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Pelican 1650 Protector with EZ Click: Keeping Things Safe and Organized

Intended as a means to transport your valuable gear, firearms, or anything that needs to be protected – the 1650 Protector Case is part of Pelican’s Protector series that provides significant storage, and maximum padding. Pelican has long-established itself as the leader in protective hard cases that come in varying dimensions to meet any mission need. The 1650 now comes available with the newly released option of adding an EZ Click MOLLE Panel to the lid and thereby expand on the case’s storage and function.

1650 Protector Case

As with all Pelican cases, the 1650 Protector Case is made from Polypropylene to deliver a watertight, crushproof, and dustproof case that provides a significant amount of external protection and stackabiliy. The 1650 Protector Case itself has six locking and four support cleats designed on the bottom to interlock onto the lid’s design and reinforce its stacking strength.

Exterior 

With an overall exterior dimension of 31.59” (L) x 20.47” (H) x 12.45” (W), the 1650’s exterior is comprised of Pelican’s traditional open-cell polymer construction for maximum strength and an impact resistant shell.

The 1650 Protector Case includes seven C-clamp throw latches that secure the lid to the bottom. In addition, there are three double-wide, foldable handles (one on either end, and a third on the side) to aid in picking up and stacking. A collapsible tote handle helps aid in transport of the 1650 when fully loaded.

Several protective features built into the 1650 Protector Case are its stainless-steel padlock protectors, and its one automatic pressure equalization valve.

The 1650 Protector Case has four polyurethane wheels to aid in smooth rolling and easy transport of the case and its fully packed weight.

Interior 

With an interior space of 28.57” (L) x 17.52” (H) x 10.65” (W), the 1650 has an overall internal storage capacity of 3.08 ft³.

A one-piece, rubberized O-ring provides a watertight seal to the interior storage space.

The 1650 Protector Case comes with two layers of open-cell pick-n-pluck foam that is customizable to meet storage needs, in addition to the convoluted lid foam and protective base layer.

Specifications:

The 1650 Protector Case comes in Black (featured), and Desert Tan.

Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/product/cases/protector/1650

EZ-Click MOLLE Panel

Intended to easily attach into anchor points inside the lid of select Pelican Protector cases, the EZ-Click™ MOLLE Panel is new for 2021 and intended to augment other case accessories.

Made from the same rigid Polypropylene as Pelican’s hard cases, the EZ-Click MOLLE Panel has the spaced, grid pattern needed to mount any pouch, holster, or other accessory using the associated mounting style. The panel has the same performance specifications as a hard case and can withstand temperature variations between 0°F – 140°F.

The six twist-cam locking mechanisms allow for rapid and easy attachment or removal, while also allows for easy access to the rear of the panel for accessory adjustments.

Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/accessory/cases/ez-click-molle-panel/1650mp

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Good (4/5): At $299.95 the 1650 Protector Case is among the larger (and more expensive) firearm hard cases offered by Pelican, shy of its multi-gun weapon lockers. As such, it is one of the larger legacy consumer cases within the Pelican line. Pelican acquired its closest competitor Hardigg in 2017, and as such many of its mid/larger products don’t even have direct peers with the same attention to strength, reinforcing Pelican as a world leader in hard polymer cases. The 1650’s closest peer would be the 3019-12 iSeries case ($266.99) by SKB, or Nanuk’s 965 case ($329.95) given the closest similarity in size and included foam. Given the legacy of Pelican’s performance, the lifetime warranty of its Protector series, and the cost to storage volume ratio – then the 1650 is a very good quality product for its cost. The EZ-Click for the 1650 itself is $59.95, which has only one closest comparator, and that being the 27.25×19 RMP ($122.50) by Grey Man Tactical. But the EZ-Click was still significantly cheaper, with integrated mounting hardware that made it an excellent accessory for the case. Perhaps the only limiting factor for the EZ-Click is that it is only available on so few Pelican cases at the time of this review.
  • Comfort – Average (3/5): At just over 31” in a rough cube design, the 1650 was a bit awkward to pick up, unless using opposing side handles. The third handle in the middle made picking the case up from either of the other two points of contact much more comfortable. As is, once fully loaded with gear or firearms, the 1650 was much heavier than its initial 28.06 pounds, and thus necessitated either being picked up by two people comfortably, or being shifted into the vehicle it was being transported in by the wheels and tote handle. The deep locking cleats provided a secure anchoring point for stacking and gave the overall shell a good amount of added rigidity. The EZ-Click mounting hardware moved smoothly and securely, and gave no hint of inability to support the panel when fully loaded.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): Made from Polyethylene a type of high-density plastic similar to high-density polyethylene, the principle material of the 1650 (and indeed almost all of Pelican’s hard cases) and the EZ-Click was amazingly durable and resistant to shock. The open-cell foam inserts in the case provided added protection to the equipment and firearms contained inside (more so if the user takes the time to cut specific patterns into the one-piece foam for a specific item), but the foam (by design) tore somewhat easily. The case was dragged over rocks, thrown into a truckbed a number of times, and left out in inclement weather (cold/rain) with no detrimental effect to the foam, stored contents (although some surface marring was noted), or moisture penetration.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): From a functional aspect, the 1650 was like all Pelican hard cases – a protective box. Pelican has a large array of products for the consumer, military/LEOs, first responders and more to choose among that best fits their specific needs. While the 1650 was a pretty straight-forward case (it’s a box – it opens, it closes, it has foam for added padding), it really is more left to the imagination of the user for use and to expand on the functionality of the case. Features like the rolling wheels and pressurization valves were essential as part of the design for long-term use, transport, or carrying. The stainless-steel protectors and hinge pins likewise filled an essential aspect of design in that it ensured forced entry (shy of cutting) wasn’t possible. Users could custom cut a pattern or design into the included foam to add protection of the specific contents. The downside is then it had to be specific to that item (unless you make the cut pattern very generalized). Pelican further expanded on the function of its 1650 case by developing the EZ-Click Panel, that allowed for mounting a variety of accessories directly to the lid, rather than in the storage space. The EZ-Click itself was easily removed, configured, and reattached multiple times without any excessive wear on the hardware. Thus, by saving the included lid foam, the end-user had further availability to configure the case per the required needs. It should be further noted that Pelican minimized any potential sag in a fully loaded EZ-Click Panel when mounted to the lid by having evenly spaced anchoring points—but some flex in the panel was experienced. This could be resolved by adding a seventh EZ-Click anchoring point in the middle of the lid rather than only the outer edges. Alternatively, Pelican could consider making the panel more rigid using a blend of material as noted elsewhere in similar panels from Grey Man Tactical.
  • Weight – Average (3/5): For its size, and the volume of Polypropylene material, the 1650 case weighed in at 27 pounds with foam (or 22 pounds w/o foam) and had a storage capacity of 3.08 ft³. This made its bulk slightly cumbersome given its larger dimensions, but the multiple handles and tote handle mitigated that to a manageable degree, and made it easier to pick it up when fully loaded (something to keep in mind, the more you add the heavier it will get). In comparison to the market alternatives noted above, 3019-12 iSeries case (28.62 pounds at 4.06 ft³) by SKB, or Nanuk’s 965 case (25.05 pounds at 4.33 ft³) illustrate the 1650 has a slightly smaller internal storage space as other vendors for a slightly heavier weight ratio, but those alternative designs did not reflect the reinforcement cleats, polymer, and integral hardware attributed to Pelican’s longstanding Protector product line. The EZ-Click Panel for the 1650 itself weighed in at just 2.5 pounds, which would vary in weight as compared to other EZ-Click configurations simply due to variance in dimension and overall volume of polyethylene utilized to produce the MOLLE-compatible panel. The closest comparator to the 1650’s EZ-Click panel would be the 30.25” x 17” RMP from Grey Man Tactical at 2.0 pounds. The minor added weight of the EZ-Click would be directly attributed to the inclusion of mounting hardware and places the overall product within the average range of the current market.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/  

I 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.

Holosun 507C V2: A Robust and Forbidden Optic

The forbidden 507C V2 by Holosun, was the optic that triggered a very short, public legal battle between its parent company, and that of Trijicon who makes the RMR. And while the legal issues were eventually settled; the 507C V2 illustrates how a competitive market, new designs, and robust housing can be made at an inexpensive cost to the consumer—that is, if the competition allows it. Today, while the revised 507C has the “X” designator, the V2 can still occasionally be found in guns stores and private sellers.

Initially released in early 2020, the 507C V2 is designed as a high-quality, open reflex optic for competitive or defensive shooters. It can be mounted to either rifle or handgun for improved cross-compatibility.

The housing of the 507 is made from a single piece of aircraft-grade 7075 T6 Aluminum, giving it a high-degree of shock resistance. All threads and the battery tray are sealed with rubberized O-rings that make the 507 waterproof from moisture. Overall the exterior is in a hard, matte-black anodized finish.

The diode inside the housing is projected on Multi-Coated glass (overall measuring 0.63” (H) x0.91 (L) field of view), and sheltered by the optic’s flared shroud. It projects a Multiple Reticle System via 2MOA dot reticle (intended for pistols), or 32MOA circle (for rifles) based on your needs. The two reticles can thus be combined for best overall application.

Brightness is adjusted by a vertical two-button polymer switch at the front of the optic with 12 levels of intensity (10 for daylight, 2 for Night Vision), while the ON/OFF function is done by press-holding the “+” (ON) or “-“ (OFF). After the litigation between Holosun and Trijicon were settled out of court, the vertical button features of the 507 was changed back to a horizontal configuration.

The CR1632 battery provides approximately 50,000 hours of life on the mid-level (Level 6) intensity and the battery tray itself is accessed via the side of the RDS to facilitate changing power sources while leaving the optic mounted.

The battery is backed up by the 507s Solar Failsafe feature which includes a small solar panel array across the bridge of the optic and sealed in a hardened, clear polymer window. The 507 also includes Holosun’s programmable “Shake Awake” so that after a specified time, if not used the optic automatically powers off, but when jostled (as if picked up or drawn) the optic’s motion sensor immediately powers on.

Specifications:

  • Parallax-free
  • Unlimited Eye Relief
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Adjustment per Click: 1 MOA
  • Storage Temperature: -40℃ to 70℃
  • Working Temperature: -30℃ to 60℃
  • Submersion Rating: IP67

The 507C V2 is only available in in black, but does come in a Red or Green reticle option.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Good (4/5): The current “X” rendition of the 507 has an MSRP of $364.69, which was slightly higher than the V2 cost at release. However, today the V2 can still be found on various web-based distributors, gun stores, and third-party retailers like Amazon for just over $300. Consumers should be wary however as fraudulent copies from China have been identified, and only purchase from trusted dealers. In contrast, the Trijicon RMR can run an average of $500 (based on model), the Deltapoint PRO ($399) by Leupold, and the Vortex Viper ($349). This places the earlier V2 version of the 507 at a good price point amid the market, and the “X2” at a more appropriate (or average) price point.
  • Comfort – Average (3/5): As a compact pistol optic, the 507 field of view was of appropriate (or of average) size and was perfectly sized/weighted for handgun use. The 507 had the necessitating footprint that it could also be mounted to any picatinny rail based on your desired application, or using any number of aftermarket mounting options. For the purpose of this evaluation, it was attached to a G19 for EDC use. The minimal height-over-bore necessitated some adjustment to accommodate for the natural height of the shooter, and suppressor height sights would have given it an appropriate co-witnessing. The variable MOA reticle was easy to pick up in full daylight, and the V2’s side-mounted rubberized intensity switch provided easy, problem-free adjustment with a much more intuitive button position.
  • Durability – Average (3/5): Holosun is known for the moderate durability of its optics, and if anything should ever happen, its Limited Lifetime Warranty provides for a 3-5 year refund in its glass and LED system. But a large degree of durability for the 507 was attributed to its high-grade aluminum and tempered glass. During evaluations there was some noted instances of brass ejecting out and striking the forward-facing glass of the 507, but no evidence of damage to the surface (pitting, chipping, scratches) throughout. During evaluations, the optic did sustain some light superficial scratches to the finish due to contact with hardware or gear, and multiple magazine strikes—but nothing that penetrated to the base layer of metal. The glass remained clear and unobscured throughout trials, and the reticle remained zeroed and clear. It should be noted the 507 did not come with any kind of protective shroud for when not in use.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): From the standpoint of functionality, the 507 did what it needed to do, and did it well (which was consistently help place rounds on target, and maintain a clear/crisp reticle hold). The robust housing, and the optic’s height-over-bore made it easy to pick-up, and locate the reticle during the draw process, while giving a large field of view for sight picture. During the course of evaluation, both reticle dots were tested, and both proved to be bright and clear, even in instances of full direct sunlight. The rubberized vertical switch on the side provided a clear tactile feel when adjusting the optic’s brightness, and the switch’s location on the side made it easy and far more intuitive (as opposed to the current horizontal configuration) to adjust with/without gloves or when turning the unit ON/OFF. The domed angle of the protective shroud ensured gear or other objects contacting the top of the optic deflected away from the glass and front of the housing, and still did not damage the associated solar cells. The programming, specifically the Shake Awake feature, made sure that whenever the pistol was handled the optic was on and ready for use. Although while worn for EDC use, it was noted this sensitivity couldn’t discount normal movement of the torso while worn, so in essence the reticle is ON the entire time as it is carried. While this undoubtedly has an effect on battery life, it was not noted during the course of this evaluation the battery remained sufficiently charged.
  • Weight – Average (3/5): Weighing in at 1.5 ounces, the 507C V2 was lightweight enough that it was not distracting, nor pulled the firearm during recoil. The main body housing was of sufficient strength and thickness that it did not increase the overall unit weight. In comparison, the Trijicon RMR can run an average of 1.17 ounces, the Deltapoint PRO by Leupold is 1.95 ounces, and the Vortex Viper 1.03 ounces w/o rail adaptor all illustrate that the 507 is at an appropriate (or average) weight range within the comparable market of red dot optics currently available.

Overall Rating – Above Average (17/25)

Product Link: https://holosun.com/index/product/detail/id/104.html

I 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.

SB Tactical SBM4: Remaining a Solid Option

Released at SHOT Show in 2019, the SBM4 is one of the original AR pistol braces offered by SB Tactical, and among many along its AR, AK, and shotgun models. The M4 variant features a fixed length pistol brace on a mil-spec buffer tube, and soft rubberized support wings that provide for improved comfort and function for shooters over the first SB15 brace.

As an improvement in design over the first SB15 brace, the SBM4 was intended to be a more comfortable variant, with improved ergonomic forearm support wings and a 1” hook-and-loop strap to secure the brace to the arm. The M4 brace is mounted and fixed on any AR pistol buffer tube (not included with brace).

Fully seated, the M4 has an overall length of 7.2”. Understanding these measurements can become impetrative when determining the overall length of an AR build to meet ATF regulations on AR pistols.

With a wide 2.1” rubberized body, the spine of the M4 also enables an improved cheek weld for the user. This is an improvement over the SB15, and for comparison an improvement over the smaller, thinner, and lighter Magpul CTR buttstock.

The SBM4 is only available in Black (featured) and FDE.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Good (4/5): As one of the more inexpensive braces offered by SB Tactical, the SBM4 has a sticker price of just $99.99. The M4 is also available at secondary sites for approximately $79, with some retailer coupons or sales during holiday’s providing the brace for even a lower cost. Given that SB Tactical is the market leader for firearm braces, there is no direct competitor for comparison to the M4 other than the original SB15 or perhaps the first Sig Brace (neither of which are currently offered). Nearly all other pistol braces within the SB Tactical line (and other vendors) cost more, with a variety of additional features. But for its bare basics approach and simple functional design, the M4 is among the best balance of these with regards to inexpensive cost.
  • Comfort – Average (3/5): The M4 brace is a duality of comfort—one with pliable rubberized support wings that gave the wearer a good base of support to the forearm. This prevented the AR pistol from canting while in use, and the support strap kept the overall brace secured to the arm even with the weight of the firearm held out at full extension to the body. The downside being that the brace itself had a fixed length of pull on the AR pistol buffer tube, and was un-adjustable for either the length of the forearm or against the cheek and thus made it difficult for those with thicker forearms. Elsewhere, the nylon support strap was slightly elastic that made getting a positive/tight bond somewhat difficult, but not unattainable. Internet research showed some aftermarket replacement straps to most SB Tactical braces and the M4 that prevents overlapping or permanent warping of the rubberized plastic while in storage, and the recommendation to the manufacturer would perhaps examine improving or offering alternate straps for improved comfort and function.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The SBM4 was made with an ABS rubberized polymer body that gave it a similar profile to a A2-style stock or the newer SBA4, but was less rigid and provided a very stable platform for a positive cheek weld due to the lock with the buffer tube. The forearm support sides also had sufficient flex to contour around the arm without strain or cracking. Because of the polymer material, perhaps the only risk to the durability of the brace itself would be from extended exposure to UV (i.e. sun) light that has been known to make ABS plastics brittle over time.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): The SBM4’s function as an AR pistol brace was pretty straightforward, however installation on a pistol buffer tube did prove difficult (let alone removal) given the tight tolerances and the friction resistance of the ABS material. The upside is that when on, the M4 was very solid. Fit and function did as intended, with the brace securely attaching to the forearm and providing some measurable distance (similar to a collapsed A2 stock) for a cheek weld. THose with thicker forearms may experience some difficulty in getting a full fit of the M4’s side wings, but not to the point of being detrimental to a secure fit. The only notable negative aspect from a functional point (aside from the lack of adjustability as discussed in Comfort) was an ensuing gap at the back end of the M4 brace where the AR pistol buffer tube did not fully extend. A suggestion here to SB Tactical would be to consider developing some type of endcap or utilize the space as an impromptu storage space like the Magpul grip modules.
  • Weight – Good (4/5): Weighing in at 8.04 ounces (w/o buffer tube) the SBM4 is still one of the mid-weight braces offered by SB Tactical, and most likely attributed to the sheer volume of ABS polymer. In comparison, the heaviest AR pistol brace in the SB line is the SBPDW (18.14 ounces) while others, such as the SBM47 (15.5 ounces), SBA3 (6.75 ounces), and SBA4 (10 ounces) demonstrate the weight of the SBM4 is directly in the middle of other AR pistol braces.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.sb-tactical.com/product/sbm4/

***Editor’s Note: The history and ruling of AR/AK pistol braces is a sordid one. From the initial ATF ruling in 2014the “clarification” letter by Max Kingery (then-acting Chief of Firearms Technology Criminal Branch) in 2015, and a second ATF ruling in 2017, and the most recent ATF clarification in 2019 the regulation agency has struggled to provide a clear ruling on the application of such devices. Specifically shouldering, the topic of proper use of braces has caused more internet arguments among “internet lawyers”. Currently ATF guidance as of 2019 states as follows:

“To the extent the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold; that incidental, sporadic, or situational ‘use’ of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute a ‘redesign,’ such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATF’s interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.”

As such, Per the ATF the use of an AR/AK pistol brace comes down to intent. Thus, accidental or “sporadic” shouldering of an AR pistol brace is not illegal. When consistently shouldered however, it demonstrates the intent to subvert regulations on SBRs by utilizing the AR pistol and brace as an impromptu work-around (and thus illegal). The same is said by adding accessories intended for precise accuracy as found with an SBR, such as scopes or utilizing irons. During the course of evaluations, any shouldering of the SBA3 was purely accidental, as efforts are made to test the brace within various range iterations to the extent of design, while still adhering to ATF regulations.

I 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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