What Type Of Scope Does The Military Use?

The military has been at the forefront of advancement. Both in weapons and technology. The equipment they use in the field had been tested by some of the countries finest men and women.

Well, what type of scopes do the military use? The answer to that question is based upon a lot of different factors such as government contracts, and the general fighting style of the military at the moment.

what type of scope does the military use

Most Common Military Scopes

The military is very fond of the M4 carbine, therefore most commonly the scopes found are for that weapon. Scopes for close combat such as the 553 EOTech or the M68 CCO are common, and for longer distances, some rifles may be fitted with ACOG scopes. Sniper rifles in the military are most often fitted with a Leupold Mark 4 or a Schmidt & Bender PMII.

Military Shooting Style and Scope Choice

When considering the type of scope common for the military it’s important to understand the fighting style of the military. Most often close to medium range combat is where it all takes place. Which is why scopes that excel in that area are used.

It’s also important to understand that not every soldier is carrying a sniper rifle. This is important to consider because those that are; generally pick their own scope. Those are just the most common in my opinion.

This leaves us with the M68 CCO, EOTech 553, and ACOG. All of which have scopes equivalent to them in the civilian sector for purchasing. Which is sought after because the environments and conditions these scopes are subjected to have proven them to be worth every penny.


This site is easy to use and as durable as they come. It was designed with the “eyes open” firing method in mind. Allowing soldiers to fire with both or only one eye open.

Also designed to be parallax-free at 50+ meters. It is a red dot, reflex sight made to fit the most common weapon in the military. The Army actually has an overload of these scopes due to contracts that they have with the manufacturer.

If you plan on looking for this scope to purchase then the civilian equivalent is known as the Aimpoint CompM4. Provides some solid accuracy and it’s fun to shoot with. The speed and precision that some practice with this scope can achieve are one of the reasons the Military is as powerful as it is.

EOTech 553

A holographic site with a laser red dot to allow for a smaller reticle. Giving the shooter increased accuracy at the cost of a battery that drains fairly quickly. Another scope that was designed to be used with an “eyes open” firing method, but is also night vision compatible.

It is made to be used in any climate and the most extreme weather conditions. However, these aren’t the most useful features for civilian shooters. This is mainly because this scope is more common among the spec ops crews where extremes are the norm.

This scope, however, has been battle tested and found to be worthy. The rise in new and more advanced scopes is causing the military to begin phasing these out and replacing them with the EXPS3 model. Which has all of the good qualities of the 553 and none of the drawbacks; like battery issues. If you are in the market for it then I recommend finding an EOTech EXPS3, do to the possible discontinuation of the 553 model.

ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight)

The special forces are to thank once again for another addition to our list. The ACOG sight is widely recognized and becoming more and more common in the military. With the magnification being a key factor in deciding which model you might be seeing.

Trijicon ACOG sights are your best bet if you ever wanted to try them. The more common is a model 4 x 32 BAC, TA31RCO-M150CP. It’s what Trijicon refers to as an “Army Rifle Combat Optic (RCO)”. As popularity grows however it isn’t impossible that the military will add different ACOG sights to their collection.

The ACOG uses a fiber optic light pipe for daytime reticle illumination and tritium decay instead of batteries. Which has a useable life of 10-15 years. Making these scopes cost efficient and that much more appealing to the military. That and the durability of these are what make it so popular, and also what makes them so expensive.

Sniper Rifle Scopes

As I said earlier the most commonly found scopes would be the Leupold Mk 4 and the Schmidt & Bender PMII. The amount of soldiers that actually shoot at very far distances, however, is small enough that the scopes are generally hand picked by the soldiers themselves.

Pretty much anything that gets the jobs done and won’t break after using once will meet the requirements. Some people will just use whatever they have available, and others may have a Unertl-10 Power scope for a .50 cal rifle. It’s too few and far between to give a precise answer, but those are the most common by far.


In general, you will be running into a soldier with an M4 and an M68 mounted to it. Just based on the sheer amount of them that the military has available to them.  What types of scopes do the military use? The scopes that fit the fighting style of the military at the time their using them. Which is a scope that’s durable, accurate, fast, and perfect for close combat.

As fighting style changes, so will the tools we fight with. However, the military using a specific scope speaks volumes to the quality of scope itself. It has been tested, and proven, which is why they continue using them. I hope you found this information useful and I would like to thank you for reading.

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