Best AR 15 Scope Reviews

Best AR 15 Scope Reviews & Buying Guides of 2021

Most civilian AR 15 rifle owners fail to grasp that owning a premium AR 15 isn’t going to help them succeed, but accessorizing it with the best AR 15 scope will.

And according to the national shooting sports foundation, the number of ar 15 rifle shooters is roughly 15 million.

No wonder it receives such overwhelming aftermarket sustenance. You will see a market flooded with an array of scopes categorized in diverse caliber and ranges, magnification power, adjustability, and installation convenience.

We understand that finding the ideal scope for your ar 15 rifle is easier said than done when all options deem too good to be true.

Thus, we made an inclusive approach towards this whole scenario and thought of enlisting the finest ar 15 scopes by their price so that it becomes easier for you to determine.

Because let’s be honest, you have a budget for everything, and bagging the best within this budget is an enormous feat to flex.

So, without any further ado, let’s wade through the reviews and everything you need to know regarding the best scope for Ar15.

Top 5 Best AR 15 Scope Comparison in 2021

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS Price
  • Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Reticle: 2 MOA Red Dot
  • Warranty: Infinite warranty
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  • Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Reticle: 3 MOA Red Dot
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
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  • Weight: 9.2 ounces
  • Reticle: Multiple Red and Green
  • Warranty: Lifetime Limited
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  • Weight: 1.92 ounces
  • Reticle: 2.5 MOA Dot reticle
  • Warranty: Lifetime Limited
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  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Reticle: 5 MOA Dual-Color Dot
  • Warranty: Lifetime Limited
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The Best AR 15 Scope Reviewed


For starters, the reason why you should trust us is that this isn’t a sponsored review from any company; none of them gave us discounts or leverages to lie to you.

All we did here was investing a week of analysis to handpick the finest AR 15 scopes from under 100 to 500 dollars and from close range to long range.

We got all of them covered. So, you can scroll down to the budget you have and the range you will be shooting for.

Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope

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The Argos BTR riflescope from Athlon offers 4x magnification with fully multi-coated optics that minimizes glare and fuzziness. As a result, you obtain the brightest and sharpest field of view compared to the rest of the regular single-coated lenses.

No wonder the increased light transmission helps you get a precise and crisp image of your target. Besides the advanced APMR, the FFP Mil reticle is strategically crafted for improving your overall performance on long to mid-range shooting.

Here you will get the illuminated center cross and 0.5mil hash mark to secure your target and set the holdover position. Now that you have located the target and set the holdover, you can shoot with utmost confidence.

On top of that, the first focal plane reticle remains true to all power settings so that you can get the best out of this specialized reticle.

What’s unique about it, you ask? Well, it’s designed to zoom in and out according to your shooting convenience. Moreover, the etched reticle on the glass delivers incredible backing support for intricate reticle design and ensures superior durability.

Furthermore, you receive the highest shock resistance to the recoil. In other words, when you shoot a projectile, the forward momentum derived from it will be evened out through an equal and opposite momentum.

Result?

No kickback or knockbacks. This is the biggest advantage of having this ar15 rifle scope as amateur ar15 owners often fall victim to recoil kickbacks and hurt themselves.

Now, moving on to the next item on the list, this scope is machined from an aircraft-grade aluminum tube that distributes maximum strength and enhanced mechanical integrity. So, no matter how hard it hits the ground accidentally, it should do just fine.

FeaturesBenefits
Fully multi-coated opticsIt helps to reduce reflected light and improves overall light transmission, brings the true color amid the whole light spectrum
Glass with etched reticlesOffers exceptional backing support for intricate reticle design and prevents recoil kickbacks
Aircraft-grade aluminum construction with argon purgingWithstands rough environments, abuse, and is resistant to water while ensuring thermal stability
Awesome parallax  Ensures to keep the reticle and the target on the same focal plane
6-24 x 50 scope rangeVersatile enough to ensure a successful deer hunting

Pros

  • Reduces scope parallax
  • Capable of dealing with extreme weather conditions
  • XPL coating for improved protection to protect the lens exterior from dirt, oil, and scratches
  • Ideal for medium to long-range shooting
  • Windage and elevation adjustability

Cons

  • Eye relief is below the standard
  • Zero retainments could be better

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer

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It feels unreal to think of hitting the target at first short accurately. But is it really a dream? Not at all. In fact, we think with the 2 MOA red dot ar15 scopes; you can increase the possibility of first shot acquisition.

And keeping this in mind, we have enlisted the best ar15 scope from Aimpoint pro that distributes infinite eye relief and ensures an extended battery life.

Let’s talk about the battery first since most of them don’t seem to last more than a year. Here this red dot reflex sight provides 30000 hours of uninterrupted battery life at setting 7 of 10.

In other words, the battery lasts for 3 years if maintained properly. Moving on, we have the 2 MOA red dot feature for guaranteeing accuracy despite the shift in distances.

Also, the 10 brightness settings combined with the 2MOA dot helps you to obtain optimal visibility.

No matter if you are hunting in the daytime in a low-light environment, this reflex sight will have your back. Besides, this doesn’t require any additional tools or hardware to assemble.

It comes in an ultimate ready to mount kit that accompanies a rugged mount and a detachable spacer.

The mount facilitates seamless surface alignment for securing the scope’s position. Moreover, while adjusting the elevation dial on the scope and preserving the zero, the mount comes in handy.

On the other hand, the removable spacer permits you to adjust the optical height of the sight.

What else? It has one of the clearest red dot glasses, superior night vision facility, and mil-spec type-3 durability.

It is worth mentioning that this sight can survive a violent house fire. No wonder it is used by the military and trusted upon while combatting against harsh conditions.

To conclude, this scope is one of the best military optics for AR 15, and it deserves the place due to its undefinable durability and long-lasting battery life.

FeaturesBenefits
Efficient battery life included DLI/3N batteryCharge lasts for three years or 30000 hours continuously
Superior compatibilityIt can accommodate shotguns and rifles both
Front and rear black lens capsEnsures shooting faster from standby or if you are firing in an extremely bright environment because it lets you focus and shoot with a both-eyes-open
Durable construction, submersible up to 150ftIt can withstand damage from severe abuse, sudden falls, or intense environmental state; also, since it’s submersible, you can operate it beneath the water or while being submerged
Tool-less mountHelps you in making accurate height adjustment without requiring any additional tool

Pros

  • Immaculate target acquisition
  • Intuitive lens cap system
  • Vastly compatible Picatinny mount
  • Shock and vibration resistant
  • 10 different brightness level includes night-time vision

Cons

  • The knob is redundantly large and protruding
  • A bit pricy

Pinty Rifle Scope 4-16X50 Illuminated Optics Sight

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Next, we have 4-16X50 rifle scope from Pinty.

It comes in a four-in-one package where you will have an illuminated optics sight, a green laser, holographic dot sight, and lastly, a riser mount of 14 slots.

This aluminum alloy made ar15 scope weighs only 0.2 pounds which makes the installation effortless. Besides, the holographic dot sight lets you focus on the target and the reticle simultaneously. It helps to reduce the parallax distortion susceptibility.

Thus, you get a clearer and sharper field view of your target. This is one of the many attributes that make it stand out from the crowd.

Moreover, it offers 2 separate buttons for adjusting the nine brightness levels. This set includes both red and green illuminated dot sight accompanying 4 reticle layers.

On top of that, the removable green laser with an independent lever allows you to reach up to 110 yards distance. Now from the look of it, you can already decipher that it’s crafted explicitly for close-range shooting.

Speaking of this, the necessary magnification for such a task is 1-4x, while here, you will get 4x-16x magnification with 3″ -3.5″ eye relief.

This magnification is apt for wide-range shooting and faster acquisition of close quarters.

Also, if you are taking down a moving game animal, then this one will do the job. Even in the darker areas, the unsurpassed light transmission and legendary optical precision will assist you in completing the task.

It is worth mentioning that you can close the reticle by pressing the red and green buttons at once.

On top of that, it comes with 3x Allen keys for faster and easier rail mounting and sight adjustment.

To conclude, this one is one of the best ar 15 compact scopes to come across.

FeaturesBenefits
4x-16x magnificationIdeal for wide range shooting, quick acquisition of close quarter, and moving hunting objects
Two sperate buttonsIt helps you to adjust the brightness levels for red and green illuminated lights, both including four reticle layers
Holographic dot sightminimizes parallax effect so that it doesn’t distort your field view
14 slot riser mountsAccommodates with all Picatinny and weaver type scopes
Aluminum alloy constructionProvides you a lifetime service

Pros

  • Resistant to fog, scratches, and shock
  • Clear windage and elevation markings
  • 9 different levels of brightness
  • It can be zeroed after 5 or 6 shots
  • Green laser light for better aiming while red dot sight offers a sharper vision
  • Ample eye relief

Cons

  • Windage and elevation adjustment screws wobble a little
  • Hand tightening the nuts can be tricky

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

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If you want to increase your success rate as a professional shooter, you should consider using the UTG compact ar15 rifle scope – because it’s strategically crafted for all the professional shooters who strive for faster and accurate shots anon.

Thanks to the unique lens housing that facilitates a comprehensive field of view while under heavy recoil.

It gives you a leeway to explore a wide range of shooting tasks regardless of the situation. For starters, the 30-millimeter tube is sealed and loaded with nitrogen for shock, rain, and fog resistance.

Then comes the premium grade multi-emerald coated lenses harmonized with angled front sunshade and flip-open lens caps.

Here, the flip-open lens cap enables easy detachment and quicker access to the target view without wasting a second or in severe conditions where every second counts.

On top of that, you can personalize the reticle according to distinct conditions since it offers 36 different colors.

Aside from that, you have the high-end zero locking mechanism and zero regaining target turrets for constant and precise adjustments. So that you know, it can shoot up to 100 yards with the caliber of 3 to 12x magnification.

Last but not least, the side adjustable wheel turret allows parallax adjustment from 10 yards to beyond.

While on the other hand, the smart spherical structure accompanied by highly synchronized joint motions helps attain the greatest responsive, precise, and dependable windage/elevation adjustment.

FeaturesBenefits
Multi-coated glassIt offers an enhanced light transmission
A second focal plane mil-dot reticleIdeal for novice shooters, battery-free operation and long-range shots since it’s easy to use and helps in improving accuracy
36 different color customizations for illuminationDelivers enough visibility in low-light environments and records the prior-made illumination setting with a click of a button.
Durable constructionHolds up well despite intense hits and critical situations while preserving the zero
Zero lockable/resettable turretsIt eliminates the redundancy of uncapping your turrets and directly leads you to make the adjustment

Pros

  • Sunshade and lens caps
  • Resistant to shock, fog, and rain
  • Parallax free magnification
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Easiest to make adjustments

Cons

  • Heavy thus causes a slight strain
  • It can be fuzzy when put in the highest magnification

Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600

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Here we have our premium pick from today’s overall review for very valid reasons. This is the wildest beast you can purchase for under $400. Be it deer hunting or killing varmint, Nikon P-223 offers unparalleled results in most unforgiving situations.

Now, if you ask what sets it apart from others, then we have more than one reasons to back our vows.

First, we have the unbeatable clarity of Nikon’s premium glass in addition to the luxurious fully multi-coated lens coating that ensures roughly 98% light transmission.

For the records, it is once in a blue moon case for a $400 tactical ar15 rifle scope to be this powerful in terms of accurate visibility.

Believe it or not, this is the kind of feature the majority of the $600 scopes are offering. Not only on a regular sunny day but also in a dark, low-light condition, the multi-coated lens will give you a see-through vision of the target.

Then comes the BDC 600 second focal plane reticle, which typically fits the most with .223Rem ammo of an AR-15 rifle. So, what you will get out of this is proper bullet drop estimations by measuring the .223 rem’s trajectory.

Coming up next, you have the thick 3.6″ eye relief perfected for an ar-15 rifle. On top of that, you don’t need to stress over the whole magnification-to-eye relief agreement as the eye relief remains constant despite the magnification you choose.

Last but not least, Nikon features tactical turrets specifically engineered for meeting various hunting needs.

As for the magnification, you have it in spades. The 3-9x magnification for hitting up to 100 yards is a sure shot. That’s like the least, and for the most, it can reach up to 600 yards using the 9x magnification caliber.

Usually, high-magnification leads to an immense parallax effect; however, surprisingly, Nikon guarantees parallax-free operation.

FeaturesBenefits
Fully multi-coated opticsOffers incomparable brightness in most adverse and dismal situations
Precisely etched windage and elevation turrets with an adjustment knobAllows instant adjustments, helps to reset zero
Rubberized eye guard with smooth turn aluminum ringEnsures sharp reticle concentration as well as faster target acquisition
3-9x magnificationCovers up close to long-range targets by hitting 100 yards to over 600 yards
Rugged aircraft-grade aluminum construction weighing only 1 OunceFog, water, and scratch-proof with superior mobility to move freely

Pros

  • It can be used with different rifles
  • Over 98% light transmission
  • Compact and rugged design
  • No guesswork due to ballistic match technology
  • Effortless assembly and easy to operate for any beginner to professional

Cons

  • No flip-up lens covers
  • Thin bubble

What to Expect from the AR-15 Scope Depending on the Budget?


A wise man once said, “if you don’t expect the impossible, then you won’t ever be disappointed.”

Actually, we just made it up, but it makes sense. See, you want to stick to the budget and also want the best bang for your buck, right?

And there’s no shame in this, no matter what your budget is, be it 100 dollars or 500 dollars. You can still purchase the finest scope for your ar-15 without any potential disappointments only if you know what to expect!

So, let’s see what to expect from the ar-15 scope depending on the below-mentioned budget!

Under $100 AR15 Scopes

If you are looking for a hunting scope, then your below $100 scope should distribute maximum precision to obtain your target game. The same goes for the magnification caliber. It should come with enough magnification that’s needed for at least < 150-yard distance coverage.

But the common problem with under $100 scope is that they usually don’t last long or withstand extreme abuse. They tend to damage sooner than the scopes that cost more. Also, they are not ideal for holding the zero effectively.

If you want the best scope under $100 that meets all your expectations, then check out our Monstrum 2-7×32 A.O. Rifle Scope with Illuminated Range Finder. It delivers more than anticipated and costs lower than other scopes in its class.

The below-mentioned products are all under $100.

Monstrum 2 – 7×32 A.O. Rifle Scope with Illuminated Range Finder

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At the top of the list, we have a 2-7×32 rifle scope from Monstrum that offers budget-friendly scopes without compromising quality and accuracy.

Almost all of their scopes from different series cost under $100 to $200. Here we have the Monstrum tactical scope specifically crafted for close to mid-range shooting.

The magnification you need to succeed in your close to a mid-range task is between 1 – 4X and5 – 9X power accordingly.

This A.O. rifle scope speaking of which comes with a 2 -7x magnification caliber. As you can see, the magnification power meets the parameter required for close to mid-range shooting. You can shoot up to 400 yards effectively.

This AR 15 scope incorporates a detachable throw lever, standard scope rings, battery, lens shield, and lens cloth.

Any AR rile with Picatinny rails can accommodate this rifle scope. Now, what sets it apart from most of the top-rated ar scopes is the innovative A.O. formula.

Basically, A.O. refers to adjustable objective, or you can manifest it as parallax adjustment. That facilitates the objective lens adjustability by leading the target image leveled to the reticle in your focal point.

It helps to eliminate the parallax effect while remaining in focus with the plane of the reticle.

Furthermore, it guarantees you a crystal-clear view of the target and records all the ranging information regarding your target. You will get 5 brightness levels to choose from between red and green.

In addition, it comes with 3.5-3.8 in eye relief, by which you can get a brighter and fuller field of view without any glare or fuzziness.

Be it hunting small games or protecting the homeland from varmints; this is the best 1-4x scope for ar-15.

FeaturesBenefits
2-7x magnificationOffers crystal clear visibility, ideal for close to mid-range shooting
Range finder reticleAllows you to estimate the movements precisely
Aircraft-grade aluminum with nitrogen filled tubesResistance to water and fog
An adjustable objective lens, multi-layer lens coatingEradicates parallax effect, enables sharper target view and range calculation prevents your scope lens from fog and dents
Adjustable capped reset turret with 1/4  MOA/click windageIt can be adjusted using your fingers, locks the turrets, and resets the zero

Pros

  • The lightweight scope weighs only 12 oz
  • 32mm wide objective diameter
  • Accommodates rifle with Picatinny rails
  • Reticles are illuminated for dark and low light environments
  • Etched black reticle remains visible despite the illumination
  • Superior eye relief

Cons

  • Knob quality could be better
  • It doesn’t hold the zero effectively

UUQ 4-16x50EG Tactical Rifle Scope

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If you are looking for the best tactical rifle scope under $100 for accomplishing your wide-range shooting, then rejoice! The UUQ presents one of the finest tactical rifle scopes that delivers extreme optical clarity at 4-16 times magnification.

It combines with a 50mm objective diameter that allows quick accession of close quarters and faster moving targets.

For the most part, the 50mm objective lens brings enough light to your peripheral vision while further enhancing the view clarity.

Besides, this high-end ar15 scope consists of 5 brightness settings, including four different dot sizes. This lets you reach up to 300m for superior sighting and shooting.

Needless to say, the illumination delivers optimal precision to the target despite the conditions. Be it day or night, this tactical rifle scope got it covered.

Also, the fact that it’s engineered with premium quality materials and immune to water and shock is very impressive.

In fact, it can withstand bumps, scratches and any kind of tension stemmed from extreme environmental situations or weather changes.

Furthermore, the 4x-16x magnification caliber helps you to perform a plethora of diverse shooting operations.

From hunting game animals to tactical aspects, you can get it all done with the 100 yards of field view.

In addition, the built-in rail offers effortless mounting and adjustments to its windage and elevation turrets. You can easily install it on any 22mm rails. And undoubtedly, it’s the cheapest tactical scope for ar 15 rifles with great value.

FeaturesBenefits
50mm objective lensFaster acquisition of close quarter and moving hunting objects
4 reticles holographic red and green dot sight, dual illumination with 5 brightness levelEnsures to target your kills with utmost accuracy and success every time, green laser light can reach over 300m, and dual illumination helps to shoot your shot in low light environment
Effortless windage and elevation adjustmentDetermining the ideal tightness for required task becomes easier
Sturdy construction complemented with a black matte finishIt remains 100% waterproof and shock-resistant, while the black matte profile suffices the aesthetics
Built-in mount baseAccommodates any 22m Picatinny rails or weaver

Pros

  • Easy and faster installation
  • Proper eye relief reduces glare and fuzziness
  • No additional tools required for adjustments
  • Dual illumination for darker spaces
  • Steal for the money

Cons

  • A little bulky
  • Adjusting the parallax might feel hard

Under $200 AR15 Scopes

It should contain a high-quality lens for maximum light transmission and glare reduction, at least 100 yards of the field of view, water, and shock resistance, fixed parallax adjustment for at least 100 yards, compatibility with target shooting as well as hunting varmint, and lastly one-piece tube body with ample range diameter.

The below-mentioned ar15 scopes cost less than 200 dollars.

Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets

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Whenever it’s about an AR-15 rifle scope under 200 dollars, there are not so many options to stumble upon. Yet while looking for something reliable on this budget, we came down to Bushnell optics.

It caters to a wide range of magnification optics for various ar-15 rifles based on the type of job. Here we have the drop zone reticle riflescope with target turrets that costs somewhat under 200 bucks without compromising quality and competency.  

For whoever is looking for a suburb quality ar-15 rifle scope, this is the one to meet the expectations. And with all honesty, it does offer more than it costs. These optics are tough-made, water-resistant, and fog-proof.

Also, it can undergo shocks and rough situations. Usually, cheap ar15 scopes are vulnerable to abuse and damage while encountering a severe condition.

Albeit, this ar15 scope seems to perform well, regardless. Now moving on, it’s safe to say that it outshines even the highest quality scopes due to its extended eye relief. This just hits the bullseye when it’s about close-quarter combat or 100 yards shooting.

Another thing worth mentioning is the integrated glass which is basically the signature configuration from Bushnell. The glass has fast-forwarded the success of Bushnell and made it a leading brand in the realm of optics.

The 1x-4x magnification might evoke dissatisfaction at first glance, but as soon as you start using it, you will get the hang of the image.

It’s vivid, transparent, and accurate even at 300+ yards. In fact, the top of the bottom of the reticle exhibits roughly up to 600 yards.

Now, you may not count it in as one of the best scopes for an ar15 rifle, but if it’s about getting the best deal at under 200 dollars for home defense or shorter-range varmint hunting, then this is the one.

FeaturesBenefits
Compact yet rigid construction of high-quality aluminum alloy combined with anodized finish and sealsIt lasts longer, holds up well against rough situations while the seal takes care of the inside elements
Close to midrange accuracyThe 1x-4x magnification ensures impeccable close to midrange accuracy as well as close-quarter combats
Capped turretsOffers precise and pinpoint adjustments
Entirely multi-coated opticEnsures extraordinary brightness for accurate shots
Holds the zeroPreserves the zero at 100 yards with aiming points out of 500

Pros

  • Long-lasting construction
  • Rust and scratch proof
  • It offers the brightest target view
  • Easy to adjust and mount
  • Supremely compatible with an array of different rifles

Cons

  • Crosshairs are thicker than needed
  • No reticle light or illumination

TRUGLO TRU-Brite 30 Series 1-6 X 24mm Dual-Color Illuminated scope

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The TRU-Brite 30 series distributes the perfect trio of clarity, precision, and speed. It features a 30mm tube combined with your desired 1-4x or 1-6x magnification.

Thus, you get a bright and crystal-clear field of view. The rheostat-controlled brightness included a quick zoom lever and 4 inches of eye relief; all work together in order to ensure a successful hunting session.

Besides, for faster acquisition, the duplex mil-dot reticle incorporates an illuminated circle dot.

While you are shooting in a low light environment or at a low magnification caliber, this feature helps you out to determine the distance of your predicted target. On top of that, the reticle consists of dual illumination; red and green.

However, you can use the etched glass reticle without engaging in any illumination.

Apart from these, you receive quick trajectory and wind drift aiming references.

Every TRU-Brite 30 ar15 rifle scope comes with two priorly calibrated BDC turrets in .223 calibers and .308 caliber for meeting targets up to 800 yards.

As for the construction, Tru-Brite 30 mm reversible, offset, monolithic is engineered from CNC-machined aircraft-grade aluminum. The overall material is resistant to water, fog, and shock.

Consequently, it offers you a lifetime service and is worth every penny. This is the best cheap ar 15 scope for retaining zero.

FeaturesBenefits
30mm tube with 1-4x or 1-6x magnificationEnsures optimal brightness and click adjustments, wide field of view, accurate; with true, 1x magnification shooters can benefit from fast sight pictures and shoot with both eyes open  
Two pre-calibrated BDC turrets in .223 and .308 caliberIt helps to reach targets up to 800 yards
Aircraft-grade aluminum machined reversible, offset, monolithic 30mm scope ringsIt lasts longer, reduces damage susceptibility, and is resistant to water, fog, and shock
Reinforced with sturdy leaf-spring click adjustmentsGuarantees effortless windage and elevation
Quick zoom leverAllows you to aim for distant targets which are usually laborious to reach

Pros

  • Fully-coated lenses for utmost clarity and contrast
  • Dual illumination for low light environments
  • Easy to mount and adjust
  • Excellent eye relief for glare elimination
  • Holds the zero better and effectively compared to the price

Cons

  • Securing the mount at proper eye relief can be tricky
  • Mushy on/off button

Under $300 AR15 Scopes

Needless to say, an under $300 scope can fulfill almost all of your requirements. Along with all the basic features, you should also expect high-grade aluminum construction that is resistant to water and fog.

Secondly, your scope should be able to withstand drops from a limited height, or you can say it should endure extreme abuse during the intense hunting sessions.

A shockproof scope that resists recoil kickback is crucial, and it’s not impossible to get one at this price point. Then comes the glass quality that should be crisp and clear enough to give you a clear view with optimal visibility.

Lastly, you can expect variable magnification from your under $300 scope as most of the scopes under this price point deliver at least 3x to a maximum 9x magnification caliber.

The scopes here are under 300 dollars.

Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9×40 Riflescope

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If you intend to hunt down some varmints or whitetails with one of the finest glass quality optics, then we have good news for you. The Leupold has the legacy to deliver the best quality glass optics with an enhanced lifetime assurance.

Their 450 bushmaster 3-9×40 riflescope features an easy-to-use duplex reticle. That makes taking down the untamable varmints and whitetails easier than ever.

The fact that it costs under 300 dollars is quite unbelievable given the vast attributes and superior magnification caliber of 3-9x.

Not just that, the patented twilight light management system lessens any potential glares or fuzziness while amplifying the light transmission. Besides, the multi-coat formula balances the light spectrum through the scope to merge the visual traits of a human eye.

As a consequence, you obtain the brightest and crispest field of view possible.  Also, this system includes up to 10 extra minutes of shooting light during dawn and dusk hours.

Moreover, this ar15 rifle scope guarantees lifetime reliability and repeatability. Thanks to the precision ¼ MOA finger click adjustments for smooth windage and elevation facility.

Furthermore, the Leupold Vx-freedom rifle scope weighs only 12.2 oz with a rugged design machined and manufactured in the USA.

You get optimal eye relief of 4.17 at the lowest setting and 3.66 at the highest. With less work fatigue and a reduced parallax effect, you obtain the best results.

Be it long-lasting performance or shooting with maximum dependability, this AR-15 rifle scope has it in spades. No wonder it’s the best Leupold scope for ar 15.

FeaturesBenefits
1″ aircraft-grade aluminum tube secured with O-ring and filled with nitrogenWater, shock, and fog-resistant
It comes in a slim profile with a 12.2oz weightReduces work fatigue, easy to carry and work with for prolonged hunting sessions
40mm objective lens with a field view of 33.1-13.6ft at 100 yardsEnsures bright and precise view for increased accuracy
Custom dial systemIt helps in making elevation adjustments due to its turret yard markings since it allows you to compensate for bullet drop
Twilight light management systemMaximizes the low-light viewing and eliminates diffusion and glares

Pros

  • Best for long-range shooting
  • Effortless windage and elevation adjustments
  • Bright and sharp color rendition in low light environment
  • Withstands rough weather conditions
  • Undergoes multiple quality assessments

Cons

  • No added lens caps
  • Crosshairs might not align properly

S2Delta Low Power Variable Optic (LVPO) Carbine Scope

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There are two prime reasons why you should buy this midrange AR-15 rifle scope.  First things first, it offers long eye relief to eliminate any fuzziness or glare occurring around your eyes.

Thus, you don’t feel any stress or distortion while shooting for a long to midrange target.

Secondly, the capped ½ MOA turrets of this scope allow you to zero for distance and windage.

Once it holds the zero, the caps will secure the turret adjustments firmly. Hence you can get more time shooting than adjusting it back and forth. Apart from these two fortes, this ar 15 scope has other notable attributes as well.

For instance, it’s engineered with a 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum finish with hard black anodization for long-lasting service and tackling extreme situations.

Besides, the tubes are loaded with nitrogen so that you get a waterproof and fog-resistant performance.

The tube diameter is 30mm, which is standard and works decently for distant shooting or hunting down varmints.

Now, this ar15 scope doesn’t come with any night vision; however, the red illumination crosshairs assortment helps to enhance the target acquisition. In addition, S2Delta features illuminated the BDC reticle combined with an advanced brightness setting. So that you know, the BDC is calibrated for 5.56mm.

Last but not least, you can also adjust the magnification of this scope in between 1x and 4x zooming.

So, for example, if you are shooting for a distant object, you can first zoom in to the target’s location and then use the illumination to acquire it with an accurate shot.

FeaturesBenefits
Rugged rifle scope, machined from aircraft-grade aluminum, nitrogen-filled tubeWithstands harsh situations and is resistant to water and scratch
Capped turretsFacilitates easy zeroing for distance and windage; turrets stay firm in their right position even after making adjustments
Illuminated BDC reticleAllows you to adjust the brightness setting depending on the type of task you are performing
Long eye reliefRemoves the inconsistency from your field of view
It weighs only 1.65 poundsEasy to mount, hold and operate for an extended period without any work fatigue

Pros

  • Adjustable magnification
  • Waterproof
  • It comes with a new battery, installation tools, and 30mm scope mount
  • Great optic for the money
  • Effortless sighting

Cons

  • No night vision
  • The number on the reticle is too small

Under $400 AR15 Scopes

A scope with 400 dollars price limit is extremely well-functioning and capable of offering impressive results.

Apart from the magnification, ease of use, and environment-friendliness, it should also cater to additional needs such as a fully multi-coated objective lens, tough aluminum alloy construction, high compatibility with a wide range of rifles, zooming in and out capacity, illuminated reticles with brightness setting, resettable turrets for zero retainments and lastly water and fog resistance as well as handling abuses.

Looking for the best optics under $400 for you ar-15? Check these out.

Primary Arms SLX 1-8x24mm SFP Rifle Scope

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Here we have our first pick for the best high-end ar-15 rifle scope under $400 from Primary arms. In case you don’t know, primary arms outrank the most expensive rifle scope brands in terms of versatility.

The outstanding combination of a magnified optics and a red dot scope is what makes this ar15 scope stand out amongst the crowd.

This SLX 1-8x rifle scope comes with high-quality materials but at a competitive price point.

For the record, the 1-6x variable of primary arms was one of the biggest hits for the past few years.

And after receiving some feedback from their loyal customers regarding the magnification, they decided to send it back to the lab. And guess what? They refurbished it and crammed it in with more magnification.

So, this one is now 1-8x! First thing first, when you look through the glass, you will see the patented ACSS reticle associating bullet drop compensation.

Apart from the BDC, it also combines wind holds and moving target leads without facing any complicacy. Besides, you have the second focal plane setting that is pretty solid yet simple.

Luckily the pre-set adjustments don’t change despite any power setting. What you need to do is to crank it up to 8x magnification for using the advanced features. From medium to long-range (0-300 yards), this ar15 scope got everything covered with optimal accuracy.

Now, if you think that’s just it, then you are mistaken. It also has red illumination with a spectrum of 11 brightness levels fueled by the included battery.

Here to adjust the brightness, you have a knob on the left side of the tube specifically equipped for illuminating the center reticle through the different brightness levels. 

Since it’s nitrogen purged and crafted with aluminum, you don’t have to worry about durability. It’s gonna last longer than assumed.

FeaturesBenefits
1-8x magnificationHelps to shoot for 0 to 300 yards with maximum precision
Water and fog proof aluminum construction, nitrogen purgedEnsures to deal with critical situations and accidental falls
It comes with a 1 x CR2032 3V lithium coin batteryYou don’t need to invest extra bucks on buying a powerful battery, and the 11 brightness settings will remain powered anyways
Lead dots on each side of the chevronAllows you to shoot for a target moving at a 90-degree angle; for instance, if the hunting object is moving to the left to right, then go for the left lead dot and use the right dot when it’s moving to the right to left
Windage and elevation knobIt makes the windage and elevation easier than ever

Pros

  • 11 brightness setting
  • Diopter ring for adjusting the reticle focus
  • Preserves zero even after sighting
  • Fully multi-coated lenses for crystal clear image
  • It doesn’t distort the view with both eyes open

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Turrets are a little mushy

Burris RT-6 1-6x24mm Tactical Rifle Scope

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That’s the last ar15 scope under $400 in our list. The Burris is one of the most prominent brands out there that is known for its dependable service. They pledge to deliver the features you need for successful predator hunts.

Here we have the Burris RT-6x24mm tactical rifle scope that comes in a straightforward design with a sleek black profile. Not only is it suitable for hunting and tactical aspects but also for the military.

It offers approximately 6x magnification caliber by which you can accomplish any close to the mid-range target.

Be it protecting your homeland or taking down varmint, this ar15 rifle scope got it covered.

However, the 6x zoom-out magnification is relatively smaller than most of the 1-4x scopes available in the marketplace.

Thus, it comes in handy during operation and requires less time to work. Next, we have the incredible ballistic reticle that ensures offering unparalleled bullet drop compensation points for targeting up to 6oo yards.

On top of that, the super-fast circle helps in quick acquisition for close-range shooting. The overall construction is reinforced with quality aluminum and nitrogen purged tubes. So, it’s safe to say that the scope is waterproof and built to last.

Lastly, you have the integrated throw lever, which is fully adjustable and takes few seconds to shift movements. Also, it can be pivoted back to the position you desire.

FeaturesBenefits
6x magnificationIdeal for close to mid-range shooting; it can reach up to 600 yards in a faster and easier way than most 1-4x scopes in the market
1x setting for eye-open engagementYou can shoot with both eyes open and obtain a clear, sharp, and wide field of view
Ballistic reticleBetter bullet drop compensation and quick acquisition
Durable constructionResistant to water, fog, scratch, and shock. Thus, it lasts longer and copes up with adverse situations
Patented built-in throw leverAllows you to make adjustments with superior flexibility

Pros

  • Compatible with a wide range of rifles
  • Easy to mount
  • Quick zoom lever
  • Second focal plane optic
  • Keeps zero

Cons

  • No night visions
  • With the red dot, the height increases

Under $500 AR15 Scopes

At this price point, you will possibly get everything you have dreamt of. At least 4x starting magnification to 20x and beyond; a scope with under $500 price point has it all covered. 

If you are lucky enough, then you can get some scopes that come with a zooming facility in addition to magnification so that they can come in handy for medium to long-range shooting.

It’s no surprise that the objective lens or the overall image quality here is better than any scope, costing below 400 or 300 dollars. You can find the first focal plane reticle as well as the second focal plane reticle; however, most under $500 scopes tend to have SFP reticles.

Furthermore, you can expect the best quality aircraft-grade aluminum with O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged tubes.

A fully multi-coated objective lens to reduce glare and maximize light transmission, holding the zero after sighting in, making windage and elevation adjustments easy, and quick target acquisitions, these things should exist in spades in your under $500 scope.

Let’s wade through these premium quality rifle scopes under $500.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I 1-4×24 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

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Here we have our first product that costs under $500 on today’s list.

For starters, the vortex PST is basically a low-power variable optic that doesn’t offer superior magnification. Then what’s all the hype about?

Well, the fact that professional shooters are driven towards the Vortex Viper PST confides in its overall functionality.

This low-power variable optic outsmarts most of the red dot sights available in the market. In some cases, the results are pretty similar but not the same!

With this ar15 rifle scope, the possibility to hit the close-range target by its 4x magnification caliber is higher than a red dot.

Also, a red dot sight won’t leave unlimited eye relief, whereas this ar15 rifle scope will. So, what else do you get out of this almost $400 rifle scope?

First, you will get a wide field of view that hits up to 200 yards accurately. Then comes the numerous brightness control so that you can hunt in any given situation.

For example, while shooting in a low-light environment, it’s vital to carry a scope with enough brightness level and a crisp view.

Another fact is it features a specific illumination turret for enhanced control. Now, for the most part, it fits the bill by covering up all the basics, such as the adjustability of .5 MOA windage and elevation turrets.

Aside from this, you have a sturdy build that distributes ample strength and tenacity. Thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum tube construction. It also combines with an immaculate objective lens, including a crystal-clear glass.

For the records, lenses with extra-low dispersion tend to perform the best when offering a lot of contrast. And gladly, you will get it here.

FeaturesBenefits
Matching reticle with illumination and turret measurementsFacilitates accurate shots, fast dialing, and high visibility in low-light
Machined from a solid chunk of aircraft-grade aluminumProvides ample adjustability for the windage and elevation
Customization rotational stopHolds the zero, a great return to zero facility despite shifting from one adjustment setting to another
Precision-force spring featuring top-notch components in the erector systemOffers optimal repeatability and effortless adjustment  
Extra-low dispersion glass, proprietary coatingImproves the overall color fidelity and resolution while ensuring a sharp and precise image with maximum light transmission

Pros

  • Responsive turrets with audible and crisp clicks
  • Great return to zero facility
  • Ideal for close-range shooting
  • Water, fog, and scratch-resistant
  • Searches out targets quickly

Cons

  • Low magnification
  • Eye relief isn’t enough for many shooters

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

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After Nikon, we believe Leupold holds the legacy to distribute one of the best glass qualities.

Also, when it comes to a promising, long-lasting service, Leupold optics reign over the top trending optics available in the industry. Here we have the VX-freedom 3-9×40 riflescope that offers 3-9x magnification caliber, including a duplex reticle.

This hassle-free duplex allows you to take down varmints and whitetails. Besides, it’s made of durable materials; thus, it can undergo extreme weather conditions and excessive temperature.

Apart from these, you will have the advanced twilight light management system that minimizes glare and increases the overall light transmission.

As a result, you get the brightest, crispest, and clearest field of view. On top of that, this feature lets you add up to ten minutes of extra shooting light during dawn and dusk. Therefore, you can invest more time in hunting and ensure bringing some meat home.

Furthermore, this scope is entirely scratch-proof due to the tough coating. The tube here is machined from a block of 1″ aircraft-grade aluminum.

Now, to add more to it, the tube is O-ring sealed and purged with nitrogen thus; your scope remains resistant to fog, water, and shock.

It’s the best Leupold scope for ar 15 that undergoes multiple tests to meet their quality benchmark.

FeaturesBenefits
3-9x magnificationIdeal for close to midrange shooting from <150 yards to 400 yards
Twilight light transmissionEliminates the glare susceptibility and maximizes the light transmission while ensuring extra shooting hours during a sunny day
Fully coated, aircraft-grade aluminum tube construction purged with nitrogenScratch proof, resistant to water, fog, and shock; ensures a lifetime service
40mm objective lensoffers a 33.1 – 13.6 ft field of view at 100 yards
Easy to assembleIt can be mounted within few minutes without any need for proprietary tools; also, the windage and elevation are etched on the reticle perfectly

Pros

  • Incredible glass makes the color pop as well as crisp detailing
  • Ample magnification for close to mid-range shooting
  • Holds the zero effectively
  • 3:1 zoom erector for quick and repeated reticle adjustment
  • Eye relief (lowest 4.2 inches to highest 3.7 inches)

Cons

  • No night vision
  • Parallax is fixed at 80 yards, no adjustability

How Much Magnification Is Optimal for an AR-15 Scope?


Below we have mentioned how much magnification is ideal for an ar-15 scope based on different ranges.

Close Range (<150 Yards) AR-15 Scopes

Ar-15 rifles outshine any rifles in hand when it comes to close-range combat. Be it practicing target shooting or hunting small game animals. The required magnification for close-range target acquisition is 1-4x magnification power.

Here we will be discussing the ar-15 rifle scopes that are suitable for close-range shooting. Let’s check out the first product we have in this category.

UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope

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So, as you know, for close-range target acquisition, you will need a scope that can shoot at close distance, is capable of close combat, and ensures 1-4x magnification power at best. The UTG 3-9X32 has all of these in abundance.

If you are looking for a scope that can reach a hundred-dollar range or hit the deepest swamps, then you can skip this review.

Now, this Bugbuster ar-15 scope comes with its personal weaver-style mount. Meaning it arrives with the package.

Thus, mounting it doesn’t drain your energy or test your patience. You can set it up within few minutes. Besides, the elevation adjustments are easier than imaginable.

You will have a knob placed on the top, which is adjustable for the elevation. Since this scope uses a 1-inch tube incorporating a great return to zero value, you don’t need to stress over losing your zero despite making any movements.

Moving on, the eye relief of this little monster is very promising as it ensures faster acquisition regardless of various ranges.

It is worth mentioning that the parallax adjustment is extraordinary due to its adjustability from 3 yards to beyond.

Last but not least, it has a minimum magnification of 3x and a maximum of 9x, which is more than enough for your close-range activities.

FeaturesBenefits
1-inch tube with emerald coatingMaximizes light transmission and reduces glare during a bright sunny day
Lockable and resettable turrets with 1.4 MOA per click adjustmentFacilitates proper zeroing even if you make numerous adjustments
Completely sealed and 100% nitrogen purgedRemains fog, water, and shockproof and fights against extreme weather conditions
Detachable rings and flip-open lens capsQ.D. rings allow you to detach the optic from your rifle without wasting time and reattach it while preserving the zero
Parallax free, RGB side wheel illuminationCan be used in different environments and diverse lighting condition reduces parallax effect and ensures accurate shooting

Pros

  • Easily adjustable turrets
  • Red and green illumination
  • Q.D. mounts and sunshade
  • Efficient recoil endurance
  • RGB swats with numerous brightness levels

Cons

  • Limited eye relief
  • The coating on the locking lever might wear off

Feyachi Tactical Optics Falcon 1-4×24 SFP Rifle Scope

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Our second pick for the best close-range AR 15 riflescope is from Feyachi Optics Store. They offer high-quality hunting optics at a competitive price point. Thus, you can enjoy all the premium features without breaking the bank.

So, this classic series 1-4×24 scope provides 2x magnification with 4x zooming capacity to ensure both-eyes-open target acquisition.

While being the perfect tool for close-range shooting, the 2x magnification combined with 4x zooming enables long-range aiming precision. You can select your eye relief from the lowest 3.1 inches to the highest 4.1 inches according to the magnification chosen.

Besides, the objective lens is bristled with an anti-reflective coating to maximize the overall light transmission.

So, if you intend to do some target shooting or hunting small game animals on a sunny day, then this tactical scope will do the job.

In addition, if you are aiming for a moving object or need to zoom in immediately, then the smooth-turning rubberized ring will activate the quick reticle focus.

Now, let’s talk about the turrets. Here the capped reset turrets are effortlessly adjustable due to the finger adjustability and MOA click.

Also, the MOA clicks allow you to hold the zero despite sighting in. Long story short, it’s definitely a steal for the money. Everything you need for your close-range shooting is served here.

FeaturesBenefits
1x magnification with 4x zoomingAllows you to shoot without closing one eye, increases your success rate in close-range shooting
24 mm objective lens diameter with anti-reflective coatingReduces glare and enhances light transmission
Resettable MOA turretsOffers great return to zero performance, preserves the zero after sighting in
The tube is constructed with hard anodized one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum and purged with nitrogen (O-ring sealed)Withstands water and fog to keep your scope damage-free for a prolonged time
Generous eye relief with pre-adjusted parallax up to 100 yardsMinimizes the inconsistency in your vision towards the target and helps you obtain a precise viewing angle; depending on the magnification, you choose the eye relief can be selected from 3.1 inches to 4.1 inches

Pros

  • Separate dials for elevation and windage adjustment and illumination
  • Quick reticle focus (starburst reticle) cycled through 11 brightness level
  • Multi-coated lens for improved light transmission
  • Easy to mount
  • Ideal for both daytime and low light condition

Cons

  • Zoom control feels a little tight
  • It doesn’t come with a mounting tool

Medium Range (150 – 400 Yards) AR-15 Scopes

As you already know that ar-15 rifles excel the most in medium-range shooting to protect your homeland from foxes, coyotes, and varmints; the necessary magnification parameter is a minimum of 4x to a maximum of 9x power.

You can find scopes that offer more than that, but honestly, this much is more than enough to resolve your varmint problem.

The below-mentioned products are specially listed for medium-range target shooting.

Monstrum G2 1-4×24 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope

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If you are looking for thebest mid-range scope for ar 15, then rejoice! Monstrum distributes the finest fast focal plan scopes at a reasonable price.

First and foremost, if you want to keep the magnification equivalent to the view of the reticle for having the stadia marks relevant all the time, then this FFP rifle scope is the one for you.

It will retain the range of magnification constant. Besides, it offers an adjustable objective lens accompanied with 1-4x magnification.

Thus, you can shoot for mid to long-range targets with a precision of up to 300 yards. The package here includes heavy-duty scope rings, flip-up lens covers, honeycomb shade, battery, and an instruction manual.

You will receive everything necessary for its overall installation.

This scope features etched reticles that stay visible even when there’s no source of light or illumination.

Also, the red or green illumination allows you to hunt in low-light environments by offering enhanced visibility. Furthermore, it arrives with MOA/click windage and elevation adjustment with a great return to zero capacity.

FeaturesBenefits
First focal plane reticleThe size of the reticle changes every time you adjust the magnification; such as when you zoom out, the reticle becomes small, and when you zoom in, it appears large
1-4x magnification range, reach up to 300 yardsIdeal for mid to long-range shooting with optimal accuracy and bullet drop compensation
Windage and elevation dialIt lets you make faster adjustments
Etched black reticleOffers better visibility even during a low light situation, the reticle remains apparent without illumination or light up in red or green color
Fully multi-layer lens coatingLessens chromatic irregularity and ensures a crisp and clear image  

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Works best for mid-range shooting
  • Eliminates parallax effect
  • Smoothest adjustments possible
  • Generous eye relief for accurate target acquisition

Cons

  • Heavy
  • The red illumination didn’t work for one customer

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

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Here we have the best vortex scope for ar 15, but this one is specifically for mid-range shooting.

So, the vortex is one of the leading optics manufacturers whose craftsmanship and quality retainment have always been on point. And the vortex strike eagle is one of their best creations with great optical quality.

The glass quality of this scope surpasses the top-trending scopes, which cost double than this. Let us tell you. For starters, it’s fully multi-coated to ensure maximum light transmission offering you a wide field of view.

Unlike the previous product, this one features a second focal plane reticle, the BDC3. It’s considered as one of the most innovative reticles ever made. Why? Because this functions as a red dot as well as a bullet drop compensation reticle.

You will notice a red ring that is strategically crafted for quick target acquisition. While on the other hand, the center dot will take care of long-range shooting.

And, you know the most interesting part? You don’t require a battery to operate the reticle as it’s engraved into the glass and can be seen without illumination.

Speaking of illumination, here, you will get 11 brightness settings for obtaining better visibility during bright and low light conditions.

Now, according to you, how much eye relief is crucial for an ar-15 rifle? If you are guessing 3.5″, then you are correct. And that’s what you will receive from the vortex eagle.

This much eye relief works incredibly with 1-6x magnification. Let us flesh it out to you; the 1x magnification here will help you nail close-range targets while the 6x magnification caliber allows you to reach beyond 550 yards.

Luckily this scope is free of parallax effect despite the changes in magnification. Furthermore, you have the ½ MOA turrets with a tactile click sound. Rotate the knobs, and you will see how smoothly it turns.

FeaturesBenefits
1-6x magnification with generous eye reliefIdeal for mid-range shooting from 300 to 600 yards without facing an obstructed field of view
Elevation and windage knobsThe ½ MOA turrets feel extra smooth and buttery, accompanying a clear and crisp “click” sound; thus, you make adjustments effortlessly
Anti-reflective, multi-coated lensReduces the glare susceptibility and ensures ample light transmission even in low light terrains
New illuminated BDC3 reticleEnables rapid target acquisition and helps you to reach target up to 650 yards
Tube machined from aircraft-grade aluminum, nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealedWithstands recoil kickbacks known as shock, remains fog, water, and scratch proof

Pros

  • Parallax free
  • 11 brightness setting
  • Generous eye relief
  • Holds the zero-shot after shot
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Unforgiving eye box
  • Having a clear image at 8x setting may feel tricky

Long Range (400+ Yards) AR-15 Scopes

Lastly, we have a long-range shooting distance; however, ar-15 isn’t an ideal rifle for such tasks, but if you must, don’t settle for anything less than 9x magnification power.

Below, we have compiled the two most suitable ar15 scopes that come in handy when rooting for long-range target acquisition.

 Vortex Optics Viper H.S. Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

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Perhaps you have figured out by now that we are just obsessed with vortex optics because of its low price point and numerous optical attributes. The best part of vortex optics is it has something for everyone to meet their various needs.

Since here we are focusing on the ar-15 rifle scopes for long-range shooting, let’s cut to the chase. So, the viper 5-10×44 is specifically made for hunting and shooting purposes at various ranges when measuring the holdover is one of the biggest concerns.

You will get the sharpest and clearest field of view through the X.D. glass while the X.R. multi-coated lenses deliver incomparable light transmission.

It guarantees you a comprehensive view from dusk till dawn, eliminating glares or any inconsistency. Besides, it features capped quick resettable turrets for a great return to zero capacity despite sighting in.

Also, this one is known for its straightforward windage and elevation adjustability. Unlike most of the scopes here, this one is made of Armortek coating for tough and scratch-proof performance.

Moreover, it’s purged with argon, so you don’t need to stress over any weather criticalities like fogging or raining.

On top of that, the black anodized matte finish looks super classy and lasts long too. No matter if you want to take down some whitetail in the Midwest or some wapitis in the Rockies vortex, viper got it covered.

FeaturesBenefits
2.5x minimum – 10x maximum magnification with 4x zooming caliberWorks wonders when it comes to long-range target acquisition; it reaches beyond 400 yards while the 4x zooming takes you close to your target
Tough construction. Armortek coating, nitrogen-purged tubeSecures the exterior lenses from damage, prevents scratch, fog, and water
X.R. multi-coated lens with X.D. glassMinimizes glare and increases light transmission, renders crystal-clear field of view
Forgiving eye-box and eye reliefAllows you to reach the distant targets faster by offering you a leeway to place your eyes comfortably  
Capped resettable turretsReindexing your zero becomes more accessible than ever even after sighting in, streamlining elevation, and windage travel.

Pros

  • Reduced chromatic aberration, more contrast
  • It holds the zero perfectly
  • Compact design
  • Sunshade is included
  • Easy to adjust windage and elevation knob

Cons

  • No night vision
  • Changing battery may feel complicated

Steiner T5Xi Tactical Rifle Scope – Close Compact Riflescope for Hunting

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Here we have Steiner T5Xi tactical rifle scope, which is known for its excellent performance in long-range shooting. If you don’t know about Steiner, then let us tell you that Steiner is prominent for its battle-proven technology.

The U.S. military shooters have used it for more than 70 years, and after serving the U.S. military for decades after decades, they are still maintaining the quality.

Their signature feature is the toughness and endurance towards unforgiving conditions.

On top of that, the 1-5x magnification ensures a precise field of view required for shooting up to 400 yards. Honestly, we were already impressed, but the razor-sharp image clarity was the icing on the cake. The unparalleled clarity and high light transmission will guarantee you successful combat.

Besides, its illumination coverage is enough to plan for long-range target acquisition.

The German craftsmanship combined with U.S construction reassures you about the toughness. It can withstand extreme combat to competition sessions like a beast.

In fact, it is submersible to 33ft water. One thing worth mentioning is ar-15 rifles aren’t made for long-range shooting. However, especially when it comes to hunting, if you must, it’s one of the finest choices.

FeaturesBenefits
7.62mm calibrated reticle with stadia lines below the crosshairCan reach for targets up to 600 yards with optimal accuracy
Low-profile capped turretsHolds the zero after sighting in, helps you during long-range competition where you are shooting in similar ranges and environment
1-5x magnificationThe 1x magnification allows you to shoot with both eyes open in close quarters, while the 5x facilitates reaching distant targets
50 millimeter fully multi-coated objective lens with razor-sharp glass clarityEliminates glare, offers more contrast and visible detail despite low light situations
Second rotation indicator  Once you made your first 120 clicks, the mill number on the scale alters automatically so that the shooter doesn’t get lost on the dial

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • It comes with a throw lever for quick and easy magnification changes
  • Maximizes light transmission
  • 11 magnification levels
  • Tenebraex lens cover for preventing dust and humidity

Cons

  • No night vision
  • Fixed parallax focus can’t reach above 100 yards

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best AR-15 Scope


We said it once, and we will say twice that you need to make up your mind and ask yourself some questions before confirming your purchase.

“Why do I need an ar15 scope?”; “What kind of tasks will I be performing”; “Am I going to use it frequently or occasionally?”; “How skilled am I?” “How much magnification is enough for this distinct task?” Once you unravel these questions, you will be sure of what you require and what to buy.  

Now, novice shooters are more likely to buy the wrong scope in exchange for a big fat investment because they don’t know what exactly it is that they want.

That’s why we have curated an in-depth buying guide where you will find what you exactly need to decipher before making a purchase.

The Purpose

First things first, you need to acknowledge that every rifle scope has an individual purpose of service. One might be specialized in distance shooting, while another can be ideal for close-range shooting.

On the other hand, some rifle scopes are incomparable in glass quality and light transmission but don’t work well when making adjustments. So, the point being, they aren’t created the same.

Each of them has its specific standards to suffice. And if you are sensible and lucky enough, you can get one scope that meets various needs, just like the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle, which also happens to be the best choice for today’s review.

So, let’s say you want a scope for close-range shooting with maximum magnification caliber and easy turret adjustments. In this case, your objective is to opt for a rifle scope that is specifically made to cater to these requirements. And if you get other features too then, it’s undoubtedly a surplus.

Shooting Distances for AR-15 Rifle

The second most important thing is to consider various shooting distances, such as how many yards are regarded as close range and how much magnification is needed. So, basically, there are three shooting distances based on how many yards they can reach.

You have a close range which is <150 yards; then you have a medium-range which is 150 – 400 yards; and finally, you got a long range which is 400+ yards.

Now it might drive you to ponder that which one is going to be your shooting distance.

Well, see if you are target shooting or target practicing in addition to hunting small games with your ar-15 rifle, then close-range shooting distance sounds like your thing. The magnification needed for this range is 1-4x caliber.

Check out UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope for your close-range target accession.

Moving on, if you are concerned about saving your homeland from untamable animals like coyotes and foxes, then you will need a scope with 150 to 400 yards of target acquisition capacity.

In other words, a medium-range ar-15 rifle scope is what you need. So that you know, ar-15 rifles are specially made for medium-range shooting.

And they are immensely popular because of their performance in medium shooting distance.

Shooters have a remarkable winning history with their ar-15 rifle scopes. Here the magnification you will need is between 5 – 9x.

Lastly, you have a long-range shooting distance that requires more than 9x magnification.

As we have already said, ar-15 rifles aren’t designed for shooting in 400+ yards, and professionals don’t recommend it either.

Yet if you are optimistic about some long-range target practicing, then just make sure to have enough magnification with the illuminating facility, like our premium pick: Vortex Optics Viper H.S. Second Focal Plane Riflescope.

It is strategically made for long-range shooting. So, depending on the distance range, you should choose the ideal scope for you.

Light Transmission

Your scope comes with an objective lens that allows the light to come in so that you can see the target clearly. Here you will find a label “x” that defines the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters.

Notice the end of the scope where the objective lens is located. It’s usually bigger than the entire scope.

You can call it the heart of the rifle scope that facilitates a sharper, brighter, and clearer field of view.

Mostly when you are shooting in a low-light environment, you will find 50mm objective lenses, which are deemed as one of the most common lens diameters for shooting at long-range distances—the bigger the lens, the better the image.

Now the question is how much light transmission you need for your type of shooting.

If it’s close-range combat, having a 50 mm objective lens can be overkill. In contrast, when you aim at a distant hunting object, you will need a larger lens to let the light penetrate your eyes to brighten the view.

It would help if you stuck to the one that is not less or not too much for the operation you are planning to perform.

Also, larger lenses have some downsides when it comes to maneuvering since it increases the overall weight of the scope. It will cause some discomfort like shoulder strain or wrist ache due to the tension it distributes.

On top of that, a heavy scope requires you to mount it higher than usual since aligning the height proportionate to your cheek weld with proper viewpoint, and peripheral sight is necessary.

And to be honest, that will give you a hard time in terms of obtaining accurate and fair adjustments.

Hence, before determining the ideal lens diameter, you should consider all these underlying facts so that it doesn’t end up causing trouble than benefiting you.

If you want something for your medium-range distance shooting, then use something between 35mm-50mm. It would be enough and maneuverable at the same time.

Finding the Right Reticle

Sure enough, there is a wide range of reticles available, but while choosing the suitable one for your task, you need to see whether it accommodates your rifle or not.

Since we are discussing a semi-automatic gun like the ar-15, the rule of thumb of getting a well-fitted reticle is to stick to the one with brightness adjustability and illumination for all kinds of environments.

Be it a sunny morning or after sunset.

The gradual distance reticle depicts different tick marks for each distance so that you can adjust as desired. It can be red, green, and even black with diverse parameters. Now, let’s have a look at the different types of reticles we often come across while choosing an ar-15 scope.

Duplex Reticle

First, you have one of the most common and primacy type reticles called the “duplex.” See, we will avoid the jibber-jabbers or too much detail and cut to the chase.

A duplex reticle comes in handy when you want to pinpoint a certain target, make adjustments according to the distance and shoot your shot.

Make sure you know that duplex reticles are for stationary targets like a still target in the specific distance which you want to take down with your shooting skill.

Mil-Dot

Then we have a mil-dot reticle which is perfect when you are rooting for a moving target. You will find a lot of similarities here with the duplex reticle, but in contrast, it has rings, for instance, the vertical or horizontal marks depending on the distance distribution.

What it does is help you with fixating your gun towards the moving target. Then you use your estimation skill to determine the target’s speed, adjust your reticle, make amends if needed, and finally shoot with accuracy.

BDC Reticle

So, basically, BDC refers to Bullet Drop Compensation, and it’s known as an extension of the duplex reticle. However, it’s ideal for long ranges where you can reach up to 600 yards. If you are a tactical shooter or work in the police force, then choosing an ar-15 rifle with a BDC reticle would be the right choice.

First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane

Simply put, the first focal plane reticle changes following different magnification levels, whereas the second focal plane remains the same size regardless of magnification level.

You will notice the image expanding when you increase the magnification in your first focal plane reticle.

On the other hand, the reticle gets narrower or shrinks while the image gets smaller due to the decreased magnification. In contrast, the second focal plane reticle stays where it was positioned, whether you zoom in or zoom out.

Now, if you want to make a quick target acquisition and use the windage and elevation lines at the same time, then the FFP reticle will outshine any other reticles existing.

In contrast, A SFP reticle works wonders when it comes to hunting game animals at the highest magnification setting.

Remember that it will work just fine if you dial up on the turrets on an SFP riflescope. Ensure aiming at the center dot of the reticle despite any magnification you put on.

Parallax Effect

You need to bag a riflescope that comes with zero parallax error. This misalignment of the focal plane gives you an inconsistent field of view. You can fix this if your ar-15 scope rifle comes with parallax adjustment.

For the most part, parallax adjustments often arrive in fixed yardage. We think it works, too, if you are frequently shooting at the exact distance yardage. However, if your scope doesn’t come with this feature, you have to continuously sight your rifle.

Construction

Always inspect the overall construction of the scope. The tube should be made of quality materials that can withstand tough situations. Also, choosing a waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-resistant scope material is undoubtedly a sensible decision.

We suggest you scope tubes that are machined from aircraft-grade aluminum with purged nitrogen since it’s proven to secure your scope from any adverse conditions.

Eye Relief and Eyebox

You want a scope that has generous eye relief and a promising eye box where your eyes can sit comfortably and look through the scope effectively. We believe that you already know what’s eye relief stands for.

The distance between your eyes and the scope to have a clear view is deemed as eye relief. The wider the exit pupil, the more amiable it becomes.

The standard eye relief is 3.5 to 4 inches, which is handy for long-range shooting and offers the highest magnification possible.

In contrast, the standard measurement is more than 4.5 inches for long eye relief, and it’s ideal for close-range shooting or where the highest magnification is required.

As for the eye box, you should go for the most forgiving one for placing your eyes with ease and accuracy.

Capped Resettable Turrets

Check if the scope you are willing to buy comes with capped resettable turrets or not because resettable turrets ensure you a great return to zero advantage. And holding the zero after sighting in is a vital factor when you want to dial under the pre-set zero.

Who and Why Own an AR-15 Rifle?


If you are wondering who should own an ar-15 rifle and why then the answer is any civilian can own it for safety purposes. You need to go through all the legal procedures to become an authorized gun owner.

Now, most people always talk about the American civilians, as over 5 million fellow Americans own an ar-15 rifle.

But what about the other countries? Well, you can own an ar-15 rifle regardless of the country you are residing in as long as using it for defense is permitted in your region.

There are countries where ar15 rifles are legal, but the using principles are different than others. Since ar-15 rifles are primarily used in the military, you naturally feel a little intimidated.

But the best part about the military rifle is that it’s examined in the real world, so you don’t have to stress over its reliability and effectiveness. It’s easily adaptive and available for civic use.

You will make a joke out of yourself if you think that having a gun makes you a shady person. Because we have met many people who think only the overseas smugglers keep military-grade combat weapons.

Worst case scenario, gun owners are often deemed as drug dealers or some mentally unstable person.

But trust us when we say this; the fear of invaders, thieves, enemies, and even varmint is real. You would be pointing your gun at the assaulter with one hand and calling 911 with another. Yes! An ar-15 rifle is that flexible and easy to operate!

So, the point being, there are people who own an ar-15 rifle to protect their homeland and valuable assets, while some people use it to hunting game animals.

As the most debugged firearm in military history, this is at the shooters’ disposal, from hunting to home defense purposes.

Principles of Use- AR 15 Scopes

The prime objective of using a scope with your ar-15 rifle is to increase the accuracy range of the weapon.

The best range for an ar-15 rifle is 500 yards; however, it’s around 300 yards in practical aspects.

Now the thing is, your ar-15 rifle scope might be capable of hitting 500 yards if you are too lucky, or it’s a perfect day out. Otherwise, it’s like a dream come true or once in a blue moon case.

But hitting 300 yards won’t be an issue; in fact, making 300 yards shots is quicker than reaching 500 yards. If anything, it works more effectively and guarantees satisfying results.

Shooting for a target that is located within 500 yards of distance should be assigned to high-powered rifles, including heavy ammo and optics.

Another principle is to retain the same speed on the way to the target. The scope is prone to hold the speed rather than drastically lowering it so that you shift from one target to another.

That being the case, people prefer red dot optics with their ar-15 because it moves from one target to another faster with utmost accuracy.

But since the red dot reticle size isn’t precise enough, it cannot shoot past 100 yards. To conclude, if you want to shoot for a 100-yard distance, then equip a red-dot scope for your AR 15.

On the other hand, if you want to reach above 300 or 500 yards, then opt for heavier rifles. The standard niche for an ar-15 rifle scope is between 100-400 yards. Keep these principles in mind before using an ar-15 scope, and you are good to go.

Technical advantage and disadvantage of Having Quality AR 15 Scopes and Optics


Undoubtedly ar-15 scopes and optics are the best when it comes to precision. Not only it enhances your shooting skill, but it also improves your overall experience. You just need to ensure the ideal ar-15 scope for you and the gear to get the most out of it.

Now, since we are talking about the technical advantages and disadvantages of having a quality ar-15 scope and optic, let’s talk about the perks first.

Advantages of AR-15 Scope and Optics

  • Widely versatile in terms of optics and shooting purpose
  • The brightness can be increased
  • Zooming in and out facility
  • Crosshairs and dot colors can be personalized as you desire
  • It offers different intensities which are highly adaptive with an optical range
  • Incomparable accuracy in constant shots despite the range
  • Quick target acquisition speed
  • Incorporates capped resettable turrets for effective return to zero performance
  • Clickable reticle adjustment
  • Recoil kickback endurance
  • Affordable price yet the best quality

Disadvantages of AR-15 Scope and Optics

There aren’t any default downside of ar-15 scopes and optics. The issues are fixable for the most part, and the manufacturers offer return policies or lucrative warranty plans. However, sometimes the users receive faulty scopes.

Some of them reported that the scopes were broken when they arrived, or the sights weren’t tuned adequately.

There are also some issues mentioned that the advertisement claimed to provide enough magnification for 100 yards distance shooting, but it barely made it to 100 yards during the practical use.

We believe that these problems can be fixed if you are more cautious about your purchase, as in the “seller’s reputation, the customer’s review, the warranty plans, whether they are responsive to their customers or not, etc.”.

AR-15 Red Dot Sights vs. Scopes


If you are a newbie and are thinking about mounting an optic on your ar-15 rifle, you might debate between red sights and scopes.

The thought of whether to go for a red sight or a magnified scope for your ar-15 is very reasonable since both are widely used and appreciated.

And we agree that both of these are great options as long as you use them for their own unique strength and weaknesses.

Also, it depends on the primary purpose of your rifle. So, without further ado, let’s compare these two optics based on 4 categories: speed, accuracy, weight, and reliability.

CategoriesRed DotScopes
SpeedRed dots are strategically built for speed. At first glance, you will notice that they come without any sort of eye relief which gives your eyes enough leeway to sit anywhere and see clearly through the optic. Also, the reticle design is very straightforward. The bright and visible red dot is sometimes explicitly designed for maximum speed. Moreover, red dots don’t have any magnification and can be beneficial if you want to shoot with both eyes open.Scopes are habitually slower than the red dots. And we believe that two main defining factors contribute to this. First, it requires eye relief, so unless you put your eye at the correct distance away from the scope, you are going to have trouble seeing through the optic. The second factor is the magnification. If you are using a scope with “one power” setting then it’s worth mentioning that they arent truly “one power”. Oftentimes they are 1.1 or something along those lines; just not accurately “one”. So, using them with both eyes open can be tricky for you. And these are two reasons why your scope is a little slower than red dots.
AccuracyIn terms of accuracy red dots lag as it doesn’t come with magnification.Scopes outshines any other optics in terms of accuracy as it comes with different magnification levels. And since accuracy depends on “seeing,” and magnification allows you to see smaller at-distance scopes win this category.
WeightWhen it comes to the weight comparison, generalizing doesn’t really work. Because it depends on the type of optic you are buying, but we would go for the popular opinion which says red dots are lighter and easy to carry.With scopes being attached to your ar-15 rifles, they are mostly heavier than red dot sights. Thus, in comparison to red sights, they are hard to maneuver and cause work fatigue too.
Reliability  Here again, reliability differs from one optic brand to another. Still, for the sake of the comparison, we need to generalize. And that being said, red dots aren’t the most reliable when equipped with ar-15 rifles. Why? Because the reticles here require batteries to run, which can die anytime and stop your operation.The scope’s reticle doesn’t rely on batteries, and even though there are many red dot sights with extreme battery life, you still have the possibility of the battery dying. But here, the reticle is etched into the glass, so even if your scope does use batteries to light up the reticles, it doesn’t matter if they run out because you can still use the optic.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


Are AR 15 Scopes Worth It?

Yes, they are worth every penny if you want quick target acquisition with increased accuracy. Through their magnification power, scopes allow you to have a clearer, bigger and sharper field of view than any other optics.

Also, scopes that come with an etched illuminated reticle ensure you have an extended hunting session.

Because you don’t need to stop your task during dawn or dusk time, the illumination brightens the image so that you can see through even in a low-light condition.

Besides, scopes often feature multi-coated objective lenses for maximum light transmission, which is one of the very reasons for installing it on an ar-15 rifle.

Other reasons like the zero holding capacity, brightness control, parallax adjustment, reliability, etc., make ar-15 scopes wholly capable of giving a shot.

Why Your AR-15 Needs an Optic?

Ar-15 rifles are known for their fast action and easy adaptive nature. Using it for close combat and primarily for medium-range target acquisition has proven to be supremely effective than any other semi-auto rifle.

But it works best and serves you the most satisfactory result when attached to an optic. The combination of an ar-15 rifle with a competent scope is deadly.

The magnification, quick adjustment, generous eye relief, zero retainments, and compatibility despite any condition; all are things that advocate the whole concept of needing an optic for your ar-15.

Will I Have to Settle for a Low-End Scope?

No, you don’t. You might have heard it from your friend whenever you are lowering your guard that “Don’t settle for less.” And here we would tell you the same thing.

No matter what your budget is, you can get the best quality scope in that price range. If you wade through all the products from today’s list, you will notice that we have curated them by a low to high price spectrum then in different ranges – because we want you to settle for a high-end scope regardless of the budget and requirement.

What Is the Best Budget Scope for an AR-15?

The best budget scope for an AR-15 rifle is the Monstrum-Tactical-1-4×24-Illuminated-Reticle scope.

What Is the Best Scope to Put on an AR-15?

The best scope to put on an AR-15 is the Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600 due to its legendary glass formula. Nothing can hold a candle to this in terms of glass clarity and precision.

What Scope Does the Military Use on AR 15?

The advanced combat optical gunsight, Leopold mark 4, EOTech 553, M68 close combat optic, and the Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount, Spacer, and Burris RT-6 1-6x24mm Tactical Rifle Scope from our list are used by the military on AR 15 rifles.

What Kind of Scope Goes on an AR-15?

Scopes with zooming capacity with a low-to-maximum magnification of 1x-to-4x power go perfectly on an AR-15, especially if you are supposed to use it for mid-range shooting.

Should I Put a Scope Or Red Dot on My A.R.?

If speed is your only concern, then red dot sights are worth the shot. For improved accuracy and reliability, scopes reign over.

Is an AR-15 Good for Home Defense?

Yes, they are. They are fast and easy to operate; hence in times of emergencies, they come in handy.

However, owning an ar-15 doesn’t mean you can operate it. Ensure taking all the shooting classes or skills required for using a weapon like this.

Because let’s face it, ar-15 rifles are deadly. It can literally kill people. Thus, knowing how to honor the ownership of an AR-15 is necessary.

What Scope Do Navy SEALs Use?

The Navy SEALs use the Aimpoint, Bushnell, vortex, and EOTech red dot sights.

Can an AR-15 Kill a Bear?

It can if you are professional or have skilled eyes, better reflexes, and accurate shooting caliber. Grasping the distance then using your skills to hit the bear multiple times would work.

However, a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle would be barely enough to take down an animal like a bear or cat.

What Optic Should I Put on My AR-15?

It depends on the shooting you are on. There are red dot sights, holographic sights, magnified scopes, etc.

All of them are great as long as you are using them for the right reasons. Find out each of their fortes and use them accordingly with your AR-15 rifle.

Final Thoughts


It seems like you have made it to the end. First and foremost, thanks for staying with us. We agree that it was a long guide for the ar-15 scopes reviews.

But again, we have poured our heart and soul to include the best ar 15 scope possible for everyone out there so that no one feels left out.

We have covered it all for your various shooting needs, from an under $100 scope to the best long-range ar-15 scope.

Now, you should reassess all your requirements and pick a suitable optic for your task. Since the law enforcement units and the military have already acknowledged the significance of optics in the range of 4x-6x magnification, it’s high time you realize it too.

Before you leave, make sure to share your valuable opinions, suggestions, or personal experiences regarding this topic, as we are always open to learning and evolving.

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