View Full Version : what scope power for long range AR shooter

05-16-2012, 7:16 PM
What are people using for there long range AR15 rifles? looking for something that will work out to the .223 round limit, but at the same time I use this same AR for hunting.

05-16-2012, 7:22 PM
10x has worked well for me out to 750 yards. 15x wouldn't be too bad either, but as you move up in magnification you'll increasingly shrink your FOV and likely limit your available elevation travel, which becomes really important when you reach the edge of a cartridges performance envelope.

05-16-2012, 7:35 PM
10x works for everything I need it to.

05-16-2012, 7:56 PM
I would go with a 3-9x40 or 4-12x40 if your using it for hunting also. Makes close in shots more acquirable with the advantages of shooting longer ranges.

05-16-2012, 8:02 PM
2.5-10x. More than enough for any .223/5.56 shooting steel out to 800yrds.

05-16-2012, 8:15 PM
A 10 max variable power scope would be ideal and you can go a little higher say 12-15 but I wouldnt go past that in max power IMO. There are many scope companies that make scopes for the .223/5.56 round with marked turret knobs and reticles with bullet drop etc available as well.

I have a Leupold MK4 that I use on my 5.56 and .308 that has a quick detach scope mount that lets me switch between guns without loosing zero as long as I don't forget my dope cards LOL.

05-16-2012, 8:31 PM
No higher than 4X on the low end (preferably 2X-3X) and as high as on the high end as you can find. You'll need the larger field of view at low power for hunting.

Sam .223
05-16-2012, 8:49 PM
i use 3-9x40 ans they work pretty well, on my larger calibur hunting rifls i used 4-16x50.

05-16-2012, 9:06 PM
2.5-10x. More than enough for any .223/5.56 shooting steel out to 800yrds.

What he said.

05-17-2012, 1:55 AM
I use 3-9x40 Burris E1 and stay at 9x magnification for 100-600yds. If I had to do it over I would buy this 10x scope since I never shoot under 9x on the variable power anyway.


05-17-2012, 3:05 AM
2.5-10x. More than enough for any .223/5.56 shooting steel out to 800yrds.


For hunting you need the low end and 10x is plenty for getting out to 600ish yrds. I believe the last time I went 1000 yrd shooting I had my scope at 12x the entire time.

Knife Edge
05-17-2012, 7:36 AM
To give you an idea, this target is about 36" tall and wide (corner to corner) and is 890 (laser range) yards viewed on 14x power. The scope is a 4.5-14x 50 Mark 4 mounted on a LT-762 (.308). For field tactical shooting it is ideal but lacks the finer precision of higher powered scopes. For what this rifle does, this setup is acceptable if not preferred.


On my .223 24" Varminter I run a 6.5-20x50 VX-III. The platform is very slow inside 100 yards at 6.5x but it can make reliable hits to 650y on a 5" target at 20x. This rifle spends most of its time around 10-14x scanning for stuff. Strange, but my .223 has a higher powered scope than the 7.62/.308, it shoots smaller things closer in.

Until recently you had to spend enormous sums of money to have a broader range of power, maintain optical clarity and find consistency with the turrets. The newer Leupold Mark 6 line is one of many new scopes addressing the goal of a broader power range. There are now many lower priced optics with comparable day light optical clarity for substantially less. More money simply gives you better low light clarity, better reticles, illumination (shooting other than full day light at a dark object) and repeatability with the turrets. Sadly, a store front isn't a great place to check for optical quality so ask/search around here and over at snipers hide.

05-17-2012, 10:20 AM
"They" say you should use 1 power for every 100 yds to keep an appropriate field of view.
I use a 4x on my Sig556 but HAVE used a 3-9x40 when I go past 400 yds.
Using up to a 12 or 14 power will also work well, but PLEASE... Do NOT put a 20x on 16" 223. You will show up to the range looking like some Noob mall ninja.
20x on a 24" varminter is almost a necessity (sp?). gotta be able to see the look and that gopher's face when you plug 'em.

05-17-2012, 10:43 AM
Sometimes it not about power, but quality. A lot of cheaper scopes will have horrendous clarity and focus at high magnification and long distance.

Here is a chest size steel plate being shot at 700y through a 3-9x40 Mark 4.

Knife Edge
05-17-2012, 11:37 AM
20x on a 24" varminter is almost a necessity (sp?). gotta be able to see the look and that gopher's face when you plug 'em.