TFB Review: Lead & Steel Promethean LP-1 Red Dot Sight

Daniel Y
by Daniel Y

Lead & Steel is a relative newcomer in the world of firearm optics. Their first outing, the Promethean LP-1, is a rugged red dot sight for long gun use. It features a “donut of death” reticle with up to a 150,000-hour battery life. Lead & Steel sent one out to me to test, and I’m excited to write up my thoughts after the better part of a year using it on various review guns.

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Disclosures should be included in any review, so here are mine. Lead & Steel reached out to me to see if I was interested in reviewing the Promethean. I was, so they sent it to me. L&S did not pay me or TFB for this coverage. I paid for the ammo used in this review, and TFB paid my normal rate for this article.

In The Box

The LP-1 ships in a small box. It is very robust and has a foam liner that protects the optic in shipping. Or, possibly, it protects the other packages in its vicinity during shipping from being smashed by the LP-1. The box also contains a lens cloth and a small flathead for zeroing and opening the battery compartment. Unlike micro red dots which generally use flat, button-cell batteries, the LP-1 takes a single 123A battery. One battery is included in the box. The battery cover/cap screws down and is sealed with a nice, thick o-ring.

You’ll notice that no printed manual comes in the box. A QR code is laser engraved on the bottom of the optic. Following the link downloads a PDF user manual. This is a nice touch because the QR code is always with the optic while printed manuals always seem to be at home when they are needed on the range.


The controls are very simple, consisting of just one up arrow and one down arrow. They are very tactile. However, the down arrow is ahead of the up arrow. In my mind, I’d rather they be reversed but that’s probably just a user issue on my end. The elevation and windage adjustments track true and use simple recessed knobs easily turned with the included tool or a flathead screwdriver.

The LP-1 has a robust outer shield over the optic, though the inner optics assembly feels like it needs little protection. This hefty boy weighs 12.5 ounces with a battery, which is fairly heavy for a red dot optic. Don’t look at the LP-1 if you are trying to build an ultralight rifle with carbon fiber and titanium parts.

Though it bears some resemblance to an EOTech or Vortex Huey, the LP-1 is not a holographic sight. It is a red dot sight. Personally, I like the total lack of parallax error in a holographic optic but do not think it is necessary. As long as a red dot does not have a compromised design that induces major parallax error (here’s looking at you, MRO) it is a nonfactor for almost every situation.

I am not an optical engineer or scientist, but in my backyard testing, I did not find any abnormal parallax problems with the LP-1. When the dot is in the corners of the window it is still essentially dead on, or so close that without a real testing rig, I cannot measure it accurately.

The glass used in the LP-1 is superb. The image is clear and crisp without any unusual color shifts or irregularities. It looks great from edge to edge and does not have any distracting tints or hues.

On The Gun

I first mounted the LP-1 on an Anderson Dissipator but discovered that the fit in the rail was loose. This is not uncommon and good QD mounts include a method for tightening or loosening the rail fit. On the LP-1 it is very easy to do. With the QD lever open, press the lever body towards the center of the optic. A small wheel on the opposite side will slide out and become movable. I tightened it and checked the fit a couple of times before it was where I liked it. But that process took less than a minute.

Next up was my PTR-91. That gun has a welded rail and it is a little wider than the Anderson rail. I reversed the process described previously and had it mounted within about two minutes. However, I was a little over-enthusiastic and I had to hit the QD release tab with the rubberized handle of some pliers to get it loose. That did not hurt the LP-1 and it worked fine after that treatment.

I also ran the LP-1 on the Springfield Hellion 20″ as part of that review series. It looked particularly good on that gun, and appropriately sci-fi. The height over bore was extremely high on that gun, with the optics rail already sitting several inches above the bore axis.

I also used the LP-1 quite a bit on my Sig 551. It also sat a little high but felt better on this gun than the Hellion. Obviously, it does not co-witness with the irons, but with the QD mount, it can drop from the gun if the irons are needed.

Return To Zero

Between moving the LP-1 from gun to gun to gun to gun, and taking it off and on the same gun when testing different optics during a range trip, the return to zero was pretty good. Not perfect, but close. It always returned within about 1 MOA of the original POI when reinstalled. Sometimes it was much closer, but not always. Sometimes it was a little further out. Do not plan on a 100% perfect return to zero if you take it off the gun, but you also will not need to completely re-zero the optic either.

In The Dark

Though I do not do much in the world of night vision, I wanted to try the LP-1 to see how it fared. Thanks to my brother and my buddy Collin I was able to get some PVS-14 time in the dark with this optic (and the PB-3, look for that review soon). The donut of death reticle in the LP-1 looked excellent under night vision.

One caution is that the LP-1 is a big optic, and if you are short on rail space that could become an issue when trying to get your NVGs behind it. Initially, I tried it with the optic in the middle of the rail on my SG551, but quickly moved it as far forward as it would go. That additional space on the rail made it possible to get the PVS-14 behind it. Taking pictures through a night vision monocular and optic with a cell phone in the dark is not easy, but here are a few photos that give a general idea.

LP-1 in the dark, with a sneak appearance by the PB-3.


The Lead & Steel Promethean LP-1 is one bruiser of a red dot sight. If your goal is a robust, full-size optic, then the LP-1 is absolutely worth a look. It is not the right pick for an ultralight build or weight-conscious setups. It runs well in daylight and dark and on the variety of guns it has been on. The LP-1 has impressed me over the last several months, and it deserves consideration if you are shopping for an optic like this.

Daniel Y
Daniel Y

AKA @fromtheguncounter on Instagram. Gun nerd, reloader, attorney, and mediocre hunter. Daniel can still be found on occasion behind the counter at a local gun store. When he is not shooting, he enjoys hiking, camping, and rappelling around Utah.

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Join the conversation
  • Uncle Yar Uncle Yar on Mar 22, 2024

    Pretty decent passive aiming performance for the price. Best budget night optic yet IMO.

    • See 5 previous
    • Scott C Scott C on Apr 06, 2024

      @Suppressed My ONLY complaint right now is they've pushed the price up on their lp1 annoyingly high and I didn't buy one to try before they did