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Burris AR-536 Review

Burris. One of the most trusted names in rifle optics. And for good reason! They make some of the best cost to quality optics available today!

The Burris AR-536 does not buck this trend, that’s for sure. Coming in at as little as one-third of the price of some of its direct competitors, while still delivering all the functionality I need from a reflex sight, this unit does not disappoint.

Sure, it is not a perfect piece of engineering – but with its highly visible illuminated reticle (even when the battery dies), top-quality optic glass, compact and durable design featuring full waterproofing, shock proofing, and fog proofing, and 5x magnification, it ticks almost every box for me.

So stick around…

By the end of this Burris AR-536 Review, you will know whether this is the best reflex scope for you!

burris ar 536 review

Specifications

  • Focal Plane: FFP (first focal plane)
  • Reticle: Ballistic CQ reticle etched onto glass
  • Illumination Color: Red, Black, or Green
  • Illumination Control: Rotary dial
  • Adjustment Graduation: ⅓ MOA
  • Windage Adjustment Range: 70 MOA
  • Elevation Adjustment Range: 70 MOA
  • Height Above Rail to Optic Centerline: 1.6 inches
  • Eye Relief: 2.5-3.5 inches
  • Weight and Length: 18.75 oz – 5.75 inches
  • Colour: Matte Black
  • Close Focus: 25 ft
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 36 mm
  • Mount: Picatinny
  • Magnification and Type: 5x Fixed
  • Parallax/Focus: Fixed at 100 yards
  • Storage temperature -40 to + 165 F
  • Working temperature -10 to + 125 F

Along with the scope itself, included in the box are the:

  • Weaver/Picatinny-style Mount.
  • User manual.
  • Microfibre cloth.

Magnification


The magnification range is fixed at 5x, with the close focus at 25 feet and the parallax focus set at 100 yards. This makes for an extremely powerful sight for close to medium range targets, although I would not recommend buying this scope if you are looking to drop anything that is more than about 700 yards away.

During testing, I found the optimal targeting range for the Burris AR-536 to be anywhere between 100 to 550 yards, although these numbers are not set in stone.

Reticle Type

One of the main reasons I was so excited to try this scope was…

Burris’ very own Ballistic CQ reticle. Developed by the guys over at Burris with law enforcement and military uses in mind, it is also perfect for day to day use and for competitive shooting.

Fast, accurate, and simple with all the information you want presented in an easy-to-understand way!

The first feature is a thick-lined circular center that aids in leading your eye to the target. Inside this circle is a crosshair with a center dot that is the accurate aiming position for targets at 100 yards out. The series of three dots below this main dot decrease in size and indicate the aiming points for 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards, respectively.

Lastly, there is a larger white dot featured inside the bottom of the aiming circle that is used for aiming at targets at 600 yards.

The reticle is illuminated by a CR2032 battery which is able to power the unit for a ridiculous amount of time.

burris ar 536

How long?

Well, that depends on which brightness setting you pick, with five levels of brightness to choose from. At the brightest setting, the battery will last around 200 hours, and at the lowest, it will keep on kicking for more than 500 hours! Crazy stuff.

Even when the battery dies, the reticle is really easy to pick up as it has been etched directly onto the optical glass.


Optics

The Burris AR-536 isn’t your traditional reflex sight!

This is one of the new prism scope designs that have become more and more popular over the last few years. They are also sometimes called prismatic scopes, and they have been taking over the low magnification range scope market.

What’s the hype all about?

Traditional scopes work kind of like a telescope; that is, they collect light through the objective lens (that’s the end facing away from the shooter – typically the larger lens), which is then focused on a point inside the lens. A series of lenses is then used to magnify and focus the light from this focal point, which is in turn transmitted to the eyepiece.

Therefore, they are inherently complicated devices with low tolerances that can be easily knocked or bumped out of zero.

the burris ar 536 review

Prism scopes, on the other hand…

Use a… (and this is probably not going to be a surprise at this point)… glass prism to magnify and focus a scopes optical image. This simpler design comes with a few major benefits over your traditional red dot sight, such as:

  • The option of magnification, extending the effective range of your weapon.
  • Fewer parts, making them inherently more rugged and less likely to break.
  • The reticle can be etched, allowing for reticle viewing when the batteries eventually die.
  • Prism setups allow for better light transmission and give very sharp results.
  • They come with the option of an adjustable diopter, making them perfect for shooters who suffer from astigmatisms or other sight issues.

However…

The one downside of prism scopes is the fact that they usually come with shorter eye relief than red dot sights, although the Burris AR-563 is not the worst offender with 2.5-3.5 inches of eye relief which should be fine for the majority of shooters.

All of the glass used is fully multi-coated, which again ensures maximum light transmission, and the inclusion of a short but effective sunshade helps in direct sunlight away from the lens.


The overall clarity of this scope is fantastic. It is definitely up there with the best available right now, and it costs a lot less than some of the other options out there.

Windage and Elevation Adjustments

The windage and elevation turrets are of the capped variety to help protect your adjustments from the everyday bumps that you are bound to run into (always a plus). These caps are also lashed to the sight itself with short stainless steel cables to ensure they don’t run away while you are making your adjustments.

Adjustments cant be made by hand, but all you need is a coin (a dime works best) or a sight adjustment tool.

Each click equates to ⅓ MOA, and both windage and elevation can be adjusted by up to 70 MOA, more than enough for every shooter and situation.

Build Quality

Burris have made a name for themselves over the years when it comes to build quality.

Solid and reputable!

And the Burris AR-563 is no different! High-grade aircraft aluminum is on display, with a chunkiness and weight that is satisfying without feeling like it will throw the whole setup off balance.

The scope has been nitrogen purged to ensure no fogging issues even in the worst weather and is also fully water and shock-proof.

In the unlikely case that you do somehow manage to damage or break this scope, Burris have you covered. Their extremely generous no-questions-asked lifetime warranty means there is really nothing to worry about. Just make sure to keep copies of your proof of purchase.

the burris ar 536

Quick tip

Take photos of your important receipts and save them somewhere easy to access. I use Google photos which automatically sorts them into their own folder and is backed up in case I lose my phone.

Who Should Buy The Burris AR-563?

Well, anyone who is looking for a quality versatile reflex scope, really. I’m not saying this is the perfect rifle optic, but it is a pretty damn good one.

I wouldn’t say this scope is good for long range uses, but for close to medium range, it is an absolute beast.


If you’re in the market for a scope that will give you a boost in both competition and tactical situations, then this very well could be the optic for you! It’s priced to sell and super easy to install on any rifle, and zeroing is a breeze.

Burris AR-536 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Optical prism tech.
  • Etched reticle.
  • Huge battery life.
  • Rugged and durable.
  • Priced to please.
  • Five brightness settings.
  • Picatinny rail system.
  • Front and back optic caps.
  • Ballistic CQ reticle.
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.
  • Effective range 100 – 750 yards.

Cons

  • Eye relief could cause issues for some shooters.

Need More Scope Options from Burris?

If you’re after more superb scope options and love Burris as a brand, then check out my in-depth reviews of the Burris AR 332 2x22mm Prism Red Sight, the Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope, the Burris 4-16x50mm Eliminator III Laserscope Ballistic Riflescope, the Burris Droptine 3-9x40mm Riflescope, or the Burris Scout 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope.

Or you check out my reviews of the Best Deer Hunting Scopes, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifles, the Best Scout Scopes, or the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes on the market in 2021.

Or how about our comprehensive reviews of the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best Mil Dot Scopes, the Best Scopes for M&P 15-22, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, as well as the Best Rimfire Scopes you can buy.

The Wrap Up

So I guess you are asking yourself should I buy this riflescope? Hopefully, you now have all the info you need to make a choice either way.

And for the price it’s listed at these days, it’s not a big risk for such a versatile and robust riflescope. It’s definitely a handy scope to have in your quiver and one that I use more and more often since acquiring it.


So, why not take a look at all the best deals available on the Burris AR-563 right now!

Happy and safe shooting.

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