REVIEW BY BRIAN MCCOMBIE

Tough, Light and Precise

I was hiking down the side of a dry wash in West Texas, when my feet went out, and I crashed onto the rocky slope—and right onto the scoped rifle slung over my back. The rifle looked fine, but the scope, a new Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×40, was definitely dinged and scratched. But no time to worry. I’d spotted a mule deer buck atop the next ridgeline.

I stalked to within 50 yards of the mulie and put him down. But I was concerned taking the shot, wondering if my fall had knocked off my scope’s zero.

Back home in Wisconsin, I took my rifle and scope to my shooting range and, from a rest at 100 yards, shot a three-shot group at .65-inches. Shot number four drilled a different bullseye dead center. So, the Leupold VX-3HD not only held zero despite my fall—it remained true with the added very rough-and-tumble of my air travel home! 

With the new VX-3HD line, Leupold has made lighter-weight, rugged scopes in seven different models, with magnifications ranging from 1.5-5 to 6.5-20, plus several reticle options. Retail prices start at $499.99 and go up to $999.99. 

I tricked out my VX-3HD with an optional Leupold Custom Dial created specifically for the ballistics of my particular hunting round. Once set and locked, the Custom Dial has the VX-3HD zeroed at 100 yards. But when that trophy buck pops out of the brush at 350 yards? Simply spin the dial to 3.5 and hold dead on as the Custom Dial will automatically adjust for that distance.

On that particular hunt, I also took two aoudad as they dashed across a hillside at 230 yards, right at dusk. The VX-3HD lit up those animals like it was noon thanks to Leupold’s high-definition glass treated with Guard-ION lens coating.

The .25 MOA adjustments on my second focal plane VX-3HD were tactile and precise. It also featured a removable throw lever for quick magnification adjustments. Built on a tough aluminum one-inch tube with a black matte finish.

MSRP, $599.99. For specs and more details, visit: leupold.com.

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