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Last updated: May 14, 2021
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If you just picked up long-range shooting as a hobby, then you know the essence of having a riflescope in your arsenal. The best scope for AR-10 will not only give you an easier time hitting your targets but also reduce the risk of missing them thus preventing bullet wastage. There is a whole bunch of different brands and models of scopes on the market that picking the best can be a tad hard.
Luckily, we made life easier for you by rounding up a list of some of the highest-rated scopes out there. We did detailed reviews of each of them and some of the essential features we considered include field of view, adjustment system, durable construction, length and weight, magnification, objective lens diameter, and reticle. You have to consider these features before buying a scope as they determine its convenience and efficiency. If you’re going hunting, you don’t want to get a scope that will weigh you down or obstruct your view and it has to have great magnification and field of view so you can see your targets and the environment perfectly.
This scooped the top position because it is the best long-range AR-10 rifle scope on the market. It works just as good as an expansive night scope at a way cheaper price tag. It is an absolute gem, designed for fast accurate ranging adjustments. It can perform against close-range targets and with the simple flip of a turret knob, it can quickly change to the long-range mode.
The scope is ruggedly built for hard field use. It comes in a one-piece tube body that is water and fog-proof. You can trust it to be durable enough with the aircraft-grade aluminum material used in its construction. It will undoubtedly survive a few bumps and drops.
This Viper boasts of an extra-low dispersion glass construction that guarantees you high-resolution images. When combined with a fully multi-coated lens and a wide objective lens diameter of 32mm maximizes light transmission to give you the crisp clear and high-quality images even in low light conditions.
The glass is coated with ArmorTek to make is scratch, oil, and dirt resistant. This makes it more durable and ‘hardier’.
Further, the scope features the special illuminated EBR-4MRAD Tactical reticle which is engineered for long-range shots. What’s more, it can give you a perfect estimation of a windage, bullet drop, or holdover.
Additionally, the reticle is very bright and clear though at low magnification it can be very thin. At high magnification, the problem is solved completely as the crosshair adjusts with magnification. Because of this, you will experience easier and highly accurate long-distance adjustments.
This Viper offers a generous 3.4 eye relief that is consistent throughout the magnification. What sets it apart from other AR-10 copes is RZR-Zero stop feature which a rarity mostly found in nightforce scopes. It prevents you from adjusting past your in-sight zero which is a plus as long-distance shots require frequent adjustments.
Overall, this is a fantastic choice for long-distance precision shooting. It is packed with most of the expensive features found on nightforce scopes without the hefty price tag. It is not the cheapest but it is a worthy investment if you want to take long-range shooting to the next level.
What are its best features?
Great eye relief
Ergonomic design- Tactical turrets that can be adjusted with gloves
Who says you can’t get the perfect AR-10 scope for your rifle? This premium quality scope from Trijicon, a respectable brand, is the ultimate choice that will improve your ability to engage your targets and finally hit them with high precision.
You will be impressed by the MIL-spec-grade optical system of the scope that is quite robust for different applications including close-quarter battle and long-range marksmanship.
The scope is durably built with an aircraft-aluminum-alloy housing that can hold up pretty well to the riff raffs of the hard field. It is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.
The scope features an exceptional glass quality construction with an enhanced light gathering capability that guarantees you the best image quality with zero distortion. The images will be incredibly bright and clear even in low-light conditions.
Further, it includes the first focal plane that allows you to use the ballistic reticle in all magnifications. With its high level of sophistication, you can quickly and accurately acquire targets and put rounds on them whenever you want.
The first focal plane reticle also ensures the subs-tensions and drops are supported and that they adjust with the magnification you choose to use. This is what makes the scope such a fantastic option for tactical and long-range shooting.
Moreover, the scope offers great eye relief and magnification for medium to long-range shooting. Its field of view is also impressive allowing you to see up to 15.9ft at a distance of 100yards.
All considered, this is one of the best tactical scopes for AR-10 out there. It has a premium build and top-notch performance with its superior features.
What are its best features?
A great option for close quarter battles
Great clarity and brightness
Perfect for tactical and long-range shooting
High-quality glass construction without distortion
Here is another gem of a scope perfect for accomplished hunters who like to be out in low-light conditions when the big games like mules and deers are active. The VX-3i is the latest model in the famous VX-3 series by Leupold and it is amongst the best low-light condition performers on the market because it utilizes the genius Twilight Max Light management system.
The scope comes in a compact tube body ruggedly built with aircraft-grade aluminum. It is elegantly designed with the Leupold Gold ring visible on the exterior of the objective lens housing. What’s more, the scope features a nylon-laminated neoprene cover that is water-resistant, so, you can use it in any weather condition.
Essentially the scope features a high-quality lens that has the advanced twilight max light management coating system. It enhances light transmission in all kinds of conditions with emphasis on the blue and red lights.
Another plus for this scope is that it offers exceptional visibility through its glass, all thanks to its blackened edges that limit diffusion and glare thus an enhanced contrast and resolution.
Additionally, it features the DIamondCoat 2 an ion-assist lens coating which helps improve light transmission hence the crisp clear, bright, and high contrast images.
As a long-range shooter, you will make the most of the ballistic aiming system incorporated in the scope to help get several aiming points in long distances and variable wind speeds for the most accurate shots.
With consistent and easy-to-use turrets, what’s not there to love about this scope? It offers you top-notch performance with high-end features at an attractive price tag. It is the best Leupold scope for AR-10.
The Primary Arms line of scopes are made in China and are popularly known for being a budget brand. The scopes are a great buy for the money. This particular model packs a punch with a myriad of powerful features and beastly performance but it is specifically made for the 308. You wouldn’t make the most of it if you have an AR-10 chambered in another caliber.
The scope has a tough build fit for the tough conditions in the outdoors. It has a weatherproof and shockproof design, therefore you can trust it to last you a while. Its turrets are also ergonomically designed for superior comfort and ease of use. You can adjust them with your fingers even when wearing gloves to calculate distance and wind bullet impact.
The scope is known to offer the best first focal plane experience. This means that as magnification power changes, the MIL and MOA adjustments stay the same allowing you to quickly find and hit your target accurately despite the distance or its size.
In addition, the scope’s glass is pretty decent for its price. It offers incredible clarity and focus ability when sighting for long-range or target shooting.
The only downside to this scope is that although its reticles are specifically made for 308, its Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) functionality can only work with bullets of certain weights and speeds. If you shoot a configuration that is not aligned with the preconfigured BDC functionality then it won’t work right for you.
On the flip side, you get a 3-year warranty backup and that is why this scope is one of the best scopes for AR-10 .308. Plus, you don’t have to make a hole in your pockets to get it.
Why are we impressed?
Best for AR-10 chambered in .308
First focal plane
What negatives must you be aware of?
The BDC functionality only works with specific bullet speeds and weights
Yet another gem from the legendary Leupold. Only, this one is a low-budget model ideal for basic hunting activities. It offers pretty decent features and exceptional mechanical performance for its attractive price point. Btw! You don’t need an expensive scope to kill animals anywhere in the world. You may want one but you will never need to decimate your bank balance for a scope to sit on top of your rifle.
As you’d expect of all Leupold’s products, this scope is durably built with an elegant matte black finishing. You will hardly notice its impressive 13ounces weight on top of your rifle. This comes with a cost though, if you are used to the parallax feature or an illuminated reticle system on a scope, you might want to look elsewhere. Their absence makes the scope lightweight.
You will not have any trouble zeroing the VX-Freedom owing to its turrets that are clearly numbered and include finger-click adjustments underneath for elevation and windage.
Another impressive thing about this scope is its generous eye relief that ranges between 33/4 inches when magnifications are higher and 5-inches on the lowest magnifications.
Essentially, this scope features Leupold’s famous propriety coatings; the Twilight Light Management system. Together with other elements of the scope, the coatings enhance light transmission as well as improve the vibrance of colors and contrast of highlights in low-light conditions. They also reduce glare effects, thus the best for hunting at dawn when the sun comes out and at dusk when there is little to no light.
You will also make the most of the 7 brightness settings.
In sum, this is one of the best scopes for AR hunting that money can buy. Leupold doesn’t skimp to cut the price, you get as many features as you would need for your basic hunting activities without breaking the bank.
What makes it stand out?
7 brightness settings
Great for low-light conditions
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Doesn’t include Parallax or illuminated reticle system
This is the best scope with all the fancy bells and whistles that you can get for big game hunting, vermin hunting of long-range shooting. It is incredibly affordable yet packed with superior and convenient features that will make you develop an unfettered love for hunting.
The Diamondback is a beast when it comes to performance as well as in its build. It has a hard anodized matte black finishing on a robust weatherproof housing. It is also shockproof, thus can survive a few bumps and drops.
Not to mention, the scope is incredibly lightweight. It weighs a mere 14.6 ounces which is ideal for any hunter always on the move stalking their prey.
The scope has superb glass quality that facilitates optimum light transmission for the brightest and clearest images even in low-light conditions at dusk or dawn. The flip side of this scope’s glass quality is that it has a bit of distortion as the magnification power increases. It’s not entirely useless but still noticeable.
If you are into long-distance shooting, this should be your go-to scope. It features the Dead hold BDC reticle which makes long-range shooting easier. All you have to do is zero at 100 yards then guide your shot with the hash marks.
The scope has 3.1 inches of eye relief which isn’t the most generous but still enough to get the job done. In fact, you will only feel the eye relief inadequacy at the highest magnification setting. This is because the eye-box gets a bit tight at this magnification level but a good cheek weld and perfect mounting hardware can solve this problem.
Another plus for this scope is its exceptional turrets. They are finger-adjustable and they zero in fast and hold zero well. They also produce positive click sounds.
Moreover, its 4-12x magnification is ideal for medium to long-distance shooting. It is also parallax-free from 100yards onwards thus a prime option for hunting.
Overall, this is one scope you don’t want to pass up if you are into long-range shooting and big game hunting. It has just the right build and features perfect for all the complex hunting activities at any time of the day.
This is a digital night vision scope with a plethora of features that offer the best optical performance best fit for hunting or long-range shooting in any weather or light conditions. It has a lot more to offer than the basic digital scopes as it incorporates smart HD optics and draws power from the ATN’s Obsidian Core II.
The scope is built to withstand all the harsh outdoor elements. It can survive light showers, and a few bumps or accidental drops.
Everything offered by this scope is High Definition quality owing to the HD display, sensors, and lenses. This guaranteed you a full HD resolution system with 160lp/mm.
The most exciting thing about the scope is that it has multiple digital features like a smartphone. All these features are at your fingertips especially if you are tech-savvy. You will love that you can manage the scope with the profile manager as well as save all the ballistic data for every weapon you mount it onto.
What’s more, you can record your hunt with an impressive 1080p at 30fps resolution then transfer it to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for glamming up your gram.
The X-Sight offers pin-point accuracy with its built-in laser range finder and a ballistic calculator which makes your life much easier compared to ballistic charts. Even more, the reticle will always adjust itself automatically to the right point of aim for each shot based on the ballistic data.
In addition, the scope utilizes an E-compass, a gyroscope, and an E-barometer to achieve high accuracy. You wouldn’t waste a bullet with this one.
In conclusion, this is one of the best feature-packed digital scopes that is both day and night compatible. If you are a trophy hunter, it should be your prime pick as it allows you to record your hunting escapades and transfer them to your phone for sharing.
What are its best features?
Day and night compatible
Multiple digital features
Multiple illuminated reticles
Durable aluminum construction
What could be improved?
The scopes can be too bright for the eyes even on the lowest settings
Here is another solid choice for anyone looking for a non-professional yet powerful scope on a budget. It is a perfect option for short or mid-range distances. It is the rare kind of gem that offers you lots of possibilities and wonderful settings without costing you an arm and a leg.
One trait that sets this scope apart is its solid durability. It boasts of a compact, sturdy and weatherproof build that is robust enough for any kind of environment. With proper care, the scope can last you a lifetime.
Furthermore, the scope has a 3x zoom that allows you to easily zero on 50 yards so you can find your target and pin it down with high precision from as far as 100 yards.
Its zeroing capability is fantastic. On top of being super-easy and very straightforward, it also holds the zero way better than most scopes on the market. This is because its turret has a zero-stop system that allows you to return to your correct zero points after you adjust for elevation.
As much as this is not the scope you would get if you want to push the limits of an optical system on a scope, it is pretty good for its price point. It has an illumination system that makes it workable at night. The Illumination reticle supports personalized and several multi-color modes.
Still, on the high-quality optics, the scope comes with multi-colored lenses that incorporate glare-free angled sunshade with lens caps that you can flip open whenever you want. This makes it one of the best scopes for hunting at dawn.
You will also enjoy consistent illumination on the account of the scope’s unique housing design and innovative circuit.
You will also appreciate how easy it is to acquire targets with this scope. You will always feel like an excellent shooter as it is designed to promote a perfect aim even after you remove it and put it back on your rifle.
Overall, this is one of the best affordable options that offer excellent value for money with superior features. It is one of the most dependable scopes for AR-10.
A scopes’ buying guide is not complete without a Nikon product in it. This scope is part of the latest Prostaff P3 riflescope series specially designed to offer Nikon’s famous and unparalleled optical performance and mechanical consistency.
Like everything from Nikon, this scope is built to last with aluminum. It comes in a lightweight one-inch tube that has a sleek modern look and enhanced durability. It is tough enough to shrug off hard recoil and rugged use. Plus, it is O-ring sealed to make it water-tight and moisture-resistant.
Even more, the scope is nitrogen purged to protect it from thermal shock and internal fogging.
You will love the solid spring-loaded aluminum instant zero-reset turrets and aluminum turret caps. They have an ergonomic knurling design that makes them not only easy to use but also comfortable and highly effective. They allow you to make precise and positive reticle adjustments that get you zeroed easily and quickly as well as maintain your setting.
Even when you have heavy recoil, the adjustments are just as easy.
What sets this scope apart is its versatile magnification range that causes a perfect balance of a wide field of view at the lowest settings, enhanced detailed images at the highest settings, and a convenient compact size.
The scope is very effective in producing high resolution bright and clear images thanks to its high-quality glass construction that maximizes light transmission making it ideal for hunting or shooting even in the most undesirable light conditions.
When it comes to reticles, the scope has all Nikon’s popular reticles including Mildot, BDC, and Nikoplex. The Mildot reticle makes ranging easier for you with its 1 Mil Dot spacing on the crosshair. The cherry on the cake is that all these reticles can be optimized for any load or caliber thanks to the unique spot on Ballistic Match Technology.
The Spot On Ballistic Technology helps you to discover all the precise aiming spots on the BDC at many different yardages for your rifle, load, or caliber.
All in all, this is one of the best scopes you can get for a versatile performance. You can trust Nikon’s legendary top-notch performance and quality with this product. If it calls on you, do not pass. It is worth every penny you would spend on it.
This is by far the best scope to get if you are just getting started on long-range shooting. This Athlon Optics scope performs like a thousand bucks yet it’s nearly quarter the price and that’s a fact. Not a marketing hype! Unlike many cheap scopes, it doesn’t skimp to cut the cost. It simply just makes long-range shooting possible for novices.
With such a price point, you’d expect a mediocre build that would falter after a few uses. Not with this scope. It is ultra-durable, as it is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, nitrogen purged to prevent internal fogging as well as O-ring sealed to make it completely water-tight.
Additionally, its lenses are coated with XPL to protect it from oil, grease, sand, and dirt. You can use it almost anywhere in the world without worrying about it getting damaged.
You will love how spongy and easy the elevation and windage knobs are. They move easily without any resistance which is good and bad. Bad because it could lead to over adjusting and mess up your settings. Though you can solve this by wiping out the factory grease on the turrets and re-greasing it.
The scope features a super clear and crisp glass construction. Though it can get blurry at higher magnifications. On the bright side, the scope can perform in bright light, low-light, or no-light conditions thanks to its illuminated reticle. It even has 11 brightness settings knob that you easily adjust to suit your lighting condition and preferences.
What’s more, the scope is a first focal plane, a feature mostly found in high-end scopes. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for long-distance shooting as its holdovers don’t change regardless of the magnification setting you are on. You wouldn’t have to calculate windage or holdover, or even make any adjustments. All you have to do is zoom.
Now the biggest downside to this scope is its limited eye relief. If you have a heavy recoiling caliber, you might find it a bit too tight, but with a good cheek weld, it can do the job.
The scope’s magnification is wonderfully versatile and clear but not the best for extreme long-range shooting as it tends to get blurry at higher settings. Its parallax adjustment knob is also a charm as it turns smoothly and accurately.
With an eternal warranty, this is the best scope you can get for long-range shooting at its price point. It offers all the fancy long-range features only found in top dollar scopes at 1/3 the cost.
What are our favorite features?
Great quality glass
First focal plane
It has long-range capabilities
Offers excellent value for money
What could be better?
Limiting eye relief
Reduced clarity or brightness at high magnification settings
For you to buy the best scope for your AR-10 rifle, you must consider a couple of factors including your personal shooting style, the multiple brands and models available on the market, and a few must-have features. This section contains all the information you would need to gain buyers’ confidence when you go shopping for a scope. You will get to know the best scope for AR-10 and some of the features to consider when choosing one.
What is the best scope for AR-10?
An AR-10 rifle can be used for various purposes like hunting, marksmanship and more. It offers a reliable and painless shooting experience. You can choose to use yours for either long, short or medium-range shooting. For each of these, you would need different types of copes.
For the short-range shooting of targets within 400 yards, you can use a small scope with 1-4x zoom. For medium-range shooting, with targets within 400 to 700 yards, you can make do with 4-9x zoom and a 30 to 40mm objective lens scope. For a long-range shot, which means targets beyond 700 yards, you will need a scope with 9x magnification and an objective lens of 40mm and above.
You can also get a versatile scope that you can use for all the ranges. Its magnification range would be 2x-12x with a larger objective lens but you will have to do a lot of adjustments on the field.
Features to consider when choosing the best scope for AR 10
Here are some of the most crucial features that you must be extra keen on for you to make the best buy:
This is the first crucial feature you have to look for when shopping for a scope. You have to choose the magnification power of the scope according to the range you intend to shoot. If you are looking for versatility, be sure to go for a scope that has a wide magnification range of about 2x-12x. However, you will have to give up a load of convenience as you will be adjusting the scope every often. Plus, you will have to put up with more weight, diameter, and length.
Therefore, it is advisable to just get a scope for the specific range you intend to shoot as it is much easier to swap scopes than adjust one all the time.
Objective lens diameter
If you want bright and crisp clear images, go for a scope that has a wide objective lens diameter. It allows more light in which results in brighter images especially when you are shooting in hazy and low-light conditions.
However, the larger the objective lens diameter the bigger and heavier the scope is. So, you have to find a balance and get what works for your situation. If you want a scope for hunting, you have to choose one that gives you the best images but also doesn’t way you down as you will be moving around a lot when stalking your prey.
Almost all modern scopes have coated lenses. Lens coating is essential as it reduces glare and reduces the loss of light caused by reflection. This allows you to use the scope in bright light, low-light, and no-light conditions. Go for a scope with a fully multi-coated lens like the Nikon PROSTAFF P3 3-9×40 Riflescope above.
Type of optical glass used
Choose a scope with superior glass quality as it will allow you to see your target much easier and clearer at any magnification power setting. You can do a side-by-side comparison to pick the best.
This is usually overlooked as a minor consideration but it is actually very important especially if you intend to use your AR-10 frequently. Choose a scope that features an adjustable eye relief so that it is easier for you to make it comfortable to use.
If you go for a scope with a fixed eye relief, ensure it offers a generous one. It should fit you well right away and still be comfortable even at higher magnification settings.
Field of view
This is the area you can see in feet through your eyepiece at a certain distance, usually at every 100 yards. It corresponds with the magnification of the scope. At a higher magnification, the field of view is narrower and vice versa.
For a hunting optic, go for a wide field of view because you want to be able to scan the environment well to acquire a target. The Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II is a prime example of a good hunting scope with a wide field of view.
There are two types of focal planes: first focal plane and second focal plane. Most modern scopes utilize the second focal plane for high precision aiming and it is ideal for long-range shooting. For SFP the reticle changes when the magnification settings are adjusted while for FFP, they remain the same.
These are the fine lines on a scope that help you gauge your shooting distance and aim more accurately. There are several types of reticles and they all offer varying advantages for different shooting styles. The most popular ones include BDC, red dots, and Mil dots. Before choosing one for yourself, ensure you try it out to see if it fits your shooting style.
This is very crucial as it determines the sturdiness of the scope and its durability. Go for a scope built with rugged materials like aircraft aluminum. It will be able to survive a few hits and bumps and the riff raffs of the outdoor environment.
This is a must-have feature. It gives you the flexibility of using the scope in any kind of weather or environment. Ensure it is Nitrogen-purged for internal fogging protection. It should also have an O-ring seal to make it completely water-resistant.
Elevation and windage knobs
Different scopes come with different elevation and windage adjustment knobs. The larger the scope’s diameter, the more elevation adjustment options it will have to cater to all the multiple variables involved in a long-distance shooting. The adjustment knobs should be smooth and accurate for ease of use.
Mounting and rings
The mounting system is the critical link between your scope and your firearm. Therefore, you should be keen to pick the best fitting rings and mounts for your scope. You can choose to use either a 1-piece mount or a 2-piece mount. The 1-piece mounts are the best option for AR-10 rifles because they are much sturdier than ring mounts and they come already aligned.
Size and weight
You have to choose an appropriate size and weight according to what you intend to use your AR-10 for. If you’ll be moving around a lot, you don’t want a scope that will weigh you down. Although you have to consider all the factors that determine the size and weight of a scope like objective lens diameter and magnification.
First off, you need to secure the rifle on a firm and leveled surface like a work-bench then attach the mount you’ve chosen on it. You can then level the rifle again before placing the scope inside the ring mounts. You have to be careful to ensure everything is perfectly aligned with the riffle before placing the top of the mounting rings and screwing them tight. When done, check to see that the crosshairs are aligned.
With all the information on this guide, choosing the best scope that will help you make the most out of your beastly AR-10 rifle should not be a bag of experience anymore. You can even choose to go with any of the top-rated scopes we have reviewed in detail. They offer the best quality and performance. For instance, our best overall pick, Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II offers unparalleled optical performance and mechanical consistency best suited for long-range shooting and hunting.
Our third choice, Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope is one of the best scopes for AR-10 that you can get for dusk and dawn hunting. It is also super durable with generous eye relief. Its SFP feature also guarantees you accurate aiming. You wouldn’t waste a single bullet with this beast of a scope.