vladtepes

Variable Power 1x

83 posts in this topic

OK So when I first built my 14in gun it was before I had my SBR.. now that I have my SBR I shoot the 14in gun more and more with a magnifier... because I typically end up shooting anywhere from 0 - 200 yards.. the magnifier is OK.. and the Eotech is fine.. no complaints.. but what I am noticing is with all these 1 - X type optics I can probably do the same thing in a more streamlined package.. a package that is designed to do that.. 

I went to a local shop today and tried a bunch of variable power optics.. you DO give up a little at really short range.. they are simply not as fast for me to get on target.. with that said they definitely handle distance better.. and the close use may just be a learning curve.. 

the Trijicon AccuPower® 1-4x24 was by far the clearest to me.. 

talk me out of this.. tell me what else I should be looking at.. 

 

thanks 

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5 minutes ago, bhunted said:

Vortex has the new 1-8 now. I have the 1-6 and its fine. Matter of preference I suppose. All good choices.

i looked at the strike eagle I think it was called? and it was OK.. but for me.. my eyes.. it was nowhere near as clear as the Trijicon.. that thing was crystal clear.. in my limited experience of optics.. LOL 

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I’m still significantly faster with a RDS inside 200 yards.

That is also the experience of many others that I know are in the process of using LPVO.

I have found that the Steiner P4Xi is the best value out there for the money. It is so much better than the Vortex Strike Eagle - even though it is “only” 1-4 v 1-6*. I would also run the Steiner as a duty optic, but I would not run the Vortex SE for anything but fun or training.

Also, The Vortex Razor HD 1-6 seems to be the big choice for a lot folks in the know for a duty optic. It is very nice for sure, but it almost 4.5x the price you can get a Steiner for if you are patient.

*In a very unscientific test of a sample of 6 conworkers, no one could tell if the scope was at 4x or 6x if I set it and handed it too them.

 

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Soooooo... I went down this rabbit hole to a pretty significant degree. I will skip all my boring research and cut to my findings. ALL of which are my opinion and open to interpretation and additionally could be entirely wrong. But people I talked to, experts in the field of combat optics, helped me form this opinion. Your performance with a LPV vs a red dot may have nothing to do with the optics themselves. Its a software issue. Your performance is dependant on the sight picture your brain will accept vs what the optic is doing. Now that I know this I can watch out for it when someone is having trouble with a LPV. What I find is that they are way more critical of their aim with a red dot in a scope instead of the red dot of say an aimpoint because its not a scope.  They have to learn to use it like an aimpoint and only see what you need to see to break the shot. Tactical Monkey and I did a LOT of testing with probably about 10k in optics on the table, simple repeatable drills from MDTS, and a timer. A lot of our data just didnt add up! Again for brevity, TM and I are comparable shooters. But the times between ourselves and Red Dots vs cross hairs vs horseshoes etc etc varied significantly! So varied it simply didnt make sense at all. What really showed this was the Acogs. My speeds as distance shrunk did not fall off nearly as much as TM's. Stark differences. The reason, his brain would not accept the sight picture. Same thing happened with the LPV's, just not as dramatic. My brain had no issue with the sight pic so the performance difference between a red dot and a LPV at 1x was fractions of a second. Now TM's Brain craves a red dot. So his performance with the red dot was very consistent. My brain actually seems to prefer reticles. So my performance varied more with the RDS.

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^^ This makes sense.

For me with the Steiner (which has a single red dot for a reticle along with thin black crosshairs) I couldn’t satisfy my need for a perfect shot vs a good enough shot. I took too long - passing multiole acceptable shots sooner - because I wanted a better one.

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1 hour ago, Ray Ray said:

Why not go with a Primary Arms 1x4?  It gets you in this game cheaper and you don't lose function or reliability. 


Ray, how do you know this? Have you run both? Id be interested to hear if th PA illum is daylight usable. (not visible, usable). How is the eyebox on the PA. I have owned the Triji and the eyebox and eye relief was very good. The clarity was excellent. I havent heard those same comments about the PA. But I havent had hands on myself. I would not suspect that the PA and the Trji are in the same class.

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Vlad, at roughly the same price range the Steiner P4XI is hard to ignore. It has a lot of aspects of it I dont like but if you look at it from a perspective of a red dot with benefits, its a contender. Reliable. Daylight usable dot at 1X. Excellent clarity. BDC reticle good for minute of man. If money isnt an issue I love my Schmidt and Bender short dot. 

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2 hours ago, Shane45 said:

Vlad, at roughly the same price range the Steiner P4XI is hard to ignore. It has a lot of aspects of it I dont like but if you look at it from a perspective of a red dot with benefits, its a contender. Reliable. Daylight usable dot at 1X. Excellent clarity. BDC reticle good for minute of man. If money isnt an issue I love my Schmidt and Bender short dot. 

definitely considered it.. but this is a deal breaker for me.. 

 

Quote

 

Rick's Review of Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24 Tactical Illuminated Riflescope

I have a severe astigmatism and cannot use dot scopes, so I decided to buy this scope thinking that the illuminated dot was etched on a prism instead of being projected on the lens like a dot scope. Unfortunately, the scope uses the same mechanism as a dot scope in projecting the dot on the cross hair. This results in a distorted illuminated dot if you have a astigmatism. I contacted Steiner and they confirmed that this scope will not work with those who have astigmatism.

 

 
 
I have astigmatism.. and one of the appeals of the Trijicon was clarity of reticle.. 
 
in regards to Primary Arms.. 
I have a PA optic.. so I know first hand the quality.. it is a REALLY good optic for the money.. but it is not in the same realm as some of the more expensive glass.. its just not.. I am not set on Trijicon yet.. but just to use that as an example.. the optic is just substantially more clear.. 

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6 hours ago, Shane45 said:


Ray, how do you know this? Have you run both? Id be interested to hear if th PA illum is daylight usable. (not visible, usable). How is the eyebox on the PA. I have owned the Triji and the eyebox and eye relief was very good. The clarity was excellent. I havent heard those same comments about the PA. But I havent had hands on myself. I would not suspect that the PA and the Trji are in the same class.

I am strictly talking about entry level.   If course the Trijicon is going to have better glass and higher quality internals, but at a lot more money.   I have the 1x8 PA with the BDC reticle.  Sighted it in and done.   Simple, reliable and cost effective. 

Sometimes the answer isn't always to just throw money at something.

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Vlad, I actually have Astig. Red dots suffer the most distortion for me. I havent played with the Steiner enough to know if there is any distortion but none jumped out at me at first blush. With that being said, the two options that are probably better are reticles that light. My short dot illuminates this way. There arent many that illuminate this way that are daylight usable. The Elcan does as well but....Arms mount :(. The USO 1-4 is unique in that it uses a beam splitter to make its dot in the second focal plane. VERY bright and I dont see distortion of the dot. My gripe with that optic is they use a coating to make sure the beam doesnt emit out the front. Because of that it goes dark a little quicker in lowlight situations than other optics. But back to the Steiner, if you need to make a precise shot, you can just click off the illum and use the ret. It has off ticks in between all illum settings. The attraction to the Steiner is the amount of scope you get for little money. This scope is what I would consider a great value in Optics. There are a lot of things I would change, but for the price, its cheaper than an Aimpoint with a lot more capability. Hard to ignore.

 

Ray, your basing your recommendation of $100 scope on your experience with a $400 scope? Why are you recommending the cheapest thing you can find? He looked at and liked the Triji and was asking about it. Vlad isnt exactly a newbie looking for an entry level entry point. Considering his experience and inventory I do not think bargain basement entry level optics is what he is looking for. Im not going to bash PA because I dont have any experience with them. But the general consensus on PA entry level optics would leave me concerned about recommending them to Vlad. Its not about throwing money at a problem. But how much quality do you think you can get for $100 bucks? I FULLY ADMIT that I am not the right guy to ask about budget optics. At the same time I believe firmly in the false economics of cheap. Does he need to drop 2700 on an S&B short dot? Probably not unless he decided he wanted top tier, battle proven(meaning rugged and reliable in harsh conditions). But optics is a complex personal choice. As Ive said a bajillion times, optics are a compromise on many levels. You need to decide what compromises fit YOUR needs. For some, a $400 scope for their range fun is perfectly fine. Others have other criteria they are looking to fulfill.

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25 minutes ago, Shane45 said:

Ray, your basing your recommendation of $100 scope on your experience with a $400 scope? Why are you recommending the cheapest thing you can find? He looked at and liked the Triji and was asking about it. Vlad isnt exactly a newbie looking for an entry level entry point. Considering his experience and inventory I do not think bargain basement entry level optics is what he is looking for. Im not going to bash PA because I dont have any experience with them. But the general consensus on PA entry level optics would leave me concerned about recommending them to Vlad. Its not about throwing money at a problem. But how much quality do you think you can get for $100 bucks? I FULLY ADMIT that I am not the right guy to ask about budget optics. At the same time I believe firmly in the false economics of cheap. Does he need to drop 2700 on an S&B short dot? Probably not unless he decided he wanted top tier, battle proven(meaning rugged and reliable in harsh conditions). But optics is a complex personal choice. As Ive said a bajillion times, optics are a compromise on many levels. You need to decide what compromises fit YOUR needs. For some, a $400 scope for their range fun is perfectly fine. Others have other criteria they are looking to fulfill.

All I am saying is is that the Asian imports have  caught up with the big boys.  Primary Arms, Holosun and Vortex have went to great lengths to provide a durable optic at a price point the common man can afford.  That is why they sell.   Sure, the American and European glass is awesome.  But don't overlook the other stuff.

And that is all I have to say about that.

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I would agree there are more players on the field. I dont entirely disagree with your point. I DO remain skeptical of their durability. BUT not everyone needs that durability and you may not need it for every firearm in your safe. My go to guns all have proven optics. But I am asked so frequently about budget optics and have nothing to offer so I bought a few that looked to me to be a solid offering at a reasonable price point. Those two were a Holosun and the Steiner P4XI. In case you were unaware, it looks like you can get the Steiner for about $70 more than the PA 1-8. So I would consider these comparable price points. With that being said, I think the P4XI was in the $700 range when it came out but I think the foreign competition is driving down the price of the big boys. That could be good, or it could be bad if the big boys start cutting corners in premium optics to chase market share. 

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Here's the thing with LPV scopes: Just because is says 1-4 on the side or 1-6 on the side or 1-8 on the side doesn't make them good or bad. 

If you are comparing the speed and usability of a LPV scope to a red dot, and feeling like you aren't having your cake and eating it too, you are likely not looking at a high quality LPV scope. Keep in mind, there are a number of high priced LPV scopes that get the formula wrong too.  When the LPV market was entirely 1-4x scopes, nobody was doing it REALLY right. 

IMO the best scope optically for LPV use is the vortex razor HD 1-6x. It's got good clarity and the most forgiving eye box of all the LPV scopes I have run into. It's got mil/mil or moa/moa reticles vs adjustments, capped turrets that can't be knocked out of adjustment, every other poistion off, etc.  US Optics produced a 1-6 that was virutally as good, but the vortex was cheaper, lighter, and had a better reticle. (dunno about the new $1300 US optics 1-6, never met one to date). 

Then you have the nearly as good scopes, which are still good enough, but you might find them to be a questionable value. The trijicon accupower 1-8, the sig tango 6, the bushnell 1-8. Swarovski z6i, etc. vortex viper  PST GENII 1-6x, etc., primary arms platinum 1-8, trijicon v-cog 1-6, burris XTRII 1-8, etc. TONS of options here, but you are still paying ~$1k for the those that are breathing down the neck of the vortex razor, or make different trade offs. 

Then you have the affordable stuff like the vortex strike eagle and the $300 primary arms and such. Read the reviews and user feedback. Most of the ones people say nice things about are a genuinely good value for dollar, but you are heavily in trade off territory, and where they trade off are daylight visible dot and how much eye box you have to work in at any given power. You are essentially giving up ease of using the scope like a red dot with all of them. 

Then you have the cheap shit, and the $300 stuff from brands trying to look similar to the known brands and are just shady. Avoid those. 

The delta between the PA 1-4x scope and something like the vortex razor HD II 1-6x is WAY, WAY bigger than the difference between a PA micro red dot and an aimpoint micro H2.

Things to value in a dot

- how much light you lose to the AR coating, 

-how small is the dot and how uniform is it. 

-power efficiency. 

-toughness of the whole package. 

AT this point the holosun, bushnell and PA dots are giving up a little on the last one, and a more significant chunk on the first one. That's it. 

For LPVs, you care about

-is the reticle useful without turning knobs. 

-is the reticle useful at all powers

-is it daylight visible

-does it have a red dot comperable dot. 

- is there lens distortion. 

- how big is the eyebox at 1x

- is the eye relief consistent across the zoom range.

-is it built well. 

-are adjustments repeatable. 

-how much zoom range. 

-is the galss good? A crystal clear 1-6 is going to beat a mediocre 1-8 for being able to see things far away. 

And frankly a lot of that stuff is hugely variable even at a premium price point. 

My purchase of an LPV was less buy once cry once, and more buy a couple times, finally just suck it up and save the cash for a good one. 

For me it was a toss up between the razor HD II 1-6 and the accupower 1-8x. I went with the accupower because I found a good deal on one first and because I'm hitting that point where all the good technique in the world isn't going to make up for my eyesight. The trijicon was damn near as forgiving at 1x as the vortex, but was a bit more constrained on the eyebox and thus head position at 4x and greater. It bought a 34mm tube to the party and thus more light gathering and a slightly brighter view to the table as well as a FFP reticle meaning holdovers are right from 1x-8x unlike the razor. It's daylight visible with fresh batteries, but it's also quite usable with no illumination. The 34mm tube means reduced mounting options, but it requires somewhat shorter eye relief than the razor meaning more mounts work well for it. Oddly enough despite the bulk, it is like  0.1 oz lighter than the razor. 

IMO there's no reason to pay more than about $1100 for a good LPV. Both the razor and trijicon 1-8 hit that price very regularly. The trijicon occasionally hits $1000 on sale. The bushnell elite tactical 1-8 hits that range too, and is good glass, but IMO not quite as nice as those other two options. You can also shop used. Good optics tend to have good warranties and healthy secondary markets. 

Then there's tier 2 where $700 is the hard limit. You aren't likely to find a deal this good. on the above, so the vortex viper pst 1-6x is nice here, burris RT6 is nice enough. There might be others, 

Under $400? Either of the vortex strike eagle offerings. Maybe the non platinum primary arms. Everything else is either just a clone of the vortex or the PA scope with less quality warranty and usualy worse reticles. You may also be able to find the grandady of 1x LVD's with a dot used. That would be the meopta k-dot. Not a great reticle, but good glass and solid build. 

As for price vs durability, my first true 1x was the millet 1-4x dmr. An early version where the adjustment nub was opposite where they placed it later. Optics weren't great, but reticle was usable and to get a cat tail to fit, I took a grinder to the adjustment nubbin. Got nice and hot but still worked just fine and still does to this day. Just with the crappy eye relief and eye box, I can shoot a dot better than that thing. It's also now super ugly. 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing @Shane45, I agree with what you said.  On my "fighting rifle", sits an Aimpoint T1.  So, in that regard, I will say if you plan on using the rifle in any real world use then buy the best one you can afford.  Which is also why an Aimpoint Pro is an excellent option of cost and reliability.   

The Steiner optic you mentioned.  Link???

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3 minutes ago, Ray Ray said:

Thanks for sharing @Shane45, I agree with what you said.  On my "fighting rifle", sits an Aimpoint T1.  So, in that regard, I will say if you plan on using the rifle in any real world use then buy the best one you can afford.  Which is also why an Aimpoint Pro is an excellent option of cost and reliability.   

The Steiner optic you mentioned.  Link???

https://www.steiner-optics.com/riflescopes/p4xi-1-4x24

I picked mine up for $450 from DSG Arms and threw it in an Aero lightweight mount.

TsYTQxL.jpg

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9 hours ago, raz-0 said:

When the LPV market was entirely 1-4x scopes, nobody was doing it REALLY right. 

I dunno, I still have my S&B short dot in my inventory. Havent found better yet in a 1-4. Locking turrets. Daylight usable dot. Good eyebox. Comes with knobs calibrated for 5.56 and 7.62. Id like to get hands on the Steiner 1-5 though! It might be  a contender.

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15 hours ago, Shane45 said:

I dunno, I still have my S&B short dot in my inventory. Havent found better yet in a 1-4. Locking turrets. Daylight usable dot. Good eyebox. Comes with knobs calibrated for 5.56 and 7.62. Id like to get hands on the Steiner 1-5 though! It might be  a contender.

It's long enough ago that my memory may be getting fuzzy on the details, but IIRC the short dot wasn't a true 1x, and was selling at an MSRP near $3k well the swarovski z6i was hitting the market. OR at least that's when a bunch of dudes with free samples were trying to convince the 3 gun market they needed something overpriced and not at the bleeding edge of capabilities. 

Also IIRC the initial iteration did not have locking turrets, but had turrets, and some other really not quite getting it stuff. 

It was hard trying to sell it as the right thing (tm) in 2008. It's definitely not the right thing now, although the current best of breed short dot is their 1.1-8x. 

 

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Was on the phone today with Butler Creek, aka Bushnell, aka Simmons, etc.
We were chatting. He said BOLO for some new stuff, (after NRA show), that will be blowing companies like Vortex and others out of the water. May want to sit tight to see. Their website will have it updated and released after the show.



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