One of the primary missions of GunsHolstersAndGear.com is to bring you solid informational articles on all kinds of shooting gear and accessories. We are known for in-depth gun reviews, but we evaluate more than just guns. We provide you with all kinds of informational articles on other shooting accessories and equipment.
Looking for a holster, cleaning kit or knife? You are likely to find our thoughts and views right here. We’ve tried to arrange all of the evaluations into broad categories to make them easier to find.
Without good ammo, a gun is nothing more than an expensive club. However, what really makes a line of ammunition any good? We explore that question, plus take a look at how different loads perform in these reviews.
- Hornady Critical Duty Ammunition – I take a look at the entire line of Critical Duty ammo, including the recently announced loads. I’ve got chronograph testing plus a look at how the some of the loads performed the FBI protocols.
- Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense – After spending the day at the Liberty Ammunition factory, I head out to the range and run the Civil Defense ammo through a lot of guns. All of the chrony testing is published here, and you might be surprised to see how it stacks up against the company’s published velocities.
There are a lot of gun books on the market that offer a wealth of information from reloading to history. Some are good, some are great and a few are awful. We give you the details on the ones we have read.
- American Gun – I got an advanced copy of the new Chris Kyle book and was extremely impressed. It is well written, and the history is fascinating. I highly recommend buying or borrowing this book!
- Armed Response – This is a very good book that introduces someone to the fundamentals of self defense and the use of firearms for the same. The forward is written by Massad Ayoob, which lends credibility right out of the gate.
- Beating the Reaper – Dr. John Meade co-wrote this book with an overseas “operator.” If you carry a gun, you need to know how to patch up the holes, cuts and other injuries you are likely to receive when fighting for your life.
- Black Man with a Gun – Part history book, part firearms training book, Black Man with a Gun is a fantastic read. Check out my video review of the book here.
- Cartridges of the World – If you need an authoritative reference on modern and obsolete small arms cartridges, this is the book for you. It is a top shelf reference book and no library should be without it.
- Defensive Living – Defensive Living is an excellent book for anyone seeking to improve their personal safety. It is well written and an easy read. I highly recommend this for beginners, and think experienced shooters can learn a lot from it as well.
- In the Gravest Extreme – This book is considered by many people to be the seminal work on the use of handguns for personal defense. In the Gravest Extreme was written by Massad Ayoob and is a very good place for people to start when it comes to self-defense.
- Legally Armed – I had a lot of hope for this book, but ultimately I cannot recommend it. I thought it might serve as a good reference for concealed carry laws and advice, but I found it offered bad information in a number of areas that could lead to your arrest. Read this review and make up your own mind before buying.
- Modern Reloading – We take a look at the book Modern Reloading writer by Richard Lee, the founder of Lee Precision. It takes a different approach to reloading that you are not likely to find in other reloading manuals.
- Shooter’s Bible to Cartridges – This book hits the same topic as Cartridges of the World (above), but with a totally different perspective. This book focuses on the most popular cartridges, rather than trying to be a complete reference. It also uses high quality, full color photos throughout the book.
- Standard Catalog of Remington Firearms – I take a look at this book and was disappointed by it. It is not a complete loss, but this book does not live up to the standard set by the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson book below.
- Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson – A review of the authoritative tome on all things S&W. This book is a true encyclopedia on all guns and accessories sold under the Smith & Wesson brand.
- The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry – If you carry a firearm for personal protection, you need to know when you can lawfully use it and how to tactically deploy it. Mas Ayoob covers these and other topics in this “must have” handbook.
- The Mosin-Nagant Rifle – This is an excellent book on the Mosin-Nagant rifle, and a must for any collector of the guns. It has a lot of detailed information on production numbers, history and what all of those markings mean.
Cleaning and Lubrication
Cleaning your guns may be the dull side to shooting, but it is important to keep your guns cleaned and lubed properly. Failure to do so can mean the firearms fail you when you need them most. We give you our thoughts and observations on some of the cleaning gear and lubes we have tried.
- American Gun Oil – There seems to be a lot of new gun oils on the market. Some make crazy claims, but several are very good for lubrication and protection. We take a look at the new offering from American Gun Oil.
- Break Free Bore Cleaning Foam – A short article on the bore cleaning foam from Break Free. Can a foam really make gun cleaning easier? Absolutely. This foam does a very good job and exceeded my expectations.
- Gunslick Snap-n-Pull Shotgun Cleaning Kit – A close look at this portable cleaning kit for your shotgun. It fills a specific need that you might have.
- J Dewey AR-15 Field Cleaning Kit – We take a look at this high-quality cleaning kit that is 100% Made in the USA. J. Dewey makes some very high quality cleaning gear, and it is impressive.
- RAND CLP – I take the new gun oil for a spin, cleaning and lubing a couple of pistols. Best part? No funky smells! It goes on a little thicker, but does not gum up the works. But when you work the action, you’ll feel the difference.
- Remington Squeeg-E Cleaning Kit – Aaron gives us a detailed review of the Remington Squeeg-E cleaning kit. This is a complete kit that gives you everything you could reasonably need.
Eye & Ear Pro
Shooting is a great hobby, and it can be a life saving skill. Regardless of the reason why you hit the range, you should take steps to protect your eyesight and your hearing. While shooting is an extremely safe activity, accidents can happen. A good set of eye protection can mean the difference between seeing and being blind. Likewise, a good set of ear muffs can ensure you hear well for years to come.
- Caldwell E-MAX Electronic Hearing Protection – The E-MAX line of ear pro from Caldwell is an exceptional value. It is very reasonably priced and provides very good electronic amplification. This is probably the best value in hearing protection on the market.
- Howard Leight Impact Pro Earmuffs – These electronic earmuffs offer the highest level of noise reduction that I can find under $100. They work extremely well, and are well suited for pistol shooters. Rifle shooters may want to consider the Impact Sport muffs below.
- Howard Leight Impact Sport Earmuffs – Looking for quality electronic ear pro? These muffs may work for you, but I did run into a problem. But at less than $50, is that drawback enough to skip them? I think they are worth the money, but you be the judge.
- SensGard SG31 Hearing Protection – Protecting your hearing is exceptionally important. Are the SensGard products up to the task? This ear pro uses a different way of attenuating noise, and we found it works very well. However, they are not perfect. Read the full article for the details.
Flashlights & Lasers
Having a flashlight should be a little like having a pocket knife – keep one with you all the time. We review hand held and weapon mounted flashlights right here.
- DeWalt 1AAT Flashlight – Need a small, inexpensive flashlight that won’t break the budget? Take a look at the DeWalt 1AAT. Seriously. For the money, it is a great light and mine has been used for several years without a single problem.
- DeWalt 3D LED Flashlight – Would you believe I replaced my police department issued MagCharger with this DeWalt? I did. It works very well and has proved to be quite durable. It runs on D-cell batteries and throws a lot of light.
- DeWalt DPGA-3AAA LED Flashlight – Another DeWalt flashlight review? Yes – the first two lights I looked at were so good, I figured I would try a third. This one now rides shotgun in my truck.
- Elzetta ZFH1500 – This is not a flashlight review, but a review of a simple, affordable and rugged mount for adding a high-intensity light to your AR-15. It works very well and is easy to install.
- ExtremeBeam M600 Flashlight – This light failed to pass the ANSI tests…twice. I can’t recommend it, and I suggest you read the review to understand why. I thought this torch would be a top performer, but it was not.
- LaserLyte TGL – If you are looking for a reliable, yet inexpensive red laser aiming unit for the Glock 42 pistol, you might be interested in the TGL. It is very lightweight and has a really attractive street price!
- Nightstick MT-210 – It would be tough to find a more compact tactical light than the MT-210. But does this light have the light output and durability needed? Well, you might want to read the full review before spending money on it.
- Streamlight ProTac 1AA – If you are looking for a very compact light for every day carry, take a look at the ProTac 1AA flashlight. This small light offers enough power for any concealed carry need while not being in the way all day.
- Streamlight ProTac 2AAA – I take a hard look at this lightweight tactical light from Streamlight. It is very thin and weighs a mere 2 ounces, but will it get the job done?
- Streamlight ProTac HL 3 – This is a seriously bright flashlight with 1,100 lumens and 36k candela. But is the light useable? How about durable? We do run tests, drop tests and check to see if it is really waterproof.
- Streamlight Strion LED HL – If you need a rechargeable flashlight that is very bright (500 lumens!) and is durable enough to be carried in a pocket or mounted on an M-4, you might want to take a look at the Strion LED HL. It is an impressive package.
- Streamlight TLR-1s HP – Evaluation of this exceptionally bright weapon mounted light. We test this on an AR-15 rifle, and the performance is incredible.
- Streamlight TLR-2 – We take a look at the updated version of the Streamlight TLR-2 with the red laser aiming unit. This unit upgrades the white light output of the flashlight.
- Streamlight TLR-2 G – If you are in need of a white light/laser combo for your pistol, take a look at this new rig from Streamlight. It uses a 200 lumen light and a powerfully bright green laser.
- Streamlight TLR-4 – This is a compact version of the company’s weapon light/laser combo unit. Mine performed exceptionally well, and I wholeheartedly recommend it if you are in the market for such a device.
Looking for the straight info on a particular gun? Check out our gun reviews below. Every one of these guns we have shot and we give you our honest thoughts on them. Some worked great, others had problems. Read about them before you spend a dime on one.
- ATI Polymer AR-15 Lower – Want a stripped lower for $50? A complete lower for less than $130? Check out this polymer AR-15 lower from ATI. I did have a few problems with it initially (which I completely show how to fix), but is has been a very good performer.
- Bersa BP40CC – One of three (currently) pistols in company’s BP Concealed Carry series, this handgun is chambered for the .40 S&W, is thin and shoots great. It is not perfect, however, and you should read my evaluation of it before buying.
- Bersa BP9CC – Impressive is the word that I can use to describe this very slim self defense handgun from Bersa. This is the first Bersa that I have owned and I am very happy with it.
- Charter Arms Off Duty – We review Charter Arm’s take on the hammerless .38 Special revolver. When going head-to-head with the legendary Smith & Wesson 642, this handgun holds its own.
- CZ P-07 Duty – Good quality and a reasonable price best describe this polymer-framed evolution of the CZ 75 pistol. I did find a few flaws that you need to know about before purchase.
- Diamondback DB9 – Small and reliable is what I found the DB9 to be. I’ve heard reports of problems from some others, but not with this one. It does have one drawback that you may not like for self-defense purposes. Read the article if you are thinking about buying one.
- Gen 4 Glock: Evolution, not Revolution – The Gen 4 Glock pistols incorporate some nice new features, including the ability to adjust the grip size. But, if you are happy with a prior generation of Glock, you probably won’t want to upgrade.
- Glock 42 – The Thin American – Snooty Europeans might look down their nose at the “fat Americans,” but the new single-stack Glock is made in the USA. Oh, it is a lot of fun to shoot as well.
- HK VP9 Review – The latest gun from Heckler & Koch is a winner. This striker-fired, polymer framed pistol is a ture “people’s pistol.”
- IWI Tavor – The Tavor rifle is now being imported from Israel and has really captured the attention of the shooters in the US. Aaron had a chance to shoot the carbine and gives us this review.
- Kahr CM9 – The CM9 is a subcompact 9mm that uses the famous Kahr trigger. It is designed as a less expensive alternative to other guns in the Kahr line, but performs just as well.
- Remington 783 – Aaron goes hands on with the new budget hunting rifle from Remington, and comes away impressed. The 783 is a solid gun that could redefine the budget category.
- Ruger LCR – Who said the pocket revolver market was stale? The Ruger LCR is an amazing re-imagining of the classic “hammerless” revolver design. It is light and easy recoiling.
- SIG SAUER P224 – Running the new P224 was a lot of fun. The gun shoots easy and was utterly reliable on the range. It is worthy of the name SIG Sauer.
- SIG SAUER P226 E2 – I don’t know if I can say enough about how great the E2 enhancements are to the SIG P226 pistol. If you like these handguns, you will love the new E2.
- SIG Sauer P226R – An evolution of the original P226, the P226R adds an accessory rail and the E2 enhancements introduced by the company several years ago. This is a solid combat handgun.
- SIG Sauer P227 – We had a chance to spend some time on the range with the new SIG P227 pistol. The gun is a clone of the P226, but chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.
- SIG Sauer P290RS Enhanced Pistol – This is a premium version of the P290 RS pistols made by SIG. It is a double-action-only handgun with a polymer frame and real sights. We liked this one.
- Smith & Wesson M&P Core Pistol – We go hands-on with the Smith & Wesson CORE pistol with a Trijicon RMR sight. The new CORE handguns are specially designed for optics.
- Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm – I take the 9mm version of the Shield for a test drive and wind up buying it. This is the model without the thumb safety, and I cover in great detail why I put down my cash on this pistol.
- Smith & Wesson SD40 – The SD40 is possibly the best value in a home defense pistol. The gun runs flawlessly, feels great in the hand, and is very affordable. I don’t know how S&W can make such a great gun at such a great price.
- Springfield XD-S 45 – This is the original XD-S pistol and is chambered in the big-bore .45 ACP cartridge. Aaron goes hands-on with the gun and talks to Rob Letham about this little pistol.
- Springfield XDS 9mm – Springfield Armory expanded the XDS line of pistols with this 9mm subcompact. The handling is great, the recoil light and it fits all of the holsters already made for the existing XDS .45 pistol.
- STI Escort – STI International builds highly regarded 1911 pistols for competition and self-defense. I take the Escort, a compact 1911, for a test drive. You may be surprised by what I found.
- T/C Venture Compact Rifle – Aaron takes a shot at the T/C Venture Compact rifle in this review. Bottom line: it performs very well and has some great features.
- Taurus 709 SLIM – I’ve always read about Taurus having good customer service, but my experience was not good after I had to send this gun back for repairs just to get through the testing. Don’t buy until you read this review.
- Taurus 740 SLIM – A tiny gun chambered for the high-pressure .40 S&W cartridge. That’s a lot of bang in a small package, but is there much bang for the buck in this subcompact pistol? You want to read this before buying one.
- Taurus 905 Review: 9mm Revolver – Revolvers for rimless calibers are somewhat unusual, but they tend to have a tight group of enthusiasts. Is the 905 worthy of a following? We take a close look at this Taurus revolver.
- Winchester Model 1873 – The classic Model 1873 lever gun from Winchester is back and Aaron reviews it. Not only is it a good shooter, it is a beautiful rifle.
If you carry a gun for self defense, having a quality holster is an absolute necessity. A cheap scabbard that fails to secure your weapon can be worse than having no weapon at all.
- Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 – In this article, I evaluate the Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster from Alien Gear. With a no-BS lifetime warranty, aggressive price and extreme comfort, I wouldn’t be surprised to find this becoming one of the most popular holsters used for concealed carry today.
- Beretta APX Holster List – The APX is the newest duty-sized handgun from Beretta. I have put together a list of carry rigs that will work with this gun here. As the choices increase, the list will expand ton include them all.
- Beretta Nano Holsters – I have put together a complete list of holsters that are available for the Beretta Nano. My thoughts on each model are included.
- Bersa BP9CC Holsters – Another one of my somewhat famous lists of holsters for a particular model of gun. This one is for the BP9CC. Note that it also covers the BP40CC and BP380CC guns.
- Bianchi Model 7 Shadow II Holster – This is a leather, belt-slide holster with a thumb break. The leather is a rich color and has worn very well. Best part: the reasonable price.
- Blue Ridge Holsters Camo Hybrid – If you need a quality concealed carry holster that is still affordable and made right here in the USA by a small business, read this review. The Blue Ridge holsters might be just what you are looking for.
- Blackhawk A.R.C. Holster – I review a pair of the new ARC holsters: one for the Glock 43 and the other for the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. Both of the holster performed exceptionally well, garnering the ARC the first five-star review for holsters on the GHG site.
- Dara Holsters – I reviewed a pair of rigs from Dara Holsters & Gear: the IWB and OWB custom rigs. These all Kydex holsters are top notch and offer a good value.
- DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster – The DeSantis Nemesis is probably one of the most popular synthetic pocket holsters on the market. It has been through several design changes, and this single article includes reviews of past and current production holsters.
- Galco Summer Comfort Holster – The Summer Comfort holster is an inside-the-waistband holster from Galco. We take one for a test drive using a Glock 19 pistol.
- Glock 42 Holster List – I’ve assembled the most comprehensive list of holsters for the Glock 42 pistol here. There is feedback from actual users to help you make a good decision based on your needs.
- Glock 43 Holster List – Another one of my resource articles, this is a complete run down of the carry rigs currectly available for the Glock 43 pistol. More are being added all the time, and I actively seek suggestions from you to help complete it.
- HK VP9 Holster List – Similar to some of the other holster lists above, this is a run down of all of the rigs available for the striker-fired VP9 from Heckler & Koch.
- HK VP40 Carry Rig List – As you might have guessed, the VP40 will not fit into scabbards made for the VP9. So, I’ve put together a list dedicated to the .40 caliber version of this handgun. Let me know if you know of something I’ve missed.
- Kholster IWB Concealment Holster – The Kholster is a tuckable, inside-the-waistband holster with a leather backer and kydex scabbard. While not perfect, this holster did a good job and is affordable.
- Remington R51 Holsters – I’ve put together a list of holster available for the modern R51 pistol. Let’s hope Remington can get this pistol right.
- Remington RM380 Holster List – I’ve put together a list of all of the available carry rigs for the little .380 ACP Remington.
- RKBA Holsters – RKBA is making high quality leather holsters, and we take a look at two of them we recently ordered. You probably want to read this before spending any money on a CCW holster.
- Ruger SR9c Holsters – A comprehensive round-up of scabbards for the Ruger SR9c pistol. We’ve got all kinds of holsters listed for this gun and where you can get them.
- Safariland 578 GLS Pro-Fit – I got a chance to run one of the first available 578 holsters from Safariland. I was very impressed by it. At the time of this writing, it will fit more than 170 different guns.
- SIG Sauer P250 Holsters – Looking for a SIG P250 holster? This list was made for you. Our thoughts on each of the models.
- Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Holster List – This is another one of my comprehensive holster lists. I offer insights into some of the different rigs that are on the market for the Shield.
- Tagua Gunleather Holster – These imported leather holsters can be found for relatively cheap prices in many gun stores. But, are they worth the price? Although not perfect, they seem to be a good value.
- Uncle Mike’s Kydex Holster – Uncle Mike’s made their business in nylon gear, but they have since branched out into kydex. These holsters are priced affordably and widely available.
- Walther CCP Holster List – This is another one of my holster lists to help you make a decision about what kind of rig to buy for your CCP. These handguns have some unique carrying aspects and not all holsters are made to fit them.
- Walther PK380 Holsters – If you own a PK380, I’ve got your list of holsters. Get my take on all of these scabbards.
A quality blade can be a good everyday tool or a life saver in an emergency. From survival knives to fighting folders, we give you our thoughts on these cutting tools.
- Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife – Bear Grylls is known for being a rugged outdoorsman and an expert in wilderness survival. Does the blade bearing his name live up to his reputation?
- BLACKHAWK! Be-Wharned Knife – The Be-Wharned knife proved to be incredibly sharp and durable. It is a Michael Janich design, and is a wicked fighting folder.
- Browning Black Label Shadowfax Knife – Aaron takes a look at this premium, fixed-blade knife.
- CRKT Foresight Knife – Aaron takes a look at a Ken Onion designed knife in this essential gun gear review. You’ve got to have a good blade (or three) to handle any number of chores throughout the day.
- Gerber Swagger Knife – This is one of the many knife reviews we have done at GunsHolstersAndGear.com. Gerber is an old name in the industry, and this knife illustrates why they have been around for a long time.
- Kershaw Asset Knife – Kershaw is making a lot of quality knives at affordable price points. The Asset is one of those knives. I like the Compound (below) a little better, but this is still a quality knife.
- Kershaw Compound Knife – This is an incredibly good value for a folding knife. Lots of photos in this Kershaw review. For what it is worth, this one is my daily work knife. It has held up great.
- Smith & Wesson ExtremeOps CK5TBS Knife– How does this inexpensive folder stand up? Can it take a beating and still be relied on? We take a hard look.
This is a list of all of the survival gear we have reviewed at GHG. We are making an effort to drastically expand this section in the coming months.
- ASAP Survival Sidekick Bug Out Bag – Need a pre-made BOB? The ASAP Survival Sidekick is worth considering. Lots of photos and details on the contents. It is not perfect, but it is a good base.
- CRKT Eat’n Tool – This lightweight and handy tool is the perfect addition to anyone’s hunting or camping pack. It also makes an excellent addition to a bug out bag.
- CRKT Parasaw – An overview of the new survival tool from CRKT. It is a paracord bracelet with a wire saw wound into the cordage.
- MTM Case-Gard Survivor Ammo Can – If you have thought about burying some gear or supplies for use at a later date, you want to take a look at the Survivor Ammo Can from MTM. This can is designed to be buried for a long period of time and protect the contents from moisture. I put together a video showing you how this can assembles. Then I dig a hole and drop it in. We will dig it up later and see how it did. For now, check out how this thing goes together.
Other Gun Gear Reviews
These are reviews all of the shooting and outdoor related gear not listed in one of the above categories. Some of these items will be moved into separate eventually, but for now you can find them all right here.
- 5.11 Gun Belt – If you carry a gun, you need a holster. Just as importantly you need a quality gun belt to hold that gun and holster in place. Fortunately, 5.11 has a quality line of gun belts that are affordable.
- Field & Stream HydroProof ULTRA – Aaron hits the woods for some bow hunting with his HydroProof ULTRA gear. How did it perform? Check this article out before spending any more money on hunting clothing.
- Gripwell Review for the AR-15 – Want a better way to hold on to the mag well of your AR? Take a look at the Gripwell.
- Glock 42 Night Sights Resource List – This is our ultimate guide to aftermarket sights for the G42.
- Glock 43 Night Sights List – If you are looking to upgrade the sights on your new G43, I’ve put tother a list of sight options that will work for you.
- Hornady Rapid Safe – The Rapid Safe is a pistol lock box with multiple quick access options. I tested one and you can see what I found.
- Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4×20 Scope – Field test and evaluation of the Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 rifle scopes. These optics are a great addition to any AR being used for hunting or precision shooting.
- Magpul iPhone 5 Field Case – Inexpensive, lightweight, tactical looking and available in colors from pink to flat dark earth…what’s not to like?
- Magpul PMAG – We take a quick look at the 30 round AR-15 magazines from Magpul. We found them to be excellent mags and worked great in our guns.
- RCBS Rotary Case Media Separator – I review the rotary case-media separator from RCBS. This manually powered unit does an excellent job of separating tumbling media from your brass. I like mine a lot.
- Remington RF-05 Hunting Boots– If you are looking for a waterproof, leather hunting boot good for all weather conditions, take a look at these Remington boots. We found them to be durable and comfortable.
- Springfield Armory XD-S Night Sights – Our comprehensive resource page on all of the night sights available for the XDS today.
- Tango Down ARC-L Magazine – Tango Down is making polymer AR-15 magazines that are a one-piece design. This is said to improve feeding through the use of shapes not available from magazines that can be disassembled.
- Tapco AR-15 Polymer Magazine – We take a look at these inexpensive, polymer AR-15 magazines from Tapco.
If there is a gun or some piece of kit that you would like to see reviewed, let us know! The writers here are always looking to provide you with information that can benefit you. So, if there is something you want to see, sound off!
Surviving the Street: Guide to Concealed Carry of a Firearm
Essential information on concealed carry. This book has just the basics - not a lot of fluff to get bogged down in. Easy to read, Surviving the Street introduces the reader to the important information you need as an armed citizen.
The author presents frank information about self defense in a way that is easy to understand and use.