Best AR 15 Scopes Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Do you prefer to hunt at night or wish to up your hunting skills? If your answers to these two questions are in the affirmative, you need a AR 15 scope. These are special hunting gears which enhances your visibility. They also enhance your aim by narrowing down your prey.
With many of them in existence and also being obscure, finding the right one can get challenging. Our review guide is here to do that. It looks into ten of the best scopes on the market.
Under each review is a list of the benefits and downsides of each model. A balanced approach is necessary to help you arrive at the best choice. As you read through our guide, factor in your expectations. It is only then that you will know the one that fits your preference the most.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8 hrs of research
Bindon aiming concept
Trijicon fiber optics
Rapid target acquisition
Anti-reflective coated lenses
10 Best AR 15 Scopes
1. Trijicon ACOG
Bindon aiming concept
Trijicon fiber optics
Rapid target acquisition
Anti-reflective coated lenses
Reticle is small
Do you plan to go for combat or an adventure? Only a tough scope like the Trijicon ACOG may come to the rescue. This AR15 scope is designed to be tough!
This is due to a combination of hard parts and features. Further to that, it handles areas that have low illumination quite well. This is not to mention being weatherproof. Expect it to be reliable for use in the wild.
Rugged Aluminum Alloy Housing
As stated above, this equipment is strong. This stems from the rugged aluminum housing. In particular, forged 7075-T6 aircraft aluminum is used in the construction. This material is both light, yet firm.
It makes provision with an advanced sighting system. The equipment also withstands the test of time and calls for limited maintenance. You will use it for extended durations at almost no extra cost.
Unlike ordinary devices, this one requires no battery to illuminate the line of sight. Instead, it relies on an inbuilt tritium/fiber optic capability. This one adjusts the brightness based on the available light.
Because of this, it spares you from the inconvenience that ordinary equipment brings along. You also get to enjoy the associated benefits regardless of prevailing environmental conditions. It will make do for long-term hunting escapades.
Cost and Value
A lifetime warranty accompanies this AR15 scope. This one is limited and covers the metallic structure and the optical systems. Another 15-year warranty covers the Tritium lamp.
You have no excuse not to try out this device. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If you are still unsatisfied, you can take advantage of excellent customer service.
2. Vortex Optics
Fast focus eyepiece
Capped reset turrets
Requires constant recharge
Do you plan to hunt faster game? If so, you need a piece of advanced equipment. We suggest that you look no further than the Vortex Crossfire. It is on the whole optimized for faster focus.
The lens on this AR15 scope is also clear and sharp. You will stand to gain clearer images. Chances of making mistakes or oversights are reduced. This reduces missed shots and contributes to an effective hunting experience.
To focus on your prey, you will make do with the reticles. The ones for this AR15 scope are brighter than those of many alternatives. They draw their strength from the battery-powered electronics. These reticles go beyond the norm.
They illuminate the prey over and above just narrowing it down. You can have this scope for your taking if you intend to hunt in low light conditions. Hardly will you ever have to struggle to find your target.
The focus is pretty awesome. This is possible by two main traits. These are the ultra-forgiving eye box and the long eye relief. They will help you with your focus and target of an object.
You will be able to identify the picture of the game you are targeting. This cuts short the time taken to do so. It also sees to it that you miss your targets even less.
Cost and Value
Your hunting is never the same once you opt for this device. It comes along with whopping 20-hour battery life. Once set, you will not have to cut your trip short and return for a recharge.
Furthermore, a generous return policy accompanies this item. For a limited time, you may return it for a full refund if you are not satisfied. This item is available right now for ordering.
30 mm tube
Exposed target turrets
Only for amateurs
Are you short on cash but would wish to make your hunting experience a breeze? The Mueller rifle AR15 scope is the hunting gear to opt for. It is simpler in scope and cheaper to come by.
By placing your hands on it, you get to achieve more for a lot less. Though simple, this gear will still hold up to the task. You will receive the selfsame benefits of an expensive alternative.
Standing tall among its awesome features is the fast-focus eyepiece. You will quickly narrow down your prey. That is because of the responsive nature of this component.
Its benefit extends to the nature of the outcome. It offers edge-to-edge clarity. Its image quality surpasses similar rifles that are in its class. The result is an effective hunting experience.
Side Focus Parallax Adjustment
Other than the main image, you will also enjoy the benefit of determining the clarity of the side image. To achieve this feat, you will make do with the side focus parallax adjustment feature.
As you may see, the picture quality output of this device is unparalleled. If yours is an obscure path or hunting ground, you will have no better companion than this AR15 scope.
Cost and Value
As noted, this device is a low-cost alternative to expensive gadgets. This is to mean that it brings along the benefits of its expensive counterparts.
It will spare you of high expenses which you would otherwise incur. Being affordable, it is also simple enough for you to comprehend and make use of. You need not possess the technical expertise to handle it.
4. TAC Vector Optics
Maximize light transmission
Brightness illumination system
5 brightness levels
No side focus
Not for starters
Hunting in treacherous terrains is never easy. There is always a possibility of confronting all manner of problems. From moisture to snow, to fog and excess impacts, you will need a durably constructed device.
With the ability to withstand harsh conditions, this is your best bet. Being universally inclined, you are able to use it in many circumstances. The next time you set out hunting in such conditions, choose the Tac Vector hunting AR15 scope.
Its exterior exhibits a great finish! It is made with a durable black matte finish. Apart from camouflaging you while in the dark, this finish also resists scratching and other impacts.
Underneath the finish is a high-quality aluminum alloy construction. Being light and strong, expect it to take you further and for a longer duration. Your repair and maintenance costs shall be lessened considerably.
Ocular Lens Adjustment
The prey may not always be at the right distance at all times. You will have to adjust the lens from time to time. This will call for the attached ocular lens.
The one for this device automatically responds. It does not delay in delivering the appropriate outcomes. Also, it does a great job in the course of doing so. You will target your image at the right size and position.
Cost and Value
Compared to similar gadgets, this one is the most precise. The AR15 scope makes this possible courtesy of the elevation turrets adjustments, direct high-finger windage, and audible clicks. These work to deliver reliable outcomes.
The focal plane is also unlike any other. It features German Tech etching for added strength and reliability. Given the added strength, the glass lasts longer and withstands various impacts.
5. Primary Arms
12 levels for brightness
A focal plane design
Unreliable customer support
Are you a career hunter? If so, you need a versatile hunting gear of this kind. In all, it can shuffle between shorter and longer ranges of viewing options.
With it in your hands, you can hunt in all environments and conditions imaginable. But how is this possible? The mil-dot reticle that illuminates is the component that is responsible. Take one for your next hunting trip!
Second Focal Plane Design
This Ar15 scope stands apart from the rest. It features a second focal length plane design. The design maintains the reticle at the same size under all circumstances.
The design also manages the awesome 4-16x levels of magnification. Regardless of the circumstance of use, expect the quality of your images to be clear and well-maintained. This leads to better hunting outcomes. It also spares you of unnecessary strain.
Partial Red Illumination
Its crosshairs feature the partial red illumination. The illumination is provided for with a CR2032 battery which comes included in the package. It allows for 12 adjustment levels for brightness in all.
Given the partial illumination, expect the power consumption rate to also go down along with your operational expenses. Why would you want to pay more, while you can enjoy the benefits at a lower cost?
Cost and Value
Your choice of this model opens a world of possibilities and benefits. The locking turrets, in particular, stand tall. They are accompanied by a resettable zero. Together, they yield tactile and audible clicks.
Next comes in the side-mounted parallax knob that adjusts. You will use this to maintain the reticle parallax-free. This, in turn, will yield you crisp images at longer ranges. The results are clear and legible images.
Finger click adjustments
Lifetime of extreme
1-inch main tube design
No lens caps
When hunting in severe weather, it is not uncommon for your lens to sustain physical damages. To be on the safe side, the AR15 scope you choose has to be strong and resistant to abrasion. Consider the Leupold VX-31.
It has a diamond coat 2. This is an ion-assist lens coating. It yields a higher light transmission; and at the same time, shields your lens from possible abrasions. The result is reliability for long-term operations.
Long Lasting Shooting Light
With this gadget, you will enjoy a longer-lasting shooting light. This lasts a whopping 20 minutes. Contrast this with ordinary gadgets that take shorter times. You will benefit from more hunting time.
That aside, you will also get a higher value for your money. You will not have to interrupt your hunting for the sake of making any adjustments. This lets you focus wholly on your hunting and nothing else.
Many hunters do complain of excess glare as they go about their businesses. You will not be among them at all. That is because the gadget comes along with anti-glare glass.
This one offers a reduced glare. In turn, it delivers edge-to-edge premium image quality. Your images are devoid of any blurs, scratches, or other issues that might tend to interfere with your experience.
Cost and Value
Three traits stand out in this gadget. These are: strong, yet light construction, a matte finish, and the duplex reticle. They all have a hand in making your hunting trip more of a breeze.
The strong construction allows you to enjoy hunting for an extended time. The matte finish minimizes scratches and other forms of impact. The duplex reticle offers great precision as you go about targeting your prey.
9 brightness levels
Illuminated dot sight
4 reticle patterns
2 separate buttons
Prone to impacts
To be able to target prey that is located afar off, you need a gadget that can be mounted. This is to avoid distractions and obstacles that may impede the flow of light.
For such a role, you should try a hand on the Pinty rifle AR15 scope. It embodies a riser mount that measures an impressive 1 inch. You will also enjoy 14 mounting slot options for your installation.
Detachable Green Laser
At its crosshairs is a detachable green laser. It is this feature that narrows down your prey. You may change it to detect depths and distances which are located around 100m (110 yards) apart.
By all measures, this is an accurate hunting tool. You will hardly miss your target, fire stray bullets, or experience unnecessary difficulties in the course of doing so. This means that your hunting will yield positive results.
It can magnify images from 4 to 6 times. The result is legible. You will be able to detect the prey and shoot them.
Furthermore, the magnification also lets you handle hunting in a very precise and professional manner. For instance, you will be able to identify fast-moving targets much easier than you would with similar gadgets.
Cost and Value
Generally speaking, this AR15 scope is 4-in-1. That is because it comprises of a 14 slot riser mount, holographic dot sight, green laser, and illuminated optic sighting component. By purchasing it, you are not just buying a scope.
Instead, you will be getting many devices at a time. This brings to you added value for your money. It also expedites your hunting process as you will not have to shuffle back and forth between various devices at a time.
Lens cover included
Variable illumination levels
50 mm objective diameter
Intending to hunt in a foggy environment? The Twod hunting AR15 scope is the one to opt for. It contains many parts, features, and traits which are all geared towards use in such environments.
Examples of these include the nitrogen purging and the O-ring sealing. Together, they allow for robust performance in both foggy and damp environments. The beauty of it is that you may still use it under normal circumstances. You, therefore, have nothing to lose!
Heavy-Duty Scope Ring Mounts
To set this item in place, you have the heavy-duty scope ring mounts for your engagement. They are strong due to the heavy-duty design. This means they are reliable in the long run and are less prone to damages.
These mounts run on weaver rails to yield the necessary support. The rails measure 20 mm and are long enough for stable support. They prevent the device from fidgeting.
Hard Anodizing Multi Colored Lenses
The lenses are coated with anodizing materials. This coating makes them tougher and more capable of taking on the harshest impacts. Also, they slow down the extent of scratches.
Even with continued use, your lens will still be practical to use. That is because it will encounter fewer scratches and keep its shape and form intact at all times.
Cost and Value
Narrowing down your prey is made possible by the red/green illuminated crosshairs. One striking thing about this device is its comprehensive nature.
It is packaged with a gun AR15 scope, covers, and free mounts. Unlike the scope cases with other gadgets, you will not have to spend much of your money to assemble the necessary gears.
High clear image
2.2-inch (56mm) objective diameter
Different lighting conditions
Too much glare
Is your hunting path a bumpy or rugged terrain? The OTW scope has the uncanny ability to resist shocks and other sources of impact very well. It does this all while retaining the quality of images.
Also, the gadget camouflages you while in the bush. This stems from the black anodized aluminum material construction. You will stay anonymous as you target your prey. That means a better outcome on the whole.
5 Intensity Levels
It comes along with both the green and red illuminated crosshairs. Each of these crosshairs offers five intensity levels. This variation allows for the production of clearer images while targeting the prey.
Chances of you missing your prey are limited. Instead, you will only get to enjoy the best possible outcome at any given time. These variations add to the confidence that you will come to enjoy.
To fasten the joints, a 20 mm weaver comes in handy. This one is long enough for maximum support and weight accommodation. Regardless of how windy or fidgety your environment is, count on this item not to let you down.
Courtesy of this arrangement, you will enjoy the conveniences that others will only dream of. The cost of repairs and maintenance will be lessened. That is due to the limited incidences of breakdowns.
Cost and Value
A 6-month warranty comes along with this AR15 scope. The warranty is comprehensive and covers the entire product. Do not hesitate about taking advantage of this AR15 scope for your next hunting experience.
At any point of use, you can reach customer care regarding questions or concerns. Many have noted that their customer service is professional and reliable.
Requires great expertise
Maintenance is d
For long-term use, you want a hunting gadget that relies less on battery power. The UUQ Prism is one of the top 10 AR15 scopes we recommend. It features a fiber optic mechanism which does not have to be powered to operate.
You will find this item great for its high-powered performance that other gadgets are unable to achieve. Being strong, you will also part with less money for repairs and maintenance costs.
All the constituent parts and components of the gadget are mounted on the platform. The platform itself is stable, strong, and will last long. It offers you the support you needed for a better hunting experience.
Regardless of how strenuous your hunting ground is, expect it to perform well. This is shown by the fewer complaints and other issues which are bound to arise at times.
Its optic components are coating with many layers. Each layering is intended to reduce abrasions, glare, and scratches. In return, you get to enjoy a prolonged duration and enhanced visibility.
You will never miss your targets. Instead, you will enjoy unparalleled performance. And when it is the time to maintain them, you will peel off one layer and bring in a new one.
Cost and Value
For every sale of this AR15 scope, you will enjoy a 12-month warranty on all parts. This means you do not have to incur any expense in the course of hunting with this gadget. Instead, you will enjoy the added confidence.
Also accompanying this model is the reliable, 24X7 customer service. At any time you encounter a problem, you can reach the seller at any time. You will receive prompt feedback. This AR15 scope is available for purchase.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When choosing a model on the basis of use, factor in the ability of the device to locate the target fast. In this case, they fall into two categories: the long-range and short-range target. In short-range targets, models with the red dot and holographic images are the preferred choices.
For long ranges, acquiring the target quickly is the least consideration. In this case, the AR15 scopes with magnification functions ranging from low to moderate are the best choices. It should be able to focus well and show long-distance objects clearly.
It is important to consider the accuracy of the device. It should have the potential to aid in viewing targets at various ranges. It should also be capable to operate in different atmospheric conditions. It is therefore paramount to consider functions such as magnification.
The device‘s lenses, size of the pupil, tube, lenses coating, and others can have a major effect on the captured image. Also, the eye relief and reticle types all have an impact on the sight quality of the target.
There are categories that make AR15 scopes diverse in their function. The two main types are the red-dot and magnified optics. The red-dot is an optic with no magnification. Instead, it utilizes the red reticle dot. The name is generic with dots being amber or green, but they fall in the same category.
The magnified optic on the other end uses magnification. It aims at the target image and enlarges it. Both the magnified and the red-dot optic have subcategories you can choose from.
Red-dot optics subcategories
Holographic: This uses laser transmission, which broadcasts the reticle image on a holographic film. This subcategory provides you with a similar red dot optic design with the same size and purpose. However, it has a versatile reticle that performs many roles and applications.
Miniature: As the name states, they are built with a rectangle or square shape window that is very small. The optics fit well with the small AR. Due to the miniature sizes of the reticle dot, it also works well in close ranges.
Fixed power: These are AR15 scopes that are very simple. They have a magnification power output that is low or moderate in size. These AR15scopes have a compact conformation and are frequently light in weight. Thus, they are more affordable but with good quality. These types of AR15 scopes are robust in design but very scarce in diversity. The majority of these models are being made specifically for tactical applications.
Variable: This particular type comprises optics with multiple magnifications. It is popular among the users of these devices. They are versatile and very effective.
They have a larger conformation with a complicated structural design. Due to product diversity, you can get good quality with a suitable magnification at a good price.
Knobs - There are three main types of knobs: the elevation knob, windage knob, and the parallax knob. They are being used to adjust the link between the trajectory and the reticle target. The windage knob adjusts the reticle in the left and right direction. The elevation knob adjusts the reticle in an up and down motion. These knobs are available on all devices.
Lenses - There are two categories of lenses with primary significance: the objective and the ocular lenses. The objective lens has a more vital role and serves as the selling point. It affects the brightness of the device.
The creation of the lens coat provides an alternative, modern way of regulating brightness. The type of coating used mostly relies on the brand or the manufacturer of the device.
Reticles - There are diverse types of reticles. Each scope has its own design, which relies on the manufacturer's brand. There are two main categories. They are a simple cross with no other markings and those with markings at a partial distance.
Magnification - The AR15 scopes have various ranges of magnification. At this point, the choice depends on the user’s intent of the device.
Field of view - This enables you to find the target through the device. Having a larger field of view means you will quickly locate the target. Magnification has an effect on the field of view size. Larger magnification works best in a smaller viewing area.
Eye relief - This is the distance your eyes are from the ocular. At this point, they should view a clear target without alteration by the parallax. When selecting, ensure the eye relief is enough for you to clearly view the target. If you wear glasses, you will need a 14mm eye relief to view clearly.
Focal plane - This indicates the target’s point of impact.
The cost dictates the type you can get. If your focus is on getting the best quality that lasts long, then it will cost you more. The quality should go hand-in-hand with the price. The more you spend the more functionality you will receive.
However, the brand also affects the value of the AR15 scope. But irrespective of that, the quality is still worth factoring in. But if your aim is being economical, you can as well get a standard quality at a much lower price.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
• It enables accurate location and shot on the target.
• It offers the user with a clear visual of the target from long distances.
• It is reliable and quick in target location acquisition.
• They provide the user with the transmission of light to have a clear target view.
• They are versatile, thus one can hunt or locate the target in the dark using the night vision mode.
• They have great quality features and a strong structure, thus lasting longer.
• You should mount the device carefully and ensure a perfect fit to prevent damages.
• If it cannot fit well during mounting, avoid using it.
• Keep the distance between the ocular and the device to avoid injury in case it jerks.
• Stability should be paramount when using these devices.
• Unload this device when not in use.
• To secure your eyes well, you can use the protector.
• Get an insight on how to handle and maintain your device.
• Regular service of these devices ensures effectiveness during use.
For a fixed budget, you can always get a standard quality at a good price. And if you are on no budget, you have a wide range of devices to choose from. You can choose from brands with a good rating, as the best designs are the most expensive.
This is due to the exceptional quality of the material and the outstanding aspects of the device. If your goal is long-term use of these devices, then a model with durable, tensile material is what you need. For short-term applications, inexpensive and medium quality models are good enough.
Picture what you will use this device for. For instance, if you love hunting, then that’s your use. If you love target practice, then that’s your use and much more. After you become familiar, do a background check for the model that will serve you best.
Getting the device for the wrong purpose will render it ineffective. How you will use it should always be the first criteria when selecting the item and you will never go wrong. Also, magnification is important, but it’s not a key aspect. It’s not a necessity all the time. In fact, it can sometimes interfere with target location acquisition.
• Ensure the gun safety is on. Confirm that it’s empty with no round left inside.
• The rings bottom halves should be secured well on the rail. Also, for back and forth adjustments, secure them lightly.
• Once you are through with the bottom halves, place the caps of the rings on. You should also secure them lightly for adjustments.
• Eye relief setting- to avoid parallax, it should be set correctly.
• Level the device- use a bubble to level it up well.
Other Factors to Consider
Irrespective of the device design you prefer, you should choose one that is constructed with good quality material. It is imperative to be cautious of your brand choice. Ensure the device comes from a reputable manufacturer. It will serve you longer and will offer the best services.
The value may seem like a limit to the quality of the AR15 scope. However, that is not the case. You simply need to determine the performance level you require. From there, you can select a price range which is appropriate and fits your budget.
Different types of AR15 scopes come with a wide range of applications. Its features and materials also make them adaptable to different environments. For instance, if your target is in short-range, the device with moderate or low magnification is best. When the target is far, high magnification will give a better focus and accuracy on the target.
There are scopes that are being designed to adapt well to harsh conditions. This includes low visibility, hot and humid environment, and also underwater. They are air and watertight with adaptability to extreme temperatures. You can select one based on the environment you will be hunting in.
The main role is for viewing targets beyond the reach of the bare eye. Most AR15 scopes are manual, with the user being the one to control the focus. To make this efficient, the device has knobs that adjust the magnification of the lenses.
Some AR15 scopes have tools that regulate the light that gets into the device through the objective lens. Also, they can get adjustments to allow night vision in places where there is no light. The only limitation of accessing them is the cost. As best quality devices have a monetary value.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the best magnification that’s recommended?
Actually, every magnification is best and also worst when considered. To get the best magnification, determine the use and target range you will use it on. For instance, short-range devices are best for viewing closer targets. But they are poor when aiming at distant targets.
q: Between the variable and fixed scope, which one is best?
When considering durability, the fixed scope has the best quality compared to the variable scope with the same value. Both have outstanding benefits; but on reliability, a fixed scope tends to score more.
q: Why is the device adjustment referred to as elevation and windage?
The name is historical; as it was being used during ancient times. Artillery pieces were being utilized in distance shooting at that time. But now, it is a standard name of adjusting the reticle of these AR15 scopes.
q: Which type of reticle is best when selecting this device?
One may choose on the basis of application. For instance, if it’s for hunting, a plain design with less or no marks internally is best. And if it’s for tactical uses, a mild dot standard reticle is the best.
q: What is the best objective length size?
An objective lens's primary role is to control the amount of light getting into the device. But with the recent invention of a lens coating, the size of the lens is less effective. This coating serves to control the light entry into the device. Thus, any size of an object lens will serve you best when it has the coating.
q: What is meant by parallax?
How parallax works is complex to understand, but correcting its effect is not. It forms due to the improper alignment between the eye and the reticle. You can correct it by adjusting your eyes to different viewing positions. This is until there is no shade around the scope of view.