We have tested many scopes on different rifles to shoot targets up to 25 - 600+ yards. These include prism sights, red dot magnifiers, low power variable optics and magnified scopes.

Here are the 7 best scopes for AR 15 recommended based on reticle designs, eye relief, magnification, low light performance and price. There are tons of great products, however, this list can only list tried and true scopes that will help you easily narrow down the best option.

Let's check them out.

Best Scope For AR 15 [Up To 100 - 600 Yards]

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Primary Arms 1-6X SLX ACSS Raptor - Best Illuminated Reticle

best scope for ar 15

This is A high quality Primary Arms 1-6X scope with good light transmission performance and reticle capability to be considered to be one of the best AR 15 scopes.

Affordable Scope For 1-6X - While other first focal plane scope in the 1-6X category that cost over $1000, the Primary Arms is the best affordable 1-6X option for anyone starting new or experienced.

Crisp Sight Picture - Fully multi coated lenses with super clear image at 1X and 6X even under dusk and dawn lighting conditions.


ACSS Raptor Glass Etched Reticle - Calibrated 5.56 BDC reticle combined with vertical auto ranging scale to quickly estimate known target size distance & moving target holdover to hit targets accurately

Capped Tactical Turret - Once zeroed the elevation and windage turrets are protected from unexpected adjustments. To adjust - remove caps and dial turrets without any tool.

  • Magnification: 1-6X
  • Objective Lens: 24mm
  • Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane
  • Tube Size: 30mm
  • Reticle Type: ACSS
  • Turret : 0.5 / click
  • Length: 10.0 inches
  • Weight: 16.9 oz

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Primary Arms

EOTech Vudu 1-10X28 SR5 - Best CQB Optimized LPVO

EOTech Vudu 1-10x28mm Rifle Scope, 34mm Tube, First Focal Plane (FFP), Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 34 mm, Up to $100.00 Off w/ Free S&H — 3 models

This is a CQB optimized LPVO where the center dot features the that circular speed ring reticle as the EOTech's holographic sight at 1X for fast target acquisition. At 10X the scope bridges the gap between a mid range and a long range scope performance under $1700.

Robust 34mm Tube - Constructed with aerospace grade aluminum with anodized finish for field use

First Focal - The reticle subtension is true for all magnification ranges for range and target size estimation

Clear Glass Image - The scope uses XC high density glass for exceptional edge to edge image clarity

Everything Standard Is Built In - Zero turret index, quick magnification change lever, adjustable eye piece and more


  • Magnification: 1-10X variable power
  • Objective Lens: 24mm
  • Focal Plane: First Focal
  • Tube Size: 34mm
  • Reticle Type: SR5 MRAD
  • Turret : 0.25 / click
  • Length: 10.63 inches
  • Weight: 21.3 oz

Trijicon ACOG 3.5 X 35 - Best Durability

usmc hk416 with acog 3.5x

Best prism 3.5X magnified optic - The Trijicon ACOG scope is the standard-issue magnified optic in the US military. It certainly is one of the best AR 15 scopes that's built like a tank to survive battle damages and still maintain aiming accuracy.

Improved Eye Relief - The magnification range is fixed at 3.5X, and it provides more eye relief distance for better cheek position than the 4X model.

Trijicon ACOG Reticle styles basics

Various Glass Etched Reticle Options - Most BDC reticle options feature bullet drop compensator calibrated for 5.56mm NATO for medium range and long range accuracy. 

Aim Even In Low Light - Fiber optics on top of the ACOG illuminates the reticle even in low light conditions as long as it's not completely dark.

Aim Both Eyes Open - Trijicon's Bindon Aiming Concept allows both eyes open for fast medium range target acquisition and wider situational awareness.

  • Magnification: 3.5X
  • Objective Lens: 35mm
  • Eye Relief: 2.39"
  • Reticle Type: TA11 BDC
  • Turret : 0.33 MOA / Click
  • Length: 8 inches
  • Weight: 14 oz
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Vortex Gen 2 Spitfire 5X - Best Compact Size

This is a fixed magnification scope in a compact package. It's one of the best AR 15 scope options in the prism optic category

Piggyback A Red Dot - Add a 1X red dot on top of the scope to transition from magnified view to 1X. Only available for the 5X model.

Big Eye Box - Get behind the sight fast with a lot of room to shift the eye inside the eye box without seeing scope shadow

Recessed MOA Turrets - Elevation and windage adjustments are recessed so nothing will accidently turn it in the field

650 Yards Enabled - Shoot up to 650 yards with holdover points at 5X magnification using illuminated reticle (AR-BDC4) with 5.56 calibrated wind dot.

Use Aimpoint Micro Mounts - Use any aftermarket Aimpoint Micro mounts you like with various height options


  • Magnification: 5X
  • Objective Lens: 25mm
  • Eye Relief: 2.7"
  • Reticle Type: AR BDC 4
  • Turret : 1 MOA / Click
  • Length: 3.6 inches
  • Weight: 10.3 oz

Vortex Micro 3X Magnifier - Best For Red Dot Sight

best scope for ar15

Why Use The Vortex Micro 3X? - Turn a 1X fixed power red dot or holographic sight into a 3X medium range optic with very good eye relief.

Fast Sight Transition - Fast target acquisition and PID with a red dot for short range and medium range shooting

Better Target ID - Just flip the 3X magnifier right in front of the red dot for long-distance target ID and aim.

Better Zero - Zero 1 or 2 MOA size red dot reticle to a greater degree precision +/- 0.2 MOA on 3X than 1X.

Quick Detach - Remove the magnifier off the top receiver at any time without tool or affecting the red dot setup

Read Detailed Review Here

Vortex Gen 3 Razor 1-10X FFP - Best 1st Focal Plane Scope

best ar scope

This is the best low power variable optics for AR15 - The RAZOR HD Gen 3 1-10X bridges the gap between CQB and long range scope capability into one super versatile scope. While you consider a 1-8X scope, the 1-10X is a better LPVO option for all variants of AR15 rifles.

Superior Glass Quality - It uses Vortex's top quality glass material to have the clearest rifle scope image for long range PID and target acquisition

Long Range Capable - 10X sight picture bridges the gap between a mid-range LPVO with a long-range precision FFP scope without compromising size, clarity or field of view.

Moving Target Hold - Get lead on moving target accurately with dotted moving target holds without any guess work 

Fast 1X Target Acquisition - 3 inward arrows quickly draws the eye quickly to the illuminated center reticle for CQB and medium range shooting. 

vortex razor 1-10x lpvo at 1x engaging targets

Range Target Accurately - Accurate estimate of the target holdover and windage corrections simply by superimpose the hashmarked ranging subtension lines on the target.

Range Target At Any Magnification Power - It's a 1st focal plane reticle is designed for long range shooting. The reticle subtension is accurate relative to magnification power

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


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

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ELCAN SPECTDR 1-4X - Fastest Magnification Change

best ar scope

Why ELCAN? The ELCAN Specter 1-4X is a advanced combat optical gunsight some special operation units use in the real world. Its unique fast magnification change capability in a small package makes it a great scope for a fighting rifle. 

Fast Magnification Dial - Go from 1X to 4X immediately, and skip 2X and 3X that shooters never use anyway. Just flip the magnification lever like a switch.

Built Like A Tank - Raytheon Technology built the ELCAN for battle rifles as tough as their aerospace defense weapon systems to win conventional wars for the warfighters.

elcan specterdr on mk18 sbr

Clear Glass & Large Sight Picture View - No tube effect! The large FOV at 4X provides great light transmission, and the sight picture feels very large when the user holds it up.

BDC Reticle - Illuminated reticle calibrated for the NATO 5.56 with an effective 1000 yards range. It also includes glass etched fast ranging scale to estimate target distance without getting off the scope.

Compact For Dual Role Missions - 1X feels like a red dot, and use the 4X magnification for medium range shooting like a low power variable optic.


  • 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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AR15 Scopes Buyer Guide FAQ

How We Pick The Best AR15 Scopes

Reticle design: A good reticle design can help with accurate shot placement and target acquisition. The busiest reticle such as the H59 reticle is good for precision shooting, but not necessary. A simple and accurate reticle gets the job done and provides the shooter with unclutter sight picture for aim, range estimation and target identification

Eye relief: This refers to the distance between the shooter's eye and the scope's eyepiece. A longer eye relief between 3.2 - 4" can provide more comfort head position and while shooting. Anything shorter than that are not recommended.

Magnification: The right magnification can help with target identification and precision shooting at different ranges. Most scopes don't need something like 25X unless it's for target identification. A maximum 10X magnification is plenty for the purpose of this recommendation list

Turret: While most red dot scopes and low power variable scopes offer standard 0.5 MOA / click. For a precision scope, 0.25 MOA / click is preferred. The turret should be tactical style for easy adjustment without tool, and the user can set the zero index point to easily return to zero if needed. If the turret doesn't feature this, then they are not recommended

Focal plane: While 1st focal plane is recommended for shooting past 200 yards because the reticle subtension is true at all magnification settings. 2nd focal plane is recommended for shooting close to mid range

Low light performance: Scopes with good low light performance will allow for better visibility in low light conditions. Illuminated reticle is good, but not necessarily contribute to good low light performance

Price: While price isn't always an indicator of quality, it's important to consider if you get the feature you absolutely want first.

What Does The Objective Lens Diameter Mean?

Objective lens at the front of the scope is responsible for gathering light into the scope. The larger diameter leads to a larger exit pupil with a brighter image for the shooter.

Most objective lens diameter for a rifle scope range from 30 to 50mm.

Can A High Magnification Scope Used For Close Range Shooting?

It's not recommended to use a high magnification scope for close range shooting. For an AR15 platform, a red dot sight is better for short range shooting.