Red Dot for AR-15 (Read 2068 times)

pukas84

Red Dot for AR-15
« on: November 10, 2022, 02:54:03 PM »
I am looking for a red dot for an AR-15.  Was searching the web and couldn't nail down a specific one to get.  Was looking at Aimpoint Pro and RDS, Trijicon MRO, and others.  What have you folks had good success with?  Looking at around $500.  Also maybe down the line to get a magnifier with it to.  Thank you for your help.

drck1000

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2022, 03:23:38 PM »
Aimpoint PRO, T-1/2, Comp M4 & Comp M5
Eotech EXPS 3-0

Had good experiences with all.  At $500, you're looking at Aimpoint PRO and EXPS 2-0.  Or finding one on used.

zippz

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2022, 03:52:09 PM »
I am looking for a red dot for an AR-15.  Was searching the web and couldn't nail down a specific one to get.  Was looking at Aimpoint Pro and RDS, Trijicon MRO, and others.  What have you folks had good success with?  Looking at around $500.  Also maybe down the line to get a magnifier with it to.  Thank you for your help.

I've been using an aimpoint M2 for 20 years and it's served me well through competitions and advanced rifle courses all this time.  Only thing I don't like is the 4 moa dot was too large for far targets, but current dots are much better in that regard.

I thought about getting a magnifier, but skipped it as I found it wasn't worth the expense, bulk, and weight.  A purpose of  a magnifier is more used for target identification.  Don't really need mag to shoot man sized targets within 300 yards.  Anything over 300 yards you would get mag with a reticle to range.
Join the Hawaii Firearms Coalition at www.hifico.org.  Hawaii's  gun rights organization focused on legal action, legislation, and grassroots activism.

Bota-CS1

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2022, 10:02:40 PM »
It depends on what kind of setup you want with your AR.  Will it be a jack of all trades, just a range run, or strictly a home defense gun, or will it be used only for hibting?  If you’re looking for a solid all around reasonably priced red dot, I’d get the Primary Arms Holosun 503G.  It’s exclusive to Primary Arms and takes any of the aimpoint micro mounts.  It’s also about 1/2 your budget. I’ve got two, one I’ve had for a couple of years and a few classes, and it’s solid.  The “shake awake” (not shake weight) is a good feature that’ll extend your battery life.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 10:10:49 PM by Bota-CS1 »
No one is coming, it’s up to us.

Legislation should never be about depriving law abiding citizens of something, but rather taking those things away from criminals.

stangzilla

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2022, 04:52:37 AM »
I have the 510c which runs about $300, but the 512 is better and can get with titanium housing for a little more $$

Flapp_Jackson

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2022, 03:16:16 PM »
Of all the "affordable" military-grade optics, I chose the AimPoint PRO.

Not only for the price -- usually in the $400 ballpark -- but it also came with a mount.  Many other models you need to buy the mount separately, making those optics cost even more.

It's rugged, can be used with the flip covers closed if you have both eyes open, and the battery lasts 3 years while kept "On" at the lowest illumination level.  It has night vision settings so the dot is visible through NV goggles, and the battery hatch is accessible without needing to remove/re-zero the optic. 

The battery is the very-easy-to-find DL1/3N camera battery, which comes with the optic.  Some optics may use Lithium batteries that you can't find at Walmart or Long's.

It's a little on the bulky side, which adds some weight to the gun, but only by a couple of ounces.  The specs state 7.8 oz for the optic alone.  For comparison, the Micro T-1 is 3 oz, and until recently sold for almost $900.  Now it's listed on the AimPoint site for $499.  For that price, it looks like it comes with a pistol mount for Ruger Mark III/IV, but you have to buy a standard mount separately for an AR rail.  That's listed at $92.

I have 3 PROs, and one matching 3X magnifier.  The magnifier is more for precision shots and helps with zeroing the red dot at the range.  Less challenging to get small groupings with older eyeballs.  IRL, I can see using the magnifier for varmints and hunting small game.  For home/self defense, better to go 1X and keep both eyes open.

I also splurged for the rubber protector to preserve the finish, mainly if I decide to sell any of them.

I didn't buy the Kill Flash lens cover.  it's designed to prevent refections that the "enemy" might see. For $50, I'll take that chance!

The magnifier reminds me of Jurassic Park, when the kid, Timmy, is playing with the NV Goggles in the car.

Lawyer: "Where did you get those?"

Timmy: "I found them under the seat."

Lawyer:  "Are they heavy?"

Timmy:  "Yeah."

Lawyer:  "Then they're expensive.  Put them back."

The AimPoint 3x is quality glass, which you can tell by its weight.  The AimPoint quick-detach twist mount was purchased separately.  Not cheap, but cheaper than most other brands.

No matter what you decide, check all the specs before buying.  Make sure you know what mounts are included.  Even if it comes with one, the one included might not be what you want.  Prices for aftermarket top-tier mounts run upwards of $250 sometimes.  Factor in battery location, too.  Changing one might require a re-zeroing when removing the optic.

Hope some of that is helpful.

 :shaka:
"How can you diagnose someone with an obsessive-compulsive disorder
and then act as though I had some choice about barging in?"
-- Melvin Udall

pukas84

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2022, 04:54:04 PM »
Of all the "affordable" military-grade optics, I chose the AimPoint PRO.

Not only for the price -- usually in the $400 ballpark -- but it also came with a mount.  Many other models you need to buy the mount separately, making those optics cost even more.

It's rugged, can be used with the flip covers closed if you have both eyes open, and the battery lasts 3 years while kept "On" at the lowest illumination level.  It has night vision settings so the dot is visible through NV goggles, and the battery hatch is accessible without needing to remove/re-zero the optic. 

The battery is the very-easy-to-find DL1/3N camera battery, which comes with the optic.  Some optics may use Lithium batteries that you can't find at Walmart or Long's.

It's a little on the bulky side, which adds some weight to the gun, but only by a couple of ounces.  The specs state 7.8 oz for the optic alone.  For comparison, the Micro T-1 is 3 oz, and until recently sold for almost $900.  Now it's listed on the AimPoint site for $499.  For that price, it looks like it comes with a pistol mount for Ruger Mark III/IV, but you have to buy a standard mount separately for an AR rail.  That's listed at $92.

I have 3 PROs, and one matching 3X magnifier.  The magnifier is more for precision shots and helps with zeroing the red dot at the range.  Less challenging to get small groupings with older eyeballs.  IRL, I can see using the magnifier for varmints and hunting small game.  For home/self defense, better to go 1X and keep both eyes open.

I also splurged for the rubber protector to preserve the finish, mainly if I decide to sell any of them.

I didn't buy the Kill Flash lens cover.  it's designed to prevent refections that the "enemy" might see. For $50, I'll take that chance!

The magnifier reminds me of Jurassic Park, when the kid, Timmy, is playing with the NV Goggles in the car.

Lawyer: "Where did you get those?"

Timmy: "I found them under the seat."

Lawyer:  "Are they heavy?"

Timmy:  "Yeah."

Lawyer:  "Then they're expensive.  Put them back."

The AimPoint 3x is quality glass, which you can tell by its weight.  The AimPoint quick-detach twist mount was purchased separately.  Not cheap, but cheaper than most other brands.

No matter what you decide, check all the specs before buying.  Make sure you know what mounts are included.  Even if it comes with one, the one included might not be what you want.  Prices for aftermarket top-tier mounts run upwards of $250 sometimes.  Factor in battery location, too.  Changing one might require a re-zeroing when removing the optic.

Hope some of that is helpful.

 :shaka:

I was looking at the Aimpoint Pro, but a lot of the known companies are out of stock.

rpoL98

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2022, 06:39:06 PM »
my favorite is the Aimpoint CompM4.  Over the years, I've been getting USED ones, genuine military recycled, off of ebay, used to be $350, then $400, now the lowest successful bids are about $500, Bidenflation.  I've come to appreciate the "been there, done that" patina, but i do scrutinize the lens pics very closely for scratches before bidding.  They are certainly "takes a lickin' and keeps on ticking" for sure.  New, they're over $900.

I also have a couple of EOTechs, and a slew of MRO's which are fine by me, despite all the hoopla of off-axis parallax dot shift.  My EOTechs have gravitated to my 9mm AR's, but my genuine SHTF red dot is solidly my DRMO CompM4's, no if's, and's or but's.  I also have a CompM4S with the lower mount battery compartment, but those usually bid for $50-$100 more.  Hey, I like my CompM4's.  the 30mm objective is really nice to have, compared to the 20mm objective of just about everything else.  Once you get used to 30mm, those 20mm red dots are all seriously handicapped, like a window vs a peep sight.  Probably the same goes for EOTech, nice "big-screen" window.  But I'm sure you can overcome the handicap with training, training, training.

I'm trying out the Holosun titanium HE530G, got a couple of those, they also have the 30mm objective, super-light compared to the CompM4, 6.5oz vs 13.3oz advertised weights, but the HE530G just doesn't have the raw sex appeal, battle-tested street cred of the CompM4.  It is a solid chunk of titanium, being a slightly smaller package, it uses the Aimpoint T1 footprint mount, so trying to get my preferred absolute co-witness is a little bit tricky.

I also have a couple of Sig Romeo7's which are also 30mm objective. a helluva lot cheaper (and new!).  Same mounting foot print as the CompM4, which means the aftermarket ADM and MI QD mounts fit perfectly. The Romeo7's work absolutely fine, but I just don't trust them as much as my battle-tested CompM4's.  and not to be confused with the Sig Romeo7S, which only has a 22m objective viewing area.


DRMO = Defense Reutilization Marketing Office, source for used  "Military Surplus" stuff.  Although now they're called something else.  Certain ebay vendors specialize in DRMO stuff, some specialize even more just in CompM4's and CompM4S's.

aaronc5362

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2022, 10:17:56 AM »
Success with: mro, aimpoint h1, aimpoint h2, aimpoint t1, holosun 515t, rmr type 1, rmr type 2, aimpoint pro and a romeo 5.

Never tested it but I also got a holosun 407 3moa dot. Crisp dot.

Shot with but do not own: 503r, 403r.


drck1000

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2022, 10:48:34 AM »
For Holosun, I have a couple 503 on 5.55 and 9 mm ARs. I also have a 403 on a beater 5.55 AR. All have performed well, but haven’t put any of them through a full carbine classes. I know a couple of instructors who have Holosun in their ARs and they’ve been beat up pretty good and heard no complaints.

I put my guns that had a Comp M4s through many carbine classes. Some with round counts over 1k. I thought it was bomb proof and liked the battery availability. They are pretty heavy though.  Ended up selling it after I got a warranty replacement. I have a CompM5 now, but have only shot it in half day classes. I’m sure it’s solid though.

drck1000

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2022, 10:50:36 AM »
my favorite is the Aimpoint CompM4.  Over the years, I've been getting USED ones, genuine military recycled, off of ebay, used to be $350, then $400, now the lowest successful bids are about $500, Bidenflation.  I've come to appreciate the "been there, done that" patina, but i do scrutinize the lens pics very closely for scratches before bidding.  They are certainly "takes a lickin' and keeps on ticking" for sure.  New, they're over $900.

I also have a couple of EOTechs, and a slew of MRO's which are fine by me, despite all the hoopla of off-axis parallax dot shift.  My EOTechs have gravitated to my 9mm AR's, but my genuine SHTF red dot is solidly my DRMO CompM4's, no if's, and's or but's.  I also have a CompM4S with the lower mount battery compartment, but those usually bid for $50-$100 more.  Hey, I like my CompM4's.  the 30mm objective is really nice to have, compared to the 20mm objective of just about everything else.  Once you get used to 30mm, those 20mm red dots are all seriously handicapped, like a window vs a peep sight.  Probably the same goes for EOTech, nice "big-screen" window.  But I'm sure you can overcome the handicap with training, training, training.

I'm trying out the Holosun titanium HE530G, got a couple of those, they also have the 30mm objective, super-light compared to the CompM4, 6.5oz vs 13.3oz advertised weights, but the HE530G just doesn't have the raw sex appeal, battle-tested street cred of the CompM4.  It is a solid chunk of titanium, being a slightly smaller package, it uses the Aimpoint T1 footprint mount, so trying to get my preferred absolute co-witness is a little bit tricky.

I also have a couple of Sig Romeo7's which are also 30mm objective. a helluva lot cheaper (and new!).  Same mounting foot print as the CompM4, which means the aftermarket ADM and MI QD mounts fit perfectly. The Romeo7's work absolutely fine, but I just don't trust them as much as my battle-tested CompM4's.  and not to be confused with the Sig Romeo7S, which only has a 22m objective viewing area.


DRMO = Defense Reutilization Marketing Office, source for used  "Military Surplus" stuff.  Although now they're called something else.  Certain ebay vendors specialize in DRMO stuff, some specialize even more just in CompM4's and CompM4S's.
Never considered DRMO options. As mentioned above, I liked my CompM4s. Ended up going with newer and lighter models, but wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the CompM4, esp if one can find them in 350-400 price range, prob even more.

macsak

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2022, 11:20:24 AM »
5.55 ARs?

For Holosun, I have a couple 503 on 5.55 and 9 mm ARs. I also have a 403 on a beater 5.55 AR. All have performed well, but haven’t put any of them through a full carbine classes. I know a couple of instructors who have Holosun in their ARs and they’ve been beat up pretty good and heard no complaints.

I put my guns that had a Comp M4s through many carbine classes. Some with round counts over 1k. I thought it was bomb proof and liked the battery availability. They are pretty heavy though.  Ended up selling it after I got a warranty replacement. I have a CompM5 now, but have only shot it in half day classes. I’m sure it’s solid though.

drck1000

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2022, 11:25:24 AM »
5.55 ARs?
Don’t know how to use calipers…

macsak

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2022, 11:29:49 AM »
Don’t know how to use calipers…

jabone...

changemyoil66

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2022, 03:56:11 PM »
Focus

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

aaronc5362

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2022, 05:25:40 AM »
I have the 510c which runs about $300, but the 512 is better and can get with titanium housing for a little more $$



Dunno if palmetto state armory still has it but ive seen HE512 on sale for 290ish. But that was about a month ago

changemyoil66

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2022, 10:18:34 AM »
I use a SIG ROMEO 5. It's shake on and auto off.  $125 or so.  Since this is not a "duty" rifle, but sits at home  99% of the time, it works.  I've taken numerous skill builders with it and have had it for 6 years now.  So it's been in the dirt and not just bench shooting.  No issues.  In the end, it's the indian not the arrow.  I've seen guys with $1600 ACOGS or EOTech reflex type optics and can't hit anything from as close as 10 yards.

Only reason why I would buy something more robust is if it's carried daily (duty).  But for home defense, the ROMEO 5 can do the job and for a very good price. IMO Aimpoints are overpriced.

drck1000

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2022, 11:05:40 AM »
Dunno if palmetto state armory still has it but ive seen HE512 on sale for 290ish. But that was about a month ago
PSA has quite frequent sales on Holosun.  I recently picked up on at close to 50% off.  I check once in a while and usually see awesome sales around the holidays. 

drck1000

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2022, 11:14:36 AM »
I use a SIG ROMEO 5. It's shake on and auto off.  $125 or so.  Since this is not a "duty" rifle, but sits at home  99% of the time, it works.  1) I've taken numerous skill builders with it and have had it for 6 years now.  So it's been in the dirt and not just bench shooting.  No issues.  In the end, it's the indian not the arrow.  2) I've seen guys with $1600 ACOGS or EOTech reflex type optics and can't hit anything from as close as 10 yards.

Only reason why I would buy something more robust is if it's carried daily (duty).  3) But for home defense, the ROMEO 5 can do the job and for a very good price. 4) IMO Aimpoints are overpriced.
1) Have you taken a full day or a multi-day course?  Say 400 rounds per day?  Not quite Magpul action, but something along those lines?
2) You sure wasn't chinesium?
3) Sounds like you're "gtg", bruh.
4) I heard same for Colt 1911s  :rofl:

changemyoil66

Re: Red Dot for AR-15
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2022, 11:42:45 AM »
1) Have you taken a full day or a multi-day course?  Say 400 rounds per day?  Not quite Magpul action, but something along those lines?


Most I shot in a day was about 270ish for 1 day.

What issues have you seen with optics for these courses?