red dot type optic versus 1-4x


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Soybomb
October 3, 2008, 11:15 PM
So I'm stuck trying to decide between something like an aimpoint or eotech and a 1.x-4x scope like the trijicon tr21 and wanted to get the opinion of some other shooters.

Part of the fun of shooting for me is really tight groups and I'm tempted to get something like the tr21 so I can shoot tighter groups at even 100 yards than I could with a heads up sight.

The flip side is that some people say an eotech or aimpoint is considerably faster at 100 yards or less than a scope set to 1.25, some disagree.

What has your experience with both been?

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Sunray
October 3, 2008, 11:26 PM
Most red dot sights, like an Aimpoint, cover about 4" at 100 yards. A Trijicon Tr21 isn't a red dot sight though. It's an illuminated reticle, long eye relief, hunting scope.
A scope only allows you to see the target and place the shot better. No scope will make the slightest difference to accuracy if your rifle and ammo won't shoot small groups already.

Mr_Pale_Horse
October 3, 2008, 11:29 PM
My most favorite scope for all round use has been a VX-III Leupold 1.5-5X. It is marketed as a big game/dangerous game scope, but is not out of place in the deer woods or on the range. It had non-critical eye relief at the lower settings and was very fast to acquire targets.

At 100 yards, on the same gun/loads, it gave far superior paper punching results to some much higher magnification scopes of lesser quality.

briansmithwins
October 3, 2008, 11:43 PM
Aimpoints and Eotechs are very fast at close range. Even if you eye is not exactly behind them, if the dot is on the target you will get a hit. Magnified scopes just can't do this as they require you get your eye behind the scope and within a relatively small area.

Magnified optics let you FIND and ID targets that are hard to see with the Mk1 eyeball. Seeing a camouflaged target against a busy background is not easy at 200+ yards. Good optics will let you see smaller details.

Everything is a compromise. Even magnifiers that sit behind a red dot add weight and another device. BSW

Chris Rhines
October 4, 2008, 12:04 AM
I have a couple of each type. Tough call which I like better - it really depends on your requirements.

(Note: Close Range = 0-50 yards, Intermediate Range = 51-300 yards, Long Range = 301 yards and up.)

The 1x red dot, Aimpont or EOTech type, is going to be a little faster than a 1.#-4x at close range. With practice, the difference in speed will be pretty small.

I can hit mid-size targets (10" or therebout) at the far end of intermediate range with a 1x dot, but it's a hell of a lot easier with some magnification. Past 300, where bullet drop starts to really increase, some magnification is almost mandatory, and a BDC reticule is nice to have as well.

- Chris

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 4, 2008, 12:09 AM
It's a tradeoff. When in doubt, get the magnified optic if you're shooting groups.

DBR
October 4, 2008, 12:16 AM
I prefer a low mag scope. A scope with good glass will literally let you see better even at very low magnification. The reason is the scope gathers more light making the image brighter and it increases the contrast. The increase in contrast is very helpful when trying to pick out details of objects in shadows or in low light.

In my informal testing, even in complete dark, if I can id the target with a light I can see the cross hairs in my scope.

Red dots are nice for quick target acquisition at shorter ranges but I think for all around non mil/le use a low mag scope is noticeably better and more versatile.

sgist
October 4, 2008, 10:48 AM
As a compromise, you might consider an illuminated low power scope such as a Meopta 1-4 K dot, or the Leupold Prismatic 1x. Low light performance may be very important, more so than split second target acquisition.

H2O MAN
October 4, 2008, 10:53 AM
Soybomb So I'm stuck trying to decide between something like an aimpoint or eotech and
a 1.x-4x scope like the trijicon tr21 and wanted to get the opinion of some other shooters.

What rifle?

Ethereal
October 4, 2008, 11:52 AM
Is 4x magnification really going to make that much difference compared to the speed of the red-dot? IMO the red-dot will be fine out to the ranges you're wanting the 1-4x scope to hit.

Soybomb
October 4, 2008, 12:14 PM
Is 4x magnification really going to make that much difference compared to the speed of the red-dot?
I suppose thats the big question. I guess part of what I don't like is I have this nice rifle that should be pretty accurate but when I shoot with iron sights at 100 yards I can't get 1-2" groups because I can't tell where the sight is positioned that well on the target.

possum
October 4, 2008, 12:30 PM
it really depends on what the intended purpose of the gun is gonna be, in the military i have used, eo techs, aimpoints, acogs and more, and i choose to run an eotech onmy personal ar.

the eotech dot is 1 moa so you can get good hits on targets out to 300yds and more no problem, are they gonna be precise? no but they are gonna be good solid hits and that is what is needed. they are quick at close targets and they are accurate, well more so than similar red dots at longer ranges. they have hash marks for leading if that is ever needed.

going off your original post i would recomend that you get an eotech and a magnifier with a flip to side mount. that way you have the best of both worlds in one simpe to use, operator frinedly package. that is the ideal set up i would use if i had the choice. right now money is tight but i am looking into getting a magnifier 3x to be exact that is all i need for the purpose of my ar.

Chris Rhines
October 4, 2008, 12:50 PM
Is 4x magnification really going to make that much difference compared to the speed of the red-dot? Easier to show you than to tell you. Put a 10" plate out at 300 yards. Start standing, with your rifle at port arms. Have a friend time you. On his signal, assume the position of your choice and fire one round on the plate. 7 seconds is a good starting time limit.

Try this drill with a red dot, then try it with a 4x scope on the same rifle.

IMO the red-dot will be fine out to the ranges you're wanting the 1-4x scope to hit. As i said before, I can hit with a 1x red dot out to ~300 yards. But it is much easier with some magnification.

- Chris

dmazur
October 4, 2008, 02:35 PM
the eotech dot is 1 moa so you can get good hits on targets out to 300yds and more no problem

+1 to this. I have one on a Garand and I can hit a 12" gong at 200 yds with boring regularity.

I can also do it with the iron sights, but not as quickly.

I have a Leupold 1-4X scope on a Ruger .44 Carbine, and it is accurate enough at 100 yds for deer (3" groups), but not as fast as the Eotech. It takes time to get the scope positioned, even when set on low power.

So, I guess it depends on what you want, speed or precise placement.

twinhairdryers
October 4, 2008, 05:55 PM
then you can buy an aimpoint, Eotech, and a few others to try for the same price as a new ACOG.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 4, 2008, 08:03 PM
I suppose thats the big question. I guess part of what I don't like is I have this nice rifle that should be pretty accurate but when I shoot with iron sights at 100 yards I can't get 1-2" groups because I can't tell where the sight is positioned that well on the target.

Yep, what I've done in that situation before is this: mount a bigger scope on it for accuracy testing - 3-9x40, fixed 10, or even much larger. Once you're satisfied, then determine the purpose of the rifle. If CQB/Homestead defense, then slap a 1x optic on it, such as an ESD. If it's an all-purpose gun, slap a 1-4 or 1.5-6 on it. If it's for targets and varmints, leave it as is for that, with the big scope.

To me, an optic in this 1.5-6x config is the perfect choice for an "all-purpose" fighting/varmint rifle such as an AR15:

http://www.swfa.com/pc-7357-887-pentax-15-6x40-gameseeker-rifle-scope.aspx

Dials down to 1.5 (excellent QCB choice), dials up to 6 instead of 4, and the larger objective gives you less quick blackout and more light gathering in low light. 6 power is enough to really test you and your rifle's ability at 50 yards or a little more (a lot more if you have excellent eyesight). You may as well utilize all that empty space down to the rail/handguard with a larger objective, since the optic centerline has to be that high anyway, on an AR15.

I acquired two of the Sightron 1.5-6x42mms before they discontinued them and now wish I had bought about two more. Now the Pentax Gameseeker is the only scope in this config in the affordable category. Zeiss and Swarovski make nice scopes in this config, if you can spend that much. The 1.5-6x40s are the perfect scope config, not only for a fighting rifle, but also for a very large game rifle for big boomers, to give you a lot of eye relief and close-in field of view - good for Canada/Alaska and African Plains Game rifles. Just my un-experienced armchair quarterback opinion (from someone who's never been out of the country - lol!). I do shoot and hunt a lot though. Also a good scope setup for woods deer and rimfires too- pretty much anything really, come to think of it. :)

9mmepiphany
October 5, 2008, 12:51 AM
if you're looking for precision, you're not looking at a red dot

a nice modestly priced scope for your stated use might be the Bushnell Throphy 1.25-4x32 "turkey scope". the recticle is a heavy plex coming to a ring with fine cross-hairs inside.

at the other end of the price spectrum is the S&B Short Dot. a little spendy, but the best...the Leupold is the cheaper american copy

JWarren
October 5, 2008, 08:35 AM
I've had red dots on rifles, and for what *I* used the rifles for, I felt that they were not the best fit.

For my 16" M4-gery, I dumped the red dot route for a Millet DMS-1 1-4x24. I figured this was a good price to decide if I wanted to go the 1-4 variable route.

After using the optic for a month or so, I think I went in the right direction. I'll not make this a review of the DMS-1, however.

What I've found is that on 1X and shooting as I do-- with both eyes open-- I can pick up the red donut practically as fast as I would have the red dot. I simply don't notice any loss of time.


At this point, any red dot optics that I'd consider mounting would be on a SBR for CQB purposes or a shotgun. (Which I am planning on adding a JPoint or Aimpoint T1 to my Remington 870.)

Hope this helps.

-- John

Soybomb
October 5, 2008, 09:54 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys, I'm still not entirely sure which direction I'll wind up going but it helps to have some other opinions.

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