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Finding the best tactical belts can be a tough task or an easy one, depending on your familiarity with the product. In either case, it’s important that you find one for the purpose of EDC use or when you are using it for certain occupations like law enforcement or military. It may take a bit of time and a little bit of detective work before you find the best tactical belt that will fit your personal needs and preferences.

Best Tactical Belts of 2020 Complete Buyers Guide

Best Tactical Belts of 2020  Complete Buyers GuideFinding the best tactical belts can be a tough task or an easy one, depending on your familiarity with the product. In either case, it’s important that you find one for the purpose of EDC use or when you are using it for certain occupations like law enforcement or military. It may take a bit of time and a little bit of detective work before you find the best tactical belt that will fit your personal needs and preferences. We managed to find some belts that we believe are the best on the market as of this writing. First, let's talk about what purpose these tactical belts serve and how you can choose one for the purpose of your own personal use. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Tactical Belts OUR TOP PICK: Tactical Instructor Belt Operator Utility Belt Gen 2 BEST BUDGET OPTION: Fairwin Tactical Rigger Belt Condor Tactical Belt Comparison Chart of the Best Tactical Belts PRODUCT DETAILS Our Top Pick Our Top Pick "Tactical Instructor Belt" Best overall Available in different waist sizes Made from high-quality nylon View Latest Price "Operator Utility Belt" Gen 2 Best for the money Fits various waist sizes Made from nylon webbing "View Latest Price" Best Budget Option "Best Budget Option" Fairwin "Tactical Rigger Belt" Used for concealed carry Quick-release buckle Fits various waist sizes View Latest Price "Condor Tactical Belt" Best from the Condor brand Available in four different colors 2 inches wide View Latest Price 5.11 Tactical Trainer Belt 1.5in Best from the 5.11 brand Available in sizes between 30 to 54 inches Rated for 6,000 pounds in max weight limit View Latest Price What Purpose Does a Tactical Belt Serve? A tactical belt is one of the most important accessories that anyone can use. But the question is, what are the common intents and purposes for a tactical belt? Here are just a few of them: Everyday Carry (EDC) If you are keeping yourself one step ahead of danger and want to prepare yourself for when SHTF, then you may want to consider carrying a tactical belt on a regular basis. You don’t have to carry a lot when you are wearing these belts. It can be used for simply carrying a holstered pistol or will be allowed to accommodate some tools like knives or whatever else you need in order to get you through the day (or for when the unexpected happens). Source Law Enforcement Law enforcement officers will often rely on tactical belts on a regular basis. They typically carry such things as service pistols, flashlights, radios, and other provisional items like pepper spray and handcuffs to name a few. Typically, officers will more than likely put these to good use if they are proven to be tough enough to handle various items. Military Service Members Members of the military are always prepared for whatever danger that may lie ahead (especially in combat zones). But even in times when there is no conflict, a good soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine is never ill-prepared. They will certainly put these tactical belts to good use for some of the same items that are used for both law enforcement and themselves (and even tools that are exclusively used by the military themselves). How to Choose a Tactical Belt If you are interested in looking for a tactical belt, then it’s important to find one that will stand out in more ways than one. You should find one that will fit your personal needs and preferences so you can rely on it for as long as possible. Let’s take a look at a few things that you should look for in a belt: Price The price tag might not be a feature or a characteristic of itself. But it’s one of the more important factors for those looking for a tactical belt, but are on a budget. If you are one of the handfuls of prospective buyers on a budget you should find a belt that is affordable for you when it comes to quality and performance. Find High-Quality Material One of the best things about tactical belts is the structural integrity of the belt itself. This comes down to the materials used to make it. It’s important to find a belt made from materials that are proven to hold up well and won’t allow for any sagging. It should also be able to handle a good amount of weight in the process (since some users will be loading it up with tools). Size There are many tactical belts on the market that you can find that will fit you well enough. However, some will be adjustable while others will be a one size fits all kind of belt. Consider the measurements of your waist and make the determination of which belt is better for you. Quick Take - The Best Tactical Belts These are our recommendations for the best tactical belts: Tactical Instructor Belt Operator Utility Belt Gen 2 Fairwin Tactical Rigger Belt Review of the "Best Tactical Belts" The following is a list of tactical belts that are currently considered the best on the market. Be sure to make notes of the characteristics and features of each belt so you can make a choice that is based on aspects that will be a make or break factor for you. Let’s start with the “best overall” choice on our list: Best Overall: Tactical Instructor Belt CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Super sturdy quality Never sags and never “fails” Easily adjustable to fit certain sizes Can withstand up to 8,000 pounds in weight Perfect for concealed carry and EDC applications Cons None What Recent Buyers Report New buyers say that they were quite happy with this belt. For one, they said that it was a perfect fit that was snug and comfortable. They were impressed with the overall strength and quality of the belt even when it was loaded lightly or with tools all throughout. Why it Stands Out to Us This belt is made from high-quality nylon. While it might look thin at first, the sturdiness is outstanding to say the least. It doesn’t rip or fray easily and will be able to fit most tools, including your concealed carry pistol of choice. Plus, it’s adjustable to fit any body sizes. So, if you range from a 32 to a 38 in waist size, then there’s a belt for that (and it’s definitely this one, if you think this will be a good choice for you). Who Will Use This Most This is a great tactical belt that will be more relied on by civilians who are more prepared for when things go south than anyone else. It will be a nice belt to have on hand if you intend to carry a few EDC tools that you must have on hand, because you never know when you might need to use one of them. Bottom Line The Wilderness Tactical Instructor Belt gets the “best overall” nod and deserves it. It’s got the sturdiness, the ability to carry accessories, and will certainly be the everyday belt that can be quite useful for any dangerous situation or when you need to bug out if necessary. This belt will certainly keep you ahead of the curve for as long as you wear it. Best for the Money: Operator Utility Belt Gen 2 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent durability Handles up to 7,000 pounds Affordable for most budgets Allows for excellent security for tools Snug fit that is neither too tight nor too loose Cons None "What Recent Buyers" Report New buyers said that they got a whole lot of what they paid for. They said the quality was excellent and was able to handle many pistols and tactical tools. One user was able to strap this on with ease and loaded it up with the tools he needed for camping and hiking. He said that he was also able to holster his 380 pistol that provided excellent concealability, but it didn’t weigh the belt down in the slightest. Why it Stands Out to Us This is no one size fits all kind of belt. This can fit a various range of waist sizes while serving its purpose as a super tough tactical belt that can handle your gear. In fact, it can handle light-duty and heavy-duty applications. The only difference is the amount of tools that you’ll be carrying on a regular basis. It’s excellent in quality but definitely forgiving on the wallet. So if you want a belt that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, this is a good one to look at a bit further. Who Will "Use This Most" This will be a great tactical belt for those who might just be looking for a starter belt. In other words, something that is affordable but really good in quality instead of cheap and flimsy. This will work out great for the newbie who has never used a tactical belt in his or her life. To get a good sense of what these are really about, get this belt and give it a try for yourself. You might just keep it around for a few more years if you like it. Bottom Line The Blackhawk Operator Utility Belt Gen 2 is one of the best solutions that you can find for EDC carry at a price that would be hard to beat when it comes to affordability. This is in no way a cheap or flimsy tactical belt. And it definitely isn’t one of those belts that will rip or wear on you. It’s tough and sturdy like the rest of them (and really comfortable to wear). Best Tactical Gun Belt: Fairwin Tactical Rigger Belt CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Superior quality No sagging or fraying Handles daily use well Perfect for concealed and open carry Perfect for smaller sized waists and also for those on the heavy side Cons May be too big for some pant loops May get stuck at times when undoing the belt Some say it might be a bit time consuming to loop What Recent Buyers Report About all of the buyers were concealed carry or open carry gun owners. They were looking for a really tough tactical belt that could handle their holsters with ease and be able to draw their pistols when they need to without having to deal with any sagging. Of course, this belt passed with flying colors when they tested it out for a whole day. The general consensus was that it was perfect for EDC carry and thus excellent for those who are civilian gun owners and law enforcement officers as well. ​ Why it Stands Out to Us Often times, concealed carry users would rather use a tactical belt as opposed to a waistband for obvious reasons. Gun owners like you deserve something with a bit of stability and toughness so that your holster will ride exactly at the right height. Even better, it should also be a belt that will be reliable for when you need to tack on some extras like magazine pouches. Bottom line, this belt was made for gun owners like yourself (assuming you have one). ​ Who Will Use This Most This will be the perfect tactical belt for those who frequent the indoor or outdoor ranges or carry a pistol as part of their EDC setup. Either way, it’s a belt that has excellent structural integrity and will make sure your holster stays in its respected carry position for as long as possible. That way, you won’t have to deal with your holster slipping up when you are moving around all day long. Bottom Line The Fairwin Tactical Rigger Belt is second to none one of the better options you can find for concealed and open carry use. If you have a pistol with a good quality holster, then it should have no problem fitting on a belt like this. And best of all, it’s perfect for carrying all your handy gun accessories as well. Best Condor Tactical Belt: ​ Condor Tactical Belt CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Really sturdy and durable Doesn’t wear or tear easily Easy to put on and take off Fits all up to a 44-inch waist size Can handle all kinds of EDC and tactical gear Cons None ​ What Recent Buyers Report As expected, not a single new buyer was disappointed in this belt. They said wearing this was very comfortable no matter how many tools they had on hand. The belt was able to stay firm and didn’t feel like it was weighing down the users much despite having a good load of tools intact. ​ Why it Stands Out to Us Condor is mostly known for making some really strong and reliable gear for tactical purposes. This belt is no exception to the rule. It’s made from high-quality nylon and is available in various colors that would blend in with what you will normally wear on a regular basis. If you are wearing everyday street close for instance, then the black colored belt will be good enough since it might come off as a typical everyday wear belt. ​ Who Will Use This Most This will be ideal for a good number of users who want nothing more than a belt that is easy to wear, easy to adjust, and can handle as many tools as possible. Whether you are carrying a light load or a heavy load of EDC tools, this belt will still maintain its structural integrity and be able to support what you need whether you are out in the woods or just have a few tools you need handy just in case the unexpected happens (like getting caught in a dangerous situation or locking yourself out of the house). Bottom Line The Condor Tactical Belt is proven to be tough, reliable, and long-lasting. It’s the kind of belt that will go above and beyond the call of duty no matter how many tools you are carrying. Whether you have never used a tactical belt before or need a better upgrade, this is one belt that should not be overlooked. Best 5.11 Tactical Belt: 5.11 "Tactical Trainer Belt" 1.5in CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent quality Easy to put on and take off Affordable for those on a budget Handles pistols and other EDC tools Great for civilians and law enforcement officers Cons Some snagging can occur Buckle might be a little flimsy May be difficult to tighten at times ​ What Recent Buyers Report New buyers say that the belt was very tough in quality and it was easy to adjust to fit their respected waist sizes. This was a belt that could be useful in various applications and was able to handle either a few to a full load of EDC tools and pistols. One user said that he loved the quality and the ability to tack on a few tools as he wanted. They included his SIG Sauer P293, a multi-tool, a couple of additional magazines inside their pouches, and a small EDC bag . ​ Why it Stands Out to Us The 5.11 brand is another trustworthy name in the survival biz. In fact, they might give other names like Condor a run for its money. But what makes this belt stand out is the wide range of sizes it can be able to fit. This can fit the smallest of waists all the way up to fit the bigger folks. So no matter what your size, this belt can certainly give you the best comfort possible all while being able to carry the tools you need for when you are out and about or off the grid. Who Will Use This Most This belt will certainly be an odds on favorite for someone who might be willing to drop a reasonable amount of money for a tactical belt. We’re not talking an expensive or cheap amount. But it’s enough to where you might have another option if our “best for the money” option doesn’t seem to cut the mustard. Bottom Line The 5.11 Tactical Trainer Belt is probably one of the toughest tactical belts on the block. And that’s probably one of the handfuls of reasons why users (and probably yourself) will love it a lot. Just tack on this bad boy and you’ll be able to use it however you see fit. For everyday use or when you are out in the wilderness, this belt is the sidekick to have on hand for all of your survival tools and pistols. 6. Aegis Enhanced Belt CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros No snags ever Really tough quality Doesn’t sag or drop down Easy to adjust and fit for various sizes Fits holsters and other tools perfectly Cons May feel a little stiff at first Not as thick as some expect May be hard to undo at times What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new users said that they were able to easily tack on holsters and other tactical tools with this belt without a single instance of snagging. On top of that, they were really happy with the solid structural quality. In other words, they reported no sagging, snagging, or any flimsy quality. One user said that it was a nice perfect fit and it worked perfectly for carrying various tools like flashlights, pistols, and knives to name a few. Why it Stands Out to Us This is another belt made from nylon. But the only difference is this type of nylon is a hell of a lot sturdier than all the other belts made from the same material. So if you want something that will truly last you a long time, then this could be the belt you’ll want to strap on. At about an inch and a half wide, that’s plenty of width for you to carry a variety of tools without worrying about this belt sagging on you in the slightest. It can handle some serious weight no matter what you add on. Who Will Use This Most This is an excellent tactical belt that will definitely be useful for law enforcement and security officers. It’s got the toughness to handle all sorts of tools at the same time. Not to mention, it blends in quite nicely with the uniforms as well. If you want something that is sturdy, sleek, and will be reliant when duty calls this could be the tactical belt worth getting a hold of. Bottom Line The Aegis Enhanced belt is really solid and sturdy in quality. And it is the closest thing you can get to a law-enforcement grade tactical belt up to this point. If you want something that will handle the light or heavy loads of tools, this belt will certainly live up to the challenge and possibly beyond that. Whether you are a police officer or a citizen, this belt is definitely worth using for the purpose of survival and preparation. Benefits of Investing in a Quality Tactical Belt A quality tactical belt can go a long way. But what other benefits will you get out of one other than the potential of longevity? Here are some benefits you’ll get to enjoy: Handles All Your Gear Whether you are carrying a pistol , extra magazines , a cleaning kit or if you are carrying a flashlight, lock pick set, or a multitool there is no limit to what you can fit on a tactical belt. You can carry a few tools or just enough so long as you have enough space. But don’t try to overload it if the temptation sets in. Carry just enough to what you might use if and when the situation presents itself. Comfortable Fit, Even For Every Day Wearing If you are in need of a belt and your pants seem a bit loose then you can use this just as an ordinary belt. It will still be just as comfortable as if it were a regular fashion belt. So you don’t necessarily have to have tactical tools in place. Can Be A Life-Saving Tool If you are looking to prepare yourself in case some kind of danger strikes and you are in the vicinity of it, then this tactical belt will serve its purpose. All it takes is the right kind of tools. Your belt can also be used in a few clever ways that may not even require the use of tools. Don’t believe us? Check out online what some people have used with their tactical belts in life-saving situations. How to Use a Tactical Belt If you want to learn how to use a tactical belt, then this brief little guide will show you how it’s done. Here’s what you need to do: One of the most important things to have intact on a tactical belt is a pistol. It can be a pistol that you prefer for EDC concealed carry (or open carry where legal). Some pistols that should be useful if you have yet to purchase one are Glocks (preferably 17s or 19s). If you are carrying a pistol, then carrying magazines are a must. Carry at least two at a time in their respected pouches and keep them close to your pistol. Sometimes, accidents can happen and you can get hurt in the process. So you may want to consider carrying medical gear like a first aid kit so you can have easy access to any bandages, gauze, and other medical tools that will treat injuries in a quick and timely manner. If you are at the range or target practicing in the woods, a dump pouch might be recommended for discarded rounds. Always carry a knife and a multi-tool. It’s pretty self-explanatory why these are needed. Also, always keep your knife sharp. If you cannot shave with it, it ain’t worth it. Conclusion A great tactical belt will certainly get you out of some hairy situations. But it can save your life in more ways than one. If you want a sturdy and reliable tactical belt, a good place to start would be the list above. You may find one there or find a belt that is not even listed. Either way, find one that will stick with you for as long as possible and will come through in the clutch whenever you need a certain tool or item.

Primary Arms 1x-6X Gen III : First Look

Primary Arms 1x-6X Gen III : First Look

Primary Arms has a history of making great optics that will take almost any abuse you can dish at them and keep running. When you combine ridiculous durability with great custom service and prices its easy to tell why so many of us in the firearms community like the company. I became aware of Primary Arms when RobSki from the AK Operators Union drug one odd their red dot optics behind a truck while attached to a AK74. The optic still held zero and worked after thousands of rounds and repeated trips through the sand tornado and dozens of swimming trips into the local creek. The new Primary Arms 1x-6x Generation III scope takes the reputation of the companies reliability and build quality and applies it to an optic perfectly suited for both competitive and recreational shooters. There is a lot to like about the much anticipated release of the newest evolution of the 1X-6X, so when we reached out to the company at SHOT Show 2017 and asked if we could get our hands on a production model we were very excited when they said yes. We initially accepted the reply with a wait and see style approach but when the company reached us last week to confirm a shipping address we knew that one was in the mail. In all the excitement I forgot that I didn’t have any available 30mm scope mounts or rings so after a quick trip to the local Sportsman’s Warehouse I selected the Warne X Skel mount for my project. The Warne X Skel will be featured in it’s own independent article in the near future, but now is not it’s time to shine. Before we dig into setting up and mounting the Primary Arms 1x-6X Gen III scope lets take a look at the impressive list of features that the team at Primary Arms managed to fit into this scope and why so many people have been waiting for it to finally hit the market. Windage Adjustment Dial Photo: Rick Dembroski Specifications for Primary Arms 1X-6X Gen III Cost: $289.99 Magnification: 1X-6X Tube Diameter: 30mm Objective Diameter: 24mm Eye Relief: 3.3 Inches – 3.5 Inches Click Value: 0.5 MOA Length: 10.04 ” Weight with caps: 18.1 oz Tube Material: 6063 Aluminum Battery Type: One CR3032 Reticle Type: ACSS (5.45 /5.56 / .308) Brightness settings positions: 11 Test Rifle: AR15 with 16″ barrel 1:8 twist Other Features: Waterproof Fogproof Lifetime Warranty Flip Covers Included 18 mm shorter than previous Gen II edition Reticle unlit. It’s clear minor distortion is from 60mm Nikon Lens Photo: Rick Dembroski I had originally thought of mounting the optic to my 10.5″ Noveske Short Barrel Rifle, but decided against that idea. If I am to test this Primary Arms 1X-6X optic out to 300 yards or longer I needed to be sure to use a 16″ barreled AR-15. I wanted to be 100% sure than my rifle would be able to accurately reach out to that distance and I didn’t want to have any variables with an SBR style set up. Since I am also testing the ACSS Reticle that I am also not very familiar with my plan is to bring along an friend of mine who is a Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran formerly of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team who is a much better marksman than I am. First Impressions My first impression of the Primary Arms 1X-6X scope is that it ships in a large box and barely fit in my tiny mailbox. This isn’t a knock on Primary Arms as it is against the United States Postal Service for giving us such small mail boxes. The scope arrive undamaged and I tore into the box to get my hands on it. The first thing I noticed about the scope is how large it was compared to my other optics. I haven’t owned anything except Eotech and Trijicon optics up till this point. The finish that Primary Arms selected for this new scope was a nice even deep black and looked to be applied evenly, no clumps, bubbles or thin spots where seen anywhere on the scope. Despite the size of the optic I didn’t think it was heavy at all, I know that with it mounted to the test rifle using the Warne one piece base and mount set up that it would weigh a little more but I didn’t feel it would be excessive. The plan is to start shooting the rifle from a bench with sandbags as a rest so overall weight isn’t a concern. I will say that it was when I was checking the finish I noticed the dual flip caps that Primary Arms includes with this scope. I completely looked past them at first, but once I noticed them I open and closed each of them several times each. The caps function like every other scope cap I’ve seen that is on the market but it’s a nice touch for the folks at Primary Arms to included them with the scope. Reticle Lit on setting 9. Image is hazy due to my camera Photo: Rick Dembroski Reticle and Clarity: I was pleased with how easy the reticle is to pick up even when it’s unlit. The ACSS set up is clean, clear and more natural to use than I thought. My Nikon D7000 and 60mm Macro lens distorted the images a bit at the bottom of the pictures but I assure you the reticle, both lit and unlit is clear and crisp. The Images I took were with the optic set at the 1X magnification setting, the position I will use it the most, knowing my shooting style. When I clicked through the illumination settings I noticed that the settings six through nice were best for me. Positions ten and eleven were bright but not bright enough to cause any eye fatigue or glare. The adjustment control on the Primary Arms 1X-6X moved through it’s entire range of motion with a noticeable amount of pressure. I think the idea behind the amount of force needed to move the lever is to make sure that the user is consciously adjusting the magnification. The adjustment dial features a even spacing on the texture dial. If a user wanted to make the magnification adjustment easier they could install a device like the Warne Throw Lever to give the user a bit more mechanical advantage. If I had to guess though I would be willing to bet that the dial will loosen up some with repeated use. Expectations: The plan for this scope is to begin winter testing here in Alaska and see how the Primary Arms 1X-6X Generation III holds up to exposure to the cold. Usually an Alaskan Winter this time of year is beginning to warm up, but thankfully we have had a cold snap and had several days of sub zero temperatures. These temperatures usually are a reason to be angry and complain about Springtime, but this year I welcome the slightly longer colder winter. I plan on zeroing the scope using a 25 meter standard zero target then start at 25 yards and move my way slowly out to a distance of 300 yards. The target we will be using is a Defense Targets RST 3/8″ AR500 steel target. There are a few reasons I chose this target for the tests, first I don’t have to change paper during the test. Secondly and most importantly, a steel target provides instant feedback to register hits or misses. The world of variable magnified optics that offers a user a Close Quarters Battle (CQB) reticle while still providing the flexibility to engage targets at longer ranges is growing everyday. The usual suspects of Leupold, Vortex, Bushnell and others now find themselves fighting for a limited amount of dollars in the firearms market against more affordable optics like the Primary Arms 1x-6x. It use to be that limited companies offered consumers similar types of lifetime warranties and quality assurance, that is no longer the case. In my experience everything that has the Primary Arms logo on it is the same quality as more popular brands, in many cases the only difference in price. I expect this scope will be built as tough as any other Primary Arms optics. What are your thoughts on the Primary Arms 1x-6x Generation III ACSS scope ? Do you think it will hold up as well as it’s competitors ? If you are a user of the older generations of the Primary Arms 1X-6X we want to hear from you, how are your optics holding up. In the near future we plan to review a few more Primary Arms optics and possibly toss one in the upcoming 10,000 Facebook Likes giveaway. Image Courtesy:PrimaryArms.Com

Ranking the 10 Best Compound Bows of 2020

Ranking the 10 Best Compound Bows of 2020

A compound bow is guaranteed to take your archery practice to the next level. The ease of using a compound bow means more arrows on target and a lower likelihood of coming home from your next hunting trip empty handed. Compound bows utilize a levering system of cables and pulleys to bend the limbs. Through this system, the user only needs about 20-30 percent of the effort that would be required to draw and shoot a traditional bow, such as a recurve bow or longbow ( 1 ). Compound bows also shoot arrows much faster than traditional bows. This means the arrow flies through a flatter arc and increases its relative accuracy. It also means arrows arrive at their target with greater force, which will improve the likelihood of a kill when an arrow hits its mark. Our list of the 10 Best Compound Bows includes the best on the market today. 1. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The lightweight and sturdy construction of the Infinite Edge bow make it great for beginners and young archers. It also features easy-to-adjust draw length and weight and offers a total weight of just 3.2 pounds. An excellent multi-shooter bow, Diamond Archery has designed with an extended draw length for longer draw archers and an infinite draw setting. The package that comes with this bow included a 3-pin tundra sight, Hostage XL arrow rest, DeadLock lite octane quiver, tube peep sight, BCY string loop, comfort wrist sling, and 5-inch ultralight octane stabilizer. 2. Predator Archery Raptor Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The RAPTOR compound bow from Predator Archery is a great bow for hunting, bow fishing, target practice, and more. A great option for experienced archers that desire adjustability, it features an adjustable draw length range of 24.5 to 31 inches. The bow’s draw weight can also be adjusted between 30 and 70 pounds without the need for a bow press. This bow boasts fully machined aluminum cams with zero plastic. Capable of firing a 350-grain arrow at speeds up to 315 feet per second when at max settings, it offers an axle-to-axle length of 30 inches and an overall weight of just 3.6 pounds. The accessories that come with this bow package include a 5-pin sight with light and level, Whisker Biscuit style rest, and stabilizer. The peep sight and loop come pre-installed. 3. SAS Rage Click here for the lowest price on Amazon Specifically designed to be easy for first-time archers to aim and draw, the 4.4-pound SAS Rage compound bow offers an adjustable draw weight of 55 to 77 pounds and is capable of producing enough power to take down small and medium prey. This bow features a draw length of 26 to 30 inches and will shoot at a maximum speed of 270 feet per second. The package includes the bow as well as a 5-pin bow sight, arrow rest, stabilizer, braided bow sling, and peep sight. 4. Martin Archery Featherweight Click here for the lowest price on Amazon Designed specifically for right-handed archers, this bow from Martin Archery uses Kestrel cams to provide impressive arrow speeds up to 340 feet per second. Constructed from carbon, this bow is both durable and lightweight. The Carbon Featherweight bow delivers excellent power and accuracy and comes with a flashy black finish. It also boasts quiet, vibration-free performance and its rounded grip is formed for the comfort of your hand. 5. Bear Archery Moment Click here for the lowest price on Amazon This is a bow designed to provide improved accuracy for archers that do most of their shooting from ground blinds or tree stands because it offers a compact shooting platform capable of delivering top-end speed and balance. Bear Archery designed the Moment compound bow with quick-grip Acquisition technology and a 31-inch ATA length. It also features SonicBonds that absorb vibration and sound and a high-strength barrel nut for fully adjustable pivoting movement of the limb pocket. 6. Quest Radical Click here for the lowest price on Amazon Another amazing bow for right-handed archers, the Quest Radical offers an easily adjustable cam system that requires no bow press. It also boasts an adjustable draw length ranging from 17.5 to 30 inches. With an axle-to-axle measurement of 29.25 inches and a draw weight of 15 to 70 pounds, this bow is capable of firing arrows at speeds up to 295 feet per second. The Quest Radical Right Hand Package also includes a string suppressor, 6-arrow quiver, Halo rest, G5 stabilizer, sling, peep, and a tool-less 4-pin sight. 7. Bear Archery Cruzer Click here for the lowest price on Amazon This bow from Bear Archery is an excellent option for anyone that needs a bow that’ll have you ready to start hunting from the moment you take it out of the box. The bow’s string suppressor and stabilizer are designed to smooth and quiet the bow’s performance. The Cruzer is constructed from lightweight and durable aluminum and designed to last for years. It has shot arrows that have been clocked at 310 feet per second and is adjustable for draw lengths from 12 to 30 inches and peak draw weights from 5 to 70 pounds. 8. Obsession DefCon M7Z Click here for the lowest price on Amazon Manufactured by Obsession Bows, the DefCon M7Z is one of the quietest bows on the market today, which makes it excellent for stealth hunting. It also offers impressive arrow speeds of more than 340 feet per second. The DefCon is designed with a solid back wall and interchangeable half-inch increments draw length mods. It features a draw length of 30.5 inches, a brace height of 7 inches, a draw weight of 70 pounds, and an overall weight of 4.1 pounds. 9. PSE Drive R Click here for the lowest price on Amazon A great option for archers looking for pro-level performance at a reasonable price, this bow measures 30 inches from axle to axle and offers a brace height of 6.75 inches. With a 75-percent let off, this bow can shoot arrows at a speed up to 336 feet per second. This bow also boasts a draw length range of 25 to 30.5 inches and a draw weight of 60 pounds. The PSE Drive R Package includes an AMP Pro Sight, Phantom Dropaway Rest, Spire Stabilizer, Raven Quiver, PSE Neoprene Sling, Red Aluminum Peep Sight, and Nock Loop. 10. Hoyt Carbon Defiant Click here for the lowest price on Amazon Hoyt is commonly known as one of the best designers of carbon bows. Carbon offers several advantages in bow construction, including vibration reduction, cold weather comfort, lethal accuracy, and rugged durability. The Hoy Carbon Defiant compound bow uses offset riser technology to reduce vibration and increase strength and stiffness. This bow also features dual cable stops for a solid back wall, a brace height of 7 inches, and a total weight of just 3.6 pounds. — Buyer’s Guide The oldest known archery artifacts were found in Europe and date back to the late Paleolithic era, between 11,000 and 9,000 years ago ( 2 ). Bows have grown in complexity and efficacy since then, and this guide will focus on several characteristics that’ll help you decide which bow is right for you. Eye Dominance The first step to finding a new compound bow is determining your dominant eye. Often referred to as “ocular dominance,” most of our brains actually prefer visual input from one eye or the other. Usually, your dominant eye is on the same side as your dominant writing or throwing hand. If you’re unsure, there are three easy steps to find your dominant eye. First, place hands at arm’s length and press thumbs and forefingers together to form a triangle. Next, keep both eyes open, look through the triangle, and center it on something, such as a doorknob. Finally, close one eye and then the other. Your dominant eye is the one that keeps the doorknob centered in the triangle when the other eye is closed. Cam Technology A cam is a rotating or sliding piece in a mechanical linkage used to transform rotary motion into linear motion, or vice versa ( 3 ). Cams are at the center of the mechanical advantage that compound bows provide over traditional bows. The cams in every compound bow have a specific profile. A cam’s profile details the actual geometry of the cam system, which determines how soft or aggressive the bow’s power stroke will be. In general, a more aggressive, harder cam equates to more energy storage and faster arrow speeds. Draw Length and Draw Weight Determining the correct bow for you requires an understanding of your draw length. This can be found by measuring your wingspan from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other while your arms are spread wide. Now divided that number by 2.5 to find your draw length. It’s important that you don’t buy a bow with a draw length that’s too short or too long. Draw weight is a measurement of how many pounds you can pull back with the bow. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect formula for determining draw weight like there is for draw length. A good recommendation for novice archers, however, is to start with a low-poundage bow. As you gain experience and strength, you’ll be able to draw more weight and, as a result, you’ll be able to shoot further. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to find compound bows with adjustable draw lengths and draw weights. Budget Most new compound bows start around $299 on the low end and top out over $1,000. Deciding how much to spend depends on your unique budget, but it’s important to remember that a higher priced bow doesn’t necessarily mean a “better” bow. Many flagship bow brands today boasts about arrow speeds, but you should remember that a faster bow doesn’t necessarily cost more to produce. At the end of the day, a compound bow is a muscle-powered machine. If a bow is capable of shooting faster, it typically requires more total muscle energy to draw back. Frequently Asked Questions The first known use of bows and arrows in combat was in 2340 B.C. by the Babylonians ( 4 ) and many consider archery to be one of the oldest sports in the world. To help you learn more about this age-old tradition, we’ve put together this list of frequently asked questions about compound bows. What is a “riser”? A riser is essentially the chassis of the bow. It functions to hold the limbs of the bow and provide a place for a handle. It is also where the arrow rest, stabilizer, sight, and other items are typically mounted. A good riser should be light, strong, and inflexible. What is “creep”? Creep happens when an archer is at full draw but allows the bowstring to ease forward slightly before releasing an arrow. This form flaw is usually caused by poor skeletal alignment and a loss of back tension. What does the term “brace height” mean? Brace height is the difference between the “throat” of the grip and the string when the bow is at rest. A shorter brace height means the string remains in contact with the arrow over a longer distance. The effect of this leads to faster arrow speeds, but also means a longer period for movement of the shooter to transfer to the arrow. Shorter brace heights, then, are typically less forgiving of shooter error. How fast can an arrow shot from a compound bow go? IBO Speed ( 5 ) is a standardized measure for stating the speed at which a bow shoots its arrow. The fastest shooting production bows in circulation have fired at speeds up to 370 feet per second (fps). In comparison, the fastest traditional bows are lucky to reach speeds of 180 fps. Add these kind of speeds to a good broadhead and the result will be deadly. How does draw length impact accuracy? If draw length is too short, accuracy can suffer because it will be harder to maintain reference points when aiming. Conversely, if draw length is too long the natural tendency becomes to tilt the head back slightly in order to see through the peep sight. This causes a host of other issues, including poor shooting form and improper back posture. How do you determine draw length? Draw length is typically measured in inches. Start by measuring your wingspan when determining draw length. Today’s compound bows are mostly adjustable, so finding a bow that is within one inch of your wingspan should be your goal. How long should your arrows be? The proper arrow length depends on your draw length. A good general rule is to NEVER buy arrows that are shorter than your draw length. For beginner’s, it is recommended to find an arrow that is one or two inches longer than your draw length. How is arrow length measured? Arrow length is found by measuring from the nock’s deepest groove to the end of the shafts. Arrow length doesn’t include the point or insert. How long does it take to become a good archer? The answer to this question will be different for each individual. Like any new hobby, the more you practice the better you’ll get. When starting out, however, we always recommend getting help from an experienced instructor. Summary A good compound bow will be a fun and effective tool for target practice or small-to-medium game hunting. We hope you’ve found the reviews of these ten bows and the information in our buyer’s guide useful in selecting a new compound bow!

Gun Collecting: The Venerable Thompson Submachine Gun

Gun Collecting: The Venerable Thompson Submachine Gun

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d2d7420d_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d2d7420d_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } This nearly mint example of a Thompson Model of 1921 was manufactured by Colt's in Hartford, Connecticut. With only about 2,400 Thompson submachine guns in a transferable state today, the price for one of these beauties reaches well into five digits. These beautiful images are from the National Firearms Museum, and are featured in the full-color 16-page center section of the 2013 Standard Catalog of Firearms . The first Thompsons to come to market were the Model 1921s, manufactured by Colt Patent Firearms for Auto Ordnance Corporation in New York, New York. Between March 1921 and April 1922 15,000 guns were built. Of those 15,000 manufactured, only about 2,400 weapons exist in a transferable state today, “transferable” meaning weapons that can be bought, sold, or traded legally within the U.S. Originally made with 20-round magazines, eventually 30-round stick magazines and 50- and 100-drum magazines were manufactured for use on “the gun that made the '20s roar.” Three models of the Model 1921 were produced. The Model 1921A had a fixed front sight and a rate of fire of 800 rounds per minute. The Model 1921AC has a Cutts compensator instead of a fixed front sight and an 800-rounds-per-minute rate of fire. The Model 1928 Navy was fitted with a Cutts compensator and a heavier actuator that reduced the rate of fire to 600 rounds per minute. All of these Navy models had the number “8” stamped crudely over the number “1” on the left side of the receiver. Of the 15,000 Colt Model 1921s produced, approximately 25 percent were Model 1921As, 33 percent were Model 1921ACs, and 41 percent were 1928 Navys. A handful of Model 1927s were manufactured by Colt and left the factory as semi-automatics. However, the ATF considers these guns machine guns and requires that all NFA rules apply. These Model 1927s are quite rare and represent only about one percent of total production. They do not seem to sell for the same dollar figures that the machine guns do. Related GunDigest Articles Gun Digest's Top 10 Gun Collecting Articles Photo Gallery: 14 Amazing Engraved Guns of Gun Digest 2015 Photo Gallery: Engraved and Custom Guns of Gun Digest 2016 All Colt-manufactured Thompsons were bright blued; none were parkerized. All had walnut stocks, grips, and forearms manufactured by Remington. With the exception of a few prototypes, all Colt Thompsons were chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. All internal parts were nickel plated and all barrels were finned. All weapons had a Lyman rear sight assembly. A removable rear stock was standard. All weapons were marked with a “new york, usa” address on the right side of the receiver. “Colt patent firearms” was marked on the left side of the receiver. These Colt Thompsons would accept a 20- or 30-round box magazine as well as a 50-round “L” drum or 100 round “C” drum. Weight is about 10.75 lbs.

Remington 870 vs. Mossberg 500 Informational Review

In this article, we will compare two legends of the American shotgun industry, the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500. Both have sold tens of millions globally and have been in continuous production for decades. They have enjoyed enduring popularity for good reason, including their design and effectiveness which has been proven in the field and in combat. So what makes one better than the other? At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 OUR TOP PICK: Remington 870 TAC-14 20 GA 14" M-LOK 4+1 Mossberg 500 Tactical HS410 Home Security BEST BUDGET OPTION: Remington 870 DM 12 Gauge Tactical Shotgun Mossberg 500 Flex Tactical 12GA 18.5" Pistol Grip Remington 870 Marine Magnum TAC-14 12 GA 14" Comparison Chart of Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 PRODUCT DETAILS Our Top Pick Our Top Pick Remington 870 TAC-14 20 GA 14" M-LOK 4+1 Barrel measured at 14 inches Chambered to fire 20 gauge shots Magazine capacity of 4 + 1 rounds View Latest Price Mossberg 500 Tactical HS410 Home Security Ambidextrous safety equipped Handles up to about 6 to 8 rounds Barrel measured at 18.5 inches in length "View Latest Price" Best Budget Option "Best Budget Option" Remington 870 DM 12 "Gauge Tactical Shotgun" Pistol grip included The capacity of 6 shells Chambered to fire 12 gauge shots View Latest Price Mossberg "500 Flex Tactical" 12GA 18.5" Pistol Grip 6-round capacity Chambered to fire 12 gauge shots Chamber size measured at 3 inches in length View Latest Price Remington "870 Marine Magnum" TAC-14 12 GA 14" Designed to fire 12 gauge shots Made from high-quality materials Barrel measured at 14 inches in length View Latest Price Remington 870 Express 12 GA 18.5" Tactical Pump Shotgun 6 + 1 round capacity Fires 12 gauge shots Barrel measured out at 18.5 inches View Latest Price What is a Remington 870? The Remington 870 is a pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company and designed in 1950. It became popular in the 70s and has enjoyed great success since then, with the ten millionth model produced in 2009. Remington 870 The Remington 870 has a bottom-loading, side-ejecting receiver, a tubular magazine under the barrel and a plug for hunting, which allows three shells instead of six. The Remington 870’s action, receiver, fire control group, safety catch, and slide release catch are similar to those of the Remington 7600 series pump-action centerfire rifles and carbines. Remington 870 Models The Remington 870 comes in several variants, three of which are discussed below. These variants are meant for different purposes, like tactical uses, hunting game, or home defense. Remington has designed these models for functionality, cost, and aesthetics, and many are frequently further modified by their owners. The models we’ll be looking at here are the classic 870 Wingmaster, the 870 DM, and the 870 Express. Remington 870 Wingmaster The Remington Wingmaster is the classic version of the 870. It sticks to the original design of the first Remington 870 and comes in 12-gauge 2 3/4" and 3", 20 and 28 gauge, and .410 bore. Source The stock and forend both have a satin finish and the woodwork is American walnut. The receiver and barrel are blued and polished, and the barrel and choke are both customizable. Remington 870 DM Source This version differs from the others because of it’s detachable magazine system. The fire mechanisms are designed from scratch and available with three and six-round magazines. It has the fastest response time of any pump shotgun and is well-suited for home defense. Remington 870 Express The Remington 870 Express is a less expensive variant than the Wingmaster. It comes with the Standard Express finish on the barrel and receiver, as well as a 26" or 28" vent-rib, bead-sighted barrel. Source It shoots both 2 ¾" and 3" shells, and is offered in .410, and 12-/20-gauge. Generally, this model has lower-end parts compare to the Wingmaster, including plastic trigger guards, weaker springs, a MIM (metal injection molded) extractor, and a magazine cap retention system that uses a plastic plunger forcing itself against the magazine cap to secure the barrel. The magazine has dimples that must be removed before a magazine extension can be installed. The Express has non-reflective black matte metalwork and a no-frills hardwood stock and forend. What is the Mossberg 500? The Model 500 series is designed to be easy to clean while also withstanding harsh conditions. It is based on a design by Carl Benson and was introduced in 1960. Since 1970, it has featured the double action bar design for reliable pump action. Its magazine tube is located below the barrel, which is screwed into the receiver. Source Barrels are interchangeable and can be removed without tools. The slide release is located to the left rear of the trigger guard, and the safety is located on the upper rear of the receiver. Different models offer different sight options, from a simple bead sight, to a receiver mounted ghost ring, or even an integrated base for a telescopic sight. Source The Model 500s use lightweight aluminum instead of steel, and the trigger housing and safety button are made of plastic to minimize cost. Mossberg 500 Models The Mossberg 500 is available in three main variants, and each of them bring something different to the table. There is a hunting model, one designed for law enforcement, another for tactical, and a Flex model that is ideal for swapping out parts. Let’s take a look at the hunting, tactical and Flex variants of the Mossberg 500 and what they offer. Mossberg 500 Hunting This model features a variety of useful qualities pertaining to hunting. It has dual extractors, positive steel to steel lockup, twin action bars, and an anti-jam elevator to ensure smooth operation. The top-mounted safety allows ambidextrous use, and some models offer the revolutionary Lightning Pump Action (LPA) adjustable trigger for added control. Mossberg 500 Flex The FLEX LTS model is perfect for individuals looking for a system that allows them to easily switch from one shooting application to another at a moment's notice. Source It’s compatible with various hunting and tactical accessories including pistol grips, butt-stocks, forends, and recoil pads. The TLS (Tool-less Locking System) consists of three connectors that allow users to switch these parts and accessories. Mossberg 500 Tactical This rugged model is designed for military, police and law enforcement usage. It features dual extractors, positive steel-to-steel lockup, twin action bars, and an anti-jam elevator to ensure smooth operation. Source The top-mounted safety facilitates ambidextrous operation and other special features increase suitability for low and no-light conditions. These include Center Mass Laser equipped models, tri-railed forends to favor accessory lights and lasers, and adjustable stocks for rapid adjustment of length of pull. It also works with a broad range of accessory barrels. Review of the Best Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 Best Remington 870 Overall: Remington 870 TAC-14 20-GA 14" M-LOK 4+1 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Reliable firepower Great for hunting purposes Affordable for most budgets Easy to operate pump action Durable and solid construction Cons Recoil is a bit higher than other options Pistol grip may be a little large for some hands What Recent Buyers Report Most new users were looking for an affordable, reliable shotgun that would work in most hunting and target shooting situations. They certainly were not disappointed when they came across this Remington 870 shotgun. A lot of new users said the accuracy was pretty dead on and shooting groups were tighter when they hit targets ranging from about 50 to 75 yards out. They also reported the pump action is easy to handle and smooth to move back and forth. Also, they have reported reduced recoil with almost every shot fired. Why it Stands Out to Us The Remington 870 is a shotgun that’s just as reliable as a Mossberg 500. So there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to deal with any jamming or malfunctioning. While some will prefer it over the other (and vice versa), it’s the designs of the Remington 870 that are somewhat eye-catching. This one, in particular, may not look like an actual shotgun but it just might be the pistol grip that could throw you off. Rest assured, it won’t allow your shots to be thrown off though. So long as you get a good handle on this shotgun, you’ll have straightforward, accurate shooting almost every time you fire it. Who Will Use This Most This will be an excellent shotgun used by seasoned hunting or target shooting vets, especially when they want something with less recoil right out of the gate. It’s a shotgun that will maintain reliability and won’t jam up on you for as long as you use it and take the best care of it. If you need an upgrade from a Remington 870, Mossberg 500, or some other shotgun that might have just had enough with the long-term use, this Remington 870 shotgun might be something worth considering for an upgrade model. Bottom Line The Remington 870 Tac-14 20 Gauge M-Lok Shotgun has just four rounds for you to work with, but that might just be enough for those looking to use a shotgun for small game hunting. It’s built like a brick house and can fire shells pretty good without the pesky recoil to deal with. If you want a shotgun that is either an excellent upgrade to an old shotgun or if you are interested in trying out one of the many Remington 870 models available on the market, this one might be a good one to consider investing in. Best Mossberg 500 Overall: Mossberg 500 Tactical HS410 Home Security CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to load Powerful shooting Light in weight, even when fully loaded The pump action is smooth and reliable Excellent for home security and self-defense Cons None What "Recent Buyers Report" Most of the new buyers were pretty confident that this shotgun would come through in the clutch in a life and death situation. When trying this out at the range, they were able to hit their shots with accuracy from a good 25 to 30 yards out. And since it was light in weight, new buyers have said they won’t have to struggle with maneuvering around dark corners because of a heavy shotgun. Who Will "Use This Most" This shotgun is built to be lightweight, tough, and rugged enough for anyone stupid enough to invade a person’s home or threaten a homeowner’s life. It’s easy to use and easy to load up shots so you are able to aim and be ready to shoot if and when the situation warrants it. You won’t have time for heavy trigger pulls or hard to slide pump actions. Every bit of movement and action is smooth and fluid. And it can save your life. If you are looking for a shotgun that will be easy to use in a self-defense situation without any hard to pull triggers or the like, this might be the go-to option for you. Who Will Use This Most A home defense shotgun should be reliable and easy to use. If that’s what you are looking for in a shotgun that will protect you and your home, this is the obvious choice. It’s no secret that Mossberg 500s are the most reliable shotguns in the world. So why would you not want to use it in a life-threatening situation? It’s easy to load, easy to pump, and easy to shoot. Timing is everything and the last thing you want to do is struggle with your shotgun when life is on the line. Bottom Line The Mossberg 500 Tactical has proven to be one of the most trusted shotguns on the market bar none when it comes to home defense. You’d be crazy to pass up the opportunity to give this shotgun a closer look if you are looking for a shotgun made for keeping you and your family safe. On top of that, it’s reliable and will work when you need it the most. Runner-up Remington 870: Remington 870 DM 12-Gauge Tactical Shotgun CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Aesthetically sharp Solid and durable construction Powerful shooting and reliability Allows for quick magazine change-outs Excellent for hunting and clay shooting Cons None What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new buyers were looking for an excellent shotgun that would be reliable across many common applications. Most new users were hunters using this for bird hunting, small game hunting, and some deer hunting. One user said he was quite confident in the shotgun’s ability to hit his targets with such accuracy and precision from 100 to 150 yards out that he decided to keep it as his primary shotgun for hunting purposes. Why it Stands Out to Us This shotgun may have an unusual design to it, but rest assured, it’s still a shotgun. What might have thrown you off is the magazine attachment that sticks out a bit. The design is pretty unusual, but interestingly enough, it’s one of the most reliable and powerful shotguns on the market. The included pistol grip allows you to maintain more control over your shotgun if you need more stability that will result in more accurate and precise shooting. Sometimes, it can come in handy when handling it like a normal shotgun tends to be a little too much. Who Will Use This Most This will definitely be put to good use for the purpose of hunting. But there may be a good number of users that will depend on this for target shooting purposes. It doesn’t matter what your application is, what you’ll get out of this is some pretty serious shooting power and six rounds that will make it a whole lot more fun to use. So if you have 12-gauge shots you’ve been dying to fire off, this bad boy might just be the shotgun to use. Bottom Line The Remington 870 DM 12-Gauge Tactical Shotgun is perhaps one of the best Remington 870 shotguns you can find on the market. Yes, the design might throw off some users. But you can definitely put it to good use in a hunting or target shooting situation as you so choose. Find your favorite 12-gauge rounds, load those suckers into the magazine, and get ready for the best shooting that you’ve experienced in your lifetime. Mossberg 500 Runner-up: Mossberg 500 Flex Tactical 12-GA 18.5" Pistol Grip CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Exceptionally reliable firing Easy to load, takes a few minutes The pump action is nice and smooth Great for hunting and target shooting The pistol grip allows for excellent support and stability Cons Sights may be a little tough to adjust Some found it a little heavy when loaded What Recent Buyers Report Most new users were pretty happy with the shotgun overall. The pump action was nice and smooth and made feeding and cycling really smooth. On top of that, the shotgun’s firing ability packed a bit of a punch. One user said he loved how it could still fire with so much “oomph” even with reduced recoil right out of the box. He added that he was able to knock down many varmint targets with this shotgun since buying it, making it one of his favorites for taking on targets situated from up to 100 yards out. Why it Stands Out to Us This shotgun has a pretty decent design that many will rave about. But more often than not, the Mossberg 500’s legendary reliability is why so many will flock to it. Even after many rounds fired, you won’t have to deal with any kind of jamming or malfunctioning. So if you want something that will stay reliable for as long as you use it (as long as you take good care of it), this just might be what you’ll need for a shotgun for all your hunting needs. You want the hunting buddy that will kick in the clutch and work with you when the time comes to land that big game target or when you are ridding any varmints destroying your property. Who Will Use This Most If reliability is a make or break deal for you when it comes to shotguns, the Mossberg 500 just might be the no-brainer choice. Rarely will it malfunction and almost all the time, it will work to your advantage in a hunting situation. With smooth pumping and feeding and a light trigger pull to boot, you can get your shots off quicker and easier than most shotgun models. Don’t let malfunctioning shotguns slow you down. Bottom Line For the best in reliability and performance, there could be one shotgun that just might stand out as one of the best possible options. Make no mistake, the Mossberg 500 is one of the most reliable shotguns on the market. And yes, there are some others that can hang with it. But if you’re a fan of excellent firing power, smooth operation, and precise accurate shooting, the Flex Tactical just might be the best solution to all your shooting needs. Best for the Money Remington 870: Remington 870 Marine Magnum TAC-14 12-GA 14" CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Smooth and easy operation Superior durability and quality Accurate, tight groups from 50 yards out Excellent for hunting and target shooting Reliable, with very few malfunctions to speak of Cons None What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new buyers were not disappointed at all with this 12-gauge shotgun. They were able to put this to good use in both hunting and target shooting situations. Most hunters were using this against targets like small game, birds, and even varmints, as well. One user said he was able to knock down his hunting targets from as far out as 50 yards. He also added that he managed to get excellent control over this rifle since there was little recoil right out of the box. Why it Stands Out to Us This shotgun was made for hunting applications. But it can certainly be used for others. Surprisingly, this shotgun is useful for target shooting and even tactical situations. It’s tough, reliable, and has a smooth moving pump action that will make loading up your shots a breeze. On top of that, the trigger pull weight is decent and good enough to pull off a quick shot or two. Who Will Use This Most This solidly built shotgun was made for multiple purposes. But no matter which one you go for, this Remington 870 will certainly stand out as the real deal. If you want reliability and accuracy out of a shotgun that is built to last and easy to use, you’re going to have a good time firing off every single shot with this Remington 870 model. It’s almost a certainty that any other shotgun that is not a Remington 870 will fall short nor give it a run for its money (while there are a select few that will). Bottom Line The Remington 870 Marine Magnum TAC-14 shotgun might be one of the best multi-purpose shotguns in the Remington 870 group. It’s tough, reliable, and will be able to give you the accurate and precise shooting you deserve. You can hit your bullseyes or make your kill shots with speed and ease with one pull of a trigger. If you need more shots, the pump-action certainly won’t mind making it quick. 6. Remington 870 Express Tactical 12-GA 18.5" CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent overall quality Easy to handle and grip Lightweight, even when loaded Smooth and easy to slide pump action Superior reliability with very few jams or malfunctions Cons None What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new buyers were able to handle this shotgun pretty well. The shotgun wasn’t too heavy nor was it too hard to handle. They were quite happy with the overall size and even the easy to use operation. The pump action was smooth, never jammed, and did a good job feeding the chamber each and every time for quick, smooth cycled shooting. A majority of the new users were mostly hunters focused on birds, varmint, and other small game targets. Why it Stands Out to Us This shotgun might just be one of the best-designed on the list. The stock is quite large, but it does a great job absorbing shock and reducing recoil like nothing else. On top of that, the entire design is simple and doesn’t look too oversized. It is for this reason that it is light in weight (even while loaded) and is one of the best shotguns any shooter can handle. And with little recoil to deal with, you’ll be able to get a good amount of accurate and precise shooting across many distances. Simply put, it’s just a pretty good shotgun that can be used across so many applications. Who Will Use This Most If you are a hunter or a target shooter (casual or competitive), this might be an excellent shotgun for you to use. In fact, if you are a newbie shotgun user, you may want to consider purchasing this shotgun, in particular, for the purpose of starting out with shotgun shooting. Needless to say, you can keep using this for a long time or make an upgrade if you are getting sick and tired of it. But rest assured, this will give you consistent, reliable shooting each and every time you’re out in the field or on the range. Load a few into this bad boy and have a ball. We promise this won’t disappoint you. Bottom Line If you are looking for a Remington 870 shotgun that will be easy to use, easy to fire, and just plain fun to fire off, this Express Tactical 12-gauge shotgun might just be the answer to whether or not you are able to hit a bullseye from 75 yards out or knocking out that partridge from an equal distance. Don’t be shocked if you are getting some sharpshooting out of the whole deal. 7. Remington 870 Classic Trap 12-GA 30" CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Superior firepower Aesthetically sharp Solid and durable construction Easy to load, takes a couple of minutes Perfect for target shooting (casual and competitive) Cons Heavy when fully loaded Trigger pull may be a bit heavy at first Wood stock may easily damage if exposed to oils or solvents What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new buyers were happy with the shotgun for a few good reasons. They were quite happy with how accurate it was from distances ranging from 50 to 75 yards out. The barrel was quite long but it was responsible for probably some of the tightest shooting groups they have seen from such distances. Overall, they loved the classic wooden look, as it reminded them of an old-school shotgun from ages past. Why it Stands Out to Us This shotgun is the longest of the bunch but it is perfect for those looking for a shotgun that will be dangerously accurate and precise at the range. It might be a good hunting rifle for you if you intend to land kill shot after kill shot, but this shotgun is built mostly for the range. The classic, wooden stock look is definitely something that makes it stick out even more. If you are looking for a shotgun that has a look that you might appreciate, you’ll probably want to snag it for the sentimental value. But granted, looks shouldn’t be that important if you are looking for a shotgun that will perform very well in your intended application. With 4 + 1 rounds at your disposal, this shotgun will make your visit to the range a fun one, especially when you have so many shotgun shells at your disposal. Who Will Use This Most? This will, in all likelihood, be a shotgun used mostly for target shooting. Whether you do it for fun or for competitive purposes is entirely up to you. But you’ll definitely want to put it to good use if you hold accuracy to a high standard. The long barrels will typically give you a slight accuracy boost compared to other shotguns and the velocity might just be a bit faster. If quick, accurate shooting is what you look for in a shotgun, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything like this shotgun anywhere else on the market. Bottom Line The Remington "870 Classic Trap" 12-Gauge Shotgun might be the best possible option if you are in need of a shotgun that will be your sidekick at the range for the fun of it (or when you are tuning up for the next competition). Either way, you get accuracy, reliability, and a classic look that might remind you of your dad or granddad’s shotgun. It’s good looking and all, but the performance is pretty good, as well. For a longer, more accurate shotgun, this might be the best option for you. Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500 - Similarities and Differences Mossberg 500 VS Remington 870 Now that you know the different kinds of Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 models, it’s time to look at the similarities and differences between the two. Mossberg 500 vs Remington 870 Differences Safety Mossberg 500 Safety VS Remington 870 Safety The placement of the triggers is different for both manufacturers. While the Mossberg 500’s ambidextrous safety is located at the top of the receiver, the Remington’s safety is located behind the trigger in the rear of the trigger guard and favors right-handed shooters. Receiver Mossberg 500 Receiver VS Remington 870 Receiver The Mossberg 500’s aluminum receiver makes it lighter, but the Remington 870 uses a steel receiver, making it a bit heavier. This increased mass means less felt recoil, which is suitable in a home defense shotgun. Magazine Capacity Depending on the Mossberg 500 model, the magazine capacity is 6+1 or 8+1, while the 870’s magazine capacity is 4+1 or 6+1. Accessorizing The Mossberg’s Flex model allows users to quickly swap out parts of the 500 for hunting or tactical usage without any tools. A traditional stock can be replaced with a pistol grip, or a traditional fore-end can be swapped for one with a tactical light. Firepower The Remington 870 has an edge in power with Express models that accept larger 3½-inch shells for greater payload, power, and range. Shell Lifter Mossberg 500 Shell Lifter VS Remington 870 Shell Lifter The Remington 870 uses a classic shell lifter that needs to be pushed up to load a round, whereas the Mossberg uses a shell lifter that stays in the raised position. This feature makes it easier to load and beginner-friendly. Mossberg 500 vs Remington 870 Similarities Barrels Source Both the Mossberg and Remington were designed for use with interchangeable barrels. The Remington’s barrel can be replaced by loosening and/or removing the magazine cap, while the Mossberg’s barrel can be replaced after loosening the magazine nut. Similar Components Each model uses dual-action bars for a smoother and more reliable pump action. With this, the bolt of both shotguns lock in the rear of the barrel and do not use the receiver. Both guns disassemble in a similar fashion and their trigger groups are easily taken out for cleaning by removing the trigger housing pin(s). Magazine Both shotguns use tubular magazines that can be plugged to abide by hunting laws or removed to have extra round capacity for home defense. Remington 870 Magazine Extension Both are available in 12 or 20-gauge. In the 12-gauge option, they both accept 2¾ and 3-inch shells. Parts The final similarity with the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 is the vast number of aftermarket parts that allow the user to customize these shotguns to better suit its needs. Top Pick Between Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500 When deciding which of these guns is better, it makes sense to figure out whether one gun is more suitable for you. Keep in mind your budget, your shooting needs, and your personal preferences when choosing one. In general, the Remington 870 is $100-$150 more expensive than the Mossberg 500. The 870’s pump action is smoother, but the Mossberg’s reloading system is faster and easier. Both guns have comparable effective ranges, but Remington’s steel receiver gives it an edge in longevity and toughness. The Mossberg is made for rough and rigorous use, so it is the best gun for dirty and muddy conditions like hunting and skeet shooting. Conclusion So there we have it. We’ve covered the differences and similarities of both legendary shotguns and discussed why you might choose one over another. While you really can’t go wrong with either gun, the Remington 870 is slightly more expensive and built from more costly and durable materials. The Mossberg is lighter, easier to load, and the Flex option makes swapping accessories a breeze. Consider your shooting preferences and needs when selecting the gun. The Flex is great for people who plan to use the gun in multiple situations such as hunting and home defense.

Best AR-15 Scopes and Optics: Tactical Reviews

Advertisment Although its roots are military, the AR-15 platform has become one of the USA’s most popular hunting rifles. In the standard .223 caliber, it’s ideal for small varmints and predator control. The AR-15 is a reliable, light, and inherently accurate weapon. Still, we needed to find the best AR-15 scope to match. When paired with the right accessories, the AR-15 is perfect for the job of bringing down a wide range of game. One of the most important accessories is finding the best AR-15 scope, depending on how you plan to use your rifle. If you are the type of person that likes to skip a detailed read and get right to the point, we’ve picked out our nine favorite AR-15 optics for you and condensed them into the grid below. If you want additional details, we’ve put together a comprehensive MONSTER guide that looks at 23 different AR-15 optics in depth. Our buyer’s guide and top picks are sure to put you on the right path to picking the best AR-15 scope. OUR THREE FAVORITE AR-15 OPTICS Our rating AIMPOINT PRO CLOSE QUARTERS PICK VIEW ON AMAZON Our rating NIKON P223 3-9x40 VALUE PICK VIEW ON AMAZON Our rating BUSHNELL 223 Banner BDD BUDGET PICK VIEW ON AMAZON Now that you’ve seen our three favorites in every category, let’s dive into some additional details. Feel free to use the table of contents to jump to your section of choice if you know you want to skip ahead. Other wise, kick back and enjoy the read – it’s a long one. Contents Best AR-15 Scopes: the Basics What do the Numbers Mean? Best AR-15 Optics: a Buyer’s Guide 1. Planned Use 2. Budget 3. Skill Level 4. AR-15 Optics Features 5. Where It’s Made 6. Type of AR-15 Rifle Best AR-15 Optics: EOTech Holographic Sights 1. EOTech 512 Tactical Sight 2. EOTech XPS2-0 3. EOTech HHS I with Magnifier Best AR-15 Optics: Red Dot Sights 1. Aimpoint PRO Rifle Optic 2. Vortex Optics StrikeFire 3. Bushnell TRS-25 4. Sightmark Ultra Shot 5. Bushnell AR-15 Optics MP Best AR-15 Optics: Short Range 1. Nikon P-223 3×32 Carbine 2. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x 3. Trijicon ACOG 4×32 4. Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 5. "Vortex Optics Strike" Eagle 1-6×24 6. Burris AR-332 (3×32) 7. Bushnell AR-15 Optics Drop Zone-223 8. Bushnell AR-15 Optics FFP 1-4×24 Best AR-15 Optics: Medium Range 1. Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 2. Bushnell AR-15 Optics 3-9×40 3. UTG BugBuster 3-9×32 4. UTG Compact 3-12×44 Best AR-15 Optics: Long Range 1. Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 2. Bushnell AR-15 Optics 4.5-18×40 3. Carl Zeiss Optical HD5 5-25×50 Best AR-15 Scopes: Parting Shots Daily Deals Everyday – Up to 60% Off AR Lowers & Uppers Palmetto State Armory – Bulk Ammo, AR15 Parts, Magazines & More Best AR-15 Scopes: the Basics Before we get into our buyer’s guide, let’s make sure you are up to speed on AR-15 scope basics. While we have some expert shooters that spend time on our site, many of our readers are also beginners who are very new to hunting/recreational shooting. We want to make sure that you understand how scopes work and how they help you when properly paired. Let’s jump into some rifle scope 101. What do the Numbers Mean? Look, numbers can be confusing. Some of our editors here have a hard enough time figuring out how their electric bill is calculated, let alone understanding the magnification power of their AR-15 scope. Here’s what the numbers mean when looking at optics choices. Power: The power of the scope is how far out you can see your target. Power is the first number you see when you look at scopes and you see a couple of numbers and a multiplier. Common numbers you may notice are 3×32 or 1-6×24. The 3 or the 1 in both series are the “power” of the scope. Higher numbers mean that the scopes are higher in power and give you maximum shooting distance. If the number is a variable (like 1-6) that means that you can vary the power of the scope, giving you a much bigger range of power you can operate in versus a straight 3x or 4x. This is called variable power and is very common in today’s AR-15 optics. It may also come with a slightly higher price tag than non-variable scopes. Lower powered scopes are great for short to medium range hunting or operational range, while longer distance shooting will require a higher distance scope. Objective: Scope objective is the second number in the series. A variable powered scope of 1-6×24 provides a 24mm objective. Objective is always measured in millimeters and refers to the lens size. Larger numbers mean bigger lenses. Bigger lenses are good for wide fields of view at a distance . They also allow for more light, making them good low-light hunting partners. Unfortunately, that also makes them bulkier. Take this into consideration if you plan to hunt at longer distances with your AR-15. The best AR-15 scopes come with adjustable objectives, making them easier to focus at longer distances. You can adjust what’s called the “ parallax ,” which will let you fine-tune your target at a much greater distance.  You need to worry about parallax when your power exceeds 10, and most scopes underneath that threshold have a parallax that auto-adjusts. Reticle: The reticle of your scope is what most people refer to as the crosshairs of the rifle scope. It’s what you use to aim and point the gun at before firing. Red dot scopes have a red dot reticle, and green dot scopes have a green dot reticle. You get the idea. MOA: MOA stands for “Minute of Angle.” MOA is an angular measurement that gets bigger with distance. Professional shooters use MOA to ensure that their groupings are extremely tight together, but MOAs have less applicable use for casual hunters and shooters. 1 MOA equals 5 inches at 500 yards. Someone with a perfect MOA can shoot a one-inch group at 10 yards. Think about this as the spread of three of the closest shot holes out of a 5/10/20 shot group. Eye Relief Distance: This is how far you can hold the optic from your face comfortably while aiming. Keep in mind, AR-15s do have some recoil, so you want something that gives you enough room for kick-back so you don’t smack yourself in the face. Best AR-15 Optics: a Buyer’s Guide Navigating the sea of AR-15 optics can be extremely confusing. When it comes to buying the AR-15 optic of choice, the old saying of “you get what you pay for” applies here as it does for any other type of shooting gear. Even with the cost being a significant factor, there are several things you should consider before equipping your AR-15 with the newest technology. We break it down into six sections of what we feel is most important when selecting an optic. 1. Planned Use How you use your AR-15 will impact how you equip your rifle. The first thing you should be thinking about when buying an AR-15 scope is what your intended use is. Someone who is going to go out hunting with their AR-15 on a regular basis is going to have a far different need than someone who’s in the military or law enforcement. For some types of hunting and other tactical uses, you won’t even need a scope—a red dot unit or iron sights are perfect for short-range critter blasting. For longer range, you’re going to need the precision that only comes from a set of good AR-15 optics. Scopes themselves come in two basic styles: compact military-type optics—many of them specifically designed for the AR-15’s military cousins—and more traditional hunting scopes. They both have their strong points. Military rifles are tougher, but hunting scopes offer better light gathering and, usually, more precise aiming systems. What suits you depends on your planned use. A traditional scope makes a good all-rounder and has real advantages over open ground, but for controlling critters or hunting in the woods, a compact tactical unit makes a lot of sense. AR-15 optics are not universal. You need to plan for how you intend to use your rifle, and sometimes owning multiple scopes makes sense. if you intend to use your rifle for tactical urban warfare drills in a survivalist training camp, a Red dot scope like an Aimpoint or a holographic scope like an EoTech are your best bet. Even for short-range varmint hunting, a red dot or holographic sight is perfect. For longer range, you want something with magnification settings that you can adjust depending on your windage and elevation, just like other long-range rifle scopes that may outfit a 30-06 or a .308. Bottom Line: If you are a short distance hunter, go with a red dot scope or a good set of flip-up iron sights. Long-distance hunters should buy the best distance scope they can afford. 2. Budget Your Budget Will Obviously Impact Your Optics Choices. Let’s be realistic—budget plays into everything. If you have the budget to spring for a Leupold Mark 6, it may be one of the most important purchases you can make for your AR-15. Leopold consistently competes with bigger American companies like Trijicon. If the scope is the most important part of your rifle for you, then sink your money into it and let the scope reward you for the next 15 years. If you are on a budget and don’t care where your scope is made, then it may be hard to justify spending over $500.00 on a scope. The good news is that there are still some really quality scopes that you can pickup for a budget under $500.00 and save that extra hard-earned cash for additional rifle equipment. Make no mistake about it, the Trijicon and Leupold scopes are some of the best quality AR-15 optics that money can buy. But, if you don’t have a lot of experience with firearms, you are better off spending that money on additional ammunition. You may also look into picking up a smaller practice rifle like a Ruger 10/22 to help you train. You will get far more out of your rifle if you practice with it repeatedly, and you will grow more comfortable with some traditional iron sights. Bottom Line: If you’ve shot less than 1,000 rounds through your AR-15, your budget should be $500.00 or less. 3. Skill Level Your skill level will also impact what type of optic you should buy. Skill level is something that many beginners often overlook. They want to go out and buy the hottest scope on the market for their new “tacti-cool” AR-15. The history of the AR-15 goes deep, and the reality is that they are probably better off getting to the range and practicing with iron sights for a couple hundred rounds before thinking about what kind of AR-15 optic to invest in. Someone that’s shot 200 rounds through their first AR-15 should only look at budget-friendly options. If you haven’t shot more than 1,000 rounds through your AR-15, you should think of spending less than $500.00 on your scope and sinking the rest of that money into ammunition so you can practice and get really good with your rifle. For intermediate shooters, sticking with a mid-level scope for distance or short range is a great idea. Stick with a Nikon for longer distances or an Aimpoint/Vortex product for shorter distances until you’ve practiced in the shooting range at least 30 times with your AR-15. We mentioned it in the budget section, but beginners will get the most mileage out of their AR-15 optics choices if they get really good with iron sights to start with. Once you are comfortable hitting a target regularly with iron sights, then spending big money on quality AR-15 optics can make a lot of sense. Bottom Line: Beginners should spend more time at the range and less money on optics. 4. AR-15 Optics Features You’ll want to buy the optic with the features that you’ll need. Features are another area of consideration that you should be thinking about. Not all AR-15 scopes are created equal. Features can sometimes trump budget if you are buying your scope for a specific purpose. This is where you can justify spending the extra money. If you are going to operate your AR-15 in low-light areas, you will specifically want a scope that’s designed to let more light in. If you are planning on only using your AR-15 in the daytime, you have a little bit more latitude. Again, you can even stick with iron sights if you plan to do some closer range hunting and don’t need anything for distance. If buying a red dot scope makes sense for shorter distances, you’ll want an AR-15 scope with a clear reticle. If you are looking at a red dot scope, the good news is that you can also purchase magnifiers to make the dot extend in distance, lessening the need for multiple optics. It’s worth noting that a lot of magnifiers won’t leave enough room on your AR-15 if you plan to run iron back-up sights or flip-up sights (BUIS). Again, you also want to consider that you may end up buying more than one type of scope for your needs. If most of your shooting is short-medium range, spend your money on an AR-15 scope that can help you comfortably hit targets in that range, and spend less on a long-distance scope. Bottom Line: You get what you pay for. Depending on your planned use , some features may be worth more to you than others. 5. "Where It’s Made" Some gun enthusiasts prefer optics that are made in the USA, even if they are more expensive. Let’s face it: some people get pissed off when you mention buying anything manufactured overseas. People will say that the glass Nikon uses is “complete crap” or that UTG scopes are a “complete waste of money” because the glass used is manufactured in China. Look, we get it. But at the end of the day, sometimes people on a budget want a little bit of an extra edge. A Bushnell, UTG, or Nikon can all be extremely versatile AR-15 scopes for the money—especially in a sea of versatile products . Are they at the same quality of a Trijicon or a Leupold? No. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value here for lesser experienced shooters just finding their way at the range. If you are a competitive shooter, you have no business in the budget section anyways, and there’s a good chance you’ve already found the best AR-15 scope for your planned use. Buying a cheaper product that’s made overseas by a company with a good reputation is far better than making an uneducated guess and buying a product you regret from a sub-par manufacturer. Yes, we promote and like the idea of buying American made scopes for all of our firearms whenever necessary, but limiting yourself can end up handicapping you as well. One of our editors ran with a Ruger SR9 handgun for four months before switching to a more expensive CZ 75 SP-01 tactical, which ended up being a far better fit for him ergonomically, even though it’s made in the Czech Republic. Bottom Line: Buying a Nikon, Bushnell, or UTG is OK depending on your skill level or budget. Buy what you are comfortable with and practice, practice, practice . 6. Type of AR-15 Rifle The type of AR-15 rifle you have can also help determine what kind of optic you should pick. The type of AR-15 rifle you have will also dictate the hardware you can equip it with. The good news is, mounting a scope is easy on most modern ARs. Unless you have an old-style Colt rifle with the carrying handle cast integrally with the upper, there will already be either a rail or fittings to mount one. The most common option today is a 1913 rail running the length of the receiver. Even if you do have a carrying handle, it’s possible to mount a scope on it, but ergonomically that’s a nightmare – the sightline is far too high to get a good cheek weld, and canting the weapon causes significant accuracy problems. For hunting with an AR-15, always go for a flat-top receiver with a rail. It also makes sense to look at the cost of your rifle. Unless you have put 10,000 rounds through your Bushmaster and absolutely love it, why equip a $600.00 rifle with a $2,000.00 scope? Spend the money and upgrade the quality of your rifle first, then spend the money on the optics when it makes sense. As noted above, carrying handles can limit your AR-15 scope options and make it less comfortable to shoot. There are plenty of flat top receivers and tactical rails that you can equip on your AR-15 to make them more flexible to equip. Bottom Line: We prefer a flat-top receiver with a rail for most uses, especially for hunting. You can always buy a sling to carry it. Best AR-15 Optics: EOTech Holographic Sights Holographic sights are used primarily in close-quarters combat. They are used primarily by military personnel and law enforcement agencies. They have also gained an incredible amount of popularity over the last few years as a close-quarters sight for anyone that likes to hunt varmints at a closer range. The biggest advantage a Holographic sight has over a red dot scope is that the reticle is much bigger and the MOA is provided better range precision. The field of view is wider, but there is no magnification used in most holographic sights. You can purchase a magnifier that will allow the scope to function at a greater distance. If you plan to stick to close quarters hunting or training, an EOTech Holographic sight should be your first choice. Keep in mind that EOTech is really the only true maker of holographic sights on today’s market – most others are red dot scopes designed to look like holographic sights. Let’s look at our Top 3 EOTech picks. 1. EOTech "512 Tactical Sight" Product EOTECH 512 Holographic Sight EOTECH 512.A65 - Holographic Sight in Black with 68 MOA ring & 1... Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails Adjustable Brightness - The 512 has 20 brightness settings for... Water Resistant - The 512 is water resistant to 10 feet (3m) EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited... Details EOTECH 512.A65 - Holographic Sight in Black with 68 MOA ring & 1... Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails Adjustable Brightness - The 512 has 20 brightness settings for... Water Resistant - The 512 is water resistant to 10 feet (3m) EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited... What we like: Manufactured in the USA. What we don’t: Nothing except the price tag. Who it’s for: Intermediate to Advanced Shooters, Hunters, Law Enforcement/Military. The EOTech 512 has pretty much set the standard for Holographic sights. If you can afford it, you won’t get a better holographic sight for the money. EOTech is made in the USA, which we prefer as we want to support American made companies. Equipped with unlimited eye relief, you can get as close as you need to this AR-15 scope without worrying about any eye gashes from the recoil. We still wouldn’t recommend putting your face right up next to it, but you get the point: EOTech gives you some flexibility. The field of view is 30 yards at 100 yards at 4 inches of eye relief. This is more than enough to allow you comfort while hunting varmints at close range, or while training for any type of urban survival scenario. There are 20 different brightness settings, allowing you to pick whatever is most comfortable for whatever your application is. The 512 boosts accuracy and improves target acquisition at a much quicker rate than standard conventional iron sights. The 512 is EOTech’s most popular model for a reason: it’s the battle-tested and clear-cut #1 choice for anyone that can afford the cost. 2. EOTech XPS2-0 Product EOTECH XPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight EOTECH XPS2-0 - "Holographic Weapon Sight" in black with 68MOA ring... Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails Adjustable Brightness - The XPS2 has 20 brightness settings for... Compact Design - Leaves more rail space for rear iron sights or... EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited... Details EOTECH XPS2-0 - Holographic Weapon Sight in black with 68MOA ring... Mount - Compatible with both 1" Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails Adjustable Brightness - The XPS2 has 20 brightness settings for... Compact Design - Leaves more rail space for rear iron sights or... EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited... What we like: Manufactured in the USA, small size leaves roomfor more mods. What we don’t: the price tag. Who it’s for: Intermediate to Advanced Shooters, Hunters, Law Enforcement/Military. The XPS2-0 is basically the same as the 512 and has the same features, but it is square and takes up far less rail space. This allows you to co-witness easily with iron sights. The XPS sits lower than the traditional 512 and weighs less as well. This makes your AR-15 more compact than when you run a traditional 512. The battery compartment is also more reliable and easier to access. The battery position is resistant to recoil impact due to its location, making it slightly less prone to damage. With the reduction of real estate, it occupies the rail of the rifle, allowing more flexibility if you choose to buy a magnifier that will extend the range of the holographic sight. The 512 also has AA batteries, making it slightly more compatible in a survival situation where you may not be able to find less compatible batteries. When debating the XPS versus the 512, you need to decide which is more important: size and technology, or reliability and stability. 3. EOTech HHS I with Magnifier Product EOTECH HHS I Holographic Hybrid Sight EOTECH HHS I - "Holographic Hybrid Sight" includes EXPS3-4 sight... Quick Transitions - Change quickly from close quarter to medium... Night Vision Campatible - Works with all Gen 1-3 night vision... Side Button Operations - Compact design and side button operation... EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited... Details EOTECH HHS I - Holographic Hybrid Sight includes EXPS3-4 sight... Quick Transitions - Change quickly from close quarter to medium... "Night Vision Campatible" - Works with all Gen 1-3 night vision... "Side Button Operation" s - Compact design and side button operation... EOTECH HWS Prestige Warranty - Comes with 10 year limited... What we like: Manufactured in the USA,Convenient all-in-one package with magnifier. What we don’t: Price tag; power on magnifier is fixed, not adjustable. Who it’s for: Intermediate to Advanced Shooters, Hunters, Law Enforcement/Military. We like the HHS I (Holographic Hybrid Sight) with the 3x magnifier due to the fact that it takes the guesswork out of buying a magnifier for you. No research needed, just pick the two of these together and run your rig. The reticle is specific to .223 caliber munitions, making it the perfect pair to an AR-15 for anything from close to mid-range. The shortened base of the HHS also provides more rail room and is night vision compatible, making it a powerful package. The HHS allows for a true “two eyes open” shooting experience while getting the 3x magnification of a shorter range scope. The base is 7mm raised, which means that you can still have room for iron sights, even with the magnifier package installed. Battery life is 600+ hours on the middle-range settings, making it one of the top of its class in battery life. The most interesting part of this AR-15 scope is that the magnifier “flips” to the side, making the holographic sight a great stand-alone application for close-quarters hunting or tactical training. Best AR-15 Optics: Red Dot Sights Have you decided you want a red dot scope? Navigating this maze is difficult, but there are a few stalwarts out there that stand out even when new technology is released. Red dot optics are completely different than EOTechs, which are holographic sights . If you are looking for a holographic sight, then EOTech should be your choice. However, there are a few “red dot” optics that are definitely worth a look if you don’t have the budget for an EOTech, or if you have the budget for a top-end red-dot optic like the Aimpoint Pro. The choices below are some of our favorites in the red dot category, and it’s hard to go wrong with any of them. 1. Aimpoint PRO Rifle Optic Product Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer... Designed to deliver premium performance under harsh conditions 2 MOA dot with 4 Night and 6 Daylight brightness settings Up to 3 years of continuous operation using one DL1/3N battery... Front and rear flip-up lens covers included; In-service and... Details Designed to deliver premium performance under harsh conditions 2 MOA dot with 4 Night and 6 Daylight brightness settings Up to 3 years of continuous operation using one DL1/3N battery... Front and rear flip-up lens covers included; In-service and... What we like: Reliability, reputation, ease of install on various firearms. What we don’t: Price. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced . All around excellent Red Dot scope. Aimpoint’s PRO is the most expensive AR-15 sight here, and there’s a reason for that. It’s a fully mil-spec scope, designed for military versions of the AR-15 platform, and it’s outstandingly high quality. The price might seem high for a non-magnifying red dot sight, but if you’re planning on snap shooting at close range and want a scope that’s as close to indestructible as you can get, this is the one. At only 4.5 inches long and weighing 11.6 ounces complete with mount, this is an extremely compact device. It’s also as rugged as it gets, with a high-grade aluminum body anodized in black or coyote. It comes with a mount, which has a removable spacer; use the spacer to get co-witness with the iron sights on a flat-top AR, or remove it for a lower profile on weapons that don’t have a straight-line stock. The mount itself is rock solid and has a large knurled knob for quick release. This sight has soaked up a lot of combat experience, which can be seen in the clear rear cap. If you need to take a shot and don’t have time to flip up the built-in caps, you can still see the red dot through the rear one; with both eyes open, your brain will superimpose the dot on the target and you can still get the shot accurately. If you’re predator or varmint hunting in dense cover, that’s quite a handy feature. Optically, this AR-15 sight is very bright despite its 26mm objective; the lenses are high-quality and very well coated. The reticle is a 2 MOA red dot with ten brightness levels; four are night vision-compatible. You can also mount either an Aimpoint 3x magnifier or a night vision module in front of the scope to extend its capabilities. Aimpoint has opted for an always-on illuminator, but that isn’t a problem with a three-year battery life, and it means the dot is always lit when you need it. The battery cover and adjustment caps all have retaining lanyards to prevent loss. The attention to detail is just incredible. It might have a high price tag, but the Aimpoint PRO is excellent value for the money. 2. Vortex Optics StrikeFire Product Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight - 4 MOA Bright Red... The Strikefire II Bright Red Dot is a rugged, reliable red dot... Fully multi-coated lenses provide a clean and bright, unobscured... The single-piece chasis is compact and lightweight but still... An offset cantilever mount is provided; allowing you to move the... With aesthetics and functionality in mind, the power controls are... Details The Strikefire II Bright Red Dot is a rugged, reliable red dot... Fully multi-coated lenses provide a clean and bright, unobscured... The single-piece chasis is compact and lightweight but still... An offset cantilever mount is provided; allowing you to move the... With aesthetics and functionality in mind, the power controls are... What we like: Vortex reputation, price, features. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas. Who it’s for: Beginners through Advanced: Quality Red Dot scope for shooters on a budget. Another tactical-style AR-15 scope, this one is even more compact than the Bushnell; it’s 5.6 inches long and weighs just 7.2 ounces. It’s also a non-magnifying sight and it’s heavily optimized for close-range shooting. The cantilever mount lets you co-witness the iron sights on a flat-top AR-15, and it’s also compatible with night vision equipment. Eye relief is non-critical, as this is a very easy scope to use with both eyes open. It’s ideal for dealing with fast-moving critters at shorter distances. The StrikeFire II has a 30mm tube, so if you want, you can change the cantilever mount for another single-ring one. It’s well-sealed and waterproof and feels very sturdy for such a light unit. With no magnification and a 30mm objective lens, you’d expect the StrikeFire II to give a good, bright image, and it doesn’t disappoint at all. The aiming mark is a simple red or green dot that has ten brightness settings. The dot itself has a 4 MOA diameter, so this isn’t your first choice for long-range paper punching, but it’s perfect for the sort of snap shooting the sight was designed for. Adjustment is through clicky turrets with half-MOA increments. A nice feature is a 12-hour auto shutdown on the illuminator, so if you forget to turn it off when you’re finished hunting, it won’t kill the battery. The Vortex StrikeFire isn’t at all expensive for a tactical scope, and it really is impressively small. It also comes with a quality mount and built-in flip caps, so it works out to be a great value AR-15 sight. 3. Bushnell TRS-25 Product Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x25mm,... Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness... Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside,... Shockproof construction: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops... Nitrogen purged fog proofing: Nitrogen inside the scope ensures... Details Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness... Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside,... Shockproof construction: Built to withstand bumps, bangs, drops... Nitrogen purged fog proofing: Nitrogen inside the scope ensures... What we like: Cost, Reliability, Popularity, & Testimonials. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas. Who it’s for: Beginner to Intermediate shooters/hunters. The Bushnell TRS-25 is the original budget red dot scope. It’s the perfect short-range red dot scope for a beginner on a budget and is one of the most widely purchased beginner optics for an AR-15. This is one of the best AR-15 scopes if you are just starting out and are looking for something basic. One of the reasons we love the TRS-25 is that it doubles as a red dot scope for other firearms you may use. You can easily toss it on a shotgun if you plan to do some small game hunting on the weekend at a closer range. Some shooters even choose to mount the TRS-25 on their handguns to get a better aim for competition shooting. This is one of those few areas where “you get what you pay for” actually goes the extra mile. If you are just starting out, or even if you are an intermediate shooter on a budget, the TRS-25 has several features that are useful for a budget-friendly option. One of the main benefits is that the scope can be used with both eyes open and the eye relief is unlimited. It operates about as close to a EOTech as you are going to get without the hefty price tag. It mounts up to any Weaver-style rail or Picatinny rail. The TRS is 100% waterproof/shockproof/fog proof, making it a durable optic. Bushnell may not be on the same quality level as Trijicon or Leupold, but this is a solid red dot unit for a fraction of the cost of some of the more expensive models. 4. "Sightmark Ultra Shot" Product Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight, Black Cast magnesium alloy housing with protective shield IP68 Waterproof rating - submersible to 40ft Low power consumption Digital switch controls Variable reticle brightness with night vision modes Details Cast magnesium alloy housing with protective shield IP68 Waterproof rating - submersible to 40ft Low power consumption Digital switch controls Variable reticle brightness with night vision modes What we like: Cost, Quick detach weaver mount, parallax corrected lens. What we don’t: Made Overseas. Who it’s for: Beginners through Advanced: good for shooters in every category. The Sightmark is a “middle of the road” AR-15 scope when it comes to quality. It has a few things going for it, like the fact that the battery life is good and it’s waterproof up to 40 feet. Like the EOTech 512, it has unlimited eye relief, making it the perfect application for an AR-15 in close quarters. It has a digital switch control with 12 total settings. Half the settings are for use during the day, the other half for when there is minimal light. The shock-proof frame will withstand recoil from up to .50 caliber rifles, making it extremely durable. The Sightmark sight is a great option if you are looking for a “jack of all trades” budget holographic sight. It can be used for competition, hunting, and tactical needs. While we still prefer the bells, whistles, quality, and manufacturing base of the USA for the EOTech 512, the Sightmark Ultra Shot is a great value holographic sight for the money if you are on a tighter budget when buying an AR-15 sight. 5. Bushnell AR-15 Optics MP Product Bushnell Tactical Elite 1x32 Red/Green T-Dot Riflescope 1 x Megapixel Red/Green t-dot 5 brightness settings Multi coated Optics Integrated mount Tactical riflescope with 1x power and 32mm objective lens Details 1 x Megapixel Red/Green t-dot 5 brightness settings Multi coated Optics Integrated mount Tactical riflescope with 1x power and 32mm objective lens What we like: Cost, reticle color options, integrated mount. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas. Who it’s for: Beginners through Advanced: great Red Dot on a budget. This is much more of a tactical style sight and it’s very different from a conventional hunting scope. It’s a non-magnifying 1×32 unit designed for rapid target acquisition at closer ranges. If you want to do some varmint control around a farm or in the woods, this is basically made for the job. Bushnell has packed the sight into a cast aluminum body that’s just 6.75 inches long and weighs 15.6 ounces, complete with integrated Weaver rail mount. It’s nitrogen-filled, fully sealed, and shockproof; in fact, it’s amazingly rugged. Emergency battle sights are cast into the top of the body. These AR-15 sights are a military feature designed for use if the scope breaks—they first appeared on the British Army’s SUSAT Trilux sight—but they’re also handy for snapshots at close range. The scope itself is amazingly bright—the 32mm lens pulls in all the light the non-magnifying lenses can use—and gives a clear, distortion-free picture. Aiming is done through a T-bar reticle with a central dot. You have a choice of red or green illumination, and the dot itself can be adjusted from one to ten MOA. That lets you choose between pinpoint longer-range accuracy and a bold dot for rapid aim closer in. If you want a very compact AR-15 scope for close to mid-range shots, this is a very good choice. The cost along with its features make this a great value for any shooter looking to improve their accuracy. Best AR-15 Optics: Short Range If you are on a budget and need to look at optics on the cheaper side, don’t be afraid to give the top picks made by Burris or Nikon a try. These are decent AR-15 scopes, especially for beginners and intermediate-level shooters. If you are just starting out, you should focus on range time, iron sights, and a cheaper AR-15 scope. You shouldn’t be focused on spending all your hard-earned cash on an AR-15 optic unless you plan to grow into it. 1. Nikon P-223 3×32 Carbine Product Nikon P-223 3x32 M BDC Clamshell Fully Multicoated Optical System: Provides up to 98 percent light... 100-yard Parallax Setting: Eliminates parallax for precise... Generous, Consistent Eye Relief: Keeps your brow safe even with... Precise, 1/2" Hand-turn Tactical-Style Turrets: Positive click... Waterproof/Fogproof: Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed BDC Carbine Reticle-Developed specifically for the trajectory of... Details Fully "Multicoated Optical System" : Provides up to 98 percent light... 100-yard Parallax Setting: Eliminates parallax for precise... Generous, Consistent Eye Relief: Keeps your brow safe even with... Precise, 1/2" Hand-turn Tactical-Style Turrets: Positive click... Waterproof/Fogproof: Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed BDC Carbine Reticle-Developed specifically for the trajectory of... What we like: Price, Quality, Flexibility. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas, space on rail. Who it’s for: Beginners through Advanced. Great option for beginners on a budget. Nikon optics shouldn’t need any introduction; their quality is well known. That applies to its AR-15 scopes as much as to its camera gear, and the P-223 adds a generous dose of innovation as well. This series is designed specifically for AR-15 rifles, and Nikon has put a lot of work into creating a scope that’s both compact and highly effective. The P-223 Carbine has a conventional hunting scope layout, but manages to pack a 3×32 format into a unit that’s just 8.1 inches long and weighs 12.2 ounces. That makes it ideal for short, light AR-15s. You can add a very impressive optical capability without much impact on handling. The P-223 Carbine has very impressive build quality, as you’d expect from Nikon; the tube is waterproof, shockproof, and nitrogen-filled, while the optics are fully multicoated to give very good light transmission. The 32mm objective and low magnification produce a bright sight picture, too, although the 3x power is best for shots at under 300 yards. It does give a wide field of view, and the picture is distortion-free right out to the edges. Nikon equipped this AR-15 scope with a bullet drop compensating reticle calibrated to the .223 round; the main crosshair is set up for a 200-yard zero, with additional marks for 400 and 600 yards. The zeroing turrets are large and easy to use, with positive quarter-MOA clicks. If you’re looking for a solid, affordable, compact scope for mid-short range shooting, this is a solid budget pick. 2. "Vortex Optics Spitfire" 3x Product Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope - EBR-556B Reticle... The Spitfire 3x Prism Scope excels in close to medium range... Fully multi-coated lenses with anti-reflective coatings offer... The reticle is etched directly on the prism ensuring shooters... A multi-height mount system allows for 30mm and 40mm mounting... With shockproof construction, the Spitfire withstands recoil and... Sport Type: Hunting Details The Spitfire 3x Prism Scope excels in close to medium range... Fully multi-coated lenses with anti-reflective coatings offer... The reticle is etched directly on the prism ensuring shooters... A multi-height mount system allows for 30mm and 40mm mounting... With shockproof construction, the Spitfire withstands recoil and... Sport Type: Hunting What we like: Quality, Vortex brand, size. What we don’t: Price tag, battery life of only 250 hours at maximum brightness. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced; good for short distances with red dot features. You could argue that this should be in the red dot category, but this little AR-15 scope combines red-dot technology with short-range distance magnification. Designed for .223 rifles, this slightly larger tactical scope adds 3x magnification and some more reticle options; it still works competently at close range but can push out a lot further than the StrikeFire II. It’s also more expensive, but that reflects its quality and features. Vortex created the Spitfire with the AR-15 platform in mind, and they’ve done a great job of cramming stacks of performance into its small body. The scope is just 5.5 inches long and weighs 15.4 ounces. The secret to its performance is the optical design: instead of lenses, the magnification work is done by a prism, allowing for the same performance in a much shorter optical path. The reticle is etched directly onto the prism, so there’s no chance of breaking it without destroying the whole scope in the process. The reticle itself is the EBR-566 Enhanced Battle Reticle, with a partial aiming circle round the top of a vertical line. The upper part of the line is marked with aiming points for ranges out to 500 yards—a long shot at 3x magnification, but this aiming system should cope. There’s a choice of red or green illumination at five different brightness levels. Its 30mm objective lens gives the Spitfire a very clear, bright image and a wide field of view. Adjustment is by half-MOA increments through elevation and windage screws with protective caps. A fast-focus eyepiece lets you get the reticle nice and sharp. This is a very solid and highly capable compact hunting scope that operates out past the maximum responsible hunting range of a .223 AR-15. 3. Trijicon ACOG 4×32 Product Trijicon ACOG 4 X 32 Scope Dual Illuminated Chevron .223... BATTERY-FREE ILLUMINATION: Features a tritium/fiber optic... RUGGED ALUMINUM-ALLOY HOUSING: Forged 7075-T6... “BOTH EYES OPEN” DESIGN: The ACOG can be used as a CQB sight... COMBAT PROVEN: No other magnifed optic has been used more in... BULLET DROP COMPENSATING & RANGING RETICLES: The red Chevron... Details BATTERY-FREE ILLUMINATION: Features a tritium/fiber optic... RUGGED ALUMINUM-ALLOY HOUSING: Forged 7075-T6... “BOTH EYES OPEN” DESIGN: The ACOG can be used as a CQB sight... COMBAT PROVEN: No other magnifed optic has been used more in... BULLET DROP COMPENSATING & RANGING RETICLES: The red Chevron... What we like: Everything. This is the best short-range scope on the market. What we don’t: Price—your wallet will scream. Who it’s for: Advanced shooters—more value for beginners in practice with their rifle. ACOG stands for “ Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight .” Trijicon ACOG scopes are used by many military and law enforcement personnel for advanced tactical training. Make no mistake: this scope is for people whose lives may depend on their rifle at some point. If you want the best, you have to pay for it. Some people have a hard time justifying spending as much money on a scope as they probably did their rifle. But if you are the type of person that’s built their own AR-15 and spared no expense, the Trijicon ACOG 4×32 is worth it. The ACOG 4×32 operates battery-free and has a day/night illuminated Chevron. This acts the same way as a dot scope would, without worrying about the battery. The Fiber Optics provide daytime illumination, and a tritium phosphor lamp provides nighttime illumination. The scope is made of military-grade aluminum and is both waterproof and fog proof. The tritium lamp that provides nighttime illumination is warrantied for up to 15 years, and the Trijicon lifetime warranty is something only the best in the business provide. The Trijicon ACOG is a tactical combat AR-15 scope. It is meant for training at 400 yards and closer in. It’s not meant for long distances and again, if you are a beginner, save the money here and get a Nikon 3×32. If you are an advanced shooter and can afford the price tag, you probably already know what you are getting by picking one of these up. 4. Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 Product Trijicon VC16-C-1600009 VCOG 1-6x24 Riflescope Horseshoe... Red Horseshoe reticle matched with 55-grain .223 loads First focal plane allowing the ballistic reticle to be used at... 700 continuous hours of runtime at setting 4 or 6 with a lithium... Waterproof to 66 feet and it's illumination electronics are Mil... Full 90 MOA of windage and elevation adjustment available in 1/2... Details Red Horseshoe reticle matched with 55-grain .223 loads First focal plane allowing the ballistic reticle to be used at... 700 continuous hours of runtime at setting 4 or 6 with a lithium... Waterproof to 66 feet and it's illumination electronics are Mil... Full 90 MOA of windage and elevation adjustment available in 1/2... What we like: Trijicon brand, durability, warranty. What we don’t: Nothing but the price. Yikes! Who it’s for: Advanced Shooters. We’ve added the VCOG to our list (VCOG stands for Variable "Combat Optical Gunsight" ) because this is the yin to the ACOG’s yang. While the ACOG is best for short-to-medium open range distances, The VCOG is something that can “do it all.” The power ranges from a variable 1x to a 6x with a couple easy clicks, making it adaptable and more evolved. The VCOG comes with a hefty price tag but is well worth the cost for people that depend on their scope for advanced tactical purposes. While we have this scope in our “short-range” category, it can easily function as a medium-range scope if you are good with the smaller objective that the 24mm diameter offers. This scope is excellent for any type of tactical training and is used by many members of the military. Eye relief is at 4 inches, which is a little further out for some people, so that’s worth considering if you are looking for a scope without relief limitations. One of the biggest pros that this scope offers is the amount of abuse it can take without losing its zero. It’s designed to take a beating and stay true to the target even through intense conditions. If you are looking for what’s considered to be the best scope on the market today, the VCOG is your answer—if your wallet can handle the price tag. Keep in mind that this optic is probably a better fit for people that are more advanced in their firearms training. As we’ve emphasized before, training with your AR-15 and iron sights or a cheaper scope should be your first priority if you are a beginner. 5. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Product Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 Second Focal Plane... The Strike Eagle 1-6x24 is defined by speed and versatility.... High quality, fully multi-coated lenses deliver a clear, crisp... The illuminated, glass-etched BDC reticle features 11... The fast focus dial on the eyepiece ensures that your reticle is... Waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof ensures reliability in all... Details "The Strike Eagle" 1-6x24 is defined by speed and versatility.... High quality, fully multi-coated lenses deliver a clear, crisp... The illuminated, glass-etched BDC reticle features 11... The fast focus dial on the eyepiece ensures that your reticle is... Waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof ensures reliability in all... What we like: Quality, Vortex brand, size. What we don’t: Length leaves less room on rail for other mods. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced. Vortex Optics have made a name for tactical-style AR-15 scopes, but if you prefer a more traditional look with the same technology built in, the Strike Eagle looks like an attractive option. It’s still compact, too, and its zoom capability makes it great all around. Designed for the AR-15, it guarantees fast target acquisition at all ranges and pinpoint accuracy. The Strike Eagle wraps around a standard 30mm tube, machined from a single piece of aviation-grade aluminum. The tube is nitrogen-purged and fully sealed, so you shouldn’t be bothered by fogging; the lenses are fully multi-coated to minimize reflection and make the most of the light gathered by the 24mm objective. With the scope being tailored for the AR-15, Vortex has fitted it with a bullet drop-compensating reticle calibrated to .223 rounds. A three-post system surrounds a central illuminated aiming mark, which features a partial circle for snapshots and a vertical line graduated in 100-yard increments for easy holdover. The range lines go all the way out to 600 yards, and in good light, this scope will handle that very competently. The reticle itself is etched into the glass for durability; there’s no chance of it breaking under the stress of repeated recoil. As you’d expect, the weak point of the Strike Eagle is in low light conditions, but the zoom range helps compensate; drop the magnification to 3x or lower and you can keep shooting well into the twilight. Vortex has gone for traditional adjustment screws with protective caps, rather than turrets. This keeps the scope’s profile low, and the reticle means there’s no real need to dial in adjustments once you’ve zeroed. The focus ring is standard, mounted at the front of the eyepiece, and has a large stud for easy operation. Overall, this is a very high-quality scope that easily justifies its price. 6. Burris AR-332 (3×32) Product Burris 300217 Armalite Rifle Tactical Sight, Armalite Rifle... Red-green Ballistic Armalite Rifle reticle 10 LED Illumination settings Parallax free at 100 yds Details Red-green "Ballistic Armalite Rifle" reticle 10 LED Illumination settings Parallax free at 100 yds What we like: Price, Burris warranty. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced; labeled as the poor man’s ACOG. Another tactical AR-15 sight, the Burris AR-332 is a 3×32 format designed for military and law enforcement use, but it’s also great for close to mid-range hunting. This is a high-quality scope with a lot of useful features, and it deserves a close look if you want to put together a good all-round AR. It technically qualifies as another red dot scope, but we like it for short-distance due to its magnification power. The AR-332 is 5.3 inches long and weighs 14.2 ounces, including the 1913 rail mount. The body is sturdy and cast from aircraft-grade aluminum, with a tough anodized finish. The top and sides of the body are fitted with short 1913 rails, so you can fit lights, lasers, or even a CQB sight. Controls consist of two zeroing dials that work in half-MOA increments, and a large rotary knob to manage the illumination. The scope has a choice of red or green illumination, with five brightness settings for each. Burris has equipped the AR-332 with a BDC reticle, consisting of a large quick-acquisition ring surrounding a cross with central aiming dot. The lower arm of the cross is made up of holdover dots calibrated to the .223 round, out to 600 yards. The reticle is extremely easy to use and is highly visible in all conditions. This is a very competent tactical scope, rugged enough to last a lifetime and offering excellent performance in all conditions. A combination of a bright, clear image and well laid out reticle makes for accurate shooting to the AR-15’s full range, and it’s still light and compact enough to give you a manageable rifle. 7. Bushnell AR-15 "Optics Drop Zone" -223 Product Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope with Target... 30 millimeter tube dia Drop zone reticle; Field of view (feet at 100 yard) 90 feet at 1X... Fully multicoated optics Fast focus eyepiece Outstanding close quarters accuracy, with a drop zone 223 BDC... Drop zone 223 BDC ballistic reticle is calibrated for 55 to 62... Details 30 millimeter tube dia Drop zone reticle; Field of view (feet at 100 yard) 90 feet at 1X... Fully multicoated optics Fast focus eyepiece Outstanding close quarters accuracy, with a drop zone 223 BDC... Drop zone 223 BDC ballistic reticle is calibrated for 55 to 62... What we like: Cost, smaller size. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas. Who it’s for: Beginner to intermediate shooters. Another scope designed specifically for the AR-15, the compact, high-quality Bushnell adds the bare minimum of bulk to your weapon. It’s a tiny 1-4×24 unit, but its small size doesn’t get in the way of performance. This is no light bucket, but it can still be effectively used in low light conditions. Bushnell kept the Drop Zone-223 usable by going for relatively low magnification; even with the small lens, you can get a bright picture in moderate twilight at full power, and dropping the magnification to x3 will keep you shooting as long as there’s any daylight at all. Although it’s small—9.1 inches overall—the Bushnell is solidly built from aviation-grade aluminum, weighing in at a chunky 16.9 ounces. The tube is nitrogen-filled and well sealed against moisture and dirt, with a tough anodized finish. The BDC reticle is calibrated to .223 caliber, with a 100-yard zero and aiming marks every 100 yards out to 500. The zeroing turrets are target style, with 0.1-mil increments. A tenth of a mil is about 0.32 MOA, so it’s slightly less precise than the other scopes, but the difference is insignificant. This is a very neat little AR-15 scope that performs much better than its size suggests. If you want a compact hunting optic and you’re happy to lose some magnification in twilight conditions, this Bushnell will do a great job, especially for beginners with a small budget. 8. Bushnell AR-15 Optics FFP 1-4×24 Product Bushnell Optics, FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Riflescope with... Fully multi coated optics with 1 4 x magnification Illuminated first focal plane illuminated bar reticle with 11... 0.1 mil click adjustment; Length: inch /millimeter 9.4/240 Outstanding low light performance and accurate holdovers out to... BTR 1 illuminated First Focal Plane reticle provides outstanding... Exclusive Throw Down PCL (Power Change Lever) for quick power... Details Fully multi coated optics with 1 4 x magnification Illuminated first focal plane illuminated bar reticle with 11... 0.1 mil click adjustment; Length: inch /millimeter 9.4/240 Outstanding low light performance and accurate holdovers out to... BTR 1 illuminated "First Focal Plane" reticle provides outstanding... "Exclusive Throw Down" PCL ( "Power Change Lever" ) for quick power... What we like: Multiple illumination settings, PCL lever. What we don’t: Cost compared to the Drop Zone 223. Who it’s for: Beginners to intermediate shooters. One drawback of smaller AR-15 scopes is that the sight picture is less bright around dusk and dawn. That can become a problem: often you can see the target, but the reticle is hard to make out. To let you make those shots, Bushnell has produced an illuminated version of the 223 1-4×24. This is basically the same scope, but with a red illuminator added to the reticle. A very nice touch is Bushnell’s new illumination control system. There’s a throw-down lever mounted on top of the eyepiece that lets you change the reticle brightness very quickly. This is the perfect sight for anyone who prefers a small scope but wants to get every available scrap of twilight performance out of it. Best AR-15 Optics: Medium Range Medium range AR-15 optics are where we really start to differentiate the optics choices for a tactical rifle. It becomes more difficult to use them up close, especially with eye relief starting to come into play. If you are a beginner, you should be looking at the shorter range scopes or the red dots to start you off unless you know you will be hunting or using your rifle at a medium distance (think 200-400 yards out). These make a great pairing if you plan to run a dual scope setup where you swap out for longer distances. Most of the effective “one size fits all” type scopes for beginners are in the short-range category. The scopes below are all great for medium distance use and are extremely valuable if you plan to use your AR-15 hunting small game. 1. Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Product Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC) Compact riflescope with 3 to 9x magnification and 40mm objective... Fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of... Zero-reset turret with spring-loaded adjustment knob; 3.6 inches... Nitrogen-filled, O-ring-sealed housing for waterproof, fogproof... BDC reticle; quick-focus eyepiece; measures 12.4 inches Details Compact riflescope with 3 to 9x magnification and 40mm objective... Fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of... Zero-reset turret with spring-loaded adjustment knob; 3.6 inches... Nitrogen-filled, O-ring-sealed housing for waterproof, fogproof... BDC reticle; quick-focus eyepiece; measures 12.4 inches What we like: Cost, use for other rifles. What we don’t: Made overseas, more for medium-long range distance. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced. The Prostaff 3-9×40 is another great example of Nikon quality. This is a versatile hunting scope that won’t break the bank but gives you excellent optics and solid build quality. The Prostaff range is extensive and contains a wide variety of AR-15 scopes, but for hunting with an AR-15, the 3-9×40 zoom model is the perfect jack of all trades. Its 9x maximum zoom works past the limits of the rifle’s range, and the lens gives good light-gathering capability without too much of weight and bulk penalty. It’s also a rugged, simple scope with not much to go wrong. For a scope with these specifications, the Prostaff is pretty compact, at 12.3 inches long and 13.7 ounces. The optics are multicoated, and the tube is shockproof, waterproof, and nitrogen filled. Zeroing is through screws under protective caps; adjustment is in quarter-MOA increments and has a nice positive click. Zoom from 3x to 9x power is controlled by a ring in front of the eyepiece and is easy to operate. Inside you’ll find Nikon’s BDC reticle, with a series of range circles that allow you to quickly aim off for distance. The sight picture itself is clear and bright; in twilight conditions, you can easily use up to 5x magnification. This AR-15 scope is easily capable of handling shots out to the AR-15 platform’s full effective range and makes a great choice for hunters who want a usable zoom capability. 2. Bushnell AR-15 Optics 3-9×40 Product Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle Riflescope with... Rifle scope 3 9x40 millilitre Fully multi coated optics with 3 9 x magnification Compatitble with a wide variety of hunting rifles Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle is calibrated for 55-62... Side focus parallax adjustment for adjustable long-range accuracy... Target turrets (1/4 MOA click value) for pinpoint precise... Details Rifle scope 3 9x40 millilitre Fully multi coated optics with 3 9 x magnification Compatitble with a wide variety of hunting rifles Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle is calibrated for 55-62... Side focus parallax adjustment for adjustable long-range accuracy... Target turrets (1/4 MOA click value) for pinpoint precise... What we like: Price, Price, Price. What we don’t: Size & weight. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced. If you like the features of the little Bushnells, but want more magnification and light-gathering ability, this is the best AR-15 scope for you. It has the same rugged construction and quality optics, but nearly three times the objective lens area and a higher zoom range. On this sight, Bushnell has reverted to quarter-MOA clicks on the very precise turrets, and they’ve also added a parallax turret on the left of the tube. Combined with the rapid focus eyepiece and a nice smooth zoom ring, this all makes for an AR-15 scope you can set up quickly and easily – and it holds its zero once you’ve dialed it in. The larger lens gives you a much brighter picture in low light conditions than its little brother, and that makes the extra weight and bulk worthwhile: this scope is 12.2 inches long and weighs 21 ounces. It’s outstandingly solid and feels like it’s worth a lot more than most optics in this quality range. If you don’t mind running a 2 scope setup, with one for medium to longer distances and a red dot or holographic sight, then the Bushnell Drop Zone is a perfect pick. 3. UTG BugBuster 3-9×32 Product UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings BEWARE OF COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS SHIPPED DIRECTLY FROM CHINA Range Estimating Mil-dot Reticle for Optimal Aiming and Shooting... Red/Green Dual Illumination for Versatile Applications, Large... Complete with 2" Sunshade, High Quality Flip-open Lens Caps and... Built on True Strength Platform, Completely Sealed and Nitrogen... 1 Inch Tube with Emerald Coating for Maximum Light Transmission,... Details BEWARE OF COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS SHIPPED DIRECTLY FROM CHINA Range Estimating Mil-dot Reticle for Optimal Aiming and Shooting... Red/ "Green Dual Illumination" for Versatile Applications, Large... Complete with 2" Sunshade, "High Quality Flip" -open Lens Caps and... Built on "True Strength Platform" , Completely Sealed and Nitrogen... 1 Inch Tube with Emerald Coating for "Maximum Light Transmission" ,... What we like: Cost, Cost, Cost. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas, quality is hit or miss. Who it’s for: Beginner to intermediate shooters, or people on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a budget scope that’s still packed with features, the UTG BugBuster is an excellent choice. It is compact and has all the capability you need to turn your AR-15 into an excellent hunting or tactical rifle if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. The Bug Buster has a rough, sealed tube that’s filled with nitrogen to eliminate internal fogging. The objective lens is emerald coated to maximize light transmission, and the sight picture is amazingly good for this price—there’s hardly any distortion around the edges, and the Mil-Dot reticle is a great tool for both aiming off and judging distance. At higher magnifications, the brightness did begin to fade, but that’s inevitable in a scope this size. At 4x magnification, it’s perfectly adequate for shooting around dusk and dawn, and as light levels increase you can crank the zoom up, too. The zoom ring has a large stud for easy use, and the settings are clearly marked on the tube. Zeroing is via large turrets with a similar zero-reset system to the Nikon’s. There’s also a third turret on the left of the scope which controls the illumination. You can select either red or green illumination for the reticle, which gives an outstanding sight picture in low light or against a dark target. Finally, the BugBuster comes with a useful selection of accessories, including quick detachable mounts, a sunshade, and flip-up caps. This all adds up to an excellent value package. Quality may not always be spot on, but for the price, it’s easy to replace if you encounter a defect 6 months down the road. While this wouldn’t be our pick for major tactical operations, it serves the purpose of short-medium range hunting on a budget very well. 4. UTG Compact 3-12×44 Product UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings 30-millimeter SWAT 3-12X44 IE tactical range estimating scope... 30-Millimeter tube built on True Strength Platform: sealed and... Best in class multi emerald coated lenses; integrated angled... Special circuit and housing design for uninterrupted illumination... Premium zero locking and zero resetting target turrets with most... Details 30-millimeter SWAT 3-12X44 IE tactical range estimating scope... 30-Millimeter tube built on True Strength Platform: sealed and... Best in class multi emerald coated lenses; integrated angled... Special circuit and housing design for uninterrupted illumination... Premium zero locking and zero resetting target turrets with most... What we like: Cost. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas, quality is a hit or miss. Who it’s for: Beginners to intermediate shooters, or people on a tight budget. Offering higher magnification and better light-gathering ability than the BugBuster, with the same extensive range of features, this scope is perfect if you hunt a lot around dawn and dusk. It is a bit larger, at 14 inches long and 25.6 ounces, but the extra performance is worth it. The Compact’s 30mm tube is built on its True Strength platform to ensure it can take a few knocks without losing zero. It’s also nitrogen-purged and rainproof. Inside are emerald-coated lenses and the same Mil-Dot reticle as the BugBuster, but with a more advanced, 36-color illumination system. This is controlled by the EZ-Tap interface, which consists of two buttons under a cover that is mounted on top of the eyepiece. It also has a memory function; you can adjust it to exactly what you need for a tricky shot, then restore the last setting used with a single click. As you’d expect from its larger lens, the image is brighter than the Bug Buster, and its quality is just as good. Its zero is controlled by turrets with zero-reset and quarter-MOA clicks, while a third turret on the left allows for easy parallax adjustment. The zoom is controlled by an easily operated and clearly marked ring. This AR-15 scope has an integral sunshade above the objective lens; it’s supplied with quick detach mounts and flip-up caps. Overall, it’s very hard to beat on value, giving you great performance in a quality package. Best AR-15 Optics: Long Range Long-range optics are for long-range hunting/shooting. These are great scopes to pair with a shorter range option when running a dual scope setup with your rifle. Overall, the selection is a little bit more limited because most people keep to the medium range with an AR-15 and save the long-range hunting for other rifles. With that being said, any of the three AR-15 scopes below can turn your rifle into a longer range varmint hunting tactical beast. Let’s dive in. 1. Nikon P-223 BDC 600 4-12×40 Product Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600 Generous, Consistent Eye Relief-Keeps your brow safe—even with... BDC 600 Reticle-Developed specifically for the trajectory of the... Precise, 1/4-MOA Hand-turn Tactical-Style, Zero-Reset... 100-yard Parallax Setting-Eliminates parallax for precise... Waterproof/Fogproof-Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed Details Generous, Consistent Eye Relief-Keeps your brow safe—even with... BDC 600 Reticle-Developed specifically for the trajectory of the... Precise, 1/4-MOA Hand-turn Tactical-Style, Zero-Reset... 100-yard Parallax Setting-Eliminates parallax for precise... Waterproof/Fogproof-Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed What we like: Precision up to 600 yards, tried and tested. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced, or anyone looking for a budget distance scope. If you prefer higher magnification than the Prostaff offers, consider this larger P-223 sight. At 14.1 inches overall and weighing 17.5 ounces, this AR-15 scope’s extra size and weight bring a lot of additional capability with it. This scope has a rugged, waterproof, nitrogen-purged tube and O-ring seals, and the lenses have the same multi-layer coating. The reticle uses the BDC pattern, with a series of rings and hash marks below the central crosshairs to allow easy aiming off. As it’s in the P-233 series, these marks are calibrated to the trajectory of a .223 round, which makes things even easier. Like the other Nikon BDC scopes, it’s compatible with their Spot On app, which lets you enter your bullet weight and muzzle velocity to get a customized aim point/range table. Optically, the BDC 600 is more than adequate. The sight picture is free from distortion, and while the brightness fades slightly at higher magnifications, anything up to 5x is still perfect for twilight hunting. The zoom is controlled by the usual ring in front of the eyepiece, and a large stud makes it easy to rotate even with gloves on. You zero the weapon with large clicky turrets that feature Nikon’s Zero-Reset system; you can adjust the point of aim for a tricky shot, then simply lift the spring-loaded caps to quickly return to your normal zero. Overall, this very capable AR-15 scope lets you fully exploit your AR’s range. 2. Bushnell AR-15 Optics 4.5-18×40 Product Bushnell AR Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle Riflescope with... Quality optics with stunning HD clarity. Rain guard HD: No 100 % quality materials used and tested extensively Beautiful design and durability built to last Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle is calibrated for 55-62... Side focus parallax adjustment for adjustable long-range accuracy... Target turrets (1/4 MOA click value) for pinpoint precise... Details Quality optics with stunning HD clarity. Rain guard HD: No 100 % quality materials used and tested extensively Beautiful design and durability built to last Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle is calibrated for 55-62... Side focus parallax adjustment for adjustable long-range accuracy... Target turrets (1/4 MOA click value) for pinpoint precise... What we like: Variable power clear up to 12-18 range. What we don’t: Manufactured overseas. Who it’s for: Beginners through advanced, or anyone looking for a budget distance scope. Want more magnification? This scope has exactly the same construction and features as Bushnell’s 3-9×40, but extends the zoom upwards to 4.5×18. It’s aimed at hunters who make the most of their shots at longer range, where the high maximum power lets you place your bullets with extreme precision if you have a stable enough fire position. Inevitably there’s a price to pay for its light-gathering power; anything above about 8x magnification is for full daylight only, as the 40mm objective lens will struggle in lower light conditions. At low power, it’s just as bright as the 3-9×40 though, so you can keep shooting as the light fades—you just won’t be able to use the full zoom range. It’s a more expensive optic, but if you do most of your hunting over open ground, this AR-15 scope makes a lot of sense. 3. "Carl Zeiss Optical" HD5 5-25×50 Product Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 5-25x50 Rapid-Z Varmint... German made HD lens system and T coatings for enhanced image quality Rapid-Z Varmint ballistic reticle provides numbered holdover... Sleek, compact tube design compared to other 25x scopes New 5-Year No Fault Policy + Limited Lifetime Warranty Details German made HD lens system and T coatings for enhanced image quality Rapid-Z Varmint ballistic reticle provides numbered holdover... Sleek, compact tube design compared to other 25x scopes New 5-Year No Fault Policy + "Limited Lifetime Warranty" What we like: Zeiss quality, warranty. What we don’t: Cost. Who it’s for: Intermediate to advanced. Here’s where the old saying “go big or go home” comes into play. There are plenty of people that will say a 50mm objective is too big for an AR-15. Then there are plenty of people that will tell you that the 50mm objective allows the perfect amount of light in to see hogs at dusk during hog season. It’ll be up to you to figure out which camp you fall into. The bottom line is this: the HD5 can be used on multiple rifles and has multiple applications at longer distances. The HD5 is much slimmer than the other best AR-15 scopes, with a 25x maximum power and 50mm objective lens. Again, the name of the game is pairing. You won’t use this scope at close quarters, ever. But if you have a decent red dot scope already in your arsenal, Carl Zeiss scopes are some of the absolute best scopes in the business. The HD5 is the perfect pairing for long-distance coyote or any other varmint hunting expedition. Best AR-15 Scopes: Parting Shots We’ve said it on more than one occasion in this article: beginners need to focus on practice, practice, practice. If you just picked up your first AR-15 and feel the need to pair it with the best AR-15 scope on the market, you are shorting yourself that money to where it matters most: ammunition and range fees to practice with your rifle. Stick to the budget scopes in the $200-$400 range and then spend your money where it counts. If you are an intermediate to advanced shooter and know your way around an AR-15, you’ll have free-range of the AR-15 optics that best suit your needs, and you should feel confident spending money where you feel the quality is. Chances are, if you are someone shooting at competitions, you already have your best AR-15 scopes picked out. If you’ve stumbled upon this article and feel we are missing something good for our readers, please feel free to drop us a line and let us know! This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

Summary

Finding the best tactical belts can be a tough task or an easy one, depending on your familiarity with the product. In either case, it’s important that you find one for the purpose of EDC use or when you are using it for certain occupations like law enforcement or military. It may take a bit of time and a little bit of detective work before you find the best tactical belt that will fit your personal needs and preferences.