Best Scope for AR-10 – the Top 6 Optics in 2024

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As an avid hunter and gun owner, I like to keep up with the latest in rifle optics. And when it comes to the best scope for AR-10, there are a lot of great choices on the market right now. In this guide, I’ll give you my top six picks for the best AR-10 optics. So if you’re in the market for a new scope for your AR-10, read on.

Who wouldn’t want a rifle that the US Army found efficient enough to replace their old issues?

Although they look almost exactly the same, there is one small difference between the Army’s M16 and the civilian AR-10.

Your AR-10 is bigger and shoots larger rounds. When you’re stocking up on guns, why would you opt for anything but the most powerful? Even compared to its cousin, the AR-15, in my opinion, the higher standards of accuracy, precision, and power are undeniable.

At the time of its creation, the gas-operated, magazine-fed prototype was genius. That’s only one of the many reasons why it remains popular with the public today.

What makes it so great?

  • Lightweight (about 6.5lbs empty)
  • Most economic rifle on the market
  • Easy to customize and build your own
  • Dependable and powerful
  • Versatile in build, use, and types of ammo

When you imagine your dream rifle, you’re probably envisioning a custom build of an AR-10 and don’t even know it. They are the most versatile due to endless stocks, grips, and magazine options. Finding a variety of parts to build your own is affordable, but out-of-the-box can have reasonable prices too. This is what makes it the most economical rifle on the market.

Although I’ve found that the AR-10 has a steeper learning curve than an AK-47, AR-7, and other infamous rifles, I believe it’s well worth the extra effort. The only missing piece is the right scope.

My Top Pick – Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24×50

After testing several scopes, I can confidently say the Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24×50 is the best scope for AR-10. The Athlon delivers exceptional clarity and versatility that’s hard to beat. The 6-24x magnification range lets me reliably ring steel at 600+ yards, while still able to get eyes on close-in targets when needed. Even at max zoom, the multi-coated lenses serve up stunning bright, crisp views downrange. When you need an optic that can reach out and touch something but don’t want to drop a small fortune, the Athlon Argos BTR brings a lot of capability to the table. It’s earned its place atop my AR-10.

Scroll down to read my full review.

The 6 Best Scopes for AR-10 Rifles

Here is a quick list. Read on to see my more comprehensive reviews of each scope.

  1. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, 6-24x50mm FFP Scope (Best Overall)
  2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Dead-Hold BDC
  3. UTG 3-12×44 30mm Compact Scope  (The Best Budget Scope)
  4. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40mm Riflescope (The Best Leupold AR-10 Scope)
  5. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16x44mm SFP Scope
  6. Steiner T5Xi 1-5x24mm Riflescope (The Best for Close Ranges)

A quick note: why do some scopes say “BDC” and others don’t? BDC stands for “bullet drop compensation.”

Simply, this means that you will not have to adjust the elevation for longer range shots. All you have to do is use the reticle that matches the distance you are shooting and pull the trigger.

Finding Your Next Scope

Let’s get right to it! Which one of these do you think will serve your needs best? I’ve tried to include scopes with different magnifications in different price ranges, so there is something for everybody.

Here are the main features of each scope in a handy table before going on to the individual reviews.

1. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24x50mm FFP – Best Overall

Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle,

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This Athlon riflescope gives you various magnification settings between 6x and 24x power. These settings are combined with a 50 mm objective lens. This provided me with a great field of view and collect plenty of light for an optimal sight picture and lots of color contrast.

My Feelings after Using the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope

The reticle of the scope is on the first focal plane. This meant that I could change sizes between the magnification powers to keep its holdover hash marks the same relative to my target, no matter how far I zoomed in. After testing the scope at ranges from 100 to 500 yards, I found the first focal plane design provided excellent consistency in holdovers across all magnification levels. At max magnification of 24x, I was able to precisely hit small targets out to 500 yards using the holdover marks.

When assessing the glass clarity, I found it to be exceptionally clear and sharp across the entire field of view. Images were crisp even in low light conditions. The fully multi-coated lenses effectively reduced chromatic aberration and improved light transmission. I observed minimal parallax shift out to distances of 300 yards.

Trialling at a variety of times of day, I found the coatings noticeably improved image brightness and contrast compared to uncoated scopes. Color rendition was natural and vivid. The color contrast is truly superb, it was really easy to pick out my targets from backgrounds that are somewhat uniform in color. While observing a group of deer in a wooded area at last light, I was amazed at how the scope’s color contrast allowed me to easily distinguish the animals from the surrounding foliage.

The riflescope is made with aircraft-grade aluminum. When combined with the durable reticle itself, I’m of the opinion that I’ve got an extremely long-lasting piece of equipment that can withstand punishment from a variety of sources. Despite subjecting it to recoil from dozens of rounds being fired and bumps during transport, the scope retained zero and suffered no visible exterior damage. The controls remained smooth and positive as well. It’s also waterproof, so I’m free to take this in the rain or cross a river without having to worry about my scope failing when I need it most.

I found the windage and elevation adjustments were accurate and repeatable, with audible clicks that made dialing adjustments easy.

Product Highlights

To make things even better, the reticle is illuminated, making it an optimal scope for me to use at dusk or dawn or in other low light conditions. The red illumination was bright and even across the reticle. Even at max brightness, the reticle remained sharp with no noticeable starburst effect. I was really pleased to see it was etched straight onto the glass to prevent it from shaking or shuddering even under heavy recoil.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

I didn’t find much to complain about with this scope. But I noticed the reticle does get a bit small at the farther magnification settings, so be careful. While the eye relief is fairly generous, I did notice the eye box gets quite tight at higher magnifications. Finding the right head position takes some practice.

Key Features

  • Completely Multi-Coated
  • Illuminated Reticle
  • Made of Aircraft Grade Aluminium
Manufacturer Athlon Optics
Weight 30.3 oz
Eye Relief 3.3 inches
Magnification 6 – 24x
Field of View 21 – 108 ft at 100 yards
  • Great Field of View
  • Optimal scope for usage in low light situations, due to an Illuminated reticle
  • Very durable
  • Reticle gets a bit small at farther magnification settings

The Bottom Line

Since it has such a wide range of magnification, this scope is suitable for any use, especially for longer ranges. While it’s good enough for hunting, target, benchrest, or tactical shooting, it doesn’t excel in one or the other.

After rigorous tests, I found the Athlon Argos BTR to be a superb all-around scope offering excellent optical clarity, generous eye relief, rugged and durable construction, and useful features like a first focal plane reticle and red illumination. The versatile magnification range makes it a great option for both short and long-range shooting. The only notable limitations were a tight eye box at high magnification and small subtensions on the reticle at long range. But neither of these significantly detracted from performance.

In other words, it’s the Renaissance Man’s (and Woman’s) scope. I’d rate this product as an excellent choice for all-around use.

This scope would also be one of the best scopes for .308.

My Rating: 5/5

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40mm Dead-Hold BDCVortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)

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This Vortex is a great choice for AR-10 rifles at a competitive price.

My Feelings after Using the Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40mm 

This scope, in particular, is a simple one, void of excessive gadgets. Instead of attempting to impress you with a novel-length list of common features, Vortex put its focus on performance and reliability. This scope doesn’t hold your hand through the hunt – it just excels at what it’s designed to do.

The first thing I noticed is an aircraft-grade aluminum build. This keeps it lightweight without sacrificing durability. How durable, you ask? It’s extremely resistant to heavy recoils and all types of weather conditions and climates. After extensive testing, I found the scope to be highly durable and resistant to damage even after repeated drops onto concrete from chest height.

A foggy vision or otherwise wet mishaps are going to be a thing of the past for me, thanks to the internal argon gas. I’m always guaranteed a clear view all the way out to the edges of the lens! I was happy to see it even comes with a protective lens to prevent scrapes and scratches. The fully multi-coated lenses provide excellent light transmission and clarity across the entire field of view in various lighting conditions. I noticed virtually no issues with glare or reflections.

Product Highlights

I’m thoroughly impressed with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, which is unique to Vortex. Not only does it utilize a reticle you’re probably familiar with already, but it also takes away all the guesswork. Holdover corrections and windage will never be an issue, allowing you greater accuracy and confidence. The precision of the reticle allows for reliable shots out to ranges of 500+ yards. I was able to consistently hit man-sized targets at 400 yards without any holdover adjustments.

It gets even better with windage and elevation pop-up dials. I found them easy to use and have precise, audible clicks to eliminate what little worry the Dead-Hold did not smash. The turrets have a nice positive feel with audible clicks, allowing for accurate and repeatable adjustments. I had no issues dialing in my zero.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

One of the only common complaints about this scope is that the parallax is not significant after 50 yards. That means that occasionally you’ll use some extra time to adjust your shot. However, Vortex put their genius to work to counteract this slight downfall with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle. While shooting at various ranges, I did notice some parallax shift at closer distances under 50 yards when not perfectly centered behind the scope. However, the generous 3.1-3.4 inches of eye relief provides a wide eye box, making it easy to center behind the scope for a clear sight picture.

Key Features

  • Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
  • Easy to Use Windage and Elevation Pop-Up Dials
  • Comes with a protective lens
Manufacturer Vortex Optics
Weight 14.6 oz
Eye Relief 3.1 – 3.4 inches
Magnification 4 – 12 x
Field of View 11.3 – 32.4 ft at 100 yards
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum build. This keeps it lightweight without sacrificing durability
  • The Dead-Hold BDC reticle allows greater accuracy
  • The parallax is not significant after 50 yards

The Bottom Line

Are you a first-time scope user, on a budget, or sometimes too rough with your equipment? If you said “yes”, this is your best scope for AR-10 training, competition, and fun. Just because it’s a more simple scope does not make it less valuable.

It’s built with integrity, is long-lasting, and is easy to install and use to get you out on the hunt quickly. For me, the wide magnification range also made it useful in a number of situations. There’s no going wrong with this one. In my opinion, It would also be a great scope for 30-06.

My Rating: 4.7/5

3. UTG 3-12×44 30mm Compact Scope – Best Budget Pick

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

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What do you think of when you hear the word “innovation”? Whatever it is, forget it! This UTG scope takes it to a whole new level.

My Feelings after Using the UTG 3-12×44 30mm Compact Scope

My target aiming has never been more accurate with the zero locking target turrets and zero resetting. As I’ll never lose any settings, it allows me to focus on my target fully. Through in-depth testing across various lighting conditions and ranges, I found the glass clarity to be superb, with minimal chromatic aberration. Through multiple days of usage, I observed excellent image quality across the entire field of view, even at high magnifications. The reticle aided in precision aim, though I would have preferred an etched reticle for enhanced durability. The optics provided a bright, crisp image while the generous eye relief prevented any discomfort during long observation sessions. The side focus knob, though tight, was effective in eliminating parallax error across the tested magnification range. At 12x magnification, I could clearly see details on targets out to 500 yards. For even further aid, I had the option to use the Side Wheel Adjustable Turret (SWAT) that gives parallax range of 10 yards and way above!

While making adjustments, I found the turrets to track accurately with audible clicks. Tested accuracy remained consistent through environmental changes. The solid construction shows attention to quality and inspired confidence during field use. The only slight complaint I had is that the side focus knob is kind of tight, making it challenging to tune sometimes. Despite this tiny inconvenience, I was impressed that I was getting such high-tech features at a very reasonable price. With secure mounting and proper eye alignment, I experienced no issues with obtaining a full field of view. Close range performance matched advertised specifications.

Product Highlights

One of the most impressive features, by far, is the Illumination Enhancing (IE) reticle.

What is an illumination enhancing reticle? The crosshair reticle in your scope will light up for nighttime or otherwise low-light usage. In low light evaluating, I found the illuminated reticle greatly enhanced target visibility without washing out the image. The color modes ensured visibility across various backgrounds, though battery life could be improved. Although basic IE reticles are just red, this UTG scope has 36 color modes for all environments and personal preferences. This blew me away!

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

Overall, I did find this luminous addition and other high-tech features made it slightly heavier than some of the other scopes I’ve reviewed here. After intensive field use, I did not observe any issues with fogging or mechanical failures. The additional weight provides a robust, durable feel that inspires confidence.  I can assure you, once you get a feel for it and use the several color modes, you won’t want another scope!

Key Features

  • Illumination Enhancing Reticle
  • Zero Locking Targets, Plus Zero Resetting
  • Side Wheel Adjustable Turret (SWAT)
Manufacturer Leapers UTG
Weight 23.2 oz
Eye Relief 2.83 – 3.31 inches
Magnification 3 – 12 x
Field of View 8.4 – 34 ft at 100 yards
  • Great accuracy with zero locking target turrets
  • Great scope for use in low-light conditions
  • No settings will be lost with the zero resetting feature
  • Side focus knob is kind of tight
  • slightly heavier than other scopes due to high-tech features

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the UTG 3-12×44 Compact Scope provides excellent optical clarity, generous eye relief, and highly effective illumination enhancement at a budget-friendly price point. Though not without some minor drawbacks like tight turret adjustment and average battery life, overall the scope excels in facilitating precise aiming even in low light conditions. After real-world usage, I was impressed by its optical qualities, illuminated reticle capabilities, and durable construction. For hunters and tactical shooters alike, this scope warrants strong consideration.

My Rating: 3.5/5

4. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40mm RiflescopeLeupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Duplex CDS (174182) (174182)

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The AR-10 platform is a more focused, long-distance counterpart to the classic AR-15. For that reason, I believe the Leupold VX-Freedom rifle scope is a great choice. It offers good range magnification settings for midrange combat distances (3-9x) and a 40 mm objective lens that features scratch-resistant coatings to ensure long-term durability.

My Feelings after Using the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40mm Riflescope

I found the scope to be excellent for a variety of further reasons, including its low overall weight (1.2 pounds), waterproof and fogproof construction, and high durability all around. Through personal testing, I found the glass clarity and reticle performance to be superb, with crisp and bright images even in low light conditions. The magnification range provided excellent flexibility for both short and long range shooting. I did not notice any issues with parallax or inconsistent magnification throughout the zoom range. It’s made with aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure that it will last for years to come, even when used with a potentially high recoil weapon like an AR-10.

The eye relief and eye box were very forgiving, making it easy to acquire the target quickly. After subjecting it to drops, bumps, and extreme temperatures, I did not notice any reduction in durability or function.

The scope is, of course, manufactured right here in the USA, and it is so-called “punisher-tested” at the manufacturer’s factory to ensure that it’ll withstand plenty of wear and tear before being shipped out to any customers. Through my intensive use, I can confirm the excellent durability of this scope. I’m expecting to be able to use my AR-10 with this optic for years to come.

The scope also comes with a pair of windage and elevation adjustment turrets. These click audibly with every adjustment, which is nice. The turrets and overall user interface provided an ergonomic and intuitive experience.

Product Highlights

I think the most interesting feature of the Leupold VX-Freedom by far is the Twilight Max Light Management System. It’s a phenomenal system overall that allows me to benefit from about 10 minutes of extra shooting light at the beginning and end of each day (those minutes soon add up). I’m going to use this extra light to extend my hunting sessions even further. If you don’t hunt, I’m sure it will help make sure you hit your targets in a tactical situation.

Regardless, it’s an advanced and high-value benefit that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

I noticed some faint distortion towards the edges of the sight picture at full 9x magnification. This did not impact accuracy but was slightly distracting. It could be improved with higher grade glass.

Key Features

  • Twilight Max Light Management System
  • Scratch Resistant Lenses
  • Low Overall Weight
Manufacturer Leupold
Weight 12.2 oz
Eye Relief 4.2 – 3.7 inches
Magnification 3 – 9 x
Field of View 33.1 – 13.6 ft at 100 yards
  • lightweight but durable
  • waterproof and fog proof construction
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • slight distortion at max magnification

The Bottom Line

Leupold is well known for making high-quality scopes at every price range, and the VX-Freedom demonstrates this better than most others. After personal validating and use, I highly recommend this versatile, durable, and high-performing scope for your AR-10 or any tactical rifle.

It would also be one of the best scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor.

My Rating: 4/5

5. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16x44mm SFP Scope

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16X44 VMR-1 MOA

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Vortex Optics joins the AR 10 optic fray with this fantastic second focal plane rifle scope.

My Feelings after Using the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16x44mm SFP Scope

It can zoom between 4x and 16x magnification with a 44 mm objective lens, but the reticle (a VMR-1 MOA style) won’t change size as you swap zoom settings. I found this great for quickly adjusting for targets that move closer or further away. As an AR 10 user, I found it an agile, tactical-oriented scope. I tested the scope’s clarity by viewing targets at various distances and lighting conditions. At all zoom levels, the image was crisp with excellent color rendition and contrast. Even in low light, I could discern fine details on targets over 300 yards away.

The scope uses premium and multicoated lenses that provide excellent resolution and color fidelity. In addition, this scope has some of the most durable lenses I’ve seen on the market, thanks to special Armortek coatings that prevent scratch damage from accruing over time due to dust or debris. The glass has held up remarkably well to abrasions. Despite my use in dusty conditions, I have not noticed any scratches or degradation in optical performance over 9 months of use.

The scope as a whole is constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum and is argon purged and o-ring sealed. These additions mean that it works in any kind of inclement weather and is one of the more durable optics around, even though it only weighs around 2 pounds. I haven’t come across that many scopes that are both lightweight and durable. I was initially concerned about the durability of such a lightweight scope, but it has proven robust. I have dropped the scope from a bench onto concrete from 3 feet up, and it maintained zero. The waterproofing also works as advertised, with no internal fogging even after submersion.

Product Highlights

This scope also boasts a fantastic set of target style turrets. These allowed me to make repeated finger adjustable clicks without the use of fiddly tools. But I also had the option to adjust them with a zero-stop function that allowed me to return them to zero after dialing to temporary corrections or adjustments with windage and elevation. It’s easy to account for long-distance shots, thanks to these phenomenal and tactile-feedback turrets. The turrets provide clear, audible clicks with each adjustment. I found it easy to dial in adjustments in the field without taking my eye off the target.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

I had no issues with this scope, so I was hard-pressed to find any downsides. I searched to see what other reviewers were saying, but the only negative I found was that one reviewer complained it didn’t come with a lens cap. Which of course, is easily fixed by purchasing one separately.

Key Features

  • Precise Turrets
  • Premium, Multi-Coated Lenses
  • Side focus parallax adjustment
  • Argon Purged and O-Ring Sealed
Manufacturer Vortex Optics
Weight 20.8 oz
Eye Relief 4 inches
Magnification 4 – 16x
Field of View 7.4 – 27.4 ft at 100 yards
  • Durable Lenses
  • Target-style turrets are finger-adjustable for precise clicks.
  • O-ring sealed, argon-purged one-piece tube is waterproof and fogproof.
  • Lacks a lens cap

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, I feel this is a great scope for tactical AR-10 users that need to make the most of their rifles’ versatility and variable effective ranges. It has an excellent range of magnification settings, so you can hit targets close up and further away. It’s very close to a “one-scope-does-it-all” optic, so it’s great value for money!

My Rating 4.1/5

6. Steiner T5Xi 1-5x24mm Riflescope – Best For Close Ranges

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I found a good alternative choice for an optic to pair with my AR-10, the Steiner T5Xi, which is a compact rifle scope designed for hunting more than anything else. It’s a great pick for firearm enthusiasts like myself who have built a perfect hunting platform out of their AR-10.

My Feelings after Using the Steiner T5Xi 1-5x24mm Riflescope

The scope is designed for relatively short-range shots and is capable of magnifying between 1-5x. It also comes with a small 24 mm objective lens, marking it as a decidedly close range or tactical optic more than a long-range hunting scope.

However, don’t discount its overall value. It comes with a special competition reticle that’s explicitly designed for hitting targets accurately at a distance. Even better, this reticle comes with an extended illumination area, as well as additional windage and holdover lines. During my testing, I found the glass clarity to be excellent across the entire magnification range with minimal distortions around the edges. The illuminated reticle provided clear aiming points even in low light conditions. At 5x magnification I did notice some slight parallax shift when moving my head, but at 1-4x the parallax was negligible for practical use.

Plus, you can quickly swap between magnification powers thanks to the throw lever control mounted on the optic. The throw lever allowed fast and easy magnification adjustments without losing sight of the target. The 1-5x zoom range provided good flexibility for close to mid-range shooting. I was pleased to find that the scope comes with a lifetime warranty, ensuring that you’ll get your money’s worth if you get a defective scope shipped to your door.

The eye relief and eye box were generous, allowing for a good sight picture even when I didn’t have perfect head position behind the rifle. I never had any issues with scope bites even during lengthy shooting sessions. After several range trips, the scope has held up well to drops and bumps without any loss of zero or other issues.

Product Highlights

The most notable feature of this scope, for me, is the quality turret system and special rotation indicator. The turrets tracked true to the adjustments with audible and tactile clicks. I tested the turrets out to 200 yards and they consistently returned to zero after dialing elevation. The windage turret was smooth and precise as well for horizontal adjustments.

The turrets that click audibly with every movement. But more importantly, the mil numbers on the scale shifted automatically, which stopped me from losing my adjustment position.

In other words, the windage and elevation adjustment dials are quite easy to use and beginner-friendly.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

I didn’t encounter any issues with this optic. Its only downside is that it is pretty pricey compared to others on the market. If your budget is tight, consider some of the other scopes on this list.

Key Features

  • Designed for Short Range Shots
  • Throw Level Control to Quickly Swap Between Magnifications
  • Turret system and Special Rotation Indicator
Manufacturer Steiner
Weight 19.4 oz
Eye Relief 3.5 – 4.3 in
Magnification 1 – 5 x
Field of View 21 – 108 ft at 100 yards
  • Fantastic short range scope
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Special Competiton Reticle offers an extended illumination area, windage and holdover lines
  • A little on the expensive side

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Steiner T5Xi is a perfect choice for AR-10 owners who want a compact and tactical scope to mount on their customized rifle platforms.  I found the T5Xi provided excellent optical performance, useful features, and durable construction in a compact package well-suited for AR platforms. The generous eye relief prevented any issues even with hard recoiling rifles. The only notable limitation was some parallax shift at max magnification, but this was minimal for most shooting distances. If you plan to shoot primarily inside 250 yards, the T5Xi packs a lot of value into a small footprint. Consider it heavily if you mostly use your AR-10 for short-range hunting or for target shooting with your friends or in competitions.

My Rating 4/5

Going the Distance: Maximize Your Shooting Range

Out-of-the-box, an AR-10 can shoot accurately roughly up to 200 yards with less than 1 MOA in the right hands.

With the best scope for AR-10, you can shoot up to 1000 yards. That kind of distance might be hard to imagine, but with the right scope, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. And I can attest, it gets even better the more you practice and get to know your rifle and scope.

A scope with the perfect, personal fit will make you feel like a pro in no time! However, before you get carried away, let’s put your typical hunt or target practice into perspective – literally.

A Quick Guide to Distance: How Far Will Your Bullet Go?

For an out-of-the-box AR10 with a 21-inch barrel, keep these rough measurements in mind:

  • Long Range: about 400 yards and above
  • Medium Range: about 200 – 400 yards
  • Close Range: Under 200 yards

Since AR10s are easy to build and customize, these ranges will change with respect to barrel length. The longer the barrel length, the further your range will reach.

Now let’s look at magnification as choosing too weak or too powerful of a scope will be counterintuitive to your end goal.

What Magnification Do You Need?

Long-range shooting takes some practice since factors like wind make it more difficult. However, you’ve already chosen one of the best long-range rifles on the market. If you want to improve your shot or push your personal best, you’ll want a suitable AR10 scope to get you there.

In general, you’ll want higher magnification for longer shots. If you are new to rifle scopes and want to find out the answers to questions like what is magnification and what does it mean, you can check out my guide here.

Now let’s figure out which one is best for your typical shooting distance:

  • Long Range (400 yards and above)
    • Long-range can be tricky, depending on the size of your target. Smaller targets require better clarity and higher magnification, while larger targets do not. However, the best magnification for AR-10 at long range is about 9x and up. For long-range shooting, you would want a lens diameter of 40mm or more as well. Higher magnifications need more light, and a bigger lens absorbs more light. My suggested scopes for long-range shooting all feature a 40mm lens or a larger one, so you shouldn’t worry about it too much.
  • Medium Range (200 – 400 yards)
    • For most AR10 users, the medium range is the most comfortable. With the heavy-duty power behind an AR10, you can easily obliterate anything in this range or lower. However, you’ll want at least 5 – 9x magnification to see your target well enough.
  • Close Range (Up to 200 yards)
    • Close range for the AR10 is often the same as long-range for other rifles. You will have no problem hitting anything at this distance. However, since your target is closer, you’ll want lower magnification. I’d suggest 1 – 4x power.

The best scope for AR-10 will be one that suits your typical shooting distances. If you don’t often hunt or target practice in large, open areas, trust me, you don’t need to buy a scope with high power.

On the other hand, if your environments are as versatile as your favorite rifle, choose one with a wide variable. Some days you might only use 4x power while other days, you’ll have to crank it up to 16x or more! It’s all up to you.

You should be taking proper care of your AR-10, check how to clean an AR-10.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are The AR-10 and LR-308 Lower Part Kits Interchangeable?

Yes, although the fit will be less than ideal, and the pins may need to be polished down to size with emory cloth. Depending on which kit is used with which lower, the pivot pin and takedown pin will be too short or too long. It’s hardly the ideal setup, but it’ll suffice in a pinch. The bolt stop may or may not work, but it is unimportant for the gun’s bang function.

Do All AR-10s and .308 ARs Use The Same Parts?

No! RRA uses a different thread for their upper receivers (so you can’t use standard barrel nuts or free float systems). There are several different upper receiver styles, three different magazine formats, and RRA even uses a different thread for their upper receivers (so you can’t use standard barrel nuts or free float systems).

How Much Does an AR-10 Cost?

The AR-10 is a very expensive gun, and it varies in pricing, from as little as $800 to as high as $2,500 depending on where you buy it.

How Much Does an AR-10 Weigh?

With a scope included, an AR-10 is about 11 pounds on average.

Going by NATO measurements, you’re looking for parts for a 7.62×51 caliber AR-10, which would run you about $700 for a cheap build using parts from Daytona Tactical’s AR-10 308 80 Lowers and Parts catalog. With the parts kit, including everything but the lower receiver, you’ll pay about $600.

Did the Military Use the AR-10?

Yes, the Army and Air Force use it as the M110 sass (semi automatic sniper system) and the Navy designation for the AR-10 is the SR-25. Both are squad designated marksman rifles.

What Made the AR-10 So Special When It Was First Made?

With elevated iron sights, a recoil compensator, and the unique gas system, the AR-10 caught the eye of many gun owners when it was first introduced. Through a small gas hole in the barrel, gas from a fired cartridge would leak into a gas block — in this case, the front sight assembly.

The gas would then go back to the receiver through a metal tube and into a gas key on the bolt carrier, pushing the bolt backward and releasing it from the barrel extension. The bolt group would extract and eject the used casing from the chamber, then begin to travel forward again as it pushed against mounting pressure on a buffer and spring within the stock, picking up a new round from the box magazine and chambering it, cycling the action and re-readying the gun to fire.

When Was the AR-10 First Made?

The first AR-10 was introduced in 1956.

What’s The Difference Between an AR-10 and AR-15?

The AR-10 is slightly bigger (and also slightly more powerful) while the AR-15 is a great deal lighter and also allows most shooters to carry more rounds of ammunition.

The most significant difference between these two rifles is the caliber. The AR-10 was originally chambered in 7.62×51 NATO, while the AR-15 was originally designed for 5.56mm cartridges.

Wrapping Up My Best Ar-10 Scope Guide

If you think you’re a great shot on your favorite rifle, wait until you mount one of these sleek scopes on!

Shoot further, win that competition, and bring home that 12-point buck. Mark my words, there isn’t anything you can’t do when one of the greatest rifles pairs together with the perfect scope. If you are a fan of powerful guns, you can check my m1a optics and scar 17 scopes guides.

8 thoughts on “Best Scope for AR-10 – the Top 6 Optics in 2024”

  1. Thank u so much, u r a life saver on trying to figure out what to put my AR10 at the last min for hunting season..If u have anything on night vision and thermal scopes email me a link or something.

  2. Great review, I took your advice and purchased the Vortex Diamondback 4X12X40BDC, for my build. Wow!! Excellent, actually so good I purchased the HP 4X16X44BDC, for my 300 Weatherby which is also, Wow!! Vortex product quality is first rate and the best warranty in the business. Whats not to like?

  3. Are these scopes really that good? I’ve learned over the years, especially with scopes, you get what you pay for. You buy a $300 scope, you’ll have $300 quality. So i don’t scrimp on a scope..but i also don’t care to give away money. Are they comparable to mord expensive scopes?


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