The Best Leupold Scopes Reviewed in 2024

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Today I’m going to show you the best Leupold scopes on the market.

In fact:

I’ve been using Leupold optics since the day I shot my first round. A few years later, I’ve hand-tested almost every single Leupold optic out there.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best Leupold scope for AR-15, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

Best Leupold Rifle ScopesCategoryPrice

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40

Best Overall$460

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15×44

Best for Deer Hunting$1,200

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56

Best for 1000 yards$2,000

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40

Best for the Budget$320

A Brief History of Leupold

The Leupold company has been around since 1907 and now runs out of Beaverton, Oregon.

LEUPOLD HISTORY

A German immigrant named Markus Friedrich (Fred) Leupold and his brother-in-law Adam Voelpel founded the company. It’s been family-owned ever since and has passed through five generations.

MARKUS FRIEDRICH AND ADAM VOELPEL

Initially, the company manufactured surveying equipment.

In 1914 JC Stevens joined the company as a partner and brought along his invention of the first water level recorder. They changed their name to Leupold & Stevens, which is still the name they use today.

It wasn’t until 1947 that the company started making rifle scopes. To this day, they are one of the most world-renowned manufacturers of optical instruments.

LEUPOLD OLD BRANDING

What’s So Special About Leupold?

Leupold optics rank among the best in the industry.

Considered mid-level on price, Leupold certainly doesn’t qualify as middle of the road in their quality.

The thing that makes Leupold so special is that they offer high-quality, top-of-the-line optics at an affordable price.

LEUPOLD OPTICS (5)

In fact:

Leupold optics are so good that they’re preferred and used by the United States military. The US military uses more Leupold long-range optics than any other brand!

LEUPOLD USED IN MILITARY

Another thing that makes Leupold stand out is that they invented the Duplex reticle in 1962. This reticle revolutionized the industry and is now the most prevalent in riflescopes.

LEUPOLD USED IN MILITARY (1)

Leupold was also the very first company to make fogproof scopes, and their technology is still one of the best. All their rifle scopes are highly durable and undergo rigorous testing to withstand any environment.

Plus, they all have the Twilight Light Management System, which helps gather ambient light for better visibility at dawn and dusk.

Extending your hunt time by 15-30 minutes, depending on whether you get the regular, Max, or HD version of the system, gives you a huge advantage.

What to Look for When Buying a Leupold Rifle Scope

Whether you’re looking to buy a few Leupold rifle scopes or a different brand, the strategy is the same. There are a few key things you’ll want to pay attention to.

Magnification

Think about how you’ll be using the scope. Most hunters can get away with a 3-9x scope if they’re hunting hogs or deer in dense areas. If you need something for long range, you’ll want higher magnification, like a Leupold Rifleman 4-12×40.

Reticle and Focal Plane

Again, for most hunters or target shooters, a Duplex reticle is more than sufficient. However, when you get to longer ranges, you may want something a little more complex, with finer crosshairs.

LEUPOLD CLARITY

With a first focal plane scope, the reticle increases in size along with the magnification. For the second focal plane, the image increases, but the reticle stays the same size.

LEUPOLD CLARITY (2)

MOA or MRAD

Elevation and windage turrets can use two different types of adjustments, MOA or MRAD. MOA is the most common choice for shooters, but the MRAD is good for long ranges.

LEUPOLD ELEVATION TURRET

Eye Relief

If you don’t want to worry about getting a cut or bruise over your eye when you’re shooting, you’ll need to make sure you have enough eye relief. Low-quality scopes usually have less eye relief.

Durability

When looking at Leupold rifle scopes, this isn’t even a concern. All their scopes are aircraft-grade aluminum that’s lightweight and sturdy. They’re all fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof. Plus, Leupold offers a lifetime guarantee.

LEUPOLD LIFETIME WARRANTY

If you want quality glass at an affordable price, any Leupold will get you that. They provide unmatched accuracy, regardless of the distance.

LEUPOLD OPTICS (5)

With a versatile range of optics for every occasion, Leupold has you covered.

Let’s take a look at the 4 best Leupold scopes available and compare their attributes and abilities.

The Best Leupold Scopes Reviewed

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best Leupold rifle scopes:

  1. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40: Best Overall
  2. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15×44: Best Leupold Scope for Deer Hunting
  3. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56: Best Leupold Scope for 1000 yards
  4. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40: Best for the Budget

1. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40: Best Overall

If I had to recommend the best overall Leupold scope, it’d be the Leupold VX-3i.

Best Overall
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope
  • Model Number 170680: VX-3i 3. 5-10x40 millimeter with Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
  • DiamondCoat 2: Ion-assist lens coating for higher light transmission and the greatest level of abrasion resistance.

Not only is it one of the best Leupold scopes for AR-15, but it’s also the best scope for .30-06.

I’ve owned many scopes over the years, and this has quickly become one of my all-time favorites.

Here’s why…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

This scope offers crystal clear glass.

In fact, the edge-to-edge crispness and picture quality are comparable to scopes twice the price.

It also has Leupold’s signature Twilight Max light management system. This coating draws in ambient light, giving you better visibility in low-light conditions.

You’ll get an extra 20 minutes of visibility at dawn and dusk, which is prime time for hunters.

What about the reticle?

I’m a huge fan of the Duplex reticle on the VX-3i. It’s neat and straightforward, giving you an uncluttered view.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 MAGNIFICATION

Plus, the bolder edges and fine crosshairs draw your eyes right to the center for quick target acquisition. It’s almost as fast as using an EOTech clone.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Leupold VX-3i has a pretty generous amount of eye relief.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 EYE RELIEF

You’ll get 4.4 – 3.6 inches, which is more than enough. That’s one of the reasons this rifle scope is at the top of my list.

It’s a little tighter at the highest magnification, but I’ve found a solid cheek weld makes it more than manageable.

Durability

Leupold builds scopes to be extremely tough and durable.

The VX-3i is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, making it a lightweight scope and still able to take a beating.

It’s also shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 OVERVIEW (1)

This rifle scope also features DiamondCoat 2, which makes the lenses scratch-resistant. Plus, Leupold offers a lifetime warranty!

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 OVERVIEW (3)

I’ve definitely tested this thing out by dropping it a time or two. It still functions perfectly.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage knobs are ¼ MOA adjustments.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 ELEVATION TURRET

I’ve owned and/or tried many rifle scopes with mushy turrets, and I’m happy to say this is not the case with the VX-3i. These have a very tactile click.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 TURRETS

What about zeroing?

It’s quick and easy. I had mine done in a handful of shots.

It holds zero too. I’ve taken this scope out on many hunting trips, and I’ve never had to readjust it.

I also got the ZeroLock Custom Dial System on mine, which is awesome. It makes those long range shots easier with repeatable elevation adjustments.

Parallax & Magnification

This scope has 3.5-10x magnification.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 PARALLAX TURRET

This is a great range, allowing you to nail short range shots as well as long range shooting.

At the highest magnification, I can make an 800 yard shot! But this rifle scope really excels in the 300-400 yard range.

It can handle close range too, but if you’re looking for the best scope for 10-150 yards, check out my Bushnell 1-4×24 review.

The VX-3i also has a fixed parallax, and it seems to do the job.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 MAGNIFICATION KNOB

Mounting & Rings

You’ll need to get your own mount or rings for your setup.

LEUPOLD VX-3I-10X40 OVERVIEW (2)

I bought the Leupold Weaver-style rings, and they work perfectly.

It comes with a bikini-style cover, but I don’t like it much. I bought a Leupold Alumina cover that works better for me.

Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover Standard Ep 59055
  • Model #59055 - Alumina flip back lens cover kit in standard EP

Is the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40 worth it?

If you want the best overall Leupold scope on the market, the VX-3i is my top choice.

It’s got:

  • Duplex reticle
  • Tactile turrets
  • Edge-to-edge clarity
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Twilight Max low-light visibility
  • Short to long range magnification

To put it simply:

This scope is very versatile and covers all the bases from target shooting to hunting. If you want a quality scope at a great value, try the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40.

Best Overall
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope
  • Model Number 170680: VX-3i 3. 5-10x40 millimeter with Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
  • DiamondCoat 2: Ion-assist lens coating for higher light transmission and the greatest level of abrasion resistance.

2. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15×44: Best for Deer Hunting

If you’re looking for the best scope for deer hunting, the VX-5HD is the way to go.

In fact:

It’s my top pick for hunting any prey at any distance.

Why? Keep reading…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

This scope has the best piece of glass I’ve ever looked through. It’s HD glass, and it’s crystal clear and bright.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 CLARITY

The lenses are lead-free glass, which provides superior optics and is more environmentally friendly than standard glass by-products.

This means you’ll get life-like clarity and vivid color from the calcium-fluoride lenses.

The VX-5HD also features the Twilight Max HD light management system, which is their top-of-the-line coating that provides low-light visibility.

As a hunter, this gives me 20 minutes or more of extra visibility at dusk and dawn, when deer move the most.

The reticle is an Impact-29 MOA.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 RETICLE

This reticle provides multiple well-defined aiming points to make all your shots straightforward, no matter the distance.

If you need something a little simpler at a more affordable price, check out my Leupold VX-R review.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is 3.7 low and 3.8 high.

This is enough as long as you have a good cheek weld.

It also has a fast-focus eyepiece that ensures a generous eye box.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 OVERVIEW (1)

Durability

Like all Leupold rifle scopes, the VX-5HD is built to last.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 OVERVIEW (3)

It’s made of aircraft-grade aluminum that can withstand the harshest treatment and is extremely lightweight.

In fact, this scope is one of the best lightweight rifle scopes on the market.

It’s also fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof.

I accidentally knocked this over into a puddle and it didn’t even faze it.

The lenses also have the Guard-Ion Rain Shedding Coating, which makes them shed water, dirt, and fingerprints. They’re also scratch-resistant.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 OVERVIEW

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets have a ¼ MOA adjustment click value.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 ELEVATION TURRET

They offer an audible and tactile click that’s very reliable.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 TURRETS

Plus, it has a CDS elevation dial, which simplifies those long-distance shots. This means you won’t have to worry about holdovers or ballistics calculations in the middle of a hunt.

This scope zeroes in easily at 100 yards.

It also has a ZeroLock 2, preventing you from accidentally rotating off zero.

Parallax & Magnification

With 3-15x magnification, you get a versatile shooting range.

It may not compare to the best 1-6x scopes for short range, but it easily excels in medium to long range shooting.

At 200 yards, it’s so clear you can see the smallest details on a deer, and I can hit an 8-inch target at 600 yards every time.

The best part?

It has a side focus parallax adjustment that’s quick and easy to use.

Mounting & Rings

The mount or rings you need will vary depending on your setup.

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15X44 OVERVIEW (2)

I went for the Leupold BackCountry Two-Piece Scope Mount, which is great because you can choose the style you need.

I also bought the Alumina Flip-Back Lens cover because it’s my favorite to use on Leupold rifle scopes.

Sale
Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover - 44mm - VX-5HD, VX-6/6HD & Mark...
  • Model #117608 - Alumina flip back lens cover in size 44mm, compatible with VX-5HD, VX-6/6HD & Mark 5HD

Is the Leupold VX-5HD 3-15×44 worth it?

For deer hunting season, the Leupold VX-5HD is the best scope for the job.

It features:

  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • CDS with ZeroLock 2
  • Impact-29 MOA reticle
  • HD, crystal clear glass
  • Twilight Max HD Light Management System

In short:

You’ll get a high-quality hunting scope that’ll make your next trip a breeze.

If you want to make your friends jealous that you’ve got an extra 20 minutes of visibility in the mornings, try the Leupold VX-5HD 3-15×44.

3. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56: Best for 1000 yards

Nothing beats the Mark 5HD when it comes to the best long range scopes.

Not only will you be able to spot and track your prey easily, but you’ll also be able to make those 1000 yard shots consistently to take them down.

Here’s why…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

You’ll get a crisp, clear image from edge to edge with this scope.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 CLARITY

The glass clarity is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 EYEPIECE LENS

It also sports the Twilight Max HD coating, which increases your low-light visibility while also reducing glare.

Plus, it has a fast-focus eyepiece, allowing you to get a clear image and be on target quicker.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 RETICLE (1)

You’ve got a choice between a few different reticles, but I prefer the TMR since it’s simple and uncluttered.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 RETICLE

They’re all front focal plane reticles, though, that allow you to estimate the range at any magnification easily.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Mark 5HD has adequate eye relief at 3.6 low and 3.8 high.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 EYEPIECE (2)

It’s plenty for me. I know when I’m taking those long-distance shots, I’m usually taking my time and getting a good cheek weld.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 EYEPIECE (1)

Durability

You can rest assured that this scope can handle anything you throw at it.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 OVERVIEW (1)

All of Leupold scopes are put through rigorous testing to make sure they can stand up to the harshest treatment.

The lenses have a scratch-resistant coating, and the scope itself is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 EYEPIECE LENS

If that’s not enough, it’s backed by a lifetime guarantee.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 OVERVIEW (2)

On top of that, it’s the lightest scope in its class!

It weighs 10 ounces less than the competition, which is a huge deal when you’re hiking through the woods. That alone makes it one of the best rifle scopes on the market.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are another great feature of this scope.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 TURRETS (1)

It has 3 revolutions of adjustment and 1/10 MIL clicks.

The turrets give a crisp audible and tactile click.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 TURRETS

Plus, it has a high-speed throw lever so that you can change the magnification immediately. There’s nothing worse than missing a shot because you weren’t fast enough with those changes.

Zeroing was a breeze.

I only needed a few minutes to get this zeroed, and it has stayed that way with the zero locking feature.

Parallax & Magnificationit has stayed that way

The Mark 5HD has a 5-25x magnification.

This is exceptional at mid-range distances and still excels at long range shooting.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 OBJECTIVE BELL

I was surprised at the level of detail I could still make out at 800 yards, and I could consistently make 1000 yard shots.

As another bonus, it also has a side focus for parallax adjustment.

Mounting & Rings

You’ll need a 35mm mount for this scope.

I chose the Leupold Integral Rail Mounting System since it’s specifically designed for the Mark.

This scope does come with a lens shade and cover, which is a nice bonus.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 OVERVIEW

Is the Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 worth it?

Whether you participate in long-range competitions or like to hunt and need a scope that’ll allow you to make 1000 yard shots, this scope is ideal.

LEUPOLD MARK 5HD 5-25X56 OVERVIEW (3)

It has:

  • A throw lever
  • FFP reticle options
  • Audible & tactile turrets
  • Outstanding glass clarity
  • Superior low light visibility
  • Lightest weight for its class
  • Waterproof, shockproof, fogproof

In other words:

You’ll get a high-quality long range scope with all the features you need in a lightweight package.

If you’ve been searching for a scope that’ll allow you to make precision long range shots, try the Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56. You’ll be glad you did.

4. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40: Best for the Budget

The VX-Freedom combines high-quality features and durability with a budget-friendly price.

Best for the Budget
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
  • Package dimension : 8.4 cm x 9.3 cm x 35.7 cm
  • Product type : AIMING SCOPE SIGHT
  • Package weight : 0.564 kg

In fact:

It’s the best rimfire scope, works great for muzzleloaders, and even works on shotguns for deer hunting!

This is still one of my favorite Leupold rifle scopes, even though I now have some that were triple the cost.

Here’s why…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The VX-Freedom offers crystal clear glass from edge to edge.

As with all Leupold scopes, it features the Twilight Light Management System. While this is their base level, you’ll still get a good 15-20 minutes of low-light visibility.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 VISUAL

You do have some choices on the type of reticle.

I prefer the Duplex since it quickly draws your eye to the center. It won’t be as fast as holographic sights, but it’s pretty close, and you get the benefit of variable magnification.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 RETICLE

Eye Relief & Eye Box

One of the places where the VX-Freedom excels is with its substantial eye relief.

It has 4.2 at low magnification and 3.7 at high.

I love that I don’t have to even think about my head or eye positioning when I’m out hunting with this rifle scope.

You’ll also get a nice, wide field of view from the eye box.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 OVERVIEW

Durability

The VX-Freedom is very durable.

It undergoes the same testing as all Leupold scopes, so you can feel confident that it’ll hold up.

Like the others, it’s fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 OBJECTIVE BELL

At this price point, I haven’t been as careful with it as I have with some of my other scopes. I’ve thrown it in the back of my truck many times, and it still keeps on working like new.

It’s also backed by lifetime warranty.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WARRANTY

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are accurate and precise ¼ MOA click adjustments.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 TURRETS

Here’s where you can tell that this isn’t a higher-priced scope, though. The turrets are a little mushier than I’d like.

LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 3-9X40 WINDAGE KNOB

Fortunately, they’re still clear and predictable, so it’s not a huge inconvenience.

Like all the other Leupold scopes, it doesn’t take much time to get this one zeroed.

This was my go-to hunting scope for a long time, and I’ve never had to readjust, so it holds zero extremely well.

Parallax & Magnification

The magnification is 3-9x, which gives you a clear view for short to medium range shots.

When I take this hunting, I usually look in the 70-150 yard range, and this scope is perfect for that. I have been able to spot prey further out to about 300 yards too.

The VX-Freedom has a fixed parallax, and I haven’t noticed any distortion.

Mounting & Rings

As with all of the Leupold scopes on this list, you’ll need to purchase a mounting system.

I chose the Leupold Standard 1” Rings for my setup.

Sale
Leupold Std Low Rings 49898, Matte Black, 1"
  • Model #49898 - Standard Rings 1" Low with a Matte finish
  • Designed to match up with Leupold STD 1-piece or 2-piece bases
  • 5 ring heights available

Of course, I also bought the Leupold Alumina flip-back lens cover too.

Sale
Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover 32-33Mm 59035
  • Model #59035 - Alumina flip back lens cover in size 32-33mm

Is the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 worth it?

If you need an affordable scope with the Leupold quality, this is the scope for you.

It sports:

  • A lifetime warranty
  • Generous eye relief
  • Edge-to-edge clarity
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Twilight Light Management System
  • Short to medium range magnification

Simply put:

You’ll get all the essential features you need at a reasonable price.

With crystal clear glass and low-light visibility, you’ll be able to engage your targets quickly and confidently.

Try the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40, and you’ll have one of the best Leupold scopes that’ll last a lifetime.

Best for the Budget
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
  • Package dimension : 8.4 cm x 9.3 cm x 35.7 cm
  • Product type : AIMING SCOPE SIGHT
  • Package weight : 0.564 kg

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best Leupold scope reviews guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which Leupold optics will you pick? Or perhaps you already have one and would like to share your thoughts.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

9 thoughts on “The Best Leupold Scopes Reviewed in 2024”

  1. How about some commentary on Leupold Pistol Scopes. I have the Vari-X 2.5×8 EER mounted on my Ruger .44 Super Redhawk and cannot find any. Info on what the EER stands for?

    Reply
    • Grabbed this from the FAQ page on Leupold’s website:

      Handgun (EER) Scope – Leupold scopes described as Handgun or EER (Extended Eye Relief) are designed to have optimal eye relief when mounted to a hand gun held at arm’s length. These normally have an eye relief of 16 inches.

      Reply
  2. The VX-Freedom is one of the best bargains of riflescope that I’ve seen. It’s USA-made, the build is high quality, and the glass is better than it has a right to be at this price point (it’s VX-2 glass). The 3-9×40 is about the best all-around magnification range. You can do closer-up or longer shots, and yes, a 3-9×40 will get you out to 1,000 rounds, with practice. You will need a 20 MOA scope mount (there are several quality Picatinny rails that do this) to get out that far, though, but it will work. But it’s best, I think, at up to 400-500 yards if you’re hunting game animals.

    The other Leupold scopes are…sweet…is the only word that comes to mind. The VX-5’s are like driving a Mercedes-Benz S-class or a Lexus LS. You know you’re in a higher bracket, and those higher-end scopes show that. The VX-Freedom is like the Honda or Toyota that’s affordable, very well built for reliability, and just keeps on goin’ and goin’.

    Reply
    • Got my son his first scope on his 6.5 creed is 3–9-50leupold freedom shot his first deer so I got one the same on my 65creed haven’t shot anything yet can’t wait till the season comes in this fall

      Reply
  3. Great article! Might consider an update for 2023. Although, most of the specs are similar. I just bought a VX-Freedom 4-12x40mm. It will be mounted on my Henry Varmint Express in .17HMR. Your easy-to-understand writing style really encouraged me regarding my scope selection.

    Reply

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