AR Optics-What is yours and why?

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May 24, 2007
South Carolina
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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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.
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.
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.
...Sorry, I have them because that is what the military uses, or used to use, and if it's good enough for them...
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.
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.
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.

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.
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
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.
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.

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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
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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