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Archive for the ‘Optics’ Category

Modernizing the Century Arms Golani

Posted by Gunner on June 7, 2012

Those of us who love military rifles have this overwhelming desire to modify them as soon as we get them home. For those who like an older design upgrading them can be somewhat of a challenge.

After reviewing the Golani from Century International I bought it. My first intention was to leave it as is and use the good ol iron sights, no flashlights, scopes etc.

The more I thought about it I realized that a lot of Golani owners probably want these add ons in order to make the Golani a more capable modernized rifle. I made a list of the most common add ons that shooters add to their AR15’s without making it ridiculously heavy and clumsy.

With list in hand I started an internet search for items fitting the criteria I set for the Golani/Galil rifle. Finding a suitable quality rail system wasn’t terribly easy as most systems were plastic or of poor design. I found an excellent rail system made exclusively for the Golani. The rail system is made by UTG from aluminum with a durable black finish. As you can see from the picture it replaces the factory handguard. Rails are on all four sides and come with rubber covers. The top rail extends back to the rear sight. Installation is simple and takes about 15 minutes to complete using the included six hex bolts.


Material:AluminumWeight:13.6 ozPieces:2Rail Type:Picatinny/WeaverNo. of Rails:4Length:11.4 inchWidth:2.3 inchHeight:3.2 inch.

An optic was next but which type? I’ve used many kinds of optics on AR’s from red dots to Trijicon ACOG’s. A scope that has become popular of late is the designated marksman scope. The power range is from 1X4. This allows the shooter to engage targets from CQB range to 500 meters. They also have a long eye relief averaging four inches. This allows the shooter to keep both eyes open using the 1X setting. This prevents a limited field of view when things get up close and personal. Leapers makes just such a scope.


Magnification:1X – 4XTube Diameter:30mmObjective Diameter:28mmField of View @ 100 yards:85.0′ – 24.0’Eye Relief:5.0″ – 4.0″Exit Pupil:11.0mm – 6.0mmClick Value @100 yards:1/2″Length:254mmWeight:14.3 oz Parallax Setting:100 YdsBatteries:CR2032 3V

 Etched glass/Mil-Dot

I would also like to thank the folks at Leapers/UTG for supplying the mount and scope for this test. They were very helpful with my questions concerning optics and materials used in making these two excellent accessories. Leapers was the only company I could find who made a quality rail system for the Galil/Golani. Obviously they keep track of customer needs. Leapers  Reticle

The next item I wanted to add was a good quality sling. My criteria includes a sling that is easily adjusted for length, quickly removed, comfortable, adaptable and lastly durable. For anyone who has an AR15, Golani, FN SCAR or whichever you know there are a huge number of slings to choose from. Some are very well made and fit most shooters needs while others are junk that won’t last six months before falling apart. It’s really not a good idea to cut the budget on your sling. You’ll save money in the long run buying quality the first time out.

I scoured the internet for anything new I may have missed since the last time I looked for a new sling. I currently use a Troy single point sling on an AR but this time I wanted one that would also allow single point mounting as well as dual point mounting.

I found what I was looking for at Mounts Plus. I contacted my friend Stephen at Mounts Plus about a new sling and had one in mind. Stephen steered me in the right direction by suggesting the A.R.M.S. company SWAN sling rather than the one I had my eye on. He was right this is a fantastic sling and I’m glad I bought it.

The SWAN (from Mounting Solutions) sling has metal QD (quick disconnect) hooks on both ends. If you look at the picture above you’ll see one of the QD hooks. Note the lighter green nylon piece attached to a small metal ring. The hook is spring loaded. Pulling the nylon piece trips the catch releasing the hook allowing you to remove the sling. Pushing the hook over the connection locks it back in place securely. This feature allows the sling to change from dual mount to single point.  The next picture up shows a similar tab halfway up the body of the sling. This tab can be pulled up or down which lengthens or shortens the sling. This allows the user to carry the rifle close to the body.

Another item I wanted was a front rail grip. I decided on the Grip Pod also from Mounts Plus. Now I know what you’re thinking, this thing is ugly and kinda big. I couldn’t agree more and yes it’s not very attractive but in this case function trumps form. The Grip Pod is in use by all branches of the military as well as federal law enforcement agencies. The military version differs from the law enforcement type having steel reinforced legs. The law enforcement version doesn’t have these steel reinforcements. It’s still very strong and darn near impossible to break.

Note in the above picture you’ll see a round button at the top front. This is the button that is pushed to activate the spring ejecting the two legs very quickly. When the user is ready to retract the legs you simply use one hand to pull the legs together and push them up locking them back in place. It also has a heavy screw attaching it to the rail system. This also allows the Grip Pod to be removed or attached easily.

This video demonstrates the Grip Pod in use.

The last item on the list is a flashlight. I chose the Hoyt H-1. This light fits in any 25mm rail mount. It’s powered by two CR-123 batteries and has a run time of 100 minutes at 155 lumens. This model has four modes. I chose to use mode 3 which with one click is a full power beam of 155 lumens. Two clicks and you have a disorienting full power strobe setting. The light comes in a hard plastic black waterproof case.


Not everyone will want all of these additions to their rifle. Customizing any gun is purely a personal preference so I am by no means saying everyone needs to use these items to have the perfect rifle. My intention in this article is to show the owner of this or a similar rifle different options they have available to them. The pros and cons are for the reader to conclude based on their own needs and experiences.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the article and found it useful. Your questions and comments are always welcome!  Remember any purchase you make from Mounts Plus by clicking on the ad here on the blog and enter Gunner777 at checkout you get 10% off even on ACOGs etc.

Posted in AK-47, Golani, Military and Police Rifles, Optics, Videos | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Vortex Optics “Strikefire”

Posted by Gunner on July 19, 2011


Vortex optics makes fine scopes at very reasonable prices. The Strikefire is similar in appearence to an Aimpoint but differs greatly from there. Something most optics of this type don’t have is the ability to be used with night vision equipment—this one does and with a retail of $179! A 2X magnifier is included and screws into the rear of the optic. The red dot is 2MOA. 

Mounted using the included 30MM high mount and 2X magnifier attached

The sight uses one “N” size battery giving approx. 500 hours of runtime. Flip-up scope covers are also included as is the battery. Of course removeable caps adjust for windage and elevation.

Field of view on the Strikefire is normal for the type which translates into a fairly wide view with a bright very clear dot thanks to quality glass and electronics. When the 2X magnafier is attached the field of view narrows considerably. The red dot also increases in size to roughly 4X. Not bad at all but I would prefer a smaller dot for medium ranges.


In the photo above you’ll notice the on-off, brightness and night vision controls are on the side mounted control panel. Front top is the on/off switch while the rear has an up arrow to increase brightness and a bottom arrow to dim the red dot. The NV button is activated by simply pressing it in. The rear of the sight tube is knurled for rotation by turning it right or left.This allows the user to adjust for an individuals vision. Each end of the tube has a rubber ring for protection from rain or other moisture. The Strikefire is completely waterproof. The rubber ring also creates a waterproof seal when the magnifier is screwed in.


The Strikefire comes in two variations. The first has a setting for a green or red dot while the one I obtained for testing is a red dot only. I chose this since the red dot only has a considerably longer run time. Options available include a screw in killflash to prevent any light reflection from the front of the sight. A short mount is an option. In fact one is included with each sight you simply specify which one you want. A 3X magnifier can also be purchased seperately. The larger magnifier mounts seperately behind the Strikefire. This optic has a swing out mount.


After taking my AR to the range with the Strikefire mounted I fired 100 rounds at various distances with and without the magnifier. The sight held up well as did the mount with no loss of zero. Even with the magnifier and the larger red dot I was able to hit my targets at 100 yards without difficulty. I did take the time to remove the sight and then re-attach to see how much off my original zero had moved. As it turned out the original zero was still right on the money. 


The Strikefire as well as all optics from Vortex have what they call a VIP warranty. The unlimited lifetime warranty shows the confidence they have in the products they sell. It’s very simple you have it fixed or they send a new unit. No hassle and a very short turnaround time.

When one compares the quality of this optic and features not found on others at twice the price it’s a hard scope to beat! Most dealers actually sell these for $149.00! If your looking for this type of scope the Strikefire is certainly worth looking at.



Happy Shooting!



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Read my gun reviews on “The Firearm Blog” as well as Gunners Journal

Posted by Gunner on January 7, 2011

My reviews for GFS have been moved to “The Firearm Blog”

Hello all I wanted to announce I will be writing gun reviews weekly for the online gun shop and accessories dealer Guns for These reviews will be posted from now on at “The Firearm Blog”—link above:-) I will still post on Gunners Journal.
My ethics that apply to the blog will be in place as always so the reviews you read on Guns for will be 100% correct and honest to the best of my ability.
Your questions and comments can be posted on their website and I will respond as quickly as possible as has always been the case here. They are good folks and I encourage you to look over the guns they stock at very fair prices.
The first article should be out in the next week or so.

Happy Shooting,

Posted in 1911 45's, 1911 9MM's, 1911 Grips, 1911 Magazines, AK-47, AR15, Bersa, Blade Page, Charter Arms Revolvers, Handgun Ammo, Holsters, Holsters for the 1911, Leather Gear, Military and Police Rifles, Optics, Rock Island Armory, Romanian AK-47, Shotguns, Sig 1911, Sig Sauer Pistols, Single Action Revolvers, Taurus | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Trijicon ACOG TA-33-8

Posted by Gunner on February 25, 2010

Trijicon ACOG for the .223

   For some time I’ve wanted a high quality optic for my AR15 carbine. After my recent purchase of the CMMG carbine it was time to pick one. Of course there are a good number of optics out there for the AR platform such as the Aimpoint, Trijicon and Elcan . I’ve used Aimpoints and Trijicons before and they each have strong points. After going over all the attributes of each and how I use my AR I decided on the ACOG TA-33 in 3X with a red chevron reticle that is calibrated for the .223 out to 600 meters as seen below. I contacted the good folks at Mounts Plus and purchased this ACOG as well as a fiber optic front sight to replace the stock front BUIS standard sight. Mounts Plus makes this fiber optic and the package includes a front sight tool, a wrench to help adjust the sight once installed it co-witnesses with the ACOG and the front sight jumps out at you and is very easy to see. The package also includes several colors of fiber optic rods so you can change them out or replace worn out inserts. The replacement front sight included in the package is well made and has positive clicks when adjusted. A red tube is installed when you recieve it.
  Bindon Aiming Concept Explaination:

   Human vision is based upon a binocular (two eyes) presentation of visual evidence to the brain. The word binocular literally means using both eyes at the same time. We most often associate this word with binocular instruments such as field glasses or a binocular microscope. These instruments specifically strive to present the object to be viewed the same way to both eyes.
   Vision research material was examined for its assistance to understand the optically aided weapon aiming process. Three major types of optical enhancement were compared. There are strong customer preferences in reticle designs, some simple reticles enhance the speed of target acquisition, others allow for greater precision in a given time limit.
    The simple substitution of a bright red dot for the usual cross-hairs makes it very easy to keep both eyes open. Just as in the Single point or Armson O.E.G. sighting, the brain merges the two images. During dynamic movement, the scene through the telescope blurs because the image moves more rapidly due to magnification. The one eye sees the bright dot against the blurred target scene, so the brain picks the scene from the unaided eye. The shooter swings the weapon towards the target while perceiving the dot indicating where the weapon is pointed. As soon as the weapon begins to become steady in the target area, the brain switches to the magnified view.
  A long search was made to try to combine the speed and non-battery features of the Singlepoint or Armson with the precision of the telescopic system. This discovery was made several years ago. Trijicon has sponsored research in the field of human vision to better understand this generic phenomenon. Although the study concentrated on the Armson O.E.G., some aspects are applicable also to the Bindon Aiming Concept.
A short video on this concept: Link

   With the extended eye relief this optic works at CQB ranges as well as very useful for medium range targets. Sighting in is done at 25 meters or a little over 28 yards. After this is done your good out to the max range. Of course you need to check the calibration at 100 yards. Minor adjustments are made and that pretty much sets the scope out to 600 meters with no need for any further adjustments. The aiming point is at the top point of the chevron. The ACOG comes with a Pelican hard case to protect the sight when not installed on your rifle. Also included is a cleaning Lenspen which one end has a brush with the other end a soft round buffing piece. This model ACOG uses no batteries which is a big plus. During daylight use the fiber optic rod on top of the sight gathers light for a nice clear sight picture. In total darkness the Tritium ampule kicks in and maintains a bright red chevron. The sight is very precise with super clear glass with no distortions at the edge of the field of view which is often seen in less well made optics.
   I’ve used it up close as well as out to 200 yards and found it performs very well. I am very pleased with this setup and plan on using this optic for many years to come. No doubt it will stand up to hard use. It’s also waterproof to 66 feet. It’s also the newest model Trijicon makes and was designed for Law Enforcement and Military use.

Mounted and ready to go:-)

   The people at Mounts Plus were very helpful in my decision and even added a few goodies with the package. I’d sure recomend them to anyone looking for an optic as well as mounts and other tactical accessories. Please contact me if you have any questions about this superb sight system.

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Posted in Optics, Police Topics | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »