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Optics setup for Rifle (AR-15)

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Bushman, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Bushman

    Bushman Auburn, WA Well-Known Member

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    So I've been playing around with different optics and sighting systems for AR's for a while now. Each one is a compromise, but here are my thoughts on paper:

    -Irons rule. Whether I was shooting a scope or a red dot, EoTech to Bushnell to expensive glass, they start to lose their luster in less than ideal conditions. When shooting in the rain, they quickly become tough to see through clearly, even though they are waterproof, they still have the weakness of having water spots on the lenses....Irons don't rely on batteries and are far less likely to fail in a bad situation.

    -Red dots are definately faster than irons at close range and give the shooter an advantage over someone without them, as long as the conditions don't hinder the use of the red dot (see above comment).

    -Scopes are far better dedicated to long range shooting than red dots. You can use a red dot for long range without magnification, or with, but the scope will always rule this arena.

    -Red dots are far better dedicated to CQB. If you want to reach out and touch something, use a scope. Don't try to use a scope for CQB application if you can avoid it.

    -Red dots with iron co-witness are a good combo. If you want flexibility of CQB with some long range ability, a red dot with magnifier will be a decent setup. Flip the magnifier to the side or take it off, and you are setup for CQB. Flip it back or put it back on, and you are given some extended range within the envelope of effective range for the AR-15platform. The reticle may not be as clear, but it will do.

    -Irons rule all. I remember a (formerly known as) Blackwater instructor in a video on youtube (can't find it now, but if you do, please post) saying he instructs the Spec Ops students that come through there to take all that stuff off their rifles and use irons, because halfway through the course, they will be anyways when their equipment fails. Apparently they run 'em hard there....

    In conclusion, for the SHTF Rifle, a red dot with a magnifier is the most practical tool set, complimented with a BUIS, just in case....
     
  2. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    I concur (for what it's worth). I run an Aimpoint PRO, with MI BUIS on one of my M4geries. Ultimately irons do rule, and I never had a problem smacking targets out to 360-400 meters with (M16A1) irons when I was Active Duty from '85-'93.

    It always comes down to what you are used too, and train with.
     
  3. Viper84

    Viper84 Bellingham, WA Member

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    Im new to ARs and right now im running a cheapo red dot and a rear BUIS on my M4. Have yet to get a riser for the red dot so I havent sigh!ted anything in yet. In fact, ive only run about 15 rounds through the rifle in the month and a half ive had it. I blame ammo availability lol. Oh well at least I have one collecting dust in my gun safe instead of freaking out and trolling gun broker every day.
     
  4. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    I ran a Aimpoint T1 with a Aimpoint 3x magnifier for a while. I used this setup with the GG&G multi-mount which would allow me to swap between my magnifier and my PVS14's. It's a good setup but it does have a few things I didn't like. 1.) No BDC, harder than it looks to make hits at 300-400yds with just a 3x magnifier and a red dot. 2.) weight / pieces to loose 3.) Switching between red dot and 3x with a flip/twist mount is easy, but really only good in certain situations IMHO.

    What works best for me currently is this.

    I switched to a Trijicon ACOG TA31F with a Aimpoint T1 in a offset Larue mount. Allows me to get more magnification and a BDC. I have to work with the BAC (Bindon Aiming Concept) more to see if I really need the T1 or if it's just a crutch for lack of training with the ACOG. Most likely I just need more time behind the ACOG. I also added a DBAL i2 VIS RED/IR so I no longer need to have my NV mounted to my weapon to shoot at night. I can keep my NV helmet mounted, so I can move and shoot at the same time at night. In a pinch, I can look through my ACOG, or T1 with my NV helmet mounted and shoot. The light is a Surefire 952v, very happy with it.

    Irons are great, keeps the gun light, but they have limits. High quality optics/gear are faster and when the lights go out, invaluable IMO 8.9lbs (if I remember correctly) as it sits.

    photo-28.jpg
     
  5. mattdomes

    mattdomes Newberg Active Member

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    Whatever you do make sure the you mount your optic on a LaRue Tactical QD mount!

    LaRue Tactical | The Dead Center of Precision

    I have a Nikon M223 on LT104 and a Vortex SPARC on LT quick disconnect and can move back an forth between them without any shift on the optics.
     
  6. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I like the EOtechs for their insanely quick acquisition of targets but when you need some more distance it seems the magnifier is a must. Due to the price I wonder if it's better to just step up and buy an ACOG.
    I've never used one. Are they as quick as a red dot for CQB or are they closer to a low power (like 4x) scope? What about someone who has a strong eye dominance (from what I've read about the bindon aiming concept it sounds like it requires good binocular vision even though I shoot with both eyes open).
    I agree about the backup irons. Murphys law and all.
     
  7. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Lots of reading on if an ACOG is as quick as a red dot. From what I have read, no it's not quite as fast. I do have one dominant eye, and haven't played with the BAC at range enough to see what the offset would be for me, or if I will be able to utilize it. For now I have the aimpoint for the close stuff.
     
  8. Bushman

    Bushman Auburn, WA Well-Known Member

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    ACOG is not quite as fast as a red dot at close range just due to the magnification factor. I don't own one but common sense dictates this due to the magnification, plus it's commonly reported that it's not as fast.

    But from what I'm told, it's the best all around optic.

    But no rifle should be without a BUIS, no matter the optic.
    If you struggle with irons, you need more practice with irons. Marines hit man sized targets at 500 meters to qualify...using an M16 and iron sights...
     
  9. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Slightly right of center Well-Known Member

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    I own an EOtech (along with several other holographic sights) and have tired a few folks' ACOGs. The ACOGs were slightly slower than the EOtech to me, but still noticeably faster than iron sights. With practice I'd imagine I could have gotten pretty close to what I can do with a holographic. The 4X magnification didn't bother me until I got down to about 3 yards. I'm pretty confident point shooting an AR at that distance, :rolleyes: so it seems to me it's the best compromise if you want a very dependable sight for 3 to what, 500 or 600 yards? No flipping, adjusting or changing out anything, and you can chuck one of those Trijicons in a rock pile and it will keep right on going and probably hold zero to boot.

    So why don't I have one? Don't need it. I do want one just because they are neat, but every time I start to think about getting one I come up with some other way to spend $1200. Maybe after that next riflescope or TV or new set of golf clubs. Yeah, might still be a while.

    Hey, my spell checker wanted to change "Trijicons" to "Trojans". How about that.
     
  10. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Aimpoint PRO and Aimpoint 3x with MBUS on Colt M4.

    Keith
     
  11. Bob D

    Bob D Oregon, Cascades Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why you'd need to put a magnifier on an AR-15 in SHTF. There's longer guns for that, and it will get in the way when you really need that medium-short range target acquisition.

    My service M4 with Aimpoint and front post was fine, but after a couple of abuse-related failures, I found a flip-up rear sight and QD for the optic so I could revert to "ach, shyte" mode in a hurry.

    Here at home, I replaced the Aimpoint with an EOTech XPS and the front post with another flip-up (and the M4 with a 16" AR-15, of course.) I prefer the EOTech, you can mount it further down the rail and it makes for ridiculously fast both-eyes-open target switching.

    The National Guard has me shooting a good old fashioned 20" M16, which seems to hit all the 25-300 yard targets fine with just the iron sights guessing distances.

    Iron sights are king. If they don't work, nothing does.
     
  12. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    I think the ACOG is the best compromise, for me that extra power of magnification is great. While you can make hits at 500yrds with irons, its not always about making hits. It's certainly harder to identify the target at distance with irons, especially if it's not a big piece of white paper with a target on it.

    I found my ACOG on the E&E wth Larue mount for $850. My buddy just picked up a brand new ACOG in a standard mount for $975.
     
  13. Bob D

    Bob D Oregon, Cascades Well-Known Member

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  14. notchman

    notchman Kitsap Peninsula, WA Member

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    Not to brag (ok, I guess I am) but I found my ACOG on Craigslist, a TA31RCO-M150CP, for $400 from a guy at Ft. Lewis who was transferring to Germany and couldn't take it with him. It came with all of the paperwork, the box, and all accessories. If I would have had an extra $1K at the time I would have bought his AR10 (he had a bunch of accessories for it and 8 mags) he was also getting rid of. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

    I have to agree with you about "identifying the target at distance" since my 48yo eyes aren't as sharp as they were when I was 20 and qualifying with the M14 in the Navy. Dang, those suckers were heavy. We didn't get the M4 on Tridents until after I left my last boat, USS Georgia, and went to shore duty. I always though that having a high powered rifle chambered in 7.62NATO was kind of stupid on a submarine.
     
  15. tfbit

    tfbit Eugene, OR Active Member

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    I run a Bushnell Elite 3200 Fixed 10x Mil Mil (in a LaRue 104) on my 16" 300 Blackout rifle with Dueck Defense offset BUIS for "Oh bubblegum!" close up shooting. Nothing like a rock solid, no math easy zero scope, for 50-300 yard work. I'll never buy a MOA adjustment scope again. My home defense 300 Blackout pistol build sports an EOTech XPS2 because the damn things are just so ungodly quick on target. The 1 MOA dot is also nice for distance work.
     
  16. Bushman

    Bushman Auburn, WA Well-Known Member

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    $400 ACOG? Probably stolen...
     
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  17. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    At work, my son carries wrenches in one hand and an M-16 in the other. He has distinct preferences for certain optics, and he's not too crazy about the "handle" and front sight assembly on the standard issue piece.

    But he also agrees with his dad that scopes and dots can fail and get bent when things get "busy." So for the AR we're both partial to the flat rail "optics-ready" or "tactical" configurations avialable on most brands including S&W M&P. Flip-up front and rear Magpul iron sights are a nice backup if you have to yank an optic off the rail for any reason.
     
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  18. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    CustomizedGlock17andBushmasterAR15MPR26.jpg

    Why not run an optic and offset irons - then you don't need to futz with co-witnessing, or removing downed optics to get your irons int he game if needed. Use the irons up close - switch to glass when you need to shoot further?
     
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  19. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    On the units I play with are 2 ACOGS and 1 EOTECH, all three are wearing flip ups. The EO seems quicker to me for close up acquisition by a smidge, that smidge may mean the difference. However the two boys that run these professionally for Uncle Sam like their ACOGS better for daily use, I guess it's all in what your used to.
     
  20. Heidland

    Heidland SW Washington Active Member

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    I'll agree with that. Doing a quick pull up to drop 3 into a target at 10 yards with an ACOG always takes me longer because my eyes have to find and focus with the magnification. With my EOtech green/red recticle the process is pretty much point and shoot. I also agree that ACOG is a damn fine optic option for anything over 25 yards.