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5/25/2012 1:57 PM
 

I know there have been some folks on here that have been waiting on my review of the Leupold 1-4 IER scope. Originally, when I ordered the scope, what I tried to order was a VXR version. I was told that the VXR version was not then available in the IER nor would it ever be. I wanted the VXR for a couple of reasons. First the dot appeared to be day light visible based on the demos I had handled at Shot and in a local store. There is little doubt in my mind that a dot is faster for up close and personal shooting. That being said I prefer a low power variable for almost all my uses. To date the S&B Short Dot is the only low power variable that has a daylight visible dot. I have decided that I am not going to spend that kind of money on a scope. I just can’t justify it at this point. Therefore a scope with a daylight visible dot was pretty intriguing to me for HD and SD use. Second illumination would give me a low light capability without having to use a flashlight. Something I like to have available. Since it wasn’t going to be available I decided to go with the standard 1-4 IER. However, a couple of weeks later I noticed that a VXR 1.5-5 IER was advertised on SWFA. I called the performance center back, supposedly the only way to get one of the variable IER scopes, and after a bit of back and forth that didn’t make me happy my order was changed to the scope I originally wanted, VXR 1.5-5 IER. After a bit of a wait and another phone call I got the scope in hand. (I had to make another phone call and I am still waiting for the CDS turret that was supposed to come with the scope. Another call might be in order at this time.) I guess you could say that the Leupold Custom Shop hasn’t impressed me and has me pissed off a time or two during this process. I dislike being lied to. I should have just canceled the order and gotten it from SWFA.

When I got the scope in I discovered that low rings wouldn’t work. So another wait ensued while I ordered another set of rings. My rifle has Talley bases that were put on by Brockman a number of years ago, 8-9 years. At that point, I didn’t have any experience with Talleys so I said sure.  I wish I had said nope. I detest proprietary stuff. People will be quick to argue that Talleys are lighter, but I would gladly carry the extra weight to have the ability to purchase commonly available rings (did I mention that I had to go to three places online to actually find some in stock), and use other optics with integral mounts (say a H1 or T1). I also wouldn’t mind not having to pay the extra money for the Talleys, which based on my experience doesn’t mean a better set of rings, but boy the box they come in sure is pretty. I was initially concerned that the medium rings I needed to run would set the scope to high, but in fact they are still low enough that I can’t run a butler creek rear scope cover, without it touching the action. That is even after taking the front scope base off the action for a conventional scope. I am actually glad I did that because it makes the rifle look more streamlined and less busy. 
The variable IER is truly an IER scope. In order to get a good clean sight picture in 5x you really have to move it farther back than the fixed IER scopes and the Burris variable Scout Scopes, which are actually a pistol scope. When my rifle was put together IERs weren’t even available so Brockman set it up for a LER scope, and as a result the mounts are further out on the barrel than I would like them to be for this scope. Even with it mounted as far back as I can get it, I still really have to crawl the stock to get a complete sight picture. If I could move it back another .5 or even .75” it would be perfect I think. That would also put the rear of the bell about even or slight back of the front of the ejection port. At this point I have handled several other scout rifles and I think that the correct position at least in my mind is to have the rear bell even with the front of the ejection port. That provides the best eye relief and balance in my mind. I want to be clear that the issue with the eye relief is in the mounting location not the scope itself. 
I have rough sighted it in (i.e. running some rounds through it after mounting to see how far off it was and being pleasantly surprised that it is good enough for general use). Fine tuning will happen most likely in CO after I move. I am pretty dang happy with the scope right now.  The illumination to date has been visible in all daylight conditions I have tried it in, and in fact has a bit of extra room for even brighter. I can say that I expect it to be daylight visible with no issues. I also like that the big turn dial is gone from the rear of the scope. The illumination control is a button on the left side of the scope.  It is a bit fiddly in that you have to run all the way one way to go back the other. Therefore if you want it to be brighter and it is going darker you have to run it all the way down and back up and vice versa. That being said it does have a feature I like. If you hold the dot in for 3 seconds the dot turns off, but at one press turns back on at the same spot you had it. So what I have done is set it at the illumination level I like and just keep it turned off with the knowledge that with the push of the button it turns back on right where I left it. Another feature, that I have played with at all, is the auto off. If the dot is on and the rifle is not moved for a period time the dot turns off. However, as soon as it is moved it turns back on. Finally, the dot is LED so I expect a pretty dang long battery life. 
I will update this thread as I get more time in with the scope, and hopefully at some point will be able to also discuss the CDS turret system.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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5/30/2012 11:35 AM
 

Thanks for the review.  How does the dot look inside, during low light while using a weapon mounted light?  Does the dot wash out or is it still visible?

 
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5/30/2012 12:15 PM
 

Lol, I have been so focused on determining daylight visibility I haven't tested that. Give me a day or two to check out the scope with a light in a variety of light types here in the house and I will get back to you.

A couple of days ago, I did aim at a hillside to the east about an hour and a half after dawn from the shade.  It was a clear sunny morning and short of aiming into the sun it is pretty close to worst case scenario for daylight use I can think of, and it was still plenty bright.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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5/30/2012 4:51 PM
 

How big is the dot (in moa)?  You may have mentioned this, but is the dot red (I have seen green illuminated dots)?

 
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5/30/2012 5:10 PM
 

Green dot. I couldn't find a definitive answer on dot size for this particular scope in the current catalog. However, the other VXR scopes, which do list a dot size list 2.5moa for the lowest power and 1moa on the highest power.  Just comparing this to Evan's 2moa Aimpoint it seems to be the same with the dot turned down for finest shooting, except brighter.  So I figure 1-2moa is about right.

I just went through the house with the scope and flashlight with the blinds drawn.  No issues with washout, and I aimed out into the backyard with no issues either. I then went into the bathroom closed the door and with just the flashlight aimed at both the white wall and the mirror.  On the wall seeng the dot was no issue. Aiming into the mirror I could aim about even with the scope, but if I aimed lower which was basically into the direct reflection of the light the dot washed out, and after aiming away it took me a minute to reaquire it.  Next I experimented with turning it down. I had several levels of adjustment before it finally washed out. 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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5/31/2012 2:29 PM
 

That's really helpful.  Thanks. 

Could you remind me what lumen output your weapon mounted light is?

 
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5/31/2012 3:26 PM
 

110 accoriding to Streamlight


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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8/5/2012 2:48 PM
 

Scot - Any price difference between ordering directly from Leupold as opposed to ordering from SWFA?

 
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8/5/2012 6:59 PM
 

Nope, and the customer service I have gotten from SWFA in the past blows the custom shop out of the water.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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8/5/2012 7:03 PM
 

Ah very good to know. You see alot of the more well known bloggers/reviewers talking about having great experiences with Leupy CS service, but then you see alot more people on forums who had horrible experiences. Seems like some people get the VIP treatment and everyone else gets the shaft.

 
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9/29/2012 8:08 PM
 

After working with this scope more I don't think you can fairly call it a Scout Scope.  To me a Scout Scope mounts infront of the ejection port of the rifle and ideally the rear lense is even with the front edge of the ejection port.  If you mount this scope that way you won't really be able to use the magnification above 2-3 power effectively.  It is possible and I did, but it just doesn't work well. This scope is designed for the rear lense to be even with the rear of the ejection port.  Basically it mounts more like a traditional scope with a bit more eye relief.  All that being said if you rifle mounting setup and how you run the rifle (i.e. not using stripper clips) allows you to do that it is a pretty sweet setup.  It is kind of the best of a standard scope mixed with the best of a scout scope.  I have also found that at the highest magnification head position is a bit more critical, but as I will only be using that power for precision stuff, taking a bit more time is in the cards anyway.  The illumination continues to be daylight visible in all of the different light types I have tried it in.  Leupold is essentially making two of these scopes one with illumination and one without (1.5-4 techinically).  The difference is that the non-illuminated one gives you one more inch of eye relief, is one inch shorter, and weights 1/2lb or so less based on specs.  Only time will tell if I feel like the illumination is worth the extra weight.

I am not sure why Leupold made the decisions they did regarding eye relief, but they did, and I just wouldn't call it a Scout Scope. 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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9/30/2012 2:23 PM
 

I have a couple of old Burris IER 1-4X scopes that have similar eye relief to the Leupold you describe.  The don't work well above 2X on a bolt gun, properly mounted with the end of the objective at the forward edge of the ejection port, but they do just fine as scout scopes on a lever gun.  On my levers, I like XS ghost rings, and the rear is dead in the way of any conventional scope, but the IER Burris can be mounted far enough forward that it isn't in the way of the ghost ring and I can still use any magnification.

 
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10/1/2012 11:38 AM
 

A couple follow-up questions:

I don't see a 1.5-5 magnification scope listed at SWFA - am I missing it?

Also, do the turret incrments match up with the reticle?  MIL/MIL MOA/MOA?  SWFA shows the 1.25-4 VXR as having .1MIL increments, but I'm not sure I'm looking at the same scope.

Thanks,
Mark

 
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10/1/2012 11:45 AM
 

Oops, hit "Submit" just a tad early.  Found it.  http://swfa.com/Leupold-15-5x33-VX-R-Scout-Scope-P51466.aspx

I was looking at the Patrol Scope: http://swfa.com/Leupold-125-4x20-VX-R-Patrol-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P49444.aspx 

How do you think these two compare?  It looks like the biggest difference would be the eye relief.  I wonder how the Patrol would do on an AR as an alternative to a red dot?

 
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10/1/2012 11:53 AM
 

You know what I run on an AR for most of my uses.  At some point I will probably upgrade to one of the newer VXR scopes simply because they are daylight visible and my older leupold is not.  It all depends on your use for the gun is. My HD AR has a Aimpoint Comp M2, and my general purpose rifle has an older Leupold 1.5-5 on it.  The concept of a lower power variable as a do it all scope is what I am all about.  I have gone through two LAV classes and one Cain class with low power variables and nothing that happened in either has changed my mind.  

Looks to me that the eye relief is the main difference.

A friend I trust just gave me a great report on a Vortex 1-4 as a general purpose AR scope. 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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4/19/2013 5:59 PM
 

 Mounted my new VX-R onto my Ruger Gunsite.  I had ordered Warne medium rings for it, but had also been given a Trijicon TR 125 (BOBRO) mount by a colleague of mine.  I originally thought that maybe the Trijicon mount would be too high, but as it turns out, I needed the extra height in order to get the proper eye relief for me.  For my eyes so that I could use the scope at full power, I needed to mount it more like a traditional scope would be.  I tried moving it further forward on the rail, but of course that started me having to crawl the stock and crane my neck into position.  From this position, I now have no problem using the scope down to 1.5 and all the way up to 5.  If I had used the Warne medium rings I am pretty certain that the scope would make contact with the rear iron sight before I could get it to proper relief for me.  Even more so if I would have tried low rings.  I ended up feeling pretty happy with how the Trijicon mount set up on it, even though it took away from the classic "Scout Rifle" look.  The height isn't really bugging me, and I already was using my custom home-made butt stock pad / spare magazine pouch...I simply added a piece of closed cell foam into a slot pouch I originally sewed into the underside of it.  There are a couple positive things to be said about this Trijicon mount: It is absolutely rock solid when mounted on the rifle, and one lever allows the entire set-up to be removed in seconds.  I feel certain that it will stand up to lots of use, and if the Trijicon products I had on my issued weapons (and on my current AR) are any indication, it should never fail.  I'm glad that I didn't have to purchase the TR 125....these things are expensive and you can't beat free!  In order to set up the TR 125 on my Ruger, I took the two nuts off of the bottom of the base, which allowed me to flip the extended portion of the mount around so that it would face to the rear.  I did this because I wanted the BLAC system lever to reside on the support hand side of my rifle.  Then I added a bit of threadlocker and reattached the nuts to the base.  For me, this set up should work well.  Now I have to get out to the range and sight it in.  Once that's good, I'll see about getting onto a longer range and really see what this scope and rifle can do.  At any rate, I am confident that the VX-R will allow for really nice sub-MOA groups in the 100 yard range, and pretty close to MOA out from that, within reason.  I'll definitely want to use some quality rounds, as well.  I agree with Scot that Leupold really didn't need to call this a Scout scope, because it really does seem more of a hybrid species or mixed-breed (maybe bastard offspring?) of a true Scout scope and traditional scope....but I'm OK with that.  Most of us Americans are mixed-breeds anyway!


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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10/2/2013 10:08 PM
 

 Planning to try out some lower rings and get my VXR out further on the rail, like the Scout Scope is supposed to ride.  Before, I kind of felt like I needed the scope mounted in a more traditional spot to keep me from needing to crawl the stock and give me the right eye relief.  I am now thinking that I can remove the final spacer from my stock and then go ahead with moving the scope further forward and lower on the rail.  Hopefully this will not radically change how the length of pull feels, and will also allow me to shorten the overall length of the rifle, especially with a thread protector in place of the standard flash hider.  Not sure how it's going to work, yet.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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10/3/2013 5:39 PM
 

I think you are making a good decision. Your scope looks way to far back and to high to me, and having meet you I am guessing the LOP is to long.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/3/2013 6:23 PM
 

scothill wrote

I think you are making a good decision. Your scope looks way to far back and to high to me, and having meet you I am guessing the LOP is to long.

Yeah, Brother....before it seemed to feel right at a more traditional scope location.  After I got my Marlin back and pulled it into my shoulder, it felt even better.  This led me to think maybe I had better re-look at how I have the Ruger set up.  I'm going to pull off the spacer and remount the VXR onto some medium Warne rings that I have.  I'm still a bit concerned about the scope contacting the rail.  Not very much height difference between low rings and mediums, so it won't sit too high anymore.  I'll then need to re-zero the GSR, too.  I can knock that out the same day I go out to zero the Marlin Lever Scout.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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10/4/2013 12:42 PM
 

Most Winchesters and Marlins come with a 12.5 LOP, and based on what Randy Cain has seen over the years 12.5-12.75 is the right LOP for most people.  The RGS with no spacers is 12.75.  Most bolt guns come with a longer one, and it makes it hard to run the gun without having to drop the stock from the shoulder.  As a reference for those with black rifle experience 13 is typically a full extended collapsible stock length and each click in is .25". So one in is 12.75.  I went into Randy's class with an idea of what I  like and came out using a shorter LOP and I couldn't be happier.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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