7 Best Scopes For AR-10 – Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Scope For Ar 10

Although the AR-10 never became as successful as its successor the AR-15, it is still one of the most versatile and powerful rifles ever made. And many users also like it because of its relatively lightweight, easy customization and high accuracy and precision.

But, this brilliantly designed gun still needs the best scope for AR-10 to complement its amazing capabilities. Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of the AR-10 for both civilian and military use, there are now several scopes on the market designed for these guns.

With a good scope mounted on your AR-10, you can easily zoom over longer distances, make more accurate shots, and shooting will also be more enjoyable. There are several things you need to know when choosing a scope for your AR-10, and here we are about making things easier for you.

In addition to reviewing 7 top rated scopes for AR-10, in this piece, we will also explain the important factors to consider when shopping to ensure you get a fantastic scope.

You can also read other product reviews such as scope for 17HMR22LR scopescope for 308scope for M1A, scope for ruger 10-22scope for 30-06scope for 30-30scope for AK47

7 Best Scopes For AR-10 – Reviews

Product Name

Magnification

Field of View

Reticle Type

Rating

Current Price

1. Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 Rifle Scope

3-9x

33.8 to 11.3 ft at 100 yds

BDC

4.6

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Rifle Scope

4-12x

32.4 to 11.3 ft at 100 yds

BDC

4.6

3. UTG 3-12x44 Compact Scope

3-12x

32 to 10 ft at 100 yds

Mil-dot

4.2

4. Trijicon VCOG 1-6x24 Rifle Scope

1-6x

95 to 15.9 ft at 100 yds

BDC

4.9

5. Leupold VX-2 4-12x40 Rifle Scope

4-12x

20.4 to 9.7 ft 100 yds

Duplex

4.5

6. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40 Compact Rifle Scope

3-9x

34.6 to 14.6 ft at 100 yds

Duplex

4.7

7. Nikon M-308 4-16x42 Rifle Scope

4-16x

25.2 to 6.3 ft at 100 yds

BDC

4.6

1. Nikon ProStaff 6722 – A Tested and Proven AR-10 Scope

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40mm
  • Reticle Type: BDC
  • Field of View: 33.8 to 11.3 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 13.7 ounces

Nikon’s Prostaff is a tested and proven rifle scope that will make your AR-10 more accurate and enjoyable to shoot, and it is also relatively more affordable.

This 3-9x magnification scope features durable and compact aluminum construction and is nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed to make it completely water, fog and shockproof.

You can also be confident of always getting a clear and bright sight picture when using it as its 40mm objective lens and fully multicoated optics are designed for maximum light transmission.

Reticle focusing is also made fast and simple thanks to the quick focus eyepiece and it also has zero-reset turrets with a spring-loaded adjustment knob for simple field adjustment.

Although this scope can be a little blurry especially at the edges of the field of view at high magnification settings, it should still provide a super clear image for under 300-yard distances.

Pros:

  • Fully multicoated optics
  • Simplified turret adjustment
  • Compact and durable aluminum construction
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A little blurry at full zoom
  • Flip-up lens cup would have been better

2. Vortex Optics DBK-04-BDC – Simply Amazing Vortex AR-10 Scope

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 4-12x
  • Objective Diameter: 40mm
  • Reticle Type: BDC
  • Field of View: 32.4 to 11.3 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 14.6 ounces

With an amazing scope like the Diamondback by Vortex Optics, you will always look forward to your next hunting or shooting escapade as you will invariably enjoy it.

The scope is also designed to be ideal for various uses from hunting small game to target shooting from long range. And it has the necessary features to ensure its versatility.

These features include some fully multicoated lenses that will provide a bright and clear sight picture and the dead-hold BDC reticle that will eliminate guesswork when it comes to hold-over and windage corrections.

Also, this Vortex scope for AR-10 rifles has a solid one-piece main tube designed to deliver many years of great service and is argon-purged and O-ring sealed for absolute water, fog and shockproof integrity.

With its easily accessible side focus adjustment, you will never need to worry about parallax and the metal on metal turrets with the ability to reset to zero will also add to the convenience of the scope.

Although the included bikini lens covers look cheap, they still do a good job protecting your lenses, and you can always get some affordable flip-up covers if you do not like them.

Pros:

  • Precise and zero-resettable turrets
  • Solid one-piece main tube with anodized finish
  • Eliminates guesswork for hold-over and windage corrections
  • Great for both hunting and shooting at different ranges
  • Easily accessible side focus adjustment

Cons:

  • Cheap bikini lens covers
  • Glass edges get a bit blurry at high magnification settings

3. UTG 3-12x44 – Cheap but Superior Quality and High Performing AR-10 Scope

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

UTG 3-12x44 Compact Scope
  • Magnification: 3-12x
  • Objective Diameter: 44mm
  • Reticle Type: Mil-dot
  • Field of View: 32 to 10 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 23.2 ounces

UTG makes this rifle scope for hunters and target shooters looking for a more affordable option that still delivers superior quality and high performance. And this makes it our best AR-10 scope for the money.

Apart from the highly affordable price tag, this is also one of the best tactical scopes for AR-10 rifles that you can get at that price range.

Its suitability for tactical use and other applications stems from various features such as the dual red/green illumination with 36 color modes and zero locking and resettable turrets with a handy side wheel.

Also, the scope delivers a parallax-free view from 10 yards to infinity, and it also has a range estimating mil-dot reticle that will be highly useful. When you buy this AR-10 scope you will also get flip-open lens caps and mount rings.

For its size, this rifle scope seems a bit heavy but it’s a little over 23 ounces is not enough to add any significant weight to your rifle.

Pros:

  • Dual illuminated with multiple color modes
  • Parallax-free view from 10 yards
  • Zero locking and  resetting turrets
  • Relatively more affordable
  • Mount rings and flip-open caps included

Cons:

  • A little heavier for its size

4. Trijicon VCOGThe Best Long-range Shooting and CQB AR-10 Scope

Editor's Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Trijicon VCOG 1-6x24 Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Reticle Type: BDC
  • Field of View: 95 to 15.9 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 23.2 ounces

Long range shooting and close quarter battles (CQB) require a scope with better performance capabilities than the regular ones and everything from the field of view to reticle quality has to be perfect. Trijicon’s VCOG fulfills these conditions better than all others in our list.

It is a top rated scope for AR-10 rifles with a rugged overall construction and a LED-illuminated first focal plane reticle specifically designed for long-range shots and CQB.

Also, the reticle will work under all magnification settings, and it is powered by an amazing battery that will deliver up to an impressive 700 hours of continuous use.

With up to 95 feet field of view, the view field that you get with this scope is way much higher than what all others on our list can deliver. And it also has superior quality lenses that are designed to ensure excellent light gathering for the best sight pictures.

The AR-10 scope also offers full 90 MOA windage and elevation adjustments and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty

Although this is the priciest option among our scopes for AR-10 reviews, its rugged construction and performance capabilities make it worth it.

Pros:

  • Ballistic reticle works at any magnification
  • Full 90 MOA adjustments
  • Wide field of view
  • Excellent light gathering capability
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Quite pricey
  • Relatively heavier

5. Leupold VX-2 114396 – Your Trusted Companion for Hunting in any Weather

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Leupold VX-2 4-12x40 Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 4-12x
  • Objective Diameter: 40mm
  • Reticle Type: Duplex
  • Field of View: 20.4 to 9.7 feet 100 yards
  • Weight: 13.1 ounces

The image brightness, clarity, and contrast that you get with Leupold’s VX-2 mean that it will be a perfect scope for hunting in any weather and condition including in low light.

And if you are looking for a scope that will give you some extra hunting time late in the evening, this will be your best bet.

It also offers a versatile 3:1 zoom ratio that will make it ideal for even more hunting conditions and situations, and you can easily fine tune it to suit your needs thanks to its 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments.

The scope uses an adjustable objective to allow for quick and easy parallax adjustment, and it is a lightweight and durable aluminum alloy scope with absolute fog and waterproof integrity.

While it is true this is one of the priciest scopes on our list, it is still quite fairly priced given that it is a top brand, well-built and high-performing AR-10 scope.

Pros:

  • Versatile zoom ratio
  • Precise, repeatable and dependable windage/elevation adjustment
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Absolute fog and waterproof integrity
  • Quick and simple parallax adjustment

Cons:

  • A bit pricier

6. Leupold VX-1 – Versatile, Multipurpose Scope

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Leupold VX-1 3-9x40 Compact Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40mm
  • Reticle Type: Duplex
  • Field of View: 34.6 to 14.6 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces

Leupold is one of the top brands that you should consider when shopping for the best scopes for AR-10 rifles as they almost never disappoint given that they are an industry leader.

And if you are on the lookout for something versatile that will be ideal for various purposes when both hunting and shooting, their VX-1 will be a great choice.

This highly versatile scope has been designed to offer a 3:1 zoom ratio erector system that is one of the things that make it ideal for various situations and with multicoated optics to deliver a bright and crisp image.

Windage and elevation adjustments are made easier by the 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments. And with the proprietary nitrogen filling and O-ring sealing, you can be sure of complete water, fog and shockproof integrity

This scope is also made with durable but lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum alloy main tube which is also designed to be more spacious to accommodate more components.

A little fine-tuning could make the adjustments more precise. But, for most shooters, the turrets will still be precise enough.

Pros:

  • Easy windage/elevation adjustment
  • Complete fog and waterproof performance
  • Extremely clear lenses
  • Rugged, lightweight and durable overall construction
  • More spacious main tubes

Cons:

  • Adjustments could do with a little fine tuning
  • Knobs feel a little too soft

7. Nikon M-308 – Specifically Designed for AR-style Rifles

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Nikon M-308 4-16x42 Rifle Scope
  • Magnification: 4-16x
  • Objective Diameter: 42mm
  • Reticle Type: BDC
  • Field of View: 25.2 to 6.3 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 19 ounces

Because Nikon's M-308 has been built specifically for AR-style rifles, you can buy it with certainty that it will be a great addition to your AR-10.

The 4-16x power rifle scope is made with fully multicoated lenses that will enhance light transmission to up to 95% so that you always get an excellent sight picture.

And you will hardly ever miss acquiring a target even when it is moving as the scope has a quick focus eyepiece for speedy reticle focusing.

But, its spring-loaded, zero-reset turrets are probably what many shooters will love most as they simplify field adjustments. Also, this scope is optimized for use with Nikon's Spot On Ballistic Match technology and has a highly useful BDC 800 reticle.

Zoom control is also built to be a smooth and quick process for greater user convenience, and the M-308 also features solid one-piece construction.

Unlike some earlier versions, this scope may not come with the one-piece mount but it is cheap and readily available, and so this should not be the deal breaker.

Pros:

  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Enhanced light transmission
  • Works with Nikon’s Spot On
  • Quick and smooth zoom control
  • Simplified field adjustments

Cons:

  • Will not come with the mount
  • Eye relief suffers at high magnification settings

How to Buy the Best Scopes for AR-10

How to Buy the Best Scopes for AR 10

While there are many factors that will determine your success as a AR-10 hunter or target shooter, your choice of scope is one of the principal ones. But, the good news is that you can still get a good scope even if you are not an expert or pro shooter.

Although there is also a lot of jargon and technical terms involved when shopping for rifle scopes, keeping the following important factors in mind when shopping will allow you to get a model that will give you great service and performance.

1. Optical Performance

While the AR-10 can still offer decent performance for both short and long range shooting, it is best suited for fast intermediate shooting. And so the scope that you buy needs to provide the optical performance for this.

First, it should be able to withstand the recoil that comes with fast intermediate shooting. Also, it should not be too bulky or heavy to ensure it does not put too much weight to your gun.

For the optics, you need lenses that are able to ensure maximum transmission of light (at least 90%), and this means they should not only have a large objective diameter but also multiple layers of coatings.

2. Magnification

Whether you are looking for the best tactical scope for AR-10 or are a hunter looking for something to improve your accuracy, magnification power will always matter.

While it is true the optimal magnification for you is subjective, the range that you are shooting from and what you intend to use the scope for will have an effect on the right magnification for you.

If you intend to shoot from long range you need a scope with a magnification power of at least 9x. For medium range shooting at least 5x should be okay while 2x can work for very close ranges.

Also, note that you need to choose between scopes with fixed and variable magnification power. However, the variable is always the best choice as it means the scope will be ideal for a variety of situations.

3. Reticle

As you shop for a scope for your AR-10, you also need to decide on the reticle pattern to go for. Just like the magnification, it will also depend on your shooting distances and conditions.

While different manufacturers will offer different reticle patterns and give them different names, the three most common options, are duplex, mil-dot, and BDC reticles.

Duplex reticles are ideal for shooters looking for a simple pattern for hunting and target shooting while mil-dot is best suited for precision shooting from 300 yards and BDC is your best bet where compensating for bullet drop is crucial.

4. Focal Plane

The focal plane is the position of the reticle within the telescopic sight when the scope is at different magnification settings, and it is also an important factor to consider.

Like with most other rifle scopes, you can get scopes for AR-10 with either first focal plane (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP).

The first focal plane scopes are the cheapest but the reticle size changes as you change the magnification setting, and so the sight picture is not consistent.

With the second focal plane scopes, the sight picture will be consistent at all magnification settings as the reticle size always remains the same, but these scopes can be a little pricier.

Different shooters seem to have varying preferences when it comes to the focal plane, and so it is mostly up to you decide which between the two works best for you.

5. Light Transmission

Light transmission defines the amount of light that the scope will allow to pass through and the higher it is the better.

It is typically measured in percentage for example 90% or 95%. Most manufacturers will indicate it on the scope description, and you should always aim to get the highest light transmission.

With at least a 90% light transmission, your scope will be able to gather enough light for a bright and clear enough sight picture even in low light conditions at dusk/dawn.

But, also note that things like the lens material and coatings and the diameter of the objective lens are key in determining the light transmission.

6. Price

When it comes to rifle scopes you always get what you pay for, and so in many instances the more you are willing to spend the better the scope quality you get.

However, it is also important to note that there are many budget models that are of decent quality and will still offer great performance.

Hence, when it comes to the scope price the right idea is to come up with a budget by deciding on whether you are looking for a good under $50 model or are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to get something more feature rich.

Conclusion

With the right information in mind, finding the best scope for AR-10 rifles should be a quick and easy task despite the fact that there are lots of models to choose from in the market.

And while there are still other things that you need to consider such as the ease of mounting and adjusting the scope and the eye relief you get, you should still be okay even if you just take the 6 points above into account when shopping.

For those that are wondering where to start their search, our top 7 scopes for AR-10 reviews are a good starting point. The chances are you will not even need to look further as all the scopes are top notch quality and will work well for both beginners and pros.

Allen Ethan