Question about ARs and optics


PDA






The Unknown User
December 24, 2007, 02:22 AM
I got a free catalog from Rock River Arms not too long ago, and I love it. I hope to own one sometime in the near future (if it's realistically and financially possible, that is). But, I had a question about using optics with an AR.

I noticed the ARs come in three lengths: (1) full, (2) mid, and (3) carbine. After that, I noticed the receivers come in three types: (1) integral carry handle, (2) flat-top/removable carry handle, and (3) no carry handle, but fixed rear sight.

On all three types, the front sight is fixed no matter what. Now my question is this: won't the iron sights get in the way of say, an Aimpoint mounted on the rail?

Can you mount an optic to the integral carry handle? I've seen this in movies, but I'm not sure if that's actually done or not.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of pictures of soldiers I see have a flip-up rear sight using a flat-top receiver with the fixed front sight, so I'm assuming the rear sight is a backup in case the optic sight fails. Can you use a flip-up front sight as well?

I ask because when I do decide what type of AR I want to buy, I want to know as much as possible about the choices I'll have. I'd think the flat-top would be best, as that way I'd have some flexibility if I wanted to add to it.

Oh, and keep in mind I'm a newbie when it comes to this stuff. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Question about ARs and optics" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
MachIVshooter
December 24, 2007, 02:44 AM
I noticed the ARs come in three lengths: (1) full, (2) mid, and (3) carbine.

The mid-length and carbine have the same 16" barrel. Carbine has a shorty handgaurd/gas tube.

On all three types, the front sight is fixed no matter what. Now my question is this: won't the iron sights get in the way of say, an Aimpoint mounted on the rail?

You really won't notice it, especially with a magnified optic. That said, Armalite offers a mid-length carbine with a flat M1913 gas block. It's the M15A4C (http://www.armalite.com/ItemForm.aspx?item=15A4C&Category=8e8e5de6-5022-483e-812b-822e58014822%20&ret_url=Categories2.aspx?Category=8e8e5de6-5022-483e-812b-822e58014822), green or black.

Can you mount an optic to the integral carry handle? I've seen this in movies, but I'm not sure if that's actually done or not.

Yes. You just add a weaver rail (A.R.M.S. (http://www.mountsplus.com/thestore/10_CARRY_HANDLE_MOUNT.html) and Luepold make them, as well as others).

Can you use a flip-up front sight as well?

You can get flip-up or detachable A2 front sights.

Dienekes
December 24, 2007, 10:30 AM
My M4gery has a compact ACOG on top of the A1 style upper with fixed carry handle. That, and a non-adjustable single stage match trigger. Nothing more.

Add ammo and shoot.

Suits me to a T.

TexasRifleman
December 24, 2007, 11:26 AM
No you can't see the front sight blade at all through a non magnified optic if you are shooting correctly. Your focus won't be on the sight but the target and believe it or not the front post disappears completely unless you intentionally focus on it.

Handle mounting would not be my choice at all. It works fine but places the optic too high up in my opinion. If you run across a fixed handle bargain, or you have one already it's fine.

I would not intentionally build an AR that I planned to put an optic on with a fixed handle. They shoot great but you are limiting yourself to mounting options and it's a bit harder to get a good cheek weld.

You can get a flip up front too but it's a) more money and b) not needed really since you don't see the front when you focus on the target.

You should consider a flip up rear though for sure as a backup.

W.E.G.
December 24, 2007, 12:15 PM
You really won't notice it, especially with a magnified optic.

At most the front sight becomes a faint shadow when using magnified optics. As the magnification increases, the front sight becomes all but invisible.

Further, I prefer to use a riser when using optics, and the front sight is not even in the plane of view then. The riser gives me better clearance to reach the cocking handle, and it gives me a more comfortable head position for this rifle.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/SBR-10.jpg

Dave Markowitz
December 24, 2007, 12:21 PM
I have an IOR Valdada 3x25 CQB scope on my flat top Colt AR-15A3. The front sight tower appears in the scope as a faint blur. I don't find it to be a problem.

HorseSoldier
December 24, 2007, 04:52 PM
Like other people have said, when shooting a magnified optic like an ACOG you can sort of vaguely see the front sight post in the bottom of your field of vision, but it does not interfere with using the scope at all. With something like an EOTech, if you're shooting two eyes open, you will be able to see the front sight but it does not interfere with target acquisition or sight picture.

The Unknown User
December 24, 2007, 09:55 PM
So how does a flip-up/detachable front sight work? Is there just different components that replace the usual front sight (gas block?)?

So far, after reading this, I'm leaning towards a flat-top receiver and adding an Aimpoint.

(Since I mentioned it, what's the "best" Aimpoint Comp model? The military uses the M2, right? Is the ML2 better/worse?)

Edit: WEG, mind telling me what that AR has on it? It's pretty. :)

CleverNickname
December 24, 2007, 10:52 PM
The only difference between the M2 and the ML2 is that the M2 has several modes where the dot is so faint you can't see it with your naked eye but it shows up great when viewed through a night vision scope. The ML2 doesn't have these modes and is a few bucks cheaper. Non-night vision modes are too bright and wash everything out when viewed through night vision.

If I were buying a new Aimpoint I'd get a CompM4 on a Larue mount. (http://stores.homestead.com/Laruetactical/Detail.bok?no=159) The M4 takes an AA battery instead of the less common DL1/3N.

Zach S
December 24, 2007, 10:53 PM
Definately go with a flattop instead of an A2 or a UTE. The UTE is nice though, if they made an A1 version I'd consider one.

For an optic that doesnt offer magnification, I prefer to use a fixed BUIS. Here's a shot of my rifle, and my sight picture through the irons and EOTech. My digicam aint the greatest, sorry.

ps: You wouldnt belive how hard the sight shot was unless you've tried it.

The Unknown User
December 25, 2007, 02:04 AM
Zach, is that a fixed (but removable) rear sight, and a fixed front sight? Is the EOTech supposed to line up perfectly with the sights?

...is that what "co-witnessing" is?

p.s. Cute rifle. 16"? I notice the handguards come almost to the muzzle break.

possum
December 25, 2007, 06:56 AM
i prefer flatops, with the removable carry handles. i take the carry handle off and store it away. throw on an eotech, and a buis and that is all i do to that.

i have carbine lenght handgurads on mine, no issues there, the only place that i think it might be benificial to have a longer handguard is when i use a bipod and vertical foregrip together, there is barely enough room to fit them both on there, and it is uncomfortrable too shoot. but that is taken care of now with the grip pod.

tkcomer
December 25, 2007, 07:34 AM
If you're going to use optics, how about no front sight at all: http://www.pixagogo.com/0961684563 Click on a pic to make it bigger. Click on original at the top to blow it up.

The Annoyed Man
December 25, 2007, 08:58 AM
I'll be picking up a Bushmaster AR in the next couple of weeks. It will be my first one. The one I'm looking at is a varminter with a 24" heavy fluted barrel, which I am picking up for coyote/bobcat hunting. It's a flat top without any sights at all, and it never occurred to me to worry about that because it has been my intention from the beginning to mount a good scope on it.

http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_PCWVMS24FVAR9.asp

Zach S
December 25, 2007, 12:06 PM
Zach, is that a fixed (but removable) rear sight, and a fixed front sight? Is the EOTech supposed to line up perfectly with the sights?

...is that what "co-witnessing" is?

p.s. Cute rifle. 16"? I notice the handguards come almost to the muzzle break.
Yeah, its an A1 rear sight made by Justin at CNCGuns.com The sights do line up, that's just an increadibly hard picture to take.

Yeah, that's co-witness. Larue Tactical and YHM make a mount to raise the rectical over the front sight post. I have a YHM, but dont have it mounted. I'm either gonna have to put a screw through it into the free-float forend (when I get it) or buy a Larue mount, the YHM mount sint very stable up front.

Yes, its a 16" carbine with the 20" handguards. Colt did it first with the model 605s(?), bushmaster was the first to do it commercially, they call it the dissipator. CMMG and DPMS also offer the same style carbines, mine was made by CMMG. Most people complain about them them being front-heavy, most dissys have heavier barrel profiles. BM offers the dissy with a HBAR or fluted HBAR, and I think DPMS is HBAR only. BM sells a dissy barrel witht he M4 profile, but doesnt offer it on a complete rifle off the rack. I doin t know if you could order it like that though.

CMMG doesnt offer any options for the barrel profile, but they offer them with CAR, midlength, or rifle gas systems. Mine is the midlength.

http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/images/894.JPG

If you enjoyed reading about "Question about ARs and optics" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!