There are many reasons why the AR15 is such a popular rifle, from its simplicity, customization possibilities, and let’s not forget performance. However, with the AR15’s popularity and the number of accessories available, it can be tricky to match the perfect scope.
A great place to mount your scope is on the carry handle, but that still doesn’t narrow your options down too much. So how do you find the best AR15 carry handle scopes without spending days searching the internet?
Well, that’s why I decided to review the best scopes for the carry handle of an AR15 currently on the market. So, let’s go through them and find the perfect scope option for your AR15.
Top 10 Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes In 2021 Reviews
1 AT3 RD-50 Pro – Best Compact AR15 Carry Handle Scope
Let’s started with an affordable and compact sight that is perfect for mounting on the AR15’s handle. This great little red dot optic from AT3 called the RD-50 Pro will provide users with both eyes open, accurate targeting.
It offers many of the features normally only provided in more expensive models at only a fraction of the price. The RD-50 Pro is built tough, so it’s dependable and will allow users to take consistent and accurate shots.
Ready for all environments…
Rubber gaskets have been installed on the battery compartment and also the turrets. Nitrogen has also been filled in the body for fog-proof operation. The result is a waterproof housing that can withstand all weather conditions, including rain and humidity.
The body has also been constructed from high-quality 6061 T6 aluminum and then given a hard-anodized coating. If that wasn’t enough, this is all then covered with a rubber housing, making the RD-50 almost indestructible.
That’s not all…
There is no magnification power being a 1x optic giving a natural view through the 25-millimeter objective lens. At only 2.4-inches (61.8-millimeters) in length, the scope won’t extrude past the AR15’s handle.
A 2 MOA red dot is displayed for the reticle, which is easily identifiable while still maintaining accuracy for short to mid-range targets. There are 11 reticle brightness settings available to match any type of lighting conditions.
- Compact and affordable scope.
- Built rugged with aluminum, hard anodizing, and rubber cover.
- Eleven selectable reticle brightness settings.
- No auto-brightness setting.
- Missing an auto-shutoff.
2 Bushnell Trophy – Best Lightweight AR15 Carry Handle Scope
The next fantastic scope for mounting on your AR15 handle is Bushnell’s Trophy red dot rifle scope. It can also be considered as a compact scope measuring only 2.5-inches (64.5-millimeters) in length and weighing only 3.68-ounces (104-grams).
Featuring a slightly larger 3 MOA dot reticle, the accuracy is reduced by only a tiny amount. The advantage, though, is that target acquisition is much faster because the red dot can be more easily identified through the scope.
Even though this is a highly affordable scope for mounting to your AR15 handle, it is still built tough. Thanks to the O-ring seals, the Bushnell Trophy will continue to operate even when completely submerged underwater.
The body has also been nitrogen purged for fog-proof performance. No matter if there are rapid temperature changes or high humidity, your scope is ready to go. The metal construction is even shockproof, able to withstand bumps, bangs, and drops.
A bright future…
Powered by a single CR2 lithium battery, the reticle has 11 different selectable brightness settings to choose from. Use a higher setting during daylight, or a lower setting during nighttime operation, which will also conserve the battery power.
The scope will mount easily onto Weaver and Picatinny-style rails. Some additional hardware will be required for attaching to an AR15 handle, but due to the scope’s lightweight and low price, this isn’t too much of an issue.
- Small and lightweight at only 3.68-ounces (104-grams).
- Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof construction.
- Eleven different selectable reticle brightness settings.
- Additional hardware required for mounting to an AR15 handle.
- Lowest brightness setting is still rather bright.
3 Ronin V10 – Best Budget AR15 Carry Handle Scope
Next in my Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes review, we have the Ronin V10, which offers some great features that are often reserved for more expensive products at an amazingly affordable price. There is even a lifetime warranty offered with each product that will repair or replace any defects or damage.
This red dot optic sight has a 2 MOA reticle when viewed through the 35-millimeter objective lens. It is well-suited to being mounted on the AR15 rifle handle due to its unlimited eye relief and zero parallax.
Power is conveniently supplied by a single common AAA battery and can operate for up to 50,000-hours on the lowest brightness setting. Adding to the already great value is a removable anti-reflective cover.
To help conserve the battery life, a built-in motion sensor will automatically activate the scope. If it isn’t used for 4-hours, it will also automatically shut off. There are even 12 selectable brightness settings for the reticle.
The Ronin V10 is constructed from a single piece of premium aluminum for lightness and rigidity. Along with the high-quality material, this scope is also waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof for use in all types of weather and environments.
To increase lens clarity and also extra protection, an amber multi-coating has been added. The coatings increase light transmission, reduce glare, and also protect the lenses against dust, dirt, scratches, and oils.
- Lifetime repair or replace warranty included.
- Powered conveniently by a single AAA battery.
- Automatic activation and shut-off.
- Turret adjustment isn’t as accurate as competitors.
- Additional hardware required for handle installation.
4 Vortex SPARC – Best Affordable AR15 Carry Handle Scope
Vortex Optics currently manufactures some of the highest quality yet affordable products on the market. One of its most popular optics is the SPARC red dot rifle sight, and it’s little wonder considering what’s on offer.
The compact and lightweight form factor makes this scope a great option for mounting to an AR15 handle. Suitable for both close-range and mid-range targeting, this rugged, lightweight, and compact optic is of great value.
For added convenience, all the digital controls are located at the rear of the optic. Make any needed adjustments while maintaining your head position. There are 11 different brightness settings available using the controls.
Included in the 11 brightness settings are two that are compatible with night vision equipment, further adding to the scope’s versatility. You can enjoy all these features being powered by a single common AAA battery providing up to 50,000-hours of use.
Point and shoot…
The 2 MOA dot reticle provides simple point and shoot performance for close-quarter scenarios. It is also small enough for accurate targeting at longer distances making for a great all-rounder optic.
Constructed from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, this scope can handle pretty much whatever is thrown at it. Along with its strength, the SPARC is also waterproof, nitrogen purged for fog-proofing, and shockproof.
- Fantastic close-range and mid-range performance.
- Convenient 2 MOA dot reticle size.
- Compatible with night-vision equipment.
- Turrets can be difficult to access.
- Lacking any advanced features.
5 Brownells 4x – Best Retro AR15 Carry Handle Scope
The most common style of scope shooters choose for attaching to an AR15 handle is a red dot. However, if you prefer a traditional-style optic, then the Brownells 4x offers retro-style scope performance in a compact size.
The original company that produced the Colt AR15 optics during the 1970s was tracked down to build this scope. It is as close as possible to the original design, right down to the yellow inspection stickers while still utilizing the latest technology.
Amazing optical clarity…
Thanks to advancements in technology since the 1970’s the optical clarity on offer is well beyond expectations. The fully multi-coated lenses help to provide high levels of light transmission while also reducing the amount of glare experienced.
Designed specifically to be installed on an AR15 carry handle, this scope can be attached quickly and easily. You don’t even require any tools for mounting or for adjusting the BDC click adjustable turrets.
Fine duplex reticle…
Sporting a fine and intuitive reticle, it is a great option for accurate mid-range targeting. This is paired with the fixed 4x magnification power of the scope. The objective lens measures 21-millimeters in diameter.
You can continue to use your AR15 and Brownells scope combination in all types of weather and environments. This is thanks to both a waterproof and fog-proof design using O-rings and nitrogen purging.
- Traditional retro-style scope for your AR15.
- Easily mounted to the handle without requiring any tools.
- Waterproof and fog-proof construction.
- Longer and heavier than a red dot optic.
- Limited eye relief of 3.11-inches (79-millimeters).
6 EOTech 552 – Best Tactical AR15 Carry Handle Scope
If you want a holographic red dot optic that has been standardized by the DEA, ATF, FBI, and SWAT, the EOTech 552 is for you. It is also the optic of choice for various military units and is a battle-proven being able to handle even the harshest environments.
The scope is configured for super-fast target acquisition and is incredibly accurate up to around 800-yards. It is also convenient to operate, being powered by a single readily available AA battery.
The Eotech 552 has been subjected to military drop tests in an effort to test its durability. Consistently remaining operational and holding zero, the scope more than proved its impressive capabilities.
Utilizing a jet fighter-style HUD (Heads Up Display), obstructions and restricted angle vision is eliminated. Because you can keep both eyes open while detecting targets through the scope, you can maintain full situational awareness.
High level of accuracy…
With a smaller yet still clear 1 MOA dot, this sight is incredibly accurate, allowing for more of the target to remain visible. With 20 brightness levels, the 552 can adapt to any type of lighting condition you’re faced with.
The reticle used in this fantastic holographic red dot sight is a 1 MOA dot set within a 65 MOA ring. Compatible with all generations of night-vision equipment, 10 of the brightness settings are designed specifically for use with NV.
- Used by elite law enforcement and military units.
- Jet fighter-style HUD offers clear visibility.
- Twenty brightness settings with ten compatible with night-vision.
- Less affordable than other options.
- Will make other products feel inferior.
7 TruGlo Ignite – Best Hunting AR15 Carry Handle Scope
Let’s continue my review of the Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes by going back to the versatile and more affordable options. The TruGlo Ignite is just at home hunting as it is with targets and plinking. It features a range of useful features that are well suited to the AR15 and is a great scope to mount on the handle.
It is built using quality materials and utilizes the latest technology to provide an accurate and reliable optic. Power is supplied by a single easy-to-access AAA battery that is supported by some energy-efficient technology.
An auto-off feature helps to conserve battery life creating a high level of energy efficiency. The memory function also remembers which brightness setting was last used and remains on that setting each time the device is powered on.
There are eight brightness settings to choose from for use in various types of lighting environments. For ease of use, the settings can be scrolled through using digital push-button controls that are easily accessed and operated.
Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, the Ignite scope is both lightweight and durable. At just 2.88-inches (73-millimeters) long, it is compact and will comfortably sit on the handle of an AR15 without adding unnecessary bulk.
The 2 MOA dot reticle can provide accurate aiming through the 30-millimeter objective lens. It can comfortably be viewed from almost any position, thanks to the unlimited eye relief offered. Vision will always remain clear because of nitrogen purging for fog-free operation.
- Powered by a single AAA battery.
- Auto-off feature for power-efficient performance.
- Unlimited eye relief for the 2 MOA dot reticle.
- Only eight brightness settings.
- 1x magnification limits shooting range.
8 Burris AR-332 – Best Ballistics AR15 Carry Handle Scope
The Burris AR-332 is a prism red dot sight that is a great match for the AR15 and easily mounts to the handle. It offers fixed 3x magnification power for close to mid-range targeting while hunting, target shooting, or self-defense.
The scope can simply be mounted onto the carry handle of an AR15 but also comes with a Picatinny style rail mount included. That way, you can take advantage of this accurate and reliable device on multiple firearms.
A unique ballistics and close quarters reticle performs just as well at short range as it does over longer distances. Utilizing a bullet drop compensator, it’s possible to make calculated adjustments out to 500-yards (457-meters).
The reticle can be illuminated in either red or green and has ten different brightness settings for use across a range of environments. To view the reticle through the 32-millimeter objective lens, there’s an eye relief of 2.5-inches (63.5-millimeters).
At a length of 5.29-inches (134-millimeters) and weighing only 14.2-ounces (402-grams), the AR-332 is both compact and lightweight. It is powered by a single CR2032 lithium coin-style battery and is highly energy efficient.
Multi-coated lenses allow users to enjoy a clear and sharp view with high levels of light transmission along with low glare. With higher levels of contrast, this lets shooters track and acquire targets with speed and ease.
- Unique ballistics and QC reticle.
- Reticle illuminated in either red or green.
- Lens multi-coating for clear and sharp images.
- Does not have unlimited eye relief.
- Uses a less common CR2032 battery.
9 Barska 4×20 – Best Electro Sight AR15 Carry Handle Scope
The second product reviewed that isn’t a red dot optic is the Barska 4×20 Electro Sight rifle scope. While once again it is a bit larger and heavier than a red dot, it does offer a more traditional style of performance.
The scope easily mounts onto the inside track of an AR15 or M16’s carry handle. The base of the sight even contains a peep sight that allows you to continue the use of the rifle’s iron sights as a backup.
Best of both worlds…
The Barska 4×20 Electro Sight takes the best of both worlds when it comes to a traditional scope and a red dot sight. It is almost as compact as a red dot and still offers 4x magnification power through a 20-millimeter objective lens.
Just like most red dot sights, the Electro Sight is also constructed with waterproof and fog-proof construction. That means this scope can comfortably be used across a range of different environments and weather conditions.
Shooting with pinpoint accuracy is possible thanks to the inclusion of a 30/30 crosshair-style reticle. This is complete with a bullet drop compensator calibrated to 500-yards (457-meters) in 100-yard (91-meter) increments.
Making adjustments to the elevation and windage turrets is fast and easy because of its finger adjustable tactical-style design. All of the markings are displayed clearly, so you can quickly and easily make fast and precise adjustments.
- Mounts easily to the handle of AR15 and M16 rifles.
- 30/30 crosshair-style reticle and bullet drop compensator.
- Finger adjustable tactical-style elevation and windage turrets.
- Larger and heavier than a red dot optic.
- No illumination for low light scenarios.
10 Trijicon ACOG – Best Premium AR15 Carry Handle Scope
Some people like to have only the latest and greatest when it comes to their equipment. If this sounds like you, then hopefully, you have a the budget to match because owning premium products usually involves a premium price tag.
Ideal for hunting and even multiple moving targets, this day and night optic is a perfect match for the AR15. The scope is small, compact, and lightweight making it easily handled and carried, maintaining your rifle’s balance.
Choice of U.S. Marines…
Not only is this optic a very popular choice amongst U.S. Marines, but it’s also usually one of their favorite pieces of equipment. It is combat-proven, truly do anything optic, that is built like a tank, and has battery-free illumination.
With fixed 4x magnification power, the ACOG is best suited for close to mid-range targets. The premium quality aircraft-grade aluminum is precision machined to exact tolerances, given a hard-anodized finish, then placed inside a rubber jacket.
No matter if it’s day or night, the ACOG remains illuminated at the optimal brightness at all times. This is made possible through the use of Tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen that provides a natural illuminating glow.
The optic is designed specifically for mounting on the handle of an AR15 or M16 rifle. It weighs only 9.9-ounces (280-grams) and measures just 5.8-inches (147-millimeters) with a 32-millimeter diameter objective lens.
- Battery-free operation during both day and night.
- Built with the highest possible quality materials.
- Suitable for hunting multiple moving targets.
- Unaffordable for most users.
- Your targets won’t stand a chance.
Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes Buying Guide
With so many fantastic options currently on the market, and even with me narrowing it down to this list, it’s still a difficult decision. That’s why I’ve included a useful buying guide so you can make the most informed choice possible.
I will point out some of the key differences between these products that you may not have considered. So, let’s take a look at which of these scopes is best for which purpose.
Almost any scope can be added to the AR15 rifle, thanks to the amount of rail space available in its design. With the correct hardware, you can also mount almost any scope to the handle of your AR15. However, some shooters prefer something that has been specifically designed.
The Brownells 4x carry handle scope not only has been designed with your AR15 in mind, but it also provides a cool retro look. For something a little different, why not try the Barska Electro sight? Or, if you have an unlimited budget, the Trijicon ACOG is sure to impress.
Under the Microscope
Do you require any magnification power from your scope? With the majority of these scopes being red dots, most will offer a natural 1x view without any magnification. But there are still a few options with small fixed magnification options for longer range shooting.
Brownell’s retro scope has 4x magnification power and a crosshair-style reticle. The Burris AR-332 prism red dot also offers 3x magnification along with both green and red reticle illumination. You also have the options of the Barska or Trijicon ACOG with 4x magnification.
If you still can’t decide on which of these great products should sit atop of your AR15’s handle, then keep reading. In the conclusion, I will reveal my choice for the best carry handle scope for an AR15 and why. But before that, are you…
Looking for More High-quality Scope Options?
If so, check out my in-depth reviews of the Best Low Light Rifle Scope, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, the Best Mil Dot Scopes, the Best Rimfire Scopes, or the Best Deer Hunting Scopes currently on the market in 2021.
Or, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Scopes for M&P 15-22, the Best Scout Scopes, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, as well as the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifles you can buy.
So, What is The Best of The Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes?
I’ve taken the following into consideration in making my choice for the best carry handle scope for AR15. It must be well built for reliability, consistency, and accuracy. It must also offer useful features while still being of great value.
The product that performs the best across all these areas is the…
Being the choice for law enforcement and the military is a huge endorsement for its quality and reliability. The scope is also highly accurate and will perform in almost any environment under any conditions. It’s not the cheapest, but still has a lot to offer for the price.
Happy and safe shooting.