Optics VS. Irons?

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by KiloBravo, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo NRA Life Member

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    I was just curious as to who prefers optics on their AR-15 type rifle and who like running straight iron sights?

    My rifle has a fixed carry handle and so I need to mount any optics on top of that handle. In turn, I then needed to add a raised cheek piece to fix the paralax issue I was having. It puts everything up so high, that I have been considering just going back to iron sights. After I sighted them in, I have shot very well with them.

    Does anybody else have an opinon on this matter?
     
  2. arclight610

    arclight610

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    Straight irons for me. The only optic I would ever consider putting on an AR (that isn't built for varminting or in odd calibers) would be an ACOG. Optics are delicate, I've been through 3 Jesus scopes in 3 years in the Marines.
     

  3. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo NRA Life Member

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    WOW, three in three years? I felt the ACOG was probably one of the more robust options out there too. Thank you very much for your experienced opion and thank you VERY MUCH for your service. It is most appreciated!
     
  4. Warhorse

    Warhorse

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    I have a Colt, and a Bushmaster AR. I have always just used the iron sights at the range for informal target practice, and have done well enough with them. I can see that the red dot sights would be much faster to get onto the target for self defense, or gaming.

    I am very seriously considering a EOtech XPS for my Bushmaster M4gery.

    I must add that at 55 years old, the front sight on the short 16" barrel is getting quite blurry these days.
     
  5. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    While I do have an A2 top 16", and I think I shoot it pretty well with irons, my eyes aren't getting any better either. I'll take all the help I can get.

    I probably wouldn't mount anything on the one you have, for the reasons you stated. Just buy another with a flat top and go from there.
     
  6. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo NRA Life Member

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    Good plan. That is probably what I will end up doing in the end. I am still fortunate enough that my eyesight is still in pretty good shape. I appreciate everybody's input so far.
     
  7. HomeLandPatriot

    HomeLandPatriot

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    Are you talking about your 20" M16 style AR that you have posted picks of?

    If so, most definitely irons. I'm an irons type of guy, and on a full sized rifle they are a most, espcially with a carry handle. Now on a carbine I may add optics eventually, but on anything like an M16 or M14 style rifle, irons it is.
     
  8. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo NRA Life Member

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    Yep! That is the rifle. That is kind of what I was leaning torwards as well. There is just something classic about irons on a standard M-16 style weapon.
     
  9. HomeLandPatriot

    HomeLandPatriot

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    People also tend to forget that optics go down. Even with 5 year constant on with batteries or 10 tritium deposits in acogs, stuff still happens. If someone is not capable of making a shot with irons once their optic goes down, their rifle turns into a loud annoyance.

    Optics are a luxury, irons are a necessity.
     
  10. Jon_R

    Jon_R

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    What do you plan to do with the rifle / expect from the rifle?

    That information would help at least me make a recommendation.

    In my case I have a few ARs. My 20" I target shoot with has an ACOG on a flat top upper. If the optic goes down who cares I am target shooting.

    I have a 16" M4ish flat top with a Eotech I use for 3-Gun run and gun competition. I built it using an old barrel I had from the ban. The front sight post was crooked and the permanent flash suppressor won't allow me to replace it so I just cut the top of the front sight off making just a gas block. If the Eotech goes down during my 30 second run I will just point and shoot.

    I have a 16" A2 that I use at 3-Gun some and would be my go to carbine for home defense if I wanted / needed a rifle. No optics fixed carry handle. No extras to break. The longest shot I can make inside my house is maybe 20 yards I doubt I would be using the sights if I had to make the shot but they would be there.
     
  11. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo NRA Life Member

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    Great information. This will probably be my one and only AR-15 at least for quite some time. It will be my go to weapon for SHTF, without law enforcement type of setting. I also use it now and then for target shooting. I fell very confident out to 300 meters using plain ole' iron sights.
     
  12. Jon_R

    Jon_R

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    How about low light in your SHTF scenario. I can't think of many scenarios where I would have any need to engage threats at 300 meters but 30-50 yards in low light might be a reason to have something illuminated like an e-otech or aim point. Put the red dot on the middle of the blob and fire.
     
  13. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I like shooting both irons and optics but with 72 year old eyes I have to lean toward scopes and Red Dots.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Personally I equip my AR's with Red Dots and Streamlight TLR-2 laser lights.
    It makes for easy shooting at a time like this.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Tell that to SIG.
    I recently bought a 522. No iron sights.:upeyes: It wasn't a deal breaker since I mostly use optics but I thought it was pretty cheap of SIG.
    The S&W M&P 15-22 came with nice sights.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. arclight610

    arclight610

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    They are very robust optics, and more than likely they will do exactly what they are made for in your situation. It's not like scopes shattered or exploded either, they would just lose the ability to adjust and would no longer hold a zero. Our equipment gets abused, it's just a fact of infantry life. When we train, we use the same rifles that we carry into combat. This means we actually put bayonets on them, drive them into sandbags, pull them out, and smash dummies as hard as we can with the butts. Also we use our rifles for 2 man supported lifts to get gys onto roofs. One guy holds the butt, other holds the barrel, and the 3rd guys stands on the rifle while the other 2 lift. Whatever the troops use have to be as tough as nails.
     
  16. smitret

    smitret

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    The optic doesn't have to be on top of the handle.
    Use a gooseneck mount to put the optic in front of the handle and lowers it so you can co-witness.
    At 68 I need all the help I can get.

    Good Luck
     
  17. BigDaddyK

    BigDaddyK

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    Yes you should learn to shoot with irons but why would anyone limit themselves? USMC used to qual out to 500yds with irons. Now they use ACOGS as far as I know. Optics make you faster and more accurate period. I have great eyes still and I prefer optics.
     
  18. HomeLandPatriot

    HomeLandPatriot

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    I've known many a Marine to go into combat with only irons. I highly doubt that the use of acogs is stressed in basic.
     
  19. BigDaddyK

    BigDaddyK

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    They probably still teach irons in basic but as far as I know fleet Marines qual with optics now.
     
  20. Mongosafari

    Mongosafari El diablo verde

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    I have it both ways. My old Colt SP-1 and older AR-15 lower + M-16A1 upper are without optics.

    Then I have a Colt AR-15A3 (Burris Tactical 4.5-14x42AO) and a Bushmaster ORC (ACOG TA-11) both wearing optics.

    The best of both worlds depending on mood.