Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 Review: Expensive But Worth The Cost

The last few years have seen an explosion of interest in the assault rifle platform. What was once a simple (and often disparaged) military rifle design has proliferated the market and there is now an AR for every imaginable application. In recent times the AR has become more available, reliable and accurate than ever before. With all this interest in the AR it was only a matter of time before companies began producing scopes to optimize the rifle’s potential with optics geared specifically for it.

Leupold’s entry into the AR market is the Mark AR line of scopes. This particular line is meant to allow AR enthusiasts to squeeze every last bit of accuracy out their assault rifles and this brand is the kind of company that can deliver in that capacity. The Mark ARs can be had in several magnification configurations: 1.5-4, 3-9, 4-12 and 6-18. Naturally, objective size increases with the magnification range, varying from 20mm for the 1.5-4 to 40mm for the higher ranges. In many respects the Mark AR line is much like it’s manufacturer’s past offerings, with a matte black finish, durable construction and light transmission, but a few new features have been added specifically for the AR enthusiast.

The Mark AR Mod 1 is part of the Mark AR line and it has a magnification adjustment ring that is considerably larger and more accessible than those on other optics. The position of the adjustment ring in relation to the receiver of an AR can make the ring difficult to get a hold of, but with the Mark AR MOD 1 scope this won’t be a problem. The other AR-specific feature of the Mark AR MOD 1 is a series of laser-engraved bullet drop compensation turret dials available for these scopes. These dials are custom-tailored to the bullet weight and velocity of the rounds the owner favors, and if one load falls out of favor it can be replaced with a dial for the new load. With the wide variety of applications, twist rates and bullet weights that AR shooters make use of today this interchangeable dial system is more flexible than a reticle-based drop compensation system.

There are plenty of choices on the market these days when it comes to selecting a scope for your AR rifle, but the Mark AR MOD 1 should be given strong consideration. The Mark AR series is a well-thought-out group of scopes, and the fact that they carry the brand name means that high quality and long-term durability can be assured. MSRP is reasonable considering all the built-in value they carry with them for the AR platform.

There are many law enforcement agencies that pay easily for a prime AR-15 optics that don’t have anywhere near the same quality that this particular brand and model carries. It’s quite possible that this is one of the scopes you can purchase for your AR platform. There are many other cheaper alternatives, but just remember that quality has a price. I treat this like a gun safe…. always buy more than you think you need so you will never outgrow it. The same can be said about this model. Buy it now and there’s a slim chance you outgrow it for years to come.

For more information on this particular scope, check out the video below as presented by a Product Manager at Leupold, or click our links above to check out online Reviews to see what people are saying about this scope.

Ed Hawkins is a long time recreational firearms owner, having owned many different firearms over his lifetime. While his trusty CZ 75B is his favorite, Ed also enjoys frequent trips to the range with his AR-15. Ed is part-owner and managing editor at ArmsBearingCitizen.