The Best AR 15 Scope For You

Nikon P-223 3x32

Any gun owner knows that a rifle is an exceptionally powerful tool. Particularly when using an AR rifle, such as an AR-15, one of your primary concerns should be making sure that you have all the tools you need to make your rifle as safe and effective as possible. Unlike AK rifles, such as an AK-47, AR rifles are light and tend to be more accurate. With a weapon as specialized as this, you need to make sure that you are able to hit your intended target every time, instead of missing your shot or hitting a different target on accident. One of the most important accessories you need is an AR scope. An AR scope will let you focus in on your target and make sure that you are the most accurate shooter you can be. This page will tell you about some of the most popular options for AR scopes, because there are many options for you to choose from. It will also explain the most important features to look for when you select your scope, so that you will know how to tell which one is the best AR scope for you. After reading all of this information, you can be confident you have picked the best AR-15 scope for you.

Different Types of AR Scopes

While all scopes help you accomplish the same goal--becoming a more accurate shooter--there are many different types of AR scopes, and many different styles of scopes to choose from. It is important to choose a scope that is compatible with your specific weapon and shooting style to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Red Dot Scopes

One of the major differences among scopes is the way they show you where your target is. A red dot scope does just what it says--it uses a small, red dot a light to show you where your bullet will land when you shoot. Red dot scopes are one of the most common forms of scopes, and they are often used in scopes that do not feature a magnification lens. Red dot scopes are best for shooters who need to line up their shot quickly. While the advantage of a red dot scope is that it allows you to line up your shot quickly with a fairly good level of accuracy, a drawback is that it is not quite as accurate as other types of scopes can be. This article will show you where to find the best red dot for AR-15.

Reticle Scopes

A reticle, the technical term for crosshairs, is the other most popular type of scope. Unlike a red dot scope, which only uses one image--the dot--as a point of reference, a reticle uses two perpendicular lines to help you line up your shot. Every reticle looks different--some feature lines that cover the entire window of your scope, while some only cover a portion of your window. Some reticles have a small ring around the center of the window, while others do not. An advantage of using a reticle scope is that it allows you to view your target in reference to multiple lines, instead of a single dot. However, one disadvantage is that it can take a little bit longer to line up your shot using your reticle as reference. This type of scope is best used for a sport such as target shooting, where you are not under immense pressure to fire your shot quickly.


Every scope features a different level of magnification. Usually, the numbers found at the beginning of a product name, for example, “4 x 32,” will tell you the magnification of the scope. Higher levels of magnification are necessary for different types of guns and different types of shooting--if you are shooting a target very far away, you will need to use a higher magnification. Just because a scope has a higher magnification doesn’t mean that it is the better scope for you. Make sure to choose a scope that has a magnification that matches the type of shooting you can do. If your gun can only shoot accurately at a maximum range of 500 feet, you don’t need to spend extra money on a scope with a high magnification that will let you shoot something 1000 feet away accurately. The higher your magnification is, the smaller the objects in your lens will appear. Make sure you choose a scope that lets you see your target, as well as your environment.

Brands of AR Scopes


While Nikon is best known for their cameras, they also make other products that use lenses, such as scopes. Nikon manufactures scopes for many types of guns, and their scopes are known for having high-quality lenses, just as their cameras are. Nikon scopes tend to be some of the more expensive options for best AR scopes.


Bushnell is a company that specializes in products used for shooting, such as binoculars or scopes. They have been manufacturing scopes for more than 60 years, and their products are known for quality and durability. Their products are also some of the more expensive options, and are priced similarly to Nikon scopes.

Top 5 Best AR Scopes

A scope can be a big investment for a dedicated shooter, and every marksman needs a scope with different features. When looking for a scope, it is important to consider features such as magnification, reticle style, lens quality, and feature that protect your scope from the elements, such as wind, rain or fog. By thinking about what style of rifle you use and what type of shooting you do, you can make sure that you get a high-quality scope that fits your individual needs.

AOTOP 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope Dual Illuminated Mil-dot

AOTOP 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope Dual Illuminated Mil-dot with Red Laser, Rail Mount and 4 Reticle Red and Green Dot Open Reflex Sight with Weaver

This scope beats out some stiff competition to be crowned the best AR scope. A combination of high-quality features, rave reviews from customers and a reasonable price make this our top pick for best AR-15 scope. Among its impressive features are a the inclusion of both red dot and reticle methods of lining up your target. With a red and green dot system, you can make sure that you can see your scope clearly in any lighting, and this option allows you to switch methods depending on the situation you are in. This is definitely the best red dot for AR-15. In addition to the dual focus feature, it also comes with a 2.5-10x40 magnification, so you can zoom in as much or as little as you like. With a sleek matte black design, this product has it all--style and functionality at a great value. With so many dot and reticle options, you essentially get two scopes in one with this option!

Vokul 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope Red & Green Laser Dual Illuminated Mil-dot with Rail Mount

Vokul 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope Red & Green Laser Dual Illuminated Mil-dot with Rail Mount

This scope is a close second. Although it only features a reticle and not a red dot focus, it does have the same magnification range as the first option (2.5-10x40). A unique quality of this option is that it is designed to be durable and can be used in any type of weather. It is designed to be waterproof, and it’s also shockproof, which makes it more comfortable to use. The eye relief of this scope is also an important feature. It’s designed in such a way that it provides the shooter with comfortable eye relief designed for long hunting trips, so that you know your eyes won’t get tired while waiting for you perfect shot. Aesthetically, this scope will look great while you use it--it’s scratchproof and includes a cleaning cloth that you can use to keep you scope looking like new. This is also one of the less expensive options, so it offers a great value when shopping for a best AR-15 scope.

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

UTG 3-9X32 1%22 BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

This option is much smaller and more compact than the first two options, but that means you also sacrifice a few of the features you might find on larger scopes. It has a slightly more limited magnification range than the first two options at 3-9x32, but it still offers a magnification range that will fit the needs of many shooters. Like the first two options, it features a choice of red or green illumination, uses a reticle compared to a red dot. It does have its own unique features--the tube is designed for maximum light transmission, which will let you see your target as clearly as possible. It also has several features that make it very user-friendly. It has a sunshade to help you line up targets in sunny weather, and it also has quality flip-open lens caps for convenience. All those features, combined with the sleek design of this scope, are why we had to include it in our top five picks for best AR-15 scopes.

Nikon P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine

Nikon P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine

While the first three options on this list offer a good mix of features and value, this Nikon scope is focused on quality. Although it costs more than the first three options, this scope is a durable option that will last you for years. It has the best optics for AR-15. With a magnification range of 3x32, reticle focus and generous eye relief to keep your eyes safe and comfortable while shooting, this scope has all of the features you need for your scope to be usable and effective. The real selling point of this scope it its lens. The lens is fully coated and designed to allow for the absolute highest level of light transmission possible, the focus of this scope is allowing you to have the brightest, clearest view of your target at any time of day, in any lighting. This shows that is has some of the best AR-15 optics. In addition to these features, this scope is waterproof and the lens is fogproof, ensuring that it will help you hit your target over and over again, making it ones of the best scopes for AR-15.

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, 1-4x 24mm

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, 3-9x 40mm

Like the Nikon scope, this Bushnell option comes at a higher cost, but it is designed to be higher quality and longer-lasting. This reticle scope has the most limited magnification range, at 1-4x24. However, it features the same high quality, multi coated lens as the Nikon option, making it another option for best AR-15 optics. This means that this scope also gives you optimal brightness while looking at your target. One of the main features that sets this scope apart from the Nikon scope is its compact, lightweight design--it is only nine inches long and weighs about half as much as the Nikon scope. This scope is made out of aluminum alloy, so while it is light, it is still guaranteed to be durable. The durability and compact design of this scope are why we have chosen it to round out our top five best AR-15 scopes.

Here are five more excellent options for an AR scope:

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600

Nikon P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine

Monstrum Tactical 3-9x32 AO Rifle Scope with Illuminated Range Finder Reticle and High Profile Scope Rings

Monstrum Tactical 3-9x32 AO Rifle Scope with Illuminated Range Finder Reticle and High Profile Scope Rings

Bushnell AR Optics FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Reticle AR-223 Riflescope with Target Turrets and Throw Down PCL, 1-4x 24mm

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, 3-9x 40mm

Choosing the Best Scopes for an AR-15

When buying an AR scope, there are many factors you have to consider. These include what magnification range you need from your scope, whether you prefer a red dot or a reticle, and what your price range is. If you are willing to spend top dollar for a premium scope, you can find a tool with exceptional sight quality that will allow you to see your target clearly in almost any conditions. You also need to consider qualities like the size of the scope and how much it weighs, since you want to make sure that it is appropriate for the size and model of rifle that you have. There are also other qualities, like being waterproof or having exceptional eye relief, that you may want to consider when looking at the choices that are available. If you know what type of gun you use, what type of shooting you want to do, and what features are most important to you, you will be sure to find a quality scope that fits your budget.


At the end of the day, a scope only has one job to fulfill: it makes you a better and more accurate shooter. Knowing what type of shooting you do, what you are most comfortable with and what features matter most to you will allow you to pick the best AR-15 scope that you can find.