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What LPVO Does the Military Use in 2024?

Dakota Potts | Updated February 25, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Soldier aiming gun with a scope

As the military becomes more and more advanced, the optics troops use have also evolved. In Vietnam, the average soldier used iron sights. In today’s conflicts, ground troops are likely to use a Low Power Variable Optic (LVPO).

But there are wide varieties of LPVOs out there, so find the ones the military relies on. 

More Reading: Best 1-8×28 LPVO Scope Under $1000

Once you’ve taken a look at this article, I’d highly suggest you take a look at our article on the top 1-8×28 LPVO money can buy.

What LPVO Does the Military Use?

Before we dive into the specific LPVOs the military use, we first need to understand why the military has adopted the use of LPVOs. The nature of combat is the ultimate determiner. It’s known that major military changes come from either the equipment used or the tactics.

The LVPO came about as a direct result of war. As the US moved from fighting in forests and open areas into cities, the military needed something different. The troops needed an optic that allowed fast target acquisition and recognition. It also had to reach 50-200 yards and be compact.

That’s where an LPVO comes in as the ideal optics – fast, compact, and lightweight.

The Schmidt & Bender “Short Dot” LPVO is considered the first true LVPO and was designed for troops involved in street fights in Mogadishu.

Military LVPO Scopes

The military uses several LVPO scopes, and choices are based on the unit’s mission. What works for one group will not work for another. Exactly which scope is used is not widely known because the military prefers to keep that information confidential. (2)

Live combat videos from the Middle East have revealed some of the scopes they use. We can also see what the military is buying thanks to the purchasing contracts. Here’s a list of the more common ones and their functions.

Sig Sauer Tango6T

Sig developed this scope specifically for close-quarters combat. It comes in a first or second focal plane and has a variable 1-6x zoom that provides the versatility needed for combat encounters. It’s said to be the optic that will replace the famed ACOG in the US military.


Trijicon supplies a lot of scopes to the military. They created the ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight), but the VCOG (Variable Combat Optical Gunsight) is their LPVO counterpart. Unlike the ACOG, this scope utilizes batteries to illuminate the reticle for 700 hours, and it’s a tough piece of hardware.

Schmidt & Bender

The OG for LVPOs, German optics maker Schmidt & Bender, provides glass to military snipers as well. Their LVPOs, particularly the PM II Shortdot Dual CC, are known for their superior glass and the clarity of view they provide. 

The PM II is the LPVO for designated marksman-style shooting and sniping. In close combat mode, it also retains a red dot-like illumination, creating a unique combo for this already versatile platform.

For more reading, I’d highly suggest you take a look at our article that explains to beginners how LPVO scopes work and our write up on what to look for when choosing an LPVO.

Frequently Asked Questions

What LPVO is used by SOCOM?

The LVPO used by SOCOM is now the Sig Sauer Electro-Optics Tango6T 1-6×24 Second Focal Plane (SFP) Riflescope and Alpha4 Ultralight Mount, a 1-6×24 scope.

What scopes do Delta Force use?

The scopes Delta Force uses are different. Some use the Eotech XPS 3-0 red dot sight, with or without the G30 magnifier. Others use the Vortex Optics Razor II E 1-6x.

What optics do Army Rangers use?

The optics Army Rangers use varies by mission. Regular rangers use the Aimpoint Comp M4. Snipers use the long tube Leupold Ultra M3A 10×42mm fixed power or the Leupold Mk 4 LR/T M3 10×40mm.


  1. Dale Marshall, What is a Military Rifle Scope? Retrieved from https://www.easytechjunkie.com/what-is-a-military-rifle-scope.htm

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