Optics for the AR rifle platform
Law Enforcement Firearms
with Richard Fairburn
Back in the old days — I’m talking 1985 — mounting and using optical sights on an AR15 was problematic. The optics had to be mounted on some kind of contraption screwed to the carrying handle and sat so high you had to “cheek” the stock against your chin.
At first, I carried a Bushnell 3x9 scope on my AR15 and learned a lesson the first few times I pointed the rifle at human targets... even 3x magnification is too much when the distance-to-target is measured in feet.
So, the scope rode in my briefcase in case I needed to mount it for a long shot.
Today’s flat-topped receivers are designed specifically for mounting optical sighting devices, most commonly 1x long-eye-relief designs using a red dot or holographic reticle perfectly suited for close, fast work.
I have written about the need for a few officers to expand their capabilities with magnified optics, filling the Designated Marksman (DM) role.
My summer project is to test as many DM scopes as I can locate and report my findings in a shopper’s guide later this year. Along with the scopes, I’m reviewing some great mounts as well and thought I would preface the scope article with a quick review of mounts and mounting techniques.