What optics do you prefer for a "go-to" rifle ?


For a shtf scenario , what optic would you run on your general purpose everyday rifle?

  • Iron sights only
  • RDS/ HWS (ex. Aimpoint/Eotech)
  • Fixed magnification scope(ex. ACOG)
  • Low powered variable scope (ex. 1-4x24 or 1-6x24)
  • RDS/HWS + 3x magnifier
  • Fixed mag. prism scope w/offset RDS or reflex sight
  • Other-specify

0 voters

Here is an article on PID (identification) vs certain distances. Being able to identify potential threats is probably something a person should consider.


Do not underestimate the usefulness of magnification to scan for and identify targets.

Just because you can see a vague something several hundred yards out doesn’t mean you can properly identify it - especially if the thing you’re trying to see doesn’t want to be seen.


Yea, I kind of feel the same way. Thats what that article I posted above goes over. The guy even shows examples of what people look like from various ranges and what details different magnifications show.


I prefer reflex sights such as EoTech or SightMark with a flip away magnifier like a 3x.


The thing about red dots, is you have electronics and batteries to deal with. Low power variable magnification optics provide etched reticles. Magnifiers + red dots also tend to be heavier than low power variable magnification optics.

I did a poll on this topic with 558 votes a year ago.

Iron sights are on the decline, being replaced by red dots and low power magnified optics.


2 of my carbine set ups consist of reddot/reflex & magnifier. I also have an ar15 set-up with a 4-12×42 scope with a Bushnell 1st strike mini red dot mounted on top for close & quick


For a “SHTF/G0-To” everyday carry rifle then, for me, a low power variable (1-6 or 8) is the way to go. Dial it down to 1x and you have a CCO/CQB/Reflexive sight. Dial it up and you can reach out to “touch someone” a bit more reliably as well as scan longer range objects to identify possible threats before needing to engage.

Add to that a BUIS, especially one of the 45 degree offset types, and one has a “bullet proof” set up in my opinion.


I used to have those on my rifle. But after years of abusing my rifle with no issues, I eventually just took them off.


Eotech EXPS 2-2 and a G33x. If you have a LPVO, you only use it at 1x or the 4/6x anyway (why woul you use it anywhere else?). I love my Eotech combo. Great reticle, great battery life, shares batteries with my light, can shoot both eyes open, and no parallax. Also has a 1/3 co-witnesses with my irons and has a gigantic viewing window.


Yea but you can also detach a magnifier real easily and A good RDS has a 40,000+ hour battery life. Up close an RDS is king , although the magnifier is not even close to as useful as an LPV or Prism scope once you get past a 100 yards, imo. LPV just throw the balance off too much for me, they feel clunky and have real limited FOV for me.


VERY much disagree with that statement.

I have a 1-8x FFP US Optics. I spend most of my time around 3x ish, second most used is about 6x, and then I use 8x for the really far and 1x for the really close.

I use the full spectrum of the magnification of my scope depending on the situation at hand.


It’s not as a undisputed king as most people seem to think IMO. A quality LPVO has extremely forgiving eye relief and is almost completely indistinguishable at close range except for extremely awkward shooting positions.

If the RDS was the undisputed king of CQB by a large margin, we’d see more top competitors use them, such as the 3 gun competitors. They pretty much all use LPVOs.

You can. But taking it on and off is much slower than just turning the magnification.

Yeah, but it’s still a battery life and it is still electronics that can fail.

Have you used quality LPVOs? The good ones have massive field of views. For example, I have more field of view at 8x with my LPVO than most ACOGS have, even the 3x ACOGs.

IMO - many people who hate on LPVOs only have experience with entry level LPVOs where criticisms are very well warranted. But the good LPVOs are damn good.


I really like a 5x prism scope with an offset micro rds the best ,once you get the hangof it its stupid fast. Really this is more apples to oranges I was just curious what everyones preference was , not which one is best.

@brianpurkiss, cool chart BTW and that does see m about right.


Each optic has their own positives and negatives. But the negatives of all optics are going down and down and down as quality goes up.


No ive owned some spendy ones such as a Nightforce 1-4 and a Leaupold patrol. The RDS has limitless eye relief and is faster up close in my experience , the lpv is definitly manageable at 1x though and is far better than the Red dot and magnifier at any real distance. The prism scope Ive messed with have far better fov then most if not all lpvs ive used. I think it was something like 38’ fov at a 100 yards plus it has a larger lense.

I love shooting in akward positions I have doe it with all three , shooting from brokeback prone or when shrimping is the hardest with an lpv or prism scope, for me.


Have you put it up on the clock? Every on the clock testing I’ve seen in standard CQB distances put the two optics on par with each other with maybe a tenth of a second difference at most.

All optics have their downsides. IMO, if you shoot within 100 yards exclusively, red dot is the choice. If you shoot beyond 100 yards, LPVO is the choice.


In a comp you might not be able to tell as much but indoors in lowlight(especially with NV) you can or using in training while shooting from ackward positions. From standing it is very close but limitless eye relief is an advantage.


My trunk gun is set up with an EOtech w/NV button and the PVS14 and thermal both ride along. Night-cap and weapon mount for the PVS14. IR laser on rifle as well. And BUIS, of course.

I have binocs in the bag for distance needs, plan to move around any identified threats, not choot them.


The clock stuff I was talking about people running drills to specifically test the difference between the optics. As for competitions, you are very often forced to shoot in awkward positions around and under stuff. I ran a night carbine course with WMLs in pitch black shooting with awkward leaning positions, my LPVO didn’t slow me down at all.

It is - but so is magnification. IMO, magnification is more of an advantage than limitless eye relief.


@brianpurkiss , I agree that LPVs are a better jack-of-all trades optic.

I can agree with this. Red dot sights are becoming more of an optic for a specialized role like indoors. You might prefer the lpv for akward positions but that is something the rds does far better, still does not beat having magnification though. You have to have correct head positioning with the lpv, you dont with the rds.

My favorite set up is probably a 5x prism scope with an offset micro RDS.