All posts tagged Rifle Optics

Eotech Sights still have an edge

Eotech SightsI personally can’t trash Eotech sights or Trijicon or Aimpoint.  There are a few other optics that I have personally worked with that are moving  up to that category, and that’s just my personl opinion about worthiness.   I haven’t spent time in the Canadian Military, Russian Military or Royal Forces to talk about what they are using, but durability means its going to last.   When I look at all of the internal technological changes that many of these optics have had, even a good design, when fielded, will have its weak points.   Just think about how much of an improvement the M14 was over the M1 Garand, but as soon as the M14 was fielded in Vietnam, the M14 stocks swelled and just didn’t hold up in that climate that changes needed to be made.   There are plenty of arguments about how bad the M16 did in Artic testing so don’t think desert warfare is the same as Artic.  Even snow speeders had trouble adapting to cold.

Remember that trying to have a perfect cheekweld in real world conditions isn’t always possible, cutting corners, climbing stairs and running full speed is something you might want to do, movement is important to survival and the Eotech Sights have a very unique holographic gun sight.   It’s not a dot that you can easily loose track of depending on it’s brightness and this was copied after the F16 fighter gun sight because they knew that with all of the ducking and weaving that a fighter pilot would be engaging in that it’s impossible to have  your head completely still.  Just moving a half inch back and forth with iron sights means not having a sight picture or losing your target.   The batteries don’t run as long as a Trijicon SRS sight or the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic, but it might be the best and fastest sighting system for you.


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.


Are Eotech sights out dated?

eotech sightsWe have had a ton of people stop in our store and ask us if we sell Aimpoint but unfortunately the distributor that we use to deal with no longer is carrying them.  If we wanted to be a direct dealer for them, we’d probable not get product for another 6 months or more considering the craze that is going on in  the Country.   Aimpoints are probable the best price combat durable red dot optics but I am not a big fan of them.  My eyes tend to track the Eotech sights or a Circle dot reticle like the TA44 from Trijicon better than a red dot.   Lasers and Red dots seem to race around on targets and they also can obscure targets depending on the size of the dots.  Trijicon does  have a 1.75 MOA dot that is very nice but there are still some issues with that optic that I recently have found at fault.

After all of these optics are tested out, many of our customers still go back to the Eotech sights.  Primarily because they are zero magnification and you can keep both eyes  open when using Eotech sights which is very important if  there are close quarters engagements which statistically occurs for Law Enforcement.   I have been running the Eotech 512 for about 8yrs and only a battery contact came loose on it.  I do have the Gen 2 Magnifier on it but I could probable be better off if I was running the Eotech 516 or the EXPS2-0 which have the buttons on the left side which is what you have to think about if you are thinking about adding on the Magnifier later on.




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.


Some feedback about the Trijicon SRS

Trijicon Reflex Sights We’ve only been selling the Trijicon SRS sights for a few months and finally got some good feed back about why people wanted them.   The number one reason people like this sight is it’s something different and has a slight advantage over the Aimpoint red dot sights.  The solar battery powered SRS sight gives you years of battery life from just one AA battery.  We have done side by side comparisons between the Eotech XPS sights and the Aimpoint and if you want a compact optic, and you want the most rail space available to you, the SRS and the Eotech XPS or EXPS sights are the way to go.  Not all of our customers really cared about the battery life which was actually surprising.

Some of our customers really wanted the Eotech just for the wide visibility and that famous gunsight reticle.   The one thing we learned when we brought in the Trijicon Reflex sights were the that it was more compact than an ACOG and really good clean red dot unlike some less expensive brands.   Being able to have a crisp dot and the multiple power settings  and a great low maintenance optic is something the Eotech bashers wanted.   I personally am not a huge fan of red dots because I prefer more precision but the SRS red dot is the smallers red dot optic we sell.


Eotech configurations vs ACOGS

I started out with an Eotech 512 because I basically thought that AA batteries were so common in my home that that was my best option.  I was right, but I learned real fast what the limitations were for the Eotech sights when I was engaging targets at 300 + yards with it.   Those optics are really fast for close up fighting which is why most of our Law Enforcement Officials want them, but they, along with any red dot, will actually be difficult to use at longer ranges.   I find the haze from red dots to be annoying but I personally have never had to use one in a house clearing situation.    The Eotech XPS sights and the EXPS sights are more compact versions with different power switch locations.

Eotech sights while many may claim are slowly becoming outdated, are still very popular.  Sometimes it’s not just what is higher tech, but the Eotech sights that we sell are so well known that sometimes it’s hard to deviate from something that you know works.   I have yet to see somebody complain about their Eotech not holding zero and the quick detach options are very appealing.   The one thing I will say that is you really need to put some thought into how much magnification you want on your Carbine before you buy and Eotech sight because I know many people that got the optic, magnifier combos and later said they basically purchased a Trijicon TA01NSN .


Hottest Seller for the M4 Carbine from Trijicon

Sometimes we get a new product from a company that just flat out blows away the previous production line, but recently we have noticed that our most consistent selling M4 Optic is the Trijicon TA01NSN ACOG.   This is probable the most practical setup without over complicating the system and putting higher mounted parts on the already high sitting combat optic.   The Trijicon TA01NSN has backup iron sights for close up fighting.   For those trained with iron sights, nothing gets you back to the basics and away from glass optics that those metal or composite posts.

One of the best things about the ACOG system is the optics come already mounted.  We have all witness some shooters have a really difficult time with long range shooting because the optics they are deploying are not leveled properly.  The Trijicon TA01NSN like it’s fellow ACOGS can come on a carry handle or it’s only mount.  Nothing to adjust with the optic like you have to with scope rings, these optics are already leveled and once they are sighted in they can be removed and should remained zeroed.


Optics that hold zero

There are a great many  things that I have learned over the years about what is a combat worthy firearm and what is a hobby type of firearm.   I have seen such huge variations in AR 15 rifles that I really can’t say that some manufacturers of direct impingement firearms are less reliable that gas piston guns.   There are some variations in the older design that have machine their parts so well that they really do run on less lubrication and have run in some tests off thousands and thousands of rounds with out failure.   I will say that gas piston guns will run cleaner, but are they more reliable than a high end AR15?   I don’t think most of us will really ever know the answer to that because there are always variables in how a firearm is maintained and in what climate and conditions it is subjected to.

If I had to issue handguns and rifles to relatives, I’d probable go with a gun that is easy to clean and easy to shoot, if I want a gun for myself, I’ll take the guns that work the best for me.   I know I put more effort into making sure every rifle I own has the right parts staked and loctited down.   I have broken a few Tasco and Simmons optics, but I have never had Leupold rifle scopes, Zeiss or Trijicon optic fail on me.   There are faulty mounts and scope rings out there, but even the less expensive ones will work if you use Loctite on them and don’t over torque them.   Over torque screws on firearms can mean broken screws and I have learned that the hard way with a DSArms SA58.   The FAL is not a very good gun for using optics, but it can work if you lock everything into place.  Cleaning the guns with this scope mounts is difficult, but the FAL can be made into a good DMR gun.


When optics go down

rifle scopesThe Trijicon NSN has iron sights mounted on the top of the rifle scope which can come in handy in closer situations and are a less expensive alternative to mounted a red dot on your ACOG.    That is worth the money if you are in the line of work that calls for it, but for general blasting and plinky, I think that $1800 optics is a bit much.   The Eotech 512 is probable my recommended optic for an M4.  I think people can get carried away with optics on the M4 because even though the rifle is pretty accurate, it really is not very powerful or effective past 200yds.    With a growing selection of combat optics you can put on the AR15 type rifles, one other suggestion I have for shooters is to always keep your iron sights on the rifle.   I’ve seen a few people show up at classes with just an Eotech mounted and they complained the front sight blocked their FOV.   Well,  taking a 200yd shot with an Eotech that has a dead battery is like parking a mini van from the furthest back seat.

There are numerous reasons that your rock solid rifle optics will go down.   Some optics use batteries which will always go down at some point.   Your tough Trijicon ACOG will hold zero under most combat conditions, but a 30 caliber bullet can still dismount it.     Reticles can come loose, rings can fail, glass can break and numerous other things occur in a fight that don’t normally happen with occassional hunting trips.   Most rifle optics won’t handle real big drops, but having the ability to have a backup just incase the glass goes down.  Co-witnessing your sights is a simple answer for those using rifle scopes and quick detach mounts in my opinion are worth considering.   It has never happened to me in a hostile situation, but having a MOA rifle with broken glass that is solidly mounted on my rifle has got to be a nightmare sceneario.



range estimations and value estimations

rifle scopesI remember the days when I would stare at rifle scopes and ask shooters how much they cost, and when they told me how the rifle scopes cost, I’d calculate that whichever rifle I was thinking about putting the scope on, the cost of the rifle was less than the cost of the optic.   I have no idea how much money companies are making off of some optics, but there is a certain point that I really don’t care how good people think  they are, 90% of people spending that kind of money on optics probable could get the job done with something that cost 50%-75% less.   In all of my years of target shooting and plinking, I have only had scope mount issues and 2 rifle scopes that ever broke.   Every rifle scope  that broke cost less than $100.   I have a few Leupolds that have been on bolt actions and semi-autos and they all hold zero and have excellent clarity.

If you do research on rifle scope manufacturers and there warranties, then put some thought into what kind of objective lense you think  you want and get the reticle that applies to your shooting purposes.  There are a lot of really interesting reticles being sold by various manufacturers and they work very well.   Mil-Dot reticles still have their place, but some of the range estimation reticles for varmint and big game work very fast.   Once you’ve determined which rifle scopes you want then get the best rifle mounts you can afford to get and remember to use loctite on every screw.   I have had scope mounts fail on me, but never when I used loctite.  For hard use optics I strongly recommend marking the heads of the screws so you can do visual checks to see if they are turning.

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