In SureFire Field Notes 73, Leupold & Stevens, Inc. optics and firearms instructor Michael Baccellieri explains how to properly setup a Low Power Variable Optic (LPVO) on a rifle. You can click and view the video below.

Baccellieri says that LPVOs are becoming more integrated into military and law enforcement because they increase capability in the areas of positive identification/liability mitigation, enhancing a shooter’s problem-solving ability at distances more suited to a 4x, 6x or even an 8x optic as opposed to a 1x optic such as a red dot or holographic optic; many shooters choose to offset mount their 1x optic and have it at the ready for close-range shooting.

SureFire Field Notes 73Precise diopter adjustment is the key to proper LPVO setup. Baccellieri says that many students struggle because their diopter is not adjusted to the proper focal length for their eye prescription and thus does not provide a true 1x view through the optic. Improper diopter adjustment can cause eye fatigue, headaches, and render a shooter less effective when using an LPVO. In Field Notes 73, Baccellieri lays out a simple yet effective process to calibrate the diopter and also offers a tip to ensure that the optimal setup can be easily recalibrated if the LPVO is bumped or disturbed.

“Oftentimes what we do is we buy really high-end gear and make sure that we’ve optimized the capability of whatever system or platform we’re using,” Baccellieri says. “The problem is, we don’t take the time to adjust our gear and make sure that within that gear, and its capability, it’s optimized for the individual shooter…Make sure that, whatever scope or platform you’re using on that gun, you can optimize its capability for you as a shooter and you’re not fighting your own equipment.”

SureFire Field Notes 73
Michael Baccellieri

Michael “Buck” Baccellieri grew up in the Pacific Northwest where he started his military career at age 17. He joined the Army National Guard while still in high school, attending basic and AIT, and spent three years as an infantry rifleman. Upon completing a deployment to the Middle East, he cross-decked to the Marine Corps, where he spent four years as an infantryman, assault climber, CWSS swimmer, and Scout in an STA platoon. Baccellieri later returned to the Army National Guard, taking up a slot in a sniper section and, after completing sniper school, moving on to the role of sniper team leader. He finished his career as an instructor at the Fort Chaffee sniper schoolhouse in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Baccellieri now works for Leupold & Stevens, Inc., as the lead optics and firearms instructor for all military/LE training. He fills his time between classes by performing military business development for the Oregon-based company.

Located in Fountain Valley, California, SureFire, LLC is the leading manufacturer of suppressors, high-performance flashlights, weapon-mounted lights, and other tactical equipment for those who go in harm’s way or anyone who demands the ultimate in quality, innovation, and performance. SureFire illumination tools are used by more SWAT teams and elite special operations forces than any other brand. SureFire is an ISO 9001:2015-certified company. For more information on SureFire’s complete line of tactical illumination tools and equipment, visit

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