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lehill66 06-09-2011 04:19 PM

AR-15 Scope help
So I'm hoping for a little scope decision help for my AR-15 (Stag 3), as I don't have much experience with scopes. I mainly use my AR for target shooting. I have a set of iron sights, but I can't hit the broad side of a barn past 50 yards. I'd like to have the ability to shoot between 50 and 300 yards with a scope. So that's the intended use. Also, I want it to be somewhat compact. I don't want a 12 inch scope on my AR. Under 10 is ok.

I'm also not looking to break the bank either. I know most would say that I need to spend $500+ on a great scope...but that's not happening. I want to keep it under $250, max. And I think I could get a good, reliable scope for that price.

Here's one that I found that looks like a great fit for my intended use:

3-9x42 IR Contour Scope by Barska - Rifle Scopes by AR 15 Scopes

So a few questions on this one...Is a 3-9x magnification enough for my intended use? Will it still be ok out to 300 yards? If not, what type of magnification should I be looking at?

How about this manufacturer, Barska? Any info on these guys? I realize they're not a Bushnell or Leupold, but I want to make sure I'm not buying cheap crap either.

Any other hints or suggestions would be appreciated based on my criteria and intended use. What should I be looking for? If you know of specific scopes within that criteria too, awesome. Send em on over!

Thanks for your help!

cpttango30 06-09-2011 06:18 PM

OK here goes.

First I would tell you that you need more range time to get better with the open sights. If these are the same sights as on a M-16 A2 then they are good to go out to 300M at least. I spend 6 of my 8 years in the Army shooing open sights. The last two I was in a unit that didn't believe in guns.

Master them irons why? because there is not much to break on them.

For a scope the nikon Lon gave you will kind of get you out there. If you want a target only get a bigger scope.

There are plenty of good scopes for $250.

Here is a vortex crossfire 8-32x50mm for $219 Vortex Crossfire 8-32x50 AO - Adjustable Riflescope FREE S&H CRF-250-AOHT. Vortex Crossfire Riflescopes, Vortex Riflescopes.

Burris 3-9x40mm with a free set of Binos for $219.
Burris 3-9X-40 Fullfield II Ballistic Plex Riflescope AND 10X-32mm Landmark Binocular FREE S&H 200162-bin10. Burris Fullfield II Riflescopes, Burris Riflescopes.

Mueller 4-16x50mm for $219 Mueller Optics 4-16 x 50mm Adjusted Objective Tactical Riflescope FREE S&H MT41650IGR. Mueller Optics Tactical Riflescopes, Mueller Optics Riflescopes.

Leupold VX-II 3-9x40mm for $219 Leupold VX-II 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope FREE S&H 56775, 56865, 56760, 56770, 56780, 56850, 56855, 61275, 56790, 56830. Leupold VX-II Riflescopes, Leupold Riflescopes.

Bushnell Trophy XLT 6-18x50mm for $224 Bushnell Trophy XLT 6-18x50mm Matte Multi-X Riflescope FREE S&H 736186. Bushnell Trophy XLT Riflescopes, Bushnell Riflescopes.

Pentax (Burris) 3-15x50mm for $239 Pentax 3-15x50mm 5X Game Seeker Riflescope 89736 FREE S&H 89736. Pentax Gameseeker Riflescopes, Pentax Riflescopes.

Vortex Diamond back 3.5-10x50mm for $239 Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10x50 Matte Riflescopes FREE S&H DBK-M-03P, DBK-03-BDC. Vortex Diamondback Riflescopes, Vortex Riflescopes.

Mueller 8.5-25x50mm for $239 Mueller Optics 8.5-25x50mm Eraticator Long Range Red Dot Riflescope FREE S&H MU852550IGR, MU852550IGRS. Mueller Optics Eraticator Riflescopes, Mueller Optics Riflescopes.

Mueller 8-32x44mm with side focus for $249 Mueller Optics 8-32x44mm Side Focus Fogproof Target Riflescope FREE S&H MU83244TD. Mueller Optics Riflescopes.

lonyaeger 06-09-2011 06:42 PM

I guess I just got owned. I'll just quietly delete my post, please disregard. :o

I doubt most of those scopes with 50mm objectives will be as small as the OP was hoping for. But I'm sure I'm wrong about that, too.

cpttango30 06-09-2011 06:44 PM

Don't feel like that lon.

I was just adding more information to your post man.

user4 06-09-2011 07:54 PM

Nice detailed list, Tango. I'm not sure why Lon deleted his posts, because I'll tell you the truth, Lon's scopes are like looking at a target through a large screen HD TV. His rigs are nicely equipped. They were a real pleasure to shoot.

lehill66 06-09-2011 10:11 PM

Thanks for all the info cpttango. Lots of good stuff there. About the iron sights, I have a flat top A4 style and mounted Diamondhead flip up front and rear sights. I would LOVE to get good at shooting these. Maybe it's just me being a novice with them, but they're just hard for me to line up and stay steady. And out of the box I was hitting WAY right at 50 yards. I thought that the windage shouldn't need adjustment out of the box...idk maybe i'm wrong. I took a lot of advice and put on these Diamondhead sights as I was told they were good. I mean, this combo of my Stag 3 A4 w/ Diamonhead flip ups should work just fine for me, right?

So yeah the scopes you put up all seem pretty legit. But along with Lon's comment, they are all a little long for my liking. I was hoping to keep it under 10 inches, which is what I liked about the Barska scope I mentioned in my post. In the past few hours I did some research on Barska scopes and apparently there are some heated discussions on whether these are cheap crap or just innexpensive/still reliable. Based on your reccommendations, and you seem pretty experienced, I'm assuming you would point me away from the Barska's. Ha. Any reccomendations for smaller scopes?

sweeper22 06-10-2011 01:42 AM

I think this looks like a pretty solid scope at a tough to beat price:

Pentax Pioneer II (3-9 x 40) $89.99

JonM 06-10-2011 02:34 AM

imnot a expert on scopes but ive got many different styles from ww2 issue sniper scopes to modern high dollar target/hunting scopes. from 2x to 15x and one thing ive learned is i prefer a scope with a easy to use reticle. ive come to believe that the reticle clarity and definition is vastly more important than any other feature.

my personal fave is the post reticle of the russian pu scope

even with its teeny 2.5x magnification the ability to focus on the very very fine point will let the shooter achieve hits at 1000yards on man size targets!!

reticle choice and ability to hold zero is prolly the feature i would choose to focus on. the only way to figure what you like is to try different scopes. a good place to get scopes super cheap is gun shows and want ads in the paper. pawn shops can also be a good source for cheap scopes to try out.

i used to buy/trade and sell/trade scopes like kids trade pokeman cards :)

lonyaeger 06-10-2011 02:38 AM


Originally Posted by JonM (Post 520605)

even with its teeny 2.5x magnification the ability to focus on the very very fine point will let the shooter achieve hits at 1000yards on man size targets!!

I gotta get me one of those! ;)

CHLChris 06-10-2011 02:50 AM

lehill, don't forget the cost of the mount. Is that $250 limit including the mount? You can go with a cheap $20 mount or go up to about $100.

You don't want to spend money on a scope that will easily get knocked off zero cuz a cheap mount is a weak link.

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