The M4 carbine rifle is incredibly versatile, providing close to mid-range shooting with single, semi, and either burst or full auto capabilities. It can be used for hunting, target shooting, or makes a fantastic self-defense weapon.
A rifle as amazing and versatile as this requires an optic just as incredible to match its range of capabilities. Luckily there is a huge range of optics available which are suitable for the M4. The problem is, which one is the best?
I decided to take an in-depth look at the best M4 scope and optic options currently on the market to find out.
Top 5 Best M4 Scope and Optic In 2023 Reviews
1 Bushnell AR Optic – Best Value for Money M4 Scope and Optic
The AR series from Bushnell is one of their newest products and has been made specifically for use on rifles such as the M4. It offers a tough build along with accuracy and reliability at an affordable price for one of America’s most popular firearm platforms.
There are also a bunch of useful features available for those who wish to use a traditional scope rather than a red dot optic. This gives users the ability to shoot both close and medium-range for hunting, targets, and self-defense.
Variable power zoom…
A variable zoom range of between 1x and 6x is provided by the Bushnell AR Optic through the compact 24-millimeter objective lens. Mounting is simple thanks to the 30-millimeter single-piece tube design with huge amounts of hardware available.
At only 10.2-inches (259-millimeters) in length and weighing just 16.5-ounces (468-grams), it is both compact and lightweight. Eye relief of 3.6-inches (91-millimeters) makes taking advantage of the true 1x magnification for both eyes open targeting.
Speed and accuracy…
A combination of both speed and accuracy is possible using the illuminated BTR-1 reticle. Etched on the second focal plane, the reticle remains static throughout the zoom range. A red dot surrounded by a partial donut with a bullet drop compensator makes up the design.
To quickly adjust magnification power, there are two PCLs (Power Change Levers) included with the AR Optic. The short PCL comes installed along with a long lever in the box resulting in fast and accurate target acquisition.
- Made specifically for AR platform rifles like the M4.
- Variable power zoom of between true 1x and 6x magnification power.
- Offers both speed and accuracy with an illuminated BTR-1 reticle.
- The reticle can become canted.
- Larger and heavier than a red dot optic.
2 Burris RT6 – Best Tactical M4 Scope and Optic
Once again, we have a scope designed to be a compact, lightweight, and affordable option for AR platform rifles. This makes it a perfect addition to the M4 for anyone who wishes to use their rifle for hunting or tactical situations.
A variable zoom range of between 1x and 6x magnification power is a great match for the M4’s capabilities. It’s also perfect for those who can’t decide what type of optic to choose, as a red dot can easily be mounted on top of the low-profile design.
Multiple brightness settings…
The illuminated Ballistic AR Mil Reticle has a total of twelve brightness settings available for use in all types of lighting conditions. Featuring a broken circle with a red dot center for speed at close range and tick marks for longer-range accuracy.
High-quality glass has been used by Burris in the RT6 for fantastic levels of light transmission from a 24-millimeter objective lens. In addition, a multi-coating further increases light transmission while also reducing glare and reflections in bright conditions.
Capped tactical turrets…
Burris has added capped tactical turrets that provide great feedback along with accuracy and precision. Both the windage and election turrets offer 0.5 MOA of adjustment per click, with a total range of 80 MOA for each.
The scope is built around a 30-millimeter high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum tube. With the addition of O-ring seals and nitrogen purging, the RT6 offers shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof construction.
- Illuminated AR Mil Reticle with 12 brightness settings.
- High-quality glass for fantastic light transmission.
- Great feedback from capped tactical turrets.
- Lower-end of adjustment range at only 80 MOA.
- Slightly heavier than other comparable scopes.
3 Vortex Venom – Best Compact M4 Scope and Optic
Next, in my rundown of the Best Optics for M4, as mentioned in the previous review, some shooters prefer having both a scope and a red dot optic. That requires both optics to be compact and lightweight, which is exactly what’s on offer from the Vortex Venom.
The Venom measures only 1.9 x 1.1 x 1.02-inches (48 x 28 x 26-millimeters) and weighs only 1.1-ounces (31-grams). It can be used as a standalone optic on your M4 and also even used on a handgun, making it incredibly versatile.
Simple and fast…
Aiming is kept simple and ultra-fast with a 3 MOA red dot illuminated within the wide field of view. There are ten brightness settings to choose from depending on what type of lighting conditions and environment you’re facing.
If you prefer to concentrate more on your targets, you can take advantage of the auto-brightness mode. An ambient light sensor will control the dot intensity according to the current light conditions within the environment.
A durable and lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum housing ensures that the Vortex Venom optic can withstand whatever’s thrown at it. Lenses are also multi-coated for superior light transmission and glare reduction.
Windage and elevation can quickly and easily be adjusted by 1 MOA per click using a coin or small screwdriver. There’s also a top-load battery compartment, so it can simply be changed while still remaining mounted to your firearm.
- Extremely compact, lightweight, and versatile.
- Fast and simple 3 MOA red dot aiming point.
- Convenient top-load battery compartment.
- Small for a standalone optic but still effective.
- 1 MOA per click adjustments aren’t very precise.
4 EOTech 512-A65 – Best Holographic M4 Scope and Optic
The EOTech 512-A65 is one of the most popular holographic red dot sights available. Instead of the more common reflex technology, EOTech reflects a laser onto a more complicated reticle for faster and more accurate performance.
A wider field of view is possible for the shooter making it much easier to maintain situational awareness. This is all provided in a sleek and slim design with a square body and square lens that looks great sitting on top of your M4.
Incredible close-range performance…
As with most red dot sights, the 512-A65 is designed for shooting up to a range of about 200-yards (183-meters). The user’s eye is naturally directed towards the 65 MOA circle, which contains a 1 MOA red dot center.
If you’re after speed, this optic is one of the fastest M4 scopes out there and has the convenience of running on two AA batteries. The true 1x magnification lens also makes both eyes open shooting possible.
Performs in almost any environment…
Thanks to an almost indestructible design, the EOTech 512-A65 holographic red dot can perform in almost any environment. It is shockproof for heavy recoil weapons, waterproof and can be fully submerged in water, and fog-proof for use in cold and humid environments.
Accurate and precise adjustments can be made for both windage and elevation with 0.5 MOA of movement per click. Weighing only 10.9-ounces (309-grams), the optic is extremely lightweight and won’t affect the balance of your firearm.
- A wide field of view for fantastic situational awareness.
- A65 illuminated reticle is both fast and accurate.
- Shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof construction.
- More expensive than reflex red dot sights.
- Battery life isn’t that great.
5 Trijicon ACOG – Best Premium M4 Scope and Optic
What better scope is there to match with a military firearm than the optic of choice for the U.S. Military? The Trijicon ACOG has become a legend due to its ruggedness, reliability, accuracy, and simplicity.
It has been designed for use with AR platform rifles such as the M16, AR-15, AR-10, and of course, the M4. Elite military soldiers swear by the ACOG and rely on it in the toughest of combat situations, so it should stand up to pretty much anything you can think of.
One of the standout features provided by Trijicon optics is its dual illumination capabilities. When taking advantage of ambient light, fiber optic technology is used to illuminate the reticle to a brightness suited perfectly to the surrounding conditions.
In low to no-light situations, the ACOG uses Tritium technology to ensure the reticle remains illuminated without any light leakage through the objective lens. The best part about both these technologies is that there are no batteries required.
Fixed power magnification…
A fixed magnification power of 4x is suitable for targeting up to distances of about 730-yards (800-meters). The objective lens is 32-millimeters for fantastic levels of light transmission, ensuring that images are vivid, clear, and bright.
When purchasing the ACOG, there is a choice of either red or green illumination. There’s also the option of either a TA31-CHA crosshair or TA31-G Donut reticle with both, including bullet drop compensation for amazing levels of both speed and accuracy.
- The optic choice of elite U.S. Military soldiers.
- Battery-free dual illumination using fiber optic and Tritium technology.
- Choice of crosshair or donut reticle in red or green illumination.
- This level of bulletproof reliability and accuracy isn’t cheap.
- Every other optic will feel inferior compared to the ACOG.
Best M4 Scope and Optic Buying Guide
There is no shortage of scopes and optics available for the M4, but they don’t all offer the same level of consistency, reliability, and accuracy. However, I have ensured that each of the products reviewed ticks all of these boxes at the very minimum.
That’s why you might be finding it difficult to pick which of these fantastic optics is best suited for your needs. So, I decided to include this handy buying guide which is designed to point out some key differences so you can make a confident and informed decision for your new M4 scope.
Variable Zoom Range
If you’re looking to get the longest range out of your M4 rifle, then you’re going to need a scope over a red dot sight. Scope technology has come a long way and can offer red dot-like performance in a compact and lightweight package along with a variable zoom range.
Both the Bushnell AR Optic and Burris RT6 are small in size yet still big on features. Both have been made specifically for AR platforms, with the Bushnell providing a slightly faster style reticle and the Burris getting the edge on accuracy.
Point and Shoot
For true speed and simplicity, the best solution is a red dot optic, making aiming as easy as point and shoot. The Vortex Venom will work perfectly alongside the Burris RT6 as it can easily be mounted on top. For something standalone, though, there are some better options available.
The EOTech 512-A65 is one of the most popular holographic red dot sights on the market, and with good reason. It’s reliable, accurate, and simple to use. But when it comes to truly amazing performance, the Trijicon ACOG is next level.
Need a Few More Scope Options?
Then check out our reviews of the Best Marlin 336 Scopes, the Best Shotgun Scopes, the Best Long Range Scopes under 1000 Dollars, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifles, the Best Night Vision Scopes for AR-15, or the Best Deer Hunting Scopes you can buy in 2023.
Or, how about our in-depth reviews of the Best Scope for Hog Hunting, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best .308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Scopes for M&P 15-22, as well as the Best Mil Dot Scopes currently on the market.
So, What is The Best M4 Scope and Optic?
It’s actually rather simple to choose which is the best M4 optic. With the M4 being the standard issue rifle for most units in the U.S. military, it makes sense to match it with the scope or optic that is also the choice for most U.S. military units.
If I haven’t already given it away, the best scope for M4 is the…
It is the perfect match for this rifle, and if you can afford one, get one, it really is the best of the best.
Happy and safe shooting.