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opinion on best AR scopes

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ProCharger, Jan 20, 2004.

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  1. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    Just bought one and would like to have a scope with a few questions to add. Are there scopes out there for the AR that have compensators for bullet drop at different distances much like the open sights adjust for meters? When you take a scope off the rail and put it back on do they generally loose center? What scope do you prefer and why.

    Brett
     
  2. Navy joe

    Navy joe Member

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    Yes, I believe that is an option with Trijicon scopes in several models as well as Elcans. Or you could just mount a standard Mil-dot on it, Horus, Sheperd or whatever freaky reticle that floats your boat. Have to define best for what purpose.

    Personally I have had a carry handle mounted compact ACOG in 2x with a red crosshair reticle for about 5 years. It is dirt simple, small, able to survive me, and allows use of my real sights as well. This suits my needs for an AR as it increases hit speed and probability out to 300 some yards which is about what you're going to effectively do with the thing. I need to sit down and do the math on what MOA the legs of the crosshair represent, then I'll have a pretty neat range estimation and drop compensator right there. When I have taken it off and replaced it on the same gun it was right on.

    If you can stand the cost you can't loose with anything Trijicon makes.
     
  3. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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    for the A2 with the carry handle the Colt 4x is very good
    but its pretty much a chin weld with the glass that high above the bore

    for a flattop theres alot of manufacturers to look at

    heres a great overview:
    http://www3.mb.sympatico.ca/~jhipwell/sights.htm
     
  4. KW

    KW Member

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    If you check out AR15.com's optics forum there are a bunch of excellent stickied threads talking about the best optics choices. Trijicon ACOG (with BAC reticle), Aimpoint, and EOtech are the favored choices.
     
  5. stellarpod

    stellarpod Member

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    Check this out.

    C-more scope for AR

    Might be just what you're looking for and it's offered by one of our compadres here at THR.

    stellarpod
     
  6. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    thank you...posted and asked for pic....got an email back saying pics are on the way in about 5 minutes (1:30 a.m. central time) so I am quite impressed. I did a search on him at the trading post and he has a couple of A++'s to go with his name. seems reputable.....I am very interested in seeing this scope. Thanks again for the link.

    Brett
     
  7. dbshabo

    dbshabo Member

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    If you have a flat top AR and want a traditional tube scope, I recommend the one piece scope mount by Armalite. I have one on a 20" flat top AR and I must remove it to tranport the gun to the range in it's case. The return to zero has been dead on for me. I believe you can get this mount in 1" or 30mm size. It's very well built and the tightening knobs are large and knurled for easy hand installation and removal. I haven't noticed mine coming loose from firing the gun as of yet.

    Shabo
     
  8. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Check out the Optics forum at AR15.com. There is enough information there to keep you reading for awhile and it is good info. Among other things, they have pictures through the various scopes that are most helpful.

    This will depend more on your mount than the scope; but there are scope mounts available that will give you excellent return to zero qualities so that the scope is still on target after being removed and replaced. I use an ARMS #19S mount (which is specific to a certain brand of scope) and it has always returned to zero for me.
     
  9. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    I need to add that this well be mounted on a flattop and I do not want to remove the front sight. Will a flattop scope mounting flush with the receiver require front sight removal?
     
  10. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    If you plan on using a magnified optic of greater than about 3x, you will not need to remove the front sight since it will be inside the focal length of the scope.

    If you plan on using a lower magnification scope, the front sight tower will be visible to some degree; but shouldn't stop you from using the scope effectively.

    If you plan on using an unmagnified red dot, the front sight tower will of course be visible; but will not stop you from using the red dot effectively.
     
  11. KW

    KW Member

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    If you want to have a backup iron sight setup in case your optic is damaged etc. having the front site is pretty handy. You can get flip up front sights, but I'd keep the stock one unless you try your optic and find the front sight is really bothering you.
     
  12. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    BTW Bartholomew I did look at the thread on ar15.com along with a ton of other threads, but the thread that caught my attention there was the scope view's where the pictures were taken.....only problem being I cant afford a single one of those scopes :( I guess I should say I would like to keep it around 250$ if I can.

    Brett
     
  13. Absolut

    Absolut Member

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    best magnified optic for the AR is the ACOG/compact ACOG by far......non-magnified or reflex are the EOTech and Aimpoint
     
  14. Snipe315

    Snipe315 Member

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    Sorry Absolut but you are wrong.

    The best optic for an AR rifle depends on the rifle configuration and the intended use.

    An ACOG might be great for a rifle configured for CQB with a 16" barrel but if the rifle has a 20" barrel and is meant for patrol or perimeter work something like a 3.5X10 M3 Leupold would be far better.
     
  15. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    define CQB and also......MOA.....I see MOA all the time. I am relatively new to message boards when it comes to shooting compared to automobile message boards. That has puzzled me from day 1. The ACOG's look very very nice but man they are damn pricey. The scope themselves with mounts would run me more than the rifle cost me. If I could find a used one with 4x magnification for 500ish I might consider it, but I cant afford 800$ for one new.

    Brett
     
  16. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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    Close Quarters Battle
    room clearing, house cleaning

    Minute of angle
    ~1 inch at 100 yards

    a 1 MOA gun puts all the rounds in a half dollar at 100 yards

    to stop a man, a softball sized group is close enough

    with optics you get what you pay for

    the ACOGs and Aimpoints and other high speed low drag toys are run by the pros
    My Aimpoint and its Swan mounts are 1/2 the cost of my rifle

    www.SWFA.com has reasonable pricing
     
  17. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    ACOG/Compact ACOG! Nothing else even comes close, IMNSHO!

    I use the compact ACOG on my Bushy Dissapator and wouldn't trade it for anything made.
     
  18. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, I'll warn you in advance that optics is an area where you often get what you pay for. Having said that, Colt used to sell a 4x scope that mounted in the carry handle and had bullet drop markings for 5.56mm. You could probably find one of those or one of the several knock-offs made somewhere else and imported here for that price. I've seen them as low as $49.

    Grab a CDNN Investments catalog or check out SWFA and take a look at those offerings. CDNN in particular has lots of scopes designed for the AR15 at less than $100; but these are not quality pieces of glass by any stretch of the imagination. However, they may serve your needs quite well.

    Harry Tuttle already explained CQB and MOA. I'd just elaborate that the one MOA that = ~1" @ 100yds, will = ~2" @ 200yds etc. Think of it as a cone. It is usually used to describe what a rifle is capable of with the right shooter, ammo etc.

    The ACOGs are expensive pieces of gear. It took me about two years from the time I had decided I want one until the point I could afford one (and even then "afford" was a very debateable term). For a long time, I tried the budget route with guns and I have boxes full of crap that I have barely used and will never use again as a result. One day, I bit the bullet and bought a top of the line, high-grade holster. Not only did iI finally find a holster to work really well for me; but I realized I had spent about $50 more than the "too expensive" holster buying utter junk.

    Since that time, I have made a conscious decision to just buy the high-end gear. It isn't cheap and I often buy a lot more capability than I ever need to use on a day-day basis; but it has reduced my gear frustrations substantially. For that alone, I consider it a worthwhile investment. I've also found that it is easier (in my household anyway) to buy one insanely expensive but good piece of gear than it is to repeatedly buy the same piece of gear at a less expensive price. One high priced scope doesn't seem to bug her half as much as me buying three or four cheap scopes for the same rifle within a few months. :)
     
  19. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    Bartholomew you have been more than a big help so far with me on the new AR stuff, explaining things in great detail even more so than I would expect anyone to do. I would be posting this stuff on ar15.com but I have a problem with my email as not being a valid address for them to register me. I too am biting the bullet. I have 2 milk jugs full of change that I have always wanted to spend on something that i WANTED just I have never got around to it. I would assume there is 600$ or so in there. I believe I am gonna put that towards an ACOG compact with rail grabber mounts here really shortly....possibly Sunday if I dont find any at the gun show here this weekend. I have checked out swfa's web site a few times now and my only question would be on their compacts....they do not include mounts...correct? Is 799.00 about the bottom line that I will be looking at for a compact wherever I look?

    I will start posting this stuff on ar15.com soon as I can get registered instead of using all THR's bandwidth on ar-15 related material lol. Thanks.

    Brett
     
  20. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Brett, glad I could be of assistance. ARs are one of the few areas that I have played around in consistently enough to have some knowledge. However, there are a lot of different opinions on any firearm-related matter so always take them with a grain-of-salt.

    Before you buy the compact ACOG, I'd stop and consider what you want to do with the optic and what you want out of it. Are you looking to shoot groups at the range? Plink tin cans from 0-200yds? Hunt? Defensive use? Several of these with differing priority? What is the maximum and minimum range you have in mind? The ACOGs are definitely top-notch optics; but it is a lot of money to pay if all you want to do is punch paper. Once you have a good idea of what you want out of the sight, it will be easier to figure out where your budget is.

    For example, I just caught a thread where somebody had just worn out the hog population of east Texas with a Tasco Propoint (a sight that would fit into your $250 budget). Now the Tasco isn't going to survive the same kind of abuse that an ACOG will, it doesn't offer magnification and it isn't built to the same demanding standards; but that particular unit has held up to quite a bit of rough field use that most range guns will never see.

    If you decide you want to go the compact ACOG route, you will need a mount for it (assuming you don't want to mount it in the detachable carry handle).
     
  21. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    Far as mounting a scope, I would like to mount it to the flat top with probably a grabber style mount. I believe I looked at one that set the scope on a 1/2" mount.....primarily what I am looking for. As for what I want out of the optic? Definately a clear view....no distortion much like my Swarovski scope on my deer rifle. From what I hear you cant beat the optics on these acog scopes. The gun would be used for plinking at many different ranges, possibly varmint hunting, definately shooting groups (I am wanting a 3x at minimum), and I would really love to get into competition with the rifle but I can't find anything in my area as of right now. I plan on keeping the rifle....more than likely for life. I shoot usually twice a month so the scope would get its use for sure. I figure if I am going to buy a scope that will fit most of my needs (after considering what you said about quality and swapping out "cheaper" scopes for a nice setup) I might as well get it over with and save the hassles as you stated you had.

    Brett
     
  22. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    What type of competition? Benchrest or IPSC-style?

    I've got to shoot a Swarovski and ACOG side by side before, and the ACOG can definitely compete with the Swarovski on clarity.

    If you are looking at groups and at varmint hunting, the ACOG may still serve you OK depending on the reticle. The ACOG is designed primarily with hitting larger size E-type (19" silhouette) targets in mind, so some of the reticles would probably obscure a small animal like a prarie dog completely at a distance.

    Heck if the deer rifle has a Weaver-style base you might be able to use the same Swarovski scope on both rifles.
     
  23. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    I use a 3x9 Leupold VarX with turret knobs. Very clear, very repeatable and so far, very rugged. One of my friends is a Burris man, and I think my scopes ar as crystal clear as his.
     
  24. ProCharger

    ProCharger Member

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    Would not be benchrest....the gun probably isnt real ideal for shooting tights groups from a rest being its a 16" carbine. The mounts on the deer rifle I have wont work on the Swarovski. The mounts are on a Remington model 700 where there are 2 allen screws on each mount. I will have to look at the flat top again but I am pretty sure they do not accomodate that type of mount.

    Brett
     
  25. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, I don't know a thing about benchrest shooting; but I have managed a 4-shot 0.25" group at 100yds with my 16" carbine (stock trigger, stock barrel, no free float), so you'd be surprised what they can do on occasion.

    If you are looking for an IPSC-style gun, then the compact ACOG is pretty useful for that type of shooting along with the full-size ACOGs, Aimpoints, Eotechs, OKOs, and Leupold variables.

    Really, I couldn't begin to get into all the different optics options for the AR. Your best bet is to read the tacked posts at AR15.com and then lurk and read about the ones that interest you. Keep in mind though that there is a decided bias towards military and law enforcement applications there. Brian Enos has a forum for three-gun shooting that can give you a more competition oriented look at optics.

    However, don't feel like you have to leave here to talk about ARs, and whatever you learn or decide - hang around here and share it with the rest of us so we can learn from your mistakes :)
     
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