According to the U.S. Army Laboratory Command (Small Arms Technology Assessment: Individual Infantryman’s Weapon, Volume I, March 1990 to be specific), 98% of all targets across all terrain are engaged at less than 600 meters, 90% less than 400 meters, and in urban terrain, 90% less than 50 meters. With this in mind, we need the ability to be able to reach targets beyond the 15-25 yard lines, but it is unlikely we will ever shoot beyond 600 meters in a defensive or even hunting situation.
Adding even a marginally magnified optic enables more precision, faster target acquisition, and will deliver all you need to place hits quickly—even way out there when yards adds up. More than a few serviceman and Designated Marksman know that the 4X Trijicon ACOG transformed hit ratios within all ranges of combat engagement out to the 600-yard line, however it also comes with a steep $1,400 price tag—as a result, Burris has come to the rescue with a great $350 option.
Burris AR-332 3X Prismatic Optic
Burris has been famous for building rugged bulletproof optics. The AR-332 is a Mil-Spec brute of an optic that has stayed compact with a prismatic design. The design is a really nice crossover optic for CQB and scout rifle distances in a durable fixed power optic. Essentially, the AR-332 is an ACOG but for 60% less money, plus it includes a dual red/green illuminated BDC reticle. According to Burris, they have been selling truckloads of these along with their 5X model with the explosion of AR-15 sales. Based on my experience this is for good reason.
Fit, Feel, Finish & Features
Like all Burris optics, the AR-332 is excellent quality from the construction with fog and weatherproof construction through the clear optics. At first, I was wondering what I had committed to with the AR-332. However, after a couple range visits, I am sold on the design. The donut reticle definitely grows on you, and in my opinion is way faster up close and allows more precision than a duplex reticle at varied distances.
There are a significant number of refinements and extras on this scope. The Burris AR-332 comes ready to mount right out of the box with a Picatinny base included ($50-$100 extra on other scopes here), scope caps that flip open all the way out of field of view, and wire retained windage/elevation caps. If you have an A2 AR-15 with a carry handle, the AR-332 will work right out of the box after your unscrew the included Picatinny base. On top of those features, the AR-332 is a very clear optic with an etched reticle visible as a black reticle after the illumination is turned off. The runtime is expected into the months range, but even when the standard CR2032 battery is dead you still have 100% of the reticle to work with.
The illuminated reticle works and is brilliantly bright that can be seen in direct sunlight. The donut reticle is fast on target even at distances under 25 yards or even at 2 yards. Dedicated points from 100-500 yards can make this a bit more precise than optics with just a single duplex style reticle or wider dispersed hash marks when the yards add up. Burris also includes Picatinny accessory rails around the optic to bolt on things like red dots, lights, lasers, and tactical espresso machines.
The eye relief needs to be a bit more forgiving as it does not have a wide workable range compared to others here. Plan on mounting the AR-332 almost or at the rearmost position. My stock position is always one detent in, however for longer armed shooters, you may have to displace your rear back up sight and mount it farther back.
Burris needs to add a super low night vision setting for the illumination as even the lowest setting is still just a bit too glary after the lights go out. The reticle is still perfect for CQB ranges at night using the CQB Optic but a little annoying for shooting night dwelling critters in the pitch black. For those situations I swapped out to an old half dead CR2032 batteries for dimmer illumination. Critter hunting with the AR-332 is great way to kill off all those old CR2032 batteries.
With a variety of Hornady and Winchester 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington rounds, I found the Burris delivered all shots on 12-inch steel targets out to 500 yards, however point of impact did vary based on each round. As with all BDC reticles, the aiming points will get you within a few inches but each round’s ballistics is different.
An Odd Observation – We all get older and usually with that comes deteriorating eyesight. I have been incredibly lucky that I still have fairly clear 20/20 vision, however I am starting to do that trombone move to focus in on the small print up close. The point is that magnification and sighting aids help ageing eyes. A few of my buddies clearly need magnification and this is where even just a little 3X magnification can make all the difference between making a shot and frustration at the hunt or at the range. If you are older, I recommend strongly taking a look at what low-power optics can provide you and your AR platform.
CQB Optic Tip – For low-power optics with illuminated reticles, a tip to use them in a CQB environment is to cover or close the front scope cover and shoot with both eyes open like you would with a red dot. With the scope objective cover in place, your eyes and brain will figure it out and make the illuminated reticle appear as a 1X lit reticle regardless of the magnification even if it is a 32X power scope.
Designed for a 100 yard zero with BDC index points for 100-500 yards. This is a fixed power optic that is actually exceptionally good at CQB work thanks to the glowing donut. The Burris AR-332 is a great all purpose optic for an AR owner to extend the range of their AR to allow confident placement out to 500 yards. The big glowing dot provides a great aiming point even at room-clearing distances. The more I use the AR-332 optic, the more I like it as a combat, defensive, scout optic covering the U.S. Small Arms study ranges.
Have you tried Burris’ AR-332? How does it compare to an ACOG? Share your experiences in the comment section.
Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. www.MajorPandemic.com