Designated Marksman Rifles (or DMR, for short) are a unique type of gun with the qualities of both a rifle and a sniper. It plays a particularly influential role in both police enforcement and the military. A DMR needs a good DMR scope, which has a few unique capabilities. This is a review of what I see as the four of the best ones for my rifle.
- Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics: The finest scope in the family of tactical riflescopes today.
- Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2X-7X-32mm: The best variable-power scout scope that is available on the market.
- Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm: My favorite scope. It is ideal for fast target acquisition on moving targets.
- Weaver Slam Matte Scope: A nice scope that is good for hunting.
The best DMR optics should allow the shooter to fire past 400 yards with accuracy, and allow for close-range combat. A designated marksman scope also needs to have night vision capabilities, since police and military are often performing in the dark or with poor lighting. They should be tough and durable, but light enough to not affect the precision and recoil of a DMR.
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Materials – The Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 is a black, 34-millimeter, one piece tube that’s reinforced with durable argon. The lens is protected with a Rainguard HD system, to keep out moisture and fog. There is also a Bushnell ultra wideband coating to aid with light clarity. The Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 is completely blacked out for concealment. The tactical scope starts at 3.5x magnification and goes up to 21x magnification, and has a 50-millimeter objective lens. There is an adjustable parallax feature on the side of the scope that accounts for long-range accuracy. The turrets can be adjusted by fingertip.
Performance – A lot of people, I included, highly recommend the Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 if you got the cash. The systems in place to keep out dirt and moisture do their job, and the blackout cosmetic feature is great for increasing stealth and concealment. The magnification range is pretty great, although it could maybe use a little more. All features for brightness and visibility are excellent; the 50-millimeter lens allows for more light to enter, but there is also no glare while using the scope. The parallax adjustment feature is incredibly useful and necessary, as are the fingertip adjustments. The Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 scope does add a little weight, but it’s not detrimental to the accuracy of your DMR AR15.
What we say – If a DMR AR 15 scope is something you’ve been wanting, the Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 is a great place to start. This is a standard DMR scope that should fit all of your needs without adding or losing anything too crazy. As long as you don’t put yourself in situations that require a longer field of range, and you don’t think the weight will bother you, this is the best DMR scope you could start off with. Be ready to invest: it goes for just under $1,200.
- Well-protected lens
- Adjusts well in different brightness levels
- Parallax adjustment
- Fingertip turret adjustments
- Blackout cosmetics for concealment
- High cost
- A little heavy?
- May not have as much magnification as you need
Materials – The Burris Scout DMR optics is a nearly all black scope that weighs only 13 ounces. It’s 9.7 inches long, and it provides 9-12 inches of eye relief. This DMR scope is multi-coated and has anti-glare resistance for different brightness levels. The Burris Scout designated marksman rifle scope is completely shockproof, fogproof and waterproof. It’s covered by Burris’s lifetime warranty, and is optimal for M1A and M14 series rifles.
Performance – The Burris Scout DMR scope is incredibly small and light, compared to other DMR scopes. It perfectly embodies what both a scout and a designated marksman needs. The light weight is perfect for the M1A and M14 series rifles, which can be difficult to find other scopes for. The mass amount of eye relief is perfect for those heavy recoil rounds. The anti-glare feature is fantastic, but we can’t say this scope would be ideal for using at night. The Burris Scout DMR scope seems to work well within a variety of ranges.
What we say – If you need a lighter DMR scope, the Burris Scout is definitely the best DMR scope for your best DMR rifle. We love the huge amount of eye relief this comes with, although we wish it was better with adjusting for lighting. As always, the shock/fog/waterproof element ensures this is a great pick. The Burris Scout scope goes for about $340, so our wallets are definitely thanking us.
- Lightweight and small size
- Up to 12 inches of eye relief
- Great shock/fog/waterproof features
- Anti-glare technology
- Lifetime warranty
- Low cost
- Doesn’t seem to do well with low lighting
Materials – The Leupold VX-1 is a very sleek, black scope that is perfect for an AR DMR. The inside of the scope is made with a Quantum Optical System with lead-free glass that has a Multicoat 4-lens coating. Leupold has its classic lockable eyepiece on this VX-1 scope with a 2 to 7 power optic. It weighs even less than the Burris Scout scope, coming in at under 12 ounces. The objective lens is only 33 millimeters long and requires only 1” scope rings. This scope is great for aiming in ranges of up to 600 meters or more, and it is, of course, shock, fog and waterproof. The Leupold VX-1 also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Performance – We are thoroughly impressed with the weight and overall performance of the Leupold VX-1 scope. The lightweight and eye relief makes this scope perfect for your DMR AR 15 and M1A rifles. This DMR scope lets in a lot of light, and it can almost provide visibility in total darkness, but not quite. The view through the scope is mostly clear, but it can get a little difficult in closer ranges. We love that this scope only require 1” scope rings, which keeps your rifle from looking too bulky and will stay precise.
What we say – Leupold is one of our favorite brands for scope because they’ve been providing optics to the Marine corps for quite a while now. We give the Leupold VX-1 a thumbs up for its high performance as a M1a scope and one of the best optics for DMR AR15s. The lightweight is perfect for anyone, and the $175 price tag seals the deal.
- Low cost
- Sleek look
- One of the lightest scopes available
- Used by U.S. Marine corps
- Requires low scope rings
- Not night vision capable
- View can be a little hazy in closer ranges
Materials – The Weaver Super Slam is a matte black DMR scope made of aircraft-grade aluminum, and it has been designed with dangerous situations in mind, such as combat or hunting for dangerous animals. It’s pretty short, with a 10.6-inch length, but is a little heavier at 14.8 ounces. The single-piece tube construction is purged with argon, so it is fog proof. The Weaver Super Slam is also shock and waterproof. The scope has a multi-coated lens with an extra layer of coating on the outside the avoid scratches and dings. The magnification range is 1-5, so extra long-range shooting isn’t really intended for this designated marksman scope.
Performance – We’re not big fans of the weight of the Weaver Super Slam, but this is likely due to the multiple layers of coating within the scope, which we appreciate. The short length is good, and this DMR scope sits low to your rifle for precision shooting. We wish the magnification range could be better, but the Weaver Super Slam clearly states it has specific hunting and combat intentions.
What we say – Although we would definitely say this is still one of the best DMR scopes on the market for your best DMR rifle, we’re a little on the fence with this one. The weight of the scope really put us off, and the price tag sets us back another step too. If you know your hunting is going to only be for medium or short-range, then this may be a piece worth investing in. Despite the weight, the Weaver Super Slam is very short and still gives a precise performance.
- Good for specifically medium-range hunting or close combat
- Multiple layers of lens coating
- High cost
- Only 1-5 magnification
- Very heavy
DMR Scope Price Comparison
|Item Name||Best Feature||Price|
|Bushnell Elite Tactical G2 Optics||That price, but a very fine scope||$1,199.99|
|Burris Ballistic Plex Hunting Riflescope, 2X-7X-32mm||Best variable-power scout scope||$399|
|Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm||Ideal for fast target acquisition on moving targets||$299.99|
|Weaver Slam Matte Scope||Good for medium range hunting||$449.99|
Our Top Pick For The Best DMR Optics
Out of these four DMR scopes, we have to say our favorite is the Leupold VX-1 designated marksman scope. Not only is it great for M1A and AR15 models, but we can’t stop ourselves from liking it a little more because of its use in the U.S. Marines. It’s the cheapest scope on the list, but still has some of the highest quality. We love the sleek look, and the small weight means anybody could use it. We’re perfectly content with the range of light the Leupold VX-1 works in, and it would suit any basic needs in hunting or combat.
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