Leupold VX-5HD vs Vortex Viper PST Gen II

flat8

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I'm building a .300 Win Mag based on a Stiller action. Now considering optics and have it narrowed to the two mentioned above. Am I on the right track here? I can budget up to $2,000 for the optics, but given the quality of what Leupold and Vortex are putting out at the $1,000 price point I don't know if I need to. This will be a hunting rifle . . not for the bench. I probably would not take a shot beyond 450 yards. Any advice appreciated.
 

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I don't know - a special rifle like that deserves a special glass. I have become a huge fan of Leica scopes. The Magnus series is in a class with perhaps the best of S&B and Swaro. The ERi series is an amazing value. And can be had in the same price range as the Leupold and Vortex (not really a fan). https://www.eurooptic.com/leica-ERi-riflescopes.aspx I have a Magnus on my .275 Rigby, but I believe I have four or five ERi series scopes. The one on my .375 will be making its third trip to Africa next week. Never an issue with any of them. Ever.
 

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rookhawk

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I don't know - a special rifle like that deserves a special glass. I have become a huge fan of Leica scopes. The Magnus series is in a class with perhaps the best of S&B and Swaro. The ERi series is an amazing value. And can be had in the same price range as the Leupold and Vortex (not really a fan). https://www.eurooptic.com/leica-ERi-riflescopes.aspx I have a Magnus on my .275 Rigby, but I believe I have four or five ERi series scopes. The one on my .375 will be making its third trip to Africa next week. Never an issue with any of them. Ever.
I have to back @Red Leg 's opinion on this one also. I find the optical quality of most of the Leupold line to be lacking, with some exceptions. Vortex is a product I just can't wrap my mind around at all. Go to a Cabelas bargain cave and look at the DOZENS of return and refurbished Vortex scopes that are there at any given time. I have no doubt they have a great warranty, but it appears that a lot of people need that warranty by data that is more than just anecodotal, see for yourself and compare the number of vortex sold new at Cabelas compared to all other brands, then look at the volume of returned/refurbished Vortex scopes compared to all other brands in the bargain cave....staggering.

For $300-$500:
-Used Schmidt & Bender on eBay
-New clearance Leica er5
-New Zeiss Conquest
-New Zeiss HD5

For $700-$1500:
-New Leica eri
-New Swarovski
-New Schmidt & Bender clearance
-New higher end Zeiss

I've never seen nor met someone that says "I really wish I didn't buy that Leica, Swarovski, Kahles, Zeiss or Schmidt & Bender scope for X money, I should have bought the Vortex/Leupold/Trijicon/Nightforce instead".

I'm sure they all can make a nice scope, I just think the "Big 4" make a better product at similar pricepoints.
 

Graham Hunter

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I have them all except Vortex. Too many friends have had problems with them. I really like the new Leupold VX5 and 6. Good glass for the money and a lifetime warranty you will never need. All mine are for hunting.
 

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I have two Vortex Razor HD LH. One on Old Reliable Win M70 in .270 and the other on my Ruger No 1 in 7 mm Rem Mag. The No 1 has yet to be blooded, but it's a handy walking around rifle. Maybe I will chase Pennsylvania bear with it this fall. Resolution on these scopes is remarkable. Look around and you can find them for about $600.
 

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I'm building a .300 Win Mag based on a Stiller action. Now considering optics and have it narrowed to the two mentioned above. Am I on the right track here? I can budget up to $2,000 for the optics, but given the quality of what Leupold and Vortex are putting out at the $1,000 price point I don't know if I need to. This will be a hunting rifle . . not for the bench. I probably would not take a shot beyond 450 yards. Any advice appreciated.
Given those 2 choices it is hands down Leupold. The Vortex is a VERY distant second (last) place.
I do agree with what Red Leg and Rookhawk have already posted. Leica, Schmidt & Bender and Swarovski make great glass. Leica customer service is somewhat lacking though.
That said, the VX-5 and VX-6 lines from Leuold are very good in my opinion. I have several flavors of them and am very happy. I would buy them again.
 

bilmcc

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I am not real enamored with Leopold right now. Sent my scope back to them after falling with it. They said they rebuilt it and it works just fine. I guess they don't expect you to change elevation settings. First bad experience with Leupold, if you don't count the top of the line rangefinder that went absolutely wonky the second time I turned it on. They did replace that with a new model that works fine.
 

flat8

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Great advice. If we up the budget to 2 to 3k and open it up, what would everyone be doing? Specific models would be helpful. I’ve got close to 3.5k in the build so far so I don’t want to halfway the glass. Thank you!
 

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Leica Magnus or S&B would be my choice. Pick your reticle - mine would German No. 4.
 
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bilmcc

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I am beginning to think there is more variation in quality between individual optics than between brand names of optics in general. Found a MeoStar binocular that absolutely embarrassed the Swarovski sitting beside it.
 

Red Leg

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I am beginning to think there is more variation in quality between individual optics than between brand names of optics in general. Found a MeoStar binocular that absolutely embarrassed the Swarovski sitting beside it.
I won’t argue with you. Your impressions are your impressions. However, in my experience, and my side to side comparisons, one of the places where one normally gets what one pays for is in optics.
 
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Graham Hunter

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Sorry to hear about your experience with Leupold. I use and sell a lot of them and have found their service 5 star. I only ever get a few that have to be returned and turn around is very quick and no charge. Had a pair of Swarovski's that fogged on the 2nd day of a Caribou hunt in Northern Quebec. Called them as soon as I got home and the girl was very easy to deal with. She said that was very uncommon but return them and they would replace them. They actually sent the new pair before they received my pair. (Service). Now I shoot a lot and have a large collection of firearms. I am a hunter but have over 300 trophies for various shooting competitions. My thinking is buy the best glass you can afford!! But when I take my $1200.00 Leupold and put it down against the $2400.00 Swarovski Zeiss etc. I can't see the $1000.00 plus difference. I am talking hunting scopes and not specialty scopes.
 

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rookhawk

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On another forum (we are asked not to provide links...but its the "other", arguably inferior safari board) in the classifieds today a guy had a new Zeiss 3-15 conquest HD5 for sale for $600. That would be a way better option than the leupold. There is one or two Leica er5 2-10x50 scopes with the magnum reticle remaining at EuroOptic also. ( I have one of these, its a great $1100 scope for half price) Around $550. Again, a really good mid-price optic.
 

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Given an unlimited budget, I would probably go for the best Swarovski. Generally, they have the best resolution and great customer service. My opinions are limited by my budget, though. Leica does not impress me, side by side with my Vortex Viper 10x50s. I have only looked through one Conquest and I did not think it was very clear. I do have a Zeiss Terra, which I got at a very good price. It is certainly decent where I am using it, but not the best. I would not totally give up on Leupold -- I would take the VX-5 over the VX-6 because it seems to me the 6 has more things that can malfunction. Warranty does not count for much in the field. I still have Leupolds that work just fine. Not trading them out! As RedLeg said, these are just opinions based on my limited experience. That's all I got.
 
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Between those two, I would take the Leopold for sure. I have several of the others mentioned above, I think my Leica Magnus is nearing on par with my Swaros, and I am admittedly a pretty big Swarovski fanboy. I would also say Kahles make some scopes that are a very good value for the money, I can't speak for the customer service, but the optic is top notch.
 

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I have had two Zeiss Scopes and both were disappointing. The Conquest isn't as clear as the Leupold VX-R and the Victory had the dopiest system ever to turn the lighted reticle on/off. I do have an excellent Zeiss range finder though.

If you don't want to drop 3k look at the Trjicon Accupoint 2.5x-10x56, it has glass that will compare to any high end scope. It is amazing. Their customer service is excellent as well.

I have never been impressed by Vortex scopes but I have a pair of binos and a spotting scope which are excellent......
 

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Lot of opinions here, which is good, but not a lot asking the needed questions in my mind. I worked for Opticsplanet for 5 years and then for a scope manufacturer for 2 more. I've seen every brand listed here come back in returns for legitimate damage or manufacturer malfunction, but most were hunter error. Yes, Ive seen first hand and in person how manufacturers test scopes that come back that "don't hold zero" or don't accurately adjust elevation or windage. For the manufacturer facilities I've been at, almost all are hunter error (kinda makes you wonder if people even read the manuals on them).

For your build, you need to decide what your going to do the majority of the time, and what you want to stretch your limits to. A few questions that help narrow down choices...

-Do you hold over or do you spin? I prefer hold overs when hunting, but dial turrets at the bench. For my hunting scopes, I like capped turrets. I don't even like locking (exposed) turrets because I have had issues before and then your trusting a zero stop if your scope has one. If you want the rifle to be both, you will want locking turrets and a zero stop.

Question 1 leads to question 2

If you spin your turrets, what tube diameter meets your needs for range?
If you plan on shooting no more than 500 yards-ish, a 1" tube can get it done, but a 30mm tube wont hurt. If you want to stretch it out if you're doing some paper or steel punching, a 30mm may be better. A 20 MOA base can make any 1" tube scope take you to 500 yards regardless. Keeping in mind usually, a 30mm scope will be heavier all thing similar, but not always

What magnification do you want? For most hunting, a 2-10x is plenty for me. I also try no to hunt over 500 yards. Some buddies like to dial up to 20x for whitetail and others use a 6x for varmint shooting. Its a personal preference, but a max mag of at least 10x-15X is plenty for most shooting under 500 yards and even over 500 yards in many cases.

Weight? Do ounces matter to you and how much? There are some great lightweight tough scopes out there and there are anchors

Do you want/like color amplification? This may seem odd, but many companies amplify certain colors, I prefer glass and coatings that do not amplify certain colors.


There's a few more questions to go along, but this may help you think about what you want and shoot over some more specifics. Some have pointed out you get what you pay for...well, that is not always the case anymore. There are direct to consumer companies that offer the same quality if not higher for much less than a national brand can sell for. Not too many of them, but they are out there and can be found with some quick google searches. Its consumer discretion at that point but if you want to PM me, I can share more thoughts there.

Back to your original post...out of those two choices, I would go with the VX5....but I would do some research on the direct to consumer companies as well before you buy. Lastly, when you buy, try to go to a store or order from a company and look thru the scope outside. Looking in a store isn't enough and most companies will give you 30 days to own the scope without mounting it and then can return if you aren't happy with it.
 

Rob404

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Altho they don't get much respect around here, I like Nikons for the money especially the Monarch Series with ED Glass. I prefer Leupold to Vortex as I've sent a few Vortex in for warranty work Their turnaround time is fast but but a little aggravating
 

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Lot of opinions here, which is good, but not a lot asking the needed questions in my mind. I worked for Opticsplanet for 5 years and then for a scope manufacturer for 2 more. I've seen every brand listed here come back in returns for legitimate damage or manufacturer malfunction, but most were hunter error. Yes, Ive seen first hand and in person how manufacturers test scopes that come back that "don't hold zero" or don't accurately adjust elevation or windage. For the manufacturer facilities I've been at, almost all are hunter error (kinda makes you wonder if people even read the manuals on them).

For your build, you need to decide what your going to do the majority of the time, and what you want to stretch your limits to. A few questions that help narrow down choices...

-Do you hold over or do you spin? I prefer hold overs when hunting, but dial turrets at the bench. For my hunting scopes, I like capped turrets. I don't even like locking (exposed) turrets because I have had issues before and then your trusting a zero stop if your scope has one. If you want the rifle to be both, you will want locking turrets and a zero stop.

Question 1 leads to question 2

If you spin your turrets, what tube diameter meets your needs for range?
If you plan on shooting no more than 500 yards-ish, a 1" tube can get it done, but a 30mm tube wont hurt. If you want to stretch it out if you're doing some paper or steel punching, a 30mm may be better. A 20 MOA base can make any 1" tube scope take you to 500 yards regardless. Keeping in mind usually, a 30mm scope will be heavier all thing similar, but not always

What magnification do you want? For most hunting, a 2-10x is plenty for me. I also try no to hunt over 500 yards. Some buddies like to dial up to 20x for whitetail and others use a 6x for varmint shooting. Its a personal preference, but a max mag of at least 10x-15X is plenty for most shooting under 500 yards and even over 500 yards in many cases.

Weight? Do ounces matter to you and how much? There are some great lightweight tough scopes out there and there are anchors

Do you want/like color amplification? This may seem odd, but many companies amplify certain colors, I prefer glass and coatings that do not amplify certain colors.


There's a few more questions to go along, but this may help you think about what you want and shoot over some more specifics. Some have pointed out you get what you pay for...well, that is not always the case anymore. There are direct to consumer companies that offer the same quality if not higher for much less than a national brand can sell for. Not too many of them, but they are out there and can be found with some quick google searches. Its consumer discretion at that point but if you want to PM me, I can share more thoughts there.

Back to your original post...out of those two choices, I would go with the VX5....but I would do some research on the direct to consumer companies as well before you buy. Lastly, when you buy, try to go to a store or order from a company and look thru the scope outside. Looking in a store isn't enough and most companies will give you 30 days to own the scope without mounting it and then can return if you aren't happy with it.
Thank you. Will PM.
 
 

 

 

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