In your opinion, how important is an optic on a defensive rifle...

This is a discussion on In your opinion, how important is an optic on a defensive rifle... within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; If the army uses Aimpoint, Marines use Trijicon, and I know I've seen Eo-techs on others, then maybe there is a good reason to have ...

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Thread: In your opinion, how important is an optic on a defensive rifle...

  1. #16
    Member Array farmerbyron's Avatar
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    If the army uses Aimpoint, Marines use Trijicon, and I know I've seen Eo-techs on others, then maybe there is a good reason to have one. I don't have an optic on my AR but will ASAP.
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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    It is so much easier to accurately hit with optics (even with perfect vision) it isn't really a question in my opinion. And once your vision starts to deteriorate with age, they are really valuable. Ask yourself this: Would the gun gamers and military put them on everything if they didn't help?

  4. #18
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    I think they are ideal for self/home defense. These scenarios are typically in low light, at close range, and happen quickly. I can see no downside to having an EOTech (or similar) on your weapon, as it facilitates two-eye open sighting, is faster than irons at across-the-room distances, works in all lighting situations, can be easily used by someone with little training (spouse/children of appropriate age), helps those with less-than-perfect vision, and so on. Can someone point out a negative to having one?

    All that said, if it's a straight either/or choice between an optic or practice, obviously go with practice. It doesn't sound like that's your dilemma, though.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  5. #19
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    For under 100 yards I pretty much don't use my ACOG, but beyond that range its a great tool to have (but then again I'm pretty good with irons out to 500 or so).

    Depends on your needs, something like an aimpoint or eo-tech is nice, but then you run into problems if you think you might have long range applications to use it with.
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  6. #20
    Member Array normal's Avatar
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    I went quite awhile with only irons. I recently got an Aimpoint, but only after I became proficient with the irons. The Aimpoint is very nice and I am very glad that I got it. It sits on my home defense S&W. I really like the 5 year battery life that you can just leave on. There are not many downsides to the Aimpoints, but the irons are just fine for most circumstances. Would I still feel comfortable if the Aimpoint went down and I had to use my irons? Absolutely. Whichever you decide, make sure and get plenty of trigger time for practice.
    "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace" George Washington

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    As someone with little rifle skill, I shoot way better with a red dot. It just seems more natural. I'm sure this is probably just because of lack of practice, but expending rifle practice ammo is way down on my list of priorities.

    If you think you might want to hand it off to a friend or family member who isn't an expert in rifles, maybe it would be good to see if they are better with a red dot also?
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  8. #22
    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    All that said, if it's a straight either/or choice between an optic or practice, obviously go with practice. It doesn't sound like that's your dilemma, though.
    Yep, I'm an M4 Instructor with my agency, so I don't really have to sweat not being able to get in any practice time. Just trying to decided whether or not it is worth dropping the $$ on an optic for my home rifle.

    I love my EOTech on my M4, but, again, I'm very comfortable using the iron sights also. I shot the high-score qual in my instructor's class using them. But there is something to be said for being able to get a quick gimpse of that red dot....
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  9. #23
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    I think a defensive rifle is something I'd like to have although I have not used the term before. I assume a 'defensive rifle' is a Short Barreled Rifle or Carbine, something between a pistol and a rifle.

    I will have a laser and a light on mine for it's mission of replacing a pistol with a rail mount light. I think optics are for offensive use. Iron sights are fine for daylight.

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  10. #24
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    Love my EOTech. Both eyes open, points naturally better cheek weld. Turning it on has become just another step in preparing the weapon.

    Wouldn't be without it. Can be, but don't want to be.

  11. #25
    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    I actually prefer to cowitness with backup irons and a holographic sight. If I had to choose, I'd go with the irons.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    For under 100 yards I pretty much don't use my ACOG, but beyond that range its a great tool to have (but then again I'm pretty good with irons out to 500 or so).

    Depends on your needs, something like an aimpoint or eo-tech is nice, but then you run into problems if you think you might have long range applications to use it with.
    Iron sights at 500 yards? Maybe I have been spoiled by magnified scopes, but that is hard for me to imagine. What kind of grouping do you get? I really don't have but 200 yards, maybe 250 max where I could set up in my pasture and the target is down in a hole so I would need to shoot from an elevated, prone position.
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  13. #27
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    On a defensive rifle not that important, I have one on my FAL

    But my defensive rifle is an M1 Carbine and it just has iron sights
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  14. #28
    Member Array philman's Avatar
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    Interesting comments in regard to distance. I do not have a home defense rifle, but just wondered, what would the logical distance for a home defense use of a rifle?

    I hope those who stated 50 meters are not using it at 50 meters from home defense.
    I carry a gun for the same reason I own a smoke detector...I never, ever, plan on needing them...but if I do need them, and have them in a box...I won't be able to get to them for use fast enough.

  15. #29
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    I prefer a rifle over a shotgun for household defense, even if the distance involved is only measured in a few steps. Either my M1 Carbine or my old Winchester Model '07 .351 may be aimed or effectively pointed.

  16. #30
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    I'll start by saying I would NOT have an "optics only" carbine without BUIS. I know that wasn't the question, but bear with me.

    Optics "can be beneficial" to a shooter provided they are maintained and cared for. For range work, great. For a life-safety device (aka defensive / offensive rifle) it is highly dependant on many factors.

    Electronics (w/batteries) can automatically add a built-in level of failure propensity. Glass and mounts add another level level of uncertainty to some degree. Quality, well made products minimize the risk of these factors but they are still present to a higher degree over plain, hard mounted irons.

    Considering the above, the right optics such as Eotech or Aimpoint, can help a shooter get on target fast and maintain quick tracking for faster followup shots. I like the Eotech unit I have but rely heavily on the carbines BUIS as a failsafe. I maintain the BUIS and not only ensure they stay in good condition and calibrated, but I train with them to ensure I am proficient with them as well. Even though I cowitness the BUIS with the Eotech, I am always conscious to mount my Eotech in such a manner it can be quickly removed without effort in the event of major damage or failure, so my irons can become primary without anything to obstruct my view.

    My thoughts in summary are, a person should be expert with their irons and use the optics to enhance their skills. Iron sights should never be an after thought. They should be an integral part of your rifle skills. [on]soapbox[/off]

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