Vortex Solo R/T Monoculars
There is often a debate on whether or not you need a spotting scope or binoculars when hitting the range. The biggest problem with binoculars is that they are not always that stable. If you have a spotting scope on a tri-pod its going to give you more stability which will mean clarity. Sometimes spotting small holes on paper at 500yds is difficult, even with higher magnification. You can always do what I do and just bring a scoped rifle with you and use that for spotting. There are many things that come into play if you want to see things at longer ranges, mirage from heat, humidity, and sun glare can all ruin your ability to see.
The real selling point I would have for a Vortex Monocular is that they are smaller, compact and lighter weight. You get a very good field of view of 393 feet at 1000yds for the Vortex Solo R/T Monoculars. Being able to throw these in a molle pouch on your plate carrier or even just clip it on to your plate carrier makes it easier to keep around. Target identification and range estimation are the main selling points, the second is that most Vortex optics are priced about $100 below what they are worth. Sure you can use these for bird watching or boating, but this is a tactical blog and this is definitely something to consider.
Well if there is an optic that many “dream about” but never can afford, that dream is $150 cheaper. Due to Trijicons strict MAP (minimum advertising price) for dealers, you’ll find that not many people list it below MAP price, and I can assure you if they are, they are not a direct dealer because Trijicon will revoke their dealership for doing that. The ACOG is one of those optics that probable is designed exactly for an M16 and was the first optic I’ve ever used that had point of impact estimations. You will want to make sure you are getting the optic that fits the bullets you are shooting because some of setup for 55FMJ and others are 62gr SCBT. There is also, specifically 300 Blackout ACOGS.
We usually do price negotiations and cash discounts on Trijicon Optics because the MAP pricing is a little higher than what most people expect. You can usually get $75-$100 off MAP from us and now with the Trijicon ACOGS having a $150 rebate from Trijicon Inc, you are getting about $250 off the MAP pricing. Keep in mind that the ACOG is one of the most copied optics on the black market and there are plenty of people that tell us idiot stories about how they know someone that got one for $350 or $500 NIB. If you are dumb enough to “NOT” know that you are never going to get an ACOG that cheap NIB unless it was an Estate Sale, this $150 rebate is about the best thing you will ever get other than a used one. Give us a call or email us for our best pricing.
There have been a ton of local police departments that took advantage of the Eotech trade in after the military sued L3 over the falsification of what the optics operated under. Apparently Eotech fixed the problem to some degree but if wood has fluctuations and variables with 10F and 120F, you better bet your bottom dollar that electronics do too. I’ve heard from companies like Vortex and Trijicon that there is always going to be some level of “thermal drift” but the 6moa point of impact shift that some older models of Eotech had were disturbing. What should you know if you are looking for a wide field of view and still like Eotech optics?
Well, Eotech took over 26 Million dollars of Eotech optics back and claim to have great fixed the problem, but if you were not running your optic in drastic temperature or humidity conditions, you would never have noticed. I am in the boat of people that sent their Eotech 512 back but I still long for the field of views that Eotech optics had. You will not find many red dots that have the speed that the holographic gun sight have and there is still something that they do right that you should consider. The F16 gun sight heads up display works for fighter pilots and it still works well for operators running M16 or AR15 Carbines. I still wish Eotech would come up with a better battery life and improve on that technology.
We’ve been in this industry now for over 12 years and one of the things we’ve learned to do, is not be the first person to buy something. There are so many products that have come out that end up with a Generation 2 just a few months after its release. I still don’t know how some companies can do product research, and development, and get it wrong and have to change it, but unfortunately it’s a reality. Now that we have almost 2 years of sales on the Trijicon MRO we do expect that this AR15 Red Dot will be a staple in the market and it’s clearly here to stay. Normally Trijicon prices themselves out of many of our Police Departments budget, but not so much anymore. I’ve found that 2 MOA is probable the best size dot for a Carbine because the smaller the dot the more precise it’s capable of being.
In this day and age, quick detach mounts are pretty much the standard, I have found that sometimes optics fail, or lose zero in the real world, and sometimes you just need to get them off and switch back to irons. There are not going to be many products that own the quick-detach combat optic world like Bobro Mounts and proof of that is it took us 7 months to get in the new Trijicon MRO Absolute Co-Witness and the Trijicon MRO Lower 1/3 mounts. The biggest selling point of the MRO AR15 optic is the field of view. People pick up a rifle with that red dot and instantly see through. There are no issues or complaints about eye relief, clarity or battery life. This truely is a unique optic.
We’ve been carrying the Trijicon MRO Red Dot optics for almost a year. When they first came out we were shocked by the fact that we didn’t have “sticker shock” compared to the rest of the Trijicon product line. Ever since the Eotech lawsuit last November, everyone seems to be looking for something else, I can tell you it’s been almost a year since someone called me on the phone and asked if we sold Eotechs. I still have no idea what’s going on with that company since the lawsuit. All I can tell you is that Vortex, Aimpoint and Trijicon MRO sales have been through the roof and I would have to say that all 3 of those I just mentioned are excellent red dot optics.
Do you need night vision compatibility? Most people don’t. Do you want 3 year or 5 year battery life? Then we’ve narrowed it down to Trijicon and Aimpoint. Do you want something that doesn’t make you feel like you are looking through a rifle scope? Then you’ve arrived at the Trijicon MRO red dots. The MRO stands for Miniature Rifle Optic and it really is a smaller version of the Trijicon ACOG housing. Since we have so many competition shooters and see what they are using, this optics wider field of view usually means improved speed. There are plenty of mount options available from Larue, Bobro Engineering and also the low, 1/3 Co-Witness and Absolute Co-Witness that Trijicon Inc. offers. We have seen so many Law Enforcement switch from Eotech to Aimpoint and Trijicon that, that’s pretty much what we tell people they should be considering.
Trying to find the right optics for hunting, target shooting or whatever else is already a chore, but it can all be messed up if you buy the wrong mount. We don’t stock a lot of mounts in our retail store because there are so many options out there, price point, material, right heights, that it’s too much of a guessing game because there is a such a diversity of gun owners. Sticking with just the New Trijicon MRO red dots, many people ask us which mount they should buy or which one is better. It’s just like the question, which one is better, Aimpoint, Eotech or Meprolight M21, it’s whatever your eyes prefer.
I’ve never had a problem using a fixed iron front sight on my AR15 and using an optic, sure I lose some visibility, but like asking what you should do if a skinny guy was hiding behind a tree and you couldn’t see him, which optic is better. just move around the tree and you’ll see him. With the Trijicon MRO Red Dots “If you feel the need” to have your iron sights pushed down to the lower 1/3 of your optic, just get a 1/3 Co-witness mount, your field of view will be higher with less obstruction of your field of view and then you’ll have to transition down to your irons if need be. I can tell you that we sell about 80% more of the absolute co-witness mounts, whether it’s Bobro mounts or Trijicon Mounts.
We have been a Vortex direct dealer for almost 10 months now and one thing we are often finding is that many people still believe that running a red dot means you are stuck with what you got and have to get a new optic if you want any type of magnification. People look at the cost of the Eotech or Aimpoint magnifiers and don’t understand what you are paying for, and in my opinion, you’re probable just paying for a better mount, but not necessarily a better optic. The magnifier is really another optic and you have to realize that when shelling out the money, but magnification isn’t just for taking those longer shots, it’s also about target identification.
Even if you are not using any of the Vortex Red Dots on your Carbine, I would still highly recommend getting the Vortex Magnifier product code VMX-3T for $199.99 which if mounted properly, using loctite, can be a very solid platform. The Vortex magnifier will incrase the clarity of your red dot optic (green dot if you have a Vortex Strike Fire II) which can really make things easier to hit see and hit. This flip to side optic can be left in the open position for CQB and flipped over whenever you need it. Another major selling point of Vortex is there outstanding lifetime warranty.
There is a lot of changes taking place in the red dot market and between Trijicon MRO, Vortex StrikeFire, Aimpoint Patrol Rifle and Burris Fastfire III, there are a lot of great products coming out that have slight differences in durability, features and preferences. I’m more of a fan of smaller red dots because I find it really annoying to shoot at 300yd-600yd targets and have my red dot obscure the object. There are things you can do to hit targets at long distance like power down your red dot sight to the lowest setting so you can actually see through the dot and see your target but if speed is important it’s hard to move a faint dot around quickly especially on two feet.
Vortex has a few very hot sellers with us, namely the Vortex Strikefire II and the Vortex Sparc. The Strikefire II is very close to the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optics in size but we have seen so many tests to show that there is hardly a difference in durability and yest a $224 price difference. The night vision settings, battery life and waterproof depth differences are all I could really argue about but not everyone is concerned about that. The biggest difference is the Vortex Strikefire II 4 MOA Red dot and the Aimpoint 2 MOA dot. Since we’ve seen a growing trend towards green reticles and green lasers, Vortex does have the option to change the dot from red to green if that matters to you, but you really can’t go wrong with either of these.
Meprolight M21 Sights
I’m in the category that loved my Eotech sights but given how old it was and that it was considered to have the flaw that L3 did not state when selling it, I felt justified in sending back my Eotech 512. After looking through a lot of optics in recent weeks I’ve had a hard time jumping on the red dot sight bandwagon, even though I have an understanding of their benefits, but my eyes prefer a larger field of view and I can see the tube effect issues that some people complain about with some of the Aimpoint red dots. I know that I can adapt to any optics given the range time and training but I’ve been looking for an easy switch so I’ve been considering the Meprolight M21 optics.
There still seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not Eotech has solved the problem but 11yrs ago I could tolerate the battery consumption but not anymore. Trijicon now has it’s foot in the red dot market with the Trijicon MRO red dots but some of their reflex sights are still selling. The Meprolight M21 Bullseye has a very similar housing to the Eotech sight and also similar field of view and reticle. it also works off of the same fiber optics that Trijicon and does not need batteries. Since I’m running a Magnifier already and prefer to switch from zero magnification to magnification for My carbine training, The Meprolight M21 Bullseye is hands down the easiest switch over.
One thing is for sure is that Aimpoint has seen some serious competition this year and there are plenty of products in the same durability and battery life that Aimpoint has boasted about. We’ve been seeing major changes to the red dot market, but we still see the sales and demand for the Aimpoint PRO. One major selling point in comparison to all of the others out there is that the Aimpoint Pro has been around for so long that you aren’t going to have to worry about recalls. We’ve seen lots of recalls in this industry from firearms, to optics and gun magazines. The durability of the glass and the mount is a proven design and still worth that $400 price range.
Lots of people have problems properly mounting optics and the way this optic is designed it’s virtually impossible to over torque it and all you do is put in your rifle and tight it down. We will continue to stock the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optics because they still haven’t lost value like some of the higher priced Aimpoint products and is still a staple for Law Enforcement, military and even hunters. With most hunting up here in the North East especially deer hunting being under 100yds red dot optics are excellent options for deer and turkey.