Most hunters choose a 1-4x scope for midrange hunting. But you don’t want to let your target escape because it gets too far away before it presents with an ethical shot.
A 1-8x scope allows you to make accurate shots from longer distances. We’ve found four high-quality 1-8x scopes that will give you precise, accurate shots at 8x magnification power.
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1-8 scopes are lightweight with excellent eye relief. They’re great for medium-sized game, mid-range hunting, and accurate shots without adding to much weight to your total load out.
An 1-8 scope works well for medium-sized animals like hogs and deer. These are usually the type of game that you will be hitting from a range of 100 to 200 yards, but you occasionally will notice them at longer distances.
If you’re only shooting 100-200 yards away, you don’t need extreme magnifications. However, when you need to hit a target farther away, a scope with 8x magnification can help because it can target animals up to 600 or 800 yards away.
Choosing a 1-8 scope extends your hunting range without passing into sniper-level magnification. High-powered scopes only make sense if you’re taking down big game hundreds of yards away. Think an elk or moose across a prairie or lake.
You can shoot more accurately with 8x magnification than with extreme magnification levels. Increased magnification levels exaggerate every movement, including your breathing and heartbeat. A 1-8x scope gives you the option to magnify quickly without sacrificing accuracy.
Four features to consider when buying a 1-8 scope are reticle style, quality of viewing options, durability, and turret adjustments.
Whether you choose a first focal point plane (FFP) or a second focal point plane (SFP) scope depends on your hunting style.
With FFP scopes, the reticle changes size at every magnification level. FFPs help to make quick and accurate shots.
With SFP scopes, the reticle stays the same size at all magnification levels. Holdover measurements are only accurate at the highest magnification levels. Thus, there is less accuracy at lower magnification levels.
The best scopes are easy to see in all light levels. Whether you hunt at dawn, dusk, night, or day, you need a well-illuminated scope that offers excellent eye relief. The quality of the glass also matters. You can’t hit a target you can’t see or isn’t correctly lined up.
Notice if the scope is waterproof, fog-proof, or weatherproof. Some are even shockproof and can maintain your settings when dropped.
You should be able to adjust your windage, elevation, and parallax settings quickly. Some turrets even have auto-adjustment options. Some of the best turrets allow you to lock your settings into place.
Not sure where to start? Check out these top 1-8 scopes currently on the market.
Shepherd is our top pick with a scope that outperforms high-end alternatives.
Buyers report this scope is easy to read, even for people with eyesight difficulties. They say that it outperforms Primary Arms and Strike Eagle scopes. The turrets are precise. The clarity is also very striking. The Shepherd is a little heavy because they make it from quality material that should last.
This scope performs as well or better than some options that cost two or three times as much. The Shepherd features crystal-clear American HD glass. It also has German mechanical components and a Japanese tube. It is a well-built option that delivers an extraordinary level of clarity. Red and green illumination options make it daytime bright. Even in the dark, the numbers on the reticle are easy to read.
The turret is tactile and has audible clicks to help you make easy adjustments. It is relatively lightweight compared to most 4x scopes. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, water- and fog-proof scope that’s easy to read, the Shepherd is the scope for you. If you need an SFP scope that makes seeing long-range shots a breeze, this a great choice. It outperforms more expensive options.
The Atibal is a sturdy and highly-adjustable budget option.
The Atibal is easy to use both day and night, close up and at a distance. You can use it at 1x magnification with both eyes open. Because it has a diamond and dot reticle, it’s easy to shoot fast targets at close range. Several reviewers mentioned dropping it without any changes to settings.
With 11 different illumination settings, the Atibal allows you to hunt in a broader range of hunting lighting levels. The MRAD FFP reticle will enable you to switch quickly between targets at both closer and longer distances. It’s very sturdy and able to withstand water, fog, and being dropped.
We love the sharpness and clearness of the glass as well as the well-illuminated reticle. It has ¼ MOA adjustment with one click, comes with a throw lever, and is available in 3 colors.
Because of Atibal’s high-quality construction, they provide a lifetime warranty. It’s a great scope at budget pricing.
The Atibal is a sturdy scope that can withstand nearly anything. It’s an excellent choice for hunting in a wide range of lighting situations. If you find yourself needing to switch quickly between distance ranges, you can’t go wrong with this scope.
Primary Arms’ high-quality Japanese glass is the star of their 1-8 scope.
One buyer says that the eye box is a little tight at 8x magnification. He found it to work best at 6x magnification and below. Yet, buyers found the reticle to be more precise at higher magnifications. Another reviewer mentioned that the 1x magnification was the truest he had experienced. Buyers attribute the product’s superior light transfer to its 34mm tube.
The Primary Arms’ Japanese-made scope glass is crystal clear. It uses the same glass as some high-end, multi-thousand-dollar scopes. It’s incredibly durable with quality material that weighs in at 26-ounces. Pull out a knob to make easy turret setting adjustments and then push it in to lock them into place. The scope remembers your illumination settings even when you turn it off.
With an FFP reticle, you can expect high accuracy and quick adjustments between magnification levels. It takes all the guesswork out of distance shots and makes sighting and hitting targets quick and easy.
Their unbeatable warranty is also transferable.
If you’re looking for high-end Japanese glass, this is a great choice. You can lock in settings and make magnification adjustments quickly and accurately. Primary Arms allows you to spend less time adjusting and more time hunting.
The Trijicon features easy viewing and durability.
After a reviewer dropped the scope on a piece of iron, it dented but still held zero. Buyers enjoyed being able to explore various MOA and MIL calculations. The large-diameter lens makes the targets crisp and clear. Reviewers say that the 3-4” eye relief makes the Trijicon very versatile.
The Trijicon stands out as a scope that is extremely easy on the eyes. It has excellent eye relief, a 34 mm tube, an extra-wide field of view, and a bright red dot. 2 colors of illumination allow you to use it in any light level. The anti-reflective glass is also crystal clear with an easy-to-see crosshair.
The Trijicon is also heavy-duty and extremely durable, made to meet military standards. It stays on true zero even after enduring abuse. It can withstand extreme temperatures from -20°F to 140°F. The scope is also filled with dry nitrogen to prevent internal fogging.
Trijicon engineered this scope to be easy to read and to withstand any hunting conditions. Whether you have perfect eyesight or need help from scope settings, Trijicon helps you hit your target. Neither the environment nor a little clumsiness will ruin your scope or change your settings.
There are plenty of benefits that come with having a quality 1-8 scope, such as:
A quality 1-8 scope gives you more magnification options than a 1-4 scope. If you don’t want to miss longer shots, the 8x magnification option will provide you with an advantage on accuracy at a distance.
Choosing a quality scope means fewer frustrations in the field. Today’s scopes allow you to take a lot of the guesswork out of hitting your target. Even the best marksman has difficulty hitting a target if the scope settings don’t stay calibrated.
Clear glass, various illumination options, eye relief, and high-quality reticle styles are easier to see. These options allow you to shoot more accurately, no matter the lighting conditions.
High-quality scopes also take into consideration that your weather conditions may not always be ideal. You don’t need your scope to fail you because it gets wet or you’re in extreme temperatures. And you don’t want it to fog up on you just when a target comes into view.
Investing in a quality scope allows you to spend less time fiddling with settings when it matters most. You can’t predict what you’ll see or when. You can increase your confidence in success with a quality tool that fits the way you hunt and the conditions in which you hunt.
The four 1-8 scopes we suggest all have excellent qualities. The Shepherd outperforms more expensive scopes, while the Atibal can quickly cycle between magnifications. The Primary Arms features high-end Japanese glass. Yet, the Trijicon provides superior eye relief and endures extreme conditions. You can’t go wrong with any of these high-quality options.
All four of the scopes that we have reviewed are high-quality, accurate scopes. They are also on the lower end of the cost range. However, you don’t have to sacrifice accuracy and quality at lower costs if you do your research.
FFP scopes are more accurate than SFP scopes at all magnification levels. This accuracy is because the reticle size changes at every magnification level. It is also essential to find an option that stays at true zero and doesn’t change settings when dropped or jostled.
We’ve listed high-quality products from $280 to $2425. The quality increases over $1000 with higher-end components and easier-to-see reticles. A $6000 scope may be fancier with more bells and whistles, but you can still hit your target with a quality $280 scope.