View Full Version : red dot optic suggestions

Polar Express
February 18, 2009, 01:16 PM
OK, I did a search looking for threads on red-dot optics before I started this thread. While I got a few returns, none of them addressed the questions I'm thinking about, so here goes:

For a ar-15 flat top, what optic(s) would you suggest? I am debating weather or not to add a laser sight into the equation, suggestions on that would also be appreciated.

For a M1A in a Sage Stock, what optic(s) would you suggest? I currently have no plans for a laser on that gun, but I am open to the suggestion if someone has a compelling reason.

My initial thoughts are a laser and a 2x optic on the AR, and then on the M1A, a 1 power with a 3x magnifier that can pivot out,

I realize I'm opening the door to the ford/chevy debate all over again, but I'm looking for a list of suggestions, (and reasons why) so I can go put my paws on the top candidates and see what it's like to look through them.

A good summary of the idea for either of these guns is the article in a recent magazine titled 'Katrina Rifle'. The author 'builds' a rifle that would be his choice if he has to pick one in a time of (God forbid) post-disaster, civil unrest. It's a neat article.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 18, 2009, 02:53 PM
First, I would give this article a read:


Reading that will help narrow down the field hopefully... it says for the AR15; but a lot of the same principles apply to many rifles.

February 19, 2009, 10:15 AM
Which ever Aimpoint product best suits your needs.

February 20, 2009, 12:15 AM
Aimpoint is a good balance of price and capability. Havent had a chance to play with their magnifiers yet though, so can only speak for 250m and under (at 250 m, it helped improve my scores from 40 of 50 to 45 of 50, so im sold).

February 20, 2009, 05:33 AM
Bart: Thank you for that link. It was a good read and a comprehensive look at some very nice optics.
I have one of the non-military Aimpoints on a .308 Encore pistol. Very happy with that combo.
I have an EoTech that I like very much but, yes, it is slightly harder to turn on - since, however, I have no expectations of ever being in combat, that extra effort is of no consequence. The difference in battery life may be important if a shooter plans on leaving the scope on all the time. Some do; I don't.
Of all the optics reviewed, the one that I like the most is not a red dot; it is the 4X ACOG.
That's what goes on my AR when I want a scope.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 21, 2009, 10:57 AM
You are welcome on the link. Zak does quite a bit of shooting and is a great resource for practical application of gear.

On of the problems with the "General purpose optic" that can be called on to do anything you ask of it, is that magnification slows you down at the ranges where you are statistically most likely to be using a weapon. On the other hand though, magnification is a big help in target ID and acquisition and can speed you up at longer ranges. So how do you solve that problem?

There are basically three approaches to this right now:

1. The variable magnification scope - dial it down to one power for close-in, dial it up to 4x or so for when you need it. These sights are common and easily available. On the nicer scopes, you can also have an illuminated reticle that is backed by an etched glass reticle in case the batteries fail. Downside is they tend to be a little less rugged and less flexible for shooting from strange positions.

2. Red dot with magnifier - red dot speed and flexibility when you need it, and a magnifier when you need it. Sounds great at first; but a magnified dot isn't always the handiest reticle and the multiple layers of glass don't do much for clarity. Plus when you are not using the magnifier, it is either hanging off the side of the rifle or banging around in a pocket.

3. ACOG/Scope with Mini red dot (MRD) - Sounds like the best of both worlds at first. You get a nice dedicated, magnified sight with all the advantages of the red dot. Plus the MRD is a lot more out of the way than a magnifier would be. The downside to these is you have to change your cheek weld or rotate the rifle to use the red dot. Definitely doable with training; but if you already have a lot of training on one cheek weld it can be frustrating to relearn and you tend to use the wrong cheek weld at the most inopportune times.