Best AR Scope (including Best AR Red Dot)

About Red Dot Sights

Red dot sights are non-magnifying reflector (reflex) sights for firearms and any other devices which require aiming. They offer extremely fast target acquisition and are very practical for hunting and target shooting as they allow the user to maintain field of view. Note that you won’t be able to shoot as accurately as you would be able to with a high magnification rifle scope however you will be able to shoot much faster.

Everyone has seen red dots on military applications such as the M16 however they are becoming very popular with hunters and target shooters alike as they are affordable!

One of my greatest pastimes is using my rimfire AR with my nephew cleaning up gophers in the back 40.

Scope Price Rating
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 $$
UTG 4.2″ ITA Red/Green $
Aimpoint PRO Patrol $$$
Vortex SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x $$$

Benefits of Using a Red Dot

  • No magnification – so you don’t have to worry about parallax or eye relief
  • Fast target acquisition – shooter is able to focus on field of view
  • Affordable – you can pick up a great quality red dot under $200
  • Tactical – these optics were built for the military and look great on ARs
  • Wide range of applications – red dots can be used on anything from pistols, shotguns, and ARs

Drawbacks of Using a Red Dot

  • Battery powered – however some offer a very long life
  • Distance – you won’t be able to shoot 500 yards

Red Dot Sights Reviewed

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Bushnell makes some of the highest quality entry level red dot sights on the market today and the TRS-25 is one of the best selling ones out there – and for good reason! It mounts easily to any Weaver or Picatinny rail and the multi-coated optics will allow the shooter to see their target in low light conditions.

This guy is tough. It is 100 percent waterproof/shockproof/fogproof and the CR2032 battery is included and offers a long life if you remember to turn it off after use! My first experience with the TRS 25 was when I was turkey hunting with my 12 year old son. I bought him a 20 gauge shotgun and added the red dot to create a better experience. It worked – the little guy is hooked!

Remember that this isn’t a $500 Aimpoint but this Bushnell TRS-25 is definitely worth the money.

UTG 4.2″ ITA Red/Green Dot Sight with Riser Adaptor, QD Mount and Flip-Open Lens Caps

The UTG DS3840W is a great entry level red dot or a great choice for your first optic on an AR 15. It detaches quickly to any Picatinny or Weaver style rail and comes with a riser adapter and a CR1620 battery.

I have this UTG on one of my AR-15s and it has stood up to the test, surprisingly. For under $50 this sight has done all that I can ask and continues to perform every time. One main issue with some of the entry level red dots is battery life – remember to turn it off!

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic Reviewed

Ok, you know the ol’ saying “you get what you pay for?” Well with Aimpoint, you get more than what you pay for. After all, this is what the military and law enforcement use worldwide. The 30mm aluminum alloy sight tube comes with a rugged fixed height mount that is perfect for AR-15 applications.

This Aimpoint gives you increased aiming confidence and can last 1-3 years on one battery! No need to remember to turn this one off. It comes with a flip up cover and has several regular and night vision brightness options.

let’s talk about its rugged construction. This is waterproof up to 150 feet and includes a mount that can be quickly attached and detached all while maintaining zero. You can throw it in your rifle bag or ammo box and don’t need to be worried.

Vortex Optics SPR-1303 Spitfire 3x Prism Scope with EBR-556B Reticle Reviewed

Specifically built for the AR platform, the 1x Spitfire is a rugged, ultra-compact package featuring some of the best technology on an AR red dot sight for the money. With 5 illumination intensities, this red dot is an impressive scope that can be matched to all conditions. 

Before I purchased and reviewed the Vortex Optic Spitfire, I was using a Nikon and let me tell you, this was an upgrade. Great for an AR and specifically for target shooting or predator hunting, this red dot is far superior for the price. 

Conclusion

AR Red Dot sights are becoming more and more popular. Technology has come so far that it has allowed even amateur hunters and shooters to purchase an AR Red Dot. They were originally built for the army and other tactical uses but are now available to everyday hunters! 

If you have the budget (or willing to save up for it), then buy the Aimpoint PRO Patrol Optic. This is one of the best AR 15 optics on the market. With an insane battery life and built to last construction, this red dot may actually outlast the shooter. This scope is still a fantastic purchase for the money. 

However not all of us have the budget for the Aimpoint. In that case, the Vortex SPR-1303 is the choice for you and your AR. I have to say, this is the best AR scope for the money. 

Make sure to check out my post on how to sight in your rifle scope.

Stay safe and happy shooting.

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