The M4 Carbine rifles are advanced versions of M16 rifles. These M4 Carbine versions provide a 14-inch barrel indifference. M4 Carbine rifles are legal, and you need to have a license to use these rifles. Though the task of getting a legal permit is not an easy thing, interest towards M4 rifles has increased among M4 enthusiasts. Some of them developed an M4, which has an additional 1.5-inch barrel also.
However, the traditional M4 Carbine Rifles are the great sporting and tactical weapons that do wonders in the fields.
To avoid the SBR tax stamp, these M4 rifles got increased barrel size and were a great alternative to AR15 rifles. M4 rifles are shot and lighter than AR15, so these work great at close quarter shooting.
If you got your legal license to use M4 rifles, then I hope you are looking to enhance its performance even more and plan to buy the accessories with which you can use the rifle in a better way.
The best scope for the M4 carbine rifle can improve the sight to a significant number. With the right scope mounted on your M4, you get a high level of precision and accuracy while shooting and tactical situations.
If you are buying an M4 rifle and you legally own it, I’m sure you are not going to use it just for small birds or targets. As a professional shooter, you need the best M4 scope and optics for maximizing your performance by receiving clear and bright images despite the light conditions.
In this guide, we have given the best scopes for M4 Carbine rifles, best M4 red dot sights, and best M4 Holographic sights for you. There is also a detailed buying guide covering all the essential factors you should consider while purchasing the M4 Carbine scopes and optics.
Quick Links – 13 Best M4 Carbine Scopes and Optics in 2020
1. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3X Prism Scope – Best For Close to Medium Range Shooting
2. Primary Arms 2.5x Compact Prism Scope – Best Home Defense and Law Enforcement
3. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24mm Riflescope – Best for 3-Gun Competitions
4. Bushnell AR Optics BDC Reticle Riflescope – Best for short-range tactical situations
5. Trijicon ACOG 4×32 Dual Illuminated Scope – Tough ACOG Scope for Day and Night
6. Nikon P-tactical .223 3×32 Carbine Scope – An affordable M4 Scope
7. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic – Best Red Dot to withstand all explosions
8. Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Sight – Highly Featured & Compact Red Dot
9. CVLIFE 1x22x33 Red & Green Dot Reflex Sight – Best for shooting moving targets
10. Sig Sauer ROMEO 5 Red Dot Sight – Fantastic aiming solution for all situations
11. EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight – For Close Quarters Shooting
12. Vortex Optics Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight – Compact sight with Micro USB port
13. EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Sight – Best for Quick Target Acquisition
Best M4 Carbine Scopes and Optics of 2020 Reviewed
1. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3X Prism Scope
The Vortex’s Spitfire series of riflescopes are popular among professional shooters and hunters. Despite its compact size, the scope has advanced features that can provide great performance at the end of the day.
With all the Spitfire scope features and abilities, a shooter can reach his targets in no time. These are the things that make us rank the scope in the first position on our list.
Most of the hunters who used this Vortex Spitfire Scope recommend it for medium and close-range hunting. This vortex spitfire scope is a perfect choice if you need a quick target acquisition. The scope provides excellent performance in all the scenarios where accuracy and speed matter.
Like other M4 scopes, this Vortex model also comes with a multi-coated objective lens. The anti-reflective materials are used in the multilayer coating to avoid glare and fog and allow the shooters to get a clear view of their targets.
The large multi-coated anti-reflective objective lens ensures clear images that can differentiate the targets from the user’s surroundings without concerning lighting conditions.
The best feature of the scope is its illuminated crosshair reticle type, whose brightness levels can be adjusted. So, a shooter can decide how much lighting he needs based on target, environment, and current scenario.
Additionally, these crosshair reticles are engraved on the right of the glass surface. This feature improvises the target precision without getting affected by the lighting conditions.
There are five brightness levels you get from this scope, illuminated in two different colors, such as red and green in the EBR-556B reticle.
With these various lighting and brightness settings, a shooter can match the lighting conditions of the shooting environment. As the reticle is attached to the prism directly, the target’s aim will be picture-perfect every time.
You have the choice to use or not use the illumination of the scope. The position of the scope on your M4 rifle can also be adjusted. The scope is easy to mount and customize to match your rifles.
The scope has 3X fixed magnification power, which means you will get a reliable performance as you don’t want to adjust parallax. Because of fixed magnification, the overall weight also reduced.
The specific O-rings come with the scope to prevent the scope from debris and moisture.
2. Primary Arms 2.5x Compact Prism Scope
The M4 rifles frequently used in medium to close quarters, so the scopes for these rifles sometimes need to be low-magnified, compact, and lightweight units that should provide a great range that iron sights do.
With these in mind, Primary Arms created a compact scope with low magnification power with only 2.5 power illuminated reticle. The scope has built-in bullet drop compensator for close-range shooting and can be mounted to any standard industry rated ACOG type mounting systems. In addition to shooting, this compact Primary Arms low-magnified scope is an excellent choice for home defense and law enforcement. The small and lightweight design of scope makes it ideal for self-defense also.
Among the most popular AR15 rifle scopes, Primary Arms scopes also have a name for their quality, features, and customer satisfaction. The durable scope with user-friendly features that works excellent with ACOG and M4 rifles.
The industry-grade high-quality materials are used to design this scope—the scope easy-to-go design and user-friendly controls that won’t confuse even beginners. The base of this scope has been designed to be quickly removed so you can mount this scope on an M16 carry handle or ACOG for AR15 rifles.
All the close to medium quarters rifles and scopes should have fog proof and a waterproof outer shell so that these can perform well despite the weather conditions and environmental scenarios.
Primary Arms designed this scope not only as compact and easy to use but also durable, fog resistant, and waterproof.
This compact prism scope provides reliable performance and accurate range of your targets even in low light conditions. You can easily handle and manage this scope on your shooting and hunting adventures.
The scope used the Advanced Combine Sighting System (ACSS) CQB-M for the reticle. Now, you know why the scope has most recommendations from the shooters. This reticle type is attached to the right of the glass surface, so the reticle will be visible even if there is no illumination.
In addition to the reticle, their brightness settings also blow your mind. Yes, Primary Arms offered 11 brightness levels in this scope, so a hunter can adjust the brightness to match the current environment. All these extensive features give you a chance to enjoy shooting with quick aiming and acquisition.
The exit pupil of the scope is 10. 16-mm, which is another positive feature that promotes clear and bright sight while forgiving the eye box. The zeroing of this scope is easily brought by tactile and audible 1/2 MOA turret clicks.
3. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24mm Riflescope
If you are looking for a scope that specially designed for M4 carbine rifles with variable magnification power settings, I suggest this Vortex Optics Strike Eagle scope for your list of options.
The primary application of this variable magnification scope is to be used in 3-gun competitions. The scope performs well in all kinds of applications and scenarios where a shooter or hunter requires speedy long-range aiming on targets rather than the accuracy.
The scope has a 1x to 6x variable magnification range, which is enough for close-range targets to the distance of 600-yards.
The scope comes with illuminated and glass-etched BDC reticles with 11 illumination settings. With this number, various brightness settings enable the shooter to use the scope effectively in all lighting conditions outdoors.
The scope included a windage cap where you can store the extra battery for your scope, which can be removed and added easily—having a spare battery. At the same time, hunting or shooting is the most important tip that any hunter or shooter will give.
The eyepiece of this Vortex Optics Strike Eagle scope has a built-in fast focus dial that performs great stimulation in the sharpness of the reticle every time.
The manufacturer designed this scope for close quarters, but they still made it durable, weather-resistant, fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof that any high-end professional hunting scope should have.
The 24 mm objective lens of the scope is fully multi-coated with anti-reflective materials. This high-quality lens delivers bright and clear images, even though the scope deals with low light conditions.
The riflescope’s reticle used SFP (Second Focal Plane), which remains in the same size despite varying magnification settings.
4. Bushnell AR Optics BDC Reticle Riflescope
Bushnell optics do not need an introduction as they prove their ability, innovation, and quality in their products for many decades. The optics and sights from Bushnell have separate popularity in the market among hunters and shooters.
One of their best scope that can work great with M4 Carbine rifles is this Bushnell AR Optics riflescope. The scope has won many other AR scopes with extensive features and liabilities.
The scope offers 1x to 4x variable magnification so you can adjust the scope based on your need. With this magnification range, the scope can handle all the short-range targets with accuracy and perfection.
This Bushnell Drop Zone Riflescope is a great choice for tactical and survival situations. The scope works great for tactical rifles, AR, and carbine rifles.
Using the BDC reticle, the scope provides excellent performance with accuracy when used in the mid-range shooting. The objective lens of the scope is coated with multiple layers like anti-reflective or glare materials or anything that avoids false aiming and ranging. This high quality and coated lens of scope adds extra validity to the unit and provides hope to the hunters.
To improve the ability of the exterior body of the scope and withstand extreme weather and environmental conditions, the manufacturer used high-quality, durable materials that provide outstanding protection to the scope from debris or other scenarios and make the scope long-lasting.
The accuracy of the scope in close quarters is unmatchable by even high-end optics around there. With this scope for close range, you will not get disappointed with the accuracy and fast aiming.
The medium style weapon sight that combines with a turret targeting system placed on durable aluminum housing performs well by improving the brightness options of the scope.
Another rewarding feature of the scope is its fast focus eyepiece that improves both accuracy and reliability of the scope.
The scope has an anodized finished design that made it fog proof, scratch proof, rush proof, and waterproof weapon sight. The turret system of the scope can be adjusted easily is another plus point.
Besides, the scope has a protective lens cap that prevents the optics from damages due to weather conditions.
5. Trijicon ACOG 4×32 Dual Illuminated Scope
When you prepare the best M4 optics and scopes, you can’t miss out on the ACOG scopes from the list. ACOG scopes are one of the most advanced and warfighting optics that the US military has. ACOG optics and scopes are popular, and all the professional and serious shooters know the demand of these scopes and their abilities. If you only want the best for your M4 carbine, then you must consider this ACOG optics.
This Acog 4 X 32 Scope is almost similar to real Trijicon ACOG scopes from USMC. These are the actual warfighting scopes that are nearly indestructible. This is because of how these scopes are designed with sturdy materials that can withstand shock, fog, water, and other environmental conditions. The military-grade aluminum material with a Cerakote finish used to create this scope. These are the things that blow shooters’ minds and make them run behind ACOG optics.
The scopes offer 4x fixed magnification power that reduces the overall weight and increases the accuracy and provides reliable performance.
The 32mm objective lens has multiple layers of the coating, including anti-reflection materials and more. The advanced fiber-optic illuminated reticle in the scope takes responsibility to offer precise aiming.
The ACOG scope has Chevron Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC) with which the scope can illuminate even with little lighting during the night or the bright morning.
In the daytime, this Trijicon ACOG fiber optics provides better illumination with possible lighting conditions. Meanwhile, at night, the Tritium phosphor lamp in the scope illuminates the light particles for better sight. This Tritium phosphor lamp can serve you a minimum of 15 years. These are the real features that you can only get from the Real Trijicon ACOG Scope.
The ACOG clones and alternatives are replacing this Tritium phosphor lamp with batteries that will power the illumination.
The scope is compatible with TA51 Picatinny flat top rail adapter mounting systems and neoprene scope coat.
If the budget is not an object for you but the quality and accuracy, this ACOG scope should be your first choice.
6. Nikon P-tactical .223 3×32 Carbine Scope
You can’t deny the fact that in the world of optics and scopes, Nikon has made a great revolution and innovation. Nikon has specialized scopes for each type of rifle and gun. Likewise, this Nikon P-tactical .223 3×32 Carbine Scope is dedicated to Carbine rifles.
The special O-ring in this scope was added to prevent water from entering into the scope and made it a waterproof unit. The scope is wholly purged with nitrogen, which means the unit is fog proof too. Despite the weather and environment, the scope will not fail to provide accurate and fast aiming.
The matte black finish of the scope avoids the false ranging due to glare even if it is minimal. If you have already used M4 scopes, you may notice how strong the scopes recoil. So, the manufacturer has to make it clear that the scope can withstand strong recoils. For this reason, the scope has full eye relief.
The 3x fixed magnification of the scope offers brighter and clearer images three times better than the real one. With this magnification range, you get 3.4 inches of eye relief.
The scope has a BDC Carbine Reticle that can illuminate light up to 200 yards crosshairs with which you can view your targets from any distance. The reticle illumination of the scope is designed for .223 REm/5.56 NATO round with a 55-grain polymer tip bullet.
The reticle is designed in a way that you can adjust it to get the zero quickly. 1/2-MOA Hand-turn Tactical-Style and Zero-Reset Turrets are the reasons for this.
The 32mm objective lens of the scope has fully multi-coated. With this large lens, the scope allows maximum light transmission and brightness settings, even if you are in pitch darkness.
The scope optic has been made as rugged, and the main tube is constructed using aircraft-grade aluminum. This construction and design ideas of the scope make it an ergonomic choice. The spring-loaded knobs can be adjusted for windage and elevation that can be reset to zero after sighting.
Best M4 Red Dot Sights of 2020 Reviewed
7. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optics is also known as Aimpoint PRO, the most recommended red dot sight for M4 Carbine. If you check the best red dot sight for M4, you will not see an article without mentioning this Aimpoint Pro.
The primary goal of this red dot sight is to withstand all explosions. The most robust and durable red dot sight you can ever find for M4 is Aimpoint Pro.
Red dot sights from Aimpoint are mostly expensive, but this Aimpoint Pro is an affordable option for those who would like to try out the best red dot sight but have a small budget.
To be clear, this Aimpoint Pro is one of the most affordable sights in its products. With this price, the features and performance it gives to you are recognizable.
The scope is made of high-quality, rugged materials to resist heat, dust, water, drop, and impact while using. If you need an above-average scope with less price and magnification, this scope is reasonable. This scope is compatible with all types of night vision devices and magnifiers.
The 2 MOA reticle in the scope is sharp and adjustable to match the hunting environment’s lighting conditions. The scope comes with six daylight modes and four night-vision modes that you can’t find in other less priced scopes of its class.
The battery life of the Aimpoint Pro scope can not match with even high-end expensive scopes. The scope is powered by a single 3v lithium battery that can give you almost 30,000 hours of continuous operation. It means you don’t have to replace or worry about the battery for a maximum of 3.5 years once you bought it.
The Patrol Rifle Optic is parallax free like other red dot sights available in the market. You get limited eye relief with this scope. If you are not going to sight with this red dot for more than 100 yards while shooting, this eye relief will not be a problem. If you could pair the red dot with a magnifier, you can get even more eye relief.
8. Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Sight
Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is another excellent choice that won’t make you wrong. The durable metal has been the primary material used to design the scope that makes it sturdy. With all these, the scope boats a compact and small design.
The scope has sturdy and durable housing that can withstand heavy abuse and accidental droppings without compromising the performance and accuracy for shooters and hunters. This compact red dot sight from Bushnell is easy to mount.
The mounting base of the scope is compatible with most of the major Picatinny tails in the rifles and guns. Apart from shooting, this scope can be used for shooting competitions, shooting long beards, and more. The hunter can easily adjust the brightness settings of the scope, depending on their requirements and hunting situations using the easy adjustment dial.
The red dot offered by this compact riflescope is taken from a LED and mounted within an optic tube that can work up to 11 brightness adjustments settings that help the shooters to match the lighting of the scope with the current environmental lighting conditions.
The 25mm objective allows high light transmission and illuminates more light. Thus, the hunter or shooter gets excellent clarity of the picture and accuracy of their target while aiming. The wide objective lens ensures the hunter receives detailed images of targets all time, which is only possible with expensive red dot sights.
A single CR2032 battery is used to power up the scope and illuminate the light particles. The convenient and preventive lens cap protects the lens from debris and moisture. The scope is waterproof to the level that it can sub-merged to the water up to 10-feet without getting internal damages.
The scope has all the preventive features and functions to fight against humid conditions and weather conditions.
9. CVLIFE 1x22x33 Red & Green Dot Reflex Sight
Another great red dot we are going to review next is from CVLIFE. The Red Green Dot Sight from CVLIFE is great for shooting moving targets. If you are most likely to hunt and shoot moving targets and need high chances of hitting them, then this CVLIFE Red Green Dot Sight is a suitable choice for you.
CVLIFE red-green dot weapon sight offers great accuracy and fast aiming that all the hunters and shooters need in their hunting.
The red-green dot sight is suitable to use in all the weather conditions and shooting adventures where you need at most accuracy from your sight and rifle. The scope comes with two different dot colors such as Red and Green. So the hunter or shooter can choose either color in which he/she feels the perfect one based on their targets and hunting situations.
These customizable features improve the accuracy while shooting and give the joy and valuable experience to the shooters. The great objective lens clarity that you get from this red dot sight also makes sure the hunter will not disturb by changing weather conditions and lighting, including heavy rain, snow, smog, fog, or glaring sun.
The objective lens of the scope has coated with multiple layers using anti-reflective and other moisture preventive materials, which increase the clarity of the optics further despite current hunting field scenarios.
One feature that can make you fond of this scope is its unlimited eye relief. A dot dight with limitless eye relief aids four reticle patterns. Thus, you can adjust and correct the parallax easily.
The high-quality military-grade aluminum alloy material used to build this red-green dot sight that finished with matte black. Now, you know why the scope is durable but still lightweight.
The Allen wrench comes with this red dot sight aid and is adjusting the windage and elevation quickly.
10. Sig Sauer ROMEO 5 Red Dot Sight
Sig Sauer always has a great name for its optics and red dot sights. All the sighting and ranging devices from Sig Sauer have high demand and separate customer following.
I liked how the manufacturer incorporated the extensive features into this compact and small design without compromising the quality.
The very first thing about the scope that will amaze any hunter or shooter is the scope’s ability to offer the fastest aiming solutions for all the lighting and weather conditions.
The red dot sight has all the essential features that fulfill the needs of common people and armed forces. To promote the quick replacement of the battery, the scope has come up with the side loading battery. With that, you can change the battery quickly in critical situations.
The battery used in the scope offers almost 5 000 hours of continuous operation time. To save power and extend the battery life of the scope, the scope has an automatic shut-off function, which means the scope shuts off itself when it detects no use for some time.
The scope will reactivate to function only after it senses any vibration or movements. The red dot sight is versatile and has high flexibility for all the conditions and situations. This red dot sight can work great even if it’s mounted in any type of platform that you decided to use.
The durable aluminum design of the dot sight further improves the longevity and overall performance of the unit. This Sig Sauer ROMEO 5 Red Dot Sight has fog proof and waterproof design, which is impressive for its price and makes the sight adaptable to use even underwater and provide accurate results even if there is water or the environment is completely foggy and smoky. No matter the weather and viewing conditions of the current hunting situations, the Sig Sauer never fails to offer clear visibility.
The reason for this perfect visibility despite the weather is its ten illumination settings. From this 10, eight of the illuminations are perfect for daylight conditions, and the remaining two illuminations are suitable for night vision.
The scope also makes sure the mounting and demounting process is easier and quicker to the hunter. To do that, the manufacturer designed this scope suitable for most of the platforms and applications. The robust design of the sight is achieved even though it has lightweight aluminum construction.
Best M4 Holographic Sights of 2020 Reviewed
11. EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
Are you looking for the best Holographic weapon sight for your licensed M4 Carbine weapon? You should know about this EOTECH 512 Holographic weapon sight, one of the popular holographic sights from a reputed optics company.
If your type of hunting is mostly in close quarters, then this scope will never disappoint you. Among the numerous close-range weapon sights, EOTECH 512 will edge the other models with compact design and extended features.
The holographic weapon sight comes with a simple A65 reticle, which is far enough for close-range shooting, and that makes this sight more versatile.
When using this EOTECH 512 holographic sight, you will find it very easy to differentiate your targets from the surroundings, which means you can see, aim, and hit your targets. The square objective lens of this holographic weapon sight and its flexible design are the reasons for this.
The square lens offers another great advantage that it widens the field of view for you when you are looking at your targets using a sight that gives more efficiency and possibilities to get the right shot.
This specific design and structure of the holographic weapon sight also provide awareness of the situations better.
The manufacturer has stated that this EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight is designed as compact, lightweight, and neat, that won’t confuse the hunters in any way. So, even in critical situations, a shooter surely doesn’t experience difficulties while handling and adjusting the weapon sight.
The main structure of the weapon sight is a low-profile box that includes all the electronic parts of the sight and also the two AA batteries with a projector. The low-profile box body of sight can handle all the extreme hunting situations.
This weapon sight has 20 different brightness level settings that enable the hunter to set the right brightness level to clarify the vision. Set the correct the brightness with good contrast level, and I promise you can see your targets even in dim light conditions. Based on the environment’s lighting conditions, you can set the brightness level, so you don’t feel you see targets in different places when on and off the sight.
Apart from these, the weapon sight has an easy to mount design that saves most of your time. The weapon sight can be submerged to water up to 10 feet and still works fine. The shockproof and robust yet simple and attractive design is one line impression about this EOTECH 512 Holographic Weapon Sight.
12. Vortex Optics Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight
If you need more compact holographic sight than EOTECH 512, then we have Vortex Optics Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight for you. This holographic weapon sight is the most compact, small, and low profile unit that you can get from a reasonable price with decent features and performance.
The Vortex Optics holographic weapon sight for the M4 carbine has many outstanding and worthy features that combine with the tough and powerful performance despite the hunting conditions and tactical situations.
As the manufacturer promised that this Vortex Optics Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight would offer tough performance even in extreme conditions, they have the responsibility to protect the parts of the sight from breakages and damages. So, they designed this holographic weapon sight in a way that the sensitive internal and external parts of the unit are highly protected and covered at the base.
The fantastic idea of protecting the critical sections of the sight shows how much the weapon sight is made sturdy by the manufacturer while avoiding the need for a secondary obstructive shroud. The holographic sight has a single-fused holographic component without having moving elements. It is a beneficial idea because it makes the site offer us the clearest and sharp images of targets all time without distortion or fade.
Vortex Optics Razor AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight has designed in a manner that eliminates eyepiece glare and visible stray light emissions. The battery power system of sight is another great advantage. The highly powerful and efficient battery power system ensures the hunter gets long operation time.
Another reason why the power system of this Holographic sight impressed me is that the sight has a micro USB port, so it means you can charge the rechargeable battery of weapon sight anywhere anytime.
The matte black finish is the most recommended feature about the hunter’s safety while in the deep wild because this type of finish in the weapon sight reduces the reflection of light from the internal optic so the predators will not be aware and scare you.
This Vortex holographic sight is easy to mount and demount on your weapons because it has a quick-to-release and integrated mounting system that is compatible with major Picatinny and Weaver rail types.
13. EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Sight
EOTECH EXPS3 Holographic Weapon Sight is the last holographic sight and M4 optics on our list. EOTECH weapon sights are popular for delivering outstanding performance for all hunting and shooting conditions. The company continuously provides the most valuable hunting optics and tools at a reasonable price.
If fast aiming is your major concern over accuracy and fantasy features, you can surely take this EOTECH EXPS3 sight as your choice. This EOTech EXPS3 is suitable for acquiring the targets quickly, which is surely a great advantage in most shooting situations and scenarios.
On regular usage, this EOTECH EXPS3 weapon sight fulfills all the requirements that any hunter or shooter wants from the reflex sights and don’t forget its speedy target acquisition. The holographic sight meets all the shooters’ demands and shows that it is a more versatile and sturdy holographic sight that you can buy for this price.
You will surely like the compactness of this weapon sight once you use it for your gaming. Additionally, the weapon sight’s lightweight design instantly makes you find that it is easy to use and handle. The holographic sight is designed to work with carbines, shotguns, and most types of rifles that show how versatile the sight is.
With the compact and lightweight structure, the sight makes it fit in any place on weaver rail even if there is a small space. The sight still has amazing features and technology.
The weapon sight further uses the unique and clear objective lens that provides improved accuracy while aiming and shooting and also improves the target acquisition faster. The mounting and demounting of this weapon sight are also very easy, which will even make you think about how the manufacturer did it very well.
Despite the ease of use and mount, the sight comes with a protective and tough outer body not damaged due to harsh conditions in the field. The durable and sturdy design of the sight can withstand shotgun’s and high caliber rifle’s recoil without affecting the accuracy and damaging the unit.
Moreover, the weapon sight is parallax-free and offers different brightness settings for a shooter to adjust for daylight and night vision.
Factors to Consider when Buying M4 Scopes and Optics
The M4 carbine weapon is the next level compact and improvised version of the M16A2. The compact and lightweight design of these M4 scopes do not affect the performance and accuracy. The M4 carbine has a powerful but short-range like just 500 yards above 600 yards of M16, but it is still an effective rifle. These are the major reasons why the Military force replaced M16 with M4 rifles.
Though the M4 does not have a long-range, it is more than enough to work as a sniper rifle. When you add high-quality accessories like optics or medium range weapon sight, these M4 carbine rifles become more accurate. It is not easy to hit the targets that are 500 yards away from you only with iron sights; that is why the high-quality medium-range optics are needed to use with rifles.
If you are not happy with the choices we made above, here is the detailed buying guide that will educate you on the features and factors that must be considered while buying the M4 carbine optic.
Do you get a license to own and use an M4 rifle? It is necessary to have a Federal Firearms License from the government to legally use an authentic and automatic M4 carbine rifle. This Federal Firearms License is typically given to people who would like to own and run a gun store. If you don’t have FFL yet and are looking to know interesting optics that could enhance M4 rifles’ performance, you can continue the article and educate yourself.
Have you decided on the use of the M4 carbine rifle? Where are you going to use it? What will be the main purpose of using it? Because the M4 rifle is suitable for sport shooting, home defense, and law enforcement. You can’t find a scope or a sight that will do anything and everything. So you must first think of what will be the primary job the M4 rifle has to do for you. For example, if you own the M4 carbine rifle for a long shooting range, you probably need a powerful high-end scope. A sight or scope that can help you reach the target up to 500 yards is a good choice.
There are three different types of optics that can be used with M4 carbine rifles.
ACOG: ACOG scopes are truly a performer that has multiple applications in the world hunting and shooting. ACOG scopes come with fixed magnification, Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC), and Tritium light transmission with illumination. The fixed 4x magnification of ACOG offers a clear sight of the target for a few hundred yards. The illuminated reticle style in the scope allows you to hit the target in close range. The illuminated reticle does the same job that the red dot does. You can change the settings of the scope for long-range and close-range by not altering anything else. With both eyes open, aiming, and hitting the target with ACOG is a great experience. The downside of the ACOG is its cost.
Red Dot: It is a common optic that most shooters prefer for their M4. The great benefit of using a red dot is the ease of use. Using the red dot, one can quickly engage more than one target in the short and medium range. The price of the red dot increases as the battery life. You can find red dots with a few thousand hours of battery life to 50, 000 hours.
Traditional: Any other military-grade and high-end scopes can’t degrade the value of the traditional scope.
While choosing the rifle scope or optic not only for M4 Carbine but for all types of rifles, you should have a point in your mind that you can’t choose the magnification of scope that magnified above the effective range of the weapon’s caliber. The M4 carbine rifles have an extended range just above 500 yards, so the weapon does not boasts much bullet drop compensator at a given distance. The medium-range rifle scope with variable magnification of 5x to 20x is just fine.
Even a red dot sight with 1x magnification will work fine with any rifle in the indoor range. With these range red dot sights on the indoor range rifles, you can hit targets between 50 and 100 yards. For just above 100 yards, you could use an ACOG scope or even magnifier.
In the free-range, you can use whatever range is comfortable, like a 4x fixed magnification ACOG scope, a red dot sight with magnifier, or a traditional fixed or variable rifle scope. If you are using a traditional riflescope, it could give you magnification close to 3x to 9x.
For the long-range shooting weapons, you can choose a scope with magnification above 9x. But remember, the scopes with a magnification above 32x will not be the right choice for you.
If you have already used a rifle scope, you may know that the higher the magnification, the larger the objective lens. Thus, a large objective lens will surely add extra weight to the unit and the rifle.
Anyone who owned an M4 rifle will not just use it for self-defense. Most of the M4 buyers use the rifles for hunting and shooting. If you use the rifle in at worst weather conditions and changing environments or in tactical situations, you will don’t know what Mother Nature will throw at you. So, you have to be prepared for everything you supposed to face in the hunting field.
For these reasons, a scope you choose for your rifle should be weatherproof, waterproof, shockproof, fog-proof, and scratch proof.
The scopes become the waterproof and fog proof scope after being purged with nitrogen or argon. Likewise, to make the scope waterproof, the manufacturer adds special O-rings that will seal the unit to protect it. If you want your scopes to work fine in harsh conditions, make sure it can handle bumps and dings.
The objective lens of the scope with multiple layers of coating using anti-reflective materials increases the unit’s performance. This anti-reflective coating of the lens minimizes the glass glare that the hunter gets and what the unwanted light that lenses reflect.
The size of the objective lens decides the amount of light transmission. The glare-free objective lens eases your rifle’s aiming by avoiding the excess light that affects your eyes and divert you.
The anti-reflective coating of the objective lens of the scope is needed because the small light glare from the scope lens will keep you away from your target and cause false hitting.
While hunting in the deep and dark wild or in the limited shooting range, you need a clear vision of your targets regardless of the lighting conditions of the place. You should get enough light transmission to hit the target with accurate aiming. To get the target acquisition and stalk the prey for a while, you need a decent picture for everything you do while hunting or shooting.
The light transmission of the scope depends on the quality and size of the objective lens. If the objective lens is wide, then it allows a high amount of light particles to enter the optic and to get illuminated. But, the size of an objective lens also affects the weight of the scope. The higher the objective lens, the higher the scope weighs. So, you need to get the scope that has a good balance between light transmission of lens and weight.
The reticle is also known as “Crosshair.” The reticle of the scope helps the shooters aim their targets and hit it every time. There are many crosshair styles available in different rifle scopes. Each style has its benefits. But, sometimes, these crosshairs may make the job harder than before.
The traditional reticle style is “Duplex,” which is mostly available type. It has two thinner lines in the center, and other lines close to the edge are thicker.
Another crosshair style you may already know is “Mil-dot.” In this crosshair, there are dots in the center place, so the shooter can easily measure the elevation and windage. This type of crosshair also helps to calculate the distance of the target.
The next style is the Bullet Drop Compensator. It helps the hunters to make accurate shots on the targets even from long distances without changing the elevation.
As we already saw, the most effective shooting range of the M4 carbine rifles is not above 500 yards. For these ranges of rifles, a scope with standard ballistic reticle or the low profile red dot sight is far better. With the 500 yards of bullet drop, you won’t need a Bullet drop compensation or BDC reticle types.
M4 carbine rifles are authentic and fully automatic weapons. So, before anything, you have to be sure that the scope has mounted on a base of the rifle that is secure and solid. The right mounting of scope on a base is required to keep the zero when you alter the magnification settings. The scope mount has to be one piece, which means the scope rings and base are designed from one piece of aluminum billet or the steel.
You may see most of the riflescope is limited while others have unlimited eye relief. The eye relief of the scope is the distance between the eyepiece and the user’s eye with which you get a clear picture of your target. An ideal riflescope should have an eye relief of 4-inches and above as the M4 carbine rifles get the strong recoil when it fires. When the eye relief is less, your face will be closer to the eyepiece; thus, it will hurt your eyes sometimes cause serious injuries also.
To keep your eyes and brows safe while using the strong recoil cartridges and while shooting in uncommon angles, large eye relief is needed.
Maximum 4 to 6-inches eye relief is enough for rifles that impact a lot of recoils.
Mostly you will need the scope with a shooting range for your rifle. Every range of scopes differs in many ways. Most of the shooters use the rifle scopes to shoot the stationary targets. However, almost no shooter will exceed the 200 yards of distance to shoot the targets at the given range. If you are using the mid-range high caliber rifles, then either ACOG or red dot sights are good. With this range of scopes, you will surely get the right hits on the targets, and you can engage with your target.
Price and Durability
Dealing between price and durability of the product is always a difficult task. Only spending 50$ on the scope and expecting it to range long and work for a long time is not fair. Be it is scope or anything, you have to pay for what you receive. Moreover, M4 carbine rifles are not the easy-to-get type of guns, whether it is a 14.5-inch barrel or a 16-inch barrel version. If you own one for you, you have spent. In that case, it is sensible only if you could afford the high-quality optics for it.
Before selecting a scope for an expensive high-end military M4 carbine rifle, check the unit’s durability by examining the materials used, weather-resistant features, warranty, and other things that should be given for the price.
For compact shooting rifles, the scopes that weigh less than 16 ounces are a good option. Because these scopes prevent adding unmanageable weight on the rifle. There are lightweight scopes that weigh even under 9 ounces also. But, know that these models will have fewer features and lifespan. It will be hard for you to make it in a stable position.
As the features of the scope increases, the weight of the unit also gets increased. But an ideal scope for M4 rifles should be lightweight to provide high portability.
Although these M4 carbine rifles have advanced features and served in military forces, these rifles are intended for short-range use only. So, while choosing the M4 rifle’s scope, you have to consider scopes in the short-range size. You cannot expect very high magnification ranges from short-range size scopes. But these scopes work great if you need it to match the performance of the tactical weapons.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Red Dot Sight or Scope?
A red dot sight is also known as Reflex Sight, one of the types of Non-magnifying reflector sight used for firearms. These reflex sights provide a red dot for a reticle to the shooter. Mostly, the red dot scopes used for fixed magnification power scopes, so the target acquisition is faster when using a reflex sight. As the magnification is fixed, the scope has little or no parallax adjustments that help the shooter while shooting in a long-range.
How Holographic and Red dot reticles differ from each other?
Apart from the design and how the reticle is illuminated onto the objective lens of the weapon sight, there are a lot of differences between red dot scopes and holographic sights.
Holographic sights have a wider field of view than red dots.
The rectangular window of the holographic sight is larger than the circular eyepiece of the red dot scopes.
The next major difference between the red dot reticle and the holographic reticle is the size of the scope. The holographic scope for M4 carbine rifles is bigger with a larger objective lens and more internal parts, whereas the red dot M4 scopes are low profile units that only have lenses and a LED projector.
The other way these reticles differ is that the holographic sight’s reticle will not change its size due to magnification and zooming. In contrast, the reticle of red dot sights gets bigger when the magnification is applied or zoomed in.
What are the optics the Military uses for M4 rifles?
The United States Military uses specially designed rifle scopes for their M4 carbine rifles and M16A4 rifles. The scope is called ACOG (Advanced Combat Optics Gunsight). These series of ACOG telescopic scopes for M4 rifles are exclusive collection, which is manufactured by Trijicon based on a legal contract with Government. Initially, these ACOG telescopic rifle scopes are manufactured for the Picatinny rail systems of the real M16 rifles. Now, these advanced military-grade scopes are improvised to fit in M4 rifles also.
There are many models of ACOG telescopic military scopes for M4 rifles available with various fixed magnifications range from 1.5x to 6x. The ACOG scopes offer many choices for reticles. Some of ACOG scopes have night vision illumination using an internal phosphor; on the other hand, there are ACOG scopes that have both day and night vision reticle illumination by using a fiber-optic illuminated reticle or an LED.
The first ACOG scope model name is TA01, which was introduced in 1987. The special technique used in most of the ACOG military scopes is the Bindon Aiming Concept. This is an aiming technique developed by Glyn Bindon, the founder and optics design head of Trijicon. So, they name it after him. The principle of this technique is that it uses the focusing eyepiece and illuminated reticle as a collimator sight.
The meaning is the shooter who is using this scope doesn’t need to see through the scope. With the dominant eye, the shooter can keep the collimated image of the scope’s reticle in focus while the other eye is open and get the full field of view; thus, you get the faster and easier target acquisition.
Using this BAC technique, our brain will superimpose the reticle image on the target. While giving the wider field of view, this BAC technique helps to shift the focus to the dominant eye. So, when you use the ACOG scope with the BAC technique, it is easy for you to get a clear sight picture of fast-moving targets, which is not possible with other telescopic scopes.
How to install a scope, red dot, or holographic on M4 carbine rifles?
First of all, you have to select the right type of scope for your rifle or firearm and then choose an appropriate mounting base for it. You will not just place the scope on the M4, but you need to make sure the scope fits perfectly. For the M4 firearm, the scope base and rings should be derived from a single piece of metal, which is the most important part of the mounting process. Using the single piece base and rings is more secure than using the separate base and ring designs.
Now you have collected all the necessary parts so you can start the mounting process. As a safety measure, you should check if the M4 rifle is unloaded and there is no cartridge chambered inside. It should be the first thing you did when you started the mounting process because it is always better to be safe and secure than being sorry, especially when you are working with firearms.
After you safely render the M4 rifle, keep it on a workbench. You should provide the good padding to the rifle to avoid the scratches on the surface. Check the level of the rifle before you tighten the vise. You have to do this task while setting the small level on the rifle’s rail system.
After you are sure that the rifle is secured on the vise, take a small rag and some mineral oil. Dig the rag into the oil and wipe it on all areas of the rail. Continue the process for the bottom part of the scope mount also. The mineral oil will prevent rust from forming on the surfaces.
Fix the scope base on the rifle rail and make sure it in the right position. Once you are sure about the placement, the mounting bolts at the sides of the scope base have to be tightened to the level that they would not get jogged loose when the rifle is fired.
Once the scope base is tightly locked, remove the tops of the scope rings and fix the cradle’s scope. Now, put the tops of the rings without tightening the screws fully. Check if the scope can able to slide inside the scope rings still. It has to be.
Take off the rifle from the vise and start adjusting it for good eye relief. To get a better and comfortable eye relief, close your eyes then hold the rifle. After opening the eyes, check if you can see a clear picture of the target from the scope. Calculate the distance from the eyepiece to your dominant eye if you can. You have to be sure that you are away, so your eyes and eyebrows would not get hurt when the M4 rifle recoils.
When you are comfortable with the eye relief, but the rifle on the vise again, and make sure it is in the level. Now, align the reticle to get the horizontal and vertical crosshairs perfectly concerning the rifle.
Now, you have to complete all the needed adjustments with the scope and rifle. This is the time to take off screws one-by-one gently. Put blue Loctite in each hole and then replace the screws.
Yes, now you have installed your scope M4 rifle successfully. Next, you have to range and zero in the scope.
If you can legally own an M4 carbine rifle, surely you are a lucky person as there only a few who got FFL and using these warfighting guns. Now, you need to get the best out of it for that you need the high-quality optics that bring out the best performance of the rifle. Remember, firearm optics can able to make the weapon more useful.
M4 rifles are the warfighting firearms that have masterpiece technology that improves the accuracy and acquisition when used with the right optical system. You don’t need only to use the M4 rifles to hit long-range targets. Instead, you can make the target acquisition quicker, and you can accurately aim the targets using the best M4 optic and scope.
Now that we have selected and reviewed 13 best optics and scopes for the M4 carbine, we also discussed the essential factors that a hunter should consider while choosing a scope or optic for a firearm.
Now, it is your time to buy the best scope or optic that provides great performance when used with an M4 rifle.