The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

New Products – Issue 35

High-magnification variable-power scopes are often huge, especially when they have a front focal plane reticle. The latest offering in the Vudu line from EOTech reduces this long footprint into something a bit more manageable; this is particularly important with a smaller rifle or those who use a clip-on thermal or night vision device. The new Vudu 5-25x50mm Super Short is just over 11 inches long,making it one of the shortest magnified optics of its kind. It’s a first focal plane, illuminated optic featuring locking turrets with EOTech EZ Chek zero stops, with 0.1-mil clicks. EOTech will offer the Super Short with two reticle patterns initially when it ships to dealers this spring.

Make: EOTech
Model: Vudu Super Short 5-25x
Tube Size: 34 mm
Focal Plane: First Focal Plane
MSRP: $1,999 to $2,199

SALEWA mountain trainer

Steep and rocky on your horizon? Salewa loaded its new Mountain Trainer Mid Leather hikers with serious alpine chops. The boot features a full-grain leather lining that breaks-in and molds to your foot like only a leather boot can. The mid-height cut offers scrambling protection and the Vibram Lynx C soles give talon-like grip on scratchy paths, and still sheds mud and dirt on tamer terrain. The soles are stiffer than your average hiker, providing a lot more stiffness and climbing efficiency, and the ankle is tuned for descents with its notched Achilles area. Like a climbing shoe, the lacing system goes all the way to the toe for precise fit and feel up front. Salewa is so confident you’ll like these boots, they offer a blister-free guarantee.

Make: Salewa
Model: Mountain Trainer Mid Leather
Lining: Full grain leather
Upper: Full rubber rand with 1.8mm Nubuk leather
MSRP: $270

SUREFIRE Optimized Bolt Carrier Group

SureFire’s new Optimized Bolt Carrier group is a drop-in reliability upgrade for any AR-15 pattern rifle. Jim Sullivan, the guy who made Eugene Stoner’s gas system work in the AR-15, applied decades of hindsight to the BCG to develop the concept for the OBC … which SureFire now brings to reality. There’s quite a bit going on here, and we’re going to have an in-depth look at the system in an upcoming issue, but here’s the big blue arrows description: The system uses new bolt carrier geometry, a rebounding counterweight and redesigned gas key, a shorter buffer, a new buffer spring, and some other voodoo to slow the BCG and increase the time the system has to strip and load the next round. Aside from improved reliability, the OBC reduces wear and increases the service life of the host rifle. It also increases controllability of full-auto ARs by smoothing and slowing the rate of fire by about 30 percent.

Make: SureFire
Model: Optimized Bolt Carrier Group
MSRP: $399


Tools for tuning and cleaning AR-15s have become quite popular in recent years, but few are as small as the AR Key. Almost every part of this laser-cut stainless steel one-piece functions to clean out the carbon buildup in your rifle, with six scrapers to scrub all surfaces of an AR bolt and bolt carrier group. It also has an integrated ¼-inch hex bit, a bottle opener, and a key ring slot. The AR Key’s profile is based on a common car key, making it a compact tool that can be carried on a keychain or in a range bag without taking up nearly as much space as more conventional multi-tools. Made in the USA.

Make: Guardian Defense Inc.
Model: AR Key
DIMENSIONS: 3.625 by 1.25 inches
MSRP: $35


Kempter Kustoms is a sibling-run business in Alabama that — in addition to crafting handmade knives and custom guitars — produces trailer hitch covers that depict everything from comic book icons to college logos. The covers shown here are from Kempter’s three popular lineups: Punisher, Spartan, and Military. Each series has a wide variety of options, from different colors to more intricate details (such as the Stars and Stripes or the Thin Blue Line). Each cover is laser cut from 3/16-inch-thick steel, welded onto custom-made tubing, then powdercoated. They fit 2-inch receivers. Made in the USA.

Make: Kempter Kustoms
Model: Assorted Punisher, Spartan, and 101st Airborne trailer hitch covers
MSRP: Starting at $40 each


Founded by veterans, Ranger Proof Swag is a relatively new company that’s making a name for itself by putting out quality U.S.-made products. For example, the Marsh Rifle Sling is an adjustable two-point sling that uses 1.5-inch-wide nylon designed to stay where you need it to be. It shouldn’t get tangled up while distributing weight evenly. If you’re looking for a skinnier version, the Kapp Rifle Sling might just be the one. Though the webbing is an inch wide, it’s designed not to roll or twist. Plus, it’s friction adjustment system lets you loosen or tighten the two-point sling quickly without leaving behind a tail of webbing.

Make: Ranger Proof Swag
Model: Kapp Rifle Sling, Marsh Rifle Sling
MSRP: $70 to $88 each


Zero Tolerance’s 0055 caught our eye because it features a “hidden” flipper tab called the SLT, an innovative design from custom knifemaker Gus T. Cecchini. Rather than a large tab protruding from the blade’s tang like a dorsal fin, the 0055’s SLT is more like a tiny rounded lever that sits almost unnoticed at the top of the handle. The knife flicks open once the SLT is pulled back completely, feeling much like a two-stage AR-15 trigger. Once the 3.75-inch S35VN stainless steel blade deploys, the tab disappears into the 3D-machined framelock handle. The 8.75-inch-long knife comes with a reversible titanium pocket clip for righties and lefties. Made in the USA.

Make: Zero Tolerance Knives
Model: 0055
MSRP: $275


Whether hunting for some whitetail, spotting for your sniper team, or peeping on that hot neighbor down the street, a pair of binoculars can verify you’ve identified the correct target. Unfortunately, a pair of high-quality optics can sometimes cost more than your rifle itself. Fortunately, Cabela’s Intensity HD 12×50 Binoculars offers solid performance in the field for a reasonable price tag. The multi-coated lenses provide excellent clarity in low light and against high-contrast backgrounds. Plus, the binos are shockproof, fogproof, and IPX7 waterproof (meaning it can be submerged up to a meter for 30 minutes). The chassis is made of a magnesium alloy, rather than aluminum, increasing toughness while decreasing weight. This model comes with lens covers and a padded neck strap.

Make: Cabela’s
Model: Intensity HD 12×50 Binoculars
MSRP: $230


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, wool is mother nature’s super fabric. It’s exceptional at insulating and can even keep you warm while drenched in water or sweat — unlike cotton, which can kill you if it gets soaking wet in freezing conditions. In balmy weather, it breathes well and is even moisture wicking, despite the common myth that you should only wear wool when it’s cold. Plus, it’s naturally odor resistant. These reasons and more make the StrongCore Merino Pocket Tee a kickass base layer during frigid months and a performance T-shirt disguised as a casual top in milder conditions. While wool’s only disadvantage is that it doesn’t last as long as other materials, this shirt’s merino wool is spun around a strong nylon fiber to increase durability. There might be some sticker shock if you’re used to buying three-packs of Hanes shirts, but it’s worth it if you have the scratch.

Make: Western Rise
Model: StrongCore Merino Pocket Tee
MSRP: $96


We all know that guy. You know, the one whose first AR build looks mall-ninja killer, sporting a gadget-laden quad-rail with barely enough room left to grip it. But, it doesn’t take long until the jagged edges of the Picatinny rails on all four sides cheese-grates his hand. Fortunately, plenty of companies now make fore-ends that offer both comfortability and customization. The 14.5-Inch 3RGS Handguard from Brothers & Arms USA is one good example. With a single Pic rail at the top, this handguard features a patent-pending design with a smooth ergonomic body and — depending on which system you pick — multiple M-LOK or KeyMod-compatible attachment points, so you can affix the accessories you want where you want. The handguard comes with a proprietary barrel nut and has a 1.36-inch diameter.

Make: Brothers & Arms USA
Model: 14.5 3RGS Handguard
Colors: Black
MSRP: $230


Not all of us are lucky enough to have a garage with a workbench and cabinets filled with tools. Some of us have to get by cleaning, modifying, and repairing our guns using C-clamps and a MultiTasker at the kitchen table. Enter the Ultra Gun Vise from Tipton. This portable fixture is capable of all sorts of duties, thanks to its modularity and well-thought-out features. The center magwell fits AR-style guns while the independently adjustable sliding clamps hold everything from handguns and break-open rifles to crossbows and compound bows. Its four legs can be lowered or raised separately, helping you level your gun when mounting a scope. Plus, its accessory trays are both moveable and completely removable.

Make: Tipton
Model: Ultra Gun Vise
MSRP: $180


When it’s possible, we prefer to shoot without gloves on. The more of our hands on the gun, the more control we’ll have. But sometimes conditions call for some paw protection. Whether it’s a little chilly out or you’re attending an advanced tactical course with a high round count that heats up your fore-end, a good pair of shooting gloves can keep your digits safe while also letting you maintain a solid grip on your firearm. Mechanix Wear recently redesigned its Specialty 0.5mm High-Dexterity Shooting Gloves to offer even more precision and protection. Each trigger finger has anatomical flex inserts while the working side of the gloves features AX-Suede that’s just a half-millimeter thin, providing incredible dexterity and improved sensitivity over thicker materials. Plus, the TrekDry performance fabric on the backside helps cool your hands when the temps get milder.

Make: Mechanix Wear
Model: Specialty 0.5mm High-Dexterity Shooting Gloves
MSRP: $28

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