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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning All,

I have recently purchased my first AR. I have steel flip ups installed but have been looking and comparing red dots (this gun will be primarily used as a HD gun).

I have talked with guys who say don't get anything but an aim point or EOTech, but honestly I just don't have that type of cash for that right now.

My question is, are there reliable, solid "budget options that you would recommend and trust? Thanks so much!
 

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I went with a Primary Arms classic red dot with 1/3 co-witness mount. I've been very pleased with it for a few years now, less the battery life when I forget to turn it off after a day of plinking...
 

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I have a TruGlo multi reticle Reflex Sight that works great on my AR. I think it cost me around a $100 or less at Cabela's.

Unless you are really treating your rifle roughly it should work just fine.
 

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Vortex red dots can be had for 150-175 if you want the 4MOA Strikefire. Unparalleled warranty and good quality. I use the 2 MOA Spark AR which is 200, and runs of an AA battery.
 

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If it is for plinking, the Bushnell TRS-25 is hard to beat.

If it is for serious social purposes...well, don't bother with buying the cheap stuff. I am willing to trust the following brands of RDS on fighting rifles:

Trijicon
Leupold
Aimpoint

That's it. You could definitely talk me into a couple other brands of magnified scope...but that is some serious money there. If you can't afford a quality optic for it right now, then run it with irons until you can afford a quality optic. Put a good sling on it, put a good light on it, and shoot it with irons until you can afford the $400 for a quality RDS.

If you're looking to get a quality optic for a fighting carbine without breaking the bank, I have three suggestions.

#.1 Buy used. The reason that guys are suggesting the top-shelf brands is that they last. Used is not "lesser than" when buying a quality optic.

#2. Look at the Aimpoint offerings like the PRO. Not as sleek as their $800 stuff, but still worthy of betting your life on it.

#.3 Trijicon MRO...a bit more than the entry level Aimpoint stuff, but still pretty affordable in the grand scheme of things.

The moral of the story when it comes to optics is "buy once, cry once". This is especially true for an optic on a defensive rifle...if your life might one day depend on that rifle functioning properly, do you want it's accuracy to be dictated by the one part of the rifle where you decided to cheap out? That would be a pretty silly story to tell when you arrived at the pearly gates.

"I tell ya, Mr. Peter.....I had that gang banger dead to rights....but my red dot went out and then I missed him. Since I'm here, I guess his hi-point worked okay."
 

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Good morning All,

I have recently purchased my first AR. I have steel flip ups installed but have been looking and comparing red dots (this gun will be primarily used as a HD gun).

I have talked with guys who say don't get anything but an aim point or EOTech, but honestly I just don't have that type of cash for that right now.

My question is, are there reliable, solid "budget options that you would recommend and trust? Thanks so much!
This is what I put on my newly purchased AR (M&P Sport II)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00457SRBI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Price is great. Zero'ed it in no time (total of 18 rounds). Tested this past Saturday to see if it "held" the zero after being stored for a couple weeks. Zero is still dead bang on. Choice of Red or Green and 3 different types of reticles for which ever preference you have. I'm very satisfied with mine. And with a price of $25.30, beats the snot out of a Benji or more for EOTech offerings.
 

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The word "budget" doesn't accurately tell us what your budget...is! Red dots can run from lunch money to new kidney money. If you want our answers to be worth your reading, give us a hard number in U.S. dollars. :blink:
 

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This is what I put on my newly purchased AR (M&P Sport II)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00457SRBI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Price is great. Zero'ed it in no time (total of 18 rounds). Tested this past Saturday to see if it "held" the zero after being stored for a couple weeks. Zero is still dead bang on. Choice of Red or Green and 3 different types of reticles for which ever preference you have. I'm very satisfied with mine. And with a price of $25.30, beats the snot out of a Benji or more for EOTech offerings.
I have one. It's great for what it is, but I wouldn't count on it in a rainstorm.
 

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I have three Primary Arms red dot's and have used them for around 5 years, they work very well. I think they are the best in a cheaper red dot
 

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What is your budget?

What kind of shooting/role will you be using your rifle for?

What is the maximum distance at which you will be shooting it?
 

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What is your budget? I got a Vortex Spitfire 1x for $250, but Midway has it for $200.

I was drilling double taps and target acquisition and switch using my Vortex and Pocket pro and I was loving it. I got splits down to 8/100ths of a second and acquisition was very nice. Some fliers, so I need to work more on this, but I'm real happy with the optic.



Home defense is not going to require long distances, so imo, the dual reticle would work perfectly.
 

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Just got the Vortex SPARC AR dropped of by UPS from Amazon. $194. Looked at a lot of options over the past week and this seemed a good choice for my Sig MCX based on cost and reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If it is for plinking, the Bushnell TRS-25 is hard to beat.

If it is for serious social purposes...well, don't bother with buying the cheap stuff. I am willing to trust the following brands of RDS on fighting rifles:

Trijicon
Leupold
Aimpoint

That's it. You could definitely talk me into a couple other brands of magnified scope...but that is some serious money there. If you can't afford a quality optic for it right now, then run it with irons until you can afford a quality optic. Put a good sling on it, put a good light on it, and shoot it with irons until you can afford the $400 for a quality RDS.

If you're looking to get a quality optic for a fighting carbine without breaking the bank, I have three suggestions.

#.1 Buy used. The reason that guys are suggesting the top-shelf brands is that they last. Used is not "lesser than" when buying a quality optic.

#2. Look at the Aimpoint offerings like the PRO. Not as sleek as their $800 stuff, but still worthy of betting your life on it.

#.3 Trijicon MRO...a bit more than the entry level Aimpoint stuff, but still pretty affordable in the grand scheme of things.

The moral of the story when it comes to optics is "buy once, cry once". This is especially true for an optic on a defensive rifle...if your life might one day depend on that rifle functioning properly, do you want it's accuracy to be dictated by the one part of the rifle where you decided to cheap out? That would be a pretty silly story to tell when you arrived at the pearly gates.

"I tell ya, Mr. Peter.....I had that gang banger dead to rights....but my red dot went out and then I missed him. Since I'm here, I guess his hi-point worked okay."
This is very good advice, thank you. They must be good because i am having a heck of a time finding them used. I guess that is a good thing in some respect. I shoot with the steel rather well. Might be worth saving a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The word "budget" doesn't accurately tell us what your budget...is! Red dots can run from lunch money to new kidney money. If you want our answers to be worth your reading, give us a hard number in U.S. dollars. :blink:
Thats a good point. Sub $250.00 range.

Thank you all for the replies, they have been very helpful for this newbie to the AR world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What is your budget?

What kind of shooting/role will you be using your rifle for?

What is the maximum distance at which you will be shooting it?
Im looking at the sub $250ish range, The primary use is self defense but also the occasional trip to the range shooting at 150 yards or less.
 

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Whatever you decide on...buy it from a trusted source because there are super terrible knock off optics out there for sale.

And....you do not want your optic to be THAT budget unless it's going to be mounted on a paintball gun.
 

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In your price range I'd go with Primary Arms

Or maybe a Vortex (sparc/strikefire).

You're not going to war, and while it might be nice to have an EO or Trijicon etc...the difference in price is better spent on ammo and practice with iron's.
 
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