Gray Beard Ammo Announces Grand Opening

Gray Beard Ammo Announces Grand Opening

Get ready, firearms enthusiasts! Introducing Gray Beard Ammo: Conway, Arkansas’ Premier Gun Store. Gray Beard Ammo is thrilled to announce its highly anticipated grand opening on June 2nd and 3rd. This premier gun store is set to become the go-to destination for all your firearms and ammunition needs in Conway and beyond.

Located at 3150 Vail Avenue, Conway, AR 72032, Gray Beard Ammo aims to provide a top-notch shopping experience for firearm lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who prioritize personal safety regardless of their knowledge and skill level. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter, a sport shooter, or a new or seasoned gun owner, Gray Beard Ammo has an extensive range of high-quality firearms and ammunition with friendly staff ready to
help you.

The grand opening celebration promises an unforgettable experience for every visitor. So mark your calendars for June 2nd and 3rd, as Gray Beard Ammo has lined up an array of exciting activities and special offers to kickstart its presence in the community. Here’s a taste of what you can expect:

● Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Join us at 10:00 a.m. on June 2nd as we officially inaugurate Gray Beard
Ammo with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony. Local officials, respected members of the
community and special guests will be in attendance to dedicate and commemorate this landmark event.

● Giveaways and Prizes: Prepare for excitement as Gray Beard Ammo will host giveaways every half
hour throughout the two-day event. Stand a chance to win fantastic prizes.

● Community Engagement: Gray Beard Ammo is dedicated to fostering strong community relationships.
As part of our commitment, we will present Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu demonstrations to showcase our nonprofit and how it serves anyone, but especially Arkansas veterans and first responders.

Gray Beard Ammo is a premium gun store located in Conway, Arkansas. We offer a wide range of firearms, ammunition, and accessories, catering to the needs of both experienced shooters and those new to firearms. Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service, expert guidance, and top-quality products to ensure the utmost satisfaction of our valued

Read more about Gray Beard Ammo.

Revolutionize Your Glock 43x Experience with Top Accessories

Revolutionize Your Glock 43x Experience with Top Accessories

In the quest for improved accuracy and performance, firearm enthusiasts are constantly on the lookout for enhancements that can significantly elevate the capabilities of their Glock 43x. To aid in this pursuit, this press release delves into a curated selection of top-notch accessories that are currently redefining the world of Glock 43x upgrades. Those are the sights, a match barrel, and a metal high-capacity magazine. Beyond that, you can add a compensator if you have a threaded barrel for the Glock 43X.

One of the standout Glock 43x accessories is the Faxon Firearms Glock 43X Barrel. This high-quality match barrel boasts an array of impressive features like a straight fluted design, 1/10 barrel twist rate, and Chameleon PVD finish, making it ideal for those looking to optimize their firearm’s accuracy. With the Faxon Firearms Glock 43X Barrel, precision becomes far more attainable.

Faxon Firearms Glock 43X Barrel Specs

  • Straight Fluted
  • 1/10 Barrel Twist Rate
  • Stress Relieved 416-R Stainless Steel
  • Chameleon PVD Finish
  • 11-degree Target Crown
  • Conventional Rifling


The Faxon Firearms EXOS Compensator is another innovative addition to the Glock 43x accessory space. This cutting-edge pistol compensator is designed to enhance the overall accuracy of the firearm by reducing its upward movement. Engineered specifically to work effectively with a broad range of factory-loaded ammunition, the EXOS Compensator ensures optimal performance regardless of the type of ammunition being used.

Faxon Firearms EXOS Compensator Specs

  • Length: 1.218″
  • Width: .865″
  • Height: 1.269″
  • Weight: .05lbs
  • Thread: 1/2×28


When it comes to sights, the Night Fision Tritium Sights offer some of the most technologically advanced options on the market for Glock 43x handguns. Created with a ballistic polymer cup and custom Tritium vial, these sights cater to both Glock 43X MOS and standard models. The unique combination of materials allows the Night Fision Tritium Sights to be the brightest available in the market, ensuring impeccable accuracy in various lighting conditions.


By incorporating these advanced accessories into your Glock 43X, you can significantly transform the performance and accuracy of your firearm. Investing in such premium upgrades enables you to unlock the full potential of your Glock 43x in any situation, empowering you to become a more skilled and confident shooter. Experience the next level of performance, accuracy, and reliability with these exceptional Glock 43x accessories.


A Tactical Shirt for Self-Rescuing Princesses and Badass Women

A Tactical Shirt for Self-Rescuing Princesses and Badass Women

First of all, no. This shirt is not yet available in Flat Dark Earth, but we’ve inquired about it. It is available in several other color ways, which despite the women’s tactical shirt description aren’t particularly tactical. It’s the design on the shirt that’s tactical. It’s the Tactical Self-Rescuing Princess shirt from Southernly Zen.

It’s described as a shirt for those badass lady types who prefer a ballistic brain bucket with NVGs and earpro to a crown and glass slippers. We think it’s a reasonable description.



Would Cara Dune, Evelyn Salt,  Andromache of Scythia, Sarah Connor, or Ms. Perkins wear a tactical princess shirt? What about Ani Bezzerides or Jenette Vasquez? We have no idea. We think so…but maybe they’d prefer the straight tiara-royalty or cowgirl version.


Self-Rescuing Princess Shirt Options

 Self Rescuing Princess, Tactical

Self Rescuing Princess, No Knights Needed

Self-Rescuing Princess, Cowgirl Shirt

This is the first shirt style with this design put out by Southernly Zen. It has a fully-equipped helmet (hard to tell if it’s Kevlar or bump), a tiara atop that, and a rifle ready to snatch up and roll out.

It’s printed on a Bella Canvas 6400 Women’s Jersey Short Sleeve. If we’re deciphering social posts correctly, additional styles (athletic cut, moisture-wicking, and maybe hoodies) will be available soon. The different types of “lifestyle” shots we’re seeing are apparently just to gauge interest.


Features: Sideseamed. Slim fit. Shoulder taping. Longer body length.

This is how apparel manufacturer Bella Canvas describes the garment:

“Her go-to tee fits like a well-loved favorite, featuring a slim feminine fit, crew neck, short sleeves, and superior combed and ring-spun cotton that acts as the best blank canvas for printing. Offered in a variety of solid and heather CVC colors.”

  • • 100% combed and ring-spun cotton
  • • Athletic heather is 90% cotton, 10% polyester
  • • Other heather colors are 52% cotton, 48% polyester
  • • Fabric weight: 4.2 oz/y² (142 g/m²)
Confidence and the ability to take no shit are the hallmark of a squared away self-rescuing princess, regardless of profession, age, or rank.
  • • Pre-shrunk fabric
  • • Designed specifically for strong women
  • •Crewneck
  • • Relaxed fit
  • • Side-seamed
There are many princesses and undistressed damsels who require neither a knight nor a prince to rescue them. They do their own work.

Find these and other designs at Southernly Zen.

Glock 17 Gen 5 Performance Mastery: Barrel Upgrades by Faxon Firearms

Glock 17 Gen 5 Performance Mastery: Barrel Upgrades by Faxon Firearms

Known for its unwavering reliability, user-friendly nature, and pinpoint accuracy, the Glock 17 Gen 5 has become a staple among firearm enthusiasts. While it’s an excellent gun as-is, there are always opportunities to boost its performance and accuracy through upgrades. The barrel, a critical component in any handgun, influences the bullet’s trajectory upon leaving the firearm. By upgrading the Glock 17 Gen 5’s barrel, you can significantly enhance its performance and accuracy.

5 Benefits of Upgrading Your Barrel

Upgrading the barrel of your Glock 17 Gen 5 can offer a range of benefits that can improve its performance and enhance your shooting experience. Here are some of the top benefits you can expect:

Improved accuracy: One of the most significant benefits of upgrading your Glock 17 Gen 5 barrel is improved accuracy. A high-quality barrel will have a tighter bore and more precise rifling, which can help stabilize the bullet and keep it on target. This can be especially beneficial if you’re using your Glock 17 Gen 5 for competitive shooting or self-defense purposes, where accuracy is critical.

Increased range: Another advantage of upgrading your Glock 17 Gen 5 barrel is increased range. A high-quality barrel can improve the bullet’s velocity, allowing it to travel further and hit targets at longer distances. This can be particularly useful for outdoor shooting or hunting.

Enhanced safety features: Some aftermarket barrels for the Glock 17 Gen 5 may come with enhanced safety features, such as improved feed ramps or a tighter chamber. These safety features can improve reliability and reduce the risk of malfunctions or misfires.

Increased Reliability: Aftermarket barrels are often made with higher-quality materials than stock barrels, such as stainless steel or titanium. These materials can be more durable and resistant to wear and tear than a stock barrel, reducing the risk of failure or malfunction. Also, most aftermarket barrels are precision-machined to tighter tolerances, which makes the fit and function more consistent.

Ammunition Compatibility: Another factor that can contribute to increased reliability is the ability of aftermarket barrels to shoot a wider range of ammunition types. The stock barrel of the Glock 17 Gen 5 is designed to handle a specific type of ammunition, and using different types can sometimes lead to jams or malfunctions. However, many aftermarket barrels are designed to handle a wider variety of ammunition types, making them more versatile and reliable in a wider range of situations.

Glock 17 Gen 5 Barrel Differences

The Glock 17 Gen 5 features a switch to Glock 19 locking geometry. 

While the Gen 4 and Gen 5 19 barrels have different geometries, the Gen 5 barrels do away with the slope at the barrel hood and instead go to the simple right angles that the 17/34 have always had, similar to most G19 Gen 1-4 aftermarket barrels. 

Due to the shared locking block, a Gen 5 17 barrel can theoretically be used in a Gen 5 19. 

However, it’s important to note that Gen 1-4 17 barrels are not compatible with a Gen 5 17.

Even though Glock improved the Glock 17 Gen 5 OEM barrels to make them more accurate (hence the name “Marksman Barrel”), there is still room for improvement. 

Popular Glock 17 Gen 5 Barrel Options | Faxon Firearms

The optimized match barrels from Faxon Firearms have been redesigned to work better and with Gen 5 guns.

These Glock 17 Gen 5 barrels have been redesigned for improved performance and Gen 5 compatibility. A recessed target crown, a new match chamber, and a stylized barrel hood with engravings for caliber and model are some of the new features.

The proprietary broach-cut 1 in 14” left-hand twist rifling was developed to create the most accurate Glock aftermarket barrel available, and testing confirms a significant increase in accuracy over factory barrels in all standard bullet weights.

Manufactured from 416R stainless steel, which is an ideal material for making match-grade barrels because the material allows for the precise cutting of chambers and rifling, which results in a more accurate barrel.

Glock 17 Gen 5 Barrel Specs

  • Handgun Type: G17 Gen 5
  • Barrel Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Profile: Flame Fluted, Drop In (Compatible with Gen 5)
  • Barrel Material: 416-R Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Twist: 1:10
  • Muzzle Thread: N/A
  • Crown: 11-degree Target Crown
  • Rifling Method: Button Rifled, Fully Stress Relieved
  • Rifling Type: Conventional
  • Inside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride
  • Outside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride

Glock 17 Gen 5 Threaded Barrel Specs

  • Handgun Type: G17 Gen 5
  • Barrel Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Profile: Flame Fluted, Drop In (Compatible with Gen 5)
  • Barrel Material: 416-R Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Twist: 1:10
  • Muzzle Thread: 1/2×28
  • Crown: 11-degree Target Crown
  • Rifling Method: Button Rifled, Fully Stress Relieved
  • Rifling Type: Conventional
  • Inside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride
  • Outside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride

Some of the features highlighted on the Faxon Firearms website to explain why their barrels are superior to those of their competitors are as follows:

  • 4150 or 416-R Stainless – When used in firearm barrels, these two types of steel are made for durability, longevity & accuracy.
  • 9mm SAAMI Chambers – Superior Accuracy w/ complete SAAMI Compatibility & Boring Reliability.
  • Tighter Tolerances – A Drop In barrel with better fitment and a tighter lock-up than competing brands.
  • Conventional Rifling – Fully compatible with cast lead bullets.
  • 11° Target Crown – This preserves and protects accuracy.


Glock17 Gen 5 Threaded Barrel and Compensator

The threaded barrel and compensator work together to enhance the accuracy and stability of the Glock 17 Gen 5. The compensator shown here for the Glock 17 Gen 5 called EXOS has a unique design with an angled front port and a single chamber.

This design helps to decrease the movement of the muzzle by reducing both the upward and sideward recoil, resulting in improved accuracy from shot to shot.

Muzzle flip reduction is baked into the DNA of Faxon EXOS compensators.

Upgrading your Glock 17 Gen 5 barrel can be a game changer for anyone who wants to take their firearm’s performance to the next level. 

With improved accuracy, increased range, reduced recoil and muzzle rise, enhanced safety features, and increased reliability, the benefits of upgrading your barrel are undeniable.

With the right barrel, you can unlock your firearm’s full potential and take your skills to the next level.


SilencerCo: On a Mission To Do It Better

SilencerCo: On a Mission To Do It Better

SilencerCo is on a mission. A mission to do it better. Do what better? Good question. Let’s look at that. First and foremost, SilencerCo strives to make better suppressors and suppressor accessories. That’s fine, but one could easily say the same for many companies that make quality products. What matters here is how SilencerCo does it.

SilencerCo lives by what they call “The Three Ps,” People, Passion, and Precision. The Three Ps are the road map to accomplish their mission of doing it better. Let’s break down how that philosophy works.


We often hear companies say that they put the customer first. A common customer service maxim says that “the customer is always right,” even though any honest person knows that’s untrue. SilencerCo takes a somewhat different approach to outstanding customer service: they put their employees first.

The idea is that happy employees, people who genuinely like, or even love, their jobs, will strive to do their best every day. That means better, more consistent product lines, more innovation, faster, friendlier service, and a great experience for everyone involved. In short, people who take pride in their work want to do things the right way. Everyone wins. That’s what SilencerCo aims for every day.

So, how do they do that? After all, a job is a job, and most folks would rather be doing other things. We’ve all been there. SilencerCo recognizes all that but continues to take steps toward improving their employees’ experience. Let’s look at a few of those.


SilencerCo is investing heavily in robotics to aid the manufacturing process. Usually, automation means real people lose their jobs because they’ve been replaced. Not so at SilencerCo. Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults told us that “By introducing higher levels of automation into our production processes we are creating greater efficiency for our company and more enjoyable jobs for our employees. We are automating the parts of manufacturing that are mundane and tedious. Employees will work in conjunction with these new automations in a way that allows them to spend more time on creative and high-level tasks.”

SilencerCo is investing in robotics to free their employees from tedious tasks, not to replace them. (Author’s photo)

SilencerCo is investing in robotics to free their employees from tedious tasks, not to replace them. (Author’s photo)

This shift has been augmented by training SilencerCo’s employees to monitor the robots doing the tedious jobs they used to do themselves. The employees gain new skills and quality control gets a boost because of the constant human monitoring of the new machines. The company has invested so heavily that the production floor is being rearranged to accommodate the new processes. But not one employee has lost their job because of it, and Shults says that none will. Better, more precise machines, coupled with better-skilled employees whose jobs are less tedious means superior products and happier customers.


Shults likes to say that “Time is time. Time is not money.” Time is the one resource we all have that cannot be replaced or made up. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. “You cannot put a price tag on time,” Shults said when asked about the subject. “It has so much more value than any amount someone can pay you. These new automations will give that valuable time back to our employees and our company, freeing up space to focus on growth and innovation.”

Automation frees up time for SilencerCo employees to be more creative and in control of the production process. (Author’s Photo)

Automation frees up time for SilencerCo employees to be more creative and in control of the production process. (Author’s Photo)

SilencerCo is leveraging that regained time to understand not only how to make better products, but how the machines that make them can be improved. Shults told us that all the best machine tools are currently made in Japan, and that SilencerCo only buys from those companies. But thanks to Shults’ emphasis on giving his employees their time back, the company has begun designing and building its own machines as well. Shults told us that designing those machines provides insights into how they can be improved and tailored to SilencerCo’s products, resulting in even better output as the SilencerCo team learns and improves. Some of those in-house machines are already online on the production floor.

Dogs Are Welcome!

This was our second visit to SilencerCo, and both times we noticed the dogs. Dogs in the offices. Dogs in the hallways. Dogs on the production floor. How many companies not only allow you bring your dog to work, but actively encourage it? We’d bet that SilencerCo is one of a very few.

We met this good boy in SilencerCo’s hallway. His name is Blue.” (Author’s Photo)

We met this good boy in SilencerCo’s hallway. His name is Blue.” (Author’s Photo)

Obviously, not everyone is a dog person, but for those of us who are, that sounds like a great deal. And it goes back to employee well-being. Shults told us that “We love having a dog-friendly environment. It lowers stress levels and creates a fun space where people want to come to work. Our dogs are really part of our team!” He was excited about it. We get it. We were excited about it. The company even has a “Dog Station” with supplies folks might need for their canine pals. Good stuff.


We quickly noticed that the Three Ps, People, Passion, and Precision, overlap in many places. People who like their jobs find it easier to be passionate about what they do. That passion translates into quality work, quality products, and quality service.

But SilencerCo isn’t just passionate about suppressors and their accessories. A giant American flag hangs conspicuously over the production floor. Monthly “All Hands” meetings are held directly underneath that flag. Each meeting starts with the Pledge of Allegiance.

(Author’s photo)

And it’s not just lip service. Shults and SilencerCo take that attitude seriously. “We source almost all of our materials within the United States and are working toward having everything 100 percent sourced in America,” he told us proudly. “We want our business to support Americans on all levels: through the products that we sell and through the methods [by which] these products are made.” He added that SilencerCo is currently the only suppressor company to do so.

The machinery and robotics investments also reflect the company’s ideals. SilencerCo has long been the only suppressor company to manufacture all their products in-house, from start to finish. Shults showed us the bar stock and other components that go into SilencerCo products. When asked why this vertical integration was important, Shults told us that “By manufacturing our products in-house, we are actively bringing more jobs to the people of Utah. It also gives us the ability to control our products and thereby ensures that customers are receiving the very best that we can produce.” Which brings us to…


It’s not hard to see how SilencerCo’s focus on People and Passion leads to the final “P,” Precision. The company’s people continue to perform at higher levels, generating more passion and pride in what they do. The dogs no doubt play a vital role here too, because dogs just make everything better.

SilencerCo has long been regarded as a leader in the suppressor industry, with products like the Saker, Omega, Chimera, and Harvester series, among others. They are continuing that legacy with the new Velos Low Back Pressure suppressor designed specifically for the 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington cartridges.

The new Velos LBP is specifically designed for the 5.56 cartridge. (SilencerCo Photo)

The new Velos LBP is specifically designed for the 5.56 cartridge. (SilencerCo Photo)

The Velos LPB takes advantage of SilencerCo’s technology and people investments to make the most durable suppressor the company has ever made, thanks, in part, to the brand new patented Hoplon Blast Baffle. The Hoplon Baffle deflects debris and increases the suppressor’s lifespan on short-barreled rifles and full-auto firearms. It handles a standard-length semi-auto rifle with ease. The Velos LBP measures only 5.98 inches long and weighs 15.2 ounces.

Another innovation is the 3D-printed Inconel 635 core which is fully welded to the 17-4 stainless steel front and rear modules. The Velos LBP delivers an impressive 137.1 decibels at the muzzle of a 16-inch barreled AR-15. Just for reference, 140 decibels is considered hearing safe.

The Velos LBP features V-Series Cerakote to ensure the finish holds up to hard use. The new suppressor is compatible with the already popular SilencerCo Charlie accessories and has no barrel length restrictions. It ships with the brand-new Internal Charlie Flash Hider Front Cap, Charlie ASR Mount, ASR Flash Hider in ½ x 28, a spanner wrench, and a Charlie tool. Coupled with SilencerCo’s Gas Defeating Charging Handle, the Velos LBP may be the top AR-15 suppressor available today.

Precision Service

As always, SilencerCo backs up its products with perhaps the industry’s best warranty. Shults laughingly told us that he believes so strongly in supporting SilencerCo’s products that they’ve gone so far as to say “We’ll fix stupid once.”

SilencerCo Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults. (Author’s Photo)


SilencerCo Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults. (Author’s Photo)

When we pressed him on this he said “Being a consumer myself, I’ve experienced frustrations after purchasing a product and the manufacturer failing to provide support. That’s why providing top notch customer service and support is so important to me and why we focus so heavily on customer service and warranty…Our warranty department is in-house, and we maintain an average 48-hour turnaround time on suppressor warranty or service requests.”

So, the Three Ps come full circle back to People, with those People being SilencerCo’s customers. We admit that Shults’ confidence is contagious. It’s difficult to visit with him at SilencerCo and not feel that positive energy.

A Bright Future

SilencerCo’s investments in new machine tools, robotics, and processes are ultimately investments in their people, as we’ve noted. Such efforts rarely go unrewarded, and SilencerCo’s path forward appears surer than ever.

SilencerCo is looking to the future. And the future is now. (SilencerCo photo)

SilencerCo is looking to the future. And the future is now. (SilencerCo photo)


Employees who feel valued are more likely to take pride in their work. We once saw pride, as used in this instance, defined as “always doing your best, even when no one is watching.” Jonathan Shults and SilencerCo are building that kind of environment, which benefits not only the company and its employees, but the end user as well.

Some of the best advice we ever received regarding firearms and accessories was to “buy from companies who give a damn about their customers.” After spending time with Shults and other SilencerCo folks like Shauna Young, Caleb Gosnell, Cody Wootton, and Jace LeRoy, we’re convinced that SilencerCo is one of those companies.

But that’s always been the plan. Shults and his partner Josh Waldron started SilencerCo in a garage because they thought they could “do it better.” Fifteen years later, that small business with a simple but big dream is a reality. SilencerCo does it better than, or at least as well as, anyone else. But they aren’t waiting around for anyone else to catch up.


Hard Head Veterans American Made ATE Lite Ballistic Helmet

Hard Head Veterans American Made ATE Lite Ballistic Helmet

Hard Head Veterans, a veteran-owned and operated helmet manufacturing company, has announced the launch of its newest product, the ATE Lite ballistic helmet

Proudly made at their facility in Sweetwater, Texas, by the very men and women who have worn helmets into combat, the helmet is designed for military, law enforcement, and patriots of this great nation.

The ATE Lite is an excellent example of Hard Head Veterans’ mission to protect our protectors, as it offers great protection while being ultra-lightweight.

The helmet is made from a hybrid blend of UHMWPE and Aramid and has a shell weight of 1.6 pounds, with a total system weight of 2.3 pounds in the medium size.

The ATE Lite is a perfect blend of performance and comfort, making it ideal for extended use.

Hard Head Veterans is dedicated to producing gear that performs in real-world situations. 

That’s why the ATE Lite was put to the test at the National Technical Systems Testing Lab, the leading independent testing lab for personal protective gear.

Level 3a Ballistic Helmet

The helmet consistently hit single-digit ballistic transient deformation numbers in the single-digit range with an average of 8.27mm at 1400 fps (9mm Testing Data).

Furthermore, the ATE Lite has been thoroughly tested against .40 and .45ACP, with deformation numbers still far below the 24mm required for 9mm (.40 and .45 ACP Testing Data).

FBI casualty data tells us that these three calibers account for the majority of handgun threats in the US.

While many manufacturers are moving away from BFD (backface deformation) testing, even new standards such as ASTM WK70812 make this testing optional.

What is Backface Deformation?

Backface deformation is the term used to describe the indentation on the backside of a plate or helmet caused by a bullet being stopped and prevented from penetrating the body.

When a person is shot, the backface of the helmet is deformed. The degree of deformation is a crucial factor to consider since greater deformation results in more severe trauma.

UHMWPE, one of the materials HHV uses for its ballistic helmets, works by using high-modulus fibers with unusually strong tensile strength. When compared to other technologies, these fibers prevent or cause less backface deformation. This means that the bullet’s energy is diffused and spread out much more effectively.

Hard Head Veterans helmets have always been designed with limiting BFD at the forefront, and we will continue to do so.

The ATE Lite has also been tested to the NIJ IIIA standards and is rated to stop .44 magnum in resistance to penetration tests.

MicroLattice Ballistic Helmet Pads

HHV’s MicroLattice Pads not only play an important role with BFD and blunt impact mitigation but provide unparalleled comfort and support in the ATE Lite.

Conforming the helmet naturally to each individual’s skull shape while maximizing airflow inside of the helmet.

The ATE Lite also features Hard Head Veterans’ signature A3S Lite shroud, one of the lightest helmet shrouds on the market, weighing only 32 grams. This night vision retention shroud features rubber inserts and machined aerospace aluminum inserts that prevent movement on most common mounts.

In addition to this, the ATE Lite comes standard with our patented SnapBack Retention system, which is a set-it-and-forget-it alternative to dial-type retention systems that have failure-prone mechanical parts.

With a price tag of $978.99, the ATE Lite ballistic helmet is an excellent value for those looking for a premium, American-made ballistic helmet.

Hard Head Veterans is proud to offer a growing list of protective products and to employ a growing number of American veterans to make them.

Focusing on customer feedback, they have also decided to make the shell itself available for purchase as a stand-alone product for $764.00.

This will allow end-users to plug and play with various helmet accessories from other manufacturers to get the very best helmet setup for their personal needs and mission set.

SilencerCo Retooling for Success

SilencerCo Retooling for Success

Firearms technology is ever-evolving. Companies who ignore the adage “innovate or die,” rarely remain relevant, if they survive at all. Suppressor companies, as a subset of the firearms industry, face the same challenge. As suppressors grow more popular, companies must stay on or near the leading edge to compete. On a recent visit to SilencerCo, we saw what that company is doing not only to stay on the edge, but to drive it forward.

We spent time with SilencerCo Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults, Public Relations Specialist Shauna Young, and Marketing guys Caleb Gosnell and Cody Wootton. Along the way, we saw how SilencerCo is revamping its production facility and processes, looked at some new products, and did some live fire on the company’s indoor test range.

Changing For the Better

SilencerCo Founder and CEO Jonathan Shults gave us a personal tour. (Author’s Photo)

We were a bit surprised when Shults himself conducted the facility tour, but who better to brief us on everything that’s happening? Being an engineer, the focus quickly turned to SilencerCo’s investments in automation. Tedious jobs like sorting are being phased out. Robots now do that. But before you decry the employee losing his job, that’s not how it works. Not at SilencerCo, anyway.

The robots do replace the human doing mundane jobs, but that human is now trained to oversee the robot, making certain it’s performing as intended. Shults told us that “By introducing higher levels of automation…we are creating greater efficiency for our company and more enjoyable jobs for our employees.” Shults wants the automation to allow his people “to spend more time on creative and high-level tasks.”

The new robots relieve employees from mundane jobs and let them focus on higher tasks. (Author’s Photo)

Shults also noted that “Time is time. Time is not money.” When we asked what he meant by that, he responded that “You cannot put a price tag on time. It has so much more value than any amount someone can pay you. These new automations will give that valuable time back to our employees and our company, freeing up the space to focus on growth and innovation.”

Shults stressed that no one has lost their job to a machine, nor will they. We expect that such investments, coupled with the right motivation, greatly benefit employee morale. And we know that happy employees do superior work. Sounds like a winning formula.

New and Better Products

The new robots and machine tools have given the company the time and incentive to examine how and why top-quality machines perform well. Company engineers have begun building their own machine tools tailored for their products. In the process, they gain insights into how future products can and should be designed to maximize the machines’ capabilities, opening up new innovative avenues.

One of those new products is the Velos Low Back Pressure suppressor designed specifically for the 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington cartridges. Shults told us the Velos LBP is the most durable suppressor SilencerCo has ever built. When we pressed him on that claim, he enthusiastically told us about the new patented Hoplon Blast Baffle, which deflects debris and is specially designed to extend the suppressor’s life, even on short-barreled rifles and with fully automatic fire.

The new Velos LBP is designed for the 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington Cartridges. (SilencerCo Photo)

But that’s not the Velos’ only innovation. The 3D printed Inconel 625 core is fully welded to the 17-4 stainless steel front and rear modules using a unique manufacturing process that we aren’t qualified to describe. Suffice it to say that’s pretty awesome, as we found out when we shot it later that day. Plus, the V-Series Cerakote means the finish will hold up for a long time. But let’s take a look at the specs:

SilencerCo Velos Low Back Pressure Suppressor

– Length: 5.98 inches
– Weight: 15.2 ounces
– Decibels at the Muzzle: 137.1 dB
– Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
– Full Auto Rated
– No Barrel Length Restrictions
– 17-4 Stainless Steel with a 3D Printed Inconel Core
– Finish: V-Series Cerakote (Black)
– Compatible with SilencerCo Charlie Accessories

The Velos LBP suppressor ships with the brand-new Charlie Flash Hider Front Cap, Charlie ASR Mount, ASR Flash Hider in ½ x 28, spanner wrench, and Charlie Tool.

We were able to try out the Velos LBP on several platforms at the indoor range. It was a real pleasure to shoot. Being indoors, we used ear pro, but it was still noticeably quiet. It almost seems wimpy to say it tamed the recoil a bit, being 5.56, but it did. And the gas was reduced too, as one would expect from the name. When we coupled it with the SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle, there seemed to be no gas at all.

The FightLite Dual Feed was our favorite way to test the Velos LBP suppressor. (SilencerCo Photo)

The Velos was fun all around but, unsurprisingly, we enjoyed the FightLite Industries Dual Feed AR the most. Seriously, what’s not to like about that combo? That the range time was the highlight of the day should not shock anyone either. It was a good time. If you’re looking for a dedicated suppressor for your AR-15, you might want to give the Velos LBP a hard look.

The Dogs

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the good boys and girls that we saw around the SilencerCo facility. Seriously. The company encourages their employees to bring their dogs to work. Talk about a morale booster. They weren’t on the range, for obvious reasons, but we saw them in the offices, hallways, and even the production floor, which isn’t particularly loud. It just made everything better. Shults said, enthusiastically, that “Our dogs are really part of our team!”

This good boy’s name is Blue. We met him in a SilencerCo hallway on the way to the production floor. (Author’s Photo)

Doing Everything at Home

By “at home,” we mean that SilencerCo sources almost all their materials from the United States and is “working toward having everything 100 percent sourced in America,” according to Shults. “We want our business to support Americans on all levels: through the products that we sell and through the methods these products are made.”

The company is also as vertically integrated as it can be, doing all the manufacturing work in-house, the only suppressor company to do so. Shults told us that was important to him because it brings jobs to the people of Utah while giving the company “the ability to control our products and thereby ensures that customers are receiving the very best that we can produce.”

Those attitudes aren’t just lip service. Both times we’ve visited SilencerCo we’ve noticed the huge American flag hanging prominently above the production floor. Monthly “all hands” meetings are held under the flags, with each meeting opening with the Pledge of Allegiance.” Good stuff.

This large American flag hangs prominently over the SilencerCo production floor. (Author’s Photo)

Quality Service

Shults also emphasized the importance of customer service. After all, a company that doesn’t support its products and its customers won’t stay around long. The SilencerCo warranty department is also in-house, and Shults says they usually turn warranty work around in 48 hours. He takes his company’s warranty so seriously that he laughingly told us that SilencerCo would even “fix stupid once.” We liked that.

Of course, in a perfect world, warranties would be unnecessary, and we’ve heard folks disparage companies who offer them by saying they shouldn’t have to do so. But that’s just unrealistic and such bombastic comments aren’t helpful. The fact that good companies support their products is encouraging.

Looking Ahead

Shults’ enthusiasm for SilencerCo’s direction is contagious. But it wasn’t just him. The other folks we interacted with had the same energy. The employees on the production floor were focused and quite friendly when we asked them questions. Now, you could say that was because the boss was right there with us, but we should note that the boss was on an easy first name basis with everyone too. That’s a good sign.

That SilencerCo’s efforts to improve the experience and skills of their workers is a good thing seems unarguable. Happy employees take pride in their work and everyone benefits, including the end user of SilencerCo products.

Automation allows SilencerCo’s employees time for creativity and attention to detail. (Author’s Photo)

A firearms instructor once told us to buy and use products from companies “who give a damn about their customers.” It looks like Shults is fostering that kind of environment at SilencerCo. The company started fifteen years ago in a garage. Now it’s an industry leader. They must be doing something right.

Choosing Your 300 Blackout Barrel

Faxon Firearms' 16 inch 300 blackout barrel

A popular and adaptable cartridge, the 300 Blackout is a go-to option for hunting, home defense, and suppressed shooting. If you want to ensure optimal performance, the length of your barrel is key. This guide examines the different barrel lengths available for the 300 Blackout and where to purchase them.

The main question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you plan on using a suppressor. If you’re looking for the quietest and best handling setup, one could easily go as short as 7.5″, offered by Faxon Firearms.

10.5 inch faxon 300 blackout barrel
10.5″ Blackout Barrel

How Much Does Length Affect .300 Blackout Velocity?

Based on our personal experience and research, the 9″ 300 blackout barrel is the best overall barrel length with or without a suppressor, especially since an 8″ barrel is the minimum warranty barrel length for many suppressor manufacturers.

Best Barrel Length For Suppressed 300 Blackout

For optimal performance with a suppressed 300 Blackout, we recommend a barrel length of 8″-10″.

Attaching a 6″ suppressor to this barrel length results in a total length of 14″ to 16″, which provides optimal muzzle velocity for accurate long-range shots.

Side profile of the 10.5 inch Faxon barrel

For the longer range engagements with a suppressed 300 Blackout, use a 16″ barrel with a suppressor for an average velocity of over 2,630 fps, leading to more effective shots and minimal bullet drop.

Best 300 Blackout  Length For Home Defense

The .300 Blackout round is an excellent choice for home defense as it combines power and efficiency with lethality when fired from a short-barreled rifle.

Using a short-barreled rifle is ideal for home defense as its compactness makes it easier to maneuver throughout the home. Despite its compact size, a .300 BLK round fired from a short barrel can still hit targets up to 100 yards away.

Front view of a 7.5 inch Blackout Barrel

For optimal home defense with the .300 Blackout, a barrel length of at least 6″ to 8″ is recommended.

Best 300 Blackout  Length For Hunting

The ideal barrel length when hunting with .300 Blackout is one able to reach long-range targets with sufficient bullet velocity and energy on target for a lethal impact.

Longer barrel lengths offer greater accuracy and velocity, with a maximum length of 16″ for the .300 Blackout. This length ensures complete gunpowder combustion to generate maximum force and stabilizes the bullet for a flatter trajectory and improved accuracy.

Back view of the 16" Faxon firearms Barrel

Additionally, a 16″ barrel offers a long line of sight for better aim, making it the recommended choice for long-range hunting.

Choosing the right barrel length for the .300 BLK can be hard. 

Behind view of a 10.5 inch 300 Blackout Barrel

At 10″, the muzzle velocity has not yet reached its peak. Heavy subsonic ammo in a 10″ barrel may have lower velocities but allows for the use of a suppressor without damaging your hearing. Supersonic ammo out of a 10″ barrel retains rifle caliber velocities but with more significant bullet drop at longer distances.

front view of a 16" Faxon Firearms Barrel

At 16″, muzzle velocities are near their maximum. As a result, heavy-grain subsonic bullets struggle to retain their subsonic terminal performance, while supersonic ammo has increased effective range and reduced bullet drop. The 16″ barrel also provides greater energy upon impact, regardless of ammo type.

The barrel twist rate also impacts performance and should be considered when selecting barrel length and determining the effective range of the .300 Blackout. For example, a 1:8 twist is best for lightweight supersonic rounds, while the 1:7 twist is recommended for heavy subsonic rounds with a suppressor.

front view of a 7.5 inch Faxon barrel

There are a few factors to consider when selecting the ideal barrel length for the .300 BLK rifle and determining its effective range.

Mike-102: an AK-AR-HK Hybrid?

Mike-102: an AK-AR-HK Hybrid?

One of the more interesting rifle-related things unveiled at SHOT Show 2023 was also one of the most interesting Foxtrot Mike products available yet: an AK AR hybrid called the Mike-102. The Foxtrot Mike Mike-102 is a hybrid AR 15 and AK 47 rifle with some HK influences forged in. That may or may not appeal to some folks, but you can bet it will to many others.

Why? Because we can. ‘Merica.

Foxtrot Mike Products: the Mike-102

AK AR HK Hybrid?

The FM Mike-102 is an AR15 platform chambered in .223 Wylde that feeds from AK magazines. It utilizes the Foxtrot Mike compact DI system, features a folding stock, and sports an HK-style forward charging handle.

This is an intriguing combination that provides AR handling, the use of rock-and-lock AK mags, and the option of using the “HK slap” to drop the bolt.

Maybe we’re shallow, but we like that.

Here are some other FM Mike-102 things to know:

 Production testing was at least partially conducted during KalashBash and Red Oktober.

 It’s a bufferless system (i.e., no buffer nor no buffer tube).

 Some have a non-reciprocating side charging handle; others have the “slap mod”.

 The “slap mod variant” echoes HK charging handles.

 You can lock the bolt to the rear.

 It takes AK102 compatible magazines in 5.56×45

 Will be available in sizes ranging from a 9-inch pistol all the way up to a 16-inch rifle.

 A 13.9 pin and weld model will be inbound soon.

 So will a 7.62x39mm version.

MK-102 Diagram
Via Atlantic Firearms

Foxtrot Mike describes the Mike-102 as a “…modern AK-Hybrid, designed for the modern shooter to use a wide variety of  AK 5.56/223 magazines and offer the familiar Rock N Lock magwell.  The 102 is lightweight, accurate, and modular, much like an AR-15, but with the added benefit of using most AK  magazines. It uses a simple direct impingement operating system that is simple and reliable.”

Learn more about Foxtrot Mike’s AK AR Hybrid.

Read this article in its entirety at Rainier Arms.

Revision and Fast Metal Join Forces for The Speed Demon Sunglasses

man holding a rifle and wearing Speed Demon glasses

Two industry giants have come together to create something truly special. Revision Military, a leading producer of protective eyewear, has spent years developing best-in-class ballistic protective lenses. At the same time, Fast Metal and its founder have been working on premium made-in-USA aluminum sunglasses. And now, they’re ready to reveal their latest collaboration to the world. Let’s turn to the official press release to see what the companies have to announce.

Making a Perfect Pair

Revision Military, a leading producer of protective eyewear, has spent years developing best-in-class ballistic protective lenses. Similarly, Fast Metal and its founder have spent that time developing premium made-in-USA aluminum sunglasses. With this collaboration announcement, the two companies have combined what they are truly experts in to create the Revision Speed Demon metal sunglasses with Revision’s new I-Vis lens technology. These sunglasses bring together state-of-the-art lens technology with a sleek, stylish frame.

Fast Metal was built on over 35 years of experience in manufacturing the highest quality metal sunglasses by its founder, Ken Wilson. As the pioneer of the aluminum sunglass industry, Ken created the first patented 27-step procedure for manufacturing high-quality aluminum frames. Today, Fast Metal is proud to offer the world’s first and best aluminum sunglass and eyewear protection system featuring field-replaceable lenses.

Photo example of Revision's I-Vis Technology
This is an example of the I-Vis Technology and not the Speed Demon frames

Revision’s History

Over the past 20 years, Revision has become the proven supplier of military protective eyewear to NATO forces worldwide. This new partnership with Fast Metal is a powerful relationship combining military and tactical industry expertise with the best aluminum sunglass design. The goal – is to create an eyewear protection system that customers not only need but want.

“At Revision, we believe in the power of partnerships and collaborations in bringing new and exciting technology to end-users quickly,” said Revision CEO Amy Coyne. “Our new I-Vis lens technology delivers enhanced visual performance, and we needed an everyday sunglass platform to offer protection, style, and performance. We believe this collab is just the beginning of our partnership with Ken and the Fast Metal team.”

Man Aiming a rifle and wearing Revision's glasses outside

Speed Demon Specs

So what’s so special about these new Revision Speed Demon Sunglasses?

Well, first, the frame is entirely made out of aluminum 7075 allow, which provides ANSI Z87.1 protection.

Product photo of the Speed Demon glasses and their hard and soft cases

Second, it is available with Revision’s new I-Vis lens technology. This technology is an advanced dye formulation process resulting in a new series of lens tints that markedly enhance visual performance. More than a single solution, I-Vis lenses are available in six tints, each optimized for use in a different environment. Each tint is designed to increase contrast and elevate color recognition in specific geographic regions, doing so without the negative effects associated with traditional monochromatic lens tints. These Speed Demon lenses also come with Revision’s OcuMax anti-fog and scratch coating and are field replaceable.

Finally, all frames and lenses are made in the USA; frames are made by Fast Metal in Yuma, Arizona, and lenses are made by Revision in Essex Junction, Vermont. The product is available for sale today at and coming soon to Revision’s network of dealers and distributors around the globe.

Revision sunglasses sitting in a dead tree