Below is a brief post from Graduate Shootist for your Wednesday reading. No big surprise, gun sales are up following the Colorado shooting. Eerily related, read this article from Maine on a guy that packed a handgun to the new Batman movie and was found owning a variety of assault rifles. Hopefully none of you readers are sketchy people like that reading this article on the Trijicon sight. Blah. I hate reading news like that.
But hey, there is always optimism to be had ….
- Ranger Man
We all shop for reliable items, balancing features against cost. What follows is a series, examining firearms and related equipment that has proven reliable during constant use in adverse conditions. These are things readily available that you’ll be able to buy for a reasonable price.
We needed an optical sight that would work in all lighting conditions, in cold weather and, if possible, without batteries. Stretching things further, we hoped to accommodate shared users with a generic zero. This last requirement eliminated most scopes due to eye relief and focus issues.
A well-known AR-15 manufacturer graciously loaned me a 16″ M-4 type carbine equipped with a Trijicon Reflex 6.5 MOA dot-sight. I fired several hundred rounds the following week during an urban rifle instructor school. This was long enough ago to be on the front edge of flat-tops and optics. On day #1 the package was viewed with obvious skepticism. Attitudes quickly changed as the week progressed and there were plenty of potential customers by day #5 – including me. Firing from unorthodox positions in rain and darkness, the utilitarian Trijicon really proved its worth.
Since then the optics field has exploded with a plethora of aiming devices priced to meet any budget. Some are hideously expensive and many rely on circuits. However, at a recent firearm instructor seminar a move back to basics was being touted. When things get ugly, KISS is good. If your battery-powered wonder sight refuses to wake up from a long winter nap you’ll need “Plan B”, pronto. That’s sometimes spelled “BUIS”, as in back-up iron sights. So for some, plan B may be the cheaper and more reliable alternative, period.
But not for us; everybody shoots iron-sights differently and constant zero adjustments were an invitation to problems. We procured two Trijicon Reflex 1×24 sights around 13 years ago and tested them extensively (this was in addition to the loaner unit). We then bought 20 more, which have been in regular service for 10+ years. Although they’re not perfect, these sights have met our requirements. In fact, the two oldest units are still going strong. Their Tritium lamps continue to illuminate the 6.5 MOA amber dots, providing a distinct aiming point without any sort of electronics.
What do you prefer for an optic on your rifle?