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Posted: 9/21/2015 3:01:59 PM EDT
Hi folks,

I've started several threads here on Arfcom in regards to our experiences with high-round count (100,000+ rounds) AR/M4's, AK-47's, pistols and the Barrett. We have a very high-volume indoor range in Las Vegas (BattlefieldVegas) and according to my operations manager, last month we went through between 550,000-600,000 rounds alone. Customers cannot bring in their personal firearms and every shooter is escorted and assisted by an RSO throughout the shooting experience. Customers can shoot everything from HK SR9's, M1 Garands, MG-42's, MP-40's, Japanese Type 96 LMG's, Lewis guns, M2HB's and even M134D "miniguns". A majority of these weapons have red dot optics mounted on them to assist the customer have a more enjoyable experience by improving the chances they will put all their rounds as close to the center of the target as possible.

That being said, the optics on our range suffer more abuse than you would expect. Customers drop the weapons on the shooting benches, RSO's will drop weapons when loading them up at night, weapons get "thrown" into weapons lockers all day by RSO's and they suffer abuse from cleaners and lubricants when dropped off to the armorers.

When we first opened the range, financing was VERY tight so our personal optics were mounted to the weapons. Co-founder David Famiglietti (he owns and operates New Frontier Armory as well) and I had to take every optic we had and offer them to the Range God's. Most of my optics were Eotech's and my personal favorite, a small 4X fixed ACOG that hasn't been made in years. David brought over all of his Aimpoint's and a few Eotech's as well. I always preferred the Eotech's because of what I feel is a larger "window" and David would laugh and tell me it's because I am so old that I need such a large field of view (I am only 10 years older). We also grabbed some of the "cheaper" optics from our retail stores because we didn't have enough of the "Big Three" to mount on all the weapons. Some of the cheaper red dot optics were from NcStar, Bushnell, BSA, Aim Sport and TruGlo.

After several days of being on the line, the cheaper optics started failing. Some didn't even last one complete day on the range. Others would turn on but the red dot would bounce all over the place while shooting. I don't believe we had any of the lower tier optics last any longer than three weeks. After we wasted all those optics, the units that we had yet to install were restricted to .22 caliber rifles only. They did last 2-3 times longer on the .22's but the problem was the handling. In my opinion, they were not built to be used in the environment of being used seven days a week, ten hours a day and 364 days a year. The lower tier optics were handled the same as the Big Three and not treated any worse or any better. Though almost all of them offer really good warranties, we couldn't ask any of the manufactures or distributors to replace or repair them. They were beat up pretty bad and again we felt that we got what we paid for in the capacity they were used.

Now, for the Big Three, I will say that I was an Eotech guy. My son would always try to switch me over the Aimpoint's but again, I prefer the large field of view. I never had any issues with my Eotech's and I knew that I had to turn my batteries off after use or the battery would die. David and my son preferred the Aimpoint's because you didn't have to turn off the battery and if you did leave it on, "it will last at least a year". The ACOG was nice because it didn't need any batteries and it just looks cool.

After several months of use, the first optics to go down were the Eotech's. Additionally, the batteries died more often than the Aimpoint's. The aluminum housing that protects the Eotech definitely works because every single one of our Eotech's was bent. We never lost a button or cracked any of the lenses. We have some older Eotech's (again, these were my personal optics) that though they didn't look to abused, they just quit working. When we could afford new optics, I wanted new Eotechs. The newer models (EXP-style) lasted MUCH longer than the older units. It's hard to gauge how well the older design was in comparison to the EXP models because my older models were already several years old by the time they went on the line. Also, I would have to check the weapons at the end of the day and make sure I turned them off. I can't honestly remember if the newer style units automatically shut off and that should give you a gauge of how far out of the loop I am when it comes to the new stuff available.

The Aimpoint's we initially used were David's older CompM2's. He always kept his equipment in perfect shape and these looked like new when we first put them in service. Again, as money eventually started coming in, we started purchasing the Aimpoint PRO's. I would constantly check the weapons at the end of the day and not one of the RSO's would turn off the light. It didn't make a difference because the batteries never seemed to die. They would get scratched, banged and dropped and never an issue. They would lose the adjustment covers from either being dropped or stripped because of the rubber retainers cracking but it never affected the accuracy. After a year into it, some of them were looking really bad but they still continued to function. Some of the battery "buttons" were eventually lost because the rubber retaining straps cracked as well. Of course those were pulled from the line and put in a box with the other broken Eotech's.

Initially, we only had one ACOG and it was already about 5-6 years old when put on the line. It was a super compact 4x ACOG and I remember how hard it was to make the initial purchase. I wanted a "cool guy" optic when hanging out the range and since I couldn't afford new at the time, I bought it from a fellow Arfcom member in the Hometown EE. It killed me putting that optic on the line when my staff told me that quit making that model but we didn't have the money to purchase anything else so on the line it went. That ACOG continued to function up until approximately six months ago. The armorers put it on my desk and said "sorry Boss, she's dead". Well, it still functioned like it was supposed to but the lenses had fogged up so bad that you could no longer see through it. We have added several more of the 3X ACOG's on the line since with ZERO issues. The finish has slightly scratched up a bit but no dead batteries, no fogged lenses, no lost battery caps and no lost adjustment screw caps.

About six months ago, David and my wife started talking about sending all of the broken optics in for repair or warranty work. We were honest and up front about the use they were getting and got two different response. Trijicon and Aimpoint emailed a RMA, told us to put them in a box and they would repair them free of cost. All of our Eotech's were out of warranty and even newer EXP models weren't covered. We were give an estimate of what it would cost to repair and we figured for that price, we will just purchase new optics instead of fixing something that's broke. All of the Aimpoint's and the single ACOG were returned in like-new condition. My precious little ACOG was just like new and I have since taken it off the line.

You have to understand that in our operation, looking cool is almost on the same level as durability, in the terms of pricing. A majority of our shooters have never seen a real firearm let alone handled one. Customers recognize the shape of optics from video games and movies and those profiles are crucial to a customer's experience. We still use optics from the Big Three but because of the abuse WE put them through, the Eotech's go on certain weapons that don't get the same abuse as others. An example of that is the P90's and Kriss Super V's get Eotechs and AK's, M4's, SCAR's, M60's, M240's, M249's and plenty of others get Aimpoint's and ACOG's. I am in no way knocking the Eotech's durability but only explaining OUR experiences on a range that is far from typical and 95% of other owners will never get a fraction of the use that we do out of our optics.

I will try and answer questions but I ask that you please don't call the main number and ask about precise details. We are at almost 70 employees as of Friday and the range is busy from opening to close. I don't have the time like I used to unless you catch me in the range. As for David, he's busy running and managing the employees over at New Frontier Armory's machine shop so he isn't able to take calls about optics, M4's, AK's or other other weapon platforms either. We are still huge "gun guys" and if you catch us in the store we will be glad to give you a little tour of the armory, the vault and where everything happens.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:05:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:07:40 PM EDT
Thanks again for all your posts. Extremely valuable. I love your ethics also based on the other threads I've read.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:09:53 PM EDT
Good post, thanks OP.

I have a 3x ACOG, your older one fogging up worries me
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:11:26 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Burnsy87:
Good post, thanks OP.

I have a 3x ACOG, your older one fogging up worries me
View Quote


After a "no questions asked" policy from Trijicon, don't worry one bit. Also, these weapons are ABUSED daily and in my opinion, not typical for any product.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:12:32 PM EDT
Always love your posts.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:13:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:18:34 PM EDT
Thanks for all your posts!

Yours are the best reading on this forum. And it's a forum of great reading!


I want to come to Vegas just to see your range!


Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:18:49 PM EDT
This is one of the most excellent contributions to the site in a long, long time. His thread in AR Discussions is awesome, discussing real longevity of the AR15 in high volume, full auto fire to the tune of tens of thousands of rounds put through the guns before having to replace barrels and bolts.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:20:12 PM EDT
Thank for giving me the most interesting thing I've read in months!
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:20:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Aimless: the fogged acog I didn't suspect
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I never expected a fogged Aimpoint, but if you beat one hard enough, eventually the nitrogen will leak out.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:20:58 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By backbencher:


I never expected a fogged Aimpoint, but if you beat one hard enough, eventually the nitrogen will leak out.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Originally Posted By Aimless: the fogged acog I didn't suspect


I never expected a fogged Aimpoint, but if you beat one hard enough, eventually the nitrogen will leak out.




Aimpoints are not nitrogen purged.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:21:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HendersonDefense:


After a "no questions asked" policy from Trijicon, don't worry one bit. Also, these weapons are ABUSED daily and in my opinion, not typical for any product.

V/R
Ron
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HendersonDefense:
Originally Posted By Burnsy87:
Good post, thanks OP.

I have a 3x ACOG, your older one fogging up worries me


After a "no questions asked" policy from Trijicon, don't worry one bit. Also, these weapons are ABUSED daily and in my opinion, not typical for any product.

V/R
Ron


I've experienced nothing but outstanding customer service from Trijicon as well. I lost my RMR mounting screws changing the battery once so I called them up asking to buy replacements and they sent them to me free of charge.

BTW, thanks for taking the time to do these posts I personally find them extremely interesting.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:21:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2015 3:23:06 PM EDT by TexRdnec]
if I ever go to vegas i'm damned certainly going to be stopping by

and since this is in GD i'm going to go ahead and ask again about the uzi and BAR

can you go into specifics on those two? or start a different thread for machinegun discussions?
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:21:49 PM EDT
awesome stuff.

thanks for the info - I'll have to swing by your range next time i'm out in Vegas.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:26:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LRRPF52:
This is one of the most excellent contributions to the site in a long, long time. His thread in AR Discussions is awesome, discussing real longevity of the AR15 in high volume, full auto fire to the tune of tens of thousands of rounds put through the guns before having to replace barrels and bolts.
View Quote



Yep, some of the coolest reading on this site.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:27:13 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LRRPF52:
This is one of the most excellent contributions to the site in a long, long time. His thread in AR Discussions is awesome, discussing real longevity of the AR15 in high volume, full auto fire to the tune of tens of thousands of rounds put through the guns before having to replace barrels and bolts.
View Quote



+1
I think I read and reread that thread a few times and learned something new every time I read it.

Thank you for the right up on the optics, I know you are busy but I wouldn't mind seeing pics on how bad they really look.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:27:16 PM EDT
Thanks for the post

great info!!

I'll look you guys up next time Im in Vegas
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:27:21 PM EDT
Thanks for taking the time to write that up!

One thing I can take away, is that a guy like me is not likely to destroy any of the current offerings from the Big 3. Lord knows, I'm never going to subject my personally owned stuff to that kind of abuse.

That's kind of nice to know.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:28:59 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mak0:


I've experienced nothing but outstanding customer service from Trijicon as well. I lost my RMR mounting screws changing the battery once so I called them up asking to buy replacements and they sent them to me free of charge.

BTW, thanks for taking the time to do these posts I personally find them extremely interesting.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mak0:
Originally Posted By HendersonDefense:
Originally Posted By Burnsy87:
Good post, thanks OP.

I have a 3x ACOG, your older one fogging up worries me


After a "no questions asked" policy from Trijicon, don't worry one bit. Also, these weapons are ABUSED daily and in my opinion, not typical for any product.

V/R
Ron


I've experienced nothing but outstanding customer service from Trijicon as well. I lost my RMR mounting screws changing the battery once so I called them up asking to buy replacements and they sent them to me free of charge.

BTW, thanks for taking the time to do these posts I personally find them extremely interesting.


First, thanks for the reply OP.

Second, never had an issue with Trijicon. I emailed them about a month ago because I qualify for their LEO pricing, the gentleman from Trijicon that called me a few days later was damn polite, professional, and helpful. I plan on giving them a ridiculous amount of money the next few years.

My TA33 on my suppressed SBR is getting an RMR, picking up a very customized M&P CORE Pro Thursday and likely will get an RMR, I have a used 16" carbine that hasn't been touched since I got it nearly a year ago that will get a TA31F (I think that's the one calibrated for 16" barrels) and possibly another RMR for that.

I have a Viper PST 1-4x on my Recce that I like, or I'd get a variable scope from Trijicon for that as well.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:30:06 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CrimsonTideShooter:




Aimpoints are not nitrogen purged.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CrimsonTideShooter:
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Originally Posted By Aimless: the fogged acog I didn't suspect


I never expected a fogged Aimpoint, but if you beat one hard enough, eventually the nitrogen will leak out.




Aimpoints are not nitrogen purged.




Because someone will ask for my source, here are the vids that vickers did when he went over to aimpoint. Aimpoints aren't nitrogen purged because they don't need to be.


Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:34:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2015 5:03:51 PM EDT by Obo2]
i have a Henderson defense rollmarked lower, I got it from lock and load.

Never been by your range.

I'd be curious to see how something a step up from tru glow like primary arms might stand up to the heavy abuse, Their advanced red dots are supposed to have a 50k hour batt life.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:36:32 PM EDT
A very informative post. I kind of wonder why the manufacturers aren't using your operation as a marketing and "real world testing" opportunity and cutting you guys some good deals on their products.

I would think that the variety of weapons their products could be mounted on and the high round counts that you could provide documentation of would be very useful to them for product development and reliability research.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:37:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2015 3:39:06 PM EDT by HendersonDefense]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TexRdnec:
if I ever go to vegas i'm damned certainly going to be stopping by

and since this is in GD i'm going to go ahead and ask again about the uzi and BAR

can you go into specifics on those two?
View Quote


I know this is an optics thread but I will give you a quick bit of info on the Uzi.

None of our Uzi's are factory IMI, IWI or whatever they are called. We have Norinco 320's and Century UC-9's. We converted them into Post Sample MG's for a military training contract and couldn't afford to do that to Israeli weapons. Both Norinco and Century Uzi's will eventually lose the rear "back plate" that's welded in place and need to be rewelded. Also, we've had three receivers catastrophically crack right to the rear of where the barrel trunion is seated in the receiver. When I say catastrophic, I mean the gun literally cracks into two separate pieces. These guns have well over 100,000 rounds on them before cracking. The other piece that will fail is the lug that the charging handle is attached to. It's more like a plate but the spring that returns the charging handle to it's position is located there and it also pulls the bolt back when being charged. We've gone through no less than 40-50 in the last three years.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:39:22 PM EDT
Have you had any experience with the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS on range guns?
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:40:37 PM EDT
Thanks for the write up.

What one day of the year are you closed?
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:40:37 PM EDT
I'm not saying EOTec sights are garbage but any time they are compared against the rugged durability of Aimpoints, EOThingy owners often try to say they are just as rugged. General consensus has usually been that although they are great sights, they are not quite on the same level of bomb proof as the Swede's sights.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:41:01 PM EDT
Very cool, thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:42:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By poorman:
Have you had any experience with the Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS on range guns?
View Quote



Yes sir, we have two of them. One (newer) is installed on our factory full-auto Tavor and the other one (older) is mounted on our F2000. The second one has been on the daily for the last two years and gets it fair share of abuse with zero problems to date.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:42:52 PM EDT
These are some of the best posts on arfcom. Thanks for taking the time to type it all up.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:43:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mdguy90:
Thanks for the write up.

What one day of the year are you closed?
View Quote


We close for Christmas. It's Las Vegas and most places near the Strip don't close (some actually get HUGE fines from the plazas and malls for closing) on Christmas but it's the one day I want everybody to get paid to be home.

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:46:10 PM EDT
Great writeup and thanks for sharing.

My friend went to Battlefield Vegas and shot a gun for his first time. He had a blast!

I have a cousin who is going to Vegas soon, I will recommend he give your establishment a try, too.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:46:47 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CrimsonTideShooter:


Aimpoints are not nitrogen purged.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CrimsonTideShooter:
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Originally Posted By Aimless: the fogged acog I didn't suspect


I never expected a fogged Aimpoint, but if you beat one hard enough, eventually the nitrogen will leak out.


Aimpoints are not nitrogen purged.


I'll be dogged. @ that price point, I'm very surprised. I just assumed I was issued a damaged one.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:48:12 PM EDT
I like your posts as well. If I ever get to Vegas, I'll take you up on that Armory tour.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:48:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By backbencher:


I'll be dogged. @ that price point, I'm very surprised. I just assumed I was issued a damaged one.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Originally Posted By CrimsonTideShooter:
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Originally Posted By Aimless: the fogged acog I didn't suspect


I never expected a fogged Aimpoint, but if you beat one hard enough, eventually the nitrogen will leak out.


Aimpoints are not nitrogen purged.


I'll be dogged. @ that price point, I'm very surprised. I just assumed I was issued a damaged one.



I just learned this last week and was surprised also.


I posted a vid above that talks about it, but in a nutshell the room they assemble in is a clean room with the humidity very closely controlled. They say that's why they don't need the purge.


Who knows.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:49:47 PM EDT
About the PROs, do you think applying a small about of low-strength Loctite (so that it can be removed when needed) would prevent the battery caps from falling off?
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:50:26 PM EDT
I have an EXPS2 and a Pro. Now I need an ACOG. Let's see if they stand up to the arduous abuse in my safe.

Good write up.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:50:43 PM EDT
Tag for l8tr
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:51:33 PM EDT
Not shocking to say the least. Maybe the eotech fanboys will pipe down now.

If aimpoint would make a model with a reticle like the eotech, eotech would be out of business the second their contracts ran out.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:52:14 PM EDT
What do you think of the durability of the Vz 61 and the Makarov?
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:56:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2015 3:56:53 PM EDT by JoeCoastie]
Run an elcan and get back to us! Would love to see how it holds up. Of course I would pay for this but alas, I'm broke.

Great write up
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 3:59:54 PM EDT
Ron,

Do you run any of the newer afforadle optics like the Primary Armsvadvanced micro dot or the Holosun 503c?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:00:31 PM EDT
Ron,

Do you run any of the newer afforadle optics like the Primary Armsvadvanced micro dot or the Holosun 503c?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:02:08 PM EDT
Thanks for the info, OP. Very informative.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:02:15 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CrimsonTideShooter: I just learned this last week and was surprised also.

I posted a vid above that talks about it, but in a nutshell the room they assemble in is a clean room with the humidity very closely controlled. They say that's why they don't need the purge.

Who knows.
View Quote


Oh, I know. They need to be purged. Mine fogged up in qualifying in 32 degreeish rain @ Ft Lewis. Next day was a little bit warmer, w/ less rain - worked fine.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:02:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2015 4:04:36 PM EDT by Remman]
Great info! Any info on magnified optics from you "sniper" packages?
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:03:15 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LRRPF52:
This is one of the most excellent contributions to the site in a long, long time. His thread in AR Discussions is awesome, discussing real longevity of the AR15 in high volume, full auto fire to the tune of tens of thousands of rounds put through the guns before having to replace barrels and bolts.
View Quote


I gotta find that!
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:05:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Run an elcan and get back to us! Would love to see how it holds up. Of course I would pay for this but alas, I'm broke.

Great write up
View Quote



We have an Elcan M145 that was mounted to our M240 for at least two years. I would catch the RSO's switching it out for the Aimpoint PRO and it's the little things that set me off After asking for the umpteenth time why they keep "taking off my damn optics" one of the armorers explained to me that customers can't figure out how to use the reticle and don't know where to shoot. He continued to explain that if it just had a red dot or at least a cross hair, they could comprehend how to use it but customers shoot down the target holders on a regular basis.

I didn't understand why the RSO's were "sneaking around behind my back" and swapping the optics but once explained, I agreed 100% with them. They just didn't say anything to me because they know I am all about the "looks" of the weapon just as much as it functioning properly.

The Elcan continued to function properly until we took it off the line. Hopefully we will be able to use it later when we open our outdoor range with the room to use it (167 acres).

V/R
Ron
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:06:41 PM EDT
Now this is the kind of informative stuff that I come to the site for.

Next time I'm in Vegas I'll be sure to blow some money at your place.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:08:53 PM EDT
Thanks for the great posts! I'll keep buying Aimpoints and ACOGs. I love the sight picture of the Eotech, but I've had problems with them just using them for my own use and have gotten rid of mine. Your experience certainly reinforces my decision.
Link Posted: 9/21/2015 4:13:22 PM EDT
Awesome info and love all your AR, AK, FN, UZI and now optics reliability posts. Keep them coming...
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