Best Ruger AR 556 Scope In 2023 – Top 5 Ranked Reviews

The Ruger AR 556 was released in early 2009 and quickly took the assault rifle market by storm. This rifle is Ruger’s direct competitor to the ever-popular AR-15 and is highly rated by reviewers and shooters alike. But as we all well know, no rifle setup is complete without some sort of scope added to the mix.

So, what is the best Ruger AR 556 scope, you ask?

Well, that really depends on the type of shooting you intend to use your rifle for. However, no matter if you are going to use your Ruger AR 556 for competition shooting, hunting, home defense, or tactical operations, I have covered all the bases in this rundown of the best riflescopes for Ruger AR 556 currently available on the market.

So, let’s go through them and find the perfect option for your AR 556, starting with the…

best ruger ar 556 scope reviews

Top 5 Best Ruger AR 556 Scope In 2023 Reviews

  1. Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm Prism Red Dot Sight – Best Ruger AR 556 Prism Red Dot
  2. Bushnell AR Optics Riflescope – 1-4 x 24mm – Best Ruger AR 556 FFP Scope
  3. Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Riflescope – Most Versatile Ruger AR 556 Scope
  4. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 x 40 Riflescope – Best Value for Money Ruger AR 556 Scope
  5. Primary Arms SLX 1X MicroPrism – Best Ruger AR 556 Red Dot

1 Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm Prism Red Dot Sight – Best Ruger AR 556 Prism Red Dot

The Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm Prism Red Dot Sight is a great place to start off this review. However, if you are unsure of how a prism scope differs from a traditional scope, then head on down to the buyers guide at the end of this article for a full breakdown.

There’s a couple of reasons why I like this scope over other competing prism scopes, but before I dive deep, let’s start with a look at the specs:

  • Objective Lens: 32 mm
  • Magnification Power: 3 x
  • Field of View, Linear: 32 ft at 100 ft
  • Eye Relief: 2.5 “
  • Mounting Rail Type: Picatinny
  • Battery Type: CR2032
  • Brightness Range: 10 for each color (red or green)
  • Weight: 14.2 ounces (402 g)
  • Length: 5.29 “ (13.4 cm)

Ok, so why do I like this scope so much?

For starters, the price is pretty hard to beat. The Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm Prism Red Dot Sight is a super affordable option, but don’t worry – Burris have not skimped on build quality or ruggedness.

Being a prism scope means it has a fixed magnification range of 3x. I find this magnification level to be extremely versatile, working at close ranges all the way up to the effective range of the rifle itself (about 300 to 400 yards).

Good quality glass…

The edge to edge clarity is top shelf, with zero color aberration issues that I noticed. The glass has been fully multi-coated with Burris’s Hi Lume proprietary coating – one of the best on the market – and the overall glass quality is surprising for the price.

I really, really like the reticle that the Burris AR-332 Prism Red Dot Sight uses. They call it the “Ballistic CQ reticle,” and it uses elements from a couple of different types of conventional reticles. The main dot at the center point is ranged for targets at 100 yards, with a series of smaller dots sitting underneath the main dot to help with hitting targets out to 600 yards. This is combined with a ¾ crosshair and targeting circle for close quarter engagements.

But the best part?

The reticle has been etched onto the prism itself, meaning that it will continue to serve you even when the battery eventually dies (usually at the most inconvenient time). It also comes with the “Burris Forever Warranty,” a huge advantage.

Overall one of my favorite AR scopes available right now!


  • Awesome “Ballistic CQ reticle.”
  • Prism tech for greater light transmission.
  • Three Picatinny rail mounting points.
  • Nitrogen purged.
  • Burris Forever warranty.
  • Fast and easy zeroing.


  • A little heavier than some of the other options.
  • Fixed magnification range.

2 Bushnell AR Optics Riflescope – 1-4 x 24mm – Best Ruger AR 556 FFP Scope

Next up, we have the Bushnell AR 1-4 x 24mm. This FFP reticle AR scope comes with great build quality and top class light transmission.


  • Objective Lens: 28 mm
  • Magnification Power: 1-4 x
  • Field of View, Linear: 27 ft at 100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 “
  • Mounting Rail Type: Picatinny
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Water Resistance Level: IPX-7
  • Weight: 17.3 oz (492g)
  • Length: 9.4” (240mm)

So, what features make this scope worthy of its spot on this list?

First up, the magnification range of 1 – 4 x is absolutely perfect for the Ruger AR 556. No matter what you plan to use the rifle for, this scope has you covered.

I also love the compact yet rugged design. This small unit packs a real punch and does so without compromising on build quality. The tube is one single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum that has been finished with a hard anodized, matte black coating.

A quality, simple design…

The “Drop Zone Reticle” is not dissimilar to the previous reticle I looked at; it’s just been stripped back and simplified. The center point is zeroed for 100 yards, with the preceding dots underneath sighted in for 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards, respectfully.

The turret design is also a big plus in my books. They come fully capped, but they are still quite easy to adjust even without using tools. Each click of the turrets is equal to 0.5 MOA adjustment, making fine tuning of this sight easy and simple.

The generous 3.6 inches of eye relief makes sighting down this scope an absolute breeze. There is very little chance of any recoil issues with this much eye relief, and I found it to be one of the easiest scopes to sight in this review.

Quality construction…

The glass comes fully multi-coated, with the clarity and brightness being superb. It has been nitrogen purged and comes with IPX7 water resistance, meaning the scope can be fully submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 mins without issue.

This scope also features a handy throw-down PCL power change lever, which makes changing the magnification level super quick.


  • Compact, durable, and fully waterproof.
  • Nitrogen purged.
  • Multi-coated optics for high light transmission.
  • Capped 0.5 MOA turrets.
  • Throw down PCL for quick magnification changes.
  • 1 – 4 x magnification range is perfect for the rifle.


  • A little heavy for its size.
  • Lifetime warranty does not cover internal electronics.

3 Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Riflescope – Most Versatile Ruger AR 556 Scope

If you’re on the hunt for a versatile Ruger AR 556 scope that won’t break the bank, then look no further than the excellent Simmons 8-Point 3-9 x 50mm riflescope. The guys and girls over at Simmons have spent the last two decades fostering a reputation for producing top quality scopes at rock bottom prices, and this scope definitely does not buck the trend!


  • Objective Lens: 50 mm
  • Magnification Power: 3 – 9 x
  • Field of View, Linear: 31.4 – 10.5 ft at 100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.75 “
  • Mounting Rail Type: Picatinny
  • Tube Diameter: 1 ”
  • Click Value (MOA): 0.25 MOA
  • Weight: 13.2 oz (374g)
  • Length: 13.8″ (350mm)

This is without a doubt one of the best value Ruger AR 556 scopes on the market right now. It does come with a few downsides, but these are severely outweighed by the long list of features Simmons have packed in.

Great for low light…

The huge, 50mm objective lens is a sight to behold. The larger the objective lens, the more light that is captured, the better the vision – it really is that simple. All of the internal glass has been fully multi-coated for brilliantly crisp vision. I found this to be one of the best Ruger AR 556 scopes for low light conditions out of all the scopes I tested for this article.

The Truplex reticle is a combination of thick, heavy outer lines that thin considerably as they come to the center intersecting point. There are small hash marks combined with the crosshair for quick target range estimation.

The 3 – 9 x magnification range…

This is a big selling point for this scope. Unsurprisingly the edge to edge clarity does suffer at the upper end of the magnification range, but the Ruger AR 556 is only accurate to about 300 or 400 yards either way, which moots this point to a certain extent.

Build quality is what really won me over. Top-notch aluminum, nitrogen purged, O-ring sealed, waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. Not much more to ask for. I even threw it on my .50 cal to see how it would handle the recoil and shock. Absolutely no problems at all.


  • The best affordable Ruger AR 556 Scope you can buy.
  • Great build quality.
  • Huge 50 mm objective lens.
  • 3 – 9 x variable magnification.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
  • Perfect backup scope
  • Great entry-level scope


  • Mounting is a bit tricky.

4 Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 x 40 Riflescope – Best Value for Money Ruger AR 556 Scope

Is buying a home grown, fully made in the USA product important to you?

These days you can purchase a high quality rifle scope that has been produced in a long list of countries, but there is still a certain amount of trust that comes with buying USA made. The VX-Freedom 3-9 x 40 is a mid-range scope from Leupold, one of the few weapon optic producers that still keeps all of its design and production 100% inside the USA.

This great rifle optic was introduced in early 2018, alongside a whole range of scopes that are suitable for any AR – VX-Freedom 4-12×40, VX-Freedom 3-9×40 CDS, VX-Freedom 3-9×50, VX-Freedom Muzzleloader 3-9×40, VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20 AR… The list goes on. You really can’t go wrong with any of this range but let’s take a more in-depth look at the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 x 40.


  • Objective Lens: 40 mm
  • Magnification Power: 3 – 9 x
  • Field of View, Linear: 33.1 – 13.6 ft at 100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 4.2 – 3.7 “
  • Mounting Rail Type: Ring
  • Illumination Type: Non-Illuminated
  • Tube Diameter: 1 ”
  • Click Value (MOA): 0.25 MOA
  • Weight: 12.2 oz (344g)
  • Length: 12.3 ″ (312mm)

Why should you choose this scope over the competition?

Well, the big selling point for me when it comes to Leupold scopes is the fact that they are used by certain branches of the U.S military.

It also comes with Leupolds famous, no-limits warranty. No matter if you are the original owner, if you have proof of purchase or not, if you are at fault for it breaking – Leupold has got you covered. They will repair or replace any of their scopes at no cost to the owner, and there is no time limit on this. Pretty impressive stuff.

So, down to the nitty gritty…

This 3 to 9x variable magnification scope comes with a 40 mm objective lens, the full multi-coating that Leupold names its “Twilight Light Management System.” This really does increase shooting time in low light conditions, offers extremely generous eye relief, and some of the best build quality currently available on the market, especially at this price point.

If you want the best wallet friendly variable magnification scope for the Ruger AR 556, then it’s hard to ignore the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 x 40.


  • Incredible value for money.
  • Top shelf build quality.
  • Great reticle.
  • Generous eye relief.
  • The best scope warranty available.
  • 100% USA designed and assembled.


  • Really not much to complain about here.

5 Primary Arms SLX 1X MicroPrism – Best Ruger AR 556 Red Dot

The Primary Arms SLX 1X MicroPrism is my favorite red-dot scope available right now and one of the best sights you can pair with a Ruger AR 556. If close quarter combat is your bread and butter, then you should be buying buy scope right now. Trust me; you will not regret it. So, let’s check out the…


  • Objective Lens: 17 mm
  • Magnification Power: 1 x
  • Field of View, Linear: 75.6 ft at 100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 “
  • Mounting Rail Type: Picatinny
  • Illumination Type: Partial Illumination
  • Illumination Color: LED – Red
  • Reticle: Etched ACSS Cyclops Gen II
  • Weight: 7 oz (198g)
  • Length: 2.48 ″ (62mm)

The Primary Arms SLX 1X MicroPrism is the most highly specified scope on this list, but with that specification comes excellent overall quality and usability.

Very impressive…

The reticle prompts super speedy target acquisition and features a three-quarter circle with center chevron and lower hash marks, which helps with range estimation and targeting. This reticle is etched directly onto the glass, so no worries if the battery dies, although with a whopping 29,000 hours of power when used on the medium setting, there’s not a whole lot to worry about.

This is combined with the most generous eye relief I have ever experienced with a prism scope. The box says 3.6 inches, but in reality, it’s much longer than this. The field of view is also super wide – 75.6 ft at 100 yards. It feels like you see almost double the field of what I am used to with red dots.

Built for the hunt…

There’s a total of eight different mounting height options, with three risers of differing heights included in the box. And the build quality is everything we have come to expect from Primary Arms. IP67 waterproof, full aluminum construction with a hard anodized matte black finish, nitrogen purged, and totally shockproof.

If you want the best red dot for your Ruger AR 566, I cannot recommend this scope highly enough.


  • 13 Illumination settings.
  • Half the size and much lighter than a traditional red dot.
  • Multiple height options.
  • Built to last.
  • Long life battery.
  • My favorite red dot on the market.


  • The mounting system is a little tricky, but there are other options available.

Best Ruger AR 556 Scope Buyers Guide

There are a few key factors to consider when choosing which of the above scopes will work best for you. Therefore, before you choose the best scope for your Ruger AR 556, make sure you think about what sort of shooting you will be doing the most and which scope will suit that the best.

This guide should make that decision easier.

Range and Magnification

The very first thing to consider is the range you will be targeting most commonly. The Ruger AR 556 is a powerful and versatile rifle that can be used to put down targets from close-quarters to about 300 to 400 yards, depending on which optic you go with.

best ruger ar 556 scope

The inherent bullet drop of the .556 round is the deciding factor in this max range, so there is really no use buying a scope with more than 6x magnification. However, if you are going to be using your Ruger AR 556 for home defense, you may want to go with a red dot sight, or maybe a scope with 2x magnification.

If you are more interested in competition shooting, hunting, or tactical operations, you may want to choose a variable magnification scope. It all depends on how you want to use your rifle.


Scopes are precision instruments. They incorporate finely tuned optics that must be protected from not just the elements but also recoil and everyday knocks and bumps. Therefore, it is important to ensure the scope you choose has been made from strong, robust, and rugged materials, such as aircraft-grade aluminum.

It’s also good to consider whether you want to go with a traditional scope or a prism scope. They both come with their own set of inherent advantages and disadvantages, but if you are not looking for variable magnification, then I usually suggest that you go with a prism scope.

What’s The Difference Between a Traditional Scope and a Prism Scope?

A traditional scope works in the same way as a telescope in that it uses a group of glass lenses to magnify and focus the captured light. Prism scopes, on the other hand, use a single glass prism in place of the group of lenses.

A prism scope features better light transmission, can be operated without a battery, and offers benefits for shooters who suffer from astigmatisms or other eyesight conditions. The two downsides are they do not offer variable magnification or magnification over 5x, and the eye relief is not as generous.

ruger ar 556 scope

Make sure that the scope you decide on has been gas purged to prevent any internal fogging issues, and that the glass has full multi-coating for maximum light transmission. You will also need adjustment turrets that are easy to use and cover all the adjustments that are important to you.

Eye Relief

The rule of thumb, when it comes to eye relief, is the more, the better. But what exactly is eye relief?

Well, eye relief is the distance between your eye and the viewing lens of the scope that offers the shooter a full view through the scope.

The more eye relief a scope offers, the safer it will be to operate. Now, it’s true that the .556 doesn’t “kick” a whole lot, but you still want a minimum of 3 or so inches of eye relief to ensure there are no issues with the scope hitting your eye from the recoil. This is commonly known as “scope bite” or “rifle tattoo,” and trust me; it is no fun at all.


This is true of any purchasing decision, but especially so when considering which is the best scope for Ruger AR 556 for you. Scope prices can vary wildly, and the most expensive is not always the best.

There has been a revolution in scope prices over the last decade or so, with an influx of cheaper options bringing the overall market price down. These days you can get a high quality Ruger AR 556 riflescope for a very reasonable price.

Need a Scope for One of Your Other Rifles?

If so, take a look at my in-depth reviews of the Best Scope for Hog Hunting, the Best Scout Scopes, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Vortex Scopes, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifle Scopes, or the Best Deer Hunting Scopes currently on the market.

Or, how about our reviews of the Best Scope for AK-47, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Mil Dot Scopes, as well as the Best Rimfire Scopes you can buy in 2023.

So, Which is The Best Ruger AR 556 Scope?

Again, that totally depends on the type of shooting you do. Every single one of the scopes listed is fantastic in its own right and will perform very well under specific circumstances. But I do have to choose an overall winner, so I guess I should pick the most versatile of the bunch.

With that in mind, I would have to go for the…

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 x 40

USA designed and made, with a ridiculously impressive warranty, it is just a great all around AR scope. Highly recommended.

Happy and safe shooting.

5/5 - (89 votes)
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About Wayne Fletcher

Wayne is a 58 year old, very happily married father of two, now living in Northern California. He served our country for over ten years as a Mission Support Team Chief and weapons specialist in the Air Force. Starting off in the Lackland AFB, Texas boot camp, he progressed up the ranks until completing his final advanced technical training in Altus AFB, Oklahoma.

He has traveled extensively around the world, both with the Air Force and for pleasure.

Wayne was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster (second award), for his role during Project Urgent Fury, the rescue mission in Grenada. He has also been awarded Master Aviator Wings, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Combat Crew Badge.

He loves writing and telling his stories, and not only about firearms, but he also writes for a number of travel websites.

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