Leupold VX Rifle Scope Review [FULL OPTIC REVIEW]

Leupold…a name that defines quality. Most of you have heard that Leupold manufactures some of the best rifle scopes in the entire rifle optics marketplace. These guys make quality scopes at a few different price levels and they are all the best in their respective categories. Leupold’s VX series continue to outperform and this post will show you why.  


In this post we’ll be showing you why you need to sit up and pay attention to the Leupold VX scopes, which will help you make an informed decision regarding which one of the three best suits your specific needs, and of course your budget!

Image Scope Price Rating
Leupold VX-I 3-9x40mm $$
Leupold VX-2 4-12x40mm $$
Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x50mm $$


Leupold VX-1 Scope Overview

Leupold’s VX-1 series of scopes are what we’d call “bottom tier”, but we’re only referring to their price, and definitely not to their quality. If you’re a little strapped for cash, or you’re a newbie looking for a riflescope, the VX-1 scopes are a pretty solid option. You can get into this model for under $200

They offer:

  • Generous Eye-boxes
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratios
  • 1/4 MOA Finger Click
  • Tactile Power Selector
  • Proprietary Nitrogen Fill Process
  • One Ince Main Tubes
  • Waterproof and Fog Proof
  • Multicoat 4

Leupold VX-2 Scope Overview

Just a step up from the VX-1 series is the Leupold VX-2 series of scopes. These are one of the most popular lines of scopes from Leupold and they pack a bunch of useful features. If you’re a serious hunter or shooter, you’ll love the functionality and usability of these scopes.

They offer:

  • Index Matched Lens Systems
  • 2nd Generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing
  • Generous Eye-boxes
  • Blackened Lens Edges
  • Externally threaded fast-focus eye pieces
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratios
  • Tactile Power Selectors
  • Durable Lens Covers

Leupold VX-3 Scope Overview

Leupold’s VX-3 series of scopes offer you much more value, compared to the VX-1 and VX-2 models, but they also cost a little more. These scopes are top-notch when it comes to optical technology, and when you invest in these scopes, you’re buying into a lifetime of accuracy and durability. These are top quality rifle scopes, typically over $500

They offer:

  • Extended Twilight Lens System
  • Diamond Coat 2
  • 2nd Generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing
  • Blackened Lens Edges
  • Twin Bias Spring Erector Systems
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratios
  • Durable Lens Covers

Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope Review

We love the Leupold VX-1 2-9×40 for its mid-level performance and mid-range price. These scopes are available in a bunch of different finishes and also come with standard Duplex, Wide Duplex, or LR Duplex reticles. The 3-9x40mm VX-1 is one of the most popular models in the VX-1 series since it comes with a standard Duplex reticle.

Top Features:

  • 92% light transmission
  • Multi-coat 4-lens coatings
  • Quantum optical system with precision ground lens element
  • Fingertip adjustable windage an elevation dials
  • 1/4 MOA adjustment markings
  • Lockable eyepiece markings
  • Compatible with alumina accessories
  • Waterproof
  • Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee

Scope Specs

  • Magnification – 3-9x
  • Objective Lens – 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter – 1 inch
  • Weight – 11.2 oz
  • Length – 12.8 inches

The Pros:

  • Moderately priced
  • Very Durable
  • Great focus and accuracy

The Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with lens caps
  • With it’s find threads you might have to make multiple turns when it comes to adjustments.

Leupold VX-2 4-12×40 Rifle Scope Review

Another great line in Leupold’s VX series is their VX-2 scopes, more specifically; we love their Leupold 4-12X40 AO scope in this range. It’s brilliantly designed and mechanically sound, which makes it a great riflescope that’ll easily deliver a lifetime of trustworthy service.

Top Features:

  • Light transmission boosted by 94%
  • Leupold Custom Dial System
  • Quantum Optical System with Index Matched Lens Coating
  • Blackened Lens Edges

Scope Specs

  • Magnification – 4-12x
  • Objective Lens – 40 mm
  • Tube Diameter – 1 inch
  • Weight – 11.8 oz
  • Length – 13.2 inches

The Pros:

  • Objective bell parallax adjustment band correction from 25 yards to infinity
  • Click adjustable turrets
  • Easy adjustments
  • Lead-free lenses offer 94% light transmission
  • Enhanced abrasion resistance
  • Great contrast and resolution
  • 100% waterproof
  • Performs well in lowlight conditions

The Cons:

  • Minor windage turret errors
  • The small (4.9 inch) surface on the main tube makes mounting troublesome for certain rifles.

Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope Review

As the big brother to all the other VX series scopes, the Leupold VX-3 4.5-14×50 is undeniably the ruler of this series. This scope is easy to adjust, easy to use, and always delivers crystal clear imaging, which is why it comes in as out best pick for this review. If you can afford to invest in the VX-III then just do it! You won’t be sorry, and it’s an investment which will quickly repay itself.

Top Features:

  • Finger-adjustable windage elevation dials
  • Easy-to-use resettable pointer dials
  • Side focus parallax adjustment at a great postion
  • Features Index Matched Lens System for even better optics

Scope Specs

  • Magnification – 4.5-14x
  • Objective Lens – 50 mm
  • Tube Diameter – 1 inch
  • Weight – 13 oz
  • Length – 12.6inches

The Pros:

  • Easy-to-use finger adjustment knobs
  • Very easy to sight, mark and make changes to elevation or windage
  • Amazing clarity, light transmission and definition
  • The scope transmits up to 98% of the total light
  • Very tough, rugged, and durable

The Cons:

  • Eye relief at 14mm can be a bit tricky
  • Some models  in the VX-3 series are a bit expensive

Leupold VX Scopes Final Thoughts

We’ve shown you the ins and outs of Leupold’s VX series of scopes, but you have to keep in mind that their VX-1, VX-2, and VX-3 scopes all come in a bunch of different models. We hope that this post has helped you narrow down the field of play, and that you’ll be able to make an informed choice when it comes to investing in your next Leupold Riflescope!

Make sure to check out our new post on buying the best safe for your rifle! 

Tip: One of the best rifle’s to equip a Leupold VX-1 3-9×40 is for a 30-06