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View Full Version : AR15 Most practical optic magnification & reticle?


smittty
07-01-2012, 3:46 PM
I've been using Burris 332 optic on my pet AR and i'm wondering if I should change the optic. My issue is the dot reticle doesn't show up well on dark targets and the illumination doesn't help during the day. In the evening or at night it's great. The 3x magnification is ok but I rarely shoot past 200 yards.

The smaller reticle dots for 300 yards, 400, etc. are useless as I can't see them clearly on dark targets. Heck, the bottom of the center dot is suppose to be the mark for 200 yards, if I could see it against the target! I'm wondering if a standard cross hair reticle might be a better for a "all-purpose" use.

What retcle type and magnification do you guys feel is most practical?

Thanks,

damon1272
07-01-2012, 3:57 PM
It really depends on your budget. If you do not get out that far i would just go with a red dot. If looking for a scope I would look at a 1x4. It really comes down to how much you want to spend.

1lostinspace
07-01-2012, 4:00 PM
If you cant see the the reticle against the dark target turn on the illumination

smittty
07-01-2012, 5:13 PM
If you cant see the the reticle against the dark target turn on the illumination

What a great suggestion. I'm glad you read my entire post! :rolleyes:

MrPlink
07-01-2012, 5:16 PM
Type of rifle and intended use will help.

gmcal
07-01-2012, 5:19 PM
^^^ and budget

smittty
07-01-2012, 5:32 PM
It really depends on your budget. If you do not get out that far i would just go with a red dot. If looking for a scope I would look at a 1x4. It really comes down to how much you want to spend.

I found that the size of the red dot on most optics is too large for longer distance shooting. Now I haven't tried the aimpoint micro that has the 2 moa dot. It might be "just right" and I'm hoping some who has it and has tried a variety of optics can comment.

I tried a VX3 1.5-5x and I found that 3x was max power that still allowed me to shoot both eyes open at closer distance. For longer shooting I close my left eye. I don't remember why but I didn't like this scope on my AR but I still have it.

I tried a 3x acog and I liked the reticle but I didn't like the very very short eyerelief. I prefered the AR332 but now I finding the reticle to be less than ideal.

Maybe expecting too much from one optic.

MrPlink
07-01-2012, 5:37 PM
So.. Short range precision shooting.. I would also consider a 1-4x. Style and features are up to taste and budget.

Extra411
07-01-2012, 5:55 PM
I also have a Burris 332 on an AR. If you can't see it against a dark target even with illumination on, then I don't think changing the optic will help much.

The "BDC" doesn't need to be seen clearly - you should know where the dots are on the reticle by memory. You mentioned that you have issues seeing the 200 yard "notch" on the reticle - but there's no "need" to see it. You already know the notch is at the very bottom edge of the center dot so just position the bottom edge of the center dot at the center of the 200 yard target. It's not like the BDC is accurate anyway, not unless you use the exact ammo they designed it for. For example, shooting 55gr ammo my POI shifts significantly from the BDC dots. Ultimately the shooter still need to be familiar with the equipment/ammo and approximate the holdover on his/her own. But for the record, they aren't useless; I've shot steel targets consistently up to 600 yards with the optic (I just had to remember where the POI actually is in relation to the BDC dots).

The way I see it, the 332 is a reticle that's good for fast target acquisition - it's just as fast as a typical red dot, but also allows for some precision shooting since it doesn't cover up the target as much as some red dots. If you are set on changing the optic, I'd suggest looking through some optics on a range at a dark target before hand. I suspect you're going to have the same difficulties seeing the crosshairs - it's not like their black lines are any different nor the illuminations any brighter. The glass in another optic might be better and brighter, and maybe that's what you need, but you'd really need to see them to decide.

SuperSet
07-01-2012, 5:59 PM
The AR332 has the same reticule as the Burris TAC30/MTAC (which I have) so I know what you mean. The illumination is daylight visible but not daylight illuminated so it will wash out in bright sunlight.
For a 'practical' scope, I like the Trijicon Accupoint 1-4X TR24 series as it's daylight visible (powered by fiber optic and tritium) and still visible at night. However, it does not have a BDC (bullet drop compensator) so you have to guess a little bit of holdover at longer ranges (300yds+). For my class gun, I run an EOTech EXPS 3-4 which has an illuminated BDC in front a 3X magnifier. It's not as nice as my Bushnell 1-6X but still doable.
There are compromises with every optic IME.

smittty
07-01-2012, 6:27 PM
I should clarify, to me the BDC feels useless because my rifle is zero'd at 50 yards and I don't have to compensate for distances out to about 250 yards. Yes i know it's zero at 225 but practically it's still zero. For the shooting my friends and I do our max range is 275 yards. To shoot farther we need to go to the desert which we do only once or twice a year. So, to me the BDC is nearly useless.

I would love to go to a huge optics store to find what I'm looking for.

SuperSet
07-01-2012, 6:29 PM
I bet you would like that Trijicon TR24 then since it's illuminated so you can use it like a red dot at 1X and still have 4X magnification available.

ExtremeX
07-01-2012, 6:44 PM
So.. Short range precision shooting.. I would also consider a 1-4x. Style and features are up to taste and budget.

+1

Vortex, Trijicon, SWFA, Burris... plenty of options out there in all types of price ranges.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_18/421244_The_variable__low_power_multipurpose_scope_ review_thread.html&page=1

I personally really like my Vortex 1-4x; I also have a SWFA 1-6 on order.

I also have a RDS and ACOG TA31F... The ACOG is still one of my favorite optics, the RDS really dominates for fast reflex type shooting, but the 1-4x type scopes offer the most flexibility.

Even in the 1-4x arena, get to know your reticles, something like the Burris MTAC acts more like an ACOG than a Vortex PST or SWFA scope. My personal preference is crosshair type reticles over BDC reticles for precision shooting since I like to dial in correction. If I want to use a BDC I use my ACOG.

I like the Trijicon 1-4x a lot too, but it has its own set of limitations. I don’t like that I can’t dial in correction since the turrets are capped, and hold over shots are a little more difficult since there are no hash markers in MOA or MRAD to use. It is however a fantastic optic.

If you have the cash, look at the US Optics SN-4S DFP, its my favorite 1-4x optic...

kauaibuilt
07-01-2012, 7:21 PM
Currently have an AP Pro on my 16" upper and hit steel out to 400m w/o issues (the animal size steel so I dont know how accurate I was but I hit the damn thing) with AE black box .223 ammo. Just ordered my SWFA SS 10/42 and cant wait to get it mounted up. I have a Redfield Revolution 4-12x42 on my Mini14 and, with FM blaster reloads) hit steel regularly out to 300m - less regularly out to 400m.

So, as others have pointed out, it depends on intended use, taste, and budget.

EddieEd
07-01-2012, 8:43 PM
I like this one from Leupold: mark-4-1-3x14mm-cqt/ (http://www.leupold.com/tactical/products/scopes/mark-4-cqt-riflescopes/mark-4-1-3x14mm-cqt/)

Put it can cost a bit.

babbytenders
07-01-2012, 9:01 PM
I feel the 1MOA dot with a 65 MOA circle works well, You just have you be smart enough to understand how that 65 MOA circle works @ 50 to 100 yds, Lol.

smittty
07-01-2012, 9:09 PM
I feel the 1MOA dot with a 65 MOA circle works well, You just have you be smart enough to understand how that 65 MOA circle works @ 50 to 100 yds, Lol.


What optic has 1 moa dot?

gun toting monkeyboy
07-01-2012, 9:09 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/186660/millett-tactical-dms-rifle-scope-30mm-tube-1-4x-24mm-illuminated-circle-dot-reticle-matte

I like this one. It is the Millett DMS. The one drawback is that it is as long as a compact scope, so mounting a rear BUIS can be a bit of an issue. OTOH, it can be used like a red dot at 1x. It has a reticle etched in the glass, so you get a sight even if the batteries are dead. And at 4x, the center dot doesn't cover up too much out to 200-300 yards.

-Mb

BenHa
07-01-2012, 9:15 PM
What optic has 1 moa dot?

eotech something :p

smittty
07-01-2012, 9:16 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/186660/millett-tactical-dms-rifle-scope-30mm-tube-1-4x-24mm-illuminated-circle-dot-reticle-matte

I like this one. It is the Millett DMS. The one drawback is that it is as long as a compact scope, so mounting a rear BUIS can be a bit of an issue. OTOH, it can be used like a red dot at 1x. It has a reticle etched in the glass, so you get a sight even if the batteries are dead. And at 4x, the center dot doesn't cover up too much out to 200-300 yards.

-Mb

At 18 oz, that's the opposite of my other requirement. Light weight!

killathrilla
07-01-2012, 9:17 PM
...

sholling
07-01-2012, 11:55 PM
A simple cheap and rugged option is an 8.5oz Weaver V3 1-3x20 (http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/183610/weaver-classic-v-series-rifle-scope-1-3x-20mm-dual-x-reticle-matte). It's not illuminated but it has a true 1x low-end for both eyes open use and the 3x is there for distance. Don't let the price full you it's a rugged dangerous game scope with optical quality on par with a Burris Fullfield II or a Nikon Buck Master. For cheap training I stuck one on my M&P15-22 with the intention of moving it to a future spare AR15 build. I've seen it as low as $145 (http://www.natchezss.com/Category.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=SN849400&prodTitle=Weaver%20Hunting%20Riflescopes%20Classic %20V3%20Series%201%203X20%20Dual%20X%20Reticle%20M atte).

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u197/damnfineguy/22s%20-%20800dpi/IMG_0199a.jpg
Weaver V3 1-3x20 in a Burris quick disconnect P.E.P.R. mount.

If I have a 17oz Burris XTR 1-4x24 on one of my ARs and it's a great scope. The true 1x low-end combined with an illuminated donut will be fine close up work and the ballistic reticle is good for distance. Optically it's roughly on par with a Leupold VX-3. SWFA is supposed to be working on a 1-6x24 SS but it will probably be $700ish.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u197/damnfineguy/My%20Toys%20800/337ce419.jpg
Burris XTR 1-4x24 in a LaRue mount.

gun toting monkeyboy
07-05-2012, 1:05 PM
At 18 oz, that's the opposite of my other requirement. Light weight!

Ah, I didn't see that mentioned in any of your prior posts on this thread. :rolleyes: If that is the case, and weight is an issue, I don't have any hands-on experience with light-weight AND magnification. At least not any that I would recommend. You could do the eotech and a detachable magnifier. But once you have the eotech and a good quality magnifier, you are getting into ACOG price ranges. And one ACOG is generally cheaper and lighter than the Eotech/magnifier combo.

-Mb

jsipe007
07-05-2012, 1:16 PM
Im curently using an EOTech with a Primary Arms 6X magnifier. I gave up on the FTS mounts a long time ago and got a Burris 1/3 cowitness aimpoint 30mm mount for 60 bucks on Amazon. Its quick detach and so far I am happy with the setup. The magnifier is really clear and although my Burris mount doesnt have any adjustment to move the magnifier, it is practically dead center with my EOTech 517. I got the EOTech used from a fellow calgunner and payed under $550 for the entire setup....

AfghanVetOrcutt
07-05-2012, 1:21 PM
ACOG. Pricey but totally worth it. I had the Army issued one on my weapon through 2 deployments in Afghanistan and I have never had any issues with it, I absolutely love it. We even did cqb with it. Just learn where your rifle hits at ~10-25 yards when you're looking over top of it. If you point the filament at the groin area it will hit roughly center mass, we did lots of practice with this and you become accurate after practice.

Arnelcheeze
07-05-2012, 2:54 PM
Leupold Mark AR 1-4x works great for close up and out to 400 and its value priced, not too too heavy, and very slim.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y168/osg/Buzzards/IMAG1058.jpg

ke6guj
07-05-2012, 3:02 PM
I'd heard good reviews about the reticle in the GRSC 1x4 scope, so I just ordered one for my Free Larue Stealth upper that I am expecting soon.

http://grscinc.com/crs.html

gun toting monkeyboy
07-05-2012, 4:25 PM
ACOG. Pricey but totally worth it. I had the Army issued one on my weapon through 2 deployments in Afghanistan and I have never had any issues with it, I absolutely love it. We even did cqb with it. Just learn where your rifle hits at ~10-25 yards when you're looking over top of it. If you point the filament at the groin area it will hit roughly center mass, we did lots of practice with this and you become accurate after practice.

Which model did they issue you?

CSACANNONEER
07-05-2012, 4:32 PM
It dependds on your AR and your needs. I have an 8-32X NXS on an upper. I have a $20 red dot on another upper.

AfghanVetOrcutt
07-05-2012, 4:46 PM
Which model did they issue you?

They issued us the TA31RCO-M150CP, 4x32 (had to look at the Trijicon website as I didn't know the exact model, we just called em ACOG.

http://www.trijicon.com/na_en/products/product3.php?pid=TA31RCO-M150CP
I look off the flip caps and the honeycomb thingy. Useless.

SocomM4
07-05-2012, 4:48 PM
If youre shooting less than 300 yards, and using a very flat 50yard yard Zero, (like me) , then I'd suggest running an eotech. I have a 512 and the dot is 1moa, I love the damn thing.

tomd1584
07-05-2012, 7:08 PM
I LOVE my 1.5x ACOG. I'm just as fast with it as I am with my aimpoints.

nvision
07-05-2012, 7:19 PM
Eotech round reticle for close quarters and center 1moa for long range. Works awesome.

ScottsBad
07-05-2012, 8:25 PM
I found that the size of the red dot on most optics is too large for longer distance shooting. Now I haven't tried the aimpoint micro that has the 2 moa dot. It might be "just right" and I'm hoping some who has it and has tried a variety of optics can comment.

I tried a VX3 1.5-5x and I found that 3x was max power that still allowed me to shoot both eyes open at closer distance. For longer shooting I close my left eye. I don't remember why but I didn't like this scope on my AR but I still have it.

I tried a 3x acog and I liked the reticle but I didn't like the very very short eyerelief. I prefered the AR332 but now I finding the reticle to be less than ideal.

Maybe expecting too much from one optic.

I own some of the optics that people have mentioned here. So I can comment on what my experience has been and impressions are.

I do want to make a comment on the ACOG first, there are many models of ACOG and some have much longer eye relief than others. The TA11F, for instance, is designed for both eyes open pointing and provides longer eye relief. Look for ACOGs that say BAC in the description. BAC is the Bindon Aiming Concept, both eyes open pointing.

Really, for 200 yards plus you would be served by a 1-4X or 1-6X variable scope. The problem is that glass and tubes are heavy (ACOGs are not that light either). Most of the good newer 1-4X scopes provide good eye relief that allows a shooter to point easily with both eyes open.

If you are zero at 50 yards a Trijicon Accupoint TR24R provides an EXCELLENT sight picture. I have a TR24R and an older TR21R, for the price they are very nice and the glass is functionally very good. The TR24R gives you a generous bright triangle. Simply zero at the tip of the triangle and you have a quick red-dot like aiming tool. Very bright daytime reticle, no battery, tritium lit reticle for complete dark, and if the incoming light gets too bright (like a flashlight shined in your direction in the dark) the red aiming triangle simply becomes a black triangle so you can still point. These are still pretty popular in three gun. This is a quality scope for the bucks.

I also have a SWFA 1-4X DOD reticle scope. Built like a tank with glass that blows my NightForce NXS 2.5-10X scope out of the water for clarity. This thing is really nice for the $$$. It is heavier than the Trijicon, but it seems to be built for rugged use.

The REALLY cool thing about the SWFA scope is the FFP reticle. At 1X it provides you a really clear donut reticle (DOD = Doughnut Of Death) for fast shooting like a Red-Dot.

As you zoom the SWFA to 4X the FFP reticles doughnut enlarges until you are looking though the doughnut at illuminated cross-hairs which gives you a finer aiming reticle. The reticle is etched which ensures that even with the illumination off you have a good reticle to shoot with.

The SWFA scope has good eye relief, great glass and a good eye box at 1X, but at 4X the eye box is not as forgiving. Your eye must be better aligned to the scope to keep the reticle clear than with the Trijicon. I think the trade off is worth it for the finer 4X reticle and clearer glass of the SWFA.

For red-dots I own Aimpoint T-1s and EOTech. I like the Aimpoint T-1, I have two of them, but they are the 4 MOA units, which are fine for 100 yards or less, and I know folks who shoot to 200 with them, but for me the dot (4 MOA = approx. 4 inches at 100 yards) is a bit large for more than maybe 100-150 yards.

I will say that I love the quality of the Aimpoint T-1 sights, they are rock solid and very very light weight. However, I would suggest the 2MOA version of the T-1 or the M4 2MOA sight, and maybe the Aimpoint PRO.

I also have an Aimpoint magnifier on a LaRue flip-to-side. Magnifiers are of limited use as you know, but they can come in handy some times. They are really not useful with a T-1 with a 4MOA dot. I'm keeping mine for later purpose.

I have an EoTech 557 which is an older model with the BDC. I like the reticle. It is a primarily a 65 MOA ring with a 1 MOA dot in the center. I have an EOTech 3X Gen2 flip to side magnifier. Problem with EOTech is that my eyes had some trouble with the reticle rendering. However the 1 MOA dot is more precise than the larger Aimpoint dots. Also, there have been some problems with EOTech reliability on some models and this is completely unacceptable in a high end optic.

I sent my EOTECH in recently and they replaced the guts with the newest electronics for free, but I just am not comfortable with the optic. I've probably only fired 150 rounds with it, but at this point I'm going to put it up for sale soon. If you buy an EOTech I would only buy the newer XPS versions.

So, I think you may want to look at the 1-4X optics if you are having issues with seeing the reticle and would like to shoot more than 150-200 yards.

The 1-4X scopes I would look at include:
Trijicon Accupoint TR24R
SWFA 1-4X
Vortex Viper 1-4X
Leupold VX-R and VX-R Patrol

There are others of course, some less, some more expensive, but these are reasonable for a good quality optic.

Red-dots are really most effective for CQB, but can be stretched for longer range. They are lighter (some are pretty heavy though) and easier to get on target fast, but on most if the reticle doesn't light up you cannot aim.

The only red-dots I could recommend would be made by Aimpoint.

The Trijicon SRS and new RMR with LED look good, but I have no experience with them.

Anyway, good luck.

dragon7
07-06-2012, 8:26 PM
I have had a 4X32 ACOG on my lightweight AR going on 2 years now and find it's relative lightweight, compact size, and ruggedness ideal. I have the green horseshoe reticle which is bright even in daylight and makes bracketing any target very quick and accurate. Anything between 50 and 250 is mine to score on. The only task, for me at least, it isn't ideal for is CQB. Having to offset the center illuminated reticle is not intuitive. I know with more training I would become more comfortable with the offset however I've decided to solve the ACOG's shortcoming by adding a T-1 Aimpoint on an angled mount to my carbines rail just forward of the ACOG. I know Trijicon has an ACOG model with a top mounted mini red dot but having tried it I found the loss of my cheek weld very unstable due to the height of the red dot. Larue has an image on their website of just such an arrangement which was my inspiration for going this route.