Best 1-4x Scope for the Money [Precision On Budget]

If you haven't heard of low powered variable optics, you must be sleeping under a rock. LVPOs are the new hotness in the firearms world...and for good reason. They are far from a fad. They are some of the best scopes available today.

These scopes are well suited for a wide variety of tasks on a wide range of weapons. At 1X with the right reticle, shooters can use these scopes almost as efficiently as a red dot sight. Because the engagement gets further out, shooters can increase the magnification.

LVPOs are plenty common. They've become some of the more popular options. They are often more lighter weight, and more affordable overall.

They can be used at ranges from 5 yards to 500 yards and are perfect for tactical use, hunting, and competition.

In a Hurry? Here is Our Top Pick

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24

This optic is an easy way to ensure that your shots are on target even at long distances.

We've gathered some of the best 1-4X scopes here today.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

Bushnell AR Optics

1

Bushnell AR Optics

  • Magnification: 1-4X
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight:1.06 Pounds

Burris MTAC Illuminated Scope

Burris-MTAC-Ballistic

Burris MTAC Illuminated Scope

  • Magnification: 1-4X
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight:481.94 Grams

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

Vortex-Optics-Crossfire-II

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

  • Magnification: 1-4X
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Weight:1.5 Pounds

Trijicon AccuPower RS24

Trijicon AccuPower

Trijicon AccuPower RS24

  • Magnification: 1-4X
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight:16.2 oz

Barska IR Hunting Scope

Barska

Barska IR Hunting Scope

  • Magnification: 1-4X
  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Weight:1 Pounds

Nikon Black Force 1000

Nikon-Black

Nikon Black Force 1000

  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight:13 Ounces

Primary Arms SFP Rifle Scope

Primary-Arms-ACSS

Primary Arms SFP Rifle Scope

  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight:16.7 Oz

Vortex Viper PST

Vortex Viper-PST

Vortex Viper PST

  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight: 16 oz

The Athlon Talos BTR 1-4x24

The Athlon Talos BTR 1-4x24

  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight: 19 oz

The Monstrum 1-4x20

The Monstrum 1-4x20

  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Weight: 11 oz

The Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24mm

The Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24mm

  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight: 17.3 oz

The Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x24mm CMR

The Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x24mm CMR

  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight: 16.5 oz

Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4 24

Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4x24mm

  • Magnification: 1-4x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight: 14.4 oz 

Leupold VX 5HD 1-5x24 Riflescope

Leupold VX 5HD 1-5x24 Riflescope

  • Magnification: 1-5x
  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Weight: 13.4 oz

Best 1-4x Scopes For The Money

1. Bushnell AR Optics - Best 1-4x Scope

1-4 scope

The Bushnell AR scope is a 1-4x24mm LVPO and is perfect for shooters on a budget. The AR scope line is well made. They pack a lot of features that make them an excellent value. The Bushnell AR line is well respected and well known for being some of the best budget scopes on the market.

The Bushnell AR Optic 1-4x24mm is specifically designed for AR 15 rifles. Specifically, this quality scope is best suited for 16-inch barreled carbine models. The 1-4x24mm comes with the Drop Zone reticle that is tuned to the 223 caliber round.

This type of reticle automatically compensates for the bullet drop of the 223 round. The reticles have several markers that give you aiming points out to 500 yards. This takes all the brainpower out of the ballistic drop.

1-4x scope

The Bushnell AR also comes with target turrets that allow for quick and easy MOA adjustments in the field. No tools required and the turrets reset to zero once you are dialed in.

The Bushnell AR optics also comes with a fast-focus eyepiece that when combined with the bright red reticle illumination, the power change lever, and 3.5 inches of eye relief gives you a very fast-on-target weapon.

The reticle is very simple and doesn't blur or block your vision. You have an open field of view that allows you to see everything in front of you and focus on it. The view is perfect for keeping your situational awareness high.

The low priced nature of the Bushnell 1-4x scope makes it immensely attractive. On top of that, it's feature-filled and well made. Perfect if you are new to the idea of low powered variable optics.

Bushnell AR Optics

The price of Bushnell AR Optics varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about that scope? Check out our detailed bushnell AR optics 1-4×24 review.

2. Burris MTAC - Best 1-4x Scope For AR 15

best 1 4x24 scope

Burris is well known for their FastFire series of mini red dots, but their variable scopes shouldn't be discounted. The Burris MTAC 1 series is designed for tactical applications. There are a few different models that are affordably priced.

The Burris has a 24mm objective lens and utilizes a one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum tube for extra strength and precision. The MTAC uses a 30mm tube with illumination and is best suited for a single piece mounting system.

The Burris has two reticle options. The first is the Ballistic CQ reticle. This is an all illuminated reticle that's a circle around a crosshair complete with circular subtensions for range compensation.

4x scope

This reticle is perfect for CQB use. If shooters ignore everything but the fact it's large and red, you have a red dot scope at 1X. As you zoom in for long-distance shots, the rest of the reticle comes into play for more precise shooting of targets. Up to 4 inches of eye relief keeps a shooters shooting stance flexible and adaptable.

The second reticle is the Ballistic AR reticle. This is a more traditional rifle scope with a circular reticle that allows for close-range use. The reticle also sports a crosshair with windage and elevation compensation and illumination.

The MTAC is an awesome scope and is perfect for a variety of weapons. It will serve at anywhere from 5 yards to 500 yards. It's a well-made scope that can take whatever you can toss at it. If it fails, Burris backs it with the best lifetime warranty in the industry. Their lifetime warranty covers for the lifetime of the tactical scope.

Burris MTAC

The price of Burris MTAC varies, so check the latest price at

Check out our detailed Burris MTAC 4.5-14x42 review for some higher magnification options by same manufacturer.

3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II  - Best 1 4x Scope

best 1-4 scope

The 1-4X range hasn't just become popular with the tactical and competition crowd. They've gained a healthy level of acceptance with hunters as well. Especially in the dense southwest where the environment is more jungle than anything else. The illumination on the Crossfire II 1-4x makes the reticle easy to see between the lenses and you have parallax adjustment to get performance in any conditions.

The Crossfire II taps into that unique hunting role rather well. This would be an excellent tactical scope or competition scope, but it is one of the best for hunters. The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x, in particular, comes in several different magnification ranges, but, of course, today we are talking about a specific range.

The Vortex Optics crossfire II 1-4x is simply rugged and well designed. It'll function on hunting rifles of all types, as well as shotguns made for slugs. The Crossfire II anodized finish and matte finish design makes it waterproof and shockproof. With nitrogen purging for shrugging off the fog, this scope is also fog proof and can be used in various weather conditions.

The scope's single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum tube is O ring sealed. This overall design of the anodized finish is rock solid and quite strong.

1 4 power scope

The bright reticle on the Crossfire II is Vortex's v-brite reticle, is glass-etched, and sports 11 different brightness settings and a red illuminated reticle for poor lighting conditions. The V-plex format reticle combines a crosshair and a red dot.

The outside is a crosshair, but in the middle is the center dot. The V-plex format is not all that different from a normal duplex, but it adds just enough to make this tactical scope even more useful.

Getting on target is quick and easy at close ranges. The small red dot makes it easy for more long distance shooters. The little dot hardly obscures the shooters targets and makes it easy to pick your shots. The Crossfire 2 also has an excellent system of turrets and 4 inches of eye relief. 4 inches of eye relief should make acquiring targets quick and easy.

These turrets are fingertip adjustable and capped to ensure they don't move. The turrets are resettable and make it easy to adjust and then come back to zero. Overall, the Crossfire 2 is an excellent scope and is one of the few 1-4xs designed for hunting performance in all conditions.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

The price of Vortex Optics Crossfire II varies, so check the latest price at

4. Trijicon Accu Power RS24

1 4x tactical scope

The Trijicon AccuPower series was one of Trijicon's first expansion into LVPOs. The AccuPower series has since grown and expanded, but this one is still a classic. It's by far one of the best made LVPOs on the market and is undoubtedly a proven scope. 

The AccuPower RS24 is sleek and lightweight. This small scope is well suited for carbines and shorter rifles. At the same time, it can be used for more accurate shooting with full-powered rifles.

The RS24 has an aircraft-grade aluminum housing and is quite rugged and durable, as most Trijicon products are. The RS24 is an SFPscope with a variety of reticles available for it. Most are robust and straightforward, but the nicest is the 223 caliber BDC reticle model that's perfect for a 5.56 caliber rifle.

best 4x scope

Every reticle has a brighted portion that acts as your quick on target portion. The reticles are subtle enough for precise shooting and are remarkably simple. These simple reticles combined with the 3.5 inches of eye relief (a lot for a Trijicon) give you easy target acquisition and keep your display uncluttered.

The RS24 has 11 different brightness settings and comes with green or red reticles. A single CR2032 battery powers the scope. The RS24 also features some fantastic glass that makes it easy to see in low light conditions.

The AccuPower would be right at home in any field. This includes tactical applications, range time, competition, or hunting. It's tough enough for whatever you throw at it and precise enough to allow you to hit just about anything you can see.

Trijicon AccuPower RS24

The price of Trijicon AccuPower RS24 varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know how that scope work's, then must check out our detailed trijicon accupower1-4x24mm review

5. Barska IR Hunting Scope

1 to 4 power scope

The Barska brand is the ultimate in affordability when it comes to scopes. These aren't designed to go to war but are perfectly suitable for the range and for having fun. This is the perfect 1-4X scope if you want to top off a best 22 LR rifle, a hobbyist AR 15 or a budget hunting rifle.

It's affordable already, but to top it off the IR comes with an integrated mounting system, so you don't need mounting rings. This one-piece scope mount is designed for any standard Picatinny rail system. This is the most common scope mounting rail on the market so it will be easily used on almost any rifle out there.

The Barska IR Hunting Scope comes with a simple Mil-Dot scope reticle that is etched into the glass. This reticle also illuminates in either a red or green light. This reticle style is better suited for precision shooting rather than short-range shooting.

The IR Hunter's reticle makes it easy to compensate for both windage and height without having to touch the turrets. The IR Hunter has a 30mm main tube and can withstand tough weather conditions because it is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

Shooters have fully multi-coated low dispersion glass, providing a higher level of clarity by reducing glare and increasing light transmission. A rare feat on such an affordable scope. The scope features a total of three towers.

Two are standard height and windage turrets that are fingertip adjustable. The turrets can be locked down to prevent accidental adjustments. The third turret is designed to allow you to cycle between brightness levels and swap reticle colors. Eye relief is longer than expected at 4.5 inches.

The IR hunter is a very affordable scopethat is surprisingly well made and quite clear. While it's not traditional as far as 1-4X optics go it's plenty capable.

Barska IR Hunting Scope

The price of Barska IR Hunting Scope varies, so check the latest price at

6. Nikon Black Force 1000 

4x scopes

Nikon, a company many of us know and love produces a wide variety of different optics, including a few 1-4X scopes. The Nikon Black Force 1000 is a 1-4X scope that leans towards speed and competition use rather than hunting or tactical rifle scope.

Like most 1-4X scopes the Black Force can be used in a wide variety of tasks and is plenty versatile, which is demonstrated by the 3.8-4.1 inches of eye relief. However, this one leans toward competitive use, and for a decent price.

At its core is Nikon's SpeedForce reticle. This reticle is designed with a bright ¾ circle with three red dots. The ¾ circles provide quick target acquisition. The three dots are for leading targets and quick .5 MOA windage adjustments.

The Black Force also has a crosshair of MOA windage and elevation adjustments for making long-range precise shots on target. These subtensions are in MOA and are quick and straightforward. The Black Force is also a second focal plane scope.

1x4 scopes

The Black Force scope also features multilayer coatings on all low dispersion glass surfaces to reduce glare and improve the sight picture. It delivers an overall high quality, very clear scope that allows for an excellent sight picture.

The turrets are fingertip adjustable. The third turret is for brightness control. The scope has ten different brightness levels. The adjustment turrets are spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets.

The Nikon Black Force is an excellent scope that's priced to move. If you are shooting 3-gun, I'd say this would be an outstanding option for your rifle, regardless of its caliber.

Nikon Black Force 1000

The price of Nikon Black Force 1000 varies, so check the latest price at

7. Primary Arms Classic Series 

best 1x4 scope for the money

The Primary Arms Classic Series is one of my favorites for scopes at an affordable price. They are a rugged and reliable brand that produces some really unique and well-made scopes. The Primary Arms Classic Series is just that--excellent scopes at excellent prices.

This 1-4x model is lightweight and compact. I know a lot of guys are looking to go as light as possible these days. This quality scope weighs 16 ounces and has a 30mm tube diameter. The Primary Arms 1-4 is a second focal plane design with a generous eye relief of 3.5 to 3.8-inch.

The scope uses a simple duplex dot reticle design that's precise and easy to use. The center dot is bright and acts as your rapid-fire dot. Around it is a typical duplex crosshair. This simplistic design is what you can expect from a Classic scope.

It's perfect for hunting and sport shooting and is fine enough to make precise shots when dialed into that 4X. The dot is small. When the illumination system is off, it remains as a simple glass etched dot. It's a simple system that works.

The scope is nitrogen purged (fog proof), waterproof, and shockproof. It's well suited for a wide variety of rifles from the famed AR 10 to even PCCs like the CZ Scorpion. The Primary Arms 1-4X would also be well suited on a shotgun designed for shooting slugs.

The Primary Arms Classic Series is rugged, reliable, versatile, and quite affordable. If you are on edge about a 1-4X, give the Primary Arms Classic a try. At this price, it's hard to beat.

Primary Arms Classic

The price of Primary Arms Classic varies, so check the latest price at

8. Vortex Viper PST

best 1-4x scope for the money

When talking about high-quality scopes, Vortex Optics makes everything. This includes rifle scopes of all types. They were an earlier adopter of the low powered variable optic. The Vortex Optics Viper PST in 1-4X is one of the premier LVPOs (it even comes with lens covers).

The Viper PST 1-4X24 is a scope perfect for carbine style rifles. Toss it on an AR, AK, or similar gun, and you'll be running and gunning like a pro. As you can imagine, the Viper PST 1-4x24 features a bright red reticle that allows you to utilize the scope efficiently for close and long-range.

The Vortex Optics reticle sports a four-quarter circles panel that is quick and easy to see with a fast focus eyepiece. These four quarter circles are perfect for close quarter's use. Ignore the rest of the reticle. Use those big bright portions to get lead on target.

Once you need to start reaching out and touching a target a hundred yards and beyond, the rest of the reticle comes into play. This reticle includes subtensions that are measured in MOA and allow you to compensate for both windage and bullet drop.

This combination gives you an excellent and versatile rifle scope for tactical use, hunting, and competition. The Vortex Optics Viper PST has ten different brightness options. One is designed for night vision use. The fast focus eyepiece makes target acquisition fast, and the price is very reasonable.

The Viper PST 1-4 is an excellent and well-made scope with 4 inches of eye relief and a fast focus eyepiece. It's shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. It's also tough enough for most tactical work and would be perfect for hunting. Vortex backs their products with one of the best warranties in the business.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24

Vortex Viper PST

The price of Vortex Viper PST varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know how that scope work's? Check out our detailed Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24mm review.

9. The Athlon Talos BTR 1-4x24

The Athlon Talos BTR

The Athlon Talos BTR is a good scope for a .22 or .223. It has all the features you would want from a more expensive and advanced scope, but it will work well with the distances you’ll be shooting at with your lower-caliber rifles.

The Talos BTR bright reticle makes performance better to shoot targets in low-light conditions. The adjustment turrets are resettable to zero after you’ve sighted it in, and Athlon Talos BTR has a reticle well-designed for smaller calibers. The turrets are exposed.

The Talos BTR reticle is a duplex, but with an illuminated portion and mil lines on both axes. It’s easy to understand what the markings mean and is quick to learn how to compensate on the fly for longer distances.

With eye relief from 6.26"-3.5", the Talos BTR is a great scope, but it’s not the one you’ll want to take big game hunting, as it has issues withstanding the recoil from larger firearms. This will work great for range shooting and hunting small game, but anything with more recoil than a 5.56 NATO may eventually damage the scope.

Everything else about the scope is fantastic; it’s nitrogen purged, waterproof, shockproof, great for most weather conditions, the whole works, it just can’t stand up to heavy recoil. Its affordable price makes it a great fit for plinking rifles and small game.

The Athlon Talos BTR 1-4x24

The price of The Athlon Talos BTR 1-4x24 varies, so check the latest price at

10. The Monstrum 1-4x20

The Monstrum 1-4x20

The Monstrum is the only scope on this list that comes with a throw lever on the zoom ring. I personally like throw levers. They let me quickly and easily see where my zoom level is at and how much further I can go. I also find it easier to quickly change magnification if needed.

The throw lever makes this optic a high quality fit for hunting generally, but especially for pelt hunters. Hunting a coyote, for example, may require you to quickly zoom in and out to set up your shot. You have precious few moments to acquire your target and pull the trigger, and a throw lever can shave off the milliseconds and get your shot fired just in the nick of time.

With an LPVO, a throw lever might feel a little gimmicky, and it’s true that some of the advantages of the lever don’t really apply in this shorter range, but some of the benefits are still there and it’s worth considering.

The low price alone would make me cautious about putting this scope on something that kicks harder than a typical .308, but it should work great for what most people are using to hunt. Eye relief is plenty at 3.5-3.8 inches.

The Monstrum comes with flip up lens covers, is great for close range shooting, has multi-coating for extra low dispersion glass, and is a great tactical scope in this magnification range.

The Monstrum 1-4x20

The price of The Monstrum 1-4x20 varies, so check the latest price at

11. The Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24mm

The Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24mm

Steiner is a brand you may not have heard of, but the P4Xi is an impressive little piece of kit. It has a price tag to match. If it’s not out of your price range it’s definitely a strong contender here. You can get it in a matte finish that is either black or in the brownish color you see in the picture. I personally like the matte black.

Most of the specs here are what you would expect, but what makes the Steiner worthy of this list is that it is designed to work well with night vision devices (NVDs), and attachments that increase the magnification range. The reticle has plenty of settings for daytime and low-light, but also has two settings for night vision.

Since it also opens up all the way to one power, this can make it perfect for law enforcement. The 1-4x magnification makes it appropriate for a police officer’s duty rifle, and your ability to set it for night vision can make a big difference in its effectiveness for SWAT teams doing a nighttime raid. 3.5 to 4 inches of eye relief works well.

Battery life on the brighten reticle is not amazing, though turning it off does completely disconnect the battery to prevent drain. The reticle is also etched, so the illumination system is intended for use primarily in dusk, dawn, and other low light situations. Light transmission is great, and the 24mm objective lens helps with that.

The Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24mm

The price of The Steiner P4Xi 1-4x24mm varies, so check the latest price at

12. The Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x24mm CMR

The Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x24mm CMR

The Hi-Lux is probably the best 1-4x24 scope on this list for the AK-47. Why? Because it was designed to be.

The reticle has a dot, which has not one, but two horseshoes around it and a BDC reticle that is drawn for the 7.62x39mm cartridge. The BDC ladder goes all the way down past 900 meters, which means it can easily cover the effective range of an AK-47.

All the bells and whistles are here; it has a reticle with almost 12 brightness settings, ½ MOA adjustment turrets, and multi-coated glass with Diamond Tuff14. The scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, so it can withstand weather conditions. It has 3 inches of eye relief and is overall a fantastic scope for a rifle that shoots 7.62x39mm.

That said, this scope is probably not the right choice for any other cartridge. The reticle is quite specifically designed for the 7.62x39mm, and it would be very distracting and difficult to try to use it for anything else. Not impossible, certainly, but with so many other fantastic scopes to choose from, I’d recommend looking elsewhere for a scope for anything other than 7.62x39.

The Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x24mm CMR

The price of The Hi-Lux Optics 1-4x24mm CMR varies, so check the latest price at

13. Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4x24mm

Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4 24

The TR24 AccuPoint 1-4 24 is one of the more expensive scopes a shooter can get for this range, but it is also one of the better scopes. It has a 2nd focal plane reticle that will be the same size no matter how much the Trijicon TR24 Accupoint 1-4 24 is zoomed in on the target. 

What makes the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4 24 great in so many shooting situations is the tritium lamp and fiber optics it uses for its reticle illumination system.

The Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4x's 2nd focal plane reticle comes with different designs for different situations. You can get more information on each reticle on their website. The Tritium lamp and fiber optics on the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint gives you various reticle illumination settings. 

Most scopes that have illumination require a battery. This makes the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint great for small and big game hunting and shooting situations.

The 1-4 24 riflescope specs make the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint great for shooting ranges up to 200 yards.

Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4 24

Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4x24mm

The price of Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4x24mm varies, so check the latest price at

14. Leupold VX 5HD 1-5x24 Riflescope

Leupold VX 5HD 1-5x24

So the Leupold VX line deserved to be on this list, even though they no longer make a 1-4 24 rifelscope. The 1-5x range still gets you down to 1-power for shooting situations where that is required, and it will give you an even longer range than a 1-4 24 riflescope. The Leupold VX line gives you unmatched clarity and image.

Reviews are great for the Leupold VX, and even though the price is high, the clarity and quality you get for the price is amazing. It's not a dual illuminated riflescope, but the VX does have illumination, which helps make your aimpoint have even more clarity in poor light situations.

If the price is not a turn-off, then the VX is an incredible option for this price range. It will work with a cantilever mount if that is your preference, and the clarity that Twilight Max HD brings gives you more information faster.

Leupold VX 5HD 1-5x24

Leupold VX 5HD 1-5x24 Riflescope

The price of Leupold VX 5HD 1-5x24 Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about leupold vx 5HD, then must check out our Leupold  VX 5HD review

Buyer's Guide

If you're trying to buy the best 1-4x scope for you, you're in the right place. A 1-4x scope can be a fantastic addition to any rifle that you won't be shooting past 100 yards or 200 yards. You can shoot further than that with only 4x, but most people would prefer more.

What Is a 1-4x Scope?

A 1-4x scope is a rifle scope that has a range from 1x to 4x. 1x is another way of saying zero magnification, also known as "one power". 4x means that objects seen through the scope will appear 4 times bigger than they do with the naked eye. Scopes that are in this range are considered Low Power Variable Optics, or LPVOs.

The 1-4x scope is becoming more and more popular as shooters realize the benefits of being able to go from (essentially) a red dot to being able to comfortably make 200-yard shots. Scopes in this zone are great for close range, good at mid-range, and generally not as good for long range. If you're shooting close range, these are hard to beat.

What Distance Is a 1-4x Scope Good For?

A lot of this comes down to preference, experience, training, and general shooting ability. A trained sniper can make a much longer shot with a 1-4x scope than someone picking up a rifle for the first time.

That said, a general rule of thumb that I have found to be true is that if you take a target that someone can hit as far as 50 yards out with no magnification, then they can hit the same target at 100 yards with 2x, 200 yards with 4x, and so on.

A 1-4x scope can be used to make shots at distances much longer than 200 yards, but for most shooters, they would prefer to have a little higher magnification level to shoot that far out. Of course, there's a difference between trying to hit a man-sized target and trying to hit a 5-inch metal disk.

Again, as a general rule, the maximum distance you would want to shoot with a 1-4x scope is 200 yards, so .5 MOA is a typical adjustment. You may find that you want to use the full 4x just to make 100-yard shots, though.

If you have never shot with a rifle scope at 4x, you may want to try one out and see how it feels before you buy one to make sure you can shoot at the distance you want with it.

Factors to Consider When Buying a 1-4x Scope

A lot of these same factors apply to virtually every rifle scope you might buy, but they apply equally to the 1-4x scope line as well.

Lens Quality

Ideally, you'll want to make sure you've got fully multi-coated optics for extra low dispersion and to allow you to shoot in more lighting conditions.

The objective lens diameter is an important factor here as well, though the lens diameter is likely to be smaller on average than for a higher-powered rifle scope. 24mm objective lenses are common for the 1-4x scope.

Most popular scopes will have multi-coated lenses and do passably well in low-light conditions, but you'll still want to double-check and see how the 1-4x scope performs in various weather conditions.

Reticle

The reticle can make or break the quality of the 1-4x scope, so here are just a few things you want to look for. The reticle can either be on the first focal plane (FFP), or on the second focal plane (SFP).

There's no hard rule for what's better and what's worse, but you generally won't see first focal plane (FFP) reticles on LPVOs.

Being on the first focal plane means that the reticle behaves like it's part of the image you're seeing in the 1-4x scope instead of in front of it. I know that probably doesn't make any sense, so I'll explain further.

On the SFP, the reticle stays the same size no matter how zoomed in you are, but on the first focal plane (FFP), it will shrink and grow in proportion with your target area.

For a 1-4x scope it doesn't make as much sense to use an FFP reticle.

You'll see a number of different reticle types in this list, like the v-brite reticle, dot reticle, duplex dot reticle, BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle, and bright center dot. Each of these reticles are designed for a different type of shooting and are subject to preference as well.

Compatibility

It's important with any 1-4x rifle scope, whether an illuminated reticle riflescope, dual illuminated , or not an illuminated at all, that it's compatible with the rifle you plan to mount it onto. The 1-4x scope may come with its own mounting rings or you may have to purchase compatible ones. If you purchase them separately make sure they are for either 1-inch or 30mm tubes depending on what your 1-4x scope has.

Most options of the 1-4x scope will go on an ar-15 just fine, but it's good to check where the rail is on the rifle and whether it will work with the 1-4x24mm scope you choose. If you're a beginner, it may be best to find an option that comes with rings.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is a big concern when purchasing a 1-4x scope. If you are military-trained, then you'll be used to shooting NTCH, so you'll want to go for short eye relief, but most other shooters will want longer eye relief. Long eye relief for a 1-4x scope would be 4 inches and longer. Tube diameter affects this a little bit, but there won't be much difference between an aluminum material 1-inch tube diameter and 30mm.

Extra Features

Along with fully multi-coated optics and being able to work in different weather conditions, you'll want to make sure your 1-4x24mm scope is a true 1x scope, in that it really does go down all the way to one power.

You can check how many brightness settings it has (12 brightness settings is high quality), whether it comes with lens covers or a flip-up lens, and whether it's shock proof. Also look at tube construction; is it aluminum construction or steel?

Is it an illuminated riflescope? Does it have generous eye relief? Is the reticle the way you want it? A duplex dot reticle that works for shooting at long range may not be great for mid-range or short-range. Is it easy to use? Will it survive harsh weather conditions? Poor lighting conditions? Fully multi-coated optics?

Most will have a glass-etched reticle, but will they be an illuminated riflescope for poor lighting conditions? The best 1-4x scope should be nitrogen-purged and give you adjustment turrets that have MOA elevation adjustments and windage adjustments. To get good performance from parallax adjustment, it should have adjustment knobs that will work in any conditions.

You also want to make sure that it is made from aluminum material, is MOA accurate within the ranges you'll be working, and that MOA turret adjustments are easy when aiming at different targets. Magnification level will be roughly the same, except for the Leupold, and performance will vary, as will MOA precision at each magnification level.

Price

Price obviously plays a big role in the decision-making process. A mid-range rifle scope is going to lack some of the features and optical quality of the best 1-4x scope. You may have to compromise on eye relief, a brighten reticle, being fully multi-coated, aircraft-grade aluminum construction, etc.

That said, even an affordable 1-4x scope can be high quality, have fully multi-coated optics, long eye relief, and a fast focus eyepiece. Whatever price range you are comfortable with is what you should look at.

Features That Aren't As Important for a 1-4x Scope

It won't make a big difference if you have a 30mm tube or 1-inch tube, and a middle dot (especially a bright middle dot) is going to be almost as effective as a duplex dot reticle or BDC reticle.

How to Mount and Zero a 1-4x Scope

Mounting

The mounting process will be different based on the rifle you are mounting the 1-4x scope to, so we'll only cover the basics here, and would recommend you read the instruction manual that came with your scope, see if you can find a high quality tutorial, or better yet, take your rifle and scope to a gunsmith who can show you how to do it properly.

When mounting a scope, you'll have four components: the scope itself, the rings that hold the scope in place, the rail or blocks that hold the rings to the rifle, and the rifle. The trick with mounting a scope is that it must be done to a very high level of precision. The further out you intend to shoot, the more precise it must be.

Gun stores and professionals have a variety of tools that allow them to be incredibly precise when mounting scope, but for a 1-4x scope, you just want to make sure that the scope is level, plumb, and flush against the rings, and you should be good to go.

Zeroing a 1-4x Scope

After a scope is properly mounted, if you take it straight out and start shooting, you'll most likely notice that your shots are not hitting at the middle of the crosshairs. This is because the scope needs to be tuned.

Unless you have a specific reason not to, its generally best to zero in your scope at 100 yards. Set up a target and take a few shots with the ammunition you expect to use the most, or for the most important tasks, and see where your grouping is hitting relative to where you were putting the reticle.

Based on how far away your grouping is, you'll want to adjust your reticle using the windage and height turrets. If the turrets give you .25 MOA adjustments, then you'll need to adjust 4 clicks for every inch away your grouping is from center. If your turrets are .5 MOA, you'll only need to adjust 2 clicks for every inch.

At this magnification level, .5 MOA will be more common than .25 MOA, but whether its a budget friendly scope designed for a beginner or a pro, the MOA level will be appropriate for the reticle size. MOA stands for minute-of-angle, but all a beginner needs to remember is that the lower the MOA, the more precise the adjustment knobs.

Once you've adjusted so that your groupings are hitting where you're aiming, you can reset the turrets to zero if the scope allows you to do so, and that's it, your 1-4x scope is zeroed in.

Parting Shots and Final Thoughts

The 1-4x24 scope is an excellent compromise between a red dot and a fixed power scope. They offer you a scope that can be used at ranges where most shooters will be comfortable. They can reach out and touch a target just as quickly as they can deliver multiple rounds up close and personal.

When used in that 0-yard to 500-yard range, they are hard to beat on semi-auto rifles and carbines. Eye relief is in a similar range for these, with some having up to 4.5 inches of eye relief and some down as low as 3 inches. Most 1-4X scopes tend to be the more affordable, practical option. Let us know below what you think of 1-4X scopes.

If you are an avid shooter and want to take part in an upcoming 3-gun competition, then you should check out our guide on best 3-gun scopes.

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