Choosing the best illuminated AR scope for your rifle can be a daunting task. Considering how many different scopes are available with illuminated reticles.
You can find an excellent range of rifle scopes available at reasonable prices. However, most scopes will be severely restricted in low-light conditions.
That’s where the best illuminated AR scope comes in, which exhibits an independent light source that illuminates the crosshair.
Given that feature, you will find that it is the ideal scope to use whenever sunlight is limited or absent.
The problem is, many shooters who desire to switch to an illuminated reticle sight often have difficulty finding the option ideal for them.
To help you out, we tried and tested several models to come up with the top five.
Best Illuminated AR Scope Reviews
1. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle BDC3
Based in Barneveld, Wisconsin, Vortex Optics is an American-owned, veteran-owned, family-owned business and has been in business since 1986.
For many years now, the company has earned praise for its riflescopes, binoculars, and red dots.
Among its best releases yet is the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle BDC3, which is an illuminated scope that promises speed and versatility.
This is the updated version of the Strike Eagle boasts notable qualities that do more than just enhance visibility in low light conditions.
Here’s how it can elevate your overall experience and make you a better shooter regardless of the time of day or night.
XD Lens Elements
This illuminated AR scope’s extra-low dispersion (XD) glass increases image resolution and color accuracy.
These enhancements result in crisper and clearer images as compared to what you would get with standard scopes.
Second Focal Plane Reticle
When you change the zoom settings on a second focal plane riflescope, the reticle remains the same size while the target expands and shrinks.
More than anything, this makes this scope suitable for shooting in low-light conditions.
Even at the highest magnification, the listed reticle subtensions of the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle BDC3 are accurate.
Because of this, you will find that it is helpful in measuring range, wind drift correction, and holdover.
Improved Magnification Ring
This Strike Eagle has a magnification ring that features an improved design.
It exhibits a thread-in throw lever that allows you to execute magnification adjustments on the fly.
Even better, you can view the magnification indicators without the need to come off the scope.
The redesigned illuminated BDC3 reticle on this scope helps your eye concentrate faster on the target.
To elaborate, the BDC3’s glass-etched design is particularly constructed to the ballistic performance of standard AR-15 5.56 rounds.
As such, an accurate point of aim is expected due to the MOA center dot.
You will also find that the adjacent 16.625 MOA broken circle directs your gaze to the center more quickly.
What’s more, its holdovers enable instant use out to 650 yards for established distance targets.
In addition, the reticle incorporates 11 illumination intensity settings to aid in reticle adjustment during nighttime.
Because of the reticle’s color, it can deliver adequate contrast when sunlight is abundant.
Keep in mind that engaging smaller targets may be more challenging whenever you increase the illumination.
The reason is that the lighting encases the black reticle in red light, which makes the reticle somewhat larger.
As a result, you might find that it can obscure your vision.
Quick Reticle Focusing
The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle BDC3 eyepiece’s fast focus dial delivers a quick and easy reticle focusing.
In addition, there are anti-reflective coatings applied on all air-to-glass surfaces to boost light transmission.
You can expect improved clarity in low-light situations due to these components.
The glass-etched reticle sandwiched between two layers of glass features a complex design that promotes maximum durability and reliability.
Additionally, its single-piece tube ensures strength while maximizing alignment for increased accuracy and optical performance.
This design choice ensures the unit’s protection against water and moisture, making it suitable for all weather conditions.
Moreover, an extremely durable hard-coat anodization with a low-glare matte surface aids in camouflaging the shooter’s position.
Waterproof and Shockproof
Waterproof O-ring seals keep moisture, dust, and debris out of the unit, ensuring dependable operation under all conditions.
It also boasts nitrogen gas purging, which prevents internal fogging across a wide temperature range.
To add to its durability, the scope’s rugged, shockproof design enhances resistance against recoil and impact.
Unlike other illuminated AR scopes, this model allows users to spin the windage turrets without the need to use accessories.
Also, you will find that removing the elevation and windage covers is relatively simple.
As you might expect, the magnification knob could be a little tight to adjust at first. However, it should become looser as you continue to use it.
The turrets may generate clicking noises when turned due to their construction.
- Ease of use
- Good build quality
- Unconditional lifetime warranty
- Exceptional precision
- The illuminated reticle is not very intuitive
- Turret adjustment could be smoother
- Illuminated Reticle: Provides precise aiming under low-light conditions
2. Athlon Optics Argos BTR
Athlon is an American sports optics company that practices excellent engineering methods and strategic connections with suppliers and manufacturers.
These qualities make for a completely integrated and efficient supply chain.
Moreover, this exemplary business model brings the most cutting-edge technology to all of Athlon’s products.
It also eliminates the unnecessary layers of traditional supply chains that other companies would typically have to deal with.
As a result of these practices, you will get praise-worthy scopes like the Argos BTR, a riflescope made for hunting day or night.
This version of the Argos BTR exhibits superior qualities usually associated with high-end scopes.
Not only does it make hunting in low-light conditions easier, but it also improves your accuracy.
APMR FFP IR MIL Reticle
This reticle is primarily designed for long-distance precision shooting with its illuminated center cross and 0.5 mil hash mark intervals.
It can assist you in swiftly locking on your target and establishing holdover positions and leads in the direction of a moving target.
The illuminated cross lines with hash marks in three directions provide finer details to help you swiftly locate the target.
In other words, you’ll have the opportunity to locate a holdover point with more accuracy given these reticle features.
The fully multi-coated optics of the Argos BTR significantly minimize reflected light while increasing light transmission.
As a result, you’ll experience a brighter image compared to standard single-coated lenses on the market.
First Focal Plane Reticle
The first focal plane reticle stays consistently valid at all power levels, allowing you to exploit the scope’s uniquely designed reticle features fully.
When you alter the zoom settings, it shrinks or increases in lockstep with your target.
This enables you to use the reticle function precisely at any magnification setting.
Also, the first focal plane reticle provides rapid target engagement at low power while still providing exact holdover locations with greater details.
To deliver superb supporting support for the intricate reticle design, this Argos BTR scope exhibits a glass-etched reticle.
It also provides remarkable durability and substantially better recoil shock resistance, making the scope more resistant to wear and tear damage.
Argon purging is utilized on this scope, which means that Athlon harnessed inertia gas with larger size molecules to expel any moisture from the tube.
As you can imagine, this results in improved waterproofing and thermal stability.
If you’re not aware, industrial application purged with argon will keep moisture and oxygen out more efficiently than the other method, nitrogen purging.
However, due to the increased cost of argon synthesis, creating an inert argon atmosphere is more expensive than utilizing nitrogen.
Increased Weather Protection
This scope is made to resist moisture, so it can withstand inclement weather or inadvertently be soaked in water.
Plus, its fog-proof quality allows you to engage your target quickly.
You’ll be ready to engage even when transferring your weapon from a warm interior to rainy or chilly weather.
You will also like its robust mechanical system with specific controls and erector systems that provide exceptional recoil resistance.
Specifically, the system allows the scope to sustain 1000G recoil about a thousand times.
An aircraft-grade aluminum tube is used on this scope, offering excellent strength and exceptional mechanical integrity.
You can expect that the tube will safeguard the critical components of this scope from many types of damage.
- Fairly compact
- Very clear glass
- Intuitive reticle
- Turret clicks are not very crisp
- The parallax knob may not be exceptionally calibrated
- Eye relief could be better
3. Burris Fullfield IV
Burris Optics is a well-known supplier of scopes, riflescopes, binoculars, reticles, sights, and mounting systems for many applications.
If you’re familiar with riflescopes, you’ll recognize Burris as one of the industry’s top brands.
It manufactures high-quality optical equipment for amateur and expert shooters alike.
The Burris Fullfield IV 4-16x50mm is made to accommodate tactical, military, and hunting rifles.
Let’s look at the qualities of this unit to determine if it’s one of the best illuminated AR scopes.
Magnification is the defining characteristic of any scope, regardless of how you intend to use it.
The curvature, thickness, measurement, and material of the lenses and coatings are all factors that affect lens quality.
For the Fullfield IV 4-16x50mm, an improved 4x zoom system boasts multi-coated quality lenses for edge-to-edge sharpness and optimal low-light performance.
Illuminated Ballistic E3 Reticle
Burris’ Ballistic E3 uses a rear focal plane reticle optimized for conventional, magnum, and varmint rifles.
This type of reticle is also known as an SFP (second focal plane) scope. For more information on SFP and FFP scopes, you can read our article on the difference between FFP and SFP
Its design places the crosshair behind the lens group that sets the scope’s magnification.
Crosshairs are set for zero at 100 yards for the average caliber, and each line on the bottom vertical crosshair is calibrated for 200, 300, and 400 yards.
The use of cascading dots aid in adjusting for a 10MPH crosswind.
A side focus parallax adjustment changes the parallax of the riflescope, making the reticle seem sharper and with less apparent movement.
As such, you will find that it’s significantly helpful when firing at varying distances.
The Burris Fullfield IV 4-16x50mm has enhanced side parallax adjustment and focus.
It can close to 10 yards, allowing for precise tweaking for sharp views suitable for all AR platforms, including rimfire and air weapons.
Furthermore, the positive steel-on-steel adjustments boost repeated precision.
The Burris Fullfield IV 4-16x50mm has a nitrogen-filled one-inch scope tube that avoids fogging and water damage.
Nitrogen gas is a standard, critical component in constructing optical devices.
Some optical equipment needs frequent nitrogen purging to ensure it remains fog-proof and waterproof, including AR scopes.
Filling with nitrogen substitutes naturally existing oxygen and prevents moisture from forming, which can cause fogging.
Like most Burris optical equipment, the Fullfield IV 4-16x50mm Hunting Rifle Scope is covered by a Forever Warranty.
There is no additional price for repair or replacement if it ever becomes damaged or faulty.
The warranty is fully transferable to a new owner.
- Great eye relief
- Excellent scope finish
- Bright, clear glass
- No gritty feeling
- Illumination may not be ideal
- Numbers on the reticle dots and lines might not be very visible
4. Sniper MT6-24X50AOL Scope
Texas Precision Optics, Inc. manufactures and imports Sniper riflescopes, mounting tools, tactical gear and accessories, rail systems, and binoculars.
The company primarily focuses on optical equipment, with its scopes and other related products made for high-quality image performance.
One of its releases is the Sniper MT6-24X50AOL, which is a scope with multi-colored lenses.
As among the featured scopes of the brand, the MT6-24X50AOL comes with notable qualities.
Enhanced Image Brightness
The superior multi-coated lenses of this scope are not just for aesthetic reasons.
Benefits such as reduced glare and reflection during daytime are vital because any disturbances to the images will hamper the accuracy and visibility.
These lenses amplify light transmission, which translates to optimal visual brightness and edge-to-edge clarity.
This Texas Precision Optics scope exhibits a Mil-Dot reticle, a duplex crosshair reticle with four tiny dots positioned along each axis.
The distance between the centers of two succeeding dots is measured in milliradians
With increasing distance, this angular measurement expands.
Using a Mil-Dot reticle will allow the shooter to use elevation and wind holds without making a turret adjustment.
A Mil refers to the United States military term for a milliradian, which is a unit of angle.
The Mil-Dot reticle has been in use for over 50 years now. In the last 25 years, it has become more common in the civilian market.
The only difference is that the Sniper MT6-24X50AOL has a Mil-Dot reticle that is illuminated and colored.
Front AO Feature
AO means adjustable objective, which enables you to alter the reticle focused to your eye to the same viewing level as the image of the target.
This feature on the Sniper MT6-24X50AOL is referred to as the parallax adjustment.
If you’re not aware, the effect of parallax occurs when a target viewed on the lens seemingly moves in a different location.
This discrepancy usually happens when you view it at varying angles.
That’s why you must be able to modify your parallax to not affect the accuracy.
Because of the construction of the AO, they are also lighter and have a lower profile.
A front AO is used on this scope to enhance the fine-tuning quality for a clearer image.
You can adjust the Sniper MT6-24X50AOL’s parallax from 15 yards to infinity, making it ideal for long-range hunting and target shooting.
Nitrogen filled and sealed with O-rings make the scope resistant to the elements.
As mentioned, using the element to stuff the body will effectively protect the scope from moisture.
This makes the Sniper MT6-24X50AOL not only waterproof but also fog-proof.
- Impressive zoom function
- Visually appealing
- Great accuracy
- Easy to install
- Eye relief is not impressive
- Compatibility with older rifle models may not be ideal
5. Monstrum Tactical S2732-R-RGAO
Monstrum started when the founder designed and produced AR-15 platform handguards at affordable prices.
At every gun show he attended, he was astounded by the demand for his high-quality, low-cost gear.
Today, Moonstrum is a well-recognized brand. Enjoyed by many enthusiasts for its dedication to quality and advanced technology.
The Monstrum Tactical S2732-R-RGAO is a solid choice for close- and mid-range shooting.
Due to its features, this scope from Monstrum is more than capable of competing with other models with a higher price tag.
The parallax knob on the side scope is designed to adjust the focus according to your preference.
When you use optimal settings, you’ll have a more detailed target view, minimal to no parallax effect, and an accurate estimate of the range.
The capped reset turrets include 1/4 MOA, click windage, and elevation adjustments.
You have the choice to lock the turrets and reset the zero whenever the need arises.
Multilayer Lens Coating
The Monstrum Tactical S2732-R-RGAO has a multi-layer lens coating.
Improved vision clarity is the primary benefit of the coating, which is definitively essential in engaging your target.
Furthermore, it protects the scope from scratches and fog, as well as gives it decent resistance to wear and tear.
The Rangefinder reticle on the Monstrum Tactical S2732-R-RGAO is functionally intended for quicker range estimation and proper holdover adjustment.
The laser-etched black reticle is always visible with or without illumination.
The red and green light promotes improved reticle vision at night or whenever you’re in a location with low light.
With a magnification range of 2-7x, the optics are very clear.
This range indicates that the scope is a variable power scope. With magnification settings available from two to seven power.
In other words, this means the target looks twice as large from the naked eye when the magnification is set at two power.
Obviously, the target will appear seven times larger once the adjustments are at maximum.
You’re able to change the magnification between these numbers depending on your shooting requirements.
Monstrum utilized an aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum material for optimal durability as the scope’s body.
Nitrogen-charged to provide resistance against fog and moisture.
Which Illuminated AR Scope Tops the List?
After considering all qualities, we pick the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle BDC3 as the best scope compared to the other four.
While it shares similar features with the others, the 11 illumination settings give it an edge.
With that capability, the Strike Eagle can provide more clarity in low-light conditions.
Its glass-etched, illuminated AR-BDC3 delivers further enhancement when it comes to accuracy and visibility.
Also, the XD Lens Elements might be superior in regards to durability.
To top it all off, this Vortex Optics scope has a price that is hard to beat.