Best AR 15 Rifle Scopes of 2018 & Buying Guide

The ArmaLite (AR) 15 rifle is a modern sporting rifle which has remained quite popular till date. Using an AR 15 rifle for long distance shooting could be an onerous task that requires consistent training routines and no excuses!

With the introduction of the rifle scope, long range shooting has become an exercise even a newbie can achieve without breaking a sweat. However, getting the ideal rifle scope for your AR 15 remains a big task since a standard AR 15 scope has attributes which make it different from the rest.

This makes it necessary for you to equip yourself with something perhaps more essential than the AR 15 rifle – information. The objective of this article is to provide you with as much insight on rifle scopes and also outline the best available right now.

RANK

IMAGE

NAME

OUR SCORE

PRICE

No.1

THE 3-12X44 30MM COMPACT SCOPE BY UTG

9.9/10

No.2

THE Mate BDC 600 BY NIKON

9.7/10

No.3

THE PROSTAFF 3-9X40 BY NIKON

9.6/10

No.4

THE 1-4X 24MM THROW DOWN PCL BY BUSHNELL

9.3/10

What is the perfect rifle scope for an AR 15 Rifle?

Riflescopes come in variants. There are those with variable magnification and those with a fixed magnification. If you intend taking shots from long range, the variable magnification might come in handy.

Why? Its magnification can be adjusted based on your need. They normally have a wide range of magnification you can choose from. AR 15 rifle scopes with a fixed magnification will be ideal if your use of the rifle is limited to a shorter distance shooting.

Rifle scopes with a defined magnification are more rugged and perhaps more secure compared to variable riflescopes since they are static in position. Also, fixed variable is lightweight compared to their variable counterpart. There is no perfect rifle scope for an AR 15 rifle; it all depends on your needs.

Can I get an affordable rifle scope for my AR 15 Rifle?

The cost of purchasing a riflescope varies with how sophisticated the scope is. Variable riflescopes are expensive compared to their fixed counterpart. This means if you are on a budget you will need to consider if you want to give much your long range shooting or increase your budget by a notch.

It’s also worth mentioning that the variable scope also has features which affect the cost of the scope. The position of the reticle is one of such features. If the reticle of the riflescope is located in the first focal plane, the magnification of the object alters the size of the reticle.

So, if you increase magnify the size of the object, the reticle also increases in size. On the other hand, if the reticle is located in the second focal plane, the size of the reticle is unaltered by the magnification used on the object. A variable scope with its reticle located in the second focal plane is more affordable compared to one whose reticle is positioned in the first focal plane. This isn’t far-fetched since a variable scope whose reticle is located in the first focal plane allows you decide the distance of the target. This is not the case with a variable scope whose reticle is located in the second focal plane.

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The reticle of riflescopes varies in form, and each is suited to a different shooting range. Reticle including the dot and duplex forms is ideal for short range shooting. Long range shooting will require a different form of reticle like the mil-dot. These reticle forms also affect the cost of obtaining the rifle though not quite as substantial as the other factors.

Adjoining parts of a scope also decide how costly the scope will be. Parts like the exit pupil and the objective lens vary in cost especially as it relates to the diameter of these parts. If you intend doing some shooting in areas of low light intensity, you will need a high diameter for these parts of your rifle scope. They allow more light enter your eyes which allow you see well than you would otherwise do without this enhancement.

However, a riflescope with an objective lens and exit pupil with a large diameter are quite costly, so you will need to consider this when purchasing a rifle scope. Parts of the riflescope like the eyepiece and the dimension of the eye relief also affects the cost of a riflescope. You will need to purchase a rifle scope with a decent eyepiece. The eyepiece enhances your visibility which is important. A bigger eye relief reduces the amount of input on your part for a wider view of your target range. If you are a meticulous shooter and have a tight budget, you wouldn’t need to go for a bigger eye relief. The reverse will be the case if you are not so meticulous since a bigger eye relief is also important.

The windage and the elevation adjustment also decide the effectiveness of a rifle scope. Both features are combined into one single feature – the turret. Rifle scopes also come with two different types of turrets which also affects the cost of the scope. The turret of the rifle scope decides the ease of the modifying the position of the reticle. There are ballistic turrets which might be ideal for short distance shooting since they perfect for prompt action. Target turrets are suitable for long range shooting. You can make changes to the reticle position easily with this type of turret.

You will also want to consider the manufacturer of a rifle scope before buying one. A rifle scope made by a renowned firm might be costly, but you are assured of the quality of its parts. In essence, the affordability of a rifle scope is a relative term. You can get a rifle scope for your AR 15 rifle regardless of your budget. However, you will need to give up certain features if you have a small budget.


1. THE 1-4X 24MM THROW DOWN PCL BY BUSHNELL

Produced by the well-known manufacturer, Bushnell, this rifle scope can be used with your AR 15 rifle without any inconvenience. The diameter of the objective lens is about 24mm which is decent if you intend shooting in a poorly lit area. With a weight of about 17.3 oz, this rifle scope is suitable for an AR 15 rifle since it is lightweight.

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This is one of the most decent AR 15 rifle scopes. It produces a magnification of 1 to 4X, and the lens is well coated to ensure clarity of images. This is a very accurate and precise optical instrument. The PCL lever makes it very easy to change its power. This scope is sealed so that elements do not infiltrate into it. It is also very easy to adjust and mount. This Bushnell-produced scope is made from high-quality aluminum materials, and this makes it durable and long-lasting. It is also well compact and well-crafted with a beautiful design.

Features Roundup

  • It can effectively produce a magnification of 1 to 4X
  • It has an objective lens of 24mm
  • It has a 30mm tube diameter
  • It has a weight of about 1.1 pounds
  • It has a product dimension of 5 x 3.8 x 3.1 inches
  • It has a well-coated lens
  • It has an item shipping weight of 1.8 pounds
  • The illumination dial is very easy to set
  • Mounting this scope is seamless and pretty straightforward
  • It has an ideal mounting length of 5.9 inches
  • It produces crystal clear images
  • It has can efficiently aim as far as 600m

This is a very good AR 15 rifle scope. It is inexpensive and affordable. Furthermore, it makes your hunting and shooting experience a pleasurable one. It is both compact and lightweight. This is a super quality optical instrument. It is money well spent.


2. THE 3-12X44 30MM COMPACT SCOPE BY UTG

This one is a chart-topping AR 15 rifle scope. It is both waterproof and fog proof. The lenses of this scope are coated with emerald, and it can produce very clear images of whatever object it is focused on. This scope is exact and accurate. It is also very easy to adjust and mount.

This UTG-produced scope is strong and sturdily built. It can effectively withstand tough and rough use. The turrets can be locked, and it is pretty easy to reset. Rings are included in the package for easy mounting of the instrument.  This scope looks very beautiful when placed on your rifle.

Features Roundup

  • It has a weight of about 1.4 pounds which makes it easy to carry
  • It has a product dimension of 4 x 1.6 x 2.1 inches
  • It has an item shipping weight of 2.1 pounds
  • The lens of this scope are coated with emerald
  • The package comes with rings for mounting of the instrument
  • It is strong and sturdy and can withstand rugged use
  • It is very precise and accurate
  • It has an aiming point of about 100 yards
  • This scope can produce crystal clear images
  • It can produce a magnification of 3 to 12X

Every hunter wants to be able to bring down his targets with little or no stress, and that makes having a good rifle scope non-negotiable. This is one of the top AR 15 rifle scopes. It comes at an excellent price, and the image clarity is impeccable. This is a must have if you want to enjoy your shooting and hunting experience.

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3. THE Mate BDC 600 BY NIKON

This scope guarantees accurate and precise shooting. It is waterproof and shockproof. It is also lightweight and comes with coated lenses. The reticle of this scope is very easy to adjust, and the turrets are very easy to set. You do not have to worry about parallax as this Nikon-produced scope effectively takes care of that. The images produced by this scope are bright, sharp and very clear. Also, it produces a magnification of 3 to 9X. This scope is non-destructive to the eyes, and it has impressive eye relief features.

Features Roundup

  • This scope uses 1” mounts. It is very easy to mount
  • It is both waterproof and shockproof
  • It produces 3 to 9X magnification
  • The reticle of this scope is very easy to adjust
  • The turrets are quite easy to set
  • It is not heavy
  • It has an aiming point of between 100 to 600 yards.

This scope is a good fit for AR 15 rifles. There is no better way to enjoy shooting and hunting than to have a scope that helps you aim at your target and bring them down. This is not just a rifle scope; it is a very good rifle scope.


4. THE PROSTAFF 3-9X40 BY NIKON

This is a very versatile scope. It is made from quality aluminum materials, and it is very durable. It produces a magnification of 3 to 9X, and its lenses are well coated to ensure clarity of images. Also, the reticle of this scope can be easily adjusted, and the turrets are very easy to set. It is not affected by water as it is both waterproof and fog proof. This scope is also very lightweight and inexpensive.

Features Roundup

  •  It produces 3 to 9X magnification
  •  It is both waterproof and fog proof
  •  The lenses of this scope are well coated
  •  It has an objective lens of 40mm
  •  Other accessories included in the package are lens cap and windage
  •  It effectively deals with parallax
  •  It is lightweight and very easy to mount

This is an excellent optical instrument. Nikon produces it, so you should expect nothing less than good standard. Furthermore, this item is affordable, and you will surely enjoy shooting and hunting with it. This is one of the best of its kind.


Final Thoughts

AR 15 Riflescopes are an essential requirement for any modern day tactical shooter. Getting the best AR 15 rifle scope requires you to take into consideration your needs for getting that riflescope. Be it hunting, tactical shooting, home protection or even marksmanship there’s a specific scope for you.

These scopes are usually very durable and sturdy while entirely differing in features as no two scopes are same. If you want to get a good AR 15 riflescope, our reviews is a great place to start.