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The New Leupold Scope line vs the Old?? Any users or thoughts?
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Picture of SAFARIKID
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The New VX-3i has replaced the other previous VX series..Sypposed to be better glass etc..also there is a New Freedom Line to replace the VX-II and I
Any thoughts or comparisons guys??


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Posts: 5974 | Location: NEW ORLEANS / CAJUN COUNTRY!!! | Registered: 05 September 2005Reply With Quote
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i believe the newer models (VX3I) track better than the VX3 etc.
I have a VX2 recently made that sits on a 338WM, It tracks 1/4" clicks perfectly.
My VX5's, 6's and 7's do as well. Not sure I can say that about the past generation.
 
Posts: 2349 | Location: Texas | Registered: 06 January 2009Reply With Quote
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For one thing on this latest iteration they put a big honking (and sharp shouldered) knob on the power adjustment that is not only in the way, but hurts your fingers. Optically, the difference is that the ad writers had to come up with more and different superlatives to describe the same lenses.

Whenever Leupold makes a change it is a due to a manufacturing expediency and gives them an excuse to pretend to have re-invented the wheel. Now, don't get me wrong; I won't have any scope other than a Leupold. But it is certainly not because they have improved their product over the last 50 years. It is because they still offer some scopes that function as they should and in terms of constant dollars they are much cheaper than they were 50 years ago.
 
Posts: 12673 | Location: Henly, TX, USA | Registered: 04 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Interesting question and one I've been pondering for some time myself. I think the optics in the VX3 line have gotten better over the years, though the improvements are so incrementally small it's hard to tell from one version to the next. I have a hard time discerning between the models I have. I suppose if you were to skip a few revisions, it would be more obvious. It's really up to the buyer to determine worth of something that improves sharpness and light gathering that teeny bit.

The scopes are still as tough as they ever were, totally resistant to whatever comes their way. However, to echo Stonecreek's comment, the aesthetics BLOW on the current line. I'm not sure who's in charge of styling, but they took one of the most classic, handsome, and refined riflescope profiles and goofed it. The new VX Freedom and VX3i lines are full of chunky, hard angles and sharp surfaces. Everything used to be nice and smooth and round; now it's "tactical" looking. Looks kind of silly on a nice wood stocked rifle. I'm also disappointed in the finish of the scopes. The "matte" finish used to be a nice, smooth satin. Now, it's almost like they're parkerized.

There are so many quality older Leupolds out there, it's going to be difficult for me to buy a new one. They have the optics, but the improvements in that area aren't worth the shortfalls in the others.
 
Posts: 1064 | Location: Gilbertsville, PA | Registered: 08 December 2005Reply With Quote
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The old ones work fine for me. Not worth it to buy the newest.

Dave
 
Posts: 2048 | Location: Seattle Washington, USA | Registered: 19 January 2004Reply With Quote
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I enjoy and use my Leupolds. I would hope that any changes would only make them better. If you screw with quality, you lose big time! Sometimes a company doesn't recover or it takes years for the consumer to have confidence in the product again.
 
Posts: 15885 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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I won't get into the optical aspect, but the "new" design to me is just ugly and exudes a sense of cheapness -- like something you'd get out of a blister pack at WalMart. .


Bobby
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Posts: 8942 | Location: Shiner TX USA | Registered: 19 March 2002Reply With Quote
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And yes, aesthetics is also a big part of it. There are many competent products over the years that I have not purchased just because I don't like the looks of them. Big Grin
 
Posts: 15885 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Understand all of the above...
As far as asthetics its also very important to me!
Here is a example but I don't see enough difference for me to not purchase...
Top- VX-3i
Bottom- VX-3

VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCE..
The glass is supposed to be another notch up?


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Posts: 5974 | Location: NEW ORLEANS / CAJUN COUNTRY!!! | Registered: 05 September 2005Reply With Quote
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I have detected no usable difference between the VX-3 and VX-3i.

It's the Freedom series they've uglied up. Big Grin



Bobby
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Posts: 8942 | Location: Shiner TX USA | Registered: 19 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Safarikid's lower scope appears to have a rubber eyepiece. Does it add much tunnel vision?

Not that I like most rubber eyepieces, for the tunnel-vision reason, but leaving it off the later model is counter-intuitive. Is the labelling transposed by any chance?
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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That's a good illustration, Safarikid, and illustrates my complaining in the above post. The differences are subtle but cumulative. Look at the shape and contour of the power ring - old one smooth and rounded, new one rough and angular. The same can be said of the adjustment turrets and the machined part of the tube on which they sit. The old model is spherical and smooth. The new one is chunky and machined.

You can also see the difference in the finish in this photo. Look how much more light is reflecting off the smooth, satin finish of the old scope. The chalky finish of the new one looks and feels cheaper. Run your fingernail across each to see what I mean.

As for the rubber eyepiece on the VX3, why not? Though no one likes to admit it, we've all had an "oopsie" with the bell on a scope. Might as well have a little insurance if it happens.
 
Posts: 1064 | Location: Gilbertsville, PA | Registered: 08 December 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Though no one likes to admit it, we've all had an "oopsie" with the bell on a scope.

Especially on the calibers "The Kid" handles :-)
 
Posts: 18352 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With Quote
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My complaint with rubber eyepieces is that most are the wrong shape. The wide ones may stop scope cuts but still hit you like a boxing glove and cover up a lot of country unnecessarily.

If a company like Leupold, which I've found produces scopes with reasonably good field blending, wanted to, they could do much better.

Were they to make a thinner rubber eyepiece, like the roll-down binocular ones but tapering in line with the cone angle, not only could they preserve the field blending but provide 'crumpling' nose/forehead protection analogous with thin, modern car panels.
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by sambarman338:
My complaint with rubber eyepieces is that most are the wrong shape. The wide ones may stop scope cuts but still hit you like a boxing glove and cover up a lot of country unnecessarily.

If a company like Leupold, which I've found produces scopes with reasonably good field blending, wanted to, they could do much better.

Were they to make a thinner rubber eyepiece, like the roll-down binocular ones but tapering in line with the cone angle, not only could they preserve the field blending but provide 'crumpling' nose/forehead protection analogous with thin, modern car panels.

Agreed. Their presence isn't exactly begging you to get whacked, but some are better than others. The Zeiss Conquests come to mind as one of the larger, beefier rubber rings - too much of a good thing, IMO. Leupold did away with the rubber entirely on the new models, and they didn't exist on the old models, so there's a very narrow window in there where they exist.
 
Posts: 1064 | Location: Gilbertsville, PA | Registered: 08 December 2005Reply With Quote
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Zeiss seems to be best and worst of it these days.

The best rubber eyepiece I've seen was on the Zeiss Victory 1.5-6x variable. It had great blending but would not have given much protection.

The Conquest we've got is not too bad but the Zeiss Duralyt was a shocker and inspired the cover of my book.
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Biebs:
[QUOTE] Though no one likes to admit it, we've all had an "oopsie" with the bell on a scope.


tu2
 
Posts: 2159 | Location: KENAI, ALASKA | Registered: 10 November 2001Reply With Quote
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i have vx3 vx3i and varixIII and the reticle is a very important part of it,
even not scientific my old varixIII is better with the german 1 than the other with bc and duplex ones.

im talking about dark conditions.
 
Posts: 1422 | Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. | Registered: 21 May 2006Reply With Quote
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I have used dozens of the Vari-xIII, vx-III, and VX3, and a few of the VX3i and many of the mark 4. The optical quality among those took a jump from the Vari-x to the VX-iii. I was never super confident in the repeat-ability of any of them. The Mark 4s were mostly reliable most of the time. I have noticed a big difference in the VX-5HD and 6HD lines though. I have dialed them up and down and all around and of the 6 I have so far they have been flawless and the glass is fantastic. They are alot more expensive than the vx3 line, but from a user in the hunting category I really have noticed a difference. My vx-IIIs and vx3s are slowly being handed down to the kids.
 
Posts: 840 | Location: MN | Registered: 11 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Agreed but what are your lest say specific thoughts on the V3-3 line to the VX-3i latest version?
tu2
quote:
Originally posted by Quintus:
I have used dozens of the Vari-xIII, vx-III, and VX3, and a few of the VX3i and many of the mark 4. The optical quality among those took a jump from the Vari-x to the VX-iii. I was never super confident in the repeat-ability of any of them. The Mark 4s were mostly reliable most of the time. I have noticed a big difference in the VX-5HD and 6HD lines though. I have dialed them up and down and all around and of the 6 I have so far they have been flawless and the glass is fantastic. They are alot more expensive than the vx3 line, but from a user in the hunting category I really have noticed a difference. My vx-IIIs and vx3s are slowly being handed down to the kids.


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Posts: 5974 | Location: NEW ORLEANS / CAJUN COUNTRY!!! | Registered: 05 September 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Quintus:
I have used dozens of the Vari-xIII, vx-III, and VX3, and a few of the VX3i and many of the mark 4. The optical quality among those took a jump from the Vari-x to the VX-iii. I was never super confident in the repeat-ability of any of them. The Mark 4s were mostly reliable most of the time. I have noticed a big difference in the VX-5HD and 6HD lines though. I have dialed them up and down and all around and of the 6 I have so far they have been flawless and the glass is fantastic. They are alot more expensive than the vx3 line, but from a user in the hunting category I really have noticed a difference. My vx-IIIs and vx3s are slowly being handed down to the kids.


That's helpful feedback, but confuses me slightly.
I have also owned many of the 1" Leupy models that you mention and the adjustments have been random and inconsistent on all of them, although once they were eventually where I wanted them to be, and the rifle zeroed, they stayed put.
I had hoped that the vaunted introduction of dual erector springs would solve this, but it didn't - at least not on anything that I bought.

I hoped that the 30mm tube models may cure this, so I enquired of Leupold as to what differences existed between the erector system of the VX5 and the VX3/3i. The answer was that both were the same in design.

That was a disappointment, as the crap adjustments have been my only complaint about many Leupolds for many years.

Your experience with the VX5 and VX6 seems at odds with my reply from Leupold.

Perhaps I should roll the dice.
 
Posts: 143 | Location: Victoria Australia | Registered: 30 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Secondtry, perhaps you should look for an old Pecar in good condition. With only the reticle assembly to move, rather than the whole erector set, power scroll and reticle, you should find it much more predictable and solid. If you find a Champion model, you can even move the reticle some distance without it going out of centre.

Though clicks don't always move the shots predictably in many brands, the greatest need is for a reticle to stay where you finally set it and that the zero does not move when you change powers.

I really doubt the predictability and wisdom of making long shots by cranking on the knobs all the time with any make. The sporting aspect of making such shots is another thing that bothers me.
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Though clicks don't always move the shots predictably in many brands, the greatest need is for a reticle to stay where you finally set it and that the zero does not move when you change powers.

I really doubt the predictability and wisdom of making long shots by cranking on the knobs all the time with any make.

Amen and Amen!

The desire to crank knobs rather than compensate with holdover (or holding into the wind) seems to be a function of the age of the shooter. Younger shooters tend to think in terms of the machine doing their thinking for them, while older shooters trust their experience and judgement more than they trust the machine to get it right.
 
Posts: 12673 | Location: Henly, TX, USA | Registered: 04 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Things are going to hell, Stonecreek. I notice one of our big dealers here doesn't bother to stock the Leupold Freedom 2-7x, probably their most useful all-round variable size. They do sell a smaller one but then it's 3-9x or bigger. Maybe the kids all have undiagnosed myopia from too much time on screen.
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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The Freedom rimfire I have been after arrived today and like Bobby said it is very cheap looking. Optically it is inferior to the VX ll. I won’t buy another and suggest anyone considering it to be sure to look one over first.
 
Posts: 3068 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: 11 November 2004Reply With Quote
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I just acquired a Freedom 4-12x. Mounted it on a Rem 700 204 Ruger. Sighted it in and it seems to work just fine. The aesthetics are different than previous leupolds, and that’s not a big issue for me.


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Posts: 2283 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Much to do about scopes, and picky picky is abounding around by the less hunted crowd who demand to count amebas on barb wire at 600 yards//.

As long as the cross hair is centered, and the adjustments move the POI an inch per click or mark, Im good with about any Leupold, my favorite being the Leupold Alaskan 2.5X on my RJ Renner 7x57..mostly 4X Leupolds with a couple of 2-7x28 and a 3-9 for my varmint rifle..they all have worked for years, are mostly variX11s I don't need new ones although I do have a spanking new 4X Leupold gave me to replace my outdated 4X so old they had run out of parts..

That said all I require out of a scope is when I put that X on a deer or what ever, that it holds its zero continues to work. I don't count the ticks or flys and don't often shoot in the dark, but the old variX11s work at night when calling coyotes..On rare ocassions over the years I sent them back to Leupold and got them back in a week or two fixed as new or like above they were replaced with a new scope. best guarentee in gunworld history.


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 37180 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Maybe the erectors are the same between the HDs and the 3i, but shooting them side by side, it's in name only. The HDs track noticeably better, or that's my perception so I feel better for spending the extra dough. I don't shoot game at super long range so I don't dial on game, but I do on steel and paper. The HDs end up back exactly where they started every time. The VX3 and 3i end up on or close, but the adjustments are not as crisp, seeming a little mushy. Maybe the difference is just in the ZL2 dial and perceived clicks provide more precise application.
I have never had a Vari-xIII, VXIII, VX3, or newer that lost zero from just time and recoil. I have had 2 vari-xIIC that the erectors just completely hatched. They were both 2-7x33 and both were 80s vintage. They failed within 3 years of each other the last of which was just 2 years ago. Leupold fixed them both and sent back the list of failures and steps and parts used to remedy along with the returned optic.
As far as the vx-3 and XV-3i, I really have not noticed any functional difference. I am going to try one of the 3i now that they have the Zl2 CDS and see if that is the difference in movement from the HDs.
 
Posts: 840 | Location: MN | Registered: 11 March 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Quintus:
... I have had 2 vari-xIIC that the erectors just completely hatched. They were both 2-7x33 and both were 80s vintage. They failed within 3 years of each other the last of which was just 2 years ago. Leupold fixed them both and sent back the list of failures and steps and parts used to remedy along with the returned optic...


I don't suppose you still have the paperwork Leupold sent you, or can remember what it said?

I have theories about what is likely to go wrong with scopes but evidence in regard to brands with lifetime warranties is hard to find.
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Much sense Ray. Smiler

One of my friends was fond of saying that "we
aren't shooting tom tits" Another friend believed that "it's an optical gunsight, not a bird watching telescope"
The market is flooded with low to moderate priced options nowadays, but I really can't be bothered trying to sort them out.
My go to for most use has been M8 and VX3 Leupies in their various iterations. Never saw the point in saving a few pennies by going down in the Leupy model range. I have had a couple VX 6s and would likely have a VX 5 if the need for a better general use scope arose. The VX5 and VX6 are somewhat heavier than the VX3 however - no free lunch.
I also have a Z5 Swaro which seems like a sensible compromise between an improved product and a slightly higher price.
Overwhelmingly, I deviate from Leupy only when I have a specific need, such as shooting in the dark or near dark. Then I can, and do, use the benefits of top of the line illuminated Euro.
I also have one March for a rather narrow application.

Thanks Quintus. That's helpful feedback. Maybe a VX5 1-5 is in my future. Seems to be listed only with the ZL-2 and illumination, both of which would be unnecessary expense for the use to which I would put it.
 
Posts: 143 | Location: Victoria Australia | Registered: 30 October 2012Reply With Quote
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I don't suppose you still have the paperwork Leupold sent you, or can remember what it said?

I have theories about what is likely to go wrong with scopes but evidence in regard to brands with lifetime warranties is hard to find.


I do have the paperwork...somewhere. It that they tested the amount of travel in the erector both up and down as well as left to right and it was minimal. They stated they replaced the erector completely (and they came back with click adjustments instead of the friction) and I think a list of the parts. Then it had the new movement numbers and they cleaned, re-sealed, and purged. Both scopes now move well and hold zero as and better than as new.
 
Posts: 840 | Location: MN | Registered: 11 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Thanks Quintus, that's very interesting. I wonder what caused the limited erector-tube travel? My guess would be something went wrong with the spring, as they can break, esp. if twisted by extensive adjustment in one direction.

I suppose the friction provisions in the turrets could have done it - and the new clicks suggest they replaced them. Was there any evidence of that?
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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I can only go by the felt clicks and good tracking. The glass also came back looking like new. If it were not for the same scratches on a very old tube I would swear they just replaced the scope.
 
Posts: 840 | Location: MN | Registered: 11 March 2009Reply With Quote
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I have no problems with the VX-3i line. Very good glass and adjustments from what I have experienced.
I have bought a few of the VX-Freedom models. Seems like right after I bought each of those, I found a deal on another model or previous model that I liked better, so sold the Freedom. They certainly aren't bad. I don't know if they are equal to a VX-2 or more like a compromise between a VX-1 and a VX-2. Certainly are better than the Rifleman line by a long shot.
The one line I'm quite disappointed they let go was the VX-R line. I have 3, and they are absolutely perfect for the guns I have them on. Great glass, and love the firedot. I see they are bringing out more models with the Firedot in the Freedom line as well, and of course the high end lines that have it.
 
Posts: 2763 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 02 September 2001Reply With Quote
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My gripe is the discontinuation of some useful magnifications/sizes. Like the VXIII 1.75-6 and the 4x FX. At least they still have the 2.5x FX.
 
Posts: 228 | Registered: 02 February 2006Reply With Quote
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Sambarman makes a good case on the centered cross hairs and he is absolutly correct, however I see it as a trade off, as I love the centered reticle and the use of shims back in the day was a real pain IMO..The centered reticle has worked well enough for me but with some issues over the years, but not enough to change back, I,ll stick with the centered cross hairs form now on...


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 37180 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dean119:
My gripe is the discontinuation of some useful magnifications/sizes. Like the VXIII 1.75-6 and the 4x FX. At least they still have the 2.5x FX.


The 1.75 is a great scope.

I’m annoyed they only offer the wide duplex on the 2.5x. I have a heavy duplex and want another.
 
Posts: 6979 | Registered: 31 January 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Atkinson:
Sambarman makes a good case on the centered cross hairs and he is absolutly correct, however I see it as a trade off, as I love the centered reticle and the use of shims back in the day was a real pain IMO..The centered reticle has worked well enough for me but with some issues over the years, but not enough to change back, I,ll stick with the centered cross hairs form now on...


Yes, Ray, having to get scopes straight with shims and windage mounts can be a PITA, as you see with my Burris Universal problems. However, I've finally discovered why constantly centred scopes have so much tunnel vision and, to me, a bit of mucking around to avoid that is time well spent. I'll send you an update.
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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"erector" hmmm, something that sticks up, ok the Leupold has one..I make an adjustment with my Leupolds and give the windage and/or the elevatiion a whack with my screw driver handle and that makes the little erection go down and stick there, in fact I go two clicks past needed then return to the needed spot then wack the little bugger again and it stays this time..but like sambarman sez they do need a bit of dicipline to behave..Gott admit Leupolds aree sexy little buggers with a centered reticle its the cats meow!!


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 37180 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Sorry Ray, I'll send the update soonish.
 
Posts: 4194 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 31 March 2009Reply With Quote
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