3-Gun & Tactical Rifle Scopes

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

In the interest of following up George’s question on rifle scopes, I currently use a Vortex Strike Eagle (although I don’t currently shoot 3-Gun).  It’s a second focal plane scope, and it’s price point is very reasonable.  I am interested in the newer Vortex Viper, but it’s price point is higher.

Here is a video that is a little dated, but still has some interesting information and perspective.

Also, Vortex explains first and second focal plane for us.

Please feel free to weigh in with comments explaining your choice of scope and why you chose it, along with price point.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On March 12, 2018 at 2:31 am, DAN III said:

    I shoot some outlaw 2-gun. Beyond that I just enjoy shooting 5.56mm platforms and the AK 5.45mm.

    In my AO a 300m shot would be long. So, 5.56mm/5.45mm suits me just fine. Especially since both cartridges have excellent MPBR (Maximum Point Blank Range) of nearly 300m. Thus I have found Trijicon’s TR24 (1-4x) and TR25 (1-6x) to suit my needs. All three have the Triangle post reticle in amber (preferred) or green. Reticle is an uncluttered field of view with no holdover or windage markings. Totally uncluttered.

    Both are 2nd focal plane (prefer 1st fp) variables. Both have ocular FOCUS ! An often overlooked and ignored feature ignored by ACOG fanboys. Both have extremely clear glass. The eye relief is a real life 4+ inches along with excellent eyebox (eye cone) at 1x. This allows for awkward shooting positions yet still find the reticle when not dead center behind scope.

    Both scopes are dual illum….fiber optic and tritium with etched reticle. No batteries. Scopes are lightweight with minimum length. The TR24 being the best IMO, for least weight, length and field of view between the two. But, giving up 2x of magnification to the TR25.

    FWIW….these and all my optics are mounted with American Defense Manufacturing mounts. The best mounts IMO.

    There are many choices out there in weapons optics. Almost too many. For me, for their intended purpose, the Trijicon TR24 and TR25 work perfectly. Simply, they are combat optics.

  2. On March 12, 2018 at 2:36 am, DAN III said:

    BTW….forgot to add price points for TR24 and TR25. $750 to $1050 approximate. Always watch for Memorial Day and Black Friday specials.

  3. On March 12, 2018 at 5:35 pm, George said:


    Thanks for posting these video links. Lots of good information there and the variety of good scopes mentioned just makes the choice more difficult, lol. That said, I still am looking closely at the Vortex Strike Eagle model that you mentioned initially. I like their choice of reticle (AR- BDC) and the price is not beyond my budget either. And… there is a Cabela’s within reasonable driving distance that has them in stock, so I can check it out in person.

  4. On March 12, 2018 at 7:04 pm, moe mensale said:

    My 20″ Colts are currently wearing Steiner P4Xi 1-4×24 illuminated 2nd focal plane variables in ADM Delta cantilever mounts. The P3TR reticle is very simple and uncluttered. Tapered crosshairs, illuminated center dot and hash marks for 2-600 yards. The tapered crosshairs draw your eye right to the center dot especially if it’s unlit. 11 position rheostat. Crystal clear glass and excellent eye relief of ~4″. The ADM mounts are the horizontal split design, not the more “fashionable” vertical split design that’s the current rage. And they’re rock solid. The Steiners cost $425 each and the ADMs $170 each.

  5. On March 15, 2018 at 11:39 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Year ago, prior to my purchase of my Trijicon ACOG, I did some research on the visibility of the three colors available; red, green, and amber.

    I found out that the research had been done in depth, that is sparing no expense, by the US military.

    They found that green was the best, followed by some distance by red, with amber the hardest to see. Don’t shoot the messenger, that’s what they found. My ACOG has green illuminated reticle, the inverted horseshoe.

    Right now, I’m looking at a scope with somewhat more magnification, not for increased range, but for increased target identification in my AO. The current production of the Trijicon RS27 fills the bill. 34mm tube, 1-8x, green segmented circle illumination in either mil-dot or MOA. Reticle is first focal plain. It does require a CR2032 wafer battery.

  6. On March 15, 2018 at 11:40 pm, Farva Arock said:

    Steiner P4Xi in an Aero Precision lightweight mount. Scope is $450 mount is $60.

    The best part? 20 oz all up.

  7. On March 16, 2018 at 12:49 am, ensitue said:

    I simply cannot see the appeal of the typical ‘3-gun’ scope. Despite good glass and the best coatings we are still talking about a 25-35mm objective lens. Once the sun drops over the horizon such optics are going to become problematic and depending on AO, useless. My AO has extended periods of low light, about six months worth in fact. I lost a shot at a nice buck because my 35mm scope could not draw enough light to make the shot. I switched to 50mm scopes and if one stays clear of those monstrous tactical scopes they can be a god-send, I have a Nikon 3-9X50 on an AR for Varmints. Quality lenses and coatings allow for the use of 40mm lenses; my 270win is a tack driver out to 800 yards w/it’s Leupold VX2 4-12X44 Firefly and my Leupold MK 6 3-18X44 are great all round units.

  8. On March 16, 2018 at 3:46 am, DAN III said:


    One thing that I find extremely annoying are descriptions of lighted reticles as “daylight bright”. If ever there was a misnomer or piss-poor description of something, visibility of a lighted, scope reticle as “daylight BRIGHT” is it !

    When Trijicon brought out their 1-8x, FFP Accupower a year ago I ordered and received the green, MOA reticle. The “daylight bright” green reticle was far from bright except in a dark room. Doing further research I found that green was LESS visible than red. I exchanged my RS27 for the same scope with a red reticle. Upon receipt I determined it was brighter (for my eyes) than the green. However, the “daylight bright” of the red reticle, although better than green was not “bright”. It was visibly better than the green however, only marginally. I best describe lighted reticles as “daylight VISIBLE”. As there is no such thing as a “bright” reticle in a variable power rifle scope….until (allegedly) now. Courtesy of Nightforceoptics.com

    Nightforce has just released two, new 1-8x variable scopes. One in 30mm tube and the other in 34mm tube. On 1x the lighted reticle supposedly acts as a true red dot. According to the well-known firearms trainer Frank Proctor, he states the lighted reticle as being “Aimpoint Bright”. This description allowing folks to better understand how truly bright the new Nightforce optics are. Consequently, my Trijicon Accupower 1-8x is on the chopping block. Why ? Because the new, Nightforce NX8 is:

    1. “Aimpoint” bright.
    2. Weighs 17 oz vs the RS27’s 25 oz
    3. Length of 8.75″ vs the RS27’s 10.8″.

    Retail is in the $1700.00 range. However, if one is a US military veteran (with documented proof) nightforceoptics.com offers a military pricing for this and all their products. Go to their website for specifics.

    Sayonara RS27. Hello NX8 !

  9. On March 16, 2018 at 6:21 am, Ray said:

    I don’t want one, but thanks anyway. I can think of a lot of things to piss away 1200 bucks on. A scope isn’t one of them. I don’t own or want an AR. I don’t own or need anything with a “rail”. My old 3006 Mauser does just fine with a 4X Redfield(Oregon). My Garand does just fine with Iron’s . My AK has a maximum effective of 300 meters. If I can’t hit a target at 300 over irons its time to quit anyway. BTW. I can see a house cat setting on a fence 500 yards away at the top of the hill. I watched the crossbow hunter in a tree at 600 yards, the next farm over, last winter and him in a “shaggy” suit. So what advantage will over priced fadwear give me? I was infantry about a zillion years ago and don’t want anything with me or on my weapon that I don’t have to carry .

  10. On March 16, 2018 at 6:54 am, DAN III said:


    Good for you. However, I highly doubt your exaggerated claim that you can “….see a house cat setting on a fence 500 yards away….”

    You must eat a lot of carrots !

  11. On March 16, 2018 at 7:17 am, matt said:

    Get off my lawn

  12. On March 16, 2018 at 3:50 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    ACOGs are great, but not everyone has the coin for them. Trijicon’s design is also showing its age in certain respects.

    The ACOG has no adjustable fine focus or parallax adjustment; if the glass don’t work for you as-is, you’re out of luck – and out $1500 bucks!

    ACOG BDCs do work, but only with specific provisos – you must match your rifle/carbine to the proper model on the basis of cartridge, muzzle velocity (barrel length) and bullet weight. If you get an ACOG matched to an M4-type carbine with 14.5-inch barrel firing M855 at 2860 fps, then the BDC holdovers won’t work reliably on a longer barrel such as 20-inch.

    Trijicon’s reticles are still quite good, but not as cutting edge as they were a quarter century ago; many other manufacturers make options which are as good or better – and much cheaper. Primary Arms, for example, has their ACSS reticle, which is – IMHO – the finest reticle design of its kind available at any price. Trijicon couldn’t beat it, so they pay PA licensing fees to use it in several ACOG models instead.

    Primary Arms is one company offering well-designed optics at an affordable price; the aforementioned Vortex Optics does as well. I sold a lot of Vortex products when I used to be in the retail FA industry. They make an excellent product and stand behind it.

    An excellent option for a close-to-medium range optic is the Hi-Lux CMR 1-4x line. Available in several versions, mine is set-up for .223/.308 . The optic comes in under $400, but has very good glass, a well-designed and thought-out reticle and a very accurate BDC – which when I checked it on the range, was dead-on out to 600 yards. Cranked down to 1-2 power, it is suitable for close range and can be run both eyes open like a red-dot; at 4x magnification, the second focal plane reticle and BDC features are accurate for range-finding and other uses. A very versatile design.

    If you watch You Tube, check out the military arms channel where MAC does a review of the CMR and is quite impressed with it.

    The ACOG is still king of the hill for a lot of people – and their ruggedness and simplicity are crucial to grunts going downrange in the sandbox and other places. but the average GI has his paid for by Uncle Sam. If you are still saving up for that high-end optic by Trijicon, NF, Leupold, etc. – consider some of the more-affordable options out there. $400-500 gets you a lot more than it used to. Even today’s cheapest, most budget-priced optics are of higher quality than our boys used in SE Asia a half-century ago.

  13. On March 16, 2018 at 4:03 pm, Ray said:

    @ DANIII. My 60 year old eyes are tested at 20/15. I can see the mountain dew can setting on the gate post at that range. “Google Earth” says the range to target at that gate is 599 yards. The fence runs from north west to south east at a slight angle. Maximum visible fence ranges at 637 yards. Closest is 486. There ate three deer stands along that fence/tree line. I have a sector card.

  14. On March 16, 2018 at 4:03 pm, Ray said:

    “There are” not ate

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You are currently reading "3-Gun & Tactical Rifle Scopes", entry #18789 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published March 11th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (32)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (10)
Ammunition (39)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (117)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (59)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (59)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (7)
Body Armor (17)
Books (3)
Border War (8)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (28)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (9)
CIA (25)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (216)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (133)
Department of Homeland Security (19)
Disaster Preparedness (3)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (8)
Donald Trump (1)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (19)
Featured (177)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (789)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (42)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (642)
Guns (1,287)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (14)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (61)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (53)
Islamists (81)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (3)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (248)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
Media (38)
Memorial Day (3)
Mexican Cartels (24)
Mexico (31)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (23)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (23)
NATO (15)
Navy (22)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (56)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (218)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (41)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (316)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (368)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (135)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (29)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (216)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (26)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (19)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (3)
Survival (16)
SWAT Raids (54)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (3)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (93)
Thanksgiving (7)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (15)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (46)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (215)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (58)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (19)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2018 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.