AR-15 Scope help

Discussion in 'Optics & Mounts' started by lehill66, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. lehill66

    lehill66 New Member

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    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!
     
  2. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    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.
     

  3. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

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

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Don't feel like that lon.

    I was just adding more information to your post man.
     
  5. user4

    user4 New Member

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    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.
     
  6. lehill66

    lehill66 New Member

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    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?
     
  7. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    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

    [​IMG]

    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 :)
     
  9. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    I gotta get me one of those! ;)
     
  10. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    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.
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like a fixed 2.5X or the lower power variables, 1.5X up to 6X. That gives you close range and longer range capability. The higher magnifications are good if you are doing precision paper punching. Some of the scopes meant for shotguns have very fast acquisition reticles combined with finer cross hairs for precision. Konus has a diamond reticle that is nice and Bushnell has a circle x that works well too. The reticle JonM recommended is a very good one.
     
  12. lehill66

    lehill66 New Member

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    After a boatload of research the past few days, I upped my budget (this always seems to happen to me) and am pretty sure I'll be going with the Nikon M-223 2-8x32 BDC 600.

    Nikon 2-8x32 Matte Nikoplex / BDC M-223 Riflescopes 8486 8487 FREE S&H 8486, 8487, NI-RS-M223-1-8487-KIT. Nikon M-223 Riflescopes, Nikon Riflescopes.

    Seems to be exactly what I'm looking for...Not too long at 11". Low power at 2x with ability for 8x. The BDC seems like a good feature, esp since it's calibrated specifically for .223. All the reviews I've read on it have been amazing. No one really has anything bad to say about it. Only downfall is, with mounts it comes to $390....so I busted the budget by about $140. But...in the end I think it will be worth it.

    If anyone's experienced this scope or has heard anything about it, please do share
     
  13. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    I went with the Nikon 223 series, also. You missed the great Nikon sale, though, that they ran in May. If you bought any Nikon 223 scope, they were giving their Nikon mount ($99) away for free.

    After finding an Optics Planet coupon code online, I bought my 1-4x with point blank reticle for $264 including an awesome mount. It is on its way as we speak via FedEx.

    I think upping your budget will be a decision you will NOT regret! Even if you missed a better deal.
     
  14. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    I have one and like it alot. Based on your criteria, that's why I recommended it. Glad I could help! :)
     
  15. lehill66

    lehill66 New Member

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    Ahh i didn't even know you recommended that Lon. I guess that was the post you deleted. Well, good to know though. I think I'll be happy w/ my decision! And I'll look around for some sales on it, maybe I'll get lucky. Thanks everyone for the advice and recommendations
     
  16. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    Check The Sample List. Good prices on "pre-owned," demos, or reconditioned scopes, and really good service.

    I think this is the one you've decided upon:

    http://www.samplelist.com/Nikon-2-8x32-M223-Rifle-Scope-DEMO-A-P2471.aspx

    I've bought several scopes from The Sample List and I'm very happy with them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    See Lon no need to delete posts. He ended up with what you posted the first time. Even after that nice long laundry list of scopes I gave him.

    I don't think you will be unhappy with that Nikon.
     
  18. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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  19. lehill66

    lehill66 New Member

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    Just wanted to post an update to this thread as I've had my scope for a solid 8 months or so now. I went with the Nikon M-223 2-8x BDC 600. The scope is..well....AWESOME. Clarity is amazing in any type of light, or lack of. The eye relief is perfect for the AR platform. It holds its zero. The BDC feature is nice, but I found that I don't use it as much as I thought I would. The model with the Rapid Turrets, as opposed to the BDC, is probably a better option. But nonetheless, the BDC does work and I don't mind having it on there at all. It is all around just such a solid scope. Love it.

    I started with the Nikon 223 scope mount specifically designed for this scope. But when I'm at the range, I like to switch it up between my scope and my iron sights a lot, just to get practice at both. Also, the scope doesn't fit in my case when mounted. So I ended up getting a Burris Quick Detach scope mount. That mount is rock solid and truly holds its zero when taking on and off.

    All in, the scope was about $330 and the Burris mount $90, so $420ish. That's not a bad price for just a recreational shooter like myself. I definitely upped my budget but I will echo what EVERYONE says about scopes, do not cheap out.

    Cheers