Crosshairs or Red Dots for MSRs?


Crosshairs or Red Dots for MSRs?

A healthy debate continues over the selection of an optical option for AR-type rifles. Really this does not have to be a debate. One type of scope is not really better than the other, it just depends on the purpose and use of the weapon. And I just throw out the “AR” rifle as a sort of generic reference to defensive type rifles, including ARs, AKs, FN-FALs, M1As, and any such rifle in this category.

Admittedly I was somewhat biased against red dot type sights as a hunter until I was hosted by Smith and Wesson and EOTech on an Oklahoma deer hunt a couple years ago. I really learned firsthand the value of an electronic type optical sight with the EOTechs. I guess I was a bit too old school with the use of traditional optical riflescopes.

Of course, in the final analysis there are proper places for the use of both types of scopes on all kinds of firearms, including AR-type rifles for hunting or defensive work. With the popularity of AR rifles these days (or MSRs, Modern Sporting Rifles, as we have been taught to be “PC” in calling them such) for hunting varmints and deer sized game, you will see plenty of these rifles with conventional scopes with 1-inch or 30mm tubes both fixed and variable power scopes. I use both on mine.

Typically we might think of the red dot (or green or amber in the case of a Trijicon) sight as a “combat” type sight relegated to short range work, but this is no longer the case. Many of these dot sights can be expected to provide ample optical accuracy out to hunting ranges of 200 yards or more. For survivalists and preppers they still apply to close quarters defensive work, too.

MSRs are very adaptable to traditional optical scopes. With the vast array of scope mounting options for these rifles, virtually any scope, even with huge objective lenses, can be mounted. Use care in their mounting position, noting access to charging handles and ejection issues. The nice part is with the Picatinny rails, mounted scopes can be easily moved back and forth to adjust to the user’s preferences.

Red dot opticals provide some new exciting options for MSR users, while the conventional scopes continue to offer quality target acquisition.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 645722069

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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