Page 1

Spring Issue U.S. $12.95

Featured Material

Plate Carriers • Run This Drill • Everday Carry Tools & Devices • Firearms Customizers •


Feature Firearm


KRISS Vector CRB Gen II Chambered in 9x19mm Machined, Stippled and Coated Paired with a matching G17

Transport of Dangerous Goods Ammunition, such as for rifles, handguns, shotguns, starter’s pistols and power tools that contain explosive material are dangerous goods listed under Class 1.4S. The information presented here is for the following UN numbers only:


UN12 x SIG Sauer MCX Virtus Patch










©2018, Kimber Mfg., Inc. All rights reserved. Information and specifications are for reference only and subject to change without notice.

(888) 243-4522 KIMBERAMERICA.COM

32 KRISS Vector Gen II CRB Firearm Feature

UN12 Issue 002


UN12 / Issue 002

Table of Contents 26



Dark Alliance Firearms Customization Feature

Prometheus Design Werx Lifestyle Feature

V Seven Hyper-Light Handguard Product Review




The Grand Expedition Outdoor Feature

AXE SIG P226 MK25 Firearm Feature

Blown Deadline Customization Feature




3-Gun AR-15 Firearm Feature

SureFire MasterFire Product Review

FrogLube Product Review



Plate Carriers General Feature

Ruger 100/22 Parts Guide Buyer’s Guide



Custom AKM Firearm Feature

Milliradians Novice Primer General Feature





18 Every Day Carry


UN12 / Issue 002



Editor’s Letter

Shoot This Drill



New Products




Morale Patch

Guns of IG



Do It Yourself: Prepping a Polymer80 Glock Frame

Retailer Directory



Editor’s Letter

Transport of Dangerous Goods Ammunition, such as for rifles, handguns, shotguns, starter’s pistols and power tools that contain explosive material are dangerous goods listed under Class 1.4S. The information presented here is for the following UN numbers only: UN0012 / CARTRIDGES FOR WEAPONS, INERT PROJECTILE or CARTRIDGES, SMALL ARMS

When we started UN12, we didn’t expect the incredible

Because UN12 focuses on the artistry and

reception that we received from readers and industry

craftsmanship of bespoke guns and equipment, we

leaders alike. We simply wanted to create a print

were pleased to be able to sit down with two outfits that

magazine that speaks to firearm enthusiasts who enjoy

turn firearms into genuine works of art. Dark Alliance

the creative and innovative sides of the field. Whether

and Blowndeadline have earned pristine reputations for

it’s superb craftsmanship or improved technologies,

creating stunningly crafted pieces. You’ll get an inside

we’re entrenched in the best the industry has to offer.

look at the artistry and detail that they are capable of. Like you, we love gear and we’re unapologetic about

We thank you for your support. Being an independent print magazine in the digital

it. The Ruger 10/22 is as fun to shoot as it is to modify.

age comes with a unique set of challenges—as well as

Our buyer’s guide covers three different 10/22 builds

advantages. Our small-batch method of creating this

using the latest in aftermarket and factory parts. We

magazine means we are capable of bringing you high-

also ride along on a journey to the North Rim of the

quality print that features only quality photography and

Grand Canyon and speak to Patrick Ma and Chris

articles engineered to both entertain and inform.

Whitney, founders of Prometheus Design Werx.

In our sophomore effort, we continue where the first issue left off to showcase the unique firearms and gear that our writers and readers brought to our attention. In a companion piece to the tactical helmet guide in issue 001, Charles “Chip” Lasky educates us on the topic of plate carriers and their accessories. Learn from his invaluable first-hand experience about how, why and what equipment is used in realworld tactical operations. As we continue to innovate and move in new directions, we invite you to join us as we celebrate the

As you have undoubtedly noticed, the limited-run

“Whether it’s superb craftsmanship or improved technology, we are entrenched in the best the industry has to offer.”

morale patch that comes with this issue was a collaborative effort between UN12, SIG Sauer and Aprilla Design. This collaboration patch, patterned on the SIG Sauer MCX Virtus

tailhook pistol brace

Tailhook Mod I



Howard C Lim

Editors The UN12 Creative Team

Creative Direction James Ho, Jerry Tsai

Art Director James Ho

Contributors Martin Anders, Bill Blowers, Danny Chang, Jeff Chen, DMG, Don Edwards, Michael Grey, Charles Lasky, Jessica Lee, Victor Nguyen, John Pangilinan, TracerX, Chris Tran

Tailhook Mod I

Special Thanks Aristotle Bartolome, John Hwang, Allison Lai, Jeff Lai, OC Armory, Rainier Arms

Patrol in Aprilla Design’s unique cartoon style, comes in two

Copy Editor

versions. One colorway is a bit

Frank Stroud, Michael Penhall

Tailhook Mod II

more limited than the other, but like this magazine both are made

Advertising Sales

in small quantities and will not be

Danny Chang

These braces give the shooter ultimate control over their AR pistol by utilizing a fold down shelf that “hooks” under the shooter’s forearm to counter balance muzzle weight.

reissued in the future. We’re always looking for individuals and innovators

Ad Coordinator Frank Stroud

to feature. Whether it’s a gun

creativity and individuality of fellow gun enthusiasts. We take a close look at the personal

you customized or a cool piece of gear you created,

firearms of two UN12 readers as well as an industry

we want to know about it. Tag us at @un12mag on

insider. You’ll get to examine the customized builds of

Instagram if you have something you think UN12

a KRISS Vector Gen II CRB and a home-built AK from

readers would like to see. Join us on the journey as we

two individuals who enjoy working on guns in their free

build UN12 together. Sound off on what we got right

time. We also get a close-up look at an AR-15 built

or what you feel we could do better on our Facebook

for 3-gun competition by Ari Bartolome, Marketing

page at: /un12mag.

Tailhook Mod II

Printed in the USA

For more info on our products check us out at

Follow us:

Director at Rainier Arms. We think you’ll be interested in his practical approach to this AR build.


UN12 / Issue 002

—The UN12 Creative Team



New Products

SIG Sauer LIMA320 Laser Grip Module Easily add laser targeting capability to your P320 without the need for additional add-ons. This sleek design allows you to run a laser on your pistol in a nice and tidy factory package. The LIMA320 seamlessly integrates either a red or direct green high-quality and high-efficiency laser module for extreme accuracy when it counts. An ambidextrous switch allows for use with either hand. Starting at $360

Adidas Terrex Solo The Terrex Solo is a daily-wearable shoe that is built for comfort as well as outdoor performance. It features an open mesh upper for maximum breathability, abrasion-resistant weldings for extra durability and a rubber toe cap for protection while you maneuver over rough terrain. It also features Adidas’s Stealth rubber outsole for unbeatable grip. $120

Mechanix Wear Specialty Vent Prevent the loss of grip control due to sweaty hands with these specially designed Specialty Vent shooting gloves. They provide sweat evaporation and cooling when the heat is on thanks to a fully ventilated design. Their breathable mesh is combined with a perforated 0.6mm palm to allow cool air in and to circulate throughout the glove. They also feature touchscreen capability so you’re always connected. Available in Coyote (shown) and Covert. $28

LaserMax Spartan Adjustable Fit Light & Laser SPS-C-R The Spartan’s rail placement can be adjusted down to fine increments to suit the mounting location of the light and laser unit according to each user's preference. Capitalizing on the most visible wavelength in the color spectrum, Spartan Light & Laser delivers 120 lumens of mint green LED light and your choice of vivid red or daytime green lasers. The unit uses a common AAA battery, making it easy to maintain. Starting at $165

BenShot “Bulletproof” Glasses These eye-catching drinking glasses are crafted by the father-and-son team at BenShot. They design and build handcrafted whiskey, wine, beer and shot glasses that feature an actual bullet wedged into them. If you’re looking for gifts or glassware for special events, BenShot Bulletproof Rocks glasses can be custom etched with your message on them. Starting at $15

Apex Tactical Flat-Faced Forward Set Trigger Kit for M&P M2.0

Federal Premium 224 Valkyrie Gold Medal Sierra Matchking

The Apex Flat-Faced Forward Trigger directly replaces the factory hinged trigger with a solid body aluminum trigger featuring a center-mounted pivoting safety. This drop-in kit reduces trigger pull weight by up to approximately two pounds and is engineered to provide 9mm and .40 caliber M&P M2.0 pistols with a smooth, consistent trigger pull, shorter over-travel and shortened trigger reset.

If you haven’t heard already, the new “it” caliber is the 224 Valkyrie. With the ability to hit accurately at supersonic speeds beyond 1,300 yards, the low-recoil Valkyrie round is perfect for long-range target shooters and hunters alike. Federal Premium’s 90-grain Sierra MatchKing allows you to extract the 224 Valkyrie’s full potential.


Cross Machine Tool BFG for SIG MPX

$26 / 20 rounds

Cross Machine Tool’s BFG (Buttstock, Forward, Grip) for the MPX replaces your SIG Sauer MPX stock and gives your SBR the capability of having a foregrip while the BFG is folded. When deployed, the BFG becomes a sturdy buttstock with a quick press of a button. All NFA rules apply. MSRP unlisted at press time


UN12 / Issue 002


Strike Industries Oppressor

JL Billet Forward Fist Grip, M-LOK

The Oppressor is designed to redirect overpressure produced by aggressive brakes and compensators. Compatible with many of SI’s own muzzle devices, the quick-attach Oppressor concussion reduction device features advanced internal geometry that actively draws gasses out and thrusts them forward through its vents to enhance linear braking. It is made of 1045 carbon steel and is finished in black nitride.

Looking for a unique foregrip for your rifle? Check out JL Billet’s Forward Fist Grip. This M-LOK attached foregrip allows you a secure grip on your rifle and combines it with added knuckle protection for bracing against barricades or other surfaces. These foregrips are machined from aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum and come with M-LOK hardware.



ZRO Delta DLOC DeltaPoint Pro 45-Degree Mount Looking to mount a DeltaPoint Pro on a rail at 45 degrees? Here’s your solution. This mount places the optic at a 45-degree angle next to your primary optic for close-range shooting. It can be attached to either side of the weapon and its sDLOC system provides a true “Return to Zero” when removed and re-attached. ZRO Delta also offers 45-degree rail mounts for other red dots including RMR, Venom, T-1, MRO and others. $149

Walker’s Silencer Electronic Ear Buds The Silencer ear buds have integrated omni-directional microphones and full dynamic range speakers that deliver crisp, clear sound. Silencer provides a comfort level above and beyond similar products by incorporating the patented SecureFit system. Three differently sized contoured fins and foam buds are included to allow for a customized fit. Features a 25 Noise Reduction Rating and an estimated 80 hours battery life using four #10 batteries. Carry case included. $230


UN12 / Issue 002



UN12 x SIG Sauer Text by MARTIN ANDERS


Morale by Aprilla Design Text by MARTIN ANDERS Images courtesy of APRILLA DESIGN GROUP

their line of morale patches. ADG patches cover a range of themes, from firearms to vehicles to the comedic—and sometimes raunchy comedy. Their cartoon-style gun patches really caught the eye of die-hard


ne of the more popular morale patch

gun enthusiasts and patch collectors alike. The

styles that has popped up in recent years

first patch they made in the cartoon style was of

is the three-dimensional PVC gun-shaped patch.

a KRISS Vector. We remember seeing it on a few

Popularized by Aprilla Design Group (ADG), this

ID badges at SHOT Show 2015 and knew that

style really took off after it was launched in 2015

we had to get one for ourselves. Apparently we weren’t alone. Since then,

hat’s your favorite morale patch? Patch

and it’s understandable why. Aprilla’s caricatures

collectors understand that it can be a tough

of famous firearms have a cartoonish appeal to

ADG’s services to create cartoon gun patches

job to pick just one. While some patches carry

them, yet they are very detailed and extremely

for other companies have been in high demand.

significant meaning, others can be outright funny.

addicting to collect.

Working with prominent companies such as


We approached ADG to collaborate on the

KRISS, Knight’s Armament Co., SilencerCo and

can convey so much in such a small package. As

creation of this issue’s morale patch and were

Griffon Industries, as well as popular gunsmiths

difficult as it might be to single out just one, every

fortunate they signed on for the effort. We sat

and customizers Vang Comp, Salient Arms and

issue of UN12 pushes to make your choice that

down with Allison Lai, the creator of ADG, to find

Fowler Industries, ADG has created some very

much more difficult. That’s

out what inspired her to create morale patches

cool and collectible morale patches.

because each issue of

and what else the influential brand is up to.

One of the strengths of a morale patch is that it

You can examine their work for yourself;

UN12 comes with a unique,

“Their cartoonstyle gun patches really caught the eye of die-hard gun enthusiasts and patch collectors alike.”

limited-run morale patch that is created as a collaborative effort with our content, creative or promotional partners. The UN12 x SIG Sauer SIG MCX Virtus Patrol Patch included with this issue is actually a collaboration between not just two but three companies. SIG Sauer needs no introduction. Their innovative firearms and accessories have been at the forefront of technological advancements since the company’s inception. Scores of military, law enforcement and

Specializing in nylon gear and morale patches

the UN12 x SIG Sauer SIG MCX Virtus Patrol

civilian shooters alike prefer

for style-forward individuals, ADG was formed

Patch that came with this issue was made in

SIG firearms for their quality,

in late 2014 with the mission to bring firearms

collaboration with ADG. We hope you enjoy it as

dependability and precision. To

enthusiasts stylish, everyday-use items such

much as we do.

create this special patch, we also

as backpacks and tote bags. Their mix of clean

partnered with Aprilla Design Group. Their

aesthetics and tactical materials and patterns

signature gun-shaped patches have been sought

resulted in a popular line of nylon gear that is still

can visit and follow them at the following outlets:

after by both those who collect morale patches

sought after today.

Web: aprilladesign,com, IG: @aprilladesign, FB:

and those who don’t, ever since their first was

The brand really took off when they released

[ UN12 ]

To learn more about Aprilla Design Group, you

released back in 2015. The SIG Sauer MCX Virtus Patrol was developed for the Special Operations community and is engineered for adaptability, accuracy and longevity. Offered in 5.56 NATO and 300 BLK calibers, the MCX Virtus Patrol is mission-


As with our inaugural patch, the UN12 x SIG

configurable and can be tailored to suit any

Sauer SIG MCX Virtus Patrol Patch comes in

shooter. You’ll note that the morale patch version

two colorways, just like the rifles they’re molded

of the Virtus is decked-out with SIG’s Electro-

after—Stealth Gray and FDE. Which edition

Optics and a SIG suppressor. The red dot is a

did you get? The two variants are randomly

miniature reproduction of SIG Sauer’s ROMEO5

packed with each issue, so what colorway you

with a JULIET4 4x Magnifier piggybacked right

receive is determined by chance. Show us which

behind it. On the tip of the muzzle is an SRD556-

version you got and where you’re displaying it

QD suppressor. This patch, like the rifle, is

(or even what you traded it for) by tagging us on

seriously badass.

Instagram with the hashtag #un12patch.

UN12 / Issue 002


THIS IS MY P320 — Mechanic MODEL




P320 Nitron




The P320 is fueled by innovation and driven by performance. The modularity of the Nitron Full-Size gives you the ability to individualize your handgun to your own specific needs. #myp320

Every Day Carry W

01 Casio AE1200WH-1A Classic MSRP: $25 URL:

02 Spyderco Sage 5


MSRP: $230




hat you choose


to carry says

a lot about you. Are

Munich Wallet

you the type that

MSRP: $35

meticulously curates



your EDC? Maybe it’s



the OCD in you that


pushes you to color


coordinate your gear


or side with one type of

MSRP: $159

material over another.


Or perhaps you don’t give a damn as long



as the equipment is


useful and will last. One

iPhone 7 Plus

thing is for sure: EDCs

MSRP: $769 (128 GB)

are as varied as our




Most of us choose to carry a select array of


tools and accessories

2.0 Leather

every day that combine

MSRP: $40

to accomplish just


about any job; with them, you’re ready for



MacGyverism at its


best. That said, not

Pocket Tactical Pen

just any tool will do.

MSRP: $10


We expect only the highest quality items

weight to carry on a daily basis. Junk need not apply.



that are worth not only their price but also their



Elan Publishing Indestructible Field Book MSRP: $9 URL:

09 Ruger Firearms LC9 MSRP: $449 URL:

10 Concealment EXPRESS KYDEX LC9 MSRP: $35 URL:


UN12 / Issue 002




Premium EDC Items 1A Classic

2.0 Leather

MSRP: $25 URL: Our 2¢: Scoff if you will, but the old classic Casio that looks like the watch the nerds in “Revenge of the Nerds” wore is accurate, lightweight and can take a real beating. The watch is water resistant to 100 meters, features illumination and keeps track of 31 time zones. It’s cheap to boot, so in case you lose it battling sharks or fighting off Mugatu, affording a replacement wouldn’t be a stretch.

MSRP: $40 URL: Our 2¢: Simple design is timeless. The elegant 2.0 Leather key ring is made from genuine cowhide leather and is created using a unique mix of hand crafting and highly precise automated processes. It’s capable of retaining between two to seven keys and, best of all, when the keys are retracted into its leather cover it reduces audible key jingle to near silence. A premium D-ring attachment is included.


Indestructible Field Book

MSRP: $9 URL: Our 2¢: In the age of smartphones, who carries around a paper notebook anymore? But anyone who has his or her crap together should have something to write on that doesn’t depend on a battery. Whether you’re writing down your rifle DOPE or other important information, this pocket-sized book features a waterproof outer cover and paper that is specially formulated for maximum archival service and water resistance.



Pocket Tactical Pen

Sage 5

Munich Wallet

MSRP: $10 URL: Our 2¢: CNC machined out of polished stainless steel, this keychain pen was designed with everyday carry usage in mind. Unscrew the threaded and rubber O-ring equipped end to reveal a useful ballpoint pen. The other end of the pen contains a glass breaker tool that can also be used as a defensive weapon if need be. This pen comes with two replacement pen refills.

MSRP: $230 URL: Our 2¢: This folding knife comes with carbonfiber-look handles and is outfitted with Spyderco’s renowned Compression Lock mechanism. The Sage 5 features a full-flat-ground, leaf-shaped CPM S30V blade and a reversible tip-up wire clip. Also, a portion of the sale of every Spyderco Sage Series folder is donated to the National Alzheimer’s Association of Denver, Colorado.

MSRP: $35 URL: Our 2¢: This slim and lightweight wallet is made from 100% genuine leather and is finished in a cognac brown tone. It closes with a convenient brass push button and features two main compartments for cash, ID documents and business cards, plus nine slots for credit cards. We especially like its slim profile and its easy card retrieval.

UN12 / Issue 002

Rail Cover

Modular Rail Hand Guard

Picatinny Rail Section


Hand Stop


Every Day Carry / 04

08 06






JH Audio



Pub, Carbon Fiber

MSRP: $1,855 (as configured)

MSRP: $30





Chord Electronics

Louis Vuitton

Mojo - DAC/Amp

Pocket Organizer

MSRP: $529

MSRP: $385



03 Keyport Slide 3.0 MSRP: $88 (as configured) URL:



04 Prometheus Beta QRV2 MSRP: $59 URL:

05 Liong Mah Designs XV Folder


MSRP: $500


09 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona MSRP: $13,995 URL:

10 Acura 2017 NSX key/fob MSRP: $279 URL:

11 Apple iPhone 8 Plus MSRP: $949 (256 GB) URL:


06 Rite in the Rain All Weather Trekker Pen MSRP: $38





UN12 / Issue 002



Premium EDC Items



Mojo - DAC/Amp

MSRP: $1,855 (as configured) URL: Our 2¢: If you’re serious about your music, you’ll want to use what the pros use. Countless professional musicians turn to Jerry Harvey Audio for their in-ear monitors. The Roxanne offers -26dB of isolation, eliminating ambient noise. This ability to block outside sounds not only enhances the listening experience. It also allows lower listening volumes to reduce potential hearing damage. Each Roxanne is custom molded and made just for your ears.

MSRP: $529 URL: Our 2¢: If you’re still listening to music over your phone, you might as well be listening to it on cassette tape. We’re confident you’ll agree after you sample the incredible sound quality that the Mojo pumps out. Mojo is billed as the world’s most advanced portable digital-toanalog converter DAC/Headphone amplifier. This music player can not only make your music sound better, but will drive any pair of headphones you plug in to it.

Pub, Carbon Fiber

All-Weather Trekker Pen XV Folder

MSRP: $30 URL: Our 2¢: If keeping a low profile is your thing, you’ll appreciate the Pub. At a quick glance you wouldn’t realize that there was a blade hidden inside this key ring. Designed by Dmitry Sinkevich, the Pub features a bottle opener and a slotted screwdriver tip. The modified sheepsfoot blade features a straight edge and is finished with a slick-looking carbon-fiber front scale.

MSRP: $38 URL: Our 2¢: If you’re going to carry a pen, it might as well be one that writes in any condition possible. This all-weather metal pen can write on wet paper, and thanks to its pressurized ink cartridge it can also write upside down and perform flawlessly in temperatures from -30ºF to 250ºF— all without the worry of ink leaking, evaporating or blowing up in your pocket.

UN12 / Issue 002

Slide 3.0

MSRP: $88 (as configured) URL: Our 2¢: Keyport has been at the forefront of the anti-messy keychain revolution for years. Their latest iteration is the Keyport Slide 3.0. This allmetal, one-hand-accessible modular multi-tool consolidates your existing keys and combines them with optional tool inserts, such as a USB flash drive, pen, knife, mini-flashlight and more into a single unit. Available in 4-Port and 6-Port versions.

MSRP: $500 URL: Our 2¢: Famed knifemaker Liong Mah celebrates his 15th anniversary with his first integral handle folder—and is it a beautiful one. Featuring a hand-ground, 4-inch S35VN steel blade, only 300 examples of this limited offering are being made. Available in four different finishes, this first-batch knife is completed in a belt satin finish with stonewash handle.

Superior performance. Modest price. When you put yourself out there, our Hunter series stocks make sure that versatility, reliability, and accuracy go with you. See our full line of Hunter stocks and accessories for Remington and Ruger American at

©2018 Magpul Industries Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Magpul holds a Trademark on all of its product names and logos. The following products are trademarks of Magpul Industries Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries: Magpul, PMAG



Focus on Dark Alliance Firearms Text & Images by JERRY TSAI


ow do you like your gear to look?

style that blends equal parts Mad Max and

Do you like pristine, untouched items

steampunk with a healthy added dose of

that are plain and devoid of unnecessary

artistic anarchy. Founder Jeremy Schmierer

markings? Or do you like your equipment

says that his background is nothing fancy,

to stand out from the crowd and have some

nor is he traditionally trained. He explains:

personality? If you’re looking for an outfit

“I’m not a professional shooter or military/

that can take your firearm build to a whole

LEO. I’m just a guy who loves firearms that

other plane of customization with an

got sick of paying people to do stuff I knew I

apocalyptic flair, look no further than Dark

could do better.” Schmierer’s artistic talents

Alliance Firearms.

were learned through a lifetime of drawing

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, the artists of Dark Alliance have a unique customization


UN12 / Issue 002

and playing with metal. When asked what work Dark Alliance


Customization: Dark Alliance Firearms

“A unique customization style that blends equal parts Mad Max with steampunk and a healthy added dose of artistic anarchy.”

Schmierer’s artistic talents were learned through a lifetime of drawing and playing with metal.

specializes in, Schmierer states it plainly. “We take

“As far as types of items I like to customize, I’d

firearms and turn them into one-of-a-kind pieces

have to say Glocks, 1911s and ARs are probably

of art. We enjoy taking firearms that everyone

my favorites.” Schmierer has a preference for those

has seen before, and might even own already,

platforms mostly because they give him plenty of

and turning them into something so personal and

room to work. After all, what artist doesn’t like a

unique that they would want to hand them down as

blank canvas to start with? He adds: “Personally,

family heirlooms.”

I’m not a huge Glock fan, but they make such good

Even if they aren’t passed on as heirlooms, Schmierer enjoys creating conversation pieces for his clients. “When a bunch of buddies are talking

Laser etching and detailed hand refinishing are just a few of the services that Dark Alliance offers.

blank canvases I love to work on them. Just don’t make me carry one.” With so many great custom shops out there,

about how they each have the best gun collection,

what makes Dark Alliance stand out? Schmierer

my client can say, ‘Oh yeah?... Check this out!’—

explains: “We’re not a run-of-the-mill Cerakote

and be ruled the hands-down winner.” As we explored his facility, we got to see firsthand many samples of his and his team’s work as well as projects that were underway. We caught glimpses of everything from custom 1911 grip panels made of exotic materials to laseretched firearm receivers and magazines wrapped in leather. We asked what some of his favorite customization styles were and which types of items he likes working on most. Roping his team into his answer, Schmierer responded: “We’re all kinda twisted and creative people, so a lot of our work tends to be in a dirty, grimy style. We are called Dark Alliance for a reason—not the ‘shiny happy friendly alliance.’


UN12 / Issue 002

“We’re all kinda twisted and creative people, so a lot of our work tends to be in a dirty, grimy style. We are called Dark Alliance for a reason.”


Customization: Dark Alliance Firearms shop. There’s a bunch of good Cerakoters in this industry, so to differentiate ourselves we bring in many other aspects of customization to our builds. Whether it’s machine work, laser engraving, leatherwork, custom grips or stippling, we try to bring multiple customization techniques to our builds so when people see the work they immediately recognize that they’re looking at an original Dark Alliance Firearms build.” We’re certain that there are many people out there who would like to start their own customization companies. Just how did Dark Alliance get its start? Schmierer says the company



was officially founded about four years ago, but points out that he never started out with the intention of making it a business. We’d say his inherent artistic talent, insatiable creativity and can-do attitude paved the way and that his thriving business is testament to how good he and his team are at their craft. Offering a unique look and

ariants .308 AR V

armed with multiple capabilities, Dark Alliance grew from there. About his team, Schmierer says: “We’re all artists. If you’re a part of the Dark Alliance team it’s

Schmierer explains that his is not a run-of-the-mill Cerakote shop, and to differentiate themselves his crew members bring in many other aspects of customization to their builds.

for a reason. You share the same artistic mindset. We have a very tight group of friends; each adds to what people see in the final end product. We all push each other, and because of the passion we have for the projects we take on it sometimes leads to arguments. But in the end we’re all family. We get over it and end up happy that we pushed each other to get the project to the next level.”

To see more of Dark Alliance Firearms’ work, check out and follow their Instagram @dark_alliance_firearms for the most up-to-date pics. They are also on Facebook at /DarkAllianceFireams.

-74 AK-47/AK

nts and Varia

We’re sure that it’s this perseverance through adversity that helps his group achieve the

ts vor Varian a T & l li a G

consistently high level of work that they do. Schmierer sums it up: “You can’t just be happy with your current build or your work will never evolve!” If you’re looking for a truly original art piece that

We caught glimpses of everything from custom grip panels made of exotic materials to laser-etched receivers and magazines wrapped in leather.

can take a beating out in the field and still come back looking good enough to be passed on to future generations, look up Schmierer and his crew. They’ll be happy to flush out a unique build to suit their style and


your mood. [ UN12 ]

HK MP5 & SP89

“When a bunch of buddies are talking about how they each have the best gun collection, my client can say, ‘Oh yeah?... Check this out!’—and be ruled the handsdown winner.” 30

UN12 / Issue 002

& HK 91/93 6 MR556/41 M-LOK™ is a trademark of Magpul Industries Corp.

16/17, Plus SCAR n, CZ Scorpio M249 SAW ! and more

W292S4498 Hillside Rd, Waukesha, WI 53189 ◆ Tel: 262-896-6780, Fax: 262-896-6756 ◆


: : Built for PCC competition & tactical classes : : Chambered in 9x19mm : : Paired with a matching G17



UN12 / Issue 002



02 T

he KRISS Vector has been out for just about

AR fans may cry blasphemy, but that’s how he felt. He

a decade now and it still looks as futuristic

already owned a few ARs and saw this as a chance to

a blaster as you’d see in any number of recent sci-fi

try out something new. After combing the Internet and

flicks or video games. Perhaps it’s the unique shape

a half a dozen area gun shops, he finally decided on his

or innovative operating system, or both, that keep

competition weapon of choice—the KRISS Vector Gen

it feeling and looking as modern as it does. Over

II CBR chambered in 9mm and finished in black.

its relatively short existence the Vector has gone

Like many, Dan was intrigued by the Vector’s Super

through a few evolutions since its debut to improve its

V Recoil Mitigation System, which uses a non-linear

performance and expand its capabilities.

operating system that guides its bolt and associated

The most current version of KRISS’s carbine is

reciprocating energy down and away from the

designated the Vector Gen II CRB. It is available

shooter’s shoulder into a cavity situated just behind

chambered in five different calibers, .45 ACP and

the weapon’s magwell. This push down toward the

9x19mm being the two most popular variants. The

gripping hand instead of back towards the shooter’s

carbine uses Glock magazines, convenient if you’re

shoulder is said to reduce both felt recoil and muzzle

already a Glock shooter. This was the case for Dan,

climb, which in turn helps with faster and more

the owner of the Vector you see here. Dan has been

accurate follow-up shots. That’s the theory,

shooting Glocks for well over a decade now in local


pistol competitions as well as just for fun. He’s got


What sealed the deal for Dan

more than a few Glocks, going as far as collecting

was the fact that the

different generations of the same models. As you can

Vector accepts

imagine, the guy is swimming in Glock mags, but we’ll


get back to this thought in a minute. Over the past couple of years, the organizers of

“Perhaps it’s the unique shape or innovative operating system, or both, that keep it feeling and looking as modern as it does.”

the local pistol match that Dan goes to have steadily added more carbine-caliber shooting matches to their calendar. Always up for a challenge as well as an excuse to expend ammunition, he was compelled to partake in the events. A quick survey of his friends informed him that a great majority of the shooters in the pistol caliber carbine matches are using AR-15 based rifles that were converted to 9mm. After trying out the “AR-9,” he decided that although it was fun to shoot, it was also boring to shoot at the same time.



UN12 / Issue 002



The Gen II barrel shroud rocks an improved, squared-off design.

By attaching accessories such as a SureFire M312V, Steiner OTAL-C IR and Unity Tactical TAPS, Dan can quickly convert his competition carbine for use in night vision tactical classes.

02 The Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 holographic sight held up to the 150-degree oven curing process.

03 02




magazines. As mentioned, he has been shooting these pistols for a long time and over the years he’s accumulated a bunch of Glock mags. He clung on to

The Vector’s most eye-catching modification is

that line of reasoning and further theorized that since

probably its color scheme. While the Vector is offered

he wouldn’t need to buy more magazines he was

in a white color called Alpine directly from KRISS,

actually saving money by buying the Vector. Whether or

Dan’s originally came in black. It wasn’t until after

not that makes sense, we’re glad he pulled the trigger

he laid eyes on his G17, which was finished in a

on the purchase. The CBR checked all the boxes. It is

weathered white scheme, that he decided he wanted

a unique carbine with an innovative operating system

to same look for the carbine. DWS doesn’t have a

and takes mags that he has in abundance—and on top

name for this coloration, so Dan made up his own. Of it

of all that, it looks cool to boot.

he says: “DWS doesn’t have a name for this. They said

Around the time he took delivery of the Vector, Dan

if I could make one up, they would go with it. I jokingly

received his Glock 17 back from gun customizers

call these guns Snow White since they are white and

Dynamic Weapon Solutions (DWS). He had previously

battle-worn, dirty-looking. Snow White lived

sent one of his G17s out for a complete makeover

with seven dwarfs, so she must’ve

that included frame stippling, slide cuts, Cerakoting

eventually been a dirty girl.” All

that sits on top of the Vector was also sent to DWS to

and new accessories, and he was so pleased with its

joking aside, we’re digging

coat along with the gun. The parties involved initially

new look and feel that he wanted the same treatment

the battle-worn snow look.

had reservations about baking a $700 optic in an

done to the Vector. The guys at DWS didn’t blink at the request and were only too eager to get started. Like the pistol, the CBR’s lower receiver was stippled

The Vortex Razor

coating, but in the end all agreed to go ahead and do

holographic sight

it. Dan had confidence in the Vortex optic’s robustness

in a style that DWS calls Serrated Edge. The forward

and the risk-taking paid off. The sight survived the

grip area as well as the grip itself are now endowed

curing process and still functions flawlessly, even after

with an aggressive texture that we found to be quite

sitting in the oven at more than 150 degrees F.

harsh on the hands. We imagine gloves would be


required for extended shooting sessions if you’re the type who doesn’t like your hands tenderized. Dan

The owner jokingly calls the color scheme for his guns “Snow White.”

is made of sterner stuff than we are, because he said that the rough texture didn’t


bother him at all.

01 36

oven, as it’s a part of the process to cure the Cerakote


UN12 / Issue 002

The Vortex Razor AMG UH-1 holographic sight features unlimited eye relief and has 15 levels of brightness.

If you’re familiar with the Vector, you’ll know that it was originally designed to be a compact submachine

“He already owned a few ARs and saw this as a chance to try out something new.”

gun with an overall length of only about 24 inches. The carbine version extends the SMG’s original barrel length from 5.5 inches to a full 16 inches for an overall length of more than 34 inches. To help mitigate the unsightly look of the longer barrel, KRISS incorporated a barrel shroud that is reminiscent of a



sound suppressor. The earlier versions of the shroud were cylindrical, while the newer Gen II models rock an improved, squared-off shroud. After Dan got his Vector back from DWS he decided that he wanted to give his milled to reduce weight while still maintaining a rigid

CBR another custom touch. Inspired by his G17, which features window cuts in

structure for support. Accessories on the underside of

its slide, he wanted to add window cuts into the barrel

the rail include a hand stop and rail cover, both made

shroud too. Dan explains: “The shape of the barrel

by KRISS. When he isn’t rattling steel gongs and poking holes

shroud reminds me of a giant Glock slide. Same as with my G17’s slide, I thought it would be great to shed

in paper targets in competition matches, Dan tries to

weight off the front end of the gun with some lightening

take tactical classes whenever time allows. He admits

window cuts. The improved look is a bonus.”

he hasn’t taken as many classes as he wants to, but

On how he got the shroud’s window cuts done,

hopes to remedy that later this year. In the meantime,

he continues: “My friends Chris and Frank have a

he went ahead and had DWS paint up a few tactical

milling machine set up in a home garage/workshop.

accessories to match his Vector for when he does

It was something I wanted to try for fun. It shaved a

make it out. Since he recently picked up a night vision

little weight off, and for aesthetics we made sure to

monocular and helmet, he’s hoping to take some night

match the many similar oval shapes that the factory

vision courses. In support of that, he fitted the KRISS

includes on the lower receiver and the Vector Mod-1

with an IR-capable SureFire M312 Vampire Scout

MK1 Modular Rail.” The rail’s shape was designed

Light and a Steiner OTAL-C IR infrared aiming laser.

to closely follow the form of the Vector’s body and is

A standard model Unity Tactical TAPS dual-pressure

01 The Vector is fitted with an IR-capable SureFire M312 Vampire Scout Light and a Steiner OTAL-C IR infrared aiming laser.

Snow White G17 for a Vortex Viper red dot optic. Because the pistol is geared

They customized the holster to fit the Glock with a SureFire

The companion firearm to the

for competition, Dan installed an

X300U-B and brand-new Strike

KRISS Gen II Vector seen here is

Apex Tactical trigger as well as

Industries Glock Gen3 G3

Dan’s Gen 3 Glock 17. Actually

performance-enhancing parts

SlideComp based solely

it’s more than just a companion;

from Rainier Arms and Lone

on two pictures the

it inspired the customization

Wolf, and even a titanium striker

owner sent them.

theme for the Vector. Dynamic

from Lightning Strike Products.

Without having the

Weapon Solutions performed

The barrel is a fluted model from

SlideComp to work with,

plenty of framework on the

Faxon Firearms and its magwell

they still got

Glock as well as their MRK III

and mag extension are both from

everything to fit

slide package. The slide service

KE Arms. Dan pointed out that

perfectly and

includes chevron serrations and

BlackPoint Tactical went beyond

got it back

custom front beveling, as well as

the call of duty when they

to him in a

window cuts and an optional cut

created the holster for the G17.







UN12 / Issue 002



The NEW EDCL1-T is a bold, in-your-face high performance everyday carry light, with its high-output LED delivering 500 lumens of blinding white light on high and a useful 5 lumens on low its ready when you are.


“After spending some more time with Dan, we figured he’s not the type to let well enough alone.”

switch controls both units. The KRISS MagEx magazine extension kit was originally made to extend standard-capacity .45 ACP G21 mags to over 25 rounds. Dan liked the look of the extended magazines but found that KRISS didn’t offer

Receiver Extension and Viper Mod-1 Stock. The

a version of the kit for his 9mm carbine. Undeterred,

extension features scalloped surfaces that according

he converted the MagEx kits to fit his ETS Glock G18

to Strike Industries decrease friction with tight-fitting

31-round 9mm magazines himself by using a belt

stocks while saving weight and retaining strength.

sander and a Dremel rotary tool. As we examined the

After spending some more time with Dan, we figured

magazines, we noticed that he and his team of garage

he’s not the type to let well enough alone for long. We

machinists took the Vector’s oval theme and applied it

asked him if had any more plans for his Vector. He said

to the carbine’s magazines as well. The added benefit

he’s pretty much done with the CBR but did mention

to the milled window cuts is that the magazine’s

that he was interested in getting a pistol version of it

capacity is now viewable through the clear ETA

and having it painted it Snow White style to match. Late

magazines. We agree that it’s a nice touch.

in this issue’s making, he surprised us with in-progress

In the rear, he opted to swap out the factory stock and extension for a Strike Industries Advanced

01 The KRISS MagEx magazine extension kit was converted by the owner to fit Glock 31-round 9mm magazines.

images of his Vector Gen II SDP pistol. You can read more about it in the sidebar. [ UN12 ]

KRISS Gen II VECTOR SDP As a last-minute addition to this

But from what we can tell, he has

adapter. He also installed a Gear

article, Dan wanted to make sure

already had some work done

Head Works Tailhook Mod 2

that we caught a glimpse of his

with Dynamic Weapon Solutions

pistol brace. It’s certainly a great

newest project, the Snow White

and managed to custom-fit a

start to a good-looking pistol

Vector pistol. Since it’s a work in

Dead Foot Arms folding stock


progress, we don’t know what the final result will be just yet.

MODERN WARRIORS CHOOSE MODWALL A Modular Display & Storage System

540.298.8906 40

UN12 / Issue 002



KRISS Gen II Vector CRB Caliber: 9x19mm Length: 35.25 – 38.5 in. Barrel: 16 in. Weight w/o magazine: 10 lbs, 7 oz.

Featured Accessories: Optic: Vortex Optics Razor AMG UH-1 Stock: Strike Industries Viper Mod-1 Stock Receiver Extension: Strike Industries Advanced Receiver Extension Flashlight: SureFire M312V Laser: Steiner OTAL-C IR Sling Mounts: Magpul RSA QD Handguard: KRISS Vector MK1 Modular Rail Magazine: ETS Glock 18 9mm 31 Round / KRISS MagEx Kit Control Accessories: KRISS Picatinny Side Rail Kit (7 Slots) / KRISS Picatinny Rail Cover Short / KRISS Hand Stop / Phase 5 Weapon Systems Single-Point Bungee Sling QD Connect

About the owner: Owner: Dan Occupation: Special events coordinator Special Thanks: Chris, Frank, Tim, the crew at Dynamic Weapon Systems, my wife and kids.



UN12 / Issue 002


Do It Yourself


Completing a

Polymer80 Pistol Frame Polymer80’s PF940 series of pistol frames have been out for a few years now, but it’s the

What’s Needed

• Polymer80 PF940v2 80% Standard Pistol Frame Kit

• File • Torpedo Level


erhaps the ultimate project for someone who loves to work on guns is to create

about. From what we’ve seen, previous versions

start with a kit from Polymer80.

of their frames had their hiccups, but the latest

Polymer80 offers a selection of 80% receivers that include AR-15 and .308 ARs, as well as

models are said to have these issues ironed out. Never having worked on a Polymer80 frame

one with his or her own hands. With more 80%

Glock-compatible pistol frames. The two

before, we thought it would be a good test to

receiver options on the market today than there

newest versions of their unfinished frames are

see just how “DIY” it is. Would we run into any

probably ever have been in the past, firearms

the PF940C Compact and PF940V2 Standard.

problems with building a pistol from the V2

• Pin Punches

enthusiasts have the choice of creating any

Think of the PF940C, which is a compact-sized

frame? We decided to tackle the project and find

number of different types, from AR-15s to 1911s

frame, as being equivalent to a Gen 3 Glock 19

out. We imagine like most readers of UN12 we

and even MP5 clones.

or 23, while the full-size PF940V2 is their version

are proficient with our hands and love to work

of a Gen 3 G17 or G22. Both frames feature

on guns. However, we are not professionals and

over the past few decades is Glock. For any

what many shooters would call improvements

are not trained in gunsmithing. If anything, we’re

Disclaimer: Always take safety precautions when working with tools or other

number of reasons including performance,

over the originals, including a slightly more

good at problem solving and looking up how-to

dangerous goods. This DIY should be done at your own risk. Verify your results

reliability and aftermarket parts availability,

aggressive grip texture as well as deleted finger

videos on YouTube if we get stumped. Follow

with a certified gunsmith prior to using the final product.

Glock pistols have reigned supreme in the

grooves and grip hump and a high trigger guard

along and see how our Polymer80 PF940V2

polymer-frame pistol realm. For those who


Standard frame turned out.

• Power Drill • Bar Clamp (Quick Grip)

• Glock Compatible Frame Parts Kit

One of those most popular pistol platforms

UN12 / Issue 002

newest generation that we are most excited

Glock-compatible frame, all they need to do is to

• Nylon Mallet

• Drill Press • Cross Vise


want to build their own custom handgun from a


DIY: Completing a Polymer80 Pistol Frame


01 Preperation After reading the kit’s instructions and preparing the work surface, we installed a cross vise to the drill press as recommended by Polymer80. The kit came with a 9mm end mill, which we attached to the drill. From what we observed, there are many ways one can complete this job with many different tools. We downloaded Polymer80’s instructions and watched their instructional video.

03 Milling the Rails The first thing we needed to do was mill out the frame’s top rails. This was a fairly easy task. Polymer80 points out that if you’ve milled anything red, you’re doing it wrong. To play it safe so that we didn’t take off too much material, we stopped the end mill at about 1/16 of an inch from the surface of the jig. Our intention was to file it down by hand instead of taking the chance of removing too much with the end mill.

02 Jig Placement We placed the jig containing the pistol frame in the cross vise, making sure that it sat level and squared up. The jig holds the frame securely and comes with handy guides molded into it. Marked in raised lettering, the jig’s guides give you numbered steps on which areas to mill out and which holes to drill. Of course, these are just guides and reading the instruction manual is still highly recommended.

04 Reorient the Jig Next to mill out of the frame is a chunk of plastic that’s molded where the barrel sits in the frame. Called the barrel block, this obstruction needed to be removed. To do so, the jig needed to be orientated vertically. When we did this, we noticed that a seam in the front of the jig widened. We weren’t sure if it mattered or not, but to play it safe we used a bar clamp to help pinch it closed.

For more information on the MK1 MOD 1-M, Please visit 46

UN12 / Issue 002

DIY: Completing a DIY: Barrel Cut, Thread & Crown Using Hand Tools Polymer80 Pistol Frame

05 The Barrel Block Polymer80 is good about showing you what and what not to mill. If you look carefully, you’ll see a U-shaped line on the barrel block delineating the area that needs to be milled, leaving the surrounding area untouched. They advise you to “slow down and work precisely.” You can’t put material back after you’ve taken it out, so we moved forward slowly but deliberately.

07 Filing the Frame After the front and rear frame rails and barrel block had been milled, we went about filing the remaining frame rail surfaces down by hand. As you’ll recall from Step 3, we left about 1/16-inch worth of material so as to not take out too much at once. A good file or even sandpaper can help take the rail down so that it is perfectly flush with the rest of the frame.

09 Drilling Using two different-sized drill bits that came with the kit, we preceded to drill pin holes as indicated on the jig. Polymer80 points out not to drill the holes in one vertical action using the drill press. The holes are to be drilled horizontally, using a handheld power drill, from each side. In other words, don’t just power through from one side to the other. Take your time and drill one hole on one side, then move on to drill the other hole on the other side.


UN12 / Issue 002

06 Milling the Block After working the cross vise slowly, one-tenth of an inch at a time, we got the barrel block milled out to our satisfaction. If you don’t use a cross mill often, we highly recommend memorizing which direction turning the knobs will make the jig go. The last thing you want in such a precise space is to turn it the wrong way and mill out an area you’re not supposed to.

08 Milling Results Here’s the frame after it has been milled and filed. You can see the milled rails on both sides of the front and rear of the frame, as well as the U-shaped cut in the barrel block in the middle part of the frame’s front end. Everything looks clean and relatively smooth, so we’ll move on to drilling.

10 A Hiccup If you read the instructions and watch Polymer80’s YouTube video, you’ll notice that they each tell you to install the included Rear Rail Module (RRM) and Locking Block Rail System (LBRS) parts in different orders. We followed the video version and installed the RRM first along with our trigger assembly only to find that the LBRS was too wide to fit in the frame. Lucky for us, Polymer80 anticipated this and included written instructions to fix the issue.

DIY: a Polymer80 Pistol Frame DIY:Completing Barrel Cut, Thread & Crown Using Hand Tools

11 Fitting the LBRS According to the instructions, a tight-fitting LBRS can be remedied by spreading the frame with a tool such as a screwdriver shaft or dowel so the LBRS can slide in. They call for a 7/16inch tool, which of course we didn’t have. We did however have an 11mm drill bit (random, we know) that worked for us. It was wide enough to spread the frame so that the LBRS fit.

13 Pins and Frame Parts Kit Install The final step was to hammer in the frame’s pins. The frame comes with two 3x25mm pins; the other pins came with the separate frame parts kit and trigger kit that we also used for this build. We carefully tapped the pins in and found that they fit just as snugly as in a factory Glock frame.

12 Internals Installation Polymer80 recommends only getting the LBRS in partially, which allows room for easy trigger assembly and RRM installation. We did just that and everything fit perfectly. The trigger assembly and RRM slid in with just a gentle push. After those parts were situated, we carefully used a nylon mallet to hammer the LBRS into place.

14 Complete The finished frame feels and looks great. It comes with many of the custom features that Glock customizers apply to their stock factory frames. It has a high beavertail and deeply contoured trigger guard undercut that allows the pistol to sit low in your hand. There’s no hump in the grip and it has a scalloped magazine release as well as forward thumb placement shelves. It even has a slightly flared magwell.


Polymer80 PF940v2 80% Standard Pistol Frame Kit MSRP: $160 URL:


say that you can do this project with a

frame’s contours and features. For

All in all, we’d say that the frame

Dremel. Polymer80 probably doesn’t

those who wish to take their custom

didn’t present much difficulty to

recommend going that route, but we

build up another notch, Polymer80

mill and assemble. We were able

think it is possible if you’re skilled with

offers another model of the frame

to complete the milling and build in

the rotary tool.

kit called the ReadyMod that is

about an hour and a half, including

The frame is far nicer than we

completely un-textured, allowing you

triple checking our work as we went

expected and its polymer feels great

a completely blank canvas for you to

along. If we didn’t already have a drill

in the hand. We feel that they knocked

go gonzo with your stippling and grip

press and cross vise, we might even

it out for the park in terms of the



UN12 / Issue 002

[ UN12 ]



The Grand Expedition

: : Overland adventure covering 3,500 miles through 3 states : : Convoy of 8 trucks : : Trip duration: 10 days

“They were going to experience it on their own, away from the crowds, way, way off the beaten path.”

A Journey Through the North Rim of the Grand Canyon Text by VICTOR NGUYEN Images by VICTOR NGUYEN, DARYL CAMPOS & STANLEY LAW


dventure is often conceived by a simple notion, a fanciful idea that

turns into an attainable goal. Such was the case for us, as what began as a pipe dream four years ago quickly came to fruition. We’d spent the last few months scrutinizing geological and forestry maps, plotting our course through the remote North Rim of the Grand Canyon to explore the canyon’s edge. For the next eight days we’d travel 500 miles through most of the North Rim almost entirely on dirt, dipping into National Park, National Forest and BLM lands. The North Rim receives less than 10 percent of the total visitors to the Grand Canyon every year, and even fewer travel through the vast network of remote trails along the canyon rim due to the lack of services and gas stations. As there are no gas stations or grocery stores within the North Rim and along our route, proper considerations for gas, food and water were necessary during the planning process. The longest distance between our fuel stops would clock in at over 370 miles.


UN12 / Issue 002




Camping in the Kaibab National Forest.


Setting out on the less-traveled North Rim.



Making lunch at the rim of the Grand Canyon.


Our group gathered at the first night’s

Enjoying the aweinspiring view at Point Sublime.




UN12 / Issue 002

horizon, with ominous looking clouds in the

campsite on Parasawampitts Point in the

distance. We hunkered down for the night

Kaibab National Forest, our first stop along

as a major storm pummeled our campsite

the Grand Canyon. Opting to skip the short

almost 12 hours earlier than anticipated

hike to the edge the following morning due

with heavy winds, rain and hail. Not a

to a long day of driving ahead of us, we set

single one of us would get a full night’s

our sights for Point Sublime. The first signs

sleep as the wind ripped through camp,

of winter (and the elevation) became readily

prompting some of us to sleep inside

apparent as we encountered snowfall, ice

our trucks rather than brave nature’s fury

and plenty of downed trees hampering

outside in our tents.

our progress on the trail. We deployed our

A small break in the weather the next

chainsaw, axes and winch to quickly clear

morning allowed us to snap a few photos

our route. Finally reaching Point Sublime

of the canyon and quickly pack, but the

“We hunkered down for the night as a major storm pummeled our campsite almost 12 hours earlier than anticipated.”

downpour began yet again as we made our

a bit behind schedule, we broke out lunch

caused by the fresh rainfall, we rolled into

right on the edge of the Grand Canyon,

our campsite at Kanab Point sporting new

enjoying our first spectacular view of the

brown paint jobs and settled in for another

breathtaking vistas.

night on the rim. As morning approached,

way away from camp. The rains had turned the trails into a wet mess of sticky clay and mud, making maintaining traction difficult. Due to the deteriorating trail conditions, we chose to ride out the remainder of the storm in town, where we had already planned to refuel, and grab a hot breakfast. We would later learn that the same storm system would dump more than a foot of snow on the section of trail we had cleared the previous day, effectively closing it for the season. No doubt due to the wet clay and mud

We made it the 70 miles to our next

the sun slowly peeked through parting

campsite just as the sun set beneath the

storm clouds to reveal an awe-inspiring


view of the canyon in front of us. With so

most notably founded and homesteaded

many difficult miles travelled in the past

by the Bundy family in the 1920s prior

down over the loose rocks and broken

three days, and with the sun finally drying

to their move to Nevada. We also took a

lava fields to our final campsite of the

out our wet gear, we struggled to leave the

short trip to visit some petroglyph sites at

trip—Whitmore Canyon Overlook, 700 feet

comfort of our warm tents.

Nampaweap, where Anasazi Indians have

above the Colorado River. Our timing could

We slowly made our way to the next campsite at SB Point. The trail was tight and overgrown in some areas, which slowed our pace considerably. But for the first time on the trip we would be able to set up camp before sunset. We quietly sat in awe as the dwindling sunlight cast a spectacular array of colors across the canyon walls. For half of our group it would be a fitting end to their journey as they made their way back home before Thanksgiving. The rest of us, weary from the effects of non-stop travelling over the past six days, spent the next full day camped at Toroweap Overlook for Thanksgiving. We took a short hike up Tuckup Trail and spent a

UN12 / Issue 002

not have been any better as we descended into camp just as the sun set over the hills above us. Looking below, we could clearly see a group of rafters pulling up to shore, also to camp for the night. It was amazing to recall that just seven days prior, at the beginning of our trip, we had been more than 5,000 feet above the Colorado River, and now we could hear the water from the rapids below. We spent our final night on the canyon’s edge watching the embers fly from the trip’s last campfire. The following morning we broke camp and began the journey home. A dream more than four years in the making had been made reality, and with it came 500 miles of dirt roads, downed trees, ice, mud

cold Thanksgiving day huddled around a

occupied the area since as early as 1 AD.

and freezing rainstorms, new friendships

portable campfire for warmth.

The petroglyphs here are part of one of

and a front row seat to possibly the world’s

the largest remaining petroglyph sites in

greatest view. [ UN12 ]

The next day was spent taking a side


“The rest of us, weary from the effects of nonstop travelling over the past six days, spent the next full day camped at Toroweap Overlook for Thanksgiving.”

Leaving Nampaweap, we made our way

trip to visit the historic Mount Trumbull

Arizona, with thousands of individual rock

schoolhouse, located on a remote strip of

art elements over the half-mile-long area of

Arizona occupied by cattle ranchers, and

the preserve.

To see more of twentyfourseven adventures’ exploits, follow their Instagram @tfs.adv.



Images courtesy of DOWN RANGE BABY






he F-150 pictured here is more than just a

Shepard adds: “The bags I create for new dads are

slick-looking truck built for the sake of it. It’s

tough enough to go to war with and are made in

Officer Jeff Shepard’s calling card to bring awareness

America.” He points out that the company created

to first responders living with Post Traumatic Stress

opportunities for him to continue to participate in the

Disorder (PTSD). The law enforcement themed truck

firearms community. “I started meeting many other

was built for two purposes: to serve as a work vehicle

warriors and first responders struggling with PTSD.

for Shepard’s company Down Range Baby and as

I realized it would become my job to use everything

a tool to draw attention to police officers who have

I was doing to create exposure for a cause that was

been diagnosed with PTSD.

close to me and extremely important. Sometimes you

PTSD is an issue that’s dear to him in part because he has firsthand knowledge about its effects. “I was recently medically retired from the police department

see a problem and realize that it’s your problem to help solve.” As Shepard became more immersed in the PTSD

after being diagnosed with severe PTSD,” Shepard

community, he wanted to create motorcycle rides

says. “I was originally diagnosed in 2012 after an

to further support PTSD awareness. The first ride he

ambush shooting in my patrol car.”

helped organized was last June 27, 2017, on National

Shepard is a career first responder who worked as

PTSD Awareness Day. This June, he will be riding his

a firefighter for 9 years and a police officer for 10. The

motorcycle from Seattle to Virginia in order to bring

door eventually closed on his beloved career after

awareness to warriors living with PTSD.

he was injured at work as a motor officer. He recalls:

Since last year’s ride, he has partnered with

“Losing my ability to be a first responder left me He explains: “I was deeply

feeling empty and in fear of what the future held.”

impacted by Lesley Mayne, the founder of

Rainier Arms. About the truck, Shepard says, “We Lesley has helped so many

are really excited about the way our truck has been

Baby, a company that specializes in manufacturing

charities supporting PTSD with her foundation. I will

able to participate in the military and law enforcement

diaper bags for dads. His products are made in

be riding to her son Kyle Farr’s grave to celebrate

community by bringing awareness to first responders

a manufacturing facility that also specializes in

his life on June 27, 2018, which is National PTSD

living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

providing the U.S. Armed Forces with tactical gear.

Awareness Day, and to thank him for his service.

Before long, Shepard created Down Range

: : Customized F-150 and motorcycle : : Built as a platform to draw attention to PTSD : : Driving/riding from Washington to Virginia to support

all those who work so hard for the well-being of our

support that’s saving the lives of so many military and

first responders and others who suffer from PTSD. If

law enforcement struggling with PTSD.” The bike

you catch a glimpse of the Down Range Baby F-150

Shepard will ride can be seen above hitching a ride in

or motorcycle out on the road, give them a friendly

the Ford pickup’s bed.

wave and show them your support for the good work

The truck has subtle hints of Kryptek camo pattern

UN12 / Issue 002

that they do.

[ UN12 ]



15" WEIGHS 5.4 OZ

15" WEIGHS 7.7 OZ

13.5" WEIGHS 5.0 OZ

13.5" WEIGHS 7.2 OZ

in its graphics scheme as well as a custom Thin Blue Line motif incorporated into its leather-trimmed

To learn more about Down Range Baby, visit their

interior. The outpouring of support for the cause came

website at For more about Jeff

from many automotive and firearms companies,

Shepard’s journey, visit

and includes custom Cerakoted rifles created by


We tip our hats to Jeff Shepard, Lesley Mayne and

He is a hero and his sacrifice has inspired a chain of




















Images by TRACER X

: : Built for 3-gun competitions

: : Constantly evolving build

: : Chambered in 5.56x45mm

3 60

UN12 / Issue 002



























“It’s funny that I really don’t spend a ton of time on my own rifles making them look super IG worthy and nice.” I

t’s not often that we get to examine, in detail,

of the newest parts and accessories, how would you

the personal rifle of a true industry insider. Sure,

set your rifle up? That’s what we’re here to find out.

there are official display guns created by companies

Being an avid competition shooter, Bartolome

that are mocked up with the newest doohickies that

built his AR-15 to compete in 3-gun competitions.

we routinely see at shows, in shops and online, but we

Specifically, he built this rifle to qualify for 3-gun

want to know what the people behind the brands really

open division matches. Taking a quick look at it, we

run on their own rifles. Which parts do they choose

immediately noticed that he paired a Seekins Precision

and why? We got just that chance from Ari Bartolome,

billet upper receiver with a Rainier Arms AR-15

Marketing Director at Rainier Arms.

UltraMatch Billet Ambi Lower Receiver MOD 3 to form

If you’re unfamiliar with Rainer Arms, we have to


the gun’s foundation. Billet receivers tend to have more

ask, have you been living under a rock? Kidding

uniquely machined contours than forged receivers,

aside, Rainier Arms (RA) started out as an online shop

which helps gives this build an edgier look.

specializing in AR-15 parts and accessories and has

Inside the upper receiver sits a Seekins Low Mass

steadily grown to be one of the top go-to retailers for

Carrier. He chose a lightweight BCG because taking

“high end” and innovative firearms and accessories.

quick, accurate shots is immensely important when

We got to talk with Bartolome, who handles RA’s

it comes to competition shooting, and a low mass

marketing, to check out his customized AR-15. As a

carrier helps him do just that. The result of lowering the

benefit of his daily grind, he gets to see and handle

amount of mass that cycles through the upper receiver

the latest and greatest gear that passes through RA’s

is decreased felt recoil and a muzzle that gets back on

doors. (Must be nice!) If you had access to a metric ton

target more quickly.

UN12 / Issue 001 002

01 The Seekins Low Mass Carrier helps in making quick, accurate shots during competition.


02 To stabilize prone or stationary shots, Bartolome uses a Harris bipod that is equipped with spiked feet from Doug Glorfield.

03 The 17-inch barrel and intermediate-length gas system helps further soften recoil.

















02 02

Under the Fortis Switch Rail is a Rainier Arms UltraMatch barrel with an intermediate-length gas system in 17-inch form. The combination of the 17-inch barrel and a longer, intermediate gas system helps

“Training time is so sparse nowadays— it’s easier to keep your gear consistent so you’re not having to retrain how you shoot your rifles.”

further soften the recoil of each shot. Bartolome points out that he chose the Fortis Switch Rail because “it’s a

with a carbon-fiber cheek piece, the stock has a rock-

solid rail that’s also slim and fits VTAC barricade slots

solid feel and definitely looks sexy.

perfectly.” An adjustable gas block by Seekins and a

on the gun, which we thought was done on purpose, but

5.56mm round even more. As you may have surmised,

Bartolome responded: “It’s funny that I really don’t spend

the name of the game here is to put the kibosh on

a ton of time on my own rifles making them look super

muzzle rise and to get back on target quickly.

IG worthy and nice. This is an old build from back when

The lower receiver’s setup is pretty simple but very

the ‘burnt bronze’ Cerakote craze was hot and heavy.

effective. The Rainier Arms Mod 3 lower contains a CMC

It’s really sad, because over time I’ve swapped parts out

2-stage trigger that is configured for consistent two-

like my handguard and never Cerakoted it. I couldn’t give

pound pull on both first and second stages. Bartolome

my rifle up to get it done as I was always shooting it. I like

swears by the consistency of CMC triggers and has

it anyway and it shoots tight groups reliably so I left that

them on all his AR builds. The magazine release is a

mojo alone.” The original Cerakoted parts were done by

Rainier Arms EMMR, which features interchangeable

Bill Porter of Hyper Ballistics.

finger pads that help extend it for an easier and more


We commented on the unique three-tone/pattern finish

Fortis muzzle brake also help him tame that almighty

If you take a good look at the Vortex Razor HD Gen II

consistent reach without the need for Bartolome to

1-6x24 scope, you’ll notice something mounted to its

break his grip in the slightest. With the rifle constantly

magnification adjustment ring that allows Bartolome

evolving, Bartolome points out that newest part added

to cycle from 1x magnification to 6x with ease. No, it’s

to it is the Fortis LA buttstock. Crafted out of aluminum

not a cattail or a throw lever, but a fishing reel mounting

UN12 / Issue 002

01 A fishing reel mounting clip added to the Vortex Razor scope allows the shooter to adjust magnification with supreme ease.

02 The Fortis Switch Rail provides plenty of KeyMod attachment points for accessory mounting.

03 The Odin Works K-Pod is used to mount Harris style bipods on KeyMod handguards.


























in a Razor RT45 Offset Mount with a large 6 MOA dot for close-up shots. You’d think that someone who has access to RA’s entire inventory of products would bathe his rifle in Gucci, but no. Aside from the fishing rod inspired optic throw lever, Bartolome also repurposes old parts to get the job done. “I use some home remedies in some cases to accomplish the task, like my old Aimpoint QRP mount that I repurposed to sit on my rail and act as my barricade stop,” he says. “I like it because it’s tool-less and I can use it on the right or left side, and it offers good bite on the barricade because of the knurling on the knob.” We asked Bartolome who did the work on his rifle. His answer: “I do all of the work myself. I have a full gun clip called a Breakaway Nylon Coaster. Yes, that kind

bench at home and I’m always tinkering into the wee

of fishing. Bartolome found that these reel mounting

hours of the night, mostly because that’s when my kids

clips could double as a great extended magnification

go to sleep. But also because I have an overactive mind

adjustment lever substitute for his Vortex. It actually isn’t

that struggles to turn off at night.” We surely can relate

much of a secret within the competition community, but

to that.

we think it’s pretty cool anyhow. It’s made out of nylon


After chatting with him about his thoughts on outfitting

so it’s forgiving when he dumps his rifle into barrels and

rifles, we learned that he is not in the habit of swapping

bangs it against barricades at competitions. At about

out parts at the drop of a hat (as some of us might if

10 bucks a pop, he says that they’re “high-speed,

we worked at a major firearms retailer). It’s quite the

low-budget. I have them on all of my optics now.” Also

opposite, actually. “I will run and continue to run what

attached just right of the scope is a Vortex Razor Red Dot

works until it breaks,” he says. “I don’t often swap parts

UN12 / Issue 002

01 The Fortis LA buttstock is crafted from aluminum and features a carbonfiber cheek rest.



O out on this rifle unless I need to. I have other rifles I use to test or evaluate new parts I get in from RA.



Training time is so sparse nowadays—it’s easier to keep your gear consistent so you’re not having to retrain how you shoot your rifles.”

Ari Bartolome’s 3-gun AR-15

He continues: “I like what works, and what works at home on the range is different than what

Caliber: 5.56x45mm

will run in 20-degree weather, and what will run in

Length: 35-38.25 in.

dry and sandy conditions like shooting out in Utah

Barrel: 17” Rainier Arms UltraMatch Barrel

way of saying yeah, I know it looks cobbled

Gas System: Intermediate

together, but it works. And to me, my favorite view of my rifle is when it’s on my shoulder.” Indeed,


or Texas in the summer. This is my long-winded

Weight w/o magazine: 9 lbs, 8 oz.

that’s our favorite view too. This purpose-built AR definitely reflects the

Featured Accessories:

soft-spoken and humble nature of Ari Bartolome. work well, while keeping flashiness to a minimum. Thinking creatively about repurposing parts that


It’s built to work for the purpose of 3-gun and

others might have cast off, such as the QRP

Optic Mount: Bobro Mount, Razor RT45 Offset Mount

mount in the place of a barricade stop, is an eyeopener and refreshing to see. Even with access to

Upper Receiver: Seekins Precision Billet Upper Lower Receiver: Rainier Arms AR-15 UltraMatch Billet Ambi Lower Receiver MOD 3 Handguard: Fortis Switch Rail



Stock: Fortis LA Stock


“Even with access to it all, it’s Bartolome’s creativity and practicality that makes the difference.”


it all, it’s Bartolome’s creativity and practicality that make the difference. [ UN12 ]

Optic: Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24, Vortex Razor Red Dot 6 MOA

Magazine: Hexmag Parts & Accessories: Seekins Low Mass Carrier, Seekins Adjustable Gas Block, Fortis Brake, CMC 2-stage Trigger, Rainier Arms EMMR, Rainier Arms Avalanche Charging Handle, Breakaway Nylon Coasters (optic cat tail), Aimpoint QRP mount (barrier stop), Harris bipod with spiked feet from Doug Glorfield

About the owner: Name: Ari Bartolome




Occupation: Marketing Director at Rainier Arms Special Thanks: Shout out to some of the best manufacturers of parts that work for “me.” Fortis Manufacturing allows me to test their parts and listens to our needs, CMC Triggers for making some of the best triggers for the AR—like hot sauce, I put them on everything. Vortex Optics for making the most rugged optics in the game. Last shout out to Rainier Munitions for keeping my baby eating and shooting laser beams!

MEET YOUR NEWEST ADDICTION UN12: The biggest and freshest firearms magazine focuses on customization and individuality. Dealers wanted: UN12 is a premium and limited magazine that is not available on newsstands. It is only available online and through specialty shops like yours. Join up as a UN12 retailer and we’ll drive customers to you. If you would like to carry UN12, contact us at today.


UN12 / Issue 002


Plate Carriers

Plate Carriers P Text by CHARLES “CHIP” LASKY Images by JERRY TSAI


corresponding belt kits, packs and

specialized medical gear or CBRN

combat uniforms that will integrate

kit. But we cannot let any of that

with these plate carriers in future

hinder our basic load that allows

issues of UN12.

us to fight.

The mission should always drive your gear setup, and there will be all things to all users for all applications. But I have found

life-saving armor over as many vital

tertiary. Primary gear is the stuff

that the primary and tertiary gear

organs as possible, and carrying

I need immediate access to in a

hierarchy can be applied to just

the myriad pieces of equipment

gunfight. Tertiary gear is everything

about any plate carrier build for

needed to prevail in a gunfight

else. Primary gear needs to be

most mission profiles. That said,

and accomplish the mission. This

immediately accessible with either

professional warriors should not

is not a “buyer’s guide” as such,

hand and should be located on

rely on a single plate carrier for

but the first installment in a series

the front of your body. Everything

every mission. While manufacturers

covering how to set up your gear

else can be carried elsewhere,

have recognized this and started

for your mission. I should make

spread across your body (but

developing scalable platforms with

clear that I do not work for any of

still easily accessible). The three

“mission configurable” structural

the companies presented here. The

things you need immediate and

components, the reality is that

manufacturers chosen have earned

unencumbered access to are:

you’re not going to rebuild your

the only “good to go” companies.

LE SOF units. Gone are the days of one-size-

UN12 / Issue 002

you will see it included on the

IZLID, breaching tools, ladders,

simple hierarchy: primary and

them to my brothers in military and


off the PC there is a reason, and

We may need to carry dual comms,

I break my gear down into a

and would wholeheartedly endorse

: : Equipment use and placement explained

carrier setups. If I left something

roles on top of the rifleman’s gear.

serve two functions: positioning

experience using their products

“No single

configuration will be all things to all users for all applications.”

PC before every mission. Invest in different plate carriers for different types of missions. Even if you like a specific system because it can be configured in multiple ways, buy multiples of the same carrier and preset them in the configurations that will work for your different missions. You can easily enough transfer the contents of one carrier

fits-all combat gear. Today, the

1—Primary and secondary

to another before a planned

name of the game is modularity.

ammunition; 2—A tourniquet to

mission. Or simply stock each

But as with anything else, the

stop bleeding; 3—Your radio PTT

carrier for “grab and go” (the smart

more options you have, the more

or mic so you can talk to your team.

kids will do this).

confusing it can get. In order to

Everything else is tertiary. I have

properly solve a problem, you

put a lot of years into figuring out

wear a plate carrier is you expect to

must break it down to its lowest

what works and what doesn’t.

encounter gunfire and explosives

common denominator. In this case,

Because I’m a little guy, tactical

on a two-way range—meaning you

we are talking about gunfighting.

real estate on my person has

are there to fight. Make sure you

Everything you carry into battle

always been at a premium. It has

are ahead of the power curve by

needs to trace back to the purpose

forced to me question everything I

setting up your gear for success.

of helping you win the fight.

carry and where I carry it. I’ve had

Afterward, train with it. The best

years to refine my gear loadout,

litmus for testing your gear setup

begins each of his classes by

and my overall approach can be

is to train at night. If you can

defining the three basic tenets

disseminated across multiple

effectively feed your guns, move

of gunfighting: Shoot, Move,

platforms for multiple missions.

quietly through various obstacles

One of my mentors, Buck Doyle,


as we look at the following plate

specialized gear to support our

is no single configuration that

However, I have had personal

: : Understanding hierarchy of gear

piece of gear. Keep that in mind

We will always need to carry


element to a modern

proven track record. They are not

: : 4 mission-driven plate carrier setups examined

to your PC as the carryall for every

shoot, move and communicate?

warrior’s combat loadout. They

innovation, quality product and a


entire whole. You should not look

we carry. How will this help me

late Carriers are the central

my trust and business through their


to interrogate every piece of gear

The number one reason you

and operate your comms in the

Communicate. I don’t think it can

While the plate carrier is the

be broken down any clearer than

centerpiece of a warrior’s gear

dark, you will have no problem

that. With this in mind, we need

loadout, it is only one piece of the

during the day.




to a Sharpie marker on my chest.

and holds easy-access tertiary gear.

This carrier is set up for an assaulter

The blades are secured in the built-in

The front zip pocket holds a small Rite

in a military Special Mission Unit. It is

cummerbund kangaroo pocket and

in the Rain notepad and pen along with

configured for a direct-action mission

the tops are secured with the RE

a dedicated flex cuff cutter. I usually

where the team may be flown directly

Factor Trauma Shear Holster.

keep a small handheld thermal imager

For a direct-action hit, I place a large

to the target location or maybe need to infil several klicks. A hit like this

ID panel on my chest. This is important

should expect moderate to heavy

for a couple reasons. A large, full color,

resistance, so a reasonable amount

friendly flag identifies us as the good

of body armor should be worn, but I

guys. It also makes for a nice “fuck

stop short of bicep protection, collars

you” before you shoot the bad guy

and yokes. I still need a high degree

in the face. And large flag patches

of mobility for infil, actions on the

provide ample surface to conceal an

objective and exfil.

important survival item: local currency.

Velocity Systems Scarab. It is

E&E (Escape & Evasion) plan, I’m not

a lightweight, scalable carrier

going to rely on my dashing good

that’s highly adjustable and cut

looks to charm the locals into helping

for great range of motion. I installed

me get out of Dodge. Few things work

front and back Velocity Systems API-

“Set up for an assaulter in a military Special Mission Unit for a direct-hit mission where the team may be flown directly to the target location or may need to infil several klicks.”

BZ Multi-Hit Standalone Rifle Plates and Side Plates and backed them with Velocity Systems SAPI Soft Armor Inserts. Soft armor will dissipate the kinetic energy transfer of a projectile (which can be just as lethal), while the plate is designed to simply stop the projectile. Rifle magazine pouches, a tourniquet and my PTT are mounted at the front as my primary immediate-access items. All three are within reach by either hand. I prefer three rifle mags up front because I don’t want to stack mags on top of each other. Stacking mags or pouches on pouches limits your access to belt and pants pocket kit. I keep an extra

better to motivate people than cold,

rifle mag on my belt and 3 to 6 more

hard cash. The panel is also large

in an assault pack. I like closed-top

enough to conceal a chest-mounted

pouches because they keep debris

blast gauge that indicates what PSI

out of my mags. Blue Force Gear

I may have been exposed to if I’m

(BFG) Triple M4 Magazine Pouches

found unconscious.

01 Blue Force Gear (BFG) Triple M4 Magazine Pouch



Velocity Systems Scarab

03 Emdom Vehicle Hydration Carrier

Abdominal Carrying Kit) under my

material to make for an ultra-light yet

mags. It dangles over my belt buckle

robust pouch. I’ll tuck the flap of one of the pouches behind the mag for an

front flap of the cummerbund closure

easily grabbed emergency reload.

(behind the mags). This makes a great storage location for all the excess

Right next to the mags is a CAT (Combat Applications Tourniquet)

cables for radios. This PTT is a Tactical

in a BFG Tourniquet NOW! Strap

Command Industries Liberator III

Tourniquet Holder. It is super

LITE that puts control of both radios


into one module. I secure as much

lightweight and handy for rapid Above the mags is the PTT for my

of the cable as possible and leave a

can degrade over time. They are

radios. I place the PTT on the edge

flat, open launch pad on my chest for

one-time-use and should be replaced

of the carrier so I have a clear path

magazine access. The cleaner you

annually. The Rod Locking Clip faces

to my mags. I set this carrier up for

can keep your chest, the faster and

toward my body so it doesn’t hook on

dual comms and make ready use of

easier access you will have to mags.

slings or environmental obstructions.

the Velcro kangaroo pocket on the

I carry large EMT trauma shears next

UN12 / Issue 002


I run a Spiritus Systems SACK (Sub

use proprietary Helium Whisper


in the main compartment. I mount the

In the event I need to implement an

I built this carrier off a

access. CATs are UV-sensitive and

Assaulter 01



SACK under the cummerbund. The

over it. It is also short so it doesn’t

HSGI Handcuff Pouch. While my team

inside is completely lined with Velcro

interfere with sitting in a vehicle.

would always carry plenty of flex cuffs

Even if I’m not the designated

on belts and in pockets, I always want

pile and accepts a multitude of inserts

breacher, having some mechanical

for mission-specific roles.

to have at least one pair of double-

breaching tools is a good thing

locking standard handcuffs. Good

side, next to my mags. I remember

since the actual breacher may not

flex cuffs are essential for multiple

seeing pics of “tactical operators”

always be at my side. I have large

prisoner handling, but if it’s an HVT

as a kid with radios mounted high on

bolt cutters from Home Depot

or just a belligerent jackass we can’t

their backs. But while the PTT lets

stowed in the main compartment

kill, he is going in steel cuffs.

you talk and is the most important

of the carrier. The carrier’s dual-

I always keep my radio on my left

snap fastener is woven between

comms gear to reach for, you may also

the handles to keep the

need to change things on your radio

cutters from coming out. But

depending on the type of comms

the snaps will be undone by

problem you have to solve.

a hard yank on the tool.

As a right-handed shooter, I keep


Lastly, next to the Hydration Carrier, I have a Titanium Entry Tool (TET) from Explosive Ops Gear for popping locked cabinets, trunks and so on. It

my radio on the left side so the

is super lightweight,

antenna does not interfere with my

has enough length to

primary shooting shoulder. I put the

get leverage, and fits

larger of the two radios (AN/PRC-148

through PALS webbing.

MBITR) on my left side. I have ready access to the controls from the open


top in my BFG Multi-Radio Pouch.

This plate carrier is set up for

My smaller team radio is mounted

Domestic Law Enforcement

just next to my tourniquet, under my

SWAT. Regardless of the

right arm. I try to keep this area as

mission, I carry over a lot of the

free of pouches as possible so I can

same themes and elements

more quickly present my pistol from

between loadouts because it

the holster on my right hip. But in the

just works. This kit is for typical

case of dual comms, you only have

SWAT callouts. The team may

so much real estate. So I place the

roll up in force and kick in the

smaller team radio there in a TYR

door for a high-risk warrant

Tactical Motorola XTS Radio Pouch.

service. Or it could be a surround

I always want to keep the gear

and call-out op where we stand

on the sides of my plate carrier as

around for eight hours waiting

minimal as possible. This keeps my

for the suspect to realize he

profile smaller, making it easier for

isn’t going to win. Either

me to quickly fit through doors, climb

way, this mission differs

over walls and so on. But that doesn’t

from the SOF hitter

mean it’s off limits. Mounted directly

in that it’s unlikely

to the side plate bag, behind the

we are going to

cummerbund, is my slashy/stabby

hike in and out of

tool. In this case, I’m carrying a knife

to keep flashbangs here. I don’t need

from one of my favorite knifemakers,

to find a buddy to work off his back

Half Face Blades. I keep knives on

or have a buddy get one for me off of

my primary side, handle up and tilted

mine. I keep the pins facing my body

forward. This way I can easily bring

to eliminate snag hazards, and the

down) while climbing or fast roping. It

heavy on hurry-up-and-wait. The

collars are practically useless for

my “strong hand” up, removing the

draw from the pouch is absolutely

is especially useful on ladders.

threat is also different. If an operator

protection. A high-velocity projectile

knife from its kydex sheath, and

silent. Ten Speed pouches keep them

is facing a pistol downrange, his

will flatten it out and strike the wearer

then bring it down in an underhand

secure. One caveat—they do wear out

pouches for things on my back that I

world has probably taken a turn for

above, or push under it and strike

grip. Mounted over my right kidney

over time and need to be replaced.

cannot access myself. I always wear

the surreal. But domestically, officers

the wearer between the main carrier

Rounding off the left side is a

a small assault pack that can quickly

face down pistol threats every day of

armor and the supplemental piece.

Dump Pouch for SSE (Sensitive Site

215 Gear Multi-Mission Weapon’s

and easily be slung over my shoulder.

the week. So some of the extra body

Yoke and collar armor is not wide/

Exploitation). This is for collecting

Retention Lanyard. This is the

Even though the Scarab has a zip-on

armor panels like IIIA bicep protection

important items that you don’t want to

simplest, lowest profile and most

assault pack panel, I do not use it

start to make a little more sense.

leave, like a pistol or documents.

snag-proof primary weapons retention

because I can’t access it myself.

I’ve used. It’s basically an industrial

Instead, I keep a flat pouch on my

BFG Double M4 Mag Pouch. This

elastic strap covered in tubular nylon

back to hold a water bladder. One of

is essentially a pouch made out of

that clips to a PALS-mounted side

my favorites is the Emdom Vehicle

elastic. It secures two mags, but lays

release buckle. It pins my rifle to the

Hydration Carrier. It’s wide and flat,

completely flat when not in use. I like

side, completely vertical (muzzle

allowing me to wear an assault pack

is a BFG Ten-Speed Ultralight

Mounted under my left arm is a


UN12 / Issue 002

a target zone. While mobility is always very important, a lot (not all) of SWAT callouts are light on marathons and

As I mentioned, I don’t want

Wrap-around soft armor is

rigid/supported enough to offer any stopping protection.

protection to extremities. Personally, I want bicep and groin protection, but stop

real protection. It does, however, excel at limiting head movement while wearing a helmet, and adding

important for “heavy entry.” For a

It also needs to

The outer zipper pocket contains a

standard SWAT plate carrier, I want

hold standard size rifle plates with

short of full shoulders, yokes and

folded-up vs17 marking panel.

something that holds front/back IIIA

the option of adding side plates.

throat protection. We need to strike

Next to the hydration carrier, in the

Spear/BALCS-cut armor panels for

And it needs to accept scalable

a balance between acceptable

Siege-R Optimized platform. The

lower left corner of the plate bag, is an

the uninterrupted coverage of pistol-

up-armor components for added IIIA

coverage and mobility. Yokes and

Siege-R Optimized has a slick base

unnecessary weight to the wearer. This setup is built on the First Spear



design with no external cummerbund like the other systems presented here. I’ve installed BALCS soft armor and Velocity Systems API-BZ Multi-Hit Standalone Rifle Plates and Side Plates. My biceps are covered with First Spear MASS Bicep protectors. I like their design in that they are quickly detachable without having to take the shoulder assembly apart (in case I need fit into cramped spaces). I also wear a First Spear MASS Groin Protector. The FS design also has a special pocket



“For typical SWAT callouts where the team may roll up in force, or a surround and call-out op waiting for the suspect to realize he isn’t going to win.”

Velocity Systems API-BZ Multi-Hit Standalone Rifle Plates

02 First Spear MASS Bicep protectors

03 First Spear Siege-R Optimized

to fit a 6x6” side plate. Following the rules we set earlier, I have immediate access to my rifle mags, radio PTT and CAT tourniquet on the front of my person. I carry three rifle mags in a First Spear Ranger Shingle. I often see SWAT officers running only one or two rifle mags with the reason being “that’s all I’ve ever needed” or “If I need more, we

of steel cuffs in this pouch for easier

have a box in the BearCat.” I’m all for a

access. These cuffs are for belligerent

minimalist approach, but I’d warn against

suspects only. Everyone else gets

training and equipping yourself for the

flex cuffs. I run a large First Spear

99% of scenarios that end with minimal

3x8” Cell Tag that clearly IDs me as

or no shots fired. You need to be ready


for that 1% where you’re fighting for

POLICE. This tag is both infrared reflective and visible glow-in-the-dark.

your life against an enemy that has you

The white glow gives me easier ID day


and night, while the IR reflective acts as IFF while under night vision.

Immediately behind the Ranger Shingle

To the direct right of my mags are

are my large trauma shears in RE

two HSGI Extended Pistol Mag Taco

Factor Trauma Shears Holster. My PTT is mounted all the way on the left edge of my carrier for

Pouches. I run my pistol mags on my


belt, but these extended tacos are

unimpeded access to mags. This

perfect for carrying one/ea Cobra

unit is a TCI Tactical PTT—simple

Cuffs. These were first shown to me

design, unmistakable in tactile

by John Chapman of Forge Tactical,

feel and incredibly easy to find the activation button. I’ve removed the


who has an extensive LE background and knows a thing or three about

Velcro rear clip and stuck it directly to

suspect handling and cuffing. Talking

side is a BFG Ultralight Dump pouch.

the Velcro pile surface on the front of the

about flex cuffs is a whole article by

I can easily toss a suspect’s gun or

PC. I’ve further secured it with a routed,

itself. But these are the best on the

evidence into it.

heavy-duty rubber band.

market. I keep two on my side in the

I’ve attached a First Spear Double

Extended Pistol Mag Tacos for rapid

Flashbang Pocket on the left side of

American Rescue CAT Pouch. It is

access and two more in my left pant

the carrier, directly next to the Ranger

mounted horizontally on my groin

cargo pocket. The Extended Tacos

Shingle. Normally I would prefer BFG

tools on their person for crisis entry

protector. This pouch completely covers

keep the Cobra Cuffs very secure and

Ten-Speed pouches for bangers for

as soon as they get there. This means

the CAT, protecting it from harmful UV

reduce snag.

reasons mentioned already. But SWAT

these tools need to be staged on

have a Motorola HT1250 in a Velocity

My tourniquet is stored in a North

what I produce from each. Directly behind these pouches I

has a unique challenge. The majority

your plate carrier or in your assault

Systems Radio Pouch. The Siege-R

On the outside of my Ranger Shingle is

fixed-blade knife. Cops need a good

of SWAT officers are doing regular

pack so you can grab and go. I elect

Optimized does not have an integral

a First Spear Double Handcuff Pouch.

knife in their gear for the same reason

patrol duty, crime suppression, task

to use fitted bang pouches with side

cummerbund with front kangaroo

While I normally don’t want gear mounted

an operator does. I recommend a

force and traffic until there is a SWAT

release buckles so the devices can

pouch in which I can shove extra

on top of my mag pouches, having an

small fixed blade attached to the plate

callout. They then race to the location

be left in the pouch ready to go (pins

comms cable. I run a couple pieces of

immediate-access handcuff is awesome

carrier in a less obvious manner (a

and don their SWAT gear, which

facing toward body). Right next to that

Velcro One-Wrap through the MOLLE

when trying to restrain a suspect intent on

scary Karambit front and center may

they keep in the back of their squad.

is a London Bridge Trading Modular

attachment slits on the vest and shore

fighting. Wearing a full plate carrier and

still be a bit much for the TV cameras).

SWAT still needs to do work even if

Smoke Grenade Pouch (6131E). I

up the entire cable bundle next to the

wielding a rifle presents a challenge in

I use the same clip and 550 cord

the team truck with all the breaching

purposely use a smoke pouch with

radio pouch. This leaves no exposed

reaching to the back of my belt to access

method to mount the kydex sheath

tools, bangers and other munitions

Velcro closure next to bang pouches

coil cable to snag. The antenna is

handcuffs (where I’d normally keep them

with a forward cant for a more natural

isn’t on scene yet. So officers need

with buckles so I can feel for the

routed to the back of the carrier via the

on a patrol duty belt). I only keep one set

draw stroke. Rounding out the right

to have personal bangers and other

difference and will be confident in

TCI MAST to keep it out of my armpit.

rays and helping increase its longevity.


UN12 / Issue 002

Behind the Cuffs is a Mil-Max CCW



hit that requires a long patrol infil and

case, I have decided to use open-top

exfil. The operator will be in the field

shock-cord-kept mag pouches. Built

anywhere from two to four or more

in to the cummerbund flap, they save

days and will be carrying the necessary

extra ounces from redundant fabric

sustainment equipment for that sort

layering of a separate modular pouch.

of work (i.e., a 72 Hour Assault Pack

The flap is flat, keeping my mags close

or Ruck). Operations like this require

to my body and lowering my profile.

extreme mobility and are of a very

The front face features several rows

grueling nature.

of PALS for attaching small gear that

Depending on the mission (especially altitude), I may elect to forgo the protection offered by a plate carrier in favor of increased mobility and

would otherwise need to be mounted off-center and become hindered by my pack straps. My CAT tourniquet is stored in a Marz

less fatigue. But if I am going

Tactical Tourniquet Pouch – MOLLE.

to wear a carrier, I’m going to

Rather than use an open-strap system

go for the lightest system that

like I would in an assaulter’s role, I prefer

affords me the most mobility and

to keep as much of my gear covered as

flexibility. This one is the Crye

possible while in the field on recce. Right

Precision JPC2.0 (Jumpable Plate

above the TQ is a Tactical Command

Carrier), the latest evolution of

Industries Alpha PTT for my radio. This is

Crye’s most popular platform. Its

one of the most compact PTTs I’ve ever

skeletal design cummerbund and

used. It is lightweight, submersible and

shoulder straps offer weight savings

weaves/hooks through PALS. The PTT

and heat aspiration routes without

button is located on the side, recessed in

compromising functionality.

a raised pedestal that is very easy to find

I almost always try to back

by feel with gloves. It is perfectly suited

my plates with soft armor

for edge-mount, leaving a clean launch

for increased protection and comfort. In this case I

I intentionally leave the rest of the cummerbund flap PALS empty to

ounce I possibly can, so I

provide as flat a surface as possible.

will leave out plate backers

Recce missions require being prone or

and rely solely on the

semi-prone for long periods of time. I

Velocity Systems API-BZ

may take my helmet and pack off, but

Multi-Hit Standalone

my plate carrier or chest rig stay on

Rifle Plates. I will also

at all times. So even though my ruck

sacrifice side coverage

encourages me to keep pouches and

armor and side plates. This affords me

create a tactical shelf over my gut. The

titanium pry

more weight savings, highly increased

TQ will smoosh down under my weight.

comfort while wearing a ruck with waist

I also have a small #3 or #4 locking

straps, increased airflow and a lower

S-Biner from Nite Ize reserved for my

bar in here. I part-time team may not

design is one of the best when used in

for a while. If there’s

conjunction with a heavy ruck.

only three of us and we

Again, I have direct ambidextrous

need to do work, I don’t

access to my rifle mags, tourniquet

want to stand around with none of us have breaching tools.

and PTT. I’ve rigged my JPC2.0 with the Crye Precision AVS Detachable

“For a military SOF mission where the operator will be hiking challenging terrain, at various altitudes, in austere environments. It could be longrange recce to conduct ISR or a hit that requires a long patrol infil and exfil.” 01 Velocity Systems API-BZ Multi-Hit Standalone Rifle Plates

02 Crye Precision JPC2.0 (Jumpable Plate Carrier)


profile. The ultra-flat shoulder strap

have everyone on scene

our thumbs up our asses because


items off my sides, I still don’t want to

cutters and

want these tools on me. A


pad for mags.

am looking to shave every

by leaving behind soft

Special Operations Forces 03

Tactical Tailor Fight Light 2 Liter Hydration Carrier.


Flap M4 Flat. The plate carrier does not come with a front cummerbund


UN12 / Issue 002

modular variants that will allow user

I also run a 215 Gear Multi-Mission

This carrier is set up for a military

preference customization across the

Weapon’s Retention Lanyard on my left

SOF mission where the operator

JPC2.0 and AVS line. I prefer covered

side for the same reason mentioned

will be hiking challenging terrain, at

mag pouches to limit snagging and


various altitudes, in extremely austere

loss of gear due to environmental

environments. It could be long-range

interference and I like secondary

favorite Emdom Vehicle Hydration

recce to conduct ISR (Intelligence,

retention of items on my person—flap

Carrier. As before, I keep my bolt

Surveillance, & Reconnaissance) or a

covers, shock cord keepers, etc. In this

The back of the carrier features my


flap. Rather, Crye offers several



gloves when they are not on my

JPC2.0 MBITR Radio Pouch. This

hands. Whenever possible I try to not

pouch simply attaches via Velcro

wear gloves, or at the most use thin

under the cummerbund and hangs

tactical gloves. My favorite are the

off the side. It is held against my body

SKD Tactical PIG FDT Deltas. When

by the skeletal cummerbund over the

gloves aren’t on my hands, they hang

front and allows me to keep my radio

on the S-Biner. Nite Ize has a very

off my shooting side but still have

simple locking mechanism that keeps

easy access to the controls from the

the clasp from inadvertently opening

top. As always, I make ample use

and losing my gear.

of the kangaroo pocket behind the

Law Enforcement Officer 04

front cummerbund flap to store all

Behind my mags are the large trauma shears. I have a large 3x5”

the excess cable. The AN/PRC-152’s

Infrared Reflective Flag Patch from

antenna is mounted on my back via

Perroz Designs on my chest. This

the Tactical Command Industries

patch features a laser-cut relief of the

MAST, keeping it completely out of the

U.S. flag (but can be made in your

way of pack straps and slings. The

good-guy flag of choice) in Multicam

MAST relocates the antenna

nylon and backed by IR reflective

out of the way. I route the

nylon. Like my assaulter’s kit, the

MAST extension cable

large flag patch conceals local

through the skeletal

E&E currency and a blast gauge.

cummerbund to keep

The small, built-in admin pocket

it secure and make use

at the top of the JPC2.0 is low

of the Crye Precision

profile and out of the way. Since

MOLLE Zip-On Panel

it’s built into the plate carrier it

2.0 on the back of my

cannot block mag access, so I

JPC. Basically, this is a

use it hold 4” infrared chemlights.

flat panel of material that

They stay upright and accessible

provides a clean PALS/

because I slide them into an EOG

MOLLE surface on the

Mini Chemlight Holder that perfectly

back of the plate carrier. I

fits in the pocket and even adheres to

use this to cover up the excess

the internal Velcro.

antenna cable and cummerbund attachment points.

Dangling beneath my plate carrier is

Directly on the center of the

the Spiritus Systems SACK, holding a Rite in the Rain notepad and

back panel is a Tactical Tailor Fight

pen in the front pocket. The main

Light 2 Liter Hydration Carrier.

compartment will contain a small

It is low profile and provides

handheld thermal imager or AN/PAS-

no interference with my pack. I

29 ECOTI (Enhanced Clip-On Thermal

actually prefer a water reservoir and

Imager) for my night vision goggle.

straw during recce missions due to

While I may have room for other items,

ease of access on the move. I’ve got

I try to keep pouches dedicated so I

the drinking tube routed under my

don’t end up spilling multiple items

arm and through the PALS webbing

to casualties (after the threat

while trying to extract one. This is an

on my chest to keep it out of the way

is neutralized). It also needs

important rule of thumb about GP

of pack straps.

pouches. Anything you put in them

throw a bomb. Directly behind

needs to be secured and organized.

the frag, mounted to the inside

needs to provide the officer all of the gear he/she needs to win the fight and begin rendering aid

to contain gear that will sustain the officer for hours

PALS on the cummerbund, is a


cummerbund flap is a BFG Single

Half Face Blades Combat Karambit

The last plate carrier is designed

Designs LPSPC (Low Profile Slick

Frag Grenade Pouch. Again, Helium

with its sheath secured via clip and

for a domestic LEO as an active

Plate Carrier), one of the lightest, most

Whisper is the strongest and lightest

550 cord.

shooter/terrorist response kit. It

Immediately to the right of the

material for this sort of work. I also like

Immediately to the left of the

the design in that it uses a side release

cummerbund flap is a BFG Single

buckle to secure the flap. Snap

during ongoing sweep/clear. For this mission I use a Perroz

versatile carriers I’ve worn. Perroz’s innovative use of materials allows it to

doesn’t matter if it’s a foreign fighter

responders on scene are going to

Directly to the left of the

or a suburbanite who can’t cope

be patrol officers. If some of those

Smoke Grenade Pouch. This Helium

smoke pouch is another

with the world anymore. Cops need

officers are SWAT, they can don their

wearing patrol uniform and duty belt.

under clothing or decked-out for

closures on pouches wear out quickly,

Whisper pouch both feels different

BFG frag pouch. If the situation

to prepare for the fight of their lives.

SWAT kit. But more of the officers are

Most of the time they will have all

assault roles. Even fully kitted, the

but SR buckles require a deliberate

than the Cordura nylon TQ pouch next

requires me to throw one frag,

Some solutions to active shooter gear

probably going to be patrol and traffic.

the tools they need to do their job

LPSPC will take up minimal space in a

action to open. And there are few

to it and has a different type of pull tab.

odds are that I’ll probably need to

action than the simple Velcro closure

involve a “go bag” concept utilizing

If that’s me, I don’t want to grab a rifle

on their duty belt and/or soft armor

vehicle’s trunk.

things on God’s green earth that

This makes it harder to accidentally

throw a second.Tactile feel of pouches

on the smoke.

some sort of repurposed hipster man-

and a purse to head into a fight with a

carrier. Knowing this, the items on a

should require more of a deliberate

open the wrong pouch even though

is important. The frag pouch’s SR

bag slung over the officer’s shoulder.

suspect(s) armed with rifles. I want a

critical response plate carrier need

officer is already wearing a uniform

action to initiate than preparing to

they are right next to each other.

buckle requires a more deliberate

That’s really stupid, because the first

plate carrier.

to augment the duty gear. This PC

shirt over a concealable IIIA soft armor


UN12 / Issue 002

Immediately behind the smoke and frag is my radio in a Crye Precision

The responding officers are already

be low profile enough for concealment

The carrier’s profile is critical. The



fit and very secure. While I normally

an RE Factor holster and a Perroz

they can be stuck on doors or walls

act of wearing a vest over a vest is

want some sort of secondary

Designs 3M SOLAS reflective patch

to indicate cleared areas, direction

already going to add unwanted girth.

retention, this mission does not

for high-visibility identification.

of travel, devices or anything your

going to hold two bottles of

Perroz uses an ultra-thin High Abrasion

require it.

I recommend a bright, full-color

department puts in the SOP. The

water as well as four SOFLETE

reflective flag patch alongside an

main compartment contains a fat

Pre-Workout QuickStix for

Neoprene Kevlar (HANK) material

I’ve partitioned the front

My sustainment pouch is

for the cummerbund. It is as thin as

pocket with the Micro

easily seen LE badge patch. These

permanent marker and rubber door

my water. This stuff provides

they come, yet incredibly strong. The

Fight Half Flap.

will resonate with civilians and fellow

stops. I can use the stops to pin doors

a natural energy boost

shoulder straps are constructed out of

This creates

officers during massive adrenaline

open, creating an egress path, or pin

without increasing heart

the same material so they won’t add

a pocket for


doors closed to create a strong point.

rate and blood pressure

thickness to the vest underneath. The

carrying an

Below the Micro Fight is the

Hanging off the bottom is my CAT

like caffeine. I also

officer simply throws the LPSPC over

extra set of

Spiritus Systems SACK. This is

tourniquet secured by shock cord.

keep two Kirkland

his head, clips the radio mic to the front

handcuffs. The

my marking pouch dedicated to

of the PC, fastens the cummerbund

open side of the front

materials I will use to communicate

pouches are necessary. One of

brand) protein

and is off to the fight.

pocket contains a Micro

my location and/or danger areas.

my SOF veteran brothers, Don

bars for meal

Fight Pistol Magazine Insert

The front zipper pocket contains

Edwards, has some great ideas


IV Plates in the carrier. In conjunction

that holds two more pistol

Cyalume Adhesive-Backed Light

about sustainment materials for

They have one

with the soft armor, a Patrol Officer

reloads. The pistol mags sit low

Shapes. These are like chemlights

critical response situations. I took his

of the best

will have a lot of protection with these

enough compared to the rifle

but are large, flat shapes with an

advice and added this kit to my active


plates. They offer a high protection

mags behind them. Earlier I said

adhesive back. Once activated,

shooter plate carrier. I’ve placed a

fiber ratios

level at an affordable cost. Most patrol

I don’t like stacking pouches

officers will be buying their critical

over pouches, but this mission

incident plate carriers and armor out

requires the plate carrier to

of their own pockets. While the afore-

work over already-worn duty

mentioned Velocity Systems plates are

gear. The added girth of the

lighter and thinner, their $1,175/each

carrier may impede access

retail price tag is spendy. The Grey

to belt-mounted pistol mags.

Ghost plates come in at $210/each for

Or some smaller officers may

Level IV protection.

have pistol mags mounted on an

I’ve installed Grey Ghost Gear Level

Following the rules, I have rifle mags,

01 01

Grey Ghost Gear Level IV Plates


outer armor carrier vest. Any gear

Perroz Designs LPSPC (Low Profile Slick Plate Carrier)

In this case general purpose

worn on an outer carrier needs

easily accessed. The Spiritus Systems

to either have a home for a fast

Micro Fight Chest Rig is the most

reposition on the plate carrier or

modular and scalable chest rig on the

be able to be covered up and not

market. In this case I’ve taken the base

needed in the fight. This includes

Micro Chassis MK3 and attached it

Tasers and mags. If you keep

via side release buckles to the front

your Taser on an outer carrier,

of the LPSPC to form a cummerbund

you better have a holster for it

flap. I’ve installed the Spiritus Systems

on your critical response plate

Micro Fight 5.56 Rifle Magazine Insert

carrier. You won’t be able to access

BFG Medium Vertical Utility Pouch

so I can carry three AR-15 mags.

it otherwise.

directly to the right of my front

The insert is made out of heavy-duty

Directly behind the Micro

elastic, so mag retention is via friction

Fight are the trauma shears in

03 RE Factor Tactical Aggressor Pack

plate. This placement still allows easy access to the pistol on the duty

on the market. They are also very low

belt. This pouch is for sustainment in

in sugar so I won’t get any drowsy

the fight.

effects. Lastly, a small bottle of Motrin

While the operator has the luxury


UN12 / Issue 002

with sound-deadening cotton balls

officer, a quick tug can remove the plastic ring, and left behind. Directly to the left of the plate

fold-up card that holds the contents to bring them around front for rapid

or being able to be dressed for

will keep aching joints, muscles

combat and carry his gear across his

and head at bay. A BFG Ten Speed

is a BFG Single Smoke Grenade

access. I have another CAT tourniquet

entire body, the LEO is dressed as

Ultralight Dump Pouch sits next to the

Pouch. Responding officers should

strapped to the top of it.

a peace officer. Most cops are still

GP pouch for collecting SSE items.

have smokes for use in covering

required to wear the polyester “Officer


Signature (Costco

“The carrier’s profile is critical. The act of wearing a vest over a vest is already going to add unwanted girth.”

tourniquet and radio mic up front and


Law Enforcement Officer 04

because your shift ends.

vest or an outer soft armor carrier. The

I keep a bundle of ten bright green

Rounding out this plate carrier is an

approaches or escape angles for

RE Factor Tactical Aggressor pack.

Friendly” uniform. So their critical

Cyalume MILSPEC 4” Chemlights

civilians. A BFG Ten-Speed Double

It’s lashed to the back of the LPSPC

response plate carrier better carry

on 550 cord, hanging from a Nite Ize

M4 Mag Pouch is next to the smoke

so the full kit can be thrown on as

everything they need for sustained

Locking S-Biner, to the direct left of

and would hold two flashbangs.

a single system. The Aggressor is

combat. Situations develop rapidly

my mags. Active shooter situations

At the back of the carrier is a BFG

a plate-sized, very thin, deployable

and could drag on for hours. If you’re

require bright, clear marking for

Trauma Kit NOW. This is another great

pack. It has pull-tabs on the top and

first on scene, you may be pulling

follow-on officers and to provide

invention from BFG. While I normally

bottom for removing the internal

inner perimeter security or be part

civilians a safe, marked exit route.

advocate wearing an IFAK on the belt,

fold-open card, which has loops and

of a search team. It could be hours

Running gutted 550 cord through the

most cops are not going to be able

pockets for storing all sorts of gear.

before the scene is Code 4, and you

hole at the top of a chemlight will allow

to wear a full IFAK on their duty belts.

In this case, I’m carrying extra, more

can’t just pause for lunch or pack it in

it to be pulled away, breaking the

Even though it is mounted behind the

comprehensive IFAK supplies. [ UN12 ]




Custom AKM 84

UN12 / Issue 002




s an “AR guy,” Jake never thought much

Mike is a purveyor of all sorts of firearms, but his

about AKs. Sure, he’s handled them and

heart definitely leans more towards the AK family of

had some range time with them in the past, but for

arms. Almost a reversed version of Jake, Mike loves

some reason he gravitated toward the AR-15 and

building, modding and shooting his AKs and isn’t

never really gave AKs much thought. For years, he

all that enamored with ARs. Being that Mike’s built

built, modified, shot and trained with his beloved

or helped build more than 40 AKs and variants over

AR-15s. He always thought that its ergonomics were

the years, he was a good source to go to for tips on

unmatched and didn’t worry about the 5.56x45mm

Jake’s first AK build.

versus 7.62x39mm debates or AR versus AK rivalries that raged online. After helping one of his buddies build an AR-15,

Jake quickly found out that there are many options

for a wide array of calibers. Jake wanted his first custom AK to be built in the original 7.62x39mm

together and he wasn’t sure what it required. Jake

flavor. He figured, “If I’m going to have an AK, it might

knew that the tools and methods used between

as well be in the most popular AK caliber, and it’s a

the two platforms were totally different and that

round that is pretty cheap to shoot, too.”

Jake’s always been a tinkerer. He likes working


was on caliber. Like the AR, AKs can be chambered

his friend that, no, he didn’t know how to put an AK

question got his mind running.

WBP includes ribbed top covers with its AK kits.

when it comes to AK builds. The first choice he made

he was asked if he knew how to build an AK. He told

assembling an AK is a more involved process. The

Ribbed Top Cover

The MFT Battlelink Minimalist is made for the AR platform and adapted for use on this AK.

Jake went online to learn more about AK-47s, AKMs and other variants. He learned that the more modern iterations of the AK-47 and AKM have been

with tools and can spend endless hours working

updated with the AK-100 series of rifles. Based

in his garage-turned-miniature-workshop on the

on the more modern, 5.45x39mm chambered AK-

weekends. He’s not exactly sure why, but that onceneglected firearm soon became an obsession of his. Perhaps it’s because it was different from what he was used to or that there was something about it he could learn. He made the decision to build one and quickly sought out his AK-obsessed friend, Mike, for guidance.

: : Custom-built from a receiver

Nevertheless, he moved forward on the project with

different calibers. The version that Jake decided to

the intention of using the receiver that he already had. One obstacle for would-be AK builders is the set

: : Chambered in 7.62x39mm

loosely base his build on was the AK-104, which is a

: : 12.4-inch barrel

stamped receiver that he bought years ago on a

complete AK or more. Luckily for Jake, Mike had all

whim but never used. He soon discovered that

the tools required for assembly. All he needed now

his Nodak Spud NDS-3 receiver has since been

were the parts. After doing some more homework

discontinued in favor of newer models. There were

online to figure out just how he wanted his build to

reported issues of its use with certain triggers that

turn out, Jake was referred by Mike to a few shops

have since been corrected with the newer versions.

that could fulfill his parts needs.

“Like the AR, AKs can be chambered for a wide array of calibers. Jake wanted his first custom AK to be built in the original 7.62x39mm flavor.” 86

74, the AK-100 series rifles are offered in several

UN12 / Issue 002

7.62x39mm, 12.4-inch-barreled version of the rifle.

of specialized tools required to build them. Buying

He dove into his safe and dug out an older AK

all the tools required can cost almost as much as a

Receiver The build is based on a Nodak Spud NDS-3 platform.




“Realizing that AK purists can be sticklers for the details when building replicas of existing models, Jake decided to avoid all that and go another route…”

The Burris FastFire 2 has a 4-MOA red dot that automatically adjusts its brightness to the environment.

Handguard An SLR Rifleworks 11.5-inch Lite unit with KeyMod attachment points accommodates Jake’s existing accessories.

Realizing that AK purists can be sticklers for the

already headspaced-and-assembled barrel made

details when building replicas of existing models,

the rifle easier and quicker for the AK beginner to

Jake decided to avoid all that and go another route.

build—and safer for him to shoot.

He went on to piece one together that he would enjoy

To finish off the front end style he wanted, he

shooting and owning without the intention of making

needed to locate a muzzle device that was about

it an exact replica.

4 inches long yet featured styling he liked and the

Jake liked the look of the shorter AK-104 but

performance he expected. After looking at more

wanted the rifle to stay out of NFA territory. The

forum posts that he cares to recall, he caught a

AK-104’s 12.4-inch barrel would make it an SBR,

glimpse of a Polish Tantal replica build. The Tantal is

so if he wanted to have the look of a short barrel he

an AK-like rifle that’s chambered in 5.45x39mm and

needed to find a muzzle device long enough to have

fitted with a long muzzle brake. The muzzle brake

permanently attached, allowing it to meet the legal

would be perfect for Jake’s build, but would it need

minimum 16-inch barrel length. He also liked the look

to be bored out for his larger 7.62x39mm caliber? He

of the 90-degree gas block with incorporated front

looked at a couple of online shops, but all showed

sight as opposed to the AK-47’s 45-degree gas block

Tantal brakes out of stock. After a bit more searching,

with its muzzle end mounted front sight. The hunt

he ended up locating one on He

was on for both pieces.

discovered that the one he got would allow 7.62mm

Jake found an AK parts kit that came with a 90-degree gas block with a built-in front sight made by Polish AK maker WBP at Arms of America. He

projectiles to clear safely, so no further boring would be necessary. He also ordered AK-Builder’s rivet kit and a front

quickly snapped it up. The WBP kit came with a

sight detent and spring kit that he would use to

forged trunnion and a FB Radom hammer-forged,

center the muzzle brake. To complete the “upper,”

chrome-lined barrel that was fully headspaced and

as he refers to it, he went with a KeyMod version of

assembled. AKs require a more involved barrel

SLR Riflework’s AK 11.5-inch Lite handguard with

installation process than he was used to and this kit’s

full-length railed gas tube. He already had plenty of KeyMod accessories and wanted to mount a Burris FastFire 2 red dot optic. Now that the front end was sorted out, he moved on to the rest of the rifle.


35.5" Illustration by JESSICA LEE


UN12 / Issue 002

Old vs. New

Here’s a look at Jake’s AKM build versus a traditionalstyle AK-47. The shorter overall length and muzzle end of the AKM trades the longer sight radius of the 47 for an easier to point and more maneuverable carbine. It also features improved controls over the original in terms of user-selectable length of pull, safety lever and configurable handguard accessories. A railed gas tube allows for a red dot to be attached as well.

To complete the receiver, Jake opted for an ALG AK trigger, Krebs Custom Mk-VI enhanced safety, Red Star Arms FCG pin retaining plate and Solar Tactical MFER flared magwell. He also went with Magpul’s MOE AK grip in the plum color. He had always liked the plum hue used on AKs so he wanted to work that color into his build, too. Moving on to the rear end, Jake told us that he wanted to be able to use an AR-compatible buttstock on this build. “I like being able to switch out buttstocks and retain the length adjustability like on the AR-15,” he says. To that end he decided to incorporate a Rifle Dynamics RDAK-M4 Stock Adapter with a Knight’s Armament M4 Receiver Sling Mount for both its built-in QD sling attachment points and how it visually fills out the space between the buttstock adapter and MFT Battlelink Minimalist buttstock when it is collapsed.



Muzzle End

To match the Magpul grip, Jake sprayed the MFT stock with DuraCoat Aerosol in Plum Brown. As you

A Tantel-style muzzle brake brings barrel length past the minimum 16 inches; a SureFire M612V provides illumination.

can see, it’s a touch off but overall a pretty good match. Of the DuraCoat Aerosol he says: “I’m an instant gratification kind of guy. I’d rather rattle-can it myself than send it out for proper finishing. Yes, I’m impatient. DuraCoat Aerosol allows me to have



Jake’s Custom AKM

a no-muss, no-fuss method of coating my firearms without the wait.” After all the parts arrived, Mr. Impatient did have to

Caliber: 7.62x39mm

wait for the barrel to come back after he sent it out to get cut down from 16 inches to about 12.4 inches

Length: 33.5-36 in.

and for the Tantal brake to be permanently installed,

Barrel: 16.2 in.

bringing it up to more than 16 inches in length. He

Receiver: Nodak Spud NDS-3

didn’t mind the process because he figures that the barrel’s overall length is still shorter than if he left the

hard process, but to get it right or done cleanly does

barrel at 16 inches and installed a muzzle brake on

take experience and a certain kind of finesse.Now

top of it—and it’s lighter at its muzzle end as well.

that I’ve built one, I have to say it’s kind of addicting.

After that excruciating week of waiting, all the parts

I’ll probably want to try another build sometime in the

were back in Jake’s hands for final assembly.

future... maybe a clone build of an AK-103.”

Jake took the parts over to Mike’s, where Mike

AK Parts Kit: WPB AKM-47 Sporter Model Weight w/o magazine: 7 lbs., 10 oz.

[ UN12 ]

guided him through the building process. When asked what he thought of it, Jake replies: “Building an AK is completely different from putting together an AR. Working with the tools, pressing and riveting is something you don’t do with ARs. I wouldn’t say it’s a


“Building an AK is completely different from putting together an AR. Working with the tools, pressing and riveting is something you don’t do with ARs.”


UN12 / Issue 002

Optic: Burris Fastfire 2 Trigger: ALG AK Grip: Magpul MOE AK Stock: MFT Battlelink Minimalist Stock Adpater: Rifle Dynamics RDAK-M4

: : OWNER Jake

Flashlight: SureFire M612V Flashlight Mount: Arisaka Offset Scout Mount KeyMod

: : OCCUPATION Graphic artist

Muzzle Brake: Tantal Sling Mounts: IWC KeyMod QD Rotation Limited Sling Mount / Knights Armament Co. M4 Receiver Sling Mount Handguard: SLR Riflework AK 11.5-inch Lite (KeyMod) Receiver Accessories: Krebs Custom Mk-VI enhanced safety / Solar Tactical MFER


: : SPECIAL THANKS Thanks to the guys who helped out with this build, Mike and Randall.





desire to create products for outdoor

and continuing to evolve a lifelong design vision

exploration coupled with an affinity for

and ethos.

firearms lead Patrick Ma to produce goods

Chris Whitney: I spent the 20 years prior to

that core customers and professional services

PDW operating a welding and machine shop

and agencies have relied on for years. Often

that specialized in one-of-a-kind custom works

considered responsible for bringing tactical

and short-run product development. It seemed

products to a larger audience, Ma has built

like the logical next step, moving from custom

mutiple brands with a utilitarian approach.

and short runs into something more stable.

In 2013, Ma partnered with Chris Whitney to

“With each new personal-use case experience and feedback from core users we are able to look ahead and make incremental improvements, as well as innovate and create new designs to fulfill the known and often unexpected needs of our users.”

It’s allowed me the opportunity to bring my

form Prometheus Design Werx. Together, the two

experience in the shop to our R&D department,

have created a wide-ranging line of finely crafted

and in turn helped us produce some world-class

products that include an array of EDC items,

hard goods.

bags and packs, as well as clothing and other personal accessories. We sat down with the duo

UN12: How does your experience inspire the

in their San Francisco workshop to talk about

process and direction for each product?

the process of creating goods for the firearms

PM: With each new personal-use case

community that also translate into everyday life.

experience and feedback from core users we are able to look ahead and make incremental

UN12: What is your background and how did

improvements, as well as innovate and create

that play a role in starting this company?

new designs to fulfill the known and often

Patrick Ma: I’ve been in this industry for over 20

unexpected needs of our users. Our wide

years now. I started my first brand in this space

breadth of interests, experiences and lifestyles

in 1997, designing and producing high-level hard

allows us a unique perspective on wilderness to

goods like knives and survival tools to functional

urban contexts.

performance apparel for the field and soft goods

CW: I think some of it is based on having years

such as packs, bags, pouches and organizers

of tool use under the belt. Knowing what feels

for field, wilderness and tactical use. In 2013,

good in the hand after hours of use and what

I started PDW with Chris to pursue the trifecta

doesn’t. It also helps with apparel and soft goods

PROMETHEUS DESIGN WERX of product categories in the same industries,

development. Years of beating on clothes and

catering to similar and new consumer audiences

work bags also lends great insight.

Interview with Patrick Ma & Chris Whitney Text & Images by JOHN PANGILINAN


UN12 / Issue 002


UN12: What is the goal for PDW?

our consumers largely choose ignore. Our core

who get it will get it. Being “tactical” means you are

CW: Mine is pretty simple. I keep it down to what

PM: To design and produce the best-in-class

consumers are about actions, deeds, and reaching

able to adapt and move forward.

I really need on a daily basis. Always a folding

example of each product we create, that performs

their objectives. We still service many members in

exceptionally for the user so they can be the best

professional services, agencies and units. We also

UN12: How do you differentiate your brand from

produced. A small pry bar that we did as a

they can be in their pursuits. Our finely produced

have many users who simply have a strong sense

the rest?

collaboration some years back. An AAA LED bar,

goods are intended to enhance and support the

of pursuing a unique life on their own terms, at a

PM: There is nothing we design and create that we

flood flashlight and the other basics: leather wallet,

excellence of the end user.

high level and with discriminating tastes.

ourselves do not use or want to use. We believe

beard comb, money clip and lighter. In my SHADO

CW: I would have to agree with Patrick’s statement.

CW: We also have a great number of customers

in an active lifestyle that is built on capability,

Pack I keep my laptop, extra food and clothing and

The support of the end user’s experience is a very

who are very engaged in what we’re doing, not just

intelligence, strength, independence, excellence

a small first aid kit. I also keep a mini ratchet set and

important factor.

our products but what we as people are doing. We

and good will. Our goods are created for those

multiple drive bits, pliers, screwdrivers and the like.

have met a lot of people and developed some good

users who have chosen to live life on their own

UN12: What are some key insights to your

relationships over the years. I’m sure other brands

terms, making their own way. And where their

UN12: What do you have in store for the future?

design and your vision for PDW?

can say the same thing and that it’s nothing new,

actions and deeds speak. Our brand’s purpose is to

PM: Creating more flagship evergreen goods in

PM: We learn from the best design and production

but we do like knowing our customers personally.

cater and build to that end.

all three categories. Products that will last in many

CW: It’s our commitment to doing what we think is

cases beyond your lifetime. Bringing in more

lessons of the past, look to the future and emerging

knife that’s from a rotating stock of knives we’ve

processes, and do everything we can to design and

UN12: Tell us about the details of your design

best and the fact that we only answer to ourselves.

updated classics and introducing new styles that

build the best for today.

and how it plays a role in the tactical world.

This gives us the freedom and mobility to produce

feature the best in technical manufacturing. We do

CW: One of the other important aspects is that

PM: We are firmly in the camp of form follows

the best products possible.

enjoy the occasional novelty design and you’ll see

we design goods that we want to use and that we

function. We often look to the 10 Design Principles

want people to have. We don’t design goods just

of Dieter Rams to guide our own design and

UN12: What does your EDC look like?

CW: We also have an interest in expanding from our

because we think it’ll make us a buck. It’s more

creative process. A product needs to make sense—

PM: I’ve pared down my EDC over the past few

flagship outdoor goods into some bridge products.

personal than that.

its functions should be as obvious and intuitive

years. I’ve been a knife guy all my life so I always

There is a need for a high-quality means to tie our

as they can be. There is an academic sensibility

have a folder in my pocket, either a PDW Invictus

outdoor products to our home life experience. Early

UN12: Who are your current consumers?

in subtlety and an understated purpose-driven

or Badger, a high-efficiency AAA pocket flashlight,

on this will manifest with some of our smaller goods,

PM: Many of my core consumers who have

aesthetic. Most of our design criteria for any

a mini Bic, the PDW Dog tag Tool and a horsehide

but there is no telling where the idea will take us. [ UN12 ]

followed my previous brands have chosen to

product [is that it] needs to perform for a user who

wallet. I usually have my SHADO Pack with me and

continue on with PDW. The marketplace, styles,

spends a good deal of time in the wilderness, is

keep my supporting EDC items such as a fixed-

For more information about Prometheus

user needs have evolved and so have we. One of

familiar with or active in the shooting community

blade knife, first aid kit, charging cables and backup

Design Werx, visit their website at

the most notable aspects of our consumers is their

and understands the value of discretion. We do not

battery, a SAK, a pocket notebook with my Rotring and follow

authenticity. The overt affectations other brands

feel a need to beat someone over the head with our

mechanical pencil and some personal effects in

them on Facebook and Instagram at

may feel necessary to present is something we and

designs that may serve a tactical purpose. Those

case I find myself stuck overnight somewhere.


those punctuate our offerings here and there.

“We also have a great number of customers who are very engaged in what we’re doing, not just our products but what we as people are doing.”


UN12 / Issue 002



“Intended as a tribute to his brother, Axelson based this special build on the same type of pistol Matthew carried into battle.”

AXE SIG P226 MK25 Text & Images by JERRY TSAI


: : Built as a tribute to fallen U.S. Navy SEAL Matthew Axelson : : Collaboration build between Axelson Tactical and TMT Tactical : : A customized U.S. Navy SEAL-inspired version of the SIG Sauer P226


UN12 / Issue 002







t’s no secret that Glocks are the preferred

operation depicted in the book and movie “Lone

foundations for pistol customizers and

Survivor.” Matthew and his teammates were ambushed

enthusiasts alike. The Glock’s plain, flat surfaces,

on that mission, where he and two of his teammates

simple construction and abundance of aftermarket

were killed.

parts are just a few of the reasons that custom jobs

this special build on the same type of pistol Matthew

seeing a nicely decked-out Glock, it’s refreshing to see

carried into battle that day. Axelson adds: “Matt was

different pistol makes get the full-on custom treatment

killed in action on the 28th of June 2005 fighting to

as well.

keep his teammates alive. Giving every ounce of his

Jeffrey Axelson of Axelson Tactical agrees. He and his team did just that with their limited-edition AXE SIG P226 MK25. Aside from setting out to create a

heart and soul to win the fight he was in. I am proud of him for that.” Axelson Tactical specializes in producing custom

unique run of pistols that rarely get bespoke treatment,

rifles, handguns and accessories for AR-15s and

Axelson had a very personal reason for taking on the

AR-10s, as well as precision bolt-action rifles. The

P226 MK25 in particular as a project.

Minden, Nevada, based company was launched as

Axelson’s brother, Matthew, was one of the four


Intended as a tribute to his brother, Axelson based

are based on its many iterations. As much as we enjoy

a business that honors the sacrifices of Matthew and

Navy SEALs who were sent on a surveillance and

all those like him. “Many in our family history have

reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan’s Kunar

served,” Axelson says. “Grandpa and his brother

Province as a part of Operation Red Wings. As you

were career Navy and were on the USS Pennsylvania

might recall, Operation Red Wings was the military

in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, Grandma was a

UN12 / Issue 002

01 The AXE MK25’s stainless steel slide is machined for front cocking serrations, which wrap over the top of the slide at a 45-degree angle.

02 The factory rear cocking serrations were re-machined to wrap over the top of the slide, also at a 45-degree angle.

03 One hundred AXE MK25s will be produced, numbering from 00 to 99.

“The pistol features a host of upgrades, including additional slide serrations for increased grip during weapon manipulation.”




“The stainless steel slide is machined for front cocking serrations, which wrap over the top at a 45-degree angle and add an aggressive look to the pistol.”


Marine for the duration of World War II, Dad and Uncle

the top at a 45-degree angle and add an aggressive look

Dean were in the infantry and fought in the Vietnam War.

to the pistol. Matching the front treatment, the factory rear

So this sentiment runs deep with us.” Axelson proudly

cocking serrations were re-machined to wrap over the top

supports or is involved with notable charities such as

of the slide, also at a 45-degree angle. The top of the slide

Lone Survivor Foundation, Navy SEAL Foundation and

boasts a custom U.S. flag and SEAL bone frog engraving

Special Operations Wounded Warriors, as well as the

toward the muzzle end in honor of Matthew Axelson’s

“Matt’s final moments were not known by

devastating head wound. They speak of

Matthew Axelson Foundation.

service, with TMT Tactical’s logo at the rear. On the sides

Marcus [Luttrell] when he wrote the book

him with admiration, SIG in hand during

of the slide there are various Axelson Tactical logos and an


‘Lone Survivor’ and we most likely will

his final moments, expending all rounds,

never know the exact details. We have

ending 12 Taliban soldiers before they

For shooters who value a higher grip on the gun, the underside of the trigger guard is relieved where it meets the grip.

been learning more and more about the

finally stopped his heart.

Based on the official sidearm issued to U.S. Navy SEALs, the SIG Sauer P226 MK25 is a 9mm full-sized pistol that features a 4.4-inch barrel and special coatings

engraved SEAL anchor. On the alloy frame, just forward of the pistol’s takedown

that offer its internal parts and controls added corrosion

lever, you’ll notice machine-serrated finger rest pads on

resistance, as well as reduced friction, directly from the

either side. These additions allow for tactile reference

factory. It’s with this solid base that Axelson Tactical

points that assist the shooter with a quick and repeatable

teamed up with TMT Tactical and Nevada Cerakote to

grip. The underside of the trigger guard receives additional

create the AXE SIG P226 MK25.

serrations as well.

The pistol features a host of upgrades, including



For shooters who value a higher grip on the gun—and

additional slide serrations for increased grip during

who doesn’t?—the underside of the trigger guard is

weapon manipulation. Its stainless steel slide is

relieved where it meets the grip. This places your hand

machined for front cocking serrations, which wrap over

higher in relation to the bore, which helps you mitigate

UN12 / Issue 002

The top of the slide boasts a custom U.S. flag and SEAL bone frog engraving along with TMT Tactical’s logo at the rear.

The Warrior Spirit action as the years progress. Stories of

Whether or not the story coming from

Matt’s final moments, when he brought

the Teams is to be truth, lore or legend

the fight to the enemy, never giving up.

we might not ever know. The fact is that

How he was down to his SIG with 30

the true warrior spirit was embodied in all

rounds left and kept fighting, kept drawing

the men lost that day and in Matt’s final

the enemy away from Marcus’s position.


Teammates speak of Matt being shot numerous times, fighting despite a

Slide locked back… NEVER QUIT.” —Jeffrey Axelson






“The AXE SIG P226 MK25 is certainly a unique pistol build with plenty of custom work done to it. The spirit of its inspiration is one of heroism and sacrifice.”

AXE SIG P226 MK25 Caliber: 9mm Frame: Alloy Sights: Night Sights Trigger: DA/SA Length: 7.7 in.

Height: 5.5 in. Width: 1.5 in. Barrel: 4.4 in. Weight w/o magazine: 34 oz. MSRP: $2,499 URL:

Featured Accessories (included): Custom ammo can/ gun case with cut foam inserts, two magazines, pistol lock and padlock

recoil and results in faster, more accurate follow-up

As if this gun wasn’t custom enough, it comes in a

shots. The grip’s polymer surface is given an aggressive

modified, lockable ammo can that doubles as a gun

stippled treatment for more bite. We found the stippling

case. Along with cut foam inserts that perfectly fit the

to be clean and consistent, but harsher than we usually

pistol, we observed two magazines and a pistol lock

would like. Throw on a pair of gloves before firing it if you

as well as a small padlock for the can’s lid. The entire

don’t want to lose a layer of skin.

package will set you back $2,500, which isn’t bad when

The AXE MK25’s slide is finished by custom firearms

along with all the custom machine work, engraving and

Cerakote in tones of FDE and OD green, while its frame

Cerakote finish.

wears only FDE-colored Cerakote. The unique color

The AXE SIG P226 MK25 is certainly a unique pistol

scheme is eye-catching and does give it a look fitting

build with plenty of custom work put into it. The spirit of

of its theme. The entire pistol is then treated to a slight

its inspiration is one of heroism and sacrifice. If you add

battle-distressed finish.

one to your collection, you can be proud that it bears the name Axelson. [ UN12 ]

created. Each wears a unique serial number, starting at


00 and ending at 99. You can see the example shown here is number 22 as marked on the left side of the frame just above the light rail. The first unit, number 00, was auctioned off to benefit the Lone Survivor Foundation.


UN12 / Issue 002

The AXE MK25 comes in a modified, lockable ammo can that doubles as a gun case.

you consider the base cost of a SIG Sauer P226 MK25

finisher Nevada Cerakote with a protective layer of

Only 100 examples of this limited-edition pistol will be


To see the latest from Axelson Tactical, visit their Instagram at @axelsontactical. For more information on the Matthew Axelson Foundation, visit



Product Review

: : Universal-fit pistol holster : : Accepts sound suppressors : : Fits most pistol optics

Rapid Deploy Holster Text by BILL BLOWERS Illustration by JESSICA LEE

first saw the MasterFire holster at

belt. I mounted the holster to a QLS so I could

light to come on. This can be changed on the

SHOT Show in January of 2017. My

quickly switch holsters out on my duty belt.

fly while the gun is in the holster. If you select

initial reaction was that the innovation was

Being able to quickly switch out from my

the off mode, the light can still be activated

pretty cool. The holster retention is based off

duty holster and the MasterFire allowed me

normally like any other SureFire pistol light.

SureFire H-Series weapon lights, so any gun

to continue to work the SureFire holster’s

could be used with the holster as long as the

retention system with greater frequency.


MasterFire is designed to allow you the

holster the gun and light. This is where it freaks

of that, most pistol optics should work with the

option of activating the weapon light or light/

me out a bit, because the retention is a beveled

holster—as well as suppressors too.

laser combination upon drawing your pistol.

pin that is spring-loaded. The thumb release

For general fun and carrying of unique

The holster does the work for you, which is

disengages the pin from the weapon light,

pistols or hunting, the holster seemed like

pretty slick for anyone who does work with

allowing the light to come out. I was curious

light could be attached to the pistol. Because

a good option to have. However, as a law enforcement officer, my initial concern was use of the holster as a duty rig where the ability to retain the pistol from a gun grab is required. Fast forward to September 2017. I was able to attend the SureFire Shoothouse Bonanza at the Alliance Police Training Facility. All of the students were issued a light and holster for use during the course. This course included a bit of live fire for familiarity with the draw stroke and then multiple reps through a shoothouse with both carbine and pistol. I forced transitions a few times in the house, and because the

UN12 / Issue 002

if it would retain the gun sufficiently if it was struck abruptly on the base of the magazine. I intentionally crashed a blue gun into walls and doorframes using the same C-step type motion for arm bars and other takedowns. The gun stayed in place with no issues, and some of those smacks were pretty good. Normal bangs and scrapes in the shoot house and other training did not affect it. There is also a secondary security system that engages by rotating a lever on the side of the holster. That lever engages a squared-off pin into the other side of the weapon light’s

his or her support hand full. A couple of those

body. That pin is also squared off and appears

numerous draws and re-holsters of my pistol.

categories in law enforcement are K9 handlers

to sink deeper into the light than the automatic,

I found that the combination of the holster

and ballistic shield dudes. I have not been a

beveled pin on the other side. You push

and the weapon light it attached to worked as

K9 handler in my 25-year career, but I have

down on the lever to engage it and pull up to


carried a ballistic shield and continue to teach

disengage it. The lever is flush with the holster

their use today. I immediately began thinking

and fairly small. With the gun in the holster, I

the MasterFire for continued testing and use. I

about the benefits for a shield guy. More on

can barely reach it with my middle finger to

soon discovered that the SureFire holster was

that in a bit.

disengage it. If I have to disengage it, my grip

compatible with Safariland’s Quick Locking


“Retention is based off H-Series lights. Because of this, optics may be used. Suppressors too.”

MasterFire holster was on my belt, I made

After leaving that event, I was able to keep

SureFire MasterFire

There are two retention levels for the holster. The first automatically engages when you

The automatic light feature can be pre-set

System (QLS), which is the attachment system

to on, or off, for the draw. This allows the user

that I normally use for mounting gear to my

to select the mode in case you don’t want the

cannot be established properly until I have done so. The thumb release comes with different


Product Review: SureFire MasterFire







X300UH-B 600.0 lumens 1.75 hours 3.7 inches

X400UH-A-RD 600.0 lumens 1.75 hours 3.72 inches

XH15 350.0 lumens 1.25 hours 3.78 inches

BELT MOUNT Fully adjustable to accommodate up to 2.5-inch duty belts.


If your pistol can run an H-Series light, you can use this holster.

them back off one-handed so you aren’t

can customize its size. It works in the same

broadcasting light at your feet during reloads

and also trained with it extensively to test this

fashion as most other thumb releases.

or malfunction clearances. The beauty of the

theory. I would not engage the secondary

MasterFire is that it does that for you. This is

retention system at this time on SWAT jobs.

devices engaged, I could do pullups with it

especially beneficial if the shield guy is carrying

The first reason is that it is problematic to

holding onto the handle of a blue gun. I was

two pistols, as he should, for left and right

disengage it, but the second reason is that I

also able to do pullups with just the primary

hand corners on slow clears, and the potential

am never alone on SWAT. So if I did get into

engaged. These were not aggressive pulls with

for one gun breaking or complex malfunctions.

a gun-grab situation, my mates would help

kipping, I simply added weight until my full 195

Shield guys should be set up with two pistols

defend my pistol as well as my person with

With both primary and secondary retention

pounds were suspended and then pulled. I enlisted one of my teammates for a gun grab test. He is 6-foot-4 and weighs 230 pounds. I allowed him to get a full two-handed grip on the butt of the gun and attempt to rip the gun away with one pull using all of his strength. With both the primary and secondary retention engaged, he could not get the gun out. With just the primary engaged, he pulled it free but he said it took all of his effort.


Obviously I would be doing everything in my power to prevent this in a real situation. There

RETENTION Proprietary lugand-cam system locks the firearm in place with Level 3 retention.

04 AUTOMATIC OPERATION Can be set to activate any SureFire H-Series light when the gun is drawn.

was slight damage to the aluminum on the light

“With both primary and secondary devices engaged, I could do pullups with it holding a blue gun.”

weapon he’s carrying without having to hold on to a pistol in a physical confrontation. Is the holster ready for patrol duty by a lone police officer? My answer is not at this time, but if SureFire could figure out how to make the MasterFire’s secondary retention more ergonomic and easier to release with a normal draw stroke, I think so. Certainly trainers who want the light to come on fast and early can see how the innovation makes sense for street cops who don’t get nearly the training time

as normal afterward, but I would say an agency

pretty well taken cared of when I get new shield

they should. For the hunter who wants to carry

should inspect the holster and light after a

guys. Initial training and ongoing proficiency

a suppressed pistol or the guy who wants to

gun grab to determine if replacement was

training helps clean up the support-side work.

carry multiple pistols in the same holster, it


To that end, I believe the MasterFire holster can

is good to go. Overall I was pleased with the

and will decrease training time for new shield

design of SureFire’s MasterFire and would not

activating lights while carrying a shield,

guys. This is especially true for their support-

hesitate to use it when running a shield on a

and, depending on the holster type, turning

side gun.

SWAT job. [ UN12 ]


Bill Blowers has been a full-time police officer for over 25 years. During that time he has served as a patrol officer, in a street crimes unit, as a training officer and as a patrol sergeant. He is currently the supervisor of the training unit and has been a SWAT team member since 1995. He is a team leader on a large regional SWAT team in Washington State. In addition, he has been providing training on weapon and tactics since 2006 as the owner of Tap-Rack Tactical, LLC.

UN12 / Issue 002

retain the pistol and use the 23-pound impact

specialty. Usually the strong-hand side is

Constructed of tough, lightweight polymer.


of re-holstering allows a shield guy to quickly

giving way. The light and holster still functioned


Can accommodate red-dot optics or suppressors, including SureFire Ryder Series.

retention with the primary system and its ease

for the same contingencies and for their



their own weapons. Last is that the automatic

body as it was deformed by the beveled pin

One of the concerns for shield guys is


I used the holster to teach a shield course

sized paddles that snap into place so the user


Ideally positions the holster for fast, consistent draw strokes.


XH35 1,000 lumens (max) 300 lumens (low) 1.25 hours (max) 2.5 hours (low) 3.7 inches



Ruger 10/22

Ruger 10/22 Parts Guide Text by DANNY CHANG Images by JERRY TSAI


roduced since 1964, Ruger’s 10/22 is undoubtedly one of the most popular rifles of the modern era. Estimated to number in excess of 5 million units in circulation—and

counting—this classic rifle is a favorite among hobbyists, hunters and sportsmen alike. Much of its appeal comes from the combination of the cartridge it fires, the diminutive .22LR, its ease of use, its reliability and its highly modifiable design. In fact, the gun is so upgradable and parts

The majority of the parts shown in

form of everything from bullpups to

this guide are direct replacements for

a complete 10/22-type rifle completely

simulated beltfeds. It can even be made to

their factory counterparts and can be

out of aftermarket parts and without the

mimic other firearms, such as M1 Carbines,

easily installed with nothing more than a

use of any original Ruger 10/22 parts. Now

Tommy Guns, AR-15s and more.

screwdriver. The sky is the limit when it

that’s incredible. The 10/22’s appeal to

In this guide, we take a look at three

comes to gun customization and this is especially true of the Ruger 10/22 platform.

customizers becomes quite obvious when

different 10/22s set up for a range of

you take a look at its customized project

purposes. One is built for precision

build potential.

shooting, another is modified for quick

as inspiration for your first steps into the

The following guide is intended to serve

With the help of aftermarket parts, some

action run-and-gun competitions, and the

wide world of 10/22 customizations. If you

elbow grease and a healthy imagination, the

other would make a low-profile, compact

do choose to customize your 10/22, watch

10/22 can be modified for improvement of

hunting backpack rifle or survival trunk gun,

out. It’s a very deep rabbit hole that you’re

its accuracy, performance and ergonomics,

complete with surreptitious pack.

stepping into. [ UN12 ]



as well as its looks. It can take the visual

are so abundant that one can actually build

UN12 / Issue 002






Aero Precision

SIG Sauer

Ultralight 30mm Scope Mount, SPR

Whiskey5 5-25x52mm (SOW55014)



CNC Machined Bolt for 10/22 $247

Victor Company Titan Stackable Cheekrest $30

Tactical Solutions X-Ring 10/22 Scope Base (15 MOA) $35


V Seven Weapon Systems

V-Locking Block for 10/22

10/22 20 Cal Barrel (18�, Fluted)



Victor Company Titan 1022 $170

Volquartsen Oversized Safety for 10/22 (Left-Handed) $11


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Estimated Retail Cost (excluding rifle): $3,215

Precision Shooting Build Kidd Innovative Design

Victor Company

Takedown Screw

Mini-Picatinny QD Mount




Knight’s Armament Co.

TG2000 10/22

KAC Precision Bipod




Primary Arms


Tactical Innovations

Raven Eye Custom


1-6x24mm SFP Riflescope, ACSS 22LR Reticle

Ruger 10/22 5-Piece Oversize Pin Pak

Paddle Mag Release, Billet Machined

Upgrade Kit S2

10/22 Magazine Assembly Tool






Ruger 10/22 Takedown Receiver (not available separately)


Warne Scope Mounts

Hunter X-22 Takedown Stock

A1022 Ruger 10/22 A1 Piece Base 10 MOA



Tactical Solutions

Tactical Solutions

X-Ring Takedown Bull Barrel

X-Ring 10/22 .920 OD Compensator


Warne Scope Mounts


213L 30mm Quick Detach Low Rings $100

Cooper Basin Ruger 10/22 Takedown Backpack $100


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Ruger BX-Trigger $90 Lightweight Low Profile

Estimated Retail Cost (excluding rifle): $1,188

Compact Hunting Build


Kidd Innovative Design

Vortex Optics

Force Productions

Flatline Ops

Bolt, Scalloped Black




Force 1022 Charging Handle

Soft Stop for Ruger 10/22



Volquartsen 10/22 LR Ultralite Barrel with Aluminum Forward Blow Comp $426 Battle Arms Development

Midwest Industries

Sabertube (Mid Length) / BAD-LBS Lightweight Stock Combo

Vortex SPARC AR Lower 1/3 QD Mount $83


Ergo Grips Flat Top Grip – Suregrip $25



Kidd Innovative Design

Squid Grip 7-Pack

Handstop, Low Profile, Alpha



Threaded Receiver Pins with Countersink Tool


Troy T22 Sport Chassis Kit $299

Power Custom 10-22 Competition S/S CNC Barrel V-Block Ruger BX-25 Magazine




High Performance

Estimated Retail Cost (excluding rifle): $1,796

Competitive Shooting Build

Power Custom

Kidd Innovative Design

10-22 S/S Barrel Screw

Single Stage Trigger Unit Drop-In




UN12 / Issue 002




et’s get this out of the way right up front: I don’t like

A radian is defined as such:

math. Middle school math used to give me sweats,

all except for geometry, because I liked to draw. Fear can be a great motivator, either for the positive or the negative,

A unit of angle, equal to an angle at the center of a circle whose arc is equal in length to the radius.

but for most of my childhood I shied away from anything involving mathematics, much to my detriment later in life.

Gobbledygook, right? Let’s flash back to middle school

Flash forward a few decades. A career in law

for a moment and remember that the radius of a circle

enforcement and a desire to better myself led me to the

is the distance from the circle’s center point to its edge.

doorstep of learning to shoot at distance. Now, let me

If you draw two radii from the centerpoint of the circle,

define my lane. In the 12 years of being a full-time police

and the distance along the arc of that angle is equal to

Milliradians officer, I have never in department-led training shot out

the length of the radius, that angle of measurement is a

past 200 yards with my patrol rifle. True story. I state this

radian. Think of it like a slice of pizza, with the straight

A Novice Primer

not to disparage my training unit—they are a great group

cuts of the slices as the radii and the crust as the arc. If

of guys—but for an urban police officer, due to population

the length of the crust equals the length of the edge of the


density, reasonable shot distances are at much, much

slice, that’s your radian. There are approximately 6.283

closer ranges. The possibility of me shooting to 200 yards

radians in a circle.

in the city is very slight to non-existent at a patrol level such as mine. In my employment of firearms at work I don’t really have to think about bullet drop or windage at distance when

Milli, derived from Latin, means a thousand. So if you take your slice of pizza (radian) and cut it up into a thousand equal slices of pizza, each slice would be a milliradian, so there are 6,283 milliradians in a circle.

deploying with my patrol rifle. I’m primarily concerned with the objective reasonableness of my intended shot,


height over bore, backstop and the usual use-of-force

So now that we know what a milliradian is, how do we use

considerations that come with this line of work. So, when I

it with our scope?

dipped my toes into the idea of building or setting up a rifle

First, understand that there are a plethora of reticle

platform that I intended to shoot to 600 yards and beyond,

types out there, so it is important that you read the owner’s

I entered the seemingly daunting realm of variable-

manual to understand whether your reticle has dots, ovals

powered optics and the inevitable Minute of Angle (MOA)

(adopted by the USMC), tick marks and so on, and what

vs. Milliradian (MIL/mil/MRAD) discussion.

the subtensions are for each measuring point, whatever

This article is a primer, so I’m not going to go into a

style that may be.

lengthy discussion about MOA vs. Milliradian and which

It doesn’t really matter whether you prefer to measure

is better for what application. That is better left to the pros.

distances in meters or yards. Just understand what 1 mil

Rather, this primer is for the normal guys like me, who may


be bad at math and have shied away from this evolution of

1 mil = 1 meter @ 1,000 meters

shooting out of fear or anxiety or… attention span. So let’s

1 mil = 50 cm @ 500 meters

get through some basics.

1 mil = 10cm @ 100 meters OR:


UN12 / Issue 002


1 mil = 36 inches @ 1,000 yards

Truth be told, when I bought a few scopes for a few

1 mil = 18 inches @ 500 yards

different builds I really had no idea what I was doing. I

1 mil = 3.6 inches @ 100 yards

knew the difference between a Front Focal Plane and a

The proportions are the same regardless of what

Second Focal Plane scope (more on this later), and at the

measurement system the shooter prefers. Knowing

minimal distances I was shooting at magnification was

these base measurements becomes very useful when it

what I thought was important.

comes to holdovers for elevation and windage and how

Milliradians vs. Minute of Angle really wasn’t too much

to adjust fire to get on target. Mildot reticles are useful

of a consideration for me because I was totally ignorant

for calculating range and target size as well. In order to

to the application of either measurement system, and in

complete these formulas, as with any formula, the shooter

reality that’s all they are—different measuring systems.

will have to know two variables to derive the third, and

This is how it breaks down in very basic terms.

then apply his or her shooting solutions to make the hits.


Milliradians: A Novice Primer

KNOWN TARGET SIZE TO CALCULATE DISTANCE TO TARGET I noted earlier that knowing whether your scope is Second Focal Plane or Front Focal Plane is important. Here’s why. When looking through a second focal plane scope, the reticle image remains constant regardless of the magnification. A front focal plane scope’s reticle will change along with changes in magnification. This obviously presents a challenge for second focal plane shooters in that their subtensions may no longer be accurate at certain magnifications. Most second focal plane scopes require the magnification setting to be on full power in order to accurately calculate subtensions. Remember, whatever unit of measurement you use and whether it be yards, meters, centimeters or inches, the distance will be in that same unit of measurement. Let’s go with yards for now because those are really easy. For example, if I have a 3-foot-high target, I know it’s 1 yard tall. If I measure my target with my mildot scope and measure my 1-yard-tall target to be 3 mils, I can then calculate my distance to the target.


There are several

formula derivations out there, but the math is all the same. One of the easiest I’ve found looks like this:


“This primer is for the normal guys like me, who may be bad at math and have shied away from this evolution of shooting out of fear or anxiety or… attention span.”

KNOWN DISTANCE TO CALCULATE UNKNOWN SIZE TARGET For when the shooter knows the target distance (either on a known-distance range or by use of a laser range finder) but doesn’t know the size of the target, he or she can measure the target with the mil reticle and calculate its size. Here’s how:


Formula to

determine height of target:


mils I measured through my

yards or meters. If I know my range, say 436 yards, target measures 2 mils, I

scope reticle (3 mils) and then multiply that by 1,000, I can calculate my distance

X 1,000

would give you a distance in inches, which doesn’t translate terribly well. A second formula to go from


to yards (distance) looks like this:


For a target that is 31

mils through the scope:

31 INCHES X 27.77 2 MILS

For those who care, the 27.77 is reached by dividing 36 inches (1 yard) into 1,000.


UN12 / Issue 002

= .87 YARDS

get the height of my target:


inches (height of the target)

inches tall that measures 2



smaller known target sizes, the formula above, but that


values into the formula and

= 333 YARDS

Not too bad, right? For

say in inches, you can use


can plug those 2 known

to target:



Because the

matter if you measure in


1 (YARD)


proportional, it doesn’t

If I take my 1-yard target,

divide it by the number of


measurements are

and my unknown-size n


= 430 YARDS

“Understand that there are a plethora of reticle types out there, so it is important that you read the owner’s manual to understand whether your reticle has dots, ovals (adopted by the USMC), tick marks, and so on.”

Now that solution looks

pretty funky, but it works universally for yards and meters. If you’re like me and automatically think in inches, here’s an alternate formula that will convert





range in yards to target size in inches:


So, using the previous

numbers again:

436 X 2 MILS 27.77

= 31.4 INCHES

Obviously, long-distance shooting takes work, but it’s not an insurmountable skill to learn. We haven’t gotten into bullet trajectories, drop or holdovers, but that’s not what this article is about. What it comes down to is simply knowing your application. There are definitely differences between milliradian scopes vs. MOA scopes, but you must understand the differences first and then decide what measurement of angle system works best for you individually. I’d always shied away from learning about milliradians due to my irrational anxiety around math, but if someone like me can start down this path, anyone can. It’s nothing to be afraid of. Read, study, and take some classes from vetted professionals. There are many to choose from.



Competition & Training

Shoot This Drill


s anyone who runs a gun knows, shooting accurately and effectively on the move is a damned hard thing to do. Even

professional warfighters and competitive shooters avoid it if at all

Total Shots: 24 Time: 20-30 seconds

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR Don Edwards began his career in the 75th Ranger Regiment where he was a participant

possible. This is also why it’s important to train for it, or at least familiarize

Score to Beat: 25 seconds

in Operation Just Cause. He retired from 20th Special Forces Group where he served

oneself with the skill in case it is ever needed.


as Team Sergeant during combat operations in Iraq. He has served for five years as the

3 targets and stands (IPSC or VTAC targets recommended)

Use of Force training manager and primary instructor at the ATF National Academy in

Don Edwards, a 20-plus-year veteran of U.S. Army Special Operations and current Director of Training for Tactical Night Vision Company, came up with a drill that can help us hone this difficult shooting discipline. Read on to learn and then put into practice Edwards’ “X-Box” drill to help improve your shooting-on-the-move skills.

4 orange cones 24 rounds in the magazine.

Glynco, Ga., instructing in tactics and firearms. He has worked as tactical adviser to the Department of Defense since 2008, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is a FLETC certified firearms instructor and is currently the Director of Training for TNVC.

Text by DON EDWARDS Illustrations by CHARLES LASKY

5 1 2


UN12 / Issue 002





Competition & Training

students to get the hang of in a limited

collapsing your sector of fire, identifying

to teach and practice shooting on the

two-day class setting. As I started

threats and engaging them with accurate

move. Context is very important to me.

working things out, the X-Box drill

fire. All this has to be done while your feet

I try to make sure that the way I train


are moving and without looking at where

“I was looking for a more relevant way

Shooting on the move is, in my opinion,

people in a skill can directly relate to the

you are going. The X-Box helps with

context in which they will use it. I believe

a very specific skill for a specific context.

this. It makes the shooter move forward,

it helps them better internalize the need

Most of the time you will probably find

laterally and diagonally, to multiple

for the skill.

that you will choose to move as fast as

targets. It helps develop a sense of

you can to cover and then engage. In

kinesthetic awareness between your own

toward the target while the instructor

a close-quarter battle (CQB) or room-

body, where you are and where you are

called out ‘up’ or the lateral movement

clearing environment, while working as a

going, all while engaging multiple targets.

we always used to do on the flat range

member of a tactical team, it is a critical

It also reinforces safe and efficient gun

helped much at all. I started researching

individual skill.

handling skills since you must remember

I never felt that the old way of marching

When you enter a room as a member of

other options and initially looked hard at various shooting-on-the-move drills, but

a team, you need to be able to continue

the best ones were pretty complex for

moving to your point of domination while

X-Box Drill 1 Yard

to safe the weapon and be aware of the direction of your muzzle.” —Don Edwards X X

“Shooting on the move is a very specific skill for a specific context. Most of the time you will probably find that you will choose to move as fast as you can to cover and then engage.” THE SETUP

There’s no wonder where the name of this drill came from.

Once you are facing downrange, move forward diagonally

Place three IPSC targets abreast, one yard apart from each

right to left, engaging each target twice. Once at the cone, with

other. Set the cones out in a 10-foot square with the first set of

the weapon on safe, finger off the trigger and muzzle down,

cones 10 yards from the target line. Right-handed shooters start

move back to the start point. Once there and facing downrange,

from the left rear cone, lefties from the right rear.

move forward diagonally left to right, engaging each target

On the timer, the shooter begins to move toward the front

10 Yards

twice—then the exercise is over.

cone, engaging each target with two A-zone hits. When you reach the front cone, turn and move laterally to the right, engaging each target twice. When you reach that cone, place your weapon on safe, finger off the trigger and muzzle down, move back to the rear cone and round


the corner.

Your time plus penalties is your score. Any complete misses add 5 seconds each to your time. D-zone hits are plus 1.5 seconds and C-zone hits are plus .5 second. A-zone hits are obviously zero time added.

10 Feet ANALYSIS If you are an armed professional who does this sort of thing for a living, around 20 seconds should be your goal. That would take a clean or nearly clean run. Less than 30 seconds adjusted is respectable. You have 24 rounds total; no make-up shots are allowed.

+ 10 Feet


UN12 / Issue 002



Product Review

Magnesium Hyper-Light M-LOK Handguard Text by MARTIN ANDERS

: : V Seven Weapon Systems : : Magnesium Hyper-Light M-LOK Handguard AR-15 (13.5”): $289 : :

Images by JERRY TSAI


hat is your rifle’s handguard made out

your rifle with magnesium. Magnesium is said

of? We’re willing to bet that you have

to be the lightest structural metal in use and

at least one rifle that’s equipped with either an

is a perfect complement for blending with

aluminum or polymer handguard. Or are you

aluminum to form an alloy that features a lower

a throwback who prefers wood? If you’re into

density, higher stiffness-to-weight ratio and

something fancy, you might even have one

good corrosion resistance.

constructed out of carbon fiber. Why did you

V Seven’s Magnesium Hyper-Light

choose your handguard? Was it for its looks,

M-LOK Handguard for the AR-15 and other

for its performance aspects, or both?

compatible rifles is manufactured from a blended aluminum and magnesium alloy that

Those are the questions that V Seven Weapon Systems wants you to ask yourself. As one of the foremost innovators in the

promises an approximate 30% reduction in material weight when compared to more commonly used aluminum alloys such as

firearms accessories space, V Seven has been leading the

6061. The 13.5-inch model shown here weighs

way with inventive

a mere 5.2 ounces. That’s only about one-and-

designs and the

one-tenth times as heavy as a D-cell battery. One and one tenth. It is available in both KeyMod and M-LOK at varying lengths from 9.2 inches all the way to 16.5 inches long. Our M-LOK model features three integrated quick-detach swivel swing mount points near the barrel nut attachment areas and plenty of M-LOK attachment points along the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock surfaces.

V Seven 124

UN12 / Issue 002

“As one of the foremost innovators in the firearms accessories space, V Seven has been leading the way with inventive designs and the use of exotic alloys in their products since the company’s founding.”

The continuous top Picatinny rail is relieved to help keep the handguard light and highly use of exotic alloys in their products since the company’s founding. V Seven has also become known

maneuverable. Its slimline design features a 1.3-inch horizontal internal dimension and a 1.55-inch vertical measurement to help fit low-profile gas blocks. We found that this ultra-lightweight handguard, when mounted with a lightened

among AR-15 connoisseurs as the company

barrel and gas block, was exceptional in

that wants to make your rifle as light as

keeping the AR-15’s muzzle end quick and

possible, going as far as manufacturing the

agile to point.

smallest components such as trigger and

As if the blended aluminum and magnesium

hammer pins and even the AR’s buffer retainer

alloy wasn’t innovative enough, the handguard

pin in lightweight titanium. They take the

is finished with a plasma-deposition process

“ounces equal pounds” saying to a whole

that provides a tough ceramic-like coating.

other level.

V Seven informs us that this process results

When not creating parts out of titanium or a

in superior wear resistance compared to

material they call “super aluminum” (more on

anodizing. We noticed that it results in a deep

this later), they are perfectly happy injecting

satin-black finish that looks damned sexy and



is velvety smooth to the touch. All the edges of

a little bit of heat from a heat gun can also help

the handguard have been smoothed for snag-

ease the handguard on.

and cut-free handling. The barrel nut that is included with the Hyper-

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the Hyper-Light you see here was mated to one

Light is made of what V Seven calls “super

of V Seven’s 2055 Enlightened AR-15 Upper

aluminum.” This special aluminum is also

Receivers that was decked out with their Ultra-

known as 7068, which is significantly harder and

Light Port Door and Port Door Rod upgrades.

stronger than even 7075 aluminum. Our research

As you would expect from the company, the

taught us that 7068 alloy is one of the strongest

upper receiver is constructed out of an advanced

commercially available aluminum alloys and that it possesses a tensile strength that’s even comparable to certain steels. This allows it to be both light and strong. The nut itself is hardcoat anodized in black and weighs just a hair over one ounce. Installation of the barrel nut and handguard is straightforward. Install the barrel nut as instructed, slide on the handguard and screw in the mounting screws. Of course, for those who can’t settle for just any mounting screws, V Seven also offers a titanium mounting screw upgrade as an option. We did notice a tighter fit between the barrel nut and the handguard than we are accustomed

“The handguard has a luxurious feel that is difficult to convey in words but obvious when touched.” lithium/aluminum alloy that is said to be lighter, stronger, more rigid and have greater corrosion resistance than standard 7075 T6 aluminum.

to, but V Seven states that the Hyper-Light

The handguard has a luxurious feel that’s

magnesium handguard/barrel nut interface

difficult to convey in words but obvious when

tolerance should be tighter than usual and that

touched. Ranging from $269 to $309 depending

the handguard may need to be tapped with a

on length, the Magnesium Hyper-Light’s price is

plastic or rubber hammer. We had to do just

reasonable considering the upgrade’s avant-

that with a half-pound plastic mallet. It went on

garde design and its use of advanced materials.

smoothly with just a series of light taps. V Seven

Would you call V Seven the preeminent materials

recommends that if it still seems tight, applying

innovator for your AR-15? We’d reckon so. [ UN12 ]







Three anti-rotational quick-detach sling swivel mount points are located on either side and on the bottom of the handguard.

The handguard features M-LOK mounting points at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions.

UN12 / Issue 002


Picatinny rail segments are relieved to help further cut down the weight on this already lightweight handguard.




Blownddeadline Text by JERRY TSAI & MICHAEL SIGOUIN Images provided by BLOWNDEADLINE


hether you’re swiping around on

At the forefront of this movement

Instagram or walking the halls at

is Michael Sigouin, but you might be

SHOT Show, you’ll notice that over the

more familiar with his company’s name:

last few years creative custom coating

Blowndeadline Customs. The company got

has exploded in popularity throughout the

its start producing some of the most eye-

firearms industry. You can’t open up IG now

catching coatings years prior to the current

without seeing a gun finished in a battle-worn

renaissance of creative coating that we’re

look or made to look like a futuristic blaster.

currently in. Sigouin prides himself on having

It wasn’t long ago that die-hard gun

the creative intuition to translate your ideas

enthusiasts scoffed at any type of firearm

into reality. Whether it’s custom camouflage

finish other than monotone drab colors, camo

for hunting or a crazy theme build based

or natural metal, synthetic or wood. The term

on your favorite superhero or video game,

“battle-worn” was something ridiculed. This

Blowndeadline can create it or has probably

is no longer the case, and we’re glad for it. We

done an iteration of it already.

enjoy seeing all the great things that artists

We spoke to Sigouin about how he got

and craftsmen can come up with. In fact, the

started, what challenges he’s faced and

battle-worn look is now tame compared to

what he’s up to now. His is a tale of creativity,

all the colorful and creative coating schemes

perseverance and hard work. Let’s hear about

that are out there now.

it in his own words…

“Blowndeadline was born out of a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work. It started with me experimenting in my garage refinishing a few personal firearms with Cerakote. After I painted a few solid-color pistols, the artist side of me was curious to see if I could use Cerakote as a medium to do something more creative. “I wanted to do something different than your run-of-the-mill OD green and FDE. To that end, I decided to replicate Boba Fett’s blaster. The only problem being the bounty hunter’s gun was boring and unless he was holding it, it didn’t shout ‘Mandalorian.’ [Non-nerds can go look that up.] I took that as a personal challenge to create a paint scheme that would translate into


UN12 / Issue 002


Customization: Blowndeadline something recognizable that any Star Wars fan could look at and instantly recognize as Boba Fett-themed. “After a few attempts and fails, I managed to create the vision I had in my mind. I posted a few pictures on Instagram and was truly surprised at the amount of interest it got. Social media was an invaluable tool that allowed me to reach a large number of people with similar interests. “During this time period, I was laid off from the automotive industry and questioned if I should continue down that career path. I played around with the idea of starting a Cerakote business but was unsure if it would be sustainable or if there would be a great enough demand for my services. That doubt quickly faded when requests for me to create custom jobs started coming in. “Within six months I was rethinking the validity of starting a legitimate custom Cerakote shop. It was then that my wife encouraged me to consider leasing a space and setting up shop. We decided there was no other way to find out if I could succeed unless I just went for it. I sublet a small space from a good friend who was opening a firearms shop. “Shortly after signing the lease and purchasing equipment for the new space we had a fire in our garage, which was my headquarters until I could move into the new shop. It was an extremely

“Blowndeadline’s vision for the future is to continue pushing the limit in an industry where custom is the new black.”

stressful time and there were many moments I


felt like throwing in the towel. With the support of family and friends, I refused to give up. I moved forward and put all my efforts into getting the new shop up and running. Fast forward three years—we have recently moved to a larger location. My wife is now working with me full-time along with five employees and we are continually growing. “I believe the reason Blowndeadline has been successful thus far is our ability to look at what we do from a different perspective. Cerakote is a solid product that will protect your firearms from corrosion as well as the usual wear and tear. As From Star Wars to vintage military, any theme is fair game.

functional as Cerakote is, its purpose is not limited to functionality only. We use it as an artistic medium to transform a firearm into something unique and personal to its owner. “Have you ever had a great idea in your head, but when you try to translate it on paper it falls short or just isn’t what you envisioned? That’s where I think we excel. We can take customers’ ideas and collaborate with them to translate the ideas into working concepts. Along with the crazy theme builds that we have become known for, we do a lot of custom camouflage patterns for hunters that blend well with their native environments. We also have the capacity to do large-volume runs while still maintaining the custom quality we give to our individual customers. “Our customers are what keep us relevant in this industry. They continually challenge us to develop new techniques and ideas that set us apart from the rest. Blowndeadline’s vision for the future is to continue pushing the limit in an industry where custom is the new black.”


UN12 / Issue 002

[ UN12 ]



Product Review : : FrogLube is a nonpetroleum based cleaner and lubricant system

Bio-Based Gun Care

: : Co-developed by Capt. Larry Lasky, U.S. Navy SEAL (ret.) and David Lasky


: : Made of food-grade ingredients, USDA approved



et’s face it. Unless you’ve got a serious case of OCD, gun cleaning and

lubrication isn’t the most exciting topic to read

David and Larry Lasky decided to develop

about—or write about for that matter. However,

a bio-based lubricant to compete against

the topic’s application is critical to carry out

traditional petroleum-based lubes. Even if

if you want a fully functioning, problem-free

you aren’t the all-organic, gluten-free, tree-

firearm. Like your vehicle, precision wristwatch

hugging type, there’s something appealing

or any other mechanical device, cleaning

about working with a cleaner that’s completely

and maintenance is essential to keep things

non-toxic. The first formulas were derived

running right.

from existing products already found in

If you’ve been around guns even for a

by the brothers and tested with the help of

cleaners, lubes and protectants is fraught

Larry’s co-workers—a group of active and

with a head-spinning selection of products

former U.S. Navy SEALs. We should mention

and performance claims. We discovered a

that Capt. Larry Lasky himself is a retired U.S.

non-toxic bio-based gun lubricant and cleaner

Navy SEAL.

“Like your vehicle, precision wristwatch or any other mechanical device, cleaning and maintenance is essential to keep things running right.”


UN12 / Issue 002

commercial use and were further developed

short while, you’ll realize the world of gun

about a little over seven years ago called


FrogLube’s story began in 2009 in Huntington Beach, California, where brothers

The two brothers experimented with the use of the bio-based lube for various possible commercial uses. Capt. Lasky, along with the group SEALs, took the formula to the live fire range and applied it to their weapons. Over the course of their testing he documented a series of empirical stress tests to evaluate the bio-based lube for its performance in modern firearms. Capt. Lasky’s intent was to evaluate and develop the formulas in the field during actual live-firing testing rather than in sterile lab conditions. The SEALs’ ability to run guns hard and test a great variety of functional and performance measures, such as time between cleaning, time between failures, accuracy and performance in environmental

FrogLube. It was (and maybe still is) the most

extremes—cold, hot, dusty and wet—proved

unique cleaner, lubricant, protectant (CLP) I

there was great potential for a bio-based lube,

have encountered thus far.

which in turn led to further design and formula

One of the aspects that makes FrogLube unique from other CLPs is that it is made

adjustments that continue today. With the help of this extensive testing and

only of food-grade ingredients and has been

after further development, FrogLube CLP was

awarded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s

officially introduced to the firearms market

BioPreferred label. Among its attributes, the

in January of 2010. Its job is to reduce or

bio-based, non-toxic, minty-smelling CLP is

eliminate lube malfunctions, maintain stable

said to provide significant fouling reduction,

accuracy and function in all environmental

dissolves rust and hydrocarbons on contact

extremes. We’ve used many different types

and may stretch out long-term firearm storage

of lubrication and cleaning products over the

from months to years.

years and have yet to be disappointed.


Product Review: FrogLube

‘reactive’ ingredients and is a preservative.

improves accuracy. To that, Lasky says: “No.

let us inform you it’s unlike most of the lubes

The formulation we use is an antioxidant that

Using FrogLube will maintain consistency of

that you’ve encountered. It is not oily or like

does not mix with water. We’ve done extensive

performance. Although we’d love to take credit

your typical grease. It is viscous, like semi-

testing with it and so far it has lasted almost

for improving velocity and accuracy, we also

melted lard, and can (for lack of a better

10 years without any mold reaction. Simply

want to remain credible. FrogLube has shown

descriptor) “coagulate” just like the animal fat

put, FrogLube—any version of it—doesn’t

friction reductions in metal-on-metal tests of

when it’s cold. The CLP is available in different

cause mold.”

up to 40%. During accuracy testing we have

If you’ve never handled FrogLube before,

consistencies, from a paste to a gel-like form,

Another criticism of FrogLube is that it

seen accelerated barrel break-ins and stable

and it is reactive to temperature. The moment

doesn’t work in winter weather or extreme

shot groupings over thousands of rounds, but

a round is fired, the coagulated CLP on an

cold. Lasky sets the record straight: “This is

the accuracy of a firearm is more a function of

ice-cold bolt warms up and instantly becomes

more a failure of instruction than a lube issue.

the gun manufacturer’s built-in quality.”

slick once again.

When used properly, guns with FrogLube can’t

Lasky suggests not over-lubing your gun.

space, discussion about its effectiveness

cause a gun to malfunction in freezing weather.

“We’ve seen several culprits, including over-

is commonly debated among firearms

We’ve conducted testing on guns to -25º F

lubing, not cleaning and incomplete removal of

enthusiasts. We asked Capt. Lasky to respond

“You’ll realize that the world of gun cleaners, lubes and protectants is fraught with a head-spinning selection of products and performance claims.”

to some myths and rumors about his product, which range everywhere from FrogLube being made from frogs (believe it or not) to its inability to function in winter weather. When informed about the rumblings concerning whether FrogLube is made by placing frogs into a blender, Lasky just laughs. “This is one of the more humorous claims we address,” he says. “Our response is usually ‘really dude?’ No animals have been harmed during the production of FrogLube products.” He adds: “FrogLube receives some amusing inquiries along with its fair share of bogus claims on the Internet. It seems like in the last 10 years or so, when the smartphone makers

lot is better.’ People accustomed to traditional gun lube made from petroleum will continually add lube when they fire because petroleum lube burns off. We find that these users don’t mention the other major contributor to sticky or gummy actions is a high level of unburnt powder residue that is not removed during cleaning. Nitrocellulose-based smokeless powder along with all the other additives and moisture in air, combined with high heat and pressure, equals sticky and gummy. Adding more lube on top of that mess is only going to accumulate more goo.” Innovation is the key to FrogLube’s success. Since it was first released, the line of products

8-year-old the ability to upload anything online,

shooter, Kim Leppanen, from Finland who

has grown to include other bio-based products

the informational value of the Internet has

have used FrogLube at temps far below that.

including a degreasing solvent and even an

declined precipitously.”

This complaint comes from end users who

optics cleaning kit. The Lasky brothers aren’t

On whether or not FrogLube causes mold,

don’t understand that excess lube in a gun in

done innovating and are continually improving

Lasky responds: “In the early days there was a

cold weather is a giant no-no. Anything liquid

their products. The latest version of their

blogger who stored his gun in a sealed case, in

or gooey placed between gun moving parts

CLP, FrogLube Extreme, is rated to perform

foam, and shut it for a long time. He committed

and subjected to freezing temps will thicken or

in a temperature range that varies from -44˚

a very basic mistake: Never store your gun in

harden.” The lesson here is to not slop on too

to above 700˚ F. Even if you’re never going

a sponge and seal it. Of course, the tendency

much and to wipe the excess off, especially in

to operate in such extreme temperatures,

in the gun world is to blame everything on gun

sub-freezing temperatures.

FrogLube CLP’s non-toxic, bio-based

We also heard a rumor that FrogLube

has been refined and purified to remove any

increases a firearm’s muzzle velocity and

worth trying out. [ UN12 ]


: : Longer storage interval (go from months to years)

: : Expanded temperature capability -40° to >700° F


UN12 / Issue 002


components are innovations that are certainly

lube and naturally FrogLube got the blame. It

: : Dissolves rust and hydrocarbons

BIO-BASED FrogLube is not petroleum-based, so it will not harm the environment when disposed of.

comes from the thinking ‘if a little is good, a

and we have associates in Alaska and a pro

: : Works in any environment


lube build-up,” he says. “The over-lube culprit

thought it would be a good idea to give any

: : Significant fouling reduction

NON-TOXIC Made from foodgrade ingredients. Although we don’t really recommend it, you could conceivably eat it.

To keep your action from getting gummy,

freeze. When used improperly, any lube will

As with just about every other lube in this


: : Reduced temperature rise during firing, non-flammable : : Safe to handle and dispose of, food-grade ingredients



Works in a wide range of environments and temperature gradients.

MOISTURE REPELLENT Formulated from a hydro-phobic antioxident that is suitable for use in long-term storage.




Key Influencers Influencers are those who have built up a reputation for their expertise, style, knowledge or

opinions in a particular space. In this case, we’re talking about the firearms space. Just who are these influencers we follow and what makes them tick? Let’s find out.

BEN @Gunsdaily

A few IG accounts that we found to be follow-worthy

With more than 1.7 million followers on Instagram, there’s a good chance that you already follow Ben of @Gunsdaily. Posting images of new trends and products, Ben seems to always be ahead of the









Image by Phil Larocca,

curve and knows where the industry is going

IG: @buffalodiller

before the rest of us. He is also a partner


at Forge Relations, a firearms marketing company.

Image by @Co debrownbear on IG



South Carolina

Classic wood furniture on modern firearms.


Social media marketing consultant / Partner at Forge Relations



Right now, the STI DVC Carry

Young gun aficionado, workaholic who loves the journey more than the result.

Gold guns Favorite:



Paper or Steel:


Last purchase:

F4 Defense F4-15 Rifle Style:

I’m a function over form type of guy. Why:

Gunsdaily puts out the best content the community has to offer.

WILL RENKE @willrenke Will Renke is co-founder of Forge Relations. Along with his partner Ben, the duo specializes in branding and marketing strategy for firearms companies. Their aim is to help elevate and coach new influencers to thrive in the firearms industry.

Lightweight composite materials being used to replace traditional materials. “Carbon Fiber Everything”

Paper or Steel:

Popular IG tags to follow:

Last purchase:




High-end materials with flat coatings that focus on performance and function.




South Carolina Job:

Entrepreneur Who:

Old-fashioned American, outgoing, adventurist, adrenaline-seeking, bigdreaming kind of guy!!! 136

UN12 / Issue 002

The skull trend Favorite:

Fox Savage side-by-side .410 Caliber:


Steel all the way MP5


Sharing my passions and exploring new ones while interacting with people along the way.


Win glory for yourself and your collection and gain


hoards of IG followers. Tag


if you’d like a chance for your


future issue of UN12.

us with the hashtag #un12ig IG account to be featured in a



UN12 is a specialty magazine that is printed in limited quantities and is not available everywhere. Find your copy at these select retailers before it sells out.



Kings River Coatings 2491 Avenue 400 Kingsburg, CA 93631 Tel: (559) 246-6426 URL:

Iron Sights Weaponary Woodland Trace Ct. Sorrento, LA 70778 Tel: (833) 476-6486 URL:

OC Armory 23012 Del Lago Dr., Suite B Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Tel: (949) 768-5189 URL: Rifle Gear 18065 Mount Shay St. Fountain Valley, CA 92708 Tel: (949) 209-6413 URL: Tactical Pro Shop 3503 W. Burbank Blvd. Burbank, CA 91505 Tel: (818) 468-7837 URL:

CO Danger Close Armament 6801 S. Emporia St #102 Greenwood Village, CO 80112 Tel: (720) 638-6572 URL:

NH 2A Tactical 99 Tolend Road Barrington, NH 03825 Tel: (978) 833-1215 URL:


UN12 / Issue 002

NW Safes 830 Cole St. Enumclaw, WA 98022 Tel: (425) 282-4186 URL:


Pantel Tactical 16926 116th Ave SE Renton, WA 98058 Tel: (425) 282-4186 URL:

New Frontier Armory 150 E. Centennial Pkwy., Suite #110 N. Las Vegas, NV 89084 Tel: (702) 479-1470 URL:

Rainier Arms 2504 Auburn Way N Auburn, WA 98002 Tel: (253) 218-2999 URL:

TX Custom Defense Firearms 1911 E. Rancier Ave. Killeen, TX 76541 Tel: (408) 597-4867 URL: Rifle Gear 6101 Windhaven Pkwy., Suite 145 Plano, TX 75093 Tel: (972) 292-7678 URL:

Rehv Arms 27623 Covington Way SE #2 Covington, WA 98042 Tel: (253) 630-5900 URL:


CANADA Canadian Tactical Cowboy Supplies URL:

BELGIUM DTS-Armory Tel: +31475202153 URL:

NETHERLANDS DTS-Armory Tel: +31475202153 URL:


WA Grey Ghost Gear 2916th 107th St. South Lakewood, WA 98499 Tel: (253) 984-7854 URL:

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UN12 - 002 Magazine  

We are purveyors of firearms customization and style. We are gun enthusiasts that can never let good enough alone. Whether our focus is on...

UN12 - 002 Magazine  

We are purveyors of firearms customization and style. We are gun enthusiasts that can never let good enough alone. Whether our focus is on...

Profile for un12mag