The next of kin for a 12 gauge, and righteously called an ‘intermediate gauge’. The 20 gauge shotguns offer the perfect equilibrium of power and prowess in their respective applications. With the market already scattered with a plethora of different options. It can be difficult to find and choose a good 20 gauge shotgun. So browse through this discussion which reviews the best 20 gauge shotguns on the market. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for 20 Gauge Shotgun OUR TOP PICK: Beretta A400 Lite KO (Kick-Off) 28" BEST 20 GAUGE SHOTGUN FOR THE MONEY: Benelli M2 20 Gauge 28” Field Shotgun BEST 20 GAUGE TACTICAL SHOTGUN: Remington Model 870 Express Comparison Chart of the Best 20 Gauge Shotguns PRODUCT DETAILS Our Top Pick Our Top Pick "Beretta A400 Lite" KO (Kick-Off) 28" Innovative kick-off style stock with in-built hydraulics for recoil mitigation Reliable and accurate shotgun to be relied upon without doubt Durable, aesthetically pleasing design and prompt customer support View Latest Price Benelli M2 20 Gauge "28” Field Shotgun" Works great for clay sports and duck hunting in all weather conditions Camo texture to aid with camouflaging and points perfectly User-adjustable stock drop and red-bar front sight for easy acquisition "View Latest Price" Remington Model 870 Express The most reliable, popular and proven shotgun in human history Smooth twin action bars prevent binding and twisting Ergonomic and beautiful wooden stock and shoots 2-3/4" and 3" shells View Latest Price Winchester SX3 Black Field All-purpose semi-auto shotgun with interchangeable invector-plus choke system Self-adjusting active valve system for consistent handling of different loads Oil-finish turkish walnut stock with cut checkering for enhanced grip View Latest Price CZ-USA Sharp-Tail Coach Mechanical selectable trigger, manual safety and single extractor Box lock frame design with turkish walnut stock and semi-beavertail forend Chrome lined barrel with raised ribs. Perfect for hunting and sports View Latest Price Browning BPS Field Composite Pump action shotgun with 4 round capacity and vent rib barrel Unique bottom ejection design with polished action and composite stock Silver bead front sight and invector-plus flush choke system View Latest Price Browning Citori Feather Lightning One of the best over/under lightweight shotgun on the market Beautiful and durable design with ivory bead sight and mid bead Includes choke tubes and perfect for sporting and hunting applications View Latest Price When Would a 20 Gauge Shotgun Come in Handy A 20 gauge shotgun is widely used for hunting birds like quail and pheasants. It is also used for hunting small and medium-sized game, and the reason for that is quite obvious. The 20 gauge shells pack lesser power than the devastating 12 gauge, which makes sure that a target small and feeble as a bird or hare is not decimated to shreds. These shells contain a larger number but smaller pellets which provide a wide spread to shoot fast-moving targets like birds. 20 gauge shotguns are also known for their lesser recoil. Which makes it a viable option for recoil sensitive shooters. Especially for women and young users. These shotguns are also quite popular for clay shooting sports due to their controllability and low recoil. How Does a Shotgun Work A shotgun can feature a pump-action , semi-automatic , double-barrel(sxs or over/under ), and single-shot mechanism. Pump-Action These shotguns require the user to rack the pump fore and aft, which cycles the action(ejection and chambering). These guns are very reliable, most affordable, and widely used. Source Semi-Automatic These shotguns can be gas-operated or recoil-operated. Using the blowback energy from the fired round to cycle the action. These shotguns offer a fast rate of fire and are great for bird hunting. Double Barrel These shotguns can have a side by side or over/under design, depending upon the positioning of both barrels. These are the most reliable of all shotgun designs and are widely used in competitions and clay shooting sports. Single Barrel: This is the simplest design for a shotgun. These breech-loading weapons have a single round capacity and are used for hunting or learning and adapting to the basics. How Do I Choose a 20 Gauge Shotgun Action and Reliability Consider the kind of action you’d want for your 20 gauge shotgun. While double barrels are utterly reliable and accurate, semi-auto’s offer a quick rate of fire and swing. Application and Versatility Choose a shotgun that suits your intended purpose. While pump actions are the most versatile, affordable, and effective among all types. It depends upon your personal preference and what you’d be putting your shotgun up to. Source Capacity Capacity is an important factor in choosing an appropriate shotgun. While competitions and hunting do not require a volley of rounds. Applications such as home defense or wing shooting will require a higher capacity. So choose wisely. Durability and Manufacturer Shotguns can be tough as a rock or even require a great amount of care to prevent marring its finish. A shotgun must be durable enough to withstand years of service while being equally reliable along with its entire service life. Additionally, shotguns from renowned manufacturers have better aftermarket support and warranty policies. Finish and Aesthetics The finish of the shotgun is a considerable factor for many people. A 20 gauge shotgun can be a simple piece of metal and synthetic clubbed together. Or a masterpiece with deliberate scrollwork and finish. Quick Take - The Best 20 Gauge Shotguns These are our recommendations for the best 20 gauge shotguns: Beretta A400 Lite KO (Kick-Off) 28" Benelli M2 20 Gauge 28” Field Shotgun Remington Model 870 Express Review of the Best 20 Gauge Shotguns Based on the above-mentioned factors. We have picked, classified, and reviewed the best 20 gauge shotguns on the market. All these shotguns are the best in their class and are sold by reputed manufacturers to cover your purchase. Best Overall: Beretta A400 Lite KO (Kick-Off) 28" CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Cross tub piston cycles all loads flawlessly Low maintenance design and ergonomic stock Barrel extension and customizable stock length Fast semi-automatic operation, lightweight and low recoil Can be used with smartphone-compliant Gunpod 2 application Cons Somewhat pricey. But still great value for money What Recent Buyers Report This shotgun cycles all shotgun loads perfectly and absorbs recoil to the levels of absence. The gun points really well and is very controllable. Reloading it is very easy and the lightweight design is comfortable to carry all day. The design is very ergonomic and it is a classy weapon to carry. Why it Stands Out to Us The Beretta A400 is the perfect example of a versatile full-size 20 gauge shotgun that has impeccable aesthetics, ergonomics, and function. The checkering delivers a perfect grip on the weapon, and the 4+1 capacity is apt for all applications. The blink gas system cycles factory and cheap loads flawlessly, while delivering exceptional accuracy. Who Will Use This Most The gun is perfect for upland bird hunting and competitions. The barrel is long enough to deliver accuracy and has exceptional pointability. Which makes this shotgun also suitable for shooting competitions. The extendable features ensure that the shotgun stays usable for years to come and can be customized to the individual physique. Bottom Line The Beretta A400 Lite features an amazing low-recoil which makes the gun very controllable. The amazing gas system, pointability, ergonomics, and aesthetics of this shotgun make it a versatile and reliable shotgun with a fast rate of fire and optimal capacity. Best 20 Gauge Shotgun for the Money: Benelli M2 20 Gauge 28” Field Shotgun CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros User-adjustable stock drop Realtree max-5 camo finish Reliable inertia operation cycles all loads Fast-handling best semi-auto from Benelli Includes 5 choke tubes and a hard case for carrying Lightweight, ventilated, stepped rib barrel with red bar sight Cons Mag tube spring may feel stiff initially Replacement chokes can be hard to find What "Recent Buyers Report" Most users classify it as the best 20 gauge shotgun on the market. Most likely because of the perfect cycling operation, light-recoil, and perfect balance. The gun points really well and the operating system is very easy to clean. Almost none of the users reported a jam and the camo finish is very durable. Why it Stands Out to Us The Benelli M2 has a simple inertia operated action, which works reliably and helps with mitigating the recoil. This is a fast-handling shotgun and has minimal recoil. The realtree camo finish helps with camouflaging the weapon in the brush. Thus helping during hunting sessions. The included set of choke tubes and a hard case makes this package complete. Who Will "Use This Most" The gun is perfect for bird hunting, given its fast swing, easy pointability, and camo finish. The inertia operation cycles low and magnum loads flawlessly. The ergonomics and function of this gun also make it a suitable home defense shotgun. However, the 3+1 capacity must be kept into consideration for such uses. Bottom Line The Benelli M2 is a very famous and widely used semi-auto shotgun for hunting and competitions. This gun has an inertia operated action and cycles all loads perfectly. The gun has a 60/40 POI, so you must get accustomed to that when using it. Best 20 Gauge Tactical Shotgun: Remington Model 870 Express CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Extremely durable steel receiver Wide availability of aftermarket parts Soaks up recoil very well due to its weight Twin action bars prevent binding and twisting Non-reflective matte finish to remain conspicuous The best selling and most trusted shotgun of all time Cons 4+1 capacity may seem insufficient to some Barrel is a bit long. But can be replaced if needed What Recent Buyers Report The Remington 870 doesn’t need any testimonies to prove its performance or reliability. More than 11 million of these have been sold, and people still buy them. The gun cycles smoothly and can shoot hundreds of rounds without a break. Finding aftermarket parts is very easy and the price is too affordable. Why it Stands Out to Us Yes, we hear you! The Mossberg 590 is a contender for this spot. We still chose the 870 express as the best tactical shotgun because of its all-purpose design, reliability, availability of aftermarket accessories, and recoil mitigation. You can keep it simple as it is, or convert it into a tactical beast within a few minutes by adding upgrades. Who Will Use This Most This is an all-purpose workhorse that can be used to bring food to the table, handle intruders, and even sporting clays. This shotgun has and will be the most reliable shotgun all around the globe for years to come. The extra weight is somewhat a deterrent for longer carry durations, but it also helps with mitigating recoil. Bottom Line The Remington 870 is an all-purpose, affordable, and simple shotgun that’ll serve all applications you can think of. It can be customized to suit different shooters and situations. Plus the durable construction will definitely last for generations. A good gun at an amazing price. Best 20 Gauge Semi-Auto Shotgun: Winchester SX3 Black Field CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Low recoil and quick follow up shots Lightweight and accurate over long-range Self-adjusting active valve gas system handles all loads Large textured surfaces for better grip, even with gloves Cons Price may deter low-budget buyers What Recent Buyers Report Users absolutely love this gun and appreciate the low recoil and perfect cycling operation. The gun shoots almost anything you put through and is very easy to clean and maintain. It is an amazing alternative to those high-end shotguns and works perfectly well in all weather conditions. It is neither too heavy nor beats up the shoulder. Why it Stands Out to Us The Winchester SX3 has a self-adjusting gas valve system, which ensures reliability with almost every load. The gun has a very ergonomic design and a slim profile. The swing and pointability of this shotgun are exceptional, and the long vented rib barrel helps with accuracy. The recoil is easy to manage, and the gun itself is very durable. Who Will Use This Most This is an all-purpose 20 gauge semi-auto shotgun. It can be used for bird hunting, medium game, clay sports, and even self-defense if the need arises. This is an all-season 20 gauge shotgun for beginners as well as pros. The SX3 is widely used by bird hunters and clay shooters across the states. Bottom Line The Winchester SX3 field gun is a tough, reliable, and ergonomic shotgun with a self-adjusting gas system to cycle any load you feed. The gun costs close to a thousand bucks, but it is a worthwhile investment and has the potential to be your go-to gun for the rest of your life. Best 20 Gauge Double Barrel Shotgun: CZ-USA Sharp-Tail Coach CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Manual safety makes operation easier Mechanical selectable trigger is very reliable Box-lock frame design and chrome-lined bores Classic side by side design for retro design lovers Detailed hand engraving for ergonomics and aesthetics Cons Short 20” barrel limits range to some extent Wood feels somewhat basic. Especially at this price What Recent Buyers Report The sharp tail is an upgraded version of the famous CZ-USA hammer coach. So the reviews are certainly similar to the former. According to recent buyer reports, this gun is very tough and well-made. The trigger selection is easy to use, and the gun shoots accurately right out of the box. The wood felt basic, however, it is still the nicest side by side close to a sane price. Why it Stands Out to Us The shotgun offers amazing value for money and delivers more than expected. Good sxs shotguns are hard to find at this price, and the Sharp-tail is one of them. This is a beautiful shotgun, and the fit and finish are superb. It points well, shoots well and the single selective trigger is a good upgrade for modern shooters. Who Will Use This Most The shotgun will find its worth either in the hands of a seasoned hunter or an expert clay shooter. The gun has an amazing swing and will help to track moving targets with ease. The aesthetics are very impressive to let the user boast about the gun at the range. It is a suitable option for sxs lovers and shooters looking to hone their shotgun skills. Bottom Line The CZ-USA Sharp Tail Coach is a useful, beautiful, and reliable double-barrel sxs shotgun. It requires very little maintenance and will shoot every time you pull the trigger. You don’t have to worry about jammed shells any detailed disassembly and cleaning procedures. Best 20 Gauge Pump Shotgun: Browning BPS Field Composite CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Far less maintenance than a semi-auto Very tough and durable all-weather design Magazine cut-off for quick and safe reloading Smooth and supportive pump for easy racking Unique bottom ejection makes it ambidextrous Cons Weighs around 7 lbs Tedious to disassemble and clean What Recent Buyers Report There were almost zero buyers who complained about the function and finish of this shotgun. People like the fact that this shotgun is ambidextrous and bottom ejecting. The extra weight of this gun is also not a deterring factor due to its performance. However, some users did mention that the shotgun was quite hectic to clean. Why it Stands Out to Us The very basic factor is the ambidextrous design of this shotgun. The top-mounted safety and bottom loading/ejection port helps with handling and collecting spent cases. The gun never fails to cycle or shoot, and handles recoil properly(due to its weight). Additionally, it is a very affordable and accurate weapon. Who Will Use This Most The BPS is the perfect gun for hunting birds and trap shooting. However, it is more of an all-purpose shotgun, it has been reported to deliver outstanding performance for the above-mentioned applications. People have had this gun-running successfully for years, which proves its durability and efficacy. Bottom Line The BPS is an affordable, sturdy, and accurate shotgun which suits both left and right-handed shooters. The fit and finish of the gun are amazing, and the pointability is just awesome. A perfect pump action for hunting and shooting sports. Best 20 Gauge Over Under Shotgun: Browning "Citori Feather Lightning" CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Extended midas grade choke tube Perfect for trap and skeet shooting Ivory bead sight and mid-bead with ¼” wide rib High-end shotgun for expert shooting applications Lightweight and durable alloy receiver with intricate scrollwork Cons Very expensive for many buyers What Recent Buyers Report Buyer's report what is expected from such a high-end over/under shotgun. People have shot thousands of rounds through this gun, without a single malfunction or any other issue. The gun is easy to point and shoot, plus has a low recoil to improve follow-up and handling. The recoil pad has rounded corners to improve handling, and the gun itself is very beautiful. Why it Stands Out to Us The Browning Citori series is a line of premium shotguns that are extensively used by skeet and trap experts. This gun has everything you can ask and desire from a perfect over/under shotgun. The gun feels and handles very well, and has amazing aesthetics that compete with even the most opulent guns on the market. Who Will Use This Most The gun is ideal for trap and skeet shooting. That’s what this gun was designed for, and that’s what suits this gun the best. A prospective buyer is obviously not going to spend top dollar on an all-purpose workhorse. This gun can also be used for bird hunting and occasional fun shooting. Bottom Line The Browning Citori Feather Lightning is one of the most lightweight, ergonomic, beautiful, and accurate over/under on the market today. This shotgun is perfect for expert clay shooters and will be suitable for the advanced level shooting sports and hunting. 8. Weatherby SA-08 Synthetic Compact CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Compact and lightweight design Drop-out trigger for easy cleaning Fast semi-auto action with 5+1 capacity Reliable dual valve gas system cycles all loads Push-button safety and matte black anti-glare finish Cons Design too compact for very large shooters What Recent Buyers Report The gun is very lightweight, durable, and accurate. A perfect shotgun for young shooters who can carry out long shooting sessions without tiring. Almost zero users reported a misfire or feeding issues, even with cheap low-end ammunition. Additionally, the low price is also an inspiring factor for buyers. Why it Stands Out to Us The gun features a very durable design due to its synthetic stock. It is a lightweight shotgun, that shoots accurately and offers a fast rate of fire. The 5+1 capacity compliments its rate of fire and the gun is very easy to disassemble and clean. It is available in many barrel lengths and is a versatile shotgun. Who Will Use This Most The size, weight, and barrel length of this variant are perfect for young shooters and users with a slender stature. Bigger users can increase the LOP using spacer recoil pads . This shotgun is perfect for bird hunting and even home defense due to its compact size. Bottom Line The Weatherby SA-08 is an amazingly affordable and reliable shotgun that will serve almost every purpose relevant for a 20 gauge shotgun. It is very easy to disassemble and clean. Plus the price tag is almost a no-brainer for choosing it. Best 20 Gauge Youth Shotgun: Tristar Sporting Arms Viper G2 Youth 26" CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Backed by a 5-year warranty Gas operated LRBHO semi-auto action Optimal 5 shot capacity for versatile use Soft-touch on stock and forearm. Plus easy loading Matted sight plane barrel with fiber optic front sight Low maintenance and durable dual color tone synthetic stock Cons Recommended for heavy loads only What Recent Buyers Report The Tristar Viper G2 is the best youth gun you can find at an exceptionally reasonable price. The shotgun has a ‘soft-touch’ stock and a perfect recoil balancing pad, which was liked by many users. The gun shows no jams, no short stroke, and no shooting problems at all. However, some users did recommend using heavy loads only. Why it Stands Out to Us The gun has been designed specifically to suit a young shooter. The gun has a soft texture, the color combination is quite cheerful and the gun has a smooth semi-automatic action. The price tag is very reasonable and the gun is quite versatile to stay useful with a growing shooter. Who Will Use This Most As already categorized, this gun is perfect for young shooters. The compact and lightweight design offer a smooth feel. While the 26” long barrel makes it suitable for hunting birds and sporting clays. The shotgun can be taken into the woods and used under extreme weather conditions without worrying about the finish and function. Bottom Line "The Tristar Viper" G2 is a value-for-money youth shotgun that'll grow with your kid. It has a very ergonomic and comfortable design with a decent price tag. The semi-auto operation is simple and fast to use, and the gun itself is very accurate and pointable. Best 20 Gauge Home Defence Shotgun: Mossberg 590 Shockwave CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Short design is easy to move and manage Strapped forend for safety and convenience Rugged, reliable and fantastic value for money Lightweight shotgun with an amazing 6 shot mag tube Lot of aftermarket customization options readily available Cons Pump action has its own pros and cons Suitable for close range encounters only(but perfect for home defense) What Check Latest Price Buyers appreciate the build quality, reliability, and performance of this shotgun. The gun is very easy to move around and handle. Plus it gets a whole lot accurate with practice. It is very fun to shoot and has very manageable recoil. Most users reported to keep it for fun shooting and home defense purposes. Why it Stands Out to Us This gun has been designed to serve its purpose righteously, which is home defense. A compact design measuring approximately 26 inches, this gun packs 6 shells and has a forend strap to offer better control and safety to the shooter. It can be equipped with accessories to make it an astounding tactical weapon. Who Will View Latest Price The size and barrel length of this Mossberg 590 makes it suitable only for close quarter use. Which obviously is home defense or range use. You can also use this gun for hunting turkey , but only if you are skilled enough to bring it as close as 10 feet. It is an accurate and fun gun to shoot and can also be used as a truck shotgun. Bottom Line The Mossberg 590 is a tested and reliable 20 gauge shotgun with a very short and controllable design. It can be concealed in small spaces around the house and carries enough ammo to ward off or bring down multiple hostiles. Practicing accuracy with it can also make it suitable for other purposes. What Do I Need to Know Before Buying Limitations of 20 Gauge While the 20 gauge is a very economical, useful, and worthy caliber in its own sense. It has certain limitations to its applications. For example, a 20 gauge shotgun is perfect for upland birds and small to medium-sized game. But you have to shoot anything bigger with more power, you’ll either have to fire multiple shots, or upgrade the caliber. Source Cost A box of 20 gauge ammo is likely to cost more than a box of 12 gauge ammo. However, on the contrary, the 20 gauge shells are very cheap to reload compared to the 12 gauge. Since they hold lesser pellets and powder. 20 gauge shotguns are also a tad bit pricier than 12 gauge, although the difference is often not considered. Chokes Make sure to look out for choke interchangeability on the shotgun you choose. Since it will allow you to make the shotgun appropriate for different applications by modifying the spread and range of pallets. Type of Game While the 20 gauge is a more friendly-recoil caliber. It is more suitable for smaller game and birds like quail or pheasant. If you plan on taking down deer, a 12 gauge should be a better choice. As already mentioned, evaluate your intended applications before choosing a 20 gauge. How to Clean a 20 Gauge Shotgun Cleaning a shotgun should be very easy if you know the process and have the right cleaning tools. Different types of shotguns have their own unique method for disassembly. The single and double-barrel shotguns are the easiest to clean and maintain. All you have to do is to break them open, separate the barrel from the action, and clean all the parts thoroughly. For pump actions and semi-auto, the process starts with unscrewing the mag tube end cap, followed by the removal of the barrel, mag tube assembly, and other parts of the receiver(if needed). It is advised to get a universal or bore specific cleaning kit for your 20 gauge shotgun. Unlike other firearms, the disassembly of shotguns does not require any tools. All you need is a few rags, cleaning patches, a bore rod/bore snake, and bore brush. Check out this video below for more detailed instructions on how to clean a 20 gauge over/under shotgun. Conclusion 20 gauge shotguns are the smaller and less powerful version of a 12 gauge. They have less recoil and are perfect for recoil sensitive shooters. These shotguns are widely used for bird hunting and clay shooting sports. There are different types of 20 gauge shotguns available on the market. But you must choose them wisely, depending upon your intended use and preferences. People Also Ask Before you move towards buying a 20 gauge shotgun. Check out the answers to some very common queries about these guns. Is a 20 Gauge Shotgun Good For Home Defense? Yes. A 20 gauge shotgun is good for home defense. Especially for recoil sensitive people. While most home defense encounters will happen at a range closer than 20 yards. The 20-gauge shells will definitely decimate the target at that distance. Given your choice of ammo should be right. Will a 20 Gauge Kill You? Yes. A 20 gauge will kill you, so coming in its way is definitely not a good option. However, if loaded with non-lethal loads like rubber pellets, it will only cause injuries. But remember that it’s still a shotgun and if you have ever shot one. You know how much damage it can cause. How Far Can You Shoot a Deer With a 20 Gauge? A 20 gauge can bring down a deer. While pellets need to be fired at a close range, slugs will be more lenient on distance. It takes about 1,000 ft-lbs of energy to kill a deer. A 20 gauge slug packs about 2,000 ft-lbs. However, you should seriously consider accuracy and the right shot placement. Will a 20 Gauge Shotgun Kill Bear? Yes. A 20 gauge can kill a bear. But mostly with slugs. That’s because in order to bring down a bear, you need to get good penetration. Bears are among the toughest animals on this planet. It takes anywhere between 1,000 to 1,500 ft-lbs of energy to kill a black bear, and the 2-¾” 20 ga. 200-grain slugs have about 2,000 ft-lbs of energy. How Much Kick Does a 20 Gauge Have? A 20 gauge 3” shell with 1-¼ oz. shot and a muzzle velocity of 1,185 fps has recoil energy of 31 ft-lbs when shot from a 6.5 lbs shotgun. To give you an idea, a punch from an average person has about 90 ft-lbs of energy.
TruckVault Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of in-vehicle storage solutions invites the public to participate in a market research survey. Participants are entered for a chance to win a Benelli Super Black Eagle 3. This survey is intended to help TruckVault Inc. better understand current and potential customers and focus resources towards research and development to better meet their needs. The survey takes around 2-5 minutes to complete. The winner will be announced May 9th , at 10:00am PST via TruckVault’s Facebook page. Participants must be 18 or older to enter. To participate in the survey click here . For the full list of official rules and regulations visit www.truckvault.com or click here . Follow TruckVault on social media, including Facebook at www.facebook.com/truckvault, Instagram at @truckvault_usa, Twitter at @TruckVault, and YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/ TruckVault . About TruckVault, Inc. For more than 20 years, TruckVault has been building secure in-vehicle storage solutions for sportsmen, law enforcement, and commercial use. TruckVault has been recognized throughout the years as a leader in firearms safety and as a producer of top-quality products, including being granted the shooting Industry Academy of Excellence Award for Accessory of the Year in 1999 and Safety Product of the Year in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, TruckVault was awarded the Cygnus Innovation Award. For more information go to www.truckvault.com .
After comparing all of the various options for a survival multi-tool my search ended with the Leatherman Surge. I wanted a tool that had all the tools I wanted and would accomplish all the tasks that I demanded of it, with no frivolous bells and whistles. I’ve used the Surge as my EDC, for jobs around the house, but it has a designated place inside my bino harness where is proves to be an essential piece of kit. Most people seem to gravitate towards either the Leatherman Wave or the Supertool but it is my opinion that they are overlooking the several unique features that make the Surge an outstanding choice for a Survival Multi-tool. LEATHERMAN, Surge Heavy Duty Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire... A MULTITOOL POWERHOUSE: The Surge is one of our largest multitools for heavy-duty use, built with... 21 TOOLS IN 1 HAND: Features a unique blade exchanger, replaceable premium wire cutters and four... See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Quick Navigation Leatherman Surge Review Leatherman Surge Specs 21 Tools The Pliers Tools on the Outside Tools on the Inside Leatherman Surge Multi-Tool Pros and Cons Pro’s Con’s What the Customers Say My Personal Experience with the Leatherman Surge The Blade Exchanger The Scissors Replaceable Wire Cutters Blades Saw Other Tools Must-Have Accessories for your Leatherman Surge FAQ’s About the Leatherman Surge How Should the Surge be Cared For and Maintained? Where is the Lanyard Loop? Is the Surge TSA compliant? Verdict "Leatherman Surge Review" The Surge is a stainless steel multi-tool with a similar design to several other mutli-tools in the Leatherman catalogue. Whereas in the past most of the tools were contained inside the multi tool the Surge has the capability to access several of them from the outside which is a fantastic feature. "Leatherman Surge Specs" Weight 12.5 ounces Dimensions 4.5” x 1.5” x .75” Nylon belt pouch Includes a plastic sleeve to store the file/saw when not in the tool and a spare driver bit Stainless steel construction 21 Tools As with all multi-tools the manufacturer likes to play it fast and loose with the definition of what a ‘tool’ actually is. For example, engraved on the inside is a 9” ruler in both metric and imperial measurements which I would hardly call a ‘tool’. Also instead of calling the pliers a tool they separate the needle nose and regular pliers as two separate tools likewise with the wire cutters, strippers, and crimper even though they are all contained within the pliers of the Surge Leatherman lists 7 separate tools which I would define more as functions rather than individual tools. Of the 21 tools I would say the only useless one is the ruler. I’ve tried to use it to measure various things and it just doesn’t lend itself to being user friendly, not to mention I usually forget it is even there. All of these tools with the exception of the pliers lock securely in place which is good for preventing accidents while using the Surge. Complete list of tools in the Leatherman Surge are: Needle Nose Pliers Regular Pliers "Replaceable Wire Cutters" Replaceable Hard Wire Cutters Standard Wire Cutters Electrical Crimper Wire Stripper 420HC Plain Edge Knife 420HC Serrated Edge Knife Saw Scissors Awl Can Opener Bottle Opener Ruler Diamond File Metal/Wood File Blade Exchanger Bit Driver Large Screwdriver Small Screwdriver The Pliers This is the main event for this style of multi-tool and the pliers on the Surge are large enough to handle damn near any task that is thrown at it. Featuring needle nose and regular pliers with replaceable 154CM wire cutters, a wire stripper and an electrical crimper. These tools are accessed by folding open the multi-tool which exposes the pliers. They are not spring activated which for me was not an issue as I prefer the pliers on my multi-tools to not be spring-activated. The wire cutters and strippers work quite well as does the electrical crimper. Tools on the Outside I really like the fact that several tools can be accessed without opening the tool up. Both blades, can be opened one-handed with just the thumb but the position of the blades is optimized for a right-handed person to open them one-handed. I’ve tried and failed to open the blades one-handed with my left hand and since Leatherman does not offer a left-handed option anyone who is left-handed will be out of luck. Both the blade exchanger and the scissors do not appear to be designed for one-handed operation regardless of which hand dominance the user has. The knife blades are both made from 420HC stainless steel and are quite large for a multi-tool measuring in at 3 inches. The outside edge of the thumb loop on the serrated blade is textured to differentiate it from the plain edge blade simply by feel. They both came out of the box very sharp and have needed minimal maintenance to keep a keen edge on them. A lever lock secures the blades in place when open and holds them very securely. The blade exchanger is a key feature for myself because it not only allows for switching between the file and saw being in the multi-tool, but the design of the blade exchanger allows for t-shank jigsaw blades to also be used in the tool increasing its versatility. This function expands the ability of the Surge to now also cut metals as well when using a bi-metal jigsaw blade. The scissors were a massive selling point for myself and I find myself using them all the time, so much so that they are a make or break feature in any multi-tool I purchase. These scissors are a pretty decent size and spring loaded so they are very easy to use. There is no way to open them one handed and like the blades and blade exchanger the scissors are secured via a lever lock system. Tools on the Inside Inside the tool is the ever present ruler engraved into the interior surface in both imperial and metric. On one side is an awl and two flat head screwdrivers (one large and one small). On the other side is the driver bit holder and the can/bottle opener. The Surge comes with two driver bits which are not the hex style that you find in the hardware store they are a special style that is unique to Leatherman. The Surge comes with two driver bits one that has a #2 and #3 Robertson bit and the other comes with a Phillips bit and a small flat head. "Leatherman Surge Multi" -Tool Pros and Cons Pro’s Both blades, blade exchanger, and scissors accessible from the outside Replaceable wire cutters Driver bit holder All tools lock into place File can be used independent of the tool T-Shank jig saw blades can be used in the blade exchanger 25 year warranty Con’s Heavier than most multi-tools Not suitable for pocket carry What the Customers Say Customer reviews are generally positive with the only negatives I found being some quality control issues, the overall weight of the tool, its inability to be comfortably carried in a pocket and that the blade exchanger was difficult to open. Overall though it appears that the vast majority of customers are quite pleased with their purchase. LEATHERMAN, "Surge Heavy Duty" Multitool with "Premium Replaceable Wire" ... A MULTITOOL POWERHOUSE: The Surge is one of our largest multitools for heavy-duty use, built with... 21 TOOLS IN 1 HAND: Features a unique blade exchanger, replaceable premium wire cutters and four... See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from "Amazon Product Advertising" API My Personal Experience with the Leatherman Surge I’ve used the Surge for everything and there are three key features that sold me on this tool being my go to survival multi-tool. The blade exchanger, scissors and the replaceable wire cutters made my decision for me. "The Blade Exchanger" This feature not only allows me to switch between the included saw and the file but also use t-shank jigsaw blades as well. This allows me to include some bi-metal jigsaw blades into my kit along with a spare wood blade or two. The file is both diamond and a metal/wood file which was very attractive to me because I can use the diamond file independent of the blade exchanger to touch up the edge on the knife blade or on any other blade I have with me. The Scissors I use these scissors way more than I thought I would. They are spring loaded which makes using them easy and their 3/4 of an inch cutting edge is more than sufficient for any task I have come across. It drives my wife nuts when I pull out my Leatherman Surge to use the scissors when doing the annual Christmas Present wrapping night. Replaceable Wire Cutters I’ve had a few multi-tools end up with gouged wire cutters due to either hard use or just plain getting worn out. The ability to replace the wire cutters was a big selling feature for me because I want my multi-tool to last a lifetime and replacing a hard use item like wire cutters will facilitate that. Blades Both the blades were extremely sharp and I like the fact that the Surge comes with a full sized plain edge and serrated edge blades instead of a single combo blade. Even through a significant amount of use the edge on the blades have maintained their sharpness, which out of the box were extremely sharp. I can’t say how easy the blades are to sharpen because I’ve never let them get dull enough to require more than a quick touch up with a strop. Saw As for the saw blade that is included with the Surge my blade broke while cutting through some plywood. Until it broke though I did get some good use out of it and found the blade to cut very well. It was especially good for cutting notches for a variety of camp and bushcraft tasks. As with most multi-tool saw blades it is a bit short so technique will need to be adjusted to accommodate the short stroke. I will say though that the 25 year warranty did not cover the broken saw blade as Leatherman deemed it an accessory not part of the tool. Other Tools As for the other tools they all work quite well at their intended purposes. I’ve used the awl quite a bit and my only complaint would be it is a touch large but preforms well. The bottle/can opener works just as well as any other multi-tool bottle and can opener with nothing particularly special about it. Likewise for the various screwdrivers they all adequately preform their tasks as intended. Must-Have Accessories for your Leatherman Surge As I’ve mentioned already, a pack of T-Shank jigsaw blades is so useful that I would put them into the ‘must have’ category. Depending on what type of work you intend on using the Surge for the bit kit and bit extender may be good accessories to pick up. The only other accessory I’d suggest is a MOLLE sheath if you intend to attach it to a MOLLE panel, plate carrier, or pack. FAQ’s About the Leatherman Surge How Should the Surge be Cared For and Maintained? The Surge is made from stainless steel which is corrosion resistant not rust proof, so it is always good practice to lightly oil the tool with an oil such as 3 in 1 oil or WD-40. The joints and pivot points should be lubricated with Teflon based lubricant so they continue to move freely. Any dirt or debris in the tool can be cleaned with water and soap, but any tough to clean substances such as paint or tar can be cleaned with mineral spirits. Always be sure to thoroughly dry, oil and lubricate your tool after cleaning. Where is the Lanyard Loop? I had to Google this as it was not obvious where this little feature was hiding. The lanyard loop is in the same slot as the blade exchanger. If you open the blade exchanger and look into the bottom of the slot you will see an out of place thin piece of metal. I used the end of the file to push this metal through to the outside, exposing the loop on the exterior of the tool. I then pushed through some gutted paracord to use as a lanyard. I had to use gutted paracord because the lanyard loop has a pretty narrow opening. Is the Surge TSA compliant? The Leatherman Surge is not TSA compliant due to the knife blades. It can however fly inside of checked luggage. Verdict The Leatherman Surge rides in my bino harness because it has all the tools I need for being out in the bush hunting, fishing, camping or bushcrafting. I love that the blade exchanger gives the functionality of being able to switch between the included saw and file while having the option to use a jigsaw blade as well. Having the file include both the a wood/metal side and a diamond side is great because I can use it to touch up any of my blades including my axe. The Surge is probably one of the heaviest multi-tools out there but honestly I’ve never noticed the weight even when I have used it as my EDC. Overall, in my opinion the Leatherman Surge is the best survival multi-tool I have used and I’m confident it will serve me well for decades to come. LEATHERMAN, Surge Heavy Duty Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire... A MULTITOOL POWERHOUSE: The Surge is one of our largest multitools for heavy-duty use, built with... 21 TOOLS IN 1 HAND: Features a unique blade exchanger, replaceable premium wire cutters and four... See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Other interesting articles: Leatherman MUT Review for 2020: Is this a Good Multitool? Leatherman Rev Review: Is This Multitool Worth It? Leatherman Wingman Review: Is This Multitool The One? Leatherman Charge Plus Multitool Review
If you are a left-handed shooter, then odds are you’re in search of a pistol that will be compatible with your dominant hand. It is quite frustrating for lefties who rely on pistols for any given application, only to struggle mightily because most favor right-handed shooters. There is no shame in being left-handed. And you don’t have to struggle with using a pistol just because you prefer a different hand than most users. If you think a left-handed pistol is hard to find, you’d be surprised. We managed to find five of the best left-handed pistols available on the market as of this writing. Before we get to the list itself, we’ll talk about the perks of getting a left-handed pistol and why these pistols made the cut. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Left Handed Pistols OUR TOP PICK: Glock G19X G5 9MM 4" Coyote Heckler & Koch VP9 Beretta PX4 Storm BEST BUDGET OPTION: SIG Sauer P320 Compact Handgun Comparison Chart of the Best Left-Handed Pistols PRODUCT DETAILS Our Top Pick Our Top Pick Glock G19X G5 9MM 4" Coyote 17 + 1 round capacity The barrel length of 4 inches Best overall left-handed pistol View Latest Price Heckler & Koch VP9 Shoots 9mm rounds Best left-handed pistol for the money Contains two magazines each holding up to 15 rounds "View Latest Price" Beretta PX4 Storm Fires 9mm Luger rounds Made from high-quality materials Contains two magazines, each with a capacity of 10 rounds View Latest Price Best Budget Option "Best Budget Option" SIG "Sauer P320 Compact" Handgun 15 + 1 shots Chambered to fire 9mm shots The barrel length of 3.9 inches View Latest Price Perks of Getting a New Left-Handed Pistol If you purchase a left-handed pistol, you will be able to enjoy some of the sweet perks that come along with it. You won’t know what you’re missing if you continue to struggle using a right-handed pistol. Let’s take a look at what you might enjoy if you decide to get a left-handed pistol for yourself: Better Handling Yes, if you own a pistol that is compatible with your dominant hand, chances are you’ll have better control and stability. That’s something you won’t get with a right-handed pistol in your left hand. Why settle for poor stability which will give way to poor accuracy? Besides, it’s a lot better to get a firm grip and stable control than to struggle with ill-fitting models. Source No More Casings to the Face One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a lefty using a right-handed pistol is dealing with empty casings being ejected and hitting you in the face. This could lead to burns (since they are casings of freshly shot bullets) and may cause serious injury given the speed of the ejection. With a left-handed pistol, you will avoid disaster. No Need to Learn How to Shoot With Your Right Hand There are those out there that say if you are left-handed, you should swallow hard and learn to shoot with your right hand. That’s probably the silliest idea anyone could come up with. Why waste time learning how to shoot with your right hand when you know full well you can utilize a pistol designed for left-handed shooters? Quick Take - The Best Left-Handed Pistols These are our recommendations for the best left-handed pistols: 1. Glock G19X G5 9MM 4" Coyote 2. Heckler & Koch VP9 3. Beretta PX4 Storm Review of the Best Left-Handed Pistols The following is a list of the five best left-handed pistols you can find on the market. As you go through the list, you should make notes of any features and characteristics that stand out as interesting. If you find one that checks off the boxes of personal preferences and needs, you have a pistol fit for you. Let’s start off this list by unveiling our best overall choice for left-handed pistols: Best Overall: Glock G19X G5 9MM 4" Coyote CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to load Excellent accuracy and firing power Lightweight, even when fully loaded Trigger pull is not too light, nor too heavy Rear night sight is quite visible in low-light conditions Cons None What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new users were happy with the pistol for a few good reasons. For one, the accuracy was dead-on with targets ranging from 20 to 40 yards out. Even shooting groups across various types of 9mm ammo were consistently tight at these distances. One user said he was able to use this as a casual target shooting pistol , but intends to use this in concealed carry situations if and when necessary. Why it Stands Out to Us This Glock 19X is part of the Glock 19 group, which, by the way, is one of the most reliable concealed pistols on the planet. The pistol itself (regardless of which 19 model you use) is trusted by many law enforcement and military personnel in nearly 50 countries. If it’s trusted by almost half of the world, you know it has to be good. The night sights included in the pistol is hands down one of the best features since they are quite visible in low-light settings. This is a major plus if you intend to use it in a self-defense situation. Who Will Use This Most If you want superior reliability, then you’re probably going to salivate (well, not literally) over this pistol. This bad boy is guaranteed to have no malfunctions through well over 100, or even 1000 rounds. And it has excellent accuracy and superior firing power to go along with it. At this point, you’d be insane to pass up the opportunity to give this pistol further consideration. Bottom Line This Glock G19X G5 9mm pistol is no doubt the best overall choice for left-handed users. And it will be hard to beat when pitted against any challenger. Expect this sucker to stay on as the best overall for quite some time because of its reliability, accurate shooting, and overall awesomeness. It would be really hard to beat a Glock pistol no matter what the intents and purposes are. Runner-up: Heckler & Koch VP9 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Affordable for many budgets Accurate and precise shooting Works great with TruGlo sights The trigger is easy to pull. No heaviness or sensitivity to report Provides plenty of shooting for competitive and concealed carry users Cons Loading may be a bit difficult at times Holster options for this pistol are limited Default sets may not work the best in a low-light setting What "Recent Buyers Report" New users found this pistol to be quite accurate in their initial test shooting session at the range. The shooting groups were quite tight and the effective accuracy went as far as 45 yards. Most of these new users say they were confident in the pistol’s ability to deliver accurate shots if and when they have an opportunity to use this pistol in a self-defense situation. They also added that the inclusion of two magazines made it much more convenient since one didn’t seem like it was enough. Why it Stands Out to Us For a pistol that is considered the “budget” option, it functions as though it should be twice the price it goes for. Not only that, it has proven itself as one of the more reliable and accurate pistols for those starting out with concealed carry (and for newbies who are left-handed). Indeed, it’s the kind of pistol that has an ambidextrous design. So it will work for both righties and lefties alike. No matter which is your dominant hand, this pistol will probably serve as your training pistol (and probably the only concealed carry pistol that you’ll need for a long time). Who Will "Use This Most" If you are a beginner in search of a pistol that will be ideal for starting out with concealed carry, you might consider this as a viable option compared to some of the other newbie-friendly pistols that might be cheap in price and not the best in quality. You deserve high quality and performance above all else. Why should you settle for anything less than what this pistol offers? Bottom Line The Heckler & Koch VP9 will leave newbie users with a really great first impression by delivering precise, accurate shooting, superior firing power, and a price tag that is just too hard to resist. It ain’t cheap or flimsy in the slightest. But you will put this pistol to the test and wonder why it isn’t as expensive as it could be. Luckily for you, it might be a steal of a deal. Best for the Money: Beretta PX4 Storm CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Superior reliability Easy to conceal carry every day Lightweight, but solid in construction Sights are easily adjustable for windage and elevation Best used in concealed carry and target shooting situations Cons None What Recent Buyers Report As expected, a lot of new users were happy with the overall ability of this pistol. Not only was it easy to handle for most left-handed shooters, but it also allowed for excellent stability (thus leading to straightforward, accurate shooting). One user said that he didn’t feel a single bit of recoil while pulling the trigger, thus further confirming he had total control over the pistol. So far, he’s been able to hit his targets from distances ranging from 30 to 40 yards. Why it Stands Out to Us Berettas are known for being pretty solid pistols. This one proves that its no exception to the rule. It’s small in size, thus making it super-easy to conceal. And if anything, max concealability is always a plus when you want to keep your pistol out of sight. No one will know you are carrying until you draw it to warn an attacker that you are not one to mess around. Who Will Use This Most Among the users who will rely on this most will obviously be the concealed carry users. Whether you are new to the whole thing or have been around for a while and need a new pistol for EDC use, you may want to take a closer look at this pistol. Its American-made durability will certainly be hard to beat compared to cheap, foreign-made pistols. And with top-of-the-line quality, you can expect this to be reliable for many years (or even decades). Bottom Line If the Beretta USA PX4 Storm appeals to you with its overall performance, it might be a pistol you’ll enjoy shooting. While you might be inclined to use this in a target shooting setting, it’s a pistol you may consider using if and when you need to defend yourself in a dangerous situation. No matter what, you'll have a pistol that won’t malfunction through hundreds of rounds, nor will it be a real pain in the butt to pull the trigger. 4. SIG Sauer P320 Compact Handgun CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros The trigger weight is light Super-durable construction Excellent accuracy and reliability Easy to draw out of most holsters Great concealability. Won’t bulge in your waistband or holster Cons None What Recent Buyers Report New users had nothing but great things to say about this pistol. Not only was it malfunction-free through well over 100 rounds (or more), it remained consistently accurate regardless of the brand of rounds they have used. One user said he was able to hit various targets from as far out as 30 yards. He added that it also didn’t have a lot of recoil to mitigate, which was a good thing since it gave him so much control over the pistol. Why it Stands Out to Us SIG Sauer is a name that is relied on by many law enforcement and government agencies that rely on a sidearm for protection. And it’s also a favorite among civilians, as well. Why did they choose these over the Colt 1911 a couple of decades back? The answer: reliability. And with this SIG Sauer pistol, that is what you’ll get. Since it’s an ambidextrous design, both righties and lefties alike will enjoy putting it to good use at the range. At the same time, it’s the perfect sidearm to have handy when you want to prepare yourself for any kind of dangerous attackers or prowlers. At its size, it’s got the concealability advantage so you can carry every day and keep it out of plain sight until you absolutely need it. Who Will Use This Most If you want a reliable sidearm and are a member of law enforcement (or a civilian) that shoots left-handed, you might find this pistol appealing in a few ways. Indeed, it has the reliability. And yes, it’ has max concealability. Top it off with accurate shooting and the quick ability to draw it out of your holster, and you have a pistol that will not let you down, no matter what. Bottom Line If you’re a lefty in search of a pistol that is reliable, concealable, and does some serious damage, you may want to consider the SIG Sauer P320 Compact Handgun as the best possible option. It has the measurables and ability to go the distance. And best of all, it gives left-handed shooters all the stability and control they need to make this pistol a lot more enjoyable. 5. Walther PPQM2 4IN 9MM CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent firepower Super-durable quality Easy to fit in most holsters Accurate and precise shooting Great for concealed carry and target shooting Cons None What Recent Buyers Report According to new users, this pistol was pretty durable in quality. In fact, new users were able to handle the pistol in both good weather and bad in an outdoor setting. The gripping ability was second to none and it provided excellent stability (which of course leads to accurate shooting), one user reported. He also added that it was easy to handle in a “run and gun” situation (which he was able to do during his latest run on a course at his local range). Why it Stands Out to Us If you are in search of a pistol that will deliver a good amount of accurate shots at various ranges up to 50 yards, this left-handed pistol makes a strong case as to why it’s one of the best. The shooting groups maintain tightness no matter what kind of 9mm rounds you put in the magazine. High-end, cheap rounds, you simply cannot lose. You can leave a lasting, damaging impact with this pistol if and when you use it in a target shooting or concealed carry situation. Who Will Use This Most This pistol is a great choice for multiple applications. You get a pretty good pistol known for not only delivering consistent accuracy, but it’s certainly the pistol you’ll love when it comes to reliability. When the competition is intense or your life is on the line, you want a pistol that won’t malfunction or give you any kind of grief. It’s the kind of pistol that any concealed carry user might want to consider for an easy-to-conceal weapon with a quick draw (even for left-handed shooters). Bottom Line If you want accuracy, reliability, and max concealability in one nice, little package, then the Walther PPQM2 is probably going to be the go-to option. Whether you use it for a day at the range or as an EDC carry pistol, it’s no slouch when it comes to performance and quality. It’s so durable that you can expect this puppy to get you through the day for many years to come. What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Left-Handed Pistol? It’s better to be well-informed about a purchase than to choose one at random. This is the case when looking for a left-handed pistol. If you want something that will be worth the investment for someone like yourself, here are some things you need to know: Ambidextrous is Usually Better While there aren’t really a whole lot of pistols made strictly for left-handed users, your next best bet is the ambidextrous design. Not only are they beneficial for lefties, but right-handed shooters will use them, as well (assuming they are happy with the overall functionality). And they come with little recoil right out of the box. Find a Left-Hand Oriented Holster Since most of these pistols are intended for concealed carry , obviously that means finding a holster. If you are a left-handed shooter, find a holster designed for a left-handed orientation. This way, you can attach it to the right side of your body while being able to cross draw using your dominant hand. Don’t Worry About Learning How to Shoot Right-Handed We might have said it once and we’ll say it again: don’t bother learning how to shoot with your right hand. If we advocated that, it would be pointless to review these left-handed pistols. Learning to shot with your non-dominant hand takes time, frustration, and step-by-step learning in order to get the hang of it. You’re better off getting one of these five pistols listed above. Conclusion The best left-handed pistol is out there. It’s important to consider purchasing one so you can easily use it in any application. Whether for target practice or self-defense , you deserve a pistol that will give you better control, better accuracy, and most importantly, more overall enjoyment. No left-handed shooter should ever be relegated to shooting right-handed (or having to use a right-handed pistol).
Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s One of the best parts about owning a rifle is being able to play with all of the cool attachments. A good optic sight , flashlight, or bi-pod can really help you to get more out of shooting your rifle – but first you’ve gotta mount them. The standard mounting system on most rifles, especially those on the AR-15 platform, has been the Picatinny rail. In fact, it still is one of the most widely used mounting systems because of its, straightforward, easy-to-use nature. FN 15 Quad Rail But the problem with the Picatinny system is that it can add unnecessary weight to your rifle and bulk it up in a bad way, especially when placed on the fore end of your rifle. From this inconvenience came two new ways to mount gadgets to your AR-15 (or other rifles!): the KeyMod and the M-LOK. Both of these mounting systems promised to cut back on weight while providing a wider range of mounting options. M-LOK (left) and KeyMod (right), Image courtesy of Lucky Gunner Even better, both of these systems also gave gun owners the opportunity to mount small rails directly to their handguards, effectively eliminating the need to attach a large Picatinny rail across the gun. The benefits of these two systems were revolutionary. Now that you’re able to stick rails adapters only to the part of the gun we plan on mounting an attachment, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary weight or that cheese grater, snagging sensation of your Picatinny rail ripping across your hand, clothing, or rifle case. If you just want to know…here’s our picks for the Best AR-15 Handguards out there. What’s the Better Choice between the Two? Lots of AR-15 Uppers As you probably already know, two similar items in the firearms community cannot exist without being fiercely compared with each other. So naturally as the KeyMod and M-LOK systems grew in popularity, hobbyists and experts began debating over which system is better. Today, we’re going to take a look at both mounting systems and see how they’re similar and how they differ. The KeyMod The KeyMod Logo and Iconic Keyhole Slot Design The KeyMod system gets its name from the shape of the slots, which look like old-fashioned keyholes. The idea here is that you put the lug through the big circular opening and then slide the attachment forward, tightening the Allan wrench in the narrow part of the slot until your attachment is securely fastened. KeyMod’s design is completely open source, so anyone who’s interested in manufacturing products using the KeyMod system can do so without having to pay royalties. AR with KeyMod Rail The Good: Mounting accessories require little to no special attention thanks to KeyMod’s self-aligning design. The Bad: KeyMod doesn’t have nearly the industry support as M-LOK, which is backed by industry titan Magpul, who exclusively makes M-LOK-compatible systems. Notable Mentions KMR Series KeyMod Free Float Handguard by Bravo Company KMR Series KeyMod "Free Float Handguard" by Bravo Company 172 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 172 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The KMR series will cut some bulk off your rifle and give it a slimmer profile, creating an overall nice look. Another benefit of Bravo Company’s KMR series is that they feel much smoother in the hand than some of the other KeyMod systems out there. UTG PRO KeyMod Super Slim by Leapers UTG PRO KeyMod Super Slim by Leapers 161 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 161 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing The Super Slim handguard removes some fluff from your handguard while giving you a sturdy, 112-KeyMod slot design. And with more than ten different color combinations, finding one that fits your personality and style shouldn’t be a problem. The M-LOK (Modular Lock) M-Lok by Magpul Unlike KeyMod, the M-LOK system doesn’t have a keyhole shape to slip your bolt into. Instead, the system is made up of narrow slots that T-shaped nut that, when turned, lays across the slot, locking the attachment into place. Magpul, the company that helped come up with the M-LOK system, decided not to make their product open source. Instead, they chose to offer free licensing to any manufacturer that obtains permission ahead of time. The reason for this is to ensure that every M-LOK system is made with the same quality and design as the original. STNGR VYPR and HWK The Good: You can mount your attachment to the front or rear end of the slot, as opposed to only mounting on the rear, narrow part of the KeyMod. Also, most Magpul accessories can mount directly to the M-LOK system without needing a rail adaptor. The Bad: You have to be more careful making sure your attachments are properly aligned when mounting them to your M-LOK device. Notable Mentions MOE M-LOK Handguard by Magpul MOE M-LOK Handguard by Magpul 33 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 33 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing It’s one of the most affordable handguards on the market. It’s perfect for the shooter looking for a basic, minimalist design that doesn’t intend on mounting anything too excessive. G3M Series M-LOK Handguard by Midwest Industries G3M Series M-LOK Handguard by Midwest Industries 150 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 150 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing The G3M Series is an aggressive handguard with ample mounting slots to handle whatever you’re planning on attaching. It’s also a lightweight handguard that sits comfortably in the hand (no grab) and is made from a durable material that can handle whatever you throw at it – which is why it comes with a lifetime warranty. The Nail in the Coffin For the longest time, it looked like KeyMod and M-LOK were neck and neck in the race to market domination. While the M-LOK had the backing of Magpul, which was huge news , it still wasn’t able to do anything that the KeyMod could not. And then US SOCOM tested both systems and released a report on their performance , and the news wasn’t so great for KeyMod. M-LOK in the Field For most of the duration of the test, KeyMod and M-LOK both performed well. But when it came to stress testing the two systems, M-LOK rifles could be dropped on the ground and 100% of the time, the attachments would stay securely fastened to the gun. For KeyMod, however, the success rate was a measly 33%. The Verdict The winner of this contest is clearly M-LOK. In fact, the M-LOK system has approximately 3x the industry support as KeyMod. But, while that SOCOM report didn’t do KeyMod any favors, the company hasn’t backed out just yet. After all, most of us aren’t putting our rifles through SOCOM levels of stress. BCM Recce-16, Running What Are You Rocking? While there’s no reason to believe M-LOK wouldn’t come out the victor in this battle, that doesn’t mean that KeyMod handguards are inherently flawed. As long as you’re not in a situation where you’re going to be running, gunnin’, and clanging your rifle against the ground and everything else, you probably won’t be put in a situation where your attachments loosen or fall off anyways. PSA AR-10 Gen 3 Upper and Lower Remember, if you’re looking for a good handguard for your rifle, go with something that feels like good quality, regardless of the name on the package. For the average shooter, that’s far more important than whether it’s an M-LOK or KeyMod. In fact, some of my favorite handguards are the KMR handguards made by Bravo Company. They’re sturdy, lightweight, and have a nice, solid feel to them. Rifle with Bravo Company KMR Handguard Now be sure to tell us what you’re rocking on your tactical builds. Do you like the KeyMod or the M-LOK system? And if you’re in the market for some new handguards for your AR-15, don’t forget to check out our recent Handguard Roundup . There you’ll be able to find a lot of cool and unique handguards for your gun.