If you were going to war, what scope or sight would you want on your rifle? I will list a few of my choices, along with my reasoning, for each scope.
My first choice for combat rifle optic is the Leupold HAMR with 7.5moa DeltaPoint on top.
It’s really hard for me to choose between the Leupold HAMR and the Trijicon TA11H ACOG…. but the HAMR is my top pick for Go to War Scope. The HAMR has better eye relief, is more compact, and built just as rugged as the ACOGs. I also think the HAMR has a bit better optical glass than ACOG, but that might just be me own opinion. I love the TA31 4×32 ACOGs, but the eye relief is only 1.5 inches. You pretty much have to mash your eye into the back of it to see through it clearly. The TA11 3.5×35 ACOGs have better eye relief at 2.3 inches, but you lose a bit of magnification and increase length by about 2.5 inches.
The Leupold HAMR is fixed 4x magnification, has 2.7 inches of eye relief, and is only 5.5 inches long. Adding the DeltaPoint on top gives you the close-quarter targeting speed you’ll need for typical combat engagements, but you have the 4x scope when longer range, precision is needed.
I love the HAMR reticle. It features an illuminated center dot with outer circle, calibrated bullet drop out to 1000 yards, and windage marks. I prefer the 7.5moa triangle on the DeltaPoint. It’s bigger and faster than the regular dot and easier to pick up.
Another great choice is the EOTech EXPS 3-4 w/G33 3x Magnifier. I have an EOTech on my patrol rifle issued by the Sheriff. An EOTech is an awesome, close-range, optics, but it needs a bit of magnification for use as an ‘all-purpose’ combat sight. Combined with the G33 magnifier, you EOTech can easily stretch your distance out to a few hundred yards. The magnifier flips to the side when out of use and can be completely removed with the quick-detach mount.
I don’t like the Aimpoint 3x Magnifier because of it’s twist mount. You’re constantly putting it on and taking it off. When you take it off the rifle, you need some place to put it where it won’t get lost and broken. Just seems like a hassle to me. I much prefer EOTech’s new G33 3x Magnifier. It offers the “Flip to Side” mount where you push a button and it flips off to the and out of the way. I think the Flip to Side mount is a much better design than Aimpoint’s Twist-Mount. The only drawback I see to the Flip to Side mount is then you have the 3x magnifier off to the side in an unusual position where I think it could get banged going through doors or other tight spots – as it’s hanging off the side of your rifle. Additionally, you have to move one of your hands off the rifle to flip it out of the way or move it back into position. With the HAMR, you just have to raise or lower your head about an inch and a half to use the desired sight.
Now, if money is no option and I can choose any optic to take into combat, it would be the Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8×24 scope.
People do not typically stand still and let you shoot them. Once the initial shots have been fired, anyone still alive has hit the ground and found some cover and/or concealment. It then turns into finding targets and fire and maneuver. Having some magnification significantly helps in finding targets. If some guy is peering around the edge of a wall 150 yards away, you might have a tough time spotting him with the naked eye. Zoom your magnification up a bit, and you’ll find him – and shoot him – without any problem. That’s why I love this Leupold 1.1-8x . It covers anything you’ll ever need. You have the 1x for close quarter battle, room clearing ,etc and can zoom all the way up to 8x for distance, or for picking off enemy hiding behind cover – when you can only see small parts of them.
The only downside to the Mark 8 is cost. At $3700, it’s a bit spendy – but when lives are on the line, having the capability of the Mark 8 could make a huge difference.
OK, let’s talk about a few optics that didn’t make my list.
* ACOG – I love ACOGs, but like I said above, I’ll take the Leupold HAMR over ACOG.
* Aimpoint – Aimpoint makes a great product, but I prefer EOTech’s holographic view rather than looking through the “tube” of the Aimpoint. Aimpoint’s main advantage is battery life. They have battery life up to 50,000 hours. I also like the EOTech reticle over Aimpoint’s simply red dot. Some people prefer the red dot, but I use the EOTech reticle for additional aiming points. When the center dot is zeroed, I use the bottom of the reticle circle for extreme, close-range (room clearing) shots to compensate for the offset between the sighting plane and muzzle on an AR15.
In closing, there are a lot of really great scopes and sights for tactical rifles. There are other “combat-grade” optics out there that I didn’t mention for the sake of brevity. This discussion could possibly be dragged on forever! I mention my picks here and tried to give my reasoning. Other people obviously will pick other optics and have other reasons. My point is to promote you’re own thinking on the subject as well as give you some lines of thought and reasoning to guide your decision if you’re shopping for a high end, combat grade, scope.