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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to buy a Nikon scope for my AR, but I can't decide whether to stick with my mantra of keeping it light and simple, or go with a variable scope to help my slowly aging eyes. Okay, my rapidly aging eyes. I have lusted after a P-223 3x32 ever since I saw one and that has been my first choice.

About the time I was ready to click the buy button I realized that maybe I'd be better off with a P-223 3-9x40. Still a tough choice. What do you guys think? Simply or more magnification?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't see myself taking a lot of 300 yard shots with this gun. Times and situations may change, but for me it's mostly a 150-200 and in gun. For that, 3x seems like enough. That and I like the simplicity of a fixed scope. Guess I'm trying to talk myself into the 3x32.
 

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It's Your Choice

Speaking of aging eyes...:blink:

I've owned two AR's so far, and on my first one I mounted a Leupold VX-III 1-4X20 IR scope.

Although they are excellent scopes clarity wise, I can still remember wishing for the option of a little more power for those tiny little bullseyes at the 100 yard range.

This time around, I got pretty much the same scope, only it is a 1.75-6X32 without the illuminated reticle option.

The only reason I didn't go with more power is because of the great deal I got on this used 1.75-6 scope, otherwise I would probably have gone with a 3-9 or even a 4-12+, especially when it's firing a flat shooting little round like a .223 Rem.

As long as you get a good quality variable scope, I would not limit myself power wise, unless a small weight savings is really that much of a factor, or of course if you have a special intention for your rifle that would justify a fixed 3X scope...YMMV.

 

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I am going to buy a Nikon scope for my AR, but I can't decide whether to stick with my mantra of keeping it light and simple, or go with a variable scope to help my slowly aging eyes. Okay, my rapidly aging eyes. I have lusted after a P-223 3x32 ever since I saw one and that has been my first choice.

About the time I was ready to click the buy button I realized that maybe I'd be better off with a P-223 3-9x40. Still a tough choice. What do you guys think? Simply or more magnification?
Hi Headedtotexas;

Not really a "right" answer, but depending on what you're looking for in your AR, here's how I would approach it.

1. If you are looking for a light weight super fast handling carbine for SHTF where ruggedness of the optic is all, go with the 3x32. Fixed scopes have less "stuff" and are less likely to break (if it ain't there, it can't break).
2. If you're after performance at the cost of some weight, bulk, and potentially ruggedness go with the variable optic. If I'm blasting away at mansized silhouettes at 100 yds, the fixed 4x is my own poison of choice in my mini 14's and a 1-4x is my choice for my AR. But, where I'm going full prone with a bipod and trying for that smallest possible MOA group at 200-300yds I like the higher power scopes (not necessarily variable - Bushnell makes a fine fixed 10x for very low $$).

I use both fixed and variable optics, depending on what it is I want it for. So sorry I can't give the "right" answer but maybe help you find in your heart what you're really after out of it? I think "philosophy of use" is what it all comes down to.

Best,
Grumpy
 

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I have to ask; what size targets are you guys shooting at 100 yards cause I can see the bulls eye fairly well with my 2-7x on 7x but not as well as I would like. I have to use a spotting scope to see where I am hitting at that range and it is 20x. Maybe my eyes are just worse than I thought? I have astigmatism and wear glasses for distance but I didn't think I had it that bad.
 

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I have to ask; what size targets are you guys shooting at 100 yards cause I can see the bulls eye fairly well with my 2-7x on 7x but not as well as I would like. I have to use a spotting scope to see where I am hitting at that range and it is 20x. Maybe my eyes are just worse than I thought? I have astigmatism and wear glasses for distance but I didn't think I had it that bad.
Hi woodstock;

Glass is an interesting topic.

It's more than a question of power and eyesight there's also the "clarity" of the lenses in the optic. No real numbers to associate with that, but a really "clear" optic will seem to do better at resolving details than a lower quality one. Seems like German optics are generally regarded as among the best. Next up come Japanese & non-German European optics as with some of the top end Nikons, then in the range where people like me can afford 'em you've got US & Philippine made units and at the bottom Chinese. I'm no expert on glass, and not trying to sound like one - these are just my observations from looking through scopes that I can't afford and researching over at places like Sniper Central - Scope Reviews There are exceptions to the preceding - US Optics is one of the ueber brands, while US made Leupold has a range of units in cost and quality from "hey I can afford that, cool" to "hon, can we take out a second mortgage, pleeeeze".

For really good bullseye work at 100yds or greater I like a 20x or higher with mil-dot and parallax adjustment, and am currently using a Philippine made optic with quality about on par with the Philippine made Nikons. But as a "combat practical" optic for a bolt action sniping piece, a high quality fixed 10x will do for any range to 900 yds in the hands of an expert (which I am not), whereas for a general purpose carbine I think your 2-7x is a terrific choice.

If you get a chance to get some hands on with high end glass, try a little experiment - look at some object and compare it to how well you can see the same object using a cheap scope with nominally identical stats (i.e. 3-9x40) and see which one is brighter and clearer. Just try to keep it steady - my hands always shake more when I'm handling an optic that would take me 3 months to pay off if I dropped it!

One of the upsides to "firearmageddon" is that with guns and ammo unavailable or out of reach pricewise, I'm going to be putting some $$ into way better glass.

Best,
Grumpy
 

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...It's more than a question of power and eyesight there's also the "clarity" of the lenses in the optic...while US made Leupold has a range of units in cost and quality from "hey I can afford that, cool" to "hon, can we take out a second mortgage, pleeeeze".... a high quality fixed 10x will do for any range to 900 yds in the hands of an expert (which I am not), whereas for a general purpose carbine I think your 2-7x is a terrific choice...
While I was at the LGS looking at a few used Leupold scopes, the gentleman behind the counter was kind enough to let me step out back to check out the view through each of them.

One was a pretty nice 4-12 VX-II with an AO, and the other was A 1.75-6 VX-III with a fixed objective lens, which were both priced the same used.

It was a cloudy day out, and after looking through the VX-II for a bit, I immediately looked through the VX-III, and the improvement in clairity or "brightness" was simply astounding on the VX-III!

I think the difference in the new prices between their otherwise similar VX-2 & their VX-3 scopes is somewhere around 100 bucks new , and as far as I'm concerned that lens coating is worth the extra money when the ambient light is low, such at dusk or dawn or even overcast.

Just my $.02 of course.
 

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While I was at the LGS looking at a few used Leupold scopes, the gentleman behind the counter was kind enough to let me step out back to check out the view through each of them.

One was a pretty nice 4-12 VX-II with an AO, and the other was A 1.75-6 VX-III with a fixed objective lens, which were both priced the same used.

It was a cloudy day out, and after looking through the VX-II for a bit, I immediately looked through the VX-III, and the improvement in clairity or "brightness" was simply astounding on the VX-III!

I think the difference in the new prices between their otherwise similar VX-2 & their VX-3 scopes is somewhere around 100 bucks new , and as far as I'm concerned that lens coating is worth the extra money when the ambient light is low, such at dusk or dawn or even overcast.

Just my $.02 of course.
Yep, wasn't meaning it to sound like a slam on Leupold, because they make some fine scopes. But their top end glass really is better than their "ordinary" glass and its a little unusual to see a brand that has that wide of a range of product. Nikon I guess comes close - bottom end made in the Philippines glass is good but not in the same league as their top end made in Japan stuff. If they ever go to China for the very bottom it will be a sad day.

Oh well. All I know today is that Schmidt and Bender Police Marksman II 4-16x42mm is so far and above what I can afford that its like the Accuracy International rifles I drool over - I'll never have enough $$ or enough time to earn it to buy one.

Best,
Grumpy
 

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I am a fan of 2.5x or 1-4x scopes on AR carbines for SD use. Rifles I tend to go 3-9x. BTW, I mounted the Nikon P-223 3x32 on my 16inch Bushmaster and love the clarity, ease of use knobs, and reticle calibrated to 200, 400, and (optimistic) 600yds. Any clay pidgeon is DRT out to 200...

Good luck

M
 

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Grumpy,

You should check out a USO LR-17 and a Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50. They're both comparable to the S&B but are quite a bit cheaper.

Op,
You could probably find a Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 for ~$200. Or a Mueller Speed shot is a 1-4 with a lighted reticle that is in the same price range. It was all the rage when it came out around 3 yrs ago.

And, it's a little more than double what those Nikon's run, but the Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x44 is really nice. It's a 30mm tube (more light) comes with an illuminated reticle and zero stops and MOA or Mrad glass etched reticle.

I'm ordering a PST 2.5-10x32 later this morning from Liberty Optics (they're in MT) and the only difference is the 32 is a FFP scope which means the reticle changes with magnification, so the marks are always to scale which is useful for ranging.
 

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I have the Nikon P223 3-9x40... Don't buy the 3x32... The two scopes are night and day different. Go ahead and spend the extra $50 buy the scope your going to be able to hit targets 600 yards away, even if you only use the scope for 300 yards target.
 

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I have the Nikon P223 3-9x40...
A friend showed up with his new Nikon P223 3-9X40 scope mounted on his Olympic Arms AR-15 today and I had a chance to test it out while burning up some of his ammo. :)

It struck me as being a pretty darn nice scope overall and he was pleased with it also, so we gave it... "two thumbs up." :cool:



 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry for the late follow-up guys; been off line a few days. Thanks to all for the feedback. My POU is property defense and the training thereof. Don't see myself taking a lot of 200 yard shots or even much past 100 yards. While S hitting the F may preclude such a luxury, I would hope to choose the M1A with its 2-7 scope for those longer shots. Given that POU, my thinking has been light, bright and simple is best. While the 3-9 P-233 in the photos above looks cool, it also looks big on an AR (to me).
 

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I completely agree on the "light, bright and simple" principle for a defensive AR carbine. I think a 1-4x is ideal. A fixed power scope (of whatever magnification) means you have to choose which end of that "arm's length to 200 yd" distance you're going to prioritize.

Finding a high-quality fixed-power scope under 4x isn't all that easy. With good glass, you need not have a big objective lens. While not terribly "tacticool", you really don't need big turrets, either: .223 shoots flat enough that you probably aren't going to be "dialing in your dope" under 300 yd.
I have Leupold, Weaver, Burris and Nikon scopes in the 1-4x range on various short, handy carbines (.223 to .45-70). They work very well.
 
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