Best AR 15 optic - AR 15 sights in 2023

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To find the best AR-15 scope, you only need to answer one question:

If you are looking the best AR 15 Optic or AR 15 sights for you. You are on right place to find the Best ar15 scopes.

Now you can easily select the best AR 15 optic, if your intend of use is clear in your mind. Here are the top 3:

1.    Close Range (0-100 yards): For home defence, CQB or SHTF, get a red dot.

2.    Medium Range (0-500 yards): This is the most common use. If you hunt, plink, 3-gun or do some general field work, go for a low powered variable optic (LPVO)

3.    Long Range (500+ yards): For bench shooting, get a long-range scope

I’ve covered the best AR 15 optic or  budget AR 15 optic scope for each use down below.

Let’s Start!

Close, medium, and long-range shooting are terms used to describe different distances at which firearms are commonly used. Here are some examples of where each range is typically encountered in shooting:

1. Close RangeMagnification: 1 – 4X power


   – Self-defense scenarios: When using a firearm for personal protection, close-range encounters are common. This can include home defense situations or personal carry in urban environments where engagements may occur within a few yards.

   – Tactical environments: Law enforcement and military personnel often train for close-quarters combat situations, where engagements may take place in confined spaces like buildings or vehicles.

   – Shooting competitions: Some shooting disciplines, such as USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) or IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association), include stages with targets placed at close range to test speed and accuracy.

2. Medium RangeBetween 5 – 9X power

   – Hunting: Medium-range shooting is often encountered in hunting scenarios, where shots may be taken at distances of 100-300 yards, depending on the game and terrain.

   – Competitive shooting: Many rifle and pistol shooting competitions feature stages with targets placed at medium distances to challenge competitors’ marksmanship skills and ability to engage targets accurately.

   – Law enforcement engagements: Law enforcement officers may encounter medium-range engagements during certain operations or active shooter situations where they need to engage threats at distances beyond close range but within the effective range of their firearms.

– Low powered variable optic (LPVO) is better example for AR 15 sights

3. Long Range: up to 9X power

   – Precision shooting competitions: Long-range shooting competitions, such as PRS (Precision Rifle Series) matches, are specifically designed for engaging targets at extended distances, often exceeding 500 yards.

   – Long-range hunting: Some hunters specialize in long-range shooting and engage game at distances beyond 300 yards. This requires specialized equipment and advanced marksmanship skills.


   – Military and sniper operations: Military snipers are trained to engage targets at long distances, providing overwatch, gathering intelligence, or conducting precision strikes.

How Choosing the Best AR 15 Optic

Choosing the best optic for your AR-15 rifle or AR 15 sights is essential to maximize your shooting performance and achieve your intended purpose. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an AR-15 optic:

1. Purpose: Determine the specific purpose of your AR-15. Are you using it for close-quarters combat, target shooting, hunting, or competition? Different optics excel in different scenarios, so knowing your intended use will help narrow down your options.

2. Optic Type: Decide on the type of optic that suits your needs. Common options for AR-15 rifles include red dot sights, holographic sights, magnified scopes, and prism sights. Each type offers unique advantages and disadvantages, so consider factors such as target engagement distance, target visibility, and shooting environment.

3. Reticle: Choose a reticle that aligns with your shooting style and requirements. Popular reticle options include simple dot reticles, crosshair reticles, BDC (bullet drop compensator) reticles, and illuminated reticles. Consider factors such as target acquisition speed, precision, and versatility.

4. Magnification: If you opt for a magnified optic, consider the desired magnification level. Lower magnification (1x-4x) is suitable for close-quarters shooting and fast target acquisition, while higher magnification (4x-16x or more) is beneficial for longer-range engagements or precision shooting.

5. Durability: Look for an optic that is built to withstand the demands of the AR-15 platform. It should be durable, shockproof, and resistant to recoil, moisture, and environmental conditions. Consider the construction materials, impact resistance ratings, and reputation of the manufacturer for quality and durability.

6. Mounting: Ensure compatibility between the optic and your AR-15 rifle’s mounting system. Consider the type of mounting system (e.g., Picatinny, M-Lok, KeyMod) and the availability of suitable mounts for your chosen optic.

7. Budget: Set a budget for your optic purchase and look for options that fit within your price range. While quality optics can be more expensive, remember that you are investing in performance, reliability, and longevity. Your budget would be you to find the best budget AR 15 optic or budget AR 15 Sight. 

Best AR 15 Optics and Scopes

The best AR 15 optics and scopes can vary depending on personal preferences, shooting goals, and budget. However, here are some popular options that are highly regarded by shooters:

1. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24: Best Overall

This scope offers a variable magnification range of 1-6x, making it versatile for close-quarters shooting and medium-range engagements. It features a illuminated reticle and good optical quality. I would recommended this AR 15 sights as best ar scope.

best ar 15 optic

The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is a popular choice for AR-15 rifles and offers a range of features suitable for both close-quarters shooting and medium-range engagements. Here are some pros and cons of the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24:


1. Variable Magnification: The 1-6x magnification range provides versatility, allowing for quick target acquisition at close ranges and extended engagement capabilities at medium distances.


2. Illuminated Reticle: The Strike Eagle features an illuminated reticle, usually with a red dot or a horseshoe-shaped design. This helps with target acquisition in low-light conditions or when aiming against dark backgrounds.


3. Clear Optics: The scope has good optical clarity, providing a clear sight picture, even at higher magnifications. This is crucial for precise aiming and target identification.


4. Fast Focus Eyepiece: The fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy reticle focusing, enabling rapid adjustments and target transitions.


5. Durability: The Strike Eagle is built to withstand rugged use and harsh environments. It is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof, ensuring reliable performance in various weather conditions.


6. Competitive Pricing: The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle offers good value for its features and quality compared to some other scopes in its category.


1. Limited Maximum Magnification: While the 1-6x magnification range is versatile, it may not be sufficient for shooters who require higher magnification for long-range engagements or precision shooting.


2. Eye Relief: Some users may find the eye relief to be slightly restrictive, especially at higher magnifications. This means the shooter needs to maintain a proper eye position to see the full sight picture.


3. Reticle Design: While the illuminated reticle is beneficial, some shooters may have personal preferences for different reticle designs or options. The specific reticle choice may not suit everyone’s needs or shooting style.


4. Weight and Size: The Strike Eagle is not the lightest or most compact scope available, which may not be ideal for shooters looking to minimize weight or for those with limited rail space on their rifles.

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

About this item       

  • ·        The updated Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is defined by speed and versatility. A true 1x on the low end adapts to a wide range of scenarios, letting shooters rapidly engage targets from point-blank to extended ranges.

Mounting & Rings

I went with an American Defense AD-RECON STD Mount. It was super easy to install and held zero perfectly fine. However, if American Defense is not fit in your budget, then I’d suggest to going with an Aero Precision Single Piece Mount.


American Defense AD-RECON 30 STD Riflescope Optic Mount

About this item       

  • ·        Does not require proprietary tools for adjustment

    ·        Can be adjusted with your finger or a flat blade screwdriver

    ·        Lever can be configured to lock to the front or the rear

Aero Precision Ultralight 30MM Scope Mount

About this item       

  • ·        Mounting rings are pushed forward 2″ for better eye relief

    ·        Designed for mil-spec upper receivers with 1913 Picatinny rail

    ·        6061 T6 extruded aluminum construction

2. UTG 3-12×44 : Best Budget AR 15 Sight

The UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope comes with a range of features designed to enhance your shooting experience. Here are some of the key features of this scope:

best ar 15 optic

1. Magnification Range: The scope offers a variable magnification range from 3x to 12x. This allows you to zoom in on your target for close-range precision or extend your range for medium-to-long-distance shots.

2. Objective Lens: The scope features a 44mm objective lens diameter. The larger objective lens gathers more light, which improves image brightness and clarity, especially in low-light conditions.

3. Mil-dot Reticle: The UTG 3-12X44 scope typically comes with a Mil-dot reticle. The Mil-dot design consists of small dots or hash marks on the crosshair, which can be used for range estimation, holdovers, and windage corrections.

4. Etched Glass Reticle: The reticle is etched onto the glass, ensuring durability and resistance to recoil. This provides added reliability and prevents the reticle from shifting or becoming misaligned.

5. Side Parallax Adjustment: The scope has a side-mounted parallax adjustment turret. Parallax refers to the apparent movement of the reticle in relation to the target when the shooter’s eye moves. The parallax adjustment helps eliminate parallax error, resulting in a clear and accurate sight picture.

6. Turrets: The UTG 3-12X44 scope is equipped with lockable and resettable target turrets for windage and elevation adjustments. These turrets typically have crisp and audible click adjustments, allowing for precise and repeatable adjustments.

7. Illumination: Some models of the UTG 3-12X44 scope come with an illuminated reticle. The illumination feature provides red or green illumination options with multiple brightness settings. This helps improve visibility of the reticle in low-light conditions or against dark backgrounds.

8. Durable Construction: The scope is built with a 30mm tube diameter, which provides a solid and robust platform. It is nitrogen-filled and sealed to ensure fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof performance.

9. Eye Relief and Eye Box: The scope offers a comfortable eye relief distance, allowing for a flexible and forgiving eye position behind the scope. It also provides a generous eye box, reducing the need for precise eye placement.

10. Flip-up Lens Caps: The UTG 3-12X44 scope typically includes flip-up lens caps to protect the objective lens and eyepiece when not in use. These caps can be easily flipped open or closed for quick access to the optics.

best ar 15 optic

The UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope is a popular choice for AR-15 rifles and offers a range of features that make it suitable for various shooting applications. Here are some points to consider regarding its suitability for an AR-15:


1. Variable Magnification: The 3-12x magnification range provides versatility for engaging targets at different distances. It allows for both close-quarters shooting and medium-to-long-range engagements.

2. Large Objective Lens: The 44mm objective lens gathers ample light, which helps enhance image brightness and clarity, especially in low-light conditions.

3. Mil-dot Reticle: The UTG 3-12X44 features a Mil-dot reticle, which is a popular and versatile reticle design. It allows for easy range estimation, bullet drop compensation, and windage corrections.

4. Adjustable Turrets: The scope has adjustable turrets for windage and elevation, allowing for precise and repeatable adjustments. These turrets usually have audible and tactile clicks, making it easier to make on-the-fly adjustments.

5. Built-in Parallax Adjustment: The UTG Compact Scope includes a parallax adjustment feature, typically located on the side of the scope. This allows for improved accuracy and target clarity at different distances.

6. Durable Construction: The scope is built with a rugged and durable construction, including a 30mm tube, to withstand recoil and harsh shooting conditions. It is also nitrogen-filled and sealed for fog-proof and waterproof performance.


1. Quality Control: While many users have reported positive experiences with the UTG 3-12X44 scope, there have been occasional reports of quality control issues, such as inconsistent tracking or reticle illumination problems. However, these instances are relatively rare.

2. Image Quality: While the scope provides satisfactory image quality for its price range, it may not match the optical clarity and brightness of higher-end scopes. Some users have reported slight distortions or diminished clarity at higher magnifications.


3. Weight and Size: The UTG 3-12X44 Compact Scope is not the lightest or most compact option available. It may add some weight to the rifle and may not be ideal for shooters looking for a lightweight setup.

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot

About this item       

  • ·        30-millimeter SWAT 3-12X44 IE tactical range estimating scope with mil-dot, full 36-color EZ Tap reticle

    ·        30-Millimeter tube built on True Strength Platform: sealed and nitrogen filled, shockproof, fog-proof, and rain-proof

3. Aimpoint Pro Reflex Sight: Best Red Dot for AR-15

Known for its ruggedness and reliability, the Aimpoint PRO offers a 2 MOA red dot sight with a long battery life and excellent durability.

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot

Here are the pros and cons of the Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) Reflex Sight:


1. Durability: The Aimpoint PRO is built to withstand harsh conditions and is constructed from high-quality materials. It is fully waterproof and can handle rough handling and recoil.

2. Battery Life: The sight uses a single DL1/3N battery and has an impressive battery life of up to 3 years of continuous use on a medium setting. The sight also has an “always-on” feature, ensuring it is ready for immediate use.

3. Clear Optics: The sight provides a parallax-free and unlimited eye relief view, ensuring fast target acquisition and a clear sight picture.

4. Brightness Settings: The PRO offers different brightness settings for the red dot, making it suitable for various lighting conditions, including bright daylight and low-light situations.

5. Night Vision Compatibility: The sight has an additional brightness setting that is compatible with night vision devices, making it versatile for use with night vision equipment.

6. Flip-Up Lens Covers: The PRO comes with front and rear flip-up lens covers, protecting the lenses from scratches and debris when not in use.

7. Mounting Options: The sight includes a mount that can be easily attached to Picatinny or Weaver rails, providing a secure and stable attachment to your firearm.

8. Lightweight and Compact: The Aimpoint PRO is relatively lightweight and compact, adding minimal weight to your firearm and not obstructing your field of view.


1. Price: The Aimpoint PRO is considered a premium reflex sight, and its cost may be higher compared to some other red dot sights on the market.


2. Weight: While it is lightweight compared to many other optics, some shooters may prefer even lighter options for certain applications.


3. No Magnification: The Aimpoint PRO is a non-magnified red dot sight, which may not be ideal for shooters who require magnification for longer-range shooting.


4. Limited Reticle Options: The sight comes with a simple 2 MOA red dot reticle, which may not offer the versatility of some other sights with multiple reticle options.



Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Reflex Sight

About this item       

  • ·        Absolute co-witness with iron sights (with the supplied spacer installed)

    ·        Features 2 MOA red dot for accurate target engagement

    ·        Includes front and rear plastic flip cap lens covers

4. Vortex Optics SPARC Red Dot Sight: Best Budget Red Dot Sight

The Vortex Optics SPARC (Speed Point Aiming for Rapid Combat) Red Dot Sight is a popular choice for shooters looking for a reliable and affordable red dot sight. Here are some of its features, as well as the pros and cons:

best ar 15 optic


Bright Red Dot: The SPARC features a 2 MOA red dot reticle, which provides a crisp and clear aiming point for quick target acquisition.

Multiple Brightness Settings: It offers ten brightness levels, including two-night vision compatible settings, allowing you to adjust the dot intensity according to your shooting conditions.

Unlimited Eye Relief: The sight provides unlimited eye relief, allowing for comfortable and fast target acquisition, regardless of the shooter’s eye position.


Parallax-Free: The SPARC is designed to be parallax-free, meaning the reticle stays on target regardless of the shooter’s eye movement or position.

best ar 15 optic

Battery Life: It uses a single AAA battery and has an impressive battery life of up to 300 hours at maximum brightness or up to 5,000 hours on the lowest setting.

Shockproof and Waterproof: The sight is built to withstand recoil and harsh environmental conditions. It is both shockproof and waterproof, ensuring durability and reliability in the field.

Multi-Height Mount System: The SPARC comes with a multi-height mount system, allowing for easy and flexible mounting on various platforms, including AR rifles.


Compact and Lightweight: It has a compact and lightweight design, making it suitable for a variety of shooting applications without adding significant weight to your firearm.

best ar 15 optic


1. Affordable: The Vortex Optics SPARC is a more budget-friendly option compared to some other red dot sights on the market, offering good value for the price.

2. Durability: The sight is constructed with rugged materials and is designed to withstand the rigors of shooting and outdoor conditions.

3. Clear and Crisp Reticle: The 2 MOA red dot reticle provides a clear and precise aiming point for quick and accurate shots.

4. Versatile Mounting Options: The included multi-height mount system allows for easy adaptation to different firearms and mounting configurations.

5. Good Battery Life: The SPARC offers a decent battery life, ensuring that it will last for extended shooting sessions without frequently changing batteries.


1. Limited Magnification: The Vortex Optics SPARC is a non-magnified red dot sight, so it doesn’t offer magnification for longer-range shooting.


2. Limited Reticle Options: It only comes with a 2 MOA red dot reticle, which may not suit everyone’s preferences or specific shooting needs.

Vortex Optics SPARC Red Dot Sight Gen II – 2 MOA 

About this item       

  • ·        The updated SPARC features rugged construction that’s still compact, with a lightweight form-factor. The 2 MOA dot is quick to acquire in close ranges, but fine enough for pin-point accuracy at extended ranges.

5. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25: Best Budget Red Dot For AR-15

If you are looking the best AR 15 optic or AR 15 sights. The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a popular red dot sight riflescope known for its affordability and reliable performance. Here are some features, as well as the pros and cons of the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25:

best ar 15 optic

Best Budget Red Dot For AR-15: –  Bushnell Trophy Features:

·      Red Dot Reticle: The TRS-25 features a 3 MOA red dot reticle, which provides a precise aiming point for quick target acquisition.

·      Amber-Bright Lens Coating: The lens coating enhances clarity and brightness, allowing for better visibility in various lighting conditions.

·      Unlimited Eye Relief: The sight offers unlimited eye relief, allowing for comfortable and rapid target acquisition, regardless of the shooter’s eye position.

·      Shockproof and Waterproof: The TRS-25 is designed to withstand recoil and is also waterproof, making it suitable for use in different weather conditions.

·      Multi-Coated Optics: The optics are multi-coated to provide increased light transmission and clarity.

·      Compact and Lightweight: The sight has a compact and lightweight design, making it easy to mount on various firearms without adding excessive weight.

·      Adjustable Brightness Settings: It offers 11 brightness settings, allowing you to adjust the dot intensity based on your shooting environment.

·      Long Battery Life: The sight runs on a single CR2032 battery and has a long battery life, providing hours of continuous use.

best ar 15 optic


1. Affordable: The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is known for its budget-friendly price, making it an accessible option for many shooters.

2. Clear and Crisp Reticle: The 3 MOA red dot reticle provides a clear and precise aiming point for quick and accurate shots.

3. Sturdy Construction: The sight is built to withstand recoil and harsh conditions, ensuring durability and reliability.

4. Easy to Use: The sight has simple and intuitive controls, making it user-friendly, especially for beginners.

5. Versatile Mounting Options: The TRS-25 comes with a Picatinny rail mount, allowing for easy and secure attachment to various firearms.


1. Limited Features: The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a basic red dot sight without advanced features such as night vision compatibility or motion-activated illumination.


2. Limited Battery Life: While the sight does offer decent battery life, it may not be as long-lasting as some other models on the market.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm

About this item       

  • ·        Matte black featuring a 3 MOA Dot reticle with 11 brightness settings; Mounts easily on most picatinny rails and is compatible with pistols, shotguns, rifles and muzzleloaders.Adjustment Range : 70+ MOA