Leupold VX3 Riflescope, real world opinions

bruce moulds

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Sounds like you slowly went to the lower models.

Generally people might try go up in models.

I have read a bit on the VX Freedom, supposedly they replace vx1 and vx2 claimed to be better than the vx2 it replaces.

For the money I would say it’s a Leupold and should be good for most hunting on most rifles.

When I have used better scopes I can see the clarity makes a difference . Is it proportional to the price increase probably not but if your eyesight deteriorates you might just appreciate better glass.
chris,
i started with a 6x on a 222, a 4x on a 22 rimfire, and a 4x on a 25/06.
this followed by a 3x on a 308, and 2 - 7 on the 25/06 and 270s.
the 2 - 7s were weavers and the brand had lost its optical qualities by then.
they were replaced by 2.5 - 8 leupolds for that reason, and those old scopes are still going strong.
various forays with 12x for varmint rifles and the afore mentioned higher power variables taught me a lot about the disadvantages of bigger more powerful scopes in general.
having a 2.5 - 8 is like picking the low hanging apples.
you will get more faster than trying to pick the one high one.
bruce.
 

WAB

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I have the exact scope you are contemplating. It is a fine scope and compares favorably to much more expensive optics in my gun room. However, as others have said, that may not be the ideal scope for a .308. Have you considered the VX3 2.5-8x by 36mm? One of the best scopes for the money on the market and a perfect fit for a .308 unless yours is a long range tactical rig.
 

fourfive8

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^^ I can relate to both posts by @bruce moulds and @WAB

I wish there were more fixed power options but it appears they have just about been deemed obsolete. IMO a good fixed power with a 7mm+ exit pupil is hard to beat. Last week I shot a couple of groups with one of my 416 Rem Mags at 100 yds with full power loads- one with 400 gr A Frames and the other with 400 gr TSXs. It has a 2.5X20 Leupold Ultralight. One group was 1" and the other was .9". NO ONE can convince me I need more power on that rifle! I have the same scope on a 450. I've had three of them, and that little scope has proven to be a tough and reliable model/design. Plus it has 4.9" eye relief :)

As to the OP's ?- I have had a VX3 2.5-8 on a 375 HH for lots of shots. No issues. It tracks perfectly and the resolution seems excellent. As others have posted, it would be hard to beat at that price point. I imagine you could spend another 1000-2000 dollars and get a small increment of increased resolution or light trans but for what purpose? I will continue to use the diff in $ for other things.
 

Dwight Beagle

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have people been happy with reliability, happy with click values and return to zero, happy with morning and evening twilight performance,
I have a VX-3. It will get me well past legal shooting light. Not quite as far as my Zeiss and Meopta but that point is fairly moot since my VX-3 gets me past the time I can legally take a shot. I do not spin turrets, they work well enough to get me sighted in but I wouldn’t use a VX-3 for dialing.
You will never have a reliability issue with a Leupold scope. I’ve put all mine through a lot of abuse and never had one fail.
That’s going too far. Leupold’s do break, in fact the afore mentioned VX-3 had a broken windage turret right out of the box. Leupold fixed it most rikki tik though.
I have read a bit on the VX Freedom, supposedly they replace vx1 and vx2 claimed to be better than the vx2 it replaces.
The Freedom has VX-2 glass. Nothing else about it strikes me as being even remotely better than a VX-2.
 

BeeMaa

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I have a VX-3. It will get me well past legal shooting light. Not quite as far as my Zeiss and Meopta but that point is fairly moot since my VX-3 gets me past the time I can legally take a shot. I do not spin turrets, they work well enough to get me sighted in but I wouldn’t use a VX-3 for dialing.
Agreed.
Leupold are good, but not a good comparison to the top brands.
S&B, Swaro, Leica and Zeiss are a real cut above in clarity.

That said, I took 9 head of PG with a Leupold VX3i 1.5-5x20.
Excellent scope, good adjustments and reliable.
I recently sold it with the rifle it was on.
My biggest complaint was it not having an illuminated reticle.

I have found (with aging eyes) that seeing dark animals under shade isn't easy.
Finding the crosshairs without illumination is even more difficult.
For that reason, I've moved all hunting optics to illuminated reticles.

I did notice this on our trip to Africa, specifically with Buffalo and Sable.
Other animals weren't too bad but Wildebeest wasn't easy either.
A lot of these animals hide out in the shade for protection from the intense sun.
Having the clarity of a top notch scope make seeing the body possible.
Having illumination allows you to see the dot against the body.

If you are looking at Leupold, you are on a good path.
They are quality scopes that will provide a lifetime of service.
However, I would recommend that you at least take a look at one with illumination.
The Leupold VX-Freedom line offers several Firedot options.
The illumination is available, but you don't have to turn it on.
Having the option may be a real benefit in the future.
 

Sika98k

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@Novice Huntress , if you are going to trade down, imho, to a Leupold scope please bear me in mind if you should wish to sell the Leica. Is it illuminated ?
 

Philip Glass

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Hi all good afternoon,

I appreciate this maybe a over asked topic, I have had a look at past threads. So here goes I am looking to replace a Docter 8x56 scope, I currently use a Leica 2.5-10 x42 4a. I have an opportunity to try some thing different, I appreciate everyone's eyes are different.

So I have a chance to purchase a Leupold VX3 4.5-14X50, my questions are, have people been happy with reliability, happy with click values and return to zero, happy with morning and evening twilight performance, and for all those PH'S out there have they held up well in the rigours of the African Bush, plains etc???

Rifle will be a 308w and possibly used on a 8x68s.

I understand that latest high end German/Austrian optics have great optical quality, but will the Leupold get on and get a job done???

Look forward to your thoughts

Rgds
All Leupolds are good. Of course VX6 has better glass but you will do fine with the one you are looking at.
 

Bonk

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I have about a dozen Leupold scopes from VX1 to HD5. My personal favorite and sweet spot is the VX3 line. The majority of my scopes are VX2 2X7-33 and I'm convinced they're all I need for hunting. My VX2 is just as capable as my HD5 despite marketing hype to the contrary. The biggest difference between the two is money. The HD5 costs four times as much as the VX2.

I encourage folks with resources to buy all the upscale gear you can afford. I do and will continue to do so but I have no illusions about the return on the investment beyond pride of ownership. My Ruger Guide Gun 30-06/Leupold VX2 is every bit as capable of killing game as my custom CZ550 300H&H/Leupold HD5 despite the significant difference in cost. In fact I could pay for a decent PG hunt with the difference in price between the two. I still don't regret buying either one of them. Well, maybe I regret buying the HD5. I should've just bought a VX3 for the CZ. I'll probably do just that. Anybody need an essentially new HD5? YMMV.
 

ALGARROBO

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Hola a todos .., cazo hace 30 años con visores Leupold, el 95% lo hago de noche con luna llena en esperas de jabalí ..., hace 11 años que alterno un VX3 3.5-10 x 50 ret. 4 ilum. en el Ruger 300 WM., con un Zeiss 7 x 50 ret. 40 ilum. en el Mauser 7.65 x 53, muchas veces las condiciones empeoran porque la luna se oculta con nubes o cuando ya se está escondiendo en el horizonte, en ningún caso lamenté haber estado con el Leupold, pensando que tendría mejor visión con el Zeiss ... , no noto diferencias ..., además tengo la posibilidad de bajar de aumentos para tiros muy cortos ..., en cuanto a robustez, nunca tuve problemas con ninguno de los 3 Leupold que tengo en tantos años .....
Sdos.
 

Novice Huntress

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Hi All,

I would like to say thank you for your feedback on this topic.

I think speaking with people who use a product on a regular basis has far greater value than just the view from the marketing department!!

It's interesting to hear how positive forum members are on the basic vx2/VX3 etc compared to the higher end range in regard for return of investment.

I'm still waiting to see the Vx3 4.5-14x50, take your views on parallax adjustments in the field maybe more trouble than their worth!

I will add most definitely will be keeping the Leica, the glass in these are really top notch.

Obviously it appears that there is great regards for leupold reliability, key in the field!!

Rgds
 

C.W. Richter

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Huntress, My son has that very scope on his 7mm RSAUM (w/ the B&C reticle). Being that I mounted it, worked up handloads, and dialed it in for him years back, I can tell you that it's clear, bright, and accurate. Though I do have some other Leupolds, I prefer the 1-5x or 1.75-6x (2.5-8) close cover hunting (also very bright and accurate), take a look at the Burris Veracity 3-15x (as most of my rifles feature Burris and we've made many a spectacular shot over the decades, be it 450, 550 or 700 yds! Under 250 is of course most common.) It's also one of the few first focal plane scopes. It wasn't my preference, but he wanted it and I have to agree it's solid. The reticle is a little thick for my liking. Some of the other brands are a tad thinner (and additionally have 10 mph windage dots), which is better for precise aiming on long shots, but not as good in dim light. Good Luck!
 

Savage Hunter

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My favorite scope I have is a VX3L with a 50mm lens.
The L model has a half moon cut out of the bottom so you can mount the scope lower.
They've not made the L in a few years.
If it had a firedot reticle, it'd be 100% perfect for me.

I have a VX6 3-18x50 with firedot that is bigger than what I need. I've thought about selling it because it is way overkill for Mississippi and I rarely go out of state. If I do, I have other choices that are more than adequate.

I have 4-5 other VX3s (1 with firedot) and a few smaller Leupold's on rimfire rifles.
I love them all.

You will do great with a VX3.
 

bruce moulds

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i have 2 2.5-8 leupolds that are over 40 yrs old.
they have been on 25/06, 6.5/06, 270, 7 mag, 30/06, 300 wm, 338 wm, 375 h&h, and now reside on a 9.3x64 and 280.
lovely compact reliable scopes that do not really affect balance and are just a nice power range for even longer range shooting.
they are good in any light where i can identify targets well enough.
they can be mounted low where they belong.
and as mentioned before, they have reticules not too thick or too thin.
and their focal plane does not make the reticule thinner on low powers, the opposite of what you want.
bruce.
 

WAB

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i have 2 2.5-8 leupolds that are over 40 yrs old.
they have been on 25/06, 6.5/06, 270, 7 mag, 30/06, 300 wm, 338 wm, 375 h&h, and now reside on a 9.3x64 and 280.
lovely compact reliable scopes that do not really affect balance and are just a nice power range for even longer range shooting.
they are good in any light where i can identify targets well enough.
they can be mounted low where they belong.
and as mentioned before, they have reticules not too thick or too thin.
and their focal plane does not make the reticule thinner on low powers, the opposite of what you want.
bruce.

Totally agree Bruce, one of the best scopes for the money!
 

bruce moulds

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some scopes change eye relief with magnification.
this is worth doing your homework on.
in the same vein, you need to consider the "eye box".
that is how far toward or away from the rear lens the eye can be and still get full picture.
not all scopes are equal here, but when you shoot downhill sitting, or uphill prone or off sticks or prone you need a good long box to cater for these situations.
width of box allows faster shooting as well, and this is partly achieved by using lower powers.
and then you need long enough eye relief so you don't cop the scope in the head.
these features far over ride better optics than a leupold might have, as well as higher magnification.
i have a 4.5 - 14 x40 on my stw, and the same x50 on a 223.
these are specialized scopes and as such trade off too much for 99% of hunting.
the x40 is optically better than the x50, and can be mounted lower.
bruce.
 
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shark_za

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Up until recently the scope on my 6.5x55 was this model with the adjustable objective.
Its a good scope but a little different and it took me a while to understand it.
It has a longer eye relief than most others I have used, you dont seem to "climb in" and get fully immersed in the scene in front of you.
I have decided its the best scope for a 300 magnum or similar and I have kept it aside till I get one.
Leupold reliability is 100%, settings and return to zero all top notch.
 

Ridgewalker

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JMO&E, but for morning and evening twilight as well as dark timber (dark hogs, bears, Cape buffalo, etc) I have gone to an illuminated dot reticle on all my Leupolds. My 73 year old eyes are instantly drawn to the dot making my shots quicker.
Personally I would rather have a lower power at the bottom than a higher power at the top. I have been able to take long shots (400+ yards) with only 4x. I missed jump shooting coyotes using the same 4x. Just my thoughts.
Also my current preferred scopes are the Leupold VX-6HD in 2-12x and 1-6x all with lighted dot reticles.
 
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BigSteve57

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I have a few Leupold VX-3's and VX-2's (as well as other models) and have never had any issue with any Leupold scope ever. I think they are the best value in scopes out there.
 

postoak

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I just bought my first VX Freedom Leupold and was shocked at how crude it looked -- not like any Leupold I've ever seen. Still the view through the scope looks okay. Has Leupold gotten rid of the VX1, VX2, Rifleman so the buyer has to go directly to the VX3i if they want a better scope than the Freedom?
 

fourfive8

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I hope it's not a sign of problems to come for Leupold! Sounds like Leupold is following a similar path as Redfield, during the Redfield sell out, by trying to market a low end, low price, entry level scope. ??
 

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