Even though having 20x of magnification can be extremely helpful, it is not necessary. In fact, most hunting and shooting sessions occur within a range of 100 to 600 yards. For distances like this, you won’t need more than an 8x zoom.
We can add the fact that most rifles are short or mid-range. Unless you have a 17 WSM Magnum or a .243 rifle that can reach 1,000 yards or more, you’ll be better equipped with a short-range scope. For that reason, we’ve assembled a list of the best 1-8 scope available in the market.
This list comes with scopes of all kinds, for all needs and desires. Whether you want a high-end scope or a cheap one, something with illumination, or a model with night vision, or a colored reticle, you’ll find it all below. Take a look and find the ideal one for you.
7 Best 1-8x Scopes Reviews in 2021
Leapers SCP3-18IEBG4 UTG MRC Scope
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Primary Arms SLX Rifle Scope
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Leapers UTG T8 Pro
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Leupold Mark 8 CQBSS Riflescope
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Riton Optics X3 Tactix
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Trijicon Credo HX Hunting Riflescope
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NightForce NX8 F1 Riflescope
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Picking a scope in the 1-8x range requires an appreciation for ease of use and tactical features. Remember, you’ll be using rifles that don’t reach the longest of distances. Having said that, we found 7 scopes that matched all these needs – check them out:
Some brands made their scopes to help users see on distances longer than 1,000 yards. But other manufacturers, like Leapers, specialize in short-range scopes. This is where the UTG MRC enters into action.
On the first try, you’ll find it incredibly quality-oriented. The emerald lens coatings increase the illumination exponentially. Even in the darkest areas, you’ll see everything as clearly as it can be. And with the TactEdge shade system, the scope prevents any unwanted glare coming into the less.
But it is not the coatings that set its clarity apart. The system boasts an EZ-TAP IE (illumination enhancing) feature. This will let you adjust the reticle to either Green or Red, accommodating it to any environment for maximum visibility with 36-color glass illumination.
Considering you get a BG4 Etched Glass reticle, you’ll be getting a hugely practical scope all around. This is not to say that you’re also enjoying the zero-resettable turrets that move as smoothly and reliably as you can think.
You can get back to all your adjustments in turrets and illumination with the 1-Click memory function. And with the ACCU-SYNC design, the high-profile scope will fit on many rifles effortlessly.
The scope is ideal for rifles of all kinds. But we recommend using it with 5.56 rifles thanks to its ability to hold long distances accurately. This is powered by the TS Platform, an extra-sturdy construction that keeps the scope working even with the toughest of recoils.
With the ability to work with almost any rifle, the SLX scope from Primary Arms is ready to tackle the most demanding scenarios.
The main advantage comes from the FFP system. Its reticle will give you the ideal design to aim without having to make more adjustments than necessary. Even then, it is the ACSS Raptor reticle you will love the most. It will help you make adjustments to your aim without wasting a single second.
But its reticle and FFP design are not alone. You also get an illumination system, powered by a CR2032 battery. This system boasts 11 brightness settings so you can adjust the scope to your needs, even in the darkest of areas.
Apart from that, you can enjoy the quick-focus eyepiece. Those who struggle to adjust the scope to their comfort will find this one super-quick and practical. More importantly, the 600-yard automatic reticle ranging allows even faster focus, making it a piece of cake to engage in close or mid-range shootings.
Despite all of that, the scope still comes with sturdy construction. A 6061-aluminum body with an anodized matte finish keeps it working in any scenario. Add the IP67 waterproof and nitrogen-purged construction for an even more resistant scope overall.
Like other 1-8x scopes from Leapers, the UTG T8 Pro takes close and mid-range shooting to a whole new level.
Starting with the 30mm tube with emerald multi-coated lenses, you get almost unbeatable illumination. The system will help you see, even in the darkest of places. Add up the EZ-TAP IE system for even more clarity, allowing you to choose between 36 colors so you can accommodate the scope to your needs.
This illumination wouldn’t be so useful without a quality reticle. Here’s where the Etched Glass circle-dot reticle enters into action. This CQB/MRC scope is simple to aim easily yet complex enough to help you measure shots without a single drawback.
Don’t forget the system comes with zero-resettable turrets, a 1-click memory system that remembers your illumination settings, and a TactEdge angled sunshade for glare prevention.
Last but not least, it comes with the True Strength platform, a high-end construction that makes the scope fog-proof, shockproof, and rainproof thanks to its sealing and nitrogen fill.
Even though 1-8x scopes are generally cheaper than their higher-magnification alternatives, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a high-end model for demanding usage. The Mark 8 CQBSS from Leupold is a perfect example of that.
Its 24mm objective lens may seem like little until you consider the uniquely well-made construction and next-level features it offers.
You’ll find the scope comes with three different reticles as needed. Here, you can pick between the CMR-W 7.62, H-27D, or Mil-Dot reticle. Either way, they’re all illuminated with 8 levels of brightness. Interestingly, they’re all FFP, so they move with the magnification for accurate aiming.
Regardless of the reticle you pick, you get M5B1 turrets with an auto-locking pinch. The Turn Adjustments make it even more reliable, only unlocking with a touch of your fingers.
Apart from that, you can also enjoy a fast-focused eyepiece. It is lockable as well, increasing the overall reliability of the scope.
If all that wasn’t enough, you can also enjoy the Diamond Coat 2 lens system. It increases light transmission exponentially when compared to cheaper scopes.
While it is expensive for most people, it is the go-to scope for competitive shooters and seriously demanding hunters. If you want no less than the best scope in the market, this one won’t let you down.
Some brands don’t have the prestige and popularity you may expect, but they do have the quality that sets them apart. Riton Optics is one of those brands.
With the X3 Tactix, this manufacturer managed to deliver the quality that even more experienced brands don’t offer. And that’s without even mentioning how affordable it is.
First off, you get an aircraft-grade construction. With aluminum in the entire body, this scope is rugged, ready to offer great results in any situation. Obviously, it’s thanks to the waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof construction following a dry nitrogen purge and sealed design.
Secondly, the image quality it offers is superb. Thanks to the Riton High-Density glass, it provides exceptional light transmission. You can add the fully multi-coated lenses with performance-oriented construction, and the scope won’t let a single light particle escape.
As for reticle and adjustments, you won’t be disappointed either. It offers a fast-focus eyepiece, an OT reticle, and an SFP system. Including the capped zero-resettable turrets, you won’t have a problem adjusting this scope to your needs.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you still get an illumination system, offering 11 levels for low-light performance. Even in dark scenarios where other scopes feel dark and impossible to see through, this one looks clear and easy to aim with.
Because Riton also cares about looks, you get a Hard Coat Anodized and a Type III finish. This increases overall durability and adds a uniquely attractive appearance.
- Anti-reflective glass
- Marked turrets for accurate & quick adjustments
- Never distorts or glares away
Most Trijicon scopes are designed for long-range scenarios. That doesn’t mean a 1-8x scope from Trijicon will be terrible. Actually, the other way around – they take these short and mid-range scope with even more seriousness.
As soon as you look through it, you’ll know how much Trijicon tried to make it an excellent scope. The 28mm objective lens boasts fully multi-coated lenses. The combination ends up in next-level clarity, anti-reflection, and zero distortion. There’s no way you’ll lose your target due to low-quality imaging.
Despite its already fantastic image quality, you can also enjoy a LED brightness system. Using CR2032 batteries, the scope lets you pick between illuminated or standard scoping. If you’re in a dark place close to dawn or dusk, you’ll find this feature super-helpful.
Don’t overlook its adjustment system, though. At 1-8x of magnification, you can still get smooth and crisp zoom changes as well as windage and elevation adjustments. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll find this system a no-brainer to operate.
As for the reticle, you’ll find an MOA Segmented Reticle. It is one of the handiest you can get, as it makes long-range shots possible despite the low magnification of the scope. And to make it even better, it is an FFP reticle. That means you get maximum convenience for next-level adjustments.
Because Trijicon never holds back in quality builds, this one comes with an extreme-condition-resistant construction. It can handle harsh shocks, rain, submersion, even extreme fog, and other harsh environments.
Nightforce is one of the most overlook brands in the scope market. Being a staple of top-notch quality in the high-end range, it is undoubtedly one of the best. Obviously, the NX8 F1 scope is a perfect example of all that.
This model stands out for its 30mm main tube and 24mm objective lens. This combination makes it more than ideal for a 1-8x magnification. The light transmission and overall image quality are other-worldly, to say the least.
But that doesn’t make it such an excellent scope. What we loved the most was the quality reticle. You can pick either the MIL or MOA version of the FC. It is one of the most sought-after reticles in this price range. And that’s considering the FFP system it offers. You won’t have to waste any time adjusting it.
This adjustment system comes with ZeroStop turrets. Whether you pick Mil or MOA, the system will be as accurate and smooth as you can expect. You’ll get all your money’s worth of quality.
Apart from that, this reticle is illuminated. If you’re in a low-light environment where other scopes weaken the experience, this one won’t disappoint. You’ll get top-notch vision however dark it is.
And lastly, it is clearly a scope that lasts. Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof – it has all the features you need to shoot in any place, at any time, without a single drawback.
What to Consider When Buying a 1-8x Scope
You can pick a 1-8x scope pretty much the same way you would choose any other. However, it is essential to consider specific features that may tell the difference between a quality scope and a bad one. Here’s what we recommend considering for a scope of this size:
Objective Lens & Illumination
Start by taking a look at the size of the objective lens and whether it offers any illumination. The objective lens, for example, is measured in millimeters (mm). Obviously, more diameter means more light going into the scope. This will increase image quality (clarity, color, and overall light transmission).
Here, you should go for no less than 24mm if you want a decent experience. Yet, you shouldn’t go larger than 32mm either as it could cause distortion at 1x magnification.
Moreover, it’s important to know that some scopes come with built-in illumination. These scopes don’t depend on the size of the objective. Instead, they provide illumination with battery-powered systems. You may be able to change the level illumination with some of them. Those are even better.
Reticle & Adjustments
When it comes to reticles for scopes at 1-8x magnification, you’ll find tons of different options to go for. Generally, however, you would prefer something simple like a BDC reticle that still lets you make decent measurements.
Interestingly, many manufacturers decide to add their unique touch to reticles at this magnification level. Some may offer semi-circles, MOA and MIL marks, and much more.
Regardless of the reticle you pick, be sure to get excellent adjustments nonetheless. This mostly falls into the eyepiece and the turrets. You want a quick-focus eyepiece that saves effort and adjusts rapidly to your desired magnification. Similarly, you want turrets that are smooth and crisp.
Eye Relief & Eye Guard
Something worth mentioning is that 1-8x scopes often have low eye relief. This mostly happens because they are used with low-recoil weapons. But that’s exactly why you must try to get a long eye relief instead. Anything above 3.5 inches should be enough for eye relief in a scope like this.
Similarly, you want to pick a scope with a well-designed and comfy eye guard. As long as it can prevent any unwanted damage when shooting, that’s a scope worth going for.
Construction & Coatings
Finally, you’ll want to consider whether the construction of the scope withstands difficult environments or not. Obviously, the sturdier the scope, the higher the price it will have.
For that reason, we recommend going for standard quality factors, such as gas-purged scopes, waterproof sealings, and anodized exteriors. These features should prevent common damage that scopes suffer from.
Apart from that, consider whether you get a special type of coating that avoids scratches and other damage to the lenses. And if it can prevent fog from causing damage, you will find it even more helpful, especially in difficult hunting scenarios.
Why Use a 1-8x Scope?
There are many reasons a 1-8x scope could be an ideal choice for your needs. Here, we’re going to explain several factors that could tell you whether you need it.
Having the chance to use no magnification (1x) or get to 600 yards of total reach (8x) is something you will probably need in your hunting or range-shooting sessions. This also helps you acquire targets faster, make quick adjustments, and get no distortion in the process.
At the same time, this magnification is useful for a wide array of applications. Whether you are in a tactical environment with short-range needs like a shooting range or in a place with long-range needs like hunting in the wild – the scope gets the job done either way.
Believe it or not, most 1-8x scopes boast an illumination system. Due to their versatility and various uses, having illumination is almost obligatory. Most manufacturers make sure you get the ideal illumination for the specific scope, regardless of its objective lens or coatings.
You may find this illumination to affect both the overall lens as well as the reticle. In some cases, you may have different brightness levels as well as various colors to choose from.
Lastly, one huge reason to get a 1-8x scope is their durability. Because it can be used for tactical environments with tons of movement and probable impacts, the construction of these scopes is outstanding. Even the cheapest one should withstand shocks, scratches, water, fog, and more.
It isn’t rare for 1-8x scopes to boast anodized construction that also looks amazing. Manufacturers will strive to prevent unwanted damage when using these scopes.
What Are the Uses of a 1-8x Scope?
Like said before, 1-8x scopes can be used in many different scenarios. Either way, here are three main purposes that stand out:
Hunting Long & Mid-Range
The ability to go from 1x to 4x and even 8x quick makes these scopes worth the try in hunting environments. You can use the 1x to check around, the 4x to aim at 200 to 300 yards, and the 8x for spotting and shooting at over 500 yards.
Tactical Range Shooting
If you like going to the shooting range from time to time, you may prefer the mid-range camp to the short or long-range one. In that case, the large 10-24x or the 1x scopes won’t work. You will need a 1-8x to enjoy these mid-range camps to the most.
Learning to Scope Well
Thanks to the simplicity these scopes offer, they also make a great learning object. For users who are just starting in the world of scoping or shooting, a 1-8x scope comes like a cheat for learning. While it is not the easiest to start with, beginners can learn the basics before using scopes with more zooming.
Believe it or not, this scope magnification level is one of the most popular with varmint. A rifle like the Marlin 336 will appreciate a scope like this. You won’t be able to hunt varmint at distances longer than 100 to 200 yards. And a scope with these zooming options is more than enough for that.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Our reviews and buying guide will probably most of the things you need to know about these scopes and how to pick them. But we didn’t mention more general things worth considering before buying. Here are some common general questions with their respective answers:
How far does a 1-8x scope reach?
At 8x magnification, it is safe to say you can aim comfortably at 600 yards. But that should also be enough to get as far as 1,000 yards. With enough experience, you can use one of these scopes to shoot at over 600 yards accurately. Yet, we recommend staying under that for safer and more precise shots.
Should you choose SFP or FFP reticles?
For those who don’t know, an SFP reticle changes alongside the magnification. In contrast, FFP reticles will vary depending on the zoom level. Meaning, SFP will always look the same regardless of how far you’re magnifying to. FFP, in contrast, will adjust depending on how far you’re looking.
If you have enough experience to
Are 1-8x scopes ideal for spotting?
If you’re going hunting and need a scope that lets you watch far away, you won’t find 1-8x scopes ideal. Having said that, you can always use them for general spotting (acquiring targets and checking environments).
Be aware, though, your vision will be limited to about 1,000 yards. A true spotting scope should offer over 2,000 yards of watching distance.
What’s the difference between a 1-8x and a 1-4x scope?
The obvious answer would be magnification. But the real difference is that 1-8x scopes are ideal for both short and mid-range shooting. In contrast, 1-4x scopes are much more effective at short-range use.
When you want to aim at over 500 yards, go for 1-8x. But if you’re staying under 400 yards, then a 1-4x meets your needs better.
While these scopes won’t reach as far as its largest alternatives, they’re more than enough for most uses – especially considering how versatile they are.
But it’s still worth picking the right one. Even when magnification is the same, the different features can change between one scope or the other. You should be well-aware of what you’re getting.
That’s why our reviews and buying guide for the best 1-8 scope are so helpful. If you don’t want to waste a single penny – then use this article to your advantage. You’ll find everything you need above to avoid disappointment. Pick now – you won’t regret it!