Scopes - Leupold:
( For general comments and comparisons also look at Scope Choices )
Bach Melick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New Orleans, LA USA - Monday, November 30, 1998 at 14:30:16 (EST)
USA - Monday, November 30, 1998 at 17:35:39 (EST)
USA - Monday, November 30, 1998 at 23:18:52 (EST)
Sgt. Herbert <email@example.com>
Manti, Ut USA - Tuesday, December 01, 1998 at 12:59:25 (EST)
Bach Melick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New Orleans, LA USA - Tuesday, December 01, 1998 at 13:22:21 (EST)
Germany - Tuesday, December 01, 1998 at 15:15:21 (EST)
The advantage to the wire is that you do not get any reflection off of the flat reticle glass when it is hit with an laser anti-sniper optic detection device. The reticle is the only absolutley flat piece of glass in the scope which will do this. The other curved lenses defract it. Also a wire reticle might stay cleaner over the years. A glass reticle can gather dust spects and metal shavings etc (what ever is floating around inside of the scope)on it.
Having said all of that I prefer the round dots to the ovals. Reticles with .2 mil round dots can be easily broken down into tenths of a mil (.1) while the ovals (.25 mil) are broken down into eigths (.125). The math is easier with tenths and the breakdown is finer.
USA - Tuesday, December 01, 1998 at 15:26:14 (EST)
Scott - The military scopes all have the round laser reticles. It is only you poor civies stuck with the wire footballs, yuck!! Leupold made that decision, because they did not want to be directly associated with the killing of humans, (except when there is a hugh military contract involved!).
Fayetteville, NC USA - Tuesday, December 01, 1998 at 18:16:38 (EST)
Called Leupold and, after being passed around from one idiot to the
next, to find someone that understood what I was talking about (remember
the good ole' days when only shooters worked for shooting companies?)...
...I was told that the figure's for the BDC were given to them by the military, and since they sold 85 out a 100 of these to the military, that was what they went with. After some poking around in a ballistic program, it turns out that the "308M" dial is for the 175 Match King at 2700 fps... 100 fps faster than the stuff that Federal and others are selling to the public. And the dial is also in "meters". The "M" may be for "Military", or "Meters" (or both).
Another call to Leupold, this time higher up the ladder, and I found out that they made a short run of 50 dials for the 168@2600 load, and sent me one to evaluate. This one was marked "308Y"
It worked just fine... alla' way out to 1000 yards. It will also perfectly track the 155 Palma at 2670 fps alla' way out to 1000 yards.
About the MK4 Bases… they won't allow the M3 3.5x10 LR to track past
about 700-ish yards… there's not enough elevation. I replaced the bases
with Baer bases (from "Lightforce" for $65). The Baer bases are identical
with the MK4's in appearance, and quality… you can't tell them apart when
they are side by side… and the Baer bases will give you 25 MOA more elevation...
These bases put the LR back in the M3 3.5x10 LR, making it usable from 50 yards to about 1200 yards.
Leupold says they're going to make new dials available for the 168@2600 Match load in the Spring or early summer, if you have one of these puppies.
de Pablito (The Bandito)
Paul Coburn <email@example.com>
CT USA - Saturday, December 05, 1998 at 19:59:15 (EST)
USA - Sunday, December 06, 1998 at 12:47:45 (EST)
USA - Monday, December 07, 1998 at 15:23:25 (EST)
Bach Melick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New Orleans, LA USA - Monday, December 07, 1998 at 14:31:09 (EST)
USA - Monday, December 07, 1998 at 15:23:25 (EST)
USA - Thursday, December 17, 1998 at 18:28:51 (EST)
WA USA - Thursday, December 17, 1998 at 22:42:53 (EST)
The Badger base and rings are far superior to the Mk4 set. No comparison at all other thna general appearence.
I am told that the military didn't want a screw in sun shade (easily
lost in the field) so it doesn't look like the LR M3 will get a sun shade
next year. Write Leupold and beg. They do listen sometimes.
USA - Friday, December 18, 1998 at 14:39:27 (EST)
USA - Friday, December 18, 1998 at 16:57:13 (EST)
USA - Saturday, December 19, 1998 at 20:38:23 (EST)
OK, Scott, I'll pipe up. I don't respond to much on the site, mostly
direct e-mail, cuz, I'm a lousy writer, but I'll tell you my saga, and
what I know on the Leupold 3.5x10 M3-LR-SF.
I bought a Winchester M70 Custom Sharpshooter in 308 (the one with the Schneider BBL, and A2 McMillan stock). Bought the 3.5x10 M3-LR-SF, because I liked the fact that it had a BCD range dial like the MK4-M3, but also had moa grads on it. The little blurb says the dial tracks the 168 Match King at 2600 fps, the standard match/sniper load. My first day was a disaster... the gun shot itty-bitty groups at 100 yards, but the dial wouldn't go past about 700 yards. At 600 yards, I did nothing but kick up sand about 50 yards in front of the target (I heard several remarks about "Try pulling the trigger harder!")... all this after driving about 3 days to a 1000 yd. range in another state.
Back to the drawing board... A pair of Baer tilted bases solved the
first problem, and some time on the ballistics software (running the 168
at 2600) said that I needed more than a harder trigger squeeze... it just
wasn't going to happen.
I first called Sierra, and got an engineer. Gave him the com-ups on the Leupold dial, and he called me back and said "no way" that the 168 could not follow that track under any circumstances...
With that, I called Leupold, and got the idiots at the customer service line. I think that they hire new ones every week, cuz they didn't even understand the terminology, much less what I was talking about. Went up the ladder several levels, and was told that "...they were designed for the army, and... bla, bla".
I whipped off an e-mail with 3 pages of data, (also bitching about no threads for a sunshade)... and about week later, got a call from a very nice engineer type fella, who spoke "bullet"... we hit it off right away, and I got the following…
The 3.5x10 M3-LR-SF was "...designed at the request of the army, and had to meet the army design specs... the army stated NO THREADS for a sun shade! (so don't wait for next years model, it ain't coming!)... and the come-ups were given to Leupold by the army." He didn't know what load it was for, but he knew that it WASN'T the standard 168/2600... but the army has been shooting it for some time now and they were VERY happy. The army is taking more than 80% of the 3.5x10 M3-LR-SF's that are made.
Further conversation... It turns out that they made a short run of
50 dials that are marked "308Y", for the 168/2600 and after much negotiation
(read begging and pleading) I got on of the last about three weeks later.
(Leupold is going to make the "308Y" available this spring or summer).
With this information, I recalled that the new Tri-service sniper round replacing the M118 was the M118-LR, and was being loaded at Lake City Arsenal with the Sierra 175 Match King (in hand weighed cases!)... the first batches were loaded at 2580, but they were looking for a slower powder for more speed. Hmmm. Back to the ballistics program, and... Bingo! The 175 MK at 2670 to 2680 matches the "308M" come-ups exactly!
So I'll summarize...
3.5x10 M3-LR-SF was designed for the army, so once accepted, it won't change... and the army "don't want no sunshade!".
The supplied 308 BCD dial "308M" is for the new military tri-service sniper load, the M118-LR, And not for the 168/2600 Federal GM load.
For the Federal 168-GM load, wait for the "308Y" dial.
Don't look for Federal or White Feather to load the M118-LR load commercially, as it exceeds the SAAMI specs for civilian 308 sporting ammo, (and will beat the crap outa' your M14/M21).
The Federal and White Feather 175 gr. loads will be low with the "308M" dial.
It is easy to match the M118-LR load if you hand load... 4895 is a little too fast, but Varget, AA2520, and H380 will all make it at about 55,000 psi, an easy, no sweat load for any bolt gun with a 24" barrel (and it won't even dimple your primers).
The scope also won't track the old M118 load with the Full Patch 173 gr. load very well, but no loss, as Lake City, ain't makin' the stuff anymore.
...after all that, I made up new loads for the new 308Y dial, at
2635, and sighted in at 100 yards,
and when set at "6", it rang 9 out of 10 rounds at 600 yards on a 6" steel plate... it was "Plug and play"!
And a last note on BCD scopes in general.
I read many notes from obvious new-bee's on this site that think they can buy a rifle, a BCD scope, and a box of Federal GM, and Poof! They're an instant killer at 1000 yards. It ain't that easy.
I ran a chronograph test of Fed GM on four 308 rifles with standard barrels, and got a range of from 2580 to 2710 fps... with a BCD scope, only one of those rifles would hit a dinner plate at 350 yards, yet all were very "Match" grade rifles.
A long range (very long range) rifle is the culmination of a lot of work and practice, and whether you use a BCD scope, or a 1/4 minute scope, you ain't gonna' do it without some serious practice, and ammo that matches the gun...
24 degrees, too clod for me!, of mind USA - Saturday, December 19, 1998 at 23:25:43 (EST)
USA - Sunday, December 20, 1998 at 08:40:59 (EST)
Hmmm. Sent a Leupold 24X in for repair about 10 years ago. The sight clicks were approximately 3/8 moa per click. They sent the scope back with a new turret and (I think) complete new front end, which included an upgraded objective adjustment mechanism. My other 24X also has "big clicks", but was not correctable because it was a first generation scope (which is longer). I know the 24Xs have gone through at least 3 generations. The diameters of the front and rear tubes differ which led me to believe they are a multi-piece setup. Also, putting "my" scopes on V-blocks reveals they are not very straight either. This may or may not point to a threaded joint. I can find no strong evidence that my scopes tube are a one piece setup as the Mk series. Could be wrong though,…..maybe I'm interpreting the data wrong (smelled too much of the early variety of Hoppes). A call to one of the scope specialists will solve the mystery. I can do that Monday and let the list know the results. Fair enough?
I've been dead wrong before…that's for sure. The older I get, the more I question "my conclusions".
Because of the straightness issue, I like to bed scopes in epoxy rather than lap the rings. This solves a couple of problems at once. Only do this on the long range rifles, not the fun guns.
These scopes were purchased new so I know their checkered history.
Ron N. <email@example.com>
USA - Sunday, December 20, 1998 at 10:41:32 (EST)
Ron, I don't know the 24 or what vintage, but many years ago, Leuplod's
catalogues showed that their scopes were turned from a solid block, it
was one of their big braggin' points... and the oldest ones I own, my 10x
Silhouette, bought around 1975, and 1.5x5 bought in the late 60's are all
USA - Sunday, December 20, 1998 at 12:30:00 (EST)
Fellas, on the M3 and all other "BDC" turrets. THey are close but not exact. Remember, military snipers only require a hit to be succesful. As long as we are within 1 moa or so we will get that hit if we do everything else right (range estimation, windage etc.) THats why our scopes can have such adjustments (1 moa on the Leupolds and 1/2 moa on the USMC Unertl).
THis is the last time I will say this. If you want to drill the "X" ring then go with a scope with 1/4 moa adjustments or stick with target turrets on a Vari-X III tactical or Mk4 type scope. THese 1/4 moa adjustments will drive you nuts in tactical situations unless you train A LOT with them. It is too easy to be out 360 degrees on the turrets. I have seen it happen to a cop while attending the National Guard course.
If you have a purely tactical scope that will be used in Tactical situations, then you may want to go with the full MOA. Or maybe not.
Military types will stick to the full MOA. HOWEVER, a certain shooting buddy and gunsmith is looking at developing a scope which might fix this problem. I'll let you know if things work out.
USA - Sunday, December 20, 1998 at 17:45:40 (EST)
The LR M3 does not, I repeat, DOES NOT have a BDC turret. I'll say it again. It is not technically a BDC. You HAVE CONTROL over the turret on the LR M3. If the upper markings do not suit you, there is NO reason to use them! Ignor them and drive on! A true BDC is a cammed device that only gives you range at, say, 50 yard or 50 meter increments. With the LR M3 you can dial anywhere in between. You can put on 2 moa, 22 moa, or 46 moa. With a tapered base you can crank in a whopping 58 moa which gets you beyond 1200 yards with a 308 win. Who cares what the upper markings mean? They are only a masking tape R M3p away from matching YOUR ballistics. All this angst over the upper markings is missing the point.
What is the point? Nobody in their right mind EVER trusts a BDC! EVER. Talk to a marine. He'll tell you his rifle is set at 5 plus two clicks (or something like this) to get on at 500 meters. In otherwords, he had to figure out what the scope increments meant to HIS particular rifle. The same applies to this scope and any other you plan on using at long range. Fox Mulder says "trust no one". I say "trust NO BDC". This is why I loved the LR M3 turret so much. If you forget the markings on the upper scale, and stop worrying that they do not seem to match anything, you find that you have a ton of space to add your own dope! Why waste money on another turret that still will not match your rifle exactly when you can simply remark this provided turret to reflect your rifles performance?
And if that is to much trouble, just relate to the moa dial on the bottom of the scale. Learning the correct moa is a way better system of learning what your rifle will do than some idiot dial that TELLs you what it "should" do (but doesn't). As AL in NY would say: Capeeeesh?
USA - Sunday, December 20, 1998 at 18:55:28 (EST)
On one piece scopes:
They will all break under the proper applied force. Even the best ones have holes drilled through them for the adjustments. The few dozen I've seen dropped, kicked over, and run over (pickup truck), the two that broke were in horse wrecks. So keep your tac rifles away from horses.
P. Lakin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Whiterocks, UT USA - Sunday, December 20, 1998 at 19:08:25 (EST)
USA - Monday, December 21, 1998 at 11:51:39 (EST)
Thanks for doing the leg work by calling Leupold today. I was going to call Bill Ackerman of Optical Services to chat a little about Leupold tubes. Away from the house all day though.
As I vaguely remember, one of my scope's rear tube was about .998" dia. and the front was 1.001". Just too much difference to brush away. One of my tubes was goose-egged too. But the shape was not in the direction one would expect from the rings. As I stated in the previous posting, I couldn't find any "evidence" of a one piece design. Glad you confirmed my suspicions. I'll sleep better tonight.
My guess is that the tubes are made from extrusions, and do not go through any type of machining to clean things up. The male threads are probably cut with a die and the females with a tap. Of course this is not the way to wind up with a threaded joint that is precision and on-axis. I have spent many many hours on the lathe trying to create on-axis threads with a die. No dice. Went so far as to make a precision die holder, cut an oversize minor "pilot" starter section, etc. Was never happy with the results. Gave up.
Ron N. <email@example.com>
USA - Tuesday, December 22, 1998 at 00:59:03 (EST)
One thing I see over looked is the mounts and rings. Any of the Standard dovetail front screw lock rear are pure crap for this work! A rule is anything that can move will when you don't want it. If you are on a tight budget get the dual dovetail mounts. If not buy the Best MK4 Type you can find (Leupold ones are not the best).
When you boil all the poop out of that you can not beat Leupold for
sniper scopes. Some of the European Scopes are as good but none are truly
better all a round Sniper Scopes. This will cause the Arm Chair Racers
to put a contract out on me but so be it, it is said. Mike
Mike M. <DMMDNLN@AOL.COM>
Calif USA - Tuesday, December 22, 1998 at 20:05:16 (EST)
B.C., CANADA - Wednesday, December 23, 1998 at 21:52:47 (EST)
USA - Monday, December 28, 1998 at 00:11:13 (EST)
USA - Friday, January 15, 1999 at 05:07:40 (EST)
"Been there done that", you need a forward canted scope mount to
come up to 1000 Meters. Take of the elevation knob and you can see the
end of travel stop where you are hitting against now.
The scope will need to be zeroed with only a few clicks remaining toward the bottom, but a lot of MOA´s up.
Search the review section of the main page for the tapered shims,
they will do you fine without having to mill an forward angle into your
existing mount like I did. Ehem !
But I was a happy sniperpuppy when after I did the math, milled the angle, put everything back together, added the MOA´s to the elevation, and hit the 1´x1´target backer without another zero. It was right there were my calculations put it after angeling the mount.
It´s fun when math works for you this way.
G3ermany - Friday, January 15, 1999 at 05:57:47 (EST)
"I have the new XIII 3-9 M3 LR Scope..."
(It's a 3.5x10, I have one and it's a great scope... the 3x9 is a different beastie!)
"... Can you tell me why, when I move the windage knob up (right as arrow indicates) my reticle moves left?"
The arrows and "R" and "L" indicate the direction that the "Group" moves, not the reticle. In order for the group to move "Right", the reticle must move left... If the gun is shooting 3" to the left, you must move the reticle over to superimpose it on the group... it looks like the group is moving right, but the reticle is really moving left.
"I'm not able to move the elevtion knob to the 1000 meter mark (or 10)."
You need tapered bases, or base shims... they will give you the extra you need. You can't use the 3.5x10 M3-LR-SF with standard bases.
"If my memory serves me right, I thought down was right and up was
left on the windage."
It often is, but which way the knob turns to go "right", is determined
by which element, or optical group, is being moved to accomplish the "windage"
adjustment... is this case it is the other way.
USA - Friday, January 15, 1999 at 10:34:30 (EST)
USA - Friday, January 15, 1999 at 11:44:00 (EST)
The problem happens when this scope is installed on standard bases.
If done that way, and the scope is "mechanically centered", when zero'ed at 100 yds, you have 35 moa of "down" which is wasted, and 30 moa up... but it takes about 50 moa of up to get a 308 match bullet out to 1000 yards... so you can only get out to about 650/750 yds.
So you use tilted bases, (mine give 25 moa of forward tilt). That way, when zero'ed at 100 yds, you have 10 moa of wasted "down", and 55 moa of up. Then when you put on the BDC cap, you have the whole range available...
USA - Friday, January 15, 1999 at 10:37:26 (EST)
north of area 51 N.M., UT, USA - Sunday, January 17, 1999 at 01:22:44 (GMT)
Bach Melick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New Orleans, LA, USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 16:07:29 (ZULU)
If you're talking about the Leupold Vari-X III 3.5-10 LRM3, take a look at the 'In Review' page here at SC. Scott Powers has a very good review of this scope posted there. It may be a little difficult to read due to the background pattern, but hang in there. It'll be worth it. In fact, it looks like I'm going to have to start saving my pesos.
George L. Derry <email@example.com>
Oakland, CA, USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 20:55:10 (ZULU)
and as for "the fact that he thinks that he needs to zero the scope at 100 yards for it to work right."
Steve, it is clear to those on this site that know what a tactical scope is, that you don't. I doubt if you have ever handled one, I know you haven't ever shot one. In setting up a tactical scope, it is first zero'ed at 100 yards or meters, then the BCD cap is installed at "1", and then it is zero'ed at all ranges. You shoot at 600 yards, you set "6" andd you are zero'ed at 600 yards... you don't ever "hold over" and you don't "say your zeroed a 200 yards, at 400 you hold over 16.5 inches" like you said some time back.
I shot against Paul's team at the West Point Inch'on range last November,
if you can call that raggity-ass'd bunch a team, and I invite you to come
up and join us... I think you will learn something... and that Russian
ex-sniper on his team, will clean your clock.
USA - Sunday, January 24, 1999 at 16:14:43 (ZULU)
Everyone is talking about the Leupold Vari-X III M3 like it was the best thing around but both I and a friend had bad experiences with this scope. I was posting to see if anyone else had experienced this problem and to warn people who are thinking of purchasing one of these scopes of this potential problem.
Both of our scopes had mildot reticles that were crooked. If you put the base of the scope on a flat surface the horizontal crosshair was not level. My scope was not as bad as my friends but it was obvious that the crosshairs were not level in either scope. I traded mine (at a loss) to someone who was looking for just a hunting scope but my friend sent his back to Leupold for repair. It came back "fixed" but the reticle was still not level.
The scope is very well designed for what it is intended to do but Leupold needs to work on their quality control. These scopes are going for $700 and that is too much to pay for defective equipment.
Jack McC. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lawrenceville, GA, USA - Thursday, January 28, 1999 at 01:57:22 (ZULU)
USA - Friday, January 29, 1999 at 14:59:33 (ZULU)
Re: Defective Leupold Vari-X III M3 scopes and "operator headspace"
The Vari-X III M3 scopes in question were owned by me and by Sgt. Cox, whom I believe you know. He is not only an army-trained sniper but was a professional gunsmith following his years in the service. Both scopes were definitely defective. One of the scopes was sent back to Leupold for repair. Leupold must have agreed that the scope was defective because they did a lot of work on it, including replacement of the main tube. When it was returned, both Sgt. Cox and I inspected the scope and agreed that the reticle was also crooked with the vertical crosshair at 1:00. The scope was traded to a Leupold dealer for a spotting scope. Sgt. Cox kept the second and less defective scope for use on one of his hunting guns. We are attending the June training sessions at SMTC and we will bring this scope so you can personally inspect it to see if this is indeed a case of "operator headspace."
I received an email from an individual in Australia who experienced the same problem with his Leupold Vari-X III scope. He reported that the shooters at his range consider this to be a common problem with Leupold scopes but he declined to post his experiences to the SC Roster. I own a Mark 4 M3 and have not had any problems with it. Unfortunately, I do not think Leupold is putting the same care into their Vari-X III scopes as they put into their Mark 4 scopes. As useful as variable power is, I have no intention of purchasing any Leupold scopes other than another Mark 4 scope.
Jack McC. <email@example.com>
Lawrenceville, GA, USA - Tuesday, February 02, 1999 at 03:40:12 (ZULU)
Question: I have seen ads for the Leupold 4.5-14 with the BDC, they
say they do not build them, what gives? This seems like a really nice compromise
for those not into really close range tacticle, and prefer a variable.
Am leaning to the 3.5-10 LR M3 otherwise, and would appreciate comments,
the weekend Mass Destruction Show approaches...
wa, USA - Thursday, February 04, 1999 at 06:35:40 (ZULU)
Keith Camardo <BATCAM1>
BEAV, OR, USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 06:53:57 (ZULU)
USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 11:45:35 (ZULU)
I have the above and am confused about the Mil Dots it has. It is
one of the last glass etched reticles and the dots are 2 Mil´s apart.
No info from Leupold so far, maybe Premier reticle?, I´ll try.
Anyone out there with the same scope ? How about the 10 or 16 X scopes, if the 10X is a true Mil Dot then what abot the 16 X, 1.6 Mil dot ??? cant be.
Germany - Tuesday, February 23, 1999 at 17:16:49 (ZULU)
I got a Leupold M1 10X MilDot with a Glass Reticle. It is not an Ultra but a Mark4. The MilDots are one Mil apart. They are round. Works great with the Mildot Master. I really been having a lot fun with this great little tool. I got a range here at home, and some steel targets that I set up at random distances. Then I mil out the range and ring the steel. It is so easy. You gotta get one of these.
Bil Bledsoe <DC8PLUMBER@aol.com>
Shebly Co., KY, USA - Tuesday, February 23, 1999 at 18:11:21 (ZULU)
Pat II <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Whiterocks, UT, USA - Sunday, February 28, 1999 at 03:35:35 (ZULU)
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