The 4 Best SPR Scopes – Optic Sight Reviews 2023

best spr scope , spr optic, special purpose rifle

Photo by Dylan H. / CC BY

A special purpose rifle (SPR) is a semi-auto rifle dedicated to being a precision weapon. It falls in between a sniper rifle and a normal rifle. Most commonly, this is an AR 15, and in the United States, it’s the most prevalent.

Scoping an SPR can be difficult. You need an optic that will let you engage at both close and long ranges. An SPR may be called to hit targets at several hundred meters and at the same time help clear houses. It doesn’t need a Nightforce 6 – 48x or an Aimpoint 1x, but something in between.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of 4 of the best SPR scopes we could find. Check them out!

Leapers/UTG 3-12 X 44mm

If you are looking to save a little money, but still have a quality piece of glass on your Special Purpose Rifle, the UTG 3-12 is an excellent choice. Not only will you save on your scope, but the package is all inclusive with scope rings and lens caps. The magnification range is perfect for special purpose rifles. It allows the rifle to engage at closer ranges and reach out and touch a target when necessary.

The scope is built with tactical applications in mind and uses a Mil Dot reticle. Mil-dot reticles match any rifle and any caliber; you simply have to do the shooting to determine how many dots your bullet will drop at different distances. Once you master where your load hits, this system effectively works as a bullet drop compensator. The left to right dots allows estimating for windage.

The UTG 3-12 platform uses a 30mm tube so scope rings and scope mounts are easy to find in a variety of different configurations. That is, if you decide to swap out the included rings. The reticle is fully illuminated and can use both red or green illumination. The circuits are reinforced and specially designed to withstand recoil. This is one great SPR optic.

Leapers AccuShot 3-12x44mm Compact Illumination Enhancing Rifle Scope

Nikon P-223

The Nikon P-223 optics is one in a line of bullet-drop, compensator-equipped scopes. There is also the P-300 for the .300 Blackout and the P-rimfire for .22 LR. The Nikon P-223 is specifically designed for the .223 round, the most common round a special purpose rifle uses. Like any good Special Purpose Rifle Scope, the P-223 has a variable magnification that ranges from 1.5 to 4.5 magnification. This range allows you to engage targets in house to house ranges but also stretch out to engage man-sized targets at 600 yards.

The Nikon P-223 has spring-loaded instant reset target turrets. These allow the shooter to zero the rifle and then set the turrets to the zero marking. This allows shooters to return to zero with ease after making field adjustments for wind, range, or other effects. The lenses are coated with an anti-reflective coating that doesn’t give your location when spotting a target and reduces glare when using the optic.

The Nikon P-223 reticle is designed for .223 or 5.56 loads but not really tied to a specific one. The BDC is dialed for a specific load from the factory, but using Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic match technology, it can be adapted to nearly any load. The Nikon P-223 is rugged, reliable, precise, and is actually pretty affordably priced—one of the best SPR scopes period.

Leupold Mark AR MOD 1

The holy grail of Special Purpose rifle scopes, the Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 comes from the same people who produced the scope for the Marine’s SPR. The Mark AR MOD 1 is an improvement on that original SPR scope. This particular model is in the traditional 3-9 x 40mm configuration. This is one of the most popular magnifications and objective lens combinations ever produced for a reason: It’s effective.

On an SPR the 3 power magnification (see full specs) is still low enough for short range shooting. On the higher end, the 9 power just doesn’t allow for long range shooting. It also allows shooters to engage really small targets at close to moderate ranges. This setting also allows the SPR to be used for its second function: a scout and observation rifle.

The Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 is a very well-made and durable optic. It’s designed to take a beating and keep on ticking. The construction features include it being water and shockproof, as well as nitrogen purged. The lenses are coated with Leupold’s multicoat 4 lens coating to improve clarity and reduce glare. The Leupold Mark AR MOD scope is lightweight but well made, and a premium option (at a premium price) for you Special Purpose Rifle build. If you’re willing to shell out the dough, this is likely the best SPR scope you can buy.

Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 3-9x 40mm 1/10 Mil

Bushnell Optics FFP AR optics

The Bushnell AR optics line is well known and respected for their budget-friendly but effective optics. The Bushnell FFP AR optics is perfect for a Special Purpose Rifle. Whereas many optics work well with hunting rifles, the Bushnell FFP AR optics is a purely tactical optic. It’s a 1 to 4 magnification and features a throw lever, which allows you to rapidly but smoothly transition between different magnification ranges.

The FFP in Bushnell FFP (see full specs) stands for first focal plane. First or front focal plane means the reticle changes in size as the magnification strikes or decreases. This is preferred by tactical shooters because the scopes range and wind estimating reticles are accurate at any magnification. Speaking of the reticle, it is a BDC style reticle and is optimized for shots out to six hundred yards.

The Bushnell FFP reticle is illuminated and has 11 different settings for brightness. The reticle is also glass-etched so using the illumination is purely optional. If the batteries die, you can still use the simple black reticle. The scope itself is quite tough and sealed against moisture and dirt by O-rings. The optic is nitrogen purged to prevent fog buildup. It’s a perfect companion to a Special Purpose rifle and allows a shooter to engage at almost any range. This should be on anyone’s list of the best SPR scope, particularly if you’re on a budget.

Bushnell AR Optics 1-4 x 24mm Scope Testing and Review

SPR Optics and You

Any of the above options will fit your SPR for a combat or competition situation. When it comes to scoping an SPR you need to take into consideration your rifles caliber, its overall size, and how often it is for precision versus how often it is used for close quarters work. Good luck!

  • 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.

Share the Post and Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *