CategoriesGun Reviews

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16 — Kickin’ it Old School (sorta)

You know how you sometimes just want to shoot a solid old-style large-caliber rifle, but you miss your modern stuff like red dots, muzzle brakes, and detachable mags? No? Well, maybe it’s just me. Anyhow, I love my Mausers and my Enfield and all, but I’ve kinda gotten spoiled. Anyway…I’ve been thinking about a Springfield M1A for a while, so I dialed up my old buddy Sootch to get his opinion on the M1A SOCOM 16.

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16

The SOCOM 16 Chilling Out with its legendary grandpa, the M1.

We aren’t really buddies, but I watch his channel, so it’s like the same thing. Fortunately, he had a video on that very model. Who knew?

M1A SOCOM Features


So, we get a good breakdown of what seems to be a solid rifle. Right off the bat, it looks sharp. I know functionality is king, but I like a nice-looking firearm, and I’ve always looked covetously at the lines of the M14. The SOCOM 16 sports a polymer stock available in black, OD green, or flat dark earth. Tough choice right off the bat.

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16


The rifle is 37 and a half inches in overall length and weighs 8.8 pounds empty. The 16-and-a-half-inch barrel features a 1/11 twist rate and comes with an integrated muzzle brake to help with the recoil of that short barrel coupled with the .308 Winchester chambering. But it’s loud, so remember that ear pro

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16 integral muzzle brake

The integral muzzle brake helps with recoil from the short barrel.

The M1A is also available in 6.5 Creedmoor. Despite the weight, the rifle is well-balanced and the shorter barrel makes it handy and easy to point. The rifle features an aperture rear sight with a tritium-marked front post, which is a nice touch. The rear aperture is also expanded a little since the M1A SOCOM 16 is designed for closer work, though it’s certainly capable of reaching out for several hundred yards. The left side of the receiver is drilled and tapped for a side-mounted scope, but that will preclude the use of stripper clips.

M1A SOCOM 16 detachable box magazine.

Who needs stripper clips when you have a detachable box mag?

I don’t know about you, but with a detachable box mag, I don’t think stripper clips would be a thing for me. The mags rock in and have a release tab just like the M14. The rifle ships with a 10-round mag, but 20-rounders are available. The rifle will also take surplus mags.

demonstration of how M1A SOCOM 16 magazines rock in place.

Rock In mags with release tab.

As for some of that modern stuff I mentioned, there is a Picatinny rail mounted forward of the receiver that is just the thing for a red dot or a long eye relief scope.

SOCOM 16 rail with optics mounted

The rail forward of the receiver lets you mount an LER scope or red dot.

Accuracy was reported as “excellent” with match ammo at 100 yards and a 2-7x LER scope. It was said to have shot smooth and flat “for a .308.” Sootch notes that he really likes the zero-magnification red dot on this rifle. I think that would be pretty sweet too.

100 yard shot group with match ammo

Match ammo with a scope at 100 yards

The action is built around a strong rotating bolt cycled by the M14-style gas piston and long operating rod. The bolt is the same design as the M14, which was itself a direct copy of that greatest of warhorses, the M1 Garand. The trigger group has some heft to it, which Sootch shows us during the simple take-down process that is exactly like the M14. Seeing a pattern yet?

The safety is part of the trigger guard and easy to reach, just like…well, you get it. 

M1A SOCOM 15 safety on and off

Safety on (L) safety off (R).

The trigger on this particular rifle pulled consistently at just under six pounds and, according to Sootch, was “very crisp” with a quick reset. There is a bolt stop tab on the left side of the receiver.

removing M1S SOCOM 16 trigger group

Pulling out the “Beefy” trigger group

As noted earlier, the SOCOM 16 comes with a polymer stock and handguard and there’s some nice checkering on the lower handguard and the pistol grip. The butt pad is polymer and, say it with me…like the M14, features a hinged plate designed to go on top of the shoulder to increase stability. The hinged plate also reveals the access ports for your cleaning kit, should you choose to house it there. There’s no comb on the stock and Sootch uses an attachable cheek rest with the optics for better cheek weld and eye relief.

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16

The compactness of the M1A SOCOM 16 makes it handy and easy to use.

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16 basic field strip

Easy basic field strip.


All in all, the reviewer seems to really dig this particular rifle. No real negatives.

M1A SOCOM 16 review, sootch00

The SOCOM gets a BIG thumbs up.

Now, I get that a reviewer not saying anything bad doesn’t really mean anything. I’m pretty selective about my reviewers, and you probably are too. I like Sootch because I think he is honest, and I have seen him call things out when they need it. I also like that he doesn’t get too technical since I’m not a gear head and my eyes start glazing over with that stuff. So, that’s my $.02. You decide for yourself, but other folks seem to agree

The words that kept popping up were “strong” and “beefy.” I always like that first one, and sometimes I like the second. For this kind of rifle, I definitely like it. Strong, beefy, accurate, handy, and sharp-looking, with the capability to add at least a few modern accessories and multiple configuration options. Not to mention a good track record based on a proven design. What’s not to like? But check it out for yourself and see what you think. I’m just some guy on the interwebs.

William Lawson

Bucky Lawson is your typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast. He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things here and there, including some stuff for Breach Bang Clear. He likes dogs and enjoys a good cigar and an Old Fashioned with an extra orange slice.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

The Family Business: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel

Baen Books has released Mag Life contributor Mike Kupari‘s latest book: it’s the Family Business novel. It’s a dystopian (perhaps post-apocalyptic) tale of a Federal “Recovery Agent” on the job in a very-much-changed United States of America.

As of this writing, it is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Here’s an excerpt:

“He remembered, vividly, the day California was invaded. A combined Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force offensive had finally pushed the UEA out of Texas and back into Mexico. The damned Greys counterattacked by opening up a second front in the Continental United States. They were somehow able to jam NORAD’s radars effectively enough to conceal hundreds of hypersonic transport aircraft. 

The planes dropped troops and weapons into Southern California before turning kamikaze and striking various targets throughout the region. Having secured a beachhead, the UEA was able to bring up more assets from Mexico and South America by sea, reinforcing their toehold in California and allowing them to break out of the Greater Los Angeles Perimeter. 

They were able to take the entire LA-to-San Francisco corridor before being stopped, and they held that territory for two years. The number of American citizens caught behind enemy lines (and being used as human shields) prevented the US from responding with nuclear weapons.”

Kupari, a self-described revolverphile who preaches the Gospel of the FN, is an experienced (though wrong-handed) shooter who uses his experience as a former EOD Technician, PMC contractor, and general retro-gun-nerd-savant to provide verisimilitude to his writing.

Mike Kupari novels.

Kupari, who is a Mag Life contributor by the way (!), has written several novels.


Here’s another excerpt.

“Jesse’s shop looked cluttered and chaotic, but he seemed to know right where everything was. The centerpiece of it was a CNC mill and a lathe. Electronics projects cluttered one workbench, while firearms projects took up another. 

A faded Arizona flag hung on one wall, as did a prewar, fifty-star US flag. Next to them was a pair of posters. REMEMBER PHOENIX, one declared, while the other proclaimed KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES! 

Below those, framed, was his certificate of his completing the Arizona Ranger training course and a photo of his swearing-in ceremony. Leading Nathan to his gun-bench, Jesse picked up a large pistol and proudly handed it to his friend.

“What’s this?” Nathan asked, examining the gun in his hand. It wasn’t anything he’d seen before, and he knew his way around a gun.

“Did you make this?”

“I did,” Jesse said, beaming. “That’s my third prototype. It’s ready for field testing.”

The gun was a hefty semiautomatic, but the magazine well was located in front of the trigger guard. Nathan locked back the slide, verifying that the weapon was unloaded, and looked at the markings.

“.45 Win Mag?”

Jesse grinned. “Yup! The problem with most magnum semi-autos is that they’re huge, right? It’s because they’re trying to cram a revolver-length, rimmed cartridge into a pistol grip. You end up with a grip like a two-by-four. I solved that by moving the magazine well out of the grip.”

“Like a Broomhandle Mauser,” Nathan said.

“Only in overall layout. This gun is striker-fired. It’s roller-delayed, recoil-operated, like the Kraut STG-88 assault rifle. Try the trigger!”

Nathan released the slide and squeezed the trigger. With only a little bit of take-up, it felt like a thin glass rod breaking. 


“Three and a half pounds’ pull weight on that, and it doesn’t feel mushy. I added a thumb safety because the trigger pull is so light, and to make it extra drop safe. I tossed my second prototype off the roof, onto the driveway, over and over again, trying to get it to discharge, and the safety held. 

Anyway, the barrel is fixed, so it’s real accurate. For the next prototype, I’m working on a user-serviceable quick-change barrel system. You’ll be able to swap from the five-inch service barrel, like on this one, to a longer, heavier target barrel, and even a short snub barrel. I figure I can machine a scope mount into the heavy barrel, so it’ll be good for handgun hunters. I may be able to figure out a caliber conversion system, eventually, too.”

Real Avid Gun Tools

“This is really nice, Jesse,” Nathan said, aiming the pistol at an antelope head mounted on the wall.

“The magazine holds ten rounds. I’m working on a twenty-rounder, but I haven’t put it together yet. Even still, that’s four extra shots over a typical police revolver, it’s more powerful, and it reloads quicker.”

“I’m impressed, Jesse. Very nicely done. You gonna put these into production?”

“Eh, I really can’t. I’m a one-man outfit. I don’t have the capability to mass-produce a gun and making these as one-offs would make them too expensive. Once I get the design finalized, I’m going to try and sell the manufacturing rights.”

“Yeah, I guess that makes sense.” Nathan flipped the gun around in his hand and offered it to Jesse butt-first. “You gonna pack this beast on your next Ranger call-up?”


The book is officially described thusly:

Decades ago, the Visitors descended on Earth. They claimed to bring peace and prosperity. Their real goal was the total subjugation of humankind. But humanity did not give up its only home without a fight. After a devastating war, the Visitors were driven back to Mars. Their millions of willing human collaborators were left behind. The task of hunting down these former alien collaborators and bringing them to justice falls to Federal Recovery Agents like Nathan Foster.

Now, Nathan Foster is tasked with bringing to justice Emmogene Anderson. As a teenager, Emmogene was experimented on by the Visitors and implanted with a device that allows her to control other people. With her is her obsessive ex-lover, who was also a former commando of the Visitors’ forces. It’s an easy enough job—but Emmogene has been implanted with something else, something much more important.

Nathan and Ben must decide what is right in a largely lawless world— and the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.

Says Kupari,

“I started writing in high school. I didn’t really get into it until college when I began writing fiction online. I never seriously considered trying to be a novelist, though, not until 2006. That was the year I met Larry Correia. He liked a story I was writing online and asked if he could jump in on it. That story ultimately became DEAD SIX.

I lived in Doha, Qatar for a year, while working security at a US installation there. Qatar ultimately became the inspiration for the fictional country of Zubara.

Later in life, I served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician in the US Air Force. I deployed to Afghanistan and applied that experience to my second book, Swords of Exodus.

My first solo novel, Her Brothers Keeper, wasn’t exactly inspired by real life. I am sad to admit that I’ve never captained a privateer rocket ship. I do, however, have a lifelong love of science fiction and space opera and am excited to continue sharing my take on different genres.”

You can find the book on the Baen website or in’s book section.



Brock Trautman is the senior news anchor for The Mag Life, the official publication of GunMag Warehouse. He’s also a cartoon, so…don’t get butt-hurt about anything he says. He’s not making subjective judgments on things, or reviewing anything – he’s just passing along the news.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Check out the New Competition Chassis Rifle from PROOF Research

PROOF Research and MDT just announced a new precision rifle. It’s the new PROOF MDT ACC Competition Chassis Rifle and it incorporates parts and mechanisms from several companies including TriggerTech, Zermatt Arms, and Area 419. Whether used for competition or hunting, users will appreciate the sub 1/2 MOA accuracy guarantee. And, it’s available in six different chamberings.

PROOF Research Competition-Ready MDT ACC Chassis Rifle

Proof’s new Chassis Rifle is available chambered in 223 Rem, 6 ARC, 6 Dasher, 6 Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 308 Win.

Here’s how PROOF describes it:

Whether you’re new to the competition scene and want to jump in with both feet, a seasoned shooter who wants to take their game to the next level, or you just enjoy a superbly accurate rifle, the PROOF Competition Chassis rifle is for you. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we have partnered with companies whose products are already on the podium weekend after weekend to assemble the ultimate precision rifle.

It all starts with a solid foundation. The MDT ACC Chassis looks the part with custom PROOF Research colors and engraving. The adjustable length of pull and comb height are adaptable to any shooter and any unconventional shooting position. The ACC Chassis sports a full Arca rail down the entire length of the forend and M-Lok mounting points for weights and accessories.

Our competition contour steel barrel has been the choice barrel for some of the worlds top precision rifle competitors. Our competition contour barrel when coupled with the MDT buttstock weight works to balance the rifle and decrease felt recoil.

PROOF Competition Chassis rifle barrel and brake

26″ PROOF Competition Contour Steel Barrel

The PROOF Competition Chassis features a Zermatt Arms TL3 action, Triggertech Pro Curved Diamond Trigger with an adjustable pull weight from 4 to 32 oz, an Area 419 Hellfire muzzle brake, and a MDT 12 round AICS-pattern steel magazine. A custom fit hard case is included to haul your rifle to your next match.

PROOF Competition Chassis Rifle action, trigger, and magazine

PROOF MDT ACC chassis rifle and case


The Proof Competition Chassis Rifle is backed with an accuracy guarantee and is available in 223 Rem, 6 ARC, 6 Dasher, 6 Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 308 Win.

PROOF Competition Chassis Rifle Specs

  • •MDT ACC Chassis
  • •Zermatt Arms TL3 Action
  • •Adjustable Triggertech Pro Curved Diamond Trigger
  • •MDT 12 Round AICS Steel MAG
  • •26″ PROOF Competition Contour Steel Barrel
  • •Area 419 Hellfire Brake
  • •20 MOA rail
  • •Weight – 15lbs-14oz w/ mag
  • •Accuracy Guarantee
  • •MSRP: $5,699


Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri’s Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.

CategoriesGun Reviews

Tyrant Designs Magwell — Glock 43X/48 Edition

I’m not a huge Glock fan. I respect them as well-made firearms that are simple, reliable, and easy to use. What I really love about the Glock series of pistols is their inherent modularity. You can take a Glock and upgrade it to the moon and back. I recently got my hands on a Glock 43X and made some upgrades, including the Tyrant Designs magwell.

Glock 43X with Tyrant Designs magwell.

The TD Magwell adds a little extra length and width, but not much.

Magwells are pretty simple. They act like a funnel attached to the bottom of your grip, allowing for faster and more intuitive reloads. That’s the idea anyway. Like most things, especially in the gun world, sometimes they suck. Some magwells exist to funnel money from your pockets, not magazines, into your gun. Let’s find out if the Tyrant Designs magwell is worth the price of admission.

Breaking down the Tyrant Designs Magwell

My initial skepticism of the Tyrant Designs Magwell comes from the fact that it’s designed for a concealed carry firearm. Magwells often find a home on full-sized guns designed for competition, or maybe duty use. A magwell on a concealed carry pistol might be nothing more than a slick ornament with a pretty color.

Glock 43X with Tyrant Designs magwell.

The TD Magwell matches the Glock’s black frame perfectly.

Speaking of pretty colors, you can get your Tyrant Designs magwell in a wide variety of colors. Red, blue, grey, gold, aluminum, and black. I went with black. I’m not a big fan of bright colors on carry guns, and black matches the frame. Tyrant Designs mills these bad boys from aluminum and anodizes the finish onto the magwell.

Tyrant Designs magwell, black, underside

It’s a fat-mouth lady looking for love.

Tyrant Designs claims the magwell will work with factory magazines with extensions, the Shield 15 magazines, and other aftermarket options. I can confirm they work with stock OEM magazines, magazines with Tyrant Designs extensions, and ETS Glock 43X/48 magazines without issue.

The Tyrant Designs Magwell adds just a little extra length to your pistol. At its longest point, the Tyrant Designs Magwell adds about a quarter-inch to the length of the grip. That extra quarter-inch does provide my big hands a nice little pinky rest, so I don’t necessarily hate the extra length. Weight-wise my scale reads it off as .40 of an ounce total.

Installing the Tyrant Designs Magwell

According to Tyrant Designs, their installation method is patented, and I could see why. It’s stupid simple and takes no time or effort. In the back, a screw fits into a soft grip plug. Loosen the screw from the plug with just a few rotations and then slide the plug into the hole and the magwell over the grip.

Tyrant Designs G43X magwell, ready for installation

The install takes no time or effort.

Tighten the screw down, and you’re done. I expected more drama. Rarely do I find something advertised as easy to actually be easy. However, I’ve put it on, taken it off, put it on again, taken it off again, and it’s a non-issue. It pops on and off without any drama.

TD mag well on G43X

The TD Magwell acts as a minor pinky extension as well.

I tried my hardest to pry the Tyrant Designs Magwell off the bottom of my Glock 43X. I pried and pulled and fought with the damn thing to see if I could get it off the gun. It was yanked, pulled, pushed, and wiggled—and it never moved. The attachment system works well for being how simple it is.

Putting Work In

So is the Tyrant Designs Magwell worth a spit? Or does it just look cool? Well, to find out, I needed to get some reloads in. We grabbed a few different magazines, some 9mm ammo, and hit the ground running. A NeoMag was used for each reload and a shot timer for objective data.

G43x with tyrant designs magwell, OEM magazine, extended magazine, and ETS magazine.

OEM Mags, Mags with extensions, and ETS mags all work perfectly with the TD Magwell.

I started with the magwell off and warmed up a bit with slow but practiced reloads. After I felt good with the NeoMag, I popped the shot timer on and began chasing time. After five reloads, I popped the magwell on and did five more reloads.

ETS Extended magazine in Tyrant Designs magwell installed in Glock 43X

The Tyrant Designs magwell works without issue with ETS Extended magazines.

Every five reloads, I swapped the configuration of the gun. As you warm up more and more, you are bound to get faster. If I did 20, no magwell reloads and then 20 magwell reloads, I could be faster with the magwell because I’ve already got twenty practice reloads in. Alternating having the magwell on and off allowed me to better gauge the speed of my reloads.

Averages Matter

After a few dozen reloads, I can comfortably declare that the Tyrant Designs magwell works and works well. When I averaged the times between reloads, it came down to a difference of almost three-quarters of a second in favor of the magwell. That seems like a Scott Bakula-style quantum leap, but the average is skewered.

The skewered average comes from a few fumbled reloads without the Tyrant Designs magwell. I’d slap the side of the Glock’s magazine well and goof up my reload. When the Tyrant Designs magwell was locked into place, I could goof it up, but the magwell funneled the magazine into the gun without causing me to slow down significantly.

faster reload with upgraded magazine well

Reloading is faster and more intuitive with an enlarged magwell.

If I wasn’t a goof, it wouldn’t matter, right? Well, everyone goofs up, and if something can help you reduce your human error, it might make the juice worth the squeeze. That’s why I like magazines that hold as many rounds as possible, it’s why I like red dots, and why I like compensators. These increase my ability to succeed.

What’s the best time I could accomplish outside of a somewhat skewed average? Well, I got those numbers too. Without the magwell, I had a hard time breaking the 2.5 second mark, with a 2.42 being my absolute fastest.

reloading Glock 43X into Tyrant Designs magwell.

The Tyrant Designs magwell not only trims time off your reloads, but helps eliminate human error.

My overall fastest time with the Tyrant Designs magwell in place was 2.29 seconds, with the median in the 2.35-second range. Shaving off a little more than a tenth of a second is nice, but reducing human error is where I see the biggest benefit. I like that it can help compensate for my own faults and failures.

The Human Error

The Tyrant Designs magwell doesn’t suck, or even kind of suck. It’s a functional addition to your Glock 43X or Glock 48 pistol. If you want to speed up your reloads while reducing human error, then this simple addition can surely help. Popping it on takes no time at all, and while it adds a little length and weight, it won’t compromise concealment. (It also adds a nice edge to a pistol-whipping, just saying.)

Tyrant Designs magwell and magazine extension on Glock 43X / Glock 48

Chest out a Tyrant Designs mag extension for a few extra rounds.

Tyrant Designs also produces magazine extensions, baseplates, extended slide stops, and more for your Glock 43X and Glock pistol. 

Does a magwell strike your fancy? Would you stick one on your concealed carry gun? If so, let us know below. Share your thoughts on the subject.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.

CategoriesGun Reviews

10-8 Performance Lab Pistol Optic Roundup

Not all optics are cut out for every application. Some work great for concealed carry, some for range guns, some for duty pistols. In this video, Hilton Yam of 10-8 Performance reviews and ranks his favorite pistol optics for duty use. As a law enforcement veteran and tactical trainer, Yam has seen through pistol optic windows a few times and created a list of his favorite and least favorite red dots.

Like many of us, Yam started out shooting a Trijicon RMR, the first serious pistol-mounted red dot on the market. It more or less defined what red dots would be moving forward. It became so popular that all these years later, the RMR mounting footprint is the most common platform on the market. Almost all red dots offer an RMR-style mounting interface. Starting with that, let’s see Yam’s list of pistol-mounted red dot optics.

Yam starts with his basic criteria for what makes a good duty pistol optic:

•Rugged and reliable

•Low profile enough, particularly on the deck, to allow use of commonly available optic-height sights

•A common footprint – do you need to modify the slide for an uncommon mounting footprint, or does the optic have cross-compatibility?

•Should fit into common duty holsters without modification – some agencies don’t allow for modification

•Good battery life, typically at least one year as the measurable standard

•How easy is the battery to load in? Does it require removing the optic to change or can it be done from the top of side?

Trijicon RMR

pistol optic for duty pistol - trijicon RMR

Considered the gold standard of optics in its day, the Trijicon RMR has been surpassed in some areas.

Rugged, reliable, low profile enough to use common sights, the Trijicon RMR is the common footprint—the one that started it all. It fits most duty holsters because they are made around the RMR pattern. Battery life is more than one year. One major strike against the RMR is the bottom-loading battery compartment that requires removing the optic for replacement.

Leupold Delta Point Pro

Leupold Delta Point Pro pistol optic for duty pistol

The Leupold Delta Point Pro pistol optic has a couple of strikes against it.

Strike one: It is so tall that it requires unique sights and is incompatible with any of the sights that work with all the rest of the optics on the list. Good position of the battery right on top and easy to replace and service. Strike two: Only one button to toggle all the settings, which can be confusing and easy to get wrong. Ruggedness and reliability are spotty, based on field reports.

Aimpoint ACRO

Aimpoint Acro pistol optic for duty pistol

The Aimpoint ACRO is optically accurate and durable with a side-load battery, but the battery life is lousy.

On full settings, the battery lasts around three weeks on the normal setting, which is way below the year threshold. It also does not fit into the Safariland ALS holster, so that’s a deal killer.

Trijicon SRO

Trijicon SRO pistol optic.

Due to the forward structure, the SRO doesn’t fit into any duty holster.

Trijicon itself admits the SRO is not meant to be a duty optic because it does not survive the 6-foot drop test, but the oversized window and top-load battery make it appealing. 

Holosun Grouping: 507C, 508T, 509T

Holosun 507C, 508T, 509T pistol optic choices for duty pistol.

Left to right, Holosun 507C, 508T, 509T.

These check all the boxes with ruggedness, reliability, and great battery life with solar power boost, the common RMR footprint for 507C and 508T, and low profile for common sight compatibility. To offset the questions of reliability, Yam shows us the two he has mounted on his EDC and range guns.

The Envelope, Please…

What were Yam’s final results? Which ones did he like the best and least for a duty pistol? Find out here…


David Workman is an avid gun guy, a contributing writer to several major gun publications, and the author of Absolute Authority. A logophile since way back, Workman is a quickdraw punslinger and NRA RSO and Certified Pistol Instructor. He helps train new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as practicable. “Real-world shootouts don’t happen at a box range.”

CategoriesGun Reviews

G43X ETS Mags — (And Why Extendos Work)


Another day, another Glock and another aftermarket company popping out Glock magazines. That’s not a complaint, just an observation. I think more mags and more Glocks are better than fewer Glocks and fewer mags. The late series of centerfire Glocks includes the G43X and G48 single stack firearms. The latest magazine to hit the streets is the G48 and G43X ETS Mags.

ETS made its name by producing affordable magazines for various platforms. They often provided extended magazine options for firearms that don’t traditionally have extendos as options. My G43X ETS Mags are just that, extended magazines for a single stack concealed carry piece.

red G43X ETS magazine

Let’s pack some extra lead.

Today we will be talking about G43X ETS magazines and why an extendo magazine makes sense for situs judi slot terbaik dan terpercaya no 1 even the smallest of carry guns.

Breaking Down the G43X ETS Mags

The G48 slash G43X ETS Mags deliver 19 rounds of 9mm in a very curious and interesting magazine design. At the top, we get the single stack design we know and love from the G43X and G48 pistols, as the magazine reaches the portion where it extends from the grip. From there, it becomes more like a traditional double stack.

This single stack to double stack model isn’t that rare; it’s the same way Sig Sauer and Springfield Armory fit so many rounds in their compact magazines. It’s a bit odd to see the same thing applied to an extendo, but we know it’s effective.

G43X ETS Mag, red, loaded with 9mm ammunition

Big, red, translucent, and it packs 19 rounds.

From tip to butt, the G43X magazines measure out to 6 and 3/4s inches. The magazine extends 2 and 7/8 inches below the grip itself. The design allows capacity to nearly be doubled situs slot gacor without having to double the length of the magazine itself. ETS designed the magazine with great efficiency.

As always, the magazines are made from an advanced polymer blend that’s resistant to cracking and breaking. It’s also resistant to chemicals and UV light. Unlike Glock OEM magazines, the ETS mags lack an internal layer of metal. This makes them non-magnetic in general, so they won’t work with NeoMag devices.

Oh, and they are clearly translucent. (Get it?) They come in clear and party time red.

Durability Testing —Do these things work?

That’s the big question most of you have. If you plan to use the G48 and G43X ETS magazines for anything beyond plinking, they need to be reliable and durable. I set out to find how much abuse one could take.

drop test of G43X ETS magazine

Let’s drop this big thing on a cinder block and see what happens.

First, I dropped it unloaded—just let it clack to the ground from shoulder height on a variety of surfaces. This included hard limestone ground, sand, and concrete bricks. I let it fall from the gun and dropped it on its sides and on its feed lips.

red Glock 43X ETS mag and 9mm cartridges after drop test

I dropped it so many times one of the bullets had some setback in the casing.

From there, I loaded the G43X ETS magazine with 19 rounds of brass-cased 9mm and repeated the tests with a loaded magazine. I remember some of the first-generation Glock ETS magazines would eject a ton if not all their rounds when dropped.

Glock 43X ETX mag loaded with 9mm after dropped on sand

Sand is pretty brutal on anything gun-related.

Luckily that issue has been seemingly solved with the latest generations of ETS magazines, including these G48 and G43X ETS mags. I dropped it on its side, bottom, and tip, and only a single round would eject when the fully loaded mag hit the deck.

Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

After I dropped it, exposed it to sand, and generally beat the hell out of it, I figured it was time to see if the dang thing still cycled without issue. I popped it in the G43X, held my breath, and proceeded to squeeze the trigger as fast as possible.

Each and every round cycled without a single issue. The magazine-fed, so I decided to start the entire durability test over again. I dropped it, and dropped it, and loaded it, then dropped it again. By now, enough sand had squeezed itself in the magazine that it rattled around, and I felt the friction as I slid round after round into the gun.

shooting Glock 43x after drop-testing ETS mags in sand

Let’s shoot, shoot, shoot with the ETS magazines.

The follower ground along, and admittedly I felt more resistance as I loaded it. However, it loaded the 19 rounds without issue, and I let it loose once more. 18 of the 19 rounds fed, fired, and ejected without issue. The 19th didn’t raise quite high enough for the slide to catch it.

I gave the mag a healthy slap, the follower slammed upwards, and the final round fed and fired.

Is This Realistic?

My durability testing is a bit atypical and not necessarily realistic, but it proves the magazine can take some abuse and still function rather well. Like most things, it can’t eat a healthy diet of sand and limestone and be expected to function.

Glock 43X loaded with red ETX extended magazine, OEM magazine, and G43X magazine with Tyrant Designs magazine extension

The G43X has a surprising amount of magazine options.

I stripped the magazine down and gave it a good wash with water to clean the sand out and let it dry. Unlike Glock OEM magazines, it’s not a hassle to take apart by any means. After it was cleaned and dried, I loaded it up with 19 rounds and fired a final string. It fled flawlessly once the sand was liberated like an oil-bearing middle eastern country.

Why an extendo for a concealed carry gun?

Here is the big question. What’s the practical purpose of an extendo like these G43X ETS magazines? There are lots of reasons for extendos. Number one, this is America, so if I want, I should have it. Second, extendos are just fun to shoot with. Neither of those reasons is necessarily practical, though.

Glock 43X with ETS extended magazine

It extends a few inches below the grip, so it’s not exactly suitable for concealed carry.

You don’t need a practical reason to own a G48 or G43X ETS magazine, but I can give you some. As always, more bullets are better than fewer bullets, especially when your firearm has tasks beyond concealed carry. For some people, one gun is all they have. It pulls double duty for concealed carry, home defense, and beyond.

In the home defense role, the 19 round G43X ETS magazine offers a heckuva lot of rounds for defensive purposes. The more you have in the gun, the better for home defense. Packing a reload isn’t likely when something goes bump in the night and a 19 round magazine grants you a good bit more firepower.

G43x ETS magazine

19 rounds beats the hell out of 10 rounds for defensive use.

Road Trippin’

Beyond home defense, an extended magazine like the G43X ETS magazine packs a punch for traveling. A long road trip will have you packing your G43X with its standard 10 round magazine but having an extended option for emergencies is far from crazy. When you spend the night in hotels and such a 19 round magazine opens up your defensive capabilities.

Glock 43X magazines: OEM, OEM with Tyrant Designs mag extension, and red ETX extended 19-round magazine.

10, 14, and 19 rounds give the G43X lots of options.

Packing on the Rounds

The G48 and G43X ETS magazine is an awesome option for topping off your mag with a few extra rounds. A few extra being 9, or almost double the OEM magazine capacity. These mags can take a healthy amount of abuse and keep click-clacking, although be aware everything might need a little TLC here and there.

If you want to exercise your freedom, packing a few extra rounds for defensive purposes, or just reduce the need to reload, then G43X ETS mags keep you covered. Literally, they allow you to lay down cover fire if necessary.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.


Lone Star Silencers: Made in Texas with Love

In the never-ending battle of anti-gun legislation, Texas is making some major moves when it comes to suppressor regulations — and they all hinge upon Texas silencers.

Currently, in order to own a suppressor without having a felony slapped on you and getting major jail time, you must comply with the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). Would-be suppressor buyers must go through the typically long and arduous process of asking permission from the ATF and passing a BATFE background check. Though the processing time for this varies, it’s often as much as 8-10 months or more.

There there is the tax. Once the wait is over, you are then required to pay a $200 transfer tax. Oh, and you also have to live in one of the 42 states that allow ownership of suppressors. If your legal residence is in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, or the District of Colombia, well…you’re just out of luck. 

These laws have, obviously, always applied to Texas silencers as much as those of any other state.

Texas Silencer Laws




For Texans, this may all get a little easier when House Bill (HB) 957 comes into play. This fun little bill would not-so-quietly squash the current federal suppressor laws by asserting that suppressors mad in Texas are no longer subject to federal regulation. It will do so by using the commerce clause of the U.S.Constitution.


Boiled down: any suppressor physically manufactured and subsequently remaining in the State of Texas and engraved with the words “Made in Texas”, would no longer be subject to federal law.


The code will go into effect on September 1, 2021.


Now, this doesn’t mean that you can just fire up the ol’ lathe and get going. Cases will be handled at the individual level. Private Citizens will have to file a complaint with the attorney general that a government body is taking action to enforce federal suppressor laws on you. In that case, the AT would seek a declaratory judgment from a federal district court that these provisions are not in conflict with the U.S. Constitution. 


Texan Rep Tom Oliverson


The man who made this possible? State Representative and Physician in Anesthesiology, Tom Oliverson ( R-Cypress). The good Doctor not only presented and argued for this law in terms of legality but also from a medical standpoint.


With hearing loss and tinnitus being all too common amongst hunters and recreational shooters, he was able to present his case and show just how effective the use of a suppressor can be in terms of protecting against such ailments. 


The Texas Senate passed HB 957 on a vote, 18 to 13. The House passed it 95 to 51 and — shockingly enough – it even had some bipartisan support from about 14 Democrats!


Now, a cautionary note worth repeating here:

“…the bill provides a path to secure a declaratory judgment on the constitutionality of this law before someone manufactures ‘Made in Texas’ suppressors.

That last part is really important. Before you run out and make yourself a can out of an oil filter and then post it on Instabook for all the world to see, STOP. If signed into law, this is still going to have to go through the federal courts.”

Dan Zimmerman, The Truth About Guns

You can read more about Texas silencers online at The Texan News, at, or via Texas Score Cart. The American Suppressor Association (ASA) always has updates about pending (silencer-related) NFA legislation as well. 

If you’re looking to purchase a suppressor, consult the American Suppressor Association (or for that matter Texas-based Silencer Shop).


Lone Star Silencers

There are a number of silencer manufacturers located in the State of Texas. Some of those include:

Dark Horse Silencers  /DarkHorseSuppressors/ @darkhorsesuppressors

Radical Firearms Suppressors  /RadicalFirearms/ @radicalfirearms

Revolutionary Suppressors /revolutionarysuppressors/ @revolutionarysuppressors

Torrent Suppressors  /TorrentSuppressors/ @torrentsuppressors

Texas Silencer Company (duh) /TexasSilencers/ @texassilencer


Texas HB957



It is currently an offense to possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell a firearm silencer unless a person is in compliance with federal law. It has been suggested that this is an unnecessary regulation that infringes on the rights of Texans and that the State of Texas should also not assist the federal government in enforcing laws and regulations restricting Texans’ access to firearm suppressors if they are wholly manufactured and sold in Texas. H.B. 957 seeks to address this issue by removing the aforementioned offense and establishing that a firearm suppressor that is manufactured and remains in Texas is not subject to federal law or regulation under the authority of the U.S. Congress to regulate interstate commerce.



It is the committee’s opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.



It is the committee’s opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.


H.B. 957 amends the Penal Code to remove a firearm silencer from among the prohibited weapons whose intentional or knowing possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale constitutes an offense. The bill establishes that a criminal action for such an offense involving a firearm silencer that is pending on the bill’s effective date is dismissed on that date.

H.B. 957 amends the Government Code to establish the following regarding firearm suppressors that are manufactured on or after the bill’s effective date:

·       a firearm suppressor that is manufactured in and remains in Texas is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the U.S. Congress to regulate interstate commerce; and

·       a basic material from which a firearm suppressor is manufactured in Texas, including unmachined steel, is not a firearm suppressor and is not subject to federal regulation under that Congressional authority as if it actually were a firearm suppressor.

The bill requires the attorney general, on written notification by a U.S. citizen residing in Texas of the citizen’s intent to manufacture an applicable firearm suppressor, to seek a declaratory judgment from a federal district court in Texas that these provisions are consistent with the U.S. Constitution. The bill sets out the circumstances under which a firearm suppressor is considered to be manufactured in Texas and requires a firearm suppressor manufactured and sold in Texas to have the words “Made in Texas” clearly stamped on it.

H.B. 957 prohibits the state, specified state or local entities, or an officer, employee, or body of certain local entities from adopting a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity enforces or by consistent action allows the enforcement of a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation that purports to regulate a firearm suppressor and that imposes a regulation that does not exist under state law. The bill prohibits any applicable entity and any person employed by or otherwise under the entity’s direction or control from enforcing or attempting to enforce any such federal statute, order, rule, or regulation. The bill prohibits an entity that adopts a prohibited rule, order, ordinance, or policy from receiving state grant funds and requires such funds to be denied to the entity for the fiscal year following the year in which the entity’s adoption of the rule, order, ordinance, or policy is finally judicially determined to have violated the bill’s prohibition.

H.B. 957 authorizes any citizen residing in an applicable entity’s jurisdiction to file a complaint with the attorney general if the citizen offers and includes with the complaint evidence to support an allegation that the entity has adopted a prohibited rule, order, ordinance, or policy or that the entity consistently allows the enforcement of an applicable federal law. The bill authorizes the attorney general, on determining the complaint is valid, to file a petition for a writ of mandamus or apply for other appropriate equitable relief in a specified district court to compel the entity’s compliance with the bill’s provisions. The bill provides for the attorney general’s recovery of reasonable expenses. The bill establishes that an appeal of a suit brought to enforce the bill’s provisions is governed by certain accelerated appeals procedures and requires the appellate court to render its final order or judgment with the least possible delay.

H.B. 957 repeals Section 46.01(4), Penal Code.


September 1, 2021.

A daughter of the PNW and engineering administration maven, Samantha Fischer is an often-underestimated pro-Second Amendment rabble-rouser – who, despite her proficiency with assorted modern long guns, actually prefers a Henry Color Case Hardened Lever Action Side Gate in .45-70 to an AR15…though she is quite attached to her AI L96A1 as well. Sam reports on an eclectic (occasionally esoteric) range of topics, here on The Mag Life and other places.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Bandolier: for Multi-Mission Loadout Options

The Firebase Parabellum Bandolier is a tactical bandolier from Vertx. Developed in conjunction with Firebase Combat Studies Group, the Vertx Firebase Parabellum is a low-profile, multi-use load bearing option designed to mitigate the weight and space problems sometimes created by the need to pack and load for multiple mission profiles. As you can see in the video below, the Parabellum can be worn as a bandolier, like a chest rig, or under the arms.  You can also mount it to a plate carrier, inside a bagpack, or down in a kit bag. 

Vertx Firebase Parabellum tactical bandolier in use.

Vertx advises, 

“You can’t always spare the space or weight it takes to pack for multiple mission profiles so when it comes to loadout the Firebase Bandolier is the versatile solution you need. With the ability to be worn or stored in four different configurations, the Firebase Bandolier is an expert addition the Prepared Professional’s arsenal.”

VTX FIrebase CSG "Parabellum Bandolier"


• Unique multi-purpose pouch platform allows for on or off-body carry options
• Exterior panel can be stowed to reveal hook-side for attachment in bags, packs, chest rigs and plate carriers
• The center stow pocket can be used to store sensitive items like IDs and documents or IFAK
• Belt keeper shock-cord provides added security when worn in x-strap configuration
• Snap closures add retention when on the move
• Straps can be reconfigured for left or right-handed use
• Pouches can be oriented faceup or facedown for faster reloading


• 4 pouches sized to fit AR15 magazines, IFAKs, radios and other tools (Option 1)
• 4 pouches sized to fit pistol caliber carbine magazines, flashlights and other tools (Option 2)
• Overlapping elastic retention
• Silicone printing inside mag pouches for added retention

Fabric and Technology:

• Pliable material conforms to the body
• Wear-resistant honeycomb mesh
• Lightweight and durable Hypalon snap closures


AR Bandolier Version

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Bandolier

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Bandolier

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Bandolier

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Bandolier

PCC Bandolier Version

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Pistol Caliber Carbine Bandolier

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Pistol Caliber Carbine Bandolier Vertx Firebase Parabellum Pistol Caliber Carbine Bandolier

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Pistol Caliber Carbine Bandolier

Vertx Firebase Parabellum Pistol Caliber Carbine Bandolier


Vertx provides the following bandolier/chest rig advice:


Be A Hard-Charger, Just Do It Discreetly

You can’t always spare the space or weight it takes to pack for multiple mission profiles so when it comes to loadout the Firebase Parabellum Bandolier is the versatile solution you need. Worn either under the right or left arm like a shoulder holster, diagonally across the body like a bandolier, attached to the front of your plate carrier, or deployed from your bag for off-body carry, the Firebase Parabellum Bandolier allows up to four mags with  the ability to configure access either from the top or bottom.

Each mag cell has silicon printing for extra retention and the centerline pocket is Tactigami compatible and a great place to store maps, documents or an IFAK. Designed for concealment under shirts or jackets the low-profile shoulder and waist straps secure the bandolier without adding bulk. A multifunctional, multiple carry platform, the Firebase Bandolier is an expert addition the Prepared Professional’s arsenal.



Firebase CSG is online at 

The new bandolier is available online at: 


Brock Trautman is the senior news anchor for The Mag Life, the official publication of GunMag Warehouse. He’s also a cartoon, so…don’t get butt-hurt about anything he says. He’s not making subjective judgments on things, or reviewing anything – he’s just passing along the news.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

M400 Switchblade Rifle Caliber Pistol — New from Sig Sauer

Sig Sauer just added a fifth model to the M400 series, and this one has features that were purpose-built for competitive shooters. The M400 Switchblade is a rifle-caliber AR pistol with several ambidextrous controls, 2-stage Matchlite Duo Trigger, free-float M-LOK handguard, and the new Magpul BSL brace which is adjustable for length.

Sig Sauer M400 Switchblade

The Switchblade has an 11.5” barrel, Magpuls’ all-new BSL brace (not shown), full ambi controls, twin locking clamp handguard, match-grade flatblade trigger, and a Cerakote Titanium finish.


“The M400 Switchblade brings an entirely new level of performance to the M400 product family with unmatched flexibility and capability,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, Sig Sauer, Inc. “The pistol features fully ambidextrous controls to include the charging handle, selector, and unique to the Switchblade, the bolt catch and release for seamless transitions from hand to hand and rapid deployment of the catch. Additionally, the new Magpul BSL brace offers improved stability, and the rigid handguard is designed to withstand the weight of maximum accessory installation, truly making the M400 Switchblade the ultimate performance pistol.”

As described by Sig:

Sig Sauer is pleased to announce the expansion of the M400 series with the introduction of the Sig Sauer M400 Switchblade, which brings the performance features of the popular M400 SDI platforms — that were purpose-built for competition shooters – to this rifle caliber pistol.

The Sig Sauer M400 Switchblade is an aluminum frame rifle caliber pistol featuring a Cerakote Titanium Elite finish, with a telescoping Magpul BSL Brace, an 11.5” cold hammer-forged carbon steel tapered barrel for easy suppressor installation with a three-prong flash hider, and a rigid free-floating handguard with M-LOK accessory rail that installs with a clamp system and designed to eliminate deflection from the added weight of accessory installation. The pistol offers fully ambidextrous controls including the bolt catch, charging handle, and selector switch, has a 2-stage Matchlite Duo Trigger, and comes optics-ready. The pistol is chambered in 5.56 NATO and ships with a thirty-round magazine.

Watch the product launch video:

M400 Switchblade Specs

•Overall length: 30 inches

•Overall height: 7.5 inches

•Overall width: 2.5 inches

•Barrel length: 11.5 inches

•Barrel twist: 1:7

M400 Switchblade Features

•Ambidextrous Bolt Catch

•2-Stage Matchlite Duo Trigger

•11.5″ Carbon Steel Barrel

•Cerakote Elite Finish

Magpul BSL Brace

•Free Floating Handguard

Sig Sauer M400 Switchblade features

The M400 Switchblade features an ambidextrous bolt catch (top left), 2-stage Matchlite Duo Trigger (top right), and 11.5″ carbon steel barrel (bottom).

Read more at Sig Sauer.

Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri’s Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

B&T’s New SPR300 PRO — Takes AR Mags!

Florida-based B&T USA just announced the next-gen version of its SPR300—the Special Purpose Rifle that is equipped with an integral suppressor. This one is the SPR300 PRO with several improvements including, a new chassis, Timney trigger, and folding stock. And, well, this is GunMag, you know…we’re pretty sure that the best new feature about this new model is that it’s designed to take AR magazines!  


The original SPR300 was originally developed for European special mission units and has an incredible reputation as a whisper-quiet precision rifle that boasts comparable sound and flash signature to that of an air rifle. 

B&T’s Vice President of Sales Jon Scott said, “Due to increased demand, the SPR300 has jumped the line to receive our updated PRO treatment. The new PRO version features an updated chassis, accepts AR-pattern magazines, features a Timney match trigger, and has a new folding stock assembly compatible with the myriad of AR/M4-style stock models available today” 

B&T SPR300 Pro

Oh, and did we mention, it takes AR mags?

Here’s how the company describes it in the official press release:

B&T USA is excited to announce the release of its next generation SPR300 (Special Purpose Rifle 300BLK), the SPR300 PRO. Built for maximum accuracy out to 165 yards, the SPR300 PRO features a 9.8-inch 1:8 twist barrel chambered for 300BlackOut (7.62x35mm). The platform features a foldable, fully adjustable stock; extended top rail designed to accept clip-on night vision/thermal devices and prisms; a quick-detach bipod and a thread-on suppressor. Due to precision Swiss engineering, the SPR300 PRO can be broken down and quickly reassembled with no change in point of impact.

The SPR300 PRO features a durable hard anodized, aircraft aluminum receiver for reduced weight, a Timney single-stage Hunter Elite trigger adjustable from 1.5 lb. to 4 lbs., M-LOK compatible accessory slots, a three-position safety selector, as well as cocked bolt indicator.

Read more at B&T.

Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri’s Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.

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