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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 11/21/2012 9:35:43 PM EST
Hey everyone I'm new to the whole forum thing and this will be my first post so please show mercy. I am in the market for an optic to run on my flat top, but i am stuck on whether i want a red dot w/ magnifier or an illuminated 1-4x scope. What i am looking for, is for you guys to weigh in on which option would be more beneficial ie. weight, speed(acquisition and adjustment), cost, bulkiness, and versatility are my priorities. What ever experience you have with either is greatly appreciated thanks.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:02:50 PM EST
Red dot is faster. If your going to go with a scope consider something that starts out higher magnification like 1.5 or 2 power and has a bigger objective lens.
42 minimum unless it's a fixed ACOG in something like 3 or 3.5 or 4x.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:14:30 PM EST
But what if i want to run a magnifier behind the red dot. then what would you say would be better?
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:43:46 PM EST
What are your intentions with the rifle? A red dot like an Aimpoint or Eotech will be faster for close in work. The 1-4x scopes will give you better glass if you plan to magnification more often than not. I don't have much experience with variable low powered optics, but I did get the opportunity to compare a 1-4x Burris XTR to my Eotech with 3x magnifier. I will say that the Burris has much better clarity and a brighter picture, but the Eotech without the magnifier is quicker on target. Also, a red dot will be easier to shoot while in unconventional positions because of it being paralax free and you don't have to get perfect eye to scope alignment.

With that being said I would say that if majority of your shooting will be inside of 50 yards or so, and you want to shoot fast and at multiple targets, stick with a red dot. If you plan to shoot mostly at longer distances and you're looking to get the most accuracy out of your rifle, go with the 1-4x. You'll be either compromising speed for long distance accuracy, or the other way around.

While here in Afghanistan, I found that the 3x just isn't enough magnification for our purposes. It's a heck of a lot better than 1x, but I wish I had more magnification. Also, the 3x magnifier just doesn't have the clarity to scan the horizon or distant objects. If I could do it over again, I would have bought myself a 1-6x for this deployment. Therefore, for my next AR, I plan to run a 1-6x on it, practice with it, and hopefully get good enough to bridge the gap in speed between a true 1x red dot and a 1-6x set on 1x. It seems like 3-gunners are pretty darn fast at multiple close range targets using low power variable scopes.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 5:35:40 AM EST
I use a Leupold VX-R Patrol 1.25-4x20 with the Firedot SPR reticle. Low compact variable scope with a dot. Works for me for 25m CQB out to 600 yds on Fig 11's...
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 6:00:14 AM EST
I have used both and here are some things to consider. First a quality red dot (Aimpoint M4s) and magnifier using quality mount (LaRue) will cost you something like $1300. A quality 1-4x like a Trijicon with a LaRue will be closer to $1000. Weight wise, the RDS/magnifier will be heavier. What did not work for me with the M4s without the magnifier is shooting small targets (head shots at 100 yards) or at longer distances (200 yards) because I have astigmatism and the flare of the dot makes precision shooting difficult. Close up or 100 yards with man-size steel targets, no problem. I don’t think the RDS is significantly faster but at odd angles where you cannot get a good cheek weld, the RDS is better. One weakness of the 1-4x is if you have different prescription for your two eyes like mine (left clear for long distance, right for close up), if you have to switch from strong to support side, the diopter setting can get slightly tricky. Cost set aside, going to higher power for the 1-?x will give you better precision for long shots but keep in mind that if you are really piling on the weight (this can increase from 20 to 30+ oz with the mount), make sure you are up for it and right for your application. The other thing to keep in mind is most of the 1-?x scopes do not have lit dot that is visible in bright sunlight – big factor if you are going for fast shooting.

So a lot to consider but the way I made my decision is to focus on what is MOST important to you and don’t give up on those things for nice to have features as you make a decision. For me, weight, clarity, bright dot in sunlight, enough mag was the most important and I transition from an M4s to a Trijicon 1-4x.

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 7:43:52 AM EST
I've had two 1-4's, and neither of them ever left 4X.

Red dots are great for up close shooting, but I never shoot any distance that makes a red dot a better choice.

I have yet to find my perfect optic. The ACOG is close, but requires a bit too much focus. I want to try a Leupole HAMR for this reason.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 7:49:43 AM EST
I sure like my Burris MTAC. I paid $320 from Palmetto with free shipping when they had a sale. As recently as yesterday, Cope's had them on Black Friday special for $299.99 plus free shipping.

As with most things in life, it's hard to get one thing that does everything perfectly. But, it's quick enough at 1X for CQB-type drills (recreational shooting) and the 4X is good for hunting and accuracy-testing at 100 yds.

I had the Nikon M-223 before the Burris and the Nikon was good, too. It just didn't offer the illumination.


Link Posted: 11/22/2012 8:42:35 AM EST
My opinion only. No one single weapon can do it all. AR with red dot out to 200yds. AR with magnification 200-600yds. Bolt rifle and more magnification 600yds and out.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 9:03:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2012 9:05:04 AM EST by SouthernBeau]
you may like this

You could always go with a reflex and magnified combo setup but like many others have said there is no end all be all do everything rifle out there. I would decide what I want to do best with the rifle and focus on the optics that will help you be best at whatever will be this rifles main job. Just because you set up a rifle for CQB or shooting coyotes doesn't mean that the only thing a rifle can do it will just do that main job the best. I would avoid trying to fill all the different gaps every time I have attempted to do this with a black rifle I end up with something HEAVY that does most everything ok, but nothing extremely well. YMMV as always and there are no stupid questions just do as much research as you can, shoot all your friends set-ups, make friends at the range, and ask to try out their optics etc. There are a ton of excellent optics that may not work for you for any number of reasons.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 9:52:41 AM EST
thanks guys for all the feedback, appreciate the options too. I to also have an astigmatism and didn't even think to keep that in consideration so thanks jlow.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 1:25:35 PM EST
Yes, astigmatism is a big factor if you want to shoot anything other than short distance with a red dot. My astigmatism does not bother me at all with an M4s shooting close and regular size targets up to 100 yards but outside that or small targets at 100 yards, I have learned from shooting my 2-gun matches that this is a problem for me.

For those applications, with that smear of a red dot I just cannot place it accurate. If I cannot see it, I cannot hit it. This from a guy who can hit the x-ring of an NRA F-class target out to 600 yards, but that was with an NF 8-32x scope. The 2-gun match was a good learning experience for me (this is my main reason to go to these i.e. to learn about my short comings and the same thing for my equipment). This is the reason I switch over to the Trijicon 1-4x. With that optic, I can shoot with both eye open and the bright dot like the M4s at close range, but at longer distances, I have the 4x but the diopter takes out the smearing from my astigmatism. The only slight drawback is the slight increase in weight but that I can accept.


Link Posted: 11/22/2012 3:51:33 PM EST
If you have an astigmatism, try viewing the red dot through the small aperature of your rear sight.

The only problem with this is you now have an eye box which matches the limitation if a magnified optic. Just another reason why I'm trying to ditch red dots all together.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 4:08:46 PM EST
I have to unfortunately say "been there and done that”.

Its general good advice and I have done this in the past. In fact I have the Bob Jones optical/aperture sight installed in my rear BUIS to improve that even further. The only problem with this is not only is the eye box extremely small (IMHO much smaller than the eye box of the 1-4x at 4x), but you have the additional disadvantage of a very dim sight picture since the only light that is coming in to your eye has to first go through that small aperture. If you are sitting calmly and looking through the sight on a bright day it’s perfectly OK. In fact I have shot MOA groups at 100 yards with this type of setup with the M4s. BUT in a tactical match where the targets are small and sometime indistinct because of coloration that is similar to the background or in the shade and you are lying prone and shooting in tall grass, it is a complete lost cause. Having done this a couple of times, I ditched the RDS.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 7:49:00 AM EST
I like my Burris XTR 1-4x in a Larue mount.
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