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AR-15 Optics

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  • AR-15 Optics

    I’ve just recently purchased and AR-15 and have been looking around for the next big investment which in my mind is the Optics…

    So I have the following questions/observations

    -Is it better to have 1 expensive unit that does what you want or a couple OK models incase they break
    -Red/Green dot is the new fancy and I hear great things about the fast target acquisition and ease of use but with all that comes the dependency on batteries…. And if you want any kind of Zoom the price tag goes way up
    -Iron Sights are kinda just lame at this point for anything more than backup?

    I know asking people for what they recommend in Optics is almost asking what kind of food do you like but if nothing else it may give me ideas.

    Note: Assume this is for general use and not any type of competition stuff….
    And if possible if you recommend something that is going to be like $1,500 please also throw out a second option that is under (about) $600
    ~ Awesome ~

  • #2
    For the $600.00 range I would go with an EOTech. If $ were no object I'd be dialing up Trijicon.
    I'm sticking with my Irons.... 0 chance of failure, and good (with me on the trigger) to 300 yards. I know it's good for much further. I just haven't had the opportunity to deliver any further than that.
    The 12ga.... It's not just for rabbits anymore.


    • #3
      Busnell makes a combo red or green T model#38978 flat black scope with built in iron sights on top of it for about $159-$200 depending on were you buy it. For short money it is a great scope, it is not an eotec or an ACOG but it is not $600 or $1200 either and when backed up with a good set of iron pop up sights it makes for a good combo. Check the reviews on cheaper then dirt. If I had $600 for the EOtech plus $240 for good pop up iron sights then that what I would do but I don't.Here is the link to Bushnell
      Last edited by Omegaman; 03-20-2009, 02:00 PM.


      • #4
        Right tool for the right job


        If your newly purchased AR-15 variant is a flat-top I would recommend an Eo-Tech 512. It's armoured, uses low cost AA batteries, long run time/battery life, has an auto shut-off feature and intensity control. Don't know what your level of firearms knowledge is, but I would never ever downplay the usefulness of iron sights or refer to them as lame; especially in the hands of someone who knows how to employ them correctly/affectively. Nothing lame about them at all.

        BUIS units (backup iron sights) are employed all the time with holographic sights. (Yes in combat even). If the Holo Sight goes out and your AR-15 variant has a standard A-Post style front sight, you can still use the Holo-Sight effectively in conjunction with the front sight. Center your front post in the screen; You'll be surprised how effective this is!

        Yes rapid target aquisition is one of the pluses of a quality Red-Dot or Holographic sight. The main advantage is that you can keep both eyes open and maintain your peripheral vision; something very important in a combat/defensive situation. Close one eye and you'll see what I mean. Holo sights are at this stage of development not meant to replace a good quality scope. Why should they? You have to consider application and engagement zones. If you wish to multi-task with this firearm I would recommend getting an Eo-Tech and use it in combination with a BUIS. It's called Co-Witnessing and is very effective. Mount the Holo-Sight towards the front of the rail and mount the BUIS rear of it. I would also get the Eo-Tech and BUIS with the quick-release bases. Magnifiers for holo sights are expensive and magnification power is no where near the power of a quality scope. Lastly for long range shooting I would use a good quality scope again with quick release mounts. There are quite a few quality quick-release mounts available.

        I employ Irons, Holo Sights, and Scopes in my M-4 Variant. But if your not shooting at extreme distances I would just use the Irons or the Holo Sights. Keep in mind that AR-15 type firearms (5.56/.223) are not long range sniper rifles. This cartridge will loose it's effectiveness at distance. Terminal ballistics will degrade at long distance. The worse thing I would want to have happen is having to defend myself at short engagement ranges while utilizing a scope. If your AR is an M-4 variant (carbine) it should really be employed with Iron or Holo Sights. BTW welcome to the Forum.:)
        Last edited by Bayou Blaster; 03-20-2009, 03:18 PM.


        • #5
          Thanks for all the info guys... I'll have to look into it some more. I was hoping to spend under like 900 bucks.

          I bought a Stag Model 2T --- At a very discounted price from manufacturer.
          Note: If anyone is Military or Law Enforcement they give pretty good discounts and they are one of the few AR-15 producers (that I know of) that are willing to sell directly to the an individual (ship to FFL). The backorder is kinda long but hey, get while the getten’s legal
          ~ Awesome ~


          • #6
            Originally posted by Awesome View Post
            Thanks for all the info guys... I'll have to look into it some more. I was hoping to spend under like 900 bucks.

            I bought a Stag Model 2T --- At a very discounted price from manufacturer.
            Note: If anyone is Military or Law Enforcement they give pretty good discounts and they are one of the few AR-15 producers (that I know of) that are willing to sell directly to the an individual (ship to FFL). The backorder is kinda long but hey, get while the getten’s legal
            Congrats on the Stag 2T, great firearm BTW. I still think you can do what you want and still not have to break $900 dollars. It can be done for alot less.

            Here is just one example for an Eo-Tech; you may find better:

            Scopes and mounts you can pick up anywhere, obvisously if the 2T has no carry handle you will have to get high mounts to clear the A-Post front sight. Recommend a scope with a large objective 40 - 50mm (lets in more light).

            Good Luck and let us know what combination you finally settle on and your opinion.:)
            Last edited by Bayou Blaster; 03-20-2009, 05:33 PM.


            • #7
              Iron Sites

              Definitely at least try to have back-up iron sites. I have used EoTech, Bushnell, Aimpoint and others. I have been at Regional tactical officer trainings and used other operators weapons systems as well. Over ten years of shooting my AR and I am still a hard core Iron sites man. They don't let you down and if you train enough with them you can be downright surgical. I am a firearms instructor and I make all the new officers who want to carry an AR-15 prove that they can survive with the iron sites. Just when you need it most your batteries will die or your sight with get broken (not that I have ever fallen off and obstacle and broken any high dollar equipment...cough cough)
              You will be a more confident all around marksmen if you first can become proficient without aids.... once you are you will really enjoy playing with the really good suggestions these other guys showed you.
              Congrats on the new Rifle!!!!, may it shoot straight and never fail to feed.... : )
              "Live for something rather than die for nothing" George Patton


              • #8
                Optics we have in use...

                Guns AR-15 Colt H-Bar pre ban. One wait two there. NV capable and that is sweet my friends as bad guys do not come a knocking after lunch when the sun is high... Always get the AA battery units.

                Acog with chevron sites. Gathers it's own light. The lenses are fantastic. Can group in a group the size of a quarter at 100 yards. 4x fixed power. Both the about units are used the most overseas.

                Leupold scope 4x fixed is on a Q.D. Quick Disconnect device to switch over to N.V. optics with built in 2x power. Good out to150 plus yards at night. Not all that far but a good loner to night watchman at the ranch.

                ART sniper scope with built in range compensation device. Dial in the yardage for the .223 and it raises the scope to 900 yards. Also quality German optics to 12x power. Nice way to hit gophers.

                Now is the last two days I have been clearing the fields of pocket gophers. Mostly head shots at 100 to 150 yards with... my Ruger 10-22. But wait. It now has a Christie free floating black “assault” oh no!!! looking stock on it. Accuracy has gone up. On top is a 10x good scope that adjusts for range clarity with the twist of a dial. I can see the little gophers spots very clearly at 150 yards.. Add to that a threaded barrel and a good quality Suppressor and let the good times roll!!! All I hear is the bolt cycling against the soft buffer pin and the wet slap of the gopher taking some lead. \\The point here is this comb looks, acts and feels much like the AR,s for practice. Much cheaper to shoot and is deadly quiet. We have tested many .22 sub sonic rounds. All the victim////whoops I mean varmint hears is the sound of a bee flying at them. Then the lights go out.

                One last thing we made sure every optics up grade has the mounting set up capable of still looking under it and using the original iron sight...very important.

                Happy shooting...


                • #9
                  I decided to go with an eotech on my ar. It was a toss up with the acog, but in the end i decided that i didn't want magnified optics due to the intended use of this weapon. As a patrol rifle in a squad car, it would be hard for me to justify taking a shot out to 100 yards +. There really wouldn't be any "iminant danger" to my life in the eyes of the court. Like i said, "patrol rifle" not sniper or even used on SWAT. This weapon would more than likely be used for active shooter type situations. However, i am totally confident taking a 100yd shot with the eotech. On a recent re-qualification shoot, all shots at 100yd were center mass. Either way, with anything you decide to go with, DO NOT COUNT OUT YOUR IRON SITES!!! I can't stress this enough, practice with your iron sites as much if not more than your optics. Optics fail, and when they do will you still be confident using your iron sites?


                  • #10

                    Good pionts and well stated. In close operations the Eotech is a fine optic. But a iron sight is the Ultimate back up. If I was on patrol in our location woods I would be packin an AR with an Eotech, plus a few other goodies. Typical shot would be twenty fett to one hundred yards.


                    • #11

                      There are some companies which make .50 uppers so all you do is unpin your .223 upper and pin on the .50. Ready aim fire!!!


                      • #12
                        I have both the EOTech and 4 power ACOG. It took some practice, but i can now use the ACOG with both eyes open for quick target acquisition in close to mid-range. But if you had to choose in self-defense terms... choose EOTech that uses AA batteries.


                        • #13
                          I too second the notion of back up iron sights.


                          • #14
                            Raised or not?

                            All optics should be mounted high enough to still use the sighted in irons below.... enough said.


                            • #15
                              I'm good to 250 yards with my EO Tech flip up rear sight stays in the up position in case of failure.... the EOTech is a see through whether its on or off....designed for reflex shooting. The flip ups are fairly costly but don't skimp and get one of the cheaper ones....they won't hold a zero. There is magnification for the EOTech but yuo'll need a rail system....more $$$$$
                              You'll find that your rifle is relatively inexpensive platform with which to mount lots of expensive accessories....$800.00 AR + $6000.00 worth of lights and sights. :eek:
                              Things are seldom what they seem.