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Scope Suggestions + Laser Sight Suggestions for AR guns

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 4Freedom, Dec 13, 2008.

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  1. 4Freedom

    4Freedom member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I am wondering what suggestions people can make on scopes for my DPMS 5.56 sportical and DPMS LR-308. Well, first I have to say I am in agony over my bank account, but I know it was a necessary investment. I just purchased bunch of stuff. So, the last things i Need are scopes, sights, slings and some other less important accessories.

    Well I would like to get a nice scope for my LR-308 that can be used for medium to long range. The LR-308 will be my long range gun. I figure I should make a bit extra investment on it. For my DPMS Sportical 5.56, I am planning on using it for target training, but I think it will be more of a close to mid range gun. I feel like investing more of my money into the LR-308 than the 5.56.

    So, I was wondering can anyone give me good scope suggestions? There are so many out there it drives me nuts and I don't know which is the best type for my situation. Is it really worth forking out $700 for a Leupold? Many shops I talk to say there CHinese made scopes are just as good as the Leupold, Trijicon, NIkons, etc, but because they are made in China, they don't have the fancy name. Are they behing honest or just trying to have me buy their cheaper scopes? Some of the names of these cheaper scopes I hear are like Honus, Leaper, etc. I do live in a moist, colder environment and things like fog ups and mositure build up are a real possibility. I am not really sure what to do here.

    Also, I was wondering if people think the EOTech is worth the $500 they are selling them? Once again, I see the Chinese made ones for lot less money and the vendors claim they are just ads good as EOTech, but don't have the fancy name. Do people think getting a get laser sight, instead of a scope is better idea for short-mid range shooting with DPMS Sportical 5.56? I was thinking maybe i would try to fight a cheap scope and a laser sight on the sportical, but I don't want to waste my money on cheap one.

    So the break down what I am looking for is:
    DPMS LR-308 : Decent (but not overly expensive) Mid- Long Range Scope.
    DPMS 5.56 Sportical: Cheaper (but not garbage) Close-Mid Range SCope.

    I am hoping I can get away with spending $700 or so on both scopes combined and still come out with a good scope. Not sure how much I want to pay for the laser sight? If I get anything less than EOTech in price, is it garbage?

  2. JWarren

    JWarren Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    MS and LA

    I'll see if I can help somewhat, as I went through the exact thing (DPMS LR-308 and M4gery) with similar goals.

    I'll start with the LR-308:

    Medium range (sub 800 yards) is MUCH easier to do than Long Range. There are more requirements on the optic. For instance, many optics will not have enough range in thier erector to adjust for say... 1000 yards. This may well require the use of a 20 MOA canted scope base. There ARE optics that have enough erector movement such as Nightforce, but you WILL PAY for those.

    I have a Leupold Mark 4 Illuminated Tactical Milling Recticle 3.5-10x40 with M3 Turrents on my LR-308. I find that 10X is pretty tough at 1,000. To me, 10X is better for 600 or so yards. That suits me fine, since I really don't shoot 1,000 at this time. Mine is better for the shooting that I DO.

    I used to say "No." Now I will say absolutely. Leupold is not the absolute brightest optic that you can get (neither is the $1,400 Nightforce), but it is VERY clear, consistent, and bright. What won me over is Customer Service. I have a 2004 Mark 4. I recently had an issue with it, and they made SURE to correct my issue in the time constraints that I had. It did not matter that I was not the original owner. Leupold takes care of its owners for life.

    As I think about all the broken optics that I've had, I've spent MORE on all the cheap ones than I would have paid for mine. In fact, I probably could have bought a couple.

    I am not saying that you have to get a Leupold. There are other quality companies out there that ALSO take care of their customers. Bushnell, Burris, Millet, Weaver, etc. all take care of thier customers. I HAVE heard from DEALERS about some issues with Nikon Customer Service fairly recently. For that reason, I would not buy a Nikon scope for any significant money. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE Nikon scopes, but I can't trust them to back them. The most I will put into one is probably the $150 -$200 for a Nikon Prostaff or Buckmaster.

    I have one Chinese-made optic that I like-- The Millet DMS-1. However, Steve Millet is well known for taking care of his customers. Moreover, Millet is now part of Burris.

    Even so, I would not put my Millet DMS-1 on par with Leupold, Trijicon, Nikon, etc. Frankly, I am SHOCKED at the difference in brightness between my Leupold and my Millet.

    No. The store is trying to make a sale. If you do go cheaper than the higher tier optics, make sure you do your homework and get reputable companies with highly reviewed optics.

    Some that I would look at:

    Burris: Fullfield II, XTR
    Bushnell: 3200, 4200, 6500
    Leupold: VX-II, VX-III, Mark II, Mark IV (Mark IV will cost you)
    Millet: TRS (not the brightest, has 1/8 clicks-- but has had good reviews)
    Nightforce NXS (this is a $1,400 optic $$$$)
    Nikon: Prostaff ($150 optic but worth it) Buckmaster ($200 and worth it)
    Weaver: Black Diamond
    Ziess: Conquest (cheaper than the upper line, but well worth it.)

    Many of the above optics-- including my Leupold Mark IV-- will not have enough erector movement to sight in at 100 yards and still dial out to 1,000. You will need a 20 MOA canted base to do that. Badger Ordinance makes a good one.

    Now to the Sportical:

    I frankly don't like EOTechs. Oh, I LOVE the recticle. However, there are plently of threads on AR15.com about issues with them.

    First, they do not have NEAR the battery life of an Aimpoint.

    Second, there are numerous reported issues of EOTechs draining batteries EVEN WHEN TURNED OFF.

    Third, you want to make sure that you have the Revision F circuitry AND make sure that you are not using the N-Cell batteries. The N-Cell batteries dont' do so well in colder weather.

    In the end, I came to the conclusion that I wanted an optic on my "shorter range" firearm that I could STILL have an aiming point if the electronics failed. That means something that still have a recticle without power.

    This put me in the market for a 1-4x22 optic, which I still believe is the ideal for a rifle like this. If I needed to use mine, I can still see and use the optic on 1X like a red-dot optic. I don't even need to keep my cheekweld down low to use it. However, I CAN dial it out to 4X for longer shots.

    Top that off with the fact that I can use the optic with the power turned off and still have a recticle.

    That is the primary reason that I went with the Millet DMS-1. It wasn't pricy at around $200, and I decided to give it a try.

    If I were looking at others like this, I would look at:

    Burris XTR 1-4x22
    Leupold Mark IV 1.5-5x22
    Meopta K-Dot 1-4-22
    Millet DMS-1 1-4x22
    Trijicon Accupoint 1.25-4X24 (I will probably be getting one of these)

    If you are dead-set on a non-magnified "dot" sight, I would get the Aimpoint over the EOTech, but that is just me.

    I'd look for whichever Aimpoint you can afford out of the M2, M3, or M4 lines. WATCH OUT for FAKES. Shop from reputable dealers or from individuals that you can trust or examine the product before hand. Go to the optics section of AR15.com. There is a sticky on how to recognize a fake Aimpoint.

    No. A Laser sight is about as good as its point-black distance. None that I have played with are worth anything. In addition, you cannot factor in ballistics easily-- considering that you have a ray of light.

    You CAN do it, but you may choose to "upgrade" later.

    Look at a Millet DMS-1 for the Sportical. For now, you can get a CAA 30mm mount for $30 from Aimsurplus.com This will spend about $250 of your budget.

    Look at one of the following for the LR-308 to stay in your budget:

    Burris Fullfield II
    Bushell 3200
    Millet TRS
    Nikon Prostaff or Buckmasters

    I would look for a 30mm tube over a 1" tube if you want more erector movement. Of the above, the Millet TRS will give you the most erector movement, but will have a darker optic. I may get one of this one day, as Millet has stated that they will be using 1/4 clicks soon.

    As for mounts, many will work. I've used Leupold, Weaver, Millet, and the CAA mount. All have worked fine. If you get into $$$ mounts for quick-release, you will be spending around $200 on mounts for LaRue SPR-E, SPR, or ADM Recon. 20 MOA cant bases may cost around $100.

    I hope this helps some. I realize that you want to do this a cheaply as possible, but don't cheap yourself into a situation where you spend MORE on cheaper stuff over and over.

    -- John
  3. 4Freedom

    4Freedom member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Thanks.. I appreciate these suggestions very much. I am still investigating, but I think I will go with Leupold because they are cheaper than some of the other high end brand names and I hear they have the best warranty of any scope manufacturer. However, I am still open to suggestions. The Mark IV is a bit expensive. Do you think the VX-III series 6.5x20-50 would be a good scope for long range? I really don't have $1500 to spend on a scope. I hear the Leupold are good. What advantage is the Mark-IV series over the VX-III? Do Mark-IV's have better optics and clarity than VX-III's? Or is it that Mark-IV's just have extra accessories, features that VX-III's don't have?

    I am still trying to figure out if I need all these extra accessories for target shooting. Do the real expensive Leupold really aid in your accuracy or can you perform just as well with a VX-III series Leupold?
  4. JWarren

    JWarren Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    MS and LA
    No problem! I hope it can help.

    The Mark 4 and the VX-III have the exact same lenses. After dealing with Leupold's customer service, I do think they are the best choice.

    The following links may help you make your decision. Please spend some time reading Zak Smith's write-ups-- particularly the second link below. It deals with optics:




    EDIT: I would have never got through all this optics stuff had I not had Zak Smith's guidance. His articles were a great help, and I PM'd back and forth with him for quite a bit. He is a very good guy and a valued resource to the community.

    -- John
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    You can't even see a red laser dot in bright sunlight past 20 - 30 yards. If you are lucky.

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