Silver/gray compact RIA and a reddish dirt background, muzzle pointed down and to the left

Rock Island Armory’s Latest .45, the Tactical II

I have enjoyed good service with the Rock Island brand of 1911 handguns. The pistols are true to the original format and fire the authoritative.45 ACP cartridge. Armscor manufactures these handguns in the Philippine Islands. The original pistols were straight-up GI versions of the 1911, although there are also elevated examples with good features, including tactical-grade sights and improved grips.

British Soldier Wearing Osprey MK4 Armor Carrier

The Real Deal: A True British Operator’s Modular Osprey MK4 Body Armor Carrier

Thankfully arriving pre-assembled for “complete fighting order,” the Osprey MK4 body armor vest set is a smoking deal. It includes nine MOLLE pouches, which alone is worth the price of the entire rig. Inside the package is the vest, seven magazine pouches, two grenade pouches, a two-piece OPS panel including T-bar fittings, waistbands, pair of cummerbunds, shoulder guards, brassards, four-piece collar system, blanking panels, and ancillaries—17 pieces of varying sizes of MOLLE straps with Velcro, snaps and plastic buckles.

Black SIG P290 with boxes of ammo on a wood plank background

SIG’s Light 9mm, the P290

You should think carefully about the reasons for choosing a handgun. I do my best to test and review appropriate defensive handguns. And although the pistols may not be your choices, they are reasonable choices. With the explosion of concealed carry permits, many are carrying pocket pistols that give them more comfort than performance.

YouTube Video

Top 5 Cheaper Than Dirt YouTube Videos

Since 2009, Cheaper Than Dirt! has maintained a YouTube channel. With over 7,000,000 views and 338 videos uploaded and counting, you will find how tos, product reviews, Jerry Miculek Shoot Fast and many more! Become a member of our 8,942 growing subscribers here. If you have not checked out our YouTube channel, here is a taste of what you are missing. Listed are our top five YouTube videos. 

The SIG P226 Navy Model

Range Report: The Navy Model P226, MK 25

As a writer, I do my dead-level best to test and evaluate every firearm that crosses my desk in a professional manner, including extensive range testing. Many of the commercial firearms are new and unproven, even when based on a proven handgun design. Every modification and new idiom must be proofed. Occasionally, I encounter a firearm that is proven more so than the rest. And then, there are the legends. For legends, there is little I may do to add or detract from the firearm’s reputation with my own test program. That is the case with the Sig Sauer P226 MK 25 or Navy Model.

Silver Cold Steel Code 4 knife with blade open on a gray stone background.

The Cold Steel Code 4

For more years than I care to remember, I have been a fan of Cold Steel knives. The Cold Steel knife company offers good quality, sharp edges and positive function. During my time in police service, my impression was that I saw more Cold Steel knives used by peace officers than anything else. The reasons are quality and affordability.

Tac-Con Selector-in-3rd-Mode

SHOT 2014 —Tac-Con 3MR

One of the big takeaways from the 2014 SHOT Show was the new trigger system from Tac-Con. The Tac-Con 3MR trigger system is a drop-in trigger pack for AR-15s. Essentially, it adds a third position to the selector switch. In military speak, the third position would be the “happy” position. Civilians would more commonly refer to the third position as full auto. To be clear, the Tac-Con 3MR does not convert a semi-auto to full auto, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Five-inch Barrel ATI Pistol with brown grip, pointed downward and to the right on a black background.

ATI’s Affordable 1911 Handgun: The ATI .45

These days, it seems anyone with a small shop can put together 1911 handguns and offer them for sale. I would not be surprised to see Duane’s Lawnmower Shop offer a special edition. Most such guns are parts guns, with outsourced frames and slides and internal parts from various parents. I am disdainful of those guns and prefer a pistol manufactured by a major maker.

White-haired man in blue jacket with white ear protection points the Ruger LCR at a green target set against a backdrop of leafless trees.

The Ruger LCR — The Most Advanced Revolver in the World

Revolver history is interesting. I am leading up to something because the revolver on my desk as I write this has me going back over everything I have learned about the revolver.

A Bit of Revolver History

The revolver is older than commonly believed. Double-barrel and combination barrels were common during the flintlock era, although they are not true repeaters. Revolvers with multiple chambers were not rare—they were expensive. The revolving-cylinder handgun dates back to at least 1540, so it was a case of the technology of the day not catching up with the thinking man’s dreams.

Gray haired man in green shirt with red ear protection and safety glasses shoots a Sig 4-inch 1911, muzzle pointed to the right, against a wooded background.

SIG 1911 Carry Stainless

There are two great service-grade types in the 1911 handgun—stainless steel handguns are good, serviceable pistols for hard use and commander-size handguns are a good choice for concealed carry. After all, if there were a legitimate criticism of the 1911 pistol, it would be size and weight. The 1911 is thin and heavy. Ergonomics are excellent and beyond question. The attributes of the type make modification, and even redesign, desirable as long as you keep the advantages.