Stable Fighting Platform | Why One Fighting Stance Should Fit All

Throughout the professional hard skills training community, spanning federal, state, and local agencies, a majority of officers or agents who required the use of force training are divided into two separate training schools. The two being small arms (SA) and defensive tactics (DT). Although each is run by qualified personnel, each is focused on the specifics of either SA or DT with little, if any, crossover. Back in the day, an academy cadet was taught to stand and move from a certain standing position in a manner specific to that training school. To this very day, the most common physical start position is called a fighting stance.

In SA a stance is considered a stable position of the body. It’s employed to bring about the desired result of safe, rapid gun handling, and quantified marksmanship using a pistol, rifle, shotgun et al. In DT a stance is utilized to deploy a baton, chemical propellants, etc., or unarmed empty-hand technique, and may vary from that of SA training. Way back in the 1990s a student learned to keep their support foot forward when shooting a rifle but the strong foot forward when deploying a baton.

Two men establishing fighting stances

As time marched on and with the advent of mixed martial arts (MMA), UFC, and three-gunner competitive firearms matches, training started drifting toward what I called back then “a seamless progression” of applicable techniques. In other words, the same way you stand with a gun should be the same way you stand to deploy non-ballistic use-of-force options.

Fighting Stance | Shooting Stance

The very word “stance” invokes discipline-specific mental imagery. In the martial arts, for example, you may find a “horse stance”, “linear stance” or “boxer’s stance.” Whereas, in the gun world, you may be trained to use a Weaver stance, Isosceles, Modern/ Modified Isosceles, or other similar firearms stance(s).

In modern hard skills training academies, the word “stance” equates to a “fighting position,” “athletic posture,” or “delivery platform.” Law enforcement professionals found in a use-of-force response situation may need to go from asserting uniformed presence to issuing verbal commands to hands-on, to non-lethal force options, to deadly force, and or everything in between. Law enforcement professionals and defense-minded citizens alike should be prepared to respond effectively from a stable and reliable starting physical position.

“Whether it’s a small arms or defense tactics solution, the strong and versatile foundation of a stable fighting platform affords you optimal body position for maximum physical performance.”

Two Men Fighting, one from a more solid fighting stance.

What’s the purpose of a fighting stance?

The bottom line is that there should be no confusion or wasted time in the needless thought process of “What foot goes where?” The idea is that you should be able to issue commands (for example “Stay back!”), place hands-on (non-ballistic response) and deliver rounds down range all from a structurally sound and stable delivery platform.

The purpose of a ‘one body posture fits all’ stance is that you are ready to run the gamut from issuing commands all the way through the force options continuum through to the appropriate use of deadly force. It’s tough enough as it is to juggle the legal, emotional, physical, political, policy (if working for a state or local agency), and aftermath (criminal and civil court) considerations of an undesirable situation. All of this compounded by stress and urgency, now add on an unnecessary and time-consuming decision-making process of “Now, where should my feet be again?”

Since you would be using such a stable and versatile starting posture for some type of reactive physical response, it means you’re engaged in a physical altercation. Which, in politically incorrect terminology, amounts to a violent physical altercation. Aka “fight.”. As such I have adopted the term “stable fighting platform” because a fight is exactly what a stance is used for in all practical applications.

Fighting Stance High and Low: a Two-Part Focus

In the development of any stable fighting platform, there is a two-part focus, upper body, and lower body. Starting from the ground up (like any building the foundation is built first) the feet and legs are most important. Without a stable lower body (hips, legs, and foot position), the hands are rendered less effective with the entire body out of balance.

The feet should not be crossed as this will attenuate mobility and offers little or no support to either safe or combat-effective firearms handling nor defensive tactics. Feet crossed compromise both mobility and stability. Using the time-tested “tall thin candlestick in the wind” versus “short wide-base bowling pin in the wind” analogy, the feet should also not be too close together.

Kangroo having a better fighting stance than a woman.

Feet too close together compromises stability while too far apart, although stable, compromise agility and mobility. Bottom line, feet should be at least shoulder-width apart and in an athletic yet comfortable and stable configuration with knees slightly bent to support your body type.

What about the hands?

The human body naturally allows for three positions of the hands in a “fight or flight” stimulus-response. These are “hands below” – where your hands hang naturally below your belt. For example when you are walking with hands swinging naturally at your side. “Hands above” is the recommended hand configuration of protective services and law enforcement professionals (field interview position) with hands positioned above the belt. Lastly “hands away” where you may be placing hands out in front of you to engage an active physical threat.

Man standing beside path

Your movement from one hand position to another should not affect your balance and in fact, should be done with such economy of motion as to add structural support. An optimal stable fighting platform should include feet comfortably spaced – not crossed, not too close together, and not too far apart with knees unlocked and hands above the belt prepared for multiple response options.

Your weight (center of gravitational mass) should be shifted slightly forward (like a professional boxer) as if you were about to push open a heavy door. You do not want to be so far forward that you would face plant, but also not straight up or leaning too much backward should you be met with sudden and forceful physical impact and be knocked off balance.

More than the Hokey Pokey

A stable fighting stance offers a structurally sound and balanced foundation for individual force options delivery.

If you need to go to guns, then a stable fighting platform provides a reliable shooting platform from which the shooter may safely and deftly apply their gun handling and marksmanship skills.

If you need to go hands-on, then a stable fighting platform affords you a solid defensive tactics foundation from which techniques may be applied to deliver appropriate use of force.

Two men fighting in the street

Whether it’s a small arms or defense tactics solution, the strong and versatile foundation of a stable fighting platform affords you optimal body position for maximum physical performance.

About the Author:

Steve Tarani is a former full-time CIA protective programs employee, small arms and defensive tactics subject matter expert who served on POTUS 45 pre-election executive protection detail. He is the lead instructor for NRA’s non-ballistic weapons training program offered nationally and a widely recognized SME on matters of urban survival. Tarani is also a DoD and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who has been on staff at Gunsite Academy (AZ) as a Rangemaster for over twenty years. Formerly sworn, he is also a former federal contractor and service provider for the US Defense Intelligence Community, US Naval Special Operations Command, and other government agencies. Additionally, Tarani serves on the National Sheriffs’ Association Committee for School Safety and Security.Author Steve Tarani

What Are the Different Types of Body Armor?

The best place to start your search for body armor is by exploring the different levels of threats that the manufacturer claims it’s armor will stop. For instance, NIJ Level IIIA rated plates will stop a round from a 9mm pistol.

With the world getting more complex, and conflicts seeming more likely than they have in the past, people are carefully considering what level they might need to survive conflicts, whether those are self-defense shootings or armed conflicts between nation-states that we civilians get wrapped in.

Ballistic Helmet and Plate Carrier with G19


Whatever the case may be, one such tool that may make surviving a violent encounter more likely is body armor. If you’ve begun to do a little digging, you’ve found out that there’s a lot to learn.

In this piece, we’re going to break down the basic types and classifications of body armor to help make buying what you need a little simpler.

Soft Body Armor

Soft body armor, as you’d expect from the title, is made from soft and flexible materials. Most commonly, this kind of armor is sewn into premade vests that are, in a lot of cases, thin enough that you can wear under a shirt or a jacket.

If you choose this option we do recommend, however, an undershirt that’s made out of an athletic type of material that’s close-fitting just so that you don’t get the armor too sweaty over the course of the day.


The materials used in soft body armor have changed a lot in the last several decades. Kevlar is still a popular and lightweight option that allows for flexibility. Currently, several kinds of polyethylene have been engineered to be of good use in body armor.

Protection wise, most soft body armor is rater as II or III level armor that can resist a single handgun round at close range. That is an impressive feat in and of itself, but this is the lowest level of protection provided by modern body armor, and soft armors are generally not rated to resist rifle or shotgun rounds of any kind.

Because this is light armor, it’s favored by people who might face danger but are not necessarily sure they’re going to end up in a gunfight. For example, this kind of armor is popular among police detectives or people who are assigned to diplomatic protection roles. The lightness and flexibility of the armor make it easy to wear all day long.

At the cheaper end of this material, you’ll likely find armor that is able to resist a single handgun round. The more expensive and fully featured soft armors are also resistant to cutting and stabbing, which makes soft armor a compelling option.

Hard Body Armor

There are several types of rigid, or hard body armor available today, that come in a variety of materials and with different characteristics.

To help keep things simple, we’ll go through each of these material types with their varying characteristics so that you can make the choice that makes the most sense for you.

Steel Armor

Steel is one of the oldest, most affordable, and still best options for body armor. Steel armor can come in a variety of shapes, from simple rectangles to plates that are cut to be more ergonomic with cutouts for your arms to make it easier to move with the plates in place.

Steel armor is usually at least level III rated, but is often also level IV or above, meaning that you can expect it to withstand at least one rifle round. This makes it an effective and affordable choice for body armor.

Of course, this comes with some caveats. First, steel armor without a special coating can fragment when it is hit, and those fragments can injure the wearer. Furthermore, steel armor can also badly deform when they are hit, and each of these deformations makes the plate overall less effective. That said, steel is an affordable and good option for rifle-level protection.

Polyethylene Plates

There are also hardened plates made from a stronger and more rigid version of the material more common to soft armor- polyethylene. These plates are typically related to stop multiple pistol rounds, and the higher-end versions here can take a single rifle round.

The major upside to these plates is that they’re exceptionally light: usually, these weigh a third less than steel.

But, with that lightness comes a greater chance to deform when it, which makes them much less effective after being hit a single time. These are good for folks who are concerned about weight.

Ceramic Plates

In terms of sheer ability to stop a bullet, there’s no beating ceramic. These advanced materials can take, in some cases, armor-piercing rifle rounds with relative ease.

The most advanced versions of ceramic armor are made up of a large number of small ceramic disks arranged like plate-mail from the middle ages: this armor can resist several rifle strikes without much compromise.

Hesco Ceramic III+ Plate


The downsides to ceramic are twofold. First, it’s heavy even when compared to steel. Second, it is, paradoxically, fragile and prone to cracking. The same plate that can stop a .308 round might well crack if you drop it on its edge.

Thus, we recommend ceramic armor for people who expect that they might well get into a shooting incident, and thus need the absolute best protection. Generally, we recommend these to folks in law enforcement than to the general populace.


In this piece, we’ve looked at several types of body armor in order to help you make a choice of armor for your protection. Starting things off with soft armor: it’s lightweight and easy to wear all day, and can even be stab-resistant, though it won’t stop rifle rounds.

Hard armor can come in a few different materials, each of them making tradeoffs in terms of protection, weight, and general fragility.

So, which one should you go with?

Group of People with Body Armor


It depends very much on your situation and what you might want to use your armor for.

If you’re the kind of person who needs protection, for example, a delivery driver, but you have to be able to drive, sit, stand, etc. all day, then we think that soft armor under clothing is an excellent option.

If, on the other hand, you’re preparing a plate carrier for home defense or some other kind of conflict, then we think that hard armor is often the better choice even if it’s heavy.

Maxim Quiet: Maxim Defense Moving to Dominate Suppressor Game

Maxim Defense is now manufacturing suppressors. Beginning with one for a belt-fed, then the DSX-D (Duty Suppressor System – Direct Thread) suppressor, plus the DRF-22 (Direct Thread Rimfire) suppressor, with more to come. 

And none other than Phil Dater is helping them do it. 

Maxim Quiet

Maxim Defense Suppressor Development

After S&W acquired Gemtech Suppressors and moved the company cross country, Maxim Defense was privileged to hire many of the talented people who remained behind. One of those people was Phil Dater. You might remember his name from the founding of Gemtech and the excellent work done by Antares Technologies in the modern small arms and suppressor industry. 

Michael Windfield, founder and owner of Maxim Defense, launched the development of Maxim’s suppressors with the directive, “We do the hard stuff first.” Hard stuff in this context refers to successfully suppressing an FN MAG belt-fed machine gun, which they did.

Maxim Defense

Having checked that box, they began developing a full line of suppressors. Those devices are now dropping sound levels well below the OSHA hearing safe threshold of 140dB. For example, the average measurements taken per MILSTD-1474D while testing the DSX-D suppressor were 134dB on a 10.3″ AR-15 chambered in 5.56 and 114dB with the DRF-22 rimfire suppressor. These sound levels were measured at the shooter’s ear.

Maxim Defense DSX-D Suppressor

The DSX-D (Duty Suppressor System – Direct Thread) suppressor is specifically designed to minimize a suppressed weapon system’s violent cyclic rate and gas blowback.

DSX-D Maxim Defense

The suppressor consists of a three-piece MonoKore design that adds 7.25″ to the muzzle of your rifle. The DSX-D is rated for full auto in all available calibers; 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and 6.5 Creedmoor.

There is, however, an 8.5″ barrel restriction. Additionally, the suppressor can be pinned to a 10.3″ barrel to give you a 16″ overall barrel length essentially.


DSX-D Suppressor Features

  • State of the art MonoKore Design
  • Simple three-piece design
  • Constructed of military-grade materials (Grade-5 Titanium and 17-4 Stainless Steel)
  • Drops the sound level below the OSHA hearing safe threshold of 140dB
  • Purposely built for each available caliber (5.56, 7.62, 6.5 Creedmoor)
  • The suppressor core has integrated carbon cutters for easy tube cleaning
  • Full auto rated in all available calibers
  • Ships with direct thread mount (1/2×28 for 5.56 or 5/8×24 for 7.62 and 6.5 Creedmoor)
  • Disassembles with standard tools for end-user serviceability 


DSX-D Suppressor Technical Specs

  • Diameter: 1.75″ outer diameter
  • Material Composition: Grade-5 Titanium and 17-4 Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 21 ounces
  • Overall Length: 7.9″
  • Finish: Cerakote and DLC (Diamond-Like Coating)

DSX-D Suppressor Testing Protocol

The Duty Suppressor System is built for the world’s most rigorous demands; this suppressor is designed to be the most robust and strongest suppressor in its category.

It has been repeatedly tested with SOCOM tables across various calibers and barrel lengths, down to 8.5″ 5.56 NATO with M855 ball ammunition. It has survived with no damage or significant change in sound reduction.

Maxim Defense

SOCOM Firing Table test is conducted using eight fully loaded 30-round magazines, fired sequentially at different rates, from 1 round per second to a full auto mag dump.

Magazine #1 – 1 round per second
Magazine #2 – 2 rounds per second
Magazine #3 – 1 round per second
Magazine #4 – 3 to 5 round burst
Magazine #5 – 1 round per second
Magazine #6 – 2 rounds per second
Magazine #7 – 1 round per second
Magazine #8 – full auto mag dump

Maxim Defense DFR-22 Rimfire Suppressor

The DRF-22 (Direct Thread Rimfire) Suppressor is specifically designed to minimize the increase in cyclic rate and gas blowback of a suppressed rimfire firearm. Design features include the significant reduction of sound signature, decreasing flash signature, reduction of recoil, and an increase in overall accuracy.


DRF-22 Rimfire Suppressor Features

  • State of the art MonoKore Design
  • Simple three-piece design
  • Constructed of military-grade materials
  • No detectable first round pop
  • Designed explicitly for .22LR pistols and rifles chambered in .22LR, .22MAG, and.17HMR
  • Disassembles with standard tools for end-user serviceability


DRF-22 Rimfire Suppressor Technical Specs

  • Diameter: 1.0″ outer diameter
  • Material Composition: 7075-T6 Aluminum and 6AI-4V Titanium
  • Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Overall Length: 5.9″
  • Finish: Type III MIL-SPEC hard coat anodizing and DLC


Find the entire Maxim Defense suppressor lineup here online.

Thread Glock Barrels From Faxon Firearms

Glock owners rejoice! You’ve got more options for customization, which is already one of the biggest perks of being in the Glock “Family.” Faxon Firearms is making its own machined Glock threaded barrels. Faxon is well known for its quality control and overall dedication to its craft, so this seems to be an interesting prospect.

Faxon FIrearms Barrel

Here’s what Faxon Firearms had to say about their line of Glock barrels:

Faxon’s Match Series Pistol Barrels for G17 / Glock 17 are machined 100% in-house from stress-relieved 416-R stainless steel. These barrels are then given a black Nitride or PVD coating to increase lubricity, barrel life, and resistance to surface wear. All barrels are conventionally rifled to allow a broader range of ammunition to be used, including cast lead. The barrels drop into factory-spec slides with no gunsmithing required. Better-than-factory tolerances ensure a consistent, tighter lockup than OEM.

Faxon Glock 17

Here are the specifications for the barrel pictured above:

  • Handgun: Glock G17
  • Barrel Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Profile: Flame Fluted, Drop-In (Compatible with Gen 1-4)
  • Barrel Material: 416-R Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Twist: 1:10
  • Muzzle Thread: N/A
  • Crown: 11-degree Target Crown
  • Rifling Method: Button Rifled, Fully Stress Relieved
  • Rifling Type: Conventional
  • Inside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride
  • Outside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride & Chameleon (Rainbow) PVD

The Glock G17 is an incredibly popular handgun, and Faxon has more than one barrel available for it. Available designs for the G17 include fluted, not fluted, threaded, and not threaded. Finishes include the rainbow chameleon PVD, gold, and black.

If you prefer the more compact dimensions of the Glock 19, Faxon has you covered. Their aftermarket G19 barrels are compatible with all generations of G19 and are offered in a variety of finishes and styles.

Here are the specs for the G19 barrel.

  • Handgun Type: G19
  • Barrel Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Profile: Drop-In (Compatible with Gen 1-5)
  • Barrel Material: 4150
  • Barrel Twist: 1:10
  • Muzzle Thread: 1/2×28 TPI
  • Crown: 11-degree Target Crown
  • Rifling Method: Button Rifled, Fully Stress Relieved
  • Rifling Type: Conventional
  • Inside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride
  • Outside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride

They also have a Barrel available for the G43, here are the specs for that.

  • Straight Fluted
  • 1/10 Twist
  • 416-R Material
  • Target Crowned
  • Handgun Type: Glock G43/43X 9mm
  • Barrel Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Material: Stress Relieved 416-R Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Twist: 1:10
  • Crown: 11-degree Target Crown
  • Rifling Type: Conventional
  • Finish: TiN PVD

G17 Barrels

Faxon Firearms manufactures barrels for the G17, G19, G34, and G43/43X, among other products. So the odds are good they have a barrel or other aftermarket product to fit your needs. The Barrel’s MSRP begins at $139.00.

Complete KP15 Poly/Steel Rifle: Just 6 Benjamins

KE Arms is currently offering complete KP15 rifles for $599.95; that’s a KE15 forged flat top complete upper receiver atop a KP15 monolithic polymer lower receiver with a MilSpec fire control group and KP15-optimized parts.

This complete KP15 offers four (4) choices of bolt carrier group and three (3) rail system options.

KP15 with 15 in. Delta-P MLOK Rail and Forward Assist Upper 5.85 lbs, lighter with a shorter handguard selection. This configuration would normally retail for $899.95, but KE Arms is currently trying to reduce inventory to make way for new products. They’ll continue selling rifles in this configuration until they’re all gone.

BLUF: The KP15 is a superb and reliable lightweight rifle for an excellent price.

Upper Receiver

• Precision machined from 7075-T6 forgings to MilSpec standards.
• Available with a standard forward assist or a slick side with no forward assist.
• MilSpec Type III Hard Anodized
• Made to fit all M16M4 rifles and carbines.
• Features a USGI Type T marked top, making it easy to remount your tactical accessories.
• Weight 0.5lbs.

Lower Receiver

• KP15 Complete MilSpec FCG Polymer Receiver
• Flared magwell to make reloads under stress easier to perform.
• A1 Length 13 in. Length of Pull (LOP) Buttstock to fit a wide range of shooters
• MLOK Slots at the rear of stock for sling attach points or strap
• Holes at the front of the stock for QD socket inserts for more sling attachment options
• Improved grip for comfortable use
• ‘Winter’ Trigger Guard
• Standard or Trapdoor buttplate available


• 16 in. 5.56mm stress-relieved 41V40 steel barrel
• 1:9 button-rifled
• Chrome-lined bore and chamber, and phosphate finish
• 750 gas block with drilled gas port
• 12 x 28 muzzle thread
• Assembled with M4 feed ramp extension
• Designed for carbine length gas system

Charging Handle

• Billet machined out of 7075 T-6 aluminum
• Mil 8625 Type III, Class 2 hard anodized
• Includes a heavier spring for increased durability and longevity
• Large latch for easy manipulation in times of stress.

Bolt Carrier Group

• M16 Black Nitride
• M16 Chrome Standard
• M16 Chrome with HMB Bolt
• Slick M16 Chrome with HMB Bolt

The KP15 does not come with magazines, but the Magpul PMAG Gen 3 is always a good choice.

Rail System Options

• 12.5 in. Delta-P MLOK
• 12.5 in. Delta-R MLOK
• 15 in. Delta-R MLOK

Learn more about the KP15 rifle and other platforms online at

Danyela D’Angelo behind her KP15.

Strandhogg Pop Art Summer Vibes Limited Edition Shirt From FirstSpear

Cue the music and the Reagan-era vibes. It’s time to celebrate the Strandhogg, First Spear summertime shirt style.

This new limited edition tee is a tactical (~ish) tip of the hat to Andy Warhol in pop art design and the iconic First Spear Strandhogg plate carrier.

The design is printed on a soft side seamed shirt which means better quality, more comfort, and a buff ‘Built for the X‘ appearance when heading out for some summer fun.

After all, looking cool matters.

First Spear keeps the description simple:

Across the front of this LIMITED EDITION white t-shirt, the popular FirstSpear Strandhögg Plate Carrier is featured in vibrant colors.

On the back is the classic FirstSpear logo. This shirt is a perfect addition to your summer t-shirt collection.

The POP ART STRANDHOGG t-shirt is a limited edition run, designed and printed in the United States, and retails for $29.99 on the FirstSpear website.

Don’t wait these are available in limited sizes and quantities and when they are gone they are gone, no backorders will be filled.

Like everything made by FirstSpear, these T-shirts are high-quality and Built for the X.

Connect with First Spear on social:




Learn a little more about the Strandhogg PC.

HE403C GR: Holosun Green Dot Goodness

Oh, red dots, how magical you are. Ever since the 1970s, when Aimpoint released the first modern red dot design, red has been the key to their infrastructure. The name red dot is eponymous that even when the dot isn’t red, we call them red dots. For example, the Holosun HE403C-GR utilizes a green dot, but I’m likely to call it a red dot throughout this entire article. I’m not used to green dot reticles, and the HE403C-GR certainly puts the GR in green dot.

Breaking Down the HE403C-GR

Holosun optics range widely in budgetary considerations, and the HE403C-GR is on the lower budget side. (Also, I’m already sick of typing HE403C-GR.) Budget doesn’t mean bad by any means. With this optic, it more or less means simplistic—no titanium, no multi reticle system, or any other features that the higher cost Holosuns pack.

Simple is good, especially when overall quality isn’t sacrificed to lower the price point. The HE403C-GR falls into the compact reflex sight side. It’s Aimpoint Micro-sized and quite compact. Perfect for your standard carbine. Without a mount, the optic weighs 2.82 ounces, so it’s a featherweight.

Holosun Green Dot

Notice how the low mount allows for proper cowitnessing.

Holosun uses the Aimpoint Micro footprint to provide a wide variety of aftermarket options for users. You can mount this thing to shotguns, rifles, and even handguns if you don’t mind the size. I wouldn’t take that route, but I’m not your dad.

While it lacks a lot of the fancy features of other Holosuns, it does pack the solar panel backup system. This amps the battery life up to 50,000 hours. Obviously, brightness will play a role in battery life, and you do get 12 brightness settings, two of which are night-vision compatible.


Controls don’t require you to be a rocket doctor.

Overall it’s a simple optic, and simple helps keep the price point nice and low. The optic offers an IP67 waterproof rating and recoil resistance of up to 1000Gs. Those ratings mean the optic can take some water but isn’t Navy SEAL approved, and your typical full-powered rifle recoils at a little over 350 Gs, so it can take whatever you can toss at.

Why Go Green?

I’m not going to go deep into the green vs. red dot debate, but I can expand on why you might choose a green dot like the HE403C-GR over the red dot variant. Green dots are easier to see and faster for our eyes to acquire.

Holosun Green Dot

The bright green dot is extremely easy to see and use.

They also tend to get much brighter than red dots, and even more so when combined with the super LED technology Holosun uses. They also get dimmer and typically offer night vision compatible dots even at the budget grade level.


The big buttons are easy to manipulate and provide excellent feedback.

Green dots are softer on the eyes and tend to be more comfortable to use for extended periods of time. I can say this is very true, and when I use red dots in dim environments, I start to feel a slick tick in my eye. I never felt that while using the HE403C-GR.

Mounted and Ready

When you get the optic, it comes with a high amount that will co-witness with AR height sights. Also included in the box is a very nice low mount. Swapping mounts are easy to do and takes very little time. Unscrew four bolts, attach the low mount, and you’re golden. I went with a low mount and mounted the HE403C-GR to my SUB-2000 with its MCARBO optic mount.

Holosun Green Dot

It’s mounted, zeroed, and ready to roll.

It sat low enough to easily cowtiness with the SUB 2000’s sights and aligned just right. It’s also compact, and that’s kinda critical to the SUB-2000’s effectiveness. It mounts with ease and locks down pretty easily.

Zeroing isn’t hard to do, and the lens caps even come with small flat heads to make attachments. While it’s nice, the included tool from Holosun works much better to make adjustments. Adjustments per click are half an MOA, so it’s quite precise for a red dot.


The information you’d usually find on the turrets sits on the turret caps.

The turrets are completely bare and don’t tell you which direction adjustments go. However, if you flip over the turret caps, you’ll see the information you desire. Clicks are rather stiff, loud, and tactile. This makes it easy to make adjustments, and you won’t accidentally skip a click. You’ll hear and feel each click as you make them, and that’s fantastic.

Getting Behind the Dot

The dot isn’t as crisp and clear as I’d like it to be. At the lower settings, the dot is nice and round, but as soon as you ratchet up the brightness for daylight bright shooting, the dot loses all its crispness. It becomes a big blurry star under the Florida sun.

That being said, holy crap, does the HE403C-GR get bright. The massively bright reticle is very easy to see. At setting eight of twelve, it’s plenty bright for outdoor use. At twelve, it’s hurting the eye without shaded eye protection.


The solar panel backup works extremely well and you can ditch the battery as long as the sun is up.

Luckily once I had the optic set to stun, I started plunging targets at various ranges. Out to 100 yards, I still range my big IPSC steel target. Albeit if the dot was a little crisper, I could see the target a little bit more. The starburst makes it a little bigger than 2 MOA, so it will obscure smaller targets more than need to be.

Holosun Green Dot

The Holosun 403C uses an Aimpoint Micro footprint.

The controls are on the left side but are massive and rubberized. You can easily hit the buttons and control the brightness with ease. The buttons also deliver nice tactile feedback and instant response from the optic itself.

Testing Those Durability Claims

On a 9mm PCC, the recoil ain’t nothin! So I moved it to a classic 12 gauge shotgun, specifically the recoil-inducing Sentry 12 pump-action, magazine-fed shotgun. I plowed through 4 magazines of 1300 FPS buckshot as rapidly as I could. From there, I mounted it to my handy dandy ASP Red gun and gave it the old drop of death a dozen times. I dropped it at multiple angles over and over again. On both hard artificial ground and in the dirt.


Of course, I have to drop it to see if keeps kicking.

From there, it was bath time! I filled up one of my wife’s many Tupperware containers and dunked the optic. I’m risking her wrath for this, so I hope you folks appreciate it. (I’m joking. She’s the best person in the world.) I let it sit in the water for half an hour and then towel dried it.

The HE403C-GR was still on and still shining bright after my dose of abuse. The section of rail on the MCARBO scope mount is small enough that it’s impossible not to mount it the same way every time. I mounted the optic and tossed a B8 up on the range, and let the lead fly.

Holosun Green Dot

Poor fella needed a bath after being dropped so many times.

Surprisingly the optic held zero without issue. The glass was clear, the buttons were still tactile, and everything clicked, clacked, as it should. It’s a simple reliability test that tells me the HE403C-GR is suitable for home defense, hunting, and tasks beyond plinking.

It’s Like Luke’s Lightsaber

Green dots are here to stay and do offer an alternative option for those who might not see red well or find their eyes strained by the glowing red dot of doom. The HE403C-GR is a budget option that performs above its paygrade. It’s not perfect, but it’s capable, durable, and precise. If you folks are interested in a torture test where I freeze, heat up, and maybe even shoot the dang thing, let me know below. Until then, check the optic out here.


Bravo Company USA Releases the BCM MK2 Recoil Mitigation System

A friend of a friend sent me this info and so far I have not seen it posted anywhere else yet. Looks like Bravo Company USA has released their new BCM MK2 Recoil Mitigation System on their website. The new kit consists of a slightly longer receiver extension with 8 positions paired with a slightly longer spring to help reduce bolt bounce and felt recoil. The BCM MK2 Recoil Mitigation System Mod1 kit is available in 3 different buffer configurations (T0 – 3.8oz, T1 – 4.7oz, T2 – 56oz) with T3 – 6.5oz and T4 – 7.4oz buffers sold separately.  

Complete Kit Features:

  • Lessens felt recoil, without compromising reliability
  • Provides a more consistent carrier velocity, which can aid in accuracy, reliability over conventional carbine buffer system
  • Increased internal counterweight travel reduces bolt bounce
  • Internal spring to reduce noise of counter weight shifting and ensure more consistent weight placement
  • Mil-Spec M16A4 rifle spring with more spring coils than M4 carbine, increases consistency and widens operating envelope
  • Buffer made of 7075T6 aluminum, hard coat anodized for lasting endurance. Comprised of Mil-Spec components
  • BCM US Patent #10415907

This kit contains all the necessary parts to mount to your Mil-Spec dimension stock assembly to your Mil-Spec lower receiver.

  • MK2 Mod 1 – T0 Buffer (weight = approximately 3.8oz)
  • Mil-Spec M16A4 rifle action spring
  • Mk2 Receiver Extension (approximately 3/4” longer than carbine), 7076T6, 8 position, Mil-Spec diameter
  • Lock Nut (Castle) M4
  • Receiver QD End Plate (include mount for QD swivel)

(PLEASE NOTE:  because of the MK2’s longer length some Mil-Spec stocks may not completely collapse closed all the way up to the M4 Lock nut.)

BCM MK2 Recoil Mitigation Systems

Additional BCM MK2 Recoil Mitigation System Buffers

What Are the Best Ways to Carry Concealed

For many gun enthusiasts, having a well-maintained pistol with an HE-509 sight sitting on the slide is essential for home defense, target shooting, or even competition. One of the best reasons for concealed carry is having the means to protect yourself in public places without a local citizen spotting your weapon and calling the police about a terrorist with a gun walking around.

There are several means of carrying a firearm in public away from prying eyes, but understanding what style works for you means understanding all the available types and techniques on the market today. These three examples of concealed carry styles are the most popular and should help start you on your way.

Inside The Waistband or IWB Holster

One of the most practical and popular methods of carrying a concealed pistol is using an IWB holster. Whether you wear the holster on the hip, behind the back, or even on the non-dominant side of your hip for cross-draw deployment, an IWB holster provides multiple concealed carry methods wrapped up into a single holster.

IWB holsters effectively hide most of the pistol and keep the gun close to your body. These concealed carry holsters also help you avoid the difficulties you may experience when attempting to deploy the firearm from a pocket holster, or worse, an ankle holster.

Although an IWB holster answers many of the challenges of concealed carry, there are a few drawbacks you’ll want to consider before rushing out to purchase one. Any holster worn inside the belt, pressing against your hip for hours at a time, may prove uncomfortable for you.

Remember, the holster must be wide enough to accommodate and secure the pistol and might require pants with a larger waistband to make it work comfortably. If you’re all about maintaining the perfect fit of stylish clothing and a baggy pair of pants won’t do, you may want to consider this following concealed carry style.

Outside the Waistband or OWB

While concealed carry in a holster outside the waistband manages many of the same options as an IWB and is a lot more comfortable, there may be times when your pistol is not as concealed as you think it is. To make concealed carry with a gun housed in an outside-waistband holster work, you’ll need to cloak it with a shirt worn untucked, a vest or jacket, or a windbreaker or light jacket.

One drawback with this style of carrying is if you’re trying to maintain an inconspicuous look, wearing even a light coat in the summertime heat will draw the gaze of everyone around you straight to your hip.

Although an OWB holster is probably one of the most comfortable methods of carrying your protection around, it also requires you to always focus your situational awareness on things going on around you.

Depending on the attire you choose for the day, an outside-waistband holster often creates a bulge on your hip easily spotted by the practiced eye. Also, when pulling that bag of coffee off the top shelf, remember as your arms go up, so does the hemline of your shirt or jacket, potentially exposing the muzzle of your handgun. However, if you discover a way to resolve these few challenges, an OWB holster is probably one of the most comfortable concealed carry methods.

Shoulder Holster

A shoulder holster might be the exact concealed carry method if you like the super-cool television movie style of holstering your gun beneath an armpit. Cool look aside, for those who aren’t comfortable with an inside or outside waistband holster, you may want to consider a shoulder holster. There are a few challenges you’ll need to overcome, though.

Remember that a shoulder holster, regardless of whether it’s a single- or double-gun affair, is sandwiched between your shirt or blouse and the jacket or coat you’ll need to wear, regardless of how hot it is outside. Although concealment works when your jacket is buttoned, or your windbreaker zipped up, one errant breeze will be all it takes to peel back the bottom of an unbuttoned coat or blazer to expose what you’re carrying.

Even if you manage to overcome the clothing challenges of a shoulder holster concealed carry, there is still one other hurdle to consider. Effective holstering and deployment typically require the pistol’s grip pointing ahead to allow cross-draw deployment. Using a shoulder holster for concealed carry means the business end of your firearm is pointing behind you. It also means during deployment, the barrel of the gun arcs horizontally away from you as you attempt to sight your target, which can potentially harm those beside you during an accidental discharge.

The Most Concealed Isn’t Always the Best

There are, however, a few styles of concealed carry that hide your gun entirely from sight, but freeing your handgun from its hiding place, results in awkward situations that can end up putting you in a potentially life-threatening condition.

As you may or may not know, both IWB and OWB concealed carry methods are fairly gender-agnostic, meaning they’re suited for either male or female concealed-carry enthusiasts. However, a few styles cater more specifically to women than men, such as the thigh or bra holster. The thigh holster is a highly comfortable and more effective method of concealed carry simply because a dress or skirt always does a far better job at the total concealed carry of a firearm than a pair of pants.

Most thigh holsters are lightweight and secure to the thigh with either Velcro or stretch elastic, making them highly comfortable with the handgun nestled beneath the protection of a few yards of fabric. Unfortunately, regardless of how comfortable the thigh holster is or how well it conceals your firearm, there are a few noticeable detractions for wearing one.

When trouble starts, you may be required to flash a little more skin than you’d like to deploy your handgun. The complication even worsens when wearing a pair of pants and using a thigh holster to conceal your firearm. Remember, the intent is to hide your gun properly but deploy it quickly and with as few complications as possible, so consider how you intend to carry your pistol and how easy you want deployment and re-holstering to be before making your final choice.


Faxon Firearms’ NEW 8.6 BLK Barrels

Faxon Firearms has collaborated with Q to build the highest quality 8.6 BLK barrels for Remington 700 and AR10 platforms.

8.6 BLK Barrel

It should come as no surprise that Faxon Firearms is developing barrels compatible with the new 8.6 Blackout ammunition. After all, the Ohio-based manufacturer has always been at the forefront of barrel development. 

Now they’ve combined Faxon Firearms barrel expertise with the science and innovation of Q to come up with an extraordinary and formidable package.

Here is everything you need to know about the new 8.6 Blackout round, how it compares to 300 Blackout, and the radical new barrel design by Faxon Firearms.

What is 8.6 Blackout?

The 8.6 BLK round was imagined and developed by Q. Like the 300 Blackout, the 8.6 Blackout was designed primarily for suppressed shooting, but there are supersonic loads in development as well. 

8.6 BLK

The easiest thing to do might be to imagine 8.6 BLK as the 300 BLK’s big brother – but as far more than just a simple upgrade. 

8.6 BLK Features

  • Fits AR-10 Sized Rifles
  • 338 Subsonic Load Based around the 300 grain Sierra Match King
  • Similar to 338 Federal; however, the case was shortened to work reliably with gas guns without modification to mags. 
  • Uses Standard 308 Mags
  • Low-Pressure Cartridge
  • Utilizes a shortened 6.5 Creedmoor case for the use of subsonic and high BC projectiles
  • Current Ammo Companies in Development: Gorilla, Hornady, Black Hills, and Discreet Ballistics
  • Designed Around a 12″ barrel

Faxon Firearms has previously shown several 8.6 Blackout loads with a 300-grain bullet and a 210 grain Barnes TTSX bullet. These loads are still in development but should become commercially available in the foreseeable future.

8.6 Blackout Ammo

How is Faxon Firearms Involved?

Faxon Firearms has been privileged to work with Q on developing the best possible barrels to support this revolutionary new round. The team at Faxon Firearms is in the development of their own 8.6 BLK barrels for both the AR-10 and Remington model 700 platforms.

Faxon Barrels for the 8.6 BLK

Faxon Firearms will be offering 1:3 twist barrels chambered in 8.6 Blackout for Remington 700 platforms and AR-10 pattern rifles. The barrels for both platforms will be available in 8″, 12″, and 16″ length options.

Faxon Firearms 8.6 BLK barrel Details

  • 1:3 twist rate
  • Better stabilization on long and heavy subsonic rounds
  • Better expansion of the projectiles
  • Re-allocates the energy from the sound and flash to the rotation of the bullet
  • .875 gas block journal for AR10
  • DPMS Gen 1 Pattern

Remage style barrels from Faxon will use a Remage style nut with a standard AR-15 armorers castle nut wrench. The nut is included.

Why is the 1:3 Twist Rate Important?

Faxon Firearms is manufacturing the barrels for these 8.6 Blackout loads. These barrels are not by any means your standard rifle barrel. Designing and manufacturing them can be challenging, but Faxon Firearms has confidently stepped up to the plate. To properly stabilize the long and heavy 300-grain subsonic projectiles, the 8.6 blackout barrels must have a 1:3 twist rate. That means the round is making one full rotation every three inches of barrel length. 

8.6 BLK vs. 300 BLK

This helps the 8.6 caliber cartridge re-imagine energy on target. 

Faxon Firearms’ Barrels are slated to launch around late June or early July of 2022. The ammunition will also launch right around the same time. For more information on the 8.6 blackout project and to be notified about the availability of Faxon barrels, proceed to the Faxon Firearms 8.6 BLK page. It is dedicated to the Q collaboration. 

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