This was received well elsewhere...thought I'd post it here for those that are looking for a RDS that does't break the bank.
It’s been lamented many times here and elsewhere that Aimpoint’s are ‘too expensive’ and some people are always searching for a $200 optic that is ‘good enough’ (Barksa, Vortex, Bushnell, etc). Breifly stated, in terms of price and quality, there’s irons then there’s Aimpoint’s/EOTech’s. Nothing in between worth buying, in my opinion. If you agree with that sentiment, maybe this thread can help you assemble a BUIS/RDS system that won't break the bank. Bottom line, hope it helps someone!
Here’s how and why I setup my current SBR, thought I’d have some fun and see how inexpensively I could do it. The effort was to stay in balance by maintaining a budget but not compromising quality. I'd enjoy your feedback and any other guidance the members here can offer.
Join ebay. Yes I know they/PayPal aren’t gun friendly. Get over it, if you’re going to save money check your politics at the door. The deals found there on these specifically are better than what's on the the member's exchange of forums. Here’s where the hunting gets fun, it’s pretty easy to find M68/Comp M2s with factory QRP mount for $200-275. The housing will be in rough shape, but as long as lenses are clear and the device is operable, that’s all that counts. There’s also a nice seller protection program in place, but be sure the dot is ONLY red and make sure the ad contains pictures the ‘Aimpoint Comp M2, Made in Sweden, + serial number’. Obviously be sure the photos aren't stock, but of the actual item for sale. Do this and read the fine print, and you'll have successful recourse in the event it IS a fake. I've bought a few Comp M2s off ebay though, all have been cheap and legit.
Aimpoint Comp M2/M68 CCO - $211 used but operable
Serial number/Aimpoint markings:
Another good idea is the QRP mount spacer for the factory Aimpoint QRP mount, this will inexpensively give you a lower 1/3 co-witness.
QRP spacer (39MM height) lower 1/3 cowitness spacer for QRP mount - $31.79
Aimpoint Comp M2, factory QRP mount, and spacer:
Personally, I spent: $45 on DD fixed rear, $211 on Aimpoint Comp M2, and $31.79 on the QRP mount spacer. So there you have it, a quality RDS/BUIS system for $287.79 OTD. You’ll have to comb the web for a deal like this, as used M2s don’t pop up daily but they’re on there. I’ve seen 3 sell in the last 2 weeks for less than $300. Since these are pretty beat up, you can paint these which is pretty easy. Brief tutorial below on that. Take note of your serial number BEFORE you paint!
Remove mount using allen wrench for the 4 screws. Wipe down with rubbing alcohol or like prep fluid. I don’t give this too much time as I usually re-spray my painted stuff every now and then. Mask lenses CAREFULLY or just apply flip-up scope covers and paint over those. You'll note below that I shoved paper towels into the lenses...I'm lazy and this works too.
Alumablack from Birchwood Casey helps to mask larger scratches/gouges. I wouldn’t bother painting if you only have a few.
If painting black:
Find a good matte black/charcoal paint at the local store and apply a couple base coats, not too heavy you don’t want running or dripping. Steal the wife’s hair-dryer and blast all painted surfaces. You may chose to hit it at the end with a finish-coat of matte.
USE AEROVE! And see Jon's stickied thread
See Jon's stickied thread