6 Best LPVOs Under $500 for 2022 – [Reviewed]

Best LPVOs Under 500

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Low-powered variable optics are now the preferred optic for serious rifle shooters, so much so that even the US military is using LPVOs these days. If you’re looking to get in on the LPVO action, but don’t have much to spend on one, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. 

We’ve tested all of the most popular LPVOs under $500 to find the ones that are worth the hype and separate all the ones that aren’t worth your time and money. Let’s look at the best LPVOs under $500.

Also Read: 8 Best LPVO (Low Power Variable Optics) Scopes

Reviewed: 6 Best LPVOs Under $500

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Excellent lenses and lens coatings at the price
  • Lifetime warranty
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  • Battle-tested
  • uses excellent ACSS illuminated reticle
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  • 1-10x magnification
  • 80 MOA of total adjustment
  • Illuminated reticle
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  • Most rugged or durable
  • Unbelievably cheap
  • Works well with simple hunting rifle
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  • Good on budget
  • With good rectile for target practice
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  • Not good for long distances
  • Budget-friendly
  • With lens excellent coatings
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Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x

First up, we have an old standby, the Vortex Strike Eagle in 1-8x (or 1-6x). This optic is our top overall pick. If you know anything about LPVOs or have done your research, this recommendation probably doesn’t surprise to you.

The Strike Eagle line is Vortex’s mid-range series, and while it doesn’t have the same material quality as their extremely high-end products, these scopes are still absolutely excellent. They’re all made of the same aircraft-grade aluminum as the higher-end models as well.

Each Strike Eagle also utilizes Vortex’s excellent lenses and lens coatings for unmatched optical clarity in this price range. You simply can’t get a better glass at this kind of price. 

You also have several reticle options, from simple mil-dot to BDC offerings that are great for competition or hunting. Finally, like all Vortex products, the Strike Eagle family of rifle scopes comes with a lifetime warranty so that if you do come across any issues, including accidental damage, Vortex will help you fix or replace your optic for as long as you own it. Not bad for under $500. 

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x

The price of “Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x” varies, so check the latest price at

Primary Arms SLX 1-8x

Next we have a relatively new offering, SLX 1-8x from Primary Arms. If we’re being completely honest, this optic could easily have been our top pick. However, the Strike Eagle has a slightly better warranty and has been in more widespread use, and for longer so it’s a bit more understood and “battle-tested,” if you will.

Having said that, I’ve never had any issues with the Primary Arms SLX series, and I actually have the 1-8x on a rifle right now. It works incredibly well. It uses the excellent ACSS illuminated reticle, which features BDC hashes for the caliber of your choice, so you can take long range shots quickly.

The glass is clear and bright, and I’ve had no issues losing zero, even with it sitting on a .308 rifle that I have put several hundred rounds through, dropped off a truck bed, and smacked on several props and barricades on various 3Gun stages.

At the end of the day, this is a second place pick that can easily hold its own against any LPVO in this price bracket. I’d argue that it punches well beyond its weight class and can even compete with some far more expensive options out there. 

Primary Arms SLX 1-8x

The price of “Primary Arms SLX 1-8x” varies, so check the latest price at

Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-10×28

I’ve made no secret that I love Athlon Optics, and my love for them as a brand has only grown with the recent update of their Helos BTR model to include a 1-10x model. I love this optic style, especially for hunting, and I’ve wanted one of my own ever since I first tested it.

The Helos BTR is, in my opinion, not just the best hunting scopes on this list but one of the best currently on the market period. I got to borrow one of these, and I had nothing but nice thoughts about the entire weekend I used it for two hunts a day. 

The 1-10x magnification is perfect for all types of hunting. The glass is very clear and bright, and the fully-multicoated lenses did a great job of capturing all the available light all the way to the end of legal shooting hours. 

Dialing windage and elevation feels crisp and tactile, and the zero stop function is a welcome little addition for a long-range shooter like myself. You have 80 MOA of total adjustment which is more than enough for a .308 or 6.5 CM rifle, and the illuminated reticle is easy to use and uncluttered.

Overall, I really like this optic, and I’m going to be paying some of my own money to get my hands on one very soon (Unless I can get Athlon to send me one to do a full review on. Hit me up, guys).

Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-10×28

The price of “Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-10×28” varies, so check the latest price at

Monstrum G3 1-6×24

If you’re looking for something genuinely budget-focused and affordable, Monstrum has you covered with the G3 1-6×24. Monstrum makes scopes that I would normally call “unbelievably cheap,” but now that I’ve used them,  I have to believe it. 

They aren’t the most rugged or durable, and I wouldn’t mount them on anything that’s going to recoil super heavily, but they work exceptionally well for the price. 

This is a great airsoft optic, but I think it’ll also work well on something like a Ruger 10/22, AR-15, or even a simple hunting rifle that won’t get shot much. The tube is aircraft-grade aluminum and is nitrogen purged. How does Monstrum do that at this price? I don’t know.

But they do. That’s the story here. Monstrum has produced an extremely competitive little optic that will do 85% of what any other optic on this list will do, and it costs about half as much as the more high-end options.

If you’re looking to save as much money a spossible, or you just want to try this new-fangled LPVO thing out without wasting too much money, this is an excellent option for you. 

Monstrum G3 1-6×24

The price of “Monstrum G3 1-6×24” varies, so check the latest price at

Firefield RapidStrike 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope Kit

Next up, if you’re looking for a ready-to-go scope that you can take out of the box and throw on your rifle, then the Firefield RapidStrike Kit is an excellent option for you. 

The scope and cantilever mount are incredibly affordable, and the reticle is a simple circle-dot affair with BDC holdover markings for 55grain 5.56×45, which is what most people will be shooting for target practice or at the range. 

The glass is good enough to get the job done, and the adjustments are nice and tactile, even if they are a bit mushy. This is a long way from a premium optic, but it’s still very well made and I had no issues in a little over a week of testing it. 

I personally think this is an excellent optic for anyone on a budget or anyone who just needs to get an optic on a rifle right now so they can go to the range or what have you. For a no-muss, no-fuss solution that you can get delivered right to your door, what’s not to love?

Firefield RapidStrike 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope Kit

The price of “Firefield RapidStrike 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope Kit” varies, so check the latest price at

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x

Lastly, we have a little something for those hunters who stalk the Southeast’s swamps, or competitors who don’t usually have to reach out to long distances, the Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x.

The Crossfire series is Vortex’s most budget-friendly line, and it’s aimed primarily at hunters, but the whole line makes a lot of sense for competitors and general target shooters as well. The glass is still very clear and the lens coatings are excellent, and you still get the fantastic Vortex warranty.

I think I have more Crossfire II’s on hunting rifles than any other optic right now. They’ve become my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a budget-minded optic that won’t break the bank (or break on the user). 

The 1-4x is the LPVO version we recommend most often, and it’s absolutely perfect for close-in hunting in heavy brush. I love this optic for stalking game, and I’ve also used it on close-range 3Gun matches, so I can wholeheartedly recommend it for most any use at close ranges.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x

The price of “Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x” varies, so check the latest price at

Buying Guide: Choosing an LPVO Under $500

Best LPVOs Under 500

When you’re choosing a budget-minded LPVO, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting something that’s going to meet your needs and last for years to come. 

Build Quality

First and foremost, just because you’re buying a budget-minded optic doesn’t mean you should expect to get some cheaply-made piece of garbage that’s more plastic than metal and has murky, easily-scratched glass.

This price bracket has plenty of highly durable and extremely rugged optics made out of high-quality materials. Are they going to be durable enough to take a bullet and keep working like some higher-end scopes? Probably not. So just don’t shoot them, and you’ll be fine.

Magnification

When we’re talking about LPVOs, we’re talking about some relatively low magnification optics. Usually, a 1-10x is about the most you’ll see in terms of total magnification.

But within that, you have 1-4x, 1-6x, 1-8x, and the 1-10x. Therefore, the one you choose with should be dictated by the type of shooting you’re doing.

The 1-8x and above models are great for hunting and competition, and some of the other even lower ones are great for some types of competition, target shooting, and hunting game in dense brush. 

Also Read: What Do Scope Numbers Mean?

Lens Coatings

Lens coatings can make a huge difference in how much light the scope gathers, and thus how well you can see in low-light conditions. This is especially important for hunters who often have to take a key shot very early or very late in the day.

The right lens coatings will protect your optic from scratches, cut down on glare and reflectivity, and make it easier to see your target in less than ideal lighting.

Reticle Type

Next, you need to think about what kind of reticle you need. This is probably going on a rifle, but what kind of rifle? Are you hunting? If so, then maybe a simple duplex reticle is all you need. If you’re target shooting or shooting at longer ranges, a bullet-specific BDC reticle can be a huge help.

Warranty & Support

Finally, it’s always essential to think about the kind of warranty and customer support your product has. This is especially important when we’re talking about budget optics that aren’t made with materials of the same durability and robustness as more expensive models.

Get something with a solid lifetime warranty, and you won’t have to worry. If a company is willing to stand behind their product, that’s a good sign you won’t need to use the warranty anyway. 

Frequently Asked Questions About LPVOs

Do Special Forces use LPVOs?

Yes! US Special Forces and SF groups in other countries have been using LPVOs for years. The US Army is also moving to an LPVO for their primary combat optic.

What LPVO does the military use?

There are a few different LPVOs in use or testing, but the United States Marines have adopted the Trijicon VCOG 1-8x as their optic of choice in the field.

Also Read: What Do Scope Numbers Mean?

Final Thoughts

Low-powered Variable Optics are a great complement to any rifle. Despite their popularity and military usage, you still don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great one to complement your rifle. 
Whether you want the phenomenal Athlon Helos BTR for hunting, the highly affordable Monstrum G3, or our best overall pick, the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x, there’s something out there for everyone. No matter what your situation and what kind of shooting you’re going to be doing, there’s an optic on this list that will serve you well.

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