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Red Dot Sights Help/ Opinions needed

#1 User is offline   Souleater 

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 12:32 PM

To start- if this is in the wrong section, my bad- didn't know whether to put it in the regular lounge or here.

So anyway, I've been looking for an optic to mount on my AR for like 2 years now, and, while I have an idea of what I want, I could really use some help.

Here's the story (sit down while you still can. lol)-

I want a red dot style sight for my AR- I like a very open view, along with the quick aquisition associated with them.
I really like the Eotech style of sights- after shooting a smg with one on it, I was completely sold. Great visibility, runs on regular AA batteries, and co-witnesses with my iron sights (I am running a Stag Arms Model 2 with the rear flip-up sight).
But the darn things are 400+ dollars- and what do you know, but after a lot of research it turns out that those are the CHEAP sights!! :D And believe me, I have looked at the Aimpoints, Trijicons, Insight Tech., and just about every other brand I've heard of.
The fact remains that there is no way in hell I am going to pay that much for a sight. So I've started looking around for alternatives. Here's some of the most promising sights I've come up with-

Bushnell Trophy ser. TRS-25- Kind of an Aimpoint style sight. (http://www.opticsplanet.net/bushnell-1x25-...dot-731303.html)

Bushnell Trophy ser. 730132P- Kind of like an ACOG. (http://www.opticsplanet.net/bushnell-troph...pe-730132p.html)

Issues with the above sights-
-Will the TRS mount to an AR rail?
-I don't think I'll be able to use my irons with either still on the gun.
-I hate non AA/AAA batteries.
-I don't really want any magnification.

I found one other type that I'm really starting to like- Hate to say it, but actually got the idea from COD. :P But this is the style of sight that I'm thinking of most seriously- simple and open, and fast.

Burris Fastfire 2- like an Insight Tech MRDS (http://www.opticsplanet.net/burris-fastfir...fire-sight.html)

Issues-
-I still probably won't be able to use my iron sights with it still on the gun
-Batteries
-Will I have to buy a seperate mount to attach it to the rifle? I have not been able to find a clear answer to this....
-I hear of/see this sight on handguns a lot. But it would seem to be ok for a rifle too, right? Or do they make specific sights of this style for both individually?


So that's it.
Any opinions or other ideas would be appreciated.

This post has been edited by Souleater: 07 May 2010 - 12:38 PM

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#2 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:13 PM

Ok, let's see what I can do here.

First, EOTechs aren't cheap at all. I don't mean cheap as in inexpensive (that much should be obvious), I mean they're quality work. I've seen them survive extremely horrific circumstances. One was even shot through the lens - still worked with a bullet hole in the lens.

"Cheap sights" simply don't survive that.

Moving on...

What kind of front sight do you have on your AR? If it's the standard front post and not a folding sight, none of these will allow cowitnessing.

Well, if you get a rail riser of some sort you could be able to cowitness with the Burris or the TSR.

Actually, looking at the picture of the 730 one, you might be able to without the riser. I'm not sure

The Burris is fine for either rifle or handgun, provided it has the correct mount. You may need a different mount for it.

In my honest opinion, you get what you pay for. You're far better off with a real optic on your AR than you are with a cheap product. Burris makes some reasonable budget optics, and I'd go with that one if it absolutely must be one of these three.

If this rifle is ever to be used for more than plinking/range shooting/etc, I would strongly encourage you to reconsider and get a good optic.
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#3 User is offline   Souleater 

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 04:50 PM

View PostThalion, on May 7 2010, 01:13 PM, said:

Ok, let's see what I can do here.

First, EOTechs aren't cheap at all. I don't mean cheap as in inexpensive (that much should be obvious), I mean they're quality work. I've seen them survive extremely horrific circumstances. One was even shot through the lens - still worked with a bullet hole in the lens.

"Cheap sights" simply don't survive that.


I know that. Besides function, that was a major reason why I like them so much.
I actually did mean cheap, as in price.
I can get a basic M512 for around $410
An Aimpoint Micro T-1 is around $630, an ACOG is at least $700+, an MRDS (or something halfway decent like it) is approx. $450, and so forth.
Now, I know there is some variation- off the top of my head, Aimpoint and Trijicon make a few sights in the $350 +/- range. But, generally speaking, comparably they're cheaper than a lot of other sights out there.

Quote

What kind of front sight do you have on your AR? If it's the standard front post and not a folding sight, none of these will allow cowitnessing.

Well, if you get a rail riser of some sort you could be able to cowitness with the Burris or the TSR.

Actually, looking at the picture of the 730 one, you might be able to without the riser. I'm not sure

The Burris is fine for either rifle or handgun, provided it has the correct mount. You may need a different mount for it.

In my honest opinion, you get what you pay for. You're far better off with a real optic on your AR than you are with a cheap product. Burris makes some reasonable budget optics, and I'd go with that one if it absolutely must be one of these three.


Yes, it's the standard post sight- I had a feeling that's how it would be.
No, it doesn't have to be one of those three- like I said, they were just some of the more promising looking ones that were in that price range.

I would LOVE to get a 'real' optic. I have seen some of the cheaper sights. I have even owned an Eotech clone. It sucked. Badly! The bitterness of poor quality does, indeed, remain long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. Lesson learned. I hate settling for second best! Unfortunately, sometimes certain things are just so far out of reach that you have no choice but to try and find a suitable compromise.

Quote

If this rifle is ever to be used for more than plinking/range shooting/etc, I would strongly encourage you to reconsider and get a good optic.


That's why I put this post up- so everyone can tell me what not to do, before I do it [again]. :P
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#4 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 05:01 PM

You did forget to mention you had been down this road before.

I had no way of knowing that I'd be telling you again.
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#5 User is offline   MaDuce 

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:01 PM

Have you heard of Votex Optics? From what I've heard, they're an inexpensive, quality Aimpoint alternative: http://www.vortexopt.../red_dot_scopes

TexasTrigger owns one, so he could give you a better report than I can.
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#6 User is offline   PistolWhipped 

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:31 PM

Damn you Duce, you beat me to the Vortex.

Also you mentioned you like EOTech style sights. Seen the Bushnell Holosite yet?

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They run between $200-300 for the basic models. I have a friend who has been running one on a Bushmaster AR carbine with great success. Granted he isn't harsh on them.

http://www.opticsale.com/bushnell-1x-matte..._7c027_d_510023

Also, you do know for that price you can pick up a damn good set of iron sights. And frankly, I'd recommend GOOD Iron Sights over BAD Red Dots every single day. When I say good, I mean Troy, LaRue, YHM, etc.

I've actually been toying with the idea of a PK or Kobra Russian Red Dot for my AK. Or a Trijicon Reflex. I'd love a good price on an Aimpoint, hell, you practically CAN'T break those, but they do run a pretty penny. The Trijicon Reflex can be had for $400-ish.

That is if I don't pick up a 4x PSO or a Scout mounted LER Optic.

This post has been edited by PistolWhipped: 08 May 2010 - 10:42 PM

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#7 User is offline   Souleater 

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 12:31 PM

View PostThalion, on May 7 2010, 05:01 PM, said:

You did forget to mention you had been down this road before.

I had no way of knowing that I'd be telling you again.


Well, I didn't mean specifically YOU telling me again- it was more of a blanket statement towards everyone who might possibly post here as to the reason of the post- which is for me to get opinions from people who know more about these things, so I don't end up with another lemon.

I did mention that I have been researching for about 2 years, so I guess I assumed it would be understood that at some point I would have had some sort of experience with these types of sights that would shape my current opinions.
My apologies- I guess I should have put my personal experiences in the original post somewhere. :P

Quote

Have you heard of Vortex Optics? From what I've heard, they're an inexpensive, quality Aimpoint alternative


Now I have! :laugh:
Something interesting to look into....
I guess I'll track down TexasTrigger and see what he has to say as well.

Quote

Also you mentioned you like EOTech style sights. Seen the Bushnell Holosite yet?

They run between $200-300 for the basic models. I have a friend who has been running one on a Bushmaster AR carbine with great success. Granted he isn't harsh on them.

Also, you do know for that price you can pick up a damn good set of iron sights. And frankly, I'd recommend GOOD Iron Sights over BAD Red Dots every single day. When I say good, I mean Troy, LaRue, YHM, etc.

I've actually been toying with the idea of a PK or Kobra Russian Red Dot for my AK. Or a Trijicon Reflex. I'd love a good price on an Aimpoint, hell, you practically CAN'T break those, but they do run a pretty penny. The Trijicon Reflex can be had for $400-ish.


Yes, I have heard of that sight. Seems a bit hard to find though.
Plus, it takes me back to one of my original issues- uncommon types of batteries. Although I'm sure as the red dot/holographic style optics, and flashlights like Surefire's become more widely used, the availability will increase, but right now....

And I'm usually pretty carefull with my stuff-
I still want a robust sight that can take a few knocks if I'm feeling clumsy, or I'm transporting it. But it's not like I'm going to be spending the next six months trekking through the mountains of Afghanistan.

I do like the Trijicon reflex sights (http://www.opticsplanet.net/trijicon-reddo...0-moa-ms04.html), and for around $360 they're really not to steep. Hands down, I would have snapped one of these up if I couldn't get an Eotech. But I'd still have to get a mount for it to work on my rifle, so by the time I do that, we're back up around $400.

As far as iron sights go- the're just the standard front post (whatever Stag uses), and a Midwest Industries rear flip up aperture. I'm sure it's not as good as Troy or LaRue, but I've heard fairly postive things about MI. I didn't really want to play around with the iron sights until I decide what kind of rail (if any) I want to add.
So it should be ok for now??

Although If I do replace the irons, I was thinking about going with a cross-aperture rear sight, like this one:
http://www.opticsplanet.net/samson-folding...b-aperture.html
I definately want to keep the rear sight folding, but I was thinking a cross aperture because I find the standard aperture a little hard to aim sometimes.
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There is no problem that cannot be solved with the proper application of explosives and duct tape.
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