When you buy a new rifle, the first order of business is to find an optic to go with it. While it may be tempting to reach for a high power scope, too much magnification is often more of a hindrance than a help.
The best 1-6x scopes are versatile, all-around optics capable of doing just about anything. These Low Power Variable Optics (LPVOs) are perfect for 3 Gun competition, tactical applications, and even most hunting scenarios.
Reasons to Pass on a High Power Scope
Using a magnified scope can certainly help the average shooter achieve better accuracy. However, sometimes high magnification is an obstacle, not an asset. When a scope is zoomed in with high magnification, the field of view (FOV) narrows severely. This not only decreases peripheral awareness, it also makes it hard to line up crosshairs on moving targets, especially at closer ranges.
By using a variable scope with zero to low magnification (like a 1-6x scope), shooters benefit from a wider field of view. With true 1x magnification, you can easily engage moving targets at close range. When you dial up the magnification to 6x, you can accurately aim at distant targets while still enjoying a relatively wide FOV.
These qualities make the versatile 1-6x scope perfect for a variety of shooting applications, including recreational shooting, serious 3 gun competition, and hunting. As an ideal close to mid-range optic, they also make the perfect partner for a modern sporting rifle, like the AR-15 or SCAR 17.
What to Look for in a 1-6x Scope?
Shooters are often tough on their guns, which means we are often tough on our optics too. Look for a scope made from durable, aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure it can stand up to rough use.
Also, look for optics that are o-ring sealed and purged with an anhydrous gas like nitrogen or argon. This makes the scope fogproof and waterproof.
It’s hard to shoot what you can’t see. You want a scope with high-quality lenses to provide the best clarity and brightness. Look for an optic that features fully multi-coated lenses for the best image quality.
One of the best things about opting for an LPVO over iron sights is that you can choose from a wide range of reticle designs. Options include everything from simple duplex reticles for quick target acquisition to detailed BDC reticles for accuracy at longer ranges.
For scopes in this magnification range, you can choose a second focal plane (SFP) reticle or a first focal plane (FFP) reticle.
An FFP reticle is tied to the scope’s magnification. This means the size of the reticle grows in proportion to the target when you zoom to higher magnification. If you plan to engage targets at distance, an FFP allows you to accurately compensate for bullet drop and windage across the optic’s entire magnification range.
In contrast, an SFP reticle remains the same size regardless of magnification. SFP scopes work best at one magnification level. The biggest benefit of an SFP scope is their affordability. They tend to be priced much cheaper than their FFP counterparts.
Best 1-6x Scopes on the Market Reviews
If you aren’t sure where to begin your search for a great 1-6x scope, here are some of our favorites to help get your started.
1. EOTECH Vudu 1-6x24mm Riflescope
EOTech designed their Vudu riflescope with the serious 3-gunner in mind. However, it is equally at home on an AR-15 as it is on your favorite bolt action hunting rifle.
It features EOTech’s unique Speed Ring reticle. When used with 1x magnification, this reticle is perfect for rapid target acquisition on close range targets. Dial it up to the highest power, and the scope provides the resolution and accuracy necessary to engage targets at longer ranges.
With crystal clear XC high-density glass, the Vudu provides impressive light transmission for a bright, clear sight picture. It also features an illuminated FFP reticle for precision aiming in low light conditions.
Built to withstand tough use in rough environments, the EOTech Vudu’s housing is built from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum and features a hard anodized finish.
2. SWAROVSKI Z6i 1-6×24 2nd Generation Riflescope
With some of the best optical quality on the face of the planet, Swarovski scopes deliver bright images with crisp clarity through the entire magnification range.
The Z6i accomplishes this with Swarovski’s proprietary Swarotop Coatings. Swarotop is designed to increase light transmission. It also features tiny micro-grooves on the lens edges to prevent internal reflections. The result is bright, razor-sharp contrast, even in dim light.
This high-end scope is packed with cutting-edge features. We particularly love the internal tilt sensor. The sensor detects when the rifle is moved into a shooting position and automatically powers up the reticle illumination.
The scope also features an auto shut-off function that differentiates between nighttime and daylight shooting conditions. These two functions ensure your reticle is always visible whenever you’re ready to shoot.
They say you get what you pay for, so the price tag on this scope should come as no surprise. Although this is the most expensive scope on our list, it also offers the best quality.
3. Leupold VX-6HD 1-6x24mm Riflescope
It’s hard to beat the quality of Leupold optics. One of the biggest names in the optics world, Leupold provides great value and quality. They also stand behind all of their products with a full lifetime warranty.
This tough LPVO is completely fogproof and waterproof. It is also tested to perform in extreme temperatures from -40ºF to 160ºF. Leupold puts all of their optics through strenuous impact testing, so you can rest assured that this scope can handle just about anything you can dish out.
In addition to its impressive durability, the VX-6HD offers crisp, clear images with outstanding brightness and true-to-life color. It also features Leupold’s Twilight Management System, which enhances image clarity even in the lowest light conditions.
Hunters will particularly appreciate this feature, as it adds an extra 15 minutes of shooting visibility at the start and end of every day.
4. Trijicon AccuPoint 1-6×24 Riflescope
Trijicon is most famous for their battle-proven ACOG optics used by the U.S. military. The company brings the same level of performance and durability to their AccuPoint LPVO.
With multi-coated lenses and impressive light gathering capabilities, the AccuPoint has optical quality that will knock your socks off.
Featuring Trijicon’s famous battery-free illumination, the AccuPoint uses fiber optic technology to adjust brightness levels and optimize reticle visibility in all light conditions. In the lowest light conditions, the scope uses a tritium phosphor lamp to illuminate the SFP reticle.
This variable power scope is one of the most durable optics on our list. It is made with an aircraft-grade aluminum housing and has a rugged design, specially engineered for extreme conditions. The AccuPoint is also tested to meet all military standards and protocols.
This is one seriously tough optic. Surprisingly priced under $1000, the Trijicon AccuPoint is a great investment for the serious big game hunter in need of a rugged, high-performance optic.
5. Bushnell Elite Tactical 1-6.5×24-mm Riflescope
Bushnell is a well-respected name in outdoor optics, and their Elite Tactical riflescope makes it easy to understand why. This LPVO is built to last, even after years of rough outdoor use. It is made from a one-piece aluminum alloy tube that is o-ring sealed and argon purged.
When it comes to image quality, this Bushnell scope is capable of running with the big boys (like the much more expensive Swarovski and Leupold brands). Lenses are all coated with an Ultra-Wide Anti-Reflective Band Coating.
These coatings are engineered to optimize brightness and color transmission across the entire light spectrum, providing you with some of the clearest images you’ll ever view through an optic.
6. Monstrum G3 1-6×24 FFP Riflescope
A perfect option for shooters on a shoestring budget, the Monstrum G3 is priced under $200. But don’t mistake this scope’s affordability for low quality. This is a great optic that really deserves a much higher price tag.
The scope features fully multi-coated lenses to increase light transmission and reduce glare. It also has a fully sealed, nitrogen-filled tube to prevent internal fogging, even in the wettest shooting conditions.
With an illuminated first focal plane MOA reticle, this scope allows for quick and easy ranging estimations at all target distances. It also features dial-controlled reticle illumination, so you can easily adjust reticle visibility in bright or low light.
7. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 1-6×24 Riflescope
The Viper PST is one of Vortex’s mid range scopes. It provides a significant step up in image quality from the Strike Eagle.
The Viper PST features extra-low dispersion (XD) glass. However, where this scope really stands out is its lens coatings. Vortex uses a proprietary anti-reflective coating to fully cover all air-to-glass surfaces with multiple layers. These coatings maximize light transmission and reduce reflection for images so crisp and clear they will take your breath away.
Lenses on the Viper PST also feature an ArmorTek Ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating. This coating is designed to provide an extra layer of protection against dirt, scratches, oil, and fingerprints.
In addition to its stunning image quality and rugged design, the Vortex Viper PST also has an illuminated SFP glass-etched reticle, tactical style laser-etched turrets, and CRS zero stop.
8. Vortex Optics 1-6×24 Strike Eagle
Although this great all-around scope from Vortex may fall in the “budget” category, it performs like a much more expensive scope. In fact, we have a hard time believing the Strike Eagle is available for well under $500. This scope definitely provides the best value for the money of any optic on our list.
The Vortex Strike Eagle features high-quality, fully multi-coated lenses and extra-low dispersion glass to provide a crisp, clear sight picture, even in low light.
The illuminated glass-etched reticle is positioned on the second focal plane (SFP). It features BDC marks that coincide with standard .223/5.56 cartridges, making this optic a perfect partner for your AR-15.
While the BDC reticle makes tapping targets at distance much easier, the centered halo helps you get on close-range targets quickly and efficiently.
The Strike Eagle has eleven brightness settings and a fast focus dial, so you can easily make adjustments for most lighting conditions.
Like all Vortex optics, the Strike Eagle is built for durability. It is o-ring sealed, nitrogen purged, and features a housing made from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum.
9. Sig Sauer TANGO6T 1-6x24mm Scope
Although Sig Sauer is best known for its high-quality pistols, the company also offers a complete line of optics. Although Sig may not be a dedicated optics manufacturer, their scopes are surprisingly high-quality.
The TANGO6T features Sig’s MOTAC technology. This motion activated feature automatically turns on reticle illumination when it senses movement, then powers down the optic when the device is not in motion.
The illuminated reticle on the TANGO6T also uses advanced fiber optics to automatically adjust the brightness of the reticle’s central aiming point. Brightness levels range from “HellFire” bright for intense light to “IR” dim for the lowest light conditions.
10. Ozark Armament Razorback 1-6×24 Riflescope
Another great option for the budget-conscious shooter is the Razorback from Ozark Armament. This is a nice LPVO at a price that is simply hard to beat.
The Razorback features a Mil Dot illuminated reticle (that comes in both red and green), push lock turrets, and a throw lever for quick magnification adjustments.
Fogproof, waterproof, and impact resistant, the Razorback is surprisingly durable, making it well-suited for a variety of shooting applications.
The scope comes with everything you need to get your scope mounted and working. Plus, it comes with Ozark Armament’s exclusive “No B.S. Lifetime Warranty.”
Any of the optics on our list of the best 1-6x scopes will help improve your shooting accuracy. No matter which scope you choose to top your rifle, be sure to spend some time practicing with your new set-up. Whether you’re shooting targets, game animals, or hostile enemies, proficiency with both your optic and your rifle is ultimately your most effective weapon.