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Scope Suggestions for an AR-15?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 03:02
Noire View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Greetings!

I've been watching this forum on again off again for about 8 months, and found it very informative. I've been informed by my spouse that I'll be getting some kind of AR-15 for Christmas and I need to start shopping for a scope. I'm looking to shoot at whatever ranges the rifle can handle, a few hundred yards for regular ammo, and try to see how far out I can take 70+ grain boat tails and still hit a target. I will probably use it occasionally for varmint hunting and later get a 6.5 Grendel upper.

My wife agreed on on a budget between $500 and $1400, but we would consider touching on a higher price for something really versatile. I don't know much about scopes at all, we have a BSA that came with a savage, and a March 2.5-25 on my wife's rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 05:16
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Welcome to the OT... there are a number of good scopes in your price range.  Take the March from your wife and get her another one... JUST KIDDING.... My wife took my Zeiss Diavari 2.5-10 AND my 30-06 Voere Titan II (German Voere)...I get to clean the rifle occasionally...
My first choice for your stated requirements would be a true tactical, tough and virtually worry free:
SWFA SS HD 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope Illuminated Mil Quad SWFA SS HD 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope
Stock # - SSHD520X50MQI
  • Patented First Focal Plane Illuminated Mil-Quad Reticle
  • 30mm
  • HD Model
  • Locking Ocular Adjustment
  • 0.1 Mrad Elevation & Windage
  • 10 Mils Per Revolution
  • 30 Mils Of Total Travel
  • Side Focus
$1,499.95
Some people want a lower "low end".   For me, 4x-6x on the low end has never been a problem... you can always get an Aadmount with the canted rail on the front ring and put a red dot on it for short range shooting if 5x is too high end.  My first choice suggestion... SS is a superior performer.  The ones listed below are ALL very good scopes.  You could also go a little higher in price and get a USOptics 1.8-10 or 3.8-17.  Not a bad choice in that bunch.  I normally don't recommend scopes, but am in the "market" for one for my AR right now.  I'm looking at all of these and a few more.  BTW, you cannot go wrong with the Samplelist scopes. 
 
This is really good scope, I love the MP-8 reticle:
SPL17375 IOR 3-18x42 Tactical Rifle Scope DEMO-B
Click to view Matte, Modified MP-8 Illum. Dot, FFP, w/ 35mm R...
$1,399.95
 
A GOOD scope:
 
SPL15546 Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 PM II Rifle Scope DEMO-C
Click to view Matte, P1 Bryant, 34mm, 1/p
$2,199.95
Here's one I'm thinking of getting:
 
SPL17605 Zeiss 3-12x56 Tactical Hensoldt Telescopic Sight DEMO-C
Click to view 3302989001, Matte, Illuminated Mil-Dot, 34mm
$2,399.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 08:22
Chrome223 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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What is your realistic minimum and maximum range that you'd like to use the optic for?  If you're shooting from 0-200y, you can't do much better than an SWFA 1-4x. 

However if you're shooting 50-200y or are going to want to shoot out to 3 or 400y, then higher magnification is in order.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 11:18
Noire View Drop Down
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well, I'll be shooting 5.56 and .223 rounds. I've been informed that will greatly reduce the maximum range I'm used to (we otherwise shoot HSM VLDs through a 7mm and use SMKs for a 338LM), so I'm guessing 1400 yards would probably be the extreme performance possible with a a swapped out upper, while with the standard 16-ish inch barrel a friend suggested 1000yards was my upper limit, and probably half that for most loads unless I reload or use wallet eating ammo.

My eye sight is ok I guess, I can focus on targets about a mile and a half away with x10-15 or greater powers, so I don't think I need a super huge max magnification for a rifle I've been told will hit 1000 yards under the light of a Blue Moon on Leap Year. Of course, I could be terribly wrong. I have no thoughts yet on how close I might use it because I'm using to using handguns for close range, but I've heard CQT is popular and people talk about Iron sights and x1 scopes and red dots and holograms and now I'm giving myself a headache with all the options Whacko
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 11:22
Noire View Drop Down
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err "used to using" (is there no edit feature?)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 11:27
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not until you reach 50 posts, sorry
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 12:49
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I have the Vortex Razor 5-20X50 EBR2 and it works great for what you are talking about.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 14:03
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For general all around use on a 16" 556 AR my favorite for the dollar is the SS 3-9:



There's very little you can't do with that scope. 

However, it sounds like much of your shooting will be at long range and the better tool for that job is the SS 5-20 if you don't mind the size (especially for a 6.5 Grendel in the future):



All things considered I don't think that scope can be beaten for the price.

However, you also mention varmint hunting.  Especially if this includes p-dogs, you may prefer a thinner reticle.  In this case the 6-24 PST is also a good choice:



Its FFP reticle is slightly thinner than the SS 5-20's.  It's also available in SFP with a much thinner reticle if long range p-dogs will make up a large portion of your shooting.  I don't consider it as good a scope as the SS 5-20 but it's a fair amount cheaper so it's still a very good value.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2012 at 22:45
Noire View Drop Down
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I've heard many good things about the SS scopes, and a 3-9 is pretty close to what I'm looking for. I guess I'll try to make a little graph to explain

___x1___x2___x3___x4___x5___x6___x7___x8___x9___x10___x11___x12___
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
___x1___x2___x3___x4___x5___x6___x7___x8___x9___x10___x11___x12___

I think I'm looking for a scope that can help me get pretty close to a Designated Marksman Rifle. I found a Wiki on it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_marksman_rifle

Here's the companies I've been looking at so far:
Zeiss (7), Swarovski (5), March (2), Schmidt & Bender (4), US Optics (2), Kahles (2), Vortex (2), Nightforce (1), Leupold (2), Steiner (2), and Nikon (1).

The numbers in parenthesis are the number of scopes I found with that company that were appealing. Technically there's an S&B in 1-8 power that was extremely expensive, and there were many, many Leupolds in identical magnification ranges with different features. The order is only vaguely related from highest to lowest prices, with Zeiss scopes covering the whole range of prices - I'm not a huge Zeiss fan or anything, it's just that their 1.5-6 is different from their 3.5-10 for instance. I think I would truly like something with a x5 or 6 magnification range, but we can break the $1400 limit to go past that. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2012 at 12:28
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Optics GrassHopper
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For long range shooting like that, a Horus-style grid reticle would be nice (but you'll pay a lot for it).  Military uses ACOGs for DMR rifles (only 4x), which makes a lot of sense considering the effectiveness of the 5.56 round at long range, carry weight, and the need for FOV in that type of application.

The SWFA 5-20 is the best bang for the buck for 1000+y.  The SWFA 3-9 is actually lighter and probably covers your needs well (although the glass is a step down from the 5-20). 

I'd personally avoid the Leupold Mk4 offerings as they cost too much for what you get.  Nikon would not be on my list either.

Zeiss, Swarovski, S&B, and probably Steiner feature great glass (as does the SWFA 5-20), but I wouldn't consider them a good value for the money spent.  Great optics at a premium price.  Nightforce is a popular choice (2.5-10 anybody?). 

Keep an eye on the overall weight of the scope you're considering.  Most of the options above are heavier than 1 lbs, and some are dangerously close to 2 lbs.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/21/2012 at 01:32
Noire View Drop Down
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Well, this is the list me and my wife came up with. She originally thought to set it up as a battle rifle, but she liked the DMR theme.

Valdada IOR              $2149              1-10x26 

Schmidt & Bender       $2900              1-8x24 

Bushnell Elite              $1380              1-6.5x24      

Valdada IOR                $1399              2-12x36       

Burris Six X                 $1000              2-12x40              

Valdada IOR                $1329              1.5-8x35   

Valdada IOR                $1360              1.5-8x26            

*US Optics                  $1976              1.8-10x37           

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/21/2012 at 07:53
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From that list I'd go USO and never look back.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/21/2012 at 07:54
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Noire, a word of caution on the NF 2.5-10X32. It's a great scope, except for two things: The glass could be better - perhaps making it one of the all-time greatest scopes. The compact NXS turrets really, really need to be purchased with the zero-stop option. Otherwise, you'll be likely to lose your zero or forget to turn back to it.
Personally, I'd consider scopes in the 3-12/15 range...or even just be happy with the SS 3-9. There's no greater bang for the buck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/21/2012 at 13:36
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I use a IOR 1.5-8x26 that serves me well.I only shoot out to 400yrds so I don,t know if that's the scope for 1400yrds even with good eyes.I'm in full agreement with Jono 3-15 is probably going to meet all your needs but I would look for Alpha glass.
 
Take a look at Ilya's optic thoughts.com & you should get a very good idea of what scopes are out there.Another place to stop by is the Sniper Hide & read an article by Trigger Monkey he also gives a very good run down on what scope to look at.
 
Welcome to the OT!Keep comming back & purchase from the owners of this site ,they have a very liberal return policy & their customer service is next to none......Ernie
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2013 at 11:52
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Optics GrassHopper
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Your wife helps you in choosing out a scope? Sounds like a keeper. Lol.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2013 at 17:12
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Take a look at the USO 1-8x that was just released. The Bushnell 1-8.5x elite tactical.

I like how you think though. I think the USO SN-3 1.8-10x would be great.

Maybe a Leupold MK6?
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