Author Topic: Optics for AR  (Read 3712 times)

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RezDuane

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Optics for AR
« on: November 15, 2011, 02:11:07 PM »
I have an AR chambered in 7.62x39 and want some sort of scope or Red Dot sight for it.  I'm not that familiar with Red Dot and have maybe one iota of experience with one.  Is there a crossover or something that incorporates both the conventional scope and Red Dot features?

I want something that would be useful at various distances . . .

Tnx . . .
TMS&ISTI
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RezDuane

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TMS&ISTI
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"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, So help me God." 1/30/64

CR Williams

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 05:51:31 AM »
Options seem to be:

Pure red dot of some sort.
1-4 optic--some include a dot or dot-style illuminated aim point.
ACOG, which is now made for 7.62 x 39. There is a place to mount a mini-dot on the ACOG for close-in use if you want, IIRC.
Red dot such as Aimpoint or Eotech with magnifier for use at longer ranges.

What is the primary role of the rifle going to be? That would help define the possibilities.
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RezDuane

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 03:33:47 PM »
Hey, CR . . . thanks!
You've provided some good information that I can look into. 
I bought the rifle for mostly recreational purposes but also with the thought in the back of my mind as home protection.  We live in what I consider a relatively safe area on the eastern Navajo reservation.  People out here have gone through hard times without resorting to violence, for the most part.  There are gangs, mostly wannabes, and some vandalism but very seldom.  Everyone around here knows us and we get along with most everyone.

But not to take things for granted, I realize things could change in a moment anywhere we might live.  Hopefully, the AR would never be used for more than recreational purposes but IF something ever did happen I would want to be prepared in the best way possible.  I'm figuring any contact would be under a hundred yards.  Anything beyond that, I've got a 22-250 I can shoot the eye out of a squirrel at 500 yds.  Well, pretty close anyway  ::)

I don't know anyone with a red dot who could instruct me on their use, although their operation seems fairly obvious.  I would just like to understand their purpose in comparison to a standard scope.  Besides distance, which is obvious.  Quicker to get on target?  Easier to sight in?  Etc . . .

Options seem to be:

Pure red dot of some sort.
1-4 optic--some include a dot or dot-style illuminated aim point.
ACOG, which is now made for 7.62 x 39. There is a place to mount a mini-dot on the ACOG for close-in use if you want, IIRC.
Red dot such as Aimpoint or Eotech with magnifier for use at longer ranges.

What is the primary role of the rifle going to be? That would help define the possibilities.
TMS&ISTI
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"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, So help me God." 1/30/64

barnjoer

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2011, 08:32:15 PM »
RezDuane it really depends on what you are planning to use the rifle for...  Once you figure that out then what Coastie posted will over flow you whit info to narrow down the right one for you.
John
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CR Williams

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 06:56:55 AM »
I don't know anyone with a red dot who could instruct me on their use, although their operation seems fairly obvious.  I would just like to understand their purpose in comparison to a standard scope.  Besides distance, which is obvious.  Quicker to get on target?  Easier to sight in?  Etc . . .

One of the best rundowns of collimator sights I've seen can be found here:
http://www.onesourcetactical.com/kellymccannstacticalcarbinedvd.aspx

I happen to think that SI instruction about running and shooting an AR is better (All together now: WELL, DUH!!) but his discussion of the collimator sight is really good here, and he will make you a believer in the utility of the inner tube.

Basic use of the red dot is a bit different than iron sights. Simply put, focus on the point on the target you want to hit, bring the weapon to line, let the dot come into view, do not shift focus to the dot like you would a regular front sight. If you have it sighted correctly, once you see the dot, you know where the round will hit (variances for sight offset at very close range and bullet path at longer ranges, as always, need to be considered). The lack of need to shift to the dot is, I think what makes them better for 100-and-in situations where a premium is placed on fastest possible acquisition and shooting.

Rifle dots in the 1-4 MOA size seem to be better for most people. When properly sighted in (Marines like 36 meter, SI recommends 50 meter), a red dot can be used at longer-than-100 ranges, though magnification is going to be preferable is you can get it.
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Mtpilgrim

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 08:56:16 PM »
Take a look  at Swfa. Com for scopes and optics. I've bought 3 scopes for my groundhog rifles. The service and prices are very good and they also sell refurbished items


RezDuane

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2011, 08:02:50 PM »
Thanks, Mtpilgrim!  But what I'm needing is details.  The 'whys' and 'whats' of red dot versus standard scope.  I'm finding some great stuff and what you suggest will go on the review list but I still need the knowledge so that I make a decision based on good information about the difference between the two.

I'm guessing you're in Montana by your user name.  I have  friend up there whom I've known since he was a youngster.  You two are the only folks I know in MT but having driven through there in my truck driving days, it's a place I'd like to be if I wasn't here.

Take a look  at Swfa. Com for scopes and optics. I've bought 3 scopes for my groundhog rifles. The service and prices are very good and they also sell refurbished items
TMS&ISTI
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CR Williams

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2011, 12:15:39 PM »
I'm not sure what you mean by whys and whats of dot vs. scope. The fastest way of thinking about it is if you're going to stay under 100 yards with the rifle, red dot. If you're going over 100 yards with the rifle, magnification is better. It can be a standard scope, adjustable or not, or a magnifier for the red dot. But that's the baseline as I see it.
Shikan haramitsu dai ko myo.

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RezDuane

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 11:43:49 AM »
Having no experience with the red dot system the 'whys' would be why is the red dot preferable over a standard iron sight or perhaps even a scope in certain situations.  The 'whats' would be what differences are there in red dot?  Are they all 1x1 or is there magnification on some?  I've seen some reference to placing magnification with the red dot.  Does that mean I mount two pieces of equipment on my AR?  See, I really don't know anything about them though I hear some folks singing their praises.  I don't want to go out and buy a red dot system because everyone says they're great, then wind up with equipment that doesn't match or something like that.  If the red dot system would suit my needs at 100 yards or less then I think that's what I want to go with.  So am I looking at so many different types of red dots and need to make another decision of what kind of red dot or are all red dots basically the same and I just need to pick one?

I suppose it sounds like I'm nitpicking but from what I'm seeing, the red dots are anywhere from $200 to over $1k.  If I'm going to spend that kind of money then I certainly want to understand the details before I fork out that kind of $  :-)

I'm not sure what you mean by whys and whats of dot vs. scope. The fastest way of thinking about it is if you're going to stay under 100 yards with the rifle, red dot. If you're going over 100 yards with the rifle, magnification is better. It can be a standard scope, adjustable or not, or a magnifier for the red dot. But that's the baseline as I see it.
TMS&ISTI
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"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, So help me God." 1/30/64

Charles1951

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 12:41:24 PM »
I'm also trying to learn about optics. I'd like to try one on my AK-47 variant. I'm thinking at the next IDPA carbine match I go to, I'll ask optics users to let me look through theirs. For me, I'd really like to stay under $200 for the AK. If I ever go to an AR, I might be ok with spending more on sights but I can't see spending much to accessorize a cheap gun.
Charles

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CR Williams

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2011, 05:51:14 AM »
Understand, my orientation is combative. I don't worry about hunting applications for anything I write or speak of. If you need reference to hunting applications, someone else will have to provide specifics on that.

Red dots, when used correctly and when you have trained with them properly, provide faster target acquisition and a faster precision shot at close range than irons do, as well as allowing the fighter to keep situational awareness/peripheral vision more easily. Unlike normal sights, they do not require any shift of focus in their employment. They are also much easier for older shooters to acquire quickly and surely. These advantages are greatest in the CQB environment and hold pretty well out to 50 or 100 yards. After that, you can still use them and they are still superior to irons but magnification of some degree will help you shoot better and more precisely and aid in target identification.

Red dots are usually dots of a specific MOA size. Some 'red dots' are triangles or crosses or Ts, but most are just dots. For rifles, smaller dots of between 2-4 MOA are recommended/preferred; most, if memory serves, are 3 or 4 MOA. For pistols, larger dots are recommended, not less than 6 MOA. (My pistol-RMR is currently 8 MOA, the next one will be 6.5; I believe the one I have on the rifle is 4, can't remember for sure.)

For applications of 100-300, perhaps 400 yards, a 3-4x magnifier or variable-power scope will be more useful than a plain dot-sight. The one I have my eye on has an illuminated dot and is 1-4x variable. I intend to at last try on one an FAL and may put one on either an AK-47 or an AK-74. What doesn't get the 1-4 will get a red-dot as I'm able to afford them. The 1-4 with the dot gives me CQB as normal and I can run out the magnification when I need to reach or see further.

If the primary purpose of the rifle is 200+ yard engagements, a proper scope with higher magnification is going to be the way to go.

A word about cost: I found the hard way, in IT and where gun-stuff is concerned, you get what you pay for in most cases. Not all, but most. Recommendations I get from people that know what they're doing is that the very lowest you need to budget for a scope or dot is 1/4 the cost of the weapon. You will be very well served to budget 1/2 the cost from the get-go. Buy once, cry once, or cry repeatedly as you have to replace the cheap stuff again and again. If you're going long with the rifle, the scope should cost at least as much as the rifle. They've been there, they've done that, they say it, I believe it.

When shooting long and when shooting for precision, OPTICS AND AMMO, OPTICS AND AMMO, OPTICS AND AMMO. If you haven't gotten a good optic and if you're not using the best ammunition you can afford, don't complain about the results. The experienced guys will not listen if you haven't done the ground work about the purchasing.

Does that help?
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yechave

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Re: Optics for AR
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 02:14:44 PM »
I bought 2 red dot optics from Bushmaster for my AR. They were excellent until I removed and put them back. They just would not return to zero. After a number of attempts, it just wasn't worth the cost of ammo and testing to use it.

I now have a Burris 1.5-6x with IR. Excellent scope! Had the Red Dot returned to zero, I would have kept both.

I had no problem using my Ruger 77 with a 4x Leupold out to 600 yds, so the Burris should work fine for any use I would see.