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Old July 28, 2010, 10:08 AM   #1
Rjeezie
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Optics (Newbie) Question

Seeing how I'm new to this, I want to ask what makes a good Scope? Red Dot?

I've been looking into getting one, but honestly, the more research I do, the more I get confused. I guess I don't really even know the basics!!! Thanks
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Old July 28, 2010, 05:22 PM   #2
mickm
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Not an easy question to answer especially without some extra detail. I'm looking for one myself for my AR and really want a something with a bit of magnification. The reason for this is that I don't want to worry about using a spotting scope when I'm zeroing in on targets. I'm tempted to just go cheap as I expect that will serve my purpose but I don't want something that can't hold the zero. Red Dots don't usually have much magnification but are more compact. They are more about replacing the iron sights with a simple red dot for a clearer sight picture. Longer rifle scopes are less compact but tend have higher magnification and cross-hairs. I've seen lower range model of both types for around £50-70.

You also need to consider the conditions you'll be shooting in. Cheap red dots can fade in bright light. I figure the size of the objective lens is important in lower light conditions...?

The way I figure, go cheap until you really know what you want. No point in spending big bucks on something that doesn't meet your needs. That said, if you get a bargain you can always sell it on for minimal loss...
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Old July 28, 2010, 08:02 PM   #3
Rjeezie
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Well I don't need super magnification. The max would be 200 yards, but most shooting would be at 100 probably. What do you think about a setup that used a Red Dot and a side flip mounted magnification for longer distances?
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Old July 31, 2010, 01:47 PM   #4
mickm
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I ended up buying a Tasco cheapy 3-9 x ?? for $50. I had to get a riser and some see throughs so that I can still use the irons which cost me an extra $40 but I'll probably need them anyway which ever scope I get in the future. It does what I need right now and at least now I can see the splat on the target...
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Old July 31, 2010, 07:23 PM   #5
Cain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickm
You also need to consider the conditions you'll be shooting in. Cheap red dots can fade in bright light. I figure the size of the objective lens is important in lower light conditions...?
For brightness the size of the objective lens only matters with sights that magnify. Even then you can simply put something on the front of the sight(like tape, or a cap ) with a hole in it to limit the amount of light, it works.
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Old August 1, 2010, 11:00 PM   #6
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article | Fighting Carbine Optics
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Old August 2, 2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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The biggest consideration in an optics system is budget.

If you've got money, go ahead and look at the tried and true Eotechs/Aimpoints.

If you're on a budget, then you might want to consider some stuff from Primary Arms.


Is your goal to shoot tight groups or just get Center of Mass hits on man sized targets (at 100-200yards)? For longer distances, you have to consider the size of the dot itself.
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Old August 2, 2010, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Is your goal to shoot tight groups or just get Center of Mass hits on man sized targets (at 100-200yards)? For longer distances, you have to consider the size of the dot itself.
For longer shots (ie further than the point blank distance), the drop will put the point of impact well below the dot.
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Old August 2, 2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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You're correct - larger objective lenses are to allow more light into the scope, improving low-light performance. If that's not important to you, it's a good place to save some money since lens cost increases exponentially with diameter.

Have you ever watched a sporting event and seen the huge lenses that the professional photographers use? Those lenses can easily run $3-10k, and it's not because of the magnification (you can get a $10 pocket telescope with higher magnification.) The huge lenses allow more light to enter, so they can use a shorter shutter speed in order to "freeze" the action on the field.
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Old August 2, 2010, 05:50 PM   #10
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Good point Zak....didn't think of that at all!
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Old August 9, 2010, 11:55 PM   #11
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Pay attention to the size of the dot. I bought a cheaper red dot (Simmons 5 MOA dot) and loved it for closer range and running shots on whitetail deer, very fast target aquisition. But at longer ranges it covered too much of the target and hurt my accuracy. In a nutshell- on a shotgun its good, but I'll never put one on one of my rifles.
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Old August 11, 2010, 08:46 AM   #12
Rjeezie
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What would you consider a good/decent one for your rifle (the reason for /decent is because I can't afford a $500 red dot or scope)
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Old August 12, 2010, 02:53 AM   #13
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Depends on what you want to get out of it. My favorite scope for the ranges you mentioned (100-200 yds. max), and keep in mind I'm talking about killing deer, not driving tacks, was an old 1.5 to 4.5 variable Weaver which I need to get repaired (the subject of the thread I was planning on starting tonight) Right now I have temporarily replaced it with a 2.5 fixed Bushnell. With either one (barring any stupidity on my part) any deer under 225 yds. is as good as in the freezer.
I remember reading a great article on picking out a bargain scope in Shooting Times a while back. If I can find the issue I'll let you know which one it was so you can check it out.
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Old August 12, 2010, 08:13 AM   #14
Rjeezie
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BfloBill,

Were those Red dots? How much were those 2 scopes? Thanks
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Old August 12, 2010, 11:47 PM   #15
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The red dot I hunted with was a Simmons and had no magnification, to the best of my knowledge most red dots don't. But I haven't shopped for one in ten years.
I'm pretty sure the Bushnell was about $120 about 8 yrs ago. It's not a cadillac, but for the money the optics aregood and it definitely gets the job done.
The Weaver was given to me by my uncle in 1987 and he probably had it for 15 or more years before that (lots of whitetails dropped in front of that scope!) so I have no value on that. But the reason I am looking to get it fixed is that while shopping to replace it I was consistantly ending up in the $300 plus range and still not finding something that could stack up to it. I just can't see the sense in spending that much and feeling like I'm compromising, so I need to figure out if I can get the old one fixed.
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Old August 13, 2010, 01:38 AM   #16
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I must have been off on that price for the Bushnell, I just went to their website and found a few good variable scopes in the $100-$200 range. What were you going to use it for? You mentioned the distances, but the circumstances matter too. One of the reasons I like the lower power variable scopes is because I'm hunting. When I'm moving I keep it low for faster aquisition, but when I'm sitting still I can crank it up for more range. It also makes a difference if I'm in secondary growth or on the edge of a field. If I was always shooting in a field or punching paper on the range I would probably go for a higher magnification.
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Old August 13, 2010, 08:21 AM   #17
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I'll be doing both. A little hunting, but probably more plinking and target.
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Old August 14, 2010, 12:33 AM   #18
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If the type of hunting and terrain are going to require shots with fast target aquisition then I would prefer a 1.5-4.5 variable because that low power really makes a difference when you are close and on a moving target, but a
3-9 variable may be a little more vesatile. Either way I would decide on what power you want first then start shopping. I couldn't find the article on bargain scopes from shooting times I mentioned, but it was in their Eye on Optics section (they review different optics and optics related topics every issue) you should check out the site to see if you can find it. It had some good info.
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