8 Best 1-4x Scopes in 2023


share on

January 1, 2023

A 1-4x scope is great for mid to close range shots. They can be used in almost the same way that you would use a red dot. They give just enough magnification for mid-range shots. This means they are very versatile and can be used by all types of shooters and hunters.

A solid 1-4x scope enables you to extend your range confidently. This type of scope will be the perfect tool to improve your competence and enjoyment when it comes to shooting.

The Best 1-4x Scopes

Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope

leupold vx-freedom 1.5-4x20mm riflescope

Leupold was founded in 1907 and is legendary in the field of American-made optics. This company is still run by the same family, and is now in the 5th generation. This particular scope offers 3 magnification ranges and 4 reticles.

This scope actually has a 1.5-4x magnification. Most scopes that are marketed as being able to drop to 1x actually do not. The scope weighs around 9.6 ounces and the lenses are multi-coated and scratch-resistant.

Key Features

  • 4 reticle choices
  • ¼ MOA turret adjustment clicks
  • Outstanding quality
  • Twilight light management system

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

vortex optics crossfire ii

This company boasts excellent customer service and also offers an unconditional lifetime warranty on their scopes. If anything happens, simply send it to them with the receipt and they will be happy to help. This scope is an affordable product with lots of features that you’d typically find on a more expensive scope. It is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, and has a hard, anodized finish for extra durability and strength. It weighs around 16 ounces and is about 9.8 inches long. The tube is filled with nitrogen, which means the scope is both waterproof and fog proof. The eye relief allows you to shoot with both eyes open.

Key Features

  • Sturdy/durable
  • Shockproof/waterproof/fog proof
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Small
  • V-Plex reticle with illuminated red dot
  • Lot of value for price

Bushnell Optics 1-4x, Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope

bushnell optics 1-4x, drop zone reticle riflescope

Bushnell is a U.S.-based company that specializes in sporting/hunting optics, as well as other outdoor products. Their scopes come with a lifetime warranty. It is made from highly durable aluminum with an anodized finish. The lenses are fully multi-coated to increase brightness and reduce glare. The scope weighs 16.9 ounces and is 9.5 inches long.

Key Features

  • Great eye relief
  • Durable
  • Simple SFP reticle
  • Fully multi-coated lenses

Monstrum 1-4×20 Rifle Scope

monstrum 1-4×20 rifle scope

This company is based out of Southern California. They create new, innovative products inexpensively. This scope is made of aluminum. At first glance, it seems smaller than others but is actually very durable and robust. It weighs 11 ounces and has a 20mm objective lens. There are mounting rings included so that you can easily install your scope. Regardless of the zoom, the reticle always appears the same size. The glass is clear and bright and the 1x zoom can be used like a red dot.

Key Features

  • Sturdy/durable
  • Small
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Includes mounting rings
  • Affordable
  • Weighs 11 ounces
  • Water and fog proof

Athlon Optics Talos BTR

athlon optics talos btr

Athlon is a newer U.S-based company focusing on designing and manufacturing high-quality optics affordably. They also offer a lifetime warranty, so that you can keep your scope longer. This scope is 9.2 inches long and made of aircraft-grade aluminum. It is very durable, so even if you’re rough on your equipment, it will survive. The tube is filled with nitrogen, making it waterproof and fog proof. Reflection is reduced and light transmission increased due to the fully multi-coated lenses. The illumination settings go up to 11, and work best in low light conditions.

Key Features

  • Mid-price range
  • Return to zero feature
  • Durable/high quality
  • One-piece coated tube
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Illuminated reticle

Barska 1-4×28 IR Hunting Scope

barska 1-4×28 ir hunting scope

This is a U.S.- based company that was founded in 1994 and manufactures high quality optics for low prices. Additionally, they offer a lifetime warranty on their scopes, so you can keep it until you decide you want to upgrade. It is about 10 inches long and weighs 16 ounces. It is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. This scope is very versatile, due to it’s variable zoom and the eye relief allows you to keep both eyes open when shooting. The scope comes with it’s own mount as well.

Key Features

  • Comfortable eye relief
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Durable
  • Shockproof/waterproof/fog proof
  • Good quality for price
  • Locking turrets
  • Falls in the medium price range

Centerpoint Optics 1-4×20 MSR Rifle Scope

centerpoint optics 1-4×20 msr rifle scope

Crossman Arms is the manufacturer of Centerpoint Optics. This is a U.S.-based company that was founded in 1923. They manufacture high quality optics with an affordable price tag. This scope does include a one-piece mount that is quite durable, but does not quickly detach. The scope weighs around 15 ounces and the glass is quite clear. Even at dusk it gathers light  quite well, and the illuminated reticle helps you to see in low light.

Key Features

  • Sturdy
  • Gathers light well
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Includes mount
  • Cheaper price point
  • Holds zero well
  • Turrets are covered

Monstrum Alpha Series 1-4×24 FFP Rifle Scope

monstrum alpha series 1-4×24 ffp rifle scope

This scope was made with the budget-minded, beginner shooter in mind. It comes with mounting rings and even with hard recoil, the scope isn’t going to move. There are also flip-up lens caps that protect the glass when not in use. The scope is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and is filled with nitrogen, making it fog proof and waterproof. This 9-inch-long tube weighs 16 ounces and features a gnarly finish to help with grip, even with oily or wet hands.

Key Features

  • Medium price range
  • Shockproof/waterproof/fog proof
  • All features/accessories in the same package
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Front focal lane reticle
  • Includes mounting rings

Who Likes the 1-4x scope?

In the world of guns, the 1-4x scopes have found favor with two different groups of shooters: tactical shooters and dangerous game shooters. Why does this seem to be the case?

Tactical Rifle Shooters 

The first group of shooters that finds it advantageous to use a 1-4x scope on a 30mm tube is tactical shooters, typically military personnel or law enforcement. Often, these shooters operate at similar ranges to those of dangerous game hunters do. Their shots can come from just a few feet away to several hundred yards. The increased strength of the 30mm tube is appreciated for it’s capability to withstand rough use in various environments. The greater field of view offered by the lower end of the 1-4x scope is used to find targets at close range, while the higher end allows for shots to be made several hundred yards out. Most of the 1-4x scopes come with the option of a lighted reticle, which is critical for finding a target quickly under varying light conditions.

Dangerous Game Hunters 

Dangerous game hunters find themselves faced with close shots on large, angry animals. On the other hand, sometimes these shots must be taken 100 yards or more out. This is where a good quality 1-4x scope comes in. Typically on a 30mm tube, this is the obvious choices because of the low (or no) magnification at close range and the capability of 4x magnification on the chance that the shot reaches past 100 yards. Why would you not just purchase a cheaper model 1-4x scope on a 1” tube? There are two reasons for this: the 30mm tube is stronger and offers a greater field of view. The strength is necessary due to the recoil of rifles used to hunt dangerous game and the greater field of view is required to quickly find animals at close range.

Reasons to Buy a 1-4x Scope

If you’re not already convinced, there are several reasons why you should invest in a 1-4x scope.

  1. One of the major advantages of these scopes is the low-end magnification. It’s perfect for sighting in on close range targets. Everyone, whether law enforcement, hunters, civilians, or military members, must be prepared for targets to appear at close range. If your scope has too much magnification, it will take you a few seconds to find the target. However, if you have low magnification on your scope, you simply lift the firearm to eye level and fire.
  2. The second advantage of having a 1-4x scope is for the mid-range shots, or more than 50 yards out. At this distance, you will need some help in making sure your shot is accurate. You’re not going to need a lot of magnification at this distance, due to the “wobble zone”. At lower magnification, the “wobble zone” is easy to manage, but if you move to a higher magnification, the target will appear to be moving all over the place.
  3. The third advantage of using a 1-4x scope is the size and weight. These scopes are much smaller and lighter than the higher magnification scopes. The lens at the front is typically small, which allows the scope to be mounted low on the rifle. A lot of times, shooters find that it’s helpful to have a low-profile scope. Plus, if you plan to do any hiking with your rifle while you hunt, the weight of the scope is important. You’ll defintely be able to feel it after carrying it for several days.
  4. Finally, the fourth advantage to having a 1-4x scope for your rifle is the fact that higher magnification doesn’t solve your hunting problems. Some believe that a high-powered scope will help them see their target better- but it should also have good glass on it so that you can get a good, clear picture. It’s better to have lower power magnification and good glass than higher magnification and only so-so glass. 

Mounting a 1-4x Scope

Typically, there are two types of mounts for 1-4x scopes, both of which are quite easy to use and neither is better than the other one.

Single-Piece Mount

This is two rings integrated into a single base. This is the perfect mount for firearms that have a high recoil. This mount is not suitable for a bolt action rifle.

Two-Piece Mount

The two-piece rings are lighter than a one-piece mount but are just as durable. These mounts are typically cheaper and are perfect for bolt action rifles. You will have to take the time to properly align this mount.

What Tools are Needed?

You’ll need a few tools to mount your scope:

  • Wrench
  • Loctite/Sure Thread
  • Lapping bar & pin set
  • Screwdriver & bits
  • Level

How to Mount your Scope

Now it’s time to mount the scope on your rifle. You’ll start by making sure the rifle is unloaded. Then, if you’re using a one-piece mount, position it on the top rail. If you’re using a two-piece mount, individually adjusts them. Loosely attach the scope and shoulder your rifle to look through the scope and find the perfect eye position. Remove the scope and securely attach the mount to the rifle. Place the rifle in a vice and use the level to ensure that the mount is balanced. Place the scope back on the mount to ensure proper eye position. Tighten screws and use the level to make sure the scope is positioned correctly. Unscrew the top cap screws and add some Loctite/Sure Thread and screw them back down. Be careful to avoid over-torquing them, as that could cause the scope to shift.

Be On The List

Get the invoqe newsletter for similar stories delivered straight to your inbox.