AR15 Optics

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AR15 Optics

Post by Janik » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:39 pm

What ya'll running on your AR15's? I'm in the market for a new sight, and not sure what I want. I'm leaning towards a Trijicon MRO, but not sure I want to spend that much money. I'm running a Primary Arms red dot on one of my AR's and it's been flawless. But, I also like the durability and quality of the Trijicon. I'm curious what everyone is using and how well it's holding up. Maybe there's something out there I haven't even considered. I've also looked at the Sight Marks that appear to be an EoTech knockoff. Thoughts? Opinions? Thanks.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by Hubbabubba » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:59 pm

I didn't have the cash for a Trijicon, so I bought the Burris AR-332. I have been pleasantly surprised. It is a 3X and does just fine for shorter ranges. It also has a reticle with hold over dots for up to 600 yards, according to Burris. I don't know if I buy that since it is real hard to see a 600 yard target with a 3X. I have shot it at 200 yards and it performed well. Best thing of all...I bought it while they were running a combo special. I got a Fastfire to put on my SFx for free with the purchase of the 332.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by SSGNDoc » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:47 pm

Been using an EOTech 512 (Yep, big, old school, heavy) for years with no problems.

Also run a Bushnell TRS 25 for a few years. Much like the Primary Arms.

If you like the PA. You could save up and buy an Aimpoint for the similarities with a rep for being durable and having a fantastic battery life.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by TL1000RSquid » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:32 am

Which one? I have old eotech, aimpoint, PA red dot w/ PA 5x magnafier, strikefire 2, pa 3x red dot, and a few misc cheapos that were under $100.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by John_ » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:50 am

I purchased a Trijicon MRO over the labor Day weekend, took advantage of a sale on ebay and picked it up for $305 delivered without a mount. I had just put together a light 5.56 upper using a Faxon 16" pencil barrel and a few other lighter weight components. The complete upper came in at 2 lbs 15 oz ready to fire. The MRO is worth the money, light, battery lasts 5 years continuous on setting 3 (what Trijicon says), and the glass is awesome. My test of quality glass is whether I can use the sight in night light, and the MRO doesn't fail. In the past I have owned 2 Trijicon ACOGS and their 2.5-10x56mm Accupower scope....none of the Trijicon products have disappointed me, ever.

On my other ARs I run a Primary Arms 30mm red dot (which for the price is a big winner, its a knock off of an Aimpoint), a Leupold Mark Ar Mod 3x9 rifle scope, a Holosun red dot, and a Simmons 4x scope. Primary Arms is next door in TX, I have ordered plenty from them and they are GTG, offers a lifetime warranty on many of their house brand optics/red dot sights. PA sets the bar for how vendors/stores should conduct business.

This is the PA 30mm red dot I have: https://www.primaryarms.com/pa30mmrd-ad

Here are a couple pics. The MRO is wearing a TangoDown rubber cover/lens caps. The mount is the Trijicon lower 1/3 co witness.

Image

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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by ncjw » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:18 am

An older Vortex 1-4 24mm with a four segment circle and dot and add on throw lever. I really like the reticle as it is easier to pick up over just a red dot but not too busy either. I figure that I won't be engaging 300 yard targets at night, so the non-illuminated stadia are fine for the day and illuminated for quicker acquisition.

I tend to work backwards from the reticle choice to the scope.

They discontinued it though.
Last edited by ncjw on Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by Lgaam » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:10 am

I've got a Sightmark red dot. I bought it 4 years ago as a place holder for a real optic. For $60 and a couple sets of batteries, it's held up and held zero. So what if the lens cap pins walk out during every range session? Is it a bad thing that I used a piece of innertube to get a solid mount on the pic rail?
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by Crosspower » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:56 am

Hubbabubba wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:59 pm
I didn't have the cash for a Trijicon, so I bought the Burris AR-332. I have been pleasantly surprised. It is a 3X and does just fine for shorter ranges. It also has a reticle with hold over dots for up to 600 yards, according to Burris. I don't know if I buy that since it is real hard to see a 600 yard target with a 3X. I have shot it at 200 yards and it performed well. Best thing of all...I bought it while they were running a combo special. I got a Fastfire to put on my SFx for free with the purchase of the 332.
I did a lot of research and concluded the Burris 332 was the best in it's price range. I like it a lot. There are not many long range shots in my area. Just too heavily wooded and hilly. I mounted a old 4x12x50 on my other AR. It was a lot of fun on range but not practical for me since I don't hunt. I like 2nd AR with iron sights. Rapid target acquisition and still capable of extended ranges.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by John_ » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:50 am

Wow, pretty good deal, a Burris 332 and a fast fire III together for $309.50 shipped. Evidently Burris is pushing a bundle deal because I found this package at three places on line.

https://www.savinglots.com/lotprod.asp? ... JYQAvD_BwE

Same deal $332 at amazon (but amazon collects sales taxes now too) : https://www.amazon.com/Burris-300177-Ba ... burris+332
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by higgybaby » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:47 pm

I have a Lucid H7 red dot on mine (~$200). At 25 yrds (don't laugh now) I can do fair, but at 100 yds I can't hit crap. And I can't see it either.
I probably need a 4x on mine.
Last edited by higgybaby on Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by Tejas Products » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:00 pm

Cheap $60.00 Chinook from Amazon... Only about 60 rounds with it attached, but has held true out to 75 yards... This is on top of a 7.63x39 upper, so a little more oomph than a regular .223
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IMG_2931.jpeg (386.92 KiB) Viewed 143 times
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IMG_2930.jpeg (281.17 KiB) Viewed 143 times
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:01 pm

Bushnell TRS 25. Price was right, big bright and easy to see and I can ring the 8" ballistic plate at 100 yds more times than not (while sitting at a bench b-) )
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by NWcityguy2 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:48 am

My main AR has a Meopta ZD 1-4x22mm RD. It is a truly premium optic with glass equal to $1500 1-6x optics, but can be had for $650-750 on the used market because there is no demand for a premium 1-4x optic right now. Construction is top notch, and so is the eyebox. The only downside is that the reticle is very minimalistic, and can be lost if the illumination isn't used. Battery life is poor also, and it can die in a week if left of maximum brightness.

I also have an AR with a Aimpoint PRO. It's a good red dot, but I wouldn't buy another because of the price. It is my duty AR, and I was told at the time that it needed to be an Aimpoint or Eotech to be in policy. Now that I own it, I'm not getting rid of it though.

Here are my thoughts, based on my shooting experience and also watching many shooters of all experience levels...

Variable optic vs Red Dot: A red dot is a really good option, out to 200-300 yards, if everything you shoot at is torso sized, stands out against the background and has an obvious center to aim at. But, once you start shooting at things that blend in, are small, or irregularly shaped, the red dot gets outclassed by a variable optic inside of 50 yards.

Variable Optic vs Fixed Power Prismatic: Prismatics aren't very good and close range, and aren't very good at long range. Their durability compared to a variable optic isn't up for debate, but I don't see the logic in picking a prismatic alone on it's ability to be dropped several feet, or banged up against a hard object.

How much zoom you need: I personally think the point where 4x becomes a disadvantage compared to 6x or 8x is at about 250 yards.

Is 1x really 1x?: On most scopes that cost below $500, 1x is probably closer to 1.1 to 1.25x. In this price range, don't discount an optic that is honest by being marked 1.25x to 1.5x at the low end.

Things I don't care for...
1. Optics mounted on top of other optics. The only place people use these if for close range shooting, and that is exactly where having an optic with excessive mechanical offset is at its worst. Better to go 45 degree offset, but mounted close to the barrel.
2. Low power optics that are first focal plane. The reticles on these tend to be very small at 1x, and there is no advantage to having a reticle you can accurately measure drop with at a magnification you can't accurately shoot distance with.
3. Target turrets that can't be firmly locked into place and adjusted to zero. These are just waiting to get bumped out of zero.
4. Illumination on budget low powered optics. If it isn't daylight bright, it's only of marginal worth.

Things I do like...
1. BDC reticles. They are simple and quick, with no Mil/MOA decimals to remember. Just line up the target with the hash mark and pull the trigger.
2. Buying used. Let someone else pay the premium for the new car smell.
3. Prioritize glass quality over magnification and other features.

Scopes I'd recommend...
1. Low Budget: Nikon Monarch 3/M-223 1-4x24mm
2. Mid-Budget: Vortex/Primary Arms 1-6/1-8x24mm
3. Large Budget: Stiener PX4i or Vortex Viper PST 1-6x24mm Gen II
4. Huge Budget: Vortex Razor 1-6x24mm Gen II (They don't get better than this, only lighter weight)

Hope it helps.

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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by ncjw » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:57 am

NWcityguy2 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:48 am
Variable optic vs Red Dot: A red dot is a really good option, out to 200-300 yards, if everything you shoot at is torso sized, stands out against the background and has an obvious center to aim at. But, once you start shooting at things that blend in, are small, or irregularly shaped, the red dot gets outclassed by a variable optic inside of 50 yards.
So this is an interesting point. Obviously, it depends on what you are using the rifle and scope for. For hunting, the usual maximum distance for an ethical kill (YMMV depending on skill) is 300 yards or so. Just about any decent $150 3-9x or 4-14x scope can do that all day long on a day hunt, the best ones can extend your hunt by maybe an hour at dawn and dusk and after that you are limited to more specialized night hunting gear.

For defense, the red dot is more than enough for inside a home or out to 200 yds on torso sized targets. But you better have a dang good reason for shooting at someone at even 100 yards, those situations are very rare and will be challenged legally.

I am just trying to understand why the 1-4/6/8x market is so popular (and why I have a perfectly good EOTech sitting in a box and a 1-4x on my AR...).
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by John_ » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:11 am

Clearly you first need to define your objective, your intent for your weapon. But for the life of me, I cannot see purchasing or assembling a defensive or tactical rifle, then putting a $50 optic on it. If your sole intent is for target practice or banging plates on a nice sunny day, so be it.

I'm going to add also, I intend no disrespect. Open discussion is good.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by NWcityguy2 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm

ncjw wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:57 am
I am just trying to understand why the 1-4/6/8x market is so popular (and why I have a perfectly good EOTech sitting in a box and a 1-4x on my AR...).
For 1-25 yards, a red dot will be equal or better (and cheaper), but quickly loses it's advantage at distance. At 300 yards and over, a 4-14x will be better, but no where near as good at 10 yards. In the practical rifleman distances, say 1 to 300 yards, nothing helps a good shooter put bullets on target faster than a low powered optic.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by Janik » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:27 pm

NWcityguy2 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:48 am
My main AR has a Meopta ZD 1-4x22mm RD. It is a truly premium optic with glass equal to $1500 1-6x optics, but can be had for $650-750 on the used market because there is no demand for a premium 1-4x optic right now. Construction is top notch, and so is the eyebox. The only downside is that the reticle is very minimalistic, and can be lost if the illumination isn't used. Battery life is poor also, and it can die in a week if left of maximum brightness.

I also have an AR with a Aimpoint PRO. It's a good red dot, but I wouldn't buy another because of the price. It is my duty AR, and I was told at the time that it needed to be an Aimpoint or Eotech to be in policy. Now that I own it, I'm not getting rid of it though.

Here are my thoughts, based on my shooting experience and also watching many shooters of all experience levels...

Variable optic vs Red Dot: A red dot is a really good option, out to 200-300 yards, if everything you shoot at is torso sized, stands out against the background and has an obvious center to aim at. But, once you start shooting at things that blend in, are small, or irregularly shaped, the red dot gets outclassed by a variable optic inside of 50 yards.

Variable Optic vs Fixed Power Prismatic: Prismatics aren't very good and close range, and aren't very good at long range. Their durability compared to a variable optic isn't up for debate, but I don't see the logic in picking a prismatic alone on it's ability to be dropped several feet, or banged up against a hard object.

How much zoom you need: I personally think the point where 4x becomes a disadvantage compared to 6x or 8x is at about 250 yards.

Is 1x really 1x?: On most scopes that cost below $500, 1x is probably closer to 1.1 to 1.25x. In this price range, don't discount an optic that is honest by being marked 1.25x to 1.5x at the low end.

Things I don't care for...
1. Optics mounted on top of other optics. The only place people use these if for close range shooting, and that is exactly where having an optic with excessive mechanical offset is at its worst. Better to go 45 degree offset, but mounted close to the barrel.
2. Low power optics that are first focal plane. The reticles on these tend to be very small at 1x, and there is no advantage to having a reticle you can accurately measure drop with at a magnification you can't accurately shoot distance with.
3. Target turrets that can't be firmly locked into place and adjusted to zero. These are just waiting to get bumped out of zero.
4. Illumination on budget low powered optics. If it isn't daylight bright, it's only of marginal worth.

Things I do like...
1. BDC reticles. They are simple and quick, with no Mil/MOA decimals to remember. Just line up the target with the hash mark and pull the trigger.
2. Buying used. Let someone else pay the premium for the new car smell.
3. Prioritize glass quality over magnification and other features.

Scopes I'd recommend...
1. Low Budget: Nikon Monarch 3/M-223 1-4x24mm
2. Mid-Budget: Vortex/Primary Arms 1-6/1-8x24mm
3. Large Budget: Stiener PX4i or Vortex Viper PST 1-6x24mm Gen II
4. Huge Budget: Vortex Razor 1-6x24mm Gen II (They don't get better than this, only lighter weight)

Hope it helps.

Image
My time in the Army was before optics were being used. And I'm not sure how many Combat Engineers use optics these days either, or if it's standard for everyone. Anyway, my experience with optics on AR's is pretty limited. I have the Primary Arms red dot for home defense. It's a decent optic, and so far has held up well. From what I'm understanding in your post, a 1-4x might be the best option for an all purpose optic. I understand up close might not be the best option, but for a general purpose optic, it might be the way to go. A few weeks ago I shot an AR with the Trijicon MRO on it, and really liked it. But I also wasn't shooting it at great distances. I think 50 yards was the farthest distance. I think it was the Nikon BDC I looked at awhile ago, that had ranges out to 600 yards. I'm not sure how well it would really work though at that distance. I may jump on YT and see if I can find some reviews on it that cover distances.

Edit: I just checked, it was the Nikon M223 1-4x scope that I was interested in. I think something in that range will be my next purchase.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by TL1000RSquid » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:36 pm

NWcityguy2 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm
ncjw wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:57 am
I am just trying to understand why the 1-4/6/8x market is so popular (and why I have a perfectly good EOTech sitting in a box and a 1-4x on my AR...).
For 1-25 yards, a red dot will be equal or better (and cheaper), but quickly loses it's advantage at distance. At 300 yards and over, a 4-14x will be better, but no where near as good at 10 yards. In the practical rifleman distances, say 1 to 300 yards, nothing helps a good shooter put bullets on target faster than a low powered optic.
I agree, kinda why i like red dot + separate magnifier setup, magnifier on a flip mount so it can be quickly and easily put in and out of action.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by ncjw » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:28 pm

NWcityguy2 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 pm
ncjw wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:57 am
I am just trying to understand why the 1-4/6/8x market is so popular (and why I have a perfectly good EOTech sitting in a box and a 1-4x on my AR...).
For 1-25 yards, a red dot will be equal or better (and cheaper), but quickly loses it's advantage at distance. At 300 yards and over, a 4-14x will be better, but no where near as good at 10 yards. In the practical rifleman distances, say 1 to 300 yards, nothing helps a good shooter put bullets on target faster than a low powered optic.
That is kind of my point. I agree that the 1-4/6/8x is a really good rifleman/combat/SHTF solution from CQB to 300 yards. The military standard has been the ACOG 4x or Elcan 1/4x switchable.

But again, for a deer at 200 yards, a reasonable 4-14x is better than a 1-4x, and in a home defense at 0-25 yards a red dot is better than a 1-4x. And if you shoot someone much longer than that, you got some 'splainin' to do.
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Re: AR15 Optics

Post by NWcityguy2 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:56 pm

Janik wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:27 pm
My time in the Army was before optics were being used. And I'm not sure how many Combat Engineers use optics these days either, or if it's standard for everyone. Anyway, my experience with optics on AR's is pretty limited. I have the Primary Arms red dot for home defense. It's a decent optic, and so far has held up well. From what I'm understanding in your post, a 1-4x might be the best option for an all purpose optic. I understand up close might not be the best option, but for a general purpose optic, it might be the way to go. A few weeks ago I shot an AR with the Trijicon MRO on it, and really liked it. But I also wasn't shooting it at great distances. I think 50 yards was the farthest distance. I think it was the Nikon BDC I looked at awhile ago, that had ranges out to 600 yards. I'm not sure how well it would really work though at that distance. I may jump on YT and see if I can find some reviews on it that cover distances.

Edit: I just checked, it was the Nikon M223 1-4x scope that I was interested in. I think something in that range will be my next purchase.
That's a good scope for the price, especially in the used price range of $200. Nikon is also a good company, with good customer service if you ever need it. I like the Nikon BDC600 reticle, because all of the sub-tensions are circles with a hollow center, allowing you to see your target. It is also very well supported by Nikon too. http://spoton.nikonsportoptics.com/spot ... on.html#:4

Another budget reticle to look at in the same price range is the Burris RT6. It is a newer 1-6 optic in the same price range, but being newer doesn't have much of a used market. I haven't ever held one or looked through it, but it gets very good reviews.
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