Leupold FX-II 2.5x28mm IER Scout Riflescope

By Chuck Hawks

Leupold 2.5x28mm IER
Illustration courtesy of Leupold & Stevens, Inc.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc., a fourth generation family owned company, is located in Beaverton, Oregon and has been building telescopic sights in the U.S.A. for over 50 years. Leupold scopes bear a distinctive gold ring around the objective bell to aid in identification, hence the term "Golden Ring" scopes.

Leupold has been responsible for several important innovations in the riflescope field. Perhaps the most important of these are the development of the first nitrogen charged and sealed waterproof scope and the Duplex reticle.

All Leupold riflescopes come with the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee. You don't even have to be the original owner. If any Leupold Golden Ring scope is found to have defects in materials or workmanship, ever, Leupold will repair or replace it for free. There is no need for a guarantee card.

The new FX line is Leupold's fixed power, 4-star line. These are deluxe scopes of proven durability, literally built to last for decades. FX-II series scopes are comparable to the VX-II variable power scopes, and receive Leupold's Multi-coat 4 lens coatings on all lens surfaces. FX-III series scopes are comparable to the VX-III scopes, and use Leupold's Index Matched Lens System to maximize light transmission, clarity, and contrast.

All FX scopes are built with 1" diameter main tubes made of 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum alloy. Standard FX riflescopes are adjusted to be parallax free at a distance of 150 yards. The coin-slot windage and elevation adjustments are of the 1/4 MOA click type. The reticle remains centered and appears the same size at all magnifications. FX scopes are sealed against moisture and nitrogen filled, making them waterproof and fog free.

The 2.5x28 IER is supplied with the Duplex reticle. This type of reticle, with heavy a crosshair that becomes a fine crosshair near the center of the field, was invented by Leupold and has since been copied by virtually all other scope manufacturers. I regard it as the best reticle ever invented for most hunting applications. The Leupold Custom Shop can install a variety of Leupold's other reticles for those who want something different.

The FX-II 2.5x28mm is the intermediate eye relief (IER) scope in the FX line. Being something of a lever action fan, this is the FX scope that I have used the most. It is designed to be mounted forward of the receiver on lever action rifles that eject their fired cases straight up, such as pre-angle eject Winchester Model 94's.

It has more recently become popular on "scout" rifles. It is also a good choice for extremely hard kicking rifles such as big bore elephant guns. Such a mounting position prevents the scope being driven back into the shooter's eyebrow under heavy recoil.

Eye relief is 9.3". The unavoidable trade off is greatly reduced field of view, only 22' at 100 yards in the case of the 2.5x28mm IER. The objective clear aperture is 1.1", windage and elevation adjustment range is a whopping 110 MOA, length is 10.1", and weight is 7.5 ounces. The scope is available in matte black or silver finishs.

The FX-II 2.5x28 IER reviewed for this article came with the black matte finish. I mounted it on a pre '64 Winchester Model 94 rifle in an XS Sight Systems "Lever Scout" mount using Weaver rings.

This scope offer excellent definition and contrast. Sharpness from center to edge is very good. Lens flare is well suppressed. Everyone who tried this scope during our testing commented on its excellent optics. It is a good looking, simple, and rugged scope with which to hunt. Neither recoil nor inclement weather has had any effect on it. I appreciate the 1/4 MOA click adjustments, which feel precise and work well.

The Leupold FX-II 2.5x28mm IER is one of the best and most expensive fixed power scout scopes on the market, and it is well worth the price. It is a good choice for most any hunting rifle that requires a scope to be mounted forward of the receiver.

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Copyright 2005, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.