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1 – 4x scopes are great for close-ups, and yet you can quickly get the distance for medium-range shooting because of their 4x magnification. The rule of thumb is that the optic should at least cost as much as your rifle. And when it comes to hunting, instead of going cheap, why not go for the best 1-4x scope?
I mean it is an investment on a product that you see through, it is where you are getting your targets, and it is used to put that shot accurately on that target.
But most people typically don't follow that rule. They want to find a good decent priced scope that can mount on their rifle to save more money for ammunition. I can't and won't argue with that decision but let me give you a quick look at some the best 1-4x scopes out there.
There is a lot of different companies that are on the low end, and I have heard all kind of horror stories with reticles disintegrating inside, and the point of impact shifting not holding zero.
A lot of times, one of the things of buying inexpensive optics is, you don't know what you are going to get. That is why I have made this list containing some of the reasonably priced scopes but of good quality so that an average guy can go out and buy one.
After reading what these scopes are capable of, who knows, you might change your mind and invest in a good quality scope. I mean your gun deserves only the best, and I am here to show them to you.
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen I Riflescopes
13.9 x 3.5 x 3.3 inc.
Bushnell AR Optics, FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Riflescope, 1-4x/24mm
5 x 5 x 5
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane ,30mm Tube
14.5 x 2 x 1.7
Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope
12 x 4 x 4
Primary Arms 1-4x24 SFP Rifle Scope with Duplex Reticle
18 x 10 x 4
(L x W x H)
Bushnell AR Optics, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope 1-4x/24mm
20 x 7 x 7
Burris 200437 MTAC 1-4 x 24 Illuminated Scope
11.3 x 2 x 2
Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4x24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
15.7 x 5.3 x 3.7
10.5 x 2 x 3
TRUGLO TRU-BRITE 30 Series Illuminated Tactical Rifle Scope 1-4 x 24mm
10 x 2.5 x 3.4
Top 10 Best 1-4x Scopes
Here are some of the best 1-4x rifle scope to enhance your rifle today.
The Vortex Viper is a second focal plane scope with a 24mm diameter objective lens. It is one of those scopes that really don't need any kind of introduction because they are already a popular brand among gun enthusiasts. This is one of those intermediate priced scopes, but it has a lot of cool things to offer.
This is one of those scopes that you don't need to upgrade from because this is an all-around optics that you can use for a multitude of reasons. This 1-4x illuminated reticle scope is perfect for low light visibility. The lenses on these scopes are better than anything on the market at this price.
The turrets on the Viper don't have any caps, and they are finger adjustable. It makes it really easy to make your adjustments on the go, whether its elevation or windage. It is also really easy to get hold of the 1-4 turrets on the front. The illumination dial is located next to the ocular rings. There are ten different settings.
This one has a one-piece tube construction; the tube is shockproof, and MOA adjustment turrets that won't move with minor bumps. The lenses transmit a good amount of light to generate a super bright and clear image. Last but not least, this scope is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.
This is a first focal plane scope, 1-4x which is great for short-range shots and you can also get distance while zoomed in to the max. It's also an illuminated reticle. Bushnell has been in the optics business since 1948, and their philosophy is to offer a reasonably priced scope with good quality to the average consumers.
Most of your typical scopes and SFP but this 24mm diameter scope is FFP. Check the end of this article to know more about these two types of the focal plane. In an FFP scope like this one, the reticle gets bigger as you increase the magnification power. The reticle gets larger with respect to the target.
The Bushnell AR Optics is more of a combat scope, so you don't have to worry about the lines on the reticles not being present. The biggest advantage of an FFP scope is that no matter where that reticle is, the point of impact doesn't shift. You sight this in at 100 yards and stay on target no matter how you zoom in and out.
This is an O-ring sealed scope which means it is waterproof and it has an IPX7 rating. For close to midrange targets, this is the scope to buy. You will have the upper hand in close quarters while being able to reach out further if you need to. It has target turrets, rugged construction, a fast-focus eyepiece with fully multi-coated optics.
The Crossfire II 1-4x scope from Vortex uses the V-Brite reticle, which is an illuminated battery-powered reticle. It's great for low light shooting and uses the V-Plex format. During low light conditions, the illuminated center dot allows hunters to shoot better while keeping focused on the target.
A lot of people would consider this as an entry-level scope, and I would actually disagree. To me, this is an entry into the mid-level series of scopes. It has clear and clean optics, and Vortex is known for making good quality scopes at a very reasonable price. The Crossfire 2 is actually considered the lower in scope for Vortex.
But you still get some really nice features that definitely make it worth picking up especially for that price. This is a nitrogen-filled, O-ring sealed scope that is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. This one features the bullet drop compensation reticle. It also features fully multi-coated lens.Overall, it has everything you would want for a simple shooting scope. ¼ MOA clicks on the turrets, which make the adjustments really nice and easy. It is easy to sight in at 100 yards and then use your bullet drop compensating reticle from there on out.
This hunting scope has 1-4x magnification with a 28mm objective lens for a bright and clear image. All of the lenses are fully multi-coated with a built-in angled sunshade that helps reduce glare. It also features two-flip up lens caps to prevent moisture and dust build-up. This one also features a generous 4.5-inch eye relief.
This scope features an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle, and you can adjust the brightness and color of dot via the adjustable rheostat on the side. In bright light, you can change the color to green, and when shooting in low light, you can change the color to red. The angled sunshade also reduces scope glint.
This is a second focal plane scope, and all of the optics are fully multi-coated. It's waterproof, shockproof and also fog-proof. The external turrets are finger adjustable with ¼ MOA click value. It also comes with a cantilever mount that prevents unintentional movement and helps maintain shooting accuracy.
The elevation and windage turrets are lockable to prevent unintentional adjustments. Overall, this is a great 1-4x scope for various rifles and purposes. It's a cost-effective solution and perfect for beginner shooters. The lenses are crystal clear, and the scope's ability to hold zero is impressive.
This 1-4x scope from Primary Arms is budget options for new scope users. This one features a duplex reticle with an illuminated center dot. It's a low-power variable optic with a perfect combination of features and quality components. Let's talk about the specs and features of this optic.
First off, it is big. Most 1-4x scopes are a lot smaller than this. But I believe that's what you are going to get when you pay a kind of budget price point. The glass is very clear, and since it's a second focal plane scope, the reticle doesn't get larger or smaller, which is perfect for a scope like this because that dot in the center allows you to make really precise shots.
The turrets are also really easy to adjust. You just unscrew that cap, and these turrets are finger adjustable with ½ MOA per-click. The red illumination dot has 12 brightness settings for bright daylight or low-light situations. The eye relief is very generous, and you can move the scope forward or reverse to adjust your shooting position.
It has a nitrogen-purged tube that makes the internal lenses fully fog-proof. This one is also waterproof. Since all of the optics are fully multi-coated, you will get optimal light transmission. It's a tough scope that is built to last. If you want a budget 1-4x scope for plinking, this is the one.
For the price, you won't find a better entry-level scope than this one. The lenses are clear, and the build quality is solid. The best part is, this scope can hold its zero for a long time. With this scope, you are actually getting more than what you are paying for. And since it's from Bushnell, all of their scopes are highly reliable.
The tubes are argon purged to keep the internals fog proof. The drop zone reticle is thick, which is a good thing because you can easily acquire targets after a shot is made. You can sight this scope in a matter of minutes. With fully multi-coated optics, you will get better light transmission, which will result in better image clarity.
The target turrets have 0.1 mil click value that will give you precise adjustments. In addition, it also features a fast-focused eyepiece which you can adjust on the go for peerless accuracy. The Drop Zone BDC reticle gives you amazing close-quarter accuracy as well as mid-range precision.
The drop zone reticle allows you to sight the scope in at 100 yards and gives you precise aiming points up to 500 yards. This optic weigh just over 1 pound, which isn't too heavy to increase the overall weight of your gun. The anodized finish gives this scope a sleek look, and it also comes with lens covers.
The MTAC 1-4x scope from Burris is a high-end optics that are made using the highest quality materials. It has a 24mm objective lens and features Ballistic CQ reticle. The reticle is designed for tactical and competitive shooting. It has a matte black finish that looks great on any rifle.
This one is an illuminated scope with ten brightness settings, which is great for low light shooting. This scope is sleek, tough, and snag-free. All the scopes in this MTAC line are built for mid-range, consistent, and repeatable shooting. It has a large eye relief for comfortable positioning.
This scope is also compatible with night vision technology and designed for dangerous game hunters and competitive shooters. The internal spring-tension system is durable and allows the scope to hold its zero for many rounds. Vibrations, recoil or shocks won't mess up the adjustments.
To prevent internal fogging, the tube is nitrogen filled. The capped tactical style turrets are finger adjustable for easy precision adjustments. It's also waterproof and constructed using solid 1-piece aluminum alloy material. This scope can easily withstand shocks and vibrations.
The Accupoint 1-4x riflescope from Trijicon is ideal for short-range shooters. It has a dual-illuminated reticle and rather than relying on battery; this one uses fiber optics that can automatically adjust the brightness of the reticle. The second illumination method is the Tritium Phosphor Lamp, which is self-luminous.
This lightweight scope is efficient and ideal for hunters because of its vivid Amber aiming point. This one has multilayer of lens coating that results in superior image clarity. The tube is constructed using aircraft grade aluminum that has a hard-anodized finish for increased durability.
The multi-focus eyepiece gives you an edge to edge clarity on any terrain under any lighting conditions. Since the illumination process operated entirely without battery, you won't have to worry about battery failure in the middle of your hunt.The only reason why this product isn't high up in this list is because of the lack of a BDC reticle. Other than that, it has all the features you would want is a scope. The best part is, you can manually override the brightness settings to your personal preference.
This is an extremely well-made scope that is perfect for close to medium range combat. From its reticle to build quality, everything is spot on. You can mount this scope on a wide range of semi-auto to full-auto tactical rifles. The Hi-Lux optics should perform well under any scenarios.
This scope weighs 16.5 ounces, which is not a lot to weigh your gun down. It's a 30mm scope with a 24mm objective lens diameter. It's a well-designed scope that features a practical reticle which is developed by engineers at Hi-Lux Optics' to provide faster target acquisition.
When things get up close and personal, you can rely on this reticle to make the accurate shot every time. This reticle has an illuminated circular center along with horizontal and partial lower crosshair. All the optics are fully multi-coated to ensure bright and crystal-clear image.
The generous 3-inch relief is a great feature of this scope. The reticle is really useable, and this is one of those underrated reticles that most people don't even know about. The illumination works really well during low light conditions. Finally, all I can say is that this is a great scope for the price.
This tactical riflescope from TRUGLO can compete with higher-end scopes while keeping a budget price tag. The lenses on this scope are crystal clear, and the clarity is on par with Primary Arms and Vortex scopes. This one never knocks the zero off and can hold up like a tank.
If you are looking for a budget-priced scope that has great quality, this one can be considered as a fantastic option. It has amazing brightness and even at 1x power, the reticle is clear and bright. The build quality is solid, very well constructed and very durable.
The extended lever on this one can be used to operate this scope quickly. Zeroing this in is quick and holds true for a long time. You can easily shoot over 200 rounds, and this scope can maintain its zero flawlessly. It comes with two pre-calibrated bullets drop compensating turrets.
For elevation and windage, it features a durable leaf-spring tension click adjustments. However, some scopes come with loose turrets, make sure to inspect them when you get this one. You can easily resolve this problem with an Allen wrench.
How to Choose the Best 1-4x Scopes for AR 15 Rifles?
1-4x Scopes are mostly mounted on AR-15 type rifles because of their minimal and simplistic design that allows you to get good hits at a shorter distance while offering a good magnification range when shooting at longer distances.
Because you will only use them to shoot at shorter distances, these scopes tend to be finicky at times. However, it is not something that you should be worried about because the tolerance range is a bit wider when it comes to shooting at shorter ranges.
All the scopes in this list are strong enough to be mounted on your AR-15 rifle but if you want to venture on your own and buy something else, let me help you find the best 1-4x AR scopes.
For tactical shooting, it is important that you get a high-quality optic. When you are involved in high adrenaline shooting, you need a scope that can give you an edge for those fast-paced movements.
What Is A 1-4x Scope?
If you are just starting out or perhaps you are a novice when it comes to optic scopes, don't worry. This short section will help you get started. So, 1-4x means the magnification power of a scope.
You will also see like 3 – 9x and more. These numbers define how much magnification power the scope has. For this guide, we are only going to talk about 1 to 4 times magnification.
Think of this as a zoom capacity on your smartphone. If it's 10x, it means you enlarge the image ten times, and the same goes for scopes. 1x means you will be able to magnify the image one time, 4x means four times and so on.
Unlike a camera, these are optical zooms, and they make the object closer with real to life details. There are different types of scopes when it comes to magnification power.
Some are fixed while others have variable magnifying power. With fixed scopes, you won't be able to zoom in or out. But variable scopes offer a wide range of zooming options.
For example, a 1-4x scope can give you a magnification of 1x, 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x, and so on and all the way up to 4x. These scopes are ideal for taking shots and different distances.
Basics of A Riflescope
Now that this part is cleared let's talk about lens diameter. You will see a lot of scopes out there that are labeled 1-4x24mm. The 24 on end refers to lens diameter. It's the objective of the lens where the light gets into the scope.
The larger the diameter, the more light can enter the scope, and you will see clearer and brighter image. There are other important factors like focal plane and reticles.
To make it short, the reticle is the crosshair that you use to target your shot. This can be adjusted and this what you call sighting in a scope. You use the adjustment knobs to adjust the height, windage to make sure you are more accurate. There are more advanced reticles found on the market, like Duplex reticles, BDC reticles, Mil-dots, and even illuminated ones.
Once you sight in your scope, you can use that over and over again. Some scopes can retain that for a long time while others lose their adjustment settings overtime. This is called zeroing in; higher-end scopes will never lose their zero while cheap scopes might need adjusting from time to time.
Another important factor is the focal plane. There are two focal planes. FFP and SFP. FFP means first focal place, and SFP means second focal plane.
The main difference between these two focal planes is that, when you zoom in on an SFP scope, the reticle size will increase respectively. On the other hand, FFP doesn't increase the reticle size respective to the target.
The last thing I would like to point out is Turrets. Although it's a minor detail, you should not overlook this one. Before buying one, check the turrets. They have knobs that you use to make adjustments for elevation and windage for long-range shooting.
Things to Look for When Buying A Good 1-4x Scope
Since these scopes don't have a lot of components, there isn't that much to look at. However, there are some basic must have feature or characteristics that should look before you buy one.
With any scope, clarity is the first thing you should look for. Having a multi-coated lens will provide better image clarity, but you should also look at the lens diameter. For a 1-4x scope, 24mm lens diameter should be more than enough.
FOV stands for a field of view. As your scope zoom in on a target, your field of view gets narrower, but the target will be bigger. Make sure the scope you are buying has a large field of view.
Don't go for anything less than multi-coated lenses. Lenses that have better coating will have better light transmission and will result in better image resolution. These coatings also reduce glare and prevent the lenses from getting scratched.There are different types of coatings. If it is just a normal coated lens, it means there is only one layer of coating. If you see something like multi-coated lenses written on the box, it means that all of the lenses have multiple layers of coatings.
Why Buy A 1-4x24mm Scope?
For a novice shooter who is just learning the basics of AR-15, this will be the ideal scope to start with. It is an appropriate scope to teach someone the basics of long-range shooting. Well, technically you won't be able to grasp all the high-end stuff like adjusting a scope for a 1000-yard shot.
But 4x magnification is enough to get started, and this range is what you can handle with the naked eye. It's a good practical approach, and beginners will understand all the basics before they make the transition to a powerful scope.
You can hunt in the woods because you can use these scopes to shoot at different distances. They are quite effective in the normal range and allow you to make a clear shot at your target.
Also, having a scope with a powerful magnification is kind of useless when you are hunting in dense woods. All you will see are magnified tree trunks, leaves with beetles on them.
Also, they have smaller objective lenses because of their 4x magnification limit. That means they have fewer components and small tube size.
This will help keep the weight down, which also make them ideal for short-distance shooting. Plus, they are quick and easy to adjust.
1-4x Scope vs. Red Dot with Magnifier
For those of you that already have a red dot and thinking about an upgrade like adding a magnifier, there are two choices. You can go with a red dot magnifier or a 1-4x scope. The advantage of a red dot magnifier is the cost, and they are lightweight. But they have a fixed eye-relief.
Also, having a single dot, you won't be able to find out the center because it's a projectile light. This also makes it harder to calculate the BDC drop.
On the other hand, 1-4x scope gives you more versatility; you can dial the magnification power up and down, and this gives a lot of adjustment options. But these scopes are larger than red dot magnifier, slightly heavier and are prone to parallax errors.
If you are the type of person that likes to shoot at medium to short-range, 1-4x scopes are the right optics to mount on your rifle. They will give you better aim at targets. While there are lower-end cheap models, but they will be more or less useless in the long run.
Getting the best 1-4x scope will give you the ability to take perfect shorts while keeping them sighted in for longer. You don't have to mess around with the adjustment settings. Plus, you will get better components, better visuals, and years of usage.
Larry is a professional Shooter and his hobby is shooting and Hunting! He has been shooting for the last 6 years and he loves using many types of guns while outing as well. Based experiences with a different type of Guns and Hunting related products. He is sharing his opinion about various Guns so that a beginner can get started right way. Find him on Twitter.