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Testimonials

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Sig Romeo 5: Big Performance In a Budget Optic

Sig has been refining its emergent optic line since it first debuted them in 2016. As I discussed in my initial post on the Romeo 5, the little-optic-that-could has all the characteristics of an inexpensive, yet reliable, Red Dot Sight (RDS) that could give even some Aimpoint or Trijicon RDS’ a run for their money. With few marks against it, the Romeo 5 would be a solid choice for any novice shooter, or even an experienced one.

I’ve been running this optic since February; and its been out in the cold, through our (very) brief Midwest eight-day spring, and right into the summer heat. I’ve had it through static drills, stressors, and competition. And while I could continue to put the optic through its paces, fact is it is unlikely to change the results more than what I have concluded. Plus I have more optics coming in to test and I need the rail space.

If you’d like to review the optic’s full specs, those and my initial zeroing observation is posted here.

Sig Romeo 5 Highlight Features Include:

  • Motion Activated Illumination (MOTAC) – shutting down the optic when not in use and instantly activates the system when it senses the slightest vibration or movement. This feature extends the battery life to reportedly 40,000+ hours
  • Spectracoat – Described as a highly efficient, ultra-wide broadband, anti-reflection lens coating that reduce surface reflections to extremely low levels across the entire visible spectrum providing superior light transmission
  • Stealth ID – Design features inspired by our legendary firearms; trapezoidal surfacing that breaks up the shape and visibility of the optic

Some Sig Romeo Specs:

  • Dot: 2 MOA with 10 illumination settings (eight for daylight, two for night vision)
  • Integrated M1913 Picatinny mounting system
  • Waterproof up to 1m and fogproof
  • Box includes one CR2032 battery, one low-riser mount and one co-witness (1.41″) mount

romeo5_1x20mm-specs

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): Initially at $129, the Romeo 5 was very well priced for the capabilities offered. Had Sig invested a little more into hardening the exterior coating (which seems to be a recurring issue among the Romeo optic line) the added cost per unit would have been minimal. But when put in comparison to the market of RDS optics, such as Holosun, Aimpoint, Trijicon and more, the Romeo is clearly marketed as a budget-friendly optic. Sig recently transitioned the Romeo 5 to a “Tread” version featuring their interpretation of the Gadsden snake for $149, while bumping the original model up to $219. You can still find the original $129 on sites like Amazon, but be vary cautious as there are knockoffs and sellers with ulterior motives (like selling a broken or floor optic that is advertised as “new”).
  • ComfortGood (4/5): The 2MOA dot was clearly visible indoors and out, with only minimal pixelation around the dot at the higher brightness values. While this is notable in comparison to higher-end RDS systems like RMRs or a C-More, it is not to the point of effecting accuracy or function.
  • DurabilityFair (2/5): The Romeo 5 earned split marks in durability. While there is extensive evidence into the robust design of the RDS (a simple internet search reveals owners freezing it in ice, driving over it with trucks, dropping it, and shooting it with a shotgun), the exterior coating is marginal at best. During my time utilizing the optic, I picked up several deep scratches down to the metal when the optic contacted the sling’s metal hardware, during transition drills, or in general use. At one point I swiped my thumb across the “Sig Sauer” logo and some of the white paint smeared off with it. My initial premise that the rubberized lens covers would be the first to suffer proved correct as the plastic attracted all manner of debris and warped similar to a rubber band. Through it all the Romeo 5 optic maintained zero and the lenses remained clear and unblemished.
  • FunctionalityGood (4/5): As an RDS, the Romeo 5 is very straight forward and simple. Easy to turn on, and in the event you forget, the optic’s MOTAC will automatically turn off the device for you (a feature that can be disabled if you choose) thus maximize battery life. The adjustment caps have an integrated tab to assist in adjusting the windage/elevation dials, which have a clear and tangible click to them. The included mounts at varying heights are an extra bonus.
  • WeightGood (4/5): At just 12.2 ounces (excluding your choice in mount) the Romeo 5 is very light, and in comparison to other micro RDS systems is equatable in weight.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

Product Link: https://www.sigsauer.com/products/electro-optics/red-dot-sights/romeo5/

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Viktos PTFX Core 2 Athletic Shoe: Get Fit or Die Trying

Recently redesigned, the PTFX Core 2 by Viktos was released in late 2019 as the company’s renewed approach to footwear in cross-fitness or everyday wear. The Core 2 gives the wearer a large area of application on improved surfaces from the gym, to the range, and in their daily lives.

Made from a main chassis of mesh nylon, the Core 2 balances its lightweight materials while providing athletic support and breathability.  It includes a moderate heel collar that allows for a secure fit around the ankle.

Various synthetic sections at the toe, laces, and sides of the Core 2 provide for lateral stability in dynamic movements of the foot, as well as reinforce primary wear areas common in athletic footwear.

Laces on the Core 2 are a flattened nylon weave that allows for strength when tied, while reducing any accidental slippage when worn. Each lace is tipped in a laminate wrap.

IMG_8556

Unlike other Viktos daily or field footwear, such as the Strife (Mid) or Johnny Ops Combat Boot, the Core 2 has a slightly tapered and angled athletic toe box that cradles the foot while still providing for some toe splay during heavy lifts.

The sole is a single, flat design with a minimal space trusstic on the insole for some dynamic grip on suspended rope climbs or other obstacles. With its 4mm heel-to-toe drop and gel cushioning in the heel, the sole in the Core 2 provides for cushioning in daily cardio use while maintaining a solid grip.

Specifications:

  • 600D nylon mesh chassis
  • Synthetic leather overlays
  • 1-year workmanship & materials warranty

The PTFX Core 2 is available in Ranger (featured) and Nightfall, and in sizes from 6 to 15.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): At an MSRP of $100 the PTFX Core 2 has a dominant material of mesh nylon that keeps it lightweight and breathable, and synthetic leather for added durability. This balanced design approach is common to athletic shoes as it gives the wearer the most applicability in athletic footwear. Market alternatives include 5 Minimus Prevail CSP ($119) by New Balance, 5.11’s ABR Athletic Trainer ($119) or its ATLAS Trainer ($129), the Lalo’s Grinder ($130), and the Salomon’s Speedcross 4 ($85). This diversity in cost often comes down to material (and where it is sourced), amount of reinforcement, and overall product placement and at its current cost. Thus, the Core 2 is near the upper market spectrum of cost giving its price an appropriate (or average) average scoring.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): As an athletic shoe the Core 2 had a good level of comfort in the toe box for more dynamic movements, while the heel collar kept the foot very secure and prevented any excess movement. The flat shoelaces allowed for the Core 2 to be tightened easily for light cardio work or loosened for weight training. During daily wear, the monolithic sole ensured no slippage on prepared surfaces; pavement, sidewalks, and linoleum, while performed adequately on flattened earth. However, the low angle support of the Core 2 made it better suited for the daily hustle of life or as gym shoes than on the loose gravel or rocks commonly found on ranges or the field.
  • Durability – Average (3/5): Over the course of 30-days wear; as a daily shoe, during workouts (before and during the COVID-19 lockdown), and on the range the PTFX Core 2 held good level of observed durability to resist wear and abrasion. Bartack IMG_8496stitching was noted at key stress points along the tongue, heel collar, and at points mating the synthetic leather components to the nylon chassis for added strength. The tread pattern did minimally wear as expected for a pair of cross training shoes with the friction from cardio having the largest impact to the bottom material. The only negative noted during the evaluation for durability was a popped stitch along the top of the tongue that would need to be trimmed or risk further compromising the overall stitch line. It could not be determined if the stitch’s failure was the result of wear (grabbing the tongue to don the shoe) or the fault of the material, and something for Viktos to potentially consider strengthening in the future.
  • Functionality Excellent (5/5): Functionally the role of the Core 2 was determined by its athletic design, specifically the sole. The flat, wide design made for excellent traction on improved surfaces under dynamic movements. But the sole’s 4mm rise/run angle and lack of supportive trusstic through the overall arch lent itself more to daily or light use, and/or cross training, but not long distance running. Consumers should be aware of the features that delineate cross training athletic footwear, such as the Core 2, and dedicated running shoes. The flat nylon laces were excellent in keeping a solid lock and regularly maintained tie. The tapered toe box did allow for some splay by the toes, but the secure fit to the ankle and heel prevented any excess movement by the overall foot. The light weight and weave of the nylon chassis ensured breathability, especially in the toe box so the foot never became swampy or pruned. Overall as an athletic trainer shoe or for daily life, the Core 2 performed excellently.
  • Weight Good (4/5): At 12.6 ounces (per shoe, size men’s 11), or just over 24 ounces for the pair, the lightweight nylon material helped keep the necessitating weight of the footwear to a minimum. In comparison to market alternatives in cross training athletic footwear; the Minimus Prevail CSP (11.1 ounces @ $119) by New Balance, 5.11’s ABR Athletic Trainer (11 ounces @ $119) or its ATLAS Trainer (12 ounces @ $129), the Lalo’s Grinder (17 ounces @ $130), and the Salomon’s Speedcross 4 (11 ounces @ $85) all demonstrate that the PTFX Core 2 is at a good weight for its $100 price point given that lighters shoes (as if an ounce makes that much of a difference) are more expensive, or that more inexpensive shoes lack the additional reinforcement materials or stitching.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.viktos.com/products/ptxf-core2-shoe

IMG_2889_TackenbergI am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

 

Gunfighter Flannel Jacket: Keeping It Comfortable and Flexible

Designed to maintain a low-profile appearance while giving the wearer access to their concealed carry option, the Gunfighter Flannel Jacket by Viktos can also be easily adjusted for direct sidearm access for an extended day on the range. Introduced in October 2019, the Gunfighter is a perfect solution for when the weather cools, but our threats do not.

The Gunfighter is made from an outer shell with a thick blend of 60/40 wool and polyester. The jacket’s thick cotton lining also provides additional comfort and warmth. The Gunfighter includes Viktos’ Attackposture™ design, incorporating four-way, flexible back and underarm panels that provides improved flexibility that can accommodate a variety of shooting stances.

At its front, the Gunfighter has a medium collar roll that provides moderate comfort against wind, and protects the neck from chafe caused be rifle slings or other shoulder straps. At the rear and under the collar’s roll is the phrase “Viktos Black Arms Company” which is in reference to the primary manufacturer.

At the chest are two accessory pockets secured via snap button.

The jacket’s side front has vertical zippered chest pockets directly behind the chest accessory pockets that allow for access while wearing a plate carrier. The zipper’s pull-tab consists of a small, knotted nylon cord with heat-shrink tubing.

Both sides to the Viktos Gunfighter include its Gunvent™ design, a unique, dual-zippered side that allows for immediate access to range belt or holstered sidearm while wearing the jacket.

Down the front of the jacket are six front snap buttons that provide closure of the jacket from neck to below the waistline.

Both sleeves include a low-profile cuff with thump port, while the forearms are reinforced to account for “brush bashing” through moderate vegetation. On the left forearm is a small, zipper secured stash pocket.

At the elbow both sleeves include articulated elbow panels to pad provide for flexibility and comfort.

The interior lining of the jacket has a number of features that make it ideal for concealed operations as well as every-day use. With its unique logos at the top of the back and inner left, the liner also includes two zippered cargo/carry pockets (one on each side).

Additionally, the right side of the liner also includes elastic cuffs for interior wire routing and a pass-through eyelet to the zippered chest pocket that allows for concealed communications or a headset/earbuds if desired.

Specifications:

  • Genuine YKK zippers
  • Heat-shrink tubing on all zipper pulls
  • 1-year workmanship & materials warranty

The Gunfighter Flannel Jacket comes in Midwatch (featured) and Ranger Green, and is available in sizes Small to 3XL.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): At $195 the Gunfighter Flannel Jacket by Viktos brings together a unique blend of comfort and concealability that promotes an individual’s “tactical lifestyle” wherein one can be situationally aware, and look good doing it. In comparison, other market alternatives would include the Twill Concealed Carry Jacket ($149.99) by Nine Line Apparel, the Sabre Jacket 2.0 ($249.99) by 5.11 or the Ronin XT Jacket ($255) by Triple Aught Design. While all jackets involve their own designs materials, and features – there are few flannel jackets on the market and almost none consider the tactical mindset, and that is what makes Viktos’s take on outerwear so unique.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): The sizing of the Gunfighter felt it ran to the Regular sizing, designed to fit those of average build. It was very comfortable across the shoulders and had significant flexibility on the upper torso thanks to its Attackposture™ material. The articulated elbows and “brush bash” reinforcement was very comfortable and, unlike other padded elbow or forearm material, was not bulky or cumbersome. In wind and light rain, the Gunfighter’s two-part shell did well to keep the wearer dry. Since the fit ran on the Regular sizing; for the 6’2” frame of the reviewer, the sleeves fit adequately – stopping at the wrist bone when the arms were dropped. But the sleeves creeped up approximately 2-3 inches when the arms/hands were raised (reflecting the longer arm length of the individual), thus the thumb ports couldn’t be comfortably used because of the tightness and the port’s material. Viktos could improve the comfort aspect of the Gunfighter by considering a “long” design, or making the ports somewhat elastic to account for the increased arm length of other wearers.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): Given that the Gunfighter made from a 60/40 blend of wool and polyester, with a 100% cotton inner shell, it had the same durability as other light jackets. There was some bartack and reinforcement stitching noted at the pockets and other key stress points that added to the jacket’s overall strength. All YKK zippers ran smoothly and did not bind, while all snap buttons provided crisp retention and break. In the time tested during daily wear and on the range, the Gunfighter’s liner did not separate and all threading held. Some excess threading was noted at several points along the edges, but appeared to be due to the machining process and unrelated to the jacket itself (nor effected the integrity of the threading).
  • Functionality Good (4/5): From a functional aspect, the Gunfighter achieved exactly what was intended, to be a comfortable and low-profile light jacket, that functioned on the range just as well as it did for EDC wear. Other tactical or conceal carry jackets, such as the alternatives noted above, have the distinct disadvantage of still appearing tactical – even when intending to appear low-profile. The Gunfighter accomplished a very effective low-profile appearance by blending the zipper lines and hardware into the color and design scheme of the jacket, and by taking on the every-day appearance of flannel. Likewise, while on the range the Gunvent™ dual zippers provided comfortable and easy access to an OWB holster, allowing the wearer to continue wearing the jacket on the range and remain comfortable despite the cold. It also allowed for one-handed access to the beltline if carrying concealed as well. The only minor issue observed was during EDC wear, the continual light friction of the hands passing over the bottom of the Gunvent™ while walking (zipped closed), caused the bottom of the zipper to continually open slightly (resolved simply by closing it again). This is a common problem with other fleece and light jackets that have a similar side opening and resolved by having a covering material (secured via snap button) over the bottom of the zipper to secure it as well as reinforce the closure. Viktos may want to consider that as an improvement in its next Gunvent™ design.
  • Weight Average (3/5): The weight of outerwear varies wildly, often attributed to a combination of materials, layers, design and hardware. The Gunfighter Flannel Jacket weighed approximately 2 pounds due to the material in the outer and inner shells. This is minimally heavier than the alternative jackets detailed above (averaging 1.5 pounds), but that is due to variance in materials and design. In the end, the Gunfighter’s weight was average for outerwear, yet still minimal and did not prove distracting or cumbersome when worn daily, or on the range.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.viktos.com/collections/outerwear/products/gunfighter-flannel?variant=30279017496672

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

 

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