By far my favorite set of electronic ear pro. Go read my review to see why! I now write for the Maglife blog as well.
By far my favorite set of electronic ear pro. Go read my review to see why! I now write for the Maglife blog as well.
I wrote an article on the use and optimization of Bump Helmets. Check it out!
By: Fifty Shades of FDE
Photos by: Muzzle Flash Media
I hope you are all doing well during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Fortunately for me and my family, I am still employed and have work. I know many out there are hurting and we do our best to help our friends and neighbors. I have been working on this review since last November and have finally got enough experience to publish it!
Shadow Systems Corp is a relatively new company out of Plano, Texas and has been around since 2016. The company consists of people who are passionate about shooting with professional backgrounds in the military, law enforcement or competitive shooting. Their MR918 pistol has been out for just over a year and they sent me one to take a close look at. *Note the MR918 is no longer in production as of 2020 with the newer MR920 (more on that later)
When I first saw their pistol, the MR918, I thought it was a customized Glock 19. Although it looks like a Glock on the outward appearance, it is anything but a Glock. Before Shadow Systems Corp produced the MR918 they did custom work on Glocks until they decided that they could design and manufacture a fully custom pistol in house. So what does MR918 stand for? MR stands for Multi Role as it is designed for duty and concealed carry as well as for training or competition. The 918 designates that it is a 9mm and that it was created in the year 2018.
What you get with the MR918 is a production pistol that is custom built based off the Glock 19 profile with a redesigned frame with improved ergonomics, a crisp trigger that is also reliable with an optional cut for a RMR. The great thing about it is that it’ll fit in holsters for the Glock 19 platform, there’s no headache in waiting for holster makers to create one off a new design and if you’re waiting for a duty holster from Safariland, stand by to stand by as there needs to be a demand for a new design before they start the R&D process for a new platform.
I personally am not a custom gun guy when it comes to pistols. Since they’re meant to be used for duty or personal defense, I keep them stock with the exception of adding night sights and a WML. Even though I have never ever heard of an actual court case in which a custom trigger or aftermarket part was blamed or used against the person who used a firearm in a shooting; it’s something that isn’t worth the trouble and is a firm policy in many agencies. That’s where the MR918 comes in as a suitable duty weapon that could be accepted by departments requiring a full factory made pistol.
I got the MR918 Combat model with the optics cut for a RMR and FDE frame. It comes in a black nylon carry case with two backstraps, a tool, optional magwell, instruction manual and two Magpul pmags. The attention to detail on the MR918 is absolutely excellent. The slide fit to frame is smooth and tight. The angled serrations look and feel great as well as the stippling pattern on the frame. The stippling is the right amount of aggressiveness for me; it’s very grippy and doesn’t tear your skin off at the same time. It also is applied to the area commonly referred to the gas pedal, which helps with a forward thumb grip. The frame is of their own design and therefore a custom part in of it’s own, allowing for some better ergonomic features when compared to the largely unchanged Glock frame design. The cutout for the web of your hand in slightly higher, giving you even less bore axis. The optional magwell goes on easily with the tool provided and is streamlined with the frame. It has a flat, all metal trigger that breaks cleanly at around 4.5 lbs with a positive reset.
The slide comes with front angled serrations and my version has a optics cut for the RMR. It is very low and recessed in the slide that the iron sights co-witness the optic. The sights are Ameriglo with a bright yellow front sight and black serrated rear sight. The barrel is spiral fluted which reduces the weight and looks very cool. The overall appearance of the MR918 is absolutely a good looking gun on the outside and inside. Always remember that looks shouldn’t be on top of your priorities when it comes to deciding on what pistol you’re getting but it’s nice to have a great looking piece that is fully functional and reliable.
The instruction manual is very detailed and informative. Most manuals I get with most products especially pistols aren’t of much use after going through the layout and operation of the firearm. Shadow Systems Corp goes above and beyond that to give an simple set of instructions to help a new shooter on how to manipulate and handle the MR918 in a safe manner. It also provides tips on using a Red Dot Sight. Although I am not new to firearms, I appreciate the fact that they thought about their customers and there may be those who could use that information. My favorite part was their policy on self defense.If you use the MR918 in a legal self defense incident and your pistol has been taken as evidence, they will send you another one until you get yours returned to you. That’s very thoughtful and generous of them.
From the manual, there is a breaking period of 200 rounds since the MR918 is in fact a fully custom pistol with much tighter tolerances than your standard mass produced pistol. I took a box of 200 rounds with me to the range and shot it all with a friend rather quickly with several different mags. In those 200 rounds my friend experienced 3 failures to feed and I had no malfunctions. That’s all part of the breaking in process and minor malfunctions will occur for all of the parts to get in tuned with one another. We shot the breaking in period with just the iron sights which work great with a bright dot up front and a blacked out rear sight.
After the breaking in period was over, I got my first micro red dot sight or MRDS, the proven Trijicon RMR. To be specific the RM06 HRS model which has the 3.25 MOA dot. Installation was simple, remove the existing plate and seat the RMR in and use the screws included with the MR918. The RMR sits very low in the slide, which is nice to minimize the height over as well as giving a lower profile overall.
Shooting with the RMR is a new skill for me. My friend Richard Mo from Raving Wing LLC gave me some tips and told me to focus on the target and bring the dot to it. I did a lot of dryfire practice prior to getting in some range time and it was very helpful advice. When I got to the range, I zeroed in the RM06 and went at it with a few hundred more rounds. I am a decent shooter with pistols but I am nowhere near the best I can be with them. Shooting the MR918 with the RMR allowed me to have greater success in my groupings than with iron sights. Being able to focus on the target and projecting a red dot onto it, makes shooting with both eyes open an easier task to get a sight picture and as long as you do your part with the fundamentals, you’ll get your hits.
In all the range sessions I have had with the MR918 after the breaking in period and before Corona Virus Pandemic, I was able to go through hundreds of more rounds without a single hitch. I would’ve liked to shoot it even more but I’ll take that.
During SHOT Show 2020 I met up with the team behind Shadow Systems Corp at both the Industry Range Day and at their booth, I was introduced to their brand new and improved MR920. It was designed with end user feedback from their customers and will replace the MR918. Don’t worry, if you have a MR918 or if you buy one off the shelves right now, you’re covered and will receive support if you need it from them. I was able to shoot the new MR920 at the range day and I was having a rusty day with pistols all day. Iain Harrison aka the Recoil Boss was on the other table shooting a MR920 putting everyone to shame ringing steel at a high rate of fire. I would expect nothing less from him.
Here is the press release on the MR920 from Shadow Systems Corp:
Plano, TX (January, 2020) – American-based pistol manufacturer Shadow Systems will release a new compact-sized production pistol, the MR920, at this year’s SHOT Show.
Following the overwhelming success of the MR918, launched in January 2019, Shadow Systems has decided to iterate faster than the competition and launch new improvements now. Like the previous product line, the MR920 is a multi-role, compact-sized 9mm polymer pistol, which is designed to be used for daily carry, duty carry, home defense, competitive shooting, and everything in between.
Shadow’s MR918 has been referred to in the press as “the flattest shooting pistol on the market.” The MR920 frame builds upon that reputation with further improved ergonomics and unprecedented recoil control. The MR920 is designed to sit ultra-low in the hand, with a slide-bite-eliminating beavertail and innovative ergonomic contouring. A recoil control ledge has been added to the side of the frame giving the support thumb a greater role in controlling muzzle flip. The MR920 frame also features Shadow System’s interchangeable NPOA (Natural Point of Aim) backstrap system, which allows shooters to adjust the way the muzzle points. This allows the MR920 to mimic a 1911, a customized Glock, or something in between. Building on the MR918’s reputation for holster compatibility, the MR920’s trigger guard allows widespread holster fit with nearly every brand of holster designed for the G19.
The biggest news in this release is Shadow’s new patent pending optic cut. By redesigning internal slide components, Shadow effectively relocated portions of the operating system allowing three key attributes:
The strongest, deepest screw placement in the industry
Direct mounting of several brands without intervening adapter plates
Extremely low optic placement permitting most optics to cowitness with typical iron sights
No past designs have combined all three of these game-changing attributes. Shadow’s design accommodates Trijicon RMR and SRO, Holosun 507c and 508t, Leupold Deltapoint Pro, Vortex Viper, and TruGlo Tru-Tec. Shadow Systems’ new optic cut will likely accommodate additional brands and optics; testing for optic compatibility is still ongoing. The new system provides versatility without compromise and even exceeds the strength of past Shadow Systems mounts that had a dedicated Trijicon RMR footprint machined into the slide.
Coming from various duty backgrounds in law enforcement and military service, the team at Shadow Systems is serious about creating bet-your-life-reliable firearms designed for difficult, imperfect circumstances. With this in mind, the slide stop lever and protective curtain have been redesigned to further prevent inadvertent engagement with an extremely high firing grip. The magazine release button now features a higher traction surface. The trigger for the MR920 has been redesigned with a smoother and slightly lighter trigger pull while keeping all safeties intact.
As with the previous product line, the MR920 will be released in two different models: the Combat and the Elite. These two models are differentiated by their slide designs. The Combat is Shadow Systems’ entry level model featuring directional slide serrations on the front and rear. The Elite model features additional slide machining that adds directional serrations to the top of the slide and a weight-optimizing window cut which reduces slide mass supporting rapid shot-to-shot recovery. Both Combat and Elite slides have been reprofiled at the muzzle to be thinner in key grasping areas. This also helps safely re-holster in a slightly-collapsed IWB holster. Shadow re-contoured the rear of the slide to alleviate the complaint that the back corners are “digging in” during IWB carry. Both models are available with dovetail sights or with Shadow’s new Patent Pending Optic Cut optic cut. The front sight features a high visibility green ring and green tritium lamp to draw your focus both day and night. Sight heights are optimized to co-witness properly with the majority of red dot sights.
“A lot of big companies make you wait 5 or 10 years before they incorporate customer feedback and improve designs. The MR918 is a great pistol that almost everyone loves, but there were a few scattered voices in the market asking for some tweaks. So, we decided to listen instead of push back and ignore it. Now we have a gun that truly answers all the questions and works well for basically everyone—even those with a different optic, a higher firing grip, massive hands, or an odd brand holster.” – Trevor Roe, CEO
The MR920 will be released to the public at SHOT Show, on January 20th, 2020. Combat and Elite models will be immediately available for pre-order and the first MR920 pistols will begin shipping in February 2020. Pricing for the MR920 will begin at $799.”
The new MR920 is already shipping as I am writing this and looks even cooler than the MR918 and packs in a ton of new features. Best of all, it is available in full FDE, including the slide. I will try to get my hands on one in the future for an in depth review.
For more information, please visit:
I hope everyone is doing well in these trying time. I myself am enjoying time at home with my family.
I will be trying to get more reviews up on here and on YouTube of my weapons and gear setups.
In the meantime, here is a review of Highcom Armor’s Ultra Lightweight ACH Helmet that took me awhile to get done. It is up on their blog site:
By: Fifty Shades of FDE
I stopped by the ASP Booth at SHOT 2020 to check out what was new. I met with Michael Hess who went over the many new products that ASP is introducing.
The Talon Infinity Expandable Batons were my favorite of all the awesome products that I saw. I use the ASP friction lock baton for work and they work great. The Talon Infinity series improves upon the classic friction lock in many ways. The most noticeable is not having to use combat close method to break the friction lock to close it after deployment. They close using a push button system and collapses easily. The other great feature is being able to expand the baton manually, quietly if necessary. You don’t need to swing it up or down to deploy, you can if you want. Either way it’s a win-win.
There were the traditional sized batons for duty use as well as the Agent series which are thinner and more low-profile for plainclothes or off-duty use. The Talon Infinity series are made with better and newer materials, making them lighter and durable. They’re also guaranteed for life.
Their Transport Plus Restraint System is a kit that very well thought out and intuitive that is easy to use that is tamper resistant. This keeps officers safe as well as inmates during transport, when it is the highest risk for inmates to escape.
Something new to me from ASP is their illumination tools. The Spectrum Dual Fuel LED flashlight runs on either two CR123 or one 18650 rechargeable batteries. What’s unique is the ability to change the LED color of the light that works best for your current situation or environment.
Here is a press release from ASP-USA:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Hess — [email protected]
Armament Systems Unveils New Law Enforcement Products at SHOT Show
Show introductions include new batons, restraint systems, tactical flashlights and accessories
Appleton, WI, January 27, 2020— Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP), a leading manufacturer of law enforcement products, bowed more than a dozen new additions to its product lines at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas last week. ASP is expanding all its key categories—expandable batons, restraints and tactical flashlights—with new products, including:
Talon Infinity Expandable Batons—advanced design, unprecedented performance
ASP calls its new Infinity series “the most advanced tactical batons ever developed.” These pushbutton-closing impact weapons incorporate fewer moving parts for more precise, reliable operation. Exclusive materials and construction ensure faster, smoother deployment and retraction and eliminate the need for routine lubrication. Available in black chrome-plated steel, Airweight aluminum and steel, or electroless nickel-plated steel, with two different grip and activation options. The new Talon batons are backed by ASP’s unprecedented Infinity Warranty—guaranteeing repair or replacement if the product fails for any reason, at any time, forever.
Transport Plus—modular, four-limb restraint system with emphasis on officer safety and efficiency
The Transport Plus is the latest addition to ASP’s growing line of restraints designed for corrections, transport and courtroom use. Like the original Transport Kit, the “Plus” has at its hub the company’s unique Rigid Ultra Cuff wrist restraints, which provide a central connecting point for other system elements, and keep the subject secured while components are added, removed or adjusted, for officer safety. The Transport Plus includes the rigid cuffs, a set of ankle cuffs, an extra-long chain to secure around the waist and connect the upper and lower elements, high-security auto-locking blocks and keys, all in a custom-made, molded carrying case.
Spectrum DF Tactical Flashlight—four-LED-color, feature-packed light at a compelling price point
The Spectrum is the company’s first-ever multi beam-color tactical flashlight. In addition to its primary white light, it offers red, green and blue beams, as well as a low level and strobe, for a total of six total modes. The high white mode is always the default, while any of the others can be user-programmed as a secondary level, activated with a double-tap of the tail switch. The all-aluminum light is built to demanding law enforcement duty standards, can be upgraded from its included CR123A battery power to Dual Fuel rechargeable, and carries a value-driven suggested retail of $79.
For more information on ASP products and training, visit www.asp-usa.com.
About ASP: “Protecting Those Who Protect”
ASP is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Batons, Restraints, LED Lighting, OC and Training products to the law enforcement industry. The company has stood for innovative designs, flawless function and an unmatched standard of service since Kevin Parsons, PhD, founded the company in 1976. ASP holds more than 150 product patents and provides almost $2 million in free training each year to law enforcement professionals. ASP is ISO 9001:2015 Certified, ANSI FL1 compliant and is a founding member of the Portable Lights American Trade Organization (PLATO). All products are designed in the United States.
I am doing an awesome Giveaway only on my Instagram page @fiftyshadesoffde
Go enter there!
It took a while but nevertheless #fiftyshadesofFDE is at 85K followers!
I decided to do another GAW to show my appreciation!
One winner will win it all:
1. Cloud Defensive FDE OWL
2. Safariland 6365 Level III Holster for P320C or M18/X300U/TLR1. This is my personal holster that was specially made for me a few years ago. (Will retain pistol without WML)
3. Rifle Supply Multicam Hat
4. Tactilian Magnetic Flags
5. Fifty Shades of FDE Patch
Here are the rules:
1. Follow @fiftyshadesoffde @clouddefensive @safarilandgroup @riflesupply @tactilian.us
2. Must sign up for email list at www.clouddefensive.com
3. Tag one friend in the comments on this (original) post. No limit on entries!
4. Must reside in the USA
Winner will be chosen at random on Sunday evening 2/10/20. Once I have verified all the rules were followed, I’ll announce the winner.
I will ship ALL products except the OWL, that will come direct from Cloud Defensive.
Prizes will be shipped via USPS Priority mail and tracked.
*not responsible for lost items in the mail*
Thank you all for the support and good luck! *this Giveaway DOES NOT include any firearms nor is sponsored by Instagram or Facebook*
By: Fifty Shades of FDE
5.11 has always been about their motto: Always Be Ready. This year they want to make sure that includes everyone from all walks of life and not just the first responders in the tactical industry. There are more tools, knives, illumination tools and nylon goods that cover different price ranges.
The Atlas Shoe System was designed around making sure someone’s actual work weight is covered, not just their normal weight. For an example, a police officer weighing in at 200 pounds normal weight is about give or take 230 pounds actual work weight when they go 10-8 with vest, duty belt and everything on it. If they’re on SWAT and get activated, they could be gaining an additional 10 to 30 pounds depending on their loadout. The Atlas features a Ecofoam proprietary sole that is lightweight that has a higher compression and return rate. This will carry the work weight with more comfort on your feet.
The Atlas is available in trainers, mid height and full boot. The duty boot has a side zipper and improved airflow built in.
The Rush 100 pack is a fully adjustable load bearing backpack. It features a large main compartment that has a divider if you so choose to use it that will create a separate lower compartment that is accessible from the outside towards the bottom. It features a frame for torsion control that could be molded to your back.
There’s plenty more coming from 5.11 this year so be on the lookout!
By: Fifty Shades of FDE
The tactical weapon light forecast shows a high chance of REIN. Cloud Defensive showed up to SHOT Show 2020 with their version of the traditional WML: the REIN (Rail mounted Environmental IllumiNator), not the best acronym but it goes with the whole Cloud theme.
The REIN comes in two sizes. The full size REIN will take a 18650 battery and the Micro will take a 13650 battery. They take traditional mounting options and will ship with a picatinny rail mount.
Tentative performance is very potent. The REIN will have 1300+ lumens and over 58K candela. The light temperature will stay warm at 4K. Runtime for the full size REIN is 85-120 minutes, depending on the battery and the Micro will have understandably less.
The tailcap will feature a push button and a remote switch that comes out of the side. The button and remote switch are independent of each other should on fail, you still have one that does. The remote switch will go into a new generation LCS mount.
Patented Battery Jack. Since there isn’t a standardized size for 18650s, the guys at Cloud Defensive came out with the battery jack which keeps the battery from bouncing back and forth during recoil.
The REIN forecast according to Cloud Defensive will be coming in around April.
If you’re at SHOT, visit their booth at N351 in the Next Level section.
To watch my interview with Sean McCauley, click here:
Check www.clouddefensive.com for updates.
Don’t forget to use code: 50shades at checkout for a discount on your entire order!
By Fifty Shades of FDE
Adams Arms introduced their custom Glock slides in the past and now they are offering a complete firearm, the AA19.
Their custom slide will have OEM parts, optic cut out, a polymer frame with the Vickers Tactical Carry Trigger by Tango Down. It comes with a cover plate for the cut out. Optic specific plates will be an available option.
The AA19 is a Compact size, similar to the Glock 19 platform. For the time being, the included barrel will be a threaded one with a thread protector. This is a serialized firearm and will require shipment to a FFL. MSRP is at $999.99 and should be available soon.
New also this year is their rail. It has been redesigned, lightened with a extended barrel nut to increase strength and rigidity. The rail will accommodate both 5.56 and 7.62 systems instead of being separate offerings.
For more information, please visit www.adamsarms.net
By: Fifty Shades of FDE
I am back in Vegas for SHOT Show 2020. Today was the Industry Day at the Range. If you’ve never been, it’s like a test drive of the latest products in the Industry where ammo is provided and you don’t worry about cleaning any weapons afterwards.
I stopped by the Eotech booth to check out their new magnified optics.
The G43 is a micro version of their proven G33 3X. It is one of the most compact and light weight magnifiers. It features adjustments without the use of tools. The glass is clean and crisp just as the G33 and it makes shooting the targets at the end of the berm an easy task with greater accuracy.
Need more magnification? No problem! The G45 gives you 5x the magnification in a similar sized package of the G33. That extra 2x magnification allowed me to see the targets closer to get more precision on my shots.
On the LPVO or Low Power Variable Optics side, the Vudu 1-8×24 SFP (Second Focal Plane) scope has 2x more magnification over their 1-6×24 FFP with a simpler reticle that stays the same no matter the magnification level. Getting zoomed in at 8x made hitting the steel targets a piece of cake and the throw lever is probably the best on any LPVO that I’ve used.
I also took a look at the Vudu 5-25×50 FFP with the Horus H59 reticle. This was released a little over a year ago and I shot it on top of a 5.56×45 bolt gun that was suppressed with a GSL Technology suppressor. The whole setup was a great matchup. I was hitting the hostage target with ease and the suppressor took out a lot of the noise and recoil.
The Eotech HWS is a very fast system for CQB and when you need to reach out further or get more information for PID, the flip on magnifiers are very versatile and the Vudu line gives you a more traditional scope with even more magnification. Eotech seems to have you cover from short to longer ranges with their high quality optics.