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My Thoughts: AR15 & 2 Low Powered Scopes

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2009 at 15:02
sholling View Drop Down
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First up I don't have any particular tactical expertise just nearly 50 years of shooting rifles. With that disclaimer out of the way I thought that I'd share my first (non-shooting) impressions of two low powered scopes.

Bushnell Elite 4200 1.25-4x24 Illuminated: This is sold as a hunting scope and not a tactical scope. But since I love Bushnell 4200s and I thought that I'd give one a try and see how it did. Here are my impressions on an AR15. 
  • The scope has such short eye relief at 4x that you cannot use a normal AR15 cantilever mount. The mount needs to be straight up and down to get the scope far enough to the rear. This may be less of a problem for those that get all tactical and crawl up a collapsed stock but for those that use the AR like a normal rifle it could be an issue.
  • The low end of the magnification range is still too high for me to use as a "tactical" scope substitute. It's not sold for that purpose and I cannot fault Bushnell.
  • The illumination is almost undetectable from the front and the optics are quite good, but not in the same league as the Burris XTR 1-4x24.
  • If Bushnell were to make a true 1-4x24 version at the same price point but with the Millet DMR's circle-dot reticle they'd have a winner on their hands. 
I have not decided whether I'll keep this scope for a dangerous game hunting scope, or take advantage of Bushnell's elite trade in program and pick up something in the 2.5-10x40 range, but I'm leaning towards the trade-in.

Burris 1-4x24 XTR Tactical: This is a seriously good scope. It features a true 1x low end and a brighter image than the 4200. It is so natural that it really could almost substitute for a red dot. Naturally the illuminated circle-dot does not float like a true red dot sight, but when used with both eyes it draws your eye right to the target in much the same way that Trijicon advertises.
  • I found it very fast on target, as fast as an older cheap red dot I have on my Stag. That speed presupposes that you have the rifle shouldered and that you are scanning using the scope and both eyes.
  • I have not tested the reticle for ballistics and won't for a while. The reticle is calibrated for a 5.56 not a 6.8 SPC. Once (if) I take delivery on the DMR upper that it was intended for I'll test that as best I can but ranges are limited here.  
  • The illuminated reticle is plainly visible from the front but only if you're looking down the barrel. However should you encounter night vision equipped Ninjas in your living room (who doesn't) your scope will surely show up like a sore thumb. 
  • There is one and only one screaming disadvantage to this "tactical" scope. Looking at the objective from the front 1-2 o'clock high position the illumination LED shows up very brightly and in the dark will give away your position to anybody above and to your left. A 1/2" sunshade would probably fix this.
Even with its one screaming issue the XTR is a keeper. I'm unlikely to encounter anyone at the odd angles that make the scope visible from the front and the brightness, clarity and reticle are excellent.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2009 at 15:18
ccoker View Drop Down
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thanks for the writeup
I had the 4200 1.25-4 for about a month
I found the dot too bright at night and didn't think it was particulary "quick" on target from a low ready position...

I am interested in the Burris maybe... I had two with ill ret failures so that has me put off a bit frankly

have you tried the XTR at night in a hunting or simulated hunting environment?
can you get the ill ret down low enough so as not to obscure the target?
that has been a problem for me, especially on "tactical" reticles as more is lit up


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2009 at 20:16
sholling View Drop Down
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I don't have a way to give you a good low light test right now, but I suspect that you might find it too bright. The combination of the circle dot is a light of illumination. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2009 at 21:10
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Thanks for the write up.  Thunbs Up   I have a 3-12 XTR with the illuminated reticle.  I took it out at night, and on the lowest setting I found it was not overpowering.  I don't know about with the 1-4 reticle though.  I think there is more lit up on that scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2009 at 03:31
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

thanks for the writeup
I had the 4200 1.25-4 for about a month
I found the dot too bright at night and didn't think it was particulary "quick" on target from a low ready position...

It has also been reported that the lights on 4200 1.25-4x wash out in daylight.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2009 at 07:41
ccoker View Drop Down
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the 4200s are not daytime bright

it seems that there are only a few options if you want daytime bright and proper nighttime dim

Accupoints, Zeiss Varipoint, Swarovksi Z6, S&B

I had two IOR 1.1-4 CQBs (both gens), too much lit reticle for hunting
great for the intended use of combat, especially in an urban setting

both however suffered from fisheye at 1 x

I think probably the best affordable option is the TR24 in the reticle of you choice
I would love to get a G4 with a green dot to play with
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2009 at 07:16
ccoker View Drop Down
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I got too fondle a few low powers yesterday
I was extremely impressed with the T324
just seemed like a huge image that was very forgiving of eye positioning
got one on order now
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2009 at 18:43
gregester View Drop Down
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i have a 6500 2.5x16 and love it...
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