Tom Stilson began his firearms career in 2012 working a gun store counter. He progressed to conducting appraisals for fine and collectible firearms before working as the firearms compliance merchant for a major outdoor retailer. In 2015, he entered public service and began his law enforcement career. Tom has a range of experience working for big and small as well as urban and rural agencies. Among his qualifications, Tom is certified as a firearms instructor, field trainer, and in special weapons and tactics. If not on his backyard range, he spends his time with family or spreading his passion for firearms and law enforcement.

A Crash Course in Trigger Types and Styles

There's plenty of different trigger styles and types on the market today, but what are they and why should you choose one over the other? Here's a quick overview of the most common trigger styles you'll run into at your local gun store.

The Mentor: A Positive Impact on the Shooting Community

For many of us, we can look back at our shooting experiences and find a mentor that greatly influenced our perception, knowledge, and passion for all things firearms-related. For some, they're lucky enough to step into that role and become a role model for new shooters.

Holster Retention and How It Affects Draw Speed

Holster retention is important, but so is draw speed. How much do retention devices affect draw speed from a holster? Let's take a look at a few designs and see how they affect time on target.

The Empty Chamber Carry Paradox: Don’t Do It

There's still some proponents of empty chamber carry. When all is said and done, here's why it's a bad idea and not appropriate for modern defensive firearm carrying.

Sons of Liberty Gun Works AR-15 Rails: A Review

Sons of Liberty Gun Works is a proudly American company producing some great products for the AR-15 end user. While they make a variety of quality AR parts and rifles, we're diving into the surprisingly durable and stout rails they offer for the AR-15.

Vortex Spitfire HD Gen II: Magnification in a Micro Red Dot

Red dots are great. Magnified red dots are even better. However, the resulting footprint tends to be bulky and awkward. LPVOs don't help much either due to their size. However, the Vortex Spitfire HD Gen II fixes all those issues.

Paddle Holsters: Do They Have a Purpose?

There are dozens of ways to carry for personal defense. One of them is with a paddle holster attachment. While paddle holsters often get a bad wrap, is there still a place for them? From my experience, there might still be a place for the classic paddle carry.

Mag Orientation: Does it Matter?

How do you carry your spare magazines? Bullets forward or bullets to the rear? Here's some considerations on how to carry your mags that may help your reload be a little faster.

2024 NRA Show: New Optics and Upgrades

For our final coverage of the 2024 NRA Show in Dallas, we cover some of the latest optics and upgrades that grabbed our attention.

Ankle Carry: Lessons from the Field

Not all carry positions are created equal. While ankle carry is great for deep concealment, there's a few things to consider before doing so. Before you ankle carry, learn from others who've been there and done that.

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