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Posted: 1/20/2006 2:12:04 PM EDT
I am putting together my first AR-15. It will be a RRA Varmint A4 flattop with 20" bbl. I have been shopping for a scope for over 3 weeks now and it is driving me nuts. Originally, I was going for a Leupold LR/T scope in a 4.5-14. A friend introduced me to nightforce and I was amazed. I then thought about an NXS in the 3.5-15 range. Cost was way up there and I had to convince myself that putting a scope on that was more than the gun was worth was a real good idea he
The big question I am having a hard time with is: "which magnification range am I going to purchase?" The 3.5-15 and 5.5-22 are nearly identical in price, save a hundred or so. Those who I have talked to get a great laugh when I ask them about putting a 5.5-22 on an AR-15. I don't see what the big deal is, really, so I went and pulled an old bushnell 3-9x32 scope. The difference between 3.5 and 5.5 is so marginal it doesn't seem like much of a difference. Can’t one twist the magnification back down to sane levels if needed? My justification is that if I were to purchase the 5.5-22, I would have the extra magnification if and when needed and the scope could also be transferred to another high power rifle worthy of it when I go that route. Why wouldn't I want extra magnification? Since a scope like a nightforce is a lifetime investment, I want to plan for the future.

Please help explain to me why I keep hearing the 5.5-22 is way too much scope for an AR-15. I'm almost embarrassed to bring it up because of the chuckles I get. I have had long conversations with nightforce on the phone about the subject. We talked and based on what I want to do with my AR (mostly target) I was told that the 5.5-22 might be a good choice over the 3.5-15. I was told the 3.5-15 is a good choice for tactical work because of the wider field of view. Why not get the 5.5-22 and reap the benefits of higher magnification when needed?
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 3:18:07 PM EDT
Simple...too much Magnification is not always a good thing. if your shooting at paper all day at 100 yds. sure you can see you bullet holes shooting off a bench, but if you take it out on the plains to shoot P dogs on a hot day, the mirage is wicked at around 16X and higher ( I had a variable out to 32X) so i dialed back to around 15-16X and found the best compromise between magnification and clarity/mirage.

You say your needs are Target shooting, that can mean a lot of differnt things to a lot of different people. When I shot my 32X scope on paper at the local range,at 100 yds it seemed fine, different story out in the field off the bench (roof of a RV in South Dakota...).

Ever wonder why benchrest guys use 32X while Military Snipers use 10X?? Two different requirements.

Define your needs more and that will help you narrow down your choices......

Don't be afraid of expensive glass...you really do get what you pay for, just know what you REALLY want to do before you choose...good luck
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 4:28:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Harv24:
Simple...too much Magnification is not always a good thing. if your shooting at paper all day at 100 yds. sure you can see you bullet holes shooting off a bench, but if you take it out on the plains to shoot P dogs on a hot day, the mirage is wicked at around 16X and higher ( I had a variable out to 32X) so i dialed back to around 15-16X and found the best compromise between magnification and clarity/mirage.

You say your needs are Target shooting, that can mean a lot of differnt things to a lot of different people. When I shot my 32X scope on paper at the local range,at 100 yds it seemed fine, different story out in the field off the bench (roof of a RV in South Dakota...).

Ever wonder why benchrest guys use 32X while Military Snipers use 10X?? Two different requirements.

Define your needs more and that will help you narrow down your choices......

Don't be afraid of expensive glass...you really do get what you pay for, just know what you REALLY want to do before you choose...good luck



Sound advice!!

That said, I have a Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24X40 on my Varminter and wouldn't trade it for anything. As he said though, there are definitely different needs for different situations. That's always a good trick with amateur deer hunters. Get their high power scopes zoomed up, then either the deer gets spooked and runs, and their FOV is so small there is no way they can get the deer back into view. Same with follow up shots. However, I've always found when needed, you can always adjust a high powered scope (well MOST scopes) down to a reasonable level. Not vice versa.

Gundraw
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 4:56:41 PM EDT
You'll Poke your eye out!

Link Posted: 1/20/2006 7:21:58 PM EDT
I see through mirage better with extremely high magnification. The thing you must look for is adjustable parallax/focus as it is easy to look a the air or mirage in front of the target instead of the target at higher magnifications. If you can realy dial in your focus then you can see better with higher magnifications when mirage is present in my experience. You can also always turn a higher magnified scope down. You do tend to loose FOV with a higher magnified scope turned down to the same magnification of a similar scope with lower total leves on many models so be aware of that problem. If you dont go nuts with a super high magnification scope like a 32X max and stick to the 5.5-22X you should be OK when comparing to a 4-14X IMO.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:12:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/20/2006 11:13:11 PM EDT by JTAC_Supply]
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 1:35:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2006 1:37:40 AM EDT by sevensixtwo]
I agree with Jason, if it's what you want, but it and enjoy it. On my most accurate AR, I found that 10x was too limiting. I moved up to a variable that offered 20x on the high end and it has worked out a lot better for me.

As for Nightforce, I honestly did not feel that it gave me my money's worth. The single setting illumination was rather bothersome and I didn't feel that the glass was any better than my Leupolds in actual use. The exposed electronics under the illumination "button" (which is the parallax adjustment also and it just pulls off) didn't inspire confidence either. Ended up selling it and I bought another Leupold and I don't regret it one bit. The Nightforce just didn't do it for me.

Also, out of the several Leupolds that I've owned (mostly Mark 4's and one Vari-X III), I have never encountered any of those problems you mentioned (though I have read of them, probably from the same sources). I did send in a scope for some water spot damage on the objective lens (my fault) and Leupold took care of it. Excellent customer service from Leupold.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 3:34:06 AM EDT
i dont think its too much as long as it has a reasonable low power setting in which it does, hell i have a 6.5-20x on my .22lr

Link Posted: 1/21/2006 12:04:40 PM EDT
A lot of great info posted and a lot to think about. Thank you all! Toward the end, a couple of people posted a different view "yea" rather tan "nay". I appreciate different views here, as it helps me put in perspective what I want.

To throw a wrench in the mix, I got sick of looking at the same scopes over and over. I just wasn't see something that was grabbing my attention like it should or needed to. In fact nothing but the general NightForce line was, not any particular scope. So, last night for a few hours, I went hunting for scopes that's weren't Leupold or NightForce. I found Nikon, US Optics, and IOR. A lack of information and manuals on the web steered me away from the Nikon. Seems the choices for reticles for the Nikon are std duplex and mil-dot. How can I learn about a scope when there is limited data out there? Nikon's website doesn't even have a manual for it. US Optics is sure expensive. I don't know what to say about them yet except for from what I see, they are the upper middle end of the high end scopes. Perhaps they are so expensive that there's not a lot of people out there to take examples from. I was impressed with what I saw at IOR/Valdada. Not a company I have ever heard about. Their #8 reticle looks like a cross between a NightForce NP-R2 and MLR. I do like what I see. Their prices sure up there, almost as expensive as the NightForce. RRA seems to support them ,as they are master dealer and have their products on their own site. Anyone care to comment on IOR vs NightForce? Looks like I am going to spend a grand no matter how I look at it, if I want nice glass. I even got evil and found a bunch of write ups about a cheapo Tasco Super Sniper scope. Skeptical as I was, and as skeptical as those testing it were, it was tested and rated up there with some scopes costing more than 4 or 5 times its price (of $299 I believe). Seems there was a "craze" with the Super Sniper scopes that I did not quite understand. Anyone care to comment on this as well? I'd like to know what the rave is all about that I saw.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 4:02:33 PM EDT
Why don't you check out the IOR 2-12X32 or the 3-18. As you can see the range in magnification is very broad and the glass is very nice. You can get them for under $1000
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 7:59:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2006 8:04:07 PM EDT by sevensixtwo]
IOR - The IOR's that I have seen/used were all very nice. Built very well, clean glass, good reticles. I recently purchased a 3-12x32 so I can give you a little run down once I get it (it's "in the mail"). Compared to IOR's ive seen/used, I did not think that glass on my NF was any better.

I also have a USO (ST-10) on my M1A Match:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/NATO762/JAE100-G2-01.jpg

The scope can also be used a hammer. Built like a brick shithouse. Everything works very well on it. It's a fixed 10x. Glass is very clear, clean reticle, nice clicks. Not much to complain about. A bit pricey but then again, I think every scope out there is overpriced...except the Super Sniper...

Speaking of the Super Sniper, for $299, it's a lot of scope. The glass isn't as good as any other scope I have but it's definitely servicable. A bit of a color tint to it (yellowish) but nothing major. I think the control are bit "My First Sony"-ish but it's probably the best deal out there for a fixed 10x. Check out the EE in the Group Buy section as they have some sort of GB going on (free accessories basically). I had a SS but gave it to my cousin when I ended up with more scopes than I needed.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 9:42:34 PM EDT
5.5-22 is really the perfect scope for a heavy LR AR-15. Crank up to read mirage, crank down for field of view. Whether letting noobs shoot cans at 300yds, or tagging bottles at 700, this scope is superb.

Link Posted: 1/22/2006 1:17:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ScottyS:
5.5-22 is really the perfect scope for a heavy LR AR-15. Crank up to read mirage, crank down for field of view. Whether letting noobs shoot cans at 300yds, or tagging bottles at 700, this scope is superb.

scottystrachan.com/hosted/aics_dpms.jpg



ScottyS, you know your heavy bbl AR looks exactly like what is on order from RRA (Varmint A4 20" bbl) Long range stuff, 200 to 300 yard shots are what I want to end up doing with it, out to the ends where it starts to get inaccurate Hearing I just could not convince myself looking through an older scope I had at 3.5 and then 5.5 that there was a THAT much of a differnece.

I had a good laugh when sevensixtwo said "The scope can also be used like a hammer. Built like a brick shithouse" he
It's either IOR or NightForce at this point. I emailed RRA about IOR and hope to hear back what they say. I also emailed a vendor who sells both. Hopefully before the gun is delivered (4 to 6 weeks) I'll have something to slap on it.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 1:28:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sevensixtwo:
IOR - The IOR's that I have seen/used were all very nice. Built very well, clean glass, good reticles. I recently purchased a 3-12x32 so I can give you a little run down once I get it (it's "in the mail"). Compared to IOR's ive seen/used, I did not think that glass on my NF was any better.

I also have a USO (ST-10) on my M1A Match:

img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/NATO762/JAE100-G2-01.jpg

The scope can also be used a hammer. Built like a brick shithouse. Everything works very well on it. It's a fixed 10x. Glass is very clear, clean reticle, nice clicks. Not much to complain about. A bit pricey but then again, I think every scope out there is overpriced...except the Super Sniper...

Speaking of the Super Sniper, for $299, it's a lot of scope. The glass isn't as good as any other scope I have but it's definitely servicable. A bit of a color tint to it (yellowish) but nothing major. I think the control are bit "My First Sony"-ish but it's probably the best deal out there for a fixed 10x. Check out the EE in the Group Buy section as they have some sort of GB going on (free accessories basically). I had a SS but gave it to my cousin when I ended up with more scopes than I needed.




OMG Stevensixtwo............................ That rifle....................... Is just all kinds of sexy....................
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 3:11:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 3:13:04 PM EDT by ScottyS]

Originally Posted By ThePretender:
ScottyS, you know your heavy bbl AR looks exactly like what is on order from RRA (Varmint A4 20" bbl) Long range stuff, 200 to 300 yard shots are what I want to end up doing with it, out to the ends where it starts to get inaccurate . Hearing you say the above happliy makes me feel sane again I just could not convince myself looking through an older scope I had at 3.5 and then 5.5 that there was a THAT much of a differnece.

I had a good laugh when sevensixtwo said "The scope can also be used like a hammer. Built like a brick shithouse" I appreciate the pics of the IOR. I have never seen one mounted up except for the marketing literature IOR has.

It's either IOR or NightForce at this point. I emailed RRA about IOR and hope to hear back what they say. I also emailed a vendor who sells both. Hopefully before the gun is delivered (4 to 6 weeks) I'll have something to slap on it.




Cool. Mine's a 24", so just a tad heavier, but same application. For doing what you are talking about, there is no reason NOT to get the 5.5-22x. The only time you might regret it would be if you were callin' coyotes at 75yds or less, or if total rifle weight was an issue (it's not for me).

IMHO, the NF is in a totally different class than the IOR. Get the NF NXS unless the issue is funding. However, I found that having good glass on the gun made all the difference. There's a reason the NF is a favorite of 1000yd 50BMG shooters who could easily buy something else...

EDIT: oh yeah, the scope in 762's pic is a USO, not an IOR. Big, big difference!
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 12:41:34 PM EDT
I called RRA about my AR on order. I quickly asked the tech about IOR. I was told that the entire line was discontinued for lack of demand? Eh? Can this be right?
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 1:35:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sevensixtwo:
IOR - The IOR's that I have seen/used were all very nice. Built very well, clean glass, good reticles. I recently purchased a 3-12x32 so I can give you a little run down once I get it (it's "in the mail"). Compared to IOR's ive seen/used, I did not think that glass on my NF was any better.

I also have a USO (ST-10) on my M1A Match:

img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/NATO762/JAE100-G2-01.jpg

The scope can also be used a hammer. Built like a brick shithouse. Everything works very well on it. It's a fixed 10x. Glass is very clear, clean reticle, nice clicks. Not much to complain about. A bit pricey but then again, I think every scope out there is overpriced...except the Super Sniper...

Speaking of the Super Sniper, for $299, it's a lot of scope. The glass isn't as good as any other scope I have but it's definitely servicable. A bit of a color tint to it (yellowish) but nothing major. I think the control are bit "My First Sony"-ish but it's probably the best deal out there for a fixed 10x. Check out the EE in the Group Buy section as they have some sort of GB going on (free accessories basically). I had a SS but gave it to my cousin when I ended up with more scopes than I needed.



sevensixtwo: NICE rifle... Who's stock is that?
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 11:16:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
sevensixtwo: NICE rifle... Who's stock is that?



It's made by a company called JAE (J.Allen Enterprises). They don't have a website yet and information on the internet is NON-EXISTANT except for here (and M14 forums). Here's a LINK with more info.


Getting back to scopes, I just received my IOR 2-12x32 and I'm VERY impressed with this scope. BUILT SOLID. Nearly as solid as my USO and more solid than my Leupolds or Nightforce. Nice clean reticle, glass is clean and colorless. Controls are very solid with NICE clicks for both W&E adjustments and the illumination dial. That's one thing Leupold needs to improve. Their illumination dials have weak clicks (MUCH softer than the W&E dials....who knows, maybe that's how they like it? At least the OFF setting should have a solid click IMO). NF's have only one click for illumination...on or off (except for the 2.5-10x24)

The 35mm size REALLY limits your ring choices but luckily IOR includes rings (low, medium or high). I bought mine with high rings as I plan on putting on a AR flat top. However, when I mounted up the sight, the eyepiece is so large that it doesn't clear my BUIS (ARMS #40L). I'm going to have to look into some lower height BUIS's.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:40:40 AM EDT
Very nice- thanks for the info.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 8:54:52 AM EDT
Not sure if this was missed but I called RRA about my AR on order the other day. I quickly asked the tech about IOR. I was told that the entire line was discontinued for lack of demand? Is this right?? Seeing you just recieved yours, I hope it was a deep discount?
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:25:06 PM EDT
Maybe RRA is no longer going to carry it but as far as I know, they're still made.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 3:35:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:27:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 12:18:06 PM EDT by ThePretender]
I think I am leaning more toward the 5.5-22x56 after seeing pictures and reading posts here. If I am seeing correctly, does the picture above with the 5.5-22 use a LaRue extended eye relief mount? Or is this the regular (non-extended eye relief) mount? Does this mount only come in one height?
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 12:47:33 PM EDT
Hey WES, do you have any pics of that setup with the JPoint and NXS from 1) The rear and 2) the sides (same elevation)? I'd like to see how much projection there is above the tallest portion of the scope and to the side.

Scotty
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 3:20:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:40:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:42:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:09:55 AM EDT
Thanks for explaining that. I am not familiar with LaRue's offerings and it's nice to be able to understand exactly what I see.

For a 5.5-22x, what would you guys recommend, extended or no? I do like what I see, even more than NightForce's own UniMount. Didn't this post somewhere say that the eye relief on the 5.5-22 is a bit short for higher recoil applications (but not an AR application)?
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:42:59 PM EDT
John,

The 5.5-22's relief is not "short" --- they are quite popular with the .50BMG benchrest crowd who deal with a lot of weapon movement.

Also, per your earlier inquiries as to velocity, you may be interested in a thread I just posted in the Ammunition Forum regarding some quick tests I just did with my 16" barrel vs. my 24" barrel with Black Hills ammo. Looks like my guess about losing ~80fps using a 20" vs. a 24" was right on.

Good luck!
Scotty
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:02:39 PM EDT
Awesome. I'll head over and take a look.

I'm excited that I now have an answer as to what I want to get! And I even know why, which makes it that much better. It's taken me 4 or 5 weeks, but a NightForce 5.5-22x56 with a LaRue mount is what I think I am going for. I appreciate everyone's input, allowing me to have real-world answers to make my deicision. Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:11:42 PM EDT
IMHO, the 56mm obj isn't necessary. The 50mm costs the same new I think, performs just as well, and holds it's value a bit better. Mostly because it's easier to mount lower. If I was buying a new one, I'd be getting the 50mm.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:09:26 PM EDT
Depends on what you want to do with your gun. But Its stupid in my opinon to put 1000 yard plus optics on a 300 to 600 yard gun.
Pat
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:06:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 3:34:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Glockfan:
Depends on what you want to do with your gun. But Its stupid in my opinon to put 1000 yard plus optics on a 300 to 600 yard gun.
Pat



If you're shooting varmints/targets, what's a "1000yd optic", exactly?

If you you're shooting varmints/targets, what SHOULD you be using in order to stay within the realm of reality?

I must just be stupid, 'cause I love shooting at 300yds with 20x. I also like shooting at 800 with a 10x.....
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