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I like variable power telescopic sights. You can leave them on low power for close-in work (most likely scenario), but you can dial up the magnification for longer distance.

Another benefit is that the magnification makes it easier to identify whether someone is actually a threat, even at close range, in poor lighting. For example, you had best be sure what you thought was a handgun is not actually a cell phone - before you pull the trigger.

There was an article in a police journal about just this issue I saw a while back - magnified optics on patrol rifles. They ran tests and the magnified optics had some clear advantages.

I know red dots are all the rage now. I'll take the more traditional scope.
 

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I have a burris fastfire on my Bushmaster. Its good to about 150 yds and closer. Lets me keep both eyes open and maintain situational awareness at all times. Keep in mind, I dont try and shoot competition groups, I shoot for combat accuracy since it is a combat weapon. 50 yds i can put them in under 2 inches with quick fire. A scope is best for longer ranges, but is not nearly as fast as a reflex for CQB purposes IMO
 

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Eotech on mine , ranged to 500 yds, magnifier or NV available as the need arises
 

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For typical self defense, I think a red dot is optimal. Most self defense, even with a rifle, will be well within range where you need no magnification, especially if this is a home defense rifle. If you want magnification, it adds weight, but a 3x or 4x magnifier in a flip-to-side mount is a great option. I get a 4x magnifier handy in a flip-to-side mount, but I generally don't keep it mounted to the rifle as it adds weight. I usually only use it to zero.

I like scopes for precision rifles. For defensive rifles, I prefer a non-magnified optic. Shooting both eyes open is very easy and preferred.

I like Aimpoint's, mainly for their battery life. Primary Arms make very nice clones, and the Bushnell TRS-25 is a great affordable option. Eotech's are nice. I used to prefer Eotech's..... until I used an Aimpoint.
 

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I prefer a quality red dot for my uses with the option of a 3x magnifier. Eventually, I'd like my 14.5" to have a variable 1-4 or the new Leupold mk6 1-6. Kyle Defoor recently did a test in bad weather, and surprisingly the 1-4 worked best in heavy rain. Not the most common scenario for people outside of LE or mil work, but I thought it was interesting.

At 1x they work much like a red dot but can be used for precision as well. Of course, this would be for general use and my primary rifle will still have a red dot. This is if I ever get around to it...
 

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I use a 1.25-4 Leupold VX-R and think its a great tool for close-up work out to 2-300 yds. But then again, mine is used for hog hunting.

Strictly self defense/target shooting? Red dot, no question about it.
 

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I use a 1.25-4 Leupold VX-R and think its a great tool for close-up work out to 2-300 yds. But then again, mine is used for hog hunting.

Strictly self defense/target shooting? Red dot, no question about it.
I'd really like to get a 1-4 for hunting, or maybe a 1-6. I use an Aimpoint T1 now and it works extremely well, but occasionally on the longer shots, I'd prefer a variable power optic. More for the reticle than anything. Out to 300 meters, I'm content with 1x or 2x, the reticle makes more of a difference for me. Most of my hog hunting is done at close range and we usually kill more than one at a time, so the red dot has been extremely effective. I'd think a 1-4 would work pretty much the same but have the added benefit of precision at distance.
 

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I like reflex sights for close in work, but a good ghost ring with a high visibility front sight works too.

Actually a high visibility front sight by itself is a huge plus for target engagement.
 
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