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Strike Industries QD Sling Loop: Keeping It All Together

Reinventing the Quick Detach (QD) mount, Strike Industries recently released its QD Sling Loop, in both a traditional and narrow design. This new approach provides for increased comfort and functionality when quickly mounting or removing the rifle sling.

Made from 17-4 stainless steel, using a quench/polish/quench process the QD Sling Loop is available in both a “Standard” or “Micro” design. This manufacturing process allows for a loop that is significantly stronger than previous QD mounts using more frangible metals.

What sets Strike Industries QD Sling Loop apart from the traditional center-button release designs, is its squeeze/pinch-style release system that allows the QD Sling Loop to be mounted or released easily with one hand. Other more traditional QD loops often require one had to stabilize the rifle while another hand manipulates the release mechanism.

The loop designs themselves are intended to maximize the geometry of material and movement. The wider “Standard” QD Loop allows for up to 1” wide nylon slings to move easily and never pinch or fold. A notch in the center of the loop is intended for cord or wire-type slings to give then a lower point to cinch on.

In comparison, the “Micro” QD Loop is designed specifically for wire or HK hook-type sling attachments that gives them and angled point to fall on and avoid the QD loop from rolling.

Specifications:

  • “Standard” QD Sling Loop
    • Length: 39.75 mm
    • Width: 14.27 mm
    • Height: 30.62 mm
    • Weight: 0.8 oz.
  • Micro QD Sling Loop
    • Length: 27.2 mm
    • Width: 14.27 mm
    • Height: 33.2 mm
    • Weight: 0.8 oz.

Strike Industries QD Sling Loop is compatible with all rifle or SMG based platforms, or any accessory that has QD socket. Both the “Standard” and Micro loops are only available in Black (featured).

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): At an MSRP of $23.95 (ea.) the QD Sling Loop by Strike Industries offers a unique and revised design to an oft overlooked accessory. Made from its 17-4 stainless steel, the QD Sling Loop is manufactured to resist the most common forms of damage or corrosion to accessories and hardware. In direct comparison, the market alternatives to the QD Sling Loop include Magpul’s QD Sling Swivel ($14.95), the UTG Push Button QD Sling Swivel ($9.95), and a generic 1.25” QD Sling Swivel ($16.89) version readily sold under various brand names. The price variance between Strike Industry’s product and others accounts for the revised design and metal with a greater hardening factor that is more resistant to corrosion or failure. Given this, the difference makes the price point for the QD Sling loop an appropriate (or average) scoring considering what is gained over legacy designs.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): Comfort wise, the QD Sling Loop did as expected, which is to say it allowed the sling to move freely and easily without any cross over or binding. Its weight was minimal and added an unnoticeable weight to the overall rifle, but still allowed the sling to function as needed. There was sufficient play in the ring itself that it continuously laid the sling flat, and at no point stuck out during various live-fire iterations. Actioning the QD Sling Loop locking mechanism actually felt easier than center button-press QD sling swivels, because the fingertips allowed for more tactile control, whereas the more traditional center-button design tended to be difficult for those with thicker fingers.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): The principle material for the QD Sling Loop is 17-4 stainless steel, which is tempered for strength and intended to resist corrosion. Despite continual contact against the rail and other elements of hardware, the finish of the QD Sling Loop remained unmarred throughout trials. At no point were the loops bent or marred and the spring-loaded locking mechanism consistently functioned from the beginning of live-fire drills to the end.
  • Functionality Excellent (5/5): The excellent function of the QD Sling Loop was in its ability to use the tactile feel and control of the fingertips to manipulate the locking mechanism vice the traditional design of a center button-press locking mechanism that necessitated the thumb to remove. By changing the design to applying pressure on the sides of the mechanism, it gave the user more leverage to lock/unlock the QD Sling Loop from its mounting point. This approach in design is unique to Strike Industries and found nowhere else on the market at this time.
  • Weight Good (4/5): With a weight of just 0.8 ounces per QD Sling Loop, the overall weight of each unit was lightweight for its intended purpose and really unnoticeable in comparison to the weight of the overall rifle. In comparison, the QD sling swivels from Magpul (1.6 ounces), UTG (0.8 ounces), and the generic 1.25” QD Sling Swivel (1.6 ounces) all reflect that legacy designs utilized a denser base metal and thus were slightly bulkier and heavier to achieve approx. the same load weight. As a consequence, the QD Sling Loop by Strike Industries is one of the lighter variants of the accessory currently available.

Overall Rating – Good (21/25)

Product Link: https://www.strikeindustries.com/shop/strike-industries-quick-detach-sling-loop.html

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.

 

CED7000 Electronic Shot Timer: The Right Tool for the Right Job

This article has been updated with feedback from the manufacturer. It includes corrections to funcationality and durability. 

The importance of timing, in any competitive training, cannot be over-emphasized. Without understanding where you are, you can never know what you need to do to improve.

IMG_3947Regardless if your preference is in the competition shooting sports, tactical, or defense—the use of an electronic timing device is as important as the ammo that feeds the gun, or batteries that power the optics. Introduced in 2006, the Competitive Edge Dynamic (CED) 7000 Shot Timer remains one of the top chosen timers in the industry. It accommodates a broad array of shooting styles and training modes that ensure consistently fast, reliable, and accurate timing to track your performance.

The CED7000 is like many of its competitors; a full-feature, audio-detection shot timer that can be worn in a number of configurations or positions. CED offers a full line of support accessories that complement the CED7000 to include; “big shot” display board, carry holsters, and colored cases. However, unlike any of the other leading shot timer on the market, the CED7000 is smaller than (most) modern smartphone (actually measuring 3.9″ x 1.8″ x 0.7″) and weighs just as little. Combined with its internal lithium rechargeable battery, this translates to hours of range time without worrying about the shot timer’s size or where to position it during stages.

By the numbers, the CED7000 comes with a two-year warranty and offers a host of features:

Nine different modes:

  • Range Officer Mode (a mode expressly for ROs)
  • “Silent” Operation (for Cowboy shooting)
  • Repetitive (for “turning” target systems)
  • Comstock
  • Combined Comstock
  • “Spy” Mode (good for a 2nd RO to use as a backup timer)
  • Stop Watch
  • Countdown
  • Alarm Clock

Four different Par Time settings:

  • Single
  • Custom
  • Automatic
  • Multi-Par (Up to 11 Par times)

Fixed (3 second), Random (2-5 second), Instant, or Custom time delay

Adjustable microphone sensitivity, shot filter, and buzzer volume

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Average (3/5): $119 – $129. In comparison to the current market of available shot timers, the CED7000 is reasonably priced. Occasionally, an online coupon or discount code is available for some of the larger distributors to further lower the cost. For an additional $10 you can get either the chrome or “tactical” model with the RF emitter pre-installed for the CED “big shot” board.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): At 80 grams or 2.9 ounces, the CED7000 is amazingly light, and if worn by a neck lanyard throughout the day, its weight is hardly notable. Its 110db+, 2500hz audio chirp is clear and very distinct. The only notable negative mark here is the small size of the LCD screen makes the corresponding times and other readings smaller than it would appear on other shot timers. The LCD does illuminate whenever a reading or entry is made, which aids low-light/no-light training greatly, then automatically turns the illumination off after 30 seconds of inactivity.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The exterior housing of the CED7000 is a commercial-grade plastic, and with the add-on silicone protective case and screen shield, the most questionable part of the CED7000’s design is the connection point between the rechargeable battery and the AC power cable. CED responded saying that despite 100,000 units sold since launch, they have never had a single issue in this regard, and less than 0.02% returns for failure of the power adapter.  CED does offer a subsequent battery exchange service that will likely address any potential issue, or when the rechargeable battery no longer maintains a sufficient charge. It should be noted CED has also only had a 1% return rate for button wear.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): And to be clear, the only reason the CED7000 did not make higher marks for Funcationality was because while it has a tremendous number of modes and features, navigating through them is limited to four buttons and a directional toggle. The consumer really needs to be familiar with how to navigate through the menus and change the settings, or find one they consistently want to use and leave it alone. The CED7000’s ability to adjust sensitivity and mitigate other shooters on the range, or echo is also a plus.
  • Weight – Excellent (5/5): As stated, the CED7000 is amazingly light and compact. This earns the shot timer solid marks in comparison to other market shot timers that can weigh upwards of three times in weight, and almost as much in size—yet still have the same functionality.

Overall Rating – Very Good (21/25)

Competitive Edge Dynamic 7000 Shot Timer: https://www.cedhk.com/ced7000-shot-timer

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.

Black Scorpion N3 Package: Everything Needed for Competition

Offering their own rigid competition belt and magazine holsters, Black Scorpion Outdoor Gear has several combination packages that can outfit any shooter for IDPA or USPSA matches. These packages vary between the Combo Rig N3 and more advanced setups.

The Combo Rig N3 is the base combination package offered by Black Scorpion that includes the new Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt and four Storm Grand Master magazine holsters. The belt is similar to other dedicated competition belt styles in that it is a two-belt system consisting of a rigid outer belt and a soft nylon inner belt.

The outer belt is made with a 5mm High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) core that gives shooters a rigid platform by which to hang pouches or accessories. The inside is lined with (male) hook-and-loop to join to the corresponding field on the inner belt to provide a solid platform on which to hang holsters and accessories. Accompanying the outer belt is a logoized belt keeper.

The inner belt is made from 2mm HDPE to give a balance between a flexible belt with some rigidity by which shooters can use for regular wear during a day on the range, or in-between stages. The outside is lined with (female) hook-and-loop that joins with the corresponding field on the outer belt.

IMG_8710

Intended for right-hand shooters, and accompanying the Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt in the N3 package, are four Storm Grand Master magazine holsters. They are available in single or double-stack versions and made from a durable polymer molding. Hardware in the holsters are stainless steel for added strength, and the angle of the holster can be 360-degree customizable. Tension on each magazine can be adjusted with the newly designed spring system for improved release during the draw.

Belt Specifications:

  • M (32″ to 34″)
  • L (34″ to 36″)
  • XL (38″ to 40″)
  • XXL (42″ to 44″)

The Black Scorpion Combo Rig N3 only comes in Black, and has a lifetime warranty. Also featured is a Apparition kydex holster by Spectre Holsters, but not considered in part of this review.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostExcellent (5/5): Currently priced at $139.99, the Combo N3 package is still significantly priced below what each individual item would cost (belt-$47.99, mag holster $34.99/ea.) from Black Scorpion so there is immediate cost savings. However, in comparison to other vendors offering a similar setup, such as by Double Alpha ($170, holster dependent), Black Scorpion is still a better value for a full setup. Even when considered just as its base components, the belt alone is still under the price of its competitors, such as Double Alpha’s Premium Belt ($54), the CR “Speed” Belt ($49) from Shooter’s Connection, or Tuff Product’s Surefit Competition Belt ($49).
  • Comfort Good (4/5): As a whole, the two-part system made wearing a pistol and magazines very comfortable. The rigid HDPE core of the outer belt supported a large percentage of the overall weight with/without fully-loaded magazines, while the hook-and-loop sections between the inner and outer belts helped ensure no excessive movement of attached items. Worn as just a general use belt, the inner belt was flexible enough to be both comfortable and functionable. The adjustable springs and hardware to the Storm magazine holsters made each draw very smooth and consistent, and allowed for customized tension to each magazine at any location around the belt.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): In comparison to its competitors, the Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt has important elements in durability that others did not. Right out of the box there were no loose/excessive threads, and the amount of material along the outer belt edge was even and noticeably larger in surface area than other competition belts. This translates to longer use in the repetitive action of peeling the outer belt off of the inner belt, and less chance of separation between the belts and hook-and-loop sections. While the Storm magazine holsters themselves were made from a high-density polymer, it is likely the hardware or threads could be the weakest point in the design over the long-term, and given continual use. It would be nice if the vendor offered a replacement parts kit for the hardware or the front/back plate to further support its overall product line in the event of cross-threading.
  • Functionality Average (3/5): Overall the functionality of the Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt was pretty straightforward. The two-part system held enough rigidity to maintain its shape, with minimal warping (despite the weight of loaded magazines and holstered weapon). The Storm holsters themselves provided a great deal of functionality enabling the approach angle for the draw to be 360-degree customizable. The one-piece belt loop of the Storm holsters were very tight in relation to threading the outer belt through them, resulting in some separation of the hook-and-loop/thread at the outer belt’s tip. It remained uncertain if prolonged usage would result in further separation, or if the overall stitching will hold. It was noted that other Black Scorpion magazine holsters allowed for full disassembly/reassembly directly onto the belt, which would have avoided the issue on the Storm holsters.
  • Weight Average (3/5): At approximately 2.15 pounds total, the overall Combo Rig N3 was amazingly light considering the amount of materials. The use of the polymer core in the outer belt added some weight, but not significantly more than other market alternatives. The bulk of the weight stems from the Storm magazine holsters, which weighed approximately 5 ounces (without magazine) each. In comparison, the weight of the Combo Rig N3 was similar to that of other setups, such as a Double Alpha belt with Racer magazine pouches (approx. 2 pounds).

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.blackscorpiongear.com/collections/combination-sets/products/combo-rig-n3-1-competition-belt-4-pouches-storm-grand-master

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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