All posts tagged AR15 optics

Beware of the less expensive red dots, but you might find a good one and Aimpoint knows it

Aimpoint Red DotsWe get a large customer base from plinkers to Special Forces.   The airsoft industry has exploded and there are a lot of products that can crossover and have wide applications but ammunition, firearm maintenance and quality optics and a good operation with a good trigger finger are what win a fight.   You will not find me shooting Wolf 223 in any of  my AR15 rifles because even if that ammo is running in your firearm for now, there is so much crap that can build up over time that it’s not an “if” but a “when” it will cause a malfunction.   There is always something new coming out at SHOT Show each year and it’s almost like the seeing the Hasbro commercials for the new Star Wars or G.I. Joe toys.   They try to push an excited energy to you about how cool it is and you then ask your Mom to buy it.   That same mentality goes on in the Firearm Industry and from a retail standpoint it’s same thing every year.   Somebody comes in because they heard how great some new product was and we just sit back and see how well the product sells.

Complaints, returns and Warranties are what we factor in with the optics we sell, but recently we have been hearing  a lot of customers reference that various Red Dot optics they have been using have been performing well.   Everyone one of these AR15 optics companies has a marketing department and it certainly looks like Aimpoint Red Dots are going to have a new, less expensive optic on the market.   How expensive is it to make a zero magnification 2 MOA dot?   As much as like the Trijicon Solar/battery technological advancements, I think they pretty much priced themselves out of the red dot market because I have a hard time justifying any quality red dot costing more than $400-$600 and the Trijicon SRS sight is almost $1000.  The new Aimpoint Carbine Optic runs on one 3N  battery which should last for a year turned on (please turn it off and make it last longer)  but it looks like they took out the night vision ect.  I still haven’t gotten accurate info on the MAP pricing is going to be but we’ll be adding several  new Aimpoint products to our website shortly.


Crosshairs for precision, but something different for speed Trijicon TA31F-G ACOG

Trijicon ReticlesTrijicon TA31F-GI have always been very picky about the optic reticles I choose.   I don’t like jumping back and forth because belonging to a 600yd gun club means, I am usually shooting from 100-600yds, and when you all of a sudden move from 100yds to 300yds and that fat crosshair line is covering your target, it is very annoying.  Sure you can learn hold overs but for competition sports and military applications, getting a good “hint” from your reticle is very helpful.  I’m a big fan of the Trijicon TA31F-G because it has all of the hints on bullet drop and I can still see my target within the Chevron out to 300yds. Trijicon clarity really shows on this optic especially compared to all the fuzz you see from Aimpoint red dots and Eotech Holographic sights.


People come into our store all the time looking at the Trijicon ACOGS because they are probable the most expensive fixed power combat optic but they have no idea which reticle to choose.   We’ve been selling a lot of the TA11H-G optics because the horseshoe is another non-Chevron optic which if used properly, has long range applications but also better eye relief and a very clear dot in the middle for CQB that crosshairs won’t have.  Getting back to the Trijicon TA31F-G ACOG, it’s not just about the reticle, it’s also about the color.  There are some really good closeouts on red reticle Trijicon optics because there is far more of a lean towards amber and green reticles.


Reticles it’s not always how you think it works, Trijicon RMR Options and circles, triangles and dots

Trijicon RMR Sights

I have noticed a trend towards the triangle reticles since some red dots can look real fuzzy and one thing that Trijicon Red Dots don’t have are blur.  Clarity is something that Trijicon can alway praised about.   Horeshoe reticles give you the ability to see through your aiming point and hold a target within the reticle as opposed to putting the red dot or crosshairs on the target.  Sometimes this is a faster way of engaging a target and it was probable some of the Elcan optics that I shot with that I originally started seeing “hollow” reticles.   If you have a triangle reticle like the Trijicon RMR08G, you can still have pin point precision by using the top of the triangle for your zero and holding the triangle over center mass.  It pays to look through optics to see what you feel comfortable with, one down side to the ACOG models are the eye relief but the larger TA11’s tend to much more friendly.  Either way, you might have to learn to adapt to the optic if  you have a certain expectation from it.

I am often learning how to use various optics because every manufacturer designs an optic a certain way, but so many people don’t read the manual or know the specs.   Some of the Trijicon ACOGS are designed for 55gr flying out of a 20inch barrel, some people won’t know the difference but anyone shooting steel plates at a distance are going to notice it.   The Trijicon TA01NSN is meant for an M4 with a 14.5 inch barrel with the 62gr SCBT round.   There are always variations with those bullet velocity due to the quality of the manufacturer but if you shoot something like M193 or American Eagle 55gr you’ll do well with what your ACOG was traditionally designed for.   If you know what your bullet is going to do at a certain distance you can always learn holder overs, but being able to do range estimations and fast shots isn’t going to be easy unless it’s designed into your reticle.   Just like some people start off with a zero magnification optic like Aimponts and Eotechs, you can buy an ACOG and get the mount for an RMR at a later time.  Like always, Trijicon RMR sights will cost you the same as most optics, but I can’t think of anyone that comes close with this dual platform.



Reliance on optics, battery life and secondary sighting devices

TherTrijicon RMR sightsRM08Ge is always a very diverse crowd we have that buy from us, from competition shooters, Military Personnel, Law Enforcement and persons just looking for a better optic for the gun range.   There are always price levels and depending on the features you are looking for, you are going to pay for what you get.  There are plenty of less expensive optics on the market than the Trijicon ACOGS, RMRs,  Accupoints ect, but what do you really want?  Battery life is something you need to know ahead of time and if you don’t want to have to worry about turning  your optic on and off it’s most likely going to be Aimpoint optics even though the very expensive Trijicon SRS01 and SRS02 are optics that can compete with Aimpoint on a durability and battery life expectancy.

One option to consider is if so many people are raving about the Aimpoint Micro optics there is an even smaller option called the Trijicon RMR sight.   There are many dot sizes and normally the small the dot the more precise you can be, but now with red, green and amber dots, you should think ahead and decide what your eyes pickup better and whether or not you may end up using some form of night vision in the future.   The Trijicon RMR sights with the Amber dots seem to work better with night vision and according to many statistics, the human eye picks up the green color in low light and at longer distances.   There are several non battery operated options that fiber optics and will eliminate any need for spare batteries, normal battery life for the RMR sights is about 2yrs.


Looking for an optic for your AR? We’ll point you in the right direction

Aimpoint Patrol Rifle OpticsAimpoint MagnifiersAimpoint Comp M4AImpoint Red DotsThere are always going to be price points and some optics are either an overkill as far as features or they are junk.  We’ve pruned a lot of our inventory in recent years to try and have standards on what kind of optics we should stock because we can personally direct customers to them knowing it’s a quality product.    If you have good eyesight you may notice parallax in certain optics but that is something you don’t really have to worry about in close ranges.  It makes a huge difference if you are trying precision shooting at longer ranges and there are scopes that have zero parallax or have a level of adjustment to compensate.   Just because you are choosing a red dot sight don’t think you can’t shoot targets at longer ranges because the Aimpoint Magnifiers will give you a much better range.

It’s always a good idea to know the direction you “may” go when modifying or accessorizing your rifle so you leave room to attach Magpul Accessories, Lasers, or Surefire flashlights because depending on the location of your optic,  rail sizes matter.  If it’s not an Eotech sight, it’s probable going to be an Aimpoint Red Dot and most likely the Patrol Rifle Optic that you might want to eyeball.   Spike’s Tactical has some really cool rail systems and if you want all that gear on your gun and not an Magpul MOE stock.   If you don’t want to deal with AA batteries or CR123 being in your go bag, then Aimpoint is the optic for you.


MBUS Sights, Cowitnessing optics, red dots and magnification

RMR08G-7SIf you are unsure of any of those questions when doing your next AR15 build, you need to spend a few days on and learn about each individual trade off and asset.   I had to force myself several years ago when I was working on a new M4 selection, that I wanted a close quarters optic that gave me speed and a wide field of view.  I started out with a Bushmaster XM15E2 which is as basic as you can get with an AR15.  No muzzle brake, just two apertures to choose from and with the right kind of ammo for a 1-9 barrel twist, getting MOA is easy.  That was back in the day of carry handle ACOGS and heavy barrels.  Now the trend has been towards lighter and stronger.

I always felt that the AR15 was a great training tool and even youth can learn marksmenship on it, which in my opinion kind of gets lost when you teach with a scoped rifle.  I have taken some of Ruger 10/22 out with red dots on them, but it’s nice to use the Trijicon RMR sights for sale that we get in and let kids shoot balloons and just have fun.   If engagements on targets are under 50yds, iron iron sights or red dots are just fine.  Some law enforcement officers want some type of magnification even if its just a pair of compact binoculars.  It amazed at the number of people that still revert back to those, but sometimes you need it and sometimes you don’t.   If you got the money, there are some nice multitask combat optics from Trijicon that make good use of magnification and red dots.


Trijicon ACOGS still relevent with all of those Eotechs and Red Dots around?

Trijicon for saleWe’ve started carrying the Aimpoint optics because so many guys coming in from various police departments were referencing that this was exactly what they were trained to use and since it got the job done, they didn’t need another reticle or optic choice.   Aimpoint optics are in various price ranges just like  the Eotech and the Trijicon optics but they don’t have the same features that Trijicon scopes offer.   We were shocked to see so many new Trijicon optics coming out this last year that all took batteries.  It seems that pointing batteries on a Trijicon optic was a against Trijicon Inc’s religion because the fiber optic cables and the Tritium seem to be the staple of the product line.

What do you want to use for close quarters fighting from the Trijicon product line?   Much of the Trijicon ACOGS for sale on our website are for medium to long range engamenets.  I would consider 600yds to be medium ranges for those in the military while most civilians would consider that to be long range.   The Trijicon TA01NSN is an easy transition for anyone that is use to using iron sights because the top mounted sighting platform is really for close up shooting, even low light due to the Trijitium night sight.  If you are use to using a red dot, the RMR sights and now the extremely popular RMR08-G green triangle dot.  There are many differences in dot sizes and reticle options with the RMR sights.


Trijicon SRS that diod thing?

Trijicon Reflex SightsYes, we are hearing about it, not everyone is complaining but there is definitely an issue with that reflective square that people are seeing.   Moving in and out of buildings and depending on various power settings you will see it.  Considering the cost of the optic and that the fix is to spend another $100 on this optic, it certainly has hit a cord with some of our potential customers.  I personally think that Trijicon is going to have to make a fix or modification to the optic if they want it to sell in the 2014.  The Trijicon SRS sight compared to some of the other AR15 or M4 red dot reticles is very popular with the competition shooters primarily because they have the money and they are willing to be the first to step in line for a smaller compact new technology optic with a 1.75 MOA dot.

I have always been a fan of the Eotech sights primarily because I like the 65MOA circle around the 1 MOA dot but I can see why people want an optic with longer battery life.  There are some pretty big differences between all of the Trijicon Reflex Sights and it’s up to the purchaser to do some research about them.  Some of the red dots have dramatically different dot sizes and there are pros and cons to using a 2 MOA dot, 1.75 MOA dot, or a 6.5 Amber red dot.  I hear from many of our Police officers about wash outs, or drops in reticle visibility when going from bright light to dark rooms so having variable power settings usually is a plus for house clearing. We’ll see what’s new from Trijicon optics this year at Shot Show but let’s hope for a new generation of Trijicon SRS sights.


Optics reacting to indoor and outdoor lighting

Trijicon reflex sights We recently did some tests between various red dot optics and even the Eotech 516 as well as the Trijicon Reflex sights.  I don’t quite put the new Trijicon SRS sight in the same category as RX30A-51 because they just don’t seem like the same animal.   There is some wash out with the Trijicon fiber optic cables when you go from outdoors to indoors so this is something you will have to train for.   We did some tests with the Trijicon SRS sight to see if there were any noticeable changes when going from the solar powered lighting environment to total darkness and we were impressed with this part of it.  I do have to say there are plenty of critical comments out there about the SRS sight and the Diod image that shows up in certain lighting conditions.  I’ve had some people say that you need a flash kill for this sight and in all honesty, from what I see, yes you do.

There are Eotech sights that are MOA red dots but there is definitely a clarity difference between the SRS sight and even Aimpoint sights.   The new addition to the Trijicon Reflex sights are the Trijicon SRS01 and the SRS02.  These are the same optic but different mounting systems.   I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want the bobro mount because they just make so much sense.  I am running an SRS sight on my LWRC M6A2 and it is a very fast sight not just because it’s zero magnification but the red dot is more like star light than a hazy.  The cost of the SRS sights are about $300-$400 more than the Aimpoint red dots but if you are competition shooters or you want to be the first in  your group to get it, you’ll be able to figure out the advantages of this optic.


Batteries, Tritium, Fiber optics and now solar panels? Yep!

Trijicon Reflex Sights It’s been a while since we’ve seen major technological improvements or changes in the shooting community.   I remember the first time I saw an ACOG on the range with the fiber optic cable and thought it looked like some neon toy and then I realized what the technology was all about and why having a red colored reticle could help your eye acquire a target quicker and having a reticle designed with a bullet compensator was also extremely useful.   Although you can be very precise with an ACOG they are meant for speed more than sniper work but I have seen plenty of them used in designated marksmen work.   If you were hunting with a rifle for the most part, deer are taken from under 100yds but the ACOG gives you the ability to hit targets 600-800 meters depending on the work you are doing or the configuration of the reticle.

Recently there was a new red dot put on the market from Trijicon.   There isn’t much of a difference between one brand of red dots and the other if they are battery powered other than the durability of the optic, but the new Trijicon reflex sights like the SRS01 and the SRS02 are revolutionary in design now that they have integrated solar powered optics that pull from a battery if there is no available light.   We’ve done some of our own tests with these optics and can tell that this technology is going to carry over to other products and it’s just the beginning.  The SRS sight has a 1.75 MOA dot which I know of no other red dot that is smaller than 2 MOA.   At low power this optic can be very precise.

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