Rifle Scopes  Leupold, Why No Love?

Bully

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So, in my brief looking around on here I'm a bit surprised at the lack of love for Leupold. I don't have any preconceived notions when it comes to glass as I honestly don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to how well optics perform. I'm simply wondering what the deal is?

C
 

FALex

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they are not really competitive with their price to features ratio. It's almost as if they are not seeing Vortex, Steiner, NF, Bushnell, SS, et al...like they are trying to compete with S&B only.

I think many here just can't justify spending Mark 8 money when there are a plethora of options for far less scratch...just my humble opinion.
 

jake6547

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I was a die hard Leupold guy, I just bought two of there new Mark4 M5 FFP scopes one in 6-20 and the other in 8-25. And they both have been back to the factory because they wouldn't hold zero. When the first one came back the clicks felt completely different like it had a whole new design erector system in it.
 

bkw1911

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All they had for years was the mk4 mainly in moa with a mil reticle without the best magnification ranges while other companies were innovating and all going to ffp, mil/mil, 5/6/8 multiplied magnification ranges. Im sure onlyafter they realized their sales were getting crushed that they finally came out with the mk6/8 lines, but it seemed a few years too late. With that said i mainly use a mk6 3-18 and love everything about it. But as falex said the mk8 is nice but with nightforce releasing the beast and vortex releasing the razor gen ii 4.5-27 both for the same price or less, leupold is still on the back burner for most high end purchases.
 

firemanjim

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Price is what did it for me mostly to turn me off Leupold.

Vortex offers pretty much all I need in my new Vortex HS-T scope for less than half the price of a Leupold Mark 4 M3.
 

GhostFace

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    It comes.down to value for me. I can get better for the same amount of money if not more for less. Also I am a MOA shooter and they don't offer much in MOA. They do have a nice reticle with that ts-32. But their Mk IV line seems to be over priced for what you get. I would not even consider the Mk 8 line....
     

    Arc Light

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    Been using Leupold for 20 years and never had a failure or had one let me down. I continue to use Leupold products and see no reason to change now. I own scopes from other manufacturers too, but have never felt like I couldn't do the job with my Leupold scopes. No doubt they had been slow to innovate and for a while were left behind, but I don't feel that is the case today. Now, this may offend some, but that has never stopped me from saying what I want so here it is: this place is ridiculously cliquish. What I mean is that opinions and attitudes change like the tide. For a while USO was the shit and nothing else counted. Now you hardly hear any raving about USO. Then it was Vortex. Then S&B, and now it seems Steiner gets a turn as the optic of the day. If the "cool kids" aren't using it it must suck, or so say the sheep. Since I have never given two shits about was is popular or "cool", I will continue to use Leupold optics, rings, etc. until they let me down. Just my opinion.
     

    SomeOtherGuy

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    The Mark 4 series are obsolete and absurdly overpriced at civilian retail (best price you can find without mil/LE discount). The Mark 6 series are pretty good scopes and not outrageously priced for their competition, but there are too many reports of issues with them, and there is a lot of really good competition in their price range. The one I owned also felt very lightly built compared to any of its competitors. The Mark 8 series are probably great scopes, but at a price level where there is competition from the truly world-class brands (S&B, USO, Premier/TT, etc.) and very few people have the cash to buy any of them.

    I say this as someone who has owned examples from the Mark 6, Mark 4, VX-6, VX-R, and VX-2 lines, and has only seen fit to keep a VX-R. The Mark 6 would have been completely satisfactory except for nagging worries about its durability, which aren't acceptable for a nearly $2k scope. (Example - the lock ring for ocular focus - if I remember correctly is less than 1mm thick and probably weighs one gram. Doesn't inspire confidence. Scope is a paperweight without a focused reticle.)

    However I would also agree with Arc Light's statement that preferences here can be a bit of a herd mentality, what's fashionable one year vs. the next, or however you want to put it. But I just don't think anything Leupold below the Mark 6 line is competitive right now, and there is a lot of extremely good competition once you hit that price level.
     

    armydog

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    I love my M4 ERT, 6X20 with M5a2 turrets 35mm tube, its great. I'm military and they knocked almost a grand off the price when I got it. Great people and a great product.
     

    SomeOtherGuy

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    I love my M4 ERT, 6X20 with M5a2 turrets 35mm tube, its great. I'm military and they knocked almost a grand off the price when I got it. Great people and a great product.

    And that's really it right there. It's a great scope for $1000 less than what other people have to pay. How many people would buy a Nightforce NXS for $2700? A Vortex Viper PST for $1750? A Bushnell DMR for $2500?

    I grew up in a General Motors town, one of the most GM-dominated cities in the USA. A huge number of people in town could get GM cars at employee pricing, either because of their own employment at GM, a close relative, or some funny business. If you were one of them, GM cars were so cheap there was no reason to buy any other brand. If you weren't, you'd be an idiot to buy GM, because the resale value of a GM car was based on the huge number that were originally sold at employee price, so anyone who paid normal retail (even pennies over invoice) would be incredibly underwater on the value of their car. So, if it's not obvious, anyone who could get the GM price bought GM, and anyone who couldn't bought only foreign cars, which had their own market and largely sustained their resale (Ford and Chrysler competed for GM buyers so had equally bad resale).

    I think this is basically what Leupold has done. Their scopes are greatly overpriced at normal retail, but on resale you're competing with people who get the special discount.

    If you're eligible for the discount price on Leupold scopes they may be a good deal, even a great value. I don't begrudge you buying a Leupold if you can get the discount. But if you're not getting the discount, their higher-end scopes are probably among the worst deals on the market.
     

    firemanjim

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    I have to agree with the guys above that there will probably be a lot of different opinions based on some people following the herd.

    Truth is, if I had the money, I'd love to buy Leupold, Steiner, US Optics and so forth.......IF I HAD THE MONEY.

    For me though it comes down to mostly what I can afford and what I truly need the scope for which for me is really just pleasure shooting versus tactical life or death use like my brothers in blue or brothers in camo.

    For me, Vortex and SWFA scopes work out best for me for the money.
    Everyone's different though.
    But for the record Leupold's got great glass. My buddies on the SWAT team love them and use them on their own weapons.
    Of course, those lucky jerks get an L.E. discount though.
     
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    Wyfox

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    I love my MK4 with the M5A2 turrets, I'm considering buying another but patiently waiting for the Steiner offering to start shipping before I do. The Mk6 is an excellent scope too, but like others have said their is a lot available on the market now for less then $2G and Leupold is struggling to keep up with times and a competitive price in my opinion.
     

    AK Sgt Maj

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    I shoot High Master, at Mid-Range Prone (300, 500 and 600 yards) and Long Range Prone (800, 900 and 1000 yards), and the people that I shoot with used to give me the BS of needing Night Force scopes and Berger bullets, instead of Leupold scopes and Sierra bullets, but they quit doing that a long time ago, because I win most of the matches and hold 3 NRA National Records ( for Grand Senior) so they don't bother me about it, but still do many other shooters. I use VX-3 and MK4 scopes, and they are less expensive than comparable NF scopes. Many of these forums are just places for people who are want-to-be's to try to make up in talk, what they can't do in real life.
     

    oniak

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    The MSRP that Leupold places on their scopes is high compared to other scopes of similar quality. But, unless it is a Leupold scope that just came on the market, you can usually find them for much less than MSRP.
     

    armydog

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    And that's really it right there. It's a great scope for $1000 less than what other people have to pay. How many people would buy a Nightforce NXS for $2700? A Vortex Viper PST for $1750? A Bushnell DMR for $2500?

    I grew up in a General Motors town, one of the most GM-dominated cities in the USA. A huge number of people in town could get GM cars at employee pricing, either because of their own employment at GM, a close relative, or some funny business. If you were one of them, GM cars were so cheap there was no reason to buy any other brand. If you weren't, you'd be an idiot to buy GM, because the resale value of a GM car was based on the huge number that were originally sold at employee price, so anyone who paid normal retail (even pennies over invoice) would be incredibly underwater on the value of their car. So, if it's not obvious, anyone who could get the GM price bought GM, and anyone who couldn't bought only foreign cars, which had their own market and largely sustained their resale (Ford and Chrysler competed for GM buyers so had equally bad resale).

    I think this is basically what Leupold has done. Their scopes are greatly overpriced at normal retail, but on resale you're competing with people who get the special discount.

    If you're eligible for the discount price on Leupold scopes they may be a good deal, even a great value. I don't begrudge you buying a Leupold if you can get the discount. But if you're not getting the discount, their higher-end scopes are probably among the worst deals on the market.

    But I have checked the other brands, so far all I have found is Trijicon offering Active military and LE discounts. I'll support the companies that support me.
     

    Bully

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    Thank you all for your opinions.

    If they are over priced for the quality/options, which I can believe, then I understand why not a lot of folks on here don't employ them on their personal toys.

    However I also am a believer in certain forums developing a clique-ish mentality toward certain brands. One of the other forums I am on is seemingly obsessed with CZ handguns. It's almost cultish. While they are wonderful pistols, they are not the be all-end all of handguns.

    Thanks again all for the clarification.

    For the record, I will, when I have the money, be buying a Leupy scope. Possibly a fixed 10 but I will be considering the variables as well. If they come out with a more reasonably priced FFP 4-16 I'll look into picking it up. Right now, I'm just trying to get my rifle set up so I can start shooting at longer distance. Currently I'm confined to a .22 at 50yds. I just purchased a .308 and joined a 300yd range. I'm thinking that that will keep me busy for the time being.

    C
     

    30calDeath

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    For a while USO was the shit and nothing else counted. Now you hardly hear any raving about USO. Then it was Vortex. Then S&B, and now it seems Steiner gets a turn as the optic of the day. If the "cool kids" aren't using it it must suck, or so say the sheep.

    I joined a few years ago and this is what I have noticed over the years. I liked the features that the MK6 had and to me it fit the bill as a really nice scope for the AR platform. I also got a deal and paid less than what they were going for retail. There is a few things I dont like, the elevation turret can be mushy and the zero stop is kinda lame and no illumination. I see no real reason to sell at the moment even though I really like the new Vortex scopes.
     

    Culpeper

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    Somebody reads from an experienced and revered source that they are failing in the field and in training. It gets repeated by other people as if they have the experience. I rarely see anybody cite their source. It's called, "Internet". Lowlight has made it plain and clear that Leupolds are not holding up. He sees a lot of scopes in action because it is part of his job. He passes his observation on to the masses. People repeat over and over again to the point nobody knows the source. Eventually, people are recommending getting a cheap BSA instead. Seriously.
     

    GhostFace

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    But I have checked the other brands, so far all I have found is Trijicon offering Active military and LE discounts. I'll support the companies that support me.

    Vortex offers a discount too and so does Nightforce.


    ETA My department has a few MK IV 4-14x50 with the TS-32 reticles in them. We have had to send two back in for tracking reasons and one has been back twice. Mine is going back now to for the same. My partner has one on a personal rifle and his tracking is going out of wack too. A buddy who was on another departments team went back shortly after he bought it. All of these scopes were purchased in '06. I had a M3 I purchased in'02 that was flawless. Now we shoot out to 750 yards ALOT and out to 1k+ when we can. I read that around '05 or so Leupold started using Chinese made internals and that is what is causing so many of these to fail, I don't know if there is any truth in that but it appears the newer MK IV do not have the same durability as the earlier models. I know that ALL scopes will fail over time if you are using them but some seem to fail sooner than others...
     
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    Bradu

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    I don't care much for them because of the lack of reticles in the MK 4 lineup. I'm still an MOA guy and prefer reticles like the NPR-1 or Moar reticle from Nightforce.
     

    slm9s

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    A lot of people felt like they sat on their hands with the 4.5-14, 6.5-20, and 8.5-25 - 3x mag ratios with not many features. Many reports of turrets failing to return to zero. They took forever to go mil/mil or moa/moa and several companies had grabbed large sections of marketshare. When they finally come out with latest/greatest, they are priced in the stratosphere against "known" alpha glass, whereas these new models are not "known" as they just came out/aren't used by many vs vortex/nf/uso/s&b/etc
     

    Shooter1020

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    When I got my mk 6 it was the same pice as new bushy or razors (with Tmr reticle). I like the knobs and side by side the glass was clearer than my bush ERS. So I'm happy. I compete with it and it works. But many good points here. The mark 8 is way over priced! If it were in the $2000-$2500 range it's worth a look. I told a rep once they need to look at what vortex, bushnell, Steiner are doing. Going to matches and learning what the market needs.

    Cajun
     

    the once-ler

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    I have said before Leupold are old and fat but are quickly getting showed up and have to be feeling the effects of lost profits. They do have a loyal following from the "old school" guys but anyone currently "in the know" knows that there are better options available. Not to mention the lack of QC and poor customer service of late.
     

    BCP

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    I like my mark 4's well enough but they don't offer anything over the Japanese tactical scopes from companies like bushnell or SWFA.

    Vortex is another one.

    It used to be that Leupold was 'it'. Now you have lots and lots of companies out there making tactical scopes. The market has changed.
     
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    sinister

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    Lots of very valid points already posted. i think Leupold rested on their laurels too long and are now trying to play catch-up.

    I own a number of Leupolds. I think they are over-priced if you buy them new near retail.

    While they have a very good "Lifetime" warranty I've had them fail overseas where you just don't put them in the mail or the next FEDEX/UPS truck and get it back in a week. The warranty's not much good if it keeps failing.
     

    918v

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    For the record, I will, when I have the money, be buying a Leupy scope. Possibly a fixed 10 but I will be considering the variables as well. If they come out with a more reasonably priced FFP 4-16 I'll look into picking it up. Right now, I'm just trying to get my rifle set up so I can start shooting at longer distance. Currently I'm confined to a .22 at 50yds. I just purchased a .308 and joined a 300yd range. I'm thinking that that will keep me busy for the time being.

    C

    I owned a Mark4 10x fixed. It was a tank. But sadly it would not resolve very well. My FX3 12x is way better. Way better. No comparison.

    Their current glass and coatings deliver excellent resolution and contrast. But the turrets feel substandard with the exception of the C3 turrets on the Mark6. Many of them have off center reticles. There is a guy on here who bought three of them in a row with off center reticles and is still trying to resolve the issue.

    If you wanna go that route then I suggest you order through their custom shop and have the thing gone over three times prior to delivery. They built my last 12x with mil dots and dual erector springs. It's like I'm looking though a Zeiss, but for the eyebox. You'll pay full retail, though.
     

    oniak

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    I really like the Mark 6 3-18x but am honestly scared to pull the trigger on one due to what has happened with the guy that the above poster mentioned. Off center reticles should not be present on a scope costing that much.
     

    Jig Stick

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    All of my Leupolds have been solid performers. Reliable. Repeatable. And the TMR reticle is one of the best available IMO.
     

    Captain Moroni

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    Back in the early 2000's I had a MK4 and every year I would have to send it back to Leupold to get fixed because it would stop tracking consistently. Then I bought USO's and Vortex's and haven't had a problem. Leupold has probably gotten better but they can be better for someone else, I'm done.
     

    Bully

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    I owned a Mark4 10x fixed. It was a tank. But sadly it would not resolve very well. My FX3 12x is way better. Way better. No comparison.

    Their current glass and coatings deliver excellent resolution and contrast. But the turrets feel substandard with the exception of the C3 turrets on the Mark6. Many of them have off center reticles. There is a guy on here who bought three of them in a row with off center reticles and is still trying to resolve the issue.

    If you wanna go that route then I suggest you order through their custom shop and have the thing gone over three times prior to delivery. They built my last 12x with mil dots and dual erector springs. It's like I'm looking though a Zeiss, but for the eyebox. You'll pay full retail, though.

    Thank you for the suggestion. Much appreciated. Since it will be a minute before I'm ready for a pricier scope, that might work for me. I don't buy things as an investment (Probably explains my financial situations a bit) so if it's a touch more than street it could work.

    C
     

    mj36639

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    I have several Leupold products including two MK-4 scopes. What I don't like about the MK4 1.5-5 MR/T is the turrets. They are mushy and hard to see in a covered shooting range in full daylight. The turrets on my older MK 4 3.5x10 have come loose several times. The set screws don't seem to do the job. As many have said they suffered from a lack of innovation for many years. During the months leading up to the busy fall hunting season they routinely expand their labor force using unskilled temporary workers. I wonder if that affects the quality control aspect of their products. The last scope I purchased was a Vortex HDS 2.5x10. I am very happy with it and the turret adjustments are very positive.
     

    greentimber

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    A lot of people felt like they sat on their hands with the 4.5-14, 6.5-20, and 8.5-25 - 3x mag ratios with not many features. Many reports of turrets failing to return to zero. They took forever to go mil/mil or moa/moa and several companies had grabbed large sections of marketshare. When they finally come out with latest/greatest, they are priced in the stratosphere against "known" alpha glass, whereas these new models are not "known" as they just came out/aren't used by many vs vortex/nf/uso/s&b/etc

    This.

    I would absolutely love to buy all Leupolds (US-made scopes) but the value proposition just isn't there.