9 Best Scopes For Ruger AR-556

Trying to find the perfect scope for your Ruger AR 556? Stress no more! There are many options to choose from, with a multitude of trusted names in the industry. Here is everything you need to know to find the right scope for YOU. 

Many of us gun lovers are familiar with the Ruger brand and its heritage. One of the last remaining true American gun manufacturers, Ruger has a legacy of reliability and innovation.

Taking a look back to 1953, Ruger created a new precision investment casting method that allowed for higher quality materials to be produced with greater precision and less waste. A method that is still being used today in the aerospace, golf, and automotive industries.

Who cares right? It is something historical that doesn't apply to you today. Wrong. This innovative business model is what brings us the Ruger AR-556 in 2021. Innovative processes that deliver an accurate, reliable, and most importantly affordable AR.

scope for ruger ar 556

The Ruger AR-556 upper receiver is made from aerospace-grade 7075-T6 aluminum. The flat-top upper features a forward assist, as well as a dust cover and brass deflector. With a steel bolt and carrier, the inside of the carrier and gas key are chrome plated for longevity.

The design of the rifle allows for standard carbine-length handguards, which is great for customization and the addition of extra tactical goodies. The barrel nut uses a standard wrench, and there are multiple attachment points via the QD socket and bayonet lug for sling and accessory options.

Single-stage trigger providing steady fire control, with an enlarged trigger guard which is great for shooting with gloves. M-4 style buttstock that breaks down to various lengths allows for comfort in all clothing for any shooter.

Collapsible buttstock is also great for transitioning from quick acquisition, room-clearing type practices to long-range target shooting.

The barrel has a 1:8 twist and allows for exceptional accuracy with bullets from 35-77 grains. The chamber allows for use of both 5.56 NATO and .233 Rem. ammo.

ruger ar 556 red dot

The height of the front sight allows for co-witness with a multitude of optics, which is why you are reading this article now; there are so many damn options.

The design helps those who are still learning to squeeze rather than pulling the trigger, through the innovative pistol grip and extended trigger.

The Ruger AR-556 is made from quality material, right here in the USA. Top-quality for a fair price is what Ruger was aiming for when they made this rifle.

Ruger jumped into the AR market back in 2009. Ruger realized that through the advancement of their precision investment casting method, they could produce quality ARs at a bargain price for the customer.

I believe that Ruger did a great job with this AR build, and here are some of the best optics you can put on your Ruger AR-556.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST AFFORDABLE SCOPE

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST COMBAT SCOPE

Trijicon ACOG 4 X 32 Scope.223 Ballistic Reticle

Trijicon ACOG 4 X 32 Scope.223 Ballistic Reticle

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST FOR ACCURACY

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST HUNTING SCOPE

Primary Arms 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope

Primary Arms 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST FOR WEATHER

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST FOR HUNTING

BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope

BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST AFFORDABLE SCOPE

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST BUDGET SCOPE

NIKON P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600

NIKON P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

STEINER T5XI 3-15×50

STEINER T5XI 3-15×50

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: Magnifie
  • Length: Dot

Choosing the best scope for your 556:

First thing first. What are you using your AR for? There are a wide variety of applications the Ruger 556 can be used for.

Are you a hunter looking for a scope with a certain reticle and distance capability? Are you a weekend warrior who shoots at the range and wants the coolest most expensive cool guy shit?

Maybe you are a competition shooter wanting to know which scope will get you the most accurate long-distance verified shots?

Maybe you are a mixture of all the stereotypes above or none at all; we will discuss a well-rounded middleman option as well. No matter what your application, one of the scopes we discuss below will get your sights aligned. 

Here are some parameters to keep in mind when reading these scope reviews: 

  • Price point (What are you willing to spend on a scope for your 556?)
  • Warranty (Is the scope covered against malfunctions/ dropping?)
  • Material (Will it withstand range days in all weather?)
  • Practical usages (What is it designed to be used for?)
  • Specs (The stuff all the “real gun guys” skip to anyway.)

Let's get into what you came here for: 

1. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight 

ruger ar556 optics

Strikefire II is a quick acquisition red dot sight from Vortex Optics. Best for home defense and close range to mid-range target shooting. Designed with a maximum field of view in mind this optic is a quick acquisition red dot from a leading name in the industry that we all know.

Speaking of the industry-leading name of Vortex, all products disrupted by Vortex have the Vortex VIP ( Very Important Promise) warranty. Vortex will completely replace any damaged or defective Vortex product.

Buying with confidence that the sight you pay for will be worth years to come of metal plate pinking is a gift that keeps on giving.

The Strikefire II is made with a single-piece chassis, which makes the scope lightweight and compact (7.2oz to be exact). With a hard-anodized finish, the matte finish provides low glare which helps camouflage your shooting position.

The reticle is a 4 MOA (minutes of angle) red/green dot with ten variable illumination settings.

ar 556 scopes

The lowest two illumination settings on this scope are also night-vision compatible which is an awesome bargain. The battery life is quoted at 300 hours on the highest setting or 5,000 hours at the lowest, giving you lots of time to practice in the early morning hours.

The dot size on the Strikefire II is 4 MOA, with unlimited eye relief. The objective lens diameter is 30mm and it has a max elevation adjustment of 100 MOA and max windage adjustment of 100 MOA.

 Magnification is maxed out at 1x which makes it great as a red dot. With a length of 5.6 inches, it will fit the majority of your guns at home.

The Strikefire II is one of the best mid-range red dot scopes on the market today. With great quality standards such as being waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, and with a hard-anodized finish this scope is ready for anything you can throw at it.

This makes the Strikefire II today’s best red dot pick.

Vortex Optics Strikefire II

The price of Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

2. Trijicon ACOG 4 X 32 Scope.223 Ballistic Reticle 

ruger ar 556 scope

Trijicon is known for making great ACOG scopes. The 4x32 ACOG scope utilizes a dual-illuminated reticle that uses fiber optics and tritium for a bright aiming point in any condition (battery-free). 

This scope has a ranging reticle that allows for bullet drop compensation out to 600 meters without any manual adjustments.

No manual adjustments from zero to 600 meters? That alone makes me want to put one of these bad boys on my AR. No manual adjustments and dual illuminated reticle make this scope this author's choice scope.

I should say, “you had me at ACOG.”

The Trijicon 4x32 is built with a “Both Eyes Open” design. This scope is designed to provide the ultimate situational awareness while maintaining a good sight picture.

Side note here from the author: I have been to multiple NRA, CMP, USA Shooting, and 4H rifle coaching schools, and in all of my training, I have always maintained the “both eyes open” shooting method since I was taught to do so in the U.S Army in basic training. 

acog magnifier

If both eyes open is something you struggle with while shooting, I highly encourage you to practice at your local range next time you go out.

Shooting with both eyes open is a scientifically proven better way to shoot for longevity and accuracy, feel free to challenge this in the comment section below. Back to Trijicon.

Magnification to 4x, with a 32mm objective size which allows for more light. Day and night color stays the same for this scope and is an unchangeable red. Crosshair style reticle, that also has bullet drop compensation built-in.

Utilizing both fiber optic and tritium for your aiming point, this scope is fascinating.

The Trijicon 4x32 ACOG has quality glass and multi-coated lenses to maximize light-gathering to clear your view and to zero out distortion. The scope has minimal moving parts providing a very durable system.

ACOG’s are combat-proven and I know that my fellow grunts will understand the love for this scope. This is the author's personal recommendation for your Ruger AR 556.

Trijicon ACOG 4 X 32 Scope.223

The price of Trijicon ACOG 4 X 32 Scope.223 varies, so check the latest price at

3. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic 

ruger ar 556 optics

Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO) was built with law enforcement officers in mind. With varying conditions and environments in which law enforcement operates, these factors are at the forefront of design.

This scope has a 2 MOA red dot that allows for fast target acquisition. With quality standards of being waterproof, shockproof, fog-proof, and of extreme durability and high-quality, the heritage of this scope is evident.

With a hard-anodized, high-strength, aluminum housing you can throw anything at this scope and it will take the beating. The Aimpoint PRO is vibration and shock resistant and also submersible up to 150 feet. (For those cool special operations emerging out of the water scenes in movies.)

The Aimpoint Pro mounts directly to your Picatinny rails without any additional tools. The optic has flip-up lens covers, the front is solid and the rear is transparent. This allows for closed lens cap shooting in emergencies where you don't have time to remove the lens covers (a great feature.)

ruger ar 556 red dot

The Aimpoint scope is compatible with all generations of night vision devices. If you obtain a proper zero with your Ruger AR-556 this red dot will stay fixed within your scope housing. This allows for multiple visual angles in your sight without having to worry about the dot being centered.

Due to the Aimpoint’s red dot being parallax-free, this red dot will hit where you point.

This provides more confidence to you as the shooter that you will hit what you are aiming at, whether you are directly behind your scope or not. This scope lends itself to more situational awareness achievability.

A 2 MOA dot size allows for the Aimpoint to get 30,000 hours of constant operation with 4-night vision compatible settings and 6 daylight settings.

An anti-reflective front lens that lends itself nicely to law enforcement uses, and hunting applications as well. Weighing in at 7.8 oz this is not the lightest red dot in our comparison today.

Practical usages for this scope consist of range days, law enforcement, competitive shooters, and performing excellently in low light conditions. This Aimpoint comes with a 2-year warranty for competitive shooters or professionals or a 10-year warranty for personal use.

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

The price of Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic varies, so check the latest price at

4. Primary Arms 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope

ruger ar 556 scopes

Primary Arms rifle scope is built on Primary Arm’s reputation for innovation, reliability, and value.

The Primary Arms 1-8x24 SFP undergoes rigorous field-testing during development to best serve the customer. This scope is designed for max range of shooting in any environment.

This means max distance on the range if you have a long-range to practice at, and great for hunting application as well.

The reticle in this scope has a combined bullet drop compensation, wind hold, and moving target leads all in one scope. This makes those long-distance shots a breeze, heh, if only.

scopes for ruger ar 556

With accurate shots from 300-800 yards, this is the scope for all you hunters and competitive shooters reading this article. With a weight of 16.9oz, you will barely notice the weight difference in your rifle.

The reticle stays the same size regardless of the power setting, so you will have to move the power up to 8x magnification to use advanced features. The reticle is a BDC type and the scope overall is 10 inches long. Each click-in adjustment is ½ MOA which is nice for quick adjustments.

 With a limited lifetime warranty, you can not go wrong with this scope. Primary Arms make great scopes, and this is an example of another great product from them.

Primary Arms 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope

The price of Primary Arms 1-8×24 SFP Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

5. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

scope for ruger ar 556

UTG 3-12X44 30mm compact scope features a red/green dual-color reticle. The UTG utilizes a 36 color multi-color mode to accommodate all weather and light settings. This comes in handy for those of us who do not base our shooting habits on mother nature's attitude for the day.

Where I am from in the midwest, we would never get any shooting done if we waited for good weather. This is where the UTG scope shines. With the multi-color mode, you can truly shoot with confidence in any weather or lighting situation.

This mixed with multi Emerald coated lenses, this scope delivers maximum light for the clearest sight picture.

ruger ar 556 scope

Magnification between 3-12x, 44mm adjustable objective lens which is great for controlling light allowed in. At 23.2oz this is the heaviest scope on our list and can fine-tune adjust with a ¼ MOA adjustment.

UTG provides zero locking and zero resetting target turrets. The side wheel on the UTG 3-12x44 achieves finer Parallax adjustment and is designed with a quick detach from your AR mount.

The UTG is a great entry-level tool for the modern-day hunter. With a bargain of a price and so many light adjustment settings, you are sure to see in great clarity no matter where you are.

This scope can be found on amazon and comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty.

UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

The price of UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope varies, so check the latest price at

6. BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope 

ar 556 scopes

Barska scopes go the distance on performance. Precision is always a critical factor for any type of shooting you are doing. This scope delivers long-range and deadly accurate targeting. 

Designed with an adjustable objective for parallax correction and easy-grip high turrets so your fingers don't slip while adjusting.

The Varmint scope provides you with twice the precision for varmint hunting or can be used for long-range tactical shooting. The Varmint's large objective lens coupled with Fully Multi-Coated optics increases light transmission and provides superior clarity.

Ideal for all types of shooting including varmint hunting, target shooting, long-range, and precision shooting.

What makes this scope different is the magnification level which is 10-40x, with a 50mm objective lens and ⅛ MOA click. Ideal for long-range tactical shooting and varmint hunting this scope comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

ruger ar 556 scope mounts

Having a dedicated varmint scope comes in handy if you have a property to care for and have a varmint problem.

I recall when I managed a large outdoor archery facility we had issues with gophers digging holes on our Olympic fields. It does not look professional at world tournaments with big holes in your Olympic fields.

This is when I learned the value of having a scope for the actual occasion in which I required a scope. Long story short, we hired someone to do some varmint hunting and provided the rifle and scope to ensure the job was done right.

Choosing a varmint hunting scope specifically helped get the job done quickly and efficiently. This is a great entry-level scope.

BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope

The price of BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

7. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope 

ruger ar 556 red dot

Bushnell Trophy Red Dot Sights are tough enough to go anywhere. These sights offer unlimited eye relief for fast shots at imperfect angels.

The Trophy TR S-25 has multiple brightness settings for maximum battery life and superior performance in a variety of lighting conditions. This scope allows for fast focus target acquisition for quick shots without compromising accuracy.

The Trophy Red Dot is bright enough to take hunting on the darkest days and can adjust low enough for when the sun breaks through the clouds. Unlimited eye relief creates a sight that can be used for a multitude of applications.

Great sight for hunting, and any close-range target shooting at 50 yards.

This can be a multi-use sight as well and can be utilized on handguns, shotguns, and of course rifles. If you are looking for one sight to be an entry-level type sight for you, this is the one.

ruger ar 556 scope mount

This scope is great for range days due to its versatility. I understand the likelihood of someone taking the scope off and mounting it on various types of guns is unlikely, it is doable.

With a 25mm objective lens, 3 MOA red dot reticle, and unlimited field of view. A length of 2.4 inches, weight of only 3.7 oz this is the scope for you!

Bushnell offers a full lifetime warranty (no receipt required). This is a great buy for a waterproof, shockproof, fog-proof, extremely durable red dot scope.

Practical usages consist of close distance shooting at the range, home defense situations, and shooting at low light conditions.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

The price of Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 varies, so check the latest price at

8. NIKON P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 

ar 556 scopes

Nikon is a name we all know through various products that they manufacture. With their focus on so many items, is it possible for Nikon to make a good scope?

Here is an excellent example of what Nikon can do in the rifle optic world.

The Nikon P-233 3-9x40 BDC 600 (from now on known as the BDC 600) is the prime example of the Nikon name. Quality, clarity, and experience are what come to mind when I think of the Nikon brand. This BDC 600 offers shooters a unique open circle reticle with hash marks from 100-600 yards.

With magnification from 3x-9x, 40mm objective, and at 16.9oz this is a bargain of a scope. This scope is waterproof and fog-proof.

scope for ruger ar 556

The Nikon BDC 600 comes with a limited lifetime warranty like most other scopes and is best suited for the hunters in our midst. Get yours today at opticsplanet.com.

The BDC 600 has a one-inch body tube, spring-loaded instant zero turrets, and lots of consistent eye relief.

This scope has features that will maximize your shooting ability, or even take it to the next level. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, the main tubes brighten the darkest conditions.

NIKON P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600

The price of NIKON P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 varies, so check the latest price at

9. STEINER T5XI 3-15×50 

scopes for ruger ar 556

Steiner is a major name in the optic industry. Originating in Germany by a man named Karl Steiner. Steiner’s goal was simple; to create optics so universally superior, that no other optic could compare. Steiner stands for performance optics, and that is apparent with this T5Xi.

The Steiner T5Xi has amazing accuracy achieved through its one-piece oversized 34mm tube. This scope is designed for precision competition use and offers extended illumination area and windage/holdover lines.

After the first 120 clicks the mil numbers on the scale change automatically, this is great for those of you who get lost on your dial.

Steiner stands behind their Heritage Warranty and will repair or replace defective products for the lifetime of the scope. Their warranty does not cover, however, damage loss or theft.

ar 556 scopes

Something to keep in mind when buying a scope for your AR, some companies will replace their product if damaged out in the field.

The Steiner T5xi 3-15x50 can be purchased through amazon among other variations of the scope for a great price. Magnification on this T5xi is 1x-5x, with an objective lens diameter of 24mm, and a 3TR 5.566 illuminated reticle.

The parallax focus is fixed on this scope and has a windage and elevation click value of 1cm.

The scope is submersible to 33ft, (another cool guy scope fact) and is the best long-range scope choice of the day. Practical application of this scope is long-range shooting, competition shooting, and hunting.

STEINER T5XI 3-15×50

The price of STEINER T5XI 3-15×50 varies, so check the latest price at

Parting Shots

There are a lot of considerations when choosing a scope for your Ruger AR-556. As mentioned above, first decide on your style of shooting.

Yes, it does make sense to have more than one scope based on what style of shooting you are doing that day. I understand it may be a hard sell to the misses, but scope application matters.

I would not compete with the scope that I plate plink with. Well, in a pinch I would, but you get the picture. Choosing a scope to match your needs does not have to be a stressful endeavor.

Once you apply the purpose of the scope, and ranges available to you, your list narrows. You don't need a distance scope if you shoot on a 100-yard range.

I will use a red dot on my little Ruger PCP 9mm carbine out to 200 yards before utilizing a scope.

It does take a while for that little 9mm to travel the 200 yards, but it is fun to compensate for the lack of speed in my sight picture.

After finding the application of the scope and ranges you have available, it then comes down to the factors outlined in the quick reference guide added to the end of each scope. Price, warranty, durability, usages, and specs.

Which Ruger AR-556 scopes do you like the best? Would you add any of the above-mentioned scopes to your collection? Let us know in the comment section below, and make sure to check out our Best ACOG Scopes if you're looking for a great ACOG for your 556! And if you want a scope for your Ruger scout GSR, then must check out our guide on best scopes for Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle 

Want to know about best scope for ruger precision rifle? Check out our guide.

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