Long Range AR-15 Scopes

The AR15 isn’t really a long range rifle, but if you want to push the limits of the 5.56 (.223) round, then you’ll need a great scope.  Now you’ve heard me talk about “good scopes at low prices”, but I always state there are exceptions to that concept.  One exception is when lives depend on your tools.  When lives are on the line, don’t trust them to a $200 scope.  Low price scopes are great for plinking and general shooting, but they’re not made for combat.  Another exception is long range shooting.  Low price scopes just won’t do the job at long range.  So what’s “long range” with the AR-15?

Now I know some of you “experts” out there will scoff and this, but I consider long range for the AR15 to be anything from 300 to 600 yards.  Before you can shoot a target that far away, you need to be able to see the target.  I know that’s stating the obvious, but seeing the target is your first consideration in long range shooting.  This brings us back to my first question when talking about rifle scopes – What are you shooting at?  It all comes down to what you are shooting at.  If you are shooting terrorists at 400 yards, a 4x Trijicon ACOG will do the job.  If you’re shooting prairie dogs or 6 inch steel plates, you want something with a lot more magnification.

We’re going to focus more on the latter – precision shooting on small targets.  One of the main factors in the price of a scope is the quality of the lenses.  For long range shooting, you want quality glass.  At 100 yards, under normal shooting conditions, a “good” quality scope will suffice.  But the farther you extend the range, the better quality lenses you’ll need to see the target.  You need to jump up to the “better” and “best” categories of scopes for long range shooting.


It goes without saying that any long range scope will work well for your precision AR, but I’m eliminating some of the ultra high dollar scopes from this post.  Obviously they are great options if you want to spend the money on them for a gun that you’re shooting out to 600 yards… or maybe even 1000 yards.  Don’t get bent out of shape because I have not included the $2000 and up scopes out there.

Ok, so here we go…

Bushnell Elite Tactical LRTS 4.5-18×44

Bushnell Elite Tactical LRTS 4.5-18x44

The Bushnell Elite Tactical scopes have proven their value and are some of the most sought after precision rifle scopes on the market.  This model is new for 2017 and is priced around $1400.  It features the new G3 grid-scale reticle and the 4.5-18x magnification should be perfect for an AR type rifle.

Vortex Viper PST 5-25×50 Gen 2

This scope is also new for 2017.  Retail price is showing $1399 so you should be able to find it for less online.

Athlon Ares BTR 4.5-27×50

Athlon Ares 4.5-27x50

Athlon is making a name for themselves in the long range shooting community.  They have a number of great scopes out that offer everything a precision shooter wants at an affordable price.  This new Ares BTR scope is destined to be one of the best selling scopes on the market.  Price at only $849.99, you simply can’t beat this scope.  The glass is crystal clear and it features MIL or MOA grid scale reticle with Zero Stop and locking turrets.

Athlon Helos BTR 6-24×50

Athlon Helos BTR 6-24x50

Priced at only $569.99, this scope is going to be found on top of a lot of precision AR rifles.  Choose between a grid scale MIL or MOA reticle that will put you on target out as far as you can shoot your AR.  Like all Athlon scopes, you just won’t believe how clear it is and how well it performs for the price you pay.

Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50

Athlon Argos BTR 6-24x50

The main difference between the Helos BTR and the Argos BTR is the turret system.  The Helos has an upgraded turret with locking dials.  I couldn’t believe this scope when I looked through it.  Most low priced scopes get blurry at high magnification, but not Athlon.  This scope is still crystal clear at 24x.  When you want to reach out to long range with your AR, and don’t have a fortune to spend on a scope, this Athlon is the obvious choice to do the job!  At only $369.99, there’s nothing like it!

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