By Dave Domin
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you should know that tactical style weapon systems have been all the rage lately. Like them or not, they have entrenched themselves in the hunting and shooting community and will not be going away anytime soon. Tactical style weapons go by many names; black guns, modern sporting rifles, AR’s, precision rifles, long guns, and sniper rifles. Call them what you will but most of us will agree, regardless of what we call them, they will all perform better with a quality scope installed. But what kind of scope? A tactical scope of course.
Tactical scopes have been around for decades and during that time they have undergone drastic changes in functionality and durability. These changes came at a price. Can you guess what that is? You guessed it, price. Sometimes a few thousand dollars or more. That is why Leupold developed the Mark AR MOD 1 line of riflescopes. A scope line that delivers tactical functionality and durability at a price that won’t have you dipping in to that home equity line of credit.
Leupold’s Mark AR MOD 1 line of riflescopes offer four magnification ranges. The 1.5-4×20 and 3-9×40 options are ideal for close to mid-range scenarios that require rapid target acquisition and the 4-12×40 AO (Adjustable Objective) and 6-18×40 AO are perfect for long range target identification and shot placement precision. This is the reason that they were awarded the 2015 Golden Bullseye Award for Optic of the Year by NRA’s Shooting Illustrated.
The features of the Mark AR MOD 1 are plentiful and we will cover them for the remainder of this article. So, let’s begin.
First off, glass. This seems to be the driving factor when making a riflescope decision. With Leupold’s history of making quality shooting optics, offering the highest light transmission, clarity and resolution in the industry, this should be a no brainer. The Mark AR line of riflescopes feature the exclusive Multicoat 4 lens coatings. These coatings will direct more light to your eye, and minimize reflections on the outer eyepiece, making the most out of the available light, so you can make the most out of your shot.
Reticles – there are five to choose from, depending on the scope model. They consist of three non-illuminated versions, the Duplex, Fine Duplex, and Mil Dot, and two illuminated versions, the FireDot-G SPR, and FireDot-G TMR.
Since I mentioned illuminated reticles, let’s discuss. The Mark AR MOD 1 features Leupold’s proprietary FireDot illumination system in green, which is what the “G” stands for. This is a special daylight bright, push button, illumination system that offers six intensity settings and Motion Sensor Technology (MST). MST you ask? This technology automatically deactivates the illumination after five minutes of inactivity, yet reactivates instantly as soon as any motion is detected. This feature extends battery life of the CR2032 battery, so the Mark AR MOD 1 is ready when you need it. Pressing and holding the illumination button for 3 seconds will turn the power off, for those times when you won’t get to shooting for a while.
All Mark AR MOD 1 riflescopes feature the 0.1 mil P5 dial system with Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC). This system ensures that you will get tactile, audible, and repeatable adjustments for both windage and elevation ideal for your .223/5.56 cartridge.
You say you don’t shoot a .223/5.56? No problem. The Leupold Custom Shop can make you a new BDC dial for any cartridge you desire. 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 BDC dial will be as accurate as the information the shooter supplies to Leupold, loads should be chronographed and the elevation and temperature, +/- 2,000 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 dials 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 5.8 mils. The BDC 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.
Mark AR MOD 1 riflescopes are produced out of aircraft-grade aluminum and feature one piece, one inch maintubes for the utmost in structural integrity and ease of installation. The large power selector dial, with aggressive knurling, provides a sure grip in all weather conditions, with or without gloves.
While many Leupold scopes are still filled with nitrogen to keep them waterproof, the Mark AR MOD 1 line features Leupold’s exclusive, proprietary Argon/Krypton gas blend. Its advantages are twofold: 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. As with all Leupold Gold Ring Tactical products, the Mark AR MOD 1 is proudly built at Leupold & Steven’s state of the art facility in Beaverton, Oregon and are backed by the Leupold Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee.
So, the next time you are in the market for a tactical scope that gives you the options you demand, and you won’t have to mortgage the house for, stop by your local Sportsman’s Warehouse and ask to see the Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 riflescope series.