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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 17

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 http://bestar15scope.org

  • 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

    http://www.bestar15scopes.com

  • 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.

    • Jason Cook

      You need to look at many factors when buying any piece of gear. If you just buy something for no other reason than someone said “This is the best” then frankly your an idiot. You should look at factors like how frequently do you shoot, how much do you shoot when you shoot, what ranges do you shoot at, what is your goal when you shoot and how much money do you have to spend. After you answer all those questions you should have an idea what kind of gear/optics and how much you should spend and what kind of return on investment you are likely to receive.

      To many people are quick to tell you how you should equip and run your rifle. But everything from the equipment you choose to run, how you shoot and what you shoot are personal choices and should be respected. Sure there a difference in that $50 off-band holographic sight and that $1200 EOTech. But if they don’t go to the range much, they don’t shoot well or simply don’t have the money to spend on an optic then let them run what is appropriate for them.

      Weapon Systems are personal, let people run them how they like. If someone ask for advice keep in mind that not everyone shoots as much as you, not everyone is as good shooter as you and not everyone can afford as much as you.

    • Joseph0311

      I am a U.S. Marine and you are correct. I can acquire a target with simple iron sites. That is how we are train and it is the most effective way to achieve success at the range or in combat.

      • wb

        hey marine, i hear you guys are the best at rifle marksmanship. considering that most conflicts involve close quarters, 10-100 yards, is a scope really necessary? understand with my eye sight a scope would make sense for farther away, a sniper i will never be. i can hit my target but as far as keeping the holes within the bullseye i am not capable of such and i simply do not have the money to spend the 5,000 rounds i would need to practice with to get that good. can you give me some tips as to what you learned while a marine that makes a good shot? i came to firearms late in life and i still can’t figure out how to zero a scope. sad i know but i am working on it. any advice would be most appreciated. again, thanks for your help and your service. in the trying times facing america we will need all the help we can get from a few good marines. sometimes it must have seemed like the people at home don’t care. we care. thank you for your service. of all the services nobody has been as loyal to the constitution and american people as the marines.

  • bigbhunter76

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

  • Diego Martin

    What about the eotech scopes? Are they any good? Do they worth the investment?? Diego from http://ordenadoresportatiles-baratos.es

  • nowayout

    check the Leapers/UTG line of optics…. I have had a Leapers/UTG on my AR for many years and I will go head to head with any other high end optics…. I have used all brands of optics high end and low end optics. I refer to the Leapers/UTG as the working man’s optics. and best thing is if you break it or whatever you are not out 1100+ dollars. It is of course user choice but I would rather spend more on a rifle as one other mentioned. I have taken game at 100 to 400 meters with my Leapers/UTG (AR platform) with my “Long Rifle” I have shot a lot further using the higher end Leapers/UTG and they are LE friendly as well which is better than most out here….. anyways all optic have their plus’s and minus’s just have to roll with what you know… check out Leapers/UTG they are often over looked

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