Unique problems need unique solutions. That’s the basic principle behind the technical definition of the word ‘tactical’. With almost every weapon made today having a tactical variant, how could the good ‘ol shotguns be left behind. This discussion will take into account the concept of tactical shotguns. While also reviewing the best models available on the market today. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Tactical Shotguns OUR TOP PICK: Remington 870 TAC-14
Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s What’s the fastest rising category of firearms in the civilian market? Pistol caliber carbines. Seriously, everyone is making them. This includes CZ, SIG, PSA, Hi-Point, IWI, and I can just keep listing more and more and more. My Colt AR-9 You could also just build your own, specifically your own AR in 9mm. I’ve built 2 now and this model was one of my first AR builds ever. This model is a full-sized rifle, a gas blowback gun, chambered in 9mm. It packs a 16-inch barrel and feeds from Colt SMG magazines. Table of Contents Loading... Why The Colt Route? The Colt SMG route is an interesting one to take. First off, it’s a cool, retro classic 1980s style design. The Colt SMG served a wide variety of police and military forces including the DEA, the US Marshalls, and the United States Marine Corps. It proved itself as a platform for sure. USMC FAST, with his AR-9 in Panama 1989 With the advent of the AR-15 lowers than take Glock magazines why wouldn’t we go that route? Surely there is nothing wrong with a lower that takes Glock magazines, but the Colt SMG has been sticking around for a reason. First, a lot of shooters like that the Colt SMG magazines insert straight up and down, the Glock receivers have a rearward angle to them. Colt SMG magazines are also all metal and well made. They are designed to be used in long guns, and dropped, kicked, and abused. They are a true double-feed magazine designed for SMG use. The Colt SMG mags are not exceptionally expensive. Colt SMG Magazines 12 at GunMag Warehouse Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 12 at GunMag Warehouse Prices accurate at time of writing If you own a Glock I’d totally go Glock, if not, the Colt SMG mags offer a good alternative. The downside is Mags aren’t as widely available and aftermarket Glock mags are much cheaper. I originally built a Colt SMG model because at the time I built it, circa 2015, Glock lowers were quite expensive and not as common as they are now. Best budget AR-9 PSA Complete AR-9 549 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 549 at "Palmetto State Armory" Prices accurate at time of writing Plus, I didn’t own a Glock and didn’t see a ton of reasons to go Glock. We have a complete review on the PSA AR-9 Glock version our editor has been using for competition. Purpose Of This Rifle? This little 9mm rifle is perfect for something like USPSA, but in terms of more serious use, you have an excellent choice for home defense. You could go shorter with an AR pistol, but a 9mm AR-15 with a 16-inch barrel and a suppressor is one of the quietest combos you can pick up. UDP9 Pistol Angstadt Arms This rifle loaded with 147-grain loads is remarkably quiet for an unsuppressed gun. It’s not hearing safe, but it won’t blow your eardrums when used indoors. Best of all it’s an affordable weapon to train with and self-defense loads are widely available. It’s a low recoiling weapon with little muzzle concussion and blast. This makes it perfect for home defense in many ways. Especially for those who are recoil sensitive and want something light and easy to handle. Awesome AR-9 Also, it’s a massively fun plinker. It shoots very easily and accurately. You can shoot a ton for very little money, and more than likely you won’t find a range that prohibits pistol caliber ammo so that’s a plus. Without Further Ado, here is our Colt SMG wannabe Colt AR-9 Build List Lower This wasn’t a Colt SMG lower per se. Instead, it was a standard Multi-Cal lower with a ProMag Colt SMG conversion . PSA Stripped Lower 40 at PSA Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 40 at PSA Prices accurate at time of writing That is where this whole thing started, the SMG Block. I got it for free, a friend clearing out some old gun stuff gave me a box full of different little goodies with the SMG Block being one. From there I slowly built the gun as a young cash strapped gun writer. I purchased a cheap PSA lower and a CMMG lower parts kit. I slapped it all together, and then took a few parts out to fit the magwell block. Once the mag well block is installed it’s a semi-permanent modification and requires you to remove the bolt catch to remove and install it. ProMag does not have a great reputation. Their mags have long been quite controversial. This Magwell block is made from polymer and does allow for a bit of slop for the magazines, but this never seemed to affect their ability to feed rounds. ProMag AR-15 9mm Conversion Block 46 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 46 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing It also never gave me issues releasing the magazines or loading them either. It doesn’t feel exceptionally sturdy, but it’s been years now and it seems to work perfectly fine. I tossed in a simple Mil-Spec parts kit. It does its job and ensures consistent ignition of all 9mm ammo. This includes cheap steel ammo from more questionable sources across the world. This Russian ammo typically has a harder than normal primer. Buffer Setup ARs chambered in 9mm are blowback weapons. A blowback gun typically requires heavy bolts or stiff springs. Since an AR-15 is limited on bolt size you need a heavy buffer to make the system reliably function. Primary Weapons Enhanced 9mm Buffer 30 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 30 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing The Primary Arms heavy buffer weighs 6.3 ounces and helps ensure the AR will run reliably regardless of what type of 9mm you are putting through it. Primary Arms is also an affordable company that is well known for its quality. Their reputation and the fact this is a purpose-built part is the main reason I went with this specific buffer. Stock I went with my all-time favorite AR carbine stock, the Bravo SOPMOD stock. I adore it. AR9 Colt stock The SOPMOD stock is the SOCOM adopted stock for Block 2 rifles and I think I know why. The only thing I and Spec Ops dudes have in common is our affinity for beards. This is one of the more beard friendly stocks. It’s also a great stock overall. It’s rock-solid, provides an amazing cheek weld, and plenty of points to attach a sling. B5 SOPMOD Stock 90 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 90 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing It’s not a compact stock, and it provides as good a cheek weld as an actual A2 rifle stock. Grip The Pistol grip is a lower parts kit special, just the A2 style grip with nub. Cavalry Arms A2 Style Pistol Grip 6 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 6 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Not my favorite by far, but it’s perfectly usable. The A2 grip is simple, cheap, and affordable. Upper The Upper is a simple Mil Spec forged model from Aero Precision . I got a killer gun show deal on it and it stuck around until build time. The upper is a flat top, of course, and comes with all the standard Mil-Spec fun stuff like a dust cover and forward assist. Editor's Pick Upper Receiver Aero M4E1 Stripped Upper Receiver 105 at Aero Precision Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 105 at Aero Precision Compare prices (2 found) Aero Precision (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing An actual Colt SMG upper doesn’t have a forward assist, and you can get authentic Colt uppers these days which is the way to go for a real SMG clone, but you’ll need some more things. Colt 9mm AR-15 Upper Assembly Set 900 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 900 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Barrel The Barrel is another budget option from Foxtrot Mike , and it is 16 inches long. Long for a 9mm, but a rifle is a rifle and I need that 16-inch barrel to make it so. The Foxtrot Mike barrels are remarkably simple. Foxtrot Mike FM-9 9mm Barrel 85 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 85 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing They are black Melonite finished barrels, threaded for muzzle devices with a ½-36 thread pitch. The barrel works and is cheap for budget builds. I’m not looking for the kind of accuracy a 400 dollar carbon fiber barrel can provide so I don’t mind going cheap. The FM 9 barrel has proven accurate enough, and the heavy finish is scratch-free. Bolt Options can make things confusing, very confusing. The 9mm AR and the bolt carrier group can be confusing because there are different types for different magazine platforms. Colt 9mm BCG 235 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 235 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing If you go the Glock route you need to make sure your bolt is Glock compatible. When you go the oddball route with a Colt SMG you need to make sure your bolt is Colt SMG compatible. A Colt SMG compatible barrel is a little tougher to find, but not impossible. Colt still produces them, and hybrid BCGs exist as well. AR-9 Colt BCG Colt being the name of the game is likely the best bolt to go with. It’s a little pricey cause of the Prancing Pony, but it’s still a rock-solid BCG. If you’re not ready to spend that kind of money though, there are hybrid BCG options that are a LOT more budget-friendly and work outstandingly. Lead Star Arms hybrid 9mm BCG is our top pick. "Lead Star Arms" Hybrid 9mm BCG 125 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 125 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing Rail System When choosing a rail system, it’s easy to get wrapped in your choices. I went rifle length and found an excellent Midwest Industries rail system . I went with the Midwest Industries Slimline handguards. Smooth and clean looking Midwest Industries Slim Line handguard These handguards are incredibly lightweight and as the name suggests very slim. They allow you to wrap your hand around the gun very easily. This results in a modular handguard that is easy to hold on and comfortable to use. From a stylish perspective, the handguard blends in perfectly with the slim nature of a 9mm rifle. Midwest "Industries Slim Line" Handguards 140 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 140 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing It also helps keep everything balanced while providing a platform to mount accessories on. Sights And Optic I went with some very robust sights for this gun. These are a combination of XS and Troy sights and are quite robust. It seems as if the Troy and XS partnership is over though as these specific sights are discontinued. AR9 Colt Optic and BUIS However, the sights are just the Troy AR 15 sights with glowing night sight inserts. The Troy sights are all metal and incredibly well made. These sights are designed to last and do fold down and out of the way if you want an optic in place. XS Troy CSAT AR 283 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 283 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Optics Planet (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing I love these sights personally and they are some of the most robust and well-made sights out there for the AR 15. They feature a small and large aperture and on the small aperture there is a set of open box sights for rapid-fire close-quarters use. A 9mm rifle isn’t a long-range gun by any means. You are tapping out at about a hundred yards for most shooters on most targets. This means a red dot is a natural fit for such a rifle. Brutally Tested Budget Red Dot Sig Sauer Romeo5 149 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 149 at Palmetto State Armory Compare prices (3 found) Palmetto State Armory (See Price) Optics Planet (See Price) Amazon (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing I went with one of my favorites, the SIG Romeo5. It features two reticles, one being a simple red dot, the other being a circle and dot. The Romeo5 is a compact optic that is the perfect height for an AR-15 style rifle. The Romeo5 is an awesome little optic. It comes with the MOTAC reticle system that means the optic automatically goes off, and when it meets motion it comes alive and is ready. This is a great system for saving batteries and for having an always ready gun. Magazines As I mentioned there are several magazine options out there. I’ve stuck with Palmetto State Armory metal magazines but have heard great things about Metalform magazines as well. Do yourself a favor if you go the Colt SMG route and purchase a Maglula loader. Colt SMG Magazines 12 at GunMag Warehouse Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 12 at GunMag Warehouse Prices accurate at time of writing The Colt SMG mags will grind your thumbs in short order and become a literal pain. A Maglula will make life much easier. Editor's Pick MagLula Pistol Magazine Loader 23 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 23 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Wrapping Up What’s left on the list? Not much. It’s a simple rife. I aimed to make an affordable, as well as lightweight and easy to handle. This gun is ultra-reliable and a ton of fun ultimately. It’s perfect for a variety of shooters, including new shooters. Interested in your own 9mm AR with Colt mags? Let us know what you think! Don’t forget to take a look at the Best Pistol Caliber Carbines !
Law enforcement and the military face the threat of rifle fire on the job. With the Premier Durus 8000 Steel Body Armor Systems that isn’t as dangerous as it used to be. NIJ Level III steel ballistic plates provide multi-hit protection from rifle rounds. Super Thin, Light-Weight and Multi-Curved for Comfort. Premier Durus™ 8000 Armor Plates Price includes one hard body armor plate Ultra-strong steel plates with multi-hit protection Revolutionary multi-curve for comfort and protection Extremely thin. 5mm (spall lining does add some additional thickness). Ultimate Linings Coating 10-Year Warranty on plates Special Threat Tested against the following calibers at a distance of 50 feet: 5.56×45/.223 up to 3100 ft/s 7.62×39 123gr PS Ball (MSC) 7.62×51 147gr FMJ (M80) – up to 2850 ft/s MADE IN AMERICA Premier Body Armor also offers Wilder Tactical MOLLE Accessories in an effort to help you develop and adapt your tactical kit or duty uniform to changing hazards and environments. Wilder Tactical Accessories give you the ability to change your loadout on the fly. From rifle and handgun magazine pouches to the universal tourniquet tactical accessories that are all designed with the operator in mind. Exacting craftsmanship, precision engineering, and our trademark attention to detail ensure superior utility and lasting durability on all our accessories and attachments. These accessories will allow you to optimize and personalize all your "Premier Body Armor" systems. Premier fabricates their own durable carriers and tactical vests with MOLLE webbing to quickly configure your equipment and load for each mission. 10 Year Warranty All "Premier Durus 8000" steel body armor plates come with a 10 Year Warranty and plate carriers and tactical vests come with a two year warranty. About Premier Body Armor: Twenty plus years of building armored vehicles as a U.S. Military contractor gives Premier Body Armor a unique perspective from which to design and manufacture steel body armor. A logical and cost effective medium for making bullet resistant vehicles, armored steel is strong enough to stop rifle rounds, but can be heavy and difficult to manipulate. Premier started with a higher quality steel, the kind used to manufacture light armored vehicles, and then applied their 20 years of experience in manipulating that ultra hard armored steel. They believed they could produce a superior product to anything that was currently available. The result: the Durus and Fortis line of Personal Body Armor. The lightest, thinnest, most comfortable steel body armor available on the market today. At a mere 5mm thick weighing only 6.4lbs, our ballistic steel core is able to surpass the stringent NIJ .06 ballistic standards. The Durus 8000 is the thinnest/lightest NIJ certified Level III steel plate ever made. You can get your very own Premier Durus 8000 Armor Plates $ 135.00 HERE
Click here for the best price on Amazon The Vizeri LED VZ460 tactical flashlight is a heavy-duty pocket sized but dangerously bright tactical flashlight loaded with different features and modes. This flashlight is so bright that Vizeri claims that the VZ460 blazes more white light than 6 standard flashlights combined. We like this flashlight so much that it is featured in our Best Tactical Flashlights page. Vizeri is one of the top brands in the tactical flashlight industry. One of the great things about the Vizeri brand is they offer a lifetime warranty. If you have any problems arise with your flashlight, they will refund or replace the light. They are so sure that customers will be satisfied that they offer a guaranteed full return policy. Overview This Vizeri light is built to be tough. The body is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with Anoshield finish. It is IPX-7 waterproof, water-resistant in up to 3 feet of water. The zoom feature has o-rings to help seal out water. It is also built very practically. They incorporated a threading tube that attaches the components versus the pressure fixings you’ll find in cheaper flashlights. This is just another great feature you’ll get with this light. There are also no wires in the Vizeri that could break with impact and the springs are gold-plated for connections that won’t corrode. Vizeri utilizes a mirrored Lumenboost vacuum coated aluminum optical reflector for added brightness. This same light is available in either 230 or 460 lumen models depending on the power you need. That is advertised as powerful as either 25 or 50 standard incandescent flashlights. The bulb is a CREE T6 XML LED. Specifications This is another flashlight that gives you the option of using rechargeable batteries or regular which is the kind of flexibility we love. It either runs on AAA batteries or CR123 alkaline batteries. This is a great feature to be able to use cheap AAA batteries when in a bind. The flashlight comes with a lithium-ion battery end cap adapter as well as the AAA battery adapter, which also allows you the option to use 18650 lithium batteries as well, which are also easier to find overseas if you use the flashlight when traveling. The lithium-ion batteries are recommended if you will be using the flashlight in the high mode. The 230 features 5 different light modes: high, medium, low, SOS, and strobe. The light also features a built in memory that remembers the last mode you used. No more pushing the button through each mode every time you turn it on. The LED bulb is able to run for 100,000 hours. The Vizeri 230 has many features that make it stand out from competitors. We love the ability to switch between various power supplies with the adaptor, with your choice of CV, AAA, or lithium ion. The light also includes a lamp diffuser and holster with a D ring which allows you the versatility of using the light while its, hanging which is especially convenient when camping. The diffuser attaches to the top and spreads the light to truly give the feel of using a lantern. In addition, the light has a focusing lens allowing you to direct the beam as needed. This is special as the light is rated as IPX7 waterproof , but most truly waterproof flashlights don’t have the ability to focus the beam. Vizeri has added o-rings and other features to allow the light to have the zoom feature while still maintaining its water protection. This light also features a twist focus instead of a telescoping focus, which means the focus will stay exactly where you put it even when bumped. There are also many accessories available for this light, such as: bike mount, weapon mount, remote tactical switch, orange diffuser, and lithium batteries. This flashlight is very versatile and can be carried in a Bug out Bag or a Tactical Backpack . What we like about it For the price, the V460 provides an incredible amount of power and options. The flexible power options is always useful when charging the light isn’t possible. We also like that the light has 5 light modes to conserve power if you don’t need all 460 lumens of the high mode all the time. The additions of the SOS mode along with the strobe function for defense are added protections for you or your loved one. We also like how many different accessories you can purchase to suit your individual needs, but the light still comes with the diffuser, holster, and carabiner to allow for that hanging lantern-effect if you desire. Ultimately, the flexibility and functionality of this flashlight easily land it in our top ten list. Here is what we found customers are saying about this flashlight. One customer said: “This is the first tactical light I have ever purchased that came with extra o-rings. It also came with a belt holster, light-dispersion cone, wrist lanyard, and the two battery options. This flashlight could be sold for twice the price and it would still be a great deal. I will definitely remember to check out Vizeri for my next light purchase!” What we don’t like about it The flashlight seems to be cheaply made but at this price, its hard to complain. The button seemed a little finicky to control which mode it was in. Conclusion We conclude that the value of the various light modes, along with the focus lens and lifetime warranty that make this purchase truly an investment in a quality light. This light is at a great price point and customers are seeing the value that it offers. Ultimately, the flexibility and functionality of this flashlight easily land it in our top ten list. Click here for the best price on Amazon
Keep it off the bang switch Firearms are deadly weapons. Everyone is capable of destroying whatever it is pointed at…intentionally or unintentionally. The following list of rules should be observed when handling ANY firearm for your safety and anyone within range of the firearm. Don’t become a statistic! Don’t point at things you do not want to shoot. 1.) Treat all firearms as if they are loaded. 2.) Never point the firearm at anything you do not wish to destroy. 3.) Do not rely on the guns safety to keep it from firing. These three rules if followed without deviation will lessen to a great degree the chances of you being involved with an accidental discharge or a negligent discharge. The differences between the two are insignificant in my eyes, as either produces a very bad outcome. I witnessed an Accidental discharge at a training site that involved a windbreaker waist tie string and the re holstering of the shooters firearm. The string from the windbreaker waistband tie somehow got through the trigger guard of the firearm as the shooter was re holstering. When the shooter pushed the firearm down into the holster, the string pulled the trigger back and the firearm discharged. This event was deemed “Accidental Discharge” by the range master. I didn’t see it that way, which is, one, why I am not a range master and two, why there is even a category of “Accidental Discharge” woman looking down gun barrel The way I see it, the shooter was negligent in his attention to detail. The dangling string posed all sorts of hazards, not only during re holstering but also on the draw. I witnessed this shooter fight the string numerous times before the “accidental discharge” occurred. There are many other rules that can be added to the list above, but any others follow the first three. If the Golden Rules are followed “Accidental” and “Negligent” discharges will not happen. Firearm etiquette is addressed in another article and has many “rules” that also apply to safety. All ranges post and have their own list of rules, Follow the Golden Rules first and then the range rules. Shoot Safe!