Jack of All Optics: LPVO Use Cases

By Joe Kriz


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You’ve likely heard the phrase “Jack of all trades is a master of none” in reference to do-it-all versatility. However, while broad knowledge and skill is generally valued, the cliché often carries a negative connotation when specific proficiency is required. But did you know it’s only the first part of the expression? In fact, the lesser known ending flips the script, continuing, “but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

Smaller and lighter than a precision riflescope with better ranging capability than a fixed prism scope and greater magnification than a dot sight, LPVOs are the true jack-of-all-trades optics. Defined as having a low-end magnification of 1x and high power up to 10x with small objective lenses, low power variable optics (LPVOs) combine speed and precision in a compact design for close-quarters shooting and mid-range engagements.

This variable versatility makes LPVOs ideal for wide-ranging applications on the range, on the job, and in the field. Let’s explore the many use cases for LPVOs.

Use Cases for LPVOs



For decades, LPVOs have been commonly used by military and law enforcement professionals. Mounted on flat-top receiver rifles, like AR15s, often carried and used in the line of duty, low power variable optics have been widely adopted in response to the modern battlefield.

Offering near-true 1x magnification up to 6x, 8x, and even 10x power at the flip of a lever, tactical professionals can quickly transition between targets in tight, close-quarters scenarios and threats at distances beyond 100 yards. With greater flexibility than any a fixed prism scope and lighter than a dot paired with a magnifier, LPVOs check all the boxes of those who protect and serve.


With similar demands to military and law enforcement, LPVOs also excel in shooting competitions – especially 3-Gun. After all, AR-style rifles are one of the three guns commonly used.

Compact and lightweight, LPVOs complement the speed required of competition. When maneuvering around obstacles and barriers with a rifle in hand, low power variable optics maintain a low profile until needed. When raised into view, their simple reticles and rapid magnification capability allow shooters to make quick hits with confidence from point-blank range to 300 yards.



Though there’s a growing trend of larger magnification hunting optics, most game is taken at distances less than 100 yards – safe for proper shot placement and well within the capability of LPVOs.

From varmint hunters to big game chasers, low power variable optics are the ultimate tool in the field. Deer and elk hunters lugging rifles for miles over difficult terrain can benefit from their weight savings over traditional riflescopes, as well as a wide field of view (FOV) at high magnification. Hog and predator hunters can also take advantage of generous LPVO eye boxes for quick target acquisition and fast follow-up shots with multiple targets in view.


While the “best home defense gun” is highly debated, there’s no denying the popular use of AR15s. And as we know, LPVOs are tailor-made for the platform.

Though most defense situations occur within 25 yards, quick variable magnification of LPVOs enables homeowners, homesteaders, and ranchers alike the ability to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their livestock from threats up close and afar. Most LPVOs also feature easy to see illuminated reticles, ideal when shooting in dim light or total darkness, with wide FOVs for monitoring multiple animals or acres.

And if you’re the type to carry a truck or UTV gun, an LPVO atop a capable rifle provides confidence when taking on any two or four-legged threat.


Target Shooting

LPVOs can clearly be used in a variety of applications, but the reality is most gun owners are recreational target shooters. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place atop range guns.

From ARs to bolt-actions, 25 yards to 250 yards, indoors to outdoors, low power variable optics provide both platform and ranging versatility. Their ability to operate like 1x power red dots on close-range targets, deliver ample precision at longer ranges, and easily adjust for any range in between make them a perfect choice for shooters looking for a one gun, one optic solution.

LPVOs also make a great first entry into riflescopes, allowing new and first-time optic shooters to learn how to read reticles and use holdovers before stepping up to larger magnification, longer-range precision scopes that can require more complicated calculations and skill behind the trigger.

Swampfox Optics


Whether you’re looking for your first or next jack-of-all-trades rifle optic, Swampfox offers three versatile low power variable optics with illuminated first focal plane (FFP) and second focal plane (SFP) reticles, 4x to 10x max magnification, and tactical, precise, and protected turrets capable of fulfilling any shooting application.

Swampfox Warhorse

The first of our premier FFP LPVO series, Warhorse 1-6x offers smooth magnification and edge-to-edge clarity that’s no Trojan Horse. Its compact 34mm tube design features push/pull locking elevation with zero reset and a capped windage turret, while 12-position illumination and constant subtensions enhance precision for rapid target engagement at any time and distance.

Shop Swampfox Warhorse

Swampfox Arrowhead

Excellent in all applications, every quiver should include an Arrowhead. Push/pull locking turrets protect against unintentional adjustment while its 30mm tube and 24mm objective lens offers a wide field of view and sharp resolution. Arrowhead is available in SFP 1-6x, 1-8x, and 1-10x magnifications with the choice of BDC, MOA, or MIL reticles, each with 12 illumination settings.

Shop Swampfox Arrowhead

Swampfox Tomahawk II

Built on the foundation of our original riflescope, the second-generation Tomahawk II embodies user feedback with enhanced features, including our brand-new, blazing Bright Fiber Optic (BFO) reticle. Constructed on a 30mm tube, Tomahawk II is offered in 1-4x and 1-6x ranges with capped windage, push/pull locking elevation, and four illumination colors to choose from.

Shop Swampfox Tomahawk II

Of course, Swampfox also offers a variety of lightweight and durable riflescope cantilever mounts and rings to secure your LPVO to any platform.

Try Swampfox optics risk-free with our 30-Day Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee. If unsatisfied after 30 days, return the optic and exchange it for another or a full refund. Plus, all orders over $300 ship free – including all LPVOs!

Related Posts

02.07.2024Understanding Variable Optics: LPVO vs. MPVO

From 1x to 20x magnification, LPVOs and medium power variable optics offer versatile speed and precision unmatched by red dots and fixed optics alone.

04.23.2024Swampfox Reticle Guide: LPVOs

View every reticle across the Swampfox low power variable optic (LPVO) lineup – including Arrowhead, Tomahawk II, and Warhorse.

04.16.2024How to Mount an LPVO

Armed with the right tools and technical knowledge, mounting an LPVO to your rifle can be a quick, easy, and maybe even enjoyable task.


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