Welcome back to the 60th installment of my blog, in which I don’t claim to be an expert, in fact, the opposite. I’m a new user of the AR platform and want to share my findings and experiences as I go through and build rifles as well as being the Operations Manager at Tyrant Designs.


If I had a nickel for every time I saw someone get roasted for cheaping out on their optics, I would have a s**t load of nickels. It's a widely accepted idea that choosing your optic is one of the most important decisions you can make when putting together a build. No matter what camp you identify with tacticool or tactical, both sides generally agree that this is an area you want to invest in. It's not commonplace for an optic to cost just as much as the rifle itself.

The more you pay the more you get, which includes magnification. The question I never hear anybody talk about it is, is there such thing as too much magnification?

The short answer is yes. Depending on how you use your rifle, will help you pick a magnification that will suit your needs. The guy using his AR for home defense or to plink at his local indoor gun range will have many different needs than a long-range competitive shooter or hunter. What if you need to use it for a combination of both? If the range of magnification of the optic is too big, it will be of greater detriment to the user than a range that is too small.

Let's say you want to use your rifle for hunting and home defense. Most of the shots that you need to take while hunting is going to be considered more of a close-range. It can be a seldom occurrence for a hunter to take a shot over 100 meters away. In this case, any optic with a magnification of 6X or even 10X will be sufficient. A close target needs to be acquired and shot quickly. If your scope has too much magnification you may only see part of your target in the viewfinder. Anything over 10X and you risk having to deal with this problem.

The same goes for self-defense. The chances you need to take a Chris Kyle shot at an intruder or from your truck is not very likely. If you want the best of both worlds get a red dot with a magnifier that can be easily removed. You can also use a lower power variable scope. Whatever floats your boat.

Next time you are putting together a new build and your buying your optic, run these questions through your noggin. "Does this scope fit my needs and am I paying for magnification that I won't need." or "Am I using high scope magnification to compensate for something I'm lacking in my life." These are the existential questions that might save you a few dollars and maybe your life one day.