AR Optics-What is yours and why?


April 20, 2013, 12:27 AM
I looked at a couple other threads regarding optics for AR's ....

A couple were even locked ..... :confused:

I wanted some input on optics for the platform. Rather than opinion, just our purpose for what we chose! So lets see what we have and why we have it!

Compare notes and rate products hopefully!

I recently put a NcSTAR (Model STM3942G) on my recently purchased DPMS Sportical!

I chose it for the following reasons: I put a few fixed and red dot on it for like quick acquisition, such as home defense scenario, but then when at the range it was boring (prob should be I suppose) and was lacking out in the field...anyway went shopping and this scope seem to offer everything I was looking for:

It was priced Decent
It does give a degree of quick acquisition
It gives variable power for hunting varmints
It had adjustable illumination ( although I feel even Lo it is a little bright in the night time ) giving a small halo effect ... Might just be my old eyes?
It Has QR Camlock mount which allows me to go to Magpul Flip Sites if needed

Thats What I have for this discussion.

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ol' scratch
April 20, 2013, 12:58 AM
I have an Eotech holographic and magnifier on my rifle. It fits the purpose and theme of the rifle. It is very quick and the sight picture is the best I have seen. When I want to see a little more, I slap the magnifier over. It is one of the best all around sight packages I have used.

April 20, 2013, 09:59 AM
olscratch ... Eotech - Interesting! I just looked at those online. Which Model do you have?

April 20, 2013, 10:31 AM
For small game hunting I have a 3x9x40 Vortex scope with a LaRue QD mount.

And for playing around with the guys target shooting, and self defense, I use an Aimpoint PRO red dot sight, with a Dominator 2 MBUS rear sight.

April 20, 2013, 10:33 AM
I have 3 Aimpoint M2s and the EO Tech. I would like to get the AGOC to stretch it out to the weapons max effective range.

April 20, 2013, 10:34 AM
...Sorry, I have them because that is what the military uses, or used to use, and if it's good enough for them...

April 20, 2013, 10:35 AM
I use an ELCAN Canadian battle optics (Non IR) in my flat top.

I worked for Raytheon a while back and got it at cost.

It is slick with the 5.56 NATO BDC incorporated.The image is crystal clear at fixed 3.4 power.

April 20, 2013, 10:44 AM
My favorite, thus far, has been the Bushnell TRS-25.

Light, durable, very good quality and affordable.

I don't like relying on optics solely, for a rifle that may save my life. I'm good with my red dots, I'm great with my irons.

For distance work, Nikon 4x16x40.

April 20, 2013, 10:50 AM
PA M4 clone. Why? I went for value over absolute reliability.

April 20, 2013, 11:04 AM
I use a Burris 332 on my 3 gun AR, and honestly it gets shot the most even just as a range toy and short range varmint shooting. It works about as well as a 1x red dot at short range and the 3x gives me enough range to easily shoot 6x9 steel plates out to 400 yards.

For my dedicated pig/varmint upper I have a 4-12 scope for the precision extended range capabilities.

April 20, 2013, 11:10 AM
Bushnell TRS-25 because I am cheap and it was less than $100--including the separately purchased UTG mount. I did not need some tactical military grade optic...just something for target shooting.

Risky buisness
April 20, 2013, 02:17 PM
Never thought I would want some battery operated item on my 'house rifle. Always thought irons were best, I have thought differently lately. I decided to try a holographic sight, not wanting to spend the 400 odd $ on an eotech or an Aimpoint that I wasn't sure I would like , I chose an Aimshot, it's US made and very functional as well. got about 250 $ in it, the mount jumps on and off my M4 just fine and it adjusts perfectly, still a little hesitant about the whole battery thing but it preforms very well and I have a spare battery in a pistol grip holder made just for that purpose. to back that up I have put a Bob Jones diopter lens in the rear to sharpen up that front sight post,Yankee Hill flip up co witnesses perfectly. so that's what I use for optics on my AR

April 20, 2013, 02:21 PM
Mine is mainly a range toy also, but I have a Burris MTAC 1.5-6x40 on my Colt M4/LE6920. I like the additional power, and objective width over the typical 1-4 power optics. I think it is a lot of scope for the money too, and with the Burris QD mount, I can take it off in a second and use the irons without losing zero when I put it back on. I may get a red dot for it, also with a quick release mount.

April 20, 2013, 02:35 PM
I picked an Aimpoint CompM4s. Using a AA battery makes it nice because they are easy to find and should still be in any scenario where supply shortage or ordering becomes an issue. It is heavy but I'm willing to deal with that to have the convenience of AA. I do want to add a magnifier though.

Sent using Tapatalk 2

April 20, 2013, 05:40 PM
Aimpoint micro t1 on my sbr hd gun
Swaro z6i 1-6 on my 3gun AR
ACOG 4x RCO model on my old recce
USO 1-8x on my new SPR

And Misc others

Welding Rod
April 20, 2013, 05:46 PM
Aim Point M4S.

Edit: Why? I am unaware of a higher quality red dot on the market.

I have owned both, and prefer the lower battery position of the M4S over the M4. Both have good optical quality, good battery life, and good mounting systems. They have a reputation for toughness. My shooting has convinced me of the superiority do a RDS for fast hits if magnification isn't needed.

When magnification is needed I use a Trijicon 3-9 scope with fibre optic red triangle on a post.

ole farmerbuck
April 20, 2013, 05:50 PM
Nikon 6x24x50 and Nikon 5x20x44's on my p-dog AR's

April 20, 2013, 07:33 PM
The optic should be selected for the purpose of the rifle.

To be perfectly honest I own the exact same optic as you have.
It was the optic I purchased with my first AR.

Once I decided to dedicate each rifle for a purpose I chose an EOTech XPS-2 for my Noveske CQB rifle.

I'm now saving for a high quality 1-6x24 or 1-7x24 for my Stag Arms 3G 3 gun rig.

April 20, 2013, 07:42 PM
Eotech XPS2 on a Larue QD mount

Reticle- i pick it up faster than just a dot and can do crude range finding with it. Also have a 7yd zero with bottom of 65 MOA circle

1MOA dot for precision
Doesnt drain batteries when off like the older models
Transverse battery mount fixes battery box issues seen on older models
Takes CR123 batteries. Same as my light (WML) so I keep them in my stock storage anyways.
Big TV screen like window. Aimpoints feel like Im looking through a toilet paper tube.
Rugged. Yep I said it. Internet commandos be damned. The new XPS line works.
Im much faster at snap shooting with it vs. irons.
USA made.

April 20, 2013, 11:12 PM
CompC3 on my rifle. Wanted something that is durable and where battery life is a non-issue. Rifle does double duty as my HD gun and also my 3-Gun rifle. So far very happy with it. 0-200 yards is no problem with it. I haven't had the opportunity to shoot it beyond 200.

I should add that my SGL21 has a TRS25 dot on it. Surprisingly durable dot sight and the 3,000 hour battery life is not a bad feature either. I find the TRS25 to be a way more optic versus its competition in the same under $100 price bracket. Haven't had a chance to compare it to the mid-level $200-range dots, but I wouldn't be surprised if it stacks up very well versus them.

April 21, 2013, 12:31 AM
I'm a fan of the open sights so I have a stock open sights on two.
On the varmint gun I used the Armalite mount, as it matches the height above bore of the carry handle mount (which I think is ideal), holding a low end (for now) 3-9 Bushnell scope. Someday I'd like to put some nice Nikon glass there, but I don't shoot it enough to justify the cost of quality glass.

April 21, 2013, 12:55 AM
I have a Bushnell Elite 4200 1.25-4x24 with a lit #4 reticle on my mid length BCM for general self defense use. Very heavy posts great for low light and tactical flashlight shooting.
For my varmint rifle, a Remington R-15 wears a Burris Signature Select 3-12x44 BP to call coyotes mainly, close in and way out, either one.

April 21, 2013, 02:36 AM
I bought an NcStar scope for the price and it's sitting on a shelf. The mount was canted from the factory and the system of mounting it to the carry handle made it worse.

I had a Leaper's branded scope that lasted several seasons of tactical rifle but when it went south it did so in a big way.

Spend decent money on your optics. That bargain stuff from China can't be trusted in the long term in my experience.

Currently using a Hakko electro dot 4x fixed. They made scopes for Colt and while the technology is old, it does what I want it to.

April 21, 2013, 07:00 AM
3 AR's set up differently. I have one set up for longer range shooting with a 2-8X32 Nikon Monarch. One has a Vortex SPARC red dot, and another with a 1-4X20 Leupold. All are in QD mounts with back up irons.

If I had pick one as the most useful it would be the 1-4X20 scope. For quick shooting it is as fast when set on 1X as the dot. While the dot is easily visible in low light, I can see the target much better with either scope in poor light. On 4X it gives me enough magnificaion for 95%-99% of the shooting I'll ever do.

April 21, 2013, 07:06 AM
Currently all I have purchased is some Magpul Gen 2 MBUS backup sights. There's just so many options out there it is mind-boggling and I'm sort of just trying to mull through all the data before I splurge on getting a primary optics system. I'm totally new to rifle shooting and have never used an optic before, as I'm just used to shooting via the iron of my pistols.

April 21, 2013, 10:18 AM
I have 2 AR's that I built. On one I put a Trijicon ACOG 4x32 TA31F because I wanted a tactical top quality scope that will probably last me for the rest of my life. Awesome scope for sure. The only not so good thing is the eye relief is fairly short but on a soft shooting AR it's a non issue.

The other has a Burris AR536 5x36 which is a very nice optic and about 1/3 the price of an ACOG. I am very happy with both.

April 21, 2013, 10:34 AM
I too run a TA31F. I wanted something that was tough as nails, accurate and would not fail me. Short of it getting shot, which if that happens I have bigger issues...

I shoot a local tactical rifle match, with Dr. Rob, and our targets can be anywhere from 25y paper to 425y steel plates. Sometimes the range is known, most of the time it is not. The ACOG allows me to engage any targets I am likely to see with ease and confidence. The glass is very clear, the 4x is perfect for my AR and shooting and well it just looks cool ;)

April 21, 2013, 10:39 AM
I have 3 ARs (2 x 5.56, 1 x 300 BLK). Two of them have iron sights and the third has an Aimpoint ML3. I'm going to do some side by side testing of the 2 5.56s to determine which, if either, is inherently more accurate. Whichever is will get something more suited for longer range work and will need some kind of magnified optics. Hence my reading this thread. :)

I've just recently joined a private club with ranges out to 1000 yards. I'd like to be able to shoot my 5.56 from the bench out to 400 - 600 yards. Any recommendations for that specific purpose?

April 21, 2013, 10:42 AM
Frankly, up to 50 yards I like iron sights.

I have and use an Aimpoint Pro because they are essentially hammer proof, light and battery lasts forever. Got it back when they were $350.

For 1-4X at a low cost, I bought a Primary Arms 1-4 X 24 scope. Nice reticule and red dot for $115, not the lightest but certainly lighter than the NcStar products I've touched. I still need to find a nice QD 30mm forward mount - the nice ones are in the $175 range!

I have DD mid-length in 5.56 and a PSA 6.8SPC upper that I switch back and forth. Had a dream of a 458SOCOM before the madness.

April 21, 2013, 12:00 PM
Konus M30 1-4 on my 243wssm
Vortex viper 6-24 on my coyote rig

Outlaw Man
April 21, 2013, 12:50 PM
One has standard iron sights, because I wanted a real keep-it-simple rifle.

The other has a Bushnell Elite Tactical 3-12x44 with a LaRue QD mount and Magpul BUIS. I got the scope because I wanted decent glass, a reticle with matching adjustments (mil reticle, mil clicks) and not have to spend $2k on it. The reason for the back up irons should be obvious.

April 21, 2013, 01:50 PM
2x7 Leupold
Old Colt Match, open sights with a ACOG Reflex on carry handle mount if I would ever need it.
Hard to say what my favorite is but all around since I'm not at war is the one with the 2x7, I guess I am more used to tube type hunting optics so for a general knock around gun I like that one best.

April 21, 2013, 01:57 PM
nastynatesfish - what mount is that?

April 21, 2013, 02:25 PM
TA31F & once, cry once,IMHO (

April 21, 2013, 07:50 PM
Here's my latest AR a LR-308 with Nikon M-308 scope. With 4-16x power top end magnification is a bit much but the features of the scope for my shooting and hunting style work perfectly with this arm. I find that I enjoy shooting targets at the range much more with a real good scope than with a red dot optic. ( (

April 21, 2013, 09:10 PM
My "go to" has an Aimpoint CompM3 in a LaRue mount. I had an EOTech 512, love the reticle but the batteries would drain when it was turned off. With the Aimpoint it can be left on for years with the same battery. Two of my other ARs just have irons, I enjoy shooting those a lot.

April 21, 2013, 09:19 PM
Aimpoint T1 2MOA on my HD rifle:

It is simple, durable, reliable, and will easily accomplish anything I ask of it from 2-200 yards.

Cost was not a consideration.


April 21, 2013, 10:36 PM
what about ARs in .308? wondering about Eotech, another red dot or standard scope. mainly for hogs at 100-200 yards.

April 21, 2013, 10:51 PM
Vortex strikefire on my ar. It works great and serves the purpose for range and shooting at the farm. I wanted good quality and good value.

April 22, 2013, 01:11 AM
EOTech 552 on my Sig 551.

Vortex Razor HD 1-4x24 CQMR-1 on my Sig 550 (I've shot out to ~500m with it).

You wouldn't trust your life to a $100 gun (Mosin-Nagants exempt), so why would you trust it to a $100 optic?

April 22, 2013, 02:25 AM
I'm just finishing a build. All I have left is to choose a set of BUIS. I went with a Leupold VX-R Patrol 3-9X40 with the ballistic Firedot reticle. Its got everything I wanted in a scope and nothing I don't. Low capped turrets to prevent inadvertent adjustment, lower weight and increased simplicity, 30MM main tube for max light transmission and compatibility with AR specific mounts, basic holdover reticle without being busy, a simple red dot aiming point, rather than the entire reticle being illuminated. The weight and length is within reason for a scope in this magnification range. It has a fixed paralax setting for increased target acquisition time, allowing for quicker shots, another reason target turrets weren't wanted. Quite good glass for the price and an industry benchmark warranty. It's also a local product. If I ever have a problem I can drive up 40 miles and walk in to where they are made and ask them to fix it.

April 22, 2013, 08:04 AM
I gave 5 ARs.

SBR(pistol as my stamp is processed) with MBUS. Will probably end up with an aimpoint T1. Why; long battery and light.

S&W carbine with an Eotech XPS2-0 and MBUS. Love the XPS for sight picture, reticle and no mount needed.

my 3 gun AR has a Ninkon Monarch African 1-4x. great clear glass, crisp reticle, perfect mag for 3 gun, at 1x i can still shoot with both eyes open for fast moving and shoot plates at 400 yards.

my match AR has a carry handle and A2 FSB. why? ...rules.

My S&W 15-22 has a Weaver classic 1-3x. This is best 22 combo i've owned. It is a better combo than my mod 60 with a weaver 4x. The weaver 1-3x has nice glass, good for squirrels out to 40-50 yards. This is a good combo for 3 gun practice. It matches my 3 gun AR very closely.

April 22, 2013, 08:23 AM
Another Burris AR 332 owner here. i bought it because I was used to using an ACOG in the Marines and wanted something similar at a lower cost. This seems to fit the bill quite nicely and so far I'm very satisfied.

Also, +1 to the Bushnell TRS-25. Wonderful little red dot and not very expensive.

The best setup for an AR I've ever used was my on my issued M4A1. Trijicon ACOG RCO, with a forward rail mounted Aimpoint Micro T-1 in a 45 degree offset mount.

April 22, 2013, 09:27 AM
dang rugerdude, acog and a micro t1? you got hooked up!

April 22, 2013, 02:17 PM
Being a Recon Marine has its perks.

April 22, 2013, 02:27 PM
just put a Burriss Fullfield II 4.5 x 14 x 42 with the AO on my Bushmaster .308 ORC, very good combo. great for hogs near and far off.

April 22, 2013, 02:42 PM
My AR is chambered in .308 I am going to go with trijicon here is a link to check them out.
I haven't bought one yet still recovering from buying the gun,dies,brass,reloading block, bullets, powder well you get the idea. I Will probably get it this summer. Sit down before you open this link. It is for the scope I plan to buy. My grandkids will probably be able to use the scope long after I am gone. This is how I am justifying the price and I am a long ways from having grandkids since my oldest is 13 and my youngest 1.

April 22, 2013, 03:17 PM
Hilljun, I would reconsider getting the model with the RMR on top. We used that same optic on our M240 machineguns and the top mounted RMR is useless. The dot is too big, the window is too small and you have absolutely no cheek weld when using it. I suggest that you buy the one without the RMR on top and use the money you saved to get a similar micro red dot and mount it in an offset mount if your objective lens won't obscure it.

Also, while ballistic drop compensating reticles are a great idea and can work well out to 500-600 or so yards, but they're calibrated for one load under one set of atmospheric conditions.

That said, the Brits use those scopes on their LMT .308 designated marksman rifles and I feel like they're a good fit there considering their intended uses. However, remember that the jack of all trades is a master of none.

April 22, 2013, 03:22 PM
I use mine for hunting coyotes so I put a Nikon P-223 on it.

April 22, 2013, 04:11 PM
EOtech 512 on mine. I would probably get something like a CompML2 or the like if I had the money, but the 512 with AA batteries does more than I need and saved a lot of money. I would have saved for a QD version if I went back in time, though.

April 22, 2013, 05:48 PM
Burris Tac-30 1-4x. I wanted magnification for precise shots on deer, pigs or varmints and the low power with illuminated reticle makes it pretty good for close quarters shooting. It's on a multi-purpose Sport with MBUS and mounted with a Larue SPR-1 QR.

April 22, 2013, 05:54 PM
Aimpoint. Because there is nothing better you can put on a fighting rifle.

April 22, 2013, 06:45 PM
$200 LUCID HD7 for me on my Spike's middy. Love the 4 reticle options and 2000 hr battery life on 2 AA batteries. Read nothing but great reviews about it's quality before buying.

April 22, 2013, 06:55 PM
Just bought a Viper PST 1-4x for my 300blk rig. Should come in the mail tomorrow.

April 22, 2013, 06:59 PM
At the moment just irons...which to me is fun. I plan to get an Aimpoint Pro, Vortex Sparc or Strikefire.

I was looking at the Bushnell TRS-32 until I found out it has a 5MOA dot....I like to shoot at 50 and 100 yards, and that is just too big. Although, I am sure the front sight on my irons is over 5 MOA and I can shoot 2 inch groups at 50 yards.

April 22, 2013, 11:22 PM
aimpoint compM3, 2moa dot, 50k hours battery life and extruded aluminum housing....because batteries and reliability should never be an issue.

$350 Hi-Lux CMR. because I wanted something in that magnification, with the features offered, at the price it was at, with the reliability its alleged to have. 1-4x with 5.56 bdc, illuminated, multi coated good quality glass, reasonably priced, great reviews, russian special forces uses them.

Nikon m223 3-9x is whats going on another, a rra coyote special.

April 23, 2013, 12:11 AM
Here is what I'm running...

6.5 Grendel Leuold VX3 LR 6.5-20x40mm

.223 Dreadnaught industries rifle with Leupold VX3 4.5-14x40mm

.223 High Standard M-4gery ACOG TA31RCO-M4CP 4x32

DPMS LR308 Leupold Mark IV 6.5-20x50mm\

.50 Beowulf with Burris Signature Safari 1.75-5x32mm

If I ever get my FD308 it will have a Leupold Mark IV 8.5-25x50mm sitting in the safe waiting.

April 23, 2013, 12:20 AM
I am digging the dual optics on my favorite set up. RRA with:

Burris Xtreme Rings
Vortex Viper 3.5-10x50
Daniel Defense One O'clock mount
Vortex SPARC (was a Bushnell TRS-25 but changed, the Bushy performed great though)

I like this set up the most because it can do it all. I especially like it for yotes. Quick close shots I just turn the gun counter clockwise 15 or so degrees and use the red dot. I find it hard to beat Vortex scopes especially when considering price.

I have an Aimpoint on my YHM build and it is a great red dot also but I am leaning towards the much smaller units now. Here is the Aimpoint:

Here is a RRA NM with another Vortex, this one being a 4-12x40:

A rifle/optic for every need...

April 23, 2013, 12:59 AM
EOTech XPS3-2 QD version with Primary Arms 3x Long Eye Relief magnifier on a swing mount.

Why? I love the sharpness of the hollographic sight vs red dot and the 1 MOA dot. With the center dot zeroed at 50 and 200 yards, the lower dot is for 500 yards and the bottom of the reticle is for 7 yards. The 65 MOA (5'9" at 100 yards) circle can be used as a rangefinder. Let's say you wanted to shoot something about 5'9" high (I hear zombies average 5'9"), if it subtends the reticle, it is 100 yards, half at 200 yards, 1/4 at 400 yards. Your average whitetail deer will be 17" high at the midsection. He will fill the reticle at 25 yards, half at 50 yards, 1/4 at 100 yards.

A tiny piece of a shattered holographic plate will contain tthe whole reticle (only less sharp). The lack of paralex also has other advantages:


Danny Tumma
April 23, 2013, 01:45 PM
I switched from a Burris 536 to an Aimpoint Pro. For me, the Pro is hands down the best value in red dots. If you have an EO and that works for you than have fun. They are not my cup of tea(glass of beer).

April 23, 2013, 01:59 PM
SWFA 1-6x with a 45' offset Burris FastFire 3 on my 3-gun AR. I loved the 1-4x I had, but 4x is a little cramped for distance/precision work. I knew 6x would make me happy shooting groups at 200y from previous experience. The offet fastfire is more for fun than neccessity.

The M&P 15-22 has a TRS-25 cowitnessing some flip up irons. Fast and light!

April 23, 2013, 10:42 PM
I have a burris ar-332 on a rra it works well for fast shooting with the 3x and also like the fact it has the the rectical on the lens,if the battery fails you still can see the close quarters recticle.Also have a pof w/white oak barrel for longer ranges w/6x18 nikon.

April 23, 2013, 10:46 PM
Leupold VX3 6.5 x 20 x 40 are on almost all my rifles....helluva scope. right now gonna try the Fullfield II see how they work.

April 23, 2013, 10:48 PM
Although I most run Iron sights, I have cheaper red dots and magnified scopes (Bushnell, NcStar) etc for casual plinking.

I am planning to buy an Aimpoint or Eotech sometime this year.

April 23, 2013, 10:55 PM
Currently all I have purchased is some Magpul Gen 2 MBUS backup sights.

+1 On that one... Saving up for an Eotech though I think.

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