Please help me with an optic for my AR-15

Please help me with an optic for my AR-15

This is a discussion on Please help me with an optic for my AR-15 within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well today was my breaking point. I have been working on trying to make my RRA AR-15 a both a long, and short range weapon. ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array claybreaker0's Avatar
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    Please help me with an optic for my AR-15

    Well today was my breaking point. I have been working on trying to make my RRA AR-15 a both a long, and short range weapon. I mounted a 3-9x 50mm scope on the flat top, and with a Daniel Defense 1 0'Clock mount I mounted a cheap Tru Glo Holosight. This set up also makes the gun pretty darn heavy.

    Today I was trying to zero the Holosight in, and it became apparent that it is broken. The dot WILL NOT STAY ZEROED. Needless to say it was very frustrating, and has led me to believe that maybe I can't have everything I want. What I like about the TG was that it had a green reticle that is very easy to see during the day. Unfortunately, it's a piece of crap. I know that Burris makes the FastFire II, but I know it's about $225-250. It would fit on the 1'Clock mount, but it's a red dot only.

    So I guess not I'm back to top mounted scopes. I know that Eotech is a great sight maker, but do they have both red and a green reticle option? Also, they are VERY expensive. Please discuss with me some good choices in optics. Or maybe some other ideas you may have? Thanks!
    "Being armed gives you options"

    Kimber Pro Carry II; S&W M&P; S&W M&P9c; Walther PPS: Ruger SP101 357: Kahr P380 w/ CT; NAA 22mag; Rock River AR-15; NEF Pardner Pump; Benelli Nova


  2. #2
    Member Array claybreaker0's Avatar
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    PS - I originally had a Vortex Strikefire, works well, but you can't see the dot during the day........ended up being a waste of $150 as well.


    Can someone at least explain to me what the difference is between the cheapest and most expensive Eotech?
    Last edited by claybreaker0; October 8th, 2010 at 09:57 PM.
    "Being armed gives you options"

    Kimber Pro Carry II; S&W M&P; S&W M&P9c; Walther PPS: Ruger SP101 357: Kahr P380 w/ CT; NAA 22mag; Rock River AR-15; NEF Pardner Pump; Benelli Nova

  3. #3
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    Well it is difficult to make one weapon do everything you want it to do. For long range shooting a fixed or variable optic is the way to go. For CQB you may want a red dot or holosight hard to have both without spending a fortune. As a general rule one of the reasons cheap red dots are so cheap is the size of the projected dot. A cheap optic with a 4, 6, 8 MOA dot will project 4 inches, 6 inches or 8 inches at 100 yards and then people wonder and complain they can't get good groups. The more expensive optics have 1-2 MOA dots that allow for greater precision at longer ranges.
    It does no good to have a nice rifle and top it with a cheap optic they will not balance each other out. You will, as you have found, end up fighting with the optic and becoming discouraged and frustrated.

    First ask yourself a few questions. How far is long range to me? 1-300 or more. How good is my vision? If long range to you is 300 and in then a Red dot/Holosight with a magnifier will work fine but remember that type system is not made for shooting a bullseye for groups it is made for hitting a man in the chest. If long range to you is 300 plus a traditional optic is the only way to go.

    As far as the difference in EOTECH's generally the cost difference relates to size of the unit, battery type, and whether the unit works in conjunction with night vision. Now it is all cool to say all I have to do is slap on night vision and my optic is good to go but in reality the average person would not use nor ever purchase night vision so you are spending money you don't have to. As far as I know they do not make a green dot option, if I am wrong feel free to correct me guys, I shot with one of the original sights and liked it except that with the sun behind me sometimes I could not see the reticle. I think they have since increased brightness and made changes.

    For solutions look at any of the 1-4x or similar power hunting optics. Most will give a true 1x for CQB and 4x for longer distances. Check optics planet and SWFA you can find some good deals on there.

    I currently run a Burris XTR on my Sig 556, I also have a Leupold CQ/T variable power red dot that I swap out with it and the .22's. Neither optic is cheap but it is worth it to save your money and get something decent.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

  4. #4
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    As tacman suggests, a single solution to your needs probably doesn't exist. I've trained with some hard guys and I've never seen any of these guys show up with scopes AND red dot sights (RDS) on the same gun. What do you want your gun to do? If it's a defensive weapon, then an RDS is the way to go... you won't be sniping out at 200+ yards. Hunting? Then go with a magnifying optic. Mounting both on the gun at the same time strikes me as an odd choice (sorry), and you admitted it made the gun heavy.

    If you are constrained to just one AR, then I suggest investing in a a good RDS and a good scope and a good mount (e.g., Larue) for each. Hunting is usually more planned than self-defense, so leave the RDS mounted on the gun until you plan to go hunting. With a quality scope and mount, you'll probably be within an MOA of your zero when you re-mount the optic.

    If reliability is an issue, then skip the EOTech and go straight to Aimpoint. My first AR wears an EOTech, but after three courses with Pat Rogers (EAG Tactical) and watching one after another go down, I'm sold on Aimpoint. My newer AR has a T-1. Battery life is outstanding (thousands of hours), and coupled with a Larue mount the zero simply does not shift. Green dot instead of red? Unless you have some color-vision problem, the fact that tens of thousands of Aimpoint (and EOTech) see the red dots under varying light conditions kinda tells me that green isn't a "need."

    Buy cheap, buy twice.
    Smitty
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    From hard-core LEO's and military types, you'll likely get some very good advice on what works and doesn't work in the field for fairly rough use.

    For mounting on relatively light and maneuverable tactical rifles (AR, AK, lever-action, as opposed to target style), I also dislike sights and scopes that disrupt the balance and ease of maneuvering. The sight picture and field of view is also hard to beat with red dot, reflex-type sights. If you're to avoid the negative impacts of such larger, heavier units, then IMO you're going to be predominantly looking at red dot sights.

    I can't offer much, on sights for tactical rifles. But, such as it is ...

    • I've used a Burris FastFire. Wasn't that impressed with its focus. It was relatively easy to adjust and maintained its zero. Seemed a bit small for the job. Gun was a Marlin 1894 .44mag lever.

    • Of the RDS and reflex type sights, I have admired the Leupold DeltaPoint Reflex. To me, it has a noticeably better field of view and optics, as compared to the FastFire. Extremely light at 0.7oz. Noticeably larger size and FOV as compared to many of the ultra-mini reflex RDS. At $400 street, it's approaching the EOTech range. I just handled and fiddled with the sight; never did mount and use it on a rifle.

    • Considered the AimPoint Micro-T1 (see gasmitty's remarks, above). Seemed like a nice optic. Just handled in the store; did not mount and use on a rifle, so I can't speak to it's utility. At 4oz, it's significantly larger/heavier than the micro RDS alternatives on the market, though it's still fairly light and appropriate for a quick-handling rifle. AimPoint quality and durability.

    • About the only somewhat larger sight (beyond the RDS/reflex style) that I have seen in training sessions and competitions and that also appealed to me was the AimPoint Comp M3 sight. It approaches 10oz with the flip-up lens caps, so it's light but still several times the weight of the lighter reflex-style sights. Have seen it and handled it, including sighting through a couple different AR's; did not mount and use, myself.


    If I were to use a red dot sight again, my choice would probably be the Leupold DeltaPoint Reflex.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  6. #6
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    This EOTech OPMOD looks interesting & it's not too much of a killer price with the $50 rebate.
    http://www.opticsplanet.net/l3-eotec...2-0-opmod.html

  7. #7
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    If you're thinking about popping a FastFire on a battle type rifle then best invest in the acessory protective steel wings.
    A word to the wise.

  8. #8
    Member Array J0eyg86's Avatar
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    ive been looking into a EOTECH myself i like the 512 for my personal needs but on their web sight http://www.eotech-inc.com/index.php under the product tab there is a section that says produch selector and it was a big help to me. it lets you describe what you would need the optic for and gives you a listing of what would be the best for you.
    i know one of the biggest things i found with it was the military/LEO style ones are night sight capable & that bumps the price way up. thats something that i wouldnt need so im looking to stay in the sport/hunting line up. they have almost all of the same features as the military/LEO (as far as i can see) w/ out the night sight capabilitys for less $$$$$

  9. #9
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    FYI, the night sight capability adds a second light internal source of a different wavelength (color) - that's the reason for the additional expense.
    Smitty
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  10. #10
    Member Array claybreaker0's Avatar
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    I spotted this little guy, it's an Eotech XPS-2. It seems like this small holosight, and a nice magnifier on a flip to side mount may be just what I'm looking for. One BIG IMPORTANT question though, how bright is this sight?? Is it easily seen in the day light?? $430 after rebate seems to be a good price.....

    http://www.opticsplanet.net/eotech-t...ible-xps2.html
    "Being armed gives you options"

    Kimber Pro Carry II; S&W M&P; S&W M&P9c; Walther PPS: Ruger SP101 357: Kahr P380 w/ CT; NAA 22mag; Rock River AR-15; NEF Pardner Pump; Benelli Nova

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    I've mainly used the Aimpoint M-68 (military naming) and the Trijicon ACOG, and iron sights on my military M-4s while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    ACOG is a great sight but very expensive. With the magnification its great to shoot out to greater distances, and depending on what reticle you get will work very well at distances out to about 500 meters. The down fall to it is that I can't get used to using it as a CQB sight. Trijicon does make a sight that you can put on top of it for duel duty.

    Next is the Aimpoint with is my personal favorite because it really provides a good platform for both CQB and shooting out to ranges to about 300 meters is what we usually train with in the Army.

    My setup on my own AR right now is is the aimpoint with a flip up rear sight just in case the batteries go dead or I need to make a longer shot as I do have difficulties shooting the red dot much past 200 meters.

    Mostly the Army is using the Aimpoints and ACOGs for units deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq with M-4s. I have seen some guys within various special ops units using EOTECHs, which are also great.

  12. #12
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    For close in work, I recommend the Aimpoint Micro series. I mount an H1 on my Krinkov and think it is the best choice for RDS due to small size, ruggedness and 5 year battery life. That's 5 years turned on constantly, btw.

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