Leupold scopes are popular for a reason. While they tend to require a larger initial investment than many other brands, their high quality and good construction mean that they offer better performance and last longer than most other scopes. Naturally, some of them are better than others, with the best Leupold scope varying depending on how it is going to be used. Leupold makes a gigantic variety of scopes for many different roles, so we narrowed down the selection to ten good choices based on their value, ruggedness, and optical capabilities to help make your decision a little easier.
10. UltimateSlam LR 3-9x40mm
The UltimateSlam LR 3-9x40mm from Leupold is optimized for use with muzzleloading guns, and it is usually the best Leupold scope for those weapons. The scope’s dial is marked with yardages specifically for 200 and 250 grains of powder, which makes it easier to use than other scopes for those loads. The scope is highly resistant to water due to an argon/krypton system, so it works well in poor weather. Give it a try with a muzzleloader, but pick a different scope for conventional weapons.
9. VX•R 4-12x50mm
Leupold’s VX•R 4-12x50mm scope is one of the company’s more expensive offerings, but it is a contender for being the best Leupold scope for boosting accuracy. In addition to using an illuminated dot, this scope offers an excellent picture that makes it easy to aim well. The large eye box also makes it a little bit easier to aim quickly, which can be an asset for hunters. The initial cost is high, but it is a good investment for hunters who need to set up clean kills as quickly as possible.
8. VX-1 3-9x50mm
The VX-1 3-9x50mm is one of the cheapest Leupold scopes available, but it still offers an excellent sight picture and good magnification. Aluminum construction and thorough waterproofing make it highly durable for its price, and it comes with an unusually tough lens cover to protect the glass. This model also includes Leupold’s Ballistic Aiming System, which helps with shots at long ranges. This model is no longer in production but is easy to find through third parties at low prices, so it’s a great budget scope.
7. VX-3 Handgun 2.5-8x32mm
The Leupold VX-3 Handgun 2.5-8x32mm scope is one of Leopold’s handgun scope designs. It works poorly on rifles, but it will provide improved accuracy on a pistol that is being held correctly. The scope is fairly simple, but it is treated to resist the elements. That ruggedness and its high level of magnification for a pistol make it a great choice for handgun hunters. It is a fairly large investment, but it will be worth the price to dedicated handgun hunters who want to boost their accuracy.
6. Mark 4 ER/T 8.5-25x50mm
The Mark 4 from Leupold is a large and powerful scope, that is designed for use at long ranges, either while hunting or in a tactical environment. The lens is treated with DiamondCoat to help it resist damage and to improve light transmission, while the edges of the lens are darkened to reduce diffusion. Those features, along with the lens’ massive magnification, make this scope excel at long ranges. The price is high enough that only shooters who need that degree of power will want it, but it is a good option for those that do work at those ranges.
5. VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm
The Leupold VX-3i LRP 8.5-25x50mm is a cheaper option for shooters that need a scope for long ranges. It isn’t quite as powerful as the more expensive options, but it is more than adequate for most shooters. It’s also a good choice for people that need to make quick adjustments due to a well-positioned throw lever that determines the magnification level. This system includes a lens treatment that helps it in twilight conditions, which is an asset for hunters. Give it a try if you want to hunt over long distances in low light conditions. You can also check out this best cheap AR scope list.
4. VX-6HD 1-6x24mm
The VX-6HD 1-6x24mm from Leupold is a high tech scope, with more features than most models. It includes a motion sensor that deactivates the illumination to save power during inactivity but automatically turns it back on when it detects movement. It also boasts an electronic reticle level system for improved accuracy and a light management system that improves the scope’s clarity in poor conditions. Features that boost durability of both the case and lens are also present. These features make it a great general scope for people who will use it often enough to justify the relatively high price.
3. FX-II Ultralight 2.5x20mm
The FX-II Ultralight has significantly less magnifying power than most of Leupold’s scopes, but it balances that relative weakness by being much smaller and lighter than the others. The case remains just as durable as the alternatives in spite of its low size and weight, and the lens is coated to help it resist abrasion. This model is the best Leupold scope for people who need to minimize the weight of their gear while moving through rough terrain, but it doesn’t have much to offer to those who can use something a little bit heavier.
2. American Marksman 3-9×40
The Leupold American Marksman is the best Leupold scope for rifle shooters that need something cheap and effective. The case is built to the same standard as that of Leupold’s more expensive scopes, and the lens is treated for improved clarity. It is adjustable for both windage and elevation through a simple click system that overs 1/4 MOA precision. While expert shooters will notice a difference between this scope and Leupold’s other rifle offerings, most shooters will not, and they can use this scope to meet their needs at a low price.
1. FX-II Handgun 4x28mm
The Leupold FX-II Handgun 4x28mm scope is the best Leupold scope for most handgun shooters due to its value compared to its price. The scope is cheaper than most of Leupold’s designs, but it will last just as long and has equal image clarity. It does suffer from the inability to adjust the level of magnification, but the preset level is appropriate for most uses, so that is a minor problem. Try this scope if you need some magnification for your handgun and want to keep the size of your investment down.
Making The Right Choice
A good scope boosts your accuracy in competitions and ensures humane kills during hunting season. Matching the right scope with the right sport is the key to success. Picking the best Leupold scope requires you to know its purpose and keep it in mind when you check your options. If you find one that we didn’t discuss here, be sure to leave a comment with your experiences to help guide other shooters.