Long-distance shooting is what people think of when they talk about riflescopes. That’s the scope’s bread and butter. Long-distance shots without scopes are the things that impress marksmen, not scoped-out shots with high-magnification lenses.
However, what about the low-magnification riflescopes for close shooting? Do people take value in the best 1-4x scope as well? As far as law enforcement and hunting is concerned, long-distance shooting are what scopes are for, but once upon a time, there’s a valid reason to use short-range scopes: Specifically during World War II, when they were everywhere and there were few scopes that go beyond 4x.
All the major players during the Second World War made use of riflescopes and other scopes that rarely went beyond 4x magnification (ironic, seeing most high magnification scopes have 3x to 4x as the default lowest setting). The Soviets famously used 4x scopes on their MosinNagrant rifles; 4x was high during that time.
However, what’s the use of the best 1-4x scope in the 21st Century? A low power scope can be used as an optical sight. Instead of using open sights for close-range shots, why not have a scope give you that extra magnification to get the shot down? It’s better to be safe than sorry, and most of these scopes are quite affordable to boot.
The Best 1-4X Power Scope Contenders
Burris 200437 MTAC 1-4 x 24 Illuminated Scope (Black): Burris has made a name for itself in the realm of scopes in general and low-magnification riflescopes in particular because they’re experts in making rugged, tough, and durable scopes that can deal with the most demanding of tactical and outdoor use, which all hunters love.
Is this the best best 1-4x scope for ar 15? It just might very well be. It’s one of the most affordable scopes around that ensures you’ll get quality scopes without losing and arm and a leg (plus $1,000) over it. Of course, with a 1x to 4x scope, money isn’t that big of a worry.
The most expensive scope in this line of scopes are probably those that cost $200 or so (for that price, you can get the sought-after Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Silver Riflescope), so many scopes cost way below $100.
The Burris MTAC 1-4 is a must-buy because it has a 24-millimeter objective lens diameter (a good size for this low a range of magnification), multicoated optics, illuminated reticle (for close-range varmint hunting at dusk or dawn), and undeniable affordability for an AR type of scope. If you have any AR rifle that requires a close-range scope, then the 1x to 4x scope for you is MTAC. Its specs speak for themselves.
Weaver Kaspa Dual-X Tactical Scope, 1-4 X 24: It figures that one of the oldest names in riflescope manufacturing would have ample experience in creating the best low-power scopes around (as well as mounting rings). Weaver Kaspa has available a $222.49 scope (the most expensive one of this bunch) that epitomizes World War II era scopes.
This American institution has been around since before the Second World War and has gone through many generations of rifle scopes and shooters. It might not be a Nikon, a Leupold, or a Schmidt & Bender, but that doesn’t matter in the realm of the 1-4x magnification riflescope. This is a great grandfather of scopes that knows a thing or two about close-range shooting.
What is relevant is that you, your grandfather, and your great grandfather have probably enjoyed a Weaver scoped rifle in case you have a long history of gun use and marksmanship.
This quality company offers a great AR 15 scope with the Kaspa Dual-X Tactical Scope because it offers enhanced light-gathering ability, a large 30-millimeter tube, illuminated reticle, nitrogen-purged tube that’s the industry standard nowadays (so it’s been keeping with the times since WWII), and crystal-clear quality from up close.
If you’re thinking it’s better to buy a scope with 3x to 4x magnification than to get a 4 power scope, remember that high-magnification scopes tend to have inaccurate low-magnification ranges.
Barska 1-4x28IR Riflescope: While Barska is usually going toe-to-toe with the likes of Vortex and Bushnell in terms of high-magnification, precision-engineered scopes (as in the case of the Barska 6.5-20×50 AO Dot Riflescope), it does offer a great and affordable line of low-cost, quality performance 1-4 power scopes like the Barska 1-4x28IR Riflescope.
Like the Burris scope, the BarskaIR is incredibly affordable. However, its cheapness doesn’t come at the cost of low-grade performance. It can give even the famous Nikon scopes a run for their money in terms of getting more value for your investment (and then some).
To wit, the Barska 1-4x28IR Riflescope is a budget scope that’s worth every penny and cent because it comes with big money features such as cantilever mount with rings, O-ring sealed tube full of nitrogen to ensure fog-free operation, lockable target turrets, illuminated reticle that comes in a variety of colors (red, green, or black depending on the backdrop), and a 28 millimeter in diameter objective lens (big enough for 1x to 4x magnifications).
As far as enhanced optics is concerned, Barska is indeed the brand to beat. You’re given short-range prowess without any compromises whatsoever.
Best 4x Scope Conclusion
Even though you can theoretically use your lower-powered scope for distance shooting (using luck, your marksmanship experience, and probably trial and error to compensate for the huge advantage that BDC, windage and elevation adjustment, 1/4 MOA, and huge magnification can bring, parallax issues notwithstanding), many gun owners make use of their 1x to 4x scopes for shooting iron-sight distances. After all, even a 1-4x scope is still easier to use than sights that require you to line up your shot from the sights near you to the sights located on the muzzle of your gun.
If you want greater magnification at close range that most snipers enjoy, then the 1xto 4x riflescope is your best bet for this convenience. Many of these scopes weigh a lot less than the hefty long-range scopes (that understandably require more multi-coated lenses within a bigger tube and wider objective lenses to ensure maximum light transmission even at long distances) and you’re given the advantage of a magnified target that’s easier to shoot for ranges of 300 meters and below. They’re perfect for bush-hiding varmints and game within the woods, to be exact.