By Dave Domin
Did you know that hunting big game with illuminated scopes is legal in all 50 states? Many hunters don’t. That is why Leupold introduced the VX-R line of riflescopes in 2011 for American hunters seeking a brighter, more functional scope designed for low light conditions. It didn’t take long for this optic to gain a global foothold, and its popularity on modern sporting rifles and bolt guns is increasing annually. As with all Leupold Gold Ring products, they are proudly built at Leupold & Steven’s state of the art facility in Beaverton, Oregon and are backed by the Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee.
VX-R riflescopes are packed with features beginning with the Quantum Optical System. Leupold optical engineers and scientists, mechanical engineers and product line managers have developed the optical system for Leupold’s newest riflescopes, which includes the VX-R. The Quantum Optical System is a new way of thinking about optical system design and is a significant leap forward in performance. Using the rugged foundation of the legendary Vari-X series and employing state-of-the-art optical and mechanical design software and manufacturing processes, this system delivers new levels of performance in every optical category. Lead free, ecologically friendly glass compositions are used throughout. The result is razor sharp imaging across the typical light conditions experienced on any hunt—from the bright daylight of varminting to the dawn and dusk hours when big whitetails are on the move. By repositioning optical elements, employing new coatings and importantly, leaving key, time-tested mechanical aspects of the Vari-X system untouched, significant performance gains have been achieved in many other areas as well. The Quantum Optical System has greatly enhanced light transmission, resolution and color fidelity—all while preserving the ease of use and nearly indestructible ruggedness that has been a hallmark of Leupold riflescopes for generations.
The VX-R incorporates Index Matched lenses with DiamondCoat in its 30mm, one piece maintube. A Leupold exclusive, the Index Matched Lens system has nearly perfected Leupold’s already impeccable light management. Beginning with edge blackened lenses, to reduce unwanted glare, Leupold engineers specify different coating materials for each lens surface in the riflescope, based on the lens’ index of refraction, placement and function, layering each coating to eliminate reflections and maximize light transmission. The result is unparalleled brightness and extremely sharp resolution across the entire visual field. The addition of DiamondCoat to the exterior lenses delivers the ultimate in abrasion resistance and light transmission. The result is a flawless sight picture over a lifetime of hard use. DiamondCoat has made a difference in battle; now it can make a difference where you hunt.
While many Leupold scopes are still filled with nitrogen to keep them waterproof, the VX-R line features Leupold’s exclusive, proprietary Argon/Krypton gas blend. Its advantages are two fold: it nearly eliminates the effects of thermal shock, and the Argon/Krypton molecules are significantly larger than nitrogen molecules, reducing the diffusion of gases sealed inside the scope even more than proven nitrogen technology already does. Leupold pioneered riflescope waterproofing, and now with Argon/Krypton they’re exceeding the standards that they themselves set.
The VX-R’s generous eyebox and fast focus eyepiece makes it faster and easier to get behind the riflescope and achieve a full, clear sight picture. Setting up for longer shots one will appreciate the flexibility it affords, and in close up big game or dangerous game situations the quick target acquisition will be a difference maker. At high power, the longer eye relief and more generous eyebox gives incredible head position latitude and an improved sight picture that fills the eyepiece completely. While the one-turn, non-locking eyepiece accommodates a wider spectrum of visual acuity, even in diminishing light. Near-sighted, far-sighted, or anywhere in between, adjusting the focus of the reticle is smooth, fast, and precise.
The VX-R introduced the world to Leupold’s FireDot Illumination System. Available reticles vary by model but include FireDot Duplex, FireDot Circle, Ballistic FireDot, FireDot LR Duplex, FireDot 4, FireDot Pig Plex, FireDot TMR and FireDot SPR. Once activated, the dot within the reticle illuminates with bright, sharp definition, while the rest of the reticle is non-illuminated. Sleek design with daylight-capable illumination; the Leupold VX-R’s patented 1-button design minimizes bulk, while allowing users to select between 8 intensity settings, including a low/high indicator. The readily available CR-2032 coin-cell battery produces remarkable run times, while the fiber optic light pipe eliminates the need for an eyepiece-based control module. This combination leads your eye naturally to the center aiming point and makes target acquisition quick, precise, and simple.
Finally, one of VX-R’s most important features is Leupold’s exclusive Motion Sensor Technology (MST). The reticle will automatically switch to “stand-by mode” after five minutes of inactivity, then reactivate whenever the rifle is moved. This eliminates the need for excess movement reaching for buttons, while extending battery life at the same time.
Select VX-R scopes are available with Leupold’s Custom Dial System or CDS. Unlike other systems that use generic ballistics information to generate equally generic drop data, the CDS uses the shooter’s unique ballistics and environmental conditions to calculate true custom drop values that are laser engraved onto the dial. The first step in getting this done is to determine the best load for the rifle. Since no two guns will shoot the same load identically, it is important to get the most accurate ballistic data possible. Since the CDS system will be as accurate as the information the shooter supplies to Leupold, loads should be chronographed and the elevation and temperature, +/- 2000 feet and +/- 20 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, should match the intended use area. Leupold will need the following data: cartridge, bullet type, bullet weight, ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity, average altitude, average temperature and sight height. The CDS will have a 100 or 200 yard zero in most cases (determined by the customer), then read in 50 yard increments out to the maximum yardage that can be reached in 14.5 minutes of angle (MOA). The CDS dial itself is a one turn dial with a built-in zero stop. This allows the shooter to come back to zero without looking or counting clicks. For non-calibrated ammunition, all CDS-equipped riflescopes come with a ¼-MOA elevation dial. Each CDS equipped VX-R riflescope includes one free custom dial, available through the Leupold Custom Shop.
From August 1, 2015 through September 15, 2015, Leupold is teaming with Sportsman’s Warehouse and giving away a free set of Alumina Flip-Back lens covers with the purchase of any VX-R riflescope. Designed for Leupold scopes built after 2003, Alumina Flip-Back lens covers feature powerful neodymium magnets to hold them securely closed and the triple O-ring seals provide maximum protection from the elements. Constructed out of durable 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum, they are precisely machined to allow for quick and easy operation, and a low-profile position, when open, make these Flip-Back lens covers stand above the rest. The round objective and ocular models can be rotated so they can open in any direction. For more details about this offer, stop by your local Sportsman’s Warehouse or visit Leupold.com/rewards today.