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Leupold VX-R and Vortex Viper Review

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 16:27
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UPS dropped off a couple boxes for me yesterday.  I had never laid eyes or hands on either of these scopes before so these are 100% first impressions.  Not only that I have never owned a scope by either company before.  I am just a "regular" guy who loves to hunt and is looking to upgrade his optics.
 
 
LEUPOLD VX-R  3-9 40mm
 
Packed very well, looks great, no blemishes or anything visually to be concerned with, came with a Leupold sticker, manual, and battery for the fire dot.  Visually a very nice looking scope with sharp details.
 
 
 
 
 
The mechanics of the scope are buttery smooth but not sloppy..........the focus on the eyepiece and the magnification dials both move easily enough to be smooth in the field with one hand.  The windage and elevation knobs are nice and crisp with audible and tactile clicks to guide you.
 
 
At first glance through the scope the brightness and clarity are impressive......nice clear sight picture right out to the edges.  The eye relief is great and while I don't know what the exact way to explain this is..........the sight picture was easily maintained even at max magnification (I didn't struggle with keeping a full clear picture even free hand at 9x).
 
Before I post any of the following pics PLEASE understand these are taken holding a digital camera behind the scopes in a dark house looking through a sliding glass door on a snowy white day.  I cannot emphasize enough these should in NO WAY be taken as an example of what you can expect to see with your own eye.  I was just having some fun with a doe in my yard (the scope is not on a gun).
 
 
 
 
The Fire Dot reticle is what interested me the most about this scope so I was eager to try it out.  Very easy to adjust and the blinking feature when it is maxed out is a nice touch.  I checked the motion activation of the Fire Dot and it worked as advertised, again excellent feature for saving battery life.  Could be tricky for a left handed person to adjust while aiming but I don't see where else they could put the control.  The Fire Dot looks awesome on a deer (pictures that follow do it NO justice).  This feature will be amzing at low light situations IMO.  One negative I noticed is at higher magnifications head movement will seperate the Fire Dot from the crosshairs center........not sure what optical phenomenon is responsible for that or if it is even a negative (should help keep your eye centered)..........but I could see someone pulling the trigger when they see that Dot glowing where they want to hit in the heat of the moment.  Honestly it doesn't move enough to take you out of effective lethal accuracy on a deer unless you are talking 300 yards plus but it's worth mentioning.  I don't think many long range bombers are into red dots but I may be wrong.
 
I am hesitant to even post these pics because I don't want anyone to think the Fire Dot looks like this with the naked eye..........it is brighter and crisper then anything you see here.  Just having fun with a cheap digital camera.  Take them for what they are please.
 
 
 
 
 
Overall I would say the Leupold is an outstanding scope.  It does everything I hoped it would in my hands and I will soon mount it and report back with my results at the range.  If it performs as well on my rifle as I am expecting I think it will be an awesome deer hunting scope for my needs.
 
 
Value for the price??.........honestly can't complain.  I don't feel like I got a screaming deal but in no way do I feel jipped.  I got what I paid for and I am very pleased.
 
 
 
Vortex Viper 2-7  32mm
 
Packed very well, no blemishes or any visual problems to be concerned with, came with a Vortex pin, soft cloth and all needed literature.  Nice looking scope as well.  I immediately liked the magnification adjuster as it will be easy to find even wearing gloves.
 
 
The mechanics of the scope were excellent on the eyepiece and magnification........moving smoothly with no sloppy feel.  The windage and elevation knobs were crisp and gave audible and tactile clicks easy to follow, they also have a nice feature of resetting them to "zero" once you are dialed in.
 
 
I picked up the scope to look through it and was disappointed to see it was fogged to the point I couldn't even see through it.  In all fairness it just went from 10 degrees to 70 degrees but so did the Leupold and it was not fogged at all.  I don't expect any drastic temp changes like that ever in the field but certainly worth noting.  I waited until to today to look through it in daylight and was pleasantly surprised at the brightness and clarity..........very nice, again clear and bright in the whole sight picture.  At higher magnification it was harder to maintain a solid sight picture (free hand mind you) but nothing horrible.  Eye relief was great.  Comparing the 7x magnification on a deer in the yard 80 yards away to the 9x on the Leupold and I agree it's nothing that will make you ever miss a shot opportunity inside 125 yards.  Reticle is not my favorite but not bad.
 
 
 
Overall I would say the Viper is a good scope.  Worthy of the amount of hype I have seen here??.........IMO no but certainly no insult.  It is a fine scope and the more I look through it the more I like it.  If it holds zero and performs on par with it's looks it will be a fine option for a deer hunter to rely on in the field.
 
 
Value for the price?  Again, can't complain.  I also do not feel like I got a screaming deal on this scope either though.  Not sure what they used to cost and it's impossible to say I am not biased by knowing what I paid, but I would seriously question it's value over what I currently paid and doubt  I would feel as good about this scope if it cost more.  That
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 16:50
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Looks great, thanks for sharing!  It sure is fun to have new toys to play with during the long winter months.
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how do you compare the glass between the two into low light?

sure would be nice to see Leupold knock a home run on these scopes

can you put it on the lowest power setting, cover the end and look into the scope
do you see any red flare coming from inside the scope tube?

I will check out at SHOT
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 19:38
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Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 20:51
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Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.

did you use that viper in the field or are your observations strictly based on looking out a window in your house? im just wondering, because a lot of people here are pretty happy with that 2x7 viper, im included. koshkin rated that scope highly, i trust his eyes and mine agree.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 21:06
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  +1    Yep,it sure beats my rebuilt 60's era scopes.  It also beat out a scope I paid $375 for.  And ain't far behind my 4X Conquest. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 22:47
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Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.


You must be running some damn fine optics if you reckon the glass on that Viper is 'just so-so'.

I'm trying to find an excuse to buy another one, I think they're a very good scope for not much money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 07:04
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.
Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.
Whistling


Edited by SVT_Tactical - January/19/2011 at 10:11
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 09:45
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Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.
 
Maybe this isn't a vortex website afterall.  Finally a negative comment on the viper.  His eyes are the ones looking through the scope and good thing no one jumps on him for having an opinion.Loco  (I personally like the glass on the vipers I've looked through)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 10:11
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How did you convince the deer to pose for you??Shocked
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 10:54
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Originally posted by Teddy Bear Teddy Bear wrote:

Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.
 
Maybe this isn't a vortex website afterall.  Finally a negative comment on the viper.  His eyes are the ones looking through the scope and good thing no one jumps on him for having an opinion.Loco  (I personally like the glass on the vipers I've looked through)
 
So help me understand here...
If a bunch of people appreciate a good product at a good price point, backed up by a company who has demonstrated excellent customer service, that means that this forum is blindly biased toward that product and therefore opinions cannot be trusted?
 
I don't recall anyone saying the Vipers could go head to head with a Zeiss Diavari, only that it was a solid product for what you pay for it, backed by an excellent warranty.  Regardless of what brand name is on said product, those factors are going to generate plenty of recommendations.  There was equal enthusiasm here for the Bushnell Elite 4200 series for the same reasons, and Bushnell has nowhere near as good a customer service as Vortex.
 
Nobody will agree on everything.  Nobody was jumping on cruft because he didn't like the Viper.  The criticism was directed more toward the "if it was 1960 would be thrilled" hyperbole, which is a bit ridiculous given that plenty of people here have the same scope and know better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 11:12
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Rifledude, my response was directed towards a comment on the thread thats already been removed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 11:16
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Originally posted by Teddy Bear Teddy Bear wrote:

Rifledude, my response was directed towards a comment on the thread thats already been removed.
 
I can't find another comment that has been edited or removed other than mine. So does that mean your talking about mine?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 11:48
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I received my Viper 2-7x33 from SWFA today.  The scope had been sitting outside in 27 degree weather, and the thermostat is set on 72 inside the house.  The scope was cold to the touch, but just barely fogged up.  I could still see through it just fine. 

I don't consider myself to be a good judge of optical quality.  I buy scopes based on what you guys say are quality optics.  However, I'll say that I feel like this Viper is a step behind the 4200 3-9x40 I just bought.  Honestly, I can't tell much difference between this Viper, my Monarch 3-9x40, Weaver V10, Burris FFII, or Simmons Whitetail 3.5-10.  The 4200 is the only scope I've had that seemed noticeably better than anything else I've owned...

My only complaints are that the reticle isn't very thick for supposedly being designed for thick cover and/or dangerous game, and the fact that it's an ugly scope to me personally.  That big eyepiece combined with the small bell housing don't look right to me- especially with the magnification adjustment bar on top.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 12:15
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Originally posted by jason miller jason miller wrote:

I received my Viper 2-7x33 from SWFA today. 

My only complaints are that the reticle isn't very thick for supposedly being designed for thick cover and/or dangerous game, and the fact that it's an ugly scope to me personally.


That would be one recommendation I would have on the C3, make the circle and the bars outside the circle at tad thicker
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 13:08
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Agreed.  Although with this scope being discontinued, I guess it doesn't matter.  Does anyone know if they're bringing out something new to replace it?
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Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.
 
 
I paid $169 for the Viper and IMO it's pushing it's luck even at that price.........I have seen that scope priced as high as $289.  If I had paid that much for it I would be fuming.
 
I bought it sight unseen after seeing the overwhelming high praise it was getting here. 
 
While I can't say I agree with the level of flattery......I won't say it's a bad scope.
 
For the $169 it's hard to complain but yes I was expecting more from the glowing reviews it got on this forum.
 
Will I be running around telling all my buddies to buy one?  No.
 
Am I sorry I bought it?  No.
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

can you put it on the lowest power setting, cover the end and look into the scope
do you see any red flare coming from inside the scope tube?
 
 
Yes you can..........actually you can see it in a couple of the pics I posted looking through the scope.
 
 
I'm guessing this is not a good thing?
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Originally posted by BillyWayne BillyWayne wrote:

How did you convince the deer to pose for you??Shocked
 
 
Pointing a scope through my yard and not seeing a deer is harder then seeing one. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 15:45
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 I picked up one of the 2-7 Vipers last year when they dropped the price on them. Bout 180$. And for the money  I think it is a great scope. If I had paid 500 for it? Probably would be disappointed. But all in all it is a pretty good scope optically speaking. I do think you have to consider the 32mm when you "grade" this scope. It is not going to be as bright as a 40mm. Am going to move this scope to my 44 carbine and buy another scope for my 308 with a larger objective. And the Vortex Viper or it's replacement will certainly be considered as one of the scopes i look at.
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Originally posted by atlasman atlasman wrote:

Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.
 
 
I paid $169 for the Viper and IMO it's pushing it's luck even at that price.........I have seen that scope priced as high as $289.  If I had paid that much for it I would be fuming.
 
I bought it sight unseen after seeing the overwhelming high praise it was getting here. 
 
While I can't say I agree with the level of flattery......I won't say it's a bad scope.
 
For the $169 it's hard to complain but yes I was expecting more from the glowing reviews it got on this forum.
 
Will I be running around telling all my buddies to buy one?  No.
 
Am I sorry I bought it?  No.


Atlasman,

In what areas were you disappointed with your Viper?  Was there a specific optical or build area?  Was it just a general feeling?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2011 at 21:56
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Originally posted by atlasman atlasman wrote:

Originally posted by cruft cruft wrote:

Bought the same viper at SWFA for about $180 or less.  If it was 1960 would be thrilled but it's not.  Well made just so-so glass but this was just purchased on the emotion driven price.  This will put me off of Vortex but it's not their fault I have buyer's remorse.
 
 
I paid $169 for the Viper and IMO it's pushing it's luck even at that price.........I have seen that scope priced as high as $289.  If I had paid that much for it I would be fuming.
 
I bought it sight unseen after seeing the overwhelming high praise it was getting here. 
 
While I can't say I agree with the level of flattery......I won't say it's a bad scope.
 
For the $169 it's hard to complain but yes I was expecting more from the glowing reviews it got on this forum.
 
Will I be running around telling all my buddies to buy one?  No.
 
Am I sorry I bought it?  No.


Atlasman,

In what areas were you disappointed with your Viper?  Was there a specific optical or build area?  Was it just a general feeling?
 
 
 
It's all in the review at the start of the thread  Wink
 
 
When I brought it in from outside to the warm house it fogged up so bad I couldn't see through it........temp change issues concern me when going from a warm truck to my stand is sometimes only a few minute walk.
 
I don't really like the fact that at higher magnification it seems "easy" to lose the sight picture.......my eye wanders from dead center just a tiny bit and it's lights out.
 
I also don't like the reticle very much.
 
As far as "feeling" goes...........maybe all the hype I read here gave me unrealistic expectations but when I look through the scope I am not "wowed" in any way.  Is it nice??.......yes, but I certainly am not overly impressed (even at $169).
 
Just my opinion.
 
 
Keep in mind............I LIKE the scope. 
 
 
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Originally posted by atlasman atlasman wrote:

When I brought it in from outside to the warm house it fogged up so bad I couldn't see through it........temp change issues concern me when going from a warm truck to my stand is sometimes only a few minute walk.
 


If the fogging you're referring to was on outside lens surfaces, that's condensation, and will happen with any scope at any price level from the least to the most expensive when subjected to rapid temperature changes; it's virtually unavoidable.  The same thing happens when you breathe on any cold surface.  It has nothing to do with scope quality.  If the fogging was on the inside of the scope, then that is a defect -- the scope is leaking and you should send it in for repair.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2011 at 00:03
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Originally posted by atlasman atlasman wrote:

I certainly am not overly impressed (even at $169).

For the sake of curiosity, what $169 scope are you overly impressed with?
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I think Atlasman has made it abundantly clear how he feels about the Viper. He likes it, but he is not overly excited about it as many others seem to be. He repects their opinions and in no manner does he begrudge them that.  
So maybe we should extend him the same courtesy.
 
Thank you for a nice write up and sharing your personal opinions.
 
By the way, the fact that the red dot separates from the reticule is due to them being on different focal planes, causing a parallax error.
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