How To Wear And Use The Concealed Carry 4.0 IWB Holster

Using Your ShapeShift 4.0 Concealed Carry Holster Today we’re going to talk about the ShapeShift 4.0 IWB holster. We’re going to show you how to wear it, where to wear it, how to make it fit comfortably and more. But first, let’s start with the basics and answer the question… What Are IWB Holsters? The IWB holster is without question the most popular type for daily carry. It’s called that because it goes inside the waistband and against your body, where half the gun is concealed inside your pants. At Alien Gear Holsters, we have the 3.5 Cloak Tuck which is available for over 700 models of firearms and our upgraded 4.0 ShapeShift holster, which is now available for over 80 of the most popular firearms. Both are designed specifically to conceal in comfort with a hard shell and a soft neoprene backing. If we don’t have your model […]

How To Use The Cloak Mod OWB Holster

Your Guide To The Cloak Mod Holster Here at Alien Gear Holsters, we carry a number of outside of the waistband holsters including the ShapeShift Paddle and Belt Slide holsters, the Cloak Belt and Cloak Slide holsters, and the holster that we’re covering today, the Cloak Mod. The Cloak Mod is a durable, open-top holster that gives you a little bit of modularity so you can switch some things up how you like them. You can’t make it an IWB holster for concealed carry, but it’s a good choice of a dedicated OWB holster for open carry or range days that you can adjust a little bit. The Cloak Mod Paddle Holster The Cloak Mod is our original paddle holster and it’s unique because it allows you to buy the holster base and then swap out the shell if you want to use a different gun. It does that […]

How to Wear a Paddle Holster

A Quick Guide To Paddle Holsters What’s the difference between the paddle holsters that Alien Gear sells? Why are they even called paddle holsters? We’re going to explain. What Is A Paddle Holster? This kind of holster is called a paddle holster because of how it attaches to your belt. It’s the bracket on the side of the holster that gives it its name, and it’s used to flex and attach your holster to your belt. It’s a type of OWB holster or outside-the-waistband holster that has traditionally been popular with detectives, attorneys and other people who carry a gun but need to be able to take it on and off. Usually a paddle holster will stay in place seated on the belt with the help of a ledge like what you see here. The paddle holster itself can be worn just behind the belt or even behind the […]

Concealed Carry Gun Safety Tips

Gun Safety With Concealed Carry Do you remember the first time that you put a loaded firearm into your holster? That’s the way that you should feel every time you holster your weapon. Today we’re going to be talking about safety when it comes to concealed carry. You should have a basic understanding of the three main rules of gun safety, with those being keeping your finger off the trigger until you’re y to shoot, treating every firearm as if it’s loaded and keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times. Those basics are going to come up again. Safe Carry Starts With A Safely Holstered Gun One of the most popular forms of concealed carry is in an IWB holster, and this holster is going to go over your back pocket somewhere between 180 and at 90 degrees, with 90 degrees being on your hip. […]

S&W’s Model 351 PD Kit Gun

05/08/2022 As a kid… yes, a baby goat for folks who insist upon correct word usage and/or need specificity in language, I could not figure out why anyone would want to pay full price for a “kit gun”. a gun they would have to assemble. I did not solve that mystery. No, I think labeling me obtuse would be a little strong as a personality trait, however, I would endorse naive. I stopped thinking about “kit guns” altogether until the 1970s when I purchased a S&W Model 63 22 LR for my wife and noticed it was aly assembled!..!!. The event was a milestone in my life and I began thinking what other understanding might might have eluded me. Nah, I knew I was pretty much set on everything else in life. As my mother would say, “L’ignoranza è beatitudine”. Just for clarification, and to justify this preamble, in […]

Stoeger’s STR-9S Combat Semi-Auto Pistol

05/15/2022 The last time my wife and I purchased a car, it was preceded by a major debate. I wanted a Ferrari 812 Superfast and Diane wanted a Ford Escape, so we compromised. We bought a Ford Escape and a Ferrari keychain. The funny thing is, it was a good decision. The Escape had lots of advanced driver assistance and safety technology and solid turbocharged performance. It could be used for long road trips, an evening out, or hauling bags of garden mulch from Lowe’s. We did own a Ferrari at one point, a 355 Berlinetta. It left us with tingchechangphobia, it was a magnet for carjackers and spent most of its life in a dark garage attached to a battery tender. Even the sounds of a V8 winding to 8,500 RPM was not enough to justify its existence. Yes, the Ferrari was something special, but the Escape served […]

Walther PP: Patton’s Twin

Produced in extremely limited numbers, the “Tough ‘Ombres” Walther PPs are some of the most sought-after German guns carried home by America’s GIs during WW2, and Rock Island Auction Company is offering one of the rarest of the rare this May a Walther pistol that truly stands in a league of its own. The upper left side of the slide bears the raised name “THOMAS M. ANDREWS” flanked by the 90th Infantry Division’s “TO” monograms, short for “Tough ‘Ombres”, a nickname proudly embraced by the army division. As a near-identical twin to General George S. Patton’s presentation Walther and one serial number below the legendary general’s gun, the Walther PP of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Andrews, Chief of Staff for Major General Herbert L. Earnest of the 90th Infantry Division, is a one gun wish-list gun for WW2 enthusiasts, Walther collectors, and firearms fans as a whole. There are […]

Battle Of The Barrels: Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun vs S333 Thunderstruck

Standard Manufacturing Switch Gun Vs S333 Standard Manufacturing produces some innovative firearms, two of which are the S333 (formerly called the S333 Thunderstruck) and their newly-released Switch Gun. Both are a bit of a departure from other compact .22 pistols and have a niche and purpose that they could fulfill as a concealed carry gun. If you wanted to carry something a little different, these two guns would certainly be different and interesting. But which would be better? As with anything else, it depends on you and what your needs and priorities are. We think there’s a role for both, and we’ll tell you why during this comparison. So let’s dig in. Standard Manufacturing Switch Gun The Switch Gun .22 Magnum Revolver is a folding single-action micro revolver chambered in .22 Magnum, aka .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, .22 WMR, etc. The gun has a five-shot cylinder, and a single-action […]

Winchester 1873: One of One Hundred

Perhaps the most sought-after variation of the Winchester 1873 rifle, the Winchester One of One Hundred is one of the rarest of the rare in gun collecting. The One of One Hundred example featured in Rock Island Auction Company’s May Premier is not only the last of its model produced, but the storied rifle has an impressive tale to complement its remarkable pedigree. This rifle is illustrated and described on pages 113-118 of “The Story of the Winchester 1 of 1000 and 1 of 100 Rifles” by Edmund E. Lewis. Winchester referred to these special order rifles both numerically (1 of 100) and using their full wording (One of One Hundred) in their writing and advertisements, as well as on the rifle barrels. Winchester Model 1873 serial number 27179 has been a centerpiece in some of the most esteemed firearms collections throughout the decades, including the Frank R. Sweet Collection, […]

Elmer Keith and the .44 Magnum

American legend Elmer Keith was long an advocate for more powerful ammunition for his .44 Special, and in the mid-1950s Regton Arms and Smith & Wesson rose to the task. Ammo makers were wary of producing a hotter cartridge load because of the damage it could do to a gun built before modern heat-treating processes for strengthening metal were developed. By the mid-1950s, Keith, a firearms writer, hunting guide, and outdoorsman, had successfully lobbied Smith & Wesson President Carl Hellstrom and Regton Arms executives to produce .44 Magnum ammunition and the revolver that could handle it. This would one day launch Dirty Harry Callahan’s famous line about punks and how lucky they may or may not be feeling. Keith, “the father of big bore handgunning,” had aly pushed for and gotten ammo makers to produce stronger ammunition for .38 specials ̶ .357 Magnum ̶ in the 1930s and would push […]

Pinfire Guns: An Ammunition Oddity

Definition: A pinfire gun is a firearm that utilizes pinfire ammunition. In a pinfire cartridge, a small pin protrudes from one side of the case. When the pin is struck by the hammer of the firearm, the pin strikes a primer inside the cartridge causing a small primary explosion that ignites the black powder inside the base of the cartridge and propels the bullet/shot. Various examples of pinfire ammunition. Invention of the Pinfire Cartridge French gunmakers were highly influential in the development of self-contained firearms ammunition. Pinfire ammunition was designed by French gunmaker Casimir Lefaucheux in the 1830s and patented in 1835. The pinfire cartridge was the first widely used self-contained cartridge type and made breech-loading firearms significantly more practical. Initially, the pinfire cartridge utilized paperboard cases with brass bases, but full-metallic cases were developed by Benja Houllier, another French gunmaker, in 1846 shortly after Louis-Nicolas Flobert patented the first […]

Everyday Carry: A Texas Ranger’s Colt Single Action Army

When Jack Dean patrolled the lonesome roads of west Texas in the 1960s, he didn’t know he’d cross paths with an infamous hitman with a famous son. Dean joined the Texas Highway Patrol in 1960 after being laid off from an aircraft plant in Fort Worth. After 10 years, he was recruited to the Texas Rangers in 1970 where he rose to the rank of captain before he retired to become U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas in 1993. He is one of six Texas Rangers to serve as a U.S. Marshal. When he joined the Rangers, there was no training. “They gave you a pistol and a badge, and it was go to work,” Dean said in an interview with the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum. “They just turned you loose and you leaned on your fellow Rangers.” A factory engraved Colt Single Action Army […]

How To Practice One-Handed Shooting

The Basics Of One-Handed Shooting Today we’re going over engaging targets with only one hand instead of two. One-handed shooting in a practical sense is based on the assumption that maybe you’re recovering from an injury with your arm in a sling, maybe you’re in a gunfight in one of your hands gets wounded or your arm or your shoulder whatever and it renders you unable to do a two-handed grip. You might also have one hand occupied holding a shopping bag or your child or grandchild’s hand. One-handed shooting should be included in your practice regimen as you may have to shoot one-handed should you find yourself confronted with a serious threat. How To: One-Handed Shooting There’s there’s a couple different schools of thought for this. A lot of guys like to shoot squared to the range, with their hand on their chest or their belly, or maybe hook […]

Lots of Guns! Four Auctions Now Posted!

Just when we here at Rock Island Auction Company think we’ve reached the pinnacle of collectible firearms, another one beckons. For the first time in company history, there are four auction catalogs on our website totaling more than 9,000 firearms. RIAC is days away from the May 13-15 Premier Auction that features the Regton revolvers of Ulysses S. Grant as well as guns mentioned in the same breath as George Custer, Wild Bill Hickok and Pancake Pete. As always, a broad assortment of Class III and modern firearms will be available alongside the ever-amazing antique items. While more than 1,500 firearms in the Premier Auction are truly in rarefied company, the two Arms and Accessories auctions, on May 25 and June 8 respectively, and the Sporting and Collector Auction, June 22-24 have something for both new and experienced collectors. Premier Auction, May 13-15 The Regton New Model Army revolvers of […]

What Is A 2011? Double-Stack 1911 Pistols, Explained

A Quick Guide To 2011 And Other Double-Stack 1911 Pistols Every 2011 is a widebody/double-stack 1911, but not every widebody/double-stack 1911 is a 2011. While the term gets used colloquially to refer to any double-stack 1911, they just aren’t. The 2011 frame was invented by the founders of STI, the company now called Staccato…but it isn’t the only widebody 1911 frame that uses a double-stack magazine. So, let’s talk about what a 2011 actually is. We’ll go over what’s so great about them as well as some pitfalls to be aware of. While it’s an amazing handgun, it’s not necessarily for everyone. The Genesis Of The Double-Stack 1911 The 2011/double-stack 1911 was designed to keep the positive attributes of the 1911 (the trigger, ergonomics, etc.) while enhancing capacity, with the first examples emerging in the early 1990s. The idea mostly came from IPSC and USPSA shooters who wanted a […]

Ulysses S. Grant Record Propels Premier Auction to $28.2 Million

Rock Island Auction Company’s May Premier Auction, with a record-setting sale of a pair of revolvers owned by Ulysses S. Grant, realized $28.2 million, the second best total in company history. With eye-popping results from its Premier Auctions, Rock Island Auction set an industry record of $121 million in sales in 2021. The company’s trio of Premier Auctions took in $30 million (May), $24 million (September), and $25.2 million (December), respectively, and the first of 2022 stands proudly near the top. The results of last weekend’s auction show what has long been known by collectors, that Rock Island Auction Company is where you want to consign and where you will find the finest firearms available. The rarified results makes one think the August and December Premier auctions will follow the same remarkable path. Grant’s Regton New Model Army revolvers, only unveiled at the 2018 Las Vegas Antique Arms Show after […]

Marlin’s New Model 1895 Trapper

I’m itchy. Spring has sprung and the woods are emerald green. So I have been tilling compost into the garden and topping the lawn, while attracting the smallest insects that leave the biggest welts. Today, I got a break. It is drizzling now, but heavy rain is in the forecast, so I can gather my notes and finish writing about the new Marlin Model 1895 Trapper. The right company culture making the right firearm Ruger did more than bring continuity to the Marlin brand, they restored the brand’s reputation. Between the Marlin Company’s 2000-2008 production, and production following Regton’s acquisition of Marlin, it had become common for new guns to be delivered with handling scratches, tweaked screw heads, compression spots on checkering, and ill-fitting stocks. Now, when I open a box containing a Ruger-produced Marlin, the product inside is pristine, the manuals are of good quality and pride of ownership […]

How To Safely Load And Unload A Pistol

How To Unload A Pistol And Load It Safely In this video, Alien Gear Holsters was visited by Jason Beighley of Skeleton Key Tactical, who had some training tips for us. Today we’re going over the basic load sequence and unload sequence that you can do safely with your pistol. Safe gun handling is up to each of us to practice, so you need to know how to safely perform any adistrative tasks with your gun. Loading The Pistol There’s basically only three ways to do this, and all of them are acceptable. They all start with the slide locked to the rear. A lot of ranges require you to have your pistol with the slide locked to the rear when you’re not on the firing line just to know you’re safe, so it’s good to know how to load the gun from the slide locked back. The easiest is […]

The Purpose And Importance Of The NRA

What Does The NRA Do? What does the NRA actually do? Not everyone necessarily understands the current mission and purpose of the National Rifle Association…especially if all they see are the clickbait headlines…so let’s talk about what the scope of this organization actually is. And it’s bigger than you’d think. So, let’s talk about what the organization does. The Core Of The National Rifle Association: Training And Shooting Sports When a National Rifle Association was first proposed around the start of the Civil War the proposed goal was to foster marksmanship through training and competition. It didn’t go anywhere at first (wars are terribly inconvenient) but the need for marksmanship training became evident during that conflict. In 1871, the NRA was chartered in New York. The organization offered training and educational materials (the NRA’s marksmanship handbook was heavily incorporated into the US Army’s marksmanship manual) as well as […]

How to Wear the ShapeShift Belt Slide OWB Holster

What You Need To Know About The ShapeShift Belt Slide OWB Holster The ShapeShift Belt Slide OWB Holster is one of the most popular models in the ShapeShift line of holsters. Let’s go over the instructions for assembling and wearing the Shapeshift Owb Belt Slide holster. What Is The ShapeShift OWB Belt Slide Holster? The ShapeShift OWB Belt Slide Holster is an outside the waistband holster that’s designed to sit high on the belt and ride closer to the body. The ShapeShift OWB Belt Slide Holster is custom-molded and engineered to precision for a perfect fit to your firearm. It attaches by weaving it through your belt loops to be worn outside the waistband or OWB. What’s really cool about this holster is that it comes in what we call the Core Carry Pack, which enables it to shift from the Belt Slide and shapeshift into an IWB, a […]