One of the most important decisions that any shooter can make is the scope that they mount on their rifle. The decision relies on several important considerations such as the type of rifle, the type of shooting being done, and the amount of magnification that is required.
Two of the most common magnification levels in rifle scopes are 1-4x and 3-9x. They are both great options for a variety of shooting applications. However, there is another option that combines the best features of both a 1-4x scope and a 3-9x scope. That option is the versatile 1-8x scope.
A 1-8x scope is the perfect rifle scope choice for shooters who want the mid-range hunting ability of a 1-4x scope, but who also want to extend their effective range without getting into sniper level magnification. Lightweight and with excellent eye relief, 1-8x scopes offer shooters who value versatility a scope option that can perform admirably at both close and long range.
If you don't have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated 1-8x scopes:
- 1Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8x24 Scope - Best for the Money
- 2Bushnell 1-8x24 AR Optics Ill BTR-2 - Best for AR-15
- 3UTG 1-8X28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope - Best under $200
- 4Best Tactical 1-8x Scope - TRUGLO Omnia Tactical Rifle Scope
- 5AYIN Sights Centurion Tactical/Hunting Scope - Best Budget
- 6Best 1-8x FFP Scope - Trijicon Credo HX Illuminated Riflescope
- 7Best Hidden Gem 1-8x Scope - Riton Optics X3 Tactix
- 8Best CQB 1-8x Scope - Swampfox Tomahawk LPVO
- 9Best EOTech 1-8x Scope - EOTECH Vudu Precision Rifle Scope
- 10Best .223/5.56 Calibrated - Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2
Table of Contents
- Isn’t Higher Magnification Better?
- What is the Difference Between First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane?
- Best 1-8x Scopes on the Market Reviews
- 1 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8x24 Scope - Best for the Money
- 2 Bushnell 1-8x24 AR Optics Ill BTR-2 - Best for AR-15
- 3 UTG 1-8X28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope - Best under $200
- 4 Best Tactical 1-8x Scope - TRUGLO Omnia Tactical Rifle Scope
- 5 AYIN Sights Centurion Tactical/Hunting Scope - Best Budget
- 6 Best 1-8x FFP Scope - Trijicon Credo HX Illuminated Riflescope
- 7 Best Hidden Gem 1-8x Scope - Riton Optics X3 Tactix
- 8 Best CQB 1-8x Scope - Swampfox Tomahawk LPVO
- 9 Best EOTech 1-8x Scope - EOTECH Vudu Precision Rifle Scope
- 10 Best .223/5.56 Calibrated - Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2
- Wrapping It Up
Isn’t Higher Magnification Better?
A common misconception with some shooters is that the higher a scope’s magnification level is, the better the scope is for shooting. While the idea of being able to see your target up close and in extreme detail sounds appealing, it is actually not always preferable. The majority of shooters will not be shooting at the extreme ranges that call for higher magnification levels.
Think about how far you usually shoot when you are at the range sighting in your rifle or in the field hunting. Your answer probably isn’t much more than 100 or 200 yards or maybe even a little bit less. If that is the case, then a 1-8x scope has more than enough magnification for your needs.
Scopes with extremely high levels of magnification are usually intended for snipers and for shooters hunting at extreme ranges such as those in the 500+ yard range.
What is the Difference Between First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane?
When you are shopping for any rifle scope, you may come across the terms first focal plane (FFP) and second focal plane (SFP). Those terms are referring to the location of the reticle within the scope. The main difference between FFP and SFP is that the reticle in a FFP scope will get larger as magnification is increased. Alternatively, the reticle in a SFP scope will remain the same size at all magnification levels.
Each type of scope has benefits and drawbacks. With a SFP scope, holdover measurements will only be accurate at the highest magnification setting. This is fine if you only shoot at longer ranges with the scope set at the maximum magnification setting, but could present accuracy problems at lower settings. It can also sometimes be difficult to align the crosshairs on the target while at lower magnification. One of the main benefits of a SFP scope is that the sight picture is always consistent.
On the other hand, a FFP scope can utilize bullet drop compensating reticles, and other holdover style reticles, at any magnification setting which helps shooters to make quick and accurate shots. However, the reticle can be hard to see at lower magnifications or cover too much of the target at higher magnifications.
You can’t go wrong with either option. Just make sure to spend enough time at the range to get comfortable with your specific scope and rifle combination before going on that big hunt.
Best 1-8x Scopes on the Market Reviews
1 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8x24 Scope - Best for the Money
The best 1-8x scope for the money is the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8x24 Scope. This second focal plane scope provides users with rapid target acquisition at 1x magnification along with the ability to extend their range at 8x magnification.
This nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed scope features an illuminated BDC3 reticle. The illuminated reticle offers accurate holdovers for distances up to 650 yards on targets of known distances. The illumination allows shooters the ability to shoot with confidence in low light conditions while the reticle focusing dial can quickly sharpen the reticle image.
The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8x24 scope also features a one piece aircraft grade aluminum shockproof tube, anti-reflective coatings on every air to glass surface, and a thread-in throw lever on the magnification ring for rapid adjustments without lifting your head from the scope.
2 Bushnell 1-8x24 AR Optics Ill BTR-2 - Best for AR-15
Designed specifically for the AR-15 platform, the Bushnell 1-8x24 AR Optics III BTR-2 is an ideal option for AR-15 shooters who want reliable performance from a trusted brand. This second focal plane scope has fully multi-coated optics on all air to glass surfaces for great visibility in all light conditions.
The illuminated BDC reticle is specially calibrated for .223/5.56 holdover measurements. The reticle has 6 brightness settings that can be adjusted via the top mounted knob.
The Bushnell AR Optics III features a throw down power change lever that can be customized between two different heights. This offers shooters a custom feel that works best with their personal shooting technique. This affordable scope has a nitrogen purged aluminum tube and capped turrets for durable performance and eye-catching aesthetics.
3 UTG 1-8X28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope - Best under $200
The UTG 1-8x28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope is a great option for shooters who want to spend less than $200 on their new scope. This affordable scope boasts several key features that make it a solid choice for budget minded shooters.
The UTG 1-8x28 MRC scope is completely sealed and nitrogen filled which makes it rainproof, fogproof. This scope is shockproof and features fully multi-coated optics for edge to edge clarity. The built-in sunshade and lockable, resettable turrets only add to the functionality of this scope.
The BG4 reticle features bullet drop compensation out to 600 yards for the .223/5.56 round
One of this scope’s most impressive features is the illuminated reticle that can be set to one of 36 different colors. Shooters can choose the color that works best for them. They can also set the intensity level to accommodate any light conditions they may face.
4 Best Tactical 1-8x Scope - TRUGLO Omnia Tactical Rifle Scope
The TRUGLO Omnia Tactical Rifle Scope is an impressive 1-8x scope for any tactical application. This scope features a hardcoat anodized matte finish that holds up in the toughest conditions as well as a 30mm tube filled with nitrogen for fogproof performance.
The 30mm tube also lets in an impressive amount of light while also offering generous eye-relief.
The All Purpose Tactical Reticle (A.P.T.R.) is etched onto the glass of the scope which increases accuracy and precision even with hard kicking calibers. Locking target turrets means no accidental adjustments and the quick zoom lever makes changing magnification a breeze.
The TRUGLO Omnia comes with an APTUS-M1 tactical mount that holds the scope in the correct mounting position on modern rifles while also adding appealing style to the look of the scope.
5 AYIN Sights Centurion Tactical/Hunting Scope - Best Budget
That isn’t a type. The AYIN Sights Centurion isn’t a 1-8x scope. However, I wanted to review a very low cost scope for shooters who just don’t have a big scope budget and while you do lose a little magnification on the high end, this 1-6x scope can still perform well in several different shooting applications.
With a simple design that looks both sleek and tactical, this scope is fully nitrogen purged and is fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof. The optics boast an impressive 90% light transmission and an etched glass BDC reticle.
The AYIN Sights Centurion keeps the tactical shooter in mind with return-to-zero turrets, a quick throw magnification lever, and four inches of eye relief. At just over $100, this tactical scope is ideal for the shooter who doesn’t want to spend much on optics.
6 Best 1-8x FFP Scope - Trijicon Credo HX Illuminated Riflescope
The Trijicon Credo HX Illuminated Hunting Riflescope makes for the ideal 1-8x hunting scope. This FFP scope has an array of features designed with the hunter in mind. That is not to say that only hunters should consider this scope. It is also ideal for any shooter looking for a first focal plane scope in the 1-8x magnification range.
The low profile design of the Trijicon Credo prevents it from snagging on clothing such as a hunter’s camouflage jacket. This scope has been tested to military standards and is rugged enough to stand up to even the most demanding hunting conditions.
With all the usual features of a high performance scope, including fully multi-coated optics, an adjustable brightness illuminated reticle, and a repositionable magnification lever, the Credo HX also has the respected reputation of the Trijicon brand standing behind it.
7 Best Hidden Gem 1-8x Scope - Riton Optics X3 Tactix
While you may have never heard of Riton Optics, their X3 Tactix 1-8x24 is an impressive option for shooters. Riton Optics is veteran owned and operated and was started with the goal of producing impressive optics at a competitive price. They even offer an unlimited lifetime warranty on their scopes.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you that the Riton Optics X3 Tactix was worth checking out, maybe it’s impressive array of features will do the trick.
The turrets are capped and resettable and have ½ MOA click adjustments. The reticle features 11 different red illumination settings and a 182 MOA adjustment range. The X3 Tactix also has fogproof and waterproof optics that are assembled in an EP Level clean room. This scope is a great option for the shooter with a mid-range budget.
8 Best CQB 1-8x Scope - Swampfox Tomahawk LPVO
Not all 1-8x scopes perform well at their lowest magnification level. However, the Swampfox Tomahawk LPVO is not one of those scopes. With zero fisheye effect at 1x magnification, this scope offers shooters prime performance in close quarters situations.
The impressive 1x performance of this scope makes it ideal for shooting competitions such as 3-gun. This SFP scope further cements itself as an excellent competition scope thanks to its magnification throw lever and etched glass illuminated reticle.
Shooters can also choose between three different reticles when purchasing this scope.
9 Best EOTech 1-8x Scope - EOTECH Vudu Precision Rifle Scope
The EOTech brand needs no introduction. They have a solid reputation of producing rock solid and high performing optics and this 1-8x scope offering is no exception. The EOTech VUDU 1-8x24mm Precision Rifle Scope is constructed with XCHigh-Density glass for extremely clear optics and impressive light transmission.
The 10-level illuminated reticle, 500 hour battery life, magnification throw lever, and one piece eyepiece combine to form a reliable scope that will last any shooter a lifetime.
10 Best .223/5.56 Calibrated - Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2
There seems to be an endless amount of unique reticle styles and it can be difficult to make sense of them. In the case of the Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 1-8x24 Riflescope, its reticle is perfect for anyone who prefers to shoot .223 or 5.56 ammo.
The ATSR5 SFP IR MOA reticle on this second focal plane scope is specifically calibrated to 68 grain Hornady and 69 grain Sierra cartridges, but it will also work with any .223/5.56 ammunition zeroed at 200 yards.
If you are enthusiastic about the .223 or 5.56 platform, this scope is an ideal option.
Wrapping It Up
Tactical shooters and hunters alike can find a lot of use from a 1-8x scope. Their versatility and ability to perform well at both short range and long range makes this class of scope ideal for the shooter who takes his sport seriously.
Any of the best 1-8x scope from this list will serve you well in the field or on the range.