Review Posted: Vortex Venom 5-25: Quality Glass for Every Long-Distance Shooter

Launched in early 2021, the Venom 5-25×56 FFP from Votex brings together basic and intuitive features shooters desire for moderate long-distance shooting, and rapid adjustment between variable distances to ensure consecutive shots on target. […]

T+24: Quick Notes for the Laymen on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

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Clear the Jam: Knowing the Difference Between Immedate Action and Remedial

Knowing what to do when your rifle goes down can be critical to not only your own safety and that of others, but success of the mission. So rather than standing there when you hear click and no bank – know what needs to be done and integrate this into your training regimen.

Review Posted: Crye JPC 2.0: Lightweight, Modular, and Everything You’d Need

Crye is perhaps one of the most synonymous names in the tactical nylon industry, and among its longer-lasting product lines is the Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC). In 2015 the JPC was updated as […]

News: ATF Plans Forced Confiscation of FRTs

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Update: SSE Begins Transition to ‘High Ground Media’

This spring Saint Louis Shooting Enthusiasts will begin shifting into a platform that is more appealing to the broader 2A community, to include those outside the MO/IL bi-state region. Enter ‘High Ground […]

Review Posted: RMA 1155 Ballistic Plate: Quality Protection at an Affordable Price

RMA Armament counts among its products the 1155 Model Hard Body Armor, an NIJ Certified Level IV (NIJ 0101.06)ceramic plate that can withstand most of today’s common threats.

Review Posted: Safariland Liberator HP 2.0: Multi-Use Earpro for Range Life

Released in early 2021, the Liberator HP 2.0 from Safariland is the latest electronic hearing protection offered by a company with an established history in tactical gear and accessories.

Review Posted: Mantis Laser Training Academy: Keep Your Skills Sharp

The dry-fire Laser Training Academy by Mantis can allow the individual to continue training and work complex drills regardless on the availability of ammunition. 

Review Posted: T3 Gear Day Rig: Simple, Effective

Released in 2021 as a minimalist chest rig for a day out on the range, the Day Rig by T3 Gear is for any shooter in competition, on the range for a day, or looking just for something to carry the essentials.


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Battle Board Armband 4.0: Always at Hand

Developed by Battle Board and released in mid-2022, the Armband 4.0 is the latest iteration of personal support gear intending to make it easier for individuals keep track of essential data, and have it readily at hand.

Made predominantly from 500D Cordura nylon, the Armband 4.0 has an overall size of 6.5” (H) x 9.5” (W) and features a 3.25” x 5.25” window made from a transparent polycarbonate for improved longevity. A standard 3×4 index card can be slid underneath and a wax pen can be used for writing. The Armband 4.0 did include a black dry-erase pen, although end-users can select a writing implement at the time of ordering.

On the exterior of the window are corner-retention tabs that can attach an index card to the outside of the armband for standard writing.

The interior of the Armband 4.0 includes an open-cell spacer pad that is secured via nylon mesh for breathability and airflow while worn.

The Armband 4.0 is secured via a hook-and-loop tab, which in turn uses a custom, flat braided elastic nylon band using Invista material and color-matched to the Armband 4.0 to form the cinch strap that is adjusted for a desired fit.

The Armband 4.0 is available in Multicam (featured), Coyote, Black, Ranger Green, and eight other popular color combinations.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): With its list price of $39.95; the Armband 4.0 has a simplistic design that allows the wearer to maintain notes, diagrams, and other important information within arms distance. The material used is Cordura nylon (for the arm band) and  polycarbonate plastic (for the window) that are both known for their flexibility and light overall weight. The closest market alternatives would be the Tactical Notebook Cover ($38.98) from Combat Quarterback, or the Tactical QB Sleeve-Arm DOPE Card Holder ($29.99) by Raine Tactical Gear, the Armboard ($59.99) by RE Factor, or the Tactical Arm Band ($62.99) by Tactical Assault Gear. The simplistic design, balance of function, and overall material all place the Armband 4.0 at a good price amid the current market.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, when the Armband 4.0 was worn over the forearm it proved to have a good level of comfort due in large part to the flexibility of the material, and the open-cell foam pad on the interior that prevented chafe against exposed skin. The 500D Cordura was an appropriate (or average) denier of nylon that was common to many tactical accessories on the current market. This allotted for a good degree of flexibility in the material to contour around the arm and with its associated movements. When worn over a jacket or sleeve, the Armband 4.0 still was able to retain a solid position, though there was significantly less nylon (para) cord material by which to secure the hook-and-loop tab that went over the arm. The included Lumocolor pen wrote smoothly and consistently over the clear polycarbonate window, and the ink did not smear or rub off unless desired.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): From a durability aspect, the Armband 4.0’s 500D Cordura held a good level of flexibility so as to be readily available when needed, and still be contoured around the arm when not in use. The nylon material also had large curves in design that avoided hard edges or corners being formed like other similar accessories. Reinforcement/bartack stitching was noted at the corner of hook-and-loop (female) sections, and reinforcing the interior padding that prevented incidental curling or separation from use. Single line stitching was used to connect the various elements to the single sheet of Cordura nylon fabric; this included the polycarbonate window and tape fabric to round off/seal edges. Traditionally, as similar transparent polycarbonate materials age (due to UV exposure or general use) it can cloud, turn color, or become brittle. During the review period for this product (roughly 45 days) no premature, cracking, discoloration, nor brittleness was experience and this is likely an issue that may be faced over the long-term (1yr+) and based on degree of exposure to the elements.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally, the Armband 4.0 allotted for a good level of use and simplicity by providing a protective forearm display of critical data that would otherwise be in a notebook or pocket, and not readily available. The end-user was able to easily glance down and clearly see the data card, note card, or writing on the exterior provided the Armband 4.0 was in a position that was appropriate on the arm or weapon. The combination of materials (500D Cordura and polycarbonate window) proved to be flexible enough to adequately wrap around the forearm, though sliding the DOPE or casualty card into the slot while worn was problematic (likely due to curvature of the opening in aspect to the linear card or paper). It was easier to insert the data card (by twisting the paper slightly) while the Armband 4.0 wasn’t worn and then attach it. Attaching additional cards to the exterior of the polycarbonate window via the corner slots proved to be easier, although it left the card greatly exposed to moisture and/or abrasion. The provided fine point Lumocolor® Permanent Marker wrote fluidly and was easily visible in the daylight, although end-users should be aware than an alcohol pen was not included – so anything written on the exterior of the window will not be removeable until an alcohol wipe or pen can be used. The end-user has the option to select other writing implements (or none at all) at the time of purchase, so it depends on the individual and their needs. It would be recommended to Battle Board to add a second pen loop on the 4.0 for an alcohol pen or other implement, so the user could also have the means to erase/adjust anything written. During use, the only negative aspect of the Armband 4.0 noted was the enclosure band itself, with the nylon cord having no flexibility to extend/adjust the hook-and-loop tab around the arm. Adjustment could only made by untying the knots at the base of the nylon cord and adjusting the overall length as woven through the Armband 4.0. This meant that while the sizing was suitable around the bare arm, it wasn’t easily adjusted when wearing an outer garment like a coat or fleece. Even at full extension, the nylon cord was very tight over a jacket sleeve. It would be recommended to Battle Board to increase the overall length of the nylon cord, or transition the nylon cord to an elastic/shock cord to provide that flexibility/elasticity. Battleboard has recognized this issue, and added additional length to future product.
  • Weight Excellent (5/5): Weighing in at a very demure 2.0 ounces, the Armband 4.0 owed a majority of its light overall weight to a minimal design that was not excessively bulky (with layered or excessive fabric), and use of as thin nylon as possible. Thus it was neither unbalancing or noticeable on the arm while worn, nor on the stock of a rifle. In contrast, the Tactical QB Sleeve-Arm DOPE Card Holder (4.4 ounces) by Raine Tactical Gear, the Armboard (2.5 ounces) by RE Factor, or the Tactical Arm Band (3.0 ounces) by Tactical Assault Gear all demonstrate the differences in similar products that utilize more material and thus add more weight (if only in an ounce or two). Thus, for its design and materials, the Armband is the lightest of the listed items and excellent for the current market.

Overall Rating – Good (21/25)

Product Link:

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, 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.

iM3220 Long Case: Strength & Protection

The Storm series of hard cases is well known for its strength and updated features. As such, the iM3220 by Pelican makes an ideal protective case for long rifles and other equipment. Pelican continues to be the leader in protective hard cases that come in varying dimensions to meet your mission need.

As with all Pelican cases, the iM3220 Long Case is made from Polypropylene to deliver a watertight, crushproof, and dustproof case that provides a significant amount of external protection and stackabiliy. The case itself has four locking cleats on its lid designed to correspond to the four feet on its base, which reinforce its overall stacking strength.


With an overall exterior dimension of 47.20” (L) x 9.20” (H) x 16.50” (W), the iM3220’s exterior is composed of Pelican’s traditional open-cell polymer construction for maximum strength and an impact resistant shell.

The iM3220 includes six newly redesigned Press and Pull™ latches made from an ABS polymer that secures the lid to the locking cleats on the case’s sides. In addition, there are two heavy-duty, ergonomic and foldable handles on either the long side, or on the top of the case to aid in picking up and transporting. Stainless steel hinge pins help provide maximum strength and durability to keep the lid secure.

Several protective features built into the iM3220 are its padlock protectors, and one automatic pressure equalization valve made with 3 Micron Hydrophobic Non-Woven material.

The iM3220 has two polyurethane wheels to aid in rolling and transport of the case, and can support its fully packed weight.


With an interior space of 44.00” (L) x 8.50” (H) x 14.00” (W), the iM3220 has an overall internal storage capacity of 3.03 ft³.

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

The iM3220 comes with three layers of 1.3 lb. polyurethane, open-cell foam that can be cut and is customizable to meet storage needs.


  • Foam Layers………….………1.63″ each
  • Minimum Temperature…-40° F (-40 ° C)
  • Maximum Temperature…210° F (99 ° C)
  • Max Buoyancy Weight……136.91 lbs.
  • The Storm series comes with Pelican’s Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence

The iM3220 Storm Long Case is available in Black (featured), and OD Green.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Average (3/5): With an MSRP of $315.95, the iM3220 Storm Long Case is within the upper-range of the Pelican Storm series. The additional reinforcement, and dense polymer material made for a strong, durable case that is specifically intended to serve law enforcement and the military. Pelican recently acquired its closest competitor Hardigg in 2017, and as such many of its mid/larger products don’t have direct peers with the same attention to strength, reinforcing Pelican as a world leader in hard polymer cases. The closest competitor to the iM3220 case would be the Nanuk 995 ($269.95), or the 2 Rifle & Accessory Case ($559.95) by Case Club; however, in the case of the Nanuk it lacks the strength and design of Pelican (something reflected in the lower price). Considering all factors, and within the market, the iM3220 Storm Long Case is of the appropriate (or average) market price point.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): As a 47” length multiple rifle case, with a slim profile and rigid mid-handle, the iM3220 made for an easily maneuverable hard case that did not feel oversized when carried. The case itself had the storage size necessitating for either a full-sized carbine or bolt gun, SBRs, or other equipment. Once fully loaded, the iM3220 was somewhat heavier than its initial 16 pounds, and the extensive depth translated to a number of items that were carried inside and added to the overall weight. The deep locking cleats provided a secure anchoring point for stacking, and gave the overall shell a good amount of added rigidity. The two polyurethane wheels rolled quietly and easily without any resistance. Both handles had a rubberized, non-slip textured grip which made them feel secure during transport, and they also collapsed against the case when not in use that helped maintain an overall streamline profile.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The principle material of the iM3220 (and indeed almost all of Pelican’s hard cases) is Polyethylene, a type of high-density plastic that made it amazingly durable and resistant to shock. The open-cell foam inserts provided a good level of 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 truck bed 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. Each Pelican Protector case comes with a lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): From a functional aspect, the iM3220 was like all Pelican hard cases – a protective box with a pretty straight-forward design (it’s a box – it opens, it closes, it has foam for add padding). And Pelican offers a large array of products for the consumer, military/LEOs, first responders and more to choose one that best fits their specific needs. It is left to the imagination of the user to customize the foam for use, and to expand on the functionality of the case through aftermarket accessories (such as Greyman Tactical’s MOLLE inserts). The downside is then it had to be specific to that item (unless you make the cut pattern very generalized). Features like the rolling wheels and pressurization valves were an essential part of the design for long-term use or carrying. The stainless-steel protectors and hinge pins likewise fill an essential aspect of design as it ensured forced entry (shy of cutting) wasn’t possible. The lid itself did open and rotate to over 180-degrees so when opened, the hinges allowed maximum access to the interior. So, while Pelican cases have a fixed level of functionality, the user’s applicability and aftermarket options are available to expand on its use.
  • Weight – Good (4/5): For its size and volume of Polypropylene, the iM3220 weighed 24.80 pounds (with foam). This was well balanced with the overall dimensions of the iM3220, and made it easy to transport by either the collapsible mid-length handle or collapsible handle on the top. While the contents added did not make the case too heavy to carry, the available wheels proved to be an alternative method should the user need it. In comparison; the Nanuk 995 (25.3 pounds), or the 2 Rifle & Accessory Case (31 pounds) by Case Club illustrate the iM3220 owes its reasonably light weight to its good level of material and function. Other hard cases can be lighter, but they will lack the robust design of Pelican’s Storm series.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link:

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.

True North ‘The Racker’: Spare the Finish and Rack the Slide

Introduced by True North Concepts as a supportive accessory to handgun manipulation, “The Racker” is intended to support end-users with a hardened point on which to manipulate a handgun.

Made from a proprietary blend of polymer selected for its rigidity and non-marring surface, The Racker is a 3.25” tall, singular-point belt accessory that provides a fixed point on which end-users can action a handgun slide or manipulate a magazine when one-arm manipulation is the only option.

The Racker is similar to the Modular Holster Adapter in that it has a mounting bar that can be threaded through most popular MOLLE/PALS webbing style belts, or mounted directly across any gun belt (up to 2.25” wide).

The Racker is available in Black (featured) or Earth Brown.  

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Average (3/5): With its list price of $29.99, The Racker was a minimalist support accessory for use in assisting one-hand actioning of the handgun (be it from injury or necessity). Made from a non-marring polymer blend, The Racker enabled the end-user to use something other than the holster itself, which can result in damage or marring of surfaces. The Racker has the unique place in that it does not have a market alternative, so there is no measure to evaluate cost—but given that similar True North products of similar materials and size are of approximate (average) cost, this would validate that for tis price The Racer is also appropriate for a small belt accessory.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, The Racker was of an approximate size to the standard range belt and not excessively bulky. The profile was neither obtrusive or heavy enough to sag on the belt line. When using The Racker, it retained enough good rigidity to effectively action the handgun slide.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The durability of The Racker owed itself to the polymer blend of the product whereby it was of similar durability as other market products—such as polymer magazines, pistol grips, etc. This made The Racker very durable to the hard contact edges of the handgun, while still remaining a non-marring surface. Drop testing of the product onto hardened concrete only yielded surface blemishes and without any movable or connected parts, The Racker was unphased. It is possible that should, over the course of time and use, The Racker’s edge is lost as a contact surface but it can be easily shaved down to re-establish that contact point.
  • Functionality – Average (3/5): Functionally, The Racker is a simplified alternative to actioning a handgun vice using the hard edges of a holster, or other tool to action the slide via single-hand use. In use, The Racker’s rigid design and reinforced backer allowed it to have that posture whereby the end-user could press their pistol-mounted optics against or the rear iron sight. The downside, unrelated to The Racker itself, was if the belt and its materials lacked corresponding structure. In belts that were very flexible/mailable (often only outer belts worn over the hip), such as the Wilder Tactical Cobra Belt, the downward pressure when The Racker was used caused the entire belt to curl over and thus delayed effective manipulation of the handgun. Oppositely, belts with more rigid materials and structure (often with corresponding inner belts or wider belts), such as the Wilder Tactical Urban Defender Belt had that strength to hold up while The Racker was used.
  • Weight – Excellent (5/5): Weighing in at 0.8 ounces (with mounting hardware), The Racker was of a very minimal weight, for a functional accessory that didn’t add bulk or sag to the overall belt. It neither unbalanced the overall belt, or was obtrusive to the end-user. In contrast, while there was no direct comparator to The Racker, often end-users will utilize pistol pouches for storage or to provide similar pressure points against, and pouches like G-Code’s Scorpion Pistol Pouch (3.3 ounces) illustrate that The Racker is at an excellent light weight for a functional tool on any belt.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link:

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, 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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