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Red Dot or Reflex Sight For AK

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by A_Matthew, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. A_Matthew

    A_Matthew Member

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    I've been considering putting some sort of red dot sight on my AK-47. I mostly only do shooting within 100yds, but hope to stretch out a little bit farther. The gun is used mainly just for plinking or in case a coyote comes around. I really prefer the reflex style of sight over the tube style red dot, but either would work. I was planning on using it in conjunction with a Ultimak mount. I have a budget of about ~$100. Maybe a little more if it's the right sight. I would also prefer it if the sight was waterproof. So far, I've been looking at these.

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/2TG8380B-1.html

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/2TG8360B-1.html

    I'm open to all suggestions, and if the right sight comes along that costs more than $100, then I might consider it. So, what do you guys/gals think?
     
  2. CJS06

    CJS06 Member

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    Dont waste your time and $$ for most anything from CTD. If you want a fairly decent "knock -off" RDS check out Primary Arms. They have an excellent selection of bot the authentic brands and they have their in-house brand of clone models. I use Aimpoints, but at one time bought a PA M3 clone as a place holder until I got my Aimpoint. A few couple of years later I still have the clone on top of one of my ARs. I have always used M3s or PRO from Aimpoint but wanted to try out a Micro so I just bought one from PA. They also have a bunch of bundle offers AK's with different mounts.

    http://www.primaryarms.com
     
  3. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Member

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  4. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    Well to begin with the Ultimak alone will cost around $100 unless you've already got one. If you're looking to go beyond 100yds, I'd recommend a 1-4x scope (variable power) instead of a red dot/reflex style sight.

    The red dot sights and reflex sights have no magnification, and are designed to be used in close encounters rather than long range.

    Also both of the red dot sights you linked have 3MOA dots on the setting with the smallest dot in the reticle, that's 3" across at 100 yds. On a coyote, 3" is more than enough variance to mean the difference between a dead dog and a blood trail and a suffering animal, even with the 7.62x39 round.
     
  5. A_Matthew

    A_Matthew Member

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    Yeah, I've been looking at the link CJS06 gave me, and I really like what I'm seeing. I really like the looks of PA's reflex sight, only it isn't waterproof. :( So I've been looking more and more at their red dot. I was also wondering if any of you have used this mount.

    https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_Arms_Micro_Dot_Midwest_Industries_Han_p/md06_mibundle.htm

    Is it worth the extra money for the handguard with the rail? Or should I just go with the Ultimak for $13 less.

    Rail Driver, that's something I haven't thought of yet. Could you mount a 1-4x on the Ultimak? If you could, I might just go that route.
     
  6. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    Yes you can, as long as you find a long eye relief scope (a pistol scope would work well)

    The microdot package is a good one, but I still recommend the Ultimak. Either way you're going to spend close to $200 to put an optic and a rail on there (depending on the optic you choose).
     
  7. danweasel

    danweasel Member

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    I actually just got a primary arms M3 on my AK.

    I shot about 100 rounds through it this weekend and I really liked it for 70 bucks shipped. Mine is mounted on a Texas Weapon Systems rail ($140 but highly recommended and they sell a ghost ring sight with it) which puts it in the "normal" place for a scope and keeps it a helluva lot cooler so I can't speak to the heat factor. I had a 6" group at 100 yards but you might be able to do better, my eyes are crap. This was shooting supported off my "unipod" AKA the magazine. I have got better with my irons but like they said, these sights aren't precision instruments. The sight held zero perfectly and I tried to test for parallax error at 20 yards. I think it really might be parallax free

    Before that I had a Baraska reflex sight. I paid 80 for it at the local shop and I can say that the PA unit is at least twice as nice as far as clarity, roundness of the dot and all that. I still have the baraska and I am just gonna put it on my .22 for fun once in a while.
     
  8. henschman

    henschman Member

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    A reflex sight is generally a bad idea on an AK. They have a "window" that sits over the body of the sight, which means that they are taller than a tube-type red dot. Most are intended to have the proper height when mounted on an AR flat top, which puts them much too high to get cheek weld on an AK.

    However, with a tube body red dot like an Aimpoint or one of those Primary or Vortex clones, mounted on an Ultimak in a low ring, it is at the proper height without having to build up your cheek rest... you can actually see your iron sights right through the red dot, which is called co-witness. It is a good thing because if your red dot goes TU you can just use your irons right through it without having to remove the sight or anything.
     
  9. A_Matthew

    A_Matthew Member

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    So henschman, you're saying that I could mount a red dot on an Ultimak, and still use the iron sights? Because I am personally able to use the iron sights up to about 150-200yds, it's just that in a low light situation or where I need a super fast shot on something closer than 100yds, I'd like the red dot. Besides, it looks cool. :cool:
     
  10. hawkeye10

    hawkeye10 Member

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    I have a Vortex Strike Fire on my SKS and even with the 2X multiplier that comes with it I think it's a 50 yard sight. Others may see better than me and get more out of it. On my AR I have a Leupold 1.5-4X30 tactical scope and in my opinion it's a 100 yard scope. To shoot varmints at a 100 yards I would want a scope like a 3X9. For deer a 4 power would do. Don
     
  11. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    After some bad experiences with less expensive red dots, I think a person needs to evaluate how important having a reliable optic on their AK is. If it's just a plinking gun, go ahead and buy the $40-$150 optic. If, however, you plan to rely on the AK for defense, then it is not uncommon to spend more than the AK for a reliable optical sight. Red dots, or fiber optic sights are usually less expensive than the more sophisiticated combat sights, but are great on an AK. I use two different sights on mine, a Trijicon Reflex, and a Zeiss Z-Point. I can recommend both; the Reflex is cheaper, older, and can be found used for $250-$300. The Z-Point is up there with the best of its type, and is in the $400-$450 range, and not often found used. I think both are durable enough to qualify as a combat sight, especially for civilian defensive rifles. The regular, cheaper red dots rely on older technology (and/or Chinese manufacture), often go dead too soon in extreme cold, or just don't hold up to shock as well as the higher quality ones.
     
  12. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    I avoid those 'optics' from CTD. Eben if they last thru a mag or two on the AK, one drop and they are dead. Battery life will also be minimal.

    The PA optics are a good choice if you're on a limited budget. They aslo have the advantage that when you get more funds, you can swap to a Aimpoint Micro and use the same mount.

    Having owned both the PA Micro clone optic and a T1 Aimpoint Micro, what you're giving up is a battery life of days instead of years, robustness, brightness range, and clarity.

    If it's a fun gun you might use to try and pop a song dog or two, no biggie. If people might die cuz you optic is crapped out, get the Aimpoint.

    BSW

    IMG_1875.jpg

    IMG_1877.jpg
     
  13. kfgk14

    kfgk14 Member

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    Primary Arms and Vortex offer the best "cheap" red dot sights, the rest are largely a waste of time and money.
     
  14. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I don't own one of those^^^, but I would..............................great optic.
     
  15. amprecon

    amprecon Member

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    Leupold DeltaPoint on Ultimak Rail
    The only problem is that you cannot co-witness the irons with this installed, just keep the star wrench handy.

    UltimakMountb.gif
     
  16. amprecon

    amprecon Member

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    Pic of the dot
    030.gif
     
  17. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    At your price range, I would definetly go with a red-dot. While you can find a decent, inexpensive red dot with a bit of research, IMO no one makes a good, cheap reflex sight. Any reflex sight at that price is guaranteed to be junk.

    As others have said, though, you might actually be better off with a low power conventional scope for your stated purposes.
     
  18. A_Matthew

    A_Matthew Member

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    Thanks guys for all your input! You've given me a lot to think about...:) I really like the idea of using a 1-4 power scope, or a 2-6, but I don't like the fact that it'll be a lot harder to make a quick shot on something (like a coyote). So what I've been thinking of is maybe going with a side rail mount, mounting a low power rifle scope high enough so I can still use the iron sights, and then getting a pair of tritium night sights. That way, if a coyote decides to try and make a dinner out of one of our chickens, I can use the night sights at night, or if it's day time, I'll use the scope. I have a friend who set up his AK like this, and I really like it. The night sights are about $120 here, and I'm not sure what I'll do for a scope yet. Or the other idea I had was to get one of the Vortex red dots, and use it with one of their 3x magnifiers on an Ultimak. Then I wouldn't have to buy the night sights. Either way, I can see I'm going to end up spending more money than I had budgeted. But that's okay. :D
     
  19. RatherNotSay

    RatherNotSay Member

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  20. JHenry

    JHenry Member

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    irons, they make 20-30 round mags for a reason
     
  21. RatherNotSay

    RatherNotSay Member

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    How fast is your acquisition with those iron sights?
     
  22. henschman

    henschman Member

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    The problem with a scope mounted high enough to see the irons under it is that there is no way you will be able to get into a proper shooting position with your cheek rested on the stock with the scope that high. It might work for shooting beer cans at 25 yards, but you can forget about any kind of precision, which kind of defeats the purpose of a scope IMO. And then if you put a big cheek riser on your stock high enough to get cheek weld with the scope, it has to be removed to use the irons, which defeats the purpose of being able to quickly use the irons.

    One option you might consider is a scout scope. That is a long eye relief scope that is designed to be mounted farther forward than a regular scope. The nice things about them on an AK are 1) they are really quick to get sight picture with, 2) they leave you a lot of peripheral vision compared to a traditional scope that is close to your eye, and 3) you can mount them low enough that you don't have to use a cheek riser to get a proper cheek weld. You can mount the scout scope in some quick detach rings if you want, so you can pop it off quickly to use the irons. Burris, Leatherwood, and Leupold all make Scout scopes at various price points.

    Another option you might consider is an offset red dot sight. That is a backup red dot that is mounted at 45 degrees, next to your scope. If you need to shoot close quarters, you just rotate the rifle and use the red dot. No its not an ideal position, but that matters less for close and fast shooting. Google "offset red dot sight" and you will see what I'm talking about. You can use that with pretty much any scope mounting method. you can either get the offset mount that attaches on a picatinny rail under your scope, or you can get some scope rings that have a picatinny rail on them and attach one there. That would work fine with a receiver-mounted scope and a cheek riser on the stock.

    But honestly, if you have OK eyesight, a red dot is perfectly fine out to 250 yards or so with an AK. With a 25/200m zero, you will hit real close to point of aim out to that distance. I personally think that a simple co-witnessed tube bodied red dot sight makes the most sense on an AK. But different strokes for different folks -- some guys need the help of a scope to be able to see the target.
     
  23. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    On the Ultimak mount that I have on an AK, I can see the iron sights THROUGH the Z-Point sight that I use. Very simple, in the event the battery fails or it gets damaged. Plus, it removes in about 2 seconds with accurate replacement zero.
     
  24. RatherNotSay

    RatherNotSay Member

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    Cool thing about the ultimak is the cowitnessing.
     
  25. A_Matthew

    A_Matthew Member

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    Does anyone have any experience using the Texas Weapon Systems mount? That seems to be what I'm looking for. I'm thinking of going with that, and then maybe getting one of the Vortex red dots that includes a 2x magnifier (such as the SPARC). Or doing what henschman suggested and mounting a scope with an offset red dot. But the other thing is I want to keep the bulk and weight down as much as possible. I don't know how much more bulkier it would be if I got the offset mount (such as this one), but I think it would be fine.

    The Vortex SPARC would be a cheaper set-up, and I suppose I could always switch over to the offset red dot mount without too much trouble. I'm thinking what I'll do is start off with the TWS, a Vortex SPARC (with included magnifier), and see how that works. If I need the extra power of a rifle scope, then I'll switch over to the offset mount. And in the event that the red dot breaks, I'll have the TWS peep sight as a back up. Do you know if it's possible to co-witness with the peep sight and a red dot? Or would you have to take the red dot off to use the peep sight. :confused:

    Thanks so much for all your help. :)
     
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