Showing posts with label scopes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scopes. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Questions in My Head

1) 'Scout Mounting' a rifle scope. Presuming we are not talking about a weapon whose unique characteristics (utilizes stripper clips, Bolt gun with strait bolt you do not want to bend, M1 Garand, pre 'AE' Winchester 30-30, etc) what is the train of though behind forward mounting a magnified optic in this fashion? Pro's? Con's? Suitable for some element of precision at intermediate ranges (out to 600m or so)?

For goodness sake do not mention that Jeff Cooper liked it as a reason to do this. Sir Edmund Hillary was a heck of a mountaineer but times have changed and so has equipment. Let's stick to practical reasons and avoid dogmatic circular thinking. 

2) What are your thoughts on storing 5 gallon type buckets of food on their side? In my effort store our bulk type food within the climate controlled portion of our dwelling it occurred to me I would have a lot more options for buckets if they could be stored on their sides (vs standing up). Has anyone tried this?

Thanks in advance.

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.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

 On the bright side I am finally starting to feel normal again. However between work and life nothing amazing happened this week. I did some cooking which was good. Wifey has been taking it easy so Miley and I have been cooking. Nothing too crazy but if you don't use those skills you start to lose them. I have also been reading a lot which is cool. Got all caught up on blogs plus also some select chapters of various field manuals. Learned some interesting stuff and was pretty entertained in the process.

Moved some money around and I should be getting a plate carrier and rifle plates this week. Also I have been looking at optics. Awhile back I was thinking EoTech but after a recent trip to the range I really like and shoot better using an optic that has some magnification. I LOVE the ACOG but alas, hangs head in shame, it is too expensive. I am looking at the IOR M2 scopes. Got to do some more research and run the numbers. Still might be awhile.

I also tore up our place and finally found my P Mags. Unfortunately I have a few less than I thought I did. Oh well that can be rectified later. Think I'm going to start using some at work to evaluate them.

I started working on next years Wish List which makes up at least part of the New Years Resolutions. Nothing new or huge there. Working on protective gear as well as some outdoor type stuff. Just kinda coming up with ideas now. Then I will weigh different categories and think about what I can realistically do in a year. More to follow in a month and a half or so. Come to think of it I need to look at where I am on this years New Years Resolutions. Don't have much time to finish things off.

My home brewed beer is better after waiting another week. They said it needed 3 weeks but 4 turns out to be more accurate. It is less cloudy and the carbonation seems to be more uniform. Also the bitter after taste has gone away. It is a relatively light, slightly sweet and refreshing ale.

For a slow week I guess it wasn't too bad. Next week is going to be pretty packed. Posting may be abnormal this coming week.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, December 15, 2008

To Scope Or Not to Scope, That Is The Question

It seems that the comment section to my latest post on Somali Pirates turned into a full on flame war. The whole laundry thing expanded beyond my innocent intentions also. I really don't have the energy to respond to all the comments on either of these matters. All I can say is to take what I say on here with a good pinch of salt. Sometimes I exaggerate a little bit for the sake of making things interesting. Moving towards today's thoughts....

Rifle scopes are all of the vogue these days. It depends a lot by region but I can say that a very significant amount (if not a majority) of hunting rifles have scopes on them. Lots of modern bolt action rifles do not even come with iron sights making the mounting of a scope a requirement.

First lets talk about the plus sides of rifle scopes:
-Most people can shoot more accurately at longer ranges then with iron sights
-Scopes allow for final identification of a target (animal) before taking a shot. This could be very useful if a deer needs a certain amount of horns to legally shoot or are looking for that big trophy.
Simply put scopes make stuff bigger which makes it easier to see and hit with a bullet.

Now lets get to the negatives:
-Scopes are expensive. Even the low-mid range ($100ish) of scopes cost a heck of a lot more then just using the iron sights on a rifle.
-Scopes are very fragile in relation to firearms and iron sights. A decent whack can take out a scope and a hard bump can easily take it off zero.
-This is less quantifiable then the first two which are hard to argue with. I think scopes give lots of less capable shooters a false sense of security (because of that 8/9/12 magnification) that will lead to taking shots they are not capable of.

Does it make sense to scope a rifle? I think it depends on what you want to achieve. If you live out on the plains where 300+ yard shots on game are the norm then a scope is almost a requirement. For those 40 year old eyes that don't see as well as they did a decade ago scoping a rifle can be a good choice.

All of the stuff I have said is pretty bland and probably made up the basis of a couple one page articles with a big picture to fill the pages of assorted gun porn over the past 20+ years.

There are however some new innovations that bring back the old discussion of whether to scope your rifle. OIF has spawned the genre of the CQB scopes. Red dot sights particularly those made by Aimpoint are all the rage right now. Assorted low power wide objective scopes are also out there. These bring whole new sets of questions with them. These questions are very different then the traditional scoping question because these scopes are designed for different purposes.

I personally have experience with ACOGS and the Aimpoint CompM2/ M68. I like the ACOG a whole lot and LOVE the M68. ACOG's are a real nice fixed power scope. The M68 is a dream to shoot. I find that it is easier to shoot better and faster at any range from 30-300 meters with it than anything else I have tried. Unfortunately I am not willing to trust my life to anything electronic if there is a nonelectric alternative available so that narrows my potential use of the M68. Now an M68 with a flip up rear sight as a backup might be the best of both worlds. I would have to compare them both heads up (its been a few years since I shot with an ACOG) to make a direct comparison. This entire paragraph is based upon the fact that during these experiences someone else has been paying for the scopes.

If I had all the money in the world to put optics on rifles I would probably have an ACOG on my AR and a M68 on the M4. Heck I think an M68 on the Garand would be sorta cool in a new meets old way.

Whether I would spend hard earned money on one of these scopes (guess the M68 is a sight but for the sake of this article lets call it a scope) is an interesting question? Their prices are pretty steep (far more then normal hunting scopes) and they don't give you all that much of a benefit. They do not add practical range to a weapons system or make target identification a whole lot easier due to their low (or zero) magnification. Putting optics on my evil black rifles would be cool but is quite low on my list of priorities.

As a final thought I want to broadly talk about scope cost. While some deals are certainly better then others broadly speaking you are going to get what you pay for. That 30 dollar walmart red dot is great for plinking tin cans with a .22 but it isn't wise to bet your life on it.
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