All posts by RoninsGrips

We're a small business made up of myself and my wife working nights and weekends to hand make items for AK and related rifles as well Nepalese khukuris! We've been in business for over four years and pride ourselves in providing quality products and exceptional customer service.

We Now Have Windowed 16 Round .40/10mm Magazines for Rock Island Armory High Cap 2011 Pistols

I’ve written in the past how I have a new RIA 52009 High Cap 10mm and it’s virtually impossible to find the original OEMP164015B mags right now. Seizing on this business opportunity, I started converting Mec-Gar MGP164015B for use in the RIA double stack/staggered .40 & 10mm pistols (they share the same magazine). Things were going great until all sources of the Mec-Gar MGP164015B dried up too (thank you panic buying). So what to do?

I started digging and found out that the Mec-Gar MGP164010B is the exact same magazine except Mec-Gar used a hydraulic press to form dimples in the tube to stop the follower at 10 rounds for folks with Para 16 pistols in areas that had a 10-round limit.

I brought in a bunch of the 10 round mags and converted them for use in the RIA pistols. Then, the supply of the MGP164015B mags dried up and I decided to figure out how to convert the MGP164010B magazines for use in 16 round RIA .40 and 10mm pistols.

To make a long story short, you drill out the dimples, remove the burrs from the inside of the tube and then sand it down. That’s why the mags have 3/8″ windows drilled in them. The fact the magazine bodies were tempered steel definitely made life interesting when it came to the drilling and deburring operations.

Here’s a Mec-Gar 20 round magazine that is about to get the dimple drilled out. I made the jig to securely hold the magazines during the drilling operations.
Folks, I have gone through a ton of dummy rounds prototyping and now testing the magazines. I also use a MagLula to help me load every magazine and with 15 rounds. I am testing that the load and feed smoothly. If they do not then that would tell me something needs more work in the tube.

Bottom line, I was able to make more of the RIA high cap (HC) 16 round magazines. They all have a Teflon dry lube internally and Dawson Precision +100 black base plates. These are really nice and extend just a hair below the funnel allowing you to positively seat the magazine in the weapon.

The Dawson +100 base plate fits very nicely. They make other lengths that you can buy directly from them if you are interested.
Here’s one side.|
Here’s the other side.
Here’s a close up of the top nose.
Here’s a close up of the Dawson +100 base plate. Note, these are Para magazine style base plates.

In Conclusion

Now you know why we have windowed magazines for sale (I had to drill out the dimples). If you are interested, click here to go to our online store and you can see what magazines we have in stock right now.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Range Report For The Desert Eagle 1911, RIA Rock Ultra FS HC, and Springfield Armory 6″ TRP Operator 10mm Pistols

Well folks, at one point I had three 1911-style 10mm pistols. A Magnum Research Desert Eagle (model DE1911G10), a Rock Island Armory (RIA) Rock Ultra FS HC (model 52009) and a Springfield Armory TRP Operator (model PC9610L18). While I like the 10mm cartridge, I didn’t really need three pistols so I decided to take them to the range to decide what I would keep and what I would sell.

The Ammo

I took with me about 200 rounds of Ammo Inc’s 180gr TMC load that I had purchased from Palmetto State Armory during one of their daily deals. TMC stands for “total metal case” – meaning the lead is fully encapsulated by the copper jacket. With full metal jacket (FMC) ammo, the base often has the lead core exposed. Ammo Inc is interesting in that they decided to go the public company route and we’ll have to wait and see how they fare when the panic buying dies down.

I also took about 200 rounds of Sellier & Bellot (S&B) 180gr FMJ ammo as well. It’s been my “go to ” 100 range ammo for years. If you don’t know S&B, they are an excellent ammunition producer located in the Czech Republic dating back to 1825.

That is some of the Ammo Inc 180gr TMC ammo in the bag and S&B 180gr FMJ in the tray.

To round out the test ammo, I took some Underwood 155gr XTP and 200gr XTP jacketed hollow points (JHP). I only had about 50 rounds of this and I wanted to save it for the final round of testing.

For the past six months, finding ammo has been a bear but suppliers are starting to build up inventory. Judging by my inbox, more and more emails are being sent saying “we have ammo in stock” and even a few sales. These tend to come shortly before prices start to drop based on past panic buying ammo shortages [click here for my blog post on the economics of ammo during a panic].

The Range

It was a beautiful March day when I arrived at the Berrien County Sportsman’s Club to use the pistol plate range. The plates are about 30-35′ feet back from the firing line and I had it all to myself.

BCSC is my favorite range hands down and I have been a member there for many years. Definitely a cool place for a variety of sportsman and family activities.

The 10″ steel plates are located about 30-35 feet from the firing line. I really enjoy these for testing pistols. Note the pull cord to reset the plates.

First, the 6″ TRP Operator

As I have written in the past, the TRP Operator was not reliable out of the box and this was a do or die outing for the pistol in terms of whether I would keep or sell it. The TRP Operator is basically a 6″ 1911 and the marketing would lead you to expect that it would have been stunning out of the box but it wasn’t to be perfectly blunt.

Thankfully, after work both myself and Springfield Armory’s repair groups did, it finally handled the way it should have when I first got it. This time around, functioning was reliable and the recoil was handled nicely by the heavy pistol with it’s 6″ bull barrel.

The TRP put in a good showing this time around. All the kinks had been worked out and it ran great.

I was able to fire round after round at the plates at 30-35 feet and hit them. I really wasn’t shooting for benchrest accuracy – just shooting at plates to decide what to do.

Honestly, I had a take-it-or-leave it mentality on front serrations on a slide until I got into 10mm 1911s. Their recoil spring is stout. All of a sudden, those front serrations are really handy. My RIA 52009 does not have them and is way harder for me to hold when racking the slide from the front that the TRP or the Bul.
I was running both Wilson Combat ,and Tripp Cobra mags in both the TRP and the Bul. Both brands are excellent. You can see a Cobra 9-round magazine peaking out of the mag well in this photo. Their beveled base plate is an immediate give away.

In summary for the TRP, it ran just fine but it did nothing to wow me.

Next – The Magnum Research Desert Eagle (model DE1911G10) by Bul Armory

Okay, next up on the testing list for the first time was my new Desert Eagle 10mm that is actually made by Bul Armory of Israel. Out of the box it had the best trigger of any 1911 I have owned and the action was very smooth.

Now I have written about this particular pistol going to the range before – it’s just that I am finally sitting down to write this bigger post about all three pistols just under two months after the range trip. Here are a few pictures for you:

Here’s the Bul with some of the Ammo Inc 180gr TMC ammo and a collection of Wilson and Cobra mags – it ran through everything I brought including the Underwood JHPs with no problems.

Here’s the 6″ TRP on top and the 5″ Bul on the bottom. Those front slide serrations make racking their slides a lot easier.

Let me sum it up and say – I really, really like this pistol. It functioned flawlessly and felt great. With the TRP, I was not impressed by the time it finally worked right. The Bul’s performance was nothing short of fantastic.

Last But Not Least: The Rock Island Armory (RIA) Rock Ultra FS HC (model 52009)

This was the first trip for the RIA Rock Ultra FS HC – let’s just call it the 52009. I wrote a blog post about my first takes and things were looking good so far. At any rate, I knew with the RIA pistols that you needed to clean and lube them plus I slightly beveled the chamber edges and polished the ramp.

I was really curious to see how it would function not only in general but also with the new magazines I was making for them. I also wanted a higher capacity 10mm 1911 if possible so there was a lot riding on the trip.

It looks familiar until you notice the really thick pistol grip and the big mag well funnel.
The 52009 is the bottom pistol and the TRP is the top right. You can see the collection of custom mags I was testing – what you don’t see is that their mag lips are different lengths. I actually found the 52009 very tolerant of different lengths – reliable feeding was a function of how spread open the lips were to point the cartridge towards the chamber. See the magazine laying with it’s back up in the top row? The magazine to the right was the only original RIA ACT-Mag I had to base my work on the shop.
See how short the lips are? By adjusting the lips, it fed surprisingly fine. I have one mag with even shorter lips and it worked.
The stock of 10mm Ammo Inc rounds was dwindling. Let me tell you something – the Mag-Lula universal pistol magazine filler is worth its weight in gold. I really can’t tell you how many 8, 9 and 10 round mags I filled (and emptied) shooting the TRP and Bul pistols but by the time I got to the 52009, my hands were aching thanks to my carpal tunnel issues. By the way, two months later and that loading “finger” you see in the Mag-Lula is now brass colored from all of the magazine test fitting I have done 🙂

To sum up the 52009 – it was starting to wear in and felt surprisingly good. I sure missed having the front serrations on the slide because by the end my hands were starting to ache and my ability to squeeze hard enough to hold the slide and rack it was dwindling.

Once I identified the good mags and problem mags and focused my efforts, it ran great. I was quite pleased with it and I can tell you now that I have cycled it thousands of times fitting magazines, it is quite smooth. The 52009 and RIA 1911/2011 pistols in general are really good examples of parts need to wear in, or get to know each other, to get rid of tiny burrs/imperfections left over from manufacturing.

Would I buy it again? Yes. Was it my first choice? No, actually it wasn’t. I really wanted a high cap 5″ pistol styled after one of their Tac or Tac Ultra pistols that has the forward serrations and a Picatinny rail on the bottom of the frame. The reason being is that they are lighter and more compact than the 6″ Big Rock that I had years ago. Their 56862 model has a 5.5″ threaded barrel (hence the extra half inch) that I would have preferred but with the panic buying, it is impossible to find. Who knows – I may find one some day.

In the mean time, my only wish was that the 52009 hand front serrations – other than that it is a solid pistol.

Final Decision

As you can probably guess, the TRP Operator was voted off the island and my friend, and FFL, Scott Igert sold it for me. I felt pretty good about the decision too.

What’s interesting is that if you go to the Springfield Armory website today – the 10mm TRP Operator is gone. It could be that the demand just wasn’t there. I talked to a fellow at Dawson Precision awhile back about Stacattos (STI changed their name a few months back) and if they had any 10mm pistols because they used to have a number of models including the “Perfect 10.”) At any rate, he told me the demand just isn’t there – everyone is going for the 9mms these days. That might be the case for Springfield though I notice they are offering their Ronin model in 10mm.

TRP at the top, 52009 in the middle and the Bul is at the bottom.
Bul on the left and the 52009 on the right. Note how the 52009 has an ambidextrous safety and the Bul does not. Since I am right handed, I really don’t use the safety on the other side. Some guys train to shoot with both hands just in case their right hand injured and use the safety on both sides as a result so I can understand why it is a feature that some folks want.

That’s it for now. I hope you found this post useful.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Rock Island Armory’s 52009 Ultra FS HC 10mm Is a 10mm 2011 That Packs a Punch

Hi folks – this is my second Rock Island Armory (RIA) 15 round 10mm 1911/2011-style pistol that I have owned. My first one was a 6″ Rock Ultra that I sold years ago because I didn’t really need it. Lately I have gotten back into 10mms for situations where I need to pack a punch such as back country hiking in black bear country.

At this point, I have two 10mm pistols. My 1911-style Desert Eagle and now this 2011-style RIA 52009 Rock Ultra FS HC. FS meaning Full Size – it’s based on a series 70 5″ 1911 in terms of the action. The HC means high-capacity because it uses a staggered 15 round magazine that means the pistol can hold 16 rounds when topped off with one in the chamber.

The following are a couple of listings from PSA and Primary Arms but due to panic buying, you’re probably only going to find the 52009 on GunBroker at this point [click here to search GB – I bought mine off GB]:

In my opinion, Rock Island pistols are work horses. They may have a very plain parkerized finish and be a tad rough but they were made for use – not just sitting in someone’s safe. In terms of the rough action, they do wear in and give you a very good pistol.

In the case of this 52009, the pistol was well assembled and just felt a little rough. Folks, this is just fine in my honest opinion. What happens is that the parts are made and assembled. There isn’t a ton of hand polishing and tuning going on like when you buy a high end pistol but the fundamentals are there.

The way you address this is to clean the brand new pistol, lube it really well and then use it. What happens is that the parts get to know each other – surfaces start to wear together and smooth out. Sure, you could take it apart and do it by hand but just using it can make a world of difference so don’t judge it right out of the box. I use Superlube grease on the parts that slide and their oil/liquid on the parts that rotate.

The only thing RIA honestly did wrong was forget to pack one of the unique 15 round magazines with the pistol. These mags are normally available but with all of the panic buying and COVID screwing up supply chains, they are next to impossible to find. Armscor USA would not even reply to my emails and it wasn’t until Reed Sporting Goods, the Gunbroker seller I dealt with, got a new Armscor/RIA sales rep that I was then able to get a single mag. By the way, Reed is great to deal with if you see them on GB.

The missing mag irked me but I realized there was a business opportunity and made a bunch more for myself and to sell [click here for that story] and click here if you want to buy one. By the way, after hand cycling my slide hundreds and hundreds of times while testing those mags, it is nice and smooth now.

The left magazine is one that I made and it works great. The right mag is an original ACT-Mag. Quick shout out to Dawson Precision for making some great Para base plates!

It came coated in oil to protect the steel more than anything but you always want to take a new pistol apart, clean it and then lube it. The 52009 has been to the range a couple of times now and I definitely like it.

Here are a few more pictures:

Like I said earlier – it’s definitely well made. The parts all fit together nicely without any slop. The set screw in the trigger allows you to adjust over-travel if you wish. It’s factory set and some folks either remove it or put more thread locker on it. I added wicking thread locker and called it even.
It comes with a huge funnel. Folks, I like funnels and you’ll see them on many of my pistols. They help guide your magazine into place when you are in a rush. In my opinion, any funnel, even a beveled mag well opening, is better than no funnel. I also prefer steel or aluminum funnels to plastic.
Here’s the business end – you can see the big bull barrel and because of this, it does not have a bushing. Takedown is accomplished by putting a pin in a drilled hole in the silver guide rod you see when the slide is locked open. In this photo you can also see the fiber optics collecting the light and send it out the end – the sights worked real nice at the range when I was shooting steel plates.

Conclusion

I definitely like the pistol and we are still getting to know each other. I did polish the ramp and chamber. In the next blog post, I’ll tell you about my range trip with my three 1911/2011 10mm pistols and the one that got sold after – which is why I said I now have two at the start of the post.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Brother MFC-L8610CDW Color Laser Printer And OnlyU Replacement Toner Cartrdiges – A Very Affordable High Quality Solution

First, let me start off by saying I was an HP laser printer customer for years. The middle one didn’t last as long as I thought it should and I don’t recall the model. The last HP laser I will ever own was a M254DW. I use it to print all kinds of documents including all of my packing slips and mailing labels. At least I did until the printer downloaded an update and completely stopped working. Turns out the update was to set the printer to only work with HP brand toner that they charge a fortune for.

In an HP corporate response, they hid behind their end user license agreement (EULA) – the thing 99.99% of us never read – that said they could do that. Sorry HP – I bought a printer, paid you a fair amount of money for it and for you to brick it such that I couldn’t even work with no way to remove the update was completely unacceptable – EULA or not. I’m done with your printers.

With this incredible headache in mind and that the previous printer didn’t last very long, I started researching and really wanted a new all-in-one system. After digging, I bought a Brother MFC-L8610CDW. It came with introductory toner – meaning the cartridges were not full but Brother comes with a really good reputation and they did not block third party toner.

I bought one of the Brothers for $476.99 off Amazon in September 2020 plus after digging, I bought OnlyU TN-431 TN-433 toner cartridges for $47.99 and then got a $6/off coupon. I’m writing this in May of 2021 and will tell you that the printer is awesome and we’ve already gone through the starter set of cartridges and the OnlyU replacement toner set works great – there is a reason they get such good reviews – the printer and the toner.

The OnlyU cartridges come very well packed and since I have Amazon Prime, they are here usually the next day.

So, small business owners – and really anyone else – Brother printers have a great reputation for a reason and I wish I had moved sooner. I’m using it for all of my office printing including documents, presentations, packing slips and 8.5×5.5 self adhesive mailing labels. The scanner works great – I’ve not gotten around to setting up the FAX as of yet. I have an old FAX machine that is clunk that still works so I am not in a rush.

In terms of the toner, all of the OEMs are higher than a kite for their toner cartrdiges. GIven how well OnlyU works, I already ordered my next set of replacement OnlyU toner so it’s here when I need it.

Again, I bought the printer off Amazon and here’s the link:

Same for the toner – here’s the link:

The OnlyU toner print quality is just fine. Most of my printing is black and white but I do color also – the above is a photo of me working on my Desert Eagle 10mm 1911 pistol that I printed.

Now I should point out that OnlyU makes toner cartridges for a ton of different printers so if you are looking, I’d bet they will work … unless you have an HP (yeah, I am bitter – it stopped me dead in the water for two-three work days diagnosing, researching what to get, waiting for the new printer plus the setup time).

Here are some other products OnlyU makes:

I truly hope this helps you out.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Top Four PSA AR-15 Kits

Hi folks. I like building AR rifles and sometimes I just want a kit with all of the parts. Sometimes I will then swap stuff out and the original parts go in a bin but they are nice to have as spares and sometimes I will build the kit with the included parts – it just depends on my mood and budget to be perfectly honest. For years now, my main source for kits has been Palmetto State Armory (PSA) headquartered in Columbia, SC.

I almost always get my stuff off their website but they do have some very cool retail stores scattered around South Carolina. I had an opportunity to go to one a couple years back and it was very cool. Unfortunately, I lacked funds at the time and just picked up a couple of items. A person could put a serious dent in their credit card by going in one of their stores … or their website for that matter 🙂

People used to complain that they were slow to ship and to respond. First off, I always knew they were trying to keep costs low – they always shipped and they did respond – just not right away. For over a year now, I have noticed they are far faster at shipping – sometimes even the same day – and they are also faster at responding. So, if you hear bad stuff about this, I wouldn’t worry about it.

I’ve also heard people question their quality. Folks, if you want a tier one rifle, go buy a tier one rifle or the parts from them. Palmetto gives you a decent combination of quality and price. For folks planning on hunting and target shooting with their friends, I have no reservation to recommend them. If you are shooting in competition or planning to use this rifle in some kind if law enforcement situation or somewhere that requires high reliability, I think you probably need to look at the higher end ARs that are designed to handle tens of thousands of rounds. Look, I’m just being candid – the PSA AR rifles and pistols are solid but they have a different intended audience. There are reasons besides “coolness” where certain buyers must move to suppliers like Daniel Defense, BCM, Knights, LMT, H&K, LWRC, etc.

At any rate, back in April of this year (2021), I asked what their top four complete kits were (meaning everything except the lower receiver) and they had a list! If you like building AR kits like I do, I thought you might find this interesting in terms of what is included:

PSA 16″ 5.56 NATO 1:7 MIDLENGTH NITRIDE 13.5″ LIGHTWEIGHT M-LOK MOE EPT RIFLE KIT W/ MBUS SIGHT SET (Model 516446780)

Noteworthy here is the entry level Magpul MOE buttstock and grip plus Magpul MBUS flip up sights. They are also including a PSA EPT fire control group – this means that the trigger and hammer have nickel boron finish causing them to move easier because friction is reduced.

It has one of the PSA 13.5″ long handguards set for M-Lok attachments. Everything else is typically found in any of their AR kits with a collapsible stock. They make and restock these kits all the time.

The price as of this writing is $669.

PSA 16″ M4 CARBINE-LENGTH 5.56 NATO 1:7 NITRIDE 15″ LIGHTWEIGHT M-LOK FREEDOM RIFLE KIT (Model 51655106915)

PSA Model 51655106915

Despite a cool looking 15″ handguard, this is a basic AR and you can replace the grip and buttstock later if you want. It’s selling so well that PSA is out of stock right now but you can be notified when it is back in stock. They tend to make and restock these kits all the time.

The price isn’t listed right now since they are out of stock but I would expect it to be slightly less than the first kit – unless they are charging a premium for that handguard.

PSA 16″ M4 CARBINE-LENGTH 5.56 NATO 1:7 NITRIDE 15″ LIGHTWEIGHT M-LOK FREEDOM RIFLE KIT (Model 5165450384)

Definitely a basic 15″ railed rifle kit. Everything looks entry level but you can always customize it down the road if you want.

Again, no price as they are out of stock. I’d expect it to be cheaper than the two kits above. You can sign up to be notified when they do get it in stock if you want. They tend to make and restock these kits all the time.

PSA 16″ MID-LENGTH 5.56 NATO 1:7 NITRIDE 15″ LIGHTWEIGHT M-LOK CLASSIC RIFLE KIT WITH MBUS SIGHT SET (Model 5165491598)

This one has the Magpul BUS sights, an interesting looking handguard … and that’s about it. Everything else is what you tend to see in any of their basic AR rifle kits with collapsing stocks.

The price as of today s $649.99

What rifle is in the top photo?

It started out as a PSA 16″ kit. It had an Anderson lower, WMD bolt, and a Magpul ACS-L stock – I like those because they lock in place and don’t rattle. It had a BMC Mod 3 charging handle, Vortex 1-6x scope on a Vortex 2″ offset mount, YHM extended push pins and a PSA ambidextrous selector lever. The fire control group is one of the PSA EPT sets – I do like them for basic triggers. I like Geissele SSA-E triggers the most though. I honestly don’t recall who made the offset sights.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to build a decent entry-level rifle from a kit with all of the parts you need other than the lower receiver, the above should work great for you. At a minimum, they will all give you a foundation to start with.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Concealment Express’ 1911 IWB Kydex Holster Is Nice!

Ok folks, I want to be up front about concealed carrying a full size 1911 – in my case a Desert Eagle 1911 in 10mm (DE1911G10) made Bul Armory in Israel. You will never wonder “Did I remember to put my pistol on?” Why? Because it weights 2 pounds 15 oz with 9 rounds of 155gr Underwood HP ammo and no holster is why. There’s no wondering because you can feel the weight and the big pistol pushing into your side.

With that said though, I do like and trust the 1911 design and the 10mm Desert Eagle 1911 has operated flawlessly since I bought it. Seriously, it is a remarkable pistol. Since I do have a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), I wanted a couple of carry options and started with an inside the waistband (IWB) holster.

After doing a bit of digging on affordable options, I bought a Kydex IWB holster made by Concealment Express off Amazon (I’ve since found that if you sign up for their newsletter from their website they will email you a 10% off coupon code for “joining the club” plus they do have good sales from time to time so you ought to check them out). To cut to the chase, I really like it and want to share some information with you about the holster.

Concealment Express is located in Jacksonville, FL, and makes their own holster. What I think makes them different is that they CNC machine their own aluminum molds so this lets them really pay attention to the details of the firearm and dial in their process for making them.

I used to make Kydex holsters but it was more of a artisan craft approach vs. cranking them out in a manufacturing setting. The reason I mention this is that I like their designs and their attention to detail.

First off, look at the very clean lines of the holster. Both exterior edges and details of the molding are very crisp and distinct.
The clip is made from ABS plastic, will fit up to a 1.5″ tall belt and the cant (the angle of draw) is adjustable from -5 to 20 degrees allowing for you to adjust it to your preferred carry and draw style. I am right handed and use same-side (strong-side) holsters so this is their right hand carry model – they can make left hand models as well.

Boltatron

Kydex is a brand name of thermal plastic that can be heated and shaped. It’s also become a bit of a catch-all term for plastic holders but there are differences including holsters that are actually injection molded.

In the case of this holster, the material is a 0.80″ thick thermal plastic known as “Boltaron” and it has some cool characteristics. Kydex can get brittle when cold and may crack when dropped plus in high heat (for example, when a hot barrel gets inserted into the holster), Kydex might soften and deform. Boltaron does not get brittle when cold and doesn’t form/deform until a higher temperature.

Boltaron has many colors and textures. This is their carbon fiber texture and just to be clear – it’s still the thermal plastic and not carbon fiber. By the way, the white specs are dust on the holster just to be clear. Also, note how corners and edges are rounded.

Safety Details

Okay, when I carry a 1911, it is locked and loaded – there is a round in the chamber and the hammer is cocked. Now the 1911 design has two safeties and I really need to rely on them when I have a loaded 10mm in my pants – yes, I can think of a lot of jokes with that comment too but am not going there 🙂 It has the grip safety and a thumb safety just under the rear of the slide.

These are the two safety mechanisms on a 1911. The most important safety mechanism is you – always remember that.

There’s not much you can do to safeguard the grip safety but I really prefer to have something protecting the the thumb safety to keep it from accidentally getting switched from safe to fire. Concealment Express designed their holster to safeguard the thumb safety.

Note how the Boltaron covers the thumb safety and reduces the odds of it accidentally getting switched off. A nice perk of the Bul design is that it has the traditional single side safety and is not ambidextrous. In many 1911s, there is a thumb catch control on the opposite side as well that could still get accidentally snagged but at least it is not right against your body with you moving up and down right against the safety.
You can see from the rear how the thumb safety is shielded.

Adjustments

They designed in two things you can adjust – the cant of the belt clip and they also have two screws that you can use to adjust the tension to make the pistol easier or harder to draw. When you tighten down the screws, the tension increases by drawing the two sides of the holster together. When you loosen the screws, the Boltaron wants to open back up and it becomes easier to draw the pistol.

You can adjust the cant (angle of carry) and the tension that is holding the pistol in the holster.
In case you are wondering how it works, the holster is formed formed on a mold under a vacuum. There is a filler that keeps the bottom edges of the holster open. The holes are drilled for the tensioning screws and the magic happens thanks to the two thick rubber washers. They compress when you tighten down the screws thus drawing the sides together and increasing tension. You can make it too tight such that the pistol can’t be drawn or holstered by the way so experiment with what works for you.

One important comment – always apply thread locker or the screws will slowly loosen over time. You can assemble with a blue medium strength compound like Blue Loctite or you can use a wicking medium-strength formula that is very then and is drawn back into the threads via capillary action. Never use red or permanent thread locker – those require heat to be removed and heat is not something you really want around thermal formed plastics.

What 1911s Does It Fit?

Concealment Express says it will fit most 5″ Government model 1911s that do not have rails. This would include models such as my Magnum Research /Bul Armory DE1911G10 as well as models from Colt, KImber, Ruger and Springfield.

As an aside, it does not fit my RIA 52009 for example – that is 16-round Para-inspired design that is more like a 2011 with a much wider grip. If I heated the holster up at the top with a heat gun and made it wider at the top, I could probably get it to work. I just point that out for folks wondering if this would work with one of the bigger 2011-style frames.

Conclusion

Plain and simple, the Concealment Express 1911 Government IWB holster is a perfectly decent holster. It’s built nicely and is easy to carry (albeit with a heavy pistol). “Is that a 1911 in your pants or are you just happy to see me?” springs to mind 🙂 At any rate, I’d recommend and will continue to use it myself when I do carry this big pistol.

Concealment Express Makes Many Holster Models

I’m impressed by their approach and plan to buy one for my Glock 29 Gen 4 and will report back on my experiences. Click on the following ad to go to their website:


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Ammo Prices Will Continue To Fall

Okay, I’m a closet economist – I admit it. When I look at the current ammo shortage, you can tell it is predictably coming to an end provided nothing crazy comes out of the Senate, White House and ATFE that is lasting.

Not Our First Panic

For those old enough to remember past panic buying such as with President Obama, the same thing happened. People got worried about not being able to buy firearms or ammo in the future so they started buying everything in sight. When this happens, an interesting and predictable tug of war happens between the demand for ammo and the willingness of businesses to sell ammo. Let’s look at it in terms of three time frames – immediate, medium and longer-term.

Short-term – less than 6 months

When a panic hits, there is very little the manufacturers, importers, whole salers and gun shops can do in the short-term other than sell what they have. What do I mean by short-term? Within about a six month window in the case of ammo. They can only produce so much ammo so fast given their labor, component availability and machine capacity. In addition, importers only have so many import orders in the pipeline so the ammo supply starts to dry up. As supply dries up, prices start to go up – you see ammo that was going for $249/1000 rounds start to push almost $1,000/1000 rounds if not more plus it can get pretty hard to find.

In the mean time, as the supply gets limited, people tend to panic even more and buy whenever they can afford, sometimes even if they can’t with credit cards, keeping the prices elevated. Making life even more colorful this time around were COVID causing supply chain problems and the stimulus checks.

The stimulus checks have caused a number of issues. First and foremost, a lot of people don’t see the point in working when they can stay home, collect unemployment and get the stimulus checks. This means that firms who are trying to make equipment, supplies and ammo itself plus firms who distribute and sell it are frequently short staffed limiting what they can produce.

Another impact is that quite a few people take the checks and buy more guns and ammo that further adds to the shortage. I’m less worried about this than I am about otherwise able people getting money paid for by taxpayers – nothing is ever free folks – we the people who pay taxes will pay and probably for years to come.

Now the rush of new gun buyers is also a factor – people are scared. How will they defend their families in an era where violent protests and assaults are deemed acceptably while politicians and activists talk about defunding the police? I applaud law abiding citizens buying firearms for self defense, hunting, target shooting, or whatever their desire is. The fact of the matter is that these firearms reflect a sizable investment for most people and losing them due to gun control will not sit well with anyone — especially when you look at the violence that is taking place. Politicians – representatives, senators and governors – know this because they worry about re-election. The gun control zealots and elites don’t care but that is a different story.

An interesting thing that happened this time around was that ammo never completely disappeared. You might not have found it at local gun stores but you could find it online with a lot of searching and paying some astronomically high prices. Gunbroker sellers were typically an option for almost any type of ammo through the whole ordeal. I’m not criticizing- it’s an observation. People will go to extra lengths to make money.

Another observation is that shooters also investigated alternative brands of ammo as well as methods of training. For example, the training systems that were either a bullet-shaped laser that would trigger when the pistol’s firing pin hit it or even complete subsitute pistols.

People moved to reloading very early on and supplies, notably primers, became next to impossible to find. This created a lesson for many new reloaders – start it when things aren’t nuts and stock up because it is not a guaranteed backup plan.

Medium-term – 6 months to one year

Getting back to the ammo shortage, as time goes on manufacturers continue to output all that they can. More and more import orders are placed drawing ammo from all over the planet including known and unknown brands. Some small ammo producers appear as they can make money but may not survive as prices fall.

At the same time, panicked consumers both run out of money to buy ammo and they begin to calm down. Demand contracts.

The first signs that the shortage is coming to the end is that you will notice more and more websites have ammo available for sale and it isn’t disappearing within minutes of going online. Breadth and depth of options slowly increases but the prices are typically still far higher than before the panic.

Next, the vendors (gun stores, wholesalers and websites) begin to realize that they have a ton of money invested in ammo and better get it sold. This when you start to see tons of emails stating “We have ammo!”. The emails and alerts do generate some sales but not enough. Vendors start having to compete again and prices begin to come down. Ammo that was $1,000/1,000 rounds drops to $749/1,000 rounds and continues to drop.

Somewhere in this timeframe, buyers also started trying substitute brands they would not normally go for. For example, some guys who always declared they would never shoot steel cased ammo started buying TulAmmo and Wolf. In most guns, steel case runs just fine – you never know for sure with any combination of firearm and ammo until you test it. In other words, order in a smaller amount for testing before you go and invest in a case(s).

Longer-term – After about a year

The price drop will continue as vendors attempt to sell the ammo to finance the loans they took out to buy it or to free up working capital to invest elsewhere. At the same time, stores and website have more and more ammo available for sale and compeitition based on pricing starts to heat up again further causing prices to drop until some form of equilibrium is reached – in other words some price that is agreeable to buyers and sellers is reached.

Lessons Learned Thus Far

  1. It was predictable. We knew if Trump lost the panic would set in so people hedging their risks started stocking up starting in earnest in the Summer of 2020.
  2. It’s better to stock up before a panic than during a panic. Buying a little here and there and saving it adds up.
  3. Don’t add calibers during a panic. Finding ammo might be surprisingly hard.
  4. Subscribe to as many vendor sales emails as you can. They would regularly send emails when they got shipments in and are now sending even more emails to move what they have: Brownells, Pametto State Armory, Natchez, SGAmmo, Midway USA, Sportsman’s Guide and more.
  5. Most ammo could be found on Gunbroker in a pinch albeit at high prices.
  6. A lot of brands showed up that people knew nothing about but was actually really good so be sure to search around on the web – you might be in for a pleasant surprise. For example: Aguila, Fiocchi, MagTech, PMC, S&B, and ZQI are all good brands that you may not have previously encountered.

Conclusion

Where are we right now? As of this writing, we are seeing more ammo on the websites and prices have just started to come down off their highs so we are somewhere in the medium time frame. How fast prices will fall is hard to say due to COVID and anti-second ammendment stance by some politicians. I actually think President Biden has limited options because politicians usually follow their own logic but staying in power and making money are certainly drivers for them. People have a ton of money invested in their firearms and ammunition and aren’t going to give them up lightly.

My guidance to you is to buy what you need but hold off on more panic buying. I don’t have a magic crystal ball mind you but I am holding off big ammo purchases. It’s hard to say what will happen past the next 90 days but you ought to take note that the Biden administration is almost five months into power and has accomplished little on their gun control agenda.

My last comment is a big ask for all of you – stay active. Keep reading what is going on, support your favorite pro-2A special interest groups (I like Firearm Policy Coalition and Gun Owners of America) and be sure to reach out to politicans to make your opinion known on hot topics — the liberals are trying to push tons of absurd gun control proposals and we cant let those happen.

5/1/21 Update: It seems like I am getting several emails a day from vendors saying they have ammo in stock. I saw my first 20% off sale this past week so we will watch the prices start to drop. I’ve already seen steel cased 9mm at $500/1000 well off it’s peak high. The new round of stimulus checks may prop sales up a bit but not enough to fund all the ammo entering the distribution channels.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Fear and Division Sell – Peace Sure Doesn’t

Folks, I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit and want you to think about it as well – money can be made and power gained when there is fear, uncertainty, doubt and division. Politicians, special interest groups, the media, entertainment — they all know this. There is a reason they all go into overdrive when something happens, or maybe even tehy manufacture – they can attract people and make money — often power as well. What I want you to always bear in mind is that these groups accumulate power and wealth by exploiting a division in society – not by healing, or solving, it.

There is more money to be made exploiting fears and divisions in society than there is solving them unfortunately.

Think about it – there is little incentive for many of these groups on either side of a debate to solve a problem. I could be talking about liberals vs. conservatives, pro-gun vs. anti-gun, pro-police vs. anti-police, vaccine vs. anti-vaxxers and so forth. In any of these examples, look at when something happens – one or both sides of the division immediately emails their constituents, goes to social media, publishes articles, releases a video or whatever. Let’s look at mass media, politicians and special interest groups as three prime examples of this.

Mass Media Loves To Sensationalize Fear

For mass media – their money comes largely from ad revenue and to some extent subscribers. Fear sells. These media outlets make money by having sensational/scary article headlines and stories to draw people in to make money. For example, a study led by Bruce Sacerdote of the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 87% of US COVID coverage in national media focused on the negative while international media was 51% and, interestingly 53% in regional media. [Here is a NY Times article about the study — a quick Google search can get you a lot more pieces if you want to see other opinions].

Media is a strange beast in general – they cover topics based on what will draw people in – especially their target market of readers – few outlets court everyone – think of the media outlets that are more conservative or more liberal for example. They know what attracts these people and what buttons to push. They make money based on ads and the more people who go to a web page because of a sensational title or a topic that worries them then the more money the media outlet will make.

By the way, with web pages, media executives knows who clicks on what, how long they spend reading a given article and how much of it they read plus any ads they click on. If a topic is popular, such as something exploiting fear and/or division, they write more about it and pump up the topic to get more viewers because this makes them more money. At some point people become numb or lose interest and the media outlet must move on to something else to make money. COVID, Toilet paper shortages, fear for the ketchup supply … the pattern happens over and over.

Politicians Love Divisions

Politicians love a divide. Exploiting an existing divide or opportunity to create a new divide is where they remind people why the politician is needed or even be viewed as thought leaders. This gives them publicity, power, and the ability to solicit donations both above and below the table not to mention books, speaking engagements and interviews that then further benefit the politician and the media outlet. In addition, there are occasions where exploiting a divide can serve as a diversionary tactic to draw peoples’ attention from other things where it is not wanted.

Special Interest Groups Know There Is Great Money To Be Made

Politicians, of course, need to be convinced and then gives rise to the special interest groups who want to do everything discussed above to get your money to fight for the cause. By the way, those special interest groups can draw in a ton of money and once they remove all of their management fees, only pennies on the dollar actually go to whatever cause they are aligned with.

Conclusion

Let me end the post here – you get the gist. Precious few people and organizations are altruistic driven by a sincere need to help people – I wish more were. Fear and division make a variety of people and organizations a ton of money and power. You’ll notice I did not name single out one group or take political sides – they all do it regardless of sides and some groups more than others.

I hope this post gives you something to consider. The burden is on you, unfortunately, to try and sift out what is real and what is not. Be very careful what you buy into, who you support and how much – the truth is out there so do some reading and decide for yourself – don’t let others decide for you.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.