Opinions on AR optics


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Eightball
March 10, 2008, 01:03 AM
Yeah, I know, this has been done a zillion times. Ever try a search with anything AR related, and you'll be reading for weeks.

Question comes down to this: What would be the pros/cons of an EOTech + a 3x or 4x magnifier (fixed or side flip, you tell me) vs. an AGOG, other than the "No batteries" bit? (And the EOTech I have in mind is the one that takes AA but isn't NV compatible--because that is not a concern).

My rifle: RRA 16" Middy w/fixed front sight post, flattop.
My purpose: Shooting to a distance from 15-300yds average, with a very occasional 500 yard shot, any given purpose.
My price range: well, the idea of paying $1200 up front for an ACOG is dang near abhorrent to me since my rifle was $900. I know that optics are important, especially on a precision boltgun--which this is not (precision is handy, but you get what I'm saying). If that's truly the best option, well, then that's what happens, but just thought I'd ask.

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ColinthePilot
March 10, 2008, 02:49 AM
Ok, I'm not an expert on optics or AR's (yet. researching my first AR now :) ) What is the point of putting a magnified scope AND an EOTech (red dot without magnification, right?) on a rifle? I'm thinking of pics i've seen of a magnifier scope mounted in series with an EOTech. I understand the EOTech to be meant for quick acquisition of a target, which a normal scope wouldn't offer. A scope offers long range targeting but isn't very rapid due to the small sight picture. What is the advantage of using both?

EdLaver
March 10, 2008, 02:59 AM
I personally dont use any optics on my AR, all I have are night sights installed. But I have shot 'em with the ACOG and its the best hands down.

Guitargod1985
March 10, 2008, 06:41 AM
I understand the EOTech to be meant for quick acquisition of a target, which a normal scope wouldn't offer. A scope offers long range targeting but isn't very rapid due to the small sight picture. What is the advantage of using both?

The way I see it, if you have an Eotech holographic sight with a magnifier on the flip to side mount, it gives you the option of 3x magnification or no magnification. That's the advantage as I see it. Another thing to consider is the fact that you can mount the magnifier to sit above your rear flip-up iron sight and if you need the irons you just use the flip to side mount to move the magnifier out of the way without having to remove it.

NC-Mike
March 10, 2008, 07:05 AM
I have the EOTech 512 and EOTech 3X magnifier on a Sig 556. I also have a scoped AR with 20" barrel.

For long shots of 300+ yards, the scoped rifle is the better tool. The EOTech holo-sights are meant for CQC. The Magnifier is meant to engage target out to 200 meters or so. I think..

With the magnifier, you have the ability to quickly engage targets at medium distances but the magnifier also magnifies the reticule, giving it a pixilated appearance, just like a cheap-o red dot with no magnification.

IMO, the EOTech is not an optic you want to use for target or precision shooting at long ranges.

rc109a
March 10, 2008, 07:10 AM
I have the TA33R8 ACOG and it is great. I only use it to 300yards. If I am going to shoot longer I use a regular scope with higher magnification. The 3X and 4X just does not seem to be enough for a precise shot at ranges greater then 300 yards. Others can and will do it. It has marks for 500 meters.

LongRangeInternational
March 10, 2008, 07:52 AM
Triicon Accupoint (http://www.opticsbestbuy.com/Trijicon-AccuPoint-1_25-4x24-Illuminated-Scope-Red-TA21R.html?feed=Froogle). 1.5-4x magnification, tritium/fiber optics. I love mine. I can shoot with both eyes open and then dial up the magnification for longer shots.

Coronach
March 10, 2008, 08:24 AM
Zak Smith did a piece about this very topic. Look up his name and optics, you should find it.

The real question is whether or not you want a magnified optic. If you don't, a red dot should be fine. Aimpoint or Eotech, both are good. Aimpoint wins on durability and ease of use. Eotech allows greater accuracy with the 65 MOA ring and 1 MOA dot.

You can get a magnifier for the red dots, and that's apparently a decent way to have your cake and eat it, too. Just be advised that they take up space on the rail, add weight, and have a limited FOV.

If you want a magnified optic, be prepared to toss out some dough if you also want to maintain "tactical" 1x magnification in one scope. There's no free lunch here. Trij accupoint is mentioned by Zak as being the low-budget option that still works well.

Mike

rino451
March 10, 2008, 10:34 AM
On an AR in 5.56, stick with just the eotech/aimpoint or just irons for that matter. While an acog will help with "precision" shot at the longer ranges, some people (me included) can't use it both eyes open for CQB. Also, I paid something like $680 for my acog over a year ago, so there are options well under $1200 assuming that you are in the US.

If an Ar-10, then get a "real" scope and a Dr. Optic for just in case, or even get a bolt gun for long range work.

Finding an optic or combination of optics that do all the jobs well is as futile as finding a single rifle to all the jobs well. Can't pick the correct hammer for that particular screw ;)

Bartholomew Roberts
March 10, 2008, 11:10 AM
Read Zak Smith's piece on optics. Also keep in mind the difference between practical application off the range and on the range.

In my opinion, many people overestimate the effective range of red dots based on their range experience. On a nicely mown range with known distances, it is much easier to spot a brown IDPA target and hit it without magnification. In that type of circumstance, people can and do make hits at 500yds with unmagnified red dots and at 300yds, it is child's play.

However, set up the same target on a Texas cow trail with mesquite, brush and other elements present and engagement ranges drop dramatically even though there is nothing intervening between the target and shooter. The target just becomes much harder to acquire without magnification unless you have really good eyesight.

To give a practical example, in an Intermediate Rifle class I took at Tac Pro Shooting Center (http://www.tacproshootingcenter.com/), we did a "jungle run" like what I described above. The entire course was about 300yds long; but the longest shots taken were 80 and 90yds (both by magnified optics). Red dots were running about half that distance (40-50yds) for longest shots. If you cannot acquire and identify the target, then being able to hit it more quickly never becomes useful.

H2O MAN
March 10, 2008, 11:23 AM
I prefer the AA EOTech.
I love the reticle, the precise 1 MOA dot has allowed me to make head shots on a steel ram
off hand @ 400 yards and the 65 MOA circle of death is super fast on targets that are close.
I carry spare AA batteries in the MIAD grip and more can be carried in the LMT SOPMOD stock.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/6920-03.06.2008_small.jpg (http://www.athenswater.com/images/6920-03.06.2008.jpg)

I have an EOTech 4X FTS.
It is an awesome piece of clear glass, but I don't like it's short eye relief or it's added weight.
Also, I looked at the ACOG and decided against it because of it's short eye relief.

ckay
March 10, 2008, 11:27 AM
I own both, and the ACOG collects dust and has been.

Zak Smith
March 10, 2008, 12:41 PM
Here's the short version

http://demigodllc.com/photo/PRM-2006.11/icon/D100_5378_img.jpg
article | Fighting Optics - A Short Guide http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://demigodllc.com/articles/fighting-carbine-optics-short-guide)

The longer version was in the 4 Feb Shotgun News and discussed some other scopes and had more detail.

TIMC
March 10, 2008, 01:07 PM
I have been thinking the along the same lines with the Eotech and 3x magnifier. Now I am having second thoughts because I had not thought of magnifying the dot. The rifle I am outfitting is the .50 Beowulf. I am planning on using it for some hog hunting and have an Eotech style sight on it now that i took off of one of my AR's but would like some magnification. I am now thinking of the ACOG but don't like the short eye relief with a heavy recoil rifle. Decisions, decisions!

Bartholomew Roberts
March 10, 2008, 01:14 PM
Keep in mind that there are well over a dozen different ACOGs with different magnifications, exit pupils, eye relief, etc. You can usually find one that matches your needs if that is what you want.

Don't overlook variables either. They can do very well as a multi-role optic.

TIMC
March 10, 2008, 01:42 PM
Any thoughts on the Burris 1.75-5x32 Signature Safari Rifle scope. This looks more in line with what I want the scope to do. How will it hold up to heavy recoil?
http://i21.ebayimg.com/04/i/000/e0/03/6e44_2.JPG

MHBushmaster
March 10, 2008, 02:30 PM
I've actually have both, a Eotech 552 (AA & NV capable) and a TA01 ECOS Acog. I have them on seperate 16" AR carbines. They serve different roles. One is for closer work for faster target acquisition, the other for a medium range fighting carbine. I like the Eotech with the maginification behind it because it allows the option to go from 1x magnification (none) to 3.5x in a matter of seconds. I guess the same can be said of the ACOG with the Doctor optic mounted on top, but either way you choose, both are good pieces of gear to have as an option.
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z287/luvBUSHmaster/100_5655.jpg

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z287/luvBUSHmaster/100_5648.jpg

Click Click Boom
March 10, 2008, 05:54 PM
both Burris and Bushnell make decent 1-4 IR scopes in short compact sizes.

atek3
March 10, 2008, 11:34 PM
if you want a true 1x-4x variable under a grand, take a long look at the Meopta Meostar R1 with the k-dot... lot of three gun shooters are using it.
atek3

Dienekes
March 11, 2008, 12:05 AM
My m4gery wears a TA45-2 1.5 x 24 amber triangle compact ACOG. Worth every penny, from touching distance out to 300 yards. Coming up on 2 years of regular use and I like it better every day.

Currently setting an M1A up with a TA 33 3 X 30 compact ACOG. Don't have all the pieces yet but getting close. It's also made with stadia for 5.56.

Drue
March 11, 2008, 05:40 AM
What do you guys think of the ACOGs with the Docter red dot sight mounted? The cost is "way up there" but it seems to offer both a magnified optic for distance and a head up, both eyes open red dot for speed at closer range.

Drue

http://homepage.mac.com/druew/Sites/TA01NSNDOC.jpg

Bartholomew Roberts
March 11, 2008, 05:43 AM
Drue, you need to try before you buy. The red dot on top of the ACOG creates a different cheek weld to use the red dot. Since cheek weld isn't important to a red dot, I did not think it would be a big deal. You can even make an argument that it gives a better "heads up" position; but in actual practice I found it disconcerting and hard to use.

Not to mention the general problems inherent in training for two different cheek welds under stress...

Coronach
March 11, 2008, 11:13 AM
I was wondering about that, myself. The superposed red dot seems to be waaaaaaaay up there.

Mike

Darthbauer
March 11, 2008, 11:16 AM
I have the one with the red dot but I like it and have not had any problems.

Coronach
March 11, 2008, 11:29 AM
Have you tried using the ACOG as an OEG at close range, instead of the dot? I'd have to try it all three ways (standard ACOG, ACOG as OEG, and ACOG with superposed dot) before I figured out which I liked best.

Mike

Eightball
March 11, 2008, 01:56 PM
Refresh my memory.....OEG=what, again? All these letters, numbers, acronyms, and model types for optics are starting to make my head spin.

And for those curious about which type of ACOG I was referring to in the OP--dual-illuminated red chevron. Dunno about magnification. Hope that explains my original price quote for it.

Coronach
March 11, 2008, 02:05 PM
OEG - Occluded Eye Gunsight.

Basically, you put a cover on the front to the ACOG. This will result in your left eye seeing the target and your right eye looking into a dark tube with a glowing dot/chevron/donut/whatever. The net result is the glowing reticle will appear superimposed on the target when your brain converts the input from both eyes to binocular vision.

The above assumes you're right handed. If you're not, just reverse it.

Mike

Darthbauer
March 11, 2008, 02:29 PM
OEG - Occluded Eye Gunsight.

Basically, you put a cover on the front to the ACOG. This will result in your left eye seeing the target and your right eye looking into a dark tube with a glowing dot/chevron/donut/whatever. The net result is the glowing reticle will appear superimposed on the target when your brain converts the input from both eyes to binocular vision.

I have tried this and I didnt like it as much as just going to the red dot.

Eightball
March 11, 2008, 04:45 PM
OEG - Occluded Eye Gunsight.

Basically, you put a cover on the front to the ACOG. This will result in your left eye seeing the target and your right eye looking into a dark tube with a glowing dot/chevron/donut/whatever. The net result is the glowing reticle will appear superimposed on the target when your brain converts the input from both eyes to binocular vision.Wouldn't that defeat the point of buying an ACOG to begin with, other than the "it never needs batteries" bit?

theken206
March 11, 2008, 05:16 PM
ive been VERY happy with my ta-11 ACOG on my DPMS AP4 myself.

Browning
March 11, 2008, 05:25 PM
Zak Smith : Here's the short version

article | Fighting Optics - A Short Guide
http://demigodllc.com/articles/fighting-carbine-optics-short-guide/

The longer version was in the 4 Feb Shotgun News and discussed some other scopes and had more detail.

Since we have you here I wonder if I might ask you what do you think of the I.O.R M2 4X CQB Reticle .223 Rem Scope for intermediate distances (of say 50 yards out to 400 or 500 yards) for an AR? Have you seen them or used them at all?

It's This One/ The IOR M2 4X CQB Reticle Scope
http://www.swfa.com/pc-10171-292-ior-4x24-tactical-30mm-rifle-scope.aspx

I realize that a fixed low power scope would have some limitations up close if the distance was less then 50 yards (the same way that a 4X ACOG would), but how does it compare to the ACOG in your opinion?

Zak Smith
March 11, 2008, 05:33 PM
Wouldn't that defeat the point of buying an ACOG to begin with, other than the "it never needs batteries" bit?
That's not what you DO, that's what OEG "means." The OEG effect is when something in front of your dominant eye is superimposed on your field of vision even though you don't see "through" the thing in front of your dominant eye. The original Armson OEG was truely occluded.

The OEG "effect" in the ACOG means that you can "see" at 1X and the bright dot is superimposed on your field of view, however, if you "look through" the ACOG, you'll be seeing the magnified version through your dominant eye only. It takes some mental/visual practice to be able to take advantage of the OEG effect on the ACOGs. The whole concept is the "BAC" or Bindon Aiming Concept.


If I might ask what do you think of the I.O.R M2 4X .223 Rem Scope for intermediate distances of say 50 yards out to 400 or 500 yards?

This one/ the IOR M2 4X
http://www.swfa.com/pc-10171-292-ior...fle-scope.aspx

I realize that a fixed power scope would have some limitations up close at less

* reticle too busy for speed
* reticle illumination backwards (deal breaker) and probably much too dim to enable the "OEG" effect in daylight
* should not have exposed knobs
* eye relief marginally too long for optimal mounting on AR15

I have no data on this scope for durability. I have seen several IOR scopes fail on bolt rifles and that was enough of a clue for me.

Coronach
March 11, 2008, 05:45 PM
Oh, interesting. So, you do not need to actually occlude the ACOG to achieve the OEG effect? I was under the impression that you did, at least in order to use it rapidly. However, you state that the ACOG still has a speed deficit at CQB ranges (compared to the red dots). Is this because using the ACOG as an OEG requires a bit more 'concentration' to achieve the sight picture?Wouldn't that defeat the point of buying an ACOG to begin with, other than the "it never needs batteries" bit?At CQB distances magnification is more of a drawback than an asset. At longer ranges, of course, the reverse is true.

Mike

Zak Smith
March 11, 2008, 05:50 PM
So, you do not need to actually occlude the ACOG to achieve the OEG effect? I was under the impression that you did. However, you state that the ACOG still has a speed deficit at CQB ranges (compared to the red dots). Is this because using the ACOG as an OEG requires a bit more 'concentration' to achieve the sight picture?
Correct, you do not need to occlude it. If you can mentally "focus" on looking "around" the optic instead of "through it", the donut/chevron will be superimposed on your field of view. This is easier on a TA11 vs. a TA31 because the TA11 takes of less of your field of view. By adjusting what you are mentally/visually focussing on you can choose to "look through" or "look around" the ACOG. This does not work or not work well on the TA01. The key point to making this effect work - and it is not specific to Trijicon - is a very bright reticle center. This is why the "dim in daylight" illumination on other optics does not cut it for the OEG effect.

Using this still is slower than a dedicated 1x dot at close range because of the increased visual/mental/focus complexity of the OEG effect.

hope this helps
-z

Coronach
March 11, 2008, 05:58 PM
Yep. I got it now.

Query: if you were to place a flip-off cover on the front of the ACOG, would that speed things up in CQB? In theory you could flip the cover on for CQB work if you had time (or use the BAC if you didn't), and flip it off if you had to take a longer shot.

Of course, I have no idea how practical that would be in real-world use, but it seems do-able.

Mike

Zak Smith
March 11, 2008, 05:59 PM
I believe Progressive Machine sells a device to do that, and I have done the same in testing using some duct tape. It is still more visually complex than a 1x dot, but it's less confusing than have a small circle of magnified view there.

Darthbauer
March 11, 2008, 07:55 PM
Yep. I got it now.

Query: if you were to place a flip-off cover on the front of the ACOG, would that speed things up in CQB? In theory you could flip the cover on for CQB work if you had time (or use the BAC if you didn't), and flip it off if you had to take a longer shot.

Of course, I have no idea how practical that would be in real-world use, but it seems do-able.

Mike

Its like if your shooting with just one eye open looking down the scope, just open your other eye. Works better with the chevron ACOG's, mine is crosshairs.

ccd
March 11, 2008, 08:01 PM
If you are interested in a moderate cost scope the 1-4x leupold turkey scope is acceptable.

Browning
March 13, 2008, 07:21 AM
Zak Smith : * reticle too busy for speed
* reticle illumination backwards (deal breaker) and probably much too dim to enable the "OEG" effect in daylight
* should not have exposed knobs
* eye relief marginally too long for optimal mounting on AR15

I have no data on this scope for durability. I have seen several IOR scopes fail on bolt rifles and that was enough of a clue for me.

Okay, thank you.

Is there any intermediate 3.5 to 4X scope besides the ACOG that you would actually recommend to use on an AR (preferably one that isn't $800 to 1000, that's more than I paid for the AR)?

Zak Smith
March 13, 2008, 11:39 AM
There are a lot of scopes out there that work well for regular shooting, but when held up to the critical eye of objectively-scored practical shooting have flaws. Keep this in mind in my critiques-- I am looking for a specific set of features to enable the fastest hits from ten to 400-500 yards.

But in that feature-range, the Trijicon TR21 AccuPoint is a good choice; it's the "poor man's Short Dot."

Bartholomew Roberts
March 13, 2008, 01:09 PM
One thing to keep in mind when using any sight as an OEG is that the point of impact will change due to the different sight geometry (your angle of view to the target is now through your left eye; but the dot is still set up for your dominant eye).

This is why it is useful mostly close-in where the shift is less important and also why nobody used the original OEG much outside of CQB-style shooting.

Eightball
March 14, 2008, 07:46 AM
So, what would be harder---shooting things at ranges of 100~300 yards with an EOTech (with or without magnifier), or shooting things at closer range with any degree of speed with an ACOG?

BorisDaBastid
March 14, 2008, 09:00 AM
My 2 pfennings:

Up until this past year, I have been a die-hard fan of *not* having anything battery powered on my M4. I have honestly zeroed the M68 (aimpoint) that the BN required me to have on my rifle, then taken it off, put on my carry handle sight and zeroed that for range and eventual combat use. While I was in Iraq last time, I kept my 68 on my weapon, but used my B/U sight for shooting, mainly because batteries where hard to come by.

In the middle of last year, my Company got enough EOtechs for even us lowly Bradley crewmembers to get a few. After some wheeling a dealing with the platoon armorer, I secured myself one for my M4. I have it zeroed to the point that I can easily have 5 shots covered by a dime on the 25mm zero target. I just recently had no problem dropping 350 meter targets on our Known Distance range here on Baumholder. I still can't qual expert though... damn 10 shots from a kneeling stance kill me every time.

As far as something that offers both a bit of zoom and quick, close up shooting, my friend has something he purchaced that works all sorts of nifty. He's got the Leupold Mark 4 CQ/T 1-3x14mm scope. I've played around with it and have been quite impressed on both CQ ranges and KD ranges. It gives you one less mag than the ACOG, but with a twist of the barrel gives you 1X so you're not looking at the threads on a >25m target's shirt. It also costs around 400 bucks less than the ACOG, which I think is nifty. Now if I could only convince my wife to let me drop 800 bones on something for work...

MassMark
March 14, 2008, 09:41 AM
Though only used on a static range, I'm curious about the new Millet DMS. It seemed to have all the things I was looking for in a well-priced package. Reports from the ISH have been mostly decent, (some early fogging issues) and I'm wondering if anyone has any practical experience with this optic. With S-B ShortDots in the 2k range, I'm wondering if the Millet can pass muster in the $200.00 range. Indications are "yes" and my time with one was certainly impressive, but limited...

HorseSoldier
March 14, 2008, 12:05 PM
As far as something that offers both a bit of zoom and quick, close up shooting, my friend has something he purchaced that works all sorts of nifty. He's got the Leupold Mark 4 CQ/T 1-3x14mm scope. I've played around with it and have been quite impressed on both CQ ranges and KD ranges. It gives you one less mag than the ACOG, but with a twist of the barrel gives you 1X so you're not looking at the threads on a >25m target's shirt. It also costs around 400 bucks less than the ACOG, which I think is nifty. Now if I could only convince my wife to let me drop 800 bones on something for work...

For variable magnification options, there's also the Horus Talon 1-4x24mm that's quite a nice piece of kit, though a bit outside the OP's $1000 price range ($900 delivered for the scope, but they you have to get a mount for it -- the LaRue SPR mount I have for mine brings total price tag up to about $1100).

The Horus reticle in the Talon puts a lot more tools at the shooter's disposal than the CQ/T or ACOG delivers, but you have to be proficient with their use for it to matter (i.e. bullet drop with the Talon is via a mils grid "Christmas Tree" which is a lot more flexible for different loads as well as windage than the ACOG . . . but if you're shooting M855 all the time the ACOG reticle doesn't require you to remember "I hold X mils at Y meters" etc.). The Talon reticle also features lateral lead lines for engaging moving targets from walking to moving vehicle speeds, though, which I definitely like (and would like to see on future incarnations of the ACOG -- I'd thought the USMC's version added this but apparently not really).

Zak Smith
March 14, 2008, 12:19 PM
So, what would be harder---shooting things at ranges of 100~300 yards with an EOTech (with or without magnifier), or shooting things at closer range with any degree of speed with an ACOG?
It's a matter of degree, and it depends on target size and the visual contrast between the target and the background, and to what extent to have to "ID" the target. If you're shooting high contrast targets that are man-sized (IPSC target, full-size popper, or 40x19" Military targets), then a 1x dot will be fine provided you know your holds from 300 on out. However, when the targets get smaller, it gets a lot harder. A 10" plate at 400 yards is 2.5 MOA "large" --- not testing the accuracy of the AR much; however, this is a very hard target with a 1x dot because: 1, it's hard to see, and 2, you have to use "Kentucky" hold-over. With a magnified scope, it's much, much easier to hit. Likewise for target ID/location, you can simply see distant targets much better with a magnified optic than without. For example if you're shooting medium sized steel targets, a tan plate against a tan grassy background will be very hard to see and put a sight picture one, compared to a nicely painted black bullseye against a white background.

For comparisons of speed, I recommend getting out a shot timer and doing one's own experiments. It's the best way to get real data for what works better for you at your current level of skill.

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