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Old September 14, 2013, 07:23 PM   #1
Nathan
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Optics for my AR. . .Real Choices

First of all, I have 2 home build AR's.

I have one light weight short range CQB type AR and a second heavier battle rifle which I have built both.

The short range gun has a lightweight red dot and will likely be fitted with an EO Tech sight as soon as possible.

The BR type gun is a bit heavier. It is a 17" A2 profile rifle gas barrel. It currently wears a 1-4x 30mm tube Millet DMS1 scope. Under 300 yards, this is a fine optic, except for weight and magnification.

So, I'm looking to upgrade my Millet DMS-1. . . .My ideal replacement would be 1 - 2x on the low end, 8 - 10x on the high end, no target knobs to save weight, BDC reticle to assist reaching out beyond 300 yards, 30 - 36mm obj for light weight and low mount height, no fuss eye relief(easy/quick to get full view), matte finish and generally a good quality optic under $300.

So, I like these choices:

Burris Fullfield II 2-7X35 Riflescope Ballistic Plex Reticle Matte

Weaver 2-10X38 Classic V-10 Riflescope Ballistic-X Reticle Matte

Burris Fullfield E1™ 2-7x35 Riflescope Ballistic Plex E1 Reticle Matte

Burris Fullfield E1™ 3-9x40 Riflescope Ballistic Plex E1 Reticle Matte

Nikon Monarch 2-8x32 Riflescope BDC Reticle Matte

Looking at these, I'm thinking the Nikon Monarch is possibly a great peice of lightweight glass, but I don't know the scope. Do you know any of these? Would you put them on your 25 - 400 yd AR rifle. I really won't do much work closer than 25 yds or farther than 300 yards. Mostly, I would like to lose weight, gain quality and magnification for little change in price.

Your thoughts?
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Old September 14, 2013, 10:35 PM   #2
MarkCO
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Burris MTACs. The 1-4 will do everything you need it to for a contact to 500 yard AR. But they offer them with 5 different magnification ranges: http://www.burrisoptics.com/mtac.html

Great glass, illumination that works, great warranty.
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Old September 15, 2013, 07:18 AM   #3
Nathan
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The MTAC looks pretty good but the 1.5-6 would be the best fit for me and it is a couple ounces heavier, the reticle is kind of busy, and it is really about $100 more than I think I want to spend. Still, not a bad choice....
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Old September 15, 2013, 08:11 PM   #4
batmann
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One other choice is the Burris AR 332. 3x, BDC, great optic and takes up less rail space than most.
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Old September 15, 2013, 08:42 PM   #5
MarkCO
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The reticles on the MTAC 1-4 and 1.5-6 may seem cluttered, but once you use them and understand what they give you, you will have a hard time going back to a crosshair. I've learned that going cheap on glass is not the best use of funds. Sure, you can always spend more, but the Burris line is pretty darn good when the rubber meets the road.

I have some Fullfield 2-7 and 3-9s on hunting rifles that are slowly getting replaced with MTACs which is what is on all of my ARs.

I do have a few Vortex scopes in roles where I think they are a bit better than the Burris, but not many.
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Old September 15, 2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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I actually kinda wish I went with an MTAC (1.5-6). Went with a Weaver 2-10 instead, which was a bit more. While it seems to be a solid scope, it's heavier than I thought. Also gave up a slightly larger objective in exchange for more power. Only time will tell which of those factors ends up being more important.

But yeah, I wouldn't take the MTAC off your list.
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Old September 16, 2013, 03:59 AM   #7
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Been wanting to fit one of these on my Colt for a while now...

Viper PST 1-4x24

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; September 21, 2013 at 04:04 PM.
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Old September 16, 2013, 07:26 AM   #8
loose_holster_dan
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i've got the monarch x on my ar10. fantastic optic. i know the monarch and monarch x aren't really the same league, but if nikon's attention to detail filters down to their lower end models, the monarch would be a great choice.
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Old September 17, 2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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Just to be clear, I really want 7-8x min on the high end. 4x just isn't something I like to shoot 300 yards with. I also don't want to go above 2x on the low end.

Also, any thoughts on the Nikon M223 line? They might be too cheap, I guess.
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Old September 18, 2013, 07:33 AM   #10
loose_holster_dan
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if you're reaching out over 250yds, you don't want to be cheap with your glass.
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Old September 18, 2013, 09:02 AM   #11
Nathan
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Not trying to be cheap, but I think there is some pretty good 0-500 yard glass available for under $300.

Keeping the magnification down and not needing target turrets, illumination or 5x zoom should make this a pretty good piece of glass.
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Old September 18, 2013, 10:34 AM   #12
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2 that you haven't mentioned are the Vortex Diamondback 2-7 and the Bushnell Elite 2-7. I have no experience with either.
AFAIK, the Elite is made in Japan, by LOW. I have been impressed by a couple other scopes that came out of there recently, so I would expect the Elite to be a pretty nice scope.
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Old September 18, 2013, 12:40 PM   #13
loose_holster_dan
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i like 10x for anything further out than 200yds
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Old September 20, 2013, 10:24 PM   #14
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You only need a 1-4x to get you to 300yards. Personally I like the SWFA 1-6x HD but that is a little above your price range. The Vortex Viper PST 1-4x is a good value buy, although the battery life is a bit short.

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Old September 21, 2013, 03:55 PM   #15
Nathan
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I really need more like 8x on the high end. Sure, I can make hits at 300 yards on 4x, but I want more than to make hits. I would like to shoot under 5" at 300 yards, which I think I need 6x minimum to achieve. Realistically 8x.

Now, thinking about bonus time, I could possibly go $500 on this optical upgrade...

Even at $500, what options are available...I'm not seeing better.
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Old September 21, 2013, 04:04 PM   #16
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Unless you're in a rush, hold off a couple months. After hunting seasons start to close a lot of the big box stores - Cabella's and the like - tend to offer pretty good deals on optics.
As for right now, Leupold has some nice options built specifically for the AR for between 3 and $500.
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Old September 21, 2013, 06:32 PM   #17
Rikakiah
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Re: Optics for my AR. . .Real Choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
Also, any thoughts on the Nikon M223 line? They might be too cheap, I guess.
I have a P22, which I'm guessing is quite similar, except tailored down for .22LR. I really like it. I'm not much of an expert or experienced with too many scopes, but it's pretty clear and seems really well made.

Edit: Oh, M223, not P233... Regardless, it's still a Nikon product which I still trust (have some of their photography glass, too).
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Old September 23, 2013, 09:23 AM   #18
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Honestly, I don't think there is any even average quality optics under $300 with the requirements you have. Glass quality is at least as important as magnification once you get past 200 yards.

Just FYI, I hold 3" groups at 300 yards with a 1-4 MTAC. Heck, the top 3Gunners hold 3" groups at 300 yards with a Prismatic (1x).
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Old September 23, 2013, 10:19 AM   #19
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I shoot my MTAC (1-4x) out to 625 yards regularly. The only limiting factor at that range is ammo, not the optic.
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Old September 23, 2013, 11:59 AM   #20
Nathan
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Quote:
I shoot my MTAC (1-4x) out to 625 yards regularly. The only limiting factor at that range is ammo, not the optic.
What group size?

Mark,
Thanks for your opinion. That's pretty impressive.

I use my current Millet 1-4x at 100yds and shoot pretty good ~2" groups, but I find that the 1 MOA dot is hard to place super accurately each time. When shooting for accuracy, I shoot into a diamond target which gives me a nice place to put the 1 MOA dot. I'm using a rock solid rest. I still feel like ~.25-.5" of my group size is dot to target misalignment. I think this would be much better at 8x vs the current 4x, based on experience.

Your results show that I maybe assigning too much value to my theoretical misalignment. How do you align scope to bullseye to avoid this alignment? How does your AR group at 100 yards?

Last edited by Nathan; September 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM.
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Old September 23, 2013, 02:16 PM   #21
MarkCO
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With Hornady 55 steel match, my match AR groups 1" at 100 yards and about 0.5" at 100 yards with 69 Nosler handloads. But, using the center dot on the MTAC, I don't get better than about 1.5" at 100 yards. By the time I am out to 300 yards, I am using a smaller dot, which is what I use for aiming to get groups at 100 when I forget my 3" orange dots. When I put a 3" dot on the target and center the 100 yard dot, I get back to under 1" at 100 yards.

Also realize I am trading some accuracy for speed shooting in 3Gun. If all I wanted was accuracy, then I'd be benched out with a 4.5-14 or so and set the magnification just below the mirage (if any) and set my parallax and focus for that specific range.

I run make every effort to mount the scope perfectly vertical. For me, with the odd positions we shoot in 3Gun, I need the vertical on the gun to be vertical on the scope. If I am shooting anything past 250 or so, I either adjust my holds or make sure I am optic over bore.
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Old September 23, 2013, 02:25 PM   #22
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I have the MTAC 1.5-6x40 on my Colt M4, and I like it. I shot a friends AR at the range with the Leatherwood 1-4x24 CMR and liked that a lot too.
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Old September 23, 2013, 04:11 PM   #23
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As Mark said, in 3 gun competition taking a slight hit in accuracy is acceptable with a gain in speed. 2 marginal hits in .5 seconds will smoke the guy who makes 1 great hit in 1.5 seconds.

That being said, when I was making sure my scope was 'on' at my 600 yard hold the groups were about 25" with 55 gr rounds and 15" with 77 gr SMKs. If I am shooting my AR for groups, then I use a 4-16 power scope.
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