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VXI 3-9x40 vs ??? in the same price range

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2010 at 08:28
JimFromTN View Drop Down
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My brother is a big Luepold fan and does not own any other brand of scope.  He recently go a good deal on a rem 700 in 30/06.  He only has around $200 to spend on a scope so he is going with the vxI 3-9x40.  I am not a die hard leupold fan so I am thinking there are allot better scopes out there for the same money.  I personally think a Bushnell Legend has just as good of glass and you can find them for half the price.  What would you consider a better scope for the same money?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2010 at 08:32
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Chief Sackscratch

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vortex viper
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2010 at 08:47
lucytuma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2010 at 12:00
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I feel sorry for him. I've actually got 2 complaints about the VX-I's. The first is, I had, or actually still have is a 3-9x40 Leupold VX-I. I actually had two of them. The first one I bought new several years ago. It lasted for about 8 months and then every time I shot it was almost like the picture shook inside of the scope. I sent it into Leupold and got it back. When I received it back, I put it on my rifle, sighted it in, and put it up. I got it out come hunting season only to find that it seemed to be moving every couple of shots. It would shoot 2-3 together, then it was like it would adjust to somewhere else. Shoot 2-3 together, then shoot a different poi quite a few inches off again. I took it off once again and got it repaired once more. I'm going to also say, even when it did work, it seemed to lose zero if it got dropped, bumped hard, or anything else. I've not had any other scopes that lost zero that easily. I had the scope hit me in the forehead after a shot with it, and next shot it was about 4" low. I also had it in a padded gun sock and it tipped over and landed on carpet. Not hard at all, and not like it fell, it just tipped over. I went to check the poi again and it was several inches off from where it had been. I've had other scopes that I've dropped, and banged around a lot more and they have never lost zero. Even the cheaper ones.
I will also say the friction adjustments are about the worst scope invention I've ever used.

The 2nd one I had I bought from a friend. He got his used on a gun and used it for about a year. Then his quit holding zero and would adjust itself with every shot. He at this point was fed up with it and didn't even care to have it fixed. So he sold it to me really cheap. I got Leupold to fix it, and then I sold it without even mounting it. This one was a 2-7x33.

A third friend also had one and his wouldn't hold zero right out of the box. He got it fixed, then traded it off for a .22 rifle.

Now I've read guys online say theirs haven't given them any mechanical problems, so maybe we just got lemons. However, it's enough to lower my confidence in them.

Now onto the next issue I have with them is the glass. I got them out and compared both of the ones I had to two Simmons. One was a Simmons Deerfield 3-9x32 and one was a 8 Point 3-9x40. I also compared it to a Tasco Bucksight. So all low end and cheap Simmons and Tasco's. I first compared it to the Tasco. Now I only did this comparison in daylight so I'm not sure about low light compared to the Tasco. Anyway, I couldn't tell a difference in clarity so had a few friends check it out to make sure it wasn't just me. To my surprise they all agreed that the Tasco looked clearer. I just couldn't tell a difference except for the Tasco was $30 and the Leupold was $230. To top it off, the Tasco has never failed to hold zero or given me any other issues. One time I did see a hair of difference is in bright sun it seemed like I got slightly more glare through the Tasco, but even then it wasn't much of a difference. This is the only comparison I did with it and the Tasco.

Next I both the Leupolds I had to both the Simmons. In all honesty, I couldn't tell a difference in the daylight between these either. So I tried them out in low light. To my huge surprise, I could see better with both of the Simmons. I looked down a dark hallway, with a small red led at the end. Looking through the Leupolds, I could only see the led and that was it. Through the Simmons, I could see the led as well as the surrounding wall lit up very dimly red.

Now this isn't to say that the Simmons are great as they aren't, it just shows how bad the Leupold glass was.

Next I compared the VX-I to a Burris Fullfield II and there was no comparison at all. The Burris just blows the Leupold out of the water. In daytime the difference is huge. The Burris looks so much more vibrant when it comes to colors, and you can just see more detail through it. A buddy looked through them both first and just said "wow". I of course had to look at them after that and wow was right. There just was a big difference. So I had to do some more testing with the Fullfield II. I've taken it out hunting and in low light in the evenings or early mornings the Fullfield II is way better. I've had times when I could see a little in the middle of the field, but around the egdes of the field, I couldn't see due to it being dark. When looking through the Burris I could clearly make out objects, and see fine around the edges of the field. I could honestly see stuff I couldn't see with my naked eye. With the Leupold, I couldn't see anything that I couldn't see with with the naked eye, and if I could see shadows with my eye, I often couldn't see them in the Leupold. Not to mention the Burris has now been in service longer than the Leupold, and it's yet to give me any problems.

Now I honestly thought that the Leupold was no better and worse than some of the cheap scopes, but I will say that's not always the case. I checked several others out at the stores, and several looked milky and washed out, and worse than the VX-I. The Bushnell Banner was one that looked worse to me, and there were a few others. Even the Nikon Pro Staff looked slightly worse to me. I was surprised. So the Leupold VX-I certainly doesn't have the worst glass you can get, however, you can get a lot better glass for a decent bit cheaper.

Now one thing Leupold does have great is customer service. IMO that's about all they have going for them in their lower end scopes, as the scopes aren't that great and are expensive.

I'm not saying don't go with Leupold, but I'd not go with anything below a VX-II. The Vortex Viper would be the best choice in his price range. If he doesn't want that the Vortex Diamondback or Burris Fullfield II would be much better options also.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2010 at 22:45
Shenko View Drop Down
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Go to the 'Members Tests and Reviews' section and read Ilya Koshkin's 'Inexpensive Scope Comparison.'
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2010 at 20:52
The Dude View Drop Down
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I second the 'Inexpensive Scope Comparison' by Koshkin. I've owned / own Redfield revolution, Bushnell Elite 3200 and Vortex Diamondback. 

The Elite and Diamondback are gone. I currently own 3 Vipers, 1 Leupold FX-3 and four Redfield Revolutions. All are good scopes that I have no problem recommending.

Josh
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2010 at 20:58
lucytuma View Drop Down
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I'm one of leupold biggest fans, but I believe there are better choices out there than the VXI.  The VX3 is a different story and I'd throw the VXII 1-4x20 in there also, but I really can't recommend the VXI
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2010 at 08:18
magshooter1 View Drop Down
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Just MO but I think anything in the Leupold line below the VX3 is not worth the $$.  You can get better optics for less $$.  That being said I do own a Vari-X EFR 3x9x33 AO that sits on my A-Bolt .22 but, I got it used for low $$.
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