How to Choose AR15 Optics?

Jan 31, 2024

Have you ever heard the term “modern sporting rifle”? It refers to semi-automatic rifles, including the AR15 and its variants. This guide will delve into the crucial aspect of choosing the right optics for your AR15, considering shooting distance, conditions, and budget.

Among all the types of semi-automatic rifles, we cannot ignore the popularity of the AR-15. You can use an AR15 to shoot as far as 500 yards (the target effective range is around 400–600 yards). However, without an optic to assist in shooting, it will be hard for you to aim your target precisely.

AR15 Optics Choosing Guide (1)

Brief Introduction to AR15

AR 15, short for Armalite 15, was designed by American gun manufacturer Armalite in 1956. Why do so many people love AR 15?

Its widespread appeal can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Lightweight Design: Making it convenient for various applications.
  2. Small-Caliber Cartridge: Allows for carrying more ammunition.
  3. Accuracy and Versatility: Suitable for hunting, competition, and home defense in the United States.

It is commonly used in hunting, competition, and home defense in the United States.

Choosing an AR15 Scope According to Shooting Range

To maximize the effectiveness of your AR-15, it is crucial to select the right scope based on your intended shooting range. Let’s break it down.

Often, shooters would use an AR15 to cover 0-500 yards of shooting.

Then, which magnification scope to choose depends on the range.

Generally, we can divide it into three parts.

  • Close Range: 0-100 yards
  • Medium Range: 0-500 yards LPVO
  • Long Range: 500 yards

Now, I’ll clarify the three ranges of scope you should use. As long as you ensure the range you will shoot, you can keep reading to find the best optic for your AR 15.

When Shooting 0-100 yards, Which AR15 Optic to Choose?

In close-range shooting, red dot sight always comes first. The red dot outperforms magnified scopes due to its free eye relief. You can aim your target with reflex sight with two eyes open and acquire your target quickly.

Nowadays, many scope manufacturers have designed many types of red dot sights that have multiple functions, such as solar power, shake awake, and auto shut-off. You can choose according to your preferences. For example, a solar-powered red dot sight may be a good choice for those who always forget to change the battery. About red dot sight choosing, you can check our previous blog (how to choose a red dot sight) to learn more about it.

As the recoil of AR15 is mild, many shooters think it is negligible. Therefore, most quality red dots can meet your needs. Check VictOptics Red Dot Sight RDSL25, it has auto shut-off feature, saving your battery lifetime.

Red Dot Sight Perfect for Close-Range Shooting? Not for Everyone

Note: Red dot sights may not be suitable for individuals with astigmatism (because what you see through the red dot sight is not a clear and small dot but a blurry circle.), in which case a low powered variable optic (LPVO) or prism scope becomes a viable alternative.

When Shooting 0-500 yards, Which AR15 Optic To Choose?

For mid-range shooting, a LPVO (low powered variable optic) proves effective. Moreover, the variable powered AR-15 scope is useful for both short- and medium-range shooting. You can regard it as an upgraded reflex sight because it can be used at 1x magnification and 6–8x magnification as well. However, the variable power can increase precision while also slowing the speed.

When Shooting Over 500 yards, Which AR15 Optic To Choose?

When shooting at a long range with an AR15, the red dot and LPVO will be beyond your consideration. (For experienced shooters, 1–8 LPVO is also a good choice.)

For high-precision shooting, a 4x magnification scope is recommended.

If you need to hit a small target more than 500 yards, an air rifle scope with 20–30x magnification (at the maximum) is enough. Also, for the majority of the time, 15x magnification is the bottom line. Because it will be hard to hit a target at a long distance when below this magnification. As for minimal magnification, it depends on the users.

How to Choose the AR-15 Scope Reticle: MOA or MIL?

Choosing between MOA and MIL reticles depends on personal preference and familiarity. MIL reticles use the metric system, while MOA uses yards and inches. If you are familiar with the metric system, you can choose the MIL scope without hesitation. As MOA uses yards and inches, while MIL uses centimeters and meters.

It’s advisable to choose the reticle system most popular within your shooting community for consistency. In this way, you will not confuse others with different units of measure.

Budget AR15 Scope for You to Choose

Budget is what we care about most. It’s worth noting that quality optics need not break the bank. Fortunately, there are reputable options available, often around $200, offering a balance between performance and affordability.

Take Victoptics S6 1-6×24 LPVO as an example. Equipped with a 5-level red and green illuminated reticle, it allows you to use it under various conditions. Moreover, IPX4 waterproof and 750G shockproof make it durable and rugged.

In conclusion, selecting the right optic for your AR15 involves understanding your shooting preferences, conditions, and budget. Whether it’s a red dot sight for close-range agility, an LPVO for mid-range versatility, or a precision scope for long-range accuracy, your choice of optic significantly impacts your overall shooting experience. Make an informed decision and elevate your AR15’s performance to new heights.

More questions? Welcome to contact VictOptics experts, we will solve your problems as soon as possible.