Choosing a scope for your rifle is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a shooter. When selecting an optic, there are several important things to consider, including the type of rifle, the type of shooting, and the amount of magnification you need.
Two of the most common magnification levels in rifle scopes are 1-4x and 3-9x. Both are 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 for shooters who want the mid-range hunting ability of a 1-4x scope and want to extend their effective range without getting into sniper level magnification. Lightweight and with excellent eye relief, 1-8x scopes offer shooters a versatile option that can perform admirably at close range, long range, and everything in between.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated 1-8x scopes:
- Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24 Scope – Best for the Money
- Bushnell 1-8×24 AR Optics Ill BTR-2 – Best for AR-15
- UTG 1-8X28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope – Best under $200
- Best Tactical 1-8x Scope – TRUGLO Omnia Tactical Rifle Scope
- AYIN Sights Centurion Tactical/Hunting Scope – Best Budget
- Best 1-8x FFP Scope – Trijicon Credo HX Illuminated Riflescope
- Best Hidden Gem 1-8x Scope – Riton Optics X3 Tactix
- Best CQB 1-8x Scope – Barska ST Riflescope 1-8×24
- Best EOTech 1-8x Scope – EOTECH Vudu Precision Rifle Scope
- Best .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 1-8×24 Scope – Best for the Money
- 2 Bushnell 1-8×24 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 – Barska ST Riflescope 1-8×24
- 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 is that the higher a scope’s magnification level, the better the scope is for shooting. While being able to see your target up close and in detail sounds appealing, it isn’t always practical or preferable. Most shooters will never engage targets at the extreme ranges that call for higher magnification levels.
Consider how far you typically shoot when sighting in your rifle or hunting in the field. It probably isn’t much more than 100 or 200 yards. Chances are good that it is even less. If that is the case, a 1-8x scope has plenty of magnification for your needs.
Scopes with extremely high levels of magnification are usually intended for snipers or hunters engaging animals at extreme ranges.
What is the Difference Between First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane?
When shopping for a riflescope, you will encounter the terms first focal plane (FFP) and second focal plane (SFP). These terms refer to the location of the reticle within the scope.
When using an FFP scope, the reticle gets larger as magnification increases. In contrast, the reticle in an SFP scope remains constant through all magnification levels.
Each type of scope has benefits and drawbacks. With an SFP scope, holdover measurements are only accurate at one magnification setting. This is fine if you only shoot at the same range. However, there could be serious accuracy issues if you need to zoom in or out on your target. It can also be difficult to align crosshairs on the target at higher magnification, because the reticle becomes incredibly fine, making it sometimes difficult to see.
One of the main benefits of an SFP scope is that the sight picture is always consistent.
However, an FFP scope is useful when using bullet drop compensating (BDC) reticles and other holdover style reticles.
Both options will work. You’ll just want to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the scope before you head out into the field for serious shooting.
Best 1-8x Scopes on the Market Reviews
1 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24 Scope – Best for the Money
The best 1-8x scope for the money is the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle. This second focal plane scope facilitates rapid target acquisition at 1x magnification and allows shooters to extend their effective range at 8x magnification.
This nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed scope features an illuminated BDC3 reticle. The reticle offers accurate holdovers for distances up to 650 yards on targets of known distances. Illumination allows shooters to shoot with confidence, especially in low light. The scope also has a focusing dial that can quickly sharpen the reticle image.
The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle features a one-piece aircraft grade aluminum shockproof tube and anti-reflective coatings on all air to glass surfaces. It also has a handy thread-in throw lever, which allows you to make quick adjustments without lifting your head.
2 Bushnell 1-8×24 AR Optics Ill BTR-2 – Best for AR-15
Designed specifically for the AR-15 platform, the Bushnell AR Optics III BTR-2 is an ideal option for AR buffs who want reliable performance from a trusted brand.
This second focal plane scope has fully multi-coated optics 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 for two different heights. This offers shooters an amount of customization to find what 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 CQB/MRC 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 CQB/MRC is completely sealed and nitrogen filled, which makes it rainproof and fogproof.
This scope features fully multi-coated optics, which provides excellent 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, and is calibrated for common .223/5.56 loads.
One of this scope’s most impressive features is the illuminated reticle that can be set to 36 different colors. Shooters can choose the color that works best for them. They can also set the intensity level to accommodate any light condition.
4 Best Tactical 1-8x Scope – TRUGLO Omnia Tactical Rifle Scope
The TRUGLO Omnia Tactical Rifle Scope is an impressive option for tactical applications. This scope features a hard, anodized matte finish that holds up in the toughest conditions. It also features a 30mm tube filled with nitrogen for reliable fogproof performance.
The 30mm tube lets in an impressive amount of light and offers plenty of eye relief.
The All Purpose Tactical Reticle (A.P.T.R.) is etched onto the glass, which increases accuracy and precision, even with hard kicking calibers.
Locking target turrets prevent 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 while adding a unique style.
5 AYIN Sights Centurion Tactical/Hunting Scope – Best Budget
That isn’t a type-o. The AYIN Sights Centurion isn’t a 1-8x scope. However, I wanted to review a low cost option for shooters who don’t have a big scope budget. While you do lose a little magnification on the high end, this 1-6x scope still performs well in several different shooting applications.
Although the design is simple, the Centurion has a sleek and tactical look. This scope is fully nitrogen purged and is fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof. The optics boast an impressive 90% light transmission.
The 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 scope is ideal for shooters who don’t have a ton of cash to drop on a high-end optic.
6 Best 1-8x FFP Scope – Trijicon Credo HX Illuminated Riflescope
The Trijicon Credo HX is an almost picture-perfect 1-8x hunting scope. This FFP scope has an array of features that cater to the modern hunter. That is not to say that only hunters should consider this scope. The Credo HX is also ideal for any shooter looking for a high-quality FFP scope with a 1-8x magnification range.
The low profile design of the Trijicon Credo prevents it from snagging on clothing. This scope has been tested to military standards and is rugged enough to stand up to even the most demanding hunting conditions.
The Credo HX has 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 not have heard of Riton Optics, their X3 Tactix is an impressive option for shooters. Riton Optics is veteran owned and operated. The company was started with the goal of producing impressive optics at a competitive price. They even back their products with an unlimited lifetime warranty.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you to give the Riton Optics X3 Tactix a second look, its impressive features should 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. Completely fogproof and waterproof, the X3 Tactix is 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 – Barska ST Riflescope 1-8×24
Not all 1-8x scopes perform well at their lowest magnification level. The Barska ST is not one of those scopes. With minimal 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 also features an etched glass illuminated reticle with adjustable brightness and dual color settings.
The Barska ST also features capped, low-profile turrets that provide simple adjustments, but won’t get in the way during fast-paced shooting.
9 Best EOTech 1-8x Scope – EOTECH Vudu Precision Rifle Scope
The EOTech brand needs no introduction. They have a solid reputation for producing rock-solid, high-performing optics, and this 1-8x scope is no exception. The EOTech VUDU is constructed with XC High-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 a lifetime.
10 Best .223/5.56 Calibrated – Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2
There seems to be an endless number of unique reticle styles, which makes it difficult to make sense of the option. In the case of the Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2, its reticle is perfect for anyone who prefers to shoot .223 or 5.56 ammo.
The ATSR5 SFP IR MOA reticle is on this second focal plane scope, and is specifically calibrated to 68 grain Hornady and 69 grain Sierra cartridges. However, the reticle 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 benefit from a 1-8x scope. Their versatility makes this class ideal for serious sport shooters.
Any of the best 1-8x scope from this list will serve you well in the field or on the range.
You took the time to explain the difference between SFP and FFP and said both were good, but all of the Scopes you recommend are SFP? Do you have another post that just focuses on FFP scopes?
Brian Belko says
The Trijicon Credo HX Illuminated Riflescope has the FFP version if it’s what you’re looking for. We also have another article about FFP here.