thermal imaging rifle scope

Do You Know Your Weapon Optics? | Types of gun sights

The effectiveness of shooting depends not only on the design and technical characteristics of the weapon, or the level of training of the shooter. But, it is also dependent on the type of gun sight or scope that is used.

Just as weapons have evolved, sights have as well.

Initially, front sights were the only type used. Then, in the 16th century, rear sights appeared. And, a little later, a circular orthoptic sight.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 19th century that sighting optics were used.

Types of gun sights

So, let’s take a look at some of the types of gun and rifle sights…

Open sight

man looking down rifle barrel with open sight

The open sight is the simplest in design. Its device is a rear sight and front sight located on the same line (differ in shape and design). The rear sight can have a fixed or fixed bar. To aim the weapon at the target, the shooter needs to visually combine the rear sight, front sight, and the target so that they are on the same line, exactly in the middle of the sight slot.

The advantages of open sights:

  • Reliability;
  • Low cost;
  • Compactness and lightweight;
  • Ease of maintenance, maintainability;
  • Simplicity of design;
  • Mechanical strength;
  • Unlimited operating temperature range

Disadvantages of open sights:

  • At long distances, the front sight covers the target;
  • Low aiming accuracy, limited by vision capabilities;
  • It takes a long time to train shooting skill

Diopter sight

man shooting rifle with diopter sight

The diopter sight provides the highest accuracy of all mechanical sights, but has very low light transmission. So, it’s not a good option in low light or at dusk.

The Diopter (ring or aperture) sight is easier to use because the shooter needs less effort to aim because it is easier to find the desired position of the eyes, body, and barrel of the weapon.

The design of the diopter sight is a combination of an annular or ordinary front sight with a special hole (a disc with a small hole 0.5 – 1 mm in diameter). This hole is scientifically called a diopter or aperture.

The rear sight disc serves as an obstacle that completely blocks the light flux in the direction of the target, and the aperture hole serves as a diaphragm. Through it, a contrasting image is projected into the lens.

The shooter is forced to position the pupil exactly on the target line. This is the only possible position in which it will be visible. Aiming is intuitive.

Diopter sights are typically used with small-bore or air rifles.

Main advantages of diopter sights:

  1. High accuracy;
  2. Simplicity, reliability, mechanical strength;
  3. Low cost;
  4. compact and lightweight

Disadvantages of diopter sights:

  1. Narrow field of view;
  2. Poor low-light transmission;
  3. Covers the target (except for the point of impact).

Optical sight

man shooting pistol with optical sight

An optical sight is basically like a telescope with a reticle that simplifies the aiming process and increases accuracy and chances of a successful shot.

The tubular metal housing of optical sights contain the lens and eyepiece. These two lenses have a reticle installed in one of the focal planes. To obtain a straight, non-inverted image, an inverting system is used.

The sight is rigidly mounted on the weapon, and the precise adjustment of the reticle position is performed by the ballistic correction mechanism. Many optic sights have LED lighting for hunting at dusk.

Advantages of optic sights:

  • Highly accurate;
  • Ability to see the target at long distances;
  • Convenience, simplicity, and speed of guidance;
  • Simple and reliable design

Disadvantages of optic sights:

  • Small viewing angle;
  • Increases weight and dimensions of the weapon;
  • Overlaps the open sight: Inability to take a shot at close range (except for enclosures)

Laser sight

A laser sight is not a weapon sight in the literal sense of the word, but rather an auxiliary sighting device that has a limited range and accuracy.

A laser range finding rifle scope is a compact device that forms a light spot on the target that coincides with the midpoint of impact. This makes it possible to increase the effectiveness of the weapon at close ranges, as well as the speed of guidance, and the accuracy of fire. The range finder feature give the distance to the target.

man holding gun with laser range finding scope

A laser sight provides a single pinpoint dot rather than the wide beam of light like you’d get from a flashlight. A well-zeroed laser sight gives you a precise location of where the muzzle of the gun is pointing, allowing for quick aiming.

Benefits of Laser sights:

  • Simplicity and high speed of aiming;
  • Minimal weight and dimensions;
  • Simplicity and reliability of design

Disadvantages of laser sights:

  • Dependent on battery power;
  • Light spot of the radiation source can be difficult to see at long ranges;
  • Bright sunlight can make mark difficult to see
  • Laser light shoots straight but bullet trajectories are not; therefore works best at shorter ranges

Night Vision Scopes

man holding rifle with night vision gun sight

Night vision scopes enhance the image of a target that has a low brightness. It allows for accurate shooting in almost complete darkness.

Advantages of night vision scopes:

  • Highly accurate in poor visibility conditions;
  • Range up to 300+ meters, depending on the image intensifier;
  • Relatively low weight and dimensions;
  • Long-term life;
  • High reliability (compared to digital ones).


Disadvantages of night vision scopes:

  • Relatively high cost of modern models (generation 2 and above);
  • Snow, rain, fog, dust, branches, and tall grass are obstacles;
  • In complete darkness, and IR illumination is required;
  • In the opposite light, protection against illumination is triggered.

Thermal Imaging Sight

thermal imaging rifle scope

A thermal imaging sight is a device that visualizes the target’s thermal radiation. It does not need external light sources, allowing you to aim the weapon in complete darkness. This uses data on the temperature of the object itself in comparison with the surrounding space.


Advantages of Thermal Scopes:

  • The farthest detection distances for thermal targets;
  • Works in complete darkness;
  • Can work in light, there is no flare;
  • Accuracy like telescopic sights;
  • Snow, rain, fog, foliage, and grass are not a hindrance.

Disadvantages of Thermal Scopes:

  • Complex construction;
  • High price;
  • Additional power supply required.


Hopefully this has provided you with some helpful information so you can choose a sight/scope wisely.

Shoot straight!

pistol with bullets on table

Can You Buy Guns Online? | Well, Yes, but…

In today’s internet-heavy economy, it’s no wonder that many often ask… can I buy a gun online?

Well, the short answer is yes, but there are some specifics you need to be aware of.

The truth is, some people just aren’t comfortable lingering too long inside a gun shop. Then, there are others who are misinformed with regards to the process behind buying a gun online. We are going to clear a few things up about this aspect of gun ownership.

man shooting shotgun

Whether you want a gun as a means of protection for you and your family, or to use for recreational purposes, you should be very careful about how you make your purchase.

So, let’s take a deep dive into the various aspects of buying a gun online. Here are some of the things you’ll have to consider when doing so.

Yes, it is legal to buy a gun online. However, keep in mind that even when made online, gun transactions are heavily regulated to protect you and those around you from irresponsible gun ownership.

However, there are a few things you need to consider about the legality of buying a gun online. After all, the last thing you want to do is own an illegally purchased firearm.


For starters, make sure that you only buy only from authorized dealers online. Some websites are going to pose as legitimate sources of firearms to make a quick buck.

If you transact with retailers that aren’t authorized, you are risking yourself getting counterfeit products – or worse, guns that aren’t registered. This could result in a number of problems and legal issues. Therefore, it is advisable to buy guns only from authorized and reputed gun dealers (like Palmetto State Armory, for example).

We’ll cover more specifics of buying online a little further down, but first…

How The Gun Act Of 1968 Affects Buying Online

While you can buy a firearm online, you cannot have it delivered directly to your home.

The Gun Act of 1968 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson and it prohibited the the direct mailing of any firearms to individuals. It not only banned mail order sales of shotguns and rifles (antique guns were an exception), but it also prohibited convicted felons, drug users and the mentally incompetent from using guns.

antique pistol

Antique guns were an exception to the banning of interstate shipments of firearms and ammo by the Gun Act of 1968.

Today, an individuals still cannot have guns delivered directly to their homes, but they can purchase other guns online, but with certain regulations.

However, while you can buy guns online today, it’s not necessarily easier than buying one in person. As a matter of fact, considering the extra time you have to wait to get a gun, some would say that it’s actually more work to buy one online. But, we’ll get to some of the reasons why you might want to consider buying a gun online.


Finding The Right Platform To Purchase From

Knowing where to buy guns on the internet safely requires a bit of know-how. The first thing you want to do when picking a website to purchase a firearm is to pay attention to how they rank on Google when you search online.

Google’s search engine algorithm makes it so that the more highly reputable websites will rank on the first page of the search results. So, don’t attempt to buy guns from websites that are deep within the result, as they may be at the back end for a reason.

computer keyboard with shopping cart button in green

When looking to purchase a firearm online, be sure you are purchasing from a reputable website/online dealer.

Even if you’ve picked the top website from the search engine results page, you should still do some checking around before purchasing. Look for reviews online of the website you are considering and check for certifications on the platform as well. This will help ensure that you are transacting only with reputable websites and sellers.


Aside from the quality of the guns, you also need to be protective of your data online as well. This is another reason why it’s highly suggested to find the right platforms to purchase your guns through.

How To Buy Guns Online

Once you have found a reputable online dealer, you need to find a FFL (Federal Firearm Licensee) dealer, so that they can fulfill the background checks that are required and transfer the firearm to you in person via an FFL transfer.

hand gun and bullets

Even though you can purchase a gun online, you’ll need to have it shipped to an FFL (Federal Firearm Licensee) who can then transfer ownership to you after fulfilling background checks and any additional state regulations.

Keep in mind that your home state may have additional regulations and processes in addition to the Federal requirements.

The FFL basically serves as a middle-man between you and the website where you bought the gun from.

So, as you can see, while you can buy the gun online, the process of the purchase and transfer of the firearm are virtually the same as if you has gone to a brick-and-mortar gun dealer to purchase (but not necessarily “easier”.)

To purchase a gun, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and have the appropriate licensure/permits. Be sure to bring all required documentation and proof of identification when going to pick up the firearm.


Pros Of Buying Online

There are a few pros to buying your guns online. First, you can often get guns for a cheaper price because there are no overhead costs from the seller. This is one of the main reasons many people actually prefer buying their guns online instead of in brick-and-mortar stores.

You can also research what type of sight or scope will be compatible with the gun you choose.

While gun sales still occur in physical stores, there are typically much better opportunities for discounts online. From coupon codes to flash sales, there’s always an opportunity to get significant discounts.

20 percent discount sign

The chance for better selection as well as sales and discounts is one pro of buying guns online.

Another pro to buying online is that you have access to a wider selection online that what a physical location might have to offer. By broadening your online search, you might even find some truly rare firearms that you might not otherwise have access to view in person.

So, whether you’re a gun collector or just use firearms for recreational use such as deer hunting and target practice, you’re certain to find a gun of your choice online.

There are dedicated stores that cater specifically to collectors and have amazing historical guns for sale. On the other hand, some stores cater to specific gun users, such as those wanting them for hunting or for protection.

Cons Of Buying Online

Just as there are pros to buying guns online, there are cons as well.

The most obvious is that since you are getting your firearm online, you won’t get to see it or feel it until it’s already been delivered to the authorized dealer.

Some gun owners don’t like this because they want to see how a gun looks and feels in their hands before actually purchasing it. Of course, this problem can be overlooked if you are already familiar with the gun you would be getting.

To help ensure that you are making a purchase that you will be happy with, do thorough research on the specific gun you are eyeing before purchasing.

hand holding a pistol

One disadvantage of buying guns online is that you won’t know how a gun will look and feel in your hand if you are not yet familiar with that particular model.

Another problem regarding online purchases is that you’re going to have to wait longer before the item gets delivered than if you were to buy it locally.

Another con you need to consider is that if your gun has problems or defects, it could take a lot longer to have it fixed.

Some online retailers will actually encourage you to send your gun to them for repair. But, if they don’t, you would need to take to a gunsmith in your area.

Look for online retailers that offer a warranty on they guns they sell. The good news is that most retailers offer these. Again, keep in mind that if there are defects, you’ll have to ship the item to the retailer and then wait for them to redeliver the product again. The same goes for replacements.


Buying a gun online is not as easy as you think it might be. Even when buying online, there’s no such thing as a loophole when buying guns, as the Gun Act of 1968 affects even internet sales. So, do your research, and of course, be safe!

view through riflescope and reticle

A Good Hunter Requires A Good Weapon: Check Out These 2021 Rifle Recommendations

Many things make a good hunter, and having the right hunting rifle is up there on the list.

Using the perfect rifle makes a massive difference in your hunting experience. So, lets take a closer look at some of the best hunting rifles of 2021.

But before that, let’s quickly go through some of the factors we considered when coming up with this list.

Hunting Rifles Buying Guide

Below is a list of things you should consider before buying a hunting rife:

1. Type Of Gun Stock

There are generally two types of rifle stocks to choose from: Synthetic and wooden stocks. Each comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s all a matter of picking your poison.

The advantage of synthetic stocks over wooden ones is they are usually lighter, so the rifle won’t be as cumbersome. Synthetic stocks are also more resistant to harsh hunting conditions.

wooden and synthetic rifle stock

Rifle stock can be wooden or synthetic and each has its own pros and cons.

On the flip side, the synthetic stocks are nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing as a nicely finished walnut stock.

And, while wooden stocks are usually more beautiful, they tend to be heavier and more sensitive to scratches, cracks, and discolorations.

So, you should consider how much value you put on the aesthetics of a hunting rifle before deciding.

2. Barrel Length

Shorter barrels are a favorite of most hunters since they usually make the rifle lighter and more maneuverable. On the other hand, longer barrels may make a gun cumbersome, but they typically provide better velocity. 

Some people would also argue that longer barrels are more powerful. 

weatherby vanguard rifle
Barrel length (like on this Weatherby Vanguard) can affect maneuverability, velocity and rifle weight.

3. Action

Lever and bolt action rifles are recommended to beginners and intermediate hunters. These guns are typically easier and safer to use. 

Seasoned hunters can afford the luxury of using semi-automatic rifles, which require more skill to operate. 

rifle action types
Here are the various rifle action types (photo credit:

4. Weight

Weight is a crucial factor in rifle selection, since it directly affects your ability to operate the gun. Different people will have different preferences based on their level of fitness and other factors.

As we’ve already pointed out, the type of stock and length of the barrel you choose will also affect the overall weight of your gun.

If you want a lightweight rifle, look for something with a short barrel and synthetic stock. 

5. Scope Compatibility

Unless you are an experienced hunter with an acquired taste for the iron sight, a scope is an investment you cannot overlook. Scopes magnify the target to increase your precision.

There are many scopes to choose from. To ensure you are getting the right scope for your rifle, consider factors like reticle, magnification, size of lens, turrets, and the minutes of angle or MOA. 

You should know that scopes will add some weight to your rifle, and some of them may not work very well under certain weather conditions.

view through riflescope and reticle

There are many factors in choosing a scope for your rifle, such as reticle, MOA, lens size, etc.

2021 Rifle Recommendation

Below are our rifle recommendations for 2021:

1. Model 48 Mountain Carbon Rifle By Nosler

Model 48 Mountain Carbon Rifle By Nosler
The Nosler M48 Mountain rifle

The Nosler M48 Mountain rifle was first introduced in 2019. This rifle is made using lightweight materials for better handling while delivering exquisite performance, making it one of the best guns for hunting, and the 2021 version of the gun has seen an introduction of two new chamberings.

The rifle is built around the Nosler M48 action, integrated into a carbon-wrapped barrel for insane sub-MOA accuracy. 

The mountain hunter stock is finished in an elegant granite green, while the steel surfaces are covered in tungsten grey, giving your rifle long-term protection against harsh weather conditions.

The gun weighs only 6 pounds and is perfectly balanced for enhanced maneuverability. 

2. Weatherby Vanguard (Synthetic)

weatherby vanguard synthetic stock rifle
Weatherby Vanguard (synthetic) rifle

The Weatherby Vanguard is the affordable alternative to the famous Mark V from the same manufacturer. Don’t mistake its affordability for weak performance, though. The rifle guarantees considerable power coupled with sub-MOA accuracy for the ultimate target hunt down.

The rifle is built using lightweight polymer stock. The material does a great job of handling tough hunting surroundings and extreme weather to give you an excellent feel and performance for years to come.

The barrel is 24 inches long for non-magnum and 240 Wby Mag, which is just enough for most hunters. 

It weighs 6.75 pounds. 

3. Impulse Big Game Rifle By Savage

Impulse Big Game Rifle By Savage
Impulse Big Game Rifle By Savage Arms

This is without a doubt the most innovative hunting rifle we’ve come across in 2021.

It may look like a regular bolt action gun, but there is nothing regular about the speed of the follow-up shots it provides.

Savage has utilized the Hexlock straight-pull action to reduce the time it takes to make subsequent shots. This makes the Impulse Big Game one of the most instinctive hunting rifles on the market.

The rifle is built with a medium-contour fluted barrel to balance the weight. It’s available in different mags, including the .243Win, .300 Win Mag, .308 Win, and .300 WSM fed through a flush-fit detachable box mag. A sleek hazel green cerakote covers the metal surfaces.

At 8.8 pounds, the Impulse Big Game is heavier than the two rifles discussed above. However, its ingenious design achieves a remarkable balance that makes operating the gun feel effortless.

4. Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle

Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle
Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle

The Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle is an excellent option for anyone looking for a versatile semi-automatic gun. The action is based on the M1 Garand and the M14, but it is scaled down to make the gun easier to handle and use.

There are multiple calibers to choose from here, including the .300 blackout and the .223 Remington. It comes with an intuitive iron sight, but there is also the option of mounting a scope.

You’ll also love the fact that the ejector is designed to throw cases in a downward trajectory, to keep them from hitting the scope. 

The Ruger Mini-14 features a steel barrel and receiver with a blue finishing and a hardwood stock with a ventilated handguard on the fore-end. 

The rifle weighs just 7 pounds. Ruger scope rings are included.

5. Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint

Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint
Remington Model 700 SPS Varmint

Remington 700 SPS Varmint is a budget-friendly hunting rifle that performs well where it matters the most. Besides predator and varmint shooting, the gun is also great for long-range tactical shooting

This rifle comes with a non-reflective barrel and receiver for perfect concealment and a blind mag to increase reliability. The fore-end of the contoured barrel is ventilated for better heat dissipation. It’s also drilled for easy scope mounting. The Model 700 SPS Varmint weighs around 8.5 pounds. 


That’s pretty much it for the best hunting rifles for 2021. These guns tick all the boxes from accuracy and power to durability, and that’s why they are highly recommended to both beginners and seasoned hunters