Category Archives: Pistols

Need a compact hand stop for a Picatinny rail? Check out the Arisaka HS-P

When I built our a pistol with recoil, I worry about my hand slipping off the handguard and going in front of the muzzle. I recently bought a Stribog 10mm and that was running through my mind – so I started digging for hand stops that could mount on a picatinny rail.

I should point out I don’t like angled fore grips (AFGs) or anything that incorporates that design aspect. I like the bottom of the handguard to be flat. I also like hand stops that are small from an aesthetics perspective plus I don’t want the ATF, or whomever, arguing that I actually have a vertical grip which is illegal on a pistol.

I ran across an ad for Arisaka Defense’s HS-P handstop. It mounts on rail though I couldn’t quite figure out how from the website photos. Because I’ve had good luck with Arisaka products in the past, I gambled and ordered one. Guess what? I really like it and figured a quick post might be of interest to others.

So the HS-P is CNC machined from 6061-T651 aluminum and MIL-A-8625 Type III hard coat anodized.
The secret sauce that makes this so cool is that grey aluminum recoil lug. There is a screw attached that you can’t see that raises or lowers it into whatever Picatinny rail slot you want locking it in place. Simple and slick!
The front has slots cut into it. I suppose that could help if you want to use it on a barrier.
On the bottom is the hole for the screw. Use a 7/64″ allen key to tighten (push the lug up) or loosen (lower the lug down). Torque is 15 in/lbs – please note that is inch/pounds and not foot/pounds.
In this photo, you can see the retracted recoil lug. I then just slid the HS-P onto the handguard’s rail to where I wanted it.
I slid the HS-P on and then used my closes allen set with a 7/64 key to raise the lug into position. I brought it up firm but not crazy tight – I didn’t have a long enough key for my torquing screw driver handy (meaning it is “temporary misplaced”) so I opted for ballpark tight. They don’t include a 7/74″ allen key by the way. It doesn’t bother me because I have a bunch. Also, often times the “free” keys that come with something aren’t very good – I’ve torn things up many times in the past trying to use marvel mystery metal included keys so I don’t do it any longer.
The HS-P is rock solid.


It you are looking for a solid small hand stop that mounts on a rail, the Arisaka HS-P is great. I have no reservations recommending it.

Yes, I actually bought this. I was not paid to write this.

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 Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

What Magazine Loader To Use For 10mm Stribog Magazines? .45 UMP Loaders

The Stribog line of subguns, pistols and pistol caliber carbines are really cool. When the brace fiasco erupted, I sold my 9mm SP9A1 and regretted it. When Grand Power said they were coming out with a 10mm, I was an early buyer. One question popped out though – what was out there to help load the 20 round 10mm magazines? I hate loading magazines with stiff springs as many hands start to cramp so I needed to find a loader.

First off, they are HK UMP pattern magazines

The Stribog 10mm mags are nicely made, beefy as hell and based on HK’s UMP magazines. I like that – I am really tired or proprietary mags where you have one and only one option. Using an existing mags opens up options. Now, are UMP magazines all over the place and cheap? No, they aren’t – especially not 10mm mags. HK doesn’t make 10mm UMP magazines any longer.

The 20 round magazines have stout springs and it takes a lot of work to manually insert cartridges

Real HK 10mm mags have starting costs around $139 but are 30 rounds so there is a perk for the price. Considering Stribog mags list at $45 and can sometimes be found for $39.99, I’ll stick with Stribog mags.

Stribog 10mm magazines are built like a tank

This is both a pro and a con. The top sports a lot of reinforcements making for a quite a large magazine in terms of circumference. They will not fit inside a Maglula Universal loader – I had hoped they would but it is a no-go.

The girth of the heavily built mags means most loaders will not fit them. On the other hand, those are some impressive reinforcements on the mag lips and thick walls.
Front to back is about 1.62″
Left to right is approximately 1.14″
Distance from the botttom of the locking tab to the top of the magazine body is about 0.96-0.97. It’s molded so there’s a bit of ballparking as to the exact top.
The magazine locking tab is about 0.18″ thick.

Playing a hunch

Ok, so I did some searching on .40 caliber and 10mm UMP loaders and then played a hunch. I make magazines for Rock Island Armory’s A2 HC .40 and 10mm pistols. They use a staggered magazine and my source tube for the custom mags I make is actually a Mec-Gar .45 mag. What if a UMP .45 loader would work? I had a pretty good hunch it would so I started researching them.

The UMP .45 is much more common so I had options. The one that caught my eye was from Custom Smith so I ordered it and must say I am impressed.

It is 3D printed and nicey done. Everything seems thick enough to have proper rigidity. I like finger rests on the sides to give your hand something to get hold of. I promptly loaded two mags super easy. You push down, slide the cartridge in part way, lift the loader up, slide the cartidge in the rest of the way and repeat.

Side shot
The ram that pushes the cartridges done is beefy and nicely done.
Inside is nice and clean also.
The UMP .45 loader fits great.
The ram does a great job pushing the last cartridge down so you can slide the base of the next cartridge part way in. You then move the loader out of the way, push the cartridge all of the way in and move on to the next round.
Parting photo – it works great.


Grand Power Stribog’s 10mm model uses magazines based on the HK UMP design. The Grand Power magazines are affordable and relatively easy to find. You may need to dig just a bit as the 10mm Stribog sales are outpacing magazine availability but I am sure the mag availability will catch up.

To load the stiff magazines and save your fingers, get a UMP .45 loader. I went with Custom Smith’s UMP .45 loader and have no hesitation recommending it.

No, I wasn’t paid to write this – I had to buy it because I wanted the 10mm Stribog and manual mag loading kills my hands.

By the way, S&B 180 grain FMJ 10mm is my goto range ammo. It’s affordable and runs great. I use it for breaking in and target practice with all of my 10mms.

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 Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

S&W M&P .22 WMR Photo Gallery

As I mentioned in the last post, I am a new owner of a S&W M&P .22 WMR pistol. It wasn’t really planned – I had young nieces coming to visit and nothing really that I would consider a good pistol for them to start with. It worked great – I have no hesitation recommending it based on my experience.

At any rate, the last post goes into more detail and you can click here to read it. I took a ton of photos of the pistol and figured that I would go ahead and share them.

Click on one of the photos and you can navigate around and see others:

I hope you find the photos helpful. I am very impressed by the pistol – that’s for sure.

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 Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

The Smith & Wesson M&P .22 WMR – What a Blast!!

My nieces were coming to visit from the Philippines, and it dawned on me that they wanted to go shooting but I didn’t have a 22 caliber pistol anymore. It just so happened that Smith & Wesson had released their M&P 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) pistol to the market and my good friend and FFL, Scott Igert, had one at his shop – Michigan Gun Exchange – so I headed over and picked it up.

I had a few reasons for moving fast. #1, I was to take the girls shooting in two days. #2, my nieces were 10 and 12 years old and I was worried about the recoil of any of my 9mms #3, I like the S&W M&P series and it gave me an excuse to try one of their new .22 WMR pistols that held 30 rounds!

Believe it or not – that really was the order of things. I he didn’t have the M&P, I would have gone with a Ruger Mark IV, Browning Buckmark or whatever he had in that I could make work. My original idea was to get a pistol chambered in .22 long rifle because I wasn’t in a rush to add another caliber.

Folks, I don’t know about you but for me, adding nother caliber is expensive. I can’t just buy a rifle or pistol in a new chambering and get a few rounds of ammo – I need at least a thousand rounds to feel comfortable that I am not going to run out. I am certain a lot of anti-gun people simply do not understand that you can have family fun at a range and go through hundreds of rounds easily in one day. They must have a mental image of a bag of musket balls or something.

Bought a Holosun HE507K-GR X2

I wanted the girls to have fun and the only green dot scope Scott had in was a battery powered Holosun HE507K-GR. On my bigger pistols and carbines, I prefer the dual powered Holosuns that have solar panels also but this was going to be a range gun primarily and the battery life of these optics is phenomenal plus they automatically turn off and on based on movement.

By the way, I have had very good luck with Holosun Optics. None have failed on me so far.

One Small Speed Bump

Scott knew I was in a rush so he asked me if I wanted him to mount and sight in the optic while I worked on some rifle he had in. I said sure and oddly enough, none of the screws that came with the Holosun HE507K-GR X2 green dot optic would fit the M&P slide nor were the screws that held the protectve cover on the slide long enough. Hmmm….. The manual didn’t specify the screws to use… great. Ok, so I took it home with a quick stop my Ace Hardware with just the slide in hand to not freak anybody out.

If you are going to mount an optic on a M&P 22WMR pistol. you need to get two #6-32×1/2″ alloy hex head screws. Also, if you don’t already have it, get some blue medium strength thread locker. I am turned off any of the fine screws used for optics that already have the threadlocker attached. I have an M&P 10mm that will likely take an act of God for me to get the screws out if I ever need to.

Ace hardware to the rescue – two #6-32×1/2″ screws were needed.

Read the Manual & Be Safe

I have read so many forum posts over the years where people got themselves in a bind because they didn’t read the manual. Read the manual. Watch a video or two if you want but don’t just dive into trying to disassemble a weapon you know nothing about.

The M&P .22 WMR is relatively unique and the manual does a good job covering ammo, known issues (such as challenges with extraction if it gets too hot), how to disassemble, clean, lubricate and re-assemble the pistol. Of course, you have red lawyer-approved comments all over the place but you do need to read it and all and all, it is a decent manual.

Last but not least, be safe. Make sure your pistol is unloaded before you do anything.

Mounting the Holosun Optic

With the pistol and parts in hand, I set up the kitchen counter to install the optic. I like a nice wide open table to work on small parts and put down a green fiber mat. Folks, those matts are for more than looks – the small fibers absorb the energy of a small dropped part and reduce the odds of a small screw or whatever flying across the room. Out in my shop, I even have a magnetic mat under the green mat but in a rush in the kitchen, I set up shop using just a small parts mat.

The M&P .22WMR comes apart very easily. Here, I have removed the slide, barrel and optics cover – well, technically, Scott removed the cover. You can see the firing pin where the cover was at and the two screws holes that will be used to secure the optic on the slide.

By the way, if you are thinking “why did he take it apart just to add an optic?” First, Scott and I pulled the slide and removed the barrel so I could walk into Ace Hardware with it and not scare anyone. Second, I would have taken it apart to clean and lubricate it before the first range trip. Folks, always, always, always do this before you take a semi-auto pistol, rifle or shotgun to the range or you will likely get frustrated fast by malfunctions.

Here’s a closer look at the RMR-footprint cut out the slide has. Any red dot that shares the same footprint as a Trijicon RMR will go right on the scope. Holosuns, for example, have a RMR footprint. I always find it indicative of the degree of overall quality when you see really clean machining done on surfaces most people will never see. The machining on my M&P .22WMR was really well done.
Installing the optic is easy – set the optic in the cut out, put medium strength thread locker on each screw and then screws them in with a hex driver.. I go for snug and then use a torque screw driver to take each down to 15 inch-pounds – not that is inch-pounds and not foot-pounds. That torque recommendation comes from Holosun. Other optics makers have different specs – for example, SIG recommends 9 inch-pounds and others say 12 inch-ounds. Bottom line, bring it down to whatever spec you are comfortable with and let the threadlocker do its job.
The Holosun was mounted nice and solid.

To save time and ammo, I boresighted the optic in using my SiteLite Mag laser boresighter unit. SiteLites are expensive but they are also the most accurate bore sighter that I have used. The unit centers in the barrel using O-rings and seems to result in the closest initial scope alignments that I have found and I have used a ton of different brands and models over the years.

Moving on to Cleaning and Lubrication

Again, read the manual for details. With the M&P apart, I ran cleaning patches through the barrel, wiped down all of the parts and then lubricated where indicated.

When I first get a pistol, I do use grease on the slide rails and barrel to help with break in. Grease tends to accumulate gun powder and dirt faster than oil but my goal is to have things slide smoother during the initial break in knowing that I will need to clean and oil it later.

Also, I would highly recommend you cycle the slide 200 times by hand. Some guys, typically new guys, look at me skeptically when I tell them this but think about it. When we talk about wear-in or break-in periods, what are we talking about? Almost any firearm needs the parts to move a certain number of times to get rid of burrs, smooth down finishes, etc. By hand cycling 200 times you are jump starting the process. Given how nicely done the machining looked and how the pistol’s action felt after lubrication, minimial break in was probably needed but I cycled it 200 times anyways.

A lot of jams and frustration can be skipped entirely by doing the above. Guess what? My nieces and I did not have any problems of any kind and I attribute that to the above and proper ammo.

Use Approved Ammo

I really wasn’t looking forward to adding another type of ammo. .22WMR is basically a stretched .22 long rifle (LR) rimfire case with twice the charge. .22WMR ballistics are roughly double that of it’s smaller .22LR cousin for that reason.

When I took my nieces to the range, I started them on a .22LR single shot Savage Cub rifle and then we moved up to the M&P pistol. At any rate, I snapped this photo of the longer .22WMR brass right next the .22LR case so you can see what I mean – the case of the .22WMR is twice as long.

When it comes to ammo, the M&P .22WMR does have ammo that works well with it. I’d strongly recommend you click here, go to the Smith & Wesson product page, scroll down the page and on the left will be a link to tested ammo.

Because of the TEMPO gas system, they recommend the use of jacketed rounds only and not ammo that is bare lead, copper washed, copper plated, etc. If the jacket isn’t present, the TEMPO gas system will foul faster and stop working reliably.

Scott had CCI Game Points (which is a jacketed soft point round) and CCI Maxi Mags that are jacketed hollow points. Both are on the approved ammo list and I must mention that I’ve always had great luck with .22 rimfire ammo of all types from CCI.

Range Time

My wife and I, my two nieces and sister-in-law piled in my truck and headed to the range. A few days before I had printed out a 10 commandments of firearm safety that we had talked about and even practiced with the rifle and pistol we would use. During the drive we want over them again – they were nervous but I wanted them to know that a fun time at the range always has safety at the center.

We arrived at the Berrien County Sportsman’s Club on a pleasant day and were able to secure my favorite shooting lane. They all helped me take targets, guns and ammo down to the 25 yard line.

They started with one of our old Savage Cub rifles. We bought two – one for each of our girls when they were maybe 8 and 10 years old – about 15 years ago. I dug one of them out and cleaned it before we went. It’s not been out of the case in years and years so I was very pleased to see it was still sighted in and worked great.

The girls did great with the Savage Cub and were very excited to see their scores on the target. They had to learn the importance of a consistent cheek weld, trigger control, breathing, etc. I like starting kids on a single shot .22 because there is no recoil and I can make sure everything is safe at all times.

Once they were feeling good with the rifle, it was time to move up to the M&P .22 WMR pistol and I fired it first just to make sure everything was good to go. I loaded a magazine with one round and shot it – no odd sounds, barrel was clear, etc. I then loaded up three and shot them slow fire – no problems.

The pistol is very soft shooting. Yeah, it barked a bit louder than the .22LR Savage Cub rifle but I was sure the girls would have no problem controlling it.

We spent a lot of time talking about stances, grips and keeping their trigger fingers off the trigger until ready to shoot.
This is my 12 year old niece and she might weigh 100 pounds. She had no problem controlling the M&P. We were shooting from about 15-20 feet away. Even in the Philippines there are liberal moms who would question why we took them shooting so I am not showing their faces even though I am very proud of them!
This is my 10 year old niece and I’d be surprised if she is 80 pounds. She did a great job by her! This photo was staged by the way – I made sure the pistol was clear and carried it down to the target. She only held it long enough for this photo – what you don’t see is a huge grin going ear to ear.
Here’s the pistol from another angle so you can see she had no problem holding it.

We only put about 30 rounds of the MaxiMag hollow points through the pistol – I forgot about the Soft Points. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to pack up to get home in time for dinner at their Lola’s house – Lola means grandmother in Tagalog by the way.


I really didn’t plan to buy a M&P .22WMR. Now that I have one I am thinking about keeping it. The action cycles smooth, it’s reliable, the trigger is good enough and it holds 30 rounds!! It’s very manageable – even the girls had no problem holding and controlling the pistol.

The range trip was a big success and we all had fun. The reliability and accuracy of the M&P helped make it possible. I have no reservations recommending one and plan on taking it to the range again.

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 Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Update on my Ruger LCP Max – Why I still have and use it almost two years later

Back in the Fall of 2021, I bought a Ruger LCP Max chambered in the small .380 Auto cartridge and wrote about it in January of 2022. I figured it was time to give you folks an update because I rarely hold on to a firearm for very long. In the case of the LCP Max, I still have it and it is the pistol that I carry most.

Now you may immediately be wondering why and that’s why I thought I should write this post. If you want an initial review with more details, then read my first post about it. Here, I want to share why I still have it.

Ease of Carry

When you look at a firearm, you need to think of it as a tool. As a tool, it has certain situations where it should be used and others where it should not. For example, would you use a claw hammer to remove lug nuts from your truck? No, you would use a lug nut wrench, imact sockets or something along those same lines.

For me when it comes to self-defense, I have to think about the situation and how I need to carry a pistol. For you folks who are lean, mean and can wear and inside the waist band (IWB) holster – that’s great. I’m 5′ 8″ tall, over-weight at 225 pounds and and an IWB is not comfortable and an outside the waistband (OWB) holster isn’t concealable.

Look, I love my Sig P365 and carry that if I think I need more firepower but that usually means either under my seat or in a shoulder holster. If I need a pistol to slide into the pocket of my shorts or sweat pants without a bulge and causing them to droop way down, it’s the LCP Max.

Folks, it is small but not too small. I wear XL sized gloves and find it very easy to hold.
With 12 rounds of alternating hard cast ammo for penetration and hollow points and in its holster, the whole package only weighs a hair over one pound. That is my postal scale and that is 0.2 ounces. It doesn’t cause my shorts, pants, sweatpants or whatever to sag. At first I was skeptical of a pocket holster but now really like it.
Another view of the pistol in its pocket holster. That is a 12-round magazine you see mand what I almost always carry.

It’s Proven to Be Very Reliable

Second, it just runs. I’ve taken it to the range and put a lot of the self-defense rounds and FMJ range ammo through it with no failures to feed, failures to extract, etc. It’s very reliable.

It holds 10-12 Rounds

I bought a Bond Arms derringer once thinking it would give me a small concealed carry option and was surprised at how big and heavy it was yet it only held two rounds. Some guys are of the opinion that they want one or two large caliber rounds in a self-defense situation. Others, like myself, want as many as they can carry taking weight and size into consideration.

I have 10 and 12 round mags for the LCP Max. Both sizes seem to be equally reliable as I haven’t had a problem with any of my mags of either size.

Note, always test a pistol with your combinations of magazines and ammo. So far my LCP Max has fed through the various brands and types of ammo that I have with no problem. Don’t assume your’s will – you must test it before you rely on it.

Yes, It Is “Only” A .380

In the first post, I recounted Kyle Lamb’s story that just about any pistol being carried when you need it beats a supposedly better pistol not being carried due to whatever reason. Folks, there is a lot to be said for that. Let me put it another way – it is better to have a pistol than wish you had a pistol if you need it.

The .380 will never be known for stopping power. I load it with alternating Buffalo Bore hardcast rounds for a degree of penetration and various hollow points such as Sig V-Crowns.

Am I going to carry it for bear protection? Of course not, I will carry a 10mm either in a fanny pack or a shoulder rig. The little .380 pistol has more energy than a .22 long rifle and the LCP Max carries enough of them to do the job.


I continue to use the LCP Max because it is small, light and reliable. I’ve not found something better so far so I continue to use it in situations where I need to carry a pistol in my pocket without it being blatantly obvious I am doing so. It’s light weight also makes it very comfortable to carry all day, while fishing, driving, walking around, etc.

By the way, the LCP Max is so popular that there are tons and tons of color options now. Prices start around $325 and go up from there.

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 Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

We are Labelling Our Custom 10mm Mags For Rock Island Armory A2 HC Pistols

We’ve made and sold hundreds of our custom magazines for the Rock Island Armory (RIA) A2 HC (High Cap) 10mm & .40 S&W pistols. These pistols are based on the Para design with a staggereed magazines that hold 15 rounds normally. Our mags hold 16 and are slightly longer.

The main reason I am writing this post is that our magazines use tubes originally made for the Para P14 pistol chambered in .45 ACP so they are stamped “P14-45” and there hasn’t been an elegant way to change that – the tubes are hardened and trying to stamp something else in would be messy. A laser engraver is an option but I don’t have one.

I was working on another project involving “permanent” labels – these are labels that have a really strong adhesive and last far better than regular labels. “Permanent” is a marketing term though – they can wear off, etc.

At any rate, it dawned on me that with the right size, I could have a clear thick vinyl label made with white ink that has “10mm & .40 S&W” written on it and that’s just what I did. You’ll find these on the baseplates going forward

So, yes, our tubes still have P14-.45 on them but now they have the correct chambering on the decal on the baseplate.

This is a normal baseplate with the label.
This is a baseplate that has been riveted closed because the tube has been blocked to 10 rounds. We also make 15 round limited mags. They are for folks who live in an area that has magazine limits.

By the way, if you ever want to confirm whether one of my mags is for 10mm or .40 S&W, the gap between the front feed lips will be between .370 and .390.

If you are interested in buying a magazine, please click here to go to our store. All of our magazines are converted, tuned and tested by hand one at a time.

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 Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Study looks at how well magazine springs hold up over time in storage and with use

Have you ever wondered how well your magazines are going to hold up? I know I’ve wondered that not to mention there are tons of armchair warriors on the Internet offering up their opinion or parroting others. So, what are the facts?

On the AmmoToGo blog called “The Lodge” is a very interesting report entitled “Magazine Spring Torture Test” that reports the results of an actual study they funded. The analysis was done by Applied Technical Services and is very much worth your time to read it.

The magazines tested is quite a list:

  • Magpul Gen 2 Pmag (30 round)
  • Magpul Gen 3 Pmag (30 round)
  • Magpul Gen 3 Pmag (40 round)
  • Amend2 AR-15 Magazine (30 round)
  • Lancer AR-15 Magazine (30 round)
  • USGI AR-15 Magazine (30 round)
  • Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm Magazine (8 round)
  • ETS Glock 17 Magazine (17 round)
  • Glock 17 Factory Magazine (17 round)
  • Magpul Glock 17 Magazine (17 round)
  • Glock 17 Factory Magazine (33 round)
  • USGI 45 ACP 1911 Magazine (7 round)
  • Wilson Combat 45 ACP 1911 Magazine (8 round)

Click here to go to their site and read the report. Note, they provide a PDF where you can read about the data from all magazines tested – you definitely will want to check that out also.

Hope this helps you out – I found it very interesting. Finally results from a real study that you can review. Kudos for them to take the time and money to produce and share this!

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 Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

How to make a Stribog’s cocking handle more comfortable? Easy – Get an HB Industries Ambi Charging Handle Kit

I’ve really enjoyed my Stribog SP9A1 but one of my small complaints is that the cocking handle is uncomfortable. When the Stribog was first released, it had a reciprocating charging handle – meaning it would go back and forth with the slide carrier. They listened to customer (fortunately) and introduced a non-reciprocating charging handle. Somewhere along the line, the made the charging handle it could be installed on either the left or right side depending on the shooter’s preference. Now here’s my gripe – the stock handle – it’s a knob really – has a fairly narrow diameter in the middle. It’s tapered from both ends to the middle so your finger finds the middle real fast for a positive grip but it’s just too small. I decided to look into options and fix it because I really liked the Stribog otherwise.

Thanks to a zoom lens, the charging handle/knob looks big in this photo but the middle narrow part is just a bit too small to be comfortable in my honest opinion – I just don’t care for the feeling.

HB Industries Ambi Charging Handle Kit

When I research parts, I tend to do some searching with Google plus I know certain websites that have products of the type I want – Global Ordnance is my first “go-to” site for Stribog accessories. Two options caught my eye – a folding charging handle that seemed a bit more than I wanted for some reason – or I could go with the HB Industries “Ambi Charging Handle Kit” and that was what I had in mind – a bigger knob to grab a hold of and it happened to come with a slightly smaller knob for the other side. All I really wanted was the bigger knob – having a backup knob on the other side was just a bit of a perk. Having started pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) with MP5s back in day, I actually prefer the left side charging handle as I am right handed and I never have to let go of the Stribog when racking the slide.

This is the HB Industries Ambi Charging Handle Kit. Notice how there is a larger 23mm knob and a smaller 16mm knob. You can decide how you want to use them. Notice the center is nice and wide and has knurling.


Basically, you remove the bolt group, slide the non-reciprocating charging handle block to where the big circular opening is and the pull the charging handle right out!

Push the lower takedown pin out of the way so you can remove the end cap, brace, stock or whatever you have back there. In my case, it’s an F5 modular brace that I think is fantastic.
That lower pin is captured so don’t try to drive out out. You will feel it stop on the other end and you can then pivot the lower portion out of the way.
So you swing the lower out the way so you can remove the end cap, brace or whatever. I tend to find I need to do a light downward tap on top of the brace and then it pulls straight back and out. The bolt carrier group then is pulled straight out the rear and set out of the way.
With the bolt carrier out of the way, you then slide the charging handle carrier all of the way to the rear where the big “O” is at because the narrower part of the channel is what actually retains the charging handle. It’s a nice tool-less design.
The charging handle is pulled out. See the groove in the charging handle’s pin portion? That is what goes back and forth in the channel. The inner and outer parts of the pin are too big and it effectively keeps the charging handle right where you want it. It’s also a good reason to put just a bit of oil on the body before you install a new pin or re-install the old one for that matter.
HB Industries did some elegant design work here – the original pin is at the top. Note how it is longer and needs to reach both sides of the channel but is only actually retained on the left because that is all that is needed. The HBI part has two halves – the larger one and the smaller one that sits inside the larger pin’s housing. They both have the grooves to ride in the charging handle channel and, both grooves serve to capture and hold each half in place in the channel. I love stuff like this – simple and does the job.
I started using Kentuckiana Gun Works Enhanced Reliability Gun Oil this year. I actually just had an issue that made me use it even more that I will do another post on. I used to use Super Lube quite a bit but when my shop was 32F and two of my RIA 9mm pistols that are in there all the time also were that cold, I went to do magazine work and the slides were sluggish. It would appear the Super Lube thickened up some at that temperature. I did not have the same problem with the KGW product — so I’m using KGW on all firearms going forward and have stopped SuperLube all together except for when I need a grease.
Once you install the two handles and slide them forward out of the way, the rest of the installation is the reverse – install the bolt carrier group, install the brace or whatever you have, swing the lower back up, push the pin back in and then test the weapon.


I really like the feel and am glad I made the change. If you are considering changing the handle, it’s very straight forward and I hope you found this post useful.

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