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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After much debate and research, I have settled on a standard build Spike's 16", midlength LE upper w/9" BAR rail # STU5035-R9S in 5.56 for my first AR. It will do what I want without breaking my bank. Maybe a 6.8 in the future, but for now the 5.56 will be doing duty as my all-around semi- rifle: plinking (fun), deer hunting and as SHTF potential - basically everything except for competition (just not interested).
For a variety of reasons (gun capability, caliber, intended usage, local terrain and cover, and personal) I am about 90% decided on a 1-4x scope as my best option in addition to the Troy folding rear BUIS. Have two scopes in current consideration: Nikon M-223 1-4x BDC (Midway) and the Burris 1-4X TAC30 Illuminated Ballistic CQ 5.56 #200443 (not XTS W/Fastfire II recticle). Both seem reasonably solidly built and clear optically for this price range. Both seem to get about the same proportion of rave vs complaint reviews. Asside from the turret differences, that I read about, I have some comparison questions:


I have lost shot opportunities when a lesser light transmission capable scope failed to resolve a target I could see by eye. Nikon 92-95% vs Burris ???.
But also read where the fine line & small circles recticle of the Nikon BDC could not be seen against a dark background vs Burris larger illuminated circle & dots. (Burris circle should be faster to acquire at 1X both eyes open) Does Burris recticle somewhat float like a reddot (less parallax problem).
Which scope has least distortion? Closest to true 1x? Best same aim zoom and click adj return to zero?
Nikon M223 one piece vs Burris PERP one piece mount.
With either mount, how high is the center of the scope relative to the Spike's FFS (will I need to go with low gas block and folding FS)? FS in FOV not a problem unless it blocks way too much view at low power.
Burris bullet drop comp is for 223 Rem 62 gr (closer to 62-75 grs of hunting ammo) vs Nikon 55 gr NATO
Burris TAC30 2.4 MOA center dot at 4x (4MOA at 1x?) covers a lot of target area at 100yds is this too much or OK with the probable accuracy of 16" chromed barrel vs Nikon finer line & open circles recticle?
Burris 6MM pupil exit vs Nikon 4MM at 4X. much difference in light low transmission and eye alignment?
What is Burris second focal plane recticle? Problems / Complaints of entire scope end rotating & no hinged cover use.
customer svs and warranty?


Any other good scope candidates in this price/quality range? Any strong vote for a 2-8X over a 1-4? Have a bull barrel Ruger M77 in 22-250 w 4-16 scope for accuracy needs, just slowtwist limits bullet weight.


Some shooters may be able to afford to just toss a scope in the drawer if it doesn't perform well, but whatever I get will probably have to be my one scope for my AR for as long as it lasts. About $300 is my top end for scope (plus mount cost)
 

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I've got a leatherwood cmr 1-4 on my LR308. I liked it so much I bought another for my RFB.
Haven't tried the tac30. Waited for the fde model to come available on Midway for some time now to match the furniture on my LR308 but I guess all Burris products are on the slow boat from China right now.
 

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I was all set to buy a Leupold 1.6-4.2x (or whatever it is), but that changed when I got my hands on one in a store. I quickly realized for low magnification to do any good, you need a reticle that stands out much more than the Leupolds have standard. A custom shop reticle (I was thinking German #1) would add too much to the bottom line for me, kicking it up almost to the internet VX-R price range. I was then getting ready to pick up a Burris Tac30, but found a Burris timberline 2-7x for $120 NIB (I think they quite making them, there are a few more still out there, just not quite that cheap); so I went that route instead. At the very beginning, I was looking at a 2-8x or whatever, but what I was seeing were a bit long for what I wanted, or cheap Chinese crap made for Air-Soft. The timberline is actually shorter than the Tac 30 and the 1" body give me more options on rings than I'd have with 30mm.

Its going to see use as a lightweight back-up hunting gun, not as a 3 gun comp weapon. I'm also not a member of any militia groups running around the wood playing commando, so I think the 2-7x will suit my needs just fine. I just got it yesterday with some weaver top mount low rings. I'm hoping to site it in this weekend.

Burris doesn't come from China. The ones I was looking at are made in the Philippines, just like the Nikons I was considering early on.

from my reading, the Nikon does a pretty good job of pegging the 1x power, the Burris goes a bit less than 1x (not significantly).

If you are looking to get a 1x, better make it a IR. If you want a little more precision than they offer, you might as well get a little more magnification too and get something like I got. There is a Leupold version too, VX-II ultralight 2-7x, but it only comes in a gloss finish if that matter to you. It did to me.

Speaking of precision, I want to think one of the Nikon scopes I was looking at only had 1/2 MOA adjustments on the turret.

Burris has a better guarantee than Nikon, and I think maybe a bit better than Leupold from what I was reading, but as companies get bought and sold, you can't always trust that in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. After much thought about how this AR will be mostly used, went with the Nikon 2-8 and Nikons free mount promotion, and with an additional 5% off code at Opticsplanet. and free S&H. $313 total. (Realized I have 4 low resolution range scopes already mounted on long guns, so I can always substitute).
 

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1-4x doesn't end up being all that useful for much in my experiences. Can't cowitness with it, still has eye relief to deal with, and for shooting at the range 4x is pretty weak.

It just sucks overall for most common uses. I'm running a Leupold VX-R 2-7x33mm and loving it. Firedot gives you near red-dot like speed, and gives you great low light capability. It's light, with great glass, and it's fairly rugged. I'd highly recommend it for an AR15, as it seems perfect in every way for mine. 2-7x gives you a usable low power option for indoors/close range 2 eye open shooting, while 7 makes it worth while to crank the magnification up when you need it.

If $300 is the limit for a "lifelong" scope, I think you lack some understanding about what a scope is and what it does. Start asking google some questions, and really read up on the subject before you flush money down the drain.
 

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For a while I was considering competing in 3 gun but thats another story.
But I was looking hard at all the 1-4x scopes for several months. I frequent the Brian Enos forum daily and you can get alot of valueable info on the scopes you mentioned thru searches there. Most 3 gunnners run a 1-4x scope so there is tons of reviews on just about every 1-4x you can think of on there Rifle - Technical - Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
As far as 1-4x here are a few more that are with in or around your budget.

Millett 1-4x24 DMS / SWFA S.S.A.L.T. Combo

CRS

Leatherwood 1-4x24 CMR Tactical 30mm Rifle Scope Kit

Hawke 1.5-6x44 Eclipse 30mm Riflescope
 
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