Budget Optic VS Irons

Budget Optic VS Irons

This is a discussion on Budget Optic VS Irons within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This was a question I got interested while reading another thread. Lets be clear about something. This poll is NOT about if budget optics are ...

View Poll Results: Budget optic +Irons or Irons only

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  • Irons only

    21 37.50%
  • Budget Optic w/ irons

    35 62.50%
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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Budget Optic VS Irons

    This was a question I got interested while reading another thread. Lets be clear about something. This poll is NOT about if budget optics are as good as the big boys. I don't think anyone here would rather go into a fight with a Vortex Strike Fire mounted on their rifle instead of a Aimpoint. Please do not reply anything to the tune of "Save your money for ABC optic" or "Buy a used XYZ" as that's not the question here. The question is if you HAD to go into a fight with a rifle and your ONLY 2 choices were a rifle with iron sights only and a rifle that had a budget optic +iron sight, which rifle would you choose? For the purpose of this poll "budget optic" refers to optics such as Primary Arms, Lucid HD7, Vortex Strikefire and the like. Basically middle runh stuff. Not bottom rung paintball/airsoft" stuff like NCstar.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...


  2. #2
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    Array Xader's Avatar
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    If you'd consider the Bushnell Holo sight to be budget, I would say absolutely, since you stipulated that there would be BUIS, as well.

    For those who aren't familiar, The Bushnell is made by EOTech, but without the extra armor and for about half the price.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array DaRedneck's Avatar
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    Rollo, you'd need to be a little more specific about the fight for me to pick one.
    "He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." - Leonardo da Vinci

  4. #4
    Member Array redstgunnut's Avatar
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    I'd rather have irons than a "budget optic."

    I got good with irons long before I could afford good optics. Good optics simply allow me to make the same good hits faster. I wouldn't bet my life on a budget optic, I'd rather rely upon hard earned old-fashioned skill.

  5. #5
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Budget optic = you get what you pay for. I have learned my lesson long ago with budget anything regarding optics and how they hold zero. I would stick with irons unless I could afford to buy something that was battle tested and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. I would choose irons anyway. My eyes are good and with a proper IBZ, 0-200 yards is point and click and 300 yards is 9-11" low depending upon grain. No issues.

  6. #6
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    I'd take irons over an optic I didn't feel I could trust. As big of an advocate as I am for optics on a combat rifle, it needs to be a well made, durable, reliable optic.

    I can hit a man sized target all day long at 500 with an M-16 on irons.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Depends really...

    Can I hit what I'm aiming at with my irons?--I'll use my irons

    Can I hit what I'm aiming at with with the budget optic?--I'll use the budget optic...and use the irons as a backup.

    It depends on what aiming device you do best with...but for sure--never go into a fight with untested sights--irons or optics.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    I would choose irons every time over a budget optic. My reasons are the same as I posted in the other thread - a small knock could throw off your zero considerably. In an ideal world we'd check our zero's cowitness but that's not how it always works. You most likely won't realize it's shifted until your rounds are impacting your POA.

    There's no place for a budget optic on any fighting or defensive rifle. The risk is way too high and it could end up very bad and wok against you. Unless the optic is going on a .22 for my child who will use it only at the range, I'm buying from the proven options, preferably Aimpoint, Trijicon, Leupold mil grade or S&B - actually, I wouldn't even put one on my kid's, I'd just get them used to irons.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  9. #9
    Member Array BWillis57's Avatar
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    I guess I'm n the minority here, I have a Vortex Strikefire sitting on my carbine right now, it's my go to rifle.

    Is it an aimpoint? no, but it gets the job done, So far even with some knocking around, zero has held perfectly. I do have a fixed front sight, and a magpul flip up rear for buis, but I'm happy with my purchase. Just my .02.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    ...and it may very well continue to work for you and I hope it does, but it also may not at some point if you use it hard enough. There's a much better chance that the zero will shift from impacts. I don't know about anyone else, but during many drills, my guns end up hitting the ground hard. Hard enough that I've broken two KAC integrated URX II front sights (and a BAD lever, which are no longer on any of my rifles).

    It's not a sure thing that zero will shift, but it's not uncommon on inexpensive optics.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  11. #11
    Member Array Walk Soft's Avatar
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    To answer the question I'd pick budget optic+irons instead of irons only(of course)I have the strikefire vortex on one of my AR's(DPMS-truck gun)with Yankee Hill iron flip ups.It hasn't lost zero in two years+ but if I had to pick I'd go with Aimpoint(with iron back ups).

  12. #12
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    Historically, I would have instantly voted for only the irons over a cheap optic.
    A while back I had a chance to "first hand" check out the BUSHNELL TROPHY & I liked it. The battery life is decent.
    It's solid, well constructed, not too "greenish" through the optic, nitrogen filled, & the dot has great, positive, adjustment with (best of recollection) 11 brightness settings for a zoom dot.
    So while it's not AimPoint ~ [in its modest price range] you could call it a "budget" optic and (quality wise) I would feel comfortable using it. So...my answer woud be: "It Depends."

    CLICK TO GO TO BUSHNELL
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  13. #13
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    My idea of a budjet optic is a little different (and my AR didn't come with irons). I don't have the extra jack laying around right now for an aimpoint so my carbine is wearing a 2X7 variable power scope made by Leupold. It only cost me a couple hundred bucks and it has held up nicely. It is, after all, a Leupold product.

    I'm considering a red dot but i just don't have enough experience with them to know what I want.

    Does anyone want to loan me a red dot? :) OK so I'm only half joking...I would like to test drive one without shelling out a bunch of cash upfront.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  14. #14
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    I'm in the same camp as buckeye .45 and jonconsiglio - I'd rather rely on an aiming device (irons) with known reliability than one that might work against me when I need it most.
    Smitty
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  15. #15
    Member Array yankeeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I'm considering a red dot but i just don't have enough experience with them to know what I want.

    Does anyone want to loan me a red dot? :) OK so I'm only half joking...I would like to test drive one without shelling out a bunch of cash upfront.
    Funny you mention that, this is the whole reason that I bought my Primary Arms Micro. It is the same basic form factor as the aimpoint and I wanted to see if I liked it. Now that I know I do I will be selling it and saving for a T-1. Even though I have the micro I don't have it mounted when not at the range. If I had to use my rifle I would prefer to use irons as I know they are good to go. I dont think budget optics have a place on a rifle you may ever use for a defensive purpose and think most manufacturers of them would tend to agree.
    Last edited by yankeeman; July 1st, 2011 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Clarification

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