Leupold Carbine Optic Review

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Hey shooters! Welcome to my Leupold Carbine Optic Review.

I’ve had my fair share of experiences with various optics. Recently, I had the opportunity to test the Leupold Carbine Optic (LCO), and it was quite a revelation. 

I will review this cutting-edge sight, showcasing why it’s become a top choice for shooters who demand precision and reliability.

Overview of Leupold LCO

The Leupold Carbine Optic (LCO) is a testament to modern optical engineering. It’s a sight that transforms your shooting experience, offering unmatched clarity and responsiveness. 

The LCO stands out in its class, delivering an intuitive user experience while maintaining the ruggedness expected from a high-end optic.

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Leupold Carbine Optic
Leupold LCO Carbine Optic Red Dot Matte 1 MOA Dot

Core Specifications of the Leupold Carbine Optic

Reticle1 MOA Dot
IlluminationRed, 16 settings
Adjustment TypeCoin Click
Battery LifeUp to 1800 hours (low intensity), 96 hours (high intensity)
Waterproof Depth66 feet
Housing MaterialAircraft-grade aluminum

What’s in the box?

  • Leupold Carbine Optic (LCO)

First Look & Impression

The moment I laid eyes on the LCO, its robust build and sleek design immediately caught my attention. Holding it, I felt the sturdiness, a testament to its durable construction. 

The 1 MOA red dot is vivid and sharp, ensuring precision in every shot. Its simplicity in design belies the sophisticated technology packed within, making it a standout in optics technology.

Who Should Get the Leupold Carbine Optic (LCO)

The LCO is ideal for shooters who prioritize quick target acquisition and reliability in diverse environments. 

Whether you’re a competitive shooter or a hunting enthusiast, this optic offers the precision and durability needed for various shooting scenarios.

Types of Guns Suitable for the LCO

Top 7 Features of Leupold Carbine Optic (LCO)

1. Open Field of View and 1-MOA Dot

The LCO’s open field of view is a game changer. This design ensures that your peripheral vision remains unobstructed by knobs, dials, or scope housing, which are common in many other optics. 

This feature is crucial in fast-paced scenarios where situational awareness is key. The 1-MOA red dot, being approximately 1 inch at 100 yards, provides a definitive and precise aiming point without obscuring the target. This crisp dot ensures rapid target engagement, even in challenging conditions like blinding sunlight or heavy rain.

My Testing

During my testing, I found the open field of view immensely beneficial. It allowed me to maintain awareness of my surroundings while focusing on the target. 

The 1-MOA dot was exceptionally clear, providing a distinct point of aim. In various lighting conditions, from bright daylight to overcast skies, the dot remained vivid and easy to spot.

2. Robust Build and Environmental Resistance

The LCO’s robustness is thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum housing, making it shockproof and able to withstand rough handling. 

Additionally, it’s waterproof up to 66 feet and fogproof, attributes that are invaluable for use in diverse environmental conditions. This durability is complemented by the sight’s motion sensor technology (MST), which enhances battery life and readiness.

My Testing

In my field tests, the LCO proved to be exceptionally durable. It handled various impacts and weather conditions without any loss in performance. 

The waterproof and fog-proof features were tested in a rainy environment, and the optic performed flawlessly. The MST was a standout, as it conveniently powered down the sight when not in use and reactivated instantly upon movement.

3. Illumination and Adjustment Features

The LCO offers 16 brightness settings for its red dot illumination, accommodating any lighting condition. The bright daylight illumination ensures visibility even in the brightest conditions. 

Adjustments for elevation and windage are made simple with coin-click type dials, allowing for precise and quick changes. The reticle’s illumination is also night vision compatible, adding versatility for different operational needs.

My Testing

The range of brightness settings was impressive during my evaluation. In direct sunlight, the highest settings made the dot clearly visible, while the lower settings were perfect for dusk or dawn conditions. 

The night vision compatibility was a bonus, particularly for low-light scenarios. The coin-click adjustments for elevation and windage were precise and intuitive, allowing for easy zeroing and adjustments on the fly.

4. Motion Sensor Technology (MST)

The Leupold Carbine Optic (LCO) integrates Motion Sensor Technology (MST), an advanced feature that significantly enhances the optic’s efficiency and battery life. 

MST automatically deactivates the illumination after a period of inactivity, and it instantly reactivates once it senses motion. This smart technology ensures that the optic is always ready for action, minimizing the need for manual adjustments and reducing the chances of being caught off-guard.

My Testing

During my field tests, the MST was exceptionally reliable. The auto-off feature worked seamlessly, conserving battery life during periods of inactivity. 

The instant-on capability was especially useful in dynamic shooting scenarios, where quick reaction times were crucial. The optic was always ready the moment I needed it, with no noticeable delay.

5. Waterproof, Fogproof, and Shockproof Design

The LCO’s design is engineered to withstand harsh conditions. It is waterproof up to 66 feet, making it suitable for use in wet environments or during inclement weather. 

The fogproof construction ensures clear vision in rapidly changing temperatures, and the shockproof design, courtesy of its aircraft-grade aluminum housing, can withstand significant impacts and rough handling, ensuring consistent performance and reliability.

My Testing

I tested the LCO’s resilience in various environmental conditions. Its performance remained unaffected during heavy rain and when briefly submerged in water. 

The fogproof feature was tested in a humid environment, and the lens remained clear throughout. The optic also held up well to several physical shocks, maintaining zero and functionality.

6. Night Vision Compatibility

The LCO is equipped with night vision-compatible illumination, allowing it to be used effectively with night vision devices. This feature broadens the scope of use for the optic, making it a versatile tool for low-light and night-time operations. 

The compatibility with night vision devices adds a layer of functionality for law enforcement, military, and hunters operating in the dark.

My Testing

Testing with night vision gear, the LCO’s illuminated reticle was crisp and did not wash out the night vision view. 

The ability to adjust the brightness to a suitable level for night vision devices made it an effective tool for low-light scenarios.

7. User-Friendly Adjustments

The LCO features user-friendly adjustment controls. The elevation and windage adjustments are made through coin-click type dials, offering tactile and precise control. 

The simplicity of these adjustments makes zeroing and reticle alignment straightforward, even for beginners. 

The dial switch for illumination control is intuitive and easily accessible, allowing for quick changes in brightness settings.

My Testing

I found the adjustment controls to be highly user-friendly. The coin-click dials provided precise feedback, and making adjustments was straightforward and accurate. 

The ease of switching between brightness settings allowed for quick adaptability to changing light conditions. These features made the LCO an incredibly intuitive optic to use.

Footprint and Mounting Considerations

The Leupold Carbine Optic (LCO) is designed with a compact and efficient footprint, making it suitable for a variety of firearms. Its design accommodates quick and secure mounting, ensuring stability and accuracy. 

The LCO’s compatibility with standard mounting systems makes it a versatile choice for different types of rifles and shotguns. The mounting process is straightforward, allowing for hassle-free installation.

Its robust design, combined with a minimalistic footprint, ensures that it does not add unnecessary bulk or weight to the firearm, maintaining the weapon’s balance and handling characteristics.

Pros and Cons of Leupold LCO


  • Open Field of View: Preserves peripheral vision and situational awareness.
  • Crisp 1-MOA Dot: Ideal for precise shot placement and does not obscure targets.
  • 16 Brightness Settings: Adjustable for various lighting conditions.
  • Waterproof and Fogproof: Effective in diverse environments, waterproof up to 66 feet.
  • Durable Construction: Aircraft-grade aluminum housing enhances durability.
  • Motion Sensor Technology (MST): Saves battery life and ensures readiness.
  • Night Vision Compatibility: Adds versatility for low-light conditions.
  • User-Friendly Adjustments: Coin-click dials for easy and precise control.


  • Brightness problem in Direct Sunlight: Some users report challenges with dot visibility in extremely bright conditions.
  • Weight: Slightly heavier compared to other miniature sights, which could affect handling for some users.

Final Verdict

As a professional shooter who has thoroughly tested the Leupold Carbine Optic, I can confidently endorse this red dot sight. 

Its performance, coupled with its intuitive design and robust build, makes it a standout choice for a wide range of shooting activities. It’s not just about the technical specifications; the LCO enhances the overall shooting experience with its reliability and user-friendly features. 

It’s a sight that meets the demands of precision and versatility, making it a valuable addition to any shooter’s arsenal.


What distance are red dot scopes good for?

Red dot scopes are typically used for close-range targeting, normally around 100 yards or less, offering simplified aiming for shooters.

What is the difference between Vortex and Leupold?

Leupold scopes generally have better glass clarity than Vortex, particularly in lower-end models, and offer fixed power scopes, unlike Vortex.

What is Leupold motion sensor technology?

Leupold’s Motion Sensor Technology (MST) turns off the illumination after five minutes of inactivity and instantly reactivates upon detecting motion, ensuring readiness and saving battery life.

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