More and more professional law enforcement and military tactical shooters are now adding a bit more integrity and reliability to their scoped service AR by adding a second sighting system to the rifle. The most common "add on" tends to be one of today's smaller electronic red-dot reflex type sights. The one shown above is ideal for this application.
This is the extremely small Tac-Dot now offered by Hi-Lux Optics. The sight itself is just 2.5 inches long - and adds just 2.1 ounces to the weight of a rifle. But don't let the small size fool you, this tiny 1x sight is an ideal back up for any 30mm tube tactical scope, especially when a situation calls for very close-up and personal shooting.
Mounting this sight on a scope like the Hi-Lux Optics CMR 1-4X (Close-Medium Range) model also shown in the photo is as simple as attaching the Hi-Lux machined aluminum 30mm Lock Ring with Rail (30LRWR). It took me all of 2 or 3 minutes to install the ring and the Tac-Dot sight to one of my working AR rifles. I had the scope sighted to print an inch above the center of the bull (using the 4x magnification setting) ... and the red-dot sighted to print pretty much "dead on" at 25 yards. This has become my "walking rifle". I live in the mountain country of Western Montana, where I walk my three dogs at least 5 or 6 days each week. Those walks, on mountain trails or closed Forest Service roads, often take the dogs and me 5 or 6 miles off the road - and into country that is inhabited by wolves, bears and mountain lions. Until five years ago, I just carried a .44 Magnum revolver with me...until three wolves chased two of my dogs some 200 yards from where I stood somewhat helpless...with the revolver in my hand. The dogs made it back to me unharmed, and I had learned a valuable lesson. Carry A Rifle! And I have from that day on.
Until this year, I have carried a scoped Winchester Model 70, chambered for the .300 Winchester Short Magnum. Most weeks, I put on close to 25 miles when making those walks, and one day I sat down and calculated that I had packed that rifle more than 5,000 miles over a four-year period. That's when I decided to go with a lighter .223 AR ... with a 30-round clip in the gun, and a spare 30-round clip in a belt pouch or back pocket. Some of the country we head into can get very thick, and that's why I wanted the red-dot mounted on the scope. It's just a matter of bringing the rifle up...looking over the scope...putting the dot on anything that suddenly comes out of the thick foliage...and squeezing off a shot...or five or six shots if needed. The great thing about a reflex 1x red-dot sight like the Tac-Dot is that it is sighted in to put the bullet where the dot is...and that dot does not have to be centered in the sight. There is no parallax with these sights. Once the shooter takes the time to sit down at the bench and sight in the sight, basically the same as a scope, then when the sight is really needed, it's just a matter of getting the dot on the target and pulling the trigger. It doesn't matter if the dot you see in the sight is off to one side or the other, or up high or down low, as long as that sight has been properly sighted in for the firearm being shot...where that dot is on the target is where the bullet will impact. That's why red-dot sights are so popular.
I've now carried the rig shown at the top of this post for most of the past year...and for more than 1,000 miles. More recently, I needed to do some testing with the new Micro-Max B-Dot sight just introduced by Hi-Lux Optics. This sight offers an amazing 55,000 hours of battery life. Overall, it is a bit larger than the Tac-Dot...measuring 3.5 inches in length, but still weighing just 3.8 ounces. To clear the elevation adjustment turret of the CMR scope, I moved the 30LRWR forward of the front scope ring. This still allowed the front of the scope and the front of the Micro-Max B-Dot sight to sit reasonably close to being flush. Shooting from sandbags, it took just 7 or 8 shots to have the sight putting shots center-target at 25 yards. Then I took a couple of off-hand shots, and those rounds were also near the center of the 2-inch diameter "X" ring.
With a new target up, and 10 rounds in the magazine, without bringing the rifle down once, I squeezed off all 10 shots from the standing position...to see how quickly I could get the glowing red dot settled back on the center of the target and squeeze off the next shot. All ten rounds printed inside the 2-inch circle. (Target shown here.) Letting the rifle cool a couple of minutes between shots, I checked the setting of the CMR scope at 100 yards. Three shots printed within a half-inch, center-to-center.
I had a swinging five-inch steel target out at 200 yards...and with the center-dot of the CMR scope nearly covering the target, three shots from a sand bag rest made that steel disc jump each time. This rifle is now more versatile than it has ever been...and those wolves out where I walk my dogs may never chase my dogs again - but if they do I'm ready for them. Bring it on Canis lupus ... And I'll introduce you to Ballistic Coefficient!
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