Modern 3-Gun competitions challenge shooters with targets at a variety of ranges which make Nutnfancy’s ‘Sledgehammer’ rifle course seem a bit monotonous.  When you need to engage targets from 5 yards out to 200 yards with the same rifle, it’s hard to find the right sighting system.  You could mount an ACOG for more distant targets and a red dot for close-up work, but the ‘Tactical’ division doesn’t allow multiple optics on the same gun and many shooters (like me) eschew their complexity and Rube Goldberg appearance anyway.

Leupold’s new VX-R aims to provide an all-in-one tactical aiming solution in a compact, variable lower-powered riflescope with an illuminated red dot in the center.  Here’s what the reticule looks like at its brightest setting:

Leupold isn’t the first major optics maker to venture into the ‘Tactical’ world of 3-Gun competitions, where other major labels have tried and failed. I got a bruised forehead from an IOR Valdada variable tactical scope earlier this summer, whose crystal-clear optics have very short eye relief at maximum magnification.

Our man Leghorn also reviewed Swarovski’s super-expensive Z6i 1-6×24 BRT and came away with a distinct “meh” impression. Will we show the $600 Leupold any more love than we showed the $2,300 Swarovski?  Only trigger time will tell. [PS: The power ring rotates 90 degrees instead of 60; my math was off.]

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4 Responses to Leupold VX-R Patrol Riflescope: Unboxing

  1. “When you need to engage targets from 5 yards out to 200 yards with the same rifle, it’s hard to find the right sighting system. ” Hmmm…..Really? If one’s rifle is equipped with decent iron sights, that individual should (must) be able to effectively and lethally engage targets from zero to four-hundred yards, at the minimum. That individual should know the capabilities of their battle rifle and the ballistic minutia of the particular cartridges that they’re firing, BY HEART. It should be second nature; instinctive. Reliance on all kinds of cool hardware and fancy gizmos only serves to clutter the mind and muddle the equation, with potentially fatal consequences. Take it as you will, my opinion (totally free of charge, YMMV, no warranty expressed or implied) for a battle rifle is that the operator should sight it in with their ammunition of choice for two-hundred yards, intimately understand that round’s relationship to point of aim vs. point of impact at any give range in their AO and develop a zen-like sense of Kentucky windage. Once that individual has that all completely dialed in and wired up, they should be good to go. Complicating factors like adrenalin, atmospheric conditions, battle space, lighting, et cetera, are best left to a discussion in a different thread.

    • Apparently, a reincarnated legendary WWII sniper walks among us, at least on the internetz. Even the Army Marksmanship Unit shoots with scopes, even at distances below 200 meters. Ever been to a medium-distance shooting match? Even the best shooters can dial-in their zeros incorrectly, and everyone misses at least one unknown-range shot.

      Do you know what the bullet drop of a 168gr .308 is at 500 meters is? About 1/2 an inch per meter. So if you’re off by 25 meters, you’ll miss your target by over a foot. Have fun determining the difference between 500m and 525m with just your iron sights and sweet operator skillz.

  2. “Apparently, a reincarnated legendary WWII sniper walks among us, at least on the internetz.” Nah, not true at all, I’m a mall ninja and I have the keyboard to prove it. Do you really believe in reincarnation?

    “Even the Army Marksmanship Unit shoots with scopes, even at distances below 200 meters.” That may well be true depending on what the match requirements are. If they’re shooting a full course (200, 300 & 600 yard, 3 position, service rifle, iron sighted) high power match, I think that the other competitors might frown on their use of optics, don’t you?

    “Ever been to a medium-distance shooting match?” Why yes, I have. Thanks for asking.

    “Even the best shooters can dial-in their zeros incorrectly, and everyone misses at least one unknown-range shot. ” True enough. I’ve done that many times over the last four decades or so, we’re all human. Your point?

    “Do you know what the bullet drop of a 168gr .308 is at 500 meters is?” Yes I do.

    “About 1/2 an inch per meter.” Correct. “So if you’re off by 25 meters, you’ll miss your target by over a foot.” Not necessarily. “Have fun determining the difference between 500m and 525m with just your iron sights and sweet operator skillz.” The same applies to non-ranging optics. But you’re absolutely right, it is fun. That’s one of the many reasons that I enjoy shooting games so much is because of the physical and intellectual challenges that they impose. And that’s just what they are, games. Whether it’s a sanctioned match, casual plinking or training at an elite gun school with the professionals, it’s all a game; up to and until the targets start shooting back at you. Only then is it no longer a game. And that’s part of the point that I was trying to make above, if you missed it. Further, depending on the angular elevation of the muzzle when the bullet leaves the barrel, that bullet will follow a very predictable parabolic trajectory, other factors like round to round consistency, the inherent accuracy of the rifle, barometric pressure, temperature, wind and Coriolus effect not withstanding, until it plows into the ground, hits something, or runs out of steam altogether and starts tumbling. Understanding that and memorizing a ballistic table isn’t a Sisyphian task, especially at ranges to about 600 yards. Nor is gauging the relative size and appearance of typical targets and determining the correct hold over (or under) and windage for said target at some intermediate range with sufficient practice and experience. I think that the fine lads and lassies in the AMU might even agree with me on those points.

    I generally shoot surplus 7.62 ball (typically 144 – 155 grain), unless I’m shooting a match, where I typically use Federal Gold Medal Match with Sierra 168 grain BTHP’s. The match stuff is a little too spendy for general use/practice and regrettably, I’ve never gotten into reloading.

    The broad point that I’m trying to make is that one should know their rifle and their ammunition well, practice as much as one can and get good, real good if you can. Keep it simple and don’t rely on gizmos.

    My daughter and I are leaving for northern Maine shortly, to go canoeing for the rest of the week, so with regret I won’t be able to reply as we’ll be up in the boonies without internet. See ya next week.

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