The new optic rule for Service Rifle

High Power Service Rifle competitors will now be able to mount a 4.5×34 optic on top of their rifle and compete head to head with the folks still using irons as God intended.

I expect that we don’t see massive increases in top scores because of this rule change, what I expect is that the folks who were afraid of competing in High Power because using irons seems like a middle ages black magic will suddenly give it a shot (or 88 shots if their match is across the course). Due to the dwindling numbers of High Power competitors, this rule change is a what I consider a “good thing.”

The new optic rule limits magnification to 4.5 power, and the objective lens size to 34 millimeters.

So with that in mind, here are my recommendations for some low cost optics that your buddy might consider. I’m keeping my recommendations in the lower end of the cost spectrum as while I can totally and without reservation recommend an ACOG, they cost more than most entry level High Power AR-15s.

Burris MTAC 1-4×24. Runs between 300 and 400 bucks, solid optic.

Bushnell AR Optics 1-4×24. Has one tenth millirad adjustments and parralax adjustment. This is the essentially the Burris MTAC cheaper alternative.

Vortex Crossfire II 1-4×24. Can be had for around 180 with a standard reticle, around 200 with illuminated center dot. Comes with 1/2 MOA adjustments, which is perfectly fine for High Power. Lots of 1-4×24 optics coming out of China these days, so the only real difference is the “brand equity” you get with the name stamped on the scope, with Burris or Vortex you get a great warranty to go with the scope.

Nikon P-223 1-4×20. The 20mm objective lens pushes this into the “dimmest” scope category with an exit pupil diameter of 5mm. However it is a Nikon, and costs much less than the Burris MTAC option.

Nikon P-223 3×32. A generous 10.9mm exit pupil diameter makes this scope the hands down “brightest” option for folks who like bright optics. The 3x max magnification isn’t great, but magnification isn’t everything.

Swift×32 Premier 648M scope. A “plain Jane” hunting scope with reticle that might be a dealbreaker to some. If you want traditional cross hairs, get the 4×32 668M Swift fixed power hunting scope (or the 1.5-4.5×21 scope), and while it doesn’t come with as nice turrets, it has a traditional style reticle that may be easier for some shooters to use.

The recommendations above cover the 100 to 400 dollar price range. Any of them in good working order will serve you well, and any of them broken will cost you a match.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The new optic rule for Service Rifle

  1. DW says:

    Can confirm that the Burris MTAC line of optics is a solid reliable reasonably priced option for anyone looking to put an optic on their AR15. Our family has that model and we have added the MTAC 1.5×6 to our inventory, since we will not be doing much shooting beyond 300M. I have bad astigmatism, very near sighted and now need readers for up close, so the 1.5×6 helps eliminate some of those issues without breaking the family bank.

    My only criticism of the MTAC line would be that the reticle is a bit thicker than it needs to be, but overall a great value in an optic.


    • rthtgnbs says:

      The 1.5-6×40 MTAC is a great optic, and probably the best thing out there for an AR. It is too bad that it doesn’t make the new High Power equipment restrictions. I’m hoping that Nikon just ups the magnification on the 3×32 to a 4 or 4.5.


      • DW says:

        I did not realize the price difference in the Nikon optics. Very low prices for a decent optic, so I am definitely taking a look.

        What do you think, comparing the P-223 3×32 and the P-223 1.5-4.5×20? Yeah, I agree that if Nikon made the 3×32 in a 4×32, that would certainly be a nice option. However, I usually prefer a variable power optic, but I am a bit concerned that the 20mm object diameter limits the 1.5-4.5 scope a bit.

        I have a bit of mileage on you., I have an old Colt AR15 Sporter – so the carry handle is part of the upper. I am wondering if the 3×32 would be a nice optic for it, although height over bore would clearly be an issue to adjust for.


  2. rthtgnbs says:

    I can’t really tell you what to buy, but I wouldn’t call the 20mm objective a deal breaker. I have particular fetish for ensuring that the exit diameter is at least 7mm whenever possible, BUT, one of the better “cheap” tactical scopes out there, the Bushnell Elite 10×40, only has a 4mm exit pupil diameter and is very “bright.”

    The 5mm exit pupil of the 1-4×20 Nikon is going to be “plenty bright” on bright days when the human pupil is smaller than 5mm. At darker times, dropping it down to 2x or below will ensure the exit diameter is 10mm or larger, so at that point total light transmission through the lenses becomes more important than the size of the lenses.

    To put it in comparison, an 8×40 optic will be just as “bright” in the same conditions as a 4×20 optic, but with twice the magnification and size. A lot of 3-9×40 optics are on the market (like Redfield) that are really quite good, even on max power.

    I hope this is at least helpful in your analysis.


Leave a Reply to DW Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s