I knew I’d need to get some type of optic for my new AR-15 MSR right after shooting it for the first time. It wasn’t that the rifle wasn’t accurate enough without putting something on it, but rather I wasn’t accurate enough. I couldn’t see the target or the sights in fine enough detail to allow any kind of precision shooting that I’d become used to with bolt-action rifles and Leupold scopes. But what optic should I put on it? Reticle scope, reflex, prism, or telescopic red dot? Did I want something military grade or would I have to settle for something a little less expensive? It’s would be a tough choice for anyone, especially for a guy who has a hard time choosing.
I was looking for a sight that could do double duty as a hunting optic as well as home defense, but those are normally two entirely different pieces of equipment with unique performance characteristics. Hunting sights might be adjustable for up close or long-range work, while home defense sights are normally fixed power because the ranges are limited. Hunting weapons require repeatable sub-MOA precision from steady rests (for the most part) but defensive weapons require fast target acquisition from sometimes unusual positions. So what sight will do both those jobs?
I ultimately chose the SPARC II by Vortex and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Mounting and sighting in (bore sighting, then zeroing at the range) was very quick and took way fewer shots than I expected. And now, after having put about 500 rounds downrange while looking through the sight, I believe it’s ready for just about anything I throw at it including defending the house or a impromptu hunting trip. Unlimited eye relief allows the sight to be mounted anywhere on the upper’s picatinny rail, and zero parallax error provides reliable sighting even when the shooter isn't sighting directly down the center of the scope. The 2MOA red dot is small enough to allow precision work at reasonable distances but is still large enough to pickup quickly when speed matters. The dot’s intensity is adjustable over a wide range of settings to ensure good visibility in low light or on the brightest days. Numerous mounting options allow for co-witnessing iron sights or low-profile mounting in a more traditional hunting configuration. All caps have retention cables and flip-up covers are included. What more could you ask for?
I don’t expect to be picking off prairie dogs at 300 yards but using the rifle for wild hogs here in Florida is a distinct possibility. Hitting my target shouldn’t be too much of an issue as long as I don’t have too much coffee in the morning. The SPARC II has proven to be a nice piece of equipment that should give me years of shooting enjoyment as well as come through in clutch situations. Check them out if you’re looking for an affordable high quality scope with great features and an impeccable warranty program.
Brian “Beastman” Eastman
White River Fly Shop
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