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10 Best Budget LPVO (Scopes Under $1000)

10 Best Budget LPVO (Scopes Under $1000)

LPVO stands for low-power variable optic. It is a handy tool designed for many shooting purposes. An LVPO can fill in the gaps between your red dot sight and magnified optic, increasing versatility in the field.

It can be used for competition, tactical, target, close-quarter shooting, and more.

As appealing as this jack-of-all-trades can be, choosing the best LPVO scope can be overwhelming, especially with the features that come with it and the many options available today.

These are the best budget LPVO scopes and a guide on getting the one most compatible with your loadout and mission set.

  • Best Overall: Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24
  • Best Ultra Budget Scope: Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6×24
  • Most Versatile Scope: Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10×24
  • Most Durable Scope: Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8×24
  • Best Hunting Scope: Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5×24
  • Best Tactical Scope: Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10×28
  • Best Scope for Close-Range Shooting: Vortex Crossfire II 1-4×24
  • Best Entry-Level Scope: Firefield RapidStrike 1-6×24
  • Best Scope for Competition: Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24
  • Best 1×8 Scope: TRYBE Optics 1-8×24
Best Overall
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24

  • Magnification Range: 1-6x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Length: 10.5 in
  • Weight: 18.5 oz (524.5 g)
  • FFP/SFP: SFP
  • Reticle: AR-BDC3
Best Ultra Budget Scope
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24

Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24

  • Magnification Range: 1-6x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Length: 10.2 in
  • Weight: 14 oz (396.9 g)
  • FFP/SFP: FFP
  • Reticle: Type-C
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24

  • Magnification Range: 1-10x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Length: 10.7 in
  • Weight: 20.3 oz (575.5 g)
  • FFP/SFP: SFP
  • Reticle: BDC, MIL, MOA, Illuminated BDC/MOA

1. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 (Best Overall)

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24 (Best Overall)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1-6x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: AR-BDC3
  • Field of View: 19.2 – 116.5 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 10.5 in
  • Weight: 18.5 oz (524.5 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 in
  • Other Special Features: Fully multi-coated lenses, anodized aluminum tube, throw lever

Among the many LPVO scopes I tried, I found the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x to be the best LVPO when you are on a budget. It functions as well as other scopes without having to break the bank.

This excellent Low-Powered Variable Optic features fully multi-coated lenses and a suitable objective diameter, giving you a great sight picture regardless of the magnification and light conditions.

Its illuminated bullet drop compensation or BDC reticle is designed for ballistic performance, perfect for your AR. It is excellent at finding targets at different magnification ranges and distances and does not obstruct your view.

You can easily adjust its magnification using the throw lever to go through changes seamlessly with a single wrist flick. It makes working with the scope easier, regardless of your skill level.

However, I found the eye box of this Vortex Strike Eagle to be a setback, especially since it affected my overall comfort with the scope. It took a while to get used to, and I would have to take a break because of the occasional strain.

Overall, the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x is a great partner in the field and a perfect example of how an LPVO scope is the jack-of-all-trades in the shooting optic industry. It is the best LPVO for the money you put in.

Pros
  • Zero-resettable turrets
  • Accuracy up to 250 yards
  • Durable and nitrogen-purged materials
  • Affordable
  • Full accessories included
Cons
  • Tight eye box

2. Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6×24 (Best Ultra Budget Scope)

Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24 (Best Ultra Budget Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1-6x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: Type-C
  • Field of View: 16.1 – 103.2 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: First focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 9.4 in
  • Weight: 14 oz (396.89 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 – 3.9 in
  • Other Special Features: Aircraft-grade aluminum, spring-loaded covers

I strongly recommend the Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x if you want the most budget-friendly LPVO rifle scope.

It is designed for quick range estimation and target acquisition, so you do not waste time zeroing in on your target.

It has high-quality images and superior contrast regardless of distance, letting you see vibrant images with this affordable magnified scope. The magnification ring was also easy to manipulate, so you can effortlessly adjust without worrying about your sight picture.

Despite being one of the most affordable scopes on the list, it does not hold back on durability and maintenance. It is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and includes spring-loaded covers to protect the scope from scratches and dust.

However, I felt discomfort with its eye box since it tends to get smaller once you reach the 4x magnification. Its turrets could also be stiffer for more accuracy during adjustments. It lacks illumination, making it unsuited for low-light hunting.

The Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x provides excellent value for money. While there were a few drawbacks, it is one of the best-performing rifle scopes for its affordable price range.

Pros
  • Crystal clear lenses
  • Smooth turrets
  • Fully waterproof with argon purging
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Turrets could be stiffer
  • Eye box gets small 
  • Does not come with illumination

3. Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10×24 (Most Versatile Scope)

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24 (Most Versatile Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 10x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: BDC, Illuminated BDC, MIL, MOA, MOA Illuminated
  • Field of View: 11.5 – 115.6 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click, 0.1 MRAD adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 10.67 in
  • Weight: 20.3 oz (575.5 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.46 – 3.54 in
  • Other Special Features: Multi-coated lens, 13 red reticle illumination brightness levels, push-pull locking turrets

An LPVO scope is known for its versatility. However, if you are looking for the most versatile scope on the LPVO market, you should check out the Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x.

This scope features multi-coated lenses and 13 red reticle illumination brightness levels, including night vision compatibility. This maximizes the use of the LPVO, regardless of the light conditions or the environment.

Its LPVO magnification is one of the widest ranges on this list, making it an excellent scope for longer distances or those with bad eyesight. It adjusts with very minimal side distortion, making it a reliable scope to look through.

The push-pull locking turrets also help keep your scope properly zeroed, especially in case of unforeseen collisions.

While it does have a bright illumination, I think it needs better light transmission, especially when it is on the maximum magnification, as the overall sight picture darkens at max zoom.

Overall, the Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x is a great scope for various activities. It can be used for different environments and light conditions without worrying about effectiveness.

Pros
  • Night vision-compatible brightness settings
  • Compact design
  • Extremely durable
  • Affordable
  • Red and green illumination options
Cons
  • Needs better light transmission at maximum magnification

4. Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8×24 (Most Durable Scope)

Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24 (Most Durable Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: ACSS 5.56 / 5.45 / .308
  • Field of View: 14.5 – 110 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 10.4 in
  • Weight: 16 oz (453.59 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.3 – 3.5 in
  • Other Special Features: Single piece 6063 aluminum construction, 12 brightness settings

The Primary Arms SLx 1-8x is this list’s most durable and long-lasting LPVO rifle scope. In fact, it was awarded by the National Tactical Officers Association a Silver Tier rating.

Its BDC reticle is quite accurate, even at the highest magnification setting. Its calibration is based on the muzzle velocity of about 1200-1250 FPS, making the Primary Arms SLx 1-8x ACSS reticle easy to use with powerful rifles and fast ammunition.

The Primary Arms SLx 1-8x has 12 brightness settings, making it versatile in different light conditions. You can rely on this Primary Arms scope regardless of your environment.

The most notable feature of the Primary Arms SLx 1-8x is its 6063 aluminum construction, making the scope extremely durable. Despite its affordable price, it is made to withstand the wear and tear of the great outdoors.

However, I found that the Primary Arms SLx 1-8x is one of the scopes that cannot fully hold a true 1x magnification setting. However, that does not make it less usable, especially for target practice and similar activities.

Overall, the main selling point of the Primary Arms SLx 1-8x is its durability, making it the best LPVO scope to take on the most rugged of adventures.

Pros
  • Extremely durable
  • Versatile magnification range for most applications
  • Light and compact
  • Reliable ACSS reticle
  • Weatherproof
Cons
  • Not true 1x magnification setting
  • Illuminated reticle is not as bright as competitors
  • Stiff magnification knob

5. Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5×24 (Best Hunting Scope)

Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24 (Best Hunting Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 4.5x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: MOA
  • Field of View: 22 – 100 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 22.9 oz (649.20 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.2 inches
  • Other Special Features: Zero Stop & Revolution Lock, fully-multi-coated optics

The best Low-Powered Variable Optic scope for hunting would have to be the Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x.

It features an etched reticle with illumination and fully multi-coated optics for a clearer view of your target. It provides some of the best glass quality for your hunting trips.

It also has a Zero Stop & Revolution Lock for more effortless adjustment and settings retention, especially when long-range shooting. This feature is extremely useful in the field, so you do not have to zero your scope between shots constantly.

This scope is highly durable, with its parts being argon-purged to make it more weatherproof so you can use it regardless of your environment. A little rain does not have to stop you from hunting in the forest.

However, I found this rifle scope to be one of the heaviest on this list, which might not be ideal for some people. Its heft does not help with maneuverability, which is crucial when hunting.

The Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x is an excellent choice for more close-range shots and hunting purposes, especially with its functions and how well it can help you see your target.

Pros
  • Etched glass illuminated reticle
  • Argon-purged
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
  • Affordable
  • Side focus adjustment is easy to access
Cons
  • Heavy, bulkier than other scopes

6. Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10×28 (Best Tactical Scope)

Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 10x
  • Objective Diameter: 28 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 34 mm
  • Reticle Options: BDC, BDC-8
  • Field of View: 10 – 110 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 14.37 in
  • Weight: 20.4 oz (578.33 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.22 – 3.54 in
  • Other Special Features: Illuminated reticle, high-performance 6x optical system with low-dispersion glass, integrated thread-in throw lever

The Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x is one of the best LPVO scopes for tactical shooting. It was even adopted by the US Army, specifically for use on their new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDM-R).

It features an illuminated reticle, 11 brightness settings, and a high-performance 6x optical system with low-dispersion glass for fast target acquisition and excellent light transmission in any condition.

Its supreme glass quality makes it the best budget option, especially for expert shooters in tactical operations.

It is designed for easy mounting and installation since it has an ALPHA-MSR 1-piece aluminum cantilever mount.

However, this scope does have a bulky design, which might take some time to get used to. Once you have it down, however, it should be easy to operate, especially with its many functions.

The Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x is an excellent scope that will give you more accurate shots in tactical situations.

Pros
  • Great optical clarity
  • Variable power with fast adjustments
  • Easy to install and level
  • Durable
  • 11 brightness settings
Cons
  • Bulky design

7. Vortex Crossfire II 1-4×24 (Best Scope for Close-Range Shooting)

Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24 (Best Scope for Close-Range Shooting)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 4x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: Illuminated V-Brite, V-Brite
  • Field of View: 24.1 – 96.1 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 9.8 in
  • Weight: 16 oz (453.59 g)
  • Eye Relief: 4 in
  • Other Special Features: Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses, aircraft-grade aluminum, fast-focus eyepiece

The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x is the best LPVO scope for close-range shooting, especially with its magnification range and overall design.

It has anti-reflective and fully multi-coated lenses for a clearer view of your target. Its eyepiece is also designed for fast target acquisition when shooting.

The scope is exceptionally lightweight and compact, making it comfortable in the field, especially when you move around during CQB or competition shooting.

It is highly durable, featuring Vortex’s standard aircraft-grade aluminum construction for the most rugged design. It is weatherproof and expected to last a long time despite its affordable price.

However, I feel like it would do better with daylight bright illumination so the red dot does not disappear in brighter light conditions, making shooting difficult, if not impossible.

Overall, the Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x is one of the most reliable rifle scopes you can work with if you are dealing with close-range targets during your target shooting practices.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Designed for short-range shots
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Reticle may not be bright enough for daylight

8. Firefield RapidStrike 1-6×24 (Best Entry-Level Scope)

Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24 (Best Entry-Level Scope)

 

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 6x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: Circle Dot
  • Field of View: 18.2 – 102 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Exposed
  • Length: 9.8 inches
  • Weight: 14.5 oz
  • Eye Relief: 4 inches
  • Other Special Features: Dual optic setup, Pop-up locking turrets

Whether working on your precision shooting or still picking up target shooting, the Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x is the best entry-level LPVO scope you can work with. It is incredibly affordable and will get you started in the field.

The Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x features a dual optic setup and a reliable circle dot reticle, which allows the user to have a better view during close to medium-range engagements. It allows you to start hitting targets a respectable distance away.

It also has pop-up locking capped turrets to keep your scope zeroed in on your target.

It comes with a cantilever mount, throw lever, and honeycomb lens filters for easy mounting, setup, and calibration, regardless of your background with AR optics.

However, I noticed a minor fish-eye distortion while using this scope. It was pretty tricky, especially under bright light. That said, the scope was still usable under these conditions.

Overall, the Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x is the best LPVO scope for beginners and really helps new shooters hone their shooting skills without compromising features.

Pros
  • Up to 200 hours of battery life
  • Multi-color illumination
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not daylight bright
  • Minor fish-eye distortion

9. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24 (Best Scope for Competition)

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24 (Best Scope for Competition)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: EBR-8
  • Field of View: 14.1 – 113.6 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: First focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 14.25 inches
  • Weight: 23.84 oz (675.85 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.9 inches
  • Other Special Features: Fully multi-coated lens, aircraft-grade aluminum, ArmorTek

If you are up for the best competition shooting LPVO scope, I recommend looking into the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x. This model provides a wider magnification than our top pick, making it perfect for competitions.

It features the standard fully multi-coated ArmorTek lens, ensuring that your lenses are well-protected as they provide a clear view of your target.

It also comes with a throw lever for easy and seamless adjustment between the different magnification settings, which is standard for the Strike Eagle line.

You can rely on its durability, thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum construction, making it safe to use regardless of your environment and weather conditions.

However, this model of the Strike Eagle lacks the adjustability found in other models, which can be a significant downside in spite of its magnification ring.

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x is an excellent budget scope for shooting competitions and similar events, given its reliability in the field and versatile magnification range.

Pros
  • Great illumination
  • Mid-range shots
  • True 1x performance
  • Extremely durable
  • Easy mounting
Cons
  • Flip-up caps
  • Lacks adjustability

10. TRYBE Optics 1-8×24 (Best 1×8 Scope)

TRYBE Optics 1-8x24 (Best 1x8 Scope)

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Key Features

  • Magnification Range: 1 – 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 24 mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Reticle Options: BDC
  • Field of View: 14.4 – 116.6 feet at 100 yards
  • FFP/SFP: Second focal plane
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
  • Windage and Elevation Turrets: Capped
  • Length: 10 inches
  • Weight: 23 oz (652.04 g)
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 inches
  • Other Special Features: TRYBE enhancer, fast-focus eyepiece, BDC reticle

If you want to use an LPVO for longer distances or you do not have the best eyesight, I recommend looking into the TRYBE Optics 1-8x. It is arguably the best 1-8x LPVO scope you can work with.

The scope has a reliable BDC reticle and a fast-focus eyepiece for fast yet accurate target shooting. It breaks the bounds of LPVO scopes, allowing you to shoot at longer distances than is typical

It is also versatile, easily converting into a higher magnification range by adding a TRYBE Enhancer. This allows you to invest in one scope for all purposes.

However, I found this scope a bit challenging to zero in. It took some time, especially for those new to this scope. That said, it becomes reliable once you get the hang of it.

I also found this scope to be quite expensive. While it technically fits the budget scope range, it is still quite pricey, especially if you want to add more accessories.

The TRYBE Optics 1-8x is one of the best options you can choose if you require a wider magnification range compared to most LPVOs.

Pros
  • Extra magnification
  • Repeatable zero after re-mounting
  • Excellent construction and glass
  • Weatherproof
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Challenging to zero

What Are Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Budget LPVO?

There are many factors to consider when looking for your ideal Low-Power Variable Optic. It can be overwhelming, especially when you are unsure what to look for.

You deserve the best LPVO for your needs, even if you are on a budget. This means looking into how a scope can affect your overall performance in the field, from zeroing in on your target to what the optic can show you at certain distances.

While looking for the best budget LPVOs, I consider factors such as magnification range, adjustment turrets, focal plane, and even customer support. Certain factors will be more critical than others depending on what you value most in an optic.

Here is a quick guide on the key factors to consider when buying a budget LPVO.

Purpose and Shooting Style

ScopePurpose & Shooting Style
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24Hunting, long-range tactical shooting
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24Hunting, tactical shooting
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24Hunting, long-range tactical shooting
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24Hunting
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24Hunting
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28Tactical shooting
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24Close-range shooting
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24Target shooting
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24Competition shooting
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24Long-range tactical shooting

LPVOs are known for their versatility, especially since they can easily fill the gaps between medium to high-power riflescopes and red dot sights.

However, they can also differ in purpose, which you must consider when finding an LPVO for your setup. You need to understand if you are using it for competitive shooting, tactical applications, hunting, recreational plinking, or a mix of these activities.

Consider your shooting style, too, whether it is long-range engagements, mid-range precision, or close-quarters combat.

These would all affect the type of LPVO you will get, from magnification settings to reticle types suitable for your activities.

Magnification Range

ScopeMagnification Range
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x241-6x
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x241-6x
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x241-10x
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x241-8x
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x241-4.5x
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x281-10x
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x241-4x
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x241-6x
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x241-8x
TRYBE Optics 1-8x241-8x

An LPVO is any variable scope that starts at 1x or 1.5x magnification. Depending on the model, its magnification can max out to 3, 4x, 5x, 6x, 8x, and 10x. Each range aligns with certain shooting styles and distances.

These lower configurations provide LPVOs with a wide field of view, even when magnified. An LVPO’s eye box and eye relief are incredibly generous for rapid target acquisition.

These lower magnifications are most suitable for close-quarters engagement, unlike higher magnifications (e.g., 3-9x), which are designed for mid-range shooting and precision.

When in doubt, it is best to add 1x magnification for every 100 yards you plan on shooting, especially for skilled shooters with good visions.

If you have impaired vision or are trying to spot your groupings at the range, you may prefer 1-8x or 1-10x, depending on your needs and typical targets.

Objective Lens Diameter

ScopeObjective Lens Diameter
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x2424 mm
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x2424 mm
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x2424 mm
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x2424 mm
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x2424 mm
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x2828 mm
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x2424 mm
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x2424 mm
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x2424 mm
TRYBE Optics 1-8x2424 mm

The objective lens diameter is vital for light transmission. The larger it is, the more light it can allow through the scope and into your eye.

Hence, larger objective lenses perform well in low-light conditions.

However, the size of your objective lens can also affect your scope’s overall appearance and weight. The larger your objective lens, the heavier and bulkier your scope will be.

Learn to balance the size of your scope and match it with your comfort and shooting style.

Reticle Type

ScopeReticle Type
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24AR-BDC3
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24Type-C
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24BDC, Illuminated BDC, MIL, MOA, MOA Illuminated
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24ACSS 5.56 / 5.45 / .308
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24MOA
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28BDC, BDC-8
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24Illuminated V-Brite, V-Brite
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24Circle Dot
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24EBR-8
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24BDC

There are different types of reticles for scopes. However, the standard for LPVO scopes is the BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle.

BDC reticles help you estimate the bullet drop caused by gravity and better increase the chances of hitting your target accurately.

However, there are also other reticles, like a simple duplex reticle. This reticle type is quite useful to hunters and new shooters who need to be able to aim at the target without the clutter of hash marks or mil dots.

Some scopes have multiple variants with different reticles. These options maximize the versatility of these scopes.

Ensure that your budget scope has the necessary reticle designs that match your intended application.

Weight and Size

ScopeWeightLength
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x2418.5 oz (524.5 g)10.5 in
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x2414 oz (396.89 g)
9.4 in
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x2420.3 oz (575.5 g)
10.67 in
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x2416 oz (453.59 g)10.4 in
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x2422.9 oz (649.20 g)
9.5 in
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x2820.4 oz (578.33 g)
14.37 in
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x2416 oz (453.59 g)9.8 in
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x2414.5 oz9.8 in
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x2423.84 oz (675.85 g)14.25 in
TRYBE Optics 1-8x2423 oz (652.04 g)
10 in

The weight and size of your scope should be based on your strength and comfort level. The scope should be relative to your rifle setup and your own shooting style.

Scopes with more features tend to be bulkier and heavier. However, you do not always need more features for a high-quality LPVO.

Know the crucial features that will improve your overall experience while considering maneuverability. Balance out the features you need with the overall comfort you want to have while carrying your rifle and your scope.

Focal Plane (FFP or SFP)

ScopeFocal Plane
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24Second focal plane
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24First focal plane
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24Second focal plane
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24Second focal plane
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24Second focal plane
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28Second focal plane
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24Second focal plane
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24Second focal plane
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24First focal plane
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24Second focal plane

The focal plane is usually discussed when it comes to long-range magnified optics. However, it is also relevant to LPVOs. Whatever option you choose should be based on your preference and typical target distance.

A first focal plane optic (FFP) has its reticle growing larger or smaller based on the magnification.

For FFP LPVO scopes, the reticle can be very small at lower magnifications, making it difficult to see, though it will give you a less obstructed sight picture and view of your target.

You can use its BDC holdovers at any magnification, especially on 1-6x scopes. However, they also perform well with 1-8x and 1-10x configurations.

On the other hand, in scopes that have the reticle in the rear or second focal plane (SFP), the reticle will remain static regardless if you adjust the magnification settings.

This allows you to have maximum reticle visibility in whatever magnification setting you have. However, your BDC holdovers will only be accurate at maximum magnification. For LPVOs, the SFP is best for closer-range 1-4x and 1-6x configurations.

Eye Relief

ScopeEye Relief
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x243.5 in
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x243.5 - 3.9 in
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x243.46 - 3.54 in
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x243.3 - 3.5 in
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x243.2 inches
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x283.22 - 3.54 in
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x244 in
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x244 inches
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x243.9 inches
TRYBE Optics 1-8x243.5 inches

Eye relief is vital for your comfort and safety, especially in the field.

You would want a scope that can be used for extended periods without having to experience discomfort or strain. Having good eye relief can help you focus more on target shooting and locating your target without fatiguing.

Good eye relief also ensures you do not injure yourself from your rifle’s recoil. You do not have to worry about getting a scope bite if you can shoot with your face a safe distance away from your scope.

Adjustments (Turrets) for Windage and Elevation

ScopeTurretsAdjustment Click Value
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24Exposed0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24Exposed0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24Exposed0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click, 0.1 MRAD adjustment per turret click
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24Capped0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24Exposed0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28Capped0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24Capped0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24Exposed0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24Capped0.25 MOA adjustment per turret click
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24Capped0.5 MOA adjustment per turret click

How you adjust your turrets can affect the accuracy of your shots.

Look for tactile signals, audible clicks, and clear visual markings on the adjustment knobs, as these prevent you from having to guess your turrets’ position, allowing you to dial in and make the shots that count.

Many budget scopes have these features despite their price range, so choosing a scope with quality adjustment turrets that let you know when you have made the correct adjustments should not be hard to find.

Lens Coatings

ScopeLens Coating
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24Fully Multi-Coated
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24Fully Multi-Coated
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24Fully Multi-Coated
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24Fully Multi-Coated
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24Fully Multi-Coated
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28Spectracoat
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24Fully Multi-Coated
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24Fully Multi-Coated
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24Fully Multi-Coated
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24Fully Multi-Coated

Besides the size of your objective lens, the lens coatings also contribute to the light transmission of your scope.

Some coatings can help you see better in low-light conditions, while others offer a sight picture with more ambient lighting.

These can also help reduce sun glare, giving you a clearer sight picture compared to a lens without coating.

You can find models with an extra layer specifically to reduce scratches and damage on your lens, especially when shooting outdoors. These increase the overall durability of your optic.

Overall, quality coatings help in providing you with a good picture regardless of the price range.

Durability and Weather Resistance

ScopeWater Resistant?Shockproof?Fogproof?
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24YesYesYes
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24YesYesYes
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24IPX-7YesYes
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24YesYesYes
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24IPX-7YesYes
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28IPX-7YesYes
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24YesYesYes
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24IP67YesYes
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24YesYesYes
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24YesYesYes

Most LPVO scopes of affordable price tend to get a bad reputation since there is a common misconception that these are poorly made.

However, you can still find an affordable LPVO scope without worrying about how long your scope will last.

Look for scopes made from high-quality materials despite being on the more affordable side. Some can even be nitrogen-purged or go through other processes to strengthen the material of the scope.

It is also vital to have weatherproof features for a reliable performance regardless of your environmental conditions.

Shock resistance will help keep you safe from the scope’s recoil and ensure its quality during use, especially when shooting in rough terrain.

Overall, your scope’s durability and weather resistance is an investment that does not only belong to expensive models. More affordable models should also be well-made and designed to take a beating.

Budget and Price Range

ScopePrice
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24$254.99
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24$144.95
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24$414.99
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24$331.49
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24$376.99
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28$463.99
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24$199
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24$149.97
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24$269.99
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24$289.99

If you are looking for an affordable LPVO scope, it is expected that the first thing you will consider is the price of the available LPVO and your budget.

However, the tendency with budget picks is that we tend to choose poor optical quality for the sake of buying a cheap model. This should never be the case, especially since a scope is an investment added to your gear.

You can consider these price ranges when determining your budget for a scope.

  • $100 – $300: These models can have trouble finding true 1x, along with the occasional quality control and mechanical problems. They are best used for recreational purposes.
  • $300 – $600: This range is where entry-level scopes usually fall under. They are great for optical and tracking purposes. You can use these scopes if you are a beginner learning how to shoot. They are also recommended for recreational use and some hunting applications.
  • $600 – $1000: These are usually considered mid-range scopes. However, I included a few of them for their value, given their price. These scopes come with many quality features and are made by reliable manufacturers.
  • $1000 and above: These are the more high-end scopes that can run over $2000. These are usually used for professional and tactical applications.

To get the best budget rifle scope, you must always balance your budget with the features you need to improve your performance in the field.

You can still get the best LPVO without spending too much on it. You just have to know which models fit your predetermined budget and the features you need. You can find a good budget scope that will last you for years this way.

Warranty and Customer Support

ScopeWarranty
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24Vortex VIP (unlimited lifetime warranty)
Monstrum Alpha Series 1-6x24Limited 2-year Replacement Warranty
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-10x24Swampfox Optics 50,000 Round Guarantee
Primary Arms SLx Series 1-8x24Lifetime warranty
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24Athlon Gold Metal Lifetime Warranty
Sig Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10x28SIG SAUER Infinite Guarantee® (unlimited lifetime warranty)
Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24Vortex VIP (unlimited lifetime warranty)
Firefield RapidStrike 1-6x24Limited 3-Year Warranty
Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24Vortex VIP (unlimited lifetime warranty)
TRYBE Optics 1-8x24Limited 1-Year Warranty

Your scope’s warranty helps ensure you get high-quality features with reliable craftsmanship. More affordable scopes tend to use less durable materials than more expensive ones, making it important to have a good warranty.

Reputable scope manufacturers give the best deals so their consumers can make the most of their products, even for their budget scopes. This means that companies can repair or replace their scopes for free if needed.

You must know how to contact the manufacturer’s customer support team in case of any problems with their product. They can usually be contacted through their website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let us discuss the most common questions about LPVO scopes to help you with your product research.

What Range Is LPVO Good For?

LPVOs are designed for fast-action shooting on mid-range targets with a distance between 500 and 800 yards.

Can You Use LPVO for CQB?

While LPVO scopes can be used for CQB when at 1x power, it is more recommended to use a red dot sight for these highly close distances. Red dot sights will always provide more rapid target acquisition than any 1-6x power LPVO.

Fortunately, plenty of red dot models are compact enough to be mounted on top of your LVPO, allowing you to transition between optics seamlessly.

What LPVO Does the US Military Use?

The US Military is known to use the Sig Sauer TANGO6T 1-6×24 for their rifles, which was tried and tested by USSOCOM and the US Army.

It is compact and makes plenty of sense on an AR and M4-style weapons platform, giving troops in combat the ability to hit targets in close to mid-range engagements.

Final Thoughts on the Best Budget LPVOs

Finding a Low-Power Variable Optic does not have to be overwhelming as long as you know what you are looking for.

While the best optic on this list is the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24, you must choose the best LVPO that meets your needs, given the key considerations listed above, and fits your budget, allowing you to hit your targets without breaking the bank.

I hope this guide helps you find the perfect LPVO scope for your setup and shooting scenarios.

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