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Old 01-08-2018, 06:51 PM   #1
JimmyB
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Default Leupold VX5 or VX3i

Recently purchased a Tikka T3 in 7mm and now picking out optics. I have narrowed it down to either the Leupold VX5 or VX3i.

Most of my hunting will be done in Texas on deer, hogs and exotics but will also take it on Mule Deer and possibly Elk.

Right now I am debating between
VX-5HD 3-15x44mm
VX-5HD 2-10x42mm
VX-3i 8.5-25x50mm
VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm

I am leaning towards the VX5 because I like the magnification and objective size combinations. Not sure if I need the 3-15x or if 2-10x would be sufficient for the hunting I will be doing. No shots over 400yds realistically.

Give me your thoughts...
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:00 PM   #2
TxAg
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I just put the 2.5-8x36 on a T3x in 308. (Also gona chop the barrel)

If you are going out west, go lightweight

These guns get top heavy with a big scope
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:03 PM   #3
kc5rkg
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I own two of the VX3 (without the illuminated reticle) 4.5-14x40mm and really like them. Good clarity and performed well in low light situations. I have one on a 270wsm and the other on my 22-250. I've taken deer and hogs out to 225 yards with them with no problems.

That being said, I have not looked through or used a VX5. I'd like to hear what others say on how the HD lenses on the VX5 compare.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:10 PM   #4
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I just got the vx3i in 3.5x10 x40 for the same hunting scenario. I made this decision after talking with leupold. The vx3i should bring on more light then the vx5 because the light has to pass through less Lenses.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:15 PM   #5
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I have one of each on two of my Tikkas and I love them both. While the VX-3i 4.5-14 is awesome, I’d probably go VX5 if I did it all over again. For no other reason than the VX5 having a bottom end magnification of 3x. With 3-15x, you can hunt in the sticks or the open Prairie. And the glass is a touch better as well. Can’t go wrong with either though!
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:20 PM   #6
scott.str
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I have the vx3i 3.5x10 on my gun and love the light weight. 15 power seems a little less useful for basic hunting. Use binos for looking at em first
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:42 PM   #7
sierracharlie338
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I have the VX-5 and love it. One of my favorites ever


Sierracharlie out…
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:42 PM   #8
Mike D
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There will be a noticeable difference in glass between the 2 at low light. Color rendering will be better overall with the 5HD.


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Old 01-08-2018, 08:41 PM   #9
JimmyB
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So many options... anyone know of a shop around Houston that has a good inventory I can go look at? Or DFW for that matter, I’ll be there next week.
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:57 PM   #10
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3-15 or 4.5-14 will fit your needs great. Write that 8-25 off your list.

I have 4 VX-3i's and I'm perfectly happy with them, if I need better glass I want it in my binoculars or spotter.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:35 PM   #11
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Go handle them in person, I was leaning towards the VX-5 until I got my hands on one. Weighs as much as a brick. I agree that the 8.5-25 is way too much magnification for a hunting rifle.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:38 PM   #12
JimmyB
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Gatorgrizz - what did you go with?

Now seeing the VX3 is about 7-8oz lighter. Didn’t think about weight...
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyB View Post
Gatorgrizz - what did you go with?

Now seeing the VX3 is about 7-8oz lighter. Didn’t think about weight...
Leupold 2-7x33. Lower quality glass but the FOV and magnification range seemed better for my needs than the VX-3i options, and I haven’t been able to tell any difference looking through them.

FWIW, this was on a rifle I was trying to keep lightweight, and I do most of my “looking” with my binoculars.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:58 PM   #14
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Given your choices. Id go vx5 3-15. A little extra magnification is nice a few ounces for better glass would be worth it to me


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Old 01-08-2018, 11:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyB View Post
So many options... anyone know of a shop around Houston that has a good inventory I can go look at? Or DFW for that matter, I’ll be there next week.
I was at Cabelas in League City (South houston) this past weekend and they had a pretty good selection of Leupolds
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboswell View Post
3-15 or 4.5-14 will fit your needs great. Write that 8-25 off your list.

I have 4 VX-3i's and I'm perfectly happy with them, if I need better glass I want it in my binoculars or spotter.


I agree on the 25X magnification. I have (3) scopes with 24-25X magnification in them:

Leupold VX6 4-24
Zeiss HD5 5-25
Swarovski Z5 5-25

How many times I have actually used them at 25X while hunting?

ZERO

Anything over 60-65° and the mirage is so bad at 25x that it’s useless anyway.


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Old 01-08-2018, 11:52 PM   #17
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Anything over about 10x magnification is not important to me, but 50+ objective is. A majority of shots are taken in very low light. I'd look hard at the VX-5HD 3-15x56mm.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyB View Post
So many options... anyone know of a shop around Houston that has a good inventory I can go look at? Or DFW for that matter, I’ll be there next week.
Able's ammo in Huntsville usually always has a great selection.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balcones_Walker View Post
Anything over about 10x magnification is not important to me, but 50+ objective is. A majority of shots are taken in very low light. I'd look hard at the VX-5HD 3-15x56mm.
I just ordered VX-5HD 3-15x56mm and should be in any day. from what I researched it should be a awesome scope and will know in a few days.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:50 AM   #20
sierracharlie338
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Originally Posted by chewy View Post
I just ordered VX-5HD 3-15x56mm and should be in any day. from what I researched it should be a awesome scope and will know in a few days.


What reticle?


Sierracharlie out…
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:03 AM   #21
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fire dot duplex. the scope comes with the custom dial system plus zerolock.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:15 PM   #22
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Went to the store today and they only had the VX3i in stock so could not compare but I really liked them. I have narrowed it down to two choices:

VX-5HD 3-15x44mm CDS-ZL2
VX3i 3.5-10X50mm CDS

I think I am leaning towards the VX3i for these reasons: I like the 50mm reticle, I think 10X magnification will be fine for my hunting and I like it being a little lighter.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:26 PM   #23
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I have the VX3i 3.5-10X40mm CDS. Haven't ordered the CDS yet , need to find the "perfect" round first. The scope is awesome, I'm sure the 50mm version is even better. Great low light visibility.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyB View Post
Went to the store today and they only had the VX3i in stock so could not compare but I really liked them. I have narrowed it down to two choices:



VX-5HD 3-15x44mm CDS-ZL2

VX3i 3.5-10X50mm CDS



I think I am leaning towards the VX3i for these reasons: I like the 50mm reticle, I think 10X magnification will be fine for my hunting and I like it being a little lighter.


Between those two scopes I'd go with the VX5 all day long. MAYBE if you were considering a VX3i 4.5-14x50 with the 30mm tube and side focus there would be some reason to not go with the VX5........MAYBE. But if those are the two options that you are deciding between then there is only one thing that might point to the VX3i and that is the larger objective. And I'd argue that objective size isn't that big of a deal in this situation. VX5 all the way.

For what it is worth I'm a big fan of Leupold scopes. I currently own four VX3i's and three VX6's. All great scopes. Needs vary. My eyes are open for another VX6 (in New or mint condition) or possibly a VX5. I think I'm going to pull the trigger on a small caliber in the APR build and need glass.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:23 PM   #25
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I agree, of those two I'd go with the VX-5. You'll really like the extra magnifaction and can always turn it down.

Here's something many people don't think about....Glass quality trumps objective size. That VX-5 will likely have a sharper image and better low light performance then the 3.

I have a VX6 3-18x44 and it does great at night with minimum light under the feeder as well as dawn and dusk. It's hard to tell the difference between it and my 50mm VX6.

Additionally, you'll really really like the zero stop on the ZL2 model. That would be the difference for me.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:38 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick8 View Post
I agree, of those two I'd go with the VX-5. You'll really like the extra magnifaction and can always turn it down.



Here's something many people don't think about....Glass quality trumps objective size. That VX-5 will likely have a sharper image and better low light performance then the 3.



I have a VX6 3-18x44 and it does great at night with minimum light under the feeder as well as dawn and dusk. It's hard to tell the difference between it and my 50mm VX6.



Additionally, you'll really really like the zero stop on the ZL2 model. That would be the difference for me.


Yep. All you need is a 4x ratio between max magnification and objective size. Anything beyond that is unnecessary.

Good glass trumps larger objective size every time.


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Old 01-11-2018, 09:35 AM   #27
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I have both and to me there is absolutely no comparison between the scopes. The 5HD's glass is light years ahead. I also have an original VX6 (not the HD) and I'll rank the 5HD right there with it.

If you look hard online you can find them for around $700.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:50 AM   #28
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Quote:
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Yep. All you need is a 4x ratio between max magnification and objective size. Anything beyond that is unnecessary.
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Unnecessary: you're saying you don't think you see more in lower light with a larger objective beyond 4x magnification / objective ratio?

Or that seeing more in lower light beyond a certain point is unnecessary to you?
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Unnecessary: you're saying you don't think you see more in lower light with a larger objective beyond 4x magnification / objective ratio?



Or that seeing more in lower light beyond a certain point is unnecessary to you?

A 4mm exit pupil will allow as much light through as your eye pupil will absorb at dusk/dawn. That’s where the 4:1 ratio comes from.

On cheaper glass you *might* see a slight benefit from a larger exit pupil in the scope.


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Old 01-11-2018, 02:46 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
A 4mm exit pupil will allow as much light through as your eye pupil will absorb at dusk/dawn. That’s where the 4:1 ratio comes from.

On cheaper glass you *might* see a slight benefit from a larger exit pupil in the scope.


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Exactly. However...I just found myself in this same debate for a new scope on my night time predator rifle since my vortex just wasn't having good light transmission. Ended up settling on the VX-5HD 3-15x56mm. Only went with the 56mm since I could get it for just $50 more than the 44. And since I'm using it at night and foxes and be a little tough to hit in the head at low magnification, I can achieve 4mm exit pupil at 14x on the 56mm rather than just 11x on the 44mm..yeah thats splitting hairs but it's worth the $50 to me.

Mike, having the Conquest HD5 and the VX-6 how would you compare them at low light or under a red light? The VX-5HD is supposed to be using the same glass as the VX-6 from what I hear. I just wish the conquest HD5 had an illuminated reticle because some of them are marked down crazy low right now.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:57 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
A 4mm exit pupil will allow as much light through as your eye pupil will absorb at dusk/dawn. That’s where the 4:1 ratio comes from.

On cheaper glass you *might* see a slight benefit from a larger exit pupil in the scope.


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Good reading; 4mm seems common but also perhaps a conservative guideline given how much wider our pupils can dilate.

I'll do some tests - it appears everyone is different.

Getting away with ultra-low rings is also a great benefit of smaller objective scopes.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:54 PM   #32
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Any one used the vx3 LRP? What about the CDS caps....do they work?

Building a 16" AR Creedmoor upper to use in the deer blind. My 22" upper plus a can is like a musket
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:58 PM   #33
Mike D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balcones_Walker View Post
Good reading; 4mm seems common but also perhaps a conservative guideline given how much wider our pupils can dilate.



I'll do some tests - it appears everyone is different.



Getting away with ultra-low rings is also a great benefit of smaller objective scopes.


The human pupil *on average* dialates to 4mm at low light and up to 7mm in total darkness.


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Old 01-11-2018, 11:05 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tye View Post
Any one used the vx3 LRP? What about the CDS caps....do they work?

Building a 16" AR Creedmoor upper to use in the deer blind. My 22" upper plus a can is like a musket


I have 3 of the LRP’s with a 4th on order. Mine have tracked great out to 1100 yards and returned to zero dependably.

I have worked loads behind Vortex, Nightforce, Leupold VX-6 etc and the LRP is my personal choice of scopes.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:12 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboswell View Post
I have 3 of the LRP’s with a 4th on order. Mine have tracked great out to 1100 yards and returned to zero dependably.

I have worked loads behind Vortex, Nightforce, Leupold VX-6 etc and the LRP is my personal choice of scopes.
Good to hear. I liked that they offer it in MILs and FFP. I currently have a Mark 6 on the 22" upper and love it. Do you have the TMR reticle? If so, does it have the floating dot at the center of the reticle? Have you tried the CDS? Is the zero lock easy to adjust?
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:42 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tye View Post
Good to hear. I liked that they offer it in MILs and FFP. I currently have a Mark 6 on the 22" upper and love it. Do you have the TMR reticle? If so, does it have the floating dot at the center of the reticle? Have you tried the CDS? Is the zero lock easy to adjust?


I have the TMOA reticles in my LRP’s. I have a VX3i with CDS and it’s fine for a hunting scope.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:38 AM   #37
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Good rifle choice. Check the torque on the 2 screws attaching the action. Mine were not to factory spec (too loose) and when I figured it out and fixed I shot a sub 1” group at 200. I have a thread on it here.

I went cheaper on glass with a Vortex Viper, good luck hunting with whichever you decide.


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Old 01-12-2018, 11:40 AM   #38
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Good rifle choice. Check the torque on the 2 screws attaching the action. Mine were not to factory spec (too loose) and when I figured it out and fixed I shot a sub 1” group at 200. I have a thread on it here.

I went cheaper on glass with a Vortex Viper, good luck hunting with whichever you decide.


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What did they recommend in ft/lbs?
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