Major Differences Between Magpul Stocks

My appreciation for the buttstock unfortunately comes from trying out many awful ones. At first I never knew any better but once I was introduced to Magpul stocks I finally knew what a great stock was and how much it can affect a rifle. The stock adds so much to the overall experience of shooting. The stock connects you to that firearm and with it you can become one with that firearm. An uncomfortable stock can make you tense and affect your accuracy or overall shooting. A good stock, however, will thrill you every time you put that firearm up to your shoulder. Magpul gives me that thrill I’m looking for in stocks so if you’re looking for a new stock to customize your rifle I’d recommend giving them a try.

Magpul has quite a line of different rifle stocks but I’ve put my top four of their’s below so that you can choose which one will be yours. Don’t choose a stock just from reading this article or any other one on the web. The stock needs to be felt and handled. Just like when putting your hands on the steering wheel of a new test car, you need to put that stock up to your shoulder. Only then will you know which stock was meant for you. But remember these four stocks when you go to your dealer because I can almost bet that one of these is the one meant for you.

Magpul MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) Fixed Stock- MSRP $69.95

  • Magpul MOE Fixed Stock

    Basic upgrade from standard AR15/M16 A1 and A2 stock.

  • Shape allows for offhand hold option that is best while in the prone or benchrest position and gives a steadier hold.

  • Large storage compartment ideal for field cleaning kit

  • Sling Mounts on Bottom Rear and Front Rear

  • Weight 14.0 oz

Magpul PRS (Precision-Adjustable Stock) Fixed Stock- MSRP $255

  • Magpul PRS Stock

    Fine tuned stock adjustment so that not only can you get the perfect feel, but make that tiniest adjustment that is needed for those long shots.

  • Perfectly designed offhand hold option with comb and height adjustment knobs easily  accessible.

  • Bottom picatinny rail for mono-pod attachment.

  • Weight 26.88 oz

Magpul CTR (Compact/Type Resistant) Collapsible Stock- MSRP $79.95

  • Magpul CTR Stock

    Optimal for lightweight/carbine length rifles.

  • 6 adjustable lengths to be able to adjust for close quarter combat/home defense and precision/comfort.

  • A-frame design to prevent accidental activation of release latch.

  • Ability to attach cheek risers to be able to properly align with sights.

  • Weight 8.8 oz

Magpul ACS (Adaptable Carbine/Storage) Collapsible Stock- MSRP $109.95

  • Magpul ACS Stock

    Waterproof battery storage compartments that are comfortable to the cheek, practical, and give this stock a futuristic look.

  • A-frame design to prevent accidental activation of release latch.

  • 6 adjustable lengths to be able to adjust for close quarter combat/home defense and precision/comfort.

  • Weight 14.08 oz

Here at Joe Firearms we put the Magpul CTR stock on standard to all our rifles because we know how important weight and functionality is. Should you want a longer barreled rifle with the intent of long distant target shooting, like our Designated Marksman Rifle, we’d recommend upgrading to the Magpul PRS stock. We know that you will not be dissatisfied with the PRS. Should the PRS be out of your price range the MOE or CTR still work great. On my personal Joe Firearms 145 Carbine I upgraded to the ACS stock. Although heavy for a collapsible stock, even when not loaded with batteries, the comfort and sleak design of the ACS just spoke to me.

Photos courtesy of Magpul Inc. and Citizens Academy LLC Joe Firearms

After shooting thoughts about the “Dark Knight Massacre”

In the wake of the recent “Dark Knight Massacre” I have a few thoughts to share about self-defense, handgun training and surviving a deadly force situation.  This senseless act of violence should bring about serious change in how we prepare for and defend against the madmen of society.  Please understand that I write this out of care and concern for you.  So please, do not take offense to the words that follow as I only hope to bring about change in you and me.  Three crucial concepts will guide this discussion:  Train, equip, survive.


It blows my mind that more people do not take firearm training.  I have personally taught somewhere between 3,500 – 4,000 people how to lawfully carry a concealed carry firearm.  Of that number, only 2-3 percent come back for additional training.  Now, I am either a lousy instructor and people can’t stand me, or people just don’t take training seriously.  I’m personally inclined to believe that it is the later of the two options.

If you do not develop the muscle memory of how to handle your firearm in a self-defense situation, you will greatly suffer when it comes time to perform.  Would you trust a paramedic or ER doctor who had never practiced the life saving skills that you need to come through a life threatening injury?  I think not.

Just this week, I had a phone call from someone who wanted to get their Utah concealed carry permit.  For one reason or another, the gentlemen could not make it to the course and asked about other companies for training.  I recommended he make time to come attend one of my courses.  He didn’t really care to and I asked him, “do you just want the permit or do you want the training that will help you survive a deadly force encounter?”  He responded with, “Oh, I just want the permit.”  Having a permit DOES NOT mean that you are ready to defend yourself with a handgun!  Defensive handgun proficiency is a perishable skill and you must make time to train!  Are any of us really ready for all deadly force situations?  No.  But how can you even be remotely close to prepared when all you’ve taken is a 4 hour course?

Yes, I offer courses and would love to have you come to my courses, but what really matters is that you get training.  Buy some DVDs, take NRA courses, go to the nation’s coolest, most high-speed training facility, just get training!  Please, for your sake and the sake of those that you love, commit to yourself right now that you will train yourself on how to survive that deadly force situation.


In full disclosure, my company manufactures and sells firearms, gear and survival equipment.  Notwithstanding, you need to carefully consider what you carry on a daily basis.  I am a strong proponent of everyday carry equipment (EDC).  There are several schools of thought and I would recommend that you take the time to research what works best for you.

Here is my perspective – on your person, you should always have your firearm, a flashlight, a pocket knife and a cell phone.  I will leave the cell phone choice to you.  As for a firearm, I’m sorry to say that your .380 pocket pistol is not going to cut it.  6 or 7 shots of .380 ACP is not sufficient, especially considering what happened in Colorado.  Now, I’d rather you had something so I do recommend them because they are so easy to carry.  A wise instructor once taught me that concealed carry is not supposed to be comfortable, it’s supposed to be comforting.

What’s the best pistol?  It is an extremely personal choice and you can see some of my recommendations here.  Personally, my top three choices and the pistols that I carry on a regular basis:  A full size M&P with 17 rounds and spare magazines, a S&W 44 Magnum and/or a 1911 in 45 ACP – not all of them at the same time but you will usually find one of them on my hip and another in my bag.

Knives:  Again, the options here are endless.  The knives we carry on are all good choices.

Flashlight: A small pocket flashlight like this one could have been invaluable in the present situation.  If people thought that the masked intruder was just part of the show, maybe someone could have quickly flashed him with their light to see that the guy was decked out with firearms.  This light is super small, amazingly powerful, and has a strobe feature to disorient.  Getting strobed in a dark room is extremely disorienting.  This disorientation could have allowed someone to get away.


Mental preparation is huge.  Are you a fighter?  What type of person are you?  Are you a wolf, a sheep or a sheep dog? (All due credit to Dave Grossman for his remarkable training courses on self-defense).  The sheep dogs and wolves of the world have already made up their mind.  So many of us go about our lives thinking that all is well when there are very, very wicked people who will, without a second thought, commit violence on you without a second thought.

You need to prepare your mind to act quickly under severe stress.  In terms of gross motor skills, like manipulating a pistol in a dark area, this is where proper training comes in.  There are several things about firearm training that are designed to be quick and easy to remember.  For example: “Train, Equip, Survive”  “Tap, Rack, Bang” & “Get yourself safe, get others safe, and get the tactical advantage”.  These sayings are designed to help you remember and to develop the muscle memory to perform when your brain shuts down.

Situational Awareness.  Are you aware of your surrounding or do you walk around with your face buried in your iPhone?  If a situation doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.  Trust your gut.

Avoid prohibited areas like the plague!  Gun laws only affect law abiding citizens.  The Carmike movie theater is already covering their butt, apparently they have a no weapons policy. Here’s what they just released:  “Weapons of any type are strictly not allowed in Carmike Cinemas.”  If you see a no weapon policy, get out of there!  Remember Trolley Square?  Guess what they had as well…you guessed it…a no firearms policy.  Do these nut-jobs care?  Yes, they do!  Tear gas?  Body armor?  This dude planned this whole thing out with great detail.  He went to the one place that he knew didn’t allow weapons.  Law abiding citizens like you and I are going to obey such policies.  Bad guys target these areas on purpose.   So just avoid the place from the start.  Businesses need to get smart and realize that an armed society is a polite society.  I believe this policy is the thing that invited this murderer to this movie theater.

Use the lessons from this situation to better prepare you mentally.  No longer will you be a casual consumer of news information.  Take this Dark Night Massacre and learn from all of the things that went wrong.  With the proper training, equipment and mindset, you can survive this type of senseless violence.   You have a responsibility to come home to your family and loved ones at the end of the day.  Please, commit to yourself that you will never allow yourself to be a victim.

With love and respect,

Michael Steck

Come join us at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show and will be at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show.  Please come join us at the show to check out our new firearms, gear and tactical training programs.  We will be offering amazing discounts and selling our new rifles.

For more information about the giveaways and how to get your free stuff, please check out

Top 10 reasons to get the Utah Concealed Weapons Permit

The Utah Permit is awesome!










With traveling all over the country, teaching the Utah class, I have to say that the Utah permit is hands down, the best permit out there. Here are just some of the reasons I feel this way:

  1. The Utah concealed firearm permit is good in over 30 states!
  2. Utah issues its concealed carry permit to non-residents!  This is huge for people from Illinois and California!
  3. With the Utah permit, there is no restriction on the number of firearms that you can carry.
  4. The Utah CFP does not have any restrictions on what caliber of pistol you can carry.
  5. The class is only 4 hours.
  6. Utah BCI will get you your permit in about 60 days.  This is amazingly fast compared to other states concealed weapon programs.
  7. It’s only $60 to get your Utah permit for Utah residents and $65 for non-residents.
  8. The Utah concealed carry permit is good for 5 years.
  9. It’s only $15 to renew your Utah permit.
  10. Our instructors are able to travel to any state to teach you the course.

So why are you waiting, get your Utah Concealed Carry Permit today!

Important Updates from MyUtahCCW and Discounts for Alumni

Some awesome new information from MyUtahCCWWe have some exciting news from!  Our lead instructor, Mike Steck has taken a full time job with the Garretson Resolution Group in Charlotte, North Carolina and will be turning over his Utah classes to rising stars in the concealed carry instructor arena.  Michael will continue teaching the Utah Concealed Carry Course throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.  Once he gets situated with his new job, he will begin the process of becoming certified as an instructor in North and South Carolina.  As Michael picks up to leave with his family, he would like to leave a parting gift for all of his previous students; namely, discount codes for some highly desirable concealed carry equipment.  You can read full write ups about each product before making your selection.

The first deal for you comes from two highly recommended concealed carry holster companies here in Utah.  You can save 10% off your purchase from Concealment Solutions and 5% off your order from  Read about the Concealment Solutions holster here and the holster here.  In short, I have used both extensively and strongly recommend both of them.  After years of concealment and hundreds of dollars on holsters, I can confidently say that these holsters are the best!  The Concealment Solutions coupon code is utahccw01 and the coupon code is MyUtahCCW.

The second deal also comes from a Utah Company.  Rocky Mountain Mattress is offering alumni a $100 discount on a very special mattress with two super secret concealment and storage units inside the mattress.  These mattresses are high end latex memory foam beds – so not only will you get a good night sleep, you’ll be able to rest assured with your handgun in excellent storage compartment.  You can read about the mattress and the discount here.  Scroll down to the ICU mattress section.  To access the special pricing, go to Rocky Mountain Mattress’ discount page here.  This $100 discount is in addition to any other discount they are currently running.

Enjoy the discounts and thank you for your continued support!  Please stay in touch as we will be continuing to teach concealed carry and other practical self-defense courses!

Home Firearm Storage + Mattress Discount

How to keep your firearms stored safely at homeStoring your firearm in a safe location is as important as knowing how to use your firearm. Generally speaking, your firearms and ammunition should be securely stored in separate locations (eg. rifles, shotguns and pistols in a gun safe and ammo stored in a foot locker with a padlock).  This method of storage follows an important rule of firearm safety that your firearms be kept unloaded until ready to use.  The obvious problem with this course of action is that when the crap hits the fan an you need that pistol, its safely locked up, unloaded in the gun safe across the house.  The purpose of this post is to highlight several options for safe, concealed and accessible home firearm storage.

There are three general principles to consider when selecting how to store your home protection firearm.   Each principle is equally important and, as you will see, no single storage device can perfectly accommodate all three principles.

A big concern with storing a firearm at home is how well you can conceal the firearm.  As with concealed carry, keeping your firearm concealed is a major principle of firearm safety.  Should the home intruder have easy access to your firearm, that firearm now gives them the tactical advantage.  Concealability is also closely related to safety as the more concealed a firearm is, the less likely the intruder will be able to gain access to your firearm.A Side by Side comparison and rating of different home firearm storage option

One of the biggest concerns with storing a firearm at home is safety.   As a firearm owner, you have a responsibility to prevent unauthorized access to your firearm.  A significant challenge with home firearm safety is that the safest firearms are also generally the least accessible.  The challenge then is to maximize safety and not detrimentally sacrifice accessibility.

You need to be able to get to your firearm as fast as possible when someone breaks into your home.  While some are certain to sleep with a gun under their pillow, there are safer ways to have near instantaneous access to your firearm when a bad guy breaks into your home.

Let’s take a look at a few different systems available for the responsible firearm owner:

Night stand/under the pillow

Simply placing your handgun on the nightstand or underneath your pillow is by far the simplest, cheapest and easiest way to access your pistol.  Particularly concerning is that this method is so accessible that it is also the most dangerous of all the methods discussed here.  As mentioned above, you severely sacrifice safety in the name of accessibility.  This method does not follow a keystone rule of firearm safety that you must keep your firearm from all unauthorized persons.

Closet mount

Mounting a shotgun in the closetThis method is primarily designed to allow quick access to a home defense shotgun.  While this section is not specifically designed to address the different types of home defense shotguns, both the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500 provide exceptional reliability for an inexpensive price tag.  By placing the shotgun in a closet, just above the entryway, you are able to make the shotgun slightly more inaccessible to children.  Under this method of storage, it is crucial that you make it to the shotgun first.  As an added layer of protection, you would load the magazine full of your favorite self-defense load and then leave the chamber empty.  This way, you are able to load the shotgun giving an audible sound that you intend to use the shotgun – this should give you a preemptive escalation should the “home intruder” be a family member who’s up getting a midnight snack.

This method scores fair in the three-factor analysis from above.  In terms of concealability, this method receives an acceptable score as someone will have to know to look in the closet to find the firearm.  The greatest downfall is that an unauthorized person may still gain access to the firearm, as the firearm is readily visible

Gun Safe
Traditional Gun Safe
Your everyday, run of the mill gun safe is an excellent choice for storing those firearms that you don’t need to have immediate access to.  As mentioned before, it is best to store firearms and ammunition separate.  The locking gun safe scores excellent marks in terms of safety – it is probably the safest way for you to store your firearms.  The biggest down fall to the gun safe is its accessibility and concealiblity.  The large size and heavy frame make the traditional gun safe a poor choice for accessibility and concealibility.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a full size gun safe and store almost all of my firearms there.  The traditional gun safe is great for hard-core storage and security.

Gun Vault

The Gun Vault for Home Firearm StorageThe gun vault is an adequate means of storing your pistol.  The Gun Vault is easily mounted in several different locations, which makes it a nice choice for accessibility.  The locking mechanism is easily opened and the construction appears to be adequate.  One of my biggest concerns about the Gun Vault is the battery-powered system.  Assuming you are regularly using your Gun Vault, you should be able to know when the batteries are going out.  You can still access the Gun Vault without batteries using the supplied key.  If your batteries are dead, you might as well have been using a cable lock on the handgun.



Shot Lock

Using the shotlock for home firearm storageI also have utilized the shot lock in my closet for my Remington 870.  The Shot Lock scores high marks on accessibility as all you have to do is walk into the closet and grab the shotgun.  In terms of safety, the Shot Lock has a mechanical safe storage system that increases the long-term accessibility of the Shot Lock – i.e no batteries needed.  The major downside of the Shot Lock, is the same downside from the closet mount above – namely, it is plainly visible when you walk inside the closet.

ICU Mattress

The ICU Mattress is by far my favorite means of concealment for your home protection firearm.  The ICU mattress contains a patented internal concealment unit that is hidden behind the mattress handle.   Each ICU mattress contains two concealment units; one on each side!  I posted earlier about the ICU mattress and how much I liked and was contacted by Rocky Mountain Mattress.  The folks over at RMM, liked what I had to say and they want to give all of my students and readers a discount on the bed…keep reading for the link to the discounted mattress.

Home firearm storage with the ICU

The ICU is behind the handle

This concealment compartment is so cleverly concealed that it actually increases the unit’s security and safety.  In terms of accessibility, the handgun compartment is directly within the mattress.  All that you’ll have to do is lift your fitted sheet and open the zippered compartment.

Should you not be home and a home intruder was able to gain access to your belongings, he most likely wouldn’t find your concealment unit.  Bad guys know to turn mattresses over and look for valuables underneath.  Just think about this fo a second…how many beds have secret concealment units inside of the mattress?  Do you think he’d even know to look inside a mattress when he’s working as fast as he can to get your goodies and go?  That’s why in the ICU picture here, you’ll see I’ve got my Glock, Passport and spare cash.  The only downside to me posting this information here, in this way, is that now should a bad guy be reading this post, he would know where to look in my house – don’t worry, I’ve got my own additional security protections and you won’t find my valuables.

Here is the inside of the ICULast but not least, who doesn’t need to get some better sleep?  This mattress is one of the best new memory foam mattresses out there.  Check out the mattress for yourself over at Rocky Mountain Mattress.  As with the concealment holsters I’ve previously discussed, check out the awesome $100 discount (exclusive for readears!) that you will get with this mattress purchase!  They have a sale on right now for $300 off and the $100 off is on top of what the public gets.  Follow this link here for the discounted price.






Here you can see the Glock 19 coming out of the ICU

Top 10 Devices for Concealed Carry and Home Protection

Whether you’re out on the streets or resting in the comforts of your own home, both personal and property protection are an underlying concern – everyone wants to feel safe. Because of this, there are a number of subtle and not-so-subtle ways to ensure your protection – we’ve listed them below. Enjoy this gallery of 10 devices for concealed carry or home protection that will allow you to sleep at night, knowing that you’re taken care of.




Compact Handgun: Concealed Carry
For protection outside of the home, that doesn’t draw unwanted attention, compact handguns are a reliable source of security. In all, 49 states have passed laws that allow individuals to carry certain concealed handguns – some require a permit and some do not.


Pocket Knives as a crucial means of concealed carry




Pocket Knives: Concealed Carry
A quality pocket knife is another inconspicuous weapon for concealed carry and added protection but additionally, they can be a valuable tool for ultimate preparedness. Yes, while knives can do their fair share of damage to a culprit, they can also help you out of a more practical jam such as gutting a fish or opening a package.




Best concealed carry holster


Holster: Concealed Carry
Be it a handgun or a knife, it’s always best to use a holster or casing of sorts when carrying a concealed weapon (as opposed to loosely fitted in your waist band, etc). The best holsters for concealed carry are inside the waist band (IWB) are made in the United States by a boutique brand from Utah that is highly dedicated to concealed carry. An IWB holster can be purchased directly on with a special coupon 10% off coupon code (UTCCW01).





Remington 870 as the best home protection shotgun


Shotgun: Home Protection
The second amendment states that it is the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” While carrying a concealed weapon in public involves some major red tape, what you store in your home is a bit more flexible. That said, when it comes to home protection, something more sizable, such as a shotgun, is a solid accessory of choice.





ICU Internal Concealment Unit for home protectioInternal Concealment Unit: Home Protection. Although this may not be a device that offers protection from intruders by inflicting physical harm, this Internal Concealment Unit from Rocky Mountain Mattress is a valuable because it allows you to safely stash your valuables and firearms inside the mattress itself and keep them safely hidden from children and intruders. This clever secret internal concealment unit is a great way to sleep well, knowing that you have the ability to defend your home with the firepower beneath you but, even more important, sleep well knowing that that firepower is safely stowed away from the reach of your family.


Baseball Bat as home protection device


Baseball Bat: Home Protection
Walking around the street carrying a baseball bat isn’t necessarily the definition of concealment but, when it comes to protecting home base, a baseball bat is a lot of muscle without a lot of flare. It’s not the fanciest device on the list but, when it comes to defending your home and your security, a properly wielded baseball bat can be very affective.



Mag Light for top ten home protection devices


Mag Light Flashlight: Home Protection
An oversized Mag Light seems to work well for police officers, but how well does it translate to concealed protection for the average individual? Unless, it’s a keychain mini-light, not well. That said, although you can’t necessarily take one out on the town, keeping a powerful Mag Light around the house is a good idea for both protection (blunt force trauma), preparedness (a valuable tool for when the power goes out) and home security (investigating something in the backyard, etc).


Multi Tool for home protection and survival


Multi-Tool: Concealed Carry
A quality multi-tool is another of the pocket-sized gadgets that can offer protection in a pinch, as well as, salvation in a jam. In addition to being stocked with various sized blades that could be used as a last line defense, the sturdy hardware also provides a number of tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, files and saws that could come in handy when the car breaks down or if you’re up a creek without a paddle.





Fido the dog for home protection Top Ten things for home protection


Fido: Home Protection
Of course Paris Hilton has her pocket-dog that fits in her purse like a concealed weapon but for the sake of legitimate home security, this will not do. It may not be a “devise” per se but no doubt about it, when it comes to home protection, a Rottweiler or Doberman can be convincingly intimidating.





Pepper Spray as a top means of home protection

Pepper Spray: Concealed Carry
It’s very common for women to carry a can of pepper spray in their purse, on their person, or even smaller canisters on their keychain to ward off any unwanted advances. While a dose of pepper spray (also known as mace) is incapable of delivering a fatal blow, it is discrete enough to never be noticed but certainly potent enough to discourage any would-be attacker.



Use your 72 hour kit as an essential part of your home protection


72-Hour Kit: Home Protection
Lastly, not all items of home protection are about self-defense – in this case it’s more about self-preservation. While shotguns might be able to scare the bad guys away, having a robust 72-hour kit in your home is vital in protecting yourself from the elements and ensuring that you and your family are taken care of when disaster strikes.

Suggested 72-Hour Kit Items:
• A 3-day supply of food and water, per person (non-perishable).
• Bedding and Clothing: clothes, underwear, rain poncho, sheets, etc.
• Equipment: can opener, radio, duct tape, rope, shovel, etc.
• Fuel and Light: batteries, candles, waterproof matches, flares, etc.
• Toiletries: toilet paper, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
• First Aid Kit.

Part II: Concealed Carry Holster Review: Excellent Concealment Holster for those serious about CCW

SHTFgear holster with Glock 27

Continuing on from our first IWB holster review, we now move to review the ACE-1 holster.  This IWB holster retails for $64.95 and can be purchased directly from  Out of the box you will receive your holster and two key leather key chains with the SHTFgear logo.  While I wasn’t expecting anything other than the holster, who doesn’t like a little free stuff now and then!?! Just as with the other holster, I will give a full review of the the SHTFgear ACE-1 holster here.  Throughout the review I share some thoughts on how the two h0lsters compare.  I think the most awesome part about these two holsters is that they are both made right here in Utah by two outstanding individuals who are dedicated to concealed carry.  I would consider the SHTFgear holster one of the best holsters money can buy.

SHTFgear ACE1 Holster with the Glock 19
Now for review:

First off, It’s important to lay out what I think makes a good holster.  The elements I look for in a holster, and in most of my other products as well, are Craftsmanship, Materials, Finish, Rigidity, Retention, Durability and Comfort.  I won’t recommend a product to you that I won’t personally use to carry my personal defensive firearm.  I have used this holster for several days now and tried to take through as many real world scenarios as I can think of to include, driving for three hours, running, standing for long periods of time and doing everyday household chores.  The thing I love about this holster is that it is a hybrid of two types of holsters that I absolutely love; namely, the leather backing gives the holster comfort and the Kydex gives the holster superb retention and a solid location to re-holster.

SHTF holster compared with the concealment solutions holster


This holster has both handmade and machine made parts.  The leather is laser cut to give the edges a perfect cut.  As you can see on the back side of the holster, the ACE holster leather is a little more rough.  I actually find that this holster moves around less than the concealment solutions holster and I think that is in part due to mild roughness of the SHTFgear holster.  It could also be because the piece of leather on the SHTFgear ACE-1 holster is slight larger, giving the holster more surface area to contact my body – more bout this larger size latter.


This holster is made of top quality cowhide and finished in a black.  The fasteners have yet to move on me which is one thing that happened almost instantly on me with the other holster.  Not to worry because these holster will need a little loctite to make sure that the screws don’t move once you’ve got the height and depth set.  This holster also features kevlar stitching that is almost assuredly going to last through just about any situation.  It’s a neat concept to use metal rivets and Kevlar stitching.  Should one fail, the other acts as a backup.  It has an excellent sheen and screams high quality materials.

Side by side


When I first put the holster I was actually slightly annoyed with the rigidity of the holster.  After a few days, the holster has loosened up nicely and is much more comfortable.  It’s like buying a new pair of leather shoes, sometimes it just takes a day to work it in.  The Kydex is sufficiently rigid and maintains a good holstering of the pistol.


You can load your pistol into this holster and then turn the holster upside down and your pistol won’t fall out.  I’m sure if you really shook the holster the firearm would come out.  Not much of a concern for me though as I rarely get hung up by my feet and shook around vehemently – if you find yourself in this situation, I think you’ve got more important things to worry about.  One thing that I think you can notice from the side by side comparison of the two holsters is that the SHTFgear ACE-1 resembles the frame of a Glock much more closely.  I don’t know if the amount of distinction in the lines really affects the operation of the holsters.  It’s just something you can notice side by side and I can’t personally say whether that affects the quality of retention of either holster.  I did not notice any such difference.  I should mention that I did find that reholstering was easier with the SHTFgear holster.  It appears as though the kydex is slightly opened up where the trigger guard enters the holster and this seems to make a difference.


As I’ve only had this pistol for a few days, I can’t speak for its long term durability.  But looking over its construction I can say that it feels as though it will last for a long time.  There’s just something about having a handmade holster from someone who actively conceals and uses their firearm.  There are somethings in live that I just insist on having the highest quality and durability, and a concealed carry holster is one such item.


In many ways, this is the most important factor of concealment.  From the 3,000 people that have come through my training my Utah Concealed Carry training, comfort is a big deal.  This holster allows you to incorporate a concealed firearm into your daily life with only minimal distraction.  I’ve been able to have this holster setup for several hours without knowing that it was even there.  Now, I did mention before about the size of the holster backing.  Notwithstanding the slight movement I felt while concealing the concealment solutions holster, I did find that I enjoyed the smaller profile of the leather backing more in terms of comfort.  That isn’t to say that the SHTFgear ACE-1 isn’t comfortable, it’s just that I had two high quality holsters and I was looking for every possible difference that I could notice between the two.  Looking back, I really feel like I’m splitting hairs here.  At the end of the day, I think you can’t go wrong with either holster!  As with the other holster, I’ve been able to secure a coupon code for all of those who have attended my course.


Side by side comparison



Good luck with your selection and please let me know which holster you go with and why!  In the end, I think I’ll be getting another one of these guys.

Concealed Carry Holster Review | One of the best IWB holsters money can buy

Black Mamba CE

After searching long and far for the best concealed carry holster on the market, I’ve finally found two holsters that deserve a shout-out!  This is a review of the first of the two.  I have a coupon code for both of these holsters for those who attend our course.  Here are some of the highlights about this holster.


I have found the Concealment Solutions Black Mamba CE to be extremely comfortable.  I found this to be try during a three hour road trip where I didn’t have to move the holster at all during the drive.  This is remarkable because with other holsters I’ve had, they have been nothing but trouble and needed constant readjustment.



The Kydex holster portion is custom fit to give a secure hold on the handgun. There are two spots where the Kydex holds onto the firearm.  The first is on top of the trigger guard and the other is on the notch of the breach face of the slide.  Black Mamba Rear View


The Concealment Solutions Black Mamba CE is handcrafted.  Looking over the holster, you can tell that it has been made with care.


Straight from concealment solutions, here’s a description of the materials used “is made using high grade cowhide for the base, hand-molded Kydex holster body, and steel belt clips. The belt clips are adjustable for a custom fit.”


The finish on the leather is exceptionally bright and smooth.  Kydex has a mildly rough texture finish which is hardly noticble.

Black Mamba Back Side



The best thing about this holster is that it combines the best of two worlds: namely, leather for comfort and Kydex for size retention.  I have long loved leather holsters because of their comfort and great ability to flex and move with your body.  The major downside to some leather holsters is that once you draw from concealment, the holster will collapse under the pressure from your belt.  The Kydex coupled with leather makes this an excellent combo.


As I have limited use with this holster I can’t speak for the long term durability of the holster.  I can, however, say that the thick leather appears to be an ideal surface to hold the Kydex in place.


As you can see from the slide show below, this concealed carry holster also works well with other Glock models as well.  I feel that this holster would also an exceptional job on the Glock 19/23.  The model 17/22 might not work as well as I’d like but I think with the right shirt combo, this holster would do awesome!

Up and down comparison of the Black Mamba


This is really THE deciding factor when it comes to a concealed carry holster; how well does your holster conceal the firearm that you want to conceal.  I’ve heard plenty of people say to me that a concealed carry firearm should be comforting, not comfortable.  Well, I’ve always been the one guy who goes against the grain and challenges conventional wisdom.  I personally believe that this hybrid kydex and leather holster does an outstanding job of concealing the firearm and makes it comfortable to carry.  Take a look at the picture to the side to see how well this holster does with a Glock 27 (sub-compact), Glock 19 (compact) and the Glock 22 (full size).  Be sure to click on the image so you can see the image in its full size.  Lastly, I have to mention that if a holster can look this good with a plan t-shirt, it would do exceptional with a collared shirt as well.  I don’t think I would personally carry the Glock 22 with plain t-shirt in this holster but I would feel totally comfortable with this holster in a collared shirt – no hesitation at all!  Check it out today over at Concealment Solutions.  Remember, if you took my class, you get a coupon code to use at check out to save 10 percent.




Utah Concealed Carry Class | Sandy, UT

Attend the Utah CFP Course

This class is good for getting your Utah Concealed Carry Permit

  • Class open to the public.
  • Address of the course is 9710 South 700 East Suite 108 in Sandy, UT. Please see the map below.
  • Please REGISTER before coming to the class.
  • Take a look at the map and enter your address to get directions.
  • All you need to bring to the class is a valid state issued identification card.
  • The class is 4 hours so please plan accordingly.
  • If you would like to pay before coming to class please send us a secure credit card payment of $35 for the class. For $15, we will provide everything that you’ll need to get your permit (Notary, fingerprints, passport photo, and photocopy of driver license). If you’d like this option please select the $50 option below. With this option all that you’ll have to do is to send in $65.00 to BCI.

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