So you are considering LPVO options? I’m sure you want the best LPVO for your buck and you don’t know where to start. Well, that’s why we spent the time trying to help you make an informed LPVO purchase.
We will start with the basics and cover some of the best LPVO’s on the market today.
What is LPVO?
LPVO stands for Low Power Variable Optic and typically has a very distinct look with a larger ocular lens and eyepiece and a narrow objective lens.
This unique look doesn’t truly explain what makes them different so let us dive in a bit more.
Typically LPVOs have magnification between 1-8x with 4x,6, and 8x being the most common.
The purpose of the LPVO magnification would be to achieve a greater, more accurate, shooting distance.
Many companies making LPVO’s didn’t focus on making the magnification super powerful but rather found the balance between good magnification and solid eye relief.
Eye relief is a big deal on LPVO’s and the reason is the LPVO’s were created to be the go-between of a red dot sight and a full-blown scope.
The LPVO is meant to give you good eye relief and fast target acquisition of a red dot sight while giving you the magnification of a full-blown scope.
The eye relief is really what puts the LPVOs in their own little niche.
Most LPVO’s don’t come with a mounting solution and while some do you may want to upgrade it down the road to get more advanced features from your mount like QD and side-mounted optics.
I have done a complete similar article on the best LPVO mounts available.
Why should you pick an LPVO over any other regular optic including a red dot sight?
The answer is simple: you need magnification and fast target acquisition.
A lot of 3-gun competitors have gone to the LPVO world and haven’t turned back. The slight magnification gives them more reach and the eye relief is only slightly worse than some red dot sight options on the market today.
An LPVO is a great option for sub-500 yard hunting as well. I personally plan to put an LPVO on my Sig Tread .308 rifle.
The LPVO is also great for close quarters and fast-moving targets, making it great for nearly any application. It is a scope that really adds versatility to your carbines and AR-15 rifles.
Best Budget LPVO
If you’re on a budget that doesn’t mean the LPVO game isn’t for you! There are some really great LPVO options out there for you even if you don’t have a ton of money to drop on your optic.
I will always say we will never recommend any product based on price alone it will have to hold its own for it to get a recommendation here on Lynx Defense.
Time to take a look at two of the best budget LPVO options. The budget LPVO will range from $100-$300.
Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm Gen IV
Primary Arms LPVO’s have made a splash in recent years due to their high-quality construction, solid price, and reputable company.
Primary Arms is an online retailer that in recent years has made its own branded optics and has really done a bang-up job. We have reviewed a number of the Primary Arms red dot sights, like the Primary Arms SLx 1X MicroPrism, and while we haven’t gotten to an individual review of the LPVO’s we will very soon!
This LPVO has a solid aluminum body construction and has all the bells and whistles of a red dot sight.
With an illuminated BDS reticle, you can’t go wrong. The ACSS 5.56/5.45/.308 reticle is one of my favorites reticles in an LPVO and looks like this:
At just under $300 this LPVO is extremely affordable and is likely to be the best budget LPVO for the money. You can also check out the Primary Arms Classic Series 1-6x24mm or the Primary Arms PLx 1-8×24 which is their premium scope series.
If you are looking for a bit more magnification you could go for the Primary Arms SLx 1-10×28.
Monstrum G3 1-6×24 LPVO
The Monstrum brand is quickly becoming one of my favorites as they continue to release new and innovative optics.
While our verdict is in on the 1-3 we definitely think Monstrum is a contender and their 1-8x powered optics are much more likely to fit the bill.
As you can see they are excellently crafted optics and should definitely be considered in your decision-making process.
The best way to decide is to get your hands on one and decide for yourself.
The reticle is what Monstrum calls the Type-C reticle, which is an interesting design and one I’m not crazy about.
The Monstrum 1-6×24 LPVO comes in at just $149 as of this writing and is extremely budget-friendly. This LPVO comes in lower than some mid-range red dot sights.
Best Midrange LPVO
The midrange category is one that’s a bit of an odd duck. I like these optics the best because it’s where most people will want to be.
Not top-of-the-line but not the bottom of the barrel either. You’ll notice some familiar company names in this section and you can expect the midrange prices to be between $300-$500.
Primary Arms SLx 1-8x24FFP
Primary Arms is at it again! With their Primary Arms SLx 1-8 you get the impeccable quality you are used to from Primary Arms optics and 2x more power than the 1-6.
Now keep in mind the price does jump up from the 1-6 to the 1-8 power but if magnification was your goal the clear answer is to step up to the 1-8x.
Once again the ACSS reticle is a huge plus and is a fantastic reticle for quick target acquisition and ranging.
Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with a PA LPVO. It’s one of the best in the mid-range options and probably one of the best bang for your bucks as of this writing.
One of the only real structural differences in the 1-8x is that it does weigh 10 oz more than the 1-6x.
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24
The Vortex Strike Eagle is one of the most well-known LPVOs on the market today.
I have owned almost every generation of the Strike Eagle and each one has been better than the other but I’ve loved each of them.
There are a number of different reticle options but they are the BDC3 and BDC4.
With a fantastic price point of $399 and an amazing lifetime transferable warranty, these optics are one of the best midrange optics on the market.
While the eye relief isn’t nearly as good as the Vortex Razor the price is 3x less.
We did a complete review of the Vortex Strike Eagle and it faired extremely well!
Best Highend LPVO
There is no doubt that everyone who is buying anything would prefer the high-end option and LPVO’s are no different.
The high-end LPVO’s offer better eye relief and typically more magnification. These optics typically have all the bells and whistles and feature maximum clarity under magnification.
Primary Arms PLx 1-8×24
One of my new favorite LPVOs is the Primary Arms PLx 1-8×24. It has a higher-than-normal price point putting it more in the highend region of scope.
The Raptor M8 reticle is fantastic and I really love the Second Focal Plane nature of this optic.
If you have about $1,500 to throw down this Japanese glass by Primary Arms is where it’s at.
Vortex Razor HD Gen 3
The Vortex Razor has long held the creme of the crop rating of the LPVO world and is currently being challenged for that position.
The Razor has two different reticle options including the EBR-9 (MRAD) Reticle and the EBR-9 (MOA) Reticle.
The biggest difference between the razor and other high-end options is the fact that it’s a 1-10x optic.
That’s an incredible feature for such a small package and one that cannot be overlooked.
The eye relief on the Razor series is fantastic and is often the gold standard of eye relief and it looks amazing.
EOTECH Vudu 1-10x24mm
The EOTech Vudu is one of the newer offers from EOTech and one of their first dips in the magnified optic waters (as long as you don’t count red dot magnifiers).
If you are into Podcasts I highly recommend the Q Podcast with Aaron Hampton with EOTech talks a lot about the Vudu series of optics.
I’m a pretty big fan of the EOTech holographic weapon sights so naturally, I want to give Vudu some love.
The Vudu is an extremely impressive low-power variable optics and the reason is the price for performance is incredible.
In The Vudu lineup, they offer everything from 1-6x all the way to the 1-10x and keep the MSRP under $2,000!
That’s right… a 1-10x LPVO for under $2,000! That’s incredible by itself not to mention it comes from a top-tier company like EOTech.
Nightforce ATACR 1-8X24
Nightforce is known as one of the top-tier optic manufacturers of optics in the world. They are famously Made in the USA and carry a famously hefty price tag.
These are quality optics and because of that should command a high price point.
If you are reading this you’re not likely not going to buy the ATACR low power variable optic because I said it was the best. But if you are, you’re the bomb and that’s awesome.
The reason I say if you are buying the ATACR you likely aren’t buying it because of this article is it’s nearly $3,000 and most people who are buying a $3,000 LPVO already know it’s the best.
The Nightforce ATACR is a fantastic optic with some of the best combinations of magnification and eye relief on the market.
Best LPVO for the Money
The best is used often, even in this article, but it’s an extremely subject term. But best with a qualifier, like best for the money, is a much easier bar to measure.
Sig Sauer Tango MSR 1-6x24mm
The best LPVO for the money, as of this writing, is the Sig Sauer Tango MSR LPVO 1-6x24mm.
This low-power variable optic is such a bang for your buck because it comes with a mount included. A lot of these options don’t include a mount which makes them even more expensive as mounts are between $40-400.
The reticle on this Tango MSR is the DBC6 reticle pictured below.
While the magnification one the Tango MSR isn’t as good as some of the other options above the sub-$300 price point it comes in at makes it the best bang for your buck in the low power variable optic space.
What does LPVO stand for?
LPVO stands for Low Power Variable Optic. They usually magnify between 1-10X and have better eye relief than regular scopes.
How durable is an LPVO?
Durability depends on a number of factors. Manly the construction of the LPVO and the material that is used.
Most LPVOs are as durable as regular traditional scopes, but some are more durable depending on the application.
How far do you use your LPVO?
Personally, I stick to sub-500 yards with an LPVO but they are great for anything sub-1000 yards.
While yardage is subject and your mileage may vary depending on your magnification it’s safe to say if you are going beyond 1000 yards it’s time to look for a solid scope.
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