Leupold VX-1 Review
The Leupold VX-1 is a new addition to the manufacturer’s scope line up for 2012. The VX-I line of scopes and replaced them with a newly updated version now called the VX-1 series. Perhaps Leupold felt it was time to distinguish this series from it nearly identical siblings, the Rifleman series and the Redfield Revolution series (Redfield is now owned by Leupold & Stevens). We're still waiting on early reviews to start rolling in to see how these scopes are comparing to their predecessor. However, we cover the highlights of this updated series below.
Quantum Optical System
Leupold rolled out a new optics system for most of their hunting scopes that is based around their newly designed lead free glass lenses. Scopes that are part of this system start with these specially designed lenses and then have various proprietary technologies applied to them depending on which series they are part of. The VX1 scopes are a pretty basic member of the Quantum Optical System; these scopes use the special lead free lenses and then have MulitCoat 4 lens coating applied for improved light transmission.
Leupold VX-1 Scope Comparison Chart
|F.O.V||20.4' - 9.7'||34.1' -14.1'||34.6' - 14.6'||44.6' - 17.8'||74.7' - 29.8'|
|Eye Relief||4.9" - 3.7"||4.2" -3.6"||4.2" - 3.7"||4.2" - 3.7"||4.2" -3.8"|
|Weight||11.6 oz||13.3 oz||11.2 oz||9.9oz||8.1oz|
4-12x40 – The highest powered scope in the new VX1 riflescope series, the 4-12x40 shows many points of promise but also has a few areas of concern. First, Leupold did a good job of offering the shooter some choices, with three different reticle options and two finish styles; many manufactures offer little choice of options on their entry level 4-12x40 models. Also, a big plus for the Leupold VX-1 is its weight of 11.6 oz which is noticeably less than much of its competition. Leupold, did make some noticeable and positive changes to this scope, and furthermore, they are priced the same as the previous version VX-I. While the $299 price tag might be more appropriate for the newer version it does put it noticeably higher the entry 4-12x40 models from other optics makers. Finally, this model doesn’t have a way of correcting for parallax, as it is not equipped with an adjustable objective or side parallax adjustment knob; however, this seems to be the route that many budget 4-12x40 scope makers or going whether right or wrong.
3-9x50 – For the light optimizing fanatics amongst you, the 3-9x50 version is also available with three reticle choices: duplex, wide duplex, or LR duplex. This large objective version can be had with either a matte black or gloss black finish and like other VX-1 models it is lightweight for its configuration. However, as with the 4-12x40 model, price is an issue, with competing models being generally priced lower. Furthermore, even if you are set on a Leupold for about the same price or probably less, you could move up the Leupold line and get a 3-9x40 VX-2 model which incorporates much of the latest optics technologies. However, besides the price nothing stands out as being a noticeable drawback for the 3-9x50 model.
3-9x40 – The standout model in this new optics line is the Leupold VX -1 3-9x40 which benefits from the updated lead free glass and improved lens coating like the other model in the series; however, with a price tag of a base model starting at about $230, the VX-1 3-9x40 also competes on a pretty level playing field with its nearest competition. Like the previous models the 3-9x40 version is available with the choice of three different reticle options; however, it can be had in five different finishes including two Mossy Oak Camo patterns: Treestand and Break Up. These camo offerings are a good option for those that have a rifle with a camo stock but don’t want to go to the hassle or expense of having their optic coated to match. These scopes are also offered in a silver finish for those that have a stainless barrel on their hunting rifle.
2-7x33 – This compact scope configuration has earned its place in many popular hunting rifle scope lines, and the VX1 scope series is no exception. However, many times the 2-7x33 configuration is only offered with a duplex reticle and matte finish, which is a popular route to go with these scopes, but a little more variety is always nice. Leupold did a good job of not making this model an afterthought, and made it available with the same three hunting reticle options found on the larger magnification models in this series. Leupold makes this model in both a standard matte black finish as well as a gloss black finish. The pricing is similar to the 3-9x40 models so while there isn’t really any cost savings shooters will get a shorter and lighter weight optic to put on their rifle and that is what most users of the 2-7x33 models are mainly concerned with.
1-4x20 – The VX-HOG, as this model is known, is designed primarily for hog hunting. At least it’s probably a safe bet that a scope that has the words “Pig” and “Plex” inscribed on the reticle is will most likely end up on a pig hunting rifle. We’re not kidding by the way; the words “Pig” and “Plex” are actually inscribed on the thick German #4 style reticle of the VX-HOG. The reticle also features a circle around the center crosshairs, hold over marks beneath the crosshair, and a windage mark on each side of the crosshair. This model does not have an illuminate reticle and is not to be confused with Leupold’s VX-R HOG model which is a 1.25-4x20 model that has an illuminated Firedot reticle. The VX-HOG is a budget option for hog hunters who want an optic designed specifically for their sport.
The VX-I series was ready for an update, it was overpriced when compared to its competition and really didn’t offer anything to differentiate itself from other scopes in the budget category. However, Leupold has taken a big step in the right direction by adding the newly designed glass of the Quantum Optical system, using a better lens coating for improved light transmission, and keeping the price the same as the old VX-I models. Also, the camo finish options available on the 3-9x40 model, and the addition of a 1-4x20 model aimed at hog hunters should help the VX-1 to carve out its place in the competitive budget hunting scope category.
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