What is a good quality scope for an AR?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by jrdolall, Oct 17, 2013.

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  1. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

    Feb 3, 2012
    I have a friend that is looking for a quality scope to buy her husband for his AR. I just have inexpensive red dots on mine as all I use them for are general plinking but I know there are some quality ones available. He will probably be shooting at 100 yards max and the budget would be less than $500. If you have a suggestion of one that is over $500 please keep it to yourself because she has a budget of $500 and isn't going to "save up" and buy scope "X" because it has an extra doodad on it.

    $500 is the budget.
  2. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Cleaning my guns.
    Leopold has several options. The Mark AR is an obvious choice, but not the only one. I'd look for something up to a maximum of 9x or 10x. You could actually get by with less.

    Is he going to do any hunting with it? Tactical type shooting?
  3. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    Are you wanting a scope or red dot?

    If a scope, how much magnification do you want? How large of a footprint?

    If you're only going to 100 yards, think Nikon, Leupold, Vortex

    If you want a red dot, Aimpoint or EOTech

    It's a pretty broad question honestly.
  4. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Aimpoint pro is $400. Its a very high quality red dot with battery life measured in years rather than hours. At 100 yards there is no real need for magnification unless the goal is smallest groups possible.
  5. henschman

    henschman Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    I have a Burris TAC30 1-4x24, and it is just a great little scope. Very good clarity (it's Philippine glass, not Chinese), true 1x on the low end, very useful BDC reticle, and the illuminated reticle is true daylight visible. Also I have given mine some pretty hard use over the past couple years, using it in 4 different cross country Run 'n Gun competitions where it was carried for miles, banging around through brush and against me and my gear, and it has held up great. I will probably end up getting another one for my 5.56 now that my .308 has appropriated this one. The best prices I've seen on them are on eBay, where you can get them for around $270 buy it now with free shipping. Add in a Primary Arms Extended 30mm scope mount for $60, and you are still well under budget.
  6. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Sherrodsville, OH
    I use a KonusPro 1.5-5x32 (7249 model I think) on mine. Fast yet precise. Puts up with tons of abuse too. Best of all it's under $100. I expected to break the first one I bought, but it is still on my deer gun (20ga H&R Ultra Slug Hunter Thumbhole) and it has been dropped, bounced, and generally abused in the deer woods.

    I loved the reticle so much that I put one on my AR and could not ask for more. The low power fast centering diamond is great for the close fast shots. Meanwhile, the center crosshairs are fine enough to allow precision shooting within the reasonable range of my sub-MOA rifle and the 50gr loads I use. I have hit deer on the run with the shot gun (it's a single shot), and have killed ground hogs in excess of 400yds (heavier load in the AR) with careful aiming.

    I only wish they put that reticle into a 3-12 piece for my longer range rifles.

    I would get this and spend the rest on shooting.
  7. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Southwest MI
    I went with a Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm (matte black, duplex reticle) and I am very happy with it. They run about $300.

    But I plan to save a little money and put a Nikon on my next AR. I've been very pleased with the Nikon on my 10/22 and the ProStaff 3-9x40 (Nikoplex reticle) is only about $165.
  8. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Astoria, OR
    I'll second the motion, a VX-2 3-9x40 would be great on an ar for 100yd shooting. and 200. and 300. it's robust enough to hunt with and last a lifetime. If strictly for target work find one with a fine duplex cross hair. if if coyotes or other game is on the menu, choose the standard duplex reticle. and don't forget a good mount can be a bill all on its own.
  9. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    East Texas
    I really like a 2-7 power scope for AR's. at 2x you can run it with both eyes open like a scout scope or red dot, and at 7x you can shoot golf balls all day long at 100 yds. And they're cheaper than 1-4x's for whatever reason. Within that size, almost any name brand will work. If you want to go cheap there are redfield and budget nikon, burris options (among others) starting around 150 and running all the way up to 500 for something really nice. But the 150-200 range will be plenty fine. Spend the rest on a mount and ammo.
  10. M7025-06

    M7025-06 Member

    Sep 9, 2013
    I've got a Vortex Viper PST 1-4 on mine. Very impressed with it so far.
  11. B!ngo

    B!ngo Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    I hate to lead with the 'it depends' because if doesn't help, even if it's true. It sounds like your friend said 'scope' and not 'red dot'. If it's a scope, for an AR, I don't think you can do much better in price versus performance than the Nikon M223 series. Great glass, reasonable features, good control feel, well adapted to the rifle. And not too bad on the wallet. Yes there are others, but when it comes down to buying an optic, one of my decision points is who has a great history of making great glass. I own Nikon in the mid-range, and a Leica in the (painfully) high end.
    If your friend meant 'red dot', the Aim Point is excellent, though you can get good ones (though not as good) for less than half the price of the Aim Point such as the Vortex SPARC. I have two and they are not bad at all. And, in the Aim Point price level, I tend to prefer the EOTech. I know that the AP has much longer battery life, but the EOTech isn't bad really and the 'holographic-like' projection provides a better view for my eyes. Don't pay for the night vision feature in the red-dots since it is unlikely that it will be needed.
  12. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    I went with a leupold Mark-AR 3X9 with a mil-dot reticle and have been very happy with it.It and a Burris PEPR mount will stay well below $500.
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