Law-abiding gun owners know it’s a good idea to keep their guns locked when not in use if they have children in the household. And, traditionally, the choices have involved a locked gun cabinet, a cable lock that feeds through the magazine well or the cylinder, or a locked case.
Now, ZORE has introduced a new device to the market and U.S. gun industry representatives got their first look at it during the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show last month in Las Vegas. Touted as “the fastest way from locked to loaded,” the ZORE-X is a core locking device for handguns that is akin to the Hornady Rapid Rack for AR-15-style rifles. It allows gun owners to keep a loaded magazine in their semi-automatic handgun and, with a few twists of the RAPIDial, rack the slide—dislodging the lock and chambering a round in one motion.
ZORE is a Jerusalem-based company founded by Israeli IDF Specail Forces veterans. The core crew put their heads together to try to devise a way to reduce accidental deaths by firearm. The notion was driven, in part, by the fact that one of their fellow soldiers had been shot accidentally in a friendly-fire incident.
The ZORE-X is about 3 inches long and inserts into the chamber of a semi-automatic handgun.
The ZORE-X is basically a battery-operated smart cartridge. It is inserted through the ejection port, then locked in place when the slide is released. By nature of its design, it will be offered in various sizes for different calibers.
The heart of the device is its RAPIDial—a device that the owner can set with a numerical code ranging from four to 20 digits long. The introductory video recommends at least five digits, and I, personally, would not want to go up to 20, simply because that adds time to the unlocking process—and you have a greater margin for error. The best features about the RAPIDial are that you don’t have to start your unlocking code by going in a specific direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise both work, so long as you alternate each time) and you need only count the clicks—you don’t need a specific starting point, so you can unlock it in the dark. The clicks are far enough apart so they are easy to track.
When the ZORE-X is locked in place, the slide can't be racked.
It is less cumbersome, by far, than a cable lock through the magazine well, and the product doesn’t add much weight to your handgun. But, as with any specialty item, it wouldn’t be practical in all cases. That said, the best purpose for this type of locking mechanism might be if someone keeps a gun in their nightstand.
Anyone who wants to use this needs to be aware of the fact that unlocking it is an acquired skill—that is, you need to practice. Indeed, when you buy one and go to the instructional video, the ZORE rep advises you to do just that. And, if you have a smaller gun, you need to be aware of how you pull the slide back so the ZORE-X dislodges properly. (I put it through the paces with a full-size handgun and encountered no problems.) This is another point mentioned in the video, and it goes back to the idea of practice.
The MSRP is $179.90, and a battery that is expected to last for about 3,500 lockings/unlockings is included. You’ll also get a card that reveals your initial code. This can be changed by the owner, but keep the card because if you ever forget the code you program into the device, the initial one is a fail-safe option.