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Scope for AR

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CD8226, Aug 27, 2012.

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  1. CD8226

    CD8226 Member

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    My cousin just asked what scope would be a good choice for an AR. He said will use as defensive weapon and some long range target. Since I don't own an AR, thought I would ask opinions here to try and get good recommendation. Thanks in advance for replies.
     
  2. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I like the Nikon M-223 scope. It starts at a 1-4x32 and goes up to I believe a 16X variant. I like the 2-8x32. They offer a good mounting system as well that makes for a good setup for the average guy for less than $400.
     
  3. tcrocker

    tcrocker Member

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    I have a Burris 322 on mine and love it.
     
  4. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    What model AR does he have? How much money does he want to spend?
     
  5. FMF Doc

    FMF Doc Member

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    Those two purposes are best served by two different optics. A defensive carbine of the AR variety benefits most from a low or no power sight with a large field of view that is constant from all angles. Something like a red-dot, or holographic from AimPoint or EOTec is just about ideal. For long range shooting, not only will you do better with a full rifle barrel in the 20"+ length, as opposed to the 16" in most carbines, but you will want a faster twist rate, like 1:7 instead of the common 1:9, to better stabilize the heavier bullet you will likely be shooting for long range matches. On top of that, magnification is what you are looking for. Anywhere from 10x up to 16x or more, if the shooter can stabilize his sight picture enough. If you want a “jack-of-all-trades but master-of-none” try a 6x fixed trijicon ACOG. It has enough magnification to at least see what you are shooting at beyond 500yards and no too much to make it totally useless up close.
     
  6. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    If he's only buying one scope, it's really a case of decide on one use or the other. An optic suited for one of those is gonna be all but useless for the other.
     
  7. gotigers

    gotigers Member

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    I have a Nikon Monarch African 1-4x (similar to the M223). I use it for 3 gun. We shoot everything for 1 yard paper to to 300 yard 12" plates with ease. The Nikon glass is great, the turrets are good, etc.

    Inside 300 yards the Weaver 1-3x classic is a nice inexpensive scope.

    If you want precision shooting out past 300 yards or MOA groups at 300, you will need more magnification.
     
  8. Gtimothy

    Gtimothy Member

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    Get a good scope on a quick detachable (QD) mount and use folding battle sights for "defensive" sights.

    I have a 3-9X40 Leupold Mark AR scope in an AD Recon QD mount and Troy Folding Battle Sights front and rear on my AR.

    IMG_0944.gif

    IMG_0949a.gif
     
  9. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Member

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    Burris Tac30. I've shot out to 300yds with mine at a 15" plate with no problem
     
  10. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    For defensive shooting, I'd go for either an Aimpoint or an ACOG, 1.5X. For target shooting (depending on the sort of target) either a 2.5-10X or 5.5-22X. For inexpensive scopes, I like the Vortex PST line, but I usually stick with Nightforce.
     
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I have 3 AR's set up differently. One with a 2-8X scope for longer range precision use. One with a red dot for close fast work and a 3rd general purpose rifle with a 1-4X Leupold. All 3 have back-up irons with QD mounts for the optics.

    If I had to narrow it down to 1, it would be the one with the 1-4X scope. At 4X it is acceptable at longer ranges, and at 1X is pretty fast up close.
     
  12. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    +1 to what FMF Doc said.
    They are conflicting goals. The fastest close range (up to 200yds or so) is a 1x red dot like an EOtech or Aimpoint. Out past that the red dot starts to cover up too much of the target, especially if you are shooting at small critters.
    He could try a 3-gun setup (regular scope on top, small 1x red dot off at a 45 degree angle) but it seems like that could start to get heavy and awkward.
     
  13. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Member

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    Hunterdad nailed it. For defense a 1-4 makes sense and
    the Burris has a great reticle, that can be illuminated.

    460800.jpg
     
  14. gotigers

    gotigers Member

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    If you have an astigmatism, some illuminated reticles will look stringy. Also, some reticles get bigger with magnification. They might cover up small targets. Many of the illuminated scope reticles i have seen are too busy.

    I like a classic thin crosshair or the German #4 for scopes and red dots for close stuff.

    A lot to think about. All good options. It is all about what you like. Try to shoot some guns with other types of scopes and reticles.
     
  15. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Which role is primary?

    For a defensive carbine, as others have mentioned, you can't beat a 1x Aimpoint or Eotech, but a 1x optic isn't great for long range shooting (only because it's hard to see an unmagnified target that far away).

    If price is no object, one pretty good solution would be an Aimpoint or Eotech with a removable flip-to-side magnifier. The Eotech in particular shines in this role, because the apparent size of the central dot (or dots, if you get a model with a range-compensating reticle) does not increase as you increase the magnification since the dot size is diffraction limited to start with.
     
  16. sansone

    sansone Member

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    defensive requires low magnification, long range requires high magnification, pick one.
    my favorite AR scope is 1.5-4.75x with extended eye relief to keep the charging handle clear of ocular bell.. Look at shotgun scopes
     
  17. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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  18. Haxby

    Haxby Member

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    Maybe a
    Bushnell Elite 6500 Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 1.25-8x 32mm
    or a
    Sightron SIII Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 1-7x 24mm
     
  19. RatDrall

    RatDrall Member

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    I started with a Burris E1 2-7x35mm. It was crystal clear, but just wasn't for me.

    Then I tried a Weaver Extreme 1.5-4.5. It has a 30mm tube, the light gathering ability is incredible. Even with cheaper lenses, it is very very bright even in low light. The reticle has an illuminated dot in the center, for shooting in low light, so it is fast on target in bright sunlight or at dawn/dusk.

    1-4ish scopes are the way to go, to be fast enough up close but allow you to see better a ways out for informal target shooting or hunting. Also, skip the 1" tubes, it's old technology, go with a 30mm tube.

    Also, American Defense Manufacturing is a great source of quick detach mounts. They are equal in quality to LaRue, but with a better attachment system that does not mar your rifle, all for less $$$ and 100% made in Wisconsin.

    Don't forget a set of flip up iron sights in case the scope decides to malfunction or break.
     
  20. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

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    Why not run both? I am fixing to start running a Nikon M223 2-8 power scope with a small red dot mounted at a 45 degree angle on the side. I have not had a chance to really use the new set up yet as I am still waiting on my angle mount. I also have not had a chance to sight in the scope yet but will as soon as I get back from vacation I hope. Once finished I will be glad to take some pics of the set up for you. You should be able to google this set up and find plenty of info on it.

    Oh, and if all else fails I have the flip ups still on the rifle, just in case. The downside to all of this is that I had a rifle that weighed in at 5 pounds with rail and all on it before I put the folding iron sights, the scope and mount, and the red dot and mount. Now it is getting kind of heavy. Still not as heavy as my heavy barrel 20" though but it is getting there.
     
  21. Longrifle2506

    Longrifle2506 Member

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    I think the Bushnell Elite 3200 3-10x40 Short Action/Compact is the perfect size for an AR and it has awesome field of view and the eye box/eye relief is not too critical.
    Here is a pic of the 3-10x40 on my Coyote Carbine.
    DSCF5497.jpg

    I believe a Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x40 is the same size also. And the Weaver Grand Slam is manufactured in the same facility as the Bushnell Elite: Light Optical Works in Japan
     
  22. CD8226

    CD8226 Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for all the great info. I sent him the link to the topic so hopefully he will come around and look at the info first hand. He might just want to stick around, you never no. Thanks again for all the help.
     
  23. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    my rifle is a full-length (20") Armalite M15. It has the flat-top and Picatinny rail, making scope mounting very convenient.

    Because my eyes are losing some acuity, I mounted the Leupold Mark AR 3-9X. It is serving very well, and I like it a great deal......enough that I mounted ANOTHER Mark AR on my Mini-14. That one's a 1-4X, and is also giving good service.

    I can highly recommend these Leupolds for the job. They were designed for this function, and they do it well.
     
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