The night drew in at an unexpected rate. I found myself alone, a glass of whiskey in one hand and a credit card in the other.
Browsing through a selection of odd and interesting, weird and fascinating, the hypnotizing orange checkmark and teal letters spelling prime held me tight…
Before I even realized I had already checked out, and those oddities were on their way to my home. The next morning as the mist lifted from mind the memories of these oddities went with them.
A mere two days later a box arrived, and I uncovered the mysteries from a dark place known as AMAZON!
(Cue the spooky music.)
It Came from Amazon: Weird, Tactical Edition
1. Tactaload Flash-5 Stock
I’m a shotgun nerd, like a serious, hardcore shotgun nerd who lovingly embraces shotguns of all types.
But I also accept their weaknesses…capacity.
Keeping extra ammo on the gun allows for rapid reloads on the fly.
Side saddles are the way to go usually, but the Flash-5 promises an alternative.
Instead of a side-saddle, the Flash-5 is a firearm stock that holds five rounds of 12-gauge ammunition in a magazine-like contraption.
Yep, the stock has an integral magazine with a spring, follower, and all that jazz.
Installation was quick and simple on my 590A1, with all tools included.
Installing the magazine setup proved easy, and loading in five rounds was just as simple. A hinging gate combined with friction from the follower secures the shells, keeping them from bumping around and falling out.
The hinged gate is spring-loaded, and as you draw a shell, you push it down at the same time.
It’s surprisingly fast and easy to use. I was not convinced it could be as fast as an actual side-saddle, until I beat my side saddle reload time consistently.
It is slower for port reloads, and loading two is somewhat challenging. However, the Flash-5 is totally ambidextrous, slimmer than a side-saddle, and a really good stock!
Offering an adjustable length of pull via spacers, it presents a great cheek weld. Oh and it’s rock-solid in the reliability department.
I’ve done hundreds of reloads, both live and dry, and not once have I made it choke.
To see how tough it was, I went through a modified Marine Corps bayonet course and beat the hell out of an old tire with the stock. It didn’t break, fail, or even drop a round.
What I thought was a silly gimmick turned out to be a dang good stock. Of all the things on this list, this is the one I’d suggest you buy.
2. ZOEKIM Novelty Finger Sight Set
Iron sights are cool, right?
So let’s forgo the pop-up sights for some polymer fixed sights with a little pizazz.
Looking cool is half the battle, and these sights accomplish that!
…Well, maybe…I don’t know. They aren’t like Sonic the Hedgehog cool, but kinda cool.
These novelty iron sights provide you with two sets of sights for less than $20.
Pretty good deal so far, right?
Well, what’s even better is the style in which they are designed and built.
These lightweight polymer sights come in mix-and-match sets allowing you to choose between open or peep sights.
Our first rear open sight is the classic peace sign you put in all your emo photos on Myspace.
Your rear peep sight is the OK sign — the thumb and pointer finger act as your peep sight.
You get two front sights too. The first is the very cool thumbs-up sign with the thumb acting as your aiming post.
If you don’t mind being a little rude or abrasive, your second option is the bird finger. I’m all about good vibes, man, so these aren’t my style.
Now, are they good as sights? Nah. They kinda suck.
You can’t adjust them at all. Not to mention they are bulky, kind of cheaply made, and rather imprecise. I tossed them on my Aero Precision EPC, and while I could hit a target at 25-yards, they were all over the place.
They didn’t lock down well on rails and wiggled loose quickly.
Also, that OK sign peep sight doesn’t really line up well with the front sight posts. I think we all knew these were a joke, but hey, if you can’t take a joke, why bother?
This could be a fun gag gift, but beyond airsoft and gag gifts, it’s gonna be a no from me, dog.
3. Dollar Store CEU
As a teenager, I used to read a ton of gun magazines and loved them. To this day, I remember seeing an article on the Aimpoint CEU.
CEU stands for Concealed Engagement Unit, and it was basically a periscope positioned behind an optic.
Shooters positioned the gun around a corner, aiming through a periscope and taking accurate shots without breaking cover.
I’m not sure how handy the CEU ever was or whoever fielded it, but it remained on my mind for years.
So imagine my surprise when I saw a Dollar Store brand CEU on Amazon.
This simple square-shaped periscope mounts on what looks like a scope ring. It attaches with ease behind your red optic.
Bam! Now you have the ability to shoot around corners.
You can even transition back to a normal shooting position and look through the periscope to use your red dot normally.
Well, kind of. It’s really weird to use at first. Definitely takes some practice, but I positioned myself behind cover and lit up a small steel target.
Let’s evaluate the glass…it’s horrible.
It blurs the image a little bit and degrades visual quality. Seriously, at 4-feet, I can’t read large text on a poster or even make out the letters.
You see, it’s tough to read things because, as you’d imagine, it presents everything in a mirrored image.
Also, it feels like I could drop it, and it would break. I wouldn’t trust it for anything serious. Luckily the price is on point for the low quality.
It is a lot of fun to use. I can’t lie that I got a big smile on my face as I dinged steel while hiding behind a barrier.
Adding this goofy thing gave me a good bit of fun, and the fun itself is worth the cost.
I passed it around to a few fellow shooters and had a good time. However, I’ll probably never use it again.
4. The World’s Smallest Weaponlight
I only knew Mission First Tactical from their minimalist stock and holsters.
It turns out they make the world’s smallest weapon light.
The MFT Backup Light Torch presents a roughly key fob-sized weapon light that attaches onto the rail of your long gun.
It pumps out a blinding 20 lumens! Yep, 20 lumens, that’s it.
Backup light is an apt description.
I honestly have a hard time justifying this thing. It’s too weak to illuminate much, and I wouldn’t use it for anything outside of admin tasks.
However, what admin tasks am I pointing a weapon at?
Maybe navigating safe environments… I say that, but a handheld light would be more efficient for that task for sure.
I did a little more research and found they make an IR version and a red beam version. Now, these two I can get behind.
Using red light in the field makes a lot more sense. It allows you a light source that’s not white for navigating, reading signs, identifying faces, etc.
It’s red, so it doesn’t give away your position outside of the immediate area and allows you to maintain your natural night vision.
An IR attachment makes using night vision easier indoors. It casts a bright little beam for indoor use and does the same as a red beam, but under IR.
Alas, I can’t really suggest the white light version. But check out the red or IR version — those two would be a much better option.
Have you tried the world’s smallest light? If so, rate it below.
5. VSSL Cache
Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a gun item, it’s more of a prepper or camping tool. Let’s face it though, there’s a lot of overlap between outdoor activities and guns.
Mainly because I love these things, I like the idea of a purpose-built survival cache.
VSSL makes these are separate containers and produces several different models filled with mini VSSL tins.
These tins contain different survival goods, ranging from a shelter and first aid to an all in one spear.
The VSSL Cache can come empty, or full of goodies.
On Amazon, the number of options is limited so make sure you check out their website too.
You can buy a variety of mini tins to fill the VSSL Cache or create your cache and shove it full of all sorts of gear for camping and survival.
At 9-inches long and 2-inches in diameter, you can squeeze in fire-making gear, fishing gear, small medical gear, and much more into the VSSL.
It could ever be a hardcore container for a gun cleaning kit. Seriously, you could fit anything in here and head into the wild knowing it’s well protected.
The cache container is both water and airtight, which makes it a handy piece of equipment when fishing or hunting in a rugged environment.
The VSSL Container cache is a multi-purpose tool, tool, housing a flashlight and compass.
The front and rear of the cache come threaded with the front acting as a flashlight and the rear as a little compass.
Bonus, the light can be separated from the cache as an all-in-one unit. It throws a big wide flood beam that can be both a flashlight and a lantern inside a tent.
The compass is a compass. It’s durable, and I’ve dropped it many times without an issue.
The VSSL Caches are a neat idea. Just fill it up with the gear you need to survive and stash it somewhere you can quickly grab it.
6. O.S.T. Operator Survival Tool 2.0
I usually detest the phrase Operator. It’s quite overused, but I’ll let it slide with the Operator Survival Tool.
Why? Because it’s handy, affordable, and pretty useful.
The OST 2.0 is a three-in-one tool that is so small it can be contained in the pistol grip or stock storage of a AR-15 with the right furniture.
Offering a fire starting rod, a knife sharpening rod, and an AR-15 carbon scraper, the OST is roughly the same size as two CR123 batteries stacked on top of each other.
The system is self-contained in a small orange capsule that also doubles as a handle. Once everything is packed away, it’s straightforward to store on your weapon, so you are never far from it.
The fire starting rod is a simple flint rod that can be used to spark a fire. The rod is mall but enough to start a fire more than once.
Of course, if you’ve never used one, you might want to take the time to learn how to use a flint or ferrous rod to start a fire. It’s not easy and takes some practice.
Because this rod is a little dainty, I do suggest grabbing a cheap ferrous rod and learning from it before chewing through the OST flint.
(We have some recommendations here!)
The knife sharpener is a ceramic rod that is also small, but long enough for most EDC pocket knives.
Using a rod to sharpen a knife also takes practice, and I am far from mastering this technique myself. But the rod is a handy item to have.
The carbon scraper is the star of the show.
It can be used to strike and scrape the flint, but it’s also a great cleaning tool.
This scaper allows you to scrape the carbon off every part of an AR-15 bolt. This includes the firing pin, the bolt, and the bolt carrier.
You can get into every nook and cranny of the heart of your AR with this little scraper.
So toss this bad boy in one of those and roll!
The OST 2.0 is such an affordable and cool little piece of gear, I can’t help but love it. I also can’t believe I didn’t think of it.
7. NC Star Flip Dot
Optics from NC Star undoubtedly draws some ire in the comments. Admittedly NC Star is part of a group of companies known for producing optics overseas and selling them at rock bottom prices.
These optics are what I consider hobbyist optics. They go on non-defensive guns and are more for fun. And the NCStar FlipDot fills that niche.
Using a folding mini red dot design, this optic offers a low profile that fits on a handgun without adding much bulk or size to the gun.
THe NC-Star FlipDot opts for a Trijicon RMR footprint, which is pretty standard.
It attaches to a Glock MOS easy enough and comes with a few different lengths set screws.
The window itself is tiny and thin, but functional — clear with a slight blue tint.
Really, the whole draw to this optic is the folding window. This creates a smaller profile and adds less bulk to the gun.
To deploy the dot you hit a small switch on the side, and it springs into action — with some real force, I might ad.
It’s reliable, and it doesn’t turn off between shots…but its not perfect.
With my preferred 9mm 124-grain +P self-defense ammo, the optic occasionally locks backward. That said, with target ammo in the 115-grain range, it works perfect.
The dot itself isn’t well defined, a bit blurry, and it blooms just a bit. Not to mention, the dot is also rough to use at High Noon.
It’s effortless to zero, and it comes with the necessary tools. The optic’s zero also never drifted. It remained true throughout all testing.
I will say the built-in rear sights are a nice touch. The sight radius is painfully short, but it does work as a backup.
Is it worth the cost? Hard to say. It’s certainly neat, and at less than $100 it’s hard to hate. Might work best with a .22 LR pistol you shoot for fun.
8. QuickStrip 12-Gauge Speed Strips
We started with shotguns…let’s end on shotguns.
If you’re a revolver fan, you are likely pretty familiar with speed strips.
These handy rubber strips offer a quick method to reload a revolver and organize spare ammo.
A company called Tuff Strips makes these strips for a variety of different calibers…including 12-gauge shotgun.
A little odd since the last 12-gauge revolver we got was the ill-named Street Sweeper (and that’s considered a destructive device anyway).
That said, Tuff Strips advertises them as a handy way to feed your single and double-barreled shotguns. And they aren’t wrong.
Part of the problem with a shotgun is ammo capacity as previously mentioned. Reloads also tend to be slow.
Side saddles are must-haves for shotguns to top off and keep running continually.
I’ve become a fan of loading the gun from the saddle, then reloading the saddle from a vest or battle belt.
That is where I see these speed strips being handy for shotguns.
You feed the side saddle of a semi-auto or pump-action shotgun with the strips. In practice, it works to both completely refill a gun’s side saddle or to top it off.
The Tuff Strips hold six 12-gauge rounds, but I only use five slots.
This gives me a better grip on the strips, making it easier to break them away and refill the side saddle.
With the shells in place, you can easily fit the strips and shells into a standard bandolier style carrier.
Loading them is a real pain, but doable. You have to squeeze than rim in with some force.
Best of all, these are also affordable, well made, and seem to hold up use after use.
Navigating the Amazon presents the good, the bad, and the strange. A lot of this stuff I only find because I search for hours on end.
Nevertheless, I was relieved that nothing was a major disappointment in terms of items.
So let me know below what you’d like to see tested (or what you’ve tried yourself) in the comments below! Want more of the fun? Check out Part One of It Came from Amazon or my World’s Dumbest Glock Build!
Tactical Things from Amazon (That Aren’t Terrible), Pt. 2 is written by Travis Pike for www.pewpewtactical.com