PDA

View Full Version : Help picking optics for AR


Broony
August 30, 2012, 01:33 AM
So my first ever AR which will be a DPMS AP4 Carbine will arrive on friday this week.

http://www.dpmsinc.com/AP4-CARBINE_ep_102-1.html

I am very excited because for 1, their website says 6 to 8 months wait..i have waited two weeks and the boys and the gun shop found one all new and beautiful.

I have not done much research on optics as this is the first gun i will own that will need them. I really feel kinda clueless when i look at websites that sell them because i don't know some do's or dont's...from some videos ive seen youtube i dont want red dot...its a bad color i think...unless its dark out.

I want good professional optics so any info is thanks. Yes i will drop several hundred if they are worth it, and i dont want them any longer when mounted where the handle was.

What do you think works best with this gun?

All info is thanks.

Im going to add also why i dont want huge optics on this gun, is because my next gun that i probably wont get tell next year, will most likely be another AR with a 20" but im leaning more towards a 24" barrel, then i will get much longer and need optics. So help keep em small.

DasGuy
August 30, 2012, 04:54 AM
Be sure to try out red dots before completely writing them off. They work perfectly fine during the day. That's why they have multiple brightness settings.

Aimpoint PRO will be your best bang for the buck as far as unmagnified optics go.

http://www.aimpoint.com/us/products/all-products/product-singleview/product/PRO/

They can be had new for under $400.

The main players in the field of unmagnified, professional grade battery powered optics are Aimpoint and EoTech.

If you want something magnified, you will be spending a lot more.

NWPilgrim
August 30, 2012, 05:32 AM
I have a Aimpoint PRO on one of my ARs and it has a variable brightness dot that is easy to in sun as well as dim light. I really like it for out to about 100 yds. Very fast and surprising accurate, and much smaller than glass scope.

A good all-around optic would be something in the 1-3x to 1-6x variable but with a 28mm or smaller objective. A Weaver 1-3x can be had for $150, while a Leupold 1-6x will be closer to a grand. Leupold, Vortex, Nikon, Burris, Nightforce and many others make a scope within those ranges. A 32mm or bigger objective will be a significantly bigger scope than a 24mm or 28mm. I would probably look for a 1.5-4x24mm as the best value and fairly compact.

Besides the PRO I have a Nikon 3-9x32mm on a 20" rifle for sighting handload tests. Kind of big scope for and AR but it is mainly for real accuracy whereas my M4 with red dot is home defense and plinking clay pigeons to 100 yds.

solman
August 30, 2012, 05:56 AM
Before going to optics try out the iron sights on the rifle. It's a good idea to learn them if this is your first AR. Later you can add the optics after you get a feel for shooting the gun.

Skadoosh
August 30, 2012, 07:23 AM
May I suggest reading my posts regarding the AR-332 prismatic scope in a similar thread?

(post 27 & 29)

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5195669&postcount=27

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5196065&postcount=29

In my opinion, this scope is an extremely good value...especially at its $350 price point. Being active duty, I have used ACOGs and Aimpoints extensively. This scope gets my vote...and I was very surprised at how well thought out and useful the reticle has provento be. In fact, I actually prefer the Burris reticle over the ACOG's chevron: the circle is extremely quick for snap shots and the cross hairs/ BDC combo works very well for precision work. I mounted my scope using a LaRue RCO LT681 mount. I experienced no canting issues that earlier production models presented.

Broony
August 30, 2012, 10:45 AM
Before going to optics try out the iron sights on the rifle. It's a good idea to learn them if this is your first AR. Later you can add the optics after you get a feel for shooting the gun.

Yes this is the plan for starts. Their might be a chance i wont be able to get optics tell spring =/ we shall see. I might instead spend the money on mags.

Though i do plan on getting optics but yes, i agree, use the gun out of the box how it is first. :)

Broony
August 30, 2012, 11:02 AM
1-3x to 1-6x variable but with a 28mm or smaller objective. A Weaver 1-3x can be had for $150, while a Leupold 1-6x will be closer to a grand. Leupold, Vortex, Nikon, Burris, Nightforce and many others make a scope within those ranges. A 32mm or bigger objective will be a significantly bigger scope than a 24mm or 28mm. I would probably look for a 1.5-4x24mm as the best value and fairly compact.

Im sorry i don't really understand this....

1-6x?
1-3x?
32mm or bigger?

Marquezj16
August 30, 2012, 11:05 AM
What's your budget? What's your range and target?

For non-magnified, best value is the Aimpoint Pro, already comes with a mounting hardware. For lower priced value - check our Vortex Sparc or Strikefire.

For magnified - I'd look at Nikon's M-223 offering in their 1-4x package. For a lower priced option, check out the Weaver Classic 1-3x.

Just my opinion is that a lot of these scopes are bigger and heavier than they appear. Look at their specs if you are buying through the internet.

Broony
August 30, 2012, 11:19 AM
When it comes to firearms, i believe you should not have a budget, you should save and buy the best, because if the worst case scenario happens in society, you will want the best gear suited up.

Everyones thoughts have been helpful.

It sounds like if i wanted THE BEST i would go with a Trijicon ACOG....but if i get that i wont buy it tell spring. As much as $1200 is no joke....

With my rifle im thinking of targest at 300 yards, anything farther, well hopefull i have my long ranged rifle for that.

Father Time
August 30, 2012, 12:05 PM
Im sorry i don't really understand this....

1-6x?
1-3x?
32mm or bigger?

1-6x and 1-3x refers to the magnification of the optic. A 1-6x power scope will magnify from 1 to 6 times of magnification. (roughly there isn't a way to get a true 1x in a variable optic but for most its close enought).

Or say a 3-9x scope will magnify anywhere between 3 times to 9 times depending on where you set the magnification.

A 1.5-4x24mm means that it will magnify from 1.5 times to 4 times and the 28mm is a referance to the size of the objective lense.

MTSCMike
August 30, 2012, 12:23 PM
Aimpoint Comp-M4, 2MOA dot, usable to 200 yards on fairly small targets and easily 400 yards on larger ones...approx 8 year battery life with one AA continuously on! Eotech is nice too but much worse battery life. This is my primary 3-gun rifle:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/MTSCMike/Post/MME_3264_web.jpg

I also like a 1-4X scope (mine is a Millett DMS-1) for longer ranges. A bit larger but can be used heads up and both eyes open like a dot when on 1x, out to 600 yards on 4x:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/MTSCMike/Post/MME_3744.jpg

Skadoosh
August 30, 2012, 12:28 PM
When it comes to firearms, i believe you should not have a budget,

For some of us this just isn't a possibility. The time it takes to squirrel away enough dough for a very expensive optic just takes too long. When faced with that reality, many of us only afford the time it takes to carefully research and track down a high value/ low expense alternative...which sometimes do exist.

Sulaco2
August 30, 2012, 12:43 PM
Have an EoTech 512 for my MSAR and it works VERY well even in bright daylight, easy to use and set. Battery life has been good and lets face it AA's are easy to find and use. Did you know that if you buy a lantern battery and open it, its filled with AA's? So for 6 bucks you can get 10 - 15 AA's just found that out....:D

Broony
August 30, 2012, 02:38 PM
MTSCMike first photo is awesome. That is the exact style i plan on going for.

MTSCMike
August 30, 2012, 02:51 PM
It will probably run $550 to $600 depending on mount (std or aftermarket like LaRue). The newer version is the Comp-M4S. Check the classifieds on www.ar15.com for this and other items for your AR.

Woody55
August 30, 2012, 03:59 PM
I agree with a poster above who said you should use the iron sights first. And it sounds like your budget, if nothing else, will make that happen.

Unless you have a heavy barrel target shooting rifle, I wouldn't recommend any magnification at all. Your run of the mill AR-15 is designed to be a 300 m rifle. That means - even with iron sights - you ought to be able to hit a man sized target somewhere by aiming dead center if the target is within 300 m. You don't need a magnified sight to do that - you just need to get a good zero and practice.

When you have the money, I suggest you buy a red dot sight of reasonable quality within your budget. You won't shoot any more accurately, but it will take much less time to acquire the target, re-engage the target, engage multiple targets etc.

But to be fair, I don't know what you intend to use the rifle for. For sure a scope would be better for sniping at pop cans.

Edward429451
August 30, 2012, 04:05 PM
If budget is an immediate concern, Burris makes a pretty darn good scope for ~200 bucks. It has four sets of crosshairs calibrated to 223 so you can hold dead on by switchin crosshairs. The center is for out to 200, then 300, 400, 500 respectively. It works good, I'm happy with it. Nice and bright too. It would be a nice scope to have while you're saving for an acog.

I only use it when testing ammo at 100 yds. Then the iron sights go back on.

Oh, it's a Fullfield II 3X9X40 for 223.

RampantAndroid
August 30, 2012, 05:34 PM
Any thoughts on a Leupold 2.5-8x illuminated scope with the M1 turrets? It's around 1200 or so online, which is higher than I want, but being able to go up to 8x would be awesome.

The aimpoints - do they have any magnification?

CLC
August 31, 2012, 11:46 AM
When you have the money, I suggest you buy a red dot sight of reasonable quality within your budget. You won't shoot any more accurately, but it will take much less time to acquire the target, re-engage the target, engage multiple targets etc.

I have to respectfully disagree that it doesn't help accuracy. When switching from irons to red dot (EOTECH) I was able to cut my groups in half with the use of my rds.

Woody55
August 31, 2012, 12:05 PM
I have to respectfully disagree that it doesn't help accuracy. When switching from irons to red dot (EOTECH) I was able to cut my groups in half with the use of my rds.

I guess I have to do something that doesn't often happen on the internet - I agree with somone who disagreed with what I said. I can see where that accuracy could be improved because there is one less variable (sight alignment) to control.

It just so happened that when I switched from iron sights to a red dot sight, the measure of the change in accuracy was hitting pop up targets from 50 m to 300 m. There wasn't any change in how many I would knock down. I just got my shots off quicker. However, this probably wasn't a fine enough measure of improved accuracy - there was no group size feedback.

Thanks for pointing that out.

anothernewb
August 31, 2012, 12:24 PM
I can't comment much, as I haven't used it extensively yet, but when I picked up my AR, the LGS gave me a deal on the nikon p223 scope. IMO - I think it's got a great "look" for the 16" ar. In addition it's got nikons new BDC reticles as well as a nice fine crosshair.

So far, I haven't shot the AR with it, but it has a pretty impressive low light gathering as I've peeked outside with it a few times before and after work.

It's probably not the greatest target scope out past 200 yards as it's only a 3-9 power, but then again, my shooting skills aren't up over that distance yet anyway - and all I really shoot at those ranges is water bottles and other reactive targets more than paper.

CLC
August 31, 2012, 12:32 PM
Woody
Yeah. This is just me going from the 25 meter zero targets my buddy gave me.

jimbob86
August 31, 2012, 12:33 PM
It's a carbine in .223 .... why would you need an optic? Particularly one costing as much as the gun or more?

allaroundhunter
August 31, 2012, 12:47 PM
It's a carbine in .223 .... why would you need an optic? Particularly one costing as much as the gun or more?

I will put in my $0.02 here. Shooting hogs with an AR means changing targets very quickly, and that is done much easier with an optic as opposed to iron sights. The optic also makes the shots more accurate. I like using the higher end red-dots because I have not had good experience with the "cheaper" ones. Buy once, cry a little, then after you shoot it you will know that it was worth every penny.

That idea of changing targets is applicable to any type of hunting when you are shooting multiple targets, and especially to competition. You don't see many people shooting 3-Gun without an optic; and you never see an iron-sighted rifle in the hands of the high scorers (at least I never have, and many actually run two optics on the same gun).

Broony
September 6, 2012, 05:33 PM
Got the AR today.

It is so beautiful....my god...amazing.

Its the little details.

I love how if i hold it up by one finger at the front of the carry handle, wether the stock is fully collapsed or fully extended the gun will stay level because the weight is overall perfectly balanced.

I am overall much more impressed than i thought id be.

pturner67
September 6, 2012, 07:45 PM
Your journey has just begun :D

Marquezj16
September 6, 2012, 09:33 PM
When it comes to firearms, i believe you should not have a budget, you should save and buy the best, because if the worst case scenario happens in society, you will want the best gear suited up.

This makes no sense. Of course you should have a budget. Are you going to pay for a $5000 optic on your $1000 gun? Or better yet why buy a $1K gun when you can spend $2K on the gun and $10K on the scope?

You should buy the best that you can afford. And best does not mean the most expensive.

Good luck with your rifle.

Stevie-Ray
September 6, 2012, 10:12 PM
The main players in the field of unmagnified, professional grade battery powered optics are Aimpoint and EoTech.I have to agree. I went with EOTech myself, but that Aimpoint Pro is calling my name for another gun. Both about the same price and work differently, but both quality pieces. My EOTech is also a 512 because I figured if battery life is suspect, I want them to be cheap. Doesn't seem a problem on mine.

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/GitchiManitou/100_0334.jpg?t=1242749939