holster’s Kydex back. It feels soft to the touch but surely the additional thickness it adds will be self-defeating.

Then I put it on with a Nighthawk Custom T4 in it. The T4, while compact, is an all-steel gun weighing over 34 ounces. So it’s no lightweight.

And I carried the T4 in the Comfort Holster for several days.

comfort2And I found the suede-covered gel on the back side of a holster does two key things:

First, it makes carrying very comfortable. Despite the conglomeration of materials and the appearance of bulk, there really wasn’t anything in the Comfort Holster hindering the concealed carry of the T4. In fact, it made it easy, nice, desirable. Not in a fluffy rabbits kind of way. But in a way that, for concealed carry, brought comforting much closer to comfortable.

Second, the suede added smart friction between the holster and my body resulting in a very stable ride. Generally, very stable holsters sacrifice comfort for stability. The Comfort Holster doesn’t.

And I liked it.

And so I confirmed: The Comfort Holster really is.

— Mark Kakkuri


Steiner eOptics Launches New Green Laser/Light Combo

Steiner eOptics® (formerly Laser Devices) announces the SBAL-PL, one of the most compact, lightweight pistol-mounted laser aiming and white light illuminating systems available today.

The SBAL-PL combines a battlefield proven green laser aiming module with a new, high output, 500-lumen white-light illuminator for rapid target acquisition and aiming. The SBAL-PL’s low-parallax allows the operator to minimize the differential between point-of-aim and point-of-impact for increased accuracy at varying ranges. For maximum flexibility, SBAL-PL allows the operator to either aim independently or aim and illuminate simultaneously, all with the quick tap of a button. The SBAL-PL is designed for quick mounting onto mid to large frame pistols with an integrated adjustable butterfly mount. Housed in a rugged, waterproof aircraft aluminum 6061-T6 / MIL-SPEC Type III hardcoat anodized case, the SBAL-PL delivers long battery life and easy-of-use in a compact, under 4 oz. package.

About Steiner eOptics®
Steiner eOptics®, (formerly Laser Devices, Inc.) is known for its state-of-the-art visible and infrared laser aiming devices, handheld and weapon-mounted tactical lights and IR illuminators used by military, law enforcement and commercial markets worldwide. Marketing its products under the Steiner brand, the company is located in Monterey, California where 100% of its products are designed and manufactured in its 30,000 square foot facility. Steiner eOptics holds a number of U.S. patents and maintains an ISO9001:2008 Certified QMS. Steiner eOptics Inc. is a Beretta Holding company.