Ever thought of buying a rifle scope for AR 10 but did not know where to start? Well, trust me you have come to the right place. Because in this post I will be diving deep into the uses, practicality, and functionality of some of the best scopes for AR 10 rifles that I have used.
Also, I will be highlighting some of the important factors to consider when shopping for AR-10 riflescopes. This will be in addition to reviewing some of the top-rated AR 10 scopes, I have used.
If you are in a hurry and just want to know the best one? Check below
My Top AR 10 Rifle Scope Picks
Last update on 2024-02-23 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Before the AR-15 came into the picture, its older brother the AR 10 was the gun of choice for many hunters, and it still is. The popularity of the AR 10 has been increased by the widespread use of the .308 Winchester cartridge which is the most used AR 10 round in the country.
To get the most out of your AR 10 you will need a scope that is of high quality and is functional.
And with the rifle scope market being flooded with all kinds of scopes from different manufacturers, finding the best AR 10 scopes is easier said than done.
But do not be worried for to help you is what I am here for. Below I have reviewed 10 of my top-rated AR 10 scope suggestions.
Why Should You Trust My Reviews?
I have been involved in shooting for many years, and I know what it takes to get accurate shots, so you don’t miss your target.
As a result, I have been able to find the quality scopes that will suit my audience’s needs depending on their shooting style.
All of the scopes that I review are products that I have personally used or tried to get a sense of what they’re like before posting them up here. And all of these reviews are written by me, with the goal of giving people a sense of what they’ll be getting if they buy that product.
How I Tested Those Scopes?
I tested 35+ different scopes for AR 10 rifles and then narrowed it down to the top 10.
I tested the scopes by shooting at an inanimate target from various distances and seeing how they performed. I also checked to see any distortion or blurry images when being shot through these scopes. I also tried to see if there was any glare that would affect my ability to target.
I had the scopes set at a fixed distance, and I checked for eye relief, which is how close you have to be from your scope in order for it not to hurt your eyes or give you blurry images of what’s being shot through it.
I also checked to see how easy it was to switch from target to target with each scope.
What to Consider Before Buying a AR 10 Scope For Hunting
Almost everyone who owns a rifle wants to enhance the accuracy of their shooting. One way to do this is with the use of an optic or scope. There are many different scopes on the market, and it cannot be easy to decide which one best fits your needs and budget. I will walk through some questions you should ask yourself when purchasing a scope for your AR 10 Rifle so that you can make an informed decision about what type of scope is right for you!
Below are some of the factors I consider when I go out shopping for AR-10 optics.
Purpose of using AR 10
The most important thing is to consider the primary use of your rifle and which features work best with this type of shooting. For example, if you plan on using the rifle primarily for hunting, then a variable power scope may not be the best choice because it would require you to make adjustments every time you change distances from your target. However, if you’re looking for something more versatile like an all-purpose scope or if you’re starting in long-range shooting, then a variable power scope might be perfect for you!
Keep in Mind The Shooting Distance Of AR 10
You probably know AR 10 is so powerful and accurate that the military uses the modified AR 10 version for American snippers. And the good thing is you can easily shoot up to 200 yards without using sight, but you need to use a scope for medium to long-distance shooting.
So anything below 200 yards considers short-range, while 200 – 400 yards are deemed medium-range, and anything more than 400 yards is long-range.
Now I think you can figure out your shooting distance also if you prefer to shoot at various distances, don’t worry I will explain that in the next paragraph.
Please Don’t just buy seeing the numbers of the power because that doesn’t matter if you don’t know what magnification to choose.
If you prefer Close Range shooting ( Less Than 200 Yards)
First of All, AR 10 is generally not for close-range shooting. But If you want to shoot at short-range, 200 yards or less, then a red dot sight is perfect because of the accuracy and clarity it has that can help you get more accurate shots. The magnification I would recommend for short-range is about the power of 1X to 4X. You can check the review of Red Dot Sight Under $100 in case you prefer red dot sight for close-range shooting.
If you prefer Mid Range shooting (200-400 yards)
If you shoot between 200 to 400 yards, then a scope is the best choice because it has more magnification and allows you to see your target better. The magnification I would recommend for mid-range is about the power from 5X to 10X.
If you prefer Long Range shooting (400 yards or further)
You can use a long-range scope for shooting beyond 400 yards. And the magnification power you can choose from 10x to 25x. But remember having high magnification scope is not always the best.
That is because when shooting with high magnification, recoil can be a problem and lead to missed shots. So training and practice are vital if you want to hit your target from a longer distance.
AR 10 rifles are designed for fast intermediate shooting. Therefore, you will need to look for a scope that can withstand recoil and also one that is not too bulky. Additionally, being an intermediate rifle, the scope for AR 10 rifles will be one with a magnification range of up to 20X.
When you are deer hunting with your best AR 10 scope, you will find it difficult to make a shot with a 32X magnification. In this regard, for your AR 10, I recommend buying a scope with a maximum range of 25 X or less.
The magnification range of the scope will determine its objective lens size. Low magnification is always accompanied by a small objective glass size of 40 mm or less.
On the flip side, a high magnification has to be paired with a wide objective of a 50 mm lens and over. For AR 10 scopes, I recommend an objective lens of 40 mm.
This is because the bigger the objective size, the bulkier the scope. And when you are using a AR 10 for hunting, a large scope can set back the efficiency of your rifle.
As stated earlier, the AR-10 rifle is designed for fast shooting. As such, it needs to be matched with a scope that can withstand its recoil. Therefore, it is important to consider a scope’s body or construction. Nowadays most budget AR optics are crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, which is a high-grade material that is as tough as it is durable. The more expensive scopes for ar 10 are also crafted from high-grade aircraft-grade aluminum.
Overall, the right scopes for ar 10 rifles need to be durable and very well made to withstand the recoil that comes with firing the AR 10 rifle.
Focal Plane Another factor that I consider when buying a scope is whether it is a first focal plane riflescope or second focal plane scope. In the simplest of terms, the reticle size of a first focal plane scope changes when you either zoom in or out.
Contrastingly, the size reticle of a second focal plane does not change and remains constant whether you zoom in or out. For my AR 10 rifle, I prefer and recommend using a scope with a front focal plane, especially for long-range shooting.
Apart from the above discussed, there are
Other Important Factors To Consider
- The reticle is one of the things I consider most. Essentially, a reticle can either be a mil dot or a BDC. Personally, I prefer the mil dot; however, a BDC reticle can also come in handy in certain situations.
- The reticle can also be illuminated. While this isn’t matter if you do most of your shooting during the day, an illuminated reticle will be useful for dawn hunting
- The final factor I consider is how easy it is to mount the scope onto a rifle. Scopes come with different types of mounting rails. Thus it is important to choose a scope whose mounting rail is compatible with your rifle. Also, Consider a great bipod such as the and lower receiver which are also somewhat great to use with AR 10 and AR 15 Rifles for better shooting.
Top Rated Best Scopes For AR 10 Rifles
Best Tactical Scope For AR 10: Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25X50 First Focal Plane
The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25X50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes is a great scope for hunting and shooting. I have mounted this scope on my LWRCI REPR rifle and want to share the experience with you.
I already said shooting anything beyond 400 yards needs a medium to long-range rifle scope with magnification power up to 10x. I have tested this rifle in close to 1000 yards range, and it works well. The magnification remains clear and parallax-free up to 1000 yards during a sunny day.
This riflescope comes with EBR-2C (MOA) Reticle style, which was good for me as a tactical precision shooter because it provides me with more accurate hold points. This reticle is designed especially for long-range shooting.
I have also tested the scope in low-light conditions, and it works well. The reticle is illuminated with bright colors, which makes my target visible. You can adjust the reticle with ten illumination settings.
During my test, I was impressed by the laser-etched turrets. You can quickly adjust the reticle for windage and bullet compensation without any hassle. These turrets produce crisp, tactical clicks with each turn. And zeroing the turrets is simple and quick.
The RZR zero stop feature is generally found in the Nightforce scope. It also has the RZR zero stop, which is very convenient for adjusting windage or elevation without counting clicks to return to your original setting, which is a great addition to vortex optics.
The 1080p glass clarity is very impressive. It offers the best images, and I can see everything clearly in it, even when aiming at targets for long-range shooting. The scope has Extra-low dispersion glass to provide that clarity because of its power and the 50mm objective lens to gather more light into a single point.
You will get a decent 3.4″ eye relief in this rifle scope, and the eye box is very forgiving. This is just enough to avoid any interference from the rifle stock. You won’t feel like your nose is smashed against the scope, and it’s not as if your head is tilted up to see through it.
The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II is waterproof, and fog-proof thanks to its O-ring seals and argon gas fill. This is a really good thing because this will protect the scope in any weather condition you are in.
For more durability and ruggedness, it comes with an Armortek coating which ensures the lens will be protected and will not get any scratches.
One of the downsides of this scope is that the reticle does an odd job at the lowest magnification. The reticle crosshair is slightly thin at the lowest magnification, but the problem goes away when you increase the magnification. This is because the riflescope is the first focal plane which means that the reticle will change depending on the magnification.
The good thing is I also mounted the scope on my AR-15 M16 Model AeroMkII. I have used this rifle for a long time, and it is one of the best rifles that I’ve ever shot with. It’s very accurate, lightweight, well-balanced, and reliable. So Vortex Viper PST Gen II was no exception when compared to other scopes.
Review of Sightmark Wraith Digital Night Vision Riflescope
Sightmark is a company that specializes in night vision and thermal imaging technology. I was looking for the best digital rifle scope for AR 10 rifles and found Sightmark Wraith Digital Night Vision Riflescope to be one of them.
I mount this scope on my Daniel Defense DD-MV-22 rifle, and guess what? It is the perfect fit.
The price tag on this scope is quite affordable, which is a bargain for such quality. It has a great 1920×1080 HD sensor that offers a crisp and clear picture full of detail.
The interface on the riflescope is easy to use, and it has functions such as 8x digital zoom in/out buttons, video recording buttons, and so on. It also comes with your choice of classic green night vision mode or black-and-white.
It comes with 10 reticle options that let you choose from various crosshair patterns, dots, and post to suit your shooting style. You can choose 9 different colors for reticles as well.
One of the best things I found in this rifle scope is that it has 5 weapon profile presets. It was easy to zero in, and I found this scope to be an excellent choice for shooting at targets from 100 yards out to 800 yards away.
Inside the box, you will get an 850nm IR flashlight; you can detect additional 200 yards of range by using that. Also, you will find an Objective lens cover, Picatinny mount, and instruction booklet.
This scope was easy to use and had excellent clarity even in the dark, which is a major plus for those hunting at night. My only complaint with this riflescope is that it doesn’t come with clear instructions on how to mount the light, so I had to guess and figure out how to do it myself.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes Review
If you want a budget range but value-for-money hunting scope from Vortex Optics that you can use for your AR-style rifle, Crossfire II is what you are looking for.
I have been using this scope as one of my go-to scopes for coyote hunting. I found it tight and accurate up to 400 yards even at 9x magnification.
I mounted this scope on AR-10 (7.62×51), and the good thing is It holds zero as tight for me, and I am happy with the performance.
The Dead-Hold BDC reticle gives me many options to choose from when estimating range and holdover. Especially in areas where conditions can change dramatically over short distances, like fields with a dense cover on one side and open terrain on another.
The turrets are finger adjustable, and the MOA clicks are good for me because I can reset them to zero after sighting in at 100 yards.
It has a solid aluminum construction with a single-piece tube, and the best part is that it is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed. Which means it is waterproof and fog proof.
Plus, the optics are fully multi-coated, so I don’t have to worry about light reflection or lens flare.
I recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable scope that does a good job up close – 300 yards or so.
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm
If you hunt in mountainous regions, you will be conscious about how much weight you have pulling on your shoulder. A lightweight rifle scope is thus something you will want. Introducing the Leupold VX-3i. The latter is one of the most lightweight scopes on the market. But that’s not the only great thing about it.
The optics on this scope are impressive. The lenses are coated and index-matched something that is exclusive to Leopold. What this means is that you get a bright and crystal-clear picture quality. The edges of the lenses are blackened to minimize light diffusion so that you get more light hitting your eye. It is one of the top-rated scopes for low-light conditions for your AR 10. This scope is 100% waterproof and fog proof. And the more good thing is for its robust construction it earns the title of the most shockproof riflescope for a AR 10.
FireDot ballistic reticle
When it comes to the reticle it is a firedot ballistic reticle with an illuminated red dot. You get additional aiming points out to 500 or 600 yards. The crosshairs are surrounded by a circle that helps improve target acquisitions.
With a simple turn of the power selector, you can switch between the minimum and maximum magnification range. And for making a distant shot, you have the ¼ MOA finger-click adjustments for adjusting windage and elevation.
Primary Arms SLx3.5 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope
The Primary Arms SLx3.5 is marketed as being specifically designed for the AR-10 platform . I thought I’d give it a go and see what it can do. For its price, it performs exceptionally well. I was a bit skeptical about the reticle being a mil-dot fan.
So let’s start with what I think about the reticle; first of all, It is a First Focal Plane reticle scope. Though a bit more cluttered than a mil-dot reticle, it does what it is built to. It offers target leads for six target speeds all the way out to 600 yards. It also has a bullet drop compensation for long-range shots.
Compared to some of the pricey models I have used, the optics on this one are ok. But when compared to similar products, the optical performance is exceptional. It has decent eye relief and excellent color reproduction.
The construction is also world-class. The entire scope is waterproof and its inside is sealed and nitrogen-filled purged, so you know its waterproof and fog proof. Also, it’s shockproof. The exposed tactical turrets turn smoothly. When it comes to mounting, it is compatible with most mounting rails.
Read more: You may like our latest reviews about the best 17 hmr scopes for your Hornady Magnum Rimfire Rifle.
Vortex Optics Diamondback SFP Riflescopes
Overview About Vortex Optics Diamondback SFP
vortex put a lot of detail into the making of this rifle scope. Measuring 12.8 inches long, it’s not as large as you may think. And while it has some weight to it, it does offer some exciting features.
All optics on this scope are fully multi-coated. The result is a brighter and brighter image. The fully multicoated lenses offer more light transmission. It is an ideal riflescope for daylight even in low-light conditions.
It comes with the fast focus eyepiece feature which is essential for aiming on the moving target.
Paired with the 40 mm objective-size lens, it does a great job of bringing more light to your eyes.
One of the best things about this scope is that its reticle is on the second focal plane. This means that as you change the magnification, the scale of the reticle remains the same. This is a huge pro, especially if you are aiming at targets at long-range distances.
Capped turrets remove the possibility of them being accidentally adjusted. The turrets also allow for re-indexing to zero after you have sighted your rifle. There is also a zero-reset option particularly good for shooters who prefer shooting at multiple distances.
Nightforce ATACR 4-16×42 f1
Overview About Nightforce ATACR
If you are a serious hunter or shooter who wants to get an unbiased recommendation from professionals then the mighty Nightforce ATACR 4-16×42 f1 is the one for you. Recommended by professional shooters and hunters the Nightforce ATACR 4-16×42 f1 is perfect for the shooter/hunter who needs compact, advanced features and low-profile optic. You can buy this scope without any hesitation or thinking. This is so far the top AR 10 scopes on this list if price is not an issue. It can hurt your wallet but it Will please your eyes 🙂
Design of the scope
You might know about Nightforce. They are too serious in their business and honestly speaking you can’t go wrong with them. The crisps click, crystal clear image and beautifully designed reticle made this scope beast on its lineup.
Nightforce ATACR 4-16×42 f1 is built like a tank. It has all the advanced features and glassing technology that you must need when you are in long-range shooting or big game hunting.
The ED glass technology is known for crystal clear imaging. This scope has the ZeroHold Feature which allows the user to settle beyond the established elevation zero. It allows the shooter to adjust the capped windage and elevation. Also, the Power Throw lever aka PTL features helps the shooter to change the magnification instantly just by feeling.
If you ask me which are the 3 go-to things that I packed before going to hunt and the number #2 Pick will be my Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-R Rangefinder Binocular after my hunting knife. Having the best rangefinder binoculars for hunting is a great tool if you want to get a clear view and need to know the distance of your target, On the other hand, having the night vision binocular in your arsenal is an advantage and it’s necessary to have if you obsessed to hunt hog during the night time.
Nikon M-TACTICAL .308 4-16X42SF MATTE BDC800 Riflescope Review
If you are looking for a great AR 10 scope, then the Nikon M-308 16X42 mm is one scope you should not pass out on. Designed for fast shooting and fast handling, this Nikon optic has what it takes to become your AR 10 scope of choice.
Measuring 14 inches and weighing 5 ounces, this rather hefty scope is fitted with a large 42 mm objective glass. Thus, with this scope mounted onto your AR 10, you will have no problems taking down a wild hog in low light.
While I am not a big fan of BDC reticles, frankly speaking, I find them a tad difficult to use, I must admit the BDC reticle on the M-308 is refreshingly easy to use. The reticle proved itself handy especially when firing a AR 10 in automatic mode.
The AR 10 is no push-over and thus requires a scope that is sturdy enough. Fortunately, the Nikon M-308 is not only sturdy enough, but it is also shockproof. And it gets better; the scope is also weather-resistant meaning you can sheer abuse it in any weather conditions.
Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA Dead-Hold BDC Riflescope VPR-M-06BDC
Weighing 2 pounds, this scope shrugs off recoil and has a weather resistant 30 mm tube. Indeed to say, that this Vortex scope is very well made is understating things.
The 50 mm extra-low dispersion glass with an XR coating is responsible for the scope’s brilliant light transmission and crisp, clear images. The objective lens is paired with an eyepiece lens with a 6.5X to 20X magnification, for excellent long-range shooting. It comes with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle which is essential for big game hunting and shooting purpose especially if you target from varying ranges.
Ease of use
To make this scope as easy to use as is humanly possible, Vortex offers this scope with some fantastic additions, one of which is the MAG-Bar. The latter allows you to quickly and effortlessly change the magnification.
There are not many AR 10 optics that can claim to be better than this Vortex Optics Viper and for good reasons. From its large objective size to its multi-coated optics, this AR 10 optic is an absolute delight to use.
Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 Riflescope Review
I am a big fan of trying out new optics. So when a friend of mine who once served in Iraq introduced me to his Trijicon VCOG 1-6X24 riflescope, I could not wait to try it out.
Made entirely in the US, this Trijicon variable scope is quite impressive and has all the functionality and toughness that I have come to expect from Trijicon.
Given that this is a scope that has been used extensively by the army, I was curious to find out how its optics perform. And true to Trijicon’s standards, the fully multi-coated optics on this scope and the 24 mm objective lens have a terrific light transmission. Also, the images appear bright and super crisp.
Powered by a standard AA battery, the red-illuminated reticle worked very well and proved to be a useful feature for targeting targets in low visibility. Also, the reticle has been tested and proven on the battlefield and is one of the best features of this scope.
Of course, there is a lot I can say about this scope, but in the interest of time, let me say that I was thoroughly impressed by this riflescope. Thus, despite its hefty price tag, there is a reason why this Trijicon is the preferred scope of choice for the army, and I dare say it is the other high-quality best scope for ar 10.
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm Riflescope
The Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm Riflescope is designed to help you hit long-range targets with precision. But does it really live up to its name?
Well, I got to test this Leupold AR 10 scope, and I was honestly impressed.
Weight and Size
This Leupold model is not your average AR 10 scope as it weighs 0.90 lbs, almost double the weight of other scopes out there. Due to its weight, you will definitely feel the effects of fitting this scope onto your rifle.
Apart from being somewhat overweight, this scope is also quite long measuring 14.5 inches.
What this scope lacks in compactness, it more than makes up for in its magnification. With a minimum magnification of 3.6X and a maximum magnification of 18X, this scope is capable of spotting targets for 600 yards.
To summarize, the Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm Riflescope offers great value for your money. Therefore, do not be discouraged by its bulkiness as this scope has everything you require to make precise and accurate shots from long range. This scope is one of the best Leupold scopes for ar 10.
Aimpoint Comp M4 Sight Review
The Aimpoint comp M4, sight, is marketed as a high-end Aimpoint red dot sight. This means it comes with a wide array of premium features.
But before getting to the features, let’s consider its design first. The design of this sight is unique, to say the least. Measuring 6.8 by 4.5 by 3.5 inches, this scope is quite compact and weighs 9.3 ounces.
With a reflective coating on its lens, the red dot of this sight appears super bright. Apart from being bright, the red dot reticle is also powered by a single AA battery. This battery is long-lasting and is unlikely to die on you.
Shipped alongside my Aimpoint, the QRP2 was compatible with my AR 10 rifle. Also, included in the package was an integral mount, which eliminates the need for mounting rings. This mount is compatible with a wide array of rifles with either vertical or forward spacer.
Though it is a red dot sight, this Aimpoint qualifies to be one of the best AR 10 scopes. One of the amazing things about this sight is that it can be used with all night vision devices. Additionally, this sight has been tested and proven by the US Army.
Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Riflescope Review
The Nikon Prostaff 3-9X40 scope is arguably the best budget AR scope on this list.
However, do not let its budget status fool you as this is a scope capable of going toe-toe with the big boys. With a beautiful matte black finish, the Prostaff is among the best budget AR optics, and here is why.
The Nikon Prostaff 3-9X40 is a truly inexpensive rifle scope that does not compromise on optical performance. Therefore, do not expect the light transmission and image clarity of this scope to be similar to that of other budget scopes.
Indeed, this scope is fitted with multicoated optics that give it its excellent light transmission and image clarity.
Magnification and objective lens
Its 3-9X magnification epitomizes the versatility of this scope. Paired with a 40 mm objective lens, the magnification is magnificent and offers an adequate field of view for open-field hunting. The eye relief of this scope stands at 3.6 inches. This number means that this scope can be used in various landscapes.
To make hunting less complicated, the Prostaff is equipped with a zero-reset turret. This turret makes it easy to make adjustments when you are out in the fields. The adjustment is spring loaded and makes it easy for you to on the scope’s zero.
There are many AR 10 scopes in the market for your selection. However, when you want the best your choice becomes somewhat limited.
Nevertheless, with the right information, you can find the best scope for ar 10 that will serve you for a long time. In conclusion, the scopes I have reviewed above are among the best optics for AR 10 that I have tested or used.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in Hunting Nook.