Scope Question: AR15


June 3, 2009, 10:02 PM
I purchased a Bushmaster with an 18" barrel a few months ago that was a special run for a distributor. It is a chrome moly match barrel and chamber, fluted barrel, with a free-floating aluminum handguard. It has a collapsible stock as well. I haven't been completely satisified with the groups, and I don't think it is the rifle's fault, nor the scope, nor just me. I think I didn't match the tool for the job.

I put a TA33 Acog with amber reticle on it just because I wanted one. I am really starting to rethink this decision. 5 and 10 shot groups average about 2 inches at 100 yards with quality handloads and factory ammunition. Not bad, but I just wonder how much better my groups would be if I had a little more magnification and a more precise reticle.

Don't get me wrong, the ACOG is a great scope. The glass is excellent, adjustments are repeatable, and it is one tough dude. But I have a hard time finding a consistent aim point with the chevron. Is the loose nut behind the trigger responsible for the larger-than-desired groups? He is probably a big factor.

But I am wondering if I should look another direction. I was looking at a Bushnell Elite Tactical 6500 with 2.5-16x42. What do you think? Up the magnification or keep the ACOG. From a cost standpoint, I really can't keep both. I'd have to sell the ACOG to get the Bushnell. But I can sell the ACOG for at least what I paid for it 6 months ago. New ones are going for $900ish.

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June 3, 2009, 10:10 PM
more practice

June 3, 2009, 10:10 PM
I don't think either is the right optics. I would get something with more magnification than the ACOG but less than the Bushnell (Also, a lot of people claim that the 6500 is a slightly worse than a 4200 so you may want to broaden your search). I think the size and weight of that particular scope is a bit much for the rifle (unless primarily shot from a bench). Personally I would lean towards a 3-9x40mm or the like. Look into a Zeiss, great stuff for about what you want to spend.

June 3, 2009, 10:14 PM
I have a very simular set up (same ACOG and similar rifle). The ACOG was never ment to put all rounds in the same hole at 100yds. It was designed to hit a man sized target (sometimes just that little brain bucket at the top if that is all that is exposed). That group your getting is really not bad considering. If you want smaller either you practice more and get use to it (I can get 1-1.5" with lots of practice, but not consistantly) or get the scope.

The biggest thing is what your going to use the rifle for? Is it going to be for paper punching or tactical situations?

Good luck on your decision.

June 3, 2009, 10:28 PM
WEG, "More practice..." no doubt about that. I'm sure I could shrink those groups with more time, but I guess I just don't feel like I'm doing a match barrel its due. I can shoot similar groups with similar ammo on my iron sighted AR...when I have more consistent practice.

Maverick, thanks. Those are things that I hadn't necessarily thought about much. That is why I am asking you guys because you all have great insight. I run a 3x9 on a couple of bolt guns and it really is enough scope for 99.9% of all shooting.

RC, unfortunately, most of my shooting is done from the bench. I'd like to get out in the field more, but free time isn't a luxury I have much of anymore.

June 3, 2009, 10:42 PM
You may consider looking at the Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4x20 (they also have a 3-9x40)

or possibly the Leupold Mark 4 1-3x14CQT

I've personally never looked through any of these scopes, but I have seen the Mark 4 and it looks cool. and Leupold makes some top quality glass.

June 3, 2009, 10:46 PM
Glad I was of some use. :D

June 3, 2009, 10:57 PM
If you want to use the rifle as a bench gun buy a bench scope. If you want it to be a fighting rifle use a fighting scope. The ACOG is good at what it is. That said it isn't going to be a target scope. 6x at 100 yards should be enough to get you 1MOA off a good bench if you have ammo the rifle likes and can shoot decent. I would think that at 2 MOA at 100 yards the ammo is more of an issue that the magnification. I know more magnification would help but not near as much as better ammo. I know a few guys local who shoot sub MOA off a bench with irons. I'm not that good but if they can pull MOA off with irons then with a proper setup 1 MOA with a 6x shouldn't be an issue given a good shooter and good ammo (as your setup seems solid).

June 4, 2009, 12:49 AM
2 MOA with an AR isn't bad -- getting tighter might mean working on ammo, weapon, or shooter, besides the optic. I do agree with the previous comment that an ACOG isn't meant for shooting bench rest cloverleafs, but for fast acquisition and shooting.

June 4, 2009, 12:50 AM
Double tap

June 4, 2009, 05:53 AM
I wouldn't be happy with 2MOA.

Even though I can do under 1 MOA with iron sights, if I doubt the ammo/rifle combination, I'll drop on a 6.5-20 Leupold to check.

June 4, 2009, 10:30 AM
When it comes to shooting at paper, bigger is better. I have one AR with an old Leupold 3X9 compact scope. Great for hunting, shooting at cans, etc. But, the cross hairs will completely cover the 7/8" stick-on dots I use to target practice on. You can actually move the gun around and still not see the dots. I have a Nikon 4X16 on another AR. You can clearly see the dots through the cross hairs. You can even tell if you're aiming at the top of the dot, or the bottom. That Nikon is much better for precision shooting. Use a good scope for ammo testing. Then stick the ACOG back on to get you in the general area knowing full well those bullets are going to go there.

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