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al g blenny
12-14-2008, 10:41 AM
I'm sure this has been asked before but I have a specific price limit. I wanted to know about decent optics under $100 and under $50. I know you generally get what you pay for but I have also heard there are a few cheap optics that are generally accepted as a good bang for your buck. Links to where to buy would be great as well. This is for an OLL AR. I'm tired of iron sites. Thanks in advance.

ThatFishGuy
12-14-2008, 10:44 AM
algae blennies....haha a face only a mother could love. ;) for 100 bucks...you might be able to buy something used or just do some shopping around for something that will at least hold zero. for 50 bucks....i wouldnt push it. 100 is already pretty limited. im sure someone will have a couple helpfull suggestions.

1BigPea
12-14-2008, 11:00 AM
My personal experience with cheap optics was...

On an impulse without doing any research I saw a NCStar 4x optic at a local shop for just under $90. I'm now embarrased to say I purchased it and brought it home to my AR. It's made in China so first off it's not going to be Mil Spec and it didnt even clamp securely to the flat top. It also started to scratch the finish. I had it maybe 1 hour until I took it right back and returned it. At first glance the cheap optics look like a good deal, but it's too good to be true. Like you said, "You get what you pay for", and that's why I returned it, it just didn't deserve to be on my AR.

I now am a proud owner of an EoTech and also much happier. Save the $100 bucks and put it toward quality optics, you'll be so much happier you did.

This is by no means a smash to anyone who owns NcStar or to the OP, but just my personal experience. I didn't like the cheap optics and will never go back.

EDIT to Add: Check out the equipment exchange AR15.com. You can probably find something quality and used that won't take you too far out of your budget.

apbrian112
12-14-2008, 11:10 AM
well i am the proud owner of a sub $100 scope that works awesome (ok, well maybe not awesome but pretty dang good for $100).
that scope is a simmons pro diamond illuminated 1.5-5x scope (popular amongst budget 3 gun scopes). holds zero and the 5x is nice for making those 300+ shots...

Pilot
12-14-2008, 11:17 AM
I got a cheap Bushnell scope from Big 5 Sporting Goods for $80. It seems to withstand the recoil of my gun pretty good for being so cheap and I like it..

RobG
12-14-2008, 11:18 AM
The lower priced Bushnells are decent and have a lifetime warranty. Same for the cheaper Simmons. Do you want under 100 or under 50? Under 50 is getting really cheap and are a waste of your money. Remember you need some type of mounting system. Some high rings, RRA one piece mount, etc can tack on another 50-75 dollars.

dchang0
12-14-2008, 11:26 AM
With optics, you really can't skimp. Most stuff under $100 won't hold zero for long, so you might as well just stick with iron sights, because you'll be wasting ammo re-zeroing every time it gives out.

Hell, even if you had a $2000 scope on your rifle, you should still be proficient with the iron sights, cowitnessed or not.

tankerman
12-14-2008, 12:43 PM
Let me see some of your 100-200-300+ yard targets with irons. Since you are bored with the irons the targets must be pretty impressive. Please share.

hoffman259
12-14-2008, 8:29 PM
I have a leupold VX-1 for sale in the classifieds right now but its not under 100 but it is under 200

FMJBT
12-14-2008, 8:47 PM
Leapers makes some decent budget priced scopes. Their Accushot series scopes are pretty durable and have decent glass. The 3-12X44 that I have is slightly over the $100.00 cap, but their 3-9x44 is priced right at $99.99 here:
http://www.porcheairgun.com/catalog/item/4585369/6181618.htm

Another lower power optic for just over $100 is the Barska 1.5-4.5x20 FFP mil dot.
http://www.swfa.com/pc-7019-1046-barska-15-45x20-tactical-rifle-scope.aspx
I had a chance to shoot one of these today on another Calguner's rifle. Very clear optics, and it is a true FFP scope. I was able to get about 80% hits with it on an 11" x 18" steel plate at 780 yards. My only complaint with it is that the spacing of the mil dots is not correct. At 100 yards, the dots are about 8" apart. Not very good for rangefinding, but still useful as holdovers for extended range shots.

rg_1111@yahoo.com
12-14-2008, 8:47 PM
I think you should save up more money. Or you will have to buy twice. Which is a waste of money.

djbooya
12-14-2008, 9:22 PM
Let me see some of your 100-200-300+ yard targets with irons. Since you are bored with the irons the targets must be pretty impressive. Please share.

Why would the OP have to be an incredible marksman with iron sights at 100-200-300+ yard targets with his irons to justify wanting to use an optic, be it red dot or magnified? Given his price range I don't think he's trying to be a special forces sniper or enter any fancy competitions, but shoot for fun...

jrsportssupply
12-14-2008, 9:37 PM
TruGlo makes a nice red dot for under $100. No magnification, but a nice tactical scope nonetheless.

Mississippi
12-14-2008, 10:06 PM
I bought cheap. Was not happy. Sold cheap to local airsofter. Saved my money and bought a Acog T-31 ECOS. Very Happy!

Save your money. Even if it takes several months. It will be worth it.

fusionstar
12-14-2008, 10:10 PM
for under $100 I would look at airgun scopes. They are designed to withstand massive reverse recoil from a spring piston airgun so they are no problems on an ar. Some are really really nice and they hold zero as well as a $2000 scope. I got a Hammers Red Dot Sight for 50 dollars. Had it on a m44 for fun before I removed it and put it on an airgun. It held zero and is good. But remember, airgun scopes were designed for airguns. It will definately fit your budget but maybe not the quality. Pyramidair.com has a decent line of scopes for under $100.

But I suggest you save some money and get a decent optic with a Fully Muti coated lens with a lifetime warrenty.

Bill92869
12-15-2008, 12:32 AM
The bottom-line (in my opinion) is the Eotech or Aimpoint are what you put on a weapon that you might have to rely on to save your life, period. The cheap Chinese import "knock-offs" are too much a temptation to resist, I know I have half a dozen of them. They work fairly well on my .22's and airsofts. They have never, repeat never held up on my AR or any center fire weapon. You will no doubt get responses from others that tout how they have had 100% success with this or that sight. Maybe they have. They are the exception not the rule. As an older person now, I can fully appreciate the wisdom of time, especially this one: "You only pay once for quality".

p.s. How many Chinese knock-offs are in use by active military in the field? How many Eotech and Aimpoints are in use? Ever wonder why?

Capita159
12-15-2008, 12:54 AM
I took a friend's advice and bought a Eagle Optics 2-7 power scope for $75. at the OC gun show. I intend to put this on my Ruger 10/22 and guess what? Cheap Optics like that doesn't even hold zero on a Ruger 10/22. I chucked that thing and moved my Millett DMS-1 1-4 power red dot over to the 10/22. Save another 100 bucks and try out the Millett DMS-1. It is a great scope being made in China and all. Since then, I bought a nice Nikon Morach 4-12X40mm BDC scope for my AR and that works well with clear optics, and again, a scope that is made in the Phillipines.

But if you are really on a budget, Simmons are great so +1. I installed a Simmon 4X scope on my Mossberg KA 342 and it wells very well. I got that thing on Ebay for $20.00 shipped.

Don't ever go cheap on your optics. If SHTF, it will truely save your life.

jgraham15
12-15-2008, 1:00 AM
Check out the Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40. You can probably find one used in the EE on AR15.com for around the one hundred dollar mark and it is a great scope for the money! Remember you also need a good set of rings to mount the scope in. I am very fond of the LaRue Mounts but they cost about twice as much as that scope! I have bought a couple on the EE at ar15.com for around the $150 to $160 range but I think that is still alot more than you want to spend. Check out the Warne QD rings. You can probably find a used set for $30 - $40 and they are awesome rings!

Josh3239
12-15-2008, 1:00 AM
Yes, you absolutely do get what you pay for. I have bought cheap scopes before and it was a painful lesson to not waste your money on cheap junk.

I feel the same as you, irons are boring. But the truth is the cheap scopes are just barely a step up. Generally these scopes will have a tiny picture, the sight picture quality will be poor, and they will be very fragile. Buy a used EOTech, you can get 'em for a good price and you'll thank me later ;)

It just doesn't make sense to put $50 scope on a +/- $1,000 rifle.

Capita159
12-15-2008, 1:02 AM
p.s. How many Chinese knock-offs are in use by active military in the field? How many Eotech and Aimpoints are in use? Ever wonder why?

In addition, 90% of China's workers don't care about you and your products. It's their job to work for the their country to survive. Sometimes I have doubts on U.S. manufacters too, but a company like Leupold are just a few among the rest.
In my opinion, the BEST optics comes from Germany. I'd put any Carl Ziess optics on my R700 anyday but yet, I went with a Leupold Mark LR-T because I am a proud U.S.American. :79:

Greenspartan117
12-15-2008, 1:47 AM
Have a look at the Bushnell 3200 10x mildot they can be had for under $200. Optics planet had them listed at $179 with free shipping. They are a good scope with a majority of people giving it positive reviews. And it gets the Job done.

Greenspartan117

jcaoloveshine
12-15-2008, 1:48 AM
Sub 200 is the lowest I would go. I put a LNIB Bushnell 10x Elite 3200 mildot w/target turrets on top of my 700PSS for $160 LNIB.

A 6.5-20x Simmons Whitetail classic with duplex reticle sells for about $110, and these are good scopes for the money too.

djbooya
12-15-2008, 9:46 AM
The bottom-line (in my opinion) is the Eotech or Aimpoint are what you put on a weapon that you might have to rely on to save your life, period. The cheap Chinese import "knock-offs" are too much a temptation to resist, I know I have half a dozen of them. They work fairly well on my .22's and airsofts. They have never, repeat never held up on my AR or any center fire weapon. You will no doubt get responses from others that tout how they have had 100% success with this or that sight. Maybe they have. They are the exception not the rule. As an older person now, I can fully appreciate the wisdom of time, especially this one: "You only pay once for quality".

p.s. How many Chinese knock-offs are in use by active military in the field? How many Eotech and Aimpoints are in use? Ever wonder why?

While I agree tht there's a reason why Chinese knock-offs are not in use by active military and LEO I think some Calgunners (myself included) don't consider ourselves in that same category. We're shooters that may want a decent optic that can hold 0 and be used recreationally vs. to rely on to save our lives. I think that's why this optic question comes up frequently and why alternatives are being sought instead of EOTech and Aimpoint, Trijicon, etc... I think I recently found a decent alternative with the Bushnell Holosight in that it's a quality optic made by EOTech, but is priced more for a civilian that isn't relying on it to save their life. I think others in the <$100 range are looking for just a decent optic that they can plink with and that will hold 0, but isn't necessary mil-spec.

rod
12-15-2008, 10:09 AM
I bought a $40 red dot scope thingy and threw it on my AR. It looks OK and works most of the time. It's hard to see the dot on sunny days and it holds zero for about 100 rnds. I use one of those laser bore sighters to get back towards zero. I also own a High Point 9mm. I'm not afraid to buy cheap stuff. I just don't expect very much from it and I'm never disappointed. My high end stuff works much better but I pay for that quality.