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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. Just went to the Asheville Gun Show with the intention of picking up a basic optic set up. (I mostly enjoy shooting my XCR with iron sights, but have been wanting to dip into the world of optics.) So I was seeking a QD red dot and side-flip magnifier. Via Kenzies Optics I got hooked up with a Vortex 3T magnifier, which I think will be plenty good for my purposes. For the QD red/green dot, I hesitantly went with the SightMark reflex sight. I know there's a reason for the cheap pricetag. I'm thinking of it as a trial run before putting a ton of money into an EOTech or ACOG.

Here's my question to the forum: I'm fully aware that one of the reasons the EOTech is so much better/more expensive is that they're way superior in terms of construction and virtually indestructible. But what about the idea of a true holographic sight being vastly superior to the basic red-dot reflex sight? They both claim to be parallax-free, so is there a fundamental difference in how the reticule/sight pic perform?

Can any of you guys who rock an EOTech recommend a good model to work with a 3X magnifier on the XCR? Thanks!! photo(1).JPG
 

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Personally, I'd go Aimpoint over EOTech....just for durability and battery life....especially if you want something really light like a Micro T-1. The Holo ring is faster to pick up targets than just a dot...which is the major advantage...and a 1MOA dot instead of a 2 or 4 or even 6.5 MOA dot on Aimpoints or reflexes like the ones from Mepro Light or Trijicon....better for longer range precision work...but if that's your real goal....a 1-4X or 1-6X scope is a better bet...and many are illuminated. The weight and more fragile nature of a scope over a red dot is the main drawback....as well as cost for a high end 4 or 6X optic.
 

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I had the kiddo running reflex drills evening before last.
I'm cheap though, I just put a lens cap on the Aimpoint ;-)
Is there a difference up close? Not that I've seen. At range though, I see the difference.
I'm glad you went with Sightmark - I don't know anything about them. My initial glance said "he bought an EoTech and put it on backwards" - glad to see it's not so!

But here's the deal on the 3X multiplier. With a standard 1X magnification dot sight, you're easily seeing and hitting out to 300. If you zero there, you'll have extremely little deviation in impact from 25 yards to a little past 300. The human eye (assuming it's "right") can discern about 1 MOA of contrasting objects - in other words, you should be able to discern a human face within the range you're sighted in at. Not recognize features, but see that it's a non-camoed human face.

If you want 3x magnification, now you can make out that same face likely close to 1K. But you won't hit that, much past 300, because your dot sight likely doesn't have a way of measuring drop at range. The other option is changing your zero to compensate for the range - but dot sights suck at that, and even if you could the dot sights don't have a way to estimate range.

In other words, if you run a dot sight, it's essentially a 400 and in firearm. Putting a magnifier on that won't change the fact that it's a 400 and in firearm. You may get a more precise aiming point for usage in that range, but the range remains the same - just the weapon gets heavier. After all, dots usually are at least 1 MOA (center dot in EoTech) so you've magnified a 4 inch dot on a target at 400 yards. With dot flair (maybe just my eyes) that dot covers the entire head. Magnifying a dot that covers the whole head is questionable strategy.....

Endgame: if you're buying the magnifier because want to hit at range, you need either a "regular" optic with a better reticle or something like an ACOG. A red dot won't do it well / right.
 

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So what Sean said, but in many more words LOL!

Oh yeah, I gave away my last EoTech.
The only place they're better than an Aimpoint is when you're coupling them with NVDs - you get a better field of view.
For anything else, Aimpoint makes a superior optic IMO.
 
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It's all going to come down to personal preference. I went EOTech because I'm cross dominant and my right eye turned red dots into canted dashes. The circle with a dot is clearer for my eyes. Even still, I sometimes have to close both eyes for a second to refocus.

The Aimpoints are generally considered more robust (EOTech had some early problems they fixed) and definitely have much longer battery lives.

It is worth noting that since you're magnifying, as mentioned already, the dot will magnify as well. However, my readings on the EOTech say that the dot is actually smaller than 1 MOA, so it doesn't really grow much when magnified. Honestly can't say myself, I haven't yet bought a magnifier, but it's on my list to buy.

As for the models, basically decide if you want to use AA or CR123 batteries, whether you want NVG capability, and whether you want the buttons on the left or back. For example, I wanted AA batteries, no NV, and side buttons (plan on magnifying at some point). That made the 517 the model for me.
 

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What you said about the early EoTechs having now-solved problems is true.
The glue in the battery boxes and some of the glued pieces in the body would come loose. Those have been fixed years ago.

That having been said, there still are problems with shifting point of aim. Not in all of them, but the weak glue and bad battery boxes weren't in all of them either.

As I said, I'm out of the EoTech game.

That does suck about your eyes though. I'm in almost the same camp. If I look at the dot without glasses now, it's a big fuzzy halo instead of a crisp pinpoint of light. It sucks getting old. The only thing that would suck more is not getting older.
 
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When you're young, you couldn't wait to be older because no one took you seriously and everyone judged you based on your lack of experience. When you're old you wish you were young again. Grass isn't greener... just different pasture with different set of challenges.
 

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The vortex magnifier works really well. I get what Bravo is saying, but sometimes it's nice to get a closer look at what is going on down range. My wife loves her EoTech with Vortex magnifier, but that damn thing is a battery hog and it has crapped out a couple of times in extreme heat. Aimpoint is by far superior IMHO. I personally prefer a scope so I can see a reticle any time. I find, it is rare that I turn on the illumination, maybe towards evening, that's about it.
 

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Yup!
On the -M, I went with magnified, illuminated reticle (NVD compatible) optics. The reticle though - and the exposed turrets - let me range and dial (or range and hold over a KNOWN amount of MOA) quick-quick.

For a "do everything" rifle, where I expect to use it past 350 or so, I'll pick a scope every single time.
There are pros and cons with the ACOG types, but they are a VERY viable answer to the problem. Especially if you're looking for "energy on target" versus "precision shot at range". That CAN be overcome to a tremendous degree with judicious loading of ammo, but even that won't work across the board (and I found that out the hard way).
 

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The vortex magnifier works really well. I get what Bravo is saying, but sometimes it's nice to get a closer look at what is going on down range. My wife loves her EoTech with Vortex magnifier, but that damn thing is a battery hog and it has crapped out a couple of times in extreme heat. Aimpoint is by far superior IMHO. I personally prefer a scope so I can see a reticle any time. I find, it is rare that I turn on the illumination, maybe towards evening, that's about it.
I have an Aimpoint Pro on my XCR now, and used to have a Vortex 3x FTS magnifier, but that's a pretty heavy combination. I took the magnifier off and now run just the Aimpoint. On my Armalite M15 I have a 3x Chevron (TA31 I think) ACOG and I'm sold. My buddy that I shoot with a lot is an Eotec guy, but I love the range estimating ability of the ACOG as well as it's battery-less operation, Tritium in total darkness and Fiber Optic illumination in daylight or indoor light. The 3x is great even very very close 7yds, and once you get out to 100 you can still shoot 1-2" groups all day long.

I suggest you try several out to see what works best for you.
 
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I run an EOTech with a 3x because I didn't know any better when I started out and I have not tried an Aimpoint. From what you guys have said mostly is that if I did try an Aimpoint I would want to get rid of my EOTech. This is probably true but since I still know no better I am happy with my choice, plus PB&J is not enough these days to send the kid through college, it has to be popcorn and water. popcorn.gif fainting.gif Sometimes ignorance has it's upside and easier on my pocket. I would like to get one eventually though.

Anyway, I don't remember (old brain) where I found these but they seem to work pretty good.

EO TECH0001.bmp-001.jpg eo tech0001a.bmp.jpg eo tech0002.bmp.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks a million for all the great feedback guys. I made it out to the range today finally, even though the rain had the I40 W at a near standstill. Glad I did too as I was pretty stoked about the results with the affordable combo I posted about originally. I knew my BUIS were zeroed so I started by cowitnessing the SightMark at 25 yds with the bipod. That was super easy to do because the mount/dot were already dead nuts left to right and I just had to change the elevation a few clicks. I do get a little bit of dot flare if my cheek weld & eye relief aren't exactly right every time, but generally I can deal with the dot resolution. There are 4 reticule styles on the selector - thus far I've gone with the dot, but after hearing you guys' experience I'll try the outer ring or crosshair.

Then I played around comparing magnified and unmagnified shot groups at 50 yds. I hear you loud & clear Bravo re: the efficacy of magnifying a dot that's already covering X inches at Y yds. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense at longer range. But I clearly shoot better in the 25-75 yd range when it's magnified. (see photo) The left is just the SightMark dot @ 50 yds. The right is SightMark plus Vortex 3T @ same. Keep in mind that I'm not an excellent shot, so the 3.5" group on the right is pretty good shooting for me, especially just breaking these in. Only problem I had all day was the Vortex mount screws worked loose pretty quickly, but I still need to loctite those. That... and dudes kept asking me if my EOTech was mounted backwards. ;) photo(2).JPG
 

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I hear you on the results - but some of it could be the difference between having a definate aiming point and not.
Sounds stupid, but that's why I carry a pack of targ-o-dots in the range bag. With just the dot optic, you didn't have a distinct aiming point...... That's the point of having a solid color torso, to see how effectively you'd hit on a person (versus a bullseye).
And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that thought you might have an EoTech ;-)

Merlin you're right on rangefinding with the EoTech, but you notice the furthest out it goes is 400?
The idea is that if you sight in an AR "correctly" (meaning at 300 - or zero at 25M and then VERIFY you're on at 300) then you'll essentially get no variation in point of impact worth talking about between "inside house" range and a bit over 300. If you hold center mass at 400, you'll put the round in their guts - still a combat effective hit!

Closer zeros don't minimize the variation due to distance as well. Thus why the Army is now qualifying to 400 only.

I got into a heated conversation about just this once..... The short version of the story is that I was talking to someone else about the lack of belief (or going out and trying it) of the butt-hurt guy, and got clued in about a video by Travis Haley. Guess what - he proved the same thing, shooting dummies. And I mean full sized human shaped targets - not socialists (socialists have full-sized bodies, double-sized egos, and one-tenth sized IQs).

But I'm not gonna preach today. I had the military reactive target out today (not mine, one of the guys I shoot with) and couldn't connect with the XCR-L at 425 in a USMC kneeling position. I know I dropped two of the rounds low, I heard them hit the armor in front of the battery. I blame it on the TULA ammo....... That stuff seems to want to go it's own way significantly after about 200. It was set to need 2 hits within 30 seconds to flag it, and the wind wasn't that bad. Some days I'm the windshield, some days I'm the bug.

Gonna load up a couple thousand Hornady 55 FMJ's next week, and finally be off that steel bullet stuff!
 

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Ive got a couple EOTechs, an Aimpoint T1 and a couple of Primary Arms micro dots (very similar to the T1). I use the EOtech the most during 2 and 3 gun matches because I can frame the targets faster with the large outter circle. We only shoot out to 300 yds and the nonmagnified EOtech works just fine. Ive tried 3X magnifiers and all it did for me was reduce my FOV, made me slower and added unneeded weight. If I needed magnification then Id go with a 1-4 or 1-6...at least for matches.

I like the T1 and PA micros because of the weight and battery life. Truthfully for what the T1 costs, I would likely go with the PA if I could start over. The PAs have been good to me so far. The Aimpoints are unmatched in reliability and battery life though. Out of the 3, the Aimpoint would be my go to for SHTF sight.
 

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I hear you on the results - but some of it could be the difference between having a definate aiming point and not.
Sounds stupid, but that's why I carry a pack of targ-o-dots in the range bag. With just the dot optic, you didn't have a distinct aiming point...... That's the point of having a solid color torso, to see how effectively you'd hit on a person (versus a bullseye).
And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that thought you might have an EoTech ;-)

Merlin you're right on rangefinding with the EoTech, but you notice the furthest out it goes is 400?
The idea is that if you sight in an AR "correctly" (meaning at 300 - or zero at 25M and then VERIFY you're on at 300) then you'll essentially get no variation in point of impact worth talking about between "inside house" range and a bit over 300. If you hold center mass at 400, you'll put the round in their guts - still a combat effective hit!

Closer zeros don't minimize the variation due to distance as well. Thus why the Army is now qualifying to 400 only.

I got into a heated conversation about just this once..... The short version of the story is that I was talking to someone else about the lack of belief (or going out and trying it) of the butt-hurt guy, and got clued in about a video by Travis Haley. Guess what - he proved the same thing, shooting dummies. And I mean full sized human shaped targets - not socialists (socialists have full-sized bodies, double-sized egos, and one-tenth sized IQs).

But I'm not gonna preach today. I had the military reactive target out today (not mine, one of the guys I shoot with) and couldn't connect with the XCR-L at 425 in a USMC kneeling position. I know I dropped two of the rounds low, I heard them hit the armor in front of the battery. I blame it on the TULA ammo....... That stuff seems to want to go it's own way significantly after about 200. It was set to need 2 hits within 30 seconds to flag it, and the wind wasn't that bad. Some days I'm the windshield, some days I'm the bug.

Gonna load up a couple thousand Hornady 55 FMJ's next week, and finally be off that steel bullet stuff!

Bravo,
You read that Lucky Gunner article on the Tula and its weird pressure wave? That crap could be half filled with saw dust or cat pee, by the way it smells. As I'm sure you know Tula makes Wolf look like match grade ammo.
 

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Anybody have any experience with the Lucid HD7? Around $200 bones and here is a review from our favorite MAC.

 

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Nice to see you back FiveSide. I am not sure that the sight mark will hold up to the recoil, so keep a close eye on the reticle for shift. If that doesn't work for you, Bushnell has a nice 3MOA unit for a reasonable price that I have heard works quite well. When you trim the brightness, it makes the dot appear a bit smaller because it eliminates any bloom. I have fooled around with one on another friends rifle, but have not shot it yet.
 

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Bravo,
You read that Lucky Gunner article on the Tula and its weird pressure wave? That crap could be half filled with saw dust or cat pee, by the way it smells. As I'm sure you know Tula makes Wolf look like match grade ammo.
\

And yet much of Wolf's black box line is made in Tula factories. Frankly, they BOTH suck. I usually go with Brown Bear for that reason. Wolf sources from so many factories (including Barnaul) that it's hard to say what you're going to get.
 

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\

And yet much of Wolf's black box line is made in Tula factories. Frankly, they BOTH suck. I usually go with Brown Bear for that reason. Wolf sources from so many factories (including Barnaul) that it's hard to say what you're going to get.
I learned something--I had no idea that Wolf used some Tula? Go figure.
 

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With Freedommunitions.com selling 55g XM-193 5.56 for $.32 a round, I see no need to shoot that Tula or Wolf ammo.

5.56 M-193 55 gr. FMJ New
 
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