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fhammond
09-09-2010, 3:34 PM
Hi all,

First post for me here, so hi!

I'm buying my first rifle and despite all the careful reading I did about the right first rifle I said "to heck with that!" and decided to get a SCAR 16s. After going back and forth between a bunch of .22s and the bazillion models of Remington 700, it's nice to have made a decision.

Anyway, I'm looking for some advice about a sight. I've decided to go with the ACOG and specifically, one of the models that also includes a reflex sight.

The only question now is which magnification. Yesterday, I looked at a SCAR with a 3x TA33-H-RMR on it. It seemed pretty good, looking at an object that was about 150 yards away. However, I'm wondering whether the same thing in a 3.5x or 4x would be a better choice.

So my question is this:

What questions do I need to answer to decide which sight to buy? (I know one of them is range availability and my local range - Chabot in Oakland - has ranges up to 200 yards.)

I have found a lot of information about this on the Web but the difference is that I'm really buying two sights in one. My assumption is that having the reflex sight on the ACOG will influence what magnification I should buy for the main sight.

Thanks!

santacruzstefan
09-09-2010, 4:21 PM
I have a TA33-H in green on my AR, and I love it; couldn't be happier. Its small, its lightweight, has arguably the best use of the bindon aiming concept (easy to use both eyes open) and has decent eye relief. Perfectly adequate for 150 yards, although the center dot is pretty large (I think its 2 inches at 100 meters, or so). But under that, its cool; I get nice tight groups at 50-75 yards

PolishMike
09-09-2010, 4:23 PM
Good luck finding a good sight! See you in 9 days!

Mike

-HITMAN-
09-09-2010, 9:17 PM
definitely go for the TA33G-H, once I save up again thats what I'm getting. Not as expensive as the 4x ones, probably around $900 new. Looks cool too.
http://i449.photobucket.com/albums/qq217/Yeallllllllll/Trijicon-TA33G-H-2.jpg?t=1284092239

WW2Buff
09-09-2010, 9:27 PM
I have the TA31TRD and like it a lot but am going to upgrade (depends how you look at it) to the TA11J-G soon. I also had the TA01 and liked it a lot also but wanted a model with the BAC. I have found myself preferring the TA11 series due to better eye relief and don't mind the bigger size which a lot of people dislike about them. I also prefer the green because a lot of the steel and targets I shoot at are red or orange and the red reticles tend to blend in with them, this may or may not be an issue for you. Anyway, here it is. Good luck on whatever you choose. I have been really happy with my two ACOGs with shooting out to about 450 yards (waiting to take them out farther) and know you will be too.

http://www.trijicon.com/user/parts/products1.cfm?PartID=748&back_row=3&categoryID=3

By the way, can you tell I have a preference for crosshairs? :cool:

-Ben

Dhena81
09-10-2010, 11:09 AM
Get the exact model you want and then you can add a doctor on it later with the mounts they sell.

fhammond
09-10-2010, 3:26 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied. I finally made a decision and ordered a TA33-H-RMR. Since I'm sure other people will have the same question, here's my thinking (logical or otherwise)

1. The limited eye relief was the downside of the 4x models.
2. The weight and size was the downside of the 3.5x models.
3. The fact that the 3x models are newer was appealing, as was their small size, low weight and decent eye relief. (I realize that newer doesn't always equal better but it often does.)

The other challenge was - is - availability. Several models I was interested in were hard to get (i.e., at least several weeks wait). Also, I've seen the TA33-H-RMR in person and liked it a lot. There's a possibility that there's another ACOG I'd like even more but given that there are dozens of models, no easy way to compare them and that I'm new to all of this, it didn't make a lot of sense deliberating too much.

My only concern is that I'll end up wishing I'd opted for a higher magnification version. I'm not really sure what having 3x versus 4x will mean in practice - less walking and smaller targets, I guess but I don't know beyond that. Regardless, I'm sure the SCAR and the ACOG will be lots of fun.

BTW, I'm getting both from Tracy Rifle and Pistol. I went out there last week and Mike the owner was very helpful. I was considering the ACR too and he went home to get his so I could compare it with the SCAR. (He's got both; lucky guy.) If you're in the Bay area, I'd highly recommend you check them out.

fh

mydogsmonkey
09-10-2010, 3:41 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied. I finally made a decision and ordered a TA33-H-RMR. Since I'm sure other people will have the same question, here's my thinking (logical or otherwise)

1. The limited eye relief was the downside of the 4x models.
2. The weight and size was the downside of the 3.5x models.
3. The fact that the 3x models are newer was appealing, as was their small size, low weight and decent eye relief. (I realize that newer doesn't always equal better but it often does.)

The other challenge was - is - availability. Several models I was interested in were hard to get (i.e., at least several weeks wait). Also, I've seen the TA33-H-RMR in person and liked it a lot. There's a possibility that there's another ACOG I'd like even more but given that there are dozens of models, no easy way to compare them and that I'm new to all of this, it didn't make a lot of sense deliberating too much.

My only concern is that I'll end up wishing I'd opted for a higher magnification version. I'm not really sure what having 3x versus 4x will mean in practice - less walking and smaller targets, I guess but I don't know beyond that. Regardless, I'm sure the SCAR and the ACOG will be lots of fun.

BTW, I'm getting both from Tracy Rifle and Pistol. I went out there last week and Mike the owner was very helpful. I was considering the ACR too and he went home to get his so I could compare it with the SCAR. (He's got both; lucky guy.) If you're in the Bay area, I'd highly recommend you check them out.

fh

good decision, i got the ta11f, i wanted the extra .5x magnification, but i payed for it. the ta11f are bigger, heavier, i took a look at the ta33r8 and it looks awesome, almost same magnification, good eye relief and everything you expect from an acog and its compact. i wish i had gotten that now in retrospect

dchang0
09-10-2010, 3:44 PM
The TA33 is an outstanding choice. I concur with your assessment of the 4X and 3.5 models. As it stands, the 3X model is the best available model of ACOG.

Who knows? Trijicon might update their 4X model with better eye relief and a smaller form factor. With the advances they've gained in the newer models and the Accupoint line, they certainly have it within their capabilities.

I find that 3X works fine out to about 400yds on 10" steel flashers. After that, I start wishing I had 4X. But hey, maybe your vision is better, and also, hitting at that range often takes slowing down to make the shot. And strangely, when I slow down, it seems like the target gets bigger as I look more intently at it.

tacticalcity
09-10-2010, 3:55 PM
Bear in mind that I've owned more than my fair share of ACOGs and my comments com from learning this the hard/expensive way. I am not trying to rain on your parade or pee in your wheaties. I am just giving you some things to think about. Feel free to disogree.

If you plan to take any CARBINE TRAINING courses you will want a simple red dot instead. You do not want magnification inside 50 yards. It dramatically slows you down and messes you up. Magnification is for dedicated marksman rifles and range whore rifles.

If your rifle really is going to be a range whore then you will not be happy with a fixed/low power optic either. You're going to want something more flexable. A traditional variable power hunting or precision scope would serve you much better in that role.

If you want the best of both worlds, unfortunately there is no ideal solution. They are all a compromise.

In my opinion the ACOG while very sexy looking is too much of a compromise. You would probably be better served by a magnifier. This is something originally did not like because it felt and looked goofy to me but learned to appriciate over time.

The magnifier shines in a combat role (not that you necessarily would be in combat). It would be flipped out of the way 99.99% of the time. When that rare moment comes when you need a little extra magnification to get a good hit (there is lots of distance and thus more time than usual so that the lack of field of view from magnificaiton will not mess you up) you flip the magnifier in place. Once the long distance threat has been eliminated you flip it back out the way.

For range whoring a magnifier gives you a little extra magnification but it can be completely removed for a CQB course eliminated unwanted magnification and weight. So while you would probably want more magnification on a dedicated range whore, it does allow you to use your CQB rifle effectively on flat range without completely jacking up your zero.

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 4:24 PM
I've done a few carbine courses with both an ACOG and a standard aimpoint. Tacticalcity is correct, the ACOG can prove to be quite difficult but not impossible. I ran an entire course day with an ACOG and the strategy is to be consistent with your weapon position and ER. I knew this because I'm very familiar with the system. I would have in no way attempted such a class with no prior experience.

The magnification did help with becoming very consistent with close groups (as to say, a T1/H1). the tightest in the class of 15-20 people. The only difficulties I had were shooting in the unsupported lateral/prone positions where proper eye relief was extremely hard and time consuming.

Depending on what your application is, an ACOG is an expensive way to learn effective CQB techniques. Choose wisely.

fhammond
09-10-2010, 4:25 PM
In my opinion the ACOG while very sexy looking is too much of a compromise.

If I'm being honest, I have to confess that the ACOG (and the SCAR itself) looking cool definitely has a influence on buying it. They are impractical purchases (and for me - a non-hunter living in the Bay area - any rifle/sight purchase is impractical) but I think having them will be a lot of fun.

An AR-15-owning buddy at work and I might do some tactical courses (don't even know where to begin there; more research!) which was part of the reason for getting the ACOG with the attached reflex sight. Do you think it'll be ok for that?

My guess is that if I get serious about accuracy at the range then I'll be buying a different sight and perhaps even a different rifle. But for now, the SCAR/ACOG combination seems like it's an acceptable compromise particularly if I put "it looks cool" into the plus column...which I know I shouldn't but...

My Wheaties are still pee-free and as always, I appreciate any advice.

MissionMTMan
09-10-2010, 4:30 PM
Very good comments above. I would personally invest in an Eotech 511. They are relatively cheap and you can keep one laying around for when you do a tactical course or two.

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 4:30 PM
An AR-15-owning buddy at work and I might do some tactical courses (don't even know where to begin there; more research!) which was part of the reason for getting the ACOG with the attached reflex sight. Do you think it'll be ok for that?

My advice would be NOT to use an ACOG /w Doc on it. Why? Because proper cheek weld/placement will not be obtained. It will make for bad habits and inconsistent shot placement. I've seen it time and time again with the same setup. It's an expensive mistake. If you want to take a tactical course, use a non-magnified red dot.

fhammond
09-10-2010, 4:41 PM
How are just the standard iron sites for a tactical class?

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 4:51 PM
How are just the standard iron sites for a tactical class?

They are fine and actually a very effective way to learn GOOD habits (it forces repetitive, consistent positioning). You would be surprised by the number of folks who can shoot all day with a red dot but ultimately suck behind irons. Irons sights are a very basic tool to becoming an effective marksman, regardless of distance.

Dhena81
09-10-2010, 5:30 PM
Listen to Tacticalcity

A 3x behind a T-1 with the proper mounts maybe go Larue is the best of both worlds and will cost about the same. The weight would be about the same too T-1 with the Aimpoint mount is 3.7oz and the Aimpoint 3x is 7.1oz w/o mount. If you went with the Larue mounts the whole package would most likely weigh in slightly above 11oz total. You would have no cheek weld issues and when you need the magnification it would be a flip away and if you ever needed your BUIS they would be a flip away too w/o having to remove anything.

pyro3k2
09-10-2010, 8:11 PM
http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/a/ae/Inception-SCAR.jpg/600px-Inception-SCAR.jpg
From the movie Inception. Some times in Hollywood they hit the nail on the head when it comes to Rifles/optics combo's.

sreiter
09-10-2010, 8:26 PM
My advice would be NOT to use an ACOG /w Doc on it. Why? Because proper cheek weld/placement will not be obtained. It will make for bad habits and inconsistent shot placement. I've seen it time and time again with the same setup. It's an expensive mistake. If you want to take a tactical course, use a non-magnified red dot.

jerry miculek would disagree - he runs a 45 degree red dot when he competes run and gun

sreiter
09-10-2010, 8:30 PM
Bear in mind that I've owned more than my fair share of ACOGs and my comments com from learning this the hard/expensive way. I am not trying to rain on your parade or pee in your wheaties. I am just giving you some things to think about. Feel free to disogree.

If you plan to take any CARBINE TRAINING courses you will want a simple red dot instead. You do not want magnification inside 50 yards. It dramatically slows you down and messes you up. Magnification is for dedicated marksman rifles and range whore rifles.

If your rifle really is going to be a range whore then you will not be happy with a fixed/low power optic either. You're going to want something more flexable. A traditional variable power hunting or precision scope would serve you much better in that role.

If you want the best of both worlds, unfortunately there is no ideal solution. They are all a compromise.

In my opinion the ACOG while very sexy looking is too much of a compromise. You would probably be better served by a magnifier. This is something originally did not like because it felt and looked goofy to me but learned to appriciate over time.

The magnifier shines in a combat role (not that you necessarily would be in combat). It would be flipped out of the way 99.99% of the time. When that rare moment comes when you need a little extra magnification to get a good hit (there is lots of distance and thus more time than usual so that the lack of field of view from magnificaiton will not mess you up) you flip the magnifier in place. Once the long distance threat has been eliminated you flip it back out the way.

For range whoring a magnifier gives you a little extra magnification but it can be completely removed for a CQB course eliminated unwanted magnification and weight. So while you would probably want more magnification on a dedicated range whore, it does allow you to use your CQB rifle effectively on flat range without completely jacking up your zero.

isnt the acog standard issue for marines in iraq - going door to door is pretty cbq imo

i think it just takes a little to get used to

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 8:35 PM
jerry miculek would disagree - he runs a 45 degree red dot when he competes run and gun
He also doesn't run it on top like most ACOGs. You're missing the point.
isnt the acog standard issue for marines in iraq - going door to door is pretty cbq imo

i think it just takes a little to get used to

No, it's not standard issue.

sreiter
09-10-2010, 10:54 PM
He also doesn't run it on top like most ACOGs. You're missing the point.

sorry, i thought your point was "no cheek weld"...there certainly is no cheek weld when canting the weapon 45 degrees. I also disagree that "most" acogs run the red dot on top. every person i've ever read comment on it say the top red dot is horrible, and they all run it side mounted ala larue's mount



No, it's not standard issue.

i was told this be a retired marine Sergeant Major [of the entire western US]

dont you recall trijicon getting in big trouble because of the bible verses inscribed on them?

" Pentagon Supplier for Rifle Sights Says It Has 'Always' Added New Testament References

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army. "

a quick google image search turned up these and others

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/ORD_M-16A4_Marine_Gharma_Iraq_lg.jpg

http://www.clipartguide.com/_small/1553-0904-1017-4558.jpg

http://www.gsaweaponstorage.com/images/m16a4_marine.jpg

http://a6.vox.com/6a00cd971b66e14cd5011016364ece860c-320pi

problemchild
09-10-2010, 11:02 PM
good decision, i got the ta11f, i wanted the extra .5x magnification, but i payed for it. the ta11f are bigger, heavier, i took a look at the ta33r8 and it looks awesome, almost same magnification, good eye relief and everything you expect from an acog and its compact. i wish i had gotten that now in retrospect

Im sorry but 7oz difference and you lose HALF your field of view at 100m. Bad idea!

Go to the gym if 7oz is killing you. Jeeeessssshhhhh

problemchild
09-10-2010, 11:09 PM
Red dots work off tritium? Nope! SHTF=No batteries!


Bear in mind that I've owned more than my fair share of ACOGs and my comments com from learning this the hard/expensive way. I am not trying to rain on your parade or pee in your wheaties. I am just giving you some things to think about. Feel free to disogree.

If you plan to take any CARBINE TRAINING courses you will want a simple red dot instead. You do not want magnification inside 50 yards. It dramatically slows you down and messes you up. Magnification is for dedicated marksman rifles and range whore rifles.

If your rifle really is going to be a range whore then you will not be happy with a fixed/low power optic either. You're going to want something more flexable. A traditional variable power hunting or precision scope would serve you much better in that role.

If you want the best of both worlds, unfortunately there is no ideal solution. They are all a compromise.

In my opinion the ACOG while very sexy looking is too much of a compromise. You would probably be better served by a magnifier. This is something originally did not like because it felt and looked goofy to me but learned to appriciate over time.

The magnifier shines in a combat role (not that you necessarily would be in combat). It would be flipped out of the way 99.99% of the time. When that rare moment comes when you need a little extra magnification to get a good hit (there is lots of distance and thus more time than usual so that the lack of field of view from magnificaiton will not mess you up) you flip the magnifier in place. Once the long distance threat has been eliminated you flip it back out the way.

For range whoring a magnifier gives you a little extra magnification but it can be completely removed for a CQB course eliminated unwanted magnification and weight. So while you would probably want more magnification on a dedicated range whore, it does allow you to use your CQB rifle effectively on flat range without completely jacking up your zero.

NiteQwill
09-10-2010, 11:41 PM
You guys are missing the point. Read the posts.

The OP is asking about a FIRST rifle and an ACOG.

S/He is also stating the intent to take a tactical rifle class.

Without ANY prior experience, a new gunner will not be able to effectively translate a magnified optic, with intolerable eye relief, into an experience which will encourage her/him to learn GOOD, repetitive habits that will make her/him successful.

I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Unless s/he is seriously familiar with her/his weapon system and has trained with it consistently, there is no purpose to setting her/him up for failure right from the start. The military is effective with both standard reflex and magnified optics because we continually train with them, but we are also innate on learning the basics before introduced ANY type of optic system: fundamentals and shooting irons.

Granted, s/he can do whatever they wish with their money. Our posts are merely opinions. If they want an ACOG, hell, I recommend the TA31F or the ECOS version. I shoot it, like it, and have fired many thousands downrange with it.

Money is well spent on a non-magnified optic, ammo, and training. ACOGs are NOT cheap and are a very expensive way to learn terrible habits.

Good luck and happy shooting. As with all other opinions on this thread, YMMV.

battleship
09-11-2010, 12:07 AM
I bought two TA31ECOS ACOGS from fellow calgunners. 4xmagnification, bullet drop compensator, iron back up sights and red dot mounted on top. cross hair recticle. I love them, i would buy a third if i had the spare change. Perfect for your SCAR 16.
Better off looking for one here on calguns and save some cash.

451040
09-11-2010, 3:39 AM
Red dots work off tritium? Nope! SHTF=No batteries!

If the SHTF for more than a year, you're going to have bigger problems than losing the use of your red dot. :)

problemchild
09-11-2010, 12:19 PM
If the SHTF for more than a year, you're going to have bigger problems than losing the use of your red dot. :)

Yeah I know I read Patriots too. With all the things you will need for shtf the last thing I want to deal with is batteries for my primary weapon scope. Red dots will be an empty TV screen when the battery dies.

Learn to use the tools that will keep you alive. Dont allow people inside 100yards of your zone (the death zone). Keep them at 450 yards if you can. If you are shooting back at people 25 yards away your going to get hit, get wounded and die and there wont be any yuppy911 to call.

The biggest problem I have with red dots is this. The buttons are on the side, the buttons need to be pushed to turn them on and they do not come on with gunfire. Try running while someone is shooting at you and looking at the side of your red dot for the hidden power button with gloves on while your jumping into a ditch. You also have no sights until you turn it on.

dchang0
09-11-2010, 12:49 PM
You guys are missing the point. Read the posts.

The OP is asking about a FIRST rifle and an ACOG.

S/He is also stating the intent to take a tactical rifle class.

Without ANY prior experience, a new gunner will not be able to effectively translate a magnified optic, with intolerable eye relief, into an experience which will encourage her/him to learn GOOD, repetitive habits that will make her/him successful.

I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Unless s/he is seriously familiar with her/his weapon system and has trained with it consistently, there is no purpose to setting her/him up for failure right from the start. The military is effective with both standard reflex and magnified optics because we continually train with them, but we are also innate on learning the basics before introduced ANY type of optic system: fundamentals and shooting irons.

Granted, s/he can do whatever they wish with their money. Our posts are merely opinions. If they want an ACOG, hell, I recommend the TA31F or the ECOS version. I shoot it, like it, and have fired many thousands downrange with it.

Money is well spent on a non-magnified optic, ammo, and training. ACOGs are NOT cheap and are a very expensive way to learn terrible habits.

Good luck and happy shooting. As with all other opinions on this thread, YMMV.

Great advice.

On the other hand, I never would've qualified expert rifleman at the Appleseed Project without magnification. My eyesight just isn't good enough for the simulated 400yd prone stage. So in my case, the ACOG (a TA33R-8) made it possible for me to hone my fundamentals. Without it, I never would've had the visual acuity to tighten my groups enough to pass.

I know this to be true because I ran a T-1 for dozens of qualification attempts prior to realizing I needed magnification.

sreiter
09-11-2010, 8:50 PM
Great advice.

. My eyesight just isn't good enough for the simulated 400yd prone stage. So in my case, the ACOG (a TA33R-8) made it possible for me to hone my fundamentals. Without it, I never would've had the visual acuity to tighten my groups enough to pass.

I know this to be true because I ran a T-1 for dozens of qualification attempts prior to realizing I needed magnification.

ditto - things a very fuzzy for me at 50 yrds with my T1 - i can still shoot a 8 in pie plate (which the red dot fully covers), but i wouldnt bet my life on very fuzzy vision and a red dot


i know, i know - fix my eyes

MissionMTMan
09-12-2010, 9:08 AM
ditto - things a very fuzzy for me at 50 yrds with my T1 - i can still shoot a 8 in pie plate (which the red dot fully covers), but i wouldnt bet my life on very fuzzy vision and a red dot


i know, i know - fix my eyes


Ya, just sell your ACOG and you will have 1/4 of the surgery paid for.haha

But seriously, listen to these guys that are talking about irons if you have good eyes. The basics are extremely important. Iron sights can have an extremely fast target acquisition. You just have to train with your rifle. Training is key here. Just like everything else, start with the basics, train like hell and you'll see results. You will also find out what you really need in terms of optics.

drclark
09-12-2010, 12:41 PM
I agree with those that have said, learn the fundamentals of shooting well with iron sights before using any kind of optic - sight picture, breathing and trigger press.

Any quality 5.56 that is zero'ed properly should be able to make decent hits out to 2-300 meters using irons without having to mess with the sight elevation.

Once you've learned the fundamentals, then look at what ever optic you want.

I've got a trijicon accupoint 3-9x scope on one of my rifles. When set to 3x magnification you can use it in a two eyes open style of shooting. For farther targets, you can crank up the magnification. It has the triangle reticle; by using the top-point I can get 1 moa groups or better or use the entire triangle as the aiming point for rapid acquisition. The accupoint series also tends to be less expensive than the ACOGs. I think they also have a 1-4x model which might be a good compromise for what you're trying to do.