Choosing a scope for your AR 15 can be a challenge. There are more brands out there, as well as more models. Some of them appear to have identical features, while others have a series of particularities. The price will also come in as a serious consideration. So, what is the best scope for AR 15 under $100?
The answer is quite broad and depends on a series of different aspects. Instead, you should ask yourself about the best scope in your price range. Or maybe find out what the best scope is based on your actual necessities.
It is worth noting that there is no such thing as a perfect scope. There is no such thing as a scope that will be best for everything. Some scopes are ideal for aiming at shooting at 100 yards, while others are more suitable for 500 yards.
Do you compete in events? Do you kill gophers to train? Are you about to go on a four-day hunting trip with your tent? How about an army scope? Different needs come with different requirements, yet some scopes can still make the difference.
What to look for when getting a new scope for AR 15 under $100?
Knowing what to look for in a scope for your AR will lead you in the right direction.
Consider the quality standards
No matter what type you need or what you need it for, it is highly recommended to opt for a scope designed by a popular manufacturer with a good reputation in the industry. Moreover, you get what you pay for – it does apply in this field because quality scopes will cost a lot more than a cheap useless design.
It does not mean that you have to spend $1,000 to get a quality scope. Instead, you simply have to assess your needs, decide what kind of performance you require, and find the best rapport for price and quality – value for money.
Check the size
There are no general rules when it comes to the size and weight of your scope. But then, it is worth noting that the AR 15 was designed to be lightweight and flexible. It has a compact built that makes handling a breeze.
As a general rule of thumb, you should follow the same standards for your scope. You do not want a bulky scope that will ruin the balance of your rifle, do you? It is all about making sense, but at the end of the day, there are no restrictions.
Try to figure out its durability
Scopes designed for anything else than practicing will require a rugged design. They will be exposed to wear and tear. They will take a good beating out there, regardless of how careful you are. Think about the rapid firing that may occur at times too.
All these uses might affect the zero point, hence the necessity of getting a scope that can maintain its point. At this level, you do not have to be a genius to realize that metallic components or other durable materials are much better than plain plastic.
A few must-have features
If you need a scope for tactical uses or random hunting sessions, you will have to deal with moving targets. Some of them will barely move until your location is disclosed, while others will run like there is no tomorrow. Small details make the difference then.
You must acquire your target at more distances, but you also need to keep an eye on it. From this point of view, a red dot sight feature is the main necessity. At the same time, holographic sights can also make a difference in such applications.
If shooting at a long-range is your main priority, immediate target acquisition is no longer vital for a successful adventure. In this case, minimal or moderate magnification should become your top considerations.
Keep an eye on its resistance to elements
Unless you only go hunting on hot sunny days or you practice in a covered area, your scope will deal with all kinds of weather conditions. Some scopes come with incorporated electronic circuits, meaning they require even more care.
There are a few different ways to look after them, but most importantly, make sure you invest in a scope that is both waterproof and fog proof. Such scopes come with a minus, though. If they have electronic circuits, they also require some power – usually, this source consists of one or more batteries. In other words, the available power is likely to become a concern too.
Become familiar with the main types of scopes
There are three general types of scopes out there:
- Reflex sights – known as the red dot scopes
- Holographic sights – a better range and a better field of view, but not too many brands or products out there
- Riflescopes – they can have fixed or variable magnification
Now that you know what could make the difference when hunting the best scope for AR 15 under $100, what are the top-rated products out there?
The best scope for AR 15 under $100
1. UTG 3-9X32 – Probably the most cost-efficient scope for your rifle
UTG’s best scope for AR 15 under $100 is less likely to disappoint. Light transmission is literally flawless, mostly because of the tube – one inch – and emerald coating. It also features high-quality turrets and 1/4 MOA per click adjustments.
The turrets are resettable, but they also allow great zero locking. It may look sophisticated and overwhelming at first, but it is pretty intuitive as you get used to it. Furthermore, it brings in some features that you can normally find in higher-end units.
- Mil-dot reticle – The scope provides excellent aiming performance;
- Adjustable objective – The high degree of adjustability ensures quality aiming from three yards to infinity;
- Dual illumination – You get red and green illumination for all kinds of applications, regardless of the weather or lighting conditions;
- Complete package – The scope comes with a 2″ sunshade, flip-open lens caps and rings that can be detached in seconds;
- Large field of view – You get great range, but also a good field of view for a better idea;
- True strength platform – The build is filled with nitrogen and perfectly sealed;
- Durable – The scope is rainproof, shockproof and fog proof;
- Eye relief – Eye relief provides superior CQB mission;
- Heavier than average – At just under 14 ounces, it is heavier than other units in this segment;
Who is it for?
UTG’s scope is suitable for hunters with all levels of experience – from beginners who need a quality scope to experienced users who need a reliable backup to count on. It makes a great choice for hunting and tactical uses.
2. MidTen Riflescope Combo 4-12x50EG – A scope with great features that you normally find in high-end units
MidTen is not the most popular name on the market, but its scopes can definitely stand out in the crowd. This unit is extremely cost-efficient and brings in a few features that you are less likely to find in too many alternatives in this range.
It is available in one design only – matte black finish. In other words, it will not reflect any light, so it will not compromise your hiding spot. It features superior eye relief, and surprisingly for this segment, it comes with unlimited brightness control.
- Durable design – The scope is shockproof and rainproof so that it can withstand a good beating and most weather conditions;
- Great light transmission – The unit comes with multiple layers of coating for a high light transmission;
- Magnification – The magnification ranges between 4x and 12x;
- Field of view – The 50mm objective diameter ensures an impressive field of view of 10′ to 27′ at 100 yards.
- Wide field of view – The wide field of view and the tubeless design ensures you are less likely to miss.
- Great accuracy – The unit is dual illuminated and features more brightness levels, four different types of dots and a green laser sight that can be removed;
- Highly adjustable – The characteristics of this scope ensures good flexibility to your eyes;
- Easy mounting – Even a newbie can mount this scope with its built-in rail;
- Power concerns – Make sure you always have good batteries on yourself;
Who is it for?
This scope is highly recommended for pretty much any kind of outdoor activity. The skill makes the difference after a while – not the brand. Given its solid construction and durability, this model is suitable for both amateurs and experts. Its value for money makes it suitable for those shopping on a budget too.
3. Pinty Rifle Scope 3-9×32 – A great multifunction tool that can support you in more applications
You cannot really go wrong with Pinty, regardless of what type of scope you want. This model is by far the best scope for AR under $100. You can find more expensive and professional alternatives, but this one brings in some great features that can easily make the difference in this price range.
To some, this is only a scope. To others, it is a multifunction tool. Pinty refers to its scope as a four in one tool – you can use it as a rangefinder too. You can also use the green laser sight for various applications, not to mention the red or green dot sight for a great view over everything you need to see.
- Magnification power – The scope will provide superior magnification capabilities from 3x to 9x;
- Illumination and adjustments – The illumination goes in green or red, while brightness can be adjusted over five different levels;
- Dot sight – The brightness control for the dot sight is unlimited, not to mention the four reticle patterns for it;
- Functionality – The functionality underlines a red or green dot reflex sight with a bottom switch for perfect accuracy;
- Multiple uses – The scope can be used with multiple purposes, mostly related to hunting;
- Eye relief – The eye relief is unlimited, while the image comes with a high resolution and a wide field of view;
- Easy to mount – You do not have to be an expert to mount this scope to any 22/11 millimeter rail;
- Durable – The scope has multiple layers of coating, nitrogen filling and O ring sealing for resistance to water and fog;
Confusing – Some of the functionality of this scope may take a while to get used to, while the manual of instructions will come in handy when in need;
Who is it for?
Whether you are a newbie looking for a sophisticated scope that anyone can mount to a rifle or you are an expert interested in a great backup for relaxation shooting, this scope is great for any level of experience.
4. Monstrum 1-4×20 – A quality multifunction tool with lots of flexibility and adjustability
Monstrum’s best scope for AR 15 under $100 is built to impress and last for ages. It weighs 11 ounces – way lighter than most of its competition, so it will not put any pressure on your rifle. Given its lightweight profile, it will not affect the balance of your gun.
Targeting will be a piece of cake. You can use the magnification 1x to 4x. You can aim both close and id range. The objective diameter measures 20mm, while the eye relief ranges between 3.5 and 3.8 inches. Practically, this is the ideal scope if you want something in the middle range that will last.
- Multiple uses – While designed for aiming, the scope can also be used as a rangefinder with amazing results;
- Illumination – The illumination is lever controlled and goes in both green and red, as well as multiple levels of brightness;
- Flexible mount – The package includes an offset cantilever mount, which provides a few inches of extension;
- Available in more colors – You can purchase the scope in black or flat dark earth, which is a nuance of light gray;
- Excellent eye relief – The eye relief feature is one of the most useful options, especially during long-lasting hunting trips;
- Great protection – The lifespan can be improved by the rubberized flip-up lens covers, which keep abrasion and dust away;
- Value for money – Unsurprisingly for some, this scope provides excellent value for money;
- Easy to adjust – The magnification lever will make adjustments a breeze;
- Incomplete manual – The manual of instructions lacks details for newbies;
Who is it for?
Monstrum’s scope is ideal for all kinds of tactical applications. While not necessarily the best option for an expert, it is excellent for beginners and intermediate users who want value for money. When used by a beginner, it works wonders regardless of the application.
5. XopingABC Rifle Scope Combo C4-12x50EG – Excellent value for money and a tool that will work wonders regardless of the user’s experience
This might be the best scope for AR 15 under $100 if you do not feel like spending too much. Moreover, it comes with the must-have features for scope and no room for fancy bells and whistles that only add to the price.
The built-in rail is one of its strongest points. Practically, it will mount to any 22-millimeter rail, but more importantly, you can hook up all kinds of extra accessories on its own rail, whether you want a flashlight or a new laser.
- Quality build – The scope is shockproof, fog proof and waterproof;
- Adjustability – The resettable windage and elevation adjustments can be made with your fingertips in 1/4″ increments;
- Magnification – The magnification ranges between 4x and 12x, so it can aim both short and long-distance;
- Easy mounting – There is no experience needed to mount this scope, while its own rail makes it excellent for extras;
- Great views in dark environments – The red and green illumination allows excellent views over five levels;
- Fast focus – The target is focused before you even realize it;
- Wide field of view – The field of view is wide because of the tubeless holographic sight with 33-millimeter reflex lens aperture;
- Integrated rail – The built-in rail leaves room for lots of accessories, but they must be bought separately;
- No batteries – You have to purchase batteries yourself;
Who is it for?
This scope is suitable for intermediate and advanced hunters, but it also represents a solid upgrade for entry-level amateurs.
The bottom line, choosing the best scope for AR 15 under $100 is a matter of education and a little research. Make sure you know exactly what you are expecting from a scope before starting your homework.
Once you have your needs assessed, it is time to find out what to look for in a scope for your rifle, but also browse the top-rated products on the market. If they work for thousands of people, they are likely to work for you too.
The final decision depends on your expectations and needs. The above-mentioned products are quite general, and they will work for most hunters, regardless of their experience.