Ideal Optics for AR on a budget

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Dec 24, 2002
I've kinda narrowed my choices down to a few & have come to the board for its collective 2 cents...
I am building an AR, 16" A4 and now I'm deciding on optics. I have shot AR's w/ both red dot sights like the Eotech, & Aimpoint and have shot them w/ really nice scopes. Now it's my turn to decide.
* I like the simplicity of the Eotech. Put dot on target, shoot, repeat...
* I like the precision of good optics :rolleyes:
For something w/ a 16" barrel, which is the better option? ...a good scope...or the eotech???
What distance will you generally be shooting at, and what type of shooting do you like to do?

Buy the Eotech now and save for an ACOG. You'll end up with both anyway, or you'll find the Eotech is sufficient for your needs and spend the money on a suppressor. See, problem solved. :D
Beren - I'm planning on most of my shooting from 25 to 100 yards...with that being the case, would I be better off saving up for the ACOG (which model?) & use iron sights initially or are the eotechs good enough that I won't need to switch? :confused:
If you're never shooting past 100 yards, magnification would probably be a waste of money.
A 1-4x Leupold shotgun scope will give you good eye relief, magnification for when you need it and low mag for when you don't and costs only $179. For a budget optic that can run with the high-dollar optics out to 300yds, it is tough to beat.
My vote would be for the EOTECH 512 if you'll be shooting only 25 - 100 yards. As Beren notes, no need for magnification at those distances. The ACOG is great, but at almost a grand now, simply not worth the investment unless you're gonna be using it a lot. I'd suspect for most shooting, you'll really never feel the need to scope a 16-inch AR.

I love my EOTECHs; for my 16-inch barrelled Bushies, an M4A3 and a Superlight A2, it's just about the perfect combination for any tactical carbine uses and even works on my local coyote population ... Don't let a salesman talk you into spending the extra hundred bucks for the 552 unless you somehow believe you'll be needing to use your AR/EOTECH with your night vision devices ... Come to think of it though ...
I concur. If you're doing all close range shooting, the Eotech wins hands down over the ACOG. If they cost the same amount of money, the Eotech would still probably win, as magnifcation causes more problems than it solves at that distance (assuming you're doing any sort of shooting beyond static paperpunching). The fact that the Eotech is 1/3rd or less of the price of the ACOG makes it not even close.

Now, if you were looking at 200 to 300 yard use, or were interested only in shooting bullseyes from the prone position or bench, the ACOG starts to win over the red dot. However, it is worth noting that for strictly precision work, there are better and/or cheaper scopes than the ACOG. The C in ACOG stands for Combat, which implies a different sort of use than just taking slow, deliberate shots at paper.

If you're looking for the ability to make precise shots and retain the flexibility of a red dot, the Eotech is pretty much perfect. That teeeny tiny center dot is brilliant for precise work. The big fat red circle is great for fast shooting at closer/larger targets.

I have to agree with others on this thread that the EOTECH 512 is a great optic. For distances of less than 100 yards the EOTECH is hard to beat. Shoot your rifle with both eyes open. Quick target acqusition and up to 1100 hours of battery life.

Want co-witnessing? How about Rock Rivers UTE2 upper receiver built for use with the EOTECH.
I went with Eotech on my AR 15 carbine because, really, it is cheap and good. I know $350+ doesn't sound cheap, but when you consider you don't strictly need a $110 mount unless you want lower third cowitness, it's the best deal out there.

ARMS #40, Eotech 512, that does it for me.

I didn't build a short carbine for long distance precision. I don't see the point of any magnification besides perhaps a small fixed power magnification optic, and if I ever want to invest in that it will work with my EoTech just fine.

The Eotech enables you to operate your rifle like a camera with a high speed shutter: get the picutre you want and pull the trigger, next...

One day I want to have something with a 20" M16A3 style profile, I could see the point of scoping that.
I used red dots for a while but recently switched both my 50 Beowulf and 223 to 1.5-4.5 x 32 Bushnell Banners. At 1.5 you can shoot it really well with both eyes open, and at 4.5 make precision shots. They run about $75-80 most places. My 6x45 upper wears a 3-9 x 40 Burris 3200, but it's too heavy for a close in weapon so is relagated to coyotes and paper punching off the bipod.
Thanks for the replies...I'm starting lean towards the 512 now :D Plus, I think I cn get a deal on one :cool:
For "on a budget" also look at the new Bushnell Holosight XLP. Cheaper, and from what I can tell, the same optics as the Holosight. The design is cheaper to make but I don't think they sacrificed anything in quality or durabillity. I think it's just a better design. But only once a few are out and get extended use, will we actually know.
The low-magnification shotgun scope is a good alternative. I have one in a one piece Armalite mount and it works like a champ. A good low-cost, high quality red dot is the Burris XTS-135. Looks and mounts like an Aimpoint. It has a 4 MOA dot as opposed to the 1 MOA dot/65 MOA ring of the EoTech/Bushnell.

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