Tag Archives: Shooting

Do you really have backup iron sights (BUIS) that you can count on? A lot of shooters do not and it’s not just the fault of the hardware

I’m sure there are a lot of shooters like me who buy and install back up iron sites on their weapons just in case the optic fails. Except for pure range toys that will never see use beyond having fun, I do think BUIS are a really good idea – optics fail for any number of reasons with batteries being dead quite possibly being the #1 issue – especially given how folks love their red dot, green dot and holographic sights. You need a backup for aiming your firearm.

What happens if the battery in the Vortex dies? Well, I do have the backup Magpul sights … right?

A quick comment about “BUIS” – it stands for Back Up Iron Sights. I’m a creature of habit and that’s how they were first introduced to me but not everyone uses that term. For example, Magpul calls their units MBUS – Magpul Back-Up Sights. Other’s just say “back up sights” or even just “attachable” or “folding” sights. So, if you are wanting to search and see what your options are, it will take some searching.

Four Camps of BUIS Users

In talking with shooters, regardless of their firearm platform (AR, AK, Stribog, HK, etc.) about their BUIS, I usually find they fit in one of four camps:

  1. Installed the BUIS and run them full time with their optic in a co-witness manner
  2. Installed the BUIS and periodically use them in a co-witness model but fold them down when not in use
  3. Installed the BUIS and only use them when needed but did sight them in. For example, if they need to remove the optic to deploy the sights or are using offset sights and tilt the weapon 45 degrees to use them.
  4. Attached the units to the Picatinny rail, did not sight them in and have never actually practiced using them to hit targets at the range … “but have them just in case”.

With scenario #1, you know those sights will work – it doesn’t matter if the scope is powered off as long as you can see through the glass.

With #2 & #3 – the sights will probably work as long as you can see through the glass or otherwise see them. Hopefully the shooter has practiced enough how to use the units.

The last one is the most concerning – camp #4 – to be honest, a person in this camp doesn’t really have a backup. Yeah, they have the sights but they aren’t dialed in and lack experience with them. This is a gamble you do not want to take. If this describes you – please don’t take it personally and read the next section – I want to help.

As far as I know, all BUIS are two parts – a front sight and a back sight. In the above photo – I am using Magpul polymer MBUS folding units and are on each far end of the top rail. They fold down until needed and then spring p when you push a lever on each.

If You Are In Camp #4…

First off, I am glad you invested in BUIS – if you are reading this and you haven’t yet, then do so. With that said, do you have quality units or did you buy something dirt cheap off Amazon or eBay. I’d recommend going with a brand name and not cheap airsoft import stuff – I like Magpul (they have a ton of models so click here to see them) plus, in all fairness, there are other quality BUIS sets from the likes of ARMS, Bobro, DiamondHead, Troy and others. Cheap stuff may not hold their zero or break easily. Buy quality to have true BUIS that you can count on.

Second, make sure they are mounted properly. Did you follow the instructions from the vendor who made them? Sometimes there is more to do than slap them on the Picatinny Rail.

Your backup sights should have come with instructions and any specialized tools – be sure to read and follow them. The little black key you see is used for adjusting a Magpul front sight.

Second, you need to sight in the BUIS. I use a laser to help get in the ballpark in the shop and then I do the final tuning at the range. Read up on the recommended range for your firearm and type of optic. For rifles, I go for 50 yards because then you are then zeroed for 50 yards and at 200. The BUIS are just that – emergency backups. I look to be in the ballpark with them and am not looking for perfection but some guys are amazingly proficient with them.

Third, absolutely take them to the range and practice with them!!! Buying, installing and zeroing the BUIS are only part of the game – you must also know how to use them. If they fold, practice on opening and closing them while shooting. If they are offset, practice transitioning to them. Bottom line, you need to practice hitting targets with them and adjust the sights and what you are doing accordingly. The more you practice the greater the odds that things will work when you need them. If you don’t practice then you are taking a huge gamble both on the BUIS and your ability to use them – so don’t gamble.

Magpul sells both basic polymer and pro steel versions of their MBUS. Above is a polymer rear unit on one of my ARs. I fold both the rear and front sights flat until needed – the small lever you see to the left of the mounting screw both releases the sight so it flips open via a spring and then locks up up right. I can count on them because they are zeroed and I practice with them.

Summary

The whole reason I wrote this is that it seems like I have encountered a lot of shooters this past year that had BUIS and fell square in camp 4 – they had never sighted them in or practiced with them. This is very concerning to me – they are gambling on something that shouldn’t be left to chance. So, yes, I think BUIS are a great idea but you need to sight them in and regularly practice using them also. If you don’t, then your backup probably isn’t a backup.

I hope this gives you some food for thought.


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.


Are You Looking For A Lubricant That Performs Better Than CLP? Check Out Kentuckiana Gun Works – Enhanced Reliability Oil

So I stopped in to talk to Scott Igert, my good friend who owns Michigan Gun Exchange, a few weeks back. Scott told me about a new gun oil that he had samples of that the maker had handed him directly and that I ought to take a look at it. I kind of groaned because everyone and their brother claims to have the best gun oil. Some have ok oil and some don’t (remember the canola oil mess some years back?) but nobody has THE best oil.

Many times the oils they are selling you are an existing product that has been put into tiny containers with some really splashy marketing and packaging. For example, if you find a red colored weapon oil that feels, smells and is colored red like ATF, then it is probably some variant of automatic transmission fluid – Dexron, ATF, etc. If it’s colored blue and smells and feels like hydraulic fluid then that might well be what it is. Now I am not saying all products are that way but a lot are.

So, somewhat warily, I took the sample bottle home with me. It had to wait a bit until I could get around to focusing on it. The product is “Enhanced Reliability Oil” From Kentuckiana Gun Works (KGW).

In looking at the oil, it was yellow-ish with a hint of red. It’s a blend of something – but not something right out of a bottle. I felt it and it had a nice 30 weight-ish feel to it. It wasn’t really thin but it was slippery.

The smell was that of a petroleum oil but nothing uniquely stood out.

Did I taste it … no, I have standards to uphold at least while I am sober.

Okay, those quick observations may sound ridiculous to you – well, the taste part was a joke – but many products you can kind of group by color, feel and smell. This one I couldn’t because the color was unique plus it felt like a decent lubricant so I decided to dig a bit more.

I took a few drops of some common lubricants and put them on a piece of white printer paper. Left is the KGW product, then Super Lube, them CLP, followed by Mobile 1 5w-30 synthetic engine oil and finally Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic 5w-30. Super lube is clear – it just turned the paper black. KGW has a slight red hue and then the others are different yellows. The CLP soaked in the fastest by the way reflecting how thin it is.

Did Some Digging

I visited their website and also did some searching. KGW is a new firm so there really isn’t much info out there which meant I needed to reach out to Kohl Oettle, the owner of KGW who developed the oil. Scott had his contact info so we traded some emails.

Kohl was a tanker in the Marine Corp Reserve for six years and had developed a dislike for CLP as a lubricant – CLP stands for Cleaner Lubricant Protector just in case you didn’t know. Kohl pointed out, “We used CLP on everything, m4, m16, 240, m2, m48 etc, and in every application it burned off and ran off so quickly that I developed a real hate for all types of CLP. I wanted something that was thicker, handled heat better, and just lasted longer. “

That resonated with me because CLP is just way too thin for me. When I have big clunking parts, I need a thicker lubricant such as as oil or a grease to have reliable lubrication especially during break in. I still use CLP as a cleaner once in a while but I haven’t used it as a lubricant for probably 16 years — tt dawned on me that I started working on AKs around 2006 and CLP was just too thin to use as an assembly lube on those rifles so it’s been more like 16 years.

So I asked Kohl what set his oil apart from the tons of other products on the market. He responded, “It’s not trying to do everything. It wasn’t designed to be a cleaner. It’s a damn good oil and protector, without all the cleaners that make so many others thin, and less heat tolerant. I do have a very small amount of carbon deposit reducers in my oil, but just enough help control the carbon buildup and thus make the bolt reciprocate much easier. It’s not nearly enough to be used as a cleaner, and that’s on purpose. “

For the last seven years, Kohl has worked in industrial maintenance working on a variety of machines ranging from food processing to automotive parts manufacturing. As part of this, he learned that one of the most effective means of keeping a machine running reliably was to use the proper oil and grease.

What I found especially interesting was that Kohl tinkered with the the blend until he achieved the viscosity and lubrication he wanted through trial and error. He primarily had the AR-15 and similar rifles in mind when he was designing it but it will work on other pistols, rifles and shotguns as well. By the way, I mentioned earlier I thought it was about 30 weight – Kohl told me it’s a tad thicker than that.

When he was ready, he took to shooting classes and and shot thousands of rounds through a variety of weapons. He also sent out samples to people and a local gun store helped him sell his oil and collect feedback for 18 months. He took this feedback and further refined his product.

I respected what he did. Both Scott and I started our respective businesses and learned over time the same way Kohl has done.

Assembly Lube Testing

I used the KGW Enhanced Reliability Oil as an assembly lube for the fire control group, bolt catch, bolt, and bolt carrier. I grease the takedown pins so not there.
I ensured there was a thin film on both the top/front of the hammer as well as the bolt carrier.

My testing has been limited so far but I will update this post after my first range trip. I recently built two AR rifles and used Kohl’s oil as an assembly lube. I could tell everything was moving very easily. In this regard it worked great. Time is a challenge these days and I hope to get these rifles to the range in the next 3-4 weeks but didn’t want to hold up getting the word out there.

You can buy the oil direct from KGW’s website or you may find it at your local gun store as their business expands.

By the way, I don’t make any money off this post and Kohl didn’t ask me to. I just know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur trying to start a small business – I figured helping Kohl was the least I could do after all the folks who helped me.


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.



Video: What is the Best Way to Reload an AK? Kalashnikov Media Answers a Hot Question

You know, it’s interesting how people will argue over stuff on the Internet. Give them a picture of a stick and they will argue about it! Now, turn the topic to AK rifles and debating what is the right or wrong way to do something, things get colorful fast and a lot of energy is wasted over trivial points.

In this video, Vladimir Onokoy, who always does a great job, goes over different reloading approaches. Now most folks do not know Vladimir but I will tell you he is the real deal with considerable Russian military experience and armorer-level experience with the AK platform. In short, I would recommend you listen real close to what he says plus bear in mind that this is a Kalashnikov Media video and they know their stuff as well 🙂

Watch the Video

Normally I give some screen shots and make some color commentary but this video is only 3:05 seconds and seeing is believing.


I fully agree with his conclusion – train and become proficient. They all work the question is what works best for you and only training and experience can answer that.


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and are the property of their respective owner.


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.



PSA AK Webstore Links

Interested in an American made AK? Consider Palmetto State Armory (PSA) as a source. Click on the following links for the associated webstore categories for AK-related rifles, pistols and parts at PSA:

You Can Make Black Powder!

Let me open with telling you that I am providing the following information for educational purposes only. I find chemistry fascinating as you can tell by my various posts on parkerizing, acid etching (with apple cider vinegar and with ferric chloride), epoxies and more. So, I’ve seen various posts over the years about making your own black powder and usually filed them away for future reference. What changed was that Youtube actually recommended a video on making black powder and then that led to another and another. I took the three videos I liked the most and decided to share them.

Please, if you try anything, do so safely. Research first, pick safe location and be careful. You accept all liability – I am providing these resources for reference purposes only!!

Starting Basic: The King of Random

The back story is that this guy loved experimenting and posted his projects on YouTube. The genuine tragedy is that he recently passed away in a paragliding accident. This is a very interesting video and sets the stage for do-it-yourself black powder.

The three ingredients from left to right: Sulfur from plant fungicide.home made charcoal and potassium nitrate from stump remover.

In this post, the presenter shows you how to make a basic unrefined black powder with charcoal and then powdered potassium nitrate from stump remover and powdered sulfur from plant fungicide. Note, these are all available at your local hardware store – you need powders and not liquids by the way. It’s a basic process and creates a “green” or unrefined black powder.

A More Refined Approach From the Science Pirate

This fellow is a chemist and really good at explaining what is going on and how to do it. He shows how he goes about processing the 75% Potassium Nitrate, 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur into black powder.

Here he’s screening the charcoal. Instead of expedient materials, he is using lab grade chemicals and supplies as you can see.

The Best Video: GhoolerHunter Covers An Old Military Method

He’s getting ready to strain his solution.

This fellow really goes into detail behind a process for producing a more refined black powder. He does point out to beware of static electricity if you are using metal trays like he is.

Some Charcoals Are Better Than Others

Interesting enough, having the right charcoal is really important. Some woods are way better than others and I think you’ll find that you will either need to make your own charcoal or will need to do some hunting to find very specific charcoal for good results.

For example, woods to use include certain species of Alder, Balsa, Buckthorn (both alder and carolina), Cottonwood (narrow leaf), Dogwood (cornus florida), Maple, Paulownia, Plum (prunus domestica), and Willow (Black, white, weeping and pacific but not Rocky mountain). To learn more, please see:

Other Black Powder Resources

Here are some other resources if you want to read more:

Again, this is all provided for reference purposes only. If you decide to try anything, please research first and put safety before everything else. Also, be sure to comply with all laws and regulations that apply to you.

Sorry to sound like a lawyer but these days, it needs to be said. I hope the info helps you out.


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and are the property of their respective owner.

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.