Choosing a rifle scope can be challenging. There are a host of variables to consider. Among these variables is the magnification range of the scope. 1-4X and 3-9X scopes are among the most popular among shooters today. However, depending on the caliber of your rifle and the ammunition you use, these popular scopes will be lacking on one end of the magnification scale or the other.
To address this lack with the most popular scopes, many shooters opt for a scope with a magnification range of 1-8X. This range of magnification allows hunters to shoot at very close ranges and with enough magnification to reach out to the limits of their rifle and ammunition. One advantage this class of riflescopes offers is this magnification can often be found in scopes that don’t have a long footprint on a rifle.
There are several top-quality rifle scopes on the market available with a magnification in the 1-8X range. We have looked at these scopes and chosen XX scopes that fit our criteria for rifle scopes. We understand that choosing a rifle scope is a very personal thing. Above all, your riflescope must fit your needs and expectation and not someone else’s.
What Should You Look for in a Riflescope?
In general, there are several factors that we think make a good riflescope. We consider each of these when we begin selecting riflescopes for our lists. The things we consider in each scope we examine are:
- Quality of Construction and Durability
- The reputation of the Manufacturer
- Features and Options
- Reticle Style
There are, of course, many other features, options and parts of a riflescope that are Important. However, if a scope stands out in these categories. In that case, we find that the other factors important to many people are high quality.
Quality of Construction and Durability
Everyone wants the highest possible quality and the most durable riflescope they can afford. Quality translates across all our other criteria. When we examine riflescopes, we look at the materials used in the construction and the quality of the machining and assembly. Top-quality materials and attention to detail in machining and assembly almost always mean a durable scope under the most extreme conditions.
Nothing speaks more to a riflescope manufacturer’s product than the opinion held by shooters about those products. In this day of the internet, it is easy to find opinions and reviews about almost any product. It does take careful attention to make sense of much of this information. In the end, if a manufacturer has an above-average reputation, this is a good indication that the manufacturer pays attention to detail and quality.
Features and Options
Scope manufacturers add features and options to their scopes to attract customers. The challenge is to determine which features and options you need. Adding bells and whistles to your scope just because they are available doesn’t make sense. Unneeded options and features tend to add complexity and weight to a riflescope. However, it is nice to have choices of options and features from which to choose.
Reticle Styles and Options
A major choice you must make is the style of reticle you prefer. The two major options are a reticle calibrated in MOA or Mil-dot. Both styles perform the same functions using different measurements. We don’t believe that one is better than the other. This is one of those decisions that fall back to personal preference.
You will also need to decide between a first focal plane reticle, or a reticle placed on the second focal plane. The first or second focal plane indicates how the reticle behaves when the magnification is changed. Again, personal preference rules here.
Lastly, many scope manufacturers now offer illuminated reticles. An illuminated reticle can add time to your possible hunting day or make hunting in less than ideal visual conditions. We are firmly in favor of illuminated reticles when they are available.
Our Selections for the Best 1-8X Scopes
This list is not exhaustive, nor is it meant to be the end-all of scope selection. Our intent is to provide an overview of the riflescopes available on the market with 1-8X magnification. We have applied our criteria and our expectations to the riflescopes on our list. Your needs and expectations may be different. You should make your riflescope decision to find the best fit for you and your rifle.
#1 1-8X SCOPE
Best Overall 1-8X Riflescope – Vortex Optics Strike Eagle
Vortex Optics gets the nod as the best overall value for a riflescope in the 1-8X magnification range. The Strike Eagle line of Vortex Optic scopes is a great value. It offers features usually found only in much more expensive riflescopes.
The features list of the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle riflescopes is impressive.
- Quick and versatile operation offering true 1X aiming.
- Vortex Optics has updated the magnification ring with a thread-in throw lever. You can also see the magnification indicators without breaking your cheek weld on the rifle.
- An illuminated reticle makes the Strike Eagle scope easier to aim and useable in a wider range of light conditions.
- Fully multi-coated lens for excellent light transmission qualities as well as protection
- Vortex Optics uses the highest quality materials and the most sophisticated manufacturing techniques available.
- The Strike Eagle scopes are nitrogen-filled for waterproof and Fogproof operations.
- Vortex Optics offers a “no questions asked” warranty on their riflescope.
We believe that choosing a Vortex Optics riflescope is a great decision. We run several Vortex Optics riflescopes and have never been disappointed in the results. From the quality of construction to the best-in-class warranty, Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8X riflescopes are outstanding values.
#1 1-8X SCOPE
#1 1-8X SCOPE
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Runner-up Best Overall 1-8X Riflescope – Riton Optics X3 Tactix 1-8X24 Riflescope
Riton Optics is a relative newcomer to the riflescope markets. Riton introduced their first scopes to the shooting public in 2013 and has since developed an ever-growing following among shooters. As a family-owned business in Tucson, Arizona, Riton focuses on quality and affordability.
The Riton Optics X3 Tactix 1-8X24 riflescope is one of the most popular scopes in the Riton lineup. Riton doesn’t skimp on features either. Each Riton X3 Tactix scope includes:
- Advanced design zero-reset turrets
- 100 percent waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
- ½ MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Assembled in an EP-Level clean room environment
- Capped turrets
- Wide easy-to-grasp magnification ring with an integral throw lever.
- Illuminated reticle
This is just a portion of the features offered on the Riton X3 Tactix riflescope. In addition to these and other features, Riton includes a simple and straightforward warranty that is based on these concepts.
- No proof of purchase or registration required
- Lifetime transferrable warranty
- Warranty replacement re brand new never sold products
- Replacement will be shipped within two days
Riton is such a new company that we didn’t feel like we could, in good faith, make this riflescope our best overall choice. However, we would not hesitate to put a Riton scope on any of our rifles.
The Professional Choice 1-8X Riflescope – Trijicon Credo 1-8×28 FFP Riflescope
Suppose you want to use the riflescope that is the choice of many professional shooters. In that case, the Trijicon Credo 1-8X28 FFO scope is the choice. Trijicon is revered for its ruggedness and quality of construction. It is these qualities that make Trijicon the choice of military and law enforcement personnel.
As you would expect, Trijicon offers a rich list of features with their riflescopes. The Credo 1-8X28 riflescope is no different.
- User-selectable illumination levels on the LED illuminated reticle.
- Fully multi-coated lenses ensure the finest in light transmission and edge-to-edge clarity of the target image.
- Crisp and precise adjustments for windage and elevation that require no tools for the zero-stop capped and locked adjusters
- Rugged and durable construction using aircraft grade aluminum that meets mil-spec requirements
- Easy to use magnification ring with a multi-position throw lever for customizable use.
- A first focal plane illuminated reticle
If you want professional quality in a 1-8X28 riflescope, choose the Trijicon Credo riflescope. However, you will pay for the quality that you get with a Trijicon Credo riflescope.
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The Ultimate 1-8X Riflescope – Leupold Mark 8 CQBSS 1.1-8x24mm Riflescope
If there is no limit to your budget, then the scope for you is probably the Leupold Mark 9 CWBSS 1.1-8X24 riflescope. Admittedly this scope is over the top for most shooters, and the price bears out that opinion. However, the quality of this Leupold scope can’t be argued. This is a riflescope that will become a family heirloom serving successive generations of shooters.
Leupold doesn’t leave anything off the table when it comes to features in the Mark 8 series of riflescopes.
- First focal plane reticle
- 100 percent waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
- Leupold MSB 1 turrets featuring auto-lock pinch and turn technology for instant and precise windage and elevation adjustments
- 1/10th Mil per click adjustments on the turrets
- A lockable fast-focus eyepiece keeps the reticle in focus no matter the conditions
- Diamond Coat 2 lens coatings transmit more light and resist greater levels of abrasion
- An 8:1 zoom ratio features an incredible field of view
- Designed, machined, and assembled in the USA
Leupold has long been known for the quality of its rifle scopes. The Leupold Mark 8 1-8X24 CSBSS riflescope is no exception. This riflescope brings everything you would expect when you pay 3 to 4 times the price of your rifle for a riflescope.
Best Mid-Range 1-8X24 Riflescope – NightForce NX8 1-8X24 Scope
Nightforce Optics has a reputation for building quality optics that goes back to 1992. The NightForce NX8 1-8X24 riflescope doesn’t stray from this reputation. NightForce may not be as well-known as some other optics manufacturers, but for those who are in the know, NightForce is a choice manufacturer.
NightForce has built its reputation on features as well as quality. Close attention to what shooters want in a quality scope keeps Nightforce on the cutting edge.
- Class-leading compact and lightweight scope optimized for short to mid-range shooting
- At only 8.75 inches in length and weighing only 17 ounces, the NX8 scope is one of the market’s smallest and lightest variable magnification scopes.
- Zero-stop turrets allow rapid and repeatable elevation and windage adjustments for long-range accuracy
- The hybrid reticle system is unique. At lower levels of magnification, the daylight visible center red dot takes precedence. At higher magnifications, the FFP Mil-dot or MOA reticle comes into play for extreme accuracy
- Superior materials translate into a rugged and durable construction suitable for all conditions
NightForce Optics are a step above your run-of-the-mill over-the-counter riflescopes. These riflescopes are near-professional level scopes but without the hefty price tag.
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Best Budget 1-8X Riflescope – UTG Leapers 1-8X28 MRC Rifle Scope
Some manufacturers produce riflescopes of good quality at a reasonable price for those of us on a budget. Leapers is one of those companies often overlooked by shooters who need a budget scope that offers great value and features. The Leapers UTG 1-8X28 MEC riflescope is our choice for a budget-priced variable magnification scope
Leapers has included an impressive list of features on these riflescopes. For less than $200, you get options and features that many more expensive scopes don’t offer.
- These Leapers UTG scopes include the mounting Rings with the scope.
- Leapers BG 4 Reticle
- EX_TAP illumination control for precise and quick changes to the fully illuminated two-color reticle.
- Ring-lock Target Turrets for quick and precise windage and elevation adjustments in the field.
- Range estimating tools built into the BG4 Reticle design
- Integral sunshade reduces glare
These Leapers UTG scopes are built to precise standards and offer exceptional value to the budget-conscious shooter. This may not be the scope of your dreams, but it can be a practical solution to mounting a 1-8X scope on your rifle when the cost is a primary factor.
Making the Variable Magnification Scope Decision
There are hundreds if not thousands of 1-8X variable magnification scopes on the market. Finding scope to fit your needs and expectations is the challenge. The scopes on our list of the best 1-8X riflescopes may not fit you and your rifle. However, they should give you an idea of what to look for and how to judge the characteristics and worth of the many scopes available.