The 4 Best Scopes for AR 10 — Best AR10 Optic Reviews

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Photo by Michael B. / CC BY

The AR 10 was the ancestor of the AR 15 rifle as we know it today, and the first rifle really marketed by the ArmaLite division of Fairchild. Designed as a full powered battle rifle, the AR 10 never achieved any great commercial success … until now. With the wide proliferation of .308 chambered AR 10 style rifles, there is a constant search for the best scope for AR 10 platforms. Because most AR 10 style rifles today have a flat top upper receiver, we are content to simply examine scopes as it is assumed the rifle owner will have a suitable mount in the event they do not have a flat top upper. The AR 10 is an extremely popular platform, and one that cries out for good optics to achieve maximum performance. Take a look at some of the goodies we found for you:

M308 Rifle Scope

A hard hitting, heavy rifle like the AR 10 needs a scope built around the recoil of the .308 cartridge. The best scopes for AR 10 will handle the recoil and be built around the idea of long distance shooting, and the Nikon M308 (see full specs) fills that bill nicely. Built from the ground up for use on high powered rifles, this four to sixteen power scope has fully coated optics for optimal light transmission, is fully water, fog and shock proof, and features a generous 42mm objective lens. If you are searching for the ultimate scope to mount on your long range target or hunting rifle, this is the one for you.

Nikon M-308 Review @ Trigger Happy

Nikon ProStaff

While not as hardcore as the M308, this is still a Nikon product and that means you can rely on it. Sometimes the best AR10 scope is a moderately priced basic model (see full specs) that you can mount on your favorite rifle and start using right away. Water, fog, and shock proof, this scope has four to twelve power magnification for long distance accuracy, a large 40mm objective lens and of course, fully coated optics. For hunting, plinking or even tactical use, the ProStaff is an excellent bargain that will last you a lifetime.

Nikon BDC Spot On Review

UTG True Hunter

If you are trying not to lighten your wallet too much, then the UTG True Hunter may be the best AR 10 scope for the money. This not just a scope but rather a complete package that is loaded down with Weaver and Picatinny mounting rings, multi colored illuminated reticle, nitrogen purged waterproof tube, mil dot range estimating reticle, and a built in sunshade. With three to nine power magnification, enormous 50mm objective lens and emerald coated optics for reliable light transmission, you might expect to pay much more for so many high end features, but this whole package manages to come in at a great price. If you’re on a budget, this is easily one of the scopes for AR10.

Leapers UTG 3-9X50 AO Ill MIL DOT Hunting Scope Unboxing

UTG Compact SWAT

This is one of the best AR 10 scopes I could find in compact form. It has a nice oversized 30mm tube which allows for greater light transmission and therefore a brighter, better sight picture. Featuring a multi color illuminated reticle, completely water, fog, rain and shock proof construction, three to twelve power magnification, a nice 40mm objective lens, coated optics, range estimating miltary-style reticle and locking target turrets, this is an amazing bargain for the price. It is hard to find a good compact 30mm scope, let alone one that has an illuminated reticle and sells for a song, but we managed to find you a rather nice one.

Leapers AccuShot 3-12x44mm Compact Illumination Enhancing Rifle Scope

More Info on the AR 10 and Scopes

Originally built as a military rifle that was meant to compete with the likes of the FN FAL, Spanish CETME, and eventually the venerable M-14, the AR 10 was not built with optics in mind until the recent renaissance in AR 10/15 style rifles. While the armies of the 1950s wanted to issue iron sighted battle rifles that packed the same punch as their old bolt action rifles but with a modern semi automatic design, 21st Century consumers do not have to labor under the same constraints. Many an AR 10 style rifle is built without any iron sights at all and are intended from day one to only be used with optics.

While some folks may choose to use red dots or other similar sights on their AR 10’s, the true power and value of the 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester round are revealed with a good scope. The AR 10 is capable of extreme accuracy and is regularly used in competition shooting, hunting and even tactical roles. For that reason, many users seek out the best scope for AR10’s. Now such a scope does not have to be a mysterious and mythical thing. Rather we are looking for a few simple things.

First and foremost, it needs to be rugged. Look for a shockproof scope, any decent scope should stand up to the .308 round of most AR 10’s. As a rule, any decent scope will be purged with a neutral gas like nitrogen, and sealed with O rings or similar, rendering them water and fog proof. These are all industry standard features, and no scope should be without them. Additionally, you want to examine the lens coatings on the scope, these help improve light transmission and optical clarity, some proprietary coatings are of rather high quality but any decent scope should pass the initial examination of its optics.

The AR 10 is a reach out and touch something rifle and so you want to look at things like the reticle size, the bigger, the larger sight picture and more light is gathered for optical clarity. Magnification is another biggy. You probably don’t want a low powered scope but rather something that runs from about four to twelve power. This will give you adequate magnification for pretty much any range you might hunt or shoot at. Illuminated reticles for hunting in low light conditions are an added bonus but not always desirable. Finding the best scope for AR 10 rifles isn’t hard—it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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