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Red Dot or iron sights?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Lonerider357, Mar 10, 2012.

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  1. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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    Putting a AR together, can't decide to put a Red Dot on it or just go with Iron Sights for now and maybe a RD later.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Iron sights are always going to work, no matter what.

    Red-Dots?
    Not always, no matter what.

    If nothing else, go with good folding irons now and leave them on as BUS (Back-up Iron Sights) when you do get a red-dot later.

    rc
     
  3. proven

    proven Member

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    both. but get the irons first and add the red dot when $ allows.
     
  4. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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    I personally have an inherent distrust of anything gun-related which requires batteries to work. They have an annoying habit of going flat at the most inopportune times. Not saying there's anything wrong with a decent red dot sight, they actually have several advantages. But a tactical rifle without iron sights of one kind or another strikes me as next to useless.

    Kinda interested in some of the tritium/fiber-optic reflex sights by Trijicon and Meprolight, though. Fast acquisition AND no batteries? Sounds like just the ticket for a CQB rifle. Apart from the price, of course.
     
  5. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    gotta learn the basics before ya start playing with the electronic gadgets,which are prone to failure at the most inoportune moments.if your going to mess with the fancy stuff,look at the tridjicon stuff the uses tritium.no batteries to fail or leak.
     
  6. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Master the iron sights and dont worry of buyng red dots for now. They look cool but the basic marksmanship satrts with the irons.
     
  7. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    Despite what everyone else seems to think I would go with a red dot , it's faster to use and usually more accurate. The Trijicons with the tritium fiber optic would be good (but expensive), I've been using a Burris 332, a 3 power red dot with holdover marks to 600 yards, when the batteries go dead you still have a black reticle, and it's also inexpensive. Some of the standard red dots (the expensive ones) that use batteries have a 10,000 hour life, just change it out every Christmas and you'll be set.

    If red dots are so unreliable I wonder why all those army boys let their M16's wear them?

    Gadgets? Come on guys, it's the 21st C. already, nobody uses flintlocks anymore you know.

    This is what I use for 3 gun now, and it's also on standby as my HD rifle. My AR57 upper only uses a red dot also, as well as my HK USC (although it still has the factory iron sights on it).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. amprecon

    amprecon Member

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    I would agree with the advise of going with irons first then buying a quality red dot when the money allows.

    I am a believer in red dot sights, it's almost like cheating. You really find an appreciation for them in low light conditions and where snap shooting happens often.
     
  9. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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    OK, found good price on Magpul Gen 1 front and rear flip sights! Will get them first and will look into and save some $$$ to get a good dot later!!
     
  10. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    I'm not a fan of magpul BUIS, not as a primary sight anyway. They're plastic. To me, that's like having a flat and using the temporary spare until you buy tires again.

    For primary sights, I'd buy something a little more robust.
     
  11. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    Iron sights, Red Dot, laser and light. All bases covered.:)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    It's said that about 70% of defense shootings take place in low light and dark.
    So, it would seem the iron sights are worthless two thirds of the time.

    A Red Dot or laser will allow you to still aim when it's like this.
    [​IMG]


    And a (good) laser/light will allow you to keep your AR on target when it's like this.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 2'Bucks'11

    2'Bucks'11 Member

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    open sights and green laser. Green Is almost flashlight bright.
     
  13. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

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    I started out with regular a2 sights. Went to red dot. Went back to a2 trijicon AR sights. Sold the red dot.
     
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Good optics beat good irons everytime. The military has tested this enough to prove that soldiers hit much more often, at all ranges, under all conditions, with some type of optic on their rifle than with irons. If you buy quality they are proving to be just as reliable.

    I think dots have their place, but to me the most useful optics are the small 1-4X scopes used on many of the AR's. They are quicker to pick up the target at any range and make shots in low light much easier because you can see the target better when on low powers. At the higher magnification they aid long range precision. They also cost less than a quality dot sight.

    That said, I'd not want an AR that didn't also have iron sights as backup. And I'd learn how to use them. So you might be better off for now to stay with the irons. After you shoot a while longer you can make a better informed decision as to what will be better for you.
     
  15. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    No one asked the question so I will.

    What do you plan to use the rifle for? If defending the home is one of the planned uses, then you either need a set of irons or a red dot from EO Tech or Aimpoint. If those are out of your price range currently, go with irons. Regardless of which type of sight(s) you choose if home defense is one of the planned uses, a quality light is a must.
     
  16. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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    Plinking and maybe some 3 gun or something like that. Home Defense? Naa, Don't need a high powered round to go thru 3 apartments, will stick to 45acp or 9mm for that.
     
  17. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    You're totally right, if you want to shoot though 3 apartments use the 9mm or .45, those will stay together though more walls than a light jacketed .223 that starts to fall apart as soon as it hits anything.

    The beauty of using a rifle for HD is it's the least penetrating weapon (given good ammo selection) but also offers the best accuracy and more firepower than pistols or shotguns.

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu143.htm

    BSW
     
  18. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Iron sights all the way and learn to be proficient with them. Yes, modern technology can be a wonderful thing but don't get caught with your pants down when it fails. If you can't find your way without a GPS or cook without a microwave, you probably need to embrace a little "old tech". Save your money and get a "good" red dot later on.


    Really, you get into defensive shootings every day? :rolleyes:
     
  19. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    If you go the dot route, get an Aimpoint. Battery life for those is measured in the tens of thousands of hours, they work in all conditions from bright light to pitch dark, and they're faster to hit with.

    The US military has shown that there are optics that can stand up to rough field conditions and still work. The days of all scopes being fragile are over.
     
  20. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    I agree on the Aimpoint. However, it is not that scopes are fragile. It is not that modern red dots are fragile. It is that no matter how robust they are proven to be, they can still fail. They do fail. They still have electronics and they still run on batteries. Cheap optics fail faster. Iron sights rarely fail and most shooters and sportsmen have probably never experienced an iron sight failure. I have a boxful of busted el cheapo scopes that all gave up the ghost and left me optionless. I have more rifles equipped with irons than scopes and more time on iron sights than optics. I have only ever had one iron sight failure. Which was a Lyman 66 that bent and came apart when the rifle was knocked over right on the sight.
     
  21. Lee D

    Lee D Member

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    fwiw, i taught both my daughters to use irons efficiently before they were allowed to step up to a gun with optics(red dot or a traditional scope)
    ....as did my dad with me.
    its a shame nowadays people seem to want to skip steps and just jump into the "tacticool" niche befor learning proper rifle skills. i blame video games LOL
    (just an observation, my comment was not intended for the OP)
     
  22. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Makers of red dots and what not are saturating their ads in gun magazines and Outdoor TV shows of the merits of hitting better with their products. This has been the trend to condition new shooters going on for the last 12 yrs. Yeah buy our products --- tactical lights and red dots to hit the badguys at night. The combination of AR carbine platform , lightrail systems, etc to have the advantage is the message. But in real life the handguns and shotguns still remain as king of home defense. LOL
     
  23. proven

    proven Member

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    how do you figure a shotgun is king over a carbine for HD?

    the handgun is easier to tote around and have at hand, but most, if not everyone can still hit better with a rifle.


    OP, go with the irons and learn the platform before adding an optic. i shot my 6920 for 3 years before adding a red dot. and irons are still effective with a weapon light when things go dark.
     
  24. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Red dot sights are getting better and better all the time. Most of you have probably seen Larry Vickers' torture test with that DD AR. It had an Aimpoint Micro on it and it survived everything up to the blast test which cracked the lens. Such a blast could have easily broken or damaged the front sight post or the rear aperture of a standard iron sight. The battery life is something like 4 years for the micro.

    It's 2012. Get a red dot.
     
  25. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Maybe a slightly different take on the question. I personally believe it is an age thing about as much as anything. Iron sights were great when I was young and had better vision. Now all my firearms sport some kind of optic not because I like optics but because I want to be able to see and hit what I am aiming at. The only weapon I presently have without and optic is my SKS and I just cannot bring myself to mess with an optic for it.. Iron sights are simple and effective; red dots and scopes cover you in situations where irons are not your best choice.
     
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