I run a Daniel Defense MK18 as a patrol rifle with a T2. Most of my shots are within 50 yards. On occasion out to 100 yards...but I cant see ever having to go beyond 100. I'm kicking the idea of adding a magnifier with some justification being the enhanced ability to diagnose threats at distance (ie better threat identification). Give me your thoughts on a magnifier on an SBR when virtually all my work is 100 and in.
Wouldn’t hurt for target ID like you said, or longer distances like down a road or parking lot. I was set on Aimpoint micro and Eotech 3x magnifier on Unity mounts for my new 11.5” AR. The Unity system is taller and pivots the magnifier down to keep it from obstructing your vision.
I waffled on the magnifier thing for a long time. Got one finally because a LGS had a good deal on some LE-surplus units. I like it a lot. But I have a strong opinion about mounts. I say 100% go for it, so long as your mount permits quick detach, with the base left on the gun. Wilcox and Aimpoint provide this feature in their mounts. That way you have your rifle more-or-less as it sits now, if you want it that way, but you have the option to click your magnifier on, if the situation calls for it. Some of these types of mount permit the flip-to-side as well, and some don't. Some do it in different ways than others as well. Worth a look.
I would do a Aimpoint 3x magnifier with either a flip mount or twist off.
On my 11" I have a Eotech with 3x that I have used for all kinds of drills up to 100yards.
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Pretty much where my 11.5" LMT is headed. I've gone to the Eotech on a Unity mount and will be getting an Eotech magnifier for it.
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They have a twist-off flip mount too. All-in-one. The advantage of the Wilcox is the flip hinge stays on the gun, so the magnifier is less bulky when stowed. But the Aimpoint system leaves less bulk on the gun. Depends where your priorities are.
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I’ve been running a magnifier for a while now. Where I have found it to shine has been target ID at closer ranges. A biggy is that everywhere you go, you have a 3x magnifier with you. I used mine a couple of weeks ago to on a barricade. From where we were, we couldn’t see inside a window where the person was. Popped it off, and I could see her perfectly. Same could be done with it on the rifle if it was called for.
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I personally don't like them to scan as its always tempting to use the gun to scan rather than removing it which I have issues with absent positive threat ID. and of course after you remove it and want it back on the gun you have to not lose the target while doing that. But I have experimented with it and have used the aimpoint 3x on an aimpoint mount behind an aimpoint red dot and its a nice setup. flips and removed easily (so you can use it handheld). Flipped it can be annoying on barricades and such, but you probably don't care. If your eyes are aging like mine make sure you get a magnifier that has dioptric adj. as I find that magnified stuff needs adjustment for me.
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The flip is a worst-case feature, the way that I consider the setup. I see the magnifier as an enhancement to your close-range gun; the gun that you were, up to this point of considering magnifiers, totally fine with having a red dot, as you don't use it further than 100m (as the OP states). My way of thinking assumes you have another gun dedicated to mid-range duty. Therefore, what the magnifier does is gives your CQB gun an in-a-pinch mid-range capability, in terms of both target identification and engagement. An imaginative scenario that illustrates my idea of it is this: your "mission" is a CQB one that evolves into a midrange one. With a magnifier, you are able to conduct the mission with your CQB setup, with nothing but the mount base added to your weapon. When things evolve into a mid-range situation, you can affix your magnifier and adapt to the new circumstances. The flip comes into play when you are caught off-guard in that already unanticipated mid-range scenario, by another close-range one.
I know that's super elaborate, but that's the best way I could think to describe my approach to the concept, and why I think the removable mount is essential. I don't want to make my CQB gun more bulky and awkward, and potentially obscure my FOV, by having the magnifier hanging off the side all the time. The way that I consider the concept, if I didn't have a removable mount, the damn magnifier would be hanging off the side of the gun the vast majority of the time. The flip-to-center mount is neat, but you need to be of the high optic mount persuasion, and willing to tote the magnifier on the gun all the time. I'd rather just shed the magnifier entirely, into a pouch on my kit.
This method also plays well with handheld use, as mentioned by hrcjon. If you need to scan something, you don't need to use your weapon, and it's just like having a small pair of binos in your kit.
Having a red-dot magnifier combo as your setup on a dedicated mid-range gun is not ideal, in my opinion. An LVPO is the way to go there. The magnifier setup has too much going on, and you're looking through four glass surfaces worth of filth and debris, as opposed to two.
I put an EoTech and G33 magnifier on Unity mounts last year to try out. First time trying a magnifier and I wanted the flip to center setup as a lefty.
I wasn't a big fan, the magnifier was not pleasant to get behind for me. Supposedly the EoTech G33 is (was) the best magnifier in terms of optics, the newer generation is out now.
I've moved to LPVO scopes. Better in every regard in my opinion. I still have plenty of red dots on guns, but my go-to are going to be scoped with 1-4x or 1-6x.
I agree. My "go-to" general purpose carbine has a 1-4x. I wouldn't advocate the magnifier setup for a general purpose rifle.
If one has a general purpose rifle then the LPVO seems like a good solution. When I think GP I think 0-400y or so and then its possibly worth trucking around all the bulk etc of the LPVO and dealing with the short range tradeoffs. But the OP is talking about a 0-100y rifle. I wouldn't even consider an LPVO for that, and heck I wouldn't do a magnifier either.
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Me either, I'd do a TA33 ACOG with an offset red dot.
No one was considering an LVPO for the OP's situation. Just got a bit sidetracked on the topic. Unfortunately, the OP hasn't returned to give any feedback, so the conversation is branching out a bit.
The magnifier is also a bit much inside 100m; I agree. That's why I advocate the completely removable unit. You have the ability if you want/need it, but the rifle is primarily a red dot weapon, and largely unchanged, other than the addition of the mount base.
Thx for the feedback ya'll. I found a smoking deal on a slightly used Aimpoint 3x that i ordered. It hasnt arrived yet, but I'm gonna give it a run. The only thing that concerns me is the eye relief, but be shall see. If I dont get down with it I'll pass my fortune onto others. I figure I'll try some new things
I’d use a mag setup before an LPVO, as a few mentioned. Being able to ID targets and get a slightly better view for aiming helps a lot.
I avoided magnifiers for a long time, thinking they were outdated with the advent of modern LPVOs. Wrong! I got ahold of an old Larue Po’Boy (Hensoldt 2.6x tank sight w/ reticle removed, in one of Larue’s mounts) for cheap earlier this year and gave it a go on my “old school” 16” AR. Going up against LOTS of guys using LPVOs at a match, I was the quickest and most accurate out of my squad of 12 shooters on BCC targets out at 200m, almost cleaning the stage. So in good hands, a 3x will get the job done just fine out to at least that far, meaning 100m w/ an SBR should be a cake walk. If you don’t like it, that Aimpoint mag should move fairly quickly, but with a removable mount, it’s handy enough to throw in a pouch on your gear when not needed.
I was sold on the idea of a magnifier after that match. Made all the difference without being overly heavy or large, with just enough mag to get good hits at distance and letting me retain the superior flexibility that a red dot allows up close and from awkward positions.
I am 100% talking about preferring an LPVO for <100yards
Take a look at officer involved shootings using LPVO equipped patrol carbines and SBRs. The ability to dial magnification as needed to tune FOV and aid in precision makes every officer have a marksman capable rifle at just about any urban engagement distance.
A dot + magnifier combo is clumsy compromise in my opinion. And fixed magnification optics lack the flexibility that makes LPVOs so advantageous.
If you’re going to run a magnifier, you mine as well step up to either a 3.5x35 ACOG or a 1-4/1-6 LPVO.
My reasoning would be simplicity. 3.5 ACOG has hella eye relief, solid reticle choices and you can add an RMR for “CQB” if you so choose. LPVO is the same reasoning depending on which you go with. Vortex probably has some of the best eye relief and most forgiving eye box on the market in regards to LPVO.
What specific magnifier and mounts are people using that allow you to quickly pop it off and on, and also flip it to the side out of the way the way jljones and other describe? I am considering moving back to a Aimpoint T-2 and magnifier for my lightweight AR from a very heavy 1-6x LPVO. Also, what magnifier mounts work with a 1.93" red dot mount? Thanks.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chris17404,
Wilcox and Aimpoint, as mentioned above, enable you to completely remove the magnifier and flip it to the side while attached. The hinge stays on the gun with the Wilcox, and comes off with the magnifier with the Aimpoint setup.
It is worth mentioning that the Wilcox mount is absolute co-witness. Also, the brass deflector needs to be relieved to run it on the top of the receiver. I use it one a 1/2" riser, but have used it with a trimmed deflector as well. The Aimpoint mounts can be had at a couple different heights. Both systems are nice. The Wilcox locks-up tighter though, due to their dovetail interface.
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