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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Earlier this year I acquired a Zastava M77 PAP in .308 Win / 7.62 NATO. Yes, that's right, I finally managed to get a semi-automatic rifle in .308, and didn't have to shell out a ridiculous amount of money to do it ($600 AFTER tax)! So much for all the AR-10 manufacturer's claims about how they have to use so much more steel of such a higher quality being the reason why an AR-10 has to be 2x as expensive (or more) than an otherwise identical AR-15. Anyway, now nobody has to listen to me complain about not being able to find a .308! Hooray!

My question though: when I was picking the rifle up, someone at the store made the claim that since it's an AK-based platform, and since the ballistics between 7.62 Russian and 7.62 NATO are supposedly "close enough", I could apparently use a Russian PO-3 scope and still get good, reliable accuracy, while potentially saving some money over other, new or more modern scope designs.

Does anyone have any experience with this, or any knowledge that would allow them to comment constructively? I did a basic sighting-in with a laser bore-sight, and put 20 rounds down-range, but the rifle lane at the neighborhood range was a mere 50' (yes, 50 FEET), and at that distance I put 10 rounds through the same hole on iron-sights from a standing position, which tells me the rifle is almost certainly more accurate than I am. The rifle does have a side-rail, and I'd need to pick up a mount, but even though the Russian scopes aren't TERRIBLY pricey, that's still more money than I want to risk if it doesn't work, and while I can't justify spending money on the more expensive, quality scopes, I don't want to put anything on it that would make it less accurate than it can be, either.

So, if I can save money and still get good accuracy with a Russian-made AK-scope, I'm for it, I just don't want to find out the hard way that the guy at the store didn't know what he was talking about. I'm not looking for this thing to be a CQB rifle (.308 recoils too heavily for that to be ideal for CQB), nor am I expecting to bit competing in 1000m shoots, but I do want to be able to be reasonably able to shoot 1 - 1.5 MOA groups at 100 meters with match-grade ammo, and all my reading thus far indicates the rifle should do it easily, even if I can't.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input Blindeye!
 

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I got burned on a supposed "russian" optic. Turns out it was a chinese copy.

Don't buy Russian for .308.

Find a better optic that is designed for the bullet drop of .308. It used to be that you spent 2x as much on the optic as you did the rifle. Nowadays, spend at least 1/2 what you spent on the rifle. (mount and scope rings not included).
 

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Well I know that Eastwave doesnt sell Chinese knockoffs. I bought a PO 3.5x21P from them back when I had a 5.45 ak. The PSOP's are made in Belarus while the PSO optics are Russian IIRC. I was toying with the idea of getting a Vepr .308 and had my eye on some PSO optics.

I dont have any insight into that company because I havent used them, nor do I for side mounts if you were to go with that option of putting any other optic on it. Also keep in mind eye relief: http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169490
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I got burned on a supposed "russian" optic. Turns out it was a chinese copy.

Don't buy Russian for .308.

Find a better optic that is designed for the bullet drop of .308. It used to be that you spent 2x as much on the optic as you did the rifle. Nowadays, spend at least 1/2 what you spent on the rifle. (mount and scope rings not included).
Which comes out to about what a PSO-3 runs... ~$300.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I know that Eastwave doesnt sell Chinese knockoffs. I bought a PO 3.5x21P from them back when I had a 5.45 ak. The PSOP's are made in Belarus while the PSO optics are Russian IIRC. I was toying with the idea of getting a Vepr .308 and had my eye on some PSO optics.

I dont have any insight into that company because I havent used them, nor do I for side mounts if you were to go with that option of putting any other optic on it. Also keep in mind eye relief: http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169490
Yeah, that's been a consideration too. I've elected not to buy a mount until I'm also ready to buy a scope, and know exactly what scope I'm getting, so I can get an appropriate mounting platform.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Found some incredible prices on Russian scopes here:

http://www.binocularsmart.com/scopes/ak-akm-svd-rifle-scopes-1p21.shtml

http://www.binocularsmart.com/scopes/svd-rifle-scopes-posp-8x42.shtml

Obviously haven't bought anything yet, still going to have to take some time to get better educated and make a good decision. The only hunting I do involves me releasing large, predatory birds to chase small game with, and firearms use is strictly forbidden when we have raptors on the glove or in the air. The longest range shot I am likely to make with this rifle (unless the :SHTF:) is 100 yards, and that only whenever they get around to opening that 100-yard indoor range up in Buford (supposedly at the end of June), so a lot of these scopes seem a bit like overkill for my needs/use, especially when Kalinka wants $300, $400, or more for them... the prices at the links above almost seem too good to be true. I actually keep getting the impression, the more I look around there, that this site is a relic or legacy that hasn't been updated or maintained in quite a long time.

Also, but damn, some of these Russian scopes are freaking ginormous!

Really, the only reason I even really want a scope is because my eyesight is starting to get a little weird as I get older and between the somewhat low cheek-rest on the Zastava's factory stock and the distance of the rear sight post from my eye makes the iron sights something of a pain to use. Putting a red-dot scope on a .308 rifle intended for longer-range just seems kind of silly to me, but so many of the more common scopes are huge and cumbersome, more powerful than I'll probably ever have a legitimate need for, and extremely expensive for something I'll get very little regular use out of. I almost feel like I'd be best off trying to find a simple 1-3x scope of some variety, but then that itself seems like a waste of the .308's potential, much like a red-dot would be. I'd rather do it right, but without spending more money than I can get away with, and without getting more than what I really need or can justify the expense for.

Argh. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
 

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three points

1-- A red dot optic should be good for 100 yards. I get much better accuracy with a non-magnifying red dot than I do any iron sights, except perhaps true match sights with fine apertures front and rear, a rubber eye cup, etc.

2-- I don't know about Russian scopes, but I would not hesitate to put on a scope that was calibrated for the ballistics of either the 7.62 x 54R or the .223/ 5.56. I've shot .223s and .308s side by side for years, and they have similar bullet drops.
Here's a chart comparing a .223 to a .30-06 for bullet drop at ranges from point blank to 600 yards, and they're always within inches of each other. Virtually the same flight path.

*** Sorry, I can't copy the link right now. But a Google Images search will get you several such charts ***

3--- How about going with a compact scope, but one with a crosshair reticle and made for precise accuracy when turned up to higher magnification while still being fast to aim when set to low power, like 1.5X or 2X?
There are several such scopes on the market made for AR rifles, and one in the 2x-7x power range (approx, ballpark) with bullet drop compensation made for 55 grain .223 rounds should work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right now my thinking is straying towards getting a 1x red dot of some variety, and then mating it to a 1x - 3x or 4x red dot magnifier on a sliding or hinged mount...

But the damn red dot's are more expensive in a lot of cases than getting a proper, full on scope.
 
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