SHTF LPVO?

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2006
3,446
4,353
219
New Mexico
www.opticsthoughts.com
@koshkin on the
D8V24FIML

What reticle do you prefer?

The FMC-2 looks interesting for low power, but looks like it would give up a lot of usability at the 8x power end?
The FMC-3 looks like it would be great at the high end but no so good at 1x ?
Correct. I use FMC-3 in my March Shorty 1-8x24, but that makes it less visible on low power. Works fine for me, though.

ILya
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2006
3,446
4,353
219
New Mexico
www.opticsthoughts.com
Aw damn, that Delta Stryker 1-6x is only 17oz and under a grand? Daylight bright dot? Is it as good on 1x as the P4Xi 1-4x or even GII-E Razor 1-6x? Maybe I’ll finally have a reason to stop talking up the Steiner 1-4x, ha

PS: totally different realm but glad to hear you’re liking the new Strike Eagle even if it isn’t quite up to the Meopta 6 optically 👍
I do not have the P4Xi 1-4x here to compare, but it looks very good to me on 1x. Probably comparable. I think the GII-E Razor is slightly faster on 1x, if memory serves me right, but it is really a pretty close call between these three.

Delta really did a good job with this scope.

ILya
 
  • Like
Reactions: stilesg57

LeadZeke

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jun 16, 2019
359
141
49
Thanks again @koshkin, not daylight bright seems like a bit too much to give up when the ATACR will basically do the same thing but is daylight bright. Too bad really cause I like just about everything else about the March, especially the parallax. I wonder if they'll get that tech sorted out anytime soon.
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2006
3,446
4,353
219
New Mexico
www.opticsthoughts.com
Thanks again @koshkin, not daylight bright seems like a bit too much to give up when the ATACR will basically do the same thing but is daylight bright. Too bad really cause I like just about everything else about the March, especially the parallax. I wonder if they'll get that tech sorted out anytime soon.
They are working on a 1-10x24 Shorty that should be a significant step forward, although I like the current 1-8x24 Shorty as well.

ATACR is definitely faster on 1x than the current March, but for shooting at longer distances, March is better because of higher resolution and side focus. It is more of a general purpose scope than ATACR.

ILya
 

equilibrium

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 11, 2018
655
796
99
The NX8 is a great optic, nuclear bright, quick as long as you set/build up your cheekweld proper and fits well on a 5.56 rifle. For a .308 I would use the ATACR.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BufordTJustice

st1650

Private
Belligerents
Aug 13, 2009
200
70
34
33
It should be within an ounce of the 1-8x24 Shorty, but until they finish the design it is all guesswork.

ILya
Wow sure looks good on paper

The new concept model is March-F 1-10×24 FFP Shorty.

The length of this scope is 213mm (≒8.39 inch)

The weight is 487g.(≒17.18oz)

It has illumination and you will be able to adjust the Side focus from 10yds-infinity.

This will have 56MIL total travel amount for both Elevation and Windage.
 

LMT/556

Private
Hessian
Minuteman
Dec 22, 2018
76
23
12
USA
I was looking for a light general purpose LPVO and went with a 1x6 Trijicon Credo. Originally I wanted the BDC version but it's calibrated for 55gn fmj, so I switched out the order to the FFP mrad version.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pointman308

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 2, 2019
129
54
34
Western NC
I was looking for a light general purpose LPVO and went with a 1x6 Trijicon Credo. Originally I wanted the BDC version but it's calibrated for 55gn fmj, so I switched out the order to the FFP mrad version.
That looks interesting. 18 ounces and a 1 to 6 power from a legit company sounds pretty appealing. Let us know how it works for you.
 

LMT/556

Private
Hessian
Minuteman
Dec 22, 2018
76
23
12
USA
That looks interesting. 18 ounces and a 1 to 6 power from a legit company sounds pretty appealing. Let us know how it works for you.
And it's $850 beans from Europtics. I had and sold an NX8, nice size and weight but tight eyebox, reticle doubling, .2 mil adjustments, sold it. I have an ATACR 1x8 on my 308 MWS and really like it, just a bit thick for what I want for a light AR.
With these LPVOs I really like the fact no batteries required, and even the low 2-3x on shorter engagements helps my aging eyes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FishinGuns

UpSideDown

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Sep 24, 2019
279
258
69
I really like my Trijicon Accupower 1-8. Plenty of magnification for most things, and the reticle has a strong ring to help work well up close without power. The stadia are thick enough at 1x that it’s all there and useful, but not obnoxious. The new Credo series I think has a better reticle for long range shooting, because the Accupower can occlude some of the target with its reticle. I think the Credo is a great scope, essentially the Accupower with a slightly better reticle.
 

JWG

Private
Belligerents
May 6, 2017
159
56
34
Looking for a "do it all" LPVO for SHTF (or whatever we are calling a general upending of normal life this week). Home defense is taken care of already with a T2, I'm looking for an LPVO or similar that is almost as fast/durable and with as low a signature (no/low forward light emission). What I want the LPVO to bring to the table that the T2 cannot is more magnification and the best recticle possible for a world that could be without batteries. A reticle that can work well on 1x without illumination, in conjunction with a white light, and also stretch out at 6-10x and be usable. Price isn't much of an issue. So far I'm considering:

1.) Khales K16i (SM1 reticle) or K18i (3GR reticle).

2.) Vortex Razor Gen II-E or Gen III.

3.) S&B Short Dots - maybe dual CC?

4.) Elcan 1x/4x.

5.) Maybe the 1-4x or 1-6x Accupoint for the fiberoptic?

Why no ACOG? Terrible eye box and slow up close, at least for me and my eyes.

Will primarily be used on a 13.9in AR15 and 14.5in AR10. Any feedback is welcome.
I wanted exactly what you described, and ended up with the NX8. Before it, I tried the K16i, VCOG, NXS 1-4, MK6, and a smattering of ACOG based optics (1.5, 3.5, and 4x models). I also tried the T2 and G33 as well as EXPS3-0 and G33.

Functionally, the T2/G33 were an awesome combo, and came closest to filling the role aside from the NX8. The NX8 just offers nearly 300% more magnification and has better glass quality and works without a battery in extremis.

The only optic on your list I am tempted by is the Dual CC by SB, but it's big, heavy, and the 1x on my NX8 works fine as is. The temptation comes from that beautiful European glass and the snob appeal of it. I'd likely buy it, look through it, oooh and aaaah, and then sell it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LeadZeke

Bayne205

Private
Minuteman
Jun 27, 2019
2
3
6
Looking for a "do it all" LPVO for SHTF (or whatever we are calling a general upending of normal life this week). Home defense is taken care of already with a T2, I'm looking for an LPVO or similar that is almost as fast/durable and with as low a signature (no/low forward light emission). What I want the LPVO to bring to the table that the T2 cannot is more magnification and the best recticle possible for a world that could be without batteries. A reticle that can work well on 1x without illumination, in conjunction with a white light, and also stretch out at 6-10x and be usable. Price isn't much of an issue. So far I'm considering:

1.) Khales K16i (SM1 reticle) or K18i (3GR reticle).

2.) Vortex Razor Gen II-E or Gen III.

3.) S&B Short Dots - maybe dual CC?

4.) Elcan 1x/4x.

5.) Maybe the 1-4x or 1-6x Accupoint for the fiberoptic?

Why no ACOG? Terrible eye box and slow up close, at least for me and my eyes.

Will primarily be used on a 13.9in AR15 and 14.5in AR10. Any feedback is welcome.
Best bang for your buck is the Vortex Viper Gen 2 1-6 and the next best bang for your buck is razor gen II E 1-6

I've been running a Leupold mark 6 1-6 in a geissele mount on my 14.5 patrol rifle and I love it. It's been getting beat up and bouncing around in cop car for the past year and durability has been awesome(no rifle rack, just riding dirty in the passenger's seat). I like having the exposed turrets, FFP, and comparatively light weight. Easily hitting targets out to 600.

That Vortex 1-10 looks niicccceee, but I have no first hand experience with it.

Look at Bobro mounts as well, best return to zero I've seen in a quick detach mount. Don't want to lug around two rifles? Run a T2 on the rifle and LPVO in a bobro on standby. When the LPVO situation arises remove the T2 and put it in your pocket, remove LPVO from tactical fanny pack, slap it on the rifle and have 100% confidence in the return to zero.
 

whisper35

Private
Minuteman
Mar 9, 2020
21
8
6
I was looking for something similar for an end-all-be-all optic. If there's two sides of being cheap where one keeps buying bare minimum pricing and replacing it with the same, I'm on the other were I'm willing to pay to not have to pay again. Lots of (continuing) research got me to the parts I have. Found a gig overseas and bought a S&B Dual CC and Spuhr mount and once travel opens back up I've got a heavy firing schedule planned to both get back in the swing of things and test myself and my equipment choices.


As you originally posted, the reticle is a major factor. I didn’t have any issues with the Vortex’s durability or losing zero. It just took me some time, 3k-4k rd and a maturation in dirty fan thinking I realized the JM-1 reticle is not what I wanted or needed. Will I be using my rifle for extended shots? Sometimes. Having a small Christmas tree helps with that. At close distance, as I believe @koshkin stated earlier and from personal experience, at 25m and in you can naturally point and makes hits. Not gnat's ass accuracy that everyone's concerned with but enough that 3-7rd while you acquire your sight should work anyways.
 

Dobermann

Private
Minuteman
May 28, 2020
46
7
12
Ignoring all the silliness...

From your list and others mentioned, I will only speak to the ones that I have shot and seen shot more than 10k rounds on multiple samples with zero retention, function, and usability measured.

1). Khales. Great on 1x, however durability is so-so. They are fine for 3-gun and general use, however they do not take impacts well.

2). Vortex 1-6x Gen II is excellent on 1x, reticle is fine without illumination. The first four that I used had catastrophic failures before 3,500 rounds. The fifth has lasted more than 40k. Have seen dozens more used heavily, with more issues than is acceptable.

3). The S&B Dual CC SDII 1-8x is the most shootable of the LPV’s. However reticle is not usable without illumination.

4). Elian. The mount alone should remove Elcans from consideration.

5). Trijicon Accupoints are usually pretty solid. The reticles are ok, fiber works though not as bright as some others. Reliability and durability wise they aren’t bombproof, but are better than most.

6). Leupold Mk 6. The first six that I used all had significant issues by 3,000 rounds- primarily with zero retention. They do not take side and top impacts well.

7). Minox ZP8. Reticle is usable without illumination. Design is very good with regards to features. Impact shifts from top impacts from drops.

8). 1-6x Trijicon VCOG. Reticle is usable without illumination. Turrets are not indexed or marked in any way. Adjustments are not very precise or consistent. Most can not get focused at both 1x and 6x.

9). Trijicon 1-8x VCOG. Reticle is usable without illumination. Turrets are the same as the 1-6x, though so far are more consistent in adjustments. Reticle focus is improved. Very big, very heavy.

10). Steiner Px4. All that I have seen lose zero from impacts.

11). Nightforce ATACR 1-8x. Reticle is usable without illumination. Extremely durable- it and the NX8 are probably the most reliable LPV’s made. Decent eyebox, turrets are solid.

12). Nightforce NX8 1-8x. Reticle is usable without illumination. Scope is tiny. Eyebox is smaller than ATACR, but is completely usable. Turrets are solid.

13). Trijicon 1-8x Credo/Accupower. Reticle is usable without illumination. Turrets and adjustments work correctly. About 20-30% will have the reticle rotate when used hard.


As far as “fast” goes, if people are not using timers on standard drills and gathering large data sets, “fast” means nothing. From fastest to slowest there is less than .1 seconds difference between those above for time to first shot at 0-7m. In target to target transitions at sub 7m there is around .05 seconds between any of the good ones. Mostly when people talk speed they “feel” that one is faster than another- not that one actually is faster. Those times are from several dozen shooters, and tens of thousands of rounds.
@Vereor - I know you've done some testing of the SWFA 1-6 also ... just wondering what your current thoughts are on that one?
 

45custom

Private
Minuteman
Jan 30, 2020
5
1
6
@LeadZeke

Battery availability is a definite concern, but the shelf life isn't actually a big problem to my understanding. AFAIK the number they give is just how long the battery will retain a certain percentage of its charge, not necessarily how long the battery will remain usable. CR2032s lose about 1% charge per year, I think I've read of people dropping CR2032s that were like 30 years old into their devices and they still powered up fine.

The main problem with batteries rather is just how quickly most LPVOs will go through them, finding a scope that will give more than 100 hours of daylight bright illumination seems to be the exception and not the rule.

There hasn't been much discussion of the Elcan in this thread so I guess I'll give my thoughts on it, the mount gets a lot of flak but I've heard of few problems in actual practice besides the levers not fitting well on some rails. You can swap them out for the upgraded Mk2 ARMS levers for relatively little cost and time.

People often seem to think the Elcan is heavy, I can only assume this is because either they thought it looked thicc or they read the stat number without thinking a little more about it. The latest gen 1/4x model weighs 21.9 ounces, or 22.0 ounces with the Mk2 ARMS. Subtract the weight of a Scalarworks LEAP mount and you get 16.4-16.5 ounces. If you'd normally use say a Larue LT104 then you'd subtract 7.1 ounces for a total of 14.8-14.9 ounces. The SpecterDR is one of the lightest combat grade variable scopes that I know of.

Regarding your concern of reticle usability without illumination, I would say it's ok, I would guess better than the NX8 and the ATACR but not as good as the Razor 1-6. It has however by far the best battery life of any scope discussed thus far, barring the Accupoint for obvious reasons. I tested the brightest dot setting on the Elcan to last about 4 weeks with a single CR2032 battery, this setting is nuclear bright to the point of practically still being visible when looking at the sun. The 2nd highest dot setting is what I would call mid daylight bright and is well suited for most situations, it yields about 10 weeks of battery life. The 3rd dot setting is high end daylight visible and reportedly lasts for over a year, probably about 2 years with the newer CR2032 battery cap models.

The eyebox on the SpecterDR is huge, better than the Razor and Swarovski Z6i and by extension likely the K16i as well. I have seen some people call it small, I am guessing this is because they didn't set up their eye relief properly or they were just going off of exit pupil numbers without finding out whether they were actually relevant in practice. In addition the eyebox barely shrinks when going from 1x to 4x; I measured the diameter of the 1x eyebox at about 22-23mm across and the diameter of the 4x eyebox at about 20-21mm across. In fact the 4x eyebox on the Elcan is actually better than the 3x (and ofc 4x) eyebox on a Vortex PST 3-15x.

The field of view is quite large although the scope housing appears fairly thick, I figure that's a fair tradeoff since seeing more of the area in your optic probably matters more than seeing more area outside your optic, hence EOtechs. Light transmission at both 1x and 4x appears to be practically perfect, no discernible loss of resolution compared to the naked eye from my experience. The full reticle illumination seems like it would be very useful for night time use.

One thing that some people may find a bit different is the color of the glass, it's very yellow and warm in tone, light surfaces like walls and the such often appear almost stained. This can help improve contrast under some circumstances but it may be somewhat offputting to those who are accustomed to more of a neutral color palette.

On the whole I really haven't been able to find anything bad to say about the Elcan, the only major downside is being limited to 4x on the top end. Windage marks and less ocular occlusion would be nice but realistically, no scope is going to be exactly perfect.
 

LeadZeke

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jun 16, 2019
359
141
49
Thanks for the info 45custom! I'd really like to test out a SpecterDR before I buy one because like ACOGs it has no adjustable diopter which could be a big issue for me. Hopefully one of the shops I visit will have one available, they seem quite difficult to find over the counter (especially newer legit ones).
 

Zane1844

Private
Minuteman
May 31, 2020
30
15
12
Thanks for the info 45custom! I'd really like to test out a SpecterDR before I buy one because like ACOGs it has no adjustable diopter which could be a big issue for me. Hopefully one of the shops I visit will have one available, they seem quite difficult to find over the counter (especially newer legit ones).
I really liked the Elcan. The glass is amazing and it has a decent reticle. I only sold it since I never used the 4x on my SBR, I'm kinda regretting now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: whisper35

45custom

Private
Minuteman
Jan 30, 2020
5
1
6
Thanks for the info 45custom! I'd really like to test out a SpecterDR before I buy one because like ACOGs it has no adjustable diopter which could be a big issue for me. Hopefully one of the shops I visit will have one available, they seem quite difficult to find over the counter (especially newer legit ones).
Yeah, that is the other downside I forgot to mention. A representative from Primary Arms said once that the ACOG manages to achieve a larger eyebox by forgoing diopter adjustment, I imagine the same is true of the Elcan. Of course this doesn't matter so much if you can't see the image to begin with.

The one other thing I should note is that while the eye relief is forgiving of imperfect positioning, the sweet spot for optimal FoV and eyebox is quite close to the ocular. You may want to move your rear flip-up in front of the Elcan to achieve more flexibility in eye relief positioning. Rail mounted BUIS will be usable both through the Elcan at 1x and with the optic taken off, you'll just have a reduced sight radius.

An advantage not oft mentioned is that the SpecterDR actually has different parallax settings for its 1x and 4x settings. On 1x it's 70m and on 4x it's 150m. Rather nice as the 150m parallax setting will significantly decrease the amount of error when you're at the edge of the eyebox, though in truth parallax shift tends to be quite small at practical ranges with low power optics anyway.

I was also concerned about batteries when searching for an optic, largely because I wanted something I could leave on all the time for home defense and hiking without having to worry about the illumination dying unexpectedly on me. Ultimately I decided the Elcan 1/4x was by far the best suit for my needs, but there are some 1-x LPVOs that do OK in the battery life department:

Swarovski Z6i and Z8i: These have a Swarolight function that automatically turns the illumination on and off depending on the position of the rifle. Neat feature, however I have heard these scopes don't have the durability expected of a combat optic.

Leupold VX-6HD: Has an auto on/auto off feature. Not sure if this is motion or position based, the former may not be as good for outdoors usage. Very light but, again, seems to be more of a recreational than a combat scope. If you do get one, make sure to buy the model with the red dot, it is reportedly much brighter than the green.

Steiner P4Xi: Much more budget oriented but the battery life is quite good for a variable scope, supposedly about 300 hours on max setting or 750 hours on mid setting.

Steiner M5Xi: Utilizes a larger battery with more capacity, though possibly due to the reticle design, it actually has about 2/3 the battery life of the P4XI (which is still better than what most variable scopes can do). Quite heavy for a 1-5 and the reticle looks to be quite small and not particularly usable for speed shooting without illumination. The T5Xi uses the same battery and shaves off a little weight, plus it has P4Xi style crosshairs, however the glass quality, FoV, and durability are not as good.

Razor Gen II 1-6: The Razor Gen 2 itself is actually not bad in this regard, it's quoted as 120 hours on the highest setting. The Gen 3 will have a much shorter battery life.
 
Last edited:

HAMBURGERATTACK

Private
Minuteman
Nov 9, 2019
9
4
6
I am about to get a NF ATACR over a G3 Razor for the exact Reason the OP is considering one.
Screengrabs taken from the video linked in this thread show just how much more usable the ATACR reticle is at 1x in comparison to the G3 Vortex.
Reticle lines are 3x+ as long in all directions - look slightly thicker - AND come significantly closer together in the center.
Untitled.jpg
I briefly owned a K16i last year and although that SFP reticle was much larger than the ATACR FFP reticle... the center is a translucent grey color. Did not work as well without the illumination as I thought it would.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: LeadZeke

fivescrew

Private
Minuteman
Sep 22, 2017
14
16
6
I have the same question as this thread. I saw some comment on the VCOG, but not much. Why no consideration of the VCOG 1-6x? It's not particularly heavy, 23.5oz w mount. Trijicon glass is high end Schott USA. The Trijicon turrets have been good in my experience (RCO, MRO, RX-01 & Accupower). I ask b/c I was thinking of one for my 14.5" LMT carbine. I am not a fan of FFP's. On my high power rifles, I have all SFP's that allow more precise target picture, NF 4.5 for service rifle, March 2-25x42 for space gun and NXS 5.5-22x56 for the T2K. None of those are useful for a general purpose. My USO is great but too heavy for a light carbine. So I'm thinking of the VCOG for its durability. [Correction, I see the Steiner 1-5 has a German-made military version the manufacturer claims is indestructible and an American-made tactical version. I've never sprung the $3-5k for a top German scope and probably never will.]
 
Last edited:

fivescrew

Private
Minuteman
Sep 22, 2017
14
16
6
Price, that's why I went credo and comes in at about $800 plus mount, 18.9 oz, good glass.
If I were young with good eyes I would not even bother with a scope on a survival rifle and go with a top drawer AR15A4 and a pinned rear sight that also allowed one to flip the ghost ring into place. But I'm not young and my eyes aren't good. I can use my indestructible ACOG RCO with eye glasses on, but I have to change glasses to ones with a uniform correction in order to keep the reticle in focus in different positions. Neither the irons nor the ACOG require batteries - but an etched reticle doesn't either and a traditional scope lets me focus the reticle. Higher-end scopes have come a long way in durability from my old Redfield 4x and I'm thinking the VCOG and the Steiner Military are probably the strongest, but yeah, they cost a lot, 1,800 to 2,200 and up and optics are not a good investment like the firearms they're on. Really, I just wish I had good eyes and could see the front sight like I used to up until eight or nine years ago. Now the optical gunsight can cost more than the gun its on. PITA. I may dig deep and get the VCOG 1-6, but I dunno.
 
Last edited:

45custom

Private
Minuteman
Jan 30, 2020
5
1
6
I have the same question as this thread. I saw some comment on the VCOG, but not much. Why no consideration of the VCOG 1-6x? It's not particularly heavy, 23.5oz w mount. Trijicon glass is high end Schott USA. The Trijicon turrets have been good in my experience (RCO, MRO, RX-01 & Accupower). I ask b/c I was thinking of one for my 14.5" LMT carbine. I am not a fan of FFP's. On my high power rifles, I have all SFP's that allow more precise target picture, NF 4.5 for service rifle, March 2-25x42 for space gun and NXS 5.5-22x56 for the T2K. None of those are useful for a general purpose. My USO is great but too heavy for a light carbine. So I'm thinking of the VCOG for its durability. [Correction, I see the Steiner 1-5 has a German-made military version the manufacturer claims is indestructible and an American-made tactical version. I've never sprung the $3-5k for a top German scope and probably never will.]
The VCOG is a FFP optic. It's 23.2 ounces without a mount and battery - with the factory thumbscrew TA51 and a lithium AA, it jumps up to 27.7 oz. You can take off 1.6 oz by using a Midwest Industries QD mount.

While Schott is capable of producing extremely clear glass, glass specification and general image quality will vary from scope to scope and by the design of the lenses. The P4Xi and the S&B Dual CC both use glass sourced from Schott for example but the clarity is going to differ.

Aside from that, the field of view on the VCOG is small, the eyebox is not as large as some of the other options, and the illumination is not daylight bright. You'd think you could at least get good battery life with the larger capacity of an AA battery, but actually it doesn't seem to be outstanding compared to some other LPVOs set at the same brightness level.

The Steiner M5Xi is reportedly a very good scope, but is sadly discontinued. See my above post for some of my thoughts on it and the T5Xi. You can find refurbished/used ones for about the price of a new Razor (~$1200).
 

LMT/556

Private
Hessian
Minuteman
Dec 22, 2018
76
23
12
USA
I may dig deep and get the VCOG 1-6, but I dunno.
Cost per se isn't the limiting factor for me, I've had an NX8 and currently own an 1x8 ATACR, fantastic optic just thick and heavy for this application. I looked at the vcog and can't justify the price premium over the credo, though I like the BDC reticle in 77 OTM (works with 69 OTM too), the credo BDC version is set for 55 gn so nixed. Other points are weight and .1mil adjustment, .2 (or .5 MOA) is just too course for what I want. If NX8 were .1 mil adjustment I would probably buy the capped version and call it a day, though I had reticle issue with the one I had and the tight eye box. Nothing is absolutely perfect.
 

fivescrew

Private
Minuteman
Sep 22, 2017
14
16
6
No, nothing is perfect and even with huge differences in quality btw low cost and expensive, there's always a trade off. I am thinking about the criticisms here of the VCOG and I don't like FFP, but I am torn. (You're sure of the weight 45 Custom? I keep getting different weights for w or w/o mount & battery, so I ask - respectfully - if you've weighed it. Trijicon gave me the 23.5 oz weight w mount.) So 27+oz is top heavy for a light carbine, probably the rugged forged housing. So, rugged, holds zero, high quality glass not as expensive as S&B. I was looking at the Kahles 1-6K16i. The scope gets happy reviews, about an inch longer than the vcog but 17oz w/o mount. Kahles - the Viennese company that pioneered the telescopic sight - is now owned by Swarovski, but their glass is supposed to be tops too. I still want to buy made by Americans for Americans and like Trijicon's "culture". Hmm. What about the funky Kahles reticles, different. I was leaning toward the MOA version with its stacked chevrons. Is it as tough as Kahles claims? I dunno.
 
Last edited:

UpSideDown

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Sep 24, 2019
279
258
69
After owning an LPVO and training some with it, things I'd now prioritize:
- FFP with a reticle usable at 1x or SFP. In an LPVO you're either at 1x or MAXx, so SFP isn't really an issue and the reticle can be more useful at 1x.
- Bright center dot would be nice, but not needed. Some good form of illumination.
- Durable, locking turrets. It's going to get smashed.
- Moderately good glass. Doesn't need to be amazing, but should be good enough to ID rough targets at 500yds.

Personally after owning a few LPVO's on different guns, and practicing some up close speed drills, I realize I'd have been happy with an ACOG with BDC on my 5.56 AR that has a Vortex PST II. The PST is ok, but I've already smashed a turret somehow, the glass is just ok, I like the bright center dot. But no matter what cool youtube review you find, an LPVO is never going to be a red dot. The issue is that you still have to work within the eye box of the scope, and align your eye to the reticle. My red dot gun is easily way faster up close than my LPVO with a bright red center dot is. LPVO's are the new fad. I kinda like the Accupower more on my AR-10, (I would strongly recommend the new Credo reticle over the Accupower), but I'll probably swap in a 3-15 on that gun now that shooting 600+ yards with the 8x and big thick reticle is getting old quick.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tonsofguns

45custom

Private
Minuteman
Jan 30, 2020
5
1
6
(You're sure of the weight 45 Custom? I keep getting different weights for w or w/o mount & battery, so I ask - respectfully - if you've weighed it. Trijicon gave me the 23.5 oz weight w mount.)
Have not weighed it personally, but Trijicon's catalog here says the 1-6 VCOG weighs 28 ounces with mount and battery. Their webpage says 23.2 ounces, which is very likely the weight without the mount and battery.

How do we figure this? The TA51 mount that the VCOG comes with weighs 4.0 ounces, and an alkaline AA battery weighs 0.8 ounces. Both of these weighs are found separately.

Add those together, and add that to the 23.2 ounce figure from the webpage, and you'll get 28 ounces w/ mount & (alkaline) battery as listed by the catalog.

The Kahles K16i is by most accounts a very fine scope. As a shooter's optic it is arguably the nicest LPVO out there. If you want to go Trijicon, consider the Credo HX LED Red Dot 1-6. It boasts daylight illumination and good glass at a very reasonable price. The parts likely come from Japan, although they are assembled in the USA.
 

Tonsofguns

Private
Belligerents
Feb 24, 2017
589
103
49
Northern Va
After owning an LPVO and training some with it, things I'd now prioritize:
- FFP with a reticle usable at 1x or SFP. In an LPVO you're either at 1x or MAXx, so SFP isn't really an issue and the reticle can be more useful at 1x.
- Bright center dot would be nice, but not needed. Some good form of illumination.
- Durable, locking turrets. It's going to get smashed.
- Moderately good glass. Doesn't need to be amazing, but should be good enough to ID rough targets at 500yds.

Personally after owning a few LPVO's on different guns, and practicing some up close speed drills, I realize I'd have been happy with an ACOG with BDC on my 5.56 AR that has a Vortex PST II. The PST is ok, but I've already smashed a turret somehow, the glass is just ok, I like the bright center dot. But no matter what cool youtube review you find, an LPVO is never going to be a red dot. The issue is that you still have to work within the eye box of the scope, and align your eye to the reticle. My red dot gun is easily way faster up close than my LPVO with a bright red center dot is. LPVO's are the new fad. I kinda like the Accupower more on my AR-10, (I would strongly recommend the new Credo reticle over the Accupower), but I'll probably swap in a 3-15 on that gun now that shooting 600+ yards with the 8x and big thick reticle is getting old quick.
i agree 100% on the acog. I've owned almost all lpvo, and for self defense, an acog rmr is an often overlooked and excellent solution. It's simple to the point, and you can run that set up fairly quickly, and the bdc allows you to make it mindless. People complain of the short eye box, then look into the ta11. I sold mine a few years ago, and i am looking to get back to it now.
 

david walter

Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2007
1,367
633
219
TriCities, WA
Took mama shooting yesterday and had replaced her aimpoint with a SWFA 1-6. She hated it.

we came home and I put the Aimpoint back on her DD V7.

She’s accurate and skilled with it to 300 yards, and that’ll do.

But no matter what cool youtube review you find, an LPVO is never going to be a red dot.you still have to work within the eye box of the scope, and align your eye to the reticle. My red dot gun is easily way faster up close than my LPVO with a bright red center dot is.
 

cubewarrior

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jun 10, 2007
234
1
18
Alexandria, VA
Been a few years since my last post—5, I think.

I tested a lot of LPVOs for my 14.5” AR. My eyes have gotten to the point that I use scopes to correct my vision. My friends want to run and gun, and I prefer to sit somewhere with a good field of fire and let the bullets do the work. So, this isn’t quite SHTF, but maybe my logic for scope selection will help.

Ultimately, I landed with the NX8 1-8x after using the S&B short dot, Leupold MK8, a friend‘s Vortex Razor, and my son’s Strike Eagle. My point of comparison was the 3-12 PMII I run on my 308s. If I was butch and building a SHTF .308 like a SCAR, I’d just piggyback a T2 on a 3-12. I’m old and skinny—want my 5.56s and the associated optics light.

The S&B is my preference because it runs like every other S&B. That said, even used ones cost too much. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d do a dual in a nano-second for parallax settings and SFP dot alone. My experience is with the older short dots and they still rock. Image is not so colorful but high resolving—like all S&B. I prefer complete cross-hair aiming point in the reticle like the USMC Mildot, but I could get used to the short dot pretty quick.

NX8 is really nice for a shorty AR. Red dot is almost as clear and fast as my Aimpoint Pro. Reticle is perfect for within 500y and half-size steel silhouettes. I don’t find the big center aim point an issue because elevation stadia between 350 and 550 are clear of the donut (MOA reticle). I zero at 200, so the center aiming point is fine for anything 300 or less. Top of the center dot at 100, in the dot 50-200, dot slightly below the target at closer ranges. Parallax sweet spot for NX8 ’feels’ 75-200 for me. Up close creates fish-eye effect. Splatter targets aren’t so clear at 50 as they are at 100-200. I’ve always thought NF’s looked milky (3-10x and 5-22x) compared to the S&B, but they resolve fine. Eye box is a little tight if you are moving under mag at greater than 6 power. I love running this scope at 4x. I didn’t consider ATACR because it was big and cost almost as much as an S&B. I wouldnt run this scope on a precision build, but I think it’s the best option for an SBR because of its small size and low weight.

Lupy Mk8. My best friend has this on his REPR, and I’ve spent a lot of time with this scope. I think it’s better for a 308 than a 5.56, and the TMR reticle is fantastic. GenII XR reticle has always been my favorite and TMR is close enough. (Pair it with a spotter—nice.) I don’t like the rotating rear eye with BC caps. I don’t like the squeeze turrets because they confuse me. Eye box is like the Nightforce. If I was going to spend that much on a scope, I’d go S&B. Based on its size, I think it’s better suited to a DMR set-up.

Vortex. To me, the Vortex reticle is too small. I struggle with my friend’s Razor, and I can just barely use my son’s Strike Eagle. That said, the Vortex was far more forgiving to get behind, and the resolution and image (to me) were superior to the Lupy and NF. But, I cant see the d—-d center, so I didn’t spend much time behind it. That scope is unusable to me at 1x, but that’s just me and my old eyes. I don‘t like SFP—just a preference since all my other scopes are FFP. My son’s Strike Eagle is on his lever action, and it is perfectly serviceable there. Nice scopes, not for me.

In terms of durability, I’ve sent scopes of all manufacturers for repairs except for NF. I’d feel totally comfortable taking a S&B, Lupy, or NF to a sandbox—better than A2 iron sights and ACOGs of my day, that’s for sure.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Desert Ranger Tycho

SuperSneakySniper

Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 16, 2017
864
218
49
For the vast majority of people, SHTF hasn't happened before. Here in the US we dont deal with it often. There are far more war veterans than there are post-hurricane-gang-looter veterans. Therefor the topic is very subjective, whatever fantasy you concoct in your head will determine the most ideal equipment choices. It also depends on where you live. Oklahoma, or New York? There is no right or wrong answer (within the realm of common sense).
You wont die just because you chose an SFP scope. That notion is as laughable as saying you would be killed because you used a one-point sling instead of a two-point sling. One may be more ideal over the other, but these little factors aren't things that kill people. Had to get that out of the way.
SHTF is not the same as war, and not the same as home defense.
I live in the suburbs, ranges would be from 1 yard to 300 yards. I'd have to drive an hour away from civilization to shoot beyond 300 yards. I dont really need BDC at 300 yards. Focal plane becomes irrelevant. Weight is a concern for me though, so i'd rather not choose a tank of an optic if I can help it.

I chose a simple Accupoint 1-4 and I love it. But that's just me.
It plays to my own "fantasy" of SHTF. Reading through the replies, and from other threads ive seen, we have some people who think they will have to engage multiple AK-weilding hostiles simultaneously from 50 yards to 600 yards. Some people are content with a handgun to protect their apartment, and others plan to pick off targets at 700 yards from one end of their property, to the other.
Technically none of these answers are wrong persay. They just have different parameters, different fantasies about SHTF and no matter what equipment you decide to go with, I can dream up a situation where it would be the wrong equipment, and we would all argue until dawn haha.

I would argue that we should draw from history. What did people do/have during past SHTF examples? Both here in the US, or abroad. Often times they have very basic kit. Usually don't even have an optic. Sometimes not even a gun. So yeah, even a 3-gun, skeletonized, gold-plated, mall-cop, laser sighted, bipod-grip rifle would be better than what most actual SHTF survivors had. Just pick up a good quality sight, I wouldnt overthink it! Pick one of the many great suggestions people here have offered. In an emergency, good sense and a logical thought process will take you much further than a $5000 optic!
 
Last edited:

Desert Ranger Tycho

Private
Minuteman
May 23, 2020
28
20
6
@SuperSneakySniper

Well said. After reading the entire thread and enjoying all the uplifting commentary from Crab, here are my two cents.

I think weight matters more than most other factors. In a SHTF scenario we will most likely be carrying our rifles in addition to other items - say on a supply or salvage run. Every ounce of weight extra is going to hurt as anyone who has had to schlepp anything for distance will tell you. The question then becomes does the added weight of our given LPVO selection give us added capability that warrants the extra suck factor? Each of us has to answer that on our own.

Personally, I would rather have redundancy. You can buy A LOT of more cost effective optics for the price of one high end one. For instance, you can buy 20 Holosuns for the cost of one Nightforce ATACR. We all know even the best optics break and in SHTF there will be no customer service. Having the ability to throw a new optic on my boom stick is more valuable to me. Cheaper optics also means being able to field more guns into the fight, which is never a bad idea when dealing with OPFOR of unknown size and capability.

I am also guilty of the "eggs in one basket" mentality. I have put a lot of time and money into my chosen SHTF Boomstick (SCAR 17S). But we also assume we will not have to dump our rifles (and expensive optics) at some point in the chaotic mess SHTF will surely be. In which case having extra optics (and another rifle) to put it on will be invaluable.

Lastly, thanks to all of you on the education about LPVO optics. There are so many choices now it is quite frankly impossible to decide without guidance from people with hands-on experience.
 

gigamortis

Habitual Sender
Belligerents
Oct 23, 2013
433
555
99
As a mere civilian, I like my crisis ready ARs to be ready to grip and rip as soon as I shoulder them, no matter what the lighting conditions. There is no time to be fumbling for illumination dials or buttons. One AR has a Trijicon 1-4x Accupoint zeroed for 50/200. 300 yards is just hold on the head box and the shot will land in the chest. Its definitely a KISS principle reticle for sure. It never needs batteries and the red triangle is plenty bright enough in daylight as well as in transitional lighting. I don't worry about tritium life that much, because a night shot also involves target ID. An led key ring light can be taped above the fiber optic for an illuminated reticle in near total darkness. With a quality weapon light, you can illuminate a <50 yards target up quite well enough to where the etched reticle works well. Eye relief is pretty forgiving on 1x and I can run it just as fast as a red dot on 1x.

My other AR is my bump in the night go-to. It has a Swampfox optics 1x prism scope with auto on/off with motion. Eye relief is very accomodating, much like a red dot, plus it has an adjustable diopter for my aging eyes. I leave the diopter set for unaided eyes, as that's how I will be springing out of the bed on short notice. I leave the illumination on #2 setting from off, which is perfect for night time lack of light without being blinding. Hit the weapon light and the red illumination washes out, but the etched reticle is there and quite visible. Battery life is also amazing.

When my eyes were younger, a red dot was the rage for speed. Now that my 50's have arrived, red dots are blurry and not accurate enough for my standards unless I turn them way down to shrink the dot. Etched reticles and adjustable diopters are where its at for aging eyes.
 

MJF

Online Training Member
Online Training Access
Minuteman
Jun 14, 2005
81
101
39
I went back and forth with this same decision for quite sometime before ultimately choosing the Nightforce NX8 1-24. I'm very happy with my choice. The reticle is 100 % usable on 1x with no illumination. With the illumination on the dot is as bright as the sun. I like the simple reticle design better than the ATACR reticle and it's light.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Desert Ranger Tycho