The AR 10 rifle is a powerful weapon that can be used for different shooting applications. This rife uses different calibers, including the .308 caliber, which we will be reviewing in this article. Whatever the caliber type, the rifle would need high-quality optics to achieve long-range shooting accuracy. The scopes you will use should provide you with an accurate image of your target, especially if you are in a shit-hits-the-fan situation (SHTF).
So, if you’ve found this page, it means your search for the Best Tactical Scope for AR-10 308 SHTF is over. We know how frustrating this search can be because there are too many tactical scopes out there with different capabilities that it’s natural to become frustrated and confused when choosing.
Well, not to worry; we’ve got you covered. There will be no more confusion or scratching of the head after reading this scope review. After extensive study, we have compiled a review of the best ar 10 scope that you may finally select for your AR 10 rifle.
In addition, you’ll find some factors that should be considered before purchasing AR 10 rifle scope. These factors would serve as a checklist to help you understand the aspects to consider when choosing a scope.
Here are our top picks for the best tactical scope for ar-10 308 SHTF;
What Should You Consider Before Purchasing AR 10 Scope
Every hunting rifle or target shooting rifle owner wishes to improve their long range shooting accuracy. Using an optic is the best way to achieve this. There are so many scopes to choose from on the market, and deciding which one best meets your demands and budget can be a challenge. I’ll go over some things you should consider or ask yourself before buying a sight for your Rifle so that you can make the best choice!
When looking for the finest AR-10 optics, I examine the following variables;
This is the most important factor. You need to evaluate your rifle’s principal purpose and which characteristics work best for this style of shooting. If you want to use your AR-10 mostly as a hunting rifle, a variable magnification scope might not be the greatest option because you would need to make changes every time you alter your target distance. But, if you’re searching for something more adaptable, such as all-purpose optics, or you’re just getting started with long range shooting, a variable magnification scope would be ideal for you!
You’re surely aware that the modified AR 10 version is such a strong and accurate weapon, and it is used as a sniper rifle in the military. The good news is that you can comfortably fire up to 200 yards without the use of a scope, but you will require a scope for medium-range or long-range shooting.
Anything less than 200 yards is considered short-range, anything between 200 to 400 yards is considered medium-range, and distance greater than 400 yards is considered long-range.
Now I believe you can choose your shooting range.
Don’t just look at the magnification numbers since they mean nothing if you are not sure of the magnification you need to use.
If you enjoy shooting at close range;
To begin with, the AR 10 is not designed for close-range shots. However, if you wish to fire at close range, say less than 200 yards, a red dot sight is ideal because of its precision and clarity, which can help you obtain more precise shots. I recommend a 1X – 4X magnification for close-range.
If you enjoy shooting at medium range
If you fire between 200 – 400 yards, a scope is the greatest option since it has better magnification and helps you see clearly. I would propose a 5x – 10x magnification range for mid-range applications.
If you enjoy long-range shooting
A long-range optic can be used to fire beyond 400 yards. You may also pick a magnification range of between 10x and 25x. However, keep in mind that high magnification isn’t always the ideal option.
This is because the rifle’s recoil might be an issue while firing at high magnification, resulting in missed shots. Practice is, therefore, essential if you wish to strike your target from a greater distance. AR-10s are meant for quick, intermediate shooting. As a result, you’ll need to get optics that can handle recoil while still being lightweight.
Furthermore, as an intermediate shooting rifle, the sight for AR 10 can have a magnification of up to 20X. You should not exceed 25x magnification with this scope.
Tactical Scope Buying Guide For AR-10 308
Because the AR-10 with 308 calibers is a military-grade weapon, tactical specialized optics are required. Long-range shooting requires tough and flexible optics for precision and accuracy. However, these qualities are not sufficient; there are additional significant things to consider when purchasing a riflescope; they include:
Simply having a variable magnification or large lens diameter does not ensure that the scopes will work optimally. It’s critical, especially if you’re utilizing military standards like AR-10 that the glass can transmit enough light to produce clear images.
As a result, while purchasing the scope, consider if the glasses are fully multi-coated or not. A fully multi-coated lens allows enough light transmission.
It makes no difference whether you are using the scope in the rain or in a range; your AR 10 rifle with 308 calibers must be built of high-quality materials like Aircraft-grade Aluminum.
Otherwise, the scope will be at risk of being destroyed in a severe or rough environment. Besides, who wants to see their hard-earned money wasted due to low quality or durability?
Weight is another key thing to consider when purchasing scopes. Because of the internal components employed, mounting a hefty scope on a rifle might be fairly difficult. So, if possible, try to get a lightweight sight for your 308 rifles.
When shopping for scopes for long-range precision rifles, consider the magnification range. Whichever scope you pick, the magnification should be in the mid to high range.
To change the windage and elevation, two types of measuring units are often utilized. The first is the MOA method; if your scope uses the MOA method, your turret measurement will be in minutes of angle. The MIL or Milliradians system is used to adjust turrets in other scopes.
Both devices are simple to operate; it is only a matter of personal taste.
You may pick between mil-dot reticles and BDC reticles for your long-range shooting. Both are compatible with AR-10s. However, it is preferable if the scope has an illuminated reticle to enhance visibility in low-light circumstances.
SFP vs. FFP
The scope’s reticle can be positioned in either the first or second focal plane reticle. If set to FFP, the reticle size will grow in proportion to the magnification. As a result, it is a particularly useful feature for long-range rifles since it allows for greater flexibility in aiming at varied ranges.
In contrast, in a second focal plane scope, the reticle’s size does not change with magnification.
Read more about FFP and SFP
This is the point at which light enters your scope. As a result, a bigger objective lens is critical for long-range rifles since it mostly influences the amount of brightness and clarity you will obtain from the scope.
In high-powered rifles such as the AR 10, you need a considerable amount of eye relief. It will protect your eyes from injury in high-recoil conditions.
Some scopes may turn out to be duds; therefore, a guarantee and a reasonable return window may assist in safeguarding your purchase and your wallet. Most scopes come with a limited lifetime guarantee.
Best Tactical Scope for AR-10 308 SHTF
1. Vortex Optics Viper
Vortex Optics has repeatedly demonstrated its expertise when it comes to manufacturing good optics. The first generation, or Viper PST I scope, was already an excellent rifle scope; however, Vortex decided to design the second generation, which improves on everything that is present in Gen I, to become the best AR 10 scope in the market.
This Vortex Viper model has a 2x to 10x magnification range and a 32mm objective lens diameter that makes it suitable for short, medium, and some long-distance shooting — albeit the reticle in the scope when at its lowest magnification may be too small for certain shooters. When you look through the scope, you find illuminated reticles, so you should not have trouble aiming at a target.
The PST Gen II scope is a significant improvement over the Gen I scope, with considerably improved turrets and glass. The first generation has a poor glass, something the Gen II does not have.
The Gen II scope employs extra-low-dispersion glasses, which improves color accuracy and resolution. A protective layer also covers the lens and protects it from dirt and scratches.
The Gen II Viper PST (unlike the Gen I) comes with knobs that ensure true zero stops. The laser-etched dials allow shooters to adjust the elevation, windage, illumination, and parallax. The scopes have reticle focus rings and magnification adjustment rings that are located close to the eyepiece.
Although this is an excellent lens, it is a bulky lens too. The Viper PST scope is constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum, and it is extremely durable, although heavy and bulky. It can be exhausting to carry it on hunting expeditions because it weighs about 26 ounces. Adding this weight to your AR 10 rifle would be a great burden to bear. But if you’re not concerned about weight, you shouldn’t bother about the quality of this scope because with weight comes excellence. This scope is great for both hunting and recreational shooting.
Is a sunshade included in the Vortex Optics Viper Gen II scope?
Yes. A screw-on sunshade is provided with this scope. It also includes end caps.
Is the reticle visible on the Viper Gen II scope?
The reticle size changes based on the magnification setting. The reticle is really small at the minimum magnification but not difficult to see. The reticle appears larger and visible at maximum magnification.
Are the reticles of the Viper Gen II illuminated?
Yes. In low-light circumstances, the illuminated reticle is easy to discern.
What distinguishes the Vortex Viper Gen II from Gen I?
Overall, the Gen II scope is superior. Not only does it have superior glass, but it also has reduced parallax. In addition, the Gen II boasts a true zero stop and better, sharper turrets than the Gen I
Is the lens water-resistant?
Despite having anti-glare coatings, the lenses in the Viper scopes are not hydrophobic. They are, however, fog proof and waterproof.
2. Trijicon VCOG 1-6x24mm
Let’s move to the next best scope for ar 10 shooting. The Trijicon VCOG is a great scope for ar 10 rifles with the 308 calibers, but it is a very expensive scope. However, as you would expect, this sight is so perfect and one of the best tactical scope for AR-10 shooting.
This scope is ideal for both military and civilians because of its 1-6x magnification. Civilians may use this sight to shoot close and medium-range targets, while the military will appreciate its ability to swiftly acquire extremely close targets. Some military shooters think that this 1-6x scope will soon become the norm on the battlefield.
This Trijicon VCOG optic has a fairly simple construction that should not be mistaken as a delicate feature; it is composed of 7075 aluminum and is quite durable. It has a screw-mount mechanism at the base that connects to the rail on the rifle. Quick-detach systems are also available.
The glass on this scope is nice, but it needs a lithium battery to power or illuminates the reticles. The Trijicon scope is waterproof to about 20 meters and includes anti-fog technology, so you can use it in dry and rainy circumstances. It is a first focal plane optic, which enlarges the reticle when magnification is increased, allowing for faster and more precise shooting than SFP optics. The disadvantage is that when you zoom in, the crosshair becomes bigger than expected. A small game animal will be difficult to see at high magnification.
That, however, should not be a barrier. This sight excels in close to medium-range engagements and should not be utilized to shoot targets at 600 meters or more. It is possible but not ideal.
Despite the troublesome crosshair at high magnification settings (which may be adjusted), the optical components are excellent. While it lacks fancy-named technology like Leupold, the twilight visibility is enough. At dusk and dawn, light is intensified.
Aside from being an expensive scope, another potential impediment is weight. It is not as heavy as Vortex Viper but still weighs about 23.2 ounces.
Can this scope be used on AR-15s?
Yes, it is possible. This sight would work on most rifles; however, depending on the bullet grain, you may need to adjust it.
Is it equipped with scope rings?
No, it does not come with scope rings.
3. Leupold Mark 5 HD 3.6-18x44mm Rifle scope
The Leupold Mark 3.6-18x44mm scope is intended to assist you in hitting long-range small game or big game animals with precision.
So, I had the opportunity to put this Leupold scope through a test, and I was quite satisfied with the result. This Leupold model isn’t your typical 308 scope since it weighs 0.90 lbs, which is nearly double what some scopes weigh. You will clearly see the benefit of installing this sight on your rifle, even with its weight.
It is not only overweight, but it is also lengthy, reaching 14.5 inches.
This Leupold scope’s magnification more than compensates for its lack of compactness. The lowest magnification is 3.6X, and the maximum magnification is 18X. With this magnification range, you can sight targets that are up to 600 yards away.
The Leupold Mark 5HD Riflescope is excellent value for money. Don’t be put off by its girth, as it has everything you need to perform accurate and precise long-range shots. This is one of the greatest Leupold scopes for the AR 10.
4. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm
This Primary Arms scope is a reasonably priced multipurpose hunting scope. Although it does not shine in every setting, this 4-14x44mm scope is an adequate all-arounder and a very good buy.
The scope isn’t particularly a tough one. This isn’t to say it looks like a toy; no, it doesn’t, but it lacks the kind of ruggedness you would find on some other scopes. The scope is still a little durable, but some components are lacking – the lens cover is made of weak plastic and can easily break unless you are exceedingly careful. This isn’t a deal breaker because lens coverings, especially more robust ones, are readily available if you want to buy them separately.
The glass of this Primary Arm is bright and suitable for most shooting applications. Because it doesn’t allow in a lot of light, this scope will not be ideal for shooting at dusk or dawn. Since the lowest magnification of this scope is 4x, objects that are closer will suffer from significant distortion; however, this shouldn’t be a major concern if you won’t be using this sight for close-range targets.
Now that we’ve gotten the bad things out of the way let us get to the good ones and find out why this scope is a wonderful buy.
This scope can withstand some battering despite its lack of toughness. Even after repeated drops, the scope maintains its zero wonderfully.
Exposing the scope to wet conditions does not affect its accuracy — But the ACSS Orion reticle is what makes this scope one of the finest AR 10 tactical scopes. The revolutionary hunting reticle has a fantastic design that allows a shooter to quickly see and precisely aim at any target, no matter the distance.
This scope is a first focal plane scope, and it comes at an affordable price for such an FFP optic. The reticle size changes based on the magnification level, providing greater precision. The reticle is factory calibrated for a range of calibers.
Despite its flaws (which are expected to be seen on such a low-cost device), the Primary Arms scope is a flexible and accurate optic that can compete with scopes that are significantly more costly. Although it lacks some of the features and fancy adjustments seen in other scopes, it’s still a fantastic and extremely inexpensive FFP scope that I would recommend to anybody.
Is a sunshade included with this Primary Arms scope?
Regrettably, it doesn’t have one. However, matching sunshades can be purchased from Primary Arms.
Is this scope’s reticle illuminated?
This specific scope model lacks an illuminated reticle. If you love this scope but want an illuminated one, Primary Arms has an SLX variant with an illuminated reticle.
5. NightForce ATACR 5-25x56mm
NightForce boasts that you’ll never forget the first ever image you viewed through their scope. Are they right? Although I cannot guarantee that you’ll remember them forever, but I can say for a fact that you will get brilliant and clear images when you use one of their scopes.
The glass of this Nightforce scope is amazing, but you must remember that you’ll get what you paid for. This scope allows enough light transmission and provides a very clear target view. The scope may be affected by halos if you do not use a sunshade, so you could always use a sunshade.
This first focal plane reticle optic is worth aiming with. The reticle is visible at all magnification levels, and it does not obscure the target at any magnification, as opposed to other optics. It has an illuminated reticle, and the reticle color may be changed from green to red or black. The reticle may take you some time to get accustomed to initially. Although it is clear, the grid may be too complex when you first use it at lower magnifications. Even so, once you’re used to it, you’ll enjoy it.
During the twilight hours, the visibility of the scope is excellent. Because of the light collection of the optical components and illuminated reticle, acquiring a target in low-light conditions is simple.
The construction quality is likewise excellent – although the scope is somewhat heavy. Quality comes at a cost, and it appears to be a costly one. The weight of this 15.37inches scope is 38 ounces. It adds some weight to your rifle, which may be tiresome — you must decide whether the additional weight is worth it.
The ATACR’s turrets have a crisp feel, and there is a zero-stop feature. You may shoot at whatever range you want without fear because it is very easy to return to zero – returning to zero is as simple as using a button click. It makes no difference where your target is located; if you have the expertise to back these optics up, you will be able to zero in with pinpoint accuracy.
Is this an FFP scope or an SFP scope?
The designation “F1” on the scope denotes that it is an FFP scope.
Is a sunshade included in the NightForce Scope?
Yes. Sunshades are included in this scope.
Is the reticle visible?
Yes, you should be able to see the reticle at all magnifications. However, reading the reticle at a lower magnification may be difficult.
6. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12X40
You will agree with me that the Vortex Diamondback is a great optic for the ar 10 rifle. Not only does the quality exceeds its price, but it is also a multipurpose scope designed to withstand the abuse of being attached to heavy and big caliber rifles, such as hunting rifles. Want to get the most out of your AR 10? Then the Vortex Diamondback is significantly less expensive and would fit your budget.
Less expensive scopes have greater quality control difficulties than the higher-end alternatives. Some Vortex Diamondback scopes may have a poor image or build quality, making them unsuitable for heavy recoil or impacting your zero. The good news is that this scope is protected by Vortex’s VIP guarantee, and any problem with the scope calls for a replacement or repair that will be handled by Vortex.
But what exactly does this scope accomplish correctly? Where do we even begin? The scope features a high magnification between the range of 4x to 12x for long range shots with larger calibers for shooting down small game and big game animals and perhaps bad guys. The scope BDC reticle is straightforward and non-illuminated, featuring hash marks for bullet drop.
A capped turret is an important feature in hunting scopes that protects the turrets’ integrity from exposure to different weather, and it also helps to avoid carelessly shifting the turrets.
If you intend to venture outside the protection of your shooting range, you must use a waterproof scope. Nothing gets in or out of this scope because it is argon-purged and O-ring sealed. Argon is an improvement from nitrogen, which is generally more expensive.
7. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle
This Vortex Strike Eagle scope is intended for advanced, long-range shots with solid accuracy. The reticle in this Vortex scope is glass-etched and offers accurate hold points while being visually clear for improved sighting.
A compact side parallax spinner with built-in illumination turns the 11 brightness settings, and it uses a CR2032 battery to power the lights. Tactical turrets have a zero resettable turret feature with precisely defined adjustment markings that ensure accurate dialing throughout the optic’s adjustment range. The scope has a single-piece 30mm main tube that is built to withstand the impact of recoil from AR 10 rifles when chambered with a 308 caliber.
The Strike Eagle optics is fog proof and waterproof because of the O-ring sealed and hydrogen-purged lens.
Also, it is designed as a Fully multi-coated lens that produces sharp, colorful images, allowing a shooter to see the target clearly.
The parallax-free settings are only possible at a distance of 100 yards.
8. Sig Sauer Romeo5 1X20
We won’t be doing you any good if didn’t include this Best Seller. A highly regarded sight that has been in the market long enough to have its own outstanding track record. This Sig Sauer Romeo5 sight features a 2 MOA red dot. It is not your typical rifle sight for AR 10, but it is a tried-and-true optic that’s ideal for your weapon.
This red dot sight has a fast target acquisition, and it is one of the most economical red dot sight for AR 10. This red dot sight can get the job done quickly, as seen by its high reviews. There are, however, several reports on quality issues. It might be any one of the following things: poor build, difficulty to switch on, or battery just dying out.
So, what is the good news? This Sig Romeo5 sight is backed by the Infinite Guarantee, which includes a 5-year guarantee on electrical components. You can send in the scope if there are any problems, and Sig will provide you with an insured and prepaid shipping label!
However, assuming your optic experience is similar to that of most users that enjoyed their sight, it will allow you to get the dots on your target faster than low-powered variable scopes.
This dot will save battery life by turning itself off when you’re not using it. It is powered by a single CR2032 battery. Picking up or moving your AR-10 is all that is required to get the lights up and running without additional effort or button pushing. The Motion Activated Illumination of this scope is a great feature.
It is designed with an M1913 Picatinny interface for simple attachment to your MSR. The illumination settings have 8 daytime brightness levels and 2 that are suitable with night vision equipment. It is IPX7-rated, so you can leave it in the rain, and it will survive a water depth of 1 meter. We left it in the rain for about an hour, and it was OK.
The Sig Romeo5 is a cheap optic worth considering for self-defense or law enforcement operations.
9. Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4×20
According to Leupold, they introduced the VX-Freedom range of scopes to the market to bring quality, dependability, and longevity to shooters of all types. What they didn’t include was the affordability element. It is one of the more affordable selections in our portfolio, but it is not cheap when it comes to quality control.
Turrets are a little mushy: they are not sharp, there is some slack in the adjustments, and they are prone to quick movement beyond the desired clicks. Is this typical of the VX-Freedom scope? Certainly not. This hasn’t been mentioned as a common complaint, but because we’re in an auditing mode, we’re being extra picky about our scope selections. Leupold acknowledges this flaw and provides a transferable Lifetime Guarantee without the requirement for proof of purchase.
But, as previously stated, it isn’t a mainstream problem, so you would most likely not give turret any attention. Still, on the subject of turrets, they are labeled on top of the dials with number references to 12, but rotations up to 15 MOA.
Remember to remove the caps to view them. The turrets are finger adjustable and are designed to be set and forgotten after you’ve sighted in – which is simple to do in this 1.5-4x low-powered and rapid target acquisition scope.
Given its 9.6 ounces ultra-lightweight, it is a fantastic scope to install on AR 10 rifles. It has a long eye relief in the range of 4.17-3.74 inches, which helps to maintain a safe viewpoint. The Easy-To-Grip selector allows you to zoom faster.
With the Twilight Light Management System, the image quality you’ll get should always meet or exceed Leupold standards – bright, clear, and low light adaptable. It also has scratch-resistant lenses that make images clearer.
But can it withstand the recoil of an AR 10? It has been tested with the punisher, and it can resist three times the recoil of .308. That’s good enough. Is it sufficient for you?
10. EOTech Vudu 1-6×24
This EOTech Vudu optics meets the requirements for red dots. Because LPVOs are so popular on tactical carbines, it is worth noting that the Vudu optics features numerous FFP reticle choices, is built in Japan, and come with a NoBS Warranty.
There are no locking turrets in the Vudu scope, which might be an issue for hunters because it is exposed. Despite the lack of this capability, the turrets have 2 mrad adjustments, a total of 29mrad elevation, and 23mrad windage. They’re just as sharp and tactile as you’d expect.
As an LPVO, it boasts a 1x to 6x magnification that is great for close-range or mid-range shooting. The scope has a large 3.94-3.23inches eye relief. The reticles are in the first focal plane, and they are glass-etched and visible without light. When low light creeps in, the illumination makes it easy to see the dot in the circle.
The SR2 is the best reticle for a AR 10 rifle since it features a BDC drop of up to 600 yards. The SR1 has a mrad reticle.
Given that it is produced in Japan with EOTech specifications, it boasts high-end optics with XC high-density, low-light performance, and anti-reflective coating.
The nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed build makes it waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof to withstand recoil.
It weighs 20.1 oz and is powered by a CR2032 battery. The 30mm main tube, the eyepiece, and the magnification ring are all combined to offer precise focusing. Despite its high price, the Vudu is guaranteed by the NoBS warranty, which is exactly what it sounds like: no BS.
Mike Hardesty is a published freelance gun writer. With dozens of articles and reviews published in Pew Pew Tactical, Snipercountry.com, and TTAG (The Truth About Guns), Mike is considered a firearms expert. His special area of expertise is handguns.
Mike is a long-time shooter. He has been punching paper targets, taking deer and other game and shooting at competitions since about 1975. Other related pursuits include reloading and bullet casting. He currently reloads for over 10 calibers, both handgun and rifle. His reloads, particularly for 9mm, were in great demand during the height of the ammo shortage among family and friends. He donated hundreds of rounds to informal shooting sessions. He was quoted as saying “I do not sell my reloads but I sure will help my guys shoot ’em for free!”. He has a few cherished firearms that he has inherited or otherwise procured — those are his favorites.
He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Indiana State University in 1974-1975.
He’s a firearm experts and is the founder of mhardesty.com.