Best AR-15 Scopes & Optics [2019]: Red Dots to Magnified

Best AR-15 Scopes & Optics

  1. Bushnell TRS-25
  2. Vortex Sparc AR
  3. Holosun HS403A/B
  4. Aimpoint Micro H-1
  5. Aimpoint PRO
  6. EOTech EXPS2
  7. Vortex 3x Magnifier
  8. Vortex Spitfire 3x
  9. ACOG TA31F 4x32
  10. Primary Arms 1-6x ACSS
  11. Vortex 1-6x Strike Eagle
  12. Vortex Viper PST 1-4x
  13. Vortex PST II 1-6x
  14. Vortex 1-6x Razor HD Gen 2
  15. Leupold 3-9x VX Freedom
  16. Steiner PX4i 4-16x

Not sure what optic or scope to get for your AR?  We’ve bought or used almost all of them

A Couple AR-15 Optics
A Couple AR-15 Optics

We’ll cover 1x optics and magnified scopes, plus recommended mounts, accessories, and backup sights.  By the end of this, you’ll know the perfect one for your budget and end use.

Now…let’s started!

Table of Contents

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Best AR-15 Red Dots

These are “red dots” or “reflex” sights which are exactly what they sound like…they superimpose a red dot as the aiming reticle.

Whereas with standard “iron sights” where you normally keep one eye closed and have to perfectly line up the two sights…red dots allow you to keep both eyes open and have a lot more leeway with where your head or eyes are positioned.

Budget Red Dots All On
Tested Budget Red Dots All On

This makes them much faster in acquiring a target and also allows for more peripheral vision.  Plus, they are much more useful in darker environments.

1. Bushnell TRS-25 AR

The budget TRS-25 red dot that has a history of great reviews and personal performance.  I would caution against going any cheaper unless you are shooting low-recoiling .22 LR.

Bushnell TRS-25
Bushnell TRS-25

With optics, you’ll usually find that you really get what you pay for

I see plenty of TRS-25’s during rifle competitions and the owners all say that they are holding up well.

I used one on my AR (~3000 rounds) before upgrading.

Bush TRS-25 on AK
Bush TRS-25 on AK

Now it’s on my AK-47 pistol and even with the higher recoil of the 7.62×39, it has held zero for over 1000 rounds and multiple water splashes.

And most recently…we’ve sacrificed it to the optic gods after drop testing onto a rock.  But not before we got some cool action shots.

You can check it all out in our Best Red Dots Under $100 article and video…but it did quite well for its price point.

I recommend getting a riser for the TRS-25 for use in the AR-15 for easier target acquisition and especially if you plan on using irons or backup irons.  I do not like the riser that comes with the TRS-25 since I broke mine during installation.

I recommend getting the 1″ UTG version (save some weight with the slim riser) which has worked well for myself and others (gives co-witness).

UTG Slim Riser
UTG Slim Riser
Most Affordable Red Dot
53
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended Add-Ons:

2. Vortex Sparc AR

A more purposeful (and newer) Sparc geared towards AR-15’s.  The Sparc AR ($199) is super beefy and can take a lot of punishment with the rubber housing.  One great thing is that it takes one AAA battery.

The glass is the clearest of the “budget” red dots but has a slightly smaller field of view when compared to the Holosun and Aimpoint Micros.  Full review HERE.

199
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Holosun HS403A/B

My best bang-for-the-buck red dot that ran head to head against the Sparc AR and Primary Arms in my Best Budget Red Dot Reviews Under $200.

Best Budget Red Dots
Best Budget Red Dots

The Holosun HS403 ($140) has clear glass and a larger field of view when compared to the Sparc AR.  It also survived my drop tests and temperature tests.

Holosun also makes other models that are solar powered and even some that have two reticles…including one that mimics EOTech.

Best Red Dot Under $200
170
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What’s your take?

Readers' Ratings

4.96/5 (640)

Your Rating?

4. Aimpoint Micro H-1

The gold standard of red dots…the Aimpoint.

Aimpoint H-1
Aimpoint H-1

Costs a nice handgun but lasts for 50,000 hours on one battery and is fully waterproof.  Also has extreme weather capabilities (around -20 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit).

The Micro H-1 what I run on my regular AK where the optic directly sits on top of the gas block which gets extremely hot.

Aimpoint H-1 on AK
Aimpoint H-1 on AK

Thousands of rounds and still going strong.  I would not hesitate to go into something unknown with my Aimpoint H-1.  There is also a T version which supports night-vision, but for most people, the H-1 is everything you will ever need.

There are two reticle size options…2 MOA or 4 MOA.

If you’re mounting on your AR-15, I would opt for the 2 MOA since it’s still plenty good for close quarters but can be useful for farther engagements or if you ever plan on using a magnifier.

And for a nice optic…you need a better mount that will hold zero better.  I suggest LaRue which is what I use for all my “nice” optics.

The Gold Standard
599
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended Add-Ons:

5. Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic)

What I would buy currently for my AR-15 if I did not have the older Comp ML3.

The Patrol Rifle Optic ($450) optic is bigger but gives an even beefier enclosure, 3-years of continuous battery life, night vision capability, is submersible up to 150 ft, and better temperature tolerance (-50 to 160 degrees).  Plus, it’s cheaper than the Micro and comes with a mount.

Check out our YouTube review of it after 3+ years and thousands of rounds:

We also have a full written review (with some hammer torture testing of course).

Aimpoint PRO Testing
Aimpoint PRO Testing
The "Goldilocks" Red Dot
435
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Best Holographic Sights

6. EOTech EXPS2

For a long time, it was Aimpoint vs EOTech.

Newer vs Classic EOTechs
Newer vs Classic EOTechs

Aimpoint had it’s tubular “reflex” sights while Eotech had it’s distinct “holographic” sights.  While the technology was a little different, both were heavily used by the US military and had fervent supporters.

We go over all the important differences in

Then a disaster hit EOTech and culminated in a lawsuit from the US Government in 2015 for the sights losing their zero due to hot/cold weather and moisture.

But they are back.

John Wick I'm Back
John Wick I’m Back

And if you do like the large circle reticle, I would recommend the newer EXPS2-0 ($490) model which allows for 1/3 co-witness with iron sights.

EOTech EXPS2-0 Reticle
EOTech EXPS2-0 Reticle

It’s the smallest EOTech model currently and has clear glass, 600 hours of battery life, integrated QD mount, and tons of other stuff.

Top Holographic Sights
Top Holographic Sights

We test this and others from Vortex and Holosun in our Best Holographic Sights article and video below.  Complete with video through each one.

Best Holographic Sight

Plus holographic sights can survive complete destruction to their front lens without skipping a beat.  Learn more in Red Dots vs Holographics.

Best Flip-Mounted 3x Magnifiers

Want the quick target acquisition of a 1x red dot or holographic sight…but still, need to hit out farther?

COD MW3 Magnified Sight
COD MW3 Magnified Sight

We tested three of the most popular 3x magnifiers under $200 and found the best…

3x Magnifiers
3x Magnifiers

Drumroll…

7. Vortex 3x Magnifier

The Vortex 3x had the clearest glass, good eye-relief, changeable for lefties, easy to use mount, slim design, and was the lightest of the bunch.

Best 3x Magnifier
194
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check how it compared to the competition in our Best 3x Magnifiers shootout.

Best Fixed Magnification Scopes

Now we dive into optics with some magnification!

We’ll first start with some compact fixed scopes and then onto more traditional variable magnification scopes.

8. Vortex Spitfire 3x

A fixed 3x magnifier, this optic is built specifically for the AR platform shooting 5.56 since the reticle has dropdowns for 0-500 yards.

Since it’s from Vortex, it has an unlimited lifetime warranty that is fully transferable.

Spitfire Reticle
Spitfire Reticle

The Vortex Spitfire ($350) 5 intensity levels and the ability to choose between a red or green reticle to allow for shooting in darker areas, and comes with a mount.

You might need some practice to shoot closer distances because of the fixed magnifier, but the Spitfire is a great optic that I liken to a budget ACOG.

Here’s a view through the optic.  Real-life is crisper…it was hard to get my phone to focus on the reticle especially with the 3x magnification.

Vortex Spitfire 3x
Vortex Spitfire 3x

And here it is with illumination.

Vortex Spitfire View
Vortex Spitfire View, Illuminated
Best Fixed Magnification
301
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

9. ACOG TA31F 4×32

The Trijicon Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) is battle proven, compact, and basically bombproof.

The recommended TA31F version is a fixed 4x magnification and has a reticle calibrated for AR’s shooting 5.56 from 0-800 meters.

ACOG Reticle
ACOG Reticle

The ACOG is expensive because it combines the best of all worlds…it does not need a battery during the day since its fiber optic system illuminates the chevron (upside-down V) reticle, while at night the tritium lamps take over and are guaranteed to glow for 15 years.

I would highly recommend trying one out in person since the fixed sight system is not for everyone.

Consider the ACOG or the Spitfire if you’re looking at mostly longer range engagements since shorter distances require some getting used to.  We cover all the most popular models in Best ACOG Scopes.

Best ACOG
1049
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended Add-On:

Best Variable Magnification Scopes

10. Primary Arms 1-6x ACSS

The Primary Arms 1-6x ACSS is the winner of our Best 1-6x Scopes article.

Primary Arms 1-6x with ACSS
Primary Arms 1-6x with ACSS

Great glass at 1x plus a sweet reticle they dub the ACSS that has a small reticle for precise shots and a larger circle for close-up targets.

 

Primary Arms at 1x, ACSS Reticle
Primary Arms at 1x, ACSS Reticle

1x is very clear and there’s less distortion at 6x compared to the runner-up Strike Eagle 1-6x scope.

Here it is at the range.

Primary Arms at 6x, ACSS Reticle
Primary Arms at 6x, ACSS Reticle

We’ve also shot it a bunch in the desert and at competitions.

Testing the PA 1-6x ACSS
Testing the PA 1-6x ACSS

Here’s a 200 yard target that was almost too easy to hit once we learned our bullet drop.

We now have a full review on the 1-6x ACSS scope…AND Youtube:

I would opt for the upgraded extended single piece scope mount for ease of install and balance.

290
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

11. Vortex 1-6x Strike Eagle

My previous 3-Gun optic of several years which allowed me to much more easily hit the 375-yard targets at my local competition compared to my previous 1-4x TAC30.

Vortex Strike Eagle at 1x
Vortex Strike Eagle at 1x

Very affordable and very clear glass from 1-4x.  I can see some hints of distortion at 6x but since I usually only use the max magnification one stage a match it doesn’t bother me.

Vortex Strike Eagle at 6x
Vortex Strike Eagle at 6x

If you’re shooting closer matches or distances, you can just turn it to 3-4x as well to minimize the minor distortion.

The reticle is pretty good for close-up shots as well as farther shots.

I paired mine up with an extended Aero one-piece mount for a super-secure hold and weight savings.

Best Bang-For-The-Buck Scope
299
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended Add-Ons:

12. Vortex Viper PST 1-4x

Now with great 1-6x scopes under $300…there’s almost no reason to have a 1-4x.  But if you really want one…here’s my pick for one with great glass.

The PST 1-4x is a higher end 1-4x scope with better/clearer glass and a different reticle that excels at both close quarters and distance shooting.

Second focal plane.  With a better optic, I recommend a better mount as well.

Viper PST Reticle
Viper PST Reticle
450
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended Add-on:

13. Vortex Viper PST II 1-6x

What I now run in my competition rifle.  The Viper PST II is the best combo of glass quality, forgiving eyebox, and daytime-bright illumination.

Vortex Viper PST II 1-6x
Vortex Viper PST II 1-6x

That means for close-up shots I can use it as a red-dot (hard to show in pics)…

PST II at 1x
PST II at 1x

And get up to 6x zoom of crystal clear glass with almost no side distortion.

PST II at 6x
PST II at 6x

Check out more in our Best 1-6x Scopes article.

Recommended Add-Ons:

14. Vortex 1-6x Razor HD Gen 2

This is the go-to AR rifle scope for rifle competitions when you will be engaging 300+ yard targets and 1-4x just doesn’t cut it.

The 1-6x Razor has really clear glass and is built tough.  Compared to the others…the glass is much clearer, you have a larger field of view, and a more forgiving eye box (location where your eye is and you will still get the full field of view).

Razor HD 2 Reticle
Razor HD 2 Reticle

If tenths of a second matter in your rifle shooting…this is the one to get.

Clearest 1-6x Glass
1099
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended Add-On:

Best Hunting Scopes

15. Leupold 3-9x VX Freedom

One of our recommended hunting optics (Best Hunting Rifles) where you don’t necessarily need 1x but might need something more magnified.  The 3-9x VX Freedom fills this need nicely and at a great price.

Mossberg Patriot 30.06 with VX Freedom 3-9x
Mossberg Patriot 30.06 with VX Freedom 3-9x

I’m running it on my 30.06 rifle and so far it’s held up to the pretty large recoil.

Glass is very clear at 3x.

VX Freedom at 3x
VX Freedom at 3x

As well as at 9x.

VX Freedom at 9x
VX Freedom at 9x

The Freedom takes over from Leuopold’s venerable VX-1 scope which we previously recommended.  If you don’t mind it being phased out, there could be some good deals there.

199
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended Add-On:

Best Long Range Scope

16. Steiner PX4i 4-16×56

It was really hard choosing my favorite “long range scope” for the AR-15.  Normally I think of them as 5-25x scopes but that’s a little too much magnification for the 5.56 cartridge.

Steiner P4Xi 4-16x
Steiner P4Xi 4-16x

So I went with my favorite 4-16x scope…the Steiner P4xi from my Best Long Range Scope article.

9 Tested Long Range Scopes
Tested Long Range Scopes

It has SUPER clear glass that no pictures can do justice (and a nice reticle).

Steiner P4Xi 16x
Steiner P4Xi 16x at 600 Yard Target

Plus great turrets, passes the tracking test, and a nice feeling magnification ring.

If you’ve got the cash and want my favorite long range scope for an AR…

Recommended Add-On:

Best AR-15 Back-Up Iron Sights (BUIS)

Now that you have your primary sight, you’ll need some backup sights in case your primary breaks, runs out of batteries, or just falls off.

For 99.99% of their life, they will live flat underneath your scope.  But if something happens to your primary…you’ll wish you had these to flip up!

Magpul Gen 2 BUIS

These polymer Magpul BUIS ($80) paved the way for back up sights to become mainstream.  Affordable and still plenty accurate when you need them.

Best BUIS
71
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Magpul MBUS Pro

The latest iteration from Magpul, the MBUS Pros ($160) is steel instead of polymer to survive anything you can throw at it.

154
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Offset Iron Sights

Maybe not for everyone, but if you’re competing and don’t have time to switch your AR-15 scope back to 1x…these offset sights ($25) from Ade Advanced will help you get a better time.

Ade Advanced 45 Degree BUIS
Ade Advanced 45 Degree BUIS

All you need to do is tilt your gun and you have these ready for close targets.

Viewthrough of Ade 45 Degree BUIS
Viewthrough of Ade 45 Degree BUIS

Our budget pick so you can see if you want to upgrade to Dueck Defense ones (the Gold Standard).

Best Offset Sights
22
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And of course…now we have full in-depth reviews of both Backup Irons Sights and Offset Iron Sights.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve seen everything for the AR-15 from red dot sights to ACOG’s and variable optics, what will you choose for your purpose?  Check out more in our Gun & Gear Reviews.

81 Leave a Reply

  • Josh

    Great Article. Very clear and K.I.S.S. writing style. I ended up buying the Primary Arms 1-6x24 because of this. Excellent, affordable scope. Did my first Run-N-Gun with it. Hit targets out to 600 yds. with a 100 yd. zero. The ACSS reticle is awesome. It survived going over walls and the dirt.

    1 hour ago
    • Eric Hung

      So glad we could help, Josh!!

      1 second ago
  • Jon Wick

    Awesome article and comparisons. I know it’s hard getting good shots of reticles with cameras but none the less, good stuff. Keep living the PEW LIFE!!!

    3 weeks ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Thanks! We're always working on upping our camera game.

      3 weeks ago
  • George betancourt

    Great service the manager Wendy is such a sweet heart I don’t live in tehachapi I love in Bakersfield been working out here in tehachapi doing construction on the new Walmart and during my breaks I have been going and she’s been so help full five stars for Wendy !

    2 months ago
    • John

      5 Stars, Wendy!

      1 week ago
  • David

    What about Trijicon MRO?

    5 months ago
  • Clark

    No love for the MRO? The Trijicon Mount is trash so go third party. I bought one and it now sits on a LaRue QD mount. By far my favorite optic for anything under 14 inches

    6 months ago
  • marc kunkel

    on the offset irons, is there a left handed version?

    8 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Dueck offers a left-handed version but I've not heard great feedback about them, especially since they are so very pricey. Most of the left-handed shooters I know that run off-set sights use a 45-degree offset Pic rail and a micro red dot.

      8 months ago
  • Craig Kissinger

    Why Are there no Trijicon optics on your list ?

    9 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      The ACOG is built by Trijicon and is on the list!

      9 months ago
  • Yanick Rouillard

    Hello Mr. Hung, I red a lot of your publications on pew pew tactical, and I really like it, especially for the AR platform. Being a knew owner of a AR-15, precisely the S&W MP15 Vtac II, looking to upgrade for a optic in the vortex spitfire 3x line. My question is have you tried the Bushnell AR750010? Or do you have any other option? Thanks for all your time and effort of doing all those chronicles, it is very interesting and useful. Sorry for the awkward English, I live in Quebec. Regards....

    10 months ago
  • Garold

    Great review, would like to shoot but dont think I would buy one as my safe is full and it would only be a novelty for me. Thanks for the info

    10 months ago
  • kevin C

    Hi Eric Looking for advise, recently picked up the ruger 9mm carbine rifle. What optic would you put on, ? I like seeing my hits, so magnification is needed as i where glasses Regards

    11 months ago
  • Vapor

    Take a look at the Leupold Mark AR 1 3-9x. Ultra lightweight. Mrad reticle and adjustment, with a quick 55 grain bdc also on the turret. Exposed turrets with return to zero adjustments. I almost bought a much more expensive scope til I started playing with one of these. Now I’m going to get one for my Rem 700 .308. I think Leupold will customize a BDC to caliber and weight.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      I definitely need to play with some Leupolds...trying to get my hands on one or two.

      11 months ago
  • B.

    If money is tight NcStar has a scope, i call it my shortie scope. Its half or less length of a standard 3-9x40 and it has cross hairs with tic marks for windage and elevation, as well as crosshairs light up red or green 5 intensity levels each. Its rated for up to 50bmg recoil. Its made in china(of course) but glass is clear and sight picture rivals some more expensive scopes. With 3-9 adjustable magnification and 40mm obj lens 80 bucks was a steal. Its fog and water proof too. You cant beat it for the money. Its made for ar15 and its a generic clone of the 223 scope but i like it and put on my light weight break open 308 win hunting rifle. Its probably not good to go for combat, but hunting, plinking, even comp shooting it should do very well. Thought id throw that in for someone on a budget. I dont know max range as i only hunt deer at max 250 with 95% at 150 or less. It can see clear way farther than my rifle can shoot good.

    1 year ago
  • Connor H

    No Primary Arms optics listed? I consider the PA 1-6x gen3 ACSS reticle far superior to the Strike Eagle, with comparable glass and illumination. Trijicon even copied features from the ACSS reticle, so you know it's legit. :P Strongly recommend Primary Arms to those seeking affordable but solidly built optics. Their 1-4x duplex is also only $120, for a true budget variable option. Theres alsp speculation around arf and other places that they may be built in same factory (strike eagle and PA ACSS) due to near identical external characteristics. Seems to come down to reticle preference. -i am not an employee of or compensated by PA, I just feel their optics do not get the attention they deserve and try to draw attention to a solid company.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Update: got some PA optics in hand (1-6x and 4-14x). I'm beginning testing so stay tuned!

      1 year ago
    • David

      I have a couple of PA optics and like both of them very much. We're working on a large update for the article soon-ish, part of that will include reviews of some PA optics...don't know if they will make "best of" yet though, still in testing!

      1 year ago
      • Jon

        Looking forward to your findings. I have found the primary arms enhanced red dot to be an exceptional optic. Very robust and absolutely bombproof. And a great value. I find no reason to buy the aim point any longer. You simply cannot break these things.

        1 year ago
    • Connor H

      Also, 2.5x, 3x, and 5x fixed magnification prism scopes are great options, and work for people with astigmatism whereas traditional red dots generally do not.

      1 year ago
  • John

    Eric, What do you think of the Vortex Venom for a co-witness sight for an AR-15? I just use it for all around target practice 0 to 200 yards and plinking, etc.

    1 year ago
    • David

      Great optic, solid, and Vortex are one of my goto companies due to their warranty and customer service. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the Venom on a rifle since it feels a bit small to me - but if you like the look and feel of it, go with it! You won't be disappointed.

      1 year ago
  • Jeff

    Another great article. I have 3 AR's; two full size (16") and one pistol (8.5"). I have a Vortex Strikefire on my Colt, an Aimpoint Comp ML3 on my S&W and a Vortex Sparc AR on my pistol. All have been great and operate flawlessly. That said, if either my Strikfire or Comp ML 3 goes down, I will replace it with the Aimpoint PRO. Anyway, fantastic article - keep them coming!

    1 year ago
  • Roy

    Vortex Strikefire II is another quality affordable option for under $200. Also gives the option for red or green dot. Leopold Mark AR 1.5-4x firedot is great option for 3 gun or anyone wanting a magnified optic for their AR. Green firedot basically acts a red dot on lowest magnification.

    1 year ago
  • Chuck

    The SPARC AR doesn't have a rubber housing, its just a molded rubber cover that easily slips off. It has an all aluminum housing. Within minutes of owning this I figured this out.

    1 year ago
  • Rick

    Really enjoyed this article and appreciate the insights. there is a lot of glass out there and it is good to know what has been tried and worked. Now to scour up some money!

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      You're so welcome, Rick!

      1 year ago
  • James

    Hey guys, at 44yoa I was diagnosed with early stage wet macular degeneration in my right eye, ofcourse I'm right eye dominant. I'm looking to get a scope for my new M4 and was curious if anyone out there is familiar with my condition and has experience with best scope option? My vision is 20/30 with only a small center blur in right eye, no real issues now. I plan on using it for range n varmint/coyote so I'm not looking for an elaborate sniper scope, more of close range to maybe couple hundred yards. Thanks in advance, James

    1 year ago
  • Brandon K

    I can tell you one scope not to buy, well two actually 2. 1st. The luepold vxr patrol 3x9 x 40 the reticle is huge at distance(2nd fp) and glass is far from clear. So not a fan! 2nd is the vortex razor gen 2. After using this scope everything else is sub standard (at least what I own) I am now in a place where I know what good glass is and feel like I won't be able to buy avg. Glass anymore. Spending over $1000.00 on a scope isn't my favorite thing to do but I don't see any other way now. You know what they say, ignorance is bliss. I think next I'm gonna check out a pm2

    1 year ago
  • Nicholas Budd

    I'm kind of surprised that there was no mention of the Primary Arms 3x or 5x prism reticle here, any particular reason or maybe an opinion or review of these products?

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hi Nick, looking to expand this out with some of the more affordable options and fixed mags.

      1 year ago
      • Jeff

        What is the better choice. Trigicon MRO 1/3 cowitness with a Scalarwors QD mount. AIM POINT PRO. AIM PIONT H1. This is for an AR15. Any Suggestions?

        1 year ago
  • Haas

    Can I use a Bushnell AK red dot on a Colt M4 .... no problems?

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      It will physically fit...not sure what the actual difference is.

      1 year ago
  • Kent

    Very good article. I recently purchased my very first red dot. It is a “AT3™ LEOS™ Red Dot Sight with Integrated Laser Sight & Riser”. It was just over $115. I don’t have a lot of experience with it yet, but so far I’m super impressed with the build quality. I was wondering if you have ever done, or would consider doing an article on slings for the AR15. I would be interested in advantages and disadvantages of different designs and materials. I’m new to the AR15. I just bought mine in August. It came with a couple of standard clips. I would be interested in an article on clips. Are there differences (other than capacity). Do some brands have a better reputation. Stuff like that.

    1 year ago
    • Brandon K

      It's a magazine Kent. Clips are for guns with an attached internal box magazine. I know it's not a big deal, but using the correct nomenclature sounds better cheers bud, have fun with your new AR.

      1 year ago
      • Kent

        Thanks!

        1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Kent, haven't heard of AT3 but glad to hear it's working for you. Here's our sling article.

      1 year ago
  • James Hannan

    Did a good job now i have an idea on wat tu put on my SAINT. THANKS

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      You're welcome, James!

      1 year ago
  • JMaN

    I’ve been rocking the primary arms 3X on my DD and loving it. Very surprised none of their offerings even got a mention...

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Jman, we had one of their red dots in our Budget Red Dot Test. It didn't perform the best.

      1 year ago
  • Sam H

    Eric....Nice write up BTW....My question...I am looking for a good quality red dot for my S&W 629 44magnum w/6"barrel...I don't want to break the bank...BUT...I NEED quality and DEPENDABILITY , to handle the recoil. I'm an old IPSC shooter that "my eyes ain't what they used to be"...Would like as large if sight window/diameter as feasible....What would you suggest?!?.....Thank you for Your Opinion

    2 years ago
  • matt

    An awesome article like your others! I went and played with the ACOG, EOTech, and Aimpoint Micro H-1 this weekend. They match almost everything you said. I loved the optics of the ACOG, but it is really expensive and the fixed mag made closer range shooting seem like it might take an extra half-second to acquire. I also saw the EOTech HHS II. It's a hybrid system that has an EOTech red dot + a flip on/off magnifier. I was very intrigued by this because it gives the best of both worlds (hopefully?). Thoughts?

    2 years ago
  • Donny

    Eric, Do you know of any offset iron sights for a lefty?

    2 years ago
    • T Kniffen

      Just Turn them around

      1 year ago
  • Brad

    Love hearing budget minded, rock solid optics. You stated Burris M tac but why not 536 for an AR? I own one and love it. Vortex version is very similar in the same $ range. Why the MTac? What is one gaining over the 536?

    2 years ago
  • Joey

    Eric. First time buyer. I am looking at the Vortex Strike Fire 2 and the Atibal MRCD-2 Any thoughts about those. I am in the $2 to $400 range. Great insight. Thanks!

    2 years ago
  • Stephen

    Our 3 gun competition is beginning to set up targets out 200 yards.. I have just upgraded my red dot to the Sig Romeo Mil Spec for my AR-15 but with my 70 year old eyes I need a magnifier at that yardage. Suggestions?

    2 years ago
    • Connor H

      The Vortex 3x magnifier is a solid option, gives reasonable precision out to 300 yards with a 2 MoA dot sight.

      1 year ago
    • Nobody special

      Primary Arms or Riton!

      1 year ago
  • Daniel

    Eric, Great website, great resource - curious for your thoughts for my future optic purchases. I need optics for both a Daniel Defense V11 Pro and Daniel Defense Ambush .308. I've mounted a Swarovski Z8i 2-16x 50 on my Weatherby MK V 300 - and it is absolutely excellent. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told that the Z8i 1-8x 24 has essentially ZERO compromise at 1x - and would essentially perform like a red dot at 1x, with the benefit of built-in zoom to 8x. The obvious consideration is its a bit heavier - but putting that and price aside, for the best possible on the AR-15, would you go with the Z8i 1-8x 24 or would you still recommend something else? As for the DD AR-10 - again, without a price restriction, your best recommendation?

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      I've pre-ordered the Vortex 1-6x PST Gen 2 since it was so awesome at Shot show this year. Great at 1x with daylight bright red dot. Unless you're going pretty far distances...I think 1-6x is enough. For the AR-10 I use the Nightforce 2.5-10x NXS. For my bolt gun I run a Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25x.

      2 years ago
  • Grayden

    Hey there Eric! Again thank you for your work! I've got the Aero Precision complete upper and lower being shipped per your recommendations!!! So for the optic, I was going to get the Viper PST 1-4x for $419 but saw that Vortex just recently come out with the Gen 2 Viper PST 1-6x for $699. Is it worth the $280 difference moving to that 1-6x? I don't want to have to buy another one for another 5 years at least!!!

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Grayden, if you anticipate shooting 300+ yards I like the 1-6x more. Plus the one I demo-ed at SHOT was awesome. I have it on pre-order and should have it in a month or two with a full review.

      2 years ago
      • Grayden

        Nice!!! Thank you again Eric for your great work! Because of your site, it gave me the confidence to build my first AR-15 with the Aero Precision lower and upper. Now, I'm in high anticipation of your AR-10 308 Guide.

        2 years ago
        • Eric Hung

          Thanks Grayden...it's in the works!

          2 years ago
          • Grayden

            I hope you recommend the S&W M&P10 cause I kinda jump the gun and purchased a used one that was priced very well. So, I just purchased a Leupold VX-R 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope for that AR10 but was wondering witch mount would you suggest.Thank you.

            2 years ago
            • Eric Hung

              We're going to have our Best AR-10 article out soon and I believe that M&P10 is making it in there! For mounts I like the Aero. For quick detach I like Larue.

              2 years ago
  • mike

    where can i find the vortex strike eagle for $275?

    2 years ago
    • Nate

      That is a great scope from an outstanding company. I could not get mine zeroed so I called Vortex. No questions. They just sent me a FedEx label and 2 weeks later I had a new scope (the first had a loose lens). Highly recommended.

      2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Mike, thanks for catching that...they are usually around $300.

      2 years ago
  • WVU Mtn Dude

    Any thoughts on the Aimpoint M4s? I can consistently hit 12"x12" at 600 yards, but what do you think of it?

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey, I have the CompM3 and love it. I believe the M4 is even more bombproof, takes AA batteries, and is optimized for night vision. If that's what you're looking for you can't go wrong. But it's $900.

      2 years ago
  • Daniel R.

    Hi Eric, Any advice for cross dominance RT handed shooter/LT eye dominant) and far sighted shooters (looking to purchase my first AR (Stag Arms M3)? Your articles are very helpful and your website is well put together and easy to access info. I'm actually buying my AR because of your andvise and your articles and my personal research, of course. Thanks again. Keep up the good work.

    2 years ago
    • Jack

      I'm right hand/left eye dominant and mostly shoot long guns left handed. When I'm doing CQB drills, switching left shoulder to right and back, I've found the eotech the easiest to use FOR ME. Try out a few optics if you can, to see what you like best.

      2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hi Daniel, for pistol shooting I use the Chapman stance so my left eye is more centered around the front sight. With an AR, you're pretty much stuck with using your right eye for magnified optics. But with lower magnifications or 1x, I keep both eyes open.

      2 years ago
  • Benoit

    Hi Eric, Thank you so much for this article. I bought a TROY P.A.R. 308 Win, and I couldn't decide between the Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x44 and the Strike Eagle 1-6x24 (cheaper). My shoot range is between 50 to 300m. What do you think ?

    2 years ago
  • Elia eilfort

    Would you recommend the vortex sparc 2 over the sparc AR?

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Elia, I'm looking forward to trying out the Sparc AR. It's new but has pretty good reviews. Biggest difference is that it takes AAA batteries which makes it a little heavier.

      2 years ago
  • Chris W.

    Why no Short Dot?

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Ah, another Schmidt & Bender aficionado. I hope to try out the 1-8x Short Dot soon.

      3 years ago
  • Michael Raffanello

    What do you think of the AR Maglock device? Is the AR Maglock used instead of modifying your AR with 'featureless" items so you will not have to register it in 2017?

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Michael, I haven't had a chance to play around with one. But you can see more info in my Features AR-15 article (http://www.pewpewtactical.com/featureless-ar-15-rifle-grips-stocks-muzzle-devices/)

      3 years ago
  • Rick

    Hi Eric, amazing article - thanks so much for all this great information. One thing - I'm really interested in the Vortex Viper PST, but according to their site it's a second focal plane scope, not a first focal plane as you mention above (see the Features tab on this page: http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-viper-pst-1-4x24-riflescope-with-tmcq-moa-reticle). Are you recommending a different scope there or was it a typo? Thanks!

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Rick, looks like you're correct...it's second focal plane. I've corrected it in the article. Seems like the Amazon description is wrong. Thanks for catching it!

      3 years ago
  • John U

    Eric, Thank you for such an informative series. I’ve referenced it many times as I get into AR’s for the first time. Picked up a great deal on a S&W 15 Sport II and I’m looking at the Holosun HS515C Have you looked into them and if so your thoughts. Thanks John U

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi John, you're welcome! I definitely have heard of Holosun and have seen some fellow competitors run them to great effect. But I haven't played with them myself yet.

      3 years ago
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