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Variable Power Optics (VPO) for Patrol Rifles


Typically reserved for precision rifle / sniper programs, variable power optics (VPOs) is becoming an increasing option for agency patrol rifle programs across the nation. These types of programs are often similar to military Designated Marksman (DM) programs, but there are distinguishing differences. Patrol rifles can use lower power optics like a red dot sight (both eyes open) but still have the ability to increase power for precision shots, distance shots, and intelligence gathering.

This 2-day / 16-hour instructor development course is designed to provide firearms instructors with technical information related to VPOs, mounting options, and BUIS considerations. This course will also cover training methodology, potential training scars, and policy considerations.  The foundation of this course is based on the success of a large agency patrol rifle program that has authorized VPOs since 2004.

This course is approved by the NRA LE Division for 16 hours of continuing education credit.

Pre-requisite: A law enforcement Rifle Instructor certification from a reputable organization.

Topics include:

  • VPOs for patrol rifles vs. a dedicated marksman (DM) program
  • VPO nomenclature and features
  • Best features for duty use
  • Mounting options and considerations
  • BUIS considerations
  • Response to optic failure
  • Avoiding training scars associated with VPOs
  • Policy considerations
  • Using VPOs like a red dot optic (both eyes open)
  • Using VPOs for precision and distance shooting
  • Using VPOs for intelligence gathering

    Student Required Equipment:

      • Patrol rifle with VPO, tactical sling, and magazines
      • VPO must have 1x power minimum
      • 600 rounds of rifle ammo (duty/match grade preferred)
      • Pistol with two mags and holster
      • 50 rounds of pistol ammo
      • Binos or spotting scope
      • Hat with a brim
      • Eye & ear protection
      • Knee & elbow pads or shooting mat
      • Weather appropriate gear
      • Hydration fluids and snacks

      Hosting Requirements:

      • Classroom with projector & white screen
      • 200 yard range minimum / 300 yard range maximum
      • Portable target stands
      • Silhouette style rifle grade steel targets (AR500 / AR550)
      • Portable barricades / cover stands (VTAC style preferred, must be able to shoot braced)
      • Basic range equipment / training aids
      Organizations hosting this course will receive a minimum of two (2) FREE spots in the course.  Organizations interested in hosting a course should contact us at training@nlefia.org

      Phone: 800-930-2953

      Email: office@nlefia.org


      6635 W. Happy Valley Road

      Suite A104-108

      Glendale, AZ 85310

      Hours of Operation: (AZ time)

      Monday - Friday | 9am - 3pm

      Closed: Weekends & Holidays

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