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#5605345 - 02/17/15 09:28 PM AR-15 hunting optic questions
scot Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/17/08
Posts: 8371
Loc: Weatherford
On the AR you use for hunting, have you ever thought you had too much magnification?

Have you ever needed an illuminated reticle but didn't have it?

Trying to decide what optic I need for coyotes and hogs

#5605394 - 02/17/15 09:47 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
BigPig Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 12032
Loc: Forney, Tx
What's your distance? My next AR will be topped with a Viper PST 1-4
Originally Posted By: bill oxner
Ever spit it out rather than swallow it?

Originally Posted By: pegasaurus
Enjoy it while you can. One day you might be complaining about NOT getting random pop-ups in the morning. grin

#5605405 - 02/17/15 09:50 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
Lone Ranger Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 1351
Loc: Irving, Texas
I have a AR15 with a Eotech 552. It has no magnification and works great for closer range 50 to 75 yards. I have a AR10 with a Vortex Crossfire 3x9 with illuminated reticle. It works even better and the higher magnification is much better for longer range. The illuminated reticle is great for night time hog hunting!

#5605907 - 02/18/15 08:42 AM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
scot Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/17/08
Posts: 8371
Loc: Weatherford
Hunting 200-250 max. Most closer.

I had a burris Tac-30 and the reticle was too thick for the magnification. All the other quality 1-4x seem to cost more than the rifle.

#5606054 - 02/18/15 09:53 AM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
rexmitchell Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/11/13
Posts: 2456
I hunt with a 4-16x Vortex Viper on one AR and a Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x on another. Other than a real close shot it is great. I appreciate being able to take head shots on almost anything at 200 yrds.

#5606094 - 02/18/15 10:11 AM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
WhoDat Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 145
A couple AR scopes that I like...


- Bushnell 1-4 FFP - You can get it for about $180. It's got a nice illuminated reticle, and one of the best low-mag FFPs I've seen (aim point-like at 1x, with hashes big enough to use at 4x). Glass is OK, but great for the price. I like this better than many of the other 1-4xs that I have, including the MTAC, Crossfire, etc. I do not like the tower turrets, and the throw lever... just add complexity and weight, for hunting.
- Burris MTAC - Better glass than the Bushnell, also feels considerably lighter, though it;s only a bit lighter. I prefer the Bushnell FFP reticle, but the glass makes up for it.


- Vortex 2.5-10x32 FFP. Don't let the 32mm fool you, this thing is great in low light. The FFP is well-implemented, and the illumination is great. This is a very solid scope.

Excited about the prospect of the upcoming Vortex Strike Eagle, and will no doubt buy one of those. Also have two Vortex Diamondback HP 2-8x32 scopes on order. From what I've seen of them, if those had illumination, they'd be the perfect AR hunting scope (found mine for $225 at Optics Planet).

For a while, I was trying to look for very good light transmission, to the point that I was buying 50/56mm objectives. At the end of the day, it didn't buy me much. My Vortex PST smoked many of the lower-end 56mm lenses I looked through, as far as low-light images, without the weight/bulk and height hassles. And really, they didn't buy me much... really, for night hogs without illumination, night vision is the way to go. If there's some moon or feeder lights, a solid 32mm works great.

I was also a big 1-x guy, for a while. But now I'm starting to like the 2-x scopes for hunting. The extra magnification is helpful, on the top end. And they are brighter than the 24mm objectives. I notice the drop from 32 to 24 more than I do from 50-32. But that may just be my eyes.

I feel weird suggesting a sight, without yet owning it, but the Vortex Diamondback HP 2-8x32 seems just about perfect, especially for the price. I just wish it had an illuminated reticle. That leaves the 2.5-10x32 PST as the real winner, in my book. With the Bushnell 1-4 FFP being my budget leader. But we'll see how the Strike Eagle is?

Edited by WhoDat (02/18/15 10:15 AM)

#5606284 - 02/18/15 11:26 AM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
Capt Craig Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 341
Loc: Corsicana, Texas
I have a Rock River that is outfitted with a Nighhtforce 3.5-15 scope. I use the rifle for hog, varmint, and whatever. I use it a lot with nightvision, so I like to be able to turn down the focus in order to allow more light in to reach the NV for better illumination. During the day, I like to be able to turn up the magnification for getting out to 200+ yards. If I am in the early morning or dusk transition, there may be too much light to allow the NV to work and just a bit too dark to see the crosshairs against a dark hide, I turn on the reticle and the crosshairs go red and I can find my spot without any issues.

For an AR, I want the low end magnification to go below 5.5 so I get a better field of view at distances like 100 yards. I seldom need more than 15 on the high end as the ballistics really don't warrant going up much about 15.

For me the 3.5-15 is a pretty perfect range of magnification for the distances I shoot. Always better to be able to dial it up if you want it instead of wanting it and not having it.
Thanks - Capt. Craig

#5608996 - 02/19/15 07:06 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
6.5x47Lapua Offline

Registered: 12/13/14
Posts: 525
Loc: dfw
I have been using a trijicon 3-9 mildot for years on my ar15. Bought it new for 400 shipped. Great scope, but not without it's flaws.

#5616220 - 02/23/15 06:16 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
TxHunter80 Online   content

Registered: 01/04/15
Posts: 594
Mine has a Nikon Monarch 1-4 with the German #4. I am really comfortable with it. I wouldn't want anything more that 2x on the low end.

#5616352 - 02/23/15 06:57 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
Rcinit Online   content

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 516
Loc: Copperas Cove
Yes, I've found hunting at night, a little magnification is best. I prefer 3-4X at the most for night time hunting. The lower the magnification the more light is let thru the tube. A larger exit eye pupil is desirable too, at least 6mm.

A really thin reticle at night can be hard to see. However the more it's illuminated the worse your night vision becomes. Therefor you should be able to turn the illumination down very low. With a thick reticle you don't need illumination. I'd suggest looking thru someone else's scope at night to decide what you like.

A good 3-9x50 works pretty good or something in that range. Yes you can go higher or lower. I myself prefer to use a Leupold 3.5-10x50 with 30mm tube. German NO. 4 illuminated dot reticle. Although, my back-up AR has a Nikon 3-12x42 with duplex reticle. It works well too.

#5616422 - 02/23/15 07:25 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
Crews Offline

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 881
Loc: Houston, Tx
Trijicon Accupoint 3-9x40 had been my favorite hunting scope so far. Illumination seems to always be perfect for the lighting conditions, it has enough magnification to hit my intended target, and it's still light enough to not be out of place on a AR. Wouldn't have another hunting optic without illumination. Never have worried too much about high magnification unless I'm deer hunting and counting points.

#5616558 - 02/23/15 08:10 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
Beaubien Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/18/15
Posts: 473
Loc: In the mountains east of ABQ
I have 2 Ar's. One has a Bushnell yardage pro laser range finding scope. I believe it is 4-12. No illuminated reticle. Plenty of magnification. 3-9 would be ok with me.

The other is a 300 BO, ATN xsight MV scope.

I could have used an illuminated reticle on a couple occasions with the former. I had an ND3 LD.on it for night hunting. on some shots it definitley would have helped.

Edited by Beaubien (02/23/15 08:13 PM)

#5621561 - 02/26/15 09:13 AM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: Beaubien]
clandr1 Offline

Registered: 12/12/14
Posts: 97
Loc: Frisco
If you're shooting at 250 max, I think you'd probably be happy with either an EOTech or an Aimpoint, along with a flip to the side 3x magnifier. If you zero the red dot at 50 yards, it should shoot pretty flat out to about 300.

Edited by clandr1 (02/26/15 09:14 AM)

#5677994 - 03/31/15 12:19 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
TexasEd Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 5016
Loc: Cedar Park, Texas
My Burris MTAC 1-4x24 works well at 1x and 4x. With a 2 MOA dot it is not a precision scope for paper punching but great for fast target acquisition. The different light settings on the reticle are great for low light.

I also looked very closely at the Leupold fire dots but I got a great deal on the Burris used. If I was getting new it would have been the Leupold.

#5678036 - 03/31/15 12:51 PM Re: AR-15 hunting optic questions [Re: scot]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 3495
Loc: Snyder
Get a 1-4. Either a Bushnell, Burris, Millet, or Vortex.
The secret to a long life is to try not to shorten it

Powder coated cast bullets available.

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