Concerning "Co-Witnessing" Optics: is it necessary?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Rigor, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Rigor

    Rigor New Member

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    As much as I love adding extra weight to my rifle, I just can't decide whether or not it's really worth it to utilize an optical sight as well as BUIS. While I have little experience with the AR platform compared to most of you gentlemen, I understand the concept of "ounces are pounds, pounds are a pain." If you already have a reliable optical sight, is it really necessary to have a pair of irons on the gun as well, and vice versa? I get that people wanna be prepared in case the battery runs out or there's some sort of technical malfunction, but that can't be common at all! I personally would prefer having one designated aiming device instead of two. It saves weight and money, I can train twice as hard with it, and in my humble opinion the rifle looks more streamlined and sophisticated.

    I'm sure co-witnessing or some form of it is quite common among you guys. Can someone please explain to me why it's so popular? Thank you.
     
  2. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Comes down to the two is one and one is none philosophy. Things break and backup irons can save your butt. Of course the recent torture test of a Daniel Defense M4 also proved the Aimpoint micro is tough as nails and probably not going to break. Its batteries last forever too.

    As far as cowitnessing, why not if you have optics and BUIS. I do on both my ARs. Irons are not heavy, especially the MBUS models.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    im of the opinion optics are totally unneccessary in a combat rifle. just adds weight. i prefer iron sights as my personal training is oriented around their use. im also of the opinion optics are just a crutch for the untrained.

    other folks obviously have a different opinion.

    nothing wrong with using em if thats what ya want. how much weight and reliance you want on electronics is up to you.
     
  4. Rigor

    Rigor New Member

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    thanks for the replies. do you think the LWRC Skirmish Sights are a good buy, all pricetags aside?
     
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    they appear sturdy enough from the pics. never seen any in person. if you get a set of sights whatever the make make sure they are the right size for your front gas block height if you dont have a one piece rail. if you do have a one piece rail make sure they are correct height for the rail.
     
  6. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Rigor,

    As Jon stated the number one most important sight on a tactical or self defense rifle is the "Iron Sights". If a person does put an Optic on the weapon it is my belief that they should have co-witness capabilities should the optic fail. We would like to think that it would never happen, but may I remind you Murphy is alive and well! And when least expected especially in a rigorous application it could happen to the Optic causing the OH SH--T response and could cost you dearly maybe your life. So Irons always on a tactical or defense AR and Optics if you can co-witness or if they fail you are able to implement the iron sights readily.

    03
     
  7. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    I disagree. Iron sights are very important and should remain on all firearms but from my experiences a good optic such as an Aimpoint is a vast improvement. A RDS is much faster on target and takes out the majority of the guess work making it more accurate in the long run. Not only that but a RDS allows both eyes open target acquisition allowing for better field of view making it faster to pick up your next target.

    I would trust my life to an optic and have. With the technology they are very reliable and extremely rugged. I have personally never seen an Aimpoint or Trijicon fail. To add, a RDS in the hands of a trained person is a thing of beauty. As far as a crutch I strongly disagree. Is there such a thing as a crutch when your life is on the line? Why rely on old tech. when theres something stronger, better, faster available? Weight? How much does a H/T1 weight? Maybe a few onces? I hardly see that as a factor.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  8. EW1066

    EW1066 Member Supporter

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    If your rifle is just a range toy and nothing more, leave the irons off. If, however, you are going to use your rifle for self/home defense, it is my opinion that you should have irons.

    I personally believe that the nomenclature of sights and optics is WRONG. Instead of optics being considered the "primary" sighting device and the irons being relegated to "backup" status. The Irons should ALWAYS be considered "primary" and the optics should instead be considered the "enhanced" sighting system.



    EDUB
     
  9. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    And here is the dissenting vote. If electronic sights are not that good an option then how come just about every military unit (SPECIALLY ELITE UNITS) run them. I personally have AIMPOINT, EOTECH and Trijicon red dots on my rifles and I have to say I can't recall the last time I saw a military grade red dot bite the big one. BUT IF IT DID, I guess BUIS would be nice to have (I have them in my SBR) but why not just practice shooting with the dot off. My drills all include dead red dot setups and it's not very hard to center punch anything within 50 yards COM by just centering the target in the optics. And while we are at it irons are all but useless as soon as the light gets a little dim, so you would not catch me dead with a HD setup that relies solely on irons.

    BTW I hate truly co-witnessing sights. Anything that interferes with my clean sight picture on my red dots is just irritating to me. My rear BUIS fold down neatly out of the way and the red dot is on a rail elevated enough that my standard front sight is just barely on the bottom of my EOTECH.
     
  10. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    thats a false argument. military weapon system history is replete with bad choices and ill thought out ideas. just two of numerous examples:

    1960's air to air missiles almost work and the pentagon decides to take guns off aircraft as they are "no longer needed"

    1940's m4 sherman gasoline engines are easier to service than safer non explosive diesal engines. earning the nickname ronsons for the tank design.

    just cuz the military does it doesnt lways equate with a wise choice.
     
  11. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    True, every large organization has failed projects and bad ideas and just because the mil does it doesn't make it right. RDS optics do not fall into the failed column though. Like Wambli said there are plenty of soldiers w/ the experience to prove it.
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    im not saying its bad. my point is its a substitute for training. if you like electronic optics and want to use em go for it. im just glad i got out before that stuff was foisted on me.

    my favorite rifle is my mosin pu sniper but its got irons right under the scope mount. so im not 100% against
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  13. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    I like having optics as an option so I don't have to ask the zombies to help me find my glasses. :rolleyes:
     
  14. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Oh there is a lot of training in and outside the classroom regarding the use of RDS's. They go over the MOA of the dot and how it relates to a man sized target over distance, hold off on a moving target, etc. They in no way is a substitute for training. They can actually be considered a force multiplier. Both eyes open. You can't get much better than being able to see the entire battlefield while simultaneously engaging targets much faster than possible w/ irons. No lining up front and rear, just place the dot and squeeze. With roughly 5 years of constant on battery life and proven battlefield reliability how are irons better?

    What kind of training do you have w/ red dots? Where did you get your info about them being a substitute for training?

    Not trying to argue but I've sat here trying to figure out ways that irons are better.
     
  15. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    And ususally you get a ton of flack from the folks in the field when the "bad" choices are pushed on to them. Optics on battle rifles have been feverishly accepted and deployed amongst the miltary because they make a LOT of sense and the users love them. You sould give them a try.
     
  16. Recomm

    Recomm New Member

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    Optics allow for quicker acquisition of targets which is never a bad idea. It is, however, a bad idea to not have a backup sight because electronics can fail and batteries can die.
     
  17. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    Very, very much the truth.
     
  18. sublime42283

    sublime42283 New Member

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    I have an NCStar Ultimate Sighting System 3-9x42 scope on my rifle which has a small red dot on the top which can be set for CQB and the scope for longer ranges. I also have my iron sights spot marked for quick release removal of the scope and quick release assembly of the BUIS. Mine is a true BUIS, it is in my LBV just in case. The scope red dot combo takes a little bit to get used to but once you do, it is great for quick aquisition and if the enemy is a little farther away just rotate down and put one center mass.
     
  19. sublime42283

    sublime42283 New Member

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    Also, when I was in Iraq we had a Trijicon ACOG on our rifles with a 3x mag on them. I loved it, but I still had my irons just in case.