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
- About Leupold
- Leupold VX-R Review
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict: Is This Leupold Scope a Great Scope?
Overview of the Leupold VX-R 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope
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This second focal plane variable scope serves as a testament to technological developments in the riflescope industry.
Among its features are an integrated motion sensor and the Twilight Max Management System:
- The integrated motion sensor detects movement and vibrations. It automatically turns off the illuminated reticle if needed.
- The Twilight Max Management System 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.
The lower magnification powers are great for close-range shooting. If you need to shoot further away, you 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. This means 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.
- 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
- Incredible accuracy
- Illuminated reticles
- Good light management system
- Generous eye relief
- Precise adjustments
- No parallax compensation
- A bit pricey
- Doesn't come with additional accessories
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.
Now, with over 100 years of quality German engineering, Leupold has gained quite a reputation with their Leupold scopes.
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
Optics Quality – 5/5
This scope uses Leupold’s own proprietary method for fully multicoating 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.
This thus eliminates reflection and maximizes light transmission to provide you with an HD-quality image.
In fact, I’d say that it can rival even that of Swarovski scopes!
Whether you’re shooting in low light conditions or in broad daylight, the Leupold VX-R provides you 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
Since Leupold pioneered nitrogen-purging in optics, you can expect this scope to be fog proof.
However, they go above and beyond the traditional fog proofing of other scopes with the Leupold VX-R.
Instead of just using nitrogen, they use a blend of argon and krypton to eliminate the effects of thermal shock.
In addition to this, 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.
Mounting – 3/5
Mounting the Leupold VX-R is relatively easy.
However, the 50 mm objective lens may need high-profile rings, which unfortunately have to be bought separately.
You may also notice 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
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 you turn them. You 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
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. This means that the reticle size stays the same regardless of any changes in magnification.
Reticle – 4/5
The Leupold VX-R utilizes the Ballistic Illuminated Fire dot reticle.
A fire dot reticle features a bright red dot that naturally draws the eye to the center without covering the target.
This illuminated reticle is perfect for hunting moving targets!
It also contains lines on the bottom post that allow for accuracy even 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
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 any lens caps, 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 scope 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.
Final Verdict: Is This Leupold Scope a Great Scope?
Yes! 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!
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