Scope magnification for a "battle rifle"

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by Branth, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Branth

    Branth Member

    Just looking for everyone's thoughts on scope options for a "battle rifle" or DMR type build - Something heavy-hitting that is supposed to pridge the gap between close-in AR-15 stuff with red-dots and long-ranged scoped bolt-actions. Something really fast, but that you can use to get a bit more range when you want to.

    I've never used a 1-4X scope, but they keep popping up whenever I look around for options. There's also 2-7X and the ubiquitous 3-9X.

    I'm thinking the 3-9X would be harder to line up in a terrible hurry, with the 1-4X being the fastest, and the 2-7X hopefully being somewhere in between. Does anyone have experience with these different types of scopes who can give me some tips?
  2. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    I hate the term "battle rifle" and traditionally, battle rifles weren't scoped at all.
    Scopes are relatively new to the general issue rifle of most militaries.

    They go low magnification because you don't want to lose the peripheral vision, and you want it to be easy to find targets, that's more important than choosing which button on the shirt to hit.

    Most military rifles can put bullets on man sized targets at 600 meters using iron sights. So really, the scope isn't necessary for shooting. It's more about target identification. If you can look closer at the brush 600 meters out, you can find the target easier than with the naked eye.

    But you don't want to be locked into a small field of view, so, lower magnification is still a good thing.

    Some people say you want 4 power for every 100 yards, as an optimum. So, at 200, you'd want 8 power. But the Marines used 10 power fixed scopes to shoot 1000 meters for years.

    So, that 3-9 X 40 or 50 is pretty ok for most uses.

    Personally I like lower power for plinking or hunting. The 3-9 is fine for that, leave it at 3 unless you want to really check out something in the distance. On one carbine I have a 1.5-5X20 scope, it's great on a PCC unit.

    For targets, I want lots of magnification, like 16X or more. You can easily see .22 holes at 100 yards.

    So....yes. A 3-9X whatever should be adequate for a full power rifle. A 2-7 might be, but they generally have a smaller lens, reducing light gathering/transmission, and making them less useful early and late in the day.

  3. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    If you truly want a "battle" rifle set up go with the 1x. What ajole said. It's all about field of view.

    My " beanfield" rifle, which is more of a target setup meant for deer hunting wears a 4x16.
  4. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    I've thought long and hard about this too.
    My 100 year old eyes (truth!) need a bit more, but not as much as that implies.
    I think an all around AR calls for the scope that works for your style of shooting,
    but the battle rifle component calls for the red dot and/or 45* BUIS. I'm thinking
    a true CQB rifle would have the red dot, swing out magnification and the 45* BUIS.
  5. ArmyScout

    ArmyScout Supporting Member

    I agree with ajole, 3-9x40 is a good all around rifle scope. When you are talking fast target recognition, a scope it not the best thing.
  6. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Eye relief starts getting in the way of fast target acquisition.... Scout scope a little better for this kinda application?

    USMC_VET Supporting Member

    a good quality Red dot with a 50mm objective lens such as a Trijjicon as the wider field of view plus being able to view using both eyes open is a must when trying to acquire targets quickly . plus using a 45 deg BUIS helps alot as you can quickly go from red dot to irons
  8. Branth

    Branth Member

    Maybe DMR would be a better description. I just want something with significantly more range than an unmagnified 5.56, but without sacrificing TOO much up close.
  9. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Might have something to do with the fact that reliable scopes are only about 100 years old and up until very recently they were expensive and/or delicate, too expensive/delicate for mass issue to a million-man army. Particularly so when the average recruit could be expected to reliably make hits on man sized targets out to 300 yards, and "Sharpshooter" status out to 600 yards, with standard iron sights.

    Scopes were for old farts like me with failing eyesight or for snipers who might be expected to make much smaller shots at those, or greater, distances..

    Peace favor your sword,
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  10. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I have a friend who is one of those people who thinks that he needs to have the best of the best of everything so he drops ridiculous amounts of money on sh*t he only wants so he'll look cool.

    Having said that, I was at the range with him the other day and he broke out his AR with a 4x32 ACOG/RMR combo from Trijicon. Absolutely beautiful set up, and I thoroughly enjoyed shooting that rifle. I'm fairly sure you're not interested in dropping $2500 on a scope though.
  11. 45Man

    45Man Member

    One of the nicest "battle rifles" I ever tried was an original Steyr Aug with 1.5x factory scope. Easy to hit man-size targets at 200 yds. The owner was letting everyone at the range try it, he was so impressed with it. Even 20 years ago it was far better than an AR, but at 3X the price.

    If you're ltrying to find an AR scope to meet your requirements, take a look at the Nikon P223 3x32 with target turrets.
  12. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member


    Sonny-Boy got Top Shooter in Boot Camp, and I trust his judgement in shooting questions without fail. (Until he tells me I have enough ammo :D) That being said, he built himself what I would consider a DMR. Ruger SR556 with the MagPul PRS stock, w/monopod attachment, quadrail, AFG, and the topper, a 3.5x ACOG with markings to 800 yards. I tried this (unloaded) with both eyes open, and it was really sweeet! The rifle, although not broken in yet, patterned the same with he or my daughter shooting it. The ACOG is quite good! But it retails for ~$1500 new :( (he got a much better deal, where I have bought most of my gear, we know the owner pretty well)
    An Eotech may do nearly as well, but I would suggest trying everything in your price range first. Trijicon makes an econo line, I'm thinking $600 range???
  13. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    Could be. Jeff Cooper thought it was a great way to go.
  14. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    The boy was offering to pick me up one of those nice acogs at the px.... His price was around 6 or 7 hunnid.
  15. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member


    Sonny-Boy's ACOG had a great eye relief. It even worked for my 100-year old eyes! :eek:

    GLUGLUG Supporting Member

    I put a 3-9x50 on my 18" upper for longer ranges. Still reasonably fast at 3x for up close but I'm good with using both eyes open
  17. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I just need to convince Mason that he needs to buy his Dad one......
  18. Branth

    Branth Member

    ...! That's a steal of a deal! You and I should set up an ACOG-laundering business - We could make a killing! ;)
  19. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

  20. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Lol........ I could see me calling the boy and saying...."Yah, can you pick me up 37 of those?"....