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I'm nearing the end of an AR build and looking for advice on optics.

I will call the rifle a mid weight varmint gun chambered in 204 Ruger. It will have a 20" barrel contoured to .750 past the gas block. Its primary use will be for varmint hunting from a bench or bi-pod, pasture poodles mostly.

I have a VX-III 8.5-25X50 on another AR and like it quite well, not sure I need that much on this one. I am considering the 6.5-20X50 with side focus and fine duplex but looking at the Leupold catalog dimensions and weight are identical and there isn't much of a price difference. I would shave 4 oz if I went with the 40mm 6.5-20, otherwise everything else is the same.

I guess my main concern is having too much scope and making the rifle unwieldy. I would like to have a minimum of 20X for PDs.

Thanks in advance
 

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The only real input that I have is this: I have been prairie dog hunting with an AR for about 15 years. If I ever had a scope that was 20 x or above, It seems like I alwasy end up turning it down to about 16 x anyway. I don't know if it's how I hunt or where I hunt, but the mirrage just kills me when I get much over 16 x.
 

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I don`t think you`ll notice much difference between the 16 x and the 20 x on the top end when shooting PD`s. The one thing I might sugest is that you get a scope with mil dots. I`ve got a pile of Leupolds laying around here, but am about to eather send one back for mil dots or buy a new one with mil dots. Though about the custom ratical route, but the price is alittle more than I want to pay.
 

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If you would consider a Burris...

I have a 4.5-14×50 PA Burris Fullfield on my DPMS 16" Panther Bull. No, it's not a VXIII, but it has worked well for me. I have the mildot reticle and would prefer it in a long range varmiter as well.

 

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I have been considering the same thing myself which scope to put on my HB AR??? my rifle will mostly be used for plinking and groundhogs, I have considered something around a 4.5X14 and even power ranges up to a 6X24, being as though Im new to the AR scene Im somewhat torn on what to throw on her, Im not even sure if I want a standard duplex or a mildot, threads like these offer alot of insight though. Thanks for all the info
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no2 vaporizer
 

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AR scope

I have a Colt CAR w/ a Leupold 4.5-14x14x50 30mm tactical that shoots pretty well. On my last PD safari, I was pretty impressed w/ the hits I obtained out to nearly 500 yds. Sometimes I wished for more magnification, but I didn't feel handicapped @ this distance. I am going to install a RR match trigger and maybe put a 20x scope on it, but I could certainly live w 14x. The Mil-dots or Ballistic plex reticle are more important than magnification! They offer "reference points", this is the important thing in my opinion. FWIW Russ Aim small, miss small!
 

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Look at the Digital Scope by Elcan. I have one on a AR in .204 and find that the 2.5 to 16.5 is plenty for PD's. Plus it takes video of your shot! It has built in mounts, selectable reticles (4) that you can design yourself, downloadable ballistic software, and can sing and dance and makes all it's own clothes.
I have a Leupold VX III on another AR and like it too, but it won't do nuttin' but sit there. O C
 
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