Top 10 Best AR 15 Scope Reviews and Optics Guide 2021

AR15 Scope best choice

Last updated on February 10th, 2021

When it comes to the best AR-15 optics, the market is filled with an array of options making the final choice all the more overwhelming. A vital point that needs to be given special attention while proceeding with the AR-15 scope purchase is the environment in which the same shall be used.

You might require a nitrogen purged scope having anti-fog features if you plan on using the same in humid and wet surroundings. The purpose of scope utilization also has a big role to play in accordance with your tactical and hunting needs.

Quality of lens, magnification, and zeroing mechanisms serve as focal factors to consider if you wish to use the scope for gaining a tactical advantage.

A blurry scope might just increase your chances of missing the target. The accuracy can also suffer when you are using a hard to zero the scope.

Below, check out the list of best AR -15 scopes for you, each of them is a fantastic product packed with incredible features and they are well refined after hours of online researches, customer reviews, analysis and findings of top scope experts.

Read Related Article: Best QD Scope Mount Best in 2020

Best AR-15 Scope Under $100 Dollars

1. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 2.5-10x40e 

1. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Gun Scopes

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The CVLIFE riflescope having a mounted gun sight laser helps with enhanced accuracy and positive target acquisition whether you engage in a professional military activity or recreational hunting.

Its 40mm objective lens and 2.5-10X magnification improve image quality while the multi-coated optics when paired with a Kellner eyepiece paves the way for correct dioptric adjustments free from unnecessary aberrations.

The scratch-resistant coating in the external lens helps in protecting the same from debris, dirt, scratches and smudges.

The riflescope can be used both for close-range shooting and can reach up to a full 100 yards with its 5mW red laser attribute.

You can ensure the accuracy of your rifle’s laser by making adequate elevation and windage adjustments. The red and green illuminated MIL-DOT reticle of the riflescope is designed perfectly for 223 caliber 55-grain bullets out to 500 yards.

The five levels of brightness found in the illuminated reticles can be turned off for taking advantage of the black reticle. The 2-in-1 CVLIFE scope which also doubles as a gunsight laser packs in both 11mm and 20mm mounts which can fit with your rail type seamlessly.


  • 5 levels of illumination help in using the reticle in an array of lighting conditions.
  • Kellner eyepiece provides extra view field while eliminating most of the image abnormalities.
  • Both near and far-sighted users benefit from a clear viewfinder image without having to make use of the eyeglasses with the dioptric adjustment lens.
  • Durable exterior imparting adequate protection against oil, scratches and dirt.


  • Loose construction.

2. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope

UTG 3-9X32 1

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Constructed on a specialized True Strength platform, the UTG 3-9×32 Bug Buster is a versatile and durable scope meant for the AR 15 rifle range. Functional in an array of weather conditions, the scope featuring Smart Spherical Structure (SSS) benefits from joint-interaction in between the outer parts and inner tubes of the scope.

The view of the Bug Buster scope is parallax free going forward from a distance of 3 yards and its wide-angle front objective is fully adjustable. The scope guarantees the accuracy of shots time and again courtesy the mil-dot reticle which helps with the range estimation.  The shock, fog, rain and waterproof scope which is 100% nitrogen filled and completely sealed can be easily mountable on virtually all forms of rifle thus offering supreme usability.

Accommodating eye relief and dual green and red illumination makes this scope the perfect option for shooters who often find themselves amidst adverse weather conditions.

The emerald coated lens offers optimum visibility in low light scenarios and functions by duplicating the bare minimum light present in the surroundings and focusing on the field of view of the shooter.

It’s completely customizable scope gets accentuated by a one-click MOA which aids in easy sighting while on the field.  The mounting might feel a bit derailed and the scope shall have to be sighted to the rifle once mounted. Its well-constructed turrets help with consistent, crisp and precise elevation adjustments and windage while its re-setting and locking features complement and protect the critical optic parts from proper zeroing.


  • Sharp scope optics even with the budget product tag.
  • Well-positioned windage and elevation knobs and spot-on target locking.
  • Lighted reticle helps in building up accuracy especially when used in dark scenarios.
  • Perfect turret tracking.
  • Compact ergonomics and durable design.


  • The battery door might become unscrewed while the control knob of the lighted reticle is twisted.
  • Limited eye relief especially because of the compact design.

3. UUQ 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scope

UUQ 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope

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This compact tactical rifle scope is best for mid-range shooting coupled with its supreme optical clarity at 2.5-10 times magnification.

The reticle remains illuminated in the shades of green or red with varying brightness levels to cater to multiple intensities.

You can thus be guaranteed a suitable sight picture irrespective of the level of lighting all around.

It also becomes easy to proceed with the quick acquisition of fast-moving targets and a close quarter coupled with the dual attributes of the detachable micro reflex dot and the integrated powerful light sight.

The green lens in the scope is resistant to scratches and provides a high-quality light transfer to bring ahead optimum clarity.

You can also mount the UUQ rifle scope featuring an all-metal construction pretty quickly and securely with all Weaver or Picatinny rails.

Whether it is for fast target acquisition or close quarter combat, this scope can serve you well with a BDC calibrated55 grain bullet.


  • Extremely easy to set up and use.
  • Solid and well-constructed product with appropriately functioning items.
  • Red Dot works marvelously in CQ situations such as home defense.
  • Features 10 different brightness modes for offering maximum versatility.
  • It has a permanent reticle that does not require any batteries for its operation.
  • Comes with a 12 months’ warranty.


  • Cannot handle high gauge shotgun.

4. Pinty 2.5-10×40 AOEG Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope 

Pinty 2.5-10x40 AOEG Red Green Illuminated Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope 

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The Pinty scope is tailor-made for close-range applications such as paper targets or anything within a distance of 100 yards.

Thus, you might not be very happy with your purchase if you are more of a distance shooter or someone who is trying to break world records.

The manufacturers of this scope have understood very well that packing in more features might not be of much help in making your bullets go further.

As a matter of fact, it will just end up complicating the scope which is why they have kept it simple and subtle. The mildot reticle, however, becomes a little bit overkill as it clutters up the view.

Otherwise, it comes excellently packed with two batteries which are needed in its effective functioning.

Coupled with a magnification range of 2.5-10X and 40mm objective, the Pinty Tactical Rifle Scope can serve as your ultimate shooting aid.

Its multi-coated green objective lens features higher light transmittance which is essential for better clarity performance when compared with a blue objective lens.

You can also use this O-ring sealed and Nitrogen filled versatile rifle scope for water and fog proof performance in extreme weather conditions.


  • 5 different levels of brightness to help with better adaptability under varying lighting conditions.
  • Precise windage and elevation adjustment.
  • Quick acquisition of close quarter targets assured by red laser sight.
  • Most image aberrations are eliminated by Kellner eyepiece having dioptric adjustment lens.


  • The laser dot cannot be adjusted.
  • It might not work very well at night as it is an illuminated reticle scope and not a night vision one.

Best AR-15 Scope Under $200 Dollars

5. Monstrum Tactical 1-4×24 First Focal Plane (FFP) Rifle Scope

Monstrum Tactical 1-4x24 First Focal Plane (FFP) Rifle Scope

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If you wish to bring home a rifle scope that is loaded with features in spite of having an affordable price tag, then the Monstrum Tactical 1-4×24 rifle scope can serve as your ideal pick.

This latest offering from G2 line of First Focal Plane scopes delivers top-notch optics that can keep your back irrespective of the external environment.

You can exercise thorough precision while focussing on the target over a range of 400 yards coupled with 1-4x magnification.

The scope of this reticle assists with holdover correction and faster range estimation. You can light up the etched black reticle in green or red hues for better visibility.

This feature proves to be extremely helpful during low light scenarios. The 1/2 MOA/click windage/elevation adjustments of this rifle scope can be easily reset to zero.

Chromatic aberrations get reduced by its multi-layered lens coating to deliver sharp images for greater focus. The glare gets further reduced by the included Honeycomb Sunshade.

Coupled with 4-4.5 inches’ eye relief and 24mm objective lens, this high precision tactical rifle scope can serve as your ideal pick while you go out on those hunting missions.

The aircraft-grade aluminum construction of the Monstrum rifle scope comes sealed with a 30mm nitrogen charged tube which renders adequate protection from fog and water.

The package comes with one CR2032 3V battery, a lint free cleaning cloth,a set of spring loaded flip-up lens covers,set of medium profile picatinny scope rings and a felt drawstring carrying bag to assist in its hassle-free usage and storage.


  • Well-made riflescope which can sustain the test of time.
  • Ranks very high in the department of clarity.
  • It offers optimum reticle illumination much like its costly peers.
  • It has true to size power adjustments.
  • Generous eye relief compliments the usage of this scope in every situation.


  • Might come off as a bit heavy.

6. Barska 1-4×28 IR Hunting Scope

Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope

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If you are on the lookout for the stellar combination of eye relief, proper magnification, easy to zero glass reticle and an illuminated crosshair, then the Barska 1-4×28 IR rifle scope can serve as your best bet.

Irrespective of the ambient weather, this rifle scope allows shooting in a hassle-free manner given its water and fog-resistant attributes.

The scope reticle comprises of two batteries wherein one can keep your back as the other dies. This makes shooting more convenient for the hunters who are not required to replace the battery when it runs out of juice.

You might be required to shoot a few rounds for zeroing in the cross-hair on shooting with the scope for the first time. Aiming for the game gets easier once it zeroes in.

The external locking turrets of the scope prevent any wind from getting into the same and messing up elevation.

You won’t be required to make constant adjustments while preparing to shoot every time which in turn brings along mammoth savings in time.

The magnification power of the scope ranges from 1x to 4x which can make even the work of amateurs look polished.

This feature proves to be particularly helpful for hunters who have a tendency of scaring away their game before having a chance to aim. Both short and long ranges can be thus targeted by the hunters who can view the game and shoot the same even from a distance of 100 yards.

It is also possible to prevent the gun from hitting your face while recoiling it every time coupled with 4.5-inch eye relief.

A mil-dot etched onto a glass illuminates in red, green and conventional black hues for assisting with shooting in various scenarios differing lighting conditions.


  • The lightweight scope which can be carried by the hunter with it.
  • Manufactured using high quality shockproof and waterproof components that can survive the test of time.
  • Multicoated optics enhance color, clarity and contrast for delivering high-end images irrespective of the magnification level.
  • Glare on the objective lens gets minimized through the built-in angled sunshade for providing users with a clearer view and reducing scope glint while targeting in sunny weather.


  • Adjustment turret locks loosen every time you fire.

7. AT3 LEOS Red Dot Sight

AT3 LEOS Red Dot Sight

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Purchasing a pocket-friendly R-15 optics can seem like an extremely daunting task for most of the people.

The AT3 LEOS Red can ensure you an extremely premium experience without actually burning a hole in your wallet.

It is available in the dual options of 2MOA red rot and a red laser with the sight having a battery life of around 50000 hours’ courtesy its CR123A battery.

Its sight can be adjusted to suit varying elevation situations as well as windy environments. You can use it both for shotguns as well as the larger ones without having to worry about its safety.

Recoiling of the rifle is infamous for affecting the durability of the sight which ultimately leads to a substantial hike in the amount which is required to be shelled out by the user.

However, the fog and waterproof nature of this nitrogen purged AT3 LEOS Red easily helps in overcoming its inherent lacunas.

You can co-witness the iron sites from the lower third glass view which assists rhetorically in adding to the quality of the sight.

This decent looking optic features a smart matte back finish coupled with some flip-up lids. Its buttons are stacked neatly on its left side thus enabling speed adjustments without having to remove the sight.

Although this versatile sight is best suited for home defence, it can also cater you well during hunting purposes.


  • Picatinny rails can be mounted with the utmost ease.
  • It is parallax free up till 25 yards.
  • It allows the addition of an external magnifier.
  • Supported with AT3 Tactical lifetime warranty.


  • Laser does not stay zeroed to one spot.

8. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sights

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sights

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Designed especially for situations demanding a maximum field of view and split-second target acquisition, the StrikeFire II is a reliable red dot sight that can acclimatize with an array of shooting applications.

The versatile and feature-rich Vortex model can be the perfect pick for shooters who wish to benefit from a supreme quality red dot sight. Its sleek rear-facing controls provide easy adjustment of ten dot intensity and power on/off, both of which are night-vision compatible.

Once the device becomes completely powered up, it returns automatically to the last dot intensity.

The 0-ring seals and nitrogen purging of the fog proof and waterproof Vortex Strikefire II having 30mm aluminum alloy chassis provides extra-high recoil rating.

The shooter operates between the ten levels of brightness for the user to choose from according to changing scenarios. The offset cantilever mount allows moving the sight forward for being used in aggregation with backup iron sights and a magnifier all on the same rail.

Its fully multi-coated lenses provide a bright clean and obscured point of view while the unlimited eye relief paves the way for rapid target acquisition. The mid-range red dot scope from the house of Vortex is perfect for both beginners and experienced shooters.

Weighing at around 1 pound, the riflescope comes in a scratch resistant black finish.


  • Optimum visibility even during the night.
  • Ten variable illumination settings with the lowest two being night-vision compatible.
  • The typical battery life of 400 hours with the brightness level set at maximum and 7000 hours with minimum brightness setting.
  • User-friendly model which is easy to zero in.


  • 1x magnification not sufficient for outdoor functionalities.
  • A bit on the bulky side and not suitable for frequent usage.
  • Lens cap remains permanently attached.

Best AR-15 Scope Under $300 Dollars

9. Vortex Optics Crossfire II

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

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The Vortex Optics Crossfire has been designed specifically to offer the highest level of reliability and performance to shooters and hunters.

Its fast-focus eyepiece ensures that you never miss out on your targets even when the same is located at a considerable distance.

Long eye relief makes sure that you can keep up with your hunting game for long spans of time without experiencing any pangs of discomfort.

You can thus easily bid adieu to all guesswork during holdover and windage corrections coupled with its customized hashmark design which makes it the ultimate choice for shooting at different ranges where estimating holdover might pose as a cause of concern.

It is possible to finger adjust the capped reset turrets whereas the MOA clicks can be reset to zero once you have sighted in.

You can be guaranteed of a shockproof performance coupled with its single-piece tube body constructed using aircraft-grade aluminum.

The riflescope can also maintain its functionality in foggy and watery environments courtesy its nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed characteristics.


  • The highly accurate scope which can be used for shooting over 1000 yards without having to face any difficulty.
  • Cleaning cloth and sunshade comes in as a nice touch.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty that can keep you free from all risks of the device breakdown.
  • Provides great eye relief.


  • Clarity loss at higher powers.

10. Mueller Target Rifle Scope

Mueller Target Rifle Scope

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The Mueller Target Rifle Scope can be of great assistance in spotting a moving target quickly coupled with its exceptionally clear optics.

You can thus bid adieu to blurry optics even while trying to focus on a distant object. The clarity level is retained even when it is magnified to the highest possible levels.

Its high magnification level is especially helpful for people having poor eyesight. Your chances of missing the target get reduced rhetorically with its easy adjustments and perfect target dot.

It is a known fact that the clarity of riflescopes is determined to a great extent by the presence of outdoor light.

While low light is infamous for creating a shadowy effect, too much light might cause the scope to become excessively bright.

The Mueller Rifle stands out from its peers by maintaining effective brightness irrespective of the level of lighting.

You can thus benefit out of stellar clarity in various environments while focusing on 100 yards of distance with 32X magnification. Its exposed target turrets pave the path for accurate and easy range targeting.

This, in turn, gets accentuated by the glass quality which retains adequate clarity levels. You can thus clearly view targets at a distance of 50 yards even at such high resolution.

Apart from feeling highly durable, it is also easy to return it back to the zero marks once you have taken a shot. The sturdy construction of this riflescope is tailor-made to take on regular use.

Adequate eye relief is also provided by its black finish. Audible noise is emitted for alerting the user when the riflescope is clicked into position.

However, it is required to tweak the side focus for greater precision after hitting the heavy mag.


  • Magnification level remains constant even while focussing on long distances.
  • It offers better performance than its costlier peers belonging to the same category.
  • Clear vision is provided by the glass and large turrets in varying lighting setups.
  • Users can benefit from a clear and quick view coupled with the turrets which easily click into position.


  • The interior of the lend tube is not coated leading to glare and eye strain.

There is no doubt about one fact that AR-15 rifles are one of the most popular guns all over the globe. It has become one of the most trusted names in the US and there are many good reasons behind its popularity.

Let’s check out an interesting fact associated with AR-15, do you know that many confuse its abbreviation ‘AR’ with ‘Assault Rifle’. But, in reality, it’s not that and please don’t confuse, AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, and ArmaLite is an American company.

AR-15 has such powerful features that it’s following a modification of paved the path for the ‘M16 rifles’ that the US military uses today.

Important Terminologies In The World Of Rifle Scope

  • Scope Tube – This vital part of the scope acts as a joining between the ocular lens and objective lens. This single piece tube is constructed using solid metal and is available in the two different size options of 30mm and 1 inch.
  • Objective Bell –Available in tube sizes of 1 inch or 30 mm, the objective bell remains connected with the objective lens and the tube and helps in keeping the objective lens fixed to its desired place.
  • Objective Lens – Considered as one of the most important scope parts, the objective lens gathers the light around the point of aim. It is larger in size compared to the ocular lens and usually varies between 20-60 mm.
  • Eyepiece – This part of the scope maintains the positioning of the ocular lens while the attached dials aids in focusing on the clearest point.
  • Ocular Lens –This glass helps in focusing on the light in the shooters eye after gathering the same from the objective lens. The ocular lens comes with multiple coats for enhancing its functionality and water repellent nature.
  • Turrets – These small knobs found on the top and left side of the scope are used for adjusting elevation, windage and parallax.
  • Eye Relief –It refers to the minimum distance required between the ocular eyes and your eyes for gaining a sharp and clear focus on the target. Usually, the scopes have an eye relief of 2-4 inches.
  • Field Of View – This refers to the width of the viewing area at 100 yards from right to left and has an inverse relationship with the magnification of the scope.
  • Exit Pupil – This is a lighted disc mounted on the field center whose size has a directly proportional relationship with the brightness of the view.
  • Crosshair/Reticle –A combination of lines, dots and circular or any other shapes which assist in targeting an object with optimum accuracy.
  • Parallax –This happens when the image of the target object and that of the reticle does not share the same focal plane.
  • Mil/MOA – These refer to two different practices of measurement which are used for adjusting the final figures through scope turrets.
  • BDC Reticle – The Bullet Drop Compensator reticle is used for quick shooting specifically in larger distances with its holdover point which helps the users with 1000 yards of coverage.

What Makes AR-15 so Popular?

So, returning to discuss the previous point. There are many factors that make AR-15 the first choice among shooting enthusiasts. The gun is super easy to handle. Anyone, even old citizens or children can readily shoot with it. It’s lightweight and gentle in recoil. The gun is easy to be customized. You can add various accessories to it. The parts are convenient in assembling and easily interchangeable. The complete system uses pins, screws and threaded parts for assembly.

AR-15 Scopes: The Essential Accessory

As said, adding accessories is an important feature of AR 15. You can customize and equip it with different cool and useful attachments. However, adding scope to your AR 15 is the most intelligent and essential decision to make. It makes your shooting endeavor more precise, accurate and convenient.

But, before you buy the one, you must analyze the need and conditions in which you are going to use your rifle. Are you are going to use it for sporting events (like shooting competition)? Are you going to use it at a particular time? Whether you are going to use it at night times or day times? What’s the usual range of your shooting? Are you going to shoot for a long-distance or shorter distance? Are you going to target mostly the moving objects or stationary objects? All these points must be analyzed before you start your search. It is going to help you choose the best scope for you that serves all your purposes.

Advantages of AR-15 Scopes 

The Advantages of AR-15 Scopes are Immense. These can be summarized as:

  • Most of the scopes employ multi-coated lenses that give glare-free visibility even in bright lighting conditions. Thus help to enhance visibility.
  • Better focussing with the specially designed reticles. The newly developed and improved reticles come with various features like distance approximation that contribute to aim far off-targets with accuracy.
  • Wider view and increased range.
  • Night illuminated vision, some of the reticles are coming with light illumination that enables you to have accurate aiming even in dark conditions.
  • Faster target capture and focus.

With all these advantages scopes make you a better shooter. The next question that must be hitting your brain cells is, how are you going to find the best scope for your AR-15? Well, the answer is in knowing the basics.

Before you start your search (maybe offline or online research) for the proper AR-15 scope, you should be clear with certain essential features of the scopes such as eye relief, magnification, and reticle.

Five Basic Factors on Which Performance of your Rifle Scope Depends

1. Magnification

No doubt magnification is a major factor but, often it is very focusing. It’s not necessary that only a high magnifying scope will work well. In case you have to focus on far-off objects like hunting, it becomes essential to choose magnification wisely.

The scopes come with fixed and variable magnification. If you are a beginner, you are advised to go for fixed magnification. The fixed ones don’t involve additional moving parts. Therefore, they are more rugged and accurate. Also, they are far lighter than the variable version. Use variable scope only in the situation when there is a requirement for it. Otherwise, you should go for fixed scopes.

2. Reticles

Well, these are the patterns( mostly cross-type or dotted) that you see on your scope’s lens. The primary purpose of the reticle is to aid you in focusing on the targets accurately. Many times they are also called as crosshairs. Earlier, mostly simple “+” sign reticles were in use. But, now many new designs are introduced for better aiming. The popular types of reticles are Duplex, Mil-Dot, BDC and Illuminated.

i) Illuminated reticle: These reticles are designed for low light conditions. If you are going to use your AR-15 in the evening or night, it can be a difficult task. Even in the dense forest, there is a scarcity of light making your visibility poorer. To cover this gap, the new scopes are coming with illuminated reticle features. Some of them are offering options for different colors that allows you to choose a suitable color.

ii) BDC Reticle: BDC is a shortened form of Bullet Drop Compensation. These reticles are used for long-range shooting and are designed to compensate for the bullet drop by gravity.

iii) Duplex reticle: In the duplex type cross lines become thinner towards the intersection. It helps to see the target more clearly. Often the thicker lines( particularly in the intersection) make the aiming a bit difficult. In some designs, you can even spot a small dot at the center.

iv) Mil-dot Reticle: Mil-dot has the cross line integrated with a little dot. These are a bit complex and need a calculation to compensate gravity and drift effects. The dots help to adjust your shooting point as per the distance. But, these reticles are mostly designed for particular types of cartilages as their design parameters are based on the weight of cartilage.

3. Parallax

Many of you may be confused about this term. Well, nothing to worry about, you have learned this concept in your school. It was in your Science book, like when you put a coin in a jug and see it from above, it appears to be raised. Similarly, when you try to aim at fish in water, you have to hit a bit lower so as to hit the fish accurately. It’s all due to refraction. When light passes from denser medium to rarer medium, it moves away from the normal( and vice-versa).

Mostly when you use high power scopes the problem of parallax appears. It happens when the focal plane of the reticle and the object are offset from each other. As you shift your gaze, the reticle also appears to move. In an ideal condition, reticle should be in a locked-in position, a steady. The movement occurs when the focal plane of objective and reticle is not coincident. You need to adjust the objective ring or turret for parallax compensation. There should not be any movement in reticle as you move your gaze.

4. Eye-relief

The recoiling of AR-15 guns (or any other guns) is a common phenomenon that you experience while shooting. And the same can be hazardous for your eyes. You need to keep caution to protect your eyes. Eye relief is the distance between your eyes and the scope. For most of the AR 15 rifles, it is around 4 inches. This implies that you should maintain a minimum distance of 4 inches between the rear of the scope and your eye to be safe. Also, the way you mount your rifle plays a significant factor in absorbing the shocks. A proper mounting is a crucial point of consideration especially if you are a beginner. Otherwise, you may end up absorbing the shocks through your eye socket then your shoulder.

So, if you are new to shooting you should:

  • Go for the compact scope with a shorter length.
  • Mount the gun in the right way with your shoulder.

5. Minute of Angle (MOA)

MOA is another technical term that you need to master to become an expert shooter. It’s a kind of mathematics behind the shooting. 1 minute of angle is 1/60th of a degree. It can further be related to the distance of your target. 1 MOA at 50 yard = 0.5 inch, at 100 yards = 1 inch, at 200 yards = 2 inch and so on. Similarly, 2 MOA at 100 yards = 2 inches and so on. You need to set for MOA when you are aiming for far off-targets. The different scope has different MOA adjustment per click, like 1/4 MOA per click or 1/8, 1/2 or even 1 MOA per click. Thus, you need to adjust accordingly. Most of you may be confused with the concept of MOA; it’s a little technical.

Once you start analyzing your scope in the context of these fundamental properties and features, it becomes easier for you to choose the perfect piece for your shooting endeavors.

Features to Consider when Purchasing Rifle Scope

On entering the gun store or while shopping online you are likely to notice that many of the rifles will not have any iron sights.

Ever since rifles were invented metal sights became integral parts of them. But over the last few decades, the rate of factory rifles manufactured with iron sights decreased.

Riflescope are definitely an illustration of the level of effectiveness. So riflescope is quite an extraordinary addition to any rifle regardless of how you intend to use a rifle.

So if you are a recreational shooter, a marine, a paper puncher or a seasonal hunter a rifle scope will be an excellent addition to the set.

What are shooting scopes?

Shooting scopes assist you in seeing the targets. So you can see or aim precisely and clearly. Due to these features rifle scope is extensively used on rifles.

As there are a lot of options available on the market so as a buyer you can get overwhelmed. We will sort this out for you and get you through the confusion.

The list of advanced features below will help you in selecting an ideal scope that would satisfy your specific needs and will also assist you in examining riflescope.

1. Basic features of the scope

If you are a beginner, then there are just two things that you need to focus on while reading the specifications of the riflescope.  The first being magnification and second is the diameter of the objective lens.

Magnification number is used to represent the number of times you can make the image larger. So when you are viewing an object via the riflescope there will be a limit as to how many times you can magnify.

How do you measure the level of magnification and diameter of the lens of a riflescope?

The level of magnification is represented by a set of numbers with a dash in between them. Take, for example, a rifle with the magnification of 3-9×32mm. This means that you can adjust magnification from 3x up to 9x.

The second value that we have mentioned in the example represents the forward-most lens diameter. Lastly, we would like to mention that this diameter is given in millimeters and the forward-most lens is known as the objective lens.

2. The optical power of riflescope

As the rifles scopes magnification is directly equivalent to its level of usefulness thus the first and foremost thing that you should check out as a buyer should be magnification level.

Take for example that you are a bench rest shooter for a 1000 yard. A 4x scope will in no way be ideal for you.

Similarly, a hunter present in thick woods will find is horrendous to operate a scope with 32x magnification level.

All in all, magnification is subjective to the task at hand. Lower magnification like 4x to 6x allows superior target tracking and faster shooting. On the other hand, a higher level of magnification like 16x and above have better target resolution but these are heavier and expensive.

Due to the larger size of riflescope with higher magnification, they are best suited for positions that offer support.

What is the best magnification level of rifle scope?

The general principle to follow is that for shooting offhand or within a distance of 500 yards, scope with magnification lower than 10x is ideal.

Magnification levels higher than 10x are ideal for rifles that would have a sandbag or bipod to assist with the weight.

You can also opt for variable power scopes that allow magnification on a wider range. You can select any range that you prefer but the drawbacks of variable power scope are that they are expensive and less rigged.

Regardless of these drawbacks variable power scopes have enhanced flexibility and utility thus they are highly recommended options.

The products that we have shortlisted for you are unlikely to have any issues regardless of them having fixed or variable power.

3. Size of the objective lens

After magnification, the next important thing that you need to settle on is the size of the objective lens.

What is the objective lens?

The objective lens transmits ambient light that helps focus the riflescope onto the image.

The larger an objective lens is the greater light it can transit to your eye and the clearer plus brighter image you will be able to see.

Usually, bigger objective lens has more magnification range. Thou it is only in magnification level higher than 12x that you can truly appreciate the difference between a 40mm and 50mm objective lens.

In terms of clarity and brightness, a bigger objective lens wins the race.

Moving on towards the drawbacks you will notice that a bigger objective lens requires some higher area to be mounted. So on placing the rifle over a barrel, you might have issues regarding maintain cheek weld. This will directly impact your ability to shoot.

You can also purchase a cheek riser to overcome this drawback. What you can’t do is alter the weight and size of the scope. So you will have to learn to live with a bulkier rifle scope.

4. Reticle patterns

Thou there are many different types of reticle patterns available but below we have introduced the three main types that you are likely to run into:

i. Duplex Reticle:

This is the most common type of reticle available at the moment is the duplex reticle. It is characterized by a thin center crosshair. This crosshair becomes thicker around the outer area of the riflescope.

The design of the duplex reticle naturally helps focus the eye on to the center of the scope. The thick bars on the outer corner help while shooting in the low light where the crosshair center might not be fully visible.

These types of scopes are perfect for target shooting and hunting.

ii. Mildot Reticle:

Thou this reticle pattern has been based on duplex reticle but it is equipped with more powerful technology and enhancements.

The spacing and dots that are present along with the reticle-lines match particular angles that are measured in milliradian units.

Mildot reticle power originates from its ability to determine the range of the target. This can be done when you know the target’s size. Plus, you can make intuitive and fast adjustments for elevation and wind.

Once you fully comprehend the true power of mildot reticle you will understand to why it’s becoming a standard reticle option for law enforcement and military shooters.

Plus, the dots of mildot reticle can be used as a type of BDC.

In case you intend to use the rifle past 300 yards then this reticle will preserve the natural focus while allowing the shooter to calculate range and adjust hold-offs for elevation or wind.

Furthermore, a mildot reticle is ideal for teaching new recruits.

iii. BDC Reticle:

The term BDC is an abbreviation for “bullet drop compensator” and currently this reticle is quite in demand.

It allows accurate shooting over a wide range of targets without having to alter the settings of riflescopes elevation. This feature has been achieved due to the several aiming points that are incorporated within the pattern of the reticle.

This pattern helps correspond to a variety of target distances.

As compared to the duplex reticle, the BDC reticle offers many utilities. The only drawbacks are that this reticle is compatible with limited cartridges and is somewhat accurate for ranges above 500 yards. Even if you are using a particular load which the reticle has been calibrated for. the accuracy level will somewhat suffer beyond the mark of 500 yards.

In case you are in search of the best all-purpose optic for the AR-15 rifle then this reticle is the ultimate option.

5. MOA or MRAD

There are still a couple of things left for you to make a selection from so hold up and don’t purchase anything just yet.

Next, we will be looking at riflescopes adjustment. There are only two types of measurement systems for the adjustment of the scope. These are MOA and MRAD.

i. MOA:

This stands for “minute of angle” and is quite common.

Thou minute of angle technically represents 1/60th of angular degree but it is represented in liner inches. 100 yards relate to 1 inch of the MOA.

One major advantage of MOA modification is that it helps with precise zeroing. As compared to milliradian scopes, the increments of MOA adjustments are smaller. It’s usually a quarter of an inch at 100 yards and sometimes it’s even lesser than that.

This is ideal for those of your that demand extreme adjustment capabilities at a longer range and want fine zeroing.

A major drawback of MAO is that formulating adjustments, excluding 100 yards, can get quite complex. The way out of this issue is to pair MOA adjustment with a BDC or duplex reticle. Ordinary adjustment screws will also work.

MOA adjustment along with mildot reticle isn’t quite optimal as it doesn’t permit efficient usage of mildot system.

ii. MRAD:

This term stands for milliradian and is usually abbreviated as mils or mil.

Just like MOA, it represents a small section of angle. In the case of MRAD its 1/1,000th of a radian. Here 1 milliradian means 3.6 inches at 100 yards.

As compared to MOA the measurement is a bit harder to get the hang of but the adjustment is quite easier and simpler. it is simpler because in milliradian scope the reticle is just like a ruler.

For example, if you shoot 1.2 mils lower than crosshairs center then all you need to do is adjust 1.2 mils up and your shoot will be right on target.

The best feature is that this method works exactly the same for any range. An alteration of 1/4 MOA equals to 1/4-inch change at 100 yards. While ay 200 yards the shift is of 1/2 inch.

This gets complicated when calculating measurements for other ranges like 328 yards. What milliradians do at such a range is that they avoid adjustment calculation in linear terms. It can do this by making the reticle serve like a scale and assisting the shooter to calculate with respect to angular deviation.

Milradian adjustments are only available with mil reticle scopes and are preferred by a majority of long-range shooters.

6. Focal Plane

Another feature that you will have to choose from are the two positions of reticle within scope. These positions are referred to as the first and second focal planes. The abbreviations respectively are FFP and SFP.

Most scopes use SFP reticles. With SFP reticles when magnification level changes the reticle size continues to remain the same with respect to the whole image size.

This is beneficial as it keeps the sight picture consistent and clear at all the magnification levels. Keep in mind that when the SFP scope will be using BDC or mildot reticles you will be required to keep the magnification at maximum level in order to fully utilize the reticles.

In the case of the first focal plane, this issue isn’t relevant as reticle size will scale up and down with the changes in magnification. That means that regardless of what magnification your scope is at your milliradian measurement and BDC markings will remain accurate.

One major disadvantage is that when using lower points of magnification like 3-5x, the reticle will become harder to see. In short FFP scopes are ideal for the shooting of longer-range as in such cases the magnification wouldn’t be set to low.

7. Parallax

In riflescopes, parallax is when reticle will seem to alter positions according to the target as the head is relocated.

This happens when riflescope isn’t able to focus on the reticle and the target this results in a bad grouping or missed shots.

The majority of low magnification and inexpensive scopes are manufactured as parallax-free within a specific range. This range is usually 100 yards. Such riflescopes do not have the ability to correct the parallax at shorter and longer ranges.

Thou this is fine in case of rifle scopes with lower magnification as any shift in the reticle will be too minute to matter. On the other hand, in case of rifle scopes with higher magnification like those with 12x magnification and more should have a parallax correction knob.

The parallax correction knob is usually called side focus and is found the opposite of windage turret.

How can you check the parallax?

The parallax can be checked when you nod your head up and down. On nodding your head while viewing from the scope and maintaining a steady position of the rifle you will have to inspect the crosshairs. In case the crosshair shifts position it means that parallax is there.

An effective way of dealing with parallax is to pull one’s head back enough so that there is an equal shadow of scope on either side of the reticle. This technique helps keep your eye at a spot precisely in line with your target and reticle.

During a competition or hunting, this approach will save you time. Plus, you don’t require a parallax adjustment knob for this method.

8. Budget

Now that we have all the features cleared out the next big question is, what should the price range be?

Riflescopes tend to cost quite an amount. Premium products by esteemed brands like Leupold, Nightforce, Bender and Schmidt can cost more than $3,000.

An expensive riflescope would have more repeatability and enhanced adjustment precision. That’s not all, by buy paying some more bucks you can riflescopes with more durability and optical clarity.

Nevertheless, manufacturing becomes highly expensive as tolerance becomes tighter. So by paying 700 dollars more you are may only get an additional repeatable adjustment of 5% and better lighting transmission of 3%.

So this means that just because you can afford to spend money on riflescope it isn’t ideal that you do so. With the scope market being in full effect you are likely to find many options at a reasonable price margin.

Plus, manufacturers are producing many new products at reasonable prices. The products that we have shortlisted for you offer amazing features at affordable prices. So get buying before the offers run out.

We have shortlisted riflescopes that are manufactured by trusted companies and come with warranties but make sure to the scope which you select full fills your needs and requirements.

5 Steps to Follow in Order to Sight Through a Riflescope

Whether you’re going to the range or hunting, the activity of using your rifle scope is more fun when you are able to aim accurately. Follow the 5 easy steps below to sight properly via your riflescope.

1. Get the rifle on paper

In case you are using a new rifle or scope then first and foremost you have to get the rifle on paper. In order to accomplish this task, you need to get the barrel and riflescope in alignment. For alignment, you can use a laser boresight or collimator.

2. Select ammo

Assuming that you have gotten the rifle in zero you have to now decide three main things.

First up we have distance. 1000 yards is an ideal distance to start from. Secondly, decide on the load. If you have an ideal load in mind, then you are good to go if not then compromise on bullet performance, velocity or accuracy.

Lastly, you need to select the point of impact. For 100 yards 2 to 2.5 inches is quite a reasonable point for impact.

3. Shooting technique

Take your time before pulling the trigger. Concentrate really hard and keep on adjusting your sights. Do this repetitively until you reach the preferred zero.

4. Rifle barrel

In case you are shooting repetitively then you need to let the barrel cool down. Before making the shoot you have to make sure that the barrel isn’t hot.

5. Double-check

On achieving the zero it’s time to double-check just to make sure. Get rid of any shooting aid that you are using and try again.

These 5 simple steps are the go-to ones for sighting and one can’t possibly go wrong while following these.

Wrapping it up!

Since its creation way back in the 1960s, the AR-15 scopes have gained supremacy as one of the most popular rifle types in the US. With millions of guns already sold and an estimated 4 million currently doing the rounds, AR scopes are surely a product line to reckon. These “reflex” or “red dots” superimpose a red dot to function as the aiming reticle. While using the standard “iron sights” you might be required to have a perfect line up to two sights with one eye closed. But the red dots scope allows you greater leeway with the positioning of your eyes and head while you keep both the eyes open. This makes the AR15 scopes a faster option when it comes to target acquisition and greater peripheral vision even in darker environments. With thousands of options available in the riflescope marketplace, the final decision, however, rests entirely upon you given your specific requirements.

The top 10 list ends up here. Thank you very much for taking the time. We hope that the list has helped you in finding the best scope for your AR-15 gun. We have tried our best to bring the best of best for you. All these 10 scopes are highly recommended by the experts. These powerful scopes are well analyzed on the most basic features that ultimately make them popular among the shooting enthusiasts. And we also hope that by now all of you have the basic idea of those important points you need to look when searching for your scope. If not, we recommend you to turn back to the starting section of this blog that deals with the important features you should look into any scope.

Read Another Related Article: Top 11 Best Long Range Scope for The Money

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