With YouTube changing it's policies left right and center and a need to continue to fund channel operations - I moved my affiliate links into the list you see here. If you want a recommendation on something I'd recommend - it's on this list more than likely.
GunMagWarehouse is a good place if you're just after mags.
EuroOptic has usually the best price on optics If anything you fancy is on Optics planet - code HUMM saves 7%.
The hearing protection I use is Axil XCor's - they are like airpods but also do hearing amplification. I compete with the old custom molded Axil products - but you can't get those any more. When I'm filming on the range I'm using XCors constantly listening to podcasts and audio books. When I shoot open guns - which are loud - I double up with a pair of Axil Trackr Blus.
Gun Cleaning / Maintenance
So Modern Spartan Systems (Save 10% with THM10) makes - in my opinion - the best gun oil available. That sounds dumb to say - and I get it - but it stays slippery longer. It's not that much money it lasts a long time - if you don't like it message me and call me dumb - but everyone who's tried it has agreed with me. There may be those who don't but I've gotten notes and emails from those who did try it and thanked me for the recommendation. I did a video on it - and no one watched - because why would they - but it's absolutely what I use on my guns.
Ghost Holsters (Code: "GearUp10" good for 10% off) makes great competition gear at an affordable price. My first competition belt was a Ghost belt - lasted 3 years before the velcro went on it. The 360 mag pouch is a great value and versatile. The One holster is a brilliant race holster - especially with the 3G mount - but the Thunder holster is a heck of a value for Carry Optics./ Production. The Hydra P (not the P+) is one of my favorite holsters - possibly ever - it's a locking shell but super fast on the draw. Their rig builder set + the code is the absolute most affordable way to step into good gear for USPSA/IPSC.
Concealed Carry Red Dot:
The RMR has the best ruggedness, the blue screen while annoying at first - you learn to deal with it. Battery life is exceptional. This is 50% more than a holosun - and in my opinion worth it. Runner up: Holosun 507C Optics Planet Amazon EuroOptic
Delta Point Pro Cut Favorite: This is a tie. The Deltapoint Pro is a better functioning sight from a holds zero and won't break electronics standpoint - but it breaks glass pretty easily and has a HUGE optic body elevating the window off the bore - Optics Planet Amazon EuroOptic The Sig Romeo1Pro has a lower profile optic body - easier to cowitness with - gorgeous dot and glass - windage and elevation adjustment aren't as solid as the DPP. I like shooting the R1P more than a DPP due to height over bore and better glass/emitter. Optics Planet Amazon EuroOptic
Best competition Optics - code HUMM saves 7% at optics planet
Slide Ride Category: Trijicon SRO 5 MOA Optics Planet EuroOptic Tough to argue with the SRO. Huge window, super bright, excellent adjustment, excellent battery life. Basically immune to recoil. Not as durable as an RMR but pretty damn good. 5 MOA is the move. Runner up - The Holosun 507 Comp
Carry Optics / Limited Optics Guns for USPSA/IDPA - updated 10/23
Low Budget (<$500):
The Mete improved on all the issues with the older TP9 series. it's one shortcoming is it only comes cut for RMSc footprint optics - you can get an adapter plate from Patnik Solutions and start using RMR footprint sights, or you can use the Shield Arms RMS-X Glass - I reviewed the RMSX with the polymer lens - I have the glass one now and am starting to put rounds on it. I quite like this dot. Trigger is bonkers - magazines are hard to find Slightly more money- the Canik Rival is amazing.
Middle Budget (<$1000): This is where the field gets murky - there are a ton of good choices and I don't want to point you at one single gun because you have a lot of choices. Shadow Systems DR920L - Palmetto State - Light weight - long slide - low bore axis - super good frame - OK trigger. This uses Glock pattern mags so inexpensive to keep up and low maintenance.
Canik Rival S - Palmetto State - The Rival S has a great trigger, the magazines are hard to find, can take basically any optic. The price is low for what it is. It's available in black and chrome. They come in stock and out of stock a lot because they are imports, supply isn't great - sometimes magazines are hard to find. Because of the slide cuts they bind in holsters a bit but you kind of learn around that.
Sig Sauer P320 Legion - Palmetto State - The P320 doesn't have a great trigger - with a lot of effort it can be made OK - but I'd just accept the reality that it's just "OK" and leave it alone because the ergonomics of the grip and trigger design make the gun very easy to shoot. It's a heavy weight gun at about 40 ounces - magazines are expensive.
Moderately Expensive (<$2000): If you have this much money to spend - I'd start thinking about getting a 2011 and building it up for USPSA Limited Optics - and in most cases you can keep it legal for IDPA Carry optics. If IDPA carry optics is a thing - I highly recommend you start looking into compensated/ported options - you can get some good ones at this price point.
Tanfoglio Stock 2 Optic Ready - Palmetto State - The Stock 2 has the best grip and one of my favorite balances available. The recurve trigger makes the trigger reach manageable despite it's large frame. The trigger is OK out of the box - serviceable - but can be made pretty bonkers. Hard chrome is the best weapons finish. This would be ideal for USPSA Carry Optics. ( If you like this style of DASA gun - also consider the Shadow 2 OR , Beretta 92X Performance CO are good choices.
Springfield Armory Prodigy - Palmetto State - This would be a Limited Optics (LO) gun in USPSA. The Prodigy - out of the box - isn't amazing but it's honestly not bad - except for the guide rod - that's pretty bad. The 5" gun is one of the softest shooting I've encountered but it was the most plagued with the early teething issues. Springfield appears to have righted the ship on this one - and this is still a great 2011 style gun to build off of. Out of the box you'll want a magwell EGW makes one good for USPSA - or you can modify the Dawson precision Gen 1 STI mag wells to work - I filed off the tabs at the bottom of my grip and it works fine. If you are going IDPA you want a sub 1.5" wide magwell. The next thing you'll want is a Dawson Precision Tool-less guide Rod. Or if you have a 4.25 one Atlas makes one. Then you can get the Infinity drop in trigger kit if you want - EGW makes one - Atlas has one - there are many more. I promise it's a better gun than all the people who don't have it on the internet say it is.
Bul Armorty SASII Tac - 5" - only available through Bul Armory It's kind of like a prodigy - but you don't have to do anything to it. Magazines are less costly than 2011 mags - Bul sells them for like $50-60 - but they are a different pattern and not interchangeable with 2011 mags. The trigger is great out of the box - the safeties are great - it only accepts RMR footprint optics - which is fine. This is a true plug and play option. Fits many/most 2011 style holsters - but sometimes not Staccato specific holsters. In this price category - this is my #1 pick.
High Budget ($2,000 +) in this category - you can basically spend as much money as you want - but the choices in this category are going to be wildly different. I for sure would recommend an SAO platform in this bracket. It's not that 2011s are the best - but they are pretty awesome and once you get used to the advantages they provide (easy to reload, easy to shoot) it's tough to compromise. We'll do USPSA first and then IDPA picks. Bul Armory SASII AIR - Bul's website - At $2,650 the Air is basically ready to race out of the box. It has great irons and comes with an RMR plate for optics. It comes with a pair of magazines that are only the 19 rounders. It's Bul pattern magazines but the quality is very good for this gun - it's magwell is designed for the IPSC standard box dimension - you can swap it to what they call an open magwell for maximum performance if you want. If you want it to do double duty in IDPA - then grab a TAC magwell as well then with an easy pin punch and magwell exchange it's ready to rock in both. The availability on these can be spotty, but Bul Armory seems to be getting it in more regularly.
Masterpiece Arms DS9 - Masterpiece Arms website - The Masterpiece Arms DS9 is a great value in the segment if you choose you want an aluminum grip/ steel grip. The price on these have been creeping up over the years but they still provide a great value. I have the IDPA Hybrid version of the gun with the short dustcover. I have a small aluminum magwell for it and the big aluminum one for LO. Really nice pistol - if you build custom they take a while but they are stocked by a number of stores where if you're not picky on color you can get them more or less off the shelf.
Bul Armory SASII Tac Pro 5" - Bul's website - So this is only legal for IDPA Carry Optics - but these guns are ridiculously fun. It's got barrel ports - so if you're using high velocity very gassy ammo you'll get the best results.
Staccato XC - Staccato Website - so the Staccato XC has an island barrel set up - meaning that the compensator is built into the barrel. This gun is silly fun to shoot - it's expensive. But it's awesome.