As you may or may not know, we have been using real firearm optics on our Airsoft guns for a while now. Of course we didn’t just go for them right from the start. We too have had our experiences with knock-offs and quickly learned to look for something else, since we had major issues with them.
So, as for today we’re going to explain to you “Why you should get real optics for Airsoft”. Hey guys, Viper here today and before we go into this subject make sure to support us by subscribing and hitting the bell button.
Also visit reconbrothers.com for our Monthly giveaways and have a look at shop.reconbrothers.com for your tactical products. First 2 quick disclaimers, one is that we do not mean to force anyone in anyway with this video we simply want to share our experience and knowledge about this stuff in the hope that you guys won’t make the same mistakes as we did.
The second thing we want to make very clear to you guys is that we don’t have any sort of partnership running with companies that produce optics. We want to share this, since we sometimes hear people claiming that some famous Airsofters get sponsorships and thus only promote the real stuff, because they’re supposedly being paid for it.
Take it from us guys, getting around the table with these companies is already a hard challenge, especially if they hear you’re doing Airsoft. Their market is practically almost fully military and law enforcement and they mainly sell in vast quantities.
So, the amount of Airsofters that go for a genuine optic are only a tiny part of their market. Anyway, we ourselves each use an Aimpoint Pro which we’ve bought a long time before we even entered the business part of what we do and thus fully paid for them.
Now, if we’re talking about the subject optics here in this video we mean to cover everything that goes from reflex sights to holographic sights to telescopic sights and even scopes. Before we get into all of this, we think it’s smart to first cover why you want to get an optic in the first place.
If we consider reflex sights and holographic sights, their purpose is to basically create an easier and quicker aim reference while maintaining proper surrounding awareness. Which is a great advantage compared to the traditional back-up iron sights.
On the other hand, telescopic sights or scopes are meant to provide a visual advantage by zooming your view. These allow for observational purposes, making measurements and calculations and allow for very precise shots.
Of course, all of these have no single use if they’re not properly zeroed. A non-zeroed optic only adds weight and obstruction and then you’re better off with your standard back-up iron sights. That said, the major issue to most when it comes to optics are their price.
A knock-off costs you 50 to a bit more than 100 bucks while a real optic usually starts around the 100 and can go up to above a 1000 bucks depending on what you look for. We totally get why someone wouldn’t want to spend a whole bunch of money on a product that can be a large portion or even more expensive than the gun they’re using.
But of course there are some huge differences for why you should still go for them. To give you an idea on all of this we’ll go over some general features of real optics and compare them to what we know about replica optics.
So, let’s start off with their build. If there’s one thing to be said about real optics is that they’re build though. Usually this covers them being waterproof, shock-proof and recoil-proof which are basically standards in the firearm industry.
This means rain is no problem at all, with most you can even take them on a dive. Also having a fall on the ground or a bump against a wall are no problems. Real optics have less chance to break than most Airsoft guns out there, just to give you an idea.
If we’re talking about recoil-proof it’s pretty obvious what it does and for most Airsoft guns on the market that’s not even a necessity since they don’t have any recoil. Now, if we compare this to knock-offs, light rain might not be a problem with some, but once the optic gets soaked somehow it will become an issue.
Recoil-proof is something you can forget even with light recoil systems like the recoil AEGs and with GBBRs you will certainly kill the optic. In our experience that means you’ll totally mess up its zero or lose your reticle after each shot.
Above that, there’re also optics that have extra tough features that fall under the mil-spec standards like being able to withstand extreme temperatures, high altitudes & salt-air. But that’s usually too extreme for most anyway.
We’re just informing you on this matter. Another issue we noticed with replica optics is that they have really easy-to-break adjustability dials. And that means adjustments become a part of history.
Now as said before, an optic that isn’t zeroed basically makes it useless, so we suggest you to be careful when adjusting knock-offs. On the other side of the spectrum, if we have a look at a firearm optic they can also break, but that’s practically a really hard thing to do, you almost need to exaggerate in order to break them.
So that said, let’s go over to the usage part when it comes to these products. Possibly the most important practical feature of real optics is Parallax correction. For you guys that don’t know what it is, Parallax is basically an offset that is created once your eye and target are not in one line with your optic.
This gives a wrong position of your reticle or crosshairs and can cause you to miss difficult shots. What a so called Parallax correction does, is correcting this reticle offset so you still have a correct aim at your target.
In practice this is a big necessity since Parallax occurs very often. You may not realize it, but each time you place your cheek on your buttstock in order to aim, it is nearly always in a different position.
Let aside the fact of how minor times you will be looking through your optic center perfect. That’s almost never. Now, thus far we do not know any knock-off optics that feature this and that pretty much makes them as good as useless.
Another thing is eye relief which is mostly important for optics that provide magnification. Eye relief is the distance you have to take with your eye away from the optic in order to able to see through it.
For holographic and reflex sights this is theoretically infinite, but for scopes that’s not the case since it’s intertwined with their magnification. Real scopes have a pretty big range of different focal points for you to see through them.
This range gets smaller each time your magnification gets bigger, so you have to get closer to your optic or your view will be very narrow. Now, if we have a look at this with knock-off magnified optics that’s not really the case.
Their range of focal points is usually very narrow and thus not very practical. Next up is the intensity of the dot on reflex and holographic sights which is certainly not less important than the previous 2 features.
In dark conditions this isn’t mostly an issue, but once you get into bright daylight conditions this can mean big trouble. Even so that you don’t even see a reticle at all. Firearm optics therefor have a range of different intensities that are nearly applicable for all light conditions.
Some even have the option to show you an IR reticle for the use with night vision devices. Now, our experience with knock-off reflex sights on this matter is just horrible. We’ve had days that our optics were basically useless since we couldn’t see any sort of reticle on a bright sunny day.
Above that, we know some reflex sights come with the choice of using a red or a green dot. And while it is a fact that green is overall better to spot for the human eye, with Airsoft optics we’ve noticed no improvement at all.
Even so, that on bright days red colored dots were still visible while greens weren’t Another thing that has more to do with convenience is battery life. Real optics easily run for hundreds of hours up to several years on a single battery.
That means even if you forget to turn off your optic after an event and leave it on for a few weeks, you won’t have to worry too much about your optic not functioning next time. But of course it’s never a bad idea to have a spare one with you.
Now, for replica optics that require batteries, that’s definitely not the case. What we’ve also noticed with Airsoft optics is that the intensity of the reticle decreases a lot when the battery is starting to die.
We cannot say how this goes with real optics yet, since we’re a long way from these batteries dying on us. But we do know some real optics also have a low battery indication as well, so you’ll know when its last couple of hours are going in.
That being covered, let’s have a look at some special features of optics. If we’re talking about one single feature that is of uttermost importance, then it is anti-fog. Yes optics can fog up as well and we all know how much of a hassle it can already be if your glasses fog up.
Real optics solve this by being injected with nitrogen gas and it is a very effective method, since we’ve never had any issues with ours thus far. While on the other hand, we did have a few fogging experiences where our knock-off optics were basically useless.
Another thing real optics feature is an anti-reflex coating. This is mainly important to avoid a mirror effect if you look through the optic. And as you may have thought already, replica optics don’t have this.
Which basically causes you to see a more familiar face than your target. As a matter of fact, this was actually the reason why my brother used to wear a hat in the first place. So it created a shadow over the optic and he was able to see through it without any reflections.
Above this coating, real optics also get an anti-scratch coating on their lenses and also the housing is usually pretty resistant against scratches which adds to their durability unlike knock-off. At last another convenient feature some real optics have is an easy rail securing system.
As an example, our Aimpoint optics have a torque knob that with 2 simple overturns create the correct amount of tension. This is important for an optimal hold on the rail and preventing any damage on your rail system due to too much tension.
And these are exactly one of those things why we rather put money on the real stuff than on knock-offs. These companies put many investments and efforts in their R&D to come up with solutions that work.
And we personally can’t stand the fact that some sort of shitty factory based in Asia decides to rip these designs and make them at a poor quality, simply because they don’t give a damn about intellectual properties.
Guys, you have no idea what kind of damage this all causes for the genuine brands. Think about their names becoming bad and the cost they put into fighting against these knock-offs. We already heard about entire teams that are continuously fighting cases against all this junk.
Anyway, we know you can’t always get everything as a consumer, especially if you’re living outside the USA, but there are brands that have a big selection available for sport shooters. As we already said in the beginning of this video we use Aimpoints at the moment which are high-end mil-spec optics that are also expensive.
Same goes for Elcan, EOtech, Trijicon and so on. We chose these Aimpoint Pros, because they fitted our requirements and have the necessary features for some of the stuff that we intend to do in the future.
For most, these optics are too pricey and we certainly get that, most people also don’t need them to do be mil-spec, which is in fact a big part that makes their price tag. More consumer-friendly brands that provide good quality for your money are for example Vortex, Holosun, Hawke, Bushnell and Primary Arms.
Now, a golden tip for anyone running any sort of optic on an Airsoft gun is to get something to protect the front lens against incoming BBs. Whether you get a piece of Lexan glass or a kill flash it doesn’t matter.
If you care about your optic, protect it. We ourselves both use a kill flash, honeycomb, ARD or whatever you want to call it. This is actually an accessory meant to conceal reflections from the sun from most angles.
But the holes in the grid are small enough to protect your lens. My brother his optic already got saved thanks to this once and in our eyes it is a neat way to protect your optic while preventing lens flare as well.
So, that’s a double win if your optic has threads that allow this kind of accessory. Now that you’re aware of all this, our advice on optics is very simple. If you want to get one simply for the “looks”, then there’s no need to go for a real firearm optic.
But once you intend to put the optic to use, meaning what it is meant for, then you should go for a real one. Especially if you’re someone that does Airsoft similar like us, once you have a properly zeroed optic, there’s mostly no need to watch your BB, just go with the reference of your dot.
This is one, way quicker and two, it saves you shots as well which is especially important if you run low-caps. Since you don’t have to trace your shots that much. And also generally you’ll face far less hassle you need to deal with, so you can focus on doing your thing.
We quickly learned that you better get one or two more expensive but smart buys rather than several cheap ones that will eventually fail on you. One thing we can absolutely assure you, is that you won’t regret it and never want to go back either.
At last, for you guys out there that both do Airsoft and real steel shooting, real optics can easily be interchanged between the 2 different systems, obviously. And if you bother about the zeroing. You can simply zero your optic on one gun, put it on the other, and zero it again while counting the difference in windage and elevation.
If you write down that difference you can simply adjust next time you use the other system. Now, if zeroing an optic on an Airsoft gun is difficult for some of you, because you don’t have the required space.
You can have a look at one of our previous videos where we explain a method you can use inside your home without firing a single shot. We’ll put the link in the description down below. So guys, hope this video gave you some clarity on this subject and we hope you have become a bit wiser by watching this.
Make sure to like this vid if it helped you out and let us know what kind of optic you use in the comments below. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next week.