Best 1-6X Scope Reviews

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By Dennis Howard •  14 min read

The average hunter in the United States rarely attempts a shot over 300 yards. At this distance, a scope with a variable magnification of 1 – 6X is a perfect combination with most rifle calibers used for this distance. While this does narrow the field to some extent, hundreds of scopes on the market meet this specification. We wondered how some of these scopes would rate when compared to each other.

1-6X variable magnification rifle scopes offer many advantages to most hunters. You can find a 1-6X scope that is compact and lightweight, making them suitable for almost any rifle platform. Many of these scopes now have features such as illuminated reticles that can extend your hunting time. Some even include bullet drop compensation and rangefinding.

There are some caveats to shopping for riflescopes in today’s online e-Commerce markets. First, you should be aware that some top brands are often counterfeited. The best means of lessening the chances of encountering counterfeit goods is to shop with reliable and known retailers. Second, you should understand your needs and expectations and what each scope can deliver. While we can’t hope to understand your needs, we can provide you with some information about our favorite scopes and how they stack up with one another.

Our Choices For The Best 1-6X Scope 

Let’s get on to the list of our choices for the best 1-6X scopes and some comparisons. When you start comparing the best of anything, you find that the advantages and disadvantages between these top-of-the-line products are very small. In many cases, the addition or lack of one important feature can make the difference in your choice.

Make and Model of ScopeReticle StyleIlluminated?WeightLengthFocal Plane
Vortex Optics Strike EagleBDCYes1.2 Lbs.10.5 inchesSecond
Primary Arms  SLXACCCYes16.9 ounces10.0 InchesSecond
Vortex Optics Viper PSTMOA, MilRadYes3 pounds14 inchesSecond
Trijicon TR25 AccupointPost and TriangleYes19.2 ounces16 inchesSecond

Overall Best 1-6X Riflescope – Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6X Riflescope

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

If you follow this forum very much, you know that I am a huge fan of Vortex Optics. I run a lot of Vortex Optics products on my guns. Any review list I write is rarely missing at least one Vortex Optics product. This article and list are no exception.

In the category of 1-6X riflescopes, the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle stands out for me. Considering the quality of construction and the top-notch customer service offered by Vortex Optics, putting the Strike Eagle scope at the top of my list is a no-brainer.

Vortex Optics delivers consistent and quality performance and construction in their scopes. The list of features included with the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6X scope is a testament to the value of these scopes.

In my opinion, The Vortex Strike Eagle offers the best in reliability, reputation, and features for the price of any other riflescope in this category. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons 

You won’t find a better combination of features and price than the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6X riflescope. There may be cheaper scopes, and there are certainly scopes that cost much more. In the long run, the durability and capabilities of the Strike Eagle scope will prove themselves to be a great choice.

Last update on 2022-08-09 at 17:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Runner Up Overall Best 1-6X Riflescope – Primary Arms SLX 1-6X24 SFP Gen III

Primary Arms SLX 1-6x24 SFP Rifle Scope Gen III - Illuminated...

Primary Arms has made quite an impression on the shooting industry in the past few years. Many shooters are having great success with Primary Arms optics. I must admit that the Primary Arms SLX 1-6X24 SFP Gen III riflescope gives the Vortex scope a run for its money.

If you are looking for a 1-6X riflescope, my second recommendation would be the Primary Arms Scope. There are several reasons it doesn’t take the top spot on my list. Number one is the warranty is not quite as good as what Vortex Optics offers. However, if you shop diligently, you may save enough on the Primary Arms riflescope to make a difference in your budget.

You won’t suffer in the features department except for a few minor items that shouldn’t affect the scope’s performance. You may be surprised to find some of the features on a scope in this price category.

The major difference that stands out to me is the lack of different reticle options on these scopes. The only reticle available is the ACSS BDC reticle. The more limited warranty is also a factor for me as well. However, if you can live with the ACSS reticle and a little less warranty protection, the Primary Arms SLX scope may be a good choice for you.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

This scope can generally be found for less than $300 on some discounter’s websites. Shop a little, and you may find it a bit cheaper. I don’t think you will be disappointed with the Primary Arms SLX 1-6X riflescope. It does have a few shortcomings, but in the price range where it lives, it provides some great features and is certainly worth a look.

Primary Arms SLX 1-6x24 SFP Rifle Scope Gen III - Illuminated...
  • Variable 1-6x magnification second focal plane scope features the ACSS Standard reticle for 5.56...
  • ACSS reticle combines BDC, wind holds, moving target leads, and range estimation in an easy to use...

Last update on 2022-08-09 at 17:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Mid-Range 1-6X Riflescope – Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II SFP

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

If your budget is enough to step up into a mid-range 1-6X riflescope, there is no doubt in my mind which one to recommend. We are back to Vortex Optics, and my choice in this category is the Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II SFP riflescope.

Vortex steps up the game for most other scope manufacturers with the Viper PST scope. The quality of the optics and range of features at this price is hard to match. Once again, Vortex Optics customer service and warranty are the icings on the optics cake.

You would, naturally, expect more features and options at a higher price. Vortex delivers on the Vortex Optics Viper PST GenII SFP riflescope in both areas.

If you want to step up your optics game, the Vortex Optics Viper PST is our recommendation. At a price that is still well under $1,000, you get qualities, features, and performance that usually cost well over that same $1,000.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

The big takeaway from the Vortex Optics Viper PST riflescope is more scope, more features, and not that much more money. It is a bit longer and a bit heavier than the first two scopes on our list, but the quality of the construction and the optical glass can account for the extra weight.

Last update on 2022-08-09 at 18:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Tultimate 1-6X Riflescope – Trijicon TR25-C-200090 Accupoint 1-6X24 Riflescope

Trijicon TR25-C-200090 AccuPoint 1-6x24 Riflescope with BAC Red Triangle...

The Trijicon TR25 Accupoint 1-6X24 riflescope almost qualifies as a best buy opportunity even though it is the highest-priced scope on my list. The Trijicon Accupoint scope comes in at just under $1,000. There are plenty of 1-6X scopes available that will cost you much more than the Trijicon. However, none of them will offer you the reliability and the reputation that comes with Trijicon.

Trijicon has a long history of providing optical equipment to the US military. Soldiers, sailors and Marines are all well acquainted with the performance and durability of Trijicon products. You can mount a 1-6X scope on your favorite rifle with the expectation of the same kind of performance.

You get what you expect from a Trijicon product with the TR25 Accupoint 1-6X riflescope. The features on this scope are battle-tested and proven. They should more than exceed a typical hunter or competitive shooter’s needs.

The Trijicon TR25 is not your standard ring and dot reticle scope. The Trijicon comes from a tested military background. The triangle post reticle may take some adjustment on your part, but many shooters swear by this reticle style. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

The Trijicon gets is our choice for the ultimate 1-6X24 riflescope. Even if you can afford a much more expensive rifle scope, you probably won’t do better on performance or features. 

Trijicon TR25-C-200090 AccuPoint 1-6x24 Riflescope with BAC Red Triangle...
  • Superior Quality Lenses: Multi-coated lenses provide superior clarity and light gathering...
  • Battery-Free Illumination: Fiber optic technology automatically adjusts the brightness level and...

Last update on 2022-08-09 at 18:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Why Choose a 1-6X Variable Magnification Scope?

Low Power Variable Optics (LPVO) are hot ticket items among hunters and competitive shooters. For many years,  a combination of a red dot sight and a separate magnifier was the choice of LPVO, especially among competition shooters in three-gun matches. However, we see a change in this attitude with the new 1-6X variable magnification scopes.

In general, choosing a 1-6X variable magnification scope over a red do and magnifier combo has several advantages.

The truth is, some of the best 1-6X variable magnification scopes on the market can provide almost the same sort of raid target acquisition as a red do and a magnifier. For hunting especially, a 1-6X scope may be a much better choice for your rifle.


What Do We Look for in a Scope?

Shopping for optics can be a daunting experience. The number of brand choices and often the array of different options from each manufacturer can be overwhelming. Couple these difficulties with the features and options that must be considered can make the process almost insurmountable. We have tried to narrow the field of scopes in this category by setting some realistic requirements for a scope. The scopes on our list meet these minimum requirements.

Reputation

A manufacturer’s reputation goes a long way with us when selecting scopes. We will admit that some newcomers on the market are making and selling high-quality optical equipment. If you like to be on the cutting edge, then, by all means, take the risk and check out these new entries into the market. Please let us know how you fare with these companies so we can stay abreast of the new options.

We have chosen 1-6X variable magnification scopes from manufacturers who have proven to deliver consistent quality and customer service for our list. Our experience comes from personal use and listening to other shooters and hunters whose opinions we value.

Eye Box and Eye Relief

Target acquisition speed is a factor that shouldn’t be ignored. This is as true for hunters as it is for competitive tactical shooters. At the ranges that most US hunters face, quickly acquiring and identifying a target can mean a successful hunt. One of the critical parts of quick target acquisition is eye box and eye relief. 

The larger the eye box, the wider the image field in your scope. A wide field of view lets you scan more areas with more confidence. Couple a wide eye box with a generous eye relief, and you can bring your rifle more quickly to bear on a target. 

Optical Glass

The most expensive part of any good scope is the optical glass used to make the lenses. No matter how good the scope’s construction, if the glass used to make the lenses is inferior, the scope will never deliver good performance. In addition to the best optical glass available, a scope should come with multi-coated lenses to allow the most light transmission with the least distortion. Proper lens coatings will also help protect your scope lenses from damage.

Reticles

Reticle styles are really a personal choice. However, you should consider whether you prefer a reticle on the scope’s first or second focal plane. The location of the reticle determines how the reticle reacts as you change the magnification of the scope. A reticle on the first focal plane increases in size with the magnification. This keeps the relationship between your target and the reticle the same.

Second focal plane reticles keep the same size as the magnification increases. The reticle doesn’t change in size relative to the target. This was the standard on riflescopes for many years, so most hunters are familiar with using second focal plane scopes.


The Overall Winner

Our choice is the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6X24 riflescope for versatility, features, and price. For the average shooter or hunter, this scope provides the overall best value that we have found. You can spend more, but putting more money into a riflescope gets very little return for most shooters and hunters. 

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.