Part of choosing the right low-power variable optic (LPVO) is figuring out which magnification best suits your purpose. Often it comes down to 1-6x vs 1-8x magnification.
Though similar, these two scope magnification powers vary in price, accuracy range, weight, and quality. Let’s take a closer look at which one will better suit your purposes.
1-6 LPVO Scope
This article covers the differences between 1-8x and 1-6x LPVOs. For more reading I’d highly suggest you take a look at our article on the the top 1-6 LPVO scopes on the market.
1-8x vs 1-6x LPVO
Many scope manufacturers produce 1-6x and 1-8x LPVOs as entry-level scopes that various types of shooters can use, whether they’re beginning their journey or have quite a few years under their belt. The differences between the 1-6x and 1-8x LPVOs begin with magnification and extend from there.
However, you can purchase both a 1-6x and a 1-8x LPVO in either the first- or second-focal plane. Both magnifications will also have the option of an illuminated reticle for most LPVOs.
What Are the Differences?
The extra 2x magnification with a 1-8x scope helps you see further than a 1-6x LPVO. This extends your reach but can render your LPVO less effective at shorter distances.
Many shooters choose a 1-8x LPVO for hunting scenarios where shots are over 300 yards. However, the difference in the field of view on 1-6x and 1-8x for 100 yards is negligible, so keep this in mind as you’re considering LPVO options.
Who Is 1-8x LPVO Scope For?
A 1-8x scope costs more than a 1-6x, but it can also be lighter and have greater glass quality. That extra magnification is really what you’re paying for between 1-6x and 1-8x scopes.
Competition shooters who tend to shoot long-range often go for a 1-8x magnification because it gives them distance and accuracy. At close range, however, you can experience a loss of clarity.
Most 1-8x LPVOs are used for shots that are 100 yards or more. This doesn’t make them ideal for CQB and in some hunting situations where sharpness at close range is critical.
Who Is 1-6x LPVO Scope For?
The most common use for a 1-6x LPVO is in CQB and for AR-15 rifles, and it makes for a great scope for tactical situations. Here, true magnification makes a huge difference, especially at 1x.
A 1-6x LPVO is also great for acquiring your target quickly and effectively. While you can’t adjust the parallax on most 1-6x scopes, you do have more adjustment when it comes to wind and elevation.
If you’re practicing for a competition within 100 yards, a 1-6x scope works well. Beyond that, hunting accurately at a longer range requires knowing your gun and holdovers.
Strike Eagle 1-6x vs. 1-8x
The first generation of Vortex Strike Eagle LPVOs in 1-6x and 1-8x set the stage for versatile and reliable glass at shorter distances. These low-power scopes maintained Vortex’s reputation for quality, dependable scopes at an affordable price.
In terms of the Strike Eagle Gen 1 vs Gen 2, in the second generation Vortex refined its presentation with a sleeker design, a better reticle, and a more capable platform overall – the same demand for quality remains.
One of the most significant changes is the AR-BDC3 illuminated reticle etched into the glass to give you bullet drop compensation (BDC) reference marks. These BDC marks are optimized for the .223 and 5.56 platforms but can be used for other calibers, albeit with some calibration.
Vortex also added a thread-in throw lever you can use to rapidly adjust your power settings. What’s more, the scope has a spare battery compartment beneath one of the turret caps to ensure you’re prepared. (Reference: 1-6x vs 1-8x)
For more reading, take a look at our article on the different types of LPVO reticles.
Frequently Asked Questions
What distance is a 1/6 scope good for?
A 1/6 scope is good for up to about 300-400 yards (274.3-365.8 meters), depending on your target. While you can reach out to 600 yards (548.6 meters) or more, depending on conditions, your accuracy tends to suffer.
What magnification LPVO should I get?
The magnification LPVO you should get depends on what you’ll be using the rifle for. A 1×6 scope works well for an entry-level LPVO you can use for close-quarter battles, but a 1×8 scope does better for precision shots at longer distances.
What range is a 1/8 scope good for?
A 1/8 scope is good for shooting longer distances, from ranges of 100 to over 500 yards. A 1/8 scope does not do as well as a 1/6 scope at shorter distances.
What is a 1×6 scope used for?
A 1×6 scope is often used for close-quarter battles (CQB) and accurate shots at shorter distances. You can also use a 1×6 scope for plinking and competition shooting, but hunting and longer-distance shooting require better glass.
How far can you shoot with an LPVO?
You can shoot up to 800 yards (731.5 meters) or so with an LPVO. Most low-power variable optics work well for short distances and quick target acquisition.
- Vortex Optics, Is an LPVO right for you? Retrieved from https://vortexoptics.com/blog/is-an-lpvo-right-for-you.html
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material for over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world, including Russia, and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American West and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Big Horn Mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems TM.
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