New from Talon Grips: Nite-Grit

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of nighttime break ins occur in darkness. Most people choose to sleep in the dark, and as a result, cannot see when they get up. Many gun owners employ night sites on their home defense weapons for this reason. It is a common tactic for these forward-thinking people to also use the tritium glow of their night sights as a way to locate their weapon in the dark. Continue reading “New from Talon Grips: Nite-Grit”

Kahr Arms Invades California

California isn’t exactly a red carpet for gun makers. There is an awful lot of stupidity involved with being able to legally sell your guns in the land of sequoia. And it’s all because of two major metropolitan areas. But I’m not going to get into all of that. Because for all its faults, California is a beautiful place with a lot of very good people in it, who deserve to be able to defend themselves or go target shooting, or take part in any other legal use of a firearm. Continue reading “Kahr Arms Invades California”

The Crossfire Elite EDC

Being a concealed firearm carrier comes with many decisions. What type of rounds to use, what to wear, what to carry, how to carry it and what to carry it in. Each decision should be researched well before you commit to carrying. But as research filled as the process is, consistently carrying concealed can come down to an emotional decision. And at the heart of the issue is one question: how does it make you feel? So, if you are carrying concealed everyday how does it feel? No, I don’t expect you to lay down on the couch and tell me how you cried at the end of ‘Old Yeller’. Instead, tell me if you cringe when you think about putting on your holster. Tell me if you are excited when you get home and can finally take it off again. Tell me if the discomfort of wearing your holster for more than a few hours makes you think twice about putting it on. Continue reading “The Crossfire Elite EDC”

“I’ll Just Use My Phone”

I must have said these words a thousand times. No need to buy a camera, I have one. I have a smart phone, it can do everything. It has a camera and if I want, I can even edit my photos on it. I was determined to use my phone, and not get a proper camera. I mean, really, how different can a real camera be? How far behind a modern camera, is a phone camera? Turns out, there’s a reason I write in a word processor, and not on my phone, even if there is an app for it. The same reason applies to the camera. Continue reading ““I’ll Just Use My Phone””

Mossberg Shockwave: 14 inches of pure delight.

Ok, no, I don’t have the new Mossberg 590 Shockwave. I still have my Magpul Edition Shorty from 802 Traders, so I didn’t feel the need to go and try out the new offering from Mossberg. Because it’s pretty much the same thing. But I wanted to talk about it again, because it is still one of my favorite guns, and I was very happy to see Mossberg take something from the custom world and make it their own. Continue reading “Mossberg Shockwave: 14 inches of pure delight.”

Rob Leatham shows us what’s new from Springfield Armory for 2017

The No Budget Outdoors crew was on hand for the SHOT Show 2017 Industry Day at the Range, and so was Rob Leatham. We asked Rob to do a little Show-and-Tell with the new hardware from Springfield Armory and we let the camera run. What we got was one clean take and five new guns for 2017.

Freedom Munitions Hush .40S&W: Holy Crap That’s Quiet

At Industry Day, one of the companies we made sure to visit was Kel-Tec. And we’ll get to what Kel-Tec had soon enough, but what struck me the most at their booth on the 16th, was the ammo I was firing out of the Sub2K. And I wanted to share this with you, because it falls into the realm of hearing protection.

Freedom Munitions makes, and re-manufactures ammo out in Lewsiton, Idaho. I’ve bought their ammo many times, usually to test function in guns, because I know the ammo. It does no good to test guns with random, whatever Wal-Mart has on sale ammo, because you have no base line. For me, my base lines are Armscor USA and Freedom Munitions. And I had been hesitant to buy the Hush line from Freedom Munitions, as it costs more. I’m a value guy.

But, I’m a safety guy first. I have hearing loss and hearing damage on top of it. “EEEEEEEeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEE” is what I’m saying here. That’s where Hush Ammo comes in. It is quieter. I thought they were just making claims to be perfectly honest. After all, ALL ammo is quieter when shot through a can. Then I shot the 200 Grain HUSH 40 S&W through an non-suppressed Sub2K. That’s a rifle, folks. And a 16 inch barrel adds velocity, to an already pretty quick pistol round. This setup is pretty much pushing the limit of “subsonic”. I fired one shot, then stopped.

I asked the RO to pause the bay for a moment, as I yanked my plugs out. (Don’t do that.) I then fired the other four rounds slowly. Listening to each one hit targets or dirt downrange. The HUSH rounds sounded like suppressed rounds, without the suppressor. Let that sink in. From a rifle, these pistol rounds already sound like they were shot through a can. It really is amazing.

With the potential passage of the Hearing Protection Act soon, more people may be embracing the ways of Maxim. When you combine an already quiet round with a silencer, you have the best possible indoor defensive combination. Put it together on a reliable handgun, or better yet, a PDW, and not only do you have a fun sporting gun and defensive weapon, but one that is safe to use without worry about damaging your hearing.

(Kel-Tec’s Sub2K is a fun weapon that I do not own. Freedom Munitions did not pay for this little plug. I was gobsmacked by the minimal sound of the HUSH ammo, and wanted to share it with everybody.)

Handy Little Light: LRI X-Light

SHOT Show included roughly 43,567 individual booths full of everything you could ever imagine. We couldn’t make it to all of them. At one point, late Thursday I believe, I walked past Black Rain, deftly avoiding the drool puddle, and saw a booth that seemed to be full of key-chain lights. I intended to ignore them totally.  I am glad that I didn’t

At first, I assumed they were like any other gimmick pusher. (And there were plenty, let me tell you.) But two words caught my attention. “Lifetime Warranty”. Then I heard two more that were absolute magic. “Replaceable Battery”. Now we have potential value, and now you have my attention. Hopefully, that has grabbed yours as well.

I had picked up a couple of cheapo key-chain lights on the show floor already. They’re fairly popular giveaways due to being a generally handy item that lets your brand go home with people. When we spoke to the folks at Photon/LaughingRabbitInc they gave us the full detailed pitch, answered every question and showed us every little detail. Warranty, battery life and replacement, waterproof, bright, but not too bright. Adjustable brightness. Beacon and S.O.S. modes, and even switching modes between on/off and momentary switch.

The clear case with that diffusing texture is great. It allows you to see it if you drop it, even with the LED obscured, and from any direction if worn or carried.

Then the lovely lady behind the display case just handed them to us like we were trick or treating and had the best costumes ever. So, I already loved their little lights, and had plans to ask for a sample later on. And maybe try to work out getting some made with our NBO logo on them. Which I totally still plan on. But for now, lets take a look at the samples she gave us and what can be done with them, just off the top of my head.

The light itself comes has multiple functions. The default function is an on/off switch with very bright, very clear light. This is handy, as most lights of this type are squeeze or momentary only. On/Off can let you drain the battery by accident, however, so there is also a function that lets you switch it to momentary mode, which also lets you use it as a signal for morse code. I mentioned that it is very bright, and it is, for a key-light. The claim is 4.5 lumens, and this is totally believable. I have no way to measure lumens, but it looks pretty good to me. But if that is too bright, you can start the light out dimmer by simply holding the button when you turn it on, and it will cycle up from off, to the brightest setting. If the light is on, you can dim it the same way, yet in reverse.

This image was captured on a cell phone, with the x-light being the only illumination in the room.

The light also has a beacon mode. This mode has four setting. Three are speeds, and the fourth is S-O-S. The slower the beacon speed, the longer the batter will last. The beacon mode uses the brightest setting, and can be seen from a mile away under the right circumstances and conditions. And if you have a lanyard around your neck, it works hands free. A lanyard also comes in handy for trail walks or later returns to camp or home, as you can turn it on and have your immediate foot path illuminated.

The cost is a little high than I expected at retail. They go for about 10$ apiece. But then, I thought about it a bit more and it’s very reasonable. The functionality alone is worth a bit more than the standard key-light. When you add in the long shelf-life, the long battery life, the lifetime warranty (from a company with 23 years in the business, no less) replaceable batteries… well, the value really starts to jump up there. And the possible uses, the possible kits and packs and survival pouches… This little light is equally at home on an explorer’s backpack as it is on a nurse’s ID badge. The light beam can pierce smoke, and draw attention. It can light up a patient’s ears, nose or throat. The beacon can be used to signal aircraft in the mountains, or rescue ships in the water.

Or maybe it can just light up where you’re fixin to pee, in case of rattlers.

For more information, and to learn more about this great American company, Click here.

If you’re already convinced that you need this light. (And you do.) Click here to go to Amazon.

(Editor’s note: This product was given freely at SHOT 2017. I did not even tell the nice folks at the Photon booth that they were getting a review. All they knew, was that I was impressed with the product. The link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you buy the Photon X-Light after following this link, we get a cool fifty cents that goes towards keeping the power on here at NBO. If you want to get the light, but not help us out that’s cool too. I suppose. Just go to Amazon and search.)

Caught in a Crossfire

Carrying a concealed firearm is a big decision for anyone to make. And not one that should be taken lightly. Similarly, the choice of holsters should not be taken lightly. My first choice of concealed carry holster needed to be multi-purpose. I wanted it to do all things well. It had to be inside waistband (IWB) and outside waistband (OWB) and perform both tasks flawlessly. The intent was to have a holster that I could take to the range and practice drills. Shooting sports drills as well as drawing from concealment. After talking with my local firearms shop I thought I had found a good fit. It had clips that could be swapped for both IWB and OWB. It was full Kydex construction and had adjustable retention. I thought I had found the one. Keep in mind that I don’t carry a compact or subcompact pistol. When I carry concealed I carry a full size Glock 22. After we located the correctly shaped model for my pistol I made the purchase and joined the ranks of the concealed carriers.

I’m not a small fella and you’d be surprised how easily I can conceal a full frame pistol in the waistband. However, I assumed that comfort had to go by the wayside. I mean, why not? If I’m going to be concealing a full frame pistol why should it be comfortable? So I wasn’t surprised at all that when the end of the day came I couldn’t wait to put the Kydex holster away for the evening. And I don’t mean after a full day of carrying. This was after an afternoon shopping or an evening at the movies. The Kydex left marks, and it pinched occasionally. I was beginning to have buyer’s remorse only a few weeks into the purchase. I wondered if I shouldn’t have opted for something closer to a pancake holster. But I definitely wanted retention, not a chance that my pistol may find its way out of a holster or pocket. Either way I wanted something that wouldn’t be annoying to wear. I didn’t realize that carrying concealed didn’t have to feel that way.

I had already started looking at other models that were all cloth or leather. Again, I wanted retention and I didn’t feel that a cloth holster could provide that and leather seemed like it would chafe. Sadly, I began to carry less often. It just wasn’t comfortable and was frequently becoming a distraction. This was far from what I had hoped for. My goal was to practice every day carry (EDC) as much as I could. Unfortunately the reality of the situation was that I wasn’t going to reach that goal with such an uncomfortable holster. This is one of the pitfalls of being a concealed firearm carrier. Just because it looks cool and does the things you want it to do doesn’t mean that it’s going to feel comfortable enough to wear all day. Lesson learned.

Sean knows that I carry concealed and decided that I was a good candidate to try some gear from Crossfire Elite. I exchanged a few emails with them and received package at my door containing a few models to try out. It was then, a few weeks before SHOT Show, that I was made aware that Crossfire Elite was bringing out a new IWB holster with comfort in mind. I had received some info about it as well as a note at the bottom; “We will send one once they are in production. “ Sounded good to me. I gave the flyer a quick glance and filed it away in the sometime-in-the-future pile. You know how people say that time has a funny way of sneaking up on you? Well it does. Suffice it to say that I have a fresh-off-the-production-line product from Crossfire Elite dubbed ‘The EDC’. I have had it for less than a week and I have only forgotten that I am wearing it a handful of times. More details to follow with a full review within a month.

 

(Editor’s note: The product in this article was provided at no financial cost, in exchange for an honest review. Crossfire Elite LLC is aware that we have no intention of gilding the lily, and if their product fails in any way, we are SOOOO telling on them. If you have any doubts regarding the ethics of any of the staff here at NBO, we will be more than happy to meet any challenge in a circle of equals. Bring your own sword.)

Kimber’s K6: First Impression

Kimber K6 SHOT SHOT2017

Last year, I played with the Kimber K6. In Kimber’s booth. On the show floor. Because I totally forgot about it on Industry Day. This year, I remedied that oversight however. At Industry Day at the range, I sought out Kimber later in the day just to go shoot their snubby 357. That’s me up there, shooting it. I still have a soft spot for snubbies, and the K6 turned out to be a wonderful little DAO. With snubby stubby grips. And a Crimson Trace Lasergrip that was useful for nothing in the afternoon sun. But the grips felt good anyway.

Kimber K6 SHOT2017

And here we see Izzy shooting the same gun. The recoil on the little 357 was stout. Kimber was not using 38 specials in it, after all. What good would that do, honestly? I mean, really, it’s a 357 magnum, why not use magnums at the very least. And we did. The first speed-loader handed to me, and the only one handed to Izzy, was loaded with full magnum full metal jackets from the folks at The Buffalo Cartridge Company. I was blessed with a second speed-loader that was crammed full of semi-jacketed hollow-points. They were stout and gave me solid hand punch, without being painful. Though, I did only fire six of them.

Buffalo Cartridge Company

We were fortunate to meet the folks at Buffalo the next day, in their booth at the NEXT showing outside the press room. In fact, they were one of the first of the NEXT booths we stopped at. These are great people, very friendly, and the only thing they wanted from us, was information. About their ammo. They wanted feedback, every detail about how it felt, how accurate it was, did it function perfectly? Every aspect of shooting the K6 was good, every bullet went exactly where I wanted it. (Prove me wrong then. Go on, prove it.)  The ammo was wonderful, the recoil consistent, and the loads were accurate in the K6. Or, as accurate as a snubby can be, and I find “minute of bad guy” at 25 yards to be acceptable.

Kimber K6 Crimson Trace Laser Grips

 

The grips look tiny, but that’s only because they are. This is the new for 2017 K6s, with Crimson Trace Laser Grips. The gun is set up for concealed carry, of course, and I can’t imagine there being a flaw with it as a choice for self defense. While I loved shooting magnums in it, I would probably opt for 38spc +p for actual use. The diminishing returns vs recoil to use 357 magnum rounds could get expensive to practice with, and beats up your hand more.

Kimber K6s Crimson Trace

Yes, it can almost vanish in my hand. The MSRP on it is about 1200$. Or roughly 3 S&W J-Frame 38’s. They can be found for 800-900$ pretty regularly, though this isn’t as likely with the Laser Grip model. This is out of the price range I normally go for. And while it is a wonderful gun that I shoot well, I do shoot the Ruger SP-101 and LCR better. The Smith and Wesson J-Frames I also shoot much better. And with the Colt Cobra 2017 coming out (which I loved) for an MSRP of about 800… I would personally pass on the Kimber K6. Not for any fault in the gun itself, but because of the price. Kimber fans, or people with more fluid budgets than I, do not hesitate. As always, shoot it before you buy if at all possible.

For more information on the Kimber K6.

For more information on The Buffalo Cartridge Company