Crux Ordnance: Glock perfection-perfected

Crux Ordnance ACG-004 Guide Rod Assembly

img_1237This is part one of a two phase review of products sent by Crux Ordnance.Now, those who know, hardly describe me as a Glock fanatic. In fact, I am quite pessimistic to their design in general. So, when Crux Ordnance agreed to send Battle Axe Tactical a few American made upgrades for a 4th generation Glock 19 who was I to argue? One of these upgrades was their ACG-004 stainless steel Guide Rod Assembly (GRA). Now to state the obvious: in order to own/ carry a Glock I must not abhor them too disdainfully. As with any platform, each has its own pro’s and con’s. In my case the benefits of a Glock platform seemed to outweigh their moderately annoying shortcomings. Thankfully, there are companies like Crux Ordnance who make “Glock perfection” a reality with their line of aftermarket modifications. They, CruxOrd parts, also happen to be made here in America. I always find that a little bit of America goes a long way (pew pew, patriotic ramblings, etcetera). Therefore, I eagerly awaited for my Cruxord modifications.

Crux Ordnance makes a few claims concerning their GRA replacement:
1. A Fluted rod designed to hold lubrication/ trap fouling
2. The guide rod itself is oil injected and rated for 1500 rounds before re-lubrication
3. Less surface area makes for less friction which in turn reduces the time required to complete cycling of the firearm
4. Added weight from the steel guide rod helps to reduce muzzle flip

Their first claim: fluted guide rod, seems as practical as it appeals aesthetically. Yeah, I am saying it looks cool and functions as advertised.

Guide Rods Pictured: CruxOrd (Left)  Glock (Right)

Although lubrication isn’t primarily a concern, with their oil injected guide rod, it is yet another creative solution to the required maintenance inherent of a steel guide rod. Again CruxOrd is on point, although I have less than 1,000 rounds through this test iteration I cannot officially attest to their 1500 round lubrication rating. Based on this testing period though, it certainly appears that they are not misleading anyone with this conservative number.

Their next claim is a little more difficult to quantify without a scientific approach, for which I had neither the means, nor time to satisfy. However, I did notice reduced time during target acquisition of follow up shots. Which were measured by timed reactive target volley’s in series of 5 or more.

Lastly, the reduced time during follow up shots could also be attributed to reduced muzzle flip. I noticed consistently tighter groups from 5-25 meters with the crux ordnance GRA compared to the stock one. The exaggerated comparison between shot patterns might also be evidence of how “tired” my stock springs really were, and how desperately they needed to be replaced. Slightly discouraging considering this pistol has less than 5,000 rounds through it.


15 meter hasty group- standing unsupported, CruxOrd GRA (Left) and Stock GRA (Right)

In conclusion, CruxOrd seems to do their talking and walking in concert. Not only do their claims seem to be supported by my experience, they creatively and proactively address future maintenance issues in their design. It is difficult to find a “straight shooting” company that is not deceitfully blowing smoke for the sake of a sale. Crux Ordnance’s no nonsense approach to business, and their dedication to thoughtful design and application embolden their passion and set them apart from competition. If your guide rod assembly (GRA) is tired, and in need of replacing, CruxOrd may be the solution you have been looking for. Even if your springs aren’t ready for replacement, the modest investment ( $25.95-$35.95 depending on application) is well worth your money for a superior factory replacement.

Don’t take my word for it though, visit their webpage and try them out for yourself: www.


To Buy Or Not To Buy This Handgun. . .

That is the question. “Well, what pistol should I buy then?” At the very least, your firearm should meet certain criteria: does the weapon fit your hand; does the weapon meet your functional needs; and is the weapon concealable or comfortable to carry? Although there are a myriad of reasons to carry a firearm, for the purposes of this article, concealed carry will be the primary application. So, the decision to carry a firearm has been made. First and foremost, does the weapon fit the shooters hand? Sure, pocket pistols are neat and maybe even cute, but if they aren’t practical then they are about as useful as a pocket-paperweight. If the weapon is too large, or more commonly too small, a proper grip is difficult to achieve and will therefore directly effect, negatively, a shooter’s performance. The length of the index finger and the size of the palm of the hand are the main factors in correctly fitting a pistol. The index finger should lie comfortably across the face of the trigger. Too much, or too little contact with the trigger can cause added movement during the shot delivery process. The size of the palm is equally important. Small palms and large pistols make it difficult for a shooter to operate functions such as the magazine release, as well as the slide lock lever. A proper fitted pistol should be easily manipulated by the shooter, without having to compromise a proper grip with the shooter’s dominant hand. A special tool for the right job: does the weapon meet specific functional needs? Personally, parts (to include aftermarket accessories, holsters, et cetera), ammunition availability, and the cost of said products are crucial when meeting functional requirements. Unfortunately, as with many industries, you get what you pay for (to an extent). So, be mindful of this aspect. Bottom line: shoot what you can afford. It is a suspicion of mine that all bullet holes hurt. So, if a shooter can guarantee hits on target, regardless of caliber, the age old caliber debate is a moot point. Lastly, is the weapon comfortable to carry and or concealable? For women, this is by far the most difficult consideration. Women’s clothing and contemporary fashion standards/expectations make this task (concealability ) exceptionally difficult. At the end of the day though, if a weapon isn’t comfortable or concealable, are you really ever going to carry it? Personally, I prefer to carry the largest handgun (referring to size, not caliber) that I am comfortably able to conceal. I carried a handgun, the only one I had for years, that was unbearably uncomfortable. I even have the scars to prove it. Just because you can conceal a ball of barbed wire in your pants, doesn’t mean you should.

Hopefully this post was helpful, despite being an exceptionally superficial glance at how to properly fit a hand gun. I am sure the weapons expert behind the gun counter has lots of “advice” for you, but when in doubt please seek competent counsel from a qualified instructor or armed professional. Most instructors that I know of, would be happy to open a dialogue about properly fitting a handgun.

The Training Is Never Over


      Are you getting the most out of your training? We all go through seasons and our devotion to firearms proficiency is no exception. So when you are in a devoted season, are you maximizing your potential? It is commonly heard in the industry that, under stress, we default to our lowest level (level of comfortability) of training, or we can expect about fifty percent of our average performance when called upon to act. So with that fresh in our minds, if your life was challenged today would your response/ reaction be sufficient? Let’s leave the ‘what ifs’, ‘maybes’, and pride where they belong, in the garbage. Given that I regard myself as a professional in this industry even I will admit, to a degree, that I am not always operating at optimum efficiency. Partially due to: resources, time, and availability; staying “ready” can seem to be quite a formidable task to achieve. However, we are all aware of the similarities between excuses and certain body parts… so we will leave those alone for now also.
      So how can we get the most out of our training on a daily basis? Most will hate msig pics 3y answer for this… accountability, humanities number one adversary. We can justify just about any behavior if given the chance, or enough time to think about it, so having an accountability partner that can separate the truth from our skewed perception is a great asset for our training program. It is no secret that we were created for community, and there is something to be said about like minded individuals sharing a common interest. The role of accountability, however, is not to discourage or ridicule but offer a neutral opinion on actual behavior during training. It helps us keep from lying to ourselves, as we cling to that warm and fuzzy feeling at the end of the day at the range. The truth is that we have good days and bad days. The answer to this problem is how we respond to our performance (or lack of it). Those “bad sig picsdays” serve as wake up days for me personally, although, beating ourselves up about a lousy performance is not entirely productive. Instead, focusing on weak areas and making them priority during retraining and dry fire drills is a great way to flip that “weakness” on its head. Finding a dedicated training partner with a flexible or similar schedule adds another layer of difficulty, logistically, so where do we go from here? In absence of a truthful training partner one of my favorite training aids is a video camera. Whether it is a “GoPro”, cell phone, or even the old school shoulder mounted rig, video may be the sobering reality that a shooter needs to stay grounded. So long as the battery is charged, it is a friend that is always standing by to reveal true training performance. Video has served me well sig pics2as an accountability partner in multiple disciplines, from evaluating running economy or even my efficiency/form as a competitive swimmer, real time video is hard to argue with. If training still is not being optimized there is always supervision from professionals, as Battle Axe Tactical Alumni, students have a unique array of training options with little cost, but great benefit to them (ask about our Alumni Dry Fire Program).
      If I could make one cautionary statement concerning training it would be this: Most people, especially instructors, over complicate training. In my opinion, Simple Is Good (SIG). Too often I see shooters trying to “run” before they can barely stand up. Keep this in mind when training: slow is smooth, smooth is fast. When it is all boiled down, the only difference between professionals and amateurs is that the latter have yet to master the fundamentals; whatever discipline may be at hand. So when performance is lacking, instead of practicing “tacticool” back flips, revisiting the fundamentals of marksmanship will probably be more productive, and generally safer for everyone involved. We all want to be ninja’s but it takes time, discipline and intestinal fortitude to truly become successful. Most importantly, cutting corners or training above our ability is purely dangerous in this industry. When in doubt: slow down and focus on the fundamentals. This isn’t a game of monopoly; lives are at stake so train like it. It is time to put our pride aside, focus on the fundamentals, train realistically, and be truthful about our performance at the end of the day. So, are you getting the most out of your training?


robin_williams_05     In the wake of tragic news, it almost seems selfish to capitalize on headlines of any family’s tragedy. In some cases, however, I think there are valuable lessons that we can learn about ourselves in these, sometimes violent, storms postmortem. The subject of this post may be slightly misleading though. I am not asking: “why?” No, this is not a question searching for answers or some entity to blame, there is no desperate plea being made. Rather, it is a statement, an explanation of sorts as to WHY I train. WHY I train myself, WHY I train others, in essence it is WHY I live. I cannot take credit for this revelation, however; it wasn’t until after a very recent conversation with a friend/ confidant, who happens to be a well respected instructor and skilled practitioner, whom initiated this brainstorm. He posed this question to me: WHY do you do what you do? Obviously this took me a bit by surprise, he knows WHY I do this; he does the exact same thing for very similar reasons. So WHY was he asking me this question? For my friends at Archway Defense, it is all about the WHY. It may have taken me a minute to think about it but the more I did the more it fueled me to think deeper and formulate a valid response. It was while I was thinking about this question when I found out about Robin Williams’ tragic end. That is when things really started “snow-balling”.
      Now it may seem counterintrwusouitive trying to connect Robin Williams with the firearms industry, but just stay with me. Robin Williams was many things: a brilliant comedian; a gifted actor; and, some would say, an overall caring man. However, outside of Hollywood I’m not sure we would attribute Mr. Williams to the likes of a warrior. Unfortunately hindsight seems to be 20-20, as the adage goes. Mr. Williams, in my opinion, was a warrior and was fighting a very real and substantial internal battle. This is a battle that is not foreign to warriors returning from the hells of war; a battle that for MANY warriors never ends. Surreptitious in nature, this battle of depression or hopelessness is often victorious without the slightest observation from outsiders. It defeats its victims discreetly in a brief, sometimes microscopic, moment of personnel weakness. For some, the war zone is much closer to home than some war torn third world country. For this battle is not reserved for soldiers in some distant war zone.This is where the WHY matters the most. The WHY must outweigh the supposed “escape” or “forfeit”. If there is one lesson I have carried away from the devastation that is war it would be this: the raw value of human life. This may seem contradictory in nature, but to me and my experiences it is crystal clear: I train so that others may live. I am driven by a passion for human life. Unfortunately the reality is that we live in a world corrupted by the sin of man. This is a world that Evil has a stronghold, and devastating platform to destroy us from within. Sometimes this evil forces us to physically act, to defend ourselves or to defend our families. I train compulsively so that I may become the protector that my family deserves. I am a survivor, and I train others so that they too can strive for the same, so that others may live. Not only just to survive our many battles, physical, psychological or otherwise, but to thrive when we are in the fight for our very lives; however conspicuous or inconspicuous this battle may be.
      For some, battles will be lost and we will mourn for them and their families, but their loss will only fuel my WHY. Just like my friend posed the question to me, let me plant the seed for you: start thinking about the WHY and what it means to you and what fuels it. It may just save your life some day or at the very least give you some motivation today.

Remember, The Training Is NEVER Over.