LPVO scopes are so popular nowadays.
They’re desired for close to mid-range engagements and provide more flexibility than red dot sights.
The Bushnell Prime 1-4x32 offers LPVO performance at minimal cost.
As an affordable scope for the AR-15 and for hunters in thick cover or shooting within 300 yards, the Prime 1-4x is a complimentary scope for your hunting rifle.
What We Like: Value
What We Don’t Like: Awkward mounting issues
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Tactical Use, Close to Mid-Range, Light to Medium Caliber Rifles
- Magnification: 1-4x
- Objective Diameter: 32mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 105-26 ft/100 yds
- Eye Relief: 4”
- Adjustments: ¼ MOA
- Dimensions: 10.5”/13.4oz
Our Verdict: The Prime Collection is one of our favorites series of budget scopes from Bushnell. Scratch that – from any manufacturer ever. It offers performance that far exceeds your expectations for the low price point. With crazy value, this scope shows the masses that you really don’t need to spend more.
Who is the Bushnell Prime 1-4X32 Best Suited to?
The 1-4x32 will attract LPVO buyers or even those who want the benefits of a 4x32 fixed power scope. While it’s not fixed, the Prime scope instead offers versatile and rapid reflex performance for short to mid-range engagements.
It’s tough, well-machined from its turret covers to its erector assembly, and it’s obviously compact and lightweight. Like many LPVOs, you will need to mess around with mounting it correctly to ensure the bolt clears the ocular bell or windage turret.
If you want more range and parallax correction with the same, simple features without mounting issues, check out the Prime 4-12x40. It’s a Target Tamers favorite, so check out our field test for an inside look.
How Does the Bushnell Prime 1-4X32 Perform?
It’s getting harder to find fixed 4x32 scopes these days, and we can see why. With the demand for LPVO scopes on MSR/AR rifles on the rise, Bushnell is simply keeping up with the trend. The Prime 1-4x32 is a scope that will likely be used at max magnification most of the time anyway, but you also have the benefit of cranking things down as the need arises.
With a 32mm objective lens, you have a lot more light transmission than a smaller objective resulting in a brighter sight picture. Another benefit of its smaller specs is its wide field of view. It’s excellent for hunting from a treestand or when in thick cover like the woods.
While it may not be your long-ranging varmint hunting scope, it’s a title holder for close to mid-range and brush shots. When rapid reflex shooting is required, the scope will perform.
The Prime series is not about the added bells, whistles, and fixin’s. It’s about bringing tried and true features to the shooter and hunter who doesn’t want to pay more for what they don’t need. This scope is a boon to many and to your bank account.
Features & Benefits
Bushnell takes things a step further to provide FMC coatings, UltraWide Band Coatings, and the objective lens also gets a coat of their proprietary EXO Barrier formula. This is not common for a scope that hovers around the $100 price point.
Another example of its value is that it has finger-adjustable turrets. While there is a minimal amount of play, it’s of no consequence to its tracking ability. But for the very low price point, it’s impressive to see that there are no special tools required to make adjustments and get sighted in.
The Prime scope has quality and performance behind it. If you’re specifically looking for an LPVO for your AR-15 and looking to spend as minimal as possible, this is the scope of choice. You can spend more if you like, but you really don’t have to.
Excellent Optical Quality
It would be expecting too much to see ED glass packaged into the one of the best cheap AR-15 scopes ever brought to market. Regardless, the Prime LPVO packs an impressive punch through the sight picture.
The majority of buyers can’t believe the optical quality on such a budget scope. It’s incredibly clear, sharp, and has great image flattening, although, there is negligible softening at the very edges of the FOV.
Very minor chromatic aberration is present, but only if you know what you’re looking for. It’s fair to say the quality of glass that manufacturers pump out today is far better than what was offered even just five years ago.
This Prime scope has the Multi-X reticle which is perfectly in line with the whole design of this series – simplicity, affordability, and practicality. As a duplex reticle, it’s fast and easy to employ.
The posts draw your eye to the center, and it’s easily visible for hunting in thick brush and in low-light conditions like at dusk and dawn. There is zero play in the fast focus eyepiece, and it’s easy to use to get the reticle sharp and focused.
How far can you shoot with a 4x32 scope? You could likely get out to 400 yards, but it’s best suited for use up to 300 yards. With no BDC marks on the reticle, you’ll be dialing in for longer shots, but with a 1-4x scope, it’s unlikely you’ll be doing any heavy turret action. The idea is to stay within your doable range for a scope with these specs.
The turrets themselves are well-machined although a bit large for its intended use. They come capped which is more than adequate for most shooters and hunters. Clicks are in ¼ MOA, there are 15 MOA per revolution, and 100 MOA total W/E travel. They track vertically and horizontally, and groups of sub-MOA or better are definitely possible.
The scope is well-built considering the cost. No plastic parts here. It’s lightweight at 13.4 oz and compact at 10.5” although it could be shorter in length.
It’s IPX7 rated and so is completely waterproof and fogproof. It can even handle submersion in three feet of water and the optics won’t budge an inch – thank you O-ring seals. The exterior lens has the EXO Barrier coating that repels dirt, water, oil, and other debris. To test it out, we dumped water onto the lens and watched it bead together. It’s safe to say that rain will not be an issue.
The scope also features an integrated throw lever. We wouldn’t necessarily call it a throw lever but a fin. The power ring is somewhat stiff, but the fin makes for easier magnification changes if you find you want to crank things down.
Awkward Mounting Issues
The eyepiece bell is rather long for an LPVO and is likely the cause of mounting issues. While the scope is 10.5” in length, the long ocular bell may prevent the scope from being mounted as far forward as possible especially on a short receiver.
You may not be able to acquire the entire FOV in your natural cheek weld position, or the ocular bell may just be in the way when working the bolt. The windage turret cap is unusually large, so that too may get in the way.
If the scope presents mounting issues, you’ll need to purchase new mounts to adapt to your rifle setup. This may be the only downside to LPVO scopes which is not unique to the Prime 1-4x.
The Bushnell Prime 1-4x32 along with the entire Prime series are manufactured in South Korea.
The Multi-X reticle in the Prime 1-4x LPVO is in the second/rear focal plane. While the crosshairs never grow or shrink in size, subtension changes as you change magnification. See our SFP subtension explanation for more info.
Bushnell does not provide any recoil resistance data for the Bushnell Prime scopes. However, the Prime 1-4x scope is well-suited to AR-15 rifles. Additionally, it has been mounted to .308 Win, Marlin 357, 450 Bushmaster, and more.
Even for as cheap as the 1-4x32 model is, it’s still covered under the Bushnell Ironclad Warranty. This is excellent news since the warranty transfers over to used buyers, no receipt or registration is required, and it lasts for a product lifetime that is estimated to be 30 years.
The Prime 1-4x32 is an excellent example of quality for the money. Yes, it’s super cheap, but it will be more than adequate for many hunters and shooters.
If you’re shooting close ranges or want something with a little more flexibility than a fixed 4x scope, the 1-4x32 is the ideal choice for the many tasks ahead.
If you want a little more oomph from your scope for an AR-15 and are willing to upgrade with an extra $100, you must consider the Prime 4-12x40. It’s a favorite all-purpose scope that is accurate, just as tough, and is so much fun to shoot with. In the end, you can spend a lot more if you want to, but you really don’t need to.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.