Shooting an AR-15 is undeniably fun. Consistently hitting targets with an AR-15 is even more fun.
In recent years, the optics industry has exploded with hundreds of options for modern sporting rifles. Shooters can choose from traditional magnified riflescopes, tactical holographic sights, and easy-to-use red dots. An often overlooked sighting option for AR-15s is the laser sight. These high-tech sighting systems beam a visible aiming point directly onto the target.
If you’re looking for the best laser sight for AR-15 rifles, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve combed the internet, dug through customer reviews and relied on our own personal experience to bring you the best in AR-15 laser sights.
In this article we dive deep into the world of laser sights to help you find just the right option for your shooting needs.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated laser sights for AR-15:
- Crimson Trace Rail Master Universal Laser – Our Top Pick
- Holosun LS117 – Best Tactical Laser Sight
- Streamlight TLR-2 – Best Flashlight Laser Combo
- Steiner eOptics DBAL-A3 – Best High-End Laser Sight
- Ade Advanced Optics HG54R – Best Budget Option
- HiLight P3BG – Best Laser Sight for Under $100
- Pinty Green Laser
- Sightmark LoPro Designator Sight
- TRUGLO Tru-Point Laser Sight
- SureFire X400 Ultra LED Weaponlight
Table of Contents
- Choosing a Laser Sight for Your AR-15
- Best Laser Sight for AR-15 on the Market Reviews
- 1 Crimson Trace Rail Master Universal Laser – Our Top Pick
- 2 Holosun LS117 – Best Tactical Laser Sight
- 3 Streamlight TLR-2 – Best Flashlight Laser Combo
- 4 Steiner eOptics DBAL-A3 – Best High-End Laser Sight
- 5 Ade Advanced Optics HG54R – Best Budget Option
- 6 HiLight P3BG – Best Laser Sight for Under $100
- 7 Pinty Green Laser
- 8 Sightmark LoPro Designator Sight
- 9 TRUGLO Tru-Point Laser Sight
- 10 SureFire X400 Ultra LED Weaponlight
- Final Thoughts
Choosing a Laser Sight for Your AR-15
Finding the right laser sight for your MSR (modern sporting rifle) can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with laser sight technology. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when searching for a new laser sight.
Finding the Right Color
Most modern laser sights come in either red or green.
Red lasers give an original “old school” feel. Laser sights in this color are easy to find because they are the most common design. As an added bonus, red laser sights are generally less expensive than comparable green lasers.
Red laser sights can be difficult to see, especially in brighter conditions. This can be a problem if you need to make accurate shots outdoors, especially in the afternoon. Problematic visibility can also be an asset if stealth is your main goal.
Green laser sights are typically more expensive. However, they are much easier to see, especially in daylight or on long-range targets. They do tend to run through batteries faster than most red laser options, which can be a major deciding factor if you need your laser to last through extra long shooting sessions.
Laser sights are notoriously hard on batteries. Most laser sights only offer an hour or two of operation before you’ll need to charge or swap out the batteries.
If you rely on your laser sight for hours at the range, or if you use it for overnight hunting, you’ll need a model with a respectable operating time. You should also look for a model with batteries that are easy to change on the fly.
Mounting Your Laser Sight
Most modern laser sights mount easily to a Picatinny or Weaver-style rail. Another option is to find a grip or hand stop for your AR-15 with a laser sight built in.
Before you purchase a new sight, you should consider where you would like it mounted on your rifle. You should position the sight so that you can easily manipulate the controls without dropping out of your shooting form. You also don’t want the laser sight to interfere with any of your other accessories.
If you plan to use your laser sight on more than one weapon, a quick-detach function will be your new best friend. This function allows you to quickly and easily remove your sight from one weapon and attach it to another without any tools.
Best Laser Sight for AR-15 on the Market Reviews
1 Crimson Trace Rail Master Universal Laser – Our Top Pick
Crimson Trace is one of the most respected names in laser sights and their Rail Master Universal Laser makes it easy to see why. This little laser sight offers tons of performance in a compact and surprisingly affordable package.
The sight features simple ambidextrous tap-on/tap-off controls. This means you can easily activate the laser from either side without fumbling with buttons or switches. It works just as well for left-handed shooters as it does for righties.
The green laser is bright and easy to see in sunshine, indoors, or after the sun goes down. Running on a single, 1/3N lithium battery, the Rail Master Universal Laser offers approximately two hours of use before you’ll need a fresh battery.
2 Holosun LS117 – Best Tactical Laser Sight
If you like Holosun’s red dot sights, you’re going to love their laser sights. Lightweight, compact, and durable, the Holosun LS117 is perfect for home defense, tactical applications, or other CQB situations.
Holosun offers the LS117 in three different beam options – green, red, or an IR laser (which is compatible with night vision optics).
Notable features include a quick release (QD) rail mount and a remote pressure switch which allows you to control the sight without shifting your shooting grip.
The LS117 is made from sturdy 7075 T6 aluminum and is designed to stand up to harsh recoil and tough environments. It also has an IP67 water resistance rating. This thing is definitely capable of handling anything you or Mother Nature can possibly dish out.
3 Streamlight TLR-2 – Best Flashlight Laser Combo
If you want to save rail space, the Streamlight TLR-2 combines a high-lumen tactical flashlight and a high-visibility laser into one single package. The sight fits most long guns and handguns and is made from durable, anodized aluminum with a chemical-resistant polymer housing for the laser. It is IPX4 water-resistant and operates reliably in temperatures ranging from -40° to 120° Fahrenheit.
Other handy tactical features include a strobe setting, ambidextrous controls, and an impressive battery life. The TLR-2 takes two CR123A batteries, which will run the flashlight and laser simultaneously for up to 1 ½ hours. However, if you’re running just the laser, you can expect up to 17 hours of continuous use on a single set of batteries.
4 Steiner eOptics DBAL-A3 – Best High-End Laser Sight
If you want a professional-grade laser sight (and have some cash to spare), the DBAL-A3 from Steiner is the best of the best. This is one badass sight. It is insanely durable, has perhaps the most powerful green laser on the market, and is perfect for covert operations.
The DBAL (Dual Beam Aiming Laser) combines a green laser with an IR laser and an IR illuminator, which makes it a perfect partner to your tactical NVD.
The green laser is visible up to 50 feet in daylight conditions and 820 yards at night. After the sun goes down, the 835 nm IR laser is visible out to 275 yards with night vision.
The DBAL features an integrated push-button activation switch with a remote activation pressure pad. This allows you to control the sight without dropping from your standard firing position. All you do is tap once to engage a momentary laser or double-tap to activate a continuous laser for five minutes.
5 Ade Advanced Optics HG54R – Best Budget Option
With a price tag under $50, this laser from Ade Advanced Optics makes a great entry level sight. It weighs barely over an ounce (even with the battery) and has an ultra-compact design that isn’t much larger than an American half dollar.
It fits easily on most firearms with a standard Picatinny or Weaver-style rail. This low profile sight can easily pull double duty on your AR and your pistol.
The HG54R has two modes – constant and strobe. You can activate the laser and adjust the mode of the beam using a side button. Manipulating the button can be tricky, so you’ll need to practice engaging the sight to make it seamless when you’re shooting.
The HG45R runs on a single CR1/3N battery. Each battery only provides approximately one hour of operation, so you’ll want to carry some spares, just in case.
6 HiLight P3BG – Best Laser Sight for Under $100
The HiLight P3BG is a sort of two-for-one deal. This device offers two separate lasers, one green and one blue. The blue laser is highly visible on close-range targets in bright light conditions. Another advantage to having two lasers is that they can be set for different distances, making this one of the most versatile devices on our list.
Weighing only about half an ounce, the P3BG won’t unbalance or weigh down your weapon. In fact, you’ll probably forget it’s even there. At least until you need it.
Crafted from durable aircraft grade aluminum, the P3BG laser sight is as tough as they come.
7 Pinty Green Laser
The Pinty Green Laser is another affordable option that delivers performance well above its price point. A great buy for the money, this laser sight provides a bright, easy-to-see aiming point in any lighting condition. This thing is also completely shockproof and holds a zero like there’s no tomorrow.
The Pinty Laser Sight is definitely on the larger side in comparison to other lasers. However, it performs well, is super durable, and has adjustment knobs with perfectly tactile and audible clicks for easy manipulation in the field.
8 Sightmark LoPro Designator Sight
Lightweight, compact, and durable, the LoPro Designator Sight from Sightmark is everything you want in a laser sight for your AR-15. It features a momentary pressure switch, hand adjustable windage and elevation, and a shockproof, low-profile design.
The LoPro is designed to mount on any Picatinny or Weaver-style rail. However, you can also mount this laser sight on the side of a quad rail.
It takes a single CR123 battery that delivers 27 hours of operation time.
9 TRUGLO Tru-Point Laser Sight
TRUGLO products are known for their reliable performance and affordable price tags. The TRUGLO Tru-Point laser sight definitely lives up to the company’s reputation. This one is perfect for nighttime hog or coyote hunting.
The device features a bright, 200-lumen floodlight and either a red or green laser. It comes with interchangeable backplates for right- or left-handed use. It also has a quick-detach lever, which allows you to quickly and easily remove the sight without any tools.
10 SureFire X400 Ultra LED Weaponlight
The SureFire X400 Ultra LED Weaponlight is a 600-lumen tactical light and a Class IIIa red laser sight all rolled into one compact package.
Shooters can activate the X400 weapon light via ambidextrous controls. This set-up provides one-finger control that is easy to manipulate right from your shooting position. You simply press a switch on either side of the device to produce momentary-on light. Flip the switch up or down for constant-on light.
The X400 delivers up to 1.75 hours of operation on a single set of batteries.
The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the modern world. These modern sporting rifles are versatile, effective, and insanely fun to shoot. Add a quality laser sight to one of these iconic rifles, and it just ups the ante.
While laser sights are easy to use, they aren’t magic. You can’t just slap a laser on your MSR and expect it to cure all your accuracy problems. As with any sighting device, practice is the one true path to proficiency. Even with the best laser sight for AR-15, you’ll want to spend plenty of time working with your new set-up to become familiar with how it works for you.