CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Winchester E-Tech Shotshells: Environmentaly Friendly 12-Gauge

Winchester Ammunition, the largest small caliber ammunition enterprise in the world, has expanded its line of environmentally friendly ammunition to include the E-Tech shotshell. The E-Tech shotshells use wads made from biopolymers that are said to be certified as home compostable.

Winchester Ammunition has expanded its line of environmentally friendly ammunition to include the 12-gauge E-Tech shotshells. These shells use a bio-polymer wad that performs like its plastic counterparts, with a lighter impact on the environment. [Photo credit: Winchester Ammunition]

Winchester, a leader in delivering innovative ammunition products for hunters and sport shooters alike, employs BioAmmo’s one-piece 4-petal shot wad in the E-Tech shotshells. The 4-petal bio-polymer wad produces uniform and consistent patterns, similar to the performance of plastic wads, giving uncompromising pattern performances. The E-Tech load is perfect for those shooters that want to limit the use of plastics in their shooting.

According to Winchester, The E-Tech loads have a consistent muzzle velocity with a high-integrity wad. The shells are engineered to withstand the extreme pressures and velocities when fired, and the expanding gases are tightly sealed by the bio-polymer over powder wads.

These plant-based bio-polymer wads will degrade, break down, and compost over time into the soil, reducing the shooter’s impact on the environment. The environmentally-friendly aspects of the round do not happen at the expense of performance. Additionally, the biopolymer wads have been engineered to match the plastic counterparts for reliable and effective performance on the target.

With Winchester’s dedication to its customers, these shotshells should meet the needs of competition, hunting, or sport shooting needs. The E-Tech is available in 12-gauge in two different sizes: a No. 7.5-lead shot and a No. 6-steel shot, with 25 rounds per box.

The Winchester E-Tech shotshells are a great addition for the shooter that wants to have a gentle impact on their surroundings. The E-Tech shotshells will be available soon but there is no official word on pricing just yet.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Ambidextrous and Red Dot Compatible

DeSantis Gunhide, a company known for producing remarkable and reliable holsters, has updated an old-school holster with a modern twist giving the #215 Transit Holster new life. The Transit Holster is ambidextrous and red dot compatible, and is available for many different handguns.

DeSantis Gunhide has expanded its family of holsters to include the #215 Transit Holster. This holster is compatible with many different carry pistols (like the Glock 19 shown here) and is an ambidextrous option. (Photo credit: DeSantis Gunhide)

True to DeSantis tradition, the Transit Holster has a firm, suede center-cut steer hide for the main body, with a reinforced top with Kydex and saddle leather making it easier to re-holster the carry pistol. The Transit Holster is an Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster with a heavy-duty spring steel clip.

Another bonus of the steel clip on the Transit Holster is that it can be easily moved from one side to the other making it ambidextrous. On top of that, many of the models of the #215 Transit Holster is red dot compatible. The combination of the suede and the sturdy ambidextrous heavy-duty clip makes a comfortable yet durable holster. The holster has an MSRP of $49.99.

The full list of holster sizing and compatible pistols is below. This holster comes in sizes to accommodate various models from Glock, Walther, Springfield Armory, H&K, Kahr, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, and Sig Sauer.

Patti Miller is one of the most awesome females in the tactical/firearm (or any) industry. Imagine a tall, hawt, dangerous Laura Ingalls Wilder type with cool hair and a suppressed blaster and you’ll be getting the idea. What’s interesting is that in addition to being a willing brawler and intrepid adventuress, she’s also an Ent/Ogier level gardener and a truly badass baker.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

ETS Group Carbon Smoke Series Magazines

The Elite Tactical Systems Group, the manufacturer of popular magazine options, has expanded its line of magazines to include the Carbon Smoke Series magazines. ETS Group states it is committed to producing superior products at affordable prices, especially at a time when costs are rising all around.

ETS has upgraded its family of magazines to include the Carbon Smoke Series of magazines. These dark-colored translucent magazines are resistant to UV, chemicals, and impacts making them a solid choice for any shooter. (Photo credit: Elite Tactical Systems Group)

These dark smoke-colored magazines are resistant to impacts and chemicals, as well as UV rays. Constructed from a proprietary blend of polymers, these magazines will stand the test of time and resist cracking or breaking, and will not become brittle over time even in harsh conditions, according to the ETS Group. The translucent body allows the shooter to easily see how many rounds are left and what type of ammo is loaded. Additionally, the magazines come with enhanced features like non-tilt followers and creep-resistant feed lips meaning the lips and body won’t’ spread when the magazines are stored long-term fully loaded.

ETS Group has a newly built manufacturing facility that gives the company better control over the quality and efficiency of the entire manufacturing process. This has paved the way for this new Carbon Smoke Series line of magazines, which the company says is built better than ever and priced to give users the most out of their money. 

The Carbon Smoke Series is available in different models and round options and are robust as they are reliable. ETS prides itself on being a leading manufacturer of some of the toughest polymer magazines. The company’s drive for no-compromise commitment to its customers is seen in the material selection, product selection, and customer service. The Carbon Smoke Series magazines, like other ETS products, are made in the USA and have a lifetime warranty.

The ETS Carbon Smoke Series of magazines are available for Glock, AR15, HK, Smith & Wesson, MP5, CZ Evo, and Sig firearms and have a price tag starting at $14.49.

CategoriesGun Reviews

Buffalo Bore 25 ACP 60 Grain Hard Cast Ammunition

When the topic of the 25 ACP cartridge comes up, I inevitably think of one of the late Jeff Cooper’s musings on that little round. He cautioned us to “carry a 25 if it makes you feel better, but never load it. If you load it, you may shoot somebody. And if he finds out about it, he may be very angry with you.”

While Cooper may have been selling the 25 a bit short, there is no denying that the 25 ACP is about as light of a self-defense option as you can get. Stories of moms and pops dropping hoodlums with a single shot from a 25 are easily countered with anecdotes of the round skipping off the human skull and a general inability to stop a determined attack.

I love the 25 ACP as a historical footnote in the history of the concealed carry handgun, but there is no denying that the round is diminutive, and finding a suitable load outside punching paper is frustrating. The available self-defense hollow point offerings don’t work as advertised and adequate penetration is only guaranteed with some 50-grain full-metal-jacket loadings.

Some years ago, I asked the folks at Buffalo Bore about the viability of producing a 25 ACP load. Buffalo Bore is well known for loading its cartridges as high as possible while staying within safe SAMMI pressures. To my surprise, I was not the only interested party. In 2022, Buffalo Bore announced two 25 ACP loadings including a 60-grain hard-cast flat-point loading. It was a load I could not refuse testing.

Buffalo Bore ammunition next to a Beretta Bobcat.

The Buffalo Bore 25 ACP Round

Buffalo Bore produces the Outdoorsman line of high-velocity, hard-cast lead flat-point bullets designed for penetration. A hard-cast bullet is a cast lead bullet mixed with trace elements of tin or antimony to make it harder and more resistant to deformation. The flat nose profile allows for better crushing of tissue and a straighter line of penetration over a round-nosed projectile. The Outdoorsman load is designed for big animals and can be had in rounds like the 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 10mm, on up.

A box of Buffalo Bore ammunition with two rounds displayed.
Buffalo Bore’s approach was simple. Use the 25 ACP’s limited case capacity to boost velocity and pair it with a heavy, non-expanding projectile whose job is to penetrate.

Buffalo Bore took the same concept and miniaturized it to create a load with the best chance of penetration in the 25 ACP. The round is loaded in Starline brass and uses a 60-grain hard-cast lead bullet with a flat nose. The Buffalo Bore load is heavy-for-caliber, given that most 25 ACP loads run from 35-grain hollow-points to 50-grain ball ammunition. Despite having a heavier bullet, Buffalo Bore gets this load out at an advertised velocity of 850 feet per second—over 100 feet per second faster than the best commercial 50-grain loads. When we are talking about velocities this low, that difference is significant.

The Test

The 25 ACP pocket pistol is much maligned. Polymer 380 pistols have more or less taken over the same role in this century that the 25 had in the last. Some have even said that a pistol in 22 Long Rifle is a more powerful option. So I decided to evaluate Buffalo Bore’s 60-grain load alongside some other cartridges.

First, I shot the Buffalo Bore load alongside Aguila’s 50-grain full-metal-jacket loading over my Caldwell Chronograph from a distance of ten feet to check the velocity of both rounds. Buffalo Bore prides itself by printing advertised velocities based on shooting real guns, rather than test barrels. Through my Beretta 21A Bobcat with a 2.4-inch barrel, I shot a five-shot string with an average velocity of 858 feet per second—very close to advertised. The Aguila load clocked in at 772 feet per second.

Next, I shot through stacked pine 2x4s to test barrier penetration from the same distance. I fired a pair of rounds from both loads. I did the same using 22 LR CCI Mini Mags out of a Ruger Wrangler and 380 ACP Federal full-metal-jacket using a Ruger LCP.

The entrance wounds of a shot 2x4.
The entrance holes of the 22 LR and 25 ACP loads tested.
A view of the backside of a shot 2x4.
A single Buffalo Bore round almost made it through the 2×4. All other rounds besides the 380 never came close.

Load, Muzzle Velocity, and Penetration

22 LR 40 grain CCI Mini Mag (3 3/4 inch barrel), 1087 fps., .85 inch

25 ACP 50 grain Aguila FMJ , 772 fps., .90 inch

25 ACP 60 grain Buffalo Bore, 850 fps., 1.12 inch

380 ACP 95 grain Federal FMJ, (2 3/4 inch barrel), 882 fps., 1.18 inch

*Furthest penetration depth measured from entrance to base of the projectile.

Although the 22 LR had the advantage of being fired out of a longer barrel, it was outperformed by both 25 ACP loads. Both 380 projectiles broke through the first board but were stopped by the second. One Buffalo Bore round bulged the back of the first board, but all the other rounds failed to come close to the other side.

Next, I shot four rounds of the Buffalo Bore load into a stack of Clear Ballistics 10% ordinance gelatin blocks fronted by four layers of denim. Despite the round’s flat-nosed profile, three out of four began to veer off from a straight path after the twelve-inch mark. Two came to rest at the bottom of the second block at the 17.5-inch mark. One penetrated straight to the fourteen-inch mark. All three of these rounds tumbled in gel, but the wound tracts had no cavitation. In essence, they resembled straight, icepick wounds. The last round penetrated straight and did not tumble, hitting my backup block and stopping at the 21-inch mark. In previous testing using the same setup, I could reliably get 10-12 inches of penetration using standard 50-grain ball ammo.

Two gelatin blocks with 25 ACP projectiles inside.
One round penetrated straight to the 21-inch mark, while the others stopped between the 14-17½-inch mark. I could not match this performance with a 22 LR, even out of a rifle.
A wider shot of the first two gelatin blocks and wound paths from the Buffalo Bore load.
A wider shot of the first two gelatin blocks and wound paths from the Buffalo Bore load.

To say that the Buffalo Bore load overperformed is an understatement, but that performance is of limited value if the round is not reliable. Most 25 ACP pistols, whether they are new or not, are usually old designs optimized around the one load that was around for the longest time—the 50-grain ball round.

Buffalo Bore’s 60-grain flat-nose load is far enough outside the parameters of a typical round-nosed 25 ACP ball or hollow-point load that it may cause feeding issues. The manufacturer’s website cautions us to test this load to ensure proper feeding. For my own edification, I decided to shoot for accuracy to see if there would be any cycling issues. I could reliably place eight rounds into a fist-sized group at seven yards and recoil was equally as mild as the 50-grain ball load, although quite a bit more powerful. I had a single round’s nose get caught against the top of the barrel. This was only one of the twenty rounds I had available for testing, and I am confident this load will be 100% reliable with another box or two through the old Bobcat. But that flat nose can be an issue for some pistols.

Parting Shots

It can be cliche to think that modern is always better. In the case of the 25 ACP and the 380 ACP polymer pistols that largely replaced it in the concealed carry market, that sentiment rings mostly true.

Guns like the Ruger LCP and the S&W Bodyguard are not the easiest handguns to use, but they are easy to carry and bring much more power to the fight. But there are still some compelling reasons to opt for the 25. As small as the polymer 380 is, many 25-caliber pistols are smaller still and the sedate caliber can make it easier to shoot well.

I don’t believe Buffalo Bore’s 25 ACP loads are going to bring about a quarter-bore renaissance. But their efforts to bring that little round to the next level show that there is still plenty of demand for the round with serious use in mind.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Schmeisser .22LR Glock Conversion Kits from ATI

American Tactical Imports (ATI), a South Carolina-based manufacturer and importer of firearms, has partnered with German Schmeisser to import the latter .22LR conversion kits for Glock pistols. These kits will be available for the Glock 19 and Glock 17 pistols, Generation 1 through 5.

First shown at SHOT Show 2023, these Glock conversion kits include a drop-in barrel, feed ramps, and cartridge-shaped chambers which fit the .22LR ammunition inside a 9mm magazine. The cartridges are ejected out of the pistol when it is fired, with the .22LR casings inside them. Essentially, the .22LR ammunition slips into a carbon fiber-infused polymer over-molded metal that can be used multiple times.

American Tactical Imports, and Schmeisser of Germany, are bringing the Schmeisser .22LR conversion kit for Glock 17 and Glock 19 pistols to the American market. This kit, consisting of a barrel, feed ramps, and specialty-made chamber adapters, allows .22LR ammunition to be fired from a Glock 17 or Glock 19 pistol. (Photo credit: TFB)

To install the conversion kit, the barrel is swapped out for the kit barrel with no other modifications needed to the host weapon. A word of note about the conversion kit, the .22-caliber bore of the barrel is nonconcentric, rather it’s shifted towards the bottom edge of the barrel. The reasoning behind this is so the Glock centerfire striker can engage the rim of the .22LR rimfired ammunition.

In addition to the off-centered bore of the barrel, when the barrel is installed the host weapon becomes a direct blowback with the fixed barrel installed. The conversion kit is reported to come with 50 chamber adapters, with more adapters available for purchase later in 2023. It is also reported that the conversion kit allows for more cost-effective training and supposedly mimics real 9mm ammunition loading and ejection.

The Schmeisser .22LR conversion kit for Glock pistol is said to have an MSRP of $99.95 and should ship late summer 2023. Some see the conversion kit as a great training tool, but between the collecting of the cartridge-shaped chambers and the pistol feeling like a .22LR when shooting, the ultimate outcome is yet to be seen.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Turbo Series Lights from SureFire

SureFire, an industry leader in weapon lights, has expanded its product line to include the Turbo family of lights. According to the company, the SureFire Turbo series pushes the limits of both handheld and weapon-mounted light for an upper hand both near and far. The Turbo series of lights deliver high-candela illumination for extreme distances and are ideal for LE or military use. The Turbo series includes options for handheld lights, pistol lights as well as long gun lights.

SureFire has expanded its line-up to include the Turbo series of lights, which dramatically increase the candela levels of the flashlights. The X300T light shown here has a dramatic increase in available candelas and mounts via the rail on the pistol. (Photo credit: Surefire)

Handheld Lights

The handheld lights, the EDC1-DFT and the EDC2-DFT, are the Turbo series versions of the EDC and EDC2 flashlights. The Turbo versions of the flashlights have a significant jump in candela from the other versions, delivering over 70,000 candelas from the SF18350 rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The EDC1-DFT and the EDC2-DFT have the Dual Fuel feature meaning the lights can be powered by the lithium-ion battery or from 123A primary batteries.

The EDC2-DFT is slightly larger than the EDC1-DFT light, but both deliver intense candela when needed. According to SureFire, these EDC flashlights give the farthest-reaching beams of any SureFire EDC handhelds. The handheld lights also have a low-output setting for administrative tasks that don’t require high output.  The EDC1-DFT and the EDC2-DFT come in black, grey, or tan with pricing starting at around $300.

Pistol Lights

SureFire has a couple of pistol lights in the Turbo series as well, the X300T-A and the X400T-A. These two pistol lights have a powerful 66,000 candela in a compact and handgun-practical package. The X400T-A has a highly visible laser, in green or red, for faster target acquisition without having to rely on the gun sights.

The X300T-A and the X400T-A have an ambidextrous push switch for easy usage. Both models of the Turbo pistol lights mount via Picatinny or Universal accessory rails for better compatibility across platforms and are powered by two 123A batteries. Available in both black and tan, pricing for the pistol lights starts around $369 (black) and $379 (tan).

Long Rifle Lights

Turbo Scout Pro Mini from Surefire
The Turbo Series of lights from SureFire includes handheld, pistol, and long gun lights, like the Scout shown above. Each light is available in black or tan. (Photo credit: SureFire)

The Turbo series would not be complete without options for long rifles. The M340DFT Pro and the M640DFT Pro, like the smaller Turbo models, have serious candela upgrades. The M340DFT Pro reportedly has a candela rating of 71,000, just as an example. Both long rifle models are mountable via Picatinny or M-LOK rails, and both feature SureFire’s Dual Fuel power option. The M340DFT Pro and the M640DFT Pro lights start around $400 for the black color and slightly more for other color options.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Hoptic USA: Optic Solution for Lever-Action Rifles

If you spend time running lever-action rifles, you’ve probably gone through the process of mounting a red dot sight to your gun (or guns). This has varying degrees of difficulty on a lever-action but is rarely simple. Thanks to Hoptics USA, there’s now a direct mounting system available that’s compatible with Henry and Marlin levers. It’s called the Direct Optics Mounting system, and it promises to make levers and red dot sights easy to pair together for your ideal shooting platform.

The Hoptic USA DOM-K is a red dot mounting system for Henry and Marlin lever-action rifles. (Photo credit: Hoptic USA)

Hoptic USA is launching its DOM system mounts with two versions, one for red dots with a Holosun K footprint, and one for Trijicon RMR footprint dots. The DOM-K is the Holosun K compatible model and is described by the company as the DOM-K Cowitness Holosun K Mount with Ghost Ring Sight.

This mount is made to be sleek and compact, so it doesn’t add unnecessary bulk or protrusions, and is available for all rifle caliber Henry and Marlin levers. It’s made from 6061 T6 aluminum and Type III hard anodized for durability and resistance to wear. All mounting hardware is included and the mount is made in the USA.

hoptic usa red dot sight mounts
The DOM system mounts are compatible with rifle-caliber levers made by Henry and Marlin. (Photo credit: Hoptic USA)

The DOM is a compact mounting system compatible with the Trijicon RMR. Its footprint makes it compatible with all  RMR footprint red dots such as the Holosun 507c, 407c, 508T, and Swampfox Liberty. The mount ships with a fully adjustable Williams rear ghost ring sight and everything needed to mount it, including Badger Ordnance Torx head screws. It has an overall weight of 1.3 ounces including the ghost ring. The DOM is machined from 6061 T6 aluminum, Type III hard anodized, and made in the USA.

hoptic usa red dot sight mount
The DOM is compatible with Trijicon RMR footprint red dot sights. (Photo credit: Hoptic USA)

What do you think, will you be adding a Hoptic USA red dot mount to your lever action? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

MSRP for the Hoptic USA DOM-K and DOM is set at $99.00.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Safety Harbor Firearms APC-9 KES Stock

Safety Harbor Firearms has expanded its Kompact Entry Stock, or KES, line to include stock options for the Brugger & Thomet (B&T) APC-9 firearm. The KES line of stocks and stabilizing braces are made for some of the most popular pistol caliber carbines (PCC) options on the market, including the previously launched CZ Scorpion, Grand Power Stribog, MP5 and MP5-K, and Sig Sauer MPX firearms.

The KES line-up of stocks and braces has added an option for the increasingly popular B&T APC-9 pistol. (Photo credit: Safety Harbor Firearms)

With the increased popularity of the B&T, specifically with the APC-9, Safety Harbor Firearms through the addition of the stock was a natural fit. Employing use from a dual-rail design, the KES allows the stock to collapse around the firearm. With traditional side-folding options, firearms are thicker when folded. The KES design adds a little extra length to the firearm but is the same thickness whether extended or retracted.

The ability to keep the firearm the same thickness when the stock is folded is an important feature when it comes to PCC as many users use unconventional storage methods, like backpacks, for their firearms. The APC-9 KES stock is estimated to ship in the summer of 2023. MSRP is $279, which is similar to the MP5 KES models.

B&T APC-9 with KES stock
The KES stock allows the firearm to maintain the original thickness with folded, employing a dual-rail design. This is extremely important for PCC owners that want to show the firearm in a backpack or smaller container. (Photo credit: Safety Harbor Firearms)

In addition to the KES stock, Safety Harbor has developed a stock adapter for the APC-9. KES displayed two different versions of the adapter at SHOT Show 2023 that include a Picatinny rail version and an AR-15 carbine tube mount, both of which feature a QD sling mount.

Also as an update from KES, the SHTF 50 uppers will be coming soon after also showing the uppers at SHOT Show. The uppers, which have been unavailable for quite a while, are now serialized firearms thanks to some recent ATF changes. They will require a transfer through an FFL for ownership. According to Safety Harbor Firearms’ website, the upper will be available with three barrel lengths to choose from and will have a price tag of $185.

CategoriesGun Reviews

Federal .38 Special Lead Round Nose — Smooth Feeding Target Ammo

My experience with Federal Ammunition harkens back a few decades. As snipers for our state law enforcement agency, we were always issued Federal ammunition (and also for our duty weapons most of the time). Federal Match 168 grain boat-tail hollow-point ammunition proved to be 100% reliable in our sniper rifles, as well as incredibly accurate. We never had an issue with it, and it gave completely reliable performance.

In my personal weapons, I’ve used Federal for decades too. One of my favorites has been their Hydra Shok line of ammunition, especially for my 9mm handguns.

.38 Special 158 Grain Lead Round Nose 

Recently, I received some 158-grain lead round nose target ammo in .38 Special for testing. It is their American Eagle line, which I’ve used for years and which has proven to be very reliable. I’ve never experienced a misfire with it, nor had any other issues.

The ammunition arrives in a 50-round box, which is standard for most pistol ammunition. This ammunition is categorized as “Practice” ammunition for the range.

Federal’s American Eagle .38 Special 158-grain Lead Round Nose ammunition is economical when compared to other ammo. It is also reliable.

Considering its solid, lead, round nose construction, it wouldn’t be a great choice for defensive purposes, although, at one time, my agency actually issued this round to us as duty ammunition.

The projectiles are loaded into brass cases, which can then be used for reloading if desired. Another nice aspect is that this ammunition is made in the USA. It’s always good to support American companies.

Federal lists the muzzle velocity from a four-inch barrel on this ammunition as 770 feet per second. This is not surprising, given that it’s among the heavier .38 Special loads out there.

The Test Guns

I used two guns to test this ammunition. The S&W 642 Airweight revolver and the Rossi R92 lever action carbine.

S&W 642

The 642 is a lightweight revolver with an alloy frame. The barrel and cylinder are stainless. The hammer is enclosed, commonly referred to as “hammerless,” which is great for drawing because there’s no hammer to snag. What’s more, it can be fired from inside a pocket reliably because there is no hammer to get hung up on the inside of the pocket.

The little revolver weighs 14.4 ounces, making it extremely convenient to carry. It’s small, too—just 6.3 inches long. Sights are integral and fixed. The barrel length is 1.875 inches.

S&W 642 with American Eagle .38 Special target ammo
S&W’s 642 is an old favorite for carry. Very light with no external hammer, it slips into a coat pocket easily. The American Eagle target ammo performs perfectly in this revolver.

Rossi R92 Lever Action Carbine

Rossi’s R92 lever action is a copy of the Winchester 1892 carbine, made in Brazil. The caliber of the carbine is .357 Magnum, but it will also handle .38 Special. The capacity is eight rounds. This gun wears a barrel that is 16 inches in length, which makes it very handy, light, and fast handling. Sights are a front post and a rear buckhorn.

Loading is accomplished via a side gate in the receiver. The R92 weighs 5.68 pounds. The overall length is 33.7 inches. Both factors contribute to this being a very light, short carbine that is a joy to handle.

Rossi R92 lever action and American Eagle target ammo
The American Eagle 158 grain Lead Round Nose target ammo fed perfectly through the Rossi R92 carbine.

I’d long desired a .357/.38 lever action carbine for several reasons. The handiness was always appealing. The round itself, when fired from a carbine, experiences far more velocity than when fired from a revolver. Low recoil was another attractive factor.

And these days, the .357/.38 is cheaper than rifle caliber hunting rounds, which are currently over $1 per round in most cases.

Length of Rounds

As far as the Rossi carbine is concerned, the length of the rounds is relevant. How so? Because it’s chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge. The length of the 158-grain .38 Special rounds is about the same as the 158-grain .357 Magnum rounds. That means they’ll both feed similarly.

I’ve fired shorter, lighter .38 Special rounds through the  Rossi, and occasionally a live round will pop out the top ejection port. That’s because the carbine is set up to fire full-length .357 Magnums. This is a common occurrence with pistol-caliber lever actions; those shorter rounds sometimes sneak out while feeding.

I actually set the Magnum rounds next to the .38 Special rounds being used here and compared them. The length of both was the same, which was promising as far as feeding was concerned.

Another advantage of the Federal 158 grain Round Nosed Lead round is their profile. The nose shape helps with feeding in the Rossi carbine because the round nose goes right up the feed ramp and into the chamber. It helps keep feeding smooth.

At The Range

S&W 642

Firing through the little Smith & Wesson 642 held no surprises. Reliability, of course, was perfect as always. Muzzle blast and recoil was about average for the .38 Special. Recoil was certainly far less than with +P rounds. Understand, the incredibly light weight of the S&W 642 means that you’re going to feel it whenever you shoot.

We were shooting against steel targets rather than trying to eek out the last shred of accuracy for this range session. The ammunition was somewhat limited, so we decided to just have a little fun and see how the rounds performed against steel.

Ejection from the 642 was positive as it was with rounds from other brands. All in all, the American Eagle target ammo worked just fine.

A shooting range with steel targets.
Our test range abounded with steel targets.

Rossi R92 Carbine

At the outset, I was hoping that the 158-grain .38 Special rounds would feed through the Rossi without a hitch. My fears were unfounded, as feeding went smoothly. I attribute it to the long length of the 158-grain rounds. None of the rounds popped out the top ejection port, so that was a win. No doubt, the round-nosed profile helped a lot in the feeding for this platform, too.

Firing .38 Special rounds through the R92 carbine is especially fun because there’s virtually no recoil. It’s almost like shooting a .22 Long Rifle, except it’s launching a 158-grain projectile instead of a 40-grain bullet. Muzzle blast is very tame as well.

Without a doubt, the 16-inch barrel increased the muzzle velocity of the .38 when compared to the four-inch factory test barrel. As I don’t have a chronograph, though, I couldn’t be certain just how much the increase is.

Overall

The American Eagle 158 grain Lead Round Nose ammo from Federal are a winner. Muzzle blast and recoil are tame. Feeding is slick and smooth. Accuracy is certainly acceptable. I highly endorse them for practice and training.

The fact that this target ammo sells for $29.99 per 50-round box allows us to practice more because it’s priced lower than the majority of other rounds out there.

It’s a good idea to stock up on some of these while they’re available. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? This is definitely the quality ammunition that you need.

CategoriesGun Reviews

An Initial Comparison and Review

There are many aftermarket modifications to Glock’s stock trigger, from simple parts (e.g., connectors) to replacement triggers/trigger bar, to drop-in trigger groups, to larger kits also replacing the striker and additional springs. Though Glock has always warned against secondary market parts to ensure the warranty and safety of their products, they have allowed such modifications within an Unlimited division in both indoor and outdoor Glock Sports Shooting Foundation (GSSF) matches. The two factors that previously united all these aftermarket modifications were 1) they were all designed to change the ergonomics and trigger press weight in an effort the improve the trigger with better fit and/or lighter press, and 2) they were manufactured by secondary market companies. Now, with a single email released by Glock during the January 2023 SHOT Show, Glock has changed the second factor by introducing their own Glock Performance Trigger (Currently $99.00).

Currently, there are no plans to ship any Glocks with the Performance Trigger pre-installed and it is offered by Glock as an accessory to be installed in pre-existing 9mm Glocks. The Glock Performance Trigger can fit: 

  • Glock 17 Gen5
  • Glock 19 Gen5
  • Glock 19X
  • Glock 26 Gen5
  • Glock 34 Gen5
  • Glock 45
  • Glock 47
  • MOS versions of those same guns.

Glock is advertising these triggers for those wanting a flat-faced trigger with a lighter trigger press while maintaining the Glock Safe Action System.

Additionally, Glock warns that the triggers should be installed by certified Glock armorers and only in the listed Glocks. ¹

The new Performance Trigger, installed in a new Glock 17 Gen5 MOS along with a Burris Fastfire optic.

The Mechanics

Another factor that unites most previous aftermarket triggers is that they utilize the basic engineering of the stock Glock Trigger simply adjusting trigger bar angles, polishing surfaces, and/or replacing springs. The Glock Performance Trigger utilizes a redesigned trigger, trigger bar, and trigger mechanism. This likely was developed due to Glock wanting to adjust the trigger press and ergonomics of the trigger face
while maintaining the safety standards of a Glock-produced accessory.

It is of note that the trigger bar is not only different in the Glock Performance Trigger, but it also engages in the trigger mechanism housing differently. Specifically, there is a spur on the trigger bar that needs to be seated properly on a spring within the housing for the trigger to operate properly. The trigger comes with a rubber band holding this configuration in place, but if the bar comes loose, the trigger bar will reseat without engaging the spring within the trigger mechanism, resulting in a dead trigger.

Glock 17 Gen 5 Performance Trigger
A close-up of the new Glock Performance Trigger showing the differences in the trigger bar and the spring mechanism in the trigger mechanism housing.

An objective test conducted by the author compared an unfired Performance Trigger to an unfired stock trigger from the same Glock 17 Gen5 MOS. Glock reports the stock trigger at 26 newtons or a 5.8-pound trigger press. The trigger press for both triggers were measured and averaged across twenty trigger presses with a Lyman digital scale and then these averages were adjusted to match the factory-listed specs of the stock trigger. The stock trigger press was consistent across measurements and the starting position and reset position of both triggers were near identical. The stock trigger had a trigger press of 5.83 pounds (Standard Deviation (SD) = .21 ounces) while the Performance Trigger had an even more consistent trigger press of 3.56 pounds (SD = .09 ounces). The objective result was that the Glock Performance Trigger had a consistent trigger press of 2.27 pounds lighter than the stock trigger.

Comparing the Gen5 stock trigger (top) to the new Glock Performance Trigger (bottom).
Comparing the Gen5 stock trigger (top) to the new Glock Performance Trigger (bottom).

The Subjective Experience

Though objectively a lighter trigger press with a flatter trigger face, the proof is in the experience. The subjective experience supports the objective data. Overall, if you are used to the standard Glock stock trigger, the newer flat-faced trigger may take a little getting used to; however, this flat-faced trigger has been common in non-Glock aftermarket trigger replacements as well as in other manufacturers’ guns.

The trigger press is subjectively a smoother experience moving from initial trigger movement until hitting the wall, then break (releasing the striker to fire the gun). This break is not only a lighter press but also slightly crisper and more consistent than the standard stock trigger. In this way, the Glock Performance Trigger is similar to other aftermarket triggers.

Following the break, the reset is more similar to a standard stock Glock trigger coming consistently and noticeably, but also further forward compared to many other aftermarket triggers. This does differ from other products available that often have a ‘softer’ and quicker reset. Overall, the trigger experience is cleaner, lighter, and very consistent.

Competition

For those competing in Glock-sponsored shooting events (GSSF indoor and outdoor), there has already been a clear ruling from the GSSF that the Performance Trigger is considered a ‘stock’ addition as it is manufactured by Glock. This means a Glock equipped with the Performance Trigger does not change division. If the Glock had been designated as a Stock gun of Stock MOS, the addition of this trigger does not change that designation. It will be interesting over the next year to see how many stock guns at GSSF events start utilizing this trigger as it does provide a lighter and more consistent trigger press.

Carry Use

I will openly admit I am biased against carrying a defensive gun that features any internal modifications. However, as this trigger comes from the original company and carries their continuing warranty and assurance of safety, I could see those wanting a lighter more consistent trigger in their carry gun considering this accessory for it. Additionally, the similar uptake prior to trigger break and continued presence of a trigger safety further support considering this trigger for carry use.

Overall, there was nothing during my dry fire or live fire testing that suggested any areas of concern for safely carrying a Glock featuring a Performance Trigger, outside of the reduced trigger press.

Summary

Glock has made an impact with the release of their own “aftermarket” trigger. The cost versus benefit, when compared to other aftermarket trigger options, results in a solid product at a relatively lower price point that also provides an improved shooting experience. The bonus of a better trigger experience without potentially compromising safety and reliable function or voiding the Glock warranty will also appeal to some users. Finally, the fact that the Glock Performance Trigger can be used for competition without impacting the division that the gun shoots in will further appeal to some.

I will close by adding my voice to others that wonder why this trigger is not set to become the standard trigger in stock Glocks; maybe that will be one of the reveals for the Gen6 Glocks.

¹ There are videos posted online showing how a minor modification to the frame area where the trigger mechanism housing is located then allows this trigger to be added to previous generations of the Glock 17, 26, and 34. This modification obviously would not be covered by Glock’s warranty of the product.

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