A question has come to mind lately about the various product offerings out in the firearm world… particularly red dot sights.
We are all on different budgets and have different shooting goals. My goal is to become a good mid range shooter. I purchased an ACOG. Finally.
However this blog’s goal is to discuss the AR15 as a rifleman’s weapon. You don’t need an ACOG to be a rifleman, you need an understanding of your rifle, ammunition, and fundamentals of marksmanship. Tied into all that is your choice of sighting system.
One trend that consumers have readily adopted are the assorted variables and red dot sights. Many companies offer these products in entry-level price points (a step above much of the cheaper chinese optical junk) and as a shooting community we have adopted them en mass. The large amount of competition in this market means there are products with very competitive price points.
These products tend to be at the $200-300 dollar sweet spot for new AR15 owners looking at their first upgrade.
My First Accessory ®
The low price and value standpoint really grab a new shooter’s attention. Depending on which forum you visit, you will see others encourage the “good enough” low price point stuff where in other forums you will get INTERNET YELLED AT to save your money for optic X, Y, or Z. Yes, ultimately you should buy quality… buy once cry once… but we all know that there are some things that are tough as hell yet don’t cost much to manufacture. Kalashnikov anyone? British Sten? 20 Dollar LED wristwatches that last for decades?! Ultimately there is a point where tech and design reach their peak.
So I got to thinking about those red dots. We have had LED’s for decades. Electronics in general are smaller and more durable. The generic red dot sight design has been perfected now for *many* years. The question is, have we crossed a technology threshold where the simple red dot can be designed with a minimum standard of quality and not-self destruct on top of our hard use AR15’s?
The AK of Red Dots, Are You Out There?
So for a new shooter, I want to recommend items that will help ease their transition from casual or hobby shooter to a more serious shooter. There are certainly red dots and variables that will carry a new shooter through this phase and still be reliable and durable as they start getting more serious about shooting. The key here is to navigate the crap entry level optics from the durable ones. Where is the AK of red dots?
I am focusing this discussion on red dots because they are simple machines. Two adjustments (elevation, windage) and a mounting screw. Battery. Certainly some of these simple machines are durable enough to hold our confidence even if SHTF without spending $500 smackers on a T1? Maybe?
I am embarking on a review series to test middle of the road red dot sights. I am looking for the “Everyman’s optic” if there ever were such a thing. If we are to be a nation of riflemen, we need to be able to encourage people to get gear that will suit their budget and skill level while having some cash left over for the important things… ammo and practice. That will ultimately make a shooter a rifleman faster than a fancy piece of gear.
You brought your backup iron sights right?
You know… Just in case. 🙂
Look for some reviews soon.