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Tactical AR-15 Optics Rifles Riflescopes

The Best AR-15 Optics at Every Price Point

by Keith Wood   |  July 9th, 2013 12

In its various configurations, the AR-15 is arguably the most versatile rifle on the planet. With designs suited for fighting, plinking and hunting at distances from a few feet to a thousand yards, the AR’s capabilities and applications run the gamut. Just as no rifle or carbine is right for every job, neither is every optic. Today’s rifleman has such a wide variety of optics, the choices can be overwhelming. Let’s take a look at the best AR-15 optics at every price point.

  • Tracy Thorleifson

    Too bad Burris didn’t make the list. I’ve got an MTAC 1-4x-24 and it’s a great scope for the price. I’m normally a Leupold guy, but I chose the Burris because it has true 1x magnification at the low end, which allows for seamless both-eyes-open shooting, unlike the competitive Leupold scopes.

  • Dianne Owens

    Great list! I am a huge fan of nikon scopes and I am totally agree it is included in this selection. I have checked several AR-15 scopes reviews at

  • bestar15scopes

    There are a ton of different options of reticles, magnifications, lengths, weights, eye reliefs, and cost; you’ve got to do some independent research to find the right scope. What it really comes down to is finding the right combination of those options that fits YOUR needs. Be it target shooting, hunting, or even defense. Do this and figure out what scope will get the job done for you

  • José Pulido

    SWFA SS 6×42 is probably the best option for a budget minded person that wants precision out of an AR-15, or any medium-long range target rifle.

    $300 and it will last forever. It comes in either MOA reticle/MOA turrets or mildot reticle/MRAD turrets.

  • Nutzi Pelosi

    Everyone of the so called experts has you purchasing a $500 to $1,000 scope for a $600-$1200 AR . Which makes no sense . Call me old fashioned but I own an S&W MP15 .223/5.56 $600 and some change out the door, and I fire the cheap bulk Russian steel cased ammo $5 to $6 for a 20 round box, ,so guess what I am not blowing a half grand or more on some over priced and over rated optics which pretty much can be had on an AR15 for anywhere from $50 to $75 bucks , I slapped a BSA 4×30 tactical scope on it for $45.00 and it will be as accurate and effective and reliable as the high end scopes. An AR15 is pretty much a working mans recreational and hunting rifle.

    • Ryan Cook

      this is just the response somone gives when they are feeling too cheap to spend money on good gear =) a $45 bsa is meant for airsoft guns. a good optic like an acog makes all the difference in the world…but i guess u got to shoot one to understand.

      • Heckler

        Actually, it’s an accurate response. Why would you waste thousands of dollars on an optic to go plink on the range, or go on a hog hunt with a $600-$1000 rifle? If you were smart, you’d be spending that money on the rifle itself, if you actually cared about performance. ACOG’s are great if you’re going on super cool tactical ninja missions. But for everday plinking? not so much.

        • Andy

          The ACOG is great for any shooting style. Be it plinking or medium range hunting,not just “ninja missions”.It is reliable,accurate and fool proof. It is a little expensive but you get what you pay for.

          • Heckler

            I agree with you, the ACOG is a hell of an optic. Ives used them along with EOTechs in the service, and they have served me well. But let’s be realistic. You don’t NEED a combat ready optic to go to the range or hunt hogs on your back 40, you WANT one. There’s a difference. A good bushnell would serve you just as well in a non combat environment as an ACOG would. Would I trust it in a SHTF moment? Sure, not as much as an ACOG though. But I’m not going to spend a thousand dollars to take my rifle to the range, in a bag, to kill paper with an ACOG. It’s a waste of money, in my opinion, to buy an optic that won’t do anymore than a reasonably price optic that is BDC would at a range. At the end of the day it’s all about personal preference.

          • john

            your logic is sound. use your resources were it counts. punching paper and punching bad guys are two different things. if your sending lead down range to meet BG’s I’ll
            opt for the best I can afford if it’s paper a $50 optic will work.
            As it happens, the time spent peeping on the $50 optic is well spent when you Really Must use your $500 optic on BG’s
            As we all know it the time working with your tools that really count when TSHTF

    • Dieselhorses

      He is right. True and yes, you get what you pay for but then again that involves trial and error. If I can humanely take a whitetail at 430 yards with my 7mm Rem. mag but with prior measures to carefully sight in my rifle topped with a 99.00 Bushnell Dusk to Dawn 3x9x50 and shoot 1″ groups all day with Rem Core lok then yes, I would say most folks get “quality” mixed up with “brand”. It’s not an excuse to get out of paying more money which by the way isn’t going to save anyone who thinks the optics are going to do all the work.

  • bigbhunter76

    I wish their scope cost were more accurate. Says the Simmons is at $150 but it’s more like $300.

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