In a Nutshell
Leupold sets themselves apart by creating a super high quality red dot against which all other red dots should be measured. A worthwhile purchase, for certain.
Our Rating: 9.2 / 10
- Accuracy: 10
- Features: 9
- Optics: 9.5
- Construction Quality: 9
- Value: 8.5
What’s the Scope?
A high-quality and durable red dot optic, the Leupold LCO is intended to meet the needs of tactical and competitive shooters alike.
|Size (LxWxH in mm)||91x57x62|
|Waterproof Depth||20m (66 ft)|
|Battery Life||Up to 5 years|
|Lens Cover Type||None|
|Approximate Cost||$700 or less|
- Leupold craftsmanship, customer service, and warranty
- Long battery life
- True 1x means true-to-life vision
- Auto-off saves you battery life
- Easy and efficient controls mean the sight has your back
- Fantastic layout
- Smooth and positive adjustments
- Massive FOV
- Precise and accurate up to 200 or more yards
- Bawdy lettering on the sides may give you away
- No quick-release mount or lens cap included
I love writing reviews for Leupold products because I don’t like to be mean, and Leupold never makes me. The Leupold LCO perfectly exemplifies why Leupold has legions of loyal fans who will never use another optic company. Now, me, I have no horse in the race, I love all the greats – Leupold, Vortex, Burris, and so on. But Leupold always does well, and this sight is no exception.
Anyway, the Leupold LCO. Let’s jump in. The first question I always ask myself in a review is: Look through the sight and what do you notice? The first thing I notice when I take a look through the Leupold LCO is the fact that the glass is absolutely immaculate. I guess that when you get into this price range, you start to expect as much, but after some of the reviews I’ve done, I’ve come to meter my expectations a little bit. The LCO restores my faith. Incredible quality is complemented by a massive field of view. You can see pretty much everything through this scope, with no visual tearing, distortion, or aberration. All in all, it’s a joy to look through. The true 1x magnification makes it integrate seamlessly into your real vision, and it’s a true-to-life picture through and through.
Keep looking, and what else do you see? Well, next you’d probably notice the ultra precise 1 MOA red dot. The LCO is super accurate, not the least of which is due to the intense clarity of the dot and the ease with which it allows you to acquire your target. Whether you’re shooting at close distances of 50 yards or less or long distances of 200 or more, the precise red dot offers you the precision you need to hit exactly where you’re trying to. The brightness is easily adjustable thanks to 10 different daylight illumination settings and 6 night vision settings, meaning that regardless of the ambiance, you’re not going to be blinded or struggling to acquire your target. I also like the fact that instead of buttons, the illumination on the LCO is controlled by a dial. It’s easier to control, more tactile, and ultimately more satisfying.
Really, though, that applies to the entirety of the sight’s controls. Through and through, this thing is just easy to use. The layout is cleverly thought-out and well implemented and never slows you down. You pick it up, it’s pretty much ready to go. It holds zero practically forever, with it not budging even after a couple thousand rounds through it. The coin-slotted adjustments offer precise and smooth ½ MOA shifts for elevation and windage, letting you manipulate things on the fly and with amazing accuracy if you ever need to, but for the most part, you should be fine thanks to the optic’s fine-tuning and ability to hold zero pretty much no matter what.
The battery life on the Leupold LCO is fantastic, lasting as long as 5 years. It has an auto-off function after 15 minutes of inactivity so that you don’t have to worry about turning it off and draining your battery after use, which might end up saving you a fortune in batteries in the long run. I know that most sights at this price range will have a similar feature, but it’s still nice to consider.
In terms of construction, you’re buying a Leupold. That means you can expect this to be durable and well-built, and basically to stand up to whatever use and abuse you happen to throw at it. A lot of it is tastefully designed and thoughtfully implemented, such as the gorgeous gold tint on the glass. There are some downsides, though; a higher-grade aluminum is expected at this price range. That doesn’t mean the optic is weak, just that at this price it could have been built better. Also, Leupold has cast massive lettering along the side which will make you stick out like a sore thumb if you’re ever in a tactical situation.
Setting it up is easy enough, but it only has an integral mount. At this price, having an option of a quick-release mount in addition to an integral mount would probably be ideal. With that said, once you have it mounted, as I said, zeroing in is super easy and takes less than 10 rounds. The lack of a lens cap for storage and the lack of a quick-release means that putting this thing away can be a little bit of a hassle; you will probably want to upgrade the mount and buy a quality lens cap in addition to the sight, which isn’t exactly what you want to do when you’re already shelling out six or seven hundred dollars at the least.
And, as I’ve said before, one of the best parts about buying a Leupold is Leupold. Leupold is great for two reasons. First is the extensive warranty. Leupold offers a no-questions-asked repair or replacement warranty for the lifetime of the sight, and it’s fully transferable which means that the sight retains a significant amount of retail value if you ever get tired of it – which you won’t. On top of that, Leupold has legendary customer service, ensuring that all of your questions are easily and efficiently answered.
Should You Buy It?
If you’re looking at a red dot sight in this price range, then you have your reasons. Those reasons mean that Yes, you should buy this sight because it’s going to meet and exceed your expectations and fully accommodate you.
This is not just another red dot optic. For the price, you can expect greatness. Leupold just makes sure that your expectations are followed through on. The only reason I would say not to get this optic if you’re already looking at it is if you’re going to be in a situation where the slightest deviation – like the lettering on the sides – can get you caught out, or if it’s at the very upper end of your budget since you’ll probably have to shell out for a different mount and a lens cover, too. But like they say, good optics are “buy once, cry once”, and if you have a Leupold, then you have an optic for life.
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