Best 1-8 Scope – 3 Top Rated Short and Mid-Range Rifle Optics

Whether you plan to go hunting or target shooting, a quick adjusting riflescope comes in handy. Therefore, with the best 1-8 scope, you can improve your shooting performance. With a 1-8 scope, you will enjoy easier and quicker magnification adjustments thanks to the narrower range.

Furthermore, thanks to the smaller magnification range, a 1-8 scope facilitates a wider field of viewing whilst improving image quality. As if this is not enough, a good quality 1-8 scope comes with a heap of other user benefits. However, the best one is perhaps the cost-cutting advantage.

Designed with increased versatility, you can use your scope for target shooting, hunting, and military activities for short and mid-range applications. So below, we’ve compiled our top 3 picks for the best 1-8 scope. To help you make the right choice, the detailed buyer’s guide below lists all the common features to look out for.

1. UTG 1-8X28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope

The UTG 1-8×28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope integrates a breakthrough T8 optics series which delivers incredible sighting performance. The scope features an 8X zoom superior technology for crispy clear target viewing. Furthermore, the scope is fitted with a multi-coated emerald lens which allows for maximum light transmission for edge-to-edge clarity.

Thanks to this design, the riflescope allows for a wide range of applications which includes CQB, mid-range hunting, and even long range precision aiming. The riflescope is built with a patented innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing system. Thanks to this system, you will enjoy two lighting options.

You can opt for the dual color mode with red and green colors or the multi-color mode with a choice of up to 36 colors. This allows you to use the scope in a wide range of lighting and environmental conditions. Integrating a 30mm tube construction, the scope is stronger compared to single inch tubes.

Additionally, this construction style facilitates elevation adjustment whilst promoting a better depth of field as you increase the magnification. The 30 mm scope tube is filled with nitrogen and is completely sealed; giving the scope a waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof performance.


  • Accommodates a wide range of short to long range applications
  • Innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing system to cater to a wide range of lighting and environmental conditions
  • 30mm tube for a stronger and durable finish
  • 30mm tube promotes better depth of viewing at higher magnifications


  • A little heavy

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2. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope

With the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Plane Riflescope, you will enjoy incredible shooting and targeting performance. The 1-8 scope boasts both speed, versatility, and reliability; allowing you to engage in a wide range of point blank and long range applications.

To make it easy to achieve a perfect and clear target image, the scope is fitted with a smooth magnification ring with a thread in throw lever and magnification indicators for added precision. The riflescope is fitted with a lens with an anti-reflective coating on the air-to-glass surface for enhanced light transmission. This allows for increased clarity even in low light conditions.

A fast focus dial on the eyepiece makes it easy and convenient to adjust reticle focusing. To facilitate effective operation in low light conditions, the scope features an illuminated BDC3 reticle. This design also allows the scope to focus on the target faster and holdovers at a distance of up to 650 yards for targets of known distance.

Additionally, the 30mm aircraft grade aluminum scope tube is fully sealed and nitrogen filled for shockproof to prevent impact and injury from impacts. You can even find the scope in larger magnifications such as the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50 Scope.


  • Nitrogen filled aluminum grade tube for shockproof performance with reduced impact from recoils
  • Illuminated BDC3 reticle for use in low light conditions
  • Magnification ring with thread-in throw lever and magnification indicators
  • Anti-reflective lens coatings for increased light transmission and viewing clarity


  • Not the best option for competitive shooting

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3. Crimson Trace CSA-3108 1-8x28mm 3 Series Short-Range Sport Riflescope

A capped windage and elevation turret design of the Crimson Trace CSA-3108 Riflescope makes it easy to make adjustments for clear target viewing. This design also allows for leveling lines for quick cope mounting whilst the zero rest allows for quick zero and fast acquisition at different distances.

Additionally, the sport riflescope features a hybrid BDC reticle. At the first focal plane, the reticle delivers an accurate scale at any magnification range. Thanks to the FFP reticle, the scope facilitates hunting, sports, and long range applications. The FFP allows the reticle to zoom in as the scope zoom in for better target acquisition.

The riflescope is built with a toughened 34mm single piece tube constructed from 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum. The tube is filled with nitrogen and then, fully sealed to give it a waterproof and shockproof performance; allowing you to use it even in wet conditions without the worry of impact from recoils. Attached to the tube is a Japanese ED extra low dispersion glass lens.

The lens is coated with a proprietary MoC coating which increases light transmission for improved viewing clarity. Additionally, the riflescope weighs only 22.4 ounces which makes it quite easy to handle and travel with.


  • ¼ MOA capped windage and elevation turrets for easy adjustments
  • FFP reticle for easy target acquisition
  • Japanese ED extra low dispersion glass with MoC lens coating
  • Toughened aircraft grade anodized aluminum tube


  • The lens is a little small

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How to Choose the Best 1-8 Scope

When choosing the best 1-8 scopes, you want to pay attention to the key features to make sure you choose the right option. Below, you will find the most important features to examine before choosing the scope you want.


When looking for 1-8 scopes, you find that they come with a choice of a 30mm or 1-inch (25.4mm) tube. A larger tube is always better – this ultimately means that the 30mm tube is the best option. This is because whilst a larger tube is heavier, it is also stringer and accommodates more light transmission.

Therefore, comparing the two, you will receive better image clarity with a 30mm tube than with a 1-inch tube. Furthermore, you want to look at the tube material. Never opt for plastic tubes as you will simply be wasting your money in terms of durability.

Instead, opt for a metallic tube. Ideally, you want to choose an aircraft grade anodized aluminum tube. Thanks to this material, the tube will be more durable and will be able to withstand the outdoor beating.


A 1-8 scope magnification range alone is great when it comes to target acquisition. However, to guarantee successful performance, your riflescope needs to have a good quality lens. The number one thing to observe in the lens is their clarity-the lens has to be clear enough!

Thus, when choosing the right scope, opt for a scope option that has a multi-coated lens (particularly an emerald lens). A multi-coated lens is normally enriched with anti-reflective elements which help to accentuate light transmission. With increased light transmission, you will enjoy better edge-to-edge clarity when viewing your targets.

For larger magnification range scopes, the diameter of the lens plays a significant role. Lens size is denoted in millimeters (mm). Generally, a higher lens diameter facilitates clearer image viewing as it promotes increased light transmission.

However, for scopes with low magnification ranges such as 1-8 scopes, the lens size isn’t a feature you should worry about too much. Sure, it’s a good idea to go for a lens diameter of at least a minimum of 24mm to 28mm, however, the narrow magnification range doesn’t necessarily require a large lens diameter.

Reticle Planes

1-8 scopes come in a choice of the first focal plane (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP). In FFP, as the magnification increases, the reticle enlarges whilst in SFP, the reticles remain the same.  The mechanism in FFP allows for more accurate targeting and shooting.

In SFP, the reticle remains the same thus, it doesn’t effect any changes at higher magnifications.  However, for hunting, SFP is a perfect option. The only drawback is that holdover accuracy will only be perfect at a single magnification setting when you have trajectory compensation in the reticle.

Illuminated Reticle

For your scope to be useful, you want to be built with an illuminated reticle. This allows you to use the scope in a wide range of lighting and weather conditions. Therefore, you want to go for a scope designed with an illuminated reticle. An illuminated reticle comes with a choice of colored illumination lights.

A good example is the UTG 1-8X28 30mm CQB/MRC Scope. This scope features the EZ-TAP illumination Enhancing System which comes with a choice of two color modes. The dual color mode allows you to use the red/green colors whilst the multi-color mode gives you a choice of up to 36 colors.

This wide illumination option allows you to use the scope in both bright and dark conditions. In bright colors, the reticle illumination tackles glare from the sun whilst during darker conditions, it makes the reticle visible in the darkness.

Eye Relief

You also want to pay attention to eye relief. Eye relief can be defined as the distance from the ocular lens to your eyes. This distance is what determines how well the image of your target will form at the back of your eye.

An ideal eye relief distance facilitates a clear and neat image formation that fills the eyepiece. A longer eye relief makes it more comfortable to use the scope for long periods as it reduces eye fatigue.

Additionally, a longer eye relief helps to create just the right distance from the scope to protect your eyes from injury caused by recoil impact. A shorter eye relief means that you will not be able to fully view the image. However, an eye relief that is too long on the other end will also distort the image. Ideally, an eye relief with a 2-to-4-inch range is just right.


The weight of your scope is also important – especially when you think of how you will use it. For example, during hunting, you may find yourself in a different environment whether it is the deep woods or hilly areas. This means that you may spend some time walking whilst caring for your gear. Thus, you want to invest in a scope that will not weigh you down.

However, you don’t want the scope to be too light that it loses its shockproof performance.  In cases where you may not have to walk/hike for too long or have platforms such as sandbags to support your rifle, you can opt for a heavier scope as you won’t have to personally handle it for long periods.

Extra Accessories

You also want to look out for a scope that comes with extra functional features and accessories. In most cases, this will slightly up the cost of the scope. Nevertheless, some of the features may be worth it. So, if you can afford it, go for these options. Typically, common features include lens caps.

These caps are designed to cover either side of the lens to protect the lens glass when they are not in use or during high sunlight glare. Flip-up caps are the best options as they can easily be moved up from the lens and down to cover them. So, you’ll not have to worry about misplacing them deep on the forest forage.

Ease of Use

A 1-8 scope is naturally easy and convenient to use and adjust mid application. However, you also want to look out for feature designs that further complement this function. Therefore, when choosing the right scope to invest in, look out for details such as smooth parallax, elevation, and windage turrets that are ergonomically fitted and easy to adjust.

Additionally, you can also look for scopes such as the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope which is fitted with a magnification ring with a thread-in throw lever and magnification indicators for quicker adjustability. This design also allows you to easily adjust the magnification mid-application without having to change your position or spook your target.


Especially for beginners, it may not be easy to gauge the durability of your scope. However, you can look at the common features to gauge the quality of the riflescope. As mentioned above, some of the common features you can look at is the tube construction and lens design.

Furthermore, you want to opt for a scope tube that is nitrogen filled and fully sealed. This construction design helps to give the scope a shockproof and waterproof finish, thus, prolonging its durability. Additionally, to determine the durability of your scope, you can refer to real life customer reviews from reliable sources.

This is normally a perfect place with genuine reviews of the equipment you want to purchase. However, durability is also affected by how you use and care for the scope. Therefore, to ensure your scope lasts longer, you want to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for using it and caring for it.


The price range for the best 1-8 scopes varies – it all depends on how much you are willing to spend. You can find high end riflescopes that extends to as high as $1000 but still find good quality rifle scopes under $100.

1-8 Scope Applications

The best 1-8 scope is designed for short to mid-range shooting applications. This means that you can use it for a number of activities. Most commonly, 1-8 scope are used for:

Target Shooting

Target shooting is a common sport. However, to really enjoy it, you must have the right gear for successful performance.  During target shooting, your scope has to be stable with minimal shaking. However, with a scop range that is higher than 8x, shaking is more prevalent which makes it difficult to focus on your target. Therefore, many target shooters favor a 1-8 scope.


Hunting on the other is more successful if you have equipment that can easily switch between magnifications so you can easily pick up targets on the move. A scope that comes with a wider magnification range makes this quite difficult.

A 1-8 scope on the other end is quite easier to adjust and switch magnification so the hunter can switch without having to change their positions or spook the target. Furthermore, a narrower magnification range scope boasts a clearer and stable field of view. This means that you can easily pick up your target.

Furthermore, in hunting situations, typically, you will cover a range of between 300 and 500 yards for standard hunting. At higher ranges of more than 100 yards, target acquisition may be a little tricky during hunting. A 1-8 scope is generally designed with a range of up to 800 yards. This makes a 1-8 scope perfectly designed for hunting.


1-8 scopes are even used for military purposes. Unlike sniper rifles, regular infantries use mid-range rifles. Thus, a 1-8 scope is perfect for such rifles. Whilst they offer a lesser magnification, they offer more accuracy and a wider viewing field. Additionally, with less shaking and better shock absorption, they are able to withstand the beating during military applications.

Benefits of  the Best 1-8 Scope

  • Built for short and mid-range applications
  • Magnification range facilitates easy target acquisition whilst covering sufficient target and surrounding details
  • Covers a generous distance range of up to 800 yards
  • Improved image clarity and viewing
  • Wide field of view to accommodate adequate target viewing
  • Built with increased versatility – can be used for target shooting, hunting, and military applications


What Are 1-8 scopes?

A 1-8 scope represents a riflescope that is designed with a magnification range of 1-8x. This range represents how magnified your field of view can e, Typically, a 1-8x scope facilitates close-range applications when not magnified and long range applications when magnified. When magnified to the highest range, a 1-8 scope can cover a distance of up to 800 yards.

Thus, a 1-8 scope offers 1-4x mid-range hunting ability but, can extend to 8x for long range applications. Additionally, this magnification range makes the scope perfect for hunting in thicker forests or military settings compared to smaller magnifications which would otherwise be ideal for small game hunting and less dense forests.

Is a Higher Magnification Better?

Unlike the popular belief that higher magnifications are favored by hunters, this is not exactly the case. Sure, viewing your target at a much closer range with all the details is better, however, most shooters are not always at such a distance. Therefore, a narrow magnification range is just fine. Typically, when you are at the shooting range or even hunting, you will not shoot from more than 300 yards away.

So, a 1-8 scope that offers a range of up to 800 yards is fine. Besides, even for snipers and hunters in extreme ranges, the distance is normally around 500+ yards, thus, a 1-8 scope can accommodate some of these conditions too.

What Is the Best Rifle for 1-8 Scopes?

As a low power variable optic, a 1-8 scope is best for hunting, target shooting, and tactical rifles. You can pair rifles such as an AR and AK style with 1-8 scopes. A good example of AK rifles to pair with these scopes is an AK 47 rifle. However, you can also find a wide range of other optics options for an AK 47.


With the best 1-8 scopes, your shooting and target practice adventures can’t get any better. With a wider viewing angle and smaller magnification range, you will make better use of the scope and enjoy clear viewing. So, choose the right scope for your needs from the best 1-8 scope list above for more successful shooting performance.

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