Leupold has been a leader in the optics market for many years. In the past decade, their dominance has come under fire from companies offering less-expensive optics, most of which are made in Japan. The question many asked: “will Leupold cut corners to try and compete at lower prices, or maintain status as a premium manufacturer?”. I’d say the Beaverton, Oregon based company has opted for the latter. This is my first take on the Leupold LRP line, so I was excited to get it out and stretch its legs.
The specific model I got a hold of to review is the VX-3i, LRP (long range precision). This is a 4.5-14×50 power optic, with a mil-based reticle in the front focal plane. The reticle has 10 mils of vertical and horizontal marks in .5 mil increments. Internally, the scope has 29 mils of horizontal and vertical adjustment. The finger-adjustable turrets have a zero stop, are resettable to zero and adjust in .1 mil clicks. The vertical adjustment knob is exposed, but the horizontal adjustment knob is protected by a removable cap. Parralax is adjusted via a side mounted knob. The magnification adjustment ring has a small amount of stiffness to overcome, then glides very smoothly. This is in part due to the throw lever on the ring, which gives better leverage and control.
The 30mm maintube is constructed from 6061-t6 aluminum, weighs in at 20 ounces and contributes to the moderate overall length of 12.6″. The external lenses are protected by Diamond Coat 2 and are fog-proof, shock-proof and water-proof. The Twilight Max Reticle (TMR) system is designed to maximize light transmission and color contrast, allowing the shooter to keep hunting when the light is starting to fail. Leupold has really pulled out all the stops with the LRP and has pretty much every conceivable base covered.
I mounted Leupold’s LRP to a Radian Weapons Model 1 using Leupolds one-piece Mark 2 mount. This provides the optimal height for mounting on an AR pattern rifle. While this isn’t the rifle with the most long-range potential that I own, it is the most accurate and is the one I have the best “feel” for. It is an entirely predictable rifle, devoid of surprises. I picked up a quick zero at 50 yards, then dialed it in at 100 yards. Deciding the LRP needed a poor-mans “box test” to gauge repeat-ability in turret adjustments, I cranked each knob a full turn-and-a-half in each direction, then back to zero. No problems there, the LRP had me back to zero. When I started working out to 200 yards and beyond, the fog that had been on-and-off all day rolled back in, limiting my visibility severely.
So while I wasn’t able to sling lead past 200 for long, I was able to do a lot of shooting between 50-150 yards and kept wrenching on the windage and elevation turrets all day long. When I returned them to zero, the scope obeyed. The glass was impressively clear and bright, despite fighting the fog and a gray rainy day. The Leupold LRP is another bullseye out of Oregon. While MSRP is $12934.99, street price is more like $949. Check it out!
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