Between an LPVO and a fixed power scope, which one is better? Although these scopes share some features, they also have differences that influence performance.
Let’s compare these scopes and see which one is ideal for your needs.
And after this take a look at our post for different LPVOs for AR-15 rifles.
Which Is Better Between an LPVO and a Fixed Power Scope?
Even if you aren’t a gear guy, you can’t dispute that your chosen scope will influence your performance in particular situations.
LPVOs (Low Power Variable Optics) have several magnification powers and can be adjusted, while fixed power scopes only have one magnification power meaning they can’t be adjusted.
Because both have their pros and cons, in an LPVO vs fixed power scopes battle, the winner will depend on your preference and needs. Let’s take a look at both scopes.
With LPVOs, you can magnify your target to 10x or higher. The ability to switch magnifications is beneficial because it allows you to shoot accurately at different distances.
With just a simple adjustment, you can move from hitting targets at close quarters to hitting something 200-300 yards away. That versatility has made LPVOs very popular. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to determine whether an LPVO is right for you. (Reference 1: LPVO)
- Flexible: As the name suggests, these scopes have different magnification powers starting from 1x and ranging from up to 10x. This feature lets the user switch their view depending on how far the target is.
- Versatile: LPVOs can be used in different shooting scenarios. This includes long-range shots, mid-range targets, and close-quarter combats.
- Durable: Most LPVOs are designed with durable material to help them withstand extreme weather and heavy recoil.
- Cost: LPVOs are usually more costly than fixed power scopes because they come with extra components needed for variable magnification.
- Weight: Generally speaking, these optics are heavier because of the added complexity of their hardware and lenses.
- More complex to operate
Fixed Power Scopes
It’s hard to find fixed power scopes on the market nowadays. Most manufacturers stopped producing these scopes and moved to scopes with variable magnification.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of fixed power scopes.
- Lightweight: These scopes have a simpler design which makes them lighter than LPVOs
- Simple: They are easy to operate as they have fewer moving parts. This makes them reliable when used in the right conditions.
- Affordable: Fixed power scopes are affordable because of their simple design. This makes them ideal for people looking for pocket-friendly scopes. (Reference 2: Fixed Power Scopes)
- Limited magnification: These scopes can’t be adjusted because they only have one magnification power. This is a disadvantage for anyone who wants to shoot at different distances.
- Lacks versatility: These scopes are designed for particular shooting situations like short- or long-range shooting. You can’t use one for all shooting scenarios.
Which Is Right for You?
We can say with confidence an LPVO is the better optic. It’s versatile, making it ideal for different situations. Fixed power scopes may be lighter and more affordable, but their function is more limited.
Check out this video for another interesting comparison you can dive into – LPVOs, fixed power scopes, and red dot sights:
For more reading see: the differences between ACOG vs LPVO scopes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you hunt with an LPVO?
Yes, you can hunt with an LPVO if you’re experienced enough with the scope and your firearm. An LPVO scope typically works best for varmint shooting, but you can use it for deer and elk, depending on the gun it’s attached to.
What magnification LPVO should I get?
Realistically, for the magnification you should get for your LPVO, 1-6x LPVO scopes are ideal for most situations. Keep in mind that you don’t want to spend extra money on a higher variable zoom setting “just in case.”
Which is superior, an FFP or SFP scope?
If you want the best accuracy at long distances, an FFP scope is better. However, if you want to be able to switch from close-range to long-range shooting quickly, an SFP scope is ideal.
- Vortex Nation, Is an LPVO Right for You? Retrieved from https://vortexoptics.com/blog/is-an-lpvo-right-for-you.html
- Optics Planet, Fixed Power Rifle Scopes. Retrieved from https://www.opticsplanet.com/fixed-power-rifle-scopes.html
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material for over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world, including Russia, and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American West and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Big Horn Mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems TM.
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