MAKE: Hudson Supplies
MODEL: FASTmag, Gen-IV
OPTIONS: Standard AR, Heavy (7.62×51), pistol; black, tan,
Foliage Green, Coyote Brown
MSRP: $35 (Gen-IV, 5.56 or 6.8 SPC)
Made of high-impact-resistant polymer, the FASTmag is tough— we set it on concrete and drove a Tundra truck over it. A couple of tabs bent slightly, but they were easily pressed back into position, with no loss of structural integrity or performance. Designed to bend, not break, the anti-fragmentation properties keep it together, even when hit by a bullet. A semi-rigid strap makes for user-adjustable tension. We mounted it upside down with a full mag and did 100 side-straddle hops, and the mag didn’t budge a hair. Despite solid mag retention, mag retrieval is smooth. It mounts on a belt or MOLLE/PALS, up or down, and can be double stacked with other mag pouches (FASTmag or other) using the attachment slots.
MAKE: Ruger (by CRKT)
BLADE: 1.4116 stainless steel; length: 3.665 inches; thickness: 0.125 inch
HANDLE: Glass-reinforced nylon; length: 4.853 inches
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.5 inches MSRP: $90
The Ruger Take Down (RTD) is inspired by the 10/22 of the same name. Designed by Matthew Lerch, it uses Ken Onion’s tool-less field-strip technology that makes quick work out of cleaning and maintenance, even when at the range or in the woods. With the knife closed, flip the lever, spin the wheel—and that’s all she wrote.
It’s a flipper-style folder with a locking liner that’s secure, even with the takedown mechanism. The blade has a straight back and jimping for increased control.
MODEL: Cowl Induction Muzzle Brake, Gen 2
MATERIAL: 4140 alloy steel, black nitride coat; Cerakote optional
SIZE: 5.6 ounces; 2.83 inches long
OPTIONS: 5.56/.223 (1/2 x28), 6.5 (5/8-24), .300–.308 (5/8×24)
A slim-design muzzle brake, it comes in at a diameter of under
1 inch yet still provides excellent recoil reduction. We found it keeps the muzzle on target for fast follow-up sight-picture acquisition, and the slim design is fast to point from target to target. The horizontal ports push gas out and away at an angle that minimizes felt recoil but also reduces ground debris and dust kick-up for the prone shooter. Excellent design and fit/finish.
MODEL: Fist Grip
This is unlike anything we’ve used. It felt slightly awkward at first … until we started putting rounds downrange. It allows for the same control afforded by a modern wrist-over grip, but with improved, more-natural body mechanics. It allows the user to get in a better squared-up fighting stance while ensuring the shooting eye maintains proper alignment. We found it to be faster in going from target to target and more stable while shooting, and it offered better muzzle control during recoil. It also reduced forearm and wrist fatigue during long shooting sessions.
MAKE: Maxim Defense
MODEL: M-Lock Rail Covers
SIZE: 5/8 x 6 3/8 inches; 1/8 inch thick
OPTIONS: Black, FDE, gray, OD Green, blue
MSRP: $30 (four-pack)
These rail covers are of Santoprene construction and snap into the slots in M-Lock-compatible handguards for a nonslip grip and to protect the hands from heat buildup. For shooters who prefer slim-type handguards, these are thin and narrow, so they add very little to the grip circumference.
MAKE: Velocity Triggers
MODEL: Sentinel Trigger Guard, 3 Hole
OPTIONS: Black, red, FDE, OD Green, pink
Machined from billet 6061 T6 aluminum, it’s skeletonized, with three holes that are then anodized or Cerakoted, depending on the color. The improved ergonomics provide more room for a gloved trigger finger. The squared front and back provide a precise fit into the lower receiver. Coupled with the three trigger screws (that replace the roll pin and spring pin), everything makes for zero play. Plus, it looks sweet.
MODEL: Rechargeable Hand Warmer POWER: 5200 mah lithium ion battery, six-hour run time (low); 5V1.5A output
Thankfully, we’re pretty much out of the clear for cold weather until next fall, but it’s never too soon to prep. This is the best e-hand warmer we’ve used to date. It equals or surpasses the heat output of fuel heaters, except it’s odorless—and it’s instant; no waiting for the element to get hot. Unlike other battery-powered heaters, this one is totally silent. It has five heat settings; and on “high,” it gets hot enough to be uncomfortable if left in contact with skin. It doubles as a power bank to charge USB-compatible devices and comes in green or silver. We would love to see it come with a pouch.
MAKE: Federal Premium
MODEL: 224 Valkyrie Gold Medal Sierra Matchking 90 grain
We’ve tested it briefly at close ranges, but we have yet to push it out to distance. However, if it’s half as good as advertised, the flat-shooting 224 Valkyrie will be a stellar cartridge. Federal boasts that it will still be supersonic past 1,300 yards and will outperform its peers in the AR15 platform— including 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 5.56/.223 and .22 Nosler—and compares favorably with the 6.5 Creedmoor. It’s based on the .30 Remington case, necked down to .224, with a heavy-for-caliber projectile. Along with this load, Federal also released a Nosler Ballistic Tip 60 grain, Fusion MSR 90 grain and an affordable American Eagle TMJ 75 grain, priced at $14 per box. Look for more to come about this new round in a future Gun World.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the May 2018 print issue of Gun World Magazine.