Best Budget LPVO: Top Affordable Choices for Precision Shooting

Matt Sanders
11 min readFeb 15, 2024

Best Budget LPVO: Top Affordable Choices for Precision Shooting

Low power variable optics (LPVO) have been increasingly popular among shooting enthusiasts, hunters, and competitors for their versatility in providing rapid and precise target acquisition at a wide range of distances. These scopes cater to various applications from close-quarters engagements to long-range precision shooting, combining the benefits of both red dot sights and traditional rifle scopes. While LPVOs can be relatively expensive, there are budget-friendly options available that deliver the desired performance without breaking the bank.

Selecting the right LPVO can significantly improve the overall shooting experience and enhance accuracy. An ideal budget LPVO should offer a good balance of value, quality, and performance. With numerous options available in the market, it can be a daunting task to find the perfect LPVO that fits both your needs and your budget.

When making a purchase, it’s crucial to pay attention to factors such as magnification range, reticle type, durability, and ease of operation while considering the scope’s price point. The overall build quality, as well as lens clarity and coatings, play a significant role in determining the effectiveness of the optic. Moreover, the mounting options and adjustments should be user-friendly and compatible with your firearm for seamless integration.

Our team diligently researched and tested numerous budget LPVOs to make the decision-making process easier for you. In this guide, we’ll be presenting the best budget LPVOs we found, ensuring that you make an informed decision and enhance your shooting experience.

Best Budget LPVOs

We’ve carefully selected a list of top budget LPVOs (Low Power Variable Optics) that offer great performance for their price range. Browse through our picks and find the perfect LPVO to enhance your shooting experience without breaking the bank.

OZARK ARMAMENT LPVO 1–6X Scope

The OZARK ARMAMENT LPVO 1–6X Scope is a versatile and affordable option for those wanting military-grade optics without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Versatile 1–6X magnification
  • Illuminated mil dot reticle

Cons

  • Not suited for extreme recoil
  • Lens caps prone to breaking
  • Mount stability issues

After using the OZARK ARMAMENT LPVO 1–6X Scope, we found it to be quite impressive given its budget-friendly price. The military-grade construction ensures it can withstand various conditions, and the adjustable magnification provides flexibility for different shooting scenarios. The illuminated mil dot reticle, available in both red and green, is perfect for low-light situations and aids in precise aiming.

However, it’s worth noting that this scope may not be suitable for rifles with extreme recoil, as some users have reported issues after only a few hundred rounds. Additionally, the lens caps seem to be prone to breaking with minimal force, which could be inconvenient when protection is essential for glass quality.

Despite the minor drawbacks, the OZARK ARMAMENT LPVO 1–6X Scope comes with a complete package — a cantilever mount, battery, flip-up lens covers, and mounting tools — making it easy to set up and start using. Furthermore, the push-lock turrets allow for simple and secure adjustments, ensuring a fine-tuned aim.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget LPVO that provides versatile magnification and reliable performance, the OZARK ARMAMENT LPVO 1–6X Scope is worth considering. Just be prepared to handle the lens cap and mount stability issues, and keep in mind that it might not be the best option for firearms with heavy recoil.

Sig Sauer Tango-MSR LPVO 1–6X24mm

We recommend this budget-friendly LPVO for its impressive performance, build quality, and optical clarity.

Pros

  • Industry-leading light transmission and clarity
  • Illuminated MSR BDC-6 reticle with 11 brightness levels
  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and rugged build

Cons

  • Slightly on the heavier side
  • May not satisfy enthusiasts of higher-end optics
  • Illumination looks a bit off at higher power

Upon unboxing the Sig Sauer Tango-MSR LPVO, we were immediately struck by its solid build quality. Nothing on the scope felt finicky or cheaply made. The aircraft-grade CNC-machined aluminum housing ensures lasting durability, which is especially important for a product meant to withstand the rigors of hunting and outdoor use.

The high-performance 6x optical system with low dispersion glass exceeded our expectations, delivering excellent light transmission and clarity. The illuminated MSR BDC-6 reticle is an added bonus, featuring 11 brightness levels to suit various lighting conditions. This feature proved to be useful in acquiring clear target acquisitions, even in low light.

The waterproof (IPX-7 rating) and fog-proof nature of this LPVO ensures reliable operation in less than ideal environments. We also appreciated the inclusion of factory-installed flip-back lens covers and the ALPHA-MSR one-piece aluminum cantilever mount, providing a sturdy yet versatile mounting option.

One drawback we experienced was the weight of the scope, clocking in at 2.3 pounds. While this may be a concern for some, we found that the trade-off for the level of performance the Sig Sauer Tango-MSR LPVO offers is well worth it. Additionally, enthusiasts of higher-end optics may consider this scope to be of lesser quality, but for its price point, we believe it’s one of the best budget LPVOs on the market.

In summary, the Sig Sauer Tango-MSR LPVO 1–6X24mm presents an excellent option for those in need of a high-quality, budget-friendly low power variable optic. Its outstanding performance, solid build, and helpful features make it a great choice for hunters, shooters, and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Monstrum Banshee ED 1–10x24 LPVO

The Monstrum Banshee ED 1–10x24 LPVO is a fantastic option for budget-conscious shoppers seeking a high-quality rifle scope with remarkable features and performance.

Pros

  • Exceptional 1–10x magnification with true 1x
  • Extra low Dispersion (ED) glass for sharper images
  • Three versatile reticle options

Cons

  • Eye box may be less forgiving at longer ranges
  • Slight blur when zoomed in
  • Some units may have minor cosmetic defects

We recently had the opportunity to test out the Monstrum Banshee ED 1–10x24 LPVO Rifle Scope on our rifle, and we were impressed with its performance. The 1–10x magnification provided incredible versatility for both close-range and longer distance shooting. At true 1x magnification, we found the wide eye box and longer eye relief to be beneficial, affording rapid target acquisition.

The ED glass used in the Banshee significantly enhances image quality — a feature typically found in higher-end scopes. The reduction in chromatic aberration delivers a sharper sight picture with excellent color contrast. Furthermore, the scope provides inline dial-controlled reticle illumination in both red and green with five brightness settings, catering to diverse lighting conditions.

We appreciated the choice of three reticle options, including the MX1 box reticle, BDC B2 5.56 reticle, and BDC A2 drop compensation reticle. These second focal plane reticles remain consistent in size across all magnification levels for improved visibility.

While our experiences with the Monstrum Banshee ED 1–10x24 LPVO were largely positive, it’s important to note a few drawbacks. We noticed slight blurring when fully zoomed in, and the eye box was less forgiving, especially at longer ranges. Additionally, a few users reported receiving scopes with minor cosmetic defects, though this didn’t appear to affect performance.

In conclusion, the Monstrum Banshee ED 1–10x24 LPVO is an exceptional value-packed option for those seeking an affordable yet efficient rifle scope. With excellent features like the versatile magnification, high-quality ED glass, and illuminated reticles, we believe it’s a worthwhile investment for both novice and experienced shooters alike.

CVLIFE EagleFeather 1–6x24 LPVO Rifle Scope

This cost-effective LPVO is a solid choice for shooters seeking versatility and performance on a budget.

Pros

  • True 6x zoom factor
  • HD multi-coated lenses
  • Dual-illuminated etched glass reticle

Cons

  • Adjustment knobs could be more precise
  • Blurry reticle when illuminated
  • Limited scope accessories

We recently had the opportunity to test the CVLIFE EagleFeather 1–6x24 LPVO Rifle Scope and found that it offers decent performance on a budget. We noticed that this scope’s true 6x zoom factor provided a clear and versatile view of the target. Additionally, the fully multi-coated HD lenses helped give excellent light transmission and edge-to-edge clarity, which is a huge plus for low-light scenarios or situations requiring precise magnification adjustments.

The dual-illuminated etched glass reticle is another handy feature. With five levels of red and green illumination, we could conveniently adjust the brightness depending on the lighting conditions. However, the reticle becomes a bit blurry when the light is turned on, which could be a drawback for some.

Another aspect of the CVLIFE EagleFeather that we appreciated was the precision reset turrets. The capped turret design helps lock the zero, enhancing its durability. However, we feel the adjustment knobs could be more precise, as it takes many clicks to make a small adjustment.

One thing we noticed was that the package comes with limited scope accessories — a cantilever mount, scope caps, batteries, a cleaning cloth, an Allen key, and a manual. Nevertheless, given the scope’s affordable price, this is not a big issue.

In conclusion, the CVLIFE EagleFeather 1–6x24 LPVO Rifle Scope is a cost-effective option for those looking to purchase a budget-friendly LPVO. Despite some minor drawbacks, its impressive features, including the true 6x zoom factor and HD multi-coated lenses, outweigh the negatives.

Monstrum Banshee 1–4x24 LPVO Rifle Scope

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced shooter, this budget-friendly LPVO from Monstrum is a solid choice for enhancing your rifle setup.

Pros

  • New optics assembly with longer eye relief and true 1x magnification
  • Inline dial controlled reticle illumination in red and green
  • Second focal plane MX1 box reticle with MOA hashmarks

Cons

  • Color might not suit everyone
  • Tight on/off switch might need breaking in
  • Sight not centered in the optic for some users

We’ve recently tested the Monstrum Banshee 1–4x24 LPVO Rifle Scope on our rifle, and its newly designed optics assembly provides longer eye relief and a wider eye box, allowing for a more comfortable shooting experience. The true 1x magnification is excellent for close-range shots, while the adjustable 1–4x magnification allows for added versatility.

The inline dial controlled reticle illumination offers five brightness levels in both red and green making it easy to adapt to different lighting conditions. The MX1 box reticle has MOA hashmarks on the second focal plane, providing high visibility at any level of magnification. Additionally, the bundled Monstrum Offset Scope Mount and set of Flip-Up Lens Covers are convenient and provide extra usability.

One minor issue that we found while using this LPVO is that the available color might not suit everyone’s taste, and some may find it gives their rifle a cheap appearance. Another thing worth mentioning is that the on/off switch is relatively tight, but it may loosen up with use. Lastly, a few users experienced having an off-center sight in the optic, which would need to be fixed or replaced.

In summary, the Monstrum Banshee 1–4x24 LPVO Rifle Scope is a reliable and budget-friendly option for both beginners and experienced users. Its new optics assembly, inline dial-controlled reticle illumination, and versatile features make it easy to recommend despite a few minor shortcomings.

Buying Guide

As we dive into the world of budget LPVOs (Low Power Variable Optics), it’s essential to understand the key features to consider when choosing the perfect product for your needs. Here, we’ll outline some crucial factors you should take into account before making a purchase decision.

Magnification Range

The first thing to look at is the magnification range, as it directly impacts your shooting capability. Budget LPVOs typically offer a range of 1–4x or 1–6x. Depending on your intended use, whether it’s close-quarters engagements or mid-range shooting, choose a magnification that suits your requirements.

Reticle

The reticle design can significantly affect your shooting experience when using an LPVO. Three common types of reticles are:

  1. Simple — with basic crosshairs
  2. BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) — includes holdover marks for long-range shots
  3. Illuminated — offers illumination for better visibility in low-light conditions

Consider both your personal preferences and the intended usage scenario when selecting the right reticle.

Build Quality and Durability

In the budget category, there can be noticeable variations in build quality and durability. Key factors to examine include:

  • Tube material (commonly aluminum)
  • Shock resistance
  • Waterproof rating
  • Fog proofing

Be mindful that these features may vary from one product to another, so prioritize the aspects that matter most to you.

Turrets

Well-designed turrets can greatly enhance user experience by providing precise and tactile adjustments. When evaluating turrets, consider the following:

  • Click value (e.g., 0.25 MOA, 0.5 MOA, 1 MOA per click)
  • Turret feel and grip
  • Zero reset function
  • Exposed or capped turrets (based on your use case)

Feature Description Click Value MOA or MRAD adjustment increments Turret Feel Tactile and audible clicks Zero Reset Easily return to zero after adjustments Exposed/Capped Exposed for easy adjustments; capped for protection

Remember, the goal is to find the best budget LPVO that fits your needs without breaking the bank. Carefully consider these aspects, prioritize them according to your preferences and requirements, and you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect optic for your firearm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should I look for in a budget LPVO scope?

When searching for a budget LPVO, there are a few key features to consider:

  1. Magnification range: Look for scopes that offer a versatile range, such as 1–4x, 1–6x, or 1–8x, to suit your shooting requirements.
  2. Reticle: Choose a reticle with clear and useful markings to help with your aiming and range estimation.
  3. Construction quality: Opt for scopes with durable materials and water-resistant or fog-proof features to withstand harsh conditions.
  4. Clarity and brightness: Prioritize scopes with good glass quality and lens coatings to ensure clear and bright images.

How do I choose the best LPVO for an AR-15 platform?

We suggest considering the following:

  1. Match the magnification range to your intended application, such as close to mid-range engagements.
  2. Ensure the scope has a good eye relief to accommodate AR-15 shooting positions.
  3. Look for an LPVO with a lightweight and sleek design to fit the compact size of the AR-15 platform.
  4. Consider scopes with mounting options compatible with the AR-15 picatinny rail system.

What are the top performing LPVOs available for under $200?

Several budget-friendly LPVOs offer high performance and quality:

  1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1–4x24
  2. Primary Arms 1–6x24 SFP Gen III
  3. Bushnell AR Optics 1–4x24
  4. Monstrum G2 1–6x24

These scopes provide a great balance of durability, clarity, and versatility, making them excellent choices for budget-conscious buyers.

What are the differences between a 1–6x and a 1–8x LPVO?

A 1–6x LPVO offers a magnification range from 1x to 6x, covering close to mid-range shooting distances. Conversely, a 1–8x LPVO provides a broader range from 1x to 8x, allowing for more versatility in various shooting situations. A 1–8x scope may be slightly heavier and pricier than a 1–6x, but the increased magnification can be beneficial for engaging targets at longer distances.

Can you recommend a budget LPVO that offers a clear second focal plane?

The Primary Arms 1–6x24 SFP Gen III is an outstanding option with a clear second focal plane. It features a patented Advanced Combined Sighting System (ACSS) reticle, providing fast target acquisition and effective range estimation, and is known for its durability and solid performance in different conditions.

Are there budget LPVO options that perform comparably to high-end brands?

While budget LPVOs may not match the premium glass quality or extremely durable construction of high-end brands, some options provide above-average performance for a more affordable price. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1–4x24 and Primary Arms 1–6x24 SFP Gen III are excellent examples that balance quality and affordability, making them attractive alternatives for enthusiasts who want reliable performance without breaking the bank.

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