Ins and Outs of Scopes for AR-10: Expert Insights

The AR-10 variant on the AR-15 platform is becoming more and more popular with large-caliber shooters. The AR-10 chambered in .308 is an extremely versatile gun with the ability to take any game normally hunted in North America. Like any other hunting rifle, an AR-10 benefits from being paired with high-quality optics.

Choosing the best scope for your AR-10 rifle is much like choosing a scope for any other high-caliber rifle. You must understand your expectations and your intended use of the rifle and scope. Of course, you want to consider the quality of the construction and the clarity of the optics. Last but not least, you should consider your budget for a scope for your rifle.

In due time, I will discuss my criteria for choosing the scopes on this list of the best scopes for an AR-10 rifle. I want to get right to the heart of the matter and look at my picks for the best scopes of an AR-10 rifle platform.

Best Overall AR-10 Scope – Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25X56 FFP Riflescope

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25x56 First Focal Plane Riflescopes

The Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25X56 FFP riflescope tops my list as the best overall choice for a traditional optical scope for your AR-10 rifle. It is no secret that I am a huge Vortex Optics fan. I try not to let that bias my choices when I am making these lists. However, Vortex Optics consistently ranks high on my list for many reasons, not the least of which is the features Vortex Optics includes.


Vortex Optics offers a rich array of features with all of their riflescopes. The Strike Eagle line is no exception and makes this one of the best values for the money in the scope market.

  • 5-25X magnification lets you stretch your AR-10 to its limits while maintaining the clarity and crispness of the target image and the reticle.
  • A huge 56mm objective lens creates a wide field of view even at extreme magnification and ranges.
  • Vortex Optics uses XD Lens Elements made from low dispersion glass for increased resolution and color fidelity
  • All lens surfaces are coated with Vortex Optics proprietary multi-layer coating system to increase light transmission and decrease glare and reflections.
  • The Strike Eagle 5-15X56 is a first focal plane scope that keeps the reticle scale proportional to the riflescope’s magnification.
  • The reticle is glass-etched for precise and sharp reticle images. The reticle is protected between two pieces of glass of long life and trouble-free service.
  • AN illuminated reticle means more time in the field and better reticle images in low-light conditions.
  • The Strike Eagle riflescope also allows for parallax adjustments, reticle focus, and precise elevation and windage adjustments
  • The No Questions Asked warranty from Vortex Optics is one of the best on the market.

You won’t be disappointed with the Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56 FFP rifle scope. For the money it costs, this scope delivers the features and performance of scopes that can often cost 2 or 3 times as much.  

Comments, Pros, and Cons

Surveying other shooters who have purchased a Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25×56 rifle scope reveals why Vortex Optics is one of the most popular scope manufacturers in the US. Comments fall into these categories.

  • We zeroed this scope quickly and easily. The zero-resettable turrets make using this scope in the field a pleasure.
  • This is the highest quality scope for the price I have found. Vortex produces optics that meet every need I have
  • At long range, the ability to adjust parallax and reticle focus quickly and easily without changing position is critical. This scope performs these functions admirably.
  • The Vortex Optics 5-25×56 Strike Eagle has some of the clearest images at high magnification I have found on any scope I have owned.


  • Quality and clarity for the price is above average
  • The 5-25X magnification pairs well with an AR-10 and the .308 cartridge
  • Rugged and reliable design can take the pounding from the recoil of an AR-10
  • The illuminated reticle is quick and easy to use.


  • Requires 34mm rings which may be harder to find
  • Is a bit on the heavy side

If you are looking for a quality rifle scope that will meet the needs of most shooters, don’t overlook the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25×56 riflescope. This cope can go to the field for any game in North America or take you to the range for competitive long-distance shooting. This Vortex Optics scope is an excellent choice for an all-around scope for most AR-10 shooters.

Last update on 2022-02-26 at 14:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Runner-Up Best Overall AR-10 Riflescope – Riton Optics X5 Conquer 5-25X50 MOA Riflescope

Riton Optics X5 Conquer 5-25x50 MOA

Riton Optics is a relative newcomer to the riflescope markets. However, in the short time they have been producing rifle optics for the US shooter, this company has developed a remarkable reputation for quality and performance. I find myself looking at Riton almost as much as Vortex when recommending rifle scopes. A quick look at the features included with Riton scopes explains why this happens.


Riton Optics is mid-range in the riflescope price comparison. However, like some of their competitors, they understand that features and scope performance are the real indicators for most experienced shooters. Riton Optics doesn’t miss much in these areas.

  • Riton equips the Conquer 5-25X rifle scope with a first focal plane reticle making the reticle remain proportional to the magnification you select.
  • AN integrated fast throw lever on the magnification ring allows quick adjustments without changing your shooting position.
  • Riton has rethought the zero stop turret with their proprietary R5 turret design.
  • AN illuminated reticle with six illumination levels means better sight acquisition and faster target times.
  • Riton Optics are assembled in an EP Level clean room environment that ensures the clearest optical transmission possible
  • All Riton scopes are nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed to make them waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof.
  • Ritons warranty is among the best available

To be honest, we can’t tell much difference between the Vortex Sticke Eagle and the Riton Conquer riflescopes. The fact that the Riton riflescopes street price is a bit less than the Vortex Optics is a huge plus. However, Riton is still new enough in the market that reliable user experience is lacking. This keeps the Riton scope in the runner-up position on our list.

Comments, Pros, and Cons

There aren’t a lot of comments or complaints about Riton Optics products to find. This could be due to a couple of reasons. These optics are so new that there isn’t a huge user base. The other is that Riton products don’t have problems that elicit many negative comments. These are the general type of comments we found on the internet in either case.

  • I was expecting a good middle-of-the-road scope. What I received exceeded my expectations greatly. For the money, these Riton riflescopes are amazing.
  • I never expected to find a rifle scope in this price range with these kinds of features.
  • The glass in this Riton scope is as good as any of the much more expensive scopes I own.
  • Great low-light performance for such a high magnification scope.


  • Clear optical performance with good low light capabilities
  • The illuminated reticle is easy to see in almost all light conditions
  • USA company owned by military vets and law enforcement personnel
  • Great warranty and customer service


  • Requires 34 mm rings
  • A bit on the heavy side

I may be in the market for a new optic in the next few months, and Riton is high on my list of riflescopes to consider. The quality is unsurpassed, and the customer service is, by all accounts, without flaw.

Last update on 2022-02-26 at 14:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Ultimate No-Holds-Barred AR-10 Rifle Scope – Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 Riflescope

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope

If price is no object and quality is the goal, you can rarely do better than a Leupold Rifle Scope. A long reputation for the highest quality optical glass and precision engineering marks Leupold as a premier manufacturer of riflescopes. The Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 riflescope keeps the tradition alive.

The 5HD series of Leupold riflescopes is undoubtedly at the top of the pyramid when it comes to long-range scopes. Many competition and extreme range hunters depend on these Leupold scopes to ensure success on the range or in the field. You get what you pay for with Leupold with features you may not expect.


Leupold sets the standards for features on their optics products. Many riflescope manufacturers strive to emulate what Leupold delivers consistently. Among these features, the following are standard on Leupold 5HD scopes.

  • 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof construction backed by the Leupold Lifetime Guarantee.
  • These scopes come with Leupold M1C3 turrets that offer 1/4MOA per click adjustments and three revolutions of travel.
  • Push-button zero locks on the turrets and a turret revolution counter make adjustments and return to zero easy and intuitive.
  • First focal plane reticle placement retains its relationship to your target as you increase or decrease magnification. No more estimating range and windage elements when aiming.
  • Reticle illumination is managed by the Twilight-Maz HD system to ensure an additional 30 minutes of shooting light, maximum glare reduction and edge to edge lens clarity
  • 3.6 inch to 3.8-inch eye relief makes mounting these scopes on an AR-10 platform easy
  • Built to withstand the grueling recoil of high-caliber rifles means a lifetime of shooting without worries.

If your hunting or target shooting needs are extreme or you need a professional level rifle optic, Leupold is a list topper. These scopes are expensive, but the performance and quality live up to the price.

Comments, Pros, and Cons

There is no lack of comments, testimonials, and reviews on these Leupold scopes. Even with the great number of responses available on the internet, it is often difficult to find negative attention toward the Leupold 5HD scope series. Most of the comments we found during our survey fall into these categories.

  • The clarity of the MK5 scopes is unbelievable. The quality of the image surpasses most other scopes in this price range.
  • The adjustments are clean, quick, and smooth. Even the turret clicks are crips and detectable without taking my eye off the target.
  • The MK 5HD is clear from edge to edge even at high magnification. No fuzzing out or lessening of the light transmission.
  • The lock Turrets are a god-send when packing a rifle into extreme or harsh hunting locations.


  • Extremely high-quality optics
  • Best low-light performance available
  • Rugged and tough construction
  • Designed, machined and assembled in the US


  • The price is very high
  • The illumination on the reticle may not be up to some shooters standards

It is hard for many hunters and shooters to justify a scope that costs more than the rifle. However, many shooters acknowledge that spending this kind of money has paid itself back under some extreme conditions. An AR-10 will certainly use the quality, performance, and features you get with this Leupold MK 5HD rifle scope.

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope

  • Leupold Model #176449 – Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm with Illume, Front Focal PR-1 MOA reticle and Matte…
  • 100% Waterproof, fog proof, shockproof, and backed by Leupold’ s lifetime

Last update on 2022-02-26 at 13:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Budget AR-10 Scope – Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 6-24X50 FFP Riflescope

Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24X50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes

If you are on a budget and aren’t familiar with Athlon Optics, you are missing a big bet in your scope selection list. Athlon has been quietly building a reputation for providing quality optics at a budget price. Athlon brings an impressive list of features to every riflescope in their line. Last year, Alton came to my attention as I was finishing a rifle build project.

I assembled an AR-15 for long-range shooting. The rifle was built from spare parts that I had lying around my shop and is a true Frankengun. The rifle has a 24-inch barrel with a 1 in 7 twist. It puts 66 to 77-grain bullets downrange effectively and accurately. I looked for an inexpensive optic for this rifle when I came across Athlon. I got more than I paid for and have been extremely pleased with this scope.


I was expecting a bare-bones long-range scope when I ordered the Athlon. I knew what was promised in the advertisement but also understood online retailing. To my surprise, I got more features than I expected.

  • 0.1 mil per click with 18 mils of total adjustment travel.
  • Parallax adjustment from 10 yards to infinity
  • The first focal plane reticle maintains its relationship to the target no matter the chosen magnification.
  • All the optics are fully multi-coated for the highest levels of light transmission for a brighter image.
  • The Athlon precision zero-stop system will lock down your zero position allowing dial-back to zero easily and quickly.
  • Argon purged construction keeps this Athlon scope fog proof in the worst conditions; Athlon construction is waterproof and shockproof.
  • The APMR FFP IR MIL reticles are precision etched to give the highest mid to long-range performance.

Comments, Pros, and Cons

Overall, Athlon scopes receive high marks in the comments and ratings from online sources. From my own experience, I can safely say that my Athlon scope performs better than much more expensive scopes in my collection. Comments about these Athlon scopes typically mention these items.

  • This Athlon scope performs as well as the many more expensive scopes in my gun safe. For a budget scope, the Athlon performs like a professional.
  • I was a little leary about such a low price scope on ky .308, but after several hundred rounds, this scope holds zero and performs like a champ.
  • The clarity and brightness of the glass are good. It won’t compare to much higher-priced riflescopes, but it is more than enough for the average shooter.
  • The Athlon scope is easy to adjust for windage, elevation and parallax. With a little practice, you can make adjustments without taking your eyes off your target.


  • Good quality scope for the price
  • Excellent adjustments
  • The return to zero feature is well-engineered and works well
  • For the price, this is a great scope for the occasional long-range shooter


  • The quality of the glass won’t approach more expensive scopes
  • Some shooters find the reticle hard to read and use at high magnifications.

I am not unfamiliar with budget issues and my shooting hobbies. I understand the need to find the best bang for the buck in any shooting accessory. In my opinion, if you need a long-range budget scope for your AR-10, this Athlon scope is well worth a look and may fill your needs.

Last update on 2022-02-26 at 14:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Scoped AR-10’s – Getting the Best Results

AR-10 platforms are more and more popular for target and hunting. No matter which you pursue, matching your expectations, your rifle’s characteristics and budget are the primary considerations for most shooters. Our choices for scopes for your AR-10 should provide a good starting point in the search for your AR-10 scope.

Dennis Howard

A life long hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, after surviving a devastating tornado in his home town, he saw the effects on people’s lives as they struggled to cope. He built his first bugout bag a few weeks later and has been a dedicated prepper/survivalist since that time. After a career as a fireman, Dennis opened a retail store (FFL approved) catering to the military, law enforcement, and like-minded individuals. The store built their own AR platforms. Furthermore, Dennis was also an NRA instructor in both long gun and handgun as well as a certified range safety officer. Read his full interview here.

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