Showing posts with label ACOG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ACOG. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Magnified Optics on Fighting Rifles


Saw this video and found it to be interesting. As a general rule I like 1 magnification red dot type optics for CQB type stuff. They are the fastest thing out there. The downside is they are not great at long range. In fairness you can HIT at fairly long ranges with them (say 300-400m) but the issue is target identification. As Peter noted in Thoughts on Combat Weapon Sights for Civilians this is significant. I'd really like to be sure what I am shooting at since as a Civilian I do not have the type of functional immunity that cops and soldiers who act semi reasonably (or not) tend to get.

Also while folks can often engage targets, albeit with limited identification, at distances beyond 200m almost everybody shoots better with magnification. Without a doubt I shoot project AR with a magnified optic a whole lot more precision than a red dot.

I used to have an ACOG but as affordable rugged optics like the MTAC (John tried like hell to break one and all it did was damage one of the adjustments) have come onto the market I think there are better options. My personal choice for an all around fighting rifle is a low to moderate variable magnification optic with an illuminated reticle. My MTAC is a 1-4x which acts a lot like a red dot up close. I keep it set at 1x but can crank it up to 4 if needed. They also make a 1.5-6x version that John Mosby has. If/ when I end up building another AR I'll likely go this route.

For a more designated marksmen type setup I would either get a scope that starts at a slightly higher power like a 3x9 or 4-12 or pay big money for a scope with a larger magnification range like a 2-8 or something.

Thoughts? What kind of optic is on your fighting rifle?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

ACOG Sale Question

Commander_Zero asked a valid question..
Why would you be getting rid of such an awesome piece of gear?

My answer is: 3 reasons for selling the ACOG

1) Most of my shooting as a civilian is very close range. X4 magnification even with an ACOG is less than ideal. I am going to switch to a low power variable Leupold (1.5-4) with an illuminated reticle. Since most of my shooting is pretty close but I do not want to lose the long distance capability this seems like a good compromise. It should give me almost red dot performance for close range but still magnification for those few times when I need it.

2) Cash out some value to put towards an IR laser. The market has come up with some really nice scopes at a lower price point than the ACOG (and I have become better educated about what is available, might have made a different choice in hindsight). This means I am able to free up a few hundred bucks to help finance about half of something I really need.

3) I sort of don't like that ACOGs have a shelf life. Not a big deal to replace a hundred dollar set of night sights but paying a bunch of money to get an ACOG recharged is a bit much.



A Personal Note

H, I received the letter. Will get to the bank then post office either this afternoon or tomorrow. Somehow or another I will tell you when that is done. Would have sent this in an email but my account is wonky today.

-Ryan

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Range Report- Project AR, New Night Sights and Other Fun

Went to the range today. The way things came together today was the day to go and pleasantly the weather cooperated. It has been quite cold for the last several days with daytime highs in the low 30's or so. Sure I would have gone shooting in colder temps but today was nice enough that I ended up in just a t shirt. As this is Arizona of course it was clear and sunny.

Had a bit of anxiety about taking out the new lower since a complete buffoon I put it together. Project AR has been shot before but on a different lower.  Pleased to report that the new lower receiver works just fine. So Project AR is now a complete rifle which is good. Still want to free float the barrel and put an IR laser on it but those things will wait indefinitely on funds.

The first order of business was getting the zero on Project AR up to standard. It was almost perfect at 25 meters but when I went back to 50 to confirm things needed work for sure. Was shooting way high (which is why a zero that is level at 50 and 200 is far better than 25/250) and a bit to the left but pretty much got it figured out. Eventually I ran out of ammo and motivation/ energy at about the same time. Probably went from a 70% solution to a 90% solution which is meaningful progress.

Pistol shooting pretty much sucked. My grouping was like an 8 inch shotgun blast at 10 meters which leaves something to desire. Sort of expected as my consistency in pistol shooting over the last 4 years has seriously left something to be desired. Over the course of a hundred rounds or so things improved noticeably to a tight shotgun blast which is something. In any case it was a reminder that I need to make consistent bi weekly or at least monthly range trips and be better about dry fire practice.

Not sure exactly how I feel about the new night sights on my EDC Glock 19. Will stick with them for a few range sessions and try them at night if I can do so conveniently. In awhile I may switch back to the 3 dot ones that I am used to.

The 'if I have time' piece of this trip was my Christmas present which was a CMMG .22 conversion kit for the AR. I had some time waiting for the range to go cold to check my targets and figured why not. Loaded up the mag, replaced the standard BCG with the CMMG bolt and gave it a shot. It fed the bulk pack (Remington IIRC) ammo without a hitch. Once I figured out the hold over it was quite accurate. Definitely not sufficient for competitive marksmanship but it seems just fine for training, plinking or putting a rabbit into the pot. I will fiddle with it some more and get back to you with a review down the road aways.

I realized while trying to stuff guns into a cheap plastic case that came with a rifle that I can really use a nice double rifle case. Also some sort of a legit range bag (vs the random duffel I have) with little useful compartments and mag pouches would be very helpful.

So aside from my mediocre pistol marksmanship everything was good. As always shooting is fun.





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas, Mayan Doomsday and Life

Well it is almost Christmas. Sure I will say something closer but I hope you are all having good times. This is that time when nothing is really happening anywhere and we're all just getting ready for Christmas. Between Christmas and Kiddo #2 coming we are pretty busy.

If you watched the news today the whole Assault Weapons Ban thing was a hot topic. I've been preparing for such a thing for awhile now. Still going to sprint towards a potential finish is the way to end up with the best situation possible. I'm trying not to get stewed up over something that isn't under my control or influence.

Those Mayans were sure nice to schedule the end of the world for a Friday though maybe Sunday would have been better. More concerning than a dead civilizations arguable end of the world prophesy are the people who believe the world is going to end. We will be staying home on Friday to avoid the potentially dangerous yahoos.

With lots of heady stuff going on I am trying to enjoy time with family during the holidays and limit my worries to what is within my sphere of influence. Also we picked up some egg nog today which is cool. Tomorrow we will probably make sugar cookies and if everything works out I will be testing out the new AR lower receiver while dialing in the zero on the ole ACOG. Trigger time is good for the nerves and I like being around gun people.

Merry Christmas

Friday, November 9, 2012

RE: John Mosby's Notes On Setting Up The Modern Fighting Rifle

John Mosby wrote a great post recently. It is jam packed with sound practical advice. Seriously read the whole post before continuing. What I say here will not make much sense otherwise. Needless to say I have some thoughts on the matter.

As to optics. John Mosby says there really isn't an excuse for not running an optic. I do not think that is exactly true. The one valid excuse I can see is economics. Somebody who scraped up enough cash to get a rifle that is smart and putting money into food, energy, medical, training and such instead of just gun junk might need to save for awhile to get an optic. I have some respect for a guy who is waiting to buy an optic instead of shorting important areas to get one right now.

If there is a serious viable fighting optic available for under $400 I have not seen it. A $140 Walmart red dot is cool for plinking with a .22 or whatever but you get what you pay for. Either these optics fail or they fail to hold a zero or generally just suck. I talked some about specific optics like the Eotech, Aimpoint and ACOG awhile back. Any of those models or some of the new low power variable scopes by folks like Trijicon or Leupold are also very good candidates. Personally I am running an ACOG. I got it because they are what I use at work and it is easy to shoot them well. The new 1x4ish power scopes are a really good option and in 10 years when the ACOG's half life is up I will likely replace it with a Leupold variable power 1x4ish scope.

Running iron's as a backup is IMO absolutely essential for a fighting gun. Modern optics and in particular the Aimpoint CCO/M68 and the ACOG are really rugged and rarely fail. However optics are complicated and relatively fragile all the same. If the scope on a hunting or target gun fails it is an inconvenience or might ruin the day's hunt. In a fight it could conceivably get you killed. I am running the Magpul BUIS simply because of cost.

I am sold on the concept of free floating a rail. Phase 2 of Project AR Upgrade will be a free floating Troy Rail. Assuming the world doesn't end I'll get one in a few months.

Tactical lights are the way to go. They make such a difference in being able to identify targets. Especially considering the realistic real world use for most of our rifles would be a home defense situation lights are very important. Sticking with serious manufacturers like Surefire or Streamlight is probably smart.

Incidentally I had a few bucks that I was trying to decide what to do with for the last week or so. I was sort of at a log jam with a bunch of gear that really needs to be purchased together. After reading John Mosby's excellent article I was reminded that the new M4 needs a light sooner instead of later and picked up a VTAC surefire light and mount combo.

On the topic of slings. The old 3 point sling really came into existence as a viable tactical way to sling an M16 rifle with the old school strap under the rifle musket style hardware. They were fine for what they are but since pretty much everybody is running an M4 or an M4 style butt stock these days it isn't needed. Also because of their excessive webbing and attachments these things can tangle you up like some sort of bondage setup.

I do not like one point slings. For me the rifle hangs too low and is really floppy. I like modern adjustable two point slings. The adjustable feature is important for transitioning to the weak shoulder if needed. Also in a much more practical everyday way it allows you to adjust for wearing a plate carrier or not, winter clothes or even different users.

The only time I run a vertical foregrip (a grip pod to be specific) is at work when I expect to be using my IR laser enough to justify the optional pressure switch. Really this is just to buy me some more real estate. Some folks like them, or an AFG like the Magpul but I am not part of that group.

I think there is way too much potential for fiddling with the AR platform. Rifle, optic, light, BUIS, sling and if you can afford it an IR laser. No real need for anything else all the time. If you are going to be in a support by fire position doing some varmit shooting then stick on a bipod but I wouldn't run one all the time.

As to custom type parts I am generally not a fan. Some parts are just a better version of the original and that is fine. People do the same thing with AR's that they do with 1911's in that they stick a bunch of random parts together, find it doesn't work and say the platform sucks. The issue is that they are not a gunsmith and are stacking tolerances like crazy. Also I do not like products that change the way a gun is operated. Products like the Magpul BAD change the way you run the gun. I am running a BCM gunfighter charging handle but it does not change the manual of arms. You should be able to shoot any rifle that ends up in your hands well not just one specific set up.

Well those are my thoughts on that.




Thursday, October 18, 2012

Project AR Upgrade (Zombie Rifle): BCM 14.5 Lightweight Middy W/ Pinned Battle Comp?

So I have been doing some reading, looking and thinking about Project AR Upgrade. Want to run this by you all. I think a 14.5in barrel is the way to go. The velocity difference between 14.5 and 16 isn't much and I am more likely to move in confined areas than need a tiny bit of oomph on long shots anyway. This setup should be great for killing Zombies or whatever.

Upper:
BCM 14.5" Mid Length (LIGHT WEIGHT)  w/ pinned Battle Comp

Bolt Carrier Group:
BCM Bolt Carrier Group (MPI) - Auto

For a charging handle I will likely go with one of their 'gunfighter' models but have to look at them and try to get my hands one. As of now it will go on an existing lower, another will be purchased specifically for this build at some point. For a BUIS I will probably get the MAGPUL model. The optic will be an ACOG. I do not plan to put a rail on until a DBAL I2 IR laser is in the budget and that will be awhile.

So I am curious about your thoughts on this potential build. What would be good? What could be better? Could anything be a problem? If these thoughts are based on personal first hand experiences please say so. 

Edited to include:
1) Standard government profile or light weight barrel? Why?
2) The Battle Comp is pretty expensive costing $180 to get one pinned onto the barrel. BCM also offers a PWS FSC556 for $109. I have heard nothing but good things about the Battle Comp but is it $80 better than the PWS FSC556? I just don't know. To be honest I am used to the standard bird cage so anything better than that is probably gravy. I'm thinking the PWS FSC556 might be a good not breaking the bank option.



Monday, November 1, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I did a few things this week. Replaced my worn out sleeping mat with a new one. Seeing as I got it surplus at 13 or so and have used it regularly since I would say I got my dad's money's worth. Also had to replace my EDC knife. Through no fault of my own my Cold Steel folder left my presence during the last field rotation. Still fuming about it. Anyway I bit the bullet and replaced it.

Also took delivery of a nice new ACOG which I am really excited about. We went through our car bag and made sure it has what we want it to have. Got to make sure the stuff is current and fits your goals. Been plugging away on The Long Emergency and should finish it this week.

We got to watch Suze Orman yesterday which was pretty nice. Talking and thinking about money together in a relaxing setting is a positive way for us to air any issues we may have and  get rejuvenated about meeting our goals. Things are going well along those lines. Another paycheck and another principal payment closer to being debt free.

Got all caught up on email as well as reading and various other blog stuff. If you sent me an email and haven't heard something by now it was probably lost in the sauce so you might want to send it again. 

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ACOG Product Review

The Trijicon ACOG is a a pretty darn nice optic. Onto the usual format.

The Good: These things are rugged and reliable. They have a day/ night illuminated reticule that doesn't require batteries. They are really easy to mount on a flat top rail. If you remember where you mounted them they hold a zero well enough for functional use. Between the generous eye relief, wide field of view and Bindon Aiming Concept they are easy to shoot well from very close to a few hundred meters. Their bullet drop compensator is very quick and useful after a little bit (like a single trip to the range) of practice. With a properly zeroed ACOG most people shoot better than before. I know I do.

It is my opinion that the ACOG is the best all around combat optic I have used or seen to date.  I could go on and on but it is easier to say they are really good scopes.

The Bad: They are expensive. These are a lot nicer than Chevy grade optics costing less than half as much, as they should be. An ACOG can easily costs as much, if not more than many AR style rifles you could mount it on. Depending on the exact model you want they start a bit above a grand and go up from there.

The Ugly: The only real ugly is just a continuation of the bad. They're just too expensive for many to willing to pay for or able to afford. I can certainly understand that perspective and don't think you should go out on a financial limb to get one. Also I get just being a cheapskate. The high price point and the resulting sticker shock of the ACOG is such that they  aren't even considered as an option by lots of folks.

Bottom Line: If you can deal with the sticker shock and hit to your wallet I strongly suggest the ACOG. You will really like it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

The biggest thing was that I ordered an ACOG from Idaho Preps. Been planning and saving to purchase an optic for some time. Hadn't thought I would be able to afford what I wanted but the good folks at Idaho Preps reached out to me and were able to make it work. Really happy that at the end of the day I was able to get one.

I also opened up a ROTH IRA. We had been saving for awhile and this week we signed up for an account and all that stuff. Pretty psyched about the whole thing. Made a few bucks so far which is just cool.

Picked up a few odds and ends of canned and staple stuff at the store. Stocking up a little bit but probably for the most part just rotating what we already have. Sometimes the stores on post have weird super cheap sales for no real reason. I guess they get too much of something or their stocks are getting old or whatever and so they sell it for half price. This week they have Natural Light Beer for $3.25 a twelve pack which is half the normal price. I got 4 of them to stash away as a beer reserve.

Been looking at ammo as my inventory of 9mm isn't quite up to my own standards.  A case of Federal hollow points is pretty darn tempting and would put me in a good place. I've got to save a few more bucks before I can seriously consider that purchase. Really can't complain because I just ordered a sweet rifle scope.

A very solid week for me. What did you do to prepare?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

EOTech/ Aimpoint vs Magnification, Long Range Engagements, 5.56 in Afghanistan

In an email our friend and advertiser Idaho Preps asked the following questions. "So, let me ask you this.  In your experience and in the way that the.mil is training you 4x works out to be a good all around optic?  What is the current thinking on average engagement ranges, etc?  I have read quite a bit on the 500 yard engagement issues we are currently having in Afghanistan, but the point usually made is that the round is underpowered for the distance (5.56), not too much info on optics. I've always thought that something like the Millett DMS makes a lot of sense it's 1-4x with an illuminated dot.  When/why would you go with a EOTech or Aimpoint (by this I'm asking from the .mil's point of view, I know when I would use one) vs an ACOG?  I know you're busy with the little guy, and there are a lot of questions in there, so whatever you have time for would be appreciated."

TOR here: That covers a lot of ground and I will try to answer as much as I can.  It is however worth first noting a couple things. First I am just one guy and obviously can only speak for myself as an individual not the Army or anything like that. Secondly there are somewhat diverse opinions within our ranks on most things including optics. Now that you have been properly disclaimed I am going to make with the answers.

"In your experience and in the way that the.mil is training you 4x works out to be a good all around optic?" The simple answer is yes. Especially in a platform with very forgiving eye relief and a wide objective/ view such as the ACOG it has a big up side and a minimal downside when compared to just rocking iron sights or the Aimpoint (or I imagine EOTech which I have very minimal personal experience with). At real close ranges of say point blank to 50 meters they are a tiny bit slower then the Aimpoint but probably comparable to iron sights. I think it is at most a very small issue. Also most significantly the up side that pretty much everyone shoots better past 100 meters (certainly 200m) with a good magnified optic more than balances it out.

As an all around optic I really like the ACOG. As I've gotten more experienced and comfortable with the ACOG I prefer it over the Aimpoint. They are easy for most people to shoot well. Magnification aids with identifying and engaging targets at distance, as well as at even fairly close ranges. Some experienced folks feel equally strong about Aimpoints or EOTech's for the same role. I hesitate to say there is a right answer to this one. At the end of the day it really comes down to personal preference. 

What is the current thinking on average engagement ranges, etc? By context I will talk about Afghanistan. I hesitate to use the term average because it implies a level of tracking and statistical analysis which I do not believe is present. However it would be accurate to say that in Afghanistan engagements tend to be further out than in Iraq. A few hundred meter contacts are at least relatively common. Not surprising seeing as Afghanistan is relatively short on built up urban areas and also very open with lots of hills and mountains. Also these far ambushes are a lot easier for insurgents to safely break contact from. There is the worst case scenario of complex heavy weapons ambushes from several hundred meters. However popping off a couple mags or part of a belt of machine gun ammo then fading away is probably a lot more common.

As this applies to the reader as a private citizen. It sorta goes without saying that the longer line of sight is in your AO the further away people could potentially exchange gunfire. You can see a long way in lots of the midwest if you get above all the corn. In Montana and Wyoming you can usually see as far as your eyes or optics are able. If long range is the rule magnification is your friend.

The second half of this question is  "I have read quite a bit on the 500 yard engagement issues we are currently having in Afghanistan, but the point usually made is that the round is underpowered for the distance (5.56), not too much info on optics." Interestingly enough I wrote about this some time ago, Increasing Small Arms Lethality In Afghanistan-Taking Back The Infantry Half Kilometer. To rehash quickly it breaks down like this. First and foremost is training. It doesn't matter what kind of distance a weapon is capable of if you can't effectively employ it. It doesn't matter what a bullet will do if it doesn't hit flesh and bone. In terms of the caliber discussion. There are some very effective rounds for the 5.56 (most notably Black Hills MK262 MOD1 but really 70+ grain JHP/open tip match grade stuff in general) but unfortunately they are not issued widely enough to make a difference. Of course some people will always believe that anything less than 7.62x51 is useless but lets not go there.

[Though I cannot help but note that in WWI and WWII when everybody used .30 cal rifles there wasn't close to a 100% mortality rate for GSW. Furthermore in Korea where our troops were periodically overrun by hordes of Chinese they were carrying the 30.06. The same 30.06 which is bigger and more powerful than the mighty 7.62x51. Every man they shot didn't die. Chinamen didn't flee towards home en mass because they were so afraid of the BATTLE RIFLES waiting for them. Somehow that big heavy .30 caliber BATTLE RIFLE made of good American steel and wood didn't do a very great job as a magical talisman.]

Specifically as to optics. It goes without saying that when stuff is hundreds of meters away magnification makes it easier to see and thus easier to shoot. This is where Aimpoint's and EOTech's are especially wanting in comparison to magnified optics. Their relatively large dots and lack of magnification turn what could be precision fire into area fire.

"I've always thought that something like the Millett DMS makes a lot of sense it's 1-4x with an illuminated dot."

I am not sure about variable power magnification for an all around optic. I have some concern that they are more complex and thus fragile than fixed power models. For all around use I think it is just hard to beat a good 3-4x optic.

There have been what could be called a "have your cake and eat it too" ideas when it comes to optics for some time in various shooting arena's. Ever seen the scope rings which let you still see the iron sights? I've heard of folks talking about mounting some sort of a small red dot IN ADDITION to a magnified optic. They need to be offset somehow and that is inevitably awkward. Trijicon offers an ACOG with what could (generously) be called back up iron sights on top of the scope which isn't a bad idea. I imagine it would be good for CQB. They even have one with a tiny red dot site on top of the scope. I have no experience with that but it seems like a bit much to me. [The ACOG has a cool system called the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC): The highly advanced Bindon Aiming Concept is an optical breakthrough that combines traditional long-stand-off marksmanship capability with the ultimate in close-combat transitional aiming. Using the two-eye aiming method, when the weapon is being moved, the perceived image is unmagnified, permitting extremely rapid target acquisition. As soon as the weapon movement is stopped and the shooter is close to the proper aim on target, the targeted image "zooms" into magnification, permitting greater shooting accuracy with higher hit ratios. This is especially useful for moving targets or for targets in dense cover.]
  
I do not have personal experience with the Millet DMS scope but did some research. At least enough to talk semi intelligently about it. They got some decent man in forum reviews. Don't seem like too bad of an optic for the money. I don't like the reticule but that is sort of a personal thing. Also they lack a BDC or turrets which makes precision distance shooting difficult. Most likely that would only be an issue around 300 meters or so varying by the ballistics of the cartridge. Depending on what you want it for that may or may not be important.

[One thing that has always sort of confused me is when people buy a rifle and then immediately go get the cheapest big variable power scope Walmart sells. This makes even less sense when folks mount a cheap scope on an expensive rifle. Personally if I am going to scope a rifle I save up and do it at least decently right. Spend at least a few hundred bucks and get a quality name brand scope with comparable rings or mount. This isn't the place to go cheap. Not necessarily saying the Millet DMS does or doesn't fall into this category; I just don't have the experience with them to say. This trend is just something I felt like rambling about ]

 When/why would you go with a EOTech or Aimpoint (by this I'm asking from the .mil's point of view, I know when I would use one) vs an ACOG? There isn't, at least that I know of, any sort of doctrine or best practices on this. Units (aside from maybe SOF folks) use whatever they have on inventory. If they have a bunch of Aimpoints they use them, same for EOTech's or ACOG's. There is at least a general consensus that magnified optics are good for the open terrain in Afghanistan. As for individuals this is definitely a personal preference thing.

Personally I would be inclined to go with an EOTech or Aimpoint when for some reason or another the range I would use it at was really limited. I'm talking CQB to maybe 100 meters. If I was building a rifle for defense inside of my home (versus the traditional shotgun) and wanted an optic it would be some kind of EOTech/ Aimpoint. For some of the shooting sport stuff where you use rifles but only at close distances an EOTech/ Aimpoint is what I would use.  For a more all around scenario which could require longer distance shooting I like magnification.

Well I hope that answers the questions. Maybe we will get some interesting discussion out of it.

Also I would be negligent if I failed to mention that Idaho Preps sells EOTech, Aimpoint and Trijicon products including ACOG's at very competitive prices.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts