Survey: Which AR15 sight system do you trust your life to?

By Staff Writer: Charles Coker

This subject comes up often when you around gun guys..

Aimpoint or Eotech? Iron sights? 1-4? scope? ACOG?

Which is best? Which would you, as a civilian trust your life, and your familie’s life to?

I will go on the record here with my personal preference and why along with a few disclaimers.  I will also say I have never been in a gunfight and hope I never do.  While I did serve in the US NAVY in my youth, I was never in harms way.  I have no law enforcement experience and do NOT consider myself a tactical guru.  While I do have a lot of shooting experience and have tested all of the popular options in varying conditions and have formed my own opionions and preferences.

First off, what are your preparing for as a civillian?

Do you need to be able to engage “the enemy” at 1K? Probably not, and probably going to be damned hard to justify a self defencse shooting that far to begin with!  If you believe the statistics most self defense shootings are up close and personal meaning you need to be able to get on target NOW! and engage, and you better expect to need multiple followup up shots. 

My personal preference is the Aimpoint T1 and I will explain why.

  • fast on target
  • smalll physical size so as not to obstruct your field of view
  • tough
  • 5 year battery life, constant on, no need to turn off, thus no need to turn it on

I don’t have any problem engaging multiople targets on the move up close or even out to 250 yards, it’s just put the dot on the target and pull the trigger.

So, what do you trust your life to?




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Founding staff member, avid shooter, hunter, reloader and all around gun geek with an obsession for perfection

7 Responses to Survey: Which AR15 sight system do you trust your life to?

  1. BLACK says:

    I agree with Adam. I have not “seen the elephant” and am not an elite super ninja warrior. I have an opinion that the HSLD folks may not like but my opinion has been pressure tested…its not a 1 way range or notebook theory. Its an opinion based on the stress of being hunted and shot at and the ability to learn from the mistakes that would have cost your life or the life of others. I have personally shot countless people in high stress FOF scenarios, all with iron sights.
    More often than not, its the front sight only, a quick index of the barrel or a combination of both.
    I opine that irons are the fastest, far less prone to breakage or failure, easy to manipulate right or left handed, unlimited in eye relief and they do not suck you into a window or tube.
    I have tried running with Holo types, RDS types and even 1-4x types…all needing a certain level of “style augmentation” in order to implement it into a combative scenario and for it to be used effectively.
    Now dont get me wrong, there are good uses for all the different sighting systems and its up to the individual to decide for them what is best. I understand the advantages and the limits of iron sights so I went through the myriad of sighting components out there and found allot of the neato whiz-bangs to be a detriment to my overall effectiveness.
    We are talking about what sighting system we trust our lives with, right?? If there is any doubt, there is no trust. If the elemnet of doubt arises within one immediately needs to question.

    I have come full circle with my AR15 and I feel like I have made a sound decision in how it it set up. Irons are accessible at all times with the flick of 2 levers. I have a 1.5-6×42 scope with an ADM recon mount that is about the best compromise I could find. Its not as fast up close as iron sights but it has a huge BDC reticle that illuminates from NVG friendly to solar flare bight so it is just as good as any EO or Aimpont and way brighter than any Trijicon I have seen. The reticle lines are super thick so even if it is not illuminated there is no “wash out”, no mater how bright the “splash” is. Also, “dot failure” is a non issue since the BDC reticle remains extremely visible with or without batteries. The 42mm objective gathers more light than the smaller tubes so there seems to be less “sucking in” involved. Its BAC friendly as well.
    Excuse the long winded post…its just my opinion from my lonely lane.


  2. BLACK says:

    I agree with Adam. I have not “seen the elephant”, experienced war or “combat” so I can only speak from “simulated” training. I have learned the hard way in the past not to base any approach to violence off of theory or writing tablet brainstorming. The only way to pressure test anything

  3. Kurt Gruber says:

    So let me start by saying I don’t really consider an AR a home defense gun. Even lower velocity AR’s such as a 300BLK SBR running a subsonic hollow point would shoot through your target so bad and endanger other friendlies in your home (your family).

    That said, I run Aimpoint Micro T1’s on my SBR’s and Horus Vision rifle scopes on everything that is longer than 16 inches. We really need to prepare for longer range as the world keeps changing.

    For home defense I prefer a suppressed .45 with a good hollow point such as Speer Gold Dots or Hornady Z-Max and a pump 12 gauge (Winchester model 1300 defender) with 00 buckshot.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Going strictly on Home defense like Kurt mentioned then its still another eotech mounted ontop my FN PS-90 in 5.7×28. The ammo I use should do a good job but turns to dust as soon as they hit something hard…IE a wall, stud, fridge, sternum, head…whatever…they disintegrate easily. Chose that specific ammo for that reason. No over penetration. There are other “armor piercing” choices in that cal. though….I do have to say though there is ALOT of “Mythbuster” stuff out there about over penetration of smaller rifle rounds….Often times slower, heavier pistol ammo will plow through alot more stuff in a house than a 5.56 will….seriously…I’ve seen it and not in training scenarios. Thats one of the reasons we needed the 62 grain steel core penetrator ammo the military uses over the older 55 grain ball stuff. I think fast and light rifle ammo got an unfair bad wrap concerning that issue. That like anything else is an internet slug fest topic LOL:)..if your going to use an AR for home defense then pick something “frangible” and on that note I’m done with it. Sooo….back on topic….my 2 votes both for eo-tech….

  4. Cary Kieffer says:

    `Another good post!

    Whats best?? A good named brand that works for the individual using it….

    For me its the Eotech 552. My eyes pic up the large circle and get on target the fastest. I think the circle is 65 MOA. I only wish they would make the circle and center MOA dot GREEN. I pick up green faster than red. I like the BDC dots in the one style of reticle for further out shots too.(with a magnifier behind it)

    As far as what I prepare for?? Well…these days ya never know..crime, disaster, terror attack, economic collapse with anarchy everywhere?? who knows…I think it wont matter much aimpoint or eotech, 9mm or 45, 308 or 5.56, AK or AR or M1 Garand….it will matter you had something descent when you needed it and the brains/practice/balls in that order to use it properly.

  5. Adam Dollinger says:

    Iron sights, no batteries to die, no glass to break and millions have been killed using just a steel post.

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