As you already know, the primary purpose of a gun safe is to keep your firearms protected from theft and unauthorized people, like kids, from getting in. Beyond the above apparent reasons, a gun safe should be sealed to keep your guns in good condition and secure against fire, floods, or other natural disasters. The condensation is caused by excessive humidity, i.e. moisture in the atmosphere and that undesirable phenomenon is, in particular, enhanced if you live in a humid area or store your safe in places with significant temperature swings like a garage or basement. In this review, we're going to discuss the top dehumidifiers for gun safes and outline which models stood out and why. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Dehumidifiers for Gun Safes OUR TOP PICK: Goldenrod Original Dehumidifier Eva-Dry New and Improved E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier BEST BUDGET OPTION: LOCKDOWN Dehumidifier Rod PEET Dryer Comparison of the Best Dehumidifier for Gun Safes IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick "Goldenrod Original Dehumidifier" Best overall gun safe dehumidifier on our list Revolutionary design ensures perfect function under all conditions Available in different lengths and does not overdry any area View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews Eva-Dry New and Improved E- "333 Renewable Mini" Dehumidifier Best silica gel dehumidifier on our list Sealed polymer design doesn't spill or mess inside the gun safe Works up to ten years and in areas as big as 333 cu. feet "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" Best Budget Option LOCKDOWN Dehumidifier Rod Strategically-shaped design with legs to ensure rod stays upright Cord can be quickly attached or detached to provide convenient access Works for areas ranging between 100-200 cu. feet View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews PEET Dryer Dryer to circulate warm air and remove moisture Extremely low power consumption and is great for damp weather Five-year warranty speaks about its quality View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews LOCKDOWN Silica Gel, 750 grams Simple, compact, and electricity-free solution for dehumidifying Absorbs moisture and can be easily recharged in an oven Durable, vented, can works for spaces up to 57 cu. feet View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews Benefits of Using a Gun Safe Dehumidifier While the airing method can provide decent results, the absolute best way to keep the moisture out of your safe and protect your guns from humidity is to use a dehumidifier. In other words, a quality dehumidifier will keep your safe at a stable temperature and remove moisture from the air to manage humidity problems Here are some good benefits and advantages in using dehumidifiers in a gun safe: Keeping the moisture levels in your safe at an optimum level keeps corrosion from rusting your gun parts. It maintains humidity at a level low enough to prevent damage to the wooden parts of a gun. Additionally, it inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. Using a dehumidifier will prolong the shelf life of your ammunition by quite a bit. It maintains optimum vault ambiance without any effort, as you only have to renew the device after a certain period of time Usually, a quality gun safe dehumidifier will give you years of trouble-free service Types of Dehumidifiers Gun Safes Over time, man has developed and introduced many resources to fight moisture in his home. You can use DIY options like dry rice, calcium chloride, or baking soda, but we strongly recommend using an actual dehumidifier to keep moisture and mold out of your safe. There are two types of dehumidifiers commonly used today, known as electric and desiccant dehumidifiers, and each of them will provide varying levels of humidity reduction. Electrical Dehumidifiers Goldenrod Original Dehumidifier Electrical dehumidifiers are large resistors inside a tube, which work by heating the internal temperature of the safe to several degrees above ambient temperatures, thus enabling the relative humidity to go down. That way, the dehumidifier prevents dangerous changes in temperature that can cause condensation and dew point conditions. Whereas this option is maintenance free, it requires power. In the event your safe comes with an internal electric outlet or a hole to run wires through, you should only have to route the cord end through the hole, attach the included plug to the end of the cord and simply plug it in. However, if you purchase a safe without the electrical provisions, it means you will need to drill the safe to allow the cable to pass. Also, make sure the hole on the bottom of the vault serves to anchor your safe to the cement floor and isn’t used to run wires. Desiccant (Silica Gel) Dehumidifiers LOCKDOWN Silica Gel, 750 grams These dehumidifiers work quite differently than the electric devices. Instead of heat that creates a consistent temperature inside safe, the desiccant dehumidifier absorbs surrounding moisture like a sponge, keeping the interior nice and dry. Unlike an electric dehumidifier, desiccant dehumidifiers are manual, require no power, and can be reused for several months if you choose a good brand. They can be the disposable type (one-time use) or rechargeable. The most common desiccant dehumidifiers use silica gel made from sodium silicate, which captures the water with their silica gel beads. The featured warning label stating `Do not eat`, means that silica gel should not be ingested by humans or pets, as it is a poisonous substance. The reusable desiccants must be dried out periodically in your oven or direct sunlight, but you should monitor them occasionally to make sure they haven't reached moisture capacity. While the electric dehumidifiers are more popular among large gun safe users, desiccant dehumidifiers are best for small safes. Aspects to Look For in a Dehumidifier Moisture absorbers and dehumidifiers are very helpful in gun vaults due to keeping moisture levels low and absorbing any bad odors that might be lingering in your safe. But depending on your safe, before purchasing, you should look for some crucial features in a dehumidifier that will work help you decide which is right for you. Size & Coverage As a rule of thumb, when it comes to dehumidifiers, larger safes stay dry better with the electrically heated rod dehumidifiers and for smaller ones, silica gel dehumidifiers will work successfully. Recommended size and types of dehumidifiers Safe Size Features Dehumidifier Type Small safe Low humidity control Silica gel can Small safe High humidity control Rechargeable mini dehumidifier Large safe With hole or an outlet Heated rod dehumidifier Large safe Without hole or outlet 2 or 3 Rechargeable mini dehumidifiers Take the size of the vault into account when buying a dehumidifier for your gun safe, because it's something that's easily overlooked. The effectiveness of a dehumidifier is closely linked to its coverage ability and you should always check the product description to know just how many cubic feet the dehumidifier will cover. As usually happens on the market, most of the more expensive dehumidifiers offer better coverage, which is more appropriate for large gun safes. Of course, you can always choose to buy two dehumidifiers to cover the safe adequately. For example, if you have a gun safe without provisions for the electrical outlet, it is more practical to use two or three mini silica dehumidifiers. Corded or Cordless Stack-On SPAD-1500 Rechargeable Cordless Dehumidifier The electric dehumidifier prevents condensation by controlling the temperature and is perfect for humid environments, but it has to be plugged into a power source and requires an outlet near the safe. Modern, upper-grade gun safes usually come with the electrical provisions already made, so you just need to place the cable through the hole and connect it to the electric socket. On the other hand, desiccant dehumidifiers are a less sophisticated way of removing moisture from your safe, but they are wireless and require no electricity in order to absorb moisture. The majority of gun owners prefer the cordless desiccant dehumidifier since it only requires you to simply place it in the safe and monitor it from time to time. Indicator System The silica gel dehumidifier removes all the moisture from the air and, depending on its capacity, should be drained or recharged when the silica gel beads are fully saturated. Those uncomplicated, straightforward models use colors in the beads, while more sophisticated dehumidifiers have an indicator on the body housing that changes color to show you when the dehumidifier has to be recharged or reactivated. Ease of Installation Depending on the construction, there are dehumidifiers that rely on silica gel beads and electric dehumidifiers which need access to a power source. Because the first type doesn't run on batteries or require any electricity, all the installation they need is to simply place them inside the safe. The other type, in the form of an electric dehumidifier rod, may be more demanding than the first one. If your gun vault boasts pre-drilled holes for access to electrical outlets or has an electrical outlet built in, it will be easy to plug in an electric safe dehumidifier. If your gun safe comes without holes, it is strongly recommended to contact the maker to see where it's safe to drill without damaging the gun vault and lowering its security. Ease of Maintenance Some dehumidifiers are easier to maintain than others. For example, electric dehumidifiers are more expensive but they do not need much or only minor maintenance. Silica gel dehumidifiers are more affordable and have an easy installation, but they might require slightly higher maintenance than electric models. The silica beads will eventually become saturated during use, and you will need to recharge them. You should select a model that is easy to reactivate whenever it is needed. Fortunately, there are two common ways the moisture can be cooked out of the dehumidifier. Depending on the model, you can recharge your moisture absorber by heating it in your kitchen oven or dry them in direct sunlight for about five to six hours. If you have a more advanced model, then it should be plugged in into a power outlet for reactivation and when the beads turn from blue to pink the unit is ready for use again. Quick Take - "Gun Safe Dehumidifier" s These are our recommendations for the best dehumidifiers for gun safes: Goldenrod Original Dehumidifier Eva-Dry New and Improved E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier LOCKDOWN Dehumidifier Rod Review of the Best Dehumidifier for Gun Safes There are many dehumidifiers on the market to choose from and we hope you will find an adequate one to meet your gun safe standards from the following list. 1. Best Overall: Lockdown Safe & Security Acc. Goldenrod Dehumidifier CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Multiple Lengths Available Backed By a Lifetime Warranty Does Not Get Too Hot to Touch It Can Drop the Humidity to Fifty Percent Which is Considered Museum Quality Cons The Legs That Support the Dehumidifier are Not Sturdy You Will Have to Get More Than One if You Have a Large Safe With more than 40 years of experience in the gun accessories market, it is no wonder that "Lockdown Safe &" ; Security ACC. sells some of the most popular electronic dehumidifiers out there. Their dehumidifier is a heated rod type and, depending on the inside width of your safe, you may select from 12", 18", 24" and 36" long models. For this guide, we have chosen the 12" long Goldenrod dehumidifier which will cover an area of up to 100 cubic feet. It utilizes a sealed, electric element to safely heat the surface temperature to no more than 150 degrees F (65°C). While that steady, museum quality temperature is a little too hot to hold it, with careful size selection GoldenRod cannot overdry an area, but it will reduce the relative humidity and prevent condensation on your firearms. The GoldenRod Original Dehumidifier comes with universal mounting brackets, a six-foot cord, and an unattached plug. If your safe has a pre-drilled hole for the power cord, it will take around ten minutes to complete the setup. Bottom Line It is recommended that for the best performance you should buy the longest unit that fits horizontally and should be installed in the very bottom of the safe to set up air currents that keep the air flowing from bottom to top.Placing a long hot rod vertically would be less effective than using a short dehumidifier across the safe base. In other words, you should purchase the size that is closest to the width but leaves between three to four inches of room to spare. The GoldenRod is excellent, as it comes with a lifetime guarantee. 2. Best Silica Gel Dehumidifier: Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini-Dehumidifier CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros 100% Renewable No Need for Refills Works up to Ten Years Safe for Children and Pets It Does Not Require Power to Work This Dehumidifier Operates Silently Cons Doesn’t Hold a Lot of Water Needs Constant Monitoring Tends to Get Hot When Plugged In One of best gun safe moisture absorbers is the Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier. This powerful, low-maintenance dehumidifier is based on silica gel technology and belongs to the group of desiccants that absorb moisture and can be used over and over again. As its name says, the E-333 model works in areas up to 333 cubic feet, i.e.it will be enough for a maximum area of 10'x 10'. While it operates silently, the principal advantage of the Eva-Dry E-333 is that it absorbs moisture without the need of batteries or a power cable to be fed into the safe. As a hassle-free product, your only responsibility would be to check every three to four weeks color of the crystals to determine when the crystals need to be changed. An indicator window at the front of the unit contains crystals that will change from orange (when dry) to green (when wet) to indicate when the unit needs to be "renewed". The saturated crystals will absorb approximately four to six ounces of moisture and after the crystals have changed to green, E-333 is ready to be plugged into a standard electrical socket for eight to ten hours in a well-ventilated area. After that period, the indicator window will change back to orange and the dehumidifier is ready for use. Although the manufacturer offers this model with a five-year warranty, its expected life span is around ten years. Bottom Line Since 2016, the Eva-dry has omitted harmful ingredients and improved their dehumidifier with a non-toxic orange indicator which is much more environmentally friendly. 3. Lockdown Dehumidifier Rod CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros One Year Warranty Does Not Get Hot Enough to Burn Dries Approximately 100 Cubic. Feet of Space Same High Quality as Golden Rods But it is Lower Priced Removes Moisture From the Gun Safe Interior by Heating This Dehumidifier Stays Low to the Floor of the Safe, So it is Out of Your Way at All Times Cons Gets Too Hot to Touch The Bracket is Not Sturdy The Plug is Cheaply Made Whereas the popular GoldenRod is for those people who have a larger gun safe and live in a humid region, the cheaper Lockdown dehumidifier would be perfect if you keep your gun safe in the garage. The LockDown Gun Safe Dehumidifier is available only in two sizes, 12 inches and 18 inches and ships disassembled and with mounting brackets. The included bracket enables you to mount the rod horizontal and low in your gun cabinet for the full effect. Since the Lockdown Dehumidifier Rod functions by slightly increasing and maintaining the air temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49°C), this temperature is not hot enough to ignite the carpet materials or items contained in the safe. On the other hand, the rod may be hot to the touch but without danger of causing a fire. The Lockdown 12" dehumidifier rod comes with a six-foot-long cord equipped with a quick plug attachment to reach external power supplies easily. However, this plug is of poor quality, so it is recommended to purchase a better plug from a hardware store. Model 222666 has a 12-inch long rod and it dries about 100 cubic feet of area or gun safes that range from 18-36 guns. Bottom Line This hot rod dehumidifier consumes eight watts of power at 120 volts and comes with a one year warranty. If you have a small gun cabinet with a hole to run a cord and are looking for an inexpensive electronic rod, this offer should cover your needs. 4. Stack-On SPAD- "1500 Rechargeable Cordless" Dehumidifier CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Comes With a Moisture Gauge Pulls Moisture From 100 Cubic Feet It Does Not Need Wires or Batteries Plugs into Any Standard Electrical Outlet Lasts Up to Six Weeks on a Single Charge Overnight Charge Allows up to Six Weeks of Moisture Removal Cons Some Feel That it is Pricey After Recharging, it Will be Too Hot As a safe manufacturer, a Stack-On company made this desiccant dehumidifier specifically for gun safes or security cabinets. The SPAD-1500 has gel beads that absorb moisture and change color to indicate when they need to be recharged. This model utilizes a monitor and control panel on the front which shows when it needs to be recharged. When the moisture indicator turns dark green that means it has absorbed a lot of moisture and the dehumidifier needs to be recharged. To charge, plug the dehumidifier into a power socket for 12–15 hours in a well-ventilated area. The unit is ready to use again when the beads in the moisture gauge turn orange. One caution, the unit can get extremely hot when charging, so wait about 15 to 30 minutes before picking it up. The SPAD-1500 can excellently remove moisture from 100 cubic feet for up to six weeks before recharging. For best results in your safe, an optimal position of this mini dehumidifier would be on a high shelf in your long gun safe. Bottom Line The Stack-On SPAD-1500 Rechargeable Cordless dehumidifier is a small, compact device, which doesn’t require wires, so you will not have to drill holes in your safe. At the same time, the option to charge it overnight through a plug in the wall makes it much more convenient than a simple can of gel. 5. PEET Dryer CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Five-Year Warranty Works by Emitting Heat Maintenance-Free Device Designed to Sit Upright in the Corner of Your Safe Removes Humidity From Safes up to 80 Cubic Feet Cons Lack of LED Light Indicator Low-Quality Cord and Plug Another name with a long tradition in the industry is PEET Shoe Dryers, a company known for their drying products, such as dryers for boots and gloves. Unlike standard electronic rods, PEET’s 15-watt dryer utilizes thermal convection technology where the air is drawn in through the vents at the base of the PEET Dryer, warmed slightly, and circulated throughout items being dried. Since there is no fan, you don’t expect any noises or a noticeable amount of airflow, the heat merely rises from the top of the dryer. The SafeKeeping Dryer is designed to effectively remove humidity that causes mildew, rust, and even odor from gun safes and cabinets. This PEET device quietly removes damaging moisture from safes and cabinets without excessive energy effectively drying up to 80 cubic feet. Bottom Line Although the PEET dryer works similarly to the rods by using heat to keep moisture out of your safe, its gentle, almost imperceptible circulation of warm air causes some users to complain about the lack of indicator light. Another bigger gripe refers to the cheap cord and plug. The PEET Dryer is maintenance-free and comes with five-year warranty. 6. LOCKDOWN Silica Gel CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Cobalt and Chloride Free Easy to Reactivate in Oven Easy to Follow Instructions Reusable and Rechargeable Protects up to 57 Cubic Feet No Power Needed to Operate it Cons Doesn’t Hold a Lot of Water Requires Regular Reactivating A Lockdown dehumidifier contains silica gel beads to capture the moisture that builds up in gun safes and cabinets. As you may guess, the Lockdown Silica Gel does not require an electric outlet or power to remove humidity from the air. Featuring a different design than conventional dehumidifiers, a Lockdown silica gel desiccant comes with a large volume of 750 grams in a canister for more moisture absorption. The sturdy perforated aluminum can is full of silica gel that can be recharged right in your oven at around 325 degrees Fahrenheit (162 °C). When you buy the Lockdown can, it has to be recharged prior to putting it in your safe. The Lockdown silica vented can absorbs moisture from the air and protects up to 57 cubic feet making it perfect for small safes. Moreover, this silica desiccant relies on a visual indicator that turns from dark blue to orange when it is full of moisture and ready for reactivation. Bottom Line Though the recharging by the oven method is very slow and takes at least double the amount of time as the instructions claim, some customers pour out the beads on the baking sheet or use the microwave to speed up the process. Conclusion The relative humidity is expressed as a percentage and it’s measured with devices called hygrometers (humidity sensors) or cheap "weather stations". Although some would assume it is best to have no humidity in your safe, actually, the humidity levels shouldn't be allowed to drop too low, below 50%. While documents and metal parts would probably benefit from 0% humidity, on the flip side the ammo would dry out and the wood stock of your firearm would also begin to dry out and become damaged. In the end, it is worth pointing out that you should try to keep the relative humidity in your vault at 50% humidity and at a stable temp of 60-70F (15-21°C) as ideal conditions in your gun safe. 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Lone Wolf’s G9 Carbine looks like any another modern sporting rifle until you check the magazine well. The G9 lower uses small-frame Glock pistol magazines, which solves the problems of previous 9mm AR carbines and makes it an affordable, reliable, and fun gun. Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR) , also known as AR rifles, are commonly used for self defense, hunting, and competition, and are ubiquitous among military and police. Whatever your application, pistol-caliber carbines are accurate, fun, great training platforms, and cheap to shoot. Lone Wolf did their homework and came up with the G9 Carbine. Most people opt for the 9mm upper, but Lone Wolf also offers uppers chambered in .357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 GAP , and 5.7x28mm . The uppers are matched with the appropriate GLOCK magazine, except for the 5.7x28mm, which uses top-mounted FN magazines. Buy different uppers, make different guns. The idea of a 9mm carbine is not a new one. Submachine guns have been around for decades, but carbines are a little larger with better ergonomics and are more manageable. In 1981, Marine and genius firearms designer Maxwell Atchisson was thinking about the XM-177 . Photo courtesy of guns.connect.fi The XM-177 was a variant of the M-16 with a 10.5″ barrel. The short barrel wasted a lot of energy as flash and noise, and got very dirty quickly. Atchisson realized that the XM-177 would be much better if chambered in 9mm. He was a genius and could just do stuff like that. His 9mm gun was a closed-bolt, simple blowback-operated select-fire machine gun. His blowback system consisted of a heavy bolt resting against the base of the 9mm cartridge case, with a heavy buffer and recoil spring compressed by the kinetic energy of the bolt when it moves back under recoil. The stored energy of the compressed spring then drives the bolt forward back into the firing position. This eliminates the whole gas system, allowing the use of very short barrels. For close quarters, it had all the energy it needed in a small, low-recoil package, with the great ergonomics of the M-16. A 10.5″ barrel is the sweet spot for 9mm, giving nearly optimum energy. Colt took over the project and in 1985, introduced the 9mm SMG. More interested in parts commonality with the M-16 than innovation, they came up with a rough, mass-produced product still sold by Colt today. The Marine Corps adopted the 10.5″-barrel model for the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST), and it was used by DOE, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service. The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Panama also fielded the SMG. There were several problems with the SMG. A special heavy black buffer was designed to keep the cyclic rate below 1,000 rpm, as a standard 5.56mm buffer would run at 1,250 rpm. Because the direct-blowback design created such high bolt speeds, bolt catches, as well as the trigger and hammer pins, were prone to breakage. The pins were upgraded to nickel-plated stainless steel. Colt decided to use modified Israeli UZI magazines. Their version has narrow feed lips, making them very hard to load, prone to double feeds, and they wear quickly. C Products makes a very good SMG magazine for this model. Inspired by the SMG, Lone Wolf has reinvented the AR in pistol calibers and addressed the magazine issue by adopting the solid and widely available Glock mags. Field testing I gathered my equipment for the test. I had an assortment of 9mm and .40 ammo. The 9mm was mostly Georgia Arms 9mm Luger 115-grain plated total metal jacket. It is great ammo at a fair price. I used LULA loaders to load up my mags. Some people ridicule the use of magazine loaders, but when you are loading 1000 rounds at a time, it makes a difference. I had plenty of Glock factory mags of various sizes and some 33-rounders of uncertain Asian origin. Lone Wolf sells their guns as separate lowers and uppers to allow the shooter the greatest flexibility. There are pistol and carbine lowers, and pistol- and carbine-length uppers. If you live in a free state, $200 and an ATF form one will allow you to build your very own short-barreled rifle. The G9 design makes for a very reliable pistol if you prefer that option. Near maximum velocity is reached at about 10.5 inches of barrel, as previously stated. To avoid imperial entanglements, I used the Lone Wolf carbine lower and 16″-barreled uppers in 9mm and .40 caliber. Making a reliable bolt hold-open for AR pistol carbines has proven impossible with current technology. Other manufacturer’s bolt hold-opens suffer from reliability problems. Lone Wolf eliminated those problems by eliminating the bolt hold-open entirely. You shoot it like an MP5 or an AK. I ran over 2000 rounds of every stray 9mm round I could find through the first upper. All of them, even +P loads, cycled fine, but you could sure feel the difference in recoil. The .40 upper went through an equal number of .40 ball and JHP. Glock mags and the G9 carbine worked very well together. Aftermarket mags were unpredictable and were soon discarded. Lone Wolf’s G9 uppers all have: Quad rail free-floating rail system A2-style flash suppressor Properly modified bolt for use with Glock magazines 16″ barrel 4150CM ordinance steel Button rifled 1:10 twist rate M4 profile exterior Non-reflective black oxide finish Bolt is mil-spec 8620 material heat-treated to 50>55 RC Bolt is black oxide exterior coated There are several previous designs floating around out there. Lone Wolf guns are compatible with Colt-pattern uppers, which have an additional groove cut in them to accommodate the ejector. Lone Wolf will modify your bolt for $44.95. Olympic Arms upper receivers are not compatible. Rock River uppers will fit with modification, but their lowers use a dedicated 9mm hammer, which will not work with the Lone Wolf bolt. The G9 trigger pull weighs in at four and half pounds, which is perfect for practical work. The G9 lower accepts any other AR triggers. The hardware and the quad rail on the G9 are perfectly adequate, but the G9 is compatible with AR-15 parts. If you like a certain pistol grip, trigger, butt stock, or rail, the G9 will accommodate them. If you have a favorite AR-15, you can customize your G9 for the same feel. Why buy? If you already have an AR-15, why buy a G9? For me, the answer is training. I spend a lot of time on a range that is limited to handgun and shotgun. There are plenty of steel targets. Now, I can run the G9 Carbine using less expensive 9mm or .40 (whichever I have more of) and shoot steel targets that won’t take rifle hits. I am doing drills I never considered before, and there are not many things more fun than shooting steel! Plus, it uses standard Glock magazines; most shooters already have a few. They are cheap and available everywhere. The new Magpul mags work great in the G9. A red dot sight makes the G9 even more fun. I used an Aimpoint red dot sight on my G9, and the gun proved to be accurate enough to shoot ragged single holes at 15 yards with no effort at all using a variety of ammunition. You need a G9. Chances are you already have the magazines, and there are plenty more where those came from. The ammo is available, easy to reload, and affordable. It is fun to shoot and a great training platform. You can shoot it on pistol ranges and shoot steel up close. It is so accurate that you will amaze yourself. Order up your Lone Wolf G9 Carbine today. (Featured Image Courtesy of Lone Wolf)
Advertisment Handloading/reloading ammunition is one of those things that seems like a daunting prospect if you’ve never done it before. If you’re new to reloading or want to get started, we’ve got all the info you need to get up and running successfully and safely. Reloading ammo isn’t a mystic art, and once you learn the basics you’ll find a whole new part of the firearms world to explore. It’s a fun part of the hobby to be sure, and it has some practical benefits as well. What are those benefits? How does reloading even work? What do you even need, equipment-wise? I’m so glad you asked. Let’s talk about it. Contents Benefits of Reloading Equipment For Cleaning Your Brass Cheap and Old School: Vibratory Dry Media Tumbler Least Hassle, Most Versatile: Ultrasonic Cleaner Most Effective and Most Expensive: Drum Tumbler With Steel Pins Choosing a Reloading Press Parting Shots Benefits of Reloading Right out of the gate, I’m going to break your heart and/or piss you off; reloading is a terrible way to spend less money on shooting. Now hold on, I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but let me finish before you get out the torches and pitchforks and run me outta town. It might be a terrible way to spend less overall, but it’s a great way to get more out of the same amount of money. In truth, it’s become increasingly difficult for reloaders to actually produce rounds for the most common calibers at cheaper rates than what can already be had on store shelves and online. For example, 9mm, 5.56/.223 , and even . 308 are somewhat difficult to make cheaper than what you can get waiting for sales and buying in bulk. You also have to take into account the fact that you’re going to most likely be buying, on average, $500+ in equipment. If you only shoot these common calibers, it’s going to be a very, very long time indeed before you make money on your initial investment into the gear. That’s not to say you won’t get more for your money, however. First and foremost, brass is expensive, and good brass can be very, very expensive, so reusing that brass will definitely go along way towards helping you recoup your investment, so if you shoot expensive factory ammo that uses say, Lapua brass you might be paying well over $1 a round just in brass, but you can use it many times. Second, there’s the fact that you’re getting some very, very good ammunition for less than you’d normally pay for similar-quality ammo. I shoot mostly factory ammo these days it’s true, but for serious precision rifle shooting where I need to really dial in a custom load for my particular rifle or for shooting my more expensive calibers like .45-70 Gov’t or .454 Casull or .338 Lapua it’s still much cheaper to reload. The big key takeaway from all this is that if you’re out to “stick it to Big Ammo” by making your own and saving a mint, you’re just not going to be able to do it. By buying components in bulk and reusing expensive brass, however, you will be able to churn out a lot more ammo for about the same level of expense. Sounds like a solid deal to me. And of course, ignoring all the petty concerns of cost, it’s a heck of a lot of fun for me. It may very well be fun for you also, especially if you’re a handy, DIY type who likes to tinker and play with stuff like this. If you want another firearms-related hobby other than shooting, or want to support your competition shooting hobby, reloading is a great way to do that. Alright, with all that philosophizing out of the way, let’s talk equipment. Equipment "For Cleaning Your" Brass With used brass, there are a few things you have to do in order to reload it that you can skip if you’re using brand new, unfired brass. There are a few different ways to accomplish this. Cheap and Old School: Vibratory "Dry Media Tumbler" The oldest and cheapest method is the vibratory tumbler . Basically, you have a plastic tub that sits on top of a motor. You fill that tub with cleaning media (usually corn cob husk or crushed walnut shells) and then dump in your brass. You turn it on, it shakes the brass around with the media, which will polish your cases after a few hours. Note: vibratory tumblers like this are louder than a Metal band playing a show inside of a freight train that’s being picked up by a tornado, so you’ll want to have it either outside or in the garage. However, they are the cheapest method. You also won’t get much of the primer pocket cleaned, even if you de-prime your cases before you clean, but it does do better than our next method. Some of my favorite dry media tumblers are: Product Lyman 1200 Auto-Flo (115V) Top Overall Pick Department Name: Mens Material Type: Plastic Sport Type: Camping & Hiking Our rating Details Department Name: Mens Material Type: Plastic Sport Type: Camping & Hiking Product Hornady M-1 Case Tumbler (110V) #050202,Red "Top Overall Pick" Package length: 26.67 cm Package width: 57.15 cm Package height: 59.69 cm Product Type: DRINKING CUP Our rating Details Package length: 26.67 cm Package width: 57.15 cm Package height: 59.69 cm Product Type: DRINKING CUP Product Hornady M-1 Case Tumbler (110V) #050202,Red Top Overall Pick Package length: 26.67 cm Package width: 57.15 cm Package height: 59.69 cm Product Type: DRINKING CUP Our rating Details Package length: 26.67 cm Package width: 57.15 cm Package height: 59.69 cm Product Type: DRINKING CUP Least Hassle, Most Versatile: Ultrasonic Cleaner One of the newer methods of cleaning cases is the ultrasonic cleaner . Ultrasonic cleaners like this one come in a variety of sizes and can get quite expensive once you start getting into the larger units with greater capacity. No matter the size though, they all work basically the same way. You have a bucket that you fill with a cleaning liquid (each manufacturer has their own, and they all last forever because you generally mix it around 1 part cleaner to 30 parts water, and you can reuse the mix a few times) and then you drop in your brass and turn the machine on. Unlike the much cheaper vibratory tumblers, these guys are fairly quiet, and all you’ll hear is a faint humming, making these much more viable in say, a suburban neighborhood or even an apartment. This is because the ultrasonic cleaners use very small but incredibly rapid vibrations. This has a few advantages over the cheaper dry tumblers, aside from just being less likely to get you lynched by your HOA. First, it only takes a few minutes, rather than a few hours, which is great. More importantly, it can also do double duty and clean gun parts as well as brass, you just have to use a steel-specific cleaning solution. This will allow you to clean things like a steel pistol frame or barrel in record time (though it’s probably a bit overkill). I shamelessly use it to clean my AR bolt carrier groups though, and I highly recommend it for that. Finally, the ultrasonic cleaners will get your brass cleaned out very well on the inside, and may even get the primer pocket fairly clean if you de-cap first. The downside is that it only cleans your brass, and doesn’t actually polish them all that well. Or at all, really, unless you add some sort of chemical polishing agent, or find an ultrasonic solution with it already in there (let me know if you find one that’s worth a damn and I’ll link it here). You may struggle with getting rid of corrosion with an ultrasonic. Normal powder fouling though? Forget about it. Check out the cross-section of a case before and after it was cleaned below. As far as your freshly-cleaned cases, you just lift the basket and out they come, ready to be dried off unless they are heavily corroded, in which case some good old fashioned elbow grease may be required. The big advantage of ultrasonic cleaners is that they’re the easiest to use by far. You have a little basket that the cases sit in, almost like a deep fryer, and you simply fill the machine with the cleaning solution and water mixture, and then strain and drain it into another container when you’re done and it’s ready for later use. My preferred ultrasonic cleaner is the Hornady Lock n’ Load 2L . Most Effective and Most Expensive: "Drum Tumbler With" Steel Pins If you don’t mind spending a bit more for the best option, go all in and get a rotary drum tumbler designed to be used with steel pin media. These tumblers are similar to vibratory tumblers, except they rotate all the way around, not unlike those rock tumblers most of us had as kids. You fill the tumbler with a cleaning liquid just like the ultrasonic cleaner and add in some steel pins. The tumbler acts basically like a front-loading washing machine and cleans your brass inside and out, and does so faster and quieter than a vibratory tumbler. Your brass will also come completely clean and will be polished to look like new, unlike with an ultrasonic cleaner. The downsides are the price, the fact that you can’t reuse the cleaning fluid , and the fact that it is still kind of loud. In my personal opinion though, the extra cost is worth it, especially when you get nice, shiny brass that doesn’t require any extra work (just make sure none of the pins got trapped in your cases). If you’re looking for a rotary tumbler like this, I have two recommendations for you. First is the Hornaday Rotary Brass Tumbler which is an absolutely great option, but if you have about $30 extra dollars, go ahead and get the Frankfort Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler . This is the one that I choose to polish all my brass with. It’s quiet, and well thought out with a viewport on one side, and a sifter system built in to strain out the cleaning solution, then the pins, leaving the brass behind, shiny and clean. Choosing a Reloading Press Alright, case prep is the boring part, now it’s time to talk about the meat of reloading, and that means talking about reloading presses. Your press is what handles all the hard work of resizing your brass and seating your bullets, and in some cases, it handles priming and powder charging too. More advanced presses will allow you to perform all these operations in sequence, while cheaper and simpler presses require a little more work to get the job done. There are three basic types of reloading presses: single-stage, turreted, and progressive. The two I recommend for beginners are single-stage and progress. Turreted presses have kind of fallen out of fashion these days, though they do still have their place. If you’re just starting out with reloading and aren’t sure if you’re going to stick with it, I recommend going with a single-stage press like this Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic model . This will allow you to do a few dozen rounds in an hour and is a good way to get your feet wet. Of course, if you’re only loading one caliber, you can go even cheaper and get something like the classic Lee Loader in your caliber of choice. I have one just for my .45-70 loading work because I wanted something cheap and portable, and I only shoot maybe a dozen rounds a year so I wasn’t worried about speed. Now, if you don’t mind spending a little extra, you can get a progressive press like the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP mode l , which will let you work much faster, and will also allow you to grow and add things like an automatic case feeder or powder measure to further automate the reloading process. There are about a million different presses out there, so we’ll save a further in-depth discussion for a full comparison of reloading presses in another article. Parting Shots Reloading is a great way to learn and grow as a shooter and is a great way to get more bang for your buck as someone who loves firearms. With the equipment here, all you need to do is add a case trimmer and dies, plus your consumables like powder, brass, bullets , and primers and you’ll be ready to reload in no time. This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.
Some people like the smell of swaddled babies but some of us like the smell of gun oil and gun smoke in the morning. Babies are a bundle of joy, it’s true– but let me fill you in on another (far less expensive) joy filled bundle. Bundle contents I recently installed the Operator II M-Lok bundle in Dirty Olive on the Light Weight AR I put together for my wife. The bundle from VZ comes with three 2″ or 4″ rail panels, a hand stop, and a grip. The Operator II grip is aggressive (which I love) and really functional. If you’re a muzzle control freak, you’ll dig this setup. Granted the grip may be too aggressive for some, but the bundle is offered in other famous VZ patterns. I’d recommend you check out the Alien or Frag pattern. In a pinch, these could be sanded a bit to customize to your liking, but you’re better off purchasing the most suitable pattern for your requirements and sticking with the factory configuration. Attractive & effective A small part of me hopes that my wife prefers her typical grip from Mission First Tactical with Talon Grips because I’ll steal this VZ Operator II grip in a micro second. From a visual standpoint— the grips, the rail panels, and the hand stop look so good together that it would be a shame to separate them, though. The rail panels and hand stop are absolutely a win for the wifey; she digs them. Maybe she’s a control freak? I never thought so, but maybe there’s something there. I digress. These products are custom-suited to the discriminating customer who wants to get the most possible control providing traction in their AR. Weapon manipulation is aided significantly. It is also custom suited to those who want to show off on Instagram because these things visually pop! M-Lok & Keymod versions The M-Lok bundles are an exceptional value, but the items can be purchased separately as well if you’re just looking for a grip, a hand stop, or rail panels. I know a lot of you don’t think of VZ when you think of AR accessories, but you need to expand your horizons. Go ahead and embrace this bundle of joy; you’ll be glad that you did!
Having a great universal sight pusher is essential, but what is it, and why do you need one? Don’t wait until you need one to discover its uses. Let’s review what universal sight pushers do and take a look at the best of the best on the market today. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Universal Sight Pushers OUR TOP PICK: Mgw - Sight Pro Sight Mover Meprolight - Universal Sight Installation Tool Universal Handgun Sight Pusher Tool BEST BUDGET OPTION: Ncstar Vtuprs Universal Pistol Rear Sight Tool B & J Machine - P500 Universal Sight Tool Comparison of the Best "Universal Sight Pusher" s IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Mgw - Sight "Pro Sight Mover" Angled body and straight body pusher block Unique clamping shoe with 4 slide support pads Can be locked in a bench vise for stable operation View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews Meprolight - Universal "Sight Installation Tool" Universal sight tool works perfectly with all handguns Offers best value for money compared to similar tools Quite durable and can take a lot of abuse "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" Universal Handgun "Sight Pusher Tool" Does not need extra blocks to grip and keep the slide in place Even fits handguns with slide mounted levers Extremely durable design and offers exceptional value for money View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews Best Budget Option "Ncstar Vtuprs Universal" Pistol "Rear Sight Tool" Side witness windows to attain a clear view of the operation Can be bolted or clamped to a surface using screws Features an out-of-the-league blue color View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews B & J Machine - P500 "Universal Sight Tool" Simple and easy to use design Works on shallow and cross dovetails, as well Slide stop saves time when working with similar model slides View Latest Price → Read Customer Reviews What is a Universal Sight Pusher? When it comes to sights, gun owners will often find that even after installing them, adjustments will need to be made. This can be for a variety of reasons, but it will inevitably happen, and the job is made significantly easier and safer with a quality sight pusher. To ensure you only need to purchase one tool that will be compatible with all of your sights—or your future sights, if you only have one now—a universal sight pusher is critical. Aspects to Consider When Buying a Universal Sight Pusher There are many universal sight pushers on the market. Of course, we’ve rounded up the absolute best, but you’ll want to bear in mind the following aspects: Universality Even though universal sight pushers are designed to work with just about any sight or gun, that doesn’t mean they will definitely work with what you have. Just as there’s always some device that a universal remote won’t work with, be sure that you’re getting what works for you. Ease of Use A sight pusher is largely designed to make adjustments easier, so a sight pusher that is well-designed to require minimal effort on the user’s behalf tops our list, and it should be a big consideration for you, as well. Safety A sight pusher absolutely must be safe for the gun and, most of all, the sight itself. You’ve spent a lot of money on your set up, so don’t entrust your weapon to anything but the best products, like those on our list, with adjustments to your sight. Quick Take - The Best Universal Sight Pushers These are our recommendations for the best universal sight pushers: Mgw - Sight Pro Sight Mover B & J Machine - P500 Universal Sight Tool Meprolight - Universal Sight Installation Tool Review of the Best Universal Sight Pusher Now that we’ve recapped some sight pusher basics, let’s take a look at the best products on the market available today. Don’t forget to keep in mind the aspects to consider when choosing a universal sight pusher for you. All of our products are great, but not all will suit your needs perfectly! 1. Mgw - Sight Pro Sight Mover CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros A Great Option for Glocks and HK Sights 30-Degree Angled Body and Straight Body Pusher Block Solid Construction From Combination of Aluminum and Stainless Steel Thoroughly Detail Instructions on Operation of the Machine with a Variety of Handguns Strong Main Body and Four Slide Support Pads Provide Stability and Comfortable Functionality Cons While Worth it, Might Be an Investment Beyond What the Casual User Desires to Spend The MGW Sight Pro is an excellent option for gun owners with Glocks and HK Sights, and is designed to easily and effectively remove, adjust, or install rear and front dovetail sights on your semi-automatic handguns. The reason the MGW Sight Pro is preferable to other methods is its implementation of shoe clamps designed especially for each handgun that allows a single tool to do the work on a variety of models. Ultimately, this means fewer tools for gunsmiths or those with a wide arsenal, and thus, less real estate and expense. The mechanism features a 30-degree angled body as well as a straight body pusher block that will work with a wide range of firearms, while a slide shoe clamp specific to each firearm secures the slide. The support shaft of current generation MGW Sight Pros is made from 416 stainless steel and has a ¼ hex broach, allowing for quick and easy swapping of blocks with the included Allen key. Additionally, the unit comes with a strong main body for stability and four slide support pads. Installation and adjustment details and instructions are thoroughly included, making it an excellent tool for both professionals and those interested in investing for their future. Bottom Line For gunsmiths or shooters with a range of handguns, the MGW Sight Pro Sight Mover is an excellent option for safely and effectively adjusting, installing, or removing sights. 2. B & J Machine - P500 Universal Sight Tool CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Highly Efficient Combination of Tools Sturdy, All-Steel Design With a Strong Base Works on an Exceptionally Wide Range of Slides and Sights Delrin Lining Protects the Tool, Sight, and Slide From Scratches A Slide Stop Enables You to Save Your Positioning for Working on Multiple Sights Repetitively Cons Does Not Work on Some Models With Contoured Slides Those looking for a more affordable option will appreciate the B & J Machine P500 Universal Sight Tool. It is a sturdy piece of equipment, precision-machined and steel throughout to apply ample strength and fluidity for the removal, installation, and adjustment of your front and rear sights on a range of handguns. You simply clamp the slide into the tool, lining up the sights and the pusher tip to either adjust, remove, or install. Additionally, a mobile jaw can be customized for the preferred height of the slide and is accessible from either side. You can rest assured that while working, your tool and sight are safe from scratching thanks to a Delrin liner. You’ll get three sight pushers which attach onto a sight-pushing bolt. The included 1⁄4" square tip is perfect for shallow and cross-dovetail sights. While working, a clamp holds down and helps to prevent your slide from experiencing any twisting within the unit’s frame by asserting force on the slide’s top. Additionally, it ensures there is a secured seat when you are working on difficult or stuck-in sights or any slides with an angled side. For those, such as gunsmiths, who need to repeat the same task, the slide stop helps to speed things up, performing the same job quickly and efficiently. The stop screws onto the unit’s frame, which allows you to position each successive slide to right where the previous sat, minimizing your work. All these tools together make for a very, very fast machine, especially for professionals who know what they’re doing and can cut down on work with a combination of experience and efficient machinery. Because of its highly adjustable nature, it is compatible with a very wide range of guns and sights, with the exception of some guns with contoured slides. Bottom Line With a wide range of features, compatibility with many models and time-saving features, the sturdy B & J Machine P500 Universal Sight Tool is a solid choice. 3. Meprolight - Universal Sight Installation Tool CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Finished With Black Anodization Exceptionally Simple and Unobtrusive Design Exceptionally Strong Construction From Aluminum Alloy Minimal But Sturdy Base Provides a Clear View of Your Work Compatible With Just About Every Major Gun Brand and Model Cons As it is a Professional-Grade Tool, it May Be Cost-Prohibitive for Hobbyists If you ever get the chance to watch a gunsmith work, there is a high chance you will see the Meprolight Universal Sight Installation Tool in use, as it is a common standard for civilian and military professionals. This is because it is not only incredibly reliable, sturdy, and efficient, but it works with a very wide range of brands, including HK, Glock, Colt, Beretta, Browning, Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Sig Sauer, Kimber, and Walther. While it works with many others, instructions are included for all the above brands, making for quick use of the tool. One look at the tool, and you’ll understand why it’s so widely respected. Efficiently designed to use minimal parts and provide a full-bodied, solid base, it is constructed from aluminum alloy with a black nitride coating to resist corrosion and work under the toughest of conditions for a very long time. This construction, which would be perfectly suited for a gun component designed for field use, is what makes it exceptionally strong and long-lasting. Additionally, the simple design also allows for easy, unfettered access from all angles while taking up minimal space, while all clamping mechanisms are wide, provide substantial leverage, and stay out of your way so that you can see precisely what is happening up close. With attachment ears so that you can attach it to your bench, it provides exceptional anchored support. With a wide range of compatibility options without the need for extras, along with a sturdy design that will last a lifetime, as well as a design that truly simplifies the process, it is clear to see why many gunsmiths turn to the standard set by Meprolight. Bottom Line An industry standard, the durability and universality of the "Meprolight Universal Sight" Installation Tool is virtually unmatched. While pricier, it is simply the professional’s strongest tool. 4. Universal Handgun Sight Pusher Tool CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent Value for Non-Professionals Compatible With a Very Wide Range of Popular Models Handmade and Individually Inspected in the United States. Durable Construction From Billet Aluminum and 4140 Cromo Steel Four-Sided Grip Provides Exceptional Security and Exerts Even Pressure Cons More of a Budget Solution, so it’s Not the Best for Gunsmiths and Professionals Those looking for a more budget solution will welcome the Universal Handgun Sight Pusher Tool by Sight-Tool.com, which is an American-made tool built with all Glock models, Springfields, and Sig Sauer models in mind and many others. Even those with slide-mounted levers such as the Beretta 92FS are capable of adjustment once the lever has been removed. The way the tool works is by gripping all four sides of your slide to ensure that grip is evenly distributed, with thousands of pounds of pressure divided for optimum security. Because of this, no additional block sets are required to grip the slide. Additionally, despite being a more value-oriented solution, it is quite rugged, made from billet aluminum in the main body with a 4140 Cromo steel pusher. As it is handmade in the USA, every component has been carefully crafted and aligned to exacting standards. For those looking for a durable tool that will work with the most popular brands and not cost an arm and a leg, this is an excellent option. It doesn’t come with the best features like the ability to save your settings to work on multiple models in rapid succession, but it does the job very well at a great price, making it a perfect choice for those who do not have a wide number of guns or simply who want to ensure proper safety when occasionally modifying sights. Bottom Line Those looking for a simple solution that works with a wide range of gun models and sights but isn’t an expensive, professional-grade device, will enjoy this universal sight pusher, as it provides great value. 5. Ncstar Vtuprs Universal Pistol Rear Sight Tool CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent Value Works With Most Major Brands and Models May Be Clamped to a Workbench for Anchored Support Provides a Clear View of Your Work Thanks to Side Witness Windows "Solid Construction From" Blue Anodized Aluminum and Stainless Steel Cons Being a Budget Solution, it is Not as Versatile as Other Models A budget solution designed to compete with the Meprolight Universal Sight Pusher, the NcSTAR Universal Pistol Rear Sight Tool mimics the basic design of the legendary tool while being more limited to rear sights, but provides excellent value in removing, installing, and adjusting these sights. It works on many semi-auto slides, including compact, sub-compact, full, and pocket-sized semi-auto pistols. It is compatible with most of the major brands such as Glock, Sig Sauer, and so on. The base platform is fully adjustable for height, allowing you to properly position your rear sights and slide. There is also a bottom spacer to allow some pocket pistol slides the proper height alignment—think the smallest Glocks, for example. There are adjustable top braces which utilize a plastic insert to secure your slide’s vertical placement, as well as side braces that use the same design. The side inserts come as two pairs. Additionally, the unit can be clamped to your workbench, allowing great anchored support, and you’ll enjoy working thanks to two side witness windows that allow you to have a great visual on your work. As its design is based on the Meprolight design, you’ll enjoy excellent leverage for fast winding. Durability is also excellent, as the main body is made from blue anodized aluminum and the working tools are stainless steel. Bottom Line For those looking for an easy to use rear sight tool that works on a wide range of major gun models and is highly affordable, this tool, based on the legendary Meprolight design, is an excellent option. Are All Sight Pushers the Same? Not all sight pushers are the same and it is important to remember that you must search for one that best suits your needs. Be aware that sight pushers come in many varieties, so look for one that: Is Compatible: You will need to ensure that the sight pusher you choose is compatible with your model of gun. Universal does not mean it matches every single model on the market. Provides Easy Access: Ensure you have a pusher that enables you to work easily. Quality of life features like anchoring to your workbench are important. Is Durable: You want a pusher made from high-quality materials, such as stainless steel or aluminum to provide a long life and handle the pressure doled out by the machine. Includes Everything: We’ve chosen the best pushers on the market that include everything you need, from instructions to extra materials to support of major models, but beware of pushers that do not have thorough documentation or require extra purchases. Conclusion A sight pusher can allow for safe and effective installation, adjustment, and removal of sights. While not strictly necessary, they are very useful for ensuring that you preserve the life of your instrument. Use our guide to understand what sort of pusher you should look for and choose from the best on the market today to minimize your work and secure your gear. More Scope Buyer Guides Best 22-250 Scopes Best 338 Lapua Scopes Best 17 WSM Scopes Spotting Scopes vs. Binoculars Best Blackout 300 Scopes Simmons Scope Reviews