Username: Password:

Author Topic: Talk to me about optics  (Read 791 times)

freeman1685

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1250
Talk to me about optics
« on: May 17, 2017, 11:40:24 PM »
As I may have intimated in the past, I'm somewhat old school when it comes to sights.  Oh, I've fire a few rifles of various type and caliber, that have had glasses.  But those have been OP (Other People's) guns.

Now that I actually own a good AR, I'm seriously considering putting something on top, to increase my accuracy.

But... to put it simply, I know absolutely nothing about scopes.

So, school me.

car-ram-rod

  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 4489
    • Immediate Action Tactics & Training Group
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 12:28:20 AM »
1in tube- hunting and small ranges of adjustment
30mm tube- medium ground do all kind of adjustment
34-35mm -high end

24mm objective-light weight hunting or maybe tactical close range work
40mm -better light gathering
50mm and higher- baseline for medium to higher end scope for lower light situations and getting the most out of it

clarity everywhere has gone up. but everyones eyes adjust different. theres many out there that i like that others don't. I see some ppl glass as fuzzy but its perfect for them

exposed or captured knobs- exposed can be bumped and your zero or data may shift. capped is protected  but also slower and annoying sometimes if you dial for elevation in multiple targets

parallax- most are on the left side of the body now. some cheaper ones are on the objective. very annoying when you have to come off the rifle to adjust when you need to be in the rifle to bring it into focus..... AKA target focus

reticle illumination- i don't care for it or ever use it. some may with night shooting. if you run scope caps don't get a scope with the illumination by the ocular piece cuz it won't fit.... Vortex caught major heat for that and fixed it

angular adjustments- MIL vs MOA. its preference nothing more. moa is finer. MILs are used more in PRS.

reticle- xmas tre recitals are the new thing. best idea ever IMO. holds are fast. holding won't give you human or mechanical error either.

locking ocular eye piece- if its not locked it'll move. but is usually only an option on high end scopes

just ask yourself what kinda shooting you'll be doing?
how far on average or the furthest?

this is very brief. very  very brief. i won't recommend brands as 99% of em are good.

I will recommend a good warranty cuz everything breaks.
NRA Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun Instructor
NRA Range Safety Officer
Colt AR15 Certified Armorer
Glock Certified Armorer

freeman1685

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 12:58:24 AM »
Ok, about the only thing I understand from that is "Mils."  I'm an old gun bunny (13B1O Cannon Crewmember), Mils I understand.  6400 mils in a circle, 1mil is 1 m @ 1000 m.  I get mils.  :neener

Seriously though, I'm looking for something for simple, and inexpensive.  Something that will mount to the integral Picatinny on my AR, and get me out to 100+ yds, as well as HD/CQB.  I've seen discussions here about 1-4xXX.  For me, a lighted reticle might be a good thing.  Some of the optics I've looked at, it's hard to pick out the reticle.  And the dot sometimes blends into the background, so lit is an option.

6.5 Gunner

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 332
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 01:42:09 AM »
I'm not an expert at anything but have you considered fixed power? Considering you want 100+ and CQB as stated. If you're running an AR with a 1.5-4 power you're either going to leave it on 1 or 4 IMO so why pay more for it? Also, you're eye relief and field of view changes with the magnification differences. A fixed power gives you one eye relief and, to me, seems simple. I was going to say an ACOG but you said inexpensive, I know vortex a fixed power prism 3x sights for ~$350 but have no experience with them.

5632

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 384
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 07:55:26 AM »
TNFrank61 post on here about one from Cabela's that he recommends as a good deal for $150.00.  I know nothing about them but considering getting one.

Ballistic Therapy

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 473
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 08:51:24 AM »
I like Leupold , but If you want a good inexpensive scope to put on an AR Look into a Nikon P223.
They make a couple different variables.
I personally like the 3X32.
It is easy to use , holds its zero with use and has a very clear sight picture.
I can shoot clay pigeons at 200 yards with ease using mine.
It is made for the AR and has the BDC if that matters.
I have one on an AR and have bounced it around the desert for a couple years now and it has never given me a single problem and is very accurate.

Nikon also make an offset 2 piece pair of rings that work real good for this application. They are much lighter than the Burris PEPR rings.

For what most of the people do with an AR this scope will work fine.
If I were using my AR for battle purposes then I would look into something else.

Not to mention Nikon has a lifetime warranty.

JarheadAZ

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 546
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 09:03:05 AM »
I use several scopes on my AR Uppers, depending on the barrel and purpose. While it is technically possible to employ the 5.56/.223 chambering for longer distances, I consider it to be topped out for reliable and useful purposes at around 600yd.

For relatively precision work out to 500yd with mil-type loads (55-62gr) and 16" barrels, I use the Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, 3-12x 40mm  https://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Zone-223-Reticle-Riflescope-Parallax/dp/B00ABP4XDO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495121750&sr=8-1&keywords=bushnell+ar+223+drop+zone. It has the simplest and least ambiguous aiming points for 100yd increments out to 500 (and can be finagled for 600). Such scopes should be paired with a laser range finder, and when they are, they are a very solid and reliable means to assure a precise hit at the above distances. For an all around all purpose round I like the Federal Fusion MSR 62gr Bonded commercial load. Not cheap, it really clicks with this type rifle and optic.

For high speed/low drag applications in similar barrels with similar loads, I like the Vortex Optics Sparc AR Red Dot 40mm https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Optics-Sparc-Dotx-40mm/dp/B01AWB3DIM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495122295&sr=8-1&keywords=vortex+sparc+ar. Designed specifically for fast sight/target picture acquisition, it's the bee's knees for run-n-gun, IMHO. Mine uses the Amazon recommended image multiplier for shots beyond 100yd; just be aware that when magnification becomes a factor, so does parallax.

For my 24" bull barrel Stag Model 6 Super Varminter, I use a Medium Range match handload composed of Win brass, CCI-BR-4, 24.4gr of Varget, and the Hornady 75gr HPBT-Match (not A-Max, ELD-M or any other. Although these bullets will work as a single-feed round for this Stag, I also use the listed load in a 1:9" twist bolt gun, where those bullets will not work reliably for me) loaded to maximum magazine length, which is capable of holding within the 9-ring at 600yd. My scope is not the more popular (and wow-expensive) ones to be seen on the internet, but a rather modest and mostly unheralded Mueller 8-32x44 https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mueller+8-32. It's the best I can find in a reliable modern and full featured scope that doesn't take you to the cleaners. I have owned two if them for going on a half-dozen years. They are my goto high precision shooting scope.

A word about Mil-Dots. They are very good for what they do. But they are also highly dependent upon human judgement. I never trust such judgement when composing a precision shot that has some element of chance and potential for meaningful disappointment. I'd rather have good technology delivering meaningful numbers at my disposal.

At this point many wannabe Snipers usually chime in that I'm at the mercy of my batteries. That's technically correct, but it also assumes a haphazard attitude on my part about keeping those batteries fresh and a fresh spare(s?) onhand. They can hold their opinions, but they don't really refer to my practices. As a technical resource to the Snipers' Hide site for going on a second decade, I am moderately acquainted with the concepts under discussion here.

There are many relatively technical aspects to riflescope optics. They can constitute a highly interesting and educational avenue. But for practical intents and purposes, A) they are generally well represented in the more popular product lines, and B) often become a non-issue if one is not going to go all-in on the higher priced models.

I would not recommend any optic I haven't owned for considerable time, have not evaluated under less that painstaking conditions, and have any reservations about that I don't voice.

Greg Langelius
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 09:28:20 AM by JarheadAZ »
Not lookin' to be in a gunfight, but if you find yourself mixed up in one, it might be kinda nice to have a gun...

"Faint heart never filled a flush" - Brett Maverick

Good marksmanship is no accident - JarheadNY

freeman1685

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 09:49:36 AM »
At this point, we're talking about a bone stock Ruger AR556.  It currently has a "standard" front post, and a popup rear ghost ring.  Good-ish out to about 100 yrds.  But my eyesight isn't what it was when I qualified @ 25, when I could see out to 400 yrds, and hit consistently at that distance.

I wear tri-focals now w/photo grey lenses by doctor's orders, as I can not tolerate bright light without them.  I am also considering a decent red dot, so some combination of the two is also an option.

Trident

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 10:16:37 AM »
I like Leupold , but If you want a good inexpensive scope to put on an AR Look into a Nikon P223.
They make a couple different variables.
I personally like the 3X32.
It is easy to use , holds its zero with use and has a very clear sight picture.
I can shoot clay pigeons at 200 yards with ease using mine.
It is made for the AR and has the BDC if that matters.
I have one on an AR and have bounced it around the desert for a couple years now and it has never given me a single problem and is very accurate.

Nikon also make an offset 2 piece pair of rings that work real good for this application. They are much lighter than the Burris PEPR rings.

For what most of the people do with an AR this scope will work fine.
If I were using my AR for battle purposes then I would look into something else.

Not to mention Nikon has a lifetime warranty.

I second the fixed 3X32 for out to 200 anyway. My daughter and I each have P223s on two of our ARs.  They have both been reliable for casual range days and a weekend carbine class.  There's no parallax adjustment and ours have the BDC reptile, which works well enough for how we use our rifles. It's a decent, fast and simple alternative to iron sights, but not for precision work at long range.

I would compare it to a point and shoot camera.  If you need or want an SLR, you should probably hang out with CRR and try to absorb the volumes of information he has on the subject.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 10:19:53 AM by Trident »
Getting better one shot at a time...

Amplifiedsoul

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 395
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2017, 03:32:59 PM »
I personally like the lower power 1-4 scopes for ARs. I've been eyeing this one for a future AR.


car-ram-rod

  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 4489
    • Immediate Action Tactics & Training Group
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2017, 08:51:00 PM »
don't forget about first vs second focal plane
NRA Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun Instructor
NRA Range Safety Officer
Colt AR15 Certified Armorer
Glock Certified Armorer

car-ram-rod

  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 4489
    • Immediate Action Tactics & Training Group
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 12:17:25 AM »
BDC is not ideal. its a measurement like anything else but not standard across the board.

i run a 6-24x50 Vortex on my 20 in JP. i shoot it out to 1000 yards all the time. having the option to adjust power is nice.
NRA Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun Instructor
NRA Range Safety Officer
Colt AR15 Certified Armorer
Glock Certified Armorer

freeman1685

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 01:39:05 AM »
Translation please:  What is "BDC?"  Or did you forget, I'm relatively Optics Illiterate?

patkelly4370

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 05:07:57 AM »
BDC
Bullet Drop Compensation
The reticle has a mark for 100, 200, 300, 400, etc yards.
The problem is, caliber specific, grain, barrel length difference between scope manufacturer and end user.
If it's calibrated by the manufacturer with 55gr bullets out of a 24" barrel then you could be off using 70gr out of a 16" barrel.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk


freeman1685

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2017, 09:24:02 AM »
 :thumbup

Trident

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2017, 09:57:29 AM »
Agreed, it's not ideal, but I do like it for being reasonably close at a glance without having to go to a calculator.

(I just noticed autocorrect changed reticle to reptile in my earlier post)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 10:01:55 AM by Trident »
Getting better one shot at a time...

JarheadAZ

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 546
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 10:49:59 AM »
In the case of my BDC comments, I'm referring to military and similar loads in the 55-62gr range, and would emphasize that my experience is with 16" AR's. IMHO, the variations in impacts will still fall pretty close to being within the normal dispersion pattern.

The standard AR front sight post intrudes into the line of sight. For iron sight shooting, this is necessary. For sights employing optical magnification, this is often not so much of an issue because the sight post is so far out of focus that it appears to virtually disappear.

Where the trouble appears is when non-magnifying (1X) reflex sights (which refers mainly to dot scopes) are combined with talk front sight posts. They interfere with each other's view of the line of sight enough to make the two features essentially incompatible.

There is an exception to this and it is called co-witnessing. The dot's scope's sight picture image can be aligned so that the dot either shares the same position as the view of the tip of the sight post, or alternatively, appears to float a small distance above the tip of the front sight.

Since the dot sight does not require that two sight elements (front blade/bead and rear notch/aperture) be aligned by the shooter, sight picture acquisition is pretty much a no-brainer, and can greatly speed the composition of an accurate shot on the fly. When it is combined with a set of iron sights, the best approach is to simply ignore the irons.

But dot sights can still provide for precise aiming when more time is available. Generally, the smaller the dot, the more precision can be achieved, and a trade-off becomes available, trading dot size for speed vs precision. The bigger dot is faster, the smaller dot is usually more precise. I generally simply fix my vision on the target, and bring the dot up to my chosen point of aim upon that target image.

One can still achieve a precise aim with a larger dot, it just takes a little bit of a mind trick. One puts the dot on the target, and then makes the effort to center the target inside the area of the big dot.

Greg
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 10:52:21 AM by JarheadAZ »
Not lookin' to be in a gunfight, but if you find yourself mixed up in one, it might be kinda nice to have a gun...

"Faint heart never filled a flush" - Brett Maverick

Good marksmanship is no accident - JarheadNY

TNFrank61

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 550
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2017, 09:56:38 AM »
TNFrank61 post on here about one from Cabela's that he recommends as a good deal for $150.00.  I know nothing about them but considering getting one.
The nice thing about our Cabela's AR scope is that because it's a Cabela's Brand it has a no fault, lifetime warranty so if it breaks you return it and get a new one no questions ask. I think it's a great general purpose scope for CQB to 300 yards on an AR. Would I take it to War, probably not but for most of us it'll more than serve the purpose. If you want a "Go To War" AR scope then give the Vortex AR scopes a look. Of course you'll spend $1400 for one but it'll hold up to anything you can throw at it.

Also, from what I see most people "Over Scope" thinking that higher magnification will make their rifle shoot further which is far from the case. On the M-88 50cal single shots we were building at McMilian for the SEALs we put a straight 10x scope on em' and that was good enough for even 2500m shots.  My favorite scope for most applications(hunting, plinking, ext.) would be a quality 2-7x which is plenty of power for those 300 yard shots on deer size game and at 2x you can still see what you're shooting at in the brush. As always, JMHO, YMMV.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 09:59:39 AM by TNFrank61 »
NRA Member

"The Second Amendment of our Bill of Rights is my Concealed Weapons Permit, period."
- Ted Nugent

freeman1685

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2017, 11:10:19 AM »
So, What are the Cabela's scopes selling for?  Ballpark.

Trident

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Talk to me about optics
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2017, 12:36:56 PM »
$149.99 for the 1-4X24
$199.99 for the 3-12X44

http://www.cabelas.com/product/CABELAS-AR-RIFLE-SCOPE/2339055.uts
Getting better one shot at a time...