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Posted: 4/9/2006 5:43:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2006 8:25:37 AM EDT by Bartholomew_Roberts]
The Place:
Tac-Pro Shooting Center - about the only public range in the DFW area where you can shoot rifles rapid fire on the move, go to a bench and shoot and then plink from 500yds all in one place.

The Shooters:
Shooter 1 is me. I have been shooting ARs since 1988. I have several formal carbine classes under my belt and compete informally. I primarily use the TA11 ACOG as my main optic. Of the sights in use, I have the least experience with the Eotech. Eyesight wise, I tend to be nearsighted but have good vision for BAC and no color-blindness. I shoot both eyes open.

Shooter 2 was a military marksmanship instructor and competed on the Air Force marksmanship team. He has several formal training classes and trains regularly. He primarily uses a Leupold 1-4x shotgun scope. Of the sights in use he has the least experience with the Eotech; but like me he has used one before. Eyesight wise, he has a difficult time seeing things close in; but sees at a distance well and has no phoria or color-blindness. He shoots both eyes open.

The Sights:
Irons: Troy rear folder with large same plane aperture and PRI front folder with 0.36" front sight post
Variable: Leupold 1-4x Shotgun Scope w/ parallax set at 75yds ($179)
ACOG: TA11 ACOG w/donut 3.5x35mm (~$850)
Eotech: 552 Rev E. (~$350)

The Rifles:
In order to reduce the variables, each shooter would use the same rifle. However, we did get lazy and rather than remove the variable from the rifle it was already on and rezero it, we used an Armalite midlength 16" HBAR with muzzle brake for that portion of the test. The reminder of the test was conducted with my 16" midlength rifle. The muzzle brake did give a slight edge to the variable; but I couldn't say how much of one it offered. It mainly made it easier to shoot with a sloppy position.

The Test:
Our test would be a "box drill" from 15yds. For this test, two IDPA targets were set 18" apart. On the buzzer, the shooter would engage with two to the body of each target followed by one to the head of each target (making a "box" with the muzzle). This drill would be done stationary first and then with movement. Each shooter would get up to 30rds to familiarize themselves with the sight and then would execute three stationary drills followed by three moving drills.

We used IDPA targets and the IDPA scoring system (no time added for hits in the center 8" circle or the 6" square head) - 0.5 seconds added for hits outside those areas, 1.5 seconds for hits on the very outer ring of the silhouette and 2.5 seconds for a miss). Raw time indicates the actual time spent shooting. Final time indicates the time after penalties for less than a center or head hit were applied. A very rough measure of accuracy will be the delta between the raw time and final time.

================================================================

The Results:
Shooter 1 Irons
Avg. Raw Time: 5.19
Avg. Final Time: 6.52

Leupold 1-4x
Avg. Raw Time: 4.98
Avg. Final Time: 5.31

TA11 ACOG
Avg. Raw Time: 4.78
Avg. Final Time: 5.68

Eotech 552
Avg. Raw Time: 4.37
Avg. Final Time: 5.70

Best Stationary Raw Time: 4.50 w/ Leupold
Best Stationary Final Time: 4.50 w/Leupold

Shooter 1 Moving Irons:
Avg. Raw Time: 5.81
Avg. Final Time: 9.31

Moving Leupold 1-4x
Avg. Raw Time: 5.42
Avg. Final Time: 7.42

Moving TA11 ACOG
Avg. Raw Time: 5.39
Avg. Final Time: 7.05

Moving Eotech 552
Avg. Raw Time: 4.27
Avg. Final Time: 5.43

Best Moving Raw Time: 3.99 w/ Eotech 552
Best Moving Final Time: 4.49 w/ Eotech 552

Shooter 2
Shooter 2 Irons
Avg. Raw Time: 4.26
Avg. Final Time: 4.76

Leupold 1-4x
Avg. Raw Time: 3.55
Avg. Final Time: 3.71

TA11 ACOG
Avg. Raw Time: 4.26
Avg. Final Time: 4.42

Eotech 552
Avg. Raw Time: 3.81
Avg. Final Time: 4.98

Best Stationary Raw Time: 3.30 w/ Leupold
Best Stationary Final Time: 3.30 w/Leupold

Shooter 1 Moving Irons:
Avg. Raw Time: 4.32
Avg. Final Time: 7.30

Moving Leupold 1-4x
Avg. Raw Time: 3.99
Avg. Final Time: 5.32

Moving TA11 ACOG
Avg. Raw Time: 4.06
Avg. Final Time: 5.90

Moving Eotech 552
Avg. Raw Time: 4.03
Avg. Final Time: 5.87

Best Moving Raw Time: 3.89 w/ Irons
Best Moving Final Time: 3.90 w/ TA11 ACOG
=================================================================

So inn close-in dynamic shooting, there are some hard numbers showing what you might expect between the various sights.

Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:09:27 AM EDT

Thanks for the time and effort. Good info.

Did the Luppy have a lit reticle? Initially I would say no but would like to know for sure.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:27:15 AM EDT
.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:36:13 AM EDT
The Leupold did not have a lit reticle. It had the standard shotgun reticle with thick posts around the edge that taper down to thinner crosshairs (though still fairly thick for crosshairs) in the middle. While the muzzle brake did tilt the odds some, the Leupold plainly won the "Best Value" out of all the sights.

I think it would have trouble in low light without an external light source and eye position on it is more particular than any of the other sights (though still generous); but it was a very easy sight to use.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:40:57 AM EDT

FWIW

My interest peaked becasue I just started messing around with a new NF NXS 2.5-10 for my AR10. Previously, my primary was a TA11E. I've only been using the NXS for 2 weeks but am pleased so far.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 7:54:05 AM EDT
Great post - I have been debating a red dot vs a 1-4 variable for my 16" carbine. This is some more evidence that the variable power optic will provide me with the flexibilty that I am looking for while maintaing speed up close. I am looking at a lit or flash dot reticle for low light conditions with the understadning that it will cost me more.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 8:06:18 AM EDT
On the variable, it wasn't a "true" 1x and was more like 1.5x. Since both of us had trained with magnified optics it wasn't a problem for either of us and gave us a little better view of the target without harming field of view.

On the downside, we haven't tried the variable past 300yds. It did well at that distance (7" 10-shot group with PMC 223A); but he was using 9" of holdover to compensate for drop. The adjustments on the scope are coarse (supposed to be 1/2 MOA but were often more like 3/4-1MOA) and the parallax is set at 75yds. It could probably be made to work at longer distances with training; but I would say 300yds is the effective limit.

Of course, both of those issues mainly relate to the fact that it is an affordable scope designed for shotguns, not AR15s. I am sure if you spent more for a variable that was designed for that purpose like the Leupold 1.5-5x w/SPR reticle, you would see a big difference in performance; but as a good budget general purpose scope it was damn hard to beat the Leupold shotgun scope.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:10:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2006 5:11:24 PM EDT by 3rdpig]
Great info, thanks for sharing!

I switched from an Aimpoint to a variable shotgun scope on my carbine 4 months ago and I'm never going back. I'm using the Simmons Pro Diamond 1.5x5x20 and I've been very pleased with it. While close up shots are not as quick as with the Aimpoint, they're still pretty fast and I can hit the 12" square gong at 300 yards and the big gong (never measured it) at 500 yards. The Simmons scope, with the diamond reticle actually helps, giving the shooter some idea on hold over. It's not as good as some kind of bullet drop indicator, or range finding indicators, but it's superior to crosshairs only.

I'm going to take a look at the Leupold you tested, but I'm also waiting and hoping for the Mueller 1x4 illuminated optic also discussed here, the one that the now banned Greywolf2112 helped design. It's supposed to be around $300, have an excellent illuminated reticle and be well made.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:13:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:27:22 AM EDT
It was set on the "1" setting; but there was obviously some magnification so I would guess the "1" setting is really more like 1.5x. Hopefully we will be able to do a test to see how much the muzzle brake contributed to the better times for the Leupold. The rest of the comparisons all used the same rifle and shooters so they are about as straightforward as you can get.
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