Written by 2:16 am Tactical Gear

Best Tactical AR Scope

a black optical sight for hunting, lying on a deer's horn placed on the plank.

The AR-15 is a very reliable versatile weapon, which is what makes it one of the most popular hunting rifles in the US. However, no matter how powerful your weapon is, or what range is has, none of that matters if you don’t have the best optics to scope out your target. No matter if you are in the forces, or just like shooting on your weekends, there are many things to consider in order to get the most out of your weapon, and there are many scopes available on the market, so the trick is finding the best one for your rifle.

We have gathered the 20 best AR 15 scopes for your weapon, ranging from brands like Nikon, to Bushnell and Trijicon. Read on to find out which scopes can provide you with the most precise optics for the most reasonable price.

Contents show

20 Best AR Tactical Scopes for 2020

We have created a list of the best AR tactical scopes in 2020. There are a range of shooting capabilities, from short range to long range, as well as a range of prices. There are great scopes for reasonable prices for those who enjoy shooting every once in a while, and more expensive scopes which might suit those more serious about the hunt. Now it is up to you to decide which ones suit your needs best.

1. UTG EZ-TAP Outdoor MS Rings Scope

 

 UTG 30mm Compact Scope, 36-color EZTap Mil-dot Rings, black color, in multi emerald-coated lens.

Product Dimensions: 10.39 x 1.57 x 2.09 inches | Weight: 1.45 Pounds

This is a great scope to allow for maximum light transmission to achieve the best clarity during your hunt. The UTG offers a 30mm tube, with emerald coated lenses. This is essential to achieve the maximum transmission of light. It helps you gain the best clarity during your shooting so is great for accurate target hitting. Its zero-locking and resetting target targets offer great accuracy and precision with 1/4 MOA clicks.

It has an sealed o ring to prevent dust getting within the body of your scope, whilst also being nitrogen filled to ensure your scope is shock-proof, fog-proof and water proof. It is the ideal riflescope for a professional or casual shooter.

Pro's:
  • offers brilliant optics, for a reasonable price; completely sealed and nitrogen filled, water, fog and shock proof; zero-locking and resetting turrets.
Cons:
  • Sometimes difficult for shot to remain zeroed

2. UTG CQB Bug Buster Outdoor Sunshade Scope

 

UTG CQB Bug Buster Outdoor Sunshade Scope, in black with 32mm objective lens.

Product Dimensions: 9.84 x 3.35 x 3.94 inches | Weight: 0.87 lbs. | Objective Lens: 32 mm.

This lightweight UTG product will weather you through any storm due to its fog-proof, shock-proof and rain-proof qualities – with this scope you can get through all the elements. It is all dependent on your environment, so look around you and consider how important these features will be. Its Emerald coated lens gives your scope a crystal clear view with light transmission at maximum quality.

With its easily adjustable turrets, you can ‘zero’ the target with constant precision using the 1/4 click MOA adjustments – with this you will be able to achieve a parallax-free view from three yards to infinity. It is a great riflescope for all sorts of shooters, and all for a reasonable price.

Pro's:
  • It is lightweight at just 0.87 pounds; suitable for all season; mil-dot feature reticle; not too expensive so ideal for beginners all the way to experienced.
Cons:
  • Little give on eye relief measurements, not ideal for rapid shooting

3. Bushnell Unisex BUSH-AR91424I AR

 Bushnell Optics, FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Riflescope, Matte Black, 24mm objective lens, waterproof.

Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches | Weight: 1.08 lbs. | Objective Lens: 24mm.

This product ensures precision and a performance that is not compromised for price. This riflescope comes with six configurations to equip your rifle with a 22 rimfire to long-range. Like other scopes on this list, this scope comes in matt-black to best suit your rifle. Optics come fully-coated to ensure maximum brightness during your hunt.

The Bushnell features turrets that allow for precise target practice and adjustments, and reticles that are specific to your caliber, meaning each round you fire will hit your target with complete accuracy.

Like all good quality scopes, this is made with aircraft-grade aluminum and so will provide you with a lifetime of durability.

Pro's:
  • 6 configurations; multi-coated optics for brightness; affordable price, aircraft grade aluminum; great brightness settings
Cons:
  • Not always available on Amazon

4. Leupold VX-1 Rifle Scope

Leupold VX-1 40mm Rifle Scope, in black color, waterproof and fogproof for better hunting visual

Objective Lens: 40mm. | Weight: 12.2 oz.

This is a wonderful, lightweight and trusty scope from one of the best names in the business. The Leupold VX comes with a lifetime guarantee, so if you face any issues using your scope you will always be insured. It uses quartely MOA adjustments, as well as adjustable turrets. Leupold VX-1 ensures accuracy and a deadly shot. Its oxygen purged and nitrogen filled design gives this scope waterproof, fog-proof and shock proof performance, and means no weather conditions can get in the way of your hunt. It is the ideal scope for AR 15 rifles.

Pro's:
  • Oxygen purged, nitrogen filled so it is shock-proof, water-proof and shock-proof; MOA adjustments; lifetime warranty
Cons:
  • Slighty pricer than other scopes on the list; difficult to find online.

5. Vortex Crossfire Ii 2-7X32 Rifle Scope

 

 Vortex Optics Crossfire II Scout, V-Plex Reticle, in black color, 32mm objective lens, suitable for hunting.

Product Dimensions: 14.25 x 3.5 x 3.25 in | Weight: 1.35 Pounds | Objective Lens: 32mm

This is another great scope from a trusted manufacturer that is guaranteed to take you through all weathers with its waterproof and anti-fogging features, as well as its aircraft-grade aluminum product standard. This makes the rifle perfect for someone living in the more wilder environments. It has an easy-to-use 1 inch main tube and a second focal plane reticle to ensure your reticle’s size remains the same. This scope provides fast-focus eye relief, perfect for both close and long-range shooting. It works best in all sorts of hunting and shooting activities.

With its fully coated lenses, you will get maximum light transmission and its second focal plane reticle means that it will always stay the same size, no matter the distance – this helps increase accuracy. Along with its aluminum design, it has a matte-black anodized finish which will help keep you camouflaged, whatever position you are in.

Pro's:
  • Great quality, air-craft aluminum; affordable price, fast-focus eye relief; nitrogen filled and o ring sealed to make this scope completely weather proof; versatile scope
Cons:
  • Potential focus issues beyond 150 yards.

6. Bushnell Unisex’s 731302-SSI

 

Bushnell Unisex's multi-colored hunting scope with 25mm objective lens.

Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 8.6 x 5.6 centimetres | Weight: 0.23 Pounds 

This is yet another Bushnell scope, one of the best AR 15 scopes for red dot, that does not compromise on quality. It is a lightweight product at just 0.23 pounds and has a very compact design, making it the ideal air rifle scope for a hunter who is always on the move. It is ideal for anybody planning to use their weapon in any weather, as it is completely waterproof, shock-proof and fog-proof. It operates on a 3 MOA reticle, with multi coated optics meaning you will be given the best brightness settings.

It is made of high quality material, finished with matte black to give you a sleek design. It also comes with its own CR2032 battery to ensure great battery life during the use of your tactical scope. It has been specifically designed for hunting, so you know when you head out with the riflescope and AR, you are well equipped and ready for whatever may face you.

Pro's:
  • It has waterproof, fog-proof and shock-proof construction, reasonable price (as found on Amazon), multi-coated optics, lightweight, compatible with many weapons; compact design; great brightness settings
Cons:
  • Red dot is sensitive to illumination levels

7. NIKON P-223 3-9X40 MATE BDC 600

Nikon P-Tactical BDC600, Matte black color with 40mm objective lens, waterproof and fogproof to maximize hunting experience.

Objective Diameter: 40mm | Overall Length: 12.4 inches | Weight: 16.9 oz

This is a extremely durable tactical scope for AR. The scope itself is also sealed using o-ring technology and nitrogen gas-filled lens chamber which allows for an even more durable and weatherproof scope. This scope is ideally suited for the AR 15 rifles, it can also be mounted onto almost any rifle, making it the perfect scope for someone owning a range of weapons. Its BDC 600 reticle has been designed for the 223 Rem round with 55-grain polymer tip bullet, as well as fully-coated lenses for maximum light transmission. It works with 1/4 positive click MOA turrets to help you adjust and maintain your setting with ease.

What we really like about this scope is its parallax settings that allow for a clear and accurate 100 yard shot as it eliminates all parallax for more exact shooting. It also comes with features which enable you to adjust to your ‘zero’ that are simple to use, and allow you to reengage quickly.

The design of the Nikon P-223 means you will always have eye relief, and there will be no strain no matter how difficult the angle. This scope comes with a lifetime guarantee, so if it suffers unintentional damage you can trust that it can be repaired or replaced at no extra cost.

Pro's:
  • Waterproof and fog-proof, suited for any rifle; sealed to prevent dust entering body, nitrogen filled for extra durability; fully-coated lenses; 1/4 MOA, BDC 600 reticle; fast-focus eye piece; eye relief; clear optics
Cons:
  • Some issues with delivery; viewing reticle

8. Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle, 3-9X50MM

 

 Simmons 8-Point Rifle Scope with Truplex Reticle, matte black color scope for hunting

Objective Diameter: 50mm | Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 3 inches | Weight: 0.63 Pounds

Simmons is another trusted and high quality manufacturer of tactical scopes for AR, and often once people turn to this brand they don’t turn back. This is an accurate, but also affordable scope with fully coated optics which provides you with a higher-contrast and brighter image during your hunt. Its 50mm objective lense and 3.6 magnification means you can acquire your target quickly and easier, with great light transmission. The 1/4 MOA reticle and elevation adjustments lead to effortless adjustments of your scope whilst in use.

There is easy target practice and acquisition through use of its eyepiece which also help towards eye relief. Its nitrogen filled design means that this is another scope which is completely water-proof, fog proof and recoil proof and so will withstand any weather conditions. The finish is matte black, perfectly blending into your AR rifle and allowing you to maintain a sense of anonymity whilst out on the hunt.

Pro's:
  • Recoil-proof, water-proof and fog-proof, affordable price, high-contrast view; MOA reticle, quick and easy target acquisition, trusted manufacturer, large lens to ensure accuracy in low-light conditions
Cons:
  • weak focusing ring

9. ATN X-SIGHT II HD SMART DAY/NIGHT RIFLE SCOPE

 

 ATN X-Sight II Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder, Wi-Fi, E-Compass, GPS, Barometer, in black color.

Product Dimensions: 11.36 x 3.45 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 4.4 Pounds

This is the perfect scope for someone who wants to hunt either day or night with its great night vision features.  Its IR 850 Pro IR Illuminator makes you see 3x better in low light conditions and capture everything in HD resolution video, using its special features like Wi-Fi and GPS. This can provide you with images which are crystal clear, a pioneering feature for riflescopes!

This Day and Night scope has a very smooth zoom feature, as well as a ballistic calculator built in and rangefinder to ensure you always find and hit your target with accuracy. With your ballistic calculator, you can simple turn to the wind, adjust the incline and distance, and just like that the point of impact will have changed to ensure you have the most accurate of shots. Its Day and Night features ensure that you can get the most out of its video features at whatever time you wish, with recoil-activated shots meaning you will never miss a perfect moment again. The ATN X-Sight II also comes at a very reasonable price, so is a great riflescope for both beginners and advanced shooters who value recording their shots.

Pro's:
  • Provides clear images in either the day or the night, smart rangefinger; ballistic calculator to make your shooting experience more simple; not too expensive.
Cons:
  • Poor battery; battery not included; SD Card

10. Nikon Prostaff 3-9X40 RIFLE SCOPE BDC

 

 Nikon ProStaff Black Matte Riflescope (BDC), 3-9x magnification.

Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 1.97 x 1.97 inches | Weight: 1 pounds

This is yet another small and compact at just 12.4 inches. It is an ideal tactical rifle scope for someone who might want to keep a low-profile whilst out with their weapon. The lens coating allows a great experience whilst shooting in light conditions and up to 3.6 inches for eye relief. Its O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged housing making also makes this scope fog and waterproof. This is the perfect product for when you want a clear and sharp vision no matter what time of the day it is.

The BDC reticle is what you need for ensuring accuracy in hitting your target, and the Nikon Prostaff offers this in the highest standard. This scope also comes with a lifetime replace/repair warranty, so you are always in good hands if your scope gets damaged.

Pro's:
  • BDC reticle, sealed to prevent dust damaging the inside of your scope, nitrogen filled to make it fog and waterproof, ideal for all weather conditions.
Cons:
  • No illuminated reticle which would be used for night vision.

11. Trijicon Acog 3.5×35 Riflescope

Trijicon 3.5x35 ACOG Riflescope Product Dimension: 8.0 x 2.1 x 2.9 in. (without mount) | Weight: 14 oz. (397g)

Any experienced hunter or shooter will be familiar with this high quality brand. Not only is this a favourite amongst competitive shooters, but was also the riflescope US Navy Seals took into battle with them in 1991. With this tactical scope, there is no need for batteries for illumination, and you don’t have the struggle trying to use a one-eyed view with this as it allows you to keep both of your eyes open. This will help the shooter with eye relief during long periods of hunting.

The Trijicon Acog is best suited for short to medium open range distances. This scope is of the highest standard, which also makes this product high in price. Though it is a favourite of the military, the Trijicon Acog is a little above most people’s price range – if you are looking for something just for hunting at the weekend, you might want to consider the cheaper scopes on our list. It might be more ideal for someone looking for home defense or a riflescope for their job in law enforcement.

Pro's:
  • Illumination that is battery-free; see through the scope with both eyes, great eye relief; aircraft aluminum and combat designed; best suited for short-medium range
Cons:
  • This is an expensive rifle scope for someone who just likes to go hunting at the weekend. It is also a weighty product which makes it difficult to move around with

12. BURRIS AR-332

Burris 300217 Armalite Rifle Tactical Sight 332, Matte black.

Product Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 3 inches | Weight: 1.41 lbs.

If looking at the price of the above scope made you feel a bit light-headed, then this AR tactical scope might be more up your street. The Burris AR-332 uses a 3×32 format and is designed mostly for enforcement of the law, or military – however, it is also really great for mid range shooting. This is another red dot AR riflescope, but it is ideal if you are looking to put together an all-round good rifle. The Burris is fitted with a BDC reticle, showing from 25 years and typically up to 600 yards. To ensure your shooting is as accurate as possible, this product is parallax free up to one hundred yards

This Burris scope has the dimensions of 5.3 inches in length and weighs 14.2 ounces, but that is if you include the 1913 rail mount. It promises durability and sturdiness as a scope, as it is created from aircraft level aluminum with a long-lasting anodized finish. The great thing about this scope is it comes fitted with short rails so you are able to fit in flashlights, or lasers to help spot your prey.

The controls are simple to use, with two zeroing dials that use half-MOA measurements, and a circular knob that will help you manage light levels and illumination. With this, you have a choice or either green or red illumination settings, which also come with five settings for brightness each.

Pro's:
  • Great price, warranty, bright and clear multi-coloured optics, Parallax free at 100 yards; great brightness settings
Cons:
  • This AR riflescope is manufactured overseas, leading to delay in delivery

13. Bushnell AR-15 Optics 3-9×40

 

Bushnell Riflescope with DZ 223 Reticle in black finish, with fully multi-coated optics

 

 Product Dimensions: 18 x 5 x 5 inches | Weight: 1.8 Pounds

This Bushnell AR is a great scope for mid to long distance shooting. If you are fan of other Bushnell products but are looking for something with greater magnification and light-gathering capabilities, then this is the scope best suited for your rifle. This scope has all the features of a classic Bushnell scope but is very simple to use, and can be set up even quicker now with its eye piece which is rapid zoom and a great lens which is ideal for any situations giving you low-level lighting. Its fully coated optics are crucial is ensuring accuracy in low light settings to maximise brightness

It still gives high quality accuracy and performance like other Bushnell products but has additional features to make your shot even more deadly. This scope is a little weightier than other Bushnell scopes at 12.2 inches long and a weight of 21 ounces, but this just adds to its overall quality.

Pro's:
  • Large lens to ensure brightness in low-light environments; rapid-zoom eye piece; target turrets for quarter MOA clicks, as well as a parallax turret.
Cons:
  • Its weight and size might make it cumbersome

14. UTG Compact 3-12×44

 

UTG 30mm Compact Scope, black color.

Product Dimensions: 10.39 x 1.57 x 2.09 inches | Weight: 1.45 Pounds

This Compact tactical scope from the trusted UTG manufacturing brand is best suited for a shooter who enjoys going out right at the start or end of the day. It is similar to the BugBuster listed above, with a great range of features to enjoy, but is better for light-gathering capabilities, as well as greater magnification, which is what makes it so good for mid range shooting. This is the ideal scope when faced with all the elements, as it is nitrogen-filled and water-proof. This UTG Compact scope is designed with the same Mil-Dot as other UTG scope products but offers you a more technically advanced, 36-color system for illumination. Its larger lens offers a better light image and greater magnification, with a zero that is controlled by MOA-quarter click turrets and parallax adjustment that is easy to use.

Pro's:
  • Great cost for a weighty and high-quality product; memory function to help adjust to previous setting after taking a difficult shot; great light-gathering ability, large lens for brightness in dark settings
Cons:
  • It is heavier than the other UTG scopes which some might find cumbersome. It is also manufactured overseas, which may cause delay or problems with the delivery

15. Carl Zeiss Optical HD5 5-25×50

Carl Zeiss Optical HD5

Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 14.17 inches | Weight: 1.66 Pounds

The last scope on our list is a great-quality scope, and one of the best scopes designed for long shooting range distances. Its 50mm objective has some people doubting its compatibility with an AR 15, however others find it gives you the perfect level of light to see your game. It is up to you to figure out whether this scope works for you, but a great advantage is that it can be used on a range of rifles. Its slim model makes the HD5 the perfect pairing for long-distance game. This scope will never be used at close range, which some might see as a problem. If you already possess a great red dot scope, then this Zeiss scope will be ideal for what lies further away.

It possesses an HD lens system, giving you great clarity for the world around you. The Rapid-Z ballistic reticle is ideal for long range shooting up to 800 yards and gives numbered hold over lines for even greater accuracy and precision. It is a great riflescope for anybody looking for a hunting optic.

Pro's:
  • It comes with a five year warranty; a very sleek design; high quality manufacturing
Cons:
  • This is a costly scope; ideal for the more advanced shooters so a costly thing to try out if you are new to shooting game

16. Primary Arms Silver Series 1-6×24 SFP

Primary Arms Silver Series 1-6x24 SFP, black colorObjective Lens: 24mm | Weight: 1.75 lbs. (Approx.)

Primary Arms is yet another well known brands, trusted to bring you scopes for ultimate accuracy.

The Primary Arms 1-6×24 features the Advanced Combined Sighting System (or ACSS) reticle. This means that bullet drop, wind holds, holds on moving targets and estimation of the range between you and your prey, are built into a system which is simple and quick to use. It is quick and accurate, with a range from 0 to 300 yards of certain accuracy. The ACSS design ensures that the reticle will remain the same size with whatever magnification you choose, meaning your target acquisition will be speedy, no matter the power. The reticle also now features a chevron center as its aiming point, instead of the dot (widely used in other scopes).

A CR2032 battery is included, with a spare one also included. The Primary Arms 1-6×24 tactical scopecomes with fully coated lenses which gives you the most amount of transmission of light, with eleven different settings for the reticle. Similarly to other great scopes, this is coated in durable aluminum, and anodized in matte black to keep your scope far away from any damage.

Pro's:
  • ACSS, bullet drop compensation, quick and accurate acquisition, uses a second focal plane
Cons:
  • Expensive, bulky design

17. Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Scope

Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism, black color.

Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 8.6 x 3.3 inches | Weight: 0.46 Kilograms

The Vortex Spitfire 3x Prism Scope is the ideal scope for fast target acquisition as well as short to medium shooting. This is a fog and shock-proof prism-based designed scope that gives the shooter a compact optics system but does not compromise on its quality. The Spitfire has a sealed O ring and nitrogen purged, to ensure it can withstand any damage and is waterproof. It has a very lightweight and compact design, yet manages to pack in all the great features you could need in a riflescope.

It uses a MOA reticle, featuring a Dual Ring Tactical reticle, ensuring accuracy with every shot with its fast-focusing eyepiece. You are also able to choose between a green or red illumination setting, with a choice of five settings of intensity to match whichever environment you find yourself in.

Pro's:
  • Fully coated lenses to provide maximum brightness in settings with minimal light. Choice between green or red illumination settings, with five levels of intensity; fog and shock-proof design
Cons:
  • Quite pricey, some have mentioned delivery issues

18. SWFA SS 6×42 Tactical Rear Focus Riflescope

 

SWFA SS 6×42 Tactical Rear Focus Riflescope

Objection Lens: 30mm. | Weight: 1.8 Pounds

If you have been shooting for a long time, then you will be familiar with the SWFA brand, with teh SS 5×42 being a firm favourite amongst many shooters. It is perfect for many types of shooting and distances, so is a great one if you believe your shooting style is versatile. Like all good scopes, this is made with multi-coated lenses to increase brightness and transmission of light and works with 1/4 MOA turrets and Mil-dot reticle.

There is a great adjusting system that comes with the SWFA SS 6×42 for parallax adjustment, a must for clean and accurate shots.

This SWFA SS 6×42 rifle scope gives you the option of 1/4 MOA or MIL 0.1 MIL reticle, all dependent on what you prefer as the shooter. This riflescope can cope with all recoil punishment because of its durable 30mm tube.

Pro's:
  • Parallax adjusting system; versatile product; fog, water and shock proof; durable against recoil punishment
Cons:
  • Expensive

19. Delta Optical Titanium 4.5-14×44 FFP HFT Riflescope

Delta Optical Titanium 4.5-14x44 FFP HFT Rifle Scope

Objective Lens: 44 mm. | Weight: 620 grams

The Delta Optical Titanium 4.5-14×44 riflescope is unique with its reticle in the first focal plane – this means that the reticle will change size depending on your zoom rather than remaining the same size as it would in the second focal plane. Its 1/2 mil dot reticle makes it the perfect riflescope for long ranges, especially with a magnification setting of 4.5 to 14x.

Like all other great quality scopes, the Delta Optical has been nitrogen filled and sealed which makes it fog and waterproof. This is crucial if you want your riflescope to be long-lasting, as these certain features prevent unnecessary damage from weather or dust.

Pro's:
  • Sealed, nitrogen filled, so fog and waterproof; 1/2 mil dot reticle in the first focal plane; unique design.
Cons:
  • Very expensive, not ideal for someone who only likes occasional or casual shooting

20. Hawke Airmax 4-12×50 AMX AO Riflescope

 

Hawke Sport Optics Rifle Scope in Matte Black

Product Dimensions (L): 12.7′ inches | Weight: 18.7 oz (530g)

The Hawke Airmax 4-12×50 AO AMX has been especially designed for air rifles and so can handle high recoil punishment with its durable design. It has been created with sixteen layers of fully-coated optics, which will provide you with crystal clear clarity for your shoot and excellent vision. Its 1/4 MOA turrets are low-profile and simple to use, where you can easily adjust the parallax settings to ensure accuracy and precision, and to eliminate parallax to infinity. The glass etched reticle has been especially designed for this riflescope to also improve accuracy of the shoot.

Hawke is a trusted manufacturer of AR tactical scopes, and this Hawke Airmax is no exception. Its construction equals strength like no other, whilst also providing a wide optical system view, making it most ideal for airguns. Its fast-focusing eyebell leads to magnification that is smooth and easy to adjust and can withstand recoil.

This riflescope is also nitrogen filled and sealed, created with aluminum to make this shock, fog and waterproof – essential to any shooter, no matter your experience. Yet, it also remains lightweight, which is ideal for a hunter who wishes to move around from place to place.

Pro's:
  • Easily adjustable 1/4 click MOA turrets for parallax elimination; durable design; fully coated optics; can withstand recoil punishment; trusted brand; lifetime guarantee
Cons:
  • Some are not sure of the thin design.

Other Useful Accessories Bought with a Tactical Scope

Sometimes it’s not just about what riflescope you want to buy. There are a range of other things you can consider to up your shooting game that will make your shots even more accurate.

1 Mounts

Mount clamps are ideal for attaching lasers, flashlights, etc to your scope. There are metal clamps available that are compatible with whichever riflescope you choose, which are made of the best quality material and designed effectively.

Pro's:
  • Highly durable, made with metal
Cons:
  • There are a range of sizes and prices, may struggle to find the one best suited for your scope

2 Lens Covers

To ensure your scope lasts through the elements, you will need a lens cover to keep up the quality of its lens. There are plenty of lens covers on the market, and if you are lucky your scope might already come with one. If not, you are often able to choose between small, large and medium sizes to best fit on your scope. There are some lens covers available with clear material, so you can use it during the hunt to prevent damage of scratches and moisture.

Pro's:
  • These will provide protection for your scope, ensure it is long-lasting, prevents damage to the lens; often not too pricey
Cons:
  • Might be a struggle to find a lens cover to fit your scope

3 Eyepiece extensions

You might want to consider an eyepiece extension to improve the quality of whichever scope you have chosen to use. It will enable you to block out the surrounding the light and make the most out of the light within your scope. There are several for you to consider and they will all help lessen eye strain. Eyepiece extensions will help eliminate lens glare which will then improve your target focus.

Pro's:
  • Helps eliminate glare and excess light, improves focus, lessens eye strain; comfortable to wear and most are easy to use
Cons:
  • Potentially could gather dust, difficulties keeping clean

4 Sun shades/Killflash

A sun shade is a key tool to purchase to improve the standard of whatever scope you use. It will help reduce distractions from wind, dust and sunlight. The Kill Flash will also help deflect compromising reflections which might give your position away to possible prey. Its design, similar to the Sun Shade, will protect your view from sun glare but continue to provide you with a bright view.

Pro's:
  • reduces distractions from sunlight and other elements; improves view
Cons:
  • There might be a struggle to find a sun shade which fits your scope as measurements are approximate.

5 Target wheels

Target wheels will help improve the quality of your shooting. They are great for scopes that need a side focus parallax adjustment.

Pro's:
  • Most wheels are made of aluminum material to ensure durability
Cons:
  • Wheels will be subject to the scope you use.

Buyers’ Guide: Considerations for Buying a Tactical AR Scope

There are important things to consider when purchasing your tactical AR scope and will greatly impact the overall quality of your shooting. It is no good simply going for the cheapest option out there, as it might give way to damage easily or not give you the accuracy you desire. Consider the list below before choosing which scope is for you.

Build Quality

Do you want something sleek, slim and long? Do you want something compact? Are you looking for a scope that is not just compatible with your rifle, but other weaponry within your possession as well? Perhaps you are looking for something that is simple to use, and easy to set up when you want to get away shooting. The AR scopes listed above offer great quality in terms of their build and will last you a long time against all the elements. It is also important to consider a light-weight scope. If you are planning on moving around a lot, it might be easier – and prevent damage – to purchase a light-weight scope to make from A to B with as little hassle as possible.

Material

The material which your scope is made with is so crucial if you want it to last. Good standard scopes aren’t usually cheap, so you want to find high-quality material that is long lasting and won’t get damaged within a few weeks. It is important, if you a regular shooter, to find a scope made of material that is water-proof, fog-proof and made of a durable material that can withstand any weather.

Precision and Accuracy

It goes without saying that you need a scope that can provide with absolute precision and accuracy. You should consider what your shooting needs are. Are you planning on hunting, long-range target shooting, combat, etc? There are various needs in which you should consider first before purchasing your scope. If you are planning on shooting at short distances, then you should be looking for the best red dot sights on offer.

Magnification Degrees

Target acquisition which is rapid and accurate is essential during tactical shooting operations. A scope which offers high magnification is necessary to achieve this. The 20 AR riflescopes on this list offer ideal magnification degrees to ensure you can find your target in long-range hunting with little hassle.

Durability

It is important that the scope you purchase is one that will take you through any weather conditions and are long-lasting. It is often better to opt for the pricier scopes which promise durability, rather than go for the cheaper options which you will have to replace within a few weeks or months.

To avoid issues with durability, it is a good idea to go for a scope made of material such as aluminum, also used on aircrafts, because of its great and long-lasting quality. This, doubled with a scope that has a sealed O ring and been nitrogen filled will create a scope that is damage proof and can face all the elements without a worry.

Price

It goes without saying that there are scopes within the list displaying a range of prices for you to consider. Brands like Trijicon lie at one end of the scale, and is often used by the military or law enforcement, but you also have Burris or Vortex which might be more for shooters who do not wish to break the bank, especially if they only commit to hunting casually over the weekends or holidays.

It is important for you to consider how invested you are in your weapon and hunting activities before you spend loads on expensive riflescopes. If you are a beginner, it might be best to try out the cheaper products and see how they feel with your weapon, before moving onto the more pricier products as you become more experienced. Likewise, if you are an experienced shooter and know the quality you are after, then that might matter far more to you than the dollar signs, and you might not wish to make any compromises.

Weight

Another thing you should consider is what kind of weight you are looking for. If you want to be on the move from place to place, a more lightweight and compact design might be better suited. However, if you know you prefer to stay put and not move around too much, then the more weighty designs – such as the Trijicon – might be more ideal for you and the sort of hunting sport you wish to do.

If damage is something you are concerned by with the more lightweight products, the ones we have listed are made from strong and durable material and still contain the most important features that will keep your riflescope away from effective damage.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading through what AR rifle scopes we believe to be the best in 2020. More than anything, it is about personal preference and what kind of hunting you are planning to do with your AR. This review considers many scopes, and there is sure to be one that will suit your needs. If you still have any questions, have a look through the frequently asked questions, or feel free to leave a comment below.

FAQs

What is the best tactical scope?

This is really dependant on what kind of scope you need. If you are looking for something to fit in with your weekend shooting, then you might want to go for something on the lower end of the price scale, and that is light weight to accommodate you moving from place to place. If you are a serious shooter, you might want to consider brands like Trijicon which are more pricier but are so great for tactical scoping they are bought by the US military. It also depends on the range of shooting you prefer. For example, the Carl Zeiss is a great tactical scope for long-range shooting, but will be no good for close-range target hunting. However, the Vortex Crossfire is renowned for both close and long range shooting.

What scope do Navy Seals use?

It is true that the US Navy have purchased the Trijicon range of scopes to take them into battle. Mil-dot reticles are crucial to finding your target at a distance and can be used for estimating its size, but can also be used to holdover for the bullet drop. This scope is right at the end of the price range, so is best suited for experienced shooters or even those who need it for their job. Its range of features, from battery-free illumination, to extensive eye relief and durable material it is made with, makes this a high quality riflescope for anybody who is serious about the hunt.

What scope does the military use on AR 15?

The Burris 332 scope is often used by law enforcement or the military, but is also really great for mid-range shooting. Of course, the Trijicon Acog is a favourite amongst the US military, but the Burris is considerably cheaper if you are looking for a scope to help you out during the weekend hunt.

Is it crucial for lenses to be coated?

Coated lenses do seem to be an important feature in the best tactical riflescopes we compiled in the list above, but you could still be deciding whether or not they are important to you. To many experienced shooters, coated lenses are considered rather crucial in getting the most out of your riflescope, but of course, they do often make the riflescope quite costly. However, they are important for maximising the transmission of light, which will enable you to shoot better even in low light environments.

Have a look around and see what types of coatings are available, because different ones will give you a range of prices. For example, some might offer coating which is anti-reflection, whereas others come ‘fully-coated’ with multiple layers. See what works best for you.

What is Parallax?

If you are a beginner to shooting and using riflescopes, you may not completely understand what is meant by parallax. This is essentially where the eye does not line up completely with the reticle of the scope. Sometimes, you might experience some error because of this, but with the right adjustment tools these errors can either be small or non-existent.

There are plenty of riflescopes we have suggested that do their best at adjusting the parallax using turrets, so perhaps consider purchasing one of these to avoid issues.

Will glasses-wears have a harder time using riflescopes?

As with everything else, there are many people who enjoy shooting who also wear glasses, and so it is normal to wonder what kind of difference this would make when using a riflescope – if any. It is normal for glasses to slightly alter the view down the riflescope, even if it is just a bit. There are ways to remedy this – you might want to consider an eyepiece extension, or find ways in which you don’t need to wear glasses during hunting. Once you get used to your riflescope and how you can work with it wearing glasses, the mistakes will be fewer.

Can you put any scope on an AR?

Many scopes will be compatible with your AR, especially the ones on this list. Some people doubt the compatibility of the Carl Zeiss with an AR because of its 50mm objective, but don’t let that put you off, as others say it improves the quality of your scope and ability to see your game.

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