Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mmMany recent judicial rulings enabling a citizen’s lawful right to carry a concealed handgun coincide with the ever-present threat of violent criminal attack and a newer threat of terrorist activity in the homeland have greatly increased interest in sub-compact pistols. So, I will add another pistol for consideration and review the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm and provide my observations of the handgun’s fit, function, and finances. I’ll also incorporate some useful accessories, such as the CrossBreed MiniTuck inside-the-waistband holster and Tractiongrips pre-cut grip enhancing tape.

A Little History

Following the immense popularity of Glock’s entry into the U.S. law enforcement and civilian firearms marketplace, Smith & Wesson introduced the polymer-framed Sigma in 1993. However, S&W’s design was so close to a Glock that a copyright infringement suit ended the Sigma’s run in 1997. Ten years later, S&W re-entered the polymer-framed striker-fired pistol market with the M&P (Military and Police) line. The 4.5 inch barreled .45 caliber M&P won Handgun of the Year in 2007 and it’s popularity spawned mid-sized and compact versions of the venerable .45ACP as well as 9mm chamberings in 2008. Later, in 2011, Smith & Wesson produced the M&P 22, chambered in .22 caliber long-rifle.

Also similar to Glock, the standard M&P line of handguns had wide-body frames which could contain “double stacked” magazines… and were somewhat difficult to conceal. So, in 2012, Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P Shield in 9mm and .40cal with a thinner slide and frame, and thus “single stack” magazine to enhance concealability. In 2014, Smith & Wesson introduced the M&P Bodyguard chambered in the diminutive .380ACP.

Initially, the M&P design incorporated only two “passive” safeties (a striker block to prevent inertial movement from striking the primer and a “hinged” trigger design which prevented trigger movement unless it was firmly pressed by the shooter). However, many shooters who wanted to use the M&P pistols for concealed carry or a back-up gun desired the addition of an “active” safety (which requires the conscious activation and de-activation on behalf of the handler). Thus Smith & Wesson incorporated an active “thumb safety” as a factory option in their M&P line.

In addition to client requests for training with a sub-compact M&P Shield, I too wanted to learn more about this handgun and considered it for my personal concealed carry. So I took advantage of a Father’s Day sale this past June and purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm for training and personal protection.

Introducing the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mmBy the numbers, this pistol has an overall length of 6.1 inches, width of 0.95 inches, height of 4.6 inches, and barrel of 3.1 inches… all weighing-in at just 19 ounces. It ships with two magazines… a “flush” magazine that holds seven 9mm cartridges, and an extended magazine that holds eight. The “three dot” fixed-sights present a clear picture and seem durable. For the most part, the operating surfaces mirror the full-size M&P line. However, the Shield does not include the interchangeable back-strap common to its bigger sibling. The advertised trigger pull of 6.5 pounds was verified using a Wheeler analog trigger pull gauge. With considerable “free travel” the pull weight rapidly progresses to the 6.5lbs and lingers there for a slightly “creepy” sear disengagement. Some of this perceived “trigger creep” may be due to the unique striker action inherent to the M&P design. While most striker-fired pistols are considered single action (slide action retracts and holds the striker fully retracted until sear disengagement releases the striker for full forward motion), the M&P line is technically considered “double action” since slide action retracts the striker to 98%. Trigger movement retracts the striker the remaining 2% until the sear disengages and sends it forward.

Disassembly ProfileWith its aggressive and “forward facing” slide serrations, he M&P Shield is easy to clear, manipulate, disassemble, clean and re-assemble. It breaks-down into the basic elements similar to other models… slide, frame, barrel, and recoil spring captured in the recoil spring guide. Some owners complain about alleged safety implications stemming from the requirement to pull the trigger in order to accomplish full disassembly. Other than adding one more step, I’ve never had a problem with this. I believe that following the basic safety rules and ALWAYS ensuring the firearm is unloaded prior to disassembly and cleaning will avert any safety hazards. However, apathy and carelessness pave the way to negligent discharges.

Impressions, Fit, Function, and Finances

Eager to evaluate this pistol and test its “out of the box” reliability, I took the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm directly from the store counter to the range and put it to the test by firing 300 rounds of 115 grain Full Metal Jacket ammunition from various distances. I’m fairly impressed with the ease of operation and comfort in this small and affordable package. In the following paragraphs, I’ll evaluate its fit, function, and finances along with a full range report.Continue Reading »

Article by – Howard Hall

Gun Review: Glock 43 Singlestack 9mm

Glock43 Singlestack 9mmIn this article, I will review the new Glock 43 Singlestack 9mm pistol. Through the course of the text and photos, I will provide an overview, discuss the Fit, Function, and Finances in regard to this model, and then conclude with a Range Report and personal observations.

Whether you love ‘em, hate ‘em, or have chosen to ignore them since their introduction in 1982, there is no doubt that Glock pistols have made their mark on the firearms and shooting industries. Designed in 1981 by Austrian engineer and polymer tool pioneer, Gaston Glock, the Austrian Army commissioned the 9mm Glock 17 in 1982. The venerable G17 was introduced into the U.S. in 1985 and its simple operation and extreme reliability immediately caught the attention of Law Enforcement and commercial markets.

G17 gained near-instant fame when Bruce Willis incited a myth about Glock 7 in Die Hard2However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the G17 gained near-instant fame when Bruce Willis (playing the role of John McClane in the second Die Hard movie) incited a myth when his character stated: “That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me. You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. Doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines, here, and it cost more than you make in a month.” Although the dialogue is factually incorrect in nearly every account, it launched a legend. (there is no Glock 7, no parts are made of porcelain – the slide is steel while the frame and some small parts are polymer, it most certainly WILL show up in an X-ray machine, and even in 1990 dollars, it didn’t cost more than the other character made in a month)

Since the company’s founding in 1981, they produced their 5 millionth pistol in 2007 (source: https://us.glock.com/heritage/timeline) and it is estimated that Glocks dominate 65% of the U.S. Law Enforcement market (source: Sweeney, Patrick (2008). The Gun Digest Book of the Glock (2nd ed.).

Iola, WI: Krause Publications).

Built on a foundation of extreme reliability, affordability, and superior function, Glock expanded their line of pistols to include a myriad of calibers, slide lengths, and frame sizes to accommodate a wider variety of law enforcement, military, recreational shooting, personal defense, and competition markets. Although it is a fine handgun for personal defense, concealed carriers often lamented the sheer width of even the “smallest” Glock models. Let’s call it what it is… the majority of the line-up can be best described as “boxy” and difficult to conceal.

A New Era?

During this year’s SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade) Show, Glock unveiled the Glock 42… a Single-Stack (read: thinner) sub compact handgun chambered in .380 auto. Many flocked to the new offering with abounding joy while others decried the marginally performing .380 auto designation while crying: “if they only made it in 9mm!”

Well… the shooting world waited 27 years for a single-stack Glock, so the mixed emotions stemming from the Glock 42 turned into rapturous joy a few short weeks later in mid-April when Glock unveiled the G43 at the NRA Annual Meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee. Finally, the shooting community had its Glock single-stack sub-compact chambered in 9mm!

 

Aegis Academy Pistol Training in San Diego

Introducing the Glock 43

Even though the sub-compact carry-pistol (or pocket pistol) market left little room for another entry, the Glock 43’s introduction was heralded with fanfare and eager anticipation. For weeks after its introduction in Nashville, gunshops around the country were flooded with requests and inquiries: “so… when WILL you get one in stock?” In most cases, they departed through the front door of the shops within hours of hitting the receiving dock. A few internet entrepreneurs on Gunbroker and Gunsamerica were taking advantage of the flurry of activity by charging premium prices exceeding the $600.00 range.

Although I’m generally lukewarm to Glocks and use either a customized 9mm Glock 34 for competitions or the G17 and G19 for instruction, I was also caught-up in the excitement about the new single-stack offering. I managed to purchase a Blue Box (military and law enforcement sale) for a little over 4 bills and I’m impressed with its fit and function.

By the numbers, the Glock 43 has an overall length of 6.26 inches, barrel length of 3.39 inches, height of 4.25 inches, and width of 1.02 inches… all with an unloaded weight of just under 18 ounces. All other features of the Glock 43 remain both similar and true to the original design… including the plastic “front dot” and “rear U-notch” sights.

The traditional Safe Action trigger initially measured a little over 7 pounds using a wheeler trigger-pull scale. However, after firing 500 rounds and conducting a thorough cleaning, the same scale measured closer to the advertised 5.5 pounds. Trigger travel and positive re-set are similar to other Glock models.

The pistol ships in the standard hard case with a gun lock, polymer cleaning rod and brush, magazine speed loader, and two magazines. Both magazines can hold 6 cartridges, but one is flush and the other has a finger extension.

Taking a closer look

The Glock 43 both functions and breaks-down in a manner nearly identical to the flagship G17. Also, the internal parts are NEARLY identical. The two most notable differences can be found in the dimensions and shape of the safety plunger and the tip of the striker. The photos depict the visual differences. Continue Reading »

Author – Howard Hall

Disclaimer: I have no personal or professional connections to Glock or its affiliates and I was not compensated in any way by them for this review. I purchased the pistol through a military and law enforcement retailer. The observations and opinions expressed are mine alone provided for your information only.

Gun Review EAA Windicator .38 Special/.357 Magnum Revolver

EAA Windicator .38 Special/.357 Magnum RevolverIn regard to the third “F” in Fit, Function, and Finances… does a quality gun necessarily have to be expensive? We’ll take a look at that question in this review of the EAA Windicator .38 Special/.357 Magnum Revolver.

Aside from the firearms I’ve used in conjunction with my military career, I’ve spent my “other” shooting career focused on firearms for competition, sporting, and personal defense. As such, I’ve spent only a fraction of that time shooting revolvers. I have noted, however, that a growing number of clients are interested in learning about revolvers for per395087sonal defense. ShotShell 37SPL/357 MagnumI must admit that I have also become increasingly interested in carrying a revolver for camping or while out at the cabin due to their durability, reliability, and wide variety of ammunition, which includes snake-shot, which cannot be fired through semi-automatic pistols.

I discussed this topic with one of my friends who works at Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA and mentioned that I was in the market for a rugged snub-nosed .38 special/.357 magnum revolver that could fit my large hand. He showed me a wide variety of revolvers from Ruger, Smith and Wesson, and Taurus that ranged from $450.00 to $900.00. Since I was only going to incorporate this revolver into basic firearms instruction and the occasional camping trip or weekend at the cabin, I challenged my friend to find one that met my specifications at or below $300.00. After a few minutes, he presented me with the EAA (European American Arms) Windicator, which is a 2 inch snub-nose blued revolver in .38/.357… for under $300.00!

Although it was a small 2 inch snub-nose, this revolver felt solid and the generous grip filled my large hand quite well. A cursory inspection verified that the lock-up and timing were acceptable. Dry-firing verified that the double action trigger pull was long and heavy compared to the short and light single action pull. Everything checked-out at the counter, but I wanted to do a little more research before committing to the purchase.

Over lunch, I looked-up everything I could find on the EAA Windicator. European American Arms (EAA), based in Florida, has been importing this revolver from a German company named Weihrauch for quite some time. The reviews spanned the gamut from “phenomenal” to “worthless.” A few reviewers cited their revolver losing its timing after firing thousands of high pressure .357 rounds or claiming that it was insufficient for IDPA shooting. Many reviewers cited that it was a great bargain for the price.

Since my expectations and intended usage were more in line with the price point than those who expressed disappointment in their reviews, I purchased the revolver, a few boxes of American Eagle .38 Special ammo, and set out to test it and form my own opinions. With the help of my friend, Al Rice, we put the Windicator through its paces at Sharpshooters in Lorton, VA.

By the Numbers

six-shot single action / double action revolver The EAA Windicator is a 2 inch snub-nosed six-shot single action / double action revolver chambered in .38 special and .357 magnum. Its fixed sights are comprised of a plain black ramp blade in the front and a plain “U” shaped fixed channel in the back. The overall length is 7 inches. This revolver has a substantial black rubber grip and weighs 30 ounces (nearly 2 pounds) empty! This is significant when you compare it to some of the popular snub-nosed .38/.357s like the Ruger LCR weighing-in at 17 ounces and the comparable Taurus and Smith and Wesson models weighing in at roughly 20 ounces (and with MSRPs from $500 to $700). The double action trigger pull exceeded the 10 pound limit on my spring-scale, but the single action pull registered a consistent 4 pounds across six tests.

Fit

As mentioned above, the Windicator’s grip was substantial enough to fill my hand, but was not so prohibitively large that a shooter with a smaller hand couldn’t establish a sufficient and comfortable grip. This revolver pointed naturally and the “length of pull” (distance from the back-strap to the trigger face) was appropriate for me to place the pad of my index finger where it belonged for a smooth trigger pull. From a double action start, the length of pull measured 2.525 inches and the sear broke at 2.105 inches, which means that 10+ pounds of steady pressure had to be applied throughout the trigger’s 0.420 inch travel. Conversely, cocking the hammer for a single action shot reduced the length of pull to 2.170, which leaves the shooter to apply 4 pounds of pressure over a very short 0.065 inch to break the shot.

Function

Again, I chose this revolver as a training aid for basic firearms instruction and as a utility firearm while camping or at the cabin. As such, the 2 inch snub nose makes it ideal for the classroom and the field. Also, while many new revolver designs for concealed carry are double-action-only “hammerless” (where the internal hammer has no exposed spur), I needed a DA/SA revolver with exposed hammer and spur for instruction and to provide the option of a heavy and deliberate double action or planned and light single action shot. Read More »

About Author: Howard Hall (Range Master)

Howard has served for nearly 20 years in the Marine Corps. He has served as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Regimental Operations Officer, and Battalion Commander. He has multiple combat tours to include serving as a military transition team member in Fallujah. He is an NRA Certified handgun instructor and holds numerous Marine Corps training credentials.

An active competitor in action pistol (United States Practical Shooting Association), long range rifle (NRA F-Class), and shotgun (Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association), howard has earned numerous accolades and medaled during DoD competitions with the 1911 platform in bulls-eye shooting.

Product Review: Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Pistol

Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Pistol Gun ReviewIn this article, I will provide a product review and range report on the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm pistol as both a general equipment review and as information on an Aegis Academy rental gun. To set the proper context, let’s start with a little history.

History

In 1982, Glock took the firearms market by storm when it introduced a durable and highly reliable polymer framed pistol with its unique “safe action” trigger. Shortly after the Austrian Police adopted the 9mm Glock 17 as its duty sidearm, military and police forces around the globe either adopted or strongly considered this venerable platform. In the years that followed, many other pistol manufacturers rushed to regain this valuable corner of the firearms market.

For decades, Smith and Wesson revolvers and semi-automatic pistols had been long-favored sidearms for U.S. law enforcement. Adapting to law enforcement and consumer trends, S&W threw its hat in the polymer-framed pistol ring in 1993 with the “Sigma.” However, the Sigma design shared so many similarities with Glock that the subsequent lawsuit for patent infringement was eventually settled out of court in 1997.

Adapting to the ever expanding polymer-framed pistol market and aggressively seeking to enter into military contracts while also regaining a foothold in law enforcement circles, S&W introduced the M&P, or Military and Police, pistol line in 2005 with the M&P 9mm. Since then, they have expanded the line to include full-size, mid-size, compact, competition, shield, bodyguard and revolver models in 40 S&W, .45ACP, .357 Sig, .380ACP, and .22 Long Rifle. The M&P moniker has also extended to .357 Magnum/.38 Special M&P revolvers.

General Description

The S&W M&P pistols are polymer-framed, striker fired, short recoil operated, semi-automatic breech-locking pistols. This design incorporates an inertial striker safety which prevents the striker from moving forward and igniting the primer due to pistol momentum alone. This passive safety is disengaged only when the shooter depresses the trigger to initiate the firing sequence. The original models had no active or thumb safeties, but later models include this as an option. Other options include a magazine safety which prevents the pistol from firing while the magazine is removed as well as an integrated ignition system lock.

Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Pistol Gun Review BreakdownOther common design features include an integrated Picatinny rail to mount lasers or lights, ambidextrous slide lock, reversible magazine release, aggressive forward cut rear-cocking serrations, steel low mount “three-dot” or tritium sights, external extractor, loaded chamber indicator, and interchangeable back-straps to adjust to different hand sizes.

The action is a bit interesting. Most striker-fired pistols are considered single action since the slide recoil sets and locks the striker in a position ready to fire and the next trigger pull releases the striker to only move forward… thus single action. However, slide recoil in the S&W M&P sets and locks the striker 98% to the rear. The next trigger pull completes the remaining 2% movement to the rear before the sear releases the striker to move forward. Therefore, the S&W M&P is considered a striker-fired Double Action Only pistol. (Source: Smith and Wesson)

Ergonomically speaking, the bore axis is very low and an extended grip tang provides exceptional “guidance” toward a proper grip while drawing from the holster as well as recoil management during rapid fire.

S&W M&P 9mm Full Size Specifications

The pistol tested in this product review is the same model as the Aegis Academy rental gun. Actually, it IS one of the Aegis Academy rental guns. The Smith and Wesson web site lists this pistol’s attributes as follows:

  • Caliber – 9mm
  • Barrel Length – 4.25 inches
  • Sights – steel, low mount, three dot fixed sights
  • Trigger Pull – 6.5 pounds
  • Overall Length – 7.3 inches
  • Overall Height – 5.5 inches
  • Width – 1.2 inches
  • Sight Radius – 6.4 inches
  • Weight (empty) – 24 ounces
  • Finish – Black (frame: polymer; slide: melonite)
  • Capacity – two 17-round magazines

Analysis

I am very familiar with the M&P pistol line. I purchased a full-size M&P .45ACP in 2011 and used it extensively in USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) competitions in the Production Class through 2013. I have also used the full-size M&P 9mm on the range during instruction with Aegis Academy. In the following paragraphs, I’ll review the fit, function, and finances of the full-size M&P 9mm.

Fit – I found the full-size frame to be well suited to my large hands… even with the “Medium” back-strap insert installed. Aegis clients with smaller hands appreciated the option to “go down” one size and have the small back-strap insert installed. However, those with the smallest hands did occasionally have trouble gaining a “high grip” to ensure the tang sat snugly against the web between their thumb and forefinger. For most shooters, this pistol points naturally and the combination of the low bore axis and the extended grip tang made it easy to get the first shots on target while keeping the recoil manageable for rapid follow-up shots as well.

I personally appreciated the extended grip tang… especially when drawing from the holster. Again, with large hands, this is my main complaint with Glock pistols: overgripping the frame and getting “bitten” by the slide. Read more >>

Posted by Howard Hall

Product Review: GunVault MVB500 (Micro-Vault Biometric) Security Container

GunVault MVB500 (Micro-Vault Biometric) Security ContainerWhile current and prospective gun owners’ motivations for owning firearms range from personal defense, hunting, recreation, competition and heirloom collection… all bear the legal and moral responsibility to learn how to both operate and store their firearms responsibly.  In my article on Gun Safety – Secure Storage, I highlighted these legal considerations and covered a variety of methods to securely store firearms.  In this article, I will review one particular model of Portable or Specific-Use Containers, the Micro-Vault Biometric, or MVB500 by Gun Vault.

A “Typical” Progression

As a long-time gun owner, I believe that I may have gone through the “typical” phases of firearm security.  When I had owned only a few pistols, I kept them locked in their individual cases and in a relatively secure location in my residence.  As the collection grew, it became more difficult to manage the growing number of keys for these different locked cases.  At one point in my less-experienced days, I felt rather creative and modified a rifle case to secure a dozen pistols.  While this certainly secured the pistols from unauthorized use, I realized that I just made a convenient “carrying case” for a low-life thief to run away with my prized possessions and use them in any number of crimes.

As I added rifles and shotguns to my collection, I “stepped up” to a portable gun cabinet.  I chose the gun cabinet over a traditional safe since I moved every two or three years and wanted something that would be easily transported.  Gun Cabinets are only moderately effective against intrusion and if they aren’t secured to the floor or a wall, they can become another type of convenient carrying case for criminals.  So, I reached the point in professional and financial stability where I purchased a traditional gun safe.  The size and weight of the safe precluded positioning it where I could quickly access a firearm for home defense.

In order to accommodate this arrangement, I would draw a weapon from the safe and place it on the nightstand each night and then return it in the morning before leaving for work each morning.  While this was a bit tedious and introduced the opportunity to “forget” to either draw the firearm at night or return it in the morning, it was acceptable until my daughter arrived.  With a child in the house, I needed to take more active and consistent measures to maintain firearm security.

The Search

Satisfied with the anti-intrusion and overall security of my collection in a quality gun safe, I evaluated a variety of portable or specific-use security containers.  A number of manufacturers make small firearm security containers with a variety of access options, such as keys, magnets, dial combinations, keypad combinations, and biometric fingerprint readers.

I had determined that I wanted a small security container that could hold a full-size .45ACP firearm with laser/light attachment.  I also determined that I needed the following features: (1) must be able to access in complete darkenss; (2) must be accessible only by me or my wife while absolutely prohibiting access to anyone else; and (3) must be portable but able to secure to another object by bolt or cable.  With these parameters in mind, this excluded any containers activated by keys, magnets, or dial combinations… leaving only a choice between keypad or biometric fingerprint readers.

Gun Vault offered the widest variety of keypad and biometric security containers at a reasonable price.  Two choices remained, top or front access, and keypad or biometric?  Since I intended for this to be placed in a nightstand drawer, I needed a top access container.  In regard to keypad or biometric, I read a number of reviews on the Gun Vault site as well as many other sites.  While some users had expressed exasperation with the fingerprint readers, the majority clearly had favorable experiences.  After personally evaluating a number of Gun Vault fingerprint readers at local gun shops and gun shows, I became confident enough to favor the biometric fingerprint reader.

After an exhaustive search, I chose the Gun Vault MVB500 (Micro-Vault Biometric)

The Review

IMG_7995The specifications for the GunVault MVB500 list it is ideal for home and travel with its fast entry, 15 finger print memory, and 20 gauge steel construction.  It included a braided steel cable, 4xAA battery pack, and two spare keys.  The retail price was just under $250.00.

IMG_7997I purchased this unit in 2011 and have been very impressed ever since.  In my opinion, it has functioned exactly as advertised.  With a very easy-to-understand instruction manual, programming fingerprints into to the system was simple.

IMG_8003In less than 10 minutes, I was able to program three fingers from both my wife’s and my hands into the system.  We even tested the system to ensure that the biometric lock would reject unauthorized fingerprints, which it consistently did.

IMG_8006I was able to secure it into the nightstand drawer with simple wood screws and anchored the unit at an angle that would be easily accessible with both my wife’s and my right and left hands.  The unit is large enough for me to secure a Sig P227 with an extended magazine inserted and light/laser attached to the rail.  The original batteries have lasted for over three years now and I only replaced them to ensure that they would not fail when most needed.

Cons

There is a little bit of “training” required to ensure that you “drag” your designated fingers along the biometric reader in the same manner each time.  As you can see in the photos, there is a “channel” that “guides” your finger across the reader.  However, it is easy to alter the speed and angle which will result in a false reading.  A little practice can ensure that each “swipe” is successful.  Also, wet or dirty fingers can lead to false readings.

My other negative observation is that the biometric fingerprint reader is the single point of success or failure.  If the fingerprint reader fails, or user fails to properly “swipe,” then there is no way to gain access without digging out the key to open the unit.  “Hiding” the key near the unit for rapid nighttime access can defeat some of the utility of the unit in the first place.

Conclusion

In my opinion, the utility and overall positive aspects of the GunVault MVB500 far outweigh the negative aspects.  No system is fool-proof.  This product performs exactly as advertised and has satisfied my requirements for over three years.  This product does require a little bit of training to ensure consistent access.  I do not see this as a problem since I believe that the key to an effective response to a home invasion is continued situational awareness, response plan development, and response rehearsals.  Please see Planning to Fail, for more information.

Aegis Academy espouses the principles of Fit, Function, and Finances in selecting firearms.  I believe the same concept can assist in selecting firearm accessories, such as safety devices and security containers.  In this case, the GunVault MVB500 was the right size to fit in the nightstand drawer and could secure a full-size .45ACP; the function satisfied my requirement for quick access in complete darkenss by only me or my wife while excluding all others; and while a bit pricey, the financial commitment was worth the functionality.  In the end, I highly recommend the GunVault MVB500 for anyone with similar interests and requirements for firearm security.

Stay safe and shoot straight!

Disclaimer: This product was reviewed objectively by the author only and does not constitute an endorsement by Aegis Academy.  I have no financial or personal connections with GunVault, I have not been compensated in any way by GunVault for this review, and I independently purchased this product at full retail price.  This review is provided for your information and consideration only.  

About Author

Howard Hall – Range Master

Productsvcwmthi-248x330Howard has served for nearly 20 years in the Marine Corps. He has served as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Regimental Operations Officer, and Battalion Commander. He has multiple combat tours to include serving as a military transition team member in Fallujah. He is an NRA Certified handgun instructor and holds numerous Marine Corps training credentials. An active competitor in action pistol (United States Practical Shooting Association), long range rifle (NRA F-Class), and shotgun (Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association), howard has earned numerous accolades and medaled during DoD competitions with the 1911 platform in bulls-eye shooting.

First published at Aegis Academy