Tag Archives: Rifle

Use a Wheeler Engineering Green Laser Bore Sight To Get Your Scope or Optic Range Ready

When you buy a scope/optic and mount it on your rifle or pistol, it may relatively be close to where the actual bullet will hit the target or it may be a mile off. This applies just as much to dot optics as well as scopes with magnification. First off, this is why you need to sight in any type of optic before you use it. Second, unless you want to waste a ton of ammo, this is why you want to bore sight an optic before you do the final adjustments.

“Bore Sighting” refers to looking down the bore, seeing the target and roughly dialing on the elevation and windage of the optic. This was never perfect but it at least got you on the paper at 25-50 yards you could then start dialing in the scope and backing up to whatever range you wanted to dial the scope in for. This method worked fine if you could actually remove the bolt and look down the scope, such as a bolt action rifle. It doesn’t work for semi-autos where you typically have a closed rear receiver and can’t look down the bore. It also doesn’t work for folks like me who can’t see the broad side of a bright red barn when trying to look down a bore.

The industry responded with all kinds of gizmos to help improve the process ranging from calibrated collimeters that let you roughly sight in by pointing at some target held up from the end of the barrel. That lasted for a few years until lasers started getting affordable and then models started popping up that either went in the muzzle with some form of collet to help center the shaft in the barrel or there were ones that approximated the shape of a given round and went in the chamber. The accuracy of either one greatly depended on the quality control of the manufacturer. In general, they worked and were really simple – put the laser in, turn it on and then dial in your scope to where the red dot was showing.

Pros: Simple, cheap, did the job Cons: acccuracy was highly dependent on how well the manufacturer made the unit, they are impacted by how well the inside of the muzzle device aligns with the barrel and the red laser faded out quickly in bright light and because they all use button cells of varying sizes the battery life might be short – especially the fake cartridge units. Note, a number of the muzzle end manufacturers do offer green lasers and that helps. Bottom line, they do the job and I do favor the muzzle end devices more provided they are from a quality manufacturer.

Then along came Wheeler Engineering with relatively large green laser unit with a strong magnet that sticks on the face of the muzzle (the end of the barrel). This got away from issues with the muzzle end units not centering and the frequent poor quality of the imported fake cartridge units. The green laser is powered by a relatively large CR123A battery that is the same used in many tactical lights. I should point out that they make a red laser version too but if I had to pick I would go with the green laser as your eye can see it easier and it reflects from further away.

This is the Wheeler laser bore sighter and it is the green laser unit. Note, I have a bettery in the unit and a spare Surefire CR123A in the holder. Steer clear of no-name cheap CR123A units as they have had issues in the past and caught fire, burst, etc.

I’ve used it for a few years now (I bought it in 2019) and have found two issues that affect it. First, the end of the barrel or your muzzle device (flash hider, muzzle brake, and so forth must be steel for the magnet to stick to it. By the way, I am not impressed by how aluminum muzzle devices hold up over time and just buy steel whenever I can.

The second shortcoming is that the manufacturer of the muzzle device and/or the barrel must have created a true end meaning the end of the barrel, the thread, the muzzle device – they must all result in an end of the barrel/muzzle device that is perpendicular to the barrel. The worst offenders in my experience are the muzzle devices because their positioning depends both on how well the threads were but on the barrel plus how well the device was made. Some combinations are better than others. If I were to make a generalization, unthreaded barrel muzzle faces from a quality manufacturer tend to be pretty true.

This is a quality Ballistic Advantage 20″ 5.56 DMR barrel. I’d expect its threads to be cut properly. The next variable would be how well the muzzle device engages the threads and how square the end of it is.
This is a IWI Galil Ace in .308. In a favorable nod to their manufacturing the factory barrel and brake yielded a remarkably close test pattern at 25 yards. I’m always amazed when boresighting is within inches and then going to range yields initial rounds within a6 inches of the expected center and this one did.
This is the strong magnet that secures the laser boresight to the end of the barrel or muzzle device. It’s also why either end would need to be steel for it to magnetically attach.
Here’s the unit secured to the end of a PSA barrel and PSA bird cage brake. It did the basic job of getting the rifle on paper with it’s Vortex UH-1 optic.
The power button is on top of the battery compartment and you can see the green laser hitting the off-white plastic cup. I like to sight in when the sun isn’t bright so I can get out 25-50 yards.

As with the other bore sighting devices, this unit will get you in the ballpark. Because of the factors above, you might be on the paper at 100 yards but you are better starting off at 50 and working things out from there.

By the way, one tip of any of them is to do your boresighting early in the morning or at dusk but not in the bright light of day. You can reach out 25-50+ yards and see the dot enough to do the initial sighting.

As a closing comment – none of them are perfect because they were all designed to be approximations. The final sighting must be done by you with the rounds you expect to use because a ton of variable will affect where you bullet actuall hits – your cheek weld, your trigger pull, factors with the bolt and barrel, how consistent the ammo is, the weight of the bullets, etc. My goal is to save some ammo and at least hit the target so I don’t have to shoot so many rounds to dial in the final settings and then begin working out firing solutions for different ranges.

In Conclusion

There actually isn’t a perfect solution – I mainly use the Wheeler Pro Green Laser Boresighter when I can but I still have a couple of good muzzle end units that I use when the muzzle device is aluminum. I know one unit is from LaserLyte and I really do not recall who the other is from. I do not use the dummy cartridge units after a few disappointing tries.

So, if you haven’t tried a Wheeler Pro boresighter and are in the market, I like mine.


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.

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Video: Rocket Surgery: Inside the Russian Nikonov AN94 by Forgotten Weapons

The Russian AN94 Nikonov is a rather bizarre rifle that is often described as complex and expensive.  Just those words alone should make you realize the rifle is a hard departure from the relatively simple and inexpensive Kalashnikov design maxims.  I have been hoping to see a more thorough breakdown of the AN94 and Ian of Forgotten Weapons does just that.  This is a great video released April 11, 2017.  You definitely should check it out as he does a great job taking the rifle down and explaining how it operates.  When I saw the pulley, cable and extra sub-assemblies required to do the two round burst, I just shook my head.  Time will tell how rugged it really is.

Here’s the video:


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 [email protected]. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Kevin’s badass Veprs with our Vepr handguards and second generation Molot grips

Kevin’s badass Veprs with our Vepr handguards and second generation Molot grips!

ronin_1 ronin2

 

The 2nd Generation Molot Grips are in our store at:
http://shop.roninsgrips.com/Russian-Molot-Second-Generation-RussianMolot2ndGen.htm

The Vepr handguards are in our store at:
http://shop.roninsgrips.com/Vepr-Furniture_c16.htm

ATF Opinion Letter on AR Pistols – Some Key Considerations

In this ATF letter, the author asked the ATF’s opinion on a number of great AR pistol related questions.  I am paraphrasing a few points I found important to help folks doing full text searches for opinions:

1) An AR lower receiver is neither pistol nor rifle until it is built the first time.  If you want to make a pistol, a lower receiver must *never* have been built in a rifle configuration.

2) AR pistols do not have a barrel length restriction.

3) AR handguards can be used on an AR pistol

4) An AR rifle and pistol can be in the same household — note, and this is a personal comment, what got a guy in trouble years ago was that he had only an AR rifle and a pistol upper with no lower to mount it on.  I don’t remember all of the details but the main thing here is that you never want it to look like the only reason you have a pistol/SBR upper is to put in on your AR that is legally classified as a rifle.

5)  Magpul angled fore grips (AFGs) are permissible on the bottom accessory/picatinny rail.

AR_Pistol_1AR_Pistol_2AR_Pistol_3

 

I recommend people print and keep copies of letters just in case they need to show someone that some aspect of a weapon was “approved” by the ATF at some point.  Just bear in mind that ATF letters are not absolutes but it helps to have them handy if asked.  A state or local government may have their own more restrictive regulations as well so this may not mean AFGs are legal for everyone everywhere.

Legal Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice.  I am just passing this information along and it is up to you to determine what you can/can’t do.

More Info on IMI Galil Rifles

I’ve always found the IMI Galil rifles one of the more interesting variations of the Kalashnikov AK design.  I thought you might find the following links of  interest if you want to learn more:

IMI Galil Page on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMI_Galil

IMI Galil Assault Rifle (Israel) – On World Guns
http://world.guns.ru/assault/isr/galil-e.html

IMI Galil ARM / SAR Assault Rifle / Carbine / Submachine Gun / Designated Marksman Rifle
http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=23

 

The following video is very informative.  It shows the rifle being made at IMI, interviews designers and talks about some of the unique features: