5 Best Scopes for AR-10

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50

  • Battery: 5/5
  • Build Quality: 4.4/5
  • Optics: 4.5/5

One of our personal favorites!

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Runner-up

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm

  • Battery: 4.5/5
  • Build Quality: 4/5
  • Optics: 4/5

A reasonably priced but heavy-duty pick.

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Best on a Budget

UTG 3-12X44 30mm

  • Battery: 5/5
  • Build Quality: 4.7/5
  • Optics: 4.6/5

Perfect entry-level pick!

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The AR-10 needs an optic that can handle its power and remain reliable. Seems difficult, doesn’t it? Not if you have the right resources! We’re so glad you found us because our best scopes for AR-10 picks will blow you away!

Features to Consider in the Best Scope for AR-10

CategoryVortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mmUTG 3-12X44 30mmVortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mmCategory Average
Overall Score3.23.63.722.843.543.38
Ergonomics1.61.51.61.12.21.6
Build Quality4444.54.54.2
Optics4.4444.64.54.3
Battery355333.8
Value33.5413.53

Focal Plane

First Focal Plane scopes are best for quick-paced high-stress shooting scenarios with widely varying engagement ranges such as tactical shooting and PRS competitions.

Second Focal Plane scopes are excellent for taking long-range precision shots on very small targets because its reticle remains thin even at high magnifications. With a simple duplex and a limited range of engagements, it can be a great choice. Most hunters and serious shooters are familiar with SFPs since they’re more common and more budget-friendly.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics refers to how well the scope fits you and your shooting style. Can you make all the adjustments easily? Does the scope feel like an extension of your eye when you’re lining up a shot? If the answer is “Heck, yeah,” then you’re on the right track.

vortex strike eagle rifle scope

How do we rate it?

Is the scope’s weight balanced, or does it make your rifle feel like you’re lugging around a medieval weapon? A top-rated scope in ergonomics should feel intuitive like it’s an extension of yourself rather than an awkward appendage.

Optics

Optics are the heart of any scope. This is where the magic happens—or doesn’t. You want crystal-clear images, vibrant colors, and enough light coming through that you could practically shoot by moonlight (though I wouldn’t recommend it). Look for high-quality glass, multi-coated lenses, and a generous objective lens size.

Magnification Range

Since the AR-10 works best at long distances, you’ll need a riflescope with a wide magnification range like our recommendations below. This will give you shooting flexibility from medium to long ranges. 

Lens Quality

Optical clarity and powerful magnification always come hand-in-hand with the best scopes. So look for an optic with an objective lens of at least 40 mm, has fully multi-coated lenses made from high-density glass, and no image blurriness or distortion around the edges at max power. Even the 308 of an AR-10 is susceptible to wind. So it helps if your scope has Mil-Dot or HMR-specific windage markings.

How do we rate it?

High marks go to scopes that offer excellent low-light performance and the ability to maintain a sharp, bright image under various conditions.

Build Quality

Temperature fluctuations or wet weather may cause internal fogging and mildew formation in your scope. So it’s best to have one that’s nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed. This also allows your optic to have thermal shock resistance.

How do we rate it?

Is it waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof? A high rating in this category means your scope is the tank of the optics world—reliable, tough, and ready for anything Mother Nature throws at it.

Battery

If your scope has any electronic components, like an illuminated reticle, then battery life is your new best friend. There’s nothing worse than getting ready for the perfect shot only to find your reticle as dark as your chances of hitting the target without it. Long battery life is a must. You should also have easy access to replace batteries and shouldn’t have to think about it much until you need it.

How do we rate it?

We give lower scores to scopes that require battery changes more often than you change your socks. High ratings go to models with efficient power usage and long-lasting battery life, ensuring you’re always ready for the shot, day or night.

Value

You’ll need an extra-durable scope for your AR-10, including all the features we mentioned above, so you’d need to allot at least a few hundred bucks. But since you’ll most likely be using your scope for years, every single penny will be worth it.  A good scope should fit both your budget and your needs, offering the features you’ll actually use without the fluff you won’t.

How do we rate it?

A high rating in value means the scope offers the best blend of quality and features for its price point, striking that sweet balance between cost and functionality. Think of it as the difference between a deal and a steal.

5 Best Scopes for AR-10

Best Overall: Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

CategoryVortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50Category Average
Ergonomics1.61.6
Build Quality44.2
Optics4.44.3
Battery33.8
Value33

Score: 3.2/5

Our top pick excels in every criterion for the best AR-10 scope. It’ll deliver all your short-to-long-range shooting needs. This variety of the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle features an EBR-4 MRAD reticle that determines ranges, holdovers, windage corrections, and moving target leads efficiently. The Strike Eagle comes with a sleek side parallax knob with built-in illumination that rotates smoothly through 11 brightness settings. Its tactical-style turrets are zero-resettable and have user-friendly rotation indicators that offer easier dialing and accurate adjustments.

We’ve had hands-on experience with this product line, and it’s a really good value. 

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Wide magnification range
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Comes with Vortex Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • Mushy turrets
  • Tight eye box
  • Heaviest pick (25.6 oz)

What Customers Say

Clarity is very good, at all magnifications. The scope came close to centered, making the sighting in process very quick.

Vern Trent

This is clear, and works great. I love Vortex and this is one of the best bang for the buck scopes they have out there.

EricandTay

Runner-up: Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope

CategoryPrimary Arms SLX 4-14x44mmCategory Average
Ergonomics1.51.6
Build Quality44.2
Optics44.3
Battery53.8
Value3.53

Score: 3.6/5

The Primary Arms SLX FFP riflescope guarantees smaller and more consistent groups despite its affordable price. Its controls, features, and performance are almost similar to its pricier rivals. It comes with a Mil-Dot reticle for quick and easy ranging and holdover search. Plus a fast-focus eyepiece that offers clear and crisp images, a side-adjustable parallax, and tactile windage and elevation turrets.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Shockproof, waterproof, and fog-resistant
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Could be shorter
  • Heavy (23.9 oz)
  • No illumination

What Customers Say

It was a little heavier than I expected but ot had alot of really good features that I haven’t seen on most other scopes.

Stacy Mathis

The scope is of reasonably good quality. The optics have been clear enough at maximum magnification for my needs. The weather and lighting have mostly been good, so I can’t make any comments about its low-light capabilities.

DrThunder88

Best on a Budget: UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

Category UTG 3-12X44Category Average
Ergonomics1.61.6
Build Quality44.2
Optics44.3
Battery53.8
Value43

Score: 3.72/5

Our best on a budget pick may be cheap, but it’s surprisingly well-built and can take a regular beating at the range or in the field. The UTG 3-12×44 compact scope features exposed turrets for easy adjustments without the hassle of removing caps. Its eye relief is also just as good as its higher-priced rivals. The glass quality and illumination are both outstanding, you won’t think this scope costs less than $200!

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Exposed turrets
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Excellent glass quality
  • Waterproof and fog proof

Cons

  • Heavy (23.2 oz)

What Customers Say

100% satisfied with its performance considering my budget when I purchased it & my needs at the time. It’s not a cheap scope, just not as refined as your 2000$ glass.

Lucas McElroy

The image is crisp and magnification works as expected. In addition, using the elevation and windage adjustments to zero the scope was a breeze. I haven’t really used the illuminated reticle aspect, but it does seem to work as advertised.

Charlie

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP Riflescope

CategoryVortex Optics Viper PST Gen IICategory Average
Ergonomics1.11.6
Build Quality4.54.2
Optics4.64.3
Battery33.8
Value13

Score: 2.84/5

The Viper PST Gen II features an illumination dial that’s been built into the side focus adjustment knob. This allows quick access and smooth operation, just what you’d expect from a Vortex riflescope. It also features the hash-marked EBR-4 reticle that uses MOA subtension lines and floating wind hold dots for effective ranging, holdover, and windage corrections. The Viper PST Gen II comes with 10 intensity settings with off positions between each level.

Pros

  • 3.8 inches eye relief
  • Comes with lifetime warranty
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Exposed turrets
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof

Cons

  • A little pricey
  • Heaviest pick (31.2 oz)

What Customers Say

Works great and they have a great policy if you damage it. Easy to use and to set the zero stop. Easy to zero. Took a couple of minutes to sight in and lock the zero stop. Then once I had my elevation numbers I was easily hitting targets out to 600 yards and going back and forth between distances and dialing in the elevation. MOA reticle marks were easy to use for windage. Great scope.

Russ Lefebvre

This is an exceptional scope. Crystal clear and very easy to adjust. All adjustments are easy and crisp. Parallax, turret adjustment, scope power and adjustments on the personal focus are great.

Philip

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

CategoryLeupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mmCategory Average
Ergonomics2.21.6
Build Quality4.54.2
Optics4.54.3
Battery33.8
Value3.53

Score: 3.54/5

If you just want a scope for intermediate-range shooting, you’ll love our last pick.

Like most Leupold scopes, the VX-Freedom uses its manufacturer’s proprietary Twilight Light Management System. This feature allows optimum light transmission and reduced glare. Thanks to several layers of proprietary lens coatings. So you can hunt in the evening and still get tack-sharp images.

It’s made from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, is impact tested using Leupold’s recoil simulation machine, and is tested to perform in the most extreme climate and pressure changes. So rest assured that the VX-Freedom can survive the strongest recoils and the harshest weather.

Pros

  • Lightest pick (12.2 oz)
  • Excellent light transmission
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Comes with scratch-resistant lenses

Cons

  • No protective lens caps
  • Spongy turrets
  • No illumination

What Customers Say

Scope was expected Leupold quality, great light gathering at dusk. Bought specific for a hunt. PM sit. Overcast and 530 pm. Couldnt see deer with naked eye, saw clearly with scope. Lightweight and very clear glass.

Andy C. 

This is my second scope of this brand. I have one on my 30/30 this new one is going on my 30/06.It’s a great scope for the money.

Rick

Our Key Takeaways

We hope you had as much fun choosing your scope as we had putting together this article. Now you’re ready to take on long-distance targets and get the most out of your AR-10.

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Last update on 2024-07-19 / Images from Amazon Product API