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5 Great 1-10X Low-Powered Variable Optics for AR-15 Rifles

On the lookout for your next Low-Powered Variable Optic (LPVO)? Here are five great 1-10X options to take your AR-15 rifle to the next level.

5 Great 1-10X Low-Powered Variable Optics for AR-15 Rifles

SIG Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10X LPVO (Photo courtesy of SIG Sauer)

Low-powered variable optics (LPVOs) are well-established as one of the best optics for AR-15 rifles, and they are also growing in popularity amongst hunters looking to replace their 3-9X scopes. Most LPVOs on the market today are either 1-4X, 1-6X or 1-8X, but a new category of 1-10X LPVOs is entering the market. It may not seem like much, but an additional 2X magnification can make a lot of difference when shooting at distance.

There can be a lot of variances between models, and required features will depend on shooter preference and discipline. Competition shooters will look for first-focal plane (FFP) reticles, and hunters will be more inclined toward second-focal plane (SFP) models. Some options have locking turrets and zero stops, and maintube diameter, along with the other features mentioned, will greatly affect price. A 1-10X LPVO can help get the most out of your rifle at close and medium distances. Below are five unique options with tons of different features optimized for different shooting styles. Take a look to see which is right for you.

Vortex Razor HD Gen III

Vortex Razor HD Gen III
(Photo courtesy of Vortex)

Vortex shook the shooting market when they introduced their FFP 1-10X Razor HD Gen III. For those that have the cash, MSRP is $3,599.99, it’s one of the most sought-after 1-10X LPVOs on the market, especially for competitors. Image quality is the first feature that excited the shooting community. It’s challenging to make high-magnification LPVOs with excellent image quality at both 1X and its highest magnification. The Razor HD Gen III has exceptional image quality at every magnification setting, and the 1X magnification is one of the best on the market, especially for a 1-10X. Many LPVOs’ 1X magnification setting can be distorted and actually closer to .9X or 1.1X magnification.

The Razor HD Gen III has a 34mm maintube and is offered in both MOA and mil reticles. The EBR-9 reticle in the Gen III is well-suited to both competitive and tactical use, and it is effective to several hundred yards. The reticle is glass-etched, which provides much greater durability to wire reticles. At 3.6 inches of eye relief, it’s actually quite good for a 1-10X LPVO, and it offers solid field of view, too. For those that want a 1-10X LPVO with all the bells and whistles, the Vortex Razor HD Gen III is the cream of the crop.

  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Tube Size: 34mm
  • Focal Plane: FFP
  • Reticle: EBR-9 (mil or MOA)
  • Overall Length: 10.1 in.
  • Weight: 21.5 oz.  


EoTech Vudu 1-10X LPVO
(Photo courtesy of EoTech)

EoTech is most famous for its holographic sights, but they also offer an extensive scope line. They are also one of the few companies that offers an FFP 1-10X LPVO. Their Vudu 1-10X LPVO is an excellent option for both competitors and tactical use, and its MSRP is a more friendly $1,799. That’s still some serious cash, but one should be prepared to pay more if you want a FFP 1-10X LPVO with 34mm tubes. The Vudu is made in Japan, which is well known for its exceptional precision in optics, so it has all the features one would expect for durability in the field.

The Vudu is ideal for competition use because it boasts locking turrets. Instead of holding, one can adjust the turret manually and lock it into place without fear of bumps or moving. It has several great reticle options, and the illumination is great for low- or no-light situations. The image quality is excellent, and the included throw lever is a nice value add to make adjusting the magnification as rapid as possible. The EoTech Vudu is also a great option for hunters needing an optic for extreme close range and medium distances.

  • Objective Diameter: 28mm
  • Tube Size: 34mm
  • Focal Plane: FFP
  • Reticle: mil or MOA
  • Overall Length: 10.63 in.
  • Weight: 21.3 oz. 

SIG Sauer Tango-MSR

SIG Sauer Tango-MSR 1-10X LPVO
(Photo courtesy of SIG Sauer)

Looking for 1-10X LPVOs gets expensive quickly, but the SIG Sauer Tango-MSR brings us into much more affordable territory at an MSRP of $649.99. It’s an SFP scope instead of FFP, but it still has a 34mm maintube. The Tango-MSR has an 11-setting illuminated, BDC reticle, integrated throw lever and even includes flip-up lens covers.

The Tango-MSR is IPX7-rated waterproof, and has a respectable 3.5-inch eye relief. Image quality is solid, so this scope would also be a great hunting option along with its tactical uses. One of the best features of this scope is it comes with an aluminum cantilever mount, so this optic is ready to mount right out of the box. For an effective, practical and affordable 1-10X LPVO, the SIG Sauer Tango-MSR checks all the expected boxes and gets the job done.

  • Objective Diameter: 28mm
  • Tube Size: 34mm
  • Focal Plane: SFP
  • Reticle: MSR BDC10
  • Weight: 20.4 oz.


(Photo courtesy of Athlon)

The Athlon ERES ATR UHD 1-10X LPVO is the most affordable FFP 1-10X LPVO on the market today, and it’s been growing in popularity with competitors. Besides its price point, the reticle is especially well-suited toward 3-Gun competitions. It has an illuminated center dot with an illuminated halo that is effective for close targets at 1X, and it can be quickly thrown to 10X to use the holds for farther targets. It also has 34mm maintube and provides 3.7 inches of eye relief.

The ERES is great because it has both locking turrets and a zero-stop function, which makes dialing to various distances and returning to a close-range zero a snap. The ERES has HD-quality glass, so it will operate well in any lighting condition. Constructed from high-quality aluminum, the ERES is standard waterproof, fogproof, shockproof and is built with a one-piece tube design instead of two for superior durability in the field. While it's especially well-suited for competition use, the ERES ATR UHD will also serve hunters well and excel in tactical environments.

  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Tube Size: 34mm
  • Focal Plane: FFP
  • Reticle: ATMR3 mil
  • Overall Length: 10 in.
  • Weight: 26.9 oz.

Sightmark Citadel CR1

Sightmark Citadel CR1 1-10X LPVO
(Photo courtesy of Sightmark)

With an MSRP of just $399, the SightMark Citadel CR1 1-10X LPVO is the most affordable option in this roundup. For those that want a 1-10X with basic features, the Citadel gets the job done, and SightMark is well established as a company that makes quality, affordable optics.

The Citadel does include flip-up lens covers, and it also includes a throw lever attachment, but it uses a 30mm maintube instead of 34mm like the other scopes in this roundup. It does have multi-coated lenses and an illuminated BDC reticle, and the turrets are low-profile to prevent snags. It may not have the bells and whistles to excel in the competition crowd, but it is a fantastic option for hunters. It’s waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, so it will hold up in the field, and its simple reticle is ideal for quickly getting on animals at close and middling distances. The Sightmark Citadel CR1 1-10X LPVO is worth a look for your next big hunt.


  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Tube Size: 30mm
  • Focal Plane: SFP
  • Reticle: BDC

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