Burris AR-536 Review – New For 2022

A very famous and widely appreciated fixed magnification scope in the AR world. The Burris AR-536. Featuring a fixed 5x magnification, dual illuminated ballistic reticles, and additional tactical goodies.

  • Tactical illuminated reticle in red/green color
  • Compact and durable prism based rifle scope
  • Fixed 5x magnification and big 36 mm objective
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This is the first choice of most AR users for tactical applications and defense. Here we will review the AR-536 in detail and evaluate the good and the bad about it. 

Burris AR-536 Prism 5x 36mm


  • Package Includes Extras in Tactical Kit Option
  • Ballistic Reticle With Two Colors and Illumination
  • Covered By a Transferable Lifetime Warranty
  • Suits Many Applications for an AR Rifle 
  • Prism Lens for Astounding Clarity
  • Compact Design With Significant Strength


  • Less Eye Relief Than Some Prefer
  • No Parallax Adjustment 
  • Turrets Lack Locks

Burris AR-536 Prism Specs

First, let’s look at the specifications of the AR-536 prism scope to get an overview of what we’re dealing with. 

Eye Relief: 2.5 - 3.5 in

Adjustment Options (Parallax, windage, elevation): W/E @ ⅓ MOA up to 70 MOA

Type of Reticle: Ballistic CQ™/Ballistic AR

Burris AR-536 Reticles

Magnification: 5x fixed

Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane

Objective Lens: 36 mm

Field of View: 20 ft

Weight: 18.75 oz


The AR-536 sight has a lot of pros to it. There are quite a few good reasons for this scope to be popular among AR-15 users. Let’s take a look at them and find out why it is the best in its class.

Design and Strength

The AR-536 is a compact scope measuring only 5.8 inches in length. That is almost half when compared to other more common fixed or variable magnification scopes. It features three small Picatinny rails on three sides that can be used to mount red dots, flashlights, or any other supporting accessory. Plus, the scope has a rugged and shockproof construction that can withstand recoil and harsh abuse. It can work flawlessly under the most intense weather conditions even involving rain or fog. 


The AR-536 is available in two reticle options. The Ballistic CQ™ and Ballistic AR. The reticles are illuminated and can switch between red or green color. When turned off, the reticle turns black and is still functional. The reticle has marks to suit 5.56 and 7.62 ammo for ranges up to 600 yards. The broken circle CQ reticle has hash marks for bullet drop estimations and windage estimations. The reticle also has 5 red and 5 green illumination adjustment settings to match the ambient lighting. 

Prism Lens

This scope uses a prism-based system rather than a mirror-based system. Which ensures impeccable clarity and least distortion. It is an extra up-factor for people with weak eyesight. The prism lens also ensures that you get a better field of view. The prism is multi-coated and offers better brightness and contrast in all lighting conditions


It has the power to become your go-to scope for everything you do with your AR. The scope can be used for short-range hunting, short/medium-range tactical uses, plinking, range practice, 3-gun competitions, and what not. It offers a perfect balance when switching between close quarter shooting to medium-range shooting. 


All Burris products are covered by a Burris Forever Warranty. So your scope is covered forever for defects. The good part is that this warranty is transferable to future owners and only the original receipt of purchase has to be produced for a claim. 


The AR-536 scope comes with a value-for-money tactical kit to enhance its operation. The kit includes a 3-MOA FastFire™ 3 red dot sight, an anti-reflection device, and a reusable carry case. 


After boasting about the qualities of this scope. Let’s take a look at some drawbacks of this scope that may hinder the horizon of applications to some extent. 

No Parallax

Although it is a fixed magnification scope. But with a power of 5x and a range of 600 yards, the scope should've had a parallax adjustment. Since parallax error plays a crucial part when shooting at a very close range and the scope has a fixed 5x magnification which is significantly large for very short distances. While the scope is great for hunting and other medium-range uses, this is a small drawback to be careful about. 

Eye Relief

A drawback worth arguing. But it’s still a fact that the 2.5 to 3.5 inches of eye relief on this scope may not seem optimal to everyone or for every situation. It will make you adjust the position of the scope on the rail in order to get a better field of view. But often at the cost of co-witness

Turret Locks

The turret positions of this scope cannot be locked. Which makes it prone to accidental alterations under some circumstances. White not really a deterrent, but this factor is something to keep an eye out for. 

Best Uses For the Burris AR Prism Sight?

The Burris AR-556 prism sight is a versatile scope for your rifles that serves most uses you can think of for a fixed magnification scope. It is best used for short (not close but short) to medium range hunting and engagements. The prism-based sight offers exceptional clarity and tracking to hit stationary or moving targets with amazing accuracy. 

Being a fixed magnification scope without parallax limits its use to some extent. Especially where range changes are parallax settings are required. But what’s useful in such situations is the specially designed reticle. The reticle features fine marks for yardage estimates up to 600 yards for 5.56 and 7.62 calibers. Which in layman terms means that you can use the scope to shoot accurately at a distance of 600 yards without using turret adjustments for elevation. Additionally, the broken circle reticle can be illuminated in red or green for maximum advantage in low light conditions. 

Since the reticle retains its black color when not illuminated, you can always turn off the illumination if you don’t like using it. The scope works best at close range and you can trust it in competitions like 3-guns. 

Is the Burris AR 536 Prism Sight Compatible With Any Rifle?

The AR 536 scope works best with AR-style rifles. Since the reticle has been calibrated for 5.56 and 7.62 calibers. You can use it on any appropriate caliber semi-auto or full-auto assault rifle. Like the Ruger AR-556, Sig 716, or any other similar rifle. Mounting it on bolt action rifles may be an option. But probably you won’t make the most out of those three extra rail spaces on the sides. 

Additionally, the lack of variable magnification and a low zoom power will limit its use on high caliber rifles such as .338 Lapua as it won’t match that long-range. 

What Do I Need to Know About Mounting the Burris AR-536 Prism?

The scope comes with a ready-to-mount Picatinny rail system, so you don’t have to find one. You’ll use a ½ inch wrench to loosen and then tighten the nuts on the left side of the base. The tightening force is 65 inch-pounds as recommended by the manufacturer in the manual. But before you tighten the base to the receiver, make sure you adjust the position of the scope for proper eye relief. Which lies between 2.5 to 3.5 inches.

This Picatinny rail mounting bracket is attached to the scope using two screws and can be removed if the need arises. For example, when you want to mount this scope on an AR carry handle. The sight base has a handle channel that will work with the thumb screw provided with the sight. Always use a thread locker like Loctite when reattaching the scope with the Picatinny base to prevent wiggle. 

The scope comes with a diopter adjustment ring to set the focus to your preference. It can be sighted with or without a boresight due to its design.

 Burris AR 332 vs. 536 - Comparison Overview

The Burris AR-332 and AR-536 are from the same series of riflescopes. The latter is just the upgraded version. The 332 has a 3x magnification and a 32 mm objective lens, as can already be inferred by the name. The 536 on the other hand, has a 5x magnification and a large 36 mm objective lens that delivers clearer and brighter image. 

Both these scopes have the same options for reticles, and retail almost at a similar price. Generally speaking, both these scopes are almost similar in design. But the 332 is suited for close and short-range, whereas the 536 is for short and medium range. 

Burris AR-536 vs. Vortex Spitfire - Comparison Overview

Burris AR-536 and the Vortex Spitfire are closely similar in terms of affordability, durability, and value for money. Both these scopes can withstand harsh environmental abuse and still not flinch. 

The Spitfire offers a 3x magnification whereas the AR-536 a 5x. The AR-536 clearly wins in magnification and range, but the Spitfire has a better field of view (31 feet) compared to it (20 feet). Both these scopes feature EBR reticles with hash marks for range estimations. 

Moving further, the Spitfire offers more extensive turret adjustments (120 MOA) when compared with the AR-536 (70 MOA). 


The Burris AR-536 is a 5x fixed magnification scope that plays a versatile role for short to medium-range applications. It features an amazing illuminated reticle that helps with quick range estimations. A value-for-money product that’ll suit your budget and most rifles you own. 

People Also Ask

Let’s crunch out some common queries about the AR-536 scope and understand how it works and is it worth buying. 

What Kind of Warranty Does the Burris AR-536 Prism Come With?

The Burris AR-536 is covered by a Burris Forever Warranty. Which means that it is covered against all workmanship defects and legit damages for life. The warranty is transferable and will be continued will the current owner of this scope. 

Can You Use Burris AR-536 Prism in Low Light Conditions?

Yes. The scope has a large 36 mm objective lens that lets in enough light to brighten up the sight picture. Plus, the red and green illuminated reticles help with the easy acquisition of the target in low light conditions. 


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