Today extremely popular low-power variable optic is basically a subcategory of wide-angle riflescopes that come with a very distinctive shape with a smaller objective bell. That looks can be deceiving, says discussions on gun forums where some less experienced shooters believe this small objective scope is opposite mounted on weapons.
While the objective diameters of just 24mm or 26mm benefit to the less bulkiness and low profile, the smaller lens also means a narrower field of view and a less light into the tube.
However, the best of 1-8x riflescopes we reviewed boasts a field of view (FOV) at 100 yards greater than 115 feet.
In general, I like to think of the power settings on a rifle scope in 100 yard increments. With close range shooting the 1x through about 3X do the job just fine and offer a wider field of view on incoming running shorts, or in the event of military police operations sweeping an alley, or even large room.
When moving to the high power settings and giving some discussion to the 1-8x power scope my general thought is again that the performance level of that glass sights ends at about 800 yards. Without question, there are variances in all this information, but keeping the formula close at hand everything seems fit a workable pattern here in terms of range and performance based theory.
Secondly, and still very important is that the basic AR platform is a good fit with 1-8x chopped bell housing glass. The shorter scopes are very popular in the middle eastern combat theater of operations, and also three gun, and general field use among AR-15 / 10 enthusiasts.
Shooting cartridges like the .224 Valkyrie that is a hot rod as applied to the AR-15 platform the 1-8x is welcomed due to the increased level of extended range the whole unit jumps right into.
The following are some possible solutions when considering the 1-8x rifle scope as a possible option covering your shooting needs.
Best 1-8x Riflescope Reviews – New Products Updated
1. Primary Arms SLX 1-8x24mm SFP
Primary Arms SLX scope stands shoulder to shoulder with several other top brands offering a variable 1-8x magnification and a unique illuminated range-finding reticle.
As the main selling point of Primary Arms SLX riflescopes is frequently emphasized its patented Advanced Combined Sighting System (ACSS) reticle. This quite remarkable reticle offers bullet drop compensation (BDC) and range estimation, combined with wind holds and fast-moving target leads, and all of that in the form of a chevron center aiming point rather than a dot.
That easy to use system will enable you firing quick and instinctive shoots from 0 – 300 yards, but also the precise shoots up to 800 yards are easily possible. Employing a 5X5 matrix grid as a holdover system, this scope provides you an efficient tool for moving target lead correction out to 600 yards.
The ACSS reticle is placed in a second focal plane and it is calibrated for standard 5.56NATO, 5.45×39 or .308 Winchester cartridges. The reticle features red illumination with an 11-position brightness setting and uses a common CR2032 battery.
Another highlighted feature of this solid Primary Arms LRVO is construction quality based on a 6063-aluminum scope 30mm body and a 3-year warranty for all manufacturer or material defects.
Like all Primary Arms SLx optics, this scope is waterproof, fog resistant and built as a nitrogen-purged system capable of providing an adequate sight picture in most adverse hunting conditions.
Primary Arms is using fully multi-coated lenses in this scope for protection and positive light quality control. As a durable and highly reliable scope, Primary Arms SLX 1-8x boasts capped turrets that provide Click adjustments value in 1/2 MOA clicks.
This is one of the best value 1-8x scopes on the market that can suit the needs of tactical shooters and hunters from all backgrounds.
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2. Shepherd OP Exclusive 1-8X24
This scope is close to if not right on military based design elements. The scope makes use of a full 30mm main tube that is a one piece housing, chopped bell forward to decrease bulk and weight, retains open windage and elevation adjustable turrets in MIL’s, ( military), and also is illuminated by restate controls on the venture for fast activation in low light shooting situations.
The scope retains a rear power lever for again fast changes in magnification levels, and the brand is a solid product in terms of glass quality, light gathering ability, and a strong shelf life in the field.
There was a time when this brand of glass was paired with sniper optics and that was before many of the current brands ever existed.
American made, and it is about the best system the money. In effect, you get a whole lot of good glass for your hard earned buck nowadays.
3. Leapers Inc UTG 1-8x28mm
In the Leapers glass sight, we have a full sized double bell scope that is designed around the needs of the general purpose game hunter or target crew on steel.
When hunting hogs in heavy cover the ability to crank the scope down to 1X is invaluable on tight shooting dead on close range nasty pigs. When the trail opens up and your hunting a cross track setup for whitetail deer, and your stand is 200 yard up range of your zero point the scope will allow additional magnification to fit the needs of the day.
This scope uses sub tensions that fit the .223/5.56 NATO round and is also set up in size and weight to fit the AR-15 rifle. Photo reviews show several different main tube housing styles, but I would tend to believe that the sub chopped double bell is among the most produced models of this glass sight.
Fully adjustable turret settings, zero stop, and tinted glass for better light transmission, this is a reasonable scope for the money.
4. Athlon Argos BTR GEN2 1-8×24 1-8×24
Here we have a full 30mm tube housing that is designed for the AR-15/10 platform. Shooting the 308 as applied to the AR-10 this scope can fill in the details nicely.
Shooting the full 8x power can drop bullets into steel or three gun games at additionally long distances if required.
Hunters that like the AR class rifles have a friend in this scope as it is flexible.
If you’re shooting something other than the .223 this glass sight can handle additional range and power.
The scope is illuminated by rheostat control, retains twist-off capped turrets for zeroing MOA adjustments when wind or range extension is critical to success, and the reticle on the scopes is fully etched meaning never to shift or drop away due to field conditions or recoil.
This scope is set up in the second focal plane making it hunter friendly versus all sniper grade controls and optics.
5. Nightforce NX8 1-8×24 F1
This is an upper limit in pricing and sold by a company that is known for quality but at a major cost.
This is a 24mm objective lens setup with a 30 mm tube housing, and it carries an illuminated reticle.
This scope is a compact designed for the AR platform or related platforms in military based weapons systems.
The scope retains open fully adjustable turret settings in .5 MOA graduations.
This scope is a three-gun competition scope and not a massive “ Beast” that most Nightforce glass sights are known to be.
Using the rear lever for fast magnification control, or the zero stop system when clicking off numbers for fast elevation changes, the etched reticle will handle the rest of the deal.
Deigned with fast target acquisition sub tensions set up in MOA graduations for in the scope elevation or windage changes the scope is a gunfighters system more than a hunter selected choice. (my opinion)
Glass quality is a solid product with great light transmission abilities, and shooters that know how to shoot can make this glass sight stand up and talk downrange.
6. Atibal XP8
This 1-8x24mm is a three part deal in that the company offers the scope in three different reticle configurations.
This scope is offered without the forward bell as a chopped off compact sight. The scope retains the magnification quick change handle, capped turrents for rugged use afield, and your choice of FFP, or SFP setups.
The BDC option is set up for 556 NATO in the 62 grain variant, and the scope retains MOA turret graduations that are adjustable 1/2 inch.
The lighter eticle retains 11 total brightness settings and the package has a warranty for life of the owner.
The tube size on this scope is 30mm and built as a single piece construction from 6061-T aluminum. The turret elevation is 120 MOA Maximum, and the windage is also 120 full clicks. Total scope weight 17.4 ounces.
Again be advised there are three scopes in the brand and exact type. Your choice regarding sub tension is the primary difference with some slight differences in exact pricing as well.
7. Bushnell 1-8X24 AR Optic
This Bushnell is offered in the BDC reticle, uses multi coated lens surfaces, has a capped turret, and left side controlled illumination on the bright large sub tension display.
Bushnell is a sold product at a fair price. The systems used by me here at Ballistics Research & Development have held up very well and that ranges from this basic style scope out to the one mile super long range systems.
This is an AR setup in that it has calibrated sub tension for the .223 Rem / 5.56 NATO round. Three-gun, general shooting, and hunting are very possible adaptations when taking up this scope sighting system.
8. TRUGLO Monia 8
This scope as offered in the OMNIA 8 is a dandy, and timing is good here as I have been field testing the scope during the past several weeks here at BR&D regarding writing reviews.
The scope is obviously lighted and retains an interesting reticle that allows the shooter to use a small-inner ring that retains a very fine crosshair in black. This gives the shooter the option of shooting the lighted circle of about 2 or 3 MOA or moving to the inner crosshair for fine sight adjustments to longer range targets.
The scope has full adjustable turrets in MOA ½ MOA clicks, a one piece cantilever mount that is a class act and allows for a fast fit and saves the owner about $100.00 and change when reacquiring the purchase of addition hardware to mount the sight.
Currently, the sight is being tested on a Rock River AR carbine with very positive results. The scope will be switched out to the 870 turkey gun later in the spring and used on warm targets during that two full month event in South Dakota. Hunters looking for a lighted reticle system on a good scope for the job should check out this TRUBLO product out further.
Glass quality is great, rheostat controls are positive when using the end light in low light shooting conditions. Black sub tensions during bright daylight hours.
Be advised that TRUGLO offers two additional scopes in this design set up with lower power settings for general shooting needs. This gives this line a full three scope option in terms of design level and possible use areas as well.
9. Trijicon VCOG 1-8×28
Here we are moving into the military police and a high grade needs of operators as professional shooters.
I know everyone out there is a class act gunner. But when you’re moving into this level of a rifle scope even in the cut off AR platform style sights you had better have a real need or just a whole lot of loose change. This scope is overbuilt, and I can attest to that as I shoot Their ACOG combat scope and also their long range big rifle scope designs.
Trijicon offers this glass sight in an open turret fast elevation and windage adjustment design. The turret settings are set up in 0.1 MRAD ( military ) and as such the scope can pull advancing elevation for long shots very quickly under battle or police operating conditions.
This scope also makes use of its own generated power source and will never require batteries. Sun power drives this system and also stores the energy to keep the scope running in low light or no light situations.
The scope is also available in 1/3 MOA sub tensions and turret graduations as well. This move it into more of the hunters line of optic systems and away from the US Marien Corps MRAD standard.
Scope weight is 25.6 ounces. This is not some lightweight, but a stout field designed combat, three-gun, or hunting optic.
The scope will produce 90 MOA in adjustments for elevation and windage, and 25.2 MRADS if that system is being applied here.
Quick throw magnification lever. Very good glass with light pulling abilities, and built like a Russian tank hull, this is a class act in specialized rifle scope development.
10. Barska AC1
This Barska model is again the 1-8X24 model glass sight and like the others designed for use on short receiver assault style rifles, AR, Ak, and other variants apply in this case.
Like all the others the tube length is chopped off, the controls are a tight package and in this case capped off and low profile in design.
This scope uses ½ MOA adjustment chicks for windage and elevation. This is close to a standard regarding these assault rifle scopes. The scope is multi coated in terms of lens glass for protection and light control, Illuminated for day night, or late day use.
Clicks in terms of sight adjustment are large and allow 120MOA elevation against its big 30mm main tube housing. The BDC sub tensions are set up for the .223 Rem, 556 NATO cartridge, but will adapt to whatever your shooting by running a self generated DOPE card regarding your selected round on an AR platform.
This sight comes with its own cantilever mount, making that element of scope mounting a snap. This element as indicated on other glass posted here can be a major investment if you’re having to go out and buy a set of bases, rings, or in this case a full over set and once piece cantilever system.
11. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle
Features packed Vortex Strike Eagle rifle scopes are comparable to some optics in the $1,000.00 price range and quite justifiably can be classified as quality combat or sport optic.
Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm from Vortex is one of the most affordable tactical rifle scopes on the market that picking up steam with few other models in the firearm competition world.
As you would expect, dropping to the single 1-power setting or quick-moving all the way to the 8-power setting will give you a real edge from point-blank range to extended ranges. For these fast transitions from close to the longer-range targets, Vortex recommends their optional Switchview SV-4 throw lever.
The Vortex Strike Eagle scope comes with all lenses fully multi-coated for a brighter and contrast-rich picture and an etched glass reticle in the second focal plane. The scope retains 24mm diameter of the objective lens as an industry standard for low powered optics. Still, due to the high-quality glasses, it ensures a crystal-clear image even in the less than optimal light conditions.
There are several available reticles for the Strike Eagle, all located in Second focal plane (SFP), but the model SE-1824-1, sports the illuminated, glass-etched BDC2 reticle. This reticle boasts bullet drop compensator is already set up for use with both 5.56 and .308 cartridges and comes with 10 intensity settings.
This feature-rich optics has low profile capped turrets for windage and elevation that can be adjusted in half MOA increments.
The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm riflescope is made of single-piece 30mm aluminum tube. The robust scope housing is shockproof, nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed for waterproof and fog proof performance.
12. Burris XTR 2
One of the best low power variable optics (LPVO) for AR-15 is the Burris XTR II 1-8x scope designed for combat and serious competitive rifle shooters. Until now, you have probably learned that 1-8x scopes are pretty versatile only if they are quality made by highly respected manufacturers.
The Burris XTR II 1-8×24 riflescope is one of them offering a “true” 1x magnification for close-range work and an illuminated BDC reticle for precision shooting out to 800 or 1,000 yards. This outstanding low power variable magnified optic comes equipped either with Ballistic Circle Dot or with the Ballistic Dot. The scope is available in both front and rear focal plane, but our representative here is a model #201018 using a ballistic circle and a single red dot reticle located at the first focal plane. The red illuminated reticle retains 11 illuminated brightness settings suitable for daytime and low light or night vision use.
The elevation and window knobs are tactical and exposed for quick elevation changes. This Burris multi-turn style is known as the MAD turrets system, which also offers zero click-stop technology.
Since its original role is combat theater, scope features 25% thicker housing than the previous XTR versions for field abuse and overall ruggedness. The riflescope 34mm body is machined of single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum to withstand the beatings given to duty rifles.
This brand is actually known for its superb performance optics credited by Hi-Lume fully multi-coated lenses that provide good light transmission, contrast and image quality.
As one of the best tactical 1-8x scopes, the Burris XTR II entered the civilian market and soon became one of the most favored scopes for fast-acting shots in the three-gun competitions.
13. UTG Leapers Inc 1-8x28mm 30mm MRC Scope
If you are looking for the cost-effective low powered “T8“optics, then the new UTG branded 1-8×28 MRC scope is an viable option. Within reasonable price tags, the line of Leapers UTG products is often a good choice as a general use sighting tool.
An UTG T8 rifle scope boasts an 8X-zoom feature support by an etched glass mil-dot BG4 reticle. Their new ballistic drop compensating and range finding reticle is very useful since it does not have much clutter in the center.
The BG4 reticle employs three posts style crosshair with illuminated 1 MOA center dot. Actually, you can choose from 36 different color presentations for optimal visibility in all environments. Leaper’s company calls that innovation an “RZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) Systems”.
Along with BG4 etched glass reticle intended for quick target acquisition. the rangefinder markings are calibrated for the common 5.56/.223 loads and provide reference points for up to the 600 yards distance.
Surprisingly, this budget-rated scope features a lockable and resettable target turret system that retains a zero lock and features re-settable windage and elevation adjustments turret system.
This UTG scope retains on all glass surfaces an emerald lens coating for maximum light transition and light gathering control.
The UTG 1-8x28mm scope is based on the 30mm aluminum tube, which is completely sealed and nitrogen filled for fog and rainproof performance.
14. Leupold Mark 8
This is my final scope being cover in this review. The most expensive Low Power Variable Optic (LPVO) model on our list comes from Leupold Optics and quite justifiably, it offers everything one can expect from such a rifle scope. The Leupold Mark 8 CQBSS (Close Quarter Battle Sniper Scope) incorporates everything hard professionals and serious shooters need into one extremely versatile optics.
The new CQBSS is a 1.1-8X power optic, which means it offers more than 7X zoom range, making this LPVO extremely versatile instrument, that predominantly work inside 100 yards but is also capable of the sniper’s job out to 800 meters with good results.
Anyway, the Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8×24 by definition is designed for CQB and medium-range target shooting, though it can perform in a “one optic, multiple mission” package.
A Leupold Mark 8 CQBSS scopes are available with several reticles’ types, but our model 110121 comes equipped with a Leupold’s new Marine-Tactical Milling Reticle (M-TMR). While this scope is offered for civilian gun community, another Mark 8 version with Horus 27 illuminated-dot reticle is purpose-built for the military and law enforcement.
All Mark 8 CQBSS scopes are designed as a first focal plane optics and boast illuminated reticles with eight brightness settings which are compatible with night vision devices.
Mil-based M-TMR reticle is compatible with turrets, meaning the windage and elevation adjustments have click value of 1/10 of a MIL or 10 mils of adjustment per turn.
The Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8×24 CQBSS features fully multi-coated lenses with the Leupold protecting DiamondCoat 2 coating and an additional Xtended Twilight lens coating for more light transmission.
The Mark 8 1.1-8×24 mm is a big scope built around 34 mm aluminum tube which reliably protects the internal mechanism and at the same time provides a huge adjustment range of 100 mils for both windage and elevation.
15. Riton X3 Tactix 1-8×24 30mm Sfp Ill
It’s likely that you don’t know of Riton Optics, but you should take a look at their X3 Tactix rifle scope. Founded with the aim of producing a high-quality product at an affordable price, the company produces impressive optics.
The Riton Optics X3 Tactix offers a number of features and adjustments that are typically found in high-priced scopes but for a fraction of the cost.
The turrets can be capped and resettable, and the click adjustments are 12.5 MOA each. The reticle offers 11 different red illumination settings and 182 MOA of adjustment. It has been assembled in an EP Level clean room to ensure that it is fogproof and waterproof.
Shooters with a mid-range budget will find this scope an excellent choice.
Low Power Varible Optic – FFP vs SFP
Low Power Variable Optic is available with reticle either in first (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP). If your LPVO has FFP reticle, it means the reticle is positioned in front of the magnification lenses. With the first focal plane reticle, the size of the reticle will appear to change as the riflescope’s magnification is changed.
Unlike the FFP reticle, the second focal plane (SFP) reticle is placed behind the magnification lens, and it will appear to be the same size when you adjust magnification power up and down.
Generally speaking, first focal plane scopes are more popular with long-range shooters. Thinking that logic, we can conclude that riflescopes who aren’t built with super high maximum zoom settings don’t need a first focal plane.
For the most part, a first focal plane reticle design is not necessary, but both reticle location can be effective under the right circumstances.
Pros And Cons Of An LPVO Over A Magnifier Combo
What sight is the smarter option, depends on what the type of shooting you intend to do with your rifle. Without doubt, 1-8x scopes are incredibly versatile optic instruments, especially if we consider a range of magnification and better reticles for distance shooting.
On the other hand, the red dot magnifiers or a Magnifier Combo as some call them adds magnification to the red dot and does not affect red dot’s benefits when flipped out of the way. Most of the magnifiers provide 2x or 3X magnification.
Since nothing is perfect, an LPVO has few downsides over a Magnifier Combo. As first, an LPVO set to 1x magnification will not be as fast as a red dot for close-quarters shooting.
Basically, LPVO is classic glass made devices that must cope with visual limitations such as limited eye box and eye relief. In that context, low powered scopes are less flexible on mounting locations compared to red dots with magnifier. (1)
600 Yards Is Easy?
While the 1-8x scope is intended to be used looking through the scope with both eyes open at the lowest magnification setting, it also offers enormous advantages for shooters who need to make further distance shots in a blink of an eye.
If you intend to do most of your shooting at longer ranges, then you need massive magnification. However, in the real world of shooting, a 1-8x scope when cranked up to 8x power will enable you to engage rather lengthy distances by up to 800 yards. So, with the 8-power setting and adequate light and weather conditions, target at 600 yards will be an easy task to accomplish. (2)
What About Daylight Bright LPVOs?
If you’re heard the term and you’re curious as to what is a daylight bright LPVO, make sure to check out our full article on the topic.
Before buying a 1-8x scope, you should be aware the 1-8x optics are particular kinds of riflescopes used by highly skilled and specialized civilian shooters or military personnel and professional marksmen.
These scopes, also known as T8 scopes, offer 8-time zoom range, the widest possible field of view and illuminated BDC reticles for distance measurements and easy holdovers.
All of the scope listed here are close to alike in the area of basic use. These are AR scopes for the most part and can also be fitted to small receiver lever rifles, and even sub sized single shots as in the Contender series, or H&R single barrel one shot rifles and shotgun.
Keeping weight down and staying with a balanced scope size can make for much faster mounting speeds, better time from spotting to sighting on all manor of targets, and also ease of keeping the glass sight out of harms way.
Anyway, the 1-8x models are the excellent LVPO scopes perfect for dangerous game, or big game under 200 yards in the hands of a seasoned hunter.
The Best LPVO Optics
If you’re looking for recommendations of LPVOs not based on zoom capacity, I’d suggest you read our article on the best LPVO optics on the market.
If you liked this article on 1-8x LVPOs and you’re looking for something similar, then our write up on 1×6 scopes is worth taking a look at.
For the AR-15 owners out there, we have a article focusing on the best LPVO options for AR-15 rifles out there today.
- Military Wiki, Telescopic Sight. Retrieved from https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Telescopic_sight
- Engineering.com, Zoom Function Makes its Way to the Rifle Scope. Retrieved from https://www.engineering.com/story/zoom-function-makes-its-way-to-the-rifle-scope
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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