5 Best Optics For MK18 Style Rifles [Updated 2021]


Shooting mk18 with aimpoint pro

In this buyer's guide, let's check out the best optics for MK18 style rifles.

Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Aimpoint Micro
  • EOTech EXPS3
  • Holosun 515GM
  • ELCAN SpecterDR

The MK18 is not just the gun to throw poor quality sights on... There are so many ways to configure this rifle, so let us show you the ones that are best different types of application.

Best MK18 Optics 


Aimpoint Micro T2
aimpoint micro on HK 416 full auto
  • Features:Aimpoint Micro style body, 2 MOA dot, 7075 T-6 AL, 0.5 MOA / Click 
  • Benefits:Lightweight for CQB & medium range engagement, Fast target acquisition, Mil-Spec durability  

mk18 with eotech exps3
  • Features:6061 T-6 AL, 0.5 MOA / Click, 65 MOA Ring + BDC dots, Night vision mode
  • Benefits:Fast on target CQB holdover reticle dots, 1/3 co-witness for perfect sight picture cheek weld, 

trijicon mro on ar15
  • Features:2 MOA Dot, 0.5 MOA /Click, 7075 T-6 Construction, Aftermarket mounts accepted 
  • Benefits:Large FOV with reduced tube effect, Reduced lateral view obstruction, Battle-proven durability

elcan specterdr on mk18 sbr
  • Features:Bomb proof 7075 T6 housing, 1-4X variable power, BDC reticle  
  • Benefits:Ultimate combat optic used by U.S. Spec Ops, Instant magnification swap 1X - 4X, Made by Rayetheon (Missile Defense Contractor)

EOTECH EXPS3-4 - Best Overall

eotech and vortex micro 3x side view

Why Use The EOTech? This operator grade sight that works for many people including people with astigmatism. It's the go to optic for serious CQB shooters and home defenders within 50 yard distance. 

CQB Holdover - Use the bottom of the 68 MOA ring for fast close range holdover to compensate CQB sight over bore offset.

Shoot With Both Eyes Open - Widen your situational awareness and not miss anything in the corner of your eye

eotech exps 3 on mk18 top rail

Unobstructed FOV - Easily acquire the target while shooting on the move, shooting over barricade and around corners.

Night Vision Capable - Shoot in the dark with night vision goggles using the NV mode. Not many sights out there have this feature.

eotech 68 moa ring

Sight in at 36 yard for the tightest 5" shot group (25 - 100 yards)

Fast Ranging BDC Reticle - Range a 5'8" tall human size target inside the 68 MOA reticle to quickly estimate relative target distance. In addition, use a magnifier behind the EXPS3 -4 to Engage up to 600 yards

Raised Height - No need to purchase additional riser mount. The sight sits at 1/3rd co-witness height for better cheek position for most shooters and clears over any iron sights.

Read EOTech EXPS3 Review


  • Magnification: 1X
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Reticle Type: 2 MOA Red Dot
  • Turret : 0.5 MOA / Click
  • Length: 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 4.7 oz
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    ELCAN SpecterDR - Used By Spec Ops 

    Daniel Defense MK18 ELCAN
    Why Spec Ops Teams Use It - The ELCAN and MK18 just go together. If you want what the U.S. special forces use in real world applications, the dual role prism sight must be on the list for CQB and mid range applications and the sight helps shooters with stigmatism

    1-4X Instantly -  Skip 2X and 3X that shooters never use anyway. Just flip the magnification between 1X and 4X like a switch.

    Compact For Dual Role Missions - Go from CQB to Mid Range using only one compact size scope. Much more compact than using a long tube style low power variable optic

    Built Like A Tank - Raytheon Technology built the ELCAN for the warfighters in the field as tough as their aerospace defense weapon systems to win fights. It survives drop, kick, bump, shear and other physical abuses to retain zero.

    New ARMS adjustable mount for ELCAN

    BDC Reticle - Calibrated for the NATO 5.56 up to effective 1000 yards (100 yd zero) with fast ranging scale to estimate target distance without getting off the scope.

    Clear Glass & Large FOV - No tube effect! The large FOV at 4X feels like looking at the target on a 50" TV through the scope right in front of the eye.


    • Magnification: 1-4X
    • Objective Lens: 32mm
    • Eye Relief: 2.75"
    • Reticle Type: 5.56 BDC
    • Turret : 0.5/ Click
    • Length: 6.02 inches
    • Weight: 23.2 oz
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    Why Pick This One?  - The RAZOR HD Gen 3 1-10X is a do-it-all scope for close range and long range shooting. While you consider a 1-8X scope, the 1-10X is a better LPVO option for all variants of AR15 rifles and 

    Better Target ID - ID far away targets with clarity for better situational awareness and shot placement

    Fast 1X Target Acquisition - 3 inward arrows quickly draws the eye quickly to the center reticle like a red dot for CQB actions. 

    Moving Target Hold - Use the moving target hold to get lead on moving target without any mental guess work 

    Range Target Fast - Quickly estimate the target distance as well as holdover and windage corrections simply by superimpose the hashmarked ranging subtension lines on the target.

    Lifetime Warranty - You break it, Vortex will replace it at no cost with a lifetime, unconditional warranty. Even if it is not a original purchase.

    Read Detailed Razor 1-10X Review


    • Magnification: 1-10X
    • Objective Lens: 24mm
    • Focal Plane: First Focal
    • Tube Size: 34mm
    • Reticle Type: EBR 9
    • Turret : 0.25 MOA or 0.1 MIL / click
    • Length: 10.1 inches
    • Weight: 21.5 oz

    Aimpoint Micro - Best Durability

    mk18 with aimpoint micro h1

    Why Aimpoint is the best - The Aimpoint Micro is the oldest kid on the block. It's the go to red dot optic for serious CQB shooters and people wanting a super low profile, low drag and lightweight MK18, even more so than the EOTECH EXPS3.

    Insane battery life - Insane 50,000+ hours (~5 yrs), which means the sight is always on and ready!

    Built like a tank - Throw it, kick it, drop it... nothing will throws off the zero. The forged 7075 T6 aluminum housing protects external and internal components against rough handling and shock.

    vortex micro 3x and aimpoint micro h1

    Works with magnifier scope

    CQB & Mid Range - Turn your MK18 into a CQB & mid range combat machine by adding a red dot magnifier behind it for more magnification & PID capability

    Accepts various mounts - The Aimpoint Micro can accept many different mounts from various companies to suit your tactical needs, having a optimized mount helps retain zero and reduce weight.

    There are many aftermarket mounts available, be sure to check out Scalarworks LEAP mount. By far the best skeletonized mount available


    • Magnification: 1X
    • Eye Relief: Unlimited
    • Reticle Type: 2 MOA Red Dot
    • Turret : 0.5 MOA / Click
    • Length: 3.1 inches
    • Weight: 4.7 oz
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    Holosun 515GM - Best Aimpoint Micro Alternative

    holosun 515gm red dot sight

    Why Must Try The HS515GM - This is by far the closest mil-spec quality micro red dot to the Aimpoint Micro T2 but at 1/2 the price. 

    See Through Flip Covers - Just like the Aimpoint Pro, it protects the optic from dust, and no need to flip up the lens covers before engaging

    Motion Activated Reticle - ShakeAwake technology activates the reticle upon sensing any movement, and it turns off to save battery when sitting at rest

    Mulit-Reticle - Just like the HS510C, cycle through different reticles for your specific need

    Uses Aimpoint Micro Mount - Uses any aftermarket Aimpoint Micro mounts you like with various height options

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    Common FAQ

    On The MK18 - Red Dot + Magnifier VS LPVO?

    A red dot + magnifier setup is great for rapid close up engagement and targets up to 200 yards. When done shooting long range, just flip the magnifier to the side or removal off the rifleto cut weight.


    It's also a great configuration for shooters who generally shoot CQB behind covers, barricades and through tight spaces like the 9 hole drill.

    A low power variable optic is best for shooters who live in a rural area and generally shoot up to 300 - 500 yards as frequently as a person taking daily showers, and shooters who compete in 3 gun.

    It's a do-it-all type of optic system that can mimick a red dot, and it can also do long range with a much detailed reticle than just a dot.

    The only down side of a LPVO on the MK18 is its inability to shooting in improvised positions or tight corners due to eye box and eye relief constraints. 

    Ying Xu

    US Air Force veteran nuclear weapon officer. Aerospace engineering bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas. Experienced as a certified NRA range safety officer. Working as a search engine expert for BadAssOptic.com