The Millett DMS-1 has recently jumped onto the market as an excellent value for those looking for a variable low power scope. DMS stands for "Designated Marksman Scope".
In an effort to find something with more versatility than the ACOG or the Aimpoint, I decided to try out the DMS-1. As an optic that adjusts from 1-4x, with a battery illuminated "dot in donut" reticle, this optic showed some promise from the start.
With the magnifiers for Aimpoints and such, you can see why something like this needed to come about.
Add in the price tag (just a little over $200 at most places) and you have a very tempting scope for many of us in the world of AR15 rifles.
Knowing that an optic is only as good at it's mount, I chose the best mount on the market for such a purpose, the LaRue Tactical SPR-S mount. LaRue stands above them all in almost every category of mount or railed handguard. They are also known for excellent customer service as well as quality.
This top notch quality and customer service comes at a price though. The mount cost almost as much as the optic.
Still, for a quality optic/mount combo coming in at around the $400 mark, I have no complaints.
I decided to mount the scope on my custom built 20" AR15. It features a 20" Colt govt profile 1/7 twist chrome lined barrel. It also features a Hiperform free floated carbon fiber handguard and a 2-stage trigger. I've shot 1" groups with it at 100 yards in the past so I know it is capable of respectable accuracy.
I could do a couple more things to squeeze out every last bit of precision from the gun (mostly by upgrading the barrel), but I am quite happy with it as is. Mostly because I prize lightweight and durability in a combat rifle.
I took it out for testing a couple times to see how it would do and can say that at this point so far I am pleased. I also had a few others inspect, test out and try the scope and they were all impressed with the clarity and function of the scope.
In my accuracy testing I shot the above group from 50 yards with 75gr Prvi Partizan Match ammo. It was a fairly windy day (about 10 mph winds) but I believe any lack of precision should be blamed on me, not the wind, optics, or the weapon, as I am no sniper.
However, I was happy with the group for my purposes.
My conclusion is that this is a very good optic for the money. If I had one issue, it would be that I wish it had more eye relief.
I really like the precision of the dot with the quick acquisition of the "donut".
I saw little need for the reticle to be illuminated during day time shooting as it was much like a regular scope.
I don't think it really does either job better than the ACOG (4x) or the Aimpoint (1x), but it is a good compromise and goes extremely well on this particular rifle. I don't like the idea of a dedicated long range AR15 because I believe that the most likely combat scenarios for a normal citizen (and even most LE and maybe even military) is going to be under 100 yards.
Even though this is my "long range" AR15, it is still fairly useful at close range because I can use the scope at 1 power.
Only time will tell how well it holds up, but I am optimistic.
For more information, reviews, and opinions on the Millett DMS-1, visit this link at AR15.com where it is discussed for over 55 pages (and over a year) as I write this.