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Ryanwarner37

Sub-$400 optic

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Hey guys, I know this topic gets thrown around a lot, so I'm sorry. When I started shooting 3-gun last year, I knew so little about what i needed or wanted in gear that it made buying easy. After a year of shooting, I figured I would know exactly what I want, but it's just harder to decide now. I'm picking up a second rifle because my girlfriend and I have been sharing one, and I can't decide on the optic to put on it. We use a Burris RT6 now, and it's fine. I like the glass in the vortex stuff better though. I'm also strongly considering a prism scope. Most of the matches that we shoot are  
Right now the candidates are:
Vortex strike eagle 1-6 or 1-8 (1-8 isn't as clear on 8x as 1-6 on 6x)
Primary Arms 1-6
Athlon Midas BTR 1x Prism scope
Vortex spitfire 1x (super clear, great reticle clarity, and almost disappears in my FOV)
Vortex Sparc (only $80 if I bundle it with the rifle)
 
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Apparently my post got cut off. I guess the less than symbol does that...

 

Most of the matches we shoot are less than 125yds, but we shoot some state level matches that have shots out to 425yds. I feel like I would be faster 90% of the time with a dedicated 1x optic, but everyone in the practical division uses a 1-6 or 1-8, so there has to be something to that. I also don't want to give up the help on those rare long shots. Someone give me some insight please

 

 

 

 

 

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I tried the strike eagle and primary arms and ended up with the primary arms ACSS reticle 1x6x24mm scope for 3 gun needs. The glass is clear and it was $260 during primary ams’ Labor Day sale.

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Plus another for the PA. Great option for the $$'s

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I've only got to peek through it once for a short time but I would say it's definitely a league above any of the Strike Eagles/PA's/Burris in that $250-350 category. Which makes sense, they usually cost about $500. I own three different Athlons and you get more than you pay for.

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For matches all inside 125 yards I'd choose a red dot.  If you want a scope for just a little over $400 I'd consider the Burris XTR II 1-5x or Steiner p4Xi.  I'm using the Burris XTR II 1-5x and like it.  Natchez has them for $460 (BDC or mil reticle) and if you sign up for the emails they have 10% off at least once a month so just wait for that to order, then not much over $400.  DSG has the Steiner P4Xi for $464 (need to create account and log in to see that price), but comes with throw lever so offsets some of the cost over $400.

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I've been using the Primary Arms 1-6 FFP since July and have been pretty happy with it so far, and it's right at the 400 dollar mark. 

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While I have little experience with optics, I am very pleased with the Lucid L7 1-6. Not a bad review out there for it and at about 400 it looks just as good as some twice the cost that I looked through at a gun store.

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On 10/11/2018 at 7:50 AM, Midwest3Gunner said:

I've been using the Primary Arms 1-6 FFP since July and have been pretty happy with it so far, and it's right at the 400 dollar mark. 

What do you think of the optical quality of the PA FFP?  I believe it is the 'Raptor' model? 

 

I use the second focal plane version of the PA 1-6 and am fairly impressed. I keep hearing the optical quality of the FFP version is much better...

 

thanks

 

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Take this advice as being worth exactly what you paid for it (i.e., nothing), but here's a more philosophical argument instead of the usual "you should buy X scope, because I have one and I like it" responses:

 

I'd argue that the real question isn't "which of the optics should you buy", but "how seriously are you going to take 3 gun over the long term?" $400 will buy an absolute top-of-the-line 1x optic with room to spare. If you buy, for example, a Vortex Spitfire (generally agreed to be the best 1x competition optic on the market, and my personal experience supports that consensus), you will almost certainly never need to upgrade with anything until you decide to jump divisions and start shooting with a variable optic. On the other hand, there aren't any great options for variable optics in the $400 price range. There are a few that work well enough for the occasional "just for fun" match, but the one thing that they all have in common is that you ARE going to want to upgrade them if you keep shooting over the long term. If you're just dipping your toes in, and you're not sure that you'll still be shooting a year from now, then a $400 Strike Eagle or Primary Arms scope is probably good enough. But you think that you might be in this for the long haul, that cheap scope just adds $400 to the price of the $700-$1700 scope that you WILL buy eventually.

 

What I would do - and I'm not you, so my priorities might not be the same as yours - is buy a Spitfire (or whatever high-end 1x optic floats your boat) now, and compete in Limited/Tac Irons/whatever for however long it takes you to save up the money for a higher-quality variable optic. You'll be giving absolutely nothing up to anyone in that division, where a $400 variable optic is going to put you at a disadvantage to people running better glass in Tac Optics.

 

General consensus is that the Vortex Viper Gen II is about the cheapest variable optic that doesn't carry any major disadvantages, and those typically sell for ~$700, and I've seen them get down into the $500s during major sale events in the past. More pennies than you're interested in spending, I'm sure, but maybe still feasible to save up for over a relatively short time.

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Take this advice as being worth exactly what you paid for it (i.e., nothing), but here's a more philosophical argument instead of the usual "you should buy X scope, because I have one and I like it" responses:
 
I'd argue that the real question isn't "which of the optics should you buy", but "how seriously are you going to take 3 gun over the long term?" $400 will buy an absolute top-of-the-line 1x optic with room to spare. If you buy, for example, a Vortex Spitfire (generally agreed to be the best 1x competition optic on the market, and my personal experience supports that consensus), you will almost certainly never need to upgrade with anything until you decide to jump divisions and start shooting with a variable optic. On the other hand, there aren't any great options for variable optics in the $400 price range. There are a few that work well enough for the occasional "just for fun" match, but the one thing that they all have in common is that you ARE going to want to upgrade them if you keep shooting over the long term. If you're just dipping your toes in, and you're not sure that you'll still be shooting a year from now, then a $400 Strike Eagle or Primary Arms scope is probably good enough. But you think that you might be in this for the long haul, that cheap scope just adds $400 to the price of the $700-$1700 scope that you WILL buy eventually.
 
What I would do - and I'm not you, so my priorities might not be the same as yours - is buy a Spitfire (or whatever high-end 1x optic floats your boat) now, and compete in Limited/Tac Irons/whatever for however long it takes you to save up the money for a higher-quality variable optic. You'll be giving absolutely nothing up to anyone in that division, where a $400 variable optic is going to put you at a disadvantage to people running better glass in Tac Optics.
 
General consensus is that the Vortex Viper Gen II is about the cheapest variable optic that doesn't carry any major disadvantages, and those typically sell for ~$700, and I've seen them get down into the $500s during major sale events in the past. More pennies than you're interested in spending, I'm sure, but maybe still feasible to save up for over a relatively short time.
Thank you for putting it that way. That's way more productive. I hadn't really considered shooting factory, but I easily could with a plug in the shotgun and downloading my pistol mags to 15 rounds. I'm going to shoot a couple some rifles with 1x optics and a couple different 1-6x optics next weekend, and I'll decide from there.

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Take this advice as being worth exactly what you paid for it (i.e., nothing), but here's a more philosophical argument instead of the usual "you should buy X scope, because I have one and I like it" responses:
 
I'd argue that the real question isn't "which of the optics should you buy", but "how seriously are you going to take 3 gun over the long term?" $400 will buy an absolute top-of-the-line 1x optic with room to spare. If you buy, for example, a Vortex Spitfire (generally agreed to be the best 1x competition optic on the market, and my personal experience supports that consensus), you will almost certainly never need to upgrade with anything until you decide to jump divisions and start shooting with a variable optic. On the other hand, there aren't any great options for variable optics in the $400 price range. There are a few that work well enough for the occasional "just for fun" match, but the one thing that they all have in common is that you ARE going to want to upgrade them if you keep shooting over the long term. If you're just dipping your toes in, and you're not sure that you'll still be shooting a year from now, then a $400 Strike Eagle or Primary Arms scope is probably good enough. But you think that you might be in this for the long haul, that cheap scope just adds $400 to the price of the $700-$1700 scope that you WILL buy eventually.
 
What I would do - and I'm not you, so my priorities might not be the same as yours - is buy a Spitfire (or whatever high-end 1x optic floats your boat) now, and compete in Limited/Tac Irons/whatever for however long it takes you to save up the money for a higher-quality variable optic. You'll be giving absolutely nothing up to anyone in that division, where a $400 variable optic is going to put you at a disadvantage to people running better glass in Tac Optics.
 
General consensus is that the Vortex Viper Gen II is about the cheapest variable optic that doesn't carry any major disadvantages, and those typically sell for ~$700, and I've seen them get down into the $500s during major sale events in the past. More pennies than you're interested in spending, I'm sure, but maybe still feasible to save up for over a relatively short time.
Thank you for putting it that way. That's way more productive. I hadn't really considered shooting factory, but I easily could with a plug in the shotgun and downloading my pistol mags to 15 rounds. I'm going to shoot a couple some rifles with 1x optics and a couple different 1-6x optics next weekend, and I'll decide from there.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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Take this advice as being worth exactly what you paid for it (i.e., nothing), but here's a more philosophical argument instead of the usual "you should buy X scope, because I have one and I like it" responses:
 
I'd argue that the real question isn't "which of the optics should you buy", but "how seriously are you going to take 3 gun over the long term?" $400 will buy an absolute top-of-the-line 1x optic with room to spare. If you buy, for example, a Vortex Spitfire (generally agreed to be the best 1x competition optic on the market, and my personal experience supports that consensus), you will almost certainly never need to upgrade with anything until you decide to jump divisions and start shooting with a variable optic. On the other hand, there aren't any great options for variable optics in the $400 price range. There are a few that work well enough for the occasional "just for fun" match, but the one thing that they all have in common is that you ARE going to want to upgrade them if you keep shooting over the long term. If you're just dipping your toes in, and you're not sure that you'll still be shooting a year from now, then a $400 Strike Eagle or Primary Arms scope is probably good enough. But you think that you might be in this for the long haul, that cheap scope just adds $400 to the price of the $700-$1700 scope that you WILL buy eventually.
 
What I would do - and I'm not you, so my priorities might not be the same as yours - is buy a Spitfire (or whatever high-end 1x optic floats your boat) now, and compete in Limited/Tac Irons/whatever for however long it takes you to save up the money for a higher-quality variable optic. You'll be giving absolutely nothing up to anyone in that division, where a $400 variable optic is going to put you at a disadvantage to people running better glass in Tac Optics.
 
General consensus is that the Vortex Viper Gen II is about the cheapest variable optic that doesn't carry any major disadvantages, and those typically sell for ~$700, and I've seen them get down into the $500s during major sale events in the past. More pennies than you're interested in spending, I'm sure, but maybe still feasible to save up for over a relatively short time.
Thank you for putting it that way. That's way more productive. I hadn't really considered shooting factory, but I easily could with a plug in the shotgun and downloading my pistol mags to 15 rounds. I'm going to shoot a couple some rifles with 1x optics and a couple different 1-6x optics next weekend, and I'll decide from there.

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14 hours ago, Ryanwarner37 said:

Thank you for putting it that way. That's way more productive. I hadn't really considered shooting factory, but I easily could with a plug in the shotgun and downloading my pistol mags to 15 rounds. I'm going to shoot a couple some rifles with 1x optics and a couple different 1-6x optics next weekend, and I'll decide from there.

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You're welcome! I'm hardly an expert or anything, but I've been shooting 3 gun for long enough to have heard WAY better shooters than me give people advice... and to have wasted a ton of money that I wouldn't have wasted if I'd heard that advice early on. Just trying to pass that along and keep folks from making the same mistakes that I have....

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Surprised no one mentioned the Burris RT-6, which was recommended on this site a while back. Based on that recommendation I purchased one and am pleased with it. Check out the reviews, and its back in stock again, after Burris held up distribution due to some issue.

Mark

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Surprised no one mentioned the Burris RT-6, which was recommended on this site a while back. Based on that recommendation I purchased one and am pleased with it. Check out the reviews, and its back in stock again, after Burris held up distribution due to some issue.
Mark
The rifle I'm shooting right now has an rt6 on it. I like it, but I think I'd like something different more. The bdc reticle in it is calibrated for 55gr bullets running 3200fps, and I can't even get close to that with my 16" barrel. With 69gr bullets, they line up at 2900fps, which I also don't think I can do.

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Sorry for the poor reading comprehension, as you mentioned that in the original posting ?

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Sorry for the poor reading comprehension, as you mentioned that in the original posting 
No worries! My app glitched and triple posted a couple posts back, so

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Steve133 nailed it.  That being said, 3-Gun is pretty much a hobby for me.  I don't want dirt cheap gear that I will be replacing every year but I also don't need the top of the line stuff either.  I have the 1-6 Strike Eagle on 2 different rifles used by my son and I.  It has been a great scope for the money so far.  We have beat them up in 3-Gun (UML) and a few Run 'n Gun events.  Both have been reliable and done their part.

 

 

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On 10/10/2018 at 8:22 PM, jon49erfan said:

Find a used Steiner P4Xi.

 

Jon49erfan got it right if you go with a low power variable.  The Steiner P4xi is as fast as a red dot and can give you magnification.  There’s one on eBay now for $500 including the mount.  

 

I talked to several people who use the Steiner to replace $1000 optics. 

 

I’ve only been shooting 3 gun for two years but I’d sell my Primary arms 1-6 and strike eagle 1-6 in a heartbeat if you are interested.  I don’t plan to part with my p4xi. 

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Wow, that is a deal, assuming one likes the ATSR1 reticle. The red dot is fine, just don't care for the open spaces, seems very imprecise at distances greater than 100 yards. Could be wrong as I have no experience with this reticle.

Mark

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