Editor’s note: Please welcome Evail Juan to Planandprepared.com. He will be a regular here, providing reviews on firearms, firearm accessories and tools, as well as other prepper related gear.
I recently received a Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard as a gift (Thanks Sis). But upon reading how to change it out from the Mil Spec guard, I was shocked to learn the suggested method was to get an armorers block, roll pin punch, and a mallet to hammer the pins out. That being said, there is a disclaimer that should read “If you break the tab off, your lower will be JUNK!”
In this day and age why wouldn’t there be an easier way to change this out without the chance of destroying the lower receiver? Enter the Wheeler Trigger Guard Installation Tool. This tool is basically a specialized C-Clamp with 2 rods included. The long rod is for the removal, while the short rod is for the install. I actually read the directions carefully, which were precise and to the point.
The removal and install took about 30 minutes to complete. The only reason that took a little longer than expected was because I aligning the pin and install tool to start the pin into the hole. Seems like a third hand would be nice here for this process. But with a little tongue waggling, a few choice words, and a bit of patience I was able to get it to fit.
Once I was able to get it aligned into the hole, then it was just a simple matter of making sure the pin was flush with the receiver. Then voila, the change was complete!
All in all I would give the Wheeler Trigger Guard Install Tool a 4.75 stars. And the only reason I’m not giving 5 stars is due to the fact that holding all the components and trying to get it aligned was not an easy task.
When outside companies ask me to do a review of their products, I sometimes have just a little bit of trepidation. For example, what happens if the company sends me their product and I do not like it? That could lead to some awkward moments. So I have tried to be selective of what products I review. There have been products I have turned down for this very reason. Anything that I recommend on this site are products/gear/supplies that I have, own, use, and would stand behind.
So when Valley Food Storage approached me to do a review some of their long-term food storage products, there was a bit of anxiety. What if we tried the food and didn’t like it? What if the product was not up to standards?
Still, having stored a lot of beans, rice, and flour, I also knew that if the grid went down for a long time, food boredom is a very real problem. Valley Food Storage has a pretty wide variety of foods. So I decided that I’d give it a try. I agreed to trying it and writing a review. The fact that their products have no MSGs, GMOs, and that they have a gluten-free options was a big reason I decided to give it a go.
So on a Sunday afternoon, my mother and I sat down in her kitchen, and cooked everything they sent us. From almost the get-go, I realized that my apprehension was completely UNFOUNDED! Just smelling the food as we opened the bags help to set my mind at ease. I was not disappointed!
Valley Food Storage sent me 4 entrées and 3 fruits to try. 3 of the 4 entries came in a thick Mylar bags that are vacuum sealed. We noticed that all the bags are resealable. If you only use part of the contents, you can “zip-lock” the bags shut to help them stay fresh. Unopened, the food is guaranteed for up to 25 years. But being able to reseal between uses is nice.
For this review, both my mother and myself will be adding our comments. For Cheryl L’s part of the review, it will be in quotes. Also note that she has purchased long-term food storage similar to these from other companies. So she will be comparing Valley Foods to the other companies products that she has.
I had someone email me the other day, asking why I didn’t do a review of the Glock I carry as an EDC firearm. While I don’t carry a Glock off duty, I am sure there are plenty of folks out there who might carry it as their EDC gun.
And since I carry the Glock 23 on duty and have for over a decade, I figured I am somewhat qualified to review it. So, here you go! My review of a Glock as an EDC.
I will actually be looking at two compact (mid-sized) Glocks. I will look at the Glock 23 (.40 S&W) and the Glock 32 (.357 Sig.) The Glock 23 is a Gen 4, while the Glock 32 is a Gen 3.
The first Glocks were produced in 1982, and started arriving in the US by 1988. There was a lot of doubt in the “gun world” about whether a plastic (polymer) firearm was worth anything. The huge success of Glock has answered it’s critics. It is now one of the most popular handguns in America today. According to Glock’s website, 65% of police departments in the US issue/carry Glock pistols.
This success was partly due to the clever and effective marketing of Glock, who sold their pistols to the police at a discount. When police departments saw how effective and well-built the Glocks were, plus the fact that Glock 17s could hold 17 rounds of 9mm, they began carrying them en-mass. This gave credence to Glock with the general public, and the rest as they say is history.
The Glock 23/32 is a polymer framed pistol and almost 7 inches in length. (5 inches high.) Its 4 inch barrel is made of ordnance grade steel, and has a nitrate finish. The pistol (Glock 23) weighs about 23.5 oz or so (unloaded). The 32 weighs 21.5 oz unloaded.
A few months ago, my brother and I were visiting a local gun show. I do not usually buy firearms at gun shows, as they tend to be a bit overpriced in my opinion. But I have found some good deals on parts and accessories, and I love to “window shop”.
Anyway, while making our way from table to table, my brother came upon a slightly used Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in .40 cal. The owner allowed him to field strip it, and we realized it was in excellent condition, LNIB. (Like New In Box.) After some slight haggling, my brother bought it. And after a trip to the range, I thought I would give it a review as an EDC firearm.
The M&P Shield is a black polymer framed, striker fired pistol. It is slim and light weight. The pistol is a bit over 4.5 inches tall, and weights about 19 oz. The barrel is 3.1 inches long. So for a 40 cal pistol, the Shield is small enough to conceal, but offers significant stopping power.
As I mentioned, this particular pistol is a .40 cal. Smith and Wesson also makes the M&P Shield in 9mm, but because our ammo stores are .40 cal, we went with the .40 cal. The .40 comes with a single stack 6 or 7 round magazine.
I am always on the lookout for quality firearms. I fully believe that when it comes to firearms, you generally get what you pay for. So I do not mind spending a bit more if I know that I am getting a well built, reliable firearm. And if there is a chance of getting a quality firearm on a budget, then I am certainly all in.
I have been looking for a pistol carbine for quite some time. I decided I wanted a 40 cal carbine since my pistols were 40 cal, and I have plenty of 40 cal ammo. Who doesn’t like the idea of having multiple weapons and weapons platforms that you can share ammo between?
I initially wanted to get a Beretta CX Storm. But the internal parts of that carbine are made of polymer, not metal. I have no issue with polymer framed firearms, like my Glock. But I’m a bit unsure of a firearm with polymer internal parts.
To replace those polymer parts with metal would double the price of the gun. That made it inefficient for me from a cost stand point.
I also was interested in a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 that took Glock 23 magazines. But I have yet to be able to find one. (At least one that wasn’t used AND double the MSRP.) I really want a new Gen 2 Sub 2000, but I doubt I will ever find one. 🙁
I checked other 40 cal carbines, but typically found something about them that did not appeal to me. Then one day I came across a brand new, still in the box Hi Point 40 S&W carbine. Now obviously, this gun is ugly. No, I mean UGLY! (What Hi Point isn’t?) But I had heard good things about Hi point’s overall reliability. And for the price I paid for it, (got a SMOKIN’ deal well under $300) I decided “What the hell!”
I took it home and noticed that there was going to be “some assembly required”. But not to worry. The assembly was fairly simple. I had to mount the knob for the slide release, and mount the grip handle. (I got the version with the vertical grip.) Really, this took me less than 5 minutes to complete. The carbine comes with the tool you need to put it together and to field strip it.
The carbine also came with a picatinny rail for mounting whatever accessories you might like. It can mount scopes, flashlights, or targeting lasers. And as I mentioned, mine also came with a folding grip handle that is easily attached and removed. There is a button on the side of the grip that allows you to lock the handle in place or fold it up.
I am a firm believer in having a self-defense type weapon as a part of your EDC. (Every Day Carry). And I also advocate carrying that weapon concealed. While I carry a Glock 23 with a Streamlight Tactlite on duty, off duty I prefer something that is much easier to conceal. I carry a Sig Sauer P238.
The P238 comes with its own carry/conceal holster, a nice touch by Sig. But it rode too high on my waist for my liking. And it did not feel like it was completely secure.
So when the good folks at Osborn Holster offered to make me a carry/conceal leather holster for my Sig, and make it large enough to also carry a spare magazine, I said “Hell Yeah!”
For those of you who are not familiar with Osborn Holsters, they have been in the market for the past 3 to 4 years. They specialize in making custom holsters for almost any style of pistol. Osborn holsters are made right here in the USA, headquartered in Texas.
I ordered the IWB (Inside Waist Band) Tact rig for my Sig, and was surprised when it arrived less than a week later. I order firearm parts all the time. Many times it takes a week just to process the order and then ship the parts. So to have my holster fabricated and sent to me in that amount of time left me pleasantly surprised.
The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the package was how durable, yet flexible the leather was. I also noticed that the holes for the magazine attachments and the kydex had been reinforced with eyelets, which should help with the holster’s durability. I’m a big fan of buying products that are durable and long lasting. So I give bonus points for things like that.
The P238 fit securely in the Kydex molding. It was a bit snug, and took some effort to pull out. But the holster uses screws with rubber spacers to attach it to the leather. This means that the amount of retention can be adjusted. So between adjusting the screws, and normal use (break in period), the tight retention should not be an issue.