Your search for the best scope for AR-15 rifles has begun. Suddenly, you feel like you’re wading through a marketing swamp and have just hit cyber quicksand. You’re sinking in a quagmire of AR sights and tactical optics alternatives. You need help, fast.
This webpage is designed for you, the dedicated marksman seeking to upgrade your AR-15 rifle’s sighting capabilities and achieve your personal best in targeting accuracy. Browse through our carefully selected consumer information for AR accessories below and climb out of the muck into the crisp, clear light of day.
Defining our Rifle Scope Terms
First, let’s make sure we know what we’re talking about here. The term “scope” can be very slippery, since it is sometimes used to refer to refracting telescopic sights, and sometimes to red dot lasers or even holographic sights. A scoped AR-15 has a more capability than even the most expensive compound bows on the market today. For our purposes, and for the sake of simplifying a complex subject, let us agree that the AR parts described herein are limited to the most popular glass rifle scopes manufactured for use with the AR-15 rifle.
Current Best Scopes for the AR-15 Rifle
The AR-15 scopes listed below represent a mere fraction of the available glass AR rifle optics. These brands do, however, appear time and time again in widely read collections of the best AR-15 rifle scopes on the market, and they all deliver consistently good results. For easy reference, we have divided the items listed into entry-level, mid-priced, and premium choices.
Best Entry-Level AR-15 Scopes Options (Under $200)
Burris FullField II 22-7×35 – This high-performance rifle scope is very competitive, both in the field and in the marketplace. It is quite well-made, features a user-friendly eye position, and is stronger and lighter than many scopes in its class.
Leapers AccuShot 1-4.5×28 – This entry-level AR-15 rifle scope gives you extraordinary value in a mil-dot reticle optical. It is known for its precision targeting and responsiveness in the field, as well as its illumination memory and parallax-correcting preset features.
Nikon ProStaff 2-7×32 – Here’s a good buy from a trusted manufacturer. This Nikon rifle scope offers excellent eye relief for strong recoils, rapid zeroing, and reset turrets. It is also fog-proof and waterproof.
SightMark 3-9×42 – Sightmark makes this excellent, affordable rifle scope with the care and precision of a true hunter-craftsman. This sight gives the user a water-resistant, hardy magnifier that is surprisingly accurate for most lighting and conditions, a good zoom, and your choice of a red- or green-lighted reticle.
Simmons 3-9×50 – You’d be hard-pressed to beat this magnifier rifle scope for limited ranges up to about 100 yards. It’s a lot of glass for the money, and a nearly risk-free way to try them out.
UTG CQB BUG BUSTER 3-9×32 – Many users praise this smaller, lighter scope to the rooftops, claiming that its performance far outstrips its low, low cost. It’s a good-looking scope that offers a perfect entry point to tactical optics upgrades for AR-15s.
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 – A beautifully crafted rifle scope for the AR-15, the Vortex Crossfire II is one high-value accessory. It is no-fog, dust-resistant, and waterproof, and you will enjoy the benefits of this scope for years to come. It offers all the basics as well as some thoughtful features such as multi-coated, anti-reflecting lenses and capped turrets.
Best Mid-Priced AR-15 Scopes Options (~$200-$900)
Burris Veracity 2-10×42 – A long list of superb features follows this advanced rifle scope around. It provides irresistible extras such as a 600-yard compensation for trajectory, wind adjustment, and a comfy field of view. Waterproof, durable, and immune to heavy recoil, the Burris Veracity is one of the finest scopes in a constantly burgeoning industry.
Hawke Sidewinder 30 4.5-14×42 – Made by respected Hawke Optics, the Sidewinder provides a superior rifle scope, designed for the avid shooter. It is sold with cunning extras such as an ample sunshade, a sturdy storage carrier, and a two-inch, side-mounted parallax-correcting wheel. It has a windage and elevation adjusting turret with precise markings you will appreciate, and the rapid-focus lens is quite accurate and lockable.
Leupold Rifleman 3-9x – The Leupold is an excellent American-made glass, and the Rifleman is one of the company’s most-popular sights, along with the higher-end Leupold vx3. The respected Leupold brand offers a lifetime guarantee, and you can have them adjust your new scope at the Leupold Custom Shop, too.
Nikon P .223 3×32 – Fans who publish rave Nikon P-223 reviews will go on and on about the product’s dependability. Just a few of its other abundant benefits include its high-quality glass, generous viewfinder, and near-zero edge distortion.
Nikon M-223 – A long step above the Nikon P .223, this world-class rifle scope delivers sure-fire satisfaction when it comes to magnified focusing. You will love its unique reticle, excellent eye relief, and rugged, shock-proof housing. Designed for heightened accuracy and speed, this scope offers sought-after extras such as an ultra-clear, flat view, smooth zoom, parallax adjustment, and bright resolution.
Zeiss OPMOD Conquest 3-9×40 – Produced by one of the best-known names in optics, this beautiful rifle scope is waterproof and fog proof, and sports a fine-tuned zoom that greatly aids in quick acquisition of your target. This piece of precision hardware is great for hard-to-spot prey such as wildlife. Rugged, bright, and durable, the Zeiss rifle scope is built to last.
Best Premier-Quality AR-15 Scopes Options (~$1,000 and above)
Bushnell Tactical Elite Long-Range Hunter 3-12×44 – An icon in the industry, Bushnell offers a stunning range of rifle sights in every price range and category. This scope is one of their finest items, more than worthy of its upper-range price tag. Outstanding features include long-range sighting with consistent precision and the company’s famed G2H reticle for experts.
Sightron SIII 6-24×50 – A great scope for longer-range shooting, the Sightron has a good reputation among savvy rifle-users. It is known for its field flexibility and ease of adjustment, as well as its double-thick housing, precision adjustments, and diamond-clear glass. A high-end piece of equipment for serious shootists.
Trijicon AccuPoint 1-6×24 – To complement their famous red dot laser sights, Trijicon makes a full range of optics scopes from 1-4×24 to 5-20×50 magnifications. Universally accepted as some of the best telescopic magnifiers anywhere for use on the AR-15, the Trijicon Accupoint provides clarity, climate-impenetrable construction, lightning-fast sighting, and phenomenal light transmission, just to name a few of its many fine characteristics.
Trijicon Acog 4×32 – The Acog sight offers top-of-the-line accuracy with a dual-sighting focusing glass. Users can adjust the scope for elevation and windage, and this premier rifle sight is absolutely loaded with handy extras. The Trijicon Acog tops most current best-scope lists today.