Leupold VX-II 1-4x20mm Riflescope

By Chuck Hawks

Leupold VX-II 1-4x20
Illustration courtesy of Leupold & Stevens, Inc.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is a fourth generation family owned company. Leupold has been responsible for several important innovations in the riflescope field. The most important of these are the development of the first nitrogen charged and sealed waterproof scope, the Duplex reticle, the compact scope, and the first use of Torx Drive mount fasteners.

All Leupold riflescopes come with the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee. If any Leupold Golden Ring scope is found to have defects in materials or workmanship, Leupold will repair or replace it for free. There is no time limit, and no need for a guarantee card.

Today's VX-II line represents Leupold's midrange, 4-star product line. These scopes are the lineal descendents of the popular Vari-X II line, updated with the 1/4 MOA "click" windage and elevation adjustment system from the Vari-X III line and Leupold's Multicoat 4 anti-reflection coatings on the outside surfaces of the objective and ocular lenses.

The 1-4x20mm scope reviewed here is typical of VX II scopes. It offers bright, fully multi-coated optics that appear sharp from center to edge. Glass surfaces are coated with Leupold's proprietary Multicoat 4 anti-reflective lens coatings for excellent light transmission and freedom from glare. The 1-4x20mm is built with a two-piece, 1" diameter main tube made of 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum alloy. The accurate, coin-slot, windage and elevation adjustments "click" in 1/4 minute of angle increments. The reticle remains centered and appears the same size at all magnifications. The "American style" eyepiece focus is by multiple turns of the ocular housing and is secured with a locking ring. The ocular housing will not unscrew completely. The scope is guaranteed to maintain its point of impact at all magnification settings and is sealed against moisture and nitrogen filled, making it waterproof and fog free.

Most VX-II 1-4x20mm scopes are shipped with the standard 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. It is the best reticle ever invented for most hunting applications. The Leupold Custom Shop can install any of Leupold's 16 reticles (which include several specialized types not regularly available).

The VX-II 1-4x20mm is the smallest and lightest scope in the line with an overall length of 9.2" and a weight of 9 ounces. Its actual magnification is 1.6x to 4.2x. It comes with a matte black finish and either a Duplex or CPC reticle. It offers the widest field of view, 75' (1x) at 100 yards and a generous eye relief of 4.3"-3.8". The windage and elevation adjustment range is 67 MOA.

This is one of the best scopes on the market for a woods rifle, and also for use on a dangerous game rifle. At 4x it offers all the magnification necessary for shots out to 300 yards on medium size big game animals. The Leupold 1-4x20 is the model with which I am personally most familiar, and I have used it on rifles chambered for cartridges as diverse as .30-30, .338 Win. Mag., and .350 Rem. Mag. with perfect satisfaction.

For this review a new VX-II 1-4x20mm scope was mounted on a Marlin 336 rifle in .30-30 caliber using a one-piece Leupold base and low rings. Mounting was simple and easy.

The standard windage and elevation adjustments of VX-II scopes are accurate and easy to use. I always appreciate 1/4 MOA adjustments like these that are both visual and tactile. The outer index ring can be reset after the rifle is zeroed-in. A coin or something similar is necessary to change the settings.

Visually, the 1-4x20 offers good definition at all power settings. Sharpness from center to edge is very good. Lens flare is well suppressed. This is a good scope to look through and a rugged scope with which to hunt.

The Leupold Vari-X II 1-4x20mm scope is one of the best in its class. Its price is about average for a deluxe riflescope, but it offers superior value and performance for the money, and the best guarantee in the industry.

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Copyright 2005, 201 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.