With more magnification than a 1-6x, but not as excessive as the 1-10x, the 1-8x scope closes the gaps with few compromises.
The best 1-8x scopes and LPVOs have the features and specifications that are needed for many applications where targets can be engaged from close to mid-range distances. Subjectively, that could be every 1-8x.
So, I looked for high rated LPVOs at various price points to give you an idea of what’s available and what’s worth it.
I rank and then compare them by cost, size and weight, specifications, reticles, included accessories, and warranties to help sway you to the 1-8x side.
The Best 1-8x Scopes in 2023
1. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24 SFP – Best Overall
The SFP version of the Strike Eagle 1-8x from Vortex is one of the most highly rated LPVOs to date. Just like its 1-6x alternative, it’s fast, versatile, and the AR-BDC3 reticle takes you out to 600-650ish yards.
- AR-BDC3 reticle
- Low capped turrets
- Good optical coatings
- Slightly unfocused at 8x
Interestingly, the 1-6x Strike Eagle is slightly longer and heavier than the 1-8x version. You’d think it would be the other way around, so in this case, the 1-8x has size and weight as an advantage.
They feature the same AR-BDC3 reticle that is in the MOA with bullet drop and wind drift holdovers. It has a segmented horseshoe and 1 MOA center dot that is illuminated. Additionally, there is an auto-ranging reticle at the top. Since it’s in the SFP, subtension is accurate at max 8x power.
With low, capped turrets, it has a low profile and dialing isn’t really intended for this scope. This would make a good hunting scope to about 400 yards on the long end in my opinion. Included in the box are flip-up caps and a thread-in throw lever.
If there’s something to nit-pick over, it would be the slightly unfocused image at 8x. Parallax is fixed at 100 yards. Clearly, the longer you go and the higher you crank the power, you will lose some optical performance. Still, it’s a reigning LPVO for the money.
2. Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x24 – Best for AR-15
As one of the best entry-level LPVOs in the market, the Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x is a decent buy for those after an all-purpose scope for an AR-15. Better yet, this 1-8x offers MIL turrets. If you’re looking for the MRAD measuring system over MOA, consider this Bushnell.
- Simple BDC reticle
- MIL adjustments
- Zero reset
- Bikini caps
As a MIL scope, adjustments are made in 0.1 MIL increments. There are 6 MILs per revolution, and if I did my math right, according to the 50 MOA of adjustment travel listed in the specs, then it has about 14-ish MILS of total adjustment travel. So, it’s not a long-range scope, but it’ll get mounted, zeroed at 100 yards, and reach out a bit further thereafter.
I like that you can reset the turrets to your zero, though it’s optional of course. While the Bushnell scope does have illumination, there are only 6 settings, but most people say it’s bright enough though not daylight bright. The SFP drop reticle is simple, and it’s calibrated for the .223 Rem/5.56 NATO cartridges.
Short and long throw levers are included with the scope. The long one could be a problem as it might just get in the way of the action on a bolt action rifle. The short one could possibly remedy this problem with a shorter length, but it could still get in the way. This could be addressed with higher rings but that could mess with your weld. On an AR-15, you won’t have that problem with a cantilever mount.
For a 1-8x scope, it’s very lightweight at 16.5 oz. That’s an impressive benefit, and it might just make up for the fact that you’re getting bikini caps instead of flip-up caps. Would I change out the bikini caps? Probably not. They’ll work for storage.
3. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24 FFP – Best for Hunting
In total, this Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x is the FFP alternative to the popular Strike Eagle 1-8x SFP scope. However, unlike the SFP model, this FFP LPVO has the EBR-8 reticle, and I have personal hands-on experience with this one.
- EBR-8 reticle
- FFP reticle
- Mid-range quality
- Easy to mount
- Flip-up caps
Okay, so while the Strike Eagle does come with flip-up caps, mine seem a little too easy to come off the scope. Though a slight disappointment, I continue to use them because I’m not going to spend extra money on caps when it came with some – my frank honesty.
Other than that, I’ve had a great experience with the Vortex LPVO. I really like that the EBR-8 reticle is in the FFP. It is very small at 1x and is why it’s more like a red dot at this point. But since subtension is the same across the board, I can change up the magnification as I please to get a bigger reticle. Plus, it has a 0.75 MOA center dot, and I’m just going to mention here that it has 0.25 MOA adjustments!
I did get the Vortex Sport Cantilever mount to use with the Strike Eagle, so mounting it is a breeze. I put this on an AR-15 where it was completely at home, but I also used the Strelok Pro app to zero it on one of my bolt action rifles. If there’s a hunting LPVO to recommend, I’m recognizing the Strike Eagle 1-8x FFP scope as a great one.
4. Trijicon VCOG 1-8x28 - Best for AR-10
The Trijicon VCOG 1-8x scope may be one of the absolute best LPVOs around, but the price is far from the best. Given its dear cost, a lot is expected from this Variable Combat Optical Gunsight.
- MRAD scope
- FFP reticle
- AA power source
- NV compatible
- Integrated power fin
As one of the most costly LPVOs available (there are more expensive ones, you better believe it!), there’s a lot to demand. Fortunately, Trijicon lives up to the hype – mostly.
You might not like its bulk. Weighing in at 31.5 oz, it’s a tank. To be fair, the VCOG has a 34 mm tube, 35 MRAD worth of adjustment travel, it takes a AA battery to power the illumination, and it has a 28 mm objective lens diameter. With upgrades like this, weight is expected, and every ounce adds up.
The segmented circle crosshair dot reticle in the MRAD is not calibrated for any specific cartridge. Plug in your ballistics, and you’ll get your holdover values for both drop and wind.
With 11 brightness settings, only 8 are daylight and 2 are extremely dim for night vision compatibility. What’s the other setting? It’s super-bright illumination… cool.
Instead of a thread-in lever or band, Trijicon built an integrated dial fin. It’s low-profile and fast to use. Extremely durable, the VCOG is waterproof to 66 feet (same as 20 meters but 66 sounds more impressive)!
But what are you actually paying for with the VCOG?
Some of it may be name brand recognition, right? But it’s “virtually indestructible” with other details like intermittent off settings, 633 hours of illumination (conditional), 4” of eye relief, and an integrated rail mount. That’s worth paying more for as is evident by its current ratings. For the most part, I still can’t get over its retail price.
5. Nightforce NX8 1-8x24 F1 – Best Illumination
The illumination quality is likely the very best feature about the Nightforce NX8 1-8x F1 scope. With 10 brightness settings, intermittent off positions, and best of all, daylight bright illumination, the NX8 sets the standard for reticle visibility in an LPVO.
- Daylight bright illumination
- MIL & MOA
- Zero stop
- Very tight eyebox
Like most high-end scope manufacturers, Nightforce has tagged the NX8 with a high price point. Loaded with features, I can see why it competes with other quality alternatives. However, it still hurts to see the lofty cost.
Now most LPV scopes have a finicky eyebox at max power and this is true of the NX8 1-8x scope too. Though it’s stated to have 3.7” of eye relief, you must be directly in line with the optical axis of the scope to minimize optical aberrations.
Onto the good… the Nightforce NX8 is available in both MIL and MOA models. This MIL scope has .2 MIL adjustments and 30 MILs of adjustment travel (each turret – not total). The reticle is in the FFP with a 0.35 MIL center dot.
The NX8 features a zero stop, exposed elevation turret, capped windage turret, and an included power throw lever. Incredibly for a 1-8x LPV, the NX8 is only 8.7” in length and weighs 17.6 oz. Like the Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x, there’s no compromise on size to gain the larger 1-8x configuration.
6. EOTech Vudu 1-8x24 SFP – Best for Duty
The EOTech Vudu line is a riflescope series and does not have the holographic technology that EOTech is known for. Even so, the Vudu checks off quality with a few, unique features to stand out from the crowd for duty use and possibly the hunt too.
- SFP reticle
- Revolution markings
- Included quick throw lever
- Quality control issues
Though some buyers have had some quality control issues with their Vudu LPVO scopes, the 1-8x is covered under the No BS warranty. Personally, I’ve dealt with EOTech customer service multiple times with warranty questions, and I’ve always gotten ahold of a live person and received timely responses through email.
The Vudu 1-8x is has a SFP reticle, the HC3 reticle respectively, that doesn’t change size and keeps the FOV clear and uncluttered. It’s a good thing too because the center dot is the only illuminated part of the reticle, and it’s 0.5 MOA in size. That’s small but good for improved precision for those off-chance longer shots.
Though there is a knob for the illumination, it’s actually just the battery compartment for the CR2032. I believe it provides approximately 500 hours of operation. The buttons to increase, decrease, and activate/turn off the illumination is on this knob. Though it doesn’t have intermittent off, it does have auto-shutdown after two hours from the last button press. This is great for duty use, on a home defense rifle, but not so great for the hunt if you’re in the stand or a blind.
I really like turrets that have revolution markings – it can make all the difference when you get lost in adjustments. By the way, you can zero reset the turrets too (not a zero stop!).
Though sort of basic as far as frills go, I’d say it has very clear glass, a minimalist reticle, and daylight visible red dot illumination – that’s essentially what you need from a scope for a run and shoot gun.
7. Primary Arms SLx 1-8x SFP – Best for Long Range
Overall, the Primary Arms SLx 1-6x scope is far more popular than the 1-8x configuration, but the 1-8x option exists and is still a decent buy if you want the added magnification.
- ACSS reticle
- 12 brightness settings
- Auto-ranging reticle
- Tight eyebox at 8x
I’ve field-tested the GLx 1-6x scope, and it’s accurate, easy to mount, and the glass is clear! Though eye relief was stated in the 3-ish” range, I found it to be way longer than the specs at around 5-4”. Though the eyebox does get harder to stay inside at 8x, this isn’t unique to the SLx scope. Get your weld right, set the eye relief, and on a 223/5.56 rifle you should be square and ready to go.
The ACSS reticle is slightly different to the ACSS Raptor M6 reticle but not in a bad way. It’s simple, extends out to about 800 yards, and has a separate auto ranging reticle. Though the ranging reticle starts at 400 yards and goes to 800, the main reticle does auto-range for 200 and 300 yards using the horizontal planes of the center and very bottom of the horseshoe. Both reticles make it a good option for long range shooting and ranging targets.
Like the Raptor M6, only the center chevron and horseshoe are illuminated. Speaking of illumination, there are 12 settings which is more than the average 9-11 settings of many LPVOs. Don’t forget to manually turn this off or you’ll quickly drain the battery. It’s lightweight for an LPV since it weighs in at 16.9 oz.
As far as the optics go, this is the SLx model - entry-level. However, between the diopter and experimenting with the power range and distance, you can acquire the resolution and clarity you need.
8. UTG Leapers 1-8x28 MRC – Best Budget
In all, the UTG 1-8x LPVO is an entry-level scope crammed with digital and mechanical features to improve quality and performance. As a budget scope, there is some spherical aberration at 1x, but most buyers appear to be forgiving of this in trade for its low cost.
- BG4 reticle
- Zero stop
- Slight fish-eye at 1x
There are a lot of fancy terms that Leapers assign to their technologies. It’s really no different to any other manufacturer, but there’s the process of having to learn what the term actually represents. To start with, Accu-Sync is the name of the included 30mm cantilever mount.
The BG4 reticle is glass-etched in case any of you were wondering… These days, it’s not uncommon to find a glass-etched reticle in a cost-friendly scope. It has drop for up to 700 yards based off the .223/5.56 cartridges. There are wind holdovers too and the horizontal crosshair can also auto-range for a couple hundred yards.
I think one of its most enticing features is the EZ-TAP. It’s an illumination enhancing (IE) system that provides dual illumination for either red or green colors. Additionally, you can also take advantage of the multi-color mode. There are 36 illumination colors! Overkill? Possibly, but I know some of you will like the ability to choose a color you like and can see easily. This is all done via the controls situated on the ocular bell.
TactEdge refers to the objective bell cut. Instead of providing a separate sunshade in the box, Leapers designed the objective bell with an angled and extended design. This provides some distance from the objective lens and prevents glare and reflections.
Turrets adjust in 0.5 MOA values and there’s also a locking mechanism. This LPVO is full to the brim with features. For the money, it’s an appealing scope that keeps you within the budget.
A Guide to Choosing the Best 1-8x Scopes
In general, regardless of configuration, the best LPVO scopes vary widely when it comes to cost. They can be as affordable as $200-$400 but then can cost almost $2000 and more. However, some of the most highly rated and purchased 1-8x scopes appear to be in the $300-$800 price range.
|Product||Key Features||Price Range|
|Vortex Strike Eagle SFP||Best Overall||Under $500|
|Bushnell AR Optics||Best for AR-15||Under $350|
|Vortex Strike Eagle FFP||Best for Hunting||Under $600|
|Trijicon VCOG||Best for AR-10||Under $2000|
|Nightforce NX8 F1||Best Illumination||Under $1800|
|EOTech Vudu||Best for Duty||Under $1500|
|Primary Arms SLx||Best for Long Range||Under $400|
|UTG MRC||Best Budget||Under $250|
1-8x Configuration, Size & Weight
LPVO scopes are specifically engineered for rapid target and reticle acquisition at close-range distances. Obviously the further out the shot, the longer it will take to acquire the target and follow through with proper shooting fundamentals to make an accurate hit.
Personally, 1-8x is a favorite LPV configuration of mine because it can do everything a 1-4x and 1-6x scope can do. It offers extra power and a sight picture that isn’t optically maxed out at 4x, 5x, or even 6x.
Honestly, I’m not always sitting at max 8x power, so optical aberrations, resolution, and brightness loss are not completely affecting my sight picture until I crank it up to 8x. Because I rarely go to max mag, I tend to choose FFP scopes. Get where I’m going with this?
1-8x is better if you want more power and potentially better image quality especially above the 4-6x range. The tradeoff is that it’s likely tacking on more weight than smaller configuration alternatives, i.e., 1-4x, 1-5x, and 1-6x.
|Product||Magnification||Objective Lens||Tube Size||Length||Weight|
|Vortex Strike Eagle SFP||1-8x||24 mm||30 mm||10”||17.6 oz|
|Bushnell AR Optics||1-8x||24 mm||30 mm||10.2”||16.5 oz|
|Vortex Strike Eagle FFP||1-8x||24 mm||30 mm||10.4”||23.9 oz|
|Trijicon VCOG||1-8x||28 mm||34 mm||10.8”||31.5 oz|
|Nightforce NX8 F1||1-8x||24 mm||30 mm||8.7”||17.6 oz|
|EOTech Vudu||1-8x||24 mm||30 mm||10.9”||20.8 oz|
|Primary Arms SLx||1-8x||24 mm||30 mm||10”||16.9 oz|
|UTG MRC||1-8x||28 mm||30 mm||Unknown||18 oz|
Though 1-8x scopes share identical configurations, 1-8x24 respectively (larger objective scopes as the exemption), not all specs are equal. The measurements that require acute attention when considering a 1-8x LPV are field of view, eye relief, and the turret adjustment system.
Obviously, the FOV is at its largest at its lowest power, 1x, and this makes it excellent for shooting with two eyes open and supporting situational awareness. This is only beneficial if the scope has true 1x and doesn’t have the fish-eye effect (spherical aberration) off axis to the center. This is hard to find in cheap scopes, so optical matters from the magnification assembly to dioptric/eyepiece assembly and quality glass.
Eye relief tends to be longer than many conventional magnified scopes. I’d say the average eye relief minimum for an LPV is around 3”. However, LPVO scopes are known for having unforgiving eyeboxes at max power. Of course, as eye relief shortens, the eyebox can be tight to stay inside especially if you don’t have a consistent cheekweld, have the wrong height rings/mount to begin with, or if you’re shooting from an awkward position.
|Product||Field of View @ 100 Yards||Eye Relief||Adjustment Value|
|Vortex Strike Eagle SFP||109-14.4 ft||3.5”||0.5 MOA|
|Bushnell AR Optics||100-16 ft||3.6”||0.1 MIL|
|Vortex Strike Eagle FFP||113.6-14.1 ft||3.9”||0.25 MOA|
|Trijicon VCOG||109.2-13.1 ft||4-3.9”||0.1 MIL|
|Nightforce NX8 F1||106-35.3 m||3.7”||.2 MIL|
|EOTech Vudu||105.8-13.2 ft||4.9-3.5”||0.25 MOA|
|Primary Arms SLx||110-14.5 ft||3.5-3.3”||0.5 MOA|
|UTG MRC||99.5-13 ft||5-3.4”||0.5 MOA|
A benefit of choosing a 1-8x LPVO over a red dot sight is that there is a plethora of reticle options available to the shooter. From duplex to simple drop reticles, those with wind holdovers, and separate to built-in stadiametric reticles, there’s an LPV that will fit the need and the application.
Scopes with the 1-8x configuration may also offer illumination. How the illumination is controlled will be different between scopes, but it’s usually either a knob or buttons. These can be located on the ocular bell or built into the side focus. If the scope doesn’t have a side focus but there is a protruding knob (third turret) there, it’s the illumination and battery compartment.
The reticle may increase in size as magnification is manipulated or it may stay static regardless of the changes you make at the power ring. This is determined by where the reticle lens is situated in the scope.
If it changes with magnification, it’s a first focal plane reticle where subtension is consistent along the entire power range. If it remains static, it’s a second focal plane reticle where subtension changes along the power range. Any reticle holdovers are only accurate at 8x power.
|Product||Reticle||Focal Plane||Illumination Settings||Intermittent Off||Battery Type|
|Vortex Strike Eagle SFP||AR-BDC3||SFP||11||No||CR2032|
|Bushnell AR Optics||BTR-1 BDC||SFP||6||Yes||CR2032|
|Vortex Strike Eagle FFP||EBR-8||FFP||9||No||CR2032|
|Trijicon VCOG||Segmented circle/crosshair||FFP||11||Yes||AA|
|Nightforce NX8 F1||FC-MIL||FFP||10||Yes||CR2032|
|Primary Arms SLx||ACSS||SFP||12||No||CR2032|
In total, 1-8x LPVOs usually come with riflescope accessories like any other scope purchase. The standard items like a lens cloth, user manuals, and battery are typically included. But LPVO scopes are designed to be fast to use, so a power throw lever or band is an accessory to look for.
A sunshade to prevent glare and reflections may also be included. One accessory of note that can often be the deal maker are included flip-up caps. Though not customary, a cantilever mount may be bundled into the buy.
|Vortex Strike Eagle SFP||Thread-in throw lever, flip caps|
|Bushnell AR Optics||Long & short throw levers, bikini caps|
|Vortex Strike Eagle FFP||Throw lever band, flip caps, sunshade|
|Trijicon VCOG||Integrated lever, integrated mount|
|Nightforce NX8 F1||Power throw lever, rubber lens covers|
|EOTech Vudu||Quick throw lever|
|Primary Arms SLx||Flip-up caps|
|UTG MRC||Mount, integrated sunshade|
LPVO scopes also come with warranties just like conventional riflescopes. Manufacturers may offer across the board warranty coverage or it may differ depending on things like illumination, original owner, or what’s considered normal wear and tear. Not all warranties are equal.
|Vortex Strike Eagle SFP||VIP Warranty||Unconditional, unlimited|
|Bushnell AR Optics||Ironclad Warranty||Lifetime, fully transferable, no receipt required|
|Vortex Strike Eagle FFP||VIP Warranty||Unconditional, unlimited|
|Trijicon VCOG||Limited Lifetime||Lifetime warranty on scope, 5-year coverage from date of manufacture for electronics|
|Nightforce NX8 F1||Limited Lifetime||Lifetime, transferable, proof of purchase required, warranty card & registration required|
|EOTech Vudu||No BS||Limited lifetime, fully transferable, no receipt required|
|Primary Arms SLx||Limited Lifetime||Fully transferable, normal wear & tear covered|
|UTG MRC||Lifetime Warranty||Lifetime, repair or replacement, if discontinued a credit may be offered|
The 1-8x LPVO is used for close range usually inside 100 yards, but the higher magnification of 8x can extend the effective range to 800 yards. However, 'effective range' is based off multiple variables including, but not limited to, the reticle, image quality, visual acuity, cartridge, and more.
In general, without a parallax correction feature to help put the target on the same optical plane as the reticle, the sight picture can be blurry at max power. Since the diopter is set for edge-to-edge clarity at true 1x, this can create a slightly unfocused image at max 8x.
The 1-8x24 configuration of an LPVO scope is good for various types of hunting. This applies to dangerous game hunting to small and big game hunting. It’s likely that the ‘long’ shots are up to around 200 yards. A 1-8x scope is great for wooded environments and brush mountain hunting too.
Overall, the 1-6x and 1-8x configurations are used in the same applications. The 1-6x is a great, all-purpose scope that might be slightly lighter in weight. The 1-8x configuration offers 2x more magnification and possibly (dependent on lots of things) better image quality at 6x than 1-6x scopes.
Which 1-8x is Best for You?
Overall, 1-6x scopes seem to be a lot more popular than the 1-8x. But extra magnification is a benefit of a 1-8x scope, and some are lighter and shorter. Optical quality is usually the deal maker when choosing a 1-8x LPVO, so if the glass is clear and it has accurate tracking, the cost is worth it.
If you’ve gone back and forth between a 1-6x, 1-8x, and even a 1-10x LPVO, you might need a notion on what you can do with a 1-8x scope and how far your budget can go to land a quality one. The best 1-8x for you may not always fit the budget you have in mind, but it fits the reticle, size, specs, and accuracy requirements you should have.