Barska 1-4x 28mm IR SWAT Riflescope Review

One of the coolest looking riflescopes I’ve seen but also one of the most versatile is the Barska 1-4x 28mm Adjustable Power rifle scope. It does the job of at least two normal scopes and is quite cheap at under $150.

The main feature that stands out to me is the switchable and adjustable Mil-Dot reticle that is great for ranging shots in any lighting conditions. It comes with a mount attached and also flip up caps which are accessories worth anywhere up to $50.

I explain all the features of this scope in this review and share with you the experiences of previous customers and what they thought was good and bad so you have a balanced and honest review to look at before you buy. There are frequently asked questions that are answered here to hopefully give you more of an idea of whether this is the right scope for you.

Please use the table of contents to navigate to what area interests you the most.

Features

Triple Colored Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle

The standout feature of this scope is the switchable Mil-Dot reticle, you can change the color from black to red or green. Each different color has its own uses, the black is useful for daytime conditions and the illuminated red or green settings are really useful in low light conditions.

The reticle is Mil-Dot so once you have zeroed the sight the dots help you range targets depending on how many dots high it is in your scope and then aim accordingly.

Variable Power Zoom

This scope has variable zoom settings from 1x to 4x which is a very small range but makes the scope better for shots up to 200 yards. On the 1x setting you will be able to make shots out to 100 yards easily, and the sights can be used very similar to a red dot sight. If you need more accuracy and range on your rifle then you can always switch to the 4x setting and using the Mil-Dot get a great shot off.

We recommend you mount the scope on its highest power setting so you know can get a comfortable shot once it is secured onto your rifle in any power setting.

External Turrets Lock

To help with reliability the windage and elevation turrets can be locked in place to prevent them from changing due to recoil. If you have had problems with scopes losing zero easily then this could be a good solution for you.

CO2 and Nitrogen purged and sealed

The scope is purged using CO2 and nitrogen to reduce the moisture content internally and once sealed it is 100% waterproof and being airtight is also fog proof. Some people say that using Argon gives better results in waterproofing but there is negligible difference in reality so long as the environment inside the scope just needs to be void of water vapor.

Sunshade

The overhanging sunshade reduces glare from light coming from behind you. It just makes sense to have the sunshade but it does mean you have to watch out for scope eye. Make sure the eye relief is sufficient to prevent this from happening.

Battery type

CR2032 3V lithium battery, a very cheap battery that is widely available, the battery life is quite good and depending on the illumination setting you are working with can last up to 10 weeks.

Multi-Coated Optics

As comes standard now the optics are fully multi-coated which increasing light transmission and leads to a bright easy to see image through the scope.

Part number

AC11872

What comes in the Box?

  • Ring scope mount – it’s a 1 inch cantilever ring scope mount fits on picatinny and weaver rails.
  • Flip up caps – use them to protect the lenses when not in use
  • 1 battery – Comes with 1 CR2032 3V battery

Specifications

  • Reticle: IR switchable Black, Red and Green Mil-Dot
  • Magnification Range: 1-4x
  • Objective Lens: 28mm
  • Exit pupil: 7mm-28mm
  • Field of View(ft@100 yards): 90@1x and 22.5@4x
  • Eye relief: 4.5″
  • Elevation and Windage Adjustments per click: ¼ MOA
  • Length: 10″
  • Weight: 16 Ounces

What Customers Particularly liked

Good Adjustable Brightness Settings

Having so many settings for 3 different colors made customers feel like they had the versatility to perform their best shots in many different conditions. The brightness of the reticle you have selected is changed using an adjustable rheostat, it allows you to increase or decrease the brightness of the reticle to give you a sharp crisp crosshair depending on the light conditions outside.

Make sure not to set it too bright for the ambient lighting conditions otherwise it will appear fuzzy and distorted.

Design and Appearance

Although extremely functional with good placement of the turrets and the overhanging sunshade, many customers found that it was an attractive looking piece of equipment. The outward appearance of a scope does not impact the internal performance but if it looks good while performing well all the better right?

Holds zero well

Due to the external locking of the turrets, customers found this scope superior to other similarly priced models in holding its zero throughout a heavy day or even weekend of firing. Reliability is a hugely important factor when using a scope in a repeated range as you want it to remain the same through multiple shots especially if the shot you need to take has a short lifetime.

What customers did not like

The size of the opening was small.

The exit pupil was too small for some when set on the highest magnification setting. Using the scope on a 1x setting was easy with both eyes open for a long period of time which is handy for quick shooting but the 4x setting requires a lot of concentration and for a few customers they found it more difficult to use.

Need the screws tightening

This was a minor complaint from one customer in that when fitting the scope to the rail on his rifle he felt he couldn’t tighten the screws enough. He said the mount did not move or come loose at all after firing but he just felt that the screws were loose and would have liked to be able to tighten them up even more.

Reticle hairs very fine

This scope uses a Mil-Dot reticle and so the lines in between the dots can be very fine, some customers prefer thicker lines on their reticles however we think that chunky reticle lines, especially on a Mil-Dot would obstruct the view of your target and so long as the dots are easily visible then it will perform fine.

Price

Suggested retail price from a vendor is around $300. Considering the aesthetics and the fact it is from a well known manufacturer would drive the price up, I would not buy it for anything over $200. It is very versatile so instead of having to buy two scopes to cover the kind of range that this scope covers I think a price of $200 would be pretty good value.

You’re basically getting more than one scope here due to the interchangeable reticles and zoom settings if you can get for a discount then it is a good buy. Amazon do a massive discount currently at time of writing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the illuminated reticle in low lighting?

The idea of an illuminated reticle is to give you more of a color contrast against the backdrop of the image but also to make sure that in different light conditions you have visible crosshairs. In low lighting you can adjust the brightness of the Mil-Dot so it stands out but doesn’t interfere with the image you see when looking through.

Experiment with different settings at different times of the day as a lower lighting requires a lower brightness setting for the reticle, otherwise it will appear fuzzy and distorted.

Do the mounts come with the scope?

The mount shown in the pictures comes with the scope and fits easily onto most of the common rails.

Is it really an Infrared scope?

It is not an Infrared scope and does not have an Infrared setting to see heat signatures. IR means Illuminated Reticle.

Check more questions and answers here

Summary

If you have read through the whole thing I hope I have answered any questions and given you plenty of information to get your head around. To sum this scope up I would say it is a well priced variable power illuminated Mil-Dot riflescope that works well for those making shots anywhere up to 250 yards.

It fits easily on most of the common rails available so you should have no problem setting it up and getting it mounted. With the external locking turrets you can also zero it once and keep it there through multiple rounds.

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