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Old 02-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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Combo scope/BUIS recommendation

I have decided on getting an AR 15 that does NOT have the hand grip on top. Instead, it has, from back to front, a long Picatinny rail, a hand guard, and a short Picatinny rail. This will likely be from Windham Weaponry or S&W.
I want to get small, low backup sights and a combination variable zoom scope with a red dot mounted on top of that. My thinking is that I will, in all likelihood, just be doing target shooting, so the scope being near the bore axis will be good for that. The Red Dot can, if needed, be a tactical sight. The back up is only in case all else fails.
Do you think this is over doing it? If so, please tell me. I admit I am new to this and don't know what I am doing. That's why I am asking.
The backup sights I am thinking about are Magpul MBUS Gen 2. There is a note for the front sight that says it is not to be used on gas block w/rails. The problem is that I have no idea what that means or if the rifles I am considering have gas blocks with rails or not. How do I determine that?
The other backup sight is from A.R.M.S. and I do not see any such disclaimer, but there might be one, just not posted.
Both of these sets are under $100. If you know of others that would be better for my uses, I'm open to other brands.
I could use some suggestions on the combination scope. The one I am considering is from Valhalla, but it has no brand name, so I don't know if it is quality or junk. The price is $200, and I am comfortable with that, but I won't be if it falls apart.
Can you suggest others in the same price range that will work? I realize I will not be getting top of line glass, but with the purchase of rifle, sights, and scope, I have to stay within budget.
Didn't the person who hosted these forums have a retail outlet? I'd gladly help support the forum if it is price competitive.
Maybe I don't need the Red Dot, but it seems like a good idea. Can these be mounted on any scope? If so, I could buy a better scope now and get the Red dot later, after I have absorbed the initial costs.
Thanks,
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Before I fuss at you... welcome back David.

The first thing I thought of was that you're watching too much television. Yes, Jerry Miculec has all those on his AR and maybe if you go into IPSC three gun you csn say you need them but what are you really going to do that does otherwise.

I have ended up with several ARs from different makers and one from S&W came with removable iron sights. I removed them and probably could fiind them around here somewhere.
All but one of mine is a flat top and all have some kind of glass. I really like the ACOG and one of those has a red dot on top although I'm not sure why since Trijicon's don't need batteries.

I've got a couple from Stag Arms and S&W, one Colt and a couple I put together with cheap frames and all of them work just fine. Unless you're going to shoot hundreds of rounds a week I don't think brand matters too much.

My suggestion is to define what kind of "target" shooting you intend to do and let that determine sights. If it is going to be mostly close range almost anything will do but if you want to reach out a bit a nice 3x9 is hard to beat.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome, Charlie. Being recently retired, my interests have grown to include photography, bicycling, and now getting into rifles. It amazes me how much I thought I knew and now find out I am not that well educated. With that, your "fussing" is most welcome. I'm working on critical thinking skills, but my knowledge base makes the thinking part a challenge.

I guess three sighting systems may be overdoing it. In thinking realistically, the type of target shooting I will be doing most is at paper targets out to no more than 200 yds. I might do some hunting of aluminum cans, plastic water jugs, or steel plates. I like seeing the target move, if and when I hit it. As I evolve, I might try 3-gun, but that is a ways off. A good variable scope is probably all I need, but having backup sights just seems practical.
I looked online at the ACOG scopes, and for now, these are out of my budget. And when I compare them to the other combination scope at only $200, I have to assume you get what you pay for so will pass on the other, putting the money into a better scope instead.
I was looking at the Nikon website, primarily because I like their cameras, and saw they make some scopes specifically for the AR 15. Is there something about these rifles that make a regular scope not advisable? There are good quality scopes from many manufactures, but I don't want to buy one and then find out it is unsuitable.
I think I will be getting the Windham. I used a friend's, I like it, the price point is good, and not everyone has them. Yeah, I like being a little different. I had reason to call their customer service dept. once and found they were both helpful and friendly to an obvious new guy. I'm assuming they can tell me what and where the gas block is and what type of back up sights I can use. There is a front picatinny rail, so I assume I can use any, but I have been so wrong when I assume. The issue might be polymer material instead of iron and not the gas block itself.
Thanks for your note. Nice to hear from you.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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There is absolutely nothing to prevent using a scope on a flat top receiver. While I agree that backup sights can be useful if you aren't going to the sandbox you can figure out if you really need them later.

I just got a Nikon press kit and the AR scopes do look nice but I have no experience. A good 3x9 sounds about right. Like you I've got lots of faith in Nikon cameras and lenses but little experience with their scopes? What is the price point?

One thing to watch out for is the height of the mount you need for whichever stock you have and the thickness of the rail on the gun. I have one that needed extra high rings to get my head in the right place. Maybe you can get an idea from your friend's rifle.

I gather that you've mastered the cowboy arts and are moving on...
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:20 AM   #5
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The question remains, how much scope for the shootin' you is do'in.

These new optic sights will give you 10" plate hits out beyond 200 yards.

I don't know anything about this one though, I've got a Bushnell Red Dot on my Mossberg 20 Gauge miniature riot gun for small riots, LUCID Red Dot Sight and Crusader & Lucid, one scary accurate combination Mad Ogre

My Bushnell: Bushnell 730132A 1x28 Red Dot Sight Auto On and Off

Geoff
Who is still a bit ambiguous about buying a holo site and figuring on which to put it.

Geoff
Who better find his camera.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:32 AM   #6
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I'm current running an Aimpoint ML3 on my AK, but I'm probably going to have one of these shortly.

I've heard a lot of good stuff about them from the local tac team guys.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:21 AM   #7
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The mini sights haven't tripped my trigger too much but I don't have much experience either. I have one of the SIG minis that is due for an outing.

I have the most experience with the Leupold Delta Point and have used them on both ARs and 1911s and like the triangle better than the dot. For me it is more precise because you can zero the point of impact at the apex of the triangle. Dots are sometimes so large that they obscure the target.

I've used the Delta Point with some success out to 300 yd.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:28 PM   #8
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I'd like to put a red dot of some type on my AK, but I bought a Century Yugo type undeforlder that has that damned grenade sight/gas cut off. I don't know if any of those front handguard replacements will work with that set up.

I did put a set of Meprolight night sights on it, which give me a MUCH better sight picture.

Dave, is there a well stocked friendly gun store near you which would let you try different combinations out in the store before buying? Also, if your mounting a conventional scope, the BUIS sights are really not necessary. You'd have to mount the scope on see through rings for them to even work. I'm like Charlie, unless you're headed to the Sandbox or are a SWAT guy, why bother?

And as to the restrictions of some BUIS mounting on the gas block, it's because the Magpul's are plastic (or polymer or whatever), not steel. Any AR type rifle where the traditional AR front sight (you know, the tall triangle type thingy) is replaced by a picatinny type rail, means the gass tube is just beneath that rail, generating heat. Not good for plastic, no problem for iron.

Last edited by IrishCop; 02-19-2012 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:29 PM   #9
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I have found three Nikon scopes that should work.
The Model 223 lists at $480, is 3-12x42 and the nicest, but at $480 list, is too expensive. The biggest feature is that the scope has been calibrated for drop on the reticle using military 55 grain bullets. I think I can zero any scope and compensate myself, especially considering I don't have any NATO ammo. It is available at Amazon for $450 but no local gun shops here stock it.
The most likely candidates are the Nikon Buckmaster and Prostaff. These seem very similar. The Buckmaster is slightly more expensive, has a very slight advantage in field of view while the Prostaff has very slightly better light transmission. Other than that, I really don't see much of a difference. The Prostaff 3-9x40 sells for $169. They do have a 4-12x40 for $230, which appeals to me.
Truthfully, I really don't need backup sights. I just like them. I don't know if the Windham can use the plastic ones. I'll find out for sure tomorrow (Monday) when I call. Heat is the problem, but some must be able to accept them as there are now several who make them in plastic. I tried to find a schematic of the Windham but couldn't find a detailed one. I found one that showed a vent hole in the stock that needs to be cleaned occasionally. The Windham is supposed to be very similar to the Bushmaster that has a gas tube on top, underneath the hand guard. I didn't find anything that referred to "gas block/rail".
There is a Bass Pro Shop within driving distance of me. They have been helpful in the past. If they won't let me mount a scope, they certainly let you take them out of the box and let you work the zoom, etc.

My wife had some problems that kept her from doing any CAS for awhile and I didn't like going without her. Once the weather warms up, we will be going back to it. (I know, I know, we aren't in North Dakota, but many mornings where we live 35-40 degrees. I admit it, we're spoiled)
I have nowhere come close to mastering even the basics. I think I told you once that I have learned to be able to shoot pretty quickly and can shoot accurately. The problem is that I can't do them at the same time. Nothing has changed. In the meantime, I went back to trap and still enjoy that, too.
I bought an old Garand, and that has gotten me started on enjoying rifles. I bought a Mini-14, but I'm not very good with it. I don't shoot groups, only patterns.
You can't put scopes on the cowboy guns. I hate to admit it, but the scope really helps, even at fairly close distances. Glad age has nothing to do with it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:54 AM   #10
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Dave, I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but semi-illiterate me just isn't sure if you understand a a few terms in use here. So I'm gonna try and post a couple of pictures.

If I am just explaining the obvious to you, please forgive.

This is a standard AR front sight/gas block...it simply taps the gasses from the hole in the barrel and runs the gasses through a tube back to the bolt carrier...



Here, the standard block has been replaced by one which does away with the front sight portion and replaces it with a rail system. It still uses a tube to run the gasses under the the front handrails back to the bolt carrier.



Again, if I am explaining the obvious, just tell me to shut the heck up.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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Actually, that does help considerably. I'm not offended at all. In fact, I'm appreciative that you would bother to do this. I pictured the gas to the bolt being much closer to the firing chamber.
Just to confirm that I understand this correctly. The gas goes through the tube which passes through the front rail, and the heat is transferred from tube to rail to the sight.
This being the case, I don't see why they make plastic front sights at all, unless there was a way to disperse the heat so it didn't affect the front sight. Seems like excessive engineering to solve a minor problem. Iron sights would be the way to go, if used at all.
After my last posting, I got to thinking that I have not had a problem with the scope on my Mini 14, so why bother. I think you and Charlie said that and it's starting to become clear.
Thanks again,
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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By the time you could get your gas block hot enough to melt a plastic sight (I assume you're talking about the Magpul sights) you would have quit long before.

By the time barrels get hot enough to be that much of a problem, your gas tube would be glowing bright.

Don't sweat what the front sight is made of.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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Thanks, Patrick.
There were two I was looking at. One is the Magpul MBUS 2nd generation , the other is the ARMS 71L. Both are low profile and have steel reinforcing.
The front sight might be easier to adjust on the ARMS, but other than that, I don't see much difference.
For now, I think I'm going to pass on both in favor of buying more ammo and learning how to use what I bought.
Eventually, I will get a set, just for the looks. I do think there is a "cool" factor, but that is not as important as being able to use well what you have.
Thanks again to all.
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