Leupold VX-II vs. VX-3


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P.B.Walsh
May 12, 2010, 11:24 PM
I will be purchasing a new 1-4 power optic. I really like the Leupold customer service reputation so I will go with Leupold unless something huge happens.

So, now to my question, is the VX-3 1.5-5x20mm at $400 worth it compared to the VX-II 1-4x20mm at $300?

Is the extra $100 woth it for just a 1-4 power optic?

This scope will be used for everything, really, the is my ultility rifle, and will probally be my only centerfire for a while. I will, however, be mostly using this rifle/scope for hunting with target shooting mixed in, and the hopefully never defence senario if I am without my AR-15.

With either scope, I will probally be adding the Turkey Plex reticle, and would love some feedback on this reticle, seems like a poor mans SPR or JNG-MIL/MOA reticle.

Bottom line, is the extra $100 worth it?

Thanks,
P.B.Walsh

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slowr1der
May 12, 2010, 11:52 PM
I think there are way better choices out there than both of those. Check out the Vortex lineup as well as the higher end Bushnell Elites or even the higher end Burris's. Another thing to consider is the SWFA Super Sniper line is supposed to be coming out with a smaller scope in the near future. I want to say it's a 1-4 power if memory serves me correctly but I may be off on that. I'd check into it too if you can wait until it does come out.

Either of the Leupold's should be pretty decent I just think there are other choices that are better.

.378 Wby
May 13, 2010, 12:21 AM
What are you going to put it on, and what are you going to use it for?

I have a Leupold VX III in about 30mm and 1.5x to I think about 6x -- heavy duplex reticle. It's on a Ruger No. 1 in 45/70 Govt. For dense woods and Roosevelt elk.

20 mm objective is pretty "dark" -- I can't see paying a lot for a 1 - 4x 20mm unless you're doing some sort of hard-core lightweight boonie insertion in rugged terrain, where weight is crucial.

The only difference I see between the VX II and the VX III is that the latter has detents in the adjust knobs. I think too that they're 1 MOA rather than 2 MOA, so a finer adjust.

I have 5 Leupolds. Fixed 4x, couple 3 - 9x 40mm VX II, VX III, and a Mark 4. I'm pretty bias. It's a local cult product, and considered top of the line. Customer Service is excellent. Leupold will replace any of their scopes, even if you dig it up out of the pasture while you're plowing. No questions asked.

I've come to view the Leupold as a classic design and see everything else as sort of clunky -- or over priced.

That said, the "standard" scope for most hunting is 3 - 9x 40mm. The Leupold VX II in that config was running $229 new, the other day in the shop.

So, what are you going to use it for?

bpl
May 13, 2010, 12:51 AM
What sort of rifle and hunting conditions will you be using this scope for? I expect rather short distances since you are looking at 1-4x and 1.5-5x scopes. I have no experience with these particular scopes, but I do have several VXIIs in 2-7x, 3-9x and the 3-9x ultralight as well as VXIIIs in 2.5-8x and 3.5-10x. The VXIII is a bit better in low light conditions than the VXII, although both are pretty good. I'd want a larger objective for dawn/dusk hunting than 20mm. For deer hunting in the woods and for shorter open distances, I like the VXII in 2-7x and the VXIII in 2.5-8x. If you have the $$$, the VXIII 2.5-8x36mm scope is my current favorite for a deer rifle set up for short to medium range, by which I mean 0-300yards or so.

Gordon
May 13, 2010, 01:47 AM
Hmmmm. AR use is different from bolt gun use because of the defensive issue. You DON't want a turkey plex . What you want is a Red Dot that is bright enough for day use at 1x. Personally I don't want mildots and such in a 1-4x AR scope.
The Millet 1-4 MIGHT work for you in that price range. The new Nikon .223 scope looks real good for less than $300 and the optics are as bright as an Trigicon or Meopta for $7-8 hundred, but lack illumination as do the Leupold and Weaver Tactical .
That said the 1.75-6x VariX 3 with heavy duplex is a VERY good hunting scope, I took 2 to Africa a couple years ago and have been using them since the 80s as I can't afford the same scope by the high buck German makers which are for sure the best to be had.

USSR
May 13, 2010, 07:30 AM
The VX-II is 1950's technology (2 piece tube) with slightly improved lense coatings. Spend the extra $100 and get the better 40 year old technology of the VX-3. As much as I like Leupold's (have several), they have been resting on their laurels and living off their brand name for many years now.

Don

JohnBT
May 13, 2010, 08:48 AM
So you're claiming Leupold has not improved their best lens coatings in 40 years? That's what it sounds like and it's not true. Have you even looked through a VX-3 recently?

P.B.Walsh
May 13, 2010, 08:55 AM
This will go on a 16.5" barreled Remington 700 mainly for hunting under 300 yards.

I would love to have the new SS 1-4, but I've read on www.snipershide.com that it'll be around $750, and I'd like to stay under $500.

Gordon, this is what I was looking for, what was te problem with the Turkey Plex?

I am also considering the Nikon African 1-4 for $300, if anyone can comment on that.

Thanks,
P.B.Walsh

farscott
May 13, 2010, 09:22 AM
I have the 1.5-5x20 VX-III mounted on a Ruger Frontier in .308, so my situation is close to the OPs. I like the VX-III scope on this rifle, and I thought it was well worth the $360 I paid on closeout, complete with lens covers, when the VX-3 was introduced. Good compromise of exit pupil and weight for this light rifle. The scope spends most of its time set on 4X, so the 20mm objective has an exit pupil of 5. That is good enough.

The new VX-3 has better lens coatings than my VX-III, so that would be an improvement. I would spring for the 4X FX-II if I had to do it again. Nice thing about the low-power variables is you can get into the higher series for a lot less money than the 3-9X in the same series. Also true for the fixed powers and I almost opted for a fixed 4X on the Frontier. The only reason I did not is that the VX-III was less than the 4X FX-II when the scope covers were added as they were a freebie for taking the closeout VX-III.

I like Leupold scopes because the company stands behind them. They also work well enough for me. My eyes are not good enough to take advantage of the better scopes from Kahles, Swarovski, Zeiss, et al.

Kingcreek
May 13, 2010, 09:33 AM
I'm a fan of both the lower power scopes and of the Leupold brand. How refreshing to see a thread where the OP isn't already convinced he needs atleast 4-14X and wants to cover every app from 25m to the horizon. Both of the mentioned scopes will serve you well out to 300 yards.

Uncle Mike
May 13, 2010, 10:21 AM
P.B., if your dead set on the Leupold brand, save the 100 bucks and get that 1-4X20 VXII, between the two, you will be hard pressed to tell ANY difference in usability.

The VX3 does have additional coatings on the exterior and has a coating that is said to be much better in curtailing light reflection on the inside of the objective lens, but like I said, you would have to know what to look for to tell any difference in actual use.

The 'larger' the objective, the better off you will be, it's really simple math over opinion in this arena, but you do what you think is best. The 20mm objective is smallish, comparatively, and will go dark way before, say a 25mm or better yet a 32mm or 35mm objective will.

Vortex has a 1.75-5X32mm that is of less cost, I think in the $200 range retail.
And then there is the Vortex 1-4X25mm Viper PST with its lighted, Luke Skywalker type retical(s) for the low low price of $500 Retail. Yikes! lol

The Viper 2-7X32mm has several different reticals to choose from and is around $280 Retail...I bet you can't tell the difference between 1X and 2X from the treestand at 7 in the mourning! lol

Probably one of the best sellers, in the 'low power' end of the scope market for us has been the Leupold VX3 1.75-6X32mm unit, and the Weaver Grandslam 1-5X33mm. That little bit of extra objective lens size really 'shines' in low light!

While we don't move many of the VXII's any more, the VXII 2-7X33mm would be just as good as the VX3 in this application and this unit costs less.

And don't overlook the Burris 2-7X35mm Fullfield II...while Burris quality has suffered as of late, the $200ish price tag for what you get with this particular scope, ain't all that bad!

The Weaver Grandslam 1.5-5X32 is an excellent scope, and should be had for around the $300 mark! Try on the Weaver GS 1.5-5X32, I bet you like it!

longdayjake
May 13, 2010, 10:29 AM
I voted for the vx-II. Simply because you are not looking at enough magnification for it to really make a difference. I absolutely love my vx-III but I need it for long distance work and I was willing to pay the extra bucks so that I could clearly see way out there.

USSR
May 13, 2010, 10:38 AM
So you're claiming Leupold has not improved their best lens coatings in 40 years?

Nope, I stated that the lense coatings were "slightly improved". But the basic design of the scopes go back many, many decades. Also, I stated that I have several Leupolds and like them a lot, but there are several other optic companies out there that are doing more R&D and bringing out more current technology optics at more reasonable prices. Just calling a spade a spade.

Don

Fumbler
May 13, 2010, 10:40 AM
The new VX-3 has better lens coatings than my VX-III, so that would be an improvement

Lets not get confused.

Just so everyone's on the same page, there's the old Vari-X line of scopes and the newer VX named scopes.
The old Vari-X III is equivalent to the new VX-II, the old Vari-X II is equivalent to the new VX-I, etc.
The newer VX-3 is a higher quality scope than the old Vari-X III.

Leupold basically bumped all their old scopes down one notch when the VX-3 came out.

IMO the VX-II would work just fine, but I don't have as much money as many other people. The VX-3 is definitely better, but not worth $100 more to me.

I used to hate Leupold simply because everyone around me thinks they're the best but no one could tell me exactly why they were good.
There are other cheaper alternatives, some with even more features.
However IMO Leupold still cuts the best glass unless you go for high dollar stuff. Center to edge distortion on a $200 Leupold is better than a $400 Bushnell Elite.
I'll take good center to edge distortion, decent coatings, coarse but solid wind/elev adjustments, and the Leupold warranty over crappy glass with 100 coatings and 1/8" click adjustments any day.

P.B.Walsh
May 13, 2010, 11:14 AM
What kind of customer service does Weaver and Vortex have?

The Weaver 1-5x24mm looks a bit more promising, and the Vortex mentioned looks good also, but I hate the look of a 1-4 with a 32mm oblective, it just looks plain weird to me.

I just really like the fact that I can get M1 turrets from the Leupold custom shop, I know ya'll are going to hate on me for this, but I like that availibility to use my turrets if it's neccesary. This might be the one thing that is pushing me towards Leupold, can Weaver or Vortex do this?

Thanks, this is a great help to me,
P.B.Walsh

Maverick223
May 13, 2010, 12:17 PM
IMO there is a world of difference in the quality from a VX-II to VX-3, but both are overpriced IMO. I would strongly look into the Sightron S-II Big Sky, Vortex Viper unless you absolutely have to have a Leupold.

:)

USSR
May 13, 2010, 12:54 PM
The old Vari-X III is equivalent to the new VX-II, the old Vari-X II is equivalent to the new VX-I, etc.

Nope. The VX-3 is nothing more than the Vari-X III with better lense coatings and dual erector springs. The VX-2 is the old Vari-X II with better lense coatings (both sides of lenses now, I believe), and click adjustments. The VX-I is the old Vari-X II essentially without improvements. Construction-wise, the VX-I and VX-2 use the same 2-piece contruction of the original Vari-X II, while the VX-3 uses the same 1-piece construction of the original Vari-X III. No new scope development, aside from improved lense coatings and adding the additional lense erector spring used in the MK-4 scopes to the VX-3, in the past 40 years.

Don

JohnBT
May 13, 2010, 01:52 PM
"Nope, I stated that the lense coatings were "slightly improved". "

Here is what you wrote. You did not mention the coatings on the VX-3, only that the technology was 40 years old - which I disagree with because it's not true.

"The VX-II is 1950's technology (2 piece tube) with slightly improved lense coatings. Spend the extra $100 and get the better 40 year old technology of the VX-3."

USSR
May 13, 2010, 02:44 PM
JohnBT,

So, you're saying that the Vari-X III, which has been rebranded with some embellishments as the VX-3, is not a 40 year old design? Sorry, but the Vari-X III has been around since the 1970's.

Don

Maverick223
May 13, 2010, 02:55 PM
I have to agree with USSR, not much has changed with Leupold (save for coatings which make a big difference) with the exception of their value relative to other manufacturers in the optics market. The high end Leupolds are good, but just not worth the money IMO (though I do own one). The low end Leupolds (sub VX-3 models) suffer from poor quality glass/coatings, therefore I find those to be an even worse value. The one good thing that I can say about Leupy is they exhibit exceptional CS throughout their line.

:)

jmr40
May 13, 2010, 02:57 PM
On a hunting rifle ANY of the Leupolds are a good choice. Why fix it if it ain't broke. There are other choices in the same price range that do have clearer glass. But the Leupolds as a rule are lighter, smaller, tougher, and have much better eye relief. These are qualities that are more important than a slightly clearer lense on a hunting rifle. Any of them are good enough for hunting well beyond legal shooting light. Kinda like arguing that your car is better than mine because it will do 130 mph and mine will only do 110. While we are driving on a road with a 70mph speed limit.

All Leupolds have been upgraded recently. The new VX-3's are pretty good now compared to the older Vari-xIII's, which are good enough. The VX-2 will probably have glass just as good as the older Vari-x line. Which was the gold standard for years.

But if it were me, I'd just go with the 2-7 in the VX-2 or the 2.5-8 in the VX-3. With any scope you do lose some light with the 20mm objective. The variables starting at 2X are just as fast to use as the 1.5-4's and offer a little more light because of the 33-36mm objectives.

Uncle Mike
May 13, 2010, 06:19 PM
Get the Weaver...be happy! Save MONEY! Be happier! Shoot more!

P.B.Walsh
May 13, 2010, 06:30 PM
http://swfa.com/Weaver-15-6x24-Super-Slam-30mm-Rifle-Scope-P40570.aspx

I would be saving a few going with this over a VX-3 with M1 windage an elevation turrets!

What about the Weaver customer service?

This scope looks like everything that I want, but does anyone know the thickness of the reticle in the center?

Thanks,
P.B.Walsh

Uncle Mike
May 13, 2010, 06:53 PM
Weaver Customer service is good, as far as dealing with dealers, they should be just as good with the public.
As for the 'thickness' of the reticle...you'll have to call Weaver.

That particular model p/n 800375 has been discontinued, so if your fancy is the German 3P#4 reticle you'll have to get it from whomever has one left, like swfa! lol

The new model 'Dangerous Game' 1-5X24 p/n 849352 only comes with the Duel-X reticle.

Look around for a little better price!!

bpl
May 13, 2010, 07:18 PM
On a hunting rifle ANY of the Leupolds are a good choice. Why fix it if it ain't broke. There are other choices in the same price range that do have clearer glass. But the Leupolds as a rule are lighter, smaller, tougher, and have much better eye relief. These are qualities that are more important than a slightly clearer lense on a hunting rifle. Any of them are good enough for hunting well beyond legal shooting light.

My thoughts exactly!

P.B.Walsh
May 13, 2010, 07:43 PM
Hmm, no wonder I could not find any info on the Weaver scope that I listed....

I like it a bit better because of the 24mm vs. 20mm and illumination.

USSR
May 13, 2010, 07:50 PM
Yep, Leupold's customer service is 2nd to none. And please don't think I'm trashing them, as I really like them. I would just like to see them get off their arse and develop something really new and ground breaking.

Don

JAV8000
May 13, 2010, 08:00 PM
This is the very question I was asking myself today! When I visited their website, it said somthing about a twin bias spring lense mounting system on the VX3 that is superior in strength to, I would imagine, their VX2 line. Anybody know anything about this?

Uncle Mike
May 13, 2010, 08:11 PM
twin bias spring lense mounting system on the VX3 that is superior in strength to, I would imagine, their VX2 line. Anybody know anything about this?

Yea, two springs on the erector instead of just one, ground breaking, not!

Most of the better scopes nowadays utilize two 'coil' springs or Titanium flat bias springs.

That Weaver Grandslam I mentioned earlier has two flat springs in it, as does some of the lower end Burris stuff, shucks, Burris has been using coil type erector springs for a long time now.

Nothing wrong with the VX3's.

JAV8000
May 15, 2010, 08:42 PM
I decided to jump for the VX-iii today, can't wait to pick it up in a week!

Lloyd Smale
May 15, 2010, 09:16 PM
its cool these days to bash leupolds i guess. every time i see a post about them everyone comes to beat on them. Ive used them for 30 years and there the ONLY brand of scope i havent sent in for repair. They still make the scope others are measured by. Thats why about 90 percent of every dangerous game gun in the world has a leupold scope on it. You may not get fancy gimics and maybe a few of them in the same price range have a bit better glass or coatings but for a third of the price of the european scopes that do have better optics and are just as rugged you can get an american made product that appologizes to no one! Youll find most of the guys that badmouth them do so because they are to tight to buck up the price for a good scope so they justify it by claiming there 200 dollar jap glass is better.

Maverick223
May 15, 2010, 09:36 PM
Thats why about 90 percent of every dangerous game gun in the world has a leupold scope on it.Hardly, I have seen just as much if not more Euro glass in DG rifles than anything else. Especially lately it seems that most folks are using Swaro, Zeiss, Kahles, or Schmidt & Bender for rifles destined for the dark continent (excluding large DG=big bear in NA). That said, they do the job well and are available with a gloss finish (what led me to buy one), so I have a Leupold VX-3 on my .375H&H, and am satisfied with it.

Youll find most of the guys that badmouth them do so because they are to tight to buck up the price for a good scope so they justify it by claiming there 200 dollar jap glass is better.I disagree, there is a difference between "being cheap" and seeking a good value, besides where do you think Leupold glass comes from?..most of it Asia [gasp].

Here (http://www.chuckhawks.com/leupold_tour.htm) is a link with a little useful information (or propaganda depending upon how you view it) about the company.

:)

Lloyd Smale
May 15, 2010, 09:56 PM
Sorry maverick but in my experince 90 percent of the people buying scopes wouldnt know good glass or quality if it bit them on the nose. I call it like i see it on MY gun. theres nothing wrong with a 3200 bushnell or a nikon buckmaster for a couple hundred bucks if thats all you can afford but dont try telling me its a superior scope to a vx111 cause i just aint buying it. What torques me off is internet experts that bash leupolds and if there guns get out of the house twice a year to shoot a box of shells at the range there doing good. My scopes ride in trucks they ride in jeeps they ride on atvs and horses and are treated like tools. I got tired of one bragged on brand of scopes that starts with a B and ends in an S when i had the crosshairs fall out of three differnt scopes over a two year period. they werent dropped two road in vehicles and when i took them out to shoot them SURPRISE and a third fell apart on a 50 bmg. durability means the most to me and leupolds have been reliable for me.

Maverick223
May 15, 2010, 10:07 PM
theres nothing wrong with a 3200 bushnell or a nikon buckmaster for a couple hundred bucks if thats all you can afford but dont try telling me its a superior scope to a vx111 cause i just aint buying it.Well I can agree with that, but when compared to higher end (and more costly) models like the Bushnell Elite 4200 or Nikon Monarch, I can't see that much difference except in price. I won't say that Leupold is a bad scope, I just think there are better values out there. The only one that is a decent value is the VX-3. The above series afford little improvement at much greater cost, and the lesser series offer poor optical quality for the money IMO. I do have to say that all Leupys have a couple good features though. They tend to hold themselves together and have excellent customer service.

I got tired of one bragged on brand of scopes that starts with a B and ends in an S when i had the crosshairs fall out of three differnt scopes over a two year period...durability means the most to me and leupolds have been reliable for me.I am not a big fan of Burris, but I didn't realize that they had gotten that bad. Like I said Leupold products have a tendency to hold themselves together (and if not they will take care of it) in my experience, otherwise gloss finish or not, there wouldn't be one atop my DG rifle.

:)

Lloyd Smale
May 16, 2010, 08:08 AM
i totaly agree with you on the vxIII. There a great scope and you sure dont get twice the scope buying leupolds top end models for twice the money. If im going to step up to a scope that cost a grand or more it would no doubt be another swarovski. to me leupold also makes the most hidious scope on the market. that silly thing with the bend in it to allow it to be mounted lower.

Art Eatman
May 16, 2010, 08:31 AM
Actually, Lloyd, that oddball shape to that lens is practical, if what you need is more light. Otherwise, it's just another typical Leupold shape--which is generally sleeker than most others. Regardless of looks, it's a good solution to an admittedly-limited problem.

Maverick223
May 16, 2010, 10:09 AM
to me leupold also makes the most hidious scope on the market. that silly thing with the bend in it to allow it to be mounted lower.I don't particularly care for the looks of it either, but I think the design is brilliant. My problem with it is the exorbitant price tag. Can't see me ever using one unless I absolutely had to have more light, and couldn't get a cheekweld with a typical objective. I maintain the glass is the same on the VX-3 series and above (including the VX-L), at least according to what I have seen (though my experience is limited with high end Leupy).

:)

NWCP
May 16, 2010, 02:32 PM
I have an AR that I'm running with a Leupold VXII 2x7x33. It's fairly compact, light weight and gives me more magnification when shooting beyond 100 yards. With the 2x setting it is good for 25-50 yard snap shots.

shootr
May 17, 2010, 12:16 AM
While it's fashionable to bash Leupys, in my personal experience and for my use, there's no mid-$ range hunting scope better than the VXII or III. I prefer the III because of the clicks and additional coatings.

Leupys are rugged, hold their zero, have precise and repeatable adjustments and last forever. If you have a problem - there's a factory here in the U.S. that will fix it.

I've owned a lot of different scopes over the years and there's no other brand of scope I can say those five things about for anywhere near the price.

P.B.Walsh
May 17, 2010, 12:28 AM
I think that I have decided on the Leupold VX-II 1-4x20mm with the Duplex reticle. Sometime dowm the line I will send it back for M1 turrets when I can afford to.

Hopefully I can get it all done by July!!

Thanks to all,
P.B.Walsh

Lloyd Smale
May 17, 2010, 08:35 AM
overly large objectives are for the most part an overkill. I doubt if anyone could ever detect the differnce with human eyes in a 40mm scope and 50mm scope made with the same lenses and coatings unless the scope was set on something like 20x. I know my old tired eyes sure couldnt. Lens coatings and glass quality are what makes a scope clear and able to pick up lots of light not baseball bat sized objective lens.

Uncle Mike
May 17, 2010, 09:12 PM
overly large objectives are for the most part an overkill. I doubt if anyone could ever detect the differnce with human eyes in a 40mm scope and 50mm scope made with the same lenses and coatings unless the scope was set on something like 20x.


Oh brother!

Maverick223
May 17, 2010, 09:33 PM
I doubt if anyone could ever detect the differnce with human eyes in a 40mm scope and 50mm scope made with the same lenses and coatings unless the scope was set on something like 20x.I can tell a big difference, even for relatively low magnification. I have both small (20mm) and fairly large (56mm) objectives depending upon the usage, I wouldn't swap the two or put large/small on both, but both have their place for different applications IMO. The difference between a 40mm and a 50mm is a great deal more than a 20% increase (as some would be led to believe), more like a 55% increase in light transmission because of the much greater surface area.

:)

Lloyd Smale
May 18, 2010, 07:36 AM
its kind of funny even the scientist say its not possible. The human eye has about a 5mm pupil when young and it perfect conditions and the exit pupil of 9x scope with a 45mm objective is 5. so what that tells me is under perfect conditions (and where is that) the most objective you can possible use with a 9x scope is 45. You can also look at light transmition ratings on differnt scopes. I dont see swarovski claiming 96 percent light transmition on a 50mm scope and 90 on a 30. Light transmition is controled more by lense coatings and quality then lens size. If it werent a 3x9x50 tasco would outperform a 3x9x40 zeiss. the hands down best low light scope ive ever tried was swarovski. I think it was called a c6. It was a 30mm 1.7x10x42 and it put my leupolds nikons bushmasters and buris scopes to shame. Id love to have one but its a bit to expensive for me anymore.

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