AR-10 rifles are powerhouse rifles and the reason is not far-fetched; these rifles are ergonomic, accurate and are popular for their horsepower with a rifle design fit for shooting medium to long range rounds.
The classic AR-10 uses the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, well known for its heavy-duty power and range.
It is easy to see why this rifle is a favorite amongst people for big game shooting and a number of tactical purposes.
Still, to get the best and more out of your rifle, then it is highly recommended you get the best scope for the AR-10.
Top-Rated Scope for AR 10
1. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA SFP Riflescopes. [Editor’s Choice]
3. Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope. [Editor’s Choice]
Recommended Best Scope for AR 10 Reviews in 2018
Below is a list of the best scope for AR-10 for hunting, regardless of your budget, there’s something for everybody.
1. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA SFP Riflescopes.
If you want to get the best of the powerful .308 cartridge, then the Vortex Optics Viper is your surest bet.
This scope is ideal because it is constructed specifically for the long-range rounds with a magnification scope perfect for the AR-10. The scope weighs about 2 pounds and features a large multi-coated 50mm extra-low dispersion glass objective lens with a hard anodized weather resistance 30mm tube.
The multi XR coating produces the enhances the light transmission which in turn produces sharp clear images in the lenses. Additionally, with the 6.5 – 20X magnification, you zoom in and focus on your target for the perfect shot.
The scope features a parallax, side knob alignment that allows for faster and easier tuning of the dials.
The unit is designed in such a way that the range numbers are visible to the shooter from the shooting position so you do not have to make changes to the body positioning to reset a dial.
Also, with the fast focus eyepiece, the reticle can easily be focused and the turrets are capped allowing for quick readjustment to zero once the target is in clear sight.
- The 50mm objective lens allows for better magnification which means clearer and sharper images.
- It has well defined MAG-Bar; turrets and adjustments that allow for easy manipulation of the magnification.
- This scope features a multicoated lens that guarantees a brilliant picture even in low lighting.
- It has a tough and rugged construction that can withstand recoil.
- The scope has a rest feature that is perfect for fast intermediate shooting.
- The Vortex Viper is a relatively bulky as a result of the 30mm tube and 50mm objective lens.
- It may be too large and a bit more difficult to mount because of the oversize tube.
2. Nightforce Optics 12-42x56mm BR Benchrest Series Rifle Scope.
Nothing will push the limits of your AR-10 like this scope, the Nightforce Benchrest series will give you everything and more with your rifle.
This power scope is known for its huge 56mm objective lens with a 12X – 42X magnification.
This scope is perfect for long to ultra-long range shootings and with a magnification so powerful, you can shoot off a bird perched on a treetop at anywhere from 25 yards to hundreds of yards away.
It also features an adjustable objective with resettable zero target turrets. This scope is perfect for Benchrest and stationary shooters utilizing a bipod stand.
- The Nightforce Benchrest comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The reticle has an illumination setting for clear sight pictures even in low light.
- The scope is constructed with shockproof, waterproof and fog proof material.
- The optical system is multi-coated allowing for more effective light transmission.
- The Nightforce Optics are perfect for super long range shooting.
- The scope is more efficient when the shooter has a bipod or rest.
- They are not constructed as a general purpose scopes and may not be suitable for certain purposes.
3. Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope.
Nikon is known for excellent riflescopes as evident in the Nikon ProStaff. This compact riflescope features a fitting 40mm objective lens with a good magnification of 4X – 12X power.
The optics on this scope is so efficiently and fully multi-coated that it allows for light transmission as much as in the 98th percentile. One of the most outstanding features of the Nikon ProStaff is its quick focus eyepiece.
The BDC reticle which measures about 14 inches and can provide holdovers at over 500 miles. The turrets have a zero reset feature while the knob is spring loaded to enable ease of use.
The riflescope is nitrogen filled and built with high-end aluminium material which gives the scope its water and fog resistance abilities.
- The scope offers plenty of magnification for shooters who may need to range out.
- It is relatively easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise to set up.
- The optical system allows for 98 percent of light transmission.
- Nikon ProStaff is ideal for hunting purposes.
- It is construction is solid and durable.
- It could be a little oversize for the AR-10
- Nikon ProStaff is not suitable as a multi-purpose scope, it is most suitable for hunting purposes.
4. Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 Riflescope Ballistic Reticle.
If you are looking for a fully functional and tough riflescope, then the Trijicon VCOG (Variable Combat Optical Gunsight) is it.
It is the most commonly used scope by the US Army, that should tell you it is something. The scope has an impressive 24mm objective lens with a 1-6X magnification capable of producing bright and clear sight pictures.
The Red Horseshoe ballistic reticle on the scope powered by a standard lithium AA battery capable of running for 700 hours nonstop. The led illumination from the reticle allows for clean image sighting even in low lighting with a focal plane that can cater for any magnification on the reticle.
The optical system has an excellent light transmission with 4-inch long eye relief. It is built with an attached fin on the eye to allow for quick and tactile adjustment of the magnification. The riflescope is waterproof up to 66 feet with Mil-Spec electronics.
- It comes with a built-in mount and thumb screws making it extremely easy to set up.
- The BDC reticle is functional up to 1000 yards out.
- The construction is rugged yet with a solid and fine finishing.
- The riflescope is bomb proof, a reflection of its military-grade quality.
- The battery-powered reticle can go for 700 continuous hours, a feature that had been tested in the battlefield.
- Seeing as it is military grade, this riflescope is very pricey.
- It is relatively heavy compared to several other scopes.
5. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot.
The UTG Compact scope is one of the most dependable and accurate riflescopes out there. This 30mm scope has a unique zeroing design, basically it has a consistent and precise zero lock with zero reset target turrets that remain unadjusted even if the scope is detached from the rifle.
The scope comes with high-tech features like the Side Wheel Adjustable Turret (SWAT) offering a parallax range that can go beyond ten yards. Most illuminated reticles in scopes have just the red light setting.
However, the UTG scope comes with 36-color modes – there is a colour for every environment and light condition the shooter is in.
Another impressive feature is the multi emerald curated lenses, built in a front shade and flip open lens caps. The 30mm tube of the scope is nitrogen filled and constructed to be waterproof, fog proof and shockproof even under heavy recoil.
- It has a zero lock and zero reset feature so you don’t have to worry about losing your preferred setting.
- The reticle has 36 different colour modes.
- The UTG Compact scope has a lifetime warranty.
- The material is very durable and wears resistant.
- For a relatively high tech riflescope, there is no technicality involved in the mounting.
- With the inclusion of various hi-tech features, this scope is a lot heavier than the average scope.
- The UTG Compact scope is a bit pricey
6. Leupold VX-2 4-12x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope.
Leupold is an American optics manufacturer and with years of experience, they are undoubtedly one of the best in the trade.
The signature mark of the Leupold brand is a distinctive gold ring around the objective bell. The VX-2 has a 40mm objective lens with 4-12X power magnification. The optical system allows for as much as 94% light transmission with the help of an index-matched diamond coating.
The diamond coating also doubles as a protective layer for the riflescope such that it means scratch free even after a period of hard use.
The positioning of the turrets enables tactile and quick parallax adjustment while in the shooting position with a custom dial system that fixates on your preferred cartridge so you do not have to adjust elevation.
The VX-2 has an external eyepiece that lets you focus the reticle while simultaneously providing eye relief. The optics allow for a substantial amount of light transmission to provide bright and clear sight images.
- The VX-2 has customizable dials
- The light transmission through the scope is excellent
- The riflescope has eye relief to protect the eye from heavy recoil after firing.
- Like all Leupold products, the VX-2 is waterproof and fog proof and thanks to the Diamond coating, it is also scratch free.
- All Leupold products are covered by Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee.
- The VX-2 is not the most suitable riflescope for long range shootings
- The magnification power is somewhat limited.
7. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle.
This riflescope has a 42mm objective lens with a wide range of magnification, 4X – 16X. The combination of the oversized objective lens with a large magnification range is the ideal setting for heavy calibre rifles.
Unlike most scopes, the BDC reticle here is not illuminated, nevertheless. The optical system is still fully multi-coated and as efficient as it can be with a 95% light transmission.
One of the most impressive features of this scope is the quick focus eyepiece which allows for immediate target acquisition with the guarantee of a clear and crisp sight picture.
Additionally, this riflescope comes packaged with all the extra features of a scope such as the one piece mount.
The sunshade, flip-open lens covers and a microfiber cleaning cloth. In essence, you do not have to spend extra money to get any add-on if you purchase the Nikon M-308. The Nikon brand is well known for its durable products and the shockproof, waterproof and fog proof riflescope is no different.
- It is specially built for fast intermediate long range shooting.
- It is lightweight and quite easy to mount.
- The Nikon M-308 is precision based and has been proven to be dead on accurate even at 1000 yards out.
- It is built to be shockproof and weather resistant.
- The riflescope comes fully packaged with several components the shooter may require.
- The riflescope does not have an illuminated reticle so shooting in low light may be a problem.
- The eye relief may get uncomfortable after several rounds of nonstop shooting especially beyond the 12x magnification.
8. Primary Arms 4-14 X 44 FFP Scope .308 BDC Reticle .
This Primary Arms scope is one of the top-notch scopes in the market. The riflescope has very high accuracy levels as it works with the rifle’s measurements to keep the target zeroed in, even on moving targets.
The scope uses a First Focal Plane with a 4-14X power magnification. It uses an ACSS HUD DMR .308 Reticle which comes with 6 different brightness settings to suit whatever the shooter’s personal preference may be.
- It is well known for its high precision levels even at 500 yards and beyond.
- The Primary Arms scope is one of the best budget AR-10 scopes in the market.
- It is lightweight.
- Primary Arms scope has a 3-year warranty.
- The scope works with the gun measurements and this reduces the need for a lot of extra add-ons scopes often require.
- The magnification maxes out at 14x power and sight image may be blurry beyond that.
- As it works with the gun measurements to intricate shot accuracy, certain settings may be not be adjustable to the shooter.
Read Also: Best Rifle Scopes Under $1000
How To Choose Best Scopes for AR 10 – Buyer’s Guide
The riflescope is essentially a qualitative lens in a visual metal tube used for focusing and getting magnified and sharper images of your target.
With the AR-10, you may obliterate a big game from 100 yards out, with a scoped AR-10, your target is definitely going down.
However, the rifle scope market is saturated with scopes from several brands and finding the best tactical scope for AR-10 may be overwhelming.
If you intend to go scope shopping, there are a number of factors you should look out for to ensure that you’re getting the best AR-10 scope for the money;
AR-10 is fast intermediate rifles so you will need a lightweight scope that can withstand the force of a recoil. Moreover, bulkier riflescopes may weigh down your gun and reduce its efficiency.
The magnification of a scope is directly proportional to the size of a lens. Essentially, if you want a bigger image, then you should be looking for a larger scope.
Scopes made with high-grade aluminium are tougher and can withstand recoil, thus are more durable than scopes constructed with other materials.
If you like hunting in low lights, consider getting a scope with the option of reticle illumination to light things up. Scopes come with either a mil dot reticle or an advanced BDC reticle which can be a bit technical to use. Ensure that you are familiar with the reticle of the scope you are getting so that you can get the best out of your purchase.
Look out for scopes with easy mounting rails, the more compatible the scope is with your rifle, the better it’s efficiency.
The coating on lenses is a major determining factor in how clear the light traveling through the scope will be. Invest in scopes with the high quality fully multi-coated lens if you want good light transmission.
Some optics brands sell their rifle scopes with already packaged accessories like rings and mounts. Some however, do not. If your preferred brand does not come with the accessories then it is recommended you make room in your budget for good quality accessories. Your scope is only as good as how you fix it.
Safety Rules and Precautions to follow with the Riflescope
Getting a scope to help you out with your hunting or other purposes is just half the job.
Like with every other thing, these scopes need to be properly treated if not they could wear out prematurely and begin to malfunction.
There are a number of precautions to adhere to while using a riflescope to ensure that you are not just getting the best result but you also remain safe in the process.
Some of those safety guidelines include;
- Try to ensure that the weight of the scope is ideal for the rifle to carry, do not mount large chunky scopes on your rifle.
- Mount the optic low and forward such that the mount rails are on the upper receiver of the rifle. This way, your view of the reticle is also less obstructed.
- Always turn down the magnification of your riflescope once you are done with a shooting session
- Regularly clean out the scope with a microfiber cleaning cloth to keep the parts clean. Most scopes are usually packaged with a cleaning cloth but you can always get one if your scope did not come with it.
- Keep the scope as far away from your face as possible
- Ensure that you are using your eye relief properly to reduce the effect of the recoil. Avoid scopes with little eye relief, recoils are sudden and painful.
- Avoid using cheap mounts for your scope, a heavy recoil could have them bent or broken at first trial.
- Scratches on the objective bell can distort the sight image or make it difficult to look through, effectively ruining the scope. Avoid getting scratches on the glass, however, it is best if you purchase scratch and weather resistant scopes altogether.
With your gun and the best scope for the AR-10, there isn’t anything you can’t bring down. A regular AR-10 can shoot roughly up 200 yards accurately.
Now an AR-10 with a good scope would clear any target within a 1000 yards radius and maybe even beyond. That is the essence of a scope. Precision and range. Still it is important to determine what you want out of a scope before making a purchase.
Do you want the best scope for AR-10 for hunting? Is precision is an influencing factor? How much are you willing to put down for a scope?
Irrespective of your personal preferences and rifle requirements, the above-listed riflescopes are the high quality, functional and best tactical scopes you will find in the market.