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Guns are complex pieces of machinery, and as such, they require a disciplined regimen of cleaning. Without regular cleaning, the crucial mechanisms that enable the firearm to discharge reliably and accurately will become hindered, resulting in non-optimal, unpredictable performance.

Having said that, rifles demand an especially careful cleaning routine, and there are specific methods that must be used to ensure proper care. Carelessness will result in poor cleaning, or worse, permanent damage.

Thankfully, you can use this post from Off the Grid News as a guide for the most important things to remember when cleaning your rifle:

1. Assemble Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning Rod or Snake
To clean the barrel you’ll want to use a single piece cleaning rod. The screw-together sectional cleaning rods are generally cheaper, but they can damage your bore and should be avoided. Usually the single piece rods are polymer coated, which is softer than the steel of your rifle bore, and won’t scratch it. I recommend purchasing a cleaning rod guide also to ensure you enter your gun’s chamber straight on. If your rod didn’t come with a bore brush, purchase one for your rifle’s caliber out of bronze or nylon.
Bore snakes are an excellent option, as well. These soft cords are usually made from washable materials. They can’t damage your bore and for general, quick cleaning, they’re priceless! They also come with a built-in brush, or an additional pull-through brush.
Cleaning Patches
If you’re using a cleaning rod, you’ll also need cleaning patches. These can be made out of any absorbent cloth material (i.e. not paper towels). A cheap option is to cut patches from old T-shirts, but any number of different fabrics will work nicely. You can also purchase patches from sporting goods stores or from online retailers. They may come in larger sizes and need to be trimmed to fit smoothly down the barrel. You also want to grab a clean rag and a few cotton swabs for wiping grime and dust from your rifle’s chamber and action.
Lastly you’ll need a solvent, something to cut away at the fouling inside your bore. A favorite solvent is Hoppe’s #9. Another excellent option is Sweet’s 7.62 Bore Cleaning Solvent. Both of these are available at sporting goods stores or online from numerous retailers.
2. Clean the Rifle Bore
First, you’ll clean the barrel. Colin Cash (marksman, military surplus rifle collector, and gun aficionado) shares, “The first and last inch of the barrel are the most important to avoid damaging. If damaged at all, accuracy will suffer.” Keep that in mind as you approach your rifle. While there’s nothing tricky about cleaning a rifle, they do need to be handled with some care.
If at all possible, you want to clean your rifle’s bore in the direction that the bullet travels. Some rifles don’t allow for straight access, but for those that do, this is the best option. If you have a lever action, a pump action or some semi-automatic rifles that don’t allow for straight rear entry, you’ll clean from the direction of the muzzle to the chamber. Or you can choose to use a bore snake. Whichever option you choose, soak a patch or a portion of your bore snake with cleaning solvent and run it down through the bore. If you encounter substantial resistance with your rod and patch, remove the rod and trim the patch before running it again. Allow the rifle to rest for five to 10 minutes to give the solvent time to dissolve the fouling.
Next run a bore brush through the bore to loosen any grime. If you can, once the brush pops out the other end, unscrew it and pull the cleaning rod back out. Be gentle during this step. The solvent should have done most of the work for you. Don’t “scrub” away at the bore as this can damage the lands and grooves of the bore. Run the brush through and then move onto the next step.
Push another patch wet with solvent through the bore and let your rifle rest for a few more minutes. One to three minutes is plenty. Next grab a dry patch and run it through the barrel. This one should pick up plenty of carbon residue (depending on how dirty the rifle is and how long it’s been since it was last cleaned). Continue to run dry patches through until they come out completely clean and dry. If you continue to see dirty patches, you can repeat the above process again with more solvent.
3. Clean the Chamber and Action
While there is not much work to be done on the chamber and action, wiping these areas down with a clean rag is a good idea. You can also use a cotton swab to gently pick up any dust and grime in difficult-to-reach places. Be careful that the cotton swab doesn’t leave any cotton wisps behind though as this can cause malfunctions and attract dirt. There are chamber brushes and mops that you can purchase to clean out your chamber, as well. While not absolutely necessary, they do come in handy. Dental picks can be especially useful as well for more fine-tuned cleaning. Add these to your gun-cleaning kit as you’re able.
4. Clean the Stock and Barrel
When you are finished cleaning your rifle and readying it for storage, take a clean rag and wipe down the rifle barrel with a very light coat of gun oil. This helps remove any water or fingerprint residue that may have gotten on your rifle during the cleaning process. Remington Gun Oil works well, but any kind of gun oil should do the trick. Stocks don’t generally need cleaning if they have a waterproof finish (all synthetics, and sealed wooden stocks). You can wipe them down with a clean rag and brush off any dirt that may have accumulated. Before you store your rifle, wipe off any excess gun oil from the barrel. Close the action and safely drop the firing pin to release any tension in the rifle before storage.
5. Store in a Dry and Safe Place
Perhaps even more important than proper gun gleaning is the safe and dry storage of your rifle. Rust can be an ever-present enemy to rifles, and proper storage is essential to keeping it at bay. Choose a gun safe that fits your rifle collection. It is also a good idea to place some sort of dehydrator within your safe and check it periodically.
You can make your own dehydrator by collecting silica gel packets (like the ones you find in shoes). Cut them open and dump the beads into a tin or aluminum can. To reactivate the beads, simply put them in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for three hours. After that, place the open can in your gun safe. Depending on your environment and the size of your safe, you can hope to get anywhere from two weeks to a month or more of protection before needing to remove the moisture from the beads again in the oven.
Keeping a rifle in tip-top working condition is not difficult. A thorough cleaning every once in a while should be more than enough to deal with moisture-attracting carbon buildup and keep rust at bay. Using the proper tools and supplies will ensure that you don’t damage your rifle and should make cleaning a quick and simple process. Storing your rifle in a dry and locked area ensures that your rifle will be ready for use for years to come.

There you have it: the five essential steps to correctly cleaning your rifles. Do you think anything was missed in that post? What are your rifle cleaning habits? Tell us in the comments.

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Preparedness, simplicity, and efficiency are three difficult things to balance. It’s easy to achieve two of the three, but getting them all together is a challenge to say the least, especially when building an arsenal. Stockpiling as many guns as you can will get you prepared, but it’ll leave you with neither simplicity or efficiency. Conversely, having just a couple guns is simple and efficient, but it probably isn’t wise from a preparedness perspective.

All that said, could there ever be a single gun to satisfy all your core survival needs?

Actually, we all know that’s impossible, so let’s make it a little easier… Could there ever be one rifle to satisfy all your rifle needs?

According to this post, there might be a rifle that could do just that.

Here’s more from the source:

When most people think of survival rifles, they picture a compact, lightweight, single shot or semi-automatic rifle chambered for the venerable .22 LR ,or perhaps a drilling chambered for a .22 LR and .410 or 20 Ga.

However, when people think of the AR-15 rifle, they tend to automatically picture a home defense rifle or a US Military battlefield rifle, and certainly not a survival rifle! But, when properly configured, the AR-15 platform does make an excellent survival rifle. In fact, because of its .223 inch bore diameter and a chamber sized for either a .223 Remington or a 5.56 mm NATO cartridge, it makes an excellent choice for medium-size game species such as whitetail deer, feral hogs and wild turkeys at close to medium ranges, as long as the heavier bullet designs are used. On the other hand, it is also easily converted to fire the .22 LR cartridge via one of several different, readily available, drop-in conversion kits and thus, the AR-15 is a survival rifle extraordinaire!

When I think of a survival rifle, four criteria immediately come to mind. First, it must be lightweight so that it is easy to carry. Second, it must be compact so that it is easy to maneuver. Third, it must be extremely durable and well able to withstand the extremes of the elements — as well as harsh treatment and lack of care. Third, it must be able to fire the .22 LR cartridge.

While there are several extremely well-designed survival rifles out there chambered for the .22 LR, the AR-15 is a far better choice than any of them, because it is able to fire both a high-powered rifle cartridge and a low-powered one by simply exchanging the bolt with a drop-in replacement, and then exchanging the magazine. Also, by installing a collapsible, skeleton, stock in conjunction with a 14 ½-inch or 16-inch barrel, the rifle becomes both very compact and relatively lightweight. Plus, .22 LR drop-in conversion kits are readily available that will easily enable any AR-15 chambered for .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO to also fire .22 LR cartridges, without making any permanent alterations to the rifle.

So, simply by carrying the rifle in its standard configuration chambered for .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO along with a drop-in .22 LR conversion kit, you effectively have two rifles in one that will enable you to harvest game animals, ranging in size from squirrels and rabbits to medium-sized deer and feral pigs. Plus, because the AR-15 was specifically intended to be a battlefield rifle, it was specifically designed to function correctly every time it was needed, even in extremely harsh inclement weather conditions. It also was specifically designed such that all of the internal components can easily be replaced in the field by someone with only a moderate amount of mechanical skill. The AR-15 platform also meets my criteria for a survival rifle that is both extremely durable and very reliable.

Another reason that I feel that this rifle is such an extraordinary survival rifle is because it was specifically designed to be a modular system so that the rifle could be quickly and easily reconfigured to meet the needs of various missions. This has given rise to different manufacturers offering alternate caliber conversion kits in addition to the .22 LR, such as the 6.8mm Remington SPC (special purpose cartridge) or .300 Whisper.

By adding a second upper receiver/barrel assembly with a 14 ½-inch or 16-inch barrel chambered for 6.8mm SPC or something larger, you would have the ability to harvest larger game animals at much greater distances than you would with the .223 Remington, but you would also retain the ability to hunt medium-size game with the .223 and small game with the .22 LR, simply by sliding two pins out from the lower receiver and then exchanging the upper receiver at will.

If you have never considered the AR-15 to be a viable survival rifle, then perhaps you should take a second look at this amazing modular rifle. Not only is it compact, lightweight and extremely durable, but it can be easily reconfigured to fire any number of cartridges, ranging from low power to high power and thus, it actually makes the perfect survival rifle for hunting wild game species. Plus, if you happen to find yourself in a location inhabited by large, predatory animals, then having an AR-15 as opposed to a .22 LR can provide you with the means to defend yourself if necessary. As you see, the AR-15 is truly a survival rifle extraordinaire!

What do you think? Is the AR-15 really an end-all-be-all solution for your survival rifle needs?

Hash it out in the comments.

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re here either to defend your love for Glocks to the death or to decry what some perceive to be rampant fanboy-ism for the Austrian gunmakers ubiquitous pistols.

Either way, your opinions on the matter are likely pretty strong.

But before you jump to your typical conclusions on Glocks, take the time to read what Off the Grid News has to say about why these guns continue to hold an edge over the rest of the handgun market.

Even if you get to the end of the article and still don’t agree, we’d love to hear your informed objections in the comments below.

Without further ado, here’s the post:

Nowadays, handguns from the Glock family of Safe Action pistols are among the most common you’ll see. The Austrian company makes their handguns in a variety of sizes and calibers from 380 ACP up to the awe-inspiring 10mm. If you have not considered one of these handguns in your survival strategy, you may be shortchanging yourself.

First, a Little History

The year was 1982 and a new handgun hit the market called the Glock 17. The concept was radical for its time: There was no hammer, no safety and the frames were made of plastic. The handguns even shipped in what could best be described as a black Tupperware box as opposed to the wooden or cardboard cartons more common in that day and age.

Myths surrounded the import. For example, some said it would be used by terrorists to hijack planes because it could bypass a metal detector thanks to its plastic frame. That statement, however, was flat-out ridiculous because the pistol still contains more than one pound of steel in its construction.

There also was great interest in the Safe Action feature. External safeties had always been seen as necessities on semi-automatic pistols since their invention. But Glock eliminated them by creating what they called a Safe Action trigger. This purpose-built, two-piece trigger performs the function of a safety and prevents the pistol from being fired should it drop on the ground or be struck by another object.

Eliminating a manual safety was key in allowing Glock to take over the majority of police handgun contracts as the firing sequence resembled that of a revolver, which allowed users to draw, point, aim and shoot without having to disengage a safety switch.

Perhaps Glock’s biggest advantage at the time was releasing their first model with a 17-round magazine. It was one of the largest pistol magazines available at the time without extending beyond the grip frame. And it has remained the ideal ever since. Glock and a number of aftermarket supporters also offer 10-round magazines for those who reside in restrictive states.

Shooting the Glock

There is a bit more muscle needed and a small bit of science involved with successfully and accurately shooting a Glock. The polymer frame forces the shooter to maintain a firm and strong grip. Otherwise, the frame can exhibit too much flex when the follow-through portion of the firing sequence is committed and the heavier-style trigger is the bane of single-action, semi-automatic pistol fans everywhere.

Some shooters claim the bore axis is too high, or that “they shoot too high” when firing a Glock. This varies depending upon the shooter, as most shooters do not experience this.

Aside from that, the Glock is one of the ultimate handguns to have when a disaster strikes. Aside from its reputation for reliability in the most adverse conditions (Glocks have been dropped from helicopters, run over with HUMVEEs, buried and caked in sand and mud, and even frozen in a block of ice without suffering any negative effects) they can be completely disassembled by only using a single punch.

For those concerned with home defense and self-defense, Glocks remain a great choice.

The smallest handgun in their lineup is the Model 42, a single stack handgun chambered in 380 ACP. This is part of Glock’s Slimline, along with the slightly larger Model 43 in 9mm and even larger Model 36 in 45 ACP.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the competition frames represent their largest handguns, including the 17L, 34, 41 and 40. The latter is probably the most powerful handgun that the company produces – a 10mm with a 6-inch slide that pushes the ballistics of that cartridge toward true Magnum revolver performance. This makes for an ideal sidearm in bear country, and Norwegian Police have been using the shorter Model 20 in the same caliber for decades in areas frequented by polar bears.

Their most popular handguns tend to be in the three basic sizes: full size (represented by the Model 17 in 9mm and 22 in 40 S&W), compact (Model 19 in 9mm and 23 in 40 S&W) and subcompact (Model 26 in 9mm and 27 in 40 S&W). The larger calibers such as 45 ACP and 10mm are built on slightly larger frames, with the compact models having a length that falls between the compact and subcompact pistols.

In recent years, Glock has been incorporating other features into their latest pistols. They have added rails to attach lights and lasers, included removable plates on the top of the slides to install optical sights, and added threaded barrels for use with silencers. They even offer interchangeable back straps to fit hands of all sizes.

The aftermarket support for the company makes them a hit with customers who want to try different calibers, triggers or install a stock and convert the Glock into a short-barreled rifle. Personally, I never leave my Glocks in factory condition and have customized them. I have installed, among other add-ons, fiber optic sights on a few and find them superior to night sights for a variety of reasons.

Just about every holster manufacturer offers leather or Kydex rigs to carry the Glock and in many ways, this Austrian-made pistol is more of an American handgun than the ones actually made here.

Ok, now you have your chance to say your peace about the Glock. You’ve heard one side of the story, so now you can give us yours. Or maybe you just want to chime in with some good-hearted support for the pro-Glock camp.

Regardless, give us a shout in the comments.

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If you could choose just one rifle to take with you into a survival scenario, which one would it be? Chances are, you’d have a hard time deciding.

There are several variables to keep in mind when picking a rifle for survival, and chief among them are weight, size, and ease of use.

So what does that mean? Which rifles could you trust your life with?

Off the Grid News explains with their insightful post on the five best light, small, and easy-to-fire survival rifles:

1. The Browning Grade 1 Semi-Auto .22 Rifle. This rifle is the highest quality and most expensive of the five rifles listed here. It’s an excellent choice for a hunting and plinking rifle and has a very attractive appearance with high-grade, walnut fore and buttstocks. Also, both the forestock and barrel are detachable, and it holds 11 rounds in a tubular magazine that is loaded through a port in the buttstock. It measures 37 inches when assembled and 19.25 inches when taken down, and it weighs 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The current manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $699.99.

2. The Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite Takedown Version Rifle. The take-down version of the Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite is an inexpensive alternative to the Browning Semi-Auto 22 LR. It, too, features walnut fore and buttstocks and is has an attractive appearance. However, it differs from the Browning rifle in that it is a single-shot rifle with a lever action that retracts a falling breech block instead of a semi-automatic action. It measures 36.75 inches when assembled, has a 21-inch barrel, and weighs 4.25 pounds. This rifle is currently out of production, but it can still be found on the pre-owned gun market at sites such as

3. The Marlin “Papoose” Model 70PSS Rifle. Unlike the two rifles listed above, the Marlin Papoose is a no-frills, purpose-built survival rifle. It has a stainless steel receiver and a removable, 16.25-inch stainless steel barrel combined with a black, fiberglass-filled buttstock and no forestock. It has a detachable, seven-round magazine, measures 35.25 inches when assembled, and weighs 3.25 pounds. The current MSRP is $328.82.

4. The Henry Repeating Arms AR-7 Rifle.
This is also a no-frills survival rifle that has been the exclusive choice of the US Air Force since its introduction. It is available with your choice of a camouflage finish or a black, Teflon-coated finish. It features a semi-automatic action and two detachable, eight-round magazines, combined with a 16-inch barrel and a hollow, ABS plastic, buttstock. The buttstock is designed so that the barrel, the receiver, and both magazines can be stored inside it. It weighs 3.5 pounds and measures a mere 16.5 inches when disassembled. Plus, when the buttstock is sealed with the receiver, barrel and magazines inside, the whole affair floats. The current MSRP for the black version is $290, and the camouflage version retails for $350.

5. The Rossi Single Shot Matched Pair Rifle/Shotgun. This is a unique survival rifle that is available in both blue and matte nickel models. It is available in several different caliber/gauge configurations, but for survival purposes the .22 LR/.410 shotgun combination is the best choice since the shotgun barrel will fire both shot shells and .41 caliber lead slugs. Although no length specifications are listed on the Rossi website, it does say that this particular combination weighs 3.75 pounds. The current MSRP is $263.21.

Do you have a rifle you’d add to this list? Tell us about it in the comments!

Do you suffer from severe GAS?

Never heard of that before? Maybe you’re more familiar with it spelled out as Gun Acquisition Syndrome.

You love firearms, and you’re always eyeing the next addition to your collection. It’s ok. We won’t tell your wife.

Well, that’s perfectly fine and all, but some guns might be more worth your consideration than others. Furthermore, some are all hype.

Can you guess which ones we’re talking about here?

Check out this list from Off the Grid News and see if you were right:

1. Desert Eagle in 50 AE. Arguably, it is the most powerful semiautomatic pistol ever made. The Desert Eagle has it all in the looks department, too, and the manufacturer offers them in a number of attractive finishes. The power and look made it a natural for placement in movies and video games, as well. Realistically, however, this is a special purpose handgun designed for hunting and silhouette shooting sports. It is a heavy pistol with a large grip that makes it impractical for self-defense for most people.

If you must have one, do so after you have enough “real guns” to fill your needs.

2. S&W 500 or S&W 460. These revolvers leave the Desert Eagle far behind in the power game. What they really did was put the rifle caliber bolt-action and single shot pistols out of business. Why grab a Remington XP-100 chambered in 7mm BR or 308 Winchester when you can duplicate the ballistics in an easier shooting revolver?
Still, the recoil is extremely harsh, and most new shooters who try one seldom make it through a box of 20 rounds before trading it in or selling it at a loss.

3. Sphinx SDP. Many shooters have never heard of these fine pistols from Switzerland that are renowned for their perfect craftsmanship. Holding a Sphinx is like holding an engineering marvel in your hands. You will find no flaws or machining marks on one of these pistols. Almost as if it were created by magic.

Why is it on the list? Craftsmanship of this nature comes at a price, and $1,200 for a CZ75 clone, no matter how well it works, is a bit much. We have never found these pistols to be more accurate than a CZ or Tanfoglio offering. Save the money and buy more ammunition.

4. Winchester 1911. No, not a 1911 pistol, but a semiauto shotgun that was made that very same year. In an effort to bring a semiautomatic shotgun to market without infringing on John Browning’s patents, Winchester came up with the most dangerous design in the world.

The recoiling barrel means that once it is loaded, the only way to unload it is to push the barrel rearward. More than one gunowner did this by placing the butt on the ground and pushing downward with their head in front of the muzzle.

5. TEC-9, DC-9 or MAC clones in semiautomatic. As full auto machineguns with stocks, these guns are fun and actually pretty useful. In semiautomatic with no stock, you end up with a heavy awkward clunker that is not very good at anything apart from looking cool in a photo op. Why shoot an awkward and heavy 9mm when you can do better with any real semiautomatic handgun, such as a Glock 19 with a 32-round magazine?

There are others out there, but these seem to be the ones we see new people drawn to that end up being rather expensive mistakes. If the world is your oyster and you have money to spend and a battery of dependable firearms to defend yourself and your loved ones, then by all means seek one of these out if it is on your short list.

But if it is going to be one of your first firearms purchases, know that you can do better.

What do you think? Do you agree with this list, or are you offended to see one of your favorite guns?

Give us your reaction in the comments.

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At the risk of stating the obvious, accuracy is crucial any time you discharge a firearm. Whether you’re going after wild game or protecting yourself in a defense situation, being able to land a round right where you want it is an invaluable skill.

Target practice can get expensive though. All that ammo adds up. Even after just a short session of target shooting, it’s easy to start feeling like you’re just burning up money.

So what’s the solution? Enter the high powered air pistol.

This isn’t your grandpa’s BB gun we’re talking about. These bad boys pack some serious punch – some models shoot at over 1200fps!

And the best part is that pellets are cheap and bountiful. You can plunk away for hours without spending more than $10, and that means you can spend as much time as you need honing your accuracy.

Here are a few of the absolute best air pistols for target practice.

Hatsan AT-P1 QE PCP Pistol
From Personal Defense World:
Hatsan’s new AT-P1 provides shooters with a hard-hitting and affordable alternative for honing their shooting skills, as pellets are both inexpensive and readily available.

The AT-P1 is designed to shoot heavier pellets than airguns manufacturers that test their products using alloy aluminum pellets, it will provide shooters will greater accuracy and more energy upon impact when using high-density pellets. The AT-P1’s pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) power system uses a 50cc air cylinder with 200 bar fill (3000PSI) to propel high-density lead pellets to velocities as high as 870fps.

The AT-P1 features components that are nearly all made in-house by the Turkish manufacturer like all airguns from Hatsan. This includes the airgun’s precision rifled barrel made from high-quality German steel and its fully adjustable 2-stage Quattro Trigger.

Beretta PX4 Storm BB & Pellet Pistol
From Replica Air Guns:

The Umarex Beretta PX4 Storm is a very unique pellet blowback air pistol and there are very few airguns that sport all the same features. Not only is it a very close replica of the original Beretta PX4 Storm but it’s also a blowback pellet shooter with decent FPS velocity. The Umarex PX4 Storm has decent accuracy and you can expect about 60 good shots out of a CO2 cartridge. At well under $100, this replica airgun is a great value and a nice addition to any airgun enthusiasts collection.

Benjamin Marauder Pellet Pistol
From Shooting and Safety:

The Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol is an amazing Pre-charged pneumatic survival pistol. It actually feels like a professional weapon disguised as an air pistol. And with its adjustable triggers, it provides much flexibility while shooting. It provides the comfort of various shots within one powerful firearm. While the main focus of this specific Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol review was initially intended to zone-in on the power if offers, it has emerged as one of the best rifles around, particularly one that can utilize the full power and accuracy of .22 PBA platinum caliber pellets.

Got Suggestions?
Do you have any suggestions for air pistols that are good for target practice? Give us your tips in the comments!

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Many AR-15 owners find that the first upgrade they want to make to their rifle is a nice red dot sight. It’s a natural step up from a classic iron sight, because it provides a nice bump in accuracy and range without breaking the bank.

As a result, these sweet little red dot sights are extremely popular. Here are three great options if you’re looking to make the upgrade from a standard iron sight.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight


bushnell_trs25_mainThe optics company Bushnell should be familiar to any hunters out there. They are one of the best known optics manufacturers out there. Their Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is a great sight at an inexpensive price point.

At less than $100 it’s worth the advantages it gives you over traditional iron sights. This sight is a tube design that weights in a 3.7 oz at a length of 2.4 inches, a slim design that won’t take up too much room on the rail.

The TRS-25 has a 25mm objective lens that is coated in Bushnell’s patented Amber-Bright coating, providing high contrast between the FOV and the reticle. The reticle itself is a 3 MOA red dot which is a great size for close-to-mid range shots, good for target acquisition and speed.

See more here.

Vortex Sparc 2-MOA

Details from

Sitting pretty towards the top of the budget price-range for red dot sights, the Vortex Optics SPARC II Red Dot (SPC-402) is a sight you’d be considering if you’re serious about your target-shooting or hunting exploits. In fact, for a sight that resides in this price bracket, you might even be surprised at just how close this sight comes to military-grade precision in its application.A longitudinal view of the Vortex Optics Sparc II might leave you wondering where the power and MOA adjustment buttons are, which are quite cleverly located facing backwards. In-use adjustment in this fashion might take some getting used to (you’ll be using your thumb more), but only if you’re used to sights with dials on the side of the device’s body.

See the full review here.

Airpoint ACO


The Aimpoint Carine Optic (ACO) provides MSR shooters a quality optic at a decent price.

Aimpoint aims to add to its market share of red dot sights with the addition of their new Carbine Optic. The Carbine Optic is specifically designed for the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), and introduces a quality red dot sight to compete in the mid-level price range.

The Aimpoint Carbine Optic combines the proven Aimpoint designs and features, and is ready to mount and shoot straight out of the box. The Carbine Optic will have a 30mm aluminum alloy sight tube with a fixed height mount designed to provide absolute co-witness with the chosen AR-15 back-up sights. Offered with a 2 MOA red dot, the Carbine Optic provides accurate targeting with maximum target acquisition. Typical of Aimpoint reliability, the Carbine Optic will be completely waterproof and offers a 1-year constant-on use from a single 1/3 N battery.

See the complete review here.

Do you own a red dot sight for your AR-15? How do you like it? Is it one of the sights listed here?

Give us your advice in the comments.

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You’ve done it. You got your shiny new AR-15 built up, and you’ve even plunked off a few rounds to see your watch your new beauty do what it does best. Now comes the really fun part… tricking it out with accessories.

You’re probably getting excited by all the possible add-ons your new AR can take on, but there’s one accessory you’ll want to put pretty close to the top of your shopping list. That accessory is a solid tactical flashlight.

Think about it. What good will your AR-15 be in a low light survival situation if you can’t see well enough to shoot it? The answer is kind of obvious, but we’ll go ahead and spell it out anyway: an AR in the dark is about useful as a box of matches in a rainstorm.

So how do you fix that? You get one of these awesome tactical flashlights, that’s how.

You can spend anywhere from ~$50 to $300 on a tactical flashlight, but there are plenty of good options on both ends of the spectrum. We’ll break it down for you in three budget categories so you can find the flashlight that’s best for you. Let’s get started.

Under $100: LiteXpress SET-KOMBI89

Thoughts from

Combat ready is good, but a lot of folks just need a reliable weapon light that won’t break the bank. After all, the size of your wallet is vitally important when searching best light for your rifle! The LightXpress kit is one of the best AR 15 lights if you are on a budget. With a remote pressure switch, rail mounting hardware, and capability to quickly be switched to a standalone flashlight, this feature rich package will get you a high quality light on your AR for about the price of a couple hundred rounds of ammo and provide years of functionality and darkness defeating security.

Under $200: Elzette ZFL-M60

Stepping up to the next price bracket gets you a few more features and some higher quality build features. The Elzette ZFL-M60 is an impeccable choice in the under $200 price range. Check out the comprehensive video review by VuurwapaenBlog below:

Under $300: Surefire X300

Coming in at just under $300, the Surefire X300 is pricey but packed with value. Check out this brief summary from an in-depth review by to learn more:

The X300 is unique in two ways. The first is most notable when the light is on. The X300 puts out 500 lumens, which is a tremendous amount of light. This insane beam is generated by an LED, which is the absolute standard now for flashlights. The LED bulb has a very long life, is difficult to break during normal usage, and doesn’t get as hot as old-fashioned bulbs.The second feature of the X300 is the side-by-side battery compartment. The x300 needs two 123A batteries to produce that staggering spot. Most lights put them in line, but not SureFire. The result is a wide light. It will be wider than most guns. This will make holstering the X300 a challenge.
The X300 measures 3.6 inches long and 1.3 inches wide. With batteries, the X300 weighs 4 ounces. The two 123A batteries will run the X300 for an hour and a half. If you use the light judiscuoisly, that is a long run time. Otherwise keep some spare batteries with you.The light is fully ambidextrous. The toggle switch is right at the tip of your index finger (or where your finger should be if it isn’t on the trigger). Switching off is just as easy, and can be done with the same finger, or with the thumb on the support hand.The light comes with a solid rail mount and a spring loaded clip. It slides on, catches firmly, and holds through anything. No tools required.

These are just a few of the many good options out there for equipping your AR with a weapon light. If none of these float your boat, do a little digging and you’re sure to find an ideal light.

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After the terrorist attacks in Paris, there has been a major uproar over Obama’s plan to resettle more than 10,000 Syrian refugees in America …

It seems as if most people on the “right” think it’s absolutely bat-you-know-what-crazy because surely a large percentage of these 10,000 people will be terrorists in disguise …

And those on the “left” who support Obama, think that it’s a great plan because … well I guess because they support Obama.

I am not siding with Obama. I’m not siding with the Republicans.

Today, I want to step back from the argument, and try to wedge some desperately needed facts into the discussion and also look a little bit at the history of the United States, refugees, and just take a big picture view.

The Facts And Data Show That Since 9/11 Refugees Have NOT Been Terrorists …

Listen, I’m no fan of President Obama, but that doesn’t mean I am going to have a knee jerk, emotionally-driven reaction to disagree with everything he says.

That being said, when I heard that he wanted to let 10,000 more Syrian refugees into the U.S. — that idea sounded crazy.

After all, it seems logical that terrorists could infiltrate the U.S. by slipping in among the refugees—as a lot of people say that might have occurred in the case of one of the Paris attackers.

But the truth is, when it comes to issues like this, you have to use cold-blooded logic and look at the data to make a decision.

As reports:

“In the 14 years since September 11, 2001, the United States has resettled 784,000 refugees from around the world, according to data from the Center for Migration Studies, a D.C. think tank. And within that population, three people have been arrested for activities related to terrorism. None of them were close to executing an attack inside the U.S., and two of the men were caught trying to leave the country to join terrorist groups overseas.

“I think I can count on one hand the number of crimes of any significance that I’ve heard have been committed by refugees,” said Lavinia Limón, a veteran of refugee work since 1975 and the president of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “It just hasn’t been an issue.”

Two Reasons Why Refugees Just Aren’t a Big Problem …

Why is this?

Wouldn’t it raise the risk of a terrorist getting in the midst if thousands of them start pouring in as refugees? Apparently, the truth is that there are quite a few screening measures in place. continues, that there are two reasons this isn’t as big a problem as you may think …

” … The first is that there is a key difference between people seeking placement in the U.S. as refugees and the millions of people who have flooded into Europe seeking asylum. The Syrians in Europe in many cases are already at or over the border, having come directly from Syria in to Turkey and then Greece and elsewhere; that situation is more akin to the thousands of Cubans who have fled by boat to South Florida or the migrant workers from Central America who gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border last summer. A refugee applying for resettlement in the U.S., by contrast, must endure a screening process that takes as long as two years before stepping foot on American soil.

And the second reason?

“… since the program was briefly halted and then overhauled after the 9/11 attacks, refugee applicants are subject to the highest level of securitychecks of any type of traveler to the U.S. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees initially chooses which refugees to refer to the U.S. after doing its own check. U.S. officials then conduct multiple in-person interviews and verify a refugee’s story with intelligence agencies and by running background checks through several government databases, including DHS and the National Counterterrorism Center. As a result of that extensive process, only around 2,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the U.S. since its civil war broke out in 2011—a much lower number than many previous refugee crises.

Immigration Is Always a Hot Button Issue

Many people don’t like the idea of immigrants. I don’t understand why because everyone in America was originally an immigrant.

It’s the whole idea of America … we’re supposed to be the freest nation in the world with a country built on the rule of law (not men) which means that everyone who wants freedom and wants to make something of themselves wants to come here.

The fact that we are in a presidential election race simply means that on both sides — the left and right — all the candidates are going to use immigration to try and divide their people and get them emotionally invested one way or the other.

Please remember, that the talking head politicians on TV do not give one care in the world about your safety, or the safety of United States — they simply want to get you emotional, fearful, and ready to accept their point of view.

In short, they’re manipulating you.

 So What’s The Solution?

The fact is, the Government keeps waging war, especially in the Mid East, so there really is not a solution here. Every bomb dropped and every shot fired helps create a refugee somewhere in those countries.

If you’re continually waging war in a country, you will have refugees — innocent people that just don’t want themselves and their families to be caught in the cross-fire — and they want to leave.

Many of them are flooding into other European countries because they can get there on foot. Some want to come here. The problem is not going away as long as their are wars in those countries.

The truth is, while the refugee program so far hasn’t seemed to be a problem, you never can be too sure.

Everyone that says you can’t be 100% sure that you’re not letting in a “terrorist in disguise” is completely right.

There’s no way to be sure …

But this is America. And the point is that politicians are simply using this refugee situation as a way to manipulate your emotions, plain and simple.

Again, I am not siding with Obama. I’m not siding with the republicans.

I’m siding with America’s founders, who understood how political power corrupts and how politicians will use every crisis to manipulate you. James Madison said:

 “In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

 – James Madison, Founding Father and 4th President of these United States

That’s James Madison warning you about the Government’s game plan.

Now here is Hermann Goering, famed Nazi leader, who was convicted of war crimes explaining how his Nazi party used the same plan to become so successful:


My point is, stop being manipulated. 

Refugees have not appeared to be a risk in the past, and they “most likely” won’t be that big of a risk in the future.

Can we be sure? No, absolutely not … but … what’s the alternative?

The alternative is to continue killing, bombing, burning and otherwise waging war in those countries — such as Syria — and then turn your back on the innocent people caught in the cross-fire.

That’s not responsible. Those people–the innocent ones caught in the crossfire–simply had the bad luck of being born in Syria, instead of the good luck that myself, you and millions of others had to be born in America.

All I ask is that you do the research, look at the risks, and don’t get emotional because politicians don’t actually care–they just want to control you. 

Ultimately, YOUR Safety Is YOUR Responsibility

Finally, no matter what anyone thinks — the only thing you CAN be sure of — is that neither the Government, the Police, or anyone else can keep your safe.

NOTHING is 100%.

That’s why it’s so important for you to be ready to defend yourself and your family at any time. In short, don’t put your faith in politicians or their plans, put it in yourself and your preparation.

 P.S. wrote a similar article to mine, and received many comments similar to mine — so I’ll repost their additional info here:

Note: Several commenters suggested Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, were refugees. Strictly speaking, they were the children of asylees. As Bloomberg News explained the two were given “derivative asylum status” and didn’t come through the refugee admissions program. Apparently the legal distinction is too fine a point for some readers. So be it, but they should nevertheless keep in mind that the brothers were two people out of around 1.8 million people who were granted refugee or asylee status between 1995 and 2013.

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Let’s face it, getting older is both good and bad …

God Bless the wisdom you gain, but your body sure does takes a beating in the meantime!

Over the past few months or so, I’ve been working with my father and helping him with his shooting. One of his biggest challenges is his failing eyesight.

I know that this is a big problem for many people, so today let’s talk about three of the best handgun sight options for “old eyes” or people with bad eyesight.

High Visibility Iron Sights

First off, we have traditional Iron Sights …

One of the first things you can do, if the factory iron sights on your gun are “decent” is to enhance them by customizing them.

You can actually paint the front sight with colored paint or nail polish in a bright color. The late Jeff Cooper made the statement, “If you are going to use a contrasting front sight, use a color not normally found in nature,” and you would do well to heed that advice. That means bright orange, bright red, super bright yellow or lime green should all work (red/orange being my preferred choice).



I happen to be a big believer in aftermarket handgun sights. That’s probably because I carry and shoot a Glock regularly and their cheap, plastic factory sights are horrible in my opinion.

My personal favorite are the Trijicon HD Night Sights. The only compromise I make with them is that at greater distances (around 20-25yds+) the large front sight obscures a lot of the target.

You can also check out XS big dot sights. And you may even look into fiber optic front sights. The point is that there are a LOT of different night sight/high visibility sight combos on the market and you can find the ones that work best for you:



Lastly, if you choose a night sight configuration where the rear dots/sights also have tritium — if in low light you have trouble distinguishing the front sight from the rear sights — you can use a red sharpie to “fill in” the rear sights, dulling their brightness to help the front sight stand out.

Laser Sights

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

My father just picked up some Crimson Trace laser sights for his Glock handgun and we went out to the range yesterday to sight them in.

For many years these were a gimmick, but the innovations in the market — driven mainly by Crimson Trace as I understand it — have really made them a viable option.

They definitely help with “target focused” shooting because you can focus on the target instead of your sights. I will say that the red lasers tend to fade away in bright sunlight, so my suggestion at this point is to try the green lasers if possible.

Because of my experience shooting with iron sights, I found it would take some training to get me to focus on the target more — looking for the laser dot — instead of my eyes going to my front sight.

The benefit of course, if you have bad eyes, is that you just look for the bright laser dot instead of having to focus on the front sight. So far my dad seems pretty happy with them, we’ll see how it goes …

Red Dot Sights

The final category of sights for older eyes is the red dot sighting systems …

I confess that I have not had any experience shooting and using this system, so I can’t offer first hand experience there.

What I can say is that the benefit of red dots on carbines has been proven time and time again to be faster and more accurate than iron sights, so the same should be true of red dots on pistols (especially in our context of people with failing eyesight).

To mount these correctly on a handgun, you often have to have the slide milled to get the proper height. That’s something to keep in mind.

The leaders in this category are the Trijicon RMR, Leopold Deltapoint, Eotech MRDS, Docter RMR — and a lot more rarely seen — the Aimpoint T1.



It’s common practice to not only mill the slide and put the red dot on there but to also use “Suppressor Height” iron sights as backup in case the red dot fails (because regular height iron sights generally aren’t high enough for you to co-witness over the handgun optic if it fails).

In Conclusion …

These three options are viable choices if you have trouble seeing your sights.

As a bonus, I realize I’ve roughly presented them in the order of price as well. You could start with higher visibility iron sights, using the do-it-yourself method of painting your factory sights, then if that doesn’t fix the problem start moving down the list to see how much help you can get out of each option and how it works for you.

Keep in mind that no matter what you choose, you still have to practice with the new “sighting system” so that you can use it effectively.



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