Home » LPVO » What Is a LPVO Scope: All You Need to Know [2024]

What Is a LPVO Scope: All You Need to Know [2024]

Dakota Potts | Updated February 25, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
What Is a LPVO Scope cover photo showing LPVO scopes lined up and one mounted on a gun

With all the scopes out there, it can be hard to keep up with them all. ACOG, red dot sights, thermal scopes, and now LPVO scopes.

What are LPVO scopes, and why do people choose to use them? Read on to find out everything you need to know about LPVOs.

Top LPVOs For AR-15s

After you’ve taken a look at this, you’ll want to head over to our article on the top LPVO scopes for AR-15s. We cover the best on the market today to find you the perfect scope.

What Is a LVPO scope? Explained

LVPO scopes are ideal for close-range shooting, especially in places where you can set up and have time to take a shot. They’re ideal for guns with a limited range.  Carbines, handguns, and shotguns are top choices for this kind of scope.

But what is a LPVO scope?

Well, the abbreviation means Low Power Variable Optic. It’s a low-magnification scope that has a zoom feature. A 10x magnification is the high-end range for an LVPO. (Reference: What Is a LPVO)

Even the best handgun has a limited range compared to a rifle of the same caliber. That’s why you don’t need a 15x scope on a .357 magnum revolver. LVPOs also weigh less than long-range scopes and are generally shorter.

LPVOs find most use with hunters and in tactical operations, especially when the users aren’t shooting long-range and only require a scope that can reach 300 to 500 yards (around 450 meters).

The Vortex LPVO scope series are particularly popular with shooters who want quality glass without paying a fortune.

LPVO Scope for AR15 Rifles

Man aiming gun with an LPVO scope

Many shooters choose an LVPO scope for AR15 rifles. The biggest reason is that it just works. An AR15 in a carbine .223 or 5.56 is a lightweight gun with an effective range of 600 yards (550 meters). 

That said, most shooters use their guns at 200 yards (180 meters) or less. That’s why using an LPVO gives you versatility but also enough range to fully utilize an AR15’s reach.

The Leupold LPVO is a top choice for the AR-15 shooter. But a good scope like the Vortex LPVO series will undoubtedly reach 500 yards (450 meters) if needed. To regularly nail a target at that distance with any scope requires plenty of practice at the range.

Another feature is that this short-range scope is lightweight and compact, just like the rifle it sits on, ultimately giving a fast shooting solution.

It’s better than iron sights because once you look down the tube, your target will be in focus. But it also provides faster target acquisition than long-range scopes.

Because it has a low magnification range, you gain a wider field of view and can quickly locate your target.

Advantages of an LPVO Scope

The LVPO has some distinct advantages over a red dot and a long-range scope, making it a perfect versatile solution right in the middle.

Vortex LPVO scope mounted on an AR15


A red dot or holo sight has a super-fast target picture, but that comes at the expense of a good shooting solution at a distance. 

If your red dot has a 2 minute of angle (MOA) dot, that red circle will cover 2 inches at 100 yards. 1 MOA is 1 inch at 100 yards (91 meters). Bigger dots mean that much more of the target is hidden.

A good shooter with a quality AR will put 5 shots into 1-2 inch groups at 100 yards. Unfortunately, a red dot does not allow for that much precision. (Reference: Scope Magnification)


Red dot scopes don’t have a parallax correction. Parallax is when the crosshairs or dot appears to move in relation to the target when you move your head, ensuring your accuracy stays consistent.

Sight Picture

The LVPO has a faster sight picture than a long-range scope. The high magnification also means you must have a precise lineup behind the scope tube, or you won’t see the target. An LVPO is far more forgiving about this.

Choosing a Scope

The AR-15 is not a scope wrecker like some rifles. This doesn’t mean you should choose a cheap scope. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Cheap scopes often do not hold zero, even with low-recoil rifles.

If you’ve just been introduced to LPVOs and are unsure of their features, check out this helpful user guide:

For more reading take a look at our article on LPVO vs red dot sights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are LPVO scopes good for?

LVPO scopes are good for shotguns, carbines, and handguns. They’re best used at ranges under 500 yards.

What are the downsides of LPVO?

The downsides of an LVPO are the lack of features. It doesn’t have the same capabilities and range of adjustments as a long-range scope.

Is LPVO better than red dot?

An LVPO is better than a red dot when you go past 75 yards (68 meters). Under 75 yards, a red dot is just as good.

Are LPVO good for hunting?

An LVPO is very good for hunting. Most hunting doesn’t go past 300 yards (275 meters), which is why LPVOs make for great hunting scopes.


  1. Vortex Nation, Is An LPVO Right For You? Retrieved from https://vortexoptics.com/blog/is-an-lpvo-right-for-you.html
  2. Team Bushnell, A Breakdown of the Relationship Between Rifle Scope Magnification vs. Distance. Retrieved from https://www.bushnell.com/through-the-lens/bu-blog-a-breakdown-of-the-relationship-between-rifle-scope-magnification-vs-distance.html

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