Adjustable objective scopes can be somewhat confusing, but they really don’t have to be. Many shooters don’t fully understand them, but in this article, we will explain these scopes for you.
When a scope has an adjustable objective, it simply means that it has an adjustable parallax. Parallax can be confusing as well. Essentially, parallax becomes a problem when shooting at longer distances. If your eye, the reticle, and the target aren’t lined up, it will appear that the reticle is somewhere that it actually isn’t.
Many scopes come with a set distance at which there will be no parallax. Essentially, the lenses of the scope are lined up in a way that the reticle will be perfect at that distance. Adjustable objective scopes allow you to change this distance.
In order to effectively use an adjustable objective scope, you must know the distance that you’re shooting at. You’ll need a rangefinder or a known distance target to do this. However, once you’ve zeroed the scope in and identified the distance, you’ll be able to adjust the rifle to a point where it should be parallax free at the specified distance. Once the scope is parallax free, it doesn’t really matter where your head is placed. It eliminates the need for your eye to be perfectly lined up with the scope.
For precision shooting, this is a huge positive. Military snipers adjust the parallax of their scopes because it’s essential to have a precisely placed shot. However, for hunters, this usually isn’t a huge problem, because extremely precise shot placement isn’t necessary.
The biggest pros of an adjustable objective scope are that it allows you to be much more accurate, and it will make shooting at longer distances easier. On scopes with a higher magnification range, this could be extremely important, because parallax will be more noticeable at greater distance and at greater magnification.
The cons of this feature is that it can make the scope more confusing to use, and it may be completely unnecessary. With the additional knob, it may make the scope a little more confusing to use. You may find yourself messing with the settings too much, and eventually missing a shot that you would normall hit.
The only people who really should use adjustable objective scopes are those who require extreme accuracy. As we mentioned before, it is really only necessary for snipers and those who partake in precision shooting. If you’re a hunter, you can get by without it, but you could also use it if you’d like. For instance, if you’re hunting at a specific distance, you could set your parallax ahead of time to make the shot that much easier.
If you’re buying a used firearm, there are a couple things that should cross your mind. You should fully inspect the weapon to make sure it’s in working order, first. However, you should also check to make sure the weapon is legally clean, meaning that it hasn’t been reported stolen.
Not many people think about this, but it could save you some serious legal headache if the gun is actually stolen.
There are a few ways that you can check this. Let’s talk about how to do this.
How to check if a gun is stolen
There are a couple different ways for you to check online. One tool is www.HotGunz.com. This website allows you to search the serial number of the gun, and if it’s been reported stolen on the website, you’ll be able to tell.
However, this tool isn’t perfect, because it requires the victim of the theft to know the website exists, and requires them to input the serial number as stolen. If they don’t know about the website or didn’t input the serial number, the website is useless.
The next way to check online is to check the firearm manufacturer’s website. While not all of them have it, some of the websites have a search function, which will allow you to search the serial number. Other manufacturers will lead you to another site to search.
These search functions come with the same limitations as HotGunz, but the firearm manufacturer will have access to more information, so that the original owner will not have to report the theft.
Check with the Police
One very simple way is to check with your local police. They have access to more tools and databases than we do, and can do a much more thorough check.
Some state police will allow you to search online. Others don’t have this feature, but all of them will be able to search with a simple phone call. This would be my recommended course of action, because they have the most access.
There aren’t a ton of ways to check on the status of a firearm, but it is always worth doing. If you inadvertently buy a stolen firearm, you could find yourself in a sticky legal situation.
Taking the few minutes to check if it’s stolen will save you time in the long run.
Maybe you’ve heard of AccuTrigger, maybe you haven’t. Sure, it sounds cool, but what does it actually mean? Is it just another name for any old trigger in a rifle?
In this article, we will talk about what AccuTrigger really is, and some advantages and disadvantages to using it.
AccuTrigger – A Basic Adjustable Trigger
What Exactly Is AccuTrigger And Should I be Using It- Source: SavageAccuracy
Simply put, AccuTrigger is a two-stage adjustable trigger. More specifically, AccuTrigger is a specific trigger that the firearms manufacturer Savage Arms uses. If you’re hearing the term AccuTrigger, it refers to Savage Arms’ triggers, but it is also commonly used to describe other, similar triggers.
There were a few terms used there that maybe not everyone will be familiar with. First, let’s talk about what a two-stage trigger is.
Most triggers that you are probably familiar with are single-stage triggers. In this kind of trigger, there is only one motion that is made in the internals of the trigger mechanism. You pull the trigger back, and at some point, it fires. They are very simple.
In opposition to this, a two-stage trigger has more than one internal motion. The first stage of the trigger pull is pulling out the “slack” in the trigger. Once you’ve reached the end of the first stage, you hit a positive wall. Once you pull the trigger any further than this positive wall, you will reach the second stage of the trigger, which fires the weapon.
The next factor of the AccuTrigger is the fact that it is adjustable. While it may seem simple, al that this means is that you can adjust the weight of the trigger pull. You can make it either easier or harder to pull the trigger, which allows you to customize it to your needs.
What are the advantages of an AccuTrigger?
Due to the fact that it is a two-stage, adjustable trigger, you will find that it is much easier to shoot.
Ever shot a weapon that you weren’t exactly sure when it was going to fire? When this happens, you subconsciously are anticipating the weapon firing, which can cause you to flinch, and shoot less accurately.
With an AccuTrigger, this is completely eliminated. You know exactly when the weapon will fire due to the positive wall in the two-stage functioning. This will prevent you from flinching, so you will be able to shoot more accurately.
Similarly, this is the same with the adjustable trigger pull. You will be able to fine tune the amount of pull it takes to fire the weapon, so that it meets your needs very precisely. These two things put together will allow you to be a noticeably more accurate shot.
However, this isn’t just with an AccuTrigger. This is applicable with any adjustable, two-stage trigger. While the AccuTrigger was one of the first, similar triggers are used in Ruger and Marlin weapons.
Should I use an AccuTrigger?
What Scope Does The Military Use
If you have never shot a two-stage, adjustable trigger, you should definitely give it a shot (no pun intended). We think that it will significantly increase your shooting abilities.
However, to say that this is absolutely necessary would be false.
If you are doing any type of precision shooting, a high quality trigger, such as AccuTrigger, is going to be extremely important to you.
But, if you are hunting, a high-quality trigger like this isn’t exactly necessary. It certainly won’t hurt, but you will be able to get by without it.
AccuTrigger, or any other adjustable, two-stage trigger is a great idea. However, if you aren’t a fan of Savage Arms (as many people aren’t), don’t feel that using an AccuTrigger is absolutely paramount. It will improve your shooting, but there are other choices. For those who don’t like Savage Arms, these other options would be worth looking into.
For many firearms users, this question can be a little confusing. Grain isn’t exactly commonly used anymore. So, in this article, we will clear up some of the confusion about what exactly a grain is, and then make some recommendations about what grain is best to shoot.
What Does Grain Mean In Ammo And What Grain Should I Be Using
Continue reading to learn more about grains in ammo.
Grain – The Basics
A grain is a unit of measurement for mass. It is an extremely small unit. In fact, 1 ounce is equal to 437.5 grains, just to give you an idea of how small it is. For another comparison, 1 gram is equal to 15.43 grains. Since 1 gram is approximately a paper clip, I’m sure this gives you an idea of how small a grain is.
Many people think that grain refers to something with the gunpowder or propellant used. However, it really has nothing to do with that. In ammunition, grains are used to say how large the projectile of the cartridge is.
So, when ammunition says it is 55 grain FMJ, it means that the actual bullet that will fly downrange weighs 55 grains.
Choosing the Right Grain
Now that you know exactly what a grain is, and what it refers to in ammunition, let’s talk a little about how to choose which bullet size you will shoot.
Each caliber of ammunition generally has quite a few different choices for grain size. This number is only increased if you are handloading your own ammunition. Before making a decision, it’s important to know about all of the options available in the caliber you are thinking about.
When you’re trying to decide the size of the ammunition, there’s a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, what exactly are you shooting for?
If you’re hunting, you want a different round than if you are just shooting at the range.
For hunting and any kind of defense shooting, a larger grain is generally better. Larger grain, heavier bullets, generally perform better inside a target. However, there’s a lot more to consider.
For example, jacketed hollow point ammunition performs extremely well inside of a live target, while full metal jacket ammunition will not do as well.
If the choice is between heavier full metal jacket and lighter jacketed hollow point, I would go with jacketed hollow point every time. It expands on impact, and damages more tissue.
However, if there are multiple grains of jacketed hollow point ammunition, heavier is generally a little better. Just to caveat that, it’s not a set in stone rule. Your best bet is to try and find some ballistics testing or gelatin testing that others have done to see which performs better.
If you’re doing any type of competition or long range accuracy shooting, the exact projectiles can play a huge factor in the accuracy of the weapon. Most people choose match grade ammunition, but there are a couple things to keep in mind.
First, the shape of the bullet plays equally as important of a role. Aerodynamics are extremely important, especially over distance.
Next, there are some weapons that just don’t shoot some ammunition well. For whatever reason, some weapons seem to prefer some types of ammunition. The only way that you’ll know this is by testing and shooting multiple types of ammo.
If you are just plinking at the range, your bullet weight really doesn’t matter. If you’re going to be using the weapon for anything other than range shooting at other points in time, we recommend putting some of your actual choice of ammunition through the weapon, just to make sure it handles the ammunition well.
Now that you understand what grain means in ammunition, you will hopefully be able to make some better choices with what ammunition you are shooting. Unfortunately, there isn’t one exact answer since most calibers have so many different choices, but we have given you some recommendations to consider.
Essentially, just make sure you test out different kinds of ammo, and see which one offers the best performance for your use for your weapon.
Weapon Uses – Hunting, Self Defense, Home Defense, Range Shooting
How Many Magazines Should I Have?
Before being able to answer this question, you must first identify what type of shooting you’re going to be doing with your new weapon.
Are you planning on hunting? If so, what type of hunting? Different types of hunting warrant having different numbers of magazines.
If you are using your weapon for self defense, what is the magazine capacity of the weapon? Are you planning on carrying concealed or open?
In a home defense situation, the same question applies. What is the magazine capacity of the weapon?
Shotgun Home Defense Ammo-What Should You Choose
This really depends on what type of hunting you are doing. If you are doing nothing but deer hunting out of a stand, you really can get by with only having one or two magazines. In a traditional deer rifle, your magazine capacity is pretty low, but you also aren’t having to take many shots per day.
On the contrary, if you are doing any varmint hunting, coyote hunting, or hog hunting, there’s a good change you’re using a semiautomatic weapon with a much larger magazine capacity. With this kind of hunting, there’s also a good chance that you will be taking follow up shots in quick succession. As such, it’s probably going to be better for you to own four or so magazines, to be able to have plenty of ammo for the hunt.
Home Defense Tactics
If you are carrying a single stack 9mm pistol concealed, there’s a good chance that your magazine capacity is going to be in the neighborhood of 7+1. In this kind of situation, having more ammo could be the difference between life and death. If you only have eight shots to engage the target… well, you better be a good shot. Having an extra two magazines certainly won’t hurt.
But, if you’re carrying a larger weapon with a larger magazine capacity, you probably can get away with only having one magazine and one spare.
Striker Fired vs Hammer Fired
This one is kind of broad, because so many different weapons are used for this. However, my opinion on this is that you are going to be using the weapon in a stationary area. It’s not like hunting or carrying a weapon, where you have to carry the magazines and extra ammo on you at all times.
In a home defense situation, I would keep as many magazines loaded as you feel comfortable with. For any type of weapon, there’s really no reason that you can’t have six magazines loaded and ready to go, just in case. And you should keep your magazines in the best handgun safe for the money in your home, it will keep safe for your family.
What Is A Match Grade Barrel Who Should Use It
This one depends entirely on how often you want to reload magazines. You can get by with one magazine at the range and change after every shooting iteration, or you can bring six and change less frequently. The choice is yours.
Personally, I like to bring three magazines to the range. It’s less to keep track of, and I don’t have to spend time between every shot group to reload a magazine. It lets me develop a better shooting rhythm.
As you can see, this is a somewhat general question with a somewhat general answer. It really depends on what type of shooting you plan to be doing. Hopefully this article has pointed you in the right direction, or given you a general idea how many magazines you should really own.
Looking to purchase a handgun, but not sure what caliber is best for you? In this article, we will go over some of the most common handgun calibers and make some recommendations for you about when to use each one.
Handguns are very widely used. They are commonly used for home defense, personal defense, and can be used for hunting as well. There are tons of different calibers out there, and it can get a little confusing.
Understanding Handgun Calibers- The Definitive Guide
We’ll get this started with common pistol calibers, from small to large.
Yes, the rimfire cartridge commonly found in bolt action rifles. While not all that common, .22LR can be found in both pistols and revolvers. They don’t see much personal defense or home defense use because the round is so small, but they are pretty fun for just plinking around.
Due to the fact that the ammunition is readily available and pretty inexpensive, most people like their .22LR pistols and revolvers for range shooting. However, some people do decide to carry them. You know the old saying, the gun on you is better than the one in the gun safe. If you’ve got nothing else, carry a .22LR by all means, but you can certainly do better.
Next up we’ve got another small round, the .380 ACP. These bullets are .355 inches in diameter, weigh between 90 and 100 grains, and are fired around 1000 feet per second. These projectiles are still very small, but the round is barely suitable for personal defense.
This round is commonly found in really small frame concealed carry pistols. Many of the pocket pistols and secondary weapons that you see are chambered in .380 ACP. I carry a .380, but only in the summer, when people are wearing less clothing. I would definitely recommend 9mm over .380 for personal defense, but .380 is acceptable.
However, for home defense, you aren’t worried about the size of the weapon, so I would recommend a larger caliber projectile.
Now we’re getting into more widely used rounds. 9mm is one of the most common rounds in the world. The bullets are .355 inches diameter as well, but they weigh 115 to 130 grains, and are fired around 1100-1200 feet per second. These bullets are much larger and are fired faster, so this is a better round for any defense purposes.
9mm is a great round for range shooting and any defense purposes. There’s an absolutely gigantic array of weapons available, ranging from tiny carry weapons to full sized weapons. You can get a single stack carry weapon in 9mm, but also a double stack weapon with a 17+ round magazine capacity for home defense. For range shooting, the recoil is manageable, and the ammunition isn’t that expensive.
.40 Smith & Wesson
While this round is not nearly as common as it used to be, .40 Smith & Wesson is a pretty good round. The projectiles are .4 inches in diameter, weigh between 135 and 165 grains, and are fired around 1100 feet per second.
.40 S&W is sort of on the way out, due to the fact that 9mm offers such similar performance in a smaller frame. 9mm is a smaller round, so you are able to fit a few more in a magazine, while achieving similar ballistic results to the .40 S&W.
However, despite this fact, I still think that .40 S&W is a great round for any defense uses. I would shoot 9mm at the range over .40 S&W, but I feel very comfortably carrying around a .40 S&W weapon. There aren’t quite as many weapons out there, but they are suited great for personal and home defense uses.
Now we’re getting into much larger cartridges. These projectiles are .451 inches in diameter, weigh between 165 and 185 grains, and are fired around 1050 feet per second, dependent on the round.
These are large, heavy bullets that are fired pretty fast. For this reason, they are great for defense uses and as a hunting sidearm.
Due to the size of the cartridge, there aren’t many .45 ACP weapons that are meant for concealed carry. There are a couple, but your magazine capacity is going to be extremely small. I would recommend .45 ACP for home defense, such as in a full-size 1911. This same weapon would be decent for a hunting sidearm, but slightly larger cartridges might perform a little better for this. .45 ACP will take care of smaller targets, but if you’re going to hunt deer with a handgun, you probably want a bigger round.
I’m not going to say you shouldn’t shoot .45 ACP at the range, but the ammunition is pretty pricey. Your wallet will probably thank you if you shoot a smaller cartridge.
This is the largest pistol cartridge we will talk about. There are some exceptions out there (looking at you, Desert Eagle), but 10mm is the largest pistol cartridge that is really commonly found. The projectiles are slightly smaller than .45 ACP, with a diameter of .40 inches. However, they are usually about the same weight, but are fired at 1200-1300 feet per second.
These projectiles generate a lot more energy because they are moving so much faster. In terms of terminal performance, .45 ACP is a larger bullet, so they create larger holes and damage more tissue, but these bullets are moving faster. It’s almost a tie between the two for which one does better in terms of ballistics.
However, I prefer 10mm for hunting because it retains energy over a longer distance. 10mm performs similarly to .45 ACP in terms of handgun hunting. Both are decent cartridges that can put a deer down, dependent on your shot. Personally, I like 10mm better due to the flatter trajectory, but both are decent.
Similar to the .45 ACP, 10mm is decent for defense uses. The round has a lot of recoil, so I wouldn’t recommend it for plinking at the range.
Let’s get into revolver rounds now.
Note: If you have a handgun, i think you should have best handgun safe to keep it safe. It’s very important.
These projectiles are .357 inches in diameter, weigh between 125 and 150 grains, and are fired around 950 feet per second. In terms of ballistics, these bullets are larger and heavier than 9mm bullets, but aren’t fired as fast. For the sake of comparison, it definitely outperforms .380 ACP.
Due to the similar performance, I would recommend this for the same uses as 9mm. It’s great for home defense, self defense, and range shooting. It’s a pretty commonly carried cartridge, because there are some tiny revolvers that are available in .38 Special.
Up next is another great defense round. The bullets are also .357 inches in diameter, and are commonly 125 or 158 grains, but they are fired much faster than .38 Special ammunition. These rounds are fired closer to 1200-1400 feet per second. For this reason, it is an even better defense round. It will do a ton of damage in tissue.
The revolvers are usually not that large, so you can carry them somewhat easily. They are great for home defense as well, and would definitely be fun to shoot at the range.
.44 Remington Magnum
These bullets measure .429 inches in diameter, weigh from 240 to 300 grains, and are fired between 1200 and 1400 feet per second. As you can see, these are some giant rounds that are being fired extremely fast.
While they aren’t as wide as .45 ACP pistol projectiles, they are significantly more heavy, and are fired significantly faster. This round is really devastating. However, as you can imagine, the cartridge itself is pretty large. It’s fired from much larger weapons, so you won’t find many people trying to conceal this.
When you get into these much larger revolver cartridges, you get more into handgun hunting. Due to the fact that the projectiles are so large and are fired so fast, many people do different kinds of hunting with these revolvers.
.44 Magnum is the first of our revolver cartridges that I would recommend hunting with. It will put down all different kinds of animals with relative ease. It’s an excellent choice.
However, this combination of size, weight, and speed also means that the round is good for home defense. While its certainly not my first choice to shoot at the range, it is a great revolver to have in the nightstand.
Similar to the pistols, we won’t talk about the absolute largest revolver cartridges available (such as .460 S&W Magnum), but we will talk about .454 Casull, which is absolutely giant. The bullets are .452 inches in diameter, and are usually over 300 grains. They are fired at 1500 to 1600 feet per second.
Once again, these are fired out of huge revolvers. You could definitely hunt with these, and you can definitely defend your home with it as well. They are huge bullets, and will do all kinds of damage within a target.
In this article we will review this extremely popular riflescope from Vortex Optics. Vortex is very popular in the industry, and for good reason. They produce some extremely high quality optics, and are available at a pretty reasonable cost.
We will fully review the optic in terms of pros and cons, and make some buying recommendations.
The Features of Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40
vortex diamondback 4-12×40 review
This optic measures in at 12.8 inches long with a 40mm objective lens. The magnification range is from 4-12x, and the eye relief is 3.1 inches. Your field of view through the scope is 32.4-11.3 feet at 100 yards.
In terms of size, this scope is not that large, despite its magnification range. It has some weight to it, but compared to other scopes with similar magnification, this one is definitely around the same size. The eye relief is somewhat short, but it definitely works for shooting this scope.
The scope offers some excellent optical features. The internals of the scope are fully multi-coated. This allows for maximum light transmission, especially when paired with the large 40mm objective lens. To put it simply, this light allows maximum light to go through, so you will be able to clearly see everything through the scope.
Another huge pro of this scope is that the reticle is on the second focal plane. This means that while you change the magnification range, the scale of the reticle remains the exact same. Especially when you are using the bullet drop compensating reticle at longer distance, this is a huge pro for you.
One other thing to consider with the optical features of the scope is how acute the adjustments are. Each click of the turrets allow for a ¼ MOA adjustment. This translates to ¼ inch at 100 yards. As you can see, this is very precise. The turrets also allow for an easy return to zero, once you are done shooting at long distance.
However, the best feature of this scope is the durability. It is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, and the internals are contained within an aluminum housing that is given a hard anodized finish. This makes for a very tough scope that can withstand the elements and any amount of recoil that you can imagine.
In terms of the optics though, there are a couple cons that we found. For one, dependent on the range at which you zero the rifle, the parallax at close range makes the scope nearly unshootable. However, this scope really isn’t meant for shooting at close range, as evidenced by the minimum 4x magnification.
Another con that we identified is that the eye relief is pretty unforgiving. While the scope can withstand the recoil, the eye relief is pretty difficult to manage, especially with larger caliber weapons. When using a higher magnification, this eye relief becomes difficult to manage.
Lastly, it can have some glare in it at some times. We would recommend adding a sunshade to optimize this scope.
We will compare this scope to some of its competition: the Leupold VX-R 4-12x40mm and Nikon P-308 4-12x40mm. This comparison will give you an idea about what to expect when purchasing the Vortex Optics Diamondback.
As is well known, Leupold makes some of the highest quality scopes on the market. When comparing the Vortex to the Leupold, the Leupold is clearly a better scope. The optics are way clearer, it is just as durable, and we found the reticle to be easier to use. However, Leupold scopes are notoriously expensive.
Comparing the Nikon and the Vortex is a much closer comparison. Nikon offers great optical features, but the scopes are extremely similar in the end. They are both very accurate and easy to shoot with. The reticles are comparable, and the scopes are nearly identical overall. We give a slight edge to the Vortex, but it is very close.
Upon first looking at this best scope for ar 15, it’s clear to see that it’s obviously meant for long range hunting or hunting with a larger caliber weapon. It is extremely durable, and it can withstand any recoil from the weapon. As such, it’s great for big game hunting or for use when shooting shotgun slugs.
However, that’s not to say that it’s impossible to use the scope for anything else. Due to how precise the adjustments can be on this scope, you could use this for longer range target shooting. After all, this scope does zoom out to 12x, and it does have ¼ MOA adjustments. For target shooting of this nature, the eye relief may not be as much of a concern either.
Overall, this is a quality scope that offers some great optical features. It is very clear, and extremely durable. While there are some shortcomings that are to be expected of a scope of this nature, it is a great product for multiple uses when it’s all said and done. Regardless of your use for the scope, you will pleased with its performance overall.
Continue reading for our full review of the best red dot sights for an AR-15.
1. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
This red dot sight from Bushnell is extremely compact. It measures only 2.4 inches long, and only weighs 3.6 ounces. You will hardly even notice that it’s attached to your rifle.
Similar to the previous optic, this scope has unlimited eye relief. You can shoot it with your head placed wherever you want, and with both eyes open. As long as your zero is accurate, your shots will be on target. Just like with the Vortex, this allows for extremely fast target acquisition.
In terms of light transmission, this scope performs almost as well as the previous Vortex. It has Bushnell’s Amber-Bright technology and the internals are fully multicoated. The front lens of the scope is amber in color, which improves your vision down the sight. However, this scope isn’t quite as bright as the previous one, due to the fact that the objective lens is 5mm smaller. This will slightly limit the amount of light that can enter the optic.
Another similarity to the Vortex is that the scope offers a high level of durability. It is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. Once again, this is a great feature for hunting.
However, where this scope starts to lag a little behind the Vortex is in its accuracy. The reticle of this optic, which is a simple red dot, is 3 MOA in size. This is a pretty large reticle, so at longer distances, you run the risk of your target being completely covered by the reticle. As you can imagine, this makes it difficult for precise shooting at longer ranges.
Overall, this is an excellent value purchase. It is a quality scope, and will serve your AR-15 well. While some have experienced some issues with the newer version of this scope, we did not have any issues with ours. It was bright and easy to see
I’m sure you’ve heard of Vortex Optics, as they are extremely well known and respected throughout the industry. They produce many different optical products, including quality riflescopes and tactical-style red dot sights. They offer an excellent combination of quality and affordability.
The Strikefire II is an internal reflex sight that has very bright red or green reticle. It is extremely easy to use, and offers pretty accurate shooting. The entire system is designed for AR-frame weapons, so it is naturally a great choice.
The optic measures 5.6 inches long and weighs 7.2 ounces. The objective lens is 30 millimeters, and the internals are fully multicoated, which will allow for maximum light transmission. This means that the scope will be extremely bright and easy to see through.
When you’re looking down the optic, there is no parallax and it has unlimited eye relief. This allows for easy shooting with both eyes open. The reticle is a simple dot, but there are 10 brightness levels and you can choose whether it is red or green. The lowest settings are night vision compatible. For these reasons, the sight is extremely fast to acquire targets.
When you power the scope up with the rear-facing controls, it automatically reverts back to the previous brightness setting it was on. If you accidentally leave the power on, it will automatically turn off after 12 hours. This significantly increases the battery life.
The scope itself is also very durable. It is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. The optic is made from an aluminum alloy , and has been given a hard anodized finish to match this. This optic would be excellent for hunting or any other outdoor shooting, due to how durable it is. Another aspect of the durability of this scope is the fact that it will hold your zero for thousands of rounds.
The adjustments with this scope are very easy to make, and each click results in a ½ MOA movement. This means that your point of impact will move by half of an inch at 100 yards. For an AR-15, this is an extremely precise adjustment, which allows for very accurate shooting.
Overall, this sight is extremely easy to use, and it is packed with features. It offers some of the best bang for your buck we have seen. We found that it was very easy and enjoyable to shoot, and we were able to shoot very accurately with it.
3. Ohuhu Red Green Dot Gun Sight Scope Reflex Sight with 4 Reticles
Ohuhu is a company that produces many different products in quite a few different areas. One of these products is their red dot style sight, which is one of the biggest sellers on Amazon. This scope is an exposed reflex sight, which means it basically just has one external “window” where the reticle is projected. It is available in a tan color and in black.
Due to the style of sight it is, this scope is extremely small, and the adjustments are extremely easy to get to. They are made with an Allen key. The adjustments of this scope aren’t nearly as precise as the previous ones, so it will not shoot nearly as accurately.
The scope itself is decent. It has no eye relief and no parallax, just like the previous sights on our list. When it holds its zero, it is an extremely easy scope to use. However, we did have some accuracy concerns with the sight. Some of the reticles don’t line up with others, and it is known to lose a zero with a little recoil.
As the name may imply, it has four different reticles you are able to choose from, and you can choose whether they are red or green. There are multiple brightness settings, but even at the highest setting, it isn’t always bright enough for normal use.
The scope has some durability concerns, due to how cheaply it is made. There are plenty of examples of this sight breaking after very limited use.
At the end of the day, Ohuhu isn’t a rifle optics company. Vortex and Bushnell are. To expect the same quality as the other companies would be foolish. However, if you aren’t going to shoot your weapon much, and you are looking for a very inexpensive option, this optic may be decent for you. We would recommend spending the extra money for the Bushnell, but this might work
4. Holosun HS503C Paralow 133x54x72mm Circle Dot Sight
Holosun HS503C Paralow 133x54x72mm Circle Dot Sight
This sight from Holosun is an extremely basic red dot style sight. However, don’t let that turn you off from how high quality this sight is. This is actually one of our favorite red dot sights, despite its simplicity.
The optic measures 5.24 inches long, and weighs in at a tiny 4.25 ounces. As you can see, it’s a really small optic. It’s an internal reflex style red dot, which basically means that it’s a small tube with two lenses and the actual reticle is inside the tube, between the lenses. The dot is red, and the scope has no magnification.
When many people hear the term “red dot sight,” they are thinking about an external reflex sight. An internal reflex sight works pretty much the same, but the reticle and lights are all internal. In my opinion, these are more durable and reliable than external reflex sights, and I think they look a little better.
The pros of this optic are the ease of use, the solar power, and the durability.
When we say the ease of use, we mean in so many different ways. For starters, the optic is extremely easy to fire with. The reticle is extremely simple. It’s a simple dot reticle or a circle/dot combination, which is very easy to acquire targets and shoot accurately with.
The optic is also extremely easy to adjust, as most red dot style sights are. All you have to do is open the turrets, and use the simple mechanism to move the reticle. The clicks are easy to hear and feel, so you can get some peace of mind in your zero.
Another factor of this ease of use is how easy it is to install the optic. It has a simple cross bar style mount, meaning that you can easily mount it to either picatinny or weaver style rails.
The solar power also leads directly into the ease of use of the scope. Solar power is something not commonly seen in optics. For us, we really liked the feature. The reticle brightness adjusts for how bright it is outside, and when it’s bright enough to power the solar panel, the optic just stays on the entire time. As you can imagine, this makes it very easy to use.
The scope also has a battery backup, when it’s not bright enough out to use the solar power. The battery life is great, and the scope will automatically turn off after a wait period.
The cons of this optic are that it is pretty pricey, and it isn’t the most precise optic available. The price comes largely from the solar power. Similar optics without this feature will be much less expensive (In my research). In our opinion, it’s worth the added cost though.
5. UTG 4.2" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot with QD Mount, Riser Adaptor
UTG 4.2" ITA Red/Green CQB Dot with QD Mount, Riser Adaptor
The UTG 4.2” ITA scope is extremely affordably priced, but also offers some decent features. While it isn’t the highest quality scope available, it definitely works for basic tactical uses and range shooting. We wouldn’t shoot competitions with it, but it is an acceptable optic.
The optic measures 4.17 inches long and weighs 9.8 ounces. Similar to the last optic, it’s a simple red dot with no magnification at all. However, this one differs in that it has a T-style reticle, which can be either red or green.
The pros of this optic are ease of use, and durability. Since this optic removes the solar power. While the optics of the previous sight are higher quality, this scope is decent. For basic shooting, it is more than acceptable.
The ease of use of this scope is extremely similar to the Holosun, so we won’t simply repeat the same features. However, this scope also has a quick detach base, so you just have to flip a lever to take it off of a picatinny-style rail.
As with the Holosun, this is a very durable optic. It’s waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and the internals are durable enough to withstand the recoil of multiple weapons. You can use this optic on shotguns and rifles with larger calibers as well.
The cons are that the reticle isn’t as easy to use, isn’t quite bright enough, and it is not that precise. I prefer the circle/dot combination reticle to the T-style. I think that the target acquisition is slightly slower, and it makes it harder to get a precision shot.
Speaking of the reticle, on bright days, it can be very difficult to see. The red dot works better than the green dot, but both are difficult to see when it’s really bright out.
Lastly, the adjustments of this optic are not that bright. If you’re shooting at longer distances, it’s going to be hard to be very accurate with this scope. The reticle is large, and you can’t adjust it that precisely.
6. Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
Last up, we’ve got an excellent optic from Sig Sauer. Similar to the previous two optics, this one is an internal reflex sight that is very compact in nature and has no magnification range.
It measures in at only 2.47 inches long and weighs only 5.1 ounces. As you can see, this is a truly tiny optic. It’s got a simple 2 MOA red dot style reticle, and really does have some great features. In terms of optical clarity, this may be my favorite on the list.
The biggest pros of this weapon, other than the extremely compact size, are the durability, MOTAC, and optical settings. As with all of the other optics, this one is very durable. However, Sig takes it to another level by guaranteeing that the optic is IPX-7 rated.
The MOTAC is a Sig creation. Essentially, the optic is motion activated. It will turn on when it senses motion, and turns off when it doesn’t. It’s that simple. It saves a lot of battery. I still prefer the solar power of the Holosun, but by a very slim margin.
Another pros of this optic is that it has two night vision settings to go along with eight normal settings. This is a much wider variety than the other optics mentioned.
Just like the other sights on this list, the red dot is large, and the adjustments aren’t that precise. It will be difficult for longer range shooting, but it is more than acceptable for CQB style shooting, and casual range use.
If you are trying to build an AR-15 and avoid having to go through the process of getting an ATF-approved tax stamp, you’re going to need to know the legal barrel length for your weapon.
In the military, M4 barrels are 14.5 inches long. This was a vast reduction in size and weight compared to the 20 inch barrel of the M16.
What is the legal barrel length for an ar 15
However, what barrel length is legal in the civilian world?
The Simple Answer for legal barrel length of AR 15
Putting it as simple as possible, the answer to this question is 16 inches. However, as with many things in the firearms world, there are some workarounds to this.
The first workaround is a permanently attached muzzle device, such as a flash suppressor.
In this situation, you are able to buy a 14.5 inch barrel and a specific muzzle device, and have a gunsmith pin-and-weld the muzzle device to the barrel.
In most of these flash suppressors, it will be specifically stated that you are able to have it pinned and welded, so be sure to check if it’s possible before buying the muzzle device.
Essentially, pinning and welding the muzzle device makes it permanent, which in turn makes it part of the barrel. For that reason, you are able to count the extra length of the flash suppressor as part of your barrel length.
Keep in mind that this will come at an added cost, since you’ll have to purchase the muzzle device and also pay to have it welded on for you.
The 16 inch barrel length only applies to rifles, NOT pistols.
You are able to build an AR pistol in various pistol and rifle calibers, which would eliminate the need for the 16 inch barrel. If it is technically a pistol, the barrel can be much shorter.
However, when building an AR pistol, there are a few laws that you need to keep in mind. Since that isn’t the point of this article, we won’t go too much into them. It basically boils down to the buttstock of the weapon, and there are some specific design features that must be accounted for. Make sure you know your laws if you take this route!
Get the Tax Stamp
Lastly, if you want a shorter barrel, you can always just get the tax stamp from the ATF. Once your weapon is classified as a short-barreled rifle (often called SBR), the length of the barrel won’t be a problem.
This is a somewhat length and time consuming process, but it is the only way to legally have an AR-15 rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches. Related that, if you are intending buy a scope for your ar 15, you should choose Nikon or Vortex, it’s my favorite.
To make a long story short, the answer to the question is 16 inches. Your AR-15 barrel must be at least 16 inches in length to be considered legal by the ATF. Anything shorter than that, and you will have to get an SBR tax stamp from them.
However, as we mentioned in this article, there are a couple workarounds you could pursue to avoid having to get the tax stamp. But, like with anything, make sure you know the laws about what you are doing.
For many reasons, shotguns are considered the ideal home defense weapon. At short range, they are extremely deadly. For home defense, this is an ideal situation. In the event that someone were to break into your home, a shotgun should be the first weapon you reach for.
Shotgun Home Defense Ammo-What Should You Choose
However, shotgun shells can be a little confusing. What really is the best shotgun ammunition for home defense?
In this article, we will go over some of the best options, and talk about what makes them so great.
Shotgun ammunition can be a little confusing. There are three different main types, and beyond that, there are sizes for each.
The primary types of shells are buckshot, birdshot, and slugs. Birdshot has more, smaller pellets. Buckshot has fewer pellets, but they are significantly larger. A slug is one solid piece of metal, and they are usually very large in size. This turns your shotgun into a crude rifle, and is very effective for taking down big game.
Next up, there are numbers associate with each type. For example, there is 00 buckshot, #4 birdshot, 4 buckshot, #8 birdshot, and many more.
As the number increases, the number of pellets within the shell increases. However, this also means that the size of the pellet decreases.
So, for example, #8 birdshot has hundreds of pellets that are .09 inches in diameter. #2 birdshot has 90 pellets that are .15 inches in diameter.
#4 buckshot pellets are .24 inches in diameter, and 00 buckshot pellets are .33 inches in diameter.
Make sense so far?
So, Which of These are the Best for Home Defense?
As you can imagine, buckshot is the best for home defense. Birdshot has more pellets, but they are very small in size, and usually don’t penetrate deep enough to be effective against a human target.
Buckshot penetrates much deeper, and it has larger pellets to damage more critical tissue.
Slugs would be effective in bringing down a target, but they require much greater accuracy, and they penetrate too deep. If you were to miss your target, that slug would travel through anything in its way for quite some time. This can be dangerous in a home defense situation.
What About Specific Ammunition?
How to choose a shotgun
In general, 00-1 buckshot are more than effective rounds for home defense. If you aren’t interested in buying ammo specifically for home defense, any of these buckshot shells will work. In fact, the military and many police departments use simple 00 buckshot for their shotguns.
However, there are some ammo choices available that are made specifically for home defense. Keep reading to check some of these out.
Federal Premium Personal Defense PD13200. This is a simple 00 buckshot shell. It is aimed for home defense, and is loaded with 9 pellets. It offers reliable, tight shot groups, and does more than enough damage.
Federal Tactical 1 Buckshot. This is a 1 buckshot round. Similar to the previous ammo, this ammo offers reliable groups. However, this one has 15 pellets as opposed to 9.
Winchester PDX1. These rounds are more specifically for personal defense. In 12 gauge, there is a segmenting slug and one shell that has a slug and buckshot in it. The segmenting slug will break apart on impact, which damages more tissue. The slug and buckshot round spreads apart very rapidly, so you are able to cover more surface area.
As previously mentioned, shotguns are absolutely key to home defense. However, due to how confusing shotgun shells can be, it is difficult to choose one specific ammo for home defense.
Generally speaking, buckshot is a great choice. While there are fewer pellets, they are much larger. However, if you are looking for a shell that is specifically for home defense, there are a few out there. Winchester specifically makes a great shell for personal defense.
You can’t go wrong with most buckshot, but getting a more specific shot for home defense certainly wont hurt. The extra cost will be worth it in the event that you need it.