A stop by Glock is always rewarding, whether the intelligence one expects is modest or grand. This trip, we’d put it in the former class, though not to be ignored, all the same. “Special Production” run guns are heading to dealers in short order (June arrival), and some of these will be “manna”-like for fans of the Austrian icon.
One batch of Special Production pistols will feature forward cocking serrations on the slides of Gen4 G17 and G19 pistols, as well as steel sights and extended controls. It’s no leap to recognize these features as really common after-purchase “adds,” now unnecessary. Nothing quite like having ‘em done right at the factory.
A second Glock special run brings factory “porting” to several popular models including the G17 and G19. We grant there are lots of ways to do this after the fact, but that ”factory” touch—and low cost—are tough to beat.
Olive drab frames round out the summer special runs, and are available on a range of 9 mms: The G17, G19, G26 and G34 (in Gen3 or Gen4 style), and the G43. Lots of folks give this a shrug, but you might want to reconsider— it’s mighty handy not to be staring into a black hole in a black gun while trying to mate up a fresh magazine in a hurry.
Springfield Armory appears in no way content with a big splash for their MSR/AR-pattern Saint, and it is indeed a fine rifle. Their quest for a twofer tacks in the direction of handguns though, and extends their extremely successful XD line with the XD-E.
Close observers might well predict the direction—small, and discreet-carry oriented. At only an inch wide, less than seven long and five high, and 25 ounces, it packs a potent eight or nine rounds of 9 mm (depending on the choice of magazine). Unlike the rest of the XD clan, however, an external hammer replaces the all-internal striker ignition.
Springfield introduces an “LES” slide on the XD-E, the acronym standing for “Low-effort slide.” A classic bugaboo in many otherwise-good small pistols, cycling to charge or clear is a comparative delight on the skinniest XD. It will put a sure smile on the faces of many shooters who struggle with the modest gripping area and stern recoil springs of competing designs.
MSR/AR aficionados for whom “Seekins Precision” is not a recognizable name are a small group. If the Seekins Annual Meetings exhibit spread was any indication, the folks from Lewiston, Idaho, plan to reduce that number to zero.
Our own introduction came via their Gibraltar-like scope rings—their original product, we think—and small parts for various builds (particularly their ambi, angle-selectable selectors and bolt catches). These days, the family-owned operation is looking unsmall in all the best ways—options piled on choices all the way up to complete rifles of second-to-none quality.
We’ll be fielding one of their NOXs 16-inch uppers before long in an alternative solution to our Light/Short build. In the meantime, we didn’t see a consequential MSR/AR problem left unsolved by something in the Seekins Precision booth.
If the good folks a SIG Sauer could be said to be “dipping a toe” in the optics waters lately, we’d aver it’s the biggest toe we ever saw. They’ve introduced an optic of nearly every type and magnification in the last couple years. If there’s a lemon, we’ve yet to find even a hint. As we said here, their Romeo4 red dot has especially impressed us with SIG toughness, ease-of-use and innovation.
We hadn’t, we discovered, seen (ha-ha) anything yet.
The newest additions to the family are the Romeo6T and Juliet. “He” is a 1x red dot of ballistic circle-plex reticle (1MOA, .5 MOA adjustments) and solar-supplemented to nine hours of additional battery life. “She” is a razor-sharp 4x, flip-aside magnifier.
Our whining for immediate review samples—on your behalf, of course—has loudly commenced. Stand by …
Easy winner of our “Most Difficult To Photograph” contest is Mike Gibson Manufacturing’s Plate Rack In A Bucket. Our long-suffering photog groaned audibly when we asked for a shot of this clever, economical solution to the challenges of fielding your own version of a classic skill-builder. If the art suffers somewhat, blame us.
But tricky photography shouldn’t distract from the compact combination of braces, hangers, and the signature six (now hexagonal) 3/8”, AR-500 plates. You’ll shortly discover just how easily the entire rig stows in the trunk of a smallish car, too. With a trip to Home Depot and a little chop-chop, wooden legs complete your set-up. We calculate set-up time at five minutes or less.
If you’ve envied the fun of shooting steel but not the weight, cost and comparative immobility, the “Bucket” is a major shortcut on all three. It’s true the plates are not reactive/falling, but the satisfying “ping” is built in, and clear shot-marking a touch of spray paint away. In case you think we’ve left bad news to the end—the price—perk up: $299 if you don’t dawdle.
Just remember that even fine MGM targets don’t give you a pass on the absolute “must” of eye protection.
There are a lot of choices in “after-market” magazines out there, but Italy’s Mec-Gar is the 800-pound Gorilla in this space. They’ve solved a bunch of mag problems for us over the years, to the point where we often default to them. Note, here, that an impressive percentage of the factory magazines for many pistols are already made by Mec-Gar, just stamped otherwise. No wonder, then, that those under their own marque are so uniformly good.
Single stack 1911 mags, for instance, are cheerfully vouched for by us, and generally at a very pleasing savings. Want a flush-fitting 20-rounder for your M9/Beretta 92? Got that, too, and many, many others: We counted at least 14 manufacturers, and many dozens of models dating all the way back to the fabled but notoriously finicky Luger P-08.
Our photo shows a special edition of obvious appeal, and not least because 10 percent of your purchase price on each and every one is being donated by Mec-Gar to organizations that support, defend and forward the Second Amendment.
If you’re hankering for an utterly unmistakable handgun, the hospitable folks at L2D Combat can clearly get you there. From the fill-in-your-own-adjective Trijicon’ed Gen 4 G19 we’ve pictured, we have no idea where “next” is. What’s clear is that they do.
On the other hand, we saw no evidence that the imaginative finishes or Catalyst custom slides for G17s and G19s were trying to substitute for first-rate feel and function. Match barrels, painstaking grip enhancement and performance parts were everywhere.
Rainbow hues are obviously not everybody’s thing—there are lots of other more subdued choices—but the “business” side of L2D work ought to have your unique Glock running at warp speeds. Beauty and a beast, should the need arise.