Are Crimson Trace Riflescopes Right For You?

By Todd Burgreen
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Are Crimson Trace Riflescopes Right For You?

May 16th, 2021

4 minute read

To say that the AR-style rifle is extremely popular would be a notable understatement. They aren’t called “America’s rifle” without reason. Homeowners concerned about crime, hunters and competition shooters all own and love their AR rifles.

Unlike some of the old guns of years past, the modern AR-style rifle makes mounting optics a breeze, with strips of Picatinny rail along the top of the upper receiver a very common feature. And with a good multi-purpose rifle like the Springfield Armory SAINT Victor in .308, the proper optic selection is especially crucial to get the most out of the platform.

Crimson Trace riflescope
Crimson Trace scopes offer several excellent choices for your Springfield SAINT rifle.

In my opinion, an optic with a range of magnification in the 1-6X to 1-8X range is ideal. So how do you get a quality optic for a good price? Say “hello” to the Crimson Trace Hardline and Brushline product lines.

Solid Foundation

I have extensive experience with Crimson Trace optics on multiple Springfield Armory platforms, including the SAINT Victor .308  rifle.  No matter the mission — personal defense firearm or hunting gun — the Springfield SAINT Victor/Crimson Trace combo is hard to beat.  The 1-6X magnification range is optimal for most imaginable situations. Up close is not an issue due to 1X, while permitting reaching out and touching something with greater magnification.

Crimson Trace scope mounted on a SAINT Victor rifle
A Crimson Trace CTL-5108 1-8x28MM with Illuminated Reticle was used with the SAINT Victor .308.

The Crimson Trace Hardline and Brushline optics are examples of a well-designed multi-mission capable optical sights. Crimson Trace’s attention to reticle design and proper illumination levels are another subtle, yet important advantage. 

Frankly, I am not a fan of first focal plane optics for most of my applications. However, with the first focal plane Crimson Trace low-magnification reticles, you have large, well-illuminated circle at 1X with a horseshoe dot reticle at the center drawing your eye to it.

Rifle scope mounted on AR rifle
The author found the Crimson Trace optics to be rugged, reliable and highly capable.

With both eyes open, which is easy with it on 1X, that bright red reticle with horseshoe dot in the middle is easy to find.  The Crimson Trace reticles are a major reason for my affinity with these optics.

Are you concerned about running a variable power optic in a close-range environment?  A quick introduction of the Bindon Aiming Concept will help assuage your concerns. The brain helps to merge images, especially if a bright illuminated reticle is present. The blurred image within the reticle is compensated by the open eye outside the tube while still preserving the bright aiming point presented on the target.

Wheeler Engineering mount for optic on rifle
The Crimson Trace optic was attached via Wheeler Engineering 34mm one-piece cantilever mount.

The Details

The ED glass Crimson Trace uses promotes clarity and light transmission. Crimson Trace optics are nitrogen purged and inspected to verify waterproof/fog proof construction. I have been using Wheeler Engineering rings and cantilever mounts whenever possible with the Crimson Trace optics. The Wheeler mount is tailored towards AR use by setting the optic slightly farther forward on the receiver for eye-relief purposes. The distinctive angled rings are not strictly aesthetic; clamping force is increased to better resist recoil forces. The fold-out level serves to alert the shooter to any canting issues when shouldering the rifle — something crucial for long-range accuracy. 

Crimson Trace SR-1 MIL reticle
The Crimson Trace SR-1 MIL illuminated reticle is one of the best experienced for the 1-8X power range. Image: Crimson Trace

The Crimson Trace low-power magnification variable optics are excellent for close range fast target engagement with shooter still able to precisely place rounds where desired at extended ranges. The Crimson Trace optic is multipurpose both in terms of versatility and roles fulfilled by user i.e. tactical, competition or hunting.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, a Springfield Armory SAINT Victor .308 with a Crimson Trace low-powered optic will change users’ thoughts on how a .308 can be employed. Springfield Armory made a conscience effort with the SAINT Victor to harness .308 potential without sacrificing traditional AR handling. In terms of raw power, the SAINT Victor .308 delivers more than twice the energy on target than a 5.56mm in a comparable barrel length. And the Crimson Trace optic takes full advantage of this potential. Oh, and don’t worry. Crimson Trace also offers a full selection of higher-powered variable magnification scopes if that’s what you’re looking for.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

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Todd Burgreen

Todd Burgreen

Todd Burgreen has been a freelance writer for the last 20 years with articles appearing in numerous publications. He has attended countless personal defense, team tactics, and firearms and driving courses over the years from some of the most influential training personalities and schools in the country.

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