An optics question for the AR15 tactical guys...


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oldguy870
October 15, 2013, 11:05 AM
I want to set up my AR15 as a general purpose rifle that can handle the widest range of applications - home defense, hunting, SHTF, or anything else that comes to mind.

Given the options available, a 1-4x/6x scope seems like the natural choice. I am giving this a lot of consideration. However, one other option seems to be a good choice to my way of thinking.

2.5-8X non illuminated hunting scope with duplex reticle in a Larue mount and an offset T1.

It seems to have some advantages over some of the 1-6x options available now.

1. The combo above is priced about what a good 1-6x scope would cost.
2. The back up optic is built into the plan.
3. The 1-6x optics do not have great battery lives.
4. Switching to 1x is almost instantaneous. Nothing to adjust.
5. The T1 will be more forgiving for head placement.
6. More magnification when needed.

Is this a viable plan? Would you trust your life to a weapon set up like this?

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taliv
October 15, 2013, 11:14 AM
it is certainly viable.

the downsides are

1. more weight
2. larger size
3. you loose your cheek weld on the micro T1 unless you do it right
4. suboptimal ambi use

the 1-6x optics don't really need as much battery life unless shooting at night. i ran my 1-6x swaro and 1-6x vortex HD with illumination turned off cause it just wasn't needed. the USO 1-8x is a little different, but better

Jackal
October 15, 2013, 11:17 AM
Honestly, unless you really need magnification, its hard to beat an Aimpoint, a set of quality buis and a handfull of spare batteries (enough to last at least 10 years). 2moa dot is fine for hunting out to 200 yards and the Aimpoints are probably more durable than most scopes.

oldguy870
October 15, 2013, 11:24 AM
I can't use an Aimpoint as my primary optic. My astigmatism turns the dot into something that resembles a cluster of grapes or a comet depending on how tired my eyes are.

I think the offset aimpoint would be fine as a close range CQB tool.

MachIVshooter
October 15, 2013, 11:42 AM
My goal with my 12.5" SBR was to make it a very broad use "ranch rifle" (I don't actually have a ranch, but do live on acreage in a very rural area).

The idea was that I wanted it to be pretty capable in roles from room-distance defense to 300 yard pasture poodle slaying, and anything in between. Well, it's pretty hard to use a magnified optic at 10 or 15 feet, and it's equally difficult to nail a 30 lb nuisance song dog at 225 yards with a 4 MOA red dot. So I chose both, and made it work in a pretty compact package:

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/101_1778_zpsc4d258cd.jpg

That's a Nikon P-223 scope and a Bushnell First Strike micro RDS. Certainly not the nicest optics, and I definitely like the Burris Fastfire III on my 16" middy better than the bushnell, but this has proven to be a pretty versatile set-up so far. I only got my stamp back in May, so I haven't had all that many opportunities to use it outside of range time, but I'm happy with the rifle, and with the optic arrangement. The scope is a little low, and the RDS is about at carry handle height, so cheek weld isn't optimal with either, but both are quite useable, and the transition is very fast.

ambidextrous1
October 15, 2013, 12:05 PM
If you have an acceptable plan that avoids the "tyrany of batteries", that's a big plus!

mnhntr
October 15, 2013, 12:19 PM
Nikon P223 3-9x40 BDC600 with BUIS and a Bushnell TR-25 on an offset.

gotigers
October 15, 2013, 01:48 PM
For an all purpose AR, a red dot can do fairly well out to 300 yards with practice. I shot 3 gun with an Eotech for a year or so. It wasn't terribly hard to hit 12" plates at 300 yards.

+1 for everything Taliv's 1 through 4.

I use a Nikon 1-4x, but 1-6x would be nice. I do not care for illuminated scopes. If i had to get one, i would want one with black crosshairs and a on/off for a single dot. I really don't like the illuminated reticles with all the junk, like the Burris Tac reticle. It seems to get in the way. I don't need BDC for a 1-4x scope. I prefer holdover out to 300 yards, then good target turrets for come ups.

For all purpose AR get an Aimpoint or Eotech. For hunting or target get a 1-4x(6x) scope with good target turrets. For 3 gun, either will do.

The only powered AR optic i have is an eotech. None of my AR scopes are not illuminated.

Outlaw Man
October 15, 2013, 02:25 PM
I would probably go with a good 1-4x (or 6x) and save the T-1 as a possibility later if I decided the 1-4x wouldn't cut it up close. Unfortunately, neither do an outstanding job in place of the other, and it can get to be a pain to switch.

If your eyes were more forgiving, a swinging magnifier would be a great option, but I'm not aware of a setup that works with reticles.

Another option, if you're willing to spend a bit more, is get both with the LaRue QD mounts and just run one at a time. Of course, you'll be handicapped if the situation changes on the fly...

ETA: I just remembered the Kruger DTS. It does both, though I don't know a lot about it. It felt very rugged, I.e. heavy.

herrwalther
October 18, 2013, 07:39 PM
Had my eye on this combo for awhile to put on my AR build. Should work well enough for most purposes.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hunting/Optics/Riflescopes|/pc/104791680/c/104752080/sc/104535180/Burris8482-Fullfield-Tac-30-with-FastFire-Sight/1219431.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Friflescopes%2F_%2FN-1100055%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104535180%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104791680%253Bcat104752080&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104791680%3Bcat104752080%3Bcat104535180

steven58
October 18, 2013, 08:30 PM
SWFA 1-6 X 24 http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-HD-1-6x24-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P53845.aspx

Getting 1-6 variable magnification is just part of the game. You need a reticle that will allow you maximum flexibility

This scope is front focal plane so on 1X you see a circle with a small center cross hair. This is good for close range especially with illumination on.

At 6X the circle is not visible and the crosshairs have expanded into a mil scale reticle that matches the mil turrets. This comes with turret covers and protective base rings so you can run it with covered turrets, exposed turrets or mixed ( elevation exposed wind age covered)

Very nice glass, repeatable, built like a tank, and excellent CS if needed.

Downside is weight but most of these 1-6 tacticals are built thick.

Mine is on a "Recon" style AR platform and is easy to use out to 600 yds.

This is my favorite CQB to "way out there" compromise scope.

Lloyd Smale
October 22, 2013, 05:42 AM
if you can afford it in my opinion the hands down best optic i have on an ar is my two acogs. There almost as fast as a dot and still have magnification for long range and good light gathering for low light aplications. Another big advantage is they dont use batterys and are allways illuminated. Theres good reason why the military uses them. Nothing is more versitile and at the same time is as rugged.

basicblur
October 22, 2013, 06:31 AM
I was going for a reasonably priced setup on my 15-22 / Colt 22AR, with an eye towards moving it to one of the big ARs down the road. I've been eyeing the ARs in 3-Gun for a while - I really like the 1 o'clock offset for a red dot.

For your consideration (here's my current setup on my 15-22):

1. Bushnell Throw Down PCL (http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Illuminated-Reticle-Riflescope-Turrets/dp/B00AU6EIIY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382436268&sr=8-1&keywords=Throw+Down+PCL): The guys at two gun shops (that have looked thru a lot more glass than I) were impressed with it, especially the clarity - the shops don't sell it, but I see one of the salesmen got one. I also have a friend that had LASIK surgery, and some red dots really throw him for a loop - he was so impressed with the scope's clarity (particularly the illuminated horseshoe reticle) that he bought a couple of them. If the electronics / battery go down, the horsehoe reticle is still there, just not illuminated. You can probably get it slightly cheaper than the price at Amazon, and you can handle one in your local Walmart? (where I saw / bought mine, but they're now out in the market).
It also has a BDC reticle, and is a First Focal Plane optic - the BDC marks do not show up to clutter the picture (can be used as a red dot on 1x), but zoom in and the BDC marks appear.

2. Bushnell TRS-25 Hi-Rise (http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Optics-TRS-25-HiRise-Riflescope/dp/B00ABP8YCA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1382436446&sr=8-4&keywords=Bushnell+TRS-25): Has a reputation as being one of the best budget red dots AFA toughness, holding zero, etc. It also uses the same battery, and functions as the Throw Down PCL.
You can save a little money by getting the normal TRS-25 instead of the HiRise (the HiRise mount is a little cheesy), but I preferred the muted logo on the HiRise (silver / gray instead of gold).

3. Weaver Offset Rail Adapter (http://www.amazon.com/Weaver-99671-Offset-Rail-Adaptor/dp/B003PCQK72/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382436681&sr=8-1&keywords=Weaver+offset+mount): I have the Bushnell TRS-25 mounted on this at the 1 o'clock position, behind the big scope - can rotate from the big scope to the smaller red dot without breaking cheek weld.

I'm not opposed to spending a fair amount of money on optics (if required), but the above setup is one of my favorites (I have ACOGs, EOTechs / magnifiers, Trijicon SRS, etc). I was eyeballing the Leupold Patrol until I found out it was not a first focal plane scope - at this time, it seems a lot of folks want you to pay big bux to get a first focal plane reticle?
Heck - you may not even need / want the offset red dot since the Throw Down PCL can be used as a red dot on 1x.

If you dig, the entire setup can be had for around $375 (or less?) these days.
I did blow the budget and mount the scope on a Bobro Engineering Extended Mount. (http://www.bobroengineering.com/view/product/8/)

The Throw Down PCL has finally started trickling out in the marketplace now that Walmart has apparently satisfied the initial run of scopes.

Pilot
October 22, 2013, 06:35 AM
That's a Nikon P-223 scope and a Bushnell First Strike micro RDS. The scope is a little low, and the RDS is about at carry handle height, so cheek weld isn't optimal with either, but both are quite useable, and the transition is very fast.
I like that Nikon P-223 scope, as it is nice, and compact. What power is it, and is it variable? Thanks.

Walkalong
October 22, 2013, 04:03 PM
They are 3X (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=189433&d=1380338415) and very nice IMO. 3X was a good compromise. It won't be as fast as one, and is a bit harder to shoot both eyes open for an extended period, but a 3X glass is real nice for less than perfect eyes, especially over 75 yards

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