Happy Tuesday, bikers, friends and Patriots! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got to do something you enjoy doing – shooting, riding or both! I have been quite busy over the past week doing what I do during the cold months of winter in Middle Tennessee – reading, shooting, reloading and when the opportunity presents itself – riding scoots. What have you been doing to stay busy in your neck-of-the-woods?
So, I admit it! While I am a YUGE supporter of the Second Amendment – and our God Given right to protect ourselves and loved ones – I have resisted owning an AR platform rifle until 2020. I know, what the hell? Having grown up deer hunting, I have owned a small armory of rifles for years. But one thing is common with the rifles I have owned: they have always been bolt-action guns. I love the feel of sliding the bolt closed – slamming a cartridge into battery – and sending lead WAY downrange. I have shot long range rifle competitively and the simplicity of a bolt action rifle makes them very reliable and accurate. But being one of my best friends is a retired Army 5th Group special forces NONCOM, I have been immersed in AR platform rifles for years – and seen them built from the ground up.
It has been a long road for me to decide on buying an AR and once I decided to do so, I determined the criteria I would use in selecting the rifle:
- It would be a carbine length rifle – or perhaps an AR pistol
- It would be in .300 AAC Blackout (I know, a lot of your are .556 NATO guys/gals – but I wanted a caliber I could shoot inside the house without losing what little hearing I have left! – And for those of you who are AR-10 aficionados and prefer the hard hitting 7.62X51 cartridge – please see my previous sentence – I value what little hearing I have left and I want to be able to place quick follow up shots!)
- It would have to be able to handle both hyper-sonic and subsonic ammunition
- It would be can ready – as I will use a suppressor to protect my hearing
So with this criteria my custom AR-15 in .300 Blackout was born. I started with a Burris 4X scope, and found the rifle was quite accurate with hand rolled hyper-sonic ammo out to 150 yards. Using a pistol-length gas tube it also digested subsonic ammo so I started looking a combat style red-dot sights. After reading dozens of reviews, I decided on the Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot in the 3 MOA varietal.
Included in the box:
- Venom Red Dot sight
- Weaver/Picatinny mount
- T-15 Torx wrench
- Rain cover
- Lens cloth
- Mounting screws
- CR1632 battery
- Screwdriver (for windage/elevation adjustment and battery access cover)
Besides purchasing the Vortex sight, I also purchased their AR-15 Riser Mount which properly positions the red dot on an AR-15 – the added benefit of which is the quick release lever – making removal of the sight very quick.
One of the best selling features of this sight, over competitive red dot sights, is battery access – you do not need to remove the sight, from its base, to install a new battery. Based on the specifications Vortex Optics provides, battery replacement will not be a common chore as the CR1632 battery is claimed to last 150 hours on its brightest setting and up to 30,000 hours on its lowest setting!
Setting up the Venom Red Dot was quick and easy. I installed the battery, mounted the sight on the riser, disassembled the rifle and bore sighted the sight at 25 yards. The entire assembly and bore sighting took less than 30 minutes – including setting up my bore sight target.
Three days later I was out at the range and found my first shot on the paper, at 25 yards, after bore sighting. In fact, I was one inch high and one inch to the right. Using my sled, I quickly zeroed the sight in and moved the target out to 50 yards. This sight is very accurate for a combat style red dot as proven by my target:
|Long Battery Life||No auto power up|
|Light weight (1.1 oz – sight only)||No “clicks” on windage and elevation adjustment|
|ArmorTek lens coating|
|Near ZERO parallax|
|High strength aluminum housing|
|Automatic red dot brightness (10 manual brightness levels)|
|Automatic shut down after 14 hours|
If you are like me, and take your home defense seriously, get rid of the scope on your AR-15 and go to a red dot combat sight. Target acquisition is quick and a 3 MOA sight will still drive shots through a bullseye at 100 yards. The Vortex Optics Venom 3 MOA Red Dot sight is a Grey Beard Biker™️ top buy – as it is both a high quality optic and very reasonably priced.