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  • MAKE: Bravo Company Manufacturing
  • MODEL: BCM KMR *Alpha* 13
  • AVAILABLE: 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15 inches
  • MSRP: $200

BCM has the reputation of making some of the best AR accessories on the market, and the KMR (KeyMod Modular Rail) is one of its classics. The KMR *Alpha* handguard has all the features of the original KMR but is made in 100 percent aluminum, so it weighs only 7.7 ounces.

It’s KeyMod for the ultimate in modularity, free float for accuracy, and  it comes with a proprietary mounting system for lockup and stability. It is hard coat anodized to prevent rust. On top of all that, it’s got a thin profile— coming in at 1.5 inches, flat to flat. It’s tough as nails, thin and lightweight, and you can hang just about anything off your AR that you want.


  • MAKE: Mantis
  • MODEL: MantisX Firearms Training System
  • SOFTWARE: Free. Android and iOS
  • MSRP: $150

Handgun shooting is a constant quest to perfect our mechanics. For some of us, it’s just a struggle to fix bad habits acquired over time. Who among us hasn’t referenced the shooting symptom chart?

The MantisX goes way beyond that. It analyzes every shot you make, shows what’s wrong and coaches you on how to fix it. Then, it tracks all shooting sessions. It’s simple to use: Attach it to any handgun Picatinny rail, download the software, connect the phone, and then shoot. It’s more accurate than having a trainer watch over your shoulder. It can also be used while dry firing.


  • MAKE: Browning
  • MODEL: Black Label Pandemonium Full Auto
  • SPECS: Blade length—3.5 inches; overall length 7.75 inches; closed length 4.25 inches; weight 5.5 ounces
  • MSRP: $310

This Russ Kommer-designed knife has a smooth-as-silk auto action that locks open with an unmistakable click, just so there’s no confusion as to what just opened up. It uses a modified tanto with a curved cutting edge that drops to a point—the effect is almost like a minikukuri knife. It’s outstanding for slashing.

The knife has a checkered black G-10 handle with finger grooves for a secure grip. The handle is curved to fit the palm of your hand just right, and the butt curves around the end of your little finger, keeping your hand from sliding off. There is no safety, but the open button is recessed to prevent accidental activation. Just forward of the tang is jimping that culminates in a thumb rise. The blade is made of 440 series steel with a Rockwell hardness of 56–58. The pocket clip is reversible. This knife is made in the U.S.A.


  • MAKE: Man-PACK
  • MODEL: Ballistic Backpack Insert
  • SPECS: Dimensions—10×13 inches; weight 1 pound; level IIIa (.22 LR, 9mm, .45, .380, .38, .44 Mag)
  • MSRP: $119

Often, places with “no guns allowed” signs that are intended to protect our loved ones actually attract those with evil intent. The Ballistic Backpack Insert will help protect you.

We were skeptical that something this light and thin would work, but it easily proved us wrong: We fi red 12 rounds of 9mm (two HPs and 10 FMJ), and the only one that went through was one that clipped the edge, tumbled around the panel and through the edge of the other side.

It fits in brief cases and backpacks, including children-sized backpacks. Plus, it’s light enough so that it won’t be too much for even little ones to carry. It’s unfortunate we live in a world in which we have a need for such a thing. Fortunately, Man-PACK has an answer. Made of Dyneema, this backpack insert meets NIJ Level 3A ballistic testing standards.


  • MAKE: LaserLyte
  • MODEL: Sight Center Mass DL (CM-K15B)
  • MSRP: $220

Our entire shooting mindset is based on how accurately we can shoot … that elusive pinpoint accuracy. Manufacturers of laser aiming devices have perpetuated this over the years. LaserLyte realized there are times when laser-dot precision isn’t necessary; sometimes, the solution is placing a shot center mass. The mighty buckshot-slinging shotgun comes to mind.

The Center Mass pattern consists of one center dot, circled by a ring of eight dots, and it spreads at a rate of 1 inch for every 1 yard in distance. It’s not just for shotguns, either: Have you ever had a hard time finding your laser point on a bright day? It’s much easier to fi nd nine of them and then shift to the center-most one.


  • MAKE: Breakthrough Clean Technologies
  • MODEL: Battle Born HP Pro
  • MSRP: $13

The folks at Breakthrough don’t believe in CLP—the “clean” contradicts the “protects.” What they do believe in is making a great, military-grade lubricant and protectant: the Battle Born HP Pro.

The original BB High Purity Oil is great, but the HP Pro is designed for guns that are run hard (it’s full auto rated). First clean your gun with Battle Born Military-Grade Solvent and then apply one coat. Let it settle into the metal, and then apply a second coat. After that, when you run your gun, simply wipe it down, and most of the carbon will be removed. This is a great product.


  • MAKE: Advanced Technology International (ATI)
  • MODEL: X2 AR-15 Grip
  • MSRP: $25

We have wrapped our mitts around plenty of outstanding AR grips in our day, but this one is the most comfortable yet.

Ergonomically, it feels a lot like an HK VP9 or Walther PPQ. It’s a two-piece design with excellent texture on the front and a luxurious, soft rubber backstrap. It’s slightly wider than a standard A2 grip for better recoil dispersion, and it absorbs recoil like nobody’s business. The only down side is that it must be used with a standard receiver end plate; the ones with QD mounts or sling loops cannot be used.


  • MAKE: Bear & Son Cutlery
  • MODEL: Bear Song IV (Model B-500-A1BK-B)
  • SPECS: 50 inches closed; 30-inch blade; weight 4.5 ounces
  • MSRP: $160

I grew up in the 1980s, so when I think of a balisong  (a.k.a. “butterfly knife”), I think of mall ninjas with nunchuks sticking out of their back pockets, whipping around their $5 butterfly knives.

Balisongs today are a far cry from the cheap knives that I knew, and this one from the Bear Ops line is a fine example of the quality that’s out there today. The blade is 1095 carbon steel, so it’s tough, easy to sharpen and holds an edge well. It’s also very sharp out of the box. 1095 will rust, but the black powdercoat will help prevent that. It’s also a little stiff out of the box, but apply about four drops of the Battle Born HP Pro mentioned elsewhere in Kit Up!,  and this knife will be good to go.