Category Archives: Shooting in General

The ATN X-Sight 4K 5-20x Scope Is Surprisingly Effective But Expect A Learning Curve

I never was that interested in ATN scopes until maybe a two years ago. I was at the range fiddling with something and a fellow pulled in and set up a varmint AR with a big blocky optic on a Bog Deathgrip tripod. I could not help myself – I had to go over and ask what the optic was.

Thankfully, he was a good old boy and liked shooting and talking. He was having a coyote problem and wanted to get the rig sighted in. He told me it was an ATN night vision optic and the tripod was to help him keep it all steady. I looked it all over and headed back to my area. The ATN looked better in person than it did in the ads that I had seen in catalogs that made it look “gimicky”. Between my assumption about the quality and the price, I was never interested but after seeing it in person it was filed under “who knows – maybe someday” category in my head for future projects.

Fast Forward to 2021

I was researching high end airguns and some of the of guys were running various ATN scopes. I wanted to up my game on the computational ballistics front – yeah the calculation of trajectories – and I wanted a computer to do it for me. I really wanted to get surgical and modern with my new .25 caliber FX Impact Compact pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. This desire brought me to ATN and their latest generation of digital X-Sight 4K optics because they have an internal computer that can crank the numbers.

An Auxiliary Ballistic Laser (ABL) good from 5 to to 1000 yards could be added that interfaced with the scope to provide range to target data to the computer. The computer can take the muzzle velocity of your round, the ballistic coefficient of your bullet (in my case pellet), distance of the optic from the center of the bore, angle and the distance to the target and automatically adjust the recticle. Whoa…. that’s pretty amazing.

Just a quick note on the ABL – based on my experience with laser rangefinders, usually maximum range comments by vendor are a bit of hype because it depends on how reflective the target is. In my case, virtually all of my shooting will be within 50 yards with a possible stretch to 100 but I doubt I will ever shoot beyond that.

Another feature that attracted me was the night vision capability. I’ve not had the capability to eliminate pests at night or at very low light levels.

The X-Sight scopes have a host of other features like taking photos and movies, recording just before and after sensing recoil, etc. Those are nice but not really features I cared about.

I shopped around and ordered an ATN X-SIght 4k 5-20x optic, Auxiliary Ballistic Laser (ABL) 1000 rangefinder, and a quick release mount. It came to just over a $1,000 plus I bought a SD memory card. The optic and rangefinder were from Brownells and I sourced the quick detach mount direct from ATN. A lot of vendors carry ATN products so you can shop around.

In case you are wondering why I would go to such expense for accuracy in a PCP airgun that will mostly be used within 100 yards, I can sum it up with the saying “aim small – miss small.” It’s one of my favorite lines from American Sniper but it is true. If you focus your aim on a very small part of the target then you will either hit it or miss by a small amount. This requires discipline and knowledge on your part combined with a capable weapons system to deliver the bullet or pellet.

The Scope, ABL and Mount Arrived

When the boxes came and I started reading the manuals, I had the same feeling when I read something that says “some assembly required”. I really hadn’t put much thought into how different a digital optic is from a traditional scope. Wow. This thing has a series of setup menus and then you need to learn your away around the scope. So right out of the box there was a lot of fumbling, swearing and my changing things.

So here’s my first recommendation – be sure to watch ATN’s videos about setting up the optic and using it. The manuals help but I found the combination of videos for the overview and the documentation to refer to as a very handy combination. Click here to go to the ATN page with all of their videos and/or click here for the manuals – it actually has links to PDFs videos and guidance on the page itself.

The X-Sight is mounted just like any other scope. Square the weapon then the optic to the weapon to ensure the recticle is level. I use a Wheeler scope mounting kit’s leves to do this. Note that the Impact Compact is being held in a Tipton Standing Ultra GunVise. Man, those are nice.

Here’s an example of needing to read the instructions. The threaded portion is part of a tube that is separate from the body of the ABL. You back off the two screws you see, remove the tube and screw it into the front of the X-Sight scope. You then clamp the ABL onto the tube and position it horizontal to the scope and bore.

Here is everything mounted.
Here’s another angle.

Now let me give you hope – once you start using the scope, it gets easier and faster each time. I turn on the scope so it has time to boot up as I am setting up – not at the last minute when I need to take a shot. Most of the time I am shooting at 14 yards so I dont need to range the target and the scope remembers the last range used. Instead,I zoom as needed, acquire the target and take the shot. That’s it – not a billion menus. So, stick with it – you will probably find it frustrating too at first and then it will get better with time.

Setup and Zeroing In Tips

When you are entering the info for the ballistic coefficient (BC) and the muzzle velocity, try and be as exact as possible, I obtained the BC from the manufacturer of my .25 pellets and the muzzle velocity was the average of 10 rounds fired through a chronograph.

I carefully measured out the range from the muzzle to the target. When I entered the range into the optic, I was precise and not guessing. I was being very careful due to the desire for accuracy.

Set your rifle up in a firm stand and fire a group then adjust the recticle. Their marketing comment of one shot zeroes is something they even mention is “in theory”. Repeat this until you have your zero consistently. This will all go faster and be easier if you have a solid stand – notice I mentioned this twice now šŸ™‚ I used a Bog Deathgrip Carbon Fiber model to help me get the job done.

My Opinion

I’ve been using the X-Sight since late-April 2021 and like it. If I have a new distance to shoot, I range it, take the shot and then reset to my most common distance. I have made a few 35-50 yard shots that would have required some calculation, or at least experience, and hit less than quarter sized targets (squirrel head and heart shots) accurately.

Here’s another angle that gives you a good view of the mounted ABL. It connects to the scope via Bluetooth and you need to follow a zeroing process outlined in the manual. It’s straight forward but don’t skip it.

One thing I had to get used to was looking at a small monitor vs. glass. I’ve been shooting nice glass scopes for a number of years now – notably Vortex scopes – and looking at a monitor with a resolution lower than reality is different. I must admit that I prefer the clarity of good glass but it dawned on me that it was not fair to compare them at this point. I bought the ATN for the ballistics calculation capabilities and the potential for low-light/night-use — I did not buy it to be just another scope, That set my mind more at ease about the image difference – it is what it is with the current level of technology in these scopes.

This is an actual screen capture. The optic allows you to select from a number of recticle choices. Note the range information from the ABL down in the ower right corner. What you see in the scope actually has much more information but the screen capture does not include it.
This is an exciting shot of concrete but it lets you see the recticle better.

The combination of scope and ABL is a bit bulky and the ABL’s head is asymmetrical for the laser transmitter and receiver units. I set the Impact Compact on our tall kitchen table and it fell off onto the hardwood floor about three feet. It definitely made my stomach drop to hear all that money hit the floor. I’m actually happy to report that the rifle and optics system survived without any problems at all.

I was wondering how long the battery would live but that has not proved to be a problem. I fully charged it when I first got it and then again a few weeks ago. Now I don’t leave it turned on all the time. I’d say it runs maybe 5-10 minutes every 2-3 days and it’s not been a problem. I think I will just always charge it when it gets half way down or so plus I could always charge it from a powerbank/portable battery if needed. ATN even sells an extended battery if you need it.

The ABL is still on its first battery so I can’t tell you much there – I only use it as needed for longer shots so its had minimal use. I do have a spare battery just in case.

I wish the menus were a bit easier to navigate with very clear “back” or “cancel” options immediately available on every screen. For example, if you get into the manual ranging section or the part of zeroing the recticle by accident. For the most part they are pretty straight forward but I am not wowed by them from a user design perspective.

I opted for the ATN quick connect scope mount and it is okay but does not have locks on the throw levers. In hindsight, I could have used any 30mm rings I wanted including my preferred American Defense mounts. You have plenty of flexibility because one of the menu options lets you specify how high the scope is mounted.

Here’s a view of the ATN quick dtach mount’s levers. They don’t lock closed but have held no problem so far.

Last comment – I had the scope freeze on me twice. I found that turning the ABL off first, if I turned it on, seemed to cause the problem. Now, when I do use the ABL, I turn the scope off first and then the ABL. I’ve not had it freeze since powering down in this order. By the way, if your scope does freeze, hold down the power button for 10-15 seconds and it will shut off – kind of like notebooks where one push does a controlled power down of the laptop but holding it down does a forced immediate shut down.

ATN definitely tries to label everything outside of the scope to try and help folks learn the controls.

In Summary

I’ve been using the X-Sight 4K 5-20 and ABL 1000 laser for about three months and several times per week – sometimes several times per day depending on what is going on. I really feel like the combination has improved my actual accurage in terms of precisely hitting the target so I am happy with the purchase.

I’d recommend the setup for anyone looking for this type of optics system with similar intentions as I outlined at the start. It’s different from traditional glass lense optics but it brings a different set of capabilities to the table also. Let me put it this way,I would buy it again for my intended use.

I hope this helps you.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Looking For a Rugged Range Bag For Your Pistols? Check Out Savior Equipment

I’ve had my share of bad bags over the years so I’m a bit of a snob now. I look for heavy materials, a beefy zipper and handle straps that go all the way under the bag (cheap ones don’t and pull out as a result under heavy load). At any rate, for the last couple of years when I need a soft case, I go to Amazon and get a Savior Equipment bag – unless I need something specialized.

The bag I am showing you today is one of their Specialist series. They are made from 600 Denier nylon with a PVC coating to resist water and padding to protect up to two pistols.. The zipper seems solid – I’ve been using this series for two years now with no problems.

  • Overall dimensions are 13x9x5.5″
  • Internal dimension is 12.5×8.5×2.5″
  • Pistol Pockets are 12.5×7.5″
  • Font pocket is 12×7.5×2″
  • Six magazines slots for mags up the 1.75″ x 8.5″
  • There’s velcro on the front for your favorite patch

You can put two pistols in one of these bags but by the time I add mags, ammo, and whatever else, I pretty much go with one pistol per bag. You’ll notice I have three of them. I don’t have anything bigger than 6″ 1911s and they hold them just fine as well as regular 1911s, Glock 17s, 34s, etc.

Pics or it didn’t happen

Conclusion

This is one of those no-brainer recommendations – they are solid bags at an affordable price. They say they have a lifetime warranty but I’ve not needed to use it and I have some of their rifle bags too.

Hope this helps you out.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Ammo Prices Will Continue To Fall

Okay, I’m a closet economist – I admit it. When I look at the current ammo shortage, you can tell it is predictably coming to an end provided nothing crazy comes out of the Senate, White House and ATFE that is lasting.

Not Our First Panic

For those old enough to remember past panic buying such as with President Obama, the same thing happened. People got worried about not being able to buy firearms or ammo in the future so they started buying everything in sight. When this happens, an interesting and predictable tug of war happens between the demand for ammo and the ability of businesses to sell ammo. Let’s look at it in terms of three time frames – immediate, medium and longer-term.

Short-term – less than 6 months

When a panic hits, there is very little the manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and gun shops can do in the short-term other than sell what they have. What do I mean by short-term? Within about a six month window. They can only produce so much ammo so fast given their labor, component availability and machine capacity. In addition, importers only have so many import orders in the pipeline so the ammo supply starts to dry up. As supply dries up, prices start to go up – you see ammo that was going for $249/1000 rounds start to push almost $1,000/1000 rounds if not more plus it can get pretty hard to find.

In the mean time, as the supply gets limited, people tend to panic even more and buy whenever they can afford, sometimes even if they can’t with credit cards, keeping the prices elevated. Making life even more colorful this time around were COVID causing supply chain problems and the stimulus checks.

The stimulus checks have caused a number of issues. First and foremost, a lot of people don’t see the point in working when they can stay home, collect unemployment and get the stimulus checks. This means that firms who are trying to make equipment, supplies and ammo itself plus firms who distribute and sell it are frequently short staffed limiting what they can produce.

Another impact is that quite a few people take the checks and buy more guns and ammo that further adds to the shortage. I’m less worried about this than I am about otherwise able people getting money paid for by taxpayers – nothing is ever free folks – we the people who pay taxes will pay and probably for years to come.

Now the rush of new gun buyers is also a factor – people are scared. How will they defend their families in an era where violent protests and assaults are deemed acceptably while politicians and activists talk about defunding the police? I applaud law abiding citizens buying firearms for self defense, hunting, target shooting, or whatever their desire is. The fact of the matter is that these firearms reflect a sizable investment for most people and losing them due to gun control will not sit well with anyone — especially when you look at the violence that is taking place. Politicians – representatives, senators and governors – know this because they worry about re-election. The gun control zealots and elites don’t care but that is a different story.

An interesting thing that happened this time around was that ammo never completely disappeared. You might not have found it at local gun stores but you could find it online with a lot of searching and paying some astronomically high prices. Gunbroker sellers were typically an option for almost any type of ammo through the whole ordeal. I’m not criticizing- it’s an observation. People will go to extra lengths to make money.

Another observation is that shooters also investigated alternative brands of ammo as well as methods of training. For example, the training systems that were either a bullet-shaped laser that would trigger when the pistol’s firing pin hit it or even complete subsitute pistols.

People moved to reloading very early on and supplies, notably primers, became next to impossible to find. This created a lesson for many new reloaders – start it when things aren’t nuts and stock up because it is not a guaranteed backup plan.

Medium-term – 6 months to one year

Getting back to the ammo shortage, as time goes on manufacturers continue to output all that they can. More and more import orders are placed drawing ammo from all over the planet including known and unknown brands. Some small ammo producers appear as they can make money but may not survive as prices fall.

At the same time, panicked consumers both run out of money to buy ammo and they begin to calm down. Demand contracts.

The first signs that the shortage is coming to the end is that you will notice more and more websites have ammo available for sale and it isn’t disappearing within minutes of going online. Breadth and depth of options slowly increases but the prices are typically still far higher than before the panic.

Next, the vendors (gun stores, wholesalers and websites) begin to realize that they have a ton of money invested in ammo and better get it sold. This when you start to see tons of emails stating “We have ammo!”. The emails and alerts do generate some sales but not enough. Vendors start having to compete again and prices begin to come down. Ammo that was $1,000/1,000 rounds drops to $749/1,000 rounds and continues to drop.

Somewhere in this timeframe, buyers also started trying substitute brands they would not normally go for. For example, some guys who always declared they would never shoot steel cased ammo started buying TulAmmo and Wolf. In most guns, steel case runs just fine – you never know for sure with any combination of firearm and ammo until you test it. In other words, order in a smaller amount for testing before you go and invest in a case(s).

Longer-term – After about a year

The price drop will continue as vendors attempt to sell the ammo to finance the loans they took out to buy it or to free up working capital to invest elsewhere. At the same time, stores and website have more and more ammo available for sale and compeitition based on pricing starts to heat up again further causing prices to drop until some form of equilibrium is reached – in other words some price that is agreeable to buyers and sellers is reached.

Lessons Learned Thus Far

  1. It was predictable. We knew if Trump lost the panic would set in so people hedging their risks started stocking up starting in earnest in the Summer of 2020.
  2. It’s better to stock up before a panic than during a panic. Buying a little here and there and saving it adds up.
  3. Don’t add calibers during a panic. Finding ammo might be surprisingly hard.
  4. Subscribe to as many vendor sales emails as you can. They would regularly send emails when they got shipments in and are now sending even more emails to move what they have: Brownells, Pametto State Armory, Natchez, SGAmmo, Midway USA, Sportsman’s Guide and more.
  5. Most ammo could be found on Gunbroker in a pinch albeit at high prices.
  6. A lot of brands showed up that people knew nothing about but was actually really good so be sure to search around on the web – you might be in for a pleasant surprise. For example: Aguila, Fiocchi, MagTech, PMC, S&B, and ZQI are all good brands that you may not have previously encountered.

Conclusion

Where are we right now? As of this writing, we are seeing more ammo on the websites and prices have just started to come down off their highs so we are somewhere in the medium time frame. How fast prices will fall is hard to say due to COVID and anti-second ammendment stance by some politicians. I actually think President Biden has limited options because politicians usually follow their own logic but staying in power and making money are certainly drivers for them. People have a ton of money invested in their firearms and ammunition and aren’t going to give them up lightly.

My guidance to you is to buy what you need but hold off on more panic buying. I don’t have a magic crystal ball mind you but I am holding off big ammo purchases. It’s hard to say what will happen past the next 90 days but you ought to take note that the Biden administration is almost five months into power and has accomplished little on their gun control agenda.

My last comment is a big ask for all of you – stay active. Keep reading what is going on, support your favorite pro-2A special interest groups (I like Firearm Policy Coalition and Gun Owners of America) and be sure to reach out to politicans to make your opinion known on hot topics — the liberals are trying to push tons of absurd gun control proposals and we cant let those happen.

6/27/21 Update: Prices continue to plummet. You can find brass case Federal 115gr FMJ 9mm ammo for $450/1,000 rounds +S&H – this price point was only for imported steel case in early May. Vendors are bundling things like red dots, scopes or magazines with ammo to try and entice buyers. In general, popular calibers (such as 9mm, 5.56 Nato, 7.62 Nato, 7.62×39, and .300 BO) are surging in availability. Some of the traditional rounds such as .30-30 are still challenged. SGAmmo, one of my favorite ammo suppliers, continues to have more and more inventory available. I’m getting a bunch of “Ammunition Available” emails each day from Natchez, Brownells, PSA, etc.

5/1/21 Update: It seems like I am getting several emails a day from vendors saying they have ammo in stock. I saw my first 20% off sale this past week so we will watch the prices start to drop. I’ve already seen steel cased 9mm at $500/1000 well off it’s peak high. The new round of stimulus checks may prop sales up a bit but not enough to fund all the ammo entering the distribution channels.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


What are the best affordable tritium and fiber optic sights for Polymer80 and Glock pistols?

A fellow emailed me wanting to upgrade his Polymer80 from the generic OEM Glock sights that I don’t think really excite anyone to something that would be more visible in general and also work in the dark. My answer was immediate – go with the TRUGLO TFX Pro Tritium and Fiber Optic Xtreme sights.

The featured photo above shows how bright they are on my P940CL that has a G17 slide on it. I bought these sights by the way – so you are getting my honest opinion.

Folks, these are my hands down favorite sights for a number of reasons:

  • They are CNC machined from steel and have a durable black nitride finish — they are not soft plastic.
  • They do not need batteries – the lit dots are via fiber optics when there is light and sealed tritium when it is dark so you are covered regardless of the light available. The tritium ought to fluoresce (emit light) for about 10-20 years and I’ll worry about replacing them then.
  • I really like the three green dot configuration – two on the rear sight and one on the front. The front also has an orange ring that you can see when there is light but is green when operating off the tritium only.
  • The rear sight goes into the slide’s groove very easily and is then secured with a set screw. Some sights can be a bear to install but not these.
  • The rear sight is big enough that it can help you rack the slide one handed in a one-handed emergency.
  • They have a 12 year warranty.
  • They are assembled in the USA – the tritium capsules are made in Switzerland.

What Glock models are supported?

Because these are so popular TRUGLO is making a variety of models to support the different Glock and Polymer80 configurations that are out there. I assembled the following table and you can also check their webpage if you want:

TG13GL1PCGlockĀ® 17 / 17L, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35, 38, 39, 45 (Excluding M.O.S. models)
TG13GL2PCGlockĀ® 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 37, 40, and 41 (Excluding M.O.S. models)
TG13GLAPC
(TFX front, Adjustable Rear)
GlockĀ® 17 / 17L, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 41, 45 (Excluding M.O.S. models)
TG13GL3PCGlockĀ® 42, 43, 43x, 48; Honor DefenseĀ® (all models)
Source: https://truglo.com/spare-quiver-mount-spare-quiver-mount

Personally, I use the TG13GL1PC on a G17 and G34 built on PF940v2 frames. I bought both off sight sets off Amazon and the following ad will enable you to order any of the above as the models are listed as options:

This gives you a better view of the sights overall. This is the TFX Pro TG13GL1PC with the fixed rear sight. I really like the sight picture these give day or night.
Here’s the rear sight and you can just barely see the set screw that secures the sight between the two “ears”. The slot at the top of each fiber optic is where it collects light to illuminate the dot. If there isn’t any light then that is where the tritium capsules take over.
Here’s the front sight. The orange ring is nice during the day and you only see the green tritium dot in the dark.
Well, trying to take a photo in the dark of three green dots with a cell phone camera was an experience. I went in a basement room and shut the door to cut off light. It’s fuzzy but you get the idea – all three dots are nicely lit in any lighting condition.

Do they have lower cost models also?

Yes, they do. The Tritium series just has the tritium for illumination in the dark and show as bright white dots during the day.

TG231G1GlockĀ® 17 / 17L, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35, 38, and 39 (Excluding M.O.S. models)
TG231G2GlockĀ® 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 37, 40, and 41(Excluding M.O.S. models)
TG231G1AGlockĀ® 42, 43
Source: https://truglo.com/catalog/product/view/id/2068/s/tritium-tritium/category/19/

The following Amazon ad will lead to all of the above models as they are options you can select:

They also make a Tritium Pro series that builds on the Tritium base model and adds an orange ring to the front sight plus the back sight is bigger and that makes it easier if you need to rack the slide with one hand.

TG231G1WGlockĀ® 17 / 17L, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35, 38, and 39 (Excluding M.O.S. models)
TG231G2WGlockĀ® 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 37, 40, and 41(Excluding M.O.S. models)
TG231G1AWGlockĀ® 42, 43
TG231G1MWGlockĀ® MOS 17, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35, 38 and 39
TG231G2MWGlockĀ® MOS 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 37, 40 and 41
Source: https://truglo.com/catalog/product/view/id/2069/s/tritium-pro-tritium-pro/category/19/

The following Amazon ad will lead to all of the above models as they are options you can select:

Do they support other brands and models of pistols?

Definitely. These are very popular lights given their great combination of quality at a fair price. I tend to see the best prices on Amazon so use the following search to check what they have:

Conclusion

I hope this helps you out. I really do like these sights and have no reservation recommending them.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Ebay Listings for TRUGLO Tritium

Are ETS Glock Magazines Any Good?

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to magazines for Glock Pistols, Polymer80 Pistols and the myriad other arms that can use the reliable Glock magazine design. One will tell you that only Glock magazines are reliable. The other school will tell you that there are other magazine makers out there that work just fine as well. I subscribe to the latter and think that there are other magazine makers that turn out quality products and ETS is one of them.

“ETS” stands for Elite Tactical Systems and they have what they call “The ETS Way” that espouses providing quality products and taking care of customers. To do that they have a 30-day money back guarantee, lifetime warranty, their products are made in the USA and they pride themselves on exceptional customer service.

Just to be clear, I don’t work for them and this isn’t some paid endorsement – folks ask me questions and eventually I write a blog post after a quick reply via email. That’s how this post came about.

I’ve bought and used probably a dozen or more of their Glock magazines over the years and have never had a problem including storing some of them fully loaded for over a year now. They support quite a few other platforms as well and I want to try their new AR magazines.

This is my Polymer80 Glock 34-style pistol. It has a 22 round ETS magazine inserted and that is an aluminum Tyrant CNC mag well funnel you see. Note, I recently upgraded from the G34-style slide stop lever shown to a Vickers VTSS-001 and prefer the Vickers. Bottom line is that this combination works really, really well.

Now you may be wondering “Why bother?” The answer is real simple – they make transparent clear mags as well as smoke/translucent mags so you can see your round count really easily and I like that.

Look at the magazines, with the clear 22-round ETS mags you can instantly see the round count without needing to look at the OEM 17 round Glock magazines’ count indicator on the back. I’ve also been experimenting with different color followers and Vickers Tactical base plates (note the second magazine from the bottom edge of the photo – it has a red follower and an oversized base plate on it). What I am finding is that I really like using the Vickers plates when I want to reach blind into a bag, let’s say it’s dark for example, and instantly know I am grabbing a magazine with +P Critical Duty ammo loaded.

In Conclusion

When people ask me about ETS magazines, I recommend them. If you want to stick with only using Glock magazines, that’s your choice too. Speaking for myself, I’m happy with the ETS magazines.

Where to find them?

The great news is that most major firearms websites carry ETS so you shop around for the color and capacity you want. I buy most of mine from GunMagWarehouse followed by Midway USA.

Here are some listings for their Glock magazines:


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Gorilla Ammunition – Quality Ammo From Florida And They Have Rounds In Stock!!

Everyone is trying to find ammo and some prices have gone through the roof when you do find some. An option you may not know about is Gorilla Ammunition located in Vero Beach, FL.

Mrgunsngear visited their factory in 2017 and shared a video showing their ammo, AR-10 and AR-15 rifles.

Kit Badger visited in 2018 and talked to both sides of the house – brass case and their polymer case ammo. His coverage of the polymer ammo was very interesting and he assembled the following video:

Good to Go

So, from everything I have read and watched, their ammo is reliable and accurate – by all accounts I read, very accurate. They aren’t the cheapest but the quality in terms of reliability and accuracy are there and that’s what I want these days.

Now here’s the kicker – they also sell direct and they have ammo in stock as well as waitlisted on their website!! For example, they have their 9mm Silverback self-defense ammo in stock right now. Check them out:


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How to Move Streamlight TLR Weapon Light To Another Pistol If you Lost Your Keys

Years ago, I found out that cheap lights are not something to put on a firearm for self-defense. They simply are not reliable enough. I’ve also found that Streamlight weapons lights hold up plus are backed by top notch support. For pistols, I have a number of the TLR series weapons lights and found them to be solid. With that said, we do need to address the topic of the post – if you install the light on one pistol, how do you move it to another?

How do the TLR lights secure to a weapon?

First off, the TLR design is modular built around an adjustable clamp and then different “key” inserts that allow the TLR to fit a variety of weapons. When you purchase a TLR, it comes with keys to fit:

  • “1913” – Mil-Std-1913 Picatinny rails
  • “GL” – Glock rails as well as Tuger KP345 and SR-9
  • “TSW/99” – Smith & Wesson and TSW/99, Post 2004 Walther 99 Full size
  • “90two – Beretta 92

There are some other keys and adapters depending on the TLR model you buy – click here for Streamlight’s brief compatibility list.

When you buy a TLR, you must insert the proper key to get it to fit the rail on your weapon. While they were intended for pistols, I’ve used them on a variety of rifles and shotguns over the years as I move lights from weapon to weapon. The key shown above has the “GL” code which means it the one for interfacing with the rail on Glock pistols assuming the pistol model both has a rail and is large enough to hold the particular model of light. For example, you can run the above TLR-1 on a full size Glock 34 but will stick out past the end on a 17. Some people don’t care but I prefer a TLR-4 for a 17 as the TLR-4 is shorter and ends flush with the bottom of the receiver.

Ok, but what if I want to move the light to another weapon?

So, this brings us to the main point – can you move a TLR from one platform to another? The short answer is absolutely – you remove the retaining screw and replace the key with the appropriate one for the new pistol.

And there’s the rub – what if you’ve lost or “temporarily misplaced” your bag of keys? Folks, that is what happened to me. I could not find any of my keys and needed to change the TLR-1 from Glock to 1913 to fit my new TRP Operator. Here’s the good news – you can buy just the keys. Streamlight realized there would be people like us and sell kits that have the keys, the screw, small nut and even a the hex key needed to do the job. The kit does depend on the model of TLR you have so make sure they match the light and the weapon you want to move to.

Streamlight Kit 69175 fits the TLR-1 and TLR-2. The 69176 kit is specifically for TLR-3 and TLR-4 models.

Here’s my 6″ TRP Operator, the TLR-1 and the replacement key set 69175.

You can find the two key kits very readily both on Amazon and on eBay:

Conclusion

I really like the TLR lights and hope this post helps you out if you need to move your TLR but can’t find your keys.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


New Gun Owners: You’re Not Safe Yet – Read This

According to statistics, there almost 5 million new gun owners in 2020. I think there are a ton of reasons and certainly concerns over the safety of one’s self and loved ones is in the minds of a lot of people these days. With that said, there are a few things I want to pass along and will do so in a series of blog posts. We’ll kick things off with some comments on safety and getting your new firearm ready.

Learn About Your Firearm & How To Use It

Please take the time to learn about your firearm and how to use it. I can’t stress this enough – take a class on firearms and self-defense. Ask around and odds are any number of groups in your area holds classes and you need to find a good one. Like any subject matter, there are good teachers and ones who candidly suck so ask around. If you have no idea where to start, ask your dealer, local sportsman’s club, shooting ranges, friends, etc.

My Short List of Safety Rules

I’ve been shooting since I was so little that my dad had to hold the rifle and help me so literally almost fifty years. I’ve shot with a lot of great guys and one thing they all stressed was the need for safety. Here’s my list of key safety practices that you can always add more to:

  1. Treat every firearm as loaded and pointed in a safe direction. Assume nothing – verify the state of your weapon. Tons of accidents have happened because of an accidental discharge.
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. It is very easy to trip or be startled and accidentally squeeze the trigger. You can avoid this by keeping your trigger finger flat against the trigger guard or side of your weapon and off the trigger!
  3. Be certain of your target and what lies beyond it. There are two safety point here – make sure of what you are shooting at or you risk making a mistake – potentially a horrible mistake. Second, bullets do not necessarily stop in the target or you may miss the target. What lies around and behind the target?
  4. Your firearm’s biggest safety is you. Don’t rely on a firearm’s safety to prevent a mistake. Think. Anticipate. Your mind is your biggest safety. Think safe, be safe.
  5. Know your weapon. An awful lot of tragic mistakes have been made as people fumbled with a firearm they did not understand and had not sufficiently practiced with. A crisis is not the place to try and figure out what to do or not do. When the adrenaline is flowing, you will forget a lot of academic details and stand better odds of remembering what you have physically practiced.
  6. Take care of your weapon and it will take care of you. Make sure it is cleaned, lubricated, using proven magazines (if it uses them) and proven ammunition.

New Guns Aren’t Good to Go

Let’s expand on the last point above. Something that I think is often overlooked and not sufficiently explained to new owners is that most firearms will not reliably work out of the box. I’m not saying something bad about a given maker or model. The fact is that there are a ton of things that may cause your firearm to not work right when you need it most:

  1. Many firearms do not arrive sufficiently clean. You need to run a patch or bore snake down the barrel to remove any contaminants that have accumulated. I’ve seen new firearms with filthy bores, pristine bores and all points between. Read the manual to understand what cleaners are safe with your firearm. For example, some strong solvents can harm polymer receivers.
  2. Normally a person cleans and lubricates a new purchase at the same time. Read the manual on instructions for how to lubricate your new purchase. It’s not as simple as pouring on the oil. Indeed, too much lubricate can impair the operation of certain firearms. Note, not all lubricants are recommended on all firearms either. For example, penetrating oil can harm some polymer receivers.
  3. Just to reinforce the point – Read the manual for your pistol, rifle or shotgun. You need to understand how to operate the weapon as well as how to clean and lubricate it. Most manufacturers have websites with manual that you can download. There are often videos showing details. You can also ask your gun dealer if he/she can explain the details of your weapon to you.
  4. If your weapon uses magazines, test them at the range with the ammo that you plan on using. You may be surprised but some combinations of magazines and ammunition may work horribly in one firearm and perfectly fine in another. I can’t stress this enough – shoot at least 30 rounds (and the more the better) before you rely on a given combination of weapon and ammunition. By the way, you read and hear people recommend 50, 100, 200+ rounds before you rely on something and they are all right – the more you shoot something, the better your odds are plus practice is good.
  5. Speaking of practice, don’t just take a firearm to the range once, have a great session and declare victory. You need to also practice loading, unloading, recovering from a jam, etc. Don’t wait for an emergency as I mentioned earlier. The best firearm in the world will not help you if you forget how to do something during a time of need.

More Gun Safety Resources

There are tons of videos and web pages about gun safety. I’d recommend that you spend the time to learn how to be safe so here are a few more pages for you:

Conclusion

I hope this post helped you out. Whatever you do, don’t just buy a firearm and ammunition and do nothing until something happens and you need it. Shooting is actually a fun sport – it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. Spending the time to learn about safety, learn about your weapon and practice using it — these are all worth your time.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.