Best AR 15 Scope Reviews 2016 and The Ultimate Guide for Buyers

When talking about some of the most popular weapons in today’s time, the AR15 rifle is definitely one that is going to be frequently mentioned. Whether it is for professionals or gun enthusiasts, it is used. Because of its popularity, there has also been an increase in model-specific accessories, including optics. Given the plethora of the options, choosing the best AR 15 scope is definitely going to be challenging, especially for the uninformed buyer.

When talking about some of the most popular weapons in today’s time, the AR15 rifle is definitely one that is going to be frequently mentioned. Whether it is for professionals or gun enthusiasts, it is used. Because of its popularity, there has also been an increase in model-specific accessories, including optics. Given the plethora of the options, choosing the best AR 15 scope is definitely going to be challenging, especially for the uninformed buyer.

Things to Know About the AR 15 Rifle

ar 15 rifle

Before we proceed with the discussion of the optics that are used for AR15, let us first have a quick look on this rifle. The AR15 is also known as The American Rifle. It is made by Armalite, which is exactly the reason why the first two letters in its name are A and R. The name means Armalite rifle, Design 15.

This weapon was first introduced in 1957. During such time, the most popular weapon from the company is the AR10, but many of its users had various complaints and they requested for a gun that is lighter in terms of weight but can deliver an equally stunning performance. This gave birth to the AR15, which has undergone several design and functionality improvements in the years following its release to satisfy the demands of its users.

In the mid-1950s, the company behind the production of the AR15 has been faced with financial struggles. With this, the company has been forced to sell the AR15 rights to Colt. Since then, the latter has been the one proactively promoting the weapon in different countries all over the world, targeting primarily the military.

Today, the use of AR15 rifle is not only exclusive to the military. Many enthusiasts and hobbyists consider such as their weapon of choice. They loved how user-friendly and fun it is to use the rifle, apart from the fact that it can be customized in more ways than one, such as through the addition of the best AR15 scope.

Importance of Using AR 15 Scope

best ar 15 scope

If you have an AR15 and if you have not yet considered the use of the best AR15 scope, chances are, you do not know what benefits it can deliver. With such, the following are some of the reasons that could convince you to use such optic for your rifle:

  • Improvement of Shooting Accuracy: This is perhaps the most important reason why a riflescope is an essential for your AR15. This will allow you to quickly aim at your target. Less time will be wasted, and more importantly, you can be assured of hitting your subject. In line with this, it also prevents you from wasting bullets.
  • The increase of Rifle Range: When objects are far away, simply use a riflescope and they will appear nearer. Its magnification can offer a wide array of benefits beyond shooting accuracy. With an increased range, you will be a more confident and competent shooter, even if you are actually just a beginner.
  • Emphasizes Safety: Another good thing about using an AR15 scope is the fact that it is vital for your safety. You can see clearly if there is an attacker, and hence, you will be able to think immediately about the course of action that should be undertaken. It will also make sure that there are no other persons in the surrounding and that you will be shooting only your actual target.
  • Provides Eye Relief: The best AR15 scope is one that comes with an impressive eye relief. This is going to be beneficial for people who are wearing eye glasses. This means that you can keep the scope within a specific distance from your eyes and still be assured of seeing your target. This greatly influences comfort.
  • Improves your Posture: Without a riflescope, you might end up straining your neck, shoulders, and back. This is basically because of the posture that puts a strain on different parts of the body. With a riflescope, on the other hand, you can maintain the right posture while being able to see your target clearly.

Top Ar 15 Scope Comparison Table – Recommendation on the Market

There are many Ar 15 Scope products on the market, I recommend top 5 scopes for you as following:



Parallax Setting

Click Adjustment


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


10 yards - Infinity

1/4 in

Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret, Black 4-12x40


100 yards

1/4 in

Bushnell AR Optics FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Reticle AR-223 Riflescope


0.1 Mil

Nikon P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine


100 yards

1/2 in

Top 4 Best AR 15 Scope Reviews

1. UTG 3-12x44 30mm Compact Scope, AO 36-Color Mil-Dot Rings

Durability is one of the reasons why this is an option that is well-loved by many people. The 30-mm tube is made with True Strength Mechanism. This is a process that has been exclusively developed by the manufacturer to make the scope long-lasting. It is also nitrogen-sealed.

It is also worth noting that it comes with lenses coated with emerald. Whether it is a sunny day or a cloudy shooting environment, you will be able to see your subject clearly because of the way the lenses are made. They will make it a lot better in terms of shooting accuracy. There is also a sunshade in the lens, making it versatile.

The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for this product. This means that every purchase comes with a guarantee of satisfaction. At any point, if there are problems in craftsmanship, just return it to the manufacturer and they will have it repaired for free. However, you have to carefully read the terms from the manufacturer to avoid the warranty from being void.

It comes with premium turrets. They are intelligently designed and positioned to make the scope user-friendly. Whether you will be adjusting the windage or elevation, such can be done in a snap. It also has zero locking, making it easy to go back to the original settings.

2. Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret, Black 4-12x40

Among others, one thing that makes this a superior choice within the product category is the fully multicoated optics. This is the best type of coating for a riflescope. This also means that it has 98% light transmission capability.

From the technical specifications, it is also pretty much clear that this is an option that can be exceptional when it comes to durability. It has an adjustable magnification, which can be set from 4 to 12. Users will be given the opportunity to zoom in on their subject to see clearly.

The Rapid Action Turret is another innovative feature that gives it a distinct advantage over others. You can simply dial the distance and have the crosshair placed directly on the target. This is one feature that makes it perfect even for beginners.

Another feature that we loved about this model, making it an excellent candidate for the best AR15 scope, is the Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. This compatibility with the latter allows users to make more precise aiming points.

It is also nitrogen-filled. This means that it is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

3. Bushnell AR Optics FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Reticle AR-223 Riflescope

It is made by one of the most trusted brands within the product category, which can provide you with more than enough reason to have it considered above other choices. The name itself already stands for the quality of the scope.

The throw down PCL lever that is found in this product has been well-received by its users, especially the novices. The latter is basically the one that is responsible for making quick magnification changes.

In spite of having superior quality, however, this is an affordable scope. This simply proves that you do not need to spend too much to be able to enjoy the high-quality product. From the technical features to the physical construction of the product, you can be confident that it is indeed going to be able to provide the best value for money.

Going through the reviews that have been shared by other people, it has also been praised because of its durability and being lightweight. This can be attributed to the main material that is used, which is an aluminum alloy. Even through the years, you can expect it to be fully-functional.

4. Nikon P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine

The generous and consistent eye relief in this scope is one of the reasons why it is frequently given five-star feedbacks by its users. This means that you can be assured of your comfort, even with a heavy recoil. No more black eyes!

The fully multicoated optical system is another impressive feature, allowing it to offer up to 98% of light transmission. From dawn until dusk, the scope is going to be a reliable companion. Your shooting environment will not negatively impact its accuracy basically because of the way the lens is coated.

It also has a zero-reset turret. This has been integrated by Nikon in this scope in order to simplify the way it works, making it user-friendly. You can make field adjustments in a snap and it will be effortless to revert to the original settings of your scope.

It is also worth mentioning that it comes with 3.4-inch eye relief. Meaning, you can maintain such distance between your eye and the scope. This would avoid discomfort even if the gun will produce a heavy recoil upon firing.

Lastly, it is going to be hard to rival when it comes to the versatility of magnification. It can magnify objects up to 32 times, making it easier to see your subject clearly.However, it should be noted that the higher the magnification is set, the more distorted the image is going to be.

How to Choose the Best AR 15 Scope?

In this part of this guide, we are going to discuss some of the things that should be done to increase the likelihood of making the right decision. By keeping these things in mind, you will assume the role of an educated buyer instead of one who makes a choice without careful thinking.

1. Go Beyond Price

It is tempting to choose the cheapest option that is available in the market. However, choosing a riflescope on the basis of price alone is something that is flawed. After all, the best ones are made with premium materials, which is why they can be more expensive. Being cheap does not necessarily mean being an excellent option.

2. Gather Feedbacks from Other People

Another thing that you should do is to consult with what other people have to say. The most convenient way of doing this would be through reading online reviews. You can also ask around from people you personally know if they have any recommendations for the best AR15 scope. Pay attention to their insights and experiences as it will make it easier for you to make the right pick.

3. Consider Durability

It is also important to choose a riflescope that can withstand the rigors of the external environment. To be durable, pay attention to the materials that are used. See to it that it is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. They can make the price more expensive, but it will surely be worth it, especially knowing that it is going to make it long-lasting.

4. Consider Weight

When it comes to weight, the better option is a scope that is lighter. Aluminum is an excellent material because it is lightweight and durable. Plastic may be lightweight, but it can be flimsy, and hence, durability can be compromised. If the scope is heavier, this could be an added weight for the rifle and can have an impact on its ease of use.

5. Choose the Right Coating

The coating is important because it will improve the light transmission. Generally speaking, the following are the choices for the coating of an AR15 scope: coated, multicoated, fully-coated, fully multi-coated. From the four types of coating, as experts suggest, the best one would be fully multicoated, which is expected to keep your subject clear regardless of the lighting condition in the shooting environment.

6. Consider the Magnification

This is another important consideration in your search for the best within the product category. There are generally two choices: variable magnification or fixed magnification. We highly recommend that you pick one with variable magnification, which is going to make it more versatile as it can be used in a variety of applications. It is important to keep in mind, however, that higher magnification does not always mean being better as it can lead to the distortion of images.

7. Think About Ease of Use

This is one thing that is important for beginners. For a scope to be user-friendly, adjustments must be easy to be set. The vertical and horizontal dials must be adjustable within a snap. It must not require too much of a technical knowledge to figure out how to maximize its functionality. The manufacturer should also provide comprehensive instructions.

8. Look at the Reticle

Simply put, it will refer to the aim marks that are imprinted on the scope. It is important for such to be properly designed, which will minimize the likelihood of missing your target. The reticle must have the right level of brightness and should have an adjustable color, which will allow it to be usable in a variety of shooting conditions.

9. Eye Relief

When complemented with the right type of reticle, with a good relief, you will have an impressive scope. This technical specification simply refers to the distance between the eye and the scope. Within a certain distance, you can still view your target even when wearing glasses. This will minimize the impact upon shooting and hence, will prevent having black eyes.

Tips for using Riflescope

To make the most out of the riflescope that you have, make sure to follow the tips that will be mentioned below:

  • Make sure that the scope is mounted properly. Refer to the instructions from the manufacturer or ask someone knowledgeable to be sure that it is installed the right way. It should be properly leveled to be stable and accurate.
  • Tune the elevation and the windage properly. Keep in mind that riflescopes have settings and you need to have them fixed based on the specific shooting conditions. Have they adjusted based on the shooting angle and location of your target?
  • Maintain the right posture. This tip applies not only to the scope but in the rifle as a whole. Make sure that your posture is optimized to make you a sharp shooter. More than accuracy, having the right posture is also critical to ensure your comfort.
  • Shoot in a low position. Using a riflescope will not suffice to guarantee accuracy. You also need to maintain the right stance. In this case, the best would be what is technically known as prone, which is also going to be the easiest to learn for beginners.
  • Pay Attention to Proper Maintenance: Water, dirt, dust, and other factors from the external environment can affect the quality of the scope, especially the clarity of the lenses. When the scope is not being used, make sure that it is properly stored. Regular servicing and religious maintenance are also required to keep it at its best.
  • Shoot with both of your eyes open. This may seem to be a hard thing to do, but once you have already mastered this trick, you will definitely appreciate how good it is. This will provide you with better situational awareness. Make sure to choose a high-quality scope, which can keep the subject clear even if both of your eyes are open as you fire your shot.

FAQs About Rifle Scope

What is the right magnification for my riflescope?

Is higher magnification better?

What is parallax?

Can I see clearly if I am wearing glasses?

Should lenses be coated?

What is the best material?

What is zero locking?

What do the numbers mean?

What is a reticle?

Are riflescopes waterproof?


In sum, every owner of an AR15 must consider investing in a high-quality rifle scope. This is going to help improve clarity and accuracy. It is going to increase the likelihood of hitting your target while being able to prioritize your comfort. This is especially important for beginners and can do a lot to boost your confidence when shooting.

Keep in mind, however, that not all riflescopes are created equal. You have to take a look at their technical specifications and features to differentiate one from the other. Do your research and consider what other people have to say. By doing these things, you are basically increasing the likelihood of making the right choice for the best AR15 scope.

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