Scope? Red Dot? I dont know what I need...

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by ClemsonSCJ, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. ClemsonSCJ

    ClemsonSCJ New Member

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    So I've basically got a stripped AR with nothing more than iron sights. I can't decide what this rifle is going to be used for, I really just started building cause I just wanted to build an AR. I don't want to call it a home defense gun just because to me, if it's in my house I consider it a home defense gun. So I want something that can be used close range in low light, but I also want to make it decently precise out to 100yds, no further (I've got my .308 for anything beyond that).
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    No idea what your budget is but it sounds like a holographic sight is in order.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    since you didnt say whether you wanted something for ohsht or not im asssuming you want the best options out there.

    irons are just fine at 100 yards to 0. so are aimpoints and acogs.

    my wife uses an aimpoint patrol i use an acog and have irons for buis on both our rifles if the optic fails. the optics are on qd mounts so can be removed quickly on mine hers are cowitnessed.
     
  4. unclebear

    unclebear New Member

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    Well if you have the money they have scopes that you can set the power real low and they have 0 magnification but then you can adjust it to I think X4 I don't know if they have lighted ridicule models or not but it would fit both roles as a close optic and you can make more persission shots with it.
     
  5. ClemsonSCJ

    ClemsonSCJ New Member

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    I've never seen what a red dot even looks like when you look through them. Also, how would something like this compare to a standard red dot: http://www.leupold.com/tactical/scopes/mark-4-cqt-riflescopes/

    The red dot I've been looking at is the Aimpoint CompM3.
     
  6. Flat Tire

    Flat Tire New Member

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  7. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Red dots are the fastest, so fast its cheater.

    With my eyes they are good to a bit over 200 yards, but don't get them if you are trying to shoot for precision. Minute of bad guy, they are the best.

    Look at aimpoints, and eotechs for top fo the line stuff, vortex, primary arms and bushnells for lower priced stuff.
     
  8. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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    Magnified RD scope, and a holographic or red dot sight at two o'clock. This gives you medium range and quick targeting short range.
     
  9. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    You're recommending a red dot and a red dot? :confused:
     
  10. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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    Yes and no. A scope like My Meopta Meostar 4-12x56RD with ability to turn on a RD for low light. Also, a holographic sight like my Sightmark mini shot reflex sight. I actually use the Sightmark on my mossberg 590.
     

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  11. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    I like the EOTech Sights. Preferably the Model 512 cost wise or one of the new Models who use the 123 Battery.
    Great and fast for defense uses and with the 1 MOA Reticle very easy to make a good 100 yard shot. In addition various reticle brightness settings.

    03
     
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My AR is carrying a Bushnell Trophy XLT 1-4X24 with a 30 mm tube, 4A reticle and a 1 moa illuminated red dot. You still have a scope if the battery fails. It weighs about 16 oz. If you want lighter, look at the 25mm red dots. I have several Bushnell TRS 25's. 3moa red dot and they only weigh a few ounces. You will need a 3/4" riser. Battery life is 3k hours. The higher end stuff is really nice but expensive.
     

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  13. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    If you are going to run the carbine at in-home distances (for normal houses) I would use an EoTech XPS because it has a wider field of view. I like the GG&G mounts for the EoTech because it's easy to dump the optic if it won't turn on, gets damaged, or gets dirty.

    If you are going to run the carbine to 100 yards outside, I would consider an Aimpoint Comp M3/M4. You can save $50-$75 on otherwise identical non-NV compatible versions. If you have a PVS-14 or plan to purchase one, I'd recommend the Comp M3 or Comp M4. There are a variety of good mounts for Aimpoints, but I like the Larue Tactical lever mounts. The extra weight of the Comp M4 is not worth it, in my opinion, even if it's nice that it uses a AA battery. I have left a Comp M3 "on" for a number of years now at a setting that's usable indoors during the daytime and have yet to replace the battery.

    If you ever have to shoot from less than ideal positions, at night, with only one hand, or most especially while moving, then red dot optics like an Aimpoint or EoTech are really helpful.

    Magnification is nice but not necessary at 100 yards if your eyes still function relatively well.

    For all-round utility, I'd say the Aimpoint Comp M3 or Comp M4 if you must have a AA battery.
     
  14. ClemsonSCJ

    ClemsonSCJ New Member

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    Thanks for all the great info guys! So with a red dot like the Aimpoint CompM3 like I've been looking at, what kind of group could I get at 100yds from a bench rest without a magnifier? Like I say, I've never seen through one so I'm just curious what their capabilities are at that distance with no magnification.
     
  15. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Depending on the gun and ammo of course you should be able to hold every shot inside the red dot. With a defined target like a sighting target you will be able to hold a tighter group due to the sighting references.
     
  16. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    That's exactly what I mean. A red dot isn't for precision shooting. Don't use it to see what kind of groups you can do at 100 yards. If you want that kind of shooting, go with an optic with crosshairs. Even the 1 moa dot in the center of an Eotech's reticle isn't really suited fr this type of shooting. In answer to your question tho, if your ammo and gun are up to the task, expect the best you can expect is 4 moa or 2 moa, depending on which reticle you get with the Comp M3. I can't get any more specific sorry, but with a little time behind one, you will see what I mean. Please just bear in mind that is not the right tool for that job.


    What red dots excel at is speed. Going from low ready to sight picture, its the fastest option bar none. As for field of view, what you want to do is mount the red dot as far forward on the upper receiver as possible. The closer you get it to your eye, the more the rest of the sight blocks your field of view. That's why Micros are nice. Not only are they light weight, but the body of the sight is small so it doesn't take a lot of real estate from your FOV.

    When you go from low ready to ready with your irons, expect that right off the bat you will cut your time in half. With practice you will probably half that time.

    There are a few things you will do differently. So you will have to practice keeping both eyes open, focusing on your target (not the front sight, which is an another HUGE advantage imho), getting a consistent check weld (this goes for both irons and red dots), and finally timing (finding the dot while its still in your periphery vision, and guiding it to the target). For HD/SD and minute of man work inside 200 yards, go with a red dot, and you will NOT regret it.
     
  17. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    ClemsonSCJ,

    I'm not sure what size groups others get with their setups, but I use a Colt 6520/6720 (pencil barrel AR with a carbine length gas system with stock Colt internals, MagPul CTR stock, MagPul MOE grip) with an EoTech XPS (discontinued single dot model) or Aimpoint Comp M3. The dot size of my EoTech XPS is 1 MOA (equivalent to one inch at 100 yards). The dot size of my Comp M3 is 2 MOA (equivalent to two inches at 100 yards). My group sizes range from about 3-4 inches, depending on range conditions (the range I like to go to has a pretty strong cross wind towards the end of the day), using either make of red dot. I typically use Federal XM193 55 grain FMJ ammunition.

    Neither the ammunition or carbine I use are "match" quality. I consider that to be more than acceptable accuracy for a carbine and ammunition combination that was designed for combat versus target shooting. I am shooting in seated and prone positions at these distances for stability. I tend to grasp the forearm lightly or the magazine well, as I've noticed clamping down on the forearm can shift the group. I don't use my sling. There may be guys on this forum who can shoot over their shoulder with a mirror and hit quarters with their AR's at 100 yards, but I'm not one of those guys. Like anyone else, I have good days and bad days. Sometimes my groups are slightly less than 2 inches, but 3-4 inches is normative. I shoot 5 shot strings, rhythm fire, with about 2-4 seconds pause between trigger pulls.

    If your groups are less than 6 inches at 100 yards and you aim for center mass, that's a kill. I see lots of shooters who have a hard time hitting the paper or have their rounds all over the paper. If you can produce a 6 inch or less group size at 100 yards with your carbine/ammo combination, that's about as much accuracy as you'll ever need and you'll be way ahead of a good 80% of the rifle shooters I see on the range. If you want sniper-like precision, purchase a Remington 700 or Winchester 70 in .308 or .30-06 with a piece of glass that costs as much or more than your AR.

    As previously stated, magnification helps but I've not found it to be necessary at 100 yards. If you can already produce a 6 inch group or less at 100 yards with your iron sights, then you should have no difficulty performing the same task with the red dot. If you can't, I would invest some time and money in marksmanship fundamentals (perhaps attend a class) so that you see a return-on-investment with your purchase of optics.

    Every trip I make to the range, even though I have optics, I spend some time with the red dot turned off so that I can continue to practice with the iron sights. The quality red dot optics made today are quite rugged, but anything mechanical or electrical (or both in the case of a red dot optic) can and will fail at the most inopportune time.

    Lastly, anything mounted to an AR with a screw requires locktite. I forgot that with a new flip-up BUIS one time and couldn't figure out why I was chasing my rounds trying to zero it until it nearly fell off the rifle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  18. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Great info KBD, I concur. Loctite everything and I do think your results are realistic. I can't stand people who boast their AR groups 1" at 100 yards with 4 moa red dot, and 55 gr wolf ammo. It doesn't matter if their using a 26" JP, or a 16" DPMS, ain't gonna happen........
     
  19. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I would like to add that a previously owned 6921 (16 inch M4 profile barrel) and a previously owned 6721 (16 inch heavy profile barrel) did not group significantly better than the 6520/6720 (16 inch light profile barrel). Both rifles had a very similar configuration (stock Colt internals, MagPul CTR stock, and MIAD vs MOE grip) and the exact same Comp M3 in a Larue Tactical mount. I have seen approximately .5 inch to 1 inch better groups with the 6721 than with my 6520/6720 with the exact same ammunition. That's pretty insignificant by my standards and I sold those two carbines because the weight and balance disadvantage is not insignificant, to me, when you carry it all day and move around with it. Given that the cost was quite similar for all three carbines, I eventually tried and purchased the 6520/6720 combination.

    I am completely satisfied with the Colt 6520/6720 carbine's performance with XM193 and I would not use other types of ammunition for home defense and don't care if you can pop quarters at 100 yards with expensive match ammunition. You can't shoot enough of it to be proficient unless you're a sponsored shooter (government) and availability is not always there.

    My future plans for accuracy experimentation with my 6520 are a Geissele SSA-E trigger and that's about it. I'll let you know if I get my inch back over the heavier barreled Colt carbines after sufficient testing. If I can get consistent 2 to 3 inch groups at 100 yards with XM193, a better trigger, and my optics, I'll stop there and call it good.