Choosing the right weapon optics is important for any firearm you own/use. Make the right decision.
I’ve been shooting for a long time, almost my whole life. It began in the woods of North Minnesota-back when parents “almost” trusted you with a BB gun and your best friend along as your hunting partner. As long as you made it back for dinner, you weren’t seen again the entire day. We would take the trails that ran all the way up to the Boundary Waters and hunt squirrels, rabbits, and sometimes each other (3 pump rule!) How we survived is anyone’s guess, but my love of shooting followed me into the Marine Corps and Law Enforcement all these years later. From a firearms instructor to S.W.A.T. team leader, I want others to know how to shoot accurately and safely because it could save someone’s life one day.
When it comes to accessories for the gun, I could write all day on what works, what sucks, and what I recommend. I’ll keep posting more articles on different topics as I get time, so stick with me. I want to discuss gun weapon optics today because I do feel like this is one of the most important things to get right on your weapon.
I am going to focus this discussion more on law enforcement and military use because this is more of my specialty.
- What kind of weapon system do you have? Thinking about the size here, you are not going to put a red dot on a sniper rifle. To keep things simple here we are not getting into long-range weapon optics in this article, but I will talk about it in the future.
- What is the battery life? You don’t want to train all day with your optic and then get a call out a few days later and your battery is dead. Obviously, you want to have spare batteries on you, but the longer the battery life, the better.
- How much can you or your department spend? Weapon optics can get crazy expensive and typically you get what you pay for, but there are good options around $200.
- Durability and warranty? You are using these things in the field, put them in the back of patrol vehicles for weeks at a time and they need to be able to hold their zero, take bumps, etc. They basically need to be able to take a beating and hold up. Most top brands have 10 years to lifetime warranties and for good reason. However, your department isn’t going to use these optics (most likely) for 10 years, so keep it mind.
Some good options for duty weapon optics
- Vortex Strike Eagle– For a patrol rifle this is a great optic for short to medium range. When you might have to transition from a building (CQB) to a field, this adjusts from 1x to 8x easily. Note you will need to purchase a mount. Lifetime warranty!
- EOTECH EXPS3- This holographic optic is a higher-end CQB, and you do have the option to mount a magnifier on it (for more money). The EOTECH does come with a quick-throw lever mount. True open, two eyes shooting, and NVG compatible settings. 1000hrs battery life, but it’s doing more work with the holographic feature. The reticle has a 68MOA, a ring around the center dot, and allows for quick target acquisition.
- SIG ROMEO5- This simple compact 1x optic can be used for everything from rifles to sub-machine guns. Budget-friendly under $200, it does come with NVG settings and 40K + hours of battery life. It has “shake awake” feature, which helps you extend that already impressive battery time. Lifetime warranty!
Last thoughts on this subject: Pick a dependable company, do your research, and pick an optic that suits your needs. Try to get the best optic for your price range because it’s pretty damn important.