A 1-4x scope balances the close range precision of a red dot optic with enough magnification to accurately engage mid-range targets.
These versatile scopes function well for hunting, target shooting, and fast-paced 3-Gun competition. They also offer a sleek, tactical look when mounted on a bolt-action rifle, shotgun, or AR-15.
Not sure what to look for in a 1-4x riflescope? Check out our list of the best 1-4x scopes to see our top recommendations.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated 1-4x scope:
- Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
- Sig Sauer Tango4 Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x Scope
- Bushnell AR Optics 1-4×24 Drop Zone Riflescope
- Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Viper PST 1-4×24 SFP Riflescope
- Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4X20mm Riflescope
- Monstrum G2 1-4×24 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope
- Centerpoint Optics 1-4×20 Rifescope
- 1 What to Look For in a 1-4x Scope?
- 2 Best 1-4x Scope on the Market Review
- 2.1 1 Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
- 2.2 2 Sig Sauer Tango4 Riflescope
- 2.3 3 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x Scope
- 2.4 4 Bushnell AR Optics 1-4×24 Drop Zone Riflescope
- 2.5 5 Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 Riflescope
- 2.6 6 Vortex Optics Viper PST 1-4×24 SFP Riflescope
- 2.7 7 Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4X20mm Riflescope
- 2.8 8 Monstrum G2 1-4×24 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope
- 2.9 9 Centerpoint Optics 1-4×20 Rifescope
- 3 Final Thoughts
What to Look For in a 1-4x Scope?
There are thousands of riflescopes on the market today. The sheer number of options can make choosing the right model feel almost impossible.
Which optic will work best for you, mostly depends on your style of shooting. Big game hunters typically need very different features than precision target shooters.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind when shopping for a new 1-4x LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic).
True 1x Magnification
Magnification is usually the first thing any shooter looks at when buying a scope. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already decided on a scope with a 1-4x magnification range. However, not all 1-4x optics are created equal.
A scope with a true 1x magnification will help you make quick, intuitive shots on close range targets. If you hunt fast-moving game or need an optic for CQB, your scope will likely spend a lot of time at 1x. However, that true 1x magnification can offer major advantages over iron sights.
If much of your shooting will be at ranges inside of 50 yards, look for an optic with a simple, uncluttered reticle, a generous field of view (FOV), and crisp, clear optics.
It’s difficult to shoot what you can’t see, especially when you’re looking through a riflescope. Optical clarity is important even when you aren’t dialing in massive magnification on long-range targets.
You want a scope with minimal optical distortion, whether you have it set on 1x or dialed up to 4x. Look for a 1-4x scope that utilizes quality, extra low dispersion (ED) glass and fully multi-coated optics. This will ensure a crisp, clear sight picture in most lighting conditions.
A scope’s reticle design has a huge impact on the scope’s effectiveness. The reticles on our list of top 1-4x optics run the gamut – from simple duplex styles to complex bullet drop compensating (BDC) reticles.
Which reticle style will work best for you depends on your shooting style and personal preferences. Hunters often prefer the simple, uncluttered sight picture of a simple duplex or dot reticle. If you’ll be making shots at longer distances, the ranging, windage, and BDC marks on a more complicated reticle could be a major asset.
SFP Vs FFP
Modern riflescopes usually have their reticles located either on the first focal plane (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP). There are no hard-and-fast rules about which is better. Both work well, particularly on a 1-4x scope. However, knowing the differences between these two designs will help you make a more informed choice.
Because of its location inside the scope, an FFP reticle appears to be part of the image you’re viewing through the optic. FFP reticles grow or shrink in proportion to your target as you change magnification. Because the reticle remains proportional to the target, all the subtensions are accurate no matter where you happen to be in the magnification range. This is a particularly handy feature for long-range shooters who need to compensate for trajectory.
An SFP reticle looks like it is floating in front of the scope. These reticles stay the same size, even when you zoom in or out on your target. This means the reticle subtensions are only accurate at one magnification.
Since 1-4x scope aren’t exactly the best options for long-range shooting, an SFP reticle is usually sufficient for getting the job done. Choosing an SFP scope will also save you a few dollars, since they tend to be cheaper than their FFP cousins.
Best 1-4x Scope on the Market Review
1 Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
The Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint is perfect for big game hunting, especially in situations where you expect shot opportunities to happen at shorter ranges. The scope also works well for law enforcement and tactical applications where the scope’s true 1x makes it easy to engage close-up targets.
Although the TR24 AccuPoint is considered an “illuminated” scope, it doesn’t rely on batteries to power that illumination. Instead Trijicon uses its signature tritium phosphor lamp, which allows the reticle to glow brightly in low light conditions. For daytime shooting, Trijicon uses modern fiber optics to ensure maximum reticle visibility.
Trijicon is known for producing durable optics, and the TR24 AccuPoint is no exception. This one is built to withstand anything Mother Nature might throw your way. It features a rugged, aircraft-grade aluminum construction with a hard-anodized finish for extra toughness. The optic is completely waterproof, reliably fogproof, and tough enough to use with hard-recoiling calibers.
The TR24 AccuPoint also features a side parallax focus, easy-to-use external turret controls, and impressive optical clarity.
2 Sig Sauer Tango4 Riflescope
Tactical and 3-gun shooters will easily fall in love with this 1-4x scope from Sig Sauer. The Tango4 Riflescope is made with quality low dispersion glass and multi-coated optics, which provide jaw-dropping clarity and brightness.
Built for rough use and rugged conditions, the Tango4 is milled from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. The housing is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed for reliable fogproof performance in any weather. The scope also carries an IPX-7 waterproof rating, which means it can survive submersion in one meter of water for half an hour.
Sig offers their Tango4 with FFP reticles calibrated for .223/5.56 and .300 BLK, as well as models with MRAD and MOA reticles.
One of the optic’s most notable features is its Motion Activated Illumination System (MOTAC), which turns on illumination when motion is detected and powers down during periods of inactivity.
3 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x Scope
The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x scope is an affordable option from a company with a rock solid reputation. Vortex stands behind their products with a solid lifetime warranty, but chances are you’ll never need to use it. These scopes are tough and reliable.
The Crossfire II is constructed from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. The housing is then nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed, making it waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
This version of the Vortex Crossfire II features the V-Brite Illuminated reticle. Built on the V-Plex format, this reticle uses a bright center dot for easy target acquisition, even in low light. The scope features a brightness control knob conveniently located on top of the eyepiece for quick adjustments.
The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x scope makes a perfect partner for a rimfire Ruger 10/22. However, it works just as well on an AR-10.
4 Bushnell AR Optics 1-4×24 Drop Zone Riflescope
The Bushnell Drop Zone was specifically designed to complement modern sporting rifles. If you run an AR-15 chambered in .223/5.56, this is the ideal 1-4x optic for your set-up.
This scope features an illuminated SFP reticle with BDC marks specifically calibrated for standard .223/5.56 ball ammo. Need to quickly and accurately engage targets out to 600 yards? This scope is the perfect tool for the job.
The scope provides a bright, clear sight picture thanks to multiple layers of Bushnell’s patented anti-reflective lens coatings. This unique lens treatment provides excellent light transmission for razor sharp clarity, even in low light.
Shooters will also appreciate the optic’s user-friendly target turrets, rugged, all-weather construction, and adjustable magnification throw lever.
If .300 Blackout is more your style, Bushnell offers a Drop Zone scope with a special .300 BLK reticle. Both scopes are available for well under $500 and offer serious value for the money.
5 Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 Riflescope
The Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 is a tough optic with a surprisingly affordable price tag. Built for shockproof performance, this scope works well on a variety of platforms, including shotguns, AR-15s, rimfire rifles, and even bolt action rifles.
The Talos BTR features an etched-glass AHSR14 SFP IR MIL reticle. This reticle was designed specifically for close range shooting situations and incorporates MIL hash increments for rapid target acquisition and holdover estimations. The marks also help you lead moving targets for more accurate shooting.
6 Vortex Optics Viper PST 1-4×24 SFP Riflescope
Vortex produces so many quality optics that we often have a difficult time narrowing down the options for our lists. That’s why this list includes two awesome riflescopes from Vortex.
The Vortex Viper PST was engineered with tactical shooters in mind. Built for durability, this scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof. The main housing is machined from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum. The tube is then filled with argon gas and o-ring sealed.
Vortex uses extra low dispersion glass and proprietary lens coatings for better optical clarity and increased light transmission. With superb color clarity and crisp resolution, the Viper PST delivers some of the sharpest, most vibrant images you’ll ever view through a riflescope.
Shooters will also appreciate the scope’s fiber optic turret rotation indicator, which offers a visible and tactile reference for all turret adjustments.
7 Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4X20mm Riflescope
Although the Leupold VX-Freedom isn’t technically a 1-4x scope, it’s pretty darn close. Instead of true 1x at the bottom of the magnification range, the VX-Freedom features 1.5x. However, with the optic’s wide FOV, it doesn’t sacrifice any speed on those tough, close-range targets.
The VX-Freedom has a lightweight, low-profile design, which won’t bulk up your rifle or sacrifice CQB maneuverability.
Leupold uses a proprietary system of glass and coatings they’ve dubbed the “Twilight Light Management System.” Reducing glare by up to 80 percent and maximizing light transmission, Twilight Light Management adds up to 10 extra minutes of shooting light at dusk and dawn. This one feature makes this optic perfect for deer hunting.
The VX-Freedom has an illuminated FireDot MOA-Ring reticle and a finger click dial system for accurate shot placement and easy zeroing.
8 Monstrum G2 1-4×24 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope
Featuring a first focal plane (FFP) illuminated reticle, a sleek tactical design, and premium target turrets, it’s hard for us to believe you can get the Monstrum G2 for under $200. Somehow Monstrum manages time and again to offer features well above the product price point. Although Monstrum may not be one of the big names in the optics industry, their scopes are perfect for budget conscious shooters.
The G2’s glass etched FFP reticle features both red and green illumination. The reticle also offers easy-to-read BDC marks and allows for simple ranging and holdover adjustments on the fly.
Monstrum built their G2 riflescope to last through rough use and harsh environments. The scope’s 30mm tube is nitrogen purged for waterproof, fogproof performance. This tactical scope ships with Picatinny rings, a honeycomb sunshade, flip-up lens covers, a cleaning cloth, and a battery.
9 Centerpoint Optics 1-4×20 Rifescope
It’s nearly impossible to find a decent riflescope for under $100, but this one from Centerpoint Optics definitely fits the bill. It has a simple design, but don’t let its lack of fancy bells and whistles fool you. This scope is a reliable, durable, and capable 1-4x optic.
Well-suited for AR-15 rifles and ranges out to 250 yards, the Centerpoint Optics 1-4×20 features a quick-aim reticle with a 3 MOA center dot and a 65 MOA outer ring. This highly versatile reticle mimics popular holo sights and works well for a variety of shooting applications.
The optic features extra long eye relief, making it a smart option for the SCAR 17, scout rifles, and heavy-hitting calibers. It comes with Picatinny rail mount rings and lens covers
The best 1-4x scope provides a balance of features for close- to mid-range shooting. When you need more versatility than a red dot or a fixed power scope can provide, one of these LPVOs could be the answer to your prayers.