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Optics on a Budget

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posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 12:00 PM
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Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of trying out a couple of optics that have surprised me both in quality and price. I firmly believe that, like firearms, there is a huge difference between CHEAP and AFFORDABLE.

In this post I will cover two optics solutions that cover the most basic needs of the shooter without having to drop the kind of cash demanded by brands EOTech and Trijicon ACOG.

First in line is a rifle scope.

The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24 rifle scope is an entry level 4 power scope designed for use on tactical rifles. Vortex does make higher end scopes and red dot sights for far more money, but their lower end Crossfire line is still excellent.

This scope is rated to be able to handle the recoil forces up to .458 SOCOM which means that your scope will work just fine on your AR or AK type rifle without loosing zero. I can attest to the quality of the the scope having recently mounted one on my AK47:



It has 1/2 MOA adjustment turrets, v-plex reticle(graduated crosshair), however it is not illuminated. The illuminated version is the Crossfire II with V-Brite reticle(Illuminated graduated crosshair). I have not tested the V-Brite reticle version but other reviews have surfaced that give this style of scope 4-5 out of a possible 5 stars and it is in the same price range. $150-200. They can be found on sale in various online stores for less from time to time. If you're looking for quality glass but don't have Leupold level cash, this is the best out there.

Second up is the red dot line. There are many budget red dots out there from Barska to Burris but they tend to have low tolerance to recoil forces. Recently I had the chance to pick up the Lucid HD7 Gen 3 variable reticle red dot sight from Lucid Optics.



This optic has worked very well on my RAS47 AKM pattern rifle. I bought mine for $160 including shipping. They can range anywhere from $150 to $300 new. They are built from aircraft aluminum and chemical rubber armored. Like the Crossfire II they are also rated up to .458 SOCOM, 1/2 MOA adjustment turrets. They take one AAA battery with 1000 hour life. It has an automatic brightness adjustment sensor which is incredibly responsive as well as manual brightness adjustment controls. 4 different reticles give you options on what kind of shooting you'll be doing. The battery compartment and turret caps are tethered and it is waterproof. It holds zero extremely well and the adjustments are accurate as far as I can tell.

Overall not bad. The Lucid HD7 Gen 3 is a feature rich modern optic that is priced well within reasonable parameters.

As always, Happy and Safe shooting!
edit on pSun, 15 Mar 2015 12:01:12 -0500201515America/Chicago2015-03-15T12:01:12-05:0031vx3 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 12:56 PM
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I use the Votex you recommend and concur with your analysis.
I love it.

However I am considering upgrading to this.

Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Scope w/ EBR-556B MOA Reticle



Just because....I want fast acquire and illumination with just a little magnification.

Any suggestions as I am not rich. lol This is about $350.

This is for my Ruger mini 30, 7.62x 39. Recoil is a concern.

Thanks for the thread, I will be following it closely. S&F
edit on 3 15 2015 by stosh64 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 01:26 PM
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Just out of curiosity, what do you guys use your gun for? Hunting? Target practice? I don't own any real guns, just bb guns, but i've always been interested in them.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: Autorico

To fend off those pesky infiltrating deer that attack my house from time to time.

And to practice for the coming deer invasion. I haven't let one get within 300yds yet!



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: stosh64

OMG, I knew their "doe" eyes were just a mask for supreme evil!



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: stosh64

I love Vortex optics including their red dots.

Always look for ways of getting these for less than the msrp.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Vortex sights are great! I got my optics from an awesome website, Tiger Outiftters



edit on 15-3-2015 by Emerys because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 03:10 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Nice looking rifle. Here is mine before the folding stock went on. I just have a cheap red dot on mine. I've been debating upgrading to something with a bit more heft.



a reply to: Autorico

Just target shooting and general plinking for me. I have other weapons for home defense, but leave that to my wife. She's a way better shot at close range.

a reply to: Autorico

They really are evil! Especially since it's starting to warm up, they're really coming out of the woods now. I saw a whole bunch on US-2 and US-127 on my last trip south.


edit on 3/15/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Added additional response.

edit on 3/15/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Added further additional response.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 05:55 PM
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originally posted by: Autorico
Just out of curiosity, what do you guys use your gun for? Hunting? Target practice? I don't own any real guns, just bb guns, but i've always been interested in them.


I don't mince words on this. I'm a soldier, I'm trained like a soldier and I think like a soldier. The purpose of my firearms is combat, who the enemy is I don't consider important.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

I can respect that



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 08:47 PM
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Although I have an Aimpoint Micro T1 on my work rifle, for budget red dots I use Primary Arms Micro Dots.

They are affordable and amazing.

www.primaryarms.com...



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:04 PM
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a reply to: TorqueyThePig

Primary arms micro dots are among the few that co-witness on the lower 1/3 which is necessary for AK co-witness set up for the irons. The others are the Trijicon RMR, the Burris Fastfire line, and Lucid Optics M7.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 11:46 PM
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A Vortex optic is the epitome of value, and it's always the first kind I recommend. I'm running the Sparc 2 on my AR, and I would most definitely trust this optic with my life if it ever came down to it. I can't find or even think of a reason why this optic couldn't be used by military and law enforcement. I haven't used any of their magnified scopes yet, but that will probably be my next purchase.

Sight mark also makes great optics, but it all comes down to the battery system. I had one of the "ultra shot" models that runs on 3 AG5 batteries that never fit tight enough in the compartment. Never had a solid connection no matter how much I tried to rig it just to get it to stay on. The less expensive, Dual Shot, actually worked perfectly, and it was mounted on an AK47. Ran on 2032 battery, dot size was very small and very bright, and it held zero for several hundred rounds. Only problem with that model is the open lens design.

With affordable optics, the simplest things can make all the difference.



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 09:10 PM
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Good thread. Straying a bit here with some open thoughts ... primarily to bump.

When I'm looking at an optic I'm trying to enhance the effectiveness of the overall system ... or extend range for accuracy beyond natural human limitations.

Choosing a red dot came down to weight, profile, reticle, parallax, and power efficiency. I disregarded magnification, feeling if I needed that for any application another weapon system would be more appropriate. Because I save continuously, cost was not an issue considered. So this may be outside the OP boundaries, but openly stated to be fair and as impartial as possible. Additionally, I had to take into consideration the optic's interoperability with night vision capabilities.

For extreme range applications, I did a lot of research, and picked out a $3K scope you can find reviewed on the Precision Rifle Blog. A little Google effort helped me find that same scope for $2K. I took some serious ribbing from my shooting group, but by the end of the day everyone was checking their wallets for spare change.

Thanks for this thread. Made my day finding it. -Cheers



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

I don't know what the budget is, I have a Burris MTAC 1x4x24 with the fastfire ll red dot on top. I paid $540 for this combo, it has been one of the best scopes I've ever had. I have it on my ar15 shorty (M4 look) I have a bump stock on this one so I do go through ammo and its still dead on. I use sportoptics.com. I have compared prices with them and Gander mountain and they beat'em by $75



posted on Mar, 18 2015 @ 11:53 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

The best cheap optics are older made in Japan optics. Hakko was the factory and they made great....GREAT glass. I have a 500 dollar Bushnell 4200 tactical elite 6-24x50 scope made in Japan and it is as nice as my mark4.



Never......NEVER buy anything made in China it will not last. ncstar and Barska are crap save your money. Truth be told save your money and buy an aimpoint,leupold,Eotech,Insight,Trijicon,S&B,US optics.
edit on 18-3-2015 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 12:03 AM
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originally posted by: SubTruth
a reply to: projectvxn

Truth be told save your money and buy an aimpoint,leupold,Eotech,Insight,Trijicon,S&B,US optics.


Buying crap is a financial setback ... every ... single ... time. Unfortunately had to learn that the 'hard way' ... but the lesson stuck.



posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 12:09 AM
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a reply to: Snarl

Yep me too.....I have owned Barska.....Ncstar.....New model Tasco scopes and they all broke apart at the range.


Now I run.....Bushnell 4200 tactical elite made in Japan......Leupold mark4 CQ/T.....Trijicon with Insight MRDS. Also never buy cheap mounts and bases. Cheap rings can damage your optic. Nightforce.....Seekins....Badger....US Optics...A.R.M.S are all good ring makers.
edit on 19-3-2015 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-3-2015 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 01:34 PM
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a reply to: SubTruth

I have and continue to run EOTech, Trijicon, and Aimpoint. Leupold, and Nikon make wonderful rifle scopes. I agree with saving for the right optics.

BUT not everyone can save for that long, nor can they justify spending as much or more on their optics than the cost of their weapon.

There are good budget optics out there. I presented two.
edit on pThu, 19 Mar 2015 13:34:59 -0500201519America/Chicago2015-03-19T13:34:59-05:0031vx3 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Those five brands you named might be out of the budget range for many. That's why I've always considered terms defining cost quite subjective. Dropping $2K on a scope, in a class where the upper end tops $15K, is what I consider 'budget' shopping.


That said, there's hardly any equipment on the market which is a satisfactory substitute for skill and practice. Those get you good ... while optics can make you more precise.



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