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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.