Have you ever considered a self-defense or home-defense style of weaponry that can also be used for many other recreational activities? Something different than a shotgun, handgun, or baseball bat but offers much more variety of use and effectiveness? The AR platform style of rifles has been around for quite some time, and popularity has been growing over the years. They have also been a target for many anti-2nd amendment activists for years. Although I have had several AR platform rifles over the years, I have generally only had these rifles in long-range set-ups. Not one geared toward close-quarters self-defense. Enter my chance to put together a smaller, more compact rifle geared more toward self-defense with close-range capability.
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8X24mm
The rifle that I decided on was a Seekins Precisions SP15 P. With a 10.5” barrel and pistol brace, this thing would be compact and easy to fix with a few sights to make it a great combination and self-defense style of rifle. All while maintaining the option to reach out at farther distances as well.
I first had to decide what optics to mount on this rifle. I wanted to put a scope on that was capable of engaging targets at close range as well as farther distances. A scope that would offer a 1x power but not to exceed 10x at its greatest setting. Enter the new Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8X24mm riflescope. Full descriptions and specs are available here.
This new scope from Vortex caught my eye and would surely be a good option for what I was looking for. With a 30mm tube, capped turrets, and illumination settings, it boasts good capabilities right off the bat. Also, the 1-8X magnification would allow me to easily engage close-range targets, and with a little adjustability, to reach out a couple of hundred yards with ease. Even with a short 10.5″ barrel length. With an overall length of 10.4 inches and a weight of only 23.9 ounces, this would be a welcome combination to run. It also gives two night vision settings if I ever decide to go that route. Being a first focal plane scope, I wouldn’t have to worry about features changing when adjusting the magnification; it remains the same throughout all ranges of magnification.
When I unboxed the Strike Eagle, I was surprised at what it came with. A sunshade, flip scope caps, throw lever, and adjustment tool are all included in the package and at a nice price of $799.99 online, with better prices found elsewhere.
Strike Eagle Reticle
The EBR-8 first focal plane reticle incorporates an MOA BDC style reticle with holdovers to allow you to shoot from point blank range out to 600 yards with the popular .223 caliber. This reticle can also be used with several other calibers with success as well. Just zero at 200 yards and let the scope do the rest!
The center dot (.75 MOA) and the broken circle (12 MOA) around the dot are illuminated to give you that red dot feel when on 1x magnification but also easy to see when using the zoom feature at greater magnification. Unlike that of a red-dot scope, you are still able to see the whole reticle when illumination is off, as this is etched into the glass. The holdovers below the center dot also incorporate dots on either side that are matched up with 5-mph increments for windage adjustments. Within the sight picture, there is also a ranging feature that will help you range common-size targets out to 600 yards.
Sight in & Use
In order to get the holdovers to match up as closely as possible, I needed to zero this rifle at 50 yards which would also be a close zero at 200 yards. After checking the 200-yard zero, I was within a couple of inches and adjusted to make my final zero at 200 yards. This would put me within the needed impact from 0 to 200 easily, and this would also marry up the BDC reticle at farther distances. This was easy to get dialed in, but I was curious how this would match out to longer ranges with only a 10.5” barrel.
I by no means intend for this rifle to reach out much past 300 yards while out playing with prairie dogs and coyotes. I am happy to report that the 300 and 400-yard holdover remained very close, but I speculate with longer distances with a short barrel, this will begin to drop off.
The scope maintained the zero after several hundred rounds had been sent down range, and I am still working on getting the holdovers to match at longer distances. I feel this scope would be better suited for a longer-barreled AR15, but it also works exceptionally well on this AR15-style pistol as well.
While at the range, this rifle was a joy to shoot by all. The scope made it exceptionally easy to engage targets at both close ranges and at distant targets. The target acquisition was quick, and easy to find your focal point and point on impact registry. I had to adjust the position of the scope to get the perfect eye relief so that no black was in the scope when I raise it to shoot. Trial and error got this pinpointed to the perfect spot, which resulted in getting off faster shots as well. Whether engaging targets at close range or at longer distances, the accuracy was where I expected it to be. The flip-up sights are fun to shoot as well, but a bit of accuracy falls off when compared to the use of the scope. That is to be expected.
In order to round out this rifle to make it a more capable asset, I decided to add flip-up open sights as well. This will always offer me the opportunity to use them in very low light if ever needed at very close to mid-range shots. It is more of a fail-safe as these flip-up sights are a great option to have if ever needed and add very little weight to the rifle. Plus, having a sight that will always be available if something happens to your optic really does give you peace of mind.
I paired a flashlight and laser package to the rifle as well to help round out the weapon. There are a lot of options in this area, and generally, you get what you pay for. I opted for a lower-cost unit but will upgrade that as time and testing go. The green laser is easy to see, and the flashlight offers plenty of light for close-range engagements.
In today’s world, things are ever-changing. And things will not be getting better anytime soon, I am afraid. I may never need this rifle for self-defense, but I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it! Regardless, this setup is a lot of fun at the range and also out-shooting prairie dogs and coyotes. All of my family members can easily run this rifle and use it to its fullest capability, which in turn makes it an asset to have in my possession. I rest easier knowing I have this fun toy for future use as needed! I think you would too!
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