The Best 1-8x Scope – A Roundup Review
Often, you want a rifle that can handle it all. You want to be able to plink at any distance. You want to feel a sense of security in your placement when you’re out hunting, even if your quarry is a bit further than you thought it would be. Top 1-8x Scopes Reviewed for your shooting needs? Our expert review roundup will help you decide and find the perfect scope. While most people love a mid-range optic, anything from 2-4x, they just aren’t the best at close-range, or long-range for that matter.
If you’re looking to pick up a scope that you can feel confident with at any distance, then you want to look into a 1-8x scope. These accessories for your rifle can take your shooting to the next level. Learn about all of the advantages of a 1-8x scope, and which of the available options on the market are the best.
In this Guide
- Is a Scope Really Necessary?
- Magnification Seems Great; What Are the Downfalls?
- Choosing a 1-8x Scope
- One Last Note
- The Best 3 1-8x Scopes Available on the Market
Is a Scope Really Necessary?
This is something that many marksmen ask themselves. For years and years, iron sights were considered to be enough. Well produced iron sights provided all the accuracy that a marksman needed, and that was enough for many people. Many excellent shooters have used nothing other than the iron sights provided to them on their rifles, even today.
However, as technology advances, so do the needs of the population. While early scopes were not nearly as reliable as iron sights, modern entries have proven themselves effective. At the forefront of the development of this technology, of course, was the military. As the technology advanced, the military began to provide scopes to their best marksman. This allowed them to accomplish feats not seen before, with precise, long distance shots that gave them an advantage over the competition.
When you look at it simply, a scope is a tool. It enables the user to accomplish the task that they’re working towards, and it lets them do it in an easier way. While iron sights are often considered the standard for a marksman, there are many scopes available today that are reliable, as well as affordable. The days of poor craftsmanship and high expenses are long gone.
Many Applications, All Wrapped Up in One Package
When you’re discussing scopes, the 1-6x may come up, but not nearly as often as other options available on the market. This, in and of itself, is a shame to say the least. The 1-8x options on the market offer you a level of versatility that iron sights or fixed scopes can’t provide. Consider it on an application basis.
If you’re a hunter, a scope helps you achieve more precise shots. This means that you can take your game down quickly. When hunting, less shots are always better for a number of reasons. You often only get one shot, and making it count prevents suffering on the animal’s part. If you’re a competitor, the versatility of close-range and long-range options on a single scope can result in a better performance. You want to score as many points as quickly as possible, after all. When it comes to self defense the age old saying, “Every shot counts,” comes to mind.
All of the above scenarios can benefit from a variable optic like the 1-8x scope. More options are always a good thing, especially if you’re looking for all-around performance.
Magnification Seems Great; What Are the Downfalls?
While having the option to essentially “zoom in” on your target is great, it’s not always entirely practical. When you’re using a scope, magnification reduces the field of view, or FOV, available to you. This can become problematic when tracking targets, or determining their position through the lens.
Along with this problem, shooters often find themselves less aware of what’s going on around them. It’s like experiencing tunnel vision. When you’re using a firearm, you need to constantly be aware, so this is one of the largest issues of magnified optics. It makes finding targets at near ranges an issue, as well as identifying that they’re there in the first place.
This is precisely why we’re talking about the 1-8x scope today. Having the option for 1x magnification removes the issues listed above. Variable power scopes, the technical term for a scope like the 1-8x, that come with a 1x option allow you to identify all of your targets, then magnify them. This means that you’re removing all compromises associated with magnification in a single tool!
Yet Another Advantage
With the option to increase magnification comes different reticle options. These reticles offer even more versatility than the option to magnify in the first place. Iron sights help you line up a target. That is the extent of the information that they offer. Reticles step that game up.
Depending on the scope that you choose, you may find a reticle that offers several distinct advantages. Clearer markings, reference points, and rangefinders are available in many scope options available. Some even provide ways to keep track of targets that are moving, or that are beyond significant windage.
Why Not a 1x Plus Magnifiers?
You may be wondering why a 1-8x is preferable over something like a 1x with a magnifier. After all, 1x optics offer the benefit of a large FOV, and you can add a magnifier to it. While that sounds great, in practice it can be a bit more frustrating than you’d think.
First of all, having to carry additional pieces of equipment can be a headache. The 1-8x scope eliminates the need to have an extra piece of gear with you. In addition to this, the overall optical advantages of a 1-8x scope are far superior. Many 1x optics require some sort of power for the lens to work well, and they aren’t as easy for people with eye issues to use. Think glasses and astigmatism. Having a variable power optic will improve your shooting overall, without a doubt.
Choosing a 1-8x Scope
One of the biggest choices when looking at optics has already been made for you when you select a 1-6x scope. With this variable power optic, you no longer have to worry about choosing your level of magnification, that’s covered. However, there are some other things that should be considered when looking for a new 1-6x scope. We’re going to go over what to look for below.
Quality of Craftsmanship
When you’re buying an accessory as important as a scope, craftsmanship is a huge thing to take into account. All scopes should be examined in terms of the quality of glass being used, as well as the overall build quality. If you find one of these areas to be disappointing, the other will often follow closely behind.
The biggest concern with glass comes down to image quality. Glass that has imperfections likely won’t be an issue at lower levels of magnification, like 1x or 2x. However, as you continue to increase the power, the more noticeable the imperfections will become. Poor glass presents itself as a blurry image, or through vignetting. Vignetting occurs when the edges of a piece of glass are finished poorly, preventing light from passing through them effectively. Without light, you have less image, which can be a big problem when your FOV is already decreased.
Build quality also needs to be assessed. Glass could be impeccable, which is fine, but if the housing falls apart then what’s the point? A scope has to be able to withstand use in the field, as well as the hard knocks it takes just being mounted to a firearm. Many companies carry out a bench test to ensure that an optic can withstand the firing of a firearm. Those that don’t, however, produce optics that are likely going to fall apart on you.
Type of Reticle
The type of shooting that you’re doing is going to dictate what the most effective reticle will be for you. Some budget scopes only provide a simple reticle, with just crosshairs. While this works for some, it may not work for everyone. Many other reticles offer information that can be invaluable to your shooting. Understanding your needs, and the primary application that the scope will be used for, is important. Consider the fact that too much information may clutter your vision, as well.
Control Over Adjustments
Not all scopes lend themselves to being easy to use. This can be especially true of variable power scopes. When you’re using a 1-8x scope, the general consensus is that adjustments should be quick. This is done using what’s called the power ring. The power ring changes the amount of magnification that you’ll see when you look through the lens. If this is difficult to manipulate, it may mean that you have to stop what you’re doing to fiddle with it. In applications like hunting, where every moment counts, this can be a huge disadvantage. You want a power ring that’s known for being smooth and easy to operate on the fly.
Additional Accessories Included with the Scope
This can be a make or break category when you’re looking at a scope. When you get the right accessories with your scope, it’s just an added value to what you’re purchasing. Having mounts, rings, or a throw lever for your power ring can make a difference in the overall value of the package you’re getting.
One Last Note
Shopping around for optics is essential. There are almost too many options on the market today, meaning that you’re going to see prices all over the place. While price is often an indicator of quality, it isn’t always. A lower priced scope may fit your needs better than a more expensive counterpart. Keep your needs in mind, as well as the categories listed above. Having the right scope is much more important than having the more expensive scope. The two are not always synonymous.
The Best 3 1-8x Scopes Available on the Market
If you’ve read through everything else we’ve provided, then you’re ready to jump into our list of the best available 1-6x scopes! We’ve taken a look and determined our top picks. Check them out below.
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle SFP Riflescopes
When you want the best bang for your buck, the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle is what you’re looking for. This scope can often be found for less than $500, making it an absolute steal. It balances the fine point between a professional grade optic and a consumer grade optic. Many call it a pro-sumer option, a term you’ll often find in the photography world.
So what makes this scope so great? Well, to start, the build quality is exceptional. While it’s not military-tested, the aluminum used is much higher quality than that of other consumer optics. This makes it rugged and durable. It’ll stand up to all the use and abuse you can put it through. The glass itself is excellent, being incredibly clear and blemish free. This means that you’ll have no issues when you’re at higher magnifications.
Another favorite part of this scope is its reticle. It’s located on the second focal plane, meaning that it can be found at any magnification without issue. It comes with a large ring for fast acquisition at short ranges, as well as a bullet drop compensator for longer ranges. However, some say that the reticle is a bit too thick, making it difficult to use at distance. If you’re shooting within 300 yards, you’ll likely have no issues, though.
- Highly durable, with great housing and clear glass
- Great reticle for mid-range shooting
- The option to purchase a cantilever mount or throw lever alongside the scope
- Limited to distances inside 300 yards in most cases
- Minimal information in the reticle itself
EOTECH Vudu 1-8x24mm Precision Rifle Scope
While the first scope on our list is arguably the most affordable, this is one of the most expensive options available. However, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. The term “precision” in the scope’s name is accurate, and the scope is deserving of it.
The glass on this scope is pristine, as it should be at its high price tag. In addition to the glass itself being perfect, it’s been enhanced through useful coatings. These coatings prevent it from fogging, and deter scratches, making it very durable. While on the subject of the glass, it’s important to mention that all of the reticle options available for this scope are on the first focal plane. This means that the reticle appears smaller at lower magnifications, but it is still large enough to be effective.
Because the scope comes with several different reticle options, it’s hard to pin who should use this scope. However, regardless of what you choose, it’s clear that the scope itself is meant for business. It’ll be used well by hunters, competitors, and armed professionals.
The body of the scope comes with a number of ways to make shooting easier, too. The magnification ring is smooth and quick, while elevation and windage knobs are accessible and accurate. Build quality is nothing that has to be concerned about with the EOTECH Vudu. Best of all, it’s backed up by a lifetime warranty.
- Professional grade, and highly durable
- Different reticle options, allowing customization
- Pristine glass, coated to prevent fogging and scratches
- Smooth action and application
- Reticle exists on the first focal plane
- Cost – this is not a budget scope
Bushnell Elite Tactical Illuminated BTR 2 SFP Reticle Riflescope
Some marksmen may be surprised to see a Bushnell entry on our list. The name is well-known, but not as a serious option. This is due to their budget line, available on department store shelves across the country. The Elite Tactical is not one of those scopes, however.
Bushnell designed and produced this scope with professional grade optics. It has features like an illuminated reticle, exposed turrets, and parallax adjustment. The power ring even has a throw lever built in. This scope means business, and it’s not afraid to show it. Many report that the lenses are as good, if not better, than those found on the Vortex options on the market.
While this scope is excellent, there are some issues with it. Occasionally, the reticle can become fuzzy while illuminated. No one wants to find that while they’re in the field. It also requires that you purchase rings or mounts for it, which can be a headache at times.
- Professional quality at a lower price
- Illuminated reticle
- Exposed turrets
- Parallax adjustment
- Built-in throw lever on the power ring
- The reticle may be fuzzy if illuminated
- Heavy – weighing in at over 2 pounds on its own
With as versatile as a 1-8x scope is, there’s no reason not to have one. They offer a way to shoot at nearly any distance with ease and accuracy. While many of the options in this category of scope are expensive, there are some truly exceptional values available. Any of the 3 scopes on our list would be a great investment!