Category Archives: Reviews

Kestrel KST1000 Shot Timer Review

My review of the AMG Lab Commander shot timer continues to be one of the more popular articles on this blog. There’s good reason for that: the Commander, while not a perfect timer, still sets the standard for size and usability. I use it weekly during the shooting season.

However, as mentioned, the Commander is not perfect. It’s not terribly loud. The waterproofing aspect has been known to be an issue. There’s no backlighting. Seeing the time while you’re wearing it is awkward, and there’s no integrated belt clip. None of these are a big deal, and are weaknesses shared by other timers. However, they did make me want to look into other timers.

Ever since I saw the Kestrel shot timer at SHOT Show in 2022, I’ve wanted to get one. While it’s certainly a fairly large piece of hardware, it seemed like it was designed to address the shortcomings of other shot timers. Did it? Read on.

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Active Response Training Close Quarters Gunfighting Class AAR

The last class I took with Greg Ellifritz was his knife class in 2019, which I absolutely loved. In fact, it convinced me to carry a knife on me as much as possible, which was something of a lifestyle change. This positive experience made me really want to take his Active Response Training ECQG class. Well, COVID got in the way and delayed things, but the stars finally lined up, and I was able to enroll in the class.

What did I think? Read on.

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Somogear PEQ-15 Review

As you’ve seen in my more recent posts, I’ve been getting into the night vision game lately. Ironically, I’d say I’m still spending a lot more time doing competition shooting, but at least the two interests tend to have some skills overlap.

One of the things you quickly discover about the night vision world is that active aiming is awesome, and good IR illuminators are shockingly expensive. You can get a usable IR laser for reasonably cheap ($200-$300 for a Holosun LS117IR), but an IR illuminator that can really throw? That’s going to cost you.

But… what if there were a $250 unit that could give you co-aligned visible and IR lasers along with a reasonably good (but not amazing) IR illuminator? Well, maybe there is. I bought the Somogear PEQ-15 to check out whether this Chinese company broke the code. Did they? Read on.

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A Quick PSA about the Vortex Defender MRDS

I’ll make this post short. I bought a Vortex Defender MRDS to replace a Romeo0 on my backup P365X carry gun. It came, I took it out of the package, and put in a battery to function-test it before I did anything permanent.

It has a TERRIBLE refresh rate at anything other than max brightness. Like, I could cant the optic up and down at a very moderate rate and see a trail of red dots with substantial gaps between them. I have literally never seen this problem before, including on some really cheap optics. I am not sure what caused Vortex to make this design decision, but it was a terrible idea. Unfortunately, higher brightness levels caused substantial halo with the red dot as well. (On the plus side, it got very bright.)

I returned it. The 507K is still the RMSc footprint optic to beat. I thought everything else about the Defender seemed pretty solid, but those were deal killers for me. Keep in mind that this is coming from a guy running two UH1s, two Razor LPVOs, and two Razor RDSs. I am perfectly happy buying Vortex. But the Defender… not so much.

Cosaint COS11 Review

Sometimes, you’re seized by the desire for something a little novel. I had been investing heavily in BUL 2011s (and loving them), and wanted a similar sort of gun for shooting USPSA Single-Stack and IDPA CDP. Of course, USPSA Single-Stack only allows single stack 1911 magazines, so this limits your choices a bit. I initially went looking for a Staccato R in .45 Auto; when this didn’t pan out, I found a different option: the Cosaint COS11, which is very similar in many ways.

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Meprolight Mepro 4X-CHV Day Scope Review

An optic that has always interested me was the Meprolight Mepro 4x Day Scope. This is the ACOG competitor that Meprolight released a few years back, and discontinued recently. This had led them to becoming a little cheaper, and thus now within the realm of “things I can buy without it being a major financial decision”.

I’ve got mine mounted on a Tavor SAR… read on for what I thought of it.

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FPF Training Practical Revolver Class AAR

When I got my bonus last year, I decided that my “splurge” would be some quality revolvers. My only experience with revolvers before that was a Taurus 94, and let me say, the Taurus 94 is not a great revolver. I knew there was better stuff on the market, and I wanted to get some guns to scratch some various competitive (and tactical?) itches.

The problem with guns is that buying them does not give you proficiency. You’ve got to earn that through hard work. Given my lack of experience with the revolver platform, I really wanted some good hands-on mentoring. When I saw that FPF Training was offering a revolver class, I jumped on it. Did I like it? Read on.

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Gorospe x Wampler Collaboration Advanced Practical Shooting Class AAR

While hanging out on Discord awaiting primer notifications and checking out the dankest memes, I heard some chatter about a new advanced class that was being put on by David Wampler in collaboration with Kevin Gorospe, and that it was amazing. Honestly, I had no idea who these guys were, but some Internet research showed they were legitimately top-level shooters with a lot of good knowledge to share. Plus, it was a one-day Sunday class on a free Sunday, and not a ton of money… things were lining up such that it seemed like a great idea to go. I signed up on @gw_collab Instagram and this past Sunday, I saw what it was all about.

Was it good? Read on.

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Aridus Industries Carrier Spring Tool Review

Aridus Industries has released a carrier spring tool designed to set the springs in the Aridus Q-DCs deeper. Further, the newest Q-DCs will already have the springs set deeper by default, so those of you who are newcomers to the ecosystem won’t have to deal with this in the first place.

Why is this important? Because setting the springs deeper fixes the issues I had with too-strong retention that I encountered during the Green Ops shotgun class. Shells go into the carriers without getting caught on the cut-outs, and they come out of the carrier with much less force. The shells are still held in pretty well, so you’re not losing that Q-DC retention performance that made the system so attractive in the first place.

The tool comes with instructions, but you really don’t need them… just stick the tool into each slot on the carrier from the top and then the bottom (or vice versa), and it will push the spring in adequately. The tools are supposedly calibrated for Federal Flite Control shells, but the difference was immediately obvious even with dummy shells.

The one caveat that that you’re paying $12 plus shipping to buy the tool to do this, and if you only have a couple carriers, I’m not sure it will be cost-effective. I have a whole bunch of carriers, so it seemed worthwhile. There is a part of me that wonders if a 3D printed version could accomplish a similar goal, but that is an experiment for another time…