AR-15/10 DMR Optic: A Quest for a basic yet versatile scope.

Discussion in 'AR15' started by BigEd63, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. BigEd63

    BigEd63 G&G Evangelist

    I'm going to list what I think should be the parameters for a good all around scope for a fighting rifle that has reasonable precision/long range capabilities.
    Scope body/tube reasonably robust one piece of machined metal.
    .25-MOA adjustment for windage and elevation.
    1x or 1.5x at most bottom end magnification up to 6x or 8x top end magnification.
    A Mildot reticle with a 2MOA illuminated center dot.
    36mm to 42 mm objective lens.

    If anyone can recall the Hunter Bench Rest scopes of about 20 years ago what I'm talking about is a 1-6x verses the traditional fixed 6x and an illuminated center dot with range finding capability not wedded to a specific cartridge.
    A useable but uncluttered field of view that does not look like a cryptographer's note pad.

    I've been looking and I've yet to see anything like that.
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  2. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    Vortex strike eagle meets some of these and is one of the better scopes I've used. It has a 1-6 and a 1-8 X magnification with BDC rather than mil dot (so long as I know how the graduations work mil dot/MRAD, BDC, MOA, etc. are all fine). It is 1/2 MOA clicks so that might be an issue but I've found it works fine for my purposes.
    rangerjd, 455rocket and Huey Rider like this.

  3. animalspooker

    animalspooker G&G Evangelist

    I really like the way you're thinking BigEd, but you'll never see the 1/4MOA clicks on a 2MOA dot. Not trying to be condescending, just my opinion. I'd like to see a 1MOA with the same parameters, but then again....
  4. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Would something like this suit you Ed? It doesn't quite meet your specs, but it's as close as I've been able to stumble on. Shows discontinued on the Midway site, but maybe you could track one down on Ebay, Amazon, etc...
  5. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

    This day and age there are a ton of LPVO 1-6 or 1-8 optics that will fit most of if not all of those parameters.
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  6. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    There is no such thing as a close combat scope that also works well for long range applications, expecially in dim light. Regardless of the marketing hype. The more you spend the better the glass, but that does not really matter much at 300 yards and closer where there is not more than 3% light trasmission difference in a $100 scope and a $1,000 scope. If you only fight at close ranges and not the first and last half hour of light, then most any will do. If your idea of precision is beyond 300 yards you really cannot get there with less than say 9x. If you need that shot, you need that maginfication.

    Variable scopes today should be focused at all power levels. There is not much real value in a fixed power any more. Then there is the problem with the dot and it's brightness, at 300 yards it would be 6 inches, unless you have a lot of power, you would not be able to see the outline of your target and any movement it might make. just that big red dot. So, the bright dot creates a poor sight picture at range. The illuminated reticle will work better for that. I have a half dozen on ARs all 3 x 9 x 40, all illuminated and they work well, but mine do not have the center dots. If I am that close, I do not need any magnification really, just the lowest power works fine.

    I think you are on the right track with a 38-42 mm bell objective, I just think the lower power range is far too limiting. With a 2 x 5 or 3 x 7 or so, in dim light you cannot even see a coyote in the weeds at 250-300 yards. For a battle rifle concept, a coyote at 250 yards is about the same size as a human laying prone looking at you through his own scope, so that degree of calarity is important. If you cannot see it, you cannot shoot it.

    My point is, before you spend a bunch of money, try to find someone that has one of the lower power scopes and try them in dim light. They advertises do-all scopes for both tactical uses and hunting, but small bell objectives, big dots and varying brightness all play a negative role. You do not want one that has multiple buttons and dials to adjust, turn on the light if you need it and shoot, that's it.

    I do not have any to recommend, just do not recommend any of the tacticool scopes like the Burris or others. They are for 3 gun and just to limited in my view. So my recommendation is forget the center dot and get a 3 x 9 x 40 illuminated, perhaps a Leuopld or any of the cheaper ones. Nobody makes a bad scope these days. And if you choose the hunting type scope, well they are perfect for hunting too. If it works for a quick shot on deer in dim light, it will work for a quick shot on a person in dim light, same deal.

    Let us know how you decide.
  7. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    There are several out there now. The US military is also using a special variant of the Sig Sauer Tango 6 1-6x specifically to give soldiers good flexible option that gives them a close quarters red dot combined with a 6x magnification option that works very well at distance.

    The Vortex Razer HD Gen 2 1-6X gives you almost 1x at bottom AND it has a Daylight bright Red dot... and yes it is bright... its Aimpoint red dot bright on high noon on a sunny clear day bright.

    I have a Razer Gen 3 1-10X which is the same size and weight as the 1-6 and the crisp day light bright illuminated recticle works fine.

    Also keep in mind that you shouldn't get solely wrapped around precision shooting with higher magnification... one of the biggest attributes of LVPOs is the ability to PID (Positive Identification of what you are looking at)... Meaning you are where you are and now you can see a person coming at distance and you can scope in and see what he's doing... is that a cellphone or a pistol in his hands?... etc... PID of what you have can be just as important if not more than simply having the advantages of the magnified image when strictly speaking about precision shots... because it can help you decide if you even need to be engaging that potential threat with a precision shot before you commit to actually pulling the trigger.

    Also because we dont always operate in perfectly clear lighting conditions.... yes... glass clarity does make a difference and you can tell the difference in light transmission (also affected by objective lens size not just glass clarity) even when its high noon out and sunny between a $400 scope and a $2,000+ scope. Light transmission and the fishbowl effect at lower magnification with the cheaper one is noticeable in broad daylight at high noon let alone when its dusk out and lighting conditions are not as good naturally let alone what you can see through the scope... thats when your higher quality ones really shine.

    Get a first focal plane optic and that solves the problem of the dot or reticle covering up your target at distance. With a FFP optic the reticle stays constant with the zoom level which is also good for ranging.

    With a quality LVPO you pretty much can get a "do all" optic. That can give you 1x or near 1x day light bright wide field of view with a generous eye box red dot on the low end and good magnification for PID and precision shots at distance.

    A lot of SWAT and military guys are now running even their 11.5" SBRs with them now just for those advantages.

    Ive got three of them and recommend all of them... The LPVO concept is an idea taken straight from the 3 gun competition side of things and applied directly to the tactical side of military/tactical shooting and its been going on for several years now with awesome results. Its gone from being more of a fad and more the norm now over the past 4-5 years.

    From top to Bottom

    Trijicon Accupower 1-8x First Focal Plane with MRAD reticle adjustable to .1 mil per click adj/
    Trijicon Accupoint 1-6x Second Focal Plane with Triangle Reticle 0.25 MOA per click adj.
    Vortex Razer Gen 3 1-10x First Focal Plane with MRAD reticle. adjustable to .1 mil per click adj.

    LVPOs -.jpg
  8. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    All nice scopes for the patrol rifle type guns but I think the OP was more interested in a battle rifle from his other posts on the build.

    I certainly agree that first focal plane resolves the dot problem. But personally have done daylight comparison tests of the $2,500 lvpos with $250 traditional hunting scopes. Our test was 2-3 years ago, so newer may be better and the Sigs are since then. What we found was in daylight, bright sun around noon reading small lettering on cardboard in several color schemes, there was no measurable difference between the 2 and brand did not matter much. We also found the same issue indoors at 50 yards under florescent lighting, reading tiny print. A lot of shootings these days/nights are with limited street lighting.

    There are actually 2 of the Sig Tac scopes used by the military, one is first focal plane and the other is the second, one for designated marksman in Army units and the second one for Seal units using shorter barrelled guns. The civilian version is near identical.

    There are still downsides. The OP was fairly specific specifying a fighting or battle rifle as opposed to a patrol or service rifle. Meaning it must be a 308 or the AR 10 he has been building. He mentioned the 38-42mm objective bell, and precision shooting. Everyone has a different definition of precision and range I suppose but I stand by what I said, you cannot do much in terms of precision with a 6 x scope. If you are shooting steel or playing 3 gun it does not matter, the target is stationary and at a known range and where you can see it clearly. In battle, you cannot see people lying on the ground in the weeds at beyond 300 yards unless you have the magnification. A battle rifle, 308, is easily capable off shooting something the size of a man's head at 600 yards, if you can see it, about double the effective range of the smaller AR 15 class guns. 9x is good, 12x is better, it is a semi auto, not sure you can expect much better than moa which makes head shots reasonable at 600 and body shots at 1,000. So, my take is the 1-6 magnification just leaves too much on the table, when the MSRP is $1,500.00.

    The other issue I mentioned was the lack of a bell objective on the front of the scope, as you mentioned, the bigger it is the more light it gathers, and it provides a sunshade. If you are in a battle looking into the sun, it matters. I had a similar scope on a muzzle gun and could not take a shot at a big deer due to the sun. Several companies are making a small AR scope that does have the bell objective, just not the LVPOs.

    Hope the OP gives us a review of what he decides. Interesting subject and lots of new optics coming out.
    animalspooker and Huey Rider like this.
  9. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Two of the guns in my pictures are .308 Battle rifles...

    One is an FNH SCAR 17S and the other is a Sig 716i Tread which is one of the Indian Army's new adopted battle rifle.

    Well this is what the US Military's view on it is because the US Army's new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle as of 2020 is a semi auto 7.62 NATO Heckler and Koch 417 designated the M110A1 and it's topped off with a Sig Tango 6 1-6X24 optic with a 7.62 BDC extended reticle.

    I can tell you right now that most soldiers/marines are not capable of making a 600 yard headshot no matter what caliber rifle you give them. And you are moving into full blown sniper territory vs a DMR role if you are looking for that level of precision.

    On top of that military snipers are typically aiming for (and are trained for) center of mass body hits anyways... not head shots.

    Police SWAT snipers do more training with headshots than the military snipers do due to differences in distances in play and context of the shot taken.

    Military snipers are typically making longer shots and thus train for center mass because its a much bigger target and shooting someone with a heavy caliber rifle center mass 99% of the time accomplishes the same goal.


    Police Snipers are typically shooting much shorter distance (50-100 yards- but they train at longer distances) but have to be extremely precise and if need be take out a threat instantly such as for a hostage saving shot. As such Police Snipers concentrate much more on T box head shots than military snipers do but center mass can also work if the situation allows.

    Its not like TV where every sniper shot is a headshot. The vast majority are center mass body hits in the upper torso.
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  10. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Yes I am aware. I am a retired military and law enforcement, a graduate of 2 military police academies, a special agent academy, hostage negotiations and specialty shooting schools paid for by the feds where we burned a lot of ammo putting rounds on target. Different agencies have different policies on shooting. Our training was to head shoot a bad guy who was holding onto a hostage, without hitting the hostage. I have had that exact situation but talked him down, but he came close. Lucky both of us.

    Few people can make precise shots under field conditions. When we trained military, our target of opportunity goal was to hit a man sized target, some where between his eyes to the top, to his navel below. That provides about a 3 foot window of error if you can call the wind. That gets us to about 450 yards without calculation. I started with the M14A1.

    Civilian training and police work was milder, all long guns could get by with any red dot as shots were expected to be short. In my limited hostage negotiator role, I never saw one more than maybe 50 yards. They just barricade themselves behind a door, no reason to be a long way off, as long as you had a vehicle or house to get behind.

    Just shooting gallon jugs or balloons anywhere beyond 300 yards is fun for me at my age. I started with M14s, is how old I am and the M1A is still my preferred battle rifle. The Tanker version in 308 is more than sweet. I am not a fan of the H and K. If I were young and active, I might think differently, but never cared for the 93 or similar guns.

    The OP here I think is wanting a capable battle rifle that would make precise shots at some extended range. Not sure of his expectations on range but everyone likes to have the capability to make long shots. I just happen to believe that if you need to make long shots, you need to go with a hunting type optic. Nobody here is doing air assaults so many of the military demands on the weapon are just not there. Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  11. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    ha me neither. (regarding the HK93) but their newer stuff is nice. The HK 417 is the big brother to the HK416 varient that the USMC replaced the M16 with.

    Ironically speaking though the German government just chose the new replacment rifle for the German Army (they were using the older HK G36) and they replaced it with a a company that makes a HK416 clone because it was cheaper lol.
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  12. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I misspoke, I always liked the H and K MP5. Unfortunately, when I had a need for a SMG that would fit into a gym bag, my agency could not get them for us, too costly they said. They might send an aircraft with 10 guys on it thousands of miles in a day, but would balk at a few hundred dollars per troop on equipment. Instead, we had the UZI. I have always thought that the Uzi is a good way to kill all your friends as they really are not very controllable when full auto and you could cover an entire room with one mag, whether you wanted to or not. Our option back then was the Car 15, which I always preferred, just hard to hide.

    The M and P 5 was great, never got around to get one, even a copy. The Mac 10 was also fine and easily controllable in 45 acp. Guess it depends on the person.

    Just never got excited about the H and K long guns. I can pick up anything and make it work, just have a lot of bias on what fits me. Kind of like a 1911, they are a natural extension of the human hand, others are just handguns. LOL
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  13. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    I've found the Vortex series to have remarkably clarity and light gathering for the money. They do suffer from some spherical aberration around the periphery at higher magnification levels but really great bang for the buck. At least if I want to stay out of the 4-digit price ranges.

    (FWIW, target ID is pretty important too in normal ops. While groundhogs don't act at all like cats, it is possible to confuse a cat at longer ranges with a skunk or possum in taller grass for someone with aging eyes. I'd hate to hear from our good friend we share the property with that one of their fluffys had disappeared and have to bite my tongue and act casual).
  14. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Have you seen the subgun the US Army chose to replace the MP5?

    Sure woulda fit nice in your gym bag lol... would have fit in a smaller messenger bag too. :p

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  15. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Reminds me of the MAC 10 crossed with a grease gun. I like the charging handle on that one.

    The MAC 10 suppressed was a nice tool. Short bursts at 100 yards was controllable and pretty accurate. No recoil so you could walk the rounds around any target easily firing from the hip. My opinion of the Uzi have always trashed it. It was one of those up and to the right strings of holes somewhere down range. So, if I wanted a hit, I just held low left and held on until it quit.

    Gym bags (Adidas) was basically issue apparel for the RDF/Delta guys back in say 1984 or so. Delta was front and center at the Olympic games that year. So, basically anyone with a 48 inch chest and 30 inch waist carrying an Adidas bag was Delta.

    We also had pagers back then. Pretty funny to see a half dozen guys get a page at one time and scrambling away with gym bags in hand. You had to be there.

    This looks like a great weapon for the troops.
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