Best 1-4x Scope for the Money – The 5 Top Optics [Definitive Guide]

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Speak to any seasoned marksman or small game hunter, including myself, and we’ll tell you that one of the most challenging aspects of our craft is selecting the appropriate scope. The decision becomes especially tricky when dealing with the 1-4x variety.

The current market for 1-4x scopes is massive, and even the most experienced hunters and shooters like myself can find it bewildering. These scopes have a plethora of features, including multi-functional reticles, capped turrets, and coated lenses. Each model’s build quality and precision add another layer of complexity, and every scope has something unique to offer.

However, if you’re having difficulty making a choice, don’t worry. I’ve field-tested numerous models and am here to assist. The scopes I will recommend are, in my professional opinion, some of the finest 1-4x scopes money can afford. I’m confident that at least one of these will appeal to you as much as it did to me. So, sit back and read along.

The Best 1-4x Scope – My Top Pick

If you are looking for a quick answer, the Vortex Crossfire II 1-4×24 SFP is my top choice in the 1-4x category. You can read a more detailed review below.


The 5 Best 1-4x Scopes 

Here are the 5 scopes which I believe are the best from the 1-4x magnification range.


1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope – Best Overall

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - V-Brite Illuminated Reticle (MOA)

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Since Vortex makes some of the best rifle scopes in the industry, I wasn’t surprised that the Crossfire II 1-4×24 scope was my all-time favorite 1-4x scope. Let me show you why.

My Feelings After Using the Scope

At its core, the Crossfire II is a versatile, effective optic featuring highly efficient lenses. These lenses, thanks to their multiple coatings, transmit plenty of light, at least in my experience. This makes it relatively easy to sight-in to your target and feel confident that you’ll hit your shot. During my testing, I specifically noticed the glass clarity was exceptional, offering a crystal-clear view even at maximum magnification. The reticle performance was also notable, maintaining its precision across various lighting conditions.

In addition, I really liked the Crossfire II’s capped reset turrets for windage and elevation. These are two of the most important factors whenever you try to hit targets at a distance, even at relatively short distances (like you’d aim at with a 1-4x scope). The turrets are tactile, audible, and very smooth to use, which is always a good thing. However, I did observe that the turrets, while precise, require some getting used to, especially when making rapid adjustments.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Crossfire II is constructed out of aircraft-grade aluminum. Not only does this keep the weight of the scope relatively low, but it ensures long-term durability and performance. I tested its durability in several rugged environments and it withstood impacts and weather conditions without any noticeable degradation in performance.

Product Highlights

The fast-focus eyepiece is undoubtedly the highlight of the Crossfire II, in my opinion. In a nutshell, the fast focus eyepiece makes it quick and simple to scope into your target, even if it’s moving quickly and if you need to acquire your target rapidly. Not only that, but the eyepiece is great for staying locked in on your target, making the Crossfire II an adept scope for varmint hunting and other shooting exercises where your target might be smaller than average. The eye relief and eye box were also commendable, providing a comfortable viewing experience even during extended sessions.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

All that said, the Crossfire II has a relatively mild downside: the battery cover is not very well constructed. If you plan to use the Crossfire II 1-4x scope with a high recoil gun, keep in mind that you might see some performance decreases, such as the battery cover shaking loose or falling away from the scope body. That’s a bit of a strange design flaw, given the quality present elsewhere on the scope. To mitigate this, I found it effective to regularly check and tighten the battery cover before and after use, especially in more demanding shooting scenarios.

Key Features

  • 1-4x magnification
  • 24mm objective lens
  • SFP scope

Pros

  • Excellent construction for the most part
  • Good lenses
  • Has a fast-focus eyepiece
  • Windage and elevation turrets are great

Cons

  • Battery cover can fall off sometimes

The Bottom Line

In the end, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x scope is a solid piece of equipment and my overall favorite 1-4x scope thanks to its fast focus eyepiece and generally reliable performance. While there are some minor quirks, like the battery cover issue, its overall performance in terms of clarity, durability, and user experience make it a standout product in its category.

My rating: 4.9/5


2. Trijicon TR24G AccuPoint 1-4x24mm Riflescope, 30mm Main Tube with BAC Green Triangle Post Reticle, Matte BlackTrijicon TR24G AccuPoint 1-4x24mm Riflescope, 30mm Main Tube with BAC Green Triangle Post Reticle, Matte Black

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Trijicon also has an excellent 1-4x scope in the TR24G AccuPoint Scope. This optic has a variety of impressive features and benefits I’d like to show you.

My Feeling After Using The Scope

For example, the TR24G AccuPoint Scope has multicoated lenses that bolster light transmission and practically reduce light distortion down to zero. That’s a highly important benefit if, like me, you spend a lot of your firearm time in bright sunlight. This feature will ensure that glare and other distortion don’t affect your accuracy. I found the glass clarity to be exceptional, providing a crisp, clear view at various magnifications. Even in challenging light conditions, the reticle remained highly visible and precise, aiding in accurate shot placement.

Of course, this Trijicon TR24G AccuPoint Scope also comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum body. It’s an all-weather, totally weatherproof scope without being too heavy. You can easily take this into wet or foggy environments and use it consistently, as I tested. The exterior has a hard anodized coaching that boosts durability even further. During my usage in various outdoor conditions, the scope’s resilience to physical impacts and environmental stressors was remarkable, proving its robust construction.

Then there are the windage and elevation adjustment turrets. Unfortunately, these aren’t marked, but they do offer tactile, audible feedback and rotate quickly and smoothly when pressed. This can make it easy for you to compensate for the above two variables when necessary. However, the lack of markings did pose a challenge initially, as it required a bit of guesswork and practice to get used to. But once familiar, the adjustments felt intuitive and reliable.

Product Highlights

The most important feature of the TR24G AccuPoint Scope, by far, is the illuminated reticle. It’s a fiber-optic illuminated variety, so it uses a tritium phosphor lamp instead of standard batteries. Indeed, this illuminated reticle will never run out of power, and it will always work in lowlight environments.

I liked this illumination style since it doesn’t compromise the clarity of the objective lens or cause glare. Since it is set into the second focal plane, it won’t change sizes as you swap from magnification level to magnification level. The consistency of the reticle size, regardless of the magnification setting, was particularly beneficial during longer-range shots where precise aiming is crucial.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

As touched on earlier, the windage and elevation adjustment turrets don’t have any markings. That’s a bit of a bummer, but it is something you can overcome with enough experience and practice with this optic. Overall, it’s not enough of a downside for me to take a big point away from the TR24G AccuPoint Scope. To overcome this, I started keeping a log of my adjustments for different shooting conditions, which greatly helped in getting a feel for the turret settings.

Key Features

  • 1-4x magnification
  • 24mm objective lens
  • SFP scope

Pros

  • Tritium phosphor illuminated reticle is great
  • Excellent construction overall
  • Good lenses
  • Billed for all-weather durability

Cons

  • Windage and elevation turrets aren’t marked

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Trijicon TR24G AccuPoint Scope is a stellar 1-4x scope with a top-tier illuminated reticle and great construction. I’d recommend it for most fans of 1-4x optics. Its robust build, clear optics, and consistent performance in various conditions make it a reliable choice, though the unmarked turrets may require a learning curve for some users.

My rating: 4.8/5


You can also check my guides which are the best .450 Bushmaster scopes and the best FFP scopes.


3. Barska 1-4×28 IR Hunting Scope – Best Budget 1-4x Scope

Barska 1-4x28 IR Hunting Scope

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In my opinion, the Barska 1-4×20 Hunting Scope is one of the best in the industry for this magnification range thanks to its construction and a handful of other features.

My Feeling After Using The Scope

For instance, the Barska 1-4×20 Hunting Scope is affordable, particularly compared to the competition. Because of this, it could be a great budget-friendly choice if you are a beginner hunter and firearm enthusiast looking for something that won’t break the bank. While using it in various hunting scenarios, I appreciated its cost-effectiveness, especially when considering its overall performance in the field.

On top of that, the Barska 1-4×20 Hunting Scope comes with multicoated lenses that boost light transmission, on top of a sun shade. The shade is integrated into the scope, so you’ll never have to worry about losing it. That shade does a great job, as I saw during my time with the optic, of protecting the lenses and your eyes from sun glare. The glass clarity and the reticle’s sharpness were commendable, enhancing my targeting accuracy, particularly in bright outdoor environments.

The elevation and windage turrets are very exposed, making them easy to change, but also liable to being bumped by accident as you change position. Keep this in mind should you decide to take this scope for a spin, as I discovered it was easier to accidentally bump into these knobs than you think. Fortunately, they can be locked into place.

Product Highlights

The most important feature was the Mil-Dot reticle during my time with the Barska 1-4×20 Hunting Scope. This reticle features an illuminated IR dot, plus customizable settings. You can set the brightness setting to whatever is most comfortable for your eyes based on the ambient light environment. As a result, it’s a great nighttime hunting scope, and it can be ideal for hunters and firearm fans who spend a lot of time hunting in the dusk and dawn hours of the day. The illumination was particularly useful in low-light conditions, but the eye box was a bit narrow, requiring careful positioning to get the full view.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

Unfortunately, the biggest flaw affecting the Barska 1-4×20 Hunting Scope is its lack of durability. It’s definitely not the sturdiest scope on the market, even though it is technically rated for all-weather performance. Keep this in mind, particularly if you want something that will last for years to come.

With the Barska 1-4×20 Hunting Scope, you might be trading durability for affordability. This was evident when the scope showed signs of wear after a few rough handling incidents during my hunting trips, though it still functioned adequately. However, if you pick something that’s too affordable and not durable enough, you’ll end up having to purchase a new scope sooner rather than later. Take it from someone with experience; this is never a good time, as your cheap optic could fail you in the field.

Key Features

  • 1-4x magnification
  • 20mm objective lens
  • SFP scope

Pros

  • Excellent illuminated reticle
  • Good windage and elevation turrets
  • Excellent sunshade and lenses

Cons

  • Not very sturdy compared to other scopes

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the Barska 1-4×20 Hunting Scope is a good affordable 1-4x scope, and its illuminated reticle adds extra value for money you may wish to take advantage of. While it offers good features for its price point, such as an effective illuminated reticle and easy-to-use turrets, its durability and some optical limitations a narrow eye box may be considerations for more experienced users or those requiring a scope for more demanding environments.

My rating: 4.7/5


4. Bushnell AR Optics 1-4x24mmBushnell AR Optics 1-4x24mm Riflescope with FFP Drop Zone-223 BCD Reticle, Waterproof and Fully-Multi Coated

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Bushnell’s AR Optics 1-4x24mm SFP Scope is yet another quality piece of equipment I discovered in my search for the best 1-4x scopes.

My Feeling After Using The Scope

There are lots of reasons why you may wish to give this scope a try. For starters, it offers fully multicoated optics to guarantee bright and clear views of your target, wherever it may be. The lenses here are some of the best I discovered during all of my tests, so believe me when I say you can tell the difference between this scope and a cheaper product. The glass clarity was exceptional, providing vivid and sharp images even in low light conditions. I also tested the reticle performance at various distances and found it maintained its precision throughout, which was crucial for accurate long-range shooting.

Furthermore, the AR Optics 1-4x24mm SFP Scope comes with windage, elevation, and parallax adjustment turrets. All of these are great for maximizing your accuracy, particularly at a distance. The turrets are capped and zero resettable, so it’s easy to reset them back to their original orientations with the touch of a button. I appreciated the tactile feedback and precision of these turrets during my testing, though I did find the lack of marked settings on the parallax adjustment slightly challenging at first.

Then there’s the durable, waterproof construction. You can easily use this in rugged conditions, like I did, thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum body and sealed interior components. When it comes to hunting in inclement weather, few scopes provide as much durability as this model. In my own experiences, this scope stood up remarkably well to both physical impacts and adverse weather, proving its resilience.

Product Highlights

The AR Optics 1-4x24mm SFP Scope is also notable for its customization options. It comes, by default, with a non-illuminated BDC or bullet drop compensation reticle. However, you can swap the BDC reticle for a Wildhold reticle instead, plus make either illuminated. That level of customization is rarely seen in the firearm optics industry, and it’s a great feature. I used the illuminated BDC reticle, but you can easily pick something else based on your preferences or the needs of your hunting expeditions. The illuminated reticle was especially useful in low-light conditions, enhancing visibility and accuracy. However, I did notice that the eye box was somewhat restrictive, particularly at higher magnifications.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

The biggest downside to the AR Optics 1-4x24mm SFP Scope is potentially its price. If you take advantage of the above-mentioned customization features, it can easily go up to over $500 in total. Keep that in mind if you are looking for something affordable. Furthermore, the scope comes with a throwdown power change lever for instant magnification changes. That’s a handy feature, but it juts out from the side of the scope, so it can get in your way and make the optic feel a bit clunky. During field use, I occasionally found this lever to be cumbersome, particularly when navigating through dense terrain.

Key Features

  • 1-4x magnification
  • 24mm objective lens
  • SFP scope

Pros

  • Has a throwdown lever for fast magnification changes
  • Excellent lens clarity
  • Multiple reticle options
  • Very durable construction

Cons

  • Can be pretty pricey
  • Throwdown lever can feel a bit clunky

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Bushnell AR Optics 1-4x24mm SFP Scope is still an excellent optic and a prime choice if you’re in the market for something you can tailor to your specific wants and needs. While the price point may be a bit high, especially with added features, and the throwdown lever can be slightly awkward, the scope’s exceptional lens clarity, customizable reticle options, and robust construction make it a valuable tool for any serious hunter or shooter.

My rating: 4.7/5


5. Athlon Optics Talos BTR 1-4 x 24mmTalos BTR GEN2 1-4x24 Rifle Scope (ATMR6 SFP IR MOA)


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Athlon Optics also has a great 1-4x scope. The Talos BTR Fixed Riflescope has several key features I think you should check out.

My Feeling After Using This Product

The Talos BTR Fixed Riflescope features fully multicoated optics, making it one of the best scopes for 1-4x magnification levels. However, the lenses are specially treated for long-term durability, meaning you can rely on this scope for a long time to come. I’d say it’s among the toughest scopes I’ve encountered in my search for the best. In my extensive testing, the glass clarity consistently impressed me, providing clear and vivid images even in challenging lighting conditions. I did notice some parallax at higher magnification, which required adjustment but was manageable once accustomed to it.

On top of that, the Talos BTR Fixed Riflescope boasts aircraft-grade aluminum construction. This keeps the weight of the scope low and manageable while also guaranteeing sufficient longevity to get your money’s worth. The scope is made out of a heat-treated piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, which partially helps to keep moisture from getting into the optic at any point. Its durability was evident during my rugged outdoor use, where it withstood various impacts and weather conditions without any noticeable deterioration in performance.

Like many great scopes, this also comes with capped and zero-resettable windage and elevation adjustment turrets. The turrets respond quickly and easily to each touch, so I really enjoyed using them in my experience with this optic. The tactile feedback and ease of adjustment made precise shooting much simpler, although the absence of marked settings on the turrets required some initial trial and error.

Product Highlights

The highlight of the scope, for me, is the illuminated reticle. Not only does this give you much greater visibility at dusk and dawn, but the reticle is also etched directly onto the glass lenses. That’s a big deal since it means the reticle won’t become vulnerable to damage, even if you use the scope with a high recoil weapon.

You can adjust the illuminated reticle’s different settings using an integrated knob near the ocular lens. It makes it much easier to use and swap on the fly, which can be handy during nighttime hunts.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

The biggest issue for the Talos BTR Fixed Riflescope, in my eyes, is the reticle’s design. It’s an IR Mil variant, and it’s a bit busy for my tastes. The reticle can seem a little clunky and crowded, especially if you are trying to hunt something relatively small and fast-moving. Keep that in mind if you are looking for a 1-4x scope that has a more streamlined, simplistic reticle that doesn’t get in your way.

Key Features

  • 1-4x magnification
  • 24mm objective lens
  • SFP scope

Pros

  • Illuminated reticle is tough and easy to adjust
  • Good windage and elevation turrets
  • Excellent lenses
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • Reticle design can feel a little crowded

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the Talos BTR Fixed Riflescope is still an excellent 1-4x scope, and it’s usually not too much. It offers a quality, illuminated shooting experience with durability that can’t be matched. While the reticle design may be somewhat crowded for some users, the scope’s robust construction, superior lens quality, and effective illumination make it a reliable choice for various shooting conditions.

My rating: 4.7/5


Frequently Asked Questions

How far is a 4x scope Good For?

Most hunters can consistently hit a deer in the vitals out to 200 yards or more with a 3x or 4x scope. Variable power scopes that can be set at higher magnifications can make long range shots easier, provided you’ve got a steady shooting rest.

What does 1×4 Moa mean?

The minute of angle, or MOA, corresponds to the minute hand on a 360-degree clock face. In the same way that the minutes of an hour refer to 1/60th of a degree, each minute refers to 1/60th of a degree. Even a little angle can cause you to miss the target when firing, thus fine-tuning your MOA to the exact angle or “minute” is critical.

Because a bullet moves in an arc-shaped trajectory, MOA is used to aid estimate firing in minutes. The greater the effect of gravity as velocity drops the further a bullet must travel (usually measured in yards). The further you are from a target, the lesser your bullet’s chance of striking where you intend. The bullet drop, which is measured in inches, is what this is called.

Is 4x enough for hunting?

If you’re hunting deer-size game, here’s a good rule of thumb: The power is sufficient up to hundreds of yards from the target. That is, a 212 x scope will suffice up to 250 yards, while a 4x scope will suffice at 400 yards.

How far is a 1x scope?

For a long time, 1x magnification for 100 yards of distance has been the standard recommendation. A rifle scope with a 4x magnification could take a 400 yard shot by that criteria. If you’ve ever peered through a scope at 4x magnification, you’ll quickly discover that more magnification is preferable.


Final Thoughts.

In the sport of rifle shooting, small game hunting, and plinking, precision and accuracy are indeed one of the most important things.

And not many 1-4x scopes will be able to provide you with that. But, I hope that our list today was able to help you pick the one that suited you perfectly.

Till next time! If you want a bit of extra magnification, check my 1-6x scopes and 1-8x scopes guides.

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