The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 6, 2013, 08:36 PM   #1
rc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 609
How do Leupold Optics Hold Zero?

I just got a used mid 90s Ruger with a Vari X II on top. It is my first Leupold scope. It does not have "click" adjustments like cheaper scopes that I have had including Bushnell Elite 3200 and Nikon Prostaff scopes. Can someone explain to me how the leupold scopes hold zero when I can't feel clicks. It feels like a very stiff friction system to me.
rc is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 09:11 PM   #2
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,431
The friction turrets hold zero just fine, but can be a bit of a pain to set your zero since the adjustments aren't as exact as clicks. The friction rings hold the zero from changing under recoil. Leupold will upgrade the scope to finger adjustable turrets for a fee.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 01:09 AM   #3
rc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 609
taylorce1, are you saying Leupold will upgrade to click adjustments? I'm surprised this high end scope does not have precise click adjustments as it was originally created. AS long as it holds zero, it seems to be a nice scope. I like the non rotating adjustable objective and eye piece. Works well with flip up caps and still has AO.
rc is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 01:33 AM   #4
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 11,431
Leupold Vari-X-IIs are great scopes, hold zero just fine, and have a lifetime warranty that will blow your mind if you ever have to use it. I had a customer once who dropped his rifle off a rim rock in NV while hunting, literally bent the scope tube. Leupold fixed it for free. You will hear stories of Leupolds damaged due to neglect that were still repaired for a very small fee or for free.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 04:36 AM   #5
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,431
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc
taylorce1, are you saying Leupold will upgrade to click adjustments? I'm surprised this high end scope does not have precise click adjustments as it was originally created. AS long as it holds zero, it seems to be a nice scope. I like the non rotating adjustable objective and eye piece. Works well with flip up caps and still has AO.
First off you have to realize the Vari-X II was Leupold's premier rifle scope nearly 30+ years ago and was basically discontinued in 2001. In the 90's the premier Leupold riflescope was the Vari-X III. Since 2001 then you have had 2 generations of improvement in the last 12 years. You had the VX-II which had click adjustments done with coin slots and for the most part all Vari-X III technology. Now you have the VX2 and it has finger adjustable turrets, and the optics and internals are all VX-III technology.

Yes the Leupold custom shop will upgrade your scope to click adjustments for a fee. You might only be able to add a M1 dial which isn't low profile but you can have click adjustments on your Vari-X II scope. However it probably isn't really worth the money to do the upgrade as the friction adjustments work just fine.

Quote:
Leupold FAQ Riflescopes and Reticles #3.

With all of the recent changes, it can be difficult to know exactly how each product will perform. Every scope Leupold produces, including the Rifleman, is fully coated (all lenses, internal and external, are coated) and utilizes glass, coatings, and optical systems of equal or better quality than the discontinued Vari-X II’s of the past. Decreased cost associated with the Rifleman line is due to increased efficiency in our production process, not from reduced quality.

To make things easier, a brief summary of our current scope lines has been compiled including the most prominent features belonging to each.

It is important to note that every lens (internal and external) in every Leupold scope is coated, but the type of coatings will vary. Fully multicoated” indicates that each lens in an optical system is coated with multiple layers of lens coating, such as Multicoat 4. “Fully coated” indicates that each lens is coated with a single lens coating; Leupold uses magnesium fluoride. “Standard multicoated” scopes have a combination of coated lenses and multicoated lenses.

VX-II
•The VX-II line (2003 and older) uses a combination of Vari-X III and Vari-X II (discontinued) technology. VX-II’s also utilize ?-MOA click adjustments, but the lens coatings are unique. The external lenses are coated with Multicoat 4 and the internal lenses are coated with magnesium fluoride.
•Beginning in 2004, the VX-II line is fully multicoated and will perform comparably to the discontinued Vari-X III line.

VX-I
•The VX-I also utilizes a combination of Vari-X III and Vari-X II technology, utilizing ?-MOA friction (non-clicking) adjustments. The external lenses are multicoated and the internal lenses use magnesium fluoride.

Rifleman
•Though the Rifleman line of scopes uses a different maintube (for aesthetic reasons), it is optically the same as the Vari-X II (discontinued for 2001). The adjustments are exactly the same as the Vari-X II (?-MOA friction) as are the lenses and coatings. All lenses, internal and external, are coated with magnesium fluoride. Basically, the Rifleman is a newer-looking matte finish version of the Vari-X II that helped build the Leupold reputation. It is important to note that Custom Shop options (reticle changes, target adjustment installation, etc.) are not available for the Rifleman line of scopes.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 06:47 AM   #6
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,891
A VX-II is at least 7-8 years old, maybe close to 40. There is a SN on the scope and you can date it here.

http://www.leupold.com/resources/faqs/

You'll have to scroll down near the bottom of the page.

Leupold uses a system for naming their scopes that is a bit confusing in my opinion. And the FAQ section on their website needs to be updated. it hasn't been changed in years even though their scopes have gone though several upgrades.

Leupolds top of the line variable scopes were originally the Varix-III. Even early versions of those made in the 1970's had friction adjustments The Varix-II was their mid-level scope and the Varix-I the budget scope.

Several years ago they upgraded their entire lineup and gave them a very subtle name change

VX-III
VX-II
VX-I

More recent upgrades brought about the

VX-3
VX-2
VX-1
Rifleman.

The Rifleman is essentially a VX-1 with no possibilities for adding options such as turrets, different reticles, finishes etc.

Starting in January of 2012 Leupold once again upgraded their scopes without changing their names. The VX-3 was improved. Todays VX-2 is the same scope as a 2011 or older VX-3 including changing to click djustments. A new VX-1 is the same scope as a 2011 made VX-2. The Rifleman was unchanged.

Since these improvents the VX-1 (about $200) and VX-2 (about $300) are probably the best value in a scope. Buying a VX-2 today gets you the same scope that would have cost you over $400 two years ago.

Your Varix-II is still a good scope. It is as tough as woodpecker lips and will probably last for many more years. But it is several generations older than newer scopes and will not be in the same league optically as newer scopes. Rubber seals will eventully wear out and could fail on a scope that old. The good news is that Leupold will still fix it for free. I have several older Varix-III's made in the 1970's that I still use. They are not quite as sharp as newer scopes, but I trust they will work.
jmr40 is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 07:42 AM   #7
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,458
For sure the old Vari-X II scopes are reliable. "Woodpecker lips" is quite accurate.

I found that in adjusting during sight-in that if I needed to go, say, four marks, I'd go six, go back three, and then "ooch" the last bit of adjustment. Then lightly tap the scope with a screwdriver handle. No idea why, but it worked. Since it worked, I never worried about it. My deal with any hunting scope is to set it and forget it.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 08:19 AM   #8
Major Dave (retired)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2008
Location: Between Dallas and Shreveport, LA
Posts: 552
I dropped a Vari-X III...

from about waist high, onto the concrete floor of my garage. I had just bought it, used, from a local gun shop, and had not yet mounted it on a rifle.

As a precaution, I sent it in to Leupold for inspection, and they found no damage, at all. All lenses, all parts of internal mechanisms, totally functional! No repairs needed. I paid only for shipping costs, both ways.

"Tough as woodpecker lips", for sure.

That scope was new in 1994. I put it on a Win M70 Short Action Carbine chambered for .243 Win. It has held zero perfectly for the 5 years I have had it.
__________________
Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be but a vulgar brawl.

Last edited by Major Dave (retired); May 7, 2013 at 08:28 AM.
Major Dave (retired) is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 08:33 AM   #9
TX Hunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2010
Location: East Texas USA
Posts: 1,776
Last Deer Season, I slipped getting out of My Deer Stand and fell, my Muzzle Loader hit the ground hard. The Leupold Ultimate Slam Scope thats mounted on it held Its zero. I just had the breath knocked out of me and was ok as well. I love Leupold !!!
TX Hunter is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 08:39 AM   #10
PetahW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 4,679
.

Since Leupold's have long been the Gold Standard in US-made scope sights, I'd be the last person to question their quality, or ability to maintain a zero.

I've own only eight (8) different Leupolds, starting in the late -70's, and have yet to have issue one, with any of them in over 35 years of shooting & hunting with them.


.
PetahW is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 09:04 AM   #11
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,707
Leupold's scopes have been much like many others; some are good, others less so.

Some years ago, the US Olympic Rifle Team's manager asked me to put some Leupold scopes on my collimator to check their zero holding abilities when the power was zoomed throughout its range. All three had about a 1/3 to 2/3 MOA figure 8 loops their reticule made around the collimator's reference reticule. This is a mechanical fit slop with the erector tube's lens barrels in the zoom camming mechanics moving them back and forth as the power's changed.

Then those scopes were tested for reticule repeatability from recoil. One had less than 1/8 MOA slop but the other two had about 1/3 MOA. The shock of recoil made their ajdustments bounce around and not go back to the same position after each smack of a rubber mallet on the collimator holding the scopes.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 09:28 AM   #12
cvc944
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2013
Location: Lenhartsville, PA
Posts: 164
rc,

I have a total of 34 Leupolds, 17 of them being the old Vari-X II scopes. These older variables range in age of 12 to 37 years old. All of them have performed well for me as hunting scopes. They hold zero and maintain POI through the power ranges beautifully in my experience. If anything would go wrong with one, and it hasn't happened yet, Leupold will fix it for free. I think you will be happy with your new addition.
cvc944 is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 09:52 AM   #13
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,707
Regarding rifle scope quality, the only really good test I know of that those typically used in competition went through was back in the 1980's. John Unertl (owner of Unertl) got a couple of each and mounted them on a .308 Win. match rifle to shoot some test groups. The best of them would shoot the test ammo into about 1/2 MOA at 600 yards. Some about 3/4 MOA and a few about 1 MOA.

Then all of them were mounted on an M1A and 100 shots were fired under each one. The shock of normal recoil plus the shock of the semiauto's bolt going back into battery was considered a good test on their mechanics.

All the scopes went back on the match rifle and test groups were fired. None of the variables shot as accurate as they did when first tested; two Leupolds shot about 2/3 MOA. Two fixed power Leupolds held up very well and shot almost 1/2 MOA test groups. The only scopes that shot the same test group sizes they did before the shock tests were Weavers; a T16 and a T20.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 04:15 PM   #14
45_auto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2011
Location: Southern Louisiana
Posts: 588
I just talked to Leupold about upgrading an older Vari X II last week. Give them the serial number, they'll look it up and see if it can be upgraded.

If your Vari X II was made before 1991 it CANNOT be upgraded to click adjustments. If it was made after 1991, it can be upgraded for about $80.

Mine was made in 1987, looks like I'll have to live with the friction adjustments.
45_auto is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 10:10 PM   #15
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,723
Quote:
Then lightly tap the scope with a screwdriver handle
I've been using that trick for years. It helps to settle the reticle in. I found that if I don't do that, the first shot will settle the reticle and the subsequent shots will be to a slightly different POI.
Doyle is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 10:44 PM   #16
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,326
holding

Those friction fit adjustments will hold just fine.
bamaranger is offline  
Old May 8, 2013, 06:43 AM   #17
TX Hunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2010
Location: East Texas USA
Posts: 1,776
I second what Bamaranger said, My Daughtor has a Redfield Revoloution made by Leupold with the friction adjustments and It holds zero just fine.
TX Hunter is offline  
Old May 10, 2013, 09:59 AM   #18
pbcaster45
Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2010
Posts: 82
Bart, I just put a Leupold on my M1A! Is it doomed?

pbcaster45 is offline  
Old May 10, 2013, 01:32 PM   #19
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,707
How would I know?
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 10, 2013, 02:22 PM   #20
pbcaster45
Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2010
Posts: 82
LOL! You got me there Bart!
pbcaster45 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12061 seconds with 7 queries