IronSights: a search engine for guns, ammo, optics, and accessories

[ Steve says: Normally we don’t allow people to write about or promote their own business, but Bill is an old friend of TFB and a former writer. No money was exchanged. We do not accept payments for posts. Ever. ]

Back in the summer of 2012, my team and I were looking for an interesting coding project to take on, when we read that Google banned all gun-related items from their product search engine. Being gun enthusiasts as well as programmers, we knew we had found our next gig.

After over a year and a half of hard work, we’re incredibly excited to announce the fruits of our labors to the shooting public.

IronSights is a premium product search engine that’s dedicated to the shooting sports. Our cloud-based platform, IronGrid, is constantly combing the Internet to assemble and maintain a database of some half a million (and growing) gun-related products for sale, so that you don’t have to sift through sold classified, ended auctions, or out-of-stock retail items to find what you’re looking for.

What you see when you check out our search engine is just the start. We have 19 sites on the platform right now, and now that we’ve launched we’re going to start ramping up the number of sites that we index. We’re also looking to add new features, so that IronSights provides the best product search experience of any search engine out there, including Google’s.

If you’re an avid shooter and online gun shopper, then we need your help to make IronSights the product search tool that you’ve always dreamed of using. You can help us out in the following ways:

  • Register at our feedback forum and leave us any and all feedback that you have on the site — likes, dislikes, wants, and don’t wants. We want to hear it all.
  • Help us flesh out the list of sites that we’re planning to add to our index.
  • Register for a free IronSights membership, and once you’ve used the site for a bit then drop us an email and let us know how we’re doing.
  • Bear with us as we tie up loose ends and smooth out rough edges here and there. IronSights is very much a work in progress, we’ll be fixing, building, and reshaping constantly in response to your feedback.

Premium memberships, and Stripe anti-2A troubles

As you poke around the site, you’ll probably notice in a few places that we have a premium, paid membership tier that’s coming soon. All of the functionality for this is actually built already, but at the last minute before launch, Stripe, our credit card processor, decided that we’re dealing in weapons (we aren’t) and we’ve violated their terms of service (we haven’t), so they gave us the boot. As soon as we can get the site working with our new credit card processor, we’ll start offering the paid tier to users.

So, if you have a minute to check us out and give us feedback, head over to IronSights and then let us know what you think of what we’ve done so far. As I said, this is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to show you what else we’re working on.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Dave

    This is a fantastic idea, but I notice they are presenting items for sale from Cheaper than Dirt. Many in the firearms community feel this establishment is, at best, an opportunistic price gouger. As such, as good as this site might be, so long as they continue any support whatsoever for cheaper than dirt, I will use other resources. Hopefully others in the firearms community will do the same.

  • This really a great website. Easy to use and man you get a ton of results with just about any search! I like it!

  • rockstarartist

    whooooweeee, thats quite a bit of spacing ya got there boys:
    1. Kill the white space between the words in the listings, specifically between the terms “Armslist” “Item Name” and “Classified Box with price — actually tighten this box around the text real tight”
    2. Bring up to the top the “more”, “Log-in” and “Sign-up”, line them up with your motto
    3. That RESULTS word is bigger than a horse’s arse after constipation, diminish it!
    4. You tryin’ to fit the whole milky way galaxy between the word RESULTS and Featured Listings? Don’t give away your space like this, close dem legs up!
    5. Get this done, and I’ll take another look, don’t worry, we will get this cleaned up! While you are at it, be kind and throw me a bone.

    • They have some things to tweak. It’s new and getting things worked out the way you want them takes time.

      • rockstarartist

        No rush, they asked for feedback and I gave some constructive feedback.

  • Gary Olson

    1) My script tracker shows you are using Google Analytics. Sorry, I don’t appreciate having my Internet activities databased by Google.
    2) Standard logical operators? I tried

    .380 FMJ -Winchester
    and it returned only Winchester; the exact opposite of what I asked.

  • ozzallos .

    Big guv filters the website out as “Bad Reputation”
    I giggled.

  • Slovko

    This is a fantastic idea. One bit of feedback: It would be useful for you guys to create a search engine plugin for firefox and other search engines.

  • Tom

    i think this website follows the problem of jack of all trades but master at none. I like the idea of one site to find everything, but i feel like sites that focus on one area do the job a lot better than this site. (gunbot for ammo, gunwatcher for guns, etc..) I will continue to check on the site and see how it evolves but it won’t replace the others I use at the current time.

    • Mike

      my thoughts exactly… i do appreciate the effort though