We’re a people of excess. Not that excess is bad in general, but there are situations where too much can be a bad thing.
Optics comes to mind. Almost without fail, we shooters go “all in” when it comes to magnified optics. Even though most of us will be shooting at ranges of 100 yards and less (usually much less), we tend to crank up the power on rifle optics. Gimme that 12-42x monster scope so I can precisely target the “Y” on the back side of a Bayer aspirin, will ya?
While that sounds good on paper, too much power can be detrimental. Try shooting a high magnification scope from a standing position, and you’ll see what I mean. While your gun is wobbling the same amount as with low magnification, the perceived swings and movements will make you seasick and actually lower your odds of hitting your target. It’s hard to achieve a steady hold with too much magnification.
While it may seem counterintuitive, most people, with some fundamental training and practice, can hit a target out to 400 yards using iron sights. That’s right, just ask any Project Appleseed instructor.
When it comes to my “regular use” and home defense AR rifles, I equip them with zero magnification red dot optics. Why? There are a few benefits. As we discussed, you can hit accurately out to several hundred yards if you want to without magnification. Your field of view through the optics is much, much larger than with a magnified optic. There are no parallax issues that require perfect alignment of your head to the optic for repeatable accuracy. You can (and should) shoot with both eyes open. Red dots work well in low light. They’re fast. Really, really fast. They’re far easier to use than multiple-part iron sights – just put the dot on the target and shoot.
My personal choice for MSR red dot optics is Aimpoint. I’ve used the Aimpoint Micro H-1 and Aimpoint PRO on a number of rifles and couldn’t be happier with those choices. One of the things I like best is the “always on” capability. Battery management is so good that a set of batteries lasts 75% of forever. This means you can leave it on, all the time, and not worry about running out of juice when you need it most. Many models will run at average power level for five years continuously. If you want to be crazy-prepared for the worst, set yourself a reminder to change batteries every two or three years and you’ll never have to worry. It’s a great benefit for a home defense rifle where you don’t want to think about turning switches on and off should you hear a bump in the night.
Recently I got my hot little hands on a brand new model – the Aimpoint Micro T-2. Let’s check it out.
Aimpoint Micro T-2