6 Best Scopes For AK-47 Rifles

best scope for ak47

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That’s right, and I didn’t just pull the subject out of a hat. The AK platform's best scope. Let’s look down the road less traveled and see what lies there for us to discover.

As everyone knows, the Kalashnikov Model 47, better known as the AK47 rifle, was designed as an assault rifle and is not usually considered a long-range shooter. The ballistics are very similar to the venerated 30.30 Winchester round and are most suited for open iron sights – yes, that is a definite fact.

Take a trip to the shelf for the scout-style riflescope, fixed magnification scopes and variable magnification scopes, and you’ll find some manufacturers are producing several dedicated AK47 scope products. You may see all this scope on the AK platform in a different light.

Holographic sights, reflex sights, and red dot sights are not scopes, but an article on this topic needs to consider all optics. Then the reader can figure out what he or she wants to look into further and make the best choice he or she can.

Keep an eye on Huntingmark.com for the red dot and holographic scopes soon or look back in the archives. There are plenty of great stories looking into these optics, but here we look at riflescopes.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR RELIABILITY

Primary Arms SLx 3x32mm Gen III

Primary Arms SLx 3x32mm Gen III

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Length: 5.59 in
BEST FOR MEDIUM RANGE

Vortex Spitfire 3x power prism scope

vortex-spitfire-3x-prism-scope

Vortex Spitfire 3x power prism scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Length: 5.5 in
BEST FOR SHARP IMAGE

Burris AR-332 3x32mm

Burris AR-332 3x32mm

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Length: 5.29 in
BEST FOR CLEAR IMAGE

Bushnell AK Optics

Bushnell AK Optics

  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Length: 9.4in
BEST FOR WIDE RANGE

UTG 3-9x32 Bugbuster

UTG 3-9x32 Bugbuster

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 9.84 in
BEST FOR ACCURACY

Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope

Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 10.5 in

Fixed Magnification Riflescopes

OK folks, we have arrived at fixed-power scopes, magnified and all for the AK47 rifle.

A fixed-power riflescope has many benefits over a variable magnification scope, especially for close range shooting. Most evident is the weight. This battle-platform rifle is a gun that is carried more than slung on your shoulder, or it should be anyway.

Every ounce saved after about 20 minutes starts to count, and after an hour, I have seen people on ranges and at three-gun competitions taking the scopes off and using the open irons to get rid of the boat anchor.

To start the list of best optics for the AK47, it has to be the one that is made for this exact offering.

1. Primary Arms SLx 3 x 32mm Gen III

ak scope

This is a fixed-power scope with a nice wide tube, very much made for the "run and gun" style of rifle that the AK47 was meant for. The optic is QCB-made for the 7.62 x 39 and the 300 Blackout round, about the same drop and stuff.

With the fixed power, especially at 3x magnification, everything in front of you that is close enough to make out the buttons, or antlers on its head, with the naked eye, is in range, making quick target acquisition a breeze. With the ocular and tube measuring at 32mm, the field of view at 100 yards is about 32 feet.

The glass-etched, illuminated (11 brightness settings, 3 of which are night vision compatible for low light to pitch dark shooting) optic fits this style of gun as well as the ACSS–QCB, or as I call it, the chevron and half-circle, or maybe a horseshoe. 

The Primary Arms SLx 3x32mm Gen III Prism Scope-Reticle

Effortless target acquisition and sight picture is smooth for moving target hold, and it works for wind holds as well. The BDC is explicitly set for the 7.62 x 39 round, so you have the holdovers done for you. How can it get any better? Let me show you.

Built as a prism scope, it is compact and crystal-clear, boasts excellent battery life, and is rated on Primary Arms website to range accurate to 600 yards. 

So they did not use a standard off-the-shelf AK47, but that’s splitting hairs. The mounting system is purpose made to be handled roughly, with huge cross bolts and built-in recoil lugs. Just put it on and get to work.

The body has a removable top rail. For those who like to add as much as they can, this scope is the answer. Waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof, plus it has a lifetime guarantee.

Primary Arms SLx 3 x 32mm Gen III

The price of Primary Arms SLx 3 x 32mm Gen III varies, so check the latest price at

For more details about this scope, Check out our detailed Primary Arms Gen III 3x32mm review

2. Vortex Spitfire 3x power prism scope

ak 47 scope

This manufacturer's line of optics seems to go on forever, and I am sure they have absolutely everything optic you can think of, and then some. The Spitfire is a prism scope, so it is as compact and precise as blue sky, but it is heavy for such a small piece of kit.

The Spitfire is a fixed 3x power scope, so it is right in the effective ballistics range for the 7.62 x3 9 round and suits CQB shooting needs perfectly. 

The illuminated reticle can do both red dot and green dot at five brightness settings, and is glass-etched. Therefore, it is still usable as a black optic with the power off.

scope for ak 47

The one issue, if you want to call it that, is the BDC is made for the 5.56mm round. It is an enhanced battle reticle. This means it is a ¾-circle with a post out of the bottom, and that post has the BDC hash-marked down its axis. The parallax is set at 100 yards, 5.56 hash-marked into it.

The scope is built from aircraft-grade aluminum, as are all Vortex brand scopes, measures 5½ inches long and weighs in at 15½ ounces. Eye relief is just under 3 inches, so make sure you are comfortable with the scope that close on an AK. Some say they pack quite a recoil. That’s up to you.

The windage and elevation adjustment turrets are capped and coin adjusted. The illumination knob is right on top, excellent for both hands to reach comfortably, and you can directly see the number and color you set on the scope.

Vortex Optics Spitfire

Vortex Spitfire 3x power prism scope

The price of Vortex Spitfire 3x power prism scope varies, so check the latest price at

If you want to know more about that products and its alternative, then check out our detailed Vortex optics Spitfire 3x review.

Variable Power Riflescopes

Keep in mind that variable magnification scopes will be bigger and heavier. Not that it should stop you. Just think about what you will use the rifle for and how you will get to the target. With that said, there are many high-quality accessories to carry the gun into the field, like some very nice and excellent built shoulder straps.

When you get it to the target, you can find some shooting sticks to help with a heavy rifle and scope combo when setting up a precision shot.

The other consideration regarding variable magnification scopes is that in exchange for their versatility they are a bit slower on target acquisition, so if you find yourself doing any "jump shooting," you may be compromised. 

On the other hand, what if you want a reliable medium range rifle, or what if your AK47 is your main food-gathering gun, and you need to reach out a bit more? Then the variable scope is right on the money.

3. Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm

ak47 scope

Burris optics are one of the most incredible options. If you read my articles, you know how much I like the maker, and this one is no different.

The illuminated Ballistic CQ reticle (10 brightness settings) is the style I think that fits a battle-rifle like a glove. It is the circle and dot style, but they went a bit more precise. They made the dot in the center a ranging broken or dotted crosshair.

The optic picks up targets quickly, keeps the shooter on an exact spot easier than most, and for moving or an unknown distance, this CQ brings a lot to the game.

The reticle is dual colors, red or green, making it fit any shooting environment. With the main tube of 32mm, FOV at 100 yards is 32 feet across. Talk about getting on target.

The lenses are coated with Burris Hi Lume coating for maximum light-gathering, waterproof, and small, though the light transmission through the scope is still great. Because of its use of the prism, this scope is about 5¼ inches long and weighs in at 14 ounces. That’s about half a pound.

You can't talk about Burris scopes and optics and not spend time on the most extraordinary guarantee ever, the forever warranty. This thing can be in a house fire and then a plane crash. Scrape up the leftovers and send them to Burris and they will fix it or replace it, no questions. It's transferable as well.

Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm

Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm

The price of Burris AR-332 3 x 32mm varies, so check the latest price at

4. Bushnell AK Optics

ak 47 optics

When a manufacturer makes a scope in the same rifle platform the article is investigating, we will look, and this is very interesting. Leave it to Bushnell to keep reinventing themselves, and they do it. They have a true AK47 scope in their line-up, and that is exciting to see.

Magnification is 1-4x and the main body tube is 30mm, so lots of light will pour into this scope. It measures 11½ inches long and weighs in at 18 ounces, meaning you’ll need lots of space to use the platform. 

AKs are notoriously difficult to achieve absolute co-witness on, but this optic allows for a lower 1/3 co-witness that will give you some peace of mind just in case the optic ever does fail.

Eye relief is 3½ inches, so make sure you are good with the recoil from your gun. You may be able to get an inch more, and it will just have to be tried when you are mounting the scope. The lenses are fully multicoated and use a fixed parallax.

The reticle is illuminated and engineers its windage marks for the AK47 specifically. The reticle is set to range up to 500 yards, so that is a goal you can reach to attain with this rifle.

One of the best parts of this scope is the fantastic price tag, have a look.

Bushnell AK Optics

Bushnell AK Optics

The price of Bushnell AK Optics varies, so check the latest price at

5. UTG 3-9 x 32 Bugbuster

ak 47 scopes

Leapers UTG puts a warning front and center on its product description to be careful about counterfeit optics shipped directly from China. 

Do your homework and you’ll see they have the exact style of shipping boxes shown on their web page and advertisements. This means you will know what you have when it is delivered.

The UTG line of scopes has flatly impressed me with both quality and price point.

Hear me out. The price is affordable for everyone. This optic will last for years and stand up to nearly anything. Think back around 25 years about the one person on the block who drove a Japanese-made car and the looks they got. Now it’s standard. Think on that for a minute.

The Bugbuster scope is a tight little second focal plane scope for short-range and mid-range shooting, made with a 1-inch main tube, so it will be a bit darker than the others. 

FOV may suffer a bit, but this offering does have a full-on 3-9x power-adjustable magnification range that will look further out in the field. And that can get quite a bit of brightness in itself.

UTG 3-9 x 32 Bugbuster

The turrets are similar to a tactical scope made for high power, and they are finger-click adjustable, zero-locking and resettable for easy zeroing every time. The illumination knob is on the side, not a push-button on the back nor a twist ring on the eyepiece.

The reticles are where this little beauty stands out. The optic is in a standard Mil-dot, and that may be stretching its bragging rights a bit, but I will leave that negative thinking at the door.

The reticle works with the illumination off, showing us a standard black crosshair, then turning on the illumination. It is dual-color, so you can have red or green depending on your environment. Then the unit can make that shot happen.

The glass has an emerald coating for maximum light-gathering. The objective lens is adjustable from 3 yards to infinity, which means close-up work is right in its wheelhouse. The tube is waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof, built on the True Strength Platform.

The scope mounts on a 21mm Picatinny rail, comes with a 2-inch sunshield, flip-up covers, and quick detachable (QD) mounts.

UTG 3-9 x 32 Bugbuster

UTG 3-9 x 32 Bugbuster

The price of UTG 3-9 x 32 Bugbuster varies, so check the latest price at

If you are looking for more details about that product, then must check out our detailed UTG bug buster 3-9 x 32mm review

6. Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope

scopes for ak 47

This is my biggest crush for this application. The scout scope is a forgotten optic, for the most part. I mean, it is just weird, but then you read about them, do some study, find the one guy in the county that has one and shoot it, and it makes your mind hunt for an excellent place to use one. This AK47 scope option is that kind of thing.

With a scope mount that will replace the rear sights on the AK platform, the drill-and-tap side-saddle mount is not needed. And moving the scope forward will stop the interference of ejected brass and keep the gun running longer. What could be better?

Here is a link to an article I wrote previously about scout scopes. Please have a look if this piques your interest a bit.

Let us look at the Crossfire II. As many in the gun world know, Vortex optics are built like a hammer, made from aircraft-grade aluminum and with a hard anodized finish.

The glass is fully multicoated. The main tube is 1 inch, fog-proof, waterproof and shockproof. The eyepiece is a fast focus. 

best scopes for ak47

Now since we are at the eyepiece, the eye relief for this scope, being a scout mount scope, is 9.45 inches. That is a mid-rifle, more or less. Think on that for a second, make sure that is what you want.

The size is on the larger side, at 10 inches long, 3½ inches wide, and 1½ inches tall.

The weight is excellent at just 12 ounces for a fully adjustable, clear glass magnification scope with a 32mm objective, giving a pretty good field of view. Not the greatest but useful. We are talking about a battle-rifle here, so size and weight are very much part of the packaging planning.

The reticle (depending on if you get illuminated or not, that is your choice) is the V Plex style and marked in MOA for elevation and windage holdover shooting. There is also a a dead-hold BDC (bullet drop compensator) reticle available, but that's probably overkill for most things you'll be using an AK for.

The turrets are capped like a hunting scope. The scope mounts with any 1-inch rings on the type of scope mount you decide to go with for your AK platform rifle.

And lastly, the Vortex Optics VIP warranty is excellent. They take care of customers, and it transfers to new owners. Very nice piece of mind.

Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope

Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope

The price of Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope varies, so check the latest price at

Summary

Now that I have talked about many options for better optics on the AK platform, it is up to you to decide where you want to take your rifle. Options for multiple uses, maybe a scout-style scope to shoot up the pesky coyotes bothering livestock, or other things bothering stuff they should not be disturbing.

Think hard about your application for scopes and optics before you head off to Amazon or OpticsPlanet to make a purchase. This legendary Russian rifle is one of the toughest ever made. 

They can be dropped and kicked around and keep on shooting. So for durability, the optic should do the same. Maybe you don't plan on dropping the gun much, but in case you do, it will keep on keeping on.

If you are looking to buy a red dot for your AK-47, then must check out our guide on best red dots for AK-47.

Good luck, and happy shooting!

References

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