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Best AR Optic under $500?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dirty Dawg, Mar 23, 2009.

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  1. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Member

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    I'm looking for something around this price but could move a little if necessary. This AR will be used for punching paper and knocking down feral hogs, often in poor to no light. I'll add a surefire light at some point but for now I'm focused on optics (no pun intended.)
     
  2. gga357

    gga357 Member

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    Bushnell trophy red dot 730135
     
  3. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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  4. cbrgator

    cbrgator Member

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    Aimpoint CompML2
     
  5. dscottw88

    dscottw88 Member

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    I'm no expert BUT....

    You have a whole bunch of options. For one, there is the Millett Tactical scope/Red dot. Think of this as an adjustable ACOG that takes up a little more space. These can be had for around $250. http://www.millettsights.com/controller.php/cat09/dms_reddot

    Second, this one is just your average red dot, but the Eotech 512 can be had almost everywhere for $399 and you dont have to worry about a mount. http://www.eotech-inc.com/product.php?id=9&cat=2

    And just to throw in a third, the Aimpoint is arguably the best red dot site of the 3, offering thousands and thousands of hours of life on a single set of batteries. The Comp M4 is probably the best but will cost you around $700 or $800. The Comp M2 will cost around $400, but then you have to buy a quality mount, this will be another $100, grand totalling you at around $500. http://www.aimpoint.com/products/aimpoint_product_lines

    Again, I'm not the expert. But those guys will be along shortly to correct me and give you better descriptions.

    If you want my opinion, I like the Eotech best. For a guy on a budget (which most of us are), the Eotech provides the most bang for the buck IMO. Happy shopping, and dont forget to post pics when you finally make a decision.
     
  6. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    3 people mentioning an ESD for "target shooting" (horrible choice), and low light hunting (poor choice). Just my opinion. :p
     
  7. gga357

    gga357 Member

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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  8. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    Depends on what type of paper punching and how much hunting. If I were building a hunting rig that had to be fast I would use no more than 7x magnification variable from any of the decent manufacturers. If it was more a paper puncher I would push as much magnification as I could stand when hunting. At $500 you can get a lot of good high magnification scopes from any of the big names. The problem comes with finding a balance between what is too much for the hunting you want to do and what is too little for the paper punching. I would push for 20x on a paper puncher if possible. That makes hunting a bit of an issue. For a mixed use rifle something from 4ishx-14x is a good balance. All the big names make good scopes in that price range. Buy the brand you like the most.
     
  9. gotime242

    gotime242 Member

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    +1 Bushnell trophy MP
     
  10. flyboy1788

    flyboy1788 Member

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    the best for under 500?? Aimpoint hands down. They have a much lower failure rate then eotechs or bushnells. That being said, I use a bushnell :D. Only because I cant afford an aimpoint yet.
     
  11. latisimusd

    latisimusd Member

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    Bushnell Trophy MP +1
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Under $500, with low-light capability? If you want a magnified optic, I can't advise you- not because there isn't one, I just don't know the low to mid end magnified optics well enough to give advice. Your problem is going to be finding good low-light performance. If you're looking for a red dot, the Eotech and the Aimpoint CompML2 will be absolutely superb and fit the pricetag requirement.

    Mike
     
  13. atomd

    atomd Member

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    +1 to that. Although they are fun.
     
  14. tacweapon

    tacweapon Member

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    I am thinking that a magnified optic would better suit you and not a EoTech or Aimpoint, while they are nice they do not fit what you want.

    I have owned the Millet DMS-1 and it was a great scope for the money but I got rid of because it did not have enough FOV.

    I am looking at either the

    Burris Signature Select 1.5-6x40
    http://www.burrisoptics.com/sigselect1.html#15x6x
    they are around $380.00

    or

    Burris Euro-Diamond 1.5-6x40
    http://www.burrisoptics.com/eurodiamond1.html#15X6X
    they are around $450.00

    I am thinking they would be good scopes for a fighting rifle and with the 40mm objective they would be better then most other scopes for light gathering, both of them have an illumitated reticle as an option

    I hope that helps
     
  15. bonedust

    bonedust Member

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    the Leupold Prismatic has quickly made its way onto my favorite tactical sight list.
     
  16. atomd

    atomd Member

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    You could go and get a 3-9x40 Zeiss MC Conquest for well under $500. Meopta makes good stuff and also offers some in the $500 range. The Zeiss has a MAP so you won't really see it advertised under $499...but in the stores you can find it for quite a bit less. It will perform decently in lower light conditions also.

    IOR has some stuff to choose from in that price range too and they are heavy duty for sure. I think Nikon Monarch is good stuff for the $ too. I am considering putting something from IOR on my AR later this year.
     
  17. jaybr

    jaybr Member

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    My new AR is sitting in the safe waiting for this to ship http://www.burrisoptics.com/ar332.html

    Should be out in the next couple weeks, and I'll probably wait a few days for some reviews to post.
     
  18. FMF

    FMF Member

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    Millett DMS-1...for only $230 at most online retailers it's a bargain. 1-4x magnification, red dot and illuminated too. You can get the LaRue LT-104 QD mount for another $215 and you have a nice little rig.
     
  19. bratch

    bratch Member

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  20. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I found an EOTech 557.AR223, Night Vision compatible, 5.56 ballistic matching reticle, like new (mounted once, never fired) with paperwork for $450 and am thinking I'll go that route. I like that the controls are on the side so my BUIS won't interfere. I don't have a range that's longer than 100 yards at this time so I don't feel like I have a great need for a magnified optic. Also, most of the hog shots will be well under 50 yards-- some much closer -- and often in heavy cover so the ability to acquire the target quickly is a handy feature. All in all I think the 557 will do the trick.

    What do you think?

    [​IMG]
     
  21. pgeleven

    pgeleven Member

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    +1 on aimpoint. you can get a x2 magnification on some of the models and you really dont have to worry about accidentally leaving it turned on, they will make the most out of your battery by a longshot. plus you can beat the bejesus out of them and they will keep on going
     
  22. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    As I implied pretty clearly above, I think you'll be horribly disappointed using it for your STATED USES of Target Shooting and Low Light Hunting. Scrap the CQB/3-gun/rough-n-dirty fighting optic, and get something that suits your NEEDS - which means a variable optic (or a fixed 4 or fixed 6). Or did your uses change? I am confused. A magnified optic with a large objective bell will gather much more light and allow you to produce nice groups. I recommend a minimum of 42mm objective, and preferably a 44-50mm for low-light hunting. Get a 3-9x magnif, or maybe a 4-16x or 4.5-14x. Do you want to see the pigs or do you want to practice TEOTWAWKI scenarios? There is a major disconnect between your choice and your stated needs. In fact, in low light, you are actually disadvantaged relative to an "analog" fiber optic sights, having to look through an ESD. You'll see your dot, but you won't see the pigs. :confused:
     
  23. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    The 557s go for $550 new so $450 is a pretty good price.

    Several 557 owners report a problem with night vision mode showing reticle smearing. It is possible that this EO is for sale because it has that problem... or the owner doesn't want something that might have problems (s)he can't test for. Night vision is a multi-thousand-dollar investment most people don't need.

    I'd buy it, but that's me....
     
  24. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Double post so I'll edit in more content...

    The EO reticle adjusts down to "can't see it in daylight" (well, the NV compatible ones are more "can't see it with the naked eye") and from what I can tell should be just fine for any condition you can see in with both eyes open.

    To me, non hunter that I am, I would think that "too dark to see with the naked eye" is "too dark to hunt" just in the "know your target and what is behind it" sense. Yeah a properly balanced (magnification to objective size) conventional scope will give you a brighter image... but it doesn't seem ideal to take those shots. Maybe I'm off base but the EO dot hovering in your natural view seems fine for hunting.

    There was someone near me with an EOtech yesterday at the range and he was doing better at 100 yards than I was with iron sights. Seemed OK for target practice though I wasn't looking through the device.
     
  25. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Member

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    Forgive me Dr. Winslow, I clearly did not state my intended uses well enough. I guess, rather than low light I should say no light. We often hunt these hogs in dense terrain well after dark when they become active. We'll set up on a pig trail or pond and wait for activity, using surefire lights when they come into range. As I stated in an earlier post, this is generally at very close range. As you can imagine, anything outside the reach of the light is out of range. Occasionally we'll track them through heavy cover (grass, brush, woodland) where a magnified scope makes it difficult to acquire the hogs -- this from past trips where my 3x9-40 was just a little too much. As for punching paper, I should have said plinking, because while I will be on a range I won't be competing and will be tickled pink with pie pan sized groups at 100 yards. TEOTWAWKI? Now that I think of it...could be. Considering all this, I'm thinking the EOTech is a good fit. I guess in the worst case scenario I could use the EOTech a while and trade it, plus cash, for something more suitable.

    Of the optics mentioned, the Leupold Prismatic really caught my eye though all are no doubt great choices.
     
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