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Leupold Mark 4 ER/T 6.5-20x50mm (34mm) M5A2 vs the

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 09:28
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: December/19/2011
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“Beaverton takes on Biebertal: The scope review/comparison you’ve been waiting for – the Leupold Mark 4 ER/T 6.5-20x50mm vs the Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 PM II/LP!” A dual review/shootout by GlockandRoll, Sr. Staff Writer

Thanks to Leupold’s tactical optics division and my buddy “Chillin” on the hide, I was able to spend an afternoon comparing the new Leupold Mark 4 ER/T 6.5-20x50mm (34mm) M5A2 with the venerable S&B 5-25×56 PM II/LP. And although I didn’t take a big entourage out along with some HD video equipment, I did take a fairly decent camera and an open mind. It’s worth mentioning also that this was not originally intended as a head-to-head match-up when I got the scope from Leupold, however when telling my friend about how much I liked the new Mk4 (who knows how much I love his S&B 5-25) he said he’d love for me to take them both out for an afternoon and see what I thought. How could I not take him up on that?

First allow me to tell you that I have long considered the Schmidt and Bender 5-25×56 PM II/LP the holy grail of long range precision optics.. and was chomping at the bit to see these side by side in the field. The new Leupold, the one the US Army is putting on the XM2010, is shockingly good.. But the question is, “at $3K, is it S&B good?” And I think that’s a question worth answering.. wouldn’t you agree?

Needless to say, it was a very exciting late afternoon and I’m happy to share my first impressions with both after sending some rounds down range. The S&B was on my 7mm mag shooting black hills loaded with the 162 a-max, and the Leupold was on my .308 pushing 175 SMK’s in front of 44.5 grains of varget.

The conditions were ideal late in the afternoon last weekend at Best of the West in Liberty Hill,TX.. About 89 degrees with a light 5 mph headwind and the barometric pressure was high and there wasn’t a cloud in the beautiful bright blue North Mexico sky. It took a while before I started shooting to really spend some time just looking at the different scopes, noticing the way the reticle appeared at different power settings and how the focus affected the image sharpness, along with how good the side focus knob worked and how much the eye-relief and field of view changed. Both were fantastic and I noticed something subtle but consistent with the two scopes, the S&B seemed to have a way to transfer color better, and that helped with the image detail a bit, but it was not as bright as the new FFP 34mm Leupold, and that seemed consistent through the day.

Here are two pictures taken at practically the exact same time, setting them both on 20x magnification and adjusting the focus until it looked best. If you look carefully, you will see that the sky looks darker on both sides of the top of the Leupold picture. I attribute this to the image being a bit brighter and the cameras imager automatically adjusting to compensate, but I’m not a photography expert so please forgive me if that is not accurate. 

Link to pic heavy review:

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