Home » LPVO » Best LPVO for AR-15: Top Tactical Scopes [2024 Optics]

Best LPVO for AR-15: Top Tactical Scopes [2024 Optics]

L.p. Brezny | Updated February 24, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Best LPVO for AR-15 cover photo with a black AR15 with scope on top

When it comes to rifle scopes, low-power variable scopes (LPVOs) are suitable for a wide range of applications, including home defense, varmint shooting, and target practice at the range. So, it makes sense to attach an LPVO to a versatile AR-15. 

But with thousands of options flooding the market, it can be paralyzing to find the best LPVO for AR-15 for you. But don’t worry, we’ve field tested hundreds of options to bring you this list.

Best LPVO Scopes for AR-15 Rifles

Even if you’re familiar with LPVO scopes, the sheer number of models available can feel overwhelming. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top scopes, ranging from the best overall to the best scope for specific ammo types.

1 – SIG SAUER TANGO6T

Top LPVO for AR-15

SIG SAUER TANGO6T product image

The SIG SAUER TANGO6T is a versatile and rugged scope, perfect for hunting and personal protection.

If you’re looking for a high-quality scope that works in virtually any situation, the Tango6T from SIG SAUER is it.

The only downside of this scope is the price, which is much higher than most other LPVOs in its class.

However, this scope is rugged, meaning it can handle the abuse of shooting in different environments and will last for a very long time. So, you should look at it as a long-term investment, not an expensive toy.

Pros

Rugged weather-resistant housing

Fully waterproof and fog proof

First focal plane (FFP) or Second focal plane (SFP) options

Fiber optic illumination

150-meter parallax setting

Night-vision illumination setting built-in

Comes with SIG SAUER Infinite guarantee

Cons

More expensive than other LPVO scopes

Heavier than other scopes

Now, this LPVO scope can handle all weather conditions and offers exceptional image clarity from 1x to 6x, allowing you to pinpoint targets at any distance. What’s more,  with its durability and “Infinite guarantee”, you might be passing this down to your grandkids.

You can deploy the Tango6T in a wide variety of situations, from varmint hunting to personal protection to big-game hunting. So when everyone else is buying various optics, you’re sitting pretty with one scope that does it all.

Tan Sig Sauer scope on a gun

Another component to point out is that it’s available in both SFP or FFP versions. If you’re not used to FFP scopes, it can take a little while to get comfortable with it. FFP reticles change sizes depending on the zoom distance, which can be hard to get used to, especially if you’re switching back and forth regularly.

Bottom line, the choice is up to you, as they’re both phenomenal products that top the list for the best LPVO for AR-15 rifles.

review of TANGO6T

2 – Primary Arms Classic Series 1-6×24 SFP

Best LPVO for CQB

Primary Arms Classic Series product image

The Primary Arms Classic Series is a lightweight tactical scope that is well-suited for CQB due to its fast-aiming design.

Generally, red dot scopes are best for close-quarter battles (CQB) because they help you pinpoint your target quickly. 

So, for an LPVO scope to be well-suited for CQB, it needs to be effective at shorter ranges and allow you to switch from long to short distances immediately. This model from Primary Arms does just that, which is why we picked it as our best CQB scope.

The optic is so lightweight and nimble, so you’ll barely notice it on your rifle. Quick, light, and easy; perfect for a CQB sight.

Pros

Highly affordable scope

Duplex reticle for better targeting

Fast aiming and lightweight design

Water-resistant and fog-proof lens

SFP lens works well for close-range shooting

Cons

Not as precise with long-range targeting

Housing is not as rugged as other scopes

Primary Arms Classic LPVO on a tan AR15, runner up for our best LPVO for AR-15 rifel

Part of the appeal of this scope is the duplex reticle, allowing you to find your target fast at any range. Think red dot style point-and-shoot with the flexibility of an LPVO.

Not to mention…

With other LPVOs, eye relief is hard to find in a split-second situation, but not so with the PA Classic Series. You go from zero to firing in a fraction of a second while maintaining accuracy.

Just point and shoot.

Bottom line, this is a perfect tactical scope for your AR. This scope is so good in fact that it nearly took the number one spot, which is astounding considering that the TANGO6 costs over 7 times more.

Oh, but it gets better.

We were able to work out a dealer directly with the manufacture to get our readers free shipping. This is deal is only going to last until April 26, 2024, so use the link below to ensure you’re getting this all time low price.

3 – Bushnell AR Optics 1-6x24mm Rifle Scope

Best LPVO for 6.8 SPC

Bushnell AR Optics 1-6x24mm product image

The Bushnell AR Optics is an excellent mid-range scope that works well with not only the 6.8 SPC but practically any round of your choosing.

Generally speaking, a 6.8 SPC is suitable for mid and close-range hunting. So, you’ll want a scope that works well for shooting within 200 and 300 yards (180–270 meters).

This LPVO from Bushnell fits the bill, thanks to its multi-coated lens, mil rad reticle, and lightweight design. 

Plus, if you need to switch between multiple targets quickly (i.e., a den of feral pigs or rabbits), this scope can help you stay on target without needing to switch magnification settings between shots. So when everyone is going home empty-handed, you’re bagging trophies left and right.

Pros

Fully multi-coated lens

Mil rad adjustment reticle

Compact and lightweight design

BDC reticle for mid-range accuracy

Fast targeting for short-range hunting

Cons

Not as accurate at long distances

Fixed parallax becomes noticeable past 200 yards

Bushnell AR Optics product image

Overall, this scope pairs well with the stopping power of a 6.8 SPC, and it can also work at longer distances, up to 500 yards (over 450 meters). But to be honest, it’s a solid mid-range scope that fits perfectly not only with the 6.8 SPC, but any round of your choosing.

4 – Primary Arms SLx 1-8×24 SFP Rifle Scope

Best LPVO for 6.5 Grendel

Primary Arms SLx 1-8x24 product image

The Primary Arms SLx is a precise 1-8x scope fit for longer ranges.

Compared to a 6.8 SPC, the 6.5 Grendel is a bit better at longer distances with less bullet drop and more power. For those reasons, we chose a longer-range LPVO that allows you to maintain accuracy up to 800 yards (730 meters) or less. 

Plus, this scope has an MOA reticle, allowing you to zero your target with much better precision.

If you’re unfamiliar with zeroing out a scope, this product comes with a companion manual that tells you how to do it.

Pros

Extra magnification with 1-8x zoom

Precise up to 800 yards

Zeroing manual provided

12 brightness settings for the reticle

Better precision with 1/2 MOA settings

Cons

Not ideal for close-up viewing

Not night-vision compatible

Primary Arms LPVO mounted on rifle

Another reason we like this scope for longer-range hunting with a 6.5 Grendel is that it has 12 brightness settings. So, you can easily adapt to changing environments and still find your target almost immediately. No more eye strain, just clear shots, day in and day out.

5 – Swampfox Arrowhead LPVO 1-8x24mm Rifle Scope

Best for AR-10 Rifles

Swampfox Arrowhead LPVO product image

The Swampfox Arrowhead LPVO is a durable scope that can reach out, offered at a reasonable price.

While AR-15s are suitable for mid and close-range hunting, AR-10s are designed for longer distances.  The Swampfox Arrowhead comes with a 1-8x zoom, meaning you can spot and shoot targets much further away.

Plus, a relatively wide field of view makes it easier to pinpoint your next shot, so you don’t have to waste ammo with a second round.

This scope also works well for different weather conditions, so you can take your AR-10 out whenever you like without losing visibility or precision.

Pros

Extended 1-8x variable zoom

Relatively wide field of view

100-yard parallax

Fully multi-coated lenses

Shock and fog proof

High water-resistance

Cons

Not as fast in 1x zoom

Heavier than other scopes

Black swampfox scope in hands

The Arrowhead is also beefy as all hell, meaning that it can take the beating and come back for more, season after season, at a working man’s price.

6 – Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 Rifle Scope with TA51 Mount

Best for 7.62×39

Trijicon VCOG product image

The Trijicon VCOG is a highly durable and adaptable scope that lasts, ideal for mid-range use.

If you’re taking your AR-15 out to hunt medium game like whitetail deer, a 7.62×39 round will be ideal. So, you want to pair this ammo with a highly adaptable scope that allows you to target your prey quickly and maintain accuracy at mid-range distances.

The Trijicon VCOG is the most expensive LPVO on this list, but it’s also one of the most capable. Its high-quality lenses and brightness settings allow you to hunt virtually anything except the largest game with ease. 

Pros

Durable shockproof housing

Uses AA batteries for convenience

Battery life of up to 700 hours

Fully waterproof and fog-proof

Fast adjustment of windage and elevation

Comes with a limited warranty

Cons

More expensive than most other LPVO scopes

Fewer brightness settings than other scopes

Trijicon VCOG on a rifle with a lake background

Also, it uses standard AA batteries for illumination, so you don’t have to worry about recharging a battery while out in the field.

7 – Monstrum G3 1-6×24 LPVO

The One to Avoid

Monstrum G3 product image

The Monstrum G3 is a decent budget option with a magnification of 1-8x. However, its build quality doesn’t reach the same levels as the other scopes on this list.

At first glance, this scope actually looks like a pretty good deal, costing way less than others in its class. You can also find a 1-8x variable zoom version if you want some extra magnification. 

However, we’re choosing to avoid this LPVO for a couple of reasons. First, the reticle is a bit small and awkward, so it’s harder to pinpoint your target, especially at longer distances. Second, the build quality isn’t stellar, meaning you have to treat it with more care than you would with a higher-end model.

Still, as far as a budget LPVO goes, the Monstrum is a decent pick but we’d recommend one of the others on the list for the best LPVO for your AR-15 rifle.

Tan Monsturm G3 scope mounted on rifle

Buying Guide: Choosing an LPVO for Your AR-15

Looking at different LPVOs can make it hard to make the right decision for your rifle. So, let’s break down the various components and features to pay attention to when comparing these different products.

Build Quality

Rifle scopes are complex devices that use mirrors, lenses, and low-power batteries to work correctly. 

So, something as simple as dropping your gun or bumping the scope can potentially dislodge a lens and make it impossible to shoot straight. For that reason, you want to invest in an LPVO with heavy-duty housing.

Magnification

Most LPVOs have a variable range of 1x to 8x, with many models staying within the 1-6x range. Before choosing a higher magnification setting, consider how you’ll be using the scope. 

If you’re not looking to shoot targets up to 800 yards (730 meters) away, it’s hard to justify a more expensive 1-8x scope. While it’s nice to have the extra power available, it’s also a bit of a waste of money if most of your shooting happens within 500 yards (over 450 meters). (Reference 1: Tactical LPVO Scopes)

Lens Coatings

A lens coating helps you see your target more clearly by allowing more light into the scope while reducing the amount of glare. Without these coatings, you could only fire on a semi-cloudy day, as everything would be too bright otherwise. 

Generally, multi-coated lenses are the best for ranged shooting, but not all scopes have multi-coated lenses.

Tan LPVO scope attached to a Picatinny rail

Reticle Type

We could spend an entire other article describing the different types of reticles you can find on LPVO scopes. However, the most common options are:

  • Bullet Drop Compensator – This reticle shows you how much the bullet drops at different distances so you can compensate accordingly.
  • MOA (Minute of Angle) or Mil-Rad – These reticles have small hash marks on each line of the reticle, so you can adjust your shot based on distance, windage, and bullet drop. This option is best for precision shooting.
  • Standard Reticle – If you’re not concerned with precision, you can use a standard “cross-hairs” reticle that just allows you to pinpoint your target.
  • Dot Reticle – LPVO scopes are often compared to red dot sights, so you can get a dot reticle that works well for close-quarters shooting. These reticles are also great because they don’t interfere with your visibility.

Warranty and Support

If your scope breaks or has trouble zeroing out, you need to be able to contact the manufacturer. Warranties are ideal for defects and errors during the build process, but they don’t cover wear and tear. 

So, it’s best to get a limited warranty that allows you to shoot with the scope a few times to verify if it works correctly. Generally, a one-year warranty should be sufficient.

My Personal Notes and Findings

Scope reticle aiming at a field

LPVO scopes are highly versatile and fun to shoot, making them an all-around good option to mount to your AR-15. However, what I’ve discovered is that dropping thousands of dollars on a scope doesn’t necessarily make sense if you’re just using your firearm for target practice or varmint hunting.

Overall, combining an LPVO and an AR-15 makes the most sense for self-defense, varmint hunting, or small-game targeting (i.e., feral pigs or coyotes). So, a mid-priced scope should be more than sufficient for your needs. (Reference 2: AR-15 Rifles)

More Reading

Best 1-8x Scope Under $1000 Dollars

If you’re looking for more recommendations specifically for 1-8x zoom optics, our article on the best 1-8x scope under $1000 dollars is worth a read.

Top LPVO Sights

If you’re looking for recommendations on the top LPVO sights regardless of the zoom, the article linked here would be a better choice.

Where Do You Buy LPVO Scopes?

Unsure where to buy your LPVO scope? No problem, we recommend the industry leaders to make sure you’re getting the lowest prices and superior customer service.

What Is an LPVO

Or lastly if you’re still not in the market for an LPVO, I’d suggest an informational piece like the one on what is an LPVO scope exactly.

FAQs

What is the best budget AR-15 LPVO scope?

The Primary Arms Classic Series 1-6×24 SFP is the best budget LPVO scope for AR-15s that also delivers sharp image quality and works for most situations. While this scope is not as durable or precise as some of the high-end models we’ve seen, it’s a good budget scope that makes it easy to identify targets quickly.

What scope do Navy SEALs use?

For CQB, the scope Navy SEALs tend to use is the EOTech XPS3-2, but special forces can also use the Aimpoint Comp M2 for many different combat situations. For long-range shooting, SEALs typically use the Nightforce Advanced Tactical Riflescope.

What is the best duty grade LPVO?

The best duty-grade LPVO is the Vortex Razor HD 1-6x24mm, which has seen lots of combat in military settings and warzones. The Razor is a heavy-duty scope that can take a beating and still work perfectly, which is why it’s deployed so often with soldiers.

Is Leupold or Vortex better?

It’s hard to say whether Leupold or Vortex is “better” because shooters have individual preferences. Both brands are high-quality and have impeccable reputations within the industry. 

Objectively, Leupold scopes are built slightly better, but Vortex scopes are a bit more affordable. Typically, the choice comes down to personal preference, as both brands perform excellently in the field.

What magnification do I need to shoot 500 yards?

As a rule, the best magnification you need to shoot 500 yards (around 450 meters) is 10x. While you can see your target with a 5x magnification, 10x allows you to be more precise with your shot, making it easier to take the target down, regardless of size. If you really want better precision, we recommend a 12 or 15x zoom to have a little buffer.

What is better a red dot or LPVO?

When deciding if a red dot or LPVO is better, you can say that a red dot scope is almost exclusively best for close-range shooting, while an LPVO is a better all-around scope.

A red dot scope is best for close-quarters combat since it lets you pinpoint your shots quickly and accurately. However, an LPVO is much more adaptable, working for CQB and mid-range shooting.

SIG SAUER TANGO6T – Our Top Pick

Tan Sig Sauer scope on a gun
review of TANGO6T for AR15 rifel

References

  1. Vortex Nation, Making Sense of Magnified Optics on a Tactical Carbine Part 1. Retrieved from https://vortexoptics.com/blog/making-sense-of-magnified-optics-on-a-tactical-carbine-part-1.html
  2. Sara Swann, The history of the AR-15 and how it became a symbol of American gun culture. Retrieved from https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2022/what-is-ar15-rifle-history-of-firearm/

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