The 4 Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes – AR 15 Optic Sight Reviews 2024

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Photo by Michael Tefft / CC BY

While the modern AR 15 has an emphasis on modularity, the classic AR 15 was based more on simplicity and effectiveness. The classic carry handle design is still quite prevalent, especially in the classic Sporter designs by Colt. Attaching a scope to these models can be tricky, but isn’t too difficult to do.

First and foremost, if you want to do it as easily as possible you can purchase a scope that attaches directly to the carry handle. This is the simplest method, but limits you to a small number of scopes. The alternative is to mount a rail on the carry handle and then mount a scope to that rail. I’ve gone ahead and found 2 scopes that mount directly to the carry handle and 2 alternative optics that can be mounted by handle mounts(which I also showcase 2).

These 4 optic sights are, without a doubt, the best AR15 carry handle scopes on the market.

Barska Electro Sight

The first thing I love about the Barska Electric sight is that it reminds me of the classic Colt optic. Colt hasn’t made that optic for a long time now, but the Barska Electro sight is the closest we can get. It’s a 4 power optic with a 20mm objective lens. It is a dedicated carry handle scope and attaches easily to the carry handle via a simple, but secure mount. The Barska Electro sight also sits high enough to let the user use iron sights of the standard carry handle and the scope. The ability to use the iron sights allows the user to engage in close quarters combat without having the 4 power scope get in the way.

The Barska Electro Sight also has a built in bullet drop compensator that allows the user to reach out and touch a target at 500 yards. The bullet drop compensator is split into 100-yard increments up to 500 yards. Five hundred yards is the max effective range on a point target with the AR 15 on the average marksman when accommodated with a 4 power scope.

The Barska Electro sight is an excellent option and is priced right for most shooters. The Barska Electro sight mounts easily, and provides an extremely wide field of view. You get a 22 foot field of view at a hundred yards. The scope is quite light at a little over 13 ounces, and is quite compact and small. The Barska Electro sight is perfect if you want to go with the classic Colt carbine look.


Trijicon ACOG

The Trijicon ACOG is the standard for military grade optics at this point in time. In use by both the United States Marine Corps and United States Army, the Trijicon ACOG is one of the toughest optics in the world. Trijicon recognized that quite a few AR 15s were still running with carry handle upper receivers. They designed the ACOG to allow the user to easily mount it to a carry handle. The ACOG attaches quickly and securely. The ACOG is a 4 power optic with a 32mm objective lens.

The ACOG is superbly strong and is capable of being waterproof up to 100 feet. It can take massive amounts of shock and shake without losing zero and without even budging. The insides are nitrogen-purged to prevent internal fog, and the lenses are fully multi-coated. The ACOG is made from aircraft grade aluminum and is extremely strong.

The ACOG weighs only 9.9 ounces, so it is superbly lightweight. The ACOG is the choice of professionals for a reason It works, and it keeps working—and it is easily one of the best AR15 carry handle scopes you can buy.

DB TAC Carry Handle Rail

If you want a very simple method to mount your scope this is the way to go. It is a simple rail that attaches to the carry handle of any AR 15. This is a rail that can accommodate any Picatinny mounted optic. Personally, this is my go-to rail mount for a miniature red dot or a magnified optic.

Freedom Reaper Carry Handle Mount

If you want to mount a long-range, variable optic to your AR 15 carry handle the Freedom Reaper Carry Handle mount is the way to go. This mount is a single piece design that incorporates two scope rings to accommodate the majority of rifle optics on the market. The Freedom Reaper Carry Handle mount is a one-piece precision machined piece of aluminum that will accommodate 1-inch scopes. This is a genuine design that cuts down on the cost and the steps necessary to mount a scope to a carry handle mount.

Freedom Reaper by DNZ Products

And with these scope mounts in place, you can then mount the following 2 optics:

Vortex SPARC

The Vortex SPARC is a very simple red-dot optic. The key to its success is simplicity and rugged design. The Vortex will require a mounting system, but either will work. The Sparc is also priced extremely well; at its price, the Sparc is a heckuva deal. Vortex is a well-known company, well-respected, and known for their excellent products, service, and warranty. The Vortex Sparc is designed around the AR 15, and even on the carry handle it works perfectly.

The Vortex Sparc is small, light, and easy to use. Its small size reduce the weapon’s bulk, especially when set over the carry handle. The Sparc has ten total settings for brightness and the bottom two settings are designed to work with night vision devices.

The Sparc can also be mounted two different heights, and the lower height is perfect for mounting on a carry handle. The Sparc will automatically shut off after 12 hours to preserve battery and the battery itself lasts ages. The Sparc is an excellent budget optic that delivers where it needs to and is, hands down, one of the best AR15 carry handle scopes period.

EoTech 512

The Eotech 512 is the standard bearer in the Eotech line up. The 512 is a holographic sight that offers a simple, but versatile reticle. Combined with a gooseneck style mount, the Eotech 512 is a perfect companion for the AR15. You can even co witness with your iron sights when using this design. The Eotech 512’s reticle allows the user to engage at anywhere from 5 yards to 200 yards with ease.

The 512 on a gooseneck mount allows the shooter to mount the optic low and reduce bulk. The Eotech runs of two simple double A batteries and lasts for up to 1,000 hours with lithium batteries. This red dot is extremely well made and uses a rugged aluminum hood to protect the glass of the optic.

The Eotech 512 is also one of the best close quarter’s optics on the market. It has twenty different brightness settings, and gives the use unlimited eye relief. Lastly, like the others, the Eotech is fog-proof, shockproof, waterproof, and got to be war-proof too. It’s one of the best AR15 carry handle scopes period (even if it’s a red dot).


If you have a carry handle upper receiver you can still mount a scope. As can be seen, you can do it extremely well and quite easily. There is no reason to think you need to switch to a flat top upper receiver. The carry handle design is robust, strong, and works well, even with an optic. And if you get any one of these recommended optics, we’re sure you’ll be happy with our purchase. Good luck!

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One response

  1. Brownell’s Retro 4x seems to be the ticket. The price is high but somewhat digestible being they give a lifetime warranty. The non click adjustment is a major bummer. Overall, I find them to be the most practical
    scope design for carry handles. I’ve had one of the cheap ones and it was only good for 3000 rounds (with no warranty). It doesn’t hold zero anymore. Pound for pound, the Brownell Retro 4x is the best way to go. ACOG is high priced and those types are ok if you spent $3000 plus on an AR. Of course that’s just my opinion. In today’s world many would put a $1000 scope on a $1000 rifle. I’m glad I haven’t been indoctrinated and or brainwashed to think such. Hey sozeech his own. In the other hand, there’s a sucker born every day. Lol

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