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AR 15 Scope A Look At Rifle Optics in 2020

AR 15 sights

After its debut in 1956 the ArmaLite AR-15 exploded onto the firearm scene beyond what anyone could imagine. Originally based on the AR-10 rifle by ArmaLite (A division Fairchild Aircraft Company) originally designed to be a lightweight, selective fire rifle. Early on during the initial production phases ArmaLite sold the rights to Colt mostly due to financial difficulties and limited ability to manufacture more weapons.

Even through the trials and tribulations the AR-15 was continued to be known to civilians as the Colt AR-15. The ArmaLite AR-15 is the parent of a variety of the Colt AR-15 and M16.

Specifications Of A Factory AR-15

The AR-15 is a fairly standard sized semi-automatic firearm with a barrel length of 20 inches (standard), 16 inches (carbine), and 24 inches (target). With a maximum firing range of 600 yards it is an extremely effective firearm.

Manufactured with fixed adjustable front and rear sights. Detachable carrying handle with adjustable rear iron sight assembly and picatinny rails, which allows the use of various scopes and sighting devices.

How To Mount An AR-15 Scope

By this point along you probably already own an AR-15 (or several!). Now you want to improve the accuracy for long range shooting. Owning the best Rifle scope is only a small reason behind the magic. The biggest overlooked task is to properly mount the scope, which may seem like an overwhelming task. However, we are here to help you along!

Be certain that the optic and bore are pointing in the same direction. Ultimately you do not want to head out to the range with a misaligned scope and have to start over from square one.

Here are a couple of useful tools:

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  • Hex Bit Tool – The Hex Bit is a bit of a jack of all trades tool and can be used on several guns not just the AR-15.
  • Torque Wrench – Absolutely necessary tool to fix the scope mount to the AR-15 platform.
  • Cantilever Scope Mount – Used to fit Picatinny Weaver Rails.
  • Bubble Lever – You use a bubble lever in your house to hang shelves, so why not on your firearm?
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Swabs – Used to sterilize and clean parts before mounting.
  • Gun Vice – You are going to want to lock the gun down with a vice which makes the operation a whole lot easier.

Steps to Mounting

Step 1: Remove the magazine and be sure the gun is not loaded. Lock down the AR-15 in the gun vice (makes it a whole helluva lot easier!). Use some of the swabs and alcohol to clean away any excess oil and dirt. Use the bubble lever to be sure that the gun is level.

Step 2: Now its time to place the scope mount. Place the scope mount onto the upper receiver. Tighten the scope mount with your hand making it stable and snug but not too tight!

Step 3: Once you have the scope mount, place the optic onto the mount and make sure the rings sit on a flat surface of the mount.

Step 4: Level everything out. Be sure everything is tightened to be sure it is an accurate reading, do not want have to start over because something is left a bit loose.

Step 5: Double check your steps and be sure that the scope mount and optics are in line and tightened down.

Now that you are all caught up on the somewhat turbulent history of the AR-15 and the very basic rundown on how to mount a scope and optic lets take a look at some of our staff recommendations of the top scopes on the market.

Best AR-15 Scope For Your Money: Sig Sauer Whiskey 3

In our opinion the best bang for your buck is the Sig Sauer Whiskey 3. The great folks over at Sig Sauer have done it again. The ideal option for any medium and long range engagements. The Whiskey 3 rifle scope features low dispersion glass, rugged chassis, and capped windage and elevation turrets.

We tried our hand at firing this bad boy and we were not let down. At 50 yards we were dead on and very close to bull. Fired 250 rounds at 100 yards and was still spot on, we really love this scope and cant recommend this one enough

Sig sauer Whiskey 3

Pro’s Choice of Scope: FLIR ZEUS PRO 3.5/4.2X100MM

Plain and simple the creme de la creme of rifle scopes. If Rolls Royce made rifle scopes this would be it. The FLIR Zeus Pro thermal weapon sight offers a digital inclinometer, electronic compass, and multiple ballistic drop reticles for accuracy on long-range targets. Intelligent precision-Zeus Pro and external accessories can pair with a mobile device to provide target direction and orientation, weather conditions, or serve as a remote control.


Cheap But Still Great: Nikon 3-9×40 BDC Riflescope

Deliver lead to your target with total accuracy to well over 600 yds. and beyond with Nikon’s 3-9×40 BDC riflescope. BDC Reticle boasts Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology with specific aiming points out to 600 yds. Generous, consistent eye relief saves you from scope eye during heavy recoil. Durable waterproof, fogproof construction meets the needs of your most demanding hunts. Do not be turned away by the price the is an exceptional scope, Nikon are known for creating great cameras but maybe they should take up making rifle scopes full time. The only minor negative thing we have to say about this scope we had a little bit of fog build up on a cold morning at the range but other than that this is fantastic.

Nikon 3-9x40 BDC Riflescope

Wrapping up here the AR-15 is a fantastic firearm and has not dipped in quality since its inception. We cannot recommend the AR-15 enough. It is a must have for any gun enthusiast and supporter of the second amendment. Hopefully this guide helps you in your search for a new scope, or maybe it is even your first. Good luck and happy hunting!

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