$200 Truglo 1-6x Tru-Brite Tactical Rifle Scope Review – The Video, The Story, The Conclusion

Truglo TRU-Brite 30 Series Tactical Rifle Scope 1-6x24 Review

If you’d told me ten years ago I’d write a positive review of a $200 TruGlo Tru-Brite Tactical 30mm 1-6x rifle scope, I would have laughed. I mean, I was running a Trijicon ACOG ECOS kit for crying out loud. I think it cost me $1600+. And SHWAT™ wasn’t even an idea yet so writing anything wasn’t exactly on my mind. All that aside, a crummy Simmons 3-9x scope was my $200 point of reference, and you’ll see it in the video. But ten years can change everything. Well, it can change a lot. Think about it, we’re not yet to the tenth anniversary of the iPhone. This Truglo TRU-Brite 30 Series Tactical Rifle Scope 1-6×24 surprised me.

How so? I picked it up, I looked through it. Then I found out the price. The Truglo TG8516TL street pricing is between $168 and $214. For that kind of price, it’s a pretty crazy value. Here’s what I found.

Truglo 1-6x24 tactical

The 30 Series 1-6×24 Tactical Rifle Scope needs a shorter name to make room for all the stuff Truglo puts in the box. You get front and rear caps, a scope mount for a Picatiny rail and even a battery for the illuminated reticle. If you’re starting out as a hunter or shooter sorting out what you need in a scope, having everything in one starter kit is pretty nice. You don’t have to worry whether or not the mount you’re considering will work with the scope. Or kick yourself for not buying the right battery. Or whether you should get an illuminated reticle, and if so, do you want red or green?

Yes, the Tru-Brite 30 Series 1-6×24 Tactical Rifle Scope from Truglo illuminates in BOTH red and green. The knob on mine isn’t crisp. In fact, it’s kind of mushy. Do I care? Not on a $200 scope!

Truglo 1-6x24 scope reticle
Don’t let this intimidate you! Just use the scope.

The TG8516TL comes with an MIL reticle. If you’re not sure if that’s important it’s okay. On a $200 1-6x scope, I’m honestly tempted to say again, “Who cares?” Yes, you can learn something using this, but you could also be intimidated by the picture I’m posting here. However, the way the scope is set up, you don’t really have to worry much about hold overs past 100 yards. Instead of the usual elevation knob in MILs or MOA, the top scope knob adjusts for yardage.

Truglo calibrated turret
Dial your range instead of MOA or MIL drops

Shooting .223 55 grain ammunition, dial your target range out to 800 yards using the calibrated BDC turret and pull the trigger. Or you can swap that turret for a .308 168 grain calibrated turret that comes with the 30 Series Tru-Brite 1-6×24 Tactical.

Windage adjustments are done in half MOA (Minute of Angle) clicks. For a lot years scope makers including Leupold put MIL reticles inside scopes and MOA adjustments outside, just like this Truglo. While certainly usable, it’s a bid weird to me. If we’re going with MOA knobs, I’d prefer an MOA reticle. Others may take a different view.

Now that we know how we adjust for windage and bullet drop at varying ranges, the question we must ask is whether or not the scope returns to zero when you dial back to 100 yards and no windage adjustment. It’s pretty close. Neither are the MOA windage adjustments perfectly accurate. But the truth is, you can find the same issues on scopes three and four times the price. What can we conclude?

If you you’re looking for a precision rifle scope, this isn’t for you. You need deeper pockets for that. But for a hunting rifle, shooting steel or just range fun, this scope delivers more than I’d have imagined at a $200 price point. I know, that’s getting repetitive, but hang with me just a bit more.

Target shooting with Truglo scope
This mock up shows how easy it is to shoot bullseyes with this Truglo reticle

Remember what I mentioned above about not being intimidated by the reticle? If you want to shoot bullseyes, this reticle is great. The human eye naturally wants concentrically lined up circles. Olympic shooters use peep sights to take advantage of that and this Truglo reticle works similarly. I’ve mocked up an image of what it looked like when I was testing this optic at an indoor range. It’s a dot inside of circles inside of circles. Take a look at the group I shot at 100 yards with this $200 optic!

Truglo Review

Note, there’s a lot more to that group than just this scope. There’s a Wilson Combat barrel, the Timney Trigger the Barnes ammo… You can read about that custom AR-15 build which accounts for the real accuracy, but this scope is what let me see and hold that target consistently. To see perfectly, my right eye requires a bit of diopter adjustment, something lacking on some more expensive optics but included on this 1-6x scope. That’s kind of hitting above its weight in my book.

Experienced shooters and hunters might suggest that if the reticle images here are accurate that the scope isn’t as bright as others. They would be correct and brighter is always better. But brighter comes with a bigger price tag.

The scope comes with what Truglo calls a quick zoom lever; other manufactures call it a throw lever. It adds a great practical value to almost any variable optic where you want to quickly and easily change the magnification. If that’s new to you, you’ll see it used in the video. High end throw levers can easily cost $65 by themselves. Sure, they are probably better made with cleaner lines and rounded edges, but those levers are also a third of the price of this compete Truglo 30 Series Tactical Rifle Scope. We’re talking about entirely different purposes here.

Truglo value
Quick zoom lever, speed lever, throw lever – all one in the same

Other reasonable questions to ask about any scope is whether it holds zero over its magnification range and over time. From 6x to 1x and back to six, my TG8516TL held zero. I’ve had it in and out of vehicles and different bags. In my Elite Survival Systems M4 Roller bag, I’ve bounced it down a wooded trail to a make shift range. I’ve shot it between 75 degrees indoors and 38 degrees outdoors.

It held zero well enough that I’d hunt with it. Since I couldn’t get out and chase wild hogs during the timeframe I filmed the video, I hunted a small watermelon stuffed with Tannerite instead. The Tannerite jar was 2.75 inches in diameter and it went off on the first shot. For a $200 scope in a sudden twenty plus degree temperature drop, that’s accurate enough for me.

Here’s my conclusion: While the TruGlo Tru-Brite Tactical 30mm 1-6x rifle scope won’t be chosen by SOCOM and it might not be a family heirloom, for $200 it delivers practical value in a big way. It would make a great gift, a great starter scope for someone getting into shooting or hunting. If you have more ARs than optics and aren’t ready to pony up big bucks for a top tier optic, snag one of these. Options are awesome and this optic is a great one at a surprising price point.

10 thoughts on “$200 Truglo 1-6x Tru-Brite Tactical Rifle Scope Review – The Video, The Story, The Conclusion

  1. Pingback: December 2017 Product Spotlight: TRU•BRITE 30 SERIES - blog.truglo.com

    • That’s unfortunate! I’d send it back for service. I know they have some new stuff coming out. Never know, perhaps they’d replace it with a new and improved version?

  2. 3 scopes later (The first one had a bad half circle scratch on the internal glass), the third one they sent me has the same focus issue and a loose front lens. It’s going back and when I get a new one back, it’s going up for sale. The friendly phone rep at TruGlo spoke to the engineer and I was told that at 6x, anything at 50 yards is going to be blurry since the “parallax” is set at 100 yards. In my experience, if you don’t want blurriness, keep it at 4x inside of 50 yards.

    I read of a similar problem with a Primary Arms 1-6x or 1-8x scope. The owner called PA and learned that when the image is blurry at 50 yards, it means that the factory set the scope to the “Default Parallax Setting of Infinity” instead of 100 yards. PA took the owner’s scope back and correctly adjusted it. His image was reported as nice and crisp thereafter.

    TruGlo, on the flipside just takes a returned scope and exchanges it for the same thing. They do not service scopes. At the price, I understand why. I returned mine, included a detailed letter to CHECK what they send me back. They didn’t even break the seal of the packaging before sending me a new one. The letter stated that this would be my 3rd scope and included the simple request to CHECK what they sent back. I didn’t want anymore hassles. They didn’t. Now, I’m experiencing a loose, rattling front lens, and I have to pay another $15 to send it back to Texas.

    I will mention here that the customer pays for the shipping there and you have to include a check in the amount of $12.50 to have them send you a new one back. When all is said an done, I’ll have $175 in the scope plus about $50 dollars in shipping fees for returns. After ebay and paypal fees, I’ll be lucky to recover $125 dollars towards a Primary Arms 1-6 scope.

    This scope is fine for somebody who doesn’t mind the weight, poor customer service (They don’t read a detailed note included with my return), and 4x of usable magnification at 50 yards.

    It would have saved me much time and money if I had known that this scope would have a max zoom of 4x at 50 yards.

  3. actually purchased a truglo 1 x 6 x 24 ,i believe its the upgraded model ,paid less than 180 for it and sighted it in using 55grain boat tail match ammo reloaded by greg my shooting buddy ,1st glass isn’t as good as m 1 x 8 strike eagle but then it didnt cost me over 450 with the warne mount either ,it just works ,targets out to 250 ,man sized targets seen clearly ,metal plates rung at 200 yds rung clearly ,as a starter 1 x scope for under 200 bucks i believe you can’t go wrong with this well built 1 x 6 optic. i know greg will say its a cheap knock off but hold your horses this scope actually works and the reticle in two colors is also a winning combo.

  4. I’m looking at doing a forward mount with the 1-4x version of this scope, but there isn’t any information about eye relief other than to say it is generous. That’s too subjective to determine whether a forward mount will work. Can someone give me an estimated eye relief in inches?

  5. Can anyone give me a figure for the eye relief of this scope? I’m trying to figure out if it would work forward mounted.

    • Eye relief is approximately 3.5in. This is not a long-eye relief “pistol scope” that would be recommended for a forward “scout rifle” position.

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