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I am looking for an optic for my Ruger AR-556. I don't want to spend alot of money, something around the $200 price. I realize I won't be getting the best optic for that price range but the Ruger will be used mainly for just plinking. Distances will most likely never be more than 100-150 yds at max. I kind of have it narrowed down to the Vortex SparcII Red Dot or the Bushnell 1-4x24 AR Scope with the illuminated reticle. I like the scope for it's magnification. I like the red dot for its compact size and quick target acquisition. I know they both have their advantages. Opinions and thoughts would be appreciated, thank you
 

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That distance I would go with red dot. I don't like a scope up to a 100 yards.
 
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If it just for plinking, those are reasonable options that you will probably be very happy with.

Do you want to enjoy rapid fire (where the red dot shines) or do you want to shoot with some precision (where the scope offers the advantage)? Once you answer that question, you'll know which is the right optic for you.
 

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Red dot if you're not going much past 150.

Actually, you can run red dots for sighting out to 3-400 without a big problem (depending on the dot size, it may or may not cover the target but that can be adjusted to). The main advantage of magnified optics is that it allows for identification of the target at range. Except for that you can work with iron sights if you want and do fine with sufficient practice.
 

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I'm a red dot guy. Have one on my Mini-14 and on my new FN-15. Both are great as with aging eyes, red dots in the smaller sizes work better. I also have one on one of my Twin G-19's and it is awesome. In my world Red Dots rule!
 

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I used to have a red dot on my AR but switched to a 1-4x28mm scope with a lighted reticle, it's the best of both worlds IMHO, great up close but give you some magnification if you need to reach out a bit.
 

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If the AR is going to double as a self-defense weapon inside your home, then a red dot is definitely the better choice.
 

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I'm a red dot guy. Have one on my Mini-14 and on my new FN-15. Both are great as with aging eyes, red dots in the smaller sizes work better. I also have one on one of my Twin G-19's and it is awesome. In my world Red Dots rule!
My eyesight is getting worse too. I know red dots are good for up close and personal shooting, but can you see where your shots are going at distances of 50-150 yards? I can hit a gong once or two times, but when shooting at a rifle target at the range, my shots are all over the paper.

How's your accuracy at a distance using a Red Dot?
 

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My eyesight is getting worse too. I know red dots are good for up close and personal shooting, but can you see where your shots are going at distances of 50-150 yards? I can hit a gong once or two times, but when shooting at a rifle target at the range, my shots are all over the paper.

How's your accuracy at a distance using a Red Dot?
With aging eyes, in my experience lately, red dots are not the way to go if you want semi-precision shots at anything over 80 to 100 yards. I just spent five hours at the 100 yard range this weekend sighting in both Aimpoint PRO red dot and a new Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 scope. The scope, by far, was the easiest to get zeroed and to get precise hits on target.

While the red dot is more than adequate for combat accuracy at 100 yards, forget seeing where the shots land even with splatter type targets. I recommend a good quality spotting scope. Once a red dot is zeroed, I love them as long as I am not trying to get sub 1" groups.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all of your advice and opinions guys. Being that the Ruger AR will be used for mainly plinking and most likely never see any distances farther than 100yds, I chose to go with the red dot. Picked up the Vortex Sparc II. Either choice would have been good, unfortunately had to chose just one :smile: Not sure if it will be used for basic home defense, my go to is my Benelli Tactical 12 gauge. I'm sure the Vortex red dot will serve me well on the Ruger.
 
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Red dot imo though one of those 1×4 with a lighted center dot/reticle of some type may also work. But imo if all,work is within 100 yds you really dont need more than a red dot.
 

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Vortex makes the Spitfire 3x prism with red dot reticle. I have the 1x with two circles and a dot reticle. I like it.
 

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I got a bushnell "red dot" on my ar-15. It was 260 bucks 7 years ago so Im sure the price has gone down. If I wanted anything more accurate than that, I would put a scope on it.
 

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Good question. My answer, I have a Primary Arms scope that is a 1-6x24. It has an red donut open on the bottom with a bullet drop stadia that I have grown to really like and highly recommend. At 1x power it acts like a red dot and then you can dial up for more precise shoot at greater range. With this set up it is no problem to keep hits centered on mansize targets out to 500 yards. The small down side is, it is not as small as a red dot so a little bulkier and maybe not quite as fast as a true red dot for room size engagement. But for my use and where I have to use it, it is the best. This is the same type of set up that most of the three-gunners use where you go from fast and close out to several hundred yard shots in the same course of fire. Most all major scope makers has one, so pick you favorite brand and go to town.
 
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