Best 1-4X Scopes – 2021 Complete Guide

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Initially, the market for 1-4x scopes was niche; however, with the growing world of three-gun competitions, there’s been a significant expansion in this particular market with its rising popularity among hunters. The scope is an immaculate choice for shooting close-range moving targets, and evidently, the market has been flooded with millions of options to choose from.

This makes choosing the right scope a real struggle for both beginners and pro marksmen. Each product claims to offer a bundle of jam-packed features, and while this may confuse a lot of interested buyers, it also helps separate the good-quality scopes from the weaker ones.

The process of sorting through available scope options has been made considerably easier as we’ve done all the research for you, presenting you with the best possible options and information, so you don’t have to go through the struggle.

Comparison Chart of the Best 1-4x Scopes

  • Offers assistance in low-light conditions
  • Allows accurate and fast dialing
  • Produces crisp and clean imaging
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  • Smooth control dials that will not snag
  • Made with low-light and night vision assistance
  • Compact design and durable construction
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  • Best 1-4X Scope for the Money
  • Built with a quick aim reticle
  • Offers excellent eye relief
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  • Best Compact 1-4X Scope
  • Produces bright and clear images
  • Features click adjustments and fog-proof design
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  • Best 1-4X Scope Illuminated
  • Constructed from the highest-quality materials
  • Fully tested for reliability
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  • Best 1-4X Scope for AR-15
  • Made from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Offers full water and fog resistance
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  • Best 1-4X Scope Under $200
  • Features fast focus technology
  • Built with a Drop-zone reticle and multicoated optics
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What Does 1-4x Mean?

1-4x is a zoom scope providing you with the option to choose the magnification settings according to your desired needs. The two numbers show the power and display the range of magnification separated by a hyphen; the first number is the minimum magnification the scope offers while the second number is the highest magnification. 

So, for a 1-4x20 scope, the power 1 or 1x means the image you see through the scope appears one time closer than it does with the naked eye, while the power 4 or 4x means the image appears four times closer than it would with the naked eye. The number 20 refers to the size of the objective lens.

When Would a 1-4x Scope Come in Handy?

Now that you know the basics of a 1-4x scope, let’s see the best situations for you to use one!


Whether you’re a professional marksman or a small-game hunter, you’ll definitely need a good scope to excel in aiming and land the perfect hunt, especially in wooded and hilly areas. The scope gives you the opportunity to shoot from a safe distance and can be used with a number of weapons, which are rifles in most cases.

Shooting Ranges/Games

If you’re at a shooting range for firearm qualifications, practice, or training, a good 1-4x scope will aid you in the best possible way so you can polish up your skills. It can further aid in actual shooting competitions, offering competitive shooting like target shooting, close-range shooting, field shooting, and action shooting, etc. where you can use the scope according to the rules.


Lastly, if you ever find yourself in a possible crime situation, the scope can be used with your weapon of choice to defend yourself. In many jurisdictions, it’s seen as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger.

Review of the Best 1-4x Scopes

When buying a scope, it’s essential to choose one that ticks all the right boxes and is best suited to one’s needs. From the right lens to the overall construction, let’s see some of the best features each scope has to offer.

Best Overall:
Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24


  • O-ring seals and argon gas purging make it shock and water-proof 
  • Fiber optic turret rotation indicator simplifies the process of turret rotation 
  • Offers low light visibility of reticle through its Illuminated Reticle Electronic illumination
  • Enhanced resolution and color fidelity with the aid of a high-quality extra-low dispersion glass
  • Matching reticle and turret measurements increase the accuracy and speed of the dialing of shots
  • Temporary elevation corrections return back to zero with the help of customizable rotational stop (CRS)


  • Slight edge blurring at zero percent magnification
  • Illuminated reticle’s suspension fails to fill enough of the field of view

What Recent Buyers Report

All buyers seem to love the investment they made in this scope and believe that the company did a great job with it. The users especially enjoy the incredibly sharp glass, the illuminated reticle that makes targeting an easy task, high-quality fit & finish, and excellent clarity. Even though the scope is a little on the expensive side, all users claim that the experience it offers is totally worth the price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Specially designed for tactical, law enforcement, and committed precision shooting communities, this scope offers incredible features that one would only usually find in top-tier models.

A few of the most prominent features for us would have to be the one-piece shockproof 30 mm tube with a precision force spring system, ensuring elevated ease of adjustment and repeatability. The well-built body from aircraft-grade aluminum ensures high quality and precision while offering adequate windage and elevation adjustment. 

All in all, the scope works great for experienced and less experienced shooters with flawless tracking.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a scope that offers excellent quality, all while ensuring maximum efficiency and simplicity of use, this is the way to go! It’s definitely worth the price, and you’re sure to knock those shooting skills right out the ballpark.

Steiner Model P4Xi


  • Lifetime warranty for repairing or replacing defective products
  • Clear, bright edge-to-edge glass, zero distortion and excellent 1x magnification for close ranges
  • Simple turrets and illumination controls that ensure precision and are less likely to snag during movements
  • Ideally, fit for patrol rifles as well as other LE platforms with its P4Xi 1-4x24 offering compactness suitable for fields
  • Illuminated P3TR reticle, also comes with an off position to completely shut down the batteries to prevent battery drain


  • Difficult to get the battery cover off
  • Turret and illumination dial are slightly sloppy

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this scope are extremely pleased with the purchase. They claim it is off the charts and is especially in love with the glass's crisp and sharp quality. Even if the battery dies, they can still use it. The reticle is also simple and effective, and the eye relief is great. Even though the turret is a little stiff, they claim that the crisp glass quality makes up for it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Steiner Model P4Xi offers reliability and accuracy with its compact design. We’re especially fond of the crisp 1x magnification for close ranges, while the 4x zoom offers perfect accuracy up to 600 yards. Also, the fog-proof feature and the water and shockproof nature are a real head-turner. 

While other reticles might be distracting, the Steiner reticle offers a clean and simple experience for your weapon. But the real winner would have to be, backed by other users, the amazingly precise and sharp glass this scope has to offer.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Steiner Model is a lightweight scope offering a crystal-clear glass that is especially helpful for the older folks. It is bound to make your hunting and shooting experiences an absolute delight.

Best for the Money:
Centerpoint Optics 1-4x20

Centerpoint Optics 1-4x20 MSR Rifle Scope with Offset Picatinny Mount and Glass Reticle Black


  • Perfect for AR rifles
  • Offers a quick aim reticle
  • Good for up to 250 yards
  • Designed to control the recoil of the weapon
  • Can be used during dusk hours due to its ability to gather light


  • Narrow field of view
  • Eye box for 1x is substandard

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers on a low budget who are not interested in buying an expensive heavy-duty scope seem to like it as it gets the job done by providing good illumination, clear glass, and a good aim point. The quick-aim reticle lets them focus on their targets in a few seconds, so they don’t lose sight between transitions. And they enjoy the fact that they can use this scope even at dusk hours.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The scope is eye-catching for the obvious reason of it being extremely affordable. It is small, lightweight, and sturdy. The zoom adjustment is also smooth, and it offers minimal distortion. 

The model offers both low light and night visibility. The illumination reticle remains sharp, no matter the settings. It serves as the perfect companion, especially for AR rifles, and it is specially designed, so you experience minimum recoil while firing. 

You can easily achieve superior precision shots with the Centerpoint Optics for up to 250 yards, which is a great deal. Overall, it’s a good scope for anyone wanting to buy one without breaking the bank.

Bottom Line

If affordability and reliability are the two things you’re looking for when buying a scope, this product is the way to go. It offers all the qualities of any good-quality unit, all while staying under your budget.

Best Compact 1-4X Scope:
TRUGLO TruBrite 30mm

TRUGLO TruBrite 30 Hunter 30mm Compact Shotgun/Rifle Scope, 1-4 x 24mm, Matte Black


  • Excellent for fast shooting
  • Offers a wide field of view
  • Clarity and precise aiming, especially for shotguns and rifles
  • Large exit pupil and excellent eye relief for sharp and bright images
  • The durability of leaf-spring click adjustments ensure good windage and elevation


  • Knobs on the product are substandard
  • Yellow tinge on the image, showing poor glass quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Users claim that for the price, the scope is of good quality. It is durable and clear, exhibits accurate adjustments, low power range, and low profile. It’s great for fast-shooting. Buyers generally like that it does not require batteries and find the flip-up optic guards to be a nice feature. 

It’s also lightweight and hence easy to carry. Buyers also advise interested customers to have a sound understanding of the basics of loosening scope rings and rail mounts as it does not come as ready to mount and shoot. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The scope stands out among all others in this specified price range because you won’t find a good quality product like this from any other brand; they will all be from nameless brands or brands you’ve never heard about. 

Hence, Truglo is an excellent choice because it’s a recognizable name that you won’t be skeptical about purchasing. After all, let’s face it, even if it’s on the low budget side, it’s still money, and we all want to put our hard-earned cash to good use. 

So, this portable device offering a wide field of view, unlike a lot of other scopes, is an excellent choice while remaining inside your budget.

Bottom Line

Overall, this lightweight scope is a quality investment because it offers the right assistance for your weapons with a list of pros while saving generous amounts of your cash.

Best 1-4X Scope Illuminated:
Burris 200437


  • Warranty for life
  • Sighting is fast and easy
  • Turrets provide nice clicks
  • Provides a very good eye relief
  • Images seen through the scope are crisp and bright
  • Excellent for fast defense shooting for up to 200 yards


  • A little on the heavier side
  • Not ideal for long-range precision shooting

What Recent Buyers Report

According to reviews, buyers enjoy the scope owing to its excellent clarity that surpasses all other models in this particular price range and very little distortion at the edges of the view. Images are resolved fairly quickly and easily, which is always a plus. 

Some users claim that although the reticle is a little busy with a large ring, it provides excellent aid in close-range shooting by providing a quick way to acquire targets and in precision shooting by giving users the control they need. All in all, users claim the scope to be top-notch!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The best feature that stood out to us was the capped turrets, which proved themselves to be great and came with sturdy metal caps. Even though it’s not exactly ideal for long-range precision shooting, you can master the skill with training, after which you’ll be able to use this scope for up to 500 yards!

In full sunlight at max illumination, the reticle is extremely crisp and doesn’t distort or interfere with the vision. The reticle is etched, which is excellent because you can see it even if the battery dies.

The images generated by the scope are vivid and crisp and really help the hunters observe minute details of their area of choice.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, the Burris 200437 provides all the right features of a good-quality scope without demanding a lot of cash. With this unit, you’re bound to land the perfect shot, which is both easy and fast. It promises great value for the money and makes for an excellent investment.

Best 1-4X Scope for AR-15:
Monstrum 1-4x20


  • Comes with parallax adjustment
  • Excellent for close to mid-range shooting
  • Glass rangefinder reticle is perfect for quick range estimation and long-distance targeting
  • Multi-layer lens coating provides resistance from fog and scratches and ensures a clear vision
  • Etched black reticle is visible even without illumination for perfect visibility at night or low light conditions


  • Heavier than most scopes
  • Illuminated reticle not visible in broad daylight, only works for low light conditions

 What Recent Buyers Report

Users installed the scope on their weapon of choice and reported back saying it worked quite well. Buyers claim that the set of features it offers and the robust design ensure excellent value for the money since this scope is cheaper. They also claim that the glass, turrets, and reticle on this product are significantly better quality than most scopes in the same price range.

The great customer service is seen as an added plus!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Monstrum 1-4x20 scope is an excellent choice because it offers a range of features at the best possible price. It stands out among others because of the parallax adjustment, easy magnification, and thin reticle with multiple holdover markers that prove extremely useful. 

The illuminated reticle comes with the option to choose from two colors, red or green, and five different brightness settings.

The glass is clear and bright, aiding in clarity of vision. The glass rangefinder makes this scope appropriate for long-range shots as well, and the quick range estimation ensures that there’s no lag time, so the sighting is fast and easy.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this scope is perfect to be used with PCP air rifles. The great quality and an even greater price make this a gem of a product among the 1-4x options available on the market.

Best 1-4X Scope Under $200:
Bushnell Optics 1-4x/24mm


  • Target turrets aid in precise adjustments
  • Offers superb close to mid-range accuracy
  • Includes a drop zone and plus-caliber reticle
  • The fast-focus eyepiece will never let you lose sight of the prey
  • Compact and rugged design made from high-durability aluminum alloy


  • Crosshairs are a little thick
  • Not usable at dawn or dusk

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report the optics to be very clear and that you can’t find a better scope than this without paying a lot more money. It’s tested to be quick at low powers and reaches out to about 300 yards. 

The illumination is quite bright and adjusts easily. Consumers especially liked the reticle on this product, which provides excellent assistance for up to 500 yards; it wasn’t a precision shot, but it did make the shooting a breeze. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The product is especially prominent due to its reliability and accuracy. Features like target turrets for precise shooting and a plus caliber-specific reticle deliver every round with extreme accuracy. It is ideal for plinking or shooting plates. Plus, the drop-zone reticle ensures a wide field of view and comes with aiming points that extend to 500 yards.

The eye-piece offers a fast focus. The scope offers a multi-coated optic for superb brightness and works extremely well for close-quarter sights. It is perfect for both beginners and professional shooters. It is also designed to prevent the entry of dust or dirt and to remove any traces of internal moisture.

Bottom Line

Ideal for experienced as well as inexperienced hunters, this scope is an excellent choice since it’s heavy-duty while being inexpensive and reliable. It’s a price you can’t beat! 

Pros and Cons of 1-4x Scopes

Any style of scope that exists in the market today comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages. As a hunting enthusiast, you need to set your priorities straight, so you know exactly what you're getting out of the product and what you're missing out on.

So, in terms of 1-4x scopes specifically, be mindful of the following pros and cons.


Now that you’re well aware of the features and designs 1-4x scopes have to offer, let’s see how you can benefit from investing in these:

Ideal for Small Game Hunting

Small game hunting becomes an absolute breeze if you use a scope, and a 1-4x scope is a perfect companion to your weapon for that. When buying one, you need to be on the lookout for light transmission, the field of view, lens, and coating, and size and weight. 

Finding the perfect scope that best fits your arm and the conditions you use it in will definitely ease the shooting process while ensuring precision and accuracy.

Medium-Range Accuracy

1-4x scopes are excellent for mid-range stability and shooting, where the magnification they offer is the perfect amount and not too high. You can attain extreme precision at close-range shooting with 1x and crank it up to 4x for mid-range. 

For higher magnifications, you need to shoot from a prone or rest position to reduce the effect commonly known as the ‘wobble zone.’ Similarly, for mid-range shooting, you usually have to sit, stand, or kneel. Hence, if you use a high magnification scope, the movement will be unmanageable, but with a low power scope and a good technique, you can manage the shaking, ensuring precision and accuracy.

Low Profile

1-4x scopes are usually lightweight and small in size. Their objective lens is quite small, which is perfect for being mounted onto rifles in very low positions. Shooters find this extremely supportive of their weapon because it helps in maintaining a consistent position on the stock between shots.

Excellent for Fast and Close-Range Shooting

Owing to the fact that 1-4x scopes offer a range of magnification powers, the low-end magnification appears to be the major appeal of these scopes. The 1x power provides extreme precision when shooting at close ranges and engaging in close targets. 

Using a higher range of magnification at close ranges can be time-consuming because it takes time to find the target through the scope. Meanwhile, low-end magnification ensures fast-tracking where the shooter can simply bring the rifle to eye-level and fire.

Extremely Helpful for Beginners

Newbies who just got into the shooting game and hunting practices are usually advised to use 1-4x scopes. These act as a great training companion because it’s easier for beginners to aim, target, and shoot. They’re lightweight and great at quickly capturing targets and hence provide novices with the training they need.


Everything comes with a good and a bad side. While these scopes are perfect for a lot of situations, there might be a few where they don’t exactly fit. Read on below to know about some of the cons that 1-4x scopes might have. 

Less Magnification at Longer Ranges

If you’re looking for a scope that’s good at long-range shooting and hunting, a 1-4x is not ideal as it limits your use. For long-range shooting, a 3-9x would be ideal; there are options with higher magnification offerings, but this is just to give an idea. 

For long ranges, you might want higher magnification to encourage higher precision, and hence the product under consideration would not be suitable. The ideal distance is 100-200 yards for this scope.


While a lot of 1-4x scopes may be lightweight and durable, you will come across models that are a bit harder to handle and go about. Some may be heavier as compared to others, making it difficult to be mounted on to weapons and carry them around. 

Some may turn out to be unreliable or cheaply made; hence, you need to try out several designs before you find the best one for your gun because scopes do tend to vary in terms of performance. 


Whether you’re a beginner trying to determine the best 1-4x scope in the market or a professional hunter going through options to test out different ones, we hope you make the right choice and are equipped with the relevant knowledge about all there is to know about 1-4x scopes. 

For practical purposes like the ones mentioned above, these scopes are ideal and come with a range of benefits that are hard to overlook.

People Also Ask

Still, have a few questions in mind? Read our frequently asked questions below to answer all your unresolved queries!

How Far Can You Shoot With a 1-4x Scope?

The ideal range for a 1-4x scope is about 150-200 yards if you want precision. While some scopes may offer a higher range e.g., up to 300 yards, it really depends on each model, but generally speaking, this is a close estimate. This makes the scope ideal for close and mid-range shooting.

Are 1-4x Scopes Good For Hunting?

1-4x scopes are excellent for small game hunting, especially if you’re a beginner hunter. They offer low magnification options to help you land the perfect shot up close while the high magnification aids if the target is farther away.

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.