The AR Optics scopes are a fairly new series from Bushnell.
They’ve made quite the impression with their various models and one in particular comes within budget, the 1-6x24.
It has a 30 mm tube that gets a little more light and ruggedness for an LPVO, and it has some high-end features that puts it above other alternatives like an illuminated, glass-etched reticle and power throw levers.
Calibrated for the .223 but not out of the question for other loads, the Bushnell scope will make itself at home on your AR and will earn its keep.
As one of the best rifle scopes under $300, it has seductive powers over the rifle looking to settle down with an LPVO.
What We Like: LPVO
What We Don’t Like: Canted reticles
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Scouting, Close-Range, AR-15, Light to Heavy Caliber Rifles
- Magnification: 1-6x
- Objective Diameter: 24mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 100-16 ft/100 yds
- Eye Relief: 3.6”
- Adjustments: .1 MIL
- Dimensions: 10.2”/16.5 ounces
Our Verdict: The AR Optics 1-6x24 scope is a great scope for the money and the included warranty. If you’re after an LPVO to mount to an AR, it will serve you well. Intuitive to use, made for speed, and great for multiple uses.
Who is the Bushnell AR Optics 1-6X24 Best Suited to?
The AR Optics scope is unmistakably best suited to AR platforms. More specifically, this model has the BTR-1 reticle that is designed for .223 Rem/5.56x45mm NATO ammo. Got an AR-15 in .223?
With its low power, illuminated reticle, fast and simple operation, it’s a multi-tasker for multiple applications from tactical and professional use to all sorts of AR-15 hunting.
For a budget price point with features that are considered high-end, it would be best to give it a thorough inspection by getting to the range right away to see if it will hold up to larger calibers and not just a .223.
If longer range is your thing you might be interested in Bushnell's AR Optics 4.5-18x40 scope, its excellent value.
How Does the Bushnell AR Optics 1-6X24 Perform?
What does everyone want from an LPVO? Fast target acquisition and 1x performance with the ability to get some distance when needed. This describes the Bushnell AR Optics 1-6x24 scope to a T.
It has excellent 1x performance for a budget scope and provides great clarity for two-eye shooting and CQB (Close Quarter Battle) operations. While it obviously has tactical style and can fit the needs of survivalists and security personnel, it’s also outfitted to meet hunting needs.
The AR scope is the perfect match for an AR-15 in .223 Rem that is ideal for all sorts of varmint hunting, plinking, target practice, and coyote hunting. The illuminated reticle is adjustable and can be turned off as your preferences dictate. It provides variable power for the unpredictable distances of foxes, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, etc. for up to 300-400 yard shooting.
The turrets come capped, the scope is waterproof, submersible, and fogproof, and it’s lightweight. Pair it with a 6 oz mount and you truly have a lightweight 1.5 lb (approx.) scope setup.
The AR Optics LPVO gets you on target, is flexible with range, and is battle and weather-ready for whatever may come.
Features & Benefits
The AR Optics scope is a tactical-like scope with the BTR-1 reticle that’s calibrated for 5.56/223 Rem ammunition. It’s the ultimate 223 scope for close-range precision and reasonable long-range fun.
Its 1-6x magnification makes it a versatile platform that fits the LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic) definition. It can easily provide red dot-like operation with both eyes open at 1x and then long-range target practice at 400-600 yards on 6x power.
Keep your cheekweld consistent and in line with the optical axis when shooting long-range because it’s been factory-set for parallax at 100 yards.
As far as glass quality for a Bushnell, it’s impressive, especially so for the price. It has very clear glass with FMC coatings and Bushnell’s Ultra-Wide Band Coating formula. It’s evident from the chromatic aberration-free views and barely noticeable edge distortion that it’s a quality scope for the money.
Foldable Power Throw Levers
To help make fast and instant power changes, the AR scope comes with two throw levers. The short throw lever comes installed on the scope and the long throw lever is in the box. They fold down to keep them out of the way but are ready for instant use when making power adjustments.
This isn’t just a cool, fast, and tactical necessity, it also helps with those who have arthritis in the hands, acquire instant power changes, and easier magnification operation.
Illuminated BTR-1 Reticle
The AR Optics 1-6x24 LPVO has the illuminated BTR-1 reticle. The illumination dial takes a CR2032 battery for operation. Its not daylight bright to where it’s overwhelming in daylight conditions, but it’s highly visible and remains so even when it’s switched off.
BTR stands for Bushnell Tactical Reticle. It features a centered dot with bullet compensation along the elevation “crosshair” with a CQB ring around the first three holdover hashmarks.
The BTR-1 reticle is an SFP reticle, so it stays the same throughout magnification levels but is only accurate at 6x. It’s calibrated to .223 Rem (55-62 grain FMJ) and designed to be sighted-in at 100 yards with holdovers out to 500 yards.
Turrets click positively with good sound level. Adjustments are made in 0.1 MIL clicks with 6 MIL per revolution and 14.6 MIL total elevation and windage travel.
Bushnell states that it’s a perfect fit with the Weaver Premium MSR mount. Whichever mount you choose, it must have 30 mm rings. The eye relief is a non-issue at 3.6” especially when mounted to .223 Rem rifle variants.
Take care not to over-torque the mount to the rail, and check the integrity of the glass-etched reticle while you’re sighting in. There have been a few, defective scopes where the reticle becomes misaligned and this calls for immediate manufacturer redress. Don’t tough it out with deliberately canting the scope to acquire an “aligned” reticle – it’s a pain and not recommended for practical use let alone precision accuracy.
Can a glass-etched reticle cant? Well, not in the same sense that a wire reticle can, but it can become “off.” This has been an issue for a very small handful of buyers for various reasons. It comes down to the lens assembly actually moving within the tube, hence, glass-etched reticle integrity is only as true as its mounting assembly.
The AR Optics scope should be able to hold assembly integrity when used with various cartridges, so it’s definitely a craftsmanship and assembly defect if a canted reticle happens to you. Luckily, it comes with the Bushnell Ironclad Warranty.
The Bushnell AR Optics 1-6x24 scope is made in South Korea.
In a sense, you could use the scope without a battery, or more likely, with a dead battery. It will not illuminate as it is designed to do but is easy to see without illumination.
Can the AR Optics 1-6x24 be Mounted to Other Rifles?
The AR Optics 1-6x24 is designed for AR platforms. The BTR-1 reticle is calibrated for 223 Rem/5.56 caliber ammunition. While the scope itself can be mounted to rifles such as a 300 Blackout, 350 Legend, AR10 in 308, etc., the reticle will not be accurate for those loads.
Additionally, a properly-made AR Optics scope should be able to easily handle recoil. A canted reticle assembly or unfocusable scope from larger calibers is a defective scope.
At a low price point, you can’t expect true 1x power performance. Besides, whenever you’re looking through a lens, you will see a difference between your natural vision and a 1x lens system. However, while high-end, very expensive scopes can provide as close to true 1x performance as you can get, the AR Optics 1-6x scope does a good job for the money.
The AR Optics scope is covered under Bushnell’s Ironclad Warranty. For this series, it’s limited to 30 years, is owner transferable, and receipt and registration is not required.
Bushnell is known for their ability to provide affordable optics without compromising on features. The AR Optics scope is an economical choice but comes with high-end perks that provide multiple benefits to the shooter.
Excellent for CQB and confined ranges but also flexible enough to gain some range, the 1-6x24 scope is an LPVO that will serve you well.
It doesn’t claim to be the best of what’s out there, but it’s definitely one of the best for its price point.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.