Shooting Mystery is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Leupold VX-R Reviews: Is This Rifle Scope Worth Your Money?

Leupold VX R Reviews

Leupold is one of the most well-established and respected brands for scopes.

Among their latest offerings are the Leupold VX-R scopes, a line of affordable scopes that are great for hunters.

My review will tackle one optic from this line: The Leupold VX-R 3-9x40mm Riflescope.

The quality you see from this Leupold VX-R review is the same quality you can expect from other magnifications of Leupold VX-R scopes; just change the specifications.

Overview of the Leupold VX-R 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

Leupold VX-R 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

» Check Price on Amazon «


  • Manufacturer: Leupold
  • Weight: 15.36 oz
  • Length: 12.2 inches
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
  • Main Tube Size: 30 mm
  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Windage Adjustment: 75 MOA
  • Elevation Adjustment: 75 MOA
  • Eye Relief: 3.7 – 4.2 inches
  • Reticle Type: FireDot TMR
  • Illuminated: Yes
  • Auto Shut Off: Yes
  • Battery: CR2032

Among its features are an integrated motion sensor and the Twilight Max Management System:

The former can detect movement and vibrations and automatically turns off the illuminated dot reticle if needed.

The latter allows you to shoot even in the low light of dusk and dawn. Illumination of the illuminated reticle can easily be done at the push of a button!

I love its low-magnification powers, which are great for close-range shooting!

If I need to shoot further away, I can crank it up to a 9x power setting to go up to 1000 yards.

Additionally, the clear glass and generous tube size allow maximum light transmission.

It also offers generous eye relief, meaning you can use this with even a high-recoil weapon without worrying about losing an eye.

One of my minor gripes about this scope is that it’s got no parallax compensation.

However, I don’t think this will be a problem as this Leupold scope cannot magnify high enough to need parallax compensation.

Overall, this is great for moving targets, and it is also waterproof and fog proof.

  • Incredible accuracy
  • Illuminated reticles
  • Good light management system
  • Durable
  • Generous eye relief
  • Precise adjustments
  • No parallax compensation
  • A bit pricey
  • Doesn't come with additional accessories

About Leupold

Leupold logo

Leupold and Stevens was originally founded by German immigrants in 1907 to repair survey equipment.

They eventually took the plunge to manufacture their Leupold scopes after World War II.

Leupold was the first company to use nitrogen purging for waterproof and fog-proof performance.

They were also pioneers in creating Duplex reticles and turret-mounted focusing.

With over 100 years of quality German engineering, Leupold is up there along with the other great rifle scope manufacturers, earning them quite the reputation.

Some of Leupold’s clients include the United States Army and the Navy SEALS.

I’ve got another Leupold Review Guide on the VX Freedom if you’re interested.

Leupold VX-R Review

Now I’ll go into an in-depth review of the Leupold VX-R rifle scopes.

To really understand this, I’ll cover one model specifically.

Getting a good view of one single VX-R model helps have a good picture of the entire line.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

4 out of 5 stars banner

Optics Quality – 5/5

Optics quality icon

This particular scope uses Leupold’s own proprietary method for fully multi-coated optics.

The index-matched coatings on the optics of this scope are something truly unique.

A different coating is used on each lens based on their index of refraction, function, and placement.

The result is an HD-quality image with maximized light transmission!

In fact, I’d say that it can rival even that of Swarovski scopes!

Whether I’m shooting in low light conditions or in broad daylight, the Leupold VX-R provides me with fantastic clarity and razor-sharp detail every time.

Another thing I like about the optics of this scope is the blackened lens edges.

These reduce unwanted glare and give your image better contrast.

Durability – 5/5

Durability icon

Since Leupold pioneered nitrogen-purging in optics, you can expect this scope to be fog proof.

However, instead of just using nitrogen, they use a blend of argon and krypton to eliminate the effects of thermal shock.

Additionally, the scope lenses are sealed with O-rings, making them waterproof for up to 30 feet.

The body of these Leupold scopes is made of 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum with a black matte finish.

I’m glad to report that this durable material is both shockproof and bulletproof!

As for the lenses, they are made of lead-free glass with a diamond coat lens protection to make them resistant to breakage and scratches.

I’ve had my share of bumps, drops, and fumbles while out on the field, and I’m this scope held up through it all!

Mounting – 3/5

Mounting icon

Mounting the Leupold VX-R is relatively easy.

However, the 50 mm objective lens may need high-profile rings, which, unfortunately, must be bought separately.

I also noticed that there isn’t much clearance between the bottom edge of the scope and the barrel.

I recommend picking up the Mark AR 30mm mount if you don’t already have a scope mount.

Adjustments – 5/5

Adjustments icon

Precise elevation and windage adjustments on the Leupold VX-R can be done with the highly accurate turrets that move at ¼ MOA per click.

These finger-adjustable turrets give stiff, solid clicks when I turn them. I can quickly zero into 200 yards without having any issues with drifting.

Elevation and windage adjustments are pretty standard for a 30 mm main tube with a 75 MOA range.

Magnification – 5/5

Magnification icon

This particular Leupold VX-R riflescope provides you with 3-9x variable magnification. 

I recommend this model for close to mid-range hunting and shooting.

The image stays clear without any distortion or fuzziness, even at max magnification.

It also provides you with a second focal plane reticle, meaning that the reticle size stays the same regardless of any changes in magnification.

Reticle – 4/5

Reticle icon

The Leupold VX-R utilizes the Ballistic Illuminated Firedot reticle.

A fire dot reticle features a bright red dot that naturally draws the eye to the center without covering the target.

In my experience, this illuminated reticle is perfect for hunting moving targets!

It also contains lines on the bottom post that allow accuracy beyond 200 yards.

The Ballistic Illuminated Firedot TMR reticle comes with 8 illumination settings. These include the perfect settings for bright and low-light shooting.

However, I’ve found that the brightness button that cycles between light levels for the illuminated reticle can get stuck at times.

Additional Accessories – 1/5

Additional accessories icon

This is one aspect in this Leupold VX-R review where I think the Leupold scope falls short.

The VX-R doesn’t come with a lens cap, battery, riflescope rings, or sunshade to guard against the light.

Of course, you wouldn’t purchase a sight for the freebies and add-ons, but given the price of this scope, I feel it would have been nice to have some for value.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which Is Better: Vortex or Leupold?

Vortex and Leupold are both extremely reputable riflescope companies. There has been some debate as to which company is better.

I believe that it all boils down to personal preference and the individual product.

However, there are some key differences between them to take into account.

  • History: Leupold was founded more than a century ago, while Vortex was founded in 2004.
  • Manufacturing: Leupold has most of their products manufactured in the US, while Vortex outsources to China and other countries.
  • Price: Leupold, in general, is pricier than Vortex.

How Far Can You Shoot With 3-9×40?

In my time using 3-9×40 scopes, I was easily able to shoot a target at around 800 yards, depending on the glass clarity and quality of my scope.

Scopes of this variable power range are generally perfect for hunting a target at medium to long range.

You can even use these scopes for 1000 yards if you want to!

What Kind of Hunting Is a 3-9×40 Good For?

I’d say 3-9×40 riflescopes are best suited for hunting game like deer and elk. However, a hunter can also use a 3-9×40 to hunt smaller game like rabbits.

What is the Leupold Fire Dot?

Leupold’s illuminated fire dot reticle kind of looks like a Duplex reticle but with a red dot in the center.

This red dot allows you to shoot faster and more precisely on bright days with a lot of glare by directing your eyes immediately to the center, spotting your target easily.

Final Verdict: Is The Leupold VX-R For You?


I believe this scope definitely lives up to the reputation of Leupold as a high-quality and versatile riflescope.

To conclude this Leupold VX-R review, I’d like to say that this is one of the BEST scopes in the market for mid-range shooting.

For best results, I recommend sticking it on an AR rifle or tactical rifle like the M1A.

If you want a reliable rifle scope with high durability, a reliable bright dot, and a decent zoom range, a VX-R rifle scope is a good match for you.

However, note that these Leupold scopes do not come with any battery in the box.

I hope you appreciated this review on the Leupold VX-R and found it helpful!

While I only tackled one model here, you can apply my review to the other models in the line.

FINAL TIP: Like with any scope, it must be properly maintained and repaired. You can learn how to repair a rifle scope through this helpful guide!

About the author