Best Optics For M4 Carbine

While the M4 was originally made to service the US Marines and replace the M16, it was banned from public access and civilian use. Sure, you can’t get your hands on the real thing unless you are part of the troops.

But as you know already, there are some alternatives and “clones” per say. Which imitates the real thing close enough to not distinguish between the two and still have an M4 experience.

If you are looking for a necessary M4 upgrade, the first thing will be the optic. That’s why today I will try to show you guys some of the best scopes for M4 on the market. Without further ado, let’s start.

Best Scopes For M4 Carbine [Editor’s Picks]

1. NightForce NXS 2.5-10X42mm ZeroStop Hunting Scope

While the M4 Carbine can be used long-range, the gun isn’t often used for that task. But if you still want a taste of good long-range plinking and target practicing, there is no alternative to a good long-range scope.

The NightForce NXS is a very good mid to long-range riflescope. The base magnification of the scope is 2.5x and you can wind it up all the way to 10x.

With a huge fully multi-coated 42 mm objective lens, the scope is capable of gathering a lot of light and helps you shoot well under low light as well.

The scope is great for hunting. In fact, it’s excellent for deer hunting and doing occasional big game stuff.

The accuracy of the scope is excellent. The chassis of the scope is made out of high-quality aluminum. The aluminum is anodized and the tube is purged with nitrogen to make it immune to internal fogging.

Is the reticle illuminated?

Yes, the reticle is illuminated. You will get multiple options of brightness to choose from.

Is this scope night vision compatible?

Yes, it is. There are brightness settings present on the optic which are specifically made to be used during the night. You can choose from red/green illumination. From very dim to very bright.

Is the magnification process smooth or jittering?

The process is smooth with no motion blur or distortion. The power throw lever instantly changes the magnification. Really handy if you are wearing gloves.

2. Eotech Vudu 1-6x24mm Precision Riflescope

The next scope I want to recommend is from Eotech. That’s right, the same Eotech that is famous for making holographic sights. The Vudu is a tactical shooting riflescope with very minimal magnification to allow you to shoot around 200 yards and more.

Vudu is available in different reticle options and all of them are in the first focal plane. It is also made out of extremely durable aluminum. The aluminum is lightweight and the inside of the tube is purged chemically to make it immune to moisture and internal fogging.

Eotech uses XC high-density glass and treats it with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating. Resulting in high-contrast images.

They are also vibrant and have no issues with color fading out or anything like that. The reticle is also available in green color.

What’s the main tube size of this scope?

It has a 30mm main tube. You will need to purchase rings that are 30mm wide.

What’s that lever near the objective lens?

The low-profile lever is a zoom lever. You can magnify quickly with that lever.

Is this a good hunting scope?

It’s not meant to be used as one. But hey, hunters are known to make work with whatever they have. So, I will leave the hunting up to you.

3. Trijicon Acog 4X32 Dual Illuminated Scope

If you have seen pictures of troops with M4, you have seen them use the ACOG. Trijicon ACOG has been widely used by militaries and law enforcement workers for years now. ACOG is reliable at close to medium range and rocks a fixed magnification.

The scope is built from solid aluminum. The aluminum chassis is durable and purged with chemicals to make it fogproof.

As this was made for military use, Trijicon made sure it lasted in warlike conditions. In terms of durability, this is the best M4 scope.

The lenses are fully multi-coated. They are bright, vivid, and have good color contrast. The accuracy of the scope is excellent. As it’s tuned for .223 Remington, the M4 carbine will work flawlessly paired with the Chevron .223 Ballistic reticle.

Does this have a mounting system?

Yes, it does. It features a weaver style mounting system on the bottom of the scope.

Where is this made?

It’s made in the USA.

Is the reticle illuminated?

Yes, it is. It’s a dual illumination reticle. It uses a tritium fiber optic to illuminate the reticle based on available surrounding light.

4. Vortex Optics Viper PST 1-6×24 Gen II SFP Riflescope

Viper PST Gen II is a great tactical and hunting scope. It’s mostly used for recreational shooting and occasional small game hunting. The scope is available in different magnifications and reticles.

Viper is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and the tube is purged with argon. On top of that, the lenses are made out of ED glasses and they use XR fully multi-coating with Aromortek coating as well.

This coating makes the scope perform incredibly well under low light and makes it resistant to oil, dirt, and scratches.

The scope also comes with a reticle that is illuminated. You will find 10 intensity levels to choose from.

There is also an option to turn off the reticle brightness if you want to. While the scope offers a good hunting experience, it offers an equally good plinking and range shooting experience.

Is this a good choice for plinking?

Depends on how serious you are about the sport. It’s a good scope for recreational shooting but it’s also quite expensive. That’s why you will need to make sure you are okay with spending this much for plinking. If you are, this is one of the best.

Where is this scope made?

The scope is manufactured in the Philippines. Vortex imports most of their glass for lenses from Japan. However, the scope assembly was done in the Philippines.

What kind of mount does this use?

It uses 30 mm mounting rings. You cannot use 1” rings with it or 34mm. You will need to buy 30mm rings.

5. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm SFP Riflescope

Strike Eagle is one of the best scopes Vortex ever made. The Eagle has been soaring through the USA for a long time now. This variant of the Eagle is in the second focal plane and you have multiple reticles and magnifications to choose from.

The one that I recommend with the M4 is the 1-6×24 mm variant with BDC3 reticle.

The Strike Eagle is made out of durable aircraft grade aluminum and the aluminum inside is purged with nitrogen. Nitrogen purging eliminates all moisture from the inside and makes the optic fogproof.

The lenses on the scope are fully multi-coated. The eyepiece features a fast focus dial. It allows you to refocus on your reticle quickly and smoothly. The lenses also have an anti-reflective coating to them. They are oil resistant, scratch resistant, and water repelling. While the scope is not scratch proof, it surely is waterproof.

Is this a good scope for hunting?

It’s a great scope for hunting. In fact, a lot of people use this for whitetail and deer sized animal hunting.

Is there a throw lever?

Yes, there is. You will find a threaded throw lever in the box. You can choose to use it or not use it. But make sure to not overtighten the lever. Once you installed it, you can easily increase or decrease the magnification of your scope in seconds.

Are the turrets capped?

Yes, they are. You will need to remove the turret caps to make any adjustments to the scope.

6. Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom is a compact tactical shooting scope made for rifles like the M4 Carbine. In fact, it’s one of the best scopes for M4 at this price. The scope is capable of hunting and tactical shooting.

With an aluminum structure, the scope is made to last in harsh conditions. The tube is a single piece design and it features an anodized black finish with a golden accent ring. The aesthetic of the scope is top-notch.

So are the lenses. They are fully multi-coated and they are extremely bright. Paired with Leupold’s light management system, they perform incredibly well under low-light conditions. The reticle is a non-illuminated one.

Can this be used with a 20 gauge shotgun?

Yes, it can be. The scope has a durable enough body to last shotgun blasts with ease.

Is the reticle on the first focal plane?

Unfortunately not. The reticle is in the second focal plane. In fact, all VX-Freedom scopes are.

What is the size of the main tube of the scope?

The main tube of the scope is sized at 1 inch. You cannot use 30mm rings.

7. Bushnell 3-9×40 Riflescope with DZ 223 Reticle

The AR optics from Bushnell is the perfect companion for your M4 carbine. It’s also one of the cheapest options on the market and it’s one of those that just makes sense. The scope is feature rich with the right equipment and coatings.

The scope is constructed to be durable enough to withstand water and shocks from the rifle & also fogproof as the insides are purged with aluminum.

Due to its durable structure, the scope is compatible with much more powerful guns than ARs.

The scope is available in illuminated and non-illuminated reticles. The illuminated one has a center illumination. It’s quite bright and visible under any lighting conditions. The scope reticle is compensated for 600 yards or more.

Does Bushnell include scope rings with this optic?

They don’t. You will need to buy rings on your own. Make sure to buy 30mm rings.

Where is this scope made?

It’s made in South Korea. It’s not a Chinese made optic.

Can I reset the turrets to zero?

Yes, you can. It comes with turrets tuned for different calibers. Use the one that goes with your ammo.

If you are not interested in scopes and want to have something for CQB instead, then these optics are for you.

1. Aimpoint CompM5 Red Dot Reflex Sight

CompM5 is a compact and lightweight optical solution for AR. The optic is made out of extremely durable aluminum. The aluminum is lightweight and purged with nitrogen to make it immune to fogging.

The fully multi-coated lens also features an illuminated reticle with adjustable illuminations. The reticle is 2 MOA in size. It won’t obstruct your vision rather add a way to focus on your target faster.

Does this optic come with a mounting system?

No, it doesn’t. You will only get an optic in the package with flip-up lens covers. But you will need to buy a mounting system from Aimpoint separately.

Is this optic compatible with a magnifier?

Yes, sir. You can buy the Aimpoint 3x magnifier and pair them up together.

Does this take the same mount as T1/T2?

Yes, the CompM5 uses the same micro series mount interface.

2. EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Weapon Sight

If you have searched for M4, then you have seen the soldiers using M4 with a holographic sight. 100% chances are they are using holographic sights from Eotech. In fact, the EXPS3 is one of the most used holographic sights on by law enforcement service and soldiers.

The EXPS3 has a couple of variants that are slightly different from each other and some of them are more expensive than others.

The optic comes with an illuminated holographic reticle that you can adjust the brightness. All the adjustments of the optics are on the side of the optic.

Does Eotech offer any warranty?

They do. They offer a 10 years heritage warranty with their optics.

Does it come with a mounting system?

Yes, it does. It comes with a weaver and MIL-STD 1913 rails. The rail is also quick detachable.

3. Trijicon MRO-C-2200018 1x25mm (MRO) Patrol Riflescope

Trijicon MRO is a great optic for AR and SMGs. The optic is made out of aluminum and the lens of the optic is also fully multi-coated. The red dot reticle is 2 MOA in size and you can adjust the brightness of the reticle as well.

You can purchase the optic with a co-witness mounting system or buy it with no mounting system at all. Depending on which configuration you go for, you will save or spend some money.

Is the housing waterproof?

Yes, it is. The housing is also shock and fogproof.

Is the eye relief unlimited?

Yes, it is. There is no specific set amount of eye relief available on the scope.

4. Aimpoint Pro Red Dot Reflex Sight

Aimpoint sights are quite good and their red dots are usable in military tactical warfare as well. The Aimpoint Pro is a reflex sight made to last in warlike conditions. The lens on the optic is also fully multi-coated. They perform incredibly well and the tube is water, shock, and fogproof.

With the help of a DL1/3N battery, the optic is capable of constantly operating for around 30k hours. Keep in mind that data is valid if you are using the lower brightness options. If you are using it at the 10th level, you might see half of that if not less battery life.

Mounting equipment included?

Yes, it is. You will find an easy to install weaver rail-supported mounting system on the optic.

Can I use this with .308?

Yes, you can. A lot of people use this on that cartridge and no complaints so far. Pretty sure you won’t complain either.

Is this a co-witness mounting system?

Yes, it is. It will co-witness well with something like the Tavor SAR as well.

5. Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight

I know you saw this coming already. The Romeo 5 is the easiest red dot recommendation for any rifle in existence. Whether it’s a M4 or a M416 or even an AK47, the Romeo 5 can and will work flawlessly on any weapon you want to throw at it.

The optic is made out of incredibly durable aluminum. The housing is made out of solid aluminum.

The optic is shock, water, and fogproof as well. The sight also features MOTAC. A motion activated sensor that turns on the illumination when it senses some movements on the optic and turns off when it doesn’t.

Can I co-witness mount this?

Yes, you definitely can. It comes with a low mount and an absolute co-witness mount. Install the one that you want.

Can it handle the recoil of a shotgun?

It was designed for AR use. But it can handle the recoil of a shotgun.


And there you have it. Some of the best scopes for M4 and some of the best optics for M4 as well. Whether you like red dot sights or the scope, I will leave that decision to yours. No matter what you like, you cannot go wrong with your decision.

After all, these are some of the best all-rounder optics in the market.

With that said, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading as usual. I appreciate you all coming here. Hope to see you guys at the next one too. Till then, take care and have fun.

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