Skip to comments.Vanity: Need help selecting a scope for an AR-15
Posted on 08/23/2012 10:23:44 AM PDT by BerserkPatriot
Looking for a scope for an AR-15 for overall duty [for a friend] medium range tasks to CQB
Ive more or less narrowed it down the choice to a Red Dot or Holographic Sight: Aimpoint, Trijicon ACOG or EOTech
What are the pros and cons of those three basic types? [A Trijicon ACOG may be above the price point, for example]
Which one of those three would you recommend?
Are there Copies of these products from other [US] manufacturers that are worth consideration?
Looking to narrow down the choices.
Also interested. I have had red dots that keep eating batteries when I forget to turn them off. I have a Catseye lighted reticle (same issue) which is ok for long range and relatively cheap, but short range suffers.
I want an AR/M4 that is all-purpose ... close-quarter and long-range. The EOTech looks to be a good combination of a CQB holographic sight and a scope that can be flipped down for longer-range shooting. To be perfectly honest, I learned about it from Call of Duty (Heh. What can ya do?)
I've also considered getting an ACOG sight. Haven't had the opportunity to try-out either, yet, though I've heard good things about both.
My best recommendation is the Trijicon ACOG ; bulletproof reliability, 4X magnification, excellent day/night utility, no batteries. As far as the copies go, you get what you pay for. The ACOG has great resale value, the replicas do not. They are expensive but so what? Aren’t we worth it?
I have an Aimpoint Comp ML2 that I am very pleased with.
Dot scopes are all the rage and they have their place - if you have 20-20 uncorrected vision. Many of us need some magnification and adding a second optic to the dot can get expensive not to mention making the rifle heavier.
We use the Primary Arms 3x compact scope on both of our ARs. Sub $200 and is a great scope out to 100 yards.
First, lets understand your definitions. To you, what is long range? 300 yrds might be a streach for some using a .223 but mid range for others (.308). Also be realistic with your own abilities and your shooting rig. A platform that gets 2 MOA from bench is not going to be 100% reliable at 600 yards, esp after you factor in human error.
I tend of favor holo sights. I shoot .308 so for long range (300+ yards), I want a BDC built in. In my hayday, I was good enough to be a designated marksman but I doubt I could make the really long range shots now. I question my ability to hit accurately beyond 500 yards.
Short range to me is 100 yrs or less. Basicly as long as the dot/retical covers a man sized torso target, I know it will be a hit. However, for short range with precision shooting, say 6” or less bullseye or head shot, I would want a 3 mill or smaller dot or a cross hair.
I also tend to think that you need enough power to reduce the distance to the sight picture of a 100 yard shot or better. A 600 yard shot would then require a 6x power scope. Others like a tighter picture and want a 50 yard sight picture. Your mileage may very. For hunting, I favor a 3x to 6x scope. Getting too much power can make for dark sight picture, and a very narrow range of view.
Just thinking out loud about my personal preferences.
I thought it looked familiar!
Im an Aimpoint M2/M3/M4 fan, but I can see why EOTech fans are happy, as well.
For the Aimpoint, it has the strengths of durability, simplicity, and battery life.
Its VERY tough, and I suspect it has the edge over the EOTechs, based on my experiences with both.
Simplicity. ONE KNOB, no buttons.
Battery Life. No contest.
The EOTech as a larger field of view, is holographic (which makes me dizzy at times), and the newer models have a much smaller footprint.
You cant go wrong with either, so try both before you buy.
I use a Trijicon TA01 on my Class III AR-15s:
the BORS on Leupold Mk 4 4.5-14x50mm on my Barrett 82A1 .50cal BMG:
a 15” Barska 10-36x Zoom w/ 100mm Lens Sniper Scope on Class III AR10:
an Eotech 556.A65/1x on my Beowulf .50cal:
Been a fan of the EOTech for about 6 years now. Zeroed at 25 yards, rounds drop back into point of aim at 300 or so. At all points of the battle zero trajectory, the hit is either at or above the dot.
The ring and dot is great for older eyes. LARGE field of view. If a range is known, targeting can be done placing desired impact midway between the dot and the top of the ring (or bottom if beyond the 300-ish range). Same thing goes for snap windage. For close in, ring, target, press.
The newest model uses a single CR123 mounted horizontal relative to the bore axis. This arrangement is durable, and alleviates the early model problem of the sight winking out under recoil (corrected almost immediately with the addition of rubber holders for the battery springs).
All in all, this is preferred over the other dot or chevron sights (your mileage may vary). Very much worth the 5 bills or so to top your ar.
I’m waiting for delivery of the Optimod-EoTech w 3X magnifier. (single reticle version, w shorter footprint)
It’s the version made special for Optics Planet.
This -3 version was to be available last week, so I’m waiting for confirming e-mail.
Magnification: ACOG TA31F 4x
EOTech: I own an EOTech 511, but I wouldn't buy it again if I could go back in time. If you do get an EOTech, make sure it's a model that uses CR123 batteries. Beware of the Chinese fakes out there and buy from a reputable optics dealer, like Optics Planet. Also, the EOTech magnifier is just goofy: With the magnifier and EOTech sight together, they weigh more and cost more than an ACOG and take up all the top rail space.
Inexpensive magnified: Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4x20mm
Less expensive red dot: C-More RTS, Zeiss Z-Point
Inexpensive red dot: C-More Railway
You could also mount a cheapie red dot on top of an ACOG, or on the rail using a 45 degree canted mount.
Save money by not wasting it on backup iron sights that you'll never use, need, or want.
Burris AR-332 is good for the price. under $300 on ebays.
I think the Nikon m223 1-4X20 AR kit offers the absolute best value for a magnified scope.
Wish list would be a US Optics paired with an aimpoint mini-dot. (in 6.5 Grendel of course)
Flagged this thread to the FR ‘banglist’.
oh...on “sale” for $900 if you don’t mind tan.
$1K in black.
I currently have an EoTech 512 (the AA battery type) mounted on mine, and like it. The reasoning behind going for the AA, was in a SHTF scenario, those batteries would be hopefully more available. I love the open sight pattern from it.
Having said all that, yeah, I wouldn’t mind a nice scope too (like the combo posted above). But this AR was destined for sport shooting, and CQB, if it ever came...
Solid copy on the 512 and AA batteries...
Hard not to like 7-11 resupply!
I had heard of ACOG sights, holographic, red-dot, etc., and I’ve played with a few at gun shows.
But, the hybrid was completely new to me. I had to look-up whether it really existed, or whether it was something they had invented for the game (though COD is usually pretty good about using real tech — at least before the next game, which is intentionally futuristic).
Agree on almost all of that, but BUIS on my red-dotted ARs is a must. I routinely practice stripping the optic off in a failure (ARMS QD mount) and flipping up the backup sights.
If you still have the eyes, practicing with backup iron sights is essential.
I have a Leatherwood CMR 1x to 4x on a Bushmaster m-4. I love the lighted reticle and when you put it on 1x the target acquisition is very fast. They run about $275 I think.
Can’t fault your choices! I use a Zeiss Diavari on my PGM long-range precision rifle...
If money is no object, go with the Elcan Specter, but you will, in all likliehood pay more for the unit than you did your rifle.
Mine has a Millet DMS? It can be used like a reflex in one power with or without the red circle and dot turned on so it is not useless like some when the battery is dead. It also can be turned up to 4 power for longer shots. Also the dot and circle is a calibrated moa size for range estimation and hold over.
“but BUIS on my red-dotted ARs is a must”
I completely agree with you there. What if your batteries fail, and you can’t replace them? What if a (ok, REALLY a stretch here), EMP occurred?
I think you should have iron sights before anything, and learn to shoot with them.
I love my Troy Battle Sights.
ESPECIALLY if you spend less coin on a cheaper sight. I’ve used them casually and the mount or the electronics are FAR more prone to failure. MILSPEC does mean something.
I suppose it depends on what "medium range" is, but the ACOG is certainly capable all the way out to the 5.56 round's effective range.
I like the Trijicon Reflex series of sights, particularly the one with the triangular reticle. The entire glowing reticle works like a red dot in CQB, but you can sight-in for longer ranges using the uppermost tip of the triangle to more precisely select an aiming point.
Very nice sighting system. But the vast majority of us who own an AR or four will never have reason to use more than rudimentary sights, or a simple reflex with backup iron sights. I hand a laser on mine, because I might end up using them at night, but such lasers are good for only closer ranges anyway, and shooting ‘off-hand’. A really useful reflex, made in Georgia, USA can be purchased for under sixty bucks and will be more than adequate if sighted in properly with back up sights integrated into the sighting picture.
You mean you don't have pop-up illumination flares in the cleaning kit well in your ARs buttstock for just such an occurrence? That's why I don't recommend 'CAR' stocks to people: No cleaning kit well for your pop-up flares, waterproof matches, emergency bandages, gold coins, and presumably, some weed.
Also, the Tritium in your ACOG would work even better now that all the lights across the landscape have gone out. No background clutter or light pollution at all.
... and Mr. SJSAMPLE, you're merely inventing a purpose for your backup irons. Use the edge of the your top rail as an emergency sight in case a zombie knocks off your optic with a lucky swing.
I can’t agree with your comment about CAR stocks either.
The cleaning kit isn’t the thing I worry about, but a readily available cleaning rod is a must, for punching stuck cases out of the barrel. I carry mine banded to my handguards, no problem. Otherwise, a carbine stock lets the user adjust to fit armor, clothing or space. And the SOPMOD version has two tubes capable of holding FAR more than the standard A1/A2 stock.
BUIS units are cheap, plentiful and come in a variety of sizes and knowing how to use them. I’ve even been in competitions where failure of the primary optic and reversion to the backup is required.
My 'AR' is not my go-to rifle anyway.
Some folks swear by having BUIS, but when the discussion comes up I tend to ask people where is their bayonet and bayonet lug if they really insist on having backups.
My rig also has a Glock 19 and an ESEE-4 knife.
I also carry a pack of Lifesavers candy in my medkit. Just in case.
I’m backed-up on multiple levels.
What? No MRE’s mentioned?? :)
LOL, actually laid out some money some time ago on a nice tactical vest. Cross draw included for my S&W M&P 9mm 4.25.
Lot’s of places to stuff munchies too!
This hybrid is what I have on my ACR on Call of Duty. My favorite. Steady and accurate long and short distances. I can’t afford a scope for my real AR-15.
It's machined from solid aluminum, and almost indestructible. It comes with the crosshairs etched on a solid piece of glass, and solidly anchored, like the lenses. The "prismatic" comes from the use of internal prisms to adjust the crosshairs, rather than moving the crosshairs themselves. The illumination is provided by the ring (included) that mounts behind the turret. The crosshairs are always visible, with or without illumination.
I've had one for a few years, and just decided I need two more.
It's a tough, specialized scope, but it can fill a lot of niches.
(((ping))) for later.
Pardon my butting into your gun talk but I just happened to wonder if the NRA or other gun owners groups have special credit cards with their logos?
My AR-15 is used for coyote hunting and I need the ability to shoot at 200 yds or more sometimes and a one power reflex just won’t cut it for a coyote at those ranges. I do keep it at one power for quick close in shots most of the time because if I have a long shot I usually have time to crank it up.
By the way the AR-15 has become the weapon of choice for coyote callers, because it is extremely accurate like a bolt gun, but also gives the opportunity for fast follow up shots when you have more than one coyote come to the call.
My intent was to have an all around Sport Utility Rifle of sorts for ranges out to around say 300 yards. Ive got budgetary considerations to contend with as everyone else and unfortunately those factor into what I can choose.
Thank you for your responses and your recommendations.
Take a look at the NcStar 3-9X40 Rubber Scope/Ruby Lens/Ring (SFR3940R) for a sub $50 scope. Comes with cross hair and a graduated reticle known as P4 sniper.
For CQB, set to 3x and just put the ring on target and float the cross hairs over the desired strike area.
For long range / precision shooting see how to use the reticle: http://www.ncstar.com/TechSup/P4_Sniper_Reticle.pdf
It requires some math to be good with it but it is based on the same principles as a mill-dot reticle. It does require you to know the drop of your round in inches and then you can estimate the stand off.
There are other factors you can get into such as vertical deflection angle for targets that are higher or lower than you, spin drift, cross wind, etc. But for most shots less than 300 yards they are not much of a consideration. In the 300 to 600 yard range, they can move the strike of the round from 0” to 6” depending on conditions. For ranges beyond 600 yards, you really need to know all the conditions that go into the shot and this is really the science / art of the sniper.
As always, practice practice practice. You can even take the scope off the gun and walk around town estimating distances. For the urban environment, get to know the inches of most objects (door with is 32 inches, front view of the human head left to right is about 9 inches, a concrete block is 8” x 16”, etc). For hunting, get to know the dimensions of your animal (standing backbone to belly is ??, frontal width is ??, etc). Practice calculating distances and knowing the ballistic drop of your round. Start by carrying a ballistic drop chart so you can be certain.
The pattern works like this for fast shot 300 yards or less (in calm wind conditions and flat shot, I have used this out to 600 yards):
What is my range? (object width / mill dots x 100) yards
What is my drop? (see chart, look up range, get the drop in inches - best if you can memorize this chart)
Us the drop as elevation hold off - how many mill dots UP do I need to raise the reticle.
If the wind is blowing hard and cross ways to your shot, move into the wind 2 inches
If the wind is blowing hard towards you, add 2” to the bullet drop.
This will get you VERY close to your target. Close enough that it is within the normal MOA of most people’s ability to hold steady.
Whoops - correcting a typo. Standard US door is 36” - not 32”.
Just call OP for order status.
Said EOTech has pushed out delivery for OPMOD EOT Hybrid w 3X G33 Magnifier, until 21 Sept......
oh well....more practice w the pop up sights.