A Low Powered Variable Optic (LPVO) has become very popular among shooters. Its target acquisition and accuracy capabilities make it one of the most sought-after optics.
But while in the market for one, the many options available can be overwhelming. How do you choose the right LPVO? Read on to find out.
And once you know what to look for in a LPVO, take a look at our article of recommendations of the best 1-8x LPVOs on the market today.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an LPVO
In the sections below, we’ll be discussing the LPVO scope features to take note of to help you with your purchase. Let’s talk about how to choose a LPVO scope.
Magnification allows you to see an object much closer than if you were seeing it with the naked eye. An LPVO’s magnification is usually 1-4x, 1-6x, 1-8x, or 1-10x.
We advise you to choose magnification depending on your range of uses. For instance, if you practice at a shooting range at close to medium distances, a 1-6x will serve you well.
But if you often hunt at longer ranges, we suggest the 1-10x LPVO.
Objective Lens Size
An objective lens is in charge of the scope’s brightness and clarity. And the bigger your lens is, the better. Your image will appear clearer and brighter. A bigger objective lens is beneficial when shooting at longer ranges or in poor lighting conditions.
Still, we have to mention that a bigger objective lens comes with a hefty price tag. More than that, it makes your rifle heavier and more likely to give away your position because of the sun’s reflection on the lens.
When you look through your scope, you’ll see markings or fine lines. These are what we call reticles, and they make it easier to shoot your target.
Different LPVOs have different reticles, such as the duplex, the BDC (bullet drop compensator), and ACSS (Advanced Combined Sighting System) reticle.
Choose an LPVO that helps you see clearly despite the light conditions. For instance, an illuminated reticle will help you better make out your target, even in unpleasant weather conditions or low light.
Have you ever experienced a scope bite? It can be annoying when your scope smacks your face suddenly after letting off a round.
Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece when using an optic. That distance is not just for your safety but also to allow you to obtain a full field of view.
One thing LPVOs went out on is this feature. As you’re probably aware, LPVOs are like the blend of a full-blown scope and red dot sight.
That means you get fast target acquisition, good eye relief of a red dot sight, and the magnification of a scope. With most LPVOs, you’ll get good eye relief. Still, when choosing, ensure you get enough inches.
There are several companies manufacturing LPVOs. The top LPVO-producing brands include Vortex, Leupold, Steiner, Primary Arms, Nightforce, and Trijicon.
Each company tries its best to manufacture quality LPVOs. But to lean on the safe side, go with a company with a great record for producing quality scopes.
The heavier an LPVO is, the heavier your weapon is. If the last thing you want is to be walking around with a chunky LPVO, then choose a lighter scope.
All that said, if you’re on the fence about whether you should choose an LPVO scope, check out this video highlighting the important reasons why you should or shouldn’t:
For more reading see our article on the different LPVOs that the US military uses today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does LPVO stand for?
LPVO stands for low-power variable optic, and the designation refers to rifle scopes with a variable magnification range starting at 1x and either maxing out at 4x, 6x, 8x, or 10x.
What is the most reliable LPVO?
For the most part, Vortex LPVO scopes are often the most reliable, thanks to their durability, accuracy, and versatility. The Strike Eagle or Viper are particularly good if you’re looking for something relatively affordable.
How far can an LPVO shoot?
An LPVO rifle scope can typically shoot accurately up to 600 or 800 yards (548.6–731.5 meters). As a rule, 1x means you see something 100 feet away (30.4 meters) as if it’s one foot away.
Dakota Potts is a gunsmith, armorer, and gun rights advocate with nearly 10 years of experience. He is well respected in the industry and his work has appeared on various industry leading firearm publications. He enjoys learning about firearm history and technology. You can follow Dakota Potts on Youtube or see his Facebook.