Red Dot Magnifiers vs. Millett DMS 1-4x Scope... Thoughts?

breamfisherbreamfisher Senior MemberPosts: 13,101 Senior Member
I've been thinking of making my AR carbine a bit more versatile for ranges beyond 50 yds. With my eyesight, even corrected, I have a hard time shooting bullseyes and distinguishing targets past 50 yds. While some may think it's not an issue on a carbine set up for defensive use, I also like to plink with it, and if I'm keeping myself to 50 yds., I'd just as well have gone with a pistol-caliber carbine. So, I'd like to get some sort of magnification to my carbine's sighting system but at the same time keep a 1x optic for close-range stuff.

Another issue is that I really like a donut-dot reticle like my Bushnell red dot has. It's the 65 MOA circle with a 3 MOA center dot.

bushnell_trophy_red_dot20_sight_73-0134.jpg

I've been pondering getting either a 3x or so magnifier in a flip-to-side mount (or just in a fixed ring I remove when I'm not at the range) or getting a Millett DMS 1-4x scope. I know the scope is not the same as a red dot, but I've heard good things about it. No experience with a magnifier.

Thoughts? Pros and cons of each setup?
Overkill is underrated.

Replies

  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    I have a DMS-1 on my SPR upper, and really like it, but it is not a lightweight optic at all. Also, look at light transmission to compare a CQB scope like the DMS to a combined red dot + magnifier.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,231 Senior Member
    I've got a Millett red dot that's good when it's cloudy, but washes out in bright light. Like daylight. But it's a cheap one. I had an Aimpoint, and don't remember having problems with it, but the it's about six times the price of the Millett.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,101 Senior Member
    Gene, I've never had a problem with this Bushnell red dot unless it's super bright and the battery's low. In fact with fresh batteries, I can set the dot to be TOO bright. But with an 11-setting rheostat, I can dial it back.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,101 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    I have a DMS-1 on my SPR upper, and really like it, but it is not a lightweight optic at all. Also, look at light transmission to compare a CQB scope like the DMS to a combined red dot + magnifier.
    Just looked, and the DMS with an PEPR- type mount is 2 oz. heavier than my current setup plus a flip-to-side magnifier. I'm thinking that the magnifier, by adding more lenses, may have worse light transmission plus I'm not sure a flip-to-side mount is sturdy. I don't know, that's something I'd like to find out if someone has some knowledge.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,610 Senior Member
    I have / run / and absolutely DO NOT LIKE the 3x magnifiers for red dot optics. Hate.......hate.......hate them!

    They are
    1. Bulky
    2. Awkward
    3. Clumsy
    4. Inconsistent POI

    Several have an adjustable paralax to center the dot in the magnifier. This inherently changes ever so slightly as you snap on/twist on/swing on every time you use it.

    Hate them.

    1-4x scope in this case RULZ!!!!

    Take it how you will, I am not a Gucci youtube coolguy salesman. I'm a knuckle dragger with an opinion.

    There ya go.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,101 Senior Member
    Okay, I've noticed that some have what seem to be windage and elevation knobs. That explains it, and if it shifts with each movement, me no likey.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,610 Senior Member
    I'm not saying it shifts all over the place, but I can tell the paralax moves and I've seen POI shift. I have two of them right now. NEITHER is on a gun!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,101 Senior Member
    If it moves even a little, I don't like it. I think I'd rather go with a 1-4x. I was thinking they'd be awkward, and you seem to agree.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,554 Senior Member
    For range only use, I would get a red dot that has a screw on magnifier rather than one on a different mount........

    1221859.jpg
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,050 Senior Member
    I ran a DMS on my carbine for a long tme...damn useful set up...features I like...

    Dot in Doughnut reticle...
    It works with dead batteries....
    With the X cranked down it works well for CQB scenarios - kinda like a red dot - but way more useful for targets that are out there aways...

    My experience is with the original Millett product...I have no experience with the product after Bushnell took over the reins....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,741 Senior Member
    I have a DMS-1 and like it, but it's definitely heavy and bulky though.

    Another option is the Burris AR332. It's a fixed 3x with illuminated circle dot. Like the DMS1 It has an etched reticle that works even with no battery. I just picked up one on a deal around Christmas for my now defunct pistol build (thanks ATF). I haven't mounted it on anything yet, but I like it. Pro is that it's super bright and compact. Cons are slightly lower power and not adjustable.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I have / run / and absolutely DO NOT LIKE the 3x magnifiers for red dot optics. Hate.......hate.......hate them!

    They are
    1. Bulky
    2. Awkward
    3. Clumsy
    4. Inconsistent POI

    Several have an adjustable paralax to center the dot in the magnifier. This inherently changes ever so slightly as you snap on/twist on/swing on every time you use it.

    Hate them.

    1-4x scope in this case RULZ!!!!

    Take it how you will, I am not a Gucci youtube coolguy salesman. I'm a knuckle dragger with an opinion.

    There ya go.

    I've been meaning to ask your opinion on these. I've got an EOTech 512 on my carbine and I've thought about adding a magnifier. I think I'll skip it, I think the 512 on it's own will be more then enough for my uses.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    For range only use, I would get a red dot that has a screw on magnifier rather than one on a different mount........

    1221859.jpg

    My Vortex Strikefire came with a screw-in 2x, and it cuts the light in half. Bad juju.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    I can't speak for the Millet itself I do really like the 1-4x24 scope type better than a red dot/multiplier. I have a cheap Primary Arms 1-4 that works great for up close to out to even a couple hundred yards. I am trying to save money to buy a nice 1-4 scope like the Vortex PST but that is down the road.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,741 Senior Member
    I don't know if you settled on something, but Optics planet is having a 10% off everything sale today. Code is 10SUPER
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 1,836 Senior Member
    I have a DMS-1 and like it, but it's definitely heavy and bulky though.

    Another option is the Burris AR332. It's a fixed 3x with illuminated circle dot. Like the DMS1 It has an etched reticle that works even with no battery. I just picked up one on a deal around Christmas for my now defunct pistol build (thanks ATF). I haven't mounted it on anything yet, but I like it. Pro is that it's super bright and compact. Cons are slightly lower power and not adjustable.

    I'll second the AR332 recommendation. It hits the middle ground of what you are looking for and the etched reticle is nice for quick shots.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,101 Senior Member
    I think I'm going to go with the Millett DMS. Just gotta save my shekels...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    I think you'll like it. I've also read a lot of good things about Vortex's 1-4 illuminated scope; similar in functionality to the DMS-1. I know my Strikefire has been great.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.