Hi-Lux CMR8 1-8x26mm Tactical Scope Preview

This is a TFB exclusive product preview at the Fall 2015 Big 3 Media event at Daytona Beach, Florida. One of the companies at the event is Hi-Lux Leatherwood optics. I have reviewed more than a few of their optics for TFB. To my surprise, they brought along the working prototype of their new 1-8x tactical scope. While nothing is finalized yet, Hi-Lux said the retail price of this optic, designated as the CMR8, will be under $1000 US dollars.



Their new company logo. It now has a clean modern look while retaining the classic fonts of the Leatherwood legacy.



The new Hi-Lux 1-8x26mm is mounted on the Aero Precision M5E1 carbine with the modular monolithic upper. The gun is a lightweight AR-10 style .308 rifle with 16-inch barrel. The optic is very short for a 1-8x scope. It has the same length as their CMR 1-4x24mm scope, which is just under 10 inches long.



The optic is holding up just fine from the effects of firing the full power .308 ammo as well as my German 7.62×51 NATO surplus rounds. The Hi-Lux CMR8 will feature an illuminated reticle in the first focal plane. The illumination turret on the left side will have the “off” position between each level setting.



The tube size is 34mm. Although, I prefer the smaller 30mm size, the 34mm is the common tube size for the 1-8x scope. A benefit of featuring a short body is the weight reduction. The production version of the Hi-Lux CMR8 should weigh in at just over 20 oz, which would make it the lightest 1-8x on the market.



I can’t comment on the optical quality since the optical formula is being worked on. The reticle is also not ready yet. The demo unit has just a simple mil-dot crosshair reticle. According to their reticle designer, the reticle that he’s designing for it will be good for both fast and close work as well as precision long-range shooting.



The Hi-Lux CMR8 is scheduled to be released by SHOT Show 2016. I’m looking forward to checking it out at the Hi-Lux booth.


Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


  • Mike N.

    For $1,000, it better be made in Japan and not China. Primary Arms has a 1-8 that sells for around $1,300 and is made in Japan (likely by Light Optical Works). There are also lots of other high quality lower power scopes in that price range (Burris, Bushnell, Leupold, etc.) that are all not made in China.

  • Dracon1201

    Hi-Lux has been underrated for a while now. They get some great quality down for budget scopes.

    • DrewN

      I bought one of the M40 clones with the tombstone reticle for plinking and I love it so far. Very intuitive and easy to shoot.

    • FightFireJay

      Underrated unless you deal with their customer service for the lifetime warranty.

      • All the Raindrops

        Yep why plunk 400-1000 for an optic that doesn’t have a real lifetime warranty like vortex, burris, etc.

    • They make excellent products and are very underrated. I’ve used the Leatherwood ART for many years and it’s not only held up well but has very nice glass and good controls.

    • Peeholestinger

      Agreed, I have one of their CRM 1-4’s and I think it’s excellent. The reticle is amazing. You’d never know it was Made in China.

  • iksnilol

    I never understand why they make them with such a small objective. Some of us like light gathering at high magnification.

    • sauerquint

      Absolutely agree, isn’t this also going to have a tiny little exit pupil diameter?

      • John

        If I remember right, the quick way to estimate exit pupil diameter is objective/magnification so even at 8X the pupil is 3.25 mm which should be fine during the day since that seems to be around the max size for (eye) pupil diameter in bright light

        At night it might not be great though since the (eye) pupil will probably be bigger than the exit pupil

        Increasing the objective diameter has consequences which off the top of my head should include weight (obvious one), possibly creating thin edges of the lenses that are harder to mount that might require increased thickness of the glass to keep the edges reasonably thick, and introducing more aberrations. Implicit with all this is the fact that you would most likely need to increase the diameter of subsequent lenses or do a redesign for increasing the exit pupil size or to at least keep the objective as the aperture stop but the tube is already 34mm. There is then the issue that increasing the diameter might not even increase the “brightness” because you might just be creating a larger exit pupil that has the same power/square area (irradiance) as before- radiometry is tough and never as simple as it seems so I’m not going to talk in absolutes nor act like I can say more about it just off of memory.

    • All the Raindrops

      The obj size on 1-x optics is fine. The 1-3×20 are some of my favorites and are g2g from dawn till dusk

      • iksnilol

        I’m thinking more along the lines og high magnification (6-8x) during the dark (dusk and night). But from what I know night time hunting is illegal in the US?

  • Spencerhut

    Save a few more bucks and just get a USO.

    • mig1nc

      A few more? You mean like double.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        More like 300% more. 2.5-inch longer and 5 oz heavier.

  • Mrninjatoes

    I have the Leatherwood hi-lux 1-4. I love it. I can’t wait for the 1-8 to come out.

  • Zang Kang King

    I just wish they could mount the scope even lower.

    • FightFireJay

      I’m glad that I’m not the only one that noticed the ridiculously low mounting height.

      • Keep in mind this is a prototype. I would expect to see it mounted higher in the end product.

        • Timothy G. Yan

          Its just the rings they had for mounting on a wooden display stock. Btw, it works just fine when mounter on the Aero Precision M5.