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Optics Theory 101

I make it a point to try many brands and types of optics in order to select optics that are ideally suited for any given application. This allows me to make first hand recommendations to my customers. There are many great optical sights on the market today in a broad range of prices. They cover a range of price from less than $300 to well over $2,000. The fact is, you don’t have to spend a fortune for a piece of glass that will do the job. You’re choice needs to meet the five criteria that I use to judge an acceptable scope. They are as follows:

  1. High resolution with low light sensitivity
  2. Parallax-free operation within the intended range of use
  3. Repeatable adjustments
  4. Durability
  5. Flexible eye relief

In my discussion of optics, we must have a basic understanding of the “compromise solution” that goes into engineering any optical gun sight. I call it the “Optical Triangle” as any scope represents a compromise point between three competeing values, magnification, eye relief and field of view.

Each quality comes at the expense of the other two. In some cases, such as the Trijicon TA01 ACOG (including the JP version), the compromise is pushed towards maximum field of view at highest possible magnification. The end result is a four power scope that has an extremely wide field of view at the expense of eye relief. However, the wide field of view results in greater situational awareness, which will save your life in a combat situation not allow you to forget to engage a target in competition. You can live with the short eye relief on a a typical 5.56mm rifle due to the relatively low recoil impulse. You just need to make sure that the scope is properly positioned and you practice mounting the rifle to insure that your head position and cheek weld are consistant.

Electronic Dot scopes such as the JPoint or EOTec represent another extreme compromise. By limiting magnification to one power, eye relief is maximized and the the field of view is essentially only limited by the peripheral vision of the shooter. The result is an optic that allows two eyes open reflexive target engagement in close quarters dynamic situations.

However, with most variable power scopes, a middle compromise must be struck to allow for comfortable eye relief and usable field throughout the magnification range. Most higher quality optics strike a good compromise in this respect.

The Virtues of True 1x

There is certainly no shortage of functional optics/sight setups on the market for the practical carbine, whether used for competition or real-world applications, but thanks to recent advancements in optical engineering though, a trend has emerged favoring versatile scopes that combine true 1x with high magnification ranges for long-range precision use. When done right, this is a potent recipe for incomparable scopes, hence the proliferation of the 1-4x, 1-5x, 1-6x and even 1-10x magnification ranges now on the market.

The most essential attribute of this type of optic is the difficult achievement of a 1x setting as close to zero magnification as possible, thereby allowing for actual two-eyes-open reflexive engagement of close-range targets. I like to refer to this quality as "transparency" in that, like a true dot sight, the optic itself becomes effectively unseen to the shooter, who ignores the body of the scope focusing only the dot (or reticle) in space.

Of course, dot sights are virtually useless at ranges beyond 200 yards depending on target-to-background contrast. If you can't see the target with your naked eye, you can't engage it with a dot sight, so the combination of true 1x with some level of magnification bridges the gap between the dot sights and variable- or fixed-power magnification scopes resulting in the most versatile overall optics package.

Unfortunately, a number of these new scopes have something less than 1x, resulting in a "fish eye lens" effect that makes it very difficult to shoot with both eyes open. Anything more or less than 1x results in a conflict in visual processing causing the brain to reject input from the non-dominant eye. The result is collapse of the situational awareness so essential to the dynamic environment of CQB engagement as well as a loss of speed in competition, or worse, in a real-world application. Hence, we have the popularity of the true 1x, non-magnifying dot site for these types of shooting.

You can be sure that the 1x scopes we offer like the Swarovski Z6i and Vortex line have each been rigorously field-tested in a variety of applications to verify that performance, build quality and engineering are up to JP expectations. Like all the scopes we offer, they are individually selected to complement the quality of our rifles, and while their prices may vary, their value is constant.


Return/exchange of optics: We will accept returns of optics for exchange or refund up to 30 days from date of sale if you decide that some other optic is better suited for your purposes.  You must call for a return authorization number and the product must be new in box, unopened (cellophane still on the box if part of the original packaging). 

Warrantee service on optics with manufacture related defects: We only sell high quality optics warranted by the original manufacturers.  Once a scope has been opened, mounted or used in any fashion, repair or replacement for warranty related defects will be handled by the manufacture, not JP Enterprises, Inc.  The manufacturers represented on our website offer quick and efficient warrantee service and it is actually faster for you to deal direct with them rather than sending it to us and having us send the scope in for service.  We apologize for any inconvenience this causes, but this policy is standard throughout the industry.

Please note: Due to the increasing rate of fraudulent purchases of high priced scopes online using stolen credit cards, we have put into effect the following security measure procedures regarding such online sales :

1. No expedited shipping will be allowed. Optics will ship by ground UPS only.
2. The "bill to" and "ship to" addresses must be the same.
3. The three digit CVS code on the back of the card must be included.
4. The credit card processing bank's phone number must be included.
5. You will be contacted by phone to verify that your credit card has not been stolen.

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