Although Leupold entered the optics market just a few years ago, this Leupold VX-3i review may provide enough proof about its high quality and premium usability. This series has features that allow it to function under extreme lighting conditions. But, did we really have a great shooting experience using this scope? It’s time you find out.
Leupold VX3i is an upgrade from the previous VX-3 Leupold scope series and is known for its outstanding performance, especially under low light conditions. Additionally, it comes with various models, like the side focus riflescope, and has different magnifications, objective lens size, and prices. If you’re after an American-made product, this is the one for you, plus it’s cheaper than most mid-level long-range scopes you can find in the market. However, the Leupold VX-3i’s turrets are a bit lacking if you’re looking at shooting beyond 600 yards.
Leupold VX 3i also takes pride in its twilight max light management system, ultra-lightweight design, and fast focus eyepiece that has a locking mechanism. Besides being easy to use, what we love about this long-range hunting scope is its proven durability. It’s completely shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.
According to Leupold, each of their scopes, including those from the Leupold VX-3i series, survived 5,000 impacts on Punisher, recoil simulation machine. Our research shows that they manage to ensure durability through using an impact reaching 3x of a .308 rifle’s recoil.
Accurate enough, many scope owners could attest to this. We also tested if it is indeed waterproof and fog proof, and the Leupold VX-3i did not fail to deliver.
For durable yet affordable options, check out this review on the best EOTech clones.
Lens & Coating
One of the product’s best features is its Twilight Max Light Management System that can add up to 20 minutes of shooting light for hunters. It is particularly crucial for seeing clearly during extremely low light situations.
Moreover, the Leupold VX 3i DiamondCoat 2 lens coating helps increase light transmission that’s advantageous for creating bright, clear, and contrasting images. You may not need to worry about scratches because the model includes scratch-resistant lenses for extra protection.
For this Leupold VX3i review, the magnification range is 4.5 to 14x, although it varies depending on the model. The lowest magnification level is at 1.5-5x, whereas the highest is at 6.5-20x. Because of this, hunters won’t encounter problems when shooting from close to long-range yards with Leupold VX 3i.
Generally, higher magnifications mean providing shorter eye relief, and Leupold VX-3i is generous. It’s 4.40 inches minimum and 3.60 inches maximum.
Looking for more optics? Check out our review of Trijicon vs EOTech here.
This is in the second focal plane, meaning it would appear like the same size as your magnification level changes. You don’t need to worry because you can still clearly see the reticle even at the lowest magnification.
Leupold VX 3i also offers a Custom Dial System (CDS) with a wind plex reticle. Your scope’s elevation turret requires laser-etching, so it matches your rifle’s ballistics. Unfortunately, though, this wind CDS custom dial is no longer available for this specific model. Sometimes, resetting the turret back to zero is also difficult.
From the rings to the bases, you could choose from Leupold’s wide scopes selection. They ensure that all of these accessories undergo tolerance-testing and polishing for an excellent performance. But whether you like to get it straight from them or from the aftermarket, remember that your mounting system crucially links your firearm and optic.
Please take note that your purchase does not include the mounting rings. The Leupold VX 3i mounting space is also at 6 inches, and given its long tube length, you’ll most likely find mounting to be easy.
Mass & Dimension
The Leupold VX 3i scope boasts about how much this rifle scope offers great features yet maintains its lightweight package. With a 12.60 oz weight and a length of 12.60 inches, we indeed found this hunting scope to be ultra-lightweight compared to other similar-sized ones you could get.
If you’re also worried about its traditional 30mm main tube, the power and objective lens diameter typically determines the brightness. At its dimensions, VX-3i’s brightness and light transmission even under low light conditions won’t minimize even at the slightest glimmer.
As mentioned, Leupold VX 3i scopes feature a lockable fast-focus eyepiece advantageous for a secured focus. Different models have multiple reticle options as well, though this one comes with a duplex reticle. The thick perimeter bars help in quicker target acquisition while the thinner center lines allow precise shooting.
Based on our research, the precision ¼ MOA finger clicks adjustments for both elevation adjustment and windage also appear to be repeatable and dependable, specifically after prolonged time and extreme use.
Since good scope glass often comes with a price, you usually need to secure dust protection accessories despite being highly durable.
Most hunting rifle scope owners prefer the use of flip open covers and caps for the turrets. You could also find compatible accessories either from Leupold or the aftermarket.
Leupold also manufactures covers made of water-resistant materials. For extra protection, Leupold lens covers also feature triple O-ring seals, and for other models, you can rotate the covers in any direction.
- Magnification: 4.5-14x
- Reticle Name: Duplex Reticle
- Parallax Adjustment: None
- Scope Turret Adjustment: MOA Elevation and Windage Adjustment Turrets
- Field of View (per 100 yards): Linear (Low): 29.9 ft, Linear (High): 11 ft
- Tube Diameter: 30mm main tube
- Focal Plane: Rear Focal Plane
Should You Buy the Leupold VX3i?
You should buy the Leupold VX-3i scopes because you can experience one of the best optical performances for a relatively cheaper scope. You could even choose among various models like the VX-3i 4.5-14x, which has precision MOA and excellent long-range lighting systems and lens coating.
While the field of view (per a hundred yards) is small and adjusting the turrets sometimes display difficulty, it’s not much of a big deal for some users. Besides, it produces clear and crisp images when on the field and offers an excellent value to price ratio.
If you’re looking for a good read, you may want to check out this review on the best rifle scopes for 300 yards.