The AR-15 rifle is America’s rifle, whether in a light and handy carbine or a longer-barrel precision rifle.
The rifle has proven suitable for personal defense, home defense, varmint hunting, deer hunting, wild boar hunting and many forms of competition.
While serious use is important, I believe most of the AR rifles in America are used for good plain fun. We like to see just how accurate we can be, and there is nothing wrong with a trip to the range to make brass.
I am a fan of iron sights and find them well suited to many of my needs. Firing at the AR maximum range and taking out varmints isn’t a good spot for iron sights.
Neither is firing blindingly quickly at a 3-Gun match. I have come to appreciate the efficient and reliable red-dot sights for dedicated home-defense use. I also like convention rifle scopes for long-range use.
I use rifle scopes from many makers in many price ranges. We have the highest-quality AR-15 optics and the best glass for the money in history. I enjoy using a quality optic.
Today’s AR-15 optics are amazing, and you get more for your money than ever.
1. Meopta Optika6
Among the bright stars of the modern optic world is Meopta. They recently introduced the Optika6 rifle scope.
This optic features a 30mm tube, 6x zoom, zero-reset turrets and MeoBright lens coating that delivers edge-to-edge clarity and exceptionally bright, sharp images.
The variety of Meopta optics isn’t quite bewildering, but certainly extensive. Modern manufacturing allows real precision at a fair price, and the opportunity to offer real diversity in options for the shooter.
There are first focal plane reticle options, including a new development called the DichroTech reticles with battery-free illumination. Chromatic aberration isn’t possible with the newest 34mm 5-30×56 model and ED glass.
No matter the specific model. Meopta offers an easy return to zero with their zero-reset turrets. The zoom ring offers a throw lever, which is pretty important when you are using the AR rifle with its high scope offset.
These scopes have proven to be excellent on the AR, and other types as well.
2. TRUGLO EMINUS
Eminus means “from a distance.” This fits the new TRUGLO rifle scope well. This is a higher-end scope from a maker that offers a lot of performance for the money.
It is affordable, but more expensive than most of the workmanlike TRUGLO line. EMINUS rifle scopes are offered with 3x9x42mm, and 3x9x44mm options as well.
There is also a 4×16 magnification option. Each features a hard-anodized aluminum 30mm scope tube. The reticle is an illuminated TacPlex design.
The illuminated boxes allow excellent practical accuracy. The locking turrets allow the standard ½-MOA adjustment. Eye relief is critical with the AR rifle and the EMINUS offers good eye relief.
Here is a short list of most features of the TRUGLO EMINUS:
- Multi-coated lenses for enhanced clarity and contrast
- 30mm tube for increased turret-adjustment range and increased brightness
- 1/4-MOA locking target turrets
- MOA-based reticle for simplified adjustments, tracking and holdover
- Included APTUS-M1 mount for a stronghold and ideal mounting position on modern sporting rifles
- Illuminated TacPlex Reticle (T.P.R.) for precision measurement (in MOA) without a crowded sight picture
- Hard-coat anodized matte black finish
- Nitrogen gas-filled, fog-proof construction
- Water-resistant and shock-resistant
- Illuminated glass-etched reticle
- Leaf-spring turret control for positive and responsive click adjustments
- Generous eye relief
3. TRUGLO OMNIA
The OMNIA is an interesting rifle scope. With the magnification cranked down, you may use this illuminated-reticle scope like a red dot, but then crank back up for longer-range use.
I like the concept, and this 1×4 option is a good one. The TRUGLO OMNIA makes for one of the best AR-15 optics for the money.
4. Leupold VariX-6
I took advantage of legendary ruggedness and stunning optics to outfit my long-range AR, a Springfield SAINT Victor I like to call the Saint on Steroids.
Using the tank-tough Warne scope mount, I mounted the scope low enough to form a good cheek weld. The scope is a Leupold VariX-6. The 1x6x24mm scope is ideal for use on an accurate self-loading rifle.
The FireDot duplex reticle is illuminated. The range of adjustment makes for fast acquisition of the target at modest range, and by maxing out magnification, you may connect at a long 300 yards.
When I began using this combination, results were good with a range of loads. Groups of less than two inches for five shots were average. This is a good standard for the average AR-10 .308 Winchester.
As I gained trigger time, and later fitted the Wilson Combat TTU trigger — with a four-pound, one-ounce compression — things improved dramatically.
Although I am stuck at a 1.5-inch average with most loads, I have fired a single three-shot group at 100 yards that went into 0.9 inches. That is excellent and more accuracy than expected.
This is a very good optic for those that favor the .308 AR rifle, or anyone wishing to own a superb optic.
5. TRUGLO IGNITE
Recently I worked up a parts gun, an AR-15 rifle featuring a Troy Tomahawk stock, Hyperfire trigger and a quad rail. The result was a very fast handling and respectable AR-15.
I used economy brands in receiver selection, but just the same, the rifle seems reliable. I decided that a rifle that may be used for personal defense — this is a bedroom and truck gun — should have an easy-to-use red dot.
The TRUGLO IGNITE fit that bill. The red dot could not cost as much as the rifle in this project, but I wanted a respectable unit I have faith in.
I don’t like high mounts, but the IGNITE may be used with a high mount for back-up sights. A better option, in my opinion, is the new XS Sights back-up sight.
Mounted on the rail, these sights allow the user to quickly access the backup by canting the rifle. These are neat sights that are well designed with plenty of adjustment.
The IGNITE is easy to operate. Depress the forward “+” button to power the IGNITE up. There are ten brightness settings.
A lot of folks don’t realize that the brightness setting has an effect on visibility in dim light and you need far less light in a dim environment.
You may preset the default light setting, a great option in a relatively inexpensive red dot. An auto-off feature is highly desirable. Windage and elevation adjustment is simple enough.
The red dot is gauged 2-MOA. I like this size for work to about 50 yards, a long shot indeed for this rifle’s design envelope. This is a friendly sight to use, easy to adjust, affordable and workmanlike.
6. SIG ROMEO7
I wanted a heavy-duty, service-grade red dot for my favorite AR-15. My son built this rifle based on an Aero lower and upper receiver, and high-quality components.
The rifle is fitted for all-around use, and I wanted accuracy potential well past 100 yards without compromising short-range speed. The ROMEO7 filled the bill.
A top-selling point for me is the ROMEO7’s battery life of 62,500 hours. This is with a simple AA battery. The glass is very clean and there is an optional filter, which I installed.
The ROMEO7 is a 30mm red dot. This allows greater eye relief compared to other optics, including the popular ROMEO5.
The ROMEO7 has been tested to immersion depths of a yard or more without effect on the internals, and it is rated fog proof. The matte finish graphite is businesslike attractive.
The mount is very stable and easily changed out if need be. It is true the ROMEO7 weighs 12.5 ounces, but just the same, it isn’t a heavyweight. I like this scope very much, and it rides on my most trusted rifle.
What are your favorite AR-15 optics? Why? Let us know in the comments section below!