Best Scopes For AR-10 in 2023 – Top 10 AR 10 Scope Reviews

AR-10 owners will be fully aware that this weapon is one of the best long-range rifles available today. It offers power, precision, and a wide variety of configuration options.

Using just the iron sights will give shooters an effective range of around 600 yards. Although to achieve consistent accuracy over this distance with such sights will certainly take patience and regular practice.

But because this highly powerful weapon has a lot more to offer, many shooters find that adding the best scope for AR 10 is the way to go. By doing so, you will be increasing your range to 1000 yards and beyond.

Those who want higher accuracy over all distances from their favorite AR-10 should, therefore, read on.

Best Scopes For AR-10

Top 10 Scopes for Your AR-10 On The Market 2023 Reviews

  1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes – Best Mid Range Scope For AR 10
  2. UTG 3-9X32 1” BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings – Best Budget Scope For AR 10
  3. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings – Best Beginners Scope For AR 10
  4. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes – Best AR 10 Creedmore 6.5 Scope
  5. Trijicon 1-6×24 VCOG Riflescopes – Best VCOG Scope For AR 10
  6. Prostaff P3 2-7×32 Matte – Best Value for the Money Scope For AR 10
  7. Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm Side Focus Riflescope – Best Dawn and Dusk Scope For AR 10
  8. Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope – Best Long Range Scope For AR 10
  9. Nikon Black X1000 4-16x50mm Riflescope 16383 – Best Hunting Scope For AR 10
  10. Primary Arms SLx3.5 4-14X44mm FFP Rifle Scope – Best Quality Budget Scope For AR 10

There is no doubt whatsoever that quality optics bring a new dimension and enjoyment to the world of shooting. Let’s face it; you are out there with your weapon to acquire targets and hit them with regular accuracy.

And assistance in this quest help is at hand, thanks to the excellent choice of best AR 10 scopes that are currently available in 2023. Bearing this in mind and to help you understand the variety of optics on offer, here’s our top 10.

So, let’s go through them…

1 Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes – Best Mid Range Scope For AR 10

Vortex optics have a very solid name in the scope world. They provide good quality optics at prices that please. Their Diamondback second focal plane (SFP) family of riflescopes are excellent examples of what a good scope for ar 10 is all about.

A varied choice of power and reticle…

These SFP riflescopes come with a choice of magnification, objective lens size, and reticle options. The one we are concentrating on is the 1.75-5×32 model with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle. As the model designation suggests, this scope offers variable magnification of between 1.75 and 5x with an objective lens of 32mm.

Solid, robust, and ready for the hunt…

The body of this scope is of 1-part construction using a 1-inch aircraft-grade aluminum tube, and its design is recoil resistant. The inner housing has been Argon purged for a fog-free viewing experience, and O-ring sealing gives dust and waterproofing abilities.

You can then add to this the fully multi-coated lenses. These give sharp, clear image resolution, and the ArmorTek exterior coating helps prevent lens scratching. The overall build of this riflescope means that whatever environment you are hunting in, this scope is up to it.

Turret and reticle advantages…

Coming with metal-on-metal precision capped turrets gives the ability to reset zero once you are sighted in. The glide erector system also allows for accurate tracking and repeatability. Parallax is fixed at 100 yards, while the fast-focus eyepiece allows for rapid and efficient reticle focusing.

The Dead-Hold BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) MOA (Minute of Angle) reticle comes with a customized dot. This design helps shooters eliminate guesswork when assessing holdover and windage corrections.

Why should you consider an SFP reticle?

SFP reticles sit near the eyepiece of your scope, behind the image erecting and magnifying lenses. When changing magnification, an SFP reticle, the target remains the same size and means, you are consistently maintaining the same appearance.

This optic is a good choice for driven hunting and hunters who stalk large game through areas of dense vegetation.

In terms of accuracy over distance, shooters who prefer short to mid-range shooting will find this has to be classed as one of the best scopes you can buy.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Solid, durable build.
  • Effective Dead-Hold BDC MOA reticle.
  • 100-yard parallax setting.


  • Non-illuminated reticle.
  • Eye relief on maximum power is only 3.5 inches.

2 UTG 3-9X32 1” BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings – Best Budget Scope For AR 10

Our second AR10 scope recommendation comes from UTG and is very keenly priced. Those AR-10 shooters looking for a cheap yet acceptable optic should take a close look at this BugBuster.

Built to withstand harsh hunting conditions…

UTG offers a variety of magnification and objective lens options. The BugBuster model is certainly a good scope for AR 10 mid-distance targeting. It offers between 3 and 9x variable magnification and comes with a 32mm objective lens.

Coming with an acceptable field of view and eye relief, it is also acceptably robust. Built to withstand drops, bumps, and harsh weather conditions, effective operation in adverse weather conditions is yours.

Precise sighting in…

The target turrets are zero resettable, lockable, and come with 1/4 MOA per click adjustment. You will find this an advantage for those much-needed wind and elevation adjustments.

As for the reticle, UTG calls this their TRE (Tactical Range Estimating) Mil-Dot reticle. This has 9-dots on each direction of the crosshair, meaning you have an increased 19 aiming points (21 if the inner tips of the duplex crosshairs are included). This should obviously enhance aim and shooting options.

Illumination-wise, you have a dual color option, which is either red or green.

Ready to go out of the box with a word of warning!

For the price paid, you are getting a good scope for AR 10 use. One that comes ready to shoot out of the box. There is an included 2-inch sunshade, flip-open lens caps, and QD (Quick Detach) scope rings.

However, sadly UTG has suffered from numerous counterfeit products that are being made and shipped directly from China. Save yourself the grief of trying to save a few dollars and make sure the UTG riflescope you purchase is an original one.


  • Low price for the quality you get.
  • Good for Airsoft assault rifle use.
  • Acceptably robust.
  • Effective turrets and reticle.


  • Acceptable but not one of the best optics for AR 10 use.
  • Beware of Chinese counterfeits.

3 UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings – Best Beginners Scope For AR 10

Due to the popularity of UTG and their competitively priced scopes, we feel another of their optics is a worthy AR10 scope recommendation.

Better at the range than for trek hunting!

This scope should be considered by beginners as well as the more experienced who have a limited budget. However, it should be said that this is a preferred scope for range practice or ‘static’ hunting. Those shooters who intend on tracking, staking, and following prey through various terrain will be better off looking at alternatives.

Why do we say this?

It’s heavy! Those hunters who are out regularly and cover a fair amount of terrain know that every ounce packed counts. This scope weighs in at a very noticeable 23.2 ounces (1.45 lbs).

Of course, this extra weight can be handled better by some than others. However, adding the weight of this scope to your rifle and pack is sure to tell. You then have to consider how tired your arms will get if holding your weapon in the ready to fire position without support. This sort of tiredness isn’t just physical, but it can also easily affect your aim.

So, think about using it for the primary application of range practice or hunting from a fairly static base. In this way, you will find it far more forgiving.

Ready out-of-the-box…

Weight apart, you are getting one of the best scopes for 308 AR use. It has a rugged build that will take the punishment of knocks, bumps, and even drops. Being shock, water, and fog proof, you can also use it in most types of weather conditions.

The glass clarity is acceptable for the price, although clear imaging is far better at lower magnification than higher. As for the Mil-Dot reticle, this is worthy of mention. It is easy to use and helps when estimating long-distance shooting ranges. On top of this (while not strictly necessary), you have a choice of 36 different colors.

Need some SWAT?

Turrets are lockable, resettable, and hold zero. UTG also includes an interesting SWAT AO feature. This acronym is: SWAT = Side Wheel Adjustment Turret – AO = Adjustable Objective.

This side wheel feature is easy and quick to access. It helps to achieve a good parallax free view from as close as 10 yards out to infinity. While the standard wheel design will be acceptable to many shooters, it is possible to purchase larger wheel sizes for even finer adjustment.

Eye relief and Eye box…

As for eye relief, you get between 3.4 and 3-inches dependent upon the magnification setting, and the eye box is reasonably forgiving.

One point on the eye box is that when using this scope on its highest magnification, the eye box is tight. This means any shooter intending to use 12x magnification for the majority of time should consider other scope choices.

Extras included…

On top of the mentioned features and functionality, you also get a TactEdge angled integral sunshade that comes complete with flip-open lens caps, a pair of strong, good quality QD (Quick Detach) Picatinny/Weaver Rings, and a CR2032 3V battery.

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


  • Very robust build.
  • One of the best scopes for 308 AR beginners.
  • Attractive price point.
  • Easy to mount, easy to use.
  • Good zeroing.


  • Significant weight to contend with.
  • Some possible issues with colored LED and recoil.

4 Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes – Best AR 10 Creedmore 6.5 Scope

Let’s get back over to Vortex for one of their highly praised models. The Viper 6.5-20×50 has to be placed in the best AR 10 scopes for 6 5 Creedmoor.

The Viper family – Choices galore…

Just looking at the different configurations available through the Vortex Optics Viper family of optics shows how popular they are. The model we are looking at is of Second Focal Plane reticle design. It also offers between 6.5x and 20x variable magnification and comes with a quality 50mm objective lens.

A good hunting scope option…

A quality, robust build includes O-ring sealing and Argon purging to ensure fog and waterproof abilities. The anodized finish also means this scope will take whatever you throw at it.

It is certainly useful for range practice but is also highly effective as a hunting scope. For the price, it has to be one of the best AR 10 scopes for use with 6.5 Creedmoor. This is because the glass quality is excellent. Indeed, we would class the optical performance to be as good as other scopes that are almost double the price.

Crystal clear…

You are assured of a crisp, clean viewing experience regardless of the magnification chosen. Such resolution is thanks to the fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses, and the 50mm XR coated objective lens size that ensures very good light gathering capabilities.

Ease of operation…

The scope has a convenient side knob that functions to give fast, easy parallax adjustments. As for the capped reset turrets, these will help you achieve ease of re-indexing to zero.

There is one thing which may frustrate shooters (or take some getting used to!) This relates to the fact that turret adjustments come in MOA, not MIL.

Quick as a flash…

We stay with fast and easy for two more features, the fast focus eyepiece allows rapid reticle focusing, and the MAG-Bar allows for rapid magnification changes.

The Mil-Dot reticle also works effectively when it comes to estimation of windage, bullet holdover, and ranging distances. However, it should be noted that windage does need to be dialed in every time.

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Parallax Adjustment Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Widely admired and gaining popularity.
  • Solid, robust, built to last.
  • Excellent optic experience.
  • Good choice for hunting.


  • Windage dial-in required every time.
  • Reticle reads in MOA, not MIL.

5 Trijicon 1-6×24 VCOG Riflescopes – Best VCOG Scope For AR 10

We move significantly up the price tree with our next AR10 scope recommendation. However, those who can afford a Trijicon VCOG riflescope are most certainly buying into top quality and efficiency.

Trijicon are ACOG; they are also very much VCOG!

US Military requirement was behind Trijicon inventing their ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight). These are the official medium-distance engagement optics for both the Marine Corps and the US Special Operations Forces.

Although initially only available for military use, civilian versions were released. As the ACOG is a fixed magnification scope, it made sense for Trijicon to invent an optic with variable magnification. Step in the VCOG (Variable Combat Optical Gunsight).

Huge reticle choice…

Their VCOG optic offers a variable magnification of between 1-6x and comes with a top-quality 24mm objective lens. This First Focal Plane (FFP) scope offers subtensions and drops that remain true at any chosen magnification. Superior glass quality, along with excellent light-gathering capabilities and zero distortion are yours.

When it comes to reticle choice, you have a total of 16 options, each being available in red or green. To find out what’s available, simply hit the style name drop-down menu and select.

The one we are looking at is their Red Horseshoe Dot Crosshair matched with 55-grain .223 loads/55-grain.

It’s best suited to…

We feel there are better long-distance scopes out there, but this quality scope majors in other areas. If you are after a tactical optic, this gives you complete flexibility to engage CQB (Close Quarter Battle) targets. It is also a good competition scope and will work for general, closer-range hunting.

Giving a generous 4-inches of eye relief means concern over any scope bite should be a thing of the past. It’s Field Of View (FOV) varies between 95-feet at 100 yards on lowest magnification (1x) and 15.9-feet at 100 yards on its highest magnification (6x).

Smart light utilization design…

Trijicon engineers have designed a robust, top-quality optic with some excellent features. One that particularly stands out is its smart light utilization technology. This greatly enhances its light gathering capabilities and does so without the need for batteries.

You will, however, require the included battery to illuminate the reticle. Swapping batteries will not be a common chore. The lithium AA battery has up to 700 hours of continuous runtime (based on use at brightness setting 4 or 6).

Virtually indestructible and two mounting options…

As expected from a design that was originally built to the toughest military standards, this scope is virtually indestructible. It is most certainly one of the best scopes for AR 10 in terms of durability, robustness, and reliability.

The one-piece tube is made from 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum, and thanks to the sturdy all-around build will withstand any conditions. It has been fully sealed for fog proofing and can be submerged in up to 66 feet of water. Fully multi-coated lenses that give exceptional quality round off an extremely high-quality optic.

Easy to mount…

As for mounting options, you can either use the included traditional double thumb screw mount or the quick release mount.

Trijicon 1-6x24 VCOG Riflescopes
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)


  • Top-quality design.
  • Military specs and some.
  • Will last a lifetime.
  • Wide choice of reticle.
  • Excellent light gathering.
  • Long-life reticle battery.


  • Not the best for long-distance targeting.
  • Very expensive.

6 Prostaff P3 2-7×32 Matte – Best Value for the Money Scope For AR 10

This offering is from Nikon and comes from their very well received PROSTAFF P3 family of scopes. These come with configuration choices in terms of variable magnification, objective lens sizes, and types of reticle. The one we are focusing on is their 2-7x magnification with a 32mm objective lens and BDC reticle.

Price-wise, one of the best optics for AR 10…

When shooting over mid to longer-range distances, optical quality is of the highest importance. This scope gives you that thanks to Nikon’s quality optical performance. Add to this its reliability and rugged build, and you are looking at a very effective hunting scope.

Finished in matte black, it is dust as well as shockproof. In addition, the O-ring sealing and nitrogen-filled construction assures fog and waterproofing abilities. Take it out in any weather, and it will function.

Nikon gives you the tools!

Along with quality lenses, this 3x zoom has been designed for hunters. With anti-reflective glass surfaces, you will benefit from very good light gathering brightness during those all-important low light hunting sessions.

Flexible and accurate magnification means hunters will find this scope effective in open prairie or during thickly wooded hunting excursions.

Clean and crisp images…

Using the spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets when gauging windage and elevation is made easy. As for the quick focus eyepiece, this is another plus. It has an aluminum ring complete with rubber eye guard to ensure crisp reticle focus and rapid target acquisition.

Eye relief is the same no matter what range you are focusing on, and the cheek-weld is just right while making those magnification adjustments.

A company that cares…

Nikon does not just stop there, though. They provide good manuals on scope use and online tools relating to the different reticles and their best matches.

Prostaff P3 2-7x32 Matte
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)


  • Very acceptable price for the quality.
  • Good configuration choice.
  • Consistent clarity and brightness.
  • Suitable for hunting in different terrains.
  • Covered by a ‘No-fault Lifetime Repair/Replacement’ policy.


  • Superficial scratches on matte finish will be seen.

7 Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm Side Focus Riflescope – Best Dawn and Dusk Scope For AR 10

Quality optics go hand in glove with the Leupold name. This VX-3i comes in five different flavors, which differ only through the ‘additional features’ offered. The base build and features of this effective riflescope remain the same.

Do you want that dawn and dusk advantage?

Avid hunters know just how important those first and last shooting sessions are. Both dawn and dusk offer fantastic opportunities to increase that all-important kill-count.

In this respect, the Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14×40 mm scope has you covered. You benefit from variable magnification of between 4.5-14x and a good size, 40mm objective lens. More importantly, you can also take advantage of Leupold’s unique Twilight Max Light Management System.

Whatever the lighting conditions…

Balancing brightness with industry-leading clarity gives enhanced light transmission, glare reduction, improved image contrast, and resolution. This means crisp, clear imaging is yours no matter what light conditions you are shooting.

This quality imaging also stands when shooting in deeply shaded areas. In addition, you will achieve an additional ten minutes of excellent light when out at either dusk or dawn.

Precise, accurate yet robust…

Buying into the VX-3i means, you are buying into an optic that is built to last. It comes with a quality 30mm main tube that has been constructed using 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. This is a robust, rugged scope that will withstand bumps and drops. It is also fog, as well as waterproof.

Weighing in at 15.1 ounces, it has a length of 12.6-inches. In terms of field of view (FOV) and eye relief and dependent upon magnification setting, you get between 7.3-18.7-feet FOV at 100 yards. And eye relief of between 4.4-3.7-inches. This is more than ample in terms of eye relief as an AR10 scope recommendation.

As for extreme hunting conditions, no problem! This scope has been built to withstand temperatures ranging from -40 deg F to 160 deg F.

Looking for the best scope for AR 308?

Those who are after a reliable, effective optic for AR 308 use will be interested to know that Leupold major on delivering what is required. Once built, each Leupold scope is then subjected to their ‘Punisher’ testing. The ‘Punisher’ is the company’s recoil simulation machine and is used for every scope Leupold produces.

This testing subjects their scopes to a minimum of 5,000 rounds at a force of each impact, which amounts to 3x that of the recoil received from a .308 rifle.

On top of this…

The VX-3i optic comes with a twin bias erector spring for stability. There is also an excellent side focus feature. This allows necessary adjustments to be made without having to take your head from your gun. Mid to long-distance targeting is certainly yours with this super accurate scope for AR 10.


  • Leupold optical quality.
  • Built to last a long time.
  • Rugged hunting performance.
  • Twilight max light management system.


  • Reticle is a little ‘thick.’
  • Some would argue there are cheaper equivalents out there.

8 Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope – Best Long Range Scope For AR 10

We are moving back up to the top of the investment tree with this best high-end scope for AR 10. However, those who are willing to invest will get superb quality from a legendary Nightforce Optics scope.

As accurate over long distances as you will get…

This is a long-range optic that delivers accuracy over extreme distances. You get variable 5.5x-22x magnification and a top-quality 56mm objective lens. With such quality, targets at 1000 yards are clearly sighted but for experienced and proficient shooters, double that distance!

While long-distance accuracy is assured, you will also be comfortable in the knowledge that this precision optic will also deliver at closer ranges time and again.

A field of view to be reckoned with…

This is certainly the best scope for AR 10 in terms of long-distance shooting. To give you an idea of the field of view obtained, here’s what you get with the minimum and maximum magnification settings:

  • 17.5 feet @ 5.5X
  • 4.7 feet @ 22X

As can be seen, when sighting in, you will not lose your target once it is acquired.

MOA to be reckoned with…

Internal adjustment of 100 MOA is yours with 0.25 MOA clicks. What this means is that your long-distance targets always show very close to hand.

The zero stop reset function is exceptional and gives shooters confidence when BDC (Bullet Drop Corrections) are being accounted for. As for Parallax adjustment, this starts at 50 yards and increases to infinity.

A wide reticle choice…

You are certainly not short of reticle choice. Choose from MilDot, MilR, MOAR, or MOAR-T, each with its own individual hash marks.

It must be said that if budget is not an issue, then this is the standout optic in terms of the best premium scope for AR 10.

Nightforce Optics 5.5-22x56 NXS Riflescope
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)


  • Top-quality from the get-go.
  • Will last a lifetime.
  • Wide choice of reticle.
  • MOA capability is second to none.
  • Field of view is excellent.
  • More than acceptable eye relief.


  • The bank balance will take a significant hit.

9 Nikon Black X1000 4-16x50mm Riflescope 16383 – Best Hunting Scope For AR 10

We move back to Nikon for our next AR10 scope recommendation. Their BLACK model is quite rightly held in high regard with long-range shooters looking at value for money.

Clarity of view and ease of familiarity…

Nikon are renowned for their quality lenses. This riflescope combines variable 6-24x magnification with a 50mm objective lens. Sighting in and clarity of the image is excellent.

One thing is for sure, users of all abilities will find the Nikon Black X1000 easy to familiarize themselves with.

Robust enough to take what you put it through…

Made from 30mm aircraft-grade aluminum, this affords strength and robustness. The build gives shockproof abilities to cope with shooting in unfavorable conditions and will withstand harsh recoil.

It has also been O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to give water and fog proofing. A highly effective 4-inch sunshade works very well against glare and reflections, allowing accurate shooting into the light. It is powered by an included CR2032 battery, and dimension-wise comes in at 14.8-inches in length, 24.3 ounces in weight, and offers eye relief of between 4 and 3.6-inches.

Ease of turret adjustment…

Being a second focal plane optic means this is a good scope for AR10 hunters. Whatever magnification you set it at the reticle does not change size. Additionally, the clear glass etching offers repeatable precision when adjusting for wind and elevation.

The choice of MOA or MIL adjustments with zero resets is yours. These are spring-loaded to allow quick, easy turret adjustment. You can expect accuracy from as close at 50 yards right up to the stated 1,000 yards.

Peace of mind purchase…

As with all Nikon scopes, the BLACK offers peace of mind when purchasing. This is seen through Nikon’s ‘no fault repair or replacement’ program. If you ever need the scope repairing or servicing, send it to Nikon at no charge.


  • Attractive price for what’s on offer.
  • Target ranges suit AR 10’s
  • Quality Nikon optics.
  • Reticle adjustment is quick and easy.
  • Effective sunshade included.
  • Free replacement or service if/as required.


  • Eye relief could be more generous.
  • No zero stop turrets.
  • Illumination controls are not the easiest.

10 Primary Arms SLx3.5 4-14X44mm FFP Rifle Scope – Best Quality Budget Scope For AR 10

We finish off our best affordable scope for AR 10 shooters with a low-priced Primary Arms model.

You are getting more than your money’s worth?

Primary Arms offer a wide selection of optics that are well received by shooters from all walks of life. In this respect, our reviewed model certainly shows its versatility. It can be used effectively by tactical, long-range target enthusiasts and hunters.

Accuracy and ease of use is yours between 50 and 1,000 yards. Its use in a variety of applications is seen through two particular features:

  • The quality glass offers very clear imaging.
  • The reticle works both as a BDC and red dot.

Ideal for the most popular AR-10 ammo…

This is an excellent scope choice for 308 for a very simple reason. This is because .308.233 ammo is acknowledged as being the most popular choice for AR-10 owners. Primary Arms have taken this fully into account during design. The included reticle of this optic has been designed to calculate bullet drop exactly for this type of ammo.

The reticle is in the first focal plane and therefore adjusts size as you change through the 4-14x magnification range. As for the objective lens, this is a more than acceptable 44mm.

Clarity is a given thanks to the quality glass etching, and reticle use is achieved without requiring a battery. When shooting in low light conditions, you can choose between six brightness settings. This can be achieved via the easy access brightness control knob.

Built for strength and ease of use…

The tube diameter is 30mm and made from rugged aircraft-grade aluminum. It has been built to be fog, water and shockproof and will handle harsh weather conditions. Just as importantly, it will withstand the significant and expected weapon recoil time and again.

As for easy operation, the zero-reset function works a treat, and throughout the full magnification range mentioned, it is parallax-free. While there is an included parallax correction function, many shooters will find this is not often used.

A word on the weight…

You will get between 3.14-3.22-inches of eye relief from a scope that is 13-inches in length. It should be noted that it does weigh in at a fairly noticeable 25.2 ounces. The weight is something that hunters in particular need to be aware of.


  • Excellent value.
  • Tailored for .308/223 ammo.
  • Doubles as a BDC and red dot.
  • 3-year warranty.


  • On the heavy side.
  • No lens caps.

Best Scope For AR 10 Buying Guide

Best Scope For AR 10 Buying Guide

What to focus on?

The AR 10 is highly versatile when it comes to shooting over a variety of distances. Indeed, many owners also feel it is more effective than the AR 15 when it comes to power and precision.

One thing that cannot be denied, it is certainly one of the best long-range rifles currently available to civilian shooters. When purchasing a best scope for AR 10, there are a variety of considerations to be taken into account. Here are some we feel will help you make an informed purchase decision.

What’s the real distance you will be targeting?

An AR-10 can comfortably hit targets at 200 yards without the need for an optic. (Experienced shooters can double and treble this distance). However, by fitting a high quality AR 10 scope, you can increase your range to 1000 yards and beyond.

Having said this, you should be realistic with what distance you are comfortable shooting over. Of course, you can (and should) build on accuracy over distance, but don’t overdo the magnification from the off. This is particularly the case for those new to AR-10 shooting.

It also stands that simply going for the highest magnification and best AR 10 optics that offer greater variable magnification will cost more. This means you should think hard about what will actually suffice for your style and type of shooting.

The reality is you will either be mostly shooting at:

  • Close range – up to 200 yards.
  • Medium range – 200-400 yards.
  • Long range – 400 yards upward.

So, what magnification should you look at for the above distances?

The AR-10 is not really a close-range weapon. Although, it should be said that at distances up to 200 yards, it is effective against prairie dogs. If this is your distance of choice, you don’t need to consider any AR10 scope recommendation larger than 1-4x magnification.

Medium range is the most common type of distance for AR 10 users. Targeting between 200-400 yards with an excellent scope for AR 10 makes shooting far more enjoyable through the accuracy given.

It is also a good range for hog hunters and those after larger game. If this is your preferred range, then look for a magnification between 5-9x.

Long Range

As we have said, this is where the AR 10 can really excel. If you regularly shoot over 400 yards, then higher magnification is the way to go, and looking at optics offering 9x and up is recommended.

A caveat here is for those whose intention is regular 800 yard++ distances. Then it is wise to go for a minimum of 10x right up to 20x magnification. If doing so, do remember that any scope over 10x magnification will require you to shoot from a supported position.

Do you vary your shooting distances on a regular basis?

Are you an active AR-10 shooter who likes to vary target distances on a regular basis? If so, then look at variable magnification scopes as opposed to fixed magnification options. As can be seen from our best scope for AR 10 selections, variable magnification is widely available. You can also choose minimum/maximum magnification limits to suit your shooting style.

Build and Durability

By its very nature, the AR10 is a preferred hunting weapon. This being the case, there is a good likelihood you will use it in a variety of unfavorable weather conditions and varying terrain.

This means that the high-quality optics for AR 10 need strength of build, robustness, and durability. It needs to function in any conditions you put it through. Therefore, check the tube size and type of material used during construction.

Your chosen optic needs to withstand the accidental bumps, drops, and knocks associated with your hunting style. You should also check out its fog and waterproofing abilities. Being assured of these features means clarity of view and functionality no matter what conditions you decide to hunt in – Or you get caught in!

Do you really have to invest heavily?

The good news in terms of AR10 scope recommendation is that you have a wide choice when it comes to cost. There are some very acceptable scopes out there that come in at very keen prices. This means that if you are new to optics, on a budget, or simply want a scope for occasional shooting, you do not need to break the bank.

For those shooters where budget is no option or for the avid competitor and/or hunter, then there are limitless possibilities. There is no doubt that distinct advantages will be gained from investing significant sums in top-quality optics. This comes in top quality build, reliability, pinpoint accuracy, long warranties, and longevity of use.

Eye Relief

Scope For AR 10 Buyers Guide

This consideration will come as no surprise to experienced AR10 shooters. However, those new to the weapon, as well as those new to optics need to be fully aware of the importance of sufficient eye relief. Any optic classed as a good scope for AR 10 use must offer this.

Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the nearest end of the mounted scope. AR10’s produce significant recoil. This means shooters need enough eye relief in order to avoid eye or facial damage when firing.

Cheaper or lower quality scopes often come with just 3-3.5-inches of eye relief. This should be seen as the absolute minimum. Indeed, you would be wise to err on the side of caution and choose one of the best optics that offers more than this.

What Focal Plane and Reticle should you go for?

Dependent upon your shooting distances will depend on this choice. The best scope for AR 10 should offer sufficient power to get you close to your intended target. This also means that the finer, more clear the crosshair, the better.

As for focal plane – Your choice is either First Focal Plane (FFP) or Second Focal Plane (SFP). FFP means that as your magnification increases, so does the reticle. It should be noted that an FFP scope will not extend to the same magnification levels as an SFP scope. SFP means the reticle stays the same size.

Due to the power of an AR10 rifle, you will most likely find an SFP scope better.

Are you a dawn and/or dusk hunter?

A final point of reticle consideration is whether you will be hunting in low light conditions. Dawn and dusk are both popular hunting times. This is when prey tends to be most active in terms of looking for food and grazing. If this is your preferred hunting time, then consider an illuminated reticle.

Best Scope For AR 10 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Best Scope For AR 10 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As can be seen from our reviews and buying guide, AR 10 scope use is subjective. It will vary from shooter to shooter and be dependent upon such things as:

  • Your shooting style.
  • How often you use the weapon.
  • Distances you mostly shoot over.
  • A budget you are comfortable with.

The good news is that there is an excellent choice of superb Ar 10 scopes out there. However, this wide optic choice does lead to several common questions that many AR-10 owners need answers to. Therefore, to help save you time hunting around for these answers, here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

Do I really need a Scope for my AR-10?

By its very nature, the AR-10 is a perfect weapon for long-distance shooting. It should also be said that iron sights are all well and good. Indeed with continual practice, your range and accuracy will increase. Having said that, there is also no doubt that using a good scope will enhance your accuracy over increased distances.

Some expert and experienced target shooters may even reach out to 1,000 yards with iron sights. However, this is certainly the exception rather than the rule. When it comes to hunting, it is possible to hit a target at around 300 yards with iron sights alone.

But, to consistently hit mid to long-range targets with enhanced accuracy, shooters should choose one a good AR 10 scope. By doing so, you will most certainly increase precision and the number of times you hit your intended target.

Fixed or variable Magnification?

Fixed magnification scopes are easier to use. They also give enhanced clarity. This is through their ability to deliver a brighter, clearer view. On top of this, fixed magnification scopes only have one lens that emits light through the scope. They are also cheaper to purchase than variable magnification optics.

However, they do have limitations in the fact that the magnification level is set and cannot be changed. This can be problematic if you do not need that amount of magnification. An example would be shorter distance targeting. Your chosen fixed magnification optic may be too powerful in this instance.

This is where variable magnification scopes shine. They offer excellent versatility. The magnification strength can be changed up or down to suit the situation. Examples being for the particular location you happen to be in when prey is spotted, the type and size of target discovered, and how close/distant it happens to be.

Does more Magnification always make sense?

The answer here is a definite NO! Your chosen maximum magnification should be based on your shooting style and the distances that you are most likely to shoot over.

The biggest mistake shooters make is going for too much magnification. Decide the real, ‘in the field’ uses and distances you intend shooting over. Once this is established, you can then go for an AR10 scope recommendation with magnification that will suit your style.

Is Scope Construction that important?

You should always choose a quality scope that has been built to last. Budget is an obvious consideration here, but it needs to be remembered that the recoil of an AR-10 is hefty. With this in mind, your chosen optic needs to be able to withstand heavy recoil on a very regular basis.

Robustness of build, fog, and waterproof abilities are even more important if you are an active hunter. By the very nature of this pastime, you will find yourself in a variety of situations.

Accidental knocks and drops are seen as part and parcel of your pursuit. As for the weather, hardy hunters need to be prepared. This means a scope which stands up to all types of weather conditions is required.

What type of Mount should I go for?

In general, you will find two types of AR-10 mounts. This choice is either a one-piece mount or mounting using two-piece rings.

The benefit of the two-piece ring mount is that they are lighter and are mostly interchangeable between rifles. As for the one-piece optic mount, these are felt to be stronger and also come already aligned.

If pushed on a choice, we would opt for the one-piece mount.

Why is Eye Relief such an important consideration?

Make no mistake; the AR-10 is a beast of a weapon. Recoil can be significant, and in order to avoid the dreaded ‘scope eye,’ you need sufficient eye relief. The best optics for ar 10 shooters should offer generous eye relief. Unless you are a highly experienced shooter with a vice-like grip, then look at eye relief of at least 3.5-inches and above.

What type of Turrets should I look for?

You have a choice of exposed or covered turrets. Those into target shooting will find exposed turrets the best choice. For hunting purposes, then closed turrets are better. This is because no adjustment is required once you have spotted your target.

So, what is the Best Scope For AR 10?

Two things are apparent when looking at the best optics for ar 10:

  • Your type and style of shooting.
  • A price you are comfortable paying.

The good news is that due to the wide choice of optics available for AR-10 use, you are sure to find one that fits both your style and wallet.

If budget is not a consideration, then we would have to recommend the…

Nightforce Optics 5.5-22×56 NXS Riflescope

It’s the best of the best for those who can afford it.

However, if budget is a serious consideration. For those shooters who wish to spend far less but still want an effective AR10 scope recommendation, our choice is the…

Nikon PROSTAFF P3 2-7×32 Scope

It offers a choice of configuration and quality glass that gives consistent clarity and brightness. This optic also works very well in a variety of different hunting terrains. Then add the fact that upon purchase, your scope is covered by Nikon’s ‘No-fault Lifetime Repair & Replacement’ policy.

Taking all of this (and more) into consideration, it is clear that you are buying into a very good value AR-10 scope.

Happy and safe shooting.

5/5 - (78 votes)
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About Nick Oetken

Nick grew up in San Diego, California, but now lives in Arizona with his wife Julie and their five boys.

He served in the military for over 15 years. In the Navy for the first ten years, where he was Master at Arms during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. He then moved to the Army, transferring to the Blue to Green program, where he became an MP for his final five years of service during Operation Iraq Freedom, where he received the Purple Heart.

He enjoys writing about all types of firearms and enjoys passing on his extensive knowledge to all readers of his articles. Nick is also a keen hunter and tries to get out into the field as often as he can.

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