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TalkingMonkey

Which Optic for Rimfire Rifle?

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Hello.  A local club started hosting Steel Challenge matches recently and I’m thinking of giving it a try.  I’d like to use my 10/22 but would like to get a red dot sight for it.  I have a friend that can get me great deals on Vortex optics so I’m considering the Venom.  First of all, would this be a good choice?  And second, would a 6MOA or 3MOA dot be preferred?  Thanks!

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hi Ya, from my limited experiences i would buy the best red dot you can afford. "buy the best only cry once".

i have a 4.5 MOA on my AR and i find it not so good after 100 yds as it obscures the target.

 

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In Steel challenge the bigger the dot the better.  I run a 12moa dot on my C-more.  The absolute smallest I would go would be 8moa.

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I run 6 MOA dots on all my USPSA guns.  I run DPP 2.5 MOAs on my steel challenge guns.  The reason is the DeltaPoint Pro 2.5 is the brightest dot out there.  It is the only one I can count on to be visible on a white steel target at any sun angle.  I had previously used RTS2 6 MOA, but the were not always bright enough.

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There are very little G-Forces associated with a .22 rimfire rifle. Those G-Forces will tear up a slide mounted CO sight, but aren't really an issue here.

The Vortex should work well... I would suggest 6 MOA over 3 MOA. The Burris FFIII (8 MOA) is another option, and not an expensive one if you shop the online retailers. Their lifetime warranty is very good. If it breaks, they replace it. Battery life is also excellent. I have one on my .22 pistol and am very happy after several years of use. You don't need to spend big bucks for a rimfire rifle red dot.  

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I run a Venom on one of my 2011 rimfires, a Viper on the other, and Vipers on both of my rimfire rifles.

All are 6MOA dots, I think.  The Venom is fine but it has more features than are needed for this game.  The auto brightness control is undesireable as you will set the brightness where you want it the start of each string. For this reason, I prefer the Vipers.  Also, the Vipers have larger control buttons, which makes them easier to adjust. 

Regarding dots, larger is better is common advice.  I find 6 MOA to be just fine.  I have tried 10MOA, that was fine also, but no better than 6MOA for me.  Brightness is very important to me.  If it is bright, the dot size is a distant second concern for me.

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Posted (edited)

For steel challenge I use 8 moa C-MORE RTS2 on my revolver and Burris FF3 8 moa on my rimfire pistol. I just put a 3 moa on my rimfire rifle as I'm just breaking into that gun and I think the 3 moa is too small for Steel Challenge. And as others have said brightness is important the SCSA. I think you will be ok with the Vortex but get the bigger dot, not the 3 moa  Not sure but I think some of the vortex models require removing the sight from the firearm to replace the battery. This is not something you want to do in the middle of a match.

Edited by firewood

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For pistols the larger dot is better, but for rifles a BRIGHT 3 moa dot is fine for Steel Challenge because the dot is much closer to your eye than on a pistol.  The closer position also makes the lens appear larger so the smaller lens sizes of the mini red dots work well.  You can move the optic forwards and backwards on the rail to suit your preferences.  I have several 10/22 and M&P 15-22 rifles some with C-More Serendipity sights and some with C-More RTS2 sights, all of them have 3 or 4 moa dots and they work well for Steel Challenge.

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6moa is the minimum you’ll wamt for SCSA.  8 moa is preferable.  As long as ithe dot is big and bright, and the optic is a reflex sight (ie, not a tube style sight), you should be fine. And don’t get a $19.99 Walmart special.  

 

I don't have personal experience with the Venom but I’ve owned other Vortex products in the past, and they are a quality company.  If you can get a good deal on one, then I’d say to go for it.  

Edited by jkrispies

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14 hours ago, jkrispies said:

6moa is the minimum you’ll wamt for SCSA.  8 moa is preferable.  As long as ithe dot is big and bright, and the optic is a reflex sight (ie, not a tube style sight), you should fine

Can you explain why not to use a tube style RDS? Is it field of view or ??

 

Thanks

xdr

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Just now, xdr said:

Can you explain why not to use a tube style RDS? Is it field of view or ??

 

Thanks

xdr

The “frame” of the tube around the lens will be too thick and will block your vision as you’re transitioning from target to target.  When you get to the upper speeds—sub 2 seconds per run—it’s really about developing fast vision, and having a thin frame around your lens is essential. Now, if you’re building a gun for the apocalypse and want a tube sight for strength, then feel free to go for an Aimpoint and don’t look back, but Steel Challenge is a different situation.  For SC I like the RTS2 because of its thin frame, clear glass, and bright big dot... but I’ve got a more “hardened” optic on my home defense setup (an RMR) that I can shoot fast in SC but not as fast as the RTS2, due to the RTS2 having a more visually ideal frame.  

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On 7/14/2018 at 9:22 AM, jkrispies said:

The “frame” of the tube around the lens will be too thick and will block your vision as you’re transitioning from target to target.  When you get to the upper speeds—sub 2 seconds per run—it’s really about developing fast vision, and having a thin frame around your lens is essential. Now, if you’re building a gun for the apocalypse and want a tube sight for strength, then feel free to go for an Aimpoint and don’t look back, but Steel Challenge is a different situation.  For SC I like the RTS2 because of its thin frame, clear glass, and bright big dot... but I’ve got a more “hardened” optic on my home defense setup (an RMR) that I can shoot fast in SC but not as fast as the RTS2, due to the RTS2 having a more visually ideal frame.  

 

Kinda disagree with that, actually, in terms of "don't get a tube dot".  I think you can get whatever you like and they will all work, IF they are bright enough.  (And hold zero.)  (And most tubes aren't that much thicker than the frames around reflex sights.)


I'm not a national champion, so take my opinion as seriously as you like, or ignore it completely.  I do pretty well at the majors I shoot, though.

 

That being said, I use a Primary Arms Advanced Microdot on both my RFRO and RFPO guns (the RFRO is a 10/22, and the RFPO is a Ruger Mark III Lite)----and my current peak time for RFPO after the update on Wednesday will be 73.51 (100% peak time is 73.50) and my current peak time for RFRO is 69.57 (100% peak time is 76.00).  I use the same dot on my PCCO gun, and my current peak time in PCCO is 75.06 (100% peak time is 78.00).


Microdot: http://www.primaryarms.com/primary-arms-micro-dot-with-removable-base-md-rb-ad

 

In other words, I have over 100% classification percentage (if they would show anything over 100%) in two of those divisions, and I'll be at 99.99%  (dang it! so close!!) in the other after Wednesday, shooting a tube dot with a 2MOA size.

 

...and I only shot RFRO last year for fun (made GM in one year in that division), and I've only shot RFPO this year for fun.  In other words, using that dot, I didn't have any trouble getting those times in less than a year of shooting those guns.  (Matter of fact, I shot RFPO for the first time in February this year, and I've only shot a total of 6 SC matches in RFPO--and I'm at 99.99%.   So....I think tube dot guns are okay to use on pistols or rifles.)

 

Now, will I agree that a larger dot for pistols is a good idea?  Sure, mostly just because it can be easier to see.  On the other hand, as long as the dot is BRIGHT and you can see it easily, I don't really think it makes that much difference in Steel Challenge. The larger dots tend to be brighter, so people go with those.  The actual size of the dot itself (in SC) isn't really important, though---just the brightness.  (We just need to hit the plate, we aren't looking for precision shooting. )

 

There isn't anything wrong with any of the dots that people have suggested so far---all work perfectly well.  My comment is merely that the most important thing is that the dot be bright enough for use.  Tube or not, size being whatever---all can actually work out perfectly well, IF you can quickly acquire the dot.

 

 

(L3232, for those who want to check people's potentially overblown claims.  :) )

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Thomas H said:

 

Kinda disagree with that, actually, in terms of "don't get a tube dot".  I think you can get whatever you like and they will all work, IF they are bright enough.  (And hold zero.)  (And most tubes aren't that much thicker than the frames around reflex sights.)


I'm not a national champion, so take my opinion as seriously as you like, or ignore it completely.  I do pretty well at the majors I shoot, though.

 

That being said, I use a Primary Arms Advanced Microdot on both my RFRO and RFPO guns (the RFRO is a 10/22, and the RFPO is a Ruger Mark III Lite)----and my current peak time for RFPO after the update on Wednesday will be 73.51 (100% peak time is 73.50) and my current peak time for RFRO is 69.57 (100% peak time is 76.00).  I use the same dot on my PCCO gun, and my current peak time in PCCO is 75.06 (100% peak time is 78.00).


Microdot: http://www.primaryarms.com/primary-arms-micro-dot-with-removable-base-md-rb-ad

 

In other words, I have over 100% classification percentage (if they would show anything over 100%) in two of those divisions, and I'll be at 99.99%  (dang it! so close!!) in the other after Wednesday, shooting a tube dot with a 2MOA size.

 

...and I only shot RFRO last year for fun (made GM in one year in that division), and I've only shot RFPO this year for fun.  In other words, using that dot, I didn't have any trouble getting those times in less than a year of shooting those guns.  (Matter of fact, I shot RFPO for the first time in February this year, and I've only shot a total of 6 SC matches in RFPO--and I'm at 99.99%.   So....I think tube dot guns are okay to use on pistols or rifles.)

 

Now, will I agree that a larger dot for pistols is a good idea?  Sure, mostly just because it can be easier to see.  On the other hand, as long as the dot is BRIGHT and you can see it easily, I don't really think it makes that much difference in Steel Challenge. The larger dots tend to be brighter, so people go with those.  The actual size of the dot itself (in SC) isn't really important, though---just the brightness.  (We just need to hit the plate, we aren't looking for precision shooting. )

 

There isn't anything wrong with any of the dots that people have suggested so far---all work perfectly well.  My comment is merely that the most important thing is that the dot be bright enough for use.  Tube or not, size being whatever---all can actually work out perfectly well, IF you can quickly acquire the dot.

 

 

(L3232, for those who want to check people's potentially overblown claims.  :) )

 

 

Thomas, purely out of curiosity, I’m wondering if you have young eyes vs my older eyes?  I’ve had this discussion before (not on this site) and it seems like folks with out age related farsightedness (young eyes) can do well with a small dot that’s bright, but folks like me whose eyesight is beginning to go out the window benefit greatly from the larger dot as well. 

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I'm running an 8moa CMore on my Victory and a 6moa Venom on my CO/Open gun.  I like both... I'm actually going to be switching to another Venom on my Victory and moving the CMore to my RFRO

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On 7/17/2018 at 12:23 PM, jkrispies said:

Thomas, purely out of curiosity, I’m wondering if you have young eyes vs my older eyes?  I’ve had this discussion before (not on this site) and it seems like folks with out age related farsightedness (young eyes) can do well with a small dot that’s bright, but folks like me whose eyesight is beginning to go out the window benefit greatly from the larger dot as well. 

 

Currently 48.  Back when I was under 40, I had pretty good eyesight.  Now....not not much.  :(

 

My GUESS is that it(big dot versus small bright dot)  has to do with attention, as opposed to actual dot size.  In other words, it is easier for a larger dot at lower brightness to gain your attention enough to sight, but not pull your focus (much) from the target.  Sure, with a dot we all focus on the target, but part of our attention goes to the dot when it is in view.  A REALLY bright dot pulls more attention than a dimmer dot, but a larger dot (at a dimmer brightness) still allows us to quickly pick up where the gun is pointed. 

 

So---we don't want to pull much attention from the target (or the next target), but we need enough dot to trip our perception of aim.  Larger but slightly dimmer dot makes that easier.  Which is not the same as saying it is necessary, but it is easier, which is why I'd suggest a big dot (basically, NOT a rifle-type dot) for handguns in USPSA.  In Steel Challenge, we know where the targets are going to be, so it has less of an effect.  And...some of those tube dots are really, really durable and cheap.  That PA dot is only $150, and if I remember to replace the battery every two years, I can leave it on its brightest setting without worrying about it.  :)

 

With respect to the tube---for me, at least, having the tube on the handgun let me more quickly figure out the basic orientation of the on the way to picking up the dot.  (Similar to how getting used to a slide profile helps you start to align the sights even before you really see them.)  But....opinions may vary, and it isn't like I'm any sort of big name.  :)

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42 minutes ago, Thomas H said:

 

Currently 48.  Back when I was under 40, I had pretty good eyesight.  Now....not not much.  :(

 

My GUESS is that it(big dot versus small bright dot)  has to do with attention, as opposed to actual dot size.  In other words, it is easier for a larger dot at lower brightness to gain your attention enough to sight, but not pull your focus (much) from the target.  Sure, with a dot we all focus on the target, but part of our attention goes to the dot when it is in view.  A REALLY bright dot pulls more attention than a dimmer dot, but a larger dot (at a dimmer brightness) still allows us to quickly pick up where the gun is pointed. 

 

So---we don't want to pull much attention from the target (or the next target), but we need enough dot to trip our perception of aim.  Larger but slightly dimmer dot makes that easier.  Which is not the same as saying it is necessary, but it is easier, which is why I'd suggest a big dot (basically, NOT a rifle-type dot) for handguns in USPSA.  In Steel Challenge, we know where the targets are going to be, so it has less of an effect.  And...some of those tube dots are really, really durable and cheap.  That PA dot is only $150, and if I remember to replace the battery every two years, I can leave it on its brightest setting without worrying about it.  :)

 

With respect to the tube---for me, at least, having the tube on the handgun let me more quickly figure out the basic orientation of the on the way to picking up the dot.  (Similar to how getting used to a slide profile helps you start to align the sights even before you really see them.)  But....opinions may vary, and it isn't like I'm any sort of big name.  :)

Well my theory is blown— you’re older than me!!! 

 

I think you might have a point about larger and dimmer vs smaller and brighter.  I often find myself turning down my big dots. When I’ve owned snall dots it felt like I could never get them bright enough.  (Bear in mind that I never owned any really high end 2moa dots.)

 

As for the tube style vs reflex... we’ll thumb wrestle over it some day. 👍

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