The Best AR-10 Scope of 2020 – Top 5 Reviews

best ar 10 scopes reviewed

Finding the best AR 10 scope should be a top priority as we know that the wrong scope can lead to more missed or wounded game and generally get in your way. If you have a scope that is constantly slipping and needing to be adjusted you need to pay attention to this article. Today it seems that there are so many quality rifle scopes on the market than ever before and we are spoiled for choice. Certainly, it is has become easier and harder to find what is the best AR 10 scope now that more and more scopes have been designed specifically for that heavy rifle.

TOP 5 AR-10 Scope Comparison

Item Name Rating Price  
Trijicon 1-6x24 VCOG Riflescope
Trijicon VCOG Riflescope
5 out of 5 stars
$$$
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Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mm Adjustable Objective P5 Matte Mil-Dot
Leupold Mark Ar Mod Objective
4.5 out of 5 stars
$$
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Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T
4.5 out of 5 stars
$$
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Vortex Optics Razor HD AMG 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes
Vortex Optics Razor HD AMG
5 out of 5 stars
$$$
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HOLOSUN Elite 2 MOA Dot/65 MOA Circle Dot Solar/Battery Micro Green Dot Sight
HOLOSUN Elite 2
5 out of 5 stars
$
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Best AR-10 Scope Reviews

Trijicon 1-6×24 VCOG Riflescope

ar 10 rifle scope review

Trijicon has rightfully earned its reputation as a manufacturer of high quality rifle scopes and their VCOG can rightly claim to be one of the best AR 10 scopes. Firstly, the price must be addressed: yes, it is not cheap. But, trust me, it is worth it. Unlike other scopes, the VCOG was made with both the military and consumer market in mind, which may explain its higher price tag.

Its 7075-T6 Aluminum Alloy housing practically makes this scope not only ‘drop-proof’ but also ‘drop it out of a plane-proof’, I mean, it is made out of the same stuff that they make aircrafts out of! To say that the VCOG is reliable and rugged is an understatement.

You really notice the anticipated military use as the turrets are essentially set in one place once zeroed, so there is no chance of needing to make adjustments between shots. However, to adjust the turret is effortlessly smooth and you can feel and hear each half-inch change as it is made. There is also a fin running the entire length of the scope that provides additional leverage to rapidly adjust the magnification. Personally, I find the audible and tactile indicators to be incredibly intuitive, especially when I am in the dark or low-light.

The ‘integrated power fin’ allows you to smoothly change the brightness settings regardless of whether it is dawn, daytime, dusk or night time. A single AA battery powers the night vision and brightness controls, rather than a CR2032 button battery, which I find a lot harder to find and less reliable.

The VCOG has a First focal plane reticle (FFP), which I prefer as it makes it easier when dealing with moving targets at high magnification. There are seven different reticles to choose from, but the Horseshoe Dot works a treat and you can see why it is so popular with the FFP VCOG. This reticle gives you a clear red dot at 1x and a clear and visible a Horseshoe at 6x, so there is no compromise when moving from high to low magnification, or vice versa, and the transition feels uniform.

PROS
  • Very high quality glass.
  • The magnification can be adjusted rapidly and without much effort.
  • Incredibly tough and sturdy.
  • Simple and quick installation.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Waterproof up to 66ft.
CONS
  • Some may find the sturdy scope a bit heavy.
  • Expensive.

Final verdict

With the VCOG you really are getting what you pay for, so if you can afford it, then there is no better mid-range optic available. If you have invested in a good to high quality AR-10 then it only makes sense that you complement it with one of the best AR-10 scopes on the market.

Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mm Adjustable Objective

Leupold AR10 scopes

On the larger size, the Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mm offers a scope with great light transmission and fantastic clarity, sharpness and clarity. This scope is built for long range precision shooting and is great for heavy rifles like the AR 10. At 14.5 inches and 22 oz, the Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mmis on the larger and heavier side of scopes but for what you are getting it is not obnoxiously large.

The index matched lenses create a crisp and extremely bright image, but the main attribute for the Leupold is that the crispness of the image is not harmed by the extreme magnification. Its low end is 8x, which admittedly is quite high, but this scope is very popular with professional snipers across the military. It is for this very reason that I do not mind the fact that, due to its weight and size, it does not allow for a whole lot of movement. With this scope you pick a spot, set up your rifle and use the magnification to locate your target.

On the side is a parallax adjustment knob that allows you to quickly fine tune the focus of the scope and minimize as much parallax as possible between the reticle and the target. Speaking of reticles, the Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mm has a ‘mil dot’ crosshair, which uses ‘milliradians’ (0.001 radians) as the unit of measurement. As you can see, it is different from the ‘minutes of angle’ and cannot be interchanged. Personally, I found it a little annoying but only because it is not what I usually use.

The reticle is on the second focal plane, which should not be surprising given that the Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mm  low-end magnification is 8x and is designed for long range precision shooting. Due to the absence of lower magnification (like 4x), the Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mm field of view on 8x at 100 yards is only 11.3ft.

There are a lot of nifty features, for example, the reticle can be illuminated and utilized for low light or no light situations, such as early morning before dawn. Features like these are not really necessary but overall add to the idea that Leupold has thought through every element design and have made one of the best AR 10 scopes on the market.

PROS
  • Built for precision and long range shooting.
  • Great light transmission and clarity.
  • Well-built and reliable.
  • Parallax adjustment knob on the side.
CONS
  • On the larger and heavier side.
  • Not ideal for short range shooting.

Final verdict

The Leupold Mark Ar Mod 1 6-18x40mmis favored by snipers and professional gunmen for a reason and that is the unrivaled clarity and crispness combined with the high magnification. Perfect for long range shooting, but if you tend to avoid long range shooting it probably is not for you.

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescope

ar 10 scope review

Vortex is trying to stay ahead of the game with the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T  rifle scope in relation to scopes being designed for specific calibers. The Vortex Optics Viper HS-T is based on the higher end rifle scopes that Vortex has to offer in that it has tactical style turrets and rapid action turrets with the choice of a Vortex plex reticle or a BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) reticle. In short, the whole scope is designed for quick shooting and fast handling. The fully multi-colored lenses gather light tremendously and make shooting in low light or on days easier.

The BDC reticle has a holdover mechanism and is measured to be accurate up to 800 yards! The dots, hash marks and circle are the holdover points that indicate distance.

If you are not familiar or comfortable with the holdover-styled mechanism in the BDC reticle then there is the Vortex Plex reticle. This reticle is a more straightforward duplex reticle which you use in combination with the Rapid Action Turrets that have been specifically marked by distance. The procedure is pretty standard and easy to use, you just estimate the distance to the target, spin the elevation turret to the distance you have estimated and then aim and shoot. It is just as effective as the BDC reticle if you use it correctly; it is just a matter of preference and familiarity.

Other features of the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T is that the tactical style turrets are finger adjustable and can be easily reset back to zero once you have sighted in. On the BDC reticles, the turrets allow you to zero in after sighting by pulling out the turret knob and rotating back to zero. For the Vortex reticles, you would dial the turret knob back to the 100-yard mark. In both reticles, the parallax is removed by turning the adjustment knob on the side of the scope.

The eye relief is constantly between 3.7 inches and 4 inches, which is what you want if you are looking for the best AR 10 scope.

PROS
  • Has the option of dial in or BDC turrets.
  • Shockproof and weatherproof.
  • Designed for shooting large caliber rifles, like AR 10.
  • 4-inch eye relief.
CONS
  • Relatively expensive.
  • Better geared for long-range shooting.

Final verdict

Everything in the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T design shows you that it has been designed for heavy rifles. I really like the ability to choose between the Vortex and BDC reticles and both will absolutely do the job. No matter which reticle you choose this scope is reliable and gives you a clear and sharp image.

Vortex Optics Razor HD AMG 6-24×50 First Focal Plane Riflescope

vortex optics score review

VORTEX is known for their innovative products and with the Vortex Optics Razor, they have designed a rifle scope that gives you precision even at high magnification. The large 50mm objective bell gathers light terrifically and the fully multi-coated lens makes targets pop even in low light. Although a 50mm objective bell sounds large it is not as bulky as you think and the solid aluminum body keeps it relatively lightweight.

It is very easy to use and there is ample room to mount onto your rifle. The Razor has a large fin on the eyepiece that allows you to easily adjust the magnification, which has audible and tactile indicators, which as I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of. Each lens has an XR Anti-reflective coating, which maintains clarity even while zooming so you do not have to deal with losing your target in the blur.

Like the Leupold Mark 4, the M-308 has a second focal plane reticle which tells you that the Viper is ideal for longer range shooting. The listed reticle subtensions, which are used for estimating range, holdover and wind draft estimation, have been tested to be accurate at up to 14x! With that kind of accuracy you can imagine how you do not have to be a seasoned shooter to start seeing the benefit of this scope!

The Viper comes with a choice of three different reticles: mil dot reticle, V-Plex reticle and a dead-hold BDC reticle. The mil dot reticle has been discussed in regards to the Leupold Mark 4 and it has the same function here. The V-Plex wide reticle is designed for general purposes and is good for hunting. The BDC reticle has been discussed in the regards to the Nikon M-308 and has the same benefits of marks which indicate distance.

If you out in the field and you need reset back to zero quickly the turrets allow you to reset back to zero very quickly, you can lift up the knobs and return them to the starting position. There is no need for any tools and this can be done in the dark or without taking your eyes off a potential target. You can remove parallax at any range with the adjustment knob found on the side of the scope. However, there have been a few issues with the scope moving from zero after a few shots, although the Viper has been designed to be sturdy as it is a single piece of aluminum.

A problem is the quick focus eyepiece; it does make it incredibly easy to focus on the target, but it does not leave much room for eye relief at higher zoom settings. The eye relief is better at the lowest setting, so if you are inclined to do more mid-range shooting you may not suffer as much, but it is not as consistently good as the VCOG or Leupold.

PROS
  • High clarity and bright image.
  • Great magnification.
  • Easy to use and mount.
  • Sturdy and practical construction.
CONS
  • Eye relief is not great.
  • Relatively large.

Final verdict

The Vortex Optics Razor is a solid scope that has been designed for long range shooting and serves that purpose really well. The ability to choose from three different reticles allows you to choose the option with which you are most comfortable. Given the high level of magnification, with a low magnification level of 6.5x, the Viper is best served for someone who focuses on long range shooting.

HOLOSUN Elite 2 MOA Dot/65 – AR10 scope

ar 10 holo scope

Not everyone wants to take aim at targets over 800 yards away, so in that situation, a red dot sight will do just fine. In fact, a red dot sight works well in low light and no light and are easier to shoot on the movie and at close range. Aimpoint has a reputation for developing scopes that are battle-proven and loved by people who need their scopes to work. Aimpoint’s Holosun  is a state of the art and is compatible with night vision and a magnified module for taking shots further out.

The Holosun  has an aluminum casing with a replaceable, external black rubber that protects it from scratches and bumps as well as it being temperature and water resistant. The M4 has 2 Minutes of Angle (MOA) dot that can be very precise at around 110ft. The red dot sight has an unrestricted field of view and zero parallax with unlimited eye relief, which may come as a surprise compared to the previous four scopes. However, it does not have the magnification of the other scopes and requires additions for longer range shooting.

The Holosun  has a mount specifically designed for the AR 10 and its non-glare black finish makes it perfect for stealth encounters. The Holosun is powered by a single AA battery and can last between 50,000 hours and 80,000 hours depending on which setting you have it on and whether you use Lithium batteries or not. The brightness of the red dot can be adjusted to 10 different settings.

PROS
  • Perfect for short distance shooting and shooting on the move
  • Simple aiming process
  • Tough and reliable design
  • Works in low light and no light
  • Long lasting battery
  • Compatible with many add-ons
CONS
  • Does not have any magnification
  • Does not have multiple reticles

Final verdict

The HOLOSUN Elite 2 MOA Dot/65 is the premier red dot sight scope and is used by various police forces and the army. It is reliable and extremely sturdy, with a focus towards what the end user actually needs from their scope. It does not have the magnification of the other four rifle scopes but it will get the job done if you that is what you need it to do.

Best AR-10 Scope

Best AR-10 Scope

The VCOG has all the features and specifications that anyone really needs and is built to last. There really is no better optics out there and it works perfectly for heavy rifles like the AR 10. Everything about the VCOG is simple, easy to use and effective but it does not compromise on high functionality. Everything from the indestructible aluminum housing from the high-quality glass used in the lens through to the Horseshoe reticle demonstrates that Trijicon has put a lot of time and effort in designing and producing the ultimate scope for heavy caliber rifles. It is the best AR 10 scope and the one I would encourage you to fork out the money and buy.

Best Cheap AR-10 Scope

cheap ar 10 scope

Although it may not have all the bells and whistles that the other four scopes have (no choice of reticles?), the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T gets the job done. It is reliable, sturdy and it works. There is a reason that it can be found in police stations, army barracks and gear bags of government forces. Yes, it is not the best scope for long range shooting but it is compatible with magnification enhancements so you are not resigning yourself to only shooting at targets up to 150ft away. Despite the VCOG being the best AR 10 scope, the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T is certainly incredible value and I recommend adding it to your gear in any case.

Conclusion

As you can see, choosing the best AR 10 scope can take a fair amount of time and I encourage you to look through catalogues and read product reviews. All of these five scopes are incredibly well made and no matter which one you end up choosing it will do the job. At a time when manufacturers are looking to create interesting new scopes, without compromising on quality, you will find a scope that suits you and your rifle. If you have a cheaper scope you will notice your shooting improve.

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