Optic for AR-15


May 31, 2009, 03:11 PM
I know that there have been many threads on this in the past but maybe this is a little different take on the subject.

I have two AR-15's; a 16" flat top, collapsible stock, and a 20" carry handle, fixed stock. So I am looking for 2 scopes/optics.

Neither of these rifles is expected to be used for extremely accurate shooting as I have other rifles for that niche. These are just fun rifles for plinking at the range. I am not currently in the military or law enforcement and my life does not depend on these rifles (I have hand guns and shot guns for HD).

I know that Eotech, Aimpoint and Trijicon are some of the best optics you can buy. I am looking for a red dot, 1x magnification, however, i cant afford another $1,000 to equip these 2 rifles. What are your thoughts on BSA or some other less expensive brand.

Ultimately I want to take a course at Frontsight, or Gunsight, but they pretty much say only get Eotech or Trijicon or Aimpoint, and i don't want to feel out of place if I show up there with something they feel is inferior. Am I really wasting my money by buying a "cheaper" brand? Remember, this is for plinking. I figure if the scope breaks, I can buy another and still be ahead moneywise.

Am i missing something here? Please help.

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June 1, 2009, 05:40 PM
think of it this way... with tuition, travel, ammo, etc, you're going to pay more than $1000 to attend a shooting class. Presumably, you would do such a thing because you value their opinion and want to learn something.

if they all consistently say the same thing... that's probably a clue

it's really not about 'feeling out of place'. it's about impediments to learning and about developing some confidence with a tool.

if you spend the class chasing your zero all over the paper, replacing batteries, and fighting with your red dot, you're going to miss a lot of learning opportunities (or more accurately, you'll learn more about red dots and less about shooting than you intended)

even when you're plinking, fighting with equipment that doesn't work is extremely frustrating and sucks the fun right out of most anything

June 1, 2009, 07:31 PM
Training ain't plinking.

If you DO approach training with that mind set, save your money.

(I have hand guns and shot guns for HD).

Nothing wrong with the shotgun for Home Defense, but you should never choose a handgun over a shoulder weapon for home defense when you have the choice, never. After a good rifle/carbine class, you will probably change your tune.

from both Dr Roberts and the FBI:

Keeping in mind that handguns generally offer poor incapacitation potential, bullets with effective terminal performance are available in all of the most commonly used duty pistol calibers—pick the one that you shoot most accurately, that is most reliable in the type of pistol you choose, and best suits your likely engagement scenarios.

-- If you are in a potential threat situation where you are feeling unusually suspicious, your senses are on high alert, you have "alarm bells going off" in your head, etc... if at all possible, it is time to employ a long gun instead of a handgun.
--Dr Gary Roberts Leading American terminal ballistics researcher.

* * * * *
The cogent advice by Urey Patrick of the FBI FTU should be routinely heeded:

“Experienced officers implicitly recognize...when potential violence is reasonably anticipated their preparations are characterized by obtaining as many shoulder weapons as possible.”
“...no law enforcement officer should ever plan to meet an expected attack armed only with a handgun.”

Pick the most reliable one of your two rifles, put a good optical sight on it (I prefer Aimpoint's on mine) and just go with one rifle.

If you in fact get your mindset right, you may find on your return from your training class, that your rifle/carbine will replace that shotgun for Home defense too.

It is amazing what a proper mindset, facts, and ability combined will do for you. That is called training. Now go practice so as to maintain those abilities.

The following pretty much covers rifle/shotgun/handguns equally.

Again from Dr Roberts

The keys are:

-- Cultivate a warrior mindset
-- Invest in competent, thorough initial training and then maintain skills with regular ongoing practice
-- Acquire a reliable and durable weapon system (this includes sighting systems)
-- Purchase a consistent, robust performing duty/self-defense load in sufficient quantities (at least 1000 rounds) then STOP worrying about the nuances of handgun ammunition terminal performance.

Go figure.


Stupid should hurt

June 2, 2009, 04:04 AM
Bsa is very very bad If you want a good cheaper optic try burris tasco tactical red dot walther red dot I personelly run a trijicon reflex that if you look hard you can find for around 350 375ish but these others work very very well just check e out

June 11, 2009, 12:15 PM
You can get a new Eotech 512 (AA battery model, avoid the "N" battery model) for $400-410, and it includes its own mount. They are outstanding sights and you'll never feel that you cheaped out. I would also consider the 517 for $430 or so which has controls on the left side for more convenience.

When you look at Aimpoints remember that for most of them you'll be spending another $50-200 for a quality mount. I scratch my head at Aimpoint prices given that the Eotech is a whole new level of technology compared to them and is made in the USA, for the same or somewhat less money.

If you're going optics at all, I would get at least one quality optic to use for the rifle you'd go to in serious situations and for training. If you want a second optic but can't afford two $400+ hits, I'd look at anything in the $100-200 range, but realize it's basically a plinking optic. Some options might include the S.P.O.T. and the Vortex Strikefire, which both seem to have good reviews and cost around $150 including a mount.

June 11, 2009, 09:09 PM
BSA is crap.

Get at least one current generation Aimpoint. Do it, you'll appreciate the battery life, durability, and quality. Mount it to your primary carbine.

Get another Aimpoint, older, used. Like an Aimpoint 5000. Mount and zero that to your secondary rifle. I payed $100 for a used one earlier this year.

Or at a minimum, at least buy two older aimpoints and mount them up.

I scratch my head at Aimpoint prices given that the Eotech is a whole new level of technology compared to them and is made in the USA, for the same or somewhat less money.

The Aimpoint is near indestructible, and the battery life is phenomenal. You can literally turn it on and leave it on, ready to go, for a year or more depending on the model.

June 11, 2009, 09:12 PM
BSA is an absolute, unequivocal waste of money. Drop it from your thought process. There are adequate optics cheaper than aimpoints, but DO NOT get a BSA.

deer killa
December 6, 2009, 10:41 PM
bsa is crap how about millet,luepy,burris,or weaver

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