Best 1-4X Scopes: Top 5 Picks Reviewed by Rifle Experts

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By Dennis Howard •  12 min read

Even a quick look at the number of 1-4X scopes on the market gets confusing and overwhelming.  The challenge is to find the best combination of quality, clarity, and durability.  Finding the right features at a price you can afford can add to the confusion. 

Best 1-4x scopes

To help you make a good decision, I have looked at the 1-4X scopes on the market and selected five that offer the best features.  Different types of shooting and different rifles require a slightly different set of features.  I hope my choices will offer insight into what is available and why I think these scopes are the best choices.

The Options – Traditional Reticle vs. Red Dots

There is a lot of debate about which is better, a traditional style reticle or a red dot.  For me, the decision is purely personal.  I own and operate both styles of scopes.  I find that the shooting situation is the most important factor in which reticle style works better.  These are my thoughts on reticle style

Traditional Reticles

Red Dot Reticles


What I Look for in a Scope

The intended uses of the rifle drive my criteria for choosing an optic.  Beyond that, there are a few things that I look for in any scope I am considering. 


My Picks of the Best 1-4X Scopes

Let’s move on to my list of the best 1-4X scopes.  Remember that finding the scope that fits you and your expectations is the real challenge.  What I choose may not necessarily be the best for you. 

The Ultimate 1×4 Scope – Trijicon Accupoint 1-4X24 Riflescope

Trijicon Accupoint 1-4X24 Riflescope

Trijicon tops my list as the ultimate 1-4x riflescope.  Trijicon scopes have a proven record for durability.  The innovative design of the Trijicon Accupoint scopes puts them on the top shelf.  If the price is not a consideration, the Trijicon Accupoint 1-4X24 riflescope must be your choice.

Considering what you get feature-wise and the reputation that goes with the Trijicon brand name, the price may not enter the decision.  Consider the options and features of the Trijicon -4X rifle scope.

Specifications

Pros

Cons

My Take

If money were no object, I would mount a Trijicon almost every time.  However, that is not the situation, and I understand that most people cannot afford to put a scope that costs twice as much as the rifle. I recommend the Trijicon Accupoint as a medium-range 1-4X scope for law enforcement or other professional operators.

Last update on 2022-10-04 at 05:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Overall 1-4X Scope – Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4X24

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4X24

I make no bones about it.  I have a very high opinion of Vortex Optics.  I think that for the money, Vortex builds some of the best scopes on the market.  If you inventory my gun safe, you will find more Vortex Optics scopes than any other brand.

Vortex brings so much to the table in features and options that just choosing a Vortex Optics rifle scope can be challenging.   The options, features, and specifications of the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4X24 make it easy to see why it gets my thumbs up as the best overall 1-4X rifle scope.

Specifications

Pros

Cons

The Verdict

The combination of price point, features, and quality make the Vortex Optics Crossfire II my pick as the best overall choice for a 1-4X scope.  The Vortex Crossfire II scope has been my choice for several rifles and has never failed to meet my expectations.

Sale
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24, 30mm Tube, SFP Riflescope - V-Brite...
  • The 1-4x24 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The...
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture...

Last update on 2022-10-04 at 05:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Runner up Best Overall 1-4X Rifle Scope – Primary Arms 1-4X24 SFP Scope

Primary Arms 1-4X24 SFP Scope

I think that Primary Arms is one of the most overlooked and underrated optics manufacturers of the day.  Since introducing their first product line to the market, shooters have found these scopes’ quality to be on par or better than the other scopes in their market range.

Primary Arms offers a range of scopes at various price points.  The 1-4X24 classic series riflescopes are by no means the most expensive scopes, nor are they the least expensive.  The features are what you would expect from a mid-range rifle scope.  These are great entry-level 1-4X riflescopes.

Specifications

Pros

Cons

Don’t Get Confused

Don’t get confused with the terms value, budget, and cheap.  The Primary Arms 1-4x scope is a value scope and a great choice for those on a budget.  Primary Arms scopes are not cheap scopes.  Cheap infers poor quality and you won’t find that with a Primary Arms scope. 

Primary Arms Classic Series 1-4x24mm SFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated Duplex...
  • Second focal plane design with Duplex reticle
  • Bright dot-only illumination

Last update on 2022-10-04 at 05:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Precision 1-4X Rifle Scope – No products found.

No products found.

If distance and precision are your goals when shooting, the Steiner P4Xi 1-4X24 riflescope is a clear choice.  Steiner is known for the quality and of its optics of all kinds, not just rifle scopes.  The P4Xi scope offers high-quality glass with the Steiner reputation for rugged durability and top-notch customer service.

The Steiner P4Xi rifle scope offers features you would expect on a premier product.  Steiner doesn’t fail to deliver.  You can also select different versions of this scope for civilian or law enforcement use.  This scope mounts on a variety of platforms, including shotguns.

Specifications

Pros

Cons

Steiner is one of the finest builders of optics in the world.  Very few 1-4X rifle scopes can go out beyond 400 yards reliably.  Many users of the Steiner P4Xi scope report that they routinely shoot accurate out to 800 yards.  There are some things worth paying for and Steiner delivers on those things with the P4Xi 1-4X24 riflescope.

The Best Bullet Drop Compensated 1-4X Rifle Scope – Bushnell FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Rifle Scope

Bushnell FFP Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Rifle Scope

Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) is a hot topic, especially among AR shooters.  In short, a scope with a BDS reticle matched to the caliber and bullet weight you are shooting allows you to acquire a target easily and accurately at a known range.  In some situations, this can be a big deal.

Bushnell builds a complete line of scopes and the FFP Illuminated BTR- 1 brings all the Bushnell quality and features in a compact package designed for the AR platform.  Don’t discount the Bushnell BTR-1 FFP scope as an AR only optic.  Properly mounted on any rifle, this scope can be precise and accurate.

Specifications

Pros

Cons

IS BDC For You?

BDC scopes are great tools under the proper circumstances.  I have several AR platforms with BDC scopes mounted and I love them.  On the other hand, BDS scopes can be deceptive if you don’t understand the theory and practical use.  Do your homework before you invest in a BDS scope and make sure that your shooting style and needs fit.

Sale
Bushnell 1-4x24 Riflescope with Illuminated BTR-1 Reticle , Black
  • Versatile 1-4x magnification range for short to mid-range shooting
  • Waterproof Construction for use in rugged conditions

Last update on 2022-10-04 at 05:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


What is the Difference Between FFP and SFP Scopes?

First focal plane scopes feature reticles that near the back of the erector assembly inside the scope. Placing the reticle near the rear of the scope and not near the front as many people believe, allows the reticle to grow and remain the same size in relation to the target.

This position gives a first focal plane scope some distinct advantages

First focal plane scopes are not without their disadvantages.

Second focal plane scopes are much different than FFP scopes.  The reticle is still behind the erector system inside the scope housing.  However, an SFP reticle remains the same size despite the magnification.  These leads to several advantages and disadvantages

Pros of an SFP Scope

Cons of an SFP Scope


What do You Want from a 1-4X Rifle Scope?

Choosing any scope is a set of compromises.  Finding the best set of compromises that fill most of your needs and wants is the key.  For me, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4X24 rifle scope does that job.  The price, features, quality, and durability of the Vortex Optics Crossfire II scope make it my choice as my mid-range variable magnification rifle scope.

I hope that this article gives you some understanding of what to look for in a mid-range 1-4X rifle scope.  If you have experiences, ideas, or suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.  Your knowledge is important to share with the rest of our shooting community.  Be safe and have fun.

Dennis Howard

A life long hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, after surviving a devastating tornado in his home town, he saw the effects on people's lives as they struggled to cope. He built his first bugout bag a few weeks later and has been a dedicated prepper/survivalist since that time. After a career as a fireman, Dennis opened a retail store (FFL approved) catering to the military, law enforcement, and like-minded individuals. The store built their own AR platforms. Furthermore, Dennis was also an NRA instructor in both long gun and handgun as well as a certified range safety officer. Read his full interview here.