Not happy with Leupold VX5HD, now what?

19dsniper

Sergeant
Belligerents
May 25, 2010
267
45
34
37
Fort Hood Texas
I had no idea until you said it. I have read some pretty good reports on rockslide about them, but hadn't done much digging on here as I've been a way for a while. That's what I get for not researching first on the hide.
 

supercorndogs

Ham Fisted Gorilla
Belligerents
Feb 17, 2014
4,638
3,158
219
Colorado
Despite Birddog's devout loyalty to Burris, I have to side with him on this one. (And for the record, I'm not a real big Burris fan.)

If it's so dark you can't see the reticle...well, it's likely past (or not yet) legal shooting time. IDK, are you guys that say you need it, hunting in heavy timber or some type of terrain that blocks light?

The light gathering capabilities of high end scopes these days is phenomenal...
Dudes going into heavy timer with their 5-25 FFP scope, makes about as much sense as screen door on a submarine. IMO.

The only time I have ever used illumination was so I could see my reticle against a black target.
 

BigPrince

Private
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jul 5, 2010
246
48
34
38
GA,USA
Bought a VX5HD 2-10x a week ago for a 336 I have. Glass seems clear, will have to check it as the sun goes down one day and see how it does.

Couple things I was disappointed in though -
The Matte finish is like powdery and was ashy white when I got it. Like it had baby powder all over but it wasn't. It was barely large enough to sit in the foam in the box it was shipped in and I was afraid at first the finish had been rubbed off but it was just ashy. Also, the Leupold rings I bought to go with it were a charcoal grey - like a bad blue job - color, not the normal matte black. I called Leupold and they said both were to be expected, normal for new rings from them, and just rub the ashy-ness off the scope. I am dumping the rings and will never buy Leupold rings again if that's the expected coating. If it's noticeably worse on lowlight than my other scopes I'll be selling it as well. While the glass is pretty clear to me and I don't have a trained eye for IQ, compared to my Athlons, Vortex, Kahles, and Nightforce, I am not impressed with this Leupold at all and my 20yr old Vari-X III seemed to be better quality overall.
 

Birddog6424

Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 25, 2014
1,662
1,043
219
Boise, Idaho
I gotta admit, that's super dark. Is it over cast there?

I'll try to snap a pic on my end, it's still cloud cover to the horizons.
 

JakeM

The Nutjob.
Belligerents
Minuteman
Apr 24, 2019
376
327
69
Yes overcast, and with the light on the camera.
 

MarinePMI

Ban Cat Handler
Staff member
Commercial Supporter
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Jun 3, 2010
5,681
5,440
219
San Diego, Ca
As mentioned, they automatically adjust the aperture settings (flash/no flash) that skews what it would look like to the human eye. Hence why internet posted photos of glass clarity (etc) are taken with a grain of salt.
 

spife7980

Luchador
Belligerents
Feb 10, 2017
7,475
5,242
219
Central TX
Ah fuck. I had already forgotten to check and take a pic! :ROFLMAO:

Maybe I’ll look here while I cook breakfast and remember before the times passed
 

ICU22250

Perfectionist
Hessian
Belligerents
Feb 13, 2017
1,130
143
169
WV
Its 2 totally different situations to use a FFP reticle in the midwest in the fields and here in the east in the timber. At daylight or just a little after here in the east, that FFP reticle on 3x is non existent without illumination.. The woods stay darker longer and that's when alot of the game is moving at first light, not 30 minutes after.. The rifles start firing literally AT daylight here during whitetail rifle season.. But to be honest, where I'm at you dont really need a FFP scope to kill whitetail deer so its moot..
 

JakeM

The Nutjob.
Belligerents
Minuteman
Apr 24, 2019
376
327
69
By the way.B5F59EAF-54C1-4319-B897-E5AF0FA34348.jpegUnder what section is that,” what’s the stupidest thing you’ve heard” thread? I can’t find it
 
  • Wow
Reactions: deersniper

SRPowah

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 13, 2017
605
113
49
Peoria, IL
I can shoot MUCH later on the farm up in NoDak than I can here in Illinois. I still prefer illumination.

Also for you picture people, whip out the digital camera, set it to manual, and decide what settings you want to use for comparison. Stop the cell phone BS.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 19dsniper

deersniper

Notorious
Online Training Access
Banned !
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2007
7,233
7,524
219
Northeast
I can shoot MUCH later on the farm up in NoDak than I can here in Illinois. I still prefer illumination.

Also for you picture people, whip out the digital camera, set it to manual, and decide what settings you want to use for comparison. Stop the cell phone BS.
Lol who has a camera that isn’t on their phone
 

Diver160651

Who cares
Belligerents
Feb 7, 2013
4,106
3,210
219
BELMONTCA
I think what he i
Despite Birddog's devout loyalty to Burris, I have to side with him on this one. (And for the record, I'm not a real big Burris fan.)

If it's so dark you can't see the reticle...well, it's likely past (or not yet) legal shooting time. IDK, are you guys that say you need it, hunting in heavy timber or some type of terrain that blocks light?

The light gathering capabilities of high end scopes these days is phenomenal...
The thing I think he is talking about is many 3-15 FFPs on 3x the reticle appears so thin that even in the day shooting towards trees etc; illuminating the reticle really, really helps.. Even then it will appear or best then be used, like a duplex -
 
  • Like
Reactions: MarinePMI

19dsniper

Sergeant
Belligerents
May 25, 2010
267
45
34
37
Fort Hood Texas
Same. I've turned into a multiplatform optics snob over the years. I have 4 pretty good DSLR camera bodies and approximately 7 Canon L lenses. My wife is currently using my Canon EOS 1 Dx mk2 while her Nikon D4s is at Precision camera in Austin getting repaired. She was covering a football game and a player ran into her on the sidelines hard enough that it broke the lense bayonet off into the body. We are a house divided... for example. I like BCM, she likes DD, I like Canon, she likes Nikon. Never makes things cheap that's for sure. I will say though that I've Never used a lense quite as nice as the Nikon 400mm 2.8 VR that she uses at times for work. She is a photo journalist, so that is her big pull towards Nikon. They allow her to sign out equipment for the Nikon to include that behemoth of a lense.
 
Last edited:

dustingaunder

Untitled
Belligerents
Dec 11, 2008
641
765
99
34
Oklahoma City, OK
www.google.com
I sat out at first and last light in OK deer hunting every day for two weeks this past season. Had a great mix of weather conditions. Clear, various levels of clouds, misty rain. There was only 1 misty/foggy/rainy evening I lost my reticle before legal light was over, but I couldn’t see anything else either. Every other trip this year I could see my reticle for longer than I could ID what the reticle was covering and all a few min before and after legal hours. I’d still prefer to have an IR but feel confident in my non-IR scope to take it in the woods.
Scope was Bushnell DMR2 Pro G3 shooting around 110 yards glassing between 4-7x or so. It stops tunneling half way between 3.5 and 5 so that’s my low power setting. The thicker G3 reticle is nice for this. I really wish they’d quit with the .1 mil hashes after 10-12 mills or so and just make them thick black bars. The hashes do some aliasing stuff in the brush that’s distracting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MarinePMI

19dsniper

Sergeant
Belligerents
May 25, 2010
267
45
34
37
Fort Hood Texas
Pictures were taken facing west, there is a neighborhood on the east side of our property. I did grab my binos and face the east at sunrise and it just made it harder. The contrast between the brighter sky and the darker ground made it tougher to pull out detail. 20200124_065531.jpg
As you can see, in some of the pictures, the reticle is completely useable, but in others, I can not pull out the center crosshairs or dot. Your mileage and eyes may very. As of December I’m 20/20 in my left and 20/25 in my right. Wouldn’t expect that to make much of a difference. The hardest for me to resolve was actually my NF 4-16x42 ATACR, but then again, it also has the smallest exit pupil, and thinnest reticle.
20200124_070418.jpg
ETA: some of these pictures were 10 or more minutes apart as I was switching between rifles and trying to get the camera to focus.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: black max

wade2big

Knowing just enough to be dangerous
Belligerents
Sep 16, 2017
3,192
2,828
119
TEXAS
The argument on time of day is moot. A small thin FFP reticle at low power is harder to see than a thicker SFP reticle at the same magnification regardless of light condition. It doesn't matter if it is bright and sunny or dark. At a certain point (light conditions) FFP reticle on low power becomes unusable without illumination while the SFP reticle is still viable. Whether or not this weakness of all FFP scopes compared to SFP scopes for hunting use weighs less than the benefits of FFP compared to SFP is up to the end user. Illumination on FFP scopes narrows the gap significantly on all but quick snapshots. I bet we can all agree on this at least.

I have been very successful with both scopes and at the same time been burned with a FFP scope lacking illumination. I will shoot as soon as I can see and up until I cant no more. I have never passed on a shot due to the clock. Maybe this makes the difference. I wont hunt deer after dark though.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 19dsniper

rlsmith1

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 1, 2019
111
25
34
How far are you (realistically) going to shoot an elk with a 6.5 Creedmoor? Deer? Probably further for a deer. My first thought for a lightweight and bright hunting optic is the Razor HD LH in either 2-10 or 3-15. 3-15 has parallax but no illumination. SFP makes illumination less needed in my opinion, even at dusk. Night hunting is completely different but I don't hunt deer at night.

It sounds like you're trying to build a rifle that's light that you can hunt and shoot targets with. In that case, the NX8 sounds great. But if it's a true hunting rifle (shot enough to be confident throughout the year, resulting in only a couple shots on game) then a lightweight SFP scope that you're confident in makes more sense. Know your dope (or write it on a card and tape to your stock) for 3x, 5x, 10x, and 15x and you should be good! I find I like a lot less magnification for hunting live targets. 1x per 100 yards is a rule of thumb that works well for me, especially on elk size animals.

Now, if this scope was going on something that was a 300 mag or larger, getting a scope that can dial to longer ranges (500+) makes sense in my mind because of the amount of energy they keep at distance. But realistically, dope to 500 yds is usually pretty easy with a 200 yard zero.

Just my 2 cents
 

19dsniper

Sergeant
Belligerents
May 25, 2010
267
45
34
37
Fort Hood Texas
How far are you (realistically) going to shoot an elk with a 6.5 Creedmoor? Deer? Probably further for a deer. My first thought for a lightweight and bright hunting optic is the Razor HD LH in either 2-10 or 3-15. 3-15 has parallax but no illumination. SFP makes illumination less needed in my opinion, even at dusk. Night hunting is completely different but I don't hunt deer at night.

It sounds like you're trying to build a rifle that's light that you can hunt and shoot targets with. In that case, the NX8 sounds great. But if it's a true hunting rifle (shot enough to be confident throughout the year, resulting in only a couple shots on game) then a lightweight SFP scope that you're confident in makes more sense. Know your dope (or write it on a card and tape to your stock) for 3x, 5x, 10x, and 15x and you should be good! I find I like a lot less magnification for hunting live targets. 1x per 100 yards is a rule of thumb that works well for me, especially on elk size animals.

Now, if this scope was going on something that was a 300 mag or larger, getting a scope that can dial to longer ranges (500+) makes sense in my mind because of the amount of energy they keep at distance. But realistically, dope to 500 yds is usually pretty easy with a 200 yard zero.

Just my 2 cents
The farthest I plan on using it for elk is 400. I have, in the past used a 6.5 at 597 and it worked fine. I really don’t plan on using it past 400 though. I was just in a situation that we really couldn’t get any closer. This was definitely not the norm. We can usually get inside 400 and most times, much less, at closer to 200. It definately depends on where you are hunting. We are planning to do some varmint hunting this year in the same area a few months before season. This will allow us to scout the lay of the land and get a better feel for the area before season starts. I’m fine using a 2-10. Like I said in earlier posts, I keep eyeballing the NF 2.5-10x42. For me, i always run a 100 yard zero and dial elevation. For my local area it serves me well, and is what I’m practiced with. If I have a shot over 200 on game, I dial. I practice holds at the range when’s shooting steel, but for hunting, always dial. That’s just me, I want to reduce as many variables as I can. After working up my hand loads, I get good velocity with a magnetospeed V3 and then true my velocity at distance. Once I have all my data I write it on write-in the rain paper and stick it inside my scope cap. I also keep a second copy that is laminated inside my pack in case I was to lose it some how.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rlsmith1

rlsmith1

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 1, 2019
111
25
34
That NF 2.5-10 sounds about perfect for a dialing hunting scope. Not sure if the SHV 3-10 makes sense at all (capped turrets but don't have to be always capped). Good luck with your choice!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 19dsniper

spife7980

Luchador
Belligerents
Feb 10, 2017
7,475
5,242
219
Central TX
How can that be lowlight when your scope is literally pointing at a light...

That’s the opposite of low light. What’s it look like pointed in the opposite direction?
 

19dsniper

Sergeant
Belligerents
May 25, 2010
267
45
34
37
Fort Hood Texas
How can that be lowlight when your scope is literally pointing at a light...

That’s the opposite of low light. What’s it look like pointed in the opposite direction?
Fair enough. Poor example. I had just taken the pic for a different post and thought I would drop it in here in reference to the low light discussion from earlier. We normally have the light attached to the rifle and its pointed the other dirrection. The point I was trying to make was that not everyone is using them during daylight hours. I just got in a WickedLights A48IC and will try it with that seing how that's it's intended use.
Good call. 👍
 

Geno C.

Dirty Carnie
Belligerents
Oct 24, 2007
4,706
10,180
219
36
Wautoma, WI
I was working I’ve getting a 30 minute before sunrise pic and forgot. This is 17 minutes before sunrise here. 13 minutes ago I would use an illuminated reticle every time I had it. If I didn’t have it I might have to wait it out in order to make a precise shot on a dark animal.0FDEDD6E-A447-49CC-A326-D2A7E6B7582B.jpegand this is with a bright blanket of white in the ground. In the fall when it’s just leaves, it’s darker yet
 

19dsniper

Sergeant
Belligerents
May 25, 2010
267
45
34
37
Fort Hood Texas
Do you guys really shoot by the clock. 😂 I bet you don’t.
I cant answer for anyone else, but I absolutely do. And I pound it into my kids head to do that as well. My kids are always hunting with me, in fact I haven't been on a hunt in the last 14 years where at least 1 of my kids wasnt in the stand with me. You best believe that we follow the rules to a T because your kids are your Morality Police. Slip up 1 time and they tell the whole world.
 

wade2big

Knowing just enough to be dangerous
Belligerents
Sep 16, 2017
3,192
2,828
119
TEXAS
I cant answer for anyone else, but I absolutely do. And I pound it into my kids head to do that as well. My kids are always hunting with me, in fact I haven't been on a hunt in the last 14 years where at least 1 of my kids wasnt in the stand with me. You best believe that we follow the rules to a T because your kids are your Morality Police. Slip up 1 time and they tell the whole world.
I dont feel immoral for taking a shot 5 minutes early. I just told you all myself.

We dont agree on this particular issue but I do understand your point. Good for you taking those little ones out there as well.
 

Birddog6424

Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 25, 2014
1,662
1,043
219
Boise, Idaho
Had to bow put of this discussion for a few days. Bit of a medical scare in the family and had to drive across the state.

I'm still in to post pics. Even though after stepping away from this for a bit I've drawn the obvious conclusion that there's no right answer. People hunt different things in different conditions. We have different criteria in our gear.

My answer for myself will always be I havent used it, doubt at this point I'll ever need it. I simply have too much water under the bridge at this point to think I'll ever need something I got along just fine for so many years without.