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Switching from close range to long range targets is a pain in the ass. Close range targets are best serviced with 1x optics like red dots, but anything past 100 yards really needs a bit of magnification. Usually there are three options: use a variable 1-6x scope that is expensive and heavy, get a flip-to-side magnifier for your red dot, or just live with whatever you have. Leupold has released a new optic called the D-EVO that is designed to fit underneath your existing red dot and give you the ability to use both a red dot and a magnified optic with a BDC reticle. At the exact same time, no switching needed . . .

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The way they achieve this effect is by having a second objective lens mounted to the side of the rifle, sneaking around the side of the base. It’s a cool solution that allows Leupold to cram more optics and space into a smaller overall package (since the light snakes its way around the optic instead of going straight through) and it actually works really well. It enables you to see both the 1x red dot view as well as the magnified view at the exact same time with the exact same eye relief.

Using it on the range, it felt a little awkward to use at first. Getting the proper eye relief took a minute, and once I found the sweet spot it was definitely a very different sight picture from what I was used to seeing. The Leupold guys say that it takes a few minutes to get used to the optic and train up, but alas I didn’t get enough time to become familiar. We’ve been promised a unit for testing and review, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

In the meantime, just know that this optic is well north of $1,000 MSRP. In fact, OpticsPlanet has it currently listed at $2,399, but I think that includes the whole package — a red dot and the D-EVO optic. In short, this thing is expensive.

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76 Responses to New from Leupold: D-EVO Optic (HANDS ON!)

        • I’m pretty sure that a red dot combined with a 6x scope will be heavier than this, not to mention that transition will suck.

        • So clarify what you’ve meant, then. Ate you saying just use a red dot, period? That’s not a substitute for 6x.

        • I’m saying the article was wrong to suggest that your options were limited by cost and weight only to throw this $2,400 optic out there as the solution.
          there are excellent variable scopes with illuminated reticles for half the price.

        • Yes, and even less than that – you can get, say, a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x for under $1K, and it’s fiber optic / tritium illuminated at that.

          However, even the best 1x optic is not as good as a true red dot at tasks at which the latter excels. Close, but still not there. Any optic will have some fisheye at the edges, and restrict the positions you may look at it from. With a red dot, the only restriction is that you can’t be so much off that you can’t see the dot, but that’s it. It doesn’t matter at all when shooting from the bench, but when e.g. rapidly engaging targets on the move, especially at awkward angles, a red dot will spare you those extra milliseconds spent lining everything up properly.

          Whether this all is worth the extra $2k to you is a different question.

      • If you purchase a D-EVO at a cost of around $1200 (estimated street price) and a DeltaPoint Pro at $500 (est. Street Price), you’re looking at around $1700 for the both of them, compared to the cost of $2000 for a Leupold Mk6 1-6x20mm. If you compare the weights, the D-EVO comes in at 391g and the DeltaPoint Pro at 41g, for a total of 432g. The Mark 6 comes in at 482g, which is 50g heavier. So the D-EVO/DeltaPoint Pro combination would be both lighter and cheaper. And that’s still giving you significantly (IMO) better functionality compared to the Mark 6. If you choose to pair the D-EVO with the LCO, that’s a little heavier than a Mark 6, for about the same cost. You are however getting significantly better functionality. A big win with the D-EVO is the ability to mix and match RDS options, so you can use whatever you want as your RDS, and still get the 6x scope that you want. If you stick only with a 1-6x variable scope, then you’re stuck with a 6x reticle that can double as a red dot, but that isn’t really the best at it.

        • I think I will just go with the Sightmark LoPro Combo laser/light combo for $129 to go with my $159 1-4x Bushnell scope. One day I may go with a better 3-9x scope but I think the laser for 3 to 50 yard range is the way to go. I can shoot it from the hip. How’s that for fast acquisition. Red dot sights can’t do that.

    • Burris has a mtac 1-4 24 with a red dot on top for 1/3 the price think I’ll try that first optics. May not be as good but I’ll still have enough money to make the house payment

      • I have some 45 degree mounts on order. I am going to test my system, yes I invented it, of placing my variable scope offset to the right so my BUIS or reflex sight can remain low profile on the flat top in line with the muzzle comp. I figure you want to be shooting in a more natural position when in CQB and want your follow up shots to be easily acquired. Whereas, long range shots do not rely on rapid fire, suppressing fire aside.
        I’ll make a video of the setup when I get the parts. I am not claiming intellectual property on this as I have posted this many times on shooter’s channels. So if you have an AR and you want to be the first to “run” your gun this way, knock yourself out. So far no one has shown interest in this setup and there are no one piece scope mounts in existence that I can find for this application. I’ll find out if there is a good reason why when I prototype my rifle. Stay tuned.

        • Here it is. After zeroing it, I was able to hit the half inch bull from seated at 50 yards, so it works. The only thing that concerns me is the brass may be hitting the windage turret. A protective cap or a deflector would solve this problem, if it is a problem.
          http://1drv.ms/1FphFUJ

        • your logic is backwards my friend. You want a more natural shooting position the further out you get, not the closer. you can hit most man sized targets in a room without ever shouldering or leveling a weapon. having a scope mounted at 45 degrees is going to limit your POA and POI being the exact same at only two points. a non issue with RDS distances but crucial for maintaining groups at any sort of actual distance. put the RDS at 45 if you want it to function properly

  1. That sight picture is crazy lookin! What is the size of the magnified area? Optics planet says its 1-6x20mm but it looks larger than that from the pics at least, maybe its the non circular shape who knows. Would be very neat to see a full review and man Id love to get some rounds downrange time as well. Agreed on the price, for 2,400 I might just get a new rifle altogether, or build one and save the money towards something like an ACOG.

      • If all you want is a fixed magnification optic like the ACOG, then you can purchase the D-EVO separate from the LCO and for significantly smaller price. The street price has yet to settle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get one for the same price or slightly less than an ACOG. The D-EVO can be used with any reflex or red dot sight, and does not need to be used with the LCO, they are two distinct optics.

    • Yeah, that was my question, why didn’t you mention what rifle came with it, at that price it should be a doozy.

  2. Maybe I’m missing something here…but isn’t that lens taking an image from an inch or two to the right of the barrel’s vertical axis? If that’s the case, then it can only truly be accurate at one distance (or no distance, if the sight and the barrel never converge). That means that, in addition to vertical bullet drop, you would also have to take into consideration horizontal adjustment to compensate for the sight being offset.

    Now, I’m not nearly as experienced as many folks around here, so perhaps there’s an easy way to adjust for this, or maybe it’s such a small amount of error that it’s just not that big of a deal.

    • Parallax – the difference in angle between the axis of the barrel and the axis of a scope.

      Even traditional mounts induce parallax.

      I don’t think it’s a limitation in an optic that’s designed for 50-300m.

      • I understand the concept, but with traditional mounts, the bullet typically crosses the axis of the sight at two points due to gravity, and is accounted for with appropriate vertical holdover. This sight, however, introduces horizontal parallax issues in addition to the vertical. It’s just one more thing I’d rather not have to account for as a shooter.

        But, like you said, for the intended range of the optic, 1-2 inches may not be a big deal to people.

        • Most Soviet scopes (e.g. PSO and POSP) are offset horizontally relative to the bore. In particular, this is the case for SVD – which, as its track record shows, has not been a problem for its lethality or accuracy.

          What you do in practice is either zero it as if it were aligned and then adjust windage alongside elevation (it’s a fairly simple formula to figure out how much), or, just zero it accounting for the offset (i.e. expect POI to be 0.75″ right of POA). Obviously it still won’t be perfectly parallel, but a couple of inches left or right doesn’t make a big difference when shooting a human sized target. It’s basically the same concept as battlesight zero (specifically designed to avoid the need for adjustments or holdover out to 300 or even 400 yards), just applied in the other direction.

        • for a standard cross bar reticle, you may be correct. Even tho many rifles have utilized “off bore” scopes with outstanding accuracy and lethality since long before leupold was even a company. but i digress. If you look closely, there are hold off in the reticle for windage and and for different distances, 300m 400m ect. if you look closely at the reticle, leupold has compensated for the “cant” in the scope by offsetting the different distance markers. They are not in a straight verticle line as with most scopes but trail off to the right slightly as the the distance increases. effectively making what you were describing a, non issue. as long as you stick to the factory standards loads, the hold off will be on point. You really think a company like leupold would forget something like bore alignment? I get what youre saying tho, that was my first question about it as well.

    • The M1C and M1D Garand sniper rifles used an offset scope and a leather cheek pad. Offset scopes have been used before and work.

      • Well, whaddaya know? I did some research after reading your comment, and it looks like the horizontal issues with the offset Garand scopes were basically nil. Thanks!

        (This D-EVO’s still WAY too expensive for me, though!)

    • I think I can explain that. At distances where it matters, you use the red dot, which does not have the problem. Otherwise, like at 1000 yards, you aim 3/4 inch to the left. Or not.

    • The CMR-W reticle for the D-EVO takes into account the horizontal offset for its subtensions. If you look at the reticle you can see a very slight curve in the hold overs that compensates for the horizontal deviations that would be see due to the position of the lense.

  3. For that price you could buy a high value 1-4 or 1-6x and a night vision monocular…

    For civilian use it seems completely impractical at the price point. Looks really cool though.

    • For me it’s not the price, but the application that is a bit… meh.

      A decent red dot is good out to 300m+. Shots past that would probably only be necessary while hunting certain kinds of game, in which case the red dot would not be necessary.

      For an optic on a defensive rifle that I would want to reach out and touch someone, perhaps if I lived in Montana or Arizona etc. I think an acog would be lighter, a lot cheaper, and have the same overall effect.

      I’ve played around with using an acog as a red dot-ish by keeping both eyes open and not focusing through the acog. It works well enough.

      • Yep.
        That is what I do with my 1-4x $159 Bushnell scope from WalMart. Even on 2x at close range, with both eyes open focused on the target, I see two pictures and frame them.
        Another option is to get a laser for close range..

    • Not to mention, weight and bulk.

      Who wants to lug that thing around all day shooting, taking a class, or hunting?

      Not this guy. I kept my rifles very light weight, because pounds = pain.

      • No, Nick Leghorn said your variable scope is heavy and expensive.

        I hate this time of year. All the bloggers and YouTubers run off to Shot Show and for the rest of the Winter all objective journalism is on hold while these kids in a candy store act all giddy over useless products.
        Remember the Tac-Con trigger?

        • Wow mike, the more i read your comments, the more i believe youre just trolling for NC star lol. Judging by your “remember the TAC CON” comment, im guessing youve never spent any range time behind one. That trigger group is amazing. you get a match grade break with the option to make your rifle a borderline bumpfire rifle without the atrocious look of bump fire stocks. Dont get me wrong, they are a little expensive and i absolutely love my geissele trigger groups, but there are few better feelings than doing a beta mag dump with a TAC CON. it kinda sounds like you disapprove of anything that you cant afford, which is unfortunate.

  4. If it’s being mounted to a pic rail, then why not skip the expensive scope and get a 45° mount for a red dot? All you need to do is rotate the gun a little… Sure, its not the same sight picture and you need to rotate the gun instead of just looking at the sight differently. But really it seems like getting used to rotating the gun a few degrees would be much easier than getting used to using this sight… For the price of 2400, you would be able to get the exact scope you wanted and the exact red dot you wanted. Unless you wanted something stupid expensive….

    • Shoot, I never even thought about rotating the rifle. How cool would that be, and you’d look like you was from da hood, too! Of course, from a bench rest you might be dodging bouncing brass a bit, but once afield it’d be awesome!

      • I am the only one saying this and it disappoints me because I am not an experienced rifleman.
        Why would you want to offset mount your red dot or iron sights thus negating the effect of your muzzle brake now that your rifle is rotated? Thinking as a layman here, I would rather be able to stay on target for faster follow up shots.
        When the recoil pushes your shoulder, your sights get off target slightly. You can train to manage that recoil but with offset sights, now your compensator is blowing your muzzle further off target.
        They don’t tell you that.

        • A slight inward cant (so rotating the rifle counter clockwise) is becoming a more prominently trained CQB tactic, (bringing the sights to the eyes more than eyes to the sights sort of thing) the effects you speak of don’t much matter at distances where a red dot is practical. It would be stupid to rotate the weapon when using a magnified optic though.

        • If the benefits are not readily apparent at the mere sight of this optic, it likely isn’t for you. If you can do what you need to do with a 200 dollar scope and 200 dollar red dot, then this absolutely isn’t for you. A variable power optic at 1X magnification will never able to compare with a true red dot, except maybe optics in the 4-6 thousand dollar range, and even then your eye relief and sight picture will still likely be slightly worse than a red dot. The fact that its canted would be a problem given that height above bore “site” would be different from your “height…beside the bore? haha” but since the hold offs are already marked in the reticle, thats a non issue with most shots out the reticle distance hold offs. The main advantages here are that in most cases, this option is less weight than a full scope and the fact you get a true 1X as well as a 6X power literally at the same time without the need to move switches or turning of the ocular lense end is a huge benefit to say the least. Expensive? for Leupold glass, its actually not terrible. still a bit much, but not at all unreasonable for what you get. Bare in mind that a lot of people have more money invested in their trigger groups than you do for your glass. That being said, for a paper punching gun, this might be a bit excessive haha, albeit (IMO) awesome as hell.

    • Keep in mind that you do not have to buy the combination. You can purchase just the LCO if you just want an RDS, or if you have an RDS already that you like, you can buy the D-EVO by itself and then mount it together with your RDS. So it’s much cheaper that way if you already have the magnifier or the RDS.

      • >> f you have an RDS already that you like, you can buy the D-EVO by itself and then mount it together with your RDS.

        This point was actually not at all obvious from all the write-ups and demos on the set up. If it were, I suspect there’d be significantly fewer “why do I need this?” types of questions.

  5. This is definitely an interesting idea, but the design makes it highly impractical for lefty shooters such as myself. I like the bindon aiming concept, it’s natural, for me at least. I think most would rather save almost a grand and just opt for a TA31F or red dot/magnifier combo, but I can’t say much to that since I spent about this much (a few hundred less, but still well over $1000) on my specterdr, but I love everything about that optic except the weight lol.

  6. For $2400 bucks, you can buy a Specter DR and go from 1x to 4x at the clip of a toggle. Less junk to break and just as rugged as an ACOG.

  7. Uhh… What’s the difference to having a magnified optic with a red-dot mounted on top? (à la ACOG+RMR, or Leupold’s own HAMR+Deltapoint?)

    • You can have your RDS mounted in its normal position. The problem with the stacked mounts is the bore offset gets to be huge (4 inches?) at exactly the ranges you have the dot/holo there in the first place, and you can forget about anything even resembling cheek weld if you want to go up there and use them.

    • The D-EVO allows you to use an RDS together with a 6x magnified optic at the same time without requiring any movement of the rifle or cheek or head to change sight pictures between the two. This makes transitions between the two optics faster than anything else out there.

  8. Great! I’ll take 8!
    Who the eff spends that kind of money on an optic? There is no chance I’d buy a $700 optic unless the zoom was 1x-100x, crystal clear with a BDC and it makes dinner afterward.

    • well, you get what you pay for. as anyone who has spent much time behind a nightforce or leupold will tell you, the difference between good glass and most bushnell or scopes of that caliber is night and day. there is a reason its only 200 dollars. the rule of thumb is that you should spend as much on the glass as you did on the rifle. and i have trigger groups that cost more than twice what some bushnell scopes are alone. The market is there and i am stoked to be getting my D EVO in the mail. It was a Spectre DR until I saw this little beauty. A little sad i wont get to play with a DR yet, but this thing will be perfect for my MR556.

    • Except that it doesn’t solve the problem of rapid transitions and an “always on” RDS. The SpecterDR is great, especially with the throw lever, but not needing to use the lever at all is pretty amazing.

  9. I’ll stick with my Primary Arms 1-6x scope at $269. I can even mount the PA mini red dot in top for another $100 if I want something for close in. It is an interesting idea.

    • Uggh hit post before I was done.

      It is an interesting idea, but will this be that much better justify the extra cost? I wonder how this would work in competition.?

  10. Does the post author have some ties to or history with Leupold that he’d like to disclose somewhere in his glowing review of a Leupold product?

    • So this review is going con you into buying how many? Or you think that perhaps the Leupold kit is not very high quality (or as high as stated)?

      That the Leupold or Zeiss or _____ optics are crazy priced is totally unrelated to their capability. Capability per buck (or marginal return on investment) is an entirely different discussion.

  11. New designs are almost always prohibitively expensive for most people. Over time they come down in price and are available to a wider market. Remember the first cell phones. They were huge and terrible and incredibly expensive. Now everybody pretty much has a smart phone.

    Be glad some people are willing to bite the bullet on a less developed more expensive version of this idea.

  12. “Usually there are three options: use a variable 1-6x scope that is expensive and heavy…”

    So the solution is to… drumroll please…. buy something that is even more expensive and looks like it isnt very light either.

    Yeah pretty hard to take anything in the review seriously after that, sounds like a plug more than a review.

  13. I’m trying to imagine the situation where I need to be CQB with a red dot and then immediately have to engage a long distance target but without having the time to flip a magnifier over or change the zoom on a scope. Like someone else said, it’s a solution looking for a problem. That’s a massive piece of hardware to sit on top of your gun, and you have a ton of options available to you at that price range.

    • It’s actually a lot more compact than a lot of the other options. The biggest issue is not the transition from CQB to long range, usually you will have a bit more time to take your shot then. It’s going the other way. If you’re engaged in a longer range shot and suddenly a target presents itself as a threat to you at very close range, how do you address it? If you’ve flipped up your magnifier or have switched out to the magnified lense on your optic, you now have a less than ideal optic to handle that CQB situation. In the case of a top mount or 45 mounted reflex sight, you’re going to be slower to transition to that reflex sight when trying to address the target, and there is more that can go wrong when you try to do it. The sight picture isn’t as nice, and it will be more difficult to take the shot. The D-EVO solves that problem admirably.

    • Leupold came out with three new tactical options at SHOT 2015. They updated their DeltaPoint with a DeltaPoint Pro, and then they released the LCO and D-EVO. The point of the D-EVO is to integrate with existing RDS sights, rather than replacing them. Some people would prefer to use an Aimpoint instead of a DeltaPoint or LCO for their RDS. One of the great selling points of the D-EVO is how vendor agnostic it is concerning RDS choice. It means an easy upgrade for those who already have their favorite RDS.

      As to whether a DeltaPoint would be the superior option if you didn’t already have an RDS, that’s something you’d have to decide. The LCO is designed with the D-EVO in mind. It’s also targeted at Aimpoint and Eotech customers, IMO. The DeltaPoint doesn’t really compete with the Aimpoint CompM4 or Eotech crowd. It’s a different sight for a different purpose. Like the HAMR/DeltaPoint combo, you can buy the D-EVO/LCO combo from some places as a bundle.

  14. Awesome job leupold, when the only main argument against something “boo hoo, its too expensive”, you know youve come up with a winner of a product. Eagerly awaiting mine in the mail!

  15. It is quite telling when there are no NON-SPONSORED reviews. Something that is disconcerting for such a hyped optic.
    I would LOVE to try one and read up on some long-term use reviews.

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