Best AR-15 1-4x Scopes -2020 Complete Round-up

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Rifles have been in use by humans for a long time now. Be it hunting for food or game, competitive shooting games, shooting opposing soldiers in war, or threatening trespassers to get off your property, they come in handy in all such situations. But sometimes, you can’t get close to the target because of a range of factors, such as size, danger, etc.

For this reason, there are scopes or telescopic sights, which are devices that can be used to magnify your target and help you get a perfect aim.

In this article, we will discuss the best scopes and what features they have that makes them the best.

Comparison of the Best AR-15 1-4x Scopes

  • Consists of a duplex center dot reticle
  • Center dot has 12 different brightness settings
  • Has optical transmission because of the fully coated lens
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  • Best 1-4x scope for the money
  • Diameter of the main tube is 30mm
  • Maximum adjustment is 130 inches at 100 yards
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  • Best Bushnell 1-4x scope
  • Field of view ranges from 90ft. at 1x to 23ft. at 4x
  • Drop Zone 223 BDC reticle for mid-range precision
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  • Best Leupold 1-4x scope
  • Illuminated reticle for low light settings and situations
  • Field of vision ranges from 74.2 feet per 100 yards to 29.4 feet per 100 yards
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When Would a 1-4x Scope Come in Handy?

A 1-4x scope would come in use in the following cases:

Competitive Shooting Games

Nowadays, there is a great range of competitive shooting competitions happening all around us. Be it locally, nationally, or internationally, the scope of these games is greater than it was ever before. Different associations such as the USPCA and ISSF, host competitions of different scales all over the year, which include long-range shooting, quick draw, action or dynamic shooting, target shooting, rapid-fire, field shooting, clay shooting, bullseye shooting, multi-gun, 3-gun, steel challenge, etc. There are a lot of similar competitions, and scope of 1-4x magnification power can be used in a bunch of them, depending on the rules.


Another main use of scopes of different ranges comes while hunting. Man has hunted for food or game for as long as mankind has been on this planet, making it the oldest method of procuring sustenance. The weapons for hunting have evolved over millennia of existence, going from brute strength and stones to actual machinery capable of doing great damage. Rifles are used nowadays by hunters, novices or professionals, and scopes come in handy when they are not able to get close to their targets. They are then used to aim and shoot at the target from a distance. They are especially useful for hunting in wooded or hilly areas. 

Defensive Situations

Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world with rainbows and unicorns. Crimes take place all over the world, and no one is safe from being susceptible to a mugger or a robbery. But thankfully, we have weapons to defend us from such things. Scopes can be used on rifles for home defense, as well as by law enforcement, snipers, or SWAT teams on patrol or defense rifles in case of more serious situations such as a hostage situation.

How Do I Choose a 1-4x Scope?

It is easy to choose a scope when you know which one fits your requirements. Still, some of the general features that a good 1-4x scope should have are:

Magnification and Clarity

A scope is used for the sake of magnifying a target from a distance, so the most obvious feature it should have is a good magnification range. It should be able to clearly magnify the target even at a1x zoom. It should have close to zero distortion at any setting and should have great clarity at any range.


Different scopes come with different reticles, with the two main types being etched reticles and wire reticles. Reticles come in handy for a variety of reasons, from allowing shooters to estimate the range of a target, to winds blowing within the range of the target, all of these things can be calculated by the use of reticles. And scopes that have reticles find that their shooters have an easier time aiming and adjusting to perfectly shoot their target than scopes that do not have a reticle.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the optimal eye distance that an observer should have from the eyepiece to view the picture without any sort of distortion or vignette effect. It is a common feature of a lot of optical devices and instruments. Basically, the greater the focal length of the eyepiece, the greater the eye relief, which is required in rifle scopes. A scope with greater eye relief makes way for an observer not to have to sit at a specific point to view the image clearly; rather, it gives a greater range of clarity for the observer, so that even if they move around a little, the clear image will not be lost.

Main Tube Diameter

Another important feature of a scope is its main tube diameter. The main tubes of scopes come in a range of sizes and materials, having gone through different manufacture processes. Generally, it is a greater internal diameter than a scope should possess. That is because this determines the amount of light that may enter the scope at a time, and depending on daylight or low light, the main tube diameter of the scope should be proportional to its use.

Review of the Best AR-15 1-4x Scopes

Now that we have discussed a little bit of general information in regards to rifle scopes, let's see what the different options we have lined up have to offer:

Best Overall:
Primary Arms Classic Series 1-4x24 SFP


  • Second focal plane design with a duplex reticle
  • Generous range of eye relief from 3.5 to 4.9 inches
  • Fully multi-coated lens which is waterproof and fog-resistant
  • Adjustable ocular (front) that ensures sharpness of reticle for the eye
  • Range of 12 brightness settings for the center dot, which are great for high or low light situations


  • Narrower field of view than expected
  • Heavier than other scopes of the same range
  • Slightly blurry sight picture, with some distortion

What Recent Buyers Report

The reviews on this unit have been quite positive. Users say that it is a good device and that they have used it on a range of rifles for different competitions, and it has always held up in those situations. With its good magnification range and a host of other features, it is a steal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What makes it unique is its 12 different brightness settings. They cover a whole range of lighting, from extremely low light to actual daylight, it is good to shoot in all these settings. Most scopes don’t have this feature, which makes their usage limited, as they don’t offer the shooting in low light features, but with this scope, you can take part in night-time shooting competitions as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is ideal for those who are into tactical shooting competitions or sports that include shooting, such as hunting, rapid-fire, field shooting, etc. should use this device. It is a great option for long-range shooting as well, and because of its magnification range, it’s great for novices who are starting out or newcomers just learning how to shoot.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is a good device and is recommended for use by people who have bought and used it already. With a wide range of features, including 12 different brightness settings, great magnification, and clarity, a duplex reticle, a second focal plane design, etc., this is one product that is a definite buy for novices and professionals alike.

Burris 200437 MTAC 1-4 x 24


  • Great transmission and glass clarity
  • Has an exit pupil ranging from 24mm (low) to 6mm (high)
  • Great eye relief that does not require a ‘sweet spot’ for perfect viewing
  • Field of view ranges from 100 feet at 100 yards (low) to 32 feet at 100 yards (high)
  • Variable power scope with a magnification of 1 to 4x, with 1 being completely distortion-free and good for reflex shooting


  • Zoom ring is very hard to turn
  • Does not come with a scope over
  • Can expose the user to harmful substances such as TDI, which causes cancer and birth defects

What Recent Buyers Report

Individuals who have recently bought and used this product have highly recommended it for use by others. They say that this is a very reliable device to have with you during a shooting competition of some sort, or if you are out on a hunting trip with your friends, as its magnification power will help you shoot targets from a distance so you won’t need to get close.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its near-zero distortion at 1x magnification is primarily what caught our attention. Usually, it is not possible to get zero distortion at such a low setting, but this scope has made it possible. This has made it possible to use it in reflex shooting, where both the eyes are open, and it is basically quick aim and shooting at the target.

Who Will Use This Most

Individuals who usually take part in shooting competitions such as long-range shooting, rapid-fire, quick draw, field shooting, action shooting, etc. will be most likely to find this scope of use. Plus, people who like to go hunting will be very happy with this device as well, as it allows them to shoot targets from a distance.

Bottom Line

It is a great product that has a number of great features and is regularly recommended by users and buyers. With features such as the main tube of 30mm diameter, great transmission, an etched reticle, variable power scope, zoom ring, etc., it is a great device that any shooting professional or novice can make use of.

Best Bushnell 1-4x Scope:
Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x/24mm


  • Consists of a fast-focus eyepiece
  • Multi-coated optics for complete clarity and brightness
  • Capped turrets for precise adjustments and pinpointing
  • Manufactured of aluminum alloy, with high durability that protects it from the elements such as rain and fog
  • Optics offer superior close to midrange accuracy, giving you an advantage when it comes to shooting in close quarters


  • Broken turrets in some devices
  • Crowded reticle makes it hard to see the target
  • Will not hold zero and eventually fails to function

What Recent Buyers Report

This model has been reported to be one of the best. According to users, the optics are amazing, with a completely clear view of the object, and they are able to hold zero. Plus, the target turrets for wind and elevation adjustments make it easy to use as it allows for manual adjustments according to your preferences.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What immediately caught our eye were the target turrets. Usually, these are the most overlooked part of rifle scopes, even though they are very important in gauging the right shooting conditions and are able to control accurate and precise adjustments. They are useful for windage and elevation settings adjustments, which makes it easier to pinpoint the target in a different range of conditions.

Who Will Use This Most

We find this model to be suited for those who regularly take part in competitive shooting games or tactical shooting competitions should be able to make use of this scope. Competitions such as long-range shooting, quick draw, rapid-fire, etc. are all great options for its use. With its host of features and great manufactured quality, this scope will last you a long time.

Bottom Line

Summing it up, this is a great product with a lot of outstanding features that make the people who have already used it recommend it for new users. Features such as target turrets, magnification, a fast-focus eyepiece, fully multi-coated optical lens, a drop zone 223 BDC reticle, etc. make sure that this is one device you want with you during your next shooting competition.

Best Leupold 1-4x Scope:
Leupold VX-R Patrol Riflescope 1. 25-4x20mm


  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Eye relief ranges from 4.17 inches (low) to 3.74 inches (high)
  • Can be used on patrolling rifles, hunting rifles or on any other firearms
  • Consists of Leupold’s twilight light management system that gives amazing brightness and clarity
  • Balanced light transmission with glare reduction and amazing resolution promises great pictures in any condition


  • Does not come with a cap stop
  • Fire dot does not light up consistently
  • Point of impact inconsistent because of adjustment knobs

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have recently bought and used this product have been greatly satisfied with its functioning and performance. They say that this is the best product they have bought to date for their rifles, and the features such as the fire dot, target turrets, and great magnification clarity make it a must for all rifle users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One unique feature in this model is the twilight light management system. It gives amazing brightness and clarity in all types of daylight and low light situations. Plus, it leads to a better transmission with reduced glare and greater resolution of the picture. This light management system is a standout feature of this scope.

Who Will Use This Most

This is going to be the most practical for those who take part in shooting competitions such as quick draw, long-range shooting, 3-gun shooting, rapid-fire, etc. or who really like to go out hunting in wooded or hilly areas with friends or family can make use of this scope. Also, people who are new to shooting can use a scope of this range for magnification.

Bottom Line

It is a great product with a range of great features that have been recommended for use by people who have bought it and used it. Especially because of its twilight light management system, it is a standout device that will come in handy in all kinds of lighting situations. Plus, its transmission clarity and magnification make it a sure catch for rifle users as well.

Pros and Cons of 1-4x Scopes

Like all things, 1-4x scopes also come with their set of pros and cons. It’s essential to know both sides of the story to be able to make an informed purchase. 


Let’s first quickly see the pros that you would get with such a scope:

Great for Beginners

Usually, at shooting ranges, if there is a newcomer or a novice who wishes to learn the art of shooting, the scopes used are of the 1-4x magnification range. It is because this is the smallest available range of scope. Plus, since its not a very large distance target magnification, it is easier for novices to use this for aiming and target practice.

Great for Hunting

These scopes are great for hunting as well, especially prey that is at a little distance from you. Plus, scopes with higher magnification are practically useless in dense forests or woods as they can’t discern between the outgrowth and trees and will only be able to focus on tree trunks and bugs. But these lenses, with their magnification, make it easy to hunt in hilly and wooded areas.

Quick Adjusting

These scopes are great at quickly capturing and pinpointing the targets. That is because their magnification scope allows for quick target acquisition over a variety of distances. Devices with greater magnification have a difficult time adjusting to limited ranges, so here these 1-4x scopes really come in handy.


These scopes are lighter in weight in comparison to their greater magnifying counterparts. This results in them being easy to carry from one place to another, meaning that you can carry it from one place to another when you are constantly competing or on a hunting trip with friends and family.


Meanwhile, you will have to face the following limitations:

Smaller Range

Even though their smaller range is a positive aspect in most cases, it can still limit their use. They can’t be used in a variety of shooting competitions. Plus, they are only used when novices want to learn. Once perfected, they move on to greater magnification scopes.

Variation in Performance

Now not all products are of the same manufacturing capacity. Some scopes, though, are of the same range, are heavier in comparison to their peers, making it difficult to lug them around. But size isn’t all that there is. There is also the matter of reliability, the material used, lens quality, etc. and a horde of other factors that make scopes vary in performance from one another. So people really need to test out different types before they find the right one for them.


Scopes are a great addition to your rifle because they make it easier to really view and shoot your targets (animals, birds or otherwise) and make it easier to observe them from a distance, especially if you can’t get close because of a myriad of reasons (size of prey, danger level, rules of the competition). These 1-4x scopes are some of the best of the year, and each boasts its own unique set of features that make it a must try. Do check them out if they tickle your fancy.