Leupold VX3 Review [2022]

Published On
Leupold vx3
ImageProductPrice
Leupold vx3 Leupold VX-3HD 4.5-14x50mm Rifle ScopeCheck Price

The following Leupold VX3 review provides a detailed assessment of the features, pros, and cons of this solid rifle scope.

The VX3 from Leupold was updated last year to include the latest technologies available to optics manufacturers. The VX 3 HD rifle scope now includes illuminated reticles and increased versatility. You can choose from a variety of magnification ranges to suit your needs.

I found the Leupold VX 3 options to be well-built and reasonably priced. These scopes are a great entry point for those wanting to move up from cheaper models. All versions of the VX3 HD rifle scopes include a high level of clarity and a rugged design for use in any environment.

While the Leupold VX3 scopes are durable and reliable, they may not fit the needs of every hunter. The following Leupold VX3 review explains the main features and specs, so you can make a more informed decision. Keep reading to find out whether you should add one of these scopes to your rifle.

Specifications

  • 3:1 zoom ratio
  • Elevation adjustment range: 125 MOA
  • Windage adjustment range: 125 MOA
  • Minimum magnification: 1.5x
  • Maximum magnification: 14x
  • Objective lens diameter: 20mm to 50mm
  • Eye relief: 3.6 to 4.4 inches
  • Fixed parallax-free distance: 150 yards
  • Tube diameter: 25mm (1 inch)
  • Overall length: 9.71 to 12.29 inches
  • Overall weight: 10.1 to 15 ounces

Overview of the Leupold VX3 Rifle Scopes

The latest Leupold VX3 riflescopes were introduced in 2021 and are marketed as “VX-3HD”. You can select from several configurations with different magnification levels and lens sizes. The magnification levels range from 1.5-5x to 4.5-14x.

The VX3 scopes also include Leupold’s elite optical system, which gives you clear optics for increased light transmission. The scopes perform well in low-light situations, especially when compared to cheaper models and the top competition in the same price range.

Why Choose a Leupold VX3 Scope?

The Leupold VX-3 HD scopes provide reliable performance and clarity in most situations. The scopes are tough, yet lightweight and easy to adjust. As with many other Leupold optics, you can also request a customized turret thanks to the Custom Dial System (CDS).

The VX-3 HD rifle scopes also feature waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof construction with scratch-resistant lenses. Other highlights include a “ZeroLock” feature to lock in your adjustments and high-definition lenses for increased clarity and color.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lightweight design
  • Durable components and construction
  • A variety of magnification ranges and reticle options
  • Generous eye relief
  • Large field of view (FOV) on select models
Cons
  • No long-range options
  • Accessories can be expensive

Main Features of the Leupold VX3

Leupold vx3

Multiple Configurations

The Leupold VX3 scopes are available in a variety of different configurations:

  • 1.5-5×20
  • 2.5-8×36
  • 3.5-10×40
  • 3.5-10×50
  • 4.5-14×40
  • 4.5-14×50

All six options are ideal for mid-range shooting, including hunting and tactical applications. With the 1.5-5×20 model, you also get a clear view at close range and may easily hit targets up to 160 yards.

The higher magnification levels are a top recommendation for mid-range applications. Thanks to the fast focus eyepiece and easy-to-adjust turrets, you can quickly acquire and track your target at distances up to several hundred yards.

All six configurations also include a 3:1 zoom ratio. The highest magnification level is roughly three times the power of the lowest magnification level. A lower zoom ratio is a popular choice as it makes it easier to quickly adjust the power from the lowest level to the highest when switching from close targets to distant ones.

Available with Illuminated Reticles

The Leupold VX3 rifle scopes are available with several different reticles, including illuminated reticles. Some of the available reticle designs include:

  • Duplex
  • Boone & Crockett
  • Illuminated fire dot
  • Wind-plex

The standard duplex reticles, Boone & Crockett, and wind-plex reticles are not illuminated. The duplex reticle includes the typical duplex design, which was invented by Leupold in 1962 and remains the most popular option, as the heavy posts stand out in low light.

The Boone & Crockett reticle was designed with the help of the nonprofit organization of the same name. This reticle offers aiming points up to 500 to 600 yards away and a center aiming point up to 300 yards. As with the duplex reticle, the Boone & Crockett reticle has a second focal plane (SFP) design.

With an SFP reticle, the size of the reticle does not change as you increase the magnification power. Maintaining the size of the reticle ensures that the center of the crosshairs remains the same no matter the magnification level, which allows for increased accuracy as you increase or decrease magnification.

The illuminated fire dot Twilight Hunter reticle uses Leupold’s FireDot technology for faster target acquisition. The reticle includes a red illuminated dot in the center of the crosshairs, which also feature thin lines to obscure less of the target. The clean design and the illuminated center dot should help in low-light settings.

The wind-plex reticle is available on the VX 3 HD 4.5-14×40 model, which also features side focus for parallax correction. The side focus is convenient when trying to focus from a prone position.

Low Profile Turrets

The Leupold VX 3 HD rifle scopes include low-profile turrets featuring several of Leupold’s original design details, including the Custom Dial System (CDS) and ZeroLock (ZL) system. The ZL system keeps you from accidentally adjusting the windage and elevation dials by locking them in place.

The CDS system allows you to customize the dial. You can have it customized to match your ballistics and the environment where you are most likely to use the scope. The customized dial lets you quickly acquire your target and dial it in instead of dealing with bullet drop reticles, holdovers, or ballistic calculators.

Along with a locking mechanism for the elevation and windage dials, the scope includes a lockable eyepiece. The eyepiece lock ring allows you to secure your current focus setting.

Lightweight and Rugged Design

The Leupold VX3 rifle scopes are lightweight and relatively compact. Many of the comparable scopes weigh at least a few ounces more. Yet, the design is also very durable.

The rugged shockproof design is likely to hold up and protect the lenses if accidentally dropped. You should be able to enjoy years of use without any decrease in performance. The lenses also have a scratch-resistant finish for extra protection.

High-Quality Optics

The Leupold VX3 features high-quality optics for a rifle scope in this price range. The clarity, color, and contrast are great at low-light due to the scope’s excellent light transmission at dusk and dawn. When combined with one of the illuminated reticles, you should find that you can head out earlier or come back in later when hunting.

To protect against glare and fog, the lenses are coated and sealed using advanced methods that involve the use of internal gasses to purge the interior. The scopes can withstand extreme temperatures, exposure to water, and shock.

Lifetime Guarantee

The Leupold VX 3 HD rifle scopes are backed by a lifetime guarantee. The company guarantees the performance of the components for life. If a dial snaps off, or the seals around the lenses fail, Leupold should have no problem solving your problem or replacing the product.

Alternatives to the Leupold VX3 Rifle Scopes

As the Leupold VX3 rifle scopes may not appeal to everyone, here are a few alternative options:

Leupold Mark 3HD 3-9x40mm

Leupold Mark 3HD 3-9x40mm Riflescope

The Leupold Mark 3HD is a close match to the Leupold VX 3 HD. Both options include Leupold’s newer HD lens system, which helps provide increased clarity and true-color images in any setting. However, the Mark 3HD was designed with military and law enforcement in mind. It weighs a little less compared to the VX3 and includes close to the same price tag.

Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope 4-16x44mm

Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescope 4-16x44 30mm APRS2 FFP MIL Reticle

The Athlon Optics Midas TAC Rifle Scope may appeal to those that dislike second focal plane (SFP) reticles. It is equipped with a first focal plane (FFP) reticle, which means that the reticle size increases as you increase the magnification level, making it easier to adjust the dials for different distances, as the distances on the reticle remain the same.

Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9x40mm

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

The Vortex Optics Diamondback is an affordable rifle scope that may cost about half of the price of the earlier recommendations. It is available with a bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticle or a V-plex reticle with no hash marks. The Diamondback does not offer the greatest clarity in low-light environments but is a dependable choice for those with a tighter budget.

Conclusion

The Leupold VX3 HD rifle scopes are dependable rifle scopes from a trusted manufacturer. This line of scopes is also available in a variety of configurations to suit different situations. You can choose from a lower magnification level, such as 1.5-5x, or higher magnification, such as 4.5-14x.

All the models in the VX3 HD lineup are rugged and lightweight. The heaviest option weighs just 15 ounces while the lightest scope weighs 10 ounces. The scopes are waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.

One of the only potential drawbacks is the lack of options for long-distance shooting. The highest magnification level is 14x. Depending on your skill level, you may find the highest magnification level suitable for distances up to 500 to 600 yards.

Try the Leupold VX3 for yourself. Order a VX3 scope today.

Photo of author

Author

Brady

Hi there, I'm Brady and I'm the owner of GunMade.com. I have been an avid gun enthusiast and hunter since I moved to the Midwest over 15 years ago. It's my passion to share my knowledge and expertise to help you find the best guns in your price range.

Leave a Comment