AR optics, eager to learn...

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by supergus, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. supergus

    supergus New Member

    Wasn't sure which section to post but here goes: I know there are threads that touch on AR optics, but not specific enough. I read articles and such on optics and they mention things like MOA, Red Dot, Mil Dot, reticle, variable,
    monocular, etc. Here's the gun I have coming:
    It'll be used for for mostly home defense,varminting and maybe eventually some competition.I'm figuring on a range out to about 300 yds. What is an appropriate, economical optical set up, and what are the differences between the things I mentioned above. Thanks in advance.
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    Minute of Angle - Essentially what this translates to is 1 inch for each 100 yards you are shooting. Minute of Angle at 200 yards is a 2" group. Minute of Angle at 150 yards is 1.5 group and would called 1.5 MOA

    Basically an illuminated reticle scope with limited, if at all, magnification. When you look through the unit, and it's off, you see a piece of glass and your sight picture. When you turn the unit on a red in color reticle is projected on the glass. If it's a dot, you have a red dot, if it's a crosshair, you have a red crosshair. Since the red "dot" came first, these types of scopes are called Red Dots.

    Basically it's a range finding reticle that is used by snipers mostly. For your applications I feel you will find the unit too busy, but here is an image of the Mil Dot Reticle....


    This is the image you see through the scope. Pretty much all makers have their own signature reticles, but all have a crosshair, a post pattern, usually all have a Mil Dot, or their range finding version of a Mil Dot. Essentially what do you want to shoot with? A dot? Range finder built in? A standard cross hair?

    A scope that can change magnification levels. 1x is what you see with your naked eye. 2x, twice is good. 14x, you are seeing 14 times what you can see with your naked eye. The higher the number, the more narrow the field of view though, plus at super magnifcations you are susceptible to mirage. You will see the heat waves and it can effect your site picture.

    How much you looking to spend? I would recommend something like 2.5-10X variable, maybe a 4.5-14X if you have bad eyes or are looking at shooting small targets, on the surface based on what you have going so far.

    See if that helps -

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008

  3. supergus

    supergus New Member

    You stalkin' me or something?:D That sure was a fast reply, I really appreciate it. My eyesight sucks but I do wear glasses. Put it this way, at 100 yds I have to use binocs. to see where my shot went. I'm secretly stashing money away by cutting back on the amount of ammo I shoot each week, so by the time my DPMS gets here, I'll probably have $400-$450. (maybe I can squeeze $500 if I stick to the value meals). I've noticed some AR platform'd rifles have what I would call a hunting scope,(long and slim) and others have the stubby tactical optics. Why one over the other?
  4. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

    Conventional type scopes are for longer range work, varmint hunting, longer target work, sniping etc. The "short stubby" optics were designed for close quarters (combat) shooting, with the "both eyes open" technique for quick target acquisition etc. I use a 1 power EOTech holographic optic on my AK-47 and have one stashed for my soon to be delivered 16" barrel M4. The EoTech does a fine job out to 100 yards or so. I use a 4 power ( 4 x 32) Trijicon ACOG on my 20" barrelled AR-15 and it does fine out to 200 yards (maybe more, but I have not tried to shoot it at the longer ranges as of yet). If you primarily want to shoot targets or varmints at long ranges a conventional rifle scope could be recommended. A variable power scope as suggested by Dillinger is recommended. Don't overlook the objective lens size (i.e. the 50 in a 2.5-14 x 50 description). The larger the objective lens the greater the light gathering capacity of the scope. Pick up a Cabella's optics catalog and spend some time looking at your options, you have plenty of them. You can spend a few hundred or a few thousand.
  5. truevil1313

    truevil1313 Member

    Both posts above are dead on. It all depends what kind of shooting you will be doing most with that paticular rifle. On my 20" AR I have a 3-9X50 scope, and on my 16"carbine I have an Aimpoint red dot and 3X magnifier. It all depends on what you are going to do with it.