The Best Scope for AR 15 – An Ultimate Buying Guide 2023

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The AR 15 is a favorite rifle widely used for tactical, competitive and hunting applications. Therefore, to make the most of your AR 15 at any game, you need the perfect optics for your shooting environment.

The scope suitable for the shooting context will improve the accuracy, speed of target acquisition and help you scout terrain and increase target size.

We tried dozens of scopes built specifically for AR 15 rifles before deciding to write this article. A shopping guide with the best for AR 15 list on the market is waiting for you to explore.

Let’s get started our journey to find the best AR 15 scope right now.

What Is An Ar 15 Rifle?


The AR 15 rifle is one of the most popular guns sold worldwide. AR came from the ArmaLite rifle of the company made it in the 1950s.

It is a modern and legal sports rifle to own in many US states. It looked like a military rifle, the M-16, but only fire one bullet with each trigger.

This rifle is accurate, reliable, rugged, and versatile for shooters in all weather. They use it for various hunting purposes like a varmint, big games or national matches.

The chambers include .22, .223 (5.56 x 45mm), 6.8 SPC, .308, .450 Bushmaster and more. The upper receiver for pistol calibers are 9 mm, .40 and .45.

The AR 15 can reload quickly to fire dozens of bullets in seconds with a large inner spring that absorbs the shocks of each shot. You can shoot more accurately because of its low recoil and add a scope, laser, and other accessories.

Why Do You Need A Scope For Your Ar 15?

The reason you need a scope for your AR 15 depends on the range and objectives you target when using it. Then the support of this accessory will give you unobstructed vision to improve gun performance.

For example:

A large magnification range brings benefit for shooters who need mid-range to long-range accuracy with a low rate of fire and shoot from a fixed position.

While hunters aim to targets which move and change direction quickly, they will prefer lower magnification at shorter ranges.

5 Benefits Of Using A Scope For Your Ar 15

  • You take the shots more accurately, so you don't waste bullets.

  • You can look further to collect and identify targets quickly without guessing the distance.

  • You can see better in low light environments or bad weather conditions.

  • With difficult targets or wild animals, you can shoot from a safer and more convenient distance than using the iron sights.

  • You avoid the risk of accidentally shooting something that you are not allowed (for example, people) because the gun can cause an accident at any time.

How To Buy The Best Ar 15 Scope?


Many scopes in the market can confuse you when choosing, let’s consider the following factors to obtain a product that fits your shooting and budget.

Here they are:

Your Need

Understanding your needs is essential when choosing the appropriate scope. Then, you save your budget, time and quickly buy products to use.

You should ask yourself about shooting environment, the range, and goals, as well as your level of shooting and bullet types. For example, you should not buy a scope that can go far beyond the bullet you shoot. After that, go out there and select your best AR 15 scope.

Scope Magnification

It indicates the range enlarging the image of the target in the field of view. For example, the 4x32 magnification will enlarge the image more than four times of the view with naked eyes.

If you shoot at long range or small target at mid or long ranges, you need high magnification. The trick here is that you can choose to buy the power change model that will give you the flexibility to shoot at different ranges.

Scope Reticle

It is a pretty important feature when you want to select a scope. A complex reticle with many functions will obscure the field, so if you never use signs on the reticle, you should not have them.

The advice is to choose the simplest viewfinder to meet your needs when using AR 15.

Shooters hunting at 50-300 yard in medium to big games often use very well a duplex reticle. A mildot reticle is ideal for tactical and competitive shooting settings, especially at long range or moving targets.

Meanwhile, a BDC mildot is very convenient for users who need to set up and quickly shoot in different ranges.

Objective Lens

A larger objective lens can collect more light to bring a brighter image, especially in low light conditions. So, you can identify better goals, and you don't lose a shot. However, the large lens adds weight to the gun.

Not only that, a larger tube containing an objective lens allows more light transmission and more adjustment for wind and altitude.

Scope Weight

You should consider the weight of the scope not to put pressure on your gun. At the same time, adding heavy accessories on the rifle makes your shooting handling slow, and your strength lost easily when carrying your weapon.

Eye Relief

It is the distance you can keep the scope from your face when shooting. Since the AR-15 has some recoil, you need a product that gives you enough room not to hit your face when shooting.

Are you still with us now? If yes, you do need a scope for your rifle.

Keep reading, and you’ll find our list of top AR 15 scope.

By the way, If you are finding the best red dot for ar-15, you should click here to read more!

The List Of Best Scope For Ar 15 (2019 Updated Review)

You can use this scope of Editor’s Choice for shooting tactical or hunting. The 3x magnification product is perfect for close to mid-range applications with fast target acquisition and speed.

You have a super compact, rugged scope with high performance. What outstanding features do you want to buy this product right away?

The scope highlight is its EBR-556B reticle. You can aim accurately at the targets all the time thanks to the red/green illuminated reticle etched directly on the prism. It also has five intensity levels to suit specific conditions.

Not only that, a sophisticated prism-based design creates a more compact optical system without compromising visual quality. That means you can easily use a lighter scope for a brighter image.

What’s more?

Manufacturer equipped the scope with fully anti-reflective multi-layers lenses for bright visibility in low light conditions, fast focusing eyepiece, 2.8-inch eye relief, and Picatinny dual rails for compensated auxiliary reflex vision.

You can easily mount a scope with an installation height of 30 mm and 40 mm.

The last thing to note is that the Spitfire has an excellent shock-proof structure against recoil and impact and nitrogen purification and o-rings preventing from fog and water.

Don't forget to ask the seller about the colorful Vortex Optics caps.

Let’s buy Vortex Optics Spitfire to use and improve your target shooting performance now.

A product from the famous brand in the hunting world, the Primary Arms, promises to bring you many conveniences.

How good is this scope?

It is designed with the second focal plane to help the reticle remaining the same size in all 1-6x of magnification levels for quick acquirement at low power. Primary Arms is proud to introduce a patent for a unique reticle that helps compensate for bullets, keep the wind, guide moving targets and easily estimate range.

You also benefit from the incremental improvements of Gen III for shorter, heavier scopes, with ten additional internal MOA adjustments compared to the older model and the ACSS reticle also has a chevron center view instead of a dot.

To bring clear visibility, the red reticle illuminates a part provided by a CR2032 battery. You will enjoy adjusting a total of 11 brightness settings.

The fully multi-coated lens can transmit maximum light in a durable hard-anodized 6063 aluminum body. Furthermore, you can use this scope in many conditions because of its nitrogen purge, fog proof, and IP67 waterproof.

And the best part is the manufacturer's lifetime warranty for materials, craft or common wear defects.

Are many great features of this scope worth using for your guns? Come to buy it and bring it home.

Your excellent shooting performance is indispensable to the contribution of a Leupold scope.  Check out many outstanding features from the Leupold VX-1.

Do you want to shoot accurately in every situation? Choose this product with a flexible 3: 1 zoom ratio erector system, waterproof and anti-fog.

Leupold fabricated this scope with the company process of nitrogen sealing. As a result, it is rugged and does not blur when contacting water.

You won't complain over a lifetime of extreme use with 1/4 MOA precise finger adjustment for wind and height providing absolute repeatability and reliability.

And we believe you will also like the standard multicoat four lens system for ultra-high clarity, edge to edge sharpness, outstanding contrast and bright images even in low light conditions.

Personally, we enjoy the LR Duplex reticle of the Ballistics Aiming System. Thanks to that, we can master our long-range shooting accurately.

Many customers chose it for the hunting season, so what about you?

If a scope comes from Nikon brand, you can give it a try. Let’s see what best features of this product are.

For a better view, you can rely on the product's multi-coating optical system that provides light transmission of up to 98 percent and maximum brightness.

You can eliminate parallax and make your eyes safer to focus on accurate shooting thanks to 100-yard parallax setting and consistent eye relief.

Anything else?

Nikon offers Zero-Reset Turret to make it easy for field adjustments and BDC Carbine Reticle to provide a 200-yard crosshair with hash marks at 400 yards and 600 yards.

As a result, you can adjust the reticle with a positive click to quickly get you zeroed and keep the setting with repeated recoil.

This impressive scope is also Nitrogen filled, and O-ring sealed to ensure its waterproof and fog proof. Therefore, you can use it in any weather conditions.

With a beautiful design and premium materials, you'll want to take this scope to mount your AR 15.

In our opinion, Bushnell seems to be an unknown brand when our love for Nikon and Vortex are quite significant. However, this scope has made us look differently.

Why do we say so?

Bushnell makes this 1-4x scope of high-durability aluminum alloy, anodize-finished and sealed. Hence, it is rustproof and virtually scratchproof.

We also like its Nitrogen purged to remove moisture and O-ring sealed to prevent dust or moisture. Thanks to that, you can use it in every terrain.

In particular, this Bushnell scope offers excellent near-accuracy with a Drop Zone-223 BDC reticle for mid-range accuracy, multi-layer optics for incredible brightness and fast focusing eyepieces.

Furthermore, you can precisely adjust the target turret and use the specific caliber-reticle to deliver every round with high performance. You can easily reach zeros in 100 yards, with aiming, indicating 500 yards.

Are you ready to get to know the Bushnell to buy now?

That’s all for the suggestion list. It’s time for you to choose your AR 15 the best scope.

But wait,  there’s more.

If you want to ask something, you can comment to let us know or refer to the frequently asked questions in the following section.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

#1. How many times magnification should I have on an AR-15 scope?

As mentioned above, this depends on your hunting purpose. We have a very simple rule for you: 1x for every hundred yards, you plan to shoot with it. So if you need to sell at 1000 yards, choose 10x.

However, you should remember that the ammunition used for guns may not shoot as far as the view that the magnification of the scope provides.

#2. Is it a bad idea to zip tie a scope onto an AR-15?

Yes, it is. The scope causes a significant shock when you shoot. It can break the scopes if they are of poor quality. If you use a zip tie to attach a scope, the range will never hold zero. You pull the trigger and create a slight change of scope every time.

Therefore, a set of appropriate scope rings is suitable to receive the scope moves. People do not design zip ties for scope attachment so that misuse will damage the scope.

#3. What is the best use of the first and second focal plane scopes?

If you take part in shooting games using variable magnification scopes and do not need to adjust the accuracy at all magnifications, the first focal plane is appropriate.

On the other hand, you can use to shoot at maximum magnification or without changing power scopes with the second focal plane.

#4. How can I mount a scope to the carry handle on my AR 15?

You can mount a specially designed scope to your AR-15. You attach it through a hole in the middle of the handle and a Picatinny rail to mount the optics. These mounts also allow you to use the rifle's iron sight when they are installed.

#5. I mounted a scope to my flat top AR-15, and it is too low. What can I do to correct this?

You can use the flat top riser to fix this problem. It is a Picatinny rail that attaches to the top of the receiver and delivers an additional height of 1/2 to 3/4 inch to bring the scope up enough.

Which Top-rated Scope Do You Choose For Your Ar 15 Rifle?

We give you lots of useful information about the best scope for AR 15, and please read this article again and again before deciding to purchase it correctly.

Because of the enthusiasm and belief for the Vortex brand, we bought the Vortex Optics Spitfire 3X Prism Scope. It is perfect for our shooting purposes. We have used it for a long time and have not encountered any significant troubles.

This scope is light, handy, and high performance when shooting at close to mid-range with fast target acquisition and speed. Vortex also makes it with durable material, illuminated reticle, multi-layers lenses that give clear images in all shooting situations.

However, this is a proper scope for our needs. Unless you have the same purposes, you should choose it. If not, select the best scope for your AR 15 and your hunting context. And remember that you get what you pay for. 

If you find this article useful, share it with someone who needs it. You can also interact with us for questions about the AR 15 scope here. Now go out and shop for the scope.

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