Tennis Anyone? The Award Winning Blackhawk! Diversion Concealed Carry Rifle Case

Talk about the ultimate diversion!

We covered some of the Blackhawk! Division concealed carry products in the brand new 2nd Edition of the Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. Just today, I saw that the Blackhawk! Diversion line won the prestigious NRA Shooting Illustrated Golden Bullseye award for 2014. Well deserved – these products are fantastic and will blend right in to the urban and suburban lifestyle.

We saw the Blackhawk! Diversion rifle case at SHOT Show 2013 and it’s stunningly effective for toting an AR type rifle. It looks like a tennis racquet case, so un-enlightened neighbors won’t freak out and call Mayor Bloomberg when you pack your car for a range trip.

The bag itself is padded and features an internal divider, so you can carry two firearms. The case holds a gun up to 29 inches long, so the idea is to carry a separated upper and lower receiver. The zippers are lockable so you can secure the bag from children or nosy line judges.

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Racquet Bag. Image: Blackhawk!

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Racquet Bag. Image: Blackhawk!

As of this writing, the cases are available in two-tone red/grey and blue/grey color schemes. Word has it that a black/grey one will be out in the future.

This is a fantastic idea and a great way to discreetly carry your rifle in plain sight.

Tennis anyone?

Be sure to check out our new 2nd Edition for 2014 book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

The Looper Prohibition Capone Holster

The Prohibition Capone holster is an inside the waistband hybrid design, featuring a tough leather backing and Kydex mold for the gun pocket. Metal clips, fastened at the bottom only, fasten to the belt, allowing your shirt to be tucked in over the gun and behind the clips.

Only you will see it, but you can choose red or blue stitching for the Capone hybrid holster. Image: Flashbang Holsters.

Only you will see it, but you can choose red or blue stitching for the Capone hybrid holster. Image: Flashbang Holsters.

I’ve been using a top-secret version of this for a large gun and have found it to be comfortable and solid. The leather backing is stiff and will require a little break-in period to adjust to your body shape. This is a good thing – you want tough leather for longevity and support of your gun.

Like the other Looper products we’ve tested, this one is highly recommended. The fit, finish and attention to detail are outstanding.

Celebrating Diversity with the 300 AAC Blackout

The most interesting thing about the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge is the diversity of projectiles and velocities. Left to right: .223 Remington Hornady A-Max, 300 Blackout 125 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, 300 Blackout Cooper Cartridge 245 grain subsonic, 300 Blackout 220 grain Sierra MatchKing subsonic

The most interesting thing about the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge is the diversity of projectiles and velocities. Left to right: .223 Remington Hornady A-Max, 300 Blackout 125 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, 300 Blackout Cooper Cartridge 245 grain subsonic, 300 Blackout 220 grain Sierra MatchKing subsonic

People get all worked up about whether the 300 AAC Blackout is better than the .223 Remington, 5.56mm or perhaps the AK-47’s 7.62x39mm.

I don’t care, mainly because I’m all about celebrating diversity.

To me, the 300 AAC Blackout is a fascinating caliber on it’s own merit. It doesn’t have to be better than any other round. Deciding whether it’s good or not by comparing it to the .223 Remington is like comparing the .357 Magnum to the .44 Special. What’s better?

Neither – they’re just different. And I would include a lot of “quotes” around the “better” part. What’s the purpose? How are you going to use it? What do you like? What gun are you going to shoot?

There’s no universal “better” or “worse” when it comes to caliber comparisons, there are only apples and oranges. As far as I’m concerned, it’s good enough that it’s radically different.

Ballistic Diversity
What puffs up my bloomers about the Blackout is the huge ballistic range from the same carbine, short barrel rifle, or AR platform pistol.

  • You can launch a 110 grain bullet at 2,400 feet per second.
  • You can also launch a 240 grain bullet at 1,000 feet per second.
  • You can do all sorts of things in between, like move a 125 grain projectile at 2,200 feet per second. Or a 150 grain bullet at 2,000 feet per second. Or a 168 grain at 1,700 feet per second. You get the idea.

Note how the ribs in the magazine index on the case mouth for the .223 rounds on in the bottom magazine. The projectiles on 300 Blackout cartridges will most likely touch the ribs, so you may need to experiment a bit.

It’s an interesting caliber that allows one to do a lot of customization for the job at hand.

Read the rest at: http://www.ammoland.com/2014/04/300-aac-blackout-caliber/#ixzz2yxxjSaLw

Mossberg FLEX System: When One Gun Is Enough

I’ve seen magazine ads for the Mossberg FLEX system for sometime now, but have not had the opportunity to kick the tires, so to speak, until now.

The Mossberg FLEX system allows you to swap stocks, grips and butt pads quickly and easily.

The Mossberg FLEX system allows you to swap stocks, grips and butt pads quickly and easily.

If you’re not familiar with the Mossberg FLEX, the idea is a system of interchangeable parts, like stocks, grips, buttpads and forends, that allow you to quickly and easily reconfigure a rifle or shotgun. There are plenty of good reasons you might want to do this.

  • Seasonal clothing changes. If your shotgun or rifle fits you perfectly in the cold months when you wear heavy clothing, it might be a bit long in the stock during the summer t-shirt months.
  • You may want to share the same rifle or shotgun with another person who requires a different length of pull than you – a child for instance?
  • Maybe you want to use one gun for hunting and home defense. Why not mount a solid stock for hunting outings and a collapsible for home defense use?
Butt pads are a piece of cake to swap. A button on the bottom of the stock releases one, so you can add a different size.

Butt pads are a piece of cake to swap. A button on the bottom of the stock releases one, so you can add a different size.

Before I saw the system I had hesitations about the about how solid this the mounts would be. After all, the stock is the focal point for heavy recoil forces in shotguns and rifles. At the recent Professional Outdoor Media Conference (POMA) I had the opportunity to swap some stocks and shoot.

I found the locking system to be rock solid and here’s why. Mossberg uses zinc fixtures on both male and female sides of the locking mechanism between the stock and receiver. The locking mechanism is similar and appearance and function to AR style barrel extension and bolt carrier the way the two pieces locked together. A semicircular lever lifts out of the stock itself and twists 90° to release the mechanism. A quick bump with your hand and the two halves come apart. It’s a tight fit and I could detect no “play” at all between the receiver and stock.

You can also swap the butt pad for different sizes with a simple button release on the bottom of the stock. The butt pads are designed to snap in place and are available in small, medium and large sizes. Mossberg also offers different sizes of stocks blanks so you actually have two ways to customize. First you choose the stock you want, then select the desired butt pad. Couldn’t be easier.

Mossberg makes the FLEX system for 12 gauge 500 series shotguns, 7.62mm and 5.56mm MVP bolt action magazine fed rifles, 20 gauge shotguns and now FLEX-22 rifles.

Cool stuff.

Winchester Ammunition’s Long Beard XR: Turkey Hunting or Home Defense?

Note how the shot column is standing on it's own as a result of the "shot lock" resin.

Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR: Note how the shot column is standing on it’s own as a result of the “shot lock” resin.

While at the professional outdoor media conference range day I had the opportunity to check out some new shot shell loads from Winchester Ammunition. Winchester’s Long Beard XR is designed to create a tighter pattern at longer distances, resulting in twice the number of pellets in a 10 inch circle at distances up to 60 yards, according to the company.

Here’s what’s interesting about Winchester Long Beard XR: It uses a “shot lock” resin to bond all of the shot pellets together into a solid plug. As the load is fired, the resin disintegrates and turns to dust, leaving the shot pellets to fly on their own. The purpose isn’t that the pellets are bonded together in flight but rather that there’s no airspace between pellets at lift-off time.

This is a target set at 60 yards. While the point of aim is a bit off the neck and head, note the density of the shot pattern in the body.

This is a target set at 60 yards. While the point of aim is a bit off the neck and head, note the density of the shot pattern in the body.

In a normal shot shell the pellets are just piled on top of each other and only held in place by the wad and walls of the shot shell. When you fire it, the pellets get all smashed around as they are pushed to supersonic velocity from a standstill. This somewhat violent process creates mis-shaped pellets. Pellets flying out of round tend to spread out more rapidly, thereby creating a larger pattern. Because physics and aerodynamics.

The shot lock resin fills the air space, so the sudden acceleration doesn’t create a mashing effect. The pellets don’t get all squashed and therefore fly straighter in a tighter pattern.

So what happens when the pellets stay round?

The Winchester Ammunition folks set up targets at ranges of 25, 50 and even 60 yards. As you can see the patterns were perfectly usable for turkey hunting all the way up to 60 yards.

Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR was designed for turkey hunters and is currently available in 12 gauge shot sizes of 4, 5 and 6.

I have to think this might also make an interesting home defense load for those concerned about over penetration inside. The 4, 5 and 6 shot sizes could help the penetration issue, while a tighter pattern might reduce risk of stray pellets. I’ll test this out against simulated walls soon and share the results.

You can find Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR at Cabelas.

iPad? iGun! iCarry In Plain Sight With The Galco iDefense

New for 2014, Galco takes the day planner concealed concept to the next level.

The Galco iDefense is a day planner type design that’s engineered to hold an iPad. It fits all iPads Generation I through IV, but obviously not the iPad Mini.

The Galco iDefense supports your iPad in a usable position while hiding a gun and spare magazine underneath. Image: Galco Gunleather.

The Galco iDefense supports your iPad in a usable position while hiding a gun and spare magazine underneath. Image: Galco Gunleather.

What I like about it is its split personality. Some day planner solutions are simply a big holster that looks like a day planner. You can’t open it up without exposing your gun. This one has a dedicated gun compartment accessible via a separate zipper. Outside of that is the iPad holder. And it doesn’t just hold the iPad. It also includes a support brace that will prop your iPad up at about a 45 degree angle. This allows you to use the iDefense while speaking at a podium, sitting at a table, or even while relaxing in a lounge chair. Should you require the services of your handgun, it’s easily available just underneath. This presents a really interesting carry option for those “exposed” speaking in front of groups.

A view of the dedicated gun and spare magazine compartment. Image: Galco Gunleather.

A view of the dedicated gun and spare magazine compartment. Image: Galco Gunleather.

The holster pocket features sewn-in elastic bands that hold a medium to full size handgun. As it’s a one-size option, the support bands aren’t large enough for a micro pocket gun like the Ruger LCP. But that wold defeat the purpose anyway. The big benefit, as I see it, is the ability to carry a full size gun in plain sight. There is also an elastic band intended to carry a spare magazine.

The Galco iDefense is available in brown or black.

This. Is. Cool.

 

Be sure to check out our book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Carry In Plain Sight With Blackhawk!’s Diversion Carry Slingpack Holster

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack is a great solution for those times when traditional belt carry just won’t work.

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack is a great solution for those times when traditional belt carry just won’t work.

Do you walk? Jog? Ride a bike? Wander aimlessly?

If so, you might check out the Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack as an off-body carry option. This single-strap sling pack looks sporty – as in some activity that involves a ball, not a gun. After all, that’s the whole point of Blackhawk!’s Diversion line – to blend in with common, every day activities.

Like other single-strap sling pack designs, the idea is to carry this small pack on your back. When access is needed, it rotates around your body, presenting itself on your chest with a hidden gun compartment zipper facing straight up. So, like other sling pack designs, the draw motion involves rotating the pack to the front and opening the zipper compartment first. This is simply the tradeoff for situations where a more traditional carry method won’t work for you.

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Slingpack is designed with a teardrop shape for the pack itself. This allows you to configure the interior holster so the heavy part (grip) of your gun is on the bottom – at the widest part of the teardrop. This helps to stabilize the pack as the heaviest portion of your gun is at the bottom of the pack.

The pack is also ambidextrous. You switch sides by clipping the bottom of the strap to one of two female clips on either side of the pack. Gun compartment zippers are on both sides of the bag and each side has two zippers with large rubber coated loops. You can configure the pack to work over either shoulder and access your gun with a left to right or right to left unzipping motion. It’s super flexible.

The primary strap does not favor right or left shoulder carry, so it may not lay perfectly flat across the top of your shoulder, but that’s the price you pay for the true ambidextrous configuration options.

The pack has three exterior compartments. The primary space doubles as a concealed carry gun pouch with a solid back covered with hook and loop material. A separate holster is included that attaches to the hook and loop backing. The holster has a retention strap if you want to use it, but you don’t have to. The main gun compartment has a mesh pocket that has zipper closures on both sides, so you can safely store other gear in the main compartment, in addition to your gun. The outside of the pack has two additional compartments, one large and the other small. The larger compartment has a strap and hook to fasten a key ring. The two exterior compartments are handy for things like wallets and cell phones so you don’t have to open to gun compartment to access those.

As you can see, the pack is small and completely non-tactical, by design.

As you can see, the pack is small and completely non-tactical, by design.

How does it perform? Like any sling pack, vigorous movement will encourage the pack to rotate towards the front. The more weight you have in the pack, the more it will want to move towards your side. The pack worked great and remained stable while walking or hiking. It also tended to stay in place while biking. If you’re going to be doing something exceptionally active, you may want to consider a traditional two-strap backpack.

Be sure to check out our book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Finding Holsters For Light And Laser Equipped Handguns: The Impossible Dream?

Just a few holster options for light and laser equipped handguns.

Just a few holster options for light and laser equipped handguns.

If you’ve been around here before, you know I’m a big fan of lasers for home defense and carry guns. I’m also a fanatical, raving, and kind of creepy bit of a holster geek. But, until recently, I’ve been hard-pressed to equip all my carry guns with lights and/or lasers.

Finding holsters for light / laser carry guns can make you as frustrated as Mike Bloomberg at a Colorado recall rally.

Why? Finding holsters for laser-equipped guns has been quite the challenge. Of course I’m talking lights and lasers that are mounted up front, usually under the barrel. Lasergrip offerings from Crimson Trace and guide rod lasers from LaserMax can use standard holsters without modification.

There’s no blame in this. It’s simply a math problem.

Holster makes already have to account for 13,786,667.43 different models of handguns, with new shapes and sizes hitting the market hourly.Add a half-dozen laser companies to the mix, each offering several different models, and then what?

There are more possible gun / laser / holster combinations than the number of White House excuses for the Obamacare  performance. (Tweet This)

But hope glimmers on the horizon. Recently, I have working with some most excellent holster options for laser-equipped guns. Each of the manufacturers below make different products for different guns, so the examples here are just that – examples.

Oh, and if you’re a Crimson Trace user, check out their new holster guide. It’s updated constantly with new products from Galco, DeSantis, CrossBreed, Fobus, Blackhawk!, Mitch Rosen, Blade-Tech and more.

CrossBreed SnapSlide

The SnapSlide is a great solution for this Springfield Armory XD-S with Crimson Trace Laserguard.

The SnapSlide is a great solution for this Springfield Armory XD-S with Crimson Trace Laserguard.

I’ve been testing one for the Springfield Armory XD-S equipped with a Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard and I find it neat-o. The belt loops are spread apart enough to offer great stability. The Kydex holster shell keeps the whole thing slim, which aids concealment. The best part? The rig is designed to ride very high so it’s much easier to conceal with a shirt or jacket that most other outside the waistband holsters.

Check the CrossBreed website for all available light / laser options.

DeSantis Speed Scabbard

An open top design, The DeSantis Speed Scabbard is all-leather holster is made for a number of light / laser options like the Crimson Trace Lightguard or Laserguard for Glocks.

I really like the holster. It’s an outside the waistband model without a rigid mouth. I don’t have trouble re-holstering it as the leather is sturdy enough to keep the mouth open. It shapes well to the body and offers great gun security – in fact you’ll want to break it in to smooth out the draw.

I used one at the 2013 Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational with a Glock 17, Crimson Trace Lasergrips and a Crimson Trace Lightguard.

Galco Meridian Concealed Carry Purse (or most other models)

Ladies, this one is specifically for you. If you choose to carry in your purse, be sure to do it safely.

Don’t let your gun flop around in a main purse compartment along with all sorts of other daily paraphernalia. (Tweet This)

That’s asking for trouble. Not only will it be hard to find your gun during an emergency, you run the risk of something getting caught up in the trigger – with potentially disastrous consequences.

Got a laser on your Smith & Wesson Shield? No problem!

Got a laser on your Smith & Wesson Shield? No problem!

If you choose purse carry, be sure to keep your gun in a dedicated compartment. That’s where a quality holster handbag like the Galco Meridian shines.

The Meridian is a fine-looking and functional handbag with a magnetically closing outside compartment, main interior compartment and separate interior compartment. Most importantly, it features a dedicated gun holster compartment accessible via a lockable vertical zipper on the exterior. Inside this compartment is a sewn-in holster pouch with a Velcro retention strap which can be removed if you prefer. We found that the retention strap is unnecessary with the medium size guns in this purse – it will stay in the holster pocket just fine.

The Galco Meridian is available in black or chocolate-brown. Galco makes a variety of styles with similar concealed carry functionality.

Comp-Tac MERC

Comp-Tac makes an excellent and insanely adjustable hybrid holster. That means it has a large leather back for stability and comfort and a Kydex molded gun pocket.

Now, Comp-Tac offers their MERC holster - MERC stands for Most Economical, Reliable, Comfortable by the way – in models ready to go for mounted lasers and lights. The list of supported models will almost certainly change, but at time of publication, Comp-Tac offers Crimson Trace and LaserMax for guns including the Springfield Armory XD-S, Smith & Wesson Shield and Kahr P9. One of the neat-o things about the Comp-Tac offerings is the flexibility. Everything is adjustable including retention, depth, cant and even the color of the belt clips to help it blend in to your existing wardrobe. Check out the Comp-Tac web site for more information.

Galco Stow-N-Go

The Galco Stow-N-Go is intended for simple, deep concealment. It features an open-top design for quick access, a reinforced mouth for one-handed reholstering and open bottoms to let dirt fall out. A vertical orientation allows for different carry options. You can use it behind the hip bone or in an appendix position. The exterior of the leather is a bit rough to help keep the holster in place via friction with your clothes.

CrossBreed SuperTuck

I love the hybrid inside the waistband holster design. The big leather backing provides comfort and stability, while the kydex gun pouch offers great security without adding thickness to the holster. Now that CrossBreed is making models compatible with Crimson Trace Lightguard and Laserguards, you can easily carry a pistol equipped with both laser and light. It’s a great solution.

N82 Tactical

The N82 holsters have some interesting innovations.

Spurred on to entrepreneurial enterprise by the belief that holsters should be both comfortable and comforting, the dynamic Nate duo and a rental squad of Oompa Loompas created a basic design that makes for an inherently wearable, yet solid and secure inside the waistband holster.
N82 Tactical Original Models allow lots of inside the waistband options for laser and light equipped guns.

N82 Tactical Original Models allow lots of inside the waistband options for laser and light equipped guns.

The N82 is a multi-layer affair. A large backing panel goes between the gun and your tender midsection skin areas. The panel is large enough to completely cover the gun and all or most of the grip — depending on the specific model. This keeps sharp and abrasive metal and wood stuff away from your belly. A belt clip is affixed to the gun pocket so the whole mess is tucked inside the waistband with the clip securing to your belt. Pretty simple.

Here’s where the layering comes in.

The body side of the panel is made from soft suede. N82 Tactical chose suede for several reasons. It’s a natural material, so it allows your skin to breathe and feel cool — even in hot and humid climates. Another reason for the suede lining is that it has a friction coefficient. Yeah, I told you we wouldn’t get into quantum physics and material dynamics in this book, but hang in there for a second. Since the whole suede area has some “grip” it serves to spread the weight of the gun over a broader area. Not that we’re calling your area broad or anything. OK, enough of the fancy science.

Sandwiched in the middle is a layer of neoprene. If you saw the movie Jaws, or have been to Sea World, you’ll know that this is the stuff that diver’s wetsuits are made of. It’s waterproof. While you probably won’t be diving with your N82 Tactical holster, the neoprene barrier does in fact create a moisture barrier between your sweaty broad area and your expensive gun. Even if you sweat, your gun stays dry. Within reason of course. The other reason behind the neoprene moisture barrier is to prevent the leather portion of the holster from becoming mushier and mushier over time. Three out of four Nate’s believe that leather doesn’t ever stop breaking in. It continues to get softer and softer over time, especially with exposure to moisture. We’re not sure what doctors and dentists believe.

The outer layer is leather. This provides structure and stability and a safe backing for your gun whether it be steel or polymer.

The original model, or Standard Series, utilizes a stretchy material to secure the gun to the leather holster panel. N82 got a lot of feedback from law enforcement customers that they loved the comfort of the tuckable design with its stretch band holster pocket, but needed additional positive retention for more active situations. Like the ones you see on every episode of CSI Las Vegas.

N82 makes a the original series holster for a number of guns with trigger guard lasers. When you go to order one for your specific gun, you’ll see laser options if available for that model. I’ve used one with a Springfield Armory XD-S and Crimson Trace LG-469 Laserguard with great success.

Recluse

Here’s a new, and patented, design worth a look. There are two basic models of the Recluse Holster. The OS models are open-sided while the TS models, as you can probably guess, are two-sided. The common element between the designs is the forward-facing solid leather flap that entirely hides the outline of your pocket gun.

The OS models feature a concealment panel on the outside. This completely breaks up the outline of the gun. The inside half of the holster is technically, kinda-sorta open. That’s where the patent comes in to play. Affixed to the leather holster is a molded plastic trigger block. This block is shaped to match the inside of the trigger guard of a specific gun. Molded into the block is a cutout that exactly matches the profile of the trigger.
To holster your gun, insert the muzzle into the bottom pouch, then shift the gun sideways so that the trigger block moves into position and the trigger is locked exactly in place per the trigger cutout. Once in place, the trigger is protected and secure.

To draw, you insert your fingers between your gun and the solid front panel to achieve a firing grip. The gun will come away from the trigger block sideways and can be withdrawn from your pocket.

The TS model is a little different. Rather than relying on a trigger block, this model features an interior leather panel. The interior leather flap is only attached at the bottom of the holster. To draw your gun, you shove your fingers between the leather flap and the gun, thereby creating space for a solid grip.

When you order direct from Recluse, you’ll see laser options on the product page where available.

I’m just scratching the surface here – and that’s a good thing. The holster market is exploding with options for lights and lasers on concealed carry guns.

A Great Reason To Take Your iPhone Or iPad To The Shooting Range

The Bullseye Camera iPhone application. It's got all the basics you need to monitor shots up to one mile downrange.

The Bullseye Camera iPhone application. It’s got all the basics you need to monitor shots up to one mile downrange.

Back in September I wrote about a new product that’s a must have accessory for rifle shooters – The Bullseye Camera System.

The iPad version provides the same functionality, just on a larger screen.

The iPad version provides the same functionality, just on a larger screen.

I won’t review all the capabilities here as you can read about those in the original article. The short description is this:

The @BullseyeCamera is like having an extra set of eyes down range, closely monitoring (but never criticizing!) every shot you take. (Tweet This)

Here’s what the Bullseye Camera System does, in a nutshell:

  • Watches your target for every shot
  • Tracks the exact location of each hit in the target area
  • Beams that information back to your shooting bench location
  • Displays a real-time view, on a laptop or netbook computer, of each shot taken

Well, life has gotten better. When I first got my hands on the system, it required a Windows-based computer, laptop or netbook to run the software. That was OK as I had a small netbook available to lug to the range. Now, Bullseye Camera has released both iPhone and iPad versions of the software. So you no longer need to bring a laptop to the range – your iPhone will work just fine by itself. If you want a larger screen, then bring an iPad.

You can find the iOS application free here. Of course, you need the Bullseye Camera hardware to use it.

The downrange part of the Bullseye Camera setup.

The downrange part of the Bullseye Camera setup.

Bullseye Camera is hard at work on Android and Mac OS versions of the software too. We’ll give you a heads up as soon as those are available.

The Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm and .45: Same But Different

The Springfield Armory XD-S is currently offered in .45 ACP (left) and 9mm (right). We’re betting a .40 S&W version will appear at some point. Both current models are available in all black or two-tone finish.

The Springfield Armory XD-S is currently offered in .45 ACP (left) and 9mm (right). We’re betting a .40 S&W version will appear at some point. Both current models are available in all black or two-tone finish.

Since the early 12th century, gun writers and internet ninja commandos have been arguing about which handgun cartridge is better – the 9mm or the .45 ACP.

Guess what?

There is no right answer to that question!

While the magazines have the same “thickness, front to back dimensions are different.

While the magazines have the same “thickness, front to back dimensions are different.

I love them both! You see, with the Springfield Armory XD-S you can choose your favorite caliber, 9mm or .45 ACP, and get the same compact size and great features. They’re essentially the same gun. If you believe in the “.45 ACP is king” theory, great! If you prefer more 9mm rounds in the same size gun, great! The Springfield Armory XD-S can please both.

When I say same gun, I pretty much mean same gun. There are internal parts differences of course, but the exterior dimensions are identical in the .45 ACP and 9mm versions. Just last month, Springfield Armory announced the 9mm XD-S 4.0 model, which is still the same gun, except that it features a longer barrel – 4.0 inches instead of 3.3 inches.

Even key interior dimensions are the same between the two models. The magazine wells, and even the exterior of the magazines are the same width. The length (front to back) of the .45 ACP magazine is a bit longer due to the longer cartridge size, so you may need to account for that depending on what type of magazine carrier you use. Some are adjustable, others not so much.

I measure the thickness of the magazines at just about .558 inches. How’s that you say? The .45 ACP is much thicker than the 9mm! If you take a close look at the magazines, you’ll see that they are shaped to create interior differences. The 9mm magazines have ridges pressed into the sides that account for the narrower diameter of the 9mm cartridge. Clever eh?

Can you tell which is which?

Can you tell which is which?

The only observable difference between the two, excepting the caliber marking, is the thickness of the barrel. We’ll get to that in a minute.

For now, just know that any holsters and accessories you have for one work equally well on the other. The only possible exception is the new 9mm XD-S 4.0 model, which has a longer slide and barrel than the original.

Now that I’ve gone on and on about how similar these guns are, let’s point out the differences.

The primary difference is capacity, and that’s simply a result of the 9mm cartridge being skinnier than that big fat .45 ACP. You can fit more skinny clowns into a Volkswagen Beetle than fat ones. It’s the same with cartridges and magazines.

The standard magazine of the 9mm model holds seven rounds while the .45 ACP model holds five. Including a cartridge in the chamber, that’s eight and six respectively. Both pistols have an optional extended magazine that adds additional grip length. The longer magazine brings 9mm capacity to nine plus one in the chamber and .45 ACP model capacity to seven plus one.

You might wonder why the 9mm version is 1 ½ ounces heavier than the .45 ACP model. That seems a little backwards doesn’t it? From my observations, the exterior barrel diameter is the same for both calibers, but of course the interior diameter of the 9mm model is smaller. Therefore, the barrel of the 9mm model is “thicker” and a bit heavier.

Here’s why the 9mm model is a bit heavier. The exterior dimension of the barrels of the .45 ACP and 9mm are the same. The 9mm has a smaller bore, so the barrel walls are thicker. That extra metal is heavy, hence the difference!

Here’s why the 9mm model is a bit heavier. The exterior dimension of the barrels of the .45 ACP and 9mm are the same. The 9mm has a smaller bore, so the barrel walls are thicker. That extra metal is heavy, hence the difference!

The bottom-line takeaway is that most accesories are common between the two guns. With the (sometimes) exception of magazine carriers, pick the caliber you want. Holsters, lasers and other accessories will work on either model.

 

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

Legal Disclosures about articles on My Gun Culture