View Full Version : AR 15 carry handle or flat top mount pros/cons - need advice?

March 12, 2010, 06:18 PM
1st AR is a Bushmaster carbine, detachable carry handle. I'm looking for help from experienced AR folks. I want a compact scope (at least 3 or 4x or up) and iorn sights. I have a detachable handle and a flip up rear sight already. I'm trying to decide:
Handle mount or flat top? pros/cons
Flat top with see through? If so what type and brand?
Can't afford another 1,000 for a scope so, any suggestions?
Any comments on the NC Star line of cheap scope? Are there other better alternatives?
Lasers and lights? Any thoughts?

I'm a handgunner, new to AR's, so help appreciated - comments wanted?

March 12, 2010, 06:27 PM
what are you gonna use it for?
I got a detachable a3 style ar-15, and i removed the carry handle right away
since i only use it at the range off a bench, i got a bipod and a powerful scope, just to make things easy.

I cant really make a positive reccomendation, all i can tell you is what not to do. I got this.


I cant really recommend this because its cheap and you get what you pay for. Its crystal clear up until 16x, but after that at 20x its kinda fuzzy, however i was looking at a 100 yard target. maybe at 200+ yards 20x will be clear

do not get finger adjustable sights with those big clunky knobs. the big clunky knobs are attached to a steel peg secured by 3 screw in posts. its hard to explain, but the 3 tiny posts broke, or they didnt lock into place, so the big knob spins freely and doesnt adjust your sight

you are better off with sights that adjust with a screwdriver, and have a screw on cap.

March 12, 2010, 06:31 PM
My brother uses a Millet DMS-1 on a Model 1 dual ring setup on his AR. The variable power 1-4, I think, with illuminated recticle is handy on the 3 gun range. He can go from 1 to 4 with the flip of a lever, and can use his back up sights on 1 power if he ever needed to. It's big, relatively heavy, but it's pretty nice for what it's intended for.

Another popular option is a scope on the flat top, with a 45° offset mount for a red dot (like the Burris) for close in work. A lot of open class 3 gunners run this setup quite effectively.

Here's Jerry Miculek's rifle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcLSoE_PwIQ

Here's a nice caption of how he uses the offset mount: LINK HERE (http://www.shootingusa.com/PRO_TIPS/MICULEK2-6/miculek2-6.html).

March 12, 2010, 06:32 PM
Plinking - fun and as a bug out gun if the stuff hits the fan. Thanks for the tip on what not to buy. That's the type of advice I need. I've wasted a lot of money over the years experimenting.

March 12, 2010, 06:41 PM

thanks, now i have something to watch for the next 6 hours :P

March 12, 2010, 06:43 PM
I saw that scope in Dillon Blue Press - thanks for the advice.

Anybody using a see through flat top mount?

Double Naught Spy
March 12, 2010, 07:09 PM
I have a pile of spare carry handles in my garage. :(

The detachable carry handle guns are great if you don't ever plan on carrying by the carry handle (the slot is too small to be comfortable for most male adults) and want a gun with the option of converting over to other optics that don't have to be mounted 4" above the barrel.

I think flattops with the detachable carry handle are the way to go for your first AR. It gives you better options than the non-flattops.

March 12, 2010, 07:14 PM
actually, if you can also get an ar-15 with a detachable front post, thats also bonus, like the S&W M&P ones

March 12, 2010, 07:15 PM
Anybody using or have experience with see through riser mounts on the flat top?

March 13, 2010, 10:03 AM
I'll second that detachable handle as a backup sight. It's already paid for!

The only thing I would change is a quick release mount for the scope to make it easier to go to the backup.



Double Naught Spy
March 13, 2010, 10:24 AM
Anybody using or have experience with see through riser mounts on the flat top?

Yes. What do you want to know? If you have a permanent front sight tower, the see through riser will give you a view of a low spot on the tower and not much else.

March 13, 2010, 10:27 AM
Old school works just fine . Can use iron sites without scope removal , just move your eye down from scope to iron sites. Plus can still use carrying handle.


There are several makers , here's 1



March 13, 2010, 11:51 AM
The carrying handle can be used to carry the rifle? Learn something new everyday! I thought it was just a sight carrier. :)
I like the flatop. I can mount up my scope for some range testing, prove the ammo, then put the irons back on and try to do as good.

All this time I've been using a sling to carry mine, huh. ;)

March 13, 2010, 01:15 PM
Ghillie + sling + nooks and crannies of rifle = snag's a bad day ;)

March 13, 2010, 08:11 PM
I would go with the flat top/detachable handle. The center of the scope should be the same height as the AR's iron sights. Don't handicap yourself by putting a scope 3" above the barrel. As far as the the front post goes, don't worry about it you'll never see it in the scope. Use a one piece scope mount that is already the correct height to eliminate the need for riser blocks or tall rings. This set-up is very repeatable when switching between the irons and the scope.

March 13, 2010, 08:48 PM
Flat top ftw!