MAKE: Shield Sights
MODEL: SIS-CD Center Dot (Bullet Drop reticle model available)
“SIS” stands for “Switchable Interface Sight.” This means you can cycle through four interface/ reticle options: center dot only in 1MOA and 8 MOA and center dot plus ring in 1 MOA and 8 MOA. The auto brightness adjustment is one of the best we’ve seen, even compensating well for the “standing in a dark room shooting into a bright light” problem that plagues a lot of other sights. A 12-level manual brightness adjustment gives you complete control.
It doesn’t have auto shutoff, but the battery is rated at one year on full brightness and three years on NV. The body is made of aerospace-grade hard-anodized aluminum and is extremely tough. Nevertheless, without a mount, the sight plus battery weigh only 2.25 ounces on our scale—super light. When transitioning from target to target, it’s very fast. Designed and hand built in the UK, this is an outstanding sight. It includes a polymer mount and cover.
MAKE: Zero Tolerance Knives
MODEL: ZT 0462
SPECS: 3.7 inches (blade), 5.25 inches (closed), 8.9 inches (OAL); 3.7 ounces
As good-looking as it is practical, the 0462 is designed by Dmitry Sinkevich as the “big brother” to the 0460. Super-lightweight, it benefits from a carbon-fiber front scale and titanium back. Dark red is woven into the carbon fiber to enhance the look. The upswept blade is made of CPM 20CV, offering outstanding resistance
to corrosion and wear, good toughness and edge retention.
ZT kept the logo off the blade to maintain the clean look. The blade is deployed via flipper with the smooth KVT ball-bearing opening system; it locks solidly into place with the heavy-duty frame lock. The pocket clip is reversible for right- or left-hand use but is tip-up only. ZT fans can search for a hidden “Easter egg” inside the handle. As is typical of ZT knives, it’s outstanding.
MAKE: Velocity Triggers
MODEL: MPC Trigger
OPTIONS: 4 pounds or 3 pounds (tested); serrated or smooth trigger shoe; curved, straight and straight with finger stop (tested); six color choices
The MPC (Marksman Performance Choice) trigger is a drop-in, single-stage AR platform trigger. We have the 3-pound model, and it measured a reliable 3-pound pull every time on our Lyman scale: Place finger on trigger, press with 3 pounds of pressure—it breaks.
There’s no creep, no overtravel, and the break is as crisp and clean as it gets. The short reset is equally impressive. The finger stop on the straight trigger we tested allowed us the same finger placement every time for a uniform pull. The trigger shoe is about twice as wide as a USGI trigger and was very comfortable to squeeze.
MAKE: Real Avid
MODEL: Lug-Lok Vise Block
We’ve seen a lot of methods for clamping an AR upper receiver to the bench for torque work on barrels and hand guards. This one is the best to date.
It inserts through the upper and into the chamber like the bolt head, putting all the torque on the steel lugs, not the aluminum receiver. The lock knob secures the upper to the vise block so it won’t slide out, and two vise-retaining pins keep the vise block secured to the vise with no movement. Ten vise pin holes and eight lock knob holes allow you to position the Vise Block and AR exactly as you need.
It is made of nonmarring aluminum and fits 5.56/.223 ARs.
MAKE: SIG Sauer Ammunition
MODEL: 365 V-Crown JHP, 115 grains
MSRP: $21 (20 rounds)
Optimized for CCW, the 365 might be the first ammo line designed for a particular model—the SIG P365—although it’s perfect for any micro-compact 9mm handgun. It delivers reduced recoil, excellent reliability, accuracy and reliable expansion.
The 1050 fps muzzle velocity that’s listed is actually tested out of a 3-inch barrel. Our testing gave it a five-shot average of 1059.6 fps, with a 0.41-inch group at 7 yards (from a rest), and it fed very reliably, with no malfunctions.
MAKE: Rise Armament
MODEL: Low-Mass Bolt Carrier Group (RA-1010)
The RA-1010 has been stripped, shredded and skeletonized to cut out every bit of unnecessary weight to help reduce recoil for faster follow-up shots. It tipped our scales at 9 ounces even—about 25 percent lighter than a standard BCG.
We used it in a couple of different ARs. It was drop-in-and-go and worked perfectly. The lower recoil pulse was definitely noticeable, and it was easier to keep the sight on target for a fast follow-up or a quick transition to a second target. It’s not full-auto rated, however; keep it in 5.56-/.223-caliber ARs.
MAKE: XTech Tactical
MODEL: ATG AR15 (black)
AVAILABLE: AR15 (tested), FN SCAR
COLORS: Black or FDE
MSRP: $20; FN SCAR: $30
Mission and personal preference can determine the most ergonomic grip angle. Up until now, shooters had to swap out the entire grip—or “just deal with” the angle at which it was manufactured. The ATG (Adjustable Tactical Grip) allows a quick change in the angle with just a hex wrench to the three most popular angles—17, 25 and 33 degrees.
It’s narrower in width than USGI grips, allowing us to get more of our booger-hooks into the trigger. As with any moving part, a concern is it could break/strip, so we drop-tested it, and it seems tough. Enhanced Grip Tape (EGT), which has a rubbery-textured feel to it, is available as an option ($10). ATG and EGT are easy to install.
MAKE: Grey Ghost Gear
COLORS: Field tan, olive (tested), black, charcoal
Designed to be a CCW bag without looking like one, the Gypsy is packed with features to keep any armed citizen happy. Made primarily of water-resistant waxed canvas, it has a retro look to it; however, a closer look reveals modern details made of Hypalon and stretch mesh. Its streamlined look belies the 13 pockets hidden by the judicious use of zippers.
Under the main flap are hidden two rows of PALS webbing for adding extra pouches. The main compartment has a large Velcro panel for attaching holsters, mag pouches or anything else you want. Fast access to the main compartment is via a vertical zipper on either side. A ventilation channel runs up the mesh back side to help prevent “sweaty-back syndrome,” and padded shoulder straps make it comfortable enough for all-day carry. Extremely high quality—one of our favorite bags.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the August 2018 print issue of Gun World Magazine.