Low power variable optics (LPVOs) have become increasingly popular among shooters and hunters, thanks to their versatility, lightweight design, and easy-to-use features.
Rifle scopes are an essential piece of equipment for any serious shooter, providing a clear and magnified view of the target and improving accuracy at long distances.
But not all rifle scopes are created equal. When it comes to close to medium range shooting LPVO scopes are the way to go.
LPVOs are the best choice for every budget because they offer a versatile, all-purpose optic that can be used for a wide range of shooting applications, including hunting, target shooting, and tactical operations.
These optics provide a wide range of magnification, from 1x to 8x or higher, allowing for precise shots at a wide range of distances and in different lighting conditions.
LPVO scopes are available at a wide range of price points, from budget-friendly options to high-end, premium optics.
That means there is an LPVO for every budget. Later on we’ll explore a list of the top LPVOs for the money.
But first, let’s take a look at why LPVO scopes became popular in the first place.
What are the advantages of Low Power Variable Optics? LPVO scopes became popular because they offer a number of key advantages for shooters and hunters, like versatility, lightweight design, and how easy they are to use.
One of the main benefits of LPVO scopes is their versatility. Their wide range of magnification makes them useful in a variety of different shooting situations. This flexibility allows shooters to quickly and easily adjust the magnification of the optic to suit the distance and lighting conditions of the shot.
For example, LPVO scopes are ideal for hunting.
They can be used to take shots at both short and long distances, depending on the magnification setting.
At lower magnifications, LPVOs provide a wide field of view, which allows hunters to easily acquire and engage game on the run at close range.
At higher magnifications, LPVOs provide precise aiming and shot placement at longer distances, making them ideal for taking shots at animals at longer ranges.
LPVOs are also well-suited to tactical operations.
They provide the flexibility to engage targets at a variety of distances and in different lighting conditions.
At low magnifications, LPVOs provide a wide field of view, which allows tactical operators to quickly acquire and engage targets at close range.
At higher magnifications, LPVOs provide precise aiming and shot placement at longer distances, making them ideal for engaging targets at longer ranges.
Overall, the versatility of LPVOs makes them a highly desirable option for shooters and hunters who need a flexible and adaptable optic that can be used in a wide range of shooting situations.
Another advantage of LPVOs is their lightweight design. Many LPVOs are designed to be lightweight and compact, which makes them easy to mount and handle on a variety of rifles. This lightweight design also makes them more comfortable to carry and use in the field, which is an important consideration for hunters and shooters who may be spending long hours in the field.
LPVO scopes are lightweight for several reasons. First, many LPVOs are made from high-quality, lightweight materials, such as aircraft-grade aluminum or other lightweight alloys. This allows manufacturers to design optics that are strong and durable, but also lightweight and easy to handle.
Second, LPVOs are often designed with a compact and streamlined shape, which helps to reduce the overall weight of the optic.
Third, LPVOs often have a simplified design, with fewer moving parts and features, which helps to reduce the weight of the optic. Overall, the combination of lightweight materials, compact design, and simplified features allows manufacturers to design LPVOs that are lightweight and easy to use, without sacrificing durability or performance.
In addition to their versatility and lightweight design, LPVOs also offer easy-to-use features that make them user-friendly and accessible for shooters of all skill levels. These features include a wide field of view, clear reticles, and illuminated crosshairs, which make it easy to acquire and engage targets quickly and accurately.
Wide Field of View
LPVO scopes have a wide field of view enabled by true 1x magnification, eye box quality, and eye relief.
True 1x Magnification
Many LPVO scopes offer a true 1x magnification level, which allows shooters to use the optic with no magnification. This is a key feature of LPVOs, as it allows shooters to use the optic like a red dot sight, with a wide field of view and an unmagnified reticle. This is particularly useful for close-range shooting, where a wide field of view is essential for quick target acquisition and engagement. However, not all LPVOs offer a true 1x magnification level, and some may have a slightly higher magnification at the 1x setting. It is important for shooters to carefully review the specs of a particular LPVO to determine whether it offers a true 1x magnification level.
Eye Box Quality
The “eye box” refers to the area around the eyepiece of a rifle scope where the image is clear and in focus. The size and shape of the eye box can vary depending on the design of the scope and the distance of the shooter’s eye from the eyepiece. A wide and forgiving eye box is generally considered to be a desirable feature in a rifle scope, as it allows the shooter to quickly and easily acquire and engage targets, without having to precisely align their eye with the eyepiece. The brightness of an LPVO scope at 1x magnification is determined by the size and quality of the objective lens, as well as the type and intensity of the reticle illumination. Generally, LPVO scopes with larger objective lenses and high-quality reticle illumination will provide a brighter and clearer image at 1x magnification. It is important to carefully compare the specifications and features of different LPVO scopes to determine which one offers the best eye box and brightness at the 1x magnification level.
Eye relief is the distance between the eyepiece of a rifle scope and the shooter’s eye, at which the image is in focus and the full field of view is visible. Eye relief is an important factor to consider when choosing a rifle scope, as it can affect the comfort and usability of the optic. A scope with a long eye relief will allow the shooter to place their eye farther away from the eyepiece, which can be more comfortable for some shooters, especially when shooting with a high-recoil rifle. On the other hand, a scope with a short eye relief will allow the shooter to get closer to the eyepiece, which can provide a wider field of view and a more immersive shooting experience. LPVO scopes typically have a short eye relief, which allows shooters to get close to the eyepiece and see more of their surroundings.
LPVO scope reticles are typically considered to be clearer than those of other types of scopes for the following reasons:
Many of their reticles are designed to be simple and uncluttered, with fewer lines and markings. This clean and straightforward design allows shooters to quickly and easily acquire and engage targets, without being distracted by unnecessary details or markings on the reticle.
LPVO scope reticles are often made from high-quality materials, such as glass or other optically clear materials, which helps to provide a crisp and clear image.
Many LPVO scope reticles are illuminated, which allows shooters to use the optic in low light conditions, where the reticle may be difficult to see.
The simple, clear, and illuminated design of LPVO scope reticles makes them an ideal choice for shooters who need a clear and easy-to-use reticle for precision aiming and shot placement.
Illuminated crosshairs, or reticles, on LPVO scopes can make them easier to use because:
Illuminated reticles can help to improve the visibility and clarity of the reticle, especially in low light conditions. This can make it easier for the shooter to acquire and engage targets, as the reticle will be more visible and easier to see against the background.
Illuminated reticles can provide a reference point for making windage and elevation adjustments, as the brightness of the reticle can be used to quickly and easily align the crosshairs with the target.
Illuminated reticles can provide additional information and features, such as rangefinding or bullet drop compensation (BDC), which can be useful for making long-range shots.
Illuminated crosshairs on LPVO scopes can make the optic easier to use and more effective for a wide range of shooting applications.
Overall, the combination of versatility, lightweight design, and easy-to-use features make LPVOs a highly desirable option for all types of shooters looking for a high-performance optic that is easy to use and effective in a wide range of shooting situations.
LPVOs are available at a wide range of price points
LPVOs, or low power variable optics, are available at a range of different price points, from budget-friendly options to high-end, premium optics.
Low Budget LPVO Scopes
At the lower end of the price range, there are LPVOs that are priced under $500, like the following optics:
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24
Primary Arms 1-8×24 ACSS
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4×24
These budget-friendly LPVOs offer good value for the money, and are suitable for shooters who are on a tight budget or who are just starting out with low power variable optics. Even though these budget-friendly LPVOs may not have all the features and performance of more expensive models, they still offer the key advantages of low power variable optics in general.
For example, these cheaper optics still include most of the versatility, lightweight design, and easy-to-use features we discussed earlier. This means that shooters on a tight budget can still enjoy the benefits of a low power variable optic, such as the ability to switch quickly and easily between close-range and long-range shooting, without having to spend a lot of money.
Mid-Range LPVO Scopes
At the mid-range of the price spectrum, there are LPVOs that are priced between $500 and $1,000, for example:
Vortex Viper PST 1-6×24
Trijicon AccuPower 1-8×28
Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8×24.
These mid-range LPVOs offer a balance of features and performance, and are suitable for shooters who are looking for a high-quality optic that can handle a variety of shooting applications.
High-End Expensive LPVO Scopes
At the high-end of the price range, there are LPVOs that are priced over $1,000,
Schmidt & Bender PMII 1-8×24
Nightforce ATACR 1-8×24
US Optics ER-25 1-8×24
These premium LPVOs are designed for serious shooters who demand the best performance and features, and are willing to pay for a top-of-the-line optic.
Overall, there are many different LPVOs available at different price points, and the best option for you depends on your budget and needs.
What is a low power variable optic?
A low power variable optic, or LPVO, is a type of rifle scope that is designed for use at close to medium distances.
LPVO scopes are characterized by their relatively low magnification, typically ranging from 1x-4x to 1-8x, which allows the shooter to maintain a wide field of view and quickly acquire targets at close range.
The variable magnification feature also allows the shooter to adjust the magnification as needed, making LPVO scopes versatile and suitable for a wide range of shooting scenarios.
These types of scopes are commonly used by hunters and competitive shooters.
LPVO scopes also tend to have a large objective lens, which allows for a brighter and clearer sight picture.
This is especially important in low light conditions, such as at dawn or dusk when many animals are most active. LPVO scopes also often have additional features such as illuminated reticles, which can be helpful for rapid target acquisition in challenging lighting conditions.
LPVO scopes are a popular choice among hunters and competitive shooters who need to engage targets at varying distances.
They are also increasingly being used by law enforcement and military personnel who require a versatile optic for close quarter combat and other tactical situations.
Overall, LPVO rifle scopes offer a unique combination of variable magnification and enhanced clarity, making them the ultimate optic for close to medium range shooting.
Whether you’re a hunter, competitive shooter, or tactical operator, an LPVO scope can help you take your shooting to the next level.
Trijicon is a top player in the optics game and their AccuPower 1-8 FFP scope is a prime example of their expertise. This versatile optic is perfect for competition shooting and hunting.
The AccuPower 1-8 FFP scope boasts a red and green reticle option, allowing you to use it like a red dot at 1 power for close targets.
The MRAD or MOA reticle is versatile, working with a variety of calibers, barrel lengths, and bullet weights.
It’s powered by a CR2032 battery and has 11 illumination settings for a runtime of 31 hours of continuous use. If the illumination fails, the reticle is etched into the glass, so you’ll never lose your point of aim.
This optic has killer low light performance thanks to its 28 mm objective lens and 34 mm tube. Overall, the AccuPower 1-8 FFP scope is a top-notch optic for the discerning shooter.
The Burris XTR is a wonderful option that offers features that compete with good offers. The Burris provides two different forms of reticles unlike the Trijicon AccuPower 1-8.
One is the reticle of the ballistic dot, while the other is the dot reticle of the ballistic circle.
Both are BDC reticles that quickly aim distance targets. An illuminated ring is included in the ballistic circle point reticle, which works much like a red dot with 1x power around the .1 MRAD target point.
The BDC is, however, equipped with a 16 “barrel of 5.56 mm M855 ammunition.
Moreover, it includes a 24mm objective lens which is one of the best for lighting with high visibility and brightness.
For better brightness and visibility, it includes Japanese HD glass.
3. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Similar to the above option, Primary Arms SLX has become one of the great options in the list of affordable optics that are of high-quality.
The Advanced Combined Sighting System (ACSS) is one of the major aspects of variable optics on the Primary Arms.
The ACSS incorporates many principles into a unified framework that is simple to use. Including 5.56 mm NATO, 5.45×39 mm, and .308WIN without optical changes, it is very flexible for different calibers.
The PA Silver Series 1-8x has several different characteristics, along with the ACSS reticle. This Primary Arms SLX is a multi-coated and waterproof, nitrogen-purged lens to combat fogging.
Another interesting thing about Primary Arms is its lifetime warranty for material, manufacturing, or normal wear and tear defects.
It is definitely one of the best options available out there under $400.
EOTech is another popular name when it comes to quality optic scope production. The best thing about them is that their holographic red dot sights are considered to be one of the best and battle-proven.
They have introduced Vudu 1-6×24 which made it to the list of best LPVO options.
The foremost feature of an optical scope is its visibility power and you would be happy to hear that it has a large view field and an eye relief that competes for head to head with Vortex.
Apart from this, it includes 3 different reticles all of which have a licensed 68 MOA aim ring located in its holographic sight.
An MOA crosshair for adjustment of the wind and height for each caliber is included in the SR1 reticle.
The integrated BDC package for a 7.62 bullet drop compensation is included in the EOTech SR2 reticle.
Again Trijicon made an entry on the list of the best optic. The best part about Trijicon RS24 is its unique reticle which you cannot find on any other option on this list, it includes tritium and fiber optic illuminated reticle.
The TR24 comes with three different reticle types, including the German ° 4 Crosshair, BAC Triangle Post and Regular Duplex Crosshair.
The BAC Triangle Post is the most commonly used and prominent as it resembles the ACOG reticle.
Another interesting thing about this product is that it does not need a battery to operate on. Moreover, with just 14.4 ounces weight, it is the most lightweight optic on this list.
And since it does not have a bullet drop compensator reticle. Long-distance shooting from 500 to 600 yard can be challenging with no reticle’s ranging point
Burris has a broad range of optics from high-end, laden feature models to standard budget products. One of the budget choices to fill the gap between high value and affordability is the MTAC 1-4×24 optic.
The MTAC is one of the lighter choices with a weight of 17 ounces. The Burris MTAC performs very well in the box with an outstanding mount and returns to zero checks.
With good glass clarity, the MTAC has a simple yet intuitive BDC reticle. As the magnification increases, it will have minimal darkening on the edges.
Honestly, the Burris is a good option on the list of LPVOs for those who want to buy high-end optics without spending much on the.
Bushnell is well-known for its quality production. Bushnell 1-4×24 being high quality also checks the most affordability box. This is the best option for those who are planning to go to 3-gun shooting competitions.
The biggest difference from any other on this list for this optic is the integrated throwing lever on the magnification ring.
Bushnell also cares about the design of the throw lever, helping you to fold it for storage or avoid snapping while training or in the field.
This BTR-1 is a simple but simple BDC reticle which enables the horizontal crosshairs to range estimates for between 300 and 500 yards.
LPVOs are the best choice for every budget because they offer a versatile, high-quality optic that can be used for a wide range of shooting applications, and are available at price points that suit every budget.