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Optics for my first ar build

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JBrady555, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    Hello, some of you may have seen a few of my threads about my first ar build. Well I finally got all my parts together and need to start thinking about optics. The gun has a 11.5 inch barrel and I'm using a sig sb15 until sbr registered. Being a short gun geared for hd I'm thinking of doing a eotech or aimpoint red dot, I'd also like a magnifier but I'm not sure if I'll have room on the short build. Any insight into whether I'll have room for both? Also I would like to know if there is any other companies besides the big two that I should be looking at? Anyone producing eotech or aimpoint quality for less money? I've got around 1700 in the build minus optics so I won't be cheaping out at the end but I have to admit that I would like to spend less than what high end stuff is going for. Any opinions would be appreciated.
  2. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Well-Known Member

    I don't think you'll want or need the capabilities nor the weight of a magnifier. As for the optic itself, take a look at the various mini red dots on the market like the RMR, Deltapoint etc. Save some weight for a good flashlight.
  3. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    You have room for both, but being an HD gun, there is likely no need for the magnifier.


    With that said, I would stronger suggest an Aimpoint PRO. It is Aimpoint quality at a lower price (can often be found for ~$360 on sale). The PRO is essentially the 2MOA Aimpoint CompM3 bundled with the QRP2 mount, and is equal in quality to any other Aimpoint (and of higher quality than EOTechs IMHO).

    The insane battery life of the Aimpoints (I just replaced the battery in my PRO after over 3 years of being constantly turned on - and the battery wasn't even dead yet) makes it an excellent choice for an HD gun that you may need to quickly grab in the middle of the night. No buttons or switches to fumble with means it can be immediately brought into action.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  4. henschman

    henschman Well-Known Member

    No, you're not going to find anything cheaper than Aimpoint or EOTech that is comparable quality. I also recommend the Aimpoint PRO for the best priced RDS that still has top-notch quality.
  5. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Well-Known Member

    I agree you'd probably be better served to leave the magnifier off and save the weight. It will fit, though.

    As for quality, the only other name I'd throw in the mix is Trijicon, and you're not getting any better quality, and you're certainly not going to save any money. I think you're on the right path. For home defense, my first choice would probably be Aimpoint.
  6. FinnComm

    FinnComm Well-Known Member

    I went through a similar dilemna for my AR. Went for an H1 2MOA in the end on a Daniel Defence base. Sight is only 84g (3oz?).
    Unless you know already, you might also want to check to see if you have astigmatism. I didn't realise I had a mild case until I was shopping for red dots. There can even be a difference in red dot "visibility" between two identical models, so if you have astigmatism, it's worth trying before buying.

    Do you have pics of your M31? I have some pics, but they're 70 years old and in black and white :)
  7. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. Sorry I don't have any pics of the suomi. I got it for 450.00 from centerfiresystems.com. Thing is built like a tank and weighs as much as one too.
  8. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    Would a 4x be too much for the 11.5 inch barrel. I also am going to play some range games with this gun. Maybe a 4x on top with a reflex sight on a 45 degree angle? Had a buddy with this setup and I liked it. I'm just thinking out loud here, definitely leaning towards the aimpoint. I would like to be able to get good groups at at least 100 yards.
  9. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    The build has to be on a PISTOL lower to be able to use the SIG brace with a short barrel, you know that right?
  10. JBrady555

    JBrady555 Well-Known Member

    Yep i know that. Im using the kak pistol tube that built specifically for the sb15
  11. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    Aimpoint Pro is the best $350 red dot around right now. Sometimes you can find Aimpoint H1's for around $400-$450 too.
  12. FinnComm

    FinnComm Well-Known Member

  13. skywalkrNCSU

    skywalkrNCSU Well-Known Member

    I would get the Aimpoint H1. Nice and light but can take all kinds of abuse. Battery lasts forever too.

    On the point of a magnifier, you will have room but likely won't even want it, I have one and it sits in the closet because they just aren't that necessary. You can easily hit a man sized target 200-300 yards with no magnifier and if you want to be in the precision game at that distance or further get a scope to do that, no an aimpoint.
  14. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Well-Known Member

    You could do a 4 (or more) x optic in a high quality, read repeatable, QD mount for use on the range and swap back to the RDS for home use.
  15. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    The point of a "pistol" lower is that it was the box checked on the form when it went thru the hands of the FFL. That seems to be the best way to avoid the entire SBR issue. You can have a pistol with almost any barrel length, but exceptions exist.

    A rifle with stock is an SBR when the barrel is less than 16". In the specifics of this case, if the box checked was a "rifle" lower, someone could possibly make a case about it. Goes to just where and why the item was involved in a complaint, if the buffer tube could take a stock, etc. It's usually a lot more scary on the internet than in practice.

    With the BATF making the SIG wrist brace legal, a lot of guys are now building "pistol" lowers and avoiding the $200 fee and paper.

    Quite arguable. Case in point, the civilian models have parts made in the same plant in China as many others openly marked Made In China. You get what you pay for. One criteria to keep in mind is that neither have bulletproof glass or can be dropped off the back of a 5 ton truck with impunity. The light equipment companies servicing firearms in SW Asia have conexes full of optics damaged in use. It happens, and being "high quality" has nothing to do with it. A $200 red dot or $600, beat on it and it will fail.

    Nonetheless, to a certain degree, you get what you pay for, of course. What usually happens in this discussion is that the "milspec" only users talk like anything less is a cheap NcStar, and the lower end guys sing the praises of $80 red dots based on Customer Service - they keep getting free ones.

    I think a lot of us are inbetween - we'd like a good one with the long term low probability of it ever failing. That is the $200 -$400 class, which is the lower end of Aimpoint with the PRO.

    There are dozens of threads here, on other forums, on the net, etc all detailing exactly why one red dot is better than another. Since there are so many on the market, it usually only gets the recommendation of the constant forum surfer who snags a chance to pump his favorite. Very few have owned and extensively used the dozen or so that might fit your needs.

    One feature the milspec versions have is not seeing the red dot out the front lens. Not a good idea to have a dancing target right where the other guy needs to know where to shoot, especially at night. For use on a one way range or hunting, tho, it's paying for something you don't need. Second, waterproofness is very nice, nobody wants a foggy red dot, and it shouldn't even be questionable in the specs. If it is, they put it right out there. Third, what battery power is nice to know, some use expensive "tacticool" batteries that plump up the profile, others expensive button cells, and now we can get simple AA or AAA battery power. With those dirt cheap and common, there's almost no point whether the thing can stay on for five years or not. If it sits in the closet six months and you have a concern, swap in a newer one and go shoot.

    Another item is whether the mount is part of the deal or not, spending another $30 to $100 on a riser needs to be included in the cost. It can make that $400 PRO a $500 installed sight - for some, a budget buster compared to another with the riser built in. Some might complain a integral riser is cheap, what it does is eliminate cost and having more screws to come loose, both are better.

    Much after that is considered, then you get into what color dot, alternate reticles, and how it sights in with big knobs or just caps to keep from hanging up on stuff. Dpn't forget field of view, some of these are pretty small and htat means getting them aligned more closely. A pistol/SBR isn't a high precision gun, isn't long range, so the use of a scope with power isn't needed.

    Best thing to do is plan a trip to a big enough gun store, Cabela's, etc and look thru them. Hands on tells you a lot more than what the internet can. What you like is different than ten guys dogpiling on an internet thread.
  16. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    This is completely incorrect.

    The Aimpoint PRO comes packaged with the Aimpoint QRP2 mount w/riser. There is nothing else to add. That's part of what makes it such a fantastic value.

    You literally take in out of the box (the optic is pre-mounted to the QRP2/riser), insert the batteries, and mount it on your AR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7vpOwkz3_g

    In fact, you have to REMOVE the riser if you want to mount it to anything other than an AR.
  17. strambo

    strambo Well-Known Member

    I would get a PRO or H1 in a QD mount now...then you can add a 1-4 or 1-6 variable later as your budget allows for range fun later.

    If it is for HD, that is by far the most important role the rifle has, optimize for that, don't compromise for the range. JMO...

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