Inexpensive Red Dot for AR-15


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CTGunner
September 18, 2010, 02:12 AM
Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced red dot sight for an AR-15 that is used for HD?

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-v-
September 18, 2010, 02:27 AM
A used or surplus Aimpoint would be my first choice. You can usually fish them up for the $100-300 range if you are diligent, and don't mind having one that looks like it has been used and abused in Iraq.

For more affordable option, I am impartial to the Bushnell TRS-25 micro-red dot. At 5/10 power its rated to last 3,000 hours, or about 3 months of constant operation. I have one on my AK for the past 3 months and it hasn't given me any trouble, but it also hasn't seen any hard use either. I generally keep it turned off when I am not home to minimize needless battery drain.

Sky
September 18, 2010, 02:34 AM
I have a Vortec Strikefire that I have not had any issues with. Checked the reviews at Optics planet and checked around for other reviews; I got the red dot only which is slightly brighter $149.00. Russian red dot 1moa at Kalinka optics for around $200 but I have not seen or used one.

TonyAngel
September 18, 2010, 02:46 AM
Check out primary arms. primaryarms.com I believe. The sell a line of Aimpoint knockoffs. The difference between primary arms and others is that they won't try to convince you that they are anything more than what they are and they stand behind their products. Lots of guys on ARF use them and there haven't been any complaints.

Of course, this is a response based on your request for an inexpensive red dot. If budget wasn't a concern, I'd be looking at one of the Aimpoint Comps or a Trijicon ACOG TA44S-10. The ones from PA run in the $100 neighborhood. If you start looking at the Vortex red dots, I'd just stretch my budget an start looking for either an Aimpoint Comp C3 (maybe used) or a used M2, M3, ML2 or ML3. This isn't to say that the Vortex isn't good, but at its price point, I'd rather spend a bit more and get a used Aimpoint.

I will say that buying an Aimpoint or ACOG is a long term investment in the sense that once you buy it, you won't have to replace it because it broke, unless it gets run over by a truck and maybe not even then.

oasis618
September 18, 2010, 02:55 AM
Not to be one of "those guys" but I wouldn't recommend an inexpensive red dot.

kwelz
September 18, 2010, 03:13 AM
I agree with oasis. Find a good used aimpoint M2. They are built like tanks.

wnycollector
September 18, 2010, 06:34 AM
I own two bushnell trs-25's and am very happy with them. They are lite (~4oz), well built and have a nice sharp 3 moa dot. Cabelas has them on sale for $100 now but the price changes constantly (last week they were $79 and two weeks before that $89!).

Coronach
September 18, 2010, 07:02 AM
If the gun is going to be used for HD, you really should not be looking for an inexpensive RD. If you do go that route, make sure you have back up irons and the ability to ditch the RD if it fails. Inexpensive red dots will eventually fail. Heck, expensive ones will, too, but they might fail on your grandchildren, not you.

I'm not a gear snob in regards to "sporting" or plinking optics, but something used defensively MUST WORK. And, you should be training with it, which means you should be using it pretty often, which will accellerate wear and tear. You'd be much better off saving up for a quality red dot than you would be fiddling around with lesser products.

Ask me how I know.

Mike

PS The recommendation of a used Aimpoint M2 is a good one. It is the least expensive of the Aimpoints out there, it is rugged as all heck, and the battery life (while inferior to the current models) is way more than adequate for a defensive role.

jsimmons
September 18, 2010, 08:29 AM
Go to primaryarms.com and check out their red dot store. I have a Primary Arms MicroDot on my AR. It's small, light, and holds zero after repeated abuse. I use the rifle in tactical carbine matches.

I'm in the process of building another AR, and am still considering which red dot to get for it - I might even get one of the Vortex sights (StrikeFire or SPARC). I also just picked up a M&P15-22 which will probably get the Primary Arms M3.

Putting optics on three rifles for less than the price of a single Aimpoint is - well - priceless.

CTGunner
September 18, 2010, 09:16 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I understand why some of you are saying not to skimp on the sight but right now I have nothing, just the iron sights. I thought I would be better off with something 'inexpensive' than nothing at all....tell me if/why I'm off base.

highorder
September 18, 2010, 09:47 AM
You don't have nothing, you have the iron sights!

Tirod
September 18, 2010, 10:14 AM
It's not a gear snob thing to insist on the highest reliability in gun gear. The whole point is that if gear fails, it could directly lead to immediate death. At least that's the standard.

How real that standard is depends on the skill level and redundancy of the user. A lot of military and tactical training is all about backup plans, alternate weapons, transition drills, etc. Then the gun is supposed to support the concept by being absolutely free of any failure, and help the user with faster reloading, backup sights, cowitnessing, and ambidextrous controls.

Note that with insistence on reliability, the market takes opposite view to sell a redundant back up option. They want you to spend for reliability and spend because failure seems guaranteed.

It's all a marketing game pitched to sell gear. The average Home Defense encounter involves a handgun with no optics and less than three shots fired at less than 21 feet.

Any gun in HD is better than no gun, buy an optic that matches the other 99% of what you will use it for. Lucid, Bushnell etc all make good optics in the $200 range, and you get money left over for ammo. Training is more important than brand name or alleged reliability of military optics. They break, too, the light repair company techs see the blinking cracked and dead optics all the time.

Most Americans - well, well over 90% - never have a home invasion. It probably happens less often than the breakdown rate on midrange priced optics. Find a balance point, practice, and be happy you have Customer Service, because the Army doesn't. They have a big inventory of float optics and their own repair department - if it's not declared "disposable." They get around the problem with an issue in kind - because their backup plan is it WILL break, and have spares.

wally
September 18, 2010, 10:15 AM
IMHO an inexpensive red dot co-witnessed with the AR irons is adequate.

I don't care how much you spend on the sight, batteries just have a way to be dead at the most inconvenient time so if your life really depends on it working, the Trijicons without batteries (Tritium & fiber optics) are your only real option -- but the Tritium will be dead for your grandchildren and cost as much as most ARs.

Jaybird78
September 18, 2010, 10:18 AM
With my limited experience with optics. I have learned a few things.

You usually get what you pay for.

Buy once and cry once.

FWIW I saved and bought a Aimpoint............and very happy I did. Don't hesitate to look at used.

kwelz
September 18, 2010, 10:52 AM
I thought I would be better off with something 'inexpensive' than nothing at all....tell me if/why I'm off base.

Because you already have reliable sights (Irons) that won't fail. A cheap red Dot could fail at a critical time and the transitions to Irons could lead to a delay that makes you dead.

Then buy a better one later. But buying cheap now will just delay your ability to buy quality. Also a cheap RDS will run you 100-150. A good used Aimpoint will run you about 250. I don't make a lot of money anymore, but that isn't really much difference even to me.

I have never seen an aimpoint fail, except when used on a SCAR. They are about as reliable as you can get. I always use either Aimpoint or Trijicon for this very reason. Yes you could buy a cheap RDS right now.

Sky
September 18, 2010, 11:01 AM
Where are you guys seeing used serviceable Aim Points for $150-$250? If they had a life time guarantee that would be the way to go.

Tirod
September 18, 2010, 11:09 AM
Riiight.

Cheap optics guarantee death.

I suppose it's equally plausible to say all those who bought them can't post because that is what happened. They're dead.

It's a wonder these companies stay in business with all the lawsuits from the survivors.

I'll say it again, the odds of actually having an Home Defense incident are pretty low. And having an optic fail doesn't happen, most people use handguns. IF an AR is used, it will likely fail because of a bad magazine, bad ammo, or operator incompetence.

The scare mongers will tell you otherwise, but they don't look at the big picture and balance all the factors.

Like not living in a high incidence neighborhood. Most move out - they spend the optic money on a U-haul van. That's the real world answer.

Not the fantasy internet Home Defense BS that sells more gear.

Walkalong
September 18, 2010, 11:35 AM
The Aimpoints are night and day better than the others. I have a Vortex Strikefire and a S.P.O.T red dot sight as well as an Aimpoint purchased new and an old one purchased used. If you are picky about clarity and sight picture, find a good used Aimpoint or suck it up and buy a new one. You will be glad you did in the long run. On the other hand, if those two things are not all that important to you, the kinock offs may be OK, but as Coronach posted, for SD I would buy an Aimpoint, or at least some other top notch sight.

Quiet
September 18, 2010, 12:02 PM
If you are on a budget...
... the Vortex SPARC is a great buy.
... the Primary Arms Aimpoint clones are a good buy.

-v-
September 18, 2010, 12:23 PM
An other thing to consider is at most typical SD ranges, you are almost guaranteed hits on the BG without using sights at ALL. Do this practice drill: Hang up a standard man-sized silhouette target, step back 21 feet (7 yards - the MAXIMUM distance that HD encounters usually happen at), shoulder your AR, and blast away at the silhouette without even glancing at the sight. See how many hits you get. You will be surprised. At the 10 yards and below, you should be point shooting, not taking the time to line up the shot.

Its the same reason that a shotgun is so effective. People don't have the mentality of lining up the sights, instead they rely on point shooting. Spread at 7 yards is only a 2-3 inches, no where big enough to guarantee a hit without any aiming.

Tommygunn
September 18, 2010, 01:31 PM
+1000000 on "don't buy cheap!"

I put a cheap red dot on my Sig Sauer 556. It died the first shot I took with it!
Learned my lesson at the range.
NOT a good thing to "learn" when you NEED to hit the "moment of bad guy."

Coronach
September 18, 2010, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I understand why some of you are saying not to skimp on the sight but right now I have nothing, just the iron sights. I thought I would be better off with something 'inexpensive' than nothing at all....tell me if/why I'm off base.Depends on what your goal is.

Is your goal to end up with a high-quality defensive RD on your rifle? If yes, you're off-base. $150 for an Aimpoint knock-off followed by $400 for an Aimpoint is $550. If you're saving up $25 per month for this goal, you'll reach it six months later of you detour into knockoff land.

OTOH, if you're willing to wait to buy the Aimpoint and you have a use for the cheap RD when you do finally get there (the better ones are perfectly good enough for plinkers), it's not necessarily a bad route to go, PROVIDED you are able to use your irons if the optic goes down in the interim.

And it's not just durability. It is also battery life. The cheapest Aimpoint has a battery life measured in thousands of hours. The same is NOT true of the rest of the bunch. If you pull out the gun in an emergency and the red dot is dead, it doesn't matter if it is dead because the dot fell apart or if it is because the battery died. One way or the other, the dot isn't working.

Yes, before you ask, I have pulled out a gun (not in an emergency) with a cheaper RD on it and found it dead. Happened three times (twice on the same dot/gun combo). So yes, it does happen.

Mike

wally
September 18, 2010, 03:16 PM
A cheap red Dot could fail at a critical time and the transitions to Irons could lead to a delay that makes you dead

So could the battery in an expensive one. If its properly co-witnessed with the irons there is no transition.

Quentin
September 18, 2010, 03:47 PM
IMHO an inexpensive red dot co-witnessed with the AR irons is adequate.

Darn, Wally beat me to it again! :D

Anyway I certainly agree, a 1/2" rail riser normally allows you to properly cowitness a cheap RDS with your iron sights (in my case a chopped milspec carry handle). If the dot fails you can still use the RDS as a ghost ring to get on target quick and if you have more time you can use the iron sights. Not a big problem at close range at all.

Of course it's best to have the best gear but in a pinch a cheap RDS will do. I have a real cheap Barska properly cowitnessed on my dedicated .22LR "AR" and can't see any need to upgrade. Now for more recoil in 5.56 it might not last. For that I'm waiting on a backordered Bushnell TRS-25 from the Cabela's $79 sale. I'm going to cut off another carry handle and expect it to cowitness with the YHM-9595 4x1/2" rail riser and TRS-25.

mic_poo
September 18, 2010, 03:56 PM
I've been struggling with the optics decision for a while, wanting to be cheap and stay within a reasonable budget...

However, I've made up my mind to follow the ABC purchase principle... Anywhere But China.

Therefore, I will save up for a RD optic made anywhere in the world, except a place that funds the chinese military.

Skylerbone
September 18, 2010, 05:01 PM
For home defense on the cheap I recommend the following: a Streamlight TLR-1 ($100 or so) and a set of low mount 1" scope rings ($20 or so, a bit more if you buy a decent pair of quick detach). The light will illuminate your target so you can determine WHO you are firing on (useful if you don't live alone) and serve to blind an attacker. The scope rings will give you a large, open sight which will allow for two eye open use and co-witness with your irons.

Both pieces of gear can be used should you decide to "upgrade" later.

strambo
September 18, 2010, 07:36 PM
Well...if an inexpensive RDS has the battery life to be left on all night for HD use (eliminating a delay to turn it on) and if the front and rear BUIS are in the up position...then yes, I don't think the failure possibility is a big deal.

However, the less expensive dots usually don't have that kind of battery life letting you leave them on so you lose time turning it on. I don't personally like the rear sight in my way either, I leave my front one up though. I would save for a good one and use the irons with a good flashlight until then if for HD.

AR27
September 18, 2010, 07:47 PM
Save up for an EoTech 512, I did and its awesome.

kwelz
September 18, 2010, 09:20 PM
So could the battery in an expensive one. If its properly co-witnessed with the irons there is no transition.

A lot of setups have folding BUISs. It takes time to flip them up.
A good aimpoint will last years on a single battery. Heck the new models last 7 or 8 years.

No electric CSM beerfect but there is no reason to buy cheap for a weapon that will be used for HD. As for the argument that the chances are slim of needing it. Sure that is true. So may as well not CC, or have insurance on your car or house. After all the odds of needing thrum are really low.

Tirod
September 18, 2010, 09:33 PM
Be advised, the same factory that makes red dots for frugal shooters, including the Lucid, also makes components for Aimpoints and Eotechs.

It's a global economy for real. No, not all the parts come from Sweden.

I have to ask, what pistol users carries a red dot on the weapon for duty? If someone does carry a weapon for self protection, wouldn't a laser be a more accommodating choice that meets street combat conditions better?

And what does all that have to do with putting a red dot on a AR15? Very few carry one of those in civilian life. "Hey, I got my CCW and made the mandatory 'walk in Walmart' tonight with my AR 15."

Let's back up and get off the "Death by Cheap Optic" hysteria. 1) Home Defense is an internet fantasy churned up to sell, sell, sell. 2) Most homeowners keep the AR's locked up and have a handgun for worst case. 3) The handgun will most likely have a laser on it, if anything. 4) If the neighborhood is that bad, the home will have an alarm system and a large dog.

Putting a red dot on an AR is a nice to have thing - I had one in the 1970's on a HK91. It didn't make it a first choice for negotiating narrow hallways, or getting the slice on a corner. Handguns do that. Handguns with a laser do it better. A handgun with laser, and a light to identify a noisy teen sneaking in at two AM? Better yet.

Red dots on race guns are common, on street carry I question it. Using a cheap red dot on a primary weapon for daily carry, I question it a lot. The OP didn't ask for that, tho, he asked what red dot he could put on his AR. Well, the whole point of the $125 to $250 price class is to get a reliable optic for a good price. He didn't ask for a combat quality, daily carry, and lethal force environment optic. As said, they don't really exist yet. We just buy a lot and replace them constantly. They are neither reliable or abuse resistant - they are made of glass, copper, and small parts. They fail, and relying on anything that can fail doesn't mean a fatal mistake will occur. As said, at the distances likely in an encounter, you can still point and shoot.

If you carry a weapon daily on duty and expect lethal encounters, I certainly would buy quality. Like as not, IT WILL BE SUPPLIED BY YOUR ORGANIZATION. Bad if it can't be, certainly, spend the money for the (assumed) higher reliability.

For home or sport, not so much. It's NOT life and death every minute of every day, get what a budget and common sense lead you to.

kwelz
September 18, 2010, 09:46 PM
Tirod I disagree strongly. First of all the same factory making something, if this is the case, makes no difference. The same factory can make multiple products of varying quality.

Secondly, are you telling us that a firearm has never been used in self defense or a home defense scenario? Ithappens all the time and the weapons vary. I have a HG as my bedside gun. I also have an AR right there with me.

Lastly red dots are more than just for race guns and toys. They allow for faster target acquisition and followup shots. Mr. Hackathorn was discussing this with us at the last class. The trend towards RDS is moving towards handguns as well. Right now there are a few problems but trijicon and others are making great strides. Range toy are one thing. I am gong to put a PA RDS on my .22 AR. But for a weapon I may use for HD I use something more reliable.

jwsturr
September 18, 2010, 09:58 PM
Burris

benEzra
September 18, 2010, 10:18 PM
Be advised, the same factory that makes red dots for frugal shooters, including the Lucid, also makes components for Aimpoints and Eotechs.
Some components are shared between a GMC Sierra HD 3500 and a Chevy Malibu, too. That doesn't mean that a Malibu will hold up under the same conditions that the GMC will.

And what does all that have to do with putting a red dot on a AR15? Very few carry one of those in civilian life. "Hey, I got my CCW and made the mandatory 'walk in Walmart' tonight with my AR 15."

Let's back up and get off the "Death by Cheap Optic" hysteria. 1) Home Defense is an internet fantasy churned up to sell, sell, sell. 2) Most homeowners keep the AR's locked up and have a handgun for worst case. 3) The handgun will most likely have a laser on it, if anything. 4) If the neighborhood is that bad, the home will have an alarm system and a large dog.
Americans have been using long guns for home defense since before John Moses Browning was born, never mind Eugene Stoner. An AR fills exactly the same role that a 12-gauge pump does, or that lever-actions often did a century ago.

Putting a red dot on an AR is a nice to have thing - I had one in the 1970's on a HK91. It didn't make it a first choice for negotiating narrow hallways, or getting the slice on a corner. Handguns do that. Handguns with a laser do it better. A handgun with laser, and a light to identify a noisy teen sneaking in at two AM? Better yet.
IMO, a light on a long gun is more of a must-have than a red dot is. But I think if you *are* going to put a red dot on a gun intended for a defensive role, it should be a very reliable dot, or else you are arguably worse off than using just irons.

That's not to say there aren't any reliable dots in the $110 to $200 price range---the Primary Arms Micro and the Vortex Strikefire come to mind---but the guy at Primary Arms is very up-front about the tradeoffs necessary at that price point.

Tirod
September 18, 2010, 10:27 PM
I'm well aware of what red dots do, I bought one in the '70s precisely because of their positive attributes.

The majority of the public still doesn't use them. My objection to recommending them isn't because they can do some good, in whatever quality they may be. It's in recommending only military grade specifications for the casual user.

Having served 22 years in the Reserves, military grade isn't the end all be all. It's even less than leading edge, as the tech has to be set, proven, and hardened to withstand life and stupid things happening. It's also intended for extreme use, not casual or occasional shooting.

The money someone spends to acquire an object has to be offset by it's utilty value for them, not an arbitrary standard. I sell a lot of cheap auto parts, very few made by Tier 1 manufacturers, and know very well what varying quality they offer. Most car owners don't and won't buy the best quality, and as the boxes, marts, and catalogs show, they won't spend it on guns much either. They have a need that can be filled by a lower price offering, and they have other budgetary demands, too.

If they don't carry daily with a need for lethal force at any time, that grade of quality simply isn't needed. There are still thousands of soldiers who aren't issued an Aimpoint or Eotech, and some may never shoot one during their enlistment, strange as that might seem. That's because the Army doesn't deem it necessary for the performance of their duties. Not every shooter needs the top of line, and some never get to use one. Look carefully, there are still M16A2's on duty, iron sights only.

Spec'ing $600 optics to mount on a $800 AR to sit in the closet doesn't pass the common sense test when milk and bread needs to be bought for the kids. Assuming large amounts of disposable cash exist is even more presumptuous. If someone asks what inexpensive optic can be purchased, why not recommend something in their price range rather than insult them with the recommendation of something they already admitted wasn't in the budget.

The OP asked for a recommendation for a low priced optic. If that doesn't sit well, maybe the disgruntled should ask whether it's because they got their own feelings hurt. MOST products on the market AREN'T top of the line, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

People are free to choose what they want and accept the risk level they are comfortable with.

Skylerbone
September 19, 2010, 05:00 AM
Ahh, it's come down to an arguement again. The truth is the op asked for suggestions in an inexpensive red dot sight for home defense. Gentlemen, this debate could rage for days as to whose idea is best (I think I won with the scope rings..er "XXL Ghost Ring Aperture Sights" and flashlight) and what choice may prove his undoing. We are all opinionated to be sure but truth be told we know little about the op and his particular situation.

Were he to have say a whole house Clapper and BUIS, I say he's good to go: instant lighting, aim and shoot. If however he has children in the next room or next to an outside door or a wife who gets up every three hours to check the fridge or friends who like to play pranks...well you get the point.

I didn't answer his question either because I do have thoughts about optics in certain price ranges as a whole but my answer avoids recommending something I wouldn't trust my own life to. Personally, I think a RDS with or without BUIS is no better than sighting down the barrel at room distance and likely worse. My suggestion also gives the op a very descent piece of gear in the TLR that can be used on a pistol or long gun and removed when not needed. Most importantly, IT IDENTIFIES WHO IS ABOUT TO BE SHOT!!! The scope rings were suggested not as a joke but because they will work. They're easier to find than irons, especially if the flashlight is the only light source AND the op has just been awakened.

Let's all try to remember why we're here, to help each other. Some will only heed the advice they wanted, others will listen to reason. If we muddy the waters with arguements about sub $600 optics being POSs when someone really only needs a can of wasp spray then we've not helped at all.

PS: Sorry for the long lecture. Somewhere in that last paragraph is option B. Wasp spray is effective to about 25' and need only hit an intruder somewhere to subdue him.

coloradokevin
September 19, 2010, 05:17 AM
I've had a lot of friends who've had bad luck with cheap red dots. Personally, I carry an Eotech on my duty rifle, and it has been great. They probably don't fall into the category of "cheap" in most people's minds, but they aren't the most expensive optics on the market either (I think I paid $375 or something similar for mine).

JShirley
September 19, 2010, 06:32 AM
Duct taping a home invader would be of doubtful legality and the house occupant could face charges even more serious than the dedicated criminal.

Zerodefect
September 19, 2010, 09:33 AM
A quality optic is going to be cheaper anyway, especially if you get training,run&gun, or compete. The cheapo's don't last long, an Aimpoint will last the rest of your life.....and then some. All my cheap scopes went TU years ago and are in a landfill somewhere.

An Aimpoint Ml3 is hardly super expensive, you did say HD. Put it on a Larue lt129 so you can move it on to other weapons as needed.

The cost difference is a few months of cable, cut that. LOL.

jsimmons
September 19, 2010, 10:50 AM
Depends on what your goal is.

Is your goal to end up with a high-quality defensive RD on your rifle? If yes, you're off-base. $150 for an Aimpoint knock-off followed by $400 for an Aimpoint is $550. If you're saving up $25 per month for this goal, you'll reach it six months later of you detour into knockoff land.

OTOH, if you're willing to wait to buy the Aimpoint and you have a use for the cheap RD when you do finally get there (the better ones are perfectly good enough for plinkers), it's not necessarily a bad route to go, PROVIDED you are able to use your irons if the optic goes down in the interim.

And it's not just durability. It is also battery life. The cheapest Aimpoint has a battery life measured in thousands of hours. The same is NOT true of the rest of the bunch. If you pull out the gun in an emergency and the red dot is dead, it doesn't matter if it is dead because the dot fell apart or if it is because the battery died. One way or the other, the dot isn't working.

Yes, before you ask, I have pulled out a gun (not in an emergency) with a cheaper RD on it and found it dead. Happened three times (twice on the same dot/gun combo). So yes, it does happen.

Mike
I maintain my weapons in a ready status 24/7. That means all of my pistols are in condition 1, and my AR is in the case with my cheap RDS already mounted and a magazine in the rifle, but no round chambered. I have a couple of spare batteries for my cheap RDS in the case as well, but I check the battery at least once a week to make sure it still "lights up".

All that being said, my AR is not my primary means of SD in the home - that's the job of my 1911 or my XD40. My AR is for when SHTF. If my cheap RDS fails, or I run out of batteries, oh well. It's on a QD mount can can be removed in a couple of seconds. I still have my iron sights (that I spent almost $200 on), so it's not like I don't have a means to put a round on what I'm shooting at.

Yes - you "get what you pay for" to some extent, but we're talking electronics here, and electronics - REGARDLESS of where they're made - are likely to fail at the most inopportune times. Relying on just your RDS is beyond stupid, I don't care how much the scope cost you. I see a lot of rifles with nothing but expensive optics on them, and have to laugh to myself.

Besides all that, since it will apparently take less time for my RDS to become completely ineffective (according to theory), my rifle will be that much lighter that much sooner. :)

Water-Man
September 19, 2010, 12:01 PM
Practice point-shooting. Go to the range or wherever you like, estimate the longest shot you would have in your house and set the target up at that distance. Point-shooting is the way to go.

Birddog1911
September 19, 2010, 12:29 PM
I've got to agree with a number of folks here. When you're going to bet your life on equipment, it had better work. I just picked up an Aimpoint Comp M4S for my AR. One of the great selling points, to me, is the incredible battery life. 80,000 hours on a single AA battery at low setting. The ability to have a constant on RDS is important to me. I won't have to wake up in the middle of the night and have to fiddle with little buttons or turning a knob.

Edited to add: I had a Primary Arms Micro on a FAL, and it was rock solid. I've got one for my AKS 74. They are very durable, but I use them for the range; maybe HD if I couldn't get to the AR. Of course, I can co witness with the AKS.

sig228
September 19, 2010, 04:31 PM
Back to the OP's original question. Here's a great, cheap, red dot.

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/SCP009-34.html

HOWEVER, I highly recommend what the others are saying, get yourself something quality when and if you can. Sometimes the optics cost more than the gun!!

zxcvbob
September 19, 2010, 04:41 PM
DO NOT buy an ATN Compact Digital Ultra sight (about $150.) It looks good, but it can't even take the recoil of a heavy-barreled .22LR target pistol for very long.

kwelz
September 19, 2010, 05:48 PM
Practice point-shooting. Go to the range or wherever you like, estimate the longest shot you would have in your house and set the target up at that distance. Point-shooting is the way to go.

I can not think of a single well known reputable instructor who would agree with you.

Zerodefect
September 19, 2010, 06:51 PM
Practice point-shooting. Go to the range or wherever you like, estimate the longest shot you would have in your house and set the target up at that distance. Point-shooting is the way to go.

+1000!:D

Knowing how far you can hit accurately by just pointing is something all shooters need to know for defense.

Why? Because when your scared out of your mind, are you sure your going to have the time or balls to aim.

I start to instictively look for the sights around 10yds. Before that If I pretend/try to create an alarm reaction, I just point.

Al Thompson
September 19, 2010, 08:02 PM
are you sure your going to have the time or balls to aim

:rolleyes: How refreshing. Not. I've never heard of anyone planning to panic before. Point shooting means a bunch of different things to most folks, but failing to index your sights and worse, planning to fail to index your sights is just mind boggling. Azizza has it right, nobody with any experience recommends such silliness.

Skylerbone
September 19, 2010, 09:03 PM
CTGunner

Are any of these suggestions sounding good to you? We haven't heard much out of you. Are you still thinking red dot? Cheap or expensive? Thinking about a guard dog? Chime in.

Glocked-N-Loaded
September 20, 2010, 09:29 AM
If you've never owned a particular make or model of something, I find it best to keep your uneducated opinions about that particular make or model to yourself, lest ye sound like a fool. Primary Arms is a fantastic company with fantastic products. Their optics are clear, reliable, and $100. If you're going to war, sure, spend the extra and buy an Aimpoint or ACOG. If you're going to the range, buy a Primary Arms. Aimpoints are better, that is not in dispute, even Marsh, the owner of Primary Arms, will tell you to not take a PA optic to war and expect it to perform the same as an Aimpoint. The niche they fill is in the inexpensive, uber-reliable optic that has 4 reticles that are clear and bright market. Take it for what it is. The OP said inexpensive, an Aimpoint does not fit that criteria, the PA does, the Vortex does, etc. etc. Everytime I've turned it on it works, perfectly might I add. I'd trust it in a HD situation with no hesitation.

BTW, brand snobbishness is too funneh, "I've never tried "X" product but it's not an ACOG so it must suck." "Oh me? I just have this little ole $1300 ACOG, nothing special really...." <---- insert all the Ooooo's and Ahhhhhh's from the creepy range commandos.

zxcvbob
September 22, 2010, 02:28 PM
I think I fixed my p.o.s. ATN gun sight last night. (turns itself off from the recoil of a .22) I'd found that if I really cinched the battery access screws tight, it didn't turn off *every* time I shot, just sometimes. I opened it up to try cleaning the contacts, and I noticed that one of the contacts was a copper spring terminal, but it really didn't have any springiness to it at all. Just dead soft copper, with a cutout underneath for clearance. So I put a paper shim under it, put it all back together, and it worked perfectly for a box-and-a-half of ammo. A new record! ;) And this was full-powered ammo, not subsonic target ammo.

greyling22
September 22, 2010, 02:58 PM
I've put cheap truglo red dots ($30-$40) on 2 ar's and 1 sks. they've held up fine. the cheap tasco red dot on the ruger 10/22 wanders occasionally. I found a millet red dot on sale at academy for 60 bucks and upgraded one of the AR's to that. it's held up fine too. now, none of those guns get hard use. the ar's have had 800 and 300 round through them, and the sks maybe 100 but been treated roughly. the 10/22 gets thrown around a lot. I trust them for hogs, I wouldn't take them to iraq. for the price of an aimpoint, for home defense, I'd prefer a shotgun.

stepping up a notch, I'd look at the small bushnell tr-25 (100), vortex red dots (150), ultradot (150-200?), and lucid. hd7. (200) midway also runs sales on aimpoint sometimes. I've seen them around 250 before.

Zerodefect
September 22, 2010, 07:13 PM
:rolleyes: How refreshing. Not. I've never heard of anyone planning to panic before. Point shooting means a bunch of different things to most folks, but failing to index your sights and worse, planning to fail to index your sights is just mind boggling. Azizza has it right, nobody with any experience recommends such silliness.


Ahhh. So what?

I know exactly how effective I am if I have to point shoot, or if my red dot fails and i don't have time to flip up my Troys I can "shoot the tube" out to 15yds easy.

Not saying it's the most useful tactic, but another feather in your cap. Ignoring training such as point shooting, ambi switches, etc. because it's hard, or unusual seems silly to me.

During a pistol or carbine run and gun I automaticly switch form pointing usually around 7-10 yards, depends on the target and my position.

Still when bullets are flying past your head, I'd like to see how diciplined your shooting becomes. Time and time again, good experienced shooters fall apart under stress. Best to be ready for that, should it happen to you.

Al Thompson
September 22, 2010, 07:25 PM
Shooting the tube (neat phrase, I'm stealing that one) is very doable and one reason my ARs have front sights. With the front sight, suitably marked, one can go to 75 yards, perhaps 100. ;)

But, that's not point shooting (my definition), that's an emergency index. :p


Still when bullets are flying past your head, I'd like to see how disciplined your shooting becomes

Two way rifle or pistol matches are hard to train for - stress inoculation through frequent repetitive training and competition helps. I've noted over the years that frequent IPSC/IDPA shooters tend to be about as good as it gets outside of a very few small military groups and, perhaps, some major city SWAT teams. Otherwise, the only answer to your point would be to take photographs at a Tactical Response class. :scrutiny: :eek:


:neener:

OP, I just ordered a Primary Arms M4 RDS for my M&P15-22. Tad less than a hundred bucks shipped. I'll post when I get some range time with it.

Zerodefect
September 22, 2010, 07:26 PM
I can not think of a single well known reputable instructor who would agree with you.


So your not going to try to learn something new based on that?
How far can you point shoot? That may be worth knowing. I'll bet you allready know anyway.

Tell me you really can't hit a target 7 yards away (21'?)? Even lame inaccurate paintball guns can hit a target at 100' nearly every single point with enough practice.



reputable instructors:
http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/Magpul-Dynamics-Art-of-the-tactical-carbine-2-dvd-p/magpul%20dvd%20dyn002.htm
For newer guys that haven't been to a class yet, this DVD gives you an idea what to be ready for, and enough info so that you can get more out of the classes you do attend, too bad its $50!

I'm going to try catching one of thier classes next fall maybe, after I get some more basic, less expensive, classes to brush up with.

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