AR-15 optics

rotarymike said:
No input on whether there exists the 'best of both worlds' scope?
everything is a compromise in some way shape or form. My choice is to run a Vortex Strikefire red/green dot non magnified optic on my 16" 5.56 and to run a 1-4x24 scope on the 18" 6.8 I am currently putting together. The 1-4 seemed to reach the best compromise between non-magnified up close use and magnified medium range use, plus I also plan to attempt to hunt Hogs with it.
Fooled around with the 1.25-4x32 this weekend. Did Not Like. Nowhere near as fast target acquisition as a dot scope (duh, I know) and not enough magnification to really see what I was doing at 100 yards.

Red dot is back on the rifle. I did discover that mounting the dot further forward makes target sighting even quicker; I have the riser about 1/3 off the front of the upper receiver rail and the dot all the way forward on the riser. Clamping bolts still on the upper rails.

Think I'll stick with the dot for HD/interactive range fun and just use the irons for longer range.

On that note, anyone want to buy an NcStar 1.25-4x32 flat-top mount illuminated BDC reticle compact scope? :)

Didn't Red Jacket put that rifle together for him on an episode of Sons of Guns? I remember a super-lightweight AR build with a carbon non-carbine length tube.


Active Member
For the budget minded, I've had two people now testify to the goodness of the Sightmark Ultra Shot 1x red dot (EOFake). They make an optional magnifier. What say ye?


bigfutz said:
For the budget minded, I've had two people now testify to the goodness of the Sightmark Ultra Shot 1x red dot (EOFake). They make an optional magnifier. What say ye?
I ran one on a carbine for a while. Held up great, not the clearest of course, but worked well for plinking. Held zero and never really had any issues with it at all. For the money, it's great.

But for a little more, go with a Primary arms.

I one of the sightmarks BNIB that I ordered with a DOVETAIL mount instead of standard if anyone needs it cheap. Sat in the safe for 3 months before I realized it was wrong, was too late to return.


rotarymike said:
Just scored a trs-25 with riser for $75, to replace my 1-pound BSA red dot. Will let y'all know what it's like.
I have this sight too. Great sight for the money! super light, 11 brightness setting, killer battery life, 2 moa red dot, and co-witness with the riser.

I initially had the sight mark eotech look alike with magnifier (cheap, heavy, and the red dot did not work consistently) did not like it. The trs is much better made.
My BSA red dot is actually very well made and performs well, but it is a 5 MOA dot and weighs 15.8 ounces. I'm trying to lighten my rifle up - loaded it's over 10 pounds. It actually weighs more than my Garand :shock:

The BSA dot w/riser also took up the whole receiver rail. I want to move my light back to the receiver so I don't have that weight hanging off the end of the gun - it's a plastic Surefire, so doesn't weigh much, but out at the end it feels heavier.


Mike: the scope on my DMR build is 1/5 the weight of your garand. :D
Bushnell HDMR 34mm 3.5-21x50

On the more budget friendly side, sightmark very hit or miss. Recommend going with primary arms instead. I love my EOTechs though.
Got the Bushnell TRS-25 in Monday. Riser that comes with it is supposedly lower 1/3 cowitness but I couldn't see shiat. Put it on the old riser rail for a 100% cowitness while new riser from ebay comes in... it's a nice little sight. I was worried that the small aperture would mean I'd tunnel-vision on it and lose my peripheral (main reason I don't have a magnified optic - I can't do Bindon) but out at the front of the receiver it works pretty well. Light as heck too, even still using the (apparently made of osmium) old riser.

Someday I'll find a 1-4 or 1-6 optic that doesn't take up much more tube size than a red dot, with hella eye relief so I can mount it forwards. Oh, and change from red dot at 1x to crosshairs or something similar at magnification. That I can afford... yeah, I'll not hold my breath for all that in one.


I have been waiting on and finally got a deal on a Primary Arms 3X Compact Scope. Came in Monday and first impressions are that it's not too heavy and easy to see through. I like the reticle and it was easily visible with the reticle illuminated or not. I'll take it to Boggy Head the 16th to zero. These pop up on for $100-$150 now and then and it gets great reviews. I haven't read a bad one yet unless someone just said it wasn't really what they wanted. PA has a nice 1-6x and a fixed 6x and a new 2.5x as well, using their new ranging reticle.
On the rifle:



My initial impressions of the reticle are very positive. Unfortunately with a mere 15 rounds out of the first mag trying it out the hammer on my AR-10 decided to break in half. So I will need to get it fixed and get back to the range for more time to get a real opinion of it.