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Magnification on an AR... what distance would you want it?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by SVTNate, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. SVTNate

    SVTNate Chargers fan

    Sep 20, 2000
    Orange County, CA
    I'm talking about a general plinking/training/fun/SHTF gun. I've got my new LMT MRP rifle, and I've had both Aimpoints and EOTechs before, usually with Troy BUIS.

    I've thought about spending the bucks on an ACOG or something else with magnification for something different, but the reality is that shooting over 50-100 yards is incredibly rare for me. I know I'm probably wasting time and money with anything but 1X, but I want to hear from you guys before I get an optic for this new rifle.
  2. BigDaddyK


    Oct 13, 2002
    Cherry Point
    Personally, I would get an EoTech (which I own) then If I want to get magnification, I'd buy a flip to side magnifier. I think you'd still be at or under the price of an ACOG. I love the EoTech reticle and I'll probably never have to engage anyone/thing beyond 100m either.

    Whichever you prefer of the two (eotech/aimpoint) is what I would get.

  3. rjrivero


    Apr 23, 2009
    I have an EoTech on one of my AR's and a Leupold CQ/T 1-4 both zeroed for my 3 gun/multi gun AR. The EoTech is definitely faster and more forgiving for any "lapse of technique" that occur in the heat of "competition." (Competition in quotes because if you've ever seen my stage times compared to the leaders, I'm not really competitive. The multi gun matches DO make me a better shooter, and I enjoy them.) Some of the three gun/multi gun shoots do engage steel out at 200-400 yards and the magnification comes in handy. I'm on the fence about switching to a magnifier with the EoTech. The 1moa DOT gets BIG, just like everything else when magnified.
  4. I've heard of the 3 tiers of optics.. close/mid, Mid, Long types. Aimpoint/Eotech in the first tier, ACOG's, 2nd and high power scopes in the long catagory. For a SHTF type firearm I suggest the close/mid type as encounters should be defensive in nature and usually would occur close to the shooter. These types of optics allow for very fast target aquisition with no peripheral vision obstruction. I'm partial to Eotech's sight picture personally. Just an opinion of course, I'd just never see myself in need of a long range optic during this type of scenario.
  5. mkmckinley


    May 28, 2007
    I'm currently deployed in Afghanistan (potentially longer range engagements than most areas) and have my choice of optics. In my weapons case I currently have an ELCAN Spectre DR, an ACOG (4X), and a SOPMOD Eotech (with the built in ARMS levers). On my weapon I have a Eotech XPS 2-0 that I payed for out of pocket.

    Why the Eotech? The reticle allows me to shoot well at close and medium distances. It has a 1 MOA aiming dot which allows much more precise aiming than Aimpoint's 2 or 4MOA. It's also very fast and lets you shoot from some pretty weird positions. The Eotech ring is 65 MOA which allows you to use it for range estimation (a standing Afghani person is around 65 inches tall, so if he fills the ring he's 100 meters away). Eotech has the best reticle and the XPS is the most reliable Eotech. The hardest part is learning to estimate range and holdover. I've been able to make solid, consistent hits out to 500 meters with an Eotech and no magnifier. I can always add a magnifier later and still be cheaper than an ACOG.

    Why not any of the others? The ELCAN is a good idea but it falls short when put to use. The biggest failure is that the POI shifts when you shift between 4X and 1X. This has happened to several of my teams' optics including my own. It's also heavy which makes the rifle top heavy and the stadia lines are a little off. The ACOG is a decent sight but has really unforgiving eye relief and is not great for nonstandard shooting positions for that reason. The SOPMOD Eotechs have **** the bed on me twice, on two separate units, due to the glue that that secures the battery connections failing. I would rather use iron sights than rely one of those.

    I haven't used one of the newer Aimpoints but the big dot doesn't appeal to me. I've had the older CCO Aimpoints fog up on the inside and become unusable but I've read that the T-1's are very reliable. If I were you I would be looking for an XPS 2-0 or an Aimpoint T-1.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  6. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    Feb 6, 2000
    Magnification helps always however too much will slow you down. At 20 yards or less I run my variable power scopes on 1x. But as the distance increases I increase the magnification. You want to be able to see everything around your target. For 50 to 100 yards you don't really need magnification. But for ranges beyond that its nice.
  7. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    I have a 4x on my 20" barrel AR and no magnification EOTech on my 16" carbine. At 50 yards, which is my own limit on off-hand carbine shooting, I don't need any magnification with my BUIS or EOTech.
  8. RabidDeity

    RabidDeity Frequent lurker

    Jun 5, 2003
    back in the USA
    I just bought a Sig 556 and am looking at sights too. When I get enough cash the XPS is high up on the list, but I want a 3x or 4x fixed scope too for medium distance (200-600m). How do the flip-to-side mounts work, and how much do they cost? Can anyone show a photo or link explaining how to mount these to a Picatinny rail?
  9. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

  10. Daekwan

    Daekwan Colts & Glocks!

    Oct 26, 2009
    Arlington, VA
    110% agreed. Everything you listed is the reason I chose the XPS.. and I've already added the 3x mag with FTS mount.

    Never knew about using the 65moa ring for range estimation, but that is a great point.
  11. K. Foster

    K. Foster

    Feb 19, 2002
    At room clearing distances, the bottom of the circle can be used as an aiming point when more precision is needed for head shots.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  12. Daekwan

    Daekwan Colts & Glocks!

    Oct 26, 2009
    Arlington, VA
    Another good tip.. thanks!
  13. I really think it depends upon your eyes and personal preference.

    27 years ago I had no problem hitting the 300 yard targets with open sights on my issue M16A1.

    Now days I put optics on every rifle I shoot because the eyes just aren't as sharp as they once were. Pretty much anything past 50 yards I want some magnification, 2X or 2.5X is about perfect out to 100 yards after that I want at least 4X.
  14. agtman

    agtman 10mm Spartiate

    Feb 28, 2001
    FWIW, the only time I find magnification on my CQB AR useful is beyond 150yds. Then the issue is, how much?

    For me, out to about 300yds, I find the Aimpoint RDS (4 MOA) and the proprietary 3x magnifier sufficient on a "human-sized" torso-type target - not NRA bullseyes.

    Obviously, the more precise (smaller) the target, the more precision capability is needed in the optic. But most of my shooting with an AR will be done shy of 300yds, and certainly inside 400yds.

    Again, YMMV.

  15. USMC03


    May 3, 2001
    Southern Colorado
    -Target size
    -Shooting style
    -Eye sight

    and other factors all come into play when trying to decide if you need magnification or not.

    Magnification helps you see the target better, but it comes at the cost of speed (magnification slows you down).

    If you rarely go beyond 100 yards, I see no need for a dedicated magnified optic.

    A couple options to consider. A 3x or 4x magnifier:

    03designgroup | Aimpoint 3x Magnifier and LaRue Tactical QD Pivot Mount [​IMG]

    Or low magnification variable powered scope like a Leupold MKIV 1.5-5x or Trijicon Accupoint TR24 1-4x. You will never be as fast with a varible powered scope (even on 1x) as you will be with an Aimpoint or EO Tech.

    Plenty of options avalible. What's right for you? Depends on your personal preference and your shooting needs.

    Hope this helps