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cisurfer999

Ar15 scope/red dot recommendation for under $200

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I just got a bushmaster m4 post ban and am looking for optics for it. I want to stay under the 200$ mark of possible. I was looking at bushnells trophy mp either 1x32 or 2x32. Can't decide if I want it magnified or not. What are some other optics similar to these that are proven?

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I run Aimpoint which is well out of your budget..

 

if I were you I would go with primary arms.. you can probably get a red dot and magnifier within your budget.. they get great reviews.. I plan on trying the magnifier they offer..

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MOA is moment of angle and usually translates to 1 inch at 100 yards. So, the dot will take up 2 virtual inches of a target at 100 yards. Basically, it correlates to the size of the dot. 1 MOA is very precise, hunters (from what I have been reading) can do with 4 MOA. Also, smaller dot is harder to see.

 

C

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I have the Primary Arms multi reticle red dot with the 2 MOA dot and it's great! I've put about 400 rounds through my AR and it has not lost zero. You can get that for around $99, and then get the cantilevered mount and put a primary arms 3x magnifier behind it with a quick disconnect mount... You can get all that for under $250 and it'll work great. Yes it's a Chinese Aimpoint knockoff but it's really well made. So far this setup has been working very well on my AR.

 

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Dont get too hung up on the dot size. Most dots are only that small when they are at a low setting. If you boost up the light transmission to the point where you can see it in daylight, the dot edge bleeds and becomes larger.

 

For what its worth, I run an eotech, which has a 1moa dot, and love it, but its out of your stated price range.

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I have a TA01NSN ACOG, 2 Aimpoint T1 (4moa), an Aimpoint 3x magnifier, an EoTech, a Trijicon RMR, and an Insight MRDS. I have no affiliation with any company, but I am a big fan of good gear that works as advertised. I shoot A LOT, both in training and competition and carry a gun for a living.

 

When considering going "budget" with optics consider best value vs lowest price. An Aimpoint PRO or T1/H1/R1 with a 4moa dot and a 5 year constant on battery life at $450 will serve you better and be cheaper than a $100 Strikefire/Sig/Burris/Primary Arms etc... when you consider batteries, repairs and replacement costs over 5 years. Not to mention you will be saving yourself a lot of aggravation from wandering zeros, intermittent power issues, bad glass, loose mounts, condensation in the tube, dot washout in bright sunlight, or varying dot size. I have personally seen all these issues with "budget optics".

 

As far as dot size, don't sweat a dot size between 1-4moa. Most rack grade military/consumer rifles are purposfully spec'd to be accurate to 4 moa (that translates to a 4 inch group at 100 yards). Unless you are shooting match ammo, you have anywhere between 4-10 moa (inherent accuracy of a 4"-10" spread at 100 yards) capable ammo, if not more, and I don't know many people that are 1mo shooters on demand. (Keep in mind that "on demand" is different than "on command")

 

My advice, and it is worth what you paid for it, is to be patient, shoot with irons for the next 6 months, and save up for a quality optic. I bet you will be much happier for it.

 

Also, keep your eyes upen for sales, there will be lots of new and used 4moa Aimpoint T1s for sale as the new 2moa T1s hit the market. (I for one will keep both of my 4moa T1s, as they work fine for my application)

 

Finally, weight considerations aside, I consider the Aimpoint Pro an excellent value considering battery life, warranty, manufacturers reputation, service record, personal experience, and included mount and covers. Any RDS type sights I buy in the future for long guns, will be either an Aimpoint PRO or T1/H1/R1 in a LaRue mount.

 

Caveat Emptor: If this optic is going on a range gun only and is not to be used for serious training, self defense, home defense, or work, and this optic will be shot little, say 50 rounds a month in sunny warm weather only, where cottonball clouds float across an impossibly blue sky next to a river of chocolate and trees that give beer, then you can probably get by with a cheaper budget optic. Probably.

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I have a TA01NSN ACOG, 2 Aimpoint T1 (4moa), an Aimpoint 3x magnifier, an EoTech, a Trijicon RMR, and an Insight MRDS. I have no affiliation with any company, but I am a big fan of good gear that works as advertised. I shoot A LOT, both in training and competition and carry a gun for a living.

 

When considering going "budget" with optics consider best value vs lowest price. An Aimpoint PRO or T1/H1/R1 with a 4moa dot and a 5 year constant on battery life at $450 will serve you better and be cheaper than a $100 Strikefire/Sig/Burris/Primary Arms etc... when you consider batteries, repairs and replacement costs over 5 years. Not to mention you will be saving yourself a lot of aggravation from wandering zeros, intermittent power issues, bad glass, loose mounts, condensation in the tube, dot washout in bright sunlight, or varying dot size. I have personally seen all these issues with "budget optics".

 

As far as dot size, don't sweat a dot size between 1-4moa. Most rack grade military/consumer rifles are purposfully spec'd to be accurate to 4 moa (that translates to a 4 inch group at 100 yards). Unless you are shooting match ammo, you have anywhere between 4-10 moa (inherent accuracy of a 4"-10" spread at 100 yards) capable ammo, if not more, and I don't know many people that are 1mo shooters on demand. (Keep in mind that "on demand" is different than "on command")

 

My advice, and it is worth what you paid for it, is to be patient, shoot with irons for the next 6 months, and save up for a quality optic. I bet you will be much happier for it.

 

Also, keep your eyes upen for sales, there will be lots of new and used 4moa Aimpoint T1s for sale as the new 2moa T1s hit the market. (I for one will keep both of my 4moa T1s, as they work fine for my application)

 

Finally, weight considerations aside, I consider the Aimpoint Pro an excellent value considering battery life, warranty, manufacturers reputation, service record, personal experience, and included mount and covers. Any RDS type sights I buy in the future for long guns, will be either an Aimpoint PRO or T1/H1/R1 in a LaRue mount.

 

Caveat Emptor: If this optic is going on a range gun only and is not to be used for serious training, self defense, home defense, or work, and this optic will be shot little, say 50 rounds a month in sunny warm weather only, where cottonball clouds float across an impossibly blue sky next to a river of chocolate and trees that give beer, then you can probably get by with a cheaper budget optic. Probably.

 

I like you... run quality stuff.. but I am having a VERY hard time parting with $400+ for the aimpoint magnifier..

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Truthfully, if I could go back, I would never have bought it. I have since traded it for the RMR02 that is mounted on a milled Glock 35 slide.

 

I ran the T1/magnifier combo pretty hard through multiple 2 and 3 day training classes and found that it just was not for me. I was faster and more accurate 100 yards and in without the magnifier, using just a 4 moa T1, AND, I was accurate and fast enough with the ACOG inside of 100 yds(excluding CQB distances) to not be bothered with a hybrid, best of both worlds, solution.

 

What I learned from this is that a dedicated RDS, such as an Aimpoint T1 AND a dedicated magnified optic, like my TA01 NSN ACOG, in quality mounts that retain zero (like products from LaRue) that are zeroed for the same rifle, work better for my application.

 

My solution has been to keep the T1 on my rifle and the ACOG in my rifle bag. I have yet to find I needed the ACOG over the T1. Again that is for me and my use. If I had a different job to do or training requirement, that may be different.

 

I am not saying that the Aimpoint Mag in the LaRue FTS mount is crappy gear, it absolutely is not. Great glass, quality manufacturing, excellent kit all in all, it just does not work for me in my application.

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Small tangent, but when running a 1x optic (like an Aimpoint or EO Tech), in which the "dot"'s brightness can be regulated, IMO, it should be set only high enough that it faintly shows. If it bleeds, its too bright. If people are concerned about it getting washed out, truth is that in most situations if the reticle does get washed out, it wouldn't matter how bright the dot is set.

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If it bleeds, its too bright. If people are concerned about it getting washed out, truth is that in most situations if the reticle does get washed out, it wouldn't matter how bright the dot is set.

 

Not true. Your ambient light conditions can change in an instant. For example, moving from outside on a sunny day to inside a dim house or basement, being backlit/silhouetted, or standing in shadows observing a well lit space. Also, if you are doing CQB type work in low light without the benefit of IR/NODs, (such as defending your family in a home invasion type robbery) you have to take how bright your white light is into consideration when adjusting your RDS brightness. Sucks to have your RDS set to what you think is a proper brightness, then hit your white light to ID your threat/target and realize your dot is washed out by your light.

 

Turning it down to the lowest visible setting does make the dot appear smaller and can increase accuracy, but, barring certain situations, it should be a range only practice, not a solid across the board TTP.

 

On the flip side, you can't have the dot so bright it blooms to the point you can't see past it either. Like all things, the situation will dictate.

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All the quality optics that will cost several hundreds of dollars, that some have suggested above, are indeed great... but are they necessary for the person that will not be using them in a real world battle or heavy duty competition situation? I think not... For the person that is looking for something to go to the range with and do some plinking, there is absolutely no need for uber-expensive optics. Sure they are nice to have, but they are not necessary. Something like the Primary Arms red dot will work great and comes highly recommended by many who have purchased them before. You'd be surprised on how well made they are.

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Yeah exactly. I am trying to get hired in law enforcement but when I do I will have dept issued equipment. Not my own. I am decided between the vortex strike fire and the primary arms m3 style or micro dot. I am looking to mount it with my handle on and still co witness. I also may use the add on magnifier as well. I am trying to weigh my options with what I want to put on

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Yeah exactly. I am trying to get hired in law enforcement but when I do I will have dept issued equipment. Not my own. I am decided between the vortex strike fire and the primary arms m3 style or micro dot. I am looking to mount it with my handle on and still co witness. I also may use the add on magnifier as well. I am trying to weigh my options with what I want to put on

 

Here's a pic of my AR with the Primary Arms multi-reticle red dot and 3x magnifier... I'm shooting 4" and smaller groups at 100 yrds with my carbine, with a standard trigger... works just awesome. Once I put in a better/smoother trigger, I'm sure I'll be able to shrink the size of those groups. I have lower 1/3rd cowitness with BUIS with this setup (without the 3x magnifier).

 

TonyAR2a.jpg

 

TonyAR1a1of1.jpg

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The multi rec from pa it shows on their site the 3 different crosshairs but no plain red dot. Does it not have that option?

 

Yes, it sure does... it has 4 different reticles.. .the first being the plain dot and then the other 3.

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Ok sweet and how do you zero it in? Does it have adjustment knobs like a regular scope that'll move the crosshairs?

 

Yes, it has adjustments just like a scope... Very easy. Also, if you go for it... you're better off buying everything in one shot (Red dot, Cantilevered mount, Magnifier and Quick Disconnect mount) so you can save some money... PA discounts the items a little when you buy them all at the same time. It should be under $220 with shipping.

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Yeah exactly. I am trying to get hired in law enforcement but when I do I will have dept issued equipment. Not my own.

 

When you find this agency, let me know. I want to transfer. Everything except my armor, helmet, and a stock Colt M4 I had to purchase on my own dime. That includes slings, lights, rails, optics, pouches, holsters, goggles, and uniforms. If you expect your agency to provide the quality gear that you want, you will be poorly equipped, and very disappointed.

 

I am decided between the vortex strike fire and the primary arms m3 style or micro dot. I am looking to mount it with my handle on and still co witness.

 

Wait, you want to co-witness an RDS with your carry handle BUIS? Why not take the money you will have to put out for a carry handle mount and buy a Troy or Magpul BUIS and ditch the carry handle? There are so many negatives to this method of mounting optics that, personally, it doesn't even rate a last resort option. If you don't have a flat top upper, you would be better off buying a new upper receiver.

 

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Wait, you want to co-witness an RDS with your carry handle BUIS? Why not take the money you will have to put out for a carry handle mount and buy a Troy or Magpul BUIS and ditch the carry handle? There are so many negatives to this method of mounting optics that, personally, it doesn't even rate a last resort option. If you don't have a flat top upper, you would be better off buying a new upper receiver.

 

Ahh, I didn't read that part... and yes, I agree. I would also ditch the carry handle and go with a folding BUIS on a flat top upper and THEN mount some optics.

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Yes it is the bushmaster post ban m4 so it has the removable handle. I just always loved the look of the handle but if I'm better off without it I'll ditch it. And about the dept equipment I had no idea you'd have to buy your own gear for firearms. Which dept are you at that is like that

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Regarding the handle, ditch it and use the flat top. If the optic is ever going to be used on a social rifle, please buy quality gear and consider the best value vs. lowest cost relationship heavily before dropping your money. Buy once, cry once.

 

As far as LEO Agencies, almost all of them are like that. You will need a very progressive Administration and a Firearm's cadre that is switched on and a Boro/Twp/City that is willing to spend the cash. A perfect storm of tactical and strategic forethought with no "can"t happen here syndrome" that is so prevalent in Law Enforcement these days.

 

The firearm itself will usually be issued, but rarely are any accessories included. Any add-ons then need to be approved by the agency/armorer in accordance with department policies. Some agencies will issue only a sidearm and allow you to purchase a long gun and approve it for use, my agency issues a sidearm, has shared shotguns assigned to cars, with partners sharing rifles. The team I am assigned to issues stock rifles and accessories need to be approved then purchased on my dime.

 

Keep in mind, this also goes for training. Every class other than the state firearm's instructor certification courses have been on my dime and my time. Good equipment plays a role here as well. Sucks to attend an expensive training class and not get your money out of the instruction because you are fighting equipment issues such as a crappy optic after shooting 1500 round in the rain over 3 days.

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Yes very true I hear you on that but as far as my rifle goes now its a range only and SHTF gun. When I do get on the job and have to buy my own equipment I will buy a quality optic for that firearm. As for now from all of the recommendations I am heavily considering PA and vortex optics. It's just impossible to decide between those

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I apologize for bump an old topic from the dead, just have a few interesting things from personal experience, maybe someone will need this information in the future

personally i would just buy an assembled flat top receiver for $130. Find a local gunsmith that works on ar15's. He can change it out in less than 20 minutes, so it shouldn't cost much. Call around and ask, $30-$50 sounds reasonable for the low amount of work involved. Actually my gun smith can order the parts directly, so that helps him further pad his pocket. He charges the same as buying it online, so i would rather the profit go to him. 

Your alternative are any of the prism scopes similar to acog. Primary Arms will be releasing their 4x ACSS scope https://thetacticalscopes.com/best-acog-mount-awesome-support-optics/  soon, Burris has the 332 and 536. But if you have the budget, acogs are really nice. 

My problem is i tried a scope mounted on a carry handle is it's really really high. It's a chin weld and not comfortable to shoot at all, especially laying down prone and having to raise your neck up. If you are doing 100 yard shots, you'll probably be ok, but if you are trying to reach out longer, it's not an ideal cheek weld.

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