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Scoping a .223 bolt gun Vortex or Leupold?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by v8stang289, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. v8stang289

    v8stang289 Well-Known Member

    I know the "which scope" thing is played out a lot here but I haven't seen much info on the 2 scopes I'm considering.

    I'm shopping for a scope to go on a Rem 700 SPS Tactical in .223
    Main uses will be paper and steel within 400 yds and possibly out to 600 yds one day. The budget is $600 firm

    I currently have 2 options I'm considering.

    #1 Leupold VX-2 6-18x40 with target turrets

    #2 Vortex Viper HS tactical 5-15x44

    I realize I can get by with less magnification but I don't particularly want to.
    I like the side focus on the Viper compared to the front focus on the Leupold. Also the Leupold is a 1" tube and will allow me to use the rings I already have vs. the 30mm on the Vortex will require me to get new rings. The Leupold has 56 MOA of adjustment compared to the 75 MOA on the Vortex, but with the vast majority of shots being inside 400 yds I don't believe that will factor in.

    Both Manufacturers have an outstanding warranty and CS from what I understand.

    I have a VX2 in 3-9x40 and I like it very much, which is why I'm considering the Leupold in this case.

    Do any of you have experience with either of these scopes? Or is there any reason you would choose one over the other?

    Or should I be looking at something else entirely?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well O.K. then.

    But you really wouldn't be "getting by" with less power.

    What you would be getting is, able to see through it on a hot day at 600 yards without mirage making a shimmering mess out of the target at that range.

    Sometimes Less is More Better.

    But if you "don't particularly want too", then don't.
    It's your money!

  3. v8stang289

    v8stang289 Well-Known Member

    Haha, I hear you RC. Chances are the scope will stay toward the lower power levels most of the time. But i'd like to be able to turn it up if I want to. I don't think that 5 or 6 are too much power for the application.
  4. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

    i hate big objectives because they throw off the balance of the gun and make it less practical to store and carry. Higher magnification and smaller objective is win win. I am a huge Vortex fan but in this case I would say the Leupold is a better scope.
  5. Browning

    Browning Well-Known Member

    My vote would go to the Leupold.

    Vortex makes a pretty good product, but their clarity could improve a bit.

    Personally I'd go with a Nikon instead of both of them, but it wasn't an option in the OP.
  6. calapooia

    calapooia Member

    Leupold.Great service if you ever need it, made right here in Oregon.
  7. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    I've been less than impressed with any Leupold that I've looked through and the two Monarchs that I own are possibly two of my least favorite scopes in regular use on my rifles. That leaves the Vortex. I don't have a Viper HS but i do have a pair of Vipers and a Razor spotting scope. They are possibly as good as any scope I've owned, certainly better than the Monarchs maybe not as good as some of the more expensive tacticals or the Bushnell 6500 but those are also 2-5x more expensive. Their warranty and service are at least on par with Leupold as well.
  8. mjw930

    mjw930 Well-Known Member

    Look around for a 5-20 44mm side focus Nikon Monarch. Nikon discontinued them in preparation for a new model so they can be found for under $400. I scored one for $365 and put it on a Savage Model 12 .223 and its perfect. The combination of gun and glass makes me look like a better shot than I am, sub MOA @ 200 yards.
  9. Loc n Load

    Loc n Load Well-Known Member

    Optic choice

    I have no experience with the Vortex.....I have a lot of experience with the Leo's....was a precision rifle instructor / shooter for a couple of decades, and the "gold standard" for law enforcement for years was the Leopould.....they are great scopes.....and are good folks to deal with if you have any issues with the product.
  10. Loc n Load

    Loc n Load Well-Known Member


    Srri - didn't mean to mangle the spelling of Leupold in the post.
  11. slowr1der

    slowr1der Well-Known Member

    The Vortex would be my choice, but I personally would go for a Burris FFII 4.5-14x42 with tactical turrets if you wanted something reasonably priced. If you wanted to spend a bit more, I think the SWFA 5-20x50 is the way to go.

    That said, like you I'd not go with a smaller scope. If you do I think you will really regret it. I've read several of the opinions on this site of the guys who don't like higher powered optics, and I really think a lot of them are just trying to justify to themselves why their smaller powered optics are better when they aren't. I've owned both and think a 4.5-14 or 4-16, etc is just about perfect. The only time I think a smaller scope is a better bet is when weight matters. If the weight doesn't matter I'd definitely go for more power. Now, I think you can get too big. Obviously you wouldn't want a 8-32 scope on a gun you hunted running game with, but I have found with a 4x or 4.5x on the low end it generally is low enough that it works well hunting, but has a high enough power it does well on smaller varmints and the bench. Now, if I was going for a bench rest only gun I'd probably go for even more power, but this power range is a good all around scope. I honestly very very rarely if ever use my 3-9's below 4x and most of the time leave it set on 5x.

    I also find it funny how many guys I hear that say they love hunting with a fixed 4x, or a fixed 6x, but then claim that a 4-16x scope is way too much power and "unusable". You can still dial it down to those lower power ranges.
  12. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I have been very pleased with vortex quality and especially their CS. From what I have been reading of people who go compare leupold and vortex head to head tend to think vortex delivers more for less. That said, leupold has a large fan base for a reason.
  13. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    I've got a VX-3 4x14x40 on my CZ .22, a VX-R 4.5x14x40 on my AR (deer hunting) and a VX-III 6.5x20x40 on my Bushie Varminter and Ruger .22 Hornet. All are outstanding, but the newer series of Leupolds (VX-3 instead of VX-III) are significantly better than the old ones.

    I expect to shoot one hole groups. Now, a lot of times I'm disappointed, but you gotta have goals. You can't hit what you can't see, so I'm a fan of more magnification. If it's too much, dial it down. It's call variable for a reason.

    Never looked thru a Vortex. Leupold quality and CS are outstanding.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I have the Vortex in question and it is very very clear. A big step up from my Viper. I have no experience with that particular Leupold.
  15. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    The problem that I have with Leupold is they act like they're still the best thing going in the world of optics and charge accordingly. The fact is that they were content to get by on their, admittedly well earned though a long time ago now, reputation and didn't bother keeping up with the times and the market for a very long time. The result is that now, they're playing catch-up with many newer companies while still charging a premium price for what is essentially a middle of the road product. Forty years ago they were probably the best thing going for optics widely sold in the US and you got a superior product for the premium paid compared to other brands that were out at the time. Problem is that they're no longer on top. The market has progressed and for the same price as a Leupold, you can get a better scope; clearer optics, more features, more magnification, wider magnification range, for the same or less and in the case of Vortex, from a company whose customer and warranty service I would put at least on par with Leupold as well.
  16. v8stang289

    v8stang289 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the opinions. I'm still trying to figure out which way to go.

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