Hunting and shooting are two of the most popular hobbies in the United States, and the AR 15 has probably replaced the lever-action when people think of a rifle. There are more than 20,000,000 rifles in the United States, with the AR 15 being arguably the most popular firearm. This has led to many hobbyists and enthusiasts looking into AR 15 scopes.
If you’re one of the many enthusiasts that’s curious about how to choose the best AR 15 scope, you’re in luck. Read on for five tips on how to pick out the best AR 15 optics.
- Keep Cost in Mind
One of the first things many of us look at when looking into a purchase is the price tag. This is only natural – obviously, you need to know if something’s within your budget. To that end, you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t setting your sights for something you can’t swing.
AR 15 optics can be expensive, especially when you start looking into the highest quality available. You may want to look into used scopes instead and substitute these if you find your budget isn’t fitting the piece you’d like.
A new AR 15 can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 dollars on average, depending on customizations. Quality scopes are almost always going to be, at least, in the hundreds as well. Consider what cost you’re comfortable paying before you purchase a scope that drastically adds value to your firearm.
- Consider Your Scope’s Uses
When you purchased your firearm, you undoubtedly had an idea in mind for what you intended to use it for. Perhaps the weapon is for safety and self-defense, hunting, or sport shooting. Maybe you even purchased your rifle with multiple intended uses in mind.
You’ll want to do the same for your scope. If you intend to bring it out into the elements frequently, you’ll need to go for features that other AR 15 scopes don’t have.
For example, a hunting rifle would need a scope that’s water-resistant in case you find yourself caught in the elements. You would also want anti-glare and adjustable magnification plus several other features. These may not be features that you want to pay for if your firearm is for display, home defense, or sport shooting.
Consider what you intend to use your scoped firearm for. Once you know the use of the scope, you can better decide between your many choices.
- Don’t Weigh Down Your Gun!
Guns are generally kept in a certain weight range. Too light and recoil can be harder to control. Too heavy and you’re lugging around a rifle that’s exhausting you, especially if you’re using it long-term or long-distance.
Make sure that the scope you’re getting isn’t going to push your gun over the weight limit of what you’re comfortable with. Scopes often weigh between about one and two pounds. There are some outliers, but this is a decent expectation to shop with.
Simple scopes are usually lighter weight but will have fewer features. The more features you’re adding – heavier magnification, rugged build, and the like – the more likely you’ll be adding weight.
It’s a good idea to try out a number of scopes before you buy so that you can see how you adjust to the weight. Consider hitting your local range and seeing if they have scopes for rent. You might also simply consider borrowing one from a friend or, most efficiently, simply buying more than one.
- Adjustability in Magnification
Simpler scopes will likely have a single magnification. In many circumstances, this is all that you need and served well for many years. But you might want to aim for something that’s a bit more versatile.
This is especially the case if your firearm is used for multiple reasons and uses rather than just one. If you’re practicing marksmanship, staying with one magnification can help you improve. This is because you’re working with the same standard every time rather than multiple variables.
But if you’re using your firearm for something like hunting, having different magnifications is useful. You might use it to see something better in the distance or to lower magnification with a closer target. Whatever your purpose, having the option is sometimes a crucial factor.
Think of your experiences and if you can benefit from having multiple magnifications. Adjustable magnification is a common feature, so you shouldn’t struggle to find a scope that can provide it.
- Quality Over Budget
Many rifle enthusiasts live with the old adage of “buy nice or buy twice.” When it comes to scopes, this is certainly the choice.
If a scope isn’t in your budget, you may want to simply go without one while you save up. Low-cost scopes often are low-quality scopes. This can be in poor optical quality, fewer features, or faulty durability.
AR 15 optics are fragile even at the highest tier, with a hard impact sometimes requiring re-zeroing. A cheap scope is much more likely to break, need maintenance, or provide a worse experience altogether. Some options may even be outright unusable, depending on what you’ve decided to use the scope for.
That isn’t to say that all scopes are going to cost a fortune to be worthwhile. There are plenty of scopes that can be perfect for an enthusiast without breaking the bank.
Choosing Between AR 15 Scopes
The best thing about AR 15 optics is that there’s no shortage. It’s unlikely that you’ll struggle to find good AR 15 scopes or rifle sights in general. With a bit of research and testing, you can find the best AR 15 scope you’ve ever used without much hassle.
If you have more questions or concerns, feel free to contact us for more information. Our extensive blog contains all the information you need to take your rifle enthusiasm to the next level.