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Hawke Frontier SF 4-16x42, Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2009 at 21:00
koshkin View Drop Down
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Hawke Frontier SF 4-16x42, Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40 & Co

By "& Co", I mean a bunch of other scopes that I compared with the two explicitly mentioned:


From left to right: IOR 3-18x42FFP, Super Sniper 10x42, IOR 6x42, Kahles American Hunter 3-9x42, Sightron S2 Big Sky 6-24x42, Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40, Hawke Frontier SF 4-16x42, Vortex Viper 4-12x40.  Kahles and the 6x42 IOR are mostly there for a photo-op since I ended up not using them in the comparison a whole lot.  After thinking about it a little, I decided to restrict this to scopes with some sort of focus/parallax compensation.  I was mostly interested in looking at these two scope from the standpoint of low light performance and how the reticles look.

Sightron S2 Big Sky was sent to me for T&E by Sightron.  It is not exactly the right configuration for this comparison, so I will have a separate review concentrating on the Sightron in a little bit.  In the meantime, I have enough overall experience with S2 Big Sky scopes to be fairly certain that the 4-16x42 will behave in a similar manner to 6-24x42 at the same magnificaitons.  This one is a Silhouette model with a dot reticle and 1/4MOA clicks.
Leupold VX-3 is the "Test Drive" sample provided by SWFA.  It has a thin plex reticle.
Hawke Frontier SF was sent to me for T&E by Hawke.  This sample is outfitted with a MilDot true at 10x.

The rest of the scopes are mine and I use them for comparison purposes a fair bit.  They serve as a reference point of a sort for many tests.

Now, for some specs of similarly configured scopes that have 1" tubes:

Hawke Frontier SF
4-16x42
Leupold VX-3
4.5-14x40
(4.9-14.2 actual)
Vortex Viper
4-12x40
Sightron S2 Big Sky
4-16x42
(just for reference)
Sightron S2 Big Sky
4.5-14x44
(just for reference)
Nikon Monarch
4-16x42
(just for reference)
Bushnell Elite 4200
4-16x40
(just for reference)
Weaver Grand Slam 4.5-14x40AO
(just for reference)
Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44
(just for reference)
Burris Signature Select 4-16x44
(just for reference)
Length, in
12.6
12.6
14.4
12.9
12.56
13.5
14.4
14.3
13.9
15.5
Weight, oz
20.4
15.1
15.6
16.6
15.9
19
18.6
16.5
17.1
20
Field of view, ft@100yards
24.6 - 6.2
19.9 - 7.4
27.1 - 9.2
24 - 6.1
25.3 - 7.0
25.2 - 6.3
26 - 7
22.5 - 10.5 (**)
24.9 - 8.4
26 - 8
Eye relief, in
3.8-3.6
4.4 - 3.7
3.4 - 3.1
4.0 - 3.8
3.9 -3.8
4.0 - 3.7
3.5
3.5
3.5
4.0 - 3.5
Side Focus or Adjustable Objective?
SF
AO
SF
AO
SF
SF
SF
AO
SF
AO
Click Value, MOA
1/4, 18 per turn
1/4
1/4, 12 per turn
1/8, 10 per turn
1/4, 20 per turn
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
Adjustment Range, MOA
80
71 (*)
57
80
80
40
50
50
42.8
32
Objective outside diameter, mm
50
50.8
45.7
55.9
52.6
49.3
N/A
N/A
50
60
Eyepiece outside diameter, mm
42.4
40.6
38.1
41.4

www.opticsthoughts.com

Those who are merciful to the cruel, are cruel to the merciful. Talmud
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 01:02
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Thanks Koshkin,

Very Interesting article! Changed my closed mind on Leupold. I enjoy your (Honesty)writing.

JF    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 02:19
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Excellent article! Thanks.

Hawke scopes are substantially cheaper in Europe if you compare other scopes non-European brands. This makes Hawke pretty good bang for a buck even though the warranty isn´t as good as it is with other manufacturers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 05:37
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Excellent review as always,  glad to see leupold properly dressed for the party.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 15:57
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WOW, very thorough. I was glad to see that (in your opinion) the VX3 has improved. Thank you sir.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 16:11
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Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 16:30
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Hmmm.  Many choices in my budget ... well, looks like time to start putting my own eyes to those lenses.Excellent

Thanks for the great review.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 16:47
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Thunbs Up Nice review, Ilya!
 
Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 17:18
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Bang up job, old man... jolly-o.

Thank you, ILya.  Great info.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 19:43
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Excellent as always.  Thank you for taking the time to do these. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 19:56
koshkin View Drop Down
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You are welcome.

The other day, someone brought up an interesting point, that most of my reviews are pretty favorable to the products I review.  Well, actually, that person implied that I am not exactly un-biased with my reviews.

After thinking about it, I think that the products I have been reviewing are, by and large, a self-selecting sample for a couple of reasons
1) I do not get paid to do the reviews, but I do get to choose what I review
2) I have been mostly reviewing the products that are of interest to me, so I have been, for all practical services, pre-screening stuff.

As I start looking at products that the manufacturers send me, as opposed to the stuff I buy, I wonder if that trend is going to last, since I am looking at some stuff now that I probably would not buy for a purpose of a review.

We'll see.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 20:09
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Nice review ILya. Glad to see Leupold is making some upgrades in the glass dept. If they could just fix that eye relief issue..............

Roy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 23:08
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ILya,

It may not be that your reviews are unnecessarily positive, but optics companies, due to competition, are putting out gear of increasing quality.  Good for them ... good for us.

I, for one, find your reviews quite informative.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2009 at 23:16
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 Thank you so much for a terrific review,detailed,honest & very time consuming on your part.Also my hat goes off to you for keeping it simple so non tech people like myself  don't get board with the article " The Pearls of Wisdom are Heard not Spoken"
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2009 at 10:01
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

Nice review ILya. Glad to see Leupold is making some upgrades in the glass dept. If they could just fix that eye relief issue..............

Roy
 
 
I agree with Roy.  It's way overdue IMO. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/22/2009 at 16:39
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the more i read about the new vx3 the more im tempted to give leupold another chance. thanks for the great info as usual ilya!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/22/2009 at 17:26
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

Nice review ILya. Glad to see Leupold is making some upgrades in the glass dept. If they could just fix that eye relief issue.............. Roy

 

 

I agree with Roy.  It's way overdue IMO. 


When you consider all the positive attributes of Leupold scopes (great customer service, tons of options, lifetime warranties regardless of the owner status and a good reputation for reliability) and durability, the variability of eye relief would seal the deal for me and many others I'm sure. While the glass upgrade was probably a fairly simple upgrade, the changing eye relief is probably a somewhat more difficult task to undertake. I am only guessing, but this would probably involve a more costly redesign of the optical design/system. Like I said earlier, the glass improvement, beefed up erector assembly and more accurate adjustments are very big steps in the right direction for this consumer. The fact that all the improvements thus far were brought to us at a modest price increase is wonderful news. I am now considering purchasing a Leupold FX3 6x42 for my 280 Ackley just because most of my shooting for whitetails up north don't really require very close snap shooting. It will probably save me a few ounces as well over my present B&L 2.5-10 Elite 4200.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 13:17
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Thanks for a great review and information Ilya, we appreciate all your time and trouble to test and write up the reports.
 
Duce Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 20:25
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Thanks ILya,
Glad to hear Leupold is making progress, maybe it's nostalgia on my part but but I'm happy they are getting back on track.
Sam 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2009 at 09:55
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Wow.... thanks for taking the "time" to do these tests!   Great writing, as this was easy to read and understand!!
 
Would be interested in hearing more about your "perceived" bias!  Maybe you need to include a POS scope so you can at least give one unfavorable review.  Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2009 at 13:00
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Did you pull the specs from the makers' websites or independently verify  any?  Eye relief is frequently mis-represented (I have found, through experience.)

Did the stated eye relief seem "off" on any of the scopes tested?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2009 at 17:40
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Excellent review.  However, as a scientist, we both know that unless you perform a double blinded study, then subjectivity is always going to be a strong consideration in a review of any product.  I know that it would be very hard to do that with rifle scopes, but it is still possible.  With your knowledge of optics and science, along with SWFA, I would really like to see a double blinded study, possibly beginning with a group of fixed power scopes to make it simple in the beginning.  Again, your review was thorough, engaging and quite good, but just some thoughts.

Edited by safariarms man - August/02/2009 at 17:43
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2009 at 10:54
koshkin View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Did you pull the specs from the makers' websites or independently verify  any?  Eye relief is frequently mis-represented (I have found, through experience.)

Did the stated eye relief seem "off" on any of the scopes tested?

The specs in the table are from the websites.  However, nothing seemed particualrly off including eyerelief.  It appeared to be right around the advertised values.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 17:26
koshkin View Drop Down
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BTT.

I am applying for a "media" badge for the next SHOT Show which requires proof, i.e. industry relevant stuff that I have written and posted here.
I will bring several of my threads back to the top to make them easier to find.
Thanks
ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2010 at 06:55
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Nice comparison. Seems we consumers are the winners with this group of scopes. Had forgotten that I was a member here, so have only read this purchasing the the VX-3 2.5-8x36 on my Model 70 Classic in 30-06 hunting rifle and the VX-3 4.5-14x40 AO mounted on my 40-X rimfire silhouette rifle. Now, if I can find the correctly priced 36X with target dot for the BSA Martini MkII rimfire benchrest rifle I'll be good.
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