View Full Version : ar optics setup for this project

November 15, 2012, 10:17 PM
I am setting up a 20" ar15 with the intention of using this rifle as my one go-to rifle for everything. With that in mind I am going to scope the rifle. I want to use a quality, solid setup that I can "set it and forget it.". I need it to be lightweight, solid. What scope and mount would you recommend. I am thinking 32-36 mm objective and 7,8 power to keep it light. What say you

November 15, 2012, 11:41 PM
It really depends on what you have in mind as far as "do-all". If a rifle is intended for sport and/or defensive shooting then I'm a big fan of the 1x4 optics like the Burris MTAC, Leupold Mark AR, or Vortex Viper PST. Those style of optics give you the wide field of view you'd want at close distances associated with personal defense or most competitive and sport shooting, yet they still offer enough magnification to reach out to the effective ranges of the rifle. So for a "do-all" optic that's really what I'd prefer. YMMV...:D

November 16, 2012, 10:47 AM
Thanks I will check the viper

Crow Hunter
November 16, 2012, 11:06 AM
What is your usage 85% of the time going to be?

If it is primarily going to be a defensive rifle, I prefer just a basic Aimpoint red dot.

You wouldn't be taking shots outside of 100 yards defensively anyway. While a red dot might not be ideal for hunting or shooting targets at longer range, learning to use your rifle/optic combo by shooting it at other targets is a good thing. Added advantage, you can watch your bullet impacts with a RDS and correct. With a magnified optic, you will often get pushed off target and may need someone spotting for you to tell you where you are hitting. Based on my experience shooting my AR at 500 yards at a 5 gal bucket comparing an Aimpont M4s with and without a Aimpoint 3x magnifier from field expedient positions.

Now if it is primarily going to be a target/hunting rifle and you need the magnification just to be able to see the targets you want to hit, I would get something like the 1X4 or 2X7 and a good quality QD mount like Larue or ADM and some quality BUIS, so if the optic goes down, or has too much magnification you can get it off in a hurry.

It won't be light weight though.:(

Bartholomew Roberts
November 16, 2012, 11:21 AM
On a "for everything" rifle, you are going to use low magnification much more often than 7x-8x. I'd tend more towards a 1-4x or 1-5.5x. There are some nice 1-8x options for ARs out there; but they are going to run $2k or more. In terms of values, there are a lot of good deals in the 1-4x range.

Crow Hunter
November 16, 2012, 12:53 PM
One other thing think about is being able to use/see the reticle through the eyebox of the optic in the positions that you might need to use it in.

My biggest problem with magnified optics, even the decent ones, (Trijicon/ US Optics/Leupold what I have tried) is that I often have to move my head around to actually see through the optic.

This isn't normally too noticeable when shooting from the bench. But when you get out and try it in field expedient positions or against moving targets, especially when you are moving too, you might wind up not being able to see through the optic because your eye isn't in the right spot for the eye relief to work. This is usually much worse with the lower end magnified optics.

That is where the Red Dots really shine. You have to get into some really contorted positions before you can't see the dot. And with red dot optics, if you can put the dot on the target, you will hit it. Almost negligible parallax.

The TR24 at 1X was almost as good as the Aimpoint M4s. I would say about 75% of the total head movement/positioning of the Aimpoint.

Dr Big Bird PhD
November 16, 2012, 01:49 PM
You could think about getting a red dot and separate magnifier. That would essentially be 1-4x (without the inbetween). I'm personally in favor of a standard 1-4x scope however.

Crow Hunter
November 16, 2012, 02:06 PM
You could think about getting a red dot and separate magnifier. That would essentially be 1-4x (without the inbetween).

I don't advise this. I tried it with an Aimpoint M4s and the Aimpoint Magnifier on a Larue FTS mount.

It had much worse eye relief, MUCH heavier, POI shift between magnified/unmagnified, really unbalanced the rifle with the magnifier folded over.

All of this and nothing but a magnified view, no mil-dots or stadia lines to use as reference points for long range shooting.

To me, it was the worst of both worlds.

November 17, 2012, 07:09 AM
If I had just one AR for multi use it would wear a Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24 scope. Spendy but worth it.


Red dots with a magnifier suck period. The optic quality of the magnifiers is not very good, even the high ends ones lack clarity.

November 17, 2012, 09:53 AM
Out to 300 yards I use my Nikon M-223 1-4x. The 1x is fairly quick at target acquisition. 4x is accurate out to 300 yards. There are other brands out there but at $250 this was the best option for me.

November 17, 2012, 11:03 AM
I'm a fan of 2-7 Scopes on my AR's. My two favorites are the vortex viper 2-7x32 with the C3 recticle and the redfield 2-7x32 with the accu-range recticle. Both are easy to shoot up close on 2x and then they can be dialed up to shoot for precision out to 300 yards.

As far as scope mounts go I have had good luck with the Burris pepr and the RRA cantilever. The RRA mount is a few dollars less than the Burris but just as ruggedly constructed.

November 17, 2012, 12:15 PM
How heavy is that Vortex 1-6x Razor? I have a Vortex 1-4x Viper PST on my SIG 716 and really like it.

The Razor seems like it would be a good fit for my SCAR17S which is currently wearing an ACOG TA031F with a 5.56 recticle. The eye relief on the ACOG is marginal, however I really don't want to drop $2500 on an appropriate 7.62 spec'd ACOG. I tried out my Viper on the SCAR and really liked it, but it sure does add significant weight to the gun. Additionally, 1-6x seems like a better match for the SCAR without over glassing it.

Bartholomew Roberts
November 17, 2012, 01:36 PM
Yes, eyebox is another consideration - especially if you are shooting multigun; however a scope still requires a consistent cheek weld or you'll get shifts in POI. One problem I have with the TA11 ACOG is that it has a giant eyebox, so it is easy to pick up the dot; but if your cheekweld isn't consistent, it won't shoot to POA.

Usually that type of shooting is close enough that the shift doesn't matter much; but it can surprise you.

November 17, 2012, 02:11 PM
To be honest, Just like this isn't a do-all rifle.. no matter what no rifle will be do-all wihtout swapping in and out seriously hefty parts.. there is no do-all optic either. I suppose in theory you could rig up a couple of uppers (possibly in different calibers) with a couple different optic situations... or just decide that these are the three objectives of the rifle, in which case you may be able to settle on one optic, or two with QD mounts.

As for splitting the red-dot/magnifier... I did, I have a strikefire, and VMX3 on a swing out mount. I haven't had any issues using it off hand, or off bench. I haven't even felt the need to swing the magnifier out of the way, though it's fairly simple and easy to do so.

November 18, 2012, 11:44 AM
The problem I have with the red dot magnifiers is that the eye relief is bad on all of the ones I've tried, including the EOtech. Additionally, for $500 one would think the glass would be significantly better.

November 19, 2012, 01:33 AM
I just picked up a Horus 1-4x24 and I think it's going to work out well. 1x gives you both eyes open and a very viable CQB rifle, while the 4x gives you shots to 500. It is a bit pricey, but if you consider the price of an EOtech or Aimpoint plus a magnifier, then it ends up being cheaper. The glass on the Horus is great, plus you get the Horus reticle. It certainly adds to the versatility of the rifle.

November 19, 2012, 08:46 AM
How heavy is that Vortex 1-6x Razor? I have a Vortex 1-4x Viper PST on my SIG 716 and really like it.

18oz+ what ever mount you want to use.