Leupold VX-7 Riflescopes
By Chuck Hawks
Introduced at the 2007 SHOT Show and marking Leupold's 100th Anniversary (Leupold was founded in 1907), was a new line of premium riflescopes named VX-7. The VX-7 scopes have replaced the previous LPS series as Leupold's top of the line offerings. Like all Leupold scopes, the VX-7 line is made in Beaverton, Oregon in the USA.
The new VX-7 line is intended to be the best in the world, out performing even the most expensive and prestigious European riflescopes. They incorporate all of the advances that Leupold has learned in 100 years of creating and manufacturing world class optics and demonstrate in no uncertain terms that Leupold is, as their advertising slogan claims, "America's Optics Authority."
For 2007 the VX-7 line includes five models, all with 4x zoom ranges. Supplied with conventional round objective bells are the 1.5-6x24mm, 2.5-10x45mm, and 3.5-14x50mm Long Range scopes. Supplied with a small crescent removed from the bottom of their oversize objective bells to allow lower mounting (like a VX-L scope) are the 3.5-14x56mm and 4.5-18x56mm Long Range models dubbed "VX7L."
The standard VX-7 trio is available in either Satin Black finish or a new Satin Gray finish that complements rifles with French gray accents or stainless steel barreled actions. The VX7L duo is supplied only in Satin Black finish. The latter is a classy all-purpose finish that looks good on rifles with matte black, highly polished blue, or stainless steel barreled actions. Like the finish on other Leupold scope lines, either VX-7 finish is exceptionally hard and mar resistant.
Among the VX-7 line's most important features is Leupold's exclusive "Xtended Twilight Lens System" (XT). This is a special lens coating formula applied to ultra-pure, lead-free, index matched glass lenses with blackened edges that is designed to optimize the transmission of the blue/violet wavelengths of light that predominate in dawn and dusk hunting conditions. Leupold claims, with justifiable pride, that VX-7 scopes provide greater definition and luminance in low light conditions than any other scopes in the world.
Another new feature of the VX-7 line is their "SpeeDial" adjustment system. Give a SpeeDial turret cap a half turn and it smoothly slides outward for adjustment. No more lost scope caps. The fingertip adjustments are graduated in 1/4 MOA clicks and feature unique, field interchangeable bullet drop compensating (BDC) dials. The adjustments are easy to read and reset to zero. After adjustment, push the SpeeDial back into place and give a turn to close. Additional turns will lock the dials in place for secure adjustments and the integral cap provides a highly secure stow position. The titanium nitride/stainless steel adjustments and a dual spring erector system provide excellent adjustment accuracy and repeatability as well as exceptionally long life.
Exterior surfaces of VX-7 scope lenses are treated with Leupold's proprietary DiamondCote 2 ion-assist lens coating to resist scratching. DiamondCote 2 easily exceeds military standards and provides unsurpassed durability, superior even to the DiamondCote that protects Leupold's VX-L scopes and CQ/T military sight.
Most VX-7 scopes will come with Leupold's XT Duplex reticle. (Leupold, of course, invented the Duplex type reticle.) This is a variation of the Duplex reticle that features a wider central "gate" and finer central crosshairs. The reticle surface is specially designed to provide maximum contrast in a broad range of lighting conditions.
Also available as standard equipment in VX-7 riflescopes, depending on the specific model, are the Fine Duplex, German #4, Circle Dot, Boone and Crockett (Ballistic Aiming System), and Varmint Hunter's (Ballistic Aiming System) reticles. Available from the Leupold Custom Shop for VX-7 scopes are custom ballistically matched reticles and a plethora of other styles. See the 2007 Leupold catalog or the Leupold web site (www.Leupold.com) for details.
The Ballistic Aiming System reticles allow the shooter to customize the scope's power setting for the ballistics of their rifle's cartridge and to save the setting for easy reference in the field. These reticles include multiple aiming points for various ranges and wind speeds.
Machined aluminum Alumina flip-back lens covers are included with all VX-7 Scopes. VX-7 scopes also accept all other Leupold Alumina accessories.
A generous eye box is another important feature of VX-7 scopes. Leupold scopes are generally superior to most other brands in eye position latitude, and VX-7 scopes are the best yet. They have a larger, more forgiving eyebox at all magnifications than other premium scopes.
VX-7 scopes also incorporate a number of other benefits. These include Leupold's second generation waterproofing based on the use of inert argon/krypton gas (instead of pure nitrogen). The argon/krypton blend resists thermal shock better than ever before and reduces the diffusion of internal gasses over time.
Side focus parallax adjustment (also pioneered by Leupold) is provided on the Long Range models, and this adjustment also uses a SpeeDial type adjustment. VX-7 scopes incorporate an extremely fast focus European style eyepiece that requires only 1.5 turns from lock to lock and includes an Alumina rubber eyepiece guard. The one piece main tubes are 30mm in diameter to allow increased adjustment range and, like all Leupold scope tubes, are machined from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum alloy.
Like all Leupold Gold Ring riflescopes, VX-7's come with Leupold's full lifetime guarantee, the best in the world. But VX-7 scopes also come with an extra "Golden Ring Custom Care" package.
This insures that any VX-7 scope returned to Leupold for modification, customization, or repair receives priority service and expedited shipping. If a hunt deadline looms, Leupold will even provide, on request and free of charge, a VX-7 loaner scope for use while the customer's scope is being serviced. Also included in the Golden Ring Custom Care Package is one complimentary Leupold Custom Shop service, for example custom BDC dials or engraving.
Other benefits for VX-7 purchasers include a free year membership to Boone and Crockett Club, Safari Club International, or a free Roland Ward publication. They will also be given a special Product Service telephone number to use if required. This level of protection has never before been offered with any riflescope and is in addition to Leupold's superior customer service, for which they are justly famous around the world.
Leupold's new VX-7 scopes are a premium product, the finest scopes ever made in the U.S., and they are not cheap in any sense of the word. They were conceived and engineered to set a new standard of excellence. Manufacturing the very best possible product is never inexpensive. However, before purchasing a lesser scope or an equally expensive European import, ask yourself what value you put on that once in a lifetime safari or, indeed, a lifetime of enjoyable hunts. Maybe you deserve the best!
Copyright 2007, 2010 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.