The semi-auto design of the BAR makes it well suited for a variety of tasks and any optic for the gun needs to match that versatility. No one-trick ponies here. This also means it needs to be at ranges effective as close as 25 yards and out all the way to 300 yards. Let’s take a gander at some sights that match all these criteria we’ve laid out.
These are our recommendations for the 4 best scopes for Browning BAR on the market:
Leupold FX-2 Rifle Scope
- Leupold FX-II 4x33mm Riflescope, Wide Duplex Reticle, Black
- Price as of 10/22/2020 18:00 PDT(more info about ad)
Leupold is a famed name that likely goes as far back as the Browning name in terms of products known for quality. The Leupold FX-2 is a perfect scope for the Browning BAR designed for closer range brush-hunting or to track moving targets.
First, it’s a low-powered 4x scope (see full specs) that gives you enough magnification to see a good distance. That same low-powered design makes it easy to see a wider field of view and to track a target with ease.
As a fixed 4 powered optic the the FX-2 is quite small and lightweight. This means it won’t weigh your gun down when you are hunting and keeps your moving fast and aiming straight. The FX-2 uses fully multi-coated lenses that helps with clarity and reduces glare to make it easy to see your target as the sun rises. The scope is also absolutely waterproof and resistant to whatever the field can throw at it.
The Leupold FX-2 uses a duplex reticle that is very clear and simple to use at the close ranges required for quick and accurate shooting. The FX-2 offers you a 24 feet field of view that makes scouting for game very easy. The Leupold FX-2 is precise and extremely rugged in design. Price-wise it’s relatively affordable, especially when you consider the overall quality of the optic. It’s simple, and well suited for close to moderate range shooting.
Primary Arms 1-8x24 SFP Rifle Scope
- Primary Arms SLX 1-8x24mm SFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated ACSS-5.56/5.45/.308
- Price as of 10/22/2020 10:44 PDT(more info about ad)
Primary Arms has become well known for producing a ton of outstanding optics at extremely reasonable prices. The Primary Arms brand imports optics, but they do a very good job of bringing both affordable and high-quality optics. The Primary Arms 1-8x24 is a great optic for the Browning BAR for a number of reasons. First, it’s perfect for those medium-caliber guns, like the Browning BAR (.308, .30-06, 7mm, the list goes on).
As a semi-auto rifle, the BAR is perfect for close range and long range use. The Primary Arms 1-8 range allows you to use the optic in what is effectively a red dot optic for super close quarters shooting. As you increase the magnification you better see what’s in front of you and precisely hit targets at extended ranges. The Browning BAR is a potent little gun, and this is a very versatile scope that is perfect for the same applications the Browning BAR was designed for.
The Primary Arms 1-8X24 is very well-made. It’s rated at IP67 for being water resistant. It’s also nitrogen purged to remove fog, and the scope itself is made from 6063 aluminum. The optic also has a partially illuminated reticle and 12 brightness settings. The Primary Arms scope is also light and short, meaning you won’t be weighed down. This is one of the best scopes for Browning BAR’s, bar none (yes, that was a lame joke).
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen 2 Scope
- Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MRAD
- Price: $899.99
- Price as of 10/22/2020 18:00 PDT(more info about ad)
Vortex is a very broad manufacturer. They produce a number of different optics at all sorts of price ranges. They are mostly well known for their budget AR red dots. They make much more than that, though. The Vortex Optic’s Viper PST Gen 2, which I’ll Viper for short, is one of their premium-grade optics. Premium grade means premium price though, so expect that.
The Vortex Optic’s Viper (see full specs) is a hunting optic through and through. It comes in a variety of different magnifications levels, but the 3-15x44 is an excellent all around magnification rating for this scope, especially on a BAR.
The BAR is perfectly suited with both low-powered optics and high-powered optics, and the Viper is a great optic in both categories. The 3 power setting is quick and easy to use, and the 15 power optic allows you to reach out and touch a target with a lot of precision. The Viper allows you to dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation with their finger-tip adjustable turrets. If you know your dope, you can make and easy adjustments for precision long range shots.
The Viper also has an illuminated reticle with 10 different settings and off positions between each setting. This allows you to instantly use your favorite magnifications. The Viper is also crystal clear and you can effectively see in great detail as far as the magnification can take you. The Viper is a tough optic and is a single piece design made from aircraft grade aluminum. It’s an expensive optic, but it’s designed to last and to get you on target.
Nikon ProStaff 5 Rifle Scope
- Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 2.5-10x40
- Price as of 10/22/2020 08:58 PDT(more info about ad)
The Nikon ProStaff 5 is one of my favorite budget variable-power scopes. The ProStaff lines have always been well-made and versatile. The ProStaff 5 is the latest incarnation of the ProStaff and is perfect for the Browning BAR. The design utilizes a variable magnification with a 2.5 to 10 power range. This optic is designed for use with the Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic match technology.
This allows you to use an online application to dial in your chosen caliber, reticle, and barrel length, and everything else that affects your ballistics. This will give you the dope necessary to place your shots accurately at different ranges and with different wind speeds. The lower-powered setting and quick-focus eyepiece make it a solid gun for quick reaction shooting and brush or dog hunting (prairie-dog-hunting, that is, not shooting your neighbor’s Fido).
The Nikon ProStaff 5 has some awesome turrets and they have spring-loaded instant zero reset turrets. Zero the optic to your gun, and then “reset” the turrets to zero. This makes it easy to make field adjustments and then go back to your standard zero. Overall, the ProStaff 5 is an affordable and reliable optic with a robust design—for the money, the best scope for Browning BAR around.
Get BARed – Scopes & Final Thoughts
The Browning BAR is a fantastic rifle. It’s long been of of the most reliable semi-auto hunting rifles that combine both speed and precision with ease. A scoped BAR is a significantly more capable BAR. With a good scope you’ll shoot faster, straighter, and ultimately your skill and the gun’s accuracy can be pushed to a new level. Any of these optics above can qualify as the best scope for Browning BAR’s. Open your wallet and see how much green you’re willing to part with and then you’ll have the answer to which one to get. Good luck!
Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, 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.