Tag Archives: review

Cold Dead Hands Ambidextrous Charging Handle Left Me Cold – Don’t Buy It

Folks, I saw the Cold Dead Hands (CDH) ambidextrous charging handle ad on Facebook and figured for $34.94 delivered I might as well give it a try so I ordered it on 6/22/17.  The first thing I noticed after I placed my order was that it was shipping from China but was hopeful that wasn’t a bad thing.  Well, it arrived today (6/28/17) in a brown cushion mailer and I immediately noticed the bare bones generic packaging it was in and was still hopeful because it looked pretty good.



Here it is next to my favorite model of charging handle, the BCM Gunfighter Mod 3 Large Latch.


It fit just fine in terms of installation and locking in place.

The problem is the unlocking.  It is a tad rough from the left side (the non op side looking down from the top where the normal handle release is) but it works.

From the right side (where the ejection port is), if you pull back slow using the right tab the handle’s catch hook pretty much digs in and locks the handle in place.  If I yanked hard and fast from the right, it would release.  If I went slow, it would not release.  This pretty well defeats the ambidextrous function claim.

There’s nothing odd about the upper – just a normal Palmetto State Armory upper.  In the next photo, I stopped the handle short on purpose to take the photo of the locking area on the upper.

So, the CDH handle was gritty on the left and unpredictable on the right.  Out it went and the BCM Mod 3 went in.   By the way, a Mil-Spec charging handle worked just fine as does the BCM.  I had a Mil-Spec handle in there before trying the CDH unit.

Bottom line, based on my experience, I would recommend against buying the Cold Dead Hands model.  Stick with Mil-Spec or a name brand charging handle.

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Video: Some really good review videos on the Hatsan Gladius

One of my favorite things is to do research.  Before I bought my Hatsan Gladius Long Bullpup in .22, I did a lot of reading and also watching of videos.  Youtube is a goldmine of reviews and insights that one should tap in to.  Here are three videos that helped me learn more about the Gladius and especially get a better look at its features and how loud it was.

The first video is my favorite as the two guys set up the rifle and then go through each power setting and record three shots along with their velocity and calculated foot pounds of energy (FPE) for the pellet they were using.  For some reason they did levels one through five but not six. Regardless, I was pretty much sold by the end of these three videos.




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Installing the CNC Warrior Picatinny Rail Scope Mount for the M92 PAP Pistol

Another great accessory for the Yugo M92 or M85 PAP is the slick picatinny rail kit that CNC Warrior sells.  This thing is a breeze to install and is the best means I have seen for adding an optic to the M92. Because the screws are inserted from the rail side, it is superior to other products that require the screws to come in from underneath the dust cover and risk being hit by the bolt carrier.

All you need is the pistol, a drill and some cutting oil to do the installation.


1.  This is the top thick hinge of the M85/M92 dust cover.  See the faint circles?  Those are the spot welds and they are very hard!  Do not drill into them!  The new CNC Warrior mount has four holes and you only need to use two of them.  The reason there is four is so you can pick the best two that get you around/away from the spot welds.  Please note that my rail is only silver because it was a brand new design and they hadn’t applied a finish yet.  If you order one, you will get a black rail!

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2.  Here you can see my fancy high tech tools.  My Ryobi drill, Tap Magic cutting oil to lubricate the drills and the taps.  Note, you will need to buy a tap handle if you do not have one.  Do not take the short cut of trying to start the tap with a regular socket or open end wrench.  You really want the tap to be firmly held so you can tap the threads at a right angle to the surface of the hinge.  Also, see that little black cylinder?  That is a drill guide that you put into the hole you select to guide the drill bit to the right place on the hinge.  Be sure to use the cutting oil!

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3.  As an aside, I blasted the mount and then sprayed on flat black Molyresin and baked it.  You’d never know it came to me unfinished.

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4.  After you clean up the chips and are ready to do the final screwing of the mount, be sure to apply Blue Loctite so it does not come loose.

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That’s it!  The mount is solid and it holds my Vortex Sparc red dot just great.  Note our quick takedown pin to make it easy to remove the cover and get the optic out of the way.


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Ronin’s Grips Quick Takedown pin for the M92 dust cover

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Vortex Optics Sparc AR Red Dot – 2 MOA Dot (Sports)

Vortex SPARC AR Waterproof Red Dot Sights provide precision, consistency and speedy target acquisition every time. These compact from Vortex have intuitive, rear facing controls for easy access to and instant visibility of adjustments to power and dot brightness. Save battery life with the automatic shut off feature, then automatically return to the last used intensity level when you turn the Vortex SPARC AR Lightweight Red Dot Sight back on. Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, the Vortex SPARC AR Tactical Red Dot Sight will be your go-to optic for every situation and every rifle.


  • The Sparc AR sight features a 2 MOA daylight bright red dot that is quick to spot and paints your target regardless of lighting conditions or background. The dot returns to the last intensity used when powered up.
  • High quality, fully multi-coated lenses offer up a clean, wide field of view. With unlimited eye relief and parallax free, the sight gets you on target fast.
  • Rear-facing controls offer quick access and are viewable from the shooting position.
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof the anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum body is rubber armored and built to handle the most extreme conditions.
  • The sight operates using a AAA battery and offers up to 300 hours of power at max brightness. After 12 hours, an automatic shutoff prevents accidental battery rundown.

List Price: $199.00 USD
New From: $199.00 USD In Stock

A Suprisingly Affordable Flashlight: LiteXpress LXL439001 – Impressive Quality & Cool Rotary Model Selector Switch

I use a lot of flashlights and the problem is that I tend to lose them.  Thus, while I like and appreciate high-end lights, they can be expensive to lose, crush, etc.  As a result, I tend to try and find decent lights at a low price.  In my recent trolling of Amazon I was intrigued by the LiteXpress LXL439001.  You might think I was trolling for lumens but I am way over that – I want something in the 40-100 lumen range with good battery life, is LED, and rugged yet affordable. If I lose it, I don’t want to have an awful sense of loss.

I also prefer AA or CR123A batteries, which I buy in bulk.  You guys may know this already, but shop for CR123A batteries on Amazon plus Walgreen’s Alkaline batteries are great and very affordable.  When it comes to the CR123As, buy brand name and check reviews – all the major light manufacturers warn against the no-name cheap import batteries due to the risk of fire.  I check brands such as Surefire, Energizer and Streamlight for volume deals on Amazon.  The price savings are huge compared to local stores.

At any rate, what attracted me wasn’t lumens or some tacticool styling feature – it was the little rotary switch on the tail end and it stopped me dead.  I loathe the “click and try to get it right” 3-5 mode lights.  Seriously, they drive me crazy.  I want something simple and predictable.  I’m not even a huge fan of low-high-off but can deal with it.  I’m sure you’ve seen the lights where they have all kinds of features – typically low, high, strobe, SOS, etc.  You know what I really want – on and off.  The LiteXpress has an on/off switch and the genius in in moving all the features to the rotary with symbols – I can go straight to whatever mode I want and if I hold the on/off button down, then the intensity can drop down from 122 by 10% increments.

You see, the LiteXpress is designed in Germany but built in China.  There is an attention to design in this light that frankly surprised me so much that I bought it and decided to write about it.  When the Amazon box arrived, I opened it up and found the light secured in a plastic blisterpack shell.  Of course, I had to snap a few photos to share with all of you:

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  • 122 lumens max but can decrease to 10 lumens
  • Push-button on/off on the barrel
  • Rotary selector switch on the tail end.  The modes are lock, high, flash (strobe or SOS can be selected), and temporary on/off.  Pretty cool.
  • Three color filters that firm slide over the output end of the light
  • LED battery indicator: green = 100%, Yellow=approx 50% and Red=approx 10% remaining
  • It came with 2 Duracell CR123A batteries
  • Aluminum case

I have been using it a few days now and really like it.  It’s higher quality than I expected and you’ll find it hard to beat for $23.  If you are looking for a decent flashlight, you might want to check it out.

Update on 7/1/14: We lost power last night and this flashlight was fantastic.  I used it last night and this morning after the powerful storm went through.  It worked great the whole time and even after at least 45-60 minutes of ontime the batteries are reported as “green” by the power indicator.  We may well not have power tonight either and I will be using this more again if that happens.

I am so very impressed by this flashlight that we are now selling it!  It’s in our online store at:  http://shop.roninsgrips.com/LiteXpress-LXL439001-X-Tactical-101-Flashlight-LiteXPressXtactical101.htm