Can a Bullpup and a Red Dot Hit at 500?


If they’re not already, reflex sights are shortly turning into the preferred kind of optic discovered on firearms at the moment. The U.S. navy began adopting optics like these within the Nineties, and it simply grew from there. I’ve seen many optics, from the Trijicon ACOG to crimson dots just like the Aimpoints to holographic weapons sights just like the EOTech EXPS3 on navy and regulation enforcement firearms. The navy found the unimaginable distinction that these optics made on the common soldier’s accuracy and photographs on the right track in comparison with the outdated expertise of iron sights.

Pink dot sights are well-known for his or her capabilities at shut vary. Can they be helpful at 500 yards? In the present day, we discover out.

Don’t get me incorrect, you possibly can by no means go incorrect with good outdated iron sights on the Hellion as a result of they are going to hardly ever fail you, and if you happen to “break” them, you in all probability produce other points with the firearm. They’re as KISS (hold it easy silly) as potential, however they’ve limitations. Irons take a number of follow for the common shooter to attain properly at distance and are significantly difficult to make use of in low-light conditions. From first-hand expertise looking with my M1 Garand at solar up and solar down, I do know it’s tough or simply about inconceivable to see the entrance sight put up with a darkish background in these circumstances.

Editor’s Be aware: Please learn the full Springfield Hellion bullpup review.

Check Your Reflexes

So, why choose a reflex or red dot sight over a traditional scope? Relying on the appliance, a extra conventional scope may be too large and heavy in addition to not good for fast goal acquisition. And, there’s additionally the query of sturdiness. The ACOG was a set optic with low magnification and was good for typical engagement distances usually encountered. However what about city conditions the place distances might diminish from lower than 100 yards all the way in which all the way down to CQB (close-quarter battle) distances of 10 ft? Clearly, one thing else was wanted.

500 with 3x magnifier
Even with a 3X magnifier, a crimson dot may be powerful to get on a silhouette-sized goal at excessive ranges. With follow, nonetheless, it may be performed.

That is the place “reflex sights” got here into their very own. A “reflex sight” is any optic that enables the shooter to look via a lens and see an illuminated projection of an aiming level or some picture superimposed on the FOV, or area of view. This may be completed in a number of methods, and every has its benefits and drawbacks. Most individuals have their private choice of which technique and reticle or picture is projected. The most common is a straightforward crimson dot.

hellion with red dot
Many 3X magnifiers, just like the Meprolight proven above, may be mounted on a system that lets you shortly swing it into place when an extended shot presents itself.

As a result of the reticle is concentrated at infinity, it stays in alignment with the optic, whatever the shooter’s eye place. That is known as “parallax free,” which most high quality reflex sights supply. This enables the shooter to accumulate the goal simply and shortly hearth correct photographs with diminished follow in comparison with conventional iron sights or scopes. It additionally makes taking photographs from an unsupported place like standing after transferring and even on the transfer surprisingly correct and easy.

Pushing It

Many would possibly say the one draw back to reflex sights is taking pictures at distances past CQB or past 100 yards. Or is it? What if we might persistently hit targets out to 300, 400 and even 500 yards with a crimson dot?

red dot with 3x magnifier on a springfield hellion rifle
With the 3X magnifier out of the way in which, a shooter can interact the goal with the non-magnifying crimson dot sight.

One approach to simply and shortly prolong the vary of a crimson dot is so as to add an non-compulsory magnifier. Similar to that title says, it’s nothing greater than a magnifier that you would be able to put behind a reflex sight to vary it right into a 3X-powered or extra optic. Whereas 3X is the most typical energy of magnification for this, you may get all the way in which as much as 6X.

The extra magnification you get, the larger and heavier the magnifier goes to be, and the more severe your eye reduction (skill to simply see via it) goes to be. I’ve discovered the 3X is ideal to successfully prolong the vary of a crimson dot properly past CQB distances.

standing at 300 yards
The creator, proven above, was capable of hit his goal standing at 300 yards utilizing the Hellion and a 3X magnified crimson dot from Meprolight.

One other time period you usually hear is “battlesight.” This usually refers to an optic that may stand up to the pains and abuse of what could be encountered on the battlefield. It’s an optic that’s powerful as nails, will take a beating and hold working. A very good instance of that is the Meprolight Tru-Vision, from an organization that makes optics for the Israeli Protection Forces (IDF).

Going Lengthy with Brief

I’ve been working with the Springfield Armory Hellion “bullpup” for fairly a while now and actually prefer it. Chambered in 5.56mm, it provides you 16”-barreled efficiency in a package deal about the identical size as a short-barreled rifle.

300 yards with 3x magnifier
At 300 yards, the magnifier allowed the creator to precisely place rounds on goal.

So, what higher of a platform to check out the capabilities of an optic designed for shut vary, however used at lengthy vary? So, I kitted up the Hellion with the Meprolight Tru-Imaginative and prescient together with a Meprolight MX3 magnifier unit.

aac 556 fmj ammo
Ammo is one other a part of the accuracy equation. On this take a look at, the creator used AAC-manufactured 5.56 NATO rounds.

Over the course of a spread session, I pushed the Hellion out to a number of hundred yards. Throughout that day, I found the gun and the optic made for a really succesful mixture. After getting it sighted in (and located that it grouped extraordinarily properly at 50 yards), I began pushing it out to distance. It shortly proved itself at 300 yards proper out of the gate — and all with FMJ vary ammo.

1x red dot sight at 500 yards
And not using a 3X magnifier, the 500-yard goal appears to be like darn close to inconceivable to hit with a normal crimson dot sight.

As soon as I proved that the Hellion and the Tru-Imaginative and prescient might persistently hit at 300 yards, I then pushed it out to 500. How did it do? It was lifeless on. I used to be capable of persistently hit each shot at that distance. For enjoyable, I then shot the combo unsupported and standing at 200 yards, and located I might nonetheless hit. So, I pushed it out to 300, and I hit once more. At 400? I used to be capable of do it once more.


I feel it’s protected to say that the Hellion and the Tru-Imaginative and prescient — each with and with out the magnifier — make for a really succesful mixture. In truth, it proved to be much more efficient than I’d have anticipated with these demanding necessities. It’s a match made in heaven.

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