best scope for ar-15


February 26, 2006, 04:44 AM
hello do any of you experienced ar-15 shooters know what the style/type of scope is best for it? is a ar-15 effective at 5x or 10x magnification? im a n00b.

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Don't Tread On Me
February 26, 2006, 06:46 AM
What do you plan to use the AR for?

Also, please define "effecitve" for us. What do you want the scope to do for you?

Target shooting, varminting, long range sniping, close quarters combat, all-purpose combat etc..all have optics specific for these purposes.

Some obviously cross over and can be used to do other things as well; however, choosing the right one for the right job will make you happier and will be most effective for the particular task they are designed for.

February 26, 2006, 11:25 AM
For general range plinking with an AR that has a carry handle I use a Leapers 6X scope. Not the top of the line scope but it's effective if your on a budget.

Freelance Tax Collector
February 26, 2006, 02:41 PM

IOR 4x M2. You have to use 62 grain pills to be compatible with the BDC though.

Don't Tread On Me
February 26, 2006, 05:03 PM
I have that exact IOR with a Dragunov reticle. I think it might be a bit much for his needs. It is one of the best AR optics imo, but will run around $400 after the cost of the optic and rings.

I had a leapers 6x. It came used on a rifle I bought. It broke rather quickly. Not a very good scope. But these can be bought for $25, so what do you expect?

A nice scope for a low price would be the Nikon Prostaff 4x. It's parallax set at 50 yards, so it will work well for up to 100 yard plinking. $99 at Walmart. Nice glass, lightweight. Does the job. IF $99 is too much, I'd then recommend the Bushnell budget scopes. They are better than BSA or Simmons in my opinion. You can get a 3-9 for $50-$60 and it should hold up real well on an AR-15. Some of these have adjustable objectives.

For $125, you could pick up a reddot like those made by Ultradot. Lifetime warranty on these. I believe they come with rings too. Simmons, BSA and the $40-$70 dots don't seem to be bright enough for daytime use. Stay clear of the cheap ones.

There really isn't a whole lot good options in the budget range. However, it should all work fine for simple range blasting thanks to the AR's no-recoil. Out of all these choices, the Nikon is by far the best as far as optical quality. I'd look through one before I'd decide. The Nikon is probably the least expensive scope that is treated like an expensive scope in its construction, waterproofing, lense quality etc...

If you bump up to the $200 range, your options grow immensely. Brands like Bushnell's 3200, Burris and others come into play. $300 range starts to give you options for military-style optics.

February 26, 2006, 05:26 PM
im looking at the Mueller 3-10x44 Sport Dot at the moment, will an ar-15 be accurate at the 6x-10x range?

February 26, 2006, 06:57 PM
Unless you are a VERY good shooter, you will be the weak link not the accuracy of the rifle. This is especially true away from the bench at a shooting range. ARs are, by design, normally quite accurate. The direct impingement gas system that some people complain about is the primary reason.

Freelance Tax Collector
February 26, 2006, 07:20 PM
I think it might be a bit much for his needs.

Good optics are appropriate for everyones needs. No reason to have bad optics.

February 27, 2006, 05:08 AM
has anyone used a accupoint?

is it worth the money?

how are they in bright light environments, such as africa? and are they quality scopes? are they reliable?

it isnt just the fiber optics that make them so expensive is it

February 27, 2006, 08:26 AM
i have the trijicon reflex it cost about $500 with moount,and i have the $30.bsa and its works better.i mostly shoot with stock peep sights up to 300 meters,those aimpints are fun and fast.but i cant understand how a 30 dollar bsa aimpont works so much better than the 500 dollar trijicon reflex.i feel like i flushed 500 dollars down the toilet.

February 27, 2006, 09:21 AM
I put a Burris 2-7 compact on my ar. Its worked out great, cost wasn't out of sight .

February 27, 2006, 07:22 PM
im not too worried about the cost, i am simply looking for the best medium to long range, all light conditions scope. id prefer an illuminated reticle also.

February 27, 2006, 07:31 PM
I just got one of these ( off of ebay for $245 shipped, and they've gotten some pretty nice reviews so far (check out BulletFan's). I also ordered one of their cheaper $65 scopes to put on a lesser (caliber) rifle for comparison. I'll let you know it goes!


February 27, 2006, 09:28 PM
im not too worried about the cost, i am simply looking for the best medium to long range, all light conditions scope. id prefer an illuminated reticle also.

In that case, take a look at ACOG's. Love my TA31F. ;)

February 27, 2006, 09:40 PM
No kidding, if cost isn't an issue...

Trijicon ACOG TA31 RCO 4x, the choice of the United States Marine Corps (

I would've gotten one of these but I was on an Aimpoint/EOTech budget and purchased the EOTech.

February 27, 2006, 10:38 PM
i've used a Trijicon TA01-NSN, a Leupold M8 6x, and a Burris Compact 3x9- all with good results ;)

February 27, 2006, 10:57 PM
+1 LennyJoe and I'm very happy with it.

February 27, 2006, 11:01 PM
I've used the TA11 ACOG and 1.25-4x24 AccuPoint to good effect.


Don't Tread On Me
February 27, 2006, 11:34 PM
If you're going to spend $300ish on an optic that is magnified and illuminated, consider the IOR Valdada M2.

It is a fixed 4x. Has a range finder based on the height of an average man. The bullet drop is set via calibrated cam. It has windage adjustments in 1/2mil increments. Illumination settings from 1-7. It is calibrated for the 62gr NATO 5.56 out to 800 yards.

Optical quality is fantastic. I prefer the dragunov reticle as it is VERY useful. I prefer the slope-style range finder that measures height as it is quicker vs. the ACOG's which measures the width of a chest. Only advantage to the ACOG's range finding is that you can range prone targets also. It also doesn't rely on batteries and requires no clicking. Some people prefer that, others don't. But it will run you $1,000. The IOR, about $330.

The IOR is a very underrated scope.

February 28, 2006, 12:34 AM
Trijicon is a rip off.yes they work.but are not worth the cost.way over priced for what you are getting,they are not as good as some of the cheep scopes and that is very sad.i will never buy another one.

Zak Smith
February 28, 2006, 12:50 AM
The choice of optic will depend on your intended use, target size, and distances.

For general purpose practical shooting from contact distance to the limit of about 10" @ 400 yards, the TA11 ACOG is a great choice. It is better than the TA31 because the eye relief is more flexible, which helps to get a sight picture and get one faster when in wierd positions or on the move. Its stadia are effective to 400-500 on 2.5 MOA targets, and IPSC-type silhouettes out to 600.

The features that make the TA11 ACOG effective are: brain-grabbingly bright center reticle (donut or chevron), and a managable BDC or stadia below it.

Other scopes that have similar features include the Trijicon Accupoint and the S&B Short Dot.

The Aimpoint M2/3 plus the Aimpoint 3x magnifier gives you some of the functionality, but the field of view through the magnifier is extremely narrow.

If are willing to foregor close and mid-range speed for longer range ability and smaller targets (1-2 MOA) in the 100-300 range, look at the Leupold 3-8 or 2-8 M/RT.

February 28, 2006, 01:07 AM
im thinking an eotech 552 for CQB, and a accupoint 3-9x40 for long range.

what do you all think?

this will be my first scope so i dont know much about them, is the "bindin aiming concept" that the accupoints use a big advantage?

Zak Smith
February 28, 2006, 01:09 AM
I don't think the Accupoint has any hold-over stadia, and the vertical line will obstruct the target. "Kentucky" elevation is not real precise....

February 28, 2006, 01:25 AM
whats a stadia? :confused:

Zak Smith
February 28, 2006, 01:32 AM
Some rifle scope reticles have stadia lines, which are marks at regular or calibrated intervals below, above, or to the sides of the center crosshair.

In this case, I was referring to their use for hold-over, which would imply cross-hatches at regular or calibrated intervals below the main "crosshair" (or donut, whatever)

February 28, 2006, 02:26 AM
again, any comments on the eotech 552 for CQB, and a accupoint 3-9x40 for long range for an ar-15, cost is no issue

Zak Smith
February 28, 2006, 02:27 AM
Cost no issue, buy the 1.1-4x S&B Short Dot. $2100.

The EOTech 551/552 is a great 1x red dot.

February 28, 2006, 02:58 AM
well 2 grand is kinda pushing it

February 28, 2006, 04:04 AM
as strange as it may be i dont want to put down 700$ for a scope without someone who knows alot about scopes and has used it before, giving a review.

Don't Tread On Me
February 28, 2006, 02:46 PM
Go to

Check out some of the reviews there on various optics.

February 28, 2006, 03:41 PM
i havnt used a scope in a very long time... how far is 4x?

February 28, 2006, 03:56 PM
A particular zoom doesn't really related to an actual distance unfortunately. I can see the moon through my 3-9 bushnell, so that means is a 240,000 mile scope... ok, not quite.

It really depends on the shooter and how much magnification is suitible for a particular distance. The more magnification, the 'closer' you are to the object and the larger it appears in your field of view, but the darker it will also be, and harder to find 'on the fly,' or target acquisistion - this is why I go with variable power scopes when I can, I can adjust it to where/how I like it.

This, of course, still does not make up for my sheer lack of talent. :banghead: :cuss:


Don't Tread On Me
February 28, 2006, 04:50 PM
How far is a 4x?

Think of it like this:

4x will make a 400 yard target appear as if it is a 100 yard target with the naked eye.

200 yards will appear as though it is actually 50 yards with the naked eye. Divide by 4 obviously.

Now, how well can you see and place a reticle on a target at 50, 75 or 100 yards away? It is easy for you? Do you need more magnification to be able to see more detail?

I have a 4x on my AR-15. 400 yards is pretty much a max range for it as far as any kind of effectiveness is concerned (my opinion). Whatever I view at that range (400) will appear to be 100 yards away when I am looking through it. It is very easy for me to keep a reticle on a human sized target at 100 yards with no magnification. Anything under 400 yards will appear as if it is under 100 yards with the naked eye. Should be peiece of cake.

If your goal is to zero in on tiny objects, you might want more magnification. Here's a good test to determine what you NEED:

Whatever your target is -- look at it at different ranges with the naked eye until you can no longer comfortably see it or comfortably aim at it. Take that distance, and multiply it by the magnification. If that distance is 30 yards, than a 4x will give you 120 yards of range for comfortably being able to see it and targeting it. If 8x, then 240 yards, and so forth and so on. Obviously, shooting small things, like 1" or 2" paper circles at 100 yards is more difficult than aiming for and hitting a 10" circle. This is why combat optics are lower magnification, and why varmint scopes are higher magnification. In combat, low magnification is enough to do the job while still maintaining good field of view, when hunting with a rest - you don't need to be swining your rifle around, thus field of view is not very important.

February 28, 2006, 04:56 PM
well put

one more question... if you had the choice between the or the

which would you choose?

assume they are both the same price

Zak Smith
February 28, 2006, 04:59 PM
The critical feature for making hits at long distance (beyond the point blank range) is being able to specify elevation with enough precision, NOT necessarily magnification. (ie, you will run into a problem with elevation before you cannot see the target due to insufficient magnification.)

February 28, 2006, 06:41 PM
I just got a Meopta Meostar 1-4 with illuminated reticle. Fantastic.

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