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What lightweight and affordable optic for an AR-10?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Trey Veston, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    Looking to get a PSA Gen 3 18" .308 upper to complete a build for a SHTF rifle that is under 10lbs and capable of up to 500 yard shots. Not sure if that is achievable.

    I can get the weight there with the bare rifle, but I also need an optic. A red dot will not be sufficient, so I need glass in at least 5x or 6x.

    Any ideas for a budget optic that is compact and lightweight?
     
  2. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Id be looking at a used leupy fixed, 2-7, or 3-9. Its hard to get anything lighter than those.
     
  3. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  4. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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  5. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I’ve got a couple VX-3’s. Excellent scopes, and I paid over twice that.
     
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  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    A Leupold hunting scope is about as light as they come. The tactical type scopes tend to be heavier. You can get a new VX-Freedom in the $200 range. They make 1.5-4X20, 2-7X32, and 3-9X40.

    Sometimes deals show up here. This is their sample list. Some scopes are display models, some lightly used and other new, but discontinued. A good source.

    https://www.samplelist.com/

    VX-Freedom lineup

    https://www.swfa.com/optics/riflescopes.html#brand=Leupold&brand_model=VX-Freedom

    I like the 1.5-4X at 9.6 oz

    https://www.swfa.com/leupold-15-4x20-vx-freedom-riflescope-178471.html?___SID=U
     
  7. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    i have a g3 PA-10, 18", and the rifle empty weighs 8.5lb with an adjustable iron sight.. Steel 20 round mags weigh 8oz each, and 20 rounds takes you a little over 10 as is. FWI, I have only had it scoped out to 50 yards, for sight in, being short on time, I didn't take it to 100. It shot two single hole groups at 50, one as the test group, and one after adjustment. I'm using a leupold american marksman on a utg riser, and upgraded the stock to a Ace. I'm fairly certain this configuration will do fine at 500, though the 9X is too small for tagets that far, at about 11LB. I can get an exact weigh tomorrow. Hope this helps. Edit to add, it also runs well. I know theres questions about functionality with these 600$ 10's, but mine has done fine, about 2-300 rounds now. Since moving to the rifle length stock and buffer, some of the lighter loads do not reliably lock the bolt back, but always cycle. With the short stock it came withwas never an issue. Light is 125gr at 2700, or 150 at 2500. I take this to mean the "overgassing" issue is not present on these.
     
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  8. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Agree with all scopes above. I'd like to try the swfa lightweight 2.5-10 it's very light and small. Only thing is the eye relief kinda sucks, but you can get away with that on a AR.
     
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  9. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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  10. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Vortex Strike Eagle is pretty nice and relatively compact.
     
  11. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    The VX- Freedom, VX-3i and the SWFA scopes mentioned have better glass than the Strike Eagle to my eyes.
     
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  12. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    I just weighed a bunch of scopes using a trigger gauge and the heaviest was some generic tactical 3x9 lighted reticle scope at nearly 1.5 lbs. Lightest was a Nikon Prostaff 3x9 at .75 pound. Seems that most hunting scopes are pretty close in weight.

    Seems that if I go with a decent 3x9 with decent mounts, then it will be as light as practical. Red dots were all under half a pound, but not much good past 100 yards.
     
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  13. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Agree I have a 1-8 Strike Eagle and a VX freedom 3-9 both 30mm tubes. the Strike Eagle is mediocre at best, cranked up to 8 it's eye box is very small it's an excellent close to mid range scope that in a pinch can work out further. The Leupold is excellent.
    I also have one of the old Mark AR 3-9 1" it would be excellent for your purpose and the can still be found new.
     
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  14. army_eod

    army_eod Member

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    Go to Natchez and buy a Weaver V7 which is a great 2-7 weighing about 9 oz. About $125.
     
  15. army_eod

    army_eod Member

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    Keep in mind we trained with the M-16 and could punch down human targets at 300 meters all day long with iron sights.
     
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  16. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    as army-eod said irons will get you to 300, and I have been able to get man size hits out to 600. The A2 iron are probably the peak evolution iron sights will see, and not worth writing off.
     
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  17. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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  18. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    I have this scope on my PA-10, and its great. It normally live on a rimfire, where it shines. If your serious about 500, I do recommend higher magnification. While the clarity is excellent, the magnification is limited. I would go 16X if it were me. I know people say you can do 1000 yards with 9X, but I have looked at that range, and unless your shooting at billboards, I think its fantasy. But the listed scope is great for 100 yard target, and I would say 300 yard on game. If your just looking for 50% hit probabilty on a 2x6 target, it will do it. If you looking to hit a 10" bullseye, its not realistic, but neither is an AR-10
     
  19. army_eod

    army_eod Member

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    For the longest time, military snipers used 10x out to 1000 yards. Practice. Develop the skills. That is with the .308 round.
     
  20. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I believe there are very few people who have the time to practice as much as military snipers. In addition why not make it easier on ones self by going higher than 10X if one is going to shoot way out there?
     
  21. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    My Aero 18" .308 upper has a 2-7 VXR Leupold . I added the Doctor Red dot because I had it around but not really used much so I took it off and put it on another upper.
    IMG_20180402_151131930_HDR_1.jpg

    IMG_20180402_151047104_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20180402_151224255_HDR.jpg



    The 2-7 range is pretty much ideal, the 1,75-6x is real good too. The 2-7 with 40mm or slightly small objectives are great . That AR-10 with it's lightweight Citerion 18" barrel and without the Docter sight , no mag or sling weighs just under 9 pounds , that is light for an AR10 ! With the 22" 6.5 Creedmore with the heavier barrel and a 5-25x 50mm scope in Vortex precision rings weighs about 3 pounds more !
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  22. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    What is your budget?
     
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  23. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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  24. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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  25. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I have a VX-R 2-7x33 on my AR-15 and find it just about perfect. I added a Razor mini red red dot and realized pretty quick that the Razor was indeed redundant.
    aIwyYFW.jpg
     
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