Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

14 Best AR-15 Scopes

If there are popularity contests for guns, you wouldn’t be far off the mark if you placed your money on the AR-15 to come out trumps. These numbers are far from definitive, but, in the USA alone, there are an estimated 15 million units of this gun in the hands of civilian shooters. This number may be significantly higher when you consider that the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for law enforcement and the military.

What are the reasons for the popularity of this Modern Sporting Rifle? There are several, as it turns out. The AR-15 is very lightweight and extremely easy to handle, which makes it accessible to everyone, regardless of experience or skill levels. For shooters, both experienced and inexperienced, the low-recoil feature of this rifle is very handy.

This MSR is also ideal for both close-quarter battles and long-distance campaigns, with fairly astonishing levels of precision and accuracy. What we’re saying is, the AR-15 can make competent marksmen of even the most unskilled shooters. In skilled hands though, this weapon is a force to reckon with.

Table of Contents

That is a great selling point in and of itself, but the biggest draw of the AR-15 MSR is its versatility and adaptability. This MSR is one of the most customizable weapons available, which makes it pretty easy to adjust to suit your preferences and requirements. If you’re looking to improve the quality of your shooting, then you should seriously consider equipping your MSR with a scope. 

The best AR-15 scopes score top marks for convenience and performance; they are essentially upgrades on perfection. A good optic provides the following advantages that can greatly improve your shooting:

  • Wider view and increased range
  • More precise and accurate targeting. Good optics feature cutting edge reticles that boast a couple of handy features that can help with precision targeting which will lead to greater success and accuracy. 
  • Multi-coated lenses. They improve visibility by reducing reflection in bright lighting conditions. This can also help improve accuracy. 
  • Night Vision. Several optics now feature thermal vision that helps you to see in low lighting conditions as well as no light conditions. 
  • Faster target acquisition

Here’s a brief look at our top 3 picks of the best AR-15 Scopes:

Top 3 Best AR-15 Scopes

EOTECH Vudu 1-6x24mm Precision Rifle Scope
EOTECH Vudu 1-6x24mm Precision Rifle Scope
First focal plane – Reticle increases in size with magnification; XC High Density Glass – Impressive light transmission and scene clarity
−$100.00 $1,299.00

However, locating the perfect scope for your MSR is a little more complicated than walking into a store and browsing through their shelf. For starters, the multiplicity of choices on offer can quickly leave you overwhelmed.

When you go in search of the perfect AR-15 scope for you, the emphasis needs to be on YOU. Trust us, what works for others may not necessarily work for you. In other words, you’d need to take several factors specific to your circumstances into consideration. For instance, to what use are you putting your rifle: personal defence, hunting, competition, tactical or 3 gun? Again, in what settings will you use your rifle and at what time? What type of targets will you be aiming to hit and over what distance? 

These considerations are important because some scopes are ideal for certain shooting contexts, and other scopes are better for other contexts. Matching the right scope to the right shooting context will exponentially improve your chances of hitting your target consistently. 

We’ll now briefly take you through some factors to consider to select the best AR-15 rifle scope.

Factors you need to look out for when choosing the best AR-15 scope


Scopes come in either fixed or variable magnification. Fixed magnification is better for beginners because they contain fewer moving parts and therefore require less tinkering with, which makes them less confusing. Fixed magnification scopes are also a lot lighter than their variable counterparts and are generally more durable. However, if you know your way around variable scopes and there’s a requirement for them, then go for it. 


Reticles are patterns that are present on your scope’s lens when you look into it. Once known as crosshairs, there are many patterns doing the rounds now. Reticles are aimed at helping you focus better on your targets. 

Eye Relief 

This is the distance between your eyes and the scope. This distance is necessary to avoid damage to your eyes caused by recoiling guns. 


Parallax refers to the centring of your reticle when you look at it from another position. If it remains in the same position when you look at it from several angles, that scope is parallax free. A parallax-free scope can help improve your accuracy. 

At some point, you’ll also need to get around to confronting the elephant in the room: price. Like almost every other thing in life, you get what you pay for when purchasing scopes. And some of the more high-end scopes have eye-watering price tags attached to them, which considerably reduces the margin for error. In spite of this, price is not the ultimate indicator of quality and satisfaction. 

Several people fork out large amounts for scopes only to meet with disappointment when it fails to meet an essential requirement that it did not advertise in the first place. It’s possible to locate an optic that meets all your needs while still being at the lower end of the price spectrum. The trick is to look for only those features that appeal most to your needs and serve your purpose. 

Locating the perfect AR-15 scope for you is not quite the needle-in-a-haystack search if you don’t jump the gun, and with a little due diligence. Nevertheless, if you’d like to cut to the chase due to time or other constraints, we’ve compiled this list of the best AR-15 scopes the market has to offer. While the term itself is still subject to personal interpretation and opinion, our selections were made to fulfil all possible requirements. Our list is designed to help you approach your search from a position of strength, maximize value and minimize effort and time expended. 

14 Best AR-15 Scopes (Ranked and Reviewed)

1. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6X24 JM-1 BDC Riflescope

Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24 SFP Riflescope JM-1 BDC
65 Reviews
Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope JM-1 BDC
  • The Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24 is ideal for short to medium-range tactical applications where quick target acquisiton is needed. The JM-1 BDC reticle with an illuminated center dot facilitates fast, accurate shooting at distances up to 600 yards.
  • The APO optical system delivers stunning image quality through premium, high density, extra-low dispersion glass. All lenses are fully multi-coated with XR plus anti-reflective coatings to increase light transmission for amazing brightness.

Very well known and highly regarded in the riflescope niche, Vortex Optics is a company that boasts proven mettle. They’ve come to be associated with excellence and reliability, even with their low budget offerings. The Razor is not one of their low-priced products, but it certainly lives up to its billing and maintains the high standards of this company.

The Razor boasts a magnification range of 1-6x, making it fully capable of delivering short to medium range targets. This scope is fabulous over long distances, counting multiple award-winning competitors and some of the biggest game hunters among its many admirers, but that’s not to suggest that it has a weakness over shorter distances. For close-quarter combat, the 1x power is adept and fully capable of delivering optimal results. Simply crank up the power to hit targets over 600 yards away with unerring accuracy.

This LPVO is equipped with Vortex Optics’ flagship JM-1 BDC reticle that makes it capable of handling both point-blank and medium-range shooting flawlessly. Its second focal plane reticle holds true, regardless of magnification, which can help you lock in targets more effectively. We find the illuminated center dot particularly useful for faster target acquisition irrespective of lighting conditions. With 11 illumination levels controlled by a locking side illumination dial, this scope is good to go whenever you need it.

Perhaps the most remarkable quality of this scope is its glass quality which can only be described as exceptional. The Razor scope boasts an APO optical system that delivers ultimate clarity. The glass is high density and extra-low dispersion and the lenses are completely multi-coated. To cap it all, this optic sports XR plus anti-reflective coatings that enhance light transmission and deliver high definition images irrespective of lighting conditions.

best red dot sights

The Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24 boasts a sleek design that gives it a look of simple sophistication, but don’t be taken in by this; this scope is tougher than nails. It’s made with durable aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which practically guarantees longevity and durability. It is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, and its hard anodized exterior finish affords it greater protection from the elements. It also boasts ultra-low profile, capped windage and elevation turrets for greater precision. The turrets can be reset to zero and they offer up to 50 MOA of adjustments in one turn that enhances travel.

Your comfort is all but guaranteed by its superb 4-inch eye relief. It also works to enhance target acquisition and provide a clear view of surrounding areas, which is a feature hunters are bound to appreciate. This scope is by no means cheap, but for the qualities it brings to the table, it is well worth the price.


2. EOTECH Vudu 1-6x24mm Riflescope

EOTECH Vudu 1-6x24mm Precision Rifle Scope
47 Reviews
EOTECH Vudu 1-6x24mm Precision Rifle Scope
  • EOTECH Vudu 1-6x24mm Precision Rifle Scope with SR1 First Focal Plain Reticle (Model VDU1-6FFSR1)
  • First focal plane – Reticle increases in size with magnification

Multiple award-winning scope manufacturer EOTECH has earned effusive acclaim for their groundbreaking work in the past. This scope is not quite as pioneering as some of their recent work, yet it is still no less remarkable. The Vudu 1-6x24mm scope is a flawlessly brilliant scope that allies simple elegance with ardent practicality. It does whatever it’s asked to do without fuss, and it does it well. No wonder it’s such a favorite among casual shooters, 3 gun competitors and hunters alike.

Sporting a highly polished and compact design, this scope stokes the fires of desire at first glance. It comes fully loaded with amazing features. Its magnification of 1-6x is low enough to be pretty effective in close-quarter battles while at the same time being high enough to pique the interest of hunters. As a matter of fact, the short to medium range of this scope may even be useful for 3 gun competitors who want to give themselves an edge.

Vudu’s flagship EOTech Speed Ring reticle has been optimised to enhance quick target acquisition and engagement, even at low power. For longer-range targets, this reticle gives you the shot in the arm you need to produce more consistently precise and accurate shots. The first focal plane reticle increases in size with magnification, offering the best possible chance to hit targets with surgical precision on a more consistent basis.

The reticle is also illuminated to help improve aiming when the light is low or even in pitch dark conditions. This scope also offers you complete freedom and flexibility, with 10 brightness settings for the illuminated reticle giving you the option to choose your own sweet spot. These settings can be controlled at the push of a button and feature a 2-hour automatic shutoff when the scope is not in use. The turrets are silky smooth, giving you ample opportunity to fine-tune your shots. They can also reset to zero.

This scope scores really high when it comes to durability. It was forged from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum with anodized finish. It’s also been built to be practically unaffected by the elements, making it virtually indestructible. Which is just as well. This scope does not come cheap and people who purchase it would reasonably expect that it does not wilt at the first sign of inconvenience. EOTECH also offers a limited lifetime warranty on optics, and 2 year limited warranty on warrantless components.

The optics of this scope is another factor that counts in its favor. It features EOTECH’S trademark XC High-Density Glass which enhances light transmission and scene clarity, ensuring that your shots are made in the best possible optical conditions. Anyone with these advantages can massively improve their chances of success irrespective of shooting contexts and no matter how unskilled they are. For the skilled shooter, the sky is their limit.

best red dot sights

3. Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm Tactical Rifle Scope

Steiner P4Xi 4-16x56mm Riflescope, SCR Reticle - Compact Tactical Rifle Scope, Hunting Optics
17 Reviews
Steiner P4Xi 4-16x56mm Riflescope, SCR Reticle – Compact Tactical Rifle Scope, Hunting Optics
  • Illuminated Reticle – Rely on Steiner’s SCR illuminated etched glass reticle and front focal plane to accurately engage targets at distances, even in low light
  • Compact and Lightweight – With a compact design, 34mm tube and high-grade aluminum stock construction, this scope provides durability and lightweight responsiveness

Steiner is another company that’s come to be associated with uncompromising quality over the years, due to a track record of excellence and we’re happy to announce that this latest offering looks prime to continue that proud tradition. No matter what you’re doing with your rifle, Steiner suggests that your rifle is performing way below its potential if it’s not equipped with a Steiner P4Xi scope.

The design of the P4Xi is reminiscent of the greatest Steiner products: tough and elegant in equal measures. It is also very compact and lightweight, which simultaneously belies its immense strength and makes it very easy to work with. Its magnification range of 4-16x is fairly high, just high enough to appeal to hunters and law enforcement agents, for whom it was originally designed. It’s also low enough to hit close, fast-moving targets. Competition shooters might also like the chance to put this scope’s potential to the test over medium and long-range tracks.

The P4Xi makes use of Steiner’s trademark Special Competition Reticle (SCR) which is a flagship proprietary reticle designed for precision shooting. The reticle is etched on glass and self-illuminated, which ensures that you’re able to engage targets over a wide range of distances and irrespective of lighting conditions. The front focal plane of this reticle also serves to maximize shot precision and accuracy. The scope sports windage and elevation knobs for perfect tensioning of shots and greater accuracy when shooting from long distances.

Steiner prides itself on the intense strength of their optics and this one is no different. It is forged from high-grade aluminum material and has been made to undergo rigorous testing procedures to ensure that it remains resolute in the face of intense pressure.

Thanks to this uncompromising design, this scope is completely waterproof, even able to survive complete submersion in water of over 33 ft. It’s also been o-ring sealed and nitrogen filled in order to protect against fogging and internal moisture. The Steiner P4Xi is an all-terrain, all-weather scope that has been built to be tough enough to face up to whatever condition it is confronted with.

We feel that while the durability and toughness of this scope have been widely acknowledged, the quality of its glass has been largely unheralded and as a result, flown a bit under the radar. The P4Xi boasts an Objective Lens Diameter of 56mm, which is mightily impressive in its own right. The image rendering of the optic glass is also more than adequate, which considerably heightens the appeal of this scope in our opinion.

You won’t go wrong with this scope if you’re in the market for scopes that combine extreme durability with capable functionality, at a good price too.


4. Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 Prism Scope

Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 Prism Scope, Black
21 Reviews
Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 Prism Scope, Black
  • Reticle etched on the glass or prism that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability. Reticle stays visible without power.
  • Fully Multicoated optics effectively reduces reflected light and increases the transmission of light giving you a brighter image than normal single coated lenses

Perhaps the standout feature of this optic is its sheer uncomplicatedness. It is a no-frills scope that goes about its job without added encumbrance and the biggest compliment to it is that it does its job pretty well. If you’re in the market for a dependable and reasonably priced scope, particularly if you’re a beginner just looking to get your feet wet, this may just be the perfect one for you.

As we said earlier, the modest 3x magnification of this scope will hardly win you any prizes in long-range shooting competitions, but it is perfectly placed to support short to medium-range shooting. With that, you can bring down any number of small or medium-sized games, if you’re so inclined. That said, this scope can massively improve your accuracy and make you a more confident shot. It boasts several innovative features that can really give you a gentle push on your way to shooting expertise.

The Midas TSP3 sports a compact and flexible design that supports versatility. It’s also not afraid to challenge conventions, featuring a prism-based design. This design is a calculated attempt to effectively streamline the scope without negatively impacting the quality of the images generated. This design also enhances your chances of striking targets that are a bit further with greater consistency.

The BDG reticles are etched on the glass permanently, ensuring that your aim is always on point and you’re ready to engage whenever you need to. The illuminated reticle can be fine-tuned to meet your requirements; multiple intensity levels grant you the flexibility to match the brightness to your specific light conditions. The reticle is also always visible, regardless of whether illumination is turned off or on.

The optics of this scope are fully multi-coated, making for clearer and brighter image definition than single coated lenses can manage. Designed to provide perfect image rendering irrespective of lighting conditions, the multi-coated lens reduces refraction in bright conditions and increases light transmission during low light conditions.

This scope is practically unfazed by tough conditions. Made of hardy aircraft-grade aluminum, it’s been built to survive whatever adversity is thrown at it. It’s also been filled with nitrogen and o-ring sealed in order to bring internal moisture and fogging down to the barest minimum. Interestingly, it can also survive accidental submersion in water relatively unscathed. The manufacturers have also included a lifetime warranty

If you’re on the lookout for a reliable scope that ticks all the right boxes and is offered at a great price, you can do a lot worse than checking out the Midas TSP3.


5. Monstrum 1-4x24mm Alpha Series 1-4×24 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope

Monstrum Alpha Series 1-4x24 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope with MOA Reticle | Black
232 Reviews
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-4×24 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope with MOA Reticle | Black
  • High performance tactical rifle scope with 1-4x magnification for close to mid distance shooting out to 300+ yards
  • Functionally designed first focal plane MOA reticle, with easy-to-read ranging information that remains constant regardless of magnification, for faster range estimation and holdover correction

The consensus is that this scope offers extraordinary value for money, and we can’t help but agree. As a matter of fact, you’re unlikely to find another scope that offers similar features to this one at this price point. It scores top marks across the board and we cannot recommend it enough.

The Monstrum Alpha Series Scope boasts a wonderfully compact and lightweight design that makes it easy to carry along on expeditions. Its sleek design is extremely easy on the eyes, with well-adjusted turrets maximizing efficiency and minimizing fuss. It’s clearly been designed to last; built with aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and a sealed nitrogen charged tube offering ample protection from the elements. The military standard hard-anodized exterior of this scope provides extra hardiness, making it practically indestructible and invulnerable to scratches and corrosion.

Flexibility is another of this scope’s strong suits. It boasts 1-4x magnification, making it similarly effective at both CQB and short to medium-range shooting. It can pick out targets up to 300 yards away with unerring precision, which makes it perfect for hunting and taking down mid-sized game. It’s true that this scope is not capable of delivering extremely long-range targets but it delivers on its claims and for that, we can have no complaints.

The uniqueness of this scope, at least among others in the same price range, is cemented by its functionally designed first focal plane MOA reticle. It boasts a Custom Type-C reticle that ensures that range estimation, bullet drop adjustment and hold overcorrection can be done with greater efficiency. As this is a short to medium range scope, magnification can be adjusted to required levels without the target shrinking out of sight. This feature is extremely handy and is made more remarkable by the fact that it is not offered by other scopes in the Monstrum Alpha Series Scope’s price point.

The optics of this scope is clear and very reasonably detailed. The Monstrum Alpha Series Scope is equipped with a fully multi-coated lens designed to reduce glare and improve picture rendition irrespective of lighting conditions. Its 24mm objective lens is wide enough to make the most of whatever lighting condition it finds itself in, but it may struggle in complete darkness. Spring-loaded flip-up lens covers are included in the package to ensure the protection of your scope lenses when not in use.

The eye relief of this scope is set at 3.5 inches, ideal for keeping eye fatigue at bay during stakeouts when your scope also doubles as binoculars. This scope offers a multitude of functions that makes it ideal for CQB and short to medium range shooting from stable positions. It’s also a steal at the price it goes for and purchasing one of these scopes is a no-brainer really.

best red dot sights

6. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 1' Matte (174180)
492 Reviews
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 1″ Matte (174180)
  • Leopold Model #174180 – VX Freedom 3-9x40mm with Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fog proof, & shockproof

Leupold is a company that is highly regarded for the exceptional quality of their optics. Over several decades of operations, they’ve crafted a solid reputation of excellence for themselves and the Leupold VX-Freedom continues this proud tradition. This scope is an excellent performer, with features that can leave even the most finicky of shooters satisfied. No matter what you’ve got planned up for your scope, the Leupold VX-Freedom has got you covered.

The Leupold VX-Freedom boasts a matte finish that infuses it with a touch of simple elegance. Its variable power scope boasts a 3-9x magnification range which is bound to leave hunters chomping at the bit to give it a shot. Apart from that, competition shooters are also bound to fancy their chances of hitting medium to long-range targets with this scope. One thing’s for certain, this scope can deliver the goods regardless of whether you’re looking to take down whitetails or long-range shooting records. Nevertheless, this scope may not be perfect for close quarter battles.

The duplex reticle of this high-powered scope also lends itself wonderfully to unparalleled precision and accuracy. However, it takes a bit of getting used to, particularly if you’re more accustomed to red dots. There’ve also been several complaints about the MOA features. Further, the adjustment knobs on the turrets are not very durable.

It is in the area of optics that this riflescope truly shines. Its objective lens diameter is seriously impressive and coupled with Leupold’s flagship Twilight Light Management System, we have a real winner in our hands. This system purports to balance light transmission, reduce glare and promote image contrasting and resolution which supports clear image rendition in any lighting condition. It’s also able to add an extra ten minutes of shooting time as dusk sets in. Importantly, lens surfaces are scratch-resistant, up to military standards. This is a really crucial feature, considering the rough and tumble nature of elite hunting. Scopes would inevitably get roughed up and it’s a comfort to know that there won’t be any permanent scarring.

Speaking of which, this scope can definitely take a beating. Made with 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, the Leupold VX-Freedom rifle scope has been designed to take multiple hits and survive unscathed. It can even survive being completely submerged in water. Tough as nails, this scope is completely waterproof, fog proof and shockproof and can survive the harshest weather conditions.

We absolutely mean it when we say that this scope offers immense quality. It’s offered at a price that won’t leave a hole in your wallet and it also comes with a lifetime warranty. All things considered, a very good deal.


7. EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight

EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
1,162 Reviews
EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
  • EOTECH 512.A65 – Holographic Weapon Sight in black with 68 MOA ring & 1 MOA dot reticle
  • Mount – Compatible with both 1″ Weaver and MIL-STD 1913 Rails


  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 2 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 11.5 oz

If you’re looking to try out something different from conventional AR-15 scopes, you may want to check out this holographic weapon sight from EOTech. It’s only fitting that EOTech is the first holographic sight on our list. The company boasts proven pedigree in this niche. As a matter of fact, EOTech is credited with the introduction of holographic sights for firearms, and this is their most popular model without night vision compatibility.

The 512 is presented in a sleek and classy look, even though it is somewhat bulky. There are buttons located on the rear, and these buttons can easily be accessed, no matter whether you are right-handed or you tend towards a left-handed orientation. These thoughtful and forward-thinking touches are what contribute to the appeal of this holographic sight.

The 512 is powered by two 1.5 V AA batteries and supports lithium, alkaline, or rechargeable batteries. Lithium batteries can support up to 2500 hours of continuous use at nominal setting before they run out of juice. If you prefer to use Alkaline batteries, they can support 2200 continuous hours at nominal settings.

One thing that stands this particular scope apart from others is its remarkably quick target acquisition. This feature is especially useful in close quarters combat, where it is of utmost importance to engage rapidly.

best red dot sights

No matter what shooting situation you find yourself, however, the 512 can help you adjust in quick time with 20 brightness settings. This ensures that you’re never caught out at any time and leaves you the option to react decisively to any situation. The heads up display and two eyes open shooting also heightens situational awareness and prevents you from getting blindsided. Quite simply, this holographic sight leaves you prepared for any eventualities.

We also love the fact that magnification does not increase the size of the holographic dot and ring. This translates to greater precision from long range and increases your chances of scoring a hit. The 512 boasts a black holographic sight, with 68 MOA ring & 1 MOA dot reticle.

The 512 HWS has been designed to take hits and to bounce right back from them. It can handle whatever adversity it has to, whether it has been partially broken or it has to work even though the sight window has been blocked. This incredible scope is also completely waterproof, able to survive being immersed in up to 3m of water without any negative effects.

This HWS is quietly efficient and effective, offering a number of awesome features which are made all the more remarkable when you consider its relatively low price. It’s highly recommended by us.


8. Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 Scope USMC Rifle Combat Optic For A4

Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 Scope USMC Rifle Combat Optic for A4
55 Reviews
Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 Scope USMC Rifle Combat Optic for A4
  • BATTERY-FREE ILLUMINATION: Features a tritium/fiber optic illuminated reticle that automatically adjusts the brightness based on available light
  • RUGGED ALUMINUM-ALLOY HOUSING: Forged 7075-T6 aircraft-aluminum-alloy housing provides for a nearly indestructible sighting system

The Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) holds the distinction of being the scope of choice for the US Military and Marine formations. The Trijicon ACOG boasts qualities that make it more of a gun sight than a scope, but when it comes to functionality and overall quality, it is virtually unrivaled, standing in a league of its own.

Its 4x magnification will not set your blood racing if you’re on the lookout for really long-range scopes, but it is quietly effective and does its job really well. It can hold its own in distances of about 500 yards and can also handle CQB situations adeptly. Compared to other scopes, this one ranks firmly in the middle of the spectrum.

The reticle, however, is a different story altogether. It makes a departure from the traditional red dot, adopting in its stead a Chevron pattern and hash marks for various ranges that make provisions for bullet drop compensation, thereby improving accuracy. The reticle is also self-illuminated: it is powered by a tritium-phosphor lamp and fiber optics that make it glow in low light conditions and adjust contrast and brightness levels in brighter light conditions respectively. Remarkably, all these are achieved without batteries, effectively negating the risk of technical failure at crucial moments. Essentially, this scope was built to function optimally in all lighting conditions.

The reticle also supports shooting with both eyes open through a feature known as the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC). This feature is very important in close quarters battles (CQB), where you need the use of all your senses and where situational awareness is paramount. It also lends itself well to rapid target acquisition. The Trijicon ACOG boasts multi-coated lenses that provide acute clarity regardless of lighting conditions. At 32mm, its objective lens is fairly large, with a massive field of view that is negatively impacted by its uncomfortable 1.5″ of eye relief.

If durability is what you look out for most in a scope, you definitely cannot go wrong with the Trijicon ACOG. It is made with military-grade aircraft aluminum alloy, which makes it practically indestructible. It’s also been designed to cope with rough terrains and inclement weather, with its streamlined design keeping its components free from rust and corrosion. This high-end scope can survive being submerged in up to 30 meters of water, while the scope itself has been filled with dry nitrogen to eliminate fogging. To make things even more interesting and to guarantee you the peace of mind you deserve, this scope comes with a lifetime warranty.

Trusted over several decades by the US military, this scope meets up with the highest standards for efficiency and reliability. Touted as one of the best tactical scopes available in the market, the Trijicon ACOG certainly lives up to its billing and if you’re not deterred by its considerable price, then, by all means, go for it.


9. Sig Sauer Romeo5

Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
10,143 Reviews
Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Compact 2 Moa Red Dot Sight, Black
  • 2 MOA Red-Dot provides 10 illumination settings (8 daylight plus 2 NV) for visibility in all light conditions
  • MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination) powers up when it senses motion and powers down when it does not. Provides for optimum operational safety and enhanced 40,000+ hour battery life


  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 4.3 x 3.4 inches

Sig Sauer is a name that needs no introduction. The company is a solid player in the firearms niche and have carved an excellent reputation for themselves over several decades of consummate service delivery. The company has produced several optics that have come to be favoured among law enforcement, military, hunters and competitive shooters. And the Romeo5 is one of the most popular sights on offer from this company.

The Romeo5 Red Dot Sight features a very compact and lightweight design that gives it a look of utmost sophistication. Everything about this simple yet superb sight screams elegance and it’s very easy to fall in love with it at first sight. It arrives well-packaged, along with other components including lens cloth, lens covers, a low profile mount, adjustment and mounting tools, a battery and detailed instructions manual. The instructions in the manual are easy to follow and the Romeo5 can be installed on any platform within minutes.

This impressive gunsight boasts a scarcely believable battery life of over 40,000 hours. This incredible feature is made possible by Sig Sauer’s groundbreaking MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination) technology which shuts down the system when not in use and immediately brings it back up and running when it senses the slightest movement or even vibration. This is a remarkable feature made even more efficient and effective by its utmost simplicity. This feature also ensures that your sight will be ready to go just as soon as you. It also scores top marks for convenience as you can literally leave your scope on all day without worrying about loss of power.

Another feature that justifies the rave reviews enjoyed by this gunsight is its 2 MOA Red Dot reticle. The reticle has been designed to promote accuracy and precision regardless of lighting conditions, with 10 illumination settings (8 daylight plus 2 NV) for visibility in all light conditions. This makes this scope extremely handy, able to perform optimally whenever it is called upon.

On the flip side, you’re unlikely to win any long-range shooting competitions with this scope, its magnification of 1x makes it suitable for only close-quarter combat. However, the ability to shoot with both eyes open along with the enhanced situational awareness it provides seems like a fair trade-off.

The lens is also of great quality. The Romeo5 Spectracoat system is a highly efficient, ultra-wide broadband, anti-reflection lens coating system that brings surface reflection levels way down, providing superb light transmission. If you’re looking for durability, the Romeo5 also ticks this box. It’s made of solid aluminum alloy. It’s also completely waterproof and Fogproof, able to survive immersion in water up to 1meter. The included low mount riser and co-witness riser mountain are also nice touches.

All things considered, Sig Sauer delivered the goods once again with this scope. It does all that it advertises, boasts incredible battery life and is very competitively priced. More than satisfactory.


10. Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO)

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer - 2 MOA - 12841
1,240 Reviews
Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight with QRP2 Mount and Spacer – 2 MOA – 12841
  • Absolute co-witness with iron sights (with the supplied spacer installed)
  • Features 2 MOA red dot for accurate target engagement

The Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic offers several top-notch features, features that are most commonly associated with scopes that are way above its price point if we’re to be specific. Little wonder, therefore, why it’s a particular favorite among gun enthusiasts and why products fly off the shelves faster than anyone can keep up with. This red dot has been made with painstaking attention to detail and it’s frankly difficult to locate a weakness in this product.

It looks fabulous at first sight and indeed, it really is fabulous. We’re completely enamored with its trendy, sophisticated looks and it’s fair to say that the looks of this red dot are only matched by its performance. It’s also relatively lightweight and easy to install on all compatible applications. The Aimpoint QPR2 mount and a removable spacer are included in the package. One absolute co-witness with iron sights is also included.

The Aimpoint PRO runs on a DL 1/3N battery which is also included in the package. A lot can be said about the battery life of this sight, but we’ll just say this. You can leave this gunsight on for three uninterrupted years, without needing to recharge or change the battery, and the sight stays on throughout. That’s seriously impressive. The front and rear lens are protected by flip-up lens covers.

The Aimpoint PRO features 2 MOA Red Dot which promotes precision irrespective of distance. It’s a very trusty and solid ally in close-quarter combat and also puts in a good shift over longer distances. The red dot reticle is clearly visible, no matter what time of day it’s called upon. It features multiple brightness settings: six daylight settings that ensure that the reticle maintains visibility on even the brightest of days, and four night vision compatible settings, perfect for covert operations or for hunting big game that typically come out at dark. It’s also not a stretch to say that this red dot is practically parallax free.

When it comes to durability, we can have no complaints about this gunsight. It is made with extremely solid aluminum material, has been designed to survive the roughest of conditions and can survive submersions of up to 150 feet and live to tell the story. What more can we say, this gunsight is more likely to wear you out than the other way around.

If you’re able to stump up the cash for this red dot, then, by all means, go for it. It is solid, reliable and trustworthy and highly recommended.


11. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
13,802 Reviews
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
  • Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings; Mounts easily on most picatinny rails and is compatible with pistols, shotguns, rifles and muzzleloaders
  • Waterproof construction: O ring sealed optics stay dry inside, even when totally immersed in water. Parallax – 50


  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.4 x 2.2 inches

Usually, when it comes to gun sights and scopes, you get what you pay for. The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a delightful exception to that rule. This optic boasts all the features you’d expect from a high-end gunsight that’s at least three times its price. If you’re looking for a reliable and functional optic on a budget, you definitely should consider getting one of these. You’ll be absolutely bowled over by its quality, which the price gives no indication of, to be fair. It’s not difficult to see that the Bushnell Trophy is the best gunsight offered at this price.

A lightweight at just over four ounces, the Bushnell Trophy also sports a trim and compact design that fits right on your rifle without guzzling up space. This red dot is very easy to mount and versatile and can fulfill a multitude of roles for different shooters. Big game hunting and even competitive shooting are just some of the tasks that can be performed with this red dot with distinction.

It features a 3 MOA Red Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings, for optimal performance, accuracy, precision and target acquisition speed irrespective of lighting conditions. The Bushnell Trophy also offers unlimited eye relief that lends itself particularly well to two eye shooting with both handguns and shotguns. It also sports an easy adjustment dial that enables you to scale down the brightness of your red dot in bright light conditions and also crank it up when the light is getting low. This allows you the freedom to find the perfect illumination for you in every situation.

best red dot sights

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 boasts several wonderful features, another of which is the trademark Amber-Bright System. This system is designed to render images in the optics with greater clarity and detail, helping you see and identify items much easier and faster, even in low light conditions. This is a great option to have, especially when you’re out hunting at night. You’d want to be able to spot your prey from a distance rather than spooking them away by blundering about. Multi-coated lenses also aid greater clarity and better picture quality of the scope.

Built with practically indestructible aircraft-grade aluminum material, this red dot sports a glossy matte finish that won’t look out of place on any application. The scope has been infused with nitrogen to protect against fogging, while the optics have also been o-ring sealed in order to ensure that this red dot remains waterproof even after being submerged. Shockproof treatment also ensures that this scope can survive drops, scrapes and bangs largely unscathed.

This scope is the complete package, with the added benefit of being very cost-effective. It comes highly recommended by us if you’re looking for a budget-friendly scope that does skimp on quality.


12. ATN ThOR HD 640

ATN ThOR-HD 640 5-50x, 640x480, 100 mm, Thermal Rifle Scope w/ High Res Video, WiFi, GPS, Image Stabilization, Range Finder, Ballistic Calculator and IOS and Android Apps
34 Reviews
ATN ThOR-HD 640 5-50x, 640×480, 100 mm, Thermal Rifle Scope w/ High Res Video, WiFi, GPS, Image Stabilization, Range Finder, Ballistic Calculator and IOS and Android Apps
  • Excellent Image Performance with 640×480 Sensor – it is the ideal night vision scope because it detects heat energy, instead of light. The technology allows you to see clearly in complete darkness.
  • Ballistic Calculator – the system allows you to calculate the trajectory of your bullet, helping you to hit the target. It helps to improve your shot placement by adjusting your Point of Impact.

The big-league hunters are those that venture into the woods at night, to confront both predators and prey on their own turf, at a time they would normally consider as theirs. If you’re one of these hunters, you’d need a thermal scope to help you spot their disguises and make out their hiding spots. You’d need a thermal scope that offers visibility even through light fog or rain. More to the story point, you’d need a thermal scope like the ATN ThOR-HD 640 and all the competitive advantages it brings to the table.

This scope boasts a myriad of features that mark it out as more than just a thermal scope, leaving the competition far in its wake. Let’s start with the basics; this product is a thermal only scope, which means that it won’t function as well in the cold light of day. The thermal 640×480 sensor converts heat energy from your prey and converts it to images, providing a clear image of your target for your. The smaller animals (such as rabbits) can be spotted by this sensor about 100 meters away while the larger ones (like deer) can be spotted about 250 miles away.

The rangefinder of this thermal scope is an important feature, one that can definitely make your task easier. ATN’s Ballistics Smart Laser Rangefinder helps you to accurately and precisely measure the distance of your target, which can vastly improve the success of your hunting expeditions every single time. This feature is convenient because it negates the need for you to carry additional equipment that can bog you down and restrict your movement.

Convenience is further enhanced by this thermal scope’s built-in Ballistics Calculator. Never again would you have to agonize over complex charts. The vital calculations will be done for you, all you need to do is enter the environmental data. This feature can make accomplished marksmen of people with even the most rudimentary of shooting skills. It will also improve your success on hunts.

You’ll have complete control of your thermal sensor with the ATN X-Trac Tactical Remote Access Control System. This feature gives you access to and control of several features of your ATN smart device including the rangefinder and ballistics calculator. You can get easy and unfettered access to these features on the fly, just as soon as you need them, even with your cell phone. All these features are supported by the ATN Battery Pack which supports up to 22 hours of continuous use. The battery can also be used to power other devices and can be easily recharged.

The ATN ThOR-HD scope claims to be more than just a thermal sensor and it delivers on this claim. It boasts Recoil Activated Video (RAV) and Wi-Fi streaming which captures every single moment of your hunt and records it on a Micro SD card, to be relieved and shared with family members. If you want a little more thrill, you can even stream your hunting adventure, beaming it live so that people can witness your success as soon as it happens.

This thermal scope does not come cheap, but its enormous quality makes it worth the massive outlay.


13. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Hunting Scope w/ Ballistics Calc, 3864x2218 Resolution, Video Record, Wi-Fi, 18hrs+ Battery
1,450 Reviews
ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Hunting Scope w/ Ballistics Calc, 3864×2218 Resolution, Video Record, Wi-Fi, 18hrs+ Battery
  • HD Sensor – delivers enhanced image sensitivity and razor sharp quality of view regardless the distance or lights condition.
  • Enhanced Night Vision mode- brings any hidden prey in sharp focus for a precise target aquisition in total darkness.

All the best features of rifle scopes and thermal scopes coalesce to form this brilliant piece of cutting edge technology that’s just as comfortable in the bright light of day as it is in the pale shadows of darkness. With this sight, promising hunts do not have to be brought to an end once dusk begins to approach, all you need to do is simply switch to night mode. Not only does the X-Sight help you see with low light, but it also helps you see with no light.

The X-Sight sports a simple compact and trendy look that gives no indication of the enormous quality it possesses. Nevertheless, you don’t have to look long and hard for it to come out. It boasts an Ultra HD 4K Sensor which is powered by ATN’S Obsidian 4 Dual-Core Processor. This ensures that images are rendered in higher resolution and optics are much faster. It is also capable of image rendering speeds of up to 120fps, with its non-pixelating digital zoom ensuring that images are crisp and clear regardless of distance.

Speaking of distance, the X-Sight features a magnification range of 5-20x, perfect for taking down targets from medium to long ranges with surgical precision. It’s also great for competitive shooting.

Like ATN’S thermal scope models, the X-Sight also features an integrated Ballistics Calculator. This helps you crunch the numbers, taking environmental factors into consideration, in order to help you take down every target you set your gun sights on. It also boasts a Laser Range Finder that calibrates your reticle for your after working out the dynamics, helping you make long-distance shots with greater accuracy. The ATN X-Trac remote control gives you greater control of these features and allows you access them on the go, including with your cell phone. ATN Battery pack provides up to 22 hours of continuous use, even retaining the ability to recharge other devices.

The X-Sight 4K PRO features a Night Vision Mode that enables you to continue your activities (shooting at targets or hunting) even when the light goes down and out. This scope lets you see in the dark, all you need to do is switch to night vision mode and you’ll be good to carry on without interruption. This feature helps the X-Sight 4K PRO score top marks for versatility.

All your hunting highlights are captured and stored away automatically for you by the Recoil Activated Video (RAV). You don’t even need to concern yourself with pushing the record button. The RAV will handle that part for your just as soon as you pull the trigger for the first shot.

Made with extra durable materials, the X-Sight has been built to take extreme punishment and survive the harshest conditions. It’s also water and fog-resistant. This scope promised the best of both worlds and ultimately delivered on those promises. We would recommend this one for you if you like to be out and about both during the day and at night.


14. Magpul MBUS Flip-Up Backup Sights

Magpul Flip-Up Backup Sights, Olive Drab Green, Front Sight
7,360 Reviews
Magpul Flip-Up Backup Sights, Olive Drab Green, Front Sight
  • Impact resistant polymer construction provides light weight and resists operational abuse
  • Spring-loaded flip up sight easily activated from either side or by pressing the top


  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 4.25 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 oz

It seems like a stretch to call back up iron sights optics, but their usefulness warrants at least a mention whenever the discussion is about AR-15 scopes. Apart from the fact that they are low-cost, they can also fill in pretty adequately for your main optic if circumstances conspire to put it out of commission. They also bring their own unique features to the table, features that demand not to be overlooked.

Magpul is one of the foremost companies associated with the production of back up sights and the MBUS does not disappoint. It is low-cost, but this does not in any way negatively impact the quality of this backup sight. It’s made of resilient polymer which gives it a lightweight look and feel while simultaneously ensuring that it survives and keeps recovering from abuse.

The sight is spring-loaded which means that it can be easily activated by pressing the top or from either side. The pressure from the springs also serves to keep the sight erect. Nevertheless, it can be made to fold quite easily with just a little impact.

It has been designed to fit perfectly on a number of Military Standard 1913 Picatinny/STANAG 4694 railed handguards. This backup sight does all it’s required to do and provide ample support for your main optic.

best red dot sights


There are several excellent choices in the market and it’s easy to get sidetracked by the sheer number of choices on offer. However, you must remember to only look for a red dot with features that meet your needs and your shooting context, ignoring other considerations. If possible, make a list of things that appeal to you most in a red dot and start your search from there. Don’t also forget to factor in your rifle size and type when making a decision. Of course, budget is also important, so plan accordingly.

AR-15 scopes come in magnification of up to 40x and 60x, for extreme long-range shooting. However, the trade-off is that such scopes tend to be almost useless at close range, due to their extremely narrow field of view. They are also very bulky and expensive.

The quick answer is 100 yards. An AR-15 red dot sight was primarily designed for targets within 100 yards, but it can also easily work on longer ranges, depending on a number of variables.

It’s an ongoing debate, with several experts coming up with different options and passing them as fact. The truth is that you can zero your rifle for any range you choose, there’s no one size fits all rule. Before you do this, think about what range I optimal for your use. If you’re going to be taking a lot of long-range shots, it’ll be best to zero your rifle at that point. For instance, if your shooting range is 200 yards, the 200-yard zero is recommended for you. 


Scopes have always been vital accessories for guns, but they seem to have experienced a renaissance lately. It’s almost to the point where rifles look empty without them. Scopes have many obvious qualities and several others that are not quite so readily identifiable, but a point that cannot be argued is that they can exponentially improve the quality of your shots.

One of the knock-on effects of the popularity of rifle scopes is the overwhelming multiplicity of choices on offer. Nowadays, it seems like one can hardly step out into his backyard without tripping on one of the many scopes being offered. It keeps things interesting, but it may also make it incredibly hard for you to pick the best AR-15 scope for you.

As we were keen to stress in the article, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to selecting a rifle scope. It’s as personal as brushing your own teeth. We suggested that the best way to approach the search for the perfect riflescope for you is to create a list of features that are most important to you in an AR-15 scope, then narrow down the list from there. We also highlighted a few qualities most important in a scope.

It’s important to be meticulous and conscientious about this, because most scopes are pretty expensive and the last thing you’d want is an expensive gamble. The margin for error is greatly reduced here.

Alternatively, you can check out well-researched and well thought out reviews, such as the one we’ve written here, and choose the one that fits in with all your requirements. Our list is designed to save you time and effort and help you approach the market from a position of strength gotten from knowledge.

Our Research Process

Our curated list of products has been provided to you by our experienced team of researchers and writers at Ballachy who have tested and scrutinized product recommendations on the market. Our experience in the field, in-depth research and hands-on approach has allowed us to objectively analyse products for years and continuously providing value for buyers who are looking to get accurate and unbiased reviews. If you would like to know more about our research methods, we welcome you to visit our page here detailing how our recommendations are done. Furthermore, as we are always looking keep our guides updated and welcome any feedback from readers regarding different experiences or recommendations to adjust our list. If you consider that we have missed on some important recommendations, please let us know here, so we can add-on any valuable feedback.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at

Was This Post Helpful?