The 4 Best 1×4 Scopes — Rifle Optic Reviews 2023

best 1x4 scope, 1x4 rifle scope

Photo by John McStravick / CC BY

Short range optics in the 1 to 4 power category are growing in popularity due to their inherent usefulness and the rise in popularity of modern sporting rifles. These small scopes are more compact, lighter weight, and useful for a wide variety of different tasks. A good 1×4 scope should be crystal clear and transmit light even with a small objective lens. With a lower level of magnification, the objective lens size becomes less important when it comes to light transmission.

These scopes should be compatible and capable of mounting on modern sporting rifles like the AR 15 with flat top upper receivers. The best 1×4 scopes should also be tough and dependable, without being incredibly expensive. Magnification transition should be smooth and hassle free, and shooters should be capable of doing so with a single hand.

Mueller Speed Shot

The Mueller Speed shot is a small, compact, lightweight optic that provides a 1 to 4 magnification. The Mueller Speed Shot uses a 24 mm objective lenses to allow for low profile mounting and to maintain a compact profile. The scope is designed with a fast focus eyepiece to aid you in getting on target, and saving precious seconds when it comes to scoring an important shot.

The scope’s design is all about decreasing the amount of time before between seeing your target and getting on target. The Speed Shot’s wide angle field of view allows the shooter to maintain constant situational awareness. This wide field of view allows shooters to transition between targets with only a moment’s hesitation. The multi-coated lenses provide a bright and clear sight picture.

The Mueller Speed Shot features an illuminated reticle with eleven different brightness settings. The illumination system is refined for use during bright days while providing enough illumination to see with ease but not so bright to cause excessive washout. The reticle is a 4 MOA circle that is eye catching and simplistic. The Mueller would be at home on a rifle or a shotgun, and as a defensive weapon or a hunting implement. It’s easily one of the best 1×4 scopes.

Mueller 1-4x24 Speed Shot Scope

Vortex Crossfire

The Vortex brand is one that is rapidly growing, and their red dot and precision rifle scopes have gained quite a following. Expanding into the realm of short to medium range optics was a natural extension. The Crossfire is Vortex’s take on 1 to 4 power optics, and their design is based more around combat applications. The Vortex uses a 24 mm objective lenses and a single piece 30 mm tube. The use of a single piece tube improves the scope’s strength and actually affects its precision positively. The tube is also made from a durable aircraft grade aluminum for a long life span.

The Vortex Crossfire (see full specs) has lenses that are fully multi-coated to increase light transmission and provide a crystal clear sight picture. The reticle is a basic crosshair but is improved with the addition of an illuminated center point. The Crossfire is sealed with o-rings to prevent the entry of dust and debris and is also nitrogen purged to prevent any internal fog build up.

The scope features adjustment turrets that give solid feedback with both audible clicks and tactile response. The Vortex Crossfire is an excellent all around optic, and while its main focus is on the tactical side, it could easily be used for hunting or competition. It’s a very respectable 1×4 rifle scope.

Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24 Scope

Barska IR Rifle Scope

The Barska IR rifle scope is a compact, budget-friendly, and very handy little rifle scope. The 1-4 power magnification is sufficient for a variety of different tasks, and the 28 mm objective lens provides an optimal amount of light transmission for the magnification levels. The Barska IR has a built in cantilever mount that keeps the optic positioned forward and mounted low. The Barska can co-witness with an AR front sight just in case the optic was to ever fail.

The Barska IR has an illuminated reticle that is also glass etched, so the illumination is not necessary to use the reticle. The optic runs off a single CR2032 battery. The reticle has mil dot hash marks for both windage and elevation calls. The end of the optic features a sniper’s edged sunshade to prevent the optic from glaring and giving away your position.

The Barska IR is sealed with o-rings to prevent dust, debris, and water from entering the optic, and is nitrogen purged for a fog proof design. The Barska IR features fingertip adjustable turrets for easy manipulation in the field. The turrets can also be locked down to avoid any accidental movement. The Barska IR is a superb, budget friendly optic that is designed to be compatible with a wide variety of different rifles. It just might be the best 1×4 scope if you’re on a budget.

Barska 1-4x28mm IR

Bushnell AR 1×4

The Bushnell AR scope may have AR in the title but is built with most semi-automatic rifles in mind. The Bushnell AR is a European style scope with a small 24 mm objective lens, and is designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible. The scope is still highly efficient at gathering light, and the fully multi-coated lenses really take advantage of the light to make a clear and bright sight picture.

The Bushnell AR is waterproof, shock, and fog proof, and made from a high durability aluminum alloy for strength and durability. The optic is perfect for close quarters work, and would excel at hunting animals like hog or coyote, as well as acting as a home or range defense optic.

The scope works best with 55.6 or 223 rounds, like those fired from an AR 15, Ruger Ranch Rifle, Tavor rifle, and a whole laundry list of different weapons. The Bushnell AR has a bullet drop compensator to make extended shots an easy affair. The scope is rock solid reliable and designed to give your rifle an excellent level of short and medium range precision. This should be on anyone’s list of the best 1×4 scopes.

Bushnell 1-4x PCL AR Optics


The need for a precise short to middle range optic is a real one. Optics of this power are used instead of iron sights because they are more precise and much more rapid to get on target. These optics allow the shooter to extend their effective range but maintain usefulness in close range encounters. The best 1×4 scopes can be used for anything from home defense to hunting, competition, and simple plinking. Their versatility is one their main strengths, and any rifle can benefit from a dedicated optic.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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