Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x24mm Review: Do You Need an LPVO?

By Jonathan Kilburn
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Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x24mm Review: Do You Need an LPVO?

May 26th, 2021

4 minute read

I live in the middle of the greatest juxtaposition in the United States. A quick train ride and I’m in the middle of a city, or a 30-minute car ride and I could walk into the woods for months. There’s a constant struggle to find the best type of optic that can be utilized in each environment.

Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x24mm riflescope
The Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x24mm is a good fit for your Springfield Armory SAINT rifle.

When setting up my rifles, they’re designed with survival in mind. They are designed to carry me from an urban landscape to a rural one. The largest obstacle to overcome is caliber and optics. I could write about caliber choice until I’m blue, but let’s stick to optics right now as it’s relevant in most firearms.

A Question of Need

A variable power optic (VPO) is one that offers some type of zooming magnification capability, and this is not just exclusive to rifle scopes. Most binoculars are also VPO in design, but with a wider field of view. VPO’s can divided up into two main categories: low-power and high-power.

LPVO adjustment knobs
The Bushnell AR Optic has well defined and prominent windage and elevation knobs for easy adjustments in the field.

Low-power optics tend to stick around 1X up to 10X. There’s not a set distinguishing number between low-power or high-power optics, and the line differentiating them is fairly subjective. High-power optics tend to start around 12X and quickly move up.

Another significant category of distinction is the difference between First-Focal-Plane (FFP) and Second-Focal-Plane (SFP). While the distinction and functional use of these two are highly debated, the primary difference between them is a FFP reticle will grow in size as you zoom to a higher magnification while a SFP reticle will remain static as you increase magnification. Each has inherent benefits and disadvantages.

Low-Power Case Study

For this part of the piece, I selected a Bushnell 1-8x24mm AR Optic as it is a strong performer. I began playing around with different optics that will fit that low- to mid-range optic magnification, and the Bushnell drew me in. Why? It is an excellent performer for the price with good quality.

Reticle for LVPO
At 1X magnification, the optic gives a 1-to-1 visualization. Note the illuminated reticle and distortion along the bottom left of the lens objective.

This is what we would call a low-power variable optic, or an LPVO. I’m a personal fan of the LPVO concept because of my intended use and my calibers of choice. My reasoning is as follows: I tend to focus on hunting calibers which are proven to be reliable and are a good defensive option. That narrows available calibers significantly.

A few attractive options might be the .300 BLK, 7.62x39mm or even .308. Each of these rounds carries enough mass and power to be used for defense. What sets these rounds apart is that they can all handle much of the game in North America, with minor exceptions. A mix of magnification allows me to employ a single rifle for confined urban areas and extend the visual range for hunting in wide open spaces.

LVPO magnification
The AR Optic is zoomed into the max 8X power. Note the illuminated reticle remains constant as it is an SFP reticle.

The same approach is taken into consideration for tactical usages. In highly confined areas or indoors, a 1X (no power) optic performs quite well.. Moving up in magnification, you can reach out further as needed. As a result, a lightweight variable optic can fulfill the needs of several roles in one platform.

Bushnell AR Optics 1-8x24mm Specifications

Power/Lens Diameter1-8x24mm
ReticleSecond focal plane; illuminated BDC
Tube Diameter30mm
Adjustment Range50 mils, elevation; 50 mils, windage
Weight16.5 oz.
Length10.2″
MSRP$349.99

Downsides?

There are some downsides to consider. packing a significant amount of magnification into a single optic will limit the optic’s field of view and eye relief. This is a reality for any variable optic. Unlike one with a set magnification, the variable optic uses several lenses curved at different dimensions. The center focus may remain clear, but distortion can be witnessed along the edges of even very high-quality glass.

SAINT with Bushnell scope
The Bushnell AR Optics 1-8×24 is a mean-looking rifle accessory. It’s small and light yet extremely capable.

Depending on the manufacturer, weight is equally problematic. To offset the downsides of a narrow field of view, many optics are made into 34mm tubes instead of the standard 30mm or 1”. This means the additional materials add additional overall weight. But, its benefits can offset this. Also, that is not the case with the Bushnell I tested here.

Conclusion

The LPVO is one of my favorite optics. They’re often found very reasonably priced from many different manufacturers. There is a LPVO on the market for just about everyone’s needs, and it’s rapidly become one of my preferred optic choices. It’s worth trying for yourself.

Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in and discuss this article and much more!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Jonathan Kilburn

Jonathan Kilburn

Jonathan Kilburn is an avid outdoorsman and shooting sports enthusiast. He has spent many years involved in outdoor hobbies, which has led him to bring the outdoors inside. While his focuses are on getting back outside, his home life revolves around learning about ways to improve his skills in the field. Besides his love of the outdoors, Jonathan is deeply involved in the special needs community in an effort to assist and help those who may need it most.

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