Vortex Strikefire Review

Well, I’ve finally put this optic through its’ paces and it’s still going strong.   Here’s what I’ve found…
I have used Aimpoints, Trijicons, and EOTechs extensively at work and also owned several ‘budget friendly’ red dots so I have a pretty broad base of red dot optic/holographic optic experience to reference when I was evaluating the Vortex.

Durability:  I ran a total of 900 rounds on 4 different trips to the range through my AR using this optic.  I shot it in the pouring rain, 0 degree temperatures, and two more shooter friendly occasions (60-80 degrees and sunny).   This optic always turned on/off positively, never fogged up, and never lost zero.   On that note, I mounted it using the “Extra High Mount” (as they call it) which allows for co-witnessing with most standard sights.  I used a very small amount of blue loctite on the screws when mounting and I took the optic off and re-mounted it twice to see if it would maintain zero—it did.  I dropped the rifle on its’ side a few times from arms length; still maintained zero.   While this isn’t exactly military torture testing, it proved durable enough for the type of use the average shooter would put it through.

Red Dot:  This has the most ‘crisp’ dot I’ve seen on a red-dot under $200.   It is an adjustable 4 MOA dot and that seemed to be true in my testing.  On the testing rifle (PSA heavy 16” mid-length with free float rail; this is the most accurate AR I personally own…) I was able to achieve 3” groups at 100m using this optic and Hornady BTHP 75gr TAP ammo.   With Silver Bear 62gr HPs I had several 4” groups.   So, with a 4 MOA dot, that’s about as good as it gets.    The dot is adjustable with half MOA clicks.   The optic comes with a screw in 2x magnifier, but I didn’t find that it helped my accuracy at distance.   A 4 MOA dot magnified is still 4 MOA after all….

Ergos:  Overall I found them to be good.  The adjustment buttons are small but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it makes them less likely to be bumped.  If I could design an optic, I’d have the power button in a different location though.    I’d have it maybe on top or more to the front away from the other controls.  Under stress in low light conditions it may be difficult to turn on as it is currently configured….
The #1 thing I would change about this optic is the flip up lens covers.  I would make them clear.   There’s really no reason to have black covers in my opinion.   Clear flip lenses allow you to shoot without activating the covers, should you be pressed for time.  This is a very real possibility in a home defense type of situation.    Obviously, you could change these out and I very likely will do so.

Bottom Line: I would (and have) recommend this optic for someone looking for a quality red dot under $200.  I picked this one up for $140 with shipping; at that price it’s a great value.   The main competitior in this price range would be the Lucid HD7 (http://gunreviewguy.blogspot.com/2012/01/lucid-hd7-red-dot-optic.html) which is another red dot that I’ve had very good results using.    The big advantage the Lucid offers over the Vortex is more reticle options, but the dot on the Vortex is crisper, no doubt about it.    The Lucid also seems to have a more robust mount, but I haven’t had any issues with the Vortex so that may just be my perception.   That said, the Vortex Strikefire is a standard 30mm tube so it has a greater variety of mounting options; it’s not just limited to the AR market.
Here’s some more photos of the Vortex as tested:

Glock 22 Generation 4 Review

Just passed the 1100 round mark with my Gen4 Glock 22 and think I have enough experience with it to write up a full review. Here goes…

Overall Impressions: As with all Glocks, you’re either going to love the way it feels in your hand or hate it mostly due to the grip angle. I happen to love it. One of the biggest reasons for the introduction of the Gen4 model Glocks was the very frequent complaint about the size of the grip for shooters with small hands. I have huge hands and go back and forth on which grip size (no insert or medium insert) I prefer. That said, every female shooter that has put any rounds through this gun prefers it with no backstraps FWIW. As always, each shooter is different and your mileage may vary…. I’m a big fan of the grip surface though; I can’t see any need for grip tape or stippling on the Gen4 guns at all. I think Glock got it right there.

Reliability: I don’t run torture tests on my guns since they’re mine and I had to pay for them! I purchased the gun, polished all the internals ($0.25 trigger job), and gave it a good cleaning with CLP.
All range trips have been between 100-400 round sessions with cleaning/lubrication performed after shooting. This gun has run flawlessly, 0 malfunctions of any kind. I’ve run Blazer aluminum cased FMJ 180gr, Remington Nickel-Plated 165gr & 180gr FMJ, Federal 180gr FMJ, and Federal HST 165gr JHP rounds through this gun. All have positively ejected at the 3-4 o’clock position with no rounds to the face as some have experienced with the 9mm Gen4 Glocks. All 1100 rounds were fired with a Streamlight TRL2 attached to the gun. I did that to test whether or not Glock’s Gen3 22 w/light issues were resolved and it seems they have been. Here’s a video of me shooting it (not the best video but you can see the ejection pattern; using Blazer 180gr here…):


Shooting/Accuracy: I think the design of the Glock pistol really shines with the 40S&W round. The low bore axis combined with the grip angle make this famously ‘snappy’ round very manageable. Shooting relatively rapidly (similar speed to the video) I was able to keep all rounds in my 4” target at 10 meters. That is good enough for me for my defensive handguns with practice loads. I rarely shoot slow, controlled groups at 25m to test accuracy as I don’t consider it very relevant to defensive handgun shooting. That said, I’m sure this gun is capable of producing 2-3” groups on a rest at 25 meters; that said I haven’t confirmed this yet.

Durability: Well, Glocks are famous for their durability and I expect this gun to be no different. Glock claims one of the advantages of the Gen4 guns is the ‘improved’ recoil spring is that it is rated to last at least 5,000 rounds (as opposed to the 3,000 of the Gen3 guns). I’ve put about 7,000 rounds through one of my Gen3 17s and it is still running a factory spring with 0 malfunctions so I expect this gun to go beyond the 5K mark with no issues but time will tell.

My gun happens to have been produced (12/11) after Glock started using their new ‘nitriting’ process on the finish of their guns. So far, so good. I’ve carried this gun and done hundreds of holster presentations (perhaps more…) and the finish looks brand new.

Maintenance: Like all Glocks maintenance is a breeze. I did a detail strip of the gun yesterday just to see how dirty the gun was after going over the 1K mark. The gun was still very clean with only minor carbon deposits in the firing pin channel. No doubt in my mind that this gun could go a lot longer with very minimal cleaning and lubrication but I don’t plan on testing that.

Cost: In most locations, the Gen4 guns are going for about $40-50 more than their Gen3 counterparts coming in around $550. For most shooters the biggest difference will be the grip size. If you like the smaller grip, the Gen4 is probably the way to go. If not, it’s probably a toss up. The biggest cost consideration of this gun will probably be ammo but deals can be had on the 40S&W rounds if you keep a lookout on the internet; and reloading is the most economical way to go.

Final Thoughts: I love this gun. 0 malfunctions, accurate, durable, easy to clean… what’s not to like? This gun has made it onto my nightstand as my primary home defense handgun. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t have absolute confidence in the gun.
To view the entire review and see more photos:

What Oil Do I Use For My Gun

It is very common to see the question pop up. What to use for gun oil? What works best? I can easily tell you that I am not going to be able to answer your question about what works best. The is you desision. I can on the other hand give you a simple list of things you might want to try.

Why do I need to Lubricate?
Lubricating your gun is like oil in your car. It needs it to perform at the highest level. You dont want to go without putting oil on your gun. Metal to metal is never a good thing. Not only do you want your weapon to perform better but you need to have something to make sure it doesn’t rust. This is a major problem when using a lot of homemade products for gun oil. You can get the lubrication so the metal doesn’t grind together, but you never get the corrosion resistant formula you need to protect your weapon.

Who Makes Gun Oil?
There are many companies that specialize in making specific oils for guns and even more who just make oil for everything. We reccomend that you use a oil that is strictly made for guns. This ensures that the product is going to be corrosion resistant and also work as a lubrication to the internal parts of the gun. Try to stay away from the generic oil.

Brand Name Gun Oil:
Ezzox - is a total gun-care system with one product for all types of guns, including Black Powder and Bow Cams. A fine black powder cleaner as it will not affect seasoning of a muzzle loader bore.
Rem Oil – Remington Rem Oil is the most versatile gun oil you can buy. Cleans dirt and grime from exposed metal surfaces while displacing invisible moisture from metal pores. Also protects internal and external metal parts from rust and corrosion. Exclusive Teflon formula provides a thin, long-lasting film that keeps actions working smoothly by reducing metal-to-metal wear.
Hoppes #9 – Hoppe’s No. 9 remains the most widely used remover of powder, lead, metal fouling and rust available. The formula penetrates deep and rapidly for faster, easier cleaning jobs. Ultrapotent, safe and easy to use. A worldwide favorite.

Can I Use Motor Oil?
To answer the question, yes. Is it going to help prevent your gun from corrosion? No, it is not made to. I tend to stay away from this type of oil.

What About WD-40?
NO! This is a generic oil that you use for everything. It has a nasty yellow film once it dries and tends to get sticky. This of course doesn’t help the internal parts of the gun.

I am not the worldest expert on gun oil, but I do know from experiance what has worked for me.