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Leupold VX 2 6-18x 40

24 Feb 2012
@ 04:06 pm (GMT)

Joseph Dungan


I am currently building a Remington model 721 in 300 H&H mag and just aquired a Leupold VX2 6-18 x 40 with a 1 inch tube. I would like to be able to make some long shots at targets and game and was wondering how this scope rates in this arena. This scope came with target turrets and is in excellent condition. Does it have the magnification to get me out to 800 yds and beyond or should I look elsewhere?

Joe D.


28 Feb 2012
@ 02:31 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Leupold VX 2 6-18x 40
Hi Joseph, first, sorry for the late reply.

OK, with the Leupold optics, there are a couple of things to consider. The scope will most likely serve you adequately well. It has its limitations which we will explore.

Eye relief of the Leupolds is usually very good but some models do have short eye relief which can be a problem on the magnums. It pays to check each and every scope, make sure you can get your eye well back from the scope to prevent flinching (4" is best).

The zoom on the Leupolds is not as good as the high end Japanese brands or Nightforce, about the same as the Euro brands. In other words, if a Leopold is set on 6 power and a high end Sightron/Nikon/NF is set on 6 power, the image will appear further away in the Leupold.

The turrets of the Leupold have two problems. The target turrets are calibrated in inches rather than MOA. Most software is calibrated in MOA. In order to be able to dial the scope accurately, you will need to learn how to convert MOA to inches in microsoft excel. I really need to do an article on this one day. There are some brands of software which perform conversions for you, I cannot recall the brand names names sorry.

The second problem with the turret system of the Leopold, is that it is secured in place by a single flat spring which sits on a tiny nipple, opposed to the two turrets at 45 degrees. Under magnum recoil, the spring eventually pops off the nipple. It is more rare for problems to occur on lighter recoiling rifles but problems do occur now and then.

The positives of the Leupold brand are that they can often be found at good prices. Leupold are true to their word and will repair a scope (put the spring back in place if need be) without charge.

Once your drop charts are calibrated from MOA to inches and where recoil is not a threat to the internal workings (your H&H should be fine), the Leupold turrets track well and are reliable.

One thing I want to mention, I would rather see a budget confined hunter initially learn to shoot long range with a VX1 4-12x40 wind and grind Leupold scope (friction turrets) as opposed to buying a half assed 'not-quite-a' long range scope from any manufacturer. With the cheap Leupold, I can teach the hunter how to calibrate the scope, get him going out to 650-700 yards and he has a start. So many people want to shoot long but their disposable income per week can be as low as $60 per week so we have to be realistic. Eventually, the hunter can by a proper dedicated LR scope, but in the mean time it saves wasting money on mid to high priced scopes with colour coded turrets that don't really deliver true LR performance.

Your scope should serve you well for your purposes. It has enough magnification to get you out to 800 yards, further if you wish. I suggest you go ahead and use it. If at a later date you wish to extend ranges a little further or want the ease of not having to convert MOA to inches, then that will be the time to look at something like the Sightron Big Sky SIII 6-24X50 or an NF etc.

Hope that helps for a start.
28 Feb 2012
@ 02:45 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Leupold VX 2 6-18x 40
Calibration of Leupold turrets:

Target turrets all models 4 clicks = 1 inch
VX II and III turrets 4 clicks = 1 inch
VX1 (Rifleman) pre 2000 1 MOA travel is 1 inch actual travel
VX1 (Rifleman) post 2000 1 MOA travel is 1.3 inches actual travel

1 MOA = 1.047"

Laymans / real world terms:
An incorrectly calibrated scope is often 'adequate' with MOA drop software out to a max range of around 500-600 yards. Beyond 500-600 yards, the differences become huge.



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