Category Archives: edc

Like the Same Old 509 You’ve Come to Love, Only a lil bit Smaller

Announced earlier this year, the FN 509 Compact builds on the legacy – and growing popularity – of the platform that was originally designed in 2015 to compete in the Army’s Modular Handgun System program. While the Pentagon ultimately went with Sig, the extensive R&D led FN to release the 509 to the commercial market in standard, Tactical, MRD, Mid-Size, and LS Edge variants since then.

Overall length is just 6.8 inches with a 3.7-inch barrel. Shipping complete with low-profile iron sights, the FN 509 Compact tips the scales at 25.5 ounces. The size puts it a skosh smaller than the Glock 19 and, with the included 12-round flush fit and 15-round pinky extension mags, able to carry the same capacity of 9mm.

I’ve been checking one out for the past few weeks, and it is my current T&E carry gun.

If you think that grip texture is super aggressive and “sticks” to your hand, you are absolutely correct, my friend!

More on the FN 509 Compact in my column at Guns.com.

Pardon me, is that a Wiener Waffenfabrik in Your Pocket?

Before there was the Walther PP, Sauer 38, or Mauser HSc, an obscure Bohemian Czech gun designer by the name of Alois Tomiska– Tom to his friends, or so goes the story– crafted a curious little vest pocket .25 ACP that was, importantly, double action, a first for the time.

Meet the Wiener Waffenfabrik Little Tom.

Brass magazine that is inserted through the top? Czech!

More in my column at Guns.com.

Sig P229, a Retrospective

Cutting edge when introduced, the Sig Sauer P229 was foisted on me in 2005 and, after we learned to get along, has grown to become a favorite.

That was the year Hurricane Katrina sucker-punched the Gulf Coast and left my then-profession with Ma Bell somewhat on the ropes. Dusting off my firearms trainer certs, I soon took a gig with a Department of Homeland Security contractor to train guards working the myriad of FEMA sites that sprang up like mushrooms. Intending this to be a temp job until I moved back into telecom, I wound up with the company for almost a decade, running courses all over the country on a variety of different contracts. Long story short, I stood on the range and watched well over 100,000 rounds of ammo burned through four pallets of Sigs in very short order.

And I still have a couple P229s from that era around today.

More of my “16 Year Journey with the Sig Sauer P229” in my column at Guns.com

The Little CZ 2075 RAMI

For the last 15 years, CZ produced a great sub-compact pistol based on its vaunted CZ 75 line that was perfect for concealed carry, the handy little 2075 RAMI.

Introduced in 2005, the RAMI was in every sense a chopped-down CZ 75, using the famed pistol’s double-action/single-action design and double-stack magazine format. Whereas the full-sized CZ 75 typically had a 4.7-inch barrel which yielded an 8.15-inch overall length and 38-ounce weight, the alloy-framed RAMI hit the market with a 3-inch barrel, 6.5-inch overall length, and an unloaded weight of less than 26 ounces.

While the downsized RAMI shipped with a 10-round flush-fitting magazine in 9mm format, it could accept all standard CZ 75 double stacks due to its family tree. They typically shipped with a 14-round extended magazine with a grip extension as well.

More on the RAMI in my column at Guns.com.

My Current Carry

For the past several months, I have spent a lot of time testing and evaluating a number of small pistols intended for concealed carry and have done the worst thing possible– fallen in love with one.

My typical go-to EDC for the past 15 years has either been a Glock G19 (3rd Gen, or G19X) or an S&W M&P M2.0 Compact, augmented by or substituted with a J-frame or G43. However, after going 1K rounds with the new FN 503, I am increasingly substituting the snubby/tiny Glock for this thin little 9mm.

The FN 503, left, is just a hair smaller than the Glock 43, right, while having the same magazine capacity, steel sights, and a better trigger.

More on my journey with the FN 503 in my column at Guns.com. 

Jumping the Micro Red Dot Shark?

For those who want a pistol-mounted red dot that will fit a slide without a slide cut while still co-witnessing the front sight, Leupold now has you covered.

Meet the new Delta Point Micro is a direct replacement for a factory rear sight on Glock and Smith & Wesson M&P series pistols. The versatile new sight is lightweight – hitting the scales at just 1.1 ounces – and uses a simple 3 MOA red dot with eight brightness settings and a tool-less battery compartment. Further, if the battery dies, it just serves as a simple ghost ring sight.

More in my column at Guns.com.

ZEV’s New Pocket Rocket

Washington-based ZEV Technologies and New Hampshire’s Sig Sauer this week lifted the curtain on an exciting mod for the latter’s P365 micro-carry 9mm, the new Octane Z365.

As you would expect, the Z365 is packed with semi-custom offerings from ZEV’s catalog including a PRO Barrel, Combat Sights, and the optics-ready Octane slide.

It’s easy on the eyes, but is it worth it?

More in my column at Guns.com.

Black Ice, with a few chips

For the past several months, one of the handguns I have been testing and evaluating is the Rapide (Black Ice) M1911A1 model from Kimber in 10mm Auto.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful gun– it should be at $1,500 smackers– and it is loaded with standard features that John Browning would have never imagined.

I mean just look at it.

But I did have some issues.

While reliable (I ran over 600 rounds of Sig ammo through it with zero hiccups) Kimber says the gun needs a break-in period of about that much, which I think is a big ask for a pistol that costs this much and is in such a pricy caliber. Also, the super busy G10 grips and finish show a lot more wear after what I consider basic use than a bargain bin polymer-framed striker-fired 9mm that costs 1/5th as much.

Still, it’s pretty, even after some wear and tear.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The micro red dot carry gun market marches on

Just a decade ago, reflex or red dot sights used on handguns were primarily just for competition race guns in unlimited matches. Just a few years ago, it was considered revolutionary that the U.S. Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System went with a model of the Sig P320 that included an optics-ready slide cut for an RMR, specifically a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro sight, which was a big move for a MIL-STD handgun meant for the common Soldier in the field.

Today, while lots of full-sized pistols from Sig, Glock (MOS series), FN, HK, and others are on the market with slide cuts, there is an increasing number of makers delivering sub-compact models, intended for concealed carry, capable of using a micro red dot.

Springfield Armory just delivered such a thing in their newest Croatian-made XD-S Mod.2 OSP 9mm pistols, with the “OSP” denoting it is optics-ready.

And they will ship it complete with a Crimson Trace CTS-1500 for around $550, which isn’t bad.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Hanging out with the Unloved

Normally, the pistols I test and evaluate for publications come from so-called “top shelf” or at least “mid-shelf” manufacturers such as Glock, S&W, FN, Kimber, et. al.

In a departure from that, I have been kicking around the Taurus G3C, the company’s third-gen polymer-framed striker-fired pistol for the past four months and have run more than 1K rounds through it, often carrying it as a BUG to get a feel for it.

The verdict? The damn thing works. It isn’t pretty. You aren’t going to want to show it off on your social media feed. However, Taurus has gotten their quality control in order and this gun has very little to complain about.

Plus, it is a 12+1 subcompact that is roughly the same size as a Glock 43, but only costs about $300.

More in my column at Guns.com.

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