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AR-15 Optic question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by speaksoftly, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. speaksoftly

    speaksoftly Well-Known Member

    So I'm contemplating between two setups for my AR. I'm looking for quality long distance range as well as good close distance capability. I'm contemplating between an ACOG with a red dot mounted on top or an Eotech with a flip up magnifier behind it. They're both fairly bulky setups but both seem to be very versatile. Thoughts? Which would you choose between the two and why?
  2. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Well, if it was limited to just those two choices, I would probably reluctantly go with the ACOG, because:

    1. Like most people, most of my shooting will be at ranges of less than 200m. However, since I've already run a TA11 ACOG for 8 years now, I'm more familiar with the tradeoffs you make using a fixed magnification scope like the ACOG up close than I am with the magnifier/holographic sight combo.

    2. I am not a fan of the Eotech controls, battery life, or its auto-shut off feature. To my mind, having a flip-mount magnifier behind the Eotech is just going to make the control issues more of a problem.

    3. Not yet seen an Eotech break; but read enough people complaining about it that I am concerned about their long-term durability. Not concerned at all about long term durability of ACOG.

    If you haven't read Zak Smith's AR15 Optics article yet, it is worth a read before you make the decision.
  3. speaksoftly

    speaksoftly Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link. I'll take a look.
  4. Cosmik de Bris

    Cosmik de Bris Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of 1-4 X scopes that fulfill this role too. If your eyesight is not too fussy there are 1.5-6 or 1.5-8 scopes. There will be a whole swag 1-6 and 1-8s available soon too. These type of scopes offer the best of both worlds: close quarter 2 eye stuff and medium distance.
  5. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    What, no love for the SpectreDR? 1x and 4x and only a ton of cash required ;)

    I'd take the ACOG as well. I've been running an Eotech for a while and the battery life bugs me. Seems like the batteries fail a just the wrong time. I tried the magnifier and it just didn't work for me. I like the idea of a minor head reposition to flip between magnified and not rather than monkeying around with a flip magnifier - or even a power knob.

    The good MRDs seem to run a long, long time, and if you battery fails, you still have an optical sight.
  6. G27RR

    G27RR Well-Known Member

    You could also consider a traditional scope with someting like a Burris Fastfire II on top of a Burris PEPR or on an offset mount if your primary purpose is longer ranges.
  7. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    i don't like anything about the dot over the acog.
    red dot (aimpoint, not eotech) with a magnifier is ok, but i just don't like it much anymore
    my last 2 setups were with 1-4x (NF) and 1-6x (Swaro) variable scopes and while pricey, they have worked perfectly for me.

    that said, an acog by itself is still not a bad way to go unless you're trying to be super-competitive in 3gun.
  8. MCMXI

    MCMXI Well-Known Member

    +1 ... I have a Leupold Mark 4 1.5-5x on my POF. The Mark 4 is a cheaper option than the two above but it works well on a carbine.

  9. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    The Eotech's most suitable for use with magnifiers are the ones with the buttons on the left side, IMO. I agree that the models with the buttons on the back would be problematic with a magnifier.

    I believe this is a 557 without/with magnifier:


  10. kwelz

    kwelz Well-Known Member

    I am not an Eotech Fan for many of the reasons mentioned here. One of the guys I have had a few classes with is from a unit I will not name that spends a lot of time climbing mountains in Afghanistan. He has told me a few Horror stories about his personal EOTECHs and those of his unit.

    If you are looking for a good flexible optic the 1-4 is a great option. I prefer the Trijicon Accupoint . It isn't the best out there but I feel it is the best combination of value and quality. Next year will bring out a number of 1-8x optics. But who knows when we will really see them available.
  11. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    I feel that the ACOGs are nice. I have one, but it's not the best thing out there for a civvy rifle. I mean, they're cool and fun and all, but for the money, you could get something more flexible.

    The Eotech/magnifier setup SUCKS!!! It's bulky, heavy, optical quality is just average and I just plain don't enjoy shooting the rig at all. It's just no fun to me.

    When you say "long range" what do you mean by that? I started off with a 1-4X Nightforce on one of my rifles. It's was fine for a while, but after having it and using the rifle for what a rifle is for, I found that I rarely used the 1X setting and often wished that I had more magnification. I ultimately went with a Nightforce 2.5-10X32. It's still relatively compact and packs some power for such a small package. It's isn't as tacticool looking as the 1-4X, but it's much more flexible.

    This is it on my 18" build...
  12. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    No such thing.

    ACOG is a scope. It has scope shadow issues and eye relief issues that a Redot will not have.

    How good is your left eye? Ever try going urban prone on your retention side? It's very hard to line up a scope to your eye when your shooting from an improvised position. Alot of newer shooters suffer in class with a magnified optic.

    ACOG's don't work for everyone, try one first. You compromise close distance speed with anything short of an Aimpoint/Eo. The ACOG is more of an aggressive military scope, not a defensive civvy optic.

    An Eotech or Aimpoint rules CQB. Just get the dot on target. No scope shadow or eye relief issues means you don't need a good cheek weld which is often impossible in many positions. These shoot fine at longer ranges, how far do you need to shoot?

    Best bet is a Aimpoint in a Larue mount and a scope in larue mount, swap as needed. Or build a upper for each scope and swap uppers.
  13. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Or you can always get crazy and mount both at once - 22oz total weight for TA11 and Aimpoint T1 in Larue mounts.
  14. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    to be fair, i have been through several carbine classes and matches with my 4x acog and have not had a "problem" getting into any position or keeping up with the classmates. like zero said, i guess some people do have problems though.

    however, my 3gun results improved dramatically when i switched to an aimpoint. turns out the speed was more than i thought.

    and yet, because unlike most people, i like to shoot medium range with my ARs more than arms-length, the acog is still a good compromise for me
  15. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Well-Known Member

    Yep. I have absolutely horrible astigmatism. I bought a used eotech for $100. I powered it on, saw that it work and went home with it. Hard to argue that price.

    Well I can't shoot well with it. My eyes cause the reticle to be "fuzzy." If I take a camera and snap a photo, the reticle is clear as a bell. My girlfriend can shoot with it all day, so it is obviously the user's eyes. I can shoot "well enough," but I find it infuriating because my eyes don't see the well defined reticle that everyone else sees. I could sell it and make a few bucks, but my girlfriend loves it. :uhoh: Now I have to build another AR and scope it because I just can't break her heart and sell the eotech off. :rolleyes: For now I'll leave it as-is, a light weight 16" with eotech and buis...then build at least another upper with a longer barrel and a good, old fashioned scope on quick release, return to zero mounts and buis.

    That being said. IF I could see well with both, I'd much rather have the ACOG vs the eotech if I could afford it.
  16. amprecon

    amprecon Well-Known Member

    I'd agree with what most have said here. I seriously considered adding a magnifier to my Aimpoint but after reading all the reviews and experiences I decided to not spend the money.
    My experience with low-powered red dots or optics with any magnification is that I cannot use the "Bindon Aiming Concept" Trijicon champions. With both eyes open my eyes fight over which one is in control, for some people I guess its not an issue, but it doesn't work for me.
    The non-magnified red dot is just plain awesome, whatever I can put the dot on I could eventually hit and there are no issues using it with both eyes open. The dot just magically appears on the target with no effort whatsoever. The only drawback is identifying the target at range, but once identified it wouldn't take much to hit it.
    I went back to a dedicated scoped bolt-action rifle for my long distance needs, but for an all-around utility rifle such as the AR I believe an non-magnified red dot is the ticket.
  17. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i would go with an eotech with a 3x magnifier, with a good flip to side mount. The red dot mounted on the acog, is going to be really hard to get a good cheek weld on the gun.
  18. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Well-Known Member

    I have no issue with both eyes open...except that my astigmatism is worse in my right eye, far worse. I see the dot more clearly with both eyes open if I shoot left handed. If I keep my right eye closed, the reticle appears nearly as it should, but I like keeping both eyes open.
  19. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    Do you wear corrective lenses? I have terrible astigmatism, corrected with glasses. One can hardly blame the optic, since no scope I know corrects for astigmatism (i.e. axis).
  20. SpeedAKL

    SpeedAKL Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good 1-4x would be a good choice for you. I've been looking at the Trijicon Accupoint TR24 for my AR...it's rugged, simple, and priced right. If you have more $$$, a Nightforce or Leupold Mk.4 MR/T might be a good choice. The Rolls-Royce of 1-4x optics is the Schmidt & Bender PM II Short Dot, that one costs over $2k though.

    Leupold is working on a 1.1-8x optic called the CQB/SS. If it holds up to the hype it will be a killer app....but it is also rumored to run over $3k.

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