Leupold VX-2 Review

Leupold VX-2 3-9x40

Greetings. You must be wondering if the Leupold VX-2 is the right scope for you. Don’t worry, I’ll look into all the decisive features, pros and cons. Then try to make an unbiased scope comparison so you can make informed decisions for your buck.

I used the Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 for this review since this is the most popular variants. Note that other magnification and objective lens size are available. Here is the list of all the VX-2 models :

Now I’ll start the Leupold VX-2 review. In case you want to skip all the reading, jump to Conclusion or Main features.


Tech Specs

Overall length (Inch) 12.6
Weight (oz) 11.2
Tube Diameter (Inch) 1
Tube material 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum
Mounting Space (Inch) 5.6
Finish Matte Black
Gloss Black
Magnification 3-9x
Objective Diameter (Inch) 1.8
Eyepiece Diameter (Inch) 1.6
Linear FOV (ft/100 yd) – Low 34.6
Linear FOV (ft/100 yd) – High 14.6
Reticle Duplex
Wide duplex
LR Duplex
Leupold Dot
German #4
Reticle Focal Plane Second
Reticle illuminated No
Eye Relief (Inch) – Low 4.2
Eye Relief (Inch) – High 3.7
Finger Adjustable Turrets Yes
Turrets Resettable to Zero No
Adjustment Type Click
Adjustment Click Value 1/4 MOA
Elevation Adjustment Range (MOA) 52
Windage Adjustment Range (MOA) 52
Fast Focus Eye Piece Yes
Parallax Setting Fixed at 150 yards
Waterproof/Fogproof/Shockproof Yes
Lens Coating Fully Multi-Coated
Warranty Full Lifetime

Official Leupold VX-2 video


What rifle/ammunition is compatible with the Leupold VX-2

The scope is rugged and well made. The Leupold VX-2 can even handle high recoil load such as a .44 magnum lever action. With proper rings and mounts, it can work on any rifle/ammunition you have.


The Leupold brand

Leupold is a well known American manufacturer of optics since 1907. Leupold has been run by 5 generations of optics zealot.

Other than high quality and user-friendliness, perhaps the most famous thing is its full lifetime warranty, the “Leupold golden ring guarantee”.

Even though their lenses are made in Japan. Coating and machining are all done in USA. Buy a Leupold brand and get American quality!


Mounting the scope

The scope tube is 1″ diameter with 5.6 inches mounting space. Make sure you get 1″ rings of appropriate height and applicable base type.

A quick note here : Investing in decent rings and mounts will save you time and money. Scopes will last longer and you will waste less time zeroing them year after year.

Also, as a rule of thumb for ring height, choose the lowest height that doesn’t obstruct other parts of your rifle for maximum accuracy.

If you are not sure which mount to use, try Leupold’s, Talley’s or Aero Precision ultra light scope mount.

I personally mounted the scope on our Remington 700 SPS with “Leupold Standard 1″ Rings” which have medium height and allow us to keep the rear sight mounted. It was easy to install and fits nicely.


Main features

Light weight scope

This scope is one of the lightest and most compact 3-9×40 scope. It weighs only 11.2 ounce. Much lighter than Nikon p308 4-12×40 (17.5 oz) and Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 (14.4 oz)

For long days of hiking or odd shooting angle situation, you’ll be thankful for a lighter scope.

Plus, it would be the perfect choice for your child’s first rifle scope.


Looking through the scope

Despite it’s light weight, Leupold VX-2’s clarity is awesome. In fact it appears to be one of the brightest and clearest scope for low light conditions in this price range. It would give you that extra minutes during dusk and dawn where wildlfe is most active.

The lens edges are blackened to reduce unwanted glare and light diffusion. No rainbow, no dull surface with excellent edge to edge sharpness.

Respectable field of view (34.6 feet @ 3x and 14.6 feet @ 9x), generous eye relief (3.7″-4.2″) and user-friendly “eyebox” all add up to make this scope fun and easy to shoot. These features prove useful in the field where awkward positions and varying amounts of clothing can affect how you handle your rifle.



Advertised as a 3-9x scope, you’ll get an actual magnification of 3.2x – 8.8x. Which is enough big and medium game hunting applications. But if you intend to shoot beyond 400 yards or want to hunt varmints, this scope is not for you.

Other than that, the shift through magnification levels is seamless and reliable. I tested this by zeroing in at 100 meters on 3x, then dialed it up to 9x and see whether there was any movement of the shot group. Turned out the shots were very accurate and went right through the prior shots.

The zoom control ring is rather stiff. At least, you’re ensured that it won’t move unless you want it to.



The reticle is nice and clear which makes it very easy to find on target. Even though it is not illuminated, the scope is great in low light.

Leupold VX-2’s reticle has quick focus feature which makes the scope adjustable on the field. Some people prefer a lock ring as they normally adjust the reticle focus only once. But for people with vision problems, the adjustable focus should proves handy.

The Leupold VX-2 has 5 reticles you can choose from. However these incur additional costs. The duplex is the simplest and cheapest reticle. Here’s a list of reticles you can choose from :

  1. Duplex
  2. Wide duplex
  3. LR Duplex
  4. Leupold Dot
  5. German #4

You can click to see reticle pictures from Leupold’s website here.

I personally picked the Duplex reticle because of low price and suitability for our intended 50-200 yards shooting purpose.


Parallax settings

The Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 has no parallax adjustment. It is factory-set at 150 yards.

You can in fact, pay (quite a lot) more for the parallax adjustment. But with 3-9x, I think the parallax is a non-issue. So let’s zip up our wallet on unused features.


Turrets adjustment

Both windage and elevation turrets are finger adjustable by 52 MOAs. They are covered by aluminium caps to prevent unintentional adjustments.

I measured the clicks MOAs and tested whether I can shoot at the same spot after adjusting the turrets back and forth. Turns out errors are very small to the point of insignificant.

This makes zeroing a very easy task.

Leupold also services a Custom Dial System (CDS) where you supplied your cartridge, grain, muzzle velocity and other bunch of info. Then they will make a switchable custom dial for that exact bullet trajectory. For a price, of course.

Enough of the good points, the turrets look plastic and feel a bit cheap. Plus there are no zero reset feature.



“Leupold scope is known for its ruggedness.”

I put the above statement to the test.

  1. Dropped the scope 5.5 feet to the grass
  2. Put the scope in the freezer for 5 minutes
  3. Submerge the scope for 10 seconds

After doing all this, the scope still functions perfectly. Incredible!

You might wonder “This guy got guts!”.
No, not really. I know Leupold’s reputation on full lifetime guarantee.

Leupold’s warranty is second to none. They are known to even replace a 45 years old scope with a better one for free. Just like that!

Tips : Leupold scope has high reselling value due to this unbelievable full lifetime guarantee.

Tips#2 – Lens maintenance : They should be cleaned as carefully as you would a camera lens. Begin by using a lens brush to remove dust and then pure alcohol, highgrade glass cleaner, or pure water on a cotton swab.


Scope Comparison

  • In normal light condition, Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 image is on par with Nikon P-308 4-12×40 (with different magnification though). But on low light condition Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 is better.
  • Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 is designed for shorter range than Nikon P-308 4-12×40 due to its reticle and magnification range.
  • Leupold VX-2’s low light capability is a welcoming upgrade from the Leupold VX-1.
  • Compare to Leupold Rifleman, VX-2 has better quality lens especially in low light and holds zero a lot better.
  • VX-3 scopes are housed in a one-piece tube whereas the VX-2 use 2 piece housing. Furthermore the VX-3 provides more light transmission than the VX-2. The VX-3 also have larger turrets adjustment range.
  • The VX-2 image quality is better than the older Leupold Vari-X III and older Leupold VXIII.


The Verdict : What I think of Leupold VX-2 3-9×40

I vote Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 as the one of the best hunting scope under $300. Light weight, durable and exceptional in low light for the price range. If you’re looking for a value scope to hunt within 50-200 yards, this is the scope for you. However, if you’re looking for long range or some tactical action, you should find yourself another scope.

Pros and Cons Table

Pros Cons
✓ Crisp and clear image ✗ Not great for +400 range
✓ Great in low light ✗ Higher priced
✓ Light weight and compact ✗ Different reticle incurs higher cost
✓ Accurate turrets adjustment ✗ Custom Dial System incurs higher cost
✓ Durable and high resell value
✓ Reliable warranty

Fun facts

1. Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 costs $100-$200 more in Canada.

2. Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 is now a limited edition because Leupold no longer manufactures them.

Leupold vx-2 3-9x40



Alternate scope

1. Nikon P-308 4-12×40

Nikon P-308 4-12×40 features higher magnification, BDC Reticle and lower price. However it’s heavier, and produces worse image in low light conditions.

If you plan to shoot long range and/or are not a fan of low light hunting, go for Nikon P-308 4-12×40.

Read our review on Nikon P-308 4-12×40 or go to Amazon to check price.


2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40

Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 also produces quality image on par with the Leupold VX-2 at a lower price. Even though the Vortex is cheaper and has a BDC reticle, it is also heavier, features smaller eye-relief/eyebox and has flare issue during low light facing the sun.

If you don’t mind small eye relief, on a tight budget or want to go longer range, try Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40.

Read our review on Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 or go to Amazon to check price

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