Best 1-6x Scopes For Your Tactical Rifle Needs

best 1-6x scope for tactical shooting

If you are looking for a low power scope you should really consider 1-6x magnification . There are many situations where a low magnification scope makes much more sense to the average shooter.

Most people who shoot an AR-15 style rifle prefer a low magnification scope that will enhance the view of your target without hindering the tactical performance of their semi-auto tactical rifle. Another key advantage is the lightweight compact package that most of these scopes come in.

This is extremely important for sport shooters who need to maneuver during their shooting sessions. You’ll also have the upper end of the magnification range to stretch out a little farther than with a red dot.

Unless you want to spend a small fortune the best 1-6x scope on the market is the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle.  Vortex offers an extremely clear and bright sight picture at a reasonable price.  With an extremely durable design and lifetime warranty the Strike Eagle scope is well worth a look.

What’s a 1-6x Scope?

Well, the easy answer is that a 1-6x riflescope offers a variable magnification between 1x and 6x magnification.  When you look through the scope you can adjust the magnification level all the way through 6x magnification. 

As you go through the magnification range the object will appear to get closer until the image is 6 times the initial magnification size. 

The number that comes after the 6x is the objective lens size.  As you increase the size of the objective lens the brightness will increase.

This is an expensive magnification range, but what you’re really paying for is the versatility they offer.  You can easily switch between close and long range shots. 

You’ll be able to use the same scope on your AR15 as you do on a hunting rifle.  The 1x magnification will allow you to shoot in tactical close range applications, whereas the 6x magnification will allow you to reach out a few hundred yards. 

The only thing you really need to watch out for is distorted low range magnification.  Cheaper scopes rarely offer a true 1x magnification, but they’ll still be able to perform.

What’s The Best 1-6x Scope?

1. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Riflescope

Notable Features:

  • Affordably Priced Rifle Scope
  • Clear Glass
  • Durable Waterproof Design
  • Bright Sight Picture

Check Price:  Amazon

The Vortex Optics Strike eagle is a moderately priced option that performs like a premium scope. Vortex Optics are known for making quality rifle scopes at a very affordable price.

You will have a difficult time finding another scope that offers the same features as the Vortex Strike Eagle at a comparable price. It pairs well with just about any short to medium ranged rifle. I can almost guarantee that you will fall in love with this affordable scope.

The Strike Eagle is packed with features not normally found in scopes at this price.  You are getting a truly high end scope at an affordable price. Speed and versatility are the strengths the Strike Eagle was founded on.

Designed specifically with the AR15 in mind shooters can quickly engage targets at short range and extend out a few hundred yards. Vortex chose to use a true 1x magnification to avoid distortion throughout the magnification range. This versatility allows you to take this optic from the range to the woods.

With the Fully multi-coated lens you won’t have to worry about morning glares or a dim field of view. With the increased light transmission you’ll be able to see from dawn to dusk. Vortex even chose to include a illuminated reticle to help you aim in low light conditions.

Crystal clear glass really isn’t what Vortex is known for, but the strike eagle really is impressive. You’ll have a crystal clear distortion free sight picture throughout the magnification range.

With the help of the second focal plane the reticle will remain the same size throughout the magnification range. The reticle also includes tools to quickly estimate range, holdover and wind drift. You will be able to quickly make adjustments without having to worry.

Like most Vortex products the Strike Eagle was built to last. Backed by Vortex no questions asked lifetime warranty you won’t have to worry about damaging this scope.

Utilizing a completely waterproof, shockproof and fogproof design the Strike Eagle was built to last a lifetime of abuse. With all these features and a moderate price point the Vortex Strike Eagle is going to be hard to beat.

2. Bushnell Elite Tactical Illuminated Riflescope

Notable Features:

  • Premium Priced Scope
  • Extremely Durable Waterproof Design
  • Crystal Clear Sight Picture
  • Illuminated Reticle
  • Easy to Use

Check Price:  Amazon

Just about everybody has heard of the Bushnell Brand. They have been making quality hunting equipment for a very long time. If you’ve ever owned a Bushnell product you can quickly see that they make products for a specific price point.

They make some of the cheapest and a few of the best rifle scopes on the market. This Bushnell Elite Tactical scope is easily at the top of it’s class. Unfortunately the high quality of this optic is reflected in the price.

The Bushnell Elite Tactical BTR 2 Scope is a very high end scope, but you aren’t going to beat the quality. Designed for very demanding and tactical use the BTR 2 is the #1 choice for a lot of police precincts.

It’s the perfect tactical scope, designed for both close and medium range shooting. You’ll be able to quickly get on target with the true 1x magnification.

A true 1x magnification is something you don’t see on lower priced scopes. There is absolutely no distortion throughout the entire magnification range. Where cheaper scopes tend to have distortions at the ends of the magnification spectrum this optic is crystal clear. It really is one of the clearest optics on the market(for the price it should be).

The Elite Tactical scope uses Bushnell’s patented Ultra Wide Anti-Reflective Band coating which is only found on premium scopes. The coating is engineered so that every single lens element is perfectly optimized. The result is one of the brightest scopes on the market. When you pair that with perfect color transmission across the entire light spectrum you end up with a beautiful sight picture.

With a total of 11 illumination settings you will be able to use this sight with minimal ambient light. Bushnell designed this scope with heavy duty tactical use in mind.

With that comes one of the most durable scopes on the market. With a completely shockproof reinforced from the scope will survive anything life throws at it. Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed you can expect it to be truly waterproof and fogproof. If you can afford the premium price point you won’t be disappointed in this high end scope.

3. Primary Arms 1-6X24mm Riflescope Gen III

Notable Features:

  • Affordably Priced Scope
  • Durable Waterproof Design
  • Bright and Clear Glass
  • Easy to Adjust Turrets

Check Price:  Amazon

The Primary Arms 1-6x24mm Riflescope is another moderately priced option. Primary Arms is a relatively new company that offers a wide variety of products. Most of their products fall into the low to medium price range and this scope is no exception.

This is actually one of Primary Arms most expensive products. Being one of their most expensive scopes you get many features that aren’t found in other similarly priced optics.

The Primary Arms Rifle Scope is one of the most feature rich scopes for the price. Primary Arms chose to patent their own reticle, and it’s one of the best I’ve seen.

Their Patented Advanced Combined Sighting System Reticle(ACSS) is extremely intuitive and easy to use. You’ll be able to easily estimate range and bullet drop on the fly without doing any calculations.

Featuring Bullet drop compensation, wind holds, moving target leads and range estimation. All of these features will allow you to quickly pick up your target no matter what distance(out to a few hundred yards).

This is another scope that features a second focal plane reticle so the reticle remains the same size throughout the magnification range. The combination of the multi-coated lens and 11 level illuminated reticle will ensure you have a bright sight picture.

You won’t notice any ghosting or distortion in your image. The clarity is on par with a moderately priced Leupold(Not as clear as the above Bushnell, but very impressive).

Being one of Primary Arms more expensive scopes comes with some advantages. They threw everything they could at this scope to make it nearly indestructible.

When they gave you a lifetime warranty they really didn’t want anyone to use it. They improved upon their previous design to make a smaller, lighter and stronger optic.

The heavy duty aluminum body is completely shockproof up to the recoil of a .30-06. Though I wouldn’t recommend swimming with your rifle it features a nitrogen purged tube to make it completely waterproof and fogproof.

If you somehow manage to break this scope I would seriously reevaluate what your getting yourself into. If you’re on the fence about this scope, take the plunge and let me know how you feel.

4. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope

Notable Features:

  • Premium Priced Scope
  • Crystal Clear Sight Picture
  • High Contrast Bright Sight Picture
  • Durable Waterproof Construction
  • Illuminated Reticle

Check Price:  Amazon

The Vortex Razor HD is the most expensive scope on this list, but it’s crystal clear and tough as nails. If you are looking for the absolute best look no farther than the Vortex Razor HD. The Razor HD is the absolute clearest 1-6x scope on the market. If you can justify the price for a low magnification scope, you won’t find anything better for your AR15.

If you are looking for a low magnification scope for your AR15 you aren’t going to beat the Razor HD. No other scope can even compete with the clarity in this glass. Even at the full 6x magnification you will have a crystal clear sight picture(which you should at this price). Vortex uses their Apochromatic Objective Lens System to make perfectly index-matched lenses for perfect clarity. The optically indexed lenses optimize the image sharpness while maximizing the light output. They use an extra-low dispersion glass to deliver high resolution and color fidelity with hardly any ambient light. With almost no light output you’ll be able to see your target through this scope. The extremely forgiving eye relief means you have a clear sight picture no matter your hold. Designed for dual eye visual monitoring of the surrounding environment.

Designed for short to mid range shooting sessions where extreme performance is critical to your success. This scope has found its way into countless competitions and will offer you a competitive edge. Construction wise the Vortex Razor HD is built like a tank. With a completely shockproof waterproof and fogproof design, you would have to try and damage this scope. If you somehow manage to damage the scope, Vortex offers a lifetime replacement warranty on all of their products. If you have a little extra cash to spend and need the absolute best look no farther than the Vortex Razor HD.

5. Monstrum Tactical 1-6×24 Rifle Scope

Notable Features:

  • Value Priced Scope
  • Lots of Advanced Features
  • Durable Construction
  • Easy To Adjust Turrets

Check Price:  Amazon

While most of these scopes are expensive they don’t have to cost a fortune. The Monstrum Tactical Rifle scope is an extremely affordable option. Perfect for the AR15 this scope from Monstrum Tactical is impressive for the price.

You might not get all the bells and whistles, but Monstrum Tactical scopes are built well.  The company is quickly gaining steam in the firearm community.

They have been making very durable scopes and keeping them at a low price point. This scope will be great for anyone from an entry level shooter to your grandpa who’s been shooting since he was a kid.

Monstrum Tactical designed the perfect budget scope for your AR-15. You don’t get the absolute clearest sight picture, but it is packed with premium features.

The Monstrum Tactical Scope has outstanding close quarter accuracy and is very precise out to a few hundred yards. This scope offers quick and easy adjustments that you can make in the field.

With the built in rangefinder reticle and advanced holdover reticle you’ll be able to quickly dial in your shot. Monstrum Tactical even decided to throw in a illuminated reticle.

While the multicoated lens is very average at filtering out light and improving brightness, the illuminated reticle more than makes up for its shortcomings.

You can choose between a red or green reticle setting to suit all light environments. The biggest downfall of most Monstrum Tactical Scopes is their waterproofing. Monstrum Tactical claims the scope is water and fog resistant.

Unfortunately I’ve had more than one water resistant scope ruined in my flooded truck tool box after a long drive in the rain. There aren’t a lot of budget options, so you should strongly consider this optic from Monstrum Tactical.

What To look For in a Scope

There are a ton of different options available on the market.  It can be difficult to sort through all of the differences.  Your choice will most likely come down to lens, construction and reticle.


At first glance it seems like all of these scopes should have a similar lens, but that’s not the case.  Finding the right glass is crucial to finding a decent scope. 

As a general rule the more expensive a scope is the clearer it’s going to be.  Where you start to run into problems is throwing in multi-coating, objective lens size and illuminated reticles.  These three things will make a huge difference in the final outcome of a scope.

Multicoating:  Every manufacturer uses a different type of multi-coating that’s supposedly better than the competition.  So you can’t really believe anything manufacturers have to say about multi-coating. 

Just make sure you read reviews and determine if there are issues with glare.  Excessive glare will seriously limit your shooting ability on sunny mornings.  Most of the coatings are also designed to reduce scratching on the lens surface.  The more expensive the scope the better the resistance will likely be.

Objective Lens Size:  If there’s one thing that confuses almost everyone it’s the objective lens size.  At first glance it seems like the size only affects sight picture. 

It makes sense that the bigger the lens the larger the sight picture, but it also has a huge affect on light.  It’s simple physics, the larger the opening the more light you are going to get in your scope.  So a larger objective lens size typically results in a brighter sight picture.

Illuminated Reticles:  Illuminated reticles are something that you only see on cheap scopes and very expensive scopes.  When done right a illuminated reticle will significantly improve the brightness of your sight picture.  Cheap scopes like to use subpar illumination systems to increase the perceived brightness.  This makes up for issues in their lens coating.


You’re scopes durability is going to come down to the quality of the materials that go into it.  Cheap glass will significantly reduce your scopes clarity.  You should also determine what the housing is made out of.  Almost every premium scope is going to be made out of aircraft grade aluminum.  The material is rugged, lightweight and will never rust.

The biggest thing you are going to need to consider is your application.  You need to match the scope to the rifle to the scope you want to use it on.  A 40$ scope might work well on your AR15, but it will likely have issues on a higher caliber.  Likewise if you plan on shooting multiple times a week you’re going to want to buy a scope that will take some serious abuse.  It’s amazing how fast you can put rounds through a rifle when you go the shooting range.

Consider the environment you’re going to be shooting in.  Are you buying this for your hunting rifle that gets brought out once a year, or is it going on a rifle that you put through the paces.  Quality rifle scopes should be able to withstand rain, snow, dust, sand and everything else in between.  If you’re going to run the scope through the elements it needs to be waterproof.  Look for a scope that’s nitrogen purged and O-Ring Sealed.


I could never go through all the different reticle options on the market.  Just remember that a 1-6x reticle needs to be just as good at short range as long.  So look for a reticle that has range estimation features, but isn’t overly complicated.  Clearing up your sight picture will significantly improve your close up accuracy.  If you stick to the common reticles you should be safe.  On most of my hunting rifles I like to stick to a basic duplex reticle.

Which is The Best 1-6x Scope?

Just about any shooter will enjoy the quality of the Vortex Strike Eagle. The Strike Eagle offers a very clear sight picture along with many features normally found on more expensive scopes. ThePrimary Arms 1-6X24 Scope is another moderately priced option. If you are in the premium scope market you should try the Vortex Razor HD or the Bushnell Elite Tactical Scope. If you are on a tight budget you might want to consider the Monstrum Tactical Scope.

Recent Content