Gear Review: Leupold VX-1 Rimfire 2-7x28mm

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Most companies don’t make a rimfire-specific scope. Instead they simply crank out a bunch of scopes rated for centerfire calibers and call it a day, ignoring the unique challenges that come with putting optics on a small caliber gun. Leupold is not one of those companies, and released a rimfire-specific optic in their VX-1 line of rifle scopes specifically targeted at people looking to put a nice piece of glass on their barrel . . .

The Leupold VX-1 Rimfire 2-7x28mm is built from the ground up to be a dedicated rimfire scope, taking full advantage of the ballistic envelope of rimfire calibers to produce a scope tailor made for the market.

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The first thing I noticed on this scope was the magnification. The most popular magnification range for variable power optics is 3x to 9x, which gives the shooter acceptable close-range performance as well as the ability to get a good look at objects a few hundred yards away. Leupold’s rimfire offering bucks that trend and boasts a 2x to 7x range instead. That’s a pretty smart move in my opinion. Rimfire scopes typically aren’t going to be used very much further than 100 yards, if that far, and by chopping out the higher magnification end Leupold saves on both weight and size.

Weight is one of the more important considerations for rimfire optics. Having a scope that weighs as much as the rifle itself isn’t an ideal situation, and it can throw off the balance of the gun when shooting offhand. Leupold’s rimfire scope threads the needle perfect at 8.5 ounces, just heavy enough to be substantial but light enough to work on any rimfire rifle.

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The overall aesthetics of the scope are very appealing, in my opinion. Leupold offers this scope in both a matte black and this glossy black finish, allowing the shooter to choose which one they prefer. Matte black might be better for hunting and such, but if you’re looking for pure class then this glossy finish is perfect. For me, it matches the finish on my CZ 455 Varmint rifle. I think it looks snappy, but that’s just my somewhat biased opinion.

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The only real complaint I have is about the reticle. The scope uses standard 1/4 MoA adjustments for the elevation and windage, but for the reticle it uses a plain-Jane duplex crosshair. It’s good enough for the average rimfire shooter, but I would love to see other options for varmint hunters and those trying to practice long range accuracy on a budget. Then again, it might just be that I want the reticle from their Mark AR Mod 1 line in everything.

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I really can’t find much not to like about the Leupold VX-1 Rimfire 2-7x28mm. It’s a lightweight scope made to suit the rimfire shooting environment perfectly, and I think they did a great job.

Specifications: Leupold VX-1 Rimfire 2-7x28mm

Weight: 8.5 oz
Length:
10.10 inches
Adjustments:
1/4 MoA
Eye Relief:
3.5 inches
Tube:
1 inch
MSRP:
$289.99

Ratings (out of five stars):

Optical Clarity * * *
It’s not the best glass I have ever seen, but for rimfire it’s good enough.

Feel & Function * * * * *
Everything feels and functions as it should. The zoom zooms, the clicks click, and the zero is held.

Overall Quality * * * * *
No complaints at all.

Overall * * * *
For a rimfire scope, this is about the tops that I have tested. It’s not going to be the end-all be-all for everything you want to do, but if you’re picking soda cans off a rail or shooting groups at 50 yards, you’re good to go with this. Plus, it just looks so darned classy.

comments

  1. avatar nonames says:

    “It’s not the best glass I have ever seen, but for rimfire it’s good enough.” shoud NOT cost shy of $300.
    If I want “It’s not the best glass I have ever seen, but for rimfire it’s good enough.” I’ll pay around $50 to $70 for a Tasco or Center Point.

    1. avatar dph says:

      That’s what I was thinking. $300 for just good enough?

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        First off, it’s not $300, or even near $300. You can get it all day long in the low-to-mid $200 range; here it is for $229 from a retailer I’ve used regularly:
        http://www.riflescopes.com/Leupold-2-7×28-VX-1-Rimfire-Riflescope-P51864.aspx

        Second, almost all the scopes that are less expensive are significantly larger and/or heavier; some are TWICE the weight, and 20% or more longer. BIG difference when mounted on a rimfire rifle/carbine.

        Many of the centerfire-rated scopes are parallax-set for 100 or even 150 yards, potentially introducing quite a bit of aiming error on small, 20-to-75-yard-range targets of the type that are often engaged with a .22. The parallax is factory-set on the Leupold at 60 yards, perfect for most .22 uses.

        Some of the less-expensive scopes aren’t even waterproof/fogproof rated; you’d try to use these on a hunting rifle? They’re fine for shooting targets on a sunny or indoor dry range, but you may be shocked if you try to use them on a cool, damp morning, outdoors.

        I’ve owned one of these little Leupold 2-7x rimfire scopes for over ten years, and it has given me outstanding service on multiple rifles/carbines. I’m preparing to buy another one so I don’t have to swap it around so often, and to get a matte finish vs. the glossy black color of my first one. VERY satisfied customer here, and the price is NOT out of line, considering the compact size, light weight, light transmission, and quality.

    2. avatar another Steve says:

      +1 ; much better options available on the market if this is just “good enough”. Great CZ rifle though!!

    3. avatar tdiinva says:

      Feel the same way. I bought a on sale $75 Bushnell 2.5 x 8 for my Savage Mk II. It’s good enough to kill squirrels at 100 yards.

    4. avatar Scrubula says:

      How about $170 for the centerfire version of this?
      I have no idea why the rimfire version would cost $300 but that’s a ripoff.

      1. avatar Brian Patterson says:

        Soooo…..it should be noted that the parallax is set at 50yds, as opposed to the normal 100yds as the centerfire scopes. This makes it much better for rimfire distances. And $300 is a cheap scope, I dont know what people are complaining about. Also, Leupold is nearly unmatched on their ability to make a quality scope also very lightweight.

      2. avatar DJ9 says:

        Not sure where you are getting that model/price, but the closest I can find is the 2-7x in Leupold’s Rifleman series. Lowest I can find it is $185, and it’s actually longer, 18% heavier, uses a heavy or normal duplex vs. fine duplex reticle, has half-minute friction-held adjustments, and parallax is set for a centerfire vs. rimfire rifle.

        In short, not a different “version” of this scope at all; just a different scope, and not “better” different.

  2. avatar Anon in CT says:

    I was considering this for a 10/22 takedown. Of course, at that MSRP is about what I paid for the rifle Oh well.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      Generally, for glass snobs at least, the glass is 50% to 100% of the cost of the rifle it is mounted on.

      1. avatar TT says:

        I think that school of thought applies more for 400 yard+ ranges and high-powered rifles. Rimfire ranges don’t demand outstanding clarity, and the lack of recoil doesn’t demand extreme ruggedness.

        1. avatar Will in Oregon says:

          I’ve broken several cheap scopes on my 10/22 over the years. the dead stop to dead stop semi auto action is tougher on them then you would think

        2. avatar TTACer says:

          That depends on what your wants and needs are. However, if you think about it the main difference between the cost of manufacturing a firearm vs a scope is the regulatory environment. They both need precise tolerances and tiny little springs. If anything it is probably harder to make a good scope than a good rifle. A Smith M&P AR 10 in this month’s American Rifleman did sub MOA 5×5 groups with a pencil barrel for around $1k.

  3. avatar Simon says:

    The Redfield Revolution (made by Leupold) 2-7x33mm is a slight bit heavier, but less expensive and has a better reticle IMO.

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      Heavier, longer, and the “street price” is within $10-$20 of the Leupold, according to a quick check of my favorite source.

      I’ll take the genuine Loopy every time.

  4. avatar Montesa_VR says:

    Why buy a $300 dedicated rimfire scope when there are many scopes available with adjustable parallax that accomplish the same purpose?

  5. avatar Defens says:

    Leupold generally does make a fine scope, and on a classy .22 this is likely a great choice. For less $$$ another good option is the “Sweet” series from BSA. Ordinarily I’m not a big fan of cheap optics, but I have a Sweet 17 on a Savage in .17 HMR, a Sweet .22 on a New England Arms and another Sweet .17 on another NEA .17 HM2. All work great and have “good enough” optics – with an included bullet drop compensator – for under $150 each, street price.

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      Significantly larger, and almost twice as heavy, depending on the exact model.

      I’ll also mention that some of the BSA scopes are not described as waterproof/fogproof, even by their manufacturer. Here’s the BSA home page for the “Sweet” series:
      http://www.bsaoptics.com/family.aspx?familyID=13&family=Sweet%20Series%20Scopes&filter=%

      On some retailers’ pages, the more expensive BSA scopes ARE listed as waterproof/fogproof, but the less-expensive ones are not. Not a good sign.

  6. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I am a diehard Leupold fan, I have a VX model on my 30-06.

    They’re great scopes, but I’m gonna agree with some of the others here…

    There are cheaper “good enough” scopes.

  7. avatar Pikes Pete says:

    Nikon rimfire with AO is much better scope for half the price. You can get them on sale for around 150 bucks…

    http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/Nikon-Products/Riflescopes/PROSTAFF-Target-EFR.html

    1. avatar mark bennett says:

      I can recommend the Nikon scopes for rimfire. The BDC reticule is really great for getting shots on target at 100 and 125 yards – I zero for 75 yds giving me a great spread of shots from 50-125 yards. I have tried the Leupold VX1 rimfire (and I bought one – at around $200 though) and I have other Leupold scopes too. The optics and build quality is really great in those Nikons and they look good on rimfires whilst keeping down the weight. When moving up to bigger centrefires I do like my Leupolds and see no reason to ever spend more.

    2. avatar DJ9 says:

      Apples and oranges, folks; the Nikon, linked above, is more than 2 inches longer and 84% heavier.

      The Leupold is for folks who want a scope that is proportionally-sized for a .22 and light in weight, while still giving great performance, and I’ve not seen anything in these comments that compare it to anything that is in the same actual size/weight/quality class.

      If you don’t care about size/weight, then fine; your gun, your choice. But you can’t compare apples and oranges by using the orange standard to say that the apple isn’t a good choice.

  8. avatar cmeat says:

    evilbay.
    leupold, burris lifetime warranty. and that transfers with the scope…
    i prefer fixed magnification, zoom is nice.
    a lot of old texas made weavers out there…
    redfields are nice (good enough for some).
    not impressed with the old swift. it’d be ok for a crosman pump.
    don’t ever look through any scopes from osterreich. good enough won’t be.
    i can recommend the bausch trs- 25 red dot. i think it has a 3minute of angle dot. been on my rws48 for years. and that spring will destroy some optics. find it on slickguns. $65 is less than i paid…

  9. avatar Mark N. says:

    My Savage Mark II with a 4X scope, including taxes and DROS, cost less than this scope. I rarely shoot beyond 100 yards, for which distance a scope is easily zeroed. Beyond 125 yards, the bullet drop for a .22LR becomes significant enough that a different reticle would be needed (or at least very useful) for consistent shots on target. So maybe this scope would be useful for a higher velocity, longer range round (.17HMR e.g.), but not a .22.

  10. avatar SD3 says:

    Seeking glass for a new CZ 452 FS. Anybody use the Nikon prostaff 4×32? At ~$100, that’s as expensive as I plan to go for a rimfire.

    Thanks!

    1. avatar mark bennett says:

      I have several Leupolds and two Nikon Prostaffs (albeit 3×9 variable models). I would 110% recommend the Nikon range and think they are undervalued for what you get. I have no regrets and having tried them back to back with Leupolds I can say they are great scopes. Great build quality and image clarity. I really can recommend the EFR models and I like the BDC reticule they do.

      Hope that helps you choose and great shooting……

      1. avatar SD3 says:

        Beautiful, thanks brother. I’m sold!

  11. avatar Zymurgst says:

    Vortex diamondback rimfire is a vary good scope for the money, clearer than this and $100 less.

    http://www.opticsplanet.com/vortex-diamondback-2-7×35-rimfire-riflescope-v-plex-reticle.html

    (Edited for poor grammar and stuf)

  12. avatar jmk says:

    Bushnell AR 22 with side focus.

    Retains focus as close as 15 yards, I think. Very nice when you’re shooting 25 yard rimfire matches and fixed parallax scopes make it so you have to blur both your reticle and the target.

    Paid $115 plus shipping.

  13. avatar JR says:

    Really phoning in the reviews these days aren’t we? Features offered vs the competition? Fit and finish (machining, markings) ? Function (magnification ring move smoothly, click adjustments precise)? Fogproof? Shockproof? Waterproof? Did you try and test these manufacturers claims? Parallax setting? Why is it important that the parallax setting is different than a centerfire rifle? If reviews are important to this site (and per your annual survey they are) should I really have to go look this stuff up in addition to reading your review?

    1. avatar TT says:

      I thought the same thing. You really could just say “I like this scope. Here’s a link to the manufacturer’s website” and convey as much information as the review.

  14. avatar maynard b says:

    Weight, weight, weight!
    Leupold – 8 oz.
    Nikon Prostaff – 15.7 oz.
    Vortex – 14.2 oz.
    Bushnell – 19.6 oz.

  15. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    So it sounds like it has the same features and quality of my CenterPoint rimfire scope on my 10/22.

    Except the CenterPoint has caps for the windage and elevation adjustments, illuminated mil-dot reticle that is either red, green or black (off) and comes with lens caps.

    Oh and the CenterPoint will cost around $50-60. That’s more in the definition and price range that I use for “good enough.”

  16. avatar Proverbs says:

    Your reticle in the photo isn’t the only one available. I have this same scope with with the “fine crosshair” reticle.

    For those remarking that the price is too much and that you can find comparable scopes for a better price: Look and handle this particular Leupold before the sniping. It’s lines and proportions are the best that I could find to match my beautiful, wood-stocked .22 LR bolt-action. And if you think $50 buys comparable glass, you are dreaming.

    Most of my rifles wear Zeiss and Nikon Monarch scopes. In fact, this Leupold replaced a Nikon that I had first put atop my .22. But the Nikon appeared too bulky for the classy, trim lines of my rifle. This little Leupold is a beauty. That is all.

  17. I have read all the reviews and I own many leupold scopes. I have others including Nikons. Leupold’ share still the best for the money quality wise. A Leupold sitting atop any rifle adds class.

  18. avatar Jeff says:

    On my newly acquired savage mkii synthetic, a swift reliant 3-9 that I got off amazon for $125 is a pretty nice scope. Optics are crystal clear, the quality is just as good as any brand name considering it is only on a rimfire, and the scope is perfect for a guy who wears glasses as I can leave it on 6 power and the gun is as easy as can be to shoot. I love leupold, but for $100 cheaper and a review that labels what I consider an outstanding optics brand just good enough, I’ll stick with my swift reliant.

  19. avatar Mark Bennett says:

    The thing that is great about the VX1 rimfire is it is short and light.

    Some rifles don’t have much space or dovetail length for anything longer. The gloss finish can help give a good overall classic look for those who want optics on their lever gun. Of course many rimfires are too overscoped. A decently balanced, lighter weight 22 is a joy to go out with. If funds lack then it’s true that $100 less will still get you something decent – but not as neat a package overall. If space permits I also think the Nikon Prostaffs are excellent – but once again see how it marries up to you rifle look and balance. I have 3 VX1s and I put a gloss finish one on my Winchester 9422M – it looks just right.

    If the reticule doesn’t suit then you can have Leupold do you a custom VX1 made for you – everything costs of course.

  20. avatar Joseph Burns says:

    My VX-1 2-7×28 was bought used and was perfect….no marks of any kind and pd 130.00 with leopold rings. You usually do not have to pay full or significant fraction of full retail.

  21. A CZ 455 screams for a nice scope like a Leupold VX 1 or even a 2. Eyepiece compact enough to not have clearance issues and fits like it belongs there. Reticles, in some cases, have been christmas-treed out to death but the Leupold reticles give the view without the clutter. Hold-overs not a problem without them unless you are shooting 1k precision target matches.

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