Nowadays, AR firearms are very popular, so those who don’t really like a AR 15 rifle usually go for AR 15 pistol.
The AR pistol is lighter, with a shorter barrel and it comes without a standard stock, which makes this option a lot more compact and portable. Moreover, even though it is not the best option for long distances, you can use a scope for better accuracy.
Here are some of the best scopes to get for your AR 15 pistol.
Top Optics For AR Pistol
1. Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 Compact 2 – Editor’s Pick
With the new Romeo5 lineup, this product became one of the best sights on the market. It is easy to use, easy to adjust and it comes with a high-quality design.
This is a standard 1x sight without magnification. It includes a 20mm objective lens, which is quite sufficient for most AR pistols. Providing 10 different illumination levels for better visibility for every light condition.
Offering a well-rounded sight with the 8 settings for daylight and 2-night modes, so you can aim properly without any natural light.
This sight is designed to be durable and it is IPX-7 rated, so it is completely waterproof.
Also, it features a Motion-activated illumination that powers up your sight on any movement detected. If there is no movement detected in from of the sight, it goes into the rest mode.
Whether you use the AR pistol or any other firearm, this product is guaranteed to deliver amazing performance.
2. Trijicon MRO 2.0 MOA – High-Build Quality
The Trijicon MRO stands as one of the best sights for AR pistols since it provides a large view with the 25 mm objective lens.
This is a well-known product, often used by law enforcement and the military. However, this sight is special because it is comfortable and easy to adjust for left-handed users and right-handed users.
Aside from high build quality, you also get the lens covers to prevent any damage during extreme weather conditions or any activity. Moreover, with the 8 reticle brightness levels, it provides very high accuracy and smooth aim.
Since this is a professional sight, it also comes with 3 different reticles to choose from, which is preferred by more experienced users.
Regular use of a green dot mode will get you about 5 years of battery life and it can last even longer in some cases.
This product works nicely for any AR pistol. Although it is not the most affordable sight, it provides a premium experience.
3. Sightmark Ultra Shot Multi Red & Green Plus
Whether you use an AR pistol or any other firearm, this flexible sight works properly on most modern firearms available on the market.
The most important mechanical parts are protected with a strong aluminum cover, making this sight very durable. The Sightmark Ultra Shot plus might resemble the iron sight, but it offers a lot more accuracy.
With the option to choose a red or green reticle, you can find the most suitable reticle for a specific activity.
This product is mostly recommended to beginners since it is very easy to adjust and simple to use in every situation.
Compared to most sights on the market, it could have a longer battery life, but it lasts for at least 1000 hours.
Using this sight for hunting or airsoft will definitely improve your performance.
4. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight
The Trophy TRS-25 is a low-budget sight that performs nicely on rifles, shotguns or AR pistols.
With this sight, you get a 3 MOA dot reticle with 11 brightness settings, so you can shoot properly even during sunny days. Even though this is a cheap product, it comes with strong multi-coated glass that provides a clear view and enough durability.
Some users prefer to have a huge field of view, which might be why this product is above the competition. Also, it is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.
Although the 25mm objective lens might not be so good for rifles, it is quite nice for AR pistols.
This optic offers up to 3000 hours of battery life, which is also a lot more than most cheap optics.
Overall this product is easy to mount on any firearm and it is one of the top picks when it comes to low-budget options.
5. Trijicon RMR Adjustable Sight 3.25 MOA Red Dot
The Trijicon RMR optic is a high-quality sight, often used by professionals since it is very flexible and offers high accuracy.
Although this product is 3.25 MOA, it is also available in 1.0 MOA and 6.5 MOA, depending on the user’s needs. For example, if you need to do a lot of quick aiming, the 6.5 MOA is definitely the best choice.
Aside from the 8 brightness settings, you also get the auto-adjust feature, automatically modifying illumination to the current lighting conditions. This feature might be the most suitable for users that prefer hunting.
Another feature is to lock the brightness settings, which is easily done by holding the plus and minus buttons for 3 seconds.
The battery life on this optics is enough for about three years of constant usage.
There is no real downside to this product with the 45 mm objective lance and full aluminum design.
The only downside might be the price since this is not a cheap optic. Still, it is guaranteed to perform properly under any weather condition or specific situation.
6. Primary Arms SLX Compact Red Dot Sight
While most users prefer to have all modern features, this product is all about durability and reliability.
This sight can handle some of the most intensive firearms recoils and it comes with an illuminated red dot. At this price point, the 11 illumination settings are quite sufficient for everyday use.
Aside from a decent aluminum body design, it also includes lens covers for extra glass protection.
Like most highly rated sights, it is waterproof and fog proof.
The windage and elevation adjustment is smooth without any mistake.
Using the medium brightness settings provides about 5 years of battery life. That said, this product includes a lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects, materials and more.
This sight also comes with a removable Picatinny base, so it is easy to mount on most AR pistols without any problem.
7. Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot with Standard Mount – 2 MOA
This product is the ideal choice for those who want to get the premium optic with top performance.
With so many products on the market, law enforcement began using this optic for its durability, build quality and reliability.
With 6x maximum magnification and 12 different brightness settings, it allows many customizations for every situation.
The clarity of the optics and sharp dot enable quick aim and high accuracy. That said, it comes with an advanced objective lens system designed for professional use.
Also, front and rear flip lens covers are included and it comes with reinforced windage and elevation turrets.
Battery life is great since it is guaranteed to last for at least 5 years of heavy usage.
Overall this is a premium product, not only for AR pistols but for every firearm you might use for different activities.
Buyer’s Guide While Buying Optic for AR pistol
Since there are no dedicated optics produced specially for the AR pistols, customers have to use the rifle optics and find the most suitable one.
After some research, it is not hard to determine which optics work best on AR pistols, but there are a few things to consider before buying.
AR pistols are made to be light, so any unnecessary weight will affect the firearm performance. Aside from the firearm, the optic used can also be why some users feel discomfort while shooting.
That said, activities that require a lot of movement can be more difficult to perform with too much weight. Usually, an optic that is light and durable is more expensive, but it pays out in most situations.
Unlike the standard rifle, AR pistols are only effective at close range. Although using the optic with magnification can help a lot with aiming, it is not important for the AR pistols.
Going for too big magnification is a waste of money that can be used for some modern feature. Most users prefer to have a maximum of 2x to 3x, which is more than enough for everyday use.
With so many products on the market, the battery life is something every firearm user should consider before buying. Some of the high-quality optics provide up to 5 years or even more in some cases.
That said, 5 years of battery life usually comes with more expensive products, so for most users, 3000 hours or regular use is sufficient. Also, some manufacturers offer a warranty for batteries, which is nice and important to consider before buying.
Depending on the specific activity, the durability of the optic can be a huge factor. For example, if you use the AR pistol only for the shooting range, you don’t need as much durability as someone who hunts with it.
On the other hand, traveling and moving through a hard terrain requires a high-quality optic that can withstand any impact or pressure. Basically, investing in durability depends on the usage of the firearm and optic.
1. Should I get the optic with lens covers?
Yes always. The lens covers are something required for every optic, no matter the price or usage. Although the lens covers are not necessary for optics functionality, it protects your lens from damage and scratches.
Once the lens is damaged or scratched, it is no longer effective to use due to a lowered or decreased view. Even if your product does not include lens covers, buying a pair of covers is less expensive than new lenses or new optics.
Also, having covers means your product is likely to get dusted, so it is easier to maintain.
2. How many brightness levels do I need for my optic?
Brightness is important, especially during sunny days. Basically, it helps a shooter aim with a red dot and it provides a clear reticle view for any situation.
Having more than a few brightness settings allows easy adaptation and personal customization. When it comes to the brightness settings, the more is better in every scenario. Some products come with 11 or 12 settings, but you should get at least 8 as the entry point.
3. Is a red dot usable without the battery?
The answer is no. Without the power, the red dot is not visible. The battery is required for every red dot. It provides the necessary power to the optics, which allows you to use red tod and brightness settings.
If your battery has failed, you should replace it yourself or contact the manufacturer. Using your optic without the batterie is the same as the iron sight, which means you won’t be able to use a red dot properly.
4. Why would I need a waterproof and fog proof optic?
The waterproof and fog proof features allow a clear view during any weather condition. Users that mostly use an AR pistol for shooting range won’t feel a huge difference. That said, using your AR pistol in the open field will definitely be easier with these features. If you don’t have a clear sight, you won’t aim properly, which means you will have lower accuracy.
The information within this article should help all users find the ideal optic for a specific activity. A high-quality optic definitely makes a difference for new users as well as more experienced ones.
If these weren’t enough, check out these optics for AR pistols from Amazon also: