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AR Scope of choice?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Jimmy Ward, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Jimmy Ward

    Jimmy Ward Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I need your sage advice, what is the best AR-15 scope that is best for CQB and distance shooting out to say 400yrds? Also what is the prefered base, Bobro Engineering? Thank You for your time.
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Uh. The best? You know that's not going to get you an answer, right?

    And which base is preferred? Preferred by whom? Me? Some other guy? :)

    There's a thread on Arf that lists a long-running review of lots and lots of scopes that fit the general description of what you're asking.
    The sky's the limit on how much you want to spend. And on how much magnification you think you need to get to 400 yards. (A squirrel at 400 yds, or a deer, or a bad guy, or a barn? What'cha shooting at?)

    What's your budget? What features do you feel you need?
     
  3. Jimmy Ward

    Jimmy Ward Member

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  4. Jimmy Ward

    Jimmy Ward Member

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    Living in CT I will never get to shoot past 100yrds. I signed up for an AR Class with KD4 next year and want to get something better than my T-1 Aimpoint. I was told that the Vortex 1X6X24 is the way to go but I must admit I am clueless when it come to this stuff. Sorry about the dumb ass questions and aloofness. Any input is much appreciated.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    No worries. Still don't know what your budget is, though. I take if from your question that you want magnification. The T-1 Aimpoint is well respected as a red-dot optic, and since you mentioned CQB I gather you want to still have a zero- or near-zero-magnification ability.

    I recently picked up a Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4x variable with an illuminated green dot, and I put it on an Aero Precision lightweight offset mount. If I remember right the whole package was around $450. I like it fine. Certainly would expect to make it through training classes without any problems at all.

    Other options would include the Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 with illuminated dot. That will give you twice the magnification and nobody would ever be able to say that you didn't go for quality. But it's close to $2,500. To some people that's no big deal. To others that's ridiculous money for something that's going to be used mostly for 100 yd. range plinking and an occasional carbine class.
     
  6. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    Swaro z6i or z8i
     
  7. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I have a Vortex 1-6x. It's pretty good. It is dramatically heavier than a smallish red-dot like the Aimpoint, even with the no-QD lightweight Aero mount that I'm using. Like any magnified optic, even when it is on 1x, it is also not quite as forgiving of head position as a red-dot, and necessarily has a bit of the fish-eye.

    It's a good scope. It's reasonably priced. I think all of the things I mentioned above are inherent in the format, and not something easily escaped by throwing money at the problem.

    I don't know who "KD4" is, or what kind of shooting you'll be doing. If it's mostly close range blasting, then there is no scope that is better than your aimpoint. In open division, where shooters have great latitude in how they set up their gear, most 3 gunners will have both a dot and a scope, because the dot is just always going to be a bit better at the close-range blasting. But the Vortex and other 1-4/1-6/1-8 scopes get you most of the effectiveness of a dot at the expense of some weight, and give you a ton more capability once the distances get long or the targets get small.

    IDK if that answers your question, but maybe it's relevant.
     
  8. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    There is no such thing as "The Best" just personal preference. I do have a red dot on one of my AR's that is strictly used for home defense and it is the Vortex spitfire Prism in 3X, but I have only taken it out to 200 yds. In all honesty I am not a fan of red dots but I do like this one over the higher priced EOTECH. Very solidly built and very user friendly.
    http://www.cabelas.com/product/VORTEX-SPITFIRE-RED-DOT/1783390.uts
     
  9. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Not the "best" but on one of my ARs I'm using a Leupold VX6 1-6X "Multigun" with their FireDot BDC reticle in an American Defense Recon mount.

    It's also a CDS dial, so once I developed my coyote load (60 grn Nolser BT @ 2930FPS) I chronographed it and sent the data to Leupold for a CDS dial. I can routinely make hits on a 12x12 plate with it out to 500yards, using either the CDS dial or the reticle holdovers. The glass is very clear, the scope tracks and one great feature, the scope weighs only 14 ounces.

    1IpHaS0.jpg

    Reticle detail with holdovers to 600y and corrections for 5MPH crosswind:

    FireDot_BDC_Detailed_View_380x380.png

    6 shots on steel at 300:
    J8X6AOAl.jpg

    Chuck
     
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  10. Jimmy Ward

    Jimmy Ward Member

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    The Schmidt & Bender 1-8x24 with illuminated dot is way too rich for me. Thank You all for your sage advice, I really appreciate it.
     
  11. grampajack
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    grampajack AR Junkie

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    I'm not sure a scope is going to be a good idea for a carbine class. Most of the ones I've seen are pretty up close and personal. I would inquire from the instructor what the maximum range is, and what kind of accuracy they're trying to achieve at those distances. (e.g. is it quick center mass hits at 100-200 yards, or is it aimed head shots at those distances?) If there's a lot of precise distance shooting, or a lot of distance shooting period, I might look for another class. As civilian and law enforcement shooters, we're just not going to be likely to ever need those skills. We tend to run into trouble at less than fifty yards, and your Aimpoint is THE PERFECT optic for that.

    If you're going into a carbine class, I would be more concerned about my rifle. What do you have that Aimpoint mounted on? Carbine classes are notorious for destroying guns, so you don't want to go in with a hobbyist level AR, but likewise you don't want to bring your 3k dollar custom job either. Personally, I would opt for an LE6920, as it's cheap and likely to survive, and if it doesn't then you've only lost a 250 dollar barrel. Then bring your other AR as backup just in case. Definitely ask whether they have extra guns on hand, and if they charge extra to use them.

    If you think you still need a scope, then I have some general advice, though I couldn't pick one as being the best. First of all, stay away from Vortex, Primary Arms, etc. Second of all, don't settle for 1.5x. Whatever you do, get a true 1x, or you will seriously regret it when shooting at close range. Third thing is pay close attention to weight. The 1-8x scopes especially are monsters. My personal preference is for Trijicon. They're built really well, and the glass is amazing. There are lighter options with better reticles, but they all cost a lot more.

    As far as reticles go it really depends on what mag range you opt for. If it's a 1-4x, then second focal plane is perfectly fine, but don't get some complicated reticle because you won't be able to use it. If you get a 1-6x, I would highly recommend a first focal plane, and it's an absolute must if you go for the 1-8x. Even with the 1-6x and 1-8x, though, get the simplest reticle that's available, ideally a straight forward mildot style one without half gaduation hashes. I don't know what the deal is with scope makers trying to cram all this stuff into a reticle that's going into a scope without enough magnification to be able to see it.

    On the mount, I do like Bobro. I just don't see the average person needing quick release mounts. I don't really see anyone needing them, unless it's a scope that gets moved around a lot, like you use it for load development or something. My favorite mounts now are SPUHR. They're rock solid, and the 6 screw rings give me peace of mind when mounting a pricy scope. That said, a Leupold non QD cantilever mount is like 150 bucks and it will do the job just fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  12. grampajack
    • Contributing Member

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    You may like this one:

    https://www.trijicon.com/na_en/products/product3.php?pid=RS24-C-1900006

    It's probably the cheapest battle ready 1-4 on the market. Little heavy, not a big fan of the reticle, but the glass is top notch, and that's what's really important with these low power scopes.

    That is a damn nice scope and pretty much ideal for most things. Much better reticle system than Trijicon, too.
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    And that definitely is one opinion! It's always good to have one of those. ;)

    Whether or not YOU, Jimmy Ward, would regret -- or even notice -- a 1.5x power setting when shooting at close range none of us can say. (Though grampajack just tried. :neener:)

    I've had 1.5s, 1.25s, etc. Never even thought about it for a split second on the range. Some folks are apparently not sufficiently evolved so their eyes can handle that, so you might want to see if you can try one before you buy.


    It STILL would be good to know about how much you WANT to spend.
     
  14. Jimmy Ward

    Jimmy Ward Member

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    Kyle Defoor Carbine Course. A lot of heads shots 2 X 31/2" box at 100yrds. It seems crazy I buy a BCM extreme lightweight rifle and now I'm going to put a heavy scope and mount on it. Go figure, maybe I should just stick with the Aimpoint T-1 and be done with it. Let's say $1,200 with mount.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Wow, that's a tough call. The thing is, you probably can make those hits with the Aimpoint with a little practice. In field use we tend not to need as much magnification as we think we do.

    But if you have time to crank up the magnification, of course it will make you more confident in the shot, though possibly slower.
     
  16. grampajack
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    grampajack AR Junkie

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    Have you tried shooting with both eyes open at close range (20-50 feet)? It screws with me, and everyone I've ever talked to. I've also never seen anyone beat the timer when comparing 1x to 1.5x at close range. I'm not saying it's something you couldn't get used to and learn to compensate for, but it's a definite handicap. Even a true 1x compared to a red dot is a handicap unless you just happen to be shooing in the sweet spot where it really is truly 1x. At most ranges there's some distortion even with the best 1x variables. But the handicap from a true 1x is minimal compared to a 1.5x, or even a 1.25x.

    I would personally need magnification for that. At least your rifle is good to go, and it sounds like this course is more focused on precision than high volume, so your barrel will probably come out unscathed whatever it is. You might be able to get by with just a magnifier, which you can generally find used online for much less than your budget. The weight would probably come pretty close to any given 1x variable setup, and the transition would probably be about the same. I would just ask the instructor what they recommend and go with that, assuming you don't have any special needs due to vision impairment or something.
     
  17. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    Inside 150 yards, a dot can run with just about anything magnified.
     
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  18. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    20170203_165455.jpg
    I really like my Nikon P223 with Nikon P series mount.
    It is a fixed 3x BDC.

    20160206_160313.jpg this 400yd coyote can vouch for it too.
     
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  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Yeah. I've never noticed it when going fast.
     
  20. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    That would depend on the tgt size....wouldn't it??

    I've run a RDS and a 1-4X in carbine classes as well as matches. I ran my Colt LE 6920 in a 2 day class this spring switching between an RDS and a 1-4 Vortex PST with zero issues (both with QD mounts). IMHO, once used to it, an RDS really isn't that much faster than a variable at 1X. The RDS comes into it's own when you can't get a good check weld and shooting in odd positions, but the "on-demand" magnification adds some versatility.

    Chuck
     
  21. grampajack
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    grampajack AR Junkie

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    Yea, even my micro red dots have a bigger eye box than my 1x variables, including one that's only a 10mm tube. If not for that, besides weight, I would have no reason to prefer a red dot over a 1x variable. That assumes the 1x in question has an intelligently designed reticle, which few of them really do. The only one that's really on the ball is the S&B short dot, but there are some other decent ones, especially in the 1-4s. Getting a nice reticle system in the 1-6s and 1-8s is very pricy for some reason.
     
  22. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    And it would also depend on the dot size, and the caliber, and... There are so many variables I didn't think the OP wanted a seven paragraph answer.
     
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  23. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    I've shot a dot at 100 and it is definitely acceptable, but you might not be able to stack every shot in a 2 x 3 1/2" target. At closer ranges though, its all anyone needs.

    I tried the Mark AR 1 x4 that Sam mentioned. It worked, but I was disappointed with the optical quality. If I remember, I paid $249 for the scope and $90 for my AP mount.

    I recently replaced it with a Leupold VX-R Patrol 1.25 x 4. Much better optically, fire dot reticle too. Optics Planet has a bundle deal with the scope and mount for $640. They often offer other discounts on top of that, if you can wait.

    I'd do just that. Take the course and see how it goes. I've shot in a couple of the NRA Americas Rifle matches with a dot and liked it. I suspect that a carbine course might have a lot of the same style of shooting.
     
  24. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Burris 536 with a ballistic QC reticle.

    934661_10151588148438235_1341170730_n.jpg DSC02124.JPG
     

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