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Posted: 7/11/2018 2:45:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 3:32:07 PM EDT by asorel]
I'm putting together a 20" AR as a lightweight, general-use rifle, and am looking for an optic solution to complement it. Weight is a factor as this is a lightweight rifle, but not the only factor. Obviously cheaper is better than the alternative but I am willing to pay a premium if it means I'll get quality. So far I've narrowed it to these choices:


  • TA31 with ACSS reticule, and an offset dual-illuminated RMR. I like this option because it offers a good amount of versatility, and with the RMR I still have a decent option at <25 yards, without fooling around with BAC or anything like that. No batteries whatsoever has an appeal to it as well. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount+RMR+mount) is ~14 oz.


  • TA33 only, BDC reticule. Still versatile, but not to the degree of the first option, although eye relief is a bit better. Still battery-free, the real advantage here is weight. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount) ~9.8 oz


  • 1-6x TR25. Still battery-free and good versatility from the 1-6x, but no BDC. It's also heavy. Total weight (Accupoint+AP mount) is ~22 oz.


  • 1-6x Vortex Strike Eagle. 1-6x gives good versatility, and unlike the Accupoint the reticule is BDC. The LED brightness is good for daylight (or so I've read), but presumably not as bright as fiber optics. Lighter too, but the downside is that battery. Total weight (Vortex+AP mount) is ~20 oz.



So what does the hive think? I'm leaning towards either Option 1 or Option 4, but I included the others to see what people thought of them. Other optics suggestions appreciated as well.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 3:18:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 3:34:35 PM EDT by StraightMiataMan]
How far do you intend to be shooting this?

Going with a TA33 is a great option, but that's going to start sucking real quick if you're reaching out there.

A 1-6/8 is golden for further distances, but if you're not pushing past 200, you can save a ton of size and weight.

Edit - in general, if weight is a concern

0-100, aimpoint micro, RMR, Leupold DPP.

0-300, TA33 + SLR mount

0-500, TA31/Leupold Mk6 + Aero mount

>500yds, AR10/FAL/G3/Scar 17
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 3:31:06 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:
How far do you intend to be shooting this?

Going with a TA33 is a great option, but that's going to start sucking real quick if you're reaching out there.

A 1-6/8 is golden for further distances, but if you're not pushing past 200, you can save a ton of size and weight.
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Once all's said and done I'd like this gun to be usable out to 400 yards or so. Anything beyond that, and it seems like 5.56x45 loses potency pretty fast. Obviously the 1-6x is going to be "better" for that than a 4x ACOG on paper, but I'm curious as to what the practical difference between the two would be regarding ease of use and so forth. That kind of info would help determine what I'm buying with that extra half pound of weight.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 3:36:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 3:37:09 PM EDT by StraightMiataMan]
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Originally Posted By asorel:
Once all's said and done I'd like this gun to be usable out to 400 yards or so. Anything beyond that, and it seems like 5.56x45 loses potency pretty fast. Obviously the 1-6x is going to be "better" for that than a 4x ACOG on paper, but I'm curious as to what the practical difference between the two would be regarding ease of use and so forth. That kind of info would help determine what I'm buying with that extra half pound of weight.
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What are you shooting at 400yds?

A TA33 will let you hit a target, a 1-6x will let you identify what color the target is wearing, a 1-8x or 2-10x will let you know who the target is. Steel torso? TA33. Paper precision? SWFA 16x. Competition? 1-8x.

Optics are, IMO, the single most use-specific part of a firearm. There's a lot on the market, and there's a lot of different types that are (most) all out there for a reason.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 4:13:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 9:12:05 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
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Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:
Optics are, IMO, the single most use-specific part of a firearm.
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Yes, but he sounds like he wants a general purpose optic for general purposes.

Really, something in the range of (approximately) 3-9X 40mm is probably what you want. They aren't considered glamorous but they have proven their usefulness over decades. There are lots of options from which to choose.

Mark AR MOD 1 3-9x40mm

This is one example - good zoom range, lifetime warranty, target turrets, side focus, mil dots, low price,...



Check out Vortex, too.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 4:14:30 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:

What are you shooting at 400yds?

A TA33 will let you hit a target, a 1-6x will let you identify what color the target is wearing, a 1-8x or 2-10x will let you know who the target is. Steel torso? TA33. Paper precision? SWFA 16x. Competition? 1-8x.

Optics are, IMO, the single most use-specific part of a firearm. There's a lot on the market, and there's a lot of different types that are (most) all out there for a reason.
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How would a TA33 perform at closer ranges? Obviously it wouldn't be as good as a dedicated red dot but how significant is the difference?
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 4:32:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2018 2:22:23 PM EDT by MS556]
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Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Yes, but he sounds like he wants a general purpose optic for general purposes.

Really, something in the range of (approximately) 3-9X 40mm is probably what you want. They aren't considered glamorous but they have proven their usefulness over decades. There are lots of options from which to choose.

Mark AR MOD 1 3-9x40mm

This is one example - good zoom range, lifetime warranty, target turrets, side focus, mil dots, low price,...

https://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/1503074278000_1036113.jpg

Check out Vortex, too.
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Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:
Optics are, IMO, the single most use-specific part of a firearm.
Yes, but he sounds like he wants a general purpose optic for general purposes.

Really, something in the range of (approximately) 3-9X 40mm is probably what you want. They aren't considered glamorous but they have proven their usefulness over decades. There are lots of options from which to choose.

Mark AR MOD 1 3-9x40mm

This is one example - good zoom range, lifetime warranty, target turrets, side focus, mil dots, low price,...

https://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/1503074278000_1036113.jpg

Check out Vortex, too.
Came here to suggest that very scope with an offset red dot. Lighter at only about 12 ounces. It does not have side focus. It does have the incredible motion-activated Firedot reticle. The button for the Firedot intensity is where a side focus knob would be, so it is sometimes confused that way. But you really do not need side focus at 9x and lower for a centerfire rifle. I run the slightly heavier VX-R Patrol version and really like it. But you may not want the extra three ounces.

Another good option, if a 1-6x24 is to be preferred and run stand-alone, would be the Burris RT-6 1-6x24. Blows away the Strike Eagle optically. Not even in the same league. Same weight, though. They were unavailable/backordered for quite some time but are now back in stock most places.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 4:38:29 PM EDT
Your price points are kind of all over the place.
If you're comfortable going 1k+ maybe take a look at the NF nx8
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 4:40:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 4:45:37 PM EDT by StraightMiataMan]
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Originally Posted By asorel:

How would a TA33 perform at closer ranges? Obviously it wouldn't be as good as a dedicated red dot but how significant is the difference?
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Originally Posted By asorel:

How would a TA33 perform at closer ranges? Obviously it wouldn't be as good as a dedicated red dot but how significant is the difference?
I currently have a TA33 sitting on my home defense rig.

Shooting both eyes open through an ACOG at close range isn't really a problem at all, due to the forgiving eye box. I didn't get it to work very well with a LPVO, because if you weren't perfectly aligned behind it, then things got screwy and the reticle went away. Because the ACOG doesn't require perfection, similar to a red dot, it's a lot easier to get it up and on target.

The reticle itself just sort of floats in view of your right eye, while your left eye actually focuses and sees the target. Your brain superimposes the chevron/dot on the target.

Is it as fast as a red dot? No, but it's much more useable and nice at longer distances, and I still find it faster than an LPVO.

Best bet is to go to a shooting event around you where some people will let you try stuff out. If you haven't made it to a Cola Warrior yet, you should, you'll get to handle more than you'd considered while there. Second best is trying them in store.

Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Yes, but he sounds like he wants a general purpose optic for general purposes.
There's different levels of "general purpose." A GP competition rifle is a very different setup from a GP hunting rig from a GP patrol rifle.

Getting one rig that's "GP" to run competitions, kick in doors, and take varmints across a 700yd field pretty much just isn't going to happen, but getting one that can compete and hunt or compete and doorkick is plenty doable.

If you need to hit the target, start off looking at 1x per 100yds. If you need to ID a target, try for 2x per 100. If you need to do precision work, that's when you want to step to 3-4x/100yd and more specific optics.

Your single best option for the most general GP setup is going to be a 1-10x from March or IOR or other. Depending on your need for target ID, that can get you anywhere from doorkicking at bayonet distance to 1,000+ yard shots. However, the weight is going to hurt, and the cost is going to hurt even worse.

If you're looking for a "General Purpose" rig as in "I want to use this for home defense but don't like being stuck with a red dot at the range," then I'd recommend one of two setups:

1) Red dot + magnifier. If you want to keep weight down, then use a QD instead of a flip-to-side mount for the magnifier.

2) Red dot + Scope both in quality QD mounts.

Given that it's a 20in, I'm assuming HD isn't as big in the "GP" list of uses, so there it just comes down to what exactly is "GP" for you? From there, what ranges do you most commonly intend to be shooting at? If your max range is 400yds, but 90% of your shooting is going to happen at 50yds, a 12x scope is going to suck even though it'll be great at that max range. Conversly if your max range is 200yds, but 90% of your shooting is going to happen at that max range, you'll be much better off with a 4x than you would with a red dot.

Your gun's optic is a lot like your car's tires. Yeah, it's the engine that makes it run and the seats that make you comfy, but the tires are really the main part that actually get you there, and do so safely. You spend the entire time shooting looking through the optic, and it's one of a very few actual major parts that get your bullets to hit the target.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 5:21:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 5:23:28 PM EDT by endermend]
Originally Posted By asorel:
I'm putting together a 20" AR as a lightweight, general-use rifle, and am looking for an optic solution to complement it. Weight is a factor as this is a lightweight rifle, but not the only factor. Obviously cheaper is better than the alternative but I am willing to pay a premium if it means I'll get quality. So far I've narrowed it to these choices:


  • TA31 with ACSS reticule, and an offset dual-illuminated RMR. I like this option because it offers a good amount of versatility, and with the RMR I still have a decent option at <25 yards, without fooling around with BAC or anything like that. No batteries whatsoever has an appeal to it as well. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount+RMR+mount) is ~14 oz.


  • TA33 only, BDC reticule. Still versatile, but not to the degree of the first option, although eye relief is a bit better. Still battery-free, the real advantage here is weight. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount) ~9.8 oz


  • 1-6x TR25. Still battery-free and good versatility from the 1-6x, but no BDC. It's also heavy. Total weight (Accupoint+AP mount) is ~22 oz.


  • 1-6x Vortex Strike Eagle. 1-6x gives good versatility, and unlike the Accupoint the reticule is BDC. The LED brightness is good for daylight (or so I've read), but presumably not as bright as fiber optics. Lighter too, but the downside is that battery. Total weight (Vortex+AP mount) is ~20 oz.



So what does the hive think? I'm leaning towards either Option 1 or Option 4, but I included the others to see what people thought of them. Other optics suggestions appreciated as well.
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I'd go with the TR 25 or the TA31 with ACSS.
Both give you a lot of flexibility that the Ta33 doesn't give you. The Fiber Optic on the TR25 allows the triangle to get really bright under direct sunlight. In ambient light, it's still pretty bright, brighter than the Accupower models.
I would look into the other Accupoint reticle models. I have the 1-4 with the triangle reticle. It's pretty limiting at range, but up close it's great. I find myself shooting better with the crosshair style acogs compared to the chevron style.

I haven't tried the Strike Eagle, but I think a 1-6 with an rmr is better than the ta31 with rmr, and I think the worst is the Ta33.
Ta33 imo is limiting because it's fixed 3x. You can't really reach out that far because it's 3x and you can't really use it quick up close because it's tiny fov. While you can use it at both, it's not really optimized at both.

Like others have said, I would go to a match or go to a large shop where they have these scops available and try them out. It mainly comes down to personal preference.
If you want lightweight, go with the Ta33, if you want more versatility go with one of the LPVO or the ta31 combo.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 5:53:38 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By endermend:

I'd go with the TR 25 or the TA31 with ACSS.

I would look into the other Accupoint reticle models. I have the 1-4 with the triangle reticle. It's pretty limiting at range, but up close it's great.

I haven't tried the Strike Eagle, but I think a 1-6 with an rmr is better than the ta31 with rmr, and I think the worst is the Ta33.
Ta33 imo is limiting because it's fixed 3x. You can't really reach out that far because it's 3x and you can't really use it quick up close because it's tiny fov. While you can use it at both, it's not really optimized at both.
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I will say, I personally love triangle reticles (RX06 FTW) but they do take a bit of adjusting to. At range, they're a lot harder to holdover with. Personally I think they're pretty great with a 25/300yd zero instead of a 50/200 or a 100yd zero, since that will result in more hold under instead of needing to hold over where the larger triangle can obscure the target, but they are exceptionally fast in very close uses.

While I won't necessarily say that you're straight up wrong on your points here, I do think they're a little bit exaggerated.

Quality glass is more important than magnification, and a lower powered optic with much clearer glass will reach further than a high powered magnification with mediocre glass quality. I have no problem seeing quite a long ways with my TA33, and though I haven't personally reached out a long ways with mine yet (range stops at 200yds), they're quite commonly used for 300+yds at Cola Warrior. Getting behind it I'm notably faster than I am with an LPVO, and only marginally slower than with a red dot. Again, running with both eyes open here is paramount - if you're not comfortable shooting this way, then one of two things will happen:

1) You'll learn how to shoot both eyes open.
2) Someone will get a good deal on a TA33 through the EE in a couple weeks

The TA31 does have an exceptionally massive FOV, but this is a direct tradeoff with the much shorter eye relief which makes it much more difficult to get behind the optic when shooting in awkward positions such as around barricades, vehicles, etc. Doable, but takes a bit extra work and consideration. I haven't yet found any issue with the TA33 when running both eyes open - in my uses. Which is where the specificity of use comes into play.

I think the TA33 is a great general optic for mostly closer engagements when you'll need to reach out further with more frequency than you'd want a RDS for. However, if I was using it for hunting or such, I'd definitely go TA31, because that massive FOV does help with staying on target against a moving target.

I'd probably call the TA33 a 60/40 or 70/30 optic for close/distance engagements, out to the 3-400yd range. If you're doing more close in, more far out, or a near perfect balance of the two, there's definitely better optics.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 6:23:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 6:26:27 PM EDT by endermend]
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Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:

I will say, I personally love triangle reticles (RX06 FTW) but they do take a bit of adjusting to. At range, they're a lot harder to holdover with. Personally I think they're pretty great with a 25/300yd zero instead of a 50/200 or a 100yd zero, since that will result in more hold under instead of needing to hold over where the larger triangle can obscure the target, but they are exceptionally fast in very close uses.

While I won't necessarily say that you're straight up wrong on your points here, I do think they're a little bit exaggerated.

Quality glass is more important than magnification, and a lower powered optic with much clearer glass will reach further than a high powered magnification with mediocre glass quality. I have no problem seeing quite a long ways with my TA33, and though I haven't personally reached out a long ways with mine yet (range stops at 200yds), they're quite commonly used for 300+yds at Cola Warrior. Getting behind it I'm notably faster than I am with an LPVO, and only marginally slower than with a red dot. Again, running with both eyes open here is paramount - if you're not comfortable shooting this way, then one of two things will happen:

1) You'll learn how to shoot both eyes open.
2) Someone will get a good deal on a TA33 through the EE in a couple weeks

The TA31 does have an exceptionally massive FOV, but this is a direct tradeoff with the much shorter eye relief which makes it much more difficult to get behind the optic when shooting in awkward positions such as around barricades, vehicles, etc. Doable, but takes a bit extra work and consideration. I haven't yet found any issue with the TA33 when running both eyes open - in my uses. Which is where the specificity of use comes into play.

I think the TA33 is a great general optic for mostly closer engagements when you'll need to reach out further with more frequency than you'd want a RDS for. However, if I was using it for hunting or such, I'd definitely go TA31, because that massive FOV does help with staying on target against a moving target.

I'd probably call the TA33 a 60/40 or 70/30 optic for close/distance engagements, out to the 3-400yd range. If you're doing more close in, more far out, or a near perfect balance of the two, there's definitely better optics.
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I agree with you.
I do like triangle reticules, but if I'm using the optic for tight shooting and or hunting, I'd rather have a crosshair. I find it easier to shoot tight groups, I don't really know why. I think having an exact point to shoot, is easier as the lines intersect where a chevron or triangle just has an open tip.

I sold my TA 33 a while ago. Shooting two eyes open was kind of weird with the tight fov. I can shoot pretty much all of my other optics just fine with both eyes open (Anything 4x and under fine). I think it has its place, but I don't know if it would make sense on a 20" GP rifle. It does fill the lightweight requirement well. IMO, the TA33 fills the shorter medium range area because of that, it fit's better on a 16" than a 20".
For shorter range, sub 100 to 200, I'd go with an RDS with magnifier combo. It makes more sense as you get a lot of versatility and you get a good 100 meter optic and a decent 200-300 meter magnified dot.

From the OP's description, a 20" lightweight with a scope, I'm assuming it's going to be a ranch gun or an "Oh shit there's a Coyote outside" type of thing.
In that role, I think a variable would suit better. Especially one with tritiuim and a fiber optic.
Ultimately to me, it depends on how far OP is going to shoot, and what he means by GP.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 7:26:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By asorel:
How would a TA33 perform at closer ranges? Obviously it wouldn't be as good as a dedicated red dot but how significant is the difference?
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Originally Posted By asorel:
Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:

What are you shooting at 400yds?

A TA33 will let you hit a target, a 1-6x will let you identify what color the target is wearing, a 1-8x or 2-10x will let you know who the target is. Steel torso? TA33. Paper precision? SWFA 16x. Competition? 1-8x.

Optics are, IMO, the single most use-specific part of a firearm. There's a lot on the market, and there's a lot of different types that are (most) all out there for a reason.
How would a TA33 perform at closer ranges? Obviously it wouldn't be as good as a dedicated red dot but how significant is the difference?
I wouldn’t choose it for home defense but for general purpose the 33 would be 100% my choice.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 7:45:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 7:58:29 PM EDT by asorel]
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Originally Posted By endermend:

I agree with you.
I do like triangle reticules, but if I'm using the optic for tight shooting and or hunting, I'd rather have a crosshair. I find it easier to shoot tight groups, I don't really know why. I think having an exact point to shoot, is easier as the lines intersect where a chevron or triangle just has an open tip.

I sold my TA 33 a while ago. Shooting two eyes open was kind of weird with the tight fov. I can shoot pretty much all of my other optics just fine with both eyes open (Anything 4x and under fine). I think it has its place, but I don't know if it would make sense on a 20" GP rifle. It does fill the lightweight requirement well. IMO, the TA33 fills the shorter medium range area because of that, it fit's better on a 16" than a 20".
For shorter range, sub 100 to 200, I'd go with an RDS with magnifier combo. It makes more sense as you get a lot of versatility and you get a good 100 meter optic and a decent 200-300 meter magnified dot.

From the OP's description, a 20" lightweight with a scope, I'm assuming it's going to be a ranch gun or an "Oh shit there's a Coyote outside" type of thing.
In that role, I think a variable would suit better. Especially one with tritiuim and a fiber optic.
Ultimately to me, it depends on how far OP is going to shoot, and what he means by GP.
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For GP, I just meant a rifle that could hit a variety of targets outdoors. Not HD of course, but man size targets up to 400 or so. I'd hope to use such a rifle in competition as well, not precision work but enough to ring steel.

ETA: I'm leaning towards the TA33. The Leupold 3-9s look nice, but there don't seem to be any BDC options for the Mark AR, and unlike the ACOG there's a battery life. I have looked at the Accupoints as well but I'm not real happy with the reticule options there either.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 8:00:24 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By asorel:

For GP, I just meant a rifle that could hit a variety of targets outdoors. Not HD of course, but man size targets up to 400 or so. I'd hope to use such a rifle in competition as well, not precision work but enough to ring steel.

ETA: I think I'll end up going for the TA33. The Leupold 3-9s look nice, but there don't seem to be any BDC options for the Mark AR, and unlike the ACOG there's a battery life. I have looked at the Accupoints as well but I'm not real happy with the reticule options there either.
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That's the main downfall to the current line of accupoints.

That makes sense, I'd go with a 3x or a 4x. 4x If I'm shooting at that 400 more.

Can I ask why a 20"? You're not gaining much compared to a 16" or a 14.5". What type of competition?
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 8:13:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By asorel:

For GP, I just meant a rifle that could hit a variety of targets outdoors. Not HD of course, but man size targets up to 400 or so. I'd hope to use such a rifle in competition as well, not precision work but enough to ring steel.

ETA: I'm leaning towards the TA33. The Leupold 3-9s look nice, but there don't seem to be any BDC options for the Mark AR, and unlike the ACOG there's a battery life. I have looked at the Accupoints as well but I'm not real happy with the reticule options there either.
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Originally Posted By asorel:

For GP, I just meant a rifle that could hit a variety of targets outdoors. Not HD of course, but man size targets up to 400 or so. I'd hope to use such a rifle in competition as well, not precision work but enough to ring steel.

ETA: I'm leaning towards the TA33. The Leupold 3-9s look nice, but there don't seem to be any BDC options for the Mark AR, and unlike the ACOG there's a battery life. I have looked at the Accupoints as well but I'm not real happy with the reticule options there either.
Well if you're near the DFW and associated area in TX, you're welcome to put some rounds downrange with my TA33 and see what you think of it.

There's the Firedot reticles for the Leupold scopes, and while it's not strictly "BDC" like the Trijicons are, pair it with Strelok and you'll do just fine.

Originally Posted By endermend:
Can I ask why a 20"? You're not gaining much compared to a 16" or a 14.5". What type of competition?
I didn't want to turn this into a barrel thread, but I've been wondering this since the start. Even if it's just because velocity, an 18" will give a bit of a gain in handling/weight without a noticeable velocity loss, and will still be a super smooth shooter with rifle gas. For a general purpose gun though a 16" middy with adjustable gas would be my immediate go-to recommendation.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 8:29:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 8:38:24 PM EDT by asorel]
I've been debating between 18 and 20 inches, actually. One of the things that bumped me towards 20" was the reports from Battlefield Las Vegas that their 20" ARs were the most reliable, longest-running rifles in their collection. Could still go either way.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 8:54:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2018 8:54:56 PM EDT by endermend]
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Originally Posted By asorel:
I've been debating between 18 and 20 inches, actually. One of the things that bumped me towards 20" was the reports from Battlefield Las Vegas that their 20" ARs were the most reliable, longest-running rifles in their collection. Could still go either way.
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They are firing full auto daily. I don't think the longevity really applies to most of us.

Like StraightMiataMan, I think a mid length 16" is the way to go for most builds unless you're doing other things to take advantage of longer barrel length. It's a moot point to go longer than 16" if you don't do other things to use the extra barrel.
Link Posted: 7/11/2018 9:14:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By asorel:
I've been debating between 18 and 20 inches, actually. One of the things that bumped me towards 20" was the reports from Battlefield Las Vegas that their 20" ARs were the most reliable, longest-running rifles in their collection. Could still go either way.
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So a few things to note on this. First off, the barrel length doesn't much matter, in this case it's more a factor of the gas system. If you have a perfectly tuned pistol gas AR, it'll last longer than a massively over-gassed rifle length. You need enough gas to run the bolt, but not so much as to cause undue wear. For a variety of reasons, rifle length is generally better at this than mid length, is generally better than carbine, is better than pistol. If you're running an adjustable gas block, then it becomes a moot point on most every front except maybe gas port erosion. Secondly, it's BLV. Their guns, or most any public range rentals, are going to see a round count orders of magnitude higher than 99% of personal owners will ever subject their guns to.

Realistically, the difference in longevity and reliability will depend more on your BCG, FCG, and overall parts quality than it will on your barrel length. A quality 16in is going to do better than a budget 20.

What should mainly be driving your choice in barrel is use. Use is going to come down into a few points, but top three are likely going to be the following:

1) Ballistics
2) Handling
3) Price

And then fourth we'll throw weight in there.

Ballistics goes before handling for the simple reason that it's a whole lot easier to do CQB work with a rifle than it is to make a PDW get terminal ballistics at rifle distances. If you're not worried about pushing past 400yds, then you could go down to a 14.5in without trouble.

Second up would be handling. This is completely dependent on your use and area. If you work in open areas and/or just go to the range, then length doesn't matter much. If you're indoors, innawoods, or going to be getting it in and out of a truck, then the shorter you go the happier you'll be.

Third is price - budget is going to play a part here, because generally if you start going past 20 or below 14.5 prices can start going up a bit because you're getting to "specialty" uses.

Fourth is weight, which is only because lightweight parts are more expensive. If you need 20in ballistics but can only afford that sweet ultralight carbon fiber barrel in 16in, then you're either getting a heavier rifle, or you're getting closer to your target.

What I'd recommend for a general purpose rifle would be a 16 or 18in (depending on ballistics/handling) Faxon or Ballistic Advantage Pencil. Pair that with a quality adjustable gas block (I'd recommend SLA, or take a look at the Q offering for weight, that's my plan for my SBR) and you should do just fine.
Link Posted: 7/12/2018 8:16:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By asorel:
I'm putting together a 20" AR as a lightweight, general-use rifle, and am looking for an optic solution to complement it. Weight is a factor as this is a lightweight rifle, but not the only factor. Obviously cheaper is better than the alternative but I am willing to pay a premium if it means I'll get quality. So far I've narrowed it to these choices:


  • TA31 with ACSS reticule, and an offset dual-illuminated RMR. I like this option because it offers a good amount of versatility, and with the RMR I still have a decent option at <25 yards, without fooling around with BAC or anything like that. No batteries whatsoever has an appeal to it as well. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount+RMR+mount) is ~14 oz.


  • TA33 only, BDC reticule. Still versatile, but not to the degree of the first option, although eye relief is a bit better. Still battery-free, the real advantage here is weight. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount) ~9.8 oz


  • 1-6x TR25. Still battery-free and good versatility from the 1-6x, but no BDC. It's also heavy. Total weight (Accupoint+AP mount) is ~22 oz.


  • 1-6x Vortex Strike Eagle. 1-6x gives good versatility, and unlike the Accupoint the reticule is BDC. The LED brightness is good for daylight (or so I've read), but presumably not as bright as fiber optics. Lighter too, but the downside is that battery. Total weight (Vortex+AP mount) is ~20 oz.



So what does the hive think? I'm leaning towards either Option 1 or Option 4, but I included the others to see what people thought of them. Other optics suggestions appreciated as well.
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TR25 all day. I have two TR24’s and I have some buddies with TR25’s and the glass is phenomenal on the TR25’s. It’s a little bit bigger and heavier than the TR24 but it is a 1-6. The strike eagle is inferior to the TR25 in every way. It has average at best glass, the reticle is not daylight bright, it doesn’t have 1/4 moa adjustments and it is not as durable as the trijicon’s.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 12:32:28 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TBone556:

TR25 all day. I have two TR24’s and I have some buddies with TR25’s and the glass is phenomenal on the TR25’s. It’s a little bit bigger and heavier than the TR24 but it is a 1-6. The strike eagle is inferior to the TR25 in every way. It has average at best glass, the reticle is not daylight bright, it doesn’t have 1/4 moa adjustments and it is not as durable as the trijicon’s.
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I really want to like the TR-25, but there's nothing in the way of BDC. Ultimately, I think I'll go with the TA-33. The 31/RMR combo might be more viable if the eye relief weren't so damn short...
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 1:29:43 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By asorel:

I really want to like the TR-25, but there's nothing in the way of BDC. Ultimately, I think I'll go with the TA-33. The 31/RMR combo might be more viable if the eye relief weren't so damn short...
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Eye relief on the 31 doesn’t matter if you shoot NTCH.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 1:33:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/13/2018 1:34:48 AM EDT by doty_soty]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TBone556:

TR25 all day. I have two TR24’s and I have some buddies with TR25’s and the glass is phenomenal on the TR25’s. It’s a little bit bigger and heavier than the TR24 but it is a 1-6. The strike eagle is inferior to the TR25 in every way. It has average at best glass, the reticle is not daylight bright, it doesn’t have 1/4 moa adjustments and it is not as durable as the trijicon’s.
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I’ve had both the 24 and 25. Offhand, the 25 is really only like 2oz heavier isn’t it? It gives 2x more on the top end, a much better image, and a much cleaner view in that the FOV takes up almost all the scope. The 24 has a decent black ring when you look through it, whereas the 25 almost completely disappears when you shoulder it.

The 25 is an *awesome* scope. For me it’s the best thing going for a 0-200m optic. Once you start shooting far enough that you can’t dead hold though, and need to start holding over or dialing, there are a lot better options. If that’s the case, I’d want something with a BDC or external turrets. The 25 has neither, which is fine, that’s not what it is. To me it’s a red dot that can zoom out to 6X.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 11:29:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/13/2018 12:29:22 PM EDT by Spengo]
If you really like the TA33, consider the TA44 ACSS. 1.5x ACOG may sound counter-intuitive but it does everything the TA33 did for me only better in every way. Lighter, smaller, bigger FOV same insane eye relief, and with the ACSS version an even better reticle. Like StraightMiataMan said, it's a "let you hit the target" sort of optic. For that purpose, the slightly increased magnification of the TA33 is not more useful than the increased FOV of the TA44 imo. Both optics are really fast up close because of how little peripheral vision they fill. The BDC will get you out to 500yds and I have done it, this is against nice white-painted steel targets though mind you. Anyway, TA44 has replaced the TA33 on my lightweight build. For a different sort of "general purpose" I like a 1-8x 34mm tube scope like the RS-27 but that adds nearly 2lbs to your rifle including the mount lol.

Also, just to make it more confusing for you, here's another optic that no one has mentioned yet, the Leupold VX-6HD. 1-6x 30mm tube, only 13oz. I have no experience with this scope but I am very interested in it. It sounds kinda perfect for what your trying to do though. You'll sacrifice some of the durability and optical qualities of the 34mm tube stuff like the Mark 6 or RS-27 but weighing half as much is a very good selling point.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 2:52:42 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By doty_soty:

Eye relief on the 31 doesn’t matter if you shoot NTCH.
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Hard to do with my LoP, I've got lanky arms and generally shoot with a longer stock. The rifle I'm planning to put this on will have a fixed CF stock that's about the same length as an A2 stock.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 3:09:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/13/2018 3:11:36 PM EDT by StraightMiataMan]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By asorel:

Hard to do with my LoP, I've got lanky arms and generally shoot with a longer stock. The rifle I'm planning to put this on will have a fixed CF stock that's about the same length as an A2 stock.
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Just a note, but if you do want to run the TA31, both Larue and ADM make mounts that pull it further back.

ADM - if you want a rear BUIS and don't mind increased HOB for it.

LaRue - if you don't need a rear BUIS (chances are you really don't).

While this does help with the head positioning, the eye box will stay the same, which isn't quite as forgiving as the TA33.

Here's a good article that compares a few of the major ACOG's.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 3:15:44 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:

Just a note, but if you do want to run the TA31, both Larue and ADM make mounts that pull it further back.

ADM - if you want a rear BUIS and don't mind increased HOB for it.

LaRue - if you don't need a rear BUIS (chances are you really don't).

While this does help with the head positioning, the eye box will stay the same, which isn't quite as forgiving as the TA33.

Here's a good article that compares a few of the major ACOG's.
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Thanks for the links, but looking at photos it seems like the MWI mount I'm eyeing pushes the TA31 just as far back as the Larue. That article is very nice though, good information. Ultimately, I think I'll have to get some good old hands-on experience with both before getting bogged down in keyboard-warrior analysis paralysis.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 3:20:14 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By asorel:

Thanks for the links, but looking at photos it seems like the MWI mount I'm eyeing pushes the TA31 just as far back as the Larue. That article is very nice though, good information. Ultimately, I think I'll have to get some good old hands-on experience with both before getting bogged down in keyboard-warrior analysis paralysis.
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Not terribly familiar with the MWI products, it might do just the same.

Keyboarding is great, but at a certain point, yeah, the researching stops helping.

I'd shot with a TA31 before, but actually grabbed a TA33 without ever handling one, and have no regrets about it. The TA31 did offer some advantages, and really I'd say it comes down to how quick you want to be.

The TA33 is, in the words of someone else that I don't remember, the "Most red dot like magnified optic." The TA31 is a scope.

And if you think of it that way - scope vs. magnified red dot - I think that's probably about the most concise way to illustrate the difference between the two without holding one in each hand.

Again, if you're around the TX area, you're welcome to come play with my TA33, they seem to be a little more uncommon than the TA31, which shows up in most gunstores. Otherwise see if there's a local group either here or on FB with someone that uses one.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 3:22:33 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By StraightMiataMan:

Not terribly familiar with the MWI products, it might do just the same.

Keyboarding is great, but at a certain point, yeah, the researching stops helping.

I'd shot with a TA31 before, but actually grabbed a TA33 without ever handling one, and have no regrets about it. The TA31 did offer some advantages, and really I'd say it comes down to how quick you want to be.

The TA33 is, in the words of someone else that I don't remember, the "Most red dot like magnified optic." The TA31 is a scope.

And if you think of it that way - scope vs. magnified red dot - I think that's probably about the most concise way to illustrate the difference between the two without holding one in each hand.

Again, if you're around the TX area, you're welcome to come play with my TA33, they seem to be a little more uncommon than the TA31, which shows up in most gunstores. Otherwise see if there's a local group either here or on FB with someone that uses one.
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Appreciate the offer, sir! Unfortunately that's a bit out of my way, most of the year I'm in Atlanta.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 3:29:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By asorel:

Appreciate the offer, sir! Unfortunately that's a bit out of my way, most of the year I'm in Atlanta.
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Psh, that's only a 11hr drive. No biggie...

Still though, you're in the south, and I feel like there's *probably* a Cola Warrior that happens near you. If it's not upcoming, then there's probably a colabro near you that has one, if you toss a line out in a regional forum you'll probably get a few hits.
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 3:51:57 PM EDT
For general purpose it is hard to beat the ACOG RMR combo. I wouldn't get the dual illumination tho

I just got a trijicon 1-8x accupower and am liking it so far too. I got it to use on more of a hog gun, but I think it would fit the "general purpose" role just as well. Very good 1x. I honestly think the 1x is better than the pre89k MRO (which gave me some weird double vision effect due to the slight magnification)
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 4:00:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/13/2018 4:01:08 PM EDT by Ironcross]
Delete
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 4:36:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/13/2018 4:36:53 PM EDT by asorel]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By thornejc:
For general purpose it is hard to beat the ACOG RMR combo. I wouldn't get the dual illumination tho

I just got a trijicon 1-8x accupower and am liking it so far too. I got it to use on more of a hog gun, but I think it would fit the "general purpose" role just as well. Very good 1x. I honestly think the 1x is better than the pre89k MRO (which gave me some weird double vision effect due to the slight magnification)
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Any reason you're against dual illumination in the RMR? I liked the idea of a battery free gun
Link Posted: 7/13/2018 4:47:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/13/2018 4:48:32 PM EDT by StraightMiataMan]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By asorel:

Any reason you're against dual illumination in the RMR? I liked the idea of a battery free gun
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Washout.

If you use a light or are aiming from a dark area to a light one (such as through a door or window from inside), then your reticle disappears. This isn't as huge an issue with the Acog because it has an etched reticle, but with the RMR, you'll get nothing.

Because of how long these batteries last, it's really not a concern. Just replace it yearly and you shouldn't ever experience a dead battery. Durability of the electronics isn't a concern either, as this is only an occasional issue with pistols which abuse the RMR much worse than a rifle will.

If you're going to have two sighting systems on one gun, you might as well swtich it up to prevent a similar issue from taking out both at once (ie, washout). If your ACOG washes out and you're having trouble finding the reticle for whatever reason, an RM09/RM06 is going to be working just fine. But if your ACOG and RMR both wash out at the same time, you're up shit creek with a leak in your boat and no paddle.

There's next to no downside with the adjustable led RMR's, whereas there are a few with the dual-illumination. I wouldn't bother with the auto adjust.
Link Posted: 7/15/2018 1:42:09 PM EDT
A GP optic for 90% if people? Acupoint 1-4. Better glass than most people have ever used, a reticule that you can hit a 8” plate from 0-300 yds, simple.
Ymmv
Link Posted: 7/16/2018 5:34:14 AM EDT
ta33 I like mine, it has a amber chevron
Link Posted: 7/17/2018 10:25:31 PM EDT
a ta 31f works great on a 20 inch rifle . you could also look at the leupold 1.25x4 patrol rifle optic with the fire dot . its fairly light weight .

Link Posted: 7/17/2018 10:59:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2018 11:02:25 PM EDT by Steviesegal]
TA31 or the TR25 (distant second).

I would never put a TA33 on anything again, it's like looking through a toilet paper tube. The tight FOV makes it appear less than 3x, which is the opposite of how the TA31 works with how its wide FOV makes it feel more than 4x.

I think the Deltapoint is a superior MRDS to the RMR and would recommend that on the piggyback over the RMR, if you choose the TA31/MRDS route.

I would also recommend checking out the 1-8 Accupower.
Link Posted: 7/17/2018 11:10:23 PM EDT
Why no mention of the ACOG TA11? I like the long a relief compared to a TA31 etc.
Link Posted: 7/18/2018 2:43:44 AM EDT
For my general purpose rifle I went with the Leopold VXR patrol in 3x9x40. I mounted it on a DI LWRC and it makes for a light setup. On 3x with both eyes open it is reasonably quick and the 9x gets me out as long as I will ever need from the 556.
Link Posted: 7/18/2018 12:44:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By asorel:
I'm putting together a 20" AR as a lightweight, general-use rifle, and am looking for an optic solution to complement it. Weight is a factor as this is a lightweight rifle, but not the only factor. Obviously cheaper is better than the alternative but I am willing to pay a premium if it means I'll get quality. So far I've narrowed it to these choices:


  • TA31 with ACSS reticule, and an offset dual-illuminated RMR. I like this option because it offers a good amount of versatility, and with the RMR I still have a decent option at <25 yards, without fooling around with BAC or anything like that. No batteries whatsoever has an appeal to it as well. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount+RMR+mount) is ~14 oz.


  • TA33 only, BDC reticule. Still versatile, but not to the degree of the first option, although eye relief is a bit better. Still battery-free, the real advantage here is weight. Total weight (ACOG+MWI mount) ~9.8 oz


  • 1-6x TR25. Still battery-free and good versatility from the 1-6x, but no BDC. It's also heavy. Total weight (Accupoint+AP mount) is ~22 oz.


  • 1-6x Vortex Strike Eagle. 1-6x gives good versatility, and unlike the Accupoint the reticule is BDC. The LED brightness is good for daylight (or so I've read), but presumably not as bright as fiber optics. Lighter too, but the downside is that battery. Total weight (Vortex+AP mount) is ~20 oz.



So what does the hive think? I'm leaning towards either Option 1 or Option 4, but I included the others to see what people thought of them. Other optics suggestions appreciated as well.
View Quote
strike eagle isn't daylight bright. But the reticule is usable without a battery. Also the reticule isn't really designed for real precision. I would want some thing thats etched as opposed to just lit up. 1x6 should work ok at 400 yards. Some one mentioned you need 1x per 100 to hit a target 1x per 50 to really see what the target is and 1x25 for shooting small groups and I would pretty much agree with that. Meaning if you want tight groups at 400 your going to want a 16x max scope but it sounds like you would be happy with a max around 8.
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