Aimpoint and 3X Magnifier


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Coronach
September 21, 2006, 03:37 AM
Anyone have practical experience with this combo? How well does it work? Is it worth the money, assuming that you already own the Aimpoint?

Also, I'm aware of the limitation on eye relief from eye to magnifier...but is there a limit on the distance between the magnifier and the Aimpoint?

Thanks,

Mike

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Coronach
September 21, 2006, 09:42 PM
No one?

mpthole
September 21, 2006, 10:18 PM
Did you just get your American Rifleman? ;) Great review and very tempting. I've always wanted an Aimpoint.

Coronach
September 21, 2006, 11:54 PM
I did, in fact. ;)

I confess to being somewhat intrigued, which I usually am not whenever AR reviews something. Usually, it falls under one of the following headings, for me:

1. Not my thing.

2. Knew about it already.

3. You've gotta be kidding me.

The first covers a lot of the reviews (tacticool ninja 1911 flavor of the month), and the last covers most of the breathless reviews typical of gun rags. When was the last time AR, or any gun rag, slammed a product they reviewed?

This one, however, was a bit of a start. I'd heard of the magnifier, but never really thought about it much. The review was positive, like they all are, but really pointed out some of the advantages of the system. Seemed to make sense. However, there is a difference between what seems good to a hawaiian shirt-wearing writer and someone who uses equipment like this every day.

I just talked tonight to a fellow officer who is a HS/LD type reservist, and he said the magnifier is good to go, but he had no idea if there was a limit on the distance between the Aimpoint and the magnifier.

See, this is what I want to do:

I have this Vepr, and it is pretty darned accurate. Accurate enough that it sure could benefit from the use of a magnified optic (read: the operator sure could benefit from a magnified optic. ;) ). What I could do is get the Ultimak gas tube rail, and put the Aimpoint on that. Then I could get a rail put on the dustcover and plant the Magnifier on that. Without the magnifier, you have a scout-type red dot out in front, and with the magnifier you have a Designated-Marksmanov type deal. Plus, the dustcover doesn't really need to hold zero perfectly if it is just holding the 3X.

The problem is that that would put several inches between the Aimpoint and the magnifier...and before I drop $$$ on the 3X, I'd like to have an idea whether or not it would work.

Thanks,
Mike

Omnivore
September 22, 2006, 07:36 PM
Here at UltiMAK we have put just such a kit together. We machined a length of picatinny rail out of steel, with a radius on the bottom that closely matches the top of the AK dust cover, then plug-welded it to the top of a standard AK dust cover. With a QD mount for the 3x (comes completely off the rail, i.e. not the Aimpoint Twist Mount, which leaves its base behind) the setup works fairly well, but we had two issues:
The top of the AK dust cover (though we never really noticed this before trying it) almost never sits parallel to the bore. Its pretty far off. Second, the height of the UltiMAK rail out front is as low as it can go, and is just a tad lower than the rail we welded to the dust cover. In order to get both rails (or more importantly, both optics) at the same axis and close to parallel, it takes some fussing around, and I mean with cutting tools and hammers.

The distance between the two optics is OK, but they end up about as far apart as you'd ever want them. The alignment is far more of an issue, and of course the farther apart they get, the more accurately they must be aligned in order to get a nice, full sight picture through the 3x without the body of the reflex sight getting in the picture.

Therefore, with the AK you want really good alignment, but its hard to get. Now, if we were to purpose-build a dust cover...

With the steel rail on the steel dust cover, and the steel-tubed 3x with its QD ring, the AK started to get Heavy. With a Vepr's heavy barrel and heavy receiver, you end up cracking the 11 pound mark, loaded. Add a bipod and a sling and you're hitting 12.

As for the sight picture through the 3x: The reticle is sharper through the 3x, and I like it a lot. We set up an EOTech on a guy's .50 cal "carbine" with the Aimpoint 3x behind it, and that holo reticle never looked so good and crisp-- really terrific. He was popping jihadi-sized targets at from 380 to 600 yards with no trouble using that setup.

Coronach
September 23, 2006, 01:41 AM
Good info. I might just stick with my PK-AS, then.

Thanks for your help.

Mike

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