In recent years there has been a significant increase in interest when it comes to long-range shooting, and as a result we have seen manufacturers bring more and more product to market specifically geared towards that type of use. Leupold’s new line of VX-3i LRP (Long Range Precision) rifle scopes is one such line of products, and today we will be looking at one of the 8.5-25x50mm models from this new line.
The new VX-3i LRP series of scopes were designed to meet the needs of long-range shooters while also providing them with options to tailor the scope to their specific needs based on their personal preferences. Both first and second focal plane reticle options are available in both MIL and MOA variations with turret adjustments to match. Users can choose to run the windage turret capped or exposed, and they can also choose whether or not they want to make use of an extended throw lever on the magnification ring. The TMR (MIL) and TMOA reticles are fairly simple in design yet extremely effective without being overly busy or cluttered.
One of the bright points of the new VX-3i series of optics from Leupold is their new Twilight Max light management system. This system is designed to deliver finely balanced optical performance and to help keep hunters and shooters in the field longer. More than just light transmission, the Twilight Max light management system balances light across the entire visible spectrum leading to a brighter, crisper image. By balancing the available light across the entire spectrum the VX-3i allows for enhanced target acquisition, identification and shot placement in diminished light. The Twilight Max system also eliminates the washed-out image than can come from direct sunlight.
External lens surfaces are treated with Leupold’s DiamondCoat 2, an ion-assist lens coating that allows for greater light transmission while also providing exceptional abrasion resistance to the surface of the lens. Additionally, lens edges throughout the optic are painted black to reduce light diffusion to ensure more usable light gets to the users eye.
The VX-3i line of scopes utilizes Leupold’s new 2nd Generation Argon/Krypton Waterproofing system. This system uses a proprietary Argon/Krypton gas blend which nearly eliminates the effects of thermal shock and reduces the diffusion of gases sealed inside the scope even more than their proven nitrogen technology already does.
Additionally, all of the VX-3i scopes feature Leupold’s Twin Bias Spring Erector System which provides up to 30% more holding force to the erector assembly. This virtually eliminates erector system backlash and stress on the vital internal components of the scope.
This particular scope features a 30mm main tube to allow for additional elevation and windage adjustment range. The weight of the scope comes in at 22.4 ounces while the overall length measures 14.6 inches. Eye-relief is reported to range from 5.3 to 3.7 inches depending on magnification. Field-of-View at 100 yards is 11.2 to 4.4 feet respectively. The ocular bell is fitted with a fast-focus eye-piece with locking ring. The turrets provide five MIL of adjustment per rotation in .1 MIL increments. MSRP for this model is listed as $1,299.99, and the current online price is right at $1,000.
The turrets on the new LRP scopes have a couple of interesting features and will be the first thing we focus in on. On the elevation turret, Leupold has incorporated an adjustable zero stop as well as an integrated rotation indicator. The zero stop requires no shims or other special parts, just loosen the retention screws on the turret cap, dial it down until it stops and retighten the retention screws. The rotation indicator is timed to the turret cap and automatically resets itself when you set the zero stop. Some might see it as a little gimicky, but I like that it’s different than then typical hash marks printed on the side of the turret tower. It should prove to be more accurate than the hash marks as well given it’s timed to the turret cap.
Moving to the windage turret, Leupold permits the user to decide if they wanted a capped or exposed knob by allowing for both. Out of the box the turret wears a standard screw-on cap, but should you wish to run it as an open turret Leupold also includes a thread protector ring to go in place of the cap to ensure the threads don’t get messed up. As someone who prefers a capped windage turret I really like this solution, but some may not as the result is a smaller diameter windage knob than what is on the elevation turret.