What is the Best LPVO Scope? – 7 Best Low Power Variable Optics Review

What is a LPVO? (Low Power Variable Optic)

LPVO’s are a perfect middle ground between your traditional scopes and your common red dots. As the name suggests a LPVO is a scope that provides low power magnification. These scopes allow you to use no magnification (1x) up to ten times magnification (10x). This is perfect for increasing your accuracy at range with your rifle.

LPVOs are commonly offered in 1-4x, 1-6x, 1-8x, or even 1-10x. Meaning that you can use these optics to quickly engage close targets as well as targets out to 800 yards with ease.

Why Would you Need One?

Most LPVOs have illuminated reticles allowing you to use the scope as a red dot at 1x magnification, especially if it is a FFP (First Focal Plane). Low Power Variable Optics are extremely popular for shooting competitions, such as 3-gun, because they allow for fast target acquisition for targets near by; at the same time allowing you to make accurate shot at range.


  • magnification variation
  • Can use while dead due to an etched reticle
  • Inclusion of bullet drop compensation reticles
  • Improved accuracy past for medium range


  • Larger then a regular red dot
  • Often cost more then a red dot
  • Due to eye box restrictions mounting is limited
  • Battery life is less then that of a red dot

FFP (First Focal Plane) vs. SFP (Second Focal Plane)

LPVOs are offered in both FFP and SFP, but what does that mean? First Focal Plane scopes have a reticle that will increase or decrease in size depending on the magnification level. Second Focal Plane scopes, as you may have guessed by now, have a reticle that will remain static no matter the magnification level. Why would you pick one but not the other?

A huge advantage of FFP scopes is their ability to use what is called a BDC reticle (Bullet Drop Compensation) no matter what level of magnification. As mentioned earlier FFP scopes can be used as a red dot at the lowest magnification level, thanks to the fact that the reticle shrinks at lower powers. With these awesome features there has to be some downside right? Of course, FFP optics are often more susceptible to parallax issues increasingly so in those with higher magnification levels (6-10x).

If you have poor vision a second focal plane LPVO might be a better choice for you. Due to the reticle remaining the same size no matter the power level your eye will be able to pick up the reticle faster. Due to the differences in construction SFP optics often are brighter at higher magnifications. SFP scopes also utilize BDC reticles however you can only use the bullet drop features at max magnification.

Long Range with Ease.

An amazing feature on most of these optics is the bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticles in them. BDC reticles in these LPVOs are designed to compensate for bullet drop for specific cartridges and distances. This allows you to quickly adjust your hold-over for more accurate long range shots.

Seems these reticles have calculated hold-over points for specific ranges you may be wondering how to use this if you don’t know the range. The reticle designers thought that out as well. Most BDC reticles will also incorporate range finding technology. Below one of my favorite examples of a BDC reticle, the Primary Arms ACSS reticle.


As you can see all you have to do to range a 18” wide target is line up the horizontal lines on the reticle. If the target is wider than a given line then it is closer to you, vise versa.

This reticle also allows for vertical ranging and 5-10 mph windage holds.

Best You can Buy.

The following list include my top picks of LPVOs that you will love. These optics, just as most others, can get pretty expensive so I was sure to include some economical options as well.

Disclaimer: I may be able to buy a cup of coffee if you purchase something from the following links.

Best 1-8x LVPOs


You have without a doubt heard of Trijicon and for good reason. Trijicon is one of the best optic manufactures out there, holding multiple military contracts. With the outstanding quality of the MRO and RMR Trijicon has made quite a name for themselves in the civilian sector. The AccuPower 1-8 is no different. Utilizing a Minute of Angle (MOA) or Milliradian (MRAD) FFP reticle makes for an extremely accurate optic while pairing with the 1-8x magnification.

The AccuPower allows you to chose either a green or red reticle which allows you to use the 1x power much like a red dot for fast close target acquisition. This scope uses the CR2032 battery for the 11 power levels and allows for a constant power time of 31 hours. You may think that is not long enough, however most LPVOs are meant to be turned off when not in use. If the battery fails what then? The AccuPower’s reticle is etched in the glass allowing you to use the scope with no battery.

2 Primary Arms Compact PLx-1-8X24mm FFP 

The PLx8 1-8x24mm first focal plane rifle scope is Primary Arms‘ top-tier rifle optic, optimized for close quarters and medium-range use. With extremely clear Japanese glass, and quality materials, the PLx8 is extremely durable, and has outstanding optical clarity. Specifically built for tactical shooting, competition, or hunting, the PLx8 FFP rifle scope will be your new first pick optic.

This 1-8x24mm optic is utilizes the FFP ACSS Griffin MOA reticle. This reticle features an eye grabbing horseshoe that functions just like a red dot at 1x, allowing for very fast close quarter target acquisition. The ranging system gives hold-overs for targets out to 600 yards.

3 Vortex Optics STRIKE EAGLE 1-8X24MM

Thanks to reasonable prices and amazing quality Vortex is a very well liked optics brand. The Strike Eagle SFP has become a top pick in the competitive shooting realm. One main reason for this is the affordable price. The Strike Eagle has comparable features of those double the price. With amazing clarity thanks to its multi-coated lens it is hard to beat for sub $400.

This optic sports the well-known BDC2 reticle. It is a MOA bullet drop compensator that provides a clear aiming point for 20-200 yards. Engaging further than 200 yards? The BDC2 has you covered including corresponding horizontal lines for 300 to 600 yards. The reticle can also catch your eye with its segmented horseshoe for fast target acquisition.

Best 1-6x LVPOs

1 EOTech VUDU 1-6X24MM

The EOTech Vudu 1-6×24 is a feature loaded optic engineered to exceed the expectations of the 3-Gun shooter or hunter. Starting with a 30mm aluminum tube it is very durable, the Vudu also includes EOTech’s AR-coated glass for outstanding clarity.

The EOTech “Speed Ring” reticle allows fast target engagement at 1x, but higher magnification provides the accuracy needed to take longer shots. This is a FFP reticle allowing for split-second ranging at all magnification levels. Great for close quarters to medium-range, the Vudu 1-6×24 gets the job done.

2 Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6×24

The Vortex Razor HD scope with JM-1 BDC reticle is versatile for engaging short to medium range targets, truly an amazing optic for the AR-15. Some would consider this optic to be the benchmark for all other LPVO out there. Of course it has outstanding glass providing edge-to-edge stunning image quality Vortex is known for. The JM-1 BDC provides hash marks that allow you to hold-over for bullet drop at different ranges with .223/5.56 or .308/7.62. This optic was a collaboration between Vortex and the world renowned Jerry Miculek, what else needs to be said. The JM-1 BDC provides hash marks that allow you to hold-over for bullet drop at different ranges with .223/5.56 or .308/7.62.

3 Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm SFP 

The Primary Arms 1-6×24 SFP scope includes their exclusive Advanced Combined Sighting System (ACSS) reticle. Features including bullet drop compensation, wind and moving target holds, and ranging ability make this my absolute favorite BDC reticle. The reticle is extremely easy to use which makes it very fast and accurate to shoot from 0-800 yards. The SFP design retains the same size reticle at all magnifications for fast acquisition at 1x and extreme accuracy at 6x.

Here is a more in depth diagram that shows the ACSS Reticle features.

As I stated earlier this simplistic reticle allows you to quickly range and hold-over no matter the distance you are shooting.

Best 1-4x LPVO

1 Trijicon Accupower 1-4x24mm

Yet again, Trijicon is back on this list but with a great option that is sub $1000. The Trijicon AccuPower 1-4×24 covers all your shooting interests. When used at maximum magnification the reticle can be used as a BDC reticle.  When used with a ballistic calculator you can know exactly where you need to hold for any given distance. However, you can also simply use the MOA pattern to size and range your target.

Some Helpful Tips

  • Know the distance you typically shoot – If you only shoot up to 300 yards a 1-4x may be all you need.
  • Research the reticle – If you want to make very precise shots some reticles may not be for you.
  • Try them out – These are a very popular style of optic chances are someone at your local range will own one of these and be happy to let you try them out.
  • Pay attention to the little things – The quality of the smallest detail of a optic will show you the real quality of the whole optic.

What You Have Learned

Low Power Variable Optics are some of the most flexible optics on the market. From providing fast target acquisition to allowing you to be very accurate at further distances LPVOs seems to be a do-it-all optic. While there are plenty more LPVOs out on the market that didn’t make this list, I do believe these are some of the best your money can buy.

If I missed one or you believe there is a better scope out there please leave a comment below!

7 Amazing Crossbow Scopes with Rangefinder

If you are like me you love optics, and you will spend a lot of time and money to find the perfect one for you. Luckily for you I have compiled some of my favorite crossbow scopes below!

Disclaimer: I may be able to buy a cup of coffee if you purchase something from the following links.

1. Best on the Market #1Barnett 1.5-5×32

Barnett is known for making crossbows, so why wouldn’t they develop crossbow optics. I am happy they did, due to the Barnett 1.5-5×32 being a truly outstanding option!

Barnett makes one of only a handful of VPOs (Variable Power Optic) for crossbows. This implies you can change the magnification anywhere in the range of 1.5x and 5x. Remember variable power optics are usually more costly, and heavier. Regardless, they are substantially more flexible.

To make your shot even more precise, Barnett incorporated aiming focuses into the reticle. These aiming focuses are intended for crossbows with a rating between of 300 FPS and 425 FPS. Altogether, they go from 20 to 70 yards. You’ll feel like you can simply reach out and smack the target, literally!

The Barnett 1.5-5×32 additionally sports a lit up reticle with both red and green alternatives. This allows you to have faster sight acquisition even in low light settings. Lastly, I think this optic is extraordinary compared a lot of the competition!

2. Best on the Market #2TenPoint Range Master Pro


The RangeMaster Pro crossbow optic is a remarkable and a very well developed design. This should be expected as TenPoint also makes Crossbows! This is the reason the RangeMaster crossbow scope has so many perks that make it priceless to hunters.

Initially, the RangeMaster Pro packs a variable 1.5 to 5x amplification rating. Keep in mind, variable optics are very flexible at both close and long ranges. They enable you to shoot with the most extreme certainty, precision, and security.

The optic has an arrow drop compensator built into the reticle. The markers are from 20 to 60 yards, and it is adjusted for bolts flying Barnett of 275 and 425 feet per second. Shooting has never been simpler, even at longer ranges! The reticle is additionally illuminated and includes 5 brightness levels. You also can pick among red and green reticles.

3. Best for Value #1Monstrum 2-7×32

The Monstrum Tactical S2732-R-RG is an elite tactical optic, giving window-like clear optics at 2x to 7x magnification levels for near to mid range shooting.

It comes furnished with an illuminated Rangefinder reticle which can be seen in red or green settings with many brightness settings. This reticle can also be viewed without illumination thanks to it being etched!

Your glass will be protected from scratches and fog thanks to multiple lens coatings.

4. Best for Value #2 Prostaff P3 3×32


Famous Nikon optical performance paired with a proprietary BDC reticle designed specifically to maximize the range and efficiency of your hunting crossbows. Multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on every piece of glass to provide vivid sight pictures, maximum light transmission and optimum brightness from morning to night. BDC 60 reticle is engineered for a great deal of crossbow bolts, point weights and velocities. The reticle’s 20-yard ‘zero’ allows for corresponding aiming points for shots up to 60–80 yards or further depending on your bolt length, point weight and velocity.

5. Best Cost Friendly OptionUTG 4X32 1″ Crossbow Scope

If you are in the market for a high value but low cost optic, the UTG 4×32 Crossbow Scope is difficult to beat. As of late, UTG has devoted their time to making cost efficient and durable optics.

The 4x amplification is ideal for a crossbow, and the 32mm lens calls for a bright and crystal clear sight picture. The fixed 4x magnification makes this optic extremely easy to use at the same time of keeping the UTG compact

The reticle is flexible and comprised of 5 level lines adjusted for 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50-yards when matched with a 300 FPS crossbow. As you can likely guess, the UTG’s reticle configuration makes range estimation and drop compensation an outright breeze!

As most the the optics on this list , also uses an illuminated reticle in both green and red, making it simple to use in every light condition. Also the reticle is glass etched. Meaning regardless of whether the battery bites the dust you have a usable black reticle!

6. Ultimate RangefinderTrijicon ACOG

Despite of the fact that this is not a rangefinder in the regular sense, the Trijicon ACOG Crossbow Scope has heaps of features that make it truly outstanding and by a long shot the best range estimation optic.

First of all, it is perhaps the lightest optic weighing 5.89 ounces. For a smaller shooter saving on weight, that is unbelievable. The unit doesn’t bother with a battery yet runs off a fiber optic cable design that has served the military for over 10 years.

But How Does it Work?

The rangefinder works by utilizing an easy cross hash design that enables you to arrange the animal and afterward measure the distance much like using a measuring tape. At that point use the ballistically aligned reticle to ensure the shot is valid and clean, and pull the trigger!

8. Best for Low Light SettingsVortex Crossfire II

The Crossfire II scope is one of many product in the Crossfire II line. The V-Brite reticle uses the V-Plex format with battery-powered electronics to illuminate the center dot for hunters during extreme-low light conditions.

You will like the great price but you’ll love the long eye relief, fast focus, resettable turrets, multi-coated lenses, and the high performance.

Things to Note Before Spending Your Hard Earned Money

POA vs. POI (Point of Aim vs. Point of Impact)

It is crucial to first remember that crossbows do not shoot bullets at 3000 FPS like rifles do. This means that as soon as the arrow leaves your bow it is dropping at an exponential rate. While most scopes will greatly improve your accuracy at range, they only predict where the arrow will go at one specific distance.

Think of a crossbow optic like a traditional archery sight, to a specific distance they will work wonders. After this its up to your guessing ability.

Weight and Size

The size obviously is related to the weight. The larger the scope typically the heavier it will be. With this said larger scopes have some advantages over smaller ones. A big scope will gather more light and is typically more clear. This is advantageous in most situations but more specifically in low light situations. The smaller the optic the lighter it will be. This is good if you prefer a light crossbow but you also lose out on the features of the bigger optics.

The Right Scope For you

As I said earlier different scopes offer different features so it is vital that you find out what you need.

When will you be hunting? Where will you be hunting? Do you want to lug around a heavy crossbow all day? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you purchase your scope.

If you prefer to hunt in the early morning and evening then you might want to go with one of the bigger scopes above. These will allow you to see more through your optic when there is very little or dim light.

If you commonly go hunting in the early afternoon and light isn’t a concern you may want to go with a lighter smaller optic. This will help you save on weight lowering your likelihood of fatiguing when you have your animal in the sights.

Helpful Tips

  • Know what features you want and what features you could go without. This can save you both time and money.
  • Use the return policy – If you don’t like an optic don’t be afraid to return it and get one better suited for you.
  • Look for scopes that have warranties – for example Vortex has a wonderful warranty system that can save you a lot of money if you break your sight.
  • Look for small signs of quality like finishes or glass clarity. These small signs will point you to a truly nice optic.

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