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Opinions on the Leupold VX-3

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/23/2016 at 21:04
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I'm looking at topping my dpms g2 hunter with the leupold VX-3i 4.5-50mm scope, does anyone have experience with it or have a better alternitive?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2016 at 20:37
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Nice rifle. 308 I assume? I also assume the scope you are referring to is the VXIIIi 4.5 - 14 X 50.

I don't think you'd be disappointed with this scope. I have one, but prefer the smaller objective lens. Then I have several older VX3s, good experience with all.

The scope is quite clear, sharp with what I believe is excellent color rendition (I'm a bit color blind). The quality of the 3i is obvious, it is a great value. Just match the reticle with the type shooting you'll do.   

I must confess my bias toward Leupold optics having used them for 40 years and have not experienced a single failure.

That being said there are other fine brands, but for the bucks my opinion is you'll not find anything better or more dependable.
Wf
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 07:45
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What will be your primary uses for the rifle? Strictly hunting? What distances?  What's your optics budget?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 14:09
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Good scope, there are better out there but still a fine scope.  I'd pick Leupold glass in their rifle scopes over anything in Vortex's scope line.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 14:10
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Keep in mind I haven't looked through a Vortex Razor LH yet.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 15:12
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Originally posted by Brocksw Brocksw wrote:

Good scope, there are better out there but still a fine scope.  I'd pick Leupold glass in their rifle scopes over anything in Vortex's scope line.


RRReally??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 15:37
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by Brocksw Brocksw wrote:

Good scope, there are better out there but still a fine scope.  I'd pick Leupold glass in their rifle scopes over anything in Vortex's scope line.


RRReally??


Absolutely, but thats me.  Vx-2 over a Vortex Diamondback.  VX-3 over any of the vipers.  VX-6 over any of the razor scopes that I've seen.  Optically, leupold(at least to my eyes in the rifle scopes) has better "glass" than vortex.  Binos and spotting scopes are a completely different story...which seems odd but I don't believe I'm the only one.

The thing that I feel limits Leupold is the magnification ranges and lack of MOA/MRAD turrets in a more affordable line, as well as MOA of adjustment.  It's nice to be able to pick up a $700 PST and throw it on a rifle and essentially have a entry level long range scope with plenty of MOA of adjustment (30 mm tube), a good magnification range (like 4-16?), and turrets to get started immediately.

If someone gave me a grand and let me pick between a Vortex and a Leupold to throw on a hunting rifle... Leupold gets the nod every time.  However, if I was into punching paper or long range shooting using a MOA/MRAD turret system, leupold doesn't offer much that's essentially ready out of the box like vortex does, especially with the options vortex also offers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 16:04
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Gotta compare apples to apples though.  A 3-9 viper is $300.  A 3.5-10 vx3i is $400.  A 3-9 VX2 is $300.  When you compare value, that is where Leupold loses nearly every time.

Same with a Razor vs a VX6.  $600 to 900ish vs $1000 to 1200ish.  The Leopold should be better. 

I am a big Leupold fan, but dollar for dollar you get more bang for your buck from many other brands.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 16:13
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Gotta compare apples to apples though.  A 3-9 viper is $300.  A 3.5-10 vx3i is $400.  A 3-9 VX2 is $300.  When you compare value, that is where Leupold loses nearly every time.

Same with a Razor vs a VX6.  $600 to 900ish vs $1000 to 1200ish.  The Leopold should be better. 

I am a big Leupold fan, but dollar for dollar you get more bang for your buck from many other brands.


Can't argue with you there, value goes to vortex, not just in rifle scopes either.  However, I'll stick with my guns, find two scopes of equal price (or at least within a $100) and I'll take the Leopold for optical quality all else being irrelevant for the sake of conversation.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 17:00
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Gotta agree wit Brocksw.  Vortex offers nothing I find interesting, except for the Razor HD spotter.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2016 at 17:08
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I sure am liking my VX6.  Amazing scope IMO. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2016 at 07:34
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Razors for 600 to 900? Where? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2016 at 09:59
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Every one on SWFAs site is under $900.  If you do a little googling I am certain you can find them cheaper and then use SWFAs 110% price guarantee. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2016 at 12:33
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Once a huge Leupold fan, they've lost their luster with me. Before I waste money on a VX3, I'd search for a used Meopta Meostar R1. Far superior optics, mechanics, etc... and from what I hear, they have a great CS and warranty. I have a 4-16x44 and a 1-4x22 but I've never had an issue with either of them so I can't speak from experience as to how good their CS and warranty actually are.

Now I'm not bashing Leupold because I still own a VX2 but there are better options out there for VX3 money. That's just my opinion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2016 at 12:39
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Originally posted by BobbyH BobbyH wrote:

Razors for 600 to 900? Where? 

I think he is talking about the Razor HD LH hunting scopes.  Price wise, they fit between the VX-3 and VX-6 and for general purpose use, I'll take them over both.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2016 at 20:49
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Not much of a Vortex fan, but I agree with ILya.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2016 at 21:36
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I own a Vortex Razor 20 - 60 x 80 spotting scope (an incredible optic) and Viper H-ST 2-10 x 44. I am not making a proclamation, however, my two much older VXIIIs are at least as clear as the HST though not nearly as exciting because of the H-ST's MRAD reticle (a superb reticle). My son concurs that his VXIII is just as bright.

I hasten to add, I am not an optics analyst, I simply see what I see and develop an opinion.

Though I own Vortex products and am sufficiently impressed I have a fear... Vortex is not a manufacturer, rather a name who provides specs to various manufacturers on foreign soil. No doubt the product is of adequate quality to support the warranty, however, I'd like to know a little more of their business model and bidding philosophy. Perhaps this fear is unfounded - - it's a fear none the less. I'd rather pay a bit more and not have the fear.

Before I am jumped on from the four corners I am quite aware that other manufacturers do the same with various products, (binoculars, red dots, etc) Leupold is an American manufacturer of fine optical equipment, as is Trijicon and a few others. This along with experience of over 40 years are factors which form this basis.

Again, I am a securities broker, not an optics technician, so my opinions, while layman, I hope are not without merit.
Wf    





Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/01/2016 at 22:53
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Whitefire, it is a reasonable opinion, but seems to be based on either outdated or poorly researched information (don't securities brokers research stuff?Big Grin).

I am neither an optics technician nor a securities broker.  These days am mostly a marketing executive, with occasional forays back into engineering as required.  That gives me a pretty good idea when I see some marketing BS propagated, and I am afraid a lot of what you are saying is a consequence of some clever marketing.

Vortex has long ago started doing their own desigsn on quite a few models, first mechanical, then optical.  First, they were made overseas to their design spec.  Now, their AMG scope is made in the US and even sourced entirely in the US.

Some other products, like the new Razor HD spotter have components sourced overseas, but final assembly is done in the US where they can really make sure everything is aligned to their spec. How many fo their products will be built here or assembled here going forward I havn't the foggiest idea.  However, since they made the investment into the facilities and the equipment, I suspect they will be looking to do more in the US.

As far as the HST 2.5-10x44 scope goes, I would not base too much on it.  It is the single worst scope they have made in their Viper line (and that is exactly what I told Vortex when they sent it to me; the review is on my website).  Aside from all that, using a HST scope to form an opinion about a Razor is kinda like looking at Leupold Rifleman and based on that assuming that the Mark 8 is garbage.

As far as Leupold products being made in the US, that is only partially correct.  All of the riflescopes are assembled in the US, but the components for them are sourced all over the place, mostly China, Korea and Japan.  Binoculars are mostly made in China, Spotters are a mix, but all the lower end stuff is made in China.

Trijicon that you mention adds the reticle in the US, but everything else is done in Japan, except for the TARS scope, which is US made and the spotter made my Meopta in the Czech Republis (I need to doublecheck on some of the newer stuff).

I have looked at a lot of Vortex and Leupold products and with both companies, I like some of them quite a bit and others not at all.

With Leupold, I really like a lot of their newer products and some of the things I see from their engineering department are clever and decidedly innovative.  I can say pretty much the same thign about Vortex' engineering.  Leupold's marketing, largely, leaves me unimpressed.  Vortex' marketing efforts seem produce less BS or at least less obvious BS.

With Leupold, I like VX-R, VX-6, Mark 6 and 8, D-EVO and the red dots.  VX-3 and VX-3i are perfectly decent scopes, but the competition seems to have their number for the most part.  Leupold seems to have recognized it with the VX-3, so VX-3i is basically the same thing as VX-3, but with simpler (and cheaper) surface finish, so the price is lower.  While I like the fact that the price is cheaper, I am surprised they have  not yet introduced anything that occupies the spot between VX-3 and VX-6.  If your big introduction is the same old thing for less money... you are letting marketing people control the product people.  Trust me, that is not a good thing.   

With Vortex, I really like all of the Razor products.  Viper/HST/PST scopes kinda go by model.  2.5-10x32 and 6-24x50 are quite good.  4-16x50 is decent.  2.5-10x44 is the runt of the litter.  Generally, these are a bit long in the tooth and I expect that Vortex will do something about it next year.  Diamondback scopes are excellent for the money.  Crossfire and Strike Eagle leave me cold.  Golden Eagle that I am looking at right now is surprisingly good and better than I expected.

ILya


Edited by koshkin - November/17/2016 at 22:12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2016 at 13:19
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Just chiming in here for Leupold.  I have a family member who works up there and I got to go for a tour last summer when we went to Portland for a vacation.  By the way, GO TO OREGON IN THE SUMMER!  It's impossible to beat.

Anyway, all I wanted to say is that there is no shortage of chest pumping rah rah rah in the form of "MADE IN THE USA".  I saw it everywhere I looked.  On the walls, on the shirts, on the hats, on the product.  The thing is, I did this one little trick where you bring your US Passport.  If you do that, they take you all over the damn place.  Which, I must say, don't get lost.  You'll never find your way out of that place.  It's massive, and confusing.  But, my point, is - I didn't see anything that looked like it was sourced over seas.  I mean, there was probably something there that was.  But, what I saw was thousands and thousands of anodized parts and seriously... like a hundred machines making them.  These were huge machines, and I don't think I can say what brand, but... I've never seen milling and turning technology like what they had.  And EVERYTHING was running!  There was hundreds of employees running machines and running around.  In a long, round about way, I'm just having a hard time swallowing the comment that implies Leupold would invest all that money in people and machinery, only to import components in from over seas.

Just like any company, you can find flaws, and plenty of haters - but I think you're just going to look foolish if you accuse a company like that of importing in the components that build those products.

If you are ever in the Portland area, call them up ahead of time and try to get in on a tour.  If you have any interest in American manufacturing and Optics - I can't imagine a better factory to check out (stateside, that is).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2016 at 14:04
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"Vortex has long ago started doing their own desigsn on quite a few models, first mechanical, then optical."

"All of the riflescopes are assembled in the US, but the components for them are sourced all over the place, mostly China, Korea and Japan."

"Trijicon that you mention adds the reticle in the US, but everything else is done in Japan"

"VX-3i is basically the same thing as VX-3, but with simpler (and cheaper) surface finish, so the price is lower."

How could one person possibly know all this insider info?  Did you work at all those places or is this just hearsay? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2016 at 14:31
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There is a video by Leupold and IIRC they claim in that video that all Gold ring optical devices are completely designed, machined, and assembled in the USA with exception of glass.  Which they get from multiple sources all over the world. 

I don't have time to watch it right now to verify, but here it is. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2016 at 15:57
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Wow - That's a great a video of the tour.  Honestly, I'm a little surprised they made it public.  Maybe that video is from several years ago, because when I was there just a few months ago they were a lot tighter on security, where I could go, no photos, etc.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2016 at 16:23
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OTGmac, you can believe everything that Ilya stated. I don't believe there is much that he doesn't know about optics.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2016 at 17:43
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Originally posted by nomosquib nomosquib wrote:

"Vortex has long ago started doing their own desigsn on quite a few models, first mechanical, then optical."

"All of the riflescopes are assembled in the US, but the components for them are sourced all over the place, mostly China, Korea and Japan."

"Trijicon that you mention adds the reticle in the US, but everything else is done in Japan"

"VX-3i is basically the same thing as VX-3, but with simpler (and cheaper) surface finish, so the price is lower."

How could one person possibly know all this insider info?  Did you work at all those places or is this just hearsay? 

Neither.  I've been around the sport optics world for a bit and nothing that I said in that post is exactly secret.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/02/2016 at 17:54
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

There is a video by Leupold and IIRC they claim in that video that all Gold ring optical devices are completely designed, machined, and assembled in the USA with exception of glass.  Which they get from multiple sources all over the world. 

I don't have time to watch it right now to verify, but here it is. 



That is a nice video.

All tubes are machined in Oregon at their factory, to the best of my knowledge.  With internal mechanical parts, it seems to vary.  That is why quite a few of them say "Assembled in the US".  The higher end the scope is, the more of the internals are made in the US.

Just to be clear: none of what I said is a criticism of Leupold products.  Ten years ago, they were sitting on their laurels and getting overtaken by competition.  Now, they are a lot more aggressive with their designs, which I like.

I am just about done reviewing the D-EVO and that things is just cool and probably the most innovative approach I have seen in this market in a while.  There are a couple of things I would change, which I will privately feedback to Leupold, but I really like the approach.

ILya
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