If you are looking for a scope for your AR-10, you need to consider what cartridge type you are using. The trend playing out right now is the use of larger round types. The larger AR-10, compared to the AR-15, has so many more uses in the civilian and military world. The AR-10 has a longer chamber and can use larger cartridges.
The AR-10 is a great weapon and is made even better when paired with big glass and other weapon systems, iron sights or red dot sights, or even modern glass attached.
Best AR-10 Scopes
- Leupold VX 3-9X40mm
- Primary Arms SLX 4-14X44mm
- Nikon M-308 SF 4-16X42mm
- Nikon Prostaff P3 4-12X40
- Leupold VX Series
- Vortex Optics 6-24X50
- Trijicon VCOG 1-6X24
- Nikon FX 1000
After extensive testing and reviewing, we’ve compiled the eight best scopes for the AR-10 rifles.
1. Leupold VX 3-9X40mm
There is no argument that Leupold makes some of the best scopes for the AR-10. Leupold is ahead of the competition when it comes to design, and the price can reflect all the technology and design that goes into their scopes.
The VX 3-9X40mm has a “Duplex Reticle” that allows the shooter to see the target faster using the wide crosshairs on the end. The scope also has thin crosshairs in the center to use on fine sights for distance shooting.
This scope still has the Leupold Twilight Management system, a unique system that gives the shooter more visibility in the early mornings or late evenings. There are ¼ MOA clicks that give the shooter an extremely accurate zero to adjust for elevation and windage.
The VX 3-9X40mm is made of 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum. The scope also passes Mil-Spec standards for glass design and quality, and is made to withstand the high recoil from the AR-10 system.
2. Primary Arms SLX 4-14X44mm
This Primary Arms SLX scope has a mil-dot reticle configuration model. This allows the holdover to be in the medium range. There is an open turret adjustment design on this scope and optic to allow for fast calculations of fast advance range, wind bullet impact, and bullet drop compensation.
With the side adjustment for parallax and the ability for focus adjustment, this lets the shooter keep their eyes to the front to adjust the fine optical tuning elements. For medium-range or long-range targets, the scope cuts to 1/10 MOA.
On the ACSS Reticle scope, it has a 17.5 mil adjustment cap. This limit is not an obstacle and is not recommended for long-distance shooting. If you want to increase the scope’s effective elevation abilities, you may want to use a 20 or 40 MOA rail.
If you are going to be shooting at a longer distance, it may be best to consider the quality of the glass. Lower proceed glass may not work well in clarity and focus with targets past 400 yards.
3. Nikon M-308 SF 4-16X42mm
This scope is specifically designed for use on the AR-10 system with .308 Winchester or 7.62 NATO rounds. It comes with a large scope that gives a high magnification at 16 power on the upper end.
“Nikoplex” is the reticle that is used on this Nikon scope. The “Nikoplex” arrangement allows the turret settings for elevation up to 40 MOA, and this setting can let the scope have extended range calculations in bullet drop compensation, up to 100 yards.
Nikon also makes this scope with a BDC reticle. The BDC reticle is illuminated and allows the shooter to have several choices to set the range and sighting area of the glass optic design.
The scope is built to handle extreme recoil because it has a 4-inch eye relief design. You can increase the accuracy of your rifle and this scope by adding a “Second Zero” by TACOMHQ.
The optics on the scope are completely multi-coated. The extra coats give the optics the amazing ability to transmit light and return with max brightness in low light or high light conditions. Also, with 4X zoom technology, you can get a wider view in the low to high magnification range.
To increase its accuracy, this scope is caliber-specific and made especially for the AR-10. The reticules and adjustment systems on the Nikon M-series are designed for specific cartridges. The designers made the scope to go with the 168 grain 7.62X51 (.308 Winchester) boat tail match bullets.
If you find yourself in a backcountry hunting or long-range shooting situation, these scopes are water- and fog-proof. And with the open turret adjustment arrangement discussed earlier, including the zero-stop technology allows a shot that is dead center with any modifications if you are possibly going to need to take a shot on a fast-moving target.
4. Nikon Prostaff P3 4-12X40
The Nikon Prostaff scope is a great fit on an AR-10 and allows for a good proportion when shooting at whitetail in either cover or open areas. Unlike other Nikon scopes, this pick is a covered turret that also has threaded caps. The design allows for use in extremely tough weather conditions.
The price of this scope allows for it to be in the budget range for most people. The scope is made out of a poly aluminum main tube with a multi-coated lens with 98% light retention. There is zero-reset needed with the turret settings due to the spring-loaded adjustment knobs.
There is 3.7 inches of eye relief on this scope, and is designed for high-power centerfire cartridges on the AR-10 system. It is filled with nitrogen, has sealed O rings, and is also fog and water-proof. The scope also has a BDC illuminated reticle system, which is the Nikon BDC system.
5. Leupold VX Series
The Leupold VX series is a great scope made mostly for hunting purposes only. This scope is on the upper end of the budget but is going to be a great pick.
The Leupold scopes are impressive, with extremely high-quality glass sights that can collect light efficiently and stay on the zero adjustment when using the “box” method of duplicated elevation and windage adjustment.
If whitetail deer hunting is what you are looking at, the scope has a 1” tube diameter but can also be purchased with a. 30mm tube on a different model.
For early morning or end of daylight (low light situations), there is a larger objective lens ball housing that is 50mm. If you use this scope on an AR-10 down the length of the receiver, it’s a great fit.
6. Vortex Optics 6-24X50
This scope is a first focal plane rifle scope and is a step closer to optics that allow for long-range shooting, target shooting, and even police sniper systems in one unit. In the first focal plane scope the target gets bigger, along with sub-tensions when the power goes up.
Shooters like this method because it helps them identify the target, and hit the mark because of the focal plane. This also increases the reticle size to equal the magnification.
In the 6-24X50 there is a Diamondback Tactical that holds a 50mm bell and collects the light in various shooting settings. The scopes’ ability to collect light is due to the extra-low dispersion glass that is used, with multi-coated lenses, giving the scope an amazing optical quality.
Turret adjustments and sub-tensions on the 6-24X50 are zeroed in due to how it is designed to re-spring in the turret housing. With the 30mm tub design, the scope is made to work well with various models of the AR-10 rifle.
7. Trijicon VCOG 1-6X24
The 1-6X24 is a focal plane scope and is the tube version of the ACOG type scope. This scope is made for 175 grain .308 round, the type of ammo used most by the U.S. Army worldwide. So, using this grain size of ammo is important, as it keeps the correct elevation needed to keep the bullet on the target you are aiming for when using a U.S. Army M-10 system.
The 1-6X24 is a more budget-friendly scope that includes a larger view of the target and field, with a larger reticle size. This field view is common for equipment made for the military, so you can choose to use a Trijicon ACOG if you want the ability of a night vision scope with lots of magnification power.
The power available on the scope can last for around 700 hours, even if left on. The scope has enough energy for 4 to 6 power and brightness settings and only needs lithium AA batteries in the power system.
Nice features about the scope are that it is waterproof, shockproof, and submersible to 66 feet. The electronics are designed and built to be completely Mil-Spec grade.
This is a very adaptable scope; from special operators to police and civilian shooters, it can shoot accurately over long distances. With a full 90 MOA of windage and elevation is made with ½ MOA clicks at 100 yards.
8. Nikon FX 1000
Many shooters look for adaptability in their scopes, particularly the ability to do short-range (100 yards) to longer-range shooting (up to 1000 yards). The Nikon FX 1000 is one of those scopes that can accurately place a round downrange in these distances.
This scope is also a budget-friendly scope that has been selling just as well as higher-priced scopes. This is one of the larger scopes on the market, but it can still fit on the AR-10 system. Additionally, using a 4-16X MOA through a 6-24X50 reticle FX MRAD or an MOA gives more accuracy for this scope.
The scope also includes glass etched sub-tensions that are modeled after the first focal plane. So, this scope is made for really long-range shots or just general hunting or target practice. In addition, the scope comes with side-mounted elimination control and parallax adjustments that range from 50 yards to infinity.
Buying Guide For AR-10 Scopes
When changing from the smaller AR-15 to the larger AR-10, you need to consider what sighting system you want to use. Because the AR-10 is a larger rifle, it uses a larger caliber of ammunition. This is to make the best use of the longer platform construction, and the glass needed to hit the target accurately needs to be of better quality and more significant in size.
If you have already purchased an AR-10, what sight you use will depend on how good your AR is and how flexible a shooter you can be. We recommend that the scope needs to have a bell size of at least 40mm. This size of scope will collect enough light and keep a wide field of view even with close-range shooting. This also allows for low-light shooting scenarios, such as the early morning or late evening.
The .308 is the baseline round that needs to be considered when choosing a scope. The scope needs to have extra elevation adjustment in MRADS or MOA clicks, keeping in mind the sub-tension on the scope.
If faster tactical-type shooting is what you are doing, pre-calculation of mil dots and hash-marks will need to be done to correct the elevation requirements when dialing in a long-distance shot.
Also, keep scope tube size in mind. The military has mostly used the 30mm tube, but this size is quickly becoming popular in the sports market because they simply work well. A large tube body lets the shooter adjust for more elevation, and they also have parts that are built more solidly, making them a little more indestructible than a smaller tube size.
There is a full receiver rail on the AR-10, so it can fit the bigger 30mm rings and bases needed with the help of an elevator kit, which is usually needed on the AR system.
Choosing The Right Scope For Your AR-10
In your selection of scope for your AR-10, think about how you are using your AR and how you might use it in the future. For example, it is common to make a 1000 yard shot, and it is not unrealistic to make a 1200 yard shot, and professionals have even made a 1500 yard shot with 7.62 NATO Ammo.
When at the store looking at scopes, it is best to get experience with the scope you want to buy, and not just look through it at the store. Looking through it outside, in a natural environment, is the best way to determine if the scope is the right one for you and your weapon. Having the ability to try it out is even better!