Finding the best 1-4x scope for you can be tricky. Having the right scope can make a huge difference in your shooting, but there are a ton of different factors to consider to ensure that you’re choosing the right one.
To make it easier for you, we’ve put together this guide. In it, we’ll go over why you’d want a 1-4x scope in the first place and what to consider when choosing a 1-4x scope. Once we’ve gone over those basics, we’ll give you the rundown on our top picks for the best rated 1-4x scopes currently on the market.
Now let’s get started!
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for the details, here are our best picks for 1-4x scopes:
- Monstrum Tactical 1-4×20 Tactical Riflescope
- Bushnell 1-4X24 AR Optics Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24
- Burris MTAC 1-4×24 Riflescope
- Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4×24 SFP Riflescope
- Barska 1-4×28 IR SWAT-AR Tactical Riflescope
- Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Illuminated Riflescope
Table of Contents
- What Is a 1-4x Scope & What’s It Good for?
- How to Choose a 1-4x Scope?
- Best 1-4x Scopes on the Market Reviews
- 1 Monstrum Tactical 1-4×20 Tactical Riflescope
- 2 Bushnell 1-4X24 AR Optics Riflescope
- 3 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24
- 4 Burris MTAC 1-4×24 Riflescope
- 5 Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4×24 SFP Riflescope
- 6 Barska 1-4×28 IR SWAT-AR Tactical Riflescope
- 7 Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Illuminated Riflescope
- Final Thoughts
What Is a 1-4x Scope & What’s It Good for?
A 1-4x scope is a type of variable magnification scope, meaning it allows you to adjust the magnification. The “1-4x” part means that the range of magnifications goes from 1x (so no magnification) to 4x (meaning that what you see through the scope appears four times larger than it would with the naked eye).
You may also hear scopes like this called low power variable optics (LPVOs) and they’re quite popular right now because they’re so versatile.
1-4x scopes are best for shooting at short to medium ranges, but they can be used for a lot of different things within those ranges. It just depends on the gun you mount the scope to.
For example, on a Ruger 10/22 or other rimfire rifle, 1-4x scopes are great for varmint hunting. With a larger caliber, they’re good for big game hunting. 1-4x scopes are also a popular choice for the AR-15 and are very common for competition shooting, such as IDPA, USPSA, or 3-Gun. They can even be used on shotguns.
How to Choose a 1-4x Scope?
When browsing 1-4x scopes online, the long lists of specs can be overwhelming. To help you make some sort of sense out of all of the different numbers and details, let’s talk about the most important considerations when choosing a 1-4x scope.
A reticle is the pattern of lines that appears across the sight picture of the scope. Reticles help you to line up your target. The best known reticle is a simple crosshair and most other reticles are some sort of variation of that same concept.
When it comes to 1-4x scopes, the most popular reticles are BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticles. This type of reticle has hash marks along the vertical line below the center of the reticle. These hash marks allow you to adjust for how gravity affects the height of the bullet over time and distance.
It’s also not uncommon to find 1-4x scopes with duplex reticles. These reticles are similar to a traditional crosshair, but the lines get thicker a short distance from the center of the reticle. This makes the reticle easier to see against busy backgrounds.
For extra reticle visibility, you may want to consider a scope with an illuminated reticle. The center of these reticles lights up, making it easier to see.
The lenses in a scope make the difference between a sight picture that looks like a grainy old Polaroid that was taken in the dark and a sight picture that looks even better than the picture of your brand new plasma screen.
Lenses should be made from high-quality, distortion free glass. Ideally, they should also be fully multicoated. Lens coatings help improve light transmission, prevent glare, and protect the lenses. They can also help with color fidelity and image definition.
Scopes are precise pieces of equipment full of delicate mechanical bits and glass lenses. To keep everything in place and in top working order, scope manufacturers should take steps to make their scopes more durable.
A scope should be waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. Ideally, the lenses should have protective coatings and the scope body should be made of a single piece of metal. An aircraft grade aluminum body is lightweight, but stands up well to wear. Many scopes also have a scratch and abrasion resistant finish on the body.
Eye relief refers to the distance from the eye piece at which your eye can see a full sight picture.
Because recoil causes your rifle or shotgun to jerk back, longer eye relief ensures that the back of the scope won’t jam into your brow bone or, worse, your eyeball itself. Beyond that, scopes with longer eye relief just tend to be more comfortable to use in general.
Finally, you’ll want to think about your budget. 1-4x scopes can fall anywhere within a massive range of prices, from under $100 to more than $1000. You can get decent scopes anywhere on the price point. In fact, almost all of the scopes that we recommend here sell for under $500.
Sure, you’ll generally get a better scope for a grand than you will for $100, but price isn’t always an indicator of quality.
To make sure you’re getting the best value for your money, think about what features you want and how much you’re comfortable spending.
Best 1-4x Scopes on the Market Reviews
1 Monstrum Tactical 1-4×20 Tactical Riflescope
Our first 1-4x scope recommendation is also the most budget friendly. The Monstrum 1-4×20 Tactical Riflescope retails for about $100 and it’s hard to beat the value for your money.
This scope has an illuminated rangefinding reticle with BDC marks for ranges up to 500 yards.
The body is made of 6061 aircraft grade aluminum and is nitrogen sealed for water and fog resistance. Monstrum provides a one year warranty for the scope.
The scope does have a couple of disadvantages though, as is expected with such an affordable product.
First, the 20mm objective lens diameter is a little small compared to our other recommendations. This gives you a smaller sight picture and allows less light to enter the scope.
Second, it’s not especially shockproof, so you will want to be careful to avoid drops or hits to keep this scope performing its best.
2 Bushnell 1-4X24 AR Optics Riflescope
The Bushnell AR Optics is a step up in price from the Monstrum 1-4×20 Tactical Scope, but it still rings in well under $200.
As you can probably guess from the name, this scope was designed specifically for use with the AR-15 platform. The Drop Zone-223 reticle is marked specifically for use with .223 Remington for distances up to 600 yards.
It has exposed, tactical style turrets for quick, precise adjustments to windage and elevation settings. It also has a throw down lever for fast magnification adjustments. The lenses are fully multicoated for picture definition and light transmission.
The Bushnell 1-4x AR Optics Riflescope is waterproof and fogproof. Bushnell provides a lifetime warranty.
3 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is one of the most commonly recommended scopes in all magnification levels and the 1-4×24 version has the same high quality as the rest. And with a price tag under $300, it’s on the more affordable side as well.
It has fully multicoated optics and an illuminated duplex style reticle. A battery is included, so that’s one less thing you have to worry about.
It has a single piece tube body made from aircraft grade aluminum. It’s waterproof, dustproof, fogproof, and shockproof, plus it’s hard anodized to keep the finish looking great. Vortex covers the Crossfire II with a lifetime warranty.
The turrets are capped to keep your windage and elevation where you set them. The eye relief is nice and long at four inches.
4 Burris MTAC 1-4×24 Riflescope
Next up is the Burris MTAC 1-4×24 Riflescope.
It has Burris’ proprietary Ballistic CQ reticle, which consists of a small central BDC crosshair surrounded by a circle to help speed up target acquisition. The reticle is marked for up to 600 yards and is fully illuminated for optimal visibility, even in low light conditions. The scope is even night vision compatible.
Burris designed this scope with 3-Gun competitors in mind, but it’s also great for hunting at close range or close quarters combat. It’s particularly well-suited for the AR-10 and AR-15 platforms.
Like the Crossfire II, the Burris MTAC 1-4×24 riflescope has a comfortable four inch eye relief. The eye piece is rubber coated, though, for additional comfort and safety.
The turrets are finger adjustable, while the magnification can be set with the ergonomic power ring. The lenses are made from high quality glass and are fully multicoated.
This scope is covered with a lifetime warranty. It’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
5 Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4×24 SFP Riflescope
While the Burris MTAC scope was designed with competition shooters in mind, the Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4×24 SFP Riflescope was designed for hunters. In fact, it was particularly designed to excel in low light conditions.
This scope has high quality, fully multicoated lenses for excellent light transmission, providing a brighter sight picture. The glass etched, illuminated BDC reticle allows for superior visibility and faster target acquisition.
The scope is nitrogen purged making it waterproof and fogproof. It’s also shockproof for 1000G recoil for 1000 shots. The body is a heat treated one piece tube made from aircraft grade durability to keep moisture out and stand up to drops and hits.
And all that will cost you less than $200.
6 Barska 1-4×28 IR SWAT-AR Tactical Riflescope
The Barska 1-4×28 IR SWAT-AR Tactical Riflescope is another scope designed specifically for the AR-15 and AR-10 platforms.
It has a glass etched, illuminated Mil-Dot reticle, which functions similarly to a BDC reticle. The illumination can be either red or green, so you can choose the color that’s most visible in your surroundings.
The lenses are fully multicoated for improved picture quality. The 28mm objective lens is the largest of any scope on this list, allowing for a larger sight picture and more light transmission.
The scope is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. The windage and elevation turrets are lockable, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally bumping them away from your zero settings. It’s covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
The Barska 1-4×28 IR SWAT-AR Tactical Riflescope comes with a battery to power the illumination, as well as a cantilever scope mount.
7 Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Illuminated Riflescope
For a high end option, check out the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Illuminated Riflescope. Trijicon has a reputation for their excellent optics and the TR24 fits that reputation to a T. It does come at a cost, though. At a price of around $750, this is the most expensive 1-4x scope that we recommend.
It’s available in three different illuminated reticle patterns: German #4 Crosshair, Standard Duplex Crosshair, and Triangle Post. All three patterns can be purchased with either amber or green illumination, and the Triangle Post pattern is also available with red illumination. In other words, you have plenty of options to get just the right reticle for you.
The really cool thing about the illumination, however, is that it automatically adjusts to the brightness of your surroundings, yet doesn’t require a battery at all. Trijicon achieves this through a combination of tritium and fiber optics to provide you with something you can’t get anywhere else.
Other great features of this scope include the easy-focus eyepiece, the fully multi coated lenses, and the repositionable magnification lever.
LPVOs like 1-4x scopes are very popular right now and all of the ones that we’ve recommended here are great options. However, different ones may be better suited for different people. For example, varmint hunters will have different needs from competition shooters, and every person has individual preferences as well.
Fortunately, with the information that we’ve provided here, you should have everything you need to choose the best 1-4x scope for your personal needs.