With such a tremendous proliferation of low or high-powered optical systems today, even the most veteran AR15 rifle or semi-automatic pistol owners sometimes struggle with what scope to mount on the gun’s upper receiver or slide. Typically, the final decision will be a scope that best matches the shooting requirement intended, and this, unfortunately, is where the problem of picking the best one for you usually starts. With such tremendous advancements in optical technology, it’s not uncommon to browse through the features of a long line of scopes offering the most cutting-edge technology available.
Regardless of how many features some of these optical systems provide or how much you pay for them, you may discover that they won’t hold up to some of the more stringent conditions you’re likely to encounter in the field. While they look great on paper, performance on some of these scopes during a hunting trip often falls short of expectations. Most hunters and gun enthusiasts want two things in a quality optic system: a scope that works as advertised and an optic system that can take a beating out in the field and continue to perform for years to come. With that in mind, instead of spending hours or months of research before you decide, here are a few to consider when searching for the most durable scopes.
Trijicon has amassed numerous accolades, awards, and military contracts for their Variable Combat Optical Gunsight or VCOG. A variation of this virtually indestructible sight is currently in use by the United States Marine Corp and is tested against MIL-STD 810G tests developed by the Department of Defense that simulate real-world conditions in the field.
Each Trijicon VCOG features multi-coated glass that offers superior light collection in low-light conditions with zero distortion regardless of the distance. With a front-focal plane focus, the Trijicon VCOG reticle allows quicker target acquisition and will enable you to apply the correct hold even when the range of the target shifts. If your preference is taking those long-distance precision shots, the Trijicon VCOG offers a 1X6X24 commercial version with your choice of BDC or Universal MRAD and MOA reticles. For those who require a little more magnification, the 1X8X28 VCOG offers both MRAD and MOA reticles.
Another popular feature of the VCOG series of optical systems from Trijicon is how easy they are to mount. Forget the need for mounting rings; the Trijicon VCOG doesn’t need them. With an integrated mount compatible with many of the rails on the market, the Trijicon VCOG effectively eliminates the sometimes-problematic conventional mounting rings. As mentioned earlier, expect to make a sizeable investment for the Trijicon VCOG scope of around two thousand dollars or less when on sale.
Swarovski Z6 Rifle Scopes
While not mentioned as much as brands such as Leupold, Trijicon, or Bushnell during a conversation, the Swarovski Z6 rifle scopes are arguably among the most versatile and durable optic systems you’re likely to find. The Z6 rifle scope became the gold standard when introduced in 2007 and, even today remains a benchmark optical system you’ll want to consider mounting on your AR15.
Regarding durability, Swarovski manufactures the Z6 series scopes with a four-coil spring system that is best in design. Additionally, the Swarovski Z6 absorbs shock far better than most and allows you to make a quick and effortless point of impact adjustment while holding zero even when knocked about in the field. Complete with finger adjustment turrets with zero settings, the Z6 scope also features microstructure grooves that reduce glare while offering far improved contrast even in harsh sunlight. In wet or humid conditions, the Swarovski Z6 scope is rated to be fog proof and is entirely waterproof even when submersed in depths of thirteen feet. The Z6 is such a versatile and durable scope because it allows you to acquire a target at much lower magnification and still provides a wide field of view for close shots and greater precision when you need to take a long-range shot. Factor in the scratch-resistant coating and the heavy-recoil capacity, and you’ll have a scope on your rifle that will operate dependably in even the harshest environments.
Feyachi RS-25 Reflex Sight
So far, the scopes mentioned are better suited to be mounted on rifles such as an AR15, but for pistols, one of the more durable optics on the market is the RS-25 Reflex Sight from Feyachi. When it comes to taking a beating and handling extreme conditions, the Feyachi RS-25 is made of aerospace-grade aluminum and is both water-resistant and shockproof.
Not only is the Feyachi RS-25 durable, but this reflex red dot is both adaptable and accurate. With a few twists of an included wrench, the RS-25 can be easily mounted in seconds. Also, should you decide to interchange this scope with different gun platforms, the compact size makes it a perfect fit on any Picatinny rail without getting in the way of other accessories. Feyachi understands that some firearm enthusiasts prefer a dot reticle while others won’t use anything except a crosshair and gives you a choice with 4 different reticles that provide extra-large fields of view that guarantee quick target acquisition. With added durability, scratch-resistant lenses, and unlimited eye relief, the RS-25 also features a parallax-free design that keeps the scope on the target regardless of where your eyes may stray. Competitively priced at less than fifty dollars, the Feyachi RS-25 is an excellent and inexpensive optic solution that won’t break the bank but is guaranteed to perform as expected.
An Informed Decision Although there are many different types and styles of scopes on the market, these three typically take top billing among the hunting and gun enthusiast population. When in the market for a durable and versatile optic, one of the first things to understand is that most of the best and most durable optic systems will require a sizable investment. Prices for a quality and dependable scope typically hover in the twelve hundred-to-three- thousand-dollar range. You can also find a quality RMR or red dot pistol optical system at a price range from six to nine hundred dollars. Yes, you’ll be able to locate far cheaper solutions, but the adage you end up getting what you paid for often applies with a few noted exceptions. So, do your research, determine your budget beforehand and give these optic systems and perhaps a few others your consideration before making the final choice.