In a market rife with copycats and cheap imitations, Burris makes a mark with a high-quality tactical scope offering a lot for the price.
Thanks to prism optics and clever design, Burris has introduced a cost-effective fast acquisition scope with brilliant, sharp optics that won't leave you bankrupt. The Burris AR-332 is yet another contender for the title of “best poor man’s ACOG.”
Linear FOV (low zoom)
32 ft/100 yd
Elevation Adjustment (MOA)
Wind Adjustment (MOA)
Everybody wants an ACOG these days. The AR-15 is constantly vying for the most popular sporting rifle title, and ACOGs and AR-15s go together like bread and butter. Some companies are trying to cash in on this by coming up with low-cost alternatives that do a lot of what the ACOG does, while trimming some of the fat. Burris has come up with a worthy contribution to this field through the AR-332. This isn’t the first time we’ve covered a scope like this; the Vortex Spitfire 3x immediately comes to mind. So, what sets this one apart? Let’s dig into that question a bit.
It’s possible to convincingly merge the utility of the red dot sight with the vision of the scope, usually undertaken with prism optics. Prism optics are brilliantly sophisticated and allow quick acquisition of targets in CQB situations, while also allowing magnification to help you get comfortable, accurate vision on shots out there as far as 200 or 300 yards, and giving you a painless transition between the two. This optic is an incredible example of the potential of prism optics, with a super clear and crisp vision that’s immediately apparent when looking through the sight. Unfortunately, the eye relief is a little short, only about 2.5”. This may feel uncomfortably close to some people. Also, this scope in particular suffers from a bit of a narrow field of view.
The next thing the eye is drawn to is the reticle, and this is maybe one of the biggest draws of this scope. The ring reticle gives you a super easy way to acquire your target in close quarters. Bullet drop compensation rings give you a solid idea of where far away targets are, letting you hit accurate shots when it counts. The scope provides red and green illuminated reticle options, and this can come in handy big-time in low-light or no-light situations. Different brightness options let you carefully adjust the luminance so that it most fits the scenario. You can also turn the illuminated reticle off altogether and use the black glass-etched reticle, which should serve you just fine in daylight. Acquiring targets is a breeze within 250 to 300 yards.
The battery Not all is sunny here. Some people think that the red dot is a little bit too small, and the fixed magnification makes it hard to use at distances less than 100 yards. You can turn the magnification off, fortunately, and use the red dot in close quarters. The 3x gives you just the right amount of zoom for things about 75 yards away, which is great. Unfortunately, the fixed magnification can’t be used in conjunction with backup iron sights. The sights will be out of focus and blurry and impossible to use.
Some people also have problems with the reticle being canted slightly to the left right out of the box. This appears to have affected an entire batch. While most scopes don’t suffer from this problem, it seems prevalent enough that it’s worth mentioning. Also, illuminated reticles - well, they die. Scopes die, actually. Luckily, everything runs off the same battery, and the battery life is generally great. Some reviews report that even when the scope is off, your battery will be drained. This isn’t a big issue either way thanks to the fact that the black reticle is still great and visible even when the scope is off and the reticle dead, but it’s something that you should keep an eye on if you plan on using your illuminated reticle. Always bring spare batteries. (This is just a good plan anyway!)
Adjustments on the scope are a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s unfortunately antiquated in the sense that it doesn’t have tactile turrets. To adjust windage and elevation, you have to use a tool. This makes it a little bit harder and more time-consuming than it might be with a comparable scope, but it does stand to make it more resistant to accidental mispositioning and, in a sense, might increase your precision in setting your adjustments. Basically, every cloud has a silver lining. This thing also holds its zero incredibly, not dipping or shifting at all even after 500 or more rounds through an AR-15.
Let’s talk this thing’s build quality. It looks incredible. Really, it’s an amazing looking scope, and it will make your rifle look super cool. It’s built to last through really demanding weather conditions and to take a few scuffs. A well-crafted body made out of anodized aerospace aluminum is sure to keep you shooting a long while. It’s very heavy, though. This is the flip side of it being super sturdy, I suppose. It’s also really long and bulky. It’ll certainly add a lot of weight to your rifle!
What about getting it set up? Well, the actual mounting is a little rough. Some report bolts breaking during tightening or needing to get different rails than the included ones - just for the record, you have to have a Picatinny rail for this to mount correctly, a Weaver rail won’t cut it. You have to use a torque wrench while installing it or else you run the risk of the reticle being canted leftward. It can mount to pretty much any standard flat top rifle, but it’s made for the AR-15 loving crowd. An integrated mounting base makes mounting a little bit easier, and you don’t have to muck about with rings or anything like that. For a complicated mount, it’s at least fairly self-contained. After mounting, zeroing is super easy. It only takes three to five shots to get this thing completely sighted in. After that, you’re ready to take on targets at a variety of distances.
Last but not least, Burris offers a full warranty in case anything happens to your scope. Burris is an established and trusted name, and this is how they create such loyal customers: if you have any problems with your scope, you can send it in and they’ll either repair or replace it, no questions asked. This is a super generous lifetime warranty that makes sure that your scope retains its value no matter how much you use it.
Most people seem to think that programming the scope is really easy. The software isn’t that hard to use as long as you read through the manual carefully, but one read-through and you’ll have a solid idea of how it works and what you can expect. Some have trouble with it, though, so if you’re not ready to get your hands dirty with tech and just want a traditional interface, that’s really the only reason I could say you shouldn’t try this scope out.
Some have had issues with early defects on this scope line. If that happens, you can try changing the battery first, as there are anecdotes of batteries needing to be changed prematurely, especially the initial factory-installed ones. But let’s say it’s a bigger problem: thanks to Burris’s forgiving fully-transferable lifetime warranty, if you encounter any problems with the scope, you can just send it in and they’ll fix it or replace it, free of charge. If you do happen to be one of the unlucky ones, once things are patched up, you have a scope that will last you a lifetime and make shooting a breeze.
The scopes come with everything you need to set them up, and the mount is really simple. One of the only problems is that neither the 4-16x50mm nor the 3-12x44mm come with a remote for the ballistic laser. Given how bulky it is, this would be a nice feature to have, but it’s one of the only problems. Oh, that too - the scopes are really big. They’ll probably hug your barrel.
In the end though, I think the Eliminator IIIs are excellent scopes. They have a high price tag, but for that price tag, you get your money’s worth entirely. The glass is not as great as some $3,000 dollar scopes, sure, but on the other hand, you get an experience thanks to the ballistic laser that not a lot of scopes offer: a seamlessly integrated and effortless ranging that lets you shoot without ever taking your eye off the rifle.
The page for this scope on the Burris website says that this rifle is intended for “lawmen, military personnel, and competitive shooters." Really, it will work for any of these groups, but there are better options for them. It works a little bit better for another subgroup: people who own AR-15s (or similar sporting rifles) and want a quick-acquisition scope that doesn’t absolutely break the bank. For these people, Yes, you should absolutely buy this scope.
It's hard to tell the good from the bad sometimes in this market. A few contenders, known names like Vortex and Burris, have meaningful statements to make with high-octane optics that look great and offer a load of utility. While the review was openly critical of certain problems, that’s how a review ought to be; as a reviewer, it’s my job to make sure that you, the buyer, are well aware of potential problems. But don’t get me wrong, this scope is really, really great. For the money, you really aren't going to do better.