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The Best AR-15 Scopes for Coyote Hunting in 2020

The AR-15 rifle is a very versatile platform that one can trust in many applications. And while many associates the rifle with the military, the AR-15 platform feels right at home in the hands of responsible civilians. One of the AR-15’s civilian uses is the hunting of varmints.

best scope for AR 15 coyote hunting

Hunting coyotes, for example, is a competition that has many followers in many states. People come out in droves and showcase their hunting skills. There are also those who shoot these varmints as a way of securing their properties. Whatever the reason, you will need only the best scope for AR-15 coyote hunting.

Quick Answer: The 10 Best AR-15 Coyote Hunting Scopes for 2020

  1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 V-Brite Reticle Riflescope
  2. Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600 Riflescope
  3. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC Reticle Riflescope
  4. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope
  5. Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
  6. Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope
  7. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope
  8. Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
  9. Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope
  10. Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35 Riflescope

First, let’s take a look at the top-rated ar-15 coyote hunting scopes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.

Best AR-15 Scope for Coyote Hunting Reviews of 2020

#1 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 V-Brite Reticle Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40 V-Brite Reticle RiflescopePeople who hunt coyotes and other varmints will want a device that can optimize the accuracy and precision of the AR-15. One such device is the Crossfire II 3-9×40 V-Brite scope. With a sight picture that makes it seem like the varmint is only a few yards away, the Crossfire II can make coyote hunting so much fun.

With an aircraft-grade aluminum scope body, the Crossfire II is very easy to bring along any hunting adventure. Its weight will never make it too tiring for you to lift and aim your rifle every now and then. Plus, there is no point worrying about the effects of the weather since Vortex Optics already has this covered.

The FMC lens of the Crossfire II guarantees distortion-free images. Whether you are focusing on long-range shots or close range, you can bet that this scope will give you a very detailed picture of the coyote in your crosshairs. The reticle is crisp, making aiming more precise.

We like what Vortex Optics did to the turrets. The capped design allows for a more pleasant adjustment of the turrets. This is one of the essential characteristics of reliable AR-15 coyote scopes.

For all its fine qualities, we do wish the Crossfire II came with a lens cap. While we trust the durability of VO’s optics, we would feel more secure with a lens cap on.
Pros
  • Unquestionable quality of the scope’s glass
  • Very clear, bright, and crisp reticle
  • Reliable performance regardless of weather and terrain
  • Solid and lightweight scope body
  • Capped dials for easier adjustment
Cons
  • No lens caps
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is, in our opinion, the best AR-15 coyote hunting scope. It is an all-around performer. It also comes with a classic look that can complement the elegance of the AR-15.

#2 Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600 Riflescope

Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600 RiflescopeHunters all over the world rely on Nikon’s lens expertise to give them a scope that can outperform other brands. And if you are looking for a scope to match the efficiency of your AR that chambers the .223 Remington, then Nikon’s P-Tactical BDC600 is your choice. This scope is not only perfect for going after coyotes. It can be a reliable varmint hunter, too.

We consider the P-Tactical as one of the best coyote scope products for budget-conscious folks. This device does not cost you that much, yet it can outperform other more expensive brands on the market.

One feature we love about the P-Tactical is its windage and elevation adjustment dials. They have the right size, complete with large grooves to adjust more precise. The click we hear with each turn is like music that tells us we are dialing the correct settings. Resetting the scope to zero is as easy as dialing in the shot compensation.

The P-Tactical’s matte black finish can also improve the appearance of the AR-15. It is not as shiny as other scopes, yet it does provide a sheen that speaks of class. And when you look through the ocular, you will never have any case of ‘scope eye’.

Some people may find the P-Tactical’s reticle to be small, however. This is especially the case when shooting targets with a dark background.
Pros
  • Unparalleled lens quality
  • Resets to zero in an instant
  • Dependable turret feedback and dynamics
  • Ample relief for one’s eyes
  • Good overall value
Cons
  • Reticle may be small for some people
Other than that, we believe that Nikon’s P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600 is a dependable coyote hunting scope. The lens has the clarity and performance of Nikon’s professional DSLRs. The P-Tactical is also a good choice for newbies and practical-minded varmint hunters.

#3 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC Reticle Riflescope

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC Reticle RiflescopeA good scope for coyote hunting should never set you back for more than several hundreds of dollars. You only need a scope brand that already has the reputation for making good quality and affordable scopes. Nikon is one such brand. And their best rifle scope for AR-15 coyote hunting is the Buckmasters II 3-9×40.

Nikon’s lenses are top notch. Many scope manufacturers source their glass from the Japanese brand. So, there is no questioning the durability and clarity of the lens fitted into the Buckmasters II. Of course, there will always be scopes that have better optics. You will also have to consider the price in such instances, not to mention the quality of their construction.

What really blew us was Nikon’s BDC reticle. It has a design that will make it super easy for absolute beginners to learn how to compensate for bullet drop. The four small circles in the lower half of the vertical crosshair are so much easier to use than cross lines.

We also find the Buckmasters II’s eye relief as especially generous. Most of the scopes we have seen have a 3-inch relief. Our test unit came with a 4-inch relief.

We were surprised to learn that some people complain about the inconsistency of the Buckmasters II’s zero holding capability. Most of the people who use the scope never had issues with the scope’s zero.
Pros
  • Clear and bright FMC lens
  • Unique and very useful reticle system
  • Generous relief for the shooter’s eyes
  • Rugged and reliable construction
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Some inconsistencies in holding the zero
Not being able to hold the zero can be a real issue. However, with a good combination of price and performance, we still recommend the Nikon Buckmasters II for people who want a dependable scope for hunting.

#4 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24 SFP RiflescopeIf you are like many people who love participating in an organized coyote hunt, you would want to bring along the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle. This is a device that sits perfectly on the AR-15 to give you precision shots all the time.

Like any other Vortex Optics scope, the Strike Eagle features a glass that has all the right qualities for its price. It can even outperform some more expensive coyote rifle scopes. The Strike Eagle may not have the quality of VO’s extra-low-dispersion glasses. However, it is a lot better than other brands of the same price range.

We like the Strike Eagle’s illuminated reticle. Sighting your target in broad daylight is never a problem. You can still see the center of the crosshairs for more accurate shot placement. It also helps that VO uses a second focal plane design. The markings on the reticle will never increase in size if you decide to zoom in on the coyote.

The turrets are also very responsive. While the elevation dial is a bit small for our taste, we still find it very pleasant to turn. The focus adjustment is also sharp. All turrets give the kind of feedback that hunters need.

One thing about the Strike Eagle we felt needs improvement is the design of its reticle. It is glass-etched BDC. However, we would have preferred a simpler dot in the center with line markers running down the vertical crosshair.
Pros
  • Good quality optics for its price
  • Very precise aiming characteristics
  • Sharp and clear reticle
  • Responsive and easy-to-turn dials
  • Rugged construction
Cons
  • “Unusual” reticle design
As unusual its reticle design can be, there is no denying that the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle is one of the best AR-15 varmint scope units around. Its affordability belies its remarkable performance in the hunting grounds.

#5 Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope

Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4x24 Dual-Illuminated RiflescopeACOG is Trijicon’s bread and butter. However, this does not mean that the brand can no longer produce a high-quality coyote scope for AR-15? You have got to check the TR24 AccuPoint. This is Trijicon’s offering to the most serious and most dedicated coyote hunter on the planet.

The TR24 has all the qualities of a reliable Trijicon scope. From its solid construction right down to the performance of its lens and reticle, the TR24 is a true shooter’s dream device.

One thing we fell in love with this series of scopes is that it comes with a bevy of reticle options. There are the unique BAC triangle post, the Duplex, and the German #4. Our test unit came with the BAC triangle, which looked more like Trijicon’s triangle version of a center dot.

We also like the light-gathering capabilities of the TR24. We did not notice any distortion during sighting of targets. Some scopes with this magnification often create unnecessary distortion along the edges of the glass.

The TR24 also holds zero very well. This is despite the dials having very fine grooves to them, instead of the larger channels in other scopes.

What we hope Trijicon will improve on is the brightness setting of its BAC triangle. It works well at dusk or dawn. However, the triangle gets washed by the bright sun at midday.
Pros
  • Distortion-free quality of the lens
  • Bright and simple reticle
  • Good quality of turrets
  • Good retention of the zero
  • Lightweight and solid construction
Cons
  • Illuminated triangle barely visible in broad daylight
Nevertheless, our belief stands that the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint is the best predator hunting scope around. Not only will coyotes be no match for this scope. Other varmints will also see their heyday come to an end.

#6 Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm RiflescopeIf you want the best scope for coyote hunting with AR-15, then you should fit the Leupold VX-Freedom in your rifle. The scope has the signature craftsmanship that Leupold is known for throughout the hunting world.

It is difficult to question the lens quality of the VX-Freedom. Of course, there are better alternatives; often with a very hefty price. Most people who only want a reliable coyote hunting rifle will not want to spend thousands of dollars on a scope with very limited purpose.

The VX-Freedom features Leupold’s unique light management system. It is not a good scope for hunting at night. However, it performs surprisingly well in low-light conditions. This is perfect for shooting coyotes that tend to go out of their hideouts at twilight. Other varmints are also not exempted.

The turrets of the VX-Freedom feel very nice to turn. The reticle is so simple that even a 10-year old kid will find it easy to use the scope. And with Leupold’s lifetime promise, it would be unwise not to get this scope for your AR.

One downside to the VX-Freedom is its lack of a side focus knob. This should compensate for the parallax error that often occurs at certain distances. However, we understand Leupold’s non-inclusion of the parallax adjustment. The construction of its reticle and visual plane is near-perfect enough to prevent parallax errors, or, at least, minimize their occurrence.
Pros
  • Durable, scratch proof, and very clear glass
  • Unique light management system
  • Very easy to use, clear reticle
  • Crisp, precise, and repeatable turrets
  • Easy adjustments
Cons
  • Does not have parallax adjustment
With or without the side focus dial, the Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm remains a great scope for coyote hunting. Its light gathering capabilities make the Freedom a reliable device for hunting varmints at dusk.

#7 ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle ScopeThe scope is the perfect choice for hunters of any varmint. This is a night vision scope for coyote hunting as well as for hunting other nocturnal and crepuscular varmints. It is every sci-fi hunter’s dream target sighting device.

As a high-quality varmint scope for AR-15, the scope delivers all-day and all-night performance that conventional scopes can never match. Even scopes with multicoated lens and those with very large objectives can never perform what the X-Sight does.

This is a reliable night vision scope that also doubles as a dependable daytime scope. Its versatility allows hunters to shoot any type of varmint.

The sighting tool will also look good on any AR-15. It has this futuristic and modular look that complements the modular nature of the AR platform. There are also advanced technologies in the scope that make it a great device for entertainment as it does for hunting. From video recording capabilities to Wi-Fi streaming and many more, you cannot get a smarter scope than the X-Sight II.

At more than 4 pounds, the scope can make your AR rifle feel like a ton. Such an issue can be a real concern if you intend to hunt more than one coyote. Lifting the rifle can be tricky enough. Holding it steady with a 4-lb scope can be very tiring.
Pros
  • Great optics for a digital device
  • HD-quality images for both daytime and nighttime hunting
  • Come with other advanced technologies
  • Features live streaming capabilities
  • With a ballistic calculator for more precise shots
Cons
  • Very heavy
Regardless of the weight issue, the scope is the best scope for predator hunting. It has all the right features to make you a very effective hunter, in both day and night.

#8 Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40 Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle RiflescopeCoyotes have learned to adapt. Many of these creatures now go out at twilight, while some may even go out at night. It is safer for them. However, people who are serious about making a successful coyote shot will require a scope with amazing light gathering capabilities. This is where Bushnell’s Banner 3-9×40 Dusk & Dawn can be very useful.

We think of the Banner Dusk & Dawn as the best predator scope around. It has great optical quality and its light gathering capabilities are superb. There is no need for fancy thermal imaging gadgets to mount onto your AR. Bushnell already enhanced the light transmissibility of the Dusk & Dawn. Hunting varmints and predators that prowl the grounds at dusk or dawn will be so much easier with this scope from Bushnell. It performs exceptionally whether you are in bright or low light conditions.

The Dusk & Dawn’s depth of field is also admirable. It makes for more efficient sighting of the coyote through the scope. The windage and elevation dials feel crisp. They also provide that lovely clicking sound with each turn. We tested the Dusk & Dawn in our AR and it was able to retain the zero even after making tens of shots.

The problem with the Banner Dusk & Dawn is that it tends to lose some of its image quality when set to 7x to 9x.
Pros
  • Guarantees brighter and clearer target images
  • Ample depth of field
  • Good light gathering capabilities
  • Reliable holding of zero
  • Quick-focusing eyepiece
Cons
  • Some image distortion at high magnification
The distortions in the image are not that great to affect the overall performance of the Dusk & Dawn. Our opinion is that this scope is still a trustworthy device for hunting varmints like coyotes and others.

#9 Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope

Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle ScopeBeing a subsidiary of Bushnell works to Simmons’ advantage. This brand produces good quality scopes that are less expensive than the scopes produced by its parent company. One of Simmons’ best scopes is the 8-Point 3-9x50mm. Its design makes the 8-Point one of the best coyote hunting scope products on the market.

The 8-Point comes with an objective lens that is so large, the scope no longer requires artificial illumination. The image of a coyote in the scope is as clear as any other optics with a 50mm glass. The size of glass guarantees better light transmission. And when you add the multi-coated characteristics of the 8-Point, you know you have a reliable device on your AR.

The lens diameter is not the only thing that is noteworthy of the 8-Point. We also consider its build quality superb. Our test unit never formed condensation when we tried shooting several coyote targets on a very humid day.

Simmons made sure that its turrets work perfectly. You may find turning the dials to take some getting used to. Overall, however, the dials are crisp and they offer you excellent feedback during shot compensation.

The Simmons 8-Point would have earned from us a perfect 5 if not for some issues with its reticle quality. The reticle is clear. Unfortunately, the scope tends to experience a loss in reticle quality as you dial in the magnification to the highest possible setting.
Pros
  • Clear and large diameter lens
  • Good light transmissibility
  • Sharp and reliable turrets
  • True zero adjustment dials
  • Good, solid construction
Cons
  • Reticle tends to get blurry when zoomed in
The reticle issue should never dissuade you from bringing the Simmons 8-Point 3-9×50 home. It has the optical performance of a Bushnell at a fraction of the price. The scope looks impressive, too

#10 Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35 Riflescope

Trijicon ACOG 3.5x35 RiflescopeIf you want a powerful-looking scope to go with your .556 NATO chambered AR-15 for hunting predators, then Trijicon has you covered. The ACOG 3.5×35 is the preferred CQB sight for many special forces around the world. And if military specialists love the sight, then there is no reason you should not love it, too. This is especially true if you want to ensure a kill shot with every pull of the trigger.

Fitting the ACOG in an AR-15 makes perfect sense if you want to hunt varmints like coyotes. The fixed lens allows for faster acquisition of targets since you no longer must dial in the correct settings. And if you are not shooting close range, then you can still rely on the ACOG’s remarkable reticle markings. The reticle comes with both ranging and bullet drop compensation capabilities for better shot accuracy.

Trijicon also replaced the classic red dot with a caret in the center of the sight. We think this is more appropriate for the arrow design of the reticle.

We also appreciate Trijicon’s use of a combination of fiber optics and tritium in powering the reticle.

Unfortunately, we find the absence of a manual brightness adjustment system to be the ACOG’s undoing. The reticle tends to get washed out in very bright environments. This would not have been an issue if the caret was not in pale red.
Pros
  • Powerful and ultra-modern tactical look
  • Multifunctional reticle
  • Does not require a battery to illuminate the reticle
  • Excellent target tracking and acquisition
  • Rugged construction
Cons
  • No manual adjustment of reticle brightness
The Trijicon ACOG is a high-quality predator scope for AR-15. It allows for very fast acquisition of targets, while also ensuring absolute precision every time. The scope also improves the AR’s aesthetics.

Buying Guide

What Makes a Great AR-15 Coyote Hunting Scope?

best scope for coyote hunting

Coyotes are very elusive creatures and that is why an AR-15 scope is the best hunting tool to use in order have a good fighting chance at success. What makes a great AR-15 hunting scope isn’t just about choosing the best optics for AR-15 coyote hunting. If you are a coyote hunting enthusiast or a newbie hunter who is just as excited in the coming coyote season, knowing what to look for in a hunting scope is a must.

Finding high quality scopes with a good fast-focus eyepiece, multiple coated lenses and easy adjustments are some considerations. In the following, let’s find out what makes a great coyote hunting scope.

The scope should be lightweight and not too bulky. Apart from that, the lens should be coated well against fog. You also want to make sure that it has a 60/60 range and the ability to acquire the target quickly. And since hunting is an outdoor activity, the scope should be both shockproof and weather proof if you want it to outlive two hunting seasons.

For newbie hunters, it is advisable to pick a scope that can be mounted easily and would not require calibration. Also, a great choice would be an AR-15 scope that has dot reticles and a reliable laser mount. Another thing to look out for is the adjustment knobs and mounting rings. If their construction is not weak, then there is nothing to worry about.

What Magnification Do You Need?

best coyote hunting scope

Coyotes, as everyone knows, are sneaky, fast, and smart creatures. When you combine all these characteristics, then it is easy to understand why coyote hunting is a well-known and thrilling hobby for some hunters. In relation to this, a good hunter should know the most important thing to consider in choosing a hunting scope, and that is Magnification. When it comes to magnification, what amount is needed often varies on a lot of factors.

First, the environment you are going to be hunting in should be considered. If you will be hunting in the Deep South, it is not recommended to choose a close-range optics. You should go for a quality rifle scope that has 3x-9x magnification. And for hunters who will be in Great Plains, there’s a high possibility that most of your shots will have to reach as far as 400 yards. For longer shots like this, a magnification of 14x-20x would be your best bet.

Second, an excellent choice scope should depend on your personal preference. Some hunters like to use 4x-14x magnification. The reason for this is because it is perfect for both close range and long-range shots. Also, buying a scope with quality and a low price will save you a few bucks because you will not have to buy two separate optics for varying range of shots.

Factors to Consider when Buying the AR-15 Scope for Coyote Hunting

best AR 15 scope for coyote hunting

Many hunters out there go for coyote hunting out of pure fun. But, like a few dedicated hunters, if you want to make it pro someday, you better start asking questions like what the best optics for AR-15 coyote hunting is, and the like. This question is of utmost concern since some hunters still go wrong in choosing the high quality optics. In order to help you make a good choice, below are just some of the factors to consider when buying a top rated AR-15 Coyote hunting Scope on the market.

The price

This is a no-brainer since not all hunters belong to the top 1%. And even if you do, you would still want to choose a budget scope that is the best value for money. Very nice scopes are with top quality but affordable price, such as for a 2-7x36mm scope. For a 3-9x40mm scope, it can be more expensive. The higher the quality, the better the performance.

Magnification

This can never be stressed enough. It is all in the magnification. Even though this might be the most objective and most contentious factor to decide upon, there’s a reason why some hunters fail to catch their pray, and this is probably due to choosing the wrong magnification on their hunting scope. Before buying an AR-15 coyote hunting scope, you must carefully process where, geographically speaking, you would be hunting. Whether you plan on hunting in the swamps, in the woodlands or even in the wide-open plains, there are different magnifications suitable for different locations.

Reticle

This magnification for a great rifle scope will help you estimate the distance, automatically judge the bullet drop, and most importantly, correct and adjust for wind movement. Some manufacturers would advertise that the best scope for coyote hunting is one that is tuned specifically to your loaded bullet. However, this isn’t always the case. Most successful hunters go for a simple duplex reticle because it can already get the job done. But as a rule of thumb, you should buy a stylish scope with a reticle that you are most comfortable with because this will help you perform better.

Contrast and Clarity

Most, if not all, a high end AR-15 coyote hunting scope are made with valuable glass. But if you want to go the extra mile and ensure that you are well-equipped, investing more in a quality glass is not a crime. A glass with good contrast and clarity should not wash out colors. It should not be just single coated, but multi coated. Make sure to choose the coolest scope that is also anti-fog, you wouldn’t want to lose sight of your target if the weather does not cooperate.

Light-gathering

It is general knowledge that coyotes are more active during dusk or dawn. So, for you to have an advantage, it is preferable to use a scope with light-gathering capabilities. You can do this by getting a scope with large-sized objective lens. With this at your disposable, your hunting escapade would be a breeze.

(Source: [1], [2], [3])

Conclusion

The AR-15 is a very versatile weapon. One way you can enhance its versatility is by choosing the right accessory to go with it. And if you are in the hunt for coyotes or any other varmint, you need the best scope for AR-15 coyote hunting.

The ideal coyote hunter’s scope is one that has exceptional glass quality, reliable turret dynamics, and good magnification. Other useful scope features include excellent weatherproofing, clear crosshairs, enough relief for the eyes, and ease of mounting. We hope our list of the best scopes for an AR-15 coyote gunning system will help you determine the best device for your AR-15.

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