The Leupold VX-II 6-18x40mm Riflescope
By Lou Vespia
When first removing this or any Leupold riflescope from its box there is a feel from these optics that is like no other. All Leupold VX-I, VX-II and Vari-X III main tubes are manufactured from aircraft quality aluminum alloy for strength and durability. Leupold scopes are waterproof, sealed and nitrogen filled to prevent fogging, and have locking eyepieces to preserve focus. Optics are fully coated. Leupold scopes come with a Full Lifetime Guarantee. Leupold and Stevens is a family owned, fourth generation business, and it shows in the quality of their products.
I chose the VX-II, 6-18x40mm model to meet my specific needs. This is a large scope, measuring 13.4 inches without the 3" sunshade and weighing 15.8 ounces (448 grams). Its adjustable objective allows parallax-free shooting from 50 yards to infinity. All internal lens surfaces are fully coated, and the external lens surfaces receive Leupold's Multicoat 4 coatings. Windage and elevation adjustments "click" in 1/4 minute-of-angle increments. It is these last two features that distinguish the new VX-II models from the current VX-I and previous Vari-X II models.
When one removes the adjustment covers and dials the turrets up and down there is a feel of quality that comes out in every 1/4 MOA click. Some of the basic specifications of the 6-18x40 VX-II are as follows: Actual Magnification 6.7x to 17.1x, Objective diameter 2.1 inches, Tube diameter 1inch, Eye relief 4.7 inches (6x) to 3.7 inches (18x), FOV at 100 yards 14.4 feet at 6x.
6-18x is more magnification than the average hunter needs but I have found myself using all the power it is capable of at one time or another. Where I hunt I can sometimes spot game as far as 1/2-mile away then wait for it to come into a range I am comfortable with. I have pulled off perfect 400-yard shots that would have been impossible without a scope of this quality.
To achieve such shots regular practice at the range necessary and your equipment must be up to it. My Leupold VX-II scope sits on top of a very accurate Savage tactical 110FP rifle in 7MM Remington Magnum, resting on a Harris bipod. The scope's matte finish is a good match for the look of this rifle.
This set up is a precision combination I bought primarily for shooting coyotes, but I also use it for big game hunting. The 7mm Magnum is a bit much for coyote, but I do not sell the fur so I don't worry about damage to the pelt--just quick kills, which the Big 7 provides in spades! Coyotes are pests around here. The season never closes and there is no bag limit.
I needed a rifle that would shoot flat and go the distance. In my opinion the 7mm Rem. Mag. is a perfect caliber for my application, as is the 6-18x Leupold scope. The latter comes standard with a fine duplex reticule and I chose the target knob option. This makes dialing from point blank range to 1000 yards a snap, even with gloves on.
The experiences I have had with Leupold product support have been great. Once when I was dialing in a varmint I left one of the adjustment covers on the ground and I was never able to find it again. I e-mailed Leupold product support to purchase another. They got back to me the same day, and they mailed me a set of covers for free. It would not have been a huge expense anyway, but it was the timely manner in which they responded that most impressed me. It's the sort of thing that I appreciate when I spend what I consider to be a good chunk of change on a product.
With mounts, covers, and the target option the whole package cost me just under $500, and it was worth every penny. Leupold is located in Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.A. and everything is done in house.
It is little extras like the above-mentioned that make the whole buying experience enjoyable. When I get ready to purchase another scope I will buy another Leupold. Dollar for dollar I feel they can compete with the best in their price class, and sometimes with scopes costing considerably more.
When I was first looking for a scope I spent hours doing research on the web, comparing features, reviews, options and specifications. It was driving me crazy. A wise man with more experience than I have gave me some simple advice, "When in doubt, buy Leupold. Buy the best that you can afford." I am glad I listened.
Copyright 2002 by Lou Vespia. All rights reserved.