Are you searching for the best 5.56 rifle scope available in the market today? In today’s buying guide, we will look at the top-recommended scopes that can be paired with the 5.56 rifle caliber. The main aim of this guide is to help you make a satisfactory purchase.
It is worth mentioning that the 5.56 NATO is an improved .223 Remington. It can shoot better when compared to the .223.
It is important to note that can’t use a 5.56 NATO in a .223 chamber. This is because the .223 chamber is not built for too much power and your gun will be damaged.
However, you can chamber a .223 ammo in a 5.56 chamber. This is because it can withstand the .223 ammo.
The 5.56 NATO is popular in the shooting community, compared to the .223 Remington chambering. AR-15 rifles are now chambered either a 5.56 NATO, 6.5 Grendel, or 300 Blackout cartridge.
To get the best shooting experience with the 5.56 NATO, you need to pair it with a good scope that can handle the recoil of this cartridge.
If you do a quick search, you will find out that there are many options available in the market. You may be overwhelmed with the choices, especially if you are a beginner.
This is because you have to consider the magnification, type of optics used, reticle, eye relief, and many other factors. This is why we created this buying guide to help you.
Best 5.56 Rifle Scope
The best 5.56 riflescope should provide you with ample magnification depending on your shooting application. This is why we recommend that you first define your requirements to make the selection process easy.
In addition, the scope you buy should have a weatherproof construction. It should provide relentless performance in a wide range of temperatures.
Let us look at the top-recommended scopes for the 5.56 cartridge.
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25X56 FFP Rifle Scope – Best Overall
If you are in the market for a long-range scope for the 5.56 rifle caliber, the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25X56 is a solid choice for you. It is made from high-quality materials that ensure its durability.
This scope is compatible with popular rifles like the AR-15. It is designed to provide you with the best performance at an affordable price. This makes it an excellent choice for most enthusiasts.
The easy-to-use knobs allow you to make adjustments without leaving your shooting position. It is ideal for hunting or target shooting applications. The fast focus dial makes it super quick to focus the sights.
This scope features extra-low dispersion glass that ensures you have a crisp image across all the magnification levels.
It is worth mentioning that the scope features an illuminated reticle. This makes it very easy to use your gun even in low-light situations.
In addition, you are provided with three different magnification settings to choose from. You can use it for long, medium, or close-range shooting applications.
- It is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum for strength and rigidity
- The O-ring seals prevent moisture, dust, and debris from penetrating
- It includes a rapid zero return feature that stops the turret from dialing below sight-in range
UTG 3-9X32 1″ Bug Buster Scope
If you are searching for a hunting scope, the UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope is one of the best options available on the market today. It features high-quality construction that ensures it lasts for a long time compared to other scopes within the same price range.
Most enthusiasts recommend this scope because it comes with a great lock system. This unique feature ensures that you can lock your settings and aim your target perfectly, even if your scope fails.
The other outstanding feature of this scope is the green and red illuminated reticle. In addition, the eye relief makes this riflescope ideal for hunting or tactical shooting applications.
This scope can be used in any type of weather. This is because it is 100% nitrogen-filled and completely sealed. In addition, the scope is shockproof, waterproof, and weatherproof. This helps you to get the best shooting experience with your rifle. It also features a 2-inch sunshade, detachable rings, and lens caps.
The smart spherical structure design works by controlling the interaction between the inner and outer tubes. This provides you with the reliability and precision for any shooting application.
- It features dual green and red illumination
- It features durable construction that can withstand powerful recoil and impact
- It has high-quality lenses that provide you with clear images across all the magnification levels
Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm
The Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm is a durable scope that is packed with premium features compared to other scopes. It is constructed from durable materials to ensure that it lasts for a long time, even after continuous use. This means that it can withstand impact and powerful recoil.
Most enthusiasts recommend this versatile scope because it delivers some serious value for the money. It comes with the best optical equipment for any shooting or hunting application.
The glass fitted on this scope is very clear, even in the highest magnification levels.
The exceptional feature of this scope is the proprietary blend of inert gases also enhances the image quality and color fidelity. In addition, the Twilight Max HD Light Management System helps to reduce glare.
The weatherproof construction allows you to use it in varying climate conditions. This is because the scope is O-ring sealed, allowing you to use your rifle effectively in a multitude of pressure changes.
- It has a tactile feel and audible click of the turret adjustments
- It is 20 ounces lighter than other optics in this class
- It features the Twilight Max HD Light Management System
Nightforce NX8 F1 Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 4-32x 50mm ZeroStop Daylight Illumination Integrated Power Throw Lever MOAR Reticle Matte – Best Rifle Scope for Long Range 5.56 Rifle
The NX8 F1 is another great option for the 5.56 rifle caliber. This scope features a ZeroStop elevation adjustment for a rapid return to zero. It also includes a 50 mm objective to maximize light transmission to offer you the best optimized resolution.
This scope can withstand the recoil generated from the 5.56. This is because it is constructed from high-quality materials to give you the best vision for long-range shooting.
This scope has a compact design that makes it very easy to transport and store. On top of that, you are offered a 4x to 32x magnification. This offers you the ability to detect, identify and engage targets at long range. The wide zoom allows fast engagements at close range.
The exceptional feature of this scope is the integrated Power Throw Lever. It ensures that you make power changes very fast. It also features an adjustable parallax from 11 yards to infinity.
This scope is ideal for hunting or shooting applications.
- The turrets are caped for windage adjustments
- It includes a locking diopter adjustment
- It features a powerful First Focal Plane reticle
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 5-25x 50mm RZR Zero Stop Side Focus First Focal Illuminated EBR-7C MOA Reticle Matte
The Vortex Optics Viper PST 5-25x 50mm is a reliable scope that is packed with many features to provide you with the best shooting experience compared to other options available on the market.
This versatile scope features a first focus focal illuminated reticle. This reticle greatly improves the shooting accuracy even in low light conditions.
In addition, it features exposed turrets that provide fast and accurate elevation and windage adjustments. This scope also features a precision force spring system, precision glide erector system, and an ArmorTek coating on the exterior.
The unique feature of this scope is the hash-marked reticle using MOA or MRAD-based subtension lines. This scope also comes with floating wind hold dots for ranging, holdover, and windage corrections. This eliminates any guesswork in your shooting applications.
The reticle is designed to protect the two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability. It will offer you the best picture quality even at the highest magnification level. This makes it a great choice for long-range shots.
- It is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum for strength and rigidity
- It features a hard anodized finish that provides a low-glare matte surface
- It includes proprietary coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best 5.56 Scope
Finding the right scope for the 5.56 can be a confusing task, especially if this cartridge is new to you. The 5.56 NATO resembles the .223 cartridge but it is more powerful.
In this section, we will share some of the important factors you need to consider when buying the best 5.56 scope. The main aim of this section is to help you make a satisfactory purchase.
- Price – It is important to buy a scope that will provide you with real value for the money you spend. You need to buy a high quality scope that will provide you with a relentless performance each time you use it.
- Lens Size – Before buying any scope, you need to check the lens size of the scope. Any lens size below 32mm will reduce the quality of the sight picture. If it is larger than 40 or 42 mm, it is too bulky for your rifle. It is important to note that you need a scope with a lightweight design. Heavy optics, will throw it off balance and this will affect your hunting or target shooting experience.
- Lens Coating – The lens coatings are very important for light transmission. The scope you buy should include proprietary coatings if you want to see a clear image across all the magnification levels. In addition, these coatings help to reduce glare and loss of light caused by reflection.
- Versatility – We highly recommend purchasing a versatile scope that is ideal for both hunting and tactical shooting applications. This is important if you have a collection of firearms.
- Eye Relief – This is the space between the sighting tool and your eye. You need to purchase a scope with eye relief that can be adjusted based on the magnification. This helps to prevent a black eye from heavy recoil generated.
- Durability – The scope you buy should be constructed from durable materials to ensure its longevity. This ensures that they last for a very long time. In addition, durable scopes can withstand powerful recoil and impact, even after continuous use.
In summary, we have looked at the best 5.56 NATO scopes available in the market today. As mentioned earlier, the 5.56 NATO is powerful compared to other cartridges used in the AR-15 rifle.
Therefore, you need a high-quality scope that can handle powerful recoil and impact. The scopes shared on this list are compatible with the 5.56 NATO rifle caliber. You can’t go wrong with these options.
We hope that this buying guide helped you to find the right scope for the 5.56 rifle caliber.