5 Best Scopes For The AR 10 - 2020 Reviews


In the 1950's the AR 10 almost became the weapon of choice for the American military. The selection was narrowed to the FAL and Springfield M14. The military eventually decided on the short-lived M14. However, the firearm was quickly replaced by the AR 15.

Unknown to many, another weapon in the AR platform was in the running for the contract, the AR 10. The weapon was rejected due in large part, it felt the product could not be produced and delivered to the troops in the time-frame the military wanted.

rifle scope reticle view shooting on ar 10

Developed by Eugene Stoner for Armalite , the AR 10 design never died out. It is now seeing a massive resurgence and is the primary rifle of choice for the .308 Winchester. Due to its accuracy, greater power, and extended range, the rifle is carving out a sizeable niche in the civilian market.

If there is one rifle that needs to be in your collection, it is the AR 10. The platform is versatile, lightweight, and comes in a host of calibers from the 6mm Remington, 7.62x51mm NATO, or (.308 Winchester) to the .510 Winchester Short Magnum.

best shooting ar10 with lupold scope

Shooters who choose the aggressive AR 10 as their go-to platform, know the importance of excellent optics. The rifle is extremely flexible and accurate when chambered with the right ammo and equipped with the right scope. Combined with a 3.6x telescopic sight and chambered in .308, the AR 10 can knock down a target at 700m. Another example: an AR 10 with a 21-inch barrel, can take out a target at 1100 yards with a good 9x scope.

The AR 10 is an excellent short to a mid-range rifle. With the right caliber, load, and optics the range on the AR 10 is phenomenal.

Factors to Consider When Buying Your AR 10 Scope


Your first consideration is always your shooting style. Where are you going to be using the scope? Are you going to be hunting or targeting? If this is the first time choosing a scope for your AR 10, making sure you get the right one can be tricky!

gun and scope Safety

Consider the following:

  • Magnification is an essential consideration. Magnification power corresponds to the range you intend to shoot.
  • Superior optical glass makes any target easier to spot and distinguish from the surroundings.
  • Construction, Ask yourself this question; Does the Manufacturer stand behind its product with a good warranty?
  • What is Parallax in a Rifle Scope?
  • Choose a scope that doesn't add too much weight to your gear.
  • Turrets and Adjustments are found on every quality scope produced. These are critical features

You are probably aware that nighttime hunting is more dangerous as you are limited to sight. Many rifle scopes come with night vision, which is what you want if you are not trying to get mauled by a missed prey or accidentally shoot a person when mistaken for an animal.

Each Of The Following Scopes have Excellent Characteristics


Scope Image

Scope

Price

PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32 Matte

PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32 Matte

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

UTG Classic 3-12x40 30mm Compact Scope

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Parallax Adjustment Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Viper

Now let’s get down to business with the

TOP 5 Best Scope For The AR 10


1. PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32 Matte by Nikon

PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32 Matte

PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32 Matte by Nikon. If quality optics is what you seek, there is no better company than Nikon. For over 90 years, the company has given the world quality optical systems. Rifle Scopes are becoming a more significant part of their extensive outdoor catalog of products.

The PROSTAFF P3 is a premium quality scope built on the company's one-inch tube platform. The scope features an ideal balance of size, field of view, and increased detail on the high-end of the range. Choose from three reticles BDC, Mildot, and Nikoplex. Using Nikon's Ballistic Match Technology, each reticle can be optimized for caliber and load.

The Prostaff scope comes in several different magnifications for any hunting or range-shooting environment. Marksman can choose from 3 9x40 Matte BDC, 2 9x40 Truetimber Kanati BDC300, 4 12x40 Mil-Dot, to 6 18x40AO Mildot. Good eye-relief with a quick focus eyepiece and rubberized eye guard.

Overall, the Prostaff has plenty of features often reserved for much higher priced scopes. A generous 32 mm objective lens and 3.8-inch of eye relief makes the Nikon a comfortable fit on any rifle. The Prostaff adds 14.7 ounces to your gear and gives the hunter a field of view of 12.6- 44.6 ft @ 100 yds.

The PROSTAFF P3 makes it easy to zero your rifle with the positive click 1/4 -MOA reticle adjustment. The PROSTAFF is made for any terrain with sealed O-rings, nitrogen purged, shockproof, and an internal de-fogging mechanism.

PROS

  • Nikon name and worldwide dealer network is one of the best
  • Excellent at keeping zero
  • Holds position well, positive clicks for windage and elevation
  • Works well on a variety of firearms

CONS

  • May blur at the edges at longer ranges
  • Matte finish tends to rub off

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-details
Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-reticle view
Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope by Vortex Optics. Founded in 2004 in Barneveld Wisconsin, Vortex Optics offers a full line of optical products, including spotting scopes and binoculars. The Vortex Diamondback is ideal for big game, muzzle loading, shotguns, and brush hunting applications.

The technologically advanced Diamondback Scope features a 4-12x magnification with a generous 3.1 inch of eye relief. The solid one-piece construction of aircraft aluminum tubing makes the Diamondback durable under the harshest of environments. This process creates a durable and shockproof scope. The black matte finish helps to camouflage the hunter's position. Argon purging, multi-coated optics keep the image crystal clear.

Use the capped turrets for quick re-indexing to zero. Find your perfect magnification with Diamondback's silky smooth Precision Glide Erector System. The mechanism ensures components slide cleanly through each level of magnification. Metal On metal precision turrets gives the shooter the ability to zero after reset.

The Vortex Diamondback lets you choose from two highly sensitive reticles, the Dead-Hold BDC (MOA) and V-Plex (MOA). Diamondback's Dead-Hold BDC Reticle eliminates guesswork on holdover and windage corrections while the V-Plex is an excellent all-purpose Reticle, excellent for a variety of applications.

PROS

  • Highly accurate to over 500 yards and beyond if zeroed properly
  • Unlimited Lifetime Warranty. Vortex Optics will repair or replace any product at no charge, no matter the cause!
  • Affordable, High-Quality Scope

CONS

  • Customer service could be better
  • The Diamondback has difficulty holding Zero.

3. UTG Classic 3-12x40 30mm Compact Scope

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

UTG Classic 3-12x40 30mm Compact Scope by UTG. ASIN - B004KRA4YG. Price $102.73. Like so many other successful businesses, Leapers UTG started two decades ago in a garage. The company boasts distribution centers across the globe, including Germany and the orient.

The UTG Classic 3 has a 30mm tube main body, Second Focal Plane, and Parallax Adjustment Turret. The affordable Classic 3 makes use of advanced technologies such as Smart Spherical Struction with Synchronized Joint Motion. This technology allows for more precise windage and elevation adjustments through a range of distances.

A Mil-Dot Reticle with front sunshade and emerald green lenses make the UTG Classic 3 extremely precise for long distance targeting. The scope's optics are built with 36 different colors for complete camouflage and the ability to change colors with the push of a single button. The tube is nitrogen filled, shockproof, and water-resistant. Turrets are premium zero locking and resetting.

The UTG Scope features a True Strength Platform with a durable design with SSS controlling the interaction of the inner and outer joints.

PROS

  • Extremely affordable for the included technology
  • Robust scope and very accurate

CONS

  • Some scopes from the factory may be difficult to zero and optics may not be centered

4. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-details
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-reticle view
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle by Vortex Optics. Vortex has grown to become one of the premier brands for outdoor optics. Their products are offered to Military and Law Enforcement, Outfitters and Guides, and shooters who love the sport of hunting.

The Strike Eagle is a high-end scope with unmatched technology. The Strike Eagle delivers crystal clear optics at low-light situations as well as longer ranges. The included technologies for the Strike Eagle are considerable. Objective Lens Diameter sits at 24 mm; magnification is 1-6x with 3.5-inch eye relief.

The AR-BDC Reticle is glass-etched and illuminated. The subtensions at full magnification provide fast target acquisition. The extra-low dispersion glass increases resolution and color fidelity. Every air to glass surface is anti-reflective to increase light transmission.

Two glass enclosures protect Strike Eagle's intricately etched reticle, which provides a lifetime of durability. The scope is constructed from a single block of military-grade aluminum to withstand massive recoil—capped turrets for quick re-indexing to zero.

PROS

  • Unlimited Lifetime Warranty for any Vortex Optics Product
  • BDC features 11 illumination settings for a variety of environments
  • Nice, clean profile scope with a thick solid body
  • Best in class optics

CONS

  • A few customers report optical clarity is lacking
  • Unforgiving eye-relief

5. Vortex Optics Viper

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Parallax Adjustment Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-details
Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Parallax Adjustment Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-reticle view

Vortex Optics Viper by Vortex Optics. Vortex Optics has created an Ecosystem that enhances the ownership of its products around the world. The company's ever-widening industry influence and dealer network makes it one of the very best products on the market.

The Viper features a 30 mm main tube, and anodized finish for the harshest conditions. The basic design and reticle configuration originated from the Marine Corp. The Viper is an excellent scope for a variety of applications, such as short-range varmint hunting or long-range distance competition.

The Viper offers magnification from 6.5 - 20x, an Objective Lens Diameter of 50 mm, and a generous eye relief of 3.1 inches. Use the Precision Glide Erector System to change magnification effortlessly through minimum to maximum magnification. Extra-low Dispersion Glass provides crisp clear resolution and color fidelity.

Choose from a Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA) or the Mil-Dot Reticle (MOA) and discover performance and unmatched accuracy. Vortex Optics custom-designed Dead-Hold BDC eliminates guesswork on your windage adjustments and holdover. A great reticle for shooting from different positions.

The United States Marine Corp Mil-Dot Reticle, is suitable for long-range shooters which estimates windage, range, and bullet holdover. The scope features a second plane reticle and used for determining wind-drift at the highest magnification.

Sealed O-rings, argon purged, and constructed from a solid piece of military-grade aluminum.

PROS

  • Unlimited Lifetime Warranty is one of the best features of this product
  • Optics are simply, outstanding
  • Easily accurate at 1000 yards with a .270. Crystal clear imaging and no hazing around the edges
  • Images and reticle are better than the Nikon Monarch or Leupold

CONS

  • Some consumers report scope will not stay zeroed and trouble with zero at bore-sighted
  • Reticle moves

Buyer's Guide

High powered rifles, large calibers, and long-range shooting require the right optics. Matching the proper scope with the AR 10 platform will reap huge benefits.

 When searching, money should be a secondary consideration. Remember, there are dozens of affordable quality products on the market with more entering all the time.

vortex scope on ar10

Consider These Specific Features to Help You Choose

Any scope under $500 is still one great scope! They are more standard features and capabilities but will all have that protective coating or material to resist tough settings. Many of them are waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, so no worries there!

  • Target Visualization is a primary consideration, meaning you need to specifically determine your type of hunting or shooting. Are you targeting short ranges in dense woods or long-distance marksmanship in flatlands? If your target is long-range, your magnification needs to be somewhere in the 12x to 20x range. Shorter distances can be less than 10x with supported positions. Magnification is another essential consideration. Magnification power corresponds to the range you intend to shoot.
  • Eye Relief is the distance between your sensitive eye socket and the end of your scope. Your eye relief should be a significant consideration if you are using an AR 10 with higher loads and bigger calibers. A hard recoil to the eye can ruin a day of good hunting. The bare minimum eye relief for any scope on the AR 10 platform should be 3 to 3.5 inches. You should avoid scope eye at all costs, which is a recoil on the shooter's face.
  • Understanding a Reticle and The Focal Plane are essential to hunters and shooters success. Getting the most out of your AR 10 requires you to get as close as possible to the target.

There are plenty of reticles for a shooter to choose from, such as a Red Dot Sight or BDC (bullet drop compensation) Advanced scope design employ a second focal plane for more accurate targeting. This means the scope's reticle gets bigger or smaller depending on the scopes magnification setting.

For high-powered calibers and loads, you should opt for a second focal plane scope. With a second focal plane, the reticle will not increase in size at longer distances. For lower calibers and loads, choose a single plane scope. With single plane scopes, as your magnification increases the size of the reticle also increase. A single focal plane scope is not designed for extended range shooting.

Another option for higher-end scopes is the available and variety of reticles available for each scope. An extremely handy feature is the Illuminated reticle which comes in handy when hunting in low-light situations around dusk or dawn.

Clarity is important aspect of a quality scope. Glass etched reticles are far superior to wire reticles. Coated lenses and purging systems keep optics clear in humid conditions. Consider the accidental dropping of your scope in water and shock proofing in the event of inclement weather.

  • An objective lens allows light to enter the scope for a more precise definition of the target. The larger the objective lens, the more light is allowed to enter. Keep this in mind when deciding on your hunting or tactical conditions, whether it is in bright morning light or low-light evening situations.
  • The AR 10 Rifle means you have a sturdy and durable rifle for any shooting and hunting environment. Finding the right scope demands the same commitment to quality. Choose a scope with quality tube size and grade of aluminum. Optics, connections, and O-rings should be material that will hold up to harsh conditions. 

Conclusion

Each of the reviewed scopes are quality products from great manufacturers.

  • Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope
  • Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24x50 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - EBR-4 Reticle (MOA)
  • UTG 3-12×44 30mm Compact Scope
  • Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Parallax Adjustment Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
  • ​PROSTAFF P3 2-7x32 Matte

We recommended the Nikon Prostaff P3, for its high quality optics and affordable price point. Nikon has built a reputation around the world of unmatched optics in every product they produce. It is only natural the company would carry over the same craftsmanship to its scopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes.

The Prostaff series of scopes offer varied new technologies at an excellent price point. Optics is where the Prostaff sets itself apart from other scopes in its class. The P3 utilizes layers of anti-reflective compounds for all glass surfaces, this feature delivers images with vivid detail, and maximum brightness in low-light situations. The P3 offers generous eye-relief through the entire range of zoom magnification.

A full range of reticles are available for the P3 series, and the ¼ MOA Turrets provide a crisp and precise movement. Nikon has designed the Prostaff P3 to be parallax free at 100 yards. The P3 comes in a Matte finish as well as Silver. The Prostaff series of scopes, along with other Nikon products, provide a Lifetime Repair/Replacement Policy.

After thorough online research, check the fit and feel at your local sporting goods retailer. Many times, what we see online does not correspond to what we see in real life. The scopes above are all sold by the largest retailers in the country and Amazon as well.

When it is time to purchase your AR 10 scope, consider the five outstanding products above. The AR 10 is an advanced tactical/hunting firearm which requires any accessories to be of the same design and quality.