Tag Archives: gun reviews

5 Best Gun Cleaning Mats to look for 2018

Tipton glun cleaning mat

Quite a number of people overlook the importance of having a gun cleaning mat. It doesn’t matter how careful you are when cleaning your gun, there are high chances of spills and splashes. This is why it is necessary to have a gun cleaning mat that will protect your table or work surface from harsh chemicals and other solvents. On top of that, they also protect your gun from scratches especially if you are moving your weapon around a hard surface.

Gun cleaning mats are specifically designed for gun cleaning and hence feature a leakproof material such that no oil can leak through the mat. The mats are available in different sizes and thicknesses so you can select the one that you like and meets your need. I have researched and hereby provide you with 5 best gun cleaning mats to look for in 2018. They are great mats with soft padded surfaces and nonslip backing that keeps the gun in place.

#1: Yes4All Gun Cleaning Mat Pad

If you are looking for a gun cleaning mat for rifles and shotguns, this is the best pick today. The pad is designed with a high-quality material that doesn’t allow lubricants and solvents to reach your work surface.  It provides you with a safe placement on flat surfaces which also protects your weapon.  This lightweight and two-sided gun cleaning mat is made to last longer. It has a thick and soft polyester material that doesn’t scratch your gun. There is also a neoprene rubber backing that ensures everything is in place and doesn’t slide while working. When you need to store it, it rolls up easily into a compact shape making it easy to store after cleaning. With this protective gun cleaning mat, you can maintain the condition of your table, bench or desk when cleaning your weapon.


Hayes Custom Guns 1911 9mm Build

Starting the Project –

In 2015, I approached Aaron and Ben Hayes of Hayes Custom Guns ( about building a fully custom 9mm 1911. I planned to use the pistol to compete in Steel Challenge and USPSA Action Pistol matches. By the end of 2016 I had collected the majority of the parts needed and was ready to get a custom build started. I met with Aaron and Ben of Hayes Custom Guns to drop off the parts and discuss the gun specifications in detail.


We spoke at length about the build. I explained that I was planning on shooting 9mm, which would make my power factor in USPSA “minor.” This would cost me points for any paper targets I didn’t score alpha hits on in comparison to competitors shooting “major” power factor, however it was a sacrifice I was willing to make for the advantage of having 10 round mags in my gun versus the 8-9 round mags of 40 and 45 caliber pistols. In addition, with a 9mm and my competition reloads, I could potentially shoot faster and speed up my transitions between targets.







Shaving Weight –

What I wanted in the pistol was to make the slide light to reduce reciprocating mass, with very aggressive front and rear serrations, topped with Dawson Precision competition sights. Tri-topping the slide cut significant mass, while also providing a very clean and modern look. The deep, long and aggressive design of the front and rear serrations also served to cut weight from the slide. The front serrations are what I use the most to work the slide on my pistols; therefore, I wanted them super aggressive to avoid any slipping or missing. Typically the weakest part of 9mm 1911 pistols are their mags, and if one caused a malfunction in the middle of a stage I wanted to be able to work the slide hard and fast to keep the gun running. The serrations Aaron and Ben milled into the slide for me accomplishes that beautifully.

USPSA rules for competing in Single Stack Division state that pistols must weigh no more than 43 ounces with an empty mag inserted into the pistol. Tri-topping and lightening of the slide helped me meet my overall weight goal. At 42.7 ounces, the pistol is just enough under weight. If I change magazine manufacturers, base pads or other small parts, it will still be under the required weight.


Precision –

The barrel and bushing for the pistol are from Clark Customs. Their bushing is of superior design and the lock-up between the barrel, bushing and slide is amazingly tight, and was extremely tight when I received the gun. I thoroughly oiled the pistol and worked the action continuously to help break it in. The pistol started with a frame and the slide that were bare and unfit from Caspian Arms. I had Hayes Custom Guns undercut the trigger guard and checker the front strap very aggressively so that I could get a high grip on the pistol. The front strap checkering also matches the aggressive checking of the grips I used for this build.


Solid Grip –

The grips and magwell are from Techwell and integrate together. The grips are slotted at the bottom and the magwell fits tightly into the slots. This allows the shooter to use whatever mainspring housing they prefer. I chose silver aluminum grips with aggressive checkering. The magwell, Techwell’s IPSC TGO version, was seamlessly blended to the frame by Hayes Custom Guns. It was then cerakoted black to match the rest of the pistol. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of it prior to taking my new pistol straight to a local match, where I promptly began wearing the magwell in. Hayes finished the gun with Black Nitride and the finish looks just as smooth and dark as when I first received the pistol. The Black Nitride appears to be very resistant to scratches and wear.




Breaking Glass –

Internally, I had Hayes Custom Guns fit and tune Extreme Engineering trigger components matched to a long flat SV trigger. The trigger is sub 2 pounds with almost no take up and a crisp break and is incredible. Reset on the trigger is short and clean. This, coupled with the minimal recoil and fast-cycling slide make shooting this gun quickly very easy. The safeties are ambi wide Ed Browns and the grip safety is also an Ed Brown memory groove. The mag release is an extended and enlarged Wilson Combat.


Overall Satisfaction with Hayes Custom Guns –

As of this writing I’ve put approximately 2,500 rounds through the pistol. It is amazingly accurate and just a pleasure to shoot. A competitive shooting friend even said it was the finest pistol he’s ever shot. He is no stranger to high-end guns such as those crafted by Hayes Custom Guns. Even after 2,500 rounds the lock up is still incredibly tight and the slide-to-frame fit is perfect. Freestyle I was able to get a sub 3″ group at 25 yards with factory Speer ammo.

The gun is incredible and it won’t be my last custom build by the Hayes brothers. After I crest 5,000 rounds, I will publish a range report that will cover the gun’s accuracy, wear and overall performance. Currently, the gun shoots so flat and light that as fast as I can work the trigger the front sight is already back inside the “A-zone” of a USPSA target. It’s frankly amazing.

Just for fun, here’s a video from a local club’s Hosefest. Take note of how flat the pistol runs with minimal recoil while blazing through the close and open targets.

Hosefest 2017

Special thanks to Aaron and Ben for their fine work and help, my buddies at the Ben Stoeger Pro Shop for the pictures, and Tish and Abby for help editing.


Dallas Safari Convention


Gunwerks Announces the Release of the GRB Bolt Rifle Action

Cody, WY – Custom rifle manufacturer Gunwerks announced today that it will release the GRB bolt rifle action for the first time to the general public.


The GRB action is a complete ground-up bolt rifle action with a Remington 700 footprint, compatible with most Remington 700 inletted stocks. The 416 stainless steel body can be run unfinished or coated with a number of firearm coatings including Cerakote. Gunwerks’ proprietary Tri-Lock recoil lug provides the benefit of an integral lug action in a far more affordable package. The GRB action will be available at a similar price to a blueprinted factory action, but with many features of a premium custom action.



Dead Air Sandman-K Review

Dead Air Sandman-K

The Dead Air Sandman-K is a cool, super-compact 7.62 suppressor measuring only 5.4″ long and weighing in at a slim 12.8 ounces.  The standard Keymount muzzle break serves as the Quick Attachment point.  The beauty of this system is that it only adds 2.9″ to your overall rifle length.

Nice twist on the pricing.  Dead Air is offering the Sandman-K for sale at a heavily discounted price of $699.  This special price is good until the Hearing Protection Act moves out of committee.  At that point, the price jumps to $950.  The HPA has certainly had some interesting consequences on the industry, don’t you think?

Dead Air Sandman-K

Dead Air Sandman-K


Tikka T3x Tac A1 FULL REVIEW

Tikka T3x Tac

Scotty Ledgerwood of Amorphous Gear shares his thoughts on the Tikka T3x Tac A1 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.  In this video review, Scotty will walk you through the Tikka T3x, Kahles K624i scope, Harris bipod, and why he believes this is THE rifle to run.

Check out all of his reviews on the Amorphous Gear channel.

Tikka product description.  


Blackhawk Sportster Range Bag Review

Blackhawk Sportster Range Bag

There’s nothing quite like a trip to the gun range. Whether its indoor or outdoor, there’s something to be said about the planning of what guns to take, getting in some great practice while you’re there, and then coming home and cleaning up your guns.

If you’re like me, then it’s a hobby that you really enjoy and do often. The only problem is that you have to take a decent amount of gear with you. From hearing protection, shooting glasses, targets, and all the way to even some gun oil just in case, it’s quite a bit of stuff.

I actually remember my first few times to the range being pretty chaotic because I didn’t have a good way to keep all of my gear straight and orderly. In fact, I would often forget to bring a few things, which may or may not ruin the trip.

Eventually, I got orderly and smart about it. I came up with a set list of gear that I needed, and I got neat on keeping that gear squared away. The main turning point for me was a proper range bag.

After doing a ton of research and checking out some bags in store, I finally found one that I feel like is a hidden gem. That’s why in this article, I’m going to review the Blackhawk Sportster range bag. It’s been my favorite bag for quite a while now.

Note: Before heading off to the range, let us all remember that there are always solid rules to follow for safety. It’s super important to always practice good gun range etiquette. Having a good bag and keeping your gear squared away at the range is a big part of that.

What To Look For In A Range Bag


Ballistic Advantage 10.3″ 300 BLK Video Review

300 BLK

Tactical Gun Review video review of the Ballistic Advantage 10.3″ 300 BLK complete upper.  300 Blackout is all the rage these days and so we decided to build up a suppressed 300 BLK SBR to use for stalk hunting wild boars here in Texas.  Of course, it would also make an excellent home defense or truck gun.  Our initial impressions can be found here.


Mid-Evil Industries 360 VFG

Mid-Evil 360 VFG

The Mid-Evil Industries 360 Vertical Fore Grip is an innovative design that allows the operator to position the VFG to their personal preference.  The fore grip is constructed in two sections.  To unlock and re-position, you simply hold section one (the top piece), loosen section two, set it however you like, and then lock it in position.  No tools required.

The version I have attaches to a standard picatinny rail section.  There are also M-LOK and Keymod versions.  


How to get involved in Competition Pistol Shooting


There is a misconception with some folks that gun owners only have guns for self-defense or hunting. But that is not true!

A lot of folks who own guns, have them because they like to compete in shooting sports. These sports might not have the same media exposure as golf, baseball or football, but it is still extremely popular and has a lot of benefits for competitors.

There are various types of shooting sports you can compete in, depending on what kind of weapon you want to use. You can decide to compete in rifle shooting sports, shotgun shooting sports, air rifle shooting sports or pistol shooting sports. You can even use multiple guns in shooting sports such as 3-gun shooting, where you typically use a rifle, a pistol and a shotgun.

As pistols are the most common weapon of choice and likely to be the easiest shooting sport to get involved in, we will look into how you can get started in competitive pistol shooting.Pistol

Why Shoot Competitively?


Gemtech GMT-HALO 5.56 Suppressor


Gemini Technologies, better known as Gemtech, produces some of the most well known and innovative suppressors in the market today.  The GMT-HALO features a unique mounting system utilizing a collar that fits over a standard A2 flash hider.

The GMT-HALO specifications are impressive.  This titanium suppressor weighs in at a skinny 12.2 ounces.  At 7.2 inches it is the shortest HALO yet.  Diameter is the same 1.5 inches found on most centerfire silencers.  The can is rated for Full Auto 5.56 with a minimum barrel length of 10.3 inches.

Life expectancy exceeds 25,000 rounds.




Sig Sauer SRD556 QD Suppressor Review

Sig Sauer SRD556-QD

The Sig Sauer SRD556-QD is a durable, full-auto rated, stainless steel suppressor featuring their Fast-Attach quick detach mount. The Sig silencer is instantly recognizable due to its unique design elements.