Best 1-4x Scope – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

Upgrading a firearm with a 1-4x scope is ideal for close-up and mid-range applications. This type of scope allows you to shoot with both eyes open for faster target acquisition, and the 1x setting can replace a red dot sight accessory.

Here’s what you need to know about the best 1-4x scopes and a few recommendations to help you find the right accessory for your build.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall
  • Finger Click Dial System
  • Scratch Resistant Lenses
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  • 1-piece 30mm tube for increased strength and reliability
  • 4x zoom provides maximum range at the high end
  • Nine lighting settings
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  • Best value for the money
  • Fully Multi-Coated
  • Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
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  • Robust and elegant industrial design
  • Separated power ring and eyepiece to accommodate flip-up lens covers
  • Heavy duty 10-intensity digital rotary dimmer switch
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  • Advanced fiber-optics and tritium aiming-point illumination speeds
  • Dual-illumination system
  • Rugged, aircraft-quality, hard-anodized aluminum body
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When Would I Use a 1-4x Scope?

A 1-4x scope is a versatile accessory you can use for close and mid-range shooting. Here are some common uses.

Target Practice

Using the 1x setting of your scope gives you an advantage for target practice thanks to the clarity of the optics and the reticle that acts like a red dot sight. It’s an accessory that can enhance visibility in overcast conditions, and that can improve your speed.

You can use a 1-4x scope for reflex shooting with both eyes open for fast target acquisition at a close range.

Big Game Hunting

The 4x magnification setting is ideal for big game hunting, where you are going to place most shots between 100 and 200 yards. A scope can improve speed and accuracy, and the 4x magnification is sufficient for deer hunting.

Beginners

A 1-4x scope is a choice that makes sense for beginners because it’s easy to use and sight in. It extends the range of your firearm without introducing any complicated adjustments, and it can help with consistency and confidence.

How Accurate Is a 1-4x Scope?

The 1x setting is similar to what you can see with the naked eye, with the advantage of crisp optics and a reticle.

The magnification settings will bring your target up to four times closer. A 1-4x scope is accurate at a range of up to 400 yards since it will bring the target to 100 yards. Experienced shooters can get accurate results at a range of up to 600 yards.

There are other factors that can affect accuracy. For instance, shooting with light ammunition will help you maintain a straight trajectory but the wind might reduce accuracy. Heavier ammunition can produce more recoil and reduce your accuracy when placing a follow-up shot.

What to Look for When Buying a 1-4x Scope

The following features will help you find the right scope for your needs.

Reticle

The reticle design, size, and illumination are important considerations. A simple dot design is ideal for fast target acquisition, but a crosshair or mil-dot design is best for mid-range accuracy.

A large reticle will help with reflex shooting, but it can cover your target at a longer range. Red and green illumination features with different levels of brightness will make your scope more versatile and improve visibility in a wide range of environments.

Optics

Look for a 1-4x scope with quality optics. The manufacturer should use durable coatings that enhance light transmission while reducing distortion and chromatic aberrations. Features like a fog proof treatment and a sunshade can improve visibility.

Eye Relief

Your build should have at least 3.5” of eye relief. You might need more depending on how much recoil your firearm has.

Scopes that use a compact design can give you more eye relief since you can adjust their position on your accuracy rail. A scope with a longer tube might limit how much eye relief you get.

Controls

A 1-4x scope should have simple controls. Standard ¼ MOA adjustments are a great option since they’re precise and easy to use. A locking feature can be an interesting addition that improves consistency.

Review of the Best 1-4x Scopes

The following scopes will make a great addition to your build for close to mid-range shooting.

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers like the quality of the scope and the lightweight and compact design. They say it’s a great option for deer hunting and feel that it’s an excellent buy for the price.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This 1.5 to 5x magnification scope is a versatile accessory for close to mid-range applications. The 30mm lens lets plenty of light in, and Leupold used a special Twilight Light Management system for coating the glass. This feature delivers excellent light transmission, even in low-light settings.

The scope uses a 1” tube and won’t add a lot of weight to your build at only 9.6oz. It features a durable aluminum casing that is waterproof. You can get between 4.2 and 3.7” of eye relief, which should be sufficient for most builds.

There are four buying options with different reticles. There is a FireDot reticle with a red illumination feature, but the other reticles don’t come with illumination.

Bottom Line

If you don’t need a true 1x setting, this scope is a versatile and durable option to consider. We like the sturdy and compact build, the eye relief, and the quality of the topics. Light transmission is where this scope truly shines.

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

People like the fit and finish of this scope. They say it delivers quality optics and an accurate reticle. Reviewers think this scope is an excellent alternative to a red dot sight thanks to the 1x setting and brightness.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This scope stands out thanks to the quality of the optics. Steiner puts a lot of care into developing durable optics for this waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof scope. It’s a rugged accessory that is ideal for outdoor applications like hunting.

There are a few drawbacks to consider. The scope is heavier than other options at a little over 17oz, and the ½ MOA controls are less precise than ¼ MOA turrets. The ½ MOA controls won’t make much of a difference at a close range, but getting used to ¼ MOA controls will help you feel more comfortable if you decide to upgrade your scope later on.

This scope still delivers a wide field of view and excellent light transmission. There are five daylight settings and four-low light settings so that you can adjust the optics performance and enhance visibility regardless of your environment.

Bottom Line

This scope stands out thanks to its durable glass and optics quality. The different light settings help with visibility in different conditions, and the sturdy design makes this scope ideal for hunting.

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report 

This Vortex scope has received excellent reviews from people who like the build and quality. Buyers say the scope is easy to install and very versatile. Reviews often mention the crisp optics and the brightness of the illuminated reticle.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This scope is an affordable accessory that will make your build more versatile. We recommend it because of the affordable price point and quality of the optics.

The compact design is a plus for lightweight builds. The scope has a 24mm lens and a length of 9.8.” It allows for 4” of eye relief. There are lighter scopes, but the 16oz weight won’t add much to your build.

We like the field of view of up to 96.1 feet at 100 yards. The bright and crisp optics will help with accuracy, and the multi-coated glass is a durable feature. The scope delivers excellent light transmission and is a suitable option for hunting.

You will find precise ¼ MOA turrets on the top and side of the scope for easy access. The illuminated V-Brite reticle is another noteworthy feature that helps with fast target acquisition.

Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with this Vortex scope if you’re shopping on a budget. We like the compact design of this accessory, the clarity of the topics, and the illuminated reticle that helps with speed and accuracy.

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

A majority of reviews say this product met their expectations. They like the sturdy design, clear optics, and the different brightness settings of the reticle. People also feel the price point of this scope is very affordable for the quality.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This Burris scope features a ballistic reticle with multiple aiming points. It’s an interesting option for applications that require a lot of precision. The reticle might be too busy for beginners, but experienced shooters will be able to use it to improve their accuracy.

The optics are clear and bright thanks to the multi-coated glass. You can expect an excellent optics performance at different magnification levels.

The controls are easy to use. The low-profile turrets are a smart feature that prevents elements from sticking out from your build.

Bottom Line

This performing scope features high-quality optics. The ballistic reticle is an interesting feature if you’re primary concern is to enhance accuracy.

 

PROS

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers like this quality scope from Trijicon because of its sturdy build and clear glass. People say it’s a good option for quick shots and lightweight builds.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This scope is the perfect option for customizing your build with its different buying options. You can choose from seven different reticles with three different illumination colors. There are some original options like triangle post reticles or German #4 reticles.

The scope features a quality tube that uses anodized aluminum. This housing protects the optics and moving parts of the scope, which makes it ideal for applications like hunting.

This scope uses a unique dual-illumination system that doesn’t require any batteries. It uses tritium and fiber optics to provide different levels of brightness that you can adjust. Some reviewers say illumination isn’t as bright as on other scopes, but this scope is still worth considering if you want a reliable accessory that doesn’t use batteries.

The main downside of this scope is the 3.2” eye relief that won’t be sufficient for rifles with a lot of recoil.

Bottom Line

We like this accurate scope because of its sturdy build and dual-illumination system. The different shopping options are interesting if you want a scope with a reticle that not all manufacturers offer.

Advantages of Investing in a Quality 1-4x Scope

A 1-4x scope is a great entry-level accessory if you’re new to optics or simply want a scope for close to mid-range applications.

Clarity and Brightness

The best 1-4x scope will enhance visibility through crisp optics and light transmission. The right scope can help with visibility in a situation where there is dust in the air, limited light, or a lot of visual information to process.

Reflex Shooting

One of the advantages of a 1-4x scope is that your eyes don’t have to adjust to a picture that is very different from what you see with the naked eye.

You can get on target fast, as you would with a red dot sight, and use this type of scope for reflex shooting with both eyes open.

Range, Accuracy, and Ease of Use

A 1-4x scope is a very accessible option if you’re new to optics. It will enhance the range of your firearm without introducing any complicated adjustments.

You can improve accuracy at close or mid-range without limiting your field of view and start gaining experience with magnification without struggling with things like windage and elevation adjustments or parallax.

Conclusion

A 1-4x scope is the perfect accessory if you want to make your firearm more versatile and improve accuracy at close to mid-range. If you’re still hesitating about which best 1-4x scope is right for you, we recommend the Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope. It’s a quality accessory with a wide field of view, lightweight design, and plenty of eye relief.

People Also Ask

Here are some common questions about magnification scopes.

What scope has the best eye relief?

Most of the scopes we recommend have between 3.5 and 4” of eye relief. The Leupold VX-Freedom has a little more eye relief with a range of 3.7 to 4.2,” thanks to its compact design.

What distance is a 4x scope good for?

Anyone can get accurate results at a 300 to 400-yard range with a 4x scope. A shooter with more experience or a build that is more precise can extend this range to 600 yards. 

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.