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Optics set up for AR-15

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by cbmax, Feb 7, 2009.

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  1. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    Hi,

    Can anyone please provide me with some additional information including brand names of optics, required accessories and where to buy?

    I am looking for a set up that allows both medium to longer range capability plus CQB.

    I saw a set up on one of the gun shows that looked like a traditional long range optic (maybe a Leupold or Trijicon scope 3X9). However the shooter than canted the rifle to the side and used what appeared to be a non-magnified red dot (reflex) optic for up close work. This second optic was really small.

    I think this is what I am interested in to cover all ranges from 25 yrds to 300 plus.

    Any input would be appreciated greatly. Be easy on me as I am new to
    AR-15's.

    CB
     
  2. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    Anyone?????
     
  3. VegasOPM

    VegasOPM Member

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    Leupold Mk 4 CQT $900 + mount
    Millet Designated Marksmen Scope $300 + mount
    Eotech with flip up magnifier $400 + $350 + mount

    These are all 0-300yd setups on a single footprint. A lot of competitors use a high power scope along with a Burris Fastfire or a Docter red dot. In Multigun, that setup is only legal for Open class. I use the Leupold and I am covered from 5 yds to 300 yds without changing zero. It is expensive, especially when you are going to pay $160+ for a solid mount, but I like it. It is clear and brutally strong.
     
  4. green country shooter

    green country shooter Member

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    Common setup is a magnified scope on top and a doctor small red dot above it or on the side. A few years ago the hot thing was to have iron sights mounted at a 45 degree angle on the right side of the forearm.

    I find that with an eotech i can make good hits out to 200 yards. It's not magnified. I've discovered in some matches that at really close ranges it's faster to just shoot over the top of the gun, so i'm thinking of trying the acog with iron sights on top for that scenario.
     
  5. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    ACOG or an aimpoint with small-ish dot.

    Hitting 8-10 inch plates out to 300 is very doable with a dot scope as long as you mave a 2-4 MOA dot.
     
  6. Riss

    Riss Member

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    Any kind of 1.5 x 4 adjustable on a riser or a low mount handle mount, if you have a handle. I use a CAA triple rail on the handguard for a small red dot like a Burris Fast Fire or Tasco Optima. Is better to have it more forward than mounted under or next to the scope on 45 degree weaver adapter rails. Other choice would be a small red dot JPoint sight attached on top of an ACOG. It makes for an expensive setup though.
     
  7. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    Riss,

    Any reason not to go with 3X9 for the main optic? I was thinking about a Trijicon Accupoint? Is that overkill?

    CB
     
  8. rino451

    rino451 Member

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    It was probably a Dr Optic, J-Point, or Burris Fastfire like reflex sight. Aimpoint Micro will work as well. Not as small but getting there and it has to be more robust.

    What kind of AR do you have?

    Reflex can be forward mounted on a rail on the rifle forearm or an offset mount added to the scope tube and reflex mounted to that.

    Having said all that, it looks cool, but for most of us it just means more weight. Good glass is 1#-1.5#. Add rings, additional mount, reflex, battery, rail, etc. and your light carbine turns into something else.

    Get a 2moa reflex/red dot and be done. Down side is that if you're shooting paper, hit at 300 are difficult (impossible) to see without a spotting scope so you're going to drag that around anyway.
     
  9. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    If I might jump in with a quick question...

    will Weaver style rings fit a flat-top upper? Or are there specific rings for the picatinny rails?

    Q
     
  10. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    Rino,

    AR is a Stag 3L in .223. I just ordered the weapon yesterday and was told I should have it within 3 months. Since it is a left handed model the lead time was less. (good thing I shoot rifles lefty) Right handed AR's are taking 6 months plus from Stag. I was going to buy the gun in parts and assemble myself, however stripped upper and lower assemblies are at least an 8 month wait.

    From the factory the AR comes with a flat top and 16 inch barrel chambered for .223/5.56 Nato. Since I am in NJ, the weapon has to be configured in a post ban configuration.

    My plan to take the rifle and than upgrade it for USPSA / Three gun games.

    I am thinking about:

    1) Magpul PRS buttstock (might be too heavy, see my other post)
    2) 18 inch match barrel in .223 from White Oak Armory (not sure on mid- length or rifle length gas system)
    3) Viking tactical free float hand guard
    4) Troy BUIS
    5) Optics as suggested above

    Your feedback is appreciated!

    CB
     
  11. rino451

    rino451 Member

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    Don't dick with BUIS if you're going to mount a scope on it AND a reflex. If you must have all three (which IMO is overkill) get one of these and mount it on the forearm just in case or do away with the reflex all together and just use it for CQB/BUIS duty: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=191788 There are other similar options that you can use.

    Or for your reflex, use the Leupold prismatic (don't think that it's a true reflex though, not sure). Don't have to worry about dead batteries because it still has the etched reticle.

    ETA just saw 3-gun. Ya, don't need Troy BUIS (or any that are in front and behind the scope) - they will only add weight and you won't have a chance to use them as they are too slow (remove scope, flip up BUIS, etc.) Better off "sighting down the barrel" if that's all ya got. Low magnification and a small reflex should do it, and a BUIS like above if compelled. Find a light stock and float tube. Composite should be the trick if you're serious and want to drop as much unnecessary weight as possible. PRS is arguably not a optimal stock for 3-gun. Ace makes some light and functional stocks, but have had issues for some. A1 and A2 are good still.

    Where's Zak Smith? Search for some of his posts here and then ignore mine.

    Also, you will spend a ton just figuring out what you like, so it's best to be honest about what you NEED vs. what you want. BTDT. I have an Eotech for sale...
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  12. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    What's the budget?

    You're describing an "all-purpose" rifle - you said medium and long range and CQB, so....

    Low budget: A 1.5-6x40mm scope in extra-high rings on the flattop. Simple as that. Maybe a 1.5-4x24 or 1-4x20 scope or similar would work too, such as the Millett DMR, Accupoint 1.25-4x24, or Leupold Mark 4 CQ/T, but the 1.5-6x40 is the best choice. They are available from a variety of manufacturers

    Medium budget: Used ACOG of some flavor (fixed low-power magnif), with a cover so you can use it as an OEG for CQB. This is arguably the best choice period, and is a very very good setup. Of course, you can buy a new ACOG too if the budget allows it.

    High-Very high budget: Several options here, including an Eotech or Aimpoint with swing-out magnifier, Elcan Specter DR. Another choice in this range is take the 1.5-6x40 scope from the first option above, and bump up the brand choice to Zeiss, Swarovski, etc.

    Bottom line, in my opinion, you're probably better off building TWO separate rifle. Get a 16" m4 type light rifle with a 1x optic such as Eotech or Aimpoint, and then build a second one with an 18-22" bbl (20" typically), and a higher power optic such as an ACOG, or better yet, a higher magnification optic such as the Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40 you mention!

    Then you've got your CQB rifle and your medium & long range rifle. Better idea than trying to make one rifle do all things not-very-well.
     
  13. Riss

    Riss Member

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    Another option would be a red dot and a 3x or 4x multiplier in front of it.
     
  14. raz-0

    raz-0 Member

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    Any of the true 1-4 or so scopes. So far the best actually available for purchase is the meopta 1-4 with illuminated k-dot reticle. It is $700+ unless you can find someone to wholesale it to you.

    Viable mounts ofr it are the SPR-E mount form larue, or the ranger recon-x mount from american defense manufacturing which is cheaper, but still a very nice mount. The larue is $215, the american defense is $185.

    The millet DMS-1 is also a pretty usable scope for the price but nowhere near as nice as the meopta. It runs between $199 and $249 depending on who you buy from and if you catch a sale or not.

    An aklternate cheap mount is the YHM 6" rail extension plus warn quick detach mounts or warne standard mounts. Total runs between $90 and $110 for the right setup.

    Im currently using the DMS-1 and the american defense mount and I'm quite happy.

    If youw ant a red dot for close up work and a more run of the mill scope, I'd suggest getting a ring that mounts to your scope tube that has rails on it and mounting a jpoitn or fastfire red dot. For close up shots wher eyou are moving, it is much like a carry handle sight for position while being a red dot.
     
  15. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    Updates

    Okay everyone I have taken suggestions into account. I am tailoring this build towards a short to medium range rifle.

    Here are the list of aftermarket items I ended up with to put on my Stag 3L thus far.

    1) 18 inch White Oak Armament SPR Barrel with mid length gas tube and low profile gas block
    2) JP Enterprises .750 Outside diameter compensator
    3) JP Enterprises 3 lb trigger kit with anti-walk pins
    4) JP Enterprises Reversible safety selector
    5) Yankee Hill Vectre length free float handguard
    6) Ergo ambidextrous overmolded black rubber grip
    7) Ace skeleton stock

    For optics I think I am leaning towards a Trijicon Accupoint in 1X4 and than a JP Point red dot with the Matt Burkett mount. I haven't purchased this yet.

    Does anyone see a reason why the Matt Burkett mount (45 degree angle) would not work in a left handed set up????

    CB:D
     
  16. Joe D

    Joe D Member

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    Guess I tend to do things a little on the less expensive path. I have had a $79 Bushnell 1x4 Circle Plex on my flattop for several years. It does what it is supposed to do - clear, crisp optics and holds zero. It is a true 1X. The FOV is plenty large.
    I recently changed powders so I had to recheck my zero. I was able to put 5 rounds well under .750" at 100 yds with this scope. I use a 200 yd zero. The bottom of the circle is my 300 yd zero.
    I do get a chuckle when I see ARs with scopes that cost twice as much as the gun. Even better are those with every optical device know to man hung on them. I guess there is nothing like having a 20 lb. AR.
    All of that being said the AR that I bet my life on has plain old iron sights - KISS.
     
  17. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    Thanks Joe:evil:
     
  18. Riss

    Riss Member

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    All looks good. Not sure what that particular JP brake looks like. I use a Michulek brake. Loud as heck but works great. AND was about $28 at Brownells ,which it that JP brake is like my JP cannon brake it costs alot more than $28.
     
  19. RH45

    RH45 Member

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    It sounds like you plan to shoot in "open" division, which is the only division that two opics are allowed.

    If that is the case, I would strongly suggest a scope with more power. With a secondary sight, you don't need a scope that goes down to really low power.

    Even though with the right targets/background, I can make hits on 2" targets with open sights, I've been to matches that have had targets in the shadows/weeds at 200 yards and had a bitch of a time finding them with a Leupold 1-4.
     
  20. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    Thats where expensive optics or more power come into play.
     
  21. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    Kind of a heavy coutour barrel for 3-gun. And match barrels really are required. Although Wilson barrels are not at the top of the heap in the match barrel world, they are still a very good barrel.

    If you add a secondary optic you will be competing in Open division. Not bad, not good. If that is the goal, dont forget to add a bi-pod to the list.
     
  22. cbmax

    cbmax Member

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    Hoser,

    The White Oak Armament SPR is a match grade stainless .223 barrel. It is 18 inches and has a 1-7 twist for shooting heavier bullets. It is a little heavier than a 16 inch barrel, but still comes in a 41 ounces. Is this really a poor choice? I can still change!

    RH45,

    I am rethinking the optics AGAIN.

    I definitely do not want to start off in open division. Maybe the better choice is an ACOG. I like the horseshoe reticle. Looking at the TA33H (3X) or the TA31H (4X). I think I like the reticle picture better on the TA33H (not sure) and I am also torn due to the magnification choice.

    Can't imagine I be engaging targets much beyond 300 yards based on the local matches I have seen.

    What are your thoughts?

    I appreciate everyone's input here!

    CB
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  23. MrM4

    MrM4 Member

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    I run multi EO techs on my NFA stuff, as for long range SPR the Leopold Mk4 works well. I cant comment ont he EO Tech Magnifiers, good idea if they work, I assume that they do enlarge the recticle as well though.
     
  24. RH45

    RH45 Member

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    If you are going to be limited to one optic, you'l want something that goes down as close to a true 1 power as possible.

    I've been kind of looking around for a lightly used, IOR 1.5-8, or, a Swarvoski 1-6.
     
  25. akanotken

    akanotken Member

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    I like the Meopta

    I wouldn't change your rifle set up, you've got all the bases covered.

    18" bbl is a good choice. I'd make sure you specify the rifle length gas system, it shoots a bit softer/flatter and give the brake a little less work to do. Lots of very good shooters go with 20 in, I don't think you can say that there is a clear winner there.

    Personally, I don't think weight in the stock is a terrible thing for the game. Recon matches where you haul gear alot would point me elsewhere but I just don't think it's that bad for the typical 3 gun match. Took my vltor off in favor of the better mount I felt I got with the std A2 stock. I've thought about the PRS stock too, just haven't got around to trying it yet.

    No better trigger for the game than the JP.

    But, for optics, I'm a firm believer in a 1-4x scope. I like the KDOT. Years ago Benny hill was running the $100 simmons prodiamond (1.5 - 5x) with great success so I did too. I followed him over to the meopta to check out the glass everyone was raving about and have never looked back.

    Swarovski makes a 1-6x if 2K is in your budget, and I've heard a 1-8x variable is on the drawing board. If I was starting out, I might put a cheap optic on the rifle and plan on upgrading if I couldn't afford it out of the gate. Also, I think that there are others planning on copying these scopes for less $$$.

    BTW, if you go with a variable scope, they make an aftermarket attachment (cat tail?) that allows for very speedy magnification changes.

    YMMV!

    oh, and forget about the buis unless you are using the games to get more familiar with your serioius rifle.
     
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